Like this image posted back on March 27th (two days after Maliki declared war on the al-Sadr and the Mahdi), what lends poignancy to a situation we have otherwise grown numb to are pictures that are this elemental.
In the latest evolution of the Shiite civil war, American forces — with the support of troops from the U.S.-installed, pro-Iranian government — have so traumatized Sadr City that a mass exodus would surely take place (similar to the previous migration out of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities) if only the people, now trapped and starving, could get out.
This woman’s hands gripping onto a truck while waiting for food supplies to be distributed not only powerfully reflect the circumstance in Sadr City, their expression and adornment offer an anguished and detailed personal portrait as well.
(Photo: Petr David Josek/AP. May 2008. Sadr City. via nytimes.com)