A photograph taken by an embedded AP photographer, Julie Jacobson, on August 14th, showing a dying Lance-Corporal Joshua Bernard, 21, being tended to by fellow soldiers has caused a furore in the US. Bernard was hit by a grenade during a fire fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He died of his wounds later the same day.
Against Bernard’s family’s wishes and against the White House’s request not to, AP released this picture (see it after “continue reading”). The picture is powerful. It was published in 20 US newspapers on Friday. None used it on the front page.
Our picture editor, Robin Comley says she would have used the picture, in the US, once the family had been informed of the circumstances of his death. For her it represents the reality of war, and the waste of a young life. This is the side of war which authorities don’t want the public at large to see, and it’s our duty as press to show it. We published the picture today in The Times.
According to the New York Times, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, had to phoned AP to beg the agency to withhold the picture to spare the feelings of the soldier’s family. He subsequently sent a letter to AP writing “The American people understand that death is an awful and inescapable part of war”. But publishing this photo, he said, goes against the wishes of the family and thus would mark an “unconscionable departure from the restraint that most journalists and publications have shown covering the military since Sept. 11.”
AP defended its distribution of this picture. NYT reports that the editors said they made the decision only after careful review and after sharing the pictures with the family. The AP said it decided “to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”
In the US, the publication of such dramatic and graphic images is rare.
To see AP’s full slide show, with narration, go to Open Source’s post, and after the jump is the controversial picture:
Perhaps we should begin showing mangled bodies at the scenes of car wrecks caused by drunk drivers too. Oh, I got it, let’s post a picture of your grandpa dying from lung cancer as he draws his last breath because he smoked like a chimney all his life. No no no, better yet…Let’s show pictures of babies with their heads bashed in cause crack ho momma didn’t leave her abusive baby’s daddy. I mean, if we want shock factor, let’s go all the way.
Society didn’t cause the deaths you describe above. Military deaths are society-caused. That’s why they are the exception to the rule. Our government has sent these men over here, our government can pull them back. I’m not going to get into it with you any further. Suffice it to say: we disagree. Warriors death photos is a way of honoring their sacrifice. Don’t hide it.
Those who support the AP’s actions don’t have to contend with the anguish to which LCPL Bernard’s family has been subjected. Hear his Dad tell the real story here:
Making a political statement is a lot more palatable until it’s your child.
AMEN Charlie Graham!!!!!
The Bernards have lost their SON. They need to remember him with pride. I sincerely hope the images they viewed, of their broken son as he lay dying, will be replaced by stories from Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard’s comrades–of who he really was, there, with them.
As long as this ‘debate’ goes on…the Press will continue to publish these images. It is no less then the continued rape of Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard’s loved ones.
(Charlie Graham on September 8th, 2009
The photographer, by her own admission, deliberately took the pictures of this dying young man rather than abandoning her camera and providing him some comfort as he died. to me this says a lot about the journalism profession. Journalist are more intent on making a name for themselves and furthering their own political agenda than they are with common decency. Very disturbed!)
It baffles me that the publisher of this photo thought it important to show the “realities of war.” You know nothing of the realities, and it shows by your decision in setting off this bomb worldwide. Did you ever think that this boy had a mom and dad? Did you ever think that this photo is exactly what might be burned into their memory as the last “living” picture of their son available? Did you ever think?? I hate you. I hate every one of you that thought it “reality” to publish this photo. I’m so sorry for the Bernard family. I’m so sorry for them.
Today i opened my newspaper, its called the Volkskrant. I live in Holland so it’s a Dutch newspaper. The picture of the poor dying lad was in the newspaper. Since i saw the picture i can’t stop thinking about it. The poor parents must feel the same pain only a hundred times worse. Thats why i feel that this picture should not have been published. There are other ways of showing the real war. They could have picked out a photo that wasn’t so personal. I wish Joshua’s parents all the strength in the world. Much respect from Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
It does not matter whether you hate the people who disagree with your position. The fact remains that AP took a courageous decision to publish the truth and nothing but the truth. I have sympathy for the family BUT let us face it, that is American Foreign Policy and that is what its effects are. My only challenge with American Foreign Policy is that it is usually short sighted. In the Mujahadeen-Russian War of the 80′s American CIA trained terrorists as we know them today. So why are individuals like Sam Freedom complaining that they are evil and good guys in this war? American tax payers money trained the Osamas of this world. Can a student perfect a craft better than the master? YES and in this case the terrorists are using American wisdom and possibly equipment to kill Americans. Who is to blame? My humble appeal to US citizens who are riding the high moral horse is simple: CLIMB DOWN THE HORSE, STUDY YOUR HISTORY, and DESIGN LONGTERM FOREIGN POLICY THAT RESPECTS HUMANITY. Otherwise the evil that men do lives long after them.
