29 May 2006
Memorial Day Pics, Part Two
Well, Gang, you didn't ask for 'em, but, I promised 'em yesterday, so, like 'em or not, here are the last pics in the set of Memorial Day inspired pics I started.
The one on the left depicts a combat fatigued Iraqi government soldier in the city of Ramadi after a fire-fight with Iraqi insurgents.
Its title??? "Iraqi Government Soldier, Ramadi Iraq, May 2006 4a". Not the world's greatest title, I know, but, sometimes, the pic can speak for itself better than its title can.
The one on the right's "Johnny And Haji, Iraq, 2006 1a", which is an allegorical pic depicting two dead combatants in the Iraq War, one American, the other an Iraqi insurgent.
The title's a play on the title of the old American folk ballad, "Frankie and Johnny", about a pair of star-crossed lovers, whose affair ends in one murdering the other.
In a way, war is kinda like a love affair between the combatants, in that the parties involved experience vivid emotions and stronger emotional bonds than they would ever have had in civilian life.
But, it's a murderously doomed one as well.
Those of us back home, as well as those people watching this war from the sidelines all around the world, will never really be able to entirely understand the psychological attraction and repulsion that binds the combatants in this war, like any other war or armed conflict, together.
At the same time, lest I wax too damned poetic about this issue, it's also a good idea to keep in mind that, in the end, the combatants in this war aren't engaged in a romantic, "chivalrous" sort of battle here.
They are engaged in, very often, a set of truly nasty skirimishes, fire-fights and other military pin-pricks, with the occasional set-piece battle thrown in here and there, the object of which, for those involved, is to kill as many of their opponents as possible.
That's what war is, a killing game to establish one set of ideology, policies, economics and social order over another, period.
There's bravery and comradeship in war, sure.
But, in the end, it's really a grand failure on the parts of political leaders and their allies on one side to work out their differences with those on the other in a relatively rational and peaceful manner.
It's a failure that a lot of people, combatants and non-combatants, on the sides end up paying for, quite often in blood.
Please, remember those who have died in wars, yes.
But, also remember that those deaths were preventable, and, in whatever way you can, strive not to make more messy, ugly mistakes that will end up in someone laying deader than a stump on the ground somewhere, because of whatever political and social differences our leadership had with that person's.
Be good to yourselves out there, take care, and thank whatever you worship or hold dear that you don't have to make the hard choices that people living in war zones often do.