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  •  history's not on your side (none)
    If you're right, images would have had no impact in Vietnam, since we were already so desensitized, dating back to the Civil War.  Images of the twin towers falling would not have shocked us or the world  either -- since we and the world was already so desensitized.  But it DID shock us, didn't it? A lot.

    The fact is, human beings are pretty darn complicated.  We can be of two minds -- or three minds -- and I'm not talking crazy.

    A person can be desensitized, and still be shocked.  A person can be for the war in Iraq for some reasons and against it for others.  Ambivalence.  That's where it's at at this point.

    The images are needed to help tell the more accurate story.

    And eventually, the correct historical narrative will emerge -- that the Bush administration was obsessed with Saddam to the exclusion of real threats both before and to some extent after 9/11, and that they ignored the larger shadowy problem of terrorism and how to solve it.

    Excess of insularity makes a Briton an Imperialist. -- G.B. Shaw

    by markymarx on Thu Apr 01, 2004 at 12:48:25 PM PST

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    •  History is not on anyone's side (none)
      Like I said elsewhere, bring back the draft and this shit may wake some people up.

      Your argument would make sense if desensitization was genetic, but I don't think that's been shown to be true. The process of desensitization that took place 140 years ago has little to do with the one taking place right now. There is a thread through the last two decades that ties this all together. It's a generational, cultural thing. I know you won't argue the fact that we're exposed to more desensitizing images now than we were then. We're surrounded by them.

      Yes, eventually, the correct historical narrative will emerge, regardless of what we do with these images. My argument is not that we shouldn't show these images (though I believe our motives are suspect) but that it will do nothing to bring the horror to an end.

      •  genetics (none)
        again, if you were right, then why weren't people so "desensitized" that images of the twin towers didn't impress them or shock them?  

        remember, according to your argument, they should have been thoroughly desensitized sincce movies, tv, etc. were just as powerful in 2001 than they are today.

        note:  this argument is in no way dependent on genetics.

        the point is that war images always have meaning, it's simply that that meaning is always shifting and there's more than one stoy at any given time.

        and while it's true that war images have no meaning without a context, it's also true that they are never without context.

        plus, once any given context becomes more clear, the images themselves can be powerful in helping reshape the narrative(s).

        this is very clear if you look at vietnam, and the many memorable images from that war.

        Excess of insularity makes a Briton an Imperialist. -- G.B. Shaw

        by markymarx on Thu Apr 01, 2004 at 01:51:50 PM PST

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    •  The Sadder Truth (none)
      the correct historical narrative will emerge -- that the Bush administration was obsessed with Saddam to the exclusion of real threats both before and to some extent after 9/11, and that they ignored the larger shadowy problem of terrorism and how to solve it.  

      The sadder truth is that, even had they not ignored the problem of terrorism, they would not have understood that going into Iraq would have a negative effect on the problem.  Even if they had tried to the best of their abilities (which, obviously, they did not), they would never have been able to conceive of a "war" that did not have something to do with Imperialism, nor would they have been able to adjust their tactics to deal with an enemy that is without a country.

      This is not an administration that understands subtlety or grey areas.  They are fanatics and fundamentalists--and not just in a religious sense, although there is that, too.  And the worst thing about this administration is that we are churning out more and more just like them every day--more badly-educated people with some perverse feeling of entitlement that makes them think that they are always right and the world owes them.

      •  excellent point (none)
        I couldn't agree more!  but I think we have to define "imperialism" carefully here.

        i would call what you describe as an imperalist mentality, as opposed to traditional imperialism.

        the imperialist mentality reflects a worldview that we have everything to teach, and nothing to learn, and "they" have everthig to learn and nothing to teach us in return.

        at the same time, i'd want to avoid any mooshy gooshy relativism -- it's not like we're not right about certain things.  like democracy, for instance.  the question is, how do we go about persuading people that democracy is a better system -- so the concept really takes hold?  certainly not by threatening to blow them up....

        Excess of insularity makes a Briton an Imperialist. -- G.B. Shaw

        by markymarx on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 12:29:24 PM PST

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