Photographs will end these wars

May 5, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More

Jon Stewart has had it with these expensive, gory and secret wars. Secret? Yes. There are no photos. The wars fought by America are covered-up wars. They are wars we don’t care about because there are no photos of our gristly business of war. Nor do we see any photos of the alleged good things that have been going on for the past year in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I wrote about this lack of war photos previously in a post I titled “Where are the Photos of Good Things Supposedly Happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our media is doing its damned best to make these happy wars, bloodless wars.   We are therefore supposed to trust the government that we have made ten years of progress in Afghanistan for our $2 Billion dollars per week.  Bullshit.  I’m equally angry at  our federal government, including both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, and our patronizing mass media.   Where are any headlines that the only reason that we can’t afford to build 100 new $20 million schools across the U.S. is that we blew that much money in Afghanistan this week. We also blew that much money last week and the week before.  And we do it week after week without even one photo of the violence or deaths making it onto any of the newspapers of America.  Week after week after week, for ten years and counting.

PoliticusUSA sums up Jon Stewart’s points nicely:

Later The Daily Show host said that more pictures of all of the elements of these wars need to be released so people can see what is really going on, “The best reason in my mind for releasing the pictures is that we have been fighting this war for nearly ten years, thousands of US deaths, tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis have died, and we’ve seen nearly zero photographic evidence of it. Remember how long the media had to fight to show military coffins returning from overseas? You probably don’t remember, because you saw pictures of it the day they won the case and not since.”

Jon Stewart concluded, “Maybe we should always show pictures, Bin Laden, pictures of our wounded service people, pictures of maimed innocent civilians. We can only make decisions about war, if we see what war actually is and not as a video game where bodies quickly disappear leaving behind a shiny gold coin, which from what I understand is going up. By the way, the White House announced today that they have officially decided not to release the Bin Laden photo. Instead to keep it a secret they are going to airdrop it into an affluent Pakistani suburb, so it won’t be found for years.”

I am not surprised that many of the stories on this have discussed Stewart’s argument for releasing the photos, but have omitted the media criticism. The media has been complicit in keeping the American people in the dark on these two wars. Don’t buy for a minute that they don’t show the American people what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan because it is an issue of access. The footage is shown every day in the Middle East, but the US corporate controlled media has decided that we don’t need to see that here.

Everyone who writes a story about Jon Stewart and the Bin Laden pictures who doesn’t discuss the media blackout on these wars is complicit in the cover up. Jon Stewart’s logic for releasing the Bin Laden photos applies to all war coverage.


Category: Media, photography, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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    • Erich Vieth says:

      Brynn: I agree that there are photos, but you'll need to look LONG and HARD to find them in any daily newspaper or on any episode of the television news. We need to publish many photos widely so that Americans will be forced to deal with reality. Not just photos of dead and injured soldiers and resistors. The photos should include evidence of ten years of "progress" in Afghanistan.

  1. Brynn Jacobs says:


    You know I agree with you. I was just hoping to lure some unsuspecting folks into looking at the shocking brutalities perpetrated in their names.

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Curiously, when the issue was whether or not George W. should release photos of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, conservative mouthpiece Seah Hannity spoke out against the release because it might outrage the terrorists and endanger U.S. troops, yet when the issue now is whether or not Obama should release photos of the assassinated bin Laden, an act that seems little different than releasing photos of Bush's prisoners, Hannity is speaking out in favor of release. Go figure.

  3. Brynn Jacobs says:

    A new documentary from journalist John Pilger explores this issue. The film called "The war you don't see", and is available to stream here.

    From the website:

    John Pilger says in the film: “We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else’s country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is.

    For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home… In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us… Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”

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