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Abu Ghraib Interrogator Becomes Conscientious Objector

A riveting ten-minute interview with playwright and former US Army interrogator Joshua Casteel. He discusses how a particular interrogation with an Iraqi prisoner--and an exchange of views on Islam and Christianity--motivated him to leave the armed forces and become a conscientious objector.
posted by dbarefoot on Nov 14, 2007 - 42 comments

Then came the funny part. Mr. Majeed keeled over dead.

"The neighborhood of Bab al Sheik dates from a time, more than a thousand years ago, when Baghdad ruled the Islamic world... Ten centuries later, Bab al Sheik is less grand, but still extraordinary: it has been spared the sectarian killing that has gutted other neighborhoods, and Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and Christians live together here with unusual ease." A NY Times story (by Sabrina Tavernise and Karim Hilmi) about interesting people in an interesting place. (Print version for them as wants one.)
posted by languagehat on Nov 13, 2007 - 15 comments

An update on the 'Marlboro Marine'

Photo-Essay on the Marlboro Marine and PTSD. An update on this story: 1, 2.
posted by salvia on Nov 12, 2007 - 35 comments

rolling on

Coming Home - in honor of Veteran's Day, it might be fitting to check in on the recovery of J.R. Salzman, known here on mefi as Logboy.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 11, 2007 - 41 comments

Seymour Hersh speaks at third Annual Amnesty International Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, Oct 24/2007

Seymour Hersh speaks at third Annual Amnesty International Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin, Oct 24/2007. YouTube links 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by dougzilla on Nov 11, 2007 - 19 comments

A dainty little cherry on top of the sundae of Iraq

Skip this one if you're sick of posts about Iraq or comment threads containing the word "Heckuva", but what would happen if Mosul's "Saddam Dam" ("Sadd Saddam" in Arabic) collapsed?
it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet
Good, because the US Army Corps of Engineers rates chances of collapse "exceptionally high". Top that, God.
posted by paul_smatatoes on Nov 10, 2007 - 88 comments

Iraq Out How

The focus of the current issue of Mother Jones is the Moral Dilemma of Leaving Iraq.
posted by shotgunbooty on Oct 29, 2007 - 27 comments

Just paddle on down to Aintry

War and Deliverance [Original format] How "an old movie may offer perspective on American attitudes behind the invasion of Iraq." By Christopher Dickey, son of the man who wrote the novel Deliverance.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 22, 2007 - 17 comments

Valerie Plame v. The CIA

Wilson et al v. McConnell et al. This site has all the legal documents surrounding Valerie Plame's legal case against the CIA over her new book. CIA censors blacked out 10 percent of the copy, as can seen in this excerpt from the book, and Plame is not allowed to speak freely in her interviews. [Via No Quarter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 22, 2007 - 87 comments

Meeting Resistance

Know Thine Enemy. "In a video Op-Ed by documentary filmmakers Molly Bingham and Steve Connors, Iraqis explain the roots of the insurgency." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2007 - 15 comments

War in Iraq continuing to go to plan.... well, everyone else's plan but the Administration's

Turkish MPs back attacks in Iraq. [BBC] The vote was taken in defiance of pressure from the US and Iraq, which have called on Turkey for restraint. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the motion does not mean a military operation is imminent. But he said Turkey needed to be able to respond to a recent rise in bomb attacks blamed on PKK rebels from Iraq [Previously]. Also, [SeaTimes] Flourishing Kurdistan raises specter of war. Needless to say, this is giving the Bush Administration a four alarm Turkish headache on two fronts.
posted by psmealey on Oct 17, 2007 - 19 comments

Armenian genocide

Genocide: An inconvenient truth "The Armenian genocide bill has been attacked by both the right and the left -- and it may make matters worse. But it's necessary." [Cookie.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2007 - 56 comments

Cats and War

What Cats Know About War. A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2007 - 30 comments

Iraq was just the beginning.

