Jules is a thief.
The fact that "all the embedded reporters were doing it" does not make it right. Presumably the US soldiers who were overseeing the embedded reporters knew of this kind of cultural theft -- more than likely, many were a party to it themselves.
I'm sending him an email
to remind him of that fact, and I will also contact his bosses
, urging disciplinary action.
It started in November of 2000,
with Iraq wanting to switch to the Euro for oil payments. Following recent events, Muslims at large are thinking about dropping US currency for the Euro
. With a large US presence now in the Middle East, this event may never occur.
Faree Zakaria, editor of Newseek International
, has written a new book challenging perceptions of the relationship between democracy and constitutional liberalism. This lesson is meant to be applied at home as well as abroad. He has been a hot topic
Beyond the narrower scope of Iraq, is there anything to his underlying idea that : (more inside)
So who really did save Private Jessica?
An interesting backside to military propaganda.
Soldiers Find $650 Million in US Currency
"A huge cache of United States currency that American soldiers found hidden in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces could be as much as $656 million, senior officials said today."
Raed Salam Pax?
Writing under the pseudonym 'Salam Pax' (words meaning 'peace', in both Arabic and Latin), a Baghdad resident provided a personal point of view on what was going on. However, the blog hasn't been updated since March 24th. Has the worst happened?
Behold the dark brilliance of modern media-management during wartime. Everybody here was having the same perfectly Groundhog Day experience: You woke up only to repeat the day before, and no matter what you did or said or thought, you were helpless to effect a change in the next day. So every day, everybody asked the same questions about Basra and the supply lines and the whereabouts of the WMDs and Saddam, and got the same answers.
Walk thru of the now destroyed Iraqi Museum
Even though I saw some discussion on MeFi on the Iraqi Museum, this link really brought it home. Forgetting the political BS, it's just a tragedy.
How to police Iraq,
and where to sign up
. The US Army Peacekeeping Institute
site is full of useful information for understanding the nuts-and-bolts of putting together a successful military occupation
. Even though this is exactly the kind of material that journalists, students, and policymakers ought to be reading these days, some of it may be about to disappear. The Peacekeeping Institute website is shutting down on May 1. Will the Google cache preserve its contents for us?
Remember how we beat the Taliban?
This must be science fiction - I was told that we freed Afghanistan and killed all of the evil-doers there!
I hope wacky stories like this don't start cropping up while we're introducing democracy to Iraq
! I suppose it doesn't matter what the repurcussions are; even in our silly movies we have a history of ignoring that sort of thing
A dissappearing history.
The National Museum of Iraq
recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters.
SADDAM AIDE SURRENDERS
Saddam Hussein's chief weapons adviser has surrendered to the US military.
US officials had described Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi as the person they most wanted to speak to about Iraq's weapons programmes.
Now we will know about WMD or the integrity and effectiveness of the give-inspections-a -chance folks.
Any bets to be placed?
Let The Iraqi Looters Loot:
and there's payback in looting
! [A little more inside
Dealing With Saddam
What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command?
According to Reuters AlertNet
"The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured."
Checking the deck
quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay
is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape
as a weapon of torture
, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts.
An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.
Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!"
Let's Just Send Suge Knight In To Do It Right!
A radio station thought to be backed by the CIA has been broadcasting a gangsta rap-style parody of Saddam Hussein to Iraq.
The culture of a society, is largely invisable to it's inhabitants.
While the bigger things in our own cultures are easily identifiable, such as food, customs and religion. More unique things like hitting a statue or a picture of Saddam with a shoe, are not.
Symbolism is usually subtle and can easily be missed or misinterpreted by people from other cultures. This is a great article from BBC WORLD NEWS which explains some of the symbolism we're seeing in the Iraqi gatherings.
Iraqui currency hot on the 'bay
Start your bids, folks.Wired
is reporting a boost in auctions for Iraqui currency that contains images of its
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf,
Iraq's ceaselessly optomistic information minister, has gone missing
. Until he turns up, relive some of his choicest quotes
Bush and Blair broadcast direct to the Iraqis.
Freedom TV will bring the truth (?) to the Iraqis for the first time. I'd like to see a transcript.
Spoils of War
This op-ed piece in The New York Times (free reg req'd) follows the path of money into who is getting what now that the reconstruction phase is about to begin. Might have called this piece: More than Oil.
Sony is attempting
the term "Shock and Awe" for a computer game. having scored a hit with its original PlayStation game, Conflict: Desert Storm
. It is among a swarm
of companies scrambling
to commercially exploit the war in Iraq (which has killed thousands of civilians and soldiers on both sides).
Euphoria in Baghdad •
In scenes reminiscent of the Cold War's final days
, citizens are filling the streets
, throwing flowers
, tearing down monuments
of Saddam Hussein
and any reminders of
his long, brutal
regime. As this is a moment of reckoning for many people, a lot of questions lie ahead: Was it a risk worth taking, despite the casualties? Could any amount of liberation and jubilation compensate for those casualties? Will this be a celebrated historical moment, or the staging ground for new aggressions
? However one feels about the war, it sure is good to see all the smiling Iraqi faces.
Dictators and their demises:
a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq
is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq.
To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage?
"This war's musical outcry
is no different from those of the past, with one gleaming caveat. Whatever your feelings on folk music, most of the new protest songs concerning the war in Iraq -- how to put this maturely -- suck fetid donkey biscuits. This is the worst dreck ever to to be digitized 'n' downloaded."
