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July 27, 2005
[bell] Steve Bell: Uneasy Rider [Related: Archive of Steve Bell’s Cartoons]
November 11, 2004
[iraq] Steve Bell on Falluja‘These people are hardcore.’
June 15, 2004
[knowledge] The Two Things — apparently, for any subject there are only two things you need to know — the rest isn’t important or an application of the original two things … ‘World Conquest: 1. Divide and Conquer. 2. Never invade Russia in the winter.’ [via del.icio.us]
June 7, 2004
[war] Sixty years on, D-day veterans pass torch into hands of history — Jonathan Freedland on the 60th Aniversary of D-Day … ‘The end of the cold war allowed another new guest. For decades Russia was the forgotten ally but, now free of communism, it was allowed back in yesterday. Vladimir Putin rode in on the world leaders’ charabanc along with the rest of them (only the Queen and Bush were too grand to use the coach, preferring their own cars). When the Polish armed forces’ band formed part of the warm-up entertainment – doing a medley of Abba tunes, including a goose-stepping version of Dancing Queen that seemed to be a straight lift from Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler – the picture of a united Europe was complete.’
May 23, 2004
[iraq] The Sexual Sadism of our Culture, in Peace and in War — interesting commentary on the links between pornography and the photos of torture in Iraq … ‘The pornographic culture has clearly influenced the soldiers; at the very least, in their exhibitionism, their enthusiasm to photograph their handiwork. And the victims in both don’t have feelings: to the abusers, they didn’t in Abu Ghraib; to the punter they don’t in pornography. Both point to just how degraded sex has become in western culture. Porn hasn’t even pretended to show loving sex for decades; in films and TV most sex is violent, joyless. The Abu Ghraib torturers are merely acting out their culture: the sexual humiliation of the weak’
May 8, 2004
[iraq] Donald Rumsfeld: ‘We’re functioning with peacetime constraints, with legal requirements, in a wartime situation in the Information Age, where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise.’ [via The Obvious]
December 15, 2003
[saddam] BBC Reporters Log On Saddam’s Capture … John Simpson: ‘Saddam’s capture is an extraordinary melodrama. Ad Dawr, where he was caught, was where he was born, where his appalling stepfather used to humiliate him and beat him. It was a place that he hated. One of his confidantes told me that when he drove past it he would turn his face away, he wouldn’t look at it. To be caught there, with a pistol in his possession, yet not kill himself or defend himself, is a remarkable end to an extraordinary life.’
November 4, 2003
[history] At home with the F├╝hrer — nice summary from Simon Waldman about what happened when he posted a Hello-type article on Hitler from 1938 to his weblog … ‘As a result of this casual browse through an old magazine, I have struck up a friendship with an amateur historian in Louisiana, been involved in a copyright tussle with the UK’s biggest magazine publisher, been branded a Nazi sympathiser, been written about in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune and the Jerusalem Post, and become the subject of a petition from 60 Holocaust scholars as well as protests from David Irving.’
June 3, 2003
[blogs] Mission Fullfilled — Warbloggers feel sad and unsatisfied after wargasm … ‘I myself did notice something rather odd about a week after combat ended in Iraq. I was relieved that we finally attacked, and even more relieved that the war was quick and that our military suffered as few casualties as they did in winning it. But I also felt, oddly, a kind of let-down, an emptiness, something missing.’
May 23, 2003
[war] “If We Run Out of Batteries, This War is Screwed.” — Wired Article on the US Army’s creation of a “tactical” internet during the War in Iraq …

‘The history of warfare is marked by periodic leaps in technology – the triumph of the longbow at Crécy, in 1346; the first decisive use of air power, in World War I; the terrifying destructiveness of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, in 1945. And now this: a dazzling array of technology that signals the arrival of digital warfare. What we saw in Gulf War II was a new age of fighting that combined precision weapons, unprecedented surveillance of the enemy, agile ground forces, and – above all – a real-time communications network that kept the far-flung operation connected minute by minute. Welcome to the so-called revolution in military affairs…’

‘I’m headed north again, this time with a 97-vehicle convoy whose mission is to deliver missile launchers and set up a Tactical Operations Center just south of the Baghdad suburbs. But there’s a problem; the convoy makes two massive U-turns in search of a side road that leads to a much-needed fuel stop. “We’re lima lima mike foxtrot in Iraq,” says Sergeant Frank Cleveland, who’s riding shotgun in the truck where I’ve hitched a ride. “What does that mean?” I ask from the backseat. “We’re lost like a motherfucker,” he says.’

