Reminiscent of the political problems in Afghanistan that have plagued the Obama White House, on Monday Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi vetoed a set of amendments to Iraq’s election law approved by the Iraqi parliament. The veto may lead to a delay of the Iraqi elections, currently scheduled for January 21, 2010, and could trigger a debate over U.S. plans to withdraw from Iraq.
When I was torn by war I took a brush Immersed in death And drew a window On war’s wall I opened it Searching For something But I saw another war And a mother Weaving a shroud For the dead man Still in her womb Baghdad, 1990
For years, the war in Afghanistan has been in crisis. But now with a failed Afghan election, the resurgence of the Taliban as a political power, NATO allies withdrawing from the battlefield, and Pakistan’s tribal areas under increasing influence from the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the situation looks worse than ever. Obama and his team are spinning their wheels trying to devise a policy to right the sinking ship, but the most sensible solution, for Afghans and U.S. citizens, is to start planning a way out.
The actor Will Smith is no one’s image of a suicide bomber. With his boyish face, he has often played comic roles. Even as the last man on earth in I Am Legend, he retains a wise-cracking, ironic demeanor. And yet, surrounded by a horde of hyperactive vampires at the end of that film, Smith clasps a live grenade to his chest and throws himself at the enemy in a final burst of heroic sacrifice.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Dahr Jamail’s The Will To Resist: Soldiers who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books). The testimonies below were collected at a national conference, "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan," held by Iraq Veterans Against the War.
(New $50M Rehab Center Opens on Fort Sam Houston, CBS News, Jan 2007) Wheeled onto the jet leaving my town, another soldier whose pruned body echoes earth liberating itself from gravity. Inside the cave of his grey -hooded shirt he sweats as might a ghost or cello. As in another war when a baptism and […]
In Memory of Saeed One day my father called us and said: I have three gifts for you — A red heart, an hourglass, and… O God, I don’t remember the other one. Mehdy took the heart Opened its two halves And strummed the strings of its chambers. I took the hourglass And along its […]
Children in Sierra Leone. Photo Credit: David Alan Harris.
“[W]hat lengths men will go in order to carry out, to their extreme limit, the rites of a collective self-worship which fills them with a sense of righteousness and complacent satisfaction in the midst of the most shocking injustices and crimes.” -Love and Living, by Thomas Merton