The Limbless Association
has set up a fund to assist Iraqi children who have been rendered amputees by the war. They were prompted by the public response to the plight of 12 year old Ali Ismail Abbas
, who lost both his arms (and most of his family) in a missile strike on his house
Information Radio in Iraq.
An interesting look at the US radio broadcasts into Iraq (via the Guardian Informer)
Iraq in a Nutshell
by O'Reilly Books (not really)
A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK
A light hearted look at the oft repeated justifications for war in Iraq and their counter arguments.
"It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized
," he said. [via anil]
What friendly fire looks like.
BBC reporter John Simpson barely avoids death during a mistaken bombing run which killed at least 10 others in Iraq on Sunday. The BBC has the dramatic video.
US forces 'move on Baghdad centre'
US tanks and armoured vehicles are advancing on the centre of Baghdad after reaching the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital on Saturday morning, US officials say.
Also, US troops in 'Baghdad centre'
Wow, this is definitely breaking news.
Policeman to the World? Andrew Buncombe
in Nasiriyah reports on this "liberated" city "where looters run wild and death stalks the streets."
"While much of the Iraqi army and Fedayeen militia may have been destroyed or forced underground, the city has been given over to lawlessness and looting. Yesterday, the Saddam Hospital itself was pillaged by a gang of 20 armed looters, who made off with a haul of drugs. They even looted several of the hospital's ambulances.
What is clear is that Nasiriyah is neither safe nor secure. If this is an example of how the war will unfold in other cities throughout Iraq, it does not bode well.
Media Map of Iraq
(Requires Flash 6.) Click on a location or unit to see a list of embedded reporters. Then each reporter's name is a link to a list of their war reporting either at their website or via a Google News search. Also, Poynter.org is constantly looking to improve this map
via reader input, as the Pentagon is not giving up much information on the embedment program. Also, The Atlantic Monthly/Washington Post's Michael Kelly is the first embedded reporter to be killed
in this war.
I really don't know what to say about this site. Except that I didn't even know a .mil domain extension existed until now. The link comes from a letter to the editor of my hometown, small-town Indiana newspaper
(also see "Operation Dear Abby"), where people are generally in support of the war. A boy from my hometown was killed. He was a really good kid; I knew his family, who are just the kind of people you think of when you think of small town John Couger-style, pink-housed, middle class America. I am against this war in principle, but how can you say this really decent kid's life
was wasted? All questions, no answers, probably a bad post. Apologies all around.
Dolphin minesweeper returns from being AWOL
Tacoma, the dolphin whose disappearance generated so much discussion last week
(I take that back, 20-odd comments hardly counts as "much" on MeFi), was found safe and sound near Umm Qasr. Are military dolphins subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice? This at least calls for an Article 15.
Arafat on our side?
Other than this story (Guardian), I haven't seen much coverage of Yasser Arafat's behind the scenes efforts to protect Western journalists in Iraq. Possibly not the act of the evil man that he's often portrayed as?
Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam:
The dramatic rescue
of GI Jessica brings up the issue [preemptive post justification]. This article has a nice historical overview of women's role in the military, in the form of a time-travel dialogue between today's soldier and a Vietnam era grunt.
Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole:
Now begin to badmouth me. Debka has a going rate that is some 2/3s on target and that makes this piece (headlines) worth considering. Too, they noted some time ago that WMD shipped to Syria. Recall in Gulf war I that they shipped planes to Iran for safe keeping and never got them back. Thus far, we have not found WMD and Iraq has not used any. Ergo....
Sort of like the bat cave.
is an online database of suppliers and identification numbers maintained by the Defense Logistics Information Service
. It was used to look up the CAGE code
on a fragment of the missile which allegedly hit a Baghdad vegetable market
. This confirmed that the fragment was from a missile built by Raytheon Company
, and was probably either a HARM
or a Paveway
. I wonder if the system will remain available online after this. Investors can rest assured that this incident will not affect Raytheon's standing in the Perpetual War Portfolio
in any way.
Arnett a traitor?
Republican senator Jim Bunning
of Kentucky thinks the Daily Mirror's newest contributor
ought to be "arrested at the border" if he ever tries to come back to the U.S. Is it just me, or is the right going a little
far these days?
Though you won’t hear about them
, there are dozens of Pentagon P.R. officers embedded with reporters in Iraq.
The first conscientious objector of the war?
Marine Lance Cpl. Stephen Funk said he had had a lapse in judgment when he signed up as a 19-year-old, swayed by his recruiter's pitch of new skills, camaraderie and a naive belief that it would be "like the Boy Scouts."
Superseding the mainstream media, or "quirky parasites"?
Less of interest here than the IraqFilter context itself - which amounts to the question "Is blogging to Gulf II what TV was to Vietnam and cable was to Gulf I?" - is an established medium caught in the act of visibly sizing up this comer, this new kid on the block, this parvenu we know as "blogging."
Is it a valid new medium of reportage, fit to take its place alongside print and broadcast? Or is it merely parasitic, interstitial, even marginal? Inquiring minds want to know. (Note O'Donnell's hedges and his final & bizarrely misplaced condescension: "Maybe Allbritton will start a trend - bloggers no longer dependent on the mainstream for their material." WTF?)
One in three French backs Saddam
Seems to me that it is one thing to be against the war in Iraq--Many Americans are--but quite another thing to root for Saddam to win over America. I had known relations between the U.S. and France had deteriorated. But this is mind boggling.
Plans for Post-War Iraqi Government
From the Guardian UK. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....
“This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.”
"U.S. troops killed seven Iraqi women and children
at a checkpoint Monday when the Iraqis' van would not stop as ordered, a military official said."