inautumn-inkashmir:

sizenote:

高さ52mのバベルの塔。9世紀。イラク。
Great Mosque of Samarra

The Great Mosque of Samarra is a 9th century mosque which is located in the Iraqi city of Samarra. The mosque was commissioned in 848 and completed in 851 by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who reigned (in Samarra) from 847 until 861.
The Great Mosque of Samarra was at one time the largest mosque in the world; its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, is a vast spiralling cone (snail shaped) 52 meters high and 33 meters wide with a spiral ramp.[1]
The mosque had 17 aisles, and its walls were panelled with mosaics of  dark blue glass. It was part of an extension of Samarra eastwards.

inautumn-inkashmir:

sizenote:

高さ52mのバベルの塔。9世紀。イラク。

Great Mosque of Samarra

The Great Mosque of Samarra is a 9th century mosque which is located in the Iraqi city of Samarra. The mosque was commissioned in 848 and completed in 851 by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who reigned (in Samarra) from 847 until 861.

The Great Mosque of Samarra was at one time the largest mosque in the world; its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, is a vast spiralling cone (snail shaped) 52 meters high and 33 meters wide with a spiral ramp.[1]

The mosque had 17 aisles, and its walls were panelled with mosaics of dark blue glass. It was part of an extension of Samarra eastwards.

vruz

vruz:

by Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish / The Atlantic

The NYT’s account of systemic use of torture largely by Shiites on Sunnis, revealed in the Wikileaks doc-dump, is here. It’s horrifying - along the lines of Abu Ghraib and Bagram, but also, in many cases, even worse and cruder. It occurred during US occupation of the country; although most of the torture was perpetrated by Iraqi security forces, and although on occasion American forces prevented torture, some occurred under American control, and there was inevitable enmeshment as they fought alongside:

The documents show that Americans did sometimes use the threat of abuse by Iraqi authorities to get information out of prisoners. One report said an American threatened to send a detainee to the notorious Wolf Brigade, a particularly violent Iraqi police unit, if he did not supply information.

[…]

Ambers has a summary here. The Guardian:

In two Iraqi cases postmortems revealed evidence of death by torture. On 27 August 2009 a US medical officer found “bruises and burns as well as visible injuries to the head, arm, torso, legs and neck” on the body of one man claimed by police to have killed himself. On 3 December 2008 another detainee, said by police to have died of “bad kidneys”, was found to have “evidence of some type of unknown surgical procedure on [his] abdomen”.

The forces that conducted these horrific acts are the forces we are handing the country over to. History will harshly judge this war, and those of us who supported it, its long-term strategic effect, and so forth. In particular, it appears, that one of the main actors was Iran, and Iran has emerged as the core winner. But the hell unleashed by the incompetent occupation led to over 100,000 often gruesome civilian deaths in what was a nation-wide bloodbath of almost frenzied proportions.

I think it can be said, now more forcefully than ever, that whatever moral legitimacy this war once had is now gone forever.

It was worse than a mistake. It was, in many ways, a crime.

vruz: time for war crime tribunals, Bush, Blair and Cheney.  doesn’t matter you’re a friend of the nazi pope, Tony.

now you see why robert gates hates wikileaks so much.

it’ll seriously be the day when the Bush Admin. and the policy-makers responsible for orchestrating the lie that was the invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent civil disintegration and sectarian chaos, are finally held responsible for their actions, put on trial, and, most importantly, are found guilty and punished for all their evils.

In the first fourteen months, down to the “hand-over of sovereignty” and the end of the CPA (“children playing adults,” as the U.S. military contemptuously called the young and inexperienced American staff, most of them chosen by patronage) in June 2004, only $300 million of the U.S. government’s money was actually disbursed, but all of the Iraqi money was spent — althought “spent” is perhaps the wrong word, as it implies an exhange of money for goods or services. Some $12 billion of the Iraqi money was flown from New York to Baghdad in cash — 363 tonnes of one-hundred-dollar bills — and handed out to Iraqi contractors (kickbacks galore), to American contractors with good connections in the Bush administration on inflated cost-plus contracts, and to “government ministries” in Baghdad that barely existed except on paper.

Some $800 million was handed over to the U.S. military commanders for discretionary spending without being counted or even weighed. Another $1.4 billion was flown from Baghdad to the Kurdish regional government in Irbil, and has not been seen since. The $8.8 billion that passed through the new government ministries in Baghdad during the reign of the CPA has never been accounted for, and there is little prospect of finding out where it went. The Defence Ministry’s $1.3 billion procurement budget for 2005 vanished completely, together with the defence minister and the procurement chief: “It is possibly one of the biggest thefts in history,” said Ali Allawi, finance minister at the time. The CPA itself kept one fund of nearly $600 million in cash for which there is simply no paper-work, and in the final month before it left Iraq, it managed to get rid of the last $5 billion of Iraq’s money, most of it in contracts let without tender to American corporations with contacts in the White House. Auditors were not appointed until April 2004, and were not allowed to see the CPA’s accounts, such as they were, until it had disbanded and gone home. It is likely that more money was stolen in the first year of the occupation of Iraq than Mobutu Sese Seko managed to steal in thirty-two years of looting the Congo.

