OPINION

Images of war

I have the unfortunate privilege of remembering images from World War II and can now gauge the development of our weapons of war – and of our barbarism. Death, destruction and the despair of innocent civilians are the chief images of any war. The recently published photograph showing the corpses of two small Iraqi children on a mortuary slab intensified the tragedy of this war, while simultaneously expressing a mute but bitter protest against it. The people responsible for these crimes have to have purged all humanity from their souls, their thoughts and their plans. The international community demonstrates its outrage at rallies on an unprecedented scale, but that is all that it can do. Many governments condemn the war but they too are bewildered and paralyzed. The same applies to major international organizations such as the United Nations and the Red Cross. Embarrassed, they can only observe these crimes against innocent civilians. The Iraqi regime showed images of American prisoners of war being interrogated in front of the television cameras. Twenty-year-old kids from faraway Texas or California in evident fear and shock at their difficult and miserable situation. One got the impression that they had no idea how they had become caught in the cogs of this mighty machine. I do not remember ever witnessing such fear and despair in images from previous wars.