With the Afghan War entering year ten today, I was attracted by this shot from one of the perfunctory anniversary slideshows, this at the Sacramento Bee. Beyond the portraits of Rummy in Iraq and Afghanistan looking more “McNamara-ish” every day, I’ve always been intrigued by that mural in the Afghan Presidential Palace. Especially in this instance, I can’t decide if that branch erupting from the earth is something organic, or signifies some horrible mutation that, like a vein, connects a morally corrupt set of partners. Of course, what I also appreciate is how much the photo nails the essence of the Bush Administration, which was: they only heard what they wanted to hear.
Update 10/7 8:15 pm –
In the name of equal time, I’ve added this second photo from the SacBee slideshow, expanding the culpability for the war. This view of Obama, mediating talks with Karzai and Zardari at the White House, couldn’t be more cynical. The Presidential seal as halo calls out Obama for propagating an idealized picture of corrupt partners and a military engagement that has been mostly disastrous.
Afghanistan-nine years of war slideshow (Sacramento Bee)
(caption 1: In this Wednesday, April 13, 2005 file picture, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, left, and President Hamid Karzai give a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. caption – image 2: In this May 6, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks to reporters after his meeting with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, left, and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. AP / Charles Dharapak)