The War in Pictures

Checking around for recent blog entries on Kevin Sites the other night, I came across a reference to a month-old blog called “Fallujah in Pictures” (the title’s since been changed to “Iraq in Pictures”). It’s a roughly executed collection of news-service war pictures. I could do without some of the repetitive images and the heavy-handed attempts at anti-war irony (the power of the images is what they say themselves to each viewer, not the spin you try to put on them). The caveat for anyone who goes to the site is that much of what’s shown is quite graphic; not what we’re used to seeing on the news or in the paper. But that’s the main point and what makes the site valuable: To the extent we, the people care what’s happening over there, we’re getting a cleaned-up version of events. Occasionally, we’ve gotten some fine front-line reporting on our troops’ experience. Beyond that, we get precise casualty counts for our guys. We get a rough though probably unreliable accounting of the number of enemy fighters we’re killing. The press gives casualty tolls for the intensifying insurgent attacks across Iraq. We get foggy, inconclusive numbers for civilians killed in the continuing festivities. We get senior officials and military officers downplaying the extent and severity of the insurgency and pretty much refusing to talk about the impact on Iraqis unless it serves our purpose. The pictures have a way of cutting through that, and the site has a way of cutting through our news media’s reluctance to show the public the whole face of the war we’re engaged in.

The link: “Iraq in Pictures.”