Friday, August 31, 2007

Redacted, DePalma: Pictures Will End This War

Editor and Publisher has a story on a new film directed by Brian Depalma called Redacted. Depalma has made a film documenting the images from the Iraq war which the mainstream media refuse to publish. The images are out there if you know where to look, but the mainstream media will not touch them with a ten foot pole.

I spend a decent amount of time bopping about the intertubes, and every now and then a picture will come across the screen which really sticks with me. I know where to go to see the gore and body parts... and those pictures have a certain shocking quality. But before reading the Depalma article I stumbled over a picture which has been haunting me all day:

This picture for me is so expressive of exactly what is so freaking wrong about having our Army in Iraq. You see this little girl, postitively traumatized... I know life as she knows it has just ended, and she faces the rest of her life with a sorrow that I can not begin to fathom... I don't know the circumstances that led to that instant when the camera captured her utter despair, but I do know this. If my nation were not occupying her homeland then I would not have to be haunted by her terrible image. I do feel in some very small way lessened by this, and I want to just rage at those responsible for bringing us to this pass. (BTW, I found this picture on the blog Sysyphus)

That picture reminds me of another from the early days of the war:

I've been haunted by this picture for years. This was the picture splashed across the rest of the worlds media in January of 2005... while American media were focused on the inauguration festivites of President George Bush. This picture was taken in the city of Tal Afar. In just over one year from the time this picture was taken President Bush would be citing Tal Afar as a great example of success for the cause of Democracy and Peace in Iraq. I wonder if this little girl and the rest of her surviving family feel that way?

This war is a needless atrocity. I could post pictures on this obscure little blog showing charred flesh and brain splattered gore that would shock your senses. But for me these two snapshots, which show no gore beyond bloodstains, are more powerful in their effect. I just wonder if the President has ever been shown these images?

While I'm on the kick of posting images here which have affected me in the course of this war, here is another, and this one is iconic. Chances are that you have already seen this photo on several occasions:

This is a picture of Seargant Ty Ziegel, 24, taken on the day he was married to Renée Kline, 21. For all I know, Seargant Ziegel and/or Ms. Kline may be the biggest hawks on the homefront regarding the Iraq war. But this photograph is so very evocative, bringing home for me the terrible costs of this war on many American families, now and that are yet to be. The interaction between the two principles in this shot can be read in so many ways.

Nina Berman won the prestigious World Press Photo competition with this image.

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