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loaded questions

The loaded meaning behind 'What do you do?': [Deb] Fallows says the questions are meant to tease out socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, and cultural background. “You know that somebody’s kind of digging for information to put you into their world – how do you fit into my world?” [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 7, 2014 - 357 comments

The Lafcadio Hearn of Our Time

Donald Richie, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004
[more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Feb 19, 2013 - 23 comments

Academic freedom under attack in NYC

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school. [more inside]
posted by mek on Feb 3, 2013 - 142 comments

Great Wealth Is A Public Trust

Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 7, 2012 - 68 comments

Jewish-Freemasonic Yowl

"But maybe the single most remarkable example of 20th-century totalitarian invective against jazz that Skvorecky ever relayed was here in the intro to The Bass Saxophone, where he recalls -- faithfully, he assures us ("they had engraved themselves deeply on my mind") -- a set of regulations, issued by a Gauleiter -- a regional official for the Reich -- as binding on all local dance orchestras during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia." (via)
posted by SpiffyRob on Mar 12, 2012 - 34 comments

Khooni lakir tod do, aar paar jod do

Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror is Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's brand new documentary, which is banned in India, that provides the perspectives of people that rarely receive positive mainstream media attention. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 26, 2012 - 5 comments

A Modest Call to Action

Occupy Wall Street is an event comprised of anti-corporate non-violent protests that are being promoted by a range of groups including the AdbustersMedia Foundation and a New York City group called General Assembly. Months ago a plea was put out to diverse political and activist groups urging them to descend on Wall Street on September 17th and take part in long-term occupation of the area in the spirit of the Arab Spring rebellions. [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper on Sep 20, 2011 - 251 comments

"Australia would not send forces here; that's impossible."

Death of a Nation – East Timor. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 28, 2010 - 12 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Surely this. . .

"Liberal Hawk" Peter Galbraith played a major role in justifying the American invasion of Iraq. Later he helped write the new Iraqi constitution. Turns out he failed to disclose the hundreds of millions he stands to make on Kurdish oil fields, in part because of his engineering of the same constitution to put him in a favorable business position. Another blogger remembers the good ol' days of 2003 when the media and politicians were shocked --shocked! -- that anyone would dare suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was "all about oil."
posted by bardic on Nov 12, 2009 - 75 comments

Immigrant Workers Occupy Chicago Factory

"You got bailed out. We got sold out." Chicago workers respond to a factory closing by occupying the factory. A flickr set of photos from the site.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 8, 2008 - 77 comments

China's plan to tame Tibet

China's secret plot to tame Tibet. "Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month." Meanwhile, the military has sealed off several monasteries in Lhasa, keeping over 1,000 monks locked up. Another 1,000 monks have mysteriously disappeared, and may have been sent to prisons in a neighbouring province to keep them silent through the Olympics.
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2008 - 111 comments

Les Parisiens sous l’Occupation

Paris under the Occupation, in color. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jul 12, 2008 - 42 comments

Waiting for the New Way Forward

Fables of the Reconstruction. According to a new GAO report [PDF of full report], the surge has resulted in security gains and reduced violence in Iraq, but the political goals the surge was supposed to buy time for mostly haven't happened. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 24, 2008 - 32 comments

Dutch East Indies

Dutch East Indies. "After a wonderful youth in the Dutch East Indies, today Indonesia, my family and I went through three and a half years Japanese occupation. I lost my father, I lost the country I loved, I lost everything, but I kept my memories. ... So here I am, 79 years old, sitting behind my computer, going back to the Dutch East Indies."
posted by No-sword on Aug 16, 2007 - 31 comments

No Blood for Blubber!

Bomb Iceland instead of Iran is the modest proposal of Princeton Professor of Political Economy Uwe Reinhardt in today's Daily Princetonian. Some enterprising Aussies are way ahead of him on that one. Heck, it wouldn't even be the first time the U.S. and Britain occupied Iceland. [via RÚV, the Icelandic state broadcaster]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 9, 2007 - 26 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

Iraq: The Lost Generation

Iraq: The Lost Generation. This 47 minute long documentary was filmed by an anonymous Iraqi journalist. Broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 in November, it tells the stories of several young Iraqis whose lives have been changed by the invasion and occupation of their country.
posted by washburn on Jan 7, 2007 - 11 comments

Cry of the Snow Lion

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion. The complete documentary (1 hr 43 min) on Google Video.
posted by homunculus on Dec 29, 2006 - 9 comments

"Fruitless for the Americans, and humiliating for the Iraqis."

On the ground with the 101st in Iraq, a video by photographer Sean Smith on the lives of US soldiers and their complex relationship with Iraqi civilians.
posted by bardic on Oct 21, 2006 - 35 comments

The more things change.

Newsfilter: Members of Iraq's tennis team shot "for wearing shorts." Being an Iraqi athlete is no easier than before. Just ask members of the Iraqi Taekwondo squad. More.
posted by bardic on May 28, 2006 - 48 comments

we're the Mafia now

the "Second Liberation of Baghdad" --coming soon, in which we act as "enforcers", providing "protection" --...American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies. Sunni insurgent strongholds are almost certain to be the first targets, although the Shi’ite militias such as the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical cleric, and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade would need to be contained. ... Will we be greeted with candy and flowers again as well?
posted by amberglow on Apr 16, 2006 - 65 comments

an off the books slush fund that both the Americans and their Iraqi allies could use with impunity to cover expenditures they would rather keep secret

How Much Oil Has Iraq Been Exporting Since We Invaded? And how much revenue should be recorded? --Iraq’s oil exports hit another post-invasion low in December and January, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. How do they know? Good question: according to Reuters, production and exports have gone unmetered since the Coalition Provisional Authority took over the country following the 2003 invasion; until new meters are installed (in 1-2 more years), everybody’s just guessing. Our Government's Energy Information Administration has all sorts of statistics--anyone wanna figure out how they're derived regarding Iraq?
posted by amberglow on Apr 4, 2006 - 22 comments

