At War is a newsletter about the experiences and costs of war with stories from Times reporters and outside voices.
The story behind the photo essay in this week’s issue of The Times Magazine starts in the 1980s, when a young Irish man named John Burke immigrated to London from Clonmel, Ireland, after the death of his mother. Struggling to adjust, Burke found himself drawn to a local mosque in his neighborhood that preached a radical interpretation of Islam. He soon changed his name to Muhammad Omar and followed the call of jihad to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight the Soviet-backed Afghan government with the mujahedeen. Burke’s life ended in April 1989, shortly after he arrived in the country, most likely after he accidentally stepped on a land mine. (There are varying accounts of how he died.) His full story was recorded in a 2010 profile written by Mary Fitzgerald for The Irish Times.
In 2012, Ross McDonnell, an Irish filmmaker and photographer who had traveled to Afghanistan to produce a documentary about Burke’s life and death, heard about the “gallery of legs” that hung in an International Committee of the Red Cross clinic in Jalalabad, a city in the eastern part of Afghanistan — the same place where Burke’s remains were said to be buried.
What McDonnell found were the homemade prosthetics left behind by Afghans who received new limbs from the I.C.R.C.’s orthopedic clinic when it first opened in 1995. The relics stood out to McDonnell as symbols of the country’s national identity that has been transformed by 40 years of war. “In every part of the room patients were being treated for their various stages of limblessness,” McDonnell said. “Some in wheelchairs, some on crutches. An old Afghan man with his long, groomed beard walked around on his new leg. Rested. Watched television. Walked around some more. A proper veteran.”
I.C.R.C. is one of the few organizations that offer Afghans cost-free and sustainable medical treatment for amputations and other injuries. It has been working in the country for 30 years and has provided more than 109,000 prosthetics to Afghans since the orthopedic program started. Many of the people who seek assistance were injured by roadside bombs, airstrikes or undetonated bomblets leftover from American cluster munitions dropped after the initial U.S.-backed invasion in 2001. In 2017, a third of the clinic’s patients were children, who are often taken on field trips to learn how to recognize and avoid stray ordnance. In a recent profile written by Mujib Mashal for The Times, Alberto Cairo, the head of I.C.R.C.’s physical rehabilitation program, described how these injuries are about more than physical loss. “When you lose a leg, you don’t just lose a leg — you lose a piece of heart, you lose a piece of mind, you lose a piece of self-confidence.”
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Despite the grim reality that McDonnell’s photos depict, they also demonstrate the resourcefulness of a people who once relied on clothing, scrap metal and tape to build and maintain their own artificial appendages. It’s this intimate sense of survival that makes McDonnell’s photos stand out and that reminds us of a past era of a war that has yet to end.
Lauren Katzenberg is the editor of At War.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 | New York City
A rare convergence of experts on the human costs of war will discuss the often-ignored outgrowth of the global war on terror: two decades of civilian casualties. Times journalist and Marine Corps infantry veteran C. J. Chivers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 2016 story about an Afghan war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, will moderate the discussion. The panelists are Alissa J. Rubin, the Times Paris bureau chief who won a Pulitzer Prize for foreign reporting on Afghanistan in 2015; Azmat Khan, an investigative reporter and New York Times Magazine contributor, who uncovered civilian casualties among nearly 150 airstrike sites across northern Iraq; and writer Brian Castner, a veteran of the Iraq war and weapons expert for Amnesty International’s crisis team, who also investigates war crimes and human rights violations.
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Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks »
U.S. and Taliban Make Headway in Talks for Withdrawal From Afghanistan: Negotiators are making headway on an agreement in which the U.S. would withdraw its forces and the Taliban would pledge not to offer a haven to terrorists.
V.A. Wait Times Now Shorter Than for Private Doctors: By 2017, mean wait time at V.A. hospitals had gone down 17.7 days, while rising to 29.8 for private practitioners.
Quiet ‘Hero’ Marks 30 Years Restoring Limbs, and Dignity, in War: An Italian physiotherapist, Alberto Cairo, has spent three decades in Afghanistan leading centers that have treated tens of thousands of disabled people.
The Supreme Court Just Ended My Military Career: The justices chose not to protect the rights of transgender patriots like me.
Described as Defeated, Islamic State Punches Back With Guerrilla Tactics: All but 1 percent of the territory the Islamic State once held in Iraq and Syria is gone, but to suggest that the group has been defeated, as President Trump did, is to ignore the lessons of recent history.
An American Disappeared in Syria 2 Years Ago. His Family Wants Trump to Help.: Majd Kamalmaz went missing after being stopped at a government checkpoint in Damascus. His family is now speaking out, hoping President Trump will prioritize his case.
Yoga and Veterans: A Different Kind of Warrior: Many members of the military now include yoga — often taught by veterans — as an element of their workout routine, and veterans turn to the practice for therapeutic applications.