To all American citizens like Mike and Molly who have learnt to appreciate all humanity as equals I salute you. May you be the beacons of hope in an increasingly intolerant world where certain races assume superiority over other humans.
MAY LCL Joshua Bernard (RIP) be the last to fall for an ideologically bankrupt cause that could have been solved diplomatically. And may the world’s history forever remember his name but not the names of those who sent him in harm’s way.
George, the AP’s “courage” is very flexible and self serving. Why doesn’t it ever publish pictures of aborted fetuses? I am curious to know what they look like. Without that information, how can I fully assess and develop a well founded position regarding abortion. Since these fetuses are, as I understand it, just pieces of biological material, they have no mother or father or family to offend. It shouldn’t take any courage on the AP’s part to publish them. How could anyone be outraged? It is clear the AP picks and chooses when it will exercise its “journalistic duty to show …reality…” and when it doesn’t. Journalism is becoming a untrustworthy profession of ill repute.
In decision making we talk about discretion, and it is guided by our education, values, and experiences. Possibly AP’s decision was self serving in as far as the increased circulation of that particular publication. However, we cannot rule out the fact that it is serving a more holistic purpose, that is, making American citizens confront the reality of the nation’s foreign policy. Regarding whether the foetuses should be shown, I will allude to the quotation of Professor Milton Friedman ‘the purpose of business is to make profit’ not corporate social responsibility. But as a keen follower of this blog, I learnt that antiabortionist use pictures of foetuses to show the cruel nature of individuals who carry out abortions. In a society where activism and lobbying moves policy, extremes are expected to happen. So charlie, I would not be surprised if AP published the pictures of foetuses.
The only caveat I can put across on the publication is that AP had a chance to obscure the face of LCL Joshua Bernard (RIP) and make him unidentifiable. Why they did not, God only knows.
Our prayers must go to the family of the bereaved but politicians must rise to the occassion and find a solution to this war. I know there are many families that are hurting but may LCL Joshua Bernard (RIP)’s death not fall on deaf ears. American citizens, it is time to put the policy makers to task, WHAT IS THE LONGTERM STRATEGY IN AFGHANISTAN AND WHAT,WHEN, & HOW DO WE EXIT?
George wrote: “The only caveat I can put across on the publication is that AP had a chance to obscure the face of LCL Joshua Bernard (RIP) and make him unidentifiable. Why they did not, God only knows.”
It’s a shame that “America last” people like George don’t realize, FIRST, that this is EXACTLY what we’re talking about. After getting on his soapbox and waxing on about humanity which he only ascribes to Molly and Mike (who, it’s very uncertain is actually a soldier), he then finally gets around to realizing that we’re not taking issue withe publication of a dead American soldier.
We’re talking about the publication of an IDENTIFIABLE dead American soldier whose family and friends will be FURTHER traumatized and who, along with the Secretary of Defense, kindly requested this not be done.
These “America Lasters” can’t seem to get the simple points and try to equate the issue with every other unrelated point that betrays their anti-military sentiments.
I GUARANTEE you that if Mike was really a soldier, he would be LIVID about LCPL Bernard’s photo being published. Even GEORGE, an armchair academic beat Mike to the punch when it came to saying that the identity in the picture could have been blurred.
But, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of LAZY people who want to comment but who don’t want to READ the previous comments to see if an ignorant point their about to make has already been addressed.
So, allow me to reiterate…
1. Not wanting the IDENTIFIABLE photo of a dead American soldier published does NOT, in any way, shape, or form, mean that the publication of dead ANYONE is any better. However, I have no problem with seeing the death of known enemy combatants because that’s why we’re there… to kill people who want to kill us.
Media like the AP show us LCPL Bernard’s photo and day after day of IED explosions but there are SCANT few pics of the dead we went there to kill. This betrays their anti-war bias and strains their credulity.
