Euphrates corridor: Jihadis, and territorial gains, metastasizing

Emerging war of position.

There’s always a risk in putting data points out there without having prepared the way for them, by starting with a comprehensive analytical piece.  (Well, technically, I did the fundamental analysis back in 2009, when I posted the “Next Phase of World War IV” series, whose theses have been borne out by the Arab Spring and other developments since.)

That said, I am trusting readers to understand that what we have here is an emerging trend, whose course is not set in stone, but whose potential impact is very far-reaching.  The basic element of the trend is Sunni jihadis gaining control of territory in the Middle East, as they are currently doing in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading “Euphrates corridor: Jihadis, and territorial gains, metastasizing”

Act of Valor; or, A War Without a Narrative…

Narratives, tropes, and videotape.

… but with a Chechen-Jewish Drug Smuggler Named Christo

Let me state up front that I don’t think the filmmakers meant anything by the “Christo” character.  I do think they stumbled haplessly on a hornet’s nest of anti-Semitic tropes – and thereby hangs a tale that matters.

Act of Valor is a moving, gripping film, all the more so for being enacted by real Navy SEALs.  (Full disclosure: this reviewer is a 20-year Navy veteran, and while definitely not a SEAL was privileged to work with some.)  The one major flaw I found with the production, per se, was the rather annoying sound track, which could have dispensed with the hackneyed crescendos at suspenseful moments.  What the SEALs do needs no audience-cues or embellishment.

And they do incredible things.  The movie conveys well Continue reading “Act of Valor; or, A War Without a Narrative…”