A Small Alaska Town Reels as the Coast Guard Weathers On Without Pay: The federal shutdown has brought a particular chill to Kodiak, a small town of 6,300 on an isolated island in the Gulf of Alaska.
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跑狗图冲冠怒发【波】【涛】【起】【伏】【的】【大】【海】【上】，【易】【州】【号】【巨】【大】【的】【船】【体】【上】【下】【起】【伏】，【船】【后】【方】【橙】【红】【落】【日】【慷】【慨】【的】【给】【船】【身】【染】【上】【了】【一】【层】【血】【色】。 【环】【顾】【四】【周】，【一】【望】【无】【际】【的】【大】【海】【上】【连】【只】【海】【鸟】【都】【看】【不】【到】，【只】【有】【偶】【尔】【跃】【出】【水】【面】【的】【海】【鱼】【与】【易】【州】【号】【为】【伴】。 【艉】【楼】【舰】【长】【室】【里】，【宋】【纪】【叹】【了】【口】【气】。 【此】【行】【是】【应】【皇】【帝】【要】【求】【寻】【找】【直】【航】【朝】【鲜】【的】【航】【路】，【如】【果】【有】【机】【会】【就】【顺】【带】【着】【给】【带】【一】【封】【信】。
【嵩】【山】，【胜】【观】【峰】【上】，【嵩】【山】【派】【内】【的】【一】【处】【书】【房】【内】。【在】【左】【冷】【禅】【的】【这】【一】【间】【书】【房】【内】，【除】【了】【左】【冷】【禅】【这】【个】【掌】【门】【和】【丁】【勉】【之】【外】，【再】【也】【没】【有】【第】【三】【个】【人】【的】【存】【在】。 【嵩】【山】【派】【的】【一】【大】【批】【弟】【子】，【除】【了】【留】【下】【丁】【勉】【一】【个】【人】【回】【来】【报】【信】【之】【外】，【其】【余】【的】【人】【全】【部】【被】【苏】【白】【扣】【下】。 【因】【为】【担】【心】【自】【家】【师】【兄】【弟】【与】【门】【下】【弟】【子】【的】【安】【全】，【丁】【勉】【一】【路】【上】【也】【没】【有】【任】【何】【的】【耽】【搁】，【甚】【至】【都】【顾】【不】
“【依】【依】，【依】【依】，【是】【不】【是】【做】【噩】【梦】【了】？”【张】【芙】【龄】【仿】【佛】【听】【到】【李】【毛】【毛】【的】【声】【音】，【睁】【开】【眼】【睛】【一】【看】，【果】【然】【是】【他】，【她】【立】【刻】【抱】【着】【他】【哭】【了】【起】【来】。 “【你】【们】，【是】【在】【一】【起】【了】【吗】？”【坐】【得】【比】【较】【近】【的】【一】【位】【瘦】【弱】【的】【女】【生】【弱】【弱】【地】【问】【张】【芙】【龄】【和】【郑】【邵】【晨】。【其】【实】，【她】【看】【了】《【新】【红】【楼】【梦】》【和】《【少】【年】【房】【玄】【龄】》，【算】【是】【他】【们】【的】CP【粉】。 【张】【芙】【龄】【连】【忙】【摆】【手】【否】【认】【说】：“【没】跑狗图冲冠怒发【在】【朱】【亭】【镇】【生】【田】【村】，【阳】【光】【下】【的】【光】【伏】【电】【站】【正】【将】【光】【能】【转】【化】【为】【电】【能】。“【有】【太】【阳】【就】【有】【收】【入】”【这】【是】【生】【田】【村】【脱】【贫】【的】【依】【托】，【更】【是】【老】【百】【姓】【致】【富】【的】【希】【望】。
【夏】【柔】【与】【小】【青】【两】【人】【搀】【扶】【着】【向】【前】【走】【了】【一】【会】【后】，【就】【看】【到】【了】【光】【秃】【秃】【的】【山】【体】，【而】【在】【这】【山】【体】【之】【下】【有】【着】【一】【条】【清】【澈】【见】【底】【的】【小】【溪】。 【她】【们】【两】【人】【也】【是】【直】【接】【在】【溪】【边】【找】【了】【块】【石】【头】【坐】【了】【下】【来】，【然】【后】【用】【溪】【水】【给】【自】【己】【洗】【了】【把】【脸】。 “【小】【姐】，【这】【水】【有】【点】【甜】【呀】！”【小】【青】【很】【是】【惊】【讶】【的】【看】【着】【夏】【柔】【说】【道】，【因】【为】【她】【在】【刚】【刚】【洗】【脸】【的】【时】【候】【直】【接】【喝】【了】【一】【口】，【这】【溪】【水】【的】【味】【道】【很】