Some of you may have noticed I have this little thing on the right sidebar where I have a link and the cover of the book I am currently reading. I normally try and write a "Not A Review" once I am done reading. But there are times that a book will just completely grab you from the very first page and won't let go, just because the story is so very real and compelling. The book I am reading is "Where War Lives" by the Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Paul Watson. From the book's description...
Paul Watson was born a rebel with one hand, who grew up thinking it took two to fire an assault rifle, or play jazz piano. So he became a journalist. At first, he loved war. He fed his lust for the bang-bang, by spending vacations with guerilla fighters in Angola, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia, and writing about conflicts on the frontlines of the Cold War. Soon he graduated to assignments covering some of the world’s most important conflicts, including South Africa, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq.In the prologue Paul Watson quotes from Camus...
Watson reported on Osama bin Laden’s first battlefield victory in Somalia. Unwittingly, Watson’s Pulitzer Prize—winning photo of Staff Sgt. David Cleveland — whose Black Hawk was shot down over the streets of Mogadishu — helped hand bin Laden one of his earliest propaganda coups, one that proved barbarity is a powerful weapon in a modern media war. Public outrage over the pictures of Cleveland’s corpse forced President Clinton to order the world’s most powerful military into retreat. With each new beheading announced on the news, Watson wonders whether he helped teach the terrorists one of their most valuable lessons.
Much more than a journalist’s memoir, Where War Lives connects the dots of the historic continuum from Mogadishu through Rwanda to Afghanistan and Iraq.
He wrote in his notebook that he had solved the mystery of where war lives. It lives in all of us. He described the internal conflict that consumes us, whether it's in the heart of soldiers on the battlefield, or those of folks safe back home, wondering, and regretting "That they can't share the way the others are going to die."I am almost halfway through the book now and it is a gripping read about war and the effect it has, not just on those in the midst of it but also on those that document it. It is about anger and guilt and also about decisions made in the blink of an eye and their ability to alter history.
"It's there, that's where it really is, and we were looking got it in the blue sky and the world's indifference. It is in this terrible loneliness both of the combatants and of the noncombatants, in this humiliated despair that we all feel, in the baseness that we feel growing in our faces as the days go by. The reign of the beasts has begun."
It is also very relevant, dear leader is said to have read Camus, but I seriously doubt he gets it.
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