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Tomorrow marks the official end of the Iraq war. The Obama administration describes it as a 'promise kept'. The war resulted in a great many casualties. Although the final troop movement out of the country is not scheduled to begin for a few days, history will record December 15 as the end of the war, as the flag of the American military mission in Bagdhad is lowered and returned to the US. Scholars at Brown University estimate the total cost of the war at 265,000 dead and $3-4 trillion dollars. The main contenders for the Republican party's 2012 nomination both expressed approval and disapproval. Previously, 339 times.
posted by anigbrowl on Dec 14, 2011 - 95 comments

Lest We Forget

"Almost 1,500 people from Royal Wootton Basset [Wiltshire, England] have taken part in a music video filmed on the same high street that they once lined to pay their respects to Britain's fallen soldiers."* They hope to raise £1 million for military charities with their cover of Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends". [more inside]
posted by ericb on Nov 25, 2011 - 28 comments

Drone music, sorta

Throughout time immemorial, songs of patriotism, such as Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" are a staple of countries at war. Our ballads root for our soldiers to come back safe and sound to families and sweethearts, but who sings the tale about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the autonomous drone that pines for the vending machine it left at home? Only the evil ghost of Johnny Cash does. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 19, 2011 - 37 comments

"It begins with a knock at the door."

Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 12, 2011 - 12 comments

Dubya and Me, profile of George H. W. Bush

Walt Harrington's profile of the 43rd POTUS, Dubya and Me.
posted by Silo004 on Sep 22, 2011 - 48 comments

That’s when I lost my country

Three days late, The War Nerd looks back on 9/11 and mourns.
posted by clarknova on Sep 14, 2011 - 79 comments

Iraqi Maqam

The maqam al-'iraqi is considered the most noble and perfect form of the maqam. As the name implies, it is native to Iraq; it has been known for approximately four hundred years in Baghdad, Mosul, and Kirkuk. The maqam al-'iraqi has been passed on orally through the Iraqi masters of the maqam, who cultivate the form especially in Baghdad. The maqam is performed by a singer (qari') and three instrumentalists playing santur (box zither), juzah (spike fiddle), and tablah or dunbak (goblet drum).
posted by Trurl on Sep 11, 2011 - 5 comments

Veterans and PTSD

Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead. "Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2011 - 38 comments

Day of Honey, Day of Onions.

Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War [reviews, excerpt] discusses Iraqi intellectualism, war and food, ancient Iraqi cooking, the Middle East's dependence on imported wheat, and the link between bread and civilian uprisings. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Aug 19, 2011 - 7 comments

Death in a Box.

Life, as we might experience it, is here warped by the closeness of death. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Aug 6, 2011 - 7 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

Double-entry bookkeeping: Now used by Al Qaeda

"... Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money - often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens - against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia." [Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives]
posted by vidur on Jul 17, 2011 - 47 comments

Manning Chat Logs

Manning-Lamo Chat Logs Revealed. "A little more than a year ago, Wired.com published excerpts from instant messenger chats between accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning and Adrian Lamo, the ex-hacker in whom he confided and who reported him to the authorities. It’s now time to reveal the previously unpublished portions of these conversations." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2011 - 347 comments

The shot that nearly killed me.

In pictures: the life of a war photographer (There are some graphic images in here; not for the squeamish, though for most would be SFW for most workplaces).
posted by smoke on Jul 6, 2011 - 11 comments

The Invisible Army

The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 22, 2011 - 37 comments

Go Back to Where You Came From

Six westerners make the same journey that thousands of desperate people make every year to Australia, but in reverse. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jun 21, 2011 - 105 comments

The Iraq War - There's No Tellin' Where the Money Went

Today's Los Angeles Times reports on over six Billion dollars that can not be accounted for during the Iraq war and is now believed to have been stolen. [more inside]
posted by Poet_Lariat on Jun 13, 2011 - 140 comments

Portraits of Iraqis by Daniel Heyman

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Apr 24, 2011 - 5 comments

The Sabich

The Sabich is a popular Israeli pita sandwich based on the traditional Babylonian-Jewish Shabbat morning meal. It it is usually seasoned with Amba, the mango pickle condiment of Indian Origin which the Baghdadi Jewish community of India brought to Baghdad (along with Sambusak, a variant of the Simosa). [more inside]
posted by beisny on Apr 23, 2011 - 15 comments

Kirkuk: Ignore It While You Can

Kurds Move To Upend The Status Quo In Kirkuk - "In northern Iraq, Kirkuk has always been a flashpoint with Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, who all claim it as their own. It has a special place in the new Iraqi constitution, but nothing has changed for years." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 31, 2011 - 1 comment

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

.

