Seek the truth in everything you see…

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

Bible, Matthew 5:6


“And whenever you give your word, say the truth.”

Quran, al-An’aam 6:152

From Autonomous Mind

 It is amazing how quickly facts and real life images get misrepresented in mass media or on the internet in support of a certain agenda, perspective or viewpoint. Therefore I often try to find real stories behind images I see around, rather than ‘blindly’ believing the captions. Below are a few of my ‘discoveries’:

You probably have seen that image on the internet or in the mass media, thought you might not have seen it with that caption: ”

Image1From Random Steer 103 

This caption implies that the soldier on this photo is on the ‘wrong side’ and he might be regretting that. I did a little research and discovered the following story provided by Michael Yon – the photographer who took that photo:

“Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn’t make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her.

The soldiers went back to that neighborhood the next day to ask what they could do. The people were very warming and welcomed us into their homes, and many kids were actually running up to say hello and to ask soldiers to shake hands…

One thing seems certain; the people in that neighborhood share our feelings about the terrorists. We are going to go back there, and if any terrorists come out, the soldiers hope to find them. Everybody is still very angry that the insurgents attacked us when the kids were around.”

Do you think that the caption reflects the true story behind that image?

In another case, the following photo has been circulated in the social media with the caption: “Heartbreaking image by an Iraqi artist taken in an orphanage. This little girl has never seen her mother, so she drew a mom on the ground and fell asleep with her…”

Image2From Info For U

You can find the true story behind this thought-provoking image at  . Below are the words of the artist Bahareh Bisheh who created this image: “This little girl is my cousin and she actually fell asleep on the asphalt just outside my house. She must have played for some time and just lied to rest and fell asleep. im used a chair to stand on in order to take this shot. There is no orphanage involved and no tragic story behind this. i took this opportunity to be creative. It is a style of photography You can use my photos in your webblag If you mention my name as the photographer of this photo. Thanks to all for the consideration .”

Even though this caption is not true, it is still a good reminder for all of us that there are lots of children on this planet who live without mother’s and father’s love. Lets appreciate what we have and take care of those, who are less fortunate in life than us.

However if we want to use a real life image to express our views, let’s not forget to check the story behind it, mention the author’s name and provide the link to it’s source. If we come across an image we like, let’s still remember to follow the same steps before sharing it to avoid spreading false memes and viruses of the mind. As H. L. Mencken once said, “Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.” Seek the truth in everything you see…

From A Leading Philosophy Rather Than a Leader

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32 thoughts on “Seek the truth in everything you see…

  1. katelon says:

    I liked your story and pointing out that pictures can often be manipulated. This is true of all media. I watched a series of shows about what really happened in the west and that even back then media was manipulated to support the US soldiers massacring unarmed Native Americans The media has rolled out propaganda to get the US into every war, building naive citizen’s support. The US soldiers massacred men, women and children in Vietnam. Bradley Manning exposed how in Iraq the US killed many innocent adults and children in their attacks. So although the picture you shared was manipulated, and truly was a US solider attempting to save a child killed by terrorists, the US has been terrorists killing innocent people just as much.

    I am a proponent of truth being revealed for all sides, free of the lies that separate us all.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I know, Katelon, and personally I don’t like the way US Army ‘spin doctors’ were using that image for promoting their agenda either. For me that image is about compassion that has no geographical, religious or cultural barriers. We are all human beings and as human beings, we do care about other human beings, particularly children and we do feel pain in our hearts when we see innocent children being hurt or killed.

      With regard to media manipulations I have a few other interesting examples on my blog, including the one about public opinion manipulation in the USA and former USSR during the Cold War: see at

      The same with Iraq – it can hardly be squeezed in a simple black-and-white right-and-wrong paradigm either. Some people, like Kayla Williams, were genuinely trying to help there, building a bond with the locals, carefully nurturing relationships and building trust. However not everyone acted like Kayla there: some soldiers were busting down civilians’ doors and dragging people into the streets. Some soldiers were taking shots at people as they ran away, or were shooting up entire cars of people as they approached a manned checkpoint (women, children, whatever) because they did not stop in time. Check out a few excerpts from her book on my blog at though the whole book provides a much better picture of what Kayla experienced there.

      The way we look at the relationship between the countries is very important too. In a world organised around the idea of state sovereignty, where states are believed to possess the right to be free from foreign interference, any intervention is seen as invasion. Yet if we think first and foremost about the basic rights of humans rather than states, then we see that states have a responsibility to protect the rights of people, both their own citizens (in the case of self-defence) and the citizens of other states (humanitarian intervention). In that case if citizens and officials can’t or won’t protect the rights of people within their own borders, then the responsibility to intervene falls upon the international community: the citizens and officials of other nations. On that ground one of my Iraqi friends supported the USA-led intervention in Iraq as the only way of stopping Saddam Hussein from killing and torturing his own people. She knew very well how terrible the life was in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

      Like you, I am a proponent of truth being revealed for all sides, free of the lies that separate us all. I like the way you put it into words. Very well said.

