We must leave Iraq... now

Juan Cole, who's been a "phased withdrawal" man till now, gives his reasons in a somewhat lengthy but fascinating post. But really it comes down to one simple idea: The U.S. presence is making things worse, not better.

After noting that the question is not, and has never been, whether the war was right or wrong, he then notes -- and this is going to ruffle some feathers -- that it's not about the nearly 2,000 dead American soldiers either.

He argues that there are two main reasons why "The ground troops must come out. Now. For the good of Iraq. For the good of America."

The first is that "they are being fatally brutalized by their own treatment of Iraqi prisoners." He writes that what we've seen at Abu Ghraib (and coincidentally Lynndie England was convicted shortly after he completed this post...) is only the tip of the iceberg and that there's no reason to believe that the abuses have ceased. And this, he writes is killing the American soul:

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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