November 9, 2011
The price of war Re "Remembering California's war dead," Nov. 6 You cite figures indicating that there have been 6,204 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a veteran of World War II, I can still remember the wounds and suffering of that long-ago time. Veterans Day will soon be upon us, and it should bring home the fact that every war really represents a failure of humans to conduct their affairs in a sensible and civilized way. Dead soldiers are victims even more than they are heroes.
March 15, 2010 |
The bicycle man prefers working in the sun, sitting on a cushion nailed to a wooden block, stretching out his right leg, the one with a missing foot, taken years ago in that instant when a man's life veers another way. Abdul Hibib has been fixing bicycles for almost 30 years. His hands are quick, clicking gears, moving across spokes as if he's plucking a harp. So much worn rubber and troubled history have rolled past him. His country tumbled from war to war while he tinkered with bicycles, outlasting the Soviets, surviving the Taliban.
March 7, 2010 |
When Claudia Llosa was growing up in Lima, Peru, adolescence wasn't a time for hanging out with friends in the streets. The country was in the grip of a brutal civil war pitting the Maoist Shining Path guerrillas against a government determined to stamp them out at any cost. "The message was, 'Stay inside! Hide yourself! Be careful!' " Llosa, 33, recalled recently during an interview at a West Hollywood hotel, speaking in Spanish. "I knew that I would speak of the theme one day, but I didn't know how to come face to face with it. It was a reality that changed everything.
February 22, 2010 |
Whenever I walk past a window I feel a stab of fear. Traffic scares me because I think that any one of the cars could blow up. Sudden sounds terrify me. It's been several weeks since the suicide bombing last month of the Hamra hotel, where I was working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times' Baghdad Bureau. Yet I still keep reliving the moment the bomb exploded outside our window and a 2-inch shard of glass penetrated my chest, leaving a bloody gash. It was only a split second of terror, a fragmentary flash of sound, fury and pain, but it replays over and over in my mind, haunting me with reminders of how close I was to death.
February 15, 2010
Spain's world-famous magistrate, Baltasar Garzon, has made many enemies over the years. He has indicted Osama bin Laden. He has gone after Spanish paramilitaries, Basque separatists and members of drug mafias. On this side of the Atlantic, Garzon is best known as the judge who pushed the frontiers of international law, trying to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from London and launching an inquiry into the suspected torture of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo.
January 14, 2010 |
War's violence claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Afghan civilians in 2009, the United Nations said Wednesday, the largest annual death toll for noncombatants since the U.S.-led invasion eight years ago. But the proportion of civilian deaths attributed to Western and Afghan security forces dropped sharply in the wake of strict new rules of engagement issued in the summer by U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of Western forces...