Endless War
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How to Dehumanize a Terrorist: Give Him an MBA

ISIS has swept across Iraq in a stunning show of force, accumulating land and capital at a staggering rate. How, after a decade of American presence in Iraq, can this possibly be explained? What language do we even have for this?

"ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?" The face of a balding, middle-aged man stares unsmilingly into the camera. He is dressed in a suit and tie and could pass for a midlevel bureaucrat.

But the photograph is that of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who has transformed a few terror cells harried to the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in [...]

5

The Greatest Photo of the "End" of the "Iraq War"

Ha ha, here's the greatest picture of the end of the Iraq War, by Al-Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom: the assigned seats at the "Yay The Iraq War Is Over" ceremony also informed attendees in which bunker they should take shelter, in case they were all bombed or shot at or whatever. Enjoy your war zone with no war (sort of)!

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The American Influence in Iraq

"Security companies have started to use Iraqi guards because they work cheaply and know the area. These Iraqi security contractors now try to imitate Americans in their clothing, by wearing trousers with several outside pockets, half-length boots, dark sunglasses and rolled-up sleeves. They have absorbed the way that American contractors look so much that sometimes we Iraqis cannot differentiate between an Iraqi and an American by the way he dresses." —This is fascinating!

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On the Ground in Syria

Because independent journalists are not allowed to move about freely in Syria, news outlets are depending on reports from people such as [Omar] Shakir and on information collected by international human rights groups to offer a picture of what's happening inside Syria—where, according to the United Nations, government forces have killed more than 5,000 people in the nearly 12 months since protests against the regime began.

—As the U.S. closes its embassy and Russia blocks a U.N. resolution condemning the Syrian president, Syrian blogger Shakir spoke to Morning Edition's Renee Montagne today about the assault on Homs: "'I just want [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] to [...]

9

The Endless Drone War in Pakistan

"A group of Pakistanis met in Islamabad late last month to discuss the impact of U.S. drone strikes in their communities. One of the attendees was a 16-year-old boy named Tariq Aziz who had volunteered to learn photography to begin documenting drone strikes near his home. Within 72 hours of the meeting Aziz was killed in a U.S. drone strike. His 12-year-old cousin was also killed in the Oct. 31 attack." U.S. drones have killed 175 children. (via)

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Yay the Afghanistan War is Starting to End! (Starting in 2014)

"So 2014 is the new July 2011. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the caveats and the asterisks that the Obama administration and NATO want to place onto the dates, and understand that neither date heralds the End Of The War. But there’s a word for politicians who need you to listen carefully to their statements to grasp the full depth of their meanings: liars. They’re putting out a line that suggests on its face that the war will wind down or end when they’re actually promising no such thing." Oh I see.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong with a Biometrics Database of 3 Million Iraqis?

"The troops have come home, the flag has been been lowered, and the Iraq War is officially in the past for the U.S. military. But the military is holding on to a major souvenir of the war: a massive database packed with retinal scans, thumb prints and other biometric data identifying millions of Iraqis."

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Sarkozy Getting Big "Mission Accomplished" Banner Printed Now

"Nicolas Sarkozy is pressing for success in Libya by coalition forces to be achieved in time for him to declare 'victory' on Bastille Day in Paris." Good luck with that.