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November 16, 2004

Mosqued Gunman

In an example of how art presages life, I had become interested lately in how much the war ( at least, the images of it) had begun to focus more tightly around Iraq’s mosques. As is my process, I had been grabbing off images and articles and putting together notes to reflect the trend. And then, the NBC video happened, showing a U.S. marine in the process of shooting an Iraqi prisoner in a Fallujah mosque.

I still aim to compose the thoughts and images I’d been collecting up to Monday, but — because I’m on the “image beat” — I didn’t want to wait to provide you a more immediate reaction.

Not that my cartoon is a top drawer item (yet), but it was a much more rudimentary product three years ago. Nevertheless, right after 9/11, with literally dozens of angles to chose from, one of my first takes centered on Bush’s visit to the mosque at Washington’s Islamic Center. (White House photos here).

The result was a mosque in the colors of an American flag.

My question is, how did we get from here …

Vol3No14-ArabAmerica

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… to here?

And more significantly (considering the magnitude of Abu Ghraib, and the incredibly high perceptual risks of the Falloujah operation)…
What are the implications of this:

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(image 1: AP Photo/NBC News, Pool; image 2: REUTERS/Ali Jasim )

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