2. If you don’t agree with the war, FINE… disagree with the war and go find a forum where you can argue anti-war sentiments. But don’t be a jerk and hijack this situation to validate your anti-war sentiments. You don’t need to further traumatize a soldier’s family and friends to make your anti-war arguments. George even finally got around to admitting that the identity could have been obscured.
3. As I’ve said before, the AP has a seriously marred history. You can find photos of the war in Lebanon where the smoke was Photoshopped to look thicker than it was. They don’t care. They just publish whatever and let people complain after. This was one of the most horrific self-serving moments in their marred history and, as you can see, it’s brought out the “America last” crowd whose main argument sounds like,
“Serves you right for not caring about photos of dead Iraqis… yaahhhhhh…so there…”
Once again, I am sorry to the family of LCPL Bernard that there are so many ignorant people who, as George evidenced, think that BAD people can be changed merely by us “focusing on their humanity.” Yep… as soon as the US becomes NICER, all the bad guys will become good and groves of fruit trees will spring up everywhere and we will all never fight again…
…great theory you’ve got there, George. I hope you, Seargent Mike and Molly will forgive me when it happens and I’m looking for a place to stay.
Thank you for having the courage to show this photo, death like this is horrible. War is hell!
Too many people think it is a video game.
Maybe too many of one’s FRIENDS, think war is a video game. Maybe too many people in SCHOOL think war is a video game. Maybe a photo of a dead soldier is, questionably, enough to drive the point home but do you need to injure the family and friends by not obscuring the identity?
By the way, all you anti-war folks who keep missing the issue. Ever wonder why DEMOCRACIES don’t go to war with each other? It’s because, despite protests to the opposite by the victim mentality crowd, citizens in a Democracy are not brutally oppressed. In non-Democracies, the citizens are brutally repressed and then lied to about who is the source of their suffering.
The sad thing, as you can see, is that the victim mentality crowd in the Democracies, sometimes gets sicker and believes them. Here’s the formula….
1. Brutal dictator oppresses populace;
2. Brutal dictator takes focus off his oppressing and blames the U.S. for his country’s poverty;
3. Victim mentality crowd in the U.S., adopting the philosophy of the brutal dictator, believe that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, so they side with brutal dictator and his zombies in hating the U.S.;
4. Victim mentality crowd claims to love the U.S. yet they will try to censor *their* opposition at any possible chance they get;
5. Victim mentality blames everything the opposition doesn’t like on U.S. imperialism;
6. Therefore, victim mentality crowd thinks it’s ok to further traumatize family and friends of soldiers by publishing identifiable photos of their children’s death, justifying it as necessary to “show the reality of war”;
7. What victim mentality crowd really means by “show the reality of war” is, “to bring an end to the war in order to take the pressure off of dictators and their oppressed citizenry with whom, as victims themselves, they completely identify.
8. Photo of dying US soldier is published with this agenda in mind.
Fortunately, the American is a strong breed made from many cultures and can withstand this kind of attack but, Darwin proved, the victim mentality types will eventually succumb. They are the ones not fit for “the reality of war.”
When you are sick to the point that you don’t realize there are BAD people in the world who are going to attack the natural advance of FREEDOM, who will use ANY event to justify their terror, and who can count on the victim mentality “5th column” within our ranks to serve as their mouthpieces, you can’t help but succumb….
Publishing such a photo doesn’t change this natural occurrence. It DOES hurt people though, especially when you further suggest that it means they don’t care about other dead people whose photos have been published.
What a sad and sorry bunch of misfits is this victim mentality crowd
You miss the point i am very much pro the use of military force for a defineable just objective,
in Afghanistan does anybody know what it is? i’m sure i do’nt, and i follow these things, originally it was to satisfy the USA’S need for revenge, but why are our sons and daughters still dying there? It sure as hell is’nt for any kind of democracy.
Thanks for trying to be more clear. Let me just say that I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you on that point. What I’ve been saying is that people are using THIS photo publishing as opportunity to wax on about other things that have nothing to do with the photo.
Do we need to further traumatize this soldier’s family and friends to make your point? Can it be made just as graphically, another way, with unidentifiable persons? Why does that one point continue to elude you and others who insist on making this out to mean something else?
Sam, i take on board, that the death of a loved one is a traumatic and deeply upsetting event,
howeve t goes beyond the simply personal the image projects, the pointless desolation of this present situation. What are we going to gain by staying Kharzai is corrupt his gorvenment enshrines laws that subjgate women, and our kids die keeping him in power, where is the bloody point?
