It’s Called ‘War Porn’







“And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honour and peace, until the gods
are tired of blood and create a race that can understand.”
George
Bernard Shaw, Caesar’s Monologue, “Caesar and Cleopatra,” 1898


War has always been a turn-on, its thrill as old as mankind itself. It is intense; it is raw; it is primal. It reaches into every nerve, so carnal it borders on the
sexually erotic. And many who cannot participate want to watch.
It’s called war porn.[1]




As a way to bypass blockages placed against credit card purchases placed from Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers swap their own
footage of enemy kills with sexual pornography sites, in exchange for
X-rated videos. Military personnel regularly submit thousands of these'
snuff videos’ enhanced with heavy metal rock music; the more graphic the
footage the higher the rating attributed by website viewers.

When
the pictures from Abu Ghraib were published, the Pentagon worked
overtime to claimthe abuse of prisoners as isolated incidents carried
out by a handful of aberrant military personnel. Whilst clearly apparent
that the majority of military personnel do not find pleasure in
killing, it is nevertheless indisputable that the demand for war porn
photographs and videos prove an endemic euphoria from the humiliation,
degradation, and death of the enemy.

With Abu Ghraib came an onslaught of personal videos to YouTube and war porn websites such as www.gotwarporn.com.
Millions of
hits by viewers anxious for more merely reinforce their popularity. In
2004, 30,000 soldiers had registered with one website alone.[2]The US
military has done nothing to close the sites, brushing the videos aside
as impossible to trace, despite specific GPS co-ordinates, times, and
tracking data clearly visible on the tapes. Only one website, www.nowthatsfuckedup.com,

was shut down by the local Sheriff of Polk Country, Florida, who
prosecuted the site’s owner for obscenity.[3] The Pentagon has otherwise
seen fit to let the sites stand, evidence of ‘boys will be
boys.’Centcom spokesman Matt McLaughlin said that although the Geneva
Conventions prohibit photographs of detainees or mutilated bodies, the
military "has no specific policy on taking pictures of the deceased as
long as those pictures do not violate the aforementioned
prohibitions."[4] The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Joint Chiefs of
Staff, Congress nor White House has stepped in to put a stop to these
explicit videos, and not a single troop has been disciplined for
disseminating the materials.

The phenomenon serves a valuable dual purpose. Trading war footage for sexual footage contains desire. On
the ground far from home, computer sex means that troops are less
compelled to seduce - or worse attack - young village girls for relief,
historically a norm in battle. Now it is all available online, straight
to their personal computers in the desert.

It is also useful propaganda, support of US troops essential to the ongoing occupation. Whereas in wars past it remained the role of government ministries and
media platforms, propaganda is now conveniently dispensed by those
directly involved in the fight. War porn enables voyeurs to not only
sense the gratification should they enlist to the cause, but enforces a
hoped for success in a war against terror. War sells, war porn really
sells, and peace is not good for the defence industry business.

If
not to guarantee perpetual retaliation upon American targets, either at
home or abroad, why else are the videos permitted to remain in the
public domain?
Just as the slaughter of civilians can be viewed in the comfort of an armchair in America, the videos are just as readily accessible by the very enemy the US military
seeks to eradicate. It is a world wide web, after all. The Iraqi who has
witnessed his entire family blown to pieces by an American bomb, the
Afghan who has experienced nothing but war since his birth, the
Pakistani who suffers US drones dropping missiles on his land: they are
each able to watch the same scenes in their own homes. They too hear the
thrilling cries of a soldier as he relishes dropping explosives upon
families’ homes, on a mother and child walking along a road, or on a
group of men returning from a day’s work. They too can see the macabre
mauling and mutilation by dogs as they tear into the remains of an Iraqi
soldier, or view compilation videos of ‘identify the internal body
parts' lay strewn across the ground, audible cheers in the background
byte soldiers as they engage. Watching war porn, the enemy also feels a
burning rush. Not of the electric bolt of adrenalin surging through his
body when a trigger is pulled, but from the passion for revenge.
Twenty-first century warfare is more complex than the argument of an inherent desensitisation of the
computer-game generation, of soldiers who view targets merely as
pinpricks on a screen - the higher the number hit the higher their
score. It is well known that those who learn aggression from video games
are likelier to engage in aggressive behaviour.[5] Once upon a time, a
creaking door in the night, a bloody knife lifted in a 60s horror film, a
window suddenly thrashing open in a storm were enough to terrify a man
to nightmares. Today’s soldiers laugh when seeing heads explode and
limbs torn off, having been raised on a steady diet of the same on
celluloid, television, and digitalised death games such as Mortal Kombat
and God of War.

