Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Must-Read Article

Regardless of your political persuasion, this New York Times article is relevant to all of our lives.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Iraq Transforms a Filmmaker Into a Journalist

From The New York Times' Baghdad Bureau

By Diana Oliva Cave
Published: July 30, 2008
Before I went to Iraq, I was more of a filmmaker than a journalist. In fact, the last project I worked on was a Sundance Film Festival hit about a girl with teeth in her, well, let’s just say “private area.” It was a black comedy. Needless to say, when I got to Baghdad in early [...]

Iraqi Insurgents Prove Elusive In Diyala Stronghold

From The Wall Street Journal

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Road to Anbar

From The New York Times' "Baghdad Bureau"
By Alissa J. Rubin

The bridge over the Euphrates river in Falluja, as it looks today. Four years earlier, the remains of four private contractors were hung there after being killed and mutilated by insurgents. (Photo: Ali al-Saadi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images) BAGHDAD — This spring I needed to interview former detainees in American detention centers who had recently been [...]

Asleep on the Roof

From The New York Times' "Baghdad Bureau Blog"

By Mudhafer al-Husaini

Mudhafer al-Husaini is an Iraqi employee of The New York Times in Baghdad.

BAGHDAD — Throughout their history, Iraqis have slept on their rooftops in the nights of summer, with the cool air of the evening, the fresh breeze of the dawn and the beautiful image of the sky. We gave up many things for the sake of democracy and freedom lately, and unfortunately this tradition is one of them, basically because of the security situation.

Shiite Militia in Baghdad Sees Its Power Ebb

From the New York Times.

Published: July 27, 2008
The Mahdi Army has been profoundly weakened in a number of neighborhoods, in an important, if tentative, milestone for stability in Iraq.

Friday, July 25, 2008

4,000 U.S. Combat Deaths, and Just a Handful of Images

From The New York Times.

"It is a complex issue, with competing claims often difficult to weigh in an age of instant communication around the globe via the Internet, in which such images can add to the immediate grief of families and the anger of comrades still in the field.

While the Bush administration faced criticism for overt political manipulation in not permitting photos of flag-draped coffins, the issue is more emotional on the battlefield: local military commanders worry about security in publishing images of the American dead as well as an affront to the dignity of fallen comrades. Most newspapers refuse to publish such pictures as a matter of policy."

Al-Qaida ‘Severely Disrupted’ in Iraq’s Babil Province

From American Forces Press Service. WASHINGTON, July 24, 2008 – Al-Qaida terrorists have been largely marginalized in Iraq’s Babil province, thanks to the joint efforts of Iraqi and U.S. security forces, as well as local “Sons of Iraq” citizen security groups, a senior U.S. military officer posted in Iraq said today.

10 wanted men detained, depot found in Baghdad

From Voices of Iraq. BAGHDAD, July 24 (VOI) - Iraqi army forces arrested on Thursday morning ten wanted men and found a stockpile of weapons and ammunitions in eastern Baghdad, a source from the Baghdad's operations command said.

U.S. Military Deaths

From Yahoo News. As of Thursday, July 24, 2008, at least 4,124 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Iraqi military prepares for offensives in Diyala, Babil

From The Long War Journal.

Iraqi Troops Massing

From the Times, UK

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baghdad Bureau: Leaving Baghdad: What Should the Americans Do?

From The New York Times' "Baghdad Bureau"

By Ahmad Fadam

Ahmad Fadam left Baghdad bureau in May to take up a visiting fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Self-portrait by Ahmad Fadam Almost every time I talk to an American here in the States, I hear the same question: “ What do you think about pulling our troops from Iraq?” I always answer [...]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inside Sadr City

From the NY Times' Baghdad Bureau Blog.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Electrical Risks at Bases in Iraq Worse than Reported Earlier

Shoddy work by private contractors is causing more deaths and injuries on U.S. military bases in Iraq than previously acknowledged, according to this article in the New York Times.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beyond the Headline

In addition to the Iraqi perspective on Obama, this NYT article, with its personal interviews of Iraqi citizens and leaders, includes views and observations of many aspects of the situation in Iraq.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aggressive Cancers in Iraq Veterans

Is the military knowingly using cancer-causing munitions and subjecting their own soldiers to the effects -- not to mention the civilian population? Here's the story.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"For the people in Iraq, the war is full time."

And for the soldiers stationed there too. We must keep reading about, listening to, clicking on war stories. Here's an article from the New York Times about networks cutting back on coverage.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This Is A Big Story

Lara Logan is talking to us. Thank cod we are already searching for and clicking on every war story we can find. Right? Right!

Don't Let Him Think We Don't Care

A Soldier's Story

"The average American cares more about their $600 tax rebate than the War in Iraq. Just writing that kind of makes me depressed."

