The Washington Post: The victims of the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are as human as the victims of Ukraine

newspaper published “Washington PostAn article by Eugene Robinson, in which he questioned the secret of the Western media’s bias towards the war in Ukraine, and its attempt to build a more humane image on its victims and refugees.

At first he said, “Courageous journalists have always risked their lives to document the horrors of war. But why was the coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so close to the heart, so vivid and shockingly bloody? Does this reflect the times we live in, and the power of technology that has given us the ability to publish “Consuming anything? Or does this reflect the biases and connections of the media?”

The writer pointed out that “the war in Yemen is now in its eighth year, and it was brutal, as the Syrian war was more brutal, and the Syrian regime used chemical weapons. But the conflicts in Yemen and Syria were not shown in the same fresh, raw image of the dead,” including the image of “The New York Times” A close-up lens of a mother and her two children died as a result of a Russian mortar bomb in the Irbin district of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

This does not mean that journalists have not witnessed or documented massacres like this in other wars. The images of starving children in Yemen or the image of a nude Van Thi Phuc escaping from a napalm field during the Vietnam War shocked the human conscience. But news organizations have always been sensitive to pictures of people killed in wars, and to taboos about showing victims’ faces. As editor, Robinson helped monitor these restrictions, and our goal was to inform the reader at a time when we preserve the dignity of the dead and their families. We were trying to avoid causing harm to our customers.

This was before the advent of social media. In 1994, when the deadliest genocide since World War II took place in Rwanda, there was no way that monitors of mass killings would grab their phone lenses and quickly spread them around the world. The father of the two children and the woman’s husband learned of their deaths from photos posted on Twitter. “In that moment, I lost everyone, I lost the meaning of life,” he told The Washington Post.

And news organizations might logically ask themselves what sensitivities they imagine they are protecting, given the dominance of social media. They can draw attention to contexts in which it has been published

Pictures of people who died and whose publication was considered in the interest of public opinion, such as the death of George Floyd in front of media cameras, and Derek Chauvin, a policeman who fell on his knee for 9 minutes.

But the writer wonders if there is something other than technology related to the current war in Ukraine that was not present in other wars. The underlying, unambiguous context has to do with the media’s view of the Ukrainians, “They are people like us, and we may be in danger like them. Most of the victims in Ukraine are Europeans, white and Christian. Few speak English. To the trains that take them into exile with their children playing with dolls and Lego.”

The media intentionally or subconsciously expressed his love for this war and made it a living tragedy. By focusing in particular on victims and refugees. They were portrayed to us as individuals and not as masses in which the fugitives’ faces are unrecognizable. Viewers and readers were invited, if not forced, to imagine themselves in similar circumstances.

No wonder members of Congress, reflecting their constituencies’ positions, are lobbying the Biden administration to do all it can to forcefully intervene, despite the obvious risks of intervening in a war with Russia.

During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Robinson said, civilians were killed and displaced, and their suffering was no less. But the fact that we are not allowed to know is that the victims, who in this case were not Europeans, white and Christian, were suffering from the fire of the Americans who fired artillery and rockets at them.

Robinson believes that the American press here was not intentionally biased, and he has every respect for journalists who covered the war, including Brent Reno, the American journalist who was killed at a Kyiv checkpoint.

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