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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Jonathan Revusky on ISIS breast ripper


There is a story about ISIS using some special metal instrument to clip or bite women's breasts. In some version of the story, the women were breastfeeding in public. In other versions, it's because of a failure to completely cover the body, I think one version is that the woman was not wearing gloves (!)

As you know, I've made it something of a life project to develop higher Bullshit Detection Quotient, and I immediately suspected, even assumed that the story was bullshit. In fact, I wrote a sarcastic comment (#8) after the story.

In that comment, I wondered whether anybody had a picture or drawing of this object called "the biter", used to slice women's tits. I forget when exactly, at most a month ago, I came across an article in the Daily Mail detailing the same story.

But this article actually contains a picture of the horrid instrument in question, the "biter"! It's the second image on the page. Actually, let me embed it right here:

Now, in Google Chrome, you can right-click on an image and just do a google image search. Just right-click the above image and choose "Search google for image". The top two results containing this photo are the wikipedia page for the "breast ripper"

and the next one is some page devoted to the most gruesome medieval torture instruments,

The "Breast Ripper" is number 2 actually, one above the rack!

So, this is the instrument used (currently!) by ISIS to cut up women's titties in Mosul, Iraq, a museum piece of some instrument in Europe back in the time of the inquisition or something. Did they go off and break into some medieval torture museum in Germany to get their hands on one of these tit-slicing devices?

Even before finding this image and seeing what it was from the Google image search, I had very great doubts about the story. You see, I look at it this way. If they said that ISIS entered some town and raped every woman they came across, I could believe that pretty easily. Even then, it might not be true, but I am a man and can relate to it. A mass rape story, I don't condone it or anything, but I understand it. This story of gouging women's tits, just like the bayoneting Belgian babies story, has a strong feel of war propaganda about it. Like, if you think about it a bit, why would they do that? Obviously, any woman you do that to, that's somebody's sister or somebody's mother, a childhood friend... any occupying army that did this would automatically be making enemies of so many people utterly gratuitously, no?

In any case, the story is obviously designed to rile people up. Like the bayoneting babies or whatever. Males are programmed to be protective of females and such a story is, of course, meant, quite crudely, to push our buttons, no?

I believe pretty strongly, at maybe the 98% level or so that you could go to Mosul, Iraq and ask as many people as you want about this "Breast Ripper" instrument and ISIS using it to tear up women's tits, and nobody would know WTF you are talking about. This is a narrative constructed for a Western audience.

The "Breast Ripper" story is just part of a general narrative that exists to vilify Arabs and Muslims generally. What is striking about it is that, at least from the Daily Mail article, where they provide this photo, anybody can just right-click on the photo and do the Google image search and see that this is a medieval torture instrument. The people behind this wanted to include a picture, but of course there is none, because nobody is slicing women's tits in Mosul, Iraq (almost certainly not...) and so they fished up the image of a medieval instrument that corresponds to that description, and then they say: "here's your breast ripper device that ISIS is using..." Now, you might be inclined to think that they would never be so sloppy as to do something that is so easily exposed, but... they are!

It's very problematic to be mirroring this kind of vile garbage. This is evil warmongering propaganda and spreading it would make one complicit morally.

[read more Jonathan Revusky at Unz Review]



Jonathan Revusky said...

Hi, Linh (and everybody else here).

I'm glad you posted this. I had been meaning to write a note about it on my own blog, but not got round to it. In any case, my own blog has practically no readership.

You know, another galling aspect of all of this is that, when you look at the articles, like the one in the Daily Mail or the Daily Caller, and you look at the comments under them, you can see that nobody expresses any doubt about these stories. Not only are there people making up this shit with absolute impunity, but just about everybody seems to believe it. I find the whole phenomenon quite disturbing. I can only imagine how I would feel about all this if I were a Muslim.

Ali said...

Hi, Jonathan,

That's one of the most troubling things; that people rarely express doubt on these sorts of stories and they immediately jump to all sorts of conclusions. Some kind of unconscious bias is confirmed and that's all there is to it. It's very heartbreaking. There are refugees who are just criminals, but *all* of them? In that case, why even bother with (Muslim) refugees? Unfalsifiable claims are made by people, and many just accept it as the truth and everyone is suddenly an expert on the psyche of all Muslims. (They are evil because they are sexually repressed!)

I observed something amusing recently. The Guardian had an article about Durham, NC recently and a reporter for a Durham newspaper read it and wrote a response: Look at the comments in the page. The Durham locals criticized the Guardian reporter for not writing accurately about Durham and for not having explored Durham locally. If these people can't trust a Guardian reporter to write accurately about a small city in the US, why then would they readily trust all those other papers that write about all these far away countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and etc?

Ali said...

Sorry, I made a typo in that last comment. I meant to say, "... for nor having explored Durham properly."


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.