28 April 2004

A day late and many dollars over


From Homer’s Iliad to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five , some of the most enduring works of literature come from the experience of war. The federal government is now launching a program to encourage troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to chronicle those experiences. Prominent American writers like Mark Bowden and Bobbie Ann Mason will fan out to American military bases to teach writing workshops to soldiers and their spouses.

Hey, federal dudes, why not just give them weblogs? There’s been a large amount of quality writing coming out on that channel. I suspect that this war will be better annotated by the writings of the participants than any previous war, without any help from the feds.

P.S. I’m sure I’d be amused by tales of encounters between milbloggers and “prominent American writers”.

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Discard the cloak of moderation

[source, source]

Sen. Clinton delivered the unprecedented attack in an interview with the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Monday, with newspapers from Tehran to Islamabad picking up her harsh words almost immediately.

Typical was the coverage by Tehran’s news agency Mehr, which quoted Clinton as saying that “the U.S. is trapped in the quagmire of Iraq.”

“Referring to the Bush Administration policies as arrogant and insolent,” Mehr said, “the wife of the former U.S. president further added that Bush is not willing to admit his mistakes in Iraq, the grave mistakes that have endangered the lives of both the Iraqi people and the U.S. servicemen alike.”

Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think.

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It's not neutrality, it's the other side

There are two ways, I suppose, one could inform readers of the Geneva Convention stipulation against using places of worship to conduct military attacks. One might be to headline saying that Terrorists Attack Coalition Forces From Mosques. That would be one way to present the information.

Another might be to say: Mosques Targeted in Fallujah. That was the Los Angeles Times headline this morning.

US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

That would hurt if the LA Times cared about facts.

P.S. I was going to include the original source, The Corner, but those idiots (as usual) didn’t put in the link to the original source. Can someone explain the web to them?

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Let me show how it's really done...


Lying on his stomach on a rooftop and wearing goggles and earplugs, a Marine sniper keeps an eye to his rifle sight. His main task in recent days has been trying to hit the black-garbed gunmen who occasionally dash across the long street in front of him. To dodge his shots, one of the gunmen recently launched into a rolling dive across the street, a move that had the sniper and his buddies laughing.

“I think I got him later. The same guy came back and tried to do a low crawl,” said Lance Cpl. Khristopher Williams, 20, from Fort Myers, Fla.

At least we’re not fighting professionals. Or even brave warriors:

Others have run across the street, hiding behind children on bicycles, said the sniper.

What kind of parent sends her child out on a bike on the front line of a battle? Are these parents insane? Are the gunmen forcing the children out? Or are we being so restrained it doesn’t seem like a battle? Something’s very odd…

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A robbery that bombed

[source, source]

A Hamas suicide bomber blew up two armed Palestinians who tried to rob him at gun point in the Gaza Strip. […]

Palestinian security officials said the the gunmen were criminals who were involved in a car theft ring that brought stolen vehicles from Israel to Gaza.

Hamas said the bomber was on his way to try to infiltrate into Israel, accompanied by another Hamas member and a guide, when they were stopped by the armed men.

The robbers forced the bomber to lie on the ground and tried to steal the bomb, but the militant detonated it, killing all three. The other Hamas man and the guide escaped.

The Palestinian talent - turning tragedy in to farce.

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