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American (re)construction of Afghanistan government should require secularism,

American (re)construction of Afghanistan government should require secularism, according to this op-ed piece by Robert Scheer in the LA Times. I've been advocating this from the beginning, but this is the first media piece I've seen that argues the point.
posted by yesster on Dec 19, 2001 - 10 comments

"DO NOT USE wire stories which lead with civilian casualties from the U.S. war on Afghanistan.

"DO NOT USE wire stories which lead with civilian casualties from the U.S. war on Afghanistan. They should be mentioned further down in the story. If the story needs rewriting to play down the civilian casualties, DO IT. The only exception is if the U.S. hits an orphanage, school or similar facility and kills scores or hundreds of children...Failure to follow any of these or other standing rules could put your job in jeopardy."

from a memo re war coverage by Ray Glenn the chief copy editor of the Panama City News Herald in Florida.

Good to see that the media is doing its bit for the war effort.
posted by lagado on Dec 18, 2001 - 34 comments

Bin Laden 'heard' in Tora Bora

Bin Laden 'heard' in Tora Bora Ah, yes, but were his lips moving in sync?
posted by victors on Dec 15, 2001 - 6 comments

"The Christmas truce was the last twitch of the 19th Century. By that, I mean it was the last public moment in which it was assumed that people were nice, and that the Dickens view of the world was a credible view." -- Paul Fussell

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is an interesting footnote in history where German and British soldiers stopped fighting and fraternized in the middle of the battlefield. Some witnesses have claimed that enemy soldiers played a friendly game of soccer.

The events have since been chronicled in print, song, and on film.
posted by MattS on Dec 14, 2001 - 4 comments

Sprawl is Good Defense

Sprawl is Good Defense "It's a pretty good rule of military thumb that the greater the concentration of value, the more attractive the target... To keep things safe, you need to spread things out." The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian should begin moving their collections out of NYC and Washington,D.C. Now. Talented, intelligent people and people with irreplaceable skills should go next. Re-locate to the Great Plains.
posted by Faze on Dec 14, 2001 - 11 comments


Promises "What is it really like to live in Jerusalem? PROMISES offers touching and fresh insight into the Middle East conflict when filmmakers Shaprio, Goldberg and Bolado travel to this complex and charged city to see what seven children — Palestinian and Israeli — think about war, peace and just growing up." airs tonite (check your local listings) i've seen a few POV documentaries before and they were pretty good.
posted by kliuless on Dec 13, 2001 - 3 comments

Where-o-where can bin Laden be?

Where-o-where can bin Laden be? The general belief among U.S. officials appears to be that al Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, probably is still somewhere in Afghanistan... But, conceded a defense official, the United States has very little solid information on the whereabouts of bin Laden. "If we had a real clue, we would have already got him," he said.
posted by Rastafari on Dec 11, 2001 - 9 comments

If we begin cutting back on fundamental freedoms,

Veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk attacked in Afghanistan.

Veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk attacked in Afghanistan. Fisk's been my dispassionate-knowledgeable-counterpoint-supplier-of-choice for the events of the last few months, and unfortunately he's been very badly beaten by a mob near Quetta . His reaction: "They had every reason to be angry... If I had been them, I would have attacked me".
posted by blackbeltjones on Dec 9, 2001 - 72 comments

A Letter From The Frontlines In Afghanistan

A Letter From The Frontlines In Afghanistan - This letter was read on the Sully and Scooter Show on KOGO News Radio in San Diego. Supposedly written by a U.S. Marine. Don't know if it is real or not.
posted by radio_mookie on Dec 6, 2001 - 32 comments

Want to escape CNN's round-the-clock war coverage? Don't head for the theater. Faster than Lee Marvin could say "Dirty Dozen," Hollywood is rounding up its good-looking troops, rallying the editing rooms, and launching a war-time celluloid offensive. Groovy. And just when I'd started getting bored with the real deal...
posted by Bixby23 on Dec 4, 2001 - 6 comments

US Bombs Hit Wrong Target for Second Time in Two Days

US Bombs Hit Wrong Target for Second Time in Two Days
Just a reminder, lest anyone forget, that scores of Afghani civilians are still being killed by US bombs. [More inside.]
posted by mapalm on Dec 2, 2001 - 89 comments

