Too graphic for the front page? January 26, 2005 10:01 PM   Subscribe

too graphic for metafilter?
posted by specialk420 to Bugs at 10:01 PM (230 comments total)

I don't understand this at all. Who deleted this?
posted by odinsdream at 10:05 PM on January 26, 2005


iraqi's have to view this stuff every day but the images are too strong (even with the clear warning) for the mefi audience? ... jesus. bad delete.
posted by specialk420 at 10:06 PM on January 26, 2005


"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell
posted by specialk420 at 10:10 PM on January 26, 2005


I almost posted a snarky comment about them damn heathens deserving it, but age & wisdom prevailed. Now, come to find out I could have been stupid and still been rescued from it...

Well, I for one welcome our new editor overlords!
posted by spacewrench at 10:12 PM on January 26, 2005


After all, if we just close our eyes, it all disappears, doesn't it?

Doesn't it?

/me votes for undelete.
posted by odinsdream at 10:14 PM on January 26, 2005


Yes, spacewrench, they mean us no harm and they certainly have our best interests at heart.
I found those pictures to be completely horrifying for as long as I could stand to look at them. I really don't understand why they are too graphic for metafilter or, for that matter, the front page of the Times. Maybe if we pretend that other people don't die, that will prevent us from dying. I am going to pretend super hard. I really think that, considering the warning that it was graphic, there should be a better justification.
posted by mokujin at 10:17 PM on January 26, 2005


They're fine for the New York Times and other newspapers, but I don't really see any point to graphic images of dead people on metafilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:20 PM on January 26, 2005


If there's anything this website doesn't have enough of, it's graphic violence!

That, and posts about David Lee Roth.
posted by angry modem at 10:20 PM on January 26, 2005


And you're welcome to post links on your own blog, but personally I've always seen these sorts of things as using shock value to prove a political point.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:22 PM on January 26, 2005


mathowie, there's so much more on the front page that doesn't have any point, in a much more realistic sense. If anything, these are painfully relevant images of something that truly affects us all, whether we turn a blind eye to it or not.
posted by odinsdream at 10:23 PM on January 26, 2005


jessamyn or whoever thinks mefi users (despite two layers of clear warning) don't need to see what is happening in iraq - and the amazing work dahr jamail is doing ... perhaps someday will be in the same horrible place - the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, sons of these men are now ... and then think twice about their quick cavalier dismissal of the post... this is disheartening.
posted by specialk420 at 10:26 PM on January 26, 2005


Is it a political point to note that war kills people, and that keeping the stink of death carefully at arm's length allows people to rationalize and accept slaughter in their name?

Perhaps it is.

I don't think it the case that useful discussion can't come from a post like that, but that perhaps on today's Metafilter, it won't.

Which makes me sad, but if therein lies the rationale for deletion, well, I can see it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on January 26, 2005


Too graphic? You can't be serious. This is reality for a large number of people and it would do a large number of other people some good to be reminded of that fact -- politically-motivated or not.

On preview: mathowie: They're fine for the New York Times and other newspapers, but I don't really see any point to graphic images of dead people on metafilter.

In all honesty, I don't really see how a post like this is all that different from the hundreds of other Iraq-related posts that show up on the front page. It's not like the author spewed bile about the president, the war, or anything else. I just read the post as a simple, "War's not pretty and, in case you forgot that fact, here's a little reminder."

But, hey, I'm new here. What do I know?
posted by abiku at 10:27 PM on January 26, 2005


VP_Admin saying Bush hurts children with a link to a child covered in blood was especially aggravating for a liberal like me. That was just childish. Way to gain anyones support for our point of view, pal.
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:29 PM on January 26, 2005


realityfilter
posted by mokujin at 10:35 PM on January 26, 2005


Imagine if one of the dead was your brother. Would you like people staring at him all bloated with his face shot off?

Just because publishing such photos helps your side politically, it doesn't make it right.
posted by dydecker at 10:36 PM on January 26, 2005


abiku - what you said. Dean Keaton - sorry but i disagree strongly. VP_Admin's post was worthwhile.
posted by arse_hat at 10:38 PM on January 26, 2005


True, dydecker, if this stuff gets out I will be polling through the roof in my home state. I didn't know that death and reality were "political."
posted by mokujin at 10:38 PM on January 26, 2005


Imagine if one of the dead was your brother. Would you like people staring at him all bloated with his face shot off?

Well, yes, actually, if I thought it might end the war that killed him. I'd be rubbing people's faces in it. But that's me.

That doesn't mean that I necessarily disagree with mathowie's deletion, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:39 PM on January 26, 2005


"Imagine if one of the dead was your brother. Would you like people staring at him all bloated with his face shot off?" Actually in such circumstances I would publish them myself if I could.
posted by arse_hat at 10:40 PM on January 26, 2005


Self-censorship is much more effective than the active kind...
posted by Chuckles at 10:40 PM on January 26, 2005


If it were my brother I think I would be pretty angry that people who didn't understand the reality of human death were kicking back in peaceful oblivion while my city was besieged and the earth was salted.
posted by mokujin at 10:41 PM on January 26, 2005


Just because publishing such photos helps your side politically, it doesn't make it right.

my side? killing is wrong.
posted by specialk420 at 10:43 PM on January 26, 2005


I'm glad it was deleted. Most of the commentary that is here would have just ended up in that thread. Most of the commentators wouldn't have looked at the photos.

Almost like the concept of the link is more important than the actual content of the link.
posted by smackfu at 10:46 PM on January 26, 2005


Just because publishing such photos helps your side politically, it doesn't make it right.

You know what another word for anti-war is? Pro-peace. God, do you see propaganda in everything? These people are fucking dead. That's the long and the short of it. That's it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:47 PM on January 26, 2005


I don't really see any point to graphic images of dead people on metafilter.

Though, in truth, there might be one. It's possible that what we call "MetaFilter" is larger than any of us, Matt, including you. Especially given the clear labelling, this just feels like apathy and censorship in one. Yuck! What a flavor that is!

Having recently helped organize a film festival that brought images equally shocking to the bovinely-ignorant American public, I have no hesitation to say I'm disappointed in you, Matt, for feeding the notion in the US that non-PG content simply isn't acceptable, no matter how relevant it is.

Look to the major media for relief, you say?
posted by scarabic at 10:48 PM on January 26, 2005


"I'm glad it was deleted. Most of the commentary that is here would have just ended up in that thread. Most of the commentators wouldn't have looked at the photos.

Almost like the concept of the link is more important than the actual content of the link"
. - smackfu

Wow dude you can read my mind and all those others too. tard.
posted by arse_hat at 10:50 PM on January 26, 2005


Wishing I was as eloquent as scarabic.
posted by arse_hat at 10:52 PM on January 26, 2005


tard.

Exactly, in a nice little nutshell, why that thread was probably better killed at birth, I'm afraid. Though it may or may not have been the rationale.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on January 26, 2005


They're fine for the New York Times and other newspapers, but I don't really see any point to graphic images of dead people on metafilter.

You really think any newspaper is going to publish such photos? I very much doubt it.

I very, very rarely disagree with matt's deletions, especially as of late, but I think this was a solid post. There was enough warning as to the graphic nature, and yeah, the political aspect of "your tax dollars" probably should've been omitted, but I'd never have seen these without the power of the internet, and, yeah, begrudgingly, I still look to MeFi for some of that.

I don't think it the case that useful discussion can't come from a post like that, but that perhaps on today's Metafilter, it won't.

Pity that, Stavros, but my point still stands. I never saw such things during Gulf War I, and I wouldn't've had this post not been made and then called out here.

Imagine if one of the dead was your brother. Would you like people staring at him all bloated with his face shot off?

Without getting too policitical, I can personally say (without having been there, granted), I'd want the world to see as much, considering all it means.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:54 PM on January 26, 2005


God, do you see propaganda in everything? These people are fucking dead. That's the long and the short of it. That's it.

Of course it is political propaganda. Otherwise why publish it? Like Stavros says, he would post photos of his dead brother if it would help end the war. Now if his brother died in a tsunami, would he put up photos of his brother's corpse all over town? Of course not. There is no purpose to it and it would be undignified. All I'm saying is the victims of war should be accorded the same dignity too.
posted by dydecker at 10:56 PM on January 26, 2005


God forbid that cold statistics should have actual faces, that the shock of finally confronting violent death might just have a valuable political point, or that anyone might ever be troubled by what we have wrought. Reality control, that's the ticket. Wouldn't want to get the war-lovers upset, after all.

Not here on good ol' MetaFlaccid. Let's steer well clear of in-your-face Naked Truth, anything provocative or passionate, anything that shatters comfort levels.

Yeah. It's just not seemly.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:58 PM on January 26, 2005


There is no purpose to it - dydecker
Wow. C l u e l e s s.
A war is not the same as a natural disaster. THERE IS A PURPOSE.
posted by arse_hat at 10:59 PM on January 26, 2005


Yes, I love Bush and the war in Iraq, I'm a fat, ignorant American that loves his blinders. You guys got my number!

I know war is hell, but those images were more at home on Rotten.com than MetaFilter.com. I'm a big sissy about graphic photos of maimed and dead folks and refrain from linking to them or staring at them all day out of respect for the dead. If I'm being too much of a wuss, I've love to see the link float to the top of every other blog on earth and send a clear message to the president, causing him to rethink his positions and for the US to pull out of Iraq unilaterally.

But somehow I doubt it and instead it will look like some folks using photos of dead people to make their partisan political point.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:04 PM on January 26, 2005


Someone please tell me the difference between an abortion protester with an image of a dead fetus on a sign and someone pasting a 600px image onto a blog of an Iraqi with his face blown off.

Is there a difference? Explain.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:05 PM on January 26, 2005


What's the point of this? Showing images of the dead in order to shame those who would wage war? Maybe children and idiots don't know the consequences of their actions and the horrors of war, but surely the residents of Metafilter are fully aware of the extent of the suffering in Iraq and what a dead body looks like.

Such an emotional appeal skews the argument anyways, if indeed a political point is being made as opposed to a comment on the nature of man. Next, how about a post of photos of dead schoolchildren in Russia to justify an attack on Grozny. Or images of crying mothers and daughters in New York to justify conquering Afghanistan and Iraq. Or to put it another way, should photos of the burned alive in Hamburg have halted the allied assault on Nazi Germany?

I agree that everyone should see these photos. I highly doubt that metafilter is the appropriate venue for them to reach a *new* audience. Here, it just seems inflammatory and maybe a little patronizing.
posted by loquax at 11:07 PM on January 26, 2005


All I'm saying is the victims of war should be accorded the same dignity too.

life would be a lot easier here in middle america if people like you and the site editor(s) were in charge. never mind ... you won't see the photos on fox, cbs, nbc, washington post, newsweek, metafilter... go on about your business, move along.
posted by specialk420 at 11:07 PM on January 26, 2005


Yeah Matt, you are just a big dumm inorant ‘merican. Good lord. I have never seen you so thin-skinned. “out of respect for the dead” If we respect the dead, ALL of them US and Iraqi would be published each day in the mainstream media. Each one who died would get respect. We would say to each of them I WILL look at your face and say you did not die without reason. The WSJ and NYT will not remember these folks. So who will? If the post was bad then how can we repost it in good taste?
posted by arse_hat at 11:13 PM on January 26, 2005


No, dydecker. I think you're missing the point.

I'm not going to see photos of corpses on Nightline, 60 Minutes, or the BBC World News from either the tsunami or Iraq. TeeVee isn't going to show this to me, especially on a level this graphic. The Web will. And, disturbing as it is, I appreciate that.

Best of the Web. Thrust of the web.

On preview:

Someone please tell me the difference between an abortion protester with an image of a dead fetus on a sign and someone pasting a 600px graphic of an Iraqi with his face blown off over a blog.

Is there a difference? Explain.


Nope, and so long as I have a warning as to what's involved, I think it's fine. If I want to stick my face in the reality of a situation and be blunt, then I'd love to have the option of doing so.

I've seen people driving around downtown Dallas with giant billboards of aborted fetuses and a megaphone and signs brandishing "9/11 happened because America legalizes abortion". I sat there and watched them roll by with 150 elementary school students and I cringed, all because these poor kids didn't need to see that.

I've yet to see anyone trot out these pictures in such a fashion.

That said, we're a bit different. If people want to see these pictures, or need to see these pictures, then they have the option. But they also have the warning.

As I said above, spk420's pre-emptive attack of "your tax dollars" was not the best way to frame the post. That doesn't mean it was a bad link, though.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:14 PM on January 26, 2005


loquax: I agree that everyone should see these photos. I highly doubt that metafilter is the appropriate venue for them to reach a *new* audience.

