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"I am honor-bound to protect you, brother."

The Interpreters We Left Behind. "As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we're abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we'd let them in."
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2014 - 26 comments

De-listing of the MEK

The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), or People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, is an Iranian dissident group that has been formally designated for the last 15 years by the US State Department as a "foreign terrorist organization". When the Bush administration sought to justify its attack on Iraq in 2003 by accusing Saddam Hussein of being a sponsor of "international terrorism", one of its prime examples was Iraq's "sheltering" of the MEK. Its inclusion on the terrorist list has meant that it is a felony to provide any "material support" to that group. Now, in the with the support of A-list American politicians who have been handsomely compensated for their efforts, the MEK are being delisted. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 24, 2012 - 41 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

Double-entry bookkeeping: Now used by Al Qaeda

"... Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money - often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens - against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia." [Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives]
posted by vidur on Jul 17, 2011 - 47 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Saying goodbye to a newspaper's driver in Iraq

A farewell to Yasser. The Times of London's driver of seven years in Baghdad was killed in a bombing this week. This was his story. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont on Jan 27, 2010 - 14 comments

Enlightenment by trauma - soldiers speak up

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us. — Mike Prysner (YT) [more inside]
posted by knz on Jan 9, 2010 - 52 comments

Rape as a War Crime Against Your Own

Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
posted by davidstandaford on Feb 4, 2009 - 140 comments

UAVs over Sadr City

A sanitized look at the use of UAVs 1.9 miles above Sadr City, Iraq. [print version] [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Nov 9, 2008 - 36 comments

Target Practice

“It’s amazing how many people are shooting. This is probably the heaviest shooting we’ve witnessed, and although it’s Memorial Day, you can’t just blame it on the United States. France, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Canada, so it’s not one place – almost global shooting.” [previously]
posted by oldleada on Aug 8, 2008 - 2 comments

It's Tuesday

Martin Amis on 9/11 and the cult of death: [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 11, 2007 - 71 comments

The Long War

The Long War Journal. Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 6, 2007 - 4 comments

America to the Rescue

Three Generations of “America to the Rescue.”
posted by homunculus on Aug 23, 2007 - 39 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

Doing our homework on the Middle East

22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole.
posted by LobsterMitten on Mar 7, 2007 - 37 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

Terrorism

The Iraq Effect: The War in Iraq and its Impact on the War on Terrorism. "The war has inspired a wave of terrorism around the world. Excluding Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of jihadist attacks has jumped 35 percent in the past four years. A Mother Jones exclusive study by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank."
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2007 - 31 comments

Iraq: The Lost Generation

Iraq: The Lost Generation. This 47 minute long documentary was filmed by an anonymous Iraqi journalist. Broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 in November, it tells the stories of several young Iraqis whose lives have been changed by the invasion and occupation of their country.
posted by washburn on Jan 7, 2007 - 11 comments

The Not Too Distant Future

Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired and The Village Voice. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian on Oct 1, 2006 - 36 comments

Suicide Bombing: Just Say No.

Suicide Bombing: Just Say No. Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here before the spot was finished.
posted by CunningLinguist on Aug 18, 2006 - 57 comments

Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars

Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars [...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
posted by Postroad on Jun 20, 2006 - 56 comments

"What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight"

[NewsFilter] "Beginning of the End." The death of al Zarqawi, in itself, may have been a bit of a pyrrhic victory, but the latest news is a "treasure trove" of intelligence from al Qa'ida in Iraq. Of course, al Qa'ida in Iraq is largely an open source movement, so they never kept this exactly secret--but now, it's being widely reported that al Qa'ida "sought war between US and Iran." With speculation that al Zaraqwi's death may lead to a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq, might his death now also defuse tensions with Iran, as well? Did we end two wars in one blow?
posted by jefgodesky on Jun 15, 2006 - 106 comments

The more things change.