Chris, I guess I’m gonna have to say it one more time. People, like you, are taking this situation and making it into all kinds of things it isn’t.
If you have an issue with a particular war, FINE, feel free to find a place that argues about the war and argue to your heart’s content. But let’s not pretend we needed this photo to show that war is ugly. Let’s not pretend we needed a photo of a deceased, IDENTIFIABLE, soldier to help us understand that war is not a video game. Let’s not pretend that it is necessary to traumatize this soldier’s family any further than they already are to make the case that war in Afghanistan could be better organized and have clearer objectives. Let’s not pretend that outrage over showing LCPL Bernard at his, and his family’s, absolutely worst moment, automatically means that we are happy to see Afghanis and Iraqis die.
If you dare to somehow suggest that publishing such a photo, in this PRECISE manner, is somehow necessary for driving home the reality of war, I’d not only wonder why a photo of someone not identifiable wouldn’t be able to make the same point, but I’d start to consider you, somewhat, learning impaired.
It beats my understanding that Sam Freedom has failed to grasp the root cause of the death of American soldiers. If they had not been sent into harm’s way in the 1st instance we would not be discussing a fallen marine of 21 years. The short sightedness of American Foreign Policy is what I pointed out in the first instance. People like Sam prefer to call it pragmatic. Most of the troubles America is dealing with today were created by former regimes. Why are we acting like we do not know these facts? Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden amongst others were creations of the US. How isn’t this related to the death of this hero (LCL Joshua Bernard)? He went to fight individuals that were trained, armed, and financed by American money to kill their own citizens. We have only woken up because these men turned our guns onto us. Isn’t it being short sighted that Americans like Sam cannot add up these events? Is it too much of us to ask that our government looks beyond its short term interests when designing foreign policy? For example we claim to have a working relationship with the Saudis but a big proprotion of the 9/11 terrorists were from this very nation? Is that rocket science? Is that putting America last? My convinction is that individuals like me who strive to make the US look beyond the green bucks that terrorists offer earlier in our relationships with them, offer more sustainable debates and options for the future of the US and humanity at large. Let us face the ugly facts, the US has propped up a number of dictatorial regimes only for them to return and haunt us with a vegeance. Today we talk to Mubarak, King Abdullah,etc. Are these democracies? So I may be an arm chair academic according to Sam (NEVER MIND THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS A ROLE IN SOCIETY), but at least I can look at the conceptual nature of issues and question them accordingly. Let me point out clearly:-
a) The US is the only super power in the world today and that places on its shoulders the burden to protect US citizens who are part of humanity. Since we are populated by different cultures, it is imperative that we respect all cultures and find ways to coexist. It is not military might that won the cold war but brain power.
b) AP is an enterprise that is legal, and what it id was legal. The debate of whether it was moral/ethical is subjective. With the development in photograph, the face of LCPL Joshua Bernard (RIP) could have been blurred but it was not done. Does it make AP more evil or less patriotic? It does not make the AP more evil or less patriotic than the people who started these wars to look for weapons of mass destruction in the case of Iraq that were never found.
c) The father of LCPL Joshua Bernard (RIP) clearly pointed out a certain order he expects to see in life: allegiance to God, allegiance to family, allegiance to country, and allegiance to core. The first allegiance dictates that we preserve humanity (God’s 6th commandment – Do not commit murder). Is it AP or policy makers who have orchasterated murder internationally?
Sam let us face the death of LCPL Joshua Bernard (RIP) was a tragedy that should not happen to any family whether American, Arab, European, or African. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathies are directed to the bereaved family. But why are we acting like some stakeholders in the French Revolution who learnt nothing. Vietnam should have been enough. I do not agree with the warrior mentality espoused by some discussants. We cannot keep fighting indefinitely.
I WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE THAT WE LIFT THIS DEBATE A LITTLE HIGHER. NOW THAT WE ARE IN THESE COUNTRIES, WHAT DO YOU ENVISION SHOULD BE THE WAY FORWARD?
This is exactly what I’ve been talking about… yet again. The face could have been blurred, or another gruesome photo with unidentifiable persons could have been used to drive home the same point.
THAT has been the point of this but folks like you, George, can’t help but hijack any war-related story to advance your “BLAME America First” philosophy.