I probably wouldn't have seen them had they not been posted here, and I still don't agree with the deletion or the assertion that the post in question was fundamentally any different than the myriad other Iraq- or general war-related posts that make it to the blue, but you do make a good point. Left or Right, I don't think anybody coming to this site is in favor of people dying horribly like this. Preachin' to the choir, I suppose.
posted by abiku at 11:14 PM on January 26, 2005


mathowie: Someone please tell me the difference between an abortion protester with an image of a dead fetus on a sign and someone pasting a 600px image onto a blog of an Iraqi with his face blown off.

The difference is that on MetaFilter it is just a link, you can click or ignore.

What is the policy on pictures of an abortion in process, or of an aborted fetus? Surely somebody has tried to post that stuff before.
posted by Chuckles at 11:17 PM on January 26, 2005


Yes, I love Bush and the war in Iraq, I'm a fat, ignorant American that loves his blinders. You guys got my number!

I have to tell you, Matt, your satire just isn't burning me right now. I've called you the smartest, nicest man in the world more than once, but you made the wrong choice. I don't have to villify you to point that out, so please don't play to your army of perpetual supporters. This deletion sucks. I still love you, man.

Is there a difference? Explain.

Differences include that pregnant women each have a choice whether or not to have an abortion, but Iraqis and US GIs have limited choices about being in a situation created and supported by an ignorant populace. As long as the bovinely-ignorant American public remains stupid about what they're funding, that situation will fester.

To be honest, I'd rather you didn't censor graphic images of abortion, either, provided they were well-labelled and presented with some context, as these were. What is wrong with the truth, again, Matt? Oh, it's ugly. I see.

The only *place* where over-the-top graphic images can get some exposure is online. You of all people should appreciate and champion that, so that highly-relevant stuff like this can be presented and discussed - not only at all - but somewhere better than rotten.com.

You're saying both that this content belongs on NYT and rotten.com. In other words: anywhere but here. I think you don't really know, don't want to figure it out right now, and would rather just not touch it with a 10-foot-pole because that's safer. I sympathize, but I'm disappointed.
posted by scarabic at 11:18 PM on January 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Someone please tell me the difference between an abortion protester with an image of a dead fetus on a sign and someone pasting a 600px graphic of an Iraqi with his face blown off over a blog No matter what your view of abortion the fetus never had friends, a spouse or girl/boy friend, children, parents, co-workers or pets. It had no neighbors or clients or customers. These folks impacted other lives and should be remembered.
posted by arse_hat at 11:22 PM on January 26, 2005


The only *place* where over-the-top graphic images can get some exposure is online.

But they are online. At that site. And surely they will be linked to by countless individual bloggers and other sites. Just because they don't appear on metafilter does not mean that a voice has been silenced or the internet has been censored.
posted by loquax at 11:23 PM on January 26, 2005


Again I defer to scarabic.
posted by arse_hat at 11:23 PM on January 26, 2005


Left or Right, I don't think anybody coming to this site is in favor of people dying horribly like this.

That's true. No one's *in favor* of death and destruction. But some who are willing to call it "necessary sacrifice" might change their minds if their position of comfort were disturbed. It's all too easy to wave your hand and say that sacrifices must be made in war.

Poor Bush. He has to hug the wives left behind. Boo hoo. He puffs his chest about this crap like people bleed to death on him daily.
posted by scarabic at 11:25 PM on January 26, 2005


“Just because they don't appear on metafilter does not mean that a voice has been silenced or the internet has been censored.” – No but the question is, is Meta still “best of the web”?
posted by arse_hat at 11:25 PM on January 26, 2005


loquax,
are you saying that this, whether right or wrong, is not censorship?
posted by mokujin at 11:25 PM on January 26, 2005


life would be a lot easier here in middle america if people like you and the site editor(s) were in charge. never mind ... you won't see the photos on fox, cbs, nbc ...

If mainstream US media were to show graphic images of the dead, they wouldn't show dead Iraqi insurgents to please the American left. The coverage would skew the same way as your other news: it would be a lot of dead American soldiers and squished office workers in NYC which, far from turning Middle America left and anti-war, would just make people bay for more blood.
posted by dydecker at 11:25 PM on January 26, 2005


I started writing a post about the value of seeing those images and how wrong it was to delete the post, and then I thought about it, and those pictures didn't effect me at all. Maybe that says something about me, or maybe it says something about the photos, but either way, I think this is a tougher decision that we're all making it out to be. There does have to be a certain standard to the posts here. It is a community. Considering that the poster himself claimed that his goal was to illustrate that "killing is wrong" I think the post was a lot less deep than it seems.
posted by Doug at 11:27 PM on January 26, 2005


"far from turning Middle America left and anti-war, would just make people bay for more blood.”
You can't handle the truth!
posted by arse_hat at 11:31 PM on January 26, 2005


No but the question is, is Meta still “best of the web”?

Moreso than if the post had stayed. A definite benefit of the web is distribution of content that isn't provided by the mainstream media, but that's not Metafilter's role. Any imagery which won't be delivered by mainstream media for reasons of offensiveness or controversy will be important to some people. That doesn't give them the right to post them here. The idea that it was a good post because some people wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to them presumes the idea of Metafilter as a content distribution system.
posted by j.edwards at 11:33 PM on January 26, 2005


As to what Matt lets and doesn't let slide, the fact of the matter is that he has to draw the line somewhere.

Between those images and rape haikus, I laud and support him for drawing that line where he does.
posted by Voice of God at 11:35 PM on January 26, 2005


Thanks #1.
posted by LarryC at 11:37 PM on January 26, 2005


are you saying that this, whether right or wrong, is not censorship?

If the Times chooses to go with a story and the Post doesn't, does it mean that the Post is engaging in censorship? Obviously in the case of these photos (and countless other photos of suffering in Iraq and elsewhere) their general availability to the public is not impacted by their exclusion from metafilter. For crying out loud, it's only a hyperlink, the site could go down tomorrow making the whole question moot. Matt doesn't have enough control over the material to have the power to *censor* it.

Personally, I would have no problem with the photos being linked, but I hardly think that Matt is committing a crime against the truth by choosing not to have them linked from his site. And really, the framing of the post was very inflammatory. Perhaps if it had been presented a tad more tactfully, or in context or something it would have survived on the page. As it is, Matt is not preventing goggle from indexing the page, Daily Kos from linking to it, or the site from hosting them. How is this censorship?
posted by loquax at 11:37 PM on January 26, 2005


that's not Metafilter's role

I love unsupported declaratives even less from people who don't own this site. You can't just tell us what the role of MeFi is and consider your case proven. Nice try, though.
posted by scarabic at 11:40 PM on January 26, 2005


Having entered my 40’s I can remember, as a child, seeing the Vietnam War on TV every night. These days what I see of Iraq War the Sequel is far more sanitized and far less aggressive. TV (Hot Medium) is falling down. Blogs (Cool Medium) while inferior to TV don’t seem to be doing much to pick-up the slack.
posted by arse_hat at 11:43 PM on January 26, 2005


The idea that it was a good post because some people wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to them presumes the idea of Metafilter as a content distribution system. - j.edwards. Ummmmm. If best of the web is not content then what is o’master?
posted by arse_hat at 11:45 PM on January 26, 2005


Please remember, this is Matt's site. He gets to decide what stays and what goes. Feel free to go elsewhere should you disagree with his decisions. I often feel he is too lenient in the first place, but that's NOT MY DECISION to make.
posted by gen at 11:46 PM on January 26, 2005


I think #1 has heard what he needed to hear about this deletion at this point. I hope it informs future decisions. I have yet to see a thread un-deleted, and doubt it's actually possible. So rather than bait the pro-war fucks and the people with too much taste to stomach reality, I call it a night.

I leave you with the thought that once upon a time, someone did pop into AskMe to inquire whether he should take an opportunity to join the military or not. Maybe he's in there somewhere.
posted by scarabic at 11:48 PM on January 26, 2005


I think I can understand your point, Matt, about this (MetaFilter) not being the place for such a post, because you think the only people who come here do so as members or lurkers looking for the "best of the web." But I am inclined to believe other's may link to your site, you may know that for sure, and if so, this deletion is almost like network news not showing the American casualties returning home, or something else on that level.

I guess what I'm getting at is that maybe while you still might have some motive or dream for this site, it very well may have become something completely different, something larger than you imagined with all the diverse personalities that have become active members, with or without agendas. You may very well have a responsibility now to all who come here, especially those who've paid, to consider before deleting a post. Sure, it's your site and you have the final say, but you've invited people in your proverbial home, and guests can be a bitch.

/2 cents
posted by LouReedsSon at 11:48 PM on January 26, 2005


Feel free to go elsewhere should you disagree with his decisions.

Actually, my respect for Matt includes the belief that he can take criticism for his choices at times. I think your opinion of him is too low if you think people who don't agree with him at all times need to just leave. And yes, it is his site, but we all help create it. It's bigger than just him, or me, or you.

Now goodnight.
posted by scarabic at 11:51 PM on January 26, 2005


pro-war fucks

That's a little excessive, scarabic.
posted by loquax at 11:53 PM on January 26, 2005


"Please remember, this is Matt's site." - gen
Yes. No one here has ever twigged to that fact gen! You are clearly too smart for us! The scales have fallen from my eyes! I am re-born and will not again question that witch is given from above. I beg forgiveness.
And again I am in scarabic's shadow...
goodnight all
posted by arse_hat at 11:58 PM on January 26, 2005


Apologies for the spelling above.
posted by arse_hat at 11:59 PM on January 26, 2005


Why the outrage? FPPs are solely at Matt's discretion; if you want to spread the link, he's not stopping you from posting it on your own blog, but he doesn't want it here. Can't say as I blame him.

Mayhaps a system like the one Kuro5hin has would help alleviate disputes such as this, but as it is, that's not how Metafilter is set up.
posted by m0nm0n at 12:13 AM on January 27, 2005


I'll state again that the link was presented in the same way a preacher would show me a photo of a dead fetus. I believe there is a respectful way we can be reminded of the war dead but a "your tax dollars at work" wisecrack leading to a graphic gallery of death isn't it.

The photos of coffins at the memory hole drove the point home for me, as have the photos of empty boots signifying the dead at demonstrations. Parading graphic photos of the dead with their faces blown off isn't the right approach and I don't want the site associated with a few cranks oogling these images and making cracks about it.

Anyone's welcome to post it on their own blog. It is a unique set of photos you won't see anywhere else, but grisly graphic stuff rarely stays up on MetaFilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:28 AM on January 27, 2005


I will have to disagree with this deletion, and my reasons are purely practical: I don't actually know what the U.S. media is like these days, but when I left the country 10 years ago, I was shocked to realize how much media self-censorship/homogeneity prevailed there in comparison to what one sees and hears elsewhere. I very much doubt that the situation has actually improved, so the internet should be one place that reliably offers the factual information and images that Americans don't get from their news sources.

This was very clearly labeled, so there was no chance of someone accidentally clicking through, and while directing attention to those photos might be propelled by a political or humanitarian agenda, so is just about every issue-oriented post, and this one provided evidence as opposed to op/ed. The post linking to the images illustrating the ravages of methamphetamine also carried a very clear and chilling message, for example.
posted by taz at 1:10 AM on January 27, 2005


Matt, that argument (about its presentation) is the exact opposite of the originally stated reason for the deletion ("no thanks on the graphic violence, regardless of the political point"). That said, I find the explanation that the problem was the presentation of the content, rather than the content itself, to be reasonable. Still don't agree with it.
posted by mokujin at 1:20 AM on January 27, 2005


Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated thread...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:49 AM on January 27, 2005


Come on stavros, that is an important post. You see, many people do not yet realize that the rural poor are loutish subhumans who not only deserve to be impoverished, but also to be ridiculed and shamed for it as often as possible. I think we can all feel good about this one.
posted by mokujin at 2:02 AM on January 27, 2005


(Not sure if you saw what I was pointing at, mokujin -- I meant VP_Admin's comment in that thread.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on January 27, 2005


>I believe there is a respectful way we can be reminded of the war dead but a "your tax dollars at work" wisecrack leading to a graphic gallery of death isn't it.

Yes that was a little crass, but the link was worth it --in a war tourism kinda way.

And, a "me too" on taz's comment.
posted by gsb at 2:19 AM on January 27, 2005


yeah, I saw that.
Just wanted to point out that loudmouthed lurleen + a link to a wikipedia article about valentine's day = best of the web.
posted by mokujin at 3:03 AM on January 27, 2005


I think it's guilty of poor delivery, but the content is valid. To see it deleted is disappointing. We've seen much worse photos in MeFi with some Iraq photo galleries (well, I found them worse; I guess it's subjective), with dead children, corpses with missing limbs, and so on (I would try to find the two posts I have specifically in mind, but I am on dial-up speeds now, and pressed for time. Not a good combo.).

