Monday, December 7, 2009

Afghanistan; Uganda; Short Takes

Following up on some recent posts, having found some interesting new articles in the blogosphere:

--I had suspicions that the decision for a troop "surge" in Afghanistan might have been partly due to lobbying by military industries, in whose best interests armed conflicts continue.
My thanks to fellow blogger RealityZone, for bringing the following item to my attention.  Here's a brief but telling quote from Parade Magazine November 30.  Gen. Petraeus is interviewed by Col. Jack Jacobs, who was an Army Captain on the West Point faculty, 35 years ago, when Petraeus was a recruit:

"We don’t have sufficient people who are trained in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. But Secretary [of Defense Robert] Gates has directed an expansion of these forces. It’s a growth industry, and we will get what we require.”

--I saw an item from BoxTurtle Bulletin picked up by a website I just found,  Apparently Pepsi sponsored a concert in Uganda by Jamaican artist Beenie Man, a well-known homophobe, who spouted threatening anti-gay sentiments at his performance.  Through I sent a memo to Pepsi questioning their decision to sponsor this act.  Later, Pepsi issued this statement:

"We are appalled by the performer’s lyrics and find them repugnant. Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer’s views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge. Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands.”

I have added to my home page. 


  1. Man...Beenie Man started up quite a gay controversy for Pepsi in Uganda. "Slit their throats"? Pepsi has yet to respond though.

  2. Thad,
    Thanks so much for visiting! There was a statement by Pepsi, which I've added to the post. Come visit again...

  3. Nice post, Tom. I like your take on these subjects in smaller, digestible, bite-size pieces. I gotta try that! As for Afghanistan, the more I hear about it the more I would rather we pull everyone out and as soon as possible and cut our losses in this senseless folly. We have no hope of changing anything there or moving those fanatical boobs into anything similar to the 21st century so I think we need to refocus our efforts elsewhere where it will do the most good.

    This anti-gay law in Uganda is so insane! These homophobic fundamentalists cite the teachings of an American nut job, Richard Cohen (who claims to be able to "heal" gay people through cuddling with them and also by striking a pillow with a tennis racket while screaming at it)as the basis for the new legislation. Truly a case of the blind leading the blind.

  4. Tom Goette:
    Huffington Post just wrote an essay titled Obama meets Sartre: A 'No Exit' Strategy. Hope that bit of humor proves wrong, because we have a lot to accomplish right here. As far as Uganda, it's appalling that right-wing groups like 'The Family' seek to carry our culture wars to places more volatile.....they don't know what they're doing. Thanks for the feedback, I'll likely do more 'Short Takes'.