To whom the new century belongs?
In June 1997 an assembly of some distinguished Americans started a Project for the New American Century. In its statement of principles the organisation vowed to (a) rally support for American global leadership; (b) establish the United States as the world's pre-eminent power; and (c) pledged to stop cuts in foreign affairs and defence spending, give more attention to the tools of state craft, and provide constant leadership to sustain American influence around the world. The organisation, if it can be so called, reminded the Americans of the essential elements of Reagan administration's success in having a military that was strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promoted American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepted the global responsibilities of the US. They arrogated upon themselves the vital role, which rightfully was that of the UNSC, of maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia and Middle East. Their declared aims were: (a) to increase defence spending significantly and modernise armed forces for the future; (b) challenge regimes hostile to American interests and values; (c) promote the causes of political and economic freedom abroad; and (d) America has a unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to her security, prosperity and principles.
The war on Iraq - Who was it good for???
Click on this.
Salam Pax update
: Aussie blogger John Quiggan reports:
According to Al Jazeera, salam pax is wounded in hospital. He seems to be in the city of Najaf. The doctor said that he was on his computer when his house was hit by a bomb.
"You know, it's ironic we're fighting for democracy in Iraq because we ultimately aren't celebrating democracy here."
This (Sad) American Life
The war in Iraq by the numbers:
- source AP
Casualties: Among U.S. troops, 114 dead, five missing and seven captured, according to the Pentagon. Among British troops, 31 dead.
Deployed: More than 300,000 allied troops are in the region, with about 255,000 from the United States, 45,000 British troops, 2,000 Australia troops, 400 Czech and Slovak troops and 200 Polish troops. Nearly 100,000 more U.S. forces on the way.
Timeline: Sunday, April 13, 2003 is the 25th day of the war, which began on March 20 in Iraq.
Leaflets: Coalition forces have dropped more than 43 million leaflets.
Fired: Coalition ships have fired more than 800 Tomahawk missiles at Iraq during the war. Vice Admiral Timothy Keating said fewer than 10 "didn't get to the target."
Aid: A shipment coordinated by the United Arab Emirates government and the Red Crescent to the port of Umm Qasr carried 772 tons of food, water and medical kits. Two British ships, the RFA Sir Galahad and the RFA Sir Percivale, have delivered a total of 1,100 tons of food, medicine and water to Umm Qasr. The U.S. has sent two ships with more than 50,000 tons of wheat, while Australia is shipping 100,000 tons of wheat.
THE DOORS - The Unknown Soldier
Wait until the war is over
and we're both a little older.
The unknown soldier.
Practice where the news is read.
Television, children dead.
Unborn, living, living, dead,
bullet strikes the helmet's head.
And it's all over for the unknown soldier,
it's all over for the unknown soldier uh huh.
Make a grave for the unknown soldier.
Nestled in your hollow shoulder.
the unknown soldier.
Practice where the news is read.
Television, children dead.
bullet strikes the helmet's head.
It's all over.
The war is over.
THE DOORS - An American Prayer
- Do you know we are ruled by T.V.
THE DOORS - Dawns Highway
- Indian, Indian what did you die for?
Indian says, nothing at all.
* U.S. & Coalition/Casualties
* Iraqi Casualties
* Journalist Casualties
Is War a game??
Courtesy of James the Bleat
During Gulf War One people called the conflict a �video game war,� and this always made me grind my teeth, because the sort of person most likely to use the term was least likely to have played a video game. When you saw that nosecone footage of a cruise missile dropping down, homing in and entering a dryer vent - someone said �it�s just like a video game!� you recalled the herkyjerky pixel-jumble on your PC and thought, I wish.
Fast forward ten years. I�ve played three games in the last ten months, each a first person shooter with all the usual flaws and uncomfortable moral dilemmas. I had no moral qualms with Return to Castle Wolfenstein - frankly, Nazis who are attempting to build an army of cyberzombies are just asking for some of that sweet, sweet lovin� you only get from a Tesla-coil powered energy weapon. With Wolfenstein, Dark Forces 3 and Soldier of Fortune, there�s the same curious insta-decomp feature: clear out a room, leave your foes heaped in a pile, leave the room, return -
. . . and the bodies are gone.
