Friday, February 14
This is war
Don McCullin,The Guardian, February 14, 2003
The US-led attack on Iraq in 1991 was one of the worst-reported conflicts in history. A system of media management kept the violent deaths of some 40,000 people out of the public view. War photographer Don McCullin explains the crucial role photojournalists have in recording events
Sitting here in a cottage in Somerset, I should perhaps be enjoying the birdsong and the soft rolling hills. I'm not, because I live on a military flight path, and instead of the birds I hear the engine noise of dive-bombing aircraft flown by pilots who are readying themselves for a war in Iraq. C-130 transport planes are streaming into the air force base at Brize Norton, and the flapping sound of Chinook helicopters keeps putting me back in Vietnam. OK, I think, any moment now the doors are going to open and I'll jump out and run across those rice fields.
If you are a decent human being, war is going to offend you because it has no purpose other than to satisfy someone's desire for power and profit. And it is the little people who suffer. At the first whiff of trouble, the rich and the informed get into their Mercedes-Benzes and off-road vehicles and leave. The poor people, the very last of the dregs of society, can't escape. They get the bill. [...]