If kindness begets kindness, if healthy eating begets good health, if reading improves academic achievement, how can
violence not beget violence?

Tactical fighting methodology has drastically changed in modern warfare, systems operators in America
carrying out much of the killing. Driving to work with coffee and
doughnut in hand, military technicians they can read their emails, enter
their command centre stations, drop a few missiles thousands of miles
from the zone of conflict, have lunch, fire a more weapons killing a few
more Afghans and Iraqis, call their husbands or wives to check on what
they ought to pick up at the supermarket on the way home before their
children’s baseball game, only to calmly do it all again the following
day after a good night’s sleep. Innocent men, women and children of a
different religion and culture are irrelevant. There is no emotion to
the result; they are numb to the consequences.

War gives authority and control, another’s life entirely dependent upon whether a
trigger or switch is pulled. Nevertheless, we do not label it as
terrorism or violence when mandated by divine righteousness in the name
of God and country; violence and terrorism is reserved only for an enemy
defending his land from foreign occupation. Only martyrdom in a uniform
is honourable.

War porn cannot be equated to news war footage, as reported by al-Jazeera or other regional television channels, the
carnage caused by foreign troops aired nightly. Neither can it be
likened to the horrific videos of foreign captives who were beheaded:
those incidents were not for sport, pleasure and enjoyment. They were
clear messages of retaliation for the torture witnessed at Abu Ghraib,
and warnings to the West to stay out of Muslim lands. By contrast, war
porn brags about the hunt and the kill, the body count, and the
slaughter.

Because it is a computer driven war, the adrenalin rush is short-lived. When a soldier is far from his target, thousands of
feet in the air or thousands of miles away in a control room, it is
only a quick fix. It needs feeding repeatedly to secure the same rush.

It
used to be that a soldier engaged in battle face-to-face with his
enemy, the whites of his opponent’s eyes clearly visible. The adrenalin
from a kill lasted long, the final moments of the enemy relived
eternally. As life left one, the other returned home with the image
burnt on his brain, never to discuss, never to forget.

The despicable atrocities committed during the Crusades or the Middle Ages
were not revealed until hundreds of years later, Latin documents dusted
off and analysed. Veterans of World War I & II came home from the
frontlines, their privacy and experiences respected. When newsreels
played, the Germans and whether or not Allied troops rejoiced in fresh
bodies. Vietnam permanently altered the perception of war, Michael
Herr’s 1977 Dispatches revealing the visceral conflicts within the souls
of men who fought. His book brought the unspoken hell of war to the
fore of television and prompting a new genre of shocking movies.

War
porn is generally defined as a fascination with super-sized weapons and
glinting uniforms, hi-tech tanks and guided missiles, “a panoply of
images as the aseptic substitute of sexual pornography.”[6] Or as Linda
Williams, professor of film studies and rhetoric at UC Berkley
explained, “It's narcissistic; boys getting together admiring their
toys. It is about us proudly displaying our weapons and there is
something sexual about that."[7]

It is more than a metaphor.

War
intensifies appetites. It stops time, and amplifies the senses to a
terrible ecstasy. The love of war is “so intense…that it had no limits,
not even death.”[8]

Thus was the brutal honesty as to the excitement men could feel from killing when sanctioned by governments,
according to William Broyles, Jr. in 1984, in one of the most candid
essays on war ever written. In Vietnam, Marines called it ‘eye fucking’.
Broyles wrote that most men who have been to war remember how, “never
in their lives did they have so heightened a sexuality.” The “soft,
seductive touch of the trigger,” the “intense beauty” of white
phosphorous billowing its white smoke whilst wiping out a population:
these were the rushes that war junkies lived for, who “couldn’t get an
erection unless they were cutting in the afterburners on their F-4s.”
And because most men who had been to war had to admit that somewhere
deep down they loved it as much as anything that has happened to them
before or since, “how do you explain that to your wife, your children,
your parents, or your friends?”[9]

The depravity of death for a sexual rush is not unique to troops. There are those who have an
“obsessive voyeurism that draws us to 9/11 videos.”[10]Even the
destruction of the World Trade Centres have some watching the footage
over and over again, not because of the ghastliness of the attacks but
because they experience a sick pleasure from watching so many jump to
their deaths, burnt alive, or crushed in the collapses. “I doubt that
I'm the only person in the world who derived sexual gratification from
watching two of America's tallest buildings being destroyed,” said Chris
Korda, leader of the ‘Church of Euthanasia’.[11] “The endless replays
of the plane penetrating the tower were unmistakably pornographic,
complete with flames and debris spurting out in slow motion…The towers
were blatantly phallic, and their collapses resembled post-ejaculatory
loss of erection.”

