Thursday, August 18, 2005

Talk Dirty War To Me

What is it with military porn? No, I don't mean those ever-elusive Abu Ghraib images. I mean, what is it about military jargon that makes everyone, even the most hardened anti-imperialists among us, go wobbly-kneed with awful secret shameful crush? Get some deadeyed jarhead General from Kentucky on the news talking incomprehensible nonsense about 'running hot' and 'tracking point elements' and suddenly we're all crossing our legs while we carry on decrying the occupation (with, I strenuously stipulate for all our lovely wingnut friends waiting to pounce and tar us hypocrites, undiminished sincerity and good faith) in now-strangely-strangled voices. It's a brain-stem thing. It makes no sense. Examples.

OK, so Juan Cole, right? None more impressive blogger, blindingly knowledgeable, insanely useful resource, a man deserving of utmost respect and admiration, and widely in receipt of same. But not exactly Gary Dourdan, you know? Yet today, he's all
Since the guerrillas have so many former military officers and veterans in their ranks, and since they know where thousands of tons of hidden munitions are buried, they believe they still have an edge over the ragtag Shiite militias such as Badr Corps and Mahdi Army. I personally think they would need tanks and helicopter gunships actually to prevail; but maybe they think they can buy some on the world market.
and I'm like, 'Well hello sailor!' All because he personally thinks they would need certain items of military equipment, and he sounds reasonably like he knows whereof he speaks. What is up with that?

Or yesterday, in a thread at the Tomb about the ever-more-obviously-criminal extrajudicial execution of Jean Charles de Menezes, Meaders posts a clip from the Sunday Times about the kinds of weapons carried by the 'armed response team' (read 'death squad') that whacked JCdM. And as I'm reading, the inferno of my outrage not one whit dimmed, somewhere in my lower lower brain I'm going, 'Ooooh, "a specially modified Heckler & Koch G3K rifle with a shortened barrel and a butt from a PSG-1 sniper rifle fitted to it".' It's just not right!

I honestly don't know what this discomfiting thing is about. If anyone has any insights or hypotheses, I'll be delighted to entertain them.

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