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  #21  
Old 16.01.2012, 10:35
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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Dutch /= Danish
Yeah right. Next you'll be telling me that Swiss /= Sweden

Back to the photos - I know where the photographer is coming from, but I do think that the way in which they are introduced leads you to look for clues and is therefore suggestive. I'm not saying the people are not affected - far far from it. But you can do a lot with photography and words.

For example the two photos of a 1000 yard stare in the link are startling because of the whiteness of the eyes vs. the darkness/dirtiness of the skin of the soldiers (not withstanding the "artistic" nature of the first one). The eyes will always remain white.

The attitude of the subject also speaks volumes, indeed if you look at Nicky the angle has changed, the mood changes. Remon doesn't even look at the camera, Emile and Arnold are the most "neutral" IMO and there you can see the real differences...
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  #22  
Old 16.01.2012, 11:04
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures


While itís a worthy goal to photograph and understand and document what the soldiers of any war go through and be able to empathize with their experience, its also important to remember that there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who have had their lives just as irrevocably changed/disrupted/shattered by the same war, who donít have guns and tanks and body armor to protect them, who didnít volunteer to serve, who donít have access to fine medical treatment and infrastructure to rely on if they or their families are wounded in the war, and are doing nothing but living their lives in their homelands, and are having the exact same experience as these marines in the photos. Except the marines go home after 6-12mos.

It seems to weigh so lightly on the American conscience how many innocent people have been killed over there. 2000 civilians of ours are killed on 9/11 and we disrupt the world and seem collectively to be more or less ok with it; we kill 150k innocent civies in Iraq as a consequence of a war which was based on false pretenses, and the American people, again seen collectively, seem to be more or less ok with that, too. As an American I find this incredibly shameful. I donít understand why more of us donít find it so.
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Old 16.01.2012, 11:09
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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W.T.F.

It's a thread about pictures showing the effects of war on soldiers. That's an interesting thing, and it would be nice to discuss the effects of war on soldiers. Why does it have to immediately go political? Nazi Germany? For real? U.S. bla bla? For Pete's sake.
I guess for many people it is not easy to talk about the effects of war on soldiers when at the same time a lot of innocent people suffer in the hands of these soldiers.

If you want to discuss it without going political then maybe WWII soldiers have to be looked at. And probably not the Nazi Germans...
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Old 16.01.2012, 11:17
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

It seems to weigh so lightly on the American conscience how many innocent people have been killed over there. 2000 civilians of ours are killed on 9/11 and we disrupt the world and seem collectively to be more or less ok with it; we kill 150k innocent civies in Iraq as a consequence of a war which was based on false pretenses, and the American people, again seen collectively, seem to be more or less ok with that, too. As an American I find this incredibly shameful. I donít understand why more of us donít find it so.[/QUOTE]

As an American , I concurr. As a naturalized American, meaning born outside the US, I can imagine that people in the affected countries will bear a grudge at the US for a long long time and perhaps that the "blowback" while also continue.
As for Americans' shame for the war's consequencs, as a newbie, it seems to me there isn't much to go around here, or at least , it's not a popular feeling/ sentiment to display.
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Old 16.01.2012, 11:21
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

If women were to rule the world and lead armies, would we still have the same kinds of "war"? Would we even have war?

Sometimes I wonder...
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Old 16.01.2012, 11:29
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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If women were to rule the world and lead armies, would we still have the same kinds of "war"? Would we even have war?

Sometimes I wonder...

"We should have a female president. There would never be any wars, just every 28 days some INTENSE negotiations" Robin Williams.
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Old 17.01.2012, 02:09
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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The photos are of Dutch soldiers.
Nah, the title says American, but the photographer is Dutch.

You can't help but go a little into the war debate in my opinion. The photos are of some guys looking sad, who joined the army - through free will and come back after seeing horrifying stuff, not looking happy. Yes, no one can deny it's awful to see what they probably saw, but they signed up for it. It's the inevitable outcome of signing up to go to war. Maybe they didn't realise it but type 'army' into google images and see what it comes up with. First page, my guess is full of guns or other weapons.

