06 January 2007

The case of a reusable soldier

Al Jazeera reports on the troubles in Mogadishu. Indeed, Somali is being torn apart between the Islamic extremists and criminal warlords, with external military power being the only stabilizing force. For a while.

What interested me in this specific article, besides its contents, was the photographs. On the main Al Jazeera page, the article was linked from the following picture:

Without the black patch and text, the picture looks like this:

Something was strangely familiar in the posture of the soldier (militant, gunman, activist,...) on this picture. After a short while, I have recalled a post about the creative use BBC made of irrelevant snapshots like this one:

Aside of a differently colored uniform, the two valiant fighters could easily be one and the same person. Even the uniform could be the same, provided it is of a light color on the front side and olive color on the reverse, but this is an idea carried a bit too far.

In both cases the texts are totally irrelevant to the contents of the shot: in the Al Jazeera article somebody is attacking an oil tanker, and in the BBC one "Ethiopian troops are advancing cautiously".

Am I being paranoid or are we witnessing a reappearance of the infamous Green Helmet here?