The Truth about Iraq

A 2003’s “Soldier’s Guide to the Republic of Iraq,” issued by the Army on the eve of the U.S. invasion, tells troops that Arabs see “little virtue in a frank exchange” and are “by American standards… reluctant to accept responsibility.” There is a 1943 version as well, which can be accessed here.(This article was stolen […]

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Le toupet des Kurdes

If you were a Turk in an executive political position what would you do with a statement like this one: The president of Iraq’s Kurdish region on Thursday rejected Ankara’s declaration that it was ready for dialogue with Iraqi Kurds provided they took measures against Turkish Kurd rebels holed up in the autonomous enclave.“We do […]

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Turks enter Iraq

That is it, the moment that has been feared for quite some time finally happened, Turkish troops entered Kurdish Iraq yesterday to tame guerrillas ardor. This adds a new variable to the already explosive situation in the Middle East. Overlapping contradictory political agendas are multiplying. How will the US deal with this while preserving Turkey […]

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Goldsmith on Human Rights …

The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is facing accusations that he told the Army its soldiers were not bound by the Human Rights Act when arresting, detaining and interrogating Iraqi prisoners. Previously confidential emails, seen by The Independent, between London and British military head-quarters in Iraq soon after the start of the war suggest Lord Goldsmith’s […]

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For Reasons That Are (Not Yet) Clear…

“For reasons that are not yet clear, America’s general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq’s government and security forces, and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq,” Lt. Col. Paul Yingling said in the article published Friday in the Armed Forces Journal. […]

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Cash Cow …

Much of the rest was taken by the UN compensation commission, entrusted in handling claims of damages made by those allegedly harmed by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. According to von Sponeck, the Iraqi oil pie was so large, there was plenty for everyone: Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, and all the rest. But most ironically, the […]

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Crack Kills …

A traveler who moves between Baghdad and Washington is struck by the gloomy despair in Washington and the cautious sense of optimism in Baghdad. The prosecution rests.

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Welcome to Kurdistan …

It was, in other words, a story about influence-building, buying, and profit, albeit with subplots that were equal parts John le Carre and Keystone Kops, and a cast of characters ranging from ex-Mossad head Yatom to a former German superspy, with Israeli counterterrorism commandos, Kurdish political dynasties, powerful American lobbyists, Turkish business tycoons thrown in—not […]

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Lessons Unlearned …

The French and the Russians, for example, won asymmetrical wars in Algeria and Chechnya in the 19th century, but lost asymmetrical wars in those same places in the 20th century. “In the 19th century, there was not a literacy for nationalism. You look at a lot of these colonial wars. The great powers could play […]

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Why I Don’t Vote …

At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. So sayeth Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama at an AIPAC event a couple of days ago in Chicago. When asked, I will […]

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Blair’s Legacy …

There is now a widespread belief in the United Kingdom that Iraq has been the worst disaster in British foreign policy since 1956, when Britain and France invaded Egypt with Israeli help after Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Are the sub-editors at the WaPost reading this blog?

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Signs of Imperial Decay …

At $923 million for the 2006 fiscal year, the budget was 20 times that of the Beijing embassy’s that year, according to the State Department. One of my little screwball theories is that the Cold War is, in fact, not over, in that the US has not fully paid the bill of waging that worlwide […]

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Liberation …

“They also have something of an equal chance to participate in the misery of a destroyed national order. A somewhat leveled opportunity to be kidnapped, to be forced into exile, to have their daughter abducted or raped, to have their father murdered, families killed in the suicide bombings.”

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Hersh, (Sigh) …

Well, just read Sy Hersh’s new piece and must admit I was disappointed. I found almost nothing original in either content or analysis and believe the piece could have been written by piecing together already very public information. I was not going to post on it, until I heard Wolff Blitzer call the piece “explosive” […]

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From the Vault …

“For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.” — Dick Cheney, 1991.

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More an Antique Roman than a Dane …

Denmark announced that it would withdraw its ground troops serving under British command in Basra, as other countries review their participation in the coalition force.Lithuania, which has 53 soldiers in Iraq serving alongside the Danish battalion, also said it was considering a pull-out.The Romanian Defence Minister said that Bucharest would take a decision on the […]

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Say Anything …

Military chiefs had been pushing for much bigger cuts in the number of British troops in Iraq than those announced yesterday by Tony Blair, defence officials made clear last night. For months, army commanders have suggested that their presence on the streets of Basra was doing more harm than good … They were forced to […]

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Enter the Clown, Stage Left …

Among the officials accompanying her was Karen P. Hughes, a longtime Bush confidant who currently serves as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. What is this idiot doing in Baghdad? Teaching the Iraqis to lie, badly, to Americans? I doubt they need much help in this …

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