Daily Archives: October 20, 2011

The Graphic Image Ritual (Update)(x2)

So Qadaffi is dead and there are graphic photos and videos making their way around the web.

Personally, I find images like that saddening, but stepping back from the phenomenon a bit, I wonder why it has become part of the story when a corrupt leader or “dictator” is offed:  Hussein, bin Laden, now Qadaffi.

I take it it has something to do with the web, and the inability to censor such images as perhaps they used to be.  In any case, it’s now part of the routine.  Whether it’s good or bad or neither strikes me as being a question worth considering, and I haven’t seen anyone else dealing with it.

I’d be interested to know others’ thoughts.

UpdateThis seems an appropriate response.  There are certain basic rules of conduct, even in war, designed to hold the line between remaining somwhat civilized even in the midst of horror, and giving over to the horror completely, descending into barbarism.  One such rule is that you don’t kill someone who is in your custody and not resisting or fleeing.  Another is that you let people bury their dead, and don’t kill them or try to kill them when that is what they are doing.

Of course, rules being what they are, maybe their are exceptions.  The UN says that “summary executions” are always illegal.  I’m not sure that there is never a justification for a summary execution.

On the other hand, I certainly agree that this is loathsome.  I don’t know what that woman could possibly be thinking.

Update 2:  Jonathan Turley weighs in, correctly I think.  (h/t John Kindley)



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