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We Shall Not Be Moved

We Shall Not Be Moved: Some joined the US military as a patriotic duty, some to better themselves, but the horrors of serving in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, changed everything. Deserters tell Gary Younge why they had to quit.
posted by jack_mo on Aug 26, 2006 - 32 comments

Iran’s regional position is key to its strength

Iran's influence in Iraq has superseded that of the US, and it is increasingly rivalling the US as the main actor at the crossroads between the Middle East and Asia... As a result, the US-driven agenda for confronting Iran is severely compromised by the confident ease with which Iran sits in its region... The report also looks into the ideology of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and unpicks Iran’s complicated power structure. It claims that despite his popularity, Ahmadinejad neither holds an insurmountable position within Iran nor commands universal support for his outspoken foreign policy positions... On hostility with the US, the report argues that while the US may have the upper hand in ‘hard’ power projection, Iran has proved far more effective through its use of ‘soft' power. The report also holds a cautious view of the Iran-Israel relationship. It outlines four future scenarios for the relationship between the two states, one of which is the creation of a ‘cold-war’ style nuclear stand-off should Iran achieve nuclear capability.
Iran, its Neighbours and the Regional Crises
(full report in pdf)
See also Iran now the key power in Iraq, says UK think-tank
See also Iran 'boosted by war on terror'
posted by y2karl on Aug 23, 2006 - 21 comments

Mindless In Iraq - What Next ?

The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war. Indeed, the only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into total Bosnia-like devastation is 135,000 U.S. troops -- and even they are merely slowing the fall... The consequences of an all-out civil war in Iraq could be dire. Considering the experiences of recent such conflicts, hundreds of thousands of people may die. Refugees and displaced people could number in the millions. And with Iraqi insurgents, militias and organized crime rings wreaking havoc on Iraq's oil infrastructure, a full-scale civil war could send global oil prices soaring even higher... Welcome to the new "new Middle East" -- a region where civil wars could follow one after another, like so many Cold War dominoes. And unlike communism, these dominoes may actually fall.
What Next?
See also Mindless in Iraq
And note that, as of tomorrow, Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006, the war in Iraq will have lasted one full week longer than US involvement in World War II.
posted by y2karl on Aug 21, 2006 - 52 comments

Middle Eastern troops at Hadrian's Wall in the early fifth century

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap on Aug 19, 2006 - 8 comments

Suicide Bombing: Just Say No.

Suicide Bombing: Just Say No. Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here before the spot was finished.
posted by CunningLinguist on Aug 18, 2006 - 57 comments

Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story.

Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story. Jill Carroll, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, was ambushed along with her Iraqi translator, Alan Enwiyah, on January 7, 2006. He was shot and killed, but she was held captive until her release on March 30, 2006. She tells her story in an ongoing 11-part series.
posted by initapplette on Aug 14, 2006 - 9 comments

Partitioning Democracy

The practical future of the country formerly known as Iraq. [NewsFilter, but a significant acknowledgement of something long-in-coming.]
posted by digaman on Aug 9, 2006 - 63 comments

Half of U.S. still believes Iraq had WMD.

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

So much for Karl Rove's claim that it's wrong to think of U.S. voters as [uninformed and gullible.] Or "There are practitioners of politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill-informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or smart line," Rove said. Previously discussed here. Thank you Fox News.

Remember the 2003 study (PDF) by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy (PIPA)? It found that "Fox News viewers were "significantly more likely to have misperceptions" about the Iraq war than all other media consumers." Also the study found that "[t]hose who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions." For instance, of the "three key misperceptions" -- which the study listed as "the beliefs that ... links between Iraq and al-Qaeda have been found, that WMD have been found in Iraq and that world public opinion approved of the US going to war with Iraq."
posted by ArunK on Aug 6, 2006 - 97 comments

Spectre: Families of bereaved British servicemen to stand against pro-war politicians

"Families of soldiers killed in Iraq launch party to challenge ministers". Reg Keys, father of a British serviceman killed in the Iraq War, stood directly against Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency as an independent candidate (see Wikipedia for a brief summary of independent movements in the UK, USA and Canada) in the 2005 UK election, taking 10% of the vote. A founder member of Military Families Against The War, he is also at the centre of a new political movement, Spectre, that aim to stand up to 70 members of bereaved families directly against pro-war government and cabinet members in the 2009 election, and each by-election before then. See also the Guardian's Guide to anti-war websites.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 6, 2006 - 17 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

Minority Report

The Constitution in Crisis: "The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." The 350-page Final Investigative Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff "identifies 26 laws and regulations Bush Administration may have violated." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 4, 2006 - 29 comments

It's getting ready to pop!

