Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians by Chris Hedges, Laila Al-Arian

By Chris Hedges, Laila Al-Arian

Collateral Damage brings jointly testimony from the most important variety of at the checklist, named, wrestle veterans who exhibit the aggravating, day-by-day truth of battle and profession in Iraq.
Through their eyes, we find out how the mechanics of warfare result in the abuse and widespread killing of innocents. They describe convoys of automobiles roaring down roads, smashing into autos, and hitting Iraqi civilians. They aspect raids that go away households shot lifeless within the mayhem. they usually describe a battlefield within which troops, untrained to differentiate among warring parties and civilians, are approved to shoot each time they suppose threatened.

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Extra resources for Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians

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In chapter 7, I consider June Jordan’s contribution to bridging African American struggle and war resistance, emerging out of the Black Arts and feminist movements of the 1970s. I analyze Jordan’s stance of “righteous certainty”—a performative pose she adopts in order to claim her own authority to talk back to power. Righteous certainty emerges from Jordan’s struggle against personal and social violence, and thus enables a revaluation of the Yeatsian lyric’s self-oppositionality. In addition to focusing on her involvement in war resistance—through her column in the Progressive, her course “Poetry for the People,” and her readings against the war—I read Jordan’s “The Bombing of Baghdad” as a powerful chant poem that harnesses the lyric as an oppositional and documentary form and invites a transnational progressive audience to identify their own struggles with the struggles of Iraqis.

Even so, Peck— along with most of the others—gradually warmed to this abstract, shabby ‘man of God’; he may not have been their kind of protesting pacifist, but he was manifestly not a fraud” (93). In contrast, Peck acknowledges that though one might think that COs might be united by common goals, “the individualistic COs at Danbury found it almost impossible to agree on any common action to support their cause” (38). Yet, Lowell’s declining to participate in the strike against segregation, and his concomitant silence about it in his “Memories,” are a stark reminder about the epistemological limits—and potential dangers—of “getting the news” from canonized texts.

First, the resisters’ reasons for refusing to serve emerge from different circumstances: Lowell’s Just War principles, Naeve’s anarchism, and Peck’s anti-imperialism. Second, Naeve’s and Peck’s depictions of West Street Jail and Danbury Prison, where all three served the tenure of their sentences, corroborate the physical details of Lowell’s poem; Lowell’s documentary style, however, offers the ruse of realism. Third, all three accounts describe the shocked submission that accompanied the early phase of internment; if Lowell’s seems to linger in its numbed gaze, we must remember that the poem itself sets out only to consider West Street.

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