I’m at a Loss for Words

Albrect Dürer\'s Rhinocerous

In a week in which it comes to light that President George W. Bush revealed that God told him to invade Iraq–with all that implies–and former Repulican presidential candidate–and pretender to the vice-presidential slot along with John McCain–Mike Huckabee made a supposedly jocular comment in the middle of a speech to the American Rifle Association to the effect that his Democratic opponent, Barak Obama, was taking cover as someone had him in their sights, I am at a loss for words. Continue reading

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Winter Soldiers Left Out in the Media Cold

Winter Soldier posterLast March 13-16 some 250 American veterans of the Iraq and Afghan occupations gathered at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD for the “Winter Soldier – Iraq and Afghanistan” conference, a replica of a similar event which took place in Detroit in 1971, during the Vietnam War. This recent weekend was devoted to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ first-hand testimonies regarding the events which they both witnessed and participated in during their tours of duty in those two countries, events which included abuses and atrocities from the destruction of homes to the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. Continue reading

Gringo Baghdad: Luxury Hotels and Golf

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.


Pentagon Plan Re-Defines Surrealism
According to an article in this morning’s Guardian, the Pentagon has plans to emulate Samuel Taylor Coleridge and convert the Baghdad Green Zone into a stately pleasure dome with the new billion-dollar American Embassy surrounded by “fashion boutiques, swanky cafés, and shiny glass office towers.” There are even luxury hotels and a golf course in their plans. Continue reading

Who is Pepe Escobar, Anyway?

pepe-escobar

Journalist Pepe Escobar is one of those remarkable Brazilians like the film director Fernando Meirelles or the photographer Sebastiao Salgado, rich in both human and professional qualities. In fact, all three of them are related to Sao Paulo. The first two were born in that city and Salgado studied economics at the university there.

Escobar was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He currently writes a column called The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online and is a correspondent and news analyst for The Real News Network. Escobar is the author of two books, Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge (Nimble Books, 2007).

On August 30, 2001, less than two weeks before September 11, he wrote a prophetic column for Asia Times Online entitled: “Get Osama! Now! Or Else…

Here’s a link to the best of Escobar’s columns in Asia Times Online. There’s lots of excellent reporting here dating back to July, 2004. Continue reading

Guantánamo Torture Records “Lost”

Guantanamo prisoners at recess.

Right.

This from today’s Guardian.

These guys are so predictable. I’m constantly reminded of the old saw: “Military intelligence is to intelligence as military music is to music.”

Americans Victims of Pentagon Media PSYOPS

I’m Aghast But Not Surprised

In a bombshell article published yesterday in the NY Times, entitled “Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” investigative journalist David Barstow reveals a continuing Pentagon psychological operations (PSYOP) maneuver to disinform the American public through the manipulation of retired senior military officers employed by the media as news analysts. Barstow says, “Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance…”

The 14-page article was based on smoking-gun official Pentagon documentation–8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation–obtained by the NY Times after suing the Defense Department to gain access. Continue reading

Why the U.S. Can’t Leave Iraq

Just ran across this fascinating article by Christopher King on the Al Jazeera website. I was impressed not so much by the premise, which is familiar, as by the numbers, which are bruising. If you have ever asked yourself: “When will this American madness end?” you’ll be smitten by this article.

But before you go have a look at this montage by Mark Fiore, a real trip down memory lane. The title is “We Stopped the Vietnam War, So We Can Stop the Iraq War.”