Snap shots

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The Independent Online

Here we go again. After the trip, the snaps. You will doubtless recall the many occasions on which you have anxiously scrutinised eagerly-proffered photographs for any sign of anything familiar, or in focus. You will remember, too, the difficult silence, interspersed with a few "mmmms", and the search for something safe to say, along the lines of "lovely!" or "must have been warm!"

Here we go again. After the trip, the snaps. You will doubtless recall the many occasions on which you have anxiously scrutinised eagerly-proffered photographs for any sign of anything familiar, or in focus. You will remember, too, the difficult silence, interspersed with a few "mmmms", and the search for something safe to say, along the lines of "lovely!" or "must have been warm!"

And you must have noticed that it's rather the same with these widely disseminated reconnaissance photographs that now seem a de rigueur part of the contemporary bombing campaign. Produced with a flourish, there is great concentration on the arrowed bits, much clunky exposition of the awesome abilities of the latest generation of smart bombs and the added element of the before and after shots; but the graininess remains, along with a slight puzzlement, from us, at any rate, about the exact point.

It is not, for example, as if full disclosure and irrefutable proof have been deemed necessary in other areas of this campaign. But it is probably naive to think time would be better spent trying to convince the unconvinced of the justness of the methods and purpose of the action in Afghanistan.

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