This blog is no longer being updated. About this blog.

Censoring the Reality in Iraq

Photojournalist Zoriah recently witnessed a suicide bombing in Anbar province. “Several dozen people lost their lives … children, old men, civilians, police, and military men. The scene was horrific beyond words, even for someone like me who has a fairly high threshold for such things.” He managed to take a few graphic photographs before he was escorted away by U.S. marines.

After posting the photographs on his blog, he was told to remove them by public affairs officers of the U.S. military. When he refused, his embed with the marine unit was terminated.

As a commenter on reddit put it, “Funny how the folks who most support war never want to see it. Out of sight, out of mind.”

Update: Here’s another illustration of our complacency from Café Philos.

Tags: , ,

Comments (2)

Banality of Evil

The Death of Yugoslavia is an excellent BBC documentary on the causes and course of the wars in the former republics of Yugoslavia. It is primarily told through extraordinary interviews with those in power. I am amazed that they got so many leaders to speak so candidly about the war. It reminds me that the power to do great evil is in the banal hands of democratically elected political leaders. (via

Tags: , , , ,

Comments off

Bush’s War

If you haven’t seen it already, Frontline: Bush’s War is an extraordinary look behind the scenes into why we went to war in Iraq. I’m looking forward to watching what seems like the opposite bookend: Bad Voodoo’s War, the story of a platoon of National Guard soldiers in Iraq.

Tags: , ,

Comments (2)

From the Mouths of Iraqis

Do we Americans want to take responsibility for what we have wrought in Iraq?

Intelligent, educated Iraqis are saying—based on a sound understanding of the situation in Iraq and the history of American dealings there—that America should get out of Iraq before we do any more damage.

The Americans in Iraq are like a virus, like a disease, and for us, we need to get rid of the Americans because the Americans just don’t know what they’re doing. Everything they do—probably even in good intentions—is bad for us. Everything they do, everything. There is nothing they are doing [that] is right.

They also don’t think the war ever about spreading democracy.

This amnesia [on the part of Americans about recent history] that I’m talking about. How would a people who’ve been oppressed for thirty-five years by a dictator that was supported by the United States, in a region where the United States supports dictators, how would they accept that America would come to spread democracy? Yes, some of them did.… But looking around… if the United States were interested in democracy, it would maybe topple Saudi Arabia. Why go to Iraq?

Contrast this with the constant drum beats of “the surge is working” that passes for most American journalism. Can we accept the idea that we broke Iraq and that we perhaps cannot fix it even with an extended occupation? Or would that be too much of a blow to our American exceptionalist ego?

Glenn Greenwald says of this interview:

The significance of the interview lies as much in what it says about the American occupation of Iraq as it what it illustrates about the American media. In the American media’s discussions of Iraq, when are the perspectives expressed here about our ongoing occupation—views extremely common among Iraqis of all types and grounded in clear, indisputable facts—ever heard by the average American news consumer? The answer is: “virtually never.”

Tags: , , ,

Comments (5)

No News

An Israeli incursion into Gaza kills more than 120 Palestinian Arabs, including children and other civilians. A Palestinian-Arab gunman in an Israeli seminary killed eight, aged 15–26. This madness is nothing new. I almost wonder why we bother reporting it as news.

When will we admit that the existence of an ethnic state is a recipe for tribal warfare and declare the Israel experiment failed? Only when Israel becomes a multi-ethnic state where non-Jews have equal access to citizenship will there be a hope of peace in that region.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (2)

« Previous Page← Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries →Next Page »