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September 28, 2009 Permalink

Afghanistan, September, 2009

Today's entry is the first of a new regular feature on the Big Picture: a monthly focus on Afghanistan. From now on, I will post such an entry at least once every month as long as necessary. Violence in Afghanistan has reached its most intense of the eight-year-old war despite record levels of U.S. and NATO troops being sent to fight the Taliban. July and August were the two deadliest months to date for coalition forces, and September is already the 3rd-deadliest, with 38 U.S. deaths - 68 total including all coalition members. With an apparently resurgent Taliban and over 120,000 foreign troops on the ground, and a recent push for the U.S. to consider sending 40,000 more (beyond the additional 21,000 troops still committed but yet undeployed), the situation in Afghanistan could possibly become even more intense in the near future. Collected here is a one-month collection of photos related to Afghanistan for September, 2009. [Past entries in category Afghanistan] (43 photos total)

A dust devil whirls past as a soldier from the 1st Company, 4th Rapid Brigade of ISAF Czech contingent based in Tabor, Czech Republic, proceeds to check the targets after completing a shooting exercise at the range in Camp Altimur in Logar province, some 140 km (87 miles) southeast of the capital Kabul, September 25, 2009. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.


181 comments so far...
1.

@22,27
This is kind of the only site I know where I now and then find pictures of our soldiers in Afghanistan. Weird, that there is no real public information on what they really do out there nor what is done to help them when they come back home.

Posted by martin September 28, 09 01:09 PM
2.

amazing photos... couldja put a black click screen over #17, though... some people might not want to see an exploded chunk of human full-on like the one in the right half of the image (see the foot?)

Posted by Hamish Grant September 28, 09 01:09 PM
3.

Again great pictures!

Especially portraits + I love #32 :)

Posted by Angar September 28, 09 01:10 PM
4.

Wow !!

Posted by Me September 28, 09 01:10 PM
5.

Well, the biggest opium production on this planet beside Burma (controled by China) is in Afganistan. Where is NATO? In Afganistan. Where are all major military super powers? In Afganistan. After the coming of American forces came in 2003, the opium production increases with 300%.

Posted by Sašo Dimitrevsky September 28, 09 01:13 PM
6.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of this part of the world over the next few months and years. I hope those people can truly win their safety and freedom from such an oppressive regime.

Posted by Flogging Murphy September 28, 09 01:15 PM
7.

This conflict is a real tragedy for such a beautiful country and history showed no pity for a nation willing to be free. Let's hope with afghan people that their future will rapidly brighten. They deserve it.

Posted by Damien September 28, 09 01:19 PM
8.

@27 is amazing. What a sad moment.

Posted by lizarazu September 28, 09 01:21 PM
9.

We are in Uruzgan (central-Afghanistan) now for 4 years and it seems that things really are changing (according to independent research). Schools, power plants are being built, farmers get alternative crops and so on.

My thoughts are with everyone in Afghanistan.

Posted by Anonymous September 28, 09 01:21 PM
10.

A nice collection of photos to give an all-around perspective on what occurs in Afghanistan. Thank you.

Posted by Gabriel R. September 28, 09 01:22 PM
11.

It hurts.

Posted by Cynthia September 28, 09 01:23 PM
12.

No traffic lights, no trees, no shots for polio, constant violence...this is what happens when the church and the religious nuts run the country. We had these guys for 8 years here and look what they did to us.

Posted by pk September 28, 09 01:24 PM
13.

I have no problem with the posts being mainly U.S. based in nature, but when you have the opportunity with the Afghan updates, it would be nice to know the fatality numbers of other Allied Forces Nations as well. I realize the significant role the U.S. forces play in this war, but I also want to recognize the role other nations play in this most important struggle for an independent Afghanistan. Thanks as always, for the incredible time and editing that goes into these posts!

Posted by Paul September 28, 09 01:41 PM
14.

Fuerte!!! pero Muy buena serie

Posted by Pato September 28, 09 01:52 PM
15.

As always, the pictures are provocative. The Big Picture has been a must-read for me since its inception. I am curious, however, whether you just signaled a change in its editorial direction.

"Today's entry is the first of a new regular feature on the Big Picture: a monthly focus on Afghanistan. From now on, I will post such an entry at least once every month as long as necessary."

Necessary for what? And deemed necessary by whom? Why this, not Iraq? Why this, not Somalia? I'm not disagreeing, simply wondering why.

Posted by Charles C September 28, 09 01:56 PM
16.

war ...

Posted by ponky September 28, 09 02:36 PM
17.

Afghans are beautiful, they look like something between middle eastern and asian, as one can expect!!

Posted by Alish September 28, 09 02:38 PM
18.

You see some amazing pictures and some really sad moments. I just hope that war is over soon and that Afghan people can live their lives in peace.
I think #27 is my favorite... I can sense some real sadness in some of these pictures... Poor people...

Posted by Nestor JZ September 28, 09 03:02 PM
19.

Possibly the most powerful images i've ever seen.

Incredible.

Posted by Anonymous September 28, 09 03:21 PM
20.

Americans, get out!!!
Let afghans live their lives

Posted by DodgeTheOneAndOnly September 28, 09 03:21 PM
21.

#13 is heartbreaking.

Posted by Mario September 28, 09 03:21 PM
22.

#40 hard as nails. Thats how we breed em in the great white north.

Posted by Dino September 28, 09 05:27 PM
23.

Will Iran be next?

Posted by Willie September 28, 09 05:38 PM
24.

"Americans get out...Let the Afghans live their lives??"

Dodge, are you kidding me? The only reason so many Afghans today are able to live any form of a life that THEY choose is because the Americans and NATO are there. Remember the burkas women were forced to wear?....now women are going to school and training to be police officers. Why are people always blaming America? They are the SOLUTION not the problem. Do you think America should have done nothing after 9/11? Iraq maybe not, but Afghanistan where the Al Qaeda are being protected by the Taliban...definately yes.

Posted by Greg September 28, 09 06:29 PM
25.

why? why are there US soldiers in afghanistan? why does congress allow this to continue when the US people do not want this war? why does a president who campaigned on change perpetuate the war in iraq and escalate the war in afghanistan? why do we continue to vote the same people into office who offer no real solutions?

Posted by thomas b September 28, 09 06:35 PM
26.

Sadness, so many young people from both sides lives are being destroyed due to extreme selfishness and greed.

No one is really free..........

Posted by Nade September 28, 09 06:51 PM
27.

#11 Touches my heart so...(not taking anything away from pictures of coffins and the relatives of the dead) The love that can be seen in the eyes of that man is something we should all recognise regardless of what our veiws are on the whole. If that was what this was all about, freedom, liberating these people from oppression, I honestly believe 'our troops' would not be there.(Good luck to everyone involved and may this all end for the better with everyone involved repatriated post haste!!)

Posted by Ian September 28, 09 07:21 PM
28.

war is only for profits of armament industry, nothing else.

Posted by clopain September 28, 09 07:41 PM
29.

Thank you for making this a monthly feature. Whether or not the war is "correct" is beyond me. Regardless, we should never forget that right now, thousands of miles away, there is a war going on and that there are people who are constantly struggling for their lives and the lives of their friends and loved ones.

Posted by Sasha September 28, 09 07:42 PM
30.

#15

Posted by Pawan September 28, 09 07:42 PM
31.

