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OP/ED: Iraq War Rape Pornography.

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posted on May, 4 2004 @ 06:49 AM
The public airing in the international media of photographs allegedly showing Coalition soldiers humiliating and abusing Iraqi prisoners has quite rightly caused public outrage around the world.Specifically,the sexual nature of some of the photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison by US soldiers has raised particular concern.However,this article is not specifically about those images but about the internet phenomena of war rape pornography which ,if not exactly new, must have come to greater public attention as internet users,looking for information on the Coalition abuse allegations,type relevant keywords into search engines and invariably find themselves looking at graphic hardcore images purporting to show US soldiers violently raping female Iraqi civilians.

Images of sexual practices widely thought of as taboo have existed on the internet almost since it's inception.Websites featuring necrophilia,paedophilia,torture,and even canabalism have all made the news at some time.

The existence of these images ,so easily and anonomously available, have raised many questions about the increase of such offences in society and whether a cause and effect can be traced.Most experts now believe that it can and there have been calls for government intervention to be more pro-active in censoring certain forms of content on the internet.

For the first time though, sexually explicit images on the internet can be said not only to have a detrimental social effect but also the potential to influence public opinion abroad and thus have an unwanted international effect on the war on terrorism.

To our sophisticated,or de-sensitized,western eye these images are obviously staged pornography but to muslims ,many of whom are without internet access and therefore unable to view them in the context of a porn site, they can easily be seen as yet further evidence of real abuse against muslims or ,at the very least, a sign of a lack of cultural respect and it would be hard to argue that that wasn't the case nor underestimate what effect it could have in a volatile region.

Internet pornography has always strictly adhered to the commercial laws of supply and demand and so it is also worth taking look at the psychology behind these sites which predominantly originate in the USA.Pornography itself is generally excepted to be a form of fantasy aid,so why is it that some Americans wish to fantasize about uniformed servicemen violently raping Iraqi civilians ?

To gain some kind of understanding we must first look at the psychology of rape itself.

To help explain I'm going to quote from the Coordinated Community Response website a link to which appears at the bottom of this page.

"Rape is always an aggressive and/or violent act. In every act of rape, aggression is involved, but it is clear that the sexual acts are the means of expressing the aggressive needs and feelings that operate in the offender. Either anger or power is the dominant component so that rape, rather than being primarily an expression of sexual desire, is in fact the use of sexuality to express his issues of power and anger. Basically, it involves sexual behavior in the primary service of non-sexual needs."

"In a power rape, power appears to be the dominant factor motivating the offender. In these assaults, it is not the offender's desire to harm his victim but to possess her sexually. Sexuality becomes a means of compensating for underlying feelings of inadequacy and serves to express issues of mastery, strength, control, authority, identity, and capability. His goal is sexual conquest, and he uses only the amount of force necessary to accomplish this objective. His aim is to capture and control his victim."

"Physical aggression can be used to overpower and subdue the victim; however the intent of the offender usually is to achieve sexual intercourse with his victim as evidence of conquest. To accomplish this, he resorts to whatever force he finds necessary to overcome his victim's resistance and to render her helpless."

So ,is the increased interest amoungst a small minority of American males in pictures purporting to show US servicemen violently raping Iraqi civilians in part a reaction to watching daily news bulletins detailing increasing casualties in an aparently anarchic Iraq ? When they log on to these sites do they feel that they are somehow revenging US casualties and taking control of a deteriorating situation which they have impotently watched develope over the last year ?

There is one last point that should be raised about the emergence,on the internet,of these new war porn websites.Psychologist have found clear patterns amoungst sexual offender history.

1) There is an addictive effect. The man gets hooked on pornography and keeps coming back for more to get his sexual "turn ons."

2) There is and escalation in need for rougher and more sexually shocking material in order to get the same sexual stimulation as before.

3) There is, in time, a de-sensitization to the material's effect. What was first gross, shocking, and disturbing becomes, in time, acceptable and commonplace.

4) There is an increased tendency to start "acting out" the sexual activities seen in the pornography witnessed. What was first fantasy, in time, becomes reality. All sexual deviations-the best evidence suggests-are learned. And it often happens through a pattern of "masturbatory conditioning." What is viewed is first masturbated to at the fantasy level then later acted out in real life behavior.

Step number 2 could,in effect,develope a demand for genuine images of sexual abuse against Iraqi and Muslim civilians.A demand,I have no doubt,that would be met by someone though not so publically accessable.

Step number 4 could see US servicemen who may have accessed these war porn sites starting to act out their fantasies in Iraq and perhaps even meeting the demand pointed out in step 2 or it could cause a rise in domestic rape against muslims in America or the UK.

These new war porn websites which many internet users may have inadvertantly accessed recently must surely raise great concern.Whether because of the arab and muslim outrage that could result from these images being portrayed as real,or the increased possibilty of of rape against Iraqi civilians due to the de-sensitizing effect of these websites,it seems clear that these websites should have some restrictions put on them.

But even if restrictions are put in place what is equally of concern is the psychological causes that have seen an increase in these sites.If a small but increasing minority of American males feel powerless and impotent as they watch the events unfold in Iraq then perhaps the authorities should address that so that they don't feel they have to vent their frustrations looking at disgusting and degrading images purporting to show rape and sexual abuse of women who their governments have claimed to be trying to help and free.

[Edited on 4-5-2004 by John bull 1]

[Edited on 4-5-2004 by John bull 1]

[Edited on 7-5-2004 by Banshee]

posted on May, 4 2004 @ 09:55 AM
From the site:
"In a study by Seymour Feshback at UCLA, male students were exposed to aggressive pornography. After the exposure, 51% indicated the likelihood of raping a woman if assured they would not get caught."
That is a startling and frightening statistic.
The Internet is all the good in the world as well as all of the bad. I don't know whether the Internet should be censored, or if indeed it can be.

posted on May, 4 2004 @ 10:49 AM
Excellent piece, John Bull.

That statistic is both startling and frightning, DontTreadOnMe. That's quite a high percentage, I wouldn't think it would be so much.

posted on May, 4 2004 @ 11:10 AM
Excellent article. As a number of sites report, if a woman is raped (or thought to have been raped), it is often considered her family's duty to kill her and end her shame and their shame. Even little girls who were raped are punished.
Pornographic fantasies *can* lead to the deaths of innocents, in this case.

Another issue being cited here is that these reports and pictures of Americans brutally raping Iraqui women are fueling some of the suicide bombers. /04/rumors_of_rape_fan_anti_american_flames/

And if you'd like something to raise your blood pressure on this issue, consider this:

One of the soldiers facing court martial is Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick.

Frederick is charged with maltreatment for allegedly participating in and setting up a photo, and for posing in a photograph by sitting on top of a detainee. He is charged with an indecent act for observing one scene. He is also charged with assault for allegedly striking detainees and ordering detainees to strike each other.

60 Minutes II talked with him by phone from Baghdad, where he is awaiting court martial.

Frederick told us he will plead not guilty, claiming the way the Army was running the prison led to the abuse of prisoners.

The "Well, everybody was DOING it, so I did it, too!" excuse.

posted on May, 4 2004 @ 11:14 AM
Yes, this is showing them we are the good guys and that we're showing them a better way of life, I bet they're just loving it!

posted on May, 4 2004 @ 11:22 AM
Very nice John bull. I had a hard time understanding what you were trying to say thanks for clearing it up for me.

I wonder if there are otheres that are confused.

[Edited on 4-5-2004 by SpittinCobra]

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