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Neda, Obama and the Power of Pictures

Posted by alanmirs on July 1, 2009

Neda, Obama and the Power of Pictures

By Randy Cohen

At a White House press conference
last week, a reporter asked President Obama about Iran and whether he
had watched the video of Neda Agha-Soltan being shot in the chest and
bleeding to death on a Tehran street. Obama said he had, and added:
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking.” He went on to condemn Iran’s
suppression of demonstrators, saying, “There are certain international
norms of freedom of speech, freedom of expression.” That’s when the
reporter Helen Thomas started to say, “Then why won’t you allow the
photos…” referring, Obama understood, to photos of the abuse of
detainees held abroad by the United States, photos whose release he has
blocked. “Hold on a second, Helen,” he said. “That’s a different
question.” But is it, really? If vivid images help us understand
events, shouldn’t they be disseminated and seen?
Transparency is an essential condition of democracy: citizens cannot
make the informed decisions self-rule requires if they are denied
knowledge of the actions of their government. Government cannot be
accountable if its actions are veiled. But more than this, transparency
is an ethical ideal, the political expression of a commitment to
honesty. It is disheartening to see it resisted by someone who has
spoken so ardently in its defense

If one is not
disturb to see the video of Neda bleeding to death, one should be a terrorist,
and that is the question, did in fact A terror group carried out the act?
According to the New York Times,
It was hot in the car, so the young woman and her singing
instructor got out for a breath of fresh air on a quiet side street not far
from the anti-government protests they had ventured out to attend. A gunshot
rang out, and the woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, fell to the ground. “It burnt me,”
she said before she died.
It looks odd, she was away from the crowd and yet was hit
with a bullet and there was a camera to shot the event!
remember the LA riot covering live that a driver was pulled out of his truck
and hit with brick on his head, I feel the media play a essential role in such



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