Now that the pornographic nature of the photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused and tortured in Abu Ghraib prison has generally been recognised, The Buggers would like to narrow down some of our earlier statements on this matter. Our interest in these photographs primarily concerns their contents, their effect on viewers, and the fact that they have had worldwide exposure at a time when Anglo-American capitalism is at war in Iraq as part of a much wider conflict between Western capitalism and Islam.
Despite the often sincere, sometimes hypocritical indignation which the photographs have evoked, the impact of sexually charged images on the unconscious is always there. No moral stance can prevent that from happening. Any advertising bureau knows that. To us the question is no longer if the photographs eroticise the war, because they clearly do, but who is advertising what with the picture of Lynndie England holding a naked muslim on a leash. Apparently there are many more photographs that weren't considered fit for publication. We wonder who selected the photographs and what criteria were used.
Donald Rumsfeld claims that he hadn't anticipated the full impact the photographs would have on Western societies and on the islamic world. Still, the only parties that can possibly profit from antagonising the muslim world and eroticising the war are industries and politicians whose interests lie in war itself: the Anglo-American miltary industrial complex, project developers, and their henchmen in the Pentagon and the British government. War is business. And business needs promoting.
Even if the photographs will prove to have turned public opinion in the USA against the Bush administration to such an extent that Bush loses the approaching elections, they will have instilled a desire for prolongation and extension of the war. On both sides. For that reason The Buggers hold it likely that these photographs were deliberately handed to the media for publication; all the more since British torture photographs surfaced simultaneously.
In Iraq muslim fighters use classic guerilla tactics to discourage investors from putting money in large projects that the West presents as undertakings to rebuild Iraq. In doing so they consciously make use of the media. The death and fear-ridden images that they smack in the faces of their enemies have proved effective. Investors are backing out and new ones are impossible to find. But this strategy has now been counterbalanced by the classic Western advertising technique to eroticise products. In this case the product is war. The Abu Ghraib pictures are used as billboards promoting the war in Iraq. Investors and the public are lured with pictures of Western dominion and sexualised death.