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July 17, 2009 Permalink

In Afghanistan, Part Two

(Part two of two) - Today, nearly eight years after the initial invasion of Afghanistan, the country remains unstable at best, and the U.S. is now pouring thousands of new troops into the country, joining the international coalition to combat the Taliban insurgency. This year, bomb attacks on coalition troops have reached an all-time high - at least 46 American troops killed by IEDs this year, part of the larger figure of 1,249 coalition deaths to date. On June 25th, U.S. officials announced the launch of Operation Khanjar - 4,000 U.S. Marines and hundreds of NATO and Afghan forces pushing into various parts of Helmand province attempting to secure the area ahead of Afghanistan's presidential election next month. Consider this entry a double-issue - there has been so much powerful photography coming out of Afghanistan the past few months, I had a very hard time editing down to just these, recent photographs from Afghanistan. (see part 1) (32 photos total)

Members of the security detail for Karl Eikenberry, US Ambassador to Afghanistan, stand in front of a U.S. army Chinook helicopter as it lands near a newly constructed bridge south of Tarin Kot, in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan July 9, 2009. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

218 comments so far...

#32 tears me up inside...

Posted by Chrys July 17, 09 11:34 AM

#32 is really sad, poor kid

Posted by Carl July 17, 09 11:42 AM

wow... #32

Posted by Meagan July 17, 09 11:44 AM

God Bless.....God Speed
Bring all our bothers and sisters home safe please!

Posted by A.Miller July 17, 09 11:55 AM

These pictures arouse so much and such varied emotion. I was feeling a mix of sadness with a bit of hope sprinkled in and then I came across the burqa picture and that just brought a big chuckle.

Thank you so much for these pictures. I recently discovered this site and there is nothing like this online. Thank you , Thank you, Thank you... for giving me these high resolution :) glimpses...

Posted by Pri July 17, 09 12:07 PM

Why, why, why photo 32? Why?

Posted by Pierre July 17, 09 12:08 PM

32 made me really upset. God help the little one.

Posted by Mahesh July 17, 09 12:09 PM

Thank you for all of these (even 32).
We hear of the conflict and see bits and pieces from the news, but these really get you into what is happening. Amazing work, great photos, heart wrenching depth.

Posted by Brian July 17, 09 12:34 PM

#32 is one of the more profound photos I have seen in quite some time, and I look at hundreds of photos everyday.

Posted by Dan July 17, 09 12:41 PM

32 just tore me up

Posted by cide July 17, 09 12:44 PM

#32 shows what we pay for or freedom, It's a very high price. So never let any one take your freedom from you. Not your government or any one else.

Posted by Dave Smith July 17, 09 12:49 PM

#32 is a picture that we rarely see - one which depicts the real life consequences of sending these men to Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for including it.

Posted by Brian July 17, 09 12:56 PM

pic 32 is sad ok , on the other side i 'll show you 30,000 pic of afghan children who lost mother father bro sis or even leg or arm during you stupid bombing to Taliban and instead killing all civilian and you sad for just few full armored soldiers died !!!

Posted by sherif July 17, 09 12:56 PM

Maybe one day we will be allowed to know why we are there.

Posted by Ian July 17, 09 01:12 PM

Wooow. These photos are extremely awesome... 1, 14, 18, 25

Posted by Greg Washington July 17, 09 01:19 PM

32 just made me cry..really sad

Posted by arrais July 17, 09 01:20 PM

You using #32 as last picture really brings it close to home.......
I was gladly serving as an U.S. Marine (being German citizen), never had to go to war abroad, still I chose my children over the reenlistment....I know why!

Posted by Daniela M M Beckd July 17, 09 01:25 PM

God help the kid. And the prisioners.

Posted by Bruno July 17, 09 01:31 PM


Posted by Benead July 17, 09 01:34 PM

If #32 made us cry I can't even explain how I felt when I saw #20 in part 1. My stomach basically turned inside out when I say the feets of that six year old boy.

Posted by Marcus July 17, 09 01:37 PM

"Maybe one day we will be allowed to know why we are there." - Because the Taliban (or at least its parent organization) attacked our homeland. Why we attacked Iraq, not so sure, but at least in Afghanistan, the reasons are clear.

Posted by ech July 17, 09 01:39 PM

A fabulous set of photos.
But where are the Canadian soldiers?
Are the just camera shy or did they not make the cut for these two sets of photos?

Posted by watchful stone guardian July 17, 09 01:47 PM

I agree, 32 is very sad as 20 and 23 of part one of Afgan children killed or burned by American weapons. Why are we there? why?... we can make so much good if we invest in peace, not war.

Posted by James July 17, 09 01:50 PM

As much as I want to support our troops: Limp Bizkit? C'MON GUYS.

Posted by Brian July 17, 09 01:55 PM

@Sherif - I understand your point, it is sad for every family, every son, daughter, and mother. I even feel sad for a taliban fighter who lost his life - even if I don't agree with his reasons.
The bottom line is that whenever people become convinced of a zealot style of thinking - people die.
This has happened countless times, not just moslim, or taliban, almost every religion has had its moments of zealotry. The christians had the crusades, even the budists had a time where the red hats and the yellow hats (in tibet) were in conflict over philosophy.
It's time that people stopped listening to leaders that advocate this type of thinking -

Posted by Observer July 17, 09 01:55 PM

#32 made me cry. I haven't cried in years.

Posted by Larry July 17, 09 01:56 PM

#21... doesn't that, in some ways, make it worse? It's very easy to say that we didn't belong in Iraq and therefore reject most personal feelings of responsibility for seeing a dead kid or a dead father. It's a lot harder when you can't think of a better alternative to these pictures. And I, at least, can't. I can't reject personal ownership of the Afghan war in the same way I can reject the Iraqi one. It's a sh*tty world sometimes, I guess.

Posted by Erik July 17, 09 02:02 PM

Comment #21

Except that in our response to 9/11 we have killed more civilians than died on 9/11. That makes...lots of sense? In these wars we have killed more civilians than have been killed by terrorism in decades! Even if it is collateral it's not okay.

Furthermore there is little evidence to suggest that this will prevent future terrorism. When you kill that many innocent people, don't you think that generation will grow up to hate your country? THAT, causes more terrorism.

Posted by Mattan July 17, 09 02:07 PM

Thank you for the reality check. Even in their attempt to portray reality, Hollywood still delivers life with rose colored glasses. Yes, 32 is very tough to look at. God be with the families who have sacrificed their loved ones in the interest of others. God be with our nations leaders, may they look to you for guidance as they once did.

Posted by Matt Johnston July 17, 09 02:17 PM

you reap what you sow

Posted by shyam July 17, 09 02:37 PM

I am Canadian and I have friends there. We are not there because wer were attacked, but because they attacked you, our friends. And we are proud to be there with you.
Good luck to the Royal 22' regiment, from Quebec city!

Posted by François Kirouac July 17, 09 02:41 PM


my god, that poor, poor baby and mother. i am in tears in my office. why does this have to happen?

Posted by xnd July 17, 09 02:46 PM

Going to war to prevent war! ....and found oil.How convenient!
Still this not compare to War World II when it comes to casualties .

Posted by Gafitescu Daniel July 17, 09 03:00 PM

#21: when you say "parent organization", do you mean al-Qaeda? If so, you're mistaken. The Taliban sheltered al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and were actually given an ultimatum to hand Osama bin Laden to the U.S. if they wished to avoid the 2001 invasion. If al-Qaeda were the parent organization, the Taliban would have been in no position to hand over anyone. More details at and

Conflating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban is an oversimplification, and I think one that the Bush administration tried to sell to Americans because it was politically convenient; just like the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Only careful study and understanding will help to to undo all the blunders caused by misconceptions like these.

As always, the Big Picture photos are fantastic, and the dedication of the journalists astounding.

