America, America: I too love jeans and jazz and Treasure Island.
A poem from Saadi Youssef, published in this Saturday's Guardian (scroll down past Seamus Heaney):
Take what you do not have
and give us what we have.
Take the stripes of your flag
and give us the stars.
Take the Afghani Mujahideen beard
and give us Walt Whitman's beard filled with
Take Saddam Hussein
and give us Abraham Lincoln
or give us no one.
was born in 1934 near Basra, Iraq. He is considered to be among the greatest living Arab poets. Youssef has published 25 volumes of poetry, a book of short stories, a novel, four volumes of essays, a memoir, and numerous translations. In addition to being imprisoned for his poetry and politics, he has won numerous literary awards and recognitions. He now lives in London. [more inside]
posted by jokeefe
on Feb 14, 2003 -
powell flip flop [via rc3]
on top of citing flimsy, plagiarized, out of date reports as evidence against iraq. powell cant make up his mind if osama is in cahoots with iraq. osamas statement appears to show support for the iraqi people -yet labels "Saddam's Baath party as "infidels."
" are powell and the administration grasping at straws?
posted by specialk420
on Feb 12, 2003 -
Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War?
"The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
posted by thedailygrowl
on Feb 11, 2003 -
Not just selfcentered, but warmongers too.
SUV owners are more likely the the general populous to support the war in Iraq (60%). When small SUVs are eliminated, the figure jumps to (80%). Probably not a causal relationship, but interesting none the less.
posted by delmoi
on Feb 4, 2003 -
In what might be a preview of Secretary of State Powell's address to the United Nations tomorrow, Jeffrey Goldberg takes a look at how the Intelligence Community is re-thinking it's analysis of the Iraq/al-Qaeda connection
James Woolsey, who served as President Clinton's first C.I.A. director, said that it is now illogical to doubt the notion that Saddam collaborates with Islamist terrorism, and that he would provide chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda. "At Salman Pak"-a training camp near Baghdad-"we know there were Islamist terrorists training to hijack airplanes in groups of four or five with short knives," Woolsey told me. "I mean, hello? If we had seen after December 7, 1941, a fake American battleship in a lake in northern Italy, and a group of Asian pilots training there, would we have said, 'Well, you can't prove that they were Japanese'?"
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Feb 3, 2003 -
Anti-war and the Internet
John Perry Barlow of the EFF talks about online activism and anti-war feeling: "Actually I'm discouraged with the role of the Internet in the antiwar movement. Because so far what I see happening is that cyberspace is a great place for everybody to declaim. There are a million virtual streetcorners with a million lonely pamphleteers on them, all of them decrying the war and not actually coming together in any organized fashion to oppose it."
Easy to read this as referring to blogs. People shout and scream in their journals, but where is the organised anti-war effort? Is the great hope and potential of the Internet to connect people and create movements floundering when it comes to one of the most serious issues facing us today?
posted by humuhumu
on Feb 3, 2003 -
History of Iraq
from the Denver Post. "President Bush speaks of the need to 'defend civilization'.. Then I point out the irony of defending civilization against the cradle of civilization".
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 2, 2003 -
Hmm...this one looks genuine:
I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.... THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE.
I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION....
I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ....
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Jan 31, 2003 -
A War Crime or an Act of War?
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl
on Jan 31, 2003 -
Arundhati Roy on the war.
This is the text of a speech Arundhati gave at Santa Fe last September. I have not seen it on MeFi before. Hence, I thought it would still be of interest. TWe have talked about her before here- 1
. It is a long speech! So, read it when you have the time.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Jan 28, 2003 -
Not really a game, but is scary/funny: This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf. I used sophisticated temporal algorithms and historical semiotic analysis to achieve an accuracy rating of 99.999%. It's the mother of all Flash games.
posted by samelborp
on Jan 27, 2003 -
Were from the UN and we're here to help!
Question: If you're a UN Weapons Inspector and a man jumps into your vehicle screaming "Save me! Save me!" clutching notebooks to his chest what do you do? The answer is simple, you turn him over to the Iraqi authorities who now claim to have "no information on the incident." This ought to foster more cooperation from Iraqi scientists...good work Blix and Co.
posted by RevGreg
on Jan 25, 2003 -
Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns
This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 24, 2003 -
The Unseen Gulf War
is a photo exhibit from the Gulf War that shows an aspect that I doubt many people have had a chance to see, the "human consequences". Why because the US government after Vietnam fears a media that is not corralled. Besides the fact that this is undemocratic, this view that the media really turned the tide of public opinion in Vietnam seems to be debated by many as this article
I must warn that many of the images can be highly disturbing
posted by GreenDragon
on Jan 21, 2003 -
is perhaps the only photo-blogger now in Iraqi kurdistan. He is one of the latest well-known Iranian journalists who has turned to blogging. (In Persian)
posted by hoder
on Jan 20, 2003 -
Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 20, 2003 -
Rumsfeld helped Saddam during war with Iran,
while they had precise information about daily use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, nerve gas, anthrax, and sarin. He met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations, in order to help Iraq win the war. [source: Guardian]
posted by hoder
on Dec 30, 2002 -
UN finds no banned weapons
- that's a relief. Now the only "weapons of mass destruction" in the current debacle are owned by the US i.e. 27 stealth bombers, capable of completely destroying much of the world in just a few seconds.
posted by scotty
on Dec 26, 2002 -
Iraqis welcome war to remove Saddam
A survey (.pdf)
taken inside(!) Iraq says Iraqis would favor a war to topple Saddam. The report itself is more interesting than the Independent piece.