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Protesters around the country are trying to bring attention to our nation's continued involvement.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Mar 20, 2011 - 38 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

Modern Art Iraq Archive

The Modern Art Iraq Archive (MAIA) is a resource to trace, share, and enable community enrichment of the modern art heritage of Iraq. Explore the works by artist, browse through related textual materials, or add your own images or stories to the archive.
posted by sciurus on Mar 2, 2011 - 2 comments

It's A Racket

The U.S. governmental Commission on Wartime Contracting held hearings today regarding the corruption, mismanagement, massive financial waste and lack of oversight among private defense contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream on Feb 28, 2011 - 47 comments

"I couldn't justify shooting an unarmed civilian. I said I wasn't going to do it . . ."

In December 2010 Slate posted an interview with Iraq War veteran and conscientious objector Josh Steiber [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 24, 2011 - 29 comments

Curveball

Curveball: How the US was duped by an Iraqi fantasist looking to topple Saddam.
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2011 - 65 comments

The Exact Opposite of Countercultural

The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 15, 2011 - 50 comments

A rising tide?

The expanding pro-democracy protests in Egypt, which now include a popular labor movement, are (allegedly) inspiring anti-government demonstrations in Iraq.
posted by clarknova on Feb 9, 2011 - 56 comments

Pilgrim’s Progress

I didn’t really appreciate the concept of becoming ‘unstuck’ in time until I returned from war. Matt Gallagher gives words to the discomfort of life after 15 months in Iraq.
posted by shii on Jan 23, 2011 - 13 comments

"An Illusional Intermission Between Invasion and Insurgency"

The Toppling: How the Media Inflated the Fall of Saddam’s Statue in Firdos Square.
A joint publication of ProPublica and New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 3, 2011 - 46 comments

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

Welcome Home, Soldier

"Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- WelcomeHomeBlog.com is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends..."
posted by zizzle on Dec 1, 2010 - 5 comments

Thanks for your service, killer.

War veteran barred from college campus for frank words on killing. After publishing essay on addiction to war, Charles Whittington must obtain psychological evaluation before returning to classes
posted by fixedgear on Nov 24, 2010 - 115 comments

Meet the new boss.

"Hundreds of the leaked war logs reflect the fertile imagination of the torturer faced with the entirely helpless victim – bound, gagged, blindfolded and isolated – who is whipped by men in uniforms using wire cables, metal rods, rubber hoses, wooden stakes, TV antennae, plastic water pipes, engine fan belts or chains." [more inside]
posted by notion on Oct 22, 2010 - 168 comments

"...a whole lot of information got out with pretty little effect."

WikiLeaks communications
infrastructure is currently under attack.
Project BO move to coms channel S.
Activate Reston5.
This cryptic message, posted to WikiLeaks twitter account yesterday, comes ahead of the imminent release of more than 400,000 "mostly" low-level documents related to the Iraq war. Wikileaks.org currently reports that the site is down for scheduled maintainance. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Oct 21, 2010 - 150 comments

The Iraq War: the path to war

The Iraq War: was there even a decision? "Perhaps most revealing ... is what is missing--any indication whatsoever from the declassified record to date that top Bush administration officials seriously considered an alternative to war. In contrast there is an extensive record of efforts to energize military planning, revise existing contingency plans, and create a new, streamlined war plan." The National Security Archive at George Washington University has released a set of documents from the US and British archives related to the Iraq war: Part I, Part II, Part III. Political scientist Russell Burgos (who served in Iraq):
... there is indeed a kind of inevitability about the confrontation, but it was an inevitability created by domestic politics rather than 9/11. In my estimation, the origins of the "path to war" are found in the Republican Revolution of 1994; I will suggest that from 1996 to 2000, Iraq policy was not about Iraq - it was about an increasingly strident partisan attack on President Bill Clinton in which "Iraq" was not a subject of deliberate policy but was a synecdoche for "Clinton's failure."
Historian Robert Jervis also comments. Via H-DIPLO.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 19, 2010 - 42 comments

They don't know what we do.

