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March 13, 2012

Juxtaposition of the Day: The Terror. We’re On It.

The most heartbreaking, and widely-republished photo from the killing of Aghani civilians by a U.S. service member in Kandahar.

You don’t get these “Obama on the phone” photos (especially in the limo, casually dressed, on the weekend) unless a big deal, “we’re on it” signal must be sent — as in, we’re doing serious damage control over the massacre by the AWOL Army Sergeant in Kandahar. It also appears that he’s talking on a secure phone (as opposed to the one to his right).

For more on the visual framing of the Afghan War, see: “Afghanistan Kumbaya”.

(photo: AFP. caption: The US soldier blamed for the killings is reported to have walked off his base about 03:00 local time, heading for villages near his base, and to have gone from house to house shooting. via BBC News Asiaphoto: Pete Souza/Official White House caption: President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai from his vehicle outside the Jane E. Lawton Community Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Sunday, March 11, 2012. The President called to express his shock and sadness over the reported killing of Afghan civilians. via White House Flickr Feed)

  • Anonymous

    The picture of the President captures a quality / talent of photojournalism that text journalism just plain does not have: an ability to communicate a range of human thought / feeling / emotion for which our words fail — outside the spectrum of human thought expressible by words.

     By tradition there is no place in text news reporting to tell us that our President was torn up by the situation he was dealing with. And yet, in the photo, we quite easily see his heartfelt pain. 

  • LanceThruster

    The reflections in the eyes of the Afghan, moist from tears, itself conveys so much more than words and is heartbreaking beyond what most people have to endure. I am so sorry these people have to suffer the seemingly never-ending brutality that we now also rank the primary dispensers of.

  • jonst

    “We’re on it”. Or, “we’re in on it”?

  • jonst

    “We’re on it”. Or, “we’re in on it”?

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