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"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

Come and get it!

U.S. Soldiers Taunting Iraqi Children with Bottled Water youtube
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 21, 2006 - 129 comments

Supporting our troops by making them guinea pigs?

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 - 17 comments

I Know I'm Not Alone

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 - 16 comments

We have no friends, America only has interests.

Kissinger declares Iraq can't be won. Rep. Hangel, incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means, proposes to reinstate the draft.
posted by bukharin on Nov 19, 2006 - 93 comments

It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.

“How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”
And for comparison, How did so many smart guys make such a mess of Vietnam?
posted by orthogonality on Nov 13, 2006 - 98 comments

Another look at counting the deaths in Iraq

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 - 24 comments

Why I wear a white poppy

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
posted by thparkth on Nov 10, 2006 - 99 comments

Out of Iraq

A detailed plan for withdrawing from Iraq, by George McGovern and William Polk. Chip Pitts provides a similar suggestion in the National Interest. And William Lind describes a nightmare scenario in case of war with Iran: encirclement. Previously.
posted by russilwvong on Nov 8, 2006 - 42 comments

Iraq suicide

A man set himself on fire in Chicago last Friday morning in protest at the war in Iraq. He left a suicide note. But you know that don't you because its been all over the media?
posted by bobbyelliott on Nov 8, 2006 - 152 comments

Rumsfeld quits

Newsfilter: RUMMY QUITS!! Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resigns.
posted by ernie on Nov 8, 2006 - 237 comments

Who do the troops support?

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 - 70 comments

Blaming Bush

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 - 105 comments

White House may have published how-to nuke guide

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 - 55 comments

An American Martyr

She would rather die than become a torturer.
posted by empath on Nov 2, 2006 - 133 comments

Chunnel: no problem. Iraq: big problem.

Cut and Run Capitalism. Bechtel leaves Iraq after "heartbreaking" failures. Who's next?
posted by If I Had An Anus on Nov 1, 2006 - 49 comments

"If you're explaining, you're losing"

"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."

Kerry insists 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 - 140 comments

They have infiltrated every branch of public service and every political office they can get their hands on.

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 - 48 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

Babbling Bobster Beatnik Poetry

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 - 31 comments

"Fruitless for the Americans, and humiliating for the Iraqis."

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.
posted by bardic on Oct 21, 2006 - 35 comments

Game Over

...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 - 60 comments

.

Somehow.
posted by EarBucket on Oct 20, 2006 - 38 comments

Psyops

Psyops or Pyschological operations are those which "alter the behavior of an enemy, without altering his beliefs". Airborne leaflet propaganda. Airborne leaflet's Iraq 1991. Psyop leaflets over Iraq 2002 - 2003 (thumbnail index halfway down the page). Coalition Propaganda Leaflets to Iraq 2003-2004. British Propaganda Leaflets to Iraq 2003-2005. Psyop leaflets dropped over Afghanistan. More Afghanistan leaflets 2001 - 2002.
posted by andywolf on Oct 20, 2006 - 30 comments

Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War: Deaths in Iraq: How Many, and Why It Matters

...Would it surprise you to learn that if the Johns Hopkins estimates of 400,000 to 800,000 deaths are correct -- and many experts in the survey field seem to suggest they probably are -- that the supposedly not-yet-civil-war in Iraq has already cost more lives, per capita, than our own Civil War (one in 40 of all Iraqis alive in 2003) ? And that these losses are comparable to what some European nations suffered in World War II ? You'd never know it from mainstream press coverage in the U.S. "Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied," Leonard Cohen once sang. The question the new study raises: How many will go down with the ship, and will the press finally hold the captain fully accountable ?
Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War -- But Will the Press Confirm It ?
See also Debating the Body Count in Iraq
See also Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters
See also The Science of Counting the Dead
See also How the Media Covered The Lancet’s Iraqi Casualty Study
See also More deadly than Saddam
posted by y2karl on Oct 19, 2006 - 80 comments

Flip Flop

Iraq Was a Worthy Mistake by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg.
posted by bardic on Oct 19, 2006 - 111 comments

Patriot Detail

Farewell on a Dark Tarmac When American service members are killed in Afghanistan or Iraq, people from their base form a Patriot Detail, an ad hoc honor guard that escorts the flag-draped coffin to the airplane that will carry their body home. A reporter recently observed one of the ceremonies; some earlier descriptions.
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 18, 2006 - 6 comments

Those ribbons aren't made of kevlar, are they?

