To be noticed

The lesson of the week for those seeking to influence public opinion is to not publish gory photos of children killed in war.

Ten thousand child deaths in Syria might have been avoided had there been an iconic photo capable of going viral (unfortunately most injuries were just too graphic for that).

The hundreds of children killed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen or by Israel in Gaza had no hope of reaching the masses and provoking global demands for change.

We must be pushed outside our comfort zones, yes, but not too much. The informed have known for years about the brutality of these wars and the desperate refugee crises caused by them.

Some hoped Angelina Jolie’s face would go viral to raise consciousness – and indeed she did an admirable job advocating on behalf of the destitute. But not even a pair of starving children eating breadcrumbs from the ground had the power to effect real change.

Only this photo could have gone viral. Gruesome but not offensive. Horrific yet sanitised. A peaceful babe in aweful circumstances. An angel that could speak to the masses.

Pity the thousands of other tragic children who could not speak and be heard either in life or death, whose unspeakable wounds were seen but never noticed.

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