Behind every front line is another line, deeper an…

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Behind every front line is another line, deeper an…


Neil Shea







POINT (-13151237.3297031, 4054356.01460248)

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Behind every front line is another line, deeper and longer and made of all that falls off a soldier. Or that is thrown or kicked or flattened under his feet, real things and imagined ones, relationships and friendships, water bottles, cans, boots, everything disgorged by war that rolls down out of the endless days. Here in the garbage you find puppies. What I mean is, puppies made possible by soldiers and their leftovers. Usually these puppies don't last. In Afghanistan, the Americans would shoot them when they got big or mean. In southern Iraq it was the Arabs who shot them, for dogs were spiritually worthless. In Africa they use stones and sticks instead of bullets. Wherever I go I search for dogs. Recently I noticed that they run through my notebooks, packs of dogs I'll never see again but that were, for a moment somewhere, companions. The pups here wrestle at dusk behind the outposts of Kurdish troops. To their credit the Kurds were indifferent. Now and then a cook might even roll a hard-boiled egg down toward their skinny scabbed mother. She would lift it quickly and slink back to the trash line where her pups waited, untamed and watchful, like the wolves they were long ago. I always liked knowing they were out there.

#kurdistan #dogs #animals #soldiers #isis #nationalgeographic #thingsisee #combat #iraq #instakurd #everydaymiddleeast @petergwin @kengeiger @becksfrankel @hawrekhalid •• see the series: #kurds2015




Neil Shea, “Behind every front line is another line, deeper an…,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed June 20, 2019,