IRAQ RADIO: Turkish soldiers Enter Northern Iraq by Chan News Agency: The 1st division comander of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) Fahmi Sofi, claimed that about 200 Turkish soldiers entered two kelometers into northern Iraq on Wednesday. His statement came from the Voice of Iraqi Radio.......
posted by Unregistered User on Jul 28, 2006 - 58 comments

The Bravery Required to Stay Home

Conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby asks "Are You a 'Chicken Hawk'?" Liberal blogger Glenn Greenwald responds.
posted by bardic on Jul 25, 2006 - 48 comments

I Love the Smell of Sim-Napalm in the Morning

The Smell of War -- the Institute for Creative Technologies preps Quake-happy teens to become first-person shooters in the non-virtual war on terror. Now in Odorama.
posted by digaman on Jul 25, 2006 - 22 comments

You know, in certain older, civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.

William F. Buckley: "If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."
posted by EarBucket on Jul 24, 2006 - 80 comments

The David Kelly Conspiracy

New questions over the death of David Kelly. Previously, on MeFi...[1][2][3][4]. It's a theory, that wants to explain the death of a Weapons Inspector who was involved in little problem concerning Weapons of Mass Destruction. And of course, one cannot link to the Daily Mail without a fondness for the daily-mail-o-matic.
posted by gsb on Jul 23, 2006 - 23 comments

The YouTube War

Time: Just as Vietnam had been America's first "living-room war," [...] so is the Iraq conflict emerging as the first YouTube war. Growing up in a world where they can swap MP3s as well as intimate details about their lives via MySpace or Facebook, American soldiers are swapping their Iraq experience as well. There's a byte-enabled intimacy to "The War Tapes," the film that bills itself as the first documentary about the war filmed by those fighting it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 20, 2006 - 15 comments

Iraq Civil War News: Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Rises Above 100 Per Day

Iraqi Death Toll Rises Above 100 Per Day, U.N. Says
Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death
Iraq : Costs, quotes and other things
posted by y2karl on Jul 19, 2006 - 102 comments

When the President Does It, That Means it is Not Illegal

"Saddam Hussein after his capture addressed the court with the same challenge that Charles I threw at his judges: ‘By what legal authority do you try me?’" "Therefore, let me know by what authority I am called hither." ...and therein trusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land, and not otherwise;... "‘Lex is Rex’, is what they’d said in the ship money case. The king is the law, the king is above the law, and the king can’t be brought to trial." "-- the president is always right, Senator."
posted by orthogonality on Jul 12, 2006 - 76 comments

From the OC to al Qaeda.

From the OC to al Qaeda. Meet Adam Gadahn, former Southern California metal-head with a messy bedroom, current al Qaeda propaganda chief. Once a Santa Ana rocker from a prominent Jewish family, "Azzam the American" appeared yesterday in a video linking the terror group to the London bombings.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jul 8, 2006 - 24 comments

Is this America's recruiting dilemma?

"Most of us have a plan -- it's like, make hay while the sun shines." While this may be a slogan for mercenaries currently serving in Iraq, it may also be one for extremists infiltrating the military in order to gain skills necessary for their own sinister plots. This of course, isn't counting those in service who may one day snap. Could this be the beginning of another cruel example of "blowback?"
posted by j-urb on Jul 7, 2006 - 7 comments

Rape, murder--it's just a shot away...

Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on Friday... The killings appeared to have been a "crime of opportunity," the official said. The soldiers had not been attacked by insurgents but had noticed the woman on previous patrols.
U.S. Troops Accused of Killing Iraq Family
A brief look at the 3rd Brigade, 502nd Infantry Unit, 101st Airborne...
formerly 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment - 101st Airborne Division
see also AP Embed Gets Scoop on Latest Alleged U.S. Atrocity in Iraq
posted by y2karl on Jun 30, 2006 - 144 comments

Ava Lowery, propagandist

Ava Lowery is a 15 year old master of flash-based propaganda, and burgeoning media sensation. Lowery's clips (especially this one but also ones like this and this (more here)), have been described as mere facile emotionalism. Others however regard her work as courageous and truthful. She was enlisted to express the soul of the movement for the recent Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas. One thing's for sure: Lowery's method of story telling leaves traditional media confused and bewildered.
posted by washburn on Jun 29, 2006 - 113 comments

Take Your Flunky and Dangle

Iraq to Call for a Timetable for Withdrawal of US Troops President Bush said he'd leave Iraq if they asked. Looks like they're asking. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 24, 2006 - 36 comments

Belly up to Barbarism

Churchill would have approved - or so says this op-ed. New spin on savage behavior?
posted by Surfurrus on Jun 24, 2006 - 52 comments

Don't cry for me, I'm already dead

Finally, Hollywood is getting on side in the War On Terror :an anti-suicide bombing commercial is soon to be unleashed on all those jaded Iraqi couch potatoes.
posted by Flashman on Jun 23, 2006 - 30 comments

Fox news knows the truth before anyone else . . .

