With the latest rupture and all the rumblings about civil war, I have been wondering more and more about Iraq’s political class. In particular, I marvel over the fact that, with each highly touted election, Iraq’s secular politicians grow progressively smaller and more invisible.
Therefore, when I saw Muqtada al-Sadr on today’s TIME cover (albeit, wedged between the first two stokes of the “M”), it got me wondering how many Iraqi political figures had made the TIME cover since the war started almost three years ago. That led me to this archive of Iraq covers and the disappointing answer (if you exclude dictators) of none.
(Given America’s obsession with Saddam, and it’s overriding desire for an alternative, you might be interested exactly when the last Iraqi political figure — besides Saddam — showed up on a TIME cover — link.)
Once I had the whole “Gulf War II” series in front of me, I shouldn’t have been that surprised (given the mainstream audience and America’s imperial and warrior instincts) about the home team bias and the stereotypes. Still, for all the blather about spreading democracy, where are any signs of either statesmen, or a dignified Iraq?
Because the visual data offers an almost limitless number of points, patterns and themes, I invite your thoughts.
Access larger versions of each cover here.
(current cover image: Karim Kadim/AP. March 6, 2006. time.com)