Amazing light in #32

Posted by Gabriel Amaral September 28, 09 08:48 PM
32.

Struggle for an independent Afghanistan, hmmm. Same as the struggle for an independent Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran/Saudi Arabia are soon to follow..
Oil has nothing to do with it. Neither does opium. Americans and NATO forces in general just love to spent billions of dollars (which go back to the US btw, since they provide all the weapons). They just desperately want to see people all over the world to enjoy the same 'freedom' as they do.
No sir, taking over a country's wealth doesn't make you a hero, nor does killing unarmed (in many cases) people. Fighting for your country makes you a hero, when your country is being attacked. Unless I misunderstood something, the one's who are fighting for their country's freedom are the Afghans ;)
Soldiers shouldn't be blamed, the governments are responsible. However, it's tragic to see people supporting and justifying such acts. A little judgment never hurt anyone.

Some great pictures in here... I love this site.

Posted by Apoelistas September 28, 09 09:22 PM
33.

these are amazing... the best pics all year

Posted by maltman September 28, 09 09:37 PM
34.

Wow! Thank you so much for those incredible pictures
They look so professional. My son is fighting for our freedom in the stryker brigade out of fort lewis and these pictures really make us see how blessed and lucky we are, and two pray and thank our soldiers from the bottom of our hearts for their courage, bravery, and selflessness. Thank you again and please keep the photographs coming. We appreciate this website it is the only way I can see how my son and the other troops are doing! We love and support you from the bottom of our hearts! Tammy tappan. Proud mom of pfc robert reinke

Posted by tammy tappan September 28, 09 11:04 PM
35.

#38: Awesome pic... :)
#40: Nice thinking by the cadets

Posted by chandu90 September 29, 09 12:00 AM
36.

# 15 and # 31 are great! The photojournalists are sometimes our only link to what's real over there. Brave to be there armed with only a 35mm.

Posted by Kevin Williams September 29, 09 12:15 AM
37.

Absolutely awesome pictures! I have been there 5 times for work...
Thank you so much! It's just like on the pics over there...

Posted by B S September 29, 09 01:08 AM
38.

goooood bless imperialism (and the military-industrial complex).

Posted by plutocrat September 29, 09 01:11 AM
39.

#5 great portrait :)

Posted by Hemaka September 29, 09 03:34 AM
40.

After being in awe of the Big Picture for a year, and telling everyone I know about it, I'm afraid I won't be returning after this post. The objectivity in the curation of the site was one of its strongest qualities but I was shocked to be told a given political situation will be published regularly for as long as "is necessary". On whose say so? Are there not numerous scenarios world wide which would benefit from such coverage? Is this an American socio-political site or a photography blog? This quickly removes the veneer of class and universality this site had and it is a shame.

Posted by John September 29, 09 04:21 AM
41.

september? not... All years... it's deadlock...

Posted by michael September 29, 09 04:24 AM
42.

The best set of images I have seen here so far!

Posted by Ben September 29, 09 04:30 AM
43.

Impresionantes las fotos.

Y todas ellas me llevan a la pregunta ¿Qué demonios hacemos allí?

Come Back to home NOW!!

Posted by Bendem September 29, 09 05:11 AM
44.

Every single day I see your amazing selection of photographs Alan, and every single photograph teaches me ten thousands things that I cannot explain here. I do love these pictures because they reflect life, nature, human being behaviour without any fake filter, besides, your comments are helpful and they let us to understand better what's going on out there.
I have my retina marked with all the feelings that these photographs trasnmit me.


Thanks again Alan, congratulations.

Posted by Vic September 29, 09 05:21 AM
45.

From a human point of view: it hurts.
From a photograher (what I am) point of view: supurb!

Most of the times the human point of view wins.

Posted by Jacko, Netherlands. September 29, 09 06:15 AM
46.

No comments on # 29 yet?

So haunting ... and confronting.

Posted by RobV September 29, 09 06:18 AM
47.

there is NOTHING awesome in these pics...#30 :((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((cry

Posted by maya September 29, 09 06:35 AM
48.

All you pacifists make me sick. You're ability to sit around and pick your noses depends on the protection provided to you by good men and women who are willing to fight. Get a clue.

Posted by Mezzo September 29, 09 08:05 AM
49.

#15

Posted by Sumayyah September 29, 09 08:21 AM
50.

some good shots, but where are the photos of US soilders guarding the poppy fields...
Don't edit the reality..

Posted by dave September 29, 09 08:55 AM
51.

la foto no. 23 es la cosa más triste que he visto este año....

un beso preciosa, ponte buena

Posted by piter September 29, 09 08:57 AM
52.

i dont like war...

truly i dont like it at all...its only brought a misery...

i love to see all d people in the world were together in peace.

and start to think how to make our world a better place for us n our next generation.

thx ^_^

Posted by ladyroses September 29, 09 09:29 AM
53.

Really shows how life truly is there, without any judgement.
Where is the honor?

I really think the honor lies with the taleban here.

Posted by Verluste September 29, 09 10:17 AM
54.

The Photos are great, specially the one with the laborer and that beautiful colored eyes.

It is a shame for ALL U.S. citizen that their leaders destroyed a whole country jut to give more MONEY and OIL for CORPORATIONS. It's a shame! Shame on you, "american" people!

SHAME ON YOU, "AMERICAN" PEOPLE.

Posted by Bruno Borges September 29, 09 10:20 AM
55.

The pornography in #41 contrasts starkly with the modesty of the women in hijab in #10 which is middle way between the burqa and the nudity.I don't know which is worse for Afghanistan - Taliban extremists or invasion and occupation by so-called Allied Liberation forces who post pictures of women like those in #41.. #10 shows the beauty of the middle way which is true Islam.

Posted by Carima McDwyer September 29, 09 10:38 AM
56.

Amazing. Every one of them.

Posted by . September 29, 09 11:04 AM
57.

Just what is the meaning of continuing to kill thousands upon thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq for the less than 3000 killed on 9/11. When is the count going to be enough of revenge? And how about the more than that number of US and Allies troops also killed so far, with no end in sight.
When in history has invasion and war solved the problems. It may have vaporized a problem, thru utter destruction but it will never ever solve it. How is such war and destruction going to spark and intensify mutual respect and smiling faces. Are we so blind we cannot see that? When are we going to understand that it is caring, sharing and mutual respect will only bring peace and tranquility for all.

Posted by deshi September 29, 09 11:22 AM
58.

These images show the result of modern republican America's political intimidation. They felt exposed after September 11th so they started a fight to show their power.

"one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

Posted by EmmE September 29, 09 11:46 AM
59.

Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Posted by Graeme September 29, 09 12:09 PM
60.

I am old now and cannot go to this place to kill Taliban. It is not fair that the mistakes of men my age result in such death and injury to be suffered by the young. I support every last one of the young men and think, meditate and pray for them. There is much to weep about here but that would not save one Marine. I know now at my age that Socarates was right, "Only the dead have seen the end of war." I am not comforted by this, I am left very cold. Soon enough it will be over for me, most of you will have to live with it for a while. .

Posted by Tom Edmisten September 29, 09 12:28 PM
61.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." Plato

Posted by John Savage September 29, 09 12:47 PM
62.

very touching. on both sides.

Posted by luca September 29, 09 12:57 PM
63.

very, very good!

