War as a reality show

I’m not sure what to think about today’s New York Times story about videos of Americans being attacked and killed in Iraq going onto — and then off of — YouTube. Like Fred Wilson, I believe in free speech and in the notion that more information is always better for democracy than less. On the other hand, I fear that my making these snipers and terrorists video stars, it will only inspire them to kill more; it adds another motive to the crime. And they are video stars already. I was sitting next to Zeyad in a train station this morning (on our way to the Online News Association confab in Washington) and he was surprised that we don’t see these videos; he said they are on Iraqi TV and Al Jazeera every day. If they were seen here, I’m also not sure what the reaction would be. Some would use them to bolster arguments to get out. Others would use them as arguments to fight harder and get these fuckers. In either case, the ones who are being used are the soldiers.