The New Yorker:

It’s time for Americans to rethink their squeamishness about releasing the photos of the youngest victims of mass violence.

By Jay Caspian Kang 

In a series of three essays published in 1991, the philosopher Jean Baudrillard argued that the Gulf War, which ended up with more than a hundred thousand dead Iraqis, had not really taken place. In his inimitable fashion, his argument was filled with internal contradictions, annoying trolling (Baudrillard had initially written that the Gulf War would never actually happen, which, of course, it did), and some pockets of real clarity. His ultimate argument was that what had taken place wasn’t so much a war but a one-sided aerial slaughter that was scrubbed clean through intensive media control. What people in the West saw were so-called live feeds of missiles and aerial assaults fuelled by new forms of technology, whether the Patriot missile or the stealth bomber. The war was communicated to us almost like an advertisement for a new car—here are all the new features, and here are the salesmen in the form of generals or foreign-policy experts paraded on cable news. We did not see slain enemy combatants, destroyed civilian homes.

If the Gulf War was a slaughter sold to the American public as a clean military-technology show, the war in Gaza has been a production line of horrifying images. The footage of dead and wounded children, particularly on social media, has traumatized the world and made it clear that nothing—not even the Israeli military tightly controlling media access—can stop ordinary citizens around the world from seeing what happens when a shell hits a hospital or a school or an apartment building where families live. My guess is that this war’s lasting legacy may not be some geopolitical break after years of conflict but the images of the innocents we’ve seen, including children, killed in almost every imaginable way.

Go to link