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Tag: iraq

Violence on TV

by on Apr.16, 2015, under History, Media, War and Terrorism

The Viet Nam war brought home the horrors of the battlefield in a way that we had never seen before. vietnam_exe The rules of war hadn't changed. There were atrocities committed by both sides. viet_napalm Napalm didn't respect allegiance, and the U.S. used it with abandon. viet_monkprotest In protest of the war, peaceful monks went on hunger strikes ... or immolated themselves. viet_kidsoldiers In the 60's and 70's, when these pictures were taken, we still had first amendment protections in the U.S. To find out what was really going on, newsmen and photographers went into the jungle, putting themselves in great danger. viet_mylai They exposed the My Lai massacre when the government tried to cover it up. They were there from the beginning of U.S. involvement viet_embassyfence and hung around until the end, witnessing and photographing the abandonment of the U.S. embassy, and many of our desperate allies. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The vivid depiction of blood and gore resulted in massive protests across the nation. viet_protest_generations Disaffection spanned generations and race. The government reacted. Wounded Kent State student John Cleary is attended to by other s The Governor sent the National Guard in to quell a protest at Kent State University, resulting in 4 student deaths. Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, called the war "the first struggle fought on television in everybody's living room every day." If the U.S. government learned anything from the Vietnam War, it's that suppressing coverage minimizes dissent. The new paradigm is the "embedded reporter". Instead of just letting the journalists and photographers have the run of the country, they are assigned to a military unit, where they have food, shelter, and can be kept safe, and see the war from the point of view of their benefactors and protectors. em_reporter It also controls the flow of information. There's no way to file stories or send pictures without the cooperation of the military. em_geraldo Even when the networks and new services send their best, they are still hampered by military censorship. jarecke01 When embedded journalist Kenneth Jarecke came across the scene on February 28, 1991, he felt compelled to document the burned-out Iraqi military convoys and incinerated corpses. One of his colleagues asked why he wanted to photograph such a distasteful scene. “I’m not interested in it either,” Jarecke recalls replying. He told the officer that he didn’t want his mother to see his name next to photographs of corpses. “But if I don’t take pictures like these, people like my mom will think war is what they see in movies.” As Hermanson remembers, Jarecke added, “It’s what I came here to do. It’s what I have to do.” jarecke2 Straying from the press pool was against the rules, but Jarecke was determined to get his pictures. And when government censorship failed, the media censored itself. The media took it upon themselves to “do what the military censorship did not do,” says Robert Pledge, the head of the Contact Press Images photojournalism agency that has represented Jarecke since the 1980s. The night they received the image, Pledge tells me, editors at the Associated Press’ New York City offices pulled the photo entirely from the wire service, keeping it off the desks of virtually all of America’s newspaper editors. It is unknown precisely how, why, or by whom the AP’s decision was handed down. jarecke3 Time Magazine received the picture, and the editors fought to publish it, but Managing Editor Henry Muller refused. Photo Director Michele Stephenson says it was, to her recollection, the only instance during the Gulf War where the photo department fought but failed to get an image into print. War is hell, and we need to keep reminding ourselves. The Atlantic has a more in-depth account of Kenneth Jarecke.
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Iraqis Target The Wrong Assholes

by on Jun.12, 2010, under Crime, Religion

After our long fight for freedom in Iraq, we're finally beginning to see the fruits of our sacrifice.

Iraqi Militia Killing Gay Men with Anal Glue Torture

Bodies of 7 dead gay men in Iraq

April 22, 2009: Baghdad Iraq. Translated from the news network Al Arabiya: A prominent Iraqi human rights activist says that Iraqi militia have deployed a painful form of torture against homosexuals by closing their anuses using ‘Iranian gum.’ … Yina Mohammad told Alarabiya.net that, ‘Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus.’ According to her, the new substance ‘is known as the American hum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.’ According to this human rights activist, for the past 3 weeks a crackdown on homosexuals has been going on based on a religious decree that demands their death; dozens have been targeted. She says that the persecution of homosexuals is not confined to the Shiite clerics. To protect the safety of gay people in Iraq, the US Government is recommending a "Don't ask, don't tell." policy, which has worked so well for the US military.
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