07/18/2007 11:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Pictures: The Cots Of War


It's almost 9 AM in New York and I just flipped on C-SPAN 2's coverage of the Iraq debate. I keep wondering if Lindsey Graham -- who is struggling to keep his eyes open -- will actually keel over from exhaustion in the middle of his speech.

So much for impressions with the sound off.

Regarding impressions, Harry Reid's maneuver to force an overnight session to debate the war-- currently in its 15th hour -- has produced this surprising image out of the customary roll-out-the-cot ritual. I actually gasped at first glimpse. My first association was this one, followed by something along the lines of this, then this.

Was Reid that funereally clever to force such an image? Was it happenstance? Did the photographer, Stephen Crowley, suddenly see it after the customary this? Or, is the war and the end game and the tip-toeing around by the Senate now creating such poignancy that a room full of cots in the Capitol might as well be Dover -- or Arlington?

(image: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times. Washington. July 17/18, 2007.