Monday, October 30, 2006

Just another day in the life and death of Iraq XX

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the BBC: "Gunmen have kidnapped and killed 17 policemen near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, police sources have said... Correspondents say the killings will be a major setback to British plans for reducing the power of various militias in the area."

Oh, really?


This may be part of the problem: "The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded."

Yeah, not good. But very much in the pattern of the whole mismanagement of the war and occupation.


On a related note, I recommend this piece by my new friend Ximena Ortiz at The National Interest. Ximena looks at how the war dead are presented to the American people and "how a polarized America regards media coverage of the human cost of the Iraq War".

And she asks this key question: "What do we Americans think war looks like?" I don't have much of a sense of it, and I'm sure most Americans don't either. And that largely has to do with media coverage that tends to euphemize, or even censor, the utter horror of war. Foreign media outlets are presenting the horrors of Iraq to their audience; American ones generally are not. And yet: "Reporting on war -- the entirety of it -- is not demagoguery, it is information -- vital information. Few would argue that the media not cover the fiscal cost of the war. Is the death toll not one aspect of the cost of war?"

It is, but as Ximena pessimistically concludes, "media executives will focus on what kind of news Americans want to see splayed out across the paper in the morning, as they drink their coffee, or on the evening news, after dinner".

There is already growing opposition, and outrage, to the Iraq War. Imagine the scale of that opposition, and outrage, if more Americans actually knew what was going on.

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  • War is almost impossible to describe for it contains all the elements that we encounter in our daily lives. It is however different and it's more a feeling an internalization and an awareness of fear of the unexpected. It contains everyday tasks, friendships, boredom, order, discipline, longing everything we all feel in our everyday lives, but it is colored with fear and dread of what may very well happen. War is not a TV image for an image can sometimes convey horror but never the sense of chaos, confusion, and loss of sanity that is always there. Days meld in to weeks tasks are done by rote your being yourself becomes closer to total instinct and the fear never leaves. Slowly for each human in it's own time frame a question blooms, why? It remains unanswered for it is a distraction to the more important task that of staying alive. This is a peek into the mind of a soldier this is his/her oun war.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 PM  

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