iran-iraq-war

Iranian resistance in Khoramsharr.

The Iran-Iraq war is one of the most widely forgotten major conflicts of recent years. 8 years of war 1980 to 1988 claimed the lives of almost a million people.

The Iran-Iraq war was especially brutal because of the barbaric tactics used by both side. The war rapidly descended into a stalemate and commanders began to use tactics extremely similar to those used in the great war.

Trenches, barbed wire, bayonet charges, human wave attacks, chemical and biological weapons, suicide charges and huge artillery barrages were all commonly used.

I went out like a sleepwalker. Aroused by nightmares. I began searching for my homeland, in all continents, on earth and in heaven. Praying. Reciting every supplication. Carrying shrines. And a generation of orphaned martyrs. And a generation of veteran martyrs. And another awaiting the massacre… oh homeland of the innocent, were you for us a graveyard or a homeland? - Abd Al Latif Ataymish 

Pity the children. 

An Iraqi young boy holds a weapon from the window of a car as people gather to show readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militant who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities in the capital Baghdad.

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The Iranian Basij (Persian: بسيج‎‎), full name Sāzmān-e Basij-e Mostaz'afin (Persian: سازمان بسیج مستضعفین‎‎, “The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed”) paramilitary volunteer militia during the Iran-Iraq war.

Poorly trained and equipped, these men would usually be used in massive human wave attacks against strong Iraqi positions, leading to massive causalities similar to those of the First World War.

They were also notorious for the high number of minors among their ranks, a direct consequence of the Islamic fervor and inherent volunteer nature of this force.

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Gohar DashtiToday’s Life and War 

Artist Statement: This series emerges from my experiences of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, how this violence symbolically influences the emotional life of my generation, it gives us the fear that facing images of war on television and in the city through the walls.

This body of work represents war and its heritage how it permeates all aspects of contemporary society by depicting a couple in a fictionalized battlefield as they interact in everyday life for instance, watching television, surfing  the Internet and celebrating their wedding.

While my couple does not visibly express emotion, they nevertheless have a power of perseverance, determination and survival. I create moments that capture ongoing duality of life and war without precluding hope.

Gohar Dashti received her M.A in Photography from the Fine Art University of Tehran in 2005. She has developed a practice concerning social issues with particular references to history and culture in modern society.

*Disclaimer: I posted this back in May, but a keyword search on Tumblr revealed that there STILL hasn’t been enough love and attention shown to Dashti's work. She deserves support for trying to bring a sense of humour to the strength and resilience with which people carry on their every-day lives during the insanity of war and occupation… ala Time That Remains

Shout-out to yourlittlearabmexican and other peeps who reblogged the original post ; )

Chris Kyle was a soldier, but he was not a hero. He did his job and unfortunately was scarred in the process, making him into a violent liar. Bragging about slaughter is disgusting, no matter who the ‘enemy’ is. During the world wars, when a pilot was shot down, the victorious plane did a maneuver to salute the enemy pilot, and if the pilot parachuted from the plane as it descended, the victor would allow the person to descend without firing shots at him. That is because soldiers are not robots, they are not killing machines, their goal should not be death and chaos, but order and peace. And why is this one soldier your hero? Because he was in a movie? Half of you people who have this burst of patriotism refuse to listen to your uncle’s war stories and see his pictures, you refuse to take a few hours to sit with a dying vet and hear about why he couldn’t sleep at night after coming home, you feel burdened by the roads being closed as the body of a soldier is driven through the streets in a hearse, but somehow a Hollywood movie makes this guy your hero? You celebrate the idea of a man wanting war, a man eager to shoot and kill 'savages,’ but where is your anger over the 1,000,000+ innocent people killed across the region, many of which were children who were generalized as collateral damage. You celebrate the idea of a man shooting looters, but where is your anger about Katrina? Where is your outrage over police putting men in a car and setting them on fire in New Orleans? Where is your outrage over bodies floating through the streets while children stand on roofs and beg for help?

Chris Kyle wasn’t a hero in New Orleans, Jabbar Gibson was. Never heard of him? He was an 18-year-old boy with a criminal history who stole a school bus, packed it full of 70 refugees from the Super Dome, and drove them 7 hours to Texas illegally while our cowboy President was sitting on his ass. Gibson was later arrested for narcotics and is in prison in Louisiana. He is a damn hero who saved dozens of lives and our country abandoned him. You know another hero of New Orleans? General Russel L. Honoré, a man who you also have likely never heard of. When he arrived in the disaster area, he saw chaos, confusion, he saw disorganization and he knew every moment he stood silent people would die in the flood waters and heat, so he stood up straight and started shouting orders, he started yelling and cussing and he got shit done. While Bush and Blanco were fighting over procedure, he actually did his job but where is his movie? Where is the pride for him?

And the middle east is full of heroes too! 14-year-old Aitazaz Hassan Bangash tackled a suicide bomber at the front gate of his school, shielding his peers from the bomb’s explosion and saving countless lives, losing his in the process. How about Afsha Ahmed, Tahira Kazi and Hifsa Khush? These brave educators rushed from room to room hiding students as militants invaded and rampaged through the Army Public School in Peshawar. They then confronted the terrorists and were killed as their students fled. Afsha was set on fire and as she burned, she screamed to her students to run. And the young boy in Syria who pretended to be shot dead by snipers in Syria to distract them, he then rushed over to save a small girl hiding behind a destroyed car. The boy, likely 8 or 9 years old was never identified and his story remains untold.

And let’s not forget that just because someone is or was an American soldier, does not mean they are infallible and does not mean they are heroes. Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Spc. James P. Barker, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, Pfc. Brian L. Howard, and Pfc. Steven D. Green, left their post drunken and raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl after murdering her family. After raping her they shot the girl and set her on fire. And of course there is Staff Sgt. Robert Bales who slaughtered 16 Afghan civilians in their homes.

All of you false patriots who were filled with pride over the American Sniper are the exact reason we are in this mess. The people of Iraq, the people of Pakistan, the people of Iran and Korea, they don’t want war, they don’t want fighting, they are not savages or terrorists, they are human beings and most of them wish us no ill will. But when we drop bombs on their houses or shoot their uncle through the window while he tucks his child into bed, they have no choice but to view us in a different light. And they are not extremists, they are not militants, their anger is the same as yours was when the twin towers fell, their homes are being attacked and their children are being called collateral damage. I challenge all of you to make a friend from a country the US has fought or is fighting. Then you will view their country not as a wasteland, but as a neighbour. You will view their people not as enemies, but as victims. You will view their story as that of a human being. I challenge you to sit with your uncle and watch as he holds a picture of himself standing in Japan or Vietnam, remembering the stories of war. And I also challenge you to attend the funerals of soldiers who die from your town, to volunteer for the veteran’s Day parade, to thank them for their service and shake their wrinkled hand. Spend the money and time you would watching American Sniper to actually interact with a soldier or a person from another country. Educate yourself and stop being an ignorant and impressionable dunce who fills with pride when a gun is fired but sits idle as a casket is closed.

And if you have a problem with what I just said, read it again, and again, and again until it sinks into your brain that a movie is not reality, that you don’t actually care about people and their plights, that you would rather spend $13 on a movie ticket celebrating death than to feed a homeless veteran who was abandoned by our country and now has to choose between suicide and begging for money. And you still want to open your mouth, be prepared to get shut down because I will put you in your place.