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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Forget Wii’s Call of Duty, Wikileaks Offers A More Realistic Representation of War

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You may have heard of the classified video leaked earlier this week by Wikileaks that shows a US air crew in Baghdad on July 12th  2007 repeatedly opening fire on a group of men including Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22,  his driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, and on a van that stopped to rescue a then wounded Saeed Chmagh.

You may have heard, but if you haven’t seen the video yourself, I would encourage you to watch.

And why would I do such a thing?  US policy calls for major censorship of images of warfare, and the result is a population that lives far removed from the realities of  pain and death.

If you read more about the story altogether, you will encounter what appear to be blatant false claims made by the US military, and more painful information including the surviving wounded children in the van. Really, though, if you choose to not read more, choose to skip over the background info given in the first 2 minutes of the video, and just watch the actual footage taken from the Apache helicopter and listen to the words of those behind the guns, you will be doing yourself a great service.

Familiarize yourself with war and death. Sure, you could play Call of Duty, I suppose, but watching actual men run for their lives, crawling to safety, only to be shot again and again, hearing the words of those doing the shooting and imagining what the experience must have been like for them, will hopefully leave you with a more accurate picture of war than any video game.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday has attacked wikileaks for releasing the video, stating, “”That is the problem with these videos,” Gates said. “You are looking at the war through a soda straw and you have no context or perspective.”

I would agree. It is a serious problem. Perhaps we do lack the correct context or perspective for the wars our country is currently involved in around the globe.

More on Robert Gates Response: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sc-dc-gates-video14-20100413,0,4550653.story

More on Wikileaks release: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-exposes-video-o_n_525569.html

More on Video Game Comparison: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/apr/07/wikileaks-collateral-murder-iraq-video

More on US Military response and history of censorship: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978017,00.html

More on the Lack of Context: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/04/07/2010-04-07_military_brutal_wikileaks_video_of_shooting_death_of_reuters_journalist_in_iraq_.html

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Written by annnee

April 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm

US military interrogator says torture worse than useless

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Yesterday Democracy Now! interviewed a former special intelligence operations officer who led an interrogations team in Iraq two years ago. “He served for fourteen years in the US Air Force and has conducted special missions in more than thirty countries. He personally conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than a thousand. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his achievements in Iraq. His nonviolent interrogation methods led Special Forces to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq.” (DN!) He is the author of How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq, which was released under the pseudonym“Matthew Alexander” for security reasons.

He argues that torture is effective at outraging potential enemies and turning them into murderous extremists, and warns that it is highly ineffective at extracting intelligence.

BoingBoing‘s 

Written by annnee

December 5, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Iraq

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Arlington West: A Memorial

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Every Sunday, Veterans For Peace honor the soldiers killed in Iraq with a cemetery of crosses at the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier. I met the filmmakers of Arlington West: the Film, which consists of 105 candid interviews with visitors to the memorial.  Taken from their website: “Views and opinions expressed in this film offer a broad look at public sentiment both for and against war. Many of the interviews are with young soldiers who participated in the war and have returned or are on their way to Iraq. Members of Gold Star Families – those family members whose sons or daughters have died in the US war in Iraq – military recruiters, and even children, are among the many others interviewed in this film. Interviews expressed in this film range from pro-war to anti-war, making the film all that much more engaging.”

Arlington West: The Film has been shown in classrooms and at assemblies in hundreds of high schools and colleges across America to thousands of students. This beautifully made and very powerful film provides students with the information they need to make an educated decision about joining the military.”

Written by annnee

November 11, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Iraq, Media, Protest

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Focusing on Veterans: 18 Suicides a Day

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Last November when CBS reported an epidemic of 6,200 veteran suicides in 2005, Dr. Ira Katz, head of mental health for the VA, attacked the report, and insisted in a CBS interview, “there is no epidemic of suicide. The figures provided to the network by the VA and Katz showed 790 attempted suicides in 2007.

Ahh. Email trails. Two days after Katz gave CBS the low figure, he sent an email titled “Shhh — not for the CBS News Interview Request”. In it he wrote that “our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities.” As high as this number is, it does not include reports about suicide and suicide attempts among soldiers still on active duty.

Tony Rutherford’s article

Bob Dart’s

Press Release after this blew up from House Committee on Veterans Affairs

Written by annnee

November 11, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Health, Iraq

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