Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Out and About......

Michael Yon 's photo essay of the beautiful Iraqi children should serve as a reminder to all of us, especially those who insist we withdraw immediately from Iraq, that these children are our allies.

Capt Dan Bout, aka Thunder 6, is featured in the Orlando Sentinal, in an article about milbloggers, and "blooks"....the new term for books from blogs!

This is really a thinking man's war," says Deputy Cmdr. Danjel Bout, who maintains a blog in southern Baghdad. He is submitting some of his postings for a Simon & Schuster anthology of military-blog writing.

"We can't afford to blithely carry out combat operations without putting a great deal of thought into the second- and third-order consequences of our actions,'' he writes from Iraq in an e-mail.

At Sgt Hook, we get a Taste Of Freedom from SGT. Walter J. Rausch and 1st Platoon 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). As Thanksgiving Day approaches, of all the many things I have to be grateful for, FREEDOM is the most important. Perhaps we should remember that as we sit down to meals with our family and friends, the gift of FREEDOM is never free!
Thank you for eloquent words, your service, and your sacrifice, Sgt Raush. Stay safe!


Be my voice. I want this message heard. It is mine and my platoon’s to the country. A man I know lost his legs the other night. He is in another company in our batallion. I can no longer be silent after watching the sacrifices made by Iraqis and Americans everyday.Send it to a congressman if you have to. Send it to FOX news if you have to. Let this message be heard please…

My fellow Americans, I have a task for those with the courage and fortitude to take it. I have a message that needs not fall on deaf ears. A vision the blind need to see. I am not a political man nor one with great wisdom. I am just a soldier who finds himself helping rebuild a country that he helped liberate a couple years ago.
I have watched on television how the American public questions why their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are fighting and dying in a country 9000 miles away from their own soil. Take the word of a soldier, for that is all I am, that our cause is a noble one. The reason we are here is one worth fighting for. A cause that has been the most costly and sought after cause in our small span of existence on our little planet. Bought in blood and paid for by those brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice to obtain it. A right that is given to every man, woman, and child I believe by God. I am talking of freedom.

Freedom. One word but yet countless words could never capture it’s true meaning or power. “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” I read that once and it couldn’t be more true. It’s not the average American’s fault that he or she is “blind and deaf” to the taste of freedom. Most American’s are born into their God given right so it is all they ever know. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn’t surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military however opened my eyes to the truth.

Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.

I watched Cindy Sheehan sit on the President’s lawn and say that America isn’t worth dying for. Later she corrected herself and said Iraq isn’t worth dying for. She badmouthed all that her son had fought and died for. I bet he is rolling over in his grave.

Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn’t free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren’t allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn’t put shoes on your child’s feet?

You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????

The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American’s badmouth our President for having us here.

Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi’s. Yes there are bad one’s here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country’s future.
I have watched brave souls give their all and lose thier lives and limbs for this cause. I will no longer stand silent and let the “deaf and blind” be the only voice shouting. Stonewall Jackson once said, “All that I have, all that I am is at the service of the country.” For these brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice, including your son Cindy Sheehan, I will shout till I can no longer. These men and women are heroes. Their spirit lives on in their military and they will never be forgotten. They did not die in vain but rather for a cause that is larger than all of us.

My fellow countrymen and women, we are not overseas for our country alone but also another. We are here to spread democracy and freedom to those who KNOW the true taste of it because they fight for it everyday. You can see the desire in their eyes and I am honored to fight alongside them as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne.

Freedom is not free, but yet it is everyone’s right to have. Ironic isn’t it? That is why we are here. Though you will always have the skeptics, I know that most of our military will agree with this message. Please, at the request of this soldier spread this message to all you know. We are in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that is our goal. It is a cause that I and thousands of others stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for because, Cindy Sheehan, freedom is worth dying for, no matter what country it is! And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.

SGT Walter J. Rausch and 1st Platoon
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

He's Baaaacccckkkkk!

Big Dog has a great post about a certain former President, who has thrust himself in the political spotlight once again!

