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Iraq Vets Bear Witness

The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness. "Investigating the impact of the war on Iraqi civilians, Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by US troops in Iraq--brutal acts that often go unreported and almost always go unpunished." [Via No Quarter.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2007 - 37 comments

Failed States Index

The Failed States Index 2007. Iraq is now ranked as the world's second most unstable country, behind Sudan. [Via Newshoggers.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 19, 2007 - 53 comments

To the Person Sitting in Darkness

"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust, wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy. There is more money in it, more territory, more sovereignty, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
posted by homunculus on Jun 13, 2007 - 13 comments

Water

Conditions for Iraqi children affected by violence and displacement have reached a critical point, according to UNICEF (PDF). One of the worst problems is the lack of clean water: only an estimated 30 per cent have access to safe water that isn't contaminated.
posted by homunculus on May 23, 2007 - 11 comments

Semiwar

The Semiwarriors: By creating an atmosphere of perpetual crisis, Presidents have expanded their powers and hidden their actions from the public eye. A recent essay by retired Army lieutenant Colonel and current Boston University professor of international relations Andrew J. Bacevich, on "semiwar," a term coined after World War II "to promote permanent quasi mobilization as the essential response to permanent global crisis." Bacevich is the author of The New American Militarism, How Americans Are Seduced by War (previously discussed here and here). Tragically, Bacevich's own son, an Army First Lieutenant, was killed on patrol in Iraq two days ago by an IED.
posted by homunculus on May 16, 2007 - 45 comments

Yezidi woman stoned to death in "honour killing"

A teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy. Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year old Yezidi girl who lived in Northern Iraq, fell in love with a Sunni Muslim boy, and possibly converted to Islam. For this she was stoned to death in a public "honour killing" which was recorded on video and spread on the internet (warning: graphic and disturbing. YouTube took theirs down.) 23 Yezidis have been killed in retaliation. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on May 4, 2007 - 265 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

Iraq Veterans Memorial

The Iraq Veterans Memorial is "an online war memorial that honors the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. The Memorial is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen." A project of the Brave New Foundation. [Via Bushflash.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 17, 2007 - 12 comments

The Lucifer Effect

Retiring psychology professor Philip G. Zimbardo, who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment, gave his final lecture at Stanford this week, criticizing the Bush administration and saying that senior government officials responsible for Abu Ghraib should be "tried for the crimes against humanity." [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2007 - 38 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

Veterans' Health Care

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility. The Iraq war has transformed Walter Reed into "a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients." Meanwhile, despite predictions that the cost of medical care for veterans will skyrocket, the Bush administration apparently plans to cut funding for veterans' health care. Tired of waiting for the government, more people are taking the initiative in developing alternative facilities to help veterans.
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2007 - 88 comments

Here, Bullet

The horror of Iraq, in poetry. [Via.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 6, 2007 - 13 comments

Iraqi refugees

Iraq has become the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis. Life there is a living hell, but the exodus is threatening to destabalize its neighbors. The US accepts only 500 Iraqi refugees a year, but president Bush has the legal authority to admit 20,000 more. Perhaps he'll do it for Christmas. [Via No Quarter.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 13, 2006 - 29 comments

Bringing Bush to Court

United States v. George W. Bush et al. Retired federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega has written a hypothetical indictment for a hypothetical grand jury charging President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, thereby commiting a conspiracy to defraud the United States by tricking the nation into war. Though a work of fiction, the evidence presented is real. Part 1 is the introdutction, part 2 is the indictment, and part 3 is the beginning of grand jury testimony, with more to come over the next few days.
posted by homunculus on Dec 1, 2006 - 23 comments

"An evangelical vision of geopolitical redemption."

