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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Knucklehead Brigade

Among the minions of nutters on the net with misguided notions of last year's war over South Ossetia, are the photo savants, who behind their computers, can judge whether a war image has been faked or staged. Most of these conspiracy theorists are neither photographer nor journalist and therefore know nothing about optics and perspective, let alone what a war zone or humanity is like.

The iconic images of the Gori apartment bombing on August 9th became a prime target for pro-Russian websites and blogs, like russia_insider, that insisted the photos were faked to serve some propaganda agenda. Then the story was picked up by some smarty-pants western journalists and exploited, like David Axe's story in Wired, in which a photographer of insects analyzes the images. Next thing you know, every left-wing Bush hating blog has an opinion. As if it weren't enough to show what Russian aircraft really did in Georgia, Tbilisi and its big western brother had to create it. These experts know. They were at their computers when the bombs were flying.

"I thought these pictures were fake the moment I saw them. What bullshit. I am so disgusted to be an American right now. This is what they want though, to make u s so sick that we give up. Fuck the corporate media," says Meathook on uruknet.

From russia_insider:

"Now on this picture we see a crying man and a body in his hands. But look closely! This is the same checkered shirt, same trousers and shoes, the same person. So does it mean that the crying man took the body brought it some place else? Hardly so, this is just one of the participants of the show. And again if you look close enough you can notice that the guy crying is the person in black from the previous picture."

He's calling the tragic death of Zviad Razmadze "a show." Zaza Razmadze is holding his brother, and is clearly not the man in a black shirt in the previous photo. Fools like russia_insider are supposed to have us believe that Zaza found his dead brother Zviad among the rubble, minutes after the airstrike and a Reuters photographer came along and asked Zaza, "Hey, could you move that body over there, for a better picture."

Then some joker Gregory Freidin from the Stanford Department of Slavic languages & literatures posts one of Justyna Mielnikiewicz's war images and calls it faked based on this brilliant observation:

"The photo shows a large framed poster of George W. Bush hanging askew in a Georgian house apparently damaged by a Russian bomb. What makes it appear staged is that the poster is hanging above a sliding glass door, not a wall."

Yes, Georgian villages are full of sliding glass doors, just like in the Bay Area. And I thought only smart people went to Stanford. The Slavic language academic and interior decorator goes on to imagine what Georgians must be thinking:

"The message, perhaps the dominant view in Georgia today, is that conflict in Georgia represents a personal humiliation for George W. Bush and a national humiliation for the US for allowing Georgia, a US friend and proxy, to be defeated by the Russians."

Those of us not gifted with transcontinental telepathic powers must rely on actually conversing with people to find out what's on their mind.

Recklessly discrediting the work of respected photographers is witless enough, but when these denunciations involve the victims of the war and the people that continue to mourn them, it is downright obscene.


Hans Gutbrod said...

absolutely right, these interventions were sadly misplaced. Sliding glassdoors??? Has that person ever set foot in a post-Soviet apartment? they may exists, but I certainly haven't seen one.

And of course, the assertions about how Georgians evaluate the conflict are made up, and do not in any way relate to any of the findings we have had in our research.