Crank up the way back machine Mr. Peabody and let’s go back to December 16, 1998. William Jefferson Clinton is in office in the middle of a scandal about sex with an intern. Clinton has been caught lying about an inappropriate (read sexual) relationship with a woman that was not his wife. He is facing an impeachment.

So what does this Clinton do? Read on!

Then re- read this "Iraq's Growing Threat"

Bill along with the rest of the Dumocrats seem to be suffering from Collective Memory Loss or is it Selective Memory Loss???

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

This Divided State

Two weeks before the 2004 election, conservative Utah Valley State College booked the very liberal, very controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, throwing Utah into a heated vitriolic "red vs blue" battle.

This Divided State is a documentary that chronicles the controversy, a microcosm of the divided political ideologies within America centered around freedom of speech, as outraged community members and religious leaders vocally opposed his appearance.

Here's a synopsis from This Divided State's website:

The student body representatives who had invited Michael Moore soon were inundated with hate mail, death threats, and claims that they had committed "treason." Other students who supported Moore's right to speak were labeled "liberal," "anti-Mormon," or just simply "evil." Spearheading the anti-Moore campaign was Kay Anderson, local millionaire, Sunday School teacher and self-appointed community spokesperson. Mr. Anderson made local headlines when he attempted to bribe the college administration, during a public forum, with a personal $25,000 check in order to cancel Michael Moore's speech.

Attempting to calm outrage, the college invited FOX News pundit Sean Hannity to speak a few days before Moore. But this was to no avail. The controversy continued to explode into a full-blown war of political and religious differences and, within days, lawsuits were filed, resignations occurred, and friendships were torn apart.

And thus continued the infamous "Moore War." Would conservative activists prevent Michael Moore from speaking? Would liberal Utahns win their fight for freedom of speech?
The answer lies somewhere within "This Divided State

In an interesting bit of irony, according to director Steven Greenstreet, "The students who invited Moore were actually Mormon Republican Bush supporters." It is they, in the end, who remained the strongest supporters of Moore's right to speak.

In discussing the making of This Divided State, Steven offers up a powerful insight that resonates well beyond the state of Utah; "the monster that was created from the Moore controversy lingers even still in Utah. There is a sense of division, even deeper than before, and no one speaks of healing or unity"

This Divided State is now available on DVD. Check out the website for reviews, clips, and select live screening dates. But more importantly, check out the film!

Engaging, fast paced, riveting, powerful, informative, it's a masterpiece of filmmaking from Steven Greenstreet, and his team at Minority Films. This is documentary filmmaking at it's absolute best, and may very well turn out to be the definitive political film that cuts to the heart of this divided nation.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Actor and The Mullahs: Redux

I was recently involved in a rather interesting discussion with a friend, about the use of military and political solutions in our war on terror.

The heart of the discussion centered on whether the belief, held by the Bush Administration, that American ideals should prevail in Iraq, and various other Arab states, was more wishful thinking than reality.

The mission to spread freedom throughout the world is a noble endeavor. Pres. Reagan understood the threat of communism in the same way as Pres. Bush understands the threat posed by jihadists. Communists and Islamist Jihadists both harbour contempt for individual liberty, and both share a propensity for mass murder in the name of a utopian future.

But, countered my friend, " the battle between communism and democracy was a conflict between two systems that in effect shared some fundamental suppositions". In truth, the Cold War was a struggle between two economic systems - capitalism and communism. Nonetheless, both systems, it could be argued, were committed to modernity. Jihadism is not.

While leftists, including my Hollywood elite friends, stage "anti war" protests, jihadists engage in their own "anti modernity"protests, which involve homicide bombers, killing of children and women, the kidnapping, torturing, and beheading of coalition members, local politicians and civilians and the annual "Death to Isreal, Death to America" protest rally.

The battle we face with jihadists is an idealogical battle between the' olive tree and the lexus", to use Thomas Friedman's analogy It is a battle between modernity and anti-modernity.

Perhaps this explains why the greater Muslim population, who find liberal secularist values and lifestyles an affront to their values, remain strangely silent when it comes to denouncing the actions of jihadists and supporting the journey to democracy and the march to modernity.