"It's not propaganda, it's the truth"

"It's not propaganda, it's the truth" Rumsfeld declared. OK, but leaflets with radio broadcasts, and Information Programs, is this the best we can do? How about some Daffy Goes to War, even some inspirational Soviet and Cuban communist posters, as we do battle on the psyops war front?
posted by Voyageman on Nov 29, 2001 - 5 comments

According to this editorial,

According to this editorial, the Russians have outmaneuvered the US oil interests by encouraging the Northern Alliance to take Kabul. "The alliance is now Afghanistan's dominant force and, heedless of multi-party political talks in Germany going on this week, styles itself as the new "lawful" government, a claim fully backed by Moscow."
posted by electro on Nov 28, 2001 - 14 comments

Dead Men Walking

Dead Men Walking Thomas Lipscome urges us to think about 4th generation warfare, the nature of the battle, and the potential dangers well beyond the idea of nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article: "Terrorists become extraordinarily resourceful playing weak hands against the strong and rich. So do revolutionaries. And it is time to realize bin Laden is both" This article is short yet wide-ranging, neatly bringing together the Balkans, Clinton, the Media, and 4G warfare.
via follow me here
posted by cell divide on Nov 28, 2001 - 3 comments

Bombing the Taleban prisoners

Bombing the Taleban prisoners
"There are hundreds of bodies in there - bodies and bits of bodies, all over the place."

The crush of the Taleban prisoner revolt at the Qala-e-Jhangi fort has Amnesty International asking what happened there... I'd like to know, too. (More here and here and here.)
posted by blackholebrain on Nov 28, 2001 - 69 comments

What's up with this Iraq stuff?

What's up with this Iraq stuff? No more formal way of putting it, sorry. Can anyone say what the hell is going on here, exactly, when bin Laden hasn't even be found and the Taliban is still putting up a fight? Is Bush, in saying Saddam will "find out" how the U.S. will respond to its refusal to allow inspections (again), just throwing a small bone to the hard right? Is the national press on too much of an adrenaline rush, or bored with Afganistan already? Or are the Dr. Strangelove wannabes talked about here really taking over?
posted by raysmj on Nov 27, 2001 - 81 comments

U.S.' first Afghanistan conflict casualty may be C.I.A. operative "Mike"

U.S.' first Afghanistan conflict casualty may be C.I.A. operative "Mike" Time magazine's Alex Perry reported from the scene outside Mazar-i-Sharif that at least one American, whom he identified as "Mike'' and said belonged to U.S. special operations forces, was missing and presumed dead after prisoners began firing smuggled weapons. If the man was confirmed as a soldier, it would be the first known U.S. combat death in Afghanistan since Washington began attacking Taliban forces -– although it is suspected that "Mike" is a covert CIA operative.
posted by marc-hamilton on Nov 25, 2001 - 4 comments

A brief look at the propaganda leaflets of recent wars, from the Psywar Society.
posted by alan on Nov 24, 2001 - 4 comments

What's going on?

What's going on? "A senior Taliban official in Kunduz, whose identity was not revealed, told Northern Alliance officials here in a radio conversation that a Pakistani Air Force plane had landed in Kunduz Tuesday and ferried away several Pakistani and Arab fighters. The Taliban official said the plane was the third to land in the city in recent days." (NYT)
posted by semmi on Nov 23, 2001 - 0 comments

'Tell Them Nothing Till It's Ovber and Then Tell Them Who Won'

'Tell Them Nothing Till It's Ovber and Then Tell Them Who Won' Governmental and military censorship of battle news. Is it necessary to winning?
posted by Postroad on Nov 23, 2001 - 5 comments

Howard Zinn speaks at a high school.

Howard Zinn speaks at a high school. Parents get upset.
posted by Ty Webb on Nov 20, 2001 - 42 comments

"Do you expect me to surrender?" No, Mr. Taliban, I expect you to DIE!"

"Do you expect me to surrender?" No, Mr. Taliban, I expect you to DIE!" Allowing terrorists to surrender so they can live to kill another day? No, says Rumsfeld. Bravo. I'm sure the MeFi pacifist club will squeal, but you don't let murders go to have another crack at you.
posted by darren on Nov 20, 2001 - 90 comments

Stop the War.

