Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Our Next Target. And Contact From Centcom!

Today Diego took down Wendy McElroy's photo and replaced it with this one. It's a book cover featuring a picture of a young Iraqi girl. I'm not sure if it was a genuine stroke of... intelligence that provoked him to take it from what appears to be a non-English language website. Perhaps "Diego" thought that I'd be unable to contact the owner. But Takashi Morizumi, the Japanese photojournalist does offer a profile written in English so I was able to mail him this morning.

Mr Morizumi's page on Iraq, though written in Japanese, does feature the English headline "Depleted Uranium Bullets and Economic Sanctions in IRAQ" above some rather unpleasant photos so again I doubt Mr Morizumi is going to be in much sympathy with "Diego's" site.

However it is possible that Mr Morizumi's English, while doubtless far superior to my Japanese, may not be of a level that will allow him to respond as quickly as others have done. We shall see.

Anyway I've also been in contact with the webmaster of the CPA site, to inform him of "Diego" using his flag image. Because of limitations of the feedback form on the cpa website my first contact was very brief and his response was, perhaps surprisingly not at all officialistic, and very human. He felt that the Iraqi flag was the property of all, and admitted that not all of the image he used was his original work.

My response, longer this time, was to agree that while in itself the use of the flag was a very minor thing, the fact that a CPA graphic was being used on an anti-free speech, effectively anti-Iraqi site, from which individuals from across the political spectrum have sought to distance themselves might send out a misleading impression. "Diego's" website stands in stark opposition from the image the CPA seeks, and ought to seek, to present of itself. I absolutely appreciate that the CPA webmaster is not going to want to appear to be taking sides in a blogwar, but there is the risk that by being seen to allow a link to remain while many others have taken steps to remove the link some cursory observers may garner the unfortunate impression that the CPA has taken the wrong side. I will keep you posted on any further developments.