It has been noted repeatedly that within 48 hours of the horrific Virginia Tech massacre, five car bombs killed 147 people on the streets of Baghdad. Killings that were no less senseless and tragic, eliciting few public displays of empathy in the United States. Without minimizing the tragedy in Virginia, the two disparate responses forces us to interrogate the absence of empathy in the current context of an indefinite war on "terror". I selected this clip based both on the images of the violence of the war in Iraq set to the popular medley by Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole as well as the comments posted on YouTube in reaction to Iraqi Death Count; although there are many posts expressing outrage against the war, what caught my interest was the familiar logic of arguments made by those like 26seekr who writes "Fuck you guys, of corse theres (sic) going to be civilian casualties, people blow themselves up and then blame it on Americans". Even for those against the war, it remains awkwardly "un-American" to openly empathize with the Iraqi victims of war. In the classroom, the rationale for the war is overwhelmingly questioned, the role of the US media in blindly supporting the invasion initially is also discussed critically along with what this has meant for the fate of "our" troops. But when it comes to the mounting violence in Iraq today, it is "their" doing: the Sunnis and Shiites, primordial hatreds that might have been inflamed by "us," but ultimately "their" issue. This is a more often than not a shared point of view across both liberal and conservative students alike. Media studies students, growing in numbers, across the US are likely to confront how the US media covers war, particularly the illegal invasion of and on-going war in Iraq. Even today, with public discourse shifting against the administration's support of the war, there remains limited US mainstream media attention on the war’s impact on Iraqi civilians. It is not surprising given the entrenched history of selective censorship of US involvement in the ugly and brutal "hot" wars that raged across the Third World during the Cold War, techniques which were then modernized and perfected in the post-Cold War era through Gulf War One. In this context, how do we read the impact of freely available—free that is for those in the world with sufficient cultural capital and broadband access to download youtube videos—videos and images like this? While new media scholars studying the video file-sharing phenomenon are likely to disagree with political economists pointing to the fate of other "revolutionary" media of the twentieth century, my interest here is different. It is not simply the fact that many of the students that I teach in a large public US university readily admit that they have never thought of what the war has meant from the Iraqi perspective, a problem that can be solved with more information. This could include, perhaps, these images that visualize the findings of a 2006 Johns Hopkins University study that estimated 600 000 civilian deaths since the invasion of Iraq. It is a more chilling fact that many (most?) US students today, whether they are for or against the war, simply cannot empathize with the humiliation, violence and death of Iraqis, a direct result of being the beneficiaries of a longer hidden history of empire.