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halliburton

Halliburton out of the running for the $600 billion contract to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. Andrew Natsios, director of the USAID, which is handing out most of the postwar contracts, is keen to counter any allegations of favoritism or political influence. "If I got a phone call from anybody putting any political pressure on me, I would report it immediately". Halliburton is the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, VP of the United States.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 28, 2003 - 19 comments

A scorecard for the war

How Will we know America is winning? Thomas Friedman poses six questions against which to judge US success...
posted by brettski on Mar 27, 2003 - 19 comments

Robert Fisk in the Independent

Robert Fisk in the Independent Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..." This is how war reporting should be.
posted by garyh on Mar 27, 2003 - 110 comments

Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets.

Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets. To watch the neutered embedded reporters, you would think that every Iraqi is overjoyed to see America in his or her country. But the reality seems to be quite different: "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"
posted by owillis on Mar 22, 2003 - 35 comments

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
posted by ericost on Mar 22, 2003 - 32 comments

You may not read Arabic, but the pictures speak for themselves.

You may not read Arabic, but do the pictures speak for themselves? [warning: graphic images] One big difference between Desert Storm and the current operation is the emergence of Gulf satellite news stations such as Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, beaming live into homes across the Arab world. Questions of access aside, it's a given that these news sources will be broadcasting materials that inflame opinion, and would never get past the 'taste and decency' rules of British or American stations. Trouble is, most westerners don't read Arabic: so, should we be bookmarking such sources for another perspective?
posted by riviera on Mar 22, 2003 - 38 comments

Are Embedded Journalists In Iraq Being Short-sheeted?

Embedded? Or In Bed With The Military Spin Doctors? Quite apart from the significant sexual and conspiratorial overtones of the word and concept themselves (when applied to people), there's something more than a little disquieting about the participant observation aspect of the large-scale practice of embedded reporting in the current invasion of Iraq - as opposed to the journalistic tradition of direct observation. Altogether too gung-ho - and inevitably so - I'd say. Me no like. And don't really trust myself to be able to epistemologically introduce, in my understanding of what I see, the (already minimal) distance that I'd previously taken for granted in standard reportage. What can be done to offset this bias? [Here is a very recent, detailed Department of Defense guide to what a media embed consists of [pdf format] and the release journalists must sign in order to be embedded.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 22, 2003 - 23 comments

Suffering knows no boundaries, no ideology.

Adopt-a-Pagan-Soldier - No pagans in foxholes? Think again! Meanwhile, the Adopt-a-Soldier movement gains momentum. Heed this well, opponents of the ongoing invasion (or liberation) of Iraq: US troops did not engineer the plan for a "Pax Americana" which underlies the US action in Iraq. No, they were pulled away from their families and their jobs, and lack basic necessities: such as SPF-30 sunscreen, and chapstick. Send them a care package. And while you are at it, why not donate to the UN Refugee Fund set up to cope with an expected 1 millon or so refugees, and a possible humanitarian disaster, in Iraq?
posted by troutfishing on Mar 20, 2003 - 23 comments

Prayers for peace

Prayers for peace. I'm agnostic and my feelings on the current Iraq crisis are confused. However, one thing is almost certain: many innocent people will die in the following weeks (months, years), most of them relegated to statistics. The future is uncertain.
posted by poopy on Mar 17, 2003 - 24 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq.

Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq. (RealAudio, 49 minutes into the broadcast.)
In an interview with Radio One Ireland, Kate Adie, former chief news correspondent for the BBC, drops a bombshell.
If satellite uplinks from the press are detected in Baghdad, they would be "targeted down", said a senior US military official. "They know this. They've been warned."
Ms. Adie also revealed that the US military are openly asking journalists what their feelings are on the war, and are using this information to block reporters from access to reporting on the conflict.
These actions are "shameless" and "entirely hostile to the free spread of information," says Ms. Adie. "What actually appalls me is the difference between twelve years ago and now. I've seen a complete erosion of any kind of acknowledgment that reporters should be able to report as they witness."
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 12, 2003 - 74 comments

Soros American Supremacy Iraq

The bubble of American supremacy by George Soros "I see parallels between the Bush administration's pursuit of American supremacy and a boom-bust process or bubble in the stock market. Bubbles do not arise out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but misconception distorts reality. Here, the dominant position of the United States is the reality, the pursuit of American supremacy the misconception." (From Drudge)
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 12, 2003 - 37 comments

Iraq, Plan C

In the dispute over Iraq there is always Plan C Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But of such dreams Plan C is made. For New Zealand, a country with a record of peacekeeping and independent thought in international affairs, perhaps the compromise is the solution to what otherwise could be a nightmare in the making.
posted by a3matrix on Mar 12, 2003 - 27 comments

Standing With Osama?