Posted by jake September 29, 09 01:11 PM
64.

This must be the best news site in the world, check this site every couple of days. Seldom see these pictures in newspapers, why?

Posted by Robert IHI - Netherlands September 29, 09 01:45 PM
65.

"War... War never changes..." - Fallout

Posted by Wedge September 29, 09 02:33 PM
66.

Absolutely stunning

Posted by Sue September 29, 09 02:41 PM
67.

Wonderful pics...

In spite of what some may say, we are doing some good over there. I doubt that, in the long run, it will be any different in say... fifty years, because the people have to change on their own. This is something that my fellow brother and sisters in arms that are over there right now, cannot force.

Posted by SamuraiMarine September 29, 09 02:53 PM
68.

Thank you for doing this...please keep it up--perhaps as long as the US is there.

Posted by Evan September 29, 09 03:31 PM
69.

Americans entered Iraq on the pretext of WMD which were not found there. They entered Afghanistan, because of so called Al Qaida link with horrible 9/11 incidence. Is it like giving bad name to the dog you want to kill or is it for some other reasons. Only very few people behind the curtain know the real aims and objectives. Others may just keep on guessing.

The mightiest nation is fighting the weakest nation of the world and the war is still going on, meaning that the desired objectives could not be achieved so far. How long this will continue?

Posted by Hisamuddin September 29, 09 03:42 PM
70.

5 and 15 look familiar...

Posted by Robert September 29, 09 05:03 PM
71.

Foto 29, the name is Simone, not Simome...

Posted by Mirko September 29, 09 05:49 PM
72.

39 gives me the chills...

Posted by pdxdid September 29, 09 06:13 PM
73.

# 15 is the best, the worst... the war

Posted by Eric September 29, 09 06:26 PM
74.

What is odd is that none of the Afghans pictured with their AKs see to have additional magazines on them. 30 round runs out pretty fast in a firefight

Posted by Fr. Frog. September 29, 09 06:31 PM
75.

Not long ago, the NY Times reported the death of photojournalism. Seeing this pictures makes me so sad to think that might be the case. These pictures are amazing!!! We need to see more pictures like this not only learn what's going on but to get a sense of cultures and places so foreign to us at home. Big congrats to the photographer.

Posted by DH September 29, 09 08:57 PM
76.

For some more great photo journalism from Afganistan, check out...

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/

Posted by bob September 29, 09 10:32 PM
77.


Many thanks again Bigpicture. You know, I don't believe anyone in this world is truly objective, so those who have issues with the introduction to this selection of photos may choose to "cut this site loose". So be it. You obviously weren't objective when YOU came to the site. The phrase "as long as necessary" could be taken so many different ways. You all have chosen to assume that the site is against the war? Objective? With all due respect, if you can be objective about war, then you're cold inside and out...so... then the site should be for the war? End of objectivity. "As long as necessary". I was raised by a career Marine, have my own honorable discharge from the Marines, have a brother retired from the Marines. Nobody but a crazy person wants to go to war. Look at photo #13 and tell me you won't come back to this site. Fine. Go wherever you go and believe what you want to believe. War sucks...yeah "Objective?" Hmmmmmm..."as long as it takes." and I hope we DO win...whatever that is. Semper Fi my fallen friends, my living friends. Semper Fi...as long as it takes...as long as it takes.

Posted by franknbeans September 30, 09 12:19 AM
78.

Very moving. It's sad that we hear so little about this conflict. Were is the media? I feel so sorry for our troops & the Afghan people. The lack of media coverage & American awareness is disturbing. Nam...& the first Gulf War were media over-kills. This seems to be "The Forgotten War". To the above opposition, I can not believe you do not see the Taliban as an actual threat! Not just in this country, (US) but as a world.threat.These zealots, hiding behind the Koran, are beyond any reality known to man. It's clear you've never been in country! Go there first, then give me an opinion. Sitting in front of your PC & buying into the WWW reality (the web is a quagmire of miss information & conspiracy theories) does not impress me.I've noticed none of you has included you're email addresses.These people & troops do not deserve this oppression . I look forward to your comments & emails.

Debate is good for the soul,
Gino

Posted by Gino September 30, 09 12:48 AM
79.

There is no 'best' here. These are intense, maddening, stunning, beautiful, shocking, skillfully composed, awful, random photograph.

You've outdone yourself here -- this is an amazing collection and one that makes me sit and view each one for minutes at a time. I have no answers, but they make me pose so many questions.

Posted by B. September 30, 09 01:03 AM
80.

Alan: re photo #12, it's "ordnance", not "ordinance". ;)

Posted by Matt September 30, 09 01:34 AM
81.

Thanks Steve, these pictures are so very different than what I saw in 1956 and early 1957 when I was there with the American Embassy Marine Security Guard security detail in Kabul, Afghanistan as a young Marine Sergeant of age 20 and 21. I will post some pictures of that era when I get a chance to scan and upload them for review on Facebook. At that time we did not wear uniforms or carry military identification in Afghanistan as a neutral country and most of us Marines either walked all over the areas now under control of the insurgent taliban or Al-Queda terrorists or rode small motor bikes or road horses wherever we went. I think we had a world's Fair in 1956 which was an extraordinary event at that time.

Posted by LeGrand Britton Eadie (Britt) September 30, 09 02:41 AM
82.

The pictures are incredible. They show the parts of war a lot of people tend to block out or not think about. The civilians of all participating countries.

And for those of you who oppose the war and Obama and what-not, there are things that we, the American people, are NOT allowed to know. A war isn't just fighting. The politics, both visible and hidden, are more intricate than one could possibly imagine. As you can see from the pictures, and if you do some research, American and allied efforts there have not been in vain. Though not a single war has been won in Afghanistan, in fact, all have failed, we are helping. It's wrong to think Afghans were free before the war started.

And thank you for the pictures. I might be there soon.

Posted by Glen September 30, 09 03:21 AM
83.

#15, 18 and 19 are amazing !

Posted by Colette September 30, 09 03:22 AM
84.

Today Afganistan,
tomorrow UN troops will be killing us
in America.
More slaughter and destruction in the name of peace and
democracy.
Just more corporate murder, always was,
always will be till we're all dead!

What a waste!!

Posted by Guy Pace September 30, 09 04:48 AM
85.

Mezzo at 48. The ability of the United States to project its power around the world depends on "men and women who are willing to fight". Your statement is naive at best.

Posted by Jeremy September 30, 09 05:46 AM
86.

Eric, I half agree with you - #15 represents the best, the hope, the future... The Taliban would have her locked away behind an oppressive cultural interpretation that would reduce her life to one of servitude. And the world would never see her smile again...

Posted by Brian September 30, 09 06:51 AM
87.

These are what we should be seeing every day. They force us to see the humanity in everyone instead of generalizing the war and the countries involved.

Posted by Tracy September 30, 09 10:39 AM
88.

#5 and #15..great pics..

Posted by pelin September 30, 09 11:00 AM
89.

As a citizen New Zealand I am ashamed of my countries continued involvement in the afghan war.

Wars in the 21st century are not to be won, but sustained for profit.

America makes up half of the worlds spending on military. World poverty could be abolished with that amount of money.

