December 9, 2009

TODAY in Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates talks with CBS correspondent Terry McCarthy during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan Dec. 9, 2009. Secretary Gates is on his first trip back to southwest asia after President Obama agreed to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. DoD Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison(RELEASED)

“It’s gonna be a r-r-really big shew, a r-really big shew.” — Ed Sullivan

Before Defense honcho Bob Gates had his first press conference with Karzai after the surge announcement — in which Hamid tacked another 15-20 onto the U.S. timeframe (really an open-ended one, anyway, per Bob and the Generals) — we see Gates kicking off his week “in country” in Afghanistan and Iraq with TODAY Show smiley face and travel buddy, Matt Lauer, the photo a dose of comfort for the uncertain American audience as we sink our two feet and spare billions that much deeper into the cold desert.

(Here’s Matt letting Bob flat-out lie to his face, by the way, about being on the “exact same page” as Karzai.)

The next shot is a DOD photo.

Sorry, it’s not one pretty enough for the newswire — not like this one, which was taken by the DOD and circulated by the AP (not that anybody can really tell the difference much anymore). What the photo does offer us, though, is a sliver of the propaganda machine as we witness the handiwork of a military photographer photographing another military photographer photographing Gates sitting for a CBS interview with Correspondent Terry McCarthy.

So my only question left is, when’s sweeps week?

(photo 1: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (L) talks with Today Show host Matt Lauer while visiting Kabul International Airport December 9, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Secretary Gates is on a week-long trip to Afghanistan one week after U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. photo 2: DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison from DOD photo essay: Gates Visits Kabul,  Dec. 9, 2009.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Michael Shaw
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