You may have noticed I havent posted much in the last week.  Well the two week prior I was on leave and able to access a computer and more importantly news more often.  So since I’m back to work things have slowed down here again. 

Will try to post something more significant this weekend though.

3:10 to Yuma

Official description: In Arizona in the late 1800’s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Bale), struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the “3:10 to Yuma”, a train that will take the killer to trial. On the trail, Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other’s respect. But with Wade’s outfit on their trail – and dangers at every turn – the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man’s destiny.

I just returned from watching 3:10 to Yuma.  Before I wrote anything I wanted to check out some online reviews and see if what I saw was reflected in the reviews of others.  What I found was reviews by normal people (not critics) were almost all favorable and those by the enlightened were not.  So what this tells me is that it’s a damn fine movie.  One reviewer I read stated that “this movie tried resurrecting a genre that should be left dead.  Humm. That kind of review would any western get from this asswipe.

I loved the original with Glen Ford but then I was a Glen Ford fan anyway.  This new version has many of the traits of the original and followed the same basic storyline.  Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are great as always.  It’s not a simple good guy bad guy film yet retains some of the basic western themes.

I enjoyed the film and recommend it easily.  But if you don’t like westerns don’t see it.  It’s not a modern take on the old western.  It’s a normal western which is damn good to see.

SF Officer and NCO Charged with Murder? WTF

I won’t comment much on this subject at this time. But follow the links to find out more and voice your opinion where it will do the most good.

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina: From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sergeant Troy Anderson had a clear shot at the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a village near the Pakistan border last October. When Captain Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Anderson fired a bullet into the man’s head, killing him.

In June, Staffel and Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of Special Operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg to weigh the evidence against the two men, both Green Berets.
The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.

To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”

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Bin Ladin again. (shaking in boots)

So Bin Laden has an audio message the supports the rebellion against Pakistani President Musharraf. It’s not really a surprise but is interesting in that once again the audio is accompanied by old video footage.

Bin Laden’s voice was heard over video showing previously released footage of the terror leader. U.S. officials said the audio was being analyzed but noted there had never been a “fake” bin Laden or Zawahiri tape.

Really? So the fact that previous tapes have been altered would not fall into this category?

Not saying this is fake, just wondering why the US would be so quick to confirm enemy propaganda. Just saying.

Meanwhile a vigil is held every year near a small cave in Tora Bora…ok I made that up.. maybe…

Martial Arts, Combatives and other silly shit

It seems every decade the new martial arts trend sets in.  Right now it’s MMA (mixed martial arts) and Brazilian Jujitsu.  Now I claim no expertise in any of these.  Nope the only belt I wear is black though.  But it tends to be leather and used to hold my pants up or carry my knife.

The Army has embraced the Brazilian form.  With the Modern Army Combatives (MAC) the army has taken sides.  Well for a while anyway.  The logic is the Army needed something effective in building the “Warrior Ethos” while not hurting soldiers.  In the past many attempts to incorporate Hand to Hand combat of some sort has been tried.  The results often were many sprains and broken bones the put soldiers out of training for weeks at a time.  This in turn made commanders very leery of having any type of hand to hand training.  The “Modern Army Combatives” seems to have brought back hand to hand yet reduced the injuries.   The question is, is it really effective for combat?

I almost hate to write on this subject since I’m pleased to see the Army including a form of hand to hand regardless of the style.

So my personal opinion is that MAC is limited.   While many good usable skills are taught,  for the no “shit I’m gonna die” fighting I would not rely too heavily on the “lets go to the ground” mentality.

Often MMA skills get incorporated into the program as many of the instructors tend to migrate to this in their off time or the hired instructors are MMA fighters’ full time.  This is great and these guys are good.  But good at what they do which is fight in a sport with rules.  Granted MMA today is about as close as you can get in a sport and be real but it still has rules that take away from what a combat soldier would use.  (Note some MMA and Combatives fighters are good street fighters also.  This is not about individuals and how they use the skills they develop)

If your first line of attack isn’t designed to cripple, maim, blind or kill your opponent it’s just a sport.

So not long ago our team had some time with an MAC instructor or detaining a person of questionable loyalties.  The technique used was to take the individual to the ground where you’d maneuver him to his stomach and zip-tie him.  Would it work in real life?  Well with 40 + lbs of body armor and everything from your rifle to grenades hanging off us we doubted it.  So with our own instructor ( another team guy who possesses many skills in this area) we did another session that was more Neanderthal like and seemed to work much better.  Simple large muscle group techniques with assertiveness and the person in question had little choice in what he was going to do.

I’ve worked with a couple of people over the years that got it.  Their styles had nothing to do with tradition or hyping a sport but eliminating the threat as soon as possible and moving on.  Sadly not many real MA instructors qualify in this.

But hey the Army is getting closer.