The Unseen Gulf War

For those still negotiating an opinion about U.S. involvement in
Iraq, a reminder of the realities of war is not just timely, it is
essential. Photojournalist Peter Turnley provides such a reminder
in his recent Digital Journalist pictorial, ?The Unseen
Gulf War.? Here, photographs of the so-called ?Mile of Death,? an
area north of Kuwait City bombed by allied forces in 1991, show the
effects of war in all its brutal glory. Scenes displaying
carbonized bodies, imprisoned soldiers, and mourning Iraqi women
wrench viewers into a fuller understanding of the consequences of
military action?an understanding too often denied the public by
Pentagon media handlers and a compliant press.

Interestingly, though Turnley?s work may seem to demand a
particular response to U.S. foreign policy, his goal is not merely
to impose his political views upon his audience. In a letter
attached to the Digital Journalist article, he explains
that his photographs ?do not, in themselves, represent [his]
personal political judgment or point of view with respect to
politics and the right or wrong of the first Gulf War.? Instead,
they should help viewers develop a ?more accurate picture of what
really does happen in war,? meaning that, ideally, they will ?give
one the opportunity to witness and reflect more fully on [its]
realities.?

That said, after seeing what conflict looks like through
Turnley?s lens, even dedicated ??hawks? will have a difficult time
disregarding war?s oft-horrific consequences. His images of, as he
says, ?cars and trucks with wheels still turning, radios still
playing . . . and bodies scattered along the road? are impossible
to ignore. In the end, his photographs do have a definite
persuasive effect, which may indeed have been Turnley?s goal all
along.
Amelia Bauerly

Go there>>
http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0212/pt_intro.html

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