Thursday, October 20, 2005

Grotesque "PsyOps" in Afghanistan

An Australian photojournalist has released disturbing video from his embed-stint in southern Afghanistan. Stephen DuPont was permitted to film the burning and mutilation of "Taliban" corpses by U.S. forces. In a bizarre twist, one of the soldiers even provided the English translation of the taunts that were delivered whilst the bodies were being desecrated. According to the NY Times, the taunts included:

"You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."

The "facing west" is thought to be a reference to facing Mecca. Cremation of the bodies is also believed to be deliberately humiliating, as it is forbidden by Islam. The full footage was aired on the Australian news show, "Dateline." DuPont described the scene as a type of "PsyOps" intended to incite anger & "smoke [the Taliban] out".

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