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Human shields

Is there a link between today's headline: Baghdad Car Bombs Kill 34 Children Receiving Sweets (from American troops) and this Wall Street Journal front page article from September 22th?

"Capt. Ayers took lessons from his fellow captains. In April, Capt. Jesse Beaudin convinced a friend from the U.S. to send backpacks, notebooks and pencils for schoolchildren. Kids mobbed troops for the goods whenever they went out on patrol. "The kids provided security. No one attacked us when we were surrounded by children," Capt. Beaudin says. After hearing about this tactic at the dining hall, Capt. Ayers's men also wrote home requesting school supplies." Non-subscribers can read the WSJ article here
posted by miguelbar on Sep 30, 2004 - 15 comments

Roadmap for the Prosecution

Terrorising free speech. Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win", has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
posted by acrobat on Sep 29, 2004 - 30 comments

BUSH'S FLIP FLOPS

Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq: "A flip and a flop and now just a flop." Delightful Moore (to those who like what he does), and a few links to backup his reasoning for those who don't.
posted by acrobat on Sep 28, 2004 - 52 comments

Massacre of Civilians in Fallujah --

Massacre of Civilians in Fallujah -- "Aw dude!" A war crime in Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Sep 24, 2004 - 45 comments

Iraq: The Bungled Transition, How bad can things get? The Making of a Mess Far graver than Vietnam

Iraq: The Bungled Transition. Iraq: How bad can things get?--The Making of a Mess. Far graver than Vietnam, some now see a Classic guerrilla war forming in Iraq with an Enemy With Many Faces. Iraqi Shiite philosopher--as Juan Cole calls him--and blogger Abbas Kadhim of Calling It Like It Is, likens the Allawi government to an onion farm--This lack of discipline within the Iraqi interim government is not accidental. Indeed, it is the manifestation of a bigger problem: the members of the cabinet consider themselves above the restraints of their respective positions in the government... After all, their nominal chief, Allawi did not choose them, like all prime ministers do to a certain degree. They were simply imposed upon him, and for all practical purposes, he is unable to dismiss any one of them. Iyad Allawi is stuck with a concoction of personalities that may compose a parliament rather than an executive branch.--and as US-backed armies firing blanks notes: Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Washington has been struggling to create a 40,000-strong military force... according to Brigadier General James Schwitters, who is part of the US command responsible for training Iraq's new army, only 3,000 of the soldiers could be regarded as having been militarily trained, as of early August. From March to 2003 to August 2004, the Coalition trained 3,00 Iraqi soldiers. Well? Feelin' lucky, punk? /Dirty Harry (More Inside)
posted by y2karl on Sep 21, 2004 - 58 comments

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.

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.'
posted by fleener on Sep 19, 2004 - 14 comments

Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies'

Colin Powell in Four-letter Neo-con 'crazies' Row Perhaps Colin should have said they were cheney crazies.
posted by rough ashlar on Sep 14, 2004 - 30 comments

That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small

"To Kill the Child" and "Leaving Beirut" - two new songs written in response to the Iraq war by Roger Waters, and posted to his website in various streaming formats.
posted by GriffX on Sep 10, 2004 - 14 comments

The Grim Glory of War

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".
posted by acrobat on Sep 9, 2004 - 40 comments

US Army to Rebid Halliburton Contracts

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.
posted by fenriq on Sep 7, 2004 - 26 comments

Bush cares for the Saudis--not us.

Factfilter: Sen. Bob Graham's new book shows coverup.on Saudi's behalf Bush had concluded that ''a nation-state that had aided the terrorists should not be held publicly to account,'' Graham wrote. "It was as if the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety.'' And there's stuff about Iraq, too. After wearing 9/11 like a tiara during the convention, will the facts finally be aired?
posted by amberglow on Sep 6, 2004 - 29 comments

Iraq In Transition: Vortex or Catalyst?

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
posted by y2karl on Sep 2, 2004 - 8 comments

Impeach Tony Blair

Impeach Tony Blair. Backed by a large dossier, supported by a handful (so far) of UK members of parliament. Summarised by The Spectator.
posted by iffley on Aug 26, 2004 - 21 comments

Peace breaks out. War surrenders!

Peace breaks out. War surrenders! Grand Ayatollah Sistani has returned to Iraq, and is leading a nationwide march to the holy city of Najaf to peacefully resolve the conflict. Moqtada al-Sadr's people have called upon their supporters to join the march too. Will Sadr and his Mahdi Army walk away free men? Double secret probation, maybe?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 25, 2004 - 4 comments

Federally funded Sci-Fi

Federally Funded Science Fiction. The CIA announced today that next month's final report on Iraq's weapons program under Saddam Hussein will mostly encompass an analysis of what they believe Iraq would be like through 2008 had Bush not invaded the country. Because when you want accurate, detailed analysis of the future of Iraq's weapons, you turn to the group that got it completely wrong during the present.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 20, 2004 - 27 comments

