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December 20, 2006

Short Handed?

Baghdad-Hands-Coffin

Before I saw the news this morning, I was hoping to downshift a bit.  Given how serious its been around here lately, I was planning some waggishness, perhaps knocking off some revisions to the Administration’s holiday card.

Still, if Rove says the new strategy isn’t coming till January….

For regular readers, you know how much I appreciate the picture that carries a larger editorial ring.  You don’t need a class in visual literacy to wonder about what’s happening above the fold on today’s NYT front page.  (He’s the scan.)

The shot above, although tied to an article about Grand Ayatollah Sistani and Iraq’s religious politics, is spread over four columns juxtaposed with the two column headline regarding Bush’s plan to expand the U.S. armed forces.  Regardless of the denials in the lead article, does anybody doubt the move foreshadows the so-hinted “troop surge,” and a longer-term escalation of our involvement in Iraq?

Of course, I could be overly reading in.  At the same time, this image — of morgue workers placing a coffin on top of a vehicle in Baghdad — is not tied to any particular event.  As significant as the lead story is, as large as the image is, and as available as it is for free association, it’s almost too easy to see the photo making comment on the troop build-up, saying:

more hands = more coffins

and/or:

more troops = more death.

(image; Ali Jasim/Reuters.  Baghdad. December 19, 2006. Via YahooNews.)

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