Beginning with an account of how 6-year old Lamiamh Ali was killed in Iraq on April 23, 2003 from an illegal American cluster bomb, Salon editor Gary Kamiya writes on the unseen war in Iraq:
"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.Yet how are we served as taxpayers and "defenders of freedom" when we're clueless about the carnage involved in our support or opposition to war? Few American papers show the destruction of war; even fewer show the toll in American lives. It puts a photographer in a tough spot, as Stephanie Sinclair, who took the photo above, says: "God, it's relentless. It's hard to look at. People have no idea what's happening in Iraq. You wonder, even as a photographer, if you're being gratuitous by photographing some of this. At the same time, as horrific as it is to see, people should know how horrific it is to live it every day. We should feel some sort of responsibility to make sure we have the best possible grasp of what's happening there."
To allow citizens to see war's hideous reality -- the shattered bodies, the wounded children, the incomprehensible mayhem -- is to risk eroding popular support for it.
To give people a better ideas, Salon is running a troubling series of photos of the horror over there. Admitting that it's run more columns against the war than for, Salon prefaces the documentation this way: "A picture of a dead child represents only a fragment of the truth about Iraq -- but it is one that we do not have the right to ignore. We believe we all have an ethical responsibility to those who have been killed or wounded, whether Iraqis, Americans or those of other nationalities, not to simply pretend that their fate never happened." [Viewer beware.]
(Thanks, John K.)