Fourth Estate Failure

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?'' "Editors at The Washington Post acknowledge they underplayed stories questioning President Bush's claims of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq." The weblog Lunaville notes that The Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland found that "since September 11, 2001, the Bush administration has been especially successful at getting the American media to confirm its political and diplomatic agenda. Media reporting on the President amplified the administration s voice: when Bush said to the country that Americans are vulnerable to WMD in the hands of terrorists, the media effectively magnified those fears." Lawrence Lessig says: "As media becomes more concentrated, competition to curry favor with politicians only increases... Concentrated media and expansive copyright are the perfect storm not just for stifling debate but, increasingly, for weakening democracy as well." Can we make the media democratic?
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Aug 12, 2004 - 17 comments

Toppling Saddam: Iraq and American Military Transformation

Toppling Saddam: Iraq and American Military Transformation (pdf) The relative speed and ease of the first phase of the war in Iraq are due in part to U.S. military prowess, but also to Iraqi weakness, according to a critical internal account prepared for the U.S. Army."The shortcomings of Saddam's military played an important role in limiting the cost of major combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coalition strengths were important contributors, but so were Iraqi weaknesses."As a result, there are "important limitations on the Iraq War's lessons for other defense planning challenges.... The Iraqis' shortcomings created a permissive environment for Coalition technology that a more skilled opponent elsewhere might not," according to the study Foreword. The study, which does represent an official U.S. Army perspective, has not been formally released. See also Joe Galloway: Don't Take Too Much From U.S.' Iraq War Experience See also The Fallacies Of Military Transformation See also Victory Misunderstood: What the Gulf War Tells Us About the Future of Conflict See also Afghanistan and the Future of Warfare
posted by y2karl on Jul 27, 2004 - 19 comments

Scott Ritter on Iraq.

Scott Ritter on Iraq. Some interesting reading here from the man who stood up to the President, the pundits, the media, etc and told the world that chances are Iraq had few to no WMD. Now he's warning us that Saddam's people are really in charge and how Allawi's government is doomed to fail. Man, I hate the IHT interface.
posted by skallas on Jul 26, 2004 - 27 comments

Russia To Send Troops To Iraq?

Russia To Send Troops To Iraq? If this takes place, will it impact the forthcoming election in the United States? "Sources close to Russia's Security Council say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to the request "in principle" and has directed the Russian General Staff to work up a plan by the end of the month. "
posted by Postroad on Jul 17, 2004 - 32 comments

Straight from the source

"When two Iraqis sit together to talk then politics will be there."

Quite a powerful weblog post by Baghdad citizen 'Mohammed' who tries to focus on the positive side of things against ever increasing frustration. Just one of a number of Iraqi weblogs that are beginning to pop up now that both the Internet and freedom of speech is available to the commoners.
posted by Jase_B on Jul 13, 2004 - 19 comments

We can finally joke about beheadings...

The kidnap videos in Iraq are suspicious. Some say they are fake. Some make their own... what do you think of this one? A rare bit of humor from Al-Jazeera. [.wmv]
posted by pemulis on Jul 12, 2004 - 11 comments

More Whitewash, Jeeves?

As the verdict of Butler Report into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, draws near in Britain, a senior intelligence source reveals that MI6 took the "rare step" of withdrawing the intelligence assessment that underpinned the claim that Saddam had continued to produce WMD (an admission that such information was fundamentally unreliable), however Blair did not tell the public "that the evidence of WMD was crumbling beneath him". [Watch the Panorama programme in question here for 7 days from 11-7-2004] The Dossier that Lord Hutton declared was not sexed-up (leading to senior BBC resignations), Dr Brian Jones (former head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Intelligence Staff) says was sexed-up, and details exactly how.
posted by Blue Stone on Jul 12, 2004 - 26 comments

War on iraq

'The Dots Never Existed' Taken together, the facts in the report show that virtually every major claim President George W. Bush used to justify the invasion of Iraq—from Saddam's growing nuclear program to his close ties with Al Qaeda—was either wrong or exaggerated.
posted by Rastafari on Jul 11, 2004 - 63 comments

Thousandth U.S. soldier dies in War on Terror.

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.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jul 7, 2004 - 51 comments

It turns out it wasn't Joe Klein

The anonymous author of Imperial Hubris has been revealed.
posted by sixpack on Jul 2, 2004 - 12 comments

Operators Standing By

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...
posted by owillis on Jun 16, 2004 - 10 comments

sound familiar?

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."
posted by sunexplodes on Jun 5, 2004 - 9 comments

Some lysol, bleach, heavy duty trash bags...

