Talk Nation Radio for March 19, 2009
Dahr Jamail on US Military Policy in Iraq: Still a Failure
and where do we go from here?
To listen to this week's show click here.
TRT: 29:41 with 12 sec music fade
Produced by Dori Smith, WHUS FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Download at Archive.org and Radio4all.net
We are pleased to interview award winning journalist Dahr Jamail who returned from Iraq two weeks ago and has been writing about the January elections, ongoing violence, the loss of Iraqi culture, increasing poverty and internally displaced people, environmental damage, and lack of access to health care.
Dahr Jamail is author of the 2008 book, Beyond the Green Zone, Dispatches from an Un-embedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. He spent eight months in Iraq covering the war on the ground during 2003 and 2004 as one of only a handful of journalists traveling without the US Military. We hear clips from interviews in 2003 and 2004.
Day after day Dahr Jamail wrote about US policy failures, documenting the US failure to reconstruct Iraq after destroying much of its infrastructure with heavy bombing. He wrote about the torture in US run prisons like Abu Ghraib even before the story was finally 'broken' by CBS news, and he covered the devastating mass arrest policy that terrorized civilians and helped turn Iraqis against US forces. He also covered two sieges of Fallujah, the massive US bombing and destruction of a city that catalyzed a flood of support for the Iraqi resistance.
In his initial reports about US soldiers serving in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, Dahr Jamail noted the decline in their sense of security, soldiers who were becoming increasingly nervous as more and more of them succumbed to the infamous IED weapons.
Eventually, he saw a large increase in the number of US soldiers willing to say no to the war, and in soldiers willing to talk about the horrors they had seen or participated in in Iraq. It was a story that evolved into the Winter Soldier tour which Dahr also covered. His forthcoming book is Military Resisters, Soldiers who Refuse to Fight in Iraq, another Haymarket book.
Dahr Jamail also covered the Lebanon war, and reported on millions of displaced Iraqis living in camps in Iraq or in whatever housing they can find as refugees in Jordan. He writes for Inter Press Service, Le Monde Diplomatique, and many other outlets. His stories have also been published in The Nation, the Sunday Herald in Scotland, Al-Jazeera, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Independent and other publications. He reports for Democracy Now! has appeared on the BBC and NPR, as well as other stations around the globe including WHUS, and we've been privileged to be able to contact him for interviews over the years. He is also special correspondent for Flashpoints.
Dahr Jamail's reporting has earned him numerous awards, including the prestigious 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards.
Beyond the Green Zone was described as "very prescient and brave" that from Seymour Hersh, lauded also by film maker John Pilger, and journalists Robert Fisk, Jeremy Scahill, Patrick Cockburn, and many more. His next book is about the GI resistance movement.
Of note: In covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, Martha Gellhorn wrote, quote: "We consider this man, and everything he stands for, with justified fear. We belong to the same species. Is the human race able -- at any time, anywhere -- to spew up others like him? Why not? Adolf Eichmann is the most dire warning to us all. He is a warning to guard our souls; to refuse utterly and forever to give allegiance without question, to obey orders silently, to scream slogans. He is a warning that the private conscience is the last and only protection of the civilized world."
Our music is by Fritz Heede