Saturday, January 26, 2013

Call of doody

This photo, snapped in Mali by Agence France-Presse photographer Issouf Sanogo, has caused the French military to pitch a fit.

"This is unacceptable behavior," Col. Thierry Burkhard told the French paper Liberation in Paris. "This image is not representative of action by France in Mali."

Because nobody's dying or killing there, see, they're using water balloons and spitballs.

Apparently the brass are working hard to identify and one would imagine, reprimand this soldier.

The photographer, meanwhile, seems to hope he hasn't caused the lad any grief:

"I don’t know the identity of the soldier in the scarf and I’d have a hard time recognising him even if I did see him again....I think -- and I hope -- that it’s impossible to tell who he is. I’m not even sure if he knows what people are saying about him."

In an interview, he stressed that the soldier wasn't posing, but merely protecting himself from dust, which is clearly quite heavy in the air behind him.

What strikes me is that in almost every article I've read on this, in English and French, the mask is said to evoke the character Ghost from the Call of Duty video game....a game that's been in the news quite a bit lately.  Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, for example was said to be have played it obsessively.

Interesting that once again the press is linking real and imaginary violence so quickly.

I'm a fairly pacifist guy, so I don't go around glorifying war or soldiers, but hell, their job sucks, they have to kill people.  Why not, as William Burroughs explained regarding the title of Naked Lunch, let everyone see exactly what it is on the end of the fork....or rifle, as it were.

What do people think the French doing in Mali, anyway, building latrines and teaching hygiene?

Like an old LoS pal once remarked about the totenkopf on SS uniforms.  "Hey, at least they were putting it right out front there."  Not comparing the French army to the SS, mind you, but hell, let's not candy-coat the facts.  In an age where we've sanitized war reporting, where in the US they tried to ban the images of coffins coming home at Dover  for concerns of "sensitivity" and "privacy"--not of course out of the fear people would see concretely what it's all about and start to question why.

The totenkopf, btw, features in a wide variety of military insignia.  Wikipedia shows a variety of pre-Nazi (18th, 19, 20th century) uses from France, Spain, Prussia and Poland.  Even the USAF 400th Missile Squadron used a totenkopf with crossed missiles as an alternative insignia up until 2005 or so.  The photo you can see on the Wikipedia pages even includes a death's head scarf or ascot of some kind.

Why?  Cuz it's badass, that's why.  Why do you think pirates used it?  If you're going into battle, why not look fearsome?  Easier than painting yourself blue like some latter-day Pict!

Personally, if the French military are serious about rooting out al-Qaeda fighters, they should probably spend more energy looking for 'em than searching for this guy in a skull scarf.  If they're so concerned about their image, I'd suggest re-thinking the stupid raids they do every once in while that either lead to the deaths of their commandos (Somalia, 2013), or the hostages they're supposed to rescue (Niger, 2011).

SS-Gruppenführer Hans Heinrich Lammers , 1938, looking all Nazi n' shit


  1. An old pal who goes by the moniker Winston Smith sends the following. Apparently, hios comments on Blogger don't stick....seems like Blogger's full of bugs lately. Anyhow, an interesting read.

    Winston Smith: The official story for the mission itself is "not representative of action by France in Mali." Pepe Escobar's story sketches out the high points, but Mali is just the latest episode on the ongoing gravy train the French-Anglo-American industrial-military-security-contractor-media complex like to call the global war on terror.

    "The French knew that their intervention in Libya would lead to a return of the pro-Qaddafi military Tuareg to Mali. They also planned the release of Libyan arms stockpiles across the Sahel band. The project is to transform the region into a new Afghanistan, the result of long-term planning."

    War on terror forever

  2. From the article:

    "Students of the Vietnam War will be the first to note that sending "advisers" was the first step of the subsequent quagmire. And on a definitely un-Pentagonese ironic aside, the US over these past few years did train Malian troops. A lot of them duly deserted. As for the lavishly, Fort Benning-trained Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, not only did he lead a military coup against an elected Mali government but also created the conditions for the rise of the Islamists."

    From a recent commen I made:

    "Seeing as the CIA trained and paid Hussein, Bin Laden, the Taliban, we have to wonder if they are either a) grossly incompetent or b) very competently creating the future enemy that will justify enormous spending, war for oil, a reduction of civil liberties etc. When's that CIA film gonna come out?"

  3. I noticed the requisite hidden hand in the pic as well.

    1. I didn't register that. Like Napoleon....

    2. Jason, I came across this page looking for "hidden hand" photos and jumped when I saw an image of Gwynplaine! Next to him was a photo of Victor Hugo with a hidden hand. The text.

      In the mid-nineteenth century, French writer Victor Hugo (author of Les Miserables) cut a huge swath in occult circles. Here we see the mystical minded Hugo giving a clear hand sign of Masonic Luciferian design. It was Victor Hugo who wrote the story, "The Man Who Laughs," about a boy whose face had been horribly shaped into a permanent smile by fiendish cosmetic butchers.

      The grotesque tale was the basis for Batman's "Joker" character. It was alleged that Victor Hugo was not only a Rosicrucian but was also Grand Master of the occultic order known as the Priory of Sion

      I don't know why the author singled out this novel, though.

  4. More from Winston:

    U.S. to Expand Role in Africa

    And in another quote:

    "First a handful of advisers, then the Marines, then an army half a million. That was the Vietnam War."


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