Journey To The End

By: Wednesday December 29, 2010 10:43 am

BACK IN D.C. — Via Juan Cole, Nouri al-Maliki clarifies his intentions for U.S. troops in a Wall Street Journal interview: ‘ WSJ: Some American officials have spoken about contingency plans being drawn now in Washington for the possibility that some American troops will stay after 2011. Do you know about these contingency plans, and [...]

Time To Settle All Debate About The Surge

By: Wednesday December 22, 2010 11:19 am

Judging from David McCormick’s book review in the Weekly Standard, the new oral history Al-Anbar Awakening looks like an excellent through-the-participants-eyes understanding of what the Awakening was and wasn’t. And that goes a long way toward clearing out historical dross over the surge. Good for the Standard for printing this: The second volume of Al-Anbar [...]

Fudgy The Iranian Whale’s Challenge to American Hegemony

By: Monday December 20, 2010 12:15 pm

The Green Zone is about to get an Iranian ice cream franchise called Ice Pack, reports the Washington Post’s Liz Sly, in “a vivid reminder of the shifting balance of power here as the U.S. military winds down its presence and prepares to go home.” Sly notes that Ice Pack’s franchising is modeled on a [...]

Here He Comes, He’s All Dressed In Black

By: Monday December 20, 2010 10:20 am

The Sadrists go for the Maysan governorship, combing their hair and acting respectable: “We want to show the world we are a modern people, an intellectual people,” said Fathal Namaa, the group’s political director in Maysan. “We don’t want to be radical Islamists. I tell my supporters, don’t dress all in black or carry weapons.” [...]

Re-Up Gang In The Spot Tonight

By: Monday December 6, 2010 7:47 am

These estimates ought to be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s the trend that’s important: Last year, U.S. counterterrorism officials said the number of foreigners heading to Iraq had trickled from hundreds to “tens” in what they described as a severely weakened al-Qaida in Iraq. But a Mideast counterterrorism official said an estimated [...]

Take A Good Hard Look At Saddam Hussein’s Motherfucking Boat

By: Sunday November 28, 2010 12:45 pm

Saddam’s yacht is now the property of Iraq’s Ministry of Transportation. I know where I want to film my next music video. There have to be some Shiites and Kurds who’ll walk into the 269-foot boat (“with its gold-plated bathroom fixtures, a helipad and minisubmarine”), put their feet up like Fortinbras, light a cigar and [...]

Lost My Ability To Write

By: Tuesday November 9, 2010 8:47 pm

Moe Tkacik hasn’t, so reading her work makes me nostalgic for when I wanted to be a better writer. On Fair Game: The Valerie Plame story is the improbable tale that manages to reach the elite “apotheosis” level of Bush Administration corruption without making a central plot point out of the indiscriminate killing and/or sexual [...]

Also, Bob Gates Wouldn’t Mind Going To The Prom If You Were Thinking About Asking Him

By: Tuesday November 9, 2010 6:23 pm

In Kuala Lumpur, the secretary of defense reiterates his we’ll-stay-in-Iraq-if-you-ask-us line: Speaking during a news conference here with Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Gates left the door open to discussions about a continued troop presence in Iraq beyond the Dec. 31, 2011, deadline. “In terms of a future strategic relationship beyond 2011, I would [...]

One More Bush Story

By: Tuesday November 2, 2010 7:42 pm

For old times’ sake, given what looks like the Republican revival tonight. From the New York Times’ early read of the 43rd president’s memoir: Mr. Cheney clearly pushed Mr. Bush toward war. The former president writes that his vice president “had gotten out in front of my position” with an August 2002 speech dismissing the [...]

Death At The Iranian Border

By: Saturday October 23, 2010 8:59 am

I could really do this all day (pending WikiLeaks’ available server space), but a trip down the rabbit hole for information on drones led me to this chilling 2006 account of how Iraqi soldiers and border enforcement (“DBE”) appear to have turned on a U.S. platoon trying to scout out infiltration routs for Iranian elements [...]