Graphic photographs of war
This is from an article in the New York Times regarding the publishing/not publishing the photographs of war - the photographs of the wounded and dead - that IS war. I was for years after President Bush made the very bad, in my opinion, call to invade Iraq and install democracy - furious that there were no photographs of the soldiers that had given their lives for their country on the front, or even the back page, of any newspaper. It was not allowed. Read your history man! Hiding the dead does not make them any less dead.
-from the article: "Mr. Kamber added: “People have attacked me for being unpatriotic for publishing pictures of wounded and dead Americans. I find this strange. Press control — censorship — is something that happens in Communist China, in Russia. One of the cornerstones of our democracy is freedom of the press. As journalists, we need to be able to work openly and publish photos that reflect reality so that the public and government officials have an accurate idea of what is going on. They can make decisions accordingly.”
My feeling is that these photographs should be shown. The dead not only need to be ACKNOWLEDGED but honored; and we as the backers of this war (every single voting adult) must see as closely as possible what we are doing. I am not a pacifist. I was/am totally against going into and staying in Iraq because it was THE WRONG BLOODY TARGET; Afghanistan is another matter.
One of the best examples of what the West does wrong is depicted in "Charlie Wilson's War". Yes, we must go in and kill the bad guys, protect the civilians as best we may, and establish order - but then spend the same amounts of money cleaning up our mess - winning minds and hearts with schools that teach more than one religious, zealous viewpoint, and insure rights for all citizens as long as we may.
I don't believe in "forced democracy". That's what Bush (and I do think his heart was in the right place, unlike Cheney whom I consider a very bad man, the nicest thing I can say about him) had in mind in Iraq - it didn't work there, I have never seen a time in history when it did work.
I do believe that there are a few places in the world just now where all freethinking peoples must be aware of not only the danger to the citizens but also the danger to democracy at large. Yes, I think we belong in Afghanistan, and yes I believe in Colin Powell's strategy of 'overwhelming force to take our objectives'. Don't send our soldiers in handicapped.
No, I don’t think we can force democracy, but yes I think we can hold enough control over a country to make it safe for women to walk the streets as they please, to attend school, to keep weapons out of the hands of young children and give them text books and teachers instead. If after our best shot, democracy in some form (the people’s choice remember?) does not flourish or just begin, then pull the hell out.
Above all I believe anyone can be against a war, for the soldiers, and remain as patriotic as the most hate mongering, screaming, Coulter, Beck, et al.
If we are condoning this war, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, then we are responsible for every son and daughter that does not come back home; and we need to see it, to see them – to know the true cost of war is in blood not dollars.
That's what I think.
If you like my latest article for Power Room Graffiti is here.