This week’s cover of Time has to rank at their most scurrilous, a baldfaced attempt to evoke the iconic National Geographic cover, this time figuratively defaced. It’s Mona Lisa given a Howl; The Green Revolution’s “Neda” shot in the head, instead of the evocative-deficient not-in-your-face mortal wound elsewhere. If the Taliban cut off this young woman’s nose as a warning to others not to abandon their families, Time Magazine wants to broaden the extortion. Here’s “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan.” But instead of counterspinning the Wikileaks’ Afghan War Logs, Time’s imagery reinforces the triumph of the leaked documents. This is the barbarity which will face the Afghans collaborators, those unmasked by the leaks, and those who might still be induced, in spite of the now certainty their confidence will be betrayed.
Does this image look Photoshopped to you? US and Israeli advisers in Tehran are still trying to pull a page from the Rachel Corrie playbook, even though world outrage about the American activist crushed by an Israeli bulldozer didn’t ultimately bring them down either.
The video footage is shocking. An attractive young woman watching the demonstrations in Tehran is struck by a sniper’s bullet and dies before several video cameras. The tragedy is projected unto Facebook and Youtube, with advocates hoping it will galvanize (American) public support for the brave reform movement in Iran. News accounts blame “Basij snipers” on the rooftops. Other protesters have been killed in confrontations with Iranian riot police, without the benefit of video witnesses, much like two million Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis et al. Poor 27-year-old bystander Neda Soltani stood at the quite improbable convergence of bullet and camera –correction– cameras. I don’t have to suggest the scene was staged; whether or not the triggerman was an American is immaterial.