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.”

— http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/magazine/sleep-away-camp-for-postmodern-cowboys.html

Prostitution was pervasive in the European theater. One Army report estimated that 80% of single men and 50% of married men would have sex during their stay in Europe. And the U.S. military did not really care. What it cared about was venereal disease, which soon after the GIs’ arrivals in France began to soar.

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/31/187350487/sex-overseas-what-soldiers-do-complicates-wwii-history

intense interview with PM Abe @ Foreign Affairs

It always seems to cause problems when you talk about history, so why not just avoid it? And let me ask a related question: In order to put these issues aside, can you promise that as prime minister, you will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in either your official or your private capacity?

I never raised the issue of history myself. During [recent] deliberations in the Diet, I faced questions from other members, and I had to answer them. When doing so, I kept saying that the issue is one for historians, since otherwise you could politicize it or turn it into a diplomatic issue.

About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country.

But with all due respect, there are 13 Class A war criminals buried at Yasukuni, which is why it makes China and South Korea crazy when Japanese prime ministers go there. Wouldn’t it be easier just to promise not to go?

I think it’s quite natural for a Japanese leader to offer prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for their country, and I think this is no different from what other world leaders do.

"~Crazy!~"

"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.”

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-box-tour-through-simulated.html

North Korea warns: Japan to be first target

NPR:

If the North Koreans launched even a limited artillery strike against the South, South Korean troops would fire back instantly.

If North Korea were then to escalate, Presidents Obama in Washington and Park Geun-hye in the Republic of Korea would decide how to respond.

That’s the escalation scenario, and it leads to all-out war.

I just really really hope NK doesn’t take pot-shots at Japan. The quakes never scared me, but the fuckin’ Kim-Jungs being so close and so well armed, YIKES.

UPDATE: 

NYT:

TOKYO — The Japanese Army set up a battery of interceptor missiles on the grounds of the Defense Ministry in central Tokyo on Tuesday, as the nation girded itself for a possible missile test by North Korea.

The American Interest:

Top Chinese leaders told us that they believe Japan is entering a period of right-wing militarist nationalism, and that the purchase of the islands was a deliberate effort by Japan to begin a process of eroding the settlement of World War II, including the Cairo and Potsdam declarations.

Chinese leaders speak of China’s “peaceful development”, but some analysts believe that China cannot rise peacefully, and will seek a form of hegemony in East Asia that will lead to conflict with the United States and Japan.


This will make a good Call of Duty someday. 

I, of course, am rooting for Japan, since China takes american ideas and jobs  AND could give us a few beat-downs in a real war. Also there’s no good bands there.