Photographer Richard Mosse has a terrific trail of images from Iraq of the United States’ occupation of Saddam Hussein’s imperial palaces. It has always bothered me seeing US troops living large on Saddam’s legacy of largesse, and now, after seeing Mosse’s photographs, I understand the why of the disconcerting disconnect.
The production of Osama bin Laden’s body — dead or alive — will soon be in our future as will the body of Saddam Hussein hanging dead from its neck.
We will have successfully produced the body — but are we perpetuating the ghost?
Do Osama and Saddam have more value and resonance in death than they had in their lives?
Is there a downside to assassinating charismatic madmen?
By providing their deaths, have we gifted them immortality and martyrdom and a reason for their evil example to be followed by others?
How should bad people be dealt with in the world?
Can we heal the wounds terrorism rips open by engaging in a dialogue with the neighbors of the terrorists?
Is conversation better than condemnation?