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Re: <nettime> Re: Images and Official Language: The Gap or How not to Kn
Michael H Goldhaber on Wed, 2 Jun 2004 10:46:48 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Re: Images and Official Language: The Gap or How not to Know



The Iraq war, I have thought all along, was begun by Bush as a matter of
spin, chiefly to look good (ie.e. successful and tough) and "manly." Iraq is
far away, and still confused in the American mind not only with bin Laden but
with Iran.

Recall that the last real photo op was supposed to be Bush prancing in his
flight suit. When that wasn't enough, we got Bush in Iraq with a cardboard
turkey (not the best possible metaphor) and then a bedraggled,
confused-looking Saddam, hardly the scowling villain Rove would have ordered.

The Abu Ghraib images were unwelcome because unplanned, with low production
values, etc. Had they been spun right, surely they would have been touted as
showing the pluck and ingenuity of American GIs up against dastardly terror
suspects. But it turns out the best spinners in the world can't spin an
entire war and occupation of real people with real feelings and desires. They
did come scarily close, however.



Michael H. Goldhaber

mgoldh {AT} well.com
http://www.well.com/user/mgoldh/






Alan Sondheim wrote:

>
>
> Returning briefly to Iraq, I think stating what the war is 'about' misses
> the point - that the word 'about' must be deconstructed, that there is no
> 'about' - which 'systemics' perhaps implies as well. The war is not
> 'about' Daddy nor 'about' oil nor 'about' jeffersonian democracy' nor
> 'about' Saddam nor 'about' torture etc. etc. It certainly isn't 'about'
> 9/11. One might say it is 'about' those who ordered the war and managed
> it, but this hits a psychoanalytical deadend.
>
> 'About' implies cause and effect and representation - this painting is
> 'about' the natural order of things, this war is 'about' oil. And such is
> a peculiarly occidental approach, I believe, this aboutness which insists
> on causation in relation to ethos, which insists on origin insead of,
> perhaps, taint. The war is unjustifiable, cruel, and in many ways 'about'
> America, in the sense of implication. America is responsible; reasoning
> and reasons are left in the shadows, and there are as many as there are
> shadows and they are as indistinct as shadows are. The darkness of the
> photographs throw a little light on the subjects: it's the captors who
> stand out, who make sure they are _named_ and _visible,_ while the
> prisoners are hidden, faceless bodies, hooded.
>
> Finally it might even be added that 'about' implies some justification,
> however minimal. If this is 'real'ly 'about' oil, perhaps the oil will
> save lives elsewhere, But there is none of this, no balance, no reason.
>
> Stare into the face of evil, and there's surprisingly little detail. Evil
> manages the news.
>
> - Alan
>
> http://www.asondheim.org/ http://www.asondheim.org/portal/.nikuko
> http://www.anu.edu.au/english/internet_txt
> Trace projects http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/writers/sondheim/index.htm
> finger sondheim {AT} panix.com
>
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