April 18, 2003
[comics] Charley’s War — really well done site covering the World War I comic from Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun. Mills: ‘A letter (from memory) which said from a soldier to his young wife something like: “Bing! go a bullet – maybe get that man. And you just feel like you’re gonna get the dirt. But you know, dear, you mustn’t worry, because I’ll be all right etc.” The day such letters are respected alongside the university educated poets is the day our schools will be teaching the reality of war. I doubt it will happen. I’ve lived in an army town and the stories soldiers have told me of more modern conflicts suggests things have improved, of course, but still have much in common with Charley’s day. Charley is the ordinary, working class, illiterate but courageous soldier of his generation who was sacrificed by an odious class system.’
April 16, 2003
[comics] Colin’s Gulf War Diary — stripblog from Colin Upton

Panel from Colin's Gulf War Diary...

April 15, 2003
[war] Said al-Sahaf (Iraqi Information Minister) Soundboard‘My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all.’ [via Fimoculous | Related: We Love The Iraqi Information Minister]
April 14, 2003
[war] Drawing Fire — Steve Bell on why he’s not an “embedded cartoonist” … ‘I believe passionately in the idea of cartoon reportage, but not at my age, and certainly not in the present circumstances with the military breathing down my neck. Don’t get me wrong – I would love to hurl myself into foxholes and I really enjoyed the only time I’ve ever been paintballing. But I fear this would be paintballing with extreme prejudice – and just imagine the indignity of being at the beck and call of nuclear-powered wankers like Air Marshal Bertrand Bollocks or whatever his name is.’ [via Metafilter | ¡Journalista!]
April 12, 2003
[war] Iraqi Officer Tells of War Chaos … Iraqi Army Officer on fighting in Baghdad … ‘He said the Republican Guards did not want to engage in street fighting in Baghdad, despite allied forces being convinced they would make a last stand there, since the Iraqi soldiers’ families were there and then “everything (can be) broken that’s yours, so if I fight in my city, every building is mine … those are our families, our babies.If you want to fight, you should fight out of (away from) your home,” he said.’ [via The Command Post]
April 9, 2003
[war] Northern Iraq Weblog — BBC News reporter Stuart Hughes has been recovering and updating his weblog after having his foot amputated following being injured by a landmine in Iraq‘I’ve been avoiding using one word until now because it scares me but I think now’s the time to say it. Amputation. It’s such a brutal word, conjuring up images of below-deck surgery in blood-spattered operating theatres on navy tallships. But that’s what’s happened to me and now it’s over it doesn’t seem so bad. Rather than months of hobbling around on crutches and scores of slow and painful operations, hopefully it means a swift return to normality.’ [Related: Iraq Journalist’s Leg Amputated]
April 5, 2003
[war] The Mood Changes as the Marine Invasion Gains Momentum — Guardian Reporter meets the Republican Guard … ‘They were still in uniform, but were already making their transition to civilian life. “It’s a relief,” said Mahdi, of his capture, of the collapse of the guard, of the end of the regime. “It’s like a weight off my chest.” Yet Mohamed spoke of how difficult it would be for Iraqis of his generation – they are all in their early 20s – to think themselves out of the tyranny inside their heads. Asked what he thought about Saddam, he said: “He’s my father, he’s my president. We didn’t understand him properly. We grew up with him around so we don’t know anyone else but him.”‘
April 1, 2003
[war] Northern Iraq Weblog — BBC Reporter Stuart Hughes on-the-spot blog from Iraq … ‘We were woken by the News Desk at 0730 and for the next 8 hours we barely drew breath. The Rolling News Monster had us in its grip and wasn’t going to let us go. Each hour was filled with lives for World TV, News 24, World Service, Radio 4, Five Live, you name it, interspersed with the odd rushed phone call to find out what was actually happening.’ [via Bowblog]
March 29, 2003
[blogs] Bloggers’ Delight — Steven Levy on Warblogging … ‘”I’ve got 32 windows open on my browser, the TV is on, and I’ve got the BBC on my RealPlayer,” says the 32-year-old freelance financial consultant. “I woke up to 332 e-mails this morning.” From this command post, [Sean-Paul] Kelley single-handedly creates a Weblog called The Agonist, which tracks and comments on developments in the war with Iraq.’ [Related: The Agonist | via Boing Boing]
March 27, 2003
[war] War Porn — interesting article about the portrayal of War on television and the press … Krista Cowman: ‘Boys are both innately and through programming turned into obsessive collecting from an early age. My son collects Digimon cards at the moment; my husband, though an early modernist, has an anal obsession over first-world-war aircraft. It’s about categorising and sorting; it’s about the way the sexes communicate. Girls talk about their hopes and dreams and fears; boys communicate through the swapping of lists and football cards.’
March 25, 2003
[war] Shock Tactics — interview with Harlan Ullman the creator of “Shock and Awe” … ‘On Wednesday night, after US commanders ordered a smaller strike of Tomahawk missiles at targets they believed included Saddam Hussein, CNN, for one, began running an on-screen alert reading “Shock and Awe postponed”. But “that was classic shock and awe,” says Ullman, who is now strategic associate at the centre for strategic and international studies in Washington. “If you kill the emperor, the empire’s up for grabs. And had we killed him, it would have been a classic application [of the theory]: $50m of ordnance, and we won the war.” After this, the argument begins to get a little circular: the postponement of shock and awe “was shock and awe, too,” Ullman says, because “we were threatening shock and awe”.’
March 24, 2003
[war] Baghdad Calling — the Guardian’s G2 Section had several pages of recent postings from Where is Raed? today … ‘Those who know Baghdad well, and who have read the diary closely, say there is no doubt in their mind that whoever is writing it is currently resident in the Iraqi capital. The author may display evidence of spending time in the west (possibly Britain, though he does use Americanisms) with his cynical sense of humour and love of David Bowie lyrics, but the reams and reams of fascinating detail about domestic and street life in Baghdad are highly convincing.’
March 23, 2003
[war] BBC War [B]log links …

