Category Archives: Our glorious war in Iraq

Terminology: ISIS vs. ISIL–Everything You Always Wanted to Know and Much, Much More

The esteemed Dr. Justice has an excellent post about the term ISIS vs. the term ISIL–two different translations for the same name of the organization in Iraq.

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Click this messy-looking link to read to your heart’s content: http://worldofdrjustice.blogspot.com/2014/06/isil-vs-isis.html

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This is an issue because ignoramuses keep staying stupid stuff, as ignoramuses will do. Here’s overpaid bobblehead Chuck Todd: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/chuck-todd-knows-why-obama-prefers-isil-to-isis/

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Filed under arabic, arabist, language, names, Our glorious war in Iraq, translation

Return to Iraq–What Could Go Wrong?

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/13/the-seven-people-who-need-to-stfu-about-iraq-right-now/#.U5tf1StV6rM.twitter

“Hush you guys. The guy who thought Sarah Palin would make a good vice-president is explaining to us what we should do in Iraq.”

And do you remember which genius said this, about how long success in Iraq would take: “It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months“?

Giving me an excuse to post this excerpt, which I love:

But imagine if “Donald Rumsfeld” was a wholly imaginary character and that the events recounted in his memoir were audacious fiction, a wicked satire describing an implausible campaign of deceit that ultimately ensnared even the deceivers themselves, leading to a catastrophically lethal blunder in which trillions were squandered and hundreds of thousands slain. Yet despite that all-too-predictable outcome, this fictional narrator with the oddly Dickensian name is unrepentant, effusively praising himself as a hero and a champion of virtue. If it were fiction — the product of conscious artifice rather than of unconscious artifice – Known and Unknown would be on the syllabus of English literature classes everywhere.

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Filed under Our glorious war in Iraq, Stupidity, War in Iraq

Billions Wasted/Lost in Iraq

In unsurprising news: http://news.yahoo.com/auditors-billions-likely-wasted-iraq-174443860.html

 

“The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known,” the report said.

The auditors found huge problems accounting for the huge sums, but one small example of failure stood out: A contractor got away with charging $80 for a pipe fitting that its competitor was selling for $1.41. Why? The company’s billing documents were reviewed sloppily by U.S. contracting officers or were not reviewed at all.

With dry understatement, the inspector general said that while he couldn’t pinpoint the amount wasted, it “could be substantial.”

Also, I highly recommend the book We Meant Well; How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren. It’s entertaining as well as informative. Man can write.

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Filed under arab, Our glorious war in Iraq, Stupidity, War in Iraq

Simple Chart Compares Iraq War to Libyan Action

which one is the right wing mad about

Found this on Juan Cole’s blog. He found it on reddit.

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Filed under arabist, Our glorious war in Iraq

Senseless Killing of Zoo Animal Becomes Broadway Play

Do you remember back in 2003 how an endangered Bengal tiger in the beleaguered Baghdad zoo was shot to death by a scared soldier with an illegal weapon because the hungry tiger was tasting another soldier? Well, they’ve made it into a Broadway play. And Robin Williams stars! As the tiger! I am not joking.

Now that this play exists, it’s difficult to internet research on the original story, even in Arabic. For instance, in the play the tiger’s name is Mamdouh. Can’t find any corroboration of that, though.

It wasn’t impossible, though. Okay what happened was some army reserve officer decided it would be a good idea to treat his soldiers to a cookout, and that a good place to roast a lamb would be in the middle of zoo full of underfed carnivores. More fantastic decision making took place that night, when a reservist decided to stand within reaching distance of a tiger. The story we heard at the time was that the soldiers had been drinking, but apparently they hadn’t drunk a significant amount. So the guy who stood a couple feet from a tiger and turned his back was sober. So anyway, as the 11-year-old tiger was munching this soldier’s arm, his buddy pulled a contraband pistol and shot the tiger dead. The snack soldier lost the use of his arm.

Sounds fishy, right? Most zoos don’t have tiger enclosures within reaching distance of the public. Neither did this one. The soldier was between the inner and outer enclosure, that is to say, in a really, really stupid place to be.

If Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it’s that we can create life and therefore we don’t need to think about wildlife conservation, because if you want more tigers, you can just whip them up in a lab.

So anyway, yeah, someone made a Broadway play out of this story.

The play, which is at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, takes place in Baghdad, shortly after “Shock and Awe.” Director Moises Kaufman says the playwright may have come up with a theatrical equivalent, as he attempts to describe Bengal Tiger: “There is a tiger that talks, there is a ghost of the son of Saddam Hussein, there is the ghost of a young girl, there are two American soldiers, one of whom dies in the middle of the play and becomes a ghost.” He concludes, “It’s part ghost story, part war play, part satire, part theater of the absurd.”

Bummer. While researching this I found out that US soldiers also killed four lions that had escaped from the zoo.

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Filed under animals, movies and shows, Our glorious war in Iraq, Stupidity, War in Iraq

Doing My Part to Spread This Viral Message About Christmas

From Filtered News, another WordPress blog, here is A Meditation on Keeping Christ in Christmas.

Excerpt:

At the time of the first Christmas, the Samaritans were considered by Jesus’ people as disgusting inferiors and were denounced by the religious leaders of the day as heretics and ethnically impure; sick people were believed to be sinners whom God was punishing; women were deemed unworthy, unclean and inferior; tax collectors and Roman soldiers were regarded as the mortal enemy; the poor, who had neither the time nor the resources to maintain rigorous rites of religious purity, were thought to be beyond God’s grace: Gentiles were seen as ritually, morally, genealogically and carnally impure: Jesus rejected and denounced every one of these barriers between people.**

And another exerpt:

If our Christian faith and love are strong, we feel no bitter, self-righteous need to claim some sort of exclusive or superior right to this holiday season — which, ironically, violates the very spirit of the holiday season. If our Christian faith and love are strong, we are able to gently, serenely accept the “other” as Christ did, with open hearts and open arms. If our Christian faith and love are strong, we are able to make room for the “others” and offer wishes of peace and joy, not divisiveness, not bitter victimization and not anger.

This year anybody looking to get bent out of shape about a “war on Christmas” is in luck. Some churches in parts of Iraq have actually cancelled Christmas festivities (or solemn celebrations, whatever kind they prefer) due to threats made by al-Qaeda in Iraq. So please, if you were inclined to grumble and hiss about people with the temerity to wish you “happy holidays,” take a moment to ponder what a real war on Christmas would look like.

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Filed under miscellaneous, off-topic, Our glorious war in Iraq, religious conflict

Prominent Iraqi Christian Sentenced to Death

Another Christian being persecuted! Somebody tell Voice of the Martyrs!

BAGHDAD — Tariq Aziz, a former top aide to Saddam Hussein, was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on Tuesday for crimes against members of rival Shiite political parties.

Mr. Aziz’s death sentence stemmed from charges of persecution against members of the religious Shiite Dawa Party, which counts Iraq’s current prime minister, Nuri Kamal-al Maliki, among its members.

Oh, oops. Looks like this Christian was sentenced to death for actually persecuting followers of another religion. Voice of the Martyrs will be so sheepish.

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Filed under arab, church and state, Our glorious war in Iraq, religious conflict