Bag’s Take-Away:
 To start with, I think this photo is one of those that won’t catch much notice due to its subject matter. The American public doesn’t care much about Karzai negotiating for American troop strength to remain at high levels in Afghanistan after 2014. After all, this transition will occur after the next Afghan election, i.e., after Karzai and his family are safely ensconced in Dubai or some other safe haven. But in terms of composition, color, and symbolism, I really like this Alex Wong photo. The deep, brilliant colors of Karzai’s traditional Uzbek coat play off against the crisp whites and deep blues of the honor guard at attention behind him. His face is lit heroically as he takes a statuesque pose. But he stands as if supported by a dwindling number of soldiers to his back and with the “zero option” trial balloon floated by the Obama Administration, even that number is in question. 
 Though a floated balloon doesn’t always become a reality, Karzai’s “heroic” stance during this visit to the U.S. may actually be a last stand against strong public opinion in America.
via The Charlotte Observer
(Top Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images caption: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) reviews the honor guards during a full military honors ceremony welcoming Karzai to the Pentagon January 10, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. Karzai is on a visit in Washington, to include a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, to discuss the continued transition in Afghanistan and the partnership between the two nations.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

To start with, I think this photo is one of those that won’t catch much notice due to its subject matter. The American public doesn’t care much about Karzai negotiating for American troop strength to remain at high levels in Afghanistan after 2014. After all, this transition will occur after the next Afghan election, i.e., after Karzai and his family are safely ensconced in Dubai or some other safe haven. But in terms of composition, color, and symbolism, I really like this Alex Wong photo. The deep, brilliant colors of Karzai’s traditional Uzbek coat play off against the crisp whites and deep blues of the honor guard at attention behind him. His face is lit heroically as he takes a statuesque pose. But he stands as if supported by a dwindling number of soldiers to his back and with the “zero option” trial balloon floated by the Obama Administration, even that number is in question.

Though a floated balloon doesn’t always become a reality, Karzai’s “heroic” stance during this visit to the U.S. may actually be a last stand against strong public opinion in America.

via The Charlotte Observer

(Top Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images caption: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) reviews the honor guards during a full military honors ceremony welcoming Karzai to the Pentagon January 10, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. Karzai is on a visit in Washington, to include a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, to discuss the continued transition in Afghanistan and the partnership between the two nations.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
 It’s kind of a cool photo, but has a vein of tired dishonesty in it.
via The Wall Street Journal
(credit: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters  caption:  COMING TOGETHER: U.S. Army Capt. Michael Kelvington, right, of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne, and Haji Lala, left, a local elder in the town of Senjaray in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar, lounged on a carpet as they shared dinner Friday evening.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

It’s kind of a cool photo, but has a vein of tired dishonesty in it.

via The Wall Street Journal

(credit: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters caption: COMING TOGETHER: U.S. Army Capt. Michael Kelvington, right, of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne, and Haji Lala, left, a local elder in the town of Senjaray in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar, lounged on a carpet as they shared dinner Friday evening.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:

 What it looks like: Unfazed and totally used to the idea that attacking soldiers are part of the landscape. Seriously, when you look at this photo is it any surprise that civilians get killed on a regular basis. Makes you question the distinction the word “civilian” implies. Time to get out. 
via Reuters Editor’s Choice
(credit: Shamil Zhumatov /Reuters caption:  An Afghan boy pushes a wheelbarrow next to U.S. Army soldiers of the Battle company, 1-508 Parachute Infantry battalion, 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division who are securing an area during a joint patrol with the Afghan Army in the town of Senjaray, Zahri district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan May 23, 2012.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

What it looks like: Unfazed and totally used to the idea that attacking soldiers are part of the landscape. Seriously, when you look at this photo is it any surprise that civilians get killed on a regular basis. Makes you question the distinction the word “civilian” implies. Time to get out.

via Reuters Editor’s Choice

(credit: Shamil Zhumatov /Reuters caption: An Afghan boy pushes a wheelbarrow next to U.S. Army soldiers of the Battle company, 1-508 Parachute Infantry battalion, 4th Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division who are securing an area during a joint patrol with the Afghan Army in the town of Senjaray, Zahri district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan May 23, 2012.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
War in Afghanistan swinging both ways….out and still in. If you have time for golf, everything must be okay.
via The New York Times Lens Blog
(credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters caption:  American soldiers hit golf ball from the roof of a building in Combat Outpost Boston in eastern Afghanistan’s Logar Province.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

War in Afghanistan swinging both ways….out and still in. If you have time for golf, everything must be okay.

via The New York Times Lens Blog

(credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters caption: American soldiers hit golf ball from the roof of a building in Combat Outpost Boston in eastern Afghanistan’s Logar Province.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
Pikachu is very disappointed in you. A child’s backpack surveys the scene of his owner’s detention at NATO summit demonstrations in Chicago.
via Reuters Editor’s Choice
(credit: Andrees Latif/Reuters caption: A protester lies detained after clashing with police during the start of the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, 2012. Baton-swinging police officers clashed with anti-war protesters at the start of the NATO summit on Sunday, beating some and dragging others away.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

Pikachu is very disappointed in you. A child’s backpack surveys the scene of his owner’s detention at NATO summit demonstrations in Chicago.

