Monday, July 23, 2007

Of Real Art and Excerpts from "Welcome to Baghdad"

Military planes leave Kuwait every couple of hours for Baghdad International Airport (or BIAP, pronounced BIE-op). The United States Army’s media liaison in Kuwait dropped me off at the airfield so I could take a flight “up.” ...

All night I waited for a flight and was bumped again and again by soldiers on their way to places like War Eagle, Victory, and Fallujah. Finally I got on a manifest and gathered around a gruff barking sergeant with everyone else. “I want you all back here in 20 minutes,” he bellowed. “First, I want you to go to the bathroom. Then I want to see you standing in front of me with a bottle of water.” ...

The plane was windowless and loud as 100 lawnmowers. ...

Don’t fall asleep,” said the soldier next to me. “When you see the rest of us grab our helmets, put yours on, too. We’ll be beginning the spiral dive into Baghdad.” ...

We dismounted the plane and I stepped into harsh blazing sunshine. ... Sunlight burns like a blowtorch. If you don’t wear a helmet or soft cap the sun will cook your brain. ...

I watched helicopters fly over the city in the distance and launch burning white countermeasure flares to confuse heat-seeking missiles as the pilots flew over hostile parts of the city. This was the only evidence I saw that I was in a war zone. I heard no shots fired, and I heard no explosions.

After having spent several days in Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. ...

Baghdad is gigantic and sprawling. ... The sheer enormity of the place puts the almost daily car bomb attacks into perspective. The odds that you personally will be anywhere near the next car bomb or IED are microscopic. ...


For only the second time in a week, I got to sleep in a bed. And I was one lucky bastard. The embassy annex, and the bed I got to sleep in, was at the grandest downtown palace built by Saddam Hussein. The tyrant is dead, and I got to sleep at his house on my very first night in his capital. What better welcome to Baghdad could anyone possibly ask for?

The entire article, in its full independent glory, can be read here >>>

Up next on Michael J. Totten's blog: Night patrols on foot with the 82nd Airborne in a Sunni-majority neighborhood of Baghdad’s Red Zone.

German cultural English language site Signandsite (yes, the veritable treasure trove of postmodern madness!)report there's quite a bit of cultural activity developing in Iraq as well. Those of us naive enough to take that as a positive sign are quickly cured of this deception by author Najem Wali, warning us in Neue Zurcher Zeitung "not to confuse the state support of culture in Iraq with a renaissance in cultural life. What's really going on: artists are being paid to glorify their patrons. "Unfortunately, politicians find their equivalent in precisely those groups of artists who were trained under Saddam to deal opportunistically with the power structure and learned the advantages of satisfying the needs of their 'patrons'. One needn't be too surprised that no cultural renaissance has taken place since the American invasion – but rather an extraordinary explosion in the number of festivals and new 'cultural advisory boards'." Read a feature by Wali on the Arab Writers Union in "The Dictator's Orphans"."

I could of course add that the great artists of the past were almost exclusively working in commission, which produced true master pieces of human endeavour. These were technical expressions led by love of beauty, rather than politically driven incarnations of man's most basic instincts. But that would be 1. spoiling the free flow of American Derangement Syndrome, and 2. you cannot possibly expect postmoderns to consider that art in any real sense, which - as proof of Marxist intellectual activity - must involve at least one human bodily function or one platitude.


Atlas Shrugs has more insights on "Iraq and Media Deception".

4 comments:

Lord Straf-Moran said...

It's like the steps of a dance. They do in Iraq, the media distorts. And for what? Whom are they serving?

Looking past simplistic ansers to that, it seems very much to me that an elaborate gaem is being played here.

Cassandra said...

Yes dear, yesterday I wrote a 'guided' answer to some one and it read as follows: The present road on the way to a new era is as yet confusing and diffuse. What will be its shape and contents is a matter that's being fought out presently by the forces that shape it.
Some are expecting a major attack on Israel shortly. Others are openly talking of civil wars.
God keep us!

Incognito said...

Yes, disgusting how they distort.. but it serves a purpose.. the worse it sounds the more ammunition they have to force us out of there... that's the Libs for you.

Cassandra said...

Yeah, the Libs have by now gone far beyond what might be expected of normal political opposition. It's almost selling out, treason. The least that can be said is that it's pathological or irresponsible. And it's not just the libs, mind you. This goes for all the leftard parties on Europe as well - and in practice that means: the lot.
Thanks for your reaction, Incog. Much appreciated.