War photography

 wounded-400.jpg

A wounded Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell fired from an 82-millimeter recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007… REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly  

I’m writing to express my gratitude at Finbarr O’Reilly’s compelling photographs which I saw in today’s New York Times online. O’Reilly must have been very, very close to the fighting to acquire those photographs, at great risk to himself.

The photograph of the wounded Canadian soldier, on his knees, crawling for cover, made my stomach seize. The ripple of emotions included riveting attention, painful recognition of another person in pain, satisfied absorption of the beauty of the image (and I apologize to anyone offended by that notion), and instant recognition of the immense iconic value to humans. I had to give a shout out at how powerful that 4 x 5 inch image on my screen is.

As an artist, I seek out and am drawn to “images that work” and I want to say thank you for your work. Please watch your ass.

Dan

Thanks for noticing. I draw your attention to a slideshow of Finbarr O’Reilly’s recent work.  GBU Editor

5 comments

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How come after all these years of war, we the people have not seen any close up photos of the dead babies and children? What about all the mutalated kids photos? How come the media never shows those?

I know that since over a million people are dead now in Iraq because of our good intentions, that there must have been plenty of opportunity for our corporate owned media to present some photos to us.

Do you think it might be that since 90% of our media is controlled by people like Rupert Murdock who have arch-conservative agenda aligned with Mr.Bush, that they don’t want us to see the carnage we are producing? Photos might give us some real moral reflection.

The main thing I don’t understand is this; In all those soldier photos, who are they defending?
I know they’re defending themselves from being shot at but I mean: since Iraq never attacked our country, they can’t be defending us from them.

I know that Osama bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia and he’s not Iraqi, so our troops can’t be defending us from Iraqis.

We all know that the strategic terrorist that took down the Trade Towers were trained right here on US soil, so what are we doing over there?

I understand that 50,000 Americans die in violent crime every 15 months on our city streets.

It sure would be nice if we could get our own house in order before we go around the world destroying people to make them accept our way of life.

Norman G.

Posted by Norman Grochowski | Report as abusive

I think a bigger issue than showing more carnage on the news is to show pictures of how deep in the quagmire our military has become. Now we even have Iran saying that we support terrorist cells in the Middle East by not taking care of the Rebel Kurdish problem that is plaguing Turkey.

Could it be that we are so busy getting our rears kicked in every other part of Iraq that we do not have time to go north of Baghdad (and I doubt we could get anywhere north of Baghdad or even outside of the Green Zone anyway even if we wanted to) because we are too busy with the homegrown terrorists we have fostered in the rest of the country of Iraq?

Anyway, as I have personally believed since the war began, we are going to have to eat this mistake in the history books for a long time to come. Turkey has a right to defend itself from a percieved threat just as the United States has a right to. So, to say they have no right to cross a border a pursue their own version of a terrorist group (a definition which I do not personally think belongs to the Kurdish people who have been fighting real discrimination and lack of civil rights for decades) then how can we justify going tens of thousands of miles away from the USA to cross a border and unilaterally invade a nation that had little to nothing to do with 9-11?

It is a double standard for which the USA has become famous and it will be our downfall if this type of double-speak and “double-think” are allowed to continue to exist.

My Heart goes out to the millions of Iraqi civilians who have given their lives in this ill-fated war. It is truly a sad thing but also a known and proven realism of War wherein the ones who take the brunt of the combat related violence happen to be the innocents living in the war zone, those being mostly the women and children who have the unfortunate luck to have to live in these areas.

Yet noone in Washington DC seems to take that statistic seriously when they make these haphazard decisions to go to war for stupid reasons like oil or revenge, both reasons being absolutely ridiculous reasons to go to war in the first place.
Sincerely,
JD Campbell
Honolulu, Hawaii

Posted by Jacqueline Campbell | Report as abusive

why dont we see the photos of the mutilated babies?
Simple.
It is because if the true horror of war was portrayed on our TV screens and in our papers our leaders would not be able to get us to go out and fight these “economic wars”
Why do you think that those who came home from WW1 / WWII / Korea ? and Vietnam never talk about it??

Posted by Tim A | Report as abusive

I can’t believe I saw this picture! It’s scary! I don’t see why family and friends of soldiers her have to suffer because of this war, it doesn’t have anything to do with us! Why do we have to handle EVERYTHING!!!!!! The world can take care of itself, America is bad in itself and people are worried about the war that is across an ocean. I find it pathetic and stupid………..

Posted by mel miller | Report as abusive

[...] People often ask whether it’s worth the risk taking combat pictures. It’s only worth it if you don’t get hurt or worse. The second something bad happens, the gamble is lost. [...]

When I saw this, I just cried. So painful to see your countrymen in pain like this, and especially when it was never your country’s war. The photograph draws out so much emotion, and made me really care about that man. Thank you for your depth and courage in covering such an important event in Canadian History.

Posted by Dena Jackson | Report as abusive