Tunes for the Day, February 15, 2009: The Birthday Massacre, Ego Likeness

“Holiday” by The Birthday Massacre; “Severine” by Ego Likeness

Of course, this feature cannot exist on this site without mentioning The Birthday Massacre, so here is “Holiday” to familiarize newbies with this phenomenal band’s works.

Last time I featured a song by Collide; I find Ego Likeness to be much of their contemporary. The song for the day from the Baltimorian band is “Severine”.

It is a strange coincidence that I wrote recently about Terminator 3’s Kristanna Loken, as apparently, she hangs out with the latter band’s singer, Donna Lynch.

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Posted in Arts, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Tunes for the Day

A Turnaround Strategy

Fareed Zakaria points out that Coalition Forces have to work hard to prevent creating “accidental guerillas”, in a conflict that seems to be going much less well than many think. However, he believes that the war in Afghanistan is not a “quagmire”, and that elements of counterinsurgency warfare can be applied. As many others do, he recognizes the problems with the current Afghan government, and offers solutions to strengthen the credibility of the administration as well as to effectively deploy troops to the country.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/182651/output/print

Posted in Humanitarian Issues

Afghanistan Is Not Vietnam

Frederick W. Kagan discusses the dissimilarities between the Vietnam War and Afghanistan, offering points on how to avoid the 21st century conflict from taking turns in similar directions. He agrees that the counterinsurgency approach is feasible and that in order to succeed, Coalition Forces must be able to establish security of the population, but he also recognizes the often publicized problems with the trust in the Afghan government.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/184376/output/print

Posted in Humanitarian Issues

Obama’s Vietnam

John Barry and Evan Thomas express their view on how Afghanistan is starting to eerily look like Vietnam.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/182650/output/print

Posted in Humanitarian Issues

Counterinsurgency Field Manual: Afghanistan Edition

This ForeignPolicy.com article discusses the implementation of the recently updated U.S. counterinsurgency methods in Afghanistan. The second part of the article is an interview with General David Petraeus.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4587

Posted in Humanitarian Issues

Taliban Militants Attack Kabul

I remember discussing last November that the Mumbai terrorists attacks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_attacks) had far-reaching implications in the international fight against terrorism. Besides obviously being a human tragedy, the attacks served as an encouragement for other extremist groups to plan similar violent acts. It was not even a question of whether there would be a similar attack in Afghanistan, but when it was going to occur.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/world/world/general/taliban-suicide-bombers-attack-afghan-capital/1431599.aspx

While the Afghan population in general has not been hostile towards Western forces stationed in the country, dissatisfaction with the level of security provided by Coalition Forces has been steadily growing. The Kabul attacks are a psychological blow to Afghans who perceived the capital to be a fairly safe place. Afghans’ confidence in their government has already been shaken by the Taliban’s resurgence and by reports of widespread government corruption. At this point, a firm and swift response is required; one that scores a psychological victory by capturing a high value target responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks, or a strike on a terrorist camp where the attackers trained and were dispatched from. In light of Pakistan’s recent admission that the Mumbai attackers trained within Pakistan’s borders, an Afghan-Pakistani joint operation along the border would improve the uneasy relationship between the countries, and would deliver a devastating blow to Taliban fighters hiding along the border region. It would be a win-win situation for the Coalition, for Afghanistan and for Pakistan. Even though the premise of such operations seems to have faded with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, who expressed support for Pakistani cooperation with Coalition Forces along the border, this latest escalation of Taliban violence, especially after the Mumbai attacks, will leave the affected countries with little to no choice.

Posted in Humanitarian Issues

Tunes for the Day, January 20, 2009: Collide, Unsun

“Beneath the Skin” by Collide; “Destiny” by Unsun

Considering the importance of music in the subjects covered on this site, this feature has been long overdue. This will not be a daily  entry, as various commitments may interfere with regular updates, but I will try to expose readers to good music as often as I have a chance to.

If there is a YouTube post of the song, I will include the link, but lacking that, I may provide artist web sites or online store 30-second samples, whatever is legally available.

Today’s first selection is from the Collide. I have never been a fan of restrictive categorization of music, so I would rather go with tags, such as industrial, dark wave, electronic, gothic, techno, synth. This is a live version of “Beneath the Skin”.

The second song, “Destiny”, comes from across the Pond, performed by Unsun, and includes a few easily digestible popular touches, nothing bubble gum, though. Let us go for the tags gothic, metal, alternative, melodic.

Posted in Arts, Lifestyle, Tunes for the Day