Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lions, Tigers, and Commies oh my!

So I made it to the desert safely but along the way I had a funny thing happen. We started to fly over the ocean but had to turn back due to strong weather. So instead of flying back to the states we flew to Canada for a brief layover. As we entered the airport I saw about 10 people wearing Che Guevera shirts and berets with red stars pinned to them. Turns out it was a group of Russian Communists returning from a fun-filled trip to Cuba. Now they weren't too happy to see a company of American soldiers, and certainly were not happy about the idea of having their picture taken with one of them so they left a few minutes after we got there.
I got to thinking about how ignorant people have to be to still follow and worship famous Communist leaders. Not only have they killed millions of people but we have fought to stop the spread of Communism numerous times. Anyrate it was ironic to be traveling to Iraq and have to stop and see a group of Castro loving Commies along the way.
All is well in the desert and I should start posting more regularly in a couple of weeks. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I will be offline for a little while because I am on my way to Iraq. I am not sure when I will start posting again but it shouldn't be too long. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Problem With Media Coverage

Earlier this year before I was deployed I wrote a weekly column in Ohio University’s college newspaper The Post. Every chance I got I tried to influence the students at OU’s nationally recognized Scripps school of journalism since they are some of our nation’s future journalists. Mostly I would talk about the media’s coverage of Iraq and how I thought it is for the most part biased and unrepresentative of how things really are. College life can be a mini real world for many students who tend to focus only on what is going on in their lives and rely upon others to tell them about the real world. Considering this I thought that perhaps I could influence one or two of them for the better. Now if only I could influence professional journalists who already report for the mainstream media.
The problem with the mainstream media’s coverage on the conflict in Iraq, and for that matter any violent conflicts in general, is that those covering the conflict have no prior experience in the military. Consider Martha Stewart reporting on Monday night football, or Pat Buchanan reporting on the 25th anniversary of BET. These journalists tend to stay in safe zones, and instead of gathering their own info and talking to real soldiers in the field, they receive briefings every day by the military so they don’t have to do any real reporting themselves. Of course there are exceptions like the fine reporter Oliver North from Fox News.
My point is that how are the people of America supposed to get an accurate picture of the conflict in the Middle East if they cannot get it from the media? Obviously not everyone can travel overseas to see first hand for them selves. What needs to happen, in my opinion, is that someone needs to start holding the media accountable for what they report. Now of course this is what bloggers already do, but until everyone turns off their television sets and hooks up to the Internet something needs to change. For the most part the mainstream media reports whatever they want, no matter if it is detrimental to our nation and those serving in the military. I am thinking along the lines of the propaganda war waged by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. I am not mistaking Iraq for another Vietnam, but rather, only comparing what the media did then, providing aid and comfort to the enemy, to what they are doing now by only reporting the bad news coming from Iraq. Body counts and explosions on TV wane support for the war here in America and bolster the terrorist’s confidence. War is not a pretty thing, but when all people see is the negative side of war they don’t see what it accomplishes. In the case of Iraq our presence has freed the Iraqi people and given the Middle East a chance at change, something I am sure any oppressed people would want.
Until the media gets a clue about how war is conducted and what it is like to serve in the military they wont learn to report the real news coming out of Iraq. Instead stay tuned to the bloggers who have a better clue about what is going on.
(Once I figure out how I will post the links to my columns from The Post.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

God Machine

A friend and I have recently talked a few times on how we as a country could better fight terrorism and what we came up with is what we like to call the "God Machine." Now you will have to bear with me as I explain.
The "God Machine" would be created by Hollywood's best computer graphic designers and model makers and would cost only a fraction of what we have already spent on the global war on terrorism. Instead of 80 billion dollar packages the senate would only have to approve about 1 billion dollars to make this project happen. My friend and I envision the "God Machine" (GM) as being a technical marvel that would be able to convince terrorists that it was really Allah and it wanted them to do certain things. The GM would be a sort of ghostly image with a commanding presence that could appear and disappear at the will of it's operator. It would be able to speak many different languages so it could be used on terrorists from all over the world. Whoever employs the GM would sneak somewhere close to a terrorist training camp and wake the terrorists in the middle of the night so as to catch them off guard, or spray a gas in the air to put the terrorists in a trance. It would then tell them whatever tactic was being used at the time, whether it be to call off operations in Iraq because Allah no longer approves of killing innocent people and is sending suicide bombers to Hell, or something a little more permanent like telling them to all make a pilgrimage to Guantanamo so we could put them in jail. Obviously these are just suggestions and we would let the professionals in charge of the GM tell the terrorists what they want to. All I am saying is that we need to think outside the box when combating terrorists and the GM might be a step in the right direction.
When you are dealing with extremists extreme measures need to be taken.