8.21.2004

Ambush tactics

A story is out concerning the criticisms the Bush campaign and the Swift Boat Veterans are having with Kerry's war record. In it, another swift boat commander who was on the infamous Kerry mission, William Rood, finally speaks out against the Swift Boat Veterans' attacks and basically backs up Kerry.

I'm not a Kerry supporter but it's obvious most of their activities are funded by the Bush campaign and are filled with lies and half truths. Their own statements often contradict each other. I remember one of these vets claiming Kerry didn't deserve a particular medal because nothing really happened on the mission he earned it for. Only thing is, that same guy got a medal of his own for that mission.

But I just want to clear up one lie that I found interesting in the article:
Before this day's mission, though, Kerry, the tactical commander of the mission, discussed with Rood and Droz a change in response to the anticipated ambushes: If possible, turn into the fire once it is identified and attack the ambushers, Rood recalled Kerry saying. The boats followed that new tactic with great success, Rood said, and the mission was highly praised.

In the book "Unfit for Command," Kerry's critics maintained otherwise. The book's authors, John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, wrote that Kerry's attack on the Viet Cong ambush displayed "stupidity, not courage." The book was published by Regnery, a conservative publisher that has brought into print many books critical of Democratic politicians and policies.
I have heard this "Kerry was a reckless commander" line of reasoning before. If you are still wondering if the vets attacking Kerry are telling the truth you need look no further than this simple point about ambushes. This is actually an excellent tactic that was pioneered by many units during Vietnam.

The Vietnamese would often count on units trying to get away from the ambush and would have something waiting for when they did. Infantry units who came under fire from the right side, for example, would often dive for cover on the left only to land in punji pits or be blown apart by mines or the dreaded Chi-com claymores.

I don't know much about swift boat tactics, but the Navy SEALs and Green Berets found that the best way to respond to ambushes was by bringing maximum firepower to the ambushers and charging them with all they had. This gets the unit out of the kill zone, keeps them away from any nasty surprises, gives them the initiative and shocks the ambushers. Often an ambush which should have slaughtered the US forces would turn into a total rout for the Vietnamese. It is no surprise seeing Rood say that the tactic was followed with great success.

Brown water units such as swift boats would often come under a small amount of fire only to turn around and drive their boats right past the main enemy force while trying to get away. The best response would be to turn into it and obliterate the enemy. This gives the enemy a smaller target (and I assume what little armor those boats had was up front) and gives the boat the ability to bring the heaviest weapons to bear on the target.

I tend to think Kerry is an asshole, but in this case the Swift Boat Veterans for the 'Truth' are lying and if Kerry did propose that tactic he was thinking along the same lines as some of the country's most elite soldiers of the day. I could criticize Kerry for many things but his service in Vietnam is not one of them and I can't stand when our draft-dodging, did-the-minimum president questions real veterans (McCain, Max Cleland, Kerry, etc).

About Her

Today's sad song is Malcolm McLaren's About Her.

This song is from the Kill Bill Volume 2 soundtrack. If you've seen the movie, it plays during the scene where Uma is cuddling up watching TV with her daughter whom she hadn't known was alive until then.

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Awww how sweet.

Anyway, the song is actually a cover of two songs. The main cover is of She's Not There by The Zombies and the female background ("My man’s..Got a heart..") is sung by Esther Bigeou on a W .C. Handy song from the 20s called St. Louis Blues.

Malcolm McLaren - About Her.mp3

My man’s
Got a heart
Like a rock
Cast in the sea

My man’s
Got a heart
Like a rock
Cast in the sea...

Well, no one told me about her
The way she lied
Well, no one told me about her
How many people cried

My man’s
Got a heart
Like a rock
Cast in the sea

My man’s
Got a heart
Like a rock
Cast in the sea...

Well, no one told me about her
The way she lied
Well, no one told me about her
How many people cried

But it's too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there...

My man’s... in the sea...my man's

My man’s
Got a heart
Like a rock
Cast in the sea...

Cast in the sea...

Well, no one told me about her...
Well, no one told me about her
How many people cried

But it's too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother to find her
She’s not there...

She's not there...
She’s not there...

8.19.2004

Motown Answers

Today's sad song is Motown Answers by Arab Strap.

I've just been introduced to Arab Strap, which is sometimes regarded as one of the more depressing bands around, always singing about love gone wrong. They've apparently been making music since the mid-90s, but I live in the US and until this interweb thing and mp3 blogs and all those other fancy inventions came around I only had boring corporate radio to listen to.

Check out their website or buy one of their many albums from Amazon.

