10 September 2009

The Cost of War (4)

"In the current political mood, the friendliest to the military
in decades, the pictures of wretched hollow-eyed GIs that once
seemed subversive of militarism and imperialism may seem
inspirational. Their revised subject: ordinary American young
men doing their unpleasant, ennobling duty." ~ Susan Sontag


Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, Fallujah,
Iraq, November 2004.

World Press Photo of the Year, 2007 ~ US soldier, Korengal
Valley, Afghanistan © Tim Hetherington.

I've assigned Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others in my undergraduate course this term and today I am re-reading it in preparation for class. Since I disagree with Sontag on so many things, it seems that it is useful to note the points at which her observations seem acute. Her comment immediately brought to mind the two images I've posted here. It also allows me to follow up on an earlier post - it is not just images of death that convey the sacrifices we are imposing on young military personnel. The Iraq war was a disaster from day one. And, largely as a result, the war in Afghanistan - whatever point it initially might have had - seems to now be in the same category.

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Blogger beatriz said...

I saw the "Requiem" the traveling exhibition organized by George Eastman House. My response to the depiction of the horrors of war was "there is nothing more pointless than war." The strong point of the exhibition is that north Vietnamese photographers are included.


10 September, 2009 13:14  

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