Cartel of Defiance

cartel of defiance (noun): 1. In medieval combat, a formal declaration, delivered by herald, of a combatant's intention to fight and refusal to submit. 2. An electronic assemblage of engaged and enraged citizens. 3. An intertextual mode of reading, writing, and thinking that puts the current political, cultural, and personal moment in dialogue with text/art from the past in counterargument to the ahistorical Memory Hole into which America seems to have slipped.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

soldier's point-of-view

This is a surprising article to see in The Washington Post. It describes the really depressing, futile and harrowing position of one 750-person batallion in Iraq charged with patrolling part of Southern Baghdad. A particularly relevant article given the redeployment of more U.S. troops into Baghdad. The title of the article, drawn from one of many disturbing comments offered by these soldiers, is "Waiting to Get Blown Up."

I feel like I've been reading a lot of good journalism about Iraq recently. Nearly everything one reads these days reinforces the depth and seriousness of this disaster. I caught an article in the most recent issue of Harper's that was certainly worth reading. Again -- focused and devestating. It concerned Bayan Jabr, currently the Interior Minister, but previously the head of housing construction projects under Paul Bremer. The article presents a disturbing picture of entrenched and pervasive corruption and theft; how Bremer had to tolerate this corruption because he was already so mired in failure and also had few real options; how the Americans that tried to call Jabr to account were themselves fired; and the connection of Jabr, today, to the infilitration of the Iraqi police and military by death-squads and private militia.


Blogger Gary Farber said...

"...It concerned Bayan Jabr, currently the Interior Minister...."

Actually Jabr went out with the last government; the current Interior Minister is Jawad Bolani.

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