El Sordo and cheese licking
Never have. By this I mean to say I’ve never actively disliked military advisors and foreign war correspondents. Especially Anglo-Saxons. I look at their work and ask with calm curiosity what do you do and most of them never have an answer short of moping about and licking cheese and stalking off in a huff to practice monologues.
There are exceptions, however, and we should pay attention to them.
That’s the first paragraph from Luke’s million-word reportage from trenches near Bakhmut. The story reminds me of El Sordo and his men, Metallica and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
(What The New Yorker wrote about Hemingway’s novel in 1940 is here).
But I digress.
For at least nine years and the last 453 days we have spent more time than ever in the proximity of military advisors and foreign war correspondents. What began as a vague dislike quickly ramped up to mean, squinting displeasure at their existence. BBC’s John Simpson (nicknamed, Cachou, French for booger) was the worst. He was caught licking the cheese again this year, even after promoting Crimea as a great vacation spot.
There is also Jason Jay Smart, an American cheese licker who signs his op-eds Thank you
Cheese lickers hang out with other cheese lickers, like Malcom Nance. They are oily people, who are constantly bragging about their relationships status. Cheese lickers like to interview one another, not caring about the rest of the world vomiting around them.
Smart has zero military experience. He worked with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. This alone should disqualify him for any serious job. What Smart, Nance and ChatGPT think about intercepting Russian missiles is, er, irrelevant.
Two Weeks at the Front in Ukraine. In the trenches in the Donbas, infantrymen face unrelenting horrors, from missiles to grenades to helicopter fire. (The New Yorker, May 22, 2023)
Fungible Ukraine. Lurching towards victory (February 23, 2023)
How Ukraine’s Air Defense Spots Russian Missiles. How do air defense systems 'know' that a missile is coming and what happens next? (Kyiv Post, May 22, 2023)