These ads were created at the time of the impending Iraq war, which the Bush Administration seemed determined to wage regardless of public opinion and with little resistance from the American media.
Although I understood the need to be patriotic and respectful of the service men and women who were about to fight for our country, I could not understand why there were not more questions asked, why the administration had been given a free pass, or why some of the most obvious conflicts of interest were simply glossed over. The American media as well as the public and Congress were all too fearful of seeming unpatriotic to voice any dissent.
I created these parodies of a popular ad campaign centered around the four key figures in the Bush Administration. The text for each image voices some accusations that generally went unspoken before the start of the war, presented in a slightly humorous fashion. (Images currently not shown.)
This series is a continuation of the first “got war?” campaign created immediately after the initial bombings of Iraq. The images in this series focus on the after-effects of the war on the Iraqi people. While most American news services showed only the same clip of Iraqis cheering American troops as they drove through the streets, the American public never got to see the effects of the war; as far as everyone knew, no civilians were killed or even harmed and our “smart bombs” only decimated the Baathist strongholds. These images show only a fraction of the destruction we unleashed on the country, and only now are we realizing how hard it is to put it all back together again.
Once again, I decided to use a sarcastic tone in the text of these posters. Since the American opinion was one of “look at the great thing we just did bringing liberty and freedom to the Iraqi people,” then the text needed to reflect that attitude, while remaining oblivious to the carnage in the photos. Also, the images are not in color, but black and white to represent the sense of hopelessness that the Iraqi people still feel after Saddam’s demise.
This series extends into the occupation, which hasn't exactly gone as smoothly as everyone thought. This time, I decided to take a look from the American soldier's perspective at what is happening to them in Iraq, in the media and to their benefits at home.
Those willing and eager chickenhawks pictured in the first series can make all the media appearances they want, but it is the men and women who actually have to serve who have no voice or even face in the media. Remember all the flack about the photos of the coffins? The Nightline special commemorating the war dead? All stuff the government didn't want you to see? This series was completed before any of the torture photos surfaced, and I decided not to go back and incorporate that incident into these, since these represented a snapshot in time.