The Face of Violence?

Photo caption: “A woman who is a victim of domestic violence cannot go to the police or another man for help or she will lose honor with her family.” Army Capt. Jordan Berry, Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team. He and fellow Soldiers helped to establish the first women’s shelter in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

Is this the picture of domestic violence in Afghanistan? It seems wants you to think so. The Army’s home page has done it again with the above image, illustrating the quote about women and domestic violence in Afghanistan (Dec. 20). Readers might assume the Afghan woman wearing the burka symbolizes domestic violence in that country. Muslim women in the West have gone on record recently asking that people not assume women wearing headscarves are victims. (OK, they did not mention the attire pictured that many would view as extreme.) While the staff at Inside the Headquarters can be a bit radical, we find this effort to illustrate domestic violence a blatant faux pas by the Army. Option? The face of domestic violence probably cannot be displayed appropriately on, and that’s OK.

We dug a little deeper. Here’s the actual caption for this photo: “KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan — An Afghan woman sells handmade crafts during the opening of a women’s shelter here Dec. 13. The Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team provided more than $86,000 in support of the shelter’s construction, which was accomplished by local contractors.” Hmmmm. Maybe she is a victim, but it appears to us she’s an entrepreneur contributing monetarily to the cause. Seems like a good-news photo to us. We have no idea who’s checking this stuff before it’s posted, but we’d like to thank him or her for giving us a lot to write about.

This is not the first example of Army rogue Web content. On Nov. 1, it was the beefcake boy-toy representing the Iraqi Security Forces ((Cover) Model Hero?). On Dec. 14, we told you about the Army’s endorsement of “GI Jill,” combat medic and Miss Utah and Miss America contestant Jill Stevens. Now the people are somehow trying to put a “face” on domestic violence in Afghanistan with another misleading photo. is handled by a contracted company we won’t name. We will tell you they come under the larger group L-3 Communications. With such glaringly misleading content, contractors are doing the Army no favors. Some oversight might go a long way. Images aside, congratulations on the women’s shelter.

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