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Dahr Jamail's Weblog
'Dahr Jamail's Weblog' contains Dahr's personal log, opinions and commentary from the Middle East.

March 13, 2008

Beyond the Green Zone finalist in Foreword Magazine's political science Book of the Year Award

Haymarket Books author Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone, is one of 12 finalists in the running in the political science category for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards.

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention from librarians and booksellers to the literary achievements of independent publishers and their authors.

2007 Award winners to be announced May 29

Read the press release and view the list here

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 12:07 AM

March 12, 2008

The Biometric Cataloging of Americans at Home

"Avoid the hassle of airport security every time you fly."

This is the rhetoric being used to entice U.S. citizens to voluntarily provide their biometric information to the U.S. government.

The program, called "clear," is being installed at airports around the country now. For a little background on this, view a post at this website from September 2005, called Securitizing the Global Norm of Identity: Biometric Technologies in Domestic and Foreign Policy.

In Fallujah, the cataloging of human beings has been involuntary since the U.S. siege of that city in November 2004. Having retina scans, fingerprinting and bar-code IDs is mandatory there for Iraqis.

But now, in the "homeland" of the United States, you too can join the happy club of those giving their biometric data to the federal government. Just bring two forms of government issued identification to your local Clear airport or various downtown location, enroll, pay the $128 fee, wait 2-3 weeks, and then if you are accepted, step up to your nearest scanner, and try not to blink as your retina is scanned.

These kiosks are planned for airports in New York, Denver, Oakland, and many others.

So, no need to be intimidated by the government's desire to use biometric data to catalog U.S. citizens, (or Iraqis for that matter), as you can rest more peacefully knowing you are now more secure.

You can learn more about this safe, fast, and helpful way to get through airport security in four minutes or less, here.

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:36 PM

February 08, 2008

Jeremy Scahill interviews Dahr Jamail for The Nation

Dahr Jamail: Beyond the Green Zone


[posted online on February 8, 2008]

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dahr Jamail has spent more time reporting from Iraq than almost any other US journalist. His new book, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, is a chronicle of his experiences there. He recently sat down with Nation correspondent Jeremy Scahill to talk about the supposed "success" of Bush's troop surge, what would happen if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton wins the White House and why he believes an immediate withdrawal from Iraq is the only way to peace. Here's an edited transcript of that interview.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have indicated that US troops are not going to be withdrawn in any significant manner in the first term of a presidency. What do you think would happen if the US did withdraw immediately from Iraq?

Continue reading "Jeremy Scahill interviews Dahr Jamail for The Nation"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 07:04 PM

January 31, 2008

Beyond the Green Zone #3 Alternet Best Progessive Books / #1 Staff Pick at Powell's Books

Alternet Best Progressive Books of 2007

Book experts, AlterNet staff and readers weighed in. Here are the groundbreakers that stood out from the crowd.

By Don Hazen, AlterNet
Posted on January 31, 2008

1. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
2. Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill
3. Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq
by Dahr Jamail
Haymarket Books

One of the few unaffiliated journalists in Iraq, journalist Jamail went to see the conditions for himself, and the compelling, heartbreaking stories he sent back over his eight-month stay were carried in publications worldwide: from family houses destroyed with their inhabitants to mosques full of people held under siege to the ill-equipped medical facilities and security forces meant to deal with them. (Publishers Weekly)


Beyond the Green Zone is a Number 1 staff pick at Powell's Books

Adam S.
1. Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq by Dahr Jamail

George Orwell once said, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." No one has captured that revolutionary spirit more than Dahr Jamail. Jamail, like all of us, heard the lies the media was spewing to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq and decided to go there "to counter what they were doing by showing the real situation on the ground." This book collects a number of his essays from the eight months he spent in Iraq and provides the reader a rare opportunity to hear about the war from the vantage point of the people of the Middle East.

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 09:04 PM

January 10, 2008

Beyond the Green Zone on CSPAN's Book TV

BookTV on CSPAN2 presents:

Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq

Author: Dahr Jamail

Upcoming Schedule

Sunday, January 13, at 6:00 AM
Sunday, January 13, at 2:00 PM
Sunday, January 13, at 10:00 PM

About the Program

Dahr Jamail talks about his experiences working as an unembedded journalist in Iraq and discusses what life is like for Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. The talk was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego.

About the Author

Along with Iraq, Dahr Jamail has reported from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. He is a special correspondent for KPFA's "Flashpoints" and has appeared on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!". For more, visit dahrjamailiraq.com.

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 06:18 PM

January 09, 2008

Beyond the Green Zone at Tom's Review of Books

"Don't miss Dahr Jamail's first book, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq -- and, while you're reading it, think of us as the invading Martians. I hardly need to extol Jamail to Tomdispatch readers, but his book offers a remarkably fresh glimpse at what those "Martians" looked like and felt like through Iraqi eyes. This book should outlast the war it recorded (even given Washington's urge to remain in Iraq forever)."

