Category Archives: - BOOKS and MOVIES

BOOKS – Ditch Medicine: Advanced Field Procedures For Emergencies, by Hugh Coffee

This Book Blew Rmabo’s Mind!

Whether it’s a war zone or a civil disaster area, traumatic injuries often occur in remote, unsanitary locations. Coffee’s book explains advanced field procedures for small wound repair, care of the infected wound, IV therapy, pain control, amputations, treatment of burns, airway procedures and more.

Hugh Coffee is a professional paramedic with extensive experience administering emergency medicine in Third World and battlefield environments. Coffee’s experience in Third World and austere environment medical procedures include improvising medical equipment from available materials and performing disaster-medicine procedures under primitive conditions.

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MOVIES: Delta Zulu – Zombies VS Private Military Contractors

This looks pretty damn cool, it is a post- Apocalyptic/Zombie independent film. Noting really new right? But instead of the usual Teenagers with camcorders, Lost Army Unit or regular guy fighting the zombies it is a team of Private Military Contractors dong the brain shooting.

From what I can gather from the above trailer sometime in the near future a virus turns some 50% of the worlds population into Zombies. The infected areas are quarantined off into “Red Zones” where the Zombies apparently roam free.

The only people allowed in the Red Zones are Private Military Contractors who presumably do some sort of Contract Work for the Government. One of those groups is called “White Shield International” [har-har].  In the flick a reporter embeds with White Shield on one of their runs into the Red Zone where presumably things go wrong and people get eaten and zombies get decapitated.

As with all Indie Zombie flicks it could end up being really good, or ass horrible, from the trailer I say it could go either way. But the original idea of using PMC’s fighting the Zombies for a profit is a cool twist [they seem to be really pushing that angle in their promotional videos].

Also from the videos on their youtube Page the directors/producers seem to be taking the weapon handling and “PMC Look” seriously, they even hired a 1st Recon Battalion Marine to put the actors through a quick Boot Camp. So expect to see lots of Velcro hats, tactical nylon and tricked out guns. No word yet if the Contractor Beard will make an appearance.

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MOVIES: Tomorrow When the War Began – The Australian Red Dawn

Minutemen – Australian style

So I was browsing the movies at the local hajji shop here in Baghdad when I ran across an Australian flick called “Tomorrow When The War Began”. Considering the rather thin choices [it was a draw between that and another poorly dubbed Steven Seagal flick] I went ahead and snapped it up. Luckily it turned out to be a pretty damn good flick.

Tomorrow When the War Began is a pretty loyal big screen version of the immensely popular [in Australia] book of the same name written by John Marsden [it is actually a series of books]. The movie is basically a “foreign army invades” story told from the eyes of a group of teenagers.

Now you are probably thinking the same think I thought when I read the description, Red Dawn. And while there are many similarities between Tomorrow When the War Began and Red Dawn there are enough differences to make this still entertaining and worth watching.

The movie starts off with a group of teenagers going on a camping trip in the Australian Bush while unbeknownst to them [despite tons of military aircraft flying over them every night in the outback] a mysterious foreign military has began its invasion of Australia. When returning to town they discover that their families are missing and no one is to be found.

Eventually they realize an unnamed foreign army has launched a massive invasion of Australia and rounded all civilians up and placed them in concentration camps. At first they do the usual looking for their families and scavenging for food but eventually they are drawn into defending themselves against the black clad occupying soldiers.

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BOOKS: “And the Rain Came Down” by S. A. Bailey

Only 2 types of people do not own this book – hippies and the illiterate

They say that back in the day a viable defense for a charge of manslaughter was “He needed killing.”  This, no doubt, was a very popular state of affairs in East Texas, the setting of Seth Anderson Bailey’s writing debut.

Bailey, a wounded Iraq War veteran was formerly a 82nd Airborne Division LRSD “Lurp”(Long Range Surveillance Detachment) . Likewise, his protagonist, Jedediah Shaw, is a former paratrooper and an Iraq War veteran with his own rucksack full of demons.

Shaw returns to the small East Texas town he calls home and an oft times tumultuous relationship with Abigail, the girl he previously left behind to go off and fight “his” war. But, like a lot of returning vets have realized, it was easier carrying an M-4 and door kicking in Baghdad than it is returning  to “normal” life and handling the everyday demands of civilian life as a husband and a college student.

