Through the eyes of the soldiers
December 15, 2004 2:12 PM   Subscribe

What do the soldiers see? We've been saturated with images from Iraq - from the media and from other sources. Under Mars has images from a different perspective - they were all taken by soldiers in Iraq. Some are wistful, some are painful, and some are just plain great photographs. There are a few that are kind of funny, too.
posted by bedhead (25 comments total)
Is it only in my sick mind that this immediately made me think of this?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:27 PM on December 15, 2004

There are some very graphic images back in the earlier sections - around page 52 or so. Not really NSFW, I guess, but very graphic images of severely injured and/or dead people.
posted by bedhead at 2:29 PM on December 15, 2004

painful might be putting it a tad mildly.
posted by specialk420 at 2:33 PM on December 15, 2004

We already saw pictures of the war from the soldiers' perspective when we saw shots from Abu Ghraib. Btw, when will the rest of those photos be released? Where is the outrage?

Anyway, these are great shots and a very interesting post. Thanks.
posted by xammerboy at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2004

My "favorite" is: "10 points fo every pun-jab you hit" coupled with the image of a (presumed) iraqi ground to a bloody pulp under the wheels of an APC (page 56). In another picture, you see his head (only) sitting next to the vehicle's treads.
Partner that with the pic of a soldier flaunting his "stuff" to a female compatriot, and you get a pretty interesting perspective...
Yes, very graphic and disturbing stuff here.
posted by numlok at 2:47 PM on December 15, 2004

How incredibly sad. Those photos of dead Iraqis are horrible, and the captions are indefensible.
posted by naomi at 3:03 PM on December 15, 2004

the captions are indefensible.

Well, I suppose the fact that they can joke around about it says that either they're desensitized to all of the gore or they're really sick. Since I have friends and family over there right now, I lean toward the desensitized.

I mean really, how many of us joke about work or our jobs. The problem here is that these soldiers are paid to kill people. So they can't joke about their job and what they do?

Again let me be clear, I don't condone what is going on over there, nor do I find the jokes terribly funny. I'm just saying I understand their need for humor as an outlet.
posted by Numenorian at 3:21 PM on December 15, 2004

hearts and minds? liberate?

posted by specialk420 at 3:22 PM on December 15, 2004

bush, rumsfeld, rice, cheney = child killers.
posted by specialk420 at 3:28 PM on December 15, 2004

The captions serve as some interesting metadata about the photos, rather than typical captions like "Iraqi Dead," these give you a peek into the mindset of the photographer, and maybe a teeny tiny peek into what being in a situation like that can do to a person. It will be interesting in 10-20-50+ years for researchers of this conflict. There will be a lot of photos from the regular soldiers because of the ubiquity of digital cameras. Of course, that's if we can access the digital photos. Maybe in 20 years all these CD's packed with photos will be in a pile with a bunch of 5" floppy disks, and just as useful.
posted by marxchivist at 3:41 PM on December 15, 2004

We've been saturated with images from Iraq

I don't think we have even scratched the surface of "saturation." I actually feel a bit of frustration at times because of the lack of information, photographs, video of what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, et al.

I understand that perhaps the soldiers are the only (reliable?) eyes and ears we have over there because it is too dangerous for most journalist types.
posted by jaronson at 3:55 PM on December 15, 2004

Thanks specialK420 for that link.
It had some of the most affecting photos of the conflict I've seen yet (strong images, but should be SFW).

posted by numlok at 4:02 PM on December 15, 2004

It's easy to arm chair when Trader Joes is just around the corner.

I'm thinking about joining. The loot looks nice.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2004

Somewhat less graphic overall (hasn't it been linked here before?):

The War in Mesopotamia, 1914-1919, 300 photos by British Capt. Charles Henry Weaver.
posted by gimonca at 4:14 PM on December 15, 2004

"It's easy to arm chair when Trader Joes is just around the corner."
Well, that, and the fact that it's not my daughter who's had both her legs and a hand blown off...
posted by numlok at 4:26 PM on December 15, 2004

These captions (nsfw) are just sick. They aren't winning anyones sympathies like this.
posted by puke & cry at 4:32 PM on December 15, 2004

War is a horrible thing, so cut these guys a break. I'm willing to bet a lot of them can't even drink yet, but have experienced horrors over the past two years that most of us will never even come close to experiencing in our lifetimes. Everyone is going to have their own way of dealing with it, even if it involves some pretty dehumanizing elements.

Just google around for the current suicide rate among troops in Iraq as compared to other parts of the world. It's a disgusting situation for all.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:02 PM on December 15, 2004

Jesus Fucking Christ!

How do you integrate these guys back into the community?

Whenever I hear reports of casualties in Iraq, I brace myself for the details and hope as many of the dead as possible are American troops.

Just to clarify. I don't wish anyone dead but I think the Iraqis have already had to deal with more death then most of us could comprehend.
posted by Tuatara at 5:17 PM on December 15, 2004

The charred, decapitated head of a Japanese soldier placed as a war trophy on a knocked-out tank by U.S. troops on Guadalcanal from Life.[1943, Life Magazine]

There’s nothing quite as exhilarating
as being shot at
and missed.

-- Winston Churchill
posted by dhartung at 7:57 PM on December 15, 2004

There's no actual combat in these photos, because soldiers in combat don't have time to take pictures. If there were actual combat photos, we might have better perspective on the morbid grab-assery from the photos we see here.

The photos that really got my eye are these: 1, 2, 3. They were taken, through night-vision goggles, of soldiers on their way to fight. Not a lot of grab-assing going on. Basically your average troop of terrified men.
posted by bingbangbong at 9:02 PM on December 15, 2004

Did anyone else see this photo of Gold? (And this one before it).

I don't recall any stories about find Iraqi gold stores -- I suddenly have visions of "Three Kings" all over again...
posted by sycophant at 10:23 PM on December 15, 2004

sycophant - I remeber the story, here are some details
posted by Tenuki at 10:42 PM on December 15, 2004

a couple of my favs.
posted by jazzkat11 at 11:22 PM on December 15, 2004

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