Another Horrible Topic

But if we ignore it, it's as if we're saying we don't care about torture.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

These Are the Ones That Are Hard to Click On...

Another car bomb in Baghdad.

Support Our Troops

Veterans Benefits Checks Delayed: Soldiers Risk Financial Ruin

Isaac Stevens is photographed at his Operation Homefront apartment in San Antonio, Wednesday, March 19, 2008. Stevens was moved to the Operation Homefront apartment after a social worker at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, acting on her own initiative, intervened to rescue Stevens from a homeless shelter there. Stevens suffered a head injury and spinal damage after a headfirst fall over a wall on the obstacle course at Fort Benning, Ga. The injury alone didn't put him in a homeless shelter. Instead, it was military bureaucracy _ specifically, the way injured soldiers are discharged on just a fraction of their salary and then forced to wait six to nine months, and sometimes even more than a year, before their full disability payments begin to flow. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Amnesty for Mahdi Militias Expires Wednesday

and more reports from Eric Owles.

Four Thousand More Refugees Living in Tents

Afghan displaced families are seen near their tents after leaving their homes which were under the control of the Taliban militants in Arghandab district of Kandarhar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Police officer Sardah Mohammad says more than 700 families - meaning perhaps 4,000 people or more - have fled the Arghandab district, 10 miles (15 kilometers) northwest of Kandahar. As Police on Tuesday were stopping and searching every person traveling on the east side of the Arghandab River. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Monday, June 16, 2008

What the Senate Intelligence Committee Didn't Investigate

Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post's story "Records Could Shed Light on Iraq Group" by Walter Pincus:

There is an important line in last week's Senate intelligence committee report on the Bush administration's prewar exaggerations of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. It says that the panel did not review "less formal communications between intelligence agencies and other parts of the Executive Branch."

More important, there was no effort to obtain White House records or interview President Bush, Vice President Cheney or other administration officials whose speeches were analyzed because, the report says, such steps were considered beyond the scope of the report.

One obvious target for such an expanded inquiry would have been the records of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a group set up in August 2002 by then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr.

A tragedy.

Suicide on patrol.

Another one.

A long, sad story.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This week's Economist cover story

I've had two recommendations for The Economist -- of course! One of the best major sources for news and perspective. I also got a recommendation for Slate Magazine, another good one, as evidenced by its citation of this week's Economist cover story, "Iraq Starts to Fix Itself."

"War Journal," by Richard Engel

Interview with Richard Engel on Jon Stewart.

Book review by Bassam Sebti, an Iraqi blogger.


War, Inc.



Official Site

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians

Laila Al-Arian discusses her and Chris Hedges's new book Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians in a blog post on the Huffington Post:

We were astounded by the honesty and depth with which these troops approached their testimony. With no one around to hear their stories, it was as if they used the interviews as therapy sessions. Many of the veterans are young college students. They feel alienated from their peers, who they say only care about pop culture and their immediate surroundings. The war, it seems to them, affects few Americans outside of the military community.

"A lot of guys supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want," Specialist Josh Middleton said. At home, young soldiers are yelled at and ordered around, but in Iraq, he said, "forty-year old Iraqi men look at us with fear and... we have this power that you can't have. That's really liberating."

Yes, there will be a test

Mother Jones: "Iraq 101"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"The truth is the most elusive thing in war..."

60 Months in the Red Zone

Afghanistan too, of course.

Brian Williams in Afghanistan

Clicking for Peace

Hi dear friends,

I've read lately that Americans are not following the war in Iraq any more. There are fewer reports in the news and we are distracted by the economy and the election. Those are also big issues, but I think that it's important that we not give anyone the impression that what's going on in Iraq doesn't matter to us. By "anyone," I mean the media, the government, politicians, the men and women serving in the war, and the journalists covering it.

One way that we can show our concern and awareness is with our clicks. With this in mind, I went out looking for war stories on websites. They are harder to find than they were two years ago. I found this site, The New York Times Baghdad Bureau Blog, and have added it to the sites that I check each day along with my email, calendar, and the Huffington Post. And when I visit Huffpost, I make an effort not to click on news about Brad and Angelina or who's going back to rehab (not always easy!) Instead I look for the Iraq stories first.

Clicking is a very, very small thing. But if we all do it, it makes a difference. It sends a message, and it keeps us better informed. You are probably already doing your own thing in your own way...reading, writing letters, demonstrating, sending care packages, talking, voting. But my one click here and there is so small, I thought I would try to boost its impact by multiplying it by a factor of You. I'd also like to know what sources you are turning to for news of Iraq. Send links! If you're interested, I'll post the recommendations I get on this blog.

Love and peace,