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Rebuilding Iraq


POWs and the media

As POWs have been taken by both the coalition and Iraqi forces, media outlets have been broadcasting images and video of the captives. How do you feel about this? Should their privacy be protected? Should the media have no limit placed on what they can show? Should Iraqi POWs be treated differently from coalition POWs in this regard?

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I think it's horrible. Bloodied soldiers on the TV as we eat dinner.. it's vietnam all over again!

Anne, Needham

Although it may seem dehumanizing to use images of POWs as war-time propaganda, there is one advantage to seeing images of capture coalition troops: it provides historical proof of physical condition. Iraq could not harm these people and later claim that they were injured during combat, prior to capture. So, while it is immediately repulsive, I'm glad Iraq is giving us evidence that could be held against them in the future. Hopefully, we won't need it!

Steven, Holliston

It should all be shown. War must not be sanitized for viewer consumption. People in this country must be allowed to see the consequences. The press needs to strive to remain objective and not be such pawns of the military. Are we treating Iraqi POWs differently fro coalition POWs? I hope so.

katielou, harwich

What really bothers me is the reporters' insensitivity to the whole thing. While our news outlets are busy patting themselves on the back for not showing the infamous Al-Jazeera tape, their reporters are still fighting for the story, and not giving thought. I saw the parents of the soldier whose last name is Riley (the soldier who also has New Zealand citizenship)and I heard a reporter telling his parents that a POW from the first Gulf War had said that he was treated well by the soldiers, but that the Secret Police had brutalized him. I watched a look of distress creep across his parents' faces, and I was so disgusted I had to change the station. I just don't know what is wrong with these reporters who seem to forget that these soldiers are someone's children, or father, mother, spouse or sibling. This should be respected.

Jessica, Somerville

Even though the acts of showing POWs on TVs violates the Geneva Convention's guidelines, it is an opportunity for the world to monitor the treatment these POWs received from the Iraqis. If something should happen to the POWs, the Iraqi government will expose its inhumane face and will suffer more consequences.

Huy, Boston

I was sickened when I saw the US POW pictures over the weekend. However I was more upset that were upset that they showed pictures of our troops but CNN and the rest of the media circus has been showwing pictures of their troops. I think we need to set the example or atleast not be shocked when there doing the same thing as our media.

Adam, Orlando/FL

When I see these pictures of the "hostages" I feel sad for the families who have to see their loved ones captured and enduring God know what types of treatment. We all know Saddam is a madman and evil and has instilled these "values" in his regime. He has no morals in using women and children, never mind what he may do to our troops regardless of the Geneva Convention, which means nothing to him, anyway. My thoughts and prayers go out to the familes of such brave individuals and I pray also, that the US is victorious in ridding ourselves of this fiend.

Christina, Worcester

In a perfect world, no images of POW's (Iraqi or Coalition forces) should be shown as the privacy of the POW's and their families should be given high consideration, not to mention that such images may violate the Geneva Accords. Realistically, however, we will continue to see such images so long as the media feels the need to fill in dead air time between their live coverage. POW's of any nation should be accorded dignity and proper treatment, which is why I am angry that Iraq has the audacity to force Coalition POW's to appear close up on camera, to parade their personal effects like trophies, and subject them to media questioning, all the while complaining that Coalition news outlets are showing general footage of groups of Iraqi POW's. Ironically, Iraq claims these men are not even Iraqi soldiers and yet it attempts to avail themselves of the Geneva Accords. Whatever hypocrisy of which the U.S. may be guilty in this war, Iraq beats it hands down.

Richard, Salem

I am disgusted with the way they are treating our soldiers. Considering the way US treat theirs. I believe that they should not be showing these gruesome images. I am a supporter of War, but I am not happy the way Bush is going about this war. He is trying to win a War, and a popularity contest at the same time. This war has been more political, than anything else. Our soldiers are dying because we are afraid to flex our muscles. So I guess France in the long run. I can't believe we have not cut off their water and electricity. I don't want mass casulaties from Iraqi civilians, but if they have all the utilities running how we wxpect to flush them out of Baghdad? Furthore more, didn't my Tax money pay for MOAB? I would like to see it used on the Republican guard.

Brian, Wakefield

Show it all. Certainly we should wait until the relatives are notified, so that no mother turns on CNN and is surprised to see their son on TV with a bullet between his eyes. But we MUST see the REALITY of what's going on. We should not be sheltered from it.

cj, watertown

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