Drums of war




Hey, I’m all up for a 1980ies revival to relive my late teens/early twens!


This doesn’t seem to have been reported in the western press


If/when we survive the second 80s and enter the neo90s and we’re all back into holding hands across the world and saving the dolphins, lets make sure it sticks this time…


Is this going to turn into another massacre like world war 1 (of Kurds, this time, instead of Armenians?). All in the name of nationalism.


I worry that it is.

The DFNS were not expected to end up being the second biggest faction at the end of the Syrian civil war, they had no other countries as allies (the US is nominally allied to them, but they supported just about every other faction first), Turkey viewed them as terrorists and managed to get the UK to agree with them (joining one of the international brigades is viewed by the police as the same as joining ISIS).

Turkey, Syria and Russia want them gone and I expect Trump to join them, as the SDF believe in things like feminism and socialism.


It’s depressing.






There was a story on this yesterday in the Washington Post…


Syria and Russia seem to have taken a pragmatic view, probably caused by the dwindling power of the Syrian army. They’re likely content to keep Syria together in an arrangement similar to the one in Iraq, a quasi independent region.

Turkey however is a lost cause. I’m surprised they haven’t invaded yet to be honest.


A bit of history I didn’t know:

The first few minutes are sufficient to get the gist, but the casualty figures are at the fifteen minute mark.


Didn’t know about this either. Cannon fodder, but of course they “meant well”, as always.
McNamara is a prime example of the highly intelligent technocrat who hasn’t got a clue; I’d say mainly because certain things just do not pass through his mental/intellectual filters and don’t even register.

Also, military or non-military - if you are caught up in anything that was dreamt up primarily as a way for making quotas, you’re probably fucked.



From watching the Vietnam War by Burns I got the impression that this was a very intelligent and capable man, in entirely the wrong field. His approach left me wondering why they left him in the position all that time, he seemed such a colossal mismatch.


“fog of war” is a good companion to the burns documentary. although, burns documentary does not really seriously question the “right” of the usa to interfere in vietnam. every documentary of the vietnam war i’ve seen that was made in the states shares that fundamental flaw of accepting that somehow we had the right to interfere in the first place.


Yeah, but Morris should have tried to challenge/counter McNamara more.


That’s not Morris’s philosophy. He’s built a physical mechanism to keep himself from doing that. McNamara hangs himself quite nicely all by himself in the documentary.


When he made Dr. Death, a doc about Fred Leutcher, a holocaust denier, his first cut simply presented Leutcher’s views. He thought it was obvious that Leutcher would be taken by everyone as wrong. When he showed his first edit to his film students, many of them thought Morris supported holocaust denial and/or they were convinced by Leutcher’s statements. He then decided to re-work the film, adding elements that countered Leutcher.

Fog of War badly needed this. I saw it in a doc film class. I don’t know if anyone was genuinely converted to a previously unheld view, but quite a few of the students were sympathetic to McNamara and the film.


Right, but those elements were not Morris confronting Leutcher. Instead (and he does this is Fog of War, too) the counterpoints are primary sources (usually hard ones: statistics, filmed actualities, police reports). Morris makes individuals the focus of the films to emphasise that these horrible people don’t think of themselves as villains and don’t present themselves as such in face-to-face contexts (which is why the Interrotron has the interview subject making eye contact with and pleading his case to the viewer and not Morris).

It’s a risky proposition, as you describe, but in the end it’s trying to get across the point of another great filmmaker: “The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.”