War is horrible. It may well be necessary at times, unfortunately. But it is horrible and pretending otherwise is a mistake.
Unfortunately governments have taken advantage of several factors to hide the costs of war. We are by and large sheep that take whatever news the government gives (on military and security matters). The government decided to eliminate (or drastically reduce) images that would make us question war and paint anyone that finds this bad as potentially in league with the enemies. That we have taken such treatment is sad. We do have some journalist that write actual news but that seems to be something most news media types object to.
The Hidden Cost of War by Ron Paul
War is dirty and horrible and even in a good war (if such a thing exists, but lets just say it does) there will be tons of stuff that is very disturbing to see. I don't think the solution to that is to stop seeing the disturbing images, data... I believe we should do things that are sensible which can be seen as very bad and openly accept the criticism and explain why it is necessary.
But the government knows this is a bad strategy if your goal is to make people like you. Explaining why horrible things are necessary doesn't get people to like you, by and large. It is much easier to just smile and speak about abstract ideas and hope no-one looks behind the curtain. Most won't. It works well.
I suppose part of the explanation for why we don't demand more is that those that like the unexamined wars are good at selling their views. All the ridicules stuff they do where they try to claim any examination is an insult to the soldiers... Equating support of whatever they believe with patriotism and anyone criticizing those views as unpatriotic... They have learned that manipulating the media to manipulate the populace is much easier than honestly delving into the options, costs, risk and trade-offs that must be considered. But I would say mostly it is because we are sheep. And we don't like to hear bad news and about suffering. So we are perfectly willing to be ignorant of the cost of war.
And above I am focusing on the human costs of war. The killing, injuries, loss of freedom, loss of fathers, mental health problems of returning soldiers... The financial costs are also huge and as a conscious strategy of those who don't want to examine the costs of war largely left out of the debate.
The War on Terror is now more expensive than Vietnam or World War I—but the dishonest way Washington is paying for it may prove costliest of all. - The $3 Trillion War
A Warning from History: Don’t expect democracy in Iraq by John W. Dower, February, 2003.
Related: Iraq: the Human Cost - Preaching False Ideas to Men Known to be Idiots - National Book Award (1999): Embracing Defeat - Freedom Increasingly at Risk - Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment - The First Amendment - Walter Reed Patients Told to Keep Quiet