You can't invade a country and eat its chicken

Rijsel does the best rotisserie chicken in Amsterdam hand down. Every time a have one of those i am reminded of an interview with a US soldier who served in Iraq in 2006 during the height of the first Iraqi insurgency. In this interview the solider spoke of how he hated paroling the streets of Bagdad in his armored vehicle unable to step out into an urban environment that was considered to be too dangerous for dismounted operations. His contempt for the Iraqi population was greatly enhanced by…

I like Sayoun Mesfin (Ethiopian FM)...

… who just gave an interview on BBC world justifying (in the standard language of contemporary occupiers – ‘unavoidable collateral damage’, ‘regrettable loss of innocent lives’, ‘doing the uttermost best to avoid unnecessary suffering of the population’, ‘the terrorists are using women and children as human shields’, etc…) the controversial presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia. At some point of the interview he pointed out that… we have not gone into Somalia to drink milk but ready to make th…

Wearing clown's hats in Beaufort castle

Finally managed to source a copy of Beaufort (בופור) with english subtitles yesterday. Had been waiting to find a version that i could understand for a while and it was definitely worth the wait. Beaufort tells the story of the last IDF unit occupying Beaufort castle in Southern Lebanon in the days before the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon in the spring of 2000. It is one of the most impressive war movies i have seen in a while, also because it is the only war movie that i remember that does…

Hollow land

Just finished reading Eyal Weizman’s impressive Hollow Land – Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. In the book Weizman describes of how the Israeli occupation gradually hollows out what is left of Palestine, by means of architecture. His understanding of architecture is fairly broad and includes aspects like spacial theories of urban warfare, the separation wall, airborne occupation, the strategic locations of west-bank settlements and the system of checkpoints. The chapter on checkpoints (‘The…

On asymmetric warfare

Couple of days ago spiegel online ran a story about how the insurgents in Iraq where now using dogs with explosives being strapped on to them to attack the occupying forces. While the article did not even bother to point to specific incidents or provide other proof for this claim it reminded me of two pictures of donkeys slummering on my hard-disk. In late 2003 donkeys suddenly entered the stage of the global war on terror with incidents involving donkeys taking place in Bagdad … Most people wou…