Monday, November 03, 2014


This Daily Mail story is getting attention on the right:
A sickening photo has emerged social media showing a toddler kicking the severed head of a dead soldier in Syria.

The toddler's father is believed to be an avid Islamic State supporter and is wearing a camouflage military style baseball cap on his head.

The father can be seen smiling with delight in the photo as he watches his innocent child kick the severed head.


Yeah, that's the difference between barbarian savages and good, decent people like us -- we would never exult in a thing like this with loved ones.

Oh, wait -- there was this:

Natalie Nickerson, 20, gazes at a skull -- reportedly of a Japanese soldier -- sent to her from New Guinea by her boyfriend serving in the Pacific. (May 22, 1944, issue of LIFE, p. 35.)
More, from Life magazine's archive site:
So much about this picture is a mystery. We don't know what the young women in it was thinking. We don't know what became of the skull -- or, indeed, what became of the young woman herself, or the man who sent it to her as a "gift" from the Pacific in the midst of World War II.

We only know what LIFE magazine's editors wrote about the photo, taken by Ralph Crane (later a staff photographer for LIFE) when they featured it as a Picture of the Week in the May 22, 1944, issue:
When he said goodbye two years ago to Natalie Nickerson, 20, a war worker of Phoenix, Ariz., a big, handsome Navy lieutenant promised her a Jap. Last week Natalie received a human skull, autographed by her lieutenant and 13 friends, and inscribed: "This is a good Jap -- a dead one picked up on the New Guinea beach." Natalie, surprised at the gift, named it Tojo. The armed forces [LIFE pointedly noted] disapprove strongly of this sort of thing.
Others who've written about this say reader response was overwhelmingly negative, so that's something. And some Americans have since tried to make amends. (In a 2010 story from Maine, a gun dealer buys a skull with the handwritten label "1945 Jap Skull Okinawa" from a fellow gun dealer and sets out to repatriate it to Japan; he says it was probably found in a burial crypt that U.S. troops used as shelter, and the young woman whose skull it was may well have died decades earlier.)

But still -- in World War II, Americans treated Japanese skulls this way. Non-Westerners have no monopoly on dehumanizing enemies.


Philo Vaihinger said...

Alas, poor Yorick.

Victor said...

And the German's, once one of Europe's most advanced civilizations, dehumanized Jews, and made lampshades and soap out of them.

Aunt Snow said...

Even more recently, US soldiers were convicted of defiling bodies of Afghani war dead, and posing for photos with them.

cityspiders said...

Human nature: When you do it, it's a Crime Against Humanity. When we do it, it's justified and acceptable.

John Taylor said...

Once you reduce your enemy to non-human status, this stuff becomes easy.

Ken_L said...

Lots of conservatives whoop n holler about the joys of killing Muslims, but get all squeamish when they see an actual killing. For some reason it's regarded as perfectly moral to rejoice at the deaths of your enemies in an abstract sense that dehumanises them, but it's the height of barbaric savagery to express that joy up close and personal. A bit like Himmler I guess, who vomited and almost fainted the only time he went and watched some Jews being killed.

All very strange but I don't pretend to understand the mentality of anyone who applauds killing.

Philo Vaihinger said...

cityspiders has it backwards.

Roger said...

"The toddler's father is believed to be an avid Islamic State supporter and is wearing a camouflage military style baseball cap on his head."

The Daily Mail is believed to be printed using Ebola-contaminated shit for ink.

You know who also wears a camouflage baseball cap? Those inbred Duck Dynasty crackers.