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Teaching & Understanding Sept 11:

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Skip the intro - take me to: links ~ issues ~ breaking headlines |  9 April, Iraq blog 1 archived 

For many years, I have opposed the war on drugs without being 'anti-police'. I disagree with drugs laws that run counter to individual liberty, disproportionately hurt minorities, are inconsistent with how we treat other drugs like tobacco, and would be much better dealt with through a public health approach. I'm troubled that even with the country at elevated levels of alert, the Bush administration launches Operation Pipedream and busts Pipesforyou.com, while Ken Lay and other corporate scoundrels haven't been indicted. But I can still appreciate the police who implement these laws and I respect that they act out of a sense of duty and patriotism, including many of my students - who have been beaten up, stabbed, shot and left for dead in the line of duty.;

Likewise, I oppose the war in Iraq and support the troops. I disagree with the unilateralist policy that guides their orders, issued after the President caused 'a diplomatic train wreck.' I'm not supporting Saddam, but see the U.S. squandering our international legitimacy when there are other important threats like North Korea, bin Laden (still haven't found him 18 months into the war on terrorism) and Al Quaeda (which is weakened, but likely developed chemical weapons). Saddam certainly isn't causing our economic problems, which are an immediate problem for many Americans. So, I support our troops - I'd like to see my students and everyone over there return healthy - but not the policy that put them there. [Still don't get it? Try Vietnam Vets Against the War and Veterans Against the Iraq War.]

G.W. Bush military record: Why did Bill Clinton's "draft dodging" merit 13,641 major news stories, while Bush's desertion merit only 49?

Project for Excellence in Journalism has just released a report evaluating embedded reporting and analyzing the news Americans are getting (site also has other current news and info)

Humanitarian donations: review of websites with information and places to make donations ~ Oxfam or MercyCorp

Several graphic photos below - warning

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This page is part of Teaching & Understanding Sept 11 - please explore the additional material 

Blog Archive: Up ] July 02 ] Aug 02 #1 ] Aug 02 #2 ] sniper ] Nov 03 ] Iraq 1 ] [ Iraq 2 ]

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Rumsfeld cracks jokes, but Iraqis aren't laughing

“Television is merely running the same footage of the same man stealing a vase over and over,” he joked, adding he didn't think there were that many vases in Iraq. The US may be the strongest nation in the world, but they forget that Iraq is a region that has been described as the cradle of civilization.

Flippant remarks cannot replace priceless artefacts that have disappeared from the National Museum in Baghdad, or the books of the University of Mosul – one of the oldest and best universities in the whole of the Middle East.

Too Soon to Declare Victory in Iraq, Bush Says (NYT): "The specific thing I want to hear is that our commanders say we've achieved the clear objective I set out". But the Administration is vague on what the 'clear objective' is. The CBS news When Is The War Won? contains a list of objectives Rumsfeld gave 3/21/03. 

The liberation of Iraq today became the plundering of Baghdad

The White House called scenes of joyful Iraqis welcoming U.S. troops in Baghdad on Wednesday and toppling a huge statue of Saddam Hussein an historic moment but warned Americans against "leaping too far ahead." ~ President Bush's advisers claimed vindication for U.S. military plans and declared Wednesday a historic turning point in the war. But they warned that coalition forces still face "great danger" on Iraqi battlefields.

Seems that pulling down the Saddam statue was a media event done by a small number of people, many flown in by the US

The NY Times headline was Bush Offers Optimism to Cheering Marines, but the last half of the story quotes a senior administration official as noting "our task is now changing from managing irrational skepticism to managing irrational exuberance."  Also, "the battle for Baghdad could take some unexpected turns. 'There is still much work to be done, some of which will be very, very difficult,' General Myers said. "Mr. Rumsfeld adding that 'nothing is over until it's over'."

