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October 2006

Yon and Fumento on Embeds

Mike Yon has a scathing evaluation of the embed process run by CENTCOM in the Weekly Standard:

Censoring Iraq
In a counterinsurgency, the media battlespace is critical. When it comes to mustering public opinion, rallying support, and forcing opponents to shift tactics and timetables to better suit the home team, our terrorist enemies are destroying us. Al Qaeda's media arm is called al Sahab: the cloud. It feels more like a hurricane. While our enemies have "journalists" crawling all over battlefields to chronicle their successes and our failures, we have an "embed" media system that is so ineptly managed that earlier this fall there were only 9 reporters embedded with 150,000 American troops in Iraq. There were about 770 during the initial invasion...

Michael Fumento has been blogging from Iraq and has a great read about real journalists that embed and the others who tell stories from their hotel rooms.

Covering Iraq:  The Modern Way of War Coorespondence
...Most rear-echelon reporters seem to have studied the same handbook, perhaps The Dummies’ Guide to Faux Bravado. It usually begins with the horrific entry into Baghdad International Airport. Time’s Baghdad bureau chief, Aparisim Ghosh, in an August 2006 cover story, devotes five long paragraphs to the alleged horror of landing there.

It’s “the world’s scariest landing,” he insists, as if he were an expert on all the landings of all the planes at all the world’s airports and military airfields. It’s “a steep, corkscrewing plunge,” a “spiraling dive, straightening up just yards from the runway. If you’re looking out the window, it can feel as if the plane is in a free fall from which it can’t possibly pull out.” Writes Ghosh, “During one especially difficult landing in 2004, a retired American cop wouldn't stop screaming ‘Oh, God! Oh, God!’ I finally had to slap him on the face – on instructions from the flight attendant.”

The Associated Press gave us a whole article on the subject, titled “A hair-raising flight into Baghdad,” referring to “a stomach-churning series of tight, spiraling turns that pin passengers deep in their seats.”

I’ve flown into that airport three times now; each time was in a military C-130 Hercules cargo plane, and each landing was as smooth as the proverbial baby’s behind. But Ghosh is describing a descent in a civilian Fokker F-28 jet, on which admittedly I have never flown. (It’s $900 one-way for the short hop from Amman to Baghdad, and therefore the transportation of well-heeled media people.) So I asked a reporter friend who frequently covers combat in the Mideast and Africa, and has also frequently flown into Baghdad on those Fokkers. “The plane just banks heavily,” he said. “It’s not a big deal.” He requested anonymity, lest he incur the wrath of other journalists for spoiling their war stories...


The Killers Vs. Green Day

Listening to The Killers' "When You Were Young..." right now.

Quite a few people sent me this article quoting The Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers:

...Brandon Flowers has criticised Green Day for what he sees as their calculated anti-Americanism.

In particular, Flowers singled out the track 'American Idiot' and the fact they filmed their DVD 'Bullet In A Bible', which features the song, in the UK.

"You have Green Day and 'American Idiot'. Where do they film their DVD? In England," The Killers' frontman told The Word. "A bunch of kids screaming 'I don't want to be an American idiot' I saw it as a very negative thing towards Americans. It really lit a fire in me."

Explaining he was offended by the set-up, Flowers added: "You have the right to say what you want to say and what you want to write about, and I'm sure they meant it in the same way that Bruce Springsteen meant 'Born In The USA' and it was taken wrongly, but I was really offended when I saw them do that."
<...>
"I just thought it was really cheap," he explained. "To go to a place like England or Germany and sing that song - those kids aren't taking it the same way that he meant it. And he [Billie Joe Armstrong] knew it."


Cowboy Medicine

Continuing the "cowboy up" theme, former Marine Doc Russia -- now through med school, and practicing medicine -- describes a recent case.

So today I was asked to take a look at a very cute and scared little girl who had, as I put it, "gotten into a fight with a glass shower door..."

In emergency medicine, there are times when you need to totally cowboy it. There will be injuries that come through your doors which are so strange and improbable that there is no manual for it. There is no algorithm, no handbook, no consultant to call. You will just have to look at it as a stand alone case by itself, and come up with a plan. That's something that I love about Emergency medicine; while so much is routine, there is still going to be the occasional case where it is nothing but improvise, adapt, and overcome. It's time to cowboy it. I went a little cowboy on this....

Go see how it turned out.  I admire the man as much for what he did, as the fact that he's thinking so carefully about it.


Sizzlin' Ham

Just sayin'...

She might be a dork who went to the wrong school, but she's one of my favorite reads in the blogosphere...I hereby bring you Blackfive approved vblogging at Ham Nation

Note: Using bar napkins to illustrate a point?  BRILLIANT!!!...[I should have thought of that if my Guinness wasn't always on my bar napkin].

Note 2:  You can see MK with the rest of the Hot Air gals on The Vent.


CNN hypes enemy shooters, Malkin supports US snipers

We had been considering an appropriate response to CNN here at Blackfive, but all the ideas involved infrared scopes and SPECTRE gunships, and those are needed elsewhere. Fortunately Michelle Malkin did some zen jui-jitsu and re-focused the crosshairs:

Now I want to turn my anger into something productive. I am asking you to combat CNN's glorification of Iraqi jihadist snipers by supporting American snipers. Seems like the only time American snipers earn CNN and other international media organization's attention is when they make mistakes and can be tarred as reckless killers.

Americansnipers.org (formerly Adopt a Sniper) collects items to support our troops. You can read letters from the front here. Donate here.

I choose sides. The side of the American sniper. We know which side CNN is on. How about you?

I think I can come down squarely on the side of the American trigger puller and the more vital shot-calling spotter.


Beirut Embassy Bombing anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the bombing of our Embassy in Beirut by Hizbollah killing 241 US service members and precipitating our withdrawal. Please remember all of those killed and remind yourself the bad guys are in this for the long haul.

Also check out some of Jules Crittenden's latest. He talks about crackdowns on milblogs and the most excellent tome The Blog of War.


Barack Obama- "But he's so well spoken"

Barack_o_urkel_1I was on the "I can't believe I gotta hear about this clown" bandwagon early, and it is just nauseating to watch the Dems take this complete political tool and brand him as the great cafe au lait hope.

Has he ever done anything? Nope. Is he a 100% ADA liberal voting record? Yep. Does he do a credible job of keeping a suit off the ground? Yep. Is he well spoken? Yep. And then I hear Chris Rock in a stand up talking about the condescension of whites discussing whether they would vote for Colin Powell. "Oh he's so well spoken. He just speaks so well."

"Of course he's well spoken you ignint mofo, he's an educated man. What did you expect him to sound like"

Obama's the perfect stealth liberal candidate. Young enough to have done nothing much, especially nothing embarrassing. Good-looking enough to fit our ridiculous cult of beauty requirement. And best of all he's technically black, actually he's more of a legitimate African-American, the kind who now pick up a lot of those diversity slots at our colleges. If he is black, Condi Rice is an around the way girl.

So join the race you silly, well-spoken, empty suit. You or Hillary, who cares.