Seeing Obama in front of American troops at Bagram is not only a great relief (and, hopefully, a preview), it offers a profound contrast with what we’ve been suffering from.
The Obama pic, a frame grab pulled off a video feed, helps illuminate how much war — in the Rove/Cheney/Bush era — has been a slick theatrical production, this scene from Bagram in March ’06 offering the standard kit-of-parts: the stars and stripes, the dramatic lighting, the mugging, the branded clothing and the first hugger trained like a laser beam on that lens.
But then, I didn’t realize till tonight Laura Bush had actually made an appearance at the base just last month. With an emphasis on “appearance,” I think this shot is an apt companion to Dubya’s scene.
(image 1: AP Photo/APTN. July 19, 2008. image 2: Eric Draper. March 1, 2006 image 3: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Sunday, June 8, 2008. Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan)