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Question Time

So, how is that whole Iraq thing working out for you, Tony? What's going on with Scotland? Is the rise of the SNP your party's fault? Are they laying the groundwork for Scottish independence?
posted by chuckdarwin on May 4, 2007 - 81 comments

NYMag's Top Five Tribeca Film Fest shorts

New York Magazine's top five shorts from the Tribeca Film Festival, presented in full, including the 25-minute documentary "Someone Else's War," about third-world contract employees in Iraq. A bit more inside. [via Nerve's Screengrab]
posted by mediareport on Apr 29, 2007 - 6 comments

Baghdad Leaving

Riverbend and her family decided to leave Iraq.
posted by growabrain on Apr 27, 2007 - 73 comments

Senate backs Iraq withdrawal date

Senate backs Iraq withdrawal date The US Senate has voted to approve a bill which requires US troops to be withdrawn from Iraq within 11 months.
posted by chunking express on Apr 26, 2007 - 133 comments

congressman dennis kucinich has submitted a resolution to impeach VP Dick Cheney on charges of "high crimes and misdemeanors."

impeachy keen! learn why cleveland is the capital of polka, bowling and kielbasa.
posted by quonsar on Apr 26, 2007 - 37 comments

Bill Moyers' PBS documentary on the media's actions in the run-up to the Iraq invasion

"The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on." Bill Moyers returned to PBS last night with this documentary (transcript) examining the mainstream media's role in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
posted by ibmcginty on Apr 26, 2007 - 56 comments

The last thing the Middle East's main players want is US troops to leave Iraq

The last thing the Middle East's main players want is US troops to leave Iraq.
posted by reklaw on Apr 25, 2007 - 11 comments

Bush vs. Congress: the Iraq spending bill

Elizabeth Drew analyzes the current confrontation between the White House and Congress over continued funding for the Iraq war. Under Nancy Pelosi's leadership, Congress has reached an agreement to pass a bill which approves $124 billion in funding for the war, but sets a timetable for withdrawal. Following the passage of the Senate bill in March, Bush gave a more-than-normally petulant speech against the Democratic proposals—prompting Pelosi, like a mother scolding a teenager, to urge Bush to "calm down with the threats" and to "take a deep breath." This was the first public suggestion by a prominent elected figure that the President lacks maturity—a widely held view in Washington.
posted by russilwvong on Apr 24, 2007 - 54 comments

He said he didn't feel like he had earned it.

Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office. "We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds," Thomas said.
posted by EarBucket on Apr 23, 2007 - 136 comments

A Man Apartheid

Carlos Latuff is a political cartoonist from Brazil whose work can be described as pro-Palestine , anti-America and uh, anti-McDonalds?. He has given his side of the story, but his latest images on DeviantArt take a different direction in his anti-American artwork.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia on Apr 22, 2007 - 54 comments

Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan - a flipbook style video of thousands of pictures taken in Kurdish dominated northern Iraq by photojournalist Ed Kashi.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 19, 2007 - 8 comments

Democrats Tell President War Is Lost

"This is the message I took to the President" US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today in response to reporters questions about his meeting with President Bush. "I believe myself that this war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday."
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments on Apr 19, 2007 - 94 comments

In Defense Of Foreign Policy Reptiles

Learning From Ike: What a Republican realist could teach George Bush. "If we hope to succeed, we manage evil. We minimize, mitigate, and manipulate evil. But efforts to pre-emptively eliminate evil are prone to end in overreaction and destabilization, with consequences that are often worse than the original problem."
posted by Sticherbeast on Apr 18, 2007 - 36 comments

Sandy Belle wants the troops home

A song about bringing the soldiers home from Iraq. Defies commentary. YouTubers don't seem to get the joke. The Garance has background details.
posted by commander_cool on Apr 14, 2007 - 41 comments

Interview of Henry Rollins on his USO visits to Iraq in TNR

You'll go by the phone kiosk and you'll hear young men having these very strange, almost surreal arguments or discussions with their wives over something like, "Hey the garage is leaking, how do we fix that?" And what she maybe doesn't understand is, maybe that guy just got ambushed, like half an hour ago, and he's shaking from the adrenaline, and he's just calling her just to hear a familiar voice, and she's like, "We gotta get the sprinklers fixed." And he's like, "Oh, OK ... . I love you." He just wants to get back to the ground. And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.
Henry Rollins, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free) on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Apr 13, 2007 - 59 comments

