Despite the conditions and the isolation, as well as a horrible sneezing cough that persisted for about an hour after I woke up, those nights with that random, scarred and often scabbed cat on my chest, were the best nights of sleep I ever got in Baghdad.
Emperor doesn't reimagine history so much as use it as the jumping-off point for a fictional historical romance set against the backdrop of impending war, when everything seems more vital and in-the-moment. Except for this sometimes plodding film.
On March 20, as we mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion from hell, we still don't get it. In case you want to jump to the punch line, though, it's this: by invading Iraq, the U.S. did more to destabilize the Middle East than we could possibly have imagined at the time.
We don't get it. We really don't. We may not, in military terms, know how to win any more, but as a society we don't get losing either. We don't recognize it, even when it's staring us in the face.
On the unhappy 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, those of us who spoke out against the impending catastrophe a decade ago are naturally tempted to rehearse the argument.
If we want post-conflict Syria to end up better prepared to survive the chaos and despair engulfing Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere in the region, we must do a much better job of marshalling and deploying the civilian, political and economic resources essential to the establishment of political stability.
When one considers how completely out of whack our defense budget is in the post 9/11 age of perpetual war, the cuts will still leave us with a military budget that dwarfs all other countries combined.
Ten years ago, I made the ultimately futile effort of writing to FBI Director Robert Mueller warning that he needed to tell the truth about the Bush administration's unjustified decision to preemptively invade Iraq and the likelihood it would prove counterproductive.
Hiring a veteran is not just the right thing to do, but it is one of the best decisions a business can make for their bottom line for a multitude of reasons: leadership, trustworthiness, dependability, training, education, integrity, maturity, and many more.
In Iraq and Afghanistan the U.S. relied heavily on interpreters, most recruited from the local population. Yet the U.S. government has refused to welcome those who have done so much to help America.
Consider what the Senate, which once dubbed itself "the world's greatest deliberative body," and a news media, which has greater access to information than at any time in history, didn't deal with just in the last few days of the anti-Hagel filibuster.
It's time to end the uncertainty for both the United States and Israel and to get our country's national security team -- especially his choice for secretary of defense -- in place. The president's crucial visit to help Israel during these difficult times deserves no less.
With forecasted Defense budget cuts due to the potential of sequestration, private security contractors will be essential assets needed to ensure national security and prevention of total economic collapse.
Nuri al-Maliki has had an historic opportunity to unify Iraq and move it forward economically. He may still have time, but he must start by ending the violence and changing his own policies, including the use of authoritarian and undemocratic methods to govern.
A few months back, we started a program to assist transitioning service members in their search for civilian employment after serving the Nation. We called it Deployed 2 Employed, and it consisted of working one to one with soon to transitioning service members to prepare them for the civilian job market.
Beyond the worthy goal of repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force is a need for Congress to cut off appropriations for the "war on terror." A prerequisite: repudiating the lethal mythology of righteous war unbounded by national borders or conceivable duration.