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Grade: (A+)


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Michael Kelly Links:

    -INTERVIEW: A Conversation with Michael Kelly (Atlantic Unbound, June 3, 2003)
    -ARTICLE: Atlantic Monthly Editor Killed in Iraq: Michael Kelly Was a Columnist for The Washington Post (Howard Kurtz, April 4, 2003, Washington Post)
    -Statement from Atlantic Media on the death of Michael Kelly (4/04/03)
    -ARTICLE: UNH classmates recall Mike Kelly (KATHRYN MARCHOCKI, 4/04/03, Union Leader)
    Michael Kelly, RIP: A journalist of brilliance and independence dies doing what he loves. (PEGGY NOONAN, April 4, 2003, Walkl Street Journal)
    -TRIBUTE: Michael Kelly (Washington Post, 4/05/03)
    -TRIBUTE: A Courageous Man: Michael Kelly, R.I.P. (Byron York, April 4, 2003, National Review)
    -TRIBUTE: 'The Best Possible Life' (MAUREEN DOWD, April 6, 2003, NY Times)
    -TRIBUTE: IT'S UNBEARABLE (The McGill Report, 4/04/03)
    -TRIBUTE: Michael Kelly (NY Times, 4/05/03)
    -TRIBUTE: The death of Michael Kelly (Boston Phoenix)
    -ESSAY: Two who fell so we could see (Pete Hamill, April 7, 2003, NY Daily News)
    What Now?: A letter from Kuwait City (Michael Kelly, May 2003, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY: Across the Euphrates (Michael Kelly, April 3, 2003, Washington Post)
EAST OF THE EUPHRATES RIVER, Iraq -- Near the crest of the bridge across the Euphrates that Task Force 3-69 Armor of the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division seized yesterday afternoon was a body that lay twisted from its fall. He had been an old man -- poor, not a regular soldier -- judging from his clothes. He was lying on his back, not far from one of several burning skeletons of the small trucks that Saddam Hussein's willing and unwilling irregulars employed. The tanks and Bradleys and Humvees and bulldozers and rocket launchers, and all the rest of the massive stuff that makes up the U.S. Army on the march, rumbled past him, pushing on.

On the western side of the bridge, Lt. Col. Ernest "Rock" Marcone, commander of Task Force 3-69, stood in the sand by the side of the road, smoking a cigar and drinking a cup of coffee. Marcone's soldiers say he deeply likes to win, and he seemed quietly happy. At 2 a.m. yesterday, Marcone had led his battalion into the assault with two objectives, both critical to the 3rd Infantry's drive to Baghdad. The first was to seize the Karbala Gap, a narrow piece of flat land between a lake and a river that offers a direct and unpopulated passageway to this bridge. The second was the bridge itself, the foothold across the Euphrates, last natural obstacle between the division and Baghdad.

Marcone's tanks, infantry and artillery, supported by Air Force bombers and the division's Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, had taken the Karbala Gap by 7 a.m. and the bridge by 4:20 p.m. "We now hold the critical ground through which the rest of the division can pass to engage and destroy the Republican Guard," Marcone said.

Saddam Hussein, of course, knew the Americans coming from Kuwait would have to cross the Euphrates. But he did not know where the crossing would be made. The American forces' plan, drafted and revised and revised again under intense pressure in the field, centered on keeping the regime in confusion on this one great question.

There were surprises. No one anticipated the degree to which the regime would be able, using guerrilla tactics, to harass and, for a brief while, stall the offensive in the south. But the basic structure of the plan never changed. It was to employ repeated feints to deceive the enemy as to the true direction of the assault north. This would force him to redeploy his key forces away from the Karbala Gap, while exposing his moving troops and his artillery to a devastating air campaign.

    -ESSAY: I Believe (Michael Kelly, February 4, 1998, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY : Starr Wars: The 21st Century (Michael Kelly, July 8, 1998, Washington Post)
-ESSAY: Left Everlasting (Michael Kelly, December 11, 2002, Washington Post)
    -ARCHIVES: Michael Kelly's What Now? column (Atlantic Monthly)
    -ARCHIVES: Michael Kelly (Washington Post)
    -ARCHIVES: Conservative Columnists: Michael Kelly
    -Lunch With Diana McLellan: Michael Kelly Is a Hometown Kid Who Delights in Upsetting Elites and Battling Hypocrisy. When the Bell Sounds, He Starts Throwing Punches. (June 1997, Washingtonian)
    -PROFILE: Bracing for change at the Atlantic (Dan Kennedy, 10/99, Boston Phoenix)
    -INTERVIEW: Competence fueled by conservatism and cynicism (Dan Kennedy, 5/06/99, Boston Phoenix)
    -ESSAY: An unseemly divorce:In firing Clinton-Gore-bashing editor Michael Kelly, New Republic owner Marty Peretz has raised serious questions about his magazine's credibility (Dan Kennedy, 9/11/97, Boston Phoenix)
    -War Correspondents: Their dirty little secret. (David Plotz, November 2, 2001, Slate)
    -lying in ponds: Michael Kelly
    -kicking Michael Kelly's Can
    -BOOKNOTES: Martyrs' Day: Chronicle of a Small War by Michael Kelly (C-SPAN, March 28, 1993 )
LAMB: If you were to name one part of this book that left the biggest impression -- or the experience around the part of the book that you wrote, which one would it be?

