The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence
by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch
. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
posted by digaman
on Aug 27, 2008 -
An Iraqi national with a fascinating background, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
has been documenting
the situation in Iraq. His video report is in three parts on YouTube (1
). Of particular note is the cemetery on the outskirts of Sadr City (at 2:13 of segment 2), which is disturbing beyond words.
posted by dbiedny
on Aug 18, 2008 -
In a new GAO report
it's noted that the Iraqi government will have a $79 billion dollar surplus by the end of the year (accumulated from 2005-2008). All of this is on top of the $48 billion dollars that the US has contributed to Iraq since 2005. [more inside]
posted by jourman2
on Aug 5, 2008 -
"The blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to the Blade account and encouraged readers to complain to the Post. “I can see why outing someone who is alive and closeted is unethical,” he wrote. “Inning someone who is dead and was out is a function of utterly misplaced sensitivity, rooted in well-intentioned but incontrovertible homophobia.”"
A Soldier's Legacy
posted by wittgenstein
on Aug 2, 2008 -
Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands
before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." [more inside]
posted by ikahime
on Aug 1, 2008 -
Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind
is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health
program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Jul 29, 2008 -
The Devastation of Iraq's Past.
"Since the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in April 2003, the international press has accorded considerable space to the country's imperiled ancient heritage. Much of this coverage, however, has been devoted to the museum, the impressive campaign to recover its stolen works, and the continued struggle to reopen its galleries. Only occasional, anecdotal reports—mostly from the first year of the conflict—have borne witness to large-scale plunder of archaeological sites
, to which the damage is irreversible."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 23, 2008 -
[NSFW]"The following program is in living color and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information and hard acid rock to the first termers and non-re-enlistees in the Republic of Vietnam. Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals. In the event of a vice squad raid this program will automatically self-destruct." Radio First Termer
was a pirate radio show broadcast by "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous USAF sergeant, for 63 hours between January 1st and 21st, 1971, out of the back room of a brothel in Saigon, gracing the dial at 69 MHz and 690 AM.>>
Fearing reprisal from his superiors, Dave Rabbit
then shut Radio First Termer
down and, after returning to the States, went back to living a normal life. 34 years later, while helping his son on a homework assignment, Dave came across old recordings of his show
. He's since revived his old persona
, and has also brought Radio First Termer back to the warzone--to Baghdad, Iraq. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display
on Jun 11, 2008 -
New Allegations Have Surfaced
that the US Is Effectively Holding Iraq's Oil Revenues
Hostage to Force through a Proposed Long-Term Strategic Alliance, Raising New
Questions about the US' Committment to an Independent, Self-Governing Iraq. The Deal,
Which in its Current Form is Said to Provide for an Indefinite American Military Presence and Blanket Immunity from Iraqi Law for All American Troops and Civilian Contractors, Is Understandably Not All That Popular with Many Iraqi Citizens
. Iraqi Lawmakers Have Also Expressed Doubts
about the Deal. (IRAQ WAR/POLITICS FILTER.)
posted by saulgoodman
on Jun 6, 2008 -
As Close as Any Brother
- Ali Hameed, an Iraqi NYT employee, writes about PCs in daily life in Iraq. Once a mortar fell near to our house. Everyone stopped what they were doing, I mean if it was eating, watching TV, sleeping — except Rana. She kept on typing and typing. I yelled at her: "Rana leave the PC and come here, you are sitting near the glass!" She told me, "Just a minute, I want to talk to my friend, she is online and it has been a long time since I connected with her."
From NYT's Baghdad Bureau
posted by russilwvong
on May 29, 2008 -
According to an audit
released today by the DoD's IG, there has been virtually no oversight
of over $8 billion paid by the Defense Department to contractors in Iraq. The report confirms a similar finding back in 2005 that over $9 billion
in Iraq war funds were unaccounted for. As a factual and non-polemical matter, this spectacular waste
of taxpayer money has undoubtedly lined the pockets
of more than a few war profiteers
. To say the Iraq war has been plagued with rampant corruption
, fraud and fiscal mismanagement is not an editorial position or overstatement: even lawmakers have begun to acknowledge this
posted by ornate insect
on May 23, 2008 -
Bush interview with Politico: "For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf
posted by CunningLinguist
on May 13, 2008 -
The $3 Trillion Shopping Spree.
"The occupation of Iraq will cost $3 trillion, America's most expensive conflict since WWII. Can YOU spend that money better? Here's your chance to go on a virtual $3 trillion shopping spree and prove it!" [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus
on May 10, 2008 -
Killing by the numbers.
"In 2007 elite U.S. snipers executed an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in cold blood. Have the insidious tactics that led to atrocities in Vietnam reemerged in Iraq?"
posted by homunculus
on May 8, 2008 -
An extraordinary piece of magazine writing by Chris Jones.
Jones tells the story of how the body of Sergeant Joe Montgomery makes its way from a Baghdad suburb to its final resting place in a grave in Indiana. It's one of the finest pieces of journalism that I've read in years. It’s extremely moving without being saccharine or twee. It’s a military story, but utterly without jingoism or indictment. And it’s wonderfully observed. If I taught a first-year creative writing course, I'd make this required reading.
posted by dbarefoot
on Apr 30, 2008 -
“People like you are not holding up the Constitution ..."
Or so said Major Freddy Welborn, Specialist Jeremy Hall's commanding officer in Tikrit. "Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers." (NY Times)
posted by fourcheesemac
on Apr 26, 2008 -
Television military analysts are wooed, courted, and privileged by the Pentagon.
An in-depth investigative report by the New York Times
uncovers logrolling, shilling, touting, back-scratching, and just plain bias on the part of the experts that television networks put on the air to talk about the war. Some of them appear to be as good as owned by the Defense Department. "The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves."
posted by Mo Nickels
on Apr 19, 2008 -
Riding The Tiger;
Muqtada al-Sadr and the American Dilemma in Iraq is the final chapter of Patrick Cockburn's
Seymour Hersh has called Cockburn, who writes for the British paper, The Independent, "quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today."
Meanwhile al - Sadr has called off
his million man march for now. Juan Cole asks
: What if the US military presence is juvenilizing the Iraqis and prolonging the civil war?
posted by adamvasco
on Apr 9, 2008 -
“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas."
A Vanity Fair
reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes
-- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here
] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense."
that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here
posted by digaman
on Apr 3, 2008 -
In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline
presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
posted by auralcoral
on Mar 26, 2008 -