Photo Of The Day: “Twenty Years Later”

Good morning you awesome and beautiful war torn camera geeks! Well even though I started on an upbeat note, today’s topic is anything but upbeat.

The Freedom Tower, 2019. Yashica Electro 35CC, Kentmere 400 developed in Xtol.

As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th 2001 terror attacks that changed America forever it is bittersweet to see how the world today, specifically Afghanistan, is seemingly back to its pre 9/11 state.

As a New Yorker, I remember the events of that day very well. I remember the sadness afterwards. I remember the unity of the country. And I remember the pledge to “Never Forget.” Sadly, it seems like a lot of people have forgotten and/or have already moved on.

Just like many of you, the events of last month, August 2021, caught me a little off guard. Looking at it now it’s clear that while certain events may have taken the US government off guard, the bigger picture is no surprise to them.

That “bigger picture” is having the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan.

Now I do not wish to make this a political column. If there is any blame, I would say all administrations, all the US presidents of the past twenty years are to blame.

You could blame George W. Bush for bringing us into Afghanistan by taking Osama Bin Laden’s bait. But then again, after your country has been attacked in such a dramatic fashion what else could he have done?

You could blame Barack Obama for doing pretty much nothing that I can remember with Afghanistan during his tenure. Oh wait, during his tenure he did get Osama Bin Laden so I gotta give him some credit for that.

You could blame Donald Trump for making a deal with the Taliban (supposedly we don’t deal with terrorists) in the first place and you could blame Joe Biden for not taking presidential leadership to change some of Trump’s plans when he got the data that the Taliban were making substantial gains.

You could also say that Afghanistan is, sadly, a war torn country in every sense of the word. A country with beautiful and tough people but with a very complex mix of religious and cultural influences that could never be overcome by the influences of another country. Russia tried for ten years. They failed. Now the USA has left after twenty years with really nothing to show for it.

What irks me is the notion given by the media, who ultimately got their information from the government that everything was going great in Afghanistan and thus the world felt safer for a while.

Today the same people who sheltered Al Quaeda in 2001, the Taliban, are back in power.

Apparently in their agreement with the US government, the Taliban pledged not to harbor terrorists. The problem is they have shown time and again that their word means almost nothing. Whether or not they keep their word remains to be seen.

On one hand maybe we should have stayed and reshaped the country for the better. On the other hand, Afghanistan is not our country to reshape. And for the US government, there is no oil, no treasures to be had. If there were I’d bet the plans would be different.

Anyway this is not the forum for politics so I’ll leave it at that but as you can see Afghanistan is complicated! It’s not an easy topic.

Oh by the way, the above photo was taken with a Yashica Electro 35CC and Kentmere 400 film.

What is your opinion? I’d love to hear it! Keep it civil though. As I said this is not the place for politics.

My Latest YouTube Shorts!

YouTube now has a feature called “Shorts” and it’s perfect for me because while I enjoy sharing with my fellow camera lovers, I don’t necessarily enjoy making long videos that nobody watches 🙂

I’ve done a few of them already and they are lots of fun! And perhaps they may lead to full length videos in the future, who knows. Anyway, today’s shorts features is a sort of “old Canon meets new Canon.” It’s the EOS RP with the vintage Canon 50mm f/0.95 Dream Lens. Check it out!