  • 22 March – Pushing … Rageh Omar in Baghdad: ‘Every sign here is that Saddam Hussein and his commanders have escaped attempts to assassinate them, despite persistent rumours from London and Washington ‘
  • 21 March – Attacks … Gavin Hewitt in Southern Iraq: ‘In the last few minutes we just crossed over the Basra-Baghdad highway. We’ve had several bizarre incidents in the last few minutes of drivers on the highway completely unaware that American armour may be this far north, stopping their vehicles in utter amazement as we crossed the highway.’
  • 20 March – At War … Nick Bryant in Washington: ‘The White House is trying hard to show that things are calm. They’ve put a lot of effort into making the President’s day seem effortless.’

[war] Iraq Still Online — brief article about the status of Iraqi Internet. (Where is Raed? has not updated since Friday) … ‘It’s not immediately clear, however, whether Iraqis have been able to easily access the Internet since the initial attacks. Repeated checks of the abbreviated log files for Uruklink.net and BabilOnline.net reveal only a few hits from users of SMS and AIT, the two satellite ISPs that supply Iraq.’
March 22, 2003
[war] Minute After Minute the Missiles Came, with Devastating Shrieks — Robert Fisk in Baghdad. ‘…the symbolic centre of this raid was clearly intended to be Saddam’s main palace, with its villas, fountains, porticos and gardens. And, sure enough, the flames licking across the facade of the palace last night looked very much like a funeral pyre.’
March 21, 2003
[war] Power Tool — profile of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles‘The message it communicates is not one of brute force, but of sheer, unmatchable technological superiority, enforced from a safe distance. “It’s still seen by many as a somehow unnatural development in the culture of war,” says the military historian Antony Beevor. “We have still failed to realise what an astonishing technical development there has been in a very short period of time. Human perceptions of change are simply not flexible enough.”‘
[blogs] Q: Is the Baghdad Blogger for real? — Paul Boutin wonders if the Where is Raed? iraqi weblog is a hoax … ‘Salam claims to connect to the Net via Uruklink, the state-run Iraqi ISP, using Web-based email from the British music magazine New Musical Express. Remember the Sex Pistols line, “I use the NME?” So does he. IP addresses in his email headers aren’t sufficient to pinpoint his location, but they’re consistent with his story, being in the same range used by past Uruklink posters.’ [thanks John]
March 20, 2003
[war] Iraq on-the-spot Linkage …