Then and Now: Truth and spin on Iraq

To be successful, an occupation such as that contemplated after any hostilities in Iraq requires much detailed interagency planning, many forces, multi-year military commitment, and a national commitment to nation-building... To conduct their share of the essential tasks that must be accomplished to reconstruct an Iraqi state, military forces will be severely taxed in military police, civil affairs, engineer, and transportation units, in addition to possible severe security difficulties. The administration of an Iraqi occupation will be complicated by deep religious, ethnic, and tribal differences which dominate Iraqi society. U.S. forces may have to manage and adjudicate conflicts among Iraqis that they can barely comprehend. An exit strategy will require the establishment of political stability, which will be difficult to achieve given Iraq's fragmented population, weak political institutions, and propensity for rule by violence.

From the US Army War College in February 2003: Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario  (PDF). From June 2005, Anthony Cordesman's analysis of factual misstatements in the President's recent address: Truth and spin on Iraq. Foresight is 20/20. Irresponsibility and mendacity are timeless.
posted by y2karl on Jun 30, 2005 - 44 comments

Photographs of the Iraq occupation

Photos of an aftermath in progress (graphic). How a search for weapons of mass destruction has lead the U.S. so far. An informed citizen has an amazing right to see what is going on.
posted by omidius on Dec 9, 2004 - 25 comments

Act like a drunk acting sober

Tricks of the Trade. In an article in The Morning News, Defective Yeti asked readers to reveal the secrets of their profession:

Attorney: Do whatever it takes to fit your contracts onto a single page. Even sophisticated negotiators can be charmed by the lack of a staple.

Auto Mechanic: Always put copper grease on the battery terminals after servicing a car. The performance benefit is negligible, but when customers look under the hood they will immediately see that something’s changed and thus feel happy to pay you.

Handyman: If you have to change a light bulb where the glass is broken, you can press a potato into the metal base to unscrew the remains of the bulb from the fixture. Got any secrets to success or even just survival in your racket?
posted by planetkyoto on Aug 24, 2004 - 130 comments

Photographs of Allied Occupied Japan after WW2

360 photographs of Allied-occupied Japan after World War Two, taken by anthropologist John W. Bennett, arranged in portfolios with comments by Bennett and links to large images, such as hotel umbrellas drying in the sun. The exhibition includes selections from Bennett's journal and letters with his first impressions of Japan. Portfolios include views of Tokyo, children in the park, women of the night, traditional architecture, and Japanese resorts.
posted by carter on Apr 11, 2004 - 5 comments

A new Philippines?

In 1898, the United States made a major move in the direction of colonial imperialism with the acquisition of the Philippine Islands from Spain. President Bush, in a recent speech in the Philippines, pointed to that country's story as a model for rebuilding Iraq. Perhaps a history lesson about the American and Filipino experience in this occupation is in order for both us and our President. The atrocities committed during the Filipinos' struggle for independence (including the use of concentration camps), the high death toll (between 250,000 and 1,000,000, according to this article), and the American occupation which spanned six decades lead me to question whether Bush is just ignorant of the associations made in this comparison, or if it's a subtle way for the administration to set the stage for what possessing Iraq is actually going to entail. (Most links courtesy of the outstanding BoondocksNet, a collection of primary and secondary sources related to American imperialism.)
posted by UKnowForKids on Oct 22, 2003 - 25 comments

Bring them home

"Bring them home now!" is a campaign of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to "Bring 'em on." At a news conference yesterday, reported the Washington Post, the organization has stated their goals of returning to their home bases the 150,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq.
posted by dejah420 on Aug 14, 2003 - 19 comments

'No real planning for postwar Iraq'

'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis on Jul 12, 2003 - 64 comments

After wars end, then what?

How to police Iraq, and where to sign up. The US Army Peacekeeping Institute site is full of useful information for understanding the nuts-and-bolts of putting together a successful military occupation. Even though this is exactly the kind of material that journalists, students, and policymakers ought to be reading these days, some of it may be about to disappear. The Peacekeeping Institute website is shutting down on May 1. Will the Google cache preserve its contents for us?
posted by sheauga on Apr 14, 2003 - 5 comments

A Blast from the Past.

A Blast from the Past. In 1998, George Bush, Sr. explains why Saddam was not removed in the Gulf War: "Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."
posted by owillis on Sep 12, 2002 - 19 comments

Gore questions timing of Iraq concern

Gore questions timing of Iraq concern Is it proper to invade Iraq? This would be an unprecedented move for the US military as Iraq has not attacked the US anyone the US has defense treaties with. "Republican National Committee spokesman Jim Dyke called Gore's comments "irresponsible." "This is no time to attack the president or Republicans for their handling of the war for political gain," he said." Hmmm..so he admits the Iraqi attack IS for partisan political gain, eh? I would have never suspected it.
posted by nofundy on Jul 26, 2002 - 27 comments

Syria on Brink of Conflict Over Lebanon

Syria on Brink of Conflict Over Lebanon For reasons unkown to me, the Liberals (the Znetters) fail to mention this 30 thousand man troop occupation of Lebanon and focus on Israeli occupation of land taken in war; conservatives never mention this occupation. American political figures ignore or push this aside; and Arabs, about to meet in Beirut for their summit brush this aside, but for the Lebanese, a sore issue.
posted by Postroad on Mar 7, 2002 - 6 comments

"Want Security? End the Occupation"

"Want Security? End the Occupation"
Op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, by Marwan Barghouti. The writer is general secretary of Fatah on the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
posted by mapalm on Jan 16, 2002 - 6 comments

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