Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Oh, and for those who ascribe to the "cycle of violence" view of the Mideast conflict, here is something you would never see in Israel
Monday, August 30, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and -- as he was good enough to say himself -- his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz; and by and by I learned that, most appropriately, the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs had intrusted him with the making of a report, for its future guidance. And he had written it, too. I've seen it. I've read it. It was eloquent, vibrating with eloquence, but too high-strung, I think. Seventeen pages of close writing he had found time for! But this must have been before his -- let us say -- nerves, went wrong, and caused him to preside at certain midnight dances ending with unspeakable rites, which -- as far as I reluctantly gathered from what I heard at various times -- were offered up to him -- do you understand? -- to Mr. Kurtz himself. But it was a beautiful piece of writing. The opening paragraph, however, in the light of later information, strikes me now as ominous. He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, 'must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings -- we approach them with the might of a deity,' and so on, and so on. 'By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,' etc., etc. From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence. It made me tingle with enthusiasm. This was the unbounded power of eloquence -- of words -- of burning noble words. There were no practical hints to interrupt the magic current of phrases, unless a kind of note at the foot of the last page, scrawled evidently much later, in an unsteady hand, may be regarded as the exposition of a method. It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky: 'Exterminate all the brutes!'
The French revolution was the template, but the same drama played itself over and over again across the larger stage.
When Man exalts his understanding, God is the one exiled from a counterfeit Eden. Conrad has always struck me as an agnostic. But seafarers have always had a healthy mistrust of human wisdom, those who go down to the sea in ships see His wonders in the deep. Secular humanism, incubated as it always is in an artificial urban social setting, rarely survives contact with reality, whether that is in the form of the might of the sea as in Conrad's case, or the mystery of the jungle, as in Kurtz's.
So "Kurtz's Syndrome", which I expect I'll refer to often, can be distilled to this definition:
Humanists, when confronted with reality, may still pay lip service to their ideals, but in practice, become enablers of barbarism in the name of there cause.
Did Conrad suspect how apt his allegory of Europe would become?
papijoe AT gmail dot com
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Monday, August 16, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
Like myself they were disillusioned romantics, so I've forgiven them for their ideology.
But I was shocked last night when I came across the same phrase reading Heart of Darkness.
So why does a line written a century before by a mind steeped in the scrupulously practical conservative worldview of a sea captain resonant with a bunch of post-modern leftist existentialist musicians?
Better read the book.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
It is unlikely that a meaningful national dialogue on the future of world can
occur until the Left frees itself from the taboos which have stultified its intellect. The dead hand of Vietnam and its attachment to the cultic nonsense of
the 1960s lies heavy on Democratic Party. That spectral limb will grip them by
the throat until they shake free. Until then, forward to wherever. We'll know
where we're going when we get there.
God bless you Maj. Zdunich!
I love Canadians, but at times like these I wish there were more like you.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Update: I've been thinking about this incredible post by evariste on LGF since I read it last night. He is destined for great things.
Camus in The Rebel believed that man could find the courage to live under a dark heaven swept clean of stars. But then he was Camus: he uncharacteristically forgot that in that vasty night false beacons would almost instantly spring up, the sort that Vladimir Ilich Lenin...lit to the destruction of millions...Islamic fundamentalism is twinned to relativism of the West.
We fight in the end not to disbelieve but for the right to believe again -- and trust that we may find our way.
