~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Belated posts from the Kadnine draft archives

School has started, and I've been busy. I want to thank the regular readers of this blog for their comments, and apologize for the dearth of material lately.

So here goes, in one dump, all the posts that never quite made it to Kadnine:

The most famous dissident...

... of the 1980's was quite possibly Salmon Rushdie, living and writing in exile after the Ayatola of Iran declared a fatwa and offered a bounty upon his head.

Michelle advances the theory (video) that the mantle of courageous dissent has been taken up by muslim women, spearheaded by (amongst many others) this author, this professor, and this parliment member. Women warriors, Michelle calls them. It's true they have the most to lose in this fight against Islamism, and are deserving of our fullest support.

These women have not gotten much in the way of western press coverage. Familiarize yourself with their stories. And spread the word. These are the women who will win the war.

On mulch

I'd just like to state for the record...I mulch my own flower beds, mow and water my own lawn, paint my own house, patch my own drywall. So, I'm a little lost on the President's insistance that "shadow workers" are so vital to my economy.

Plus, I don't think we're doing Mexico any favors by absorbing their hardest workers, robbing Mexico of their go-getters. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

Movie review: Double feature


There's $4.99 in Blockbuster rental fees and more than two hours of my life I'll never get back. You know, I'm really sorry that Anthony Swofford at age twenty didn't understand what the words "fungible oil suply" mean, and I'm sorry that he felt he made a mistake in joining the Corps, and I'm sorry that he only found solstice in the possibility of taking another human life in order to justify his own existance. But I don't want to watch him whine about his (literal) masterbatory self-pity for even a minute, let alone two-plus hours.

The only reason I rented and watched this abortion was so I could stop chopping off conversations with friends who had seen it with, "Based upon what I've heard, I don't plan to see it."

Well, now I've seen it... in all it's foul-mouthed glory. And all I can say is that it matches my own experience in Iraq by a factor of zero.

Chronicles of Narnia:

Loved it! No, seriously. I just might see the sequels in that concrete bunker some call the "movie theater" after renting this one. It was wonderful! There will be the inevitable comparisons to Lord of the Rings, of course, but Narnia holds its own.

Solid acting, faithful to the original novel (yes, liberties were taken, but nothing egregious in my opinion,) an all-around delight.

Late night rumination on tequilla conniseurship

In college I tried Cuervo Gold and for years I prefered Montezuma Aztec Gold. (It's crisper, lighter, and free of that cloying aftertaste, much like my favorite bourbon, Very Old Barton. Which as it turns out, is owned by the same company! It's a testament to their consistantly good product that I made the comparison before learning of the connection.) Plus, like Jagermeister, tequilla is often more than the sum of it's alcoholic parts. There's herbs in there just waiting to mess with your head, ya know?

But in light of my recent introduction to the stuff, I have to say that Patron is hands down the finest tequilla on Earth. And by that I mean the finest I've tried, being as I was, weened on Cuervo and Aztec Gold. Don Eduardo is a close second, Once described by a good friend of mine as being, "cool on the lips, cool on the tongue, cool going down, but then there's this slow explosion of warmth in the belly" and trust me, he's right. Patron combines the best of both worlds: It's light sippin' tequilla best put back in the cabinet once the party gets started. Because at $30 for 375 ml... well, it's not like I'm made of money.

On the socialist leanings of Josh Rushing

You remember the former Marine Captain Josh Rushing, who left active duty and later joined the yet-to-be-launched Al-Jazeera International?

Josh keeps raising red flags about his loyalties, even before the official launch of Al-Jazeera International:

Al Jazeera liaison lectures at UT He used to be the American face to the Arab world. Now, he is the face of Al Jazeera International.

Josh Rushing, 14-year Marine Corps veteran, addressed a near-capacity audience at the International House Tuesday night. Even WATE-6 was on hand to hear the former captain speak.


According to Rushing, he could see things in a way no one else could from his position.

“I was inside all three organizations [the Pentagon, the White House and Al Jazeera]. No one else had that unique vantage point,” he said.

Rushing gained prominence after the release of “Control Room” at the Sundance Film Festival. Due to his role as liaison, he became an unintentional star in the independent film exploring Al Jazeera.


The Pentagon ordered him not to speak about the film because officials did not want it to appear the Marine Corps endorsed it, Rushing said.

Assuming these quotes are accurate, "triple-insider" Rushing seems to relish the idea that "no one" can see things from his prospective.

In his Tuesday speech, Rushing stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Al Jazeera.

“Our national security is at stake in the way we choose to engage or not engage Al Jazeera,” he said. “Right now we are not engaging.”

The U.S. government has not handled Al Jazeera the way it should, he said.

“We didn’t empower Al Jazeera to find out information needed,” Rushing said. “They are credible to Arabs.”

It's true that the US Military and Al Jazeera do not see eye-to-eye. I find it troubling, though, that Mr. Unique Perspective is so quick to lay the blame at America's feet. Here's the other view.

Rushing said there are many misconceptions about Al Jazeera, like showing beheadings and communicating with the Web site aljazeera.com.

“They have never shown a beheading, nor will they,” he said. “Aljazeera.com has nothing to do with Al Jazeera the network. It is a very common word. It means island.”

It's true that Al Jazeera.com has no connection to Al Jazeera.net, the legitimate Al Jazeera (english) website. And it's true that the dot com site has traded on this confusion for the last several years. But while the real Al Jazeera has never shown beheadings, today's website (23 May 2006) has these frontpage stories listed:

- US troops killed Iraqis 'in cold blood'
- Albright: Bush is alienating Muslims
- Iraq under occupation
- OPINION: US military needs regime change
- INTERVIEW: "Muslims around the world would view the US as an evil power hell bent on ... tormenting Muslims"

Now where would I get the idea that Al Jazeera and America are at cross-purposes? Hmmmm?

Rushing feels U.S. news media have done a poor job of reporting the news, especially about the war, he said.

“[Fox News] has allowed the audience to shape the medium,” he said.

God forbid the unwashed masses dictate to our journalist-elite what they want to know about!

Rushing said that Al Jazeera is fully funded by Qatar, one of our strongest allies. It does not make much sense for people to say it’s an enemy of America, he said.

The problem is that people take issue with things they see on Al Jazeera, Rushing said.

“CNN shows the missile take off,” Rushing said. “Al Jazeera shows what happens when it lands ... it’s more than a puff of smoke on TV.”


It gives you a truly global perspective, he said. They can choose the stories to cover, and if they cover the same story, it will be from different points of view.

According to Rushing, being global is a major goal of Al Jazeera International.


“American news networks — they got to get the viewers so they can sell advertising. That’s what they are all about,” Rushing said. “For us, we don’t need advertising. We can go after whoever we want.”

In other words, "When I report, I am a citizen of the world." Except that, you know, he still gets his paycheck from Qatari government. It won't influence his unique perspective the way the US government influenced him in the Marines. That influence was completely above-board and in the open, but Qatar won't compomise his reporting secretly, no! This attitude, more than anything, is what disturbs me about Rushing's move to Al Jazeera.

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