Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 30, 2009

Obama's Future

Obama Dover.jpg

I was fascinated by this shot taken in Thursday’s early hours at Dover as Obama met the caskets of soldiers and U.S. personnel killed this week in Afghanistan. Why it pulled me in particularly is because of the futurist theme in the Obama fare lately, if not all along.

(These shots — 1, 2 — are from the past two weeks.)

In my mind, the photo captures Obama’s promise as weighted against the commitments and threats (strategic, as well as political) of Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be easy to turn the photo into some kind of sci-fi novelty if it weren’t for the solemnity of the moment (and I recommend the whole slide show at TPM for context).

Still, I feel the photo takes flight over a dramatic question, one we won’t be able to speak to until years down the road. That is: Did Obama really catapult America into the future or did he ultimately become a byproduct of the war machine?

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