Compared to people who have no help, no support, are hurt for no reason, disfigured by poisons, limbs blown off by bombs, lives are completely destroyed for no reason - they didn't sign up for that.

A nice idea to take war photographs, but really, these pictures don't tell any story. And, for all we know they could be some models. They picked the innocent white young faces to appeal to the western world to show our poor boys. This whole support our troops crap. It's the guys at the top using people to play their stupid games for them. But it's their choice to be the pawns in the game. It's so sad.
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Old 17.01.2012, 06:32
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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Nah, the title says American, but the photographer is Dutch.

You can't help but go a little into the war debate in my opinion. The photos are of some guys looking sad, who joined the army - through free will and come back after seeing horrifying stuff, not looking happy. Yes, no one can deny it's awful to see what they probably saw, but they signed up for it. It's the inevitable outcome of signing up to go to war. Maybe they didn't realise it but type 'army' into google images and see what it comes up with. First page, my guess is full of guns or other weapons.

Compared to people who have no help, no support, are hurt for no reason, disfigured by poisons, limbs blown off by bombs, lives are completely destroyed for no reason - they didn't sign up for that.

A nice idea to take war photographs, but really, these pictures don't tell any story. And, for all we know they could be some models. They picked the innocent white young faces to appeal to the western world to show our poor boys. This whole support our troops crap. It's the guys at the top using people to play their stupid games for them. But it's their choice to be the pawns in the game. It's so sad.
Did you even read the G-d link?

The photos are of Dutch soldiers. The embedded link to the Daily Mail story says "Dutch marines" in the second sentence.

The photos, in this story, have nothing to do with Americans, or American soldiers.

It's like people just read the headline and begin popping off with their preconceived notions. Par for the course for the internet, I suppose.
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  #29  
Old 17.01.2012, 11:05
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

Not quite related to this thread, but may be of interest to those who follow war photography. If anyone is a Don McCullin fan and is visiting London in the near future, he currently has two photography exhibitions - one at the Imperial War Museum, and the other at Tate Britain.

Well worth a visit. His photos document some of the most devastating conflicts of the last century, IMHO.
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  #30  
Old 17.01.2012, 12:08
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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It seems to weigh so lightly on the American conscience how many innocent people have been killed over there. 2000 civilians of ours are killed on 9/11 and we disrupt the world and seem collectively to be more or less ok with it; we kill 150k innocent civies in Iraq as a consequence of a war which was based on false pretenses, and the American people, again seen collectively, seem to be more or less ok with that, too. As an American I find this incredibly shameful. I donít understand why more of us donít find it so.
I remember walking by a posh bar in Chicago right when the attack on Iraq commenced back in '03...I remember the 1000 daily sorties being televised on every network that looked like a colorful video game...I remember seeing through the glass window of the bar, everyone in the bar cheering & carrying on as if it were a sporting contest where someone scored a nice goal or something...It was hardly an isolated incident, the flag wavers seem to believe war is another occasion to cheer

Of course, I also remembered what it was like to have the Blue Angels fly over head in both Chicago & SF...How loud & ominous it sounded - and that was only 6-8 jets...and there were no bombs being dropped...Not 1000 daily sorties of bombs left & right

The problem has always been ignorance and an utter lack of understanding/appreciation for what war is and what it does to people, to lands/cultures & to their future...Americans have been so insulated for so long that it just comes off as a video game...until you're in it and suddenly there's some shock or outpouring over what they endure

Conveniently ignoring the role these same people have played in it not only during the warring but even the build up to it or the constant spinning of it's utility or longevity

I wonder, if the roles were reversed and it was Chicago being bombed into submission, would people in a Suisse bar be cheering the killing of anyone?

Probably why Americans don't get to see too many photos of the consequences of war in the mass media, whether it's injured soldiers or the people of Iraq & Afghanistan...That's considered a downer in the drive to maintain an upbeat outlook on war

So no, I don't have any empathy for soldiers who willingly go to war for reasons that have nothing to do with a just cause...Nevermind all the horrors they commit whether it's pissing on the fallen, hunting down & murdering innocent civilians (As Wikileaks revealed despite the government attempts to bury it) or torturing them in Abu Gharaib

War, is not the answer
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Old 17.01.2012, 13:19
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

While I appreciate that Americans are "detached" from war on a personal level - I am both American and have not been subject to war up close and personal myself - you should understand that part of why there is such outpouring in support of our soldiers is to help the people of the US avoid a recurrence of the reaction toward the soldiers as what happened with Vietnam.

They aren't about "glorifying" the soldier really but more to help keep the general populace from making them out to be monsters and dehumanizing them.

BECAUSE Americans ARE detached from the fighting, BECAUSE we haven't had large scale war at home for over a hundred years, BECAUSE the only images we see are on the news, in movies and such, it is "easy" for people to forget that there are humans involved - not only are the victims human, but the soldiers are as well.

It is very easy to see the pain, even if one can't fully "feel" it, when shown photos and films of dead or crying, half-blown-up people and children. It is easy to see the hardship on the malnourished faces and bodies of families living in war torn areas.

When my father was in Vietnam, there were news news reports nightly showing the war. Americans were shown exploding bombs, bleeding bodies and starving people while they were eating dinner. The soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated like criminals. It isn't that Americans can't see that people are hurting - it is that we have shown in the past that we really can't see how much the soldiers hurt too. THAT is why the attitude toward the soldiers is what it is in the US.

For many people, from many places, although we know there is more than black and white when it comes to question of right and wrong, when shown photos of someone suffering, it is very easy to jump to find someone responsible. With Vietnam, the soldiers were blamed directly and personally. That's not right. They go to do a job. You may or may not agree with how "good" that job is, but Americans know that if we didn't have volunteers, the men (I think 35 is the cut-off age) would begin be to actively drafted again. There is no way for the general populace of the US to completely avoid it once the politicians call for war.


So, stand your moral high ground. Let your heart bleed for the victims. Just bear in mind that yours isn't the only heart bleeding and that the soldiers ARE humans and they bleed too, even if it isn't obvious just by looking at them.
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Old 17.01.2012, 15:17
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Re: The toll of war on soldiers shown in pictures

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While I appreciate that Americans are "detached" from war on a personal level - I am both American and have not been subject to war up close and personal myself - you should understand that part of why there is such outpouring in support of our soldiers is to help the people of the US avoid a recurrence of the reaction toward the soldiers as what happened with Vietnam.
I'm American myself but I don't share that sort of one sided view...I even have an appreciation for the military and what it means to defend one's country etc. but these wars have never been about that - that is first & foremost...Moreover, I find these attempts by the media to stir up empathy & yellow ribbon bumper stickers as merely a propaganda ploy to maintain support for war - not support for the fallen, injured, mamed etc.

Ignorance, for me, is at the root...It's not an indictment of military in general or even soldiers but being able to conclude when something is wrong without whipping up into a nationalistic frenzy if the war or crimes are questioned...That, of course, invariably leads to the same old game of flag waving nonsense...I always loved Arundhati Roy's line from her speech 'Come September':
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They aren't about "glorifying" the soldier really but more to help keep the general populace from making them out to be monsters and dehumanizing them.
It amounts to a whitewash or simple spin, then...When even a former POW like McCain admonishes things like Abu Gharaib or the pissing on soldiers, you understand that even a hawk like him actually understands what war is...None of these other legislating clowns have a clue and hence the ignorance is merely amplified to the masses


