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Iraq [electronic resource]: The Making of an Army

At FOB Endurance in Iraq, American army instructors are training Iraqi security forces to defend their own country. With the insurgency raging outside the base, Sgt. Alvarez has only four weeks to turn a group of men into soldiers, but the time-honored method of yelling and swearing is less effective when recruits don't understand English. With exceptional levels of access and unexpected moments of levity, this documentary chronicles the creation of an Iraqi combat force, focusing on the experience of one young Iraqi given the all-American nickname of "Hamburger.

Iraq [electronic resource]: Private Armies

When the Iraqi government threatened to expel all foreign mercenaries following the controversial Blackwater Baghdad shootings of 2007, the role of private military contractors was thrust into the spotlight. There's no denying that the use of hired security forces is transforming the way we wage war. The contractors earn four times more than regular soldiers, act with impunity, and in Iraq, outnumber all non-U.S. soldiers combined. This program follows the training and deployment of these combatants in Iraq to provide an eye-opening look at life as a private soldier, while exploring some of the issues surrounding their use. "With private contractors, America is able to stay in Iraq for much longer and without as much political fallout," explains one proponent. But a recruit puts it m [...]

Iraq [electronic resource]: Chemical Ali

Ali Hassan Al Majeed - the notorious "Chemical Ali" - was a political appointee responsible for Iraq's Kurdistan region when he boasted that he would "take two-thirds of the Kurds and hit them with chemicals until they die." Using mass killings, deportations, and chemical weapons, Chemical Ali crushed insurrections among minority rebels and Shia dissidents on a scale so devastating that it came to be known as the Kurdish Genocide. Coupling eyewitness accounts with survivors' testimonies and rare archival footage, this documentary from Kurdish filmmaker Kawa Akrawi provides a definitive account of Chemical Ali's reign of terror.

Corporal Martin Webster [electronic resource]: Diary of a Disgraced Soldier

Corporal Martin Webster became publicly vilified when his cell phone footage of British soldiers beating young Iraqi civilians, accompanied by Webster's mocking voice-over, went viral in 2006. Even now Webster finds it hard to listen to his own insensitive comments, saying he was a different person when the video was made. This deeply personal documentary follows Webster for 18 months, starting from the day he left the army to cope with posttraumatic stress disorder and his own intense feelings of shame about the incident. Releasing and exploring his turbulent emotions through vitriolic video diaries, poetry, painting, and music, Webster embarks on a journey to tell the world his side of the story.

Iraq [electronic resource]: On the Brink

One year after its "liberation" by U.S. forces, Iraq had descended into chaos. The country's infrastructure was in a shambles, the death toll was still rising, and vast swathes of the country had become no-go areas for American troops. How did the situation deteriorate so quickly? Why did the cheering Iraqis who initially welcomed the Americans turn against them? This documentary, filmed in 2004 shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, examines the reaction in Iraq to the American presence there; and while some Iraqis feel that "anything is better than Saddam," most cite the tragic civilian casualties and distrust of Western motives as fueling anger against the occupation.
2004; 2012

Iraq's Secret War Files [electronic resource]

After receiving a flash drive from the WikiLeaks organization containing nearly 400,000 secret military reports, the producers of British current events show "Dispatches" teamed up with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to analyze the raw data. This documentary presents the results of their collaboration - findings which strongly suggest that U.S. troops in Iraq were killing more civilians than insurgents at checkpoints, that they killed people who were trying to surrender, and that even after the scandal of Abu Ghraib, U.S. soldiers continued to abuse prisoners while the Coalition turned a blind eye.
2010; 2012