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Back to You General... er, Phil...

Though you won’t hear about them, there are dozens of Pentagon P.R. officers embedded with reporters in Iraq.
posted by cornbread on Apr 2, 2003 - 21 comments

Objecting to war

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."
posted by bitdamaged on Apr 2, 2003 - 66 comments

None dare call it blogging.

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?)
posted by adamgreenfield on Apr 1, 2003 - 12 comments

One in three French backs Saddam

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.
posted by Postroad on Apr 1, 2003 - 72 comments

The New NationBuilders

Plans for Post-War Iraqi Government From the Guardian UK. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....
posted by cornbread on Apr 1, 2003 - 8 comments

"General Rumsfeld"

"General Rumsfeld" “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.”
posted by skallas on Apr 1, 2003 - 11 comments

Iraq civilians shot at checkpoint

Human Filter. "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."
posted by four panels on Mar 31, 2003 - 95 comments

Celebrity TV journalist Geraldo Rivera kicked out of Iraq: Pentagon

Celebrity TV journalist Geraldo Rivera kicked out of Iraq: Pentagon I had seen Geraldo drawing the map referred to. Geraldo was not "embedded" and therefore acting as a real reporter. Did he give away key info? My suspicion is No. I had earlier seen retired officers (they all retire and then go on TV) make similar marking to show where our forces were on the way toward Baghdad. I knew in advance where Geraldo would conclude his map in the sand because I had seen it on the "embedded" reports on various cable stations.
posted by Postroad on Mar 31, 2003 - 29 comments

Operation: Cover George's butt?

Operation: Cover George's butt? As the backpeddling and fingerpointing over "cakewalk" predictions continues, Talking Points Memo notes a recent article in the Charlotte Observer that quotes "senior administration officials" in saying that "dissenting views [about the war plan]' were not fully or energetically communicated to the president.'" Sounds like someones taking out an insurance policy, don't it?
posted by Gilbert on Mar 31, 2003 - 15 comments

Ignorance Is Truth.

"Now America is reappraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week and rewriting the war plan. The first plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another plan." Seems patently obvious, no? But tell Iraqi state television that and suddenly you're speaking from "a position of complete ignorance," according to the White House.

Peter Arnett, highly respected, Pulitzer Prize winner and the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden on film, wouldn't back down the last time a network caved into craven submission at hands of the American military, and he's been sacked by NBC/MSNBC for again refusing to do so. There's no First Amendment case, obviously, and no real surprise that the military would be exerting pressure to maintain control over information, but does the firing of high-profile Arnett for the repeating the obvious increase anybody's confidence that we're hearing anything resembling the truth?
posted by JollyWanker on Mar 31, 2003 - 30 comments

Damaging collateral in Iraq.

Damaging collateral in Iraq: US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge of death. After surveying a scene of killed Iraqi civillians an American solider says: “The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy,” said Corporal Ryan Dupre. “I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin’ Iraqi. No, I won’t get hold of one. I’ll just kill him.” [reg: cpunks/cpunks]
posted by skallas on Mar 31, 2003 - 78 comments

the missionaries

Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy. "Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population." (from Buzzflash) God please save me from your followers!
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 30, 2003 - 47 comments

The Information War

The Information War: "Every few minutes, another burst of satellite imagery and Internet information impacts among an interactive global audience. Ambushed by info, U.S. military commanders confident in their overwhelming firepower are increasingly expressing concern that the 'velocity of information' is spinning out of their control." [more inside]
posted by poopy on Mar 30, 2003 - 20 comments

Why I Oughta Iraqfilter Girlzone You!

An American Myth Rides Into the Sunset

One cannot imagine F.D.R., before declaring war on Japan, or even Ronald Reagan before Grenada, pumping a fist and saying of himself, "Feel good" — as President Bush did before he announced the beginning of the Iraq war. Indeed, the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare flies in the face of the humble, reluctant cowboy myth Mr. Bush holds so dear.
posted by y2karl on Mar 29, 2003 - 9 comments

AWOL!

“Takoma, the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, had been in Iraq for 48 hours when he went missing on his first operation to snoop out mines… Takoma has now been missing for 48 hours and the solitary figure of Petty Officer Whitaker could be seen yesterday patting the water, calling his name and offering his favourite fish, but there was no response.”
posted by raaka on Mar 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Gotta love a

Iraq T-Shirts - Nuff said.
posted by betobeto on Mar 29, 2003 - 51 comments

US soldiers beat, inhumanely detain, expel independent journalists.

