"Many Marines I talk to are skeptical of the aims used to justify the war - fighting terrorism, getting weapons of mass destruction (which they never see). Quite a few accept that this war was probably fought for oil." 'The Killer Elite', Evan Wright's coverage of a US Marine Corps Battalion in the 2003 Iraq War
(later developed into the book and TV series Generation Kill
). [more inside]
Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books
: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
NSC mtg. with President—
As [it] ended he asked to see me alone…
After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone
He was at his desk—
He talked about the meet
Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
"Hell Broke Luce" -- a surreal anti-war video
from Tom Waits
for his powerful song based on the harrowing story of Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey
, a 23-year old Iraq war Marine veteran who committed suicide in 2004.
From Waits' 22d album Bad As Me
(2011, AntiRecords) [more inside]
Combat operations in Iraq are over!
Except, the AP says "our content should not refer to the end of combat in Iraq, or the end of U.S. military involvement."
Meanwhile, in Iraq, a new show has been airing since Ramadan that has been described as "Punk’d, Iraqi-Style, at a Checkpoint
." You can watch 14-minutes of the show (in Arabic, no English subtitles), here
"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?"
With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis
have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say
, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline
presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
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.
, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free)
on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
What is the "Oil Spot Strategy", and is the U.S. following it in Iraq? Scholars
[reg. required] and politicians
have been calling for a strategy in Iraq based on the one the British used during the Malayan Emergency
for awhile now. There have been indications that the U.S. has been listening
. It sounds like a good idea, the only problem being that it is estimated to take about ten years
to work [2nd section].
Grandmas protest the war in Iraq and get the cuffs
Funny, great story.
We tried to ring the bell at the booth, but no one answered," Wile said. "I saw a head poke up from behind the counter every once in a while and then duck back down. I don't know what they were afraid of. Maybe they don't know how to deal with a bunch of grannies."
Barbarism or good ole American capitalism?
If you want to see the true face of war, go to the amateur porn Web site NowThatsFuckedUp.com
. For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography.
Are the counter protests today
pro-war or something else? Photos coming into the news wires show a mixture of devout Bush loyalty
, people erecting giant Ten Commandments and traitor paranoia
... and not to forget.. supporting the troops
So is this just a misfire of people who simply hate protestors or do they believe in something besides waving the flag
are running a different kind of guerrilla war. And at least one
is apparently playing havoc with coalition troops.
'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund
has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq
on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites
.'The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
A new Harper's article by Jeff Sharlet
, author of the also-must-read Jesus Plus Nothing
. To win a war, you must have an elaborate strategy...
Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.
Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt
from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran
. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War
, Wars Without End
, Oiling the Wheels of War
, and Imperial Reach
from his articles
for The Nation
alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars
and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel
and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil
. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers
, which detail Torture's Paper Trail
, and, then there's Hungry for Air
: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
[...]By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.
But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?[...]
Medals of Freedom awarded
and I'd like to make some smart comment about current Iraqi conditions and the award and the presenter, but why bother - make your own.
From Guernica to Fallujah
It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed - and the whole world is aware and silent. Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah."
- Female Iraqi blogger Riverbend
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush
Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.
Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
The grim glory of war.
Hundreds of pictures from the front lines in Iraq. I was very skeptical about posting this link, but I thought it'd be useful to all our sofa warriors here at MeFi, so they'll have some images to relate to whenever they equate "support our troops" with "keep them there for as long as it takes".
US Army to Rebid Halliburton Contracts
Looks like Halliburton's about to lose its sweetheart deal as the US Army looks to rebidthe contracts.
"Pentagon auditors last month "strongly" urged the Army to withhold paying 15 percent of Halliburton's bills in Iraq, saying the company had not provided enough details to support at least $1.82 billion out of $4.3 billion of logistical work."
Insert inappropriate snide political comment here.
Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst? (PDF)
A key message of the report is that should Iraq fragment, a sectarian struggle between the Shi’a majority and Sunni minority is more likely to flare up in the context of a political breakdown. Al Qaeda and other militant Sunni groups will contribute to the polarisation between Sunnis, Shi’a and other religious groups in Iraq. A fragmented Iraq could provide a breeding ground for new militant factions, both Islamist and non-Islamist. Press release
Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died in the War on Terror.
As of today, 872 soldiers have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 129 in Operation Enduring Freedom
. Time for a moment of silence, perhaps, before sharing your reflections on the subject.
You Too Can Profit From The War on Terra
"You’d think with both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars well under way and with the war on terrorism being more than two years old that the share price of any bullet proof vest manufacturer would be fully valued. Not so!
The company that manufactures the amazing life saving bullet proof vests that Sgt. Travis L. McKinney wrote to from the Iraq front line is not only undervalued but is a screaming takeover candidate that is poised to enjoy an up to 450% increase in its stock price." Operators are standing by...
I have been in torture photos, too.
Gerry Adams speaks out. "News of the ill-treatment of prisoners in Iraq created no great surprise in republican Ireland. We have seen and heard it all before. Some of us have even survived that type of treatment. Suggestions that the brutality in Iraq was meted out by a few miscreants aren't even seriously entertained here. We have seen and heard all that before as well. But our experience is that, while individuals may bring a particular impact to their work, they do so within interrogative practices authorised by their superiors."
How to get out of
the quagmire that is
To implement this exit strategy, we will have to practice running quickly. It is further recommended that, while running, the eyes be cast down, to avoid witnessing any last-minute people trying to kill us. We will have to establish excellent communications so that the moment that final person begins dying, we can all begin running quickly at the same time, eyes cast down, quickly, to our vehicles, to get to the airport and get out of the country.
"Brat Pack" - the twentysomething Young Republicans who are running Iraq's economy.
Their resumes all pulled from the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation, they came to Iraq with no experience and found themselves with six-figure salaries managing the $13 billion budget of the Coalition Provisional Authority. An amazing article from The Washington Post
that reads like the scariest season of MTV's The Real World
The Wrong Morons.
(from the Army Times
) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
Pictures from Iraq
Allegedly from someone who served in Iraq.
A photo journal
of a UNPA Nurse Practitioner's experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sabra. Shatila. Falluja?
At least 280 people killed. 400 more wounded. Many more buried in the rubble. A city with 300,000 civilians and no food. No water. Nowhere to bury the dead. No place to run. No end in sight.
Only one camera crew is currently in Falluja. These are the pictures
that are being broadcast across the entire Arab world. So... which is worse
? Is it justifiable? An act of liberation? A horrific mistake? Or is it a war crime?!
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
One year later
"It's easy to send soldiers off to war. It's a lot harder to face them when they come home"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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?
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...