Photo: Good News, Bad News

Dean Esmay posts this photo:

Iraqi soldier voting

Dean provides the good news:

Know who that is? A member of Iraq’s new armed forces. A man who’s put his own life on the line to protect Iraqi lives from terrorist “insurgents” whose only mission is to deny freedom for his people. Know what he’s doing in this photo? He’s fighting fascism. He’s fighting rabid religious fundamentalism. He’s VOTING!

Good news indeed. Unfortunately, the photo contains evidence of what may be rather bad news as well. I posted it at Dean’s place. Any guesses before heading over?

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Military Affairs, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kappiy says:

    Uh, yea…he’s just leaving his gun unattended. I would suspect, however, that this photo was taken at a polling place that wasn’t getting a lot of civilian turnout.

  2. Mike Trettel says:

    Hey, I got it right! The fact that the AKM is unsecured may speak more about Iraqi culture than it does about American training though. Everything I’ve read about Iraq indicates that guns are just part of the culture-guns are a common sight and just part of the background. I’ve even heard that the US unofficially tolerates at least one AK-47 per home-there’s probably a few Americans who wish they had that problem. Think about it-the provisional government had to tell the people to leave their guns at home, or else they wouldn’t be allowed to vote. Do you think you’ll ever read such an announcement here in the USA? That guy probably just strolled in saying to himself “Time to vote!”, followed by “I’ll just stash my weapon over here, no one will touch it.” That’s just a great photo.

  3. Blaine says:

    Not that alarming for me. this is the first elections and nobody told them to check their weapons at the door. We had to pass a law in this country to prohibit it.

  4. Rodney Dill says:

    It may not be so unsecure, depending upon what people you don’t see in the picture are present.

  5. Ralph says:

    I can’t say what “American training” is nowadays — nor even what an “AKM” is, but in the M16 era a comment like, “Uh, yea…he’s just leaving his gun unattended,” would have earned the trooper a couple of laps around the pad to the tune of “This is a RIFLE, this is gun …” Old vets will know the rest.

  6. Crerar says:

    Schultz !!!!!!

  7. Tig says:

    You mean other than the great possibility of there being a hanging chad dilemma?

  8. Phil Smith says:

    I think that the fact that his banana clips are taped together is the worst thing in that picture. Even I know that he’s just begging for his feed to jam.

  9. LJD says:

    Why is everybody so worried about the GUN? This guy is obviously taking a NAP!

  10. Jay says:

    He’s looking awfully lonely, voting all by himself, but perhaps photo ops are like that.

  11. Bithead says:

    Oh, wait…. this ISN’T the men’s room?

    (looks again)

    Oops this isn’t the caption contest. Never mind.