Disturbing images? Yes.

Every day for a while, now perhaps only every other day, there’s a story about the Doctors Without Borders hospital which was attacked by U.S. aerial weaponry. Today Foreign Policy magazine has published not merely a story, but the story. Before clicking on that link, read this notice which appears above the first image.

Warning: Some readers may find the following images disturbing.

Why bother providing a link to disturbing images? Why, in fact, bother providing images themselves? Michael Shaw at Reading the Pictures argues that it’s crucial…

… to actually substantiate something we only know to be true… the reality of of those events — the ashen floors; the peeled and pock-marked walls; the carcasses of bed frames; that noose-like thing, whatever it was; and far worse — are either left to the mind’s eye, or Hollywood’s.

Is any good accomplished, posting stories like these? I do not know. Perhaps not. Perhaps the only benefit is to me personally, and to Michael Shaw, and to the Foreign Policy people who took and published those disturbing images. Our distress is not lessened but our consciences are answered, albeit so slightly that they do not stop haunting us.

I go back and read things I wrote earlier about our wars and our war-happy politicians and our war-trapped military. Nothing has changed. Nothing we write or photograph, none of our cries and tears bring an answer for us or for the immediate survivors of these… I cannot think what to call them.

They are unfortunate accidents, seems to be the official attitude. It was all collateral damage. Awfully sorry, and we’ll try not to do it again.

They will try. But — and we know, there is no way around it — they will do it again. And yet another time after that.


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