KELLY: The biggest impression on me?

LAMB: Yeah.

KELLY: I suppose some of the things I saw in and around Kuwait City I had never seen before, and I don't think many people have seen what happens to a place that is occupied by an army out of control. And much of this got to what I was talking about earlier about the difference between the sort of euphemistic way in which we sometimes talk about things and the way they really are. What happened in Kuwait City was so extraordinary and to walk through it, to see the endless blocks of gutted and looted and savaged buildings and to go through the morgues and see the torture -- you know, I spent one whole afternoon just in the morgue going from torture victim to torture victim; to talk to the people and to see, to hear their terror and so on. That made a great impression on me because I thought then and I think now that there was some misunderstanding perhaps in this country about why, in a moral sense, this war might be considered necessary or just. And I had my own doubts about that before I went to Kuwait City. And after that, I never had any doubts about it again, when you see what actually happens to a people who are taken by a hostile army and by an army that is intent on a campaign of looting and murder and rape and so on, it removes, in a very clarifying way, any confusion you might have had in your mind about whether it was a good or a bad idea to stop this sort of thing.

LAMB: Was it worth all the price that this country paid for?

KELLY: In my mind, yes. I mean, in my mind, it was absolutely worth it. First of all, we paid a very small price. The coin of war is death and we paid almost nothing in that coin. In financial terms, I think the price was quite bearable. In terms of what it netted this country, the obvious things -- the stopping of the threat to the oil supply, the obvious economic reasons are enough, but it also, I think, sent an astonishing message about the United States to the world that was worth a great deal. And that message is in keeping with the message that is now being sent in Somalia: the notion that a great power -- the sole remaining great power might be willing to use massive force to stop something terrible from happening for reasons that are, at least, in part, altruistic; in other words, for reasons, at least, in part, because it is the necessary good thing to do, is a tremendous thing to do, and it won us much more, I think, than we realize in the Middle East.

When I went over for that first trip to Baghdad and Amman, the conventional wisdom in Amman -- the writing in the newspapers, the talk among the intelligentsia -- was all to the effect that the United States. It was obviously working in concert with Israel, was going to use this as an excuse to start a new program of colonization of the Middle East; that once American troops were in, they would never leave, that they would end up taking the riches for themselves. And when the United States did not do this, when it did what it said it was going to restore Kuwait to the Kuwaitis and then to -- to leave -- it went, I found when I went back to Amman a year later, a very long way to changing the perceptions of at least some people in the Arab world about the United States; to seeing the United States as not necessarily and completely evil, which has been the prevailing view for many years.

    -REVIEW: of Martyrs' Day: Chronicle of a Small War By Michael Kelly (John Wilson, 04/07/2003, Christianity Today)

Book-related and General Links:

    -BOOK LIST: Iraq: A Reading List (NY Times)
    The Rough Guide to Iraq: This spring, a quarter of a million Americans took a trip. It was noisy, hot, and violent. Accommodations were poor. Some of them didn't come back. (Peter Maass, July 2003, Outside)
    -ESSAY: HOW IT CAME TO WAR: When did Bush decide that he had to fight Saddam? (NICHOLAS LEMANN, 2003-03-24, The New Yorker)
    -ESSAY: Resolves: What Lincoln Knew About War (Paul Berman, 02.21.03, The New Republic)
    -ESSAY: The Philosopher of Islamic Terror (PAUL BERMAN, March 23, 2003, NY Times Magazine)
    Must Iraq Stay Whole? (Ralph Peters, April 20, 2003, The Washington Post)
    -ESSAY: Iraq's Unruly Century<.a> (Smithsonian, May 2003)
-ESSAY: A World Still Haunted by Ottoman Ghosts (DAVID FROMKIN, March 9, 2003, NY Times)
    -ESSAY: Conflict of Necessity: The only alternative to disarming Saddam Hussein is surrendering to him (Efraim Karsh, March 30th, 2003, LA Times)
    -ESSAY: Odious Debt (Michael Kremer and Seema Jayachandran, June 2002, Finance & Development)
    -ESSAY: Murderous 'Containment' (John Balzar, March 30, 2003, LA Times)
    -ESSAY: Religion a Strong Current in U.S. Wars: The nation often has invoked faith in waging its conflicts. A subtext has been a belief that we have been uniquely blessed by God. (Larry B. Stammer, March 29, 2003, LA Times)
    -ESSAY: Iraqis Must Share in Their Liberation (Kanan Makiya, March 30, 2003, The Washington Post)
    -ESSAY: I Am Iraq (MICHAEL IGNATIEFF, March 23, 2003, NY Times)