The Many Faces of War
By Firas Al-Atraqchi
Much has been made in recent days of the controversy regarding the ethics of publishing pictures that may offend some people. However, war in of itself is offensive. It is offensive to nature, offensive to morality, and offensive to the human condition.
Poorly equipped hospitals struggle to care for injured children.
This war in particular was packaged as a done deal; a war of flowers and rice thrown at liberating armies in jubilation. It was a war that was sold without including a label as to what the ingredients may contain. Anti-war protestors vociferously called on world governments to prevent the murder of children, the murder of innocents, the damage that war inflicts on civilian infrastructure, and finally, the long-lasting effects on the environment. However, they were labelled Marxists, unpatriotic flower power goons.
"Protest Saddam's policies, why don't you," they were told.
The misery of all of this is that many in the anti-war camp did protest oppression, torture, captivity and terrorism. Only problem is that they had been doing it for years, but no one cared back then. Now, all of a sudden the focus is on Iraq.
Indeed, the focus is on Iraq and the toll it is paying. Iraqis are resisting, not because they are beguiled or intimidated by Saddam's secret police, but because they maintain 7,000 years of history, culture, civilization, and pride. Iraqis living outside who say they support this war are living in comfort and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of their homes. They have no bombs taking their children away form them or raining down on them terrifying night after night.
Ask the Iraqis in Iraq. General Al Hashimi of the 51st Brigade who had not surrendered as was initially reported told an Al Jazeera crew: "I am fighting for my country, I am fighting for my people, I am fighting for my religion and Iraq's honour." Not once did he mention Saddam, which is a poignant sign. This has gone beyond Saddam. It is about defending Iraq. It is not about defending Saddam. Iraq existed a long time before him. It remains to be seen if it will exist after he is gone.
Consequently, because war was so packaged as a Disney reality TV tour of Baghdad, the pictures you see here are more important than ever. Without them we would all continue to think a war fought far way has no bearing on us.
It does. On the human family.
And also… Photo-Essay 2: The Many Faces of War