Newsfilter: Members of Iraq's tennis team shot "for wearing shorts." Being an Iraqi athlete is no easier than before. Just ask members of the Iraqi Taekwondo squad. More.
posted by bardic on May 28, 2006 - 48 comments

International Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group is a private agency which attempts to improve the response to international disasters by working out a strategy and providing detailed recommendations to policymakers. Their website is full of reports on crises around the world; here's what they have to say about Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Islamism. For the rationale behind the ICG, see William Shawcross's tribute to humanitarian aid worker Fred Cuny, who disappeared in Chechnya.
posted by russilwvong on Mar 24, 2006 - 3 comments

I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty

Special operations were fully engaged in Iraq back in 2003. Since that time the mission has (officially) shifted focus a bit to hunting down high value individuals like Osama bin Laden and a cavalcade of al-Qaida stars. But if that’s the case why are we drawing down our forces in Afghanistan? Apparently a bunch of things are going on folks are hard pressed to figure out: “Nobody understands — other than the SecDef — what the hell Kearney is supposed to do,” the Pentagon source said. “Is he supposed to be the future JSOC commander, or is the intent to continue JSOC as a three-star billet? Only the SecDef, as far as I know, knows. There’s been absolutely no explanation.”
posted by Smedleyman on Mar 8, 2006 - 40 comments

Marine's Single Finger Salute

Marine's One Finger Salute becomes an iconic image in the Iraqi War. Analysis and politics aside, this guy is one tough mother.
posted by FeldBum on Feb 1, 2006 - 110 comments

We Negotiate With Terrorists

We Negotiate With Terrorists. With an abrupt move opposite of stated policy, abducted American journalist Jill Carroll's life may have been saved by the US military yielding to the demands of her captors. Have gender, politics, and media coverage become factors erroding the mantra that the US Government formally states?
posted by trick on Jan 26, 2006 - 44 comments

We don't not make deals with terrorists.

We don't not make deals with terrorists. Yesterday, the Guardian reported: "Kidnappers threatened to kill the abducted US journalist Jill Carroll unless the Bush administration ordered the release of Iraqi women prisoners within 72 hours, according to a report on al-Jazeera television yesterday." Today, the BBC reports "Iraq's ministry of justice has told the BBC that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq have been released early. The six were freed because there was insufficient evidence to charge them, a justice ministry spokesman said." Cause, meet effect. Effect, this is cause.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 18, 2006 - 48 comments

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
posted by y2karl on Nov 22, 2005 - 134 comments

Al Gore surprises

A surprise from Al Gore: I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions. How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"? I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
posted by Shanachie on Oct 6, 2005 - 80 comments

Forever War

Taking Stock of the Forever War. "A terrorist leader four years ago, Osama bin Laden is now an ideology as well — and a viral movement. Terrorist attacks worldwide are on the rise. Iraq could well end up a 'failed' state. Maybe it's time to stop fighting on their terms." Also, Osama bin Laden: Lost at Tora Bora. (bugmenot)
posted by homunculus on Sep 10, 2005 - 31 comments

Weapons of Mass Destruction Found!

They've found those WMDs! Well, not quite. Just chemicals that eventually could be turned into weapons. But what's interesting is that this chem lab dates from AFTER the US invasion.
posted by John of Michigan on Aug 14, 2005 - 37 comments

Bread and Circuses, 9/11 Style

You can't make this stuff up: Rumsfeld announces that the Bush administration is planning to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with an "America Supports You freedom walk" from the Pentagon saluting the troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by a show by "country music superstar" Clint Black at the National Mall. (Not to imply that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or anything...)
posted by digaman on Aug 10, 2005 - 136 comments

Case Open?

In November 2003, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes published a report alleging collusion between terrorist agents and Saddam Hussein which received little attention in the press. In June of '04, Hayes published another article called "The Connection" excerpted from his book of the same title. His newest follow-up, with economist Thomas Joscelyn, entitled "The Mother of All Connections" goes one step further to illustrate the alleged connections, contradicting what the 9/11 Commission & Bush himself have claimed.
posted by jenleigh on Jul 13, 2005 - 39 comments

wow

Bob Parson's may have (somewhat) changed his tune when it comes to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but there are still plenty of ways to show your support for the little terrorist resort that could (toture people)
posted by delmoi on Jun 22, 2005 - 23 comments

Suicide bombers as Freedom Fighters

An op-ed in today's New York Times (NYT link) uses a database of all known suicide bomber attacks to argue that (perceived) occupation, and not religious fundamentalism, drives suicide terrorists. Hitchen's latest on Slate seems to argue otherwise.
posted by OmieWise on May 18, 2005 - 34 comments

Another Fan Of Torture Reveals Himself

Another Fan Of Torture Reveals Himself Eugene Volokh, a former clerk to Justice O'Connor and a leading voice in conservative legal circles has some interesting opinions on punishment:

