I have linked already to 'No Caption Needed'. Here are two more in the same vein - both well worth adding to your feeds.
See this essay for example looking at the escapades of the infamous Blackwater in Iraq.
I am not partial to mercenaries like Prince and have made that plain here before (see this post and the links it contains). Today Prince complained that just because his employees are trigger happy yahoos we should not "rush to judgement" because they are working in a dangerous, stressful environment. A couple of things spring to mind. First, no one is making any of these guys take jobs in Baghdad. Second, they are a lot less stressed with no accountability for their actions than they will be if the Congress gets some backbone and starts to inquire into their activities. And third, they are making a ton of money shooting up the town.
Errol Morris at the NY Times
A blog by the maker of the movie The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara that won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2004.
I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the two photographs and thinking about the two sentences. [Susan] Sontag, of course, does not claim that Fenton altered either photograph after taking them – only that he altered or “staged” the second photograph by altering the landscape that was photographed. This much seems clear. But how did Sontag know that Fenton altered the landscape or, for that matter, “oversaw the scattering of the cannonballs on the road itself?”
Surely, any evidence of this would be independent of the photographs. We don’t see Fenton (or anyone else for that matter) in either of the photographs bending down as if to pick up or put down a cannonball. How does Sontag know what Fenton was doing or why he was doing it? (To up the ante, Sontag’s sentence also suggests a certain laziness on Fenton’s part, as if he himself couldn’t be bothered with picking up or putting down a cannonball himself, but instead supervised or oversaw their placement. The imperious Fenton: Hey, you, over there. Pick up that cannonball and move it on to the road. No not there. A little more to the left. Or maybe it wasn’t laziness. Maybe he had a bad back. The incapacitated Fenton: Boy, my back is killing me. Would you mind picking up a few cannonballs and carrying them on to the road?)
While I was wrestling with these questions, it occurred to me that there was an even deeper question. How did Sontag know the sequence of the photographs? How did she know which photograph came first, OFF or ON? Presumably, there had to be some additional information that allowed the photographs to be ordered: before and after. If this is the basis for her claim that the second photograph was staged – that the landscape was posed for the second photograph – shouldn’t she offer some evidence? Fenton takes one photograph (OFF), oversees the scattering of the cannonballs and then takes another photograph (ON).