via Reuters Editor’s Choice

(credit: Andrees Latif/Reuters caption: A protester lies detained after clashing with police during the start of the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, 2012. Baton-swinging police officers clashed with anti-war protesters at the start of the NATO summit on Sunday, beating some and dragging others away.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
This surprisingly sweet and sad photo by Getty photographer Spencer Platt reminds us that though Chris Hondros is gone, his remarkable talent remains.
via The Charlotte Observer
(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images caption: A female protester carries a painting that is the likeness of a photo made by Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros in Iraq in 2005 that shows an Iraqi girl moments after members of her family were shot by American troops at a check-point on May 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Sixty heads of state, 2,500 journalists and thousands of protesters have converged on Chicago for the two day NATO meeting which begins on Sunday and will look to address the situation in Afghanistan among other global defense issues. Chicago police are preparing for the worst with many officers in riot gear and with their numbers enhanced by police from outside the city.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

This surprisingly sweet and sad photo by Getty photographer Spencer Platt reminds us that though Chris Hondros is gone, his remarkable talent remains.

via The Charlotte Observer

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images caption: A female protester carries a painting that is the likeness of a photo made by Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros in Iraq in 2005 that shows an Iraqi girl moments after members of her family were shot by American troops at a check-point on May 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Sixty heads of state, 2,500 journalists and thousands of protesters have converged on Chicago for the two day NATO meeting which begins on Sunday and will look to address the situation in Afghanistan among other global defense issues. Chicago police are preparing for the worst with many officers in riot gear and with their numbers enhanced by police from outside the city.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
Remember that Karzai was chosen for his job because of his Western sympathies and commercial ties? This image harkens back to that and reminds us no matter how the West thinks of him, he still has to govern a “third world” country. Not saying he’s a good or bad guy in either role, just noting that he’s much closer to who the West thought he was when away from home. 
via The New York Times Lens
(credit: Guido Bergmann/ Pool photo caption:  chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on the roof of the Chancellery in Berlin. They met to discuss the NATO summit in Chicago this weekend and the signing of a bilateral co-operation agreement between the two nations.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

Remember that Karzai was chosen for his job because of his Western sympathies and commercial ties? This image harkens back to that and reminds us no matter how the West thinks of him, he still has to govern a “third world” country. Not saying he’s a good or bad guy in either role, just noting that he’s much closer to who the West thought he was when away from home.

via The New York Times Lens

(credit: Guido Bergmann/ Pool photo caption: chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on the roof of the Chancellery in Berlin. They met to discuss the NATO summit in Chicago this weekend and the signing of a bilateral co-operation agreement between the two nations.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
After two days of passing this photo by in a few galleries, I decided to give in, post it, and think about why it makes me uncomfortable. It could be because the majority of the photo is a weighty airplane hatch that reduces the action to a fourth of the photo, or the look on the one visible soldier’s face. Maybe the word “foot” on the coffin: I know it’s there to designate the end of the coffin, not its content, but you can’t help making the association and remembering how many people have been maimed in Afghanistan. 
But really, I think it’s because no one is paying attention to this war or to the lives lost; that their deaths and injuries occupy much less than one-fourth of our consciousness.
via The Charlotte Observer
(credit: Steve Ruark/AP Photo caption: An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Master Sgt. Gregory L. Childs Monday, May 7, 2012 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Childs, of Warren, Ark., died in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

After two days of passing this photo by in a few galleries, I decided to give in, post it, and think about why it makes me uncomfortable. It could be because the majority of the photo is a weighty airplane hatch that reduces the action to a fourth of the photo, or the look on the one visible soldier’s face. Maybe the word “foot” on the coffin: I know it’s there to designate the end of the coffin, not its content, but you can’t help making the association and remembering how many people have been maimed in Afghanistan.

But really, I think it’s because no one is paying attention to this war or to the lives lost; that their deaths and injuries occupy much less than one-fourth of our consciousness.

via The Charlotte Observer

(credit: Steve Ruark/AP Photo caption: An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Master Sgt. Gregory L. Childs Monday, May 7, 2012 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Childs, of Warren, Ark., died in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
Cathedral of War. Light shines through tiny windows as U.S. soldiers prepare for a gun battle with the Taliban. Note the grave-sized hole near the door. Beyond the disconnect between gunfire and the beautifully backlit dwelling, some might catch the feeling that war is eternal and that we’re fighting for a higher purpose, too. Maybe that’s why this photo made all the major new image galleries today.
via  The New York Times Lens
(credit:  Baz Ratner/Reuters  caption: A United States soldier, Nicholas Dickhut, of the 82nd Airborne, aims at a doorway after coming under fire by the Taliban while on patrol in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

Cathedral of War. Light shines through tiny windows as U.S. soldiers prepare for a gun battle with the Taliban. Note the grave-sized hole near the door. Beyond the disconnect between gunfire and the beautifully backlit dwelling, some might catch the feeling that war is eternal and that we’re fighting for a higher purpose, too. Maybe that’s why this photo made all the major new image galleries today.

via The New York Times Lens

(credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters caption: A United States soldier, Nicholas Dickhut, of the 82nd Airborne, aims at a doorway after coming under fire by the Taliban while on patrol in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.)

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Bag’s Take-Away:
A wrenching photo from an Afghanistan rehabilitation center for people who have lost limbs to IEDs and land mines. The way the young girl is looking at her own face tells us a bomb can’t completely destroy what’s inside.
via   MSNBC PhotoBlog
(credit: Omar Sobhani/Reuters caption: A disabled Afghan girl exercises with her prosthetic legs at the Orthopedic Center of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul.)
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Bag’s Take-Away:

A wrenching photo from an Afghanistan rehabilitation center for people who have lost limbs to IEDs and land mines. The way the young girl is looking at her own face tells us a bomb can’t completely destroy what’s inside.

via MSNBC PhotoBlog

(credit: Omar Sobhani/Reuters caption: A disabled Afghan girl exercises with her prosthetic legs at the Orthopedic Center of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul.)

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