As for the actual offense level, I find the weekly frequence of goatse-related material more disturbing. At least this had a purpose.
posted by cosmonik at 3:23 AM on January 27, 2005


As someone who sees death on a daily basis, I'm gonna agree with Matt here. Go somewhere else for mutilated corpses. I'm sure this link will be on Stile Project soon, complete with funny nicknames for each dead human.
posted by ColdChef at 5:14 AM on January 27, 2005


I vote terrible decision, for the record (if there is a record).

As someone who sees death on a daily basis, I'm gonna agree with Matt here. Go somewhere else for mutilated corpses. I'm sure this link will be on Stile Project soon, complete with funny nicknames for each dead human.

Your not-so-subtle insinuation that people here are only interested in the link because they want to see mutilated corpses and laugh at them is completely baseless.

It seems lame that the post would be deleted because it wasn't deemed "respectful" to angrily make a wisecrack about your country spending tens of billions of dollars on such an endeavour.

Meh, whatever--it's not my dime.
posted by The God Complex at 5:34 AM on January 27, 2005


I can't add much to what has already been said - this was a shockingly bad decision. The deletion, it seems to me, speaks more about Matt's opinion of our community than it does about the images themselves. Apparently, we are - to a person - nothing more than wisecracking, mindlessly partisan seekers of titillating images.
posted by stonerose at 6:09 AM on January 27, 2005


Clicking on that link changes you from pro-war to anti-war. I swear.
posted by smackfu at 6:35 AM on January 27, 2005


Is it just me, or does "cranks oogling these images and making cracks about it" seem a disturbingly dire appraisal of MetaFilter's current membership? (Of course, 'dire' does not necessarily mean 'inaccurate'.)

Or did I misread something?

I guess MetaFilter really is (or is becoming) 'just about the links'. If it were more about the examination of the linked objects, more about the comments generated in response to the linked objects, then it would seem the ideal place to dump a sackful of ghastly artifacts, and wait for the tribe to gather 'round, all nervous and aroused, bristling with hair and teeth and suspicion, eager to poke at the artifacts, anxious to decide what they mean - and happy to argue, sometimes ferociously, about what they should mean. That's good MetaFiltering, in my non-contributive read-mainly opinion.

Odd that after the deletion, in reponse to it, just such a tribal gathering almost took place - way back here in moody MeTa - and featured a provocative outburst from none other than Matt the Expunger, who implied that blood-and-bone shock data are an assault on ethical deliberations.

True? False? Whatever. There are better places to examine the methods and materials people use to sack 'n' save their realities - right?

But as TGC wisely notes - Meh, whatever--it's not my dime.

On preview: stonerose makes it clear that it's not just me.
posted by Opus Dark at 6:39 AM on January 27, 2005


Wow, the first time I disagree with Matt. SpecialK420 gave ample warning about the content even. While I agree that stuff like this shouldn't be on here every single day, I think that since this was different than what had been posted before it was a worthy post.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:44 AM on January 27, 2005


Here's another reason this was a bad post: The pictures prove nothing more than the axiom that war is hell. That's true now, that was true in the Civil War, that was true in World War I and World War II. In a war, people will be horribly and horrendously killed.

What these pictures don't do is tell us anything whatsoever about the current war. If the point is that any war is unjustified, then at least there's some internal logic to your post (although I'd question what should have been done in response to the Nazis). But if (as I suspect) the point you're trying to prove is that this particular war is bad, these photos are completely irrelevant.

All that being said, I think every American should have access to pictures like this. But why the site owner should be expected to provide a forum for images he believes are too graphic is beyond me.

I love unsupported declaratives even less from people who don't own this site. You can't just tell us what the role of MeFi is and consider your case proven. Nice try, though.

That's true as far as it goes, but a little hollow since it merely reflected what the owner of the site already said.

Apparently, we are - to a person - nothing more than wisecracking, mindlessly partisan seekers of titillating images.

That's not a remotely accurate distillation of his reasons for deleting the thread.

On preview: Is it just me, or does "cranks oogling these images and making cracks about it" seem a disturbingly dire appraisal of MetaFilter's current membership? ... Or did I misread something?

You misread something. He said "I don't want this site associated with cranks oogling these images and making cracks about it" In other words, he doesn't want his site associated with sites where people get off on those images. Not that that's how it would necessarily go down on MeFi, just that he doesn't want this place to remotely resemble a war porn site.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:45 AM on January 27, 2005


'Just wanted to point out that loudmouthed lurleen + a link to a wikipedia article about valentine's day = best of the web.'

It's no Ramone Name Generator, that's for sure.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:03 AM on January 27, 2005


I didn't need to see those pictures to know that war kills people in horrible, disfiguring ways. I ALREADY KNOW THIS, and I'm sure everybody else does too, including George Bush. Maybe some people need to see them to remind themselves that . . . . I don't know, that war kills, but I think that the majority of MeFi users are familiar with the idea.

I think that this is a no-win situation for Matt: leave the pictures up and risk getting a reputation for ghastly and graphic links; take away the post and get a reputation for heavy-handed, misunderstood censorship. Personally, I think matt did the right thing - he has strong feelings about the graphic pictures and did something about it, which is much better than doing nothing at all.

Anybody notice that the link still exists? I just saw it. Let me check again. Yep, still there. So, thanks to this thread we can still view the pictures, we simply can't talk about them. Oh wait. We are talking about them. And possibly in a far more productive manner than if the thread had been left open. . . . . . . . . . . .
posted by ashbury at 7:10 AM on January 27, 2005


What these pictures don't do is tell us anything whatsoever about the current war. If the point is that any war is unjustified, then at least there's some internal logic to your post (although I'd question what should have been done in response to the Nazis). But if (as I suspect) the point you're trying to prove is that this particular war is bad, these photos are completely irrelevant.

That's specious. By your logic, every post on a complex issue has to present a complete and coherent narrative of that issue, or it's "irrelevant." So, you (and Matt, implicitly) are saying that posts exist in a social vacuum, and people can't take images and facts and provide their own context... even when they have been exposed to this story for years.

If the web - and by extension, MeFi - doesn't exist to provide people with information they won't see or hear elsewhere, well, I guess it is all about Friday Flash Fun.
posted by stonerose at 7:10 AM on January 27, 2005


Deleting the thread was a grievously poor decision, and that's my opinion as someone who's work plays a role in the creation or avoidance of such scenes.
posted by NortonDC at 7:12 AM on January 27, 2005


You know what? If there had been cameras back then I am sure we could dig up gruesome pictures from the Revolutionary War.

You cannot say a war is or is not justified simply because people die in it. Obviously it is bad that people die, but ultimately some things are worth dying for. With this particular war there is something to be said for either side, but the argument is not furthered simply by corpse pictures. There are times when emotions must be tabled, and rational thought must be brought to the forefront.
posted by konolia at 7:17 AM on January 27, 2005


crunchland's post on faces of meth is interesting to consider in light of the deletion of this thread - it uses shocking pictures to further an agenda that some people would find variously glib, obvious, or questionable. But despite a few wisecracks, it spawned some interesting discussion, and a lot of people no doubt viewed the link and came away from it with a richer understanding of the horrors associated with drug abuse.

On preview: konolia, sometimes people need emotional stimuli to provoke them to re-examine an issue rationally, when they have "already made up their mind" about it. BTW, for you to ask other people to discard emotion and be children of the enlightenment provides 100% of my RDA of irony.
posted by stonerose at 7:21 AM on January 27, 2005


Rational thought includes full consideration of the consequences, including the emotional consequences.
posted by NortonDC at 7:22 AM on January 27, 2005


They're fine for the New York Times and other newspapers, but I don't really see any point to graphic images of dead people on metafilter.

There were no "graphic images of dead people on metafilter." There was a link to such images, a very well marked link. No one who clicked on it could have been in any doubt about what they were likely to see.

he doesn't want his site associated with sites where people get off on those images

Oh, now we're worried about what sites we want to be associated with? Via links? I anticipate a massive purging of the archives, with a new, shiny MetaFilter linking only to fluffy bunny sites and Google updates.

This is a really bad deletion, and I'd like to thank Scarabic for making the point forcefully and well. I can't help but think that if Matt had been making decisions about what to show on CBS back in Vietnam days, he'd have had no problem axing graphic images -- not because he approved of the war but because he didn't like "folks using photos of dead people to make their partisan political point." A lot of network and newspaper execs felt that way at the time, and many of them were good people, but they collectively kept the public from knowledge they should have had. (And no, knowing "war is hell" is not the same as seeing. We humans respond to images in a powerful way.)

This is deeply disappointing, but I'd better hit Post before Matt closes off discussion, having heard enough.
posted by languagehat at 7:29 AM on January 27, 2005


A lot of network and newspaper execs felt that way at the time


Most of them feel that way now, which is why such pictures are not in the mainstream media.

I would like to associate myself with everything scarabic said.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:46 AM on January 27, 2005


I'm a fat, ignorant American that loves his blinders.

no, you belong to the other 49%. this is not the point.

the point is, truth hurts. and you just proved it. it hurts.


like Ufez and Languagehat and the others I humbly vote for bad deletion, but then again, this is your house so it's your decision.
Matt, if you wanted to avoid people making cracks about the images, you could have closed the thread to further comments instead of deleting it.

and it's not the same as graphic images of fetuses.
unless you think that a fetus equals a kid. "abortion = war" ? you're way, way smarter than that, Matt. bad analogy.
posted by matteo at 7:47 AM on January 27, 2005


OMG. That was a bad, bad deletion.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:47 AM on January 27, 2005


having said that, the post's wording was needlessly flippant. I'd have edited it without deleting the thread
posted by matteo at 7:48 AM on January 27, 2005


So let me get this straight:

Pictures of dead babies, ok. Pictures of dead Iraqis, not ok? How did that link pass muster and not the deleted FPP?

Seriously Matt, I'm not sure where the line is anymore. I've had comments deleted with no explanation (after emailing you) and seen other posts/comments arbitrarily deleted. Are we in for a "kinder, gentler" MetaFilter? Yes, I know it's your site but the heavy-handedness (or lack thereof) around here recently is a little disconcerting.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:49 AM on January 27, 2005


And I didn't click on the link, because I'm pathetically squeamish and it was clearly marked. I would have been interested to read the discussion if it were left up - though I think the argument that has developed here is probably better than any that would have formed in the blue.

On preview, I agree that it was poorly worded, but points for the very clear warning.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:50 AM on January 27, 2005


I have no problem with the deletion. Matt didn't destroy the pictures. They're still out there for anyone who wants to see them. He's also not advocating that they shouldn't exist, or that they should be removed from the internet.
He just doesn't think they're appropriate for his vision of MetaFilter - and it's hard to argue with that.
posted by rocket88 at 7:55 AM on January 27, 2005


What ever happened to "just move along"? It was clearly labled (I assume that it was tagged and that the tags were zapped when the post was deleted).

No one was forced to follow the links, just like no one is forced to visit rotten.com or ogrish.com.

To me, this deletion seems wrong.
posted by DBAPaul at 8:06 AM on January 27, 2005


I thought it was an interesting link. Certainly like nothing I've seen on other interweb sites or in the mainstream media.
posted by subgenius at 8:16 AM on January 27, 2005


"All posts are © their original authors." Apart from the legalisms, to me this means that posters retain the credit they deserve for brilliant posts, and the shit they deserve for crappy posts. Delete where necessary to prevent anarchy, but let us take our own heat for being provocative. I'm with the herd: bad deletion.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:16 AM on January 27, 2005


Metafilter are fully aware of the extent of the suffering in Iraq and what a dead body looks like.

Umm... myself? No, not so much. I've been lucky enough to never encounter dead bodies. Ever. And I bet most MeFites haven't run into dead people either. Other than maybe their grandparents at a funeral or something. That's significantly different than what was depicted in that link. Most of us don't live in a war zone, and so far I haven't run into many MeFites that have served in a war. So, no, actually. I doubt that most of MetaFilter knows what a dead body actually looks like.
posted by raedyn at 8:17 AM on January 27, 2005


He's also not advocating that they shouldn't exist, or that they should be removed from the internet.

Well, inasmuch as you believe it to be a "net" and understand there's this whole"inter" about it, then yes, yes he is.
posted by scarabic at 8:25 AM on January 27, 2005


I wish the link had remained, too. No matter how graphic & no matter what side you're on, mortis photographs are vital visual evidence if we're going to analyze wars, tyrannies, genocides and so forth--just as opinion pieces from all sides are worth reading. The photos are just one more angle from which to witness the major upheavals occuring in the MidEast right now. Obviously the short-term ramifications aren't safe for weak stomaches.
posted by jenleigh at 8:25 AM on January 27, 2005


"I doubt that most of MetaFilter knows what a dead body actually looks like."

