UGLY FACE. Noy's review of Iraq in Fragments conveys the power of wartime images -- images that usually aren't pretty. This week, the Post offered an excellent snapshot of the lasting effects of the Vietnam War, depicting vivid images of children who suffer from the remnants of toxic Agent Orange. The images of deformed children have stayed with me since I saw the photographs earlier this week. One somehow doubts that the president is getting much exposure to these human testaments to war's horror on his current visit to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the public consensus has shifted against the Iraq war, and that country will bear the scars for a long time, much as Vietnam still does. Many of the depictions of Iraq on American media have been rightfully criticized for being overly sanitized. To a certain degree, sites like YouTube and other Internet resources have helped to break down those barriers and bring harsher (and more telling) imagery to the surface. But of course the public never wants to believe that war is going to be this ugly. Once again, we'll carry images of our mistakes for years to come.

--Kay Steiger

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