Over There

“What You See Is a Pretty Slender Reality”

The problem with only viewing conflict from an American perspective.

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this special sixth installment, Sebastian Junger—founder of RISC, and a best-selling author and journalist—sits down with Elliott Ackerman (author, Green on Blue), Jennifer Percy (author, Demon Camp), and Peter van Agtmael (photojournalist and author, Disco Night Sept. 11).

“It was completely abstracted,” says Peter van Agtmael on his experiences with Iraqi civilians while embedded during the war in Iraq. “I could never have any kind of emotional, real, empathetic encounter with someone.” That perspective—one voiced in response to a question about the lack of consideration shown to civilians in the media’s coverage of conflict—is a common, if tragic, one for those who cover and partake in America’s wars abroad. In the clip above, Agtmael, along with Jennifer Percy, discuss the steep price that the civilian populations often pay as a result of the ability to forget who the true victims of American military intervention really are.