Posted by Paul Kishimoto July 17, 09 03:02 PM

#29 - hmm, the blue one is nice, but I *really* like the blue one!

Posted by Sean July 17, 09 03:11 PM

#15... Really? Winamp?

Posted by Emily Dickinson July 17, 09 03:29 PM


After just retiring from some 24 years of service, I can tell you it is precisely this kind of sacrifice that allows you to comment they way you did. There are places on this Earth where you wouldn't "have" the freedom to do so. This Soldier didn't bomb anyone; he was executing National Policy because so few actually will take on any action that requires risk for betterment.

Posted by NQBUS July 17, 09 03:34 PM

Sad - all these innocent deaths, as shown above.

Why you are there ? Because the "political leader" you chose ows a lotz of money to the oil industry, which needs a more or less safe afghanistan to build their pipeline.

Terrorism ? Sure, a reason welcome to pursue commercial interests. And your brothers, sisters, fathers and sons - as well as many innocent locals - are dying to increase the weath of a few criminals, usually called "politicians".

Ugly truth ...


Posted by Anonymous July 17, 09 03:49 PM

"instead killing all civilian and you sad for just few full armored soldiers died !!!"
Posted by sherif

Sherif, We all feel terrible for the casualties on both sides of the war. It's very offensive that you think it's okay that "a few full armored soldiers died." These are our father, brothers, friends, sisters ... They mean the world to us. They didn't decide to invade Afghanistan. They signed up to defend our country, from all enemies, foreign or domestic. They're doing a duty to their country. How dare you make such comments at people who give everything to make our world a better place. That man was killed by a coward that blindly bombed whoever came across that section of road. The Taliban didn't form a political party, run for election and win the peoples votes ... they took the country with violence, fear and corruption. That man died fighting so that one day the children of Afghanistan can live in peace and prosperity. His little girl will grow up not having a father because he made that sacrifice.

Posted by Mitch July 17, 09 03:58 PM

Just end this sh*t.

Posted by Frederik July 17, 09 03:59 PM

May they all feel the same pain they given the innocent people, god damn the US

Posted by JJJ July 17, 09 04:12 PM

#32 out of respect for the man and his family should not be shown.

Posted by James July 17, 09 04:13 PM

Hatred isn't the answer.

Posted by TT July 17, 09 04:52 PM

these pics give me goose bumps...i have no words..
PIC 32..# Omg poor kid :(

Posted by Anonymous July 17, 09 04:57 PM

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

-Thomas Jefferson

Posted by JTC July 17, 09 04:57 PM

We have such brave and loyal americans...making great sacrifices to help with world tranquility...war is a horrible way to achieve it - but there are multiple sides that affect of isn't just "the americans". It is nieve to think if we just let the fanatics go - only in desert nations would suffer their suppression...unfortunately - I sincerely believe that there the powerful fantical element in Islam will not allow peace as we know it. We must battle them now and hope.

Posted by paul murphy July 17, 09 05:08 PM

Very emotionally moving pictures. They really seem to capture the reality of it all. The remedy is Peace:

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Nathan Michael Marcuzzi July 17, 09 05:16 PM

Thank you Melton Family for your service. Thank you for sharing picture 32. The effect it has on all of us who have viewed it is an important one.

Posted by Ben July 17, 09 05:25 PM

Thanx Mr. George Bush Jr., for making the world a better place.

Posted by Martín July 17, 09 05:29 PM

What about number 32?
It's a fu**ing war, so what do you expect? People die! And this guy went their by choice.. he was aware of the risk and the danger. But what about the civilians living there, who can't coose and are confronted with this sh*t every day.

If you want to see a real sd picture, then look an #23 of the first part of this series ( )

Posted by gebränder July 17, 09 05:30 PM

No words pic 32..... this is just why we fight? Who fight for those who are left.........

Posted by Kevin July 17, 09 06:20 PM

#34 - "If al-Qaeda were the parent organization, the Taliban would have been in no position to hand over anyone." - Right, and they didn't. You are giving evidence for my claim.

#34 - "Conflating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban is an oversimplification" - really? OBL financed the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Days before 9/11 Al-Qaeda assassinated Ahmad Shah Masoud, the Taliban's #1 enemy. OBL and Mullah Omar were *very* close; they probably married each other's daughters. Most importantly, and most germane to my point, Al-Qaeda formed the backbone of the Taliban army.

Posted by ech July 17, 09 06:21 PM

#28 - "in our response to 9/11 we have killed more civilians than died on 9/11."

It's an important point, and there are several responses to this. Most importantly, I think, it is very difficult for a nation to not respond to a direct attack, because this would leave us vulnerable to more attacks. AQ did this to us in response to some aspect of our behavior - how can we prevent another attack? Clearly the only 2 ways to even imagine we could prevent another attack are to change our behavior as dictated by AQ or to fight back. Another response might be to examine the freedoms that a successful intervention would bring to the Afghan people, although it is difficult to weigh this against the lives lost.

Posted by ech July 17, 09 06:35 PM

Yep - No. 32 did me in.

Posted by Anonymous July 17, 09 07:07 PM

32 is a must and you'll see many like it

when you look at this pic just remember 60 young men killed in mosque by mf bomb thrown from mf plan and then they said it's mistake !!

all of those 60 men have children like the one in the pic 32

you gone to this war and you still there and the war wont end soon as you hope
afghan people aren't easy and they will fight at the end, those people in war from 200 years and they still there

good luck ...

Posted by AfgahniInP July 17, 09 07:15 PM


Posted by EUROPA NEWSWIRE. July 17, 09 07:38 PM

its a mad world...

Posted by craig July 17, 09 08:18 PM

#32 is heartbreaking, but a part of me is upset that the photo was taken. It doesn't feel like such a personal moment should be on public display this way...

Posted by Hpets July 17, 09 08:37 PM

every story has 3 accounts, yours, mine, and the TRUTH....

this is only 1/3 of the story...... (and it's not the whole truth either)

Posted by HT July 17, 09 08:44 PM

What a world we live in. Earth would be better without humans I think sometimes.

So much sadness. Sometimes I wonder if any of it is worth it.

Posted by Khristopher July 17, 09 08:51 PM

#32 is just heart wrenching to watch! How many more families will have to endure this sort of pain? That baby will never know what her father was really like.
Very sad!

Posted by Jon July 17, 09 10:37 PM

Every able bodied american male should have to join the military or peace corps and have to go over seas for one year .Then when they come home they can tell the rest of this spoiled country how good we have it and to shut up and quit whinning about the little things. Then you wouldn`t have to explain the sacrifice of pic 32.

Posted by gary July 17, 09 11:15 PM

Thanks you for giving us a look into this important current event.

Posted by GLW July 17, 09 11:41 PM

#32 my daughter is 16 month old right now...

Posted by Mario July 17, 09 11:46 PM

#32 is just killing me. trying very hard to control the tears.

Posted by kds July 17, 09 11:50 PM

I have been visiting this site since nearly the beginning and have never commented on any photos, but #32 brought tears to my eyes. I hate to see this photograph, but what a moving photo on so many levels.

Posted by Jason July 18, 09 12:25 AM

#32 =(

Posted by medaholic July 18, 09 12:36 AM

All this picture have a very strong impact, especially no.32.....

Posted by ongwj July 18, 09 02:46 AM

#32 is there to make it clear the price we pay - right or wrong, for being there. As Stalin once said, "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic." As evil a person as he was, he makes a very good point.

It's easy to sit back and watch the statistics. I remember the numbers on the TV during Vietnam - which turned out to be lies. But it's easy to distance yourself from action photos. But 32 brings it home. It proves nothing. It just informs in a way a million bodies on the battlefield can't.

As for respect for the soldier and his family comment, I can only ask, "What, you lost respect for him?" I am touched by his life and his family's pain in a way that honors his death. He died for all of us.

Posted by Eric July 18, 09 02:48 AM

Bring our troops home
Bring our troops home
that's how the song goes

Posted by sayn July 18, 09 03:04 AM

sherif has a right to rage. Stop offering hollow justifications for innocent civilian deaths.

Posted by JSL July 18, 09 04:04 AM

Thanks for these outstanding photo's. We Americans are saddened at all death connected with war, especially innocent civilians. We want peace with everyone. We teach our children that peace is desirable and the ultimate goal. We do not wish each other peace in greeting each other as is the Islamic tradition. But we do want peace for all people...but not fake peace that will eventually threaten our way of life and our Constitution. To all people, military and civilian, working toward peace in Afghanistan and Iraq and everywhere else...keep up the good fight and may be peace be with you.

Posted by Never Give Up July 18, 09 04:35 AM

Awfull what's happening in Afghanistan for many years. Specially children, they loose their childhood, they loose their schools, they loose the future. That's why a few people in the Netherlands started a twitterauction to support ChoolSupport4Afghanistan. So far they raised almost 25,000 euro. This initiative needs more support. full article:

Posted by Erik van Erne, Milieunet Foundation July 18, 09 05:56 AM

Time will tell!

Posted by Alan July 18, 09 06:00 AM

#11 nice captured, most feel like it looks

Posted by Morten July 18, 09 06:00 AM

god damn.. i feel so sad , that kid look like trying to call her father.. really..

Posted by kajinzii July 18, 09 06:09 AM

#32 is indeed a sad picture, in more ways then one. It's sad that this young soldier had to die for a lie. It's sad that this soldiers daughter will grow up fed on the same lie. It is sad that that the daughter of the kiilled afghan "terrorist" doesn't get the same exposure. It is sad that this picture is being used to get people emotionally involved and to grow more blind hatred against another innocent man woman or child. It is sad that only only american soldiers are seen as "brother" and "sister", while in fact we are ALL brothers and sisters on this planet, only our parents (governments) don't give a sh*t if we don't get along. It is sad that we blindly follow these parents, wherever they tell us to go.......

Posted by D. Pressed July 18, 09 06:18 AM

The poor young hungry men in Afghanistan have no choise but to join the army, they continue to join the army and as for long as were there, they will fight (for their freedom...) Why are we there?! What is there to proof? We cant afford it! The pictures show what is really going on, how can we believe the censored news? Beautiful pictures and confronting at the same time...

Posted by Martin Andre July 18, 09 06:41 AM

Deep respect and condoleances from holland.

Posted by Steve July 18, 09 07:13 AM

#32 Should be a world press photo...

R.I.P. SSG Josh Melton

Posted by Geurt Visser (Holland) July 18, 09 07:56 AM

why does this happen, cause were living in a f#cked up world with a lot of f#cked people......
And a gouverment that sends you're children to the warzone....

Posted by dr. Greenthumb July 18, 09 07:59 AM

#32 is really sad... Poor Josh (brave lad), poor Larissa and poor Aubrey. Thanks for showing. Greeting from Holland.

Posted by Roelf from Holland July 18, 09 08:00 AM

Josh Melton, rip

Posted by Cies July 18, 09 08:02 AM

dave, you are absolutely right.

Posted by sufkut July 18, 09 08:19 AM

#32 = Sacrifice. I am a non-resistant Christian (meaning I don't believe it is right for me to kill another human), however I am deeply challenged to sacrifice my life in other ways for the people of this planet, that all would come to know the only true lasting peace that comes from knowing the Man of Galilee. He never advocated the many atrocities of war done in His name during the last 2,000 years. His "Sermon on the Mount" found in the Christian Bible (Matthew 5-7), if followed by all, would change the world. Yet he was the ultimate example of Sacrifice. My prayers are with that little child and mother and yes with all the Afgani children who are fatherless and motherless as a result of this violence as well.

Posted by Josh July 18, 09 08:50 AM

#32 is just one of many, support your troops!

Posted by Doc July 18, 09 09:00 AM

Pictures like #32 are important (if shown with the family's permission). They make you stop and see the human cost of what can be a very easy reaction to an attack. How many times have we heard "we just need to go kick their a**es" as a response to attacks made against us or our allies? This might give us pause to maybe try something else first. Having said that, unfortunately, sometimes war is the correct response; it just shouldn't always be the first response.

Posted by Elidan July 18, 09 09:43 AM

Hey, Guys! What I U doing there? Go home to your family!

Posted by Andy July 18, 09 10:31 AM

32 tears me apart,it really hits home
btw where are the pictures of the other coalition troops,canadian,british,romanian etc are all fighting and diyng as well ..not just americans

Posted by ted July 18, 09 10:32 AM

All those comments about nr 32 makes me sick
How typical american, worry about your own poor soldiers, who have nothing to do in afghanistan, but nobody gives a damn about the thousandssss of innocent women and children, who died , because of american bombs.
Maybe they need to show pictures of afghan and iraqi victims, who lost bodyparts or there whole family, crying orphins etc

Posted by pascal July 18, 09 10:39 AM

that child should not be there.

Posted by kirk f July 18, 09 10:46 AM

While the moment in 32 is very personal for that family, it should serve as a symbol for this war. this is happening everyday, and as I read on digg, someone mentioned how we dont hear about the war on news stations anymore. and we shouldn't forget that this moment is happening on both sides of the war, and there are countless civilians who die in the middle of it. it's photos like these that wake up our society to the horrors going on in our world. Instead of coverage of this war or of Iran, we now bombasted by celebrity news and such. makes me sad.

Posted by Dylan July 18, 09 12:16 PM

echo the sentiments on #32

Posted by Syed Hussain July 18, 09 12:20 PM

Powerful and beautiful photos shows the complexity and danger of the situation in Afghanistan for all involved. Thank you to Alan Taylor for incredible, thoughtful work both written and photographic. The piece must have put him in harm's way to get the shots that help us see what is going on in a land a very long way from our homes. Amazing.

Posted by Lisa Laskey July 18, 09 12:35 PM

@ ech July 17, 09 01:39 PM
Typical American response.The Taliban never attacked America. You make it very clear you are one of the millions of americans that have no idea why you are in Afghanistan, a country that (like Iraq) was attacked and occupied by the americans without reason. The only reason for one country to attack another should be in defense, after being attacked by the army of another country. Neither the Vietnames, Somalia, Iraq nor the Afghanistan army ever attacked the US. You invaded more countries then any other country in the world in since ww2! I hope at least its clear to you that Europe isn't on your side, that NO country is on your side except for some small islands whoes support you bought.

Posted by Frits July 18, 09 12:58 PM

I assume all those people here asking "to stop the war" really think that the Afghan people would live a happy life without the coaltion forces? :-D

Sorry to burst the bubble, but the US and coalition forces are not staying in Afghanistan on the hunt for the people who are responsible for 9/11 (most have been catched) - but because the country and its people are in real danger of extremist muslims.

So, all "stop the war"-protestors - tell me a solution which combines withdrawal of coalition forces and maintaining stability by preventing the taliban to rise again.

I am listening. Your chance for the nobel prize for peace!

If you have no solution - please stop shouting "stop the war" at the coalition and start shouting "stop the madness" at the extremists. Thanks.

Posted by Adriana Covales July 18, 09 02:11 PM

I hate war, everybody does. But I'm sick and tired of those dreamers that think you can just be nice to (or ignore Muslim fundamentalists) and all will be fine. That's only true in fairytale. Wake up. Those allied forces are there to set the people free and make the world a better place.

The argument of oil is old and a false argument. Canada has more oil than the entire middle east. But what if oil was the reason. All of our economies would fall apart without it and there would be much much much more war. And you would cry because you can't drive to the supermarket any more, Our civilisations would be thrown back 1000 years.

