Wednesday, August 24, 2005

War should be relegated to the shelves of human history, as were human sacrifices


from Saloon...
Injured U.S. soldiers sit on a cargo plane, its interior lights red because of an attack, before taking off to Germany from an air force base in Balad, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2004. Photo by Lynsey Addario/Corbis

Iraq: The unseen war

The grim reality of Iraq rarely appears in the American press. This photo gallery reveals the war's horrible human toll.
Editor's note: The following
photo gallery contains graphic and shocking images of death and devastation in Iraq.

Aug. 23, 2005 This is a war the Bush administration does not want Americans to see. From the beginning, the U.S. government has attempted to censor information about the Iraq war, prohibiting photographs of the coffins of U.S. troops returning home and refusing as a matter of policy to keep track of the number of Iraqis who have been killed. President Bush has yet to attend a single funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq.

To be sure, this see-no-evil approach is neither surprising nor new. With the qualified exception of the Vietnam War, when images of body bags appeared frequently on the nightly news, American governments have always tightly controlled images of war. There is good reason for this.


In war, a picture really is worth a thousand words. No story about a battle, no matter how eloquent, possesses the raw power of a photograph. And when it comes to war's ultimate consequences -- death and suffering -- there is simply no comparison: a photo of a dead man or woman has the capacity to unsettle those who see it, sometimes forever. The bloated corpses photographed by Mathew Brady after Antietam remain in the mind, their puffy, shocked faces haunting us like an obscene truth almost 150 years after the soldiers were cut down.
"War is hell," said Gen. Sherman, and everyone dutifully agrees. Yet the hell in Iraq is almost never shown. The few exceptions -- the charred bodies of American contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallujah, the blood-spattered little girl wailing after her parents were killed next to her -- only prove the rule.


Governments keep war hidden because it is hideous. To allow citizens to see its reality -- the shattered bodies, the wounded children, the incomprehensible mayhem -- is to risk eroding popular support for it. This is particularly true with wars that..."
the rest of the article, HERE and thanks to PAX, for the heads up

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