Gwynne Dyer, The Mess They Made: The Middle East After Iraq [pg. 18-19]

Under Security Council Resolution 1483, passed on May 22nd, 2003, the United Nations transferred some $23 billion of Iraqi money derived from frozen Iraqi bank accounts, seized Iraqi assets, and Iraqi oil sales into a “Development Fund for Iraq” and put it in the hands of the CPA.

Again, one more time for emphasis: “It is likely that more money was stolen in the first year of the occupation of Iraq than Mobutu Sese Seko managed to steal in thirty-two years of looting the Congo.

The American occupation of Iraq: a robbery like no other.

The incident that haunts him most took place early in April, near an Iraqi military compound five miles from Baghdad’s airport. “There were approximately 10 demonstrators near a tank,” he said. “We heard a shot in the distance and we started shooting at them. They all died except for one. We left the bodies there.

“We noticed that there were some RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] about 200 metres away from them - they might have come from the military compound. The demonstrators had the ability to fire at us or at the tank, but they didn’t. The survivor was hiding behind a column about 150 metres away from us. I pointed at him and waved my weapon to tell him to get away. Half of his foot had been cut off. He went away dragging his foot. We were all laughing and cheering.

“Then an 18-wheeler [truck] came speeding around. We shot at it. One of the guys jumped out. He was on fire. The driver was dead. Then a Toyota Corolla came. We killed the driver, the other guy came out with his hands up. We shot him too.

“A gunny from Lima Company came running and said to us: ‘Hey, you just shot that guy, but he had his hands up.’ My unit, my commander and me were relieved of our command for the rest of the day. Not more than five minutes later, the Lima Company took up our position and shot a car with one woman and two children. They all died.”

The next day the platoon guarded a checkpoint at Baghdad Stadium. “A red Kia Spectra sped toward us at about 45mph. We fired a warning volley above it but the car kept coming. Then we aimed at the car and fired with full force. The Kia came to a stop right in front of me, three of the four men shot dead, the fourth wounded and covered in blood. We called the medics, but he died before they arrived. That day we killed three more civilians in the same circumstances. I talked to my captain afterwards and told him: ‘It’s a bad day.’ He said: ‘No, it’s a good day.’
The Marine’s Tale: “We Killed 30 Civilians In 6 Weeks. I Felt We Were Committing Genocide” by Natasha Saulnier [the Independent - UK. May 5th, 2004 (via http://www.rense.com/general53/marin.htm) <— you must read the whole thing.]
claerwen-deactivated20111214
warispeace:

Today in History: On October 3, 1932, Iraq gains independence from Great Britain when they join the League of Nations. Iraq had been under the Ottoman Empire until its demise in World War I. Great Britain then took over the nation after the war. The new nation became a constitutional monarchy under the the leadership of King Faisal I.

it&#8217;s hard not to cringe at the word &#8220;independence&#8221; and the contexts it&#8217;s used in with reference to imperial powers. Iraq will only experience true independence once the troops and coalition forces leave the region and the people are left to their own devices. Be it Ottoman rule, British domination, or American hegemony, Iraq and Iraqis have been in chains. Once all the foreign powers have left will they be free to liberate themselves; its only a tragedy that it, and neighboring regions, have to have been smashed to pieces for it to occur at all.

warispeace:

Today in History: On October 3, 1932, Iraq gains independence from Great Britain when they join the League of Nations. Iraq had been under the Ottoman Empire until its demise in World War I. Great Britain then took over the nation after the war. The new nation became a constitutional monarchy under the the leadership of King Faisal I.

it’s hard not to cringe at the word “independence” and the contexts it’s used in with reference to imperial powers. Iraq will only experience true independence once the troops and coalition forces leave the region and the people are left to their own devices. Be it Ottoman rule, British domination, or American hegemony, Iraq and Iraqis have been in chains. Once all the foreign powers have left will they be free to liberate themselves; its only a tragedy that it, and neighboring regions, have to have been smashed to pieces for it to occur at all.

suburbanleft

suburbananarchist:

The most chilling passage came at the end of the 19-minute speech, when Obama declared, “Our troops are the steel in our ship of state,” adding, “And though our nation may be traveling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true.”

It is for this statement, rather than all the double-talk about troop withdrawals, that Obama’s miserable speech deserves to be remembered. It was rhetoric befitting a military-ruled banana republic or a fascist state. The military—not the Constitution, not the will of the people or the country’s ostensibly democratic institutions—constitutes the “steel” in the “ship of state.” Presumably, the democratic rights of the people are so much ballast to be cast overboard as needed.

One would hardly imagine that over a million Iraqis lost their lives as a result of this unprovoked US war; that some 4 million have been driven from their homes by violence, either forced into exile or displaced within the war-torn country itself. Every institution and essential component of social infrastructure was laid waste by the US invasion, which unleashed what can most accurately be described as sociocide—the murder of an entire society. The devastation wrought by US militarism has left a shattered nation of widows, homeless, unemployed and wounded.