For the record, I'm Dutch. As most Europeans I don't hate the US, I love it. They have a clumsy way of communicating, especially in the Bush era, but I have no
doubt that the intentions are good. I am proud to have friends and family to fight along Canadians, Americans, French, Italian, etc. for freedom against fundamentalist Muslims.

Posted by Robert July 18, 09 02:24 PM

As much as photo 32 is excrutiating and painful, we need to see these images to remind us of the true cost war brings.

Rest in Peace

Posted by gjb July 18, 09 02:33 PM

it is a wild world , isn't it
#32 makes me sad ......

Posted by water July 18, 09 03:58 PM

Why isn't this war over? We won World War II in far less time.
Let's untie our American troops hands and let them fight to win this quickly and thoroughly.

Posted by slavvy July 18, 09 04:24 PM

Respect 4 pic32

No words.....

Posted by Alex July 18, 09 08:12 PM

Most GI's are being killed by IED's that are supplied via Iran. This is also true in Iraq. Iran is getting a free ride on this. We will never win this war because it is another PC war just like Vietnam. You can not win wars by being PC.
In a non PC war Iran would be dealt with for its part in supplying materials used in killing G.I's.
If you want to win a war you have to let the military fight it not the politicans and the PC crowd. In a PC war many lives are lost for nothing because the goal is to really not win.

Posted by creeks July 18, 09 08:15 PM

Be it through a fife, a drum, or an ipod (photo 8), music has always been
a part of war. It's ability to both bring people together
as well as prepare them to destroy others is I guess
just a part of its power. Wether we use that power for love or hate
is all up to us.

Posted by James (music lover) July 19, 09 03:36 AM

What on the earth this US is doing. Just launching the war. God give some brain to United States to save this beautiful earth

Posted by P July 19, 09 03:54 AM

The US and the rest of the world really got duped by Chenney and Bush ( that order).
Think again!!
How can you explain to a child the wars which are going on?

Posted by Joep July 19, 09 05:08 AM


Posted by SARDAR July 19, 09 05:12 AM

Who is fighting for a just cause here?
In my eyes it's the taliban, they do it fromout religion, an extreme and bad form of it, but nonetheless a just cause in their eyes.

The coalition troops are merely fighting for economic interests if you look closer into the matter. It makes no sense why the coalition troops are in Afghanistan if you rule the economic interest out. You may say this is a just cause in the eyes of the troops, but it just got not any fundament to it.

btw... the real cowards here are the coalition troops. Dropping bombs from16.000 meters really doesnt show any courage. It only procures even cowardice tactics, like IED's.

In my eyes Afganistan is a lost cause for the troops there. If you look at the map still 80% of the country is in the hands of the soon as the troops leave the whole country if of the Taleban again....

War..... its of no use

Posted by Galslacht July 19, 09 06:22 AM

Thanks bush, for starting this war.

Posted by john July 19, 09 06:45 AM

Thanks To Those Who Serve. God Bless Our Brave Servicemen and Women!

Posted by Chris July 19, 09 10:04 AM

For the one who said "Those allied forces are there to set the people free and make the world a better place". Brilliant, after the US helped the talibans to gain power, now they want to free Afghanistan from them, and this to make the word a better place. Yes, a better place, just like in Irak, it is all about freedom and liberty over there. For the other one who is "sick and tired of those dreamers" who refuses war, just go to the front and see for yourself what a war is like, you'll get a taste of #27 and hopefully become a dreamer too. I am tired too of bullsh*ts like "fighting for freedom", what a non sense. Actually, what an hypocrisy. Please, America, stop your wars and rethink who you are.

Posted by euhm July 19, 09 11:27 AM

@fritz: "The Taliban never attacked America." You @replied to me yet answered none of my arguments. I think I demonstrated quite clearly that, in any practical or realistic sense, the Taliban attacked America. "The only reason for one country to attack another should be in defense" - that's what we did here. (I am making no defense here for our prosecution of the war, simply justifying our initial goal of ousting the Taliban as it existed at the time.)

Posted by ech July 19, 09 12:21 PM

Awesome photos....emotional and shows the reality of war. It speaks to the idea that maybe we should talk to our perceived enemies to find common ground and not let ideology and military might rule our thinking. Thank you for the thoughtful photos.

Posted by Jaime July 19, 09 12:27 PM

Be honest, the only succes of this war that keeps on goin for years now is that Saddam Hussein was removed from power. Osama Bin laden's whereabouts are still unknown and most soldiers are only busy protecting themselves fomr the locals.

This was has to end asap. Americans, get out of there! It's not worth the cost of life and money!

Posted by Wim July 19, 09 12:32 PM

Who supplies the Taliban with weapons, ammunition, food, petrol, etc ??
War is horrifying and these pictures just bring the whole story home so well.
The world needs to find peace somehow ... damn all those religious fanatics.

Posted by Stephen Walker July 19, 09 01:06 PM

As much as we civilians may not understand why our troops are over fighting and dying in the middle east, we need to suppor them! My family is an Air Force family, and we've been using for years to send care packages to our troops overseas. Every little bit helps. :)

Posted by Meg July 19, 09 01:19 PM

Freedom is won by those whom are willing to protect it.! God bless our troops and hope he will safe our soldiers.

@pic 32. RIP hero! All the best for the woman and daughter.

Posted by Bergy (from Holland, brother of Dutch Special Formes member) July 19, 09 02:29 PM

#32 absolutely tore me up. We all thank our armed forces for what they do and realize that all give some and some give all, but seeing the child that will never know her father and a wife that has lost her life partner certainly brings it all back to very personal level

I found this video tribute to SSG Melton:

Posted by Ray July 19, 09 02:45 PM

The people did not wont this war, the politicians did, lets send the politicians in to do the fighting. You will note from days gone by it's only the poor that do the fighting, and the poor stay poor the rich stay safe and get richer. Its only ever the rich that want wars, the poor never do. IF THE RICH HAD TO FIGHT THERE WOULD BE NO WARS

Posted by Phil Clarke July 19, 09 03:14 PM

There are some ignorant people who have posted here. I think it is time that people stop watching the national media for their source of "information."

"We went to war in Iraq for a lie," is a big one. I wish someone would tell me what lie. What, you were told their were weapons of mass destruction there, yet CNN said no there weren't any found. Oh how that just works out well. Try telling that to my friend that is U.S. Army EOD. One of his tours over their, they came a across a back room little mud hut with chemical warheads in it. Just wasn't that stadium sized facility like CNN portrayed it to be. Was the information that was given to us the best, no. But, it was fairly accurate. Saddam quit allowing UN weapons inspectors into Iraq. Now he was known for his use of nerve gas, an example would be what he did to the Kurds. Since it seems lots, of people seem to forget that the U.S. gave a deadline to Saddam to allow UN weapons inspectors in, I will try to refresh minds.

When Saddam would not allow UN inspectors in, to a global audience, President Bush gave an ultimatum to Saddam, that if he does not allow the inspectors in, a U.S. led invasion force would enter his country and remove him from power. The day came, and the day passed, with Saddam refusing. So the U.S. held up it's position. Try watching all of the President's speeches, not the little excerpts that CNN takes to manipulate it into what they want you to think that he said.

"We went there for the oil," is another popular one. Answer me this, why am I still paying $2.50 a gallon average. Where is my $.99 a gallon like it was 10 years ago. Only people who think that, are the same ones who think we were lied to on our intentions on going to war with Iraq.

