When newspaper war correspondents first started sending home photographs from the battlefields of the Crimean War, the images were frozen segments of time showing cannonball strewn valleys and officers standing stock still. The
film was so slow any images of charging light horse brigades would have been a blur.
Since then the images of war have become icons. The flag being raised on Iwo Jima. The Vietnamese girl, with her clothes burned off, fleeing down a road.
War can be distant and impersonal or in-your-face intimate. You can stand off miles away and launch artillery or
missiles. You can fly over and drop bombs that hit their invisible targets after the plane is miles away. Or you can face the enemy. See him as a living creature, not an invisible concept.
Does the way it is reported make a difference in how you think about war?
We saw those smart-bomb images from the Gulf War. Now we have a war for YouTube.
On a computer in your office or home you can see the Israeli Defense Forces attack Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It is a far cry from the frozen Crimea.
In what appear to be infrared images, possibly captured from an overhead drone, the Israeli Air Force images show men clearly loading trucks with what appear to be Grad missiles, those notoriously errant rockets that Hamas shoots into the air over Israel, falling to earth they know not where.
Those who are about to die go busily about their gruesome task while the camera zooms in and out and the cross-hairs move to their target. With pinpoint accuracy the IAF strikes.