February 23, 2010

For the Birds

Afghan Airstrike.jpg

I’ve been thinking about “our view vs. their view” after NATO air strikes in Qalat and the Sahib District in Afghanistan interrupted the military’s two-week offensive and PR show in Helmand Province. Who would even know what the impact in Afghanistan was at all considering that the “strategically-apologetic” military propaganda machine is operating in such high gear now.

I was surprised to find even this one photo (on WAPO’s Day in Photos) of the Sahib air strike, even if it just shows a fetid hole. (…Sort of like the whole war itself.)

Kabul pigeons.jpg

But then, the WAPO photo is still a lot better than this one on the newswire today, the caption related to the Qalat air strike but paired with a picture that makes you scratch your head about how the visual media covers war these days. It reads:

An Afghan man feed pigeons outside a mosque in a market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. A NATO air strike in Afghanistan killed as many as 33 civilians, triggering a government protest over noncombatant deaths that undermine a stepped-up offensive to defeat Taliban insurgents.

But maybe it’s more fitting in a way, the picture implying concern for the air strike is for the birds.

(photo 1: Str-AP. Feb. 19, 2010. caption: A man stands next to a hole caused by NATO’s air strike in Sahib, Afghanistan. The airstrike killed Afghan police officers, prompting calls for an investigation. photo 2: Altaf Qadri/AP)

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