I’ve listened to your kind for so long that I know if *I* were to make the proposal to change the discussion to “the way forward”, you would say we can’t move forward until we know how this all started to begin with… then you’d launch into your story about the overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mosaddeq back in 1953 and so on.
But, if *I* were to propose we discuss the origins, first, you would say what matters now is how we move forward *today*, etc…
In fact, you are mistaken on many points…
1. American soldiers do not get SENT into harm’s way. They are a volunteer force and, if they have a REAL issue with where they are being sent, they can become conscientious objectors. If they are concerned that being a “conscientious objector” could become uncomfortable for them, then they must not really object too much. Whether they become a soldier for the pay, the education, the love of country, or any combination of those, it’s their choice. But, since you’re from the “victim mentality” crowd, don’t hesitate to explain that they had no choice but to join while blaming it on economic conditions created by “evil corporations” run by “greedy, white CEOs”, or whatever it is this week.
So, they don’t get SENT into harm’s way. They go BRAVELY and VOLUNTARILY.
2. It is not as simple as you naively suggest that our soldiers go to fight people we trained who turn our guns against us. You have the audacity to call me short-sighted yet your comprehension of that regions, through the lens of your “Blame America FIRST” lens, only goes back what? About a half-century? Why don’t you find a way to blame some of this on the Spanish-American war while you’re at it?
The inhabitants of that region have been massacring each other for centuries. In fact, you can read a bit about Mohammed’s massacring of Jews here at FaithFreedom.Org but maybe that’s a little too far back for you to equate it with the region today.
I’m not a scholar but even I know that when, thousands of years ago, the Wahabists poisoned that region with their aggressive, killer-bee equivalent of Islam, all hell broke loose, many great gains in education and science were lost and the region has been a battlefield ever since.
In fact, in a classic shoot-self-in-foot scenario where the liberal arguments contradict each other and cancel out, one of the reasons the “Blame America First” crowd used to argue against the Iraq war was that “you can’t bring Democracy to a region where the people have been fighting each other for centuries.”
So, if the US stayed out of the region, do you think the Soviets would have? Or, would the Soviets have tried to control all the oil as a means to achieving world supremacy unopposed? With Soviet expansion into that area, naturally, the US had to counter it.
Can’t civilize the region (except for Israel), brutal dictators oppressing their people and blaming the freedom-protecting Western powers, please tell me you don’t see the inevitable.
So, to counter the Soviets, the US had no choice but to get some of these brutal dictators under their thumb. So, when such a dictator then thumbs its nose at the US who was also protecting THEM from Soviet aggression, you think it’s unnatural, odd or NEWS, that the US has to go in and deal with a force they once trained?
Sorry, George, you really need to get a better grasp of where you are. The only reason you think fluffy feelings towards people in regions where wars and murder have been the norm for 1000s of years is because AMERICA has kept you, and her allies, SAFE for many years.
Had you grown up in one of those countries, without American experience, you’d think someone like YOU was a nutjob.
3. The US might be made up of people from different cultures but this is supposed to be a MELTING pot where they become AMERICANS. Though they are free to retain their meaningful traditions, they are to adopt the AMERICAN culture. Your suggestion that we should respect all cultures is just a holier-than-thou move because the US DOES respect other cultures. But, I wouldn’t shed a tear if the US smashed the architects and heads of a hostile culture.
We admitted wrong in WW2 for imprisoning Japanese-Americans and paid reparations but we haven’t repeated that mistake. We don’t imprison Muslims, or Iraqis in America, just because we are at war with Muslim terrorists. But, by your logic, we should not have struck back at Japan in 1940s because there were some Japanese who had become American citizens and, therefore? Respecting a culture has nothing to do with smashing a hostile regime you once trained to resist Soviet expansion.
4. It’s naive, again, that you refer to “military might” and “brainpower” as if they are mutually exclusive. The Cold War, was not won by “brain power”, it just so happened there was a MILITARY BLOCKADE of Cuba and the threat of nuclear annihilation that kept the “Cold” war from getting “Hot” in the first place. And the “brain power” to which you refer was, in part, due to an ARMS race with which the Soviets couldn’t keep up.
George, where do you come up with this stuff?
Go hug all the people you want. Go argue against the war all you want but don’t make the inconsiderate publishing of identifiable photos of LCPL Bernard, and the trauma that it’s caused his family, out to be anything other than THAT.
