This article is an attempt to show the reality of the "War on Terror" - a reality as it plays out for those affected by it, rather than the simulation of war that is so often presented by the mainstream media (MSM). I'm choosing to use images rather than words, in my hope that ten images will be worth at least ten thousand words.
The images of war that are presented to us are coming mostly from reporters that are embedded. Although it may be argued that embedding reporters allows greater access to information for them, the truth is that embedding is a form of censorship. All reporters have to sign consent forms accepting certain terms and conditions and what they can report on is closely monitored. When Lt. Col. Rick Long of the U.S. Marine Corps was asked about this his reply was: "Frankly, our job is to win the war. Part of that is information warfare. So we are going to attempt to dominate the information environment."
With these thoughts in mind let's see how the "War on Terror" is affecting people.
This image is from the blog The Last Minute Blog (dot com). It shows an image of George Bush's face made up of the faces of dead American soldiers. (All the dead here have died in Iraq.)
The post for this entry on The Last Minute Blog is about the moment the American death toll hit 3,000 - December 2006 (which of course does not take into account those who have died since the war from injuries sustained during it).
The image was taken by Zoriah. It shows a dead American soldier lying on a floor in Fallujah, Iraq from a suicide attack. Zoriah posted this image on his blog and was ordered to remove it by the US Army. After he refused, his "embed" status was taken away from him and he had to leave Iraq.
Introducing the series of images on his blog, Zoriah wrote:“What I saw was abhorrently graphic, yet far too important for the world to ignore. I present images that provide an uncensored view of a terrible event, and some small measure of dignity to those who lost their lives.”
I'm not sure where I cam across this image first. I know it had something to do with a Robert Fisk website and I published it on a blog I used to keep (and often mean to get back to).
It shows a baby killed during the bombing of Iraq in March 2003. Shock and Awe? Certainly shocking and awful. SHAME on the killer.
The image also features on Empire Burlesque.
As Howard Zinn said: "Whatever is told to you about war and how we must go to war, and whatever the threat is or whatever the goal is—a democracy or liberty—it will always be a war against children. They’re the ones who will die in large numbers."
Above is an image of the head of a man beheaded in Iraq. No amount of oil, ideology, or Islam justifies such horror - and no further comment is needed to describe the image (and if it is, words fail me).
I came across the image on the site Please Stop War
, which is a man's simple plea: ""WAKE UP" and STOP KILLING EACH OTHER!"
The image above shows a soldier from the Northern Alliance standing amongst the bodies of dead Taliban. It comes from the site Constitution Club and the post A breakdown of US and enemy casualties in Iraq.
It's interesting to note that more bombs were dropped on Afghanistan in the first six months of 2008 than in the whole of 2006 and most of 2007 combined, according to John Pilger.
The dead Iraqi in the above image was taken from the blog of John Mitchell (Letters Nobody Will Print), who in turn took it and some more from The Nausea. Scroll down to the entry for Saturday June 16th 2006 for more images.
Ali Ismaeel Abbas, the boy above, is a victim of cluster bombs dropped on Baghdad. The image is taken from Jefooi.
Human Rights Watch
said it was appalled the U.S. military could have dropped cluster bombs in civilian areas of Baghdad, an act it described as a possible violation of international law.
This image is a still from the Film "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" by Rory Kennedy. It is taken from an interview with the filmaker, showing a man shackled to his prison cell bars.
Is this what western "justice" has amounted to for Iraqis?
In the image above you will see the aftermath of victims of a White Phosphorous Chemical Weapons attack in Fallujah, Iraq. The images were taken from Mindprod.
If this, and the other images from the linked page, became the normalised images of war, I believe the war could stop overnight and we'd go a long way towards ensuring that war is, as Albert Einstein called for, "abolished".
Michael Greenwell writes in his blog: 'I am listening to Blair’s last Prime Minister’s Questions and most of the MPs are falling over themselves to congratulate him. Let’s not forget that according to the UN the waging of an aggressive war is “essentially an evil thing…to initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”'
The image above accompanies this blog entry.
This image is taken from the No World Systems blog under the headline: Marines Ordered To Execute Civilians In Nazi-Like Slaughter
Steven Watson writes: "With evidence having emerged that marines were ordered by superiors to massacre women and children in Haditha in Iraq two years ago, combined with scores of other testimonies and reports of such barbaric demands being forced upon American troops daily, it is clear that organised execution and ritual slaughter is the set policy of the architects of aggression in the middle east."
Having seen these images start/continue agitating against the war. Keep blogging, keep writing, keep protesting, keep educating, keep on keeping on.
As Howard Zinn says: "Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because that’s how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and then something good and something important happens."
Mark Conroy, August 2008.