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April is the cruelest month

A mob attacked a group of foreign contractors, shooting four people to death, burning their two vehicles, dragging their bodies through the streets and hanging the charred corpses from a bridge. Another day in the American occupation of Iraq.
posted by the fire you left me on Mar 31, 2004 - 134 comments

servicemen Iraq

One year later "It's easy to send soldiers off to war. It's a lot harder to face them when they come home"
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 20, 2004 - 49 comments

Topple Dr. Strangefeld in Taos!

Topple Dr. Strangefeld in Taos! Some of Mr. Rumsfeld's Taos neighbors are celebrating the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by toppling him in effigy. The twenty-foot statue of Rummy riding a missile recalls the final scene of Dr. Strangelove. I cannot wait for pictures!
posted by answergrape on Mar 19, 2004 - 4 comments

Batten down the mosquito netting

Batten down the mosquito netting In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. "
posted by Postroad on Mar 18, 2004 - 9 comments

Did I stutter?

Rumsfeld waffles on Face the Nation when asked about the "immediate threat" argument in favor of war with Iraq. Link is Windows Media video.

This to me is a gregarious example of how semantics and linguistic framing has been used to manipulate the American public, and one clear moment of this questionable tactic breaking down.

Interesting how he tries to blame it on the media and "folklore", and then segues right into noncommittal doublespeak.

Via Joi Ito (text available), via Center for American Progress.


posted by loquacious on Mar 16, 2004 - 71 comments

Iraq on the Record

Iraq on the Record A full compilation of the Bush administration's misleading statements on Iraq was comissioned by rep. Henry Waxman. It is now available as a pdf report and as a database searchable by name of speaker or keyword. Did this sort of framework for accountability exist before the Web, and can it be effective now?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Mar 16, 2004 - 20 comments

You’re going to lose more people this summer than you did last year, I guarantee it.

You’re going to lose more people this summer than you did last year, I guarantee it.
Do you feel it is possible for American citizens to support the troops without supporting the policies under which the troops are acting?
Yes. Most definitely.
posted by specialk420 on Mar 11, 2004 - 31 comments

Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out.

Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out. "What I want to say as my final statement to America is 'Stop letting your proud men and women die so senselessly. If we are going to die for our country let it be for something we can really be proud of. I just don t see us making the US any safer from terrorists because of what we are doing in Iraq. Bring us back home so we can defend the US from real threats to our shores.'" "Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Feb 7, 2004 - 89 comments

Ayatollah Sistani survives assassination attempt

Najaf, Iraq - Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, survived an assassination attempt Thursday when gunmen opened fire on his entourage, a security official in his office said...
Of related interest from Juan Cole: Reformers implore Sistani to Intervene in Iran Crisis Ali Nourizadeh of the Saudi newspaper ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports today that more than 400 Iranian writers and cultural figures, along with some members of parliament, have penned a letter to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf, requesting that he express his opinion on the "massacre of democracy and the transformation of parliamentary elections into a mere stage play."
See also The Shiite Surge for further background. We are living in interesting times.
posted by y2karl on Feb 5, 2004 - 15 comments

PAIR UP FOR PEACE PRIZE

PAIR UP FOR PEACE PRIZE It is possible to see the war against Iraq as a good thing,finally, but this Orwellian War is Peace seems a bit strange: :Tony Blair and George Bush have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for waging war on Saddam Hussein. They have been put forward by a Norwegian politician who said ousting the dictator had reduced the threat of a war with weapons of mass destruction."
posted by Postroad on Feb 1, 2004 - 26 comments

Iraq gets an upgrade

Implications of a 4-Star Command in Iraq. In an small press release, it was recently announced that Iraq *may* be getting a 4-star general, but *not* to replace the current 3-star military commander of that nation. So what difference does a single star make? "...In other words, the Defense Department is putting forward the idea of another regional command because it anticipates the possibility of intensifying combat operations throughout the region. The war in Iraq might be coming under control, but from the standpoint of the Defense Department, the end of the Iraq campaign is the preface to follow-on campaigns."
posted by kablam on Jan 20, 2004 - 14 comments

ticker tape

500+ The U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 500 this weekend, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.
posted by the fire you left me on Jan 18, 2004 - 50 comments

Iraq or bust!

Iraq or bust! Usama Alshaibi, an Iraqi-American filmmaker whose flight from Saddam's Iraq and experiences in the U.S. were recently featured in Studs Terkel's latest book, is returning to Iraq after over 20 years to film a documentary, and is using his weblog and website to raise funds for the trip. Contributors will be given a producer credit, so this might be your big chance to make it on IMDB someday.
posted by insomnia_lj on Dec 31, 2003 - 1 comment

Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!

Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?! Thankfully not.
Alan Tudball was supposed to marry his fiance Claire McCombe in April of this year, but unfortunately Iraq -- and friendly fire from two U.S. A-10 tankbusters (video) -- spoiled the wedding plans. Tudball would have died if not for brave Christopher Finney, who rescued the grievously wounded Tudball, even as the U.S. planes circled around for another strafing run. The M.O.D. refused to pay the wedding's cancellation fee, and the Leasowe Castle Hotel -- not knowing of Tudball's circumstances -- initiated a lawsuit, but after media attention and several concerned phone calls (mine included), I am pleased to announce that the management of the Leasowe Castle Hotel has announced that they are not only dropping the lawsuit, but that they will host the wedding of Mr. Alan Tudball and Miss Claire McCombe free of charge. It's worth noting that when our leaders seem to only be capable of serving up plastic turkeys, the action of ordinary people working together can still bring about honest-to-goodness Christmas miracles.
posted by insomnia_lj on Dec 23, 2003 - 2 comments

Saddam's spiderhole photo was taken in August?

Saddam's spiderhole photo was taken in August, or what? The fruit on the date palm behind the soldier is yellow. Date fruit grows from March-August (see 'Iraq' in table 23) and is harvested in early fall. Dates are yellow (ie. just ripened) in August, not December. I'm not invoking conspiracy - I'm just asking: what gives?
posted by mediaddict on Dec 21, 2003 - 87 comments

Shocking! They were lied to.

Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. If this is true, is he in trouble for saying it?
posted by bas67 on Dec 17, 2003 - 32 comments

Moose?

Robert "Moose" Cobb's new job --Under fire for its handling of postwar contracts in Iraq, the Bush administration plans to appoint NASA's inspector general to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad to oversee investigations of any alleged abuses. Cobb was Associate Presidential Counsel for Bush and before that spent nine years as a career attorney with the Office of Government Ethics. His appointment was seen as a bid by the administration to counter criticism -- mostly from Democrats in Congress -- that oversight of multibillion-dollar contracts has been lax. So can a guy who worked in the Bush White House actually be trusted to objectively investigate abuses? And if the Pentagon is auditing all of this, why use this guy? (and can the Pentagon objectively investigate this stuff either?)
posted by amberglow on Dec 15, 2003 - 16 comments

Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens

Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
posted by Postroad on Dec 14, 2003 - 22 comments

Warfare rules in Iraq.

Warfare rules in Iraq. Are there any? Should the US even be following the Geneva Convention in Iraq? (transcript) Warning: Graphic video embedded.
posted by skallas on Dec 11, 2003 - 50 comments

Antiwar protests in Iraq

Antiwar protests have broken out in Iraq and Iraqi blogger Zayed has photographs from the rally. Album 1, Album 2, Album 3. Blogger Omar is covering the protest too.
posted by swerdloff on Dec 11, 2003 - 65 comments

Powerful anti-war flash animation from the Kucinich campaign

Powerful anti-war flash animation from the Kucinich campaign. A bit heavy handed, but when dealing with life and death, literally, its best to just come out and say what one thinks.
posted by skallas on Dec 8, 2003 - 35 comments

wrence J. Korb Korb interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, November 12, 2003

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics in the Reagan administration Lawrence J. Korb is visiting Iraq on a trip that is a part of the Bush administration’s effort to inform the American people of the progress the U.S. is making in Iraq since the end of major combat and is reporting back every day with his findings on the ground. His interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, November 12, 2003 - Did you have a chance to walk the streets in Baghdad? No. They wouldn't let us do that. I guess they worried about our security. It was interesting. You couldn't walk anyplace. When we flew into Baghdad the first day, we landed at the airport and were going over to the palace where Bremer has his headquarters. They put us on an Apache helicopter from Baghdad International Airport and flew us to within 100 yards of Bremer's headquarters, and made us get on a bus. Even when we were in safe areas and were driving to see a Shiite cleric, they made us wear flak jackets, and they had Humvees and armored personnel carriers escorting us with guns pointed at the population. This is in the so-called safe Shiite area. Here is his Day Three In Iraq from November 7th.
posted by y2karl on Nov 25, 2003 - 29 comments

Call The Hague! Make room in Milosevic's cell!

