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Do Iraqi-Jewish Treasures belong in Iraq or Elsewhere?

On Oct. 11, provided the government shutdown doesn’t interfere, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., will open an exhibit titled “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” On display will be some of the rarest of the materials that were salvaged from the flooded basement of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence service. All told, the collection contains an estimated 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that once belonged to the Jews of Baghdad, who, until they began to flee for Israel in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, constituted one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back more than 2,500 years. - In the chaos of the 2003 war, remnants of a once-thriving Jewish past were saved (or stolen?) by America. Where do they belong? [more inside]
posted by beisny on Oct 7, 2013 - 75 comments

Crossing the "Red Line"?

Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 2, 2013 - 289 comments

"Never, ever let anybody use your gender as an excuse."

"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2013 - 49 comments

"It begins with a knock at the door."

Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 12, 2011 - 12 comments

Double-entry bookkeeping: Now used by Al Qaeda

"... Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money - often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens - against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia." [Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives]
posted by vidur on Jul 17, 2011 - 47 comments

The Invisible Army

The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 22, 2011 - 37 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Sixth generation warfare: boner pills.

The little blue pill goes to war.
posted by mek on Dec 26, 2008 - 74 comments

Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own.

This is how we do it. [NSFW] Disturbing new photos from Abu Ghraib.
posted by plexi on Feb 29, 2008 - 68 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

Tomorrow

" No matter what happens now the Islamists will have beaten both of the superpowers -- first the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and now the United States in the heart of Islam. The impact of that in Islamic civilization is going to be enormous. We have made bin Laden a prophet: His organizing concept for Al Qaeda was "The Russians are a lot tougher than the Americans. If we can beat the Russians, then we can eventually beat the Americans." "

Rolling Stone assembles a panel of military and history experts on the state, and future, of Iraq.
posted by four panels on Mar 14, 2007 - 113 comments

Rape within the US military.

The private war of women soldiers. "Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 8, 2007 - 187 comments

A Soldier's Thoughts.

While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander on Feb 7, 2007 - 13 comments

Who do the troops support?

US Military Papers open fire on Rummy. Tomorrow, the Army Times -- and all other Military Times papers, including Navy and Air Force Times -- will run an editorial calling for Donald Rumsfeld to tender his resignation or be fired, due to his gross incompetence in handling the Iraq quagmire.
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 5, 2006 - 70 comments

Iraq? Turkey? Ah, who cares, they're all Ay-rabs anyway...

Baghdad is calm, except it's neither. So this guy Howard Kaloogian is running for Congress in California, and he supports the troops. Thinks they're making all sorts of progress that simply isn't reported by the evil lib'rul mainstream media, so he went to see Baghdad for himself, and posted a picture of a calm Baghdad street - See? No terrorists here! Except that certain sleuthing types found something awfully fishy about that photo...
posted by kgasmart on Mar 29, 2006 - 146 comments

Don't Bomb Us.

Don't Bomb Us. In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar (discussed here and here on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues, firsthand accounts of US attacks on their offices, links to relevant reports on the controversy, Flickr photosets of protests calling for an official investigation, and al Jazeera's code of ethics. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments.
posted by edverb on Nov 26, 2005 - 117 comments

Fighting the Liberal Media Bias

In 2001 America destroyed the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 22, 2005 - 155 comments

November 2nd - A day of protest

Take this opportunity to get involved. November 2nd - A day of protest With possible indictments of senior Bush aides this week Bush has to be feeling the pressure. Reports point to a down and disillusioned president.
posted by Chris_awesome on Oct 24, 2005 - 73 comments

Al Gore surprises

A surprise from Al Gore: I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions. How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"? I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
posted by Shanachie on Oct 6, 2005 - 80 comments

The Wrong War & Exit Strategy:Civil War & News From Kirkuk

A distinction between “old” and “new” wars is vital. “Old wars” are wars between states where the aim is the military capture of territory and the decisive encounter is battle between armed forces. “New wars”, in contrast, take place in the context of failing states. They are wars fought by networks of state and non-state actors, where battles are rare and violence is directed mainly against civilians, and which are characterised by a new type of political economy that combines extremist politics and criminality... I argue in this article that the United States viewed its invasion of Iraq as an updated version of “old war” that made use of new technology. The US failure to understand the reality on the ground in Iraq and the tendency to impose its own view of what war should be like is immensely dangerous and carries the risk of being self-perpetuating. It does not have to be this way.
Iraq: the wrong war - Mary Kaldor writes of what was happening in pre-invasion Iraq, what happened thereafter and what the alternatives were. Well, there is always Exit strategy: Civil war. And on that, note this: Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk--a city from which, I am afraid, we will hear more and more as time goes by.
posted by y2karl on Jun 15, 2005 - 20 comments

Why does America hate America so much?

