Should Photos Of Dead Soldiers Be Published?

Since the invasion of Iraq began five years ago, a continuing debate has raged over failure of President Bush to attend funerals of those who died or to allow photographs of returning dead soldiers. Following is a letter that appeared in the Stars & Stripes of April 15, 2008. We print the letter without editorial comment.

The writer of “Stripes did dissenters bidding”(a letter appearing in the April 1 issue which condemned publishing photos of dead soldiers) needs to get his priorities straight. To say that Stipes was “disgusting” for publishing a photo of a dead soldier’s helmet and rifle along with the report of the 4,000th Iraq war casualty, and that “body counting is what the liberal press does to inflict this country with dissent, discouragement,, shame, etc…” was un-American.

The writer is wearing horse blinders. Whether his right-wing “control the media mentality” likes it or not, here is the fact: As of March 25, 4,000 great Americans gave their lives for our country, in Iraq, and as of April 8, 17 more have been added to the list.

Every day, Americans need to be reminded of this. But, it seems that more and more Americans, such as the writer and especially the right-wing media network(Fox) are concerned more with what Barack Obama’s pastor says in church than with how many brave Americans are dying for their country and for the cause of protecting freedom in Iraq.

The front-page reporting by the Stripes of the 4,000th casualty on March 25 reminded the rest of America of the courage and sacrifice these servicemembers and their families gave in the cause of freedom, and not of dissent, discouragement and shame, as the writer stated.

In the March 25 edition, Stripes did a superb job of reminding Americans that it wasn’t important what John said, Hilalry said, Barack said on that day. What was important that day and every day, is to remember the 4,017 great Ameicans who died in this war and to not forget the 160,000 plus who are still fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.

if we had it all censored, as the writer would prefer, this war would look very sweet and rosy.
Maj. Wade Paul
Baghdad

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