Enjoy Immunity





Enjoy international diplomatic immunity with a set of 9mm's as your passport. Enjoy even greater immunity with a set of "Smart" Bombs and Tomahawks as your license.

Take a journey: to Al-Amiriya bomb shelter, Baghdad.

403 civilians---including 52 children and 261 women---were killed during the Gulf War, on Feb. 13 1991, by a direct hit by a concrete-penetrating Smart Bomb or Tomahawk missile.

The site is now treated as a memorial shrine, with the walls lined with photographs and drawings of those who died there.




 Here below is a photo of two women mourning relatives, plus a close-up of a victim's picture (the one on the far right in the larger photo). Both images are blurred from being reproduced and transmitted repeatedly: AP telephoto to local newspaper to scanner to computer screen. Yet the country with the technology to circulate images infinitely also erases them with ease. What are the long-term consequences of this? Can long-term consequences even be imagined by a short attention span?

text source: Vijay Joshi, AP writer,

"Iraq Mourns Gulf War Victims," Associated Press feed, Feb. 14 1999.






Waste `Em

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Bad

Smart Bombs: Good

The Ability to Use Labels: Crucial for your Operation

Death from Above

When It Absolutely, Positively Must Be Eliminated Overnight

 "I wish I knew where all this played out," a senior US military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A foreign policy creating enemies using the video game model: the enemy is always a Terrorist Boss. The World is treated as a game with many Levels and many Bosses to be taken out. The only frustration is that the rules of the game inhibit the use of maximum firepower: all-out attacks must be used only now and then, during "declared" wars. Otherwise, "low-intensity warfare" is the order of the day, a few missiles every night against the Targets---in other words, low-profile warfare as covered (covered is right) by the English-language media. It means the Game can really drag on. Missiles in low-intensity warfare explode with the same intensity as during a "declared" war, however.

These reports could not be independently verified.

Targets are usually anonymous or known by their first name: Darkside, Q-Bee, Saddam. But these are really understood to be generic names: they are marks of the evil Boss of this Level who must be taken out to proceed, gathering gems and artifacts and new weapons and power boosters and other items along the way.

Bosses can be particularly fun to "take out" when they are female, when they even have targets on their bodies challenging the gamer to take aim:

War episodes all are given proper names, just as Bosses are: Desert Shield, Storm, Eagle. Others will be neither named nor widely publicized ("low-intensity" warfare).

Many video and computer games are directly or indirectly modeled on Indiana Jones movies, which are patterned after 1930s-1940s adventure cartoon books, which are condensed versions of tales told by British and French adventurers in the Middle East. ("Cartoon" in its original meaning: to transfer the outline of a figure.) The process can also work in reverse: video games that become the model for large-budget action movies---first staged with only physical stunts, later with extensive computer graphics developed for both the video game and the movie industries and the corporations that own both. (These graphics programs and the computer resources they require are also used by the military.)

Cf. The Matrix (1999), which despite its anti-corporate/anti-insect-conformist themes has action sequences modeled on video games sold by the very kinds of corporations the movie purports to rebel against. (That movie's obsession with violations of the human body or corpus also give a new meaning to its fears of incorporation. Yet human bodies in the movie are always already invaded; they are already a matrix, not a self-contained & separate space.)

Also relevant as video/computer game sources: medieval European legends, especially via Tolkein's books and student-invented Dungeons and Dragons games. Harrison Ford (in both Star Wars and Indiana Jones films) has thus helped create an entire industry.

Showing themselves as clones/mutants of Jones, lots of video games have "Egypt" levels, and/or other Middle Eastern sites. Many also feature Levels set in other "Third World" sites---Africa, Asia. "First World" sites are of course popular too---with the hero usually as an anti-terrorist crusader. The "First" and "Third" world are often thought of as if they were Levels in a video game---and Levels with dangerous corridors and tunnels connecting them.

News Feed: Video/Computer Games as a new form of the Crusades: their arrogance is no less, their acquisitiveness the same.

Here's a game, for instance, whose Level 7 is called "Egypt." (Rather, it should be called "Egypt as Demolition Derby.") Never try to duke it out on the sand dunes. The uneven ground will make your shots ineffective. Look for a place where you'll have some flat land as well as cover. Go from the pyramid to the temple and back; at each place, ambush any cars that follow you in. Turbo out of there when you run out of the stun ammo. After you've jetted away, use the level weapon. Any cars caught in the attack will most likely die.

Blow open the entrances of the pyramid and the temple. At each place there is a power level-based weapon. Inside the temple, blast the mini obelisk and grab the Lightening. At the pyramid, shoot the obelisk outside, then go inside the pyramid and shoot the sarcophagus to reveal a teleporter. Use it to go to the top of the pyramid to recover the Eye of Ra.

Before leaving, shoot the Sphinx's face to reveal a comical secret.

