06/02/2006 03:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Pictures: The Fix On Us


This newswire photo depicts a building as seen through a U.S. spotter scope. It was taken April 30 and distributed on May 22. The dates are noteworthy because this is one of the few and most current newswire images that has actually found its way out of Ramadi.

As a metaphor, the picture conveys how this city -- a critical target in the U.S. war strategy -- has slipped out of the hands of U.S. forces. Instead, Ramadi has become a shooting gallery, lost to a complex cross-section of who-knows-who -- insurgents, bandits, tribal and ethic militias.

In a political and military situation as fluid as this one, perceptions can shift by the day. Given the shooter's eye view, this picture becomes especially troubling in light of the Iraqi Premier's anti-U.S. outburst yesterday. His statement was that American troops lack discretion when Iraqi citizens line up in those crosshairs.

Perhaps Haditha has finally poisoned the well. If Maliki's comments were extreme and prejudiced, even if mostly uttered out of stress and frustration, it suggests this picture has become the latest Iraqi fix on us.

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(image: Todd Pitman/AP. April 30, 2006. Ramadi, Iraq. Via YahooNews)