Sep 3, 2014

Islamic State, homicidal click-bait and the politics of snuff films

Real world violence can too often take on a false cinematic quality for those trying to understand and prevent it. It's about time we went off-script.

Shakira Hussein — Writer and academic in multiculturalism

Shakira Hussein

Writer and academic in multiculturalism

Terrorists, as much as Hollywood film studios, are driven by the need to provide a visual spectacle. The attack of September 11, 2001, might have had its origins in long-standing geopolitical fractures and short-sighted foreign policy decisions, but of course it was also every disaster movie brought gruesomely to life. Osama bin Laden's horrific re-make of The Towering Inferno lifted the bar for subsequent terrorist productions, but the directors/murderers have done their best to step up to the mark. In a world overladen with content, their work is a form of homicidal click-bait.

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4 thoughts on “Islamic State, homicidal click-bait and the politics of snuff films

  1. Mali Edon

    Unfortunately all such “terrorist” attacks seem to be left with questions unanswered by the official version.

    Take for example MH17 where there are too many bullet holes. Who would want to know that?

  2. j.oneill

    The terrorist events that you refer to, 9/11, 7/7 etc have acquired their own mythology. This is unfortunate on a number of levels. The events have been used to justify the so-called war on terror, more accurately a war of terror. They lie at the heart of massive invasions of our civil liberties and the constant desire for extensions on the powers of intrusion. They have also been used to demonise Muslims. 9/11 is a case in point. Muslims are obviously very clever people. They had a pilot whose instructor said wasn’t safe in a Cessna fly (for the first time) a Boeing 767 with all the skills of a fighter pilot. They managed to get the US Air Force to stand down for more than an hour. And not least they managed to defy the laws of physics. Unless we arse willing to look honestly at this and other terrorist acts attributed to Muslims we are in for a very long series of wars.

  3. GideonPolya

    Terrorism is as terrorism does i.e. terrorize by killing people to back an ideological agenda. IS is evidently doing barbaric things (mass executions of prisoners of war, terrorizing minorities into fleeing their homes, the barbaric beheadings). It appears that the killings by Islamic State (IS) state terrorists in Iraq so far total of the order of 1,000.In contrast, US state terrorism, UK state terrorism, French state terrorism, Italian state terrorism and Australian state terrorism are evidently committed to total destruction of the 30,000 members of IS and it seems likely that US bombing and Australia-directed drone strikes have already killed of the order of 1,000 Sunni IS fighters.

    However the greatest death toll in this new “endless” US War on Iraqis – and indeed on Arabs, Muslims, Asians, Africans , anyone they don’t like – will come from war-imposed deprivation in Iraq that the war criminal Americans have now committed to an endless civil war.

    History ignored yields history repeated. Here is a short history of Australian state terrorism involvement in Iraq – 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the British invasion of Iraq in November 1914 and the commencement of a century of Anglo devastation of Iraq . The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) assisted the British invasion of Iraq in 1915 and its soldiers unwittingly commenced the Palestinian Genocide with the Surafend Massacre in 1918. Australia was involved in the US-led 1990-2003 Sanctions War during which 1.7 million Iraqis died from imposed deprivation and 1.2 million under-5 Iraqi infants died (90% avoidably and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention and the UN Genocide Convention). Australian special forces spearheaded the illegal and war criminal US-UK invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that resulted in 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from violence (1.5 million) or violently-imposed deprivation (1.2 million) and a further 0.8 million Iraqi under-5 infant deaths (see “Iraqi Holocaust Iraqi Genocide”: ; “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide” ; and Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes an avoidable mortality-related history if every country since Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web: ).

    Of course Iraq is just 1 of 70 countries that have been invaded and devastated by the US since 1776 . The UK has invaded about 172 countries and France has invaded 80 . Australia as a UK ally or (since 1941) a US ally has invaded scores of countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia. Why are these distant, non-Muslim, non-Arab-speaking, non-Arab and serial invader, state terrorism countries re-invading Iraq? The short answer: for US hegemony, oil, and non-Russian gas for Europe.

    Decent Australians who abhor war, violence and terrorism whether state terrorism or non-state terrorism, will see through the pro-war Mainstream terror hysteria, utterly reject the pro-war, anti-Arab anti-Semitic and Islamophobic Coalition and Labor Right (aka the Lib-Lab, Liberal-Laboral) state terrorists, vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last.

  4. warwick fry

    If I had the choice I think I would prefer a nice quick clean beheading than to be waterboarded, electrocuted, and then thrown out of a helicopter.

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