The blame should be placed upon the soldiers, they are only following orders. The true individuals to blame are ourselves. We live in democratic societies Hence we make the decision to go to war or not. It is time we turn off our misleading news channels and say NO to unjust wars like the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

I will leave you with this quote: "those who do not read the newspaper are not informed, those who read the newspaper are misinformed".

Stand up for peace. See yourself as a citizen of the earth, we are all 99.9% alike lets start working together rather than against each other.

Posted by Richard September 30, 09 11:03 AM
90.

Some of the people above have spewed hatred at America and Taliban. Each have their versions. Both believe they have their perceived right to go to WAR.

WAR is a multidimensional aspect, that results in pain to all concerned, those who are being liberated and to those who are trying to liberate and also to those who oppress the downtrodden.

It has a political, industrial and business and god knows what not, angles, that rarely has any logical answers. There are no sentiments, emotions or any feelings attached, as some people decide the fate of others, to whom they are hardly connected.

The buyer sells his wares of destruction to both the sides just to make a profit. The policy maker / manufactuer / business-man is not connected to the loss of a father to a child, a husband to a wife and son / daughter to a parent, who suffer the trauma for a life time.

War is a result of greed and with the motive of greed alone.


Posted by Madhav September 30, 09 11:54 AM
91.

Thank you for all those picture, western media our atleast those in my country don't publish alot of information on our troops over there. In fact, I've never found picture of afganisthan except here or in the daily news with the death of a soldier.

It is very appreciate, it shows us what our soldiers really do over there.

Posted by Joel September 30, 09 12:51 PM
92.

Why are all these people dying again? Soldiers and civilians alike. The power of brainwashing. Wow.

Posted by Sarah September 30, 09 01:13 PM
93.

@15:
"Necessary for what? And deemed necessary by whom? Why this, not Iraq? Why this, not Somalia? I'm not disagreeing, simply wondering why."

As far as why not Iraq, I'm guessing it's partly because there's so much focus elsewhere on Iraq -- the average American has forgotten about Afghanistan, thinking that we're mostly done with that and that it's all just mopping up and reconstruction, which is not true at all. As far as why not Somalia -- well, there's unfortunately a good practical reason for that, and it's that Somalia is presently one of the most dangerous places in the world. Journalists can tag along with coalition troops in Afghanistan and receive some protection; in Somalia, they do not even have that. Somalia has not had a functioning government in a generation. It is a much more dangerous place to go, and so photographs out of Somalia are hard to come by. Nevertheless, last month's National Geographic had a nice feature on Somalia that I encourage you to check out, including not only the photographs but also the story of how dangerous it was to get them. (Other journalists in the party did not make it home, being kidnapped for ransom.)

Posted by Calli Arcale September 30, 09 01:14 PM
94.

these threads are always the best pics around on the web. such amazing work and effort. Thanks, and keep up the great work. Be safe out there guys.

Posted by hazab September 30, 09 02:40 PM
95.

Excelentes fotos, dan otra idea de lo entendido en Afganistan, muy buen trabajo y gracias por mostrarlas al mundo.

Posted by FEADH September 30, 09 10:47 PM
96.

#34
High angle hell--bring it 3-Geronimo.

good stuff

Posted by Scott October 1, 09 02:35 AM
97.

I'm still unclear on why we are there and how long it will be?
What will we accomplish and when will that occur?

Curious minds want to know, right?

Posted by meggafish October 1, 09 02:47 AM
98.

I love our all our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I never did agree with Bush's plan to send ground troops into either place (except to find and kill Osama Bin Laden), but I admire our men for upholding our Constitution and doing what their Commander-in-Chief tells them to do.

Hopefully we can bring them all home soon and handle the rest of this mission with unmanned aerial vehicles rather than risking more of our young boys in this literal no-mans-land of Afghanistan.

Posted by AJ Simkatu October 1, 09 03:00 AM
99.

Truly tremendous photos. Hope and heart breaking at once. Thank you.

Posted by milo October 1, 09 03:40 AM
100.

Don´t Western soldiers get a little briefing on being culturally sensitive in order to make friends out of the ordinary people they live among? The porn display in the living quarters should not be allowed; it is still absolutely offensive to most Afghans and part of the decadent West that they fear.

Posted by Eve October 1, 09 04:26 AM
101.

--Image 19--
The woman is holding a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm pistol, not a Sig Sauer.
Please fix up that caption.

Posted by Teh October 1, 09 06:28 AM
102.

Excellent.Like Life Magazine in the 1940s ... Well-composed, well-chosen. Iconic. Would like to see twice as much text or roll-out text, similar to a NYTimes or Slate slideshow. (The BG slideshow is still the best.) ... Good call on the graphic content mask. I appreciated the opportunity to see it and the choice not to see it. ... the close up of the Afgan faces seem like a constant search for this war's Afgan Girl (National Geographic June 1985) ... what happened to the kids who ate the poison .. . That was a great photo, but I felt they were f'ing with the light and Walt Whitman was about to come out of the tent and scold us.

Posted by Louis Brown October 1, 09 06:30 AM
103.

Comment # 100:

Thanks Teh, that was on my mind as well. There's a reason why the S&W were given away rather than the SIGs...

Posted by rubber ducky October 1, 09 07:27 AM
104.

thomas b, you voted this fraud in. make the bed, sleep in it.

Posted by larry-o October 1, 09 08:03 AM
105.

Incredible photographs!! Thank you.

Posted by Angie Bull October 1, 09 08:35 AM
106.

#29-#30

Should we watching similar photos again? (I'm Italian)
We won't abandon our the allies anymore, it's right to stay there and support them.
I'm with that people that thinks that abandon an ally is always wrong. like we did in ww2 with Germany, from my point of view, was a shame, no matter who was the ally.

But..... folks, WW2 was 6 year long.

We are in Iraq and Afgh. since 2001 ... 8 years for what??

I feel a sensation of an useless sacrifice of lives.

Posted by Massimo Cantamessa October 1, 09 08:45 AM
107.

Wow, amazing compositions from Manish and Anja!
Of course, Dima is at his artistic best as always. Hope you are enjoying your time back home, Dima!

Posted by Ranjit Arvind October 1, 09 08:53 AM
108.

Ever notice that the Afghan people have some of the most beautiful eye colors in the world. The color of the mans eyes in #5 is absolutely stunning as is the little girl in #15. Too bad many of those eyes have seen such pain and suffering in their lifetime.

Posted by RAD October 1, 09 09:30 AM
109.

America makes up half of the worlds spending on military. World poverty could be abolished with that amount of money. -- #88 Richard

You know... last I heard China was spending more than America on their millitary. So what now? America and China are the only ones spending money on their millitary?

Posted by HavokB October 1, 09 10:07 AM
110.

I'm in my second year in Afghanistan. So wonderful to see that some of you still don't "get" why we are here, and that the liberals still have no support for the military or its personnel. You guys are pathetic, with your comments about war industries and the like. I would LIKE to wear, drive and use the best equipment, provided by the best manufacturers of said equipment. Sorry to hear that you feel they shouldn't make a decent profit in the process.

To answer the question about Afghan weapons and mags: ANP basic ammo load for the AK is one in the weapon and 3 spares, but most of the ANP don't carry a basic load, and many of the mags they DO carry are empty. Afghan logistics is problematic, even in the biggest cities.

Posted by franklins ghost October 1, 09 11:02 AM
111.

Very laudable, a monthly focus on Afghanistan.

