Support Our Troops?

U.S. Soldiers Trade Atrocity Pics for Porn

Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at

U.S. soldiers have been posting pictures of dead Iraqis and Afghanis, many horribly mutilated, on an internet porn site in exchange for free access to the site.

One picture posed on the site shows a dead man lying in a pool of his own brains and internal organs. The caption for the photo reads, "What every Iraqi should look like." In another photo, six U.S. soldiers in fatigues stand over a human body burnt to charcoal black--this one is titled "Cooked Iraqi." Other photos challenge visitors to the site to "name that body part."

Many of the dead shown in the pictures are clearly civilians. A series of photos--showing two men slumped over in a truck with nothing visible above their shoulders except a red mass of brain matter and shattered bone--is described as "an Iraqi driver that tried to run a checkpoint during the first part of OIF." [OIF is Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S. military’s name for the war in Iraq.] The post goes on to say that "the only bad thing about shooting them is that we have to clean it up."

That these photos are being displayed alongside pornography shows the link between the degradation of women and the dehumanizing of "the enemy." Both are held out as "rewards" for soldiers fighting an unjust war.

The site’s owner claims that there are about 150,000 registered users on the site, 45,000 of whom are U.S. military personnel. The site gets 130,000 unique visitors every day, of which 39,000 are members of the U.S. military.

Aan Army spokesperson said, "Centcom has no specific policy on taking pictures of the deceased." A Defense Department spokesperson noted that internet technology has been beneficial for combat troops, allowing them to share information about "lessons learned" on the battlefield. At the same time, the Bush regime has been trying to censor photos of the returning coffins of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, and the bodies of those killed in New Orleans because of Bush’s criminal neglect.

In light of this obscene celebration of murder and pornography, we have to ask those who raise the slogan "support our troops, not the war": how is that any different from witnessing a rape and saying, "I support the rapist, but not the rape"?