Where Have All the Bodies Gone?

Arnow, Pat
August 2005
Extra!;Aug2005, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p18
This article discusses various issues related to media representation of American causalities in the war going on in Iraq. In a week in June 2005 when 15 soldiers were killed in Iraq, the war pictures in the New York Times featured dazed Iraqis after a suicide bombing, a Marine patrolling, the twisted remains of a vehicle, wounded children, a civilian casualty in a morgue. No photographs featured American casualties--a typical absence in the U.S. coverage of the war. Time magazine's online photo essays show the progression of the war in Iraq but give little sense of American loss. In 35 photos over four photo essays, just three wounded Americans appear. There is also one picture of a dead Iraqi, and another of a wounded Iraqi. Pictures of American casualties usually appear after wounds have been cleaned up and agony is no longer visible. The images of war that appear today offer a marked contrast to the pictures of the dead and wounded from the Vietnam War, whose media coverage is credited with spurring protests through graphic images.


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