Arab Strap - Motown Answers.mp3

It takes much more than names I’m crying,
To convince me we’ve been trying.
And I don’t want it when you need it.
I’d write it down if you’d read it. I’m saying too much
- it loses power.
But sometimes I need it on the hour, every hour.
What do I have to do to get the message through?
There’s no discussion - it’s easy to end it.
No effort’s made to try to defend it.
I make my point if you shut up and let me.
You know I’m only leaving so you can come and get me.
I’ve heard everything you’ve said.
I’m tired and I just need my bed.

Iceland

Said The Gramophone has a great song up today; Iceland by Elizabeth Anka Vajagic.

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got my Cocorosie CD

I finally received my Cocorosie CD from Amazon today (blogged here and here). Actually it came Tuesday but it shipped UPS and I'm not home during the day so I didn't get around to picking it up until today.

So far I have only skimmed over it but my only complaint is that I think the album could have been better produced to highlight their voices. For example Tahiti Rain Song seems like a really cool song except it sounds like someone stuck a tape recorder up to a radio playing it on an AM station. You can hardly hear it. It's still a cool sound, but with a voice like they should do everything they could to put it at the forefront.

At any rate, I recommend the CD, I just want more and more and more of those wild and beautiful voices. Music is optional.

Iraqi Olympians

A post at Metafilter points out that
George W. Bush's latest TV ads juxtapose Iraq's and Afghanistan's flags with footage of Olympic sport, proclaiming, "At this Olympics, there will be two more free nations — and two fewer terrorist regimes." At a campaign stop, Bush said, "just the image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics. It's fantastic, isn't it? What a fantastic thought."
That Iraqis are competing is, of course, a wonderful thing, but this is still little more than Bush patting himself on the back for something that is really unrelated to anything he is trying to sputter on about.

Iraq has always tried to field a soccer team but the last time they qualified for the Olympics was 1988 (ironically the US soccer team didn't qualify for Athens) so the fact that they're there isn't a fantastic reflection on freedom and democracy, it's just sports. They did well enough to qualify, good job.

Of course Uday Hussein was a sports fanatic who ran his own little empire out of the Iraqi Olympic headquarters and used to beat and torture atheletes, but they still qualified in 1988 in spite of that. There's your "fantastic sight", atheletes qualifying for the Olympics in spite of being tortured, I mean that takes guts.

Everyone on the Iraqi soccer team is upset that they're being used as another Bush mission accomplished banner, some going so far as to call him a criminal and murderer and saying that if they weren't playing soccer they'd be fighting in the resistance.

8.18.2004

It Hurt So Bad

Today's sad song is Susan Tedeschi's It Hurt So Bad.

This is another one that hardly qualifies as a sad song because it's the kind of cool blues tune that has sad lyrics but puts you in a good mood at the same time. I usually like my blues to be slower but I like this song and I'm in a hurry. So download... listen.. enjoy.. buy .. and visit her website

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Susan Tedeschi - It Hurt So Bad.mp3
(Written by Tom Hambridge)

I miss the arms that used to hold me
The tender way we used to kiss
I miss the way that you touch me
I miss the sweet taste of your lips

I was a fool to ever leave you
You were a fool to let me go
Oh it's so lonesome, lonesome here with out you
Oh how I miss you so

It hurt... it hurt... it hurt so bad
You were the best man I ever had
Why was I so blind to see?
Now the biggest fool is me

I miss the arms that used to hold me
The tender way we used to kiss
Ooo... yes... ooo... I miss the way that you touch me
I miss the sweet taste of your lips

It hurt... it hurt... it hurt so bad
'Cause ooo you were the best man I ever, ever, ever had
Why was I so blind to see
And now the biggest fool is me

Oh Oh what a fool I was darlin'... yes...
And oh you were a fool to let... let me go... why did you let me go?
It's so lonesome here with out you
Oh how I miss you so

Oh Oh now yes
Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it oh lord no!
I miss you oh yeah!
Come back Oh! come back to me, yes
Oh how I miss you
Oh I miss you so
Oh Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy Oooo........
Don't do it, Oh! Come on baby Come back to me
Oh how I miss you so
How I miss you so
Oh,oh,oh,ooooo....Lord now
Oh I miss you baby

Slashdot's 1,000,000th comment

"I don't get it." by ObviousGuy

8.17.2004

Crass Spectacle

(via MonkeyFilter)The gold medal for being most out of touch with reality goes to the Crass Spectacle Intarweb Department

The misnamed war

Apparently bush agrees with me in that The War Against "Terrah" (or T.W.A.T. for short) doesn't adequately describe our mission to do whatever the hell it is we're doing. So much as Wired has, after careful introspection, renamed the "Internet," so too has our dear leader nominated a new moniker for our T.W.A.T. And who says he can't admit when he makes mistakes.
We actually misnamed the war on terror, it ought to be the "struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world."

tutu man

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ATHENS (AFP) -Olympics Games organisers ordered beefed-up security at all venues after an embarrassing breach involving a Canadian man who leapt into the pool during a synchronised diving event.

