I spent my career making big prints for advertising, display, exhibition, museums and artists. I got my start in the US Navy as a Photographers Mate, where I was a highly decorated sailor who served in a combat unit (although I saw no combat). The image depicted above has my highest admiration for waging a just protest against evil activity. Yes, we citizens of the United States of America are waging an unjust war.
Hey, I not only have some expertise in the field of big imaging; I studied ethics in grad school at a prominent university. But anyone who dares question the Bush or Obama administrations’ foreign policies is instantly indicted for failing to support the troops. Well folks, they simply shouldn’t be there! The best way to support them is to bring them home. And the child shown above is staring back at us to cause our shame to awaken to this fact. (Indifference is the gravest sin.)
Yes, nations still apparently need to defend themselves against other nations, or so our defense industries continually argue. And anyone who has ever called the cops to quell a neighbor’s misbehavior would probably agree. But there are better ways to settle squabbles than calling in gun-toting force. Wage peace, for one. Yeah, I know, there’s no money in it. And it requires humility and patience and compassion and honest discussion with our enemies. (My greatest hero, Jesus of Nazareth, tells me to love my enemies – surely a hard, but not optional, saying.) And peacemaking takes participation instead of indifference. Ah, there’s the rub. Have you participated in your governance lately? Or are you letting them do dirty work in your name? It’s hard to get a man to understand something, when his paycheck depends upon him not understanding it. -Sinclair Lewis.
If you haven’t read this amazing biography of a great American hero who knew something about close warfare, I urge you to read the biography of John Boyd, the fighter pilot who changed the art of war – one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. Now, Marines don’t care much for flyboys as they rarely get their hands dirty (or bloody). Boyd was a colonel in the USAF – a flyboy. And Boyd was an actual Korea war ace. After that war, he took on the Pentagon, shooting down the B1 bomber! Yes, he shotdown a program which had politicians and captains of industry invested in it in every state in the nation. One guy! For that, he got his picture on the cover of TIME magazine, and had his career jammed, of course.
Boyd then went on to design the most awesome plane for close warfare in the history of flight, after which he made the USAF buy that plane, which is the ugliest bird in the sky: the A-10 Warthog. Presently the Pentagon is waging all out warfare to remove this great weapon from our bloated arsenal, hoping to replace it with gold-plated turkeys that enhance the bottom line.
John Boyd’s huge picture hangs at Marine Corp War College. Those ground pounders know a true hero when they see one. As for the gameboys who kill kids with their play stations – well, if I wrote what I’m tempted to write, I’d be a hypocrite. (Gameboy warriors need compassion, too.) Yes, they deserve to be set free from this war just as much as Afghani children do. The best way for you to accomplish that is by writing or calling your Congressional representatives right now. And while you’re at it, ask them to save the A-10 Warthog so we can wage a more just war, if we have to.