Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"And the fact that you've got 'Replica' written down the side of your guns..."

There's a side you want to be on in the following exchange. It's not Sol's (NRemotelySFW, so we're clear):

...and then there's the side that the USMil has found themselves on.
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the U.S. military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found....One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Woof. Somewhere, someone in the military's procurement division is writing "I will not transform counter-insurgency into a crusade." a couple hundred times on the blackboard. It's a pretty small deal, seemingly. I'm not expecting many insurgents to be able to A) read Latin characters, B) know the New Testament inside-out and C) figure out the abbreviations. But that's not an excuse. Because you do stupid stuff like that, and it will be found out.

It will be found out, the Pashto Rumor Mill gets running, and then you have another great big Branding Fail for the USMil. If you're trying to prove you're not running a Holy War, you make darn sure that you don't start using some Holy Words. And it's funny, anyways, because the first thing I thought of was the ""B'Ismillah..." on the sword of Mehmed II (and many, many, other Gazis):

This is just getting embarrassing. In a time when the US really needs some good press, they just keep on doing stupid stuff. The FBI's SomethingAwful division decided that generically swarthy Spaniards would make a good stand-in for bin Laden, too.
Gaspar Llamazares said he would no longer feel safe travelling to the US after his hair and parts of his face appeared on a most-wanted poster. He said the use of a real person for the mocked-up image was "shameless". The FBI admitted a forensic artist had obtained certain facial features "from a photograph he found on the internet".
Again. Woof. Someone get Tyler Brule on the Nation Branding in DC, stat.

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