Standing With Osama? "Some of the more bilious right-wing pundits... have taken to describing those who oppose the invasion as 'siding with Saddam.' But if such sleazy rhetoric is allowable, then maybe we should say that those like our President, who seem to have ignored Osama’s decrees, or like Powell, who are hawking a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection based on overblown evidence, are standing with Osama." Is this accusation fair? If so, is it productive? I doubt it, but I'm not certain. Rohan Gunaratna, the author of "Inside Al Qaeda," warns that an invasion of Iraq would undermine the international campaign against Al Qaeda and give terrorist groups a new lease on life. Oh well, at least it's funny. [Via Cursor.] [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 19, 2003 - 21 comments

French Muslims Influence Government Policy on Iraq

French Muslims Influence Government Policy on Iraq This piece from an on-line Arab source helps us to understand the French reluctance to want a war with Iraq. And you thought it was only about French oil interests, but non.
posted by Postroad on Feb 18, 2003 - 62 comments

The web makes it real

"Give me your heart / Make it real / Or else forget about it." Baghdad snapshot action. The sounds of an actual chemical attack. A Republican, Ron Paul of Texas speaks his mind on C-SPAN. (RealPlayer). Feisty members of the Greatest Generation sass a Defense Department spokeswoman at a town meeting. Apartheid leader Pik Botha takes up the cause of nuclear disarmament.
posted by sheauga on Feb 15, 2003 - 10 comments

Gone Black?

Web sites protest by going black. A little over 100 web sites have bandied together to go black on this international day of protest. Some with interesting art, some with personal notes and others with strong words. Are there other web protests going on that you've heard of? Links?
posted by DragonBoy on Feb 15, 2003 - 16 comments

history iraq

History of Iraq from the Denver Post. "President Bush speaks of the need to 'defend civilization'.. Then I point out the irony of defending civilization against the cradle of civilization".
posted by stbalbach on Feb 2, 2003 - 31 comments

Iraq

Kick his ass and get the gas. Three anti-war activists[Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and Gilbert Achcar] discuss the current focus on war with Iraq on Turkish TV. Here is an alternative URL, just in case there are problems with OutlookIndia. P.S.: "Kick his ass and get the gas" was apparently a bumper sticker issued by the Republican party in California.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Jan 2, 2003 - 20 comments

Bush is soft on tobacco

Bush is soft on tobacco Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines.
posted by Postroad on Nov 27, 2002 - 15 comments

A Liberal Argument for Iraqi Regime Change from Salman Rushdie

A Liberal Argument for Iraqi Regime Change from Salman Rushdie Such a pleasure to read a well-written op-ed piece for a change.
posted by tommyspoon on Nov 1, 2002 - 47 comments

Iran and Iraq: too much there for countries to ignore

Iran and Iraq: too much there for countries to ignore If the peaceniks in the U.S. insist that going into Iraq is an attempt to get hold of the oil, then it might equally be said that those nations opposed to an American attack on Iraq also have self-interest in not wanting America to enter Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Oct 30, 2002 - 14 comments

U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N.

U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N. We lead. You follow. Or get out of the way. How this will play out in terms of the very existence of the UN in the near future, the EU, and our attempt to maintain good relationship with Arab countries is anyone's guess. What is yours?
posted by Postroad on Oct 28, 2002 - 84 comments

And so it is.

