Monday, November 08, 2004

As Japan was recovering from killer typhoons and shaking from earthquakes and after shocks,24 year old backpacker Shosei Koda was kidnapped in Iraq on October 26.

Even after his beheaded corpse was found on October 30th, there was not an outpouring of sympathy or support for him. I thought it was because Japan was in the midst of the onslaught of natural disasters. But our friend in Japan, the indefatigable Yoshiko Ikeda (her sites are in Japanese)told us that the maojority of people seemed to dismiss him as stupid and irresponsible, some even going as far as implying that he got what he deserved.

In response to this, the artist DoX, painted this picture:

DoX wrote an article in accompaniment/explanation of the painting, and Yoshiko has translated it for me. it reads in part:

I don't know if this painting is good or not, but this is how they
seemed to me; those people who utter their 'splendid opinions' to
someone who is being killed. No words can be found.

I still don't know what I can say, so let me quote someone else's

"It's all too easy to call him stupid. I just wondered if I could
ignore him because he had nothing to do with me, when he was
making his last-time pleadge in front of a video camera. It's "us
or them" mentality. I just don't think it's my cup of tea. If you
think he doesn't deserve your attention, the best thing should be
just to keep quiet. Even if he was stupid, it doen't make you
cleverer than him"

Anyway, I am still feeling sad for this guy, and i can't express myself nearly as well as DoX, so I will leave it at that. I just wanted to do my small part in honoring the memory of a young man whose only crime was suspecting that lies were being told about Iraq and wanting to get to see for himself what the embedded media was not telling him.