I've always assumed they look just like a live one, but without all the moving around and breathing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:26 AM on January 27, 2005


I guess I don't understand the value of the photos and what interest they appeal to.

Do you think that the average metafilter user needs to see these photos to truly realize the atrocities of war?

For every picture we can put out there, someone from the other side can come back with something else -- whether it is a victim of 9.11 or video of an American being beheaded.

I just want to know the value. I understand the outrage over the censorship but I would be happy if we remained a community charged by intelligent debate rather than...quite plainly...

Shock and Awe.
posted by Lola_G at 8:28 AM on January 27, 2005


The propagandistic function of pictures of dead people is entirely dependent on the captioning of the photos. The text of the deleted MetaFilter post is hopelessly flawed, which is, I think, why it should have been deleted.

"Harrowing photographs do not inevitably lose their power to shock. But they don’t help us much to understand. Narratives can make us understand. Photographs do something else: they haunt us."

And also: "During the fighting between Serbs and Croats at the beginning of the recent Balkan wars, the same photographs of children killed in the shelling of a village were passed around at both Serb and Croat propaganda briefings." Both: Susan Sontag, Looking at War, 2002.

The availability of the pictures themselves, however, is clearly what is best about the web. There is simply no other venue in which large numbers of people can see them.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:29 AM on January 27, 2005


Adding my voice to the chorus calling this deletion a shockingly bad choice.
posted by willnot at 8:33 AM on January 27, 2005


I disagree with the deletion.

I won't jump up and down and scream about it though.

There is no dignity to dyeing in war especially for civilians.

After the first gulf war there was an American general who said something to the effect of, (major paraphrasing here, sorry) "If we had covered that war to the extent we covered Vietnam there would be no more war" The point, of course, being that it is all well and good to say things like 36 dead, but to see it is much more visceral.

Would it be inflammatory? I would hope so.

Is it political? Barely. We should see the consequences of political choices. This is a post-political concept imo.


by and large, thank you mat for your work here. While I disagree with this deletion I think overall you do a great job.
posted by edgeways at 8:34 AM on January 27, 2005


or video of an American being beheaded
posted by mr.marx at 8:39 AM on January 27, 2005


Well, inasmuch as you believe it to be a "net"...

And just what do you believe it to be?
posted by rocket88 at 8:39 AM on January 27, 2005


The photos aren't the problem. Linking to the photos isn't the problem. It's how we talk about them. specialk420 and VP_Admin did not distinguish themselves ("a very graphic look at your tax dollars at work", "Bush hurts children") and there was no indication that the discussion would get any better. If specialk420 had presented the link with a bit more sensitivity and resisted the urge to make a cheap partisan shot, maybe the ensuing discussion would have been better. But he didn't. And I can't fault Matt for not trusting us to rise to the occasion -- because generally we don't. Time and time again we've demonstrated our immaturity, especially in regards to petty arguments over U.S. domestic politics.

It's been demonstrated that how a thread starts affects the course of the discussion; I don't think this one could have been redeemed.

And damn it, I wouldn't want pictures of my corpse to be used as fodder for a political shouting match in a country halfway across the planet.

On preview: Demanding perfect consistency on deletion policies over a period of several years is expecting a bit too much.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:43 AM on January 27, 2005


Johnny Got His Gun was banned during wartime, remember?

I have to disagree with this deletion too. People need to realize what a mess Iraq is and how much violence occurs there daily.

War shouldn't be kept clean and sanitized by the media.

Death isn't simple and instantaneous the way we see it on TV, one bullet to the chest and the victim keels over, immediately dead.

Art and media have a long tradition and responsibility of pointing this out to the public, whether it be the unexpectedly slow death of a soldier in a foxhole with his killer, the protagonist (who is forced to watch), in the Red Badge of Courage, or Goya's "Disasters of War," portraying the realites of mutilation, rape and even castration.

In these times of bad comic book talk of "evildoers" and banned photos of soldiers' caskets and the fantasy of a righteous war, reality needs to be attached to every cold statistic that most people ignore.
posted by Shane at 8:49 AM on January 27, 2005


I suggest that the link be reposted in a more respectful, non-partisan way.
posted by orange swan at 9:00 AM on January 27, 2005


An analogy. It's possible to have a discussion about sex without close-up photos of semen seeping out of a just-fucked asshole, and their absence in such a discussion does not mean that we are subjected to totalitarian rule.

Demanding no less than every last exquisite detail is gratuitous. There's a place for such detail, but it's not in every context. Asking that restraint be exercised in certain contexts is not tantamount to censorship.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:05 AM on January 27, 2005


Do you think that the average metafilter user needs to see these photos to truly realize the atrocities of war?

1. I was and am completely against the war.
2. I clicked on the link.
3. I stopped after 6-- feeling sad, but not grossed out.
4. I'm still against the war.

I do agree with Matt about one thing-- the protest pictures of large numbers of flag-draped coffins or empty boots makes a greater emotional impact. Perhaps that is because there are no human faces for us to focus on, just the numbers.

Still, I'm sorry he chose to delete the post. I do think it wouldn't hurt to keep reminding everybody that war=dead people.

As for me posting it on my blog...my blog is about the eternal quest for more food by my bulldog. Pictures of war dead would be an uncomfortable fit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:09 AM on January 27, 2005


Goya's "Disasters of War" suffered similarly to Trumbo's book:
The political subject matter of this suite, which depicts violent scenes of terror, torture and murder, forced Goya to hide his The Disasters of War suite in order to avoid persecution during the reinstated Spanish Inquisition under the regime of Ferdinand VII.
It seems suppression of the realities of war is a general trend throughout history, and so it should be opposed.
posted by Shane at 9:10 AM on January 27, 2005


If some asshole got me killed in a war halfway around the world, I'd want a photo of my corpse tattooed on his goddamned forehead, there for all the world to see every time he stopped whatever he was doing long enough to lie to a spineless reporter.

Many of us (myself no doubt included) *do* live day-to-day with our heads up our asses. The occasional good sharp jab from the cattleprod of repulsion that is reality is a good and proper thing.
posted by trondant at 9:20 AM on January 27, 2005


mcwetboy, you say that we don't need the images to talk about the deeds, but horrfying images of concentration camp victims are daily fare for all kinds of media in just about every country, and the message implicit in this near-ubiquity seems to be: This is what happened, we must never forget. These images have a message, as well: This is what is happening now.
posted by taz at 9:25 AM on January 27, 2005


taz, you're absolutely right. I stand corrected. I seem to be arguing two contradictory positions at the same time. Let me try to make some sense out of my pudding-headed thoughts, and take another stab at it. Thinking aloud:

There is an issue in terms of how those images are used. It's one thing to use images of concentration camp victims for educative purposes, quite another to use them as a political weapon against political opponents. (Unless those opponents, are, well, Nazis.) When used for political purposes, you run into problems. I think it's appropriate to link to photos to express and expose the human cost of war. I question the appropriateness of using said photos to say "see, that fucker Bush is a war criminal." One is educative, the other inflammatory; and the latter use, I think, is gratuitous -- specialk420 is not a war-crimes prosecutor.

I don't think we need to show the planes hitting the WTC (or journalists and aid workers being beheaded) again and again to make the point that Al Qaeda is bad. That's not to say that that footage should be suppressed, only that one ought not to be gratuitous in its use.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:41 AM on January 27, 2005


I suggest that the link be reposted in a more respectful, non-partisan way.

Seconded.

On preview: mcwetboy, we're not seeing these images "again and again." We're not seeing them at all.
posted by languagehat at 9:43 AM on January 27, 2005


mcwetboy - I'm agreed that using such images for propagandizing is ghoulish, and, in fact, I think this post would have stood if the presentation had been more thoughtful.
posted by taz at 10:07 AM on January 27, 2005


I third the reposting idea. Should I do it myself?
posted by sciurus at 10:17 AM on January 27, 2005


Death porn. Go to ogrish.com if you are looking for (relatively) context-free faces of death. What really disgusted me was the way you could tell by the individual "viewed x times" tallies on the photos was that the most frequently enlarged thumbnails were those which showed the greatest degree of disfigurement or decay.

The earlier post on the traffic stop gone horribly wrong in Iraq (the photo essay) was a much superior post--it actually personalized a tragic event that happens many times a week, if not per day, in Iraq, and the photos of the 6 bloodied and traumatized children were graphic, and yet entirely appropriate and necessary to the story. These corpse photos remind me of the famous Stalin quote about how a single death is a tragedy, and a million deaths is a statistic--and fair game for internet rubbernecking, apparently. How would you feel about close-up autopsy photos of the 911 dead, or the US Army dead, with no names, no stories attached?
posted by availablelight at 10:19 AM on January 27, 2005


I question the appropriateness of using said photos to say "see, that fucker Bush is a war criminal." One is educative, the other inflammatory

You seem to believe he isn't a war criminal. That's fine, that's your opinion, and all, but surely we can agree that this is disputed, at least. Bush did indeed invade another country without much of a reason, and as a result, many people have died. That much is undeniable, even if you're for the war.

With the exception of the word "fucker," your example is really quite a reasonable debate, along the lines of:

* I think Bush is a war criminal.
* Here are pictures (i.e., evidence) of the aftermath of actions Bush is ultimately responsible for

Whether you agree with this line of reasoning is another matter altogether, but it's certainly more than just "inflammatory" rhetoric. That would be something like: "Bush is a puss-bag faggot."
posted by odinsdream at 10:20 AM on January 27, 2005


personally I've always seen these sorts of things as using shock value to prove a political point.

And what's wrong with that? Some people are so shielded that only "shock" can get through to them. This may not work for you (indeed, it may backfire), but the site, while yours, is surely not meant to be directed entirely at you and your specific tastes and interests.

This, of course, is the problem with having even ONE person attempting to impose their aesthetic sense upon the content of a community site. The effect upon the site of their irrational sensitivities cannot be muted by the common reaction. It's why even a benevolent dictatorship is still a dictatorship, with all the negative results (and, yes, the benefits) that will accrue from that power structure.
posted by rushmc at 10:33 AM on January 27, 2005


What really disgusted me was the way you could tell by the individual "viewed x times" tallies on the photos was that the most frequently enlarged thumbnails were those which showed the greatest degree of disfigurement or decay.

Fascination does not imply prurient obsession.
posted by rushmc at 10:36 AM on January 27, 2005


availablelight, summarily labeling this "death porn", suggests that the reason for posting it, or for anyone to defend the posting, is for its entertainment value... I'm pretty sure that anyone who is sexually or otherwise gratified by such images is in the extreme minority, otherwise Coca Cola would be splattering similar images all over their billboards. We really don't want to decide what can and cannot be seen based on whether someone somewhere might possibly be enjoying it in some perverse way.
posted by taz at 10:40 AM on January 27, 2005


maimed corpses make the lady vagina dry.
posted by quonsar at 10:45 AM on January 27, 2005


You're right--"fascination" is the nicer word for it. Then again, maybe I just don't get the "healthy fascination" with the gore and decay of slaughtered innocents after spending a couple years processing (full-color and closeup, woo hoo!) crime scene photos at the lab where I worked. Once you realize, as has been posted in this thread, that your "fascinating" picture of physical putrification is someone else's mother's autopsy photo.....

And whether people are compelled by "fascination" or "prurient obsession", it's still a shitty way of objectifing war victims that has nothing to do with proving a point or educating anybody.

BTW, "death porn" isn't about the sexual dysfuction necrophilia--a quick google search of the term will do wonders to conquer that kind of literalism.
posted by availablelight at 10:59 AM on January 27, 2005


If you wish to see the pictures, click above on the link and then click the link to the "deleted" story. I just did so.

Now everyone can be happy.

(I did not click on any thumbnails, as I have already seen dead people up close and personal. )
posted by konolia at 11:03 AM on January 27, 2005


Death porn. I had not heard that phrase before, but it fits the post perfectly.
posted by LarryC at 11:10 AM on January 27, 2005


Was anybody here pro-war before viewing those photos and anti-war after? Does anybody really believe that anybody who isn't either a monster or an idiot would need these pictures to convince her/him?

The second that I saw the post, I thought exactly what Matt said above-- this is the same as "pro-lifers" showing pictures of aborted fetuses. Their argument-- "but this is truth! This is the way it is!"-- is a bad one because they're selectively editing the truth for maximum shock value. One could just as easily show the very young mothers who've died giving birth, for example, because they were denied abortions, or the young women who've horribly injured themselves trying to have abortions in unsafe conditions. And, if you keep using the "shocking truth" tactic, someone eventually will, even though those pictures have nothing to do with whether abortion is right or wrong. Shock doesn't convince, it only shocks.
posted by koeselitz at 11:24 AM on January 27, 2005


Was anybody here pro-war before viewing those photos and anti-war after?