WMDs? Sorry if this is double post or newsfilter, but fox news is claiming that WMDs were found in Iraq. Is it ethical to state as truth that which was been unconfirmed by anyone but one person? Depending on how this pans out, this could continue the shift of approval that started last week.
posted by klik99 on Jun 21, 2006 - 111 comments

Where's the exit?

The debate over exit strategies for Iraq. Stephen Biddle. The biggest problem with treating Iraq like Vietnam is Iraqization -- the main component of the current U.S. military strategy. In a people's war, handing the fighting off to local forces makes sense because it undermines the nationalist component of insurgent resistance, improves the quality of local intelligence, and boosts troop strength. But in a communal civil war, it throws gasoline on the fire. Iraq's Sunnis perceive the "national" army and police force as a Shiite-Kurdish militia on steroids. Biddle also emphasizes the need for a compromise based on a constitutional deal with ironclad power-sharing arrangements protecting all parties. Roundtable responses from Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, Chaim Kaufmann, and Leslie Gelb. Anthony Cordesman, who anticipated the current situation (PDF), emphasizes the need for ongoing US involvement in the region. Daniel Benjamin is pessimistic, describing the US as being in a no-win situation whether it stays or leaves. A list of proposed exit strategies collected by the Project for Defense Alternatives. The Onion.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 21, 2006 - 93 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

Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars

Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars [...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
posted by Postroad on Jun 20, 2006 - 56 comments

We're losing the war on terror.

We're losing the war on terror. Just in case you couldn't gather that on your own, people who ought to know were surveyed (MS Word file).
posted by js003 on Jun 19, 2006 - 103 comments

The Iraqi insurgency

IraqFilter: Who is the US fighting in Iraq? A February 2006 report from the International Crisis Group which provides a detailed look at the evolution of the insurgency, and describes its four main groups: Tandhim al-Qa’ida fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (recently decapitated), Jaysh Ansar al-Sunna, al-Jaysh al-Islami fil-’Iraq, and al-Jabha al-Islamiya lil-Muqawama al-’Iraqiya. In Iraq, the U.S. fights an enemy it hardly knows. Its descriptions have relied on gross approximations and crude categories (Saddamists, Islamo-fascists and the like) that bear only passing resemblance to reality. This report, based on close analysis of the insurgents’ own discourse [particularly their websites], reveals relatively few groups, less divided between nationalists and foreign jihadis than assumed, whose strategy and tactics have evolved (in response to U.S. actions and to maximise acceptance by Sunni Arabs), and whose confidence in defeating the occupation is rising.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 16, 2006 - 49 comments

...action has been coordinated with VP's office...

"I am copying you on this crap since I honestly believe the competitive procurement will never happen." --a multi-billion-dollar no-bid contract to KBR/Halliburton announced only after the fact, Cheney's extensive involvement, the attempted coverup of that involvement, lies, and you. Embarrassment is not sufficient cause for exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, no matter how much some may wish. ...Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in September 2003 Cheney stated, “I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government.”
posted by amberglow on Jun 15, 2006 - 39 comments

News from the home front

Suzanne Swift, a Eugene soldier, has been arrested for refusing to return to Iraq after leave. She reports that she was sexually harassed by superiors. She was picked up at home by Homeland Security agents (according to local heresay) and held in Lane County Jail overnight, before being transferred to Fort Lewis in Washington. More local news here.
(Disclaimer: I attempted to link a Military.com story on it, for balance, but was unable to.)
posted by Danf on Jun 15, 2006 - 73 comments

"What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight"

[NewsFilter] "Beginning of the End." The death of al Zarqawi, in itself, may have been a bit of a pyrrhic victory, but the latest news is a "treasure trove" of intelligence from al Qa'ida in Iraq. Of course, al Qa'ida in Iraq is largely an open source movement, so they never kept this exactly secret--but now, it's being widely reported that al Qa'ida "sought war between US and Iran." With speculation that al Zaraqwi's death may lead to a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq, might his death now also defuse tensions with Iran, as well? Did we end two wars in one blow?
posted by jefgodesky on Jun 15, 2006 - 106 comments

Majority Leader Boehner’s Confidential Strategy Memo For Thursday’s Iraq Debate

Majority Leader Boehner’s Confidential Strategy Memo For Thursday’s Iraq Debate On Thursday, the House of Representatives will hold a debate on the Iraq war. Media reports say Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “hopes to match the serious, dignified tone of deliberation that preceded the Gulf war, in 1991.” ThinkProgress has obtained a “Confidential Messaging Memo” from Boehner instructing his caucus to conduct a very different kind of deliberation. Here’s a quick summary:
posted by Postroad on Jun 14, 2006 - 71 comments

Hadji Girl

Hadji Girl (10.6 MB wmv) Some folks think this is funny. Some don't. What do you think?
posted by taosbat on Jun 13, 2006 - 160 comments

What it's like to lose a son in the Iraq war.

