September 16, 2012

Afghan Skid: A Sad Day When we Have to Resort to the Taliban for our War Media

Prince Harry Afghanistan

Two significant “insider attacks” by Afghan alliance troop on U.S. soldiers, eight Afghan women killed in a NATO airstrike and an attack on a major British airbase that consumed $150 million worth of fighter jets and other things. All within the past week.

And the sad truth is that, with Afghanistan falling off the political and public radar in the U.S., its been vanishing as a photo beat as well. And now with tension across the Middle East and Southern Asia bringing new relevance to the status of the war in Afghanistan, we can’t even say we have adequate eyes on it.

How bad is it?

US Marines Afghanistan

Bad enough that file photos are being dredged left-and-right to illustrate the latest news stories, this image from three months ago.

CSM Afghan Attacks screen shot

Bad enough that news stories in the traditional media are being accompanied by photos taken and distributed by the military.

Bastian attack screen shots

Bad enough that the coverage of the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand Province come to us via “an Afghan Taliban media unit” which released video clips on Saturday.

Not completely bereft on the Afghan front, however (because money is no object when it comes to celebrity), there are cool and also really recent news photos of Prince Harry at that self same Helmand Base, since this is where he’s stationed.

(photo 3: AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group caption: This image from video AP obtained from the SITE Intel Group posted by al-Emarah Jihadi Studio, an Afghan Taliban media unit who released two clips on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, purports to show smoke rising over Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan after what the Taliban media unit says is an attack at the base. (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group. photo 4: John Stillwell/Getty Images caption: Prince Harry gives a thumbs-up as he examines the Apache flight-line at Camp Bastion on September 7, 2012 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Prince Harry has been redeployed to the region to pilot attack helicopter.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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