Saturday, September 1, 2007

NY Times: Turning The Tribes

Image Copyright © Benjamin Lowy/New York Times-All Rights Reserved

In one of its rare serious reportage photographic essays, this week's New York Times Magazine is featuring a photo-documentary in slideshow format on the efforts by the US military in Iraq to 'turn' the Sunni tribes, and to have these form alliances of convenience with it. The somewhat grating narration is by Michael Gordon, a reporter for the Times and the impressive photography is by the talented and experienced Ben Lowy.

From a political standpoint, I must say that these images and the narration reaffirm what many of us have known all along...we cannot win in Iraq. Are we now forming alliances with minority Sunni tribes by offering protection and funds (wasn't that what Saddam Hussein was doing during his terrible regime?), and ignoring the fact that these very Sunnis are insurgents, have fought against US troops, have killed US troops (and continue to do so) and are unwilling to be governed by the Shi'a government we helped install in the first place...but one that we currently don't like because they're close to Iran? The mind boggles.

Having watched the slideshow many times, I was consistently humbled by Lowy's and Gordon's immense courage and dedication in obtaining such material.

The NY Times' Turning The Tribes.

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