      • melanie says:

        I do confirm for Iraq and THE illegal US-invasion & occupation of this country based upon lies and manipulations… I was in the US by then and we were proud that France and its government opposed this shameful and devastating war… 😦

      • Otrazhenie says:

        John Pilger wrote a very good article on Iraq left in ruins after the war at . The life was pretty bad there before the war and unfortunately did not get much better after the war. John Pilger also made a heart-breaking movie “The War You Don’t See” – see trailer at . Very sad 😦

      • melanie says:

        Thanx for the link, Miss O! bush & co(they don’t deserve capitals!) made fun of France and Germany – “old Europe”, because they had planned the invasion of Iraq by the end of 2001… 9/11 was just a “stalking horse” for the naive American people who did and still do swallow the US-gov lies about saddam’s wmd, etc, bla-bla and the “promise” to install freedom and democracy in Iraq… 10 years after this tragedy, more than 150 000 civilians killed, this country has been totally ruined… 😦 I’ll always recall the determined speech of our PM Dominique de Villepin at the UNO:”France and our governement oppose this illegal war and we won’t join the unfair coalition…” Do you know what Colin Powell responded in front of the whole planet? “America will punish France!” – I did see & hear him “live” on CNN! What about China, Russia, and about 99% of the planet that had opposed the Iraq war?!… he didn’t threaten them! Grrr!!!

        Most Americans have no history notions about their own country… They’ve “forgotten” that without Lafayette and his French army the USofA would have never existed and that their US-Constitution has been largely inspired by the French one… last but not least: the whole architecture of Wasington-DC was designed by a French architect Pierre Lenfant, THE only foreigner burried at Arlington National Cemetery… draw your own conclusions, please! 🙂

  2. […] most powerful entity on earth when it comes to propaganda. Internet can facilitate the spread of facts and real life photos misrepresented in line with a certain agenda and supported by false generalisations such as “we are all good, […]

  3. Ajaytao2010 says:

    very beautiful post dear
    very beautiful

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks, Ajay. Missed your kind words and insightul comments. Hope everything is well with you.

      • Ajaytao2010 says:

        I was out a little bit dear
        although I posted some few things

        I am fine and well too
        and all your recent post were very good

        Thank you dear

  4. beebeesworld says:

    Thanks for reading my blog, “Your Obituary”. I will follow your blog and invite you to follow mine as well. beebeesworld

  5. jjspina says:

    So touching and heartbreaking at the same is that picture of the soldier. It just brought tears to my eyes. I hate war and can’t see who is the winner in any war! It is a waste of precious lives.

    Thank you stopping by my blog. Best wishes and blessings to you!

  6. Great post. I once was manipulated by the media in an interview and I no longer trust the major media organisations to tell the truth. The head honchos in the army learned lessons from press coverage of the Vietnam war and their embedment of journalists with troops in the Iraq war was a pretty successful attempt to subvert the media to their own interests. One of my mantras is “Why don’t people THINK” because I find it frustrating that people swallow lies so blindly. Thank you for a great post.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I also do not trust media – whether traditional media or social media. Unfortunately, so many people are too lazy to think critically and therefore accept everything they see/hear in the media 😦

  7. arnulfo says:

    Reblogged this on The grokking eagle.

  8. Mike Osorio says:

    Great reminder of the need to independently verfify information before it is shared. Well stated.

  9. bkpyett says:

    Thank you so much for liking Christopher’s paintings.
    I feel so moved by visiting your site, thank you! I shall follow you with interest. Are all of all those awards legit? Congratulations!!
    Barbara in Australia

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Hi Barbara, All awards displayed on my blog have been given to me by fellow bloggers. “Awards” have a special meaning for me as they allow bloggers to get to know each other better, allows us to learn a bit more about each other and our life experiences. “Award” posts give my blog a ‘personal’ touch via answers to various questions that usually come with awards. However I rarely accept awards now, as I feel that I’ve answered so many questions by now, that have nothing else to tell about myself 🙂

      Loved your blog and your ‘about’ page. You look so happy with Christopher. I wish you both all the best in your co-creative life. 🙂

  10. Without truth, we can’t even tell which way is up. I know of a newspaper’s motto which (translated) reads: Nothing Is Useful Unless It Is Honest – so true!

  11. kendeyl says:

    Thanks for liking my blog. I found the theme of this post very interesting and love your pics. How do you get so many comments? I am a new blogger and any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment. Very interesting question. How do I get so many comments? I have no idea. I think, comments and discussions is en essential part of blogging. Blogging is about talking 🙂

  12. pndrgn99 says:

    Thank you for reading my poetry. I hear what you say I know what you say to be true most things especially beautiful things are manipulated for-profit and or political gain. Somedays the most we can contribute is to hold the truth in our hearts and send goodness out into the world around us. Will thou them to move us to anger would become part of the problem. If we allow them to move us to investigating the truth, as you do and writing poetry as I, perhaps we can change the world around us. One of my teachers said “if it’s connected to money it’s not the kind of spirituality to be involved with”. I believe that.

  13. […] See the truth in everything you see… […]

  14. […] *Sebagai catatan kecil, beberapa website yang sama diluar negeri juga pernah mengulas kebenaran foto tersebut seperti pada website PhD in Parenting dan Otrazhenie […]

  15. zai says:

    I beleived those who attacked the U.S. soldiers in the presence of children are barbaric but I strongly disagree ,you call them terrorists. Irag is their land, they were fighting for their country against intruders ( U.S.,UK ,France & coalition troops)

  16. […] sich auf dem Asphalt innerhalb mit Kreide gezeichneten Frauenfigur zusammengerollt hat, plötzlich selbständig machte. Die Legende, die dem Bild zum Erfolg verhalf: „Herzzerreißendes Foto einer irakischen […]

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