Thursday, June 24, 2010

A major issue missing from the McChrystal affair

More amazement seems to have been generated about how access was given and used (by a free-lance Rolling Stone reporter, no less) to expose the insubordinate behavior of McChrystal and his team, than surprise at what was said.

What this behavior says about the chain of command in the United States* or the intelligence of officiers seems to have been missed by major new figureheads (Matthews, Cooper, etc).

One specific item seems to have surprised them: that  a reporter might actually forgo potential future access to print a meaning full story now.

What a concept, doing the job comes first, careerism later.

As Donald Rumsfeld would say "Gosh." 

Here are two worthwhile links about the issue

*For those who think this is a "thin skinned" reaction, consider what would happen to an NCO
  talking like this about the new 2nd Lieutenant.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Post-Holocaust (Shoah) book...

I am not particularly interest in most real-life Holocaust (Shoah) stories, films, memoirs, and derived fiction.

Perhaps it is the production line quality of the works (there does seem to be an industry), that puts me off, and while many people find the personalization of events important -- I do not.  I suppose can be moved by statistics, and agree with Mary Renault in the Praise Singer, though in another context " I can picture the death ... without seeing it enacted before my eyes."

There are some works do move me -- the theme of corruption and justice in Judgment at Nuremberg, the relentlessnes of Claude Lanzmann's Shoah , the unromantic (and slightly weird) King of the Jews by Leslie Epstein.

But as a general rule, I do not rush to read or see these items.

However, I thought I would pass on a review by Jesse Kornbluth in the Huffingtonpost of a "post-Shoah" memoir called Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila.  One which I actually plan to read.

How much of what is described in this family is part of the real legacy of the Shoah, and how much is due to the immigrant experience is hard to say from the review. Some of the behavior described might fit some of my own family's 1st and 2nd generations.

However, that goes, I think the review  The Holocaust Ended? In Jeannette Katzir's 'Broken Birds', Her Mother Brings It With Her To Los Angeles  is worthwhile reading.