Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mehdi Army Fighters

As seen on Hello, Iraq (from July, 2006) links to what appear to be actual photographs, not fauxtography, though I'm reserving a portion of my judgment still.

The photos are disturbing, for a couple of reasons. For one, the level of hatred, the hatred for life and the level of hatred for the west, is so glaringly obvious, it's seeping from the pages.

Second, the attitude that these depictions are "a good thing" is clear. These people actually think they are depicting themselves in a good light. As a propaganda piece, the message is clear "RIFs strong, Americans/west weak" but honestly, it shows me instead the utter lack of humanity and the uselessness of people who feel or think nothing but murder and "death to the world." I don't find the RIFs in these pictures to be strong, but definitely, weak.

Third, the depiction of life--lack of a life--is driven home by the fact that the children in these shots do not look at all under the impression there is anything wrong with this picture. They are being raised (if you can call the brainwashing to which they are being subjected "raised") to believe cars burning on the streets, broken buildings and angry men running, yelling through the streets armed with grenade launchers and other weapons is normal. For a RIF, I guess it is. For the rest of humanity, it's stealing a child's right to be a child, to be innocent for a few years, to just play. The ball-playing next to a fire is not the kind of play I had in mind.

Lastly, obviously, it is disturbing to see what appear to be US troops suffering injuries, to see bodies that appear to be US soldiers who have been killed then "pillaged" for their gear and left to rot. That's the message the photos want to communicate but even if I believe these photos were not Photoshopped, I'm not fully-convinced if they were US troops or not, esp. the shot of the two ransacked corpses. In the case of the men on fire, I'm really not sure if it is fire or Photoshop fire. I realize the expressions indicate extreme emotional response to a situation, but it could be "bug out" as much as a person on fire. Fact is, I can't tell and in my heart, I don't want to think about it.

War is ugly. The RIFs have given us here an even UGLIER face for it--dozens of ugly, scarfed-covered faces.


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