"The amount of deaths are unacceptable." It deeply saddens and hurts me, when any of my fellow brothers and sisters fall in combat. Or for any other reason in the combat zone. 4000 U.S. troops, roughly, have fallen in Iraq. It sucks. And I pray for the families. But, in the 6 years we have been in Iraq, that equals out to a lot less then a 1000 a year. Review your history on dates and casualties of soldiers in past wars and conflicts. from December 1941 to August 1945, U.S combat deaths were around 416,800. So that 4000, is not a large number. Especially when a large chunk of them were not combat related, whether it had been illness, vehicle accident, etc.

And as an example of the BS that the media puts out. As Air Force, I spent my time in the rear working on aircraft. We had an issue of a truck bombing at a theater, were no U.S. or Coalition forces were injured at, in a town nearby, I remember watching CNN cover that bombing. It was a bold face lie, of what they told the world. All of us sat in disbelief at what they were telling the world. About the only shred of truth in it, was the fact their was a truck that was rigged to explode. But I guess ratings and pushing agendas are far more important then the truth. And I am not just picking on CNN, all of them are bad.

Want to know what is going on, talk to someone who is there.

By the way, lots of good pictures.

Posted by Daniel July 19, 09 04:53 PM

It makes it all so much more real. The papers can't show you such detail. Look in to the every eye to learn all you need to know.

Posted by Vee Starr July 19, 09 05:47 PM

It is necessary war, American and west have once abandon us (pukhtoons) to the Pakistani corrupt military and they just made our people terrorists. Help the pukhtoons unite across both sides of Durand line and this is the only salvation for the whole mankind

Posted by Latif July 19, 09 06:26 PM

I have no idea if someone is still reading this. But I have met so many Afghan refugees who have escaped their country because of the hopelessness. They refuse to fight for the Taliban and they have no jobs, no hope. They leave for a better life. But not one of them said that they wish the US and allies would leave. They were all incredibly thankful for the US. They desperately wanted to tell us (even though they had family and friends back in the country still affected by the war) how important we have been there. They wanted us to know that not every Afghan is Taliban and that they were our friends ... they themselves understood that the Taliban was the problem. These refugees included Muslims, former Taliban, a few persecuted Christians, ... quite a mix. I hate war, I pray for those refugees, the Afghans, the children ... all of them. But I also think I understand the deep pain of choosing war as well.

Posted by brooke July 19, 09 07:07 PM

From one Melton to another, rest in peace, brother.

Posted by A Melton July 19, 09 11:17 PM

I wish we had a 5th branch of the military. The duties of this branch include policing, training, and occupying a war ravaged country like Afghanistan. We (the U.S.) have the mightiest military in the world when we are fighting a war on the move like we train so hard to do during peace time. But we are horrible at occupying a country for so long, standing on street corners, weapon in hand, wondering when the next jerk-off is going to suicide bomb them. We can demolish any standing army with ease and precision but obviously do not know what to do after that...Hate to see fellow soldiers and civilians being targets like this. My unit never trained a single day stateside for the duties we performed overseas. Seems like a waste of good resources.

Posted by Egan July 19, 09 11:29 PM

#32 is very very sad

Posted by hitender singh July 20, 09 12:55 AM

#32 could quite possibly be the most moving photo I have ever seen.

Posted by Andrew July 20, 09 01:08 AM

pic 32 left me speechless and disturbed for some time. I'm a young guy and don't get emotional a lot, but seeing a baby reaching for her dad without comprehending what death is just makes you cry. I wish that this war ends sooner and less people suffer from it. God Bless Our Troops and God Speed to all that gave their lives for us.

Posted by Dave July 20, 09 03:59 AM

I am loving that Ipod picture.

Moving and powerful stuff. Thanks again.

Posted by Samantha July 20, 09 04:21 AM

Number 4 is just too ironic. A woman practicing yoga and sunset, the pinnacle of peace and harmony, except for the barbed wire at her feet and the arid desert she's standing on.

Posted by Lisa July 20, 09 05:36 AM

Whoever you are Shyam (comment#30), whatever your reason for being in this country, whatever gave you the courage to have posted this comment -
I hope that you find some light in your ignorance and hatred.
Words come easily- intelligent people weigh them.
Start with yourself when it comes to sowing goodness and we will all reap peace.

Unforgettable pictures. Thank you Mr. Taylor.
Gos bless them all, help them bring peace and return them home safely.
My son also serves in Illinois National Guard and is now deployed there.

Posted by Treeberry July 20, 09 06:06 AM

If history teaches us anything is that talking and communication is the only way of bringing about peace and war, invasion and death only prolongs conflict. All that the US and its allies are achieving is a prolonged war in Iraq and Afghanistan, each innocent death is a recruiting drive for those opposed. It is equally sad to see soldiers returning to their families in coffins especially for a war that they cannot and will not win. The only thing being created here is tragedy, 8 years later and no sign of any resolution. Time to start talking and stop killing innocent children and making orphans of innocent children - on all sides. Fantastic photos particularly in part one, the shots of the children particularly poignant

Posted by Kieran July 20, 09 07:09 AM

S TO P IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now.-

Posted by hiper July 20, 09 08:24 AM

If you research better, you will see that Donald Rumsfeld and Bush that provided Iraq those bio-weapons. How does that work, you give weapons to a country , and then complain that they have it, you invade this country and take ownership of it for 8 fu*#@ years !!!!

Posted by emerson cardoso July 20, 09 08:24 AM

Its bad to see innocent children suffer. Mr Bush is enjoying his retirement with his family and children all around him.
After seeing picture 32 it has totally broke my heart, Being a muslim and a father of a 20 month old boy, it kills me to see that poor little child will not grow up with her father around. This war is nothing to be proud of. Innocent people losing family members on both side, whilst the leaders catch a quick game of golf.
America needs to give its own citizens freedom before worrying about bringing democracy in for others. Great pictures once again, I expect to see many more HEART BREAKERS (32) in the near future. Thanks once again to Mr Bush and his gang.

Hopefully Mr Obama will make this world a peaceful place

Posted by Ali July 20, 09 08:31 AM

Am I the only one who finds photo #8 to be rather frightening?

Posted by Ian July 20, 09 09:04 AM

that guy in picture 16 looks like John from John and kate plus 8 hahahaha

Posted by Godlesssoldier July 20, 09 09:33 AM

It's a good collection of photos. I don't have much to add; need to process them first. It's good to get these pictures into the public eye, though.

One minor remark on #28: "Bellplain" is actually spelled "Belle Plaine".

Posted by Calli Arcale July 20, 09 10:06 AM

All this death and misery expensed so elitists (whether they are the Taliban, the Allied or either of their supporters) can gloat they are the most righteous. What's just as disappointing is a large number of these comments exemplify my assessment.

Posted by Alex July 20, 09 10:10 AM

#32 made me cry. The innocence of this child.... She doesn't understand and she'll never understand. Neither do I.

Posted by klEvert July 20, 09 10:30 AM

Love #4 pic. Get them, Sandra!

Posted by brutalist July 20, 09 10:37 AM

In reply to *119

"We went there for the oil," is another popular one. Answer me this, why am I still paying $2.50 a gallon average. Where is my $.99 a gallon like it was 10 years ago.

Answer: your no more the only one driving a car. Emerging countries need oil too. Besides, your question is totally off topic.

Only people who think that, are the same ones who think we were lied to on our intentions on going to war with Iraq.

Finally something right in your claims, people thinking the US went (twice) in Irak for oil were lied on the intentions.

The US foreign politic the last 30 years was a disaster, I hope Obama will be able to change this. "Hope you can".

Posted by euhm July 20, 09 10:43 AM

Please stop this war and bring my brother home.


Posted by Anonymous July 20, 09 11:24 AM

I'm curious as to how so many people blame the United States for this, and blame George Bush. It's like 9/11 never happened. Are you dumb or do you just choose to forget certain things?

Posted by RJ July 20, 09 11:28 AM

To the people who can't even tell the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan: Please it alone. Unless you think that American troops are building suicide bombs and giving them to Islamic fundamentalists to kill their own people.

