06 July 2008


From the Series Iraq Raid. Photograph © Zoriah Miller

It has been a while since I posted on the complexities surrounding the practice of "embedding" photographers and other journalists with military units. This is not a black and white matter - especially given how dangerous war zones have become. (They obviously always have been dangerous, but it seems to me that photographers and journalists are increasingly considered legitimate targets of violence and abduction.) Nor is it obvious to me why we draw a sharp distinction between photographers who are embedded with military units and those embedded with, say, NGOs or other government or corporate agencies.

All of that said, here is a report from Alternet detailing the asymmetries unavoidable for any journalist of photographer embedded with the U.S. military. In this case the photographer is Zoriah Miller, one of whose terrific images I've included above. You may also find this essay - "Embedded in Iraq," by Michael Massing- in the NYRB relevant to thinking about this practice more generally.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I read the Miller embed photograph we have a young Iraqi observing two US soldiers in the next room. One of the soldiers has arms raised above his shoulders as if he has lifted something and is about to strike an object before him. Just ahead of him there appears to be a motor bike or scooter. The second soldier looks on as the first prepares to act.
Question: If my reading is correct, what military purpose is being served by an attempt to strike or damage the private transportation of an Iraqi citizen. Is this not just vandalism? Perhaps once we get this sorted out we can move on to the larger question of significant birth defects amoung newborn in Falluja due to the US miltary use of depleted uranium weapons and then perhaps we can proceed to questions over why it is that no offcial government authority is even attempting to count the total number of deaths associated with this conflict and perhaps once we answer those questions we can begin to study the legal basis for the conflict and the much greater question of who bears culpabilty. After Nuremberg the German people were rebuked by the peoples of the world for taking no action against their government for its heinious actions. Should the world not so rebuke the American people?

08 July, 2008 10:44  

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