Happy New Year everybody!
The British Entry
The Dutch Version of Amarillo
The American entry featuring various artists.
Another American entry with broad Iraqi participation.
The Bundeswehr in dance action.
And let’s not forget the French.
Plus, the solo singing category.
Bless them all.
Our guys in a landslide. No contest!
The Americans win, hands down! They don’t just sing and dance on base, they go out and dance all over Iraq!
The Dutch have seemingly embraced American Country music, with bands and singers such as Ruud Lubbers, etc, the music sung, incidentally, in English. I wonder what this means in the larger context of Dutch and European culture, specifically, does the embrace of American Country music suggest a trend away from elite left pacifism and toward a more assertive view of their culture? Have accumulated Muslim outrages like the murder of Theo Van Gogh caused a shift in Dutch thinking, and if so, has this shift resulted in the embrace of American Country music? Interesting question.
I’m with Trangbang and Elby. The Yanks win in a walk. However, I think that the question about why everything is in English is pertinent.
The U.S. military is the class of he show – everywhere they go. My nephew, when he left the Marines, was offered a promotion and a pay increase to go to the Army. I asked him why he wouldn’t do it. He said, “being in the Army is not as big a hard on as the Marines”. I guess that says it all.
BTW, thanks to all of the commenters at Belmont Club, and especially to Wretchard, for making my life more valuable than it would be without you. Happy New Year! I look forward to your contributions in 2009!! Thank you Wretchard for the best blog on the net.
We fight each in his own way for our right to be foolish, to have fun, to dance well or badly. The Belmont Club is where the fire is warm, the leather chairs are worn and the carpet is deep. I picture it as being like Dorothy Sayers Bellonna Club in the Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Someone should check on General Fentiman. The old gentleman hasn’t moved for a considerable time.
Have a good and safe New Year.
Happy New Year all, may it begin with the humbling of Hamas.
Wretchard, thanks for your wonderful essays and the funny stuff too. My day would not be complete without visiting the Belmont Club. Best wishes for the New Year. I think we will be needing them.
All the best to you and yours,
Walt, for what it’s worth, I was in Holland in the mid 80′s and met several peoeple who were big fans of American bluegrass.
American pop culture conquers all in its path. That’s why they hate us.
Then there’s the video of the Marines ghostriding a MRAP in Iraq:
Best wishes for 2009 to Wretchard and all the BC folks, commenters and lurkers alike.
Happy New Year to all on Belmont, one of the best sites on the web. Thanks Richard.
Happy New Year Wretchard and thanks for providing the nicest club in town.
I wonder what the left-over Iraqi terrorists among the groups of Iraqi men watching think about such American insouciance. The word “humiliated” occurs.
And a humiliated Muslim is mean Muslim.
(Best to leave General Fentiman to doze. He might wake up and start pontificating about polygamy, young women and the downfall of Western civilization.)
As we enter this most perplexing and worrisome New Year, I am reminded of the words of Woody Allen. “Civilization stands at the crossroads.
Down one road is despondency and despair, and down the other is total annihilation. Let us pray that we choose the right road.”
Happy New Year to one and all.
aQ never had a chance.
The restraint of the adult Iraqi men is interesting.
noprisoners’ nephew sez it well. Note that only the Marines worked in a driverless $500K combat vehicle into their routine.
Happy, Healthy New Year to all!…and may All the Blessings of the Almighty be upon you all in the coming year.
For Gawds’ sakes!!! Could some of those British guys get any pasty whiter??!!!
Ahhh, that’s great stuff! Especially our effervescent troops rocking in full battle rattle! And that break-dancing kid is a regular Michael Jackson.
Great stuff. Thanks for this and for all the intellectual joy and stimulation at the Belmont Club, the best blog on the web. I always feel like the BC is long ago bar in a faraway land, where I mingle with mysterious travelers from the world over, each with an inscrutable history and great stories to share. The beers are cold, the shots are large, and the chili is hot as hell. Not too much chance for romance, though.
God bless our troops and God bless all of you and yours in 2009!
About the lack of romance: General Fentiman will have none of that here, just ask NahnCee.