Stick magnetic ribbons on your SUV. A downloadable ditty from the Asylum Street Spankers. "The Spankers preemptively state that current and former members of our band are veterans of the military, we support American troops and we love our country, especially its Constitution and Bill of Rights, but also its movies, music, whiskey and regional cuisine." (YouTubeFilter, IraqFilter, language NSFW, ouch!)
posted by chipr on Oct 16, 2006 - 26 comments

Culture Films just out of Iraq

Beckhal’s Tears is the first film to safely come out of Iraq addressing the current discord for women in the region and the culture. Laund Omar is only the third director to bring a completed film out of Iraqi Kurdistan after seeing "that nobody was doing anything for the youth, not in society and not in the media" in this region. Placing rave-pop dancer Ozzie Aziz in the lead role, this film has recieved middle eastern and international recognition, but of course has slipped through popular American press attention.
posted by unpoppy on Oct 13, 2006 - 5 comments

A soldier speaks out

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt has given an interview to the Daily Mail in which he says that the presence of British troops makes the security problems in Iraq worse . The General won the MC aged 22 in an action in Northern Ireland, so he presumably knows a thing or two about insurgency, never mind courage. Mr Blair has agreed...
posted by A189Nut on Oct 13, 2006 - 36 comments

Iraqfilter, with midgets.

"Most Surreal Moment - Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact." A Marine's observations from Al Anbar province.
posted by the duck by the oboe on Oct 11, 2006 - 20 comments

Estimating civilian casualties in Iraq

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 - 214 comments

The most famous flight-93 victim

David Beamer, father of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer stars in new 527 political TV ad... Misleading? (youtube link)
posted by DougieZero1982 on Oct 10, 2006 - 66 comments

The Sandbox

The Sandbox 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 - 22 comments

The Charge of the Keystone Brigade?

Smilin' Savior not winning hearts and minds. Suprisingly, in a Muslim nation where the thumbs-up sign is considered obscene, "Buddy Jesus" fails to amuse after a woman and girl are left dead in a firefight.
posted by orthogonality on Oct 2, 2006 - 69 comments

The Not Too Distant Future

Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired 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 - 36 comments

Political Roundup.

Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired. In other administration news, it looks like one of the pre-9/11 anti-terrorism meetings wasn't mentioned to the 9/11 commission. According to Bob Woodward's new book, where we also find out that Bush meet with Henry Kissinger at least once a month, and Kissinger's theories on Vietnam inform Bush's reasoning on Iraq.
posted by delmoi on Sep 30, 2006 - 51 comments

Preston Wheeler, Keven Dagit, Christopher Lem and Sascha Grenner- Case: Left Behind.

Preston Wheeler, Keven Dagit, Christopher Lem and Sascha Grenner- Case: Left Behind.
posted by taosbat on Sep 28, 2006 - 37 comments

Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat. A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks. The assessment is part of the latest "National Intelligence Estimate".
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Sep 23, 2006 - 102 comments

Torture 'R US[A]

New terror that stalks Iraq's republic of fear
U.N. Finds Baghdad Toll Far Higher Than Cited
Iraq torture 'worse after Saddam'
The Facts on the Ground: Mini-Gulags, Hired Guns, Lobbyists, and a Reality Built on Fear
U.S. troops in Iraq are Tehran's 'hostages'
Anti-Americanism Is A Glue
posted by y2karl on Sep 22, 2006 - 92 comments

he argued strenuously against giving antiretroviral drug treatment ... to the 25 million Africans infected with HIV.

Meet our new Special Envoy to Darfur, where genocide is taking place-- Andrew Natsios--he did a heckuva job at the Big Dig in Boston, and in misunderestimating the costs of Iraq, and --while head of USAid--at refusing funding AIDS drugs in Africa because many Africans 'don't know what Western time is.
posted by amberglow on Sep 19, 2006 - 65 comments

In Their Own Image

"I'm not here for the Iraqis. I'm here for George Bush." How the reconstruction of Iraq was bungled by inexperienced staffers and officials who passed the GOP's loyalty test -- including their views on Roe v. Wade. A WashPost excerpt from Rajiv Chandrasekaran's new exposé Imperial Life in the Emerald City. (Corruption in Iraq previously discussed here.)
posted by digaman on Sep 16, 2006 - 57 comments

That Other Number

It took 1291 days, rather than 102 minutes, but as of today the US death toll in Iraq has exceeded the number of lives lost during 9/11. Of course, on the Iraqi side, things are far worse.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 12, 2006 - 51 comments

Cheney clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press

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 - 71 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

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 - 27 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

Iraq War Deserters

Since 2000, at least 40,000 soldiers have deserted the Army--most of them as a result of the Iraq War. 50,000 deserted during Vietnam. How do we compare their statements of moral outrage with those of Siegfried Sassoon? (related)
posted by mattbucher on Sep 7, 2006 - 73 comments

What Valerie Plame Really Did at the CIA

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 - 31 comments

Gabriel Kolko - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon & Another Century of War ?

...The United States, whose costliest political and military adventures since 1950 have ended in failure, now must face the fact that the technology for confronting its power is rapidly becoming widespread and cheap. It is within the reach of not merely states but of relatively small groups of people. Destructive power is now virtually 'democratized.' If the challenges of producing a realistic concept of the world that confronts the mounting dangers and limits of military technology seriously are not resolved soon, recognizing that a decisive equality of military power is today in the process of being re-imposed, there is nothing more than wars and mankind’s eventual destruction to look forward to.
The Great Equalizer - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon
By Gabriel Kolko, author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914,
The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
and Another Century of War?
posted by y2karl on Sep 5, 2006 - 20 comments

The End of Eden?

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 and 1997. 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 - 4 comments

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