Readers applaud photos made public

By David Stevens

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked if the U.S. government should have released the graphic photos of Saddam Hussein’s slain sons and whether U.S. media should have published them. Some responses:

“In an attempt to persuade skeptical Iraqis of the demise of Saddam’s sons, the U.S. government correctly chose to release graphic photos of their slaying. Any tactic that has the possibility of further stabilizing the situation in Iraq should be adopted, and the release of the photos met this criteria. The U.S. media was going to publish them whether they were published in Iraq or not. It was just a matter of time.” — R.L. Render, Clovis

“Yes to both. Two purposes are served here. The first is to convince the Iraqi public that both sons are indeed, no more.  That in itself should ease some of the tension and fears that are driving the attacks against the allies in Iraq. The second is to spread the word. The American press is the most read world wide by far. Getting this word out worldwide could be important in finding Saddam himself. War and death are grim in all cases.  These photos are mild compared to some that came out of World War II and Vietnam.” — Bob Baker, Clovis
“I do not think the graphic photos were necessary at the time. I say wait until the DNA results are in and with positive identification, then let them have it. The graphic part does not bother me but with technology now available, remove all the guess work.” — James McDonald, Clovis 

“The triumphal parade of one’s enemies captured or slain in battle is a time-honored tradition. We don’t do it quite the same way any longer. At one time the captured leaders had their thumbs and big toes cut off, as well as eyes gouged, or tongues pierced. They were paraded in the streets to show that they were no longer able to lead in battle. Fear of this enemy died quickly. Our government didn’t mutilate the sons of Saddam. Nor did we drag their bodies naked through the streets to show their humiliation. We did give the necessary proof to show an oppressed people, and a naysaying press that the fact of their death is certain. Bravo!” — Carolyn Spence, Clovis

“Definitely the pictures should have been released and shown. We saw graphic pictures of the towers and people jumping to their deaths. We saw pictures of our soldiers dying in Iraq, so why shouldn’t we show the pictures of our enemy dead? The people in Iraq need to know for sure they are dead and so do the people of the United States.” — Donald Reid, Clovis

“I would say yes, photos of Saddam’s sons should have been published. But I like the way the Clovis News Journal did it, by putting them on the Internet.” — Raymond Atchley, Clovis

“I’ve seen worse pictures locally on wrecks.” — Mearl Thomas, Clovis