Monday, March 07, 2005

Complacency Kills

Last week's Grauniad weekend ran a graphic journal1, by the excellent Joe Sacco, of life in Iraq with a US army troupe. Very good it was too. Drawing on the choices made by Iraqi civilians and US troops. This week's magazine published a critical letter
While welcoming Joe Sacco's innovative approach to reporting (Complacency Kills, February 26), he uses the form to develop a hackneyed narrative that draws on the sentimental, one-sided stories America tells itself about Vietnam; this is almost inevitable from the perspective of "embedded" journalists. US casualties are not innocent victims of Iraqi "enemies". They are an occupying force.
Andy Crump
London NW6
Sacco did not portray US troops as "innocent victims". He managed to portray Iraqis and US troops equally humanely. To accuse Sacco of being "sentimental" is not justified by anything in the journal. Let's generalise here. Some "occupying forces" are good like the Allied occupation forces in Germany post WWII. Some "occupying forces" are bad, like Syrian occupation forces in Lebanon. Is Crump saying that all "occupying force[s]" are bad and a justifiable target for anyone who wants to attack them? So it's justifiable to attack UN peace keepers in say Darfur? It's important to ask "who benefits from the occupation" before assessing the good or bad nature of an occupation.

1 I cannot get this link to work. You might have better luck.

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