I live in South Africa. There is no war here. We do not have thousands of troops heroically battling to stop anarchy from falling. We do not warrant a monthly focus. However... There's been an estimated 26000 casualties from Operation Enduring Freedom (20000 of those Afghan) in the eight years since it started (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom). How terrible. Contrast that with the situation here -- over 18000 murders PER YEAR; roughly equivalent to 50 murders a DAY (http://promoimages.iol.co.za/templates/pdf/totals.pdf). And these are only the official statistics; they do not include all the case reports discarded by the police in order to curtail the rise in crime statistics. Sure, our population is roughly double that of Afghanistan. Still, that's still twice the death count per citizen.

Wish we had a couple of American troops over here, maybe someone would start caring.

Posted by Warren Verwoerd October 1, 09 11:23 AM
112.

These are amazing pictures, they put a face on a culture and a conflict that is little understood, not just in America but throughout the Western world. The most striking image has to be that of the bombed out royal palace. You can see a history of western influence that was abandoned. Sure we can blame the fallout from the Soviet invasion or the Taliban. But there is a cultural conflict that runs much deeper than blaming the war on these groups.

Posted by Maj. J. D. Moffat, USMC (Ret.) October 1, 09 11:45 AM
113.

A quagmire...

Posted by Arrgy October 1, 09 12:35 PM
114.

"America makes up half of the worlds spending on military. World poverty could be abolished with that amount of money. -- #88 Richard

"You know... last I heard China was spending more than America on their millitary. So what now? America and China are the only ones spending money on their millitary?" HavokB #108

HavokB is greatly mistaken. The USA spends far more than the PRC

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

Posted by PhiladelphiaLawStudent October 1, 09 12:36 PM
115.

Pacifists, please sleep well tonight knowing that I, with my firearm, am on duty guarding you and protecting your right to hate me.

Many of you, who are trying to understand the continuance of this conflict, have been swayed by the media. Please understand that we are not killing indiscriminately. We are building schools, hospitals, infrastructure, training a people to be self-sufficient. The people I kill, are a direct threat to everything that is freedom...not in an American sense, but a biblical sense as well.

I may end up going to hell for the job I have done...but while there, I can rest assured I have made a much better life for hundreds of thousands of people. What have you done today?

Posted by Colt Winchester October 1, 09 12:42 PM
116.

Weapons kills, stop! All supports bring a weapon, stop!
Italy, America, etc have their supports in Iraq, stop!
We are killers! STOP!

Soldiers while killing people listen music, so they don't get crazy!
They kill people while listening AC/DC... wow!

Today watching SKY a person said: "It's not right that only policy and criminals can bring weapons. If a criminal come to my home, i need to protect my self".thus saying everybody need a weapon, so everybody can kill everybody. the base concept is mistaken. nobody (excluded policy) have to bring a weapon, stop!

Posted by paolo October 1, 09 12:44 PM
117.

Why aren't we shown these photos on daily basis? I much rather see this than be innundated with Michael Jackson's death.

Posted by Annie Onimus October 1, 09 01:05 PM
118.

54 - I'd love to hear where all the money and oil coming into the US from Afghanistan is. A GDP per capita of $700 and last I checked, zero petroleum import in US. Hardly a revenue boost for anyone.

This is about rooting out the crap-heads and making a safer place for the good people of Afghanistan, and yes the rest of the world.

Posted by mick6 October 1, 09 01:22 PM
119.

"Stealing a country's wealth"?

Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations on Earth. There's nothing to steal. $700 per capita GDP, 219th out of 229 nations, poorest non-African nation. I'll bet you can name every American Idol contestant though, right?

I suppose it's easy to be moralistic behind a PC, an XBox, a TV and a good meal, with no landmines to walk through, and condemn others to "live their lives" in poverty, violence, victims of mines, terrorists and failed regimes.

Because, you know, developing WEALTH would be immoral.

I think every leftist twit opposed to the "oil war" should show solidarity by not using any petroleum products. No oil, no gasoline, no plastic, no nylon. Then, go live in Afghanistan for a year and tell them how horrible it will be if they actually get enough food to eat and immunizations, how they'll be "selling out."

Then, don't bother coming home.

Posted by Michael Z. Williamson October 1, 09 01:30 PM
120.

To our military, thank you for going above and beyond service to your country. Thank you for protecting not only the freedoms we often take for granted within the US, but for the freedom you offer to help others achieve within their own countries. Though you may be far from your families abroad, at least be rest assured in knowing that there is at least one citizen, myself, who believes in going out of his way to help a soldier and his family whenever they need it.

As for those who choose to protest and say that we have no business being there and we should leave these people alone becuase they didn't do anything to us. May I remind you of September 11, when people within this region chose to step foot on American soil and threaten the very stability and freedoms we had established in this country. As long as there are those who support terrorism and the evil that it spreads, we will never be able to "just leave" as freely as I'm sure many soldiers who miss their families would like to have the option to.

These soldiers are doing their duty by protecting your freedom to whine, complain, b*tch, moan, and speak your little liberal heart out about how much you hate them. But every night they sit on post, waiting and watching, and willing to take a bullet to protect those very freedoms. Remember: If you are not going to stand behind the soldiers in their work over there and support their duty to this country, then please by all means, stand in front of them and let Darwin take over the wheel for you.

God Bless our troops, their families, and the USA!

Posted by Brian H October 1, 09 01:39 PM
121.

Incredible photographs, that just brings forth the serenity and sadness of life in places torn by war. Where mankind took a back seat and gave way to beastly ways of life. Where humanity was traded by the greedy hands of few, and what tears the most at my heart is the suffering of children. Photograph 23 made me cry and want to reach out to that child lying there fighting for his life all because he tried to satisfy his hunger. Why should children go hungry, sad and desolate?

What are we trying to teach our children by making toy guns? Don't the people who manufacture such toys have children of their own, doesn't their heart weep to see such misery? Haven't the parents seen enough bloodshed! Filled with sadness I wonder when humans who cause such misery will stop and look behind to see the bloody trail they are leaving in their tracks. I wonder would any of this have happened if we never made the first bullet, the first bomb, the first weapon?

Posted by Rasika October 1, 09 02:28 PM
122.

Really amazing photos, great compositions and lighting.

Nice how the Canadian works out with make-shift weights (#40) and the Americans work out with real weights (#41).

Posted by Ben October 1, 09 02:39 PM
123.

Thomas B.
Why? Oh, why can you not find the shift key on your keyboard?
You cannot speak for "the US people" because clearly you live in a shoebox or under a rock.
No, things are not perfect. And eventually people need to learn to stand up for themselves. But until they can, thank whatever God or gods you worship that there are men and women who wear the uniform of the American military and will put themselves in harm's way to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Posted by Bob October 1, 09 02:53 PM
124.

Awesome pix.

Posted by Jason October 1, 09 03:51 PM
125.

Every part of our globe has its own unique beauty... if only we could get rid of these wars, we'd all be living in the Garden of Eden once again. War is destruction, peace is construction... war is death, peace is life... war is the struggle for existence, while peace is mutual aid and cooperation... I wonder when we'll ever wake up to see the light!

Posted by Mame October 1, 09 04:30 PM
126.

The image of the soldier playing guitar filled me with so much pride! God Bless the USA!!!!

Posted by Chad H. October 1, 09 04:35 PM
127.