Iraq was just the beginning. According to retired General Wesley Clark, a top-secret memo detailed a plan for “taking out” seven countries in five years, ending with Iran. [more inside]
posted by FeldBum on Oct 14, 2007 - 129 comments

It's the Oil

It’s the Oil (Stupid)
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on Oct 11, 2007 - 69 comments

In the hollow of an unarmorial age

“Iraq War Memorial: Death of Prince Harry" features the in fact hale and hearty royal scion "laid out before the Union Jack with pennies placed over his eyes and head rested on the Bible...Prone with his unfired gun still holstered, Prince Harry is represented clutching a bloodied flag of Wales, and holding to his heart a cameo locket of his late mother, Princess Diana, while a desert vulture perches on his boot...a bronze casting of Prince Harry’s 'severed ears' also set for display at the Trafalgar Hotel will be offered on eBay." Via.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 11, 2007 - 50 comments

John Simpson, on actors

John Simpson, on actors.
posted by veedubya on Oct 9, 2007 - 23 comments

Who's Soft on Terrorism?

Who's soft on terrorism? Surely not the Democrats, who are about to enable the National Security Agency to extend its secret domestic wiretapping program after saying otherwise for months. Surely not the Republican White House, determined to rush out a new Osama bin Laden video even if it burns an intelligence connection spying on Al Qaeda that has been carefully cultivated for years.
posted by digaman on Oct 9, 2007 - 81 comments

Haditha

The Erosion of a Murder Case Against Marines in the Killing of 24 Iraqi Civilians. "Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago. But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children." [Via The Agonist.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 6, 2007 - 46 comments

Oh Blackwater, keep on rollin', Mesopotamia moon won't you keep on shinin' on me.

"Not associated with Blackwater USA." "Blackwater USA is not responsible for this site." "This is an independent site and is not affiliated with Blackwater USA." There's a new trend in the blogosphere, of anonymous people putting significant effort into creating blogs defending military contractor Blackwater USA. Just another bunch of passionate amateur fans showing Old Media how to report a story, or a calculated Astroturf campaign by a well-heeled PR firm? Maybe these guys know.
posted by scalefree on Oct 5, 2007 - 119 comments

Adding up US subsidies for auto travel with and without the costs of war

In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way. The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia on Oct 2, 2007 - 99 comments

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs. [washpo - flash & flash video]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 30, 2007 - 22 comments

Basra Diary

Basra Diary (Google Video)
"Last year, I completed my first tour of duty, in Basra, southern Iraq. I kept a video diary. This is the film I made, which details the experiences of both myself, and my colleagues, told in my own words."
posted by Mwongozi on Sep 29, 2007 - 25 comments

$9 billion missing

Billions over Baghdad. "Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled."
posted by homunculus on Sep 27, 2007 - 50 comments

Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

The Khaldun Option

A Kurdish-controlled Iraq?
The goal of human society, ibn Khaldun thought, was the development of culture and the sciences.
For a variety of reasons, namely "geopolitical reality," it'd never work, but a poli-sci friend of mine did call it "philosophically interesting and compelling even."
posted by kliuless on Sep 24, 2007 - 30 comments

Military baiting, killing Iraqis

"Hey look at this shiny trinket, I think I'll pick it up and see what it---OH GOD MY FACE." A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
posted by null terminated on Sep 24, 2007 - 77 comments

How George Bush became the new Saddam

How George Bush became the new Saddam. "Its strategies shattered, a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator's henchmen." [Via Firedoglake.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 22, 2007 - 54 comments

The Sumerian Language

Sumerian is the first language for which we have written evidence and its literature the earliest known. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, a project of the University of Oxford, comprises a selection of nearly 400 translated literary compositions recorded on sources which come from ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and date to the late third and early second millennia BCE. Not enough for you? Why not impress your friends (and confuse your enemies) by translating some english words into Sumerian?
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 20, 2007 - 39 comments

Scenes from "The War Tapes"

TED presentation: "Filmmaker Deborah Scranton talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes, which put cameras in the hands of Charlie Company, a unit of the National Guard, for one year in Iraq. The soldiers' raw footage and diary excerpts tell a powerful, unsettling story of modern war.
posted by McLir on Sep 20, 2007 - 6 comments

1,220,580 - None Dare Call It Genocide

...These findings come from a poll released today by ORB, the British polling agency that has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005. In conjunction with their Iraqi fieldwork agency a representative sample of 1,499 adults aged 18+ answered the following question: How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)?
Answer: 1,220,580
Tables pdf
FinalDeadNumbersWEIGHTED.xls
See also Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M
See also None Dare Call It Genocide
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2007 - 131 comments

We don't need no steeenkin' license!