Read the full posting at Tom Engelhardt's TomDispatch.com

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 06:33 PM

January 03, 2008

The Patriot: Truthout Reviews Dahr Jamail's "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Reporter in Occupied Iraq," with author Interview

By Leslie Thatcher
t r u t h o u t | Book Review

Thursday 03 January 2008

We were a minority, but still, there were many of us to whom it was as plain as the nose on our own face, in the fall of 2002 when the great "marketing campaign" for the Iraq war was rolled out, that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and no connection whatsoever to 9/11, that the war was an illegal act of aggression that could only hearten enemies of the United States. Some of us turned out for the great global "focus group" of February 15, 2003; some of us wrote to the editor, argued with family members and neighbors, were horrified by the mainstream media's pornographic endorsement of "Shock and Awe," but Dahr Jamail came down from his job as a Park Service rescue ranger on Mt. Denali in Alaska, and, armed with $2,000, a laptop, digital camera, and some indie media listserve advice about how to get there, set off for Baghdad. What he has described as "an act of desperation" provoked by his sense of complicity as an American is also, in a very real sense, an ultimate act of patriotism, an assertion that Americans are better than what we have done in Iraq, a faith he still champions that:

"If the people of the United States had the real story about what their government has done in Iraq, the occupation would already have ended ... If people in my country could hear the stories of life under occupation and put themselves in Iraqis' stories, they would understand. I hold that hope because the stories of Iraq are our story now."

Continue reading "The Patriot: Truthout Reviews Dahr Jamail's "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Reporter in Occupied Iraq," with author Interview"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 07:15 PM

December 20, 2007

Drifting Into Dystopia: An Interview with Dahr Jamail


December 19, 2007

[by Scott Thill]

Dahr Jamail is that rarity in today's journalism: An intrepid truth-teller who enters the line of fire unprotected by the planet's greatest superpower. He may be unembedded, but his award-winning work, out now in the form of an amazing book called Beyond the Green Zone, is bulletproof with truth. And we need that more than ever nowadays, as the Iraqmire spirals into oblivion and the American empire falters. With an election on tap and no incentive for the Democrats to change course if they win in 2008, we could be looking at the last days of the United States as we know it. And we saw it coming the whole time.

Morphizm: Do you find it somewhat ironic that you are a journalist, wanting to get the truth out?

Continue reading "Drifting Into Dystopia: An Interview with Dahr Jamail"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 04:48 AM

December 15, 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald Reviews Beyond the Green Zone

Beyond the Green Zone

The Sydney Morning Herald

Antony Loewenstein, reviewer
December 14, 2007

A grim picture of young American soldiers acting violently against an often-invisible threat.

Author: Dahr Jamail
Genre: Society/Politics
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Pages: 313
RRP: $39.95

Nearly five years since the start of the Iraq war, we still know remarkably little about the conflict and its effect on the Iraqi people. A recent study by British polling agency ORB found that more than 1 million Iraqis had been killed since 2003 and the UN reports that more than 4 million internal and external refugees now struggle for safety.

Continue reading "The Sydney Morning Herald Reviews Beyond the Green Zone"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 01:21 AM

December 14, 2007

Jamail Receives Callaway Award

The Eighteenth Annual
Joe A. Callaway
Award for Civic Courage

Presented to Dahr Jamail

Journalist, embedded in the truth

In recognition of his courageous decision to report the real stories of the Iraqi people under United States invasion and then occupation; his unique ability to cover “sustained atrocities,” a reportage that leaves indelible marks on one’s conscience and memories, weaving a disturbing tapestry of horrific, indiscriminate civilian injuries, diseases, humiliations and deaths (650,000 as of 2006); his depiction of the brutality of American military forces yet understanding the predicament of many soldiers arising out of failed policies, surrounded by endemic corruption of the war contractors who bilked with impunity the United States treasury; his outrage at the government’s unchecked power and a compliant corporate media that misled the American people; and his luminous humanity, seeking nothing but the truth for the whole story.

Continue reading "Jamail Receives Callaway Award"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 02:45 AM

December 03, 2007

Beyond the Green Zone; excerpt of introduction at Foreign Policy in Focus

Dahr Jamail | November 30, 2007

Editor: Erik Leaver

Foreign Policy In Focus

Editors Note: The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007).

In 2002, while winter began to settle across the United States, the drumbeat for war became deafening. Living in Anchorage, Alaska, I spent much of my free time reading the news from abroad or getting it via alternative online outlets such as Media Lens, Democracy Now!, and Media Channel. The cheerleading for war feebly disguised as "journalism" that corporate media television stations and newspapers in the United States spewed was intolerable. The overwhelming evidence was already available. There were not and had not been "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq for years. The make-believe link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 was a chimera. The excuse given later, that of "liberating" the people of Iraq, held even less truth.