The overall impression...was one of exasperation and even anger after twelve years of uncertainty and international isolation and even more years of warfare, combined with a growing sense that the current regime's days are numbered.
The report is most interesting in the details of Iraqis' expectations: that advanced US technology will somehow anesthetize Iraqi soldiers rather than hurt them, the US will rebuild their country for them, there will be no breakup of Iraq, nor postwar bloodbath, etc.
A fascinating and important portrait of a people at the end of their rope.
posted by ednopantz
on Dec 16, 2002 -
The Liberaral Quandry on Iraq
[nytimes reg req'd]. [warning : iraq political story]. As a "liberal hawk", I have had some issues regarding whether to support a war with Iraq or not. In this article, George Packer talks to four liberals (David Rieff, Leon Wieseltier, Michael Walzer and Paul Berman) about what they think, and presents a sort of top ten list of reasons for or not. After reading the article, I'm a little less confused about where I stand, and a little closer to coming to grips with it
posted by rshah21
on Dec 9, 2002 -
Is it all about oil?
Daniel Yergin (The Prize
) discusses Iraq's oil after Saddam. I found it highly informative and somewhat surprising. He emphasizes the small role that Iraq will play in the oil market. By the time production ramps up in five years, Iraq will still be a second tier producer, grouped with Norway and Mexico. Not exactly the petro bonanza some predict. There are more predictions by this veteran oil-watcher.
posted by ednopantz
on Dec 8, 2002 -
'Saddam's men torturted me'
A dossier of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Iraqi regime, including torture and rape, has been released by the UK Government. The full report here
Amnesty International is criticizing the UK government for the timing of the report's release. What do you think? Moral outrage at the servile scum that run Iraq's prisons or calculated manipulation of UK/US public opinion prior to an inexorable war to keep our SUVs?
posted by Zombie
on Dec 2, 2002 -
Lessons From the First Bush/Iraq War
How familiar do these words sound today?
* This year, however, we are wallowing in the sordid aftermath of the revelations of the misguided administration policy that brought about that war. We have been treated to details of how the administration bent over backwards in its misguided effort to support the regime of Saddam Hussein on the very eve of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
......`Public disclosure of classified information harms the national security,' Attorney General William Barr instructed the House Banking Committee last week. `. . . in light of your recent disclosures, the executive branch will not provide any more classified information'--unless the wrongdoing is kept secret.
`Your threat to withhold documents,' responded Chairman Gonzalez, `has all the earmarks of a classic effort to obstruct a proper and legitimate investigation . . . none of the documents compromise, in any fashion whatsoever, the national security or intelligence sources and methods.'
.....Policy blunders are not crimes. But perverting the purpose of appropriated funds is a crime; lying to Congress compounds that crime; and obstructing justice to cover up the original crime is a criminal conspiracy
Will we, as a country, learn from our recent history or are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes?
posted by nofundy
on Nov 27, 2002 -
Bush is soft on tobacco
Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines.
posted by Postroad
on Nov 27, 2002 -
Deep, way deep inside Iraq
This aired very recently on PBS but I just caught it online -- the link is the second of four video clips following U.K. journalist Sam Kiley reporting on perception and reality in Jordan and Iraq and contains the most horrific footage of Saddam supporters you're likely to ever see. Be warned, it's not pretty.
posted by subpixel
on Nov 25, 2002 -
President Bush is pressuring Iraq because he says
that they support terror (there is some evidence of that
). So what about Saudi Arabia
? "Sources familiar with the evidence say the payments—amounting to about $3,500 a month—came from an account at Washington’s Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and the daughter of the late Saudi King Faisal." And why were CIA/FBI investigations of the Saudi connection reigned in
? When Bush met that very same Prince Bandar
in August, somehow the issue never came up. Don't want to step on Dad's toes
, you know.
posted by owillis
on Nov 23, 2002 -
War With Iraq - As Predictable As Chess
There is still a good chance we can avoid war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein has never won a war, and his military forces surely foresee their own destruction. Numerous assassination attempts by them (some involving the Republican Guard) have failed. They are likely trying again, even now. Therein lies our best hope.
What if they fail again? Then invasion by the U.S. is inevitable.
posted by daHIFI
on Nov 22, 2002 -
Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq.
The terror of the war on terror: "A war against Iraq could kill half a million people, warns a new report by medical experts - and most would be civilians." The report (pdf format)
is from Medact
, the British affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. One of the report's conclusions: "It cannot be emphasised too strongly that even a best-case scenario of a limited war of short duration, perhaps comparable to 1991, would have much greater impact on the Iraqi people and would initially kill three times the number who died on September 11."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Nov 19, 2002 -