Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Photographic Spoils of War: Seymour M. Hersh on New Revelations Regarding U.S. Soldiers and War Photography

Tex[t]-Mex luridly (and, I pray, lucidly) chronicles the consequences of war photography on U.S./Mexico relations in the 20th and 21st-century; the introduction, drawing madly on the work of Paul Vanderwood in Border Fury, documents how post-card vendors, the tweeters of their day, followed U.S. expeditionary force troops through northern Mexico as they attempted to apprehend Pancho Villa (unsuccessfully).  Along the way, these troops--led by some interesting, newly minted officers out of West Point: George Patton, Douglas MacArthur--routinely posed for shots with Mexican cadavers (some they had shot, others they had hung, others they stumbled upon in their mad dash across Veracruz, Tamaulipas, and beyond).

And now, 2011, it's happening again. In Afghanistan. Seymour M. Hersh is on it in his new piece for The New Yorker.  Click the image opposite for a photographic/war odyssey it takes the likes of  Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, and Paul Virilio to parse.

Compare W. H. Horne's photo (1916) from a period postcard (El Paso?) with the one in the Hersh story:

The original Der Spiegel image-post is here (NSFYS*)

*NSFYS: Likely not safe for your soul

UPDATE: more horrid photos from ROLLING STONE.

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