June 23, 2011

Afghanistan, the Barking Dog

Vice Cover

You might notice the Vice cover is from January of this year. Even so, the photo is one of the most telling I’ve seen on the Afghan war. It’s just one of those pictures  — especially today, on the heels of Obama’s speech — that puts the whole thing into perspective.

They named it the “Barking Dog Cover” in a sweep of understatement. It oozes futility and inequity from every pixel. All the elements are there: fear, tension, the unknown, the uselessness of pointing a gun at a dog to make it stop even though we fear there’s something behind that dog, behind that wall waiting to kill.  Still, it’s just a dog. Pretty amazing. A big problem with Afghanistan is that we have never known what was behind the wall. But we’ve killed the dog.

(photo: Ayman Oghanna)

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Karen Donley
See other posts by Karen here.

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