The Modern (Inter-)Face of War

Many texts have been written about the influence of technology on the shape and nature of modern warfare (for example Baudrillard). Some authors like Kittler or Virilio identified war and military research as the main engine behind technological progress. How war is perceived through the eyes of real combatants can now be seen in a video uploaded on WikiLeaks on “Collateral Murder”. The clip shows how an Apache helicopter attacks a group of people in Iraq – though some of the victims carried weapons, there is no provocation detectable. Especially disputable are the cynical comments made by the Apache pilots. The incident happened three years ago. According to different sources between eight and fourteen people had been killed, among them two Iraqi Reuters journalists. Find more background information on nytimes.com. You can find the Video in a shortened 17 minute and a longer version, which is 39 minutes, on youtube, too.

This video highlights several important aspects: 1. How technology changes the perception of war, 2. How forms of censorship delay the publication of certain video material, 3. How the internet provides information classic mass media would not transport / deliver.