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May 10, 2009

America All Pumped Up In Korengal Valley

AP Taylor Jordan.jpg

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At first, I thought this photo of Spl. Taylor Jordan lifting weights in the Korengal Valley (which got exposure this week from the WSJ Photo Journal, a NYT slide show, etc.) was published out of irony (excuse the pun).

Because of the similarity in vantage, distance and even foreboding weather, I saw it as reminiscent of the TIME cover we looked at last month, only accentuating how much the Valley remains a barrier to us in spite of our muscle. Especially after the flawed U.S. bombing mission last Thursday, however, which hit the news the same day Obama was meeting with Karzai at the White House, the message of the image seems rather obvious.

Spl. Jordan, perched as he is at the edge of this mountain, stands for all the metal we’re thrusting down now.

U.S. Adviser Holds Firm on Airstrikes in Afghanistan (NYT)

(image: David Guttenfelder/A.P. via Wall Street Journal Photo Journal, May 8, 2009. caption: Spl. Taylor Jordan from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry, lifted weights in the rain at his platoon’s base Camp Restrepo in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan Friday.)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/stevelaudig stevelaudig

    how about Khe Sahn, or Dien Bien Phu

  • Bill

    Hmmmm…looks like that left-hand-side weight plate is starting to slip off the bar. Could be a touchy situation ahead. One shouldn’t pump big iron without first attending to the preliminaries…like making sure things are all together.

  • Lord Humungous

    First off, I wish I had a back like that, sans the tattoos. Second, isn’t there more important equipment that could be brought up a mountain than a 135lbs. of free weights?

  • timolo

    Thinking along the same lines with Bill. Two sided approach, diplomatic and military. Obvious which plate represents diplomacy, but shows maybe now we are beefing up.
    I originally thought this was a picture of Manny Ramirez back in the D.R.;)

  • thomas

    You go to war with the weights you’ve got, not the weights you want.

  • Obsessed in an Diego

    WOW… reminds us that we have all the muscle we need, but we don’t have the kind of fight we can use it. Also reminds me how beautiful our young men are, and how tragic it is to use them for such a losing cause. Do we really think we’ll be the FIRST country to ever “win” in Afghanistan? All the pumped up yound studs in the world will not be enough.

  • BradyB

    Good to see military personnel finally doing some functional training like power cleans. In reality, a power clean is much better preparation for battle than pushups and sit ups are. And yet you can “max” the armies PT test with pushups, situps, pullups and a run. It’s a shame we shortchange our military so much when it comes to exercise science. CrossFit for life.

  • long

    im sorry to say this,
    but our mission in afghanistan is not to conquer it but to help the people here. to have them free of the talibans grasp. as sad as we see it but if we want this war, we can just bomb the whole place. me and my guys are here to help this people not to conquer them.
    we train there army so the rest of us can leave and be with our family.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156fb633d1970c not even close

    You people are weird. A) The weights are vital to men in these outposts. They keep them in shape, and it allows them to get excess stress out. They would have been brought in by chopper anyways.
    B)Although it is not on the PT test, probably every Infantryman alive power lifting, and weight training. I also agree with Obsessed in an Diego about that. If we are going to send young men into war, we might as well help them fight it.

  • Ernie

    Probably lost the retaining clip…Typical Army fashion LOL….We had crap for equipment in the army…what you had in peace you go to war with…if its broke down you PULL it to war…The equipment we had is not the best…just the crap built by the lowest bidder

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