06 May 2006

The News

I think I've mentioned before that I have an alert set up with Google News (linked on the right) so that whenever there's an article that mentions the Green Zone (aka International Zone) in Baghdad, I'll get an email with a link to the story.

It's really interesting to see what people are saying about the place I live in. Sometimes I'll read a story about several mortars or rockets "bombarding the Green Zone", but me and everyone I talk to can't remember hearing any booms.

Recently I read an article that a journalist wrote who had just arrived in the Zone and I can only assume he was still gritting his teeth and holding his camera in a death grip, waiting for the first explosion. The whole article is sublty critical of us Americans here in the Zone, but I get the feeling that once this guy spends a couple months in and around Baghdad and other US bases that his perspective will change. If he ever works up the intestinal fortitude to step outside the protection of those he's criticizing I can guarantee you that he'll appreciate karaoke night poolside. Anyway, read the article, if you can avoid his interpretation of the situation and focus on the situation it's still an interesting account of the place where I live.

Green Zone Article

Also in the news, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi can't shoot straight! If you haven't been watching or reading Fox News lately, then I'm extremely proud to break this bit of news. It would seem that Zarqawi's boys edited the video that was released that showed him firing an M249 machine gun (a captured American weapon) in order to make him look like more of a bad@$$. Unfortunately for 'ol Zarqawi, we managed to put our hands on the original, unedited tape and found the outtakes. You should have seen how we all giggled like little girls while watching him fire single shot until one of his henchmen showed him how to use it. Then, once the M249 got the better of him he handed it off to one his boys who grabbed it by the barrel (more giggling). For those who don't know why we giggle, don't worry, neither did this "battle-hardened" terrorist who has "broken the American's back", but he learned really fast that when you fire a gun the barrel gets hot. It was like watching the Keystone Cops. This guy has a $25 million bounty on his head.

Zarqawi Article

*edit* (I forgot to add this piece to the post)
I was unlucky enough to be watching the news when Pat Kennedy stood in front of the cameras and claimed that it was the drugs' fault for him crashing and that he had a "disease", a "chronic addiction". I just wanted to slap him. He took the drugs. He got in the car. He crashed it. Good for him for getting treatment, but let's not wave the magic "rehab" wand and pretend all is ok. How many times now has he gone into rehab? Take some personal responsibility for your decision to take the drugs and for your addiction. The addiction didn't just sneak up on you and force the pills down your throat against your will. I don't mean to poke just at Mr. Kennedy, he just provides me the platform from which to speak about something that has been bothering me for a while now. TAKE SOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AMERICA!!! I chose to join the Army. I chose to get married. It's unfortunate that my wife is going through this pregnancy by herself and that I'm not able to be there to experience it with her and support her, but it's a result of choices that both she and I made.
*end edit*

Also, not in the news, but something that I would like to add to my wishlist for my "Welcome-Home-Me" gift is the eMagin Z800 visor. It's basically a video visor that you can plug into your computer and it puts a picture on two screens just inches from your eyeballs creating the illusion of a really big screen at a couple yards. I've read a lot of good reviews about it and really look forward to getting it, but I'm probably going to add this to the list of stuff that I'll buy once I get done supporting my family (aka, a long, long time). Anyway, I'll enjoy it from a distance at the moment.

Z800 Video Visor


Blogger Blogging One's Own Trinkets said...

Without getting too much sentimental about the situation you are in, I would like to hear more from you about this journalist, as also other "war correspondents" whose inadequate experience is a point of amusement, or even one of hurt. I write another blog, media-distrust-india, the focus of which is media-created myths.

Blogger Miriam said...

Bandit, I'd be interested in knowing wether you know any Japanese Self Defence Force personnel. I know there are hundreds of Japanese SDF forces there, but would they be stationed in the Green Zone or somewhere more safe?
The Japanese SDF are not allowed to take part in any warfare, and they work only in supportive roles like military transport, intelligence, and rebuilding the infrastucture. Given that patroling can be seen as warfare (the Japanese military personnel, I believe, are only in exceptional circumstances allowed to carry firearms abroad), they wouldn't even be doing that.
There's political will right now in Japan to act upon the Japan-U.S security treaty in support of the U.S war in Iraq in order to strengthen Japan's international role and to act as a good political, economic, and military ally to the U.S. I was just wondering how, if at all, the Japanese presence might be visible in Iraq.
The Japanese still bitterly remember the first Gulf war which they financed with several billion dollars. After the war, Kuwait published a full-page thank you note in international and national papers all over the world, in which Kuwait thanked the countries that had sent troups to defend it. Japan was left out, although the war was more than partially sponsored by Japan. This is again a reason for why Japan, despite it's pacifistic Constitution, is ready to send its troops abroad.


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