I think seeing the consequences of war is crucial for making sound judgments about the necessity of war. How in any reasoning process can you make
sound judgments about something that you have no real understanding of? "3000 dead" does not mean anything to a person. It is a number, on a
piece of paper, and compared to the larger numbers of people killed in previous wars, it seems to some to be not that big a sacrifice.
However, as Joseph Stalin is reported to have said;
"The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."
I have seen studies, that I cannot currently find online, but have read in journals, that show that human beings do not respond emotionally in the
same way to overwhelming numbers of victims , but rather to people, individuals, that they can identify with. In the study, someone was much more
likely to help if a story was told about ONE person or families suffering than if they were just given information about large numbers of victims of
war, or a natural disaster.
Seeing individual people, individual bodies, knowing that these are humans just like us, that have families, hopes, dreams, feelings, suffering,
driving that knowledge home to those of us who have never experienced the horror of war and its aftermath IS important.
There is a very good psychological reason these images are not shown in the news media. A "mistake" was made in the Vietnam war as far as the PTB
are concerned. Images of death and suffering American soldiers and Vietnamese were all over the media and this allowed the American people to
identify with them as people. And, this in turn led to activism on the part of the people to stop it.
Photographs have the power to capture an event and burn it into our collective memory. Photographs can trap history in amber, preserving a
fleeting moment for future generations to re-experience. Photographs can evoke powerful emotions and shape the way the public understands the world
and interprets events. Each of these pictures played a role in turning American public opinion against the Vietnam War. But pictures never tell the
full story. By focusing on a single image, they omit the larger context essential for true understanding.
Although pictures can be used to distort public opinion, the omission of images of the "other side of the issue" is also a distortion of public
opinion. The mainstream media had no problem showing over and over and over again people jumping from the Twin Towers, or the suffering that caused.
It suited them to do so. But it sharply curtailed images of the suffering we caused in the Iraq war either to our own people, the soldiers, or the
That is my objection. I flinch too when I see a mutilated body. But if I pay the taxes that support the military might that causes the mutilated
body, I feel that I SHOULD see what my money and my vote is paying for. We should be aware of what our government does, or the governments of our
allies. My objection is that by censoring images you allow people to read threads about war, and discuss war, in protected ignorance. The careless
and callous comments about how "they" get what they deserve, is, in my opinion the outcome of letting victims become statistics rather than
I dont expect that my opinion will change policy, but I feel it is my duty as a human being to speak out against the sugar coating of violence.
Obviously I will abide by the T&C, but I am making my protest known, and thank you for asking for reasoning instead of just telling me to suck it up
and deal with it. I know you do not make policy, and this is not an attack on you or anyone individually. I know you get pressure from individuals
who WANT to live in ignorance rather than face the discomfort of reality.
[edit on 7-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]