By Chris Daly
From the New York Times comes this powerful photo by photographer Andrea Bruce. It is lit almost like a Caravaggio painting, with its dramatic chiaroscuro. The lighting that falls on the averted face at the lower right adds, if it is possible, to the poignancy of the scene. (The original caption read: “In Grip of Cold, Afghan Family Mourns Death of 8th Child: The mother of Khan Mohammad, a 3-month-0ld boy who died because of exposure, in a camp in Kabul, Afghanistan.)
At the same time that this photo captures a pitiful human tragedy, it also raises questions that go right to the heart of the big policy questions: What are we doing in Afghanistan anyway? After 10 years of involvement, why do babies freeze to death? If we are that ineffective, then leave. If it is just helpless no matter who intervenes, then leave. If al Qaeda is busted up and bin Laden is dead, then leave.