It's not a question of a black-or-white pursuade/fail-to-persuade dichotomy. It's one element in a larger picture of reality.
posted by rushmc at 11:44 AM on January 27, 2005


However abortion is a choice that has limited scope. i would not be adverse to people who are considering abortion having access to the images/consequences of that choice, just as they should have access to those photos of injured women who are forced to go an unsafe route.

These are photos of a consequence of a national action one that we all (americans) share some culpability for. To not see the consequence of our (in)action does about as much damage then dismissing them as death porn or saying its just shock and/or not looking at it. If we had to live the consequences of our choices more often I think people might actually learn to make wiser choices.

Death is shocking, it is transgressive, but it is also important to acknowledge in a greater way then to just abstract it into words.

I am enjoying how this discussion is going.
posted by edgeways at 11:44 AM on January 27, 2005


Koeselitz, one thought: how common is it for the average American to view the sort of image the anti-abortionists use, versus images like the ones in the post? The former is so common that I doubt anybody has escaped seeing them, while the latter is so uncommon that they have even been banned from Metafilter.

If you think about this question it may influence the idea that the two are equal. Under other conditions I might entirely agree with you, but when (as I see it) the same group that is responsible for making "dead-baby" images so common is also the same group making dead-Iraqi images just about completely invisible, I have to protest vigorously.
posted by taz at 12:09 PM on January 27, 2005


I'm in the "bad deletion" camp. For all of the above-stated reasons.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2005


You know what? If there had been cameras back then I am sure we could dig up gruesome pictures from the Revolutionary War.

You cannot say a war is or is not justified simply because people die in it. Obviously it is bad that people die, but ultimately some things are worth dying for. With this particular war there is something to be said for either side, but the argument is not furthered simply by corpse pictures. There are times when emotions must be tabled, and rational thought must be brought to the forefront.


In the larger context of our knowledge about the war, most of us here--and, really, most of us in the world, from a western perspective--are already well aware of the possible illegality of the war and the almost assured immorality of the war and the way it's been executed. These images are just, as rushmc beautifully put it, one element in the picture of reality.

I quite honestly think that a lot of Americans, even ones that voted for Bush, are of the opinion that the war is wrong. I also believe many that voted for Bush just don't get how bad war is--they crack jokes about it, they bring up 9/11, etc. It's the same mindset, I'm told (and I've read, having not lived it) that existed during Vietnam. Once people--ordinary people, not people digging around for info--start to see how fucking brutal war is, they start to lose their hollywood bloodlust for it. Some of them do, anyway.
posted by The God Complex at 12:53 PM on January 27, 2005


What bothers me is that I'm sure I've seen worse on Metafilter. I distinctly remember seeing photos of the Gulf War dead, Vietnam war crimes, and a beheading video. I'll look through the archives to see what I can dig up.

It seems this post was deleted because the discussion about it potentially might've gotten out of hand and become partisian bickering. These assumptions are entirely baseless, I think.
posted by nixerman at 12:58 PM on January 27, 2005


Re: the comparison between those photos and anti-abortion photos

There's also a difference between allowing the someone the opportunity to view the photos (as in the case of this link, clearly marked with two levels of warning) and forcing it upon people. If you looked at the photos in the link, you consented to be exposed to those images. If you saw horrific photos on huge posters someone is waving on a street corner, you were subjected to it. An important difference.
posted by raedyn at 1:25 PM on January 27, 2005


Once people--ordinary people, not people digging around for info--start to see how fucking brutal war is, they start to lose their hollywood bloodlust for it.

But I think virtually everyone in this community is aware that it's not at all hard to find pictures of Iraqi war casualties on the net, many far worse than those in the post we're talking about. If anyone who wanted to see the full horror of the war hasn't gone digging by now, I have to ask whether they're intentionally avoiding such things. And if they are, I don't see this post doing much to change their outlook (since they'll likely just ignore it too) and thus question the whole point of posting it in the first place. I'm not questioning the message, mind you. Just its effectiveness on this particular audience.

It seems this post was deleted because the discussion about it potentially might've gotten out of hand and become partisan bickering. These assumptions are entirely baseless, I think.

Are you kidding? I would have given that thread 25 comments max before someone threw out the "And why haven't we heard from the chickenhawks yet? Where's [insert Right Wing member here]" bait.
posted by Cyrano at 1:28 PM on January 27, 2005


If it's the commentary and discussion that bothers Matt and others:

Wouldn't it be possible for Matt to close the thread to comments, as he does on Metatalk at times, and also delete all the exsiting comments? I realize that leaves the original FPP text there, but maybe something could be done about that as well...
posted by pitchblende at 1:30 PM on January 27, 2005


Death porn bad; guitar porn good. ;-P
posted by mischief at 1:36 PM on January 27, 2005


Oi! If it's the commentary and discussion that bothers Matt, then we might start seeing death-porn images of all the regular posters here soon.
posted by taz at 1:39 PM on January 27, 2005


Bad deletion.

As for those arguing "who needs to see...blah de blah" - well, who needs to see *anything*? That's no argument. That could be said of every single post ever made here. The comparison with abortion fetus photos seems absurd to me as well. Not the same. At all.

I believe posts should be allowed as long as they don't constitute blatant hate speech or break laws. I don't see any laws being broken here, and no one is being insulted or ridiculed in this link. Like somebody said earlier: they're dead, that's it. It's just some raw naked reality, the likes of which American media has pathetically shielded its citizens from ever since the war started.

If these dead people had their faces on and had died peacefully with a smile, would that be OK to show? Some time back we had a tsunami-related thread about the possible benefits of meditating on bloated corpses, etc. A lot of people seemed to think there might be some wisdom in that.

The truth is that U.S. tax dollars DID wind up with the disgusting result seen in this post. It's not nice to say, arguably it may not be "fair" (in as much as many, many taxpayers never wanted an invasion to begin with). Still, for all that, it's the TRUTH. I'm really disappointed in some of the ostrich-like attitudes being displayed here.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:40 PM on January 27, 2005


Bad deletion. If the nightly news had any time between Paris Hilton's exploits and PepsiBlue "product reviews" we'd have all seen these anyway.

As things stand, almost nobody has.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:45 PM on January 27, 2005


Cyrano, so one such post makes the whole discussion worthless? That's just stupid.

You'd be hard pressed to argue that this is not a) Best of the Web b) something that everybody should see so they can reexamine their own beliefs c) a potential starter for a great discussion.

(The death porn charge is just stupid. All it reveals is an extraordinary misunderstanding of human nature. Photos of various atrocities and wars almost completely define our understanding of the 20th century.)

Though he's said otherwise, I strongly suspect Matt didn't delete this thread out of any desire to protect the Metafilter site/community (as if one link out of thousands would blemish Mefi's repuation forever!) but because he was personally disgusted and troubled by it. There's not much else we can do except voice our displeasure and hope it doesn't happen again.
posted by nixerman at 1:53 PM on January 27, 2005


I second (or third or fourth) what orange swan said about reposting respectfully and with more context.

I considered posting these on MeFi myself, having recently discovered Dahr Jamail. He is one of the few independent journalists in Iraq. His reporting and photos are compelling, if often quite unpretty, and they provide a unique view of the happenings on the ground. I wish Specialk420 had given his post more context, for example by including his recent report Odd happenings in Fallujah in which Jamail presents reports of American forces engaged in cleanup activity in Fallujah that might point to the use of napalm or some other chemical agent.

Oh, and for the record, what Scarabic, taz, matteo, languagehat, The_God_Complex, odinsdream. arse_hat, stonerose, Opus Dark, matteo, Saucy Intruder, Shane, rushmc, and so many others said. I am disappointed in the deletion.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:54 PM on January 27, 2005


So one such post makes the whole discussion worthless? That's just stupid.

That was just an example and I'm sure you know that. And at a certain point I think enough such comments can make the discussion pretty worthless.

That said, I don't really think the link should have been deleted, but I don't think it would have led to any epiphanies either.
posted by Cyrano at 2:03 PM on January 27, 2005


madamjujujive, you should repost it with that link. I can't imagine it would be deleted if it was presented as such, and you'd definitely do it justice.
posted by The God Complex at 2:04 PM on January 27, 2005


If it hadn't been deleted I doubt I would have thought much about it, but it is strange we never see photos like this even though we are in the middle of a war.

I didn't like the way this was posted. I don't find them particularly disturbing, but all the same I wish the post hadn't been deleted. It's important to see the effects of this war, no matter what side you are on or position you have.
posted by xammerboy at 2:15 PM on January 27, 2005


I feel like the war in the US is debated from a very abstract perspective. It's all about bringing 'freedom' and 'democracy', and stopping 'evil'. These are platitudes. We sort of get to see the dead soldiers' coffins, and we get to hear about their deaths, but not their mutilations.

The public is split: some are 'for the war', and some are 'against the war'. (Some in power are even denying that there is still in fact a war, and are calling it 'peace'.) We don't look at what war we are for. The pictures of the war are not in the public discourse. The news media in the United States is not covering the war. They discuss slogans that people use about the war. A slogan like, 'war is hell', is meaningless. Saying that everyone knows 'war is hell' is like turning war into nothing. War isn't hell. Hell is some place you go in the afterlife if you are very bad. War is trying to feed your children, and get some water, and fall in love, but being blown up by men in uniforms, inadvertently. There are Iraqis having sex and going to school. They aren't souls already dead. They are people, like us, except they are even more afraid of being killed while going about their daily lives than we are.

These pictures are only possible to find on the internet. The purpose of forcing things into the public discourse is to shake people from their pleasant existences, where they are content with their pleasant lives where oil is cheap and the Iraqis never really existed anyway.

I hate looking at pictures of dead people too. I get nightmares from it, but I think it should be forced into the public discourse, so people sitting safely at home can reevaluate their decisions.
posted by goneill at 2:29 PM on January 27, 2005


Well, what possible good does looking at that many dead faces do?

Is it an effort to push us into pulling out of Iraq immediately? If so, and you think that will end the killing, let me introduce you to my psychiatrist.

There was and is no good solution to that place. It sucked when Saddam and his sons were murdering and raping, and it sucks now while insurgents with terrorist agendas blow up innocent Iraqis and others, and it sucks when our guys accidentally kill civilians, and it sucks when our guys die in helicopter crashes....yeah, death sucks. YOu don't have to look at dead faces to know that.

There is evil in the world. And I am sick to death of people calling Bush evil whilst never saying one word about the mindset of people who are blowing up innocents to get their own damned way in the world. And I use the word damned literally.
posted by konolia at 2:44 PM on January 27, 2005


There is evil in the world. And I am sick to death of people calling Bush evil whilst never saying one word about the mindset of people who are blowing up innocents to get their own damned way in the world. And I use the word damned literally.

konolia, are you talking about the american troops, the iraqi citizens, or both? I can't tell.
posted by odinsdream at 2:52 PM on January 27, 2005


Those people who criticise Bush live in a country that democratically elected him. I would like to change the people who re-elected him's minds. I find it odd that you characterize Saddam's method of ruling as murdering and raping, and ours as 'accidently killing civilians.' Both seem to be murdering and raping and accidently kililng civilians, and both sides seem to want their own damned way in the world. (I'm using damned as a swear word)

I do not need your psychiatrist.
posted by goneill at 2:53 PM on January 27, 2005


Matthew Brady shocked Americans with his 1862 photography exhibit The Dead of Antietam [caution: photo of dead people].
Mr. Brady has done something to bring us the terrible reality and earnestness of the war," wrote a reporter for The New York Times. "If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our door-yards and along (our) streets, he has done something very like it."
Robert Capra's Spanish Loyalist at Instant of Death [caution: photo of Spanish Loyalist at instant of death] encapsulated the Spanish Civil War. World War II produced many iconographic photos. The Vietnam War was summed up in four photographs that shaped the public's opinion of the war.

The images we choose to look at shape what we think about wars. The photos in the post are a straightforward historical record of the results of US military actions in Iraq. I'm disappointed in the deletion, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:54 PM on January 27, 2005


There is evil in the world. And I am sick to death of people calling Bush evil whilst never saying one word about the mindset of people who are blowing up innocents to get their own damned way in the world. And I use the word damned literally.

So, your argument is something like:
Bin Laden is an evil man because he targeted innocent civilians.
Bush is a good man because, even though he is responsible for killing 10-20-who-knows how many times as many innocent women and children, but they were all accidents!!! Oops!

