black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
FP: Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War

Lesson #1:  The United States lost.

Lesson #2: It’s not that hard to hijack the United States into a war.

Lesson #3: The United States gets in big trouble when the “marketplace of ideas” breaks down and when the public and our leadership do not have an open debate about what to do.

Lesson #4: The secularism and middle-class character of Iraqi society was overrated. 

Lesson #5: Don’t listen to ambitious exiles. 

Lesson #6: It’s very hard to improvise an occupation.

Lesson #7:  Don’t be surprised when adversaries act to defend their own interests, and in ways we won’t like. 

Lesson #8: Counterinsurgency warfare is ugly and inevitably leads to war crimes, atrocities, or other forms of abuse.

Lesson #9: Better “planning” may not be the answer.

Lesson #10: Rethink U.S. grand strategy, not just tactics or methods.

Read on.

thedailywhat:

This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: Over the weekend, troubling allegations have emerged of many Iraqi teenagers being stoned to death for dressing in “emo fashion.”
Scores of teens wearing skinny pants and graphic tees, and sporting a signature “emo style” haircut have allegedly been clobbered with cinder blocks [warning: graphic images] by members of Iraq’s “moral police.”
Though the number might be lower — Reuters put the death toll at 14 — the terrifying trend appears to have at least a measure of consent from Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which suggests it could get much worse.
“[The Moral Police] have official approval to eliminate them as soon as possible, because the dimensions of the community began to take another course, and is now threatening danger,” read a statement from the ministry, which also compared “the Emo phenomenon” to “devil worshipping.” […]
[photo: nyt.]

Read on.

thedailywhat:

This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: Over the weekend, troubling allegations have emerged of many Iraqi teenagers being stoned to death for dressing in “emo fashion.”

Scores of teens wearing skinny pants and graphic tees, and sporting a signature “emo style” haircut have allegedly been clobbered with cinder blocks [warning: graphic images] by members of Iraq’s “moral police.”

Though the number might be lower — Reuters put the death toll at 14 — the terrifying trend appears to have at least a measure of consent from Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which suggests it could get much worse.

“[The Moral Police] have official approval to eliminate them as soon as possible, because the dimensions of the community began to take another course, and is now threatening danger,” read a statement from the ministry, which also compared “the Emo phenomenon” to “devil worshipping.” []

[photo: nyt.]

Read on.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is the world’s biggest and most expansive embassy. The $700 million fortified compound is visible from space, larger than the Vatican and employs almost 4000 people. The buildings include “a movie theater, retail shops, restaurants, schools and a fire station. Iraqis still struggle with constant blackouts but inside the embassy compound, power, water treatment, sewage treatment and telecommunications facilities offer self-sufficiency for more than 1,000 diplomats stationed there.”
I was only able to find a handful of photos of “Fortress America”. Above: Woodkern.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is the world’s biggest and most expansive embassy. The $700 million fortified compound is visible from space, larger than the Vatican and employs almost 4000 people. The buildings includea movie theater, retail shops, restaurants, schools and a fire station. Iraqis still struggle with constant blackouts but inside the embassy compound, power, water treatment, sewage treatment and telecommunications facilities offer self-sufficiency for more than 1,000 diplomats stationed there.”

I was only able to find a handful of photos of “Fortress America”. Above: Woodkern.

NG: Saddam Hussein’s chrome-plated Kalashnikov AK-47 is one of 540 stolen Iraqi artifacts recently returned to the country. More than 30,000 looted Iraqi antiquities and artworks have been confiscated inside and outside the country since 2003, according to the New York Times, but the total number is anyone’s guess. "We’ll never be able to determine how many pieces have been stolen, because many of the pieces were taken clandestinely from archaeological sites." - archaeologist Brian Rose

NG: Saddam Hussein’s chrome-plated Kalashnikov AK-47 is one of 540 stolen Iraqi artifacts recently returned to the country. More than 30,000 looted Iraqi antiquities and artworks have been confiscated inside and outside the country since 2003, according to the New York Times, but the total number is anyone’s guess. "We’ll never be able to determine how many pieces have been stolen, because many of the pieces were taken clandestinely from archaeological sites." - archaeologist Brian Rose

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