July 16, 2009

Afghanistan: On The Rise

A procession of hearses carrying the bodies of eight British soldiers killed in Afghanistan in a 24 hour period travels through the streets of Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire, on  July 14, 2009. The bodies of eight soldiers killed in Britain's bloodiest 24-hour period in Afghanistan were flown home on Tuesday as the head of the army said they had not died in vain. The families of the men, three of whom were 18-year-olds, were at the RAF Lyneham airbase in southwest England to see the coffins draped in the Union Jack flag carried slowly one by one from the transport plane. Thousands of people, including many soldiers, lined the streets of the nearby town of Wootton Bassett to pay their respects as the eight hearses were driven past, following a private ceremony at a chapel of rest for the families. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

If this photo of a mass funeral convoy passing through the town of Wootten Basset doesn’t end up marking a turning point in English popular opposition to the Afghan war (the Brits lost these 8 soldiers in a 24-hour period last week), it has certainly ratcheted up the tension over the Afghan”investment.” The angle of the Getty photo not only captures the entire procession, it also suggests how the death toll is on an upward path with no end in sight.

And then, with American casualties also increasing as the result of the U.S. escalation, I can’t tell if this kind of imagery — amidst the noise of ultimately uneventful happenings like the the Sotomayor hearings or the G-8 summit — has a better or a worse chance of capturing domestic attention.

(image: Carl de Souza/Getty Images. Wiltshire, England. July 14, 2009)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus