Violence in War: Why it Should Not be Censored.
No one likes to think about the gruesome and grotesque images associated with war however, conflict is unavoidable. In the past two centuries it has become possible to document war through images not just written accounts. War can now be covered through multiple forums newspapers, radio, images, cell phones, and television.
Pictures can reach multiple mediums and convey a certain message. Photos and cameras have come a long way in the past two centuries, but the content within photos are what make them powerful. With advances in technology, the images captured have become more clear and more graphic, which begs the question: should warfare and violence be censored? Warfare and violence should not be censored when presented because when horrific images or the context within the events are censored the truth behind the image can be lost and cause unneeded conflict around things that should be seen as undisputed facts. An example of a world event that was widely uncensored to the American public was World War II.
During World War II the American public was very aware of events surrounding the war as they unfolded. For example it was not kept a secret that Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Since the American people were aware of what was going on they showed their unwavering support for their government and the war effort as a result. This however cannot be said for America during the Vietnam War. Images during the Vietnam War were censored and the truth behind published images were manipulated causing Americans to feel split when it came to supporting the war and understanding it.
World War II
Now everyone knows of the horrifying things that happened in the second world war. Even though there will always be that one person who claims that "it was fake, it didn't happen." That person is usually seen as ignorant especially when it comes to debating facts about World War II because the images and media surrounding and relating to the war at the time were in fact uncensored.
The American public was very aware of events surrounding the war as they unfolded. For example, it was not kept a secret that Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese or what atrocities of the occurred in Nazi concentration camps. The American People rallied and showed their unwavering support for their government and the war effort as a result.
"Nazi Concentration Camps" (1945)
This is a documentary called, "Nazi Concentration Camps". The film in its eternity was presented as evidence during the Nuremberg trials. The production of this film was commissioned by General Dwight D. Eisenhower in order to prosecute remaining Nazi leaders responsible for the atrocities committed by the Third Reich.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower upon arriving at the first of many concentration camps that he would visit, he ordered for nothing to be touched until it was documented by film and for every camp to be documented in the same fashion, so that the world could not deny the atrocities committed against over 11 million people. “Let them see what they did”. Because of General Eisenhower's decision the world knew that the claims of how awful the Nazi concentration camps were and the crimes being committed in them were not exaggerated. Today it is still possible to look back and see the horrifying evidence of the Holocaust.
Hiroshima August 6, 1945
Dropping of the Atomic Bombs
On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in order to beat the Japanese into submission so that the United States could avoid invading main land Japan and end the war quicker. No one knew how devastating the bomb would be when dropped onto a city full of people. Luckily photographers were there to capture the apocalyptic devastation for future generations so that they would hopefully never use nuclear weapons on each other again. These photographs helped civilians from all around the world understand the devastation that nuclear weapons are capable of causing and sent the world into hysteria during the Cold War.
"Napalm Girl"- Nick Ut
Unfortunately, Americans were not as supportive of the Vietnam War because of the lack consistency in news reporting caused which caused confusion and frustration among the American population. When this photo was taken in 1972, the United States had already been involved in the Vietnam War for twenty three years, and the country was divided in their support of the war. Many Americans were confused as to why the government was involved in the conflict and there was no consistent news being circulated. This photograph caused the American people to revoke what little remaining support they had for the war. Many contradictory stories circulated around the horrific photograph, causing many people began to believe that the napalm attack was conducted by Americans. Even though it was revealed that the attack had been conducted by the South Vietnamese Air Force, the American people's support was already permanently shaken.
In the wake of computers that can fit into the palm of our hands, it is so easy to take photos of anything we want, and with that it is even easier to see the gruesome images that occur everyday. By seeing these terrible acts uncensored we know the violent deeds that are being committed, and leaving images of war uncensored will teach future generations what exactly happened.