1827 posts tagged with Iraq.
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From Jingoism to Feelings - the aesthetic response to collective trauma

Lindsay Ellis' (previously) new video series 'Loose Canon' (Previously) takes a look at the different media takes on the same cultural character or property. She takes on the longest and most detailed one yet with the media reaction to and portrayal of the 2001 9/11 attacks. Part 1 (21:21) Part 2 (27:37) (Warning for photos and video of attacks)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 18, 2016 - 2 comments

"Then it all went horribly wrong."

Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart "The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja."
posted by lauranesson on Aug 11, 2016 - 10 comments

The Generation Kill Transcript Project

Full transcripts of all seven Generation Kill episodes. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 28, 2016 - 11 comments

Two weeks, eight attacks, 247 lives

"There is something of a journalistic routine each time terror erupts. Cover the news, of course, and put it into geopolitical context. Capture the drama of the scene. Pursue every tidbit about the attackers. And, perhaps most wrenchingly, try to showcase the human suffering... It never feels like enough. During what seemed like a particularly intense spate of attacks back in March, we decided it was not enough... We decided not to move on but to look back... to show terrorism’s human toll."
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 27, 2016 - 36 comments

"Her hands are soaked in blood and history will write her that way."

In 2006, Emma Sky was a 36-year-old working for the British Council in the Middle East when she hired on as Political Advisor to US General Odierno, Corps Commander for Iraq. According to this writer, she is the "Mother of Daesh". A former colleague compares her to le Carre's Little Drummer Girl. Emma Sky speaks for herself in Slate (she blames Obama) and The Atlantic ("Iraq is Finished"). (NB: the first link goes to a very long article, which includes the entire testimony of Emma Sky before the UK Irag Inquiry. At the very end of the linked piece are a number of other links to more info.)
posted by CCBC on Jul 11, 2016 - 59 comments

2.6 million Words of searing equivocation

Today the long awaited Iraq Enquiry (universally called The Chilcot Enquiry) is released as the cherry on the knickerbocker glory of recent British Politics. The enquiry is intended to investigate the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to establish the way decisions were made, to determine what happened and to identify lessons to ensure that in a similar situation in future, the British government is equipped to respond in the most effective manner in the best interests of the country. Here's what we can expect to see. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know on Jul 6, 2016 - 155 comments

suggests that Bangladesh’s militant networks are internationalizing...

Bangladesh Attack Is New Evidence That ISIS Has Shifted Its Focus Beyond the Mideast [The New York Times] Friday night’s assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery in the diplomatic district of Dhaka, in which at least 20 hostages and two police officers were killed, marks a scaling up of ambition and capacity for Bangladesh’s Islamist militancy, which has until now carried out pinpoint assassinations, mostly of critics of Islam and members of religious minorities. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 4, 2016 - 37 comments

The Graves of the Marines I Lost

"In the early hours of Jan. 26, 2005, one of two large Marine helicopters transporting troops for this expanded and therefore riskier mission crashed, killing all onboard: 30 Marines and a Navy corpsman....I promised myself that night that I would visit all 31 grave sites. I needed to get a sense of where these military service members came from: the schools and churches they attended; the streets where they learned to drive; the neighborhoods where many of their families still lived."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 29, 2016 - 8 comments

“Would they call me a diva if I were a guy?”

Groundbreaking visionary of contemporary spatial design, Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away. The British designer had a heart attack while in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis. One of the most sought-after architects in the world, Iraqi-born London-based Hadid was first woman to be awarded the prestigious RIBA gold medal in her own right, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2016 - 59 comments

The Bribe Factory

The Company That Bribed The World - It was the company with jet-set style and dirty hands. From the tiny principality of Monaco, Unaoil reached across the globe to pay multi-million dollar bribes in oil rich states. The beneficiaries? Some of the biggest companies in England, Europe, America and Australia.
posted by unliteral on Mar 30, 2016 - 33 comments

Museum of Lost Objects

A series of ten articles at the BBC News Magazine by Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf tracing the stories of ten antiquities and cultural sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria: (1) The Winged Bull of Nineveh; (2) The Temple of Bel; (3) Tell of Qarqur; (4) Aleppo’s minaret; (5) The Lion of al-Lat; (6) Mar Elian Monastery; (7) Al-Ma’arri: the unacceptable poet; (8) The Genie of Nimrud; (9) The Armenian Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Deir al-Zour; and (10) Looted Sumerian Seal, Baghdad. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Mar 10, 2016 - 14 comments

"All we can do is hold our hearts."

