What floated above the fold, Just the big ones.
First snowfall, winter '95-'96, on the
Korean War Veterans Memorial,
the Mall, Washington DC
From the magazine of the National Archives, Prologue:
The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., presents in granite what for many remains its most powerful lessonâ€” that "Freedom Is Not Free." Tourists can buy T-shirts sporting a map of Korea over which appears the judgment that this was "The Place Where Communism Was Stopped."
But since 1981 a swelling stream of books and articles reexamining not only the war itself, but U.S. policy toward Korea before June 1950, has shattered traditional beliefs about the conflict.
An artillery officer directs UN troops
as they drop white phosphorous on a
Communist-held post in February 1951.
At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,
a former soldier touches the granite wall
dedicated to casualties of the Vietnam War.
George Aiken's 1966 memo, Declare Victory and Withdraw:
Today, the American commitment in Viet Nam no longer involves the fundamental objective of preserving the credibility and integrity of U.S. Armed Forces - provided that the war is not extended in time or in geography to the point where a wholly n ew threat to U.S. military power exists.
The new threat might take either the form of Chinese intervention, or, more pertinent, the form of a prolonged erosion of the _credibility_ of U.S. power through harassment in a political context, namely through the disintegration of the South Vi etnamese society.
The United States government has asserted frequently and emphatically that there is no military "solution" or objective in this war.
We do not seek to destroy North Viet Nam nor its government.
This assertion is shared by virtually every type of observer, allied, official and hostile.
The greater the U.S. military commitment in South Viet Nam, however, the less possibility that any South Vietnamese government will be capable of asserting its own authority on its home ground or abroad.
The size of the U.S. commitment already clearly is suffocating any serious possibility of self-determination in South Viet Nam for the simple reason that the whole defense of that country is now totally dependent on the U.S. armed presence.
This was also true in Korea in 1954, but then the United States was operating under the umbrella of collective U.N. action, and along a well-defined battlefront which permitted organization of the rear areas.
None of this is true in South Viet Nam.
Beirut Barracks, October 1983
On October 23, 1983, a truck loaded
with thousands of pounds of explosives
destroyed the 4 storey command headquarters
of the US Marine Battalion Landing Unit
located at Beirut Airport.
A brief timeline:
On June 6,1982, Israeli troops invaded southern Lebanon to eradicate the PLO, which was launching its terrorist raids from there against Israel to the south.
On September 29, 1982, US Marines and French soldiers and Italian soldiers entered Beirut as part of a multinational peace-keeping force (MNF).
On April 18, 1983, a large car bomb exploded at the US Embassy in Beirut, causing massive structural damage and killing 61, including 17 Americans, and injuring 100.
On September 19, 1983, as a result of the buildup of tensions among numerous factions and nations operating in Lebanon, the USS Virginia, cruising with other American ships off Lebanonâ€™s coast, shelled Druze militia in the Shouf Mountains to help the beleaguered Lebanese Armed Forces hold onto a strategic mountain village.
This shelling officially shifted the American role from a â€œpresenceâ€? in Lebanon to the â€œdirect support of Lebanese Armed Forcesâ€? and cost the US its appearance of neutrality.
On October 23, 1983, a truck loaded with thousands of pounds of explosives destroyed command headquarters of the US Marine Battalion Landing Unit located at Beirut Airport. An almost simultaneous suicide attack destroyed a building occupied by French paratroopers. US casualties were 241 killedand 70 wounded. French casualties were 58 killed.
In early 1984, the battleship USS New Jersey shelled Muslim Beirut and its suburbs, intensifying violent anti-American feeling.
On September 6, 1984, the US vetoed a United Nations resolution condemning Israelâ€™s ongoing tactics in Lebanon as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
On March 8, 1985, a car bomb went off near the Beirut home of Shiite Muslim cleric Sheikh Fadlallah (who was not killed in the attack), resulting in 45 Lebanese killed and 175 injured. Lebanese Shiites widely rumored that the Central Intelligence Agency was involved with the car bomb incident.
February to June 1985, Israel pulled out of Lebanon, taking 700+ Shiite hostages with them as security for their departing troops. Instead of immediately releasing the prisoners when their withdrawal was complete, however, the Israelis moved them to Atlit prison camp in northern Israel.
Mogadishu, Somalia 1993
Mogadishu timeline, 1991 forward.
The Former Yugoslavia
On patrol in Bosnia: U.S. Army Maj. Daniel Mahoney,
base commander at Camp Demi [USA Weekend]
In September, 1998 USA Today carried an exchange of emails between Maj Mahoney and his family:
[W]e are putting a lot of miles on on our High-Mobility, Multi-Purpose, Wheeled Vehicle. Mine is called "the Beast." I have a three-person crew (four if you include me)... When I go out, I have 1,000 rounds for my M-60 machine gun (the main gun), 210 rounds for my driver's M-16 and 30 rounds for my M9 pistol... The armor on my vehicle can withstand up to .50 CAL machine-gun fire -- so I feel pretty safe. It is a mean little machine. Well, that's it for now, little muncher. Make sure you write back... I will be back before you know it!
Administration officials pledged, meanwhile, that the NATO offensive would go on and denied that the allies' attacks on the Serbs had prompted Belgrade to retaliate against ethnic civilians.
"We had every reason to believe that they had both the intent and the capability to conduct massive offensive operations that would have been conducted with or without NATO airstrikes," Rubin said.
