Bag’s Take-Away re: this White House photo:

With all due respect, the unveiling of this giant statue at the World Financial Center (honoring U.S. Special Forces’ responding to the attacks on 9/11 — see caption) speaks to three things: 1.) memorializing on steroids, 2.) putting the best face on the war now that we’re in the end game, and 3.) another illustration why the Defense budget needs a serious haircut.


(photo: David Lienemann/White House caption: Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the unveiling of the statue “de Oppresso Liber,” which translates to “Free the Oppressed,” at the World Financial Center in New York, N.Y., Nov. 11, 2011. The statue, which honors the U.S. Special Forces’ response to the attacks on 9/11, features a soldier on a mountain horse riding into combat in Afghanistan.)
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Bag’s Take-Away re: this White House photo:

With all due respect, the unveiling of this giant statue at the World Financial Center (honoring U.S. Special Forces’ responding to the attacks on 9/11 — see caption) speaks to three things: 1.) memorializing on steroids, 2.) putting the best face on the war now that we’re in the end game, and 3.) another illustration why the Defense budget needs a serious haircut.

(photo: David Lienemann/White House caption: Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the unveiling of the statue “de Oppresso Liber,” which translates to “Free the Oppressed,” at the World Financial Center in New York, N.Y., Nov. 11, 2011. The statue, which honors the U.S. Special Forces’ response to the attacks on 9/11, features a soldier on a mountain horse riding into combat in Afghanistan.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:

What the hell? When did US soldiers start dressing like this? As part of the Afghan wind down, the Army introduces “Casual Shelling Day.”

(photo: Erik De Castro/Reuters caption:: U.S. soldiers from Task Force “No Fear” Alpha Co 2-27 Infantry “The Wolfhounds” fire a 120mm mortar at the Taliban position from Combat Outpost (COP) Pirtle King in Ghaziabad district in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan September 27, 2011.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

What the hell? When did US soldiers start dressing like this? As part of the Afghan wind down, the Army introduces “Casual Shelling Day.”

(photo: Erik De Castro/Reuters caption:: U.S. soldiers from Task Force “No Fear” Alpha Co 2-27 Infantry “The Wolfhounds” fire a 120mm mortar at the Taliban position from Combat Outpost (COP) Pirtle King in Ghaziabad district in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan September 27, 2011.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:

The reason why the photo of the Afghan soldiers behind the tree was in so many photo galleries yesterday? Well sure, it’s a super-kinetic shot. The guy flinching has a political twist as well, though. With the Afghans losing their grip on the Capitol, here attempting to defend the U.S. Embassy, for God’s sake, even if the tree guy is just reacting to the noise and the middle guy is just in a guarded stance, (award points to the Taliban) it’s the same body language as cowering.

(photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters. caption: Afghan police officers fired toward buildings that Taliban insurgents took over during an attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Militants fired grenades and assault rifles at the embassy and other sites in the capital, while suicide bombers struck police buildings.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

The reason why the photo of the Afghan soldiers behind the tree was in so many photo galleries yesterday? Well sure, it’s a super-kinetic shot. The guy flinching has a political twist as well, though. With the Afghans losing their grip on the Capitol, here attempting to defend the U.S. Embassy, for God’s sake, even if the tree guy is just reacting to the noise and the middle guy is just in a guarded stance, (award points to the Taliban) it’s the same body language as cowering.

(photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters. caption: Afghan police officers fired toward buildings that Taliban insurgents took over during an attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. Militants fired grenades and assault rifles at the embassy and other sites in the capital, while suicide bombers struck police buildings.)

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Tags #Afgan war    #Afganistan    #Afghan Army    #war    #Kabul    #U.S. Embassy    #Kabul attack    #Taliban    #international    #politics    #photojournalism   

Bag’s Take-Away:
 Did these kids ask for the water? Did they make an effort to catch the water? Given how double-edged our position is in Iraq right now, what makes the bottle any more like a softball than, say, a hand grenade?
via Charlotte Observer.
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Bag’s Take-Away:

 Did these kids ask for the water? Did they make an effort to catch the water? Given how double-edged our position is in Iraq right now, what makes the bottle any more like a softball than, say, a hand grenade?

via Charlotte Observer.

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Bag’s Take-Away:
That man has very big hands and he’s going to punch us if we don’t straighten out. 
 (From Newsweek’s photo essay on Petraeus’ final days in Afghanistan.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

That man has very big hands and he’s going to punch us if we don’t straighten out.

(From Newsweek’s photo essay on Petraeus’ final days in Afghanistan.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
If this is any indication of where the training of the Afghan Army and the handoff is going, I want my war tax dollars back. If this is any indication of where the training of the Afghan Army and the handoff is going, I hope no U.S. war widows come across this. If this is any indication of where the training/handoff to Afghan Army is going…. 
Actually, reminds me of this. 
(photo: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters caption: Soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) line up at U.S. Marines Patrol Base Johnson in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, July 5, 2011.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

If this is any indication of where the training of the Afghan Army and the handoff is going, I want my war tax dollars back. If this is any indication of where the training of the Afghan Army and the handoff is going, I hope no U.S. war widows come across this. If this is any indication of where the training/handoff to Afghan Army is going….