@ franklins ghost

Thanks for your service.

Also, take what the close minded liberals say about anything with a rock of salt, without people protecting them their freedom to speak would be nonexistent. To all of the people who are asking why America is in Afghanistan, and blame America for everything, NATO is over there too, did you not just go through these pictures that showed German, Italian, Canadian and American troops, how can you be that dense? NATO deems it necessary to help the citizens of Afghanistan in their fight against the Taliban.

Posted by whirlednews October 1, 09 05:03 PM
128.

nice picture guys , thank you for sharing

Posted by nena October 1, 09 05:27 PM
129.

personally stunning...mentally numbing

Posted by tuan October 1, 09 06:27 PM
130.

To the US military and our NATO allies, thank you for defending our freedom and democracy. Your service is appreciated with utmost gratitude and pride!

To the Boston Globe, thanks for publishing these outstanding photographs. It's fantastic to see the US media finally reporting real news. Good job!

Posted by Violeta Ivanova October 1, 09 08:32 PM
131.

@ franklins ghost - Amen brother. It's sad when brave men and women have to read liberal trash. But, those of us who stood, and those who stand so they can speak their empty minds, believe in America and the inherent freedom of others on this planet. Too bad the average liberal doesn't believe in something and have thus fall for the next "anything" that comes along. If you like your freedom, thank America's best. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I. ~ One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Posted by American No Hyphen October 1, 09 08:45 PM
132.

I just wish liberals would make up their minds. Before 1/20/09, Afghanistan was the "war of necessity", the "good war" abandoned by Chimpy McHitlerburton to free up the cannon fodder for his Eeeeevil War of Fascist Oil Empire. Now that their clay-footed Messiah's running the show, it's all "Quagmire! Vietnam! Waaaaahhhh, I want my helicopters on the embassy roof and I want them NOW!"

Be honest with yourselves for once in your lives, libs - you're not really antiwar, you're just on the other side.

Posted by Jeff October 2, 09 12:51 AM
133.

A message for Washington - You are overlooking the fact that one can't enforce "democracy", or wipe out radical religious thought by killing people. All you do is create more martyrs. It’s like a cancer, the more you squeeze it the more it spreads. War in Afghanistan is unwinnable. The British failed, the Russians failed. If you can’t identity your enemy due to the fact that they don’t have the common courtesy to always wear a uniform, then forget it.
It’s almost like no one in White House learnt anything from Vietnam.

Pull out, go home. Then read the many books by Noam Chomsky.
The best way to create a better World is to change American foreign policy. Stop trying to impose the American version of “freedom” on everyone else. If you don’t, more and more of the World will grow to dislike you. Which would be a shame.
Roland

Posted by Roland October 2, 09 01:13 AM
134.

131 comments and only 1 reference indirectly to Obama. Why are we still there Obama? Go back and read your campaign promises! Where is the Change? It took you 8 months to make a decision on a DOG......and now you are dragging your heels on making a decision about Afghanistan....while people are dying. You voted "PRESENT" on most of the bills you were presented while you were in the Illionis state legislatue..........you apparently cannot make a decision...while people are dying. Oh, thats right, you were able to say you would go to Copenhagen........while people are Dying.

Posted by tommot October 2, 09 01:47 AM
135.

""Americans get out...Let the Afghans live their lives??"

Dodge, are you kidding me? The only reason so many Afghans today are able to live any form of a life that THEY choose is because the Americans and NATO are there. Remember the burkas women were forced to wear?....now women are going to school and training to be police officers. Why are people always blaming America? They are the SOLUTION not the problem. Do you think America should have done nothing after 9/11? Iraq maybe not, but Afghanistan where the Al Qaeda are being protected by the Taliban...definately yes.
Posted by Greg September 28, 09 06:29 PM "

The only problem with that is that the US installed the Taliban in the first place, and on top of that, the Afghani people were much more free before the Taliban were installed with their religious fundamentalism. But it's ok, they were fighting commies... The only ones who supported this fight were the Taliban, the Afghani people wanted nothing to do with it.

Posted by BelieveInSoapOnARope October 2, 09 02:23 AM
136.

First, thank you for publishing these wonderful pictures, It warms my heart to see that people weather they agree or not can find the common ground of pride! Also thanks to all for your heartwarming comments for the soldiers.

I feel I need to set a few things straight though. I am a US Soldier here in Afghanistan (i am also an amateur photographer). It pains to hear a lot of people who are believing the rhetoric being pushed by politicians. There are no oil fields here, any poppy farms we find we burn, we only shoot when shot at, and we don't go around destroying shit with no purpose. We were asked to come here by the people to help them get rid of the Taliban, and we are here till the job is done.

Please people do your homework. I am here defending a people who cannot defend themselves. I am teaching them to be self sufficient. I teach them to stand up against oppression, and to love their country. I am proud of what I do!!!

Posted by Paul Guerra October 2, 09 04:27 AM
137.

As simple as I wish this was...

Lets end this war.

I support the troops, but this has been ridiculous for a long time now.

Posted by Peace! October 2, 09 10:41 AM
138.

image 19 is indeed a S&W not a Sig......it is one of my images!

Posted by woody October 2, 09 01:43 PM
139.

War??

What for???

Posted by A young Indian October 2, 09 02:23 PM
140.

The Spec-Op Solider in picture 6 is a french soldier.

Posted by Mike October 2, 09 02:45 PM
141.

Truly amazing.

Posted by JoshP October 2, 09 03:20 PM
142.

As someone that has worked 3 projects in Afghanistan and one in Iraq I have a few things to point out.

1) Some Afghan & Iraqi women only wear the Burqa or Hijab so they don't get beaten senseless. They'd leave in a heartbeat if they could. I have had several women I barely knew ask me to marry them and take them away.

2) Afghanistan wasn't invaded for OIL or WMDs. It got invaded because they had been sheltering the AlQ nuts for a long time. Remember how Clinton got ridiculed as "wagging the dog" when he attacked the training camps?

3) Yes, Bush and Cheey made war pay for their big company allies. And it wasn't just a "fair profit either" that they siphoned off.

4) The neo cons need to undersatnar dthat the present issues in Afghanistan are directly because their icons; Bush, Bush and Reagan, let the place slide. I mean if you read about Charlie Wilson you will realize that we the republicans have a TERRIBLE record of finishing conflcits so the underlying issues are resolved.

Posted by Mike October 2, 09 04:03 PM
143.

Nice to see the other nations not just US to experience on their skin what Afgan is and what monster US created there in 1979. Maybe they will understand Russian solders a little bit.

Posted by Alex October 2, 09 05:13 PM
144.

My political views lean toward the left, yes, but I am sick and tired of people trying to give me a label. To the people who do not understand why we are in Afganistan try doing a little research on the Taliban and what it was like for people, especially woman, to live in Afganistan under their rule. I personally am of the mind that this area should have been the focus of the post 9/11 conflict and possibly should have been addressed before that time. If you are wondering about the difficulty we are having with this conflict, talk to the soldiers in Afganistan who have been the second priority on the forgotten front. Also, do some research about the terrain and the political climate of the area. Reach your own educated conclusions and then come back and comment without the labels and Conservativevs. Liberal nonsense that is damaging this country.

Posted by Gina October 2, 09 05:42 PM
145.

Amazing photos.