Signs of torture on kidnapped Iranian diplomat's body

Iranian envoy wounds 'confirmed': The head of the International Red Cross in Tehran, Peter Stoeker, says he saw wounds on an Iranian diplomat who has alleged that US forces in Iraq tortured him. There were marks on Jalal Sharafi's feet, legs, back and nose. [photos].
On 4 February soldiers from the Iraqi army 36th Commando battalion in Baghdad, considered to be under American control, had seized Jalal Sharafi, while he was carrying a videogame, a gift for his daughter. Read more about the US secret operations against Iranians in Iraq in an exclusive report by The Independent.
posted by hoder on Apr 11, 2007 - 49 comments

Amnesty International - Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay

Detainees are confined for 22 hours a day to individual, enclosed, steel cells where they are almost completely cut off from human contact. The cells have no windows to the outside or access to natural light or fresh air. No activities are provided, and detainees are subjected to 24 hour lighting and constant observation by guards through the narrow windows in the cell doors. They exercise alone in a high-walled yard where little sunlight filters through; detainees are often only offered exercise at night and may not see daylight for days at a time... It appears that around 80 per cent of the approximately 385 men currently held at Guantánamo are in isolation – a reversal of earlier moves to ease conditions and allow more socialising among detainees.
Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
Red Cross chief raises Guantánamo issue in D.C.
Guantánamo follies
posted by y2karl on Apr 8, 2007 - 27 comments

Fighting PTSD the only way they know how.

Behind Enemy Lines Liberal use of this narcotic produced with high voltage found to reduce the affects of PTSD, in coalition and British forces in particular.
posted by MapGuy on Apr 7, 2007 - 29 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

"Seventeen times of trying to commit suicide, I think it’s time to give up."

Injured in Iraq. The story of the soldier who may have changed Congressman Murtha's mind about the war.
posted by Toekneesan on Apr 5, 2007 - 25 comments

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits: His deafness, memory problems and depression caused were not caused by a rocket attack he survived in Ramadi, but by a pre-existing personality disorder. Well, according to the Army medical staff, that is. (via)
posted by knave on Apr 4, 2007 - 35 comments

Charlie Foxtrot.

Embrace the Suck. Intensive military activity creates an incubator for slang. By bringing together people from geographically diverse backgrounds, putting them into stressful circumstances, and teaching them a new language of jargon and acronym, the armed forces create fertile ground for new idioms - many of which return home in civvies when the conflicts are over. In the Civil War, World War I and World War II, in Korea and in Viet Nam, servicepeople created or popularized now-familiar terms like shoddy, hotshot, cooties, tailspin, fleabag, face time, joystick, SNAFU, FUBAR, flaky, gung ho, no sweat, flame-out, and many, many others. Now, the GWOT brings us a new generation of 'milspeak'. Military columnist Austin Bay has published an early collection of neologisms from Gulf War II. On NPR, Bay explains what The Suck is, how to identify a fobbit, and why Marines look down on the attitude of Semper I.
posted by Miko on Mar 31, 2007 - 66 comments

US Soldiers speak .

Voices of the Fallen: the war in the words of the dead-- In letters and journals and e-mails, the war dead live on, their words—urgent, honest, unself-conscious—testament to the realities of combat. What do they have to say to us? ... The result is a window on Iraq we have not had before: the bravery, the fear and the chaos of war, and the loves and hates and dreams and nightmares of the warriors. Things are incredibly busy, then they are not. The Iraqis are welcoming, then they are not. The war is going well, then it is not. The mission makes sense, then it does not. ... (video, audio, email, and text)
posted by amberglow on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

After "You break it, you've bought it"...

US and Iraq: Post-Pottery Barn Rules. "The issue here is not which candidate said what, but how the campaign is revealing the underlying public mood -- the view people have of the Iraq saga and their country’s international responsibility more generally."
posted by ZenMasterThis on Mar 30, 2007 - 33 comments

Betrayed

Betrated: The Iraqis who trusted America the most. George Packer on the dangers facing Iraqis who cooperate with the US. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Mar 24, 2007 - 38 comments

George W's Palace

Construction of the largest embassy on Earth will shortly be completed in Iraq. Roughly the size of Vatican City, and previously estimated to cost nearly 1 billion, (later reduced to a mere 592 million ), this remarkable feat of engineering "...will have its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewater-treatment facility, 'systems to allow 100 percent independence from city utilities,' says the report..." .
posted by Avenger on Mar 24, 2007 - 115 comments

Dr. Noori ... stayed home the day of the strike to prevent his workers from finding out that he knew many of the soldiers.