Despite heartfelt promises he made himself in the desert , or maybe  because of them, he finds himself leading a life of quiet desperation, working as muscle for a local bondsman.

Running down bail jumpers doesn’t quite pay the bills though and he soon finds himself mired by debt and looking for a way out. And of course someone makes him an offer.  Good money for a simple task, or so he tells himself.  The evil-doing rich scion of a local dynasty contacts Jeb. He wants his old high school classmate to find his sister and return her home.

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MOVIES: G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra Review – Thanks For Taking a Big Fat Dump on an American Icon for a Few Bucks Mr. Hollywood

This movie sucks more cock than a 5 dollar ho

After finding “The Pit” schematics from Soldier Systems I was hit by a wave of G.I. Joe nostalgia so strong I finally decided to break down and watch the G.I. Joe live action flick despite knowing it would make me sad. Now considering how huge a fan of G.I. Joe I am most people would probably think that I have already watched it.

Well, after being disappointed beyond words after watching the Transformers movies I decided to save myself the sorrow and skip the G.I. Joe Movie. Plus after I heard Channing Tatum who plays “Duke” say that he originally didn’t want to do the movie because it glorified the wars (and presumably the soldiers also) in Iraq and Afghanistan I had about zero interest in seeing that douchebag playing one of my favorite Joe characters.

Anyway, I strolled down to the local Hajji Shop here in Iraq and picked up a copy of G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra, grabbed a chicken and dumplings MRE and hesitantly hit the play button.

A little over an hour later I felt like crying (fortunately Old School Men do not cry) or immediately burning the DVD. This monstrosity of a movie sucked balls in so many ways the internet is not near large enough for me to call out every one in this article.

But – I will go ahead and list out the main things that annoyed/made me sad/angry:

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BOOKS: War Story

Get Some! – old school nam’ style baby

Published only four years after the fall of Saigon, War Story was the first of what has become a plethora of non-fiction Vietnam War memoirs. But because of the political climate at the time of its initial publication this potential blockbuster bestseller was all but ignored by the New York publishing houses. Robin Moore’s The Green Berets was such a sensation in 1965 that it inspired a John Wayne movie, and the same photo of Army Special Forces Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler graced both the book’s paperback cover and Sadler’s top hit record. But by the early 1970′s when Morris wrote War Story, the attitude towards the Vietnam War and America’s elite warriors was colored by the anti-war movement, My Lai, the bombing of Cambodia, and the media’s slanted reporting on Tet. Vietnam wasn’t a popular literary topic.

Morris begins his memoir with the emotionally charged details of his re-occurring nightmare, a vivid and detailed replay of the firefight in which he had his left testicle shot off and was almost killed. In the nightmare, though, he is eventually killed. He ends the book with an emotionally charged memory also. In a heart-tugging coda, Morris recounts the scene. While standing in an Army hospital, his crippled right arm hanging at his side, his useless fingers attached to a mechanical brace he watches as the sun sets and the color guard lowers the flag; and tells us that as the flag is lowered “a feeling of almost overwhelming sadness, almost grief, came over me.” As Morris attempts to salute the colors with his damaged right hand he stands “crying like a baby because I couldn’t do it right.”

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OLD SCHOOL MAN: Gran Torino and the 31 Old School Man Habits of Walt Kowalski

This is probably one of the greatest Old School Man flicks ever made, hell – it’s hard to go wrong when you combine Clint Eatswood and a 45. auto. I am actually surprised that Hollywood green-lit a movie with a main character who acts like a man, especially considering that movies with metrosexual male leads are the norm now.

To say it is refreshing to see a man on the big screen that curses, smokes, drinks beer and has solid Old School values would be an understatement on my part. And besides being a great Old School Man flick Gran Torino is also a good example of how the old school man genome doesn’t always pass down the family tree.

Now allot of the naysayers dismiss this flick as just a story about a bigoted ornery old man. Well as the main character Walt Kowalski (Clint) would say; “Fuck You” because the meaning of movie is much deeper than that. Sure Walt starts off a racist old man, but he sees the fault in his thinking and (despite being old and stuck in his ways) he changes his flawed way of looking at people and eventually comes to love the Asian family next door more than his own spoiled family.