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BECAUSE Americans ARE detached from the fighting, BECAUSE we haven't had large scale war at home for over a hundred years, BECAUSE the only images we see are on the news, in movies and such, it is "easy" for people to forget that there are humans involved - not only are the victims human, but the soldiers are as well.
Except when war arrived at our doorsteps in the US in the form of 9/11, the reaction was to simply escalate the violence and warring rather than examine the circumstances of how we arrived there to begin with...This lack of reflection & introspection ahead of warring was reported by many around the globe...That too begs of ignorance



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It is very easy to see the pain, even if one can't fully "feel" it, when shown photos and films of dead or crying, half-blown-up people and children. It is easy to see the hardship on the malnourished faces and bodies of families living in war torn areas.

When my father was in Vietnam, there were news news reports nightly showing the war. Americans were shown exploding bombs, bleeding bodies and starving people while they were eating dinner. The soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated like criminals. It isn't that Americans can't see that people are hurting - it is that we have shown in the past that we really can't see how much the soldiers hurt too. THAT is why the attitude toward the soldiers is what it is in the US.
Still amounts to ignorance anyway you slice it...Your contention is that the whitewashing of the crimes levied against a defenseless civilian population for nearly a decade now (Longer, costlier & deadlier than the vietnam war) is merely to protect many of these soldiers from the fate of what the Vietnam vets endured?...It's a logical fallacy to pursue a policy like that

If nothing else, we should have learned that Vietnam was a war that the US had no business in...The warnings about another Vietnam were widely discussed ahead of the '03 invasion and they did it anyway...Except, this time, they made certain that they were not going to allow the war to be 'undone' by reporting it accurately through a controlled media zone (Even killing reporters from news agencies to achieve this media blackout)...Thanks to people like Manning, Wikileaks and others around the globe - truth found it's way

Crimes are crimes, even in war - what's the point of any society or laws if the intent is to simply circumvent them when it suits you?...We're descending into anarchy with blatant disregards for civility & humanity...Now targeted assassinations to boot, I mean how can we fault those we consider enemies for doing the same in return?...Where do you draw a line on who is in the 'right'?...Where does it end?


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For many people, from many places, although we know there is more than black and white when it comes to question of right and wrong, when shown photos of someone suffering, it is very easy to jump to find someone responsible. With Vietnam, the soldiers were blamed directly and personally. That's not right. They go to do a job. You may or may not agree with how "good" that job is, but Americans know that if we didn't have volunteers, the men (I think 35 is the cut-off age) would begin be to actively drafted again. There is no way for the general populace of the US to completely avoid it once the politicians call for war.
One, again, war is not the answer...Although black & white is quite clear in this scenario when Iraq & Afghanistan were invaded through illegal wars nevermind blatant disregard for Geneva conventions in their conduct...Invasions that stained the concepts of freedom, democracy & liberty and disgraced the US & it's citizens as complicit in what took place...Abu Gharaib, Guantanamo, waterboarding, rendition, uranium munitions, chemical weapons in Falluja, indiscriminate civilian murders, War Crimes Report, etc....It's a disgusting list of crimes that will never be fully realized or punished, I'm quite certain...Yet, let's all feel sorry for the soldiers committing these crimes


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So, stand your moral high ground. Let your heart bleed for the victims. Just bear in mind that yours isn't the only heart bleeding and that the soldiers ARE humans and they bleed too, even if it isn't obvious just by looking at them.
And before you get too comfortable on your moral/military high ground, know this...Know that a great number of US veterans have been opposed to these wars, the crimes etc. since the beginning...That being a soldier doesn't condemn you to being a criminal let alone murderer or torturer...That distinction simply is a sizable subset of the current forces and little has been done to correct/punish it - which amounts to a passive acceptance if not support for it...So, no, I don't feel empathy for them, I feel contempt along with considerable disgust which brings to mind that quaint saying Don't take a piss and tell me it's rainin'

Lost in all of this, per usual, is the reason for invading at the outset

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