The order to step up security was launched after the 31-year-old, dressed in a tutu and clown shoes, mounted one of the boards and plunged into the water during the competition Monday evening.

He stayed in the pool for several minutes before officials at the Aquatic Centre realised he was not supposed to be there and pulled him out.
So how do these people get to be Olympic officials if it takes them several minutes to tell that this guy isn't a synchronised diver? Perchance, the absence of a simarily dressed companion on the diving board could have given it away, as might the tutu and web address written across his chest. All I'm saying is there seemed to be a few hints, ya know...

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8.16.2004

Shooting Stars

Today's sad song is Elysian Fields Shooting Stars.

What a sexy voice this girl has!

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Her name is Jenifer Charles. "Elysian Fields" (a Greek Paradise) is a duo with her and Oren Bloedow.

Other than that, I don't have time right now to find out much about them so why don't you just go but their albums at amazon then drop by their website to find out more. There is another mp3 there but you have to find it on your own.

Elysian Fields-Shooting Stars.mp3

I've lost you once again
But I can't lose heart
To watch this dream descend
Just tears me apart
You close your eyes
And you can't hear me
Fast asleep in your bed of misery
Baby get out of bed
Don't close your eyes my sleepy head
Don't close your eyes my sleepy head
Look at all the shooting stars
Billions of shooting stars
Streak the sky
Dazzling diamond light
You're lost to me
And you can't break free
Wrapped in the gloom of ancient history
Baby get out of bed
Don't close your eyes my sleepy head
Don't close your eyes my sleepy head
Look at all the shooting stars
Billions of shooting stars
Streak the sky
Dazzling diamond light
Watch the night
Gather shooting stars
Baby throw off that cloud
The bed of thorns that lay you down
Quick like silver out of bounds
Look at all the shooting stars
Some of them could be ours
Stream the sky
Dazzling diamond light
Wish I might
On shimmering shooting stars
Glimmering shooting stars
Dimming
Shooting stars


Cool new search thingy

The ads on the top of the page (which were blocked by firefox thanks to an under-the-hood config option) have been replaced by Blogspot. In their place is a search toolbar to search this blog. I've been trying to figure out how to add that very thing to the sidebar but this'll work too. Thanks, Blogspot.

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The devil's in the details

This gem, which Lew says was contributed by Joseph Stromberg, comes from the LewRockwell.com blog.
"Let us set about convincing the world that we are indeed 'a Power upon earth.' Let us rob Spain of Cuba, England of Canada, and Mexico of her remaining possessions, and this continent will be too small a theater upon which to enact the bloody drama of American progress! Like the prophet of the East, who carried the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, American armies will be sent forth to proclaim freedom to the serf; but if he happens to love the land in which he was born, and exhibits some manly attachment to the institutions with which he is familiar, his own life's blood will saturate the soil, and his wife and children be driven forth as houseless wanderers, in proof of our tender consideration for the rights of humanity. Sir, this is a species of progress with which Satan himself might fall in love."

-- Senator Jeremiah Clemens of Alabama, February 7, 1853 (Congressional Globe, 32nd Congress, Second Session, p. 157), on proposals to seize Cuba.

8.15.2004

Use me

I am breaking from Villa Straylight tradition and posting a song that is not sad. Ok, some songs I've blogged have only been borderline sad, and this one can be seen as sad if you're a psychologist, but whatever. I'm in too much of a good mood today to get into a slow, sad groove. I need some celebration of the gratuitous, thus I bring to you Fiona Apple's cover of Bill Withers' Use Me.

Fiona Apple - Use Me.mp3

My friends...
Think its their appointed duty
They keep tryin' to tell me
That you just want to use me
But my answer
To all that use me stuff

I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good gettin' used
You just keep on usin' me
Until ya use me up

My brother
Sit me right down and he talked to me
And he told me
He thought I ought to not let you just fuck on me
And I know, I know that my brother he meant well
But I don't know what's really true

I said brother
If ya only knew
You'd be wishin' that you were in my shoes
To keep on usin' me, on usin' me
Until ya use me up
Until ya use me up

Ahhuh... I tell you the truth, I tell you the truth
You really do, you really do abuse me
Ahh..ya git me in a crowd of high class people
And then ya gotta act all rude to me

Ahhuh, and I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good gettin' used
Oh ya just keep on usin' me, on usin' me
Until ya use me up
Ah...Until ya use me up

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