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Censorship of War

Updated on February 16, 2018

When we hear the word "war" the immediate thought is one of images of death and destruction. Most Americans have been exposed to the depiction of violence, that is that is unavoidable in any armed conflict. But should public necessarily be exposed to such brutal imagery? Would we be better off censoring these images? Should the public be spared seeing the products of war?

I don't believe we should.Though it may seem that protecting people from these graphic images would be beneficial, seeing images of war makes people think about the consequences of war. The result is a pressure that we apply to our elected officials to give proper thought and reason into the decision of going to war. It is the responsibility of all American citizens of voting age to understand the impact that war really has.

During WWI and WWII war was somewhat glorified. After winning against "the bad guys" in both wars many people were blinded and did not see the aftermath of war. Due to nationwide patriotism and the spreading of propaganda many Americans were ignorant to the results of war.

This ignorance lead to the what many believe to be a senseless war in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam showed many Americans the horrors of war and it frighten most. Resulting in many protests to make the government end the war.

In today's world, we face the threat of radicalism in the middle east. As a result of the 9-11 attack, we have been in war there for more than a decade. The destruction that has occurred that area is unimaginable and devastating.

Though at the beginning of the war were blind with anger and misinformation, we have gradually realized the effects we are having in that area. Which resulted in our elected leaders pushing to end the war. With videos and photography showing the graphic imagery of war especially drone strikes.

As technology in our society advances so do weapons of war. With such powerful and devesting weaponry, it is crucial that we the people know how those weapons are being used. Having our heads in the sand does not take away the destruction that war causes.

It is important the public see the results of war. Being blind and ignorant of the consequences does not mean there aren't any. Whether government censored or self-censored, the people should be aware and informed. The purpose of war is to fight for a better tomorrow so it is imperative that we don't destroy what we try so desperately to protect.

Should images of war be censored?

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PBS, Public Broadcasting Service,

Costly, Andrew. “Press Freedom vs. Military Censorship.” Press Freedom versus Military Censorship - Constitutional Rights Foundation,

“Graphic Images of War Are Hard to Stomach - but Some Say They're Necessary.” Public Radio International,

Rall, Ted. “Censorship of War Casualties in the US.” US & Canada | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 28 July 2011,

Spencer, Naomi. “World Socialist Web Site.” Military Censorship of the War in Iraq, World Socialist Web Site Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), 31 July 2008,

robbofra. “Censored Images of War (Part 1).” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Aug. 2007,


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