"I thought, 'Why don't we just raid the place?' " --the newest and only currently viable way to check up on how the billions and billions we're spending on reconstruction in Iraq is being spent--fake raids by the US military, making it seem like the recipients aren't receiving aid from us, and in fact are being targeted by us.
posted by amberglow on Mar 23, 2007 - 35 comments

Question Time

Question Time Iraq Special (Skip to 04:45 to begin). Question Time is a British TV institution, where five prominent politicians debate current affairs while being questioned by a studio audience. The Iraq edition, available online, features the British Secretary of State for Defence, a popular, anti-war former party leader, the aristocratic old socialist leading the Stop-the-War coalition, the first female leader of a Muslim state … and John Bolton.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Mar 22, 2007 - 34 comments

"I miss Iraq. I miss my gun. I miss my war."

A Soldier's Lament by Brian Mockenhaupt in Esquire, brought to you via MSN. We've seen a similar post by a Marine officer recently, but I liked the tone of this one a bit more because it does a better job of showing us the inside of a warrior's head.
posted by pax digita on Mar 21, 2007 - 43 comments

Baghdad: Mapping the violence

Baghdad: Mapping the violence. Interactive flash based bomb data navigator from the bbc.
posted by srboisvert on Mar 20, 2007 - 20 comments

Iraq Veterans Memorial

The Iraq Veterans Memorial is "an online war memorial that honors the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. The Memorial is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen." A project of the Brave New Foundation. [Via Bushflash.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 17, 2007 - 12 comments

Super-Surge Me.

Super-Surge Me. General David Petraeus is asking for another Army brigade in Iraq, in addition to the 21,500 mentioned in January and the 4,700 support troops added last week. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Mar 16, 2007 - 28 comments

Steve Jobs introduces his newest product..

Introducing... the iRack! (video, youtube)
posted by empath on Mar 16, 2007 - 46 comments

Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away

Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away Marine veteran Jonathan Schulze survived the war in Iraq but almost two years after he came home, it ended up killing him, reports The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. He had one of the toughest jobs in the war: taming the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi in 2004.
posted by Postroad on Mar 15, 2007 - 59 comments

Sgt. Wells's New Skull

Sgt. Wells's New Skull. In the epidemic of brain injuries coming out of the war, Army neurosurgeons had never seen someone survive such a devastating wound. But Brian Wells jokes that he just left part of his head in Iraq. Someday, he says, he'll have to go back and get it.
posted by srboisvert on Mar 15, 2007 - 21 comments

A different view of Iraq, and America.

Sami Rasouli is an Iraqi-American who was born in Najaf . He left Iraq in the late 70's to teach, first to the UAE, and then to Germany. In 1986, he moved to the US, where he eventually opened Sinbad's, a successful restaurant. In late 2003, he went back to Iraq after learning his mother had died. Upon his return to the US, he could not stop thinking about the country he left, and the state it was in, so in 2004, he sold his restaurant and moved back. There, he founded the Muslim Peacemakers Team, based closely off of the Christian Peacemakers Team (and in fact was a friend of Tom Fox). He currently lives in Iraq, although comes back to visit the US every year or so, to raise awareness, visit friends, and to share news about what is really going on in Iraq. [Links to Articles, E-mails, and Interviews inside.]
posted by wander on Mar 14, 2007 - 7 comments

Tomorrow

" No matter what happens now the Islamists will have beaten both of the superpowers -- first the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and now the United States in the heart of Islam. The impact of that in Islamic civilization is going to be enormous. We have made bin Laden a prophet: His organizing concept for Al Qaeda was "The Russians are a lot tougher than the Americans. If we can beat the Russians, then we can eventually beat the Americans." "

Rolling Stone assembles a panel of military and history experts on the state, and future, of Iraq.
posted by four panels on Mar 14, 2007 - 113 comments

The Nightmare Years

Was I a good American in the time of George Bush? "Before the current administration, it had always been easy to condemn the "good Germans" who did nothing while Jews, Gypsies and others were rounded up for extermination." Uh, is this just a little over the top?
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 14, 2007 - 102 comments

Bombs and books on Mutanabbi Street.

