Last week a young man named Arid Uka murdered two U.S. airmen and wounded two others in an airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Reportedly he screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he shot them. According to John Rosenthal at Pajamas Media:
[Uka] told German police that he was motivated in part by a video that he saw showing American soldiers “plundering a house and raping a girl” in Afghanistan. According to Germany’s deputy Attorney General Rainer Griesbaum, Uka is supposed to have viewed the video on YouTube.
An Islamist propaganda video roughly matching Uka’s description is in fact to be found on YouTube. On November 20, 2010, a German-language YouTube user going by the name “24jasmina” uploaded the video under the title “American Soldiers Rape our Sisters! Awake Oh Ummah.”
Here’s the clip. Be warned, it’s very rough stuff:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqY3byKolSA
Just one problem: this is a scene from Brian De Palma’s 2007 film Redacted, which was shot on video documentary-style. As Slate’s Fred Kaplan wrote in 2007:
The film’s structure is very clever. Rather than making a straight drama, as he did with Casualties of War (his similarly themed Vietnam movie of 18 years ago), De Palma designs Redacted to look like a pastiche of documentary footage covering an American unit in Iraq—some of it seemingly shot by a French news crew, some by a soldier who aspires to be a film student, some taken from jihadist clips on the Internet, but, in fact, all of it staged with actors and shot by De Palma…
The key scene comes when two of the Americans—both psychopaths, one fatter than any active-duty combat Marine or soldier would be allowed to be—decide, late one night, to go rape and kill a teenage girl they’ve seen walking along their patrol route every day and, while they’re at it, to murder her family. (The aspiring film student comes along with a helmet-mounted camera equipped with a night-viewing lens.)
The scene, as expected, is horrible. But because the Iraqis are ciphers and the rapist-murderers are cartoon villains (while doing the deed, one of them even goes, “Hooo-wha-ha-ha-ha-ha!“), it evokes no emotion—certainly not the rage that De Palma is trying to elicit.
No? Guess it depends on the audience.
Considering we live in a world where putting a crosshairs symbol on a map can cause a mass murder — even if the murderer never actually saw the map — will Brian De Palma be held accountable for making this young man kill American soldiers? If not, why not?
(Hat tip: Instapundit)