The Discovery Channel And The Weapons Trade
By Gauthama Siddarthan
07 July, 2012
In recent times The Discovery Channel has begun its Tamil telecast. The discovery Channel is a very important Television Channel which is eagerly viewed and widely acclaimed by one all, the world over.
It is enabling us to have a glimpse into the woods hitherto not ventured by the human feet, probing through the innermost part of the land of the wild and help us have a first - hand knowledge of the life of the wild animals, their day-to-day activities, habits and peculiarities and so also the life of rare birds. Further, the Discovery Channel takes us into the vast oceans and shows us the marine life, especially the strange life of unique marine species. And, the Channel is doing extra-ordinary job in observing the living styles and habits of all too rare animals and introduces them to us.
In the same way, it seeks and gains entry into the inhabitations of the hitherto unknown tribal communities and gives us a glimpse of their strange habits and beliefs and customs and many more things such as the tribal community which dwells on the trees alone, building houses atop the trees. The Channel succeeds in gaining entry into places where even the rays of the Sun have failed to enter and we can whole-heartedly applaud the Channel for its initiatives such as the one mentioned above.