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Posts Tagged ‘Baghdad’

Jim Frederick author of “Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death” dies at 42? click here

In Jim Frederick author of “Black Hearts dies on kp25 at 311408

Jim Frederick, a former foreign correspondent and editor whose 2010 book about an atrocity committed by American soldiers in Iraq was praised for its thorough reporting and acuity in parsing the psychological erosion of men in war, died on July 31 in Oakland, Calif. He was 42.

The cause was cardiac arrhythmia and arrest, said his wife, Charlotte Greensit.

Mr. Frederick spent most of his career at Time Inc. as a reporter and editor for Money and Time magazines. At Time, he was the Tokyo bureau chief, a senior editor based in London, managing editor of Time.com and managing editor of Time International before leaving the company in 2013.

His book “Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death” explores a grievous crime committed by four American soldiers: the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family in their small house in the village of Yusufiya, south and west of Baghdad, in March 2006.

Without blinking and without excusing, Mr. Frederick documented the intense and withering experience of a group of men who were poorly commanded, overwhelmed with stress and witness to myriad bloody calamities, including the deaths of comrades. One of the book’s most noted strengths was in demonstrating the state of mind of men who have seemingly been stripped of all sense of their humanity. Rest of story here….

Gertrude of Arabia, the Woman Who Invented Iraq

In EYEONCITRUS.COM, Gertrude Woman Created Iraq on kp05 at 301420

BY Clive Irving

The story of the British intelligence agent who rigged an election, installed a king loyal to the British, drew new borders—and gave us today’s ungovernable country.

She came into Baghdad after months in one of the world’s most forbidding deserts, a stoic, diminutive 45-year-old English woman with her small band of men. She had been through lawless lands, held at gunpoint by robbers, taken prisoner in a city that no Westerner had seen for 20 years.

It was a hundred years ago, a few months before the outbreak of World War I. Baghdad was under a regime loyal to the Ottoman Turks. The Turkish authorities in Constantinople had reluctantly given the persistent woman permission to embark on her desert odyssey, believing her to be an archaeologist and Arab scholar, as well as being a species of lunatic English explorer that they had seen before.

She was, in fact, a spy and her British masters had told her that if she got into trouble they would disclaim responsibility for her. Less than 10 years later Gertrude Bell would be back in Baghdad, having rigged an election, installed a king loyal to the British, re-organized the government, and fixed the borders on the map of a new Iraq. As much as anyone can be, Gertrude Bell could be said to have devised the country that nobody can make work as a country for very long—no more so than now.

The Middle East as we know it was largely the idea of a small coterie of men composed of British scholars, archaeologists, military officers and colonial administrators who were called the Orientalists—this is the “orient” according to the definition first made by the Greeks, meaning everything east of the Mediterranean as Alexander the Great advanced to seize it.

For decades, beginning in the mid-19th century, the Orientalists had explored the desert and found there the ruins of the great powers of the ancient world—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia. Through archaeology they revealed these splendors to the modern world and, from their digs, stuffed Western museums with prizes like the polychromatic tiled Ishtar Gates of Babylon, moved to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, or the Cyrus Cylinder, containing the Persian king Cyrus’s new creed of governance as he conquered Babylon, shipped to the British Museum.

They wondered why such resplendently rich and deeply embedded pre-Christian urbanized cultures ended up buried by the drifting sands of the desert, completely unknown and ignored by the roaming Arab, Turkish and Persian tribes above. The many glories of Babylon, for example, lay unexplored not far from the boundaries of Baghdad. READ REST OF STORY HERE

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