US soldiers beat, inhumanely detain, expel independent journalists. One of the dirty secrets of this war is Kuwaiti anti-semitism against journalists. Boaz Bizmuth and Dan Scemama are two such Israelis who faced that discrimination. When the war started, they took off in a jeep with Luis Castro and Victor Silva, two Portuguese journalists, following US troops. Somewhere around An Najaf, they were told that at least one of the Israeli journalists had problems with their papers and needed to be accredited by the Kuwaitis. They slept for the night, only to be woken at gunpoint by US military police. They were accused of being spies and detained for 12 hours without food. When one of the Portuguese journalists asked to use the phone, both were beaten, and one was knocked to the ground and kicked, breaking several ribs. They were detained without contact for another 36 hours, before being flown back to Kuwait.
CNN Germany is covering this story ... so why isn't CNN?
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 29, 2003 - 27 comments

halliburton

Halliburton out of the running for the $600 billion contract to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. Andrew Natsios, director of the USAID, which is handing out most of the postwar contracts, is keen to counter any allegations of favoritism or political influence. "If I got a phone call from anybody putting any political pressure on me, I would report it immediately". Halliburton is the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, VP of the United States.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 28, 2003 - 19 comments

Why the war has become a clusterf**k

Why the war has become a clusterf**k On my way back from lunch I was listening to Fresh Air and an interview with Christopher Dickey. The things he was saying about the motives of work-a-day Iraqis came as a big surprise to me. In particular: It sounds like they'll keep fighting us long after Saddam and his army are gone. [more inside]
posted by y6y6y6 on Mar 28, 2003 - 72 comments

Rumsfeld Tried To Embed Bechtel And Himself With Saddam As Iraq Gassed Iranians

Embedding? Rumsfeld et al Tried to Embed Bechtel and Themselves with Saddam as Iraq Gassed Iranians. "Our examination [issued by the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network and the Institute for Policy Studies with recently released supporting documents] shines a new spotlight on the revolving door between Bechtel and the Reagan Administration that drove U.S.-Iraq interactions between 1983 and 1985. The men who courted Saddam while he gassed Iranians are now waging war against him, ostensibly because he holds weapons of mass destruction. To a man, they now deny that oil has anything to do with the conflict. Yet during the Reagan Administration, and in the years leading up to the present conflict, these men shaped and implemented a strategy that has everything to do with securing Iraqi oil exports....[This paper] notes that the break in US-Iraq relations occurred not after Iraq used chemical weapons on the Iranians, nor after Iraq gassed its own Kurdish people, nor even after Iraq invaded Kuwait, but rather, followed Saddam's rejection of the Aqaba pipeline deal. Finally, this paper shows that the main actors in the 1980s drama are now back on center stage, this time justifying military action against Iraq in terms of national security....The Bush/Cheney administration now eyes Bechtel as a primary contractor for the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure." (via Progressive Review.)
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Mar 28, 2003 - 9 comments

Richard Perle resigns the Defense Policy Board chairmanship.

Richard Perle resigns the Defense Policy Board chairmanship. Richard Perle, after being accused of profiteering and conflict of interest, has resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Was this the real reason he resigned, or is the administration distancing itself from Perle due to his claims the Iraqis would be "dancing in the streets" after a US invasion, his links to an advocate for invading Saudi Arabia, or perhaps his call in the British press to get rid of the UN?
Don't start missing him yet, however. Perle will still remain on the Defense Policy board at Donald Rumsfeld's request.
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 28, 2003 - 5 comments

War Covergage Gets Crankified

Some Friday fun. Mr. Cranky, hollywood's surliest film critic, takes a stab at the war news coverage. I thought I was the only one disturbed by the perma-smile on Lester Holt's face. Tongue in cheek, but as Homer J. Simpson would say, It's funny because it's true.
posted by archimago on Mar 28, 2003 - 8 comments

Image Conscious

Image Conscious The fall of CNN, and what it means for the war.
posted by cmacleod on Mar 28, 2003 - 18 comments

Willard appointed assault commander

According to UPI, the United States has been offered by coalition partner Morocco its tide-turning force of 2,000 monkeys trained to detonate land mines. It wouldn't be so unbelievable if the U.S. wasn't already training dolphins and sea lions to do the same. Considering the carnage already happening to humans in Iraq, this news doesn't inspire thoughts of happy endings for our animal friends.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 27, 2003 - 28 comments

Lessons from Urban Operations Journal

Risks and realities of urban warfare Urban Operations Journal collects "open-source information on urban military operations," including military doctrine, an image library, war game reports, a quotes collection and much more. Lessons from Grozny, Hue City and Beirut shed light on what might be coming in Baghdad. The training section links to a number of documents noting the "scarcity of training resources" the U.S. devotes to urban warfare, including this PBS story in which an urban warfare specialist makes the claim U.S. forces are "not proficient" on the urban battleground, where the casualty rate is "about 30 percent."
posted by mediareport on Mar 27, 2003 - 13 comments

Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim

Al-Qaeda fighting with Iraqis, British claim So say interrogated Iraqi POWs. But wait. Al Qaeda the group that killed 3 thousand Americans and now they are inside Iraq helping Saddam? Were they there when Blix lads inspecting? Do the French know about this? If so, do they think we should give Al Qaeda a chance to reform?
posted by Postroad on Mar 27, 2003 - 29 comments

suspended gardens

Friday Thursday Flash Fun Art. Suspended Gardens 2 allows you to plant virtual flowers in Iraq. You can customize your flower and include a message. As Metafilterarians like to state their opinions, do not miss this opportunity. [more inside]
posted by MzB on Mar 27, 2003 - 3 comments

The Iraqi smoking gun?

The Iraq-September 11th smoking gun? Finally, near proof that Iraq was involved in the September 11th attacks on America: a mural in the Iraqi military headquarters in Nasiriya depicts a plane crashing into a building complex similar to New York's twin towers! (Okay, seriously, are some folks so desperate to make the connection that this might become an actual story?)
posted by johnnydark on Mar 27, 2003 - 50 comments

A scorecard for the war

How Will we know America is winning? Thomas Friedman poses six questions against which to judge US success...
posted by brettski on Mar 27, 2003 - 19 comments

Robert Fisk in the Independent

Robert Fisk in the Independent Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..." This is how war reporting should be.
posted by garyh on Mar 27, 2003 - 110 comments

Where is Raed on NPR

Dear Raed was the subject of a short piece (Windows Media file) on public radio's The World this evening.
posted by mrbula on Mar 26, 2003 - 8 comments

Where did those chemical and biological weapons come from?

Where did those chemical and biological weapons come from?
”According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.”

I’ve always been surprised that this type of report doesn’t get more attention. During the UN hearings I half expected the Administration to level with the world and simply say: ”We know they have the stuff because we sold it to them.”
posted by peebo on Mar 26, 2003 - 32 comments

Halliburton Contract

Halliburton Handed No-Bid Iraqi Oil Firefighting Contract You still believe this war is about nothing more then WMD's? I wonder how many other of Bush and Cheney's friends are benefiting from this war? The US government didn't even bother to give other companies a chance to bid for this contract. While on the topic of WMD's you might want to check out this, about the lack of skepticism when it comes to the media making claims for weapons in Iraq. Remember Fox and their claim of a "HUGE" chemical weapons stash? How are we to get accurate news on this war if the journalist's we rely on are nothing more then puppets for this administration?
posted by tljenson on Mar 25, 2003 - 40 comments

'Huge' Chemical Weapons Plant Found in Iraq

'Huge' Chemical Weapons Plant Found in Iraq - and Hans Blix is somewhere redfaced...
posted by Macboy on Mar 23, 2003 - 99 comments

Iraq debate

The Iraq debate - from Red Pepper.
"...The writers of these articles are some of the many people who have struggled against Saddam Hussein, who have been driven into exile by his brutal regime, who keep their links with dissidents in Iraq, who do not believe that the US military can liberate them, and who are arguing for diplomatic and humanitarian support..."
posted by talos on Mar 23, 2003 - 1 comment

Gertrude of Iraq

Have I ever told you what the river is like on a hot summer night? At dusk the mist hangs in long white bands over the water; the twilight fades and the lights of the town shine out on either bank, with the river, dark and smooth and full of mysterious reflections, like a road of triumph through the midst. - Gertrude Bell writing of the Euphrates near Baghdad.

Gertrude Bell - daughter of the desert, Uncrowned Queen of Iraq, Advisor to kings and Ally of Lawrence of Arabia. Gertrude Bell was a traveller and mountaineer, recruited by British Intelligence to work in the Middle East during the First World War and, who later worked for the British Government in Baghdad. Bell's influence on Middle Eastern politics made her the most powerful woman in the British Empire in the years after World War I. She was a archeologist, writer, translated the poetry of Hafiz and a photographer as well. 1909: Letters from Gertrude Bell, dated May 14 and May 20. She died early in the morning of July 12th, 1926, 58 years old, from an overdose of sleeping pills--whether accidental or not is not known. She is buried in Baghdad, where her grave is still visited and her memory revered. Cherchez La Femme
posted by y2karl on Mar 23, 2003 - 12 comments

Friendly Fire On

US Patriot hits British plane. I guess someone left friendly fire on. In an exchange between tables at a Baghdad restaurant, the Director General of the Information Ministry, Uday Altaiee, said: "We have them in Baghdad. They thought it would be a picnic - cream cakes and crates of Pepsi. But you will see that they will be slaughtered." How is this war really going?
posted by letterneversent on Mar 23, 2003 - 47 comments

Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets.

Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets. To watch the neutered embedded reporters, you would think that every Iraqi is overjoyed to see America in his or her country. But the reality seems to be quite different: "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"
posted by owillis on Mar 22, 2003 - 35 comments

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
posted by ericost on Mar 22, 2003 - 32 comments

You may not read Arabic, but the pictures speak for themselves.

You may not read Arabic, but do the pictures speak for themselves? [warning: graphic images] One big difference between Desert Storm and the current operation is the emergence of Gulf satellite news stations such as Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, beaming live into homes across the Arab world. Questions of access aside, it's a given that these news sources will be broadcasting materials that inflame opinion, and would never get past the 'taste and decency' rules of British or American stations. Trouble is, most westerners don't read Arabic: so, should we be bookmarking such sources for another perspective?
posted by riviera on Mar 22, 2003 - 38 comments

Are Embedded Journalists In Iraq Being Short-sheeted?

Embedded? Or In Bed With The Military Spin Doctors? Quite apart from the significant sexual and conspiratorial overtones of the word and concept themselves (when applied to people), there's something more than a little disquieting about the participant observation aspect of the large-scale practice of embedded reporting in the current invasion of Iraq - as opposed to the journalistic tradition of direct observation. Altogether too gung-ho - and inevitably so - I'd say. Me no like. And don't really trust myself to be able to epistemologically introduce, in my understanding of what I see, the (already minimal) distance that I'd previously taken for granted in standard reportage. What can be done to offset this bias? [Here is a very recent, detailed Department of Defense guide to what a media embed consists of [pdf format] and the release journalists must sign in order to be embedded.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 22, 2003 - 23 comments

Poets Against the War

Poets Against The War
Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:
The hour of your liberation draws near
We extend towards you our white hand
Once embraced by many in vain:
Indian, African, Vietnamese,
And washed clean of their colored red stain.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Mar 22, 2003 - 10 comments

Great Iraq Conflict Coverage Gallery

Great Iraq Conflict Coverage Gallery A link-filled listing of war blogs (dealing with Iraq war), maps, embedded jopurnalists' reports...nice one-stop source.
posted by Postroad on Mar 22, 2003 - 3 comments

The High Cost of Living

And then the fallen. "I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here," his father, Michael, said, holding up a picture of the dead marine. "This is the only son I had, only son." More.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Mar 21, 2003 - 114 comments

Manipulating Minds: The Psychological War on Iraq

Manipulating Minds: The Psychological War on Iraq. Battles are won on different fronts, but influencing an opposition is a critical part of any campaign. By manipulating an enemy's fears and desires, victory can be achieved. The "weapons of mass persuasion" are the tools of a different kind of warfare: psychological operations. (Full screen presentation in Flash) From CBC Radio One.
posted by tranquileye on Mar 21, 2003 - 4 comments

Peace, the lowkey way

Light of reason is an effort to peacefully demonstrate your dissent with the current war on Iraq. I fully expect the more conservative elements to say that peace is anti-patriotic but let's face, we can support the troops and still hate the war.
posted by TNLNYC on Mar 21, 2003 - 35 comments

Reactions from the Arab world

Reactions from the Arab world Meanwhile Israel gets more financial aid from the US further angering Muslims and contributing to Zionist/US conspiracy theories. Sadly, Bush seems to have found how to pay for this war by not supporting the troops.
posted by skallas on Mar 21, 2003 - 34 comments

CNN censors reporter Kevin Sites' weblog from Iraq.

CNN censors reporter Kevin Sites' weblog from Iraq. He has been ordered by CNN to cease weblogging until further notice, and has also added a disclaimer to his website.
"Note: Kevin Sites is a CNN correspondent, but this is a personal website not affiliated with, endorsed by, or funded by CNN. "
posted by insomnia_lj on Mar 21, 2003 - 32 comments

Wanna bet?

Wanna bet we'll win the war? No, seriously: you can. Check it out yourself: Go here and click on "World Events" to see the odds for "The US Embassy in Pakistan Being Blown Up By A Nuclear Weapon" or "Date Line In Which Osama Bin Laden Will Be Consigned (Dead or Alive) To US Authorities." Ah, America.
posted by adrober on Mar 21, 2003 - 4 comments

Operation S

Pentagon Begins Major Air Strike on Baghdad
posted by sixdifferentways on Mar 21, 2003 - 47 comments

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