Continue reading "Beyond the Green Zone; excerpt of introduction at Foreign Policy in Focus"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 11:43 PM

November 13, 2007

BOOKS-US/IRAQ: Outrage in a Time of Apathy

Inter Press Service
By Aaron Glantz*

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 13 (IPS) - Unlike most U.S. journalists who went to Iraq to cover a war, Dahr Jamail went to try to stop it.

Continue reading "BOOKS-US/IRAQ: Outrage in a Time of Apathy"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 04:12 PM

November 05, 2007

What I saw in Fallujah

The New Statesman

Dahr Jamail

Published 01 November 2007

Dahr Jamail set out to report the truth about the US invasion of Iraq and its terrible impact on daily life. Determined to remain independent of the army, he embedded himself instead with the Iraqi people

On the day martial law was declared, US tanks began rolling into the outskirts of Fallujah, while war planes continued to pound the city with as many as 50,000 residents still inside. Iyad Allawi, the US-installed interim prime minister, laid out the six steps for implementing his "security law". These entailed a 6pm curfew in Fallujah, the blocking of all highways except for emergencies and for government vehicles, the closure of all city and government services, a ban on all weapons in Fallujah, the closure of Iraq's borders with Syria and Jordan (except to allow passage to food trucks and vehicles carrying other necessary goods), and the closure of Baghdad International Airport for 48 hours.

Continue reading "What I saw in Fallujah"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:40 PM

The Iraq war has become a disaster that we have chosen to forget

With the media subdued, governments have not been held to account for the biggest political calamity of our time

Madeleine Bunting
Monday November 5, 2007
The Guardian


"What is chilling about Jamail's accounts is the routine destructiveness of the US forces; how they demolish nearby homes after a roadside bomb, leave unexploded munitions in the fields of farmers who don't give information, bulldoze orchards. Livelihoods destroyed, families displaced every day, incubating hatred."

Continue reading "The Iraq war has become a disaster that we have chosen to forget"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:31 PM

November 01, 2007

More BTGZ Reviews/Interviews

The Catastrophic Military Occupation of Iraq is Rarely Described Accurately in the U.S. Media

Written by Kevin Zeese, for Democracy Rising
Monday, 29 October 2007

An Interview with independent journalist Dahr Jamail “The bogus idea that if the U.S. leaves things will worsen is both inherently racist and ignorant.”

Read full interview here

Time Out Chicago Review of Beyond the Green Zone

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 06:04 PM

October 24, 2007

Beyond the Green Zone Reviews and Interviews

Democracy Now

Original author essay

Yahoo Picks

Continue reading "Beyond the Green Zone Reviews and Interviews"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:44 PM

October 15, 2007

The Mouth of a Graveyard: A Review of Dahr Jamail's Beyond the Green Zone

by Ron Jacobs; October 02, 2007
Original Posting of Review

Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq

by Dahr Jamail
(Haymarket, 2007)

As the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the accompanying war on its people heads into a fifth year, the New York Times and Washington Post continue to run articles presenting the situation in that country in much the same way that the politicians and generals in Washington want us to see it. In other words, the picture those papers present is one that not only considers Washington's goals there to be worthwhile, but actually being reached. If one wants to find another side to the story, they must search a little deeper on the internet for reportage and analysis. This coverage not only begins with different assumptions regarding the occupation, it also presents a picture based on the perspectives of Iraqis and others whose fortunes are not tied to Washington's plans for the region.

Continue reading "The Mouth of a Graveyard: A Review of Dahr Jamail's Beyond the Green Zone"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 06:06 PM

I Had No Choice

Original Essay for Powell's Books

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
—George Orwell

I never intended to be a revolutionary.

In March 2003 when the U.S-led invasion of Iraq was launched I was in the midst of another full mountaineering season in Alaska. However, unlike earlier seasons, I was unable to devote myself wholeheartedly to my time in the mountains, which I consider my sanctuary. I retained my links with the less divine through radio and phone and other channels because I felt obliged to know what my country was doing elsewhere.

Continue reading "I Had No Choice"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:47 PM


Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq

By Dahr Jamail
with a Foreword by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan of Democracy Now!