Stop the War. 50-100,000 people marched on Trafalgar Square today to protest against the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.. (lil bit more inside...)
posted by Mossy on Nov 18, 2001 - 57 comments

More Q & A on Terror and War

More Q & A on Terror and War
"A number of folks feel that current events -- particularly in the last few days -- have dramatically changed the logic and morality of what has been done in Afghanistan, calling into question much of the analysis and assessment that has been offered by critics of the war. Here are some of the questions we have been asked, and our brief replies."
posted by mapalm on Nov 18, 2001 - 60 comments

In U.S. Success, Anti-War Faction's Worst Fears Realized

In U.S. Success, Anti-War Faction's Worst Fears Realized writes our own James Lileks. Noam Chomsky, our own little Quisling, popped up in India to denounce the United States and describe the attacks on Afghanistan as "a bigger terrorist act than what happened on Sept. 11." It takes tremendous energy to maintain these hideous delusions. Chomsky must be exhausted. He must also be surprised every time he lands back in America and is not arrested; the nation he describes would surely clap him in chains and leave him in a basement to devolve to rat food and bones.
posted by ericost on Nov 16, 2001 - 43 comments

Gaza Diary by Chris Hedges

Gaza Diary by Chris Hedges It's generally not the best idea to post links about the Palestine/Israel conflict, as each day's news can be debated ad infitum by various sides. However this Gaza Diary is a stunning personal look into the ravages of war and occupation. Written by the New York Times Mideast Bureau Chief, and published in Harper's in October, it's a meditative reflection on the ways the human spirit can be twisted by conflict, and how a reporter (even a seasoned one) responds to the demons of war. Well worth your time.
posted by cell divide on Nov 16, 2001 - 6 comments

Guess what, the bombing worked like a charm.

Guess what, the bombing worked like a charm. Chris Hitchens weighs in with "I told you so" in 1000 words or less. Now if only we had a Chomsky response.
posted by lizs on Nov 15, 2001 - 103 comments

The Taliban withdrawal is a strategic move, not a sign of retreat.

The Taliban withdrawal is a strategic move, not a sign of retreat. By strategically handing over key Afghan cities to the Northern Alliance before melting into the mountainsides, the Taliban tossed political hand grenades at the United States. On the surface, it appears the Taliban were dealt a crushing defeat. Thousands of Taliban fighters switched sides or were captured during the Northern Alliance’s advance, and the remainder melted into the hills having put up almost no fight. However, the Taliban withdrawal was far from a rout. Rather, it reflects abandonment of a strategy that could have led to their destruction, in preparation for a more traditional and effective strategy for combat in Afghanistan — guerrilla warfare.
posted by Davezilla on Nov 15, 2001 - 23 comments

Taliban Withdrawal Was Strategy, Not Rout

Northern Alliance Fighters Enter Kabul.

Northern Alliance Fighters Enter Kabul. It's almost over.
posted by tamim on Nov 12, 2001 - 75 comments

Speaking of Veterans Day,

Speaking of Veterans Day, here in Chicago we have the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum. Art by Vets about the War. Most pieces are on-line with a short essay. The Above and Beyond memorial is impressive to say the least.
posted by skallas on Nov 11, 2001 - 2 comments

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields - by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

MetaFilter readers wherever you are, please take a moment of silence to honour those who gave their lives so that we could live ours.
posted by PWA_BadBoy on Nov 11, 2001 - 75 comments

Finally, good news

Finally, good news in the war in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance has captured the city of Mazar-e sharif. "Afghan rebel commanders proclaimed tonight they have captured the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif and have routed its Taliban defenders."

Northern Alliance forces entered the city quickly after winning a fierce battle at a bakery(!?) between the two airports that had served as an alliance base until the Taliban took the city three years ago.
posted by rabbit on Nov 9, 2001 - 36 comments

Get your Enduring Freedom Trading cards!

Get your Enduring Freedom Trading cards! Topps releases a new series "documenting America's greatest challenge". But don't worry, they didn't include any "disturbing images from national newscasts". Will Wizards of the Coast be next?
posted by kaefer on Nov 6, 2001 - 32 comments

Erudite op-ed piece on current events by Mark Morford of SF Gate.