"That's not what we meant by the 'improving the security of the Iraqi people' benchmark." At least the Wonkette comments are humorous.
posted by spock on Sep 17, 2007 - 81 comments

shock doctrine at work

shock doctrine at work
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.
posted by specialk420 on Sep 17, 2007 - 40 comments

NYT first video "letter to the editor"

The New York Times has published its first video "letter to the editor", a 10-minute mini-documentary by Charles Ferguson on the decision by L. Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army shortly after the US occupation began. The video is posted as a rebuttal to a recent op-ed by Bremer that tried to redistribute some of the blame for that catastrophic blunder that in large part gave birth to the Sunni insurgency.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 15, 2007 - 22 comments

Leave Him Alone.

"He's a human. And all you Democrats want to do is knock him down." [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Sep 14, 2007 - 41 comments

It's Tuesday

Martin Amis on 9/11 and the cult of death: [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 11, 2007 - 71 comments

Scott Ritter Waging Peace

Scott Ritter on Book TV: "Opposing this war is the easiest thing in the world to do, because it's the right thing to do. And yet, the anti-war movement can't get it's act together. That's why I wrote this book. The anti-war movement thinks that a strategy is holding a demonstration on a street corner, holding hands, lighting candles and singing Kumbia... No, that's not a strategy. That may qualify as a tactic. But a tactic divorced from strategy is just the 'noise before defeat.' ...That's why when I say, 'Waging Peace: The Art of War for the anti-war movement,' I use that terminology. I know there are some people in the anti-war movement that are against it. They say, 'There's no way we can support something like that.' Well then you will continue to get your butts kicked." [Previously]
posted by McLir on Sep 7, 2007 - 95 comments

Planning for Defeat -- How should we withdraw from Iraq ?

Planning for Defeat -- How should we withdraw from Iraq ?
by George Packer
posted by y2karl on Sep 7, 2007 - 40 comments

Leaving home...

Riverbend resurfaces in Syria
posted by dinsdale on Sep 6, 2007 - 36 comments

The Long War

The Long War Journal. Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 6, 2007 - 4 comments

The killing of Jamie Dean

The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus on Sep 4, 2007 - 27 comments

Considering a war with Iran

"Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East" (PDF). A new study by two British scholars claims that the United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch a massive assault on Iran. This comes just in time for the post Labor Day product rollout. [Via Informed Comment.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 2, 2007 - 81 comments

Illegal attacks

Ian Brown, the former lead singer with The Stone Roses has a new single out. Illegal Attacks is an anti-war song featuring Sinead O'Connor urging the US and UK governments to "bring the soldiers back home". The striking thing about the song, to my mind, is its scarcity value. The War in Vietnam brought us anti-war songs by Glen Campbell (Galveston); Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Ohio); Edwin Star (War!); Donovan (The Universal Soldier); Steppenwolf (Draft Resister); Billy Joel (Goodnight Saigon); Bruce Springstien (Born in the USA); Jimmy Cliff (Vietnam) Nina Simone (Backlash Blues) and many, many more . Why have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are as deeply unpopular, not generated a similar body of work?
posted by MrMerlot on Aug 29, 2007 - 86 comments

Bonaparte and Bush on Deck

Lessons from Past Western Incursions in the Middle East. A speech by Juan Cole at the New America Foundation in which he discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East, and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq. A shorter version, covering many of the same points, is in this article: Pitching the Imperial Republic.
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2007 - 17 comments

The Great Iraq Swindle

The Great Iraq Swindle: How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 26, 2007 - 78 comments

America to the Rescue

Three Generations of “America to the Rescue.”
posted by homunculus on Aug 23, 2007 - 39 comments

Kerr Magee had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to call their waste an "experimental fertilizer" and just spread it over the top of the land.

Depleted uranium is now understood to have many medical consequences unique to its modern application as munitions, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra. The EU has called for a moratorium on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5)
posted by mek on Aug 22, 2007 - 52 comments

The War as We Saw It

The War as We Saw It. A powerful op-ed about Iraq written by seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division who will soon be heading home, it has received surprisingly little attention.
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2007 - 72 comments

Impeachment Day

Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text, or if you prefer there is some audio at the 51min mark from This American Life.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 17, 2007 - 7 comments

Iraq milestone

A milestone in the Iraq conflict.
posted by bobbyelliott on Aug 12, 2007 - 81 comments

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