Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
July 28, 2010

Afghanistan through the Wiki Glass

International Security Assistance Force

Shah Marai (AFP/Getty Images)

After the triple-helping of reality imparted by the massive Wikileak cyber-drop, the government’s Afghan war propaganda — hard enough to digest before — looks flat-out preposterous now.

If the Administration’s talking point, in rebutting the war logs, is “there’s nothing new there,” the overwhelming point of the reams of data is that “there’s no there, there.”  In the meantime, however, there’s General Petraeus, fresh on the scene as McChrystal’s relief pitcher, suffering (especially when you take in the discrepant facial expressions) from every ignorant association there is to such an ethnically-loaded picture.

I mean, can’t you just hear Colbert sitting up in his chair and chirping: “America, would buy a carpet from this man?”

(caption: International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander and the head of NATO in Afghanistan General David H. Petraeus (L) poses for a photograph in a carpet stall during his tour of an Afghan handicrafts bazaar near the hall of the International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul on July 20, 2010. A major international conference in Kabul ended on July 20 calling for at least 50 percent of development aid for the country to be channelled through the Afghan government’s budget within two years.)

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