Iraq: The War of the Imagination. "Anyone seeking to understand what has become the central conundrum of the Iraq war—how it is that so many highly accomplished, experienced, and intelligent officials came together to make such monumental, consequential, and, above all, obvious mistakes, mistakes that much of the government knew very well at the time were mistakes—must see beyond what seems to be a simple rhetoric of self-justification and follow it where it leads: toward the War of Imagination that senior officials decided to fight in the spring and summer of 2002 and to whose image they clung long after reality had taken a sharply separate turn." By Mark Danner. [Via Tomdispatch.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 23, 2006 - 83 comments

We’ve never been stay the course

"Stay the Course," R.I.P. (1885-2006).
posted by homunculus on Oct 29, 2006 - 28 comments

No Saddam and Osama? :(

Senate Releases Pre-War Intel Reports. The two sections of the report released by the Senate intelligence committee are: "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments" and "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress" (both PDFs). This seems to contradict previous evidence. [Via TPMmuckraker.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2006 - 51 comments

Michael Berg

"Shortly before Father’s Day, TAP spoke with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, about his congressional campaign and the recent death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 20, 2006 - 22 comments

"A Classic Psy-Ops Campaign"

The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed. "The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House." (Via Sic Semper Tyrannis.)
posted by homunculus on Jun 7, 2006 - 24 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

Marla Ruzicka

The Girl Who Tried to Save the World. A good article from Rolling Stone on the life and final days of CIVIC Worldwide founder Marla Ruzicka (previously discussed here.)
posted by homunculus on Jun 7, 2005 - 6 comments

Pain

The Painful Truth. "The Iraq war is a new kind of hell, with more survivors - but more maimed, shattered limbs - than ever. A revolution in battlefield medicine is helping them conquer the pain."
posted by homunculus on Feb 4, 2005 - 17 comments

100,000 dead?

The Lancet recently claimed that up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of the war. Believable or not?
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2004 - 29 comments

Operation Truth

Operation Truth seeks to educate the American public about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the perspective of the soldiers who have experienced them first-hand. It was founded by U.S. Army Reservist Paul Rieckhoff, who gave a Democratic radio address in May.
posted by homunculus on Aug 25, 2004 - 10 comments

Capobianco Gallery closed?

The Capobianco Gallery in San Francisco is closed. Its owner, Lori Haigh, was assaulted for displaying a painting by Guy Colwell which depicts the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
posted by homunculus on May 30, 2004 - 43 comments

That was then...

A Report on Mesopotamia by T.E. Lawrence, August 2nd, 1920.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2004 - 13 comments

Iraqi artifacts

Archaeologists review the loss of valuable artifacts a year after the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. [Via dangerousmeta.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 22, 2004 - 6 comments

Plan of Attack

Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched. An excerpt from the new book "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward. Amongst its claims are that Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar was informed of the plans for Iraq before Colin Powell, and that $700 million designated by Congress for the war in Afghanistan was used to prepare for the war in Iraq.
posted by homunculus on Apr 18, 2004 - 74 comments

Terry vs. Tony

Tony Blair: Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq. Terry Jones: Tony really must try harder.
posted by homunculus on Apr 14, 2004 - 20 comments

What you do in Vegas stays in your file

The FBI has been given increased surveillance powers without court oversight under the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which was signed into law on the day Saddam was captured. The law was recently used to have hotels and airlines in Las Vegas turn over guest and passenger names and information for the holiday period.
posted by homunculus on Jan 7, 2004 - 35 comments

Saddam Hussein Sourcebook

Several newly declassified documents have been added to the National Security Archive's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook, including a State Department cable to special envoy Donald Rumsfeld (PDF) for his second meeting with Saddam Hussein (months after the infamous handshake meeting,) in which Rumsfeld conveyed the Reagan administration's undiminished support for Hussein despite their public condemnation of his use of chemical weapons. (It also mentions but seems unconcerned with Hussein's support for Abu Nidhal.) Another document describes Bechtel's intention to do business with Iraq (PDF) through non-US sources in case of US sanctions. [More analysis at Juan Cole.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 23, 2003 - 3 comments

