Hey, it works for me.
I await this movie like Kirk Cameron awaits the Rapture. . .
Yesterday, I wrote how I agreed with Washington Post national security Bill Arkin's recent posting on the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
I caught a little heat for this, as I didn't caveat my posting. I didn't agree with everything Arkin wrote (especially not his characterization of the Iraq War as "hopeless"), but I was impressed that the broken clock was right for once insofar as the general gist of Arkin's words were concerned.
That said, writing in today's National Review Online, Mac Owens has a far superior piece on the events of Haditha:
In Iraq, our opponents have chosen to deny us the ability to fight the sort of conventional war we would prefer and forced us to fight the one they want—an insurgency. Insurgents blend with the people making it hard to distinguish between combatant and noncombatant. A counterinsurgency always has to negotiate a fine line between too much and too little force. Indeed, it suits the insurgents’ goal when too much force is applied indiscriminately.
For insurgents, there is no more powerful propaganda tool than the claim that their adversaries are employing force in an indiscriminate manner. It is even better for the insurgents’ cause if they can credibly charge the forces of the counterinsurgency with the targeted killing of noncombatants. For many people even today, the entire Americans enterprise in Vietnam is discredited by the belief that the U.S. military committed atrocities and war crimes on a regular basis and as a matter of official policy. But as Jim Webb has noted, stories of atrocious conduct, e.g. My Lai, “represented not the typical experience of the American soldier, but its ugly extreme.”
In the quest for its own My Lai, the anti-Iraq war faction in this country has had to settle for Abu Ghraib, by far the most hyped stories of the war. But now, allegations of multiple murders in the town of Haditha, an insurgent stronghold in al Anbar Province, may provide them with the incident they need.
Owens then goes on to explain the principles underlying the Western way of war, and how difficult it can be to obey those principles in the face of an insurgency acting in direct contravention of all of those principles.
Tough business, folks.
Here's a photo of Alyssa Milano in attendance at a recent New York Mets game:
What's wrong with this picture?
1. Ms. Milano is wearing a retainer, even though she has a perfect smile.
2. Ms. Milano is not wearing a bra, highlighting her erect nipples for the camera.
3. Ms. Milano has yet to be raped and beaten by the three drunken Mets fans behind her.
Remember to use a #2 pencil. . .
The Washington Post's national security blogger, Bill Arkin, is in my lowly and insignificant opinion possibly the worst military "expert" writing for a major media outlet today.
That said, Arkin's words regarding the allegations surrounding the actions of U.S. Marines in the Iraqi city of Haditha strike me as rather wise. The key bits:
If we've learned anything from real military history, and if we have any sense of what a hopeless and frustrating situation really exists on the ground in Iraq, then we should certainly not be surprised that there was a cover-up of the events in Hadithah last November. I'm not referring to an earth-shattering cover-up, a we killed civilians because we are killers or even because we were mad cover-up with a lieutenant, captain, major and colonel all saying let's falsify reports up the chain of command.
No, more likely what happened in Hadithah was more of an oh sh*t, oh well, more Iraqi civilians got in the way cover-up, with way too many bullets being fired, with things getting out of control. This type of cover-up officially put the "blame" for the deaths on insurgents and not U.S. soldiers.
We are already hearing from military sources that there is more to the story, that evidence will show mitigating if not extenuating circumstances: that Marines took gunfire, that the area and the town were particularly active and deadly, that insurgents were taking refuge in and firing from civilian homes, that the legendary "fog of war" descended and no one was to blame.
The truth of the matter, I hear from military sources, and an explanation I suspect is completely true, is that what happened in Hadithah that day has happened more times than the Marines and the Pentagon would like to admit, and more times certainly than the American public would like to admit.
And that's the issue.
American volunteer soldiers are fighting a frightening and frustrating battle against a never depleting and highly motivated enemy. The enemy is not in uniform, chooses to fight on a civilian battlefield, intentionally using civilians as fodder and shields to manufacture enough blood and chaos to drive the conventional army from the country.
The fog of war in Iraq, and part of the inhumanity particularly of the current situation on the ground is that the enemy chooses to look like everyone else on the streets, thus eliminating the fundamental element of "distinction" between civilian and military that is so essential to fight any kind of a just and humane war.
Bill? The technical term is "discrimination," not "distinction." Just FYI.
Of course, moonbat critics could respond to Arkin's statement and argue that this defense "blames the victim." If only the Iraqi insurgents wore uniforms-- if only the rape victim didn't wear sexy clothes-- no war crime would have been committed. Obviously, if a war crime was committed at Haditha, our boys know better than to have done what they are alleged to have done-- and the nature of the Iraqi insurgency is no justification or excuse for their criminal and vile behavior.
Nevertheless, the fog or war really exists, and this is one of those cases where it's important to remain non-judgmental about the events that occurred. The evidence will come out in time, and if someone deserves punishment, they'll be punished-- up to and including death, if the charges are serious enough.
War is a terrible thing. It's a wasteful thing. Recognizing that bad things happen in war isn't an excuse, it's merely an observation.
This posting was made on my personal computer.
There have been something like, what-- eight?-- of these things, but the latest Superman Returns trailer (it ran in front of X-Men 3 this weekend) is still keeping me jazzed for the film.
This has been a strange movie summer for me; I've already missed The DaVinci Code, and given that film's bad reviews, I doubt I'll be rushing out to see it anytime soon. As for X-Men 3, I'll probably catch it this coming weekend, but even there, the reviews have me somewhat scared off. So, as it stands, Superman Returns is really the only big "event" movie of the summer that I'm still looking forward to.
Okay, okay-- there is still The Greatest Movie In American History coming in August. But we already knew about that.
Speaking as a clutz who once had to take a DUI test *completely sober* (honest), I can vouch for the test's difficulty.
That said, even if I had been drunk, I doubt I would have reacted like the woman in this classic (read: old) video.
Whenever selling or disposing of an old computer, always ensure complete destruction of your hard drive and the data it contains-- especially if you intend on ripping off the person you sell your computer to.
God must really love stupid people. After all, he made so many of them. . .
Now that the Cheating Dick TM has passed Babe Ruth in the all-time home run category, ESPN took a look at the greatest records still remaining in baseball. Which is a pretty useful exercise , given how cheap the long ball records appear in this steroid-fueled age.
Their choice for the greatest record remaining in baseball? 56. For you non-baseball fans, that's the record for a hitting streak over the most consecutive games, held by the one and only Joe DiMaggio.
Also on the list: Ted Williams's .406 batting average, Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits, and Hack Wilson's 191 RBIs in a season.
Not on the list? Most number of beers I consumed in one inning (5, set in 2005, RFK stadium).