Normally, when I hear this kind of stuff, I think "sophistry of the basest sort," but I think you are a good person, konolia. I think you are mistaken in believing that our government is truly motivated by good.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:08 PM on January 27, 2005


I agree with Mathowie in terms of the context of the images. If someone had done a post with some background information about how and why these images aren't being shown in the US media, and perhaps comparing that with the images shown during the Viet Nam war, along with some viewpoints on either side of whether they should be shown or not shown, I think it would have been a great post... about an issue but with the residual value of exposing people to images they need to see to get a grip on what is happening in Iraq.

This is a discussion website, and there is little to discuss about the images. They are horrible. But, if the discussion is framed as the discussion about the images themselves, why their not shown, how ignorant the average American is, etc. then it's a different case, and I'm sure they wouldn't have been deleted.

I disagree with Mathowie that there's anything explicitly partisan or political about it... there are plenty pro-war Democrats and some anti-war Republicans, and furthermore the anti-war party has always been a minority with no real place at the table with the 2 major parties. But I understand what Matt is saying because when you add the comment "your tax dollars at work" it tends to make the post seem like it's just a shock-value attack.
posted by chaz at 3:12 PM on January 27, 2005


Oh, and for the record, what Scarabic, taz, matteo, languagehat, The_God_Complex, odinsdream. arse_hat, stonerose, Opus Dark, matteo, Saucy Intruder, Shane, rushmc, and so many others said. I am disappointed in the deletion.

add me to that list, too.

Another difference between abortion pics and war pics is that most abortions take place when the fetus is microscopic, so pictures literally have to be graphically enhanced (blown up) in order to create the emotional effect desired. Most people who perform or undergo an abortion are not traumatized by it (except those who felt pressured into a choice they weren't really comfortable with). Most people who maim/kill or are maimed in war, directly experience the trauma.

And of course, aborted fetuses don't yet have consciousnesses, developed personalities, relationships, blah de blah. AND, I would not be against a link to abortion photos, esp. if it were something that got no attention in the normal media and was timely.
posted by mdn at 3:23 PM on January 27, 2005


apologies for the pissy tone of the post ... i could have done better, i suspect the quick lacking in forethought nature of the post was matched in its deletion.

thinking today about those images - i wondered if the photos referenced by kirkaracha would have been deleted in their time as well ... ?
posted by specialk420 at 3:27 PM on January 27, 2005


But I think virtually everyone in this community is aware that it's not at all hard to find pictures of Iraqi war casualties on the net, many far worse than those in the post we're talking about.

Everyone of the 20-30 people who post most frequently, quite possibly. But what of the rest of the 20,000+ registered members? Or the tens (?) of thousands of non-members who read the site? It would be quite a stretch to try to extend your claim to all of them, I think.

This is a discussion website, and there is little to discuss about the images.

It is a discussion website, but it is not primarily a discussion website, but rather a website for the presentation of links to interesting content on the web, and by that criteria, I just don't see how you disqualify this sort of thing.

AND, I would not be against a link to abortion photos, esp. if it were something that got no attention in the normal media and was timely.

Nor would I, because here, again, people would have the option of whether to click through to them or not.

And nice comment, goneill.
posted by rushmc at 3:28 PM on January 27, 2005


So who here has the cahonies to re-post that link together with a few more in order to make a better post [tm]? There are interesting links in this thread about war images....
posted by dabitch at 3:45 PM on January 27, 2005


More links don't make a post better. Just craft it well, regardless of whether it's one link or more.
posted by NortonDC at 3:51 PM on January 27, 2005


chaz said: "This is a discussion website, and there is little to discuss about the images."

161 comments and counting. And we'll never know how much discussion the original post would have generated, because it got deleted,

konolia said: "And I am sick to death of people calling Bush evil whilst never saying one word about the mindset of people who are blowing up innocents to get their own damned way in the world."

People who criticise Bush are calling out the American military on civilian casualties all the time.
posted by cosmonik at 3:57 PM on January 27, 2005


add me to that list--it was a big mistake to delete it--it's interesting and on the web, and unless the rules have changed, it was valid. It's also of world importance.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on January 27, 2005


oh shit, i'm on The List.

konolia: Yours is an excellent argument for not clicking on the link. It is not, however, a good argument for censorship.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:53 PM on January 27, 2005


So who here has the cahonies to re-post that link together with a few more in order to make a better post [tm]? There are interesting links in this thread about war images....

Personally, I'd say it's up to specialk420. I'd do it myself, but I'd just be building on the links posted by kirkaracha and others, which are very good. Thank you for mentioning Matthew Brady, it's highly pertinent.

I'm saddened by this notion, though, that the post needs to be "reworked" for it to be acceptable, for the following reasons:

* It will never be acceptable. (yes, the tax dollars quip was harsh, but can you argue "No tax dollars were used to hurt innocent people in iraq"?)
* The post gave adequate warning
* It wasn't disrespectful

...but most importantly: The subject matter alone is so profoundly important, with the short text introduction by the page author, that I find it appalling that people are concerned about the post's formatting or potential to generate "useful" discussion. The worth of these lives is incalculable.
posted by odinsdream at 5:03 PM on January 27, 2005


In my opinion, more of these photographs need to be published.

War is such a remote thing for most people. It involves strangers, half of whom are the "enemy" (as if the ordinary Iraqi citizen had any bad intent against other nations). It's impersonal, it's secretive, it's Somebody Else's Problem.

It would do a lot of good, in my opinion, for more people to be more exposed to the very personal, messy, ugly, and downright evil consequences of war. Humanize it. Force people to recognize that these are real people being slaughtered, real people just like you and I. On both sides, too: American soldier and Iraqi citizen.

Because for one thing, it would make everyone a little more hesitant to go to war in the first place. The government would have to have a really good reason to send its own soldiers into the slaughter, and a really good reason to put hundreds of thousands of ordinary civilians to death.

War, what is it good for? It just makes me sick. Rein in the warhawks, it just ain't needed.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:23 PM on January 27, 2005


Imagine if one of the dead was your brother. Would you like people staring at him all bloated with his face shot off?


I sure as hell would.
posted by c13 at 5:49 PM on January 27, 2005


i would too--i would want the world to see what was done to him.
posted by amberglow at 5:57 PM on January 27, 2005


*sigh* I'm with Matt. Though I guess it's me and Konolia against the world.

Showing people pictures of dead, mutilated faces (which is completely different from Matthew Brady, btw) isn't honoring the dead. Those who will change their views because of such things will maintain their newfound conviction until some right-wing goon shows them pictures of mutilated faces from the WTC or something (and I assure you, they will.) There's already a whole industry in passing photos like this around to make someone cry and make a point. Hell, we don't even know if these photos are all genuine-- photos can lie, you know.

If you really care about the dead, stand up in their name. Make strong, bold arguments that you think they would approve of; stand up to those who you think are responsible; honor them by remembering what the world lost when they died. But don't show photos of their dead, mutilated faces-- such pictures mean nothing. The deepest feeling that they can provoke is revulsion and disgust; the world doesn't need more revulsion and disgust, it needs clear-headed thinkers who calmly fight for justice.

And, well, finally, if anybody starts showing my dead, mutilated face around weblogs after I'm gone, I'll happily come back and fucking kill them. That's not how I want to be remembered. Somehow, I have the feeling that these people would've felt the same way.
posted by koeselitz at 6:05 PM on January 27, 2005


... until some right-wing goon shows them pictures of mutilated faces from the WTC or something ...

I'm seeing this comment a lot in this thread. What is it you're trying to argue? That people feel emotion for dead people no matter what "side" they're on? Well, I'm with you there.

Nobody is "for" slamming planes into buildings, just waiting for pictures of the aftermath of such an act to "convince" them to be "against" slamming planes into buildings.

Surprisingly, though, a lot of people are "for" slamming bombs into heavily-populated areas of "evildoers." That is why these pictures are important, and not at all the same as hard numbers or inanimate representations.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 PM on January 27, 2005


But don't show photos of their dead, mutilated faces-- such pictures mean nothing. The deepest feeling that they can provoke is revulsion and disgust; the world doesn't need more revulsion and disgust, it needs clear-headed thinkers who calmly fight for justice.

We're a visual society, and pictures speak a thousand words. Why not show what's being done with our money and in our name? I remember seeing Vietnam on tv too, every night, and it was worthy of being seen. Why aren't these pics?
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on January 27, 2005


I remember seeing the Vietnam photo of the girl running from the napalm -- I had just turned six years old.

I did not and do not regret it.
posted by ltracey at 7:08 PM on January 27, 2005


Deleting the post won't make this go away. Bad Deletion.
posted by ig at 7:17 PM on January 27, 2005


Well, what possible good does looking at that many dead faces do?
Like with everything else here, noone makes you, or anybody else see these pictures. specialk420 did say they were extremely graphic. So what's the problem?

And, well, finally, if anybody starts showing my dead, mutilated face around weblogs after I'm gone, I'll happily come back and fucking kill them. That's not how I want to be remembered. Somehow, I have the feeling that these people would've felt the same way.
Dude, this is somewhat besides the point. If someone cared what those people felt, they wouldn't have been dead in the first place. Secondly, Al Jazeera, for example, shows similar pictures quite often. Apparently some people really do want pictures of their dead brothers shown.

Is short, bad delete.
posted by c13 at 7:52 PM on January 27, 2005


i suspect the quick lacking in forethought nature of the post was matched in its deletion.
You can come down off the cross now.

You know, you're free to start OneLineSnipesAgainstBushAndCorporationsFilter whenever you like. When have you ever posted in any other style than ham-handed sarcasm, alarmism, and strawman beating?
posted by darukaru at 8:29 PM on January 27, 2005


Just to make it clear, I was talking about Iraqi and foreign terrorists who think it is fine and dandy to kill Iraqi policemen, Iraqi politicians, Iraqi kids, and American servicemen and contract workers. If they weren't doing that we wouldn't have to have our troops there, and the Iraqi people could live in peace. That is evil. Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms. At least until Bush makes a snuff film of himself sawing off Michael Moore's head with a butcher knife.
posted by konolia at 8:33 PM on January 27, 2005


konolia, we're killing far more of them than they are of each other--it's not anti-Bush to realize that the damage we're doing is just making things much much worse--for us (here and there) and for them.
posted by amberglow at 8:36 PM on January 27, 2005


Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms. At least until Bush makes a snuff film of himself sawing off Michael Moore's head with a butcher knife.

I'm not feeling the logic here.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:36 PM on January 27, 2005


Konolia: There is evil in the world. And I am sick to death of people calling Bush evil whilst never saying one word about the mindset of people who are blowing up innocents to get their own damned way in the world.

There are bad smells in this world. And I am sick to death of people complaining about the smell of flatulence whilst never saying one word about the horrible smell of rotting garbage.

People aren't saying it because it's obvious and not much in question. Just because I don't say "juggling chainsaws is also dangerous" when I tell people that juggling screwdrivers is dangerous doesn't mean I don't think juggling chainsaws is not dangerous.

Regarding the deletion itself, overall, I'm a bit on the fence. My first reaction, which still has a lingering aftertaste, is that this is the first mathowie decision which I think is just wrong. Understanding what is happening, anywhere, is just understanding reality. To oppose the photographs as, essentially, propaganda from one side, seems to me wrongheaded.

That said, I also would be fine with pictures of victims from the WTC. Death is not partisan. Death is a fact. Support for death and killing is partisan. People should be confronted with reality, even if it's distasteful, especially when decisions are being made on those foundations.

I also somewhat resent the implication that anyone, on any side, is so weak of will and mind that when confronted with images of death, they will decide against their former policy. If I saw pictures of dead Nazis (by the way, I'm not comparing anyone to Nazis, so there's no Godwinning here), I wouldn't change my mind about whether we should have waged war with Germany. The implication being made that all people that support any war of any kind do so only because they do not know the face of death seems patronising. However, there are some people on the fence. And, currently, their decisions are being made in a relative vacuum. These pictures may persuade them against war. They may not. But they should be allowed to make their decisions based on a thorough understanding of reality and the effects of their decisions.

In a sense, I would hope that anyone, in any war, could look at pictures of the enemy, dead, and not change their mind. Not because I support war (I don't), but because it would at least indicate that their decision to wage war was not based on a mere lack of understanding of its consequences.

That said...

With more time and reflection, the strength of my reaction has weakened. If the site hosting the images pulled them, I would be damn angry. But that's not the case. In this case, it's just that mathowie pulled the link. The images are still there, they're just not here.

I think having the images linked is a good thing, beneficial for society. However, I also understand that Mefi's objective is not "being beneficial for society". That's an occasional, welcomed, but unintended side-effect. This was brought home to me with the whole troutfishing issue, where troutfishing's core argument (which I agree with) was that election fraud was very very important; moreso than animal dildoes. However, the counterargument, which I also agree with, is that this isn't a site based on importance to society. I wouldn't expect somethingawful or pennyarcade to link to pictures of war dead, because that's not what they're about. In the same way, if mathowie wants to pull the images, it's not that big a deal, because importance to society is not what mefi is about.