Napoleon's Expedition to Egypt, 1798-1800, was also a gathering of gems. Also a practice Large Operation in preparation for his later annexation of Eastern Europe (which, however, ended in a different way than his Strategists expected).



The Fort Benning

Freedom Games


 "When a Guatemalan Truth Commission implicated the United States last month [February 1999] in the creation of a killing machine that ravaged entire Maya villages in the 1980s, it raised questions that are not likely to go away soon."

200,000 people killed, mostly Mayan Indians. And that's just in the decade of the 1980s.

"Newly declassified American documents ... place a CIA officer in the room where Guatemalan intelligence officers---men responsible for death squad killings---planned their covert operations in 1965. They show that CIA and other American officials played a key role in the latter 1960s in centralizing command structures and communications of agencies that would be involved in death squad killings for years. They contain CIA reports of secret executions of Communist Party leaders by Guatemalan Government agencies in 1966 that Guatemalan officials publicly denied."

"[These declassified documents] also show that the CIA station in Guatemala City knew that the Guatemalan army was massacring entire Mayan villages while Reagan Administration officials publicly supported the military regime's human rights record. Even after the war was won, the documents reveal, Defense Intelligence Agency officials knew that the Guatemalan military was destroying evidence of torture centers and clandestine graveyards in 1994. Not a word was uttered publicly by the Clinton Administration."

---source: Clifford Krauss, "The Spies Who Never Came In From the Cold War," New York Times, 3-7-99.

Intelligence Oversight

What Krauss does not mention, but others have: many rightist Central American government and military figures were trained in "counterinsurgency" tactics and weapons in the "Freedom School" run by the CIA in Fort Benning, Georgia. The CIA's policies remained essentially intact from the Eisenhower administration through the early years of the Clinton administration, a period of 40 years; despite occasional attempts to cut off military funding for the Guatemalan forces, the CIA had its own untouchable budget, part of the US government's classified "black budget" for military matters.

"In recent years, The United States deserves credit for supporting the negotiations that led to the 1996 peace agreement [ending the civil war in Guatemala], helping fund the Truth Commission, and coughing up a slew of official documents that helped the panel get at the truth.

"Human rights advocates insist, however, that the Pentagon and the National Security Council are still holding onto damning papers...."

"...It is time to hear the haunting warning of Guatemala's Nobel laureate, Miguel Angel Asturias:

'The eyes of the buried will close together on the day of justice, or they will never close.'"

Translation: (?) Those who are guilty are constantly being watched by those they have murdered and oppressed---though they may try to repress this guilty knowledge, they can't; it haunts their every action, especially their denials.

---source: Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, 3-11-99, A22

The photographer of this picture wanted to document the paintings and news-report collages that Guatemalan women made to demonstrate their support for the Guatemalan Truth Commission's 1999 findings and press their demands that officials be held accountable.

But note how the photographer shows little interest in the living Mayan women, cutting them out of the frame, in order to focus on their paintings.

Well, let's look at this painting closely then:

The forearm of the woman holding the painting looks like it was once broken, or hacked with a machete.

In the painting, the woman with a gun to her head holds an embroidered cloth with a two-headed bird. She looks straight ahead, ignoring the gun, which floats like bird, a murderous bird, above her. She concentrates her gaze on something far away, and she feels the texture of the cloth in her hands.



First-Person Shooter

Third-Person Consequences

Street Sweeper


 Urban policing/drug war policy as a video game. The immigrant from Guinea, West Africa, made a living as a street vendor. He was corralled in a building entranceway barely larger than a telephone booth by city police. Four officers fired over forty bullets at him; only about a dozen struck the Target, most in the feet and legs, but one in the chest and one in the head were fatal. The Suspect was later found to be unarmed. His face did not match the police sketch---except skin color and mustache. It was all a mistake. It was also all programmed to happen: explain.

A new generation of fighter plane pilots and Smart Bomb engineers and programmers who grew up playing video games.

Level maps = Swat Team maps of target areas

Extreme Prejudice as an in-phrase for both cops and robbers, a joke

A Bodyscan machine, now common at airports---featuring the Scan of Luminescence.

"Trickle-down" average citizen-benefits from the War on Drugs!

On the frontage roads surrounding the airports, several bodies have recently been dumped. (The landscape is empty and desolate, mostly abandoned industrial warehouses and phragmites marshes.)

The victims were drug couriers who swallowed balloons filled with dope in order to smuggle it through customs. They were met and taken away in a car, no doubt expecting that they'd go to a motel and be allowed to "excrete" the drugs and then receive payment. Instead, they were driven here and shot in the temple, then their stomachs and intestines sliced open to get at the dope. They lost the game.

A final form of humiliation, very popular in the US, Latin America, Russia: when the body is dumped the shirt is sometimes pulled up over the person's face, exposing the chest and stomach to the sky.

Blood money, bowel money....



Match Play