In that respect, the jihadists have a huge advantage in the battle to win the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world. While democracy is appealing to many Arabs, modernity, as represented by secularist America, is not.

My friends in Hollywood and MSM elites, would be wise to remember that truth as you continue to lend your support to mullahs and terrorists, in the form of "anti- war" protests, and the funding of ANSWER and Code Pink, while flaunting liberal lifestyles in movies, music, magazines and tv show.

You had also best remember that you too are the jihadists enemy, and they have sent you that message in no uncertain terms by banning "foreign films that promote secularism, feminism, drugs, alchohol use, and violence( the pot calling the kettle black) because these films, which are a reflection of our liberal secularist democratic freedom loving country, "damage and humilate eastern traditions and culture".

So it would appear that all the schmoozing and handshaking and "photo opping" which Sean Penn engaged in this summer with his mullah-buddies only served to prove how fucking stupid and naive he is, not to mention the rest of you who share his mindset. Looks like The Actor found out just how much The Mullahs hate Hollywood!

These "fighters" that are romanticized by Cindy Sheehan, the ACLU, ANSWER, Code Pink(o), the MSM, the Hollywood elites, and left wing moonbats, hate ALL Americans. And they don't give a damn about your shared hatred for Pres Bush because this isn't about our enemies hating Pres. Bush- it's about them hating the secularist lifestyle you value and it's about the hatred they harbour towards democracy, freedom and modernity.

In the few months since Sean Penn, actor turned jounalist, visited Iran; under the guise of covering the election but really aimed at proving that Iran was a benevolent country that loved Americans but hated Pres.Bush; Mr.Ahmadinejad, Iran's President, has not only banned secularist foreign films, called for Israel to be wiped off the map, and death to America,(a holdover from the days of Jimmy Carter) but he has also closed down fast food restaurants, targeted opposition newspapers, journalists, and bloggers for censorship, and required male city employees to grow beards. He has turned back all the modern reforms gained over the past few decades. His country also harbours and protects "fighters/insurgents/al-queda jihadists, three of whom are Bin Laden's sons!

I'm wondering why Sean Penn isn't holding a press conference to voice his protest over the suppression of freedom and art that Iran 's new theocracy is imposing. Or why Michael Moore isn't heading off to shoot "Celsius 10/06" aimed at exposing the injustices happening to liberals and moderate conservatives in Iran, or exposing Pres. Ahmadinejad for the terrorist that he is!

Why are liberals and the dimocrats continuing to spew their baseless bullshit vitriol at and about Pres.Bush while remaining silent about Pres.Ahmadinejad?

Why there are no protesters filling the streets of Europe and America demanding that freedom of press, freedom of expression, and women's rights be reinstated immediately in Iran?

This might be a good time to educate dimwit moonbat "anti-war" protesters as well as the MSM: No one is "pro war" but those of us that support our endeavors in Iraq, and the war on terror, are definately pro- democracy, pro- freedom, and pro-victory over those who want to kill to you along with the rest of us.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Welcome To The Suck

I was able to see an early viewing of "Jarhead", based on Anthony Swofford's autobiography of the same name and recently offered my thoughts on the film in the comments section of a few blogs.

Shortly thereafter, I received several emails asking if I would elaborate as to why I didn't like the film.

Let's start with Hollywood's new found lovefest with all things military EXCEPT our military.

I'm not easily fooled. Let's just say that years of working in "the biz"has left me acutely aware that anything Hollywood does is driven by the almighty dollar and a leftist agenda.

This industry, for the most part, has been vocal about its contempt for our military, our President, Republicans, and the War in Iraq. Collectively the elites lend financial support to leftist organizations like Code Pink(o) and ANSWER, and enjoy being seen in the company of Castro, Saddam, and assorted Mullahs.

The larger Hollywood community has done little to lend its support to our troups, our war on terror, and the families of those in harms way,This sudden emergence of films and tv shows about our Military seems a blantant attempt to cash in on the blood and sweat of deployed men and women who make huge sacrifices to protect us from scumbags who detest our freedoms, our way of life, and are hellbent on killing those of us they cannot subjucate.