"For a lot of soldiers, there are two kinds of people: those who serve, and those who expect to be served, and those who serve are pretty noble.'' The U.S. Army now begins its 10th continuous year in combat, the first time in its history the United States has excused the vast majority of its citizens from service and engaged in a major, decade-long conflict instead with an Army manned entirely by professional warriors.
posted by bardophile on Oct 3, 2010 - 218 comments

Two steps forward, two steps back.

I go to park, and I feed the duck, and they call—I talking with the ducks... I said, "You remember the man who gave you the food? He is in a prison. Ask the God to help him." [more inside]
posted by notion on Sep 20, 2010 - 39 comments

A useful subset of the entire internet

On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography. "The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs" is a twelve-volume set of all changes to the Wikipedia article on the Iraq War. The twelve volumes cover a five year period from December 2004 to November 2009, a total of 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages. The set is part of a project exploring history and historiography facilitated by the internet, and visualising information, opinion, narrative and discussion, by James Bridle.
posted by shakespeherian on Sep 7, 2010 - 38 comments

Like Punk'd But With Real Bombs

Combat operations in Iraq are over! Except, the AP says "our content should not refer to the end of combat in Iraq, or the end of U.S. military involvement." Meanwhile, in Iraq, a new show has been airing since Ramadan that has been described as "Punk’d, Iraqi-Style, at a Checkpoint." You can watch 14-minutes of the show (in Arabic, no English subtitles), here.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth on Sep 3, 2010 - 28 comments

Iraq's Garden of Eden

Restoring the Paradise that Saddam Destroyed. "Saddam Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later, one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 6, 2010 - 20 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties

CNN.com's 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The extensive data visualization project tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended. The project is a sobering look at the human cost of two wars in the Middle East, and as such is restrained with a sober palette of blacks, whites and greys. [via] [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 11, 2010 - 32 comments

How to deal with Failed States

America & Nation Building: John Clint Williamson, a career federal prosecutor, now serving as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, gives a TEDx talk on how to rebuild failed states, from the Balkans to Iraq. Sounds similar to Thomas P.M. Barnett's call for a U.S.-run International "SysAdmin". Williamson's speech at Seton Hall: SLYT
posted by joetrip on Apr 25, 2010 - 5 comments

Iraqi Refugees

They Fled from Our War. "Among the many consequences of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the plight of millions of Iraqi refugees is seldom mentioned. The stories of such people as Burhan Abdulnour, whom we met in Sweden in 2008, have hardly been told."
posted by homunculus on Apr 19, 2010 - 11 comments

Search and Destroy

Henry Rollins on touring with the USO, Black Flag T-Shirts, Vanity Fair and the Tea Party.
posted by Artw on Apr 6, 2010 - 50 comments

Collateral Murder

Wikileaks posts a classified US military video (17:47) to YouTube. It depicts "the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff." Supporting documents from military whistleblowers appear at the site they set up, Collateral Murder.
posted by cashman on Apr 5, 2010 - 423 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Rocking the Middle East

Iraq gave us the heavy-metal band Acrassicauda (previously), who have recently relocated to the US and released their first EP. In Iran, indie-pop is a dangerously subversive underground phenomenon, with innocuous-sounding twee-pop bands hiding from persecution by the authorities. And now Afghanistan has Kabul Dreams, a duo who dress in skinny jeans and cardigans and write songs inspired by British guitar bands like Oasis, Radiohead and The Beatles.
posted by acb on Apr 1, 2010 - 6 comments

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