Follow posts tagged #covert war in seconds.Sign up
Evidence that the West is arming the Syrian rebels
Due to the ongoing situation in Syria, where there is not full knowledge of what is going in Syria, there is much speculation as to what is happening to the Syrian rebels. While there have been calls for the West to arm the Syrian rebels, the fact of the matter is that the United States and its allies are already arming and aiding the Syrian rebels in a bid to overthrow Al Assad.
The Americans - Season 1, Episode 11 "Covert War" Review
by Kyle Trembley
While “Covert War” was a fast-paced and intense hour of television with a fascinating final act, it’s also the first episode of ‘The Americans’ that I’ve had some minor issues with.
Things start with a bang, as we pick up the story with the CIA having already dispatched 3 assassins to Russia to take down key KGB leaders, including General Zhukov, whom we previously met and know to be Elizabeth’s mentor. Claudia informs Elizabeth what’s happened, reveals the name of the CIA official who gave the go-ahead, and warns her not to pursue it; but an enraged Elizabeth immediately begins plotting an assassination. Along with Philip’s reluctant help and some questionable wig and facial hair choices (WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOUR DISGUISE GOATEE, PHILIP!), Elizabeth seduces the official and brings him to the warehouse where Amador was killed. She has the full intention of doing the same to this guy, but can’t go through with it when she realizes he’s not really the person responsible.
On paper, it all works. But this felt a little bit ‘Homeland-y’ for me. For any other show that would be a compliment, but one of the most appealing things about ‘The Americans’ is how restrained the storytelling pace has been. The episodes themselves can move lightning-fast, but the overall arc of the season is moving very deliberately, a fact that I greatly appreciate.
So it felt like a tiny bit of a cheat to start this episode with an assassination - taking place in Russia, no less - when the ones we’ve seen on this show to this point were so meticulously set up. The episode worked backwards to explain Elizabeth’s motivations to put herself at such risk just to take out a CIA official, doling out flashbacks that fleshed out her relationship with Zhukov. I appreciate that storytelling technique, but it made Elizabeth’s actions in the beginning of the episode feel a little overheated, and reckless in a way that didn’t feel consistent with her character. In retrospect, the episode does a reasonable job of justifying why she went out on a limb, but at the time it didn’t connect for me.
Still, there was so much good stuff in “Covert War” that it’s not really worth it to get hung up on those relatively minor issues. How about Martha surprising Philip by introducing him to her parents? One of the joys of ‘The Americans’ is how the show really follows through the consequences of our characters’ actions, and while Philip pushing his relationship with Martha to the next level has been a boon professionally, he’s heading down a dangerous path.
Or how about Elizabeth’s breakdown when she realizes she’s out of control? Praising Keri Russell at this point almost feels like an insult - her performance on this show is so consistently spectacular that the reasons to praise it are entirely self-evident and don’t need to be pointed out. Suffice to say she’s damn good in that scene, as Philip breaks her heart again without even knowing it by casually revealing that he’s got an apartment in the city as she’s gearing up to invite him back home.
Finally, the extended discussion at the end of the episode between Elizabeth and Claudia was just terrific, as the two continue their high stakes chess game. Elizabeth realizes that Claudia actually wanted her to kill the CIA official, and sees right through her cover story of an affair with Zhukov. Claudia denies Elizabeth’s accusation that Claudia was trying to get her fired for defying orders again, but Claudia’s motivations remain mysterious. We’re definitely headed towards something big with these two - bigger even than Elizabeth beating Claudia to within an inch of her life.
“I honestly don’t know what’s worse—-legalizing immoral wars or running them covertly. They’re both bad. But liberals who condemned the Bush administration for it’s open defiance of civilized norms and embrace of an Imperial policy should be forgiven if they are equally appalled that President Obama is doing the same thing covertly. On the other hand, perhaps it’s also the case that many people were more concerned about the legalization of these tactics than the tactics themselves. There were plenty of arguments along those lines during the Bush administration. (As I said, I think I fell into that trap from time to time myself, simply by worrying too much about the effects of making torture legal on the society at large.)
In other words, it’s the process they don’t like rather than the substance. I don’t know if that’s the case but the fact that these practices have been so common for so long under both Democrats and Republicans—-and that the only time people get agitated is when the government seeks to do it openly—-argues for the latter. It’s not something Americans should be proud of. Having the government do this dirty work under the cover of night is undemocratic—-even if the people prefer it that way. The people are ultimately responsible, either way.”
“Simply put, the use of drones and the vocabulary by which they are justified, with words like “precision” and “surgical,” center on a tactical and rhetorical contrast to the brute barbarism of terrorist acts—the beheadings and floggings, the unmitigated carnage of suicide bombings. Terror is a problem, and drones are being sold as the neat, sterile solution to all of its bloody ambiguities and sinister secrets.”—
“Drones and the Theatrics of Power,” Rafkia Zakaria, Dissent
Today, the second CIA drone strike since yesterday in Pakistan killed ten civilians.