  • Where is Raed?‘there is still nothing happening in baghdad we can only hear distant explosions and there still is no all clear siren.’
  • Reporters’ Log: At war in Iraq … Paul Wood in Baghdad: ‘People are very jumpy here. We now know the city of Baghdad was not the main thrust of the air attack. The focus is being described as a “target of opportunity”, where five senior members of the Iraqi government were gathered. It is believed that Saddam Hussein was amongst them. In the last few minutes it appears the telephone system has gone down here.’
  • Suddenly, the War is Very Real — Yesterday in Baghdad … ‘Reality finally came to Baghdad yesterday. Overnight, sandbags sprouted on football fields and roundabouts. In the evening the authorities rustled up yet another peace demonstration. The number of fatal car accidents seemed to surge, with drivers in a panic to get home, or to get out. Chemists sold out of valium.’ [via Words of Waldman]

March 19, 2003
[war] Reporters’ Log — BBC News Correspondents are [b]logging the War … ‘The overwhelming feeling among the British troops is a wish to get on with the job they have been sent here to do. As one British commander put it: “It will be tea and medals in Baghdad in a few days time.” And no-one really wants to contemplate the alternative.’ [via Grayblog]
March 18, 2003
[war] Sun sets on Kuwaiti Border Peace — eye-witness report from Northern Kuwait … ‘In the setting sun, the camouflage netting of one British camp looked like a sprawling field of jagged rocks, spreading from the road to the horizon. All these camps are filled with the lumps and spikes of armour and artillery. British tank guns point unblinkingly at the main highway, as if expecting attack from that direction. Yet it is not the weaponry which is most chilling about this armed host, which, with its five divisions, its training, its speed and mobility, its vast fleet of helicopters, its ability to fight at night and its digital technology is probably the most capable killing machine the world has ever seen. It is the industrial scale of the supply operation, and the amount of money which is visibly being spent, which scares. This is a professional army, and it goes at the job like a contractor.’
March 14, 2003
[war] Pentagon hawk at war with his own side — interesting profile of Donald Rumsfeld‘A couple of weeks ago he was addressing a gathering of international officials at the Pentagon. “There are four countries that will never support us. Never,” barked Mr Rumsfeld, before instantly creating his own new axis of evil: “Cuba, Libya and Germany.” “What’s the fourth?” someone asked. “I forget the fourth,” he said, which was probably fortunate. Who knows who else he might have offended?’
March 12, 2003
[war] The Pentagon’s New Map — globalisation and the US Military’s view of the world … ‘That is why the public debate about this war has been so important: It forces Americans to come to terms with I believe is the new security paradigm that shapes this age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger. Saddam Hussein’s outlaw regime is dangerously disconnected from the globalizing world, from its rule sets, its norms, and all the ties that bind countries together in mutually assured dependence. The problem with most discussion of globalization is that too many experts treat it as a binary outcome: Either it is great and sweeping the planet, or it is horrid and failing humanity everywhere. Neither view really works, because globalization as a historical process is simply too big and too complex for such summary judgments.’
March 6, 2003
[war] War is Stupid — lots of quotes on war …

‘Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.’ — Winston Churchill

‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.’ — Dwight D. Eisenhower

‘It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.’ — Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

March 4, 2003
[war] The Palace of the End — Martin Amis on the coming war in Iraq … Three quotes:

‘Osama bin Laden is an identifiable human type, but on an unidentifiable scale. He is an enormous stirrer – a titanic mixer. Look how he’s shaken us up, both in the heart and in the head. One could say, countervailingly, that on September 11 America was visited by something very alien and unbelievably radical. A completely new kind of enemy for whom death is not death – and for whom life is not life, either, but illusion, a staging-post, merely “the thing which is called World”. No, you wouldn’t expect such a massive world-historical jolt, which will reverberate for centuries, to be effortlessly absorbed. But the suspicion remains that America is not behaving rationally – that America is behaving like someone still in shock.’

‘We hear about the successful “Texanisation” of the Republican party. And doesn’t Texas sometimes seem to resemble a country like Saudi Arabia, with its great heat, its oil wealth, its brimming houses of worship, and its weekly executions?’

‘Saddam’s hands-on years in the dungeons distinguish him from the other great dictators of the 20th century, none of whom had much taste for “the wet stuff”. The mores of his regime have been shaped by this taste for the wet stuff – by a fascinated negative intimacy with the human body, and a connoisseurship of human pain.’