[T]hough for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging. The one thing that troubles me (besides the fact that the murderer could only be killed once) is that the accomplice was sentenced to only 15 years in prison, but perhaps there's a good explanation.
posted by expriest on Mar 17, 2005 - 84 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 14, 2005 - 97 comments

Iraqi Citizens Fight Back

Iraqi Citizens Fight Back: "The residents of a small Iraqi village have killed five insurgents who had attacked them for voting in last weekend's national elections." ABC Journalist Mark Willacy: "It would appear that people are getting sick of the insurgency. But certainly many people here see the insurgency as the work of foreigners who want to turn their country into some sort of Islamic state, like Afghanistan under the Taliban." On Sunday, insurgents used a kidnapped boy with Down's syndrome as a human bomb. From IraqTheModel: "The poor victim was so scared when ordered to walk to the searching point and began to walk back to the terrorists. In response the criminals pressed the button and blew up the poor victim almost half way between their position and the voting center's entrance".
posted by jenleigh on Feb 4, 2005 - 99 comments

Impossible demands, inhuman intent.

Ken Bigley murdered by Iraqi terrorists. The third of his group to be beheaded, his ordeal lasted three weeks, whilst his kidnappers demanded that the British release prisoners they didn't even hold. The poor man did not deserve this.
posted by dash_slot- on Oct 8, 2004 - 79 comments

Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel

Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel Bringing democracy to the Middle East--let freedom ring. "A court of Iraq's interim government has brought criminal charges against a prominent politician for attending an antiterrorism conference in Israel and publicly suggesting that Iraq should open talks with Israel. The indictment and arrest warrant, based on a 1969 law promulgated by the Baath Party that bars Iraqis from having contacts with enemy states, are likely to anger the United States government, which has sponsored Iraq's new courts and is a close ally of Israel." So it goes...
posted by Postroad on Oct 6, 2004 - 10 comments

Disinformation, Iraqi style.

"Iraqi blogger" indulges in disinformation. "Sam" of http://hammorabi.blogspot.com has graphic pictures on his site of children killed by Zarqawi terrorists in Baghdad on Thursday. Horrible and tragic, indeed. Even more tragic, however, is that a Reuters camera crew filmed their identical twins, who died that same day after a US airstrike in Fallujah. Is "Sam" a victim of US disinformation, or is "Sam" a practicioner? Could "Sam" be an uncle, perhaps?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 2, 2004 - 27 comments

‘Staying the Course’ Isn’t an Option

‘Staying the Course’ Isn’t an Option "If Bush is re-elected, there are only two possible outcomes in Iraq:

Four years from now, America will have 5,000 dead servicemen and women and an untold number of dead Iraqis at a cost of about $1 trillion, yet still be no closer to success than we are right now, or The U.S. will be gone, and we will witness the birth of a violent breeding ground for Shiite terrorists posing a far greater threat to Americans than a contained Saddam."
posted by specialk420 on Sep 26, 2004 - 50 comments

Boston man gets felony charges for dressing as hooded Iraqi

Joe Previtera, a 21 year old student at Boston College, was arrested Wednesday and charged with felonies after dressing as a hooded Iraqi prisoner in front of a military recruitment center in downtown Boston. Previtera faces misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and felony charges of making a false bomb threat and using a hoax device. The charges apparently reflect the District Attorney's concern that Mr Previtera might have been mistaken for a terrorist...
posted by tapeguy on Jun 3, 2004 - 65 comments

"Our" man no longer

Surprise, surprise... is Ahmed Chalabi the next terrorist in the making?
posted by mrgrimm on May 20, 2004 - 37 comments

Sarin Gas in Iraq...

Sarin gas bomb used in Iraq... Could this be the beginning of chemical warfare by the insurgents? Sarin is a particularly nasty one too that has been previously used by terrorists. Did the CIA actually call it correctly?
posted by darian on May 17, 2004 - 63 comments

The New Cold War

Cheney outlines Bush's vision of the war on terrorism in a January 14th speech, likening it to the Cold War in both scope and duration. Does this represent a change in tenor for the 2004 campaign and a move away from Reagan-esque sunny optimism that defined the 2000 run?
posted by bbrown on Jan 19, 2004 - 30 comments

Report says Bush planned Iraq War before 9/11

New report says Bush planned Iraq War before 9/11 Jan. 10 — NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill charges in a new book that President Bush entered office in January 2001 intent on invading Iraq and was in search of a way to go about it.
posted by wsg on Jan 10, 2004 - 101 comments

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