Actually, reminds me of this

(photo: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters caption: Soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) line up at U.S. Marines Patrol Base Johnson in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, July 5, 2011.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
And given how corrupt the government is, not much relation to the public, either?  (via Charlotte Observer)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

And given how corrupt the government is, not much relation to the public, either? (via Charlotte Observer)

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Tags #Afgan war    #Afghanistan    #propaganda    #politics    #propaganda    #war    #photojournalism   

Bag’s Take-Away:

On the eve of what’s got to be a highly controversial event for U.S. troops slogging it out in Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement to end his surge and commence a drawdown, do you think Eric Schenk’s foot soldier here:

a.) has a subtle message either for Schenk or the military strategists?
b.) just has a funny way of scratching his nose?
c.) really doesn’t like having his picture taken?

(caption: US SFC Eric Schenk (L) from Viper Company (Bravo), 1-26 Infantry discusses with his men their possible route during a foot patrol in Sabari district in Khost province in the east of Afghanistan on June 21, 2011. President Barack Obama will announce the size of his drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan on June 23, mapping out an endgame for a 10-year war that has exacted a fearsome human and financial toll.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

On the eve of what’s got to be a highly controversial event for U.S. troops slogging it out in Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement to end his surge and commence a drawdown, do you think Eric Schenk’s foot soldier here: a.) has a subtle message either for Schenk or the military strategists? b.) just has a funny way of scratching his nose? c.) really doesn’t like having his picture taken? (caption: US SFC Eric Schenk (L) from Viper Company (Bravo), 1-26 Infantry discusses with his men their possible route during a foot patrol in Sabari district in Khost province in the east of Afghanistan on June 21, 2011. President Barack Obama will announce the size of his drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan on June 23, mapping out an endgame for a 10-year war that has exacted a fearsome human and financial toll.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:

So can we go now?  Apparently not. Here’s a picture of “successful” Afghanistan where the Karzai government is supposedly functioning as, well, a government with full participation from regional leaders.  The picture elements are nearly pitch perfect….engaged, intent elders, a photo of Karzai on the wall…..but wait, it’s framed by elements that let you know we still have a heavy hand….a USAID sticker on the door, a military-like parachute type ceiling, and hovering American soldier (left foreground, our guys wear 
floppier hats) watching everything.  Sigh.  Guess we’re still there for a while. 


(photo: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times caption: Zabul Province, one of Afghanistan’s poorest, is mainly known for being a transit route for Taliban insurgents and NATO supply convoys. But recently Zabul, in southeastern Afghanistan, has become important for another, better reason: as a small but overlooked corner of the Afghan war that offers a glimpse of what a stable future might look like as Afghans take over their own security and administration by 2014. Afghans gathered for a shura, or council meeting, in Zabul in April.)

NYT slideshow: 
Afghan Army Takes the Lead in Zabul

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Bag’s Take-Away:

So can we go now? Apparently not. Here’s a picture of “successful” Afghanistan where the Karzai government is supposedly functioning as, well, a government with full participation from regional leaders. The picture elements are nearly pitch perfect….engaged, intent elders, a photo of Karzai on the wall…..but wait, it’s framed by elements that let you know we still have a heavy hand….a USAID sticker on the door, a military-like parachute type ceiling, and hovering American soldier (left foreground, our guys wear floppier hats) watching everything. Sigh. Guess we’re still there for a while.

(photo: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times caption: Zabul Province, one of Afghanistan’s poorest, is mainly known for being a transit route for Taliban insurgents and NATO supply convoys. But recently Zabul, in southeastern Afghanistan, has become important for another, better reason: as a small but overlooked corner of the Afghan war that offers a glimpse of what a stable future might look like as Afghans take over their own security and administration by 2014. Afghans gathered for a shura, or council meeting, in Zabul in April.)

NYT slideshow: Afghan Army Takes the Lead in Zabul

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Tags #Afgan war    #Zabul    #Karzai    #Afghanistan war    #USAID    #war    #media    #photojournalism   

Bag’s Take-Away:
Meanwhile, in news from Afghanistan (courtesy of the Army Flickr page), we saved two puppies!
(photo: uncredited/ Army Flickr Stream caption: U.S. Army Spc. Ahren Blake, a combat medic from Clinton, Iowa, with Company D, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman, a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, holds two puppies he found at an observation post in the Aziz Khan Kats Mountain Valley range near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 15. The puppies have been living with the Afghan National Army Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 201st Infantry Corps, which man the Ops that 3rd Platoon visited.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

Meanwhile, in news from Afghanistan (courtesy of the Army Flickr page), we saved two puppies!

(photo: uncredited/ Army Flickr Stream caption: U.S. Army Spc. Ahren Blake, a combat medic from Clinton, Iowa, with Company D, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman, a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, holds two puppies he found at an observation post in the Aziz Khan Kats Mountain Valley range near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 15. The puppies have been living with the Afghan National Army Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 201st Infantry Corps, which man the Ops that 3rd Platoon visited.)

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Tags #Afgan war    #Afganistan    #miliary    #militarism    #puppies    #Flickr    #Army