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Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

By David Shields
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Tag: Iraq


pithhelmet.wordpress.com

What Does Blackwater Have to Do?

The company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide has been mired in scandal ever since its guards massacred some Iraqi civilians, but the government work keeps coming. Sen. Carl Levin has asked the Pentagon to think carefully about awarding a $1 billion contract to the company now known as Xe.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE


Three Bomb Blasts Kill 32 in Baghdad

The timing of Wednesday’s series of three suicide bombings in Baghdad was significant, considering Sunday’s parliamentary election is just around the corner. The attacks happened in rapid succession in the morning and killed 32 people, including some who had been wounded in the first two blasts and were seeking treatment at a hospital in the Iraqi capital city.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

The System Works, Obama’s Approach Doesn’t

Divided government need not mean gridlock. Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan made it work. Obama can, too.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Chris Carlson

Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama

The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Wesley Farnsworth

Pentagon Frees Troops to Poke, Tweet and Lip-Sync to Lady Gaga

The Department of Defense didn’t have an official policy on what it calls “new/social media”—until now. Starting immediately, DoD employees (including troops) are free to use most of the non-porn Web, from Facebook to YouTube, without worrying about a court-martial. The usual rules on national security still apply. (continued)

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE



facebook.com

Tweeting War

The U.S. military is allowing its troops access to social media websites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, after a review of Internet use and security. The ruling follows a Pentagon decision in 2007 to block those sites.

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / PFC Ali Hargis

Iraq Welcomes Back Saddam’s Soldiers

One of the most criticized decisions made by the U.S. back in 2003 when it stumbled into Iraq like a drunk Mel Gibson at a bar mitzvah was the disbanding of the Iraqi army. All these years later, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reinstating 20,000 of Saddam Hussein’s officers. (continued)

Posted on Feb 25, 2010 READ MORE


A Perturbing Argument on ‘Don’t Ask’

Gen. Norton A. Schwartz’s claim, echoed by Gen. George Casey, that letting troops serve openly would “perturb” the military is just silly.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 READ MORE


John Yoo
Wikimedia Commons / YooTube

John Yoo Takes Credit for ‘Saving’ Obama Presidency

John Yoo’s Op-Ed in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, in which he says he helped save Barack Obama’s presidency by “winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe,” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then this is the dingbat who gave the legal thumbs up to torture.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / No Sweat UK

Iraq’s Oil for Iraq

In an announcement that was one part election hackery and one part good domestic politics, the Iraqi prime minister has declared that his country will not sell the rights to any more of its oil fields to foreign companies, a move that signals an intent by Iraq to develop its own national oil industry.

Posted on Feb 20, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The End of Obama’s Vision of a Nuke-Free World

Fear of a nuclear Iran has generated irrational policies that will only hasten such an outcome. Instead of listening to his own words, the president fell for that old lure, a great power with great bombs that tells others what to do.

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Cheney’s Dose of Reality

Do you believe in miracles? I do, and here’s the proof: Dick Cheney said something reasonable.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 READ MORE



Stonehenge Edition

Is it time to remodel Stonehenge? Is M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie a whitewash? Will the U.S. and China ever go to war? Answers to these questions and more on today’s list.

Posted on Feb 11, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence

America’s Confused Approach to Afghanistan

U.N. officials and American military commanders suggest that diplomacy might be coming alive on the Afghan front, but neither the Pentagon nor the White House seems to have clearly identified what the United States wants in Afghanistan.

Posted on Feb 9, 2010 READ MORE


John Murtha
house.gov

Rep. John Murtha Dies at 77

After serving almost exactly 36 years in the United States Congress, Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania has died. He had been in intensive care following gall bladder surgery. He was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress. (continued)

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Who Will Be the New Global King of the Hill?

China and India stopped being part of what was called the “third world” when the “second world,” the communist world, disappeared in a shattering of global illusions in 1989.