Building a hydro-electric dam on a bed of water-soluble gypsum was never the best idea, but engineers kept it under control for thirty years by filling any holes that appeared in the bedrock with cement (a process known as grouting). Now the repair workforce has fallen by 90%, the bedrock is getting weaker, the sluice gates are jammed, and spring meltwater threatens to burst the dam and send a wall of water twenty metres high flooding towards the cities downstream. [more inside]
posted by rory on Mar 3, 2016 - 34 comments

the Kurds are on the move

The Kurdish key - "Kurds are key to a Middle East solution as they hold the balance of power in Iraq and Syria, as well as being in the midst of an insurrection in Turkey. The US needs the Kurds as much as it needs the Turks in its efforts to defeat Isis." (also btw /r/Kurdistan: Who Exactly Are 'the Kurds'?; End Times for the Caliphate?)
posted by kliuless on Feb 29, 2016 - 10 comments

Epic cat rescue tale

Epic journey of Kunkush - a refugee cat. A story which could have been raised in a lab to strike at the heart of all those on Metafilter who love cats and a good cry. (SLGuardian)
posted by biffa on Feb 19, 2016 - 21 comments

The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth

Sweden's initial humanitarian response, and subsequent withdrawal in the face of the European refugee crisis. (Single link foreign policy article.)
posted by Ned G on Feb 11, 2016 - 84 comments

Babylonian (Pre)Calculus!

Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon - "Scientists have found a small clay tablet with markings indicating that a sort of precalculus technique was used to track Jupiter's motion in the night sky." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 29, 2016 - 15 comments

Ending the new Thirty Years War

Ending the new Thirty Years War "Why the real history of the Peace of Westphalia in 17th-century Europe offers a model for bringing stability to the Middle East."
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jan 27, 2016 - 18 comments

Saudi Arabia Lights Another Fire in the Middle East

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people of "terrorism-related offenses", including Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi'ite cleric who supported protests against the Sunni government. In response, protestors in Tehran set the Saudi embassy on fire, and the Saudi and Bahraini governments cut diplomatic ties to Iran, ejecting Iranian diplomats and closing their embassies in Tehran. The United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassador to Iran as well. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jan 4, 2016 - 58 comments

Nobody ever pays a political price for targeting Iranian Americans

In response to the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 158, a bill that bars Iraqis, Syrians, Sudanese, Iranians, and people who have traveled to those countries from participating in the visa waiver program which allows passport holders from 38 countries to travel without securing a visa. [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Dec 10, 2015 - 57 comments

Ark and flood in one package

The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established in 1961 and has grown into one of the US government’s largest intelligence organizations. It employs 17,000 people, including thousands stationed overseas, and its 2013 fiscal year budget request was for $3.15 billion. Yet, the DIA is also one of the more secretive agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, regularly denying access to basic information about its structure, functions and activities. On November 20, the National Security Archive posted a new sourcebook of over 50 declassified documents that help to illuminate the DIA’s five-decades-long history. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 4, 2015 - 20 comments

The rise of ISIS and its threat

Counterterrorism "expert" David Kilcullen discusses the rise of ISIS with historian Robert Manne. Kilcullen was a senior adviser to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008, when he helped to design and monitor the Iraq War troop "surge".
posted by mattoxic on Nov 17, 2015 - 45 comments

Decoding Daesh

Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand? And why it's a really good idea to start exclusively using this new name instead of any of the other ones.
posted by umamiman on Nov 16, 2015 - 98 comments

Ahmed Chalabi, 1944-2015

Ahmed Chalabi, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, has died. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Nov 3, 2015 - 60 comments

Tables turning

Putin Bets Big on Aggressive Syria Policy As the UK government denies reports that RAF pilots have been given the green light to shoot down hostile Russian jets in Syria.
Iraq has begun bombing Islamic State insurgents with help from a new intelligence center with staff from Russia, Iran and Syria.
Russia is using electronic warfare to cloak its actions in Syria from Isis and Nato.
What happens if Russia decides to go into Iraq. How to respond to Russia in Syria while avoiding World War Three.
Meanwhile Shiites in Iraq Hailing Putin for Syria Push.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 13, 2015 - 138 comments

Visionary of the Year

Why Iraq Needs Music: Zuhal Sultan On Starting The Iraqi Youth Orchestra - "You know, we all need our basic needs — we need food, we need shelter and we need education — but we also need to be human."
posted by kliuless on Oct 8, 2015 - 1 comment

"We thought we’d rather die in a plastic boat than die there."

