When Nadarajah Arulnathan visits his church at Pasikudah, he puts on a surgical mask because along the way he must pass rotting bodies tangled in the underbrush. They can’t be removed because of the landmines, washed loose from a nearby military base and scattered across the land. The church sanctuary is battered but still stands.
On my last night in Nyala, in southern Darfur, convoys of combat-ready security forces circled the streets of the city, which has become part fortress, part camp for the displaced, and part home for dozens of international humanitarian groups.
In last year’s election campaign we were reminded that images can overpower words. The U.S. military prohibited the taking of pictures of flag-draped coffins arriving from Iraq even as it freely shared statistics on the number of American dead. It knows that the images are more powerful than the numbers.