Who is the Man Leading Iraq’s Green Zone Revolution?

On May 1, 2003, George W. Bush declared victory in Iraq while preening in a flight suit in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. Three years later, the country he had invaded descended into a bloody civil war. Eight years after that, the northwest of Iraq was conquered by ISIS. As I write this, thirteen … Continue reading “Who is the Man Leading Iraq’s Green Zone Revolution?”

Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?

In the 1989 film Batman, after the caped crusader rescues a damsel in distress from the Joker using a fancy zipline gun, the clown prince of crime, played by Jack Nicholson, asks in bewilderment: “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” Especially upon seeing Batman’s nicest toys — his armored Batmobile and his military-grade Batwing fighter plane, … Continue reading “Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?”

Iraq Collapse Shows Bankruptcy of Interventionism

May was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly five years, with more than 1,000 dead — both civilians and security personnel — in a rash of bombings, shootings, and other violence. As we read each day of new horrors in Iraq, it becomes more obvious that the U.S. invasion delivered none of the promised peace or … Continue reading “Iraq Collapse Shows Bankruptcy of Interventionism”

Iraq’s Generation Hell

WASHINGTON — In a burst of springtime whimsy, the principle of a private Christian school in Seattle last week looked at the bright, warm forecast and decided to call off school for a ‘Sun Day.” Principal Bob Sampson said he wanted to give students some time to “re-energize and enjoy the weather,” according to a … Continue reading “Iraq’s Generation Hell”

People Vanishing from Iraq War History

Ten years and the scripted media narrative of the Iraq War — now receding into the rear-view of our embarrassingly short American memory — is about as satisfying as the obligatory drum solo at your standard 1980’s rock concert. In other words, a milquetoast, factory-wrapped history of the war is hardening like a stale taffy … Continue reading “People Vanishing from Iraq War History”

Failed by the Fourth Estate

In a recent op-ed entitled "Blunders to Remember" David Ignatius of the Washington Post apologized for his shortcomings in "being wrong on the overriding question of whether the [Iraq] war made sense." The op-ed’s recognition of the media frenzy that accompanied the invasion and occupation of Iraq reminded me once again of just how the … Continue reading “Failed by the Fourth Estate”

The Intrepid Donna Mulhearn

Donna Mulhearn in Fallujah While the media was gearing up last month for the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, Donna Mulhearn was getting off a plane, the memory of six Iraqi cities still clinging to her like dust and ashes. You see, among the din of talking heads and armchair analysts in the mainstream … Continue reading “The Intrepid Donna Mulhearn”

American Anniversaries from Hell

It’s true that, last week, few in Congress cared to discuss, no less memorialize, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  Nonetheless, two anniversaries of American disasters and crimes abroad — the “mission accomplished” debacle of 2003 and the 45th anniversary of the My Lai massacre — were at least noted in passing in our world.  In my hometown … Continue reading “American Anniversaries from Hell”

As Iraq Anniversary Fades, ‘Strategic Narcissism’ Stands out

After a week of retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of Washington’s ill-fated invasion of Iraq, the most compelling consisted of a retrospective of the retrospectives. It came from Marc Lynch, an expert on Arab public opinion at George Washington University and prominent blogger on the foreignpolicy.com website. The flood of retrospectives that materialised over the … Continue reading “As Iraq Anniversary Fades, ‘Strategic Narcissism’ Stands out”

Ten Years Ago and Today: A Warfare State of Mind

On a plane circling Baghdad in gray dawn light, a little Iraqi girl quietly sang to herself in the next row. "When I start to wonder why I’m making this trip," Sean Penn murmured to me, "I see that child and I remember what it’s about." After the plane landed at Saddam International Airport, we … Continue reading “Ten Years Ago and Today: A Warfare State of Mind”