Uncovered

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War is a new documentary which will be shown at house parties around the US on Sunday, Dec. 7. If you want to see it, this webpage will locate parties in or near your zipcode. According to a review by the Independent, the film includes two dozen interviews with US intelligence professionals, diplomats and former Pentagon officials lambasting the Bush administration for its distortion of the case for war against Iraq and damaging the ability to gather intelligence in the future. [Via WarFilter.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 4, 2003 - 55 comments

Cleland, Schulz and Stern

Three great interviews in Salon: Former Senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland on the stonewalling of the 9/11 commission and the situation in Iraq, author Jessica Stern (previously discussed here) on the recent bombings in Istanbul and Riyadh, and executive director of Amnesty International USA William Schulz on why the left must confront terror with the same zeal that it battles Bush, or risk irrelevance.
posted by homunculus on Nov 20, 2003 - 5 comments

Marshlands

Satellite pictures of the Mesopotamian marshlands, published by the United Nations Environment Programme, show that the wetlands are beginning to return to life. [Via Best of the Web.]
posted by homunculus on May 29, 2003 - 7 comments

Iraqi newspapers

Al-Muajaha, "The Iraqi Witness," is a new independent newspaper in Baghdad that's also published online. In fact, new newspapers are appearing in Iraq almost every day, though many are mouthpieces for political parties. I find this proliferation of information to be a good sign.
posted by homunculus on May 25, 2003 - 7 comments

Prosthetics for Iraqi children

The Limbless Association has set up a fund to assist Iraqi children who have been rendered amputees by the war. They were prompted by the public response to the plight of 12 year old Ali Ismail Abbas, who lost both his arms (and most of his family) in a missile strike on his house in Baghdad.
posted by homunculus on Apr 8, 2003 - 20 comments

Raytheon missile identified

BINCS is an online database of suppliers and identification numbers maintained by the Defense Logistics Information Service. It was used to look up the CAGE code on a fragment of the missile which allegedly hit a Baghdad vegetable market. This confirmed that the fragment was from a missile built by Raytheon Company, and was probably either a HARM or a Paveway. I wonder if the system will remain available online after this. Investors can rest assured that this incident will not affect Raytheon's standing in the Perpetual War Portfolio in any way.
posted by homunculus on Apr 2, 2003 - 8 comments

"Me, me, me – it's all about me!"

"Antiwar movement should shut up about 'shutting it down' – before the state shuts us down." As some in the antiwar movement "prepare to escalate," Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com accusses them of narcissism and soberly warns that "it is clear, at any rate, that such a strategy would be largely ineffective. That is, it would not accomplish its ostensible goal: to stop or even slow down the U.S. assault on Iraq. On the other hand, it would succeed in giving John Ashcroft and the War Party a perfect means by which to test the more draconian clauses of the 'Patriot' Act – and a rationale for proposing even harsher legislation in the near future." [First link via cursor.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2003 - 20 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

America Still Unprepared - America Still in Danger,

America Still Unprepared - America Still in Danger, a new report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, claims that "a year after September 11, 2001, America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In all likelihood, the next attack will result in even greater casualties and widespread disruption to American lives and the economy. The need for immediate action is made more urgent by the prospect of the United States going to war with Iraq and the possibility that Saddam Hussein might threaten the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in America." While of al Qaeda, George Tenet says that "the threat environment we face is as bad as it was before Sept. 11. It is serious—they have reconstituted, they are coming after us." This is not comforting (more inside.)
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2002 - 4 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

Cuneiform artifacts for cheap!

Cuneiform artifacts for cheap! "Iraq's economic collapse means the oldest writing in the world can be bought for a song on eBay -- and has scholars racing to digitize Sumerian artifacts before they become paperweights." I've always wanted an original Epic of Gilgamesh cuneiform tablet to decorate the mantel with.
posted by homunculus on May 12, 2002 - 4 comments

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