A Look at Russian Civilization: Power, Truth, Trust, and War

The second of my two essays on Russia:

“Westerners must appreciate the abandon with which the Kremlin lies and stop being surprised by it. From the perspective of the Power Civilization, words are another weapon, and the tenancy to believe them and, even more so, act on them, is an exploitable weakness.”

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/a-look-at-russian-civilization-power-truth-trust-and-war

Nine Lessons of Russian Propaganda

After visiting repeatedly, I moved to Ukraine from the United States in 2012. My parents had been born in Ukraine and taught me some of the language during my childhood in Queens, NY.

Being so close to Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and the subsequent Russian invasion gave me perspective on American perception of these events. The audacity and effectiveness of Russian propaganda has left me in utter awe. After two years of close observation, some strategies and motifs of Russian propaganda have become evident. Hopefully these lessons will lend some clarity on the information war which overlays the kinetic one. . . .

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/nine-lessons-of-russian-propaganda

Have I become more devout?

Not exactly.

But long after my literal belief in the Bible waned, I’ve gained deep appreciation of what Christianity does for society. I believe in believing.

Television – a novella about the Iraq War

The second in a series of three novellas about the Iraq War is up on Amazon!
(fiction based on my experiences)

Television Front Television Back

The second in a series of three novelette about the Iraq War. Television is about the day to day grind of combat operations, a mission to visit the parents of a civilian casualty, and the murky realities of war.

“This story shows us another side of war where routine and duty go side by side with tragedy and valor.”
–Andrii Drozda, Literary Critic, LitAkcent

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Convoy Home

The first in a series of three novellas about the Iraq War is up on Amazon!
(fiction based on my experiences)

CONVOYHOME-cover-front CONVOYHOME-cover-back

A novellette (~9000 words) about the Iraq War, and the exhilaration and heartbreak of leaving it behind, based on the author’s experience. The first in a series of three.

“An honest look at the everydy realities of war – a must read.”
– Nolan Peterson, conflict reporter, The Daily Signal

“Skaskiw’s story about a man coming home from Iraq mirrors Hemingway and Tolstoy’s stories about men dying. Convoy Home is almost intolerably sad, beautiful, honest, and true.”
– Adrian Bonenberger, author of Afghan Post

Curt Doolittle’s advice to Hollywood (also applies to writers)

HOLLYWOOD, LET ME HELP YOU
The movie business doesn’t scale any more than national narratives do. Understand? Anything interesting for everyone is impassionate for anyone.
the hero’s journey may be universal but the properties of that journey cannot be universalised.

I gave the same speech to the newspaper industry in 2008. There is a limit to scale. After that you must represent mini and micro-group interests.

But this destroys the evangelical self importance of journalists and the financial incentives in news distribution.

Like government, there is little advantage to scale except credit. Unless studios start getting into the military business they have run out of scale.

Movies and news are regional, meaning cultural, phenomenon.

Hence why americans don’t like movies: no heroes are possible without opponents.