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“Photographs of the victims of war are themselves a species of rhetoric. They reiterate. They simplify. They agitate. They create the illusion of consensus.

“The destructiveness of war – short of total destruction, which is not war but suicide – is not in itself an argument against waging war unless one thinks (as few people actually do think) that violence is always unjustifiable, that force is always and in all circumstances wrong – wrong because, as Simone Weil affirms in her sublime essay on war, ‘The Iliad, or The Poem of Force’ (1940), violence turns anybody subjected to it into a thing…

“Photographs of an atrocity may give rise to opposing responses. A call for peace. A cry for revenge. Or simply the bemused awareness, continually restocked by photographic information, that terrible things happen.”

– Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

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