No war is perfect. No war is good. You cannot have freedom without peace. You cannot have peace without war.

And you cannot have war without death.

Touching photos. It's not often I believe what the media shows me. Pictures like this can't lie.

Posted by Joshua Terrell July 20, 09 12:07 PM

Americans are wasting their time with this Afghanistan surge. Britain has been in southern Afghanistan for 3 years now. Our armed forces have thrown virtually everything we have at them, Apaches, Harriers, the royal marines, the paras. etc. Killed the Taliban by the absolute bucket load. But every time we think their smashed they just come back stronger. The Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989 with 106,000 men, and far more resources than we have. We won't win. All this for a country which isn't a threat to us. Saudi Arabia is the capital of world terror, Pakistan being second. Do we invade Saudi Arabia? No. Do we invade Pakistan? No we let them have Nukes. Let muslims suicide bomb us. I ain't scared of them. We lived with the IRA for years, and they were much better than these ametures.

Posted by Joe July 20, 09 12:25 PM

Picture #32 affects me in so many ways....I have a daughter about the same age...It Is so sad that he never will see her grow up. It is so sad that she'll never know her dad. What a waiste....Stupid war !!!

Posted by Rich Boudreau July 20, 09 12:40 PM

i agree that 32 is very sad, it truely is... but that is the reality of war. A stupid war.
And for all those americans who say "but what about 9/11 we have to keep fighting and support our troops". I dont believe anyone who sees picture 32 and still supports the war can have a human heart... you'll admit its sad but you'll still show your support... but imagine you were shown that picture and then another dead soldier in a open casket with his children crying...and then another soldier...and another...and another...and then all the 1,250 who have died...and then you were shown all the dead bodies of afghan children lying in the street (i will not post any they are too distrubing) Anyone who supports this mass murder has no respect for human life Yes the taliban chose to attack america but afghanistan didnt, her children did not yet thay are the ones who are suffering for americas thirst for revenge.

Posted by Kay July 20, 09 01:59 PM

What you are seeing here is war. Abandon your side-taking, abandon your 'reasons', there is no justification for the bringing of death.
Some may see this as a liberation, I see it for what it is. Gaining strategic position in an oil-rich region of the world. Evidence? You only need to look at Yemen, Sierra-leon, Zimbabwe.....the list goes on.
But that does not make the war-lords right for their blatant disregard for life and rights (whom-ever they were trained by or gave them weapons).
Wake up people! The vote you cast for a majority party will ALWAYS cost someone simply because of power-struggles and backdoor deals.I think it is sickening how power corrupts so absolutely. There are no winners, all are losers.
'A plague o' both your houses'.


Posted by Teller of the truth July 20, 09 03:11 PM

#32 - My brother in arms, pictures like this tear my heart to pieces, but its the fact that they hit that close to home that makes them amazing.
I hope I dont come home in a casket, if I do, I do so with honor, as many have before me.

Posted by jcrown7 July 20, 09 03:11 PM

Picture #32 speaks volumes of who really looses in War, the children. And while I'm glad to see pictures like this, that speak to the true horror of war, that of lost loves, it breaks my heart for all involved; but none more than for that small child, who will never get to know her father.

Posted by Douglas Troy July 20, 09 03:16 PM

+++ Rest in Peace Soldiers +++

Posted by korvinag July 20, 09 04:26 PM

Leave them! Leave the Afghan people to their tormentors! Let the Taliban overrun the country and suppress the people! Let the women be covered and beaten! Let the children be given weapons and raised as religious warriors! Let the people have no control over their lives! Let the flow of the worlds largest supply of heroin flow uninterrupted! Let the religious extremists have their desert!

We have no business protecting these people! They were doing just fine! Who cares if a few hundred thousand ethnic people are chemically cleansed? Who cares if you cannot read unless its the koran? Who cares if your wives had no say in your marriage? Who cares if some Indians and Pakistanis and Chinese Indonesian hotels get bombed? Who cares if the youth of the country are brainwashed into hatefully religious deliberate civilian killing machines?


Anyone who thinks we can just leave and "everything will be like it was in the 50's" is fooling themselves. The world is too small now, the afghanis problems ARE OUR problems. The US soldier in #32 is a hero, not just a dead person. You insult his memory by urging people to abandon his cause. Thank God there are some people left in this world (US, Brits, Canadians, French, Coalition Forces) that can see past the media frenzy and have the balls to deal with an issue that will be there, whether or not we close our eyes and stick our fingers in our ears and say "nahnahnah I cant see you so you dont exist"

Posted by bob July 20, 09 05:24 PM

As a human I find it hard to say that the war, at the moment, should continue. Picture 32 ensures this. It makes my heart hurt to see a photo like that with the daughter reaching towards an unresponsive father. But at the same time I see the photos of the Afghani children that have been injured and killed and I know some people think that these reasons alone justify US leaving the people. when we went into this war I was just a kid, only got the news from my parents and whatever the teachers forced on us, so I have no opinion on whether our reasons for going to Afghanistan was correct or not. But as I am now an adult, and slightly more world wise than I was before, I can say that leaving now would only cause more harm. Now that we’ve cause instability somewhere it is our duty to return it to a better state than what was there. And, please, do not say this is just another naïve American civilian trying to justify the war. I am an Airman, and as such I am a Warrior, perhaps not so much as the Marines or any of the other nations’ elite fighters, but believe me when I say that we don’t like losing brothers or sisters of any nationality to any war. But I still maintain that quitting now would not only waste what the KIA British, Canadian, French, Coalition and American died for, but also would leave the areas we are currently occupying in a mess that would take far longer for them to fix without all of us helping. For God’s sake, for الله for any god you pray to, at the very least give your soldiers support. They need it. Supporting the war is one thing, supporting a soldier is another.

Posted by Rohr July 21, 09 12:31 AM

whao. very much impact in each and every single of the images. how war bring things down.

Posted by ant July 21, 09 01:19 AM

All this for what?
Of the soldiers and civilian war casualties.....there is just no meaning to it.
This is happening, because we let it happen.

"If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change"
[MJ - Man In The Mirror]

Posted by KW July 21, 09 01:46 AM

I will be back

Posted by Michael Gao July 21, 09 02:25 AM

Thanks Everyone, especially Soldiers, we used to live in Pakistan
since you guys gave us our freedom, we are back and we a good life here, i have printing press now, but the only thing i request from you people is please don't kill our innocent people F**k Taliban burn them alive, don't keep them alive, Shot at sight, i know America does not want the Bosses of Taliban to be killed because he has lots of profit in Afghanistan . but you soldiers no one will ask you why did you killed him, please don't arrest them just shoot them at their balls

Posted by Nazir-Afghanistan July 21, 09 02:30 AM

Both series - horror...

Posted by michael July 21, 09 03:25 AM
Posted by kasper July 21, 09 03:53 AM

Has it never occured to North Americans to invest in education, food and reconstruction instead of hate, war and destruction? I am most certain you would change your reputation, the way the world sees you, and you wouldn't have hoards of fatherless children wanting revenge in the future... But no, fear and revenge is your way... you will never learn and this will never stop!!!!!!!

Posted by F.R. (Colombian in Spain) July 21, 09 03:58 AM

#4 anyone ......................resounding silence. its all #32

Posted by naysh July 21, 09 08:06 AM

I am currently in Kabul and have to say these pictures really bring it home. I am lucky to have these strong men and women who serve with us. As a former Army lieutenant, I hate to see the men lose their buddies as they are the only ones that will watch your back in any situation. To F.R. there are a lot of great working being done here in Afghanistan from Agricultural projects to building hospitals. There are thousands of us who believe in the reconstruction of the country as do the Afghans. I work with many young Afghan men and women who have dedicated themselves to rebuild this country. The US has already committed over a Billion dollars for the reconstruction of this country. And many other nations are represeted here. SO please do your research before you judge.

