Friday, August 10, 2007

Think 21st century version of All is Quiet on the Western Front.The sad thing is the revelation that absolutely nothing has changed.

War as a simple extension of the regular political process...Below is an excerpt from Nicholas Kulish's Last One In...
To set the stage, a nineteen year old marine, Ramos, is agonizing over shooting an Iraqi, he can't sleep and has been confiding his anxiety to the main character [Jimmy, the wayward reporter]. The following is a poignant narrative setforth by the author in terms of Jimmy's reflective response to a long heartfelt discussion he has with Ramos regarding 'the kill':

"The President kept saying America's quarrel was with Saddam, not the Iraqi people. Where did that leave Ramos? He wasn't taught to hate Iraqis. He wasn't fighting to defend his home and family. The American military was expected to win easily and convincingly, but somehow inflict as little damage as possible. The whole campaign left them little to celebrate other than a job completed. The Yankees wouldn't hoot and holler after mopping up a team of Little Leaguers. They would just feel big and brutal and a little uncomfortable in their coats of muscle and sinew. Jimmy thought they needed a new name for whatever it was they were doing in Iraq. War just didn't cover it. War was world-wide violence like the two biggest mistakes of the last century, mechanical death by the thousands at the Somme or shorelines stained red along the chain of Pacific Islands. It was Europe in flames or America cleaved in half over slavery, not a march on a wheezing country's capital. It needed a different name...something without phoniness of liberation or the taint of pacification. Anything to help Ramos sleep..."

Feeding the Rat: 66 minutes on Friday [fast singletrack]; 128 minutes on Saturday, [CAMBA trails near Telemark]; 132 minutes on Sunday, [single and ski trails at a fast pace].

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