January 17, 2014

In Syria, Sleeping between his Parents. (Sad Conceptual Photo)


Thanks to our readers, we’ve learned that this photo, thankfully, does not reflect a real situation. “Staged” is one way to put it. It’s a conceptual photo. But it also, of course, reflects a powerful reality for many, many children. Too many. That’s why we react the way we do to this photo. That’s the power of genuine art.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower



Sad doesn’t cover it. War is hell. And, a whole lot worse.


From Mash:

Frank: “Well, everybody knows war is hell.

BJ: “Remember, you heard it here last.”

Hawkeye: “War isn’t hell. War is war and hell is hell, and of the two war is a lot worse.”

Father “Mulcahy: How do you figure that, Hawkeye?”

Hawkeye: “Simple, father. Tell me, who goes to hell?”

Mulcahy: “Sinners, I believe.”

Hawkeye: “Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in hell. But war is chock full of them. Little kids, cripples, old ladies, in fact, except for a few of the brass almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.”


In Syria, Sleeping between his parents.

(via imgur.com)



It’s pictures like this one that bring home to me how little concepts like “patriotism” or “credibility” have to do with the reality of war. Whenever someone on your television argues in favor of a strike on Iran, an intervention in Syria, or an invasion of Iraq, they are making the case that the results of such an action are worth the thousands of children just like this one it will create.

There are times when that’s a debate worth having; sometimes war is the best of a number of terrible alternatives. But you should talk about it in terms of lives lost, futures ruined, and property destroyed, not with the weasel words that men with suits, status and secure jobs use.

I lost my mother to cancer a year ago, and I’ve been living with that pain ever since. I cannot imagine how it would feel to have lost her in the name of someone else’s pride, ambition, or hatred.


“I have spoken to 18 year old kids who think war is fun and we should carpet bomb all of the Middle East…maybe if they seen the real world…but the media wouldn’t publish this photo. I think your reaction sums up why. And I think that sums up the problem with pro-war Americans: Most of us don’t ever see this side of it.” http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/in-syria-sleeping-between-his-parents-sad-photo/

“If I don’t photograph this, people like my mom will think war is what they see on T.V.”


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