Update: Namir Noor Eldeen, Collateral Murder and the Digitised ‘Other’

The ‘uncertain’ circumstances that surrounded the deaths of Namir Noor Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh in Iraq on July 12th 2007 are no longer so uncertain with the recent release of ‘Collateral Murder’ by WikiLeaks on April 5th 2010. The victims’ families have spent nearly three years waiting for some form of explanation to the events that lead to the death of their loved ones. Reuters had been appealing to gain access to the video footage under the Freedom of Information Act, with continued refusal.  However, the revealing of actual events, although illuminating, still leave many questions unanswered and provoke many more troubling questions.

In 1983, Ronald Reagan pondered upon the usefulness of video games for war training “I recently learned something quite interesting about video games. Many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets.”

Unfortunately, Reagan was right; the resemblance between the recently released footage of the murder of two Reuters employees by US Apache helicopter pilots and our own experience of video war games is irrefutable. The advancement in technologies and enhanced imagery in video gaming, over the last two decades has made the distinction between virtual reality and reality increasingly ambiguous. The shocking images and audio footage of this tragic event expose the surreal nature of war and the extreme ease with which these cowardly game-like attacks are undertaken.

The torturous display of the intimate struggle for life in contrast to the distant disregard for it only signifies the almost complete dissolution of humanity into the abyss of ignorance, segregation and separation. As a result, the almost digitised ‘other’ is defaced and dehumanised, making it easier than ever to eliminate “those bastards”, who deserve nothing more than a chuckle and a cheer for their demise.

As of yet, no official response has been provided.

~ by Tamara Al-Om on April 6, 2010.

2 Responses to “Update: Namir Noor Eldeen, Collateral Murder and the Digitised ‘Other’”

  1. […] For an Updated post go to Update: Namir Noor Eldeen, Collateral Murder and the Digitised ‘Other‘. […]

  2. Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!

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