A soldier rests on the streets of Sadr City, Iraq during a dismounted security patrol June, 2008. Most soldiers and Marines work over ten (and up to 20 or more) hours a day, seven days a week in temperatures reaching 60c/140f. To add to the physical stress, body armor weighs around 18kg/40lbs and combined with other equipment they often carry a total of 31kg/70lbs. The mental stress also weighs on soldiers and Marines, as most of their time outside of bases is spent trying to guess who may be friendly and who may be their enemy.
A U.S. Army soldier offers a young girl a piece of candy while on a security patrol in Sadr City, Iraq - June, 2008.
The following post is related to Zoriah's earlier photographic story dealing with a suicide bombing that he witnessed. Those images resulted in his forced removal from Iraq by American military authorities.
words and images by Zoriah
U.S. Marines search a home near Garma/Karmah in hopes of gaining more information regarding the attack on the 26th of June. These searches and information gathering operations also help maintain as much security in the area as possible.
words and images by Zoriah
I want you, my audience, to see and to understand what others live through on a daily basis. I want you to see what the Iraqi civilians and foreign soldiers see. I want people who follow my photography to understand that although I am able to bring images of war to the world in a form of art, what actually goes on here is horror. I don’t want my message to be that war yields great photography; I want my message to be that war yields human misery and suffering.
This post and the images contained in the link below are extremely graphic. If you want to see for yourself what people here in Iraq live through, or what the realities of war actually are …please click this link to view the post. If you are offended by graphic images, then please do something to stop the events that facilitate them instead of reading this post and being offended by it.
If you would like to view this post, click HERE
You will not see this on your local news or in your local papers. You may see a small bit of text on Yahoo News or another online site, but you will see what you will see here and what you read here you will not read anywhere else. It is not what is considered major news, and even if it was, there is “compassion fatigue” regarding Iraq and “no one cares,” so say all of my editors at major publications.
This incident, which happened only a few hours ago, received two paragraphs on the Internet news, and then faded away. It was “only” thirty or forty people that lost their lives…. children, old men, civilians, police and military. For those of you who choose to read on, this is what it looks like, all across Iraq on a daily basis:
Once again, this post contains graphic images and text about the death of many people. I urge you to view it but if you are sensitive to such things you may want to return to the main page of the blog now. Thank you.
We are on a mission in Sadr City to inspect some of the checkpoints along the newly completed wall. The first part of the mission brings us to the infamous Jamilla Market, an outdoor stretch of shops and home to some of the worst fighting in the entire war. The market suffered heavily and many shop owners are now facing repairs that they could never possibly afford. It has made an impossible situation even worse for many.
The new checkpoint is nothing more than a gap in the wall allowing individuals to pass after being thoroughly searched and often harassed. We watch as one US soldier violently pokes a man with metal detecting wand, asserting his power and control in an inhumane way. One of the soldiers in my platoon comments on how he is out of line and doing a disservice to the Army, but nothing is said or done to stop it and we continue on our way.
Walls and checkpoints are usually a recipe for human rights violations and cruelty, but for the moment the checkpoints at least offer hope for the merchants to recover, and for the residents of Sadr City to purchase necessities such as groceries and other supplies. As usual, the individuals struggling to live their lives in between the two sides at war suffer the most.
photographs and words by Zoriahwww.zoriah.com
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