Every day I watch the news, hours and hours of news, and I�ve yet to see one dead Iraqi soldier.
Now it�s a video game war.
Last night I saw some footage from a bunker some Marines had discovered - ammo, rockets, mines, all sorts of goodies. A secret area!
Now it�s a video game war.
But I�m serious. Where are the bodies? Or, more to the point, why aren�t we seeing them? One of the most remarkable shots I saw Friday was a slow roll down a broad modern highway; on the verge, a truck with some sort of machine gun fastened to its bed. It was just charred metal - but still, you�d think that if anyone had been manning the gun or sitting behind the driver�s seat, there would have some human remains visible. Then you saw a long black patch blasted in the road. The truck had been hit by a missile and knocked back with such force that anyone inside may have been thrown out, or just plain converted to something that burned without leaving a recognizable shape. That�s just something the camera caught while passing by. Imagine what it would see if it went looking.
I think we should see the casualties, but not to serve any particular pedagogical purpose. I get irritated when told that we should see the dead so we understand what war is really like - as if the idea that people die in horrible means would be a surprise. You mean they don�t freeze up, shout AIIEEE, or grimace and crumple over? I saw a T-72 take a hit the other day, and it was one of those classic examples of the flaws of Soviet design - an armor-piercing round set off the munitions, blowing the turret high in the air. If there was anyone inside, the end was fast. But you can imagine the nature of that quarter-second between life and death- and you should. Men died. In the time it takes you to wink the irreplaceable worlds these men held in their heads vanished. One shell, four men, eight parents, 20 siblings, a hundred friends, a thousand details lost for good. One second in war echoes for a decade.
Show the carnage. Rope it off, show it in the late-night hours when the kids are in bed, but show it. I feel the same way about the 9/11 footage. Show it. Don�t presume we can�t take it or must be shielded, like children, from the truth of the thing we have unleashed. I�m not suggesting that the news should be nothing but Death on Parade, or linger with unwholesome glee on the injuries done to our soldiers or theirs. But you cannot edit death out of war; to do so defames those experience it. How can we understand the soldiers who return home without understanding not just what they saw, but what they did?
As I mentioned before, I feel sorry for the conscripts, and this makes me detest all the more the men who throw them into the grinder. I don�t feel sorry for the �elite� Republican Guards, or the super-elite Special Republican Guards, or even the Very Special Republican Guards, who provide security for Iraqi sitcoms that deal with serious issues. About the �Lion Cubs,� the children�s brigade Uncle Saddam bent from birth to do his will, I think their vaunted fierceness, their robotic devotion, will crumple fast, and I hope to God a good lungful of tear gas takes the fight out of them - if they ever show up.
Suicide bombers, armies of boys - took Tojo and Hitler five years to get to that point. Took Saddam two weeks.
Passed the TV this morning, and heard an Arabic-accented voice passionately denouncing the war. He was Western in appearance, telegenic, articulate, and he described the Iraq War as a �catastrophe� for the entire Arab world. I stuck around to see what he meant - catastrophic in the sense that another series of illusions were being destroyed before their very eyes? Allah will help them! But Allah has declined the invitation. The Americans will never fight a ground war! But there they are, on the ground, more methodical and efficient than one could have ever imagined, and they are losing one soldier for every 1000 Iraqis they kill. The combination of training, technology, dedication and lethality is worse than the Arab world could have possibly imagined - and the soldiers' primary motivation is getting the job done well so everyone can go home. Imagine what they would do if they were truly, deeply pissed.
The lesson of Mogadishu: don�t draw any lessons from Mogadishu.
The guest, it turned out, was the ambassador from Syria, a nation whose bootheel has been pressed against the Lebanese jugular for how many years now?
It reminded me again of an interview I heard a few weeks ago with the CEO of some big Middle-eastern Internet company; he said that Arabs hate the US because of the oppressive governments we support. The host asked if people were pleased when the Taliban was deposed, and he said of course not - the US was attacking a Muslim nation!
At some point the entirety of the American Street�s reaction to Arab concerns will be: whatever.
Except, of course, for those who regard the enormity of the Administration�s perfidy as worse than anything that springs from foreign soil. I heard again on the radio today a series of talk-radio callers who believed that Bush could be as bad as Hitler, and they all pointed to his unnerving combination of religious faith and willingness to use military power. It makes me laugh, really - one of my favorite clips I saved from the TiVo is some tall scary Iraqi guy in a uniform, replete with meaningless medals, insisting that God is on their side - and he�s waving an automatic rifle at the assembled journalists. Has the President ever done this?
