Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

Thanksgiving. The most American day of the year. More American, perhaps, than the Fourth of July. Throw in a hyperbolically American venue---Texas stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys---and you've got Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (also now in theaters). For the heroes of Bravo squad, barnstorming the U.S. on a brief victory tour to rile up … Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

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Peter Van Buren–We Meant Well

Van Buren's book stands shoulder-to-shoulder with many other great war books. The food is bad and the environment gritty. The Colonel’s in charge; body armor's strapped on; everybody piles into helos or Humvees to leave base. A young soldier, comrade torn by hot shrapnel, ignores the bloody gristle staining his cheek to stop the damn bleeding. … Continue reading Peter Van Buren–We Meant Well

Mission Accomplished

War Novels for the War on Terror Thirteen years ago Sunday former President George Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq. Over his head a massive banner proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished.” What followed this publicity stunt—he arrived on an aircraft carrier off the coast of California riding in a Navy jet—were years of insurgency … Continue reading Mission Accomplished

Cheney: still wrong after all these years

Former veep, elegantly cloaked in fiction Crediting Dick Cheney for his rebuke of Donald Trump's bigotry gets no traction with me. Sorry Dick: you can’t make up for decades of reckless decisions and bad policy based on one easy moment of obvious decency. You’re still a modern architect of the very party now on the verge of nominating a racist … Continue reading Cheney: still wrong after all these years

Brian Williams, Dan Marino & Milli Vanilli

A lot of excuses have been made on behalf of Brian Williams since his fabrications went public last week. None of them are good. None of them can buy back the credibility every journalist requires as their professional stock in trade. But I was surprised to find one of the worst excuses in The New … Continue reading Brian Williams, Dan Marino & Milli Vanilli

Review: Shattered Glass–The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard

I picked up Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard with a narrow purpose. I wanted to read about the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I wanted to know what it felt like to be the Marine standing Post when five heavily armed terrorists stormed our compound, killing … Continue reading Review: Shattered Glass–The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard