Due to our primal trait of morbid curiosity, it’s hard to turn away from the bloodied faces of Uday and Qusay Hussein. The Pentagon were reported to be debating whether to release the pictures to the world. Doing so would convince the skeptical Iraqi people that America had finally ridden them of two of their oppressors, but it would also cause critics of America’s operations in Iraq to accuse them of double standards; was there not outcry when Al-Jazeera broadcast pictures of dead American soldiers?
Surprising considering their usual sensational style of news broadcasting, yesterday’s front page of CNN.com did not show the images, instead there was a link to them next to which are the words ‘viewer discretion advised’. BBC News chose to display one of the images on its front page, but it was a fuzzy, second hand picture, probably from video footage of the prints. The Guardian, however, was unscrupulous with its reproduction of the images; their front page showed first generation images that were high in definition and brutal in their level of detail. In some circumstances, we should be exposed to the realities of war like this. However, shocking though these images are, I’m more disturbed by the fact that I feel like I’m being presented with trophies of this conflict.
The latest news is that TV crews are currently filming the bodies of the brothers in order for the Iraqi people to be fully convinced that they belong to Uday and Qusay Hussein. To an Iraqi people skeptical of The Pentagon’s claims and with first-hand experience of America’s power, will this really make any difference?