Erudite op-ed piece on current events by Mark Morford of SF Gate. Pro-America does not mean pro-war. Or pro-Bush. Or anti-Afghanistan. Or pro-little-flags-on-SUV-antennas. [via BR]
posted by skallas on Nov 5, 2001 - 37 comments

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?
    With the world dazed and everything in flux, seize the moment. I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq.
    Safire has been Monday-morning quarterbacking in his column since September 11. (He suggested the FBI wasn't doing enough to "deprogram" material witnesses with "conservative Muslim clerics".) He's made no bones about his desire to squash all terrorists, coalition be damned. He's sided with "wider war" wing of the administration, but this is by far the zaniest scheme--projected onto his ex-boss in a convo from hell. I know there are a lot of people--intelligent people--reading MeFi that support the war. Mostly our discussions have run pro/anti. The flower-children (anachronistic anarchists?) like me should sit out this one. Do any of you imperialists pig-dogs support this?
posted by rschram on Nov 5, 2001 - 28 comments


Designdefenseministry All out war! A call to arms for those pixelpushers out there. Sick sense of humor (like the kabul coverage) combined with really great gfx. caution: bandwidth!
posted by heimkonsole on Oct 30, 2001 - 7 comments

WhoÕs BeingÊNa•ve?

WhoÕs BeingÊNa•ve?
So to be realistic means to believe that bombing one of the poorest nations on Earth will not only reduce terrorism, but also fail to ignite a new round of anti-American fanaticism. To be na•ve, on the other hand, is to pay attention to modern history, which tells us in no uncertain terms that bombing people is rather likely to fuel their anger, resentment, and desire for revenge.

And it gets better...
posted by mapalm on Oct 27, 2001 - 73 comments

What happened to the ground war?

What happened to the ground war? Very scary alternate explaination of the aborted ground operation.
posted by electro on Oct 27, 2001 - 44 comments

Show your openmindedness!

Show your openmindedness! In our extended discussion of the war, the (un)fairness of war, etc., it's been incredible how many MetaFilter regulars have changed their mind or reconsidered their opinions! (wink, wink) Here's something for those former pacifists. Now we need to find something for all those former hawks. [via Instapundit]
posted by prodigal on Oct 26, 2001 - 9 comments

Red Cross warehouses hit. Again.

Red Cross warehouses hit. Again. Note to the British and American military: the red crosses painted on the tops of those buildings are not meant to be bullseyes. Thank you.
posted by shylock on Oct 26, 2001 - 22 comments

The New War on Terror

The New War on Terror Noam Chomsky has written a book called 9-11. He analyses the situation in a long essay published in Counterpunch. Quote: We certainly want to reduce the level of terror, certainly not escalate it. There is one easy way to do that and therefore it is never discussed. Namely stop participating in it.
posted by alex63 on Oct 26, 2001 - 62 comments

Afghan People Agree With Retaliation Against Taliban

Afghan People Agree With Retaliation Against Taliban "Most Afghans support the bombardment of Afghanistan by allies because they hope that it will end the Taliban regime."
posted by Oxydude on Oct 25, 2001 - 11 comments

If This Be War.

If This Be War. This essay by a military historian puts the current muddle of conflicted opinions about war into historical perspective with startling clarity.

Thanks to the Little Green Footballs weblog. I find interesting stuff there every day.
posted by Tubes on Oct 25, 2001 - 10 comments

Why do they (our goverment representives) do this? Do they think that no one pays attention or do they know that there is nothing we can do about it? Don't buy the war bonds.
posted by bas67 on Oct 24, 2001 - 15 comments

Will pictures like this [not graphic, but disturbing] turn popular support against the bombing in Afghanistan? Or will stories like this bolster support for military action against the Taliban? What story sways you more?
posted by gazingus on Oct 24, 2001 - 57 comments

Sinn Fein calls for IRA Disarmament

Sinn Fein calls for IRA Disarmament
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams urged the Irish Republican Army on Monday to begin disarming to save Northern Ireland's peace process.
posted by jbelshaw on Oct 22, 2001 - 8 comments

Boycott Berkeley

Boycott Berkeley, in the wake of the extreme leftist views expressed by the inhabitants of the California town, some are calling for the boycott of the boycotters. I find this ironic and extremely funny. If Berkeley doesn't want to support the US then the US shouldn't support them. (Via OpinionJournal)
posted by dancu on Oct 22, 2001 - 60 comments

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