Your views on the war have nothing to do with this particular situation. There’s plenty of other gorey, horrifying unidentifiable images that can serve such a purpose.
You mention, only in passing, that the face in the photo could have been blurred and then you launch into an anti-war, Blame America First, piece. If you can’t help but take any war-related article by offering your tiny thimble of sympathy, first, and then hijacking it to express your anti-war sentiments is deplorable.
Why not just say the photo should have been blurred and leave it at that? THAT is what the article is about, his being identifiable… not about what you BELIEVE about the wars in the Middle East.
“If I get killed over here, I want you to see my body, because indirectly, you are the ones who A. Caused it, and B. Will BENEFIT from it in the long run. Maybe you feel a little guilty when you see the dead bodies? GOOD. If you feel guilty about seeing young people killed, maybe you will do something to stop it? We’ve been here 8 years with no end in sight, and no strategy in sight to end it. We don’t even know what our long term goals are over here. People are dying every day, Jim. Do you know what they are dying for? OBL is not even in this God forsaken country, for the love of Pete!”
Last time I checked, we have an all volunteer force. Sounds like you are having second thoughts about your decision to join. And yes, I have served and still serve this country for more than 21 years now. Nobody forced you to come over here and fight, just the same as nobody forced me to come over here and fight. I could’ve retired over a year ago, but after 3 deployments (currently on #4), I still have no regrets about what I chose to do. If I die here, fine! But what’s not fine is having my family have to re-live the gory freakin’ details of how my body was torn to shreds!
If you don’t want to be here, LEAVE!!! I’m sure someone in your chain of command will help you out. What we don’t need over here is some pansy putting his concern for his life above the mission! What we do need is some decent common courtesy for the sacrifices we make! Is that too much to ask?
Jim, interesting post. I can understand you not wanting some Pansy to put his concern for his own life above the group as a whole.
What really interests me however, is your desire to see your mission through, that is highly commendable, but what is your mission? To an observer there dose’nt appear to be one.
Chris, what have you done to find out what the mission is other than enter pissing matches in forums and then, about 20 posts in, when a REAL soldier shows up to put the guy PRETENDING to be a soldier in his place, you ask HIM what the mission is…?
Why don’t you ask your elected officials? You know, the ones who support Obama and are behind the war in Afghanistan? Ask your Democratic party leaders, or maybe you can post one of those fuzzy videos on YouTube asking your cherished leader to define it for you.
But, let’s not pretend that, somewhere in the middle of a million blogs, you’re really seeking for answers as to what this war is about.
And even if you do get an answer and disagree with it, Jim’s still right… they don’t need someone putting concern for his own life above the mission. You should read some of the other replies before you jump in… it was already addressed under “conscientious objector”… if the soldier REALLY objects then they have a way out even if it uncomfortable.
Gotta be better than being in a hail of flying bullets against your conscience, right?
Just a test to see if my comments are being moderated. Feel free to delete this.
Maybe if we saw more photos like this, we would think twice about sending troops ..
Maybe we’d send diplomats.
As I stated a week ago…You do not know what it is like to have a son (daughter) there and the hell we live in, as Mothers, the entire time of their deployment. We ALREADY ‘imagine’ all sorts of scenarios…all sorts of hell they must be experiencing…and WE ARE WITH THEM.
Graphic pictures, published, of the death or dying moments of a loved one are with complete and blatant disregard to the family’s feelings. It is emotional and mental RAPE… clearly. Mr. Bernard did not give his permission to have that image of his son published–in fact, was very adamant, saying “No one needs to see this image.”
Would ‘journalists’ care to publish the same of THEIR family members–dismembered?? Or would you be protective of their dignity?
Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard is a true Hero…a true warrior, who was reduced to ‘a very graphic image.’
Bernard’s father after seeing the image of his mortally wounded son said he opposed its publication, saying it was disrespectful to his son’s memory. John Bernard reiterated his viewpoint in a telephone call to the AP on Wednesday…WHAT PART ABOUT THAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND???????
*I am now boycotting anything written and published by the Associated Press. I STRONGLY request that anyone reading this…do the same. I will be sending out emails to the entire list in my address book, and will ask that they do the same.
*I will also write to our President and Government officials.
