Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Motherjones Daily Feature

Just look at this.

That's a US soldier, high-fiving kids in Afghanistan. It's a happy picture, and not the sort you'd expect to see in Mother Jones's provocatively titled, "We're Still At War" photo feature. But yeah, it's nice to see something pleasant in that space for a change.

The nation's attention seems to have shifted back toward Afghanistan. Iraq has faded into the background as General Patraeus assumes a new command, and as Afghanistan struggles through a mind numbingly complex national election.

The "We're Still At War," feature generally doesn't headline cheery images. It usually deals with combat situations, depressing hospitals, and bombed out building. Because those are the realities of war. But so is that happy high-five moment.

I'm spit balling here, trying to figure out the editors choice of shot. Maybe the MoJo editors are trying to help it's readers understand Afghanistan in something approaching it's true complexity. Not a black and white war, not a clear cut policy issue. Even occupation has it's happy little moments.

Why are these kids so happy? Do they love the US? Have they just been handed rations? Is the US finally winning some hearts and minds? I have no idea, and MoJo doesn't really include any of those details. I probably should have picked a pic from the Boston Globe's "The Big Picture" feature.

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