Where are the photos of good things supposedly happening in Iraq and Afghanistan?

May 6, 2010 | By | 6 Replies More

I’ve totally run out of patience. I need to see photos of all the good things happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there aren’t any. Why aren’t we seeing lots and lots of photos documenting all the supposedly good things the United States is supposedly doing in these countries with its bloated military-industrial complex?

We spend a billion dollars every three days on these two “wars.” We’ve already spent a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, much of this money unaccounted for. http://www.costofwar.com/ For Iraq alone, we will have spent at least $6,500 per U.S. citizen before we are done with it all (if that ever happens).

Hey, somebody, please show us lots and lots of photos proving that a billion dollars of new things are happening every three days in Iraq and Afghanistan. Show us one trillion dollars of progress over the past 10 years. Certainly the public could be shown photos of stabilized neighborhoods, sprouting businesses, and kids learning in quality schools, if these things were happening. I challenge any of you to scour the current editions of your favorite news sites to find photographs or videos that would give you any optimism that the U.S. will ever leave either of these countries. Just find any photo of anything happening in either war zone over the past week. You won’t find it in American mainstream news sites. And no, this story that Afghanistan has a total of one rock band isn’t good news. You probably won’t even find any current news that any war is going on at all.

Why aren’t we seeing live interviews from the streets of these two war zones? Why aren’t we seeing Westerners shopping in Iraq markets or traveling the countryside in Afghanistan. Show us photos of the thriving markets, the burgeoning tourist trade, and convince us that personal liberties are blooming in these places which are dotted with hundreds of thousands of our soldiers. We are “warmongers.” We’ve richly earned this title.

Image - Creative Commons

Image - Creative Commons

We don’t see any such photos because these two countries are war zones where Western reporters don’t feel save enough to wander around freely gathering news. If they did feel safe, they’d be out there gathering news and taking photos, and maybe we’d see at least some photos on American newspapers, unless, of course, those photos would be like these, which would make us get upset and demand withdrawal. A headline describing this terrible lack of information would read “We’re spending $1 Billion every three days, we still can’t feel safe in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’re keeping the American People completely ignorant.”

The trillion dollars we’ve spent in our current wars dwarf the money we spend on “huge” new infrastructure investments. Much of the Afghanistan money goes to corrupt American corporations who have replaced our soldiers with there overpaid mercenaries. These numbers are so large that it’s hard to understand them. Consider this attempt to illustrate $315 billion dollars, the amount we spent by 2006, and then extrapolate upwards, because the amounts we shot through in our two current wars would be triple the horrific amount illustrated here. We’ve sent enough money on these “wars” since 2001 that the stack of this amount of money would be much larger than one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

But the amount we are spending is only a problem if we’re not getting good value for that money. But that’s the problem. Where is the evidence that anything good is resulting from this massive pile of money which could have been used for repairing bridges, implementing a huge solar plan that could have been providing all of the electricity needed by the United States, as well as hiring hundreds of thousands of teachers.
Consider, also, what would our happy-news media be showing us if Iraq and Afghanistan are highly dysfunctional places with corrupt leaders? They’d show us nothing—a total lack of photos from Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s the way it is in our warmonger society. Also keep in mind that the commander in Chief of our military won the Nobel Peace Prize and then escalated the Afghanistan War, and won’t provide us photos and videos of all of the good things allegedly going on over there. He won’t honor the promises he made in the Presidential campaign.

Amy Goodman once said that if we were seeing a fair sampling of photos of what is going on in these wars, we shut the wars down in a matter of weeks. That’s what happened in Vietnam; the press started showing meaningful photos like these and that war was promptly shut down.

It’s time to see some photos showing what life is like in contemporary Iraq and Afghanistan, so we shock the American taxpayers, promptly bring our troops back home and start to fix this country.


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Category: Iraq, Military, photography, The Middle East, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    I'm not done ranting. Name even one other thing on which your family has spent $6,500 where you haven't demanded to see something of value in return for that $6,500. How is it even possible that something this expensive doesn't deserve daily updates on the front page of American newspapers?

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Guess what? Now that some media outlets are finally asking real questions about what we are supposedly accomplishing in Afghanistan, the news is terrible. Corruption is the most common word, next to drug trade. And now we find out that after $60 billion is spent on the infrastructure, only 6% of the people have electricity. Why has it taken so damned long to ask these simple questions about what we are able to accomplish? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38303355/ns/world_new

    "Poppy fields thrive, with each harvest of illegal opium fattening the bankrolls of terrorists and drug barons. Passable roads remain scarce and unprotected, isolating millions of Afghans who remain cut off from jobs and education. Electricity flows to only a fraction of the country's 29 million people."

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    The corporate media are the furthest thing I know from objective. They beat the drums for war. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) did a study of coverage the week before and after Colin Powell gave his pitch for war at the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003. Of the 393 interviews about the coming war on the four major nightly newscasts—NBC, ABC, CBS, and the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer—in this critical period right before invasion, only three interviews were with anti-war representatives. That is not mainstream media. That didn't represent mainstream America, when most people were in favor of pursuing diplomacy and inspections rather than going to war. That's extreme media.


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