Friday, August 17, 2007


Michael Yon brings us this:

"While we sleep, enemies define us.
Please read:"

This is a NY Times article regarding the infamous photograph of "the hooded man" at Abu Ghraib. You may know or not know that the man who originally claimed to be that prisoner, was not. The article is about that, but also about photography and perceptions.

"One human rights worker suggested that it made no difference whether Clawman was really the Hooded Man – that his testimony was no less valid.
I do not agree. Now we are talking about reality – not about photographs."

Beyond this article, there is something I always wanted to say about the photographs from Abu Ghraib. There wasn't a person I knew of that wasn't disgusted with the whole thing. The left seemed to want to paint the whole military and war with this isolated incident and the right were angry that they were doing so.

But the photograph of the hooded man, just like the photograph on my sidebar of the soldier cradling the Iraqi child, does define this war. We all live with two sides, don't we? I think most of you are like me. You live your life trying to be as good of a person as you can. But we are still sinful creatures. We still make mistakes. Some of us make awful life changing mistakes that cause such grief, not only for ourselves, but for those we love. But for most of us, most of the time, we manage to be good, do good.

The war has been like that. Our military is not perfect, they are flesh and blood. They are a part of both photographs. One being a dark insidious side and one being a compassionate heart filled caring side. And like most of us, the dark side is not a big part of who we are. It is the part we resist. But it is there.

To the NY Times I would say that it is as important to show the "reality" of the good, as it is to show the bad. Then maybe we can judge this war with more fairness. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. What thousands of words have focused on the dark side? And what thousands have focused on the compassionate side? I think the former could fill a library.