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what i see

You might be surprised to see me post these pictures. I’ve said before that the simple act of seeing them is a kind of trauma, a trauma that can accumulate with each viewing, and there is no reason we should need that trauma to understand their reality. Even those people who are inured to images, or are rather not yet sensitized to them, have some empathy for what they are seeing. Responsible adults looking at world affairs must sometimes believe their empathy betrays them—undeserved pain that interferes with the decisions they need to make to meet their own needs. I think all of that obscures something I have noticed in these pictures, which is not the dead human meat or the destruction, but the witnesses to it. The face of the Turkish soldier whose job that morning was to pick up the drowned body of a 3-year-old and carry it off the beach. The 5-year-old, whose brain is an incredible organ of adaptation, better at it than you or I can ever hope to be again, learning something un

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