Following the happenings in Syrian war, I received information quite confirmed, apparently, of how syrian rebels are killing, beheading and even roasting heads of prisoners and enemies
… immediately came to my mind that video with the child beheading a policeman, (http://www.veracitynow.com/images/syria_beheading_330x228.jpg)
and thousands of many pictures and images of dead people and war victims, shown in detail as an obscene progression by the rebels https://www.facebook.com/crimesagainsthumanity13/photos_stream
(honestly I haven’t seen the pro-regime side exhibiting corpses (and they got equally innocent civillian victims to mourn as well) in such a way, which, in my opinion is far more respectful to the person they are trying to honour).
It almost made me vomit. But I kept saying to myself that war is war, and my grandparents had to see the same in 1936 in Spain, while the rest of the world has seen it too, since always. even this, my first thought was that of “how primitive, how wild, how inhumane are this people… how can they…” then I remembered it was not the first time I had seen war brutality represented by beheading and other war crimes.
Out of innumerable cases along recent history, as during USSR and Nazi confrontation, Japanese occupation in China or Philippines, the Holocaust, and many others, some images came to my mind… images of extremes, … straight to Cambodia’s civil war, and the further repression of the Khmer Rouge, which brang out memories of hell on earth really hard to match; (http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01375/cambodia_1375709c.jpg)
Images of Mexican narcos beheading people by the dozens (I won’t reproduce here) as signs of territorial power in their gang fights, … images of african tribes in ethnical wars with episodes (recent) of cannibalism based on tribal wars…
But also WWII,…on the allied side and the japanese… how the Pacific campaign also achieved levels of brutality and cruelty that led many men to fall in the same lack of respect for human life, seeing ur enemy as a piece of flesh, even dressed of some kind of supposed morality:
…and not only in the “bad guys” side:
Even my own countrymen experienced such level of degradation during our north african campaigns (my grandfather fought there) against the Berber tribes that fought against our colonial pressence and that of the french. It was normal for berbers to leave the beheaded and dismembered bodies of the spanish soldiers they caught, most often with their own test¡cles and penis half swallowed, as an advert to other spanish troops. What makes us think that a man is different to another because of his origin when things go crazy? This is what spanissh soldiers learnt to do while Francisco Franco earned his stars as youngest general in Europe:
(http://imagenes.publico-estaticos.es/resources/archivos/2012/9/21/1348247718288legionarios.jpg) / (http://pictures2.todocoleccion.net/tc/2010/07/03/20268435.jpg) / (http://www.rayosycentellas.net/fotohistoria/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/cabezascortadasmoros1.jpg)
… I could only imagine what would have been feeling my grandfather seeing all that.
He never told about that war or the Civil War. There’s no pics of him in uniform. Nothing. I think I can understand why. There was no honour for those who have some conscience of what it is to be human. Only those who are not, liked to exhibit it.
Some years later, sons and brothers of these killed moroccans could be fighting for Franco against the Republic in the Civil War, and these episodes were repeated again on spanish bodies. They were mostly based in vengeance by moors and used as a weapon to create terror by Nationalists. As usual, it was ignited, promoted, orchestrated and applauded by Franco’s Generals. And blamed on the savage moors, of course.
And finally… it was impossible not to get back to the best war photographer that I ever met.
He was maybe the first who took off all the supposed glory of combat and revolutions, all the smell of courage and good values,… and showed all the human misery and its raw, atavic side.
His name was Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. And no one like him reflected for a long time the disasters of war. He lived during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain (War of Independence for us, spaniards… Peninsula War for you, anglosaxons).
He had no doubt in reflecting human degradation on both sides, the supposed civilised invaders, and the supposed unarmed victims of that invasion, common spanish folks… and that era of illustration and enlightment, of codification and human rights, didn’t escape to the chop-chop machine as a way to impress the enemy and increase the load of hate and disrespect.
Because just one thing is clear: it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what’s ur own circumstances. There’s always a common origin for it. There’s common lines and common lacks.
And it’s within us. Humans. We are like that wherever we are from. Let’s not forget.
And even after all this crap… let’s keep trying not to loose hope.
At least those like me that felt as vomiting while watching and discarding pics for this bloody post.