Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen

Okay, here it is: I’m officially out of things to say. I have absolutely nothing to contribute to the discussion on Afghanistan or Iraq, or any other conflict for that matter. Also, I don’t want to be part of a punditocracy that mostly reminds me of the old Mekons album cover: if enough chimpanzees bang on keyboards long enough, they’re bound to come up with a sentence that almost makes sense.

Rest assured, though — I’ll be back.

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A Message from the Management

My apologies for the dearth of posts.

For once, I have no excuses to offer. I simply don’t know what to write. The war in Afghanistan is all but lost, yet there is no serious debate, only a shouting match. As for Iraq, no one really cares what happens as long as the Americans get out safe and sound, right?

Man, talk about disillusionment.

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Blogging Break

Will vacation w/ family until Sept. 15. There will be absolutely no blogging.

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At home with the boys (ages 6 and 1). Posting will be sporadic.

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I’ve run this piece-of-crap blog now for a year, so let’s celebrate with a new photo. Pictured is the Doura oil refinery as seen from JSS Babil across the river in Karrada.

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“It’s really hard to place bad actions in context without seeming to play the apologist for them”, Matt Eckel laments at WPR:

In the Levant, for example, attempting to illuminate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza is difficult without seeming to implicitly justify terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Likewise, it’s hard to point out that the international community has done nothing for Somalia, often aiding and abetting those forces that keep the country in chaos and destitution, permitting fishing fleets to plunder its resources and the industrial world to use it as a trash dump, without making these pirates out to be some kind of seafaring Robin Hoods.

It’s not, actually. Most people literate enough to find things out on their own already know what’s behind this issue. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of American bloggers who have reduced Somalia’s tragedy to three sniper shots and a happy skipper.

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Message from Management

My period of infrequent posting will soon be followed by 10 days of no posting, as I’ll be heading for the North to ski with the family.

In the mean time, those new to the blog may want to look around and enjoy my year’s worth of stupidity. Just type ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Iraq’ in the search box and you’ll see what I mean.

[Oh, and go read Reidar Visser’s latest essay on Iraq’s future. He also links to two interesting research papers, one by him, and the other by — gasp — a group of Iraqi academics.]

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Men at Work

I’m traveling in the U.S. for a few days. Posting will be light.

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We Interrupt This Program…

I don’t really know who reads this blog, but I’m assuming some of you might be fellow journalists. If so, maybe you can help me:

I’m planning yet another trip to Baghdad and am having unexpected trouble finding a reputable fixer. If you know of someone, and feel comfortable enough recommending him (and me to him), please email me at my private address: jarzuli@gmail.com. Cheers.

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About the New Header

The new header photo was shot by Petri Kaipiainen during our trip to Mosul, Iraq in April 2008. My thanks to Petri for kindly giving me permission to use it.

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