Music Used To “Torture” At Gitmo

I just watched a story on abc.com news about US jailers at Guantanamo Bay using music to torture the detainees there. Apparently there is quite an outrage with a long list of musicians stepping forward to demand the declassification of all materials in regard to this matter. Musicians like (more…)

Not a Believer In JFK

As if this country isn’t broke enough, Army Captain Michael Dung Nguyen pleaded guilty to stealing around $690,000 from the government while he was stationed in Iraq. I don’t know the details of this case, but how could he have expected to get away with that, when the money was under his care? What’s worse is that this was money designated for humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Iraq. (more…)

Find the bias

Take a look at the dom photo of Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. Then read the caption that ran under the photo.

Georgians in blindfolds sit on a Russian armored personnel carrier while being detained by Russian troops in the port city of Poti in western Georgia Tuesday.

Georgians in blindfolds sit on a Russian armored personnel carrier while being detained by Russian troops in the port city of Poti in western Georgia Tuesday. (AP)

Can you spot the manipulative use of language?

(more…)

A Declaration of Independence unheeded

You might not have noticed, but the U.S. has a fairly shoddy history of choosing sides between warring countries/factions/etc. So when presidential hopeful John McCain says Russia should “immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory,” I have a hard time believing the situation is as he portrays it.

While McCain would have you believe that Russia is the aggressor hear, the Washington Post plainly states the true state of affairs in its coverage.

Georgian troops launched a major military offensive earlier Friday to regain control of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia.

(more…)

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Generation Kill: A viewing guide

If you have HBO, I hope you’re watching the incredible miniseries Generation Kill. It’s as realistic a portrayal of combat in general and the war in Iraq specifically that you’re going to find.
The authentic dialogue is one of the series’ strengths, but average viewers often feel adrift in a sea of acronyms — or so I hear.
One of my reading pursuits has always been war memoirs, usually the variety written by enlisted men or junior officers.  So, this background gives me a bit of familiarity with the terms used in the show, and I can pick up a lot of it pretty quickly.

Of course, to make a viewing guide for the show, I had to do plenty of research. Some of these things may be explicitly explained in the show, but maybe you missed that episode.
Naturally, I may make mistakes. Let me know. I consider this a work in progress, especially seeing as how the series hasn’t completed its run yet. It will be updated and corrected as needed.
The goal is simply for it to be helpful

Here’s what I came up with.

(more…)

Published in: on August 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A lesson from The Kingdom

I watched (half paid attention to) The Kingdom last night. As with any action movie, the narrative culminated in lots of explosions, automatic rifle fire and death. But none of the good guys died, and the hostage was saved. Time to leave the building.

As soon as I saw Jennifer Garner’s character take note of a child’s crying behind a door, I knew that they were about to take a detour, and the destination would be death.

Sure enough, the American’s sympathetic stalling led to the death of one of their number and two others besides.

But as I watched, I noted the cross-cutting between the three dying individuals. Mechanically, the incident provided the cursory death of a good guy, but thanks to the editing, it became something more.
It was a reminder that Over There, “good guys” and “bad guys” alike are dying for what they believe in. Maybe everyone is misguided; it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong.

Death is the common denominator.

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Invitation to a Coup

Let’s take over Equatorial Guinea.

Sure, it’s been tried before but those British aristocrat types have struggled with growing empires for a while. Us Americans are just finding our stride.

Besides, no one in America will notice or care unless we give them cause to worry over “national security.” For a few million dollars in your bank account, I’m sure you could handle buddying up with George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice. (more…)

Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,