08 October, 2005

Public Image Fuckedup.com

Sometimes it is so obvious what you are really trying to say - "bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq" - we know what you really mean (read on)

It has been a very busy time:

Wednesday 28 September - about forty of us walked to court from St Mary's Church, South Brisbane to the Roma Street Majistrates Court for Jim Dowling's hearing. He now has to wait till February 2006 for the case to be heard. Interestingly, his Criminal Misconduct Commission complaint against the police officers who 'arrested' him will not bring down its findings till after Jim's case. It seems a nonsense. It seems grossly unfair, since doubt exists about the necessity and legitimacy of this 'arrest, and because excessive force and gratuitous violence were employed. I saw some of what happened. The CMC have not yet asked me for a statement.

The Queensland Multicultural Festival gave us a taste of the sort of society we would prefer to live in - not the xenophobic Australia of our federal government - an Australia wracked with fear that wants to stop Muslim women wearing the hijab (see story on Sophie Panopoulos and Bronwyn Bishop ) http://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/multicultural/awardsevents/maq_festival/index.shtm

Public Image Fuckedup.com

The US has been far too concerned
About ‘our public image’
This could become
A public-relations catastrophe
“Their credit cards were
Quackistan or something
They were in such a high-risk country
That the credit card companies
Wouldn’t approve the purchase."
Photographs of dead bodies
Casually bartering pictures
Suffering and death for porn
Blown to pieces
Horribly mutilated
Gives the soldiers free access
Disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency
"Bringing a little piece of the States to them."
You can see an Arab man's face sliced off
Placed in a bowl filled with blood
Another man's head
His face crusted with dried blood
And powder burns
Lies on a bed of gravel
Atrocities at Abu Ghraib
Dragged on for months
A man in a leather coat
Apparently tried
To run a military checkpoint
Lies slumped in the driver's seat of a car
His head obliterated by gunfire
The flaps of skin from his neck
Blooming open like rose petals
Contribute pictures
Their wives and girlfriends
Six men in beige fatigues
Identified as US Marines
Laugh and smile for the camera
While pointing at a burned
Charcoal-black corpse
Lying at their feet

Captions that accompany these images
Apparently written by soldiers
"Bad day for this dude."
Laugh and gloat over the bodies
A corpse lying in a pool of his own
Brains and entrails
"Wife working cock"
"Ass fucking my wife on the stairs."
"What every Iraqi should look like."
American media pundits
Have repeatedly denounced
The al-Jazeera network
For airing grisly footage
Such images will inflame
The Muslim world
Drive untold numbers
To join al-Qaeda
Make some potential
Suicide bomber
Think twice
After seeing
What happens …
AFTER you pull the pin.
"It's an unedited look
At the war
From their point of view,"
A corpse whose jaw
Has apparently rotted away
Leaving a gaping set of upper teeth
Keeping up their morale
"Nice puss -- bad foot."
Sympathy for American war dead
Officials banned the media
From photographing
Flag-draped coffins

Willy Bach
West End 2005

War is pornographic. Literature written with other peoples’ words is plagiarism. Finding my own words to say how I feel about this story was a futile exercise. This is ‘cut and paste’ poem from an article in The East Bay Express, dated 28 September 2005. It speaks about the people who have been sent to Iraq to fight this illegal war of aggression and plunder, and what has become of them. One of the greatest anxieties I have with the routinising of war is the permission it gives for psychopathic behaviour – the breakdown of norms of civility. Not only will this be exhibited in the war theatre, it will return with the soldiers into their civilian lives and their subconscious minds.

“If American soldiers in the field are always considered representatives of their government, international law clearly prohibits publishing and ridiculing images of war dead. The First Protocol of the Geneva Conventions states that "the remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities ... shall be respected, and the gravesites of all such persons shall be respected, maintained, and marked." The first Geneva Convention also requires that military personnel "shall further ensure that the dead are honorably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged."

“Americans have thousands of media outlets to choose from. But they still have to visit a porn site to see what this war has done to the bodies of the dead and the souls of the living. One of the pictures on Wilson's site depicts a woman whose right leg has been torn off by a land mine, and a medical worker is holding the mangled stump up to the camera. The woman's vagina is visible under the hem of her skirt. The caption for this picture reads: "Nice puss -- bad foot."

The article http://www.eastbayexpress.com/Issues/2005-09-28/news/cityofwarts.html

The link to some of the photos http://www.eastbayexpress.com/gallery/ebx.html