The next morning, the Chinese jumped out to an early lead, winning the first three events. They were well on their way to winning the overall trophy. Watching them conquer an event called Method of Entry — breaking down three doors, scaling the side of a building, shooting a series of steel targets and sprinting back to the start — was simultaneously impressive and terrifying. Team America, who spent the previous night in their barracks drinking contraband rum, had trouble getting inside: they wasted five minutes trying to open the door the wrong way and finished near the middle of the pack.
That night, everyone loaded onto buses for a team mixer at the Intercontinental Hotel. “I hope they have karaoke,” Carey said. He turned to A. in the seat behind him. “How do you say ‘Call Me Maybe’ in Arabic?”
“Ismeh robbama?” A. said. It meant, literally, “My name is Maybe.”
When they arrived, the reception was in full swing. The Malaysians were on the patio, drinking juice. The Russians were at the bar, definitely not drinking juice. There was tuna carpaccio and crudités and little ceramic bowls of gourmet potato chips. Outside, Sgt. Shkendije Demiri and Capt. Brittney Ray stood chatting in their uniforms. Demiri and Ray, both in the U.S. Army, are the first two women in the history of the competition. The Arab teams, in particular, seemed to love them. “They all want to take photos with us,” Ray said. “It’s like seeing a unicorn.”
"STAY ALIVE AND WREAK HAVOC"
Whatever the war, the 11th Armored is always the pretend enemy. Their current role as Afghan rebels is widely envied: they receive specialized training and are held to “reduced grooming standards,” while their mission is simply to “stay alive and wreak havoc.”
One of the cherished myths of American history is that plucky Yankees won independence from Great Britain by picking off befuddled redcoats too dense to deviate from ritualistic parade-ground warfare. That is an exaggeration.
By the time the Revolution broke out, in 1775, the British were well versed in irregular warfare and were countering it in Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. Redcoats certainly knew enough to break ranks and seek cover in battle when possible, rather than, in the words of one historian, “remaining inert and vulnerable to enemy fire.”
The spread of literacy and printed books allowed the American insurgents to appeal for popular support, thereby elevating the role of propaganda and psychological warfare. It is appropriate that the term “public opinion” first appeared in print in 1776, for the American rebels won independence in large part by appealing to the British electorate with documents such as Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, the outcome of the Revolution was really decided in 1782, when the British House of Commons voted by a narrow margin to discontinue offensive operations. The British could have kept fighting after that date; they could have raised fresh armies even after the defeat at Yorktown in 1781. But not after they had lost the support of parliament.
The pen is mightier than the sword! Huh!
The Walking Dead 3x10 — “Working Eyes: Who Needs ‘Em?”