"For the next several days, I’m going to be sharing stories from refugees who are currently making their way across Europe." Humans of New York went to Greece (and will go to other locations) to talk to newly-arrived refugees fleeing Iraq as well as some locals. It will be posting their stories and photos. There are spots of kindness, however, as you'd expect, they are largely terrifying and tragic. (Warning: Human suffering and death.) [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Oct 1, 2015 - 18 comments

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, cultural commentator and patron of the arts

In 2011, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi (Arabic: سلطان سعود القاسمي‎) was lauded for his Twitter stream where he provided English translations of news and events of Arab Spring. A year earlier, the cultural commentator started the Barjeel Art Foundation, serving as a patron and promoter for artists from all over the Arab world: Syrian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, Jordanian, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. "I don't buy artworks that I think are pretty and aesthetically appealing," he says. "But I buy art that is politically meaningful." Arab Art Redefined: How art collector Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi is trying to change the narrative (2 minute slideshow with narration by Sultan Al-Qassemi on how he collects and shares art).
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2015 - 2 comments

Silica Valley

Adam Davidson,The V.C.s of B.C.
Through a series of incredibly unlikely events, archaeologists have uncovered the comprehensive written archive of a few hundred traders who left their hometown Assur, in what is now Iraq, to set up importing businesses in Kanesh, which sat roughly at the center of present-day Turkey and functioned as the hub of a massive global trading system that stretched from Central Asia to Europe. Kanesh’s traders sent letters back and forth with their business partners, carefully written on clay tablets and stored at home in special vaults. Tens of thousands of these records remain. One economist recently told me that he would love to have as much candid information about businesses today as we have about the dealings — and in particular, about the trading practices — of this 4,000-year-old community.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 27, 2015 - 7 comments

The Forgotten Battalion

In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another. The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7) was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008. During eight months of combat, the unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and suffered more casualties than any other Marine battalion that year. When its members returned, most left the military. Seven years later, at least 13 of the 1200 members of that battalion have killed themselves in the interim: two while on active duty, the rest after they left the military. That is nearly four times the rate for young male veterans as a whole and 14 times that for all Americans. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 21, 2015 - 9 comments

ISIS, ISIL, Daesh

The Mystery of ISIS
The problem, however, lies not in chronicling the successes of the movement, but in explaining how something so improbable became possible. The explanations so often given for its rise—the anger of Sunni communities, the logistical support provided by other states and groups, the movement’s social media campaigns, its leadership, its tactics, its governance, its revenue streams, and its ability to attract tens of thousands of foreign fighters—fall far short of a convincing theory of the movement’s success.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 16, 2015 - 63 comments

The quiet death of the Human Terrain System

The Quiet Demise of the Army’s Plan to Understand Afghanistan and Iraq. "In the heyday of counterinsurgency, the United States military’s Human Terrain Teams were a bold idea. In the drone-war era, they became an anachronism." [Previously 1, 2] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 22, 2015 - 30 comments

Pitch Perfect was an inside job

A mind-blowing breakdown of the symbology and politics of Pitch Perfect. The most radical and honest film of our time. (SLYT)
posted by lattiboy on Aug 20, 2015 - 21 comments

Making a State By Iron and Blood

Britain built an empire on the slave trade. Germany perpetrated the greatest genocide in human history. Who says the Islamic State won’t be a U.S. ally someday?
posted by rosswald on Aug 20, 2015 - 54 comments

A War Of All Against All

Why Turkey is bombing the Kurds more than Islamic State - "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party's absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 14, 2015 - 16 comments

‘‘What we are living is anarchy, war, death...."

"Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight." --a comprehensive piece by Eliza Griswold (SLNYTMP.)
posted by resurrexit on Jul 23, 2015 - 38 comments

Meet self-proclaimed freedom fighter Matthew VanDyke.