February 27, 2003
[blogs] Let Slip the Blogs of War — amusing commentary on warblogs. ‘…it is precisely their unconventional methods that make the war bloggers enemies to be feared. Like Al-Qaeda, the war bloggers are a loosely structured network, a shadowy underground whose flexibility and compulsive log-rolling make them as cost-effective as they are deadly. Kill Glenn Reynolds and a thousand James Tarantos will rise in his place. Try to apply the Powell Doctrine and the war bloggers will elude our grasp. Ignore them and they’ll use our own weapons against us.’ [via Haddock]
December 31, 2002
[lmg] US Marine Toilet Graffiti in Afghanistan — If I had to choose a favorite quote from LMG in 2002 it would probably be this one:

Thus the graffiti on the walls of the Portakabins where, if you got to them later than 9am, you’d be greeted by a 5ft-high pile of soldiers’ faeces:

Toilet 7: “I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds'; ‘I am become Bored, Destroyer of Motivation”

Toilet 3: “Though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil, because I am the meanest motherfucker in the valley.”

Toilet 6: “MARINE – Muscles Are Required, Intelegance [sic] Not Essential”

Toilet 2 (women only): “I miss my cat.”

Happy New Year. More of the same in 2003.
August 24, 2002
[war] Notes from a Suicide Manual — excerpts from a Kamikaze’s cockpit reading … ‘At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.’
August 16, 2002
[war] Mock Cyberwar fails to end Mock Civilization‘We’ve seen cities immobilized for days by natural events like blizzards, the severest of which are often accompanied by power and communications breakdowns, financial inconveniences and failures of emergency response teams to function, and yet life goes on. Human beings simply aren’t as fragile and narcotically-dependent on state authority as the government desperately desires them to be. We shift for ourselves rather well for moderate periods of time when the infrastructure of state paternalism lets us down and the life-giving commercial heartbeat flatlines. People are remarkably good at solving problems, both individually and in small ad-hoc groups. Thus we survive earthquakes, floods, blizzards, depressions, epidemics, hurricaines, foreign occupations, famines, plagues, slavery, volcanic eruptions, sustained V-1 and V-2 bombing campaigns, and the like. If we couldn’t, we wouldn’t be here now.’
August 6, 2002
[war] One Hell of a Big Bang — Studs Terkel interviews Paul Tibbets the man who piloted the Enola Gay

‘ST: One last thing, when you hear people say, “Let’s nuke ‘em,” “Let’s nuke these people,” [al-Qaeda] what do you think?

PT: Oh, I wouldn’t hesitate if I had the choice. I’d wipe ‘em out. You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: “You’ve killed so many civilians.” That’s their tough luck for being there.’

July 4, 2002
[war] Is this World War III? — Dan Hartnung wonders about a name for the current conflict and discusses the origin of the term “World War II”. ‘…when Germany entered Poland on September 2, it was as if the storm had finally come ashore. The next day, Britain and France honored their mutual defense treaty with Poland and declared war. A famous photograph had a newspaper vendor in a sandwich board which read WORLD WAR DECLARED (OFFICIAL) that same day. ‘ [via Follow Me Here]
May 27, 2002
[aftermath] When Uncle Sam meets ‘Stan — another great report from Afghanistan …

‘In her book An Intimate History of Killing , the historian Joanna Bourke looks at the narratives men create to comprehend their own roles in war and, more specifically, in combat. Apparently, soldiers in each war look to the previous for a frame of reference. Those in the Pacific in the Second World War looked to the First World War. Those in Vietnam looked to the Pacific Theatre. No prizes for guessing where the men in Afghanistan were looking.

Thus the graffiti on the walls of the Portakabins where, if you got to them later than 9am, you’d be greeted by a 5ft-high pile of soldiers’ faeces:

Toilet 7: “I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds'; ‘I am become Bored, Destroyer of Motivation”

Toilet 3: “Though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil, because I am the meanest motherfucker in the valley.”

