From Gulf War I (actually Gulf War 2 since the first one was the Iran-Iraq conflict....), there is an amazing picture in B+W magazine (the U.S. version) by someone who's name is totally escaping me right now, of an exhausted firefighter who had been working on the oil fires.
This guy is slumped against some machinery and everything is coated with a layer of crude oil. The metering could not have been fun on it.... The only part of the picture that isn't completely coated is this guy's face. And the expression he has on it is just stunning. I don't know if I have ever seen an expression like that before.
But it really seems to capture a moment. And a moment that is very apolitical.
I think I would wait untill after the shooting stops and then show the torture rooms and mass graves that hold the victims of Sadam's brutality.
And it is true that the US supplied Iraq with many weapons used against Iran and its own population. It is also good to remember that many of the weapons and the technology for the "alleged" WMDs that our troops our now facing were purchased From France, China and Russia, our supposed allies from time to time. I guess overthrowing Sadam is a major inconvienence to their pocketbooks.
Robert and all,
The photographer's name is Sebastiao Salgado.
http://www.terra.com.br/sebastiaosalgado/ find the workers section and go to the site map and you will see the image (Kuwait, 1991). He is an interesting fellow.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert Kennedy @ Mar 20 2003, 09:39 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> But it really seems to capture a moment. And a moment that is very apolitical. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
To carry that note about the firefighter a little farther, I have had long conversations with a fellow that claims that Sebastiao Salgado is a communist and that everything he does is political and is meant for propaganda. I htink it is because of the book that he did titled "Workers". Workers was a theme that the Communist Party used for a long time. Things mean different things to different people.
When he was an economist he did use and subcribe to a Marxist economy set of theories.
I had the opportunity to meet a fellow by the name of Nick Orzio a couple of years ago who was a photographer assigned to cover General MacArthur, near the end of WW2 and during the occupation of Japan until about 1947. He covered the war crimes trials of Tojo and others. He spent a lot of time touring the country and took a large number of photographs of the people trying to rebuild their lives and their country. He somehow obtained the photographs back from the army and they are now touring parts of the country on exhibit. They are fascinating.
It is very difficult to show the incredible destruction of buildings and life and not make it an anti war statement. However just the war is, the aftermath is it's own statement.
As for the so called fakes of MT Surabachi, don't forget that the photographers job was not to take a documentary. The entire movie and still photography division was essentially to make propaganda for consumption at home. Many of the stills were used in Stars and Stripes Magazine to boost morale in a war that the US and Allies were not initially winning, and especially against the Japanese, was very bloody.
The definitive photograph or the Gulf War I believe was the one of the burned up Iraqi solder half sticking out of the tank. Viet Nam, was the naked girl running and covered in Napalm. As well the one mentioned about the captured double agent shot in the head.
As for the photographers point of view, any shot taken during a war, that shows what human beings are capable of pro and con, is always going to be a mesmerizing and haunting image. Any soldier will tell you that was is hell.