Honest war journalism – we have it, the Russians don’t


About the editor: Robin Abcarian’s column brought tears of sadness, anger and fear. Her final sentence said a lot – this was a “senseless” and “unforgivable” war.

Her words also highlighted the importance of factual photojournalism. The rest of the world would easily shut out the bad stuff if we didn’t have journalists risking their lives to show the world the truth.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin is trying to hide the truth from his people. More power for those trying to defeat the dictator’s propaganda machine. In the same print edition that ran Abcarian’s column, there was a news article about the brave journalist holding up her “no war” sign on Russian state television.

How we get the truth and how we live with it are our individual rights in our free country. Though it pains me to watch the evening news and read the Times at times like this, I have to. And maybe I’m stupid, but I always have to imagine peace.

Starflower Thomson, Joshua Tree


About the editor: The pictures of courageous photojournalists in Ukraine are priceless. They expose the needless misery caused by Putin’s horrific attack on his neighbor.

But what bothers me is our country’s haughty and virtuous response to this event when our own hands are anything but clean.

Our government discouraged images of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, where hundreds of thousands of civilians were wounded and killed in our own war. Graphic images could well have provoked greater domestic opposition.

We also see very few images today from Yemen, where our arms and logistics aid has contributed to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Guns are big business, spending approximately $3 trillion annually worldwide. A fraction of that sum would go far to address genuine human needs and legitimate grievances.

Where are the images that would focus us on these concerns? Uplifting all of humanity would help end the motivation for conflict. It would weaken leaders whose first refuge is bloodshed. And it would feel so good.

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim


About the editor: Another unforgettable image comes to mind as I read Abcarian’s memory of striking photographs from around the world. That would be the nine-year-old naked girl running from napalm in Vietnam, her fear and pain portrayed so vividly for us all to see.

Ann Tyler, Moor Park Honest war journalism – we have it, the Russians don’t

Caroline Bleakley

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