Cover Story

THE IMAGE WAR

"THE IMAGE WAR" Continued...

Issue: "Iraq: The image war," May 22, 2004

These pictures

All of this is by way of introduction to some more pictures.* What follows, though, are not only pictures. This is the fruit of genuine photojournalism. It is a photo-essay, with images and words working together.

They were taken by a Christian freelance journalist and photographer, Sherrlyn Borkgren. She is embedded with the 91st Engineers, stationed just northeast of Baghdad.

Here are some powerful photographs-of soldiers going into the homes of insurgents and interrogating their families; of troops in battle; of soldiers caring for their wounded; of troops interacting with ordinary Iraqis-but along with them is language: not only the captions, but Ms. Borkgren's own words from the front. Some of these photos in isolation-for example, the woman with her hands up-could be used to show American brutality and more reason to pull out of Iraq. But the words tell a different story. And the photos taken together as a whole illustrate that story, told most vividly in Ms. Borkgren's dispatches.

Writing doesn't get much better than this. She describes what it feels like to be in combat-what she felt as she was being shot at-depicting the war in Iraq from the inside. She also describes the bravery and nobility of the soldiers she is with, who are nothing like those prison guards. Her pictures are powerful, but her dispatches show what it took to get those pictures, as well as a sense of the bigger reality, of which these are only snapshots.

*View these photographs in the print edition of WORLD.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith

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