Friday, August 06, 2004
What angered me the most the other day was how inaccurate and very little press coverage the attack recieved. They all got it completely wrong. CNN, Al Jazzera, BBC, all of them. Cnn only reported 12 dead??? I told my friend from another Plt that and he said, "Shit! We killed 12 people in the first three minutes." I still wonder why, what happened the other day, over 100 crazed out Al Qaeda jihadist wearing all black and high off the Koran, attacking US Forces with everything they had received very little to no press in all the major news outlets???? It seems to me something like that should be major news. And you also have to wonder how many times something like this happens here in Iraq, where all hell will break loose, and there will be very little to no talk of it whatsoever. They only devoted two fucking paragraphs to that story that happened the other day, I had to fuckin search all over Cnn's site site to find that little bit about what happened, and it totally made it sound like nothing major happened here??? That is complete bullshit. Makes you kinda wonder. (I might delete this entire paragraph, or maybe this whole post. I don't want to get busted, dishonarbly discharge or whatever. In fact I might delete yesterdays post as well. I don't want to get in trouble for saying the things I shouldnt. I'm just saying and writting what everybody else here is telling their loved ones and family in e-mails and phone calls.) I'm just extremely pissed off and perplexed at this whole situation. Good American's are out here getting there bodys brutally torn apart, and the people back home are totally in the dark on the truths of whats happening out here. Maybe they know something I don't know though, maybe there was a reason why it was all on the hush and hush. Who knows. That's always been the story every since we've been up here in Mosul, something huge will happen here, like a major Intifada (Uprising) or a major attack or something and you'll hardly ever hear about it in the news, or they'll get it all completely fucking wrong. Like that fucking spaced out nut case Hackworth, who refers to Mosul and Northern Iraq as "Relatively Safe." Which is complete bullshit. Obviously he's never been on raid or a patrol here. The reason why people think like that is because we have NO reporters up here. (Which also if you ask me isn't really a bad thing, because reporters are soo fuckin terribale at reporting the truth)I'm pretty sure if Mosul was contaminated and infested with reporters and journalists, they would totally blow Mosul all outta proportion and make this place out to be like Viet Fuckin Nam or twist and distort everything, like I've seen them do soo many times since I've been here. But instead, we get no press, so they think its fuckin Disnyland here. (note: personal opinion) Gheraldo was here at the beginning of the year reporting, and he and his camera crew got shot up when he just drove around town. I remember when we were down in the Sunni Triangle we had reporters and journalists with us and all that, and then later on I would read what they wrote, and I would be sitting there, scratching my high and tight, going, "Huh, that's interesting,that's not really how it went down dude." War on Illusion, that's all it is. These guys are covering this war based on whatever Illusions they want to portray on what its like here or whatever angle they want to project. I fucking hate reporters. (please read my disclaimer to the right several times) At times I cant even watch the news because it all just makes me sick how they report it.
I could easily get addicted to this blog
But I checked their site and they seem legit.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
It gets worse:
"...Two-thirds of Fox viewers, for example, wrongly believed that a link
between Iraq and al-Qaida had been found, while only 16 percent of PBS/NPR
viewers and listeners and 40 percent of print-media readers shared the same
I guess they've never read this article
"In addition, 33 percent of Fox viewers believed that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, in contrast with 11 percent of PBS/NPR viewers and 19 percent of ABC News viewers."
As usual, the key to the whole piece is at the end:
"Both polls are featured in the recent documentary "Outfoxed," also referred to in the letter, which delivers a highly critical analysis of Fox's alleged political bias and agenda-pushing techniques. It has been widely dismissed by Fox News.
The documentary, sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a think tank headed by former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, and MoveOn.org, an online advocacy group, has sold 100,000 copies since its DVD release two weeks ago. "
"We rolled back to the area where we all just dodged death, and we were taking fire from all over again. Again, I fired and fired and fired and fired and fired. At everything. We were taking fire from all over. I was just 360ing the 50 cal and shooting at everything. We were taking fire from all over, and every single one of us had our guns blazing. At one time I saw a dog try to run across the street, and somebody shot it. Again, at one time I had the 50 cal traversed and pointing all the way back of the vehicle and I was firing at some guys who were shooting at us up on a rooftop, and I didn't know I was shooting right above the guys heads who were in the back airguard hatchs on our vehicle. My roommate (Sgt from Idaho) tapped my arm, which startled the hell out of me and I quickly jerked back and looked at him and he yelled, "Hey!! Get that gun to the 12!!! Let that one go!! Your doing good!!!" He later told me, when he tapped me on the shoulder, and I jerked back to look at him, I had this crazed look in my eyes that kind of freaked him out. Hovering up above we had Army Kiowa and Apache attack helicopters engaging the enemy on rooftops with Hellfire missiles and rockets. At one time I had to reload the 50 with ammo. The ammo was on the outside of the vehicle on the side. Why they fucking they put it there I don't know. So with my hands I did the sign of the cross thing on my chest, said a prayer (Please god, I don't want to fucking die) and as my Plt Sgt layed down some suppressive fire, I got up out of the hatch, got my whole body completely outside of the vehicle and went over to where the extra ammo was, grabbed a full ammo box, and went back to the hatch, as fast as possible. Scared out of my fuckin mind as I did this. RPG's were still whizzing by and non-stop gun shots were being fired all over. "