Sunday, December 06, 2009

Another country

b52 and b1

Rob Payne, "The Agony and the Escalation" here, and here.

Dennis Perrin, "Obama's Brand New Bag"


The arithmetically-challenged Thomas Friedman: "we did some stupid and bad things. But for every Abu Ghraib, our soldiers and diplomats perpetrated a million acts of kindness..."


As first lady Laura Bush looks on, President Bush hugs Candace Pierson of Auburndale, Fla., after her son, Marine Cpl. Jordan S. Pierson, was presented the Purple Heart for injuries suffered while serving in Iraq. The ceremony took place Dec. 21, 2005, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Also in the room are Cpl. Pierson's fiancee, Kirstin Martin (right), and sister Rachel Pierson. White House photo by Paul Morse

phan vu and afghan boy

Phan Van Tu was born in October 1989; his injuries, from contact with hitherto unexploded ordinance, occurred in 2003. From

Tu was born to poor farmers in the Bo Trach district of Quang Binh Province. Living conditions were difficult for his family so as he got older, Tu helped his parents out by collecting shellfish after school. Then one afternoon when he was thirteen, Tu picked up a bombie* while catching shrimp. By his account, one minute he was in the water and the next he woke up in a hospital, having lost his left arm below the elbow and the lower half of his left leg. Tu also had severe injuries to his intestine that required extensive surgery and a two month stay in the hospital. As his body healed, Tu was able to return home, yet his recollection of that time is not entirely celebratory: “I did not go out of my house because I was so anxious about what people thought about my limb loss. I was scared of their stares and glances, their words and even their sympathy.”

Addendum and correction: When I first came upon the photo of the boy on the right sitting on the sofa, all I knew about the image was that it was from and that it came up via an image search for the query "Afghan bombing victim". However he is not from Afghanistan[link]:

Twelve-year-old Mohamed Samer Elhaz Mouss, photographed in October 2006, was injured by Israeli cluster bomblets delivered by Israeli warplanes during the recent Israeli aggression on Lebanon. On 9 August 2006, in the Rashidieh Camp outside of Sour, Mohamed was running from attacking Israeli warplanes and hid behind a tree where he came into contact with unexploded bomblets. (Sam Costanza)

In a sense Mohamed is a victim of the same larger war, that has been waged more or less continuously since 1945 or so, but that is an argument for another day. Here(and here) are images of Afghan children victimized by the Af-Pak conflict.(Some are pretty graphic. Note that the second group of images are related to one specific airstrike that took place in May of 2009.)

LBJ and McNamara

obama and gates

Dallas Morning News, "Obama's Afghanistan decision evokes LBJ's 1965 order on Vietnam buildup"

Jonathan Schwarz, "Psych!"


Ed Rollins, CNN: "Obama's bold plan makes me want to wiggle my dick"(I paraphrase.)

a new day

Arthur Silber, "A Deadly Liar and Manipulator"

additional photo credits: B-52 from, B-1B from, BHO with legless lady from AFP, GWB with soldier's family from, Iraqi Vet playing Gameboy from, LBJ and McNamara from University of Kansas History Archive(UPI), BHO and Robert Gates from Reuters, cartoon from Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse. Flags of South Vietnam, etc are public domain.

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At December 06, 2009 5:40 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Tom Fried-man, what would we do without him? I liked this one…

Here’s my take: Major Hasan may have been mentally unbalanced — I assume anyone who shoots up innocent people is.

Heh, and let’s include those people who cheer for wars that slaughter countless innocents. Right Tom? And thus by Tom’s own definition we now know Fried-man is mentally unbalanced. Who would have guessed? And Ed Rollins too! What would we do without CNN? Get better news?

Some nice compare and contrast here Jonathan.

At December 06, 2009 6:41 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Rob,
I probably shouldn't have "paraphrased" Ed Rollins because it might lead people who are unfamiliar with Mr Friedman to think I was making that quote up too, although by now you know 'Fried-man' really said that.

As far as CNN goes, I remember when they did a pretty decent job, but that was some time ago.

In the past I've observed that it seemed Lynne Russell left when she saw the writing on the wall and decided she wanted no part of their pending revamping. (Last time I checked she was still on the air, on TV at CBC in Canada.)

At December 06, 2009 8:14 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

This daily beast article is especially fucking sad:

While I can respect what the women for afghanstan women's sheleter, they're fucking deluded about supporting this shit. Go Malai Joya!

At December 07, 2009 10:06 AM, Anonymous micah holmquist said...


Who did the cartoon at the end?

At December 07, 2009 10:27 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Micah,
the cartoon is from the dormant or defunct Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse,by Bill X. I added the flags.

Bill hasn't posted since August of '08, but I'm glad to see he still has his invaluable archives up.

I will add all the credits and references later today.

At December 07, 2009 2:38 PM, Blogger Mimi said...

The pictures of those goddamn jerks, Bush and Obama, embracing the wounded for photo ops makes me shake with rage. "Oh, Mr. President, won't you put your arms around that soldier so we can show your humanity and your deep regret that they have to live this way for for the rest of their lives?" "Okay, okay, but make it snappy, I gotta state dinner tonight."
Who will save the world from our masters?


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