Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What noble people? What noble cause?

Update: 30 September 2005 Christian Science Monitor Reporter and blogger Helena Cobban wrote a post on this story on her blog, Just World News, on 24 August along with several follow-up posts since then. Le Monde Diplomatique cites Helena in its rubrique La Valise Diplomatique. Helena is bird-dogging this issue and has the clout to make the issue reverberate.

Sadly, the US Department of Defense has stated it will not investigate the gross display of barbarity, trophy-taking and desecration for "lack of proof." It's just distressingly galling to know it went to war against Iraq with less proof than the photos uploaded to NTFU.

Update: 27 September 2005 The on-line German technology magazine, Heise Online, linked to the story on these pages in its Telepolis rubrique in an article penned by Thomas Pany, Der viehische Krieg.

Update: 26 September 2005: Please see Mark Glaser's excellent article on this scandal in the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review.

Apparently Don Rumsfeld's orders banning cellphone and digital cameras to US military personnel exists on paper only. Today's headlines in La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera concern a website where US troops upload their images from Iraq of the burnt and mutilated corpses of their Iraqi and Afghani enemies. The damage may be worse than the Abu Ghraib scandal because accompanying the images are the most inhuman and cynical comments--by Americans.  

I ask, What noble people? What noble cause? If you question the President's lies, you're a subversive. If you hold a candle in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, your an old hippie consigned to the dustbin of history. If you complain to your Senator, you don't understand the nobility of our cause. If you go downtown and carry a sign, you're part of a flakey focus group. But if you hate the human race, if you're devoid of compassion, if you sell your soul for a peep show, if you ambush Italian reporters, if you stalk "foreign-looking" civilians on the Tube, if you murder the wounded and the imprisoned, if you torture for information then to our twisted masters, or so-called Executive, the you are a twenty-first century hero for democracy.

Below is a translation of the Corriere article:

Rome. Horrible images from the war in Iraq in exchange for free access to a port site. The "deal" has been accepted by a number of US military personnel. A website is born--a genuine chamber of horrors. The discovery was reported by an Italian blogger and the story has been carried by the Italian press agency ANSA, which has a a long description in a dispatch written by correspondent Gioia Giudici:

As if they were figurines, terrifying images of Iraqis and Afghanis dismembered by explosions are exchanged on-line for free access to a porn site. The invitation to post photos of shocking cruelty is propsed to US combat troops who are asked to post their horror shots in order to enter the porn section of the site. Once gaining entry, many site visitors have been unable to resist the deal offered by : "If you are a US soldier deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or any other theatre of war and you would like free access to the site, upload the photos which you and your buddies took during your service."

The site, primarily pornographic, is structured like a forum where users exchange pornographic material, not covered by copyright, which runs from voyeur photos to hardcore shots of lovemaking with girlfriends and wives. In two special sections, soldiers can receive free access by publishing the most audacious photos taken during their deployment. One is a general section displaying photos of soldiers, including war humor. The other section is a veritable chamber of horrors with photos of dead Iraqis and dismembered bodies. Once you enter this section you are immediately advised that you will be seeing cruel images and that persons not wishing to view this type of material should not enter.

Browsing through the posts is like a descent into hell. Each post contains the most graphic of images, escalating in barbarity and viciousness and accentuated by the comments left by posters. The posts exalt the violence of the images, shot in a theatre of war. You see headless, armless burnt bodies, a face in a bowl, the remains of suicide bombers, an arm or a leg accompanied by inhuman comments, extolling the horrors..."the only good Iraqi is a dead Iraqi." The comments are stupefying in their cynicism...there is even a barbaric quiz, asking the question, "what body part is this"...?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely isn't it? A whole new generation of Timothy McVeighs.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Just as long as you don't take photos in the prisons! Which by now in Iraq is upwards of 25,000.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

prison population, that is.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gather that's something of an underestimate.

Back to the photos...

I can't make up my mind whether I have more contempt for the people (let us call them that) who posted the photos. Or the people who post lauding them.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and finally apropos the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes:

Police knew Brazilian was 'not bomb risk'

Sunday August 21, 2005
The Observer

Police officers from the team involved in the fatal shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes did not believe he posed 'an immediate threat'..........

For the firearms officers involved in the death to avoid any legal action, they will have to state that they believed their lives and those of the passengers were in immediate danger. Such a view is unlikely to be supported by members of the surveillance unit.

For reasons as yet unclear, members of the firearms team have yet to submit their own account of the events to the IPCC. The two members of the team believed to have fired the fatal shots are known to have gone on holiday immediately after the shooting.


Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the accuracy of the police intelligence that led to the raid on the block of flats occupied by de Menezes. It was initially suggested that the flat was connected to the man known as Hussein Osman, who was arrested in Italy. On the Saturday after the shooting, officers raided the flat in a high-profile operation watched by the world's media. As a result, a man, identified only as 'C', was arrested 'on suspicion of the commission, instigation or preparation of acts of terrorism'. But he was released on 30 July with no charge, raising the possibility that the flats had no connection with the bombings.


