The Power of Imagery

Posted by lex, on March 12th, 2011


Hundreds of thousands of US soldiers have served in Iraq. The vast majority have served honorably. A smaller, but still not inconsiderable number with valor. And a very few, a comparatively minuscule number, with dishonor.

In their videography of the war, Hollywood naturally chose to focus chiefly on the last. And now their chickens have come to roost not in Beverly Hills or to power luncheons at the Roosevelt Hotel Lounge, but rather to the Frankfurt Airport in Germany:

According to the German wire service dapd, the German Attorney General’s Office has confirmed that the video clip viewed by the Frankfurt Airport shooter Arid Uka — and that allegedly provoked him to kill American soldiers — was indeed the rape scene from Brian De Palma’s fictional anti-Iraq War movie Redacted. Attorney General spokesperson Frank Wallenta confirmed the identity of the clip to the German television news magazine Spiegel TV.

Uka viewed the De Palma clip as part of a four-and-a-half minute propaganda video that was posted on a German-language YouTube page under the title “American Soldiers Rape our Sisters! Awake Oh Ummah.” The video was removed from YouTube shortly after the publication of a Pajamas Media report noting its existence and linking it. It can currently be viewed on The Daily Caller here.

In addition to the rape scene, the propaganda video contains three other scenes. One shows American soldiers breaking down the door of a family’s home and rushing into the home with guns raised; a second shows American soldiers touching Iraqi girls; and the third shows what appears to be an Arabic-language news report and attempts to revive a severely wounded pregnant woman who has been shot at an American checkpoint. The “reporter” is shown interviewing the woman’s fraught brother as attempts are made to save her life. The “reporter” then announces that the woman has died.

All four of the scenes are in fact fictional scenes taken from Brian De Palma’s film Redacted. Two shots of Arabic text, as well as some music and Arabic voice-over, have been added to the De Palma footage.

Brian De Palma might argue that his plot lines were stripped from the headlines. But there are at least a thousand narrative arcs about the war in Iraq, and De Palma deliberately chose the most pornographic, probably because he thought it would sell. That he was mistaken was, until recently, an industry tragedy.

Now it is a more general one.


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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Index, Iraq, Lex, Neptunus Lex

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