And so it is. At approximately 1:20 a.m., the Senate passed S.J. Res 45, a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. The vote: 77 yea, 23 nay. Some surprising yeas, including Clinton and Daschle. What happens next?
posted by damn yankee on Oct 10, 2002 - 122 comments

Before we go to war based on whether or not Saddam (or the UN Security Council...) agrees to the Bush administration's proposed UN resolution, would anyone care to discuss what their proposed resolution actually says?
Apparently, the text of the resolution isn't in the public domain... but things leak. According to this article, the resolution allows the UN or its members (including the US) to station armed guards in Iraq, establish no-fly and no-drive zones, and create exclusive ground and air transit corridors. Robert Fisk, one of England's most respected reporters, believes the resolution is a poison pill, designed to lead to "regime change", whether he accepts it or not. So, what else do we know about the proposed resolution, and why isn't anyone talking about it?
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 9, 2002 - 32 comments

The president's real goal in Iraq

The president's real goal in Iraq Assumption is that this is to be an undeclared true beginning of American imperialism, as America takes on role of the policeman of the world. Overwrought or spot on?
posted by Postroad on Oct 3, 2002 - 43 comments

Finally released, The British Government's Dossier On Iraq appears, after two hours of reading, to be quite remarkable in it's - well - unremarkableness.(.pdf link from mainpage)
posted by Doozer on Sep 24, 2002 - 28 comments

Arming Saddam.

Arming Saddam. "ABC News Nightline opened last June 9 with words to make the heart stop. "It is becoming increasingly clear," said a grave Ted Koppel, "that George Bush, operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy."

Does it matter if no one reports it? Does a tree falling make a sound if no one hears it? Are these facts not relevant to the war against Iraq? For your debating pleasure, a blast from the past.
posted by nofundy on Sep 20, 2002 - 33 comments

The grayest of gray Republican eminences weigh in on the Iraq Debate.

The grayest of gray Republican eminences weigh in on the Iraq Debate. Brent Scowcroft, an ex-general with the prejudices and proclivities of his scholarly peers --the nattering nabobs of negativism-- proposes that the United States forget about invading Iraq. Henry Kissinger, one of the great American opportunists, has positioned himself as a kind of stealth critic, a loyal oppositionist who is doing his darnedest to nudge Bush in a multilateral direction. James Baker, who is intimately tied to a wide range of allegedly satanic forces and has an incredibly long and distinguished record of public service, to chasten George W. Bush's hawkish impulses on Iraq, proposes that the administration sponsor "a simple and straightforward resolution requiring that Iraq submit to intrusive inspections anytime, anywhere, with no exceptions, and authorizing all necessary means to enforce it."
posted by semmi on Sep 19, 2002 - 11 comments

A Blast from the Past.

A Blast from the Past. In 1998, George Bush, Sr. explains why Saddam was not removed in the Gulf War: "Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
posted by owillis on Sep 12, 2002 - 19 comments

U.S. troops on DEFCON 2 alert

U.S. troops on DEFCON 2 alert "The Canoe.qc.ca web site has learned that American Marines in the Persian Gulf have been placed on DEFCON 2 alert status, a possible precursor to war with Iraq." - the Canoe.ca site is often several hours ahead of more popular news sites (CNN, MSNBC, ect) with breaking news.
posted by stevengarrity on Sep 11, 2002 - 22 comments

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
posted by risenc on Sep 10, 2002 - 27 comments

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc on Aug 26, 2002 - 65 comments

Iraq's Aziz Says U.S. Attack Would Fail

Iraq's Aziz Says U.S. Attack Would Fail This is a news story? What is the Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz supposed to say? "W. has been right all along, Saddam is a tyrant. We need to get him out. Even Saddam agrees he has gone to far." or "Now that you mention it, our military is a mess, the stuff we have bought is junk and your tanks will rip it to shreds."
posted by Coop on Aug 20, 2002 - 14 comments

How Al Qaeda Slipped Away

How Al Qaeda Slipped Away "American officials concede that there was a mass escape from Tora Bora—as well as a broader exodus by various routes into Pakistan and Iran—but insist that Al Qaeda now is crippled and too busy running to do much damage. “Perhaps we could have got them wholesale,” says one senior Defense official. “Now we’re doing it retail. In the end, it doesn’t make much difference. We’re getting them.”" We might want to take care of this before we "invade" Iraq.
posted by owillis on Aug 14, 2002 - 14 comments

Is this an Iraqi bluff?

Is this an Iraqi bluff? Whatever the case, this seems like a clever way for Baghdad to undercut all the saber rattling in Washington.
posted by TBoneMcCool on Aug 1, 2002 - 56 comments

The clash of battling war plans.

