Tag Archives: war

Sketches from Afghanistan by Matthew Cook


Foot patrol near Shinkalay

Sketches from Afghanistan by Matthew Cook

Prints are available

We have better access than ever before to still photos and video from war zones. There is another tradition – that of the battlefield artist – still practiced. And one of the best is Matthew Cook

via John C. Dvorak | Dvorak Uncensored


Returning fire during a Taleban attack


British troops emplaning a Chinook


WMIK patrolling Lashkar Gah


Returning foot patrol, Kabul


Patrol on top of the 6,000 feature


Warriors of the 7th Armoured Brigade


 Mobile observation team


Sniffer dog checking for explosives


Russian flats


A food shop, Kabul


Sunset over the stinking cesspool, KAF


Foot patrol with a ladder, Sangin


RAF Hercules at Kandahar.


Cobalt blue signs, Mazar-e-Sharif


Overlooking Camp Souter at dusk


Apache helicopter landing, Lashkar Gah


Russian ammunition cave


Sunset over the Hindu Kush

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Letters of Note: Kurt Vonnegut

From Letters of Note:

From celebrated humanist, author and one-time prisoner of war, the late-Kurt Vonnegut, comes a 1991 letter to activist Robert Henry Walz, in which the Slaughterhouse Five novelist responds to a request for assistance with regards to the support of American war veterans. Writing just four months after the end of the Gulf War, Vonnegut was admittedly “down in the mouth”, and very clearly exasperated with the “rich and powerful”. 

Transcript follows. 



Box 27. Sagaponack, NY 11962

June 29 1991

Dear Robert Henry Walz —

Sure, I’d help if I could. But, as you may have noticed, I have spent most of my adult years trying and failing to get the attention of the rich and powerful. There are so many worthy causes they find easy to ignore, such as education and public health and bettering the deplorable conditions in so many VA hospitals and on and on.

Plenty of hell has been raised about our hostages in Lebanon or wherever, to absolutely no effect. So I am discouraged, to say the least.

If you were to hook me up to a lie-detector this evening, I think, but I’m not sure, that we would find out that I believe PW’s were kept somewhere after the war’s end, but that they are all dead now. In my own much more civilized war in Europe, I saw several American bodies burned along with all sorts of other people in a big funeral pyre after the Dresden raid. I was on a PW train which was bombed by the British on the way to Dresden. God only knows what was done with all the body parts. 

There is all this talk now about our wonderful troops. Anyone who has been a troop in a shooting war finds this out pretty quick: our government doesn’t give a good fuck about our troops. 

Go ahead and use my name any way you like. What the heck. As I say, though, I am very down in the mouth these days. 



Kurt Vonnegut



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Bill Hicks – Revelations (1993)

Hicks’ follow-up show to Relentless, recorded at the Dominion Theatre in London:

I wondered about that too, you know during the Persian Gulf war those intelligence reports would come out:

“Iraq: incredible weapons – incredible weapons.”

How do you know that?

“Uh, well… We looked at the receipts Haar.”

“Ah but as soon as that cheque clears, we’re going in.”

“What time’s the bank open? 8? We’re going in at 9.”

“We’re going in for God and country and democracy and here’s a foetus and he’s a Hitler. Whatever you fucking need, let’s go. Get motivated behind this, let’s go!”

Ohoh looks like Mr. Major was on the hot seat there for a second too. Little Iraqgate, little rapscallion he is.

“Did we send, did I… did… I’ll have to check Maggie’s old calendar.”

What’s funny about this. Every one of your papers says that you guys sold Iraq “machine tools”… which Iraq then converted into military equipment. I have news for you folks, a cannon is a machine tool. Your Orwellian language notwithstanding, it’s a fucking machine, it’s a tool.

Our papers in the States have the same thing. We sold Iraq “farming equipment” which Iraq then “converted”. How do they do this?

“Simsalabim simsalabim aa salabim sim sim sim salabim.”

Wow! It was a chicken coop, it’s now a nuclear reactor!”

“This war’s for Aladdin.” Farming equipment which they converted into military, okay, you got me I’m curious, exactly what kind of farming equipment is this?

“Oh okay, well it’s stuff for the farmers of Iraq.”



“Ooh okay, ar well ooh one of the things we gave them was for the little farmer, a new thing we came up with called er the er, flame-throwing rake.”

“No it was for the farmer, see. He would rake the leaves and then just turn around Boooo.”

“But you know what the Iraqis did with that?”

There’s no trees in Iraq, what are you sending them rakes for, you asshole?

“We could have done our research better perhaps yes.”

What else did you sell ’em?

“Okay er one of the other things we gave ’em was a new thing… for the farmer.”

“The, er, armoured tractor.”

“No, see, farmers when they farm look over their shoulders at times and they won’t see a tree and they’ll hit it maybe and there’ll be a wasps nest in the tree and the wasps will come in and sting ’em.”

“So we put four inches of armour all over the tractor. And a turret to shoot pesticides on the wasps.”

“Yeah but you know what the Iraqis did with that?”

“Can’t trust ’em.”

I’m so sick of arming the world and then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms, you know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries then we go and blow the shit out of em. We’re like the bullies of the world, you know. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane… Throwing the pistol at the sheep herder’s feet:

“Pick it up.”

“I don’t wanna pick it up mister, you’ll shoot me.”

“Pick up the gun”.

“Mister, I don’t want no trouble huh. I just came down town here to get some hard rock candy for my kids, some gingham for my wife. I don’t even know what gingham is, but she goes through about 10 rolls a week of that stuff. I ain’t looking for no trouble mister.”

“Pick up the gun.”

Boom bom

“You all saw him. He had a gun.”

Full Transcript:


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“Hey, you shoot, I’ll talk”

WikiLeaks releases video of slaughter in Iraq – Glenn Greenwald – Head Ov Metal’s posterous

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