Friday, February 10, 2006

Greatest Hits

A few years ago, I thought THE FACES OF DEATH video series hit an all time low in bad taste. These featured fatal accidents, real execution scenes, and scenes of horrific real world horror. But then a couple nasty, but enterprising young men began to pay skidrowers to fight with one another and marketed a sick line of videos known as BUMFIGHTS, until they were eventually arrested for encouraging and profiting from this sick and exploitive violence.

But sick and exploitive videos just took a giant step downward in good taste. Now in Iraq, a popular video is openly sold in marketplaces and videostores by someone called "Juba The Sniper". It features as many as 134 American soldiers who are gunned down by Juba, many in cold blood resulting in death, by this sniper who has a friend videotaping the "takedown", just like a big game hunter laying on wait of some wild prey.

Understandably many Iraqis are disgusted and horrified at this video. But many others, including young people are beginning to think of Juba as some sort of urban hero. In Iraq's video game parlors, many young people seem to compare Juba's video to some sport or even video game.

It is not really known if "Juba" is really just one single terrorist sniper, or a sort of urban legend, with a group of snipers compiling the sick American soldier takedown videos together. But regardless, it is extremely disturbing watching American servicemen gunned down in cold blood, and the fact that many of the young in Iraq consider this as a form of entertainment.

In the Sunni community is probably where such a deranged video probably draws the most support. But the Shiite community is not without bad taste either. The most popular TV program on Shiite TV is a program by the Wolf Brigade Militia that is sort of like the American TV series COPS, where Wolf Brigade Militia members rough up and assault Sunni citizens suspected of support for the insurgency.

It is a far away dream for the U.S. to expect peace and calm in Iraq when so much of the Iraqi public has an appetite for real violence and death. This society has a literal culture war.


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