mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

the most horrible click

Mutaz, a Syrian taxi driver Mutaz working in the United Arab Emirates:

The Americans deserve even more than this for what they are doing in Iraq. Every American should watch this tape to see what is coming to them, or are they the only ones allowed to kill?

Jon Gales at Iheartmena does just that:

I strongly believe in an open and free press. I don't want Brokaw or O'Reilly deciding what I see. On a news day like today when a video that is "too grisly" to be shown comes out, the public doesn't see what the news room does. Everyone in Washington sees it. They have decided that you can't handle it. Some times it takes a video like this to make you remember what our country is fighting for... If you believe George Bush is satan, I beg you to watch it. If you forget how the two towers looked moments before they fell, I beg you to watch it.

DC blogger Alex Payne responds quite differently:
The video is quite possibly the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen... I can’t see in this video what we’re fighting for, nor what they’re fighting for. I can’t hear the American dream dying in the lacerated throat of Nicholas Berg, just as he can’t comprehend the jihadist tract read to him before his death. All I can hear is that he can’t cease screaming even as his vocal chords are cut because in that last brief world of pain it is only instinct, not politics and values, that consumes. All I see is brutal, tragic, animalistic death.

Acts like this are removed from the context of politics through sheer horror.

You can view the 5MB windows media file of the beheading of Nick Berg here. I've downloaded it. I haven't watched it. I haven't decided whether I need to -- or even am able to -- watch it.

The unmediated horrors of the world are more and more ours to behold. Look to the right. There, beneath your hand. This one is quite literally at your fingertips. Would you? Will you? Do actions like this need witness, the way abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib needs witness? Where is the line when there is no news organ mediating towards a safest denominator?

Violence generates violence. The region is in this infernal cycle. I reject these visions of horror. But to stop the violence is the responsibility of the strongest.


  • your photos take too long to download

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 pm  

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