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 READ MORE


coffin on car
AP / Karim Kadim

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 54 in Baghdad Attack

A female suicide bomber set off an explosives-lined vest in a crowd of pilgrims in northeast Baghdad on Monday, killing 54 people and wounding 109 and fueling fears of more violence before next month’s key elections, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Elaine Thompson

The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News

Don’t blame the Internet. The bloodless and soulless journalism of the traditional media left newspapers on the wrong side of the growing class divide and their readers.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / aresauburn™

Justice Department Investigating Alleged Blackwater Bribes

The Justice Department is reportedly looking into whether private security firm/mercenary agency Blackwater Worldwide attempted to buy off Iraqi officials following a shooting rampage in Baghdad. Blackwater employees have so far escaped criminal charges for the Nisour Square massacre that killed 17 Iraqis. (continued)

Posted on Jan 31, 2010 READ MORE


Tony Blair
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Blair: ‘I’d Do It Again’

Sticking with a position that appears based more on pride than empirical reasoning, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waded through six hours of questioning at an inquiry in London with a resilient defense of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 READ MORE


Zinn Is Dead—Long Live ‘Zinn’

One of our beacons of integrity has flickered out. Our world has suddenly become a little darker, a little colder, a little more bitter and a little more insane.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s First State of the Union—Full Remarks

It was his third address to a joint session of Congress in less than a year, and it had all the usual gestures toward bipartisanship, but Barack Obama’s big speech was not without sizzle. The president shamed Republicans for obstructing, Democrats for giving up and the Supreme Court for auctioning off our democracy.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 READ MORE


A Duped President’s Wasted Foreign Policy Year

President Obama’s failures in Israel and elsewhere abroad have astonished the international public and left in despair those Americans who can scarcely believe that a whole year has been irresponsibly wasted.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Nicole Ketchen

British Government Warned That Iraq War Would Be Illegal

Before the invasion of Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s top legal adviser warned that the use of force was “contrary to international law” and “would amount to the crime of aggression.” (continued)

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE



Pre-State of the Union Edition

Petraeus says there’s plenty more Afghan war where that came from, Saudi Arabia gets to buy an election or two and Social Security goes on the chopping block. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE


Baghdad Sheraton
AP / Karim Kadim

Triple Bomb Attack Targets Baghdad Hotels

On Monday, a series of three coordinated bombings targeting landmark hotels in Baghdad killed at least 36 people and wounded 71, according to The New York Times. Also Monday, Iraqis hung Saddam Hussein’s cousin and former aide Ali Hassan al-Majeed—aka “Chemical Ali”—for crimes against humanity, largely for his role in the mass killing of Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hadi Mizban

Biden Promises to Appeal Blackwater Dismissals

Vice President Joe Biden expressed his personal regrets to Iraqi leaders and promised that the U.S. will appeal the dismissal of manslaughter charges against five Blackwater security contractors over a bloody Baghdad shooting in 2007 that killed 17 people.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE


rifle sight
abcnews.go.com

Guns 4 Jesus: Michigan Company Adds Scriptural Codes to Rifle Sights

Because nothing says “Jesus” like high-powered rifle sights, Trijicon, a Michigan-based company that makes just those military accoutrements, has been churning out sights for use by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that are stamped with Biblical codes from the New Testament. So much for the whole “no proselytizing” rule in our nation’s armed forces.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


Love and Haiti

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Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE    



U.S. Navy / Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

The Source of America’s Imperial Presidency

A new book inspired by liberal disappointment with President Barack Obama blames the atomic bomb for America’s misadventures. This strikes me as interesting but completely wrong.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Mark Halperin’s Trash Edition

Mark Halperin’s sleazy new book (the one that snared Harry Reid and beats up on John and Elizabeth Edwards) is proof, writes Glenn Greenwald, that our media aspire to trash and gossip. This story, plus Nixon, Sinatra, Limbaugh, drugs and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Samantha Appleton

Presidential Posturing Isn’t Getting the U.S. Anywhere

President Barack Obama is said to feel he is in trouble politically because his enemies in Congress and among the Washington journalists who decide what the “mood” of Washington is on any given day say he is not tough enough.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Alternate Universe

The “war on terror” is a self-perpetuating problem with no solution. Worse, it ultimately will destroy America, not from any actions by whatever “enemy” America conjures up, but rather from the actions undertaken by America itself.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE


Sick With Terror

The underwear bomber has reignited the debates about how best to protect the American people, while a killer that claims 45,000 lives annually—one dead American about every 10 minutes—goes unchecked.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Adem Hadei

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See

The state and the press work hard to keep the reality of war hidden. We rarely see images that capture the evil of war, what it does to young minds and bodies.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Iraqi
AP / Khalid Mohammed

2009 Less Bloody Than 2008 for Iraqi Civilians

A group that monitors the death toll in Iraq believes the number of civilian deaths in 2009 to be less than half the number for 2008. Yet the United Kingdom-based group said that terrorist violence “still afflicts Iraq’s population more than any other.”