Korda’s video, “I Like to Watch” not only represents the basest form of society, but morphs war and sexual
pornography with images of 9/11 in pursuit of a grotesque delight from
death. It is hard to argue a valid case for any daylight between voyeurs
of these videos and those viewing war porn. Both sadistically
experience the same ecstatic charge from watching them, with only the
victims remaining far apart.

War porn videos feed the enemy. They virtually guarantee that Americans will be under continual attacks
from aggrieved Muslims long after any planned countdown or withdrawal of
troops in the Middle East and Asia. As long as any singular Iraqi,
Afghan or Pakistani is afforded the opportunity of watching grotesque
footage of his family and neighbours being chewed up and spit out to
amuse others a continent away, there is little breathing space for a
peaceful conclusion. At best, there can only be a lull. The availability
of war porn presents no traditional pause for a ceasefire, no
acceptable negotiation, and no effective diplomacy. The war of terrorism
goes on, a cat and mouse of who shot first and last ensuring the Long
War so often publicly denied.

“The power of war, like the power of life, springs from man’s heart. The one yields death, the other
life,” Broyles believed." It is no accident that men love war, as love
and war are at the core of man.” To turn that love into peace, the love
of life must be greater than possibly imagined.

If the enemy is well aware of the extent to which Americans love and embrace
death…what possible motive does he have to remain silently passive, and
not attack them?

Notes


1 Jean Baudrillard, “The Conspiracy of Art: Manifestos, Texts, Interviews,” (MIT Press: Boston) 2005, p.205

2 Carnage.com,” Jessica Ramirez, Newsweek, May 10th,
2010; online at http://www.newsweek.com/id/237182


3 Polk Country Sheriff’s Office, News Room, Notice of URL maintenance under Chapter 847: Florida State Statutes, Bartow, Florida

4 The Porn of War,” George Zornick, The Nation, September 22nd, 2005; online at
http://www.thenation.com/article/porn-war


5 Craig Anderson, PhD, Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions, Psychological

Science Agenda, American Psychological Association,
October 2003; online at http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson.aspx

6Mattei Pasquinelli,“Warporn Warpunk! Autonomous Videopoesis in Wartime,” (Saria Reader: Delhi) 2005 p.496; online at http://www.sarai.net/publications/readers/05-bare-acts/03_matteo.pdf

7 “War porn,” Emma Brockes, The Guardian, March 26th 2003; online at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/mar/26/military.iraqandthemedia


8 William Broyles Jr., “Why Men Love War,” Esquire, November 1984; online
at http://www.wsu.edu/~hughesc/why_men_love_war.htm


9 Ibid.

10 Mattei Pasquinelli,“Warporn Warpunk! Autonomous Videopoesis in Wartime,” (Saria
Reader: Delhi) 2005 p.492; online at http://www.sarai.net/publications/readers/05-bare-acts/03_matteo.pdf

11 “Rev. Korda on "I Like to Watch",” Marshall Dury, The Maine Campus, University of Maine; accessed online at
http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/catalog/iltow_int1.html


Tanya Cariina Hsu is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global
Research Articles by Tanya Cariina Hsu

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Comment by Sweettina2 on May 29, 2010 at 10:49pm
I will fight it till the day I die.
Comment by Wilson & Wilson on May 29, 2010 at 3:13pm
What a fantastic article. I greatly commend the author. People in the military make me want to vomit right on them - yes, all of them. They serve the filthy Beast System for a fat paycheck and though they have no problem calling out to their pagan god in the name of JESUS (the modern word for the false pagan god, EE' Zeus), I'll bet that their tongues cannot use the term Yahweh or YahShua. In Psalm 94:16 a question is asked : "Who will stand for me (Yahweh) and rise up against the evil-doers and the workers of iniquity (lawlessness - violation of Yahweh's Laws) ? My answer is clear, I will Yahweh Father. So, when the scum comes to my home, I am ready for them - just as King David took out the wicked Philistines.

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