Perle speaks (the truth)! International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal. I can't decide if this is really stupid or really shrewd. And can legal action be taken?
posted by amberglow on Nov 19, 2003 - 64 comments

Dear George

Dear President Bush, I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments. Harold Pinter, Playwright. Some caustic open letters in The Guardian for the big state visit.
posted by serafinapekkala on Nov 19, 2003 - 45 comments

Iraqi official shot dead over parking violation.

Iraqi official shot dead over parking violation. U.S. military officials said Tuesday that U.S. soldiers shot to death the chairman of Sadr City's governing council during a heated argument this week.... Officials said the quarrel got under way Monday when the chairman, Mohannad Ghazi al Kaabi, tried to park his car near the District Advisory Council building in an area closed to traffic.

Do you suppose this might have a negative impact on public opinion in Iraq?
posted by ilsa on Nov 11, 2003 - 56 comments

The story of one bomb

30,000 bombs were dropped on Iraq during the war. This is the story of just one. (RealVideo, 1h14m) While filming at a cross-roads in northern Iraq on April 6, a US Navy jet launched a bomb into a crowd of US and Kurdish soldiers who a BBC team were accompanying. In the seconds that followed, BBC cameraman Fred Scott began to film the disaster as it unfolded, footage which was heavily censored when shown on US news.
posted by Mwongozi on Nov 10, 2003 - 13 comments

'No President has lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably'

"Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably... The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything." So says Ray McGovern, who worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Now, who still believes the P(L)OTUS?
posted by acrobat on Nov 10, 2003 - 50 comments

Once a life, now just a foot.

The severed foot : "The force of the blast propelled this severed foot over a high wall, into the yard of an unoccupied house." - In Iraq, has the US seized something similar to the West bank or the Gaza strip (but the size and population of California) in which "The light at the end of the tunnel" casts a wan, pallid light over a future in which such events will seem routine ?
posted by troutfishing on Oct 30, 2003 - 30 comments

Making A Killing - The Business of War

A Private Army Grows Around the U.S. Mission in Iraq and Around the World As Report Shows Iraq Contractors Politically Active
--see also Making A Killing - The Business of War, and on the inside...
posted by y2karl on Oct 30, 2003 - 21 comments

Iraq Lacked Atom Whack

At least four times in the fall of 2002, the president and his advisers invoked the specter of a "mushroom cloud," and some of them, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, described Iraq's nuclear ambitions as a threat to the American homeland... Among the closely held internal judgments of the Iraq Survey Group, overseen by David Kay as special representative of CIA Director George J. Tenet, are that Iraq's nuclear weapons scientists did no significant arms-related work after 1991, that facilities with suspicious new construction proved benign, and that equipment of potential use to a nuclear program remained under seal or in civilian industrial use.

So in regards to Iraq's possession of the one weapon we can be certain causes mass destruction: the atomic bomb, as Gregg Easterbrook put it, the verdict is the unsurprising (and unsurprisingly closely held) nope, not, zero, zip, nada...
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2003 - 21 comments

Dead and gone.

Dying for your country no longer warrants a picture in the paper. Ban on pictures of the coffins of soliders killed in Iraq.
posted by spazzm on Oct 23, 2003 - 12 comments

State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts... to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy. Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems... warned... many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society. Several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials until recently... The work is now being relied on heavily as occupation forces struggle to impose stability in Iraq.
posted by y2karl on Oct 20, 2003 - 9 comments

Lies and the Lying Liars That Wage War

"Never before have so many stories been created to sell a war," says Sam Gardiner, author of a new report {.pdf, here's an html cache} that explains how the world was deceived.
posted by Domain Master 666 on Oct 17, 2003 - 35 comments

Karl Vick's

Karl Vick's "Live from Iraq" net chat today tackled many questions regarding Iraq, including how the press covers it. Vick: But the violence we write about goes to the central issue in Iraq today, at least according to Iraqis, and that is security. Without a feeling of safety, nothing much can happen in the way of progress here. Torn from today's headlines: A new school doesn't count for much if parents are afraid their kids are going to die in it.
posted by skallas on Oct 15, 2003 - 2 comments

You can have him...

