An Unfriendly Reminder

Psy Ops let some slip through. Just another reminder of what not to do if you're trying to win hearts and minds. Ooops, it's just a bad apple or two.

Actually, this is a reminder of a war crime of massive proportions. Do you need one?

A group of US civil rights attorneys has brought suit in Germany against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over the torture case.

Although US military spokesmen keep suggesting that the torture practices were confined to a few soldiers in the lower ranks, and that the photos were mere trophies, Seymour Hersh has argued that the soldiers were ordered to humiliate and photograph the prisoners as a way of blackmailing them into becoming informants for the US. The Americans were depending on Orientalist works like Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind in finding ways of controlling Iraqis, and were convinced that threatening males in an honor society with humiliation was the key.

And if that's not reminder enough that war is hell, go to Fallujah In Pictures.

Professor Cole continues,

Thomas E. Ricks has a characteristically piercing examination of the way in which a single blogger has been able to challenge the public relations efforts of the entire US military with regard to the human cost of the Fallujah campaign. He contrasts the US military's powerpoint slides of the fighting in Fallujah (linked to at Soldiers for Truth) with Fallujah in Pictures, a web site hosted by an anonymous individual in New York, which put up disturbing pictures from the fighting that were not printed in US newspapers or shown on US television, but which were widely seen in the rest of the world. Ricks interviews experts who universally conclude that the blogger's presentation trumped that of the US military.


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