The Bookseller's Story, Ending Much Too Soon. Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post writes about Mohammed Hayawi, "a bald bear of a man," who ran the Renaissance Bookstore on "Baghdad's storied Mutanabi Street." Back in 2005, Phillip Robertson wrote a Salon article about Al Mutanabbi Street, "Baghdad's legendary literary cafe, the Shabandar, " and Hajji Qais Anni's stationery store: "Hajji Qais had been on Al Mutanabbi street for 10 years and the vendors all knew him... He wore a beard and was also known as a devout Sunni who had no problem hiring Shia workers or spending time with Christian colleagues." Both Hayawi and Hajji Qais were killed by bombs, the cafe has been gutted, and the street that "embodied a generation-old saying: Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads" is no longer its old self. "When the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, it was said that the Tigris River ran red one day, black another. The red came from the blood of nameless victims, massacred by ferocious horsemen. The black came from the ink of countless books from libraries and universities. Last Monday, the bomb on Mutanabi Street detonated at 11:40 a.m. The pavement was smeared with blood. Fires that ensued sent up columns of dark smoke, fed by the plethora of paper." Two views of a part of Baghdad that doesn't make the news much.
posted by languagehat on Mar 13, 2007 - 42 comments

The Life and Death of a Warrior in Iraq

I am sullied -- no more. Colonel Ted Westhusing was a soldier's soldier -- a multilingual West Point graduate, tough as nails, who was committed to the ancient Greek warrior's ideal of ἀρετή ("arete," excellence). He volunteered to go to Iraq, where he was commanded by another outstanding rising-star officer, counterinsurgency expert David Petraeus. (Westhusing's widow, Michelle, recalls that her husband thought his country was doing "a great thing" there.) After working with one of the shadowy contractors the US has relied on to train Iraqi security forces, USIS, Westhusing became increasingly despondent. In May 2005, investigators say, he put a 9mm bullet in his brain after writing a note that said, "Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it." Westhusing died, as was previously discussed here, and his former "cdr" is now running the war. Lots of new information in this article from the Texas Observer.
posted by digaman on Mar 10, 2007 - 114 comments

Alive in Baghdad

Alive in Baghdad is a video blog that began when filmmaker Brian Conley visited Iraq in 2005. He has provided several local reporters with video equipment and training to produce weekly posts of first hand accounts from ordinary Iraqis, like this tour of two houses after American raids, or this interview with a Sadr City doctor.
posted by ScottMorris on Mar 10, 2007 - 5 comments

The Lucifer Effect

Retiring psychology professor Philip G. Zimbardo, who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment, gave his final lecture at Stanford this week, criticizing the Bush administration and saying that senior government officials responsible for Abu Ghraib should be "tried for the crimes against humanity." [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2007 - 38 comments

Rape within the US military.

The private war of women soldiers. "Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 8, 2007 - 187 comments

The Number

Whatever one's opinion of its possible limitations, the 2006 Iraq mortality survey produced epidemiological evidence that coalition forces have failed to protect Iraqi civilians... If, for the sake of argument, the study is wrong and the number of Iraqi deaths is less than half the infamous figure, is it acceptable that "only" 300,000 have died? Last November, with no explanation, the Iraqi Ministry of Health suddenly began citing 150,000 dead, five times its previous estimate. Is that amount of death acceptable? In January, the United Nations reported that more than 34,000 Iraqis were killed violently in the last year alone. Is that acceptable?
Regarding The Number, the result of what one of the study's authors calls an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide... [more within]
posted by y2karl on Mar 7, 2007 - 44 comments

Doing our homework on the Middle East

22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole.
posted by LobsterMitten on Mar 7, 2007 - 37 comments

Real Confessions From Iraq

A Good Morning Coffee Read (or Tea or Grass Juice or Gammel Dansk ; ). The warden of Fallouja.
posted by MapGuy on Mar 6, 2007 - 27 comments

Confessions of an Army Torturer

Confessions of an Army Torturer "...as an army interrogator, he tortured detainees for information he admits they rarely had. Since leaving Iraq he’s taken this story public, doing battle on national television against the war’s architects for giving him the orders he regrets he obeyed...
posted by Postroad on Mar 3, 2007 - 42 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

Chomsky on Iran, Iraq, and the Rest of the World

Chomsky on Iran, Iraq, and the Rest of the World.
posted by chunking express on Feb 23, 2007 - 73 comments

Born to War

Born to War is a series of paintings of American women killed in Iraq. The combination of the increasing role of women in the American military and the blurring of lines between combat and non-combat roles in Iraq have made this the first war in which female US soldiers have died in direct combat. The focus on a smaller number of women provides a more approachable view of casualties than more general sites like Iraq Body Count and raises some interesting questions about the role of women in the US military.
posted by scottreynen on Feb 23, 2007 - 13 comments

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