Apropos of the Bundeswehr and French Army links above– wonder if these guys learned to dance in the Franco-German Brigade, a unit within Eurocorps that has been joked about as the only armed force in Europe that’s aggressive and rude at the same time. Home page is http://www.df-brigade.de/
(click on one of the flags at left to enter the site).
So much for Die Wacht am Rhein.
Happy New Year to you, W, and to all members of the Belmont Club. Cheers,
Speaking of American music in Europe, if you haven’t partaken of Czech bluegrass, well, you should. Druha Trava is an amazing band I caught in Houston a couple of years ago at a bar called the Mucky Duck. Here they’re playing their version of the Nashville Skyline Rag:
The bluegrass staple instrument is a Dobro guitar. Invented by a Czech gentleman I believe. It is nice to see the hillbilly culture gets some bounce on the continent. Woot
Happy New year to all of you! From an unrepentant Scots-Irish swamper.
Peter (De’ath) Wimsey and Harriet Vane had a pretty good romance going, ack-choo-ally. Although we really don’t want to allow Fentiman close enough to notice that the lovely and dashing Harriet was one of those blasted unmarried young modern women.
Sometimes we get to step though a low door between the Bellona Club and the Star Wars lounge and FSB common room in a faraway land that Tony remembers.
Rest assured that the General would be a perfect gentleman and would not dream of pontificating at a young lady.
Roger – Lifeofthemind,
It’s so kind of you to notice.
I first stumbled into the Belmont Club through Andrew Sullivan’s blog, when he was so sensibly militant after 9/11. Strange route to the BC, eh?
I fell into Wretchard’s unique topographic/intel analysis of the Marines first intense sustained assault of First Fallujah. He described lines of fire, he used publicly available images, it was wild.
Do you remember that? It was not so long ago.
Wait a minute. Is this the Poetry, Philosophy, Writing blog? Prof W teaches this one, right?
C’mon – Lifeo’ – you love it here!
It’s good to know Sully did at least one good thing, if his blog brought you here… and yes, sometimes it takes an effort to recall that Fallujah I was not that long ago.
Here’s your poetry fix: Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit– some day, perhaps, it will be pleasant to remember even this [present moment]– a happier new year to you and yours.
“…though a low door between the Bellona Club and the Star Wars lounge and FSB common room …”
…and occasionally there is a Mad Hatter serving tea with a hedgehog tucked under his arm.
Happy New Year, Richard!
Ah, Haole Makahiki Hoe,
Mahola, Wretchard et al.
Thanks PA Cat,
All the best to you and yours, too.
This thread is petering out, so I thought I’d offer a reading selection. Just finished “Sniper One” by Sgt Dan Mills:
The 23 day at CIMIC House detailed in the book was the longest sustained combat of any British unit since the Korean War. We never heard much of the Brit’s battle in southern Iraq here in the US, and apparently there was very little mention of it in the UK either. Don’t want to stir up the newly minted “peace movement” heh.
Though the writer is commander of a sniper platoon, most of the book is infantry patrols, some mechanized assaults, one memorable night battle with a couple of Spectre gunships helping out, and god-awful seige under mortar, RPG and ground attack. CIMIC house was a CPA site for rebuilding Iraq, but it became more of a story like Khe Sanh. It is shocking how cut off these 106 troops in this group were, how rough their living conditions, and how insane their adversaries known as the OMS, aka Mookie’s loonies were.
Equally shocking were the ROE, where besides that night with the two gunships, the only air support they received was one single F-16 dropping one single Mk 82 on a mortar site. There was no artillery support. There were no helicopters. They had to be re-supplied with enormous columns of Warriors led by Challenger tanks. Quite a bit different than Khe Sanh in that regard.
Speaking of the “anti-war movement” – I suppose that’s over now. There was no “anti-war movement” thoughout the ’90′s, when we were constantly at war in multiple theaters, when cooperation between Iraq and Al Qaeda on WMD’s was a give, when Iraq’s WMD programs were a globally recognized world threat. It is sadly immoral how these “peace activists” donned the noble cloak of humanitarianism as simply a disguise for their abject hatred of Bush, Republicans and conservatives. Now that Bush is gone, the wars will be fine with them, once again.
Richard and fellow B Clubbers,
A happy and prosperous New Year to all! USMC wins the dance contest IMHO!
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