Paintballing with Hezbollah – they cheat, take hostages, and bring their own grenades

We figured they’d cheat; they were Hezbollah, after all. But none of us—a team of four Western journalists—thought we’d be dodging military-grade flash bangs when we initiated this “friendly” paintball match.

As my eyesight returns and readjusts to the dim arena light, I poke out from my position behind a low cinder-block wall. Two large men in green jumpsuits are bearing down on me. I have them right in my sights, but they seem unfazed—even as I open fire from close range, peppering each with several clear, obvious hits. I expect them to freeze, maybe even acknowledge that this softie American journalist handily overcame their flash-bang trickery and knocked them out of the game. Perhaps they’ll even smile and pat me on the back as they walk off the playing field in a display of good sportsmanship (after cheating, of course).

Instead, they shoot me three times, point-blank, right in the groin…

Yes, I remind myself, this is really happening: Four Western journalists (two of whom alternated in and out of our rounds of four-on-four), plus one former Army Ranger-turned-counterinsurgency expert, are playing paintball with members of the Shiite militant group frequently described by US national security experts as the “A-Team of terrorism.” It took nearly a full year to pull together this game, and all along I’d been convinced that things would fall apart at the last minute. Fraternizing with Westerners is not the sort of thing Hezbollah top brass allows, so to arrange the match I’d relied on a man we’ll call Ali, one of my lower-level contacts within the group.

 

Keep readingPaintballing with Hezbollah, is the path straight to their hearts

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HBO posts first episode of new show, Veep, on YouTube until May 21

HBO is continuing their YouTube experiment after posting Girls online, they are also hosting Veep. The show, which will only be available online until May 21, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a former senator who’s been asked to be Vice President of the United States

The full bio from HBO:

Former Senator Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has accepted the call to serve as Vice President of the United States. The job is nothing like she imagined and everything she was warned about. ‘Veep’ follows Meyer and her staff as they attempt to make their mark and leave a lasting legacy, without getting tripped up in the day-to-day political games that define Washington.

Created by Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In the Loop), a Scottish comedian, director, and writer famous for his satires about British politics.

 

Watch the full pilot episode – Fundraiser

 

Clip – “I’m the body man”