Monday, December 17, 2007

Peripheral Milit_Urb 21

[Image: GeoEye/SIME, via Yet Another Photo of Site in Syria, Yet More Questions / Syrian "Nukes"? Not So Fast...]

For Sale: Undeveloped Korean Land. DMZ Views / Isotopia / Top secret no more, restored fort opens doors / Unique US home with Cold War ambiance / Nazi Secret Police Museum Finally Gets Off the Ground in Berlin / When the Museum of Tolerance Loses Neighborhood Tolerance / Amusement Park's Nuclear Legacy / Built To Last / Radioactive Nimby: No One Wants Nuclear Waste / NORAD: From mountain to volcano? / Human terrains and other entanglements Air Force Base Goes Solar; Nukes Next? - Read: Olive Drab Goes Green: The Military Deploys Solar, Wind and Biomass Power / Footprints Of Our Empire (it) / The city as destructive system: wildfires, Dresden and the case against urban sprawl / Advice to a Young Builder in Tough Times, Imperial Opportunities Abound / War has historic links to global climate change / Global Warming = Military Issue? / Wearable Anti-Avalanche Homes / The bridged architecture of adjacent peaks and "the fallen man of letters"

[Images: Israel/Lebanon War 2006, by photographer Paolo Pellegrin via What a War on Iran Might Look Like.]

Assessing the ‘Surge’: A Survey of Baghdad Neighborhoods / Tourist's Guide to Baghdad's Green Zone / The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad / Embassy Boondoggle: No End In Sight / US threat over Iraq embassy staff / Much-needed makeover for UN icon / Iraqi dam 'at risk of collapse' (more) / U.S. Building Base on Top of Iraq Oil Platform / Iraq to Spend $19 Billion on Projects / U.S. paid $32M for Iraqi base that wasn't built / $20 Billion in War Work for Nameless Foreign Firms / U.S. Stands in the Way of International Pipeline Deal / Infrastructure Versus Taliban / Caution: Taliban Crossing / Arch of Fear: RSVP Kabul / Disaster Outsourcing / Iraqi Memorial dot org

[Image: Illustration by Cyprian Koscielniak via Caution: Taliban Crossing.]

Flight of the Extreme UAVs, From Smallest to Deadliest / Roomba-Maker Unveils Kill-Bot / As Skies Grow Crowded, FAA Preps Air Traffic Control 2.0 / Air Force Eyes Energy Shields, Microwave Bombs / The Art of Surveillance / Behind Enemy Lines With a Suburban Counterterrorist / Combat’s Inner Cost / Spook 'Fusion Centers' Battle Gangs, Weather / George Bush's Personal Spy Drone / Hamas' Very Own Hollywood / Made-to-Order Camo? / "Sim Iraq" Sent to Battle Zone

Real-Life Star Wars: The Militarization of Space / Area 52: The Other Secret Site / Israel's top secret sites on Google Earth / Israeli army orders confiscation of Palestinian land in West Bank / West Bank settlements 'expanding' / Israeli Highway Plans Draw Criticism / Israel confirms fuel cuts to Gaza / The Empty Battlefield is Full / Environmental Damage from Israeli Bombings 'Devastating' / Apocalyptic Urbanism / My Own Private Utopia: An Interview with Patrick Killoran / Continuing Dialogue on the Wall / Hezbollah Rebuilds South Beirut / Review: Architecture as Crime Control by Neal Katyal / CCTV Fashion Police / Safety and Security Without the Fortress Look / Devices Enforce Silence of Cellphones, Illegally / Your Privacy Is Someone Else's Profit + Bush Goes Private to Spy on You / Several ways to wear a mosque / Protest Greets Police Plan to Map Muslim Angelenos (more about is being shelved) / From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity / Amnesty's Unsubscribe Me video reenacts CIA stress-position torture / Rendition Institution / Poems of Force / Consuming War: How Consumer Culture and Media have Influenced the American Perception of War

[Earlier peripherals ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A new multiplicitous wall regime

[Images: Sam Dagher produced this good little slideshow for the CS Monitor on the ways the Baghdad Security walls, which are miles and miles in length, have completely re-organized the livelihoods of Baghdad's residents. What's most tragic perhaps is how people have been forced to resign to the walls, these total hydrologic-like inner-city security dams for any kind of semblance of being able to carry on normally. Even though the walls have -- to some extent -- removed the volatile element from many dangerous neighborhoods it's as if their city had been left now invaded by a malevolent species of medieval fortifications instead; a little spawn of green zones fancied out of infectious panes of concrete that have spread all over the streets, blocking alleys, removing corridors, amputating thoroughfares, choking public space.
Not only have we removed Saddam's face from every wall in Baghdad -- probably considered by the 'liberators' as the greatest urban facelift of all times -- but now we have completely exacerbated any tyranny of the wall that existed with essentially reams and reams of new added wall space to literally enforce the rule of law over there (if we can even call it that). Even if the municipality paints them with pretty pictures (ironically enough of nature and history) the architectural trade-off of the dismal American post-invasion reality over there is a more than heavy scar to burden on the psyche day-in and day-out. Baghdad might not be watched by Saddam from every wall today but it sure has been re-traumatized by a wholly different and multiplicitous wall-worn mentality, that's for sure. (All photos by Sam Dagher, from Baghdad safer, but it's a life behind walls, 12/10/07.)
While you are at it, in case you missed it, check out this earlier video of the Wall around Adhamiya neighborhood in Baghdad.]

Monday, December 03, 2007

Resisting Blackwater Sprawl

You may remember a few months ago a post here on Subtopes about the private military contracting firm Blackwater USA moving in on a rural neighborhood outside San Diego called Potrero. From what I gathered at the time the company was planning a massive base and training facility there near the border and had been using local political players to ramrod the project through hurrying past proper environmental and political process.
Well, Alternate Focus, a non-profit educational media group based in San Diego, has put together a documentary called Blackwater in Potrero, that will be airing all this week on television if you subscribe to Dish Network, and get the Free Speech Channel. If not, it is also available online here.

Andy Trimlett of Alternate Focus tells me "there is a recall election taking place right now in Potrero to recall all of the pro-Blackwater people from the Potrero Planning Board," which sounds like a major move to not only force Blackwater to go through a proper and unbiased legal process with the project (which would reek considerable havoc on the small community) but also to wring out the bureaucratic corruption that has been trying to approve this despite public protest. Here is a description of the documentary. It looks great, so be sure to check it out.

"In late 2006, Blackwater USA, now known as Blackwater Worldwide, submitted a proposal to build a training facility called Blackwater West in the rural San Diego County town of Potrero. This documentary tells the story of what followed. Features interviews with Jeremy Scahill, the author of Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army as well as Brian Bonfiglio, the vice president of Blackwater West; Gordon Hammers, Jan Hedlun, Mary Johnson, Jerry Johnson, and Thell Fowler of the Potrero Planning Board; Raymond Lutz of Citizens Oversight Committee; Rep. Bob Filner, and many others. Producer: Andy Trimlett; Associate Producers: John Odam and Aaron Seeley."

For those who want to watch it on Free Speech TV here is the schedule beginning tonight:

(all times EST):
Mon Dec 03 @ 05:30, 09:30, 15:30
Wed Dec 05 @ 11:30, 17:30
Thu Dec 06 @ 05:30
Fri Dec 07 @ 23:30
Sat Dec 08 @ 10:30
Sun Dec 09 @ 02:30

Otherwise, watch this YouTube piece and pass it on.