With the American public about evenly divided in its opinion of the NATO assault, the administration gave no ground either on the mission or that it holds Milosevic accountable for the havoc among Kosovo's civilian population.
"As a political matter, it is clear that Slobodan Milosevic bears responsibility for the events that led to war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and now Kosovo. Events in Kosovo obviously are being directed from Belgrade," Rubin said in suggesting the Yugoslav president could be charged by an international tribunal and face a lifetime prison sentence.
"There are indicators genocide is unfolding in Kosovo," Rubin said after Secretary of State Madeleine Albright received a detailed report Sunday from Hashim Thaci, who headed the Albanian delegation that approved proposals for a settlement in Kosovo.
A girl from Pec in western Kosovo
peers from the back of a tractor-trailer
as she and other refugees make their way
over a mountain road separating Kosovo
from Montenegro. [South Coast Today]
Jeremy Scahill's article when Milosovic died and his ''ambush'' interview with Gen. Clark in NH, January 2004
Christian Parenti, London Review of Books, January 2005:
The top drug lord here is Hazrat Ali, Americaâ€™s ally in the Tora Bora campaign, the man who allowed al-Qaida to escape as US forces closed in. Now Hazrat Ali - who gave himself this nom de guerre in honour of the fifth caliph of Islam during the jihad against the Soviets - is also the provincial security chief. Karzai gave him the post at the end of the summer to buy his support in the elections. [...]
A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands in the
Shah-e-Kot mountains, 25 kilometers (15 miles)
southeast of Gardez, Afghanistan March 15, 2002.
The poppy crop has already been harvested, but some of the local farmers show me big brown blocks of opium and offer hash. They say that Mirwais Yasini, the head of the Counter-Narcotics Directorate, has done a deal with Hazrat Ali. When the harvest was over, Hazrat Ali told the farmers to burn their fields, so that Mirwais Yasini could tell the British that progress is being made. Officials in Kabul either deny these charges or decline to comment.
American officials have started to claim that Hazrat Aliâ€™s days are numbered. â€˜One day, he will wake up and discover heâ€™s out of business,â€™ David Lamm, chief of staff of US forces in Afghanistan, said in a press interview. But when I went to find Hazrat Ali, he was busy meeting US forces to plan election security. It is thanks to relationships like these that one can easily imagine the poppy economy and the new Afghan state merging into a narco-mafia with a flag and a seat at the UN.
MERCY Malaysia first sent its mission
comprising four doctors and two non-medical
volunteers to Afghanistan in October 2001.
The aim was to alleviate the suffering of the
Afghan refugees who fled their homes soon
after the US and its allied forces began
bombing the impoverished nation.
PERSIAN GULF FLYOVER â€” Two U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornets,
assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 146, and two
U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets, assigned to
Strike Fighter Squadron 154... in the Persian Gulf,
June 30, 2005.
[U.S. Navy photo by Airman Chris M. Valdez]
Sinan Antoon, native of Baghdad, "Of Bridges and Birds":
And so the city was conquered, sacked and rebuilt time and time again. In its heyday, Baghdad was the heart of an empire, and its rulers, too, wrought havoc on distant lands. But, most of its caliphs and sultans were also patrons of art and knowledge, connoisseurs, and sometimes composers, of the most beautiful poetry to have survived in the collective memory of the Arabs.
Now, it is Baghdad's ironic fate to have been subjugated by a would-be emperor, who has yet to master his mother tongue. While he is fully aware of the geo- strategic importance of Baghdad, Bush is probably the one least aware, in the history of the city's conquerors, of the precious symbolism and rich history of his booty.
Does it matter to him?
Allied warplanes destroyed 134 bridges in Iraq during 1991 Gulf War
[Middle East Online]
Rivers of blood are flowing along the Tigris as America tattoos its imperial insignia
into the bodies of Iraqi children, stamping their futures with its corporate logos in order to "safeguard" it. There is an abyss in and around Iraq, and it is widening by the moment.
I used to recite Ali Ibn Al- Jahm's famous line about the enchanting, almond-shaped eyes of the Baghdadi women who used to cross from one bank to the other in the nineth century. On a lucky day, I would encounter a descendent or two of those women.
Now the moon-like faces celebrated in thousands of verses are hiding in houses on both banks, white voyeuristic satellites are hovering above and scrutinising every inch of the city's body.
March 29, 2003. Soldiers setting up barbed wire near Najef
[Benjamin Lowy, Corbis for TIME Magazine]
Orville Schell on remote reporting and the Green Zone.
Over and over, looking at the photographs of the recent wars, I think to myself, is this person alive? I occasionally still think of a young service man, from Appalachia, infantry, hunkered down at the border in February 2003, waiting for the signal to cross over and invade Iraq.... In an interview with an ABC reporter, he said he hoped the politicians would not sacrifice them. Tears at you. It just does.
We do know who is alive, no question. The western pols. And Saddam, Osama. Zawahiri.
Smedley Butler, in a letter home to his parents, while serving in Nicaragua in 1910 as a young marine:
What makes me mad is that the whole revolution is inspired and financed by Americans who have wildcat investments down here and want to make them good by putting in a Government which will declare a monopoly in their favor. The whole business is rotten to the core and I am ashamed to think that a Republican [Taft] administration is, if anything, assisting the revolution.