February 19th, 2010
01:26 PM ET

Photo spotlight: Leaving Trikh Nawar

U.S. Marines escort farmers fleeing their land as coalition forces battle Taliban in Trikh Nawar, a poppy farmland area on the northeastern outskirts of Marjah, on Friday. It was the seventh day of Operation Moshtarak, a major NATO offensive against the Taliban in and around Marjah, in southern Helmand Province.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Colin

    Yes there is a soldier walking in front of this formation. The looks of his kevlar would suggest that the soldier is a Afghan soldier, or an interpreter. Still this photo in my opinion has no indication what-so-ever that these marines would be using these civilians as human shields. Photos cannot explain situational awareness on the ground.

    And to all of you arguing with Eric, why? If you read his statements he talks like he does not live in this country to begin with. Even if this dude lived in the USA he would still be allowed to make these statements. What we have a military for is to keep this country free so people like Eric are allowed to express their views. RIght?

    March 16, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    First, SEMPER FI To my brothers and sisters In Afghanistan you do have the support of milions of us!
    Eric individuals like yourself really have nothing too offer to anyone not even to yourself. You are a sheep that follows the crass loud-mouth pundits who have never worn a uniform. In general Eric you are a weak person that is clueless and selfish.

    March 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dawn brodie

    how many young healthy afghanistani men are there in the states and other countries that could be in thier own country fighting ? They are all hiding while our sons and daghters, hubands and wives and sisters and brothers are there.

    March 6, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. MIke

    Actually, there is a solider walking in front of the family. Look over the right shoulder of the tall soldier on the left. Also, the shadow of the soldier clearly indicates that he is walking in front of them.

    March 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe D.

    Eric. have you ever been to Afghanistan or Iraq? No. So you have absolutely no idea what our troops do over there so shut your mouth. Sincerely, a servicemember.

    March 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathleen Woodhams

    Eric, Maybe you should go live in another country. If you think that our well trained and dedicated Marines are killing innocent civillians on purpose, you do not deserve what they give to you! Your freedom, and protection in this country!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Eric

    Hey lawrence, where are the photos backing yours and your governments claim that "the taliban use civilians as human shields" also where are the photos to support your accusations that "taliban...kill innocent people." I am yet to come across a single photo to support this unjust accusations. You are just one of the millions of Americans that are brainwashed by your governments and army's spin doctors. There is plenty of evidence, photos etc. of American atrocities against innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam and the rest of the world.

    February 25, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |


    February 24, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. lawrence usmc 81-85 new jersey

    this is for eric; the taliban use civilians as human shields and human bomber and targets .just because you see a picture of civilans walking in front of marines. that dose not mean they are being used as human shields .and beside insurgents,AlQeda and taliban dont need marines around to kill innocents people.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    Here is clear evidence that the US Marines are using civilians as human shields. If they are protecting the civilians they should walk in front of them not behind them. This photo can be used by the ICC to bring war crime charges against America. Dare you to publish this truth instead of the lies that your embeds are being fed by the American war machine.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A. Smith, Oregon

    Let the women and children trip and trigger the automatic IED's while the soldiers follow from behind, smart thinking!

    February 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Saar - Israel

    Send Goldstone to Afganistan. Nato is performing war crimes against Humanity. When Israel is fighting terror everybody is screaming War Crimes War Crimes. But you have double standard. You can kill inocent civilians in the name of fighting terror.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Farhan Chowdhury

    You don't think US Marines are not trained in weapons handling and proper patrol techniques Kirkby? These guys are Marine grunts, they know what they are doing. Let me tell you something, I respect you Vietnam vets, but you guys did not deal with lugging around flaks with front, back and side sapies. It can get annoying. Just your protective gear can weigh as much as 40 pounds. So that's not including all the gear you have to carry with you other than your flak and Kevlar. So cut them a break if they are not carrying their weapon at a aggressive posture. They have been humping with all their stuff for miles and miles by now. Even the toughest Soldier/Marine will be exhausted. We Marines are trained quite heavily on patrol formations and how to handle our weapon. You don't have to worry about that.

    February 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scotty

    Guy, thank you for your service in Vietnam. These Marines, their NCOs and officers, and those instructors in their division schools, have been in constant combat since 2002 (8 years!). It would be be a disservice for anyone to look at a snapshot of your unit in Vietnam, and proclaim, based upon their experiences in Korea or WWII, that your unit and fighting prowess were less than ideal. Many of these Marines have fought in Iraq (multiple times) and Afghanistan. Nowadays, these young men have spent more combined time in combat than ANY US servicemen in history, and they are performing magnificently........Sincerely Scotty (also a VET)

    February 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Guy Kirkby

    I am so proud of our soldiers putting their lives on the line for our country!I served in vietnam so this sort of thing would not happen.I dont know where our men are receiving combat training,but the trainers are really not teaching them anything but how to get killed!Why for instance do they travel so close together on most any job or mission they do and all stand right out in the open?The enemys job is so much easier to take them out.Spread out and stay under more cover and manny less men would be wounded or killed!Of course if you wanted to draw enemy fire standing in the open and moving in close cluster would do it.They also need to be tought the proper way to hold and fire their weapon.(in combat ready to fire) they dont look like combat soldiers they look like the keystone cops swat team! And they are way too overloaded with gear.Lighten the load and they could move much faster.We former soldiers (vets) should be listened to .we learned from our time served in combat,and can see the big mistakes that are being taught to our men.Want to save lives and get this thing over with sooner? Train our soldiers the proper combat diciplines!.............Sincerely Guy Kirkby (VET)

    February 20, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  16. Ray

    This is Cool !,

    Imagine protecting civilians and handling them peacefully, The Marines are showing them Peace . This Photo should be seen by this funny characters trying to show the world that they are very powerful and yet they have nothing to fight with, using human shields and ambushing only, if they are men enough let them come out and stand in front of this intelligent marines,

    The Marines are trying to clear this remaining remnants, and leave afghan community with peace and head to Iran, to show them ...................

    Congratulations the MARINES (all the Troops in Afghanistan including Afghanistan Army -Forces)

    February 20, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. linda in AR

    I noticed that the IA Nat'l Guard is preparing to send about 60 of its members as part of the Agribusiness Development Team later this year. They will be serving with advisory support from ISU.

    Recalling that Sec Vilsack, former IA Governor, has said that we need to utilize the special skills of our citizen soldiers from agriculture states to help develop 'food' farming in Afghanistan, I am guessing that this will be a part of the longer term strategy in the Marjah area.

    The timing of Operation Moshtarak gives a window of opportunity to get two years' crops in the ground within an 18 month 'timeline'. Providing protection for these local subsistence farmers has to be one of the first steps in this process.

    Hoping for success.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |