Monday, June 8, 2015

iconic Vietnam war photo

TRANG BANG, Vietnam (AP) — He stands in the northbound lane of Vietnam's Highway 1, traffic swirling around him, horns honking. He is pointing. Right there, he says — that's where it happened. That's where the screaming children appeared. That's where I made the picture that the world couldn't forget.
Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut was 21 on that day more than half a lifetime ago when he stood on the same road, pointed his camera northeast and captured one of history's most famous images — a naked Vietnamese girl screaming and fleeing after South Vietnamese planes looking for Viet Cong insurgents attacked with napalm from the air.


  1. There were two images from the war that stick in my mind. This was one of them, but it was the text explaining how badly burned she was, just then running from the napalm. At first they didn't think she'd live, 14 months in the hospital, 17 surgeries including skin grafts. A British video obviously told more of the story. You can see thumbnails of it here...

    Nixon initially thought they were phony, invented to subvert his popularity and power.

    The other photo that captured my attention was of the chief of the South Vietnamese National Police executing a handcuffed Viet Cong prisoner in the middle of the street. The photo can be seen here...

    I was against the war, but the My Lai massacre and these images brought home to me, in my youth, that america was not above committing the horrors previously attributed to our enemies, the horrors we were intervening to prevent.

    An investigation of history became a frenzied passion to me. I had to know the truth about the world that was misrepresented to me in my childhood. I had to let go of a confidence in a mythology, and accept the uncertainties of living. I guess i had to grow up.

    1. There is a stranger image that stuck in my mind, it was that of a Guānyīn Bodhisattva. Or Kwan Im, Quan In, Quan Im, Quan Yin, Gwanseum, Gwanseeum-bosal, 聖観音, アーリア・アヴァローキテーシュヴァラ whichever the world labels 'Her' as.

      She is fully clothed like a bride sitting on a lotus most of the time, while the world has Her sometimes holding a vine or a jade ornament, it varies. Still, try comparing that image of the Guānyīn with that of a Vietnamese girl running around totally naked with napalm at the backdrop, then tell either Guānyīn or the Vietnamese girl that they are non-dual. Guānyīn is a naked Vietnamese girl while the naked Vietnamese girl is Guānyīn. When I consider in this manner I am totally clueless what was it probably we are trying to solve.