Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 7, 2005

The Victory Plan Revealed: …Bombs Away

Billout-Newyorker

(click image for larger view)

So, how often do you see one illustration that so captures a story?  (I particularly like the symbolic, non-mechanized Iraqi observing from the sidelines.)

Guy Billout’s illustration in the December 5th New Yorker accompanies Sy Hersh’s article outlining the Bush plan to sub bombs for boys.  As compelling as the speculation is, however, the background on U.S. bombing activity to-date is probably more significant.

Considering the use of air power in Iraq is only inferentially noted by the MSM, Hersh’s "plane"-as-day discussion seems quite bold.

Here’s a key passage:

The American air war inside Iraq today is perhaps the most
significant—and underreported—aspect of the fight against the
insurgency. The military authorities in Baghdad and Washington do not
provide the press with a daily accounting of missions that Air Force,
Navy, and Marine units fly or of the tonnage they drop, as was
routinely done during the Vietnam War. One insight into the scope of
the bombing in Iraq was supplied by the Marine Corps during the height
of the siege of Falluja in the fall of 2004. “With a massive Marine air
and ground offensive under way,” a Marine press release said, “Marine
close air support continues to put high-tech steel on target. . . .
Flying missions day and night for weeks, the fixed wing aircraft of the
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing are ensuring battlefield success on the front
line.” Since the beginning of the war, the press release said, the 3rd
Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped more than five hundred thousand
tons of ordnance. “This number is likely to be much higher by the end
of operations,” Major Mike Sexton said. In the battle for the city,
more than seven hundred Americans were killed or wounded; U.S.
officials did not release estimates of civilian dead, but press reports
at the time told of women and children killed in the bombardments.

Article: UP IN THE AIR: Where is the Iraq war headed next?

(Illustration: Guy Billout.  New Yorker Magazine.  December 5, 2005.  p. 42)

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