"Many Marines I talk to are skeptical of the aims used to justify the war - fighting terrorism, getting weapons of mass destruction (which they never see). Quite a few accept that this war was probably fought for oil." 'The Killer Elite', Evan Wright's coverage of a US Marine Corps Battalion in the 2003 Iraq War
(later developed into the book and TV series Generation Kill
). [more inside]
On Oct. 11, provided the government shutdown doesn’t interfere, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., will open an exhibit titled “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” On display will be some of the rarest of the materials that were salvaged from the flooded basement of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence service. All told, the collection contains an estimated 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that once belonged to the Jews of Baghdad, who, until they began to flee for Israel in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, constituted one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back more than 2,500 years.
- In the chaos of the 2003 war, remnants of a once-thriving Jewish past were saved (or stolen?) by America. Where do they belong? [more inside]
"Hell Broke Luce" -- a surreal anti-war video
from Tom Waits
for his powerful song based on the harrowing story of Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey
, a 23-year old Iraq war Marine veteran who committed suicide in 2004.
From Waits' 22d album Bad As Me
(2011, AntiRecords) [more inside]
The Iraq War: was there even a decision? "Perhaps most revealing ... is what is missing--any indication whatsoever from the declassified record to date that top Bush administration officials seriously considered an alternative to war. In contrast there is an extensive record of efforts to energize military planning, revise existing contingency plans, and create a new, streamlined war plan." The National Security Archive
at George Washington University has released a set of documents from the US and British archives related to the Iraq war: Part I
, Part II
, Part III
Political scientist Russell Burgos
(who served in Iraq):
... there is indeed a kind of inevitability about the confrontation, but it was an inevitability created by domestic politics rather than 9/11. In my estimation, the origins of the "path to war" are found in the Republican Revolution of 1994; I will suggest that from 1996 to 2000, Iraq policy was not about Iraq - it was about an increasingly strident partisan attack on President Bill Clinton in which "Iraq" was not a subject of deliberate policy but was a synecdoche for "Clinton's failure."
Historian Robert Jervis
also comments. Via H-DIPLO
On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography. "The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs" is a twelve-volume set of all changes to the Wikipedia article on the Iraq War. The twelve volumes cover a five year period from December 2004 to November 2009, a total of 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages. The set is part of a project exploring history and historiography facilitated by the internet, and visualising information, opinion, narrative and discussion, by James Bridle.
Combat operations in Iraq are over!
Except, the AP says "our content should not refer to the end of combat in Iraq, or the end of U.S. military involvement."
Meanwhile, in Iraq, a new show has been airing since Ramadan that has been described as "Punk’d, Iraqi-Style, at a Checkpoint
." You can watch 14-minutes of the show (in Arabic, no English subtitles), here
"In the days surrounding the invasion of Iraq, cover sheets
...began adorning top-secret intelligence briefings produced by [former defense secretary] Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The sheets juxtaposed war images with inspirational Bible quotes and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House, where they were read by the man who, after September 11, referred to America's war on terror as a 'crusade.'" [more inside]
"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?"
With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis
have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say
, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
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.)
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
War and Deliverance
] How "an old movie may offer perspective on American attitudes behind the invasion of Iraq." By Christopher Dickey
, son of the man
who wrote the novel Deliverance
Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text
, or if you prefer there is some audio
at the 51min mark from This American Life.
You'll go by the phone kiosk and you'll hear young men having these very strange, almost surreal arguments or discussions with their wives over something like, "Hey the garage is leaking, how do we fix that?" And what she maybe doesn't understand is, maybe that guy just got ambushed, like half an hour ago, and he's shaking from the adrenaline, and he's just calling her just to hear a familiar voice, and she's like, "We gotta get the sprinklers fixed." And he's like, "Oh, OK ... . I love you." He just wants to get back to the ground. And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.
, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free)
on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits:
His deafness, memory problems and depression caused were not caused by a rocket attack he survived in Ramadi, but by a pre-existing personality disorder. Well, according to the Army medical staff, that is. (via
Getting rich by getting it wrong
How the elite pundits who pushed the war profited in money and prominence, despite being completely wrong. Mean while many pundits who opposed the war from the start were sidelined
US Military Papers open fire on Rummy.
Tomorrow, the Army Times -- and all other Military Times papers, including Navy and Air Force Times -- will run an editorial calling for Donald Rumsfeld to tender his resignation or be fired, due to his gross incompetence in handling the Iraq quagmire.
On the ground with the 101st in Iraq,
a video by photographer Sean Smith
on the lives of US soldiers and their complex relationship with Iraqi civilians.
Never Coming Home
is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate
presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
Baghdad is calm, except it's neither.
So this guy Howard Kaloogian
is running for Congress in California, and he supports the troops. Thinks they're making all sorts of progress that simply isn't reported by the evil lib'rul mainstream media, so he went to see Baghdad for himself, and posted a picture
of a calm Baghdad street - See? No terrorists here!
Except that certain sleuthing types
found something awfully fishy about that photo...
What is the "Oil Spot Strategy", and is the U.S. following it in Iraq? Scholars
[reg. required] and politicians
have been calling for a strategy in Iraq based on the one the British used during the Malayan Emergency
for awhile now. There have been indications that the U.S. has been listening
. It sounds like a good idea, the only problem being that it is estimated to take about ten years
to work [2nd section].
Bush teleconference with troops staged.