Blair tells Bush: take rest of world into account - US security must be balanced with justice, says PM at summit (Guardian, UK - 8 April 03)

"Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." British General, 1917. As Charles Tripp writes in "A History of Iraq," "many welcomed the removal of Ottoman control, but were apprehensive about British military occupation."

"The pride the Arabs felt in the initial stages of the invasion, before those legendary 'pockets of resistance' halting the advance of the world's only superpower were revealed as a myth, has been replaced by immense shame and humiliation. The images of US soldiers taking a picnic in the heart of Baghdad will haunt the Arab psyche for generations to come "

"America now rules the world, either directly or by proxy; and there is nothing anyone can do about it," he concludes.

"Nothing, that is, but wait for history to take its course, for Fortune's wheel to turn as it inexorably does, crushing underneath those who once danced on top of it. But not in our lifetime. Yes, there will be more terrorism, and Osama Bin Laden - or at least his infamous voice - was heard once more yesterday, calling for suicide attacks and thus giving more easy justification, as he did on Sept. 11, to America's imperial ambition. Thanks, Osama, you've done us all about as much good as George W. Bush. Both are two sides of the same coin."

Arab media react to the 'fall of Baghdad' (Washington Post) ~ The BBC also did a story on Arab TV captures 'moment of history'

WARNING - The box below contains several disturbing images of war casualties - click here if you'd like to skip them and see the rest of the page. 

The images haunt me, which is why I felt like they should be made part of the discussion of the war, and why I appreciate that other people don't want to deal with them. Movie violence is one thing & it's very different from a real war. 

Tougher than it seemed: Nothing about war is straightforward   for the first few days of the Iraq invasion, British and American opinion has been in danger of slipping into a fool's paradise. Buoyed by our sense of technological, political and moral superiority towards Iraq, and precipitated by our culture's preference for short, sharp, scheduled outcomes, we have risked falling prey to a delusion that modern war is easy, cost-free and entertaining, when it is none of these things.

Iraqi casualty - the Arab media is full of these images: BBC Article on wounded children ~ Red Cross officials have labeled the level of casualties "incredible," describing "dozens of totally dismembered dead bodies of women and children" delivered by truck to hospitals (Aljazeera)

US soldier caught in ambush ~ Footage of captured soldiers can either be unsensational reporting of a war's progress or it can be distressing propaganda. There's a fine line between the two. (BBC)


Universal health care. Rebuilding the nation's schools. Repair of the road and rail networks. Sounds like a Democratic domestic agenda, right? Actually, it's the Bush administration's plan for the re-construction of Iraq. Now, I'm all for rebuilding Iraq when Saddam's gone. But it's ironic that Republicans don't have plans to stop the rise of Americans without health care. [rest of comment and response ~ 2.1 million jobs lost during Bush administration]

What's New?

Google News
IraqWar.ru (English Language version of Russian paper)

Headlines from ElectronicIraq.net:

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"Victory means more than knocking down what existed," said Douglas J. Feith, the Pentagon's undersecretary for policy. "It means putting some substitute in place that will help the Iraqis get what they need and be in a position to begin to govern themselves."

Not In Our Name

Iraqi exiles and former Western construction company officials have said all of Saddam's presidential palaces include deep, hardened bunkers, some of them massive in scale. Included among them is one $70 million palace-and-bunker complex that is protected by thick layers of concrete, steel and blast doors that a German engineer who helped build it, described as being able to withstand a Hiroshima-size explosion.


Reconstruction Project: Change the Iraqi textbooks: The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) is preparing to award education-related contracts worth an estimated $65 million. Creative Associates International of Northwest Washington, considered the front-runner for the contract, heads a coalition that recently won a $16.5 million contract for similar educational reform in Afghanistan.

United For Peace

The expanding role of GI Jane

Archive: Up ] July 02 ] Aug 02 #1 ] Aug 02 #2 ] sniper ] Nov 03 ] Iraq 1 ] [ Iraq 2 ]




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