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<nettime> Images and Official Language
mollybh on Mon, 31 May 2004 09:27:23 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Images and Official Language


ed phillips wrote this great piece about these torture images, ending with:


<Why Iraq? It wasn't the WMD and it wasn't because Wolfowitz is a crazy
ideologue. It wasn't about democracy per se was it? It was about the
failure of the sanctions? It was about what Bruce Sterling calls the
biggest black market in the world in Oil. It was about restructuring, or
attempting to that massive failure of sanctions and markets in one of the
most globally strategic parts of the world? The restructuring is immensely
violent and appalling. The photos of torture are a small part of that.>

i wonder, at a distance, about the release of these images to the mainstream 
press, and the achievement of a deflection of blame  onto majority lower-
level, apparently ignorant, military personnel, at a point in time when a) 
Bush admin officials have been losing their grip on the public's imagination 
as responsible gov't (not that many ever thought they were!) and b) when oil 
prices are at an all time high, not to be matched since Gulf war. Its a way 
for those same admin officials to get up and act "morally disgusted" and get a 
few public points! Has it all operated as an effective displacement of the 
growing 'bead' being drawn on official administrators onto the hapless 
American military personnel (their dummies anyway) 

Not by any means to suggest that the photos aren't real and that the abuses 
aren't real, but isn't what bureaucracies do, to pass the buck? In the end, 
the only people really hurt are those just following orders. The court 
marshalled saps. The price of oil stock remains the same and Rumsfeld (Should 
I write Rommel?) is so suavely punchdrunk on his presentation of freedom that 
he hasn't anything left to lose, anyway. He seems to enjoy being hated. My 
point is that in such an abuse of office, as this presidency and its admin has 
been, I don't think any of them really care, what they account for or who is 
made accountable. 

Molly

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