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February 14, 2008

Swingin’ With David Petraeus


Nice to see General Petraeus — taking time out from putting Sunnis on the U.S. payroll — celebrating the grand opening of a USO facility at the air base in Balad, Iraq.  I mean, if our fighting men and women are going to be there another hundred years, they are sure going to need some place to unwind between that 33rd and 34th tour of duty.

The real stumper to me, though, is the video game of choice here.  What happened to Halo, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, or even 9/11: The Video Game?  Could it be that Public Affairs got to choose?

Besides the phallic association (oh yeah, and there’s also the gun propped in the corner), I love the situation on screen.  It’s like a mirror of the Administration’s almost five year old story line: We may be in the rough at the moment, but in the next shot, we’ll surely be on the green.

Kill Or Convert, Brought To You By the Pentagon (The Nation)

Playing ‘outside the wire’ (

Propaganda Propaganda (this week’s earlier piece of mis-direction – BNN)

(image: Anja Niedringhaus/A.P. Feb. 7, 2008. Balad, Iraq. via YahooNews)

  • mcc

    …is Gen. Petraeus left-handed?

  • black dog barking

    It’s been a long time since I’ve played video games but the First Person Shooter games I remember were pretty simple: the solution to every problem was 1) aim, and 2) shoot. These games were fun in part because they abstracted away the reality — you didn’t have to bury your kill or live with the smell. No PTSD there, no sir-eee.
    The weapon in the corner of the room tells us what we need to know about our “mission” in Iraq. In a country that folded its military resistance to our overwhelming show of force nearly five years ago each and every American is a target 24/7/365; even the top dog. Even the top dog taking a break for the cameras.
    Mission Accomplished! Heckuva job Bushie!!

  • tekel

    “Have we come full circle? What kind of question is that? Lighten up buddy, I’m on vacation… now watch this drive.”

  • tekel

    ack, sorry for the doublepost, thought typepad ate my first one… feel free to delete.
    But to add just a little bit of value, I guess that’s when we’ll know that we’ve finally killed enough Iraqis to declare victory- when the soldiers are playing real golf outdoors instead of Wii golf indoors.

  • R

    Talking of video games, I saw something at my local mall the other day that left me saddened and a bit angry. Two teenagers where playing with realistic mock ups of M-16 in front of giant flatscreen TV. The game was part of a Army recruiting booth.
    ‘Nuff said.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    it is interesting and perhaps, necessary for us to compare this image with its complement, BNN : “Al Qaeda video shows armed boys in training to decipher its meaning and appreciate fully the message it conveys to us, hidden in plain sight. For if it makes you cringe to see images of ‘the militarization of les enfants’ ~ it makes me cringe to see, e.g., images as this: ‘the infantalization of the American military’.
    iow, if it is startling to see young boys and girls playing = training with real weapons, then it should mean something to see adult men and women soldiers training = playing with unreal toys; Their being made comfortable living in make-believe worlds; their self in software, not warfare.
    it is said (i have read) that when soldiers come off convoy duty or combat patrols, they go on the internet, when by themselves; all else being in that institutional ritual of their group. The irony is that the soldiers of the IRAQ Occupation Army never go to IRAQ.
    Rather they remain culturally ignorant of and socially apartheid from this place we occupy: as naifs we wander rather than aware, wonder.

  • MadameGonzo

    comme naifs nous errons pour passer par nous-mêmes, plutôt qu’averti de d’autres, nous nous demandons: “pourquoi, la guerre?”
    as naifs we wander through ourselves, rather than aware of others, wonder: “Why, WAR ?”

  • jtfromBC

    The General appears bulky, is he gaining weight, doing steroids, or wearing body armor under his battle fatigues while at play ?
    Are video games really that physically dangerous ?

  • Don Coyote

    Petraeus is always so good at playing virtual games whether its video golf or pretending the U.S. is winning in Iraq!

  • Jen Clark

    Our tax dollars paid for that flat screen tv and Nintendo Wii. That’s a pretty kushy set up for a War General! A friend of mine serving his second tour in Iraq had his own room with air conditioning. He’s never had that in the states! So much money is being wasted while we are all going broke.

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