Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — on war, life and death, IEDs, Carl Prine, prayer ]

People in general — Americans, British, Israelis, Iranians, Japanese, people from all over — don’t much like the idea of having an atom split right in their faces. But the problem isn’t necessarily so much the splitting of the atom, a technical feat which can be accomplished safely in, say, the heart of the sun — it’s the splitting of life from body, the work of a split second.

Which can also be accomplished by IED.



I’ve split these two images, both drawn from the same video one second apart, to give myself the fraying edges of a visceral sense of what that separation of life from body might be about.

See how little the car, bottom left, has advanced between the first image and the second.

The video the two images come from is embedded in Michael Yon‘s tribute to Carl Prine. I’d have embedded the video here myself if I could, but it’s in Vimeo rather than YouTube, and either because I’m incompetent or because Vimeo isn’t set up that way, I couldn’t figure out how to do the embed.

The Marine who sent Yon the video wrote:

This is the type of explosion that our troops are dealing with, not the puny kind we see on television or in the movies. Pass this on… so Americans will now understand what an IED truly is… and what our war veterans are dealing with.

Click on the link in red above if you haven’t already seen the movie nor lived through the event, and get that edge of a visceral sense — like a second-cousin-once-removed of the real thing.

My thoughts and prayers are with Carl Prine and all those battle-scarred in body, mind and soul.


One second passes between the first screen-grab and the second: time enough to sneeze, but not time enough to respond, “God Bless you”.

Life and death: a snapshot, a split second.