This Guy From Baltimore Is Raising a Christian Army to Fight ISIS… What Could Go Wrong?
posted by brundlefly on May 28, 2015 - 41 comments

The quiet epidemic of soldiers haunted by what they did during wartime

"Moral injury is not unique to veterans. But as psychologists and advocates come to understand it better, they are discovering that the problem is widespread in that community, and can be deeply damaging to veterans who suffer from it." (SL Vox with YouTube)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 8, 2015 - 60 comments

I said, hey, you’re good at combat and people need you here; why not go?

Many American, Canadian, and British military veterans opposed to the actions of ISIS in Iraq have been, individually, going over to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga for some time now, bringing thousands of dollars of military gear and irreplaceable training. There have been so many of them fighting that the Peshmerga are now actively recruiting military veterans online. Not to be internet-outdone, military veterans have begun investigating forming units of their own to fight ISIS -including notable and controversial science-fiction author John Ringo, who suggested trying to crowdfund for 'a brigade of soldiers'. [more inside]
posted by corb on May 6, 2015 - 86 comments

Lord of the Shadows

An Iraqi (intelligence) officer planned Islamic State's takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. (by Christoph Reuter) [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on Apr 18, 2015 - 16 comments

It's Been 70 Years Since A Clear US Military Victory

A war machine that costs about as much as the rest of the worlds' militaries combined just doesn't win wars anymore. Why is this, and how can such an expensive public program that obviously fails to achieve its stated goals carry on unscathed?
posted by blankdawn on Apr 10, 2015 - 116 comments

Connecting the Dots

With all the upheaval in the skies and on the ground, here is one person's opinion on why the U.S. is fighting beside Iran in Iraq and against it in Yemen. Putin tells Iran that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Yemen. All the while...negotiators from six world powers (the P5+1) are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. As Iran nuclear talks 'enter endgame' in Switzerland...China and Russia say they will show up tomorrow. Keeping things cloaked in intrigue: the US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran and Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls, blurs the picture further.
posted by Emor on Mar 28, 2015 - 58 comments

"Stuff happens," "Freedom's untidy."

Islamic State Pursues Apocalyptic Logic.
All of this didn't begin in February 2015 or in 2013, when Islamic State first appeared on the radar of Western media.
It began on March 20, 2003, when the American-led "Coalition of the Willing" invaded Iraq.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 21, 2015 - 37 comments

"It was produced in a hurry."

The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 19, 2015 - 85 comments

"You must be Eddie"

The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
posted by Artw on Feb 25, 2015 - 35 comments

“...I am presently too much a part of the news...”

Brian Williams, Under Scrutiny, Will Take Leave From ‘NBC Nightly News’ [New York Times]
Brian Williams, acknowledging that the scrutiny and criticism he was attracting was becoming a distraction for his network, said on Saturday that he was stepping aside as anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News” for the next several days.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Feb 8, 2015 - 110 comments

"disorder ... is cheap to create, but very costly to prevent"

The Galula Doctrine: An Interview with Galula's Biographer A.A. Cohen, who wrote Galula: The Life And Writings of the French Officer Who Defined Counterinsurgency, and an excerpt. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 30, 2015 - 7 comments

Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.

How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times.
posted by ellieBOA on Jan 2, 2015 - 36 comments

over their charred ashes / scattered on the horizon

The great Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab died fifty years ago today, on December 24, 1964. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 28, 2014 - 2 comments

Book-selling on Mutanabbi Street: texts from vital sidewalks

Al-Mutanabbi is an open book, bearing symbols that are deeply etched into the body of today’s Baghdad. The street has no endpoint. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 9, 2014 - 4 comments

How to Defeat the Islamic State

How to Defeat the Islamic State. "Over the last thirteen years, America’s foreign policy has consisted mostly of defining what we don’t want: Saddam, Al-Qaida, Qaddafi, Boko Haram, the Islamic State. But we have failed to define what we do want. Rather than pausing to define the ultimate aim of our involvement – the very point of war for military action is just a means to a political end – we have rushed ahead anyway: Ready, Shoot, Aim. Unfortunately, we now have quite the track record of removing one monster only to find a more brutal monster in his place. This global war will never end without a coherent American strategy and we don’t have one for Iraq and Syria at the time of this writing. [...] To defeat the Islamic State and to further American interests, the United States must create a legitimate secular, political alternative for Iraq’s Sunnis."
posted by Golden Eternity on Nov 26, 2014 - 111 comments

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