Posted by outraged October 2, 09 10:10 PM
146.

Impressive! Amazing! Shocking!

Posted by Matteo Marchetti October 3, 09 01:57 AM
147.

God Bless the USA.

Remember that Peace means death for all living
things on the planet. The Ultimate peace.

Some peace among the living would be nice, though.
I'm not liberal enough to feel that some people are receiving
care and attention that they never saw with the Taliban.

The USA is not there for oil/or climate change/or to freely kill/or for causing more hardships. They are there for granting freedoms to others.
Some just choose to use their freedom to freely kill or plan bombs in their kitchens to kill others...only to have their own children eat the poison.

Posted by military mich October 3, 09 03:05 PM
148.

thanks, as always ...

Posted by alicia October 3, 09 05:08 PM
149.

That was before the war, of course.'

'Which war was that?' said Winston.

'It's all wars,' said the old man vaguely.

("1984" - George Orwell)

Posted by Prometeo October 3, 09 07:09 PM
150.

THANK YOU,SOLDIERS!! Thank you for fighting for freedom in the world. And also thanks for fighting to keep the little liberal whiny-asses safe as well. They will never understand why we have to fight sometimes. Just ignore them,if possible.

Posted by steve preston October 3, 09 07:55 PM
151.

War and conflict seem to be inherent in the human condition. History tells us as much.

I hope that something better can come to Afghanistan from all of this energy and loss. For example, perhaps the genocide against the Hazara by the Taliban can be avoided (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/02/afghanistan-hazara/phil-zabriskie-text.html). Nonetheless, Afghanistan is A beautiful country. Thanks to those who assembled this photoessay.

Posted by Jamal October 4, 09 11:02 AM
152.

The Big Picture, at its best as it is here, brings us the photojournalism we used to get from Look and Life. Thanks so much.

Posted by Stanley Krute October 4, 09 12:11 PM
153.

America is the villian.
i hope foriegners leave my country. either dead or alive.
this country is not for fainthearts. if you are born, grown and drunk from this country you are already a lion. its just another empire going down.
beware of the revenge of Pashtuns.

Posted by OneOfThem October 4, 09 03:17 PM
154.

Lived thru and fought in a war, and cannot bear the deafening sound that tears shed in grief make when they hit the ground, nor forget the faces twisted with the pain of a loved ones death....May God have mercy on us all....

Posted by Ray Fliger USARV 67-68 October 4, 09 05:09 PM
155.

For those who post replies condemning the USA for intervening here - shame on you. Afghanistan was a wreck long before we got involved.

For those who comment that Islam is the true way of peace. Shame on you for not taking responsibility for this entire region's destruction. No Muslims have intervened and none will.

For the Afghan's who have suffered so much tragedy over the last 75 years...keep the faith, you still have hope.

For the brave soldiers who have made obnoxious and frivolous anti-war posts possible, God Bless You. Noble you are for making such a sacrifice for a people you did not know.

For the few journalist who remain in Afghanistan and who made these pictures possible - your work is powerful.

Posted by K October 4, 09 09:57 PM
156.

Very nice photos. Thank you for that
a french officer

Posted by jolivet October 5, 09 04:22 AM
157.

it makes me cry

Posted by Karen October 5, 09 10:04 AM
158.

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Violence is discomforting, but moral cowardice is worse. Who is the brutal animal, the Taliban who murders girls in broad daylight for daring to learn or the soldier who shoots the Taliban dead for having done so? They are not morally equivalent. Choose now.

Posted by P.F. Undit October 5, 09 03:38 PM
159.

Very good photo journalism. Gives one a real sense of the danger, despair, horror and hope of a war torn land and what is really going on over there. This war can be won but not if it is to be run by pols, opinions and people with no clear understanding of what brutality and violence - war - is about.

Posted by paul s. vinnedge October 5, 09 04:47 PM
160.

Did Plato write
"Only the dead have seen the end of war" ?
Since this quote appeared, attributed to Plato, at the beginning of Ridley Scott's 2001 movie "Black Hawk Down", several people have asked me the exact source of the quote in Plato's dialogues. Yet, I have been unable, to this day, to locate it in any one of them.

And I'm not the only one in that case ! One person who asked was Mr Michael Takiff, who had come up with the quote, attributed to Plato, in a letter from a soldier in Vietnam to his father while preparing a book called "Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam", to be published by HarperCollins in 2003. I was unable to help him, but I later learned, in further exchanges I had with him by mail, that, with the help of friends and colleagues, he had come up with the following about the quote:

No one he had been in touch with had been able to locate it in a dialogue of Plato.
Yet, it can be found, attributed to Plato, in General Douglas MacArthur's farewell address to the cadets at West Point (May, 1962).
Mr. Bernard Duffy, of California Polytechnic State University, coeditor of a book of MacArthur's speeches, had told him that the quote could be found on the web as a quote of George Santayana's, and further digging confirmed that it could be read in Santayana's "Soliloquies in England" (Scribners, 1924, p. 102), Soliloquy #25, "Tipperary", in a section which reads: "Yet the poor fellows think they are safe! They think that the war is over! Only the dead have seen the end of war." Santayana does not attributes the saying to Plato, or anybody else for that matter (1).
It shows up, again attributed to Plato, on the wall of the Imperial War Museum in London.
Here is what Mr Takiff wrote me on August 2, 2002 about the quote, based on these data:

"I think it's almost certain that MacArthur's use of the quotation in his famous speech in 1962 accounts for the its popularity among American soldiers. However, I'm doubtful that MacArthur is the ultimate source of the quotation's attribution to Plato. My reason is that it appears, attributed to Plato (just Plato, no citation), on the wall of the Imperial War Museum in London. (I owe my awareness of this appearance of the quote to a former professor of mine -- Victor Bers, a classicist at Yale -- who recently visited the museum.) The museum has been housed at this location since 1936; of course, the quotation could have been put up any time since. One would think, however, that the keepers of this institution would practice more scholarly discipline than the producers of a Hollywood war movie. And so, I'm doubtful that the quotation's route to the museum's wall passed through General MacArthur's speech.
I have just emailed the director of research at the museum. I'll let you know what, if anything, I find out."

In short, the attribution of this quote to Plato remains most questionable, while its appearence in works by George Santayana is a fact, and the possibility that the source of its misattribution to Plato be General McArthur is quite real, though not proven.

If I learn more about it, I'll update this page. And if anybody around finds it in one of Plato's dialogues, please let me know, I'll be glad to add his/her name to this page as the finder of the quote in Plato...

Posted by Namvet October 6, 09 08:16 PM
161.

these pictures have clearly brought out the pain and suffering caused by war. Its very hard to imagine the feelings of the people caught in the middle of this war between western forces and taliban terrorists. Pictures like this will change the perspective of people like me who are far removed from war zone and make question the reason behind the bloodshed.

Posted by aztek October 7, 09 10:13 AM
162.

I'm impressed. good work.

Posted by Carla Leite October 7, 09 12:38 PM
163.

Very nice pictures, as always. I'm impressed. About #34: is that sign on the left really reading "mordor"?

Posted by Daniele October 8, 09 10:22 AM
164.

Thank You! I have a loved one in Paktika Provence this helps me to understand some of the things he lives with. Real Pictures. Real Lives,
The good and the bad. I am so grateful for our military they go where they are sent, do their jobs then get cussed because they are loyal. So sad.
Please keep up the good work, your talent is appreciated.

