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 -
Recombinant Activated Factor VII
--the Food and Drug Administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks... the Army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that Factor VII is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. ...
posted by amberglow
on Nov 21, 2006 -
I Know I'm Not Alone:
10 minute embedded video interview of Michael Franti regarding his jaunt to Iraq (and Palestine/Israel), originally broadcast on CBC's The Hour.
posted by edgeways
on Nov 20, 2006 -
There's an interesting piece over at This American Life
(titled "What's in number"). It touches on the previously discussed Lancet study
and gives a better explanation of the methodology use. Be sure and check out Act II, where Marc Garlasco, former chief of high-value targeting at the Pentagon, visits Iraq to see some of the actual sites he helped plan to hit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 12, 2006 -
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.
posted by lazaruslong
on Nov 5, 2006 -
Now they tell us.
Neocon hindsight is 20/20. War architect Richard Perle
on invading Iraq, 2002: "We have no time to lose, and I think the president understands that and it's probably taken too long already, but I don't think it'll be much longer... Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder.... Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either
." Four years later: "If I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies'... Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."
posted by digaman
on Nov 3, 2006 -
Last March, the White House put numerous Iraqi government documents online, hoping to "leverage the internet" to find evidence of Saddam's nuclear potential. After questioning from the New York Times
this week, the site has now been shut down
, as it has been revealed that the Bush administration, by publishing the information, may have publicly published detailed information on how to build atomic weapons
. Right-wing bloggers
, many of whom have been discussing the documents all year, have seen the sunny side
of the news, claiming
the real issue of the potential distribution of nuclear plans (which were dated pre-1991) is the "proof Saddam had a nuclear program."
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Nov 3, 2006 -
"Misunderstood" joke gets Kerry into trouble (youtube):
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
that he was referring to Bush, not the troops, in Monday's speech at a Pasadena, CA university, and that he won't apologize
for his remarks. Some Democrats
are distancing themselves after his remarks, in fear that public backlash might affect the upcoming elections.
posted by aberrant
on Nov 1, 2006 -
Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy.
At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
posted by amberglow
on Oct 29, 2006 -
His fog, his amphetamines and his pearls
Lofi shot off the monitor at the recent EMP exhibit, the entire footage of an Eat The Document
outtake recently edited by Martin Scorcese for No Direction Home
. I don't entirely get the Chaplinesque--To paraphrase crunchland, Hey, Skeezix--it's a talkie...
posted by y2karl
on Oct 27, 2006 -
...Iraq may have started as a war of choice for the Bush administration, but it has become a war of great and unintended consequences. Immense risks lurk down every strategic road. Given the fractured state of the American body politic, it is almost certainly too late to rally the country behind an all-out war effort -- think tax increases; a war Cabinet; a full mobilization of the National Guard and the Reserves; a civilian reconstruction corps; a larger Army and Marine Corps; longer combat tours for troops; mandatory combat-zone deployments for U.S. diplomats and aid officials; a return to national service; and possibly even a limited draft. Yet absent a plan that puts the nation on either an all-out wartime footing or the firm path to retreat, the United States is largely condemned to some tweaked-around-the-edges variation of the administration's current approach on Iraq of "muddle through and hand over." And America, the experts agree, is already losing that war.Endgame
posted by y2karl
on Oct 21, 2006 -
The invasion of Iraq may have caused 650,000 Iraqi deaths
according to a study being published in the Lancet on Saturday. The work follows up a controversial late 2004 study
by the same researchers that estimated "excess deaths" due to the conflict (at that time) to be 100,000. In response to criticism that the 2004 paper's margin of error was uselessly high (the 95% confidence interval was 8,000-194,000), the new results are based on a larger sample, yielding more reasonable range of 426,000-793,000. The paper is virtually guaranteed to reignite debate
over the accuracy of the most widely cited source for Iraqi casualty information, the Iraq Body Count
project (which currently gives a max of 48,893), and the media reports it relies on. The lead author, Les Roberts of John Hopkins, has said
that the original study's publication was timed to influence the 2004 elections, and it would appear that this one is as well. [more inside]
posted by gsteff
on Oct 11, 2006 -
A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
posted by srboisvert
on Oct 10, 2006 -
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman.
The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone
and The Village Voice
. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian
on Oct 1, 2006 -
Cheney Clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press.
For the first time in three years, Cheney appears on Meet the Press. Transcript here
. "We’ve never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11[,]" but Iraq "...was a state sponsor of terror" and "while they found no stockpiles...[the Duelfer report claimed that] Saddam did in fact have the capability and that as soon as the sanctions were ended—and they were badly eroded—he would be back in business again." "[T]his was the place where, probably, there was a greater prospect of a connection between terrorists on the one hand and a terrorist-sponsoring state and weapons of mass destruction than any place else." "...if we had to do it again, we would do exactly the same thing..."
posted by shivohum
on Sep 10, 2006 -
Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.
Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us
to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow
on Sep 10, 2006 -
What Valerie Plame Really Did at the CIA:
She was the chief of operations of the CIA's Joint Task Force on Iraq, in charge of gathering information on Iraq's supposed WMD programs, according to a new article in The Nation
based on David Corn and Michael Isikoff's new book, Hubris
. On his weblog
, David Corn says, "She was an undercover officer in charge of running critical covert operations." Also, in the summer of 2001, "word came down from the brass: We're ramping up on Iraq."
posted by kirkaracha
on Sep 5, 2006 -
The Mesopotamian Marshlands have been inhabited for so long
that some consider them to be the Garden of Eden
. If this is true, then paradise is mostly lost
. The marshlands have been shrinking since the 1970s
, catastrophically so between 1990
. The Marsh Arabs have a pastoral lifestyle
, relying on fishing and farming. They traditionally live in floating thatched huts, and build grand mudhifs
, which serve as public spaces, but as the marshes have receded, the villages have moved ashore. As dire as it seems, restoration efforts are underway
. But is it too little, too late
posted by owhydididoit
on Sep 3, 2006 -