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The first selection from my book group was Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian. This maybe the first non-fiction book I've reviewed here. (For now, we'll just say it is.) My conservative readers may say that this book is pure liberal trash but no it isn't. Sure, it ultimately supports a liberal point of view but it was compiled from interviews with a few dozen veterans of the current conflict and points out that several things that seem to us as wrong couldn't be helped because they weren't supplied translators, proper training or the situation didn't give them time to think it through properly. The cultural/language barrier seemed to be the biggest problem faced by the soldiers.

This was a perspective that I really didn't give a passing thought before reading the book. As a liberal, I was, of course, bothered by incidents related where the troops were ordered to perform acts to civilians, or the the derogatory term "hajis," that they themselves felt were uncalled for. The book brings up the point war can turn people into animals but killing, harassing and basically dehumanizing innocent people is wrong pure and simple.

My biggest problems with the new Knight Rider is the overly large cast. Right now, they have two people to give out missions and FOUR tech support! I suggest they cut the leaders down to one and the technogeeks to two. As for the stories, they are slightly less cheesy than the original which is good because you need a little!

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