Posted by pattie marsh October 9, 09 11:25 AM
165.

Your photos are beautiful especially Number 11. Thank you.
Why does all this have to be in today's world? ! There is so much heartache and sadness.

Posted by Joanne Wheeler October 12, 09 11:39 AM
166.

(to the above) sorry to break it to you... but regardless of us being there in a war... those people deal with this catastrophic depressing world on a daily basis. my best job satisfaction has been taking as much care as i can coming home to make sure that doesn't happen anywhere as much as i'm able.
I served in the SE of Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan... where a majority of the craziness is happening (happened)... it (the photos) brought a few tears i'll be honest.
I miss those people so much. Those poor ravaged people. I was a medic, and I hope the few who REALLY understand... (not the morons that have some horribly misguided view of war or this war)... can appreciate when after all the disgusting reporters that normally are overseas... can see these photos that took my breath away and appreciate some great journalism. We always tossed out reporters or sent then on their way because they simply (BIG usually) don't get it. and how could they? for the most part they have restricted what we 'have to do to get things done'... this doesn't mean we were abusive... but it's WAR! and reporters don't get that... so don't try. untill you hold a weapon and have a choice to defend innocent lives or your own... don't bother bringing your stupid agenda overseas to screw with the rest of us.
These pictures speak for themselves... they are telling the viewer whatever the viewer sees. THAT is objective journalism during war. Thank you so much. Please support your troops... don't just say 'i support troops' when you talk to someone... go adopt one, send something overseas... call the USO... that's what it means to actually SUPPORT your troops.

Posted by Dominic October 12, 09 05:27 PM
167.

i appreciate what the us soldiers are trying to do in Afghanistan,i've seen photos of soldiers handing over candies to the children and i really respect such gestures.but there are many problems too.many soldiers hit out at innocent civilians claiming they are militants and the deceased happen to be chiledren,women and the elderly,suicide bombings still prevail and Taliban is still active,so what has the war achieved after all,please let us know.

Posted by what have we gained October 15, 09 01:43 PM
168.

Well I can say as a soldier i did more than hand out candy... i'm sure you saw this at one of those other media channels (not like this, TRUE objective journalism with PICTURES) I'm guessing from 'what have we gained' (167) that you haven't participated in much outside the US. I was a medic in Afghanistan... so 'what that means' or 'what have we gained' is that i would set up a mini hospital in a village (many times over), and help them... HELP them. With whatever we could... you want to know why? Because no one else is going to. If we aren't there, those people are raped and murdered... this happens regularly in the south part of afghanistan... raped and murdered. I'm sorry if this is too much information to those of us (167 what have we gained) that haven't travelled far from this illusion of peace that frames america. People are dying. I saved them. You cried about whether or not that was the right thing to do. I know what I gained? I helped them in whatever way i could... as opposed to thinking/talking/whining/blogging about it. I would suggest gaining some world perspective and see what's actually happening in the world. Those that are defenseless need defending... don't get me wrong. The privilege of being a soldier is that your opinion doesn't truly matter. You do what you're told and no more. However, I don't want it ever to be said that 'war, what have we gained?' let's talk about what we can do to help those that are unfortunately caught in the middle... after all that's the majority anyway right?

Posted by Dominic October 18, 09 09:15 PM
169.

What did America get from BushWar? Why continue? Cut the defense budget by 50%, send half of that to the deficit and half to rebuild America. Bring the troops home. They aren't heroes, they're mercenaries. We are not safer, we are in danger up to our eyes. Keep this up and maybe someone will notice. What a disgusting chapter in American history, BushWar.

Posted by kc October 22, 09 01:23 PM
170.

These photos are so revealing....on not only a factual and political basis, but on a spiritual basis. they capture the raw humanity.

Posted by Susan Harmala October 23, 09 11:46 PM
171.

#169... 'They aren't heroes they're mercenaries'... shame on you. Those soldiers don't get paid enough/aren't thanked enough/aren't taken care of enough to be mercenaries. Shame on you. Please take your comments over to one of these countries and join the terrorist group you belong to. Too many of them have died trying to protect your right to say such disgusting abominable things about them. Shame.

Posted by D October 26, 09 06:43 PM
172.

My heart goes out to all those who lost their lives and those who are still alive trying to bring peace to people in War Torn Countries.

Posted by Evelyn F. Barry November 6, 09 07:28 AM
173.

It is clear who bring anarchy and insecurity to Afghanistan.
who wants to have fighting in his own city or country?

Afghans donot like fighting but they like to defence their country from forigners Afghans do not like fighting but they will defence their country until their last breath
Every one around the world is aware that USA and its alias want to occupy usurp Afghanistan. But Afghans do not like it.
Afghans are not terrorist, If USA and its alias plan to defeat Terrorist they should go to Pakistan. The Pakistan CIA is the key source of terrorist groups; The Pakistan CIA makes terrorist groups and sends them to Afghanistan to fight with Afghan national army and police. We are losing real lives and it is not a movie or a game. You may watch many war movies and games but if you see the real fighting and war you will feel breath again. We are the real key loser of this war and the players are setting in a sofa with a cup of tea in order to enjoy their lives.
Afghans know all the reality who is the player of this game who made the game.
We will revenge from every one separately. If any one have a daubed he can read Afghan history which we defeated Three tight British, Changize (From Chana )

Posted by Quadratullah Afghan November 11, 09 12:30 PM
174.

Спасибо вашему за опубликованные материалы. Качество отличное!
Особенно приятно увидеть фотографию дворца Тадж Бек. Мой батя его громил в 1979 году.
Ну а теперь, дорогие американские друзья, ваша очередь греть жопы под жарким афганским солнцем.
Удачи.

Posted by Старинов Никита. January 29, 10 02:42 PM
175.

I really appreciate what the soldiers are doing they are helping us that need our help for be oppress. Being a retired soldier we have the best well train fighting men and women in the world. These men and women putting their life on the line for you and for others that they do not even know are my hero’s. Great pictures

Posted by SSG. Wilson February 5, 10 07:32 AM
176.

after seeing the "September Tapes" i began to search google about the war in afganistan. i am here in the phillipines and i know so little about the war and these pictures showed me how awful it was. i see some of the comments posted here are against the US and other people are agianst the war, of course nobody likes war. some filipinoes are against the US but i myself like what they do. for the US soldiers and filipino soldiers too who had participated on this war to bring peace in afganistan thanks much. afgans are bueatiful people they deserve a beautiful life away from all this fuckry. hope they will enjoy the same freedom that we have here in the phillipines that we never would have achieved without amirica. and hope they will have it soon. god bless us all.

Posted by Arniel Cabigon/FACEBOOK February 12, 10 07:53 PM
177.

that is nasty

Posted by kuy March 30, 10 09:16 AM
178.

i feel ver bad...

Posted by Anonymous May 6, 10 07:29 AM
179.

Man those are some awesome pics I am sereously considering joining the army I have wanted to be in it since I was in the fith grade but my passion has grew.

Posted by Gstruck May 7, 10 04:34 PM
180.

NICE PICTURE ! GREAT. from indonesia

Posted by juan August 7, 10 01:48 AM
181.

whats up tim i havent seen you sice wrestling season your senior year!

Posted by cale September 10, 10 02:06 AM
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