True, mefi sits on the line where that stuff could stay. It's not like posting death images on a Disney site, where they would have to be deleted. But this isn't a primarily nonpartisan political discussion board, either, where they should not be deleted. It's in the middle, where I can understand it being a judgement call by mathowie. One I disagree with, but which does not seem out of line.

Also, while I think chaz's comments are pretty good, regarding phrasing the post better (eliminate tax reference, draw parallels to Vietnam, etc.), the issue of discussion is a toughie. This is not primarily a discussion board. The links are what are important. That said, there is no way that I know of, short of deletion, to prevent discussion from happening on Mefi (well, there is in Metatalk, but not on the blue, that I know of). And it's pretty much been proven by the last 3 years or so that Mefi does not do politics well, even with less dramatic posts. This post would have led to a shitstorm of discussion. I can't say that as absolute fact, of course, but I can't say that driving drunk and blindfolded on a twisty lane will kill you, either. You may get so drunk you pass out. You may coincidentally weave the same way the road twists. You may get stuck in mud. But the odds are high enough that one can confidently say that it's a bad idea. In the same way, allowing a discussion follow that post would be allowing a shitstorm to brew. Since the only choice is deletion or shitstorm, I can understand (if not agree with) the decision to tip in favor of deletion.

And, for reference, if a family member got killed in a war, and I thought the image of them could convince any fence-sitters to oppose said war, you can bet I'd support showing their faces.

Man, I'm going to beat EB in terms of total wordcount. Sorry.
posted by Bugbread at 8:38 PM on January 27, 2005


In the same way, allowing a discussion follow that post would be allowing a shitstorm to brew. Since the only choice is deletion or shitstorm, I can understand (if not agree with) the decision to tip in favor of deletion.
That's a false choice. And the links are supposed to be what matters--discussion follows (or doesn't) from them. Whatever conversation may or may not arise from these pics is secondary to the fact that the link was valid, in terms of content, for Metafilter.
posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on January 27, 2005


Hey, konolia, don't you dare tell people how to comport themselves here. We're not the ones that abused the community to the point that we got banned and then snuck back in.
posted by NortonDC at 8:50 PM on January 27, 2005


Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms.

*gets in konolia's face about Bush without condemning terrorists, just to see what happens*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:50 PM on January 27, 2005


A relevant anecdote: "In most American newspapers, the photograph that Richard Drew took of the Falling Man ran once and never again."
posted by boaz at 8:52 PM on January 27, 2005


Now that I see NortonDC's comment posted at the same time as mine, I feel bad about my funnin'.

konolia, I know you love the Bush (so to speak), but it's hilarious that you would propose that one should not criticize him, his policies or his administration (which, it has been noted by better men than me, makes your democracy stronger) without adding a footnote to the effect that 'murders are bad, mmkay, and even if Bush is a murderer, he's not a super-double-extra bad murderer like them terrorists!'

That's just silly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:53 PM on January 27, 2005


Konolia: Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms. At least until Bush makes a snuff film of himself sawing off Michael Moore's head with a butcher knife.

Konolia, I'll feel free to get in your face about Bush, then, because I condemn the terrorists in the strongest terms as well.

And, by your logic, we shouldn't get in your face about terrorists until they kill 15,495 Americans, correct?

On preview: Amberglow: And the links are supposed to be what matters--discussion follows (or doesn't) from them. Whatever conversation may or may not arise from these pics is secondary to the fact that the link was valid, in terms of content, for Metafilter.

Amberglow, in what way is that a false choice? (By the way, that's not a challenge, it's a regular question. There are probably some options that hadn't occured to me)

And I agree with the fact that the link is primary, and discussion secondary. But the link isn't the only thing, it's the main thing. And, again, since there are no "rules" at Mefi, just "guidelines", it's hard to say that it was or was not valid in terms of content. There are certain things that are definitely forbidden, but that list is not inclusive, and other stuff gets deleted as well. However, I think we can both agree that it would be a good thing if this kind of post were considered valid in terms of content.
posted by Bugbread at 9:08 PM on January 27, 2005


Oops. Forgot to quote the first relevant bit from Amberglow: "That's a false choice.". Sorry about that.
posted by Bugbread at 9:09 PM on January 27, 2005


konolia, I think the reason so many people 'dare' to condemn the American military is because they're supposed to be the good guys, and instead they're leaving a trail of dead innocents behind them. At least the Iraqi resistance is in its own fucking country.

Getting in one's face doesn't happen online unless you keep coming back and putting your face in the firing line. It's solvable.
posted by cosmonik at 9:18 PM on January 27, 2005


The bar is fucking low, if in order to criticise the President of the United States he has to behead Michael Moore(!) on video. I know he's bad, but that's unbelievable. You campaigned for the man!
posted by goneill at 9:18 PM on January 27, 2005


Just to make it clear, I was talking about Iraqi and foreign terrorists who think it is fine and dandy to kill Iraqi policemen, Iraqi politicians, Iraqi kids, and American servicemen and contract workers. If they weren't doing that we wouldn't have to have our troops there, and the Iraqi people could live in peace.

I'm sorry, but this is just stupid. There are such things as cause and effect. The former precedes the latter.
In this case, WE went over there and started bombing the shit out of them. That CAUSED them to get pissed off and kill servicemen and contract workers.
As far as criticizing Bush goes, obviously 100000 Iraqis don't even begin to compare to Michael Moore. So we definitely cannot do that yet.
posted by c13 at 9:38 PM on January 27, 2005


When I mentioned World War II, it would've been more appropriate to mention this great photo of dead American Marines on a beach in Papua New Guinea. It was published in LIFE magazine in September 1943 and was the first time during the war that the American public had seen a photo of American dead. In the accompanying essay the editors said that if the soldiers "had the guts to take it, then we ought to have the guts to look at it."

Joe Klein mentioned the photo in this column in Time (registration required) about our "bowdlerized, PG-rated" war in Iraq; Klein's column is revisited in this American Journalism Review article about the media's depiction of the war in Iraq.

One of the dumbest things among many, many dumb things about this bullshit war was Operation Red Dawn, the code name for the operation that captured Saddam Hussein (near locations code named Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2). If you think about Iraq in terms of Red Dawn, we are the bad guys, and they are the Wolverines.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:06 PM on January 27, 2005


If you really care about the dead, stand up in their name.

Yeah, but first, be sure to take the last horrific moment that they, themselves, had to L I V E and be sure it's swept far enough under the rug that no one even has to look at a picture of it. Man. Get your story straight.
posted by scarabic at 10:15 PM on January 27, 2005


Konolia: Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms.

And what the hell exactly are you railing about, konolia? It's either Bush's faults or the terrorists' faults! Don't criticise Bush unless you FIRST criticise the terrorists!

So as long as there are 19 extremists in the world, willing to die to hurt Americans, Bush gets off scot-free with whatever he wants to do! That makes a lot of sense. Let's make the President of the United States LESS accountable than all the random extremists in the world! Yeah! That's how we'll beat them.
posted by scarabic at 10:19 PM on January 27, 2005


Regarding the photos of Nguyen Ngoc Loan that koeselitz linked to: Nguyen Ngoc Loan opened a pizza place in the mall down the road from the house I grew up in. I ate there once and saw him. I don't remember if the pizza was good.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:36 PM on January 27, 2005


Kirkaracha (and LIFE magazine): if the soldiers "had the guts to take it, then we ought to have the guts to look at it."

That's why they're paid journalists, and I'm not. They summed up in one sentence what took me a paragraph. In this situation: If you have the guts to wage war, you ought to have the guts to look at it.
posted by Bugbread at 10:38 PM on January 27, 2005


I've even agreed with Matt when he has deleted my own posts, however, even though I have reservations about the value of the post, the deletion was a bad decision.

Please remember, this is Matt's site. He gets to decide what stays and what goes. Absolutely - this couldn't be a clearer affirmation of ownership.
posted by Cancergiggles at 1:36 AM on January 28, 2005


Konolia: Don't you dare get in my face about Bush unless you are going to condemn those terrorists in the strongest terms.

ah, one is always reluctant to go after MeFi's favorite anus-fearing member, but still.

k, this is not your sunday school class where the average North Carolina hausfrau gives you a standing ovation whenever you rail against those pesky dark-skinned furriner infidel terrahists -- around here you're supposed to come up with better shit than that if you want people to take you seriously.

no matter how hard your instincts drive you toward the usual loyalty oath solution -- a favorite of the right since at least the late Forties -- even somebody as confused as you probably understands that it's not very wise to put the USA and various insurgents on the same level. oh, wait, US soldiers don't have a policy to behead people with big knives (as we know of, at least)? OK then, this important fact gives Bush carte blanche.

give me an anus-loving break, konolia. you guys are supposed to do better than say, "well Zarkawi is badder than Lynndie England".

is that all you can do after all this innocent Iraqi blood has been shed in the name of the disarming of Saddam Hussein who had all those wmd's?

Jesus Christ. this is lame even for your standards.
posted by matteo at 3:31 AM on January 28, 2005


I just don't get those who support the post in question, and I'm all for the airing of troubling imagery that doesn't make it into the mainstream media. If this were any other site then yes I would agree but I think Matt is right when he questions the motives of the post and any possible good would come of it.

What have we learned? That killing is bad and ugly? Well, duh. I bet if specialk420 would have put a little more thought and time into the post (with some supporting links perhaps) then things would have ended differently, but a single link to a bunch of graphic images of dead people? What kind of discussion were we supposed to expect from such a post? Shit, even if it were about the poor people of Rwanda it would have been a crap post because in all honesty: 1) best of the web != graphic imagery. it's really not that difficult to find disturbing war-related photos on the web. 2) what is there to discuss except for the probable political flames over who's to blame for such atrocities?
posted by poopy at 6:05 AM on January 28, 2005


and to be fair, I recently made a similar type of post in AskMe that was quickly and rightly snuffed.
posted by poopy at 6:08 AM on January 28, 2005


Everyone of the 20-30 people who post most frequently, quite possibly. But what of the rest of the 20,000+ registered members? Or the tens (?) of thousands of non-members who read the site? It would be quite a stretch to try to extend your claim to all of them, I think.

Then please forgive me for overstating. But on this site I've seen links to bloody Iraqi children, people getting their heads sawed off, a Russian soldier getting his throat cut by Chechnyan rebels (a looong time ago, but still relevant if we're talking about what should and shouldn't be shown here) and this post we're talking about right now. So, to rephrase: "But I think virtually everyone in this community [who had been around more than six months] [and has been paying attention] is aware that it's not at all hard to find pictures of Iraqi war casualties on the net [if they know how to use Google.]"

Al Jazeera, for example, shows similar pictures quite often. Apparently some people really do want pictures of their dead brothers shown.

But are they trying to tell the truth or push an agenda? I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be asked the same questions we should be asking of our media.

We sort of get to see the dead soldiers' coffins, and we get to hear about their deaths, but not their mutilations.

I remember a conversation with my mother a long time ago (mid-80's) where she said women will never be sent to combat because the public wouldn't be able to handle seeing them come back without arms or legs. And now they are. But we're not seeing it. So with all deference to scarabic, I don't think there's much value in showing a corpse. Seeing the charred remains of the 31 marines killed in the helicopter crash this week can in no possible way convey the last horror-filled moments of their lives. The people you need to hear from are the damaged people who came back alive. The people who experienced the terror and pain and came back changed or, in some cases, less than what they were when they went in, either physically or emotionally. You wanna make a point? Seek them out, not the easy shock route.
posted by Cyrano at 6:25 AM on January 28, 2005


But are they trying to tell the truth or push an agenda?
A lot of them are doing both. They a showing the truth about what happened to their brothers, and they are trying to push the agenda to try and get the americans the hell out of the country. Besides, what would possibly be the point of making a statement if you're not trying to push an agenda?
posted by c13 at 6:31 AM on January 28, 2005


Whoops, I totally meant the book All Quiet on the Western Front in my comment above but called it The Red Badge of Courage.

Guess y'all knew what I meant ;-)
posted by Shane at 7:06 AM on January 28, 2005


I'm kind of mixed here, because I think the deletion was a mistake and the FPP was a relevant one. But I think that the exploiting of the FPP into a war debate was only extended by Matt's deletion, which he did under the intention of staving off a war debate. As someone who admittedly posts them myself every now and then, agenda-laden FPPs could be a lot worse than this one.

As for Matt's abortion analogy, I think that's fucking ridiculous, honestly. Saying upfront what a link is and offering the choice to view it or not is a hell of a lot different than the actual anti-choice terrorists who chain themselves to clinic doors and videotape women to intimidate them. No one posted dead Iraqis on the front page; they linked to a site hosting them that clearly indicated what you were going to see.