Nothing in the article says who
is responsible for organizing the staged question and answer session, The White House, military officials, or others in the defense department. Just that it infact was staged, and that the troops were coached for 45 minutes prior to the actual teleconference. When Bush, in an unscripted move, asked an officer if he had anything to say, he stammered through a sentence, in stark contrast to the well put together responses to all the other questions, thanking the President and saying, "I like you." More PR from the Bush administration.
Barbarism or good ole American capitalism?
If you want to see the true face of war, go to the amateur porn Web site NowThatsFuckedUp.com
. For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography.
Power Cut Shuts Down Iraq Oil Exports
ASRA, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's oil exports were shut down Monday by a power cut that darkened parts of central and southern Iraq, including the country's only functioning oil export terminals, Iraqi and foreign oil officials said.
are running a different kind of guerrilla war. And at least one
is apparently playing havoc with coalition troops.
'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund
has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq
on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites
.'The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
A distinction between “old” and “new” wars is vital. “Old wars” are wars between states where the aim is the military capture of territory and the decisive encounter is battle between armed forces. “New wars”, in contrast, take place in the context of failing states. They are wars fought by networks of state and non-state actors, where battles are rare and violence is directed mainly against civilians, and which are characterised by a new type of political economy that combines extremist politics and criminality... I argue in this article that the United States viewed its invasion of Iraq as an updated version of “old war” that made use of new technology. The US failure to understand the reality on the ground in Iraq and the tendency to impose its own view of what war should be like is immensely dangerous and carries the risk of being self-perpetuating. It does not have to be this way. Iraq: the wrong war
- Mary Kaldor writes of what was happening in pre-invasion Iraq, what happened thereafter and what the alternatives were. Well, there is always Exit strategy: Civil war.
And on that, note this: Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk
--a city from which, I am afraid, we will hear more and more as time goes by.
Rep. John Conyers has a petition
on his congressional website
to sign on to a letter to President Bush requesting he answer
the questions about the "Downing
" posed to him by 89
Members of Congress
. Going even further, Ralph
, and former United
States Attorney General Ramsey Clark
among others, are calling for impeachment.
Recently, Reps. Kucinich & Abercrombie wrote a USA
calling For US withdrawal from Iraq. Meanwhile, approval
for President Bush and the war in Iraq continue to plummet. Does this
represent a sea change in public opinion and a coming shift in the political landscape?
Marla Ruzicka, RIP
Compared to the pomp and circumstance that mainstream America lavished on an NFL player
pointlessly cut down by friendly fire in Iraq, the death of Mara Ruzicka has been largely ignored. Marla gave her life in Iraq fighting peacefully to protect and preserve the lives of average Iraqis--the reason we're supposed to be there in the first place. You can visit the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
to pay tribute to Marla and to the movement she's left as a legacy.
Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.
Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt
from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran
. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War
, Wars Without End
, Oiling the Wheels of War
, and Imperial Reach
from his articles
for The Nation
alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars
and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel
and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil
. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
Interview with Scott Ritter on Iran June Invasion
What do you think the world's reaction will be if the U.S. invades Iran in June and fails, inciting an invasion of Iraq with well-equipped and trained Iranian troops and equipment, retaliation from Iran with missile attacks against the oil fields in the mid-east and Israel as well as southern Europe and Turkey. How will life in this country change?
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)
Freedom's Defenders or Politicians' Pawns?
No pretense of protecting Americans’ freedom went into the decision to enter into the Spanish-American War
. It was out-and-out imperialism and nothing more. Veterans of that war may have helped to liberate Cuba , Guam , Puerto Rico , and the Philippines from Spanish rule; but those same veterans then turned around and rammed the jackboot of the U. S. military into the faces of those they had just liberated. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Filipinos, who had thought they were being freed only to find out they had merely exchanged one colonial master for another, were killed in their own independence-from-Uncle-Sam movements. When they finally did throw off direct U. S. rule, they were then saddled with dictators of Uncle Sam’s choosing. No credit for the defense of Americans’ freedom can be granted to veterans of this war.
Compare to this: Gunning For Saddam
We report, you decide indeed...
What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
[...]By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.
But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?[...]
Gaming in Iraq by US troops. Soon after the battle for Fallujah ended in November, U.S. Marines brought their Xbox consoles, Gameboys and laptops forward and started fighting the Covenant hordes in "Halo," Mario and Luigi's worst enemies and those irksome roommates from "The Sims."
Of course such actives during war are nothing new
. Iraqies have also gotten in on the action too
Mosul attack - heart-warming?
I never figured I'd hear heart-warming in relation to the aftermath of a missile attack, but I heard the quote on the radio yesterday, and it just seems wrong.
"It was a heart-warming experience to see the wounded soldiers caring for those who were more severely wounded." said Brig.-Gen. Ham.
The automated signature machine would like to express it's sincerest condolences
..."Rather than personally signing letters of condolence
to the families of service members killed in action, Rumsfeld has been letting office workers affix his signature with a stamping machine."
Medals of Freedom awarded
and I'd like to make some smart comment about current Iraqi conditions and the award and the presenter, but why bother - make your own.
has the media hit the "mute" button?
the news is chock-full of accounts of a soldier challenging rumsfeld with a question that makes the news media look like the pack of lap dogs they are. so - where's the audio? the video? i, for one, want to hear those thousands of soldiers respond to the question.