Out of Sight, Out of Mind
I suppose you know by now that the US military is building a three mile-long wall in Baghdad, a wall the troops are calling The Great Wall of Adhamiya, to separate Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods. Walls are always a great sign that things are working, and they can do as much to trap oppressed communities in and make them easy targets, as they can keep them safe. But I was wondering the same thing as the blogger at the excellent photojournalism site BAGNewsNotes, who wondered, if the military is putting up a wall, why haven't we seen it?
As such, there are at least two explanations for the absence. One, it is too difficult or dangerous to get a photographer to the spot in Adhamiya where this potentially-visually explosive structure is going up. Two, the media is punting on the visual side of the story to avoid heat from (and therefore, colluding with, and running interference for) the Administration.
As fuel for possibility two, we know that the LAT had a photographer in Adhamiya with the U.S. military because yesterday's Times article featured his photo of American soldiers searching a house in the district. Beyond that, even the photo caption refers to the wall. If the reporter and photographer are embedded in the neighborhood with the U.S. military, it's the military building the wall, and the wall is the subject of the story, I'll just ask again...
Where's the picture?
It simply doesn't make sense that the wall is in an area safe enough to be built but not safe enough to be photographed. So what you have to conclude is that somebody doesn't want you to see that wall.
Just like that certain somebody didn't want you to see this:
Because if there are shots of the US military having to resort to putting up a wall to keep Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq from killing one another, a tactic that almost never works (remember, these guys put a berm around Tal Afar, which did nothing to stop the continuing violence), and people in the United States get a look at them, they'll know for sure that Harry Reid wasn't being a defeatist when he said that the war is lost, he was being a realist.
The modus operandi for all countries at war is to hide the evidence. If people really knew how horrible war was they'd think twice about committing to it. They at least wouldn't consider it unless it was absolutely necessary.
UPDATE: I've been alerted to pictures here and here. One is from Agence France Press; the nighttime one is AP. They haven't made it into the NYTimes or LATimes articles, or on cable news.
Also, after looking at it, maybe that's why they're not showing it in the States: it's hard to tell from the perspective, but it doesn't look like it would keep anybody out.