The Associated Press released a photo of a United States Marine who was wounded by a rocket propelled grenade during operations in Afghanistan. The Marine, Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, would later pass away from his injuries. The controversy of whether or not to release photos of seriously injured or dying soldiers on the battlefield is not new, and this one has drawn condemnation from the Pentagon for being insensitive to the victims family. I agree with that but I also think that people in charge of selling a war would never want the people at home to see how terrible and how violent war is.
It reminded me of when Saving Private Ryan came out, myself and a group of friends went to see it and on the way out one of them commented that “People don’t need to see that stuff, they shouldn’t make it so graphic.” I’m paraphrasing of course because it was a while ago, but that was the gist of what was said. I remember disagreeing because I don’t think there should be any filter between the people that support a war and the results of that war.
It is strange to me that so many people that have fought in wars and lost friends in war are so against the idea of it, but so many that only view war through the lens of movies, tv shows, and video games seem to be more supportive of it. Do I think we should restrict what types of photographs the AP can release? No, I think that we should see every photo that is taken in war time, no matter how graphic or disturbing. It will make it that much less likely for us to rush to war in the future if we can see the consequences of what bombs and bullets can do to a human life.