January 15, 2008
Typical of the home raid photos that were so prevalent in 2004-5, the hostilities north of Baghdad offer "more of the same" for a country experiencing basically the same rate of chaos as the year before last. (As WAPO Pentagon reporter Thomas Ricks described the other day, the surge was successful because “Iraq is no longer on the front pages every day.”)
Why this pic trumps the others is because of how intensely it captures the other-wordly ferocity of our "big boot," wack-a-mole campaign to forestall an all-out civil war. With occupation forces tearing through Sunni homes in Diyala (some of which, yes, are rigged, earning the new designation of "house bombs"), what is tragic is how much the shoeless Iraqis come off here as the bigger aliens.
image from: In Diyala, A New Offensive (Newsweek)
Ricks: Baghdad Only Seems ‘Peaceful’ Because 2006 Was ‘Pure Hell’ (Think Progress)
9 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Sunni Strongholds (NYT)
(image: Danfung Dennis / WPN for Newsweek. Diyala, Iraq. 2007. newsweek.com)