Nonetheless, that has nothing to do with my opinion of "Jarhead".

I dislike the film because I disliked the book, alot. Compared to Evan Wright's "Generation Kill", Danjel Bout's milblog, and everything by Michael Yon, the book pales in its ability to leave one with a sense of what life is like in the sandbox, and doesn't offer us a glimpse into a Marine's inner landscape of confused emotions that lie between fear and bravado.It makes no difference that "Jarhead" takes place during the first Gulf War, the leftist agenda and negative perception of our military today permeates this movie, largely because Anthony Swofford has an axe to grind, and I can't figure out why, since He CHOSE to join the Marines.

I found nothing endearing about Anthony Swofford. Period! He is angry, dripping with attitude, disappointment, and cynicism. He isn't a grunt...he 's disgruntled!

In his book he writes " I hated being a Marine because more than all of the things in the world I wanted to be—smart, famous, oversexed, drunk, fucked, high, alone, famous, smart, known, understood, loved, forgiven, oversexed, drunk, high, smart, sexy—more than all of those things, I was a Marine. A jarhead.”

His contempt for the Corps combined with his desire to be famous, which is no doubt why he wrote the book, is distainful. All Tony wants is his 15 minutes of fame and he's got it. But he isn't worthy of the attention, nor of calling himself a Marine.

There are many other Marines whose personal narratives are far more compelling. Their commitment, leadership, courage under fire, and personal sacrifices are the highest example of what being a Marine truly is. Their accomplishments are many, and their stories should be put to film. Instead, we get "Jarhead" - about a messed up arrogant attention seeking jerk who happens to be a Marine sniper.

Under the pressure of war, Tony's tragic weaknesses are exposed, while his band of brothers are consumed with how their wives and girlfriends are being unfaithful, triggered no doubt by having watched a video tape of one guy's wife cheating on him.

What the film lacks in emotion and drama, it more than makes up for on the subject of masturbation! Left hand or right? I'm not oblivious to the reality that time spent in the sandbox is often "hurry up and wait" but there has to be a better way to have translated that boredom on screen.

I'll spare you the details of Anthony's voiceover in the opening, but it's a poetic monologue about a Marine's relationship to his gun; (no, not THAT gun!!) from holding a woman in his arms to changing a baby's diaper, his hands always operate from the muscle memory of holding a gun. While I'm certainly not in a position to know if this is true for every soldier and Marine, I greatly doubt it. Certainly the one I spent time with knew exactly how to hold me...and I assure you he never held a gun that way! The voiceover's covert message is that the humanity of a Marine is permanantly leached from him during bootcamp, turning him into a souless war monger.

Hardly true, but why not feed into the biased view liberals already harbour towards those who choose to join the military!?

I suspect "Jarhead" is meant to examine the mind numbing boredom and terror of war, instead it turns out to be mind numbing and boring. As for experiencing terror, milblogger's accounts of their daily experiences, and Michael Yon's "Gates of Fire" offer up evocative chilling moments of the terrifying realities of war far better than anything Sam Mendes attempts to deliver on screen.

You know a film is void of drama and good writing when it has to rely on its music soundtrack to strongly suggest how you should feel. Visually the movie is equally unimpressive.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the son of politically liberal, anti war director Stephen Gyllenhaal, and screenwriter Naomi Foner. His sister Maggie has been vocal about her thoughts on the war.
Jake says he was challenged in the making of this film, and admits that the experience changed him. "I started the movie with a judgement and opinion as anyone does who hasn't had any experience. But now I am not so sure. I think that's the point of Jarhead. It's not pro-or anti-war".

I respectfully disagree, Jake. There is an anti war subtext that runs through film, and an implicit recurrent message- "I don't like being a Marine..and neither will you".
"Jarhead" doesnt examine the challenges or celebrate the day to day courage that our Marines and soldiers face; its a 1hr and 55min insult to the men and women of the Marines Corps. The Marines are the Few and The Proud, these Marines are the few and the pathetic!

"Welcome to The Suck" - a great tagline that aptly describes this film.

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