Photographer’s Journal: John Moore in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley

December 10, 2008 | By John Moore | News, Photography, Photojournalism

KORENGAL VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan elders of the Korengal Valley arrive for a meeting with U.S. and Afghan military officials October 30, 2008 at the Korengal Outpost in eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Getty Images staff photographer John Moore reports in from the Korengal Valley.

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  • Daniel R

    Your pictures were haunting. I made an effort to link this to my friends who may be deploying to Afghanistan shortly.

    Myself and the friends I’m talking about are Australian soldiers – our infantry, aside from special forces, are much less engaged in Afghanistan than our US, Canadian or British counterparts. This will change shortly as Obama makes a request for international support and pressure to commit more forces rises even in Australia.

    I think your presentation is important, not only for civilians to understand what we are engaged in, but for troops to bypass the idea that this war is anything but simple.


  • Marty Aalto

    My son is a Marine Combat Correspondent in Kandahar and mentioned your name. Keep up the excellent work.

  • Jeff Adams

    I just saw a June 8th interview with Mr. Moore’s wife (Gretchen Peters) by Jon Stewart about her new book (Seeds of Terror – How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda) — and I followed links from her bio to Mr. Moore’s work at Getty Images. Both Mr. Moore and Ms. Peters are accomplished journalists who are contributing much to our understanding of the problems in the Afghanistan and Pakistan areas. I appreciated Mr. Moore’s photographs and commentary. And I look forward to reading Ms. Peters new book.

  • Kristopher Battles

    Sir, your work is Authentic.

    I am a Marine Combat Artist, and I’ve been a couple times to Iraq and I just got back from the Helmand and Farah Provinces of Afghanistan (you’ve been there I see)

    I saw a video of yours on the British in Helmand, and envied your on-the-scene action shots. The video was great, and the still shots from going through the wall were incredible.

    I immediately thought, “There’s a guy who gets it– There’s a guy who puts his butt on the line like the troops, to get the image.”

    You, sir, deserve our respect, and my hat (or cover, I should say) is off to you.

    Semper Fi,
    Sgt Kristopher Battles

    (snippets on authentic from
    –adjective 1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
    2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
    3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.

    1300–50; < LL authenticus < Gk authentikós original, primary, at first hand, equiv. to authént(ēs) one who does things himself (aut- aut- + -hentēs doer) + -ikos -ic; r. ME autentik (< AF) < ML autenticus

  • Sarah Carr

    Hi John

    Sorry to contact you via a comment, but I was unable to find an email address.

    I’m writing about this photo:

    I found the original version of the cartoon being censored and am really puzzled at why the US military would choose to censor something so innocuous. I’m wondering whether you asked the person censoring why he was censoring this cartoon? Do you have any idea about US military/Gitmo policy regarding this?

    Thanks a lot.

  • John Moore

    That is a very good question. The translator who was censoring the newspapers said that the particular cartoon he was marking out could possibly offend the sensibilities of some Muslims, so he decided to remove it. I never had the exact translation of the Arabic text myself. Generally, they take out any imagery they consider sensitive, especially anything remotely sexual or pertaining to religion. They also remove any references to American or coalition casualties, as the detainees apparently afterwards taunt the guards with that information.

  • Sarah Carr

    The cartoon couldn’t possibly offend any Muslim’s sensibilities (the fact that it was published in a leading Arabic daily alone tells us this). It shows the symbolic figure of poverty blocking the path of the Eid celebrations.

    But then nothing makes sense in that hell hole.

    Thanks for your reply, John.