Superior European Culture

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Superior European Culture

My two Dutch-language sources for this are here and here. I refuse to link to the site that the stories are about, for reasons that I hope will become clear. If you really want to look, the link is in one of my two sources, but I won't give you any more clues than that.

It seems that an Amsterdam-based porno site is offering American soldiers free access in exhange for photos of mutilated Afghans and Iraqis. According to a Belgian newspaper, the site operates on the trade-in-kind principle a lot of the time anyway. It is set up as a group of forums, most of which are free access, and some of which you get access to by paying a small fee--or by submitting photos of your wife or girlfriend. So we're dealing with a really classy outfit.

Apparently, they've already got some war-zone pictures up. They're divided into the "General" and "Gory" categories. The latter group carries a warning: "If you get nauseated easily or have a problem with dead terrorists, don't look."

Other features include a quiz: various pictures of human entrails with the caption "Guess what this is." Other photos carry captions like "Another dead guy." There's "Cooked Iraqi," a picture of smiling marines giving the thumbs-up over a charred corpse. Or "I see red," a blood-spattered closeup of a body whose genitals have been blown off.

The webmaster describes all this as an effort "to show a picture of the war that the media has not previously shown."

I wish I could identify this guy walking around in Amsterdam. Then I could throw up on him.

Update: A colleague pointed me to a story and "photo gallery" in Salon, coincidentally published today, exemplifying the fact that grim photos of the war are in fact available from U.S. media, though the accompanying story explains why they are so infrequently published.

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