Rep. John Conyers has a petition on his congressional website urging constituents to sign on to a letter to President Bush requesting he answer the questions about the "Downing Street Memo" posed to him by 89 Members of Congress. Going even further, Ralph Nader, and former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark among others, are calling for impeachment. Recently, Reps. Kucinich & Abercrombie wrote a USA Today Op-Ed calling For US withdrawal from Iraq. Meanwhile, approval ratings for President Bush and the war in Iraq continue to plummet. Does this represent a sea change in public opinion and a coming shift in the political landscape?
posted by stenseng on Jun 3, 2005 - 123 comments

to export violence to the four corners of the globe

Now here's an interesting story. And well worth the read. It mentions some disturbing facts - he reloads and starts shooting again - but is still sympathetic to our hero. Of course if you compare it with this... "nothing to see here folks, keep moving right along!" Oh, and is "frought" a word?
posted by milkwood on Apr 18, 2005 - 25 comments

Regarding Blood And Oil

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.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2005 - 52 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

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)
posted by y2karl on Mar 14, 2005 - 97 comments

Is Iraq really Cuba?

Freedom's Defenders or Politicians' Pawns? No pretense of protecting Americans’ freedom went into the decision to enter into the Spanish-American War. It was out-and-out imperialism and nothing more. Veterans of that war may have helped to liberate Cuba , Guam , Puerto Rico , and the Philippines from Spanish rule; but those same veterans then turned around and rammed the jackboot of the U. S. military into the faces of those they had just liberated. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Filipinos, who had thought they were being freed only to find out they had merely exchanged one colonial master for another, were killed in their own independence-from-Uncle-Sam movements. When they finally did throw off direct U. S. rule, they were then saddled with dictators of Uncle Sam’s choosing. No credit for the defense of Americans’ freedom can be granted to veterans of this war. Compare to this: Gunning For Saddam We report, you decide indeed...
posted by Elim on Mar 6, 2005 - 23 comments

Virgins talkin' about sex

Virgins talk about sex. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, marines gotta kill the enemy. I think 'Flippant' is an accurate term from the Vice Adm. But most of the flak this monk is catching is from folks who say how killing the enemy "should" be. He's been called a psychopath, but it seems to me his emotional investment belies that. So do we then want robots? The civilian issue of why or where or when to fight aside - do we have the right to derogate how a soldier feels about doing his duty?
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 5, 2005 - 101 comments

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors. The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad on Feb 3, 2005 - 28 comments

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories..."I know it’s a fallacy * That grown men never cry Baby, that’s a lie * We had our bed of roses But forgot that roses die * And thank you so much..."
posted by growabrain on Jan 28, 2005 - 10 comments

Canadian Lawyers Charge Bush with Torture

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.
posted by sunexplodes on Dec 1, 2004 - 66 comments

Rumsfeld's War

Frontline: Rumsfeld's War, a PBS/Washington Post joint documentary that aired earlier this week is now online. It is the inside story of Rumsfeld's battle to assert civil control over the military.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 30, 2004 - 15 comments

Yeah, but Oedipus didn't start a war.

Former Bush ghostwriter confirms Bush had plans for Iraq in 1999. Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker.”
posted by RavinDave on Oct 28, 2004 - 37 comments

We knew this.

Confirming the Obvious: "A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country... The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq was the product of many of the same problems that plagued the administration's case for war, including wishful thinking, bad information from Iraqi exiles who said Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators and contempt for dissenting opinions." Just in case anyone you know is still pretending this administration had the slightest idea what it was doing after "Mission Accomplished."
posted by jscalzi on Oct 16, 2004 - 11 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

If America were Iraq, what would it be like?

If America were Iraq, what would it be like? Private armies totaling 275,000 men; platoons of Christian Soldiers Militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery; the grounds of the White House constantly under mortar fire; the Secretary of State, President, and Attorney General all assassinated in the past year; and the Air Force routinely bombing Billings, Flint, Philadelphia, and parts of LA and DC to destroy "safe houses" of "criminal gangs."
posted by johnnydark on Sep 27, 2004 - 34 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

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

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

George W Bush and the real state of the Union

George W Bush and the real state of the Union. Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up? It's all been said before but it's good (?) to see it all nicely put together.
posted by acrobat on Jan 20, 2004 - 82 comments

France, stung by Libyan WMD deal, admits US policies showing results

France, stung by Libyan WMD deal, admits US policies showing results Ok. Agreed. You don't like Bush. And the French government does not like Bush. But here is what the French now say about Libya: [...] The media, which have long criticised the US war and invasion of Iraq, grudgingly allowed that that conquest had borne fruit in terms of putting pressure on other countries Washington considers "rogue states" or part of an "axis of evil"[...]
posted by Postroad on Dec 22, 2003 - 72 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

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

Aid and comfort?

Anti-sanctions group sanctioned. Anti Iraq-sanctions group Voices in the Wilderness is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for bringing relief supplies to Iraq before the war. ViTW has issued an initial response and filed an answer and counterclaim. Does the DoJ have a leg to stand on? What moral and legal obligations do we have to refrain from giving aid and comfort to "enemy" civilians? How about if they live in sunny Cuba?
posted by stonerose on Sep 30, 2003 - 19 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

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

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

can ya dig it?

51 Migs Found Buried in Iraq
posted by Espoo2 on Aug 9, 2003 - 50 comments

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