To see a movie where the main character is a man of values who despite being a flawed man is still a good person with solid Old School Man values is a breath of fresh air amongst the “sex and the city” crap Hollywood normally vomits out nowadays. And the huge success of Gran Torino at the box office and the academy awards American Film Institute (AFI), National Board of Review, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards is proof positive to Hollywood that the American male is damn tired of seeing men portrayed as bumbling pussys on the big screen.

So in tribute to this great Old School Man movie I have thrown together a list of the 31 things that today’s man can learn from Walt Kowalski

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BOOKS: SAVE THE LAST BULLET FOR YOURSELF: A Soldier of Fortune in the Balkans and Somalia

A Real deal book about Mercenaries, Private Military Companies (PMC) and Civilian Contracting

Our Foreign Correspondent Rob Krott sent me a copy of the book  he wrote about the time he spent as a mercenary and contractor in the 90’s; “SAVE THE LAST BULLET FOR YOURSELF: A Soldier of Fortune in the Balkans and Somalia”.

As a big fan of books about modern Mercenaries, Private Military Companies (PMC) and Civilian Contracting I have been quite disappointed with the rash of so called mercenary and civilian contractor books that have been released lately.

Pretty much all of them are written by an observer or war tourist who would spend a week or two in a war zone and then proclaim themselves “experts” or an “authority” on the contracting and private soldiering business then write a book.

That’s why reading Rob Krott’s book was a breath of fresh air amongst the poser PMC books – this book was written by someone that actually did what he wrote about. For those of you that don’t know about Rob Krott he is the former Chief Foreign Correspondent for Soldier of Fortune Magazine and has been writing about the Mercenary, Private Military Company (PMC) and Civilian Contracting business for quite some time.

The book covers his adventures starting from his time spent as an Army captain in the US and follows him as he joins the Croat Defense Force in the Balkans, then works as a civilian contractor in Somalia then back to the Balkans with a few other adventures in-between.

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MOVIES: The Way of the Gun

This is the Best High Speed Low Drag tactical orientated Movie That You Have Probably Never Seen

I almost passed on buying The Way of the Gun when I first saw it in the PX a while back, I am not a fan of Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis is the most annoying actress in the world.

But because of the cool title and the fact that my-man Benicio del Toro was in it I snatched it off the rack and slammed it in my basket while angrily looking the other way.

All I can say is thank god Benicio was in it because The Way of the Gun ended up becoming my all time favorite crime flick. It was written/directed by Academy Award winning writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and was the first and only movie he ever directed.

It has an ensemble cast that centers around the main characters ‘Mr. Parker’ and ‘Mr. Longbaugh’ (who here knows the significance of these names?) who are two clever outlaws looking for the big score.

You may think that would make The Way of the Gun just another a Crime Thriller, but it has several elements that you usually don’t see in action flicks that makes this movie really stand out  – especially if you are into tactical stuff and guns.

Warning: Everything below is a spoiler

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MOVIES: “The Road” and the 5 types of people who are most likely to survive the apocalypse according to Hollywood

Dad, I am so freaking bored, when will this movie end?

I was watching “the Road” for the first time last night and besides not really being that great (I nodded of once) it seemed to have the exact same crew of “bad guys” used in every other post-apocalyptic flick.

You know – the usual suspect lineup of post-apocalyptic villains; hillbillies, mentally disabled people and escapees from the local institution for the criminally insane.

The only ones missing were bikers wearing football shoulder pads and the blond chick with bad teeth that smiles and shakes her head up-and-down every time the head bad guy talks smack (never mind, I think she was in it).

(Spoilers below – Do Not Read if You Have Not Already Watched “The Road”)

The Road is about a guy and his kid that are (get ready for the big surprise), on the road walking in post-apocalyptic USA. In order to make this boring ass movie clever the two main characters are just known as “Man” (Viggo Mortensen) and “Boy” (no-one of consequence), they also make the back story unnecessarily vague.

While walking around they also try to avoid gangs of hillbilly cannibals wile they walk around, “Man” has dreams about his spoiled-ass late wife wile he walks around and despite having a pretty tough guy father and growing up in the post-apocalyptic world “Boy” is a bit of a pussy wile he walks around.

Wile they walk around… they… start… to… Zzzzzzzzzzz…….

That’s about when I fell asleep

Anyway, just so this article isn’t as boring as “The Road” I have compiled a list of the 5 types of people who are most likely to survive the apocalypse according to our buddies in Hollywood (and a bonus list of those who wont even make it past day 1).

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