The clash of battling war plans. "Imagine Operation Overlord for D-Day splashed all over the front page of the New York Times. Unthinkable, you say. Then imagine the German high command's plans to repulse the Allied invasion announced by Adolf Hitler himself in a meeting with his closest advisers and then leaked to a London newspaper. Equally unthinkable. But this is how the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Saddam's plans to counterattack have been played out in the New York Times and a Kuwaiti newspaper â?? all before a single shot has been fired." First there was the parade of leaks from the U.S., even an influential insider making predictions on TV. Then there was the apparent counterleak of Saddam's war plan. What is going on? Is the Iraqi leak credible? And if so, what price are American civilians going to pay?
posted by homunculus on Jul 24, 2002 - 18 comments

Why

Why, why, why? Bush vs. Saddam. Prequel to Desert Storm II.
posted by password on Jun 16, 2002 - 60 comments

Where Is This Evil Axis Bush Speaks Of?

Where Is This Evil Axis Bush Speaks Of? By any common usage, it denotes an alliance. The relationship between Iran, Iraq and North Korea meets neither qualification.
posted by Ty Webb on Mar 11, 2002 - 66 comments

In U.S. Success, Anti-War Faction's Worst Fears Realized

In U.S. Success, Anti-War Faction's Worst Fears Realized writes our own James Lileks. Noam Chomsky, our own little Quisling, popped up in India to denounce the United States and describe the attacks on Afghanistan as "a bigger terrorist act than what happened on Sept. 11." It takes tremendous energy to maintain these hideous delusions. Chomsky must be exhausted. He must also be surprised every time he lands back in America and is not arrested; the nation he describes would surely clap him in chains and leave him in a basement to devolve to rat food and bones.
posted by ericost on Nov 16, 2001 - 43 comments

Al Jazeera set to launch English language service

Al Jazeera set to launch English language service Is that some late November 5th fireworks I can hear? No, the sound of Bush and Blair exploding with indignation.
posted by Summer on Nov 12, 2001 - 14 comments

Is this Saddam's work?

Is this Saddam's work? CBS News: "United States has received an intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the hijacker who is named as the pilot of the first plane to strike the World Trade Centers, met early this year somewhere in Europe with the head of the Iraqi intelligence service." CNN is reporting it too.
posted by owillis on Sep 18, 2001 - 30 comments

Iraq's Kurds OK with sanctions?

Iraq's Kurds OK with sanctions? (and from the Washington Post here) The Kurds in the no-fly zone recieve a fraction of the oil money under the sanctions and seem to be doing pretty well; there's food and medicine enough to go around, to say nothing of free elections and an abundance of political parties. Is there something I'm missing? It doesn't feel like it's being spun; nobody's making a big deal about it. But it does go against the conventional wisdom on sanctions...
posted by dreamless on Sep 16, 2001 - 16 comments

US drone lost over Iraq

US drone lost over Iraq - It seems it's only a matter of time before they shoot down a piloted plane (even if by accident). What are we still trying to accomplish over there and what would the reaction be if they succeed?
posted by revbrian on Aug 27, 2001 - 15 comments

Cut back on patrols over Iraq.

Cut back on patrols over Iraq. One day we are told by Gen Powell that we will increase pressure on Iraq. Now we are told that patrols in no flight zones to be cut back. Do we have a policy or is it made up weekly?
posted by Postroad on Mar 13, 2001 - 4 comments

America bombs Iraq. What are Dubya's intentions?
posted by quirked on Feb 16, 2001 - 35 comments

Iraq to Donate $94 Million to Poor Americans

Iraq to Donate $94 Million to Poor Americans Interesting propaganda. But more interestingly - disregarding the donor, would the US ever accept such a donation? (How could we admit a need for charity at home when we send billions in aid abroad?) And what's next? We're not of a mindset to accept foreign meddling. What about UN relief efforts? International peacekeeping forces?
posted by Tubes on Jan 15, 2001 - 14 comments

'Gulf War Syndrome' cause?

'Gulf War Syndrome' cause? An interesting potential link (via thewebtoday).
posted by Sean Meade on Nov 15, 2000 - 5 comments

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