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Is it wrong to watch 'war porn'?
Some say Americans are developing an addiction to graphic online war videos. Should we look away — or is war something we need to see?  
'War porn often shows the death of Iraqi and Afghan people. But do we want to see it?
'War porn often shows the death of Iraqi and Afghan people. But do we want to see it?
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cholars have identified America's latest internet addiction — "war porn." That's what soldiers and academics call combat-footage videos of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan showing graphic violence and death. Such clips were once an underground phenomenon, but academics say the leaked photos from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison fueled public appetite. Now hundreds of thousands of Americans are turning to the web for the occasional war-porn fix. Is it wrong to watch these videos, or do they serve a purpose? (Watch an example of '"war porn")

We have a duty to watch these videos: Apparently, many people enjoy watching these images of carnage, "unfathomable humiliation, and abuse" as "pornography," says David Swanson at AlterNet. But those of us who don't — most of us, let's hope — should watch anyway, to understand "the true story of what this war is about and what all wars are about."
"Iraq's war porn"

Come off it — this isn't about education: Americans who pore over these videos on iPhones or home computers "don't generally do it for the information; they do it because it's entertainment," says Wired for War author P.W. Singer, quoted in Newsweek. "That's the porn part of it. The soldiers use the word because they know there's something wrong with it."

War porn is "snuff": War porn truly went mainstream in April when the WikiLeaks video depicting U.S. helicopter troops killing Iraqis went viral, says Susannah Breslin in True/Slant. That footage provoked plenty of "outrage," but commentators' "haughty indignation" only veiled the real problem: Our apparent "collective interest in watching what amounts to a snuff film."
"An appetite for snuff"

This problem is bigger than a few websites: No one loves this kind of footage, says the military blog Mudville Gazette, more than the mainstream "news" business, which gets a ratings boost whenever they employ it, too. That has to stop: War porn not only "inspires others to go out and create more war porn," it serves as propaganda for the people we're fighting.
"War porn (Part 2)"

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