Calling the 'cleaner' - like Harvey Keitel, who has both played a 'cleaner' and become one in real life, Zbigniew Brzezinski now moves in to rectify the mess. "The present policy - justified by falsehoods, pursued with unilateral arrogance, blinded by self-delusion, and stained by sadistic excesses - cannot be corrected with a few hasty palliatives."
posted by troutfishing on May 30, 2004 - 16 comments

intrerim P.M

IRC nominates one of their own to be interim P.M. U.S. supports this even though only one-tenth of one percent of Iraqis believe they should be making this choice, according to CPA poll.
posted by dreeed on May 28, 2004 - 13 comments

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles After witnessing the Pentagon's inconclusive retreat from both Fallujah and Najaf without achieving the "success" of pacification or elimination of the local resistance, it seems that apart from incidentally killing several thousand Iraqis, causing lots of property damage, uniting Shias and Sunnis, and promoting minor clerics into major resistance leaders, today's Pentagon forces are quite ineffectual within dense urban areas. I am reminded of the words of the ex-Deputy PM of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq: People say to me, 'You are not the Vietnamese. You have no jungles and swamps' ... I reply, 'Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles.'.
posted by meehawl on May 27, 2004 - 48 comments

The Times and Iraq

Finally the NYT offers up an analysis of its pre-war coverage. "But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge."
posted by raaka on May 26, 2004 - 35 comments

Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy How to get out of the quagmire that is Iraq:
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.

posted by dayvin on May 25, 2004 - 4 comments

Young Republicans Managing Iraq

"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 ever.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 24, 2004 - 49 comments

Don't Let 'Em See It!

Ban on Camera Phones in Iraq Q: What do you do if your troops take pictures of physical and sexual abuse in American-run prisons in Iraq? A: Ban cameras, of course. What the people can't see don't happen.
posted by dayvin on May 23, 2004 - 73 comments

The Moral Case Against the Iraq War

The Moral Case Against the Iraq War
Also on the moral tip, Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales (PDF)
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2004 - 36 comments

In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq

In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq Bringing democracy to the area...Ladies: do we have some surprises in store for you. Is Iran to be the model? "The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US administration "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there. ..."
posted by Postroad on May 16, 2004 - 25 comments

Fallujah, Sadr, and the Eroding US Position in Iraq

Fallujah, Sadr, and the Eroding US Position in Iraq (PDF)
Why the US Has Already "Lost" Some Aspects of its Battles in Fallujah; A Negotiated Solution Means Limiting the Scale of Defeat; No Military Solution Can Now Work and What the US Should Do Now   by Anthony Cordesman
posted by y2karl on May 11, 2004 - 19 comments

the wrong morons

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."
posted by Ty Webb on May 11, 2004 - 23 comments

The Scandal's Growing Stain

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

Oh, and don't pack your camera.

You too can apply to become a private interrogater in Baghdad! [Via Randi Rhodes on Air America]

Assists the interrogation support program team lead to increase the effectiveness of dealing with Detainees, Persons of Interest, and Prisoners of War (POWs) that are in the custody of US/Coalition Forces...
posted by moonbird on May 7, 2004 - 44 comments

Pictures from Iraq

Pictures from Iraq Allegedly from someone who served in Iraq.
posted by turbanhead on Apr 24, 2004 - 35 comments

The truth is out there

The truth that MeFites don't want you to know. As a follow-up to this post on "the Coffins GWB doesn't want you to see," it is revealed that many of the photographs that ran rampant over the Internet and wire services weren't of fallen American soldiers, but were of the crew of the Columbia.
posted by swerdloff on Apr 23, 2004 - 109 comments

Journalising humanity

A photo journal of a UNPA Nurse Practitioner's experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 12, 2004 - 4 comments

One Year After Saddam

Seeds of the Revolt: U.S. Targeted Fiery Cleric In Risky Move
'Damn the US and damn the resistance'
The delusions of war
New nationalism that unites Iraq
'Expect Snipers on All Minarets'
One Year After Saddam
posted by y2karl on Apr 11, 2004 - 142 comments

minority extremists

today's challenge: what do you do with those darn minority extremists when their numbers keep growing?
posted by coyroy on Apr 8, 2004 - 16 comments

Sabra. Shatila. Falluja.

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?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 8, 2004 - 68 comments

Gas masks, get your gas masks here...

That American forces use depleted uranium in our weapons isn't news, but these statistic are a little spooky. According to Bob Nichols at the Dissident Voice, we've unleased 4,000,000 pounds of DU in Iraq. That's the radioactive equivalent of 250,000 Nagasaki bombs (pdf) says Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, former chief of Naval Staff in India. And since it's dust...it travels with the wind, which means Europe will see some fallout. It also turns out that most of the soldiers didn't know they were using DU, didn't know what DU was, and are now suffering reactions to it.
posted by dejah420 on Apr 6, 2004 - 32 comments

Shia Uprising

Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Shiite Uprising Occupation Forces Battle Cleric's Followers As Widespread Demonstrations Erupt in Iraq
A Young Radical's Anti-U.S. Wrath Is Unleashed For months, as American occupation authorities have focused on a moderate Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a radical young Shiite cleric named Moktada al-Sadr has been spewing invective and threatening a widespread insurrection. On Sunday, he unleashed it. At his word, thousands of disciples, wearing green headbands and carrying automatic rifles, stormed into the streets of several cities and set off the most widespread mayhem of the occupation. Witnesses and occupation officials said the disciples occupied police stations, fired rocket-propelled grenades at American troops and overran government security in Kufa, the town in south central Iraq where Mr. Sadr lives. "The occupation is over!" many yelled. "We are now controlled by Sadr!"
posted by y2karl on Apr 4, 2004 - 166 comments

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

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