Monday, June 27, 2011

National Post's 2 Week Afghan Series Worth Following

Canada's long road in Afghanistan has been paved with many thousands of stories reflecting the experiences of Canadian troops and the people they encountered, some as friends, some as the enemy, and many who were perhaps indifferent to our presence.

In epic style that only a good old fashioned paper and ink broadsheet can pull off, The National Post for the next two weeks will tell many of those stories in a series called The Long Road.

Now, after 10 years, Canada's combat involvement is, literally, on the home stretch. And none too soon, according to many Canadians and Afghans. With Canada's combat role ending in little more than a week The Post's special coverage is timely to say the least.

The Post's year by year timeline gives a handy overview of how the Canadian/Afghan narrative progressed.

On the net, the series includes videos. But for a sense of the sheer impact and scale of this journalistic project, little could compare to The National Post's front page Saturday with its large, 5 X 12 inch  illustration by Richard Johnson of the back of a soldier walking into God knows what. (Thumbnails of Johnson's front-line sketches may be found here.)

Beneath the illustration The Post announced the start of a two-week  series being launched by an eight-page supplement in the Saturday edition.

The supplement front was another dramatic, monochromatic illustration by Johnson of a soldier carefully moving through a wheat field.

And inside, pages of stories and background.

Holding a big broadsheet newspaper gives the sense of the enormity of the stories that are the story, the narrative of Canadian involvement in Afghanistan.

Whatever one thinks of the Afghan war, whatever one's politics, The Long Road makes the daily price of The National Post over the next two weeks well worthwhile.


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