April 8, 2007

Us Is Them


I’m back.  And it looks like I’ve got some catching up to do.

In the past two weeks, Nancy Pelosi has moved to the center of a systematic, creative and vivid visual rebuttal of the Bush Administration.  Although some will debate the efficacy and ethics of Congressional politics in foreign affairs, Pelosi and the Democrats are taking maximum advantage — finally! — of Bush’s lack of a policy and his refusal to engage in the Mid-East.

With all the kvetching about Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the region, I will try and dedicate a separate post to Pelosi in Saudi Arabia and Syria.  For now, though, I thought I’d highlight a powerful dimension of the trip that hasn’t drawn as much attention.

I expect this trip, and these shots, will bring accusations that newly-elected Representative Keith Ellison is a political pawn.  After a year of repetitive and throughly phony snapshots of Condi Rice with a who’s who of Middle East power players, however, these images viscerally confront the Administration’s poison paradigm of “us” versus “them.”



What shot do you like better: Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, with his wife and Pelosi in from of the Israeli Foreign Ministry?  Ellison and Pelosi with Peres?  Or, Ellison in front of the Jaffa Gate, the western-most entrance to the Old City, and the one closest to the Christian, Armenian and Jewish Quarters?

(image 1: Kevin Frayer/AP.  Jerusalem, Sunday, April 1, 2007. image 2: AP.  Jaffa, Israel.  March 31, 2007.  image 3: Kevin Frayer/AP. Jerusalem.  March 31, 2007.  Via YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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