Andrew Exum in Bloomberg View on the U.S. soldiers' photos Scandal ensued when the Los Angeles Times published photos of U.S. soldiers fooling around with the body parts of a dead Taliban fighter. "[V]eterans will also be the first to know that these kinds of incidents happen in all wars ... What’s new... is the ubiquitous presence of cameras and camera phones on the battlefield." In that sense, the real failure is on the part of the officers charged with keeping these soldiers in line, who often don't understand the perils of new technologies in the battlefield. While older soldiers are often too ignorant of the effect Twitter and Facebook can have, young soldiers are often too naive about it. "Over time, the military leadership will come to include people who have a firmer grasp of both the potential and the dangers of new technologies. As for the photos themselves, their real effect might be not in Afghanistan but in U.S. living rooms. Americans... could stand to see such horrors more often."
Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic on diversity and Girls Many have crticized Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO's Girls, for the lack of diversity depicted in her show, and that debate was elevated with a tweeted response from one of her writers. Coates thinks the anger at Dunham is misplaced. "There has been a lot of talk, this week about Lena Dunham's responsibility, but significantly less about the the people who sign her checks. My question is not 'Why are their no black women on Girls," but 'How many black show-runners are employed by HBO?'" Faulting writers for not creating a certain kind of character, one with whom they might not be familiar, is unproductive, Coates says. It can lead to poorly crafted caricatures. "It is not so wrong to craft an exclusively white world--certainly a significant portion of America lives in one. What is wrong is for power-brokers to pretend that no other worlds exists."