An Unvarnished World


Zeynep Tufekci believes that access to graphic content is a social necessity:

I understand that there are awful things happening somewhere, every minute, and we cannot always be immersed in such misery and sorrow. However, I am firmly of the opinion that the massive censorship of reality and images of this reality by mainstream news organizations from their inception has been incredibly damaging. It has severed this link of common humanity between people "audiences" in one part of the world and victims in another. This censorship has effectively relegated the status of other humans to that of livestock, whose deaths we also do not encounter except in an unrecognizable format in the supermarket.

The Dish has a long history of showing images that the MSM tries not to. That goes for the beheading of Daniel Pearl, the brutal sectaran warfare in Iraq, the devastation of the Gaza war, and the blood on the streets of Tehran. Those who want to look away can read another blog. But to my mind, forcing what can become abstract arguments to confront the human cost of war and terror is necessary. If we are to judge policies and events, it's vital we see them as they really are.

It may be, for example, that responsiblity for the dead child above should be shared by Hamas, who used human shields, and by the IDF who remained on a mission to destroy Hamas's bases and institutions. But which ever position you take, this infant died. Now we have no draft to remind us directly of the horrors of war, the least we can do is to face the consequences – as vividly as we can.

(Hat tip: Alexis. Photo: Palestinian relatives carry the body of baby Ala Athamna during the family funeral in Beit Hanoun town on November 9, 2006 in Gaza Strip. The Families of 18 Palestinian civilians including the children and women who were killed by Israeli tanks shelling, in the town of Beit Hanoun on November 8 buried them in the new cemetery of AL-Shohada or the Martyrs. By Abid Katib/Getty Images.)