THE FAMILY REQUESTED THAT THE IMAGE NOT BE PUBLISHED–THEY WILL LIVE WITH THIS ‘FINAL MOMENT AND VERY GRAPHIC IMAGE’ for the rest of their lives!!!
My son served as a Medic, for 8 years in the Military–attached to Marines–15 months in Iraq. Upon his return, he shared many experiences with me, with conversations lasting many hours. One conversation, in particular–left me emotionally drained. I would give anything to take all of that out of his head…but the experiences he shared with me during those conversations, I can’t get out of MY head.
How DO our (Medics) rid their thoughts and minds of recovering charred bodies? Of women and children blown to pieces…in the crossfire?? And of Comrades (BROTHERS)…while recovering their ‘broken bodies’…
My son’s first letter: “WAR IS HELL, MOM…I NEVER WANT TO SEE WHAT I HAVE BEEN SEEING, again!” he wrote, during our 2003 invasion. He was redeployed in 2005, and again SAW MORE GRAPHIC IMAGES THEN ANY ‘JOURNALIST’ will ever see in a lifetime. He rendered critical medical care to HIS BROTHERS. He pieced them back together and stabilized them for Medivac, hoping, above all, that they would live. Many of his Comrades died, while over there. He rendered critical medical care to Iraqi shooters. He is credited with saving the lives of 14 Marines and several Army soldiers in just ONE day…and took HOURS of enemy fire upon himself in so doing.
HEAR ME…The ONLY people viewing those graphic images WITH ANY KIND OF EMOTION…are those of us who have a loved one presently SERVING, or have served during WAR. We DO NOT need to be emotionally and mentally RAPED by ‘Truth of the horrors of WAR’ through graphic pictures of our loved ones–our sons, our brothers.
GRAPHIC IMAGES = $$$$$$$. Journalists are NOT concerned about TRUTH. They want and need recognition. They have little value of life…of people…of persons. Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard is JOSHUA…the SON of John and Sharon Bernard.
I am NOT ‘AMERICA’…I am the Mother of my only son, who honorably, faithfully, bravely and loyally served his brothers–first and foremost–and served his country.
In late 2002, at (*confidentiality*), my son became Senior Line Company Corpsman. He requested that he be transferred to a Non-Deployable Battalion; he was considering another ‘C’ school and possibly a career in the Navy.
When rumors of an impending War began surfacing…he went to his CO and told him: “If my Unit is headed for Iraq…I’m going with them. Disregard my request to transfer to a non-deployable.” He informed his Commanding Officer that “He could not abandon the men he had served with for two years – “Not now, he said…this was too important.”
We chatted for many hours, online, after that. He told me what he had told his CO. Many times he told me: “Mom…I can’t leave them now… NOT NOW…this is too important.”
Many nights I went to bed in total anguish, wishing he didn’t feel that way–hoping he would not go. At the same time, I was so very proud of him for his Honor, Commitment, Dedication and Loyalty to the Marines he was serving with. Yet my heart pained…
The 2nd letter I received from him was a heart-stopper…”Well Mom…it’s the end of the day–Midnight–my 22nd Birthday…and I have Radio Watch. Things went well today…I didn’t get shot at.”
There were many, many days I thought my head would blow off, just thinking about him…worrying about him. Hospital Corpsmen are ‘targets’ during War…I knew that.
So PLEASE…no lectures on ‘What’s a matter America, can’t take the reality of what happens in war?’ I know, all too well what happens in War and it’s not pretty.
‘To those who have never seen or heard…no explanation is possible…
To those who have been there and have seen…no explanation is necessary.’
Its amazing to me after thousands of years of warfare amongst ourselves we’ve yet to realize as a whole the ironicy of killing other people who share the same air, sun, water, and basic ideas about life as we do. Take your confusion and manifest it into real feelings of comparsion for yourself and others, stop the spoon-feeding! Our lust for war and the capitalisation of non-thinking Famericans is a side effect of democracy and we need to wake up to it and start the refusal of death for the gain of someones luxury. Especialy when those people gaining from these “wars” dont give a Fook about me you or your family, love the earth and all its species, we kill for no natural reason, men are forcing this on our fellow man, all human is good human no matter how distorted anyone has become. There is no such thing as honor or glory, its just a mask for you to wear so they can use you in their games of competion for resources, power, and control which rapes the world of its purity. Truly free your mind and you can ride the wave of lifes energy into the ocean of HUMANITY…