Via Dahr Jamail's website
Via Haymarket Books


"Every conflict spawns a handful of journalists who are willing to not only brave the war zone but to seek out the stories ignored by the press pack. The Iraq War has brought us Dahr Jamail. Jamail's account will prove an enduring document of what really happened during the chaotic years of occupation, and how it transformed ordinary Iraqis. If years from now, Americans are willing to read any books about the war, this one should be among them. It tells everything."
-Mother Jones magazine

"From the earliest days of the war, Dahr Jamail has been a human conduit for the voices of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. In the face of tremendous personal risk, his commitment to the crucial, principled task of bearing witness has never wavered, and this extraordinary book is the result."
-Naomi Klein, author, No Logo and The Shock Doctrine

"While the powerful media conglomerates embedded on the ground with the invading and occupying forces, Jamail embedded with the suffering people of Iraq and uncovered the horrors of this war of 'liberation.' Dahr Jamail is the conscience of American war reporting, the quintessential unembedded reporter."
-Jeremy Scahill, New York Times best-selling author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army


Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who has covered the Middle East for more than four years. He has reported extensively from inside Iraq and has also has reported from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Jamail writes for Inter Press Service, The Asia Times, and many other outlets. His reports have been published in the Nation, The Sunday Herald, The Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The Independent, among other publications. On radio as well as television, Jamail has reported for Democracy Now!, and numerous other stations around the globe. Jamail is also special correspondent for "Flashpoints" (KPFK Radio/Pacifica). Beyond the Green Zone is his first book.


Oct. 15

Watch Dahr on Democracy Now for his October 15 book launch here

Barnes and Noble Astor Place
4 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
Contact: 212-420-1322

Oct. 17
Broadway Presbyterian Church
with special guest Jeremy Scahill, author, Blackwater
601 West 114th Street on Broadway
New York, NY 10025
7 pm, $5
Cosponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Social Change and the Nation Institute
Contact: 646-452-8662, info@cersc.org


Oct. 15-17 New York, NY
Oct. 18 Watertown, NY
Oct. 19 Rochester, NY
Oct. 20 Albany/Troy, NY
Oct. 21 Baltimore, MD
Oct. 22 Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 23 Amherst, MA
Oct. 24 Boston, MA
Oct. 25 Washington, DC
Oct. 26-27 Chicago, IL
Oct. 28 Champaign, IL
Nov. 1 Denver, CO
Nov. 2 Portland, OR
Nov. 3 Seattle, WA
Nov. 4 Olympia, WA
Nov. 6 Davis, CA
Nov. 8 Oakland, CA
Nov. 11 Palo Alto, CA
Nov. 12 Fresno, CA
Nov. 15 San Diego, CA
Nov. 16-18 Los Angeles, CA
Jan. 15 San Francisco, CA
Feb. 4 Stanford, CA


For further information on Beyond the Green Zone book and tour, visit:

For review copy and interview requests, contact:
Julie Fain, 773-583-7884, julie@haymarketbooks.org

For exam copy requests, visit:

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 04:21 PM

September 11, 2007

Review of "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad of Spinwatch

The Fanonite

“…for the last forty years, our thought has been trapped in hollow structures of language, a stale, dead but immensely successful rhetoric. This has represented, in my view, a defeat of the intelligence and of the will.” — Harold Pinter

Occupied Iraq: A Horizontal View

September 9th, 2007

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, Dissident Voice, 10 September 2007; Atlantic Free Press, 10 September 2007; Indymedia UK, 10 September 2007; Spinwatch, 11 September 200751ixmr1kxal_ss500_.jpg

Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq by Dahr Jamail, Haymarket Books, pp 240, $20

Charity, vertical, humiliates. Solidarity, horizontal, helps. [1]

In 1937 George Steer’s report on Guernica in the Times (London) turned what would have otherwise been a footnote in history into a metaphor for naked aggression against a defenceless civilian population. While Guernica was not the worst of the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis assisting Franco’s Fascists during the Spanish Civil War, the vivid account of the savagery conjured up in Steer’s descriptive reportage brought home for many horrors of a conflict hitherto deemed distant and insular. A comparable role was played by Seymour Hersh in 1969 exposing the massacre and subsequent cover up at My Lai, turning public opinion at home decisively against the war. In 2004, an account of a similar tragedy, albeit on a much larger scale, was dispatched to the Inter Press Service from the ruins of Fallujah by Dahr Jamail, an independent journalist of exceptional courage, except no publication in the mainstream picked up the story as nationalist (or perhaps commercial) imperatives trumped journalistic responsibilities. The news however percolated in the farther reaches of cyberspace for a year; meanwhile several other Fallujah-scale catastrophes were inflicted on the people of Iraq with a similar media reaction. Only when a documentary on the Italian RAI TV corroborated the reports of the use of chemical weapons with footage and soldiers’ testimony, could the story no longer be suppressed and newspapers in Britain finally had to publish it.

Fallujah is but one in the stream of episodes recounted in Dahr Jamail’s exceptional new book, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. Had these reports been published in a timely fashion a very different reaction could have been expected possibly generating a public outcry.

Continue reading "Review of "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad of Spinwatch"

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at 05:37 PM

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