Well, not literally, but metaphorically, he�s -
Whatever. I remember what Robin Williams, the intermittently amusing hairy-backed hyperbabbler, said last week about Bush: �He's like 'We have to get rid of dictators,' but he's pretty much one himself.�
If someone invaded America tomorrow, how many big public posters would they have to tear down? How many airports and hospitals and highways would they have to rename?
How many statues would they have to topple?
My Friend Arief moved over to Sydney recently... read his experience of a new place (In Bangla..sorry for the non-bengali speakers)
Sydney bristir sohor kina jani na..tobe ami asar por ekta puro hopta kete gese�.dubar bristi hoye gese..ajke niye tinbar..tacharao ami asar age je ek mas theke Sydney sohorer sathe jogajog chilo tar karon bubuner ek mas age ei sohore chole asa! Tokhon suntam bristy hosse!! Ekdin to bubun bristite poth hariye felesilo..voyaboho rokom experience er bornona dilo se�.ami jeno ontoto ei sohore poth na harai..ontoto bristite.
Bristite Sydney sohorer sob kisu thanda�tobe eminite bristi chara jedin Prothom elam ei je goto wensday te�tar weather chilo odhubhut bhalo lagar moton. Kajer manusher kase ekta uncomfortable situation hosse bristi..ami ekhono kaj e jog dei nai..jog dei nai mane ekhono work permit er jonnoi apply kori nai..er main karon probably amar putrodhon� se khub tar kaser manush gulo miss kore..mone korse dorojar opashei or thalamoni (Khala), ivy apu, zeen apu umna aunty, thalu, na apu, dadu. Atik chassu, thakil, humayn unkol dariye ase..se juto ene bole babbba juto polo..baile cholo..ekta kotha bole rakhi Dhaka sohoreo amar chele boro hossilo eka eka..majhe or ma jokhon chilo na tokhon se tar thalamonir sathe chilo..
Amar adjustment hoye gese Prothom din thekei..ami kisuta odbhut srenir manush bodh kori!! Jekhane jai sekhanei kat hobar moton obostha aar ki!!! To goto koyekdin oke niye eto beshi besto chilam je bubuner dike o takai ni�bubun to ase moha besto tar porasuna niye..becharir niyom tai palte gese..saradin gad gada boi niye douradouri..assignment, essay writing, presentation�onekta aamr mba korbar drisso..valoi lage..hehehe�
Ami ekhono job niye beshi vabi nai..tobe day care e amar chele ke diye adjust koriye tarpor dive dibo..oh ho eikhane ekta kotha bole rakhi Dhaka theke asar pothe je chakrita motamuti confirm kore esesilam seta amar holo na..tar karon onekgulo date diye o ami sesh porjonto Sydney te thik somoye aste pari nai�tar upor 25 tarik eseo gotokal matro jogajog korlam..motamuti I became a stranger that time hehehe�kandogan arektu barate hobe dekhsi..tobe Sydney te job ase.. particularly accounting personnel der jonno�gotokal southern courier e deklam onekgulo job..ja houk..Dhaka sohore to sob somoi vabtam ami jodi amar chele ke mas duek na pari ontoto 1 mas time dite partam! Rabbul Alamin mone hoy amar kotha sunesen..ami ekhon pishir sathe mela ghuraghuri kori..market e jai..Sydney er bachader sathe amar chele khele market e..onek gari dekhe or matha kharap hoye jabar jogar..sedin ek Bangkok er dokan theke konovabe I ante parsilam na..amader desher bagaduli khelata tar posondo hoyese..bondhu jutiyese tar che boro dujon ke..sara market e douraduri..dudin age to ekta lady tar premei pore gelo..take bollo darling can I kiss you..se bollo na..heheh mohila konovabei take chere jabe na..ki aar kora amar chele sesh porjonto kiss korbar onumuti dilo�.pampaers kina holo tar jonno..se iota carry korbe..mojai lage�
Ami Dhaka theke asar pothe onekk ke hi hulo kore aste pari nai bole dukhito..asa kori mail ta tar kisuta santona dibe..
