March 24, 2008



5 years

4,000 U.S. military dead

Between 82,349 – 89,867 Iraqi civilians lost to violence

The reason Michael Kamber’s photo — appearing in the NYT Picture of the Day gallery, March 6 — is so powerful is because it’s the perfect metaphor.

Our people might look like they can breath easier and have it mostly in hand, but the teetering, tinderbox structure of the country; and the unworkable, band-aid, “made-in-our-name” government; and the temporary “pay ’em to stand down for awhile” strategy that’s is suddenly not looking so elective anymore represents a guaranteed, if slow-motion train wreck.

While the media and the political establishment refuses to look at the overall picture, the photographer can’t miss it.

(And doesn’t that middle section of the building, in particular, look almost skull-ish?)

Read the Rolling Stone article which sets the record straight.  (And while you’re there, check out Danfung Dennis’s photo gallery, including the completely subtle photos of cooperation/collusion between the U.S. military and the Mahdi Army and Shiite militia-infested Iraqi National Police.)

NYT Pictures of the Day (March 6, 2008)

Iraqi civilian losses (

(image: Michael Kamber for the New York Times.  2008.  caption: At Combat Outpost Carver, near Salman Pak, an Iraqi town, American soldiers ate their evening meals in front a building destroyed in earlier fighting. As the fifth-year mark of the United States invasion of Iraq approached, President Bush spoke in Washington to observe the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

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Michael Shaw
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