I created this website because it seemed to me important that Americans said thank you to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British people.
posted by i_cola on Oct 9, 2003 - 49 comments

Iraq: What Went Wrong

Iraq: What Went Wrong By General Wesley K. Clark. I appreciate this article. It is simple, easy to read, and represents what I've been feeling for quite some time now. (NY Review of Books)
posted by y2karl on Oct 1, 2003 - 21 comments

A little Iraqi girl -- no more than eight years old

A little Iraqi girl -- no more than eight years old -- squatted beside the road with tears of humiliation streaming down her cheeks. Twenty feet away, three American soldiers had their rifles aimed at her as she was forced to relieve herself in full view of a long line of parked cars. From inside their vehicles, the Iraqi onlookers screamed their rage at the U.S. troops. Whenever one of the Iraqis ventured to step out of his vehicle, an American officer bellowed, "Get back in the car, a--hole!" and the .50-calibre machinegun mounted on the U.S. Hummer would swing menacingly toward the protester.
posted by tpoh.org on Sep 28, 2003 - 116 comments

President confirms link between Saddam Hussein and terrorism!

President confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism! " The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction."

In other news, we're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia... Food rations have jumped by 10%! Doubleplusgood!
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 23, 2003 - 39 comments

Stumbling Into War: a textbook study in how not to wage a diplomatic campaign

Stumbling Into War by James P. Rubin, From Foreign Affairs, September/October 2003

Why did most of the world abandon Washington when it went after Saddam Hussein? The war in Iraq could never have been an easy sell, but nor should it have been such a difficult one. The Bush administration badly botched the prewar maneuvering, presenting a textbook study in how not to wage a diplomatic campaign.
posted by y2karl on Sep 21, 2003 - 16 comments

Desperate Saddam Offers Americans Deal

Desperate Saddam Offers Americans Deal. Wait...no...move along...nothing to see here...move along please...
posted by stew560 on Sep 21, 2003 - 16 comments

Arrogance of Power

US soldier kills rare tiger in Iraq zoo
...during a drunken night of revelry involving - you guessed it - feeding the animals. Geez, this occupation gets better every day.
posted by mapalm on Sep 20, 2003 - 100 comments

Let's fire Rumsfeld!

Let's fire Rumsfeld! Moveon wants him fired and so does Truemajority. Considering the White House has been looking for a fall guy for Iraq for some time now, can the constituents help Bush decide? I guess we can debate the effectiveness of petitions but photos like these are just impressive.
posted by skallas on Sep 18, 2003 - 31 comments

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up?

Think We Can (French) Kiss and Make Up? Two years ago it was "I'll always love and support you". It only took a little while, though, before the arguments began. But there are always counselors to help you work on the relationship. There is even talk of reconciliation. And anyway, this love-hate relationship has been going on for almost three centuries.
posted by twsf on Sep 11, 2003 - 10 comments

Dude, where's my WMD?

So, how to explain the incorrect allegations about Iraqi WMD? Lies? Self-interest? Ideology? Clerical error?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Sep 8, 2003 - 29 comments

US Army Used Reporters for Own Ends in Iraq War

U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.

The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.

But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
posted by fenriq on Sep 8, 2003 - 15 comments

Anybody see this coming?

Anybody see this coming? The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
posted by FormlessOne on Aug 25, 2003 - 28 comments

Stern on Iraq and terrorism

Chaos in Iraq is breeding support for terrorists. This is a refreshingly lucid piece by Jessica Stern on the situation in Iraq. Stern has also written recently on al Qaeda's protean nature. She is the author of Terror in the Name of God, and apparently she was the inspiration for Nicole Kidman's character in The Peacemaker.
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2003 - 15 comments

Cherry picking shopping

$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned...His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say. Rider ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Aug 13, 2003 - 22 comments

Mr. President, everything is finished.

How the Iraq war was lost. "'These were the orders of an imbecile. Qusai [Hussein] was like a teenager playing a video war game,' [Republican Guard Col. Raeed] Faik, 33, said in the cool reception room of his Baghdad home, gesturing to his teenage son banging away on a computer combat game." "We were like 10 different armies fighting their own private wars," said another Iraqi soldier. An account of the war as seen through the eyes of the Iraqi military.
posted by Zonker on Aug 11, 2003 - 11 comments

$10,000 for information on attacks in Iraq

$10,000 for information on attacks in Iraq Sort of like playing the lottery. If you figure the odds on getting the big fish as in Powerball --Saddam for 25 million--are against you, then play the daily for 25 thousand. Turn in your brother-in-law, for example for some quick bucks. Sounds like a worthwhile way to snag some bad folks and I am surprised it hadn't been used earlier. Good use of my tax bucks.
posted by Postroad on Jul 30, 2003 - 6 comments

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