Never Coming Home is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢ on Jun 12, 2006 - 24 comments

Why We Lost In Iraq: The Language of Noncombatant Death

The Language of Noncombatant Death - Perhaps, however, what the "incidents" have in common -- and what they really tell us about the war in Iraq (as in Vietnam long ago) -- is this: In both Haditha and Ishaqi, the dead were largely or all civilian noncombatants: an aged amputee in a wheelchair holding a Koran, small children, grandparents, students, women, and a random taxi driver all died... In modern wars, especially those conducted in part from the air (as both Iraq and Afghanistan have been), there's nothing "collateral" about civilian deaths. If anything, the "collateral deaths" are those of the combatants on any side. Civilian deaths are now the central fact, the very essence of war. Not seeing that means not seeing war.
Collateral Damage: The "Incident at Haditha"
The Power Point version: Why Did We Lose In Iraq ?
posted by y2karl on Jun 8, 2006 - 63 comments

On simple human decency

Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?

Maybe just impeachment then
posted by criticalbill on Jun 8, 2006 - 78 comments

Zarqawi reported dead

Zarqawi reported dead in Iraq. The Iraqi president has just appeared on TV there, no video grab as yet. Will Zarquai's possible death help end Iraq's sectarian violence? Or is it just a standard colonial tool of occupation
posted by jaduncan on Jun 8, 2006 - 238 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

Supporting our (non-combatant) troops

Lt. Watada refuses to fight in Iraq and Hawai'i weighs in on their native son's statement of conscience (see vid). More discussions on alternet , in Hawai'i and a news conference today at the State Capitol. Watada is not alone.
posted by Surfurrus on Jun 7, 2006 - 40 comments

Pimp My Killing Machine

Defensor Fortis: A Photo Set. A soldier in Iraq has been posting images of consumer vehicles modified and employed by "Civilian Security Contractors". [via] War has always seemed to instill the creative spirit in its participants, and we also have a detailed history of Military vehicles making a successful transition into the civilian marketplace. With the unprecedented rise in Mercenary Employment, it's hard to tell where the innovation is coming from - the top down, or the bottom up? Our favorite grease monkey seems to have missed out on all the hot welding action, but you can't blame him for not trying. At the very least, it seems they can all agree on something.
posted by prostyle on Jun 7, 2006 - 33 comments

When the Desert Winds Turn Deadly

"The sky turned orange as the storm approached, until total darkness blanketed the ground." Sandstorms in Iraq -- caused by heating of the desert sand and a northwesterly summer wind known as the shamal -- can kill. (A similiar storm over Interstate 5 in California in 1991 caused a deadly 164-car pileup.) They can also be uncannily beautiful and dream-like when seen from a distance (WMP link).
posted by digaman on Jun 4, 2006 - 35 comments

They had all been shot in the head, in the chest.

Another massacre. Is this this just what war does to people?
posted by Flashman on Jun 1, 2006 - 90 comments

"playing" America's Army

In Memoriam and in Protest --why not use an online deathmatch as a pedestal for speaking out against a war? Artist/Professor uses US Govt-developed America's Army (...placing Soldiering front and center within popular culture and showcasing the roles training, teamwork and technology play in the Army. ... ) as protest and art space. DeLappe's homepage (and jpgs) here
posted by amberglow on May 30, 2006 - 135 comments

The more things change.

Newsfilter: Members of Iraq's tennis team shot "for wearing shorts." Being an Iraqi athlete is no easier than before. Just ask members of the Iraqi Taekwondo squad. More.
posted by bardic on May 28, 2006 - 48 comments

Validating Van Riper

“You are not to use electronic communication or even land lines when communicating.” Remember the Millennium Challenge '02 wargames (previously discussed here)? To refresh your memory, Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (ret.), playing the part of the enemy, sank half the American fleet using a host of unconventional tactics including using motorcycle messengers to avoid radio interception. The embarrassed Pentagon game masters restarted the game & forced Van Riper to use more conventional tactics that guaranteed a win by the Good Guys. Well it looks like the Iraqi insurgents have picked up a play from Van Riper's book. Flyers are being distributed throughout Iraq urging fighters to stop using cellphones, landline phones & the Internet for communications because the US Army is intercepting them & tracking down the rebel cells. Score one for open source warfare. [via]
posted by scalefree on May 26, 2006 - 55 comments

Promoted Above Accountability

Promoted Above Accountability Two years after news of torture at Abu Ghraib broke, the Bush Administration still will not hold decision makers accountable. Investigations into the incidents have focused almost exclusively on enlisted personnel.
posted by expriest on May 22, 2006 - 28 comments

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