This picture raises some difficult questions that I don’t think either side of the debate has answered satisfactorily:
- For those attacking the New York Times for employing a photographer who would stand by and document the killing of Americans without intervening in any way: Is there anything gained by having journalists who can get this close to the insurgency?
- For those attacking critics of the photo: As evidenced by the photographer’s own characterization of the insurgents, he is not neutral in this fight; he openly admires their “faith, sacrifice… and martyrdom.” Is the NYT right to associate itself with a propagandist for the insurgency?
These are tough questions made tougher by the fact that, as one astute Corner reader noted, the photographer is not an American citizen. He holds morally repugnant views on the insurgency. But the question my friends on the right have failed to answer is: Do we benefit from having someone, even someone as morally repugnant as this fellow, so close to the insurgency that he can report on it? Of course we would prefer if he did not refer to terrorists as martyrs, but… should we always object when any journalist infiltrates the insurgency?