For the past two months, Iraqi interpreters working with US forces have been forbidden from wearing masks. This decision was recently overturned
. Ostensibly, this was because the security situation had become better
believe instead that this rule was instated to prevent asylum claims. Some think that it reflects traditional army FUBAR decision making.
Personally, I think they are becoming more cautious because the back up plan
is a piece of junk. [more inside]
posted by marmaduke_yaverland
on Dec 6, 2008 -
Join Devin Friedman at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a city of broken men.
During the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
in Germany has blossomed into the hub of one of the most amazing and miraculous wartime medical systems in modern history. Each week sees 14 flights into and out of the medical center, delivering dozens of war wounded from the battlefield and back out to the more specialized care centers back stateside; the rapidity of care and transit from the war fronts to stable medical care has decreased the mortality of serious wartime military injuries to just ten percent, from the high-20s/low-30s of previous wars. This is an incredibly nice look at the Landstuhl system from the perspective of a single planeload of injured soldiers.
posted by delfuego
on Nov 17, 2008 -
is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and the documentary
about them) who were some of the first women
in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The
female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War."
posted by nooneyouknow
on Nov 14, 2008 -
What killed Sgt. Gray?
"He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath
on Nov 11, 2008 -
America's Secret War
: charming Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to the Iraq-Iran border to investigate claims that the United States is supporting militant groups that are attacking Iran.
posted by Surfin' Bird
on Oct 23, 2008 -
It's (semi) official
: Washington and Baghdad have reached a final agreement after months of talks on a pact that would require U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by 2011, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.
Additionally, "Iraq said it had secured the right to prosecute U.S. soldiers for serious crimes under certain circumstances" "Inside their bases, they will be under American law. Iraqi judicial law will be implemented in case these forces commit a serious and deliberate felony outside their military bases and when off duty." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 15, 2008 -
Is This a 'Victory'?
"We hear again and again from Washington that we have turned a corner in Iraq and are on the path to victory. If so, it is a strange victory."
posted by homunculus
on Sep 28, 2008 -
The Wars of John McCain.
"John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?"
posted by homunculus
on Sep 26, 2008 -
The Surge is working [tm] -- but for gay Iraqis who face a murderous new spate of violence
by theocrats and militiamen, notsomuch
. "More than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003... [but] many officials say they feel that in a country at war, there are more pressing concerns than gay rights."
posted by digaman
on Aug 27, 2008 -
An Iraqi national with a fascinating background, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
has been documenting
the situation in Iraq. His video report is in three parts on YouTube (1
). Of particular note is the cemetery on the outskirts of Sadr City (at 2:13 of segment 2), which is disturbing beyond words.
posted by dbiedny
on Aug 18, 2008 -
In a new GAO report
it's noted that the Iraqi government will have a $79 billion dollar surplus by the end of the year (accumulated from 2005-2008). All of this is on top of the $48 billion dollars that the US has contributed to Iraq since 2005. [more inside]
posted by jourman2
on Aug 5, 2008 -
"The blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to the Blade account and encouraged readers to complain to the Post. “I can see why outing someone who is alive and closeted is unethical,” he wrote. “Inning someone who is dead and was out is a function of utterly misplaced sensitivity, rooted in well-intentioned but incontrovertible homophobia.”"
A Soldier's Legacy
posted by wittgenstein
on Aug 2, 2008 -
Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands
before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." [more inside]
posted by ikahime
on Aug 1, 2008 -
Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind
is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health
program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Jul 29, 2008 -
The Devastation of Iraq's Past.
"Since the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in April 2003, the international press has accorded considerable space to the country's imperiled ancient heritage. Much of this coverage, however, has been devoted to the museum, the impressive campaign to recover its stolen works, and the continued struggle to reopen its galleries. Only occasional, anecdotal reports—mostly from the first year of the conflict—have borne witness to large-scale plunder of archaeological sites
, to which the damage is irreversible."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 23, 2008 -
[NSFW]"The following program is in living color and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information and hard acid rock to the first termers and non-re-enlistees in the Republic of Vietnam. Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals. In the event of a vice squad raid this program will automatically self-destruct." Radio First Termer
was a pirate radio show broadcast by "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous USAF sergeant, for 63 hours between January 1st and 21st, 1971, out of the back room of a brothel in Saigon, gracing the dial at 69 MHz and 690 AM.>>
Fearing reprisal from his superiors, Dave Rabbit
then shut Radio First Termer
down and, after returning to the States, went back to living a normal life. 34 years later, while helping his son on a homework assignment, Dave came across old recordings of his show
. He's since revived his old persona
, and has also brought Radio First Termer back to the warzone--to Baghdad, Iraq. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display
on Jun 11, 2008 -
New Allegations Have Surfaced
that the US Is Effectively Holding Iraq's Oil Revenues
Hostage to Force through a Proposed Long-Term Strategic Alliance, Raising New
Questions about the US' Committment to an Independent, Self-Governing Iraq. The Deal,
Which in its Current Form is Said to Provide for an Indefinite American Military Presence and Blanket Immunity from Iraqi Law for All American Troops and Civilian Contractors, Is Understandably Not All That Popular with Many Iraqi Citizens
. Iraqi Lawmakers Have Also Expressed Doubts
about the Deal. (IRAQ WAR/POLITICS FILTER.)
posted by saulgoodman
on Jun 6, 2008 -
As Close as Any Brother
- Ali Hameed, an Iraqi NYT employee, writes about PCs in daily life in Iraq. Once a mortar fell near to our house. Everyone stopped what they were doing, I mean if it was eating, watching TV, sleeping — except Rana. She kept on typing and typing. I yelled at her: "Rana leave the PC and come here, you are sitting near the glass!" She told me, "Just a minute, I want to talk to my friend, she is online and it has been a long time since I connected with her."
From NYT's Baghdad Bureau
posted by russilwvong
on May 29, 2008 -
According to an audit
released today by the DoD's IG, there has been virtually no oversight
of over $8 billion paid by the Defense Department to contractors in Iraq. The report confirms a similar finding back in 2005 that over $9 billion
in Iraq war funds were unaccounted for. As a factual and non-polemical matter, this spectacular waste
of taxpayer money has undoubtedly lined the pockets
of more than a few war profiteers
. To say the Iraq war has been plagued with rampant corruption
, fraud and fiscal mismanagement is not an editorial position or overstatement: even lawmakers have begun to acknowledge this
posted by ornate insect
on May 23, 2008 -