Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Coolest Feeling 

...the coolest feeling is reading a mostly-academic book in a field I love (in this case, military psychology, specifically, the act of killing in war as a trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder) and not only regocnizing the names and works referenced but realizing that I've read them to - and sometimes come to slightly different conclusions, but the author explains himself so well that I can see his conclusions too.

I'm reading War and the Soul by Edward Tick, Ph.D. I'm recognizing the works of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Richard Gabriel, Jonathan Shay, and some more "classical" writers like Carl Jung, Sun Tzu, Ernest Hemingway, Homer, and Mircea Eliade. I feel so - educated, but more than that, I feel like I can do more than simply read and absorb this book; I can evaluate it as well.

Killology and psychology may be a strange field for a girl to get into, but I'm in it. I've read lots. And it's starting to pay off.

The book, by the way, is excellent so far. I'm a third of the way through. I'll give a final judgement at the end,

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Over at Ravenwood's. I get mentioned. :)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Firing rates 

Cam Edwards has a post on the latest rant from Hanoi Jane. Read it here. He quotes Michelle Malkin:

"Hanoi Jane" Fonda is claiming that ever since Vietnam, U.S. troops have been trained to commit atrocities against innocent civilians as a matter of military policy.
“Starting with the Vietnam War we began training soldiers differently,” the anti-American actress says in an email to the Washington Post.

I left a comment, but since it's book related (and I've been lazy on the whole blogging thing), I want to reproduce it here:

Anyone read the work of Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall? And the follow up studies? Particularly Col. Dave Grossman?

I’m guessing Fonda heard about them and took them out of context.

According to Marshall (who fought in WWI and in both theaters of WWII), based on interviews with troops, when presented with an enemy target and given an opportunity and means to shoot, only 25% did. Only 25% of our troops attempted to kill the enemy after spotting him.

The military didn’t like this. The military changed its training programs to desensitize troops to killing enemy troops. Methods included things like replacing the traditional paper targets with cabbages with the top shaved off and the body of the vegetable filled with ketchup (to show men what it looked like when they actually killed someone).

Firing rates increased to 60% in the Korean War and 90% in the Vietnam War. Remember, this isn’t accuracy. This is being WILLING to shoot AT an enemy soldier ASSUMING you see him.

Needless to say, these statistics are easily misinterpreted. And you can make an argument that the military does not prepare its troops for the psychological consequences of killing (Grossman makes that argument).

But Fonda is wrong if she’s basing her statements on these facts. The training is about fighting enemy soldiers, not civilians. And the training was mostly just to fire the d*mn weapons, not to commit atrocities.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Back on the wagon 

...of blogging, that is.

I went on my honeymoon last month. And I decided to give National Novel Writing Month a try. It only required 1,667 words a day. I was was only going to be out of the country for a little over a week without a computer. How hard could it be?

Right. I didn't make it to 50,000 words. So I got burned out on writing temporarily. I would procrastinate from my novel by writing queries and book reviews. Now, well into December, I still can't pick up a novel without feeling like I'll never be able to write one, and I can't read about writing without wondering why I couldn't finish NaNoWriMo.

So I've thrown myself into learning Spanish and playing recorder and pennywhistle. I'll get back to the books soon. I promise.

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