Posted by Pete July 21, 09 08:25 AM

Sad pictures, - in particular that little girl reaching out to her father - beautiful and desolate landscapes, and a culture far removed from what we know in the US. Thank you for bringing these pictures! I hope that the Afghan government and most of the Afghan people will be able to stand on their own feet. Unfortunately facts like the illicit drug-related activities of the Afghan president give you reasons for serious doubts.

Posted by michael July 21, 09 10:28 AM

@Daniel (comment 119): "Answer me this, why am I still paying $2.50 a gallon average. Where is my $.99 a gallon like it was 10 years ago."

Here's the answer: Pension funds and other large institutions invest in oil futures transforming oil from a physical commodity, rigidly subject to supply and demand, into something to bet on, like a stock. Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 percent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.


Posted by Alex July 21, 09 04:27 PM

#32 is indicative of the kinds of images of this war that impact me the most. I think that SSG Melton knew going in that his death was a possibility; it's a soldiers burden. But to see Aubrey reach out tears my heart...she will NEVER understand.

Posted by Michael July 21, 09 06:06 PM

No 17 shows the absolute exhaustion and fatigue of this "war' and most of those boys look barely 20.

Posted by mrdarcy July 21, 09 10:53 PM

#32. Beyond what words can explain.

Posted by Ashwini July 22, 09 02:15 AM

#32 is a common scene played out for thousands of years across the entire planet during our species' time. Man is a brutal animal, and we do great violence to our fellow man - however - let us understand one thing: Democracy and Capitalism are two of the most important and empowering concepts ever developed - they both lead to allowing the common man being given a voice in his own destiny. These two concepts move slowly and often take generations and eras to pass before being fully realized. I understand that the voice comes at a great cost - but it is a cost worth paying and a goal worth fighting, killing, and dying for.

Posted by Lawrence Teller July 22, 09 03:11 AM

Well, #32 literally brought tears to my eyes this morning. It is moving on so many levels and in my view Pulitzer Prize worthy.

Posted by David Lawson July 22, 09 03:25 AM

These are just strong, strong series, Boston Globe you're doing fantastic job as always!
As for Afghanistan, I wonder none of 170 comments mentioned there are civilian PRT's as for Provincial Reconstruction Teams, doing a lot of public work for the population of Afghan Provinces. Czechs are in Logar province, together with a small unit of top class soldiers for protections. PRT's officials negotiate needs of locals with their leaders and then provide funds to build schools, cleaning and repairs of irrigation canals (some of them not used since 1989), building dams to collect rainfall water, provide electricity, etc. All the labour is done by local companies and the material is bought locally, PRT's members primarily serve as planners and construction survey during the construction.
We not only fight, we are providing Afghans with a better future through technology and advanced civil engineering.

One day we can look back and say. "We fought Taliban in Afghanistan, we made few people suffer and we regret that, but we have given the whole nation a better future."

All the best to Coalition soldiers, may you always be safe and provide much needed safety for locals. May you build more than you destroy and may you return home one day, safe, sound and proud.

Jiri (Prague, Czech Republic)

Posted by Schmouddle July 22, 09 09:02 AM

@ech - #95

You're darn tootin' they didnt, but they certainly harbored them, have befriended Bin Laden and his lackeys, supported them in their cause to construct and deal out terror to the western world and to the local populace that did/does not toe the line to their misrepresentation and misinterpretation of the Koran and that of Islam.
I'm sure you are too young to remember the beatings and beheadings, the stonings that went on with the Taliban in power, illegally, in Afgahnistan.

No no, we'll just turn a cheek and allow them to conduct terror. Carry on, carry on.

Posted by Western1 July 22, 09 04:24 PM

I thought it was against the Geneva Convention to display photos of POW's.

Wasn’t this what the US was complaining about a few days ago with their captured soldier?

Posted by Mathew Williams July 23, 09 04:00 AM

"Only death seen the end of the war" plato was right...

Posted by Afghan July 23, 09 07:27 AM

God bless America.

Posted by Lamjun July 23, 09 02:28 PM

#16 Shows the human, almost romantic face of the Taleban. Illeterate boys (too young to be men) with almost classic weapons fighting the most superior enemy you can think of on the battlefield.
What is the worth fighting this enemy? It is military the most suitable enemy you can think of, both morally (the media wants you to believe that) and material. I see no valour here. Nor honor. Nor a motive.
Bringing freedom? Than do it so without making a profit out of it (pipeline).
9/11 maybe ? I dont think so. Terrorism is not the cause, the decades of catastrofic US foreign policy was the cause ot it all in my eyes.

Posted by Parachutes July 23, 09 06:21 PM

About #32, please put it into perspective Think about the hundreds of Taleban who die every week. They too have mothers, fathers, a family.

Its all very sad nonetheless. I know.

Posted by Parachutes July 23, 09 06:32 PM

This entire collection is saddening, I was particularly shaken by 27

Posted by Sav July 23, 09 11:21 PM

#32 - the kid, the cute pics behind and a dead dad! so disturbing....

Posted by Raj July 24, 09 12:53 AM

N°16 is a violation of the Geneva Convention. I think that you wouldn't show the same picture with a US prisonner, would you ?

Posted by Barney July 24, 09 04:45 AM

Preventing fundamentalism is right. But as I read most of the comments here, I get the impression that there is going on a fight between one fundamentalist group and another... Every dead civilian or soldier boosts the aggression. On each side. There is no way to stop the killing by killing people.

Posted by Florian July 24, 09 09:37 AM

This is real and happening event. I like the reality of these photos.

Posted by Mahesh July 24, 09 01:01 PM

Powerful pictures - as many have commented it seems that we have lost track of why we are fighting this war. Here's one perspective of why were are there:

The stated aim of the invasion was to find the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking al-Qaeda members and put them on trial, to destroy the whole organization of al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to al-Qaeda. The United States' Bush Doctrine stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between terrorist organisations and nations or governments that harbor them. (Wikipedia)
#32 is an incredibly heartwrenching photo - I can't imagine containing the emotions as I have a 8 month old daughter myself.

Note to Alan, #28 - The soldier is from Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Posted by Josh July 24, 09 04:16 PM

One other note -
Afghanistan is no stranger to war. Wikipedia characterizes the last 40+ years of Afghan history as a period of civil war.
The struggles that Alan has illustrated in these two series of photos are not unique to the last decade. What does seem to be unique is a concerted effort at unified state building. (Hopeful that I'm not too naive in this perspective)

Posted by Josh July 24, 09 04:21 PM

I just finished reading a very personal, real-life account of the War on Terror - in a book that chronicles a soldier's year in Afghanistan. It's titled: AFGHAN JOURNAL: A SOLDIER'S YEAR IN AFGHANISTAN.

See for yourself - read an excerpt at the author's website:

It's a realistic mosaic of insights and impressions that address all dimensions of a soldier's experience - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and cultural. This should be required reading for those of us in the US who tend to dismiss Afghanistan as some sort of remote "irritant" that's best relegated to academic debate.

Now that violence and terror in that region are escalating again, this book is an important reality check for any of us in the West who assume that terrorism isn't "relevant" to our everyday lives.

Posted by kath kruse July 25, 09 04:08 AM

Truly astonishing set of images, whats wrong with this world? A lot of it caused by Mumbo Jumbo religion. Why can't we all just get along? Brave soldiers dying for a cause that people back home don't understand.

Posted by Chris M July 26, 09 04:30 AM


Posted by VINAYAK KAMAT July 26, 09 09:12 AM

When The Enemy Is Stopped From Entering An Area Where You Know They Will Set Up Next Once You Flush Them Out. That When Your Are Ahead In Conflict. When You Just Push Them From One Spot To Another That When It Keeps Going On.
Think About It And God Bless Our Miltary

Posted by Gary July 26, 09 12:32 PM

@ Daniel July 19

Are you going to rule out of the quality-journalism (so not CNN or FOX) all over the world that did their research on this subject? They all concluded the Iraq-war was based on false motives.

And the so called chemical warheads you talk about could be the ones America sold to Iraq. The proof? America got the receipt! Btw, they were not warheads with which you can threaten Israël, Europe or America with.

Posted by Galslacht July 28, 09 06:21 AM

#32 has to be the most intense image I've ever seen. So far in my 34 years of life, this is the only picture that ever made me cry.

Posted by LinuxBox July 28, 09 10:20 PM

#32 was very intense and sad. 189, I second your comment.

Godspeed and Semper Fi to all our Marines, Soldiers, Corpsmen, and Airmen in harms way.

Posted by Corey M July 29, 09 05:08 AM

Why is this terrorism in this world? Why are they not in fever to make life happy.....................................................? (:

Posted by Param July 29, 09 08:42 AM

Happy or not the future have been set. We simply have to live it.

Posted by E A July 30, 09 02:32 PM

WOW. I think for retired/ex-military those pictures have a special meaning. Even for those of us who were fortunate enough to have never been in combat; we know how it feels to be thousands of miles away from home, miss holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and most of all our LOVED ones. Every single American needs to thank their higher power that we have military men and women willing to make this sacrifice and the accompanying civilians who place themselves in harmsway; regardless if we agree with us being there or not.

Posted by Thomas E. Meservey, USN (Ret) July 31, 09 09:33 AM

leave my country alone.
non of the afghans need so called international forces.

Posted by afgun July 31, 09 12:13 PM

Picture 14 = one of the coolest photographs I've ever seen.

Posted by youngdesign August 1, 09 05:21 PM

The Ipod pic...........that's my son.....and I'm really proud of him :) Thanks for the comments. His music gets him through the day and night.

Posted by Penny Colburn August 2, 09 10:50 AM

feel sorry for the relatives of these soldiers...

yankee go home.

Posted by Sergey August 3, 09 04:15 AM

wow i dont believe

Posted by andres August 5, 09 09:21 PM

All the people in world are very greatful to you soldiers.

Hats of to you and God Bless you

Thabk you

Posted by Sudharshan August 6, 09 02:45 AM

Everybody gave some...Some gave all. Remembering a distant cousin who died in Afghanistan, Charles Kitowski, Houston, Texas.

Posted by Chris Laskowich August 6, 09 02:28 PM

# 32 ... Makes me cry.
The little girl rips my heart out. These people give so much for our country, and get so little respect. May God be with everyone of them and their families.

Posted by John Kilpper August 7, 09 02:28 PM

Good post Daniel,No.119.The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq(geopolitics aside)have made me draw some analogies to normal everyday situations and ask some simple questions.If you see an old lady being attacked by a viscious thug with a baseball bat,would you step in and help her,or walk past?Do the U.S. and their allies have a moral mandate to go into these troubled countries and 'help' them?Or should you simply let these countries sort out their own problems by themselves,whatever the human cost?

Posted by Andrew Marshall August 9, 09 05:28 PM

These are excellent pictures that show the honor, integrity, compassion, and courage of our brave American heroes, and our allies. God Bless each and every one who serves to keep us safe and free here in the United States, and to help to give the Afghani people back their freedom. Thanks to our troops for their service, and thanks to their families for the sacrifices they make so that the troops can serve.

Posted by Jane August 12, 09 11:37 AM

I hold in the highest honor and respect the military members who represent the USA abroad. I regret that they have USA citizens and our national government representatives who do not honor them for their dedication and resolve. One only has to speak to those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to know the deep commitment they have to peace in those countries. They are not promoting a form of government, but rather a movement of individual rights. Government is the facilitation of those rights and its format is the resolve of the citizens.

Posted by Steve August 12, 09 10:23 PM

I have personal contact with a number of soldiers over there and they believe in what they are doing. In case you haven't figured out what they are doing there....They are keeping terrorists out of our country ! Do you enjoy going to the mall, or to gatherings in the parks? How about football games and concerts?
Would you like to see pictures of innocents bombed on buses in our own country?? Would you like to live as they must in Israel???
Resist the brainwashing, this is a great country.

Posted by rhonda Swiak August 12, 09 11:12 PM

Support Afghanistan and support our troops who fight there!!!

Posted by WJ Mitchell August 23, 09 06:16 PM

#32 pic So SAD, GOD BLESS AMERICA and those who died for OUR FREEDOM....

Posted by shuan September 13, 09 05:37 AM

thats a good liberal mind set lets blame all the worlds problems on bush.

Posted by jdgsc September 14, 09 01:48 PM

from italy.
i support your marines!!
i support ours military !!


Posted by frank October 4, 09 12:01 PM

@Alan -- just a note, civil war has not lasted in Afghanistan for 40+ years; Wikipedia's characterization is too broad. The war against the Soviet Union, a generally nationalistic effort, lasted from 1979 until troop withdrawal in 1989. At the same time the Soviet Union withdrew its forces, the US and its allies withdrew all funding abruptly, and Afghanistan spiraled into civil unrest and gradually civil war. In 1996 the Taliban captured Kabul.

30 years ago, Afghanistan and especially Kabul were fairly Westernized and progressive. My parents (Afghans) attended coeducational universities, wore contemporary clothing (miniskirts, bell bottoms), and lived a hippie/bohemian lifestyle in the 70s. There is great tragedy in all of these pictures. To some who were there in better days, the pictures serve as a reminder how far the country has backslid. Thank you to our troops that are trying their hardest to save a country on life support. There is no easy solution to this quandary.

Posted by me November 4, 09 05:57 PM

I mean honestly has anyone looked and NO i DONT mean glanced... I mean taken a good hard look at not just these photos but also the photos of the deceased? Have you looked at the disfigurment of these soldiers and children?? What the hell has gotten into people lately and when did it EVER become ok to kill anyone?? Protecting your rights and freedoms are fine but once you've done that then its clearly time to get the hell otta dodge! How many more people must we see laying in caskets before we understand that its just not worth it! I thank everyone whom is fighting for us and I also hav a little brother in the service and i couldnt imagine putting him in the ground or havin anClosed casket funeral because he died from an explosion. I look, i read, and i listen and yet i cant grasp the idea of this war! It is time for this to be over!!!! ~PEACE~

Posted by PROUD SISTER November 14, 09 01:04 PM

truth of war. reality of war. war in 21st. century.

real pictures cannot lie.
root cause in world.

1. poverty. poverty in world.
free trade free commerce can improve lives

2. ignorance. know-nothing.. world needs all the men, women children.
cheap or free computers for All in afghan, in world

poverty & ignorance: root cause of all world's problems.

Posted by bill clinton November 25, 09 12:09 AM

When the rich wage war it's the poor who die

Posted by Bill January 16, 10 08:14 AM

very best pic

Posted by Zahid January 18, 10 12:06 AM

How about going home guys and fight your own war in your own country. A war is never necessary.

Posted by azra February 13, 10 11:17 AM

The afghans are systematically paralized by the profiting countries. They need help, which is their right after beeing exploited and humiliated. All of you know that this war is about drugs, weapons and money. The afghans and the soldiers sent there are victims. WW DON'T NEED ANY WAR. Wake up.

Posted by sajeda April 11, 10 03:40 PM


''Happy or not the future have been set. We simply have to live it.''
Posted by E A July 30
Do you really think so?! What about your intelligence?

Posted by sajeda April 11, 10 05:09 PM

I think the us loss the war in Afg cos the non Muslim cant fight against Muslim and we believe one day us broken down in Afg

Posted by mohammed June 6, 10 04:21 AM
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