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Sep 18, 2007

Your Turn: Scotch The Notion


I think my brain is just a little too fuzzy right now to tease this apart.  We have one of those separation walls I was hot and bothered about a few months back.  And, we have a kid spray painting an anti-American slogan on it.

Paired with those elements, we have this caption that has a unique way of framing events in Washington.  It reads:

An Iraqi boy writes anti-US slogans on a separation wall in Baghdad. Democrats on Wednesday battled to scotch the notion that General David Petraeus's upbeat report on his troop surge strategy had punctured their drive to bring US troops home from Iraq.

(In rebuttal, by the way, check out Glen Greenwald's post yesterday which takes Beltway media to task for assuming that the Petraeus testimony was in any way effective, or had any impact at all.)

Meanwhile, how do you pair that caption with this picture, or vice versa?  If Petraeus somehow did puncture the opposition's bubble and potentially did forestalled an imposed pullback, did somebody forget to tell the kid?  Or is the picture supposed to supercede the caption, cuing that it's Petraeus's picture of things that is off the wall?

Finally (and I'm specifically thinking about how the Blackwater incident highlights the role of Western dead-enders in Iraq):  does the picture telegraph the fact we're losing some leverage in dictating our "welcome?"

(image: AFP/Ali Yussef. Baghdad.  via YahooNews)


Interesting from the caption above: "... Petraeus's upbeat report on HIS troop surge strategy..." Has not Boosh been successful in foisting this mess off on the military? Or just another example of our media's complicity with the administration?

That's a caption? You don't say what newspaper it appears in, but apparently caption writers are now happily free to editorialize. Whoever it was was hell-bent on packing as many memes as possible into their 7 point type. Democrats are always struggling; Petraeus' report was upbeat (a good thing, never mind was it accurate or not); the troop surge strategy was not the president's idea, but Petraeus's (who, we all know, is a giant of a man); finally, that his report has had an effect on the momentum of the drive to bring the troops home (certainly not in the public's mind, as shown by various polls). Someone's bucking to be a columnist.

Lately it seems as if our government has been getting their ideas on how to deal with an unruly public from the Communist. (walls, spying, etc). It is hard to tell what the kid spray painting the wall is trying to say. Maybe his English isn't that good. Is he saying "no no america" (1.) on this side of the wall? (or 2.) we don't need a wall? (or 3.) "no no America"(ns) in Iraq? Or "no no America" meaning our country and people should just dissappear off the face of the earth? Or is he just trying to say what people of other nations have been telling us for years...Yankee Go Home!?

The Arabic reads "no, no (emphatic) to the wall". These caption editors, like Blackwater, are unmonitored - after all, what harm can a caption do? It makes whatever signs they cannot read appear more ominous!

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