1:45 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Well I think we now share the same take on these bastards. It's not your everyday metropolitan police, it's the "special forces".

3:45 PM  
Blogger chicago dyke said...

nur, i can't go to any site like this for the usual reasons. i appreciate your contribution, and i hope that you are able to find a way to get as many people as possible to see the horror that you describe, within the context of what it is that brought it about.

i don't really know what else to say, other than we could have avoided this, and i'm sure it's not even close to the worst. porn and snuf are roughly the same category, no? and yet, people seek it out and pay for it.

6:26 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

I don't know what to say regarding these pics.


7:47 PM  
Blogger ziz said...

These are the details of OSMAN, Hussein published by the Bank of England

One assumes 21 Scotia Road is the flat the "special forces" were supposed to be watching.

It would be interesting to compare with the Electroal register / or with data from any Credit Rating Agency.

DOB: 23/07/1978
(1) ADDUS, Hamdi, Issac
(2) ADUS, Hamdi, Issac
(3) OSMAN, Hussain
(4) OSMAN, Hussein, Ahmed
(5) OSMAN, Hussen, Ahmed
Nationality: (1) Eritrean (2) Somalian
National Identification no: National Insurance no PW 83 41 02 C [UK]
(1) 21 Scotia Road, London, United Kingdom, SW2 2UF
(2) 31 Helix Road, London, United Kingdom, SW2 2JR
(3) 40 Blair House, Stockwell Gardens Estate, London, United Kingdom, SW9 9AB
(4) Flat 2, 154 Mitcham Lane, London, United Kingdom, SW16 6NS

My guess is these people operate a network of addresses, for petty crime, robbery, dealing, and other nefarious activities.

AS to the pictures, I remeber well a master coming to school when I was 11/12 with pictures of his comrades holding high the decapitated heads of Japanese they had caught.

AS shoolboys, fed a podt war diet of comic strip heroes we loved it.

We live in a world where nothing suprises.

We wait to see what the MSM does with the story in the US.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We wait to see what the MSM does with the story in the US."

My guess is they won't do much. My guess is that with a few honourable exceptions, our hostess amongst them, most of the people who're beginning to disparage the war don't like the idea of losing the war.

Any takers for the Bush regime escalating?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Any takers for the Bush regime escalating?Me! Me!

$20.00 on it! (Only one taker, please).

Bush will go after Lebanese Hezbollah and the old PLF Palestinian
leadership in Damascus.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn Max Havelaar is going to have a really good year.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Mykeru said...

In America, apparently sociopathology is becoming the norm.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

That's cause they ain't got no religion, Rev!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Hoots said...

I just found your blog via Aqoul. Your work is very important and you have been very patient to keep it up from last year. I didn't have a lot of time to read, so I am not able to learn much about you, but from what I see, your heart is in the right place.
I'm impressed.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word is beginning to spread:

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again pornography and violence is at the root of America's interests. Americans are being conditioned by their media to become apes. From hip-hop culture, to pornography, to their patriotic war movies that show anyone who is "foreign" is either weak and incompetent (can't seem to hit an American soldier from one meter away with a machine gun!), or less intelligent (the sidekick that gets killed), or the two dimensional bad guys who are pure evil incarnate with no real motivation other than evil itself.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Samuel Douglas said...

The media is slowly starting to cover this, though not as well as I'd like. No one in the media down here in Australia is talking about this yet, but we are trying to spread the word.

We're with you on this one.

Take care.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Johnny G said...

I'm not sure what everyone is so disturbed about. There is a war going on fought by young american men who more often than not don't appear to want to be over there. Meanwhile an increasing number of their countrymen protest the whole damn thing. Now I did some pretty stupid things when I was 18-22 but I imagine if someone gave me a gun then and so go blow all those folks over there up or you'll be courtmartialed I would have gotten a whole lot stupider. This war is wrong so doesn't it make sense that anything to do with it is going to be wrong and the longer it goes on the wronger it's gonna get? Stop being so shocked and self righteous- if someone comes at you with a vest full of explosives and dies trying to kill you are you going to rush up and make sure their dead body is coveted and laid honorably to rest as the Geneva Convention states? Please.

1:47 PM  
Blogger dezhen said...

Glad you covered this. It is an important issue. Absolutely disgusting.

8:50 PM  
Blogger NonToxic Chuck said...

This is so sad. It shows the connection between violence and pornography addictions. Very disturbing.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that all of ya'll are pathetic and you will find anything to complain about to make yourself feel better about your meaningless lives. If you dont like something posted on a site dont go to it. I got an idea I'm pretty sure there is a flavor of juice or soda that you do not like why don't you take it all the way to President Bush and make commercials about how awful it is and nobody should drink it. All of these news people and the rest of the world just like you just don't know how to mind your own business and stop trying to attract attention to yourselves and do something that is actually productive with you lives to give them some meaning. Thank You.

1:27 PM  

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