And konolia, I honestly don't enjoy the pile-ons you seem to encourage upon yourself, but stop acting like Matt pulled this thread because he shares your view on the war. Your soapbox comments are more grating- and frankly more of an attempt to exploit the original FPP for personal views- than any of the anti-war people in this thread.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:26 AM on January 28, 2005


As for Matt's abortion analogy, I think that's fucking ridiculous, honestly. Saying upfront what a link is and offering the choice to view it or not is a hell of a lot different than the actual anti-choice terrorists who chain themselves to clinic doors and videotape women to intimidate them.

Emhasis mine.

I don't want to speak for Matt, but I would hope that this is exactly the reason why he deleted the fucking piece-of-shit thread.

what is your motivation for using the word 'terrorist'? Do you agree or not that the post was politically motivated?
posted by poopy at 7:35 AM on January 28, 2005


Maybe because the people he describes are using implied physical threats to affect a political or religious agenda. You know, terrorists.

(That's an "and" in his comment, not an "or.")
posted by NortonDC at 7:43 AM on January 28, 2005


what is your motivation for using the word 'terrorist'?

Huh? Are you saying that physically assaulting women, intimidating them, blocking access to clinics, and asassinating doctors is the same thing as making an FPP to pictures, or do you just want to avoid the issue entirely by disliking the word "terrorist?"

You think Matt deleted a thread linking to pictures of dead Iraqis because I called anti-choice terrorists "terrorists?" Logic, please.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:43 AM on January 28, 2005


I'm sorry, but I must've been misled when I heard that the term 'terrorist' is a popular way to label those who don't agree with you. XQUZYPHYR, if you want to fight that battle, don't fall prey to their tactics... It's blatantly transparent.
posted by poopy at 7:53 AM on January 28, 2005


but I must've been misled when I heard that the term 'terrorist' is a popular way to label those who don't agree with you.

No, you're just either too stubborn or deliberately obtuse to realize the difference. You might have noticed that I specifically noted anti-choice terrorists because they differ from people who merely oppose abortion given the fact that they, you know, commit acts of terrorism.

I'm sorry, but I must've been misled when I heard that pretending to be an idiot is a popular way to repsond to someone without actually presenting an opposing viewpoint. If you want to fight that battle, go right ahead, but it's blatantly transparent.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:06 AM on January 28, 2005


By the way, poopy, out of curiosity, are you upset when people refer to the 9/11 hijackers as terrorists? I mean, that's a harsh term to call them just because we disagree with their political viewpoint, right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:08 AM on January 28, 2005


Please remember, this is Matt's site. He gets to decide what stays and what goes.

Absolutely - this couldn't be a clearer affirmation of ownership.


Some food for thought:

1. There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden.

2. Once you have a well-established online conversation space, with enough regulars to explain the local mores to newcomers, they’ll do a lot of the policing themselves.

3. You own the space. You host the conversation. You don’t own the community. Respect their needs.

Cont.

posted by rushmc at 8:08 AM on January 28, 2005


XQUZYPHYR, I'm not going to link (once again) to other sites who actually SUPPORT your viewpoint. Hell, I do. I just think you're falling into a dangerous trap, one that nullifies all the cogent arguments you might have made by using such terms as 'terrorist'. I ask again: In this particular debate, 'Terrorist' is a lazy man's way of arguing the facts. Why even use it to argue your point unless you're not so confident in your debate?
posted by poopy at 8:32 AM on January 28, 2005


Poopy, do you have a counter-argument to his very specific point, or are you just going to assert that you know his own thoughts and doubts better than he does?
posted by NortonDC at 8:36 AM on January 28, 2005


Just to be sure, this one?

No, you're just either too stubborn or deliberately obtuse to realize the difference. You might have noticed that I specifically noted anti-choice terrorists because they differ from people who merely oppose abortion given the fact that they, you know, commit acts of terrorism.

posted by poopy at 8:40 AM on January 28, 2005


I'm most definitely not an expert in political debate, but I would guess that the tactics used here are most likely used on The O'Reilly Factor.
posted by poopy at 8:45 AM on January 28, 2005


poopy, what the blankety-fuck are you babbling about?

Matt said he didn't keep the Iraq pictures post, saying he wouldn't allow people who post aborted fetuses either. I pointed out that's an unfair analogy, because posting a FPP you don't have to click differs from the actions of anti-choice terrorist groups that force them, along with other tactics, on people.

At no point did I say all anti-choice people are terrorists. That's a complete straw man you fabricated to find a way to attack me while avoiding actually offering a counter-point. One which, by the way, you still have failed to offer.

'Terrorist' is a lazy man's way of arguing the facts. Why even use it to argue your point unless you're not so confident in your debate?

This is one of the dumbest fucking things I've ever heard, considering that I'm using the existence of terrorists as a fact. I'll notice you cowered away from my other question too: are you saying that people calling Osama bin Laden a terrorist are lazily arguing the facts? God, pointing out that terrorists committed acts of terror really is lazy, isn't it.

Now, you might believe that fanatic anti-choice groups that actively participate in physical intimidation and murder aren't terrorists. If this is the case, it would help if you, you know, fucking said that, instead of throwing a tantrum over me using the word. Until then, your entire argument seems to be one of two things: that I called all people against abortion terrorists- something you pulled entirely from the warm confines of your own ass- and/or that I used the word "terrorist" when (gasp!) mentioning terrorists- a term you actually haven't refuted.

That said, your three-comment refusal to address the actual point of this conversation- that Matt's analogy between the poster of the FPP and anti-choice activist groups is baseless- pretty much proves you're just trying to bitch for the sake of it. If you feel like actively participating in this conversation, I'll repost my original comment, edited just for you, so you can get back on track with the rest of us:

As for Matt's abortion analogy, I think that's fucking ridiculous, honestly. Saying upfront what a link is and offering the choice to view it or not is a hell of a lot different than the actual anti-choice [people staying at the doors to clinics, many of whom physically engage in acts of violence and intimidation, though they clearly are not the embodiment of every person who opposes abortion] who chain themselves to clinic doors and videotape women to intimidate them. No one posted dead Iraqis on the front page; they linked to a site hosting them that clearly indicated what you were going to see.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:55 AM on January 28, 2005


As for Matt's abortion analogy, I think that's fucking ridiculous, honestly. Saying upfront what a link is and offering the choice to view it or not is a hell of a lot different than the actual anti-choice terrorists who chain themselves to clinic doors and videotape women to intimidate them.

you're right. i was an idiot. a babbling idiot. keep up the good fight. god speed... or something.
posted by poopy at 9:07 AM on January 28, 2005


More photographs of ripped-apart female soldiers might be just what the American public needs to see to get it off its ass and into Bush's face about this stupid, unnecessary, and greed-induced war.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on January 28, 2005


Surely you could have said "fucking" ONE more time, XQUZYPHYR, to bolster your argument even further...
posted by rushmc at 10:03 AM on January 28, 2005


I personally don't care whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction.

I care that Saddam and his sons and his regime were evil butthead dictators who murdered people in horrible ways for no reason, who raped and abused women, who murdered Kurds with chemical weapons just because they were Kurds...I am happy he is gone. And whether or not we were there, the insurgents would be blowing up things and people. If they were NOT blowing up things and people, we would not be going after them, and innocent people in the middle would not be harmed.

And I personally do not think Bush lied. If you would like to go back into the archives on this site you will see that I did not agree or disagree about our entry into Iraq, but I do believe that we went in based on the info we had. If it was incorrect (I am still not totally convinced it was) then someone was at fault, but demonizing Bush does not help matters-in fact I think it gives aid and comfort to our enemies. I would have much more respect for the antiBush contingent if they were simply disagreeing with his policies, but instead you act like he is Hitler's bastard son. And as much as you hated it when the Right did the same to Clinton, I cannot believe you cannot see you are doing the same thing. As much as I think Clinton was a bad President, I do not hate him, and I do not wish him harm, and I do not think he is Evil Incarnate.

*gets in konolia's face about Bush without condemning terrorists, just to see what happens*

Stavros, I already know your opinion on terrorists, and I share it. If I felt like being jokey about it, you would presently be chased with one hand holding a frying pan and the other holding a can of Crisco (great for frying. Mmmm, crispy.)
posted by konolia at 1:16 PM on January 28, 2005


konolia, I love ya babe but...

I personally don't care whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction.

I've heard this from friends who hold similar views. The question then becomes why Iraq instead of Sudan or Iran or North Korea (which is by any measure a much greater potential threat to national security.) (Oh yeah, and Osama isn't in a U.S jail or in a shallow grave why, exactly...?) I don't think anyone here is unhappy that Saddam and his kin are gone. But it's still possible to try to do a good thing and screw it up badly. And if you do then, well, it's still your (Bush's) bad.

And whether or not we were there, the insurgents would be blowing up things and people.

This statement I have to dispute a bit, though. Given the nature of dictatorships, I'm sure there was some insurgent activity against Saddam that we never heard about. But I would respectfully submit that if you think the same level of shit blowing up was going on before the U.S. invasion that you provide some proof. I personally think we gave them a shooting gallery and they're taking advantage of it.

And I personally do not think Bush lied [*snip*] but I do believe that we went in based on the info we had.

I'm not 100% sold that he was sitting in an underground bunker with Dr. Evil either. But I do think he and his advisors are at least guilty of gross negligence bordering on incompetence. There was no lack of credible people before the war predicting the exact outcome that we're seeing today. But you and people like you (which is an ugly phrase, but the best one I can come up with right now) still didn't hold him accountable last November. Clinton got impeached because of a knob shine, but Bush starts a war that is going to kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and uncounted numbers of Iraqis (some probably deserving, but most probably not) and he still gets your vote. I'll just speak for me, but that's why I have trouble wrapping my mind around when you defend the current administration's policies.
posted by Cyrano at 1:56 PM on January 28, 2005


(P.S. I went to North Carolina about two weeks ago. The minute the plane landed I thought, "Hey! I'm in konolia territory!")
posted by Cyrano at 1:57 PM on January 28, 2005


konolia, I want to know exactly how many American lives you'd be willing to trade for "ousting" Saddam (by the way, that whole gassing-the-Kurds thing... where do you think he got the gas? just guess.)

So, let's do this. You're at the bargaining table. You've got a chance to "rid the world" of Saddam, the scourge, the evildoer. You've also got a room full of Americans, too. How many of them are you going to call out and have murdered? Ten? One? Four Thousand? How many families do you want to suffer so that the "world" won't suffer from Saddam any longer?

The point is not that Saddam was evil. That's not disputed. The point is, what are you willing to start a war over? What are you willing to invade another country for? There used to be a rule, that you wait until you're attacked before you go off and attack another country. That rule works very well, because you don't end up looking like a bully around the world.

Guess who attacked New York on that day in September. Guess which middle-eastern dictator was installed by the United States years ago.
posted by odinsdream at 2:34 PM on January 28, 2005


I personally don't care whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction... I personally don't care whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction.


Oh, ok. I see. You're an idiot.
posted by c13 at 2:40 PM on January 28, 2005


Would you give your life to save someone else?

If so , should their nationality matter?
posted by konolia at 4:40 PM on January 28, 2005



posted by specialk420 at 5:29 PM on January 28, 2005


who murdered Kurds with chemical weapons just because they were Kurds
you know who sold him those weapons, right? and stood there watching while he did it?


posted by mr.marx at 6:48 PM on January 28, 2005


Just in case you missed it konolia:


posted by odinsdream at 10:08 PM on January 28, 2005


I personally don't care whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction.

But then, one would not expect you to put much value on the truth, seeing as you've centered your whole life around lies.
posted by rushmc at 9:12 AM on January 29, 2005


I would have much more respect for the antiBush contingent if they were simply disagreeing with his policies, but instead you act like he is Hitler's bastard son. And as much as you hated it when the Right did the same to Clinton, I cannot believe you cannot see you are doing the same thing.

konolia, I really wanted to be civil here, but you're both a liar and an idiot.

You know goddamn well that we actually do disagree with Bush's policies, and you know goddamn well that impeaching a man over a blowjob isn't exactly the same thing as starting a war that's killed over 100,000 people, hmmm? Is that too hard for you? Do you need a drawing or something?

Jesus, konolia, you're not actually this stupid because if you were you wouldn't be able to use a computer. Stop pretending to just to make yourself feel right.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:52 AM on January 30, 2005


The reason people think he's hitler's bastard son, is that it is almost impossible to imagine any reason for his policies other than that he is a megalomaniacal lunatic bent on destroying the world.
posted by goneill at 12:41 PM on January 30, 2005


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