To ja bolsilam..Sydney er kotha..Sydney er sathe dhaka sohorer Prothom mil khuje pelam ami akasher kase..eki akash�eki tara..kintu jomite tofat mela..eto sundor abhowa�eto porichonno!!! Sydney ke valo na lagar kono karon nai..tobe ekta jinish nai sydney te..eikhane ami ajan sunte pai na..aha eto misti ajan kokhon je sunbo? Baily squarer ajaner jonno wait kortam..ekhon aar suni na..
motamuti kahil obostha Sydney airport e ese pouchalam..vabsi immigration e ki kore..iraq war e je ki hosse! Nah declare korlam medicine for general usage ..uhu..kutta beta amar bag er upor shuye porlo..moha musibot..bag dhore ask korlo eikhane ki..bollam osud..oh okay..cheredilo..sobai bag khula charai chere dilo.. kintu final satge e jeye embarkation card dekte jeye deklo name Mohammad ase..then ekjon bollo talk to that lady..ami bollam okay..shes the right person..se deklo amake..khub sundor kore kotha bollo..mone hosse onekdin dhore chini..hashi ta jeno Khoda nije baniye disen.. valo..kintu jei mhammad deklo aar chokhe dekhe bollo..tomake to oi halud f iatr modey diye jete hobe..bujlam Mohammad er keramoti..ami mojai passilam..holud fita diye dekbar por bollo just tomar handbag check korbo..amar chele o dekhi tader ke tokhon scanning e help korse..betare kole niye nilam..handbag check kore bollo u must have candy in your bag..I said No way..jai houk candy pelo na..peyese arekjoner jonno carry kora candy er moto mome..ami hashlam..bollo okay..vaggis ausaid visa ta chilo passport e..probably ora ai passport ke honor kore beshi..neway..jokhon beriye elam aamar chele trolley te khub moja kore bose baper dike takiye takiye hasse..ektu pore duniyar sobche kaser manusher sathe tar dekha hobe vabtei ekta onuvuti kaj korlo..bollam : babba mamma koi? Ami etoddin or mayer nam nei nai..se obak hoye takalo amar dike..se takalo ase pase..kothay tar mamma!!! Dekha gelo or ma takiye obak hoye ase or cheler dike..ami tokhon onuvob korlam eto kaj fele dhakla theke chute elam mone hoy ei jonnoi!!! Kara jeno camera marlo..bujlam or mayer I kaj�Prothom dekhar onuvuti ta chobi te dhore rakhar plan�amar chele amar dike takay..aar or mar dike takay..ki je hosse bujte parsi na..2 mnt laglo or kase pouchate..amar chele tokhono trolley te ..aar amar somostho klanti kete jete suru korese..17 ghontar klanti..puro der mas time er klanti�ami onuvob korlam amar sorire thanda ekta batash boye jasse�Sydney sohore dhuke jassi..fele gesi amar priyo sohor Chittagong..tarpor Dhaka ta priyo hote hote abar biroti�hotath sobdo sunlam bubun..amar chele make hotathi bubunI bole chitlkar dilo..ami obak hoya takiye asi�se mayer buke hariye gese totokkhonr..amar mayer kotha khub mone porlo� othocho ami ma theke dure asi goto 8 bosor..dekhi basai jeye fone korbo
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- Diary of a journey across the world? not quite. Bu...
- To whom the new century belongs? In June 1997 a...
- Feeing like this!..........
- The war on Iraq - Who was it good for??? Click ...
- Salam Pax update : Aussie blogger John Quiggan re...
- Salam Pax's Diary published in The Guardian
- Bad End of the Glorious Story
- Elderly Iraqi Sniper Becomes National Hero (Not qu...
- So who really did save Private Jessica?
- "You know, it's ironic we're fighting for democrac...
- Loot and let loot!
- Some interesting blog sites On the third hand ...
- For Information on the deadly virus SARS click on ...
- The war in Iraq by the numbers: - source AP ...
- THE DOORS - The Unknown Soldier Wait until the...
- Is War a game?? Courtesy of James the Bleat D...
- My Friend Arief moved over to Sydney recently... ...
- Hello everybody! Welcome to my weblog. This sit...
- ▼ April (18)