Thursday, June 14, 2007

Glenn Greenwald AKA the Orwell of our time discusses
"that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet hole in him."

From "Homage to Catalonia"

The people who write that kind of stuff never fight; possibly they believe that to write it is a substitute for fighting. It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours. Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.


I wonder whether Orwell is more able to comment on our times than the MSM in spite of the disadvantage of having been dead for 57 years.

Update: Glenn Greenwald linked to this post !!! Welcome Greenwaldinans. I should clarify that when I called Greenwald "the Orwell of our time" I was not being sarcastic or ironic. I really believe that.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well done.

anne

Anonymous said...

Another morning, learning that the military is claiming some 40% of troops returning from Iraq have developed psychological problems.

Remember now the 17.8% of returning soldiers found by military researchers to have a traumatic brain injury.

Then wonder why in January the Defense Department cut the recording of casualties in Iraq from more than 50,000 to less than 22,000. This after the recording of more than 100,000 disability grants allowed for soldiers returned from Iraq and Afghanistan by October 2006.

Does a remotely accurate assessment of the suffering of American soldiers matter?

anne

Anonymous said...

Why does the media so routinely report that about 25,000 American soldiers have been killed or wounded in Iraq? The numbers are always there to contradict such nonsense, but the media ignores the contradicting numbers.

From the time Linda Bilmes tried to set down a reasonable count of American casualties, even without attenting to psychological casualties, and was bullied by the Defense Department to the point of a complaint made to the Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard, making a little sense of saddening casualty numbers has been forgotten.

anne

Anonymous said...

Remember too, since we are so well school in statistics, that if the casualty rate in Iraq is nearly as high as I sadly think it has to be using military numbers, we are not only dealing with repeated tours of duty in Iraq but the tour has been lengthened for these surgy times.

anne

Anonymous said...

Also, since I have considerable disdain for the anti-aid nihilism of William Easterly, a series of reports from central Africa have begun in the New York Times through Nicholas Kristof, the beginning of which tells us of the hope of the Millennium Villages Project, the hope of aid.

anne

Anonymous said...

http://twofortheroad.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/glimpses-of-hope/

June 14, 2007

Glimpses of Hope
By Leana Wen

Today begins with a bad story, and ends with a good one. We had heard about a settlement of recent returnees from Josh Ruxin, our gracious host in Kigali and director of Rwanda's Millennium Villages Project. Millions of Rwandans left Rwanda in the decades of instability leading up to the genocide, and many settled permanently in surrounding countries. Some have since been forcibly sent back, including this group of about 2,000 people from Tanzania. The group we encountered had all been settled in Tanzania since the 1980s, and had established sustainable farms and small businesses. Many were even born in Tanzania and had never set foot in Rwanda. Last November, they were stripped of their belongings and chased out of their villages, and told to return to Rwanda. Rwanda has a right of return policy reminiscent of Israel. ("Rwanda will never turn away our own people," a Rwandan woman told us, "We are one people, and no matter where they come from, they belong with us.") The refugees, or more correctly, the returnees, were welcome into the country.

However, the welcome party did not last....

anne

Anonymous said...

Returning then to war, notice what has been wrought in Iraq and the ramifications of our foreign policy madness through the region from Somalia on through to Iraq.

Iraq has been a disaster of monumental proportions, and we must leave completely and immediately to have any hope of dealing benignly with regional problems that have developed in the wake of Iraq.

I am ever so close to become a pacifist, and only lack the bravery I suppose.

anne

Anonymous said...

Anne, it is interesting how many diverse posts you can find a way to attack Easterly in. I don't know what possible reading of his can make you call him "anti-aid", he's just against the overpaid, western aid agencies who trumpet their own expensive achievements without helping the poor in africa. Holding governments and agencies and NGOs accountable for something is not anti-aid, it is commonsense...