• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Thirteen years of near-unbroken hostilities in Iraq have been desperately unkind to the environment. Heavily agricultural Nineveh and Kirkuk governorates, on the fringes of Iraq’s “Sunni Triangle,” were caught up in the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. As far back as the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein press-ganged agricultural laborers into military service to fight Iran, landholders have had no choice but to adapt to the vagaries of war.

For farmers still reeling from past troubles, the latest iteration of the conflict has plunged them even deeper into misery — and possibly sounded the death knell for agriculture in large parts of the country.

At least a million acres of prime arable land has been rendered unusable as the Islamic State lays waste to huge swaths of Iraqi territory.  Systematic looting has robbed farms of much of the equipment necessary to renew operations. In an unprecedented development, some Iraqis have seen their land purposefully destroyed by their retreating enemies for no obvious military end.

“Living in this area, we’d seen chaos in the past,” said Fahad Hamad Omar, a Yazidi sheikh who was driven from his farm at the foot of Mount Sinjar into a refugee camp on the mountain’s peak, when the Islamic State initiated its genocide of his ancient ethno-religious group in August 2014. “Never before, though, had people deliberately torched our fields. Never had they tried to completely wreck our livelihoods. Never have we encountered such animals.”


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