John Moore/Getty Images: Iconic Images from the Iraq WarPhotographs of an atrocity may give rise to opposing responses: a call for peace; a cry for revenge; or simply the bemused awareness, continually restocked by photographic information, that terrible things happen.
Susan Sontag, “Looking at War: Photography’s View of Devastation and Death,” New Yorker, December 9, 2002.
The toll of war continues long after the last battle is fought. Mary McHugh, visiting the grave of her slain fiancé, Sgt. James Regan, on the first Memorial Day weekend after his death in 2007, is directly involved in the harsh reality of combat. While the violence and physical danger of the battleground are far away from this frame, Mary is a casualty suffering the direct and utterly unexplainable trauma of losing a loved one. Though this image cannot communicate the reality of such a loss, it reframes the manner in which war is seen and consumed through a carnal yet depressingly familiar barrage of smoldering ruins, bloodied victims, and brave soldiers. There is neither condemnation of nor justification to combat; only an evocation of the incalculable sadness marked with every tombstone.
—Lisa Larson-Walker, Photo Editor, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
This week’s cover, if you missed it on Monday before we got all election crazy, features three soldiers the helicopter crew of DUSTOFF 73—a medevac team that took on a wildly perilous mission to save troops under fire in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
They are heroes.
But they’re not alone.
Next week your nwktumblrs ship off to Washington, D.C. to cover Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s “Hero Summit,” a two-day “theatrical-journalism event” (a cooler name for a string of on-stage panel discussions between journalists and subjects) where, ahem, “we’ll hear powerful theories about the essence of leadership, showcase veterans whose stories illuminate the connection between military service and success in the private sector, and examine what it means to speak truth to power.”
It’s all about stories that celebrate our nation’s heroes—from fighting in the poppy fields of Afghanistan to diffusing a bomb in the streets of Iraq.
Also: Bono & Aaron Sorkin will be there! We’re pretty psyched. So stay tuned, we’ll have more next week starting Wednesday, likely all found on a ‘Hero Summit’ tumblr tag.
[Major thanks to our sponsor, Jeep, which is helping us celebrate our nation’s heroes for their service. Visit their website to share your support.]
A Strange Animal: The U.S. troops are leaving, but the journalists are staying in Iraq, working under deadlines and death threats. In a short documentary special for Newsweek & The Daily Beast, filmmaker Richard Pendry reveals the new techniques — more John LeCarre than J-school — reporters have devised to get the story in Iraq. Fascinating viewing for anyone interested in the intersection of war, conflict, and journalism.
It means so much. Having an Uncle that spent 13 months overseas fighting for what he believes in is already a great thing, but watching my Aunt raise two young girls and be pregnant with another while he was away is spectacular within itself. It means the world that finally other families can have their loved ones home just like we were fortunate to get when he came back a few years ago.
The president is tumbling testimonies from families of Iraq War vets.
Newsweek’s Middle East Editor (and tumblr-er!) Christopher Dickey stars in our latest ‘Op-Vid: Campaign 2012’ video, tackling what the word “Occupation” truly means. If you’ve been following the revolution in Egypt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yep, Occupy Wall Street, we think you’ll enjoy this three-minute video. nwk tumblr feels smarter already. Great job, Christopher!
During the late 1980s, I was working as an officer in the Iraqi Army when my commanding general received a letter that demanded I report to a palace in Baghdad within 72 hours. When I went to the palace, I was brought to see Uday Hussein, Saddam’s older son. “I want you to be my fiday,” he said. In Arabic, fiday means body double or bullet catcher. I didn’t understand. “Do you want me to be your bodyguard?” I asked. “No,” he said. “Our intelligence service says we look like each other, and I want you to work as my double.”