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE


Blackwater helicopter
Wikimedia Commons / jamesdale10

Federal Judge Dismisses Charges in Blackwater Shooting Case

A federal judge let five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors off the hook Thursday, dropping all charges against them in a 2007 case in which 14 Iraqi civilians were killed and 20 wounded during a Baghdad shooting. The Justice Department wasn’t thrilled with this outcome, and a DoJ spokesman told The Washington Post that his colleagues are “still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


Fighting Over the Squandered Decade

I’m afraid that the past 10 years will be seen as a time when the United States badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly and pursuing domestic policies that constrained our options for the future.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


Iran, Yemen Posing Challenges to American Intelligence

Iran appears to be in the throes of popular uprising, yet the U.S. and Israel continue to flirt with military intervention for dubious reasons.

Posted on Dec 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Mary Altaffer

One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists

The gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process.

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol

U.S. Troop Fatalities Double in Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday raised the American death toll in 2009 to exactly twice the number of those soldiers killed there in that country in 2008. After eight years in Afghanistan, 940 U.S.—and 613 coalition—soldiers have died.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009 READ MORE


Decades From Hell: One Down, One to Go

This was, nationally and globally, a lousy decade. I hate to put a damper on your holiday season, but the next one has every prospect of being worse.

Posted on Dec 23, 2009 READ MORE



stewart.army.mil

Get Pregnant, Get Court-Martialed

Remember when protecting women’s rights was given as a justification for invading countries? Well, the U.S. general in northern Iraq has added pregnancy to the reasons why a soldier could be court-martialed—a list that includes selling weapons and taking drugs.

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 READ MORE


capitol
Flickr / laura padgett

GOP Fails in Bid to Filibuster Military Spending Bill in Senate

If it wasn’t crystal clear before that Senate Republicans will stop at nothing to make sure their Democratic rivals don’t pass a health care reform bill by Christmas, or anytime, it should be now. On Friday, GOP senators attempted, unsuccessfully, to filibuster a huge military spending bill that needed to be passed before midnight ... (continued)

Posted on Dec 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Mohammed Aliwi

Iranian Soldiers Take Control of Iraqi Oil Well

Iranian troops have again entered Iraqi territory, though in a disputed border section, and taken control of an oil well in the al-Fakkah field, about 200 miles from Baghdad.

Posted on Dec 18, 2009 READ MORE



Original: U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Scott Reed

Insurgents Hack Predator Drones With Cheap Software

The $4.5 million Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and its at least $10 million successor are considered the future of America’s Air Force and a big part of the president’s escalation in Afghanistan. Insurgents in Iraq (and probably Afghanistan) were able to track the planes and intercept video feeds using $26 software available on the Internet. (continued)

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Democrats Blinked

By bowing to Sen. Lieberman and his obstructive pals in both parties on health care reform, Obama has confirmed what Republicans always say about Democrats: They simply aren’t strong enough to govern.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



Staff Sgt. Cohen A. Young, U.S. Air Force

U.S. Contemplates More of the Scarcely Believable in ‘Af-Pak’

The people who are running the war in Afghanistan are contemplating an air attack on one of Pakistan’s principal cities, the capital of its largest province, for reasons that defy logic.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE



Collage: Gravel photo from Flickr / Center for American Progress Action Fund

Gravel’s Lament: Fighting Another Dumb War

Few voices in American politics have been as consistent, as reasoned and as moral as his, which is one reason why Mike Gravel, on a chilly December morning, is in front of the White House, not inside it.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Squaring Idealism and Realism

Europeans are coming to terms with the fact that President Barack Obama is not a miracle worker, and with the reality that everything he does is not magic.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE


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