Toilet 6: “MARINE – Muscles Are Required, Intelegance [sic] Not Essential”

Toilet 2 (women only): “I miss my cat.”‘

May 24, 2002
[aftermath] GIs Battle ‘Ghosts’ in Afghanistan — great article about the mopping up operations in Afghanistan … ‘The soldiers would set up nighttime roadblocks to search every car coming north from the Pakistani border, a particularly dangerous task. “If the vehicle tries to roll through a roadblock that is clearly marked as a roadblock . . . they are now hostile,” Fetterman told his subordinates. “That’s hostile intent. They could hurt you with the vehicle. You are allowed to engage. I spoke to the lawyers about this.”‘ [via Red Rock Eater News Service]
March 28, 2002
[war] American Crusade 2001 Trading Cards‘World affairs today can sure be confusing!’ [via Follow Me Here]


February 28, 2002
[war] Bin Laden’s private life revealed amid rubble‘Osama bin Laden’s underpants were hanging up to dry in the bathroom of his house outside Jalalabad. They were striped grey and black cotton boxers, with a label reading Angelo Petrico, a size XXL large for such a lean-looking man.’ [via Blogadoon]
January 24, 2002
[war] Back to hell — Mark Bowden – author of Black Hawk Down – on a possible US return to Somalia … ‘Because it is so wild, and because most of its residents are Muslims, Somalia seems a logical destination for al-Qaida and Taliban leaders fleeing the rout in Afghanistan. With the longest shoreline of any African nation, with its lack of government, navy, army or police, there is nothing to stop international outlaws from coming, provided they can run the international patrols in the Persian Gulf and Indian ocean. But once in Somalia, there is nothing to stop the US and its allies from coming after them. “We’ll go wherever we need to go in Somalia,” said one American general who asked not to be named. “It’s not likely that we’ll be asking permission.”‘
December 21, 2001
[war] Coming to a Mall Near You: Just War‘We don’t manufacture much of anything; just war. We don’t concern ourselves with education; just war. We don’t attend to the 40 million Americans without health coverage; just war. We don’t focus on the 30 million American children living in poverty; just war. We don’t support the arts; just war. Even though a multitude of human needs were in existence prior to September 11, and have only increased since then, we continue to direct our attention and our resources into what we do best: war. Just war.’ [via Haddock]
November 30, 2001
[war] More from Luke Harding in the Guardian…

  • Allies direct the death rites of trapped Taliban fighters‘Last night a small group of up to 40 volunteers were still holed up in a house in the corner of the castle’s rambling compound. They signalled their presence with firework-like bursts of gunfire, just to remind their enemies crouching on the shadowy ramparts above them that they were not yet dead. After spending years killing their fellow Muslims, the Taliban’s Arab and Pakistani fighters have finally got the jihad they were looking for. The foreign volunteers – who surrendered on Saturday only to overpower their guards the following day – know they have hours to live.’
  • A tank roared in. It fired four rounds. Then there was silence in the fort‘Three Pakistani Taliban escaped from the 19th century fort on Monday night by scrambling out of a water channel. Two were shot dead immediately, but a third got as far as the nearby mud-walled village of Sar-i-Pool. There local people discovered him and killed him. He had some bread in his pocket, they said.’

November 29, 2001
[war] Dead Lie Crushed or Shot, in the Dust, in Ditches, Amid the Willows — Luke Harding’s reports from the massacre in Mazar-i-Sharif have been excellent over the last couple of days … ‘Beyond the gazebo, next to where the Taliban had set up a makeshift mortar factory, were the corpses of several well-off Arab volunteers. Unlike their Pakistani counterparts, dressed in flimsy salwar kameezes, the Arabs wore expensive fleece jackets and trousers. One Talib corpse sported a San Francisco 49ers football sweatshirt; another a zip-up Dolce & Gabbana top. Osama bin Laden’s fighters may have rejected the west’s relativist ideology, but not its fashions.’
November 19, 2001
[war] Why we must show the dead — Media Guardian on publishing pictures of war victims … ‘Sometimes you publish a picture to prove that something has happened. The saddest, most powerful picture I ever helped to get into the paper was of a dead woman hanging from a tree in Bosnia. There she was in everyday clothing, as though she had stepped straight out of Marks & Spencer, hanging from a branch. What struck me most was how normal she looked.’
November 18, 2001
[war] Black Hawk Down — excellent documentary website covering the journalism on which the book and film are based … ‘The Battle of Mogadishu is known today in Somalia as Ma-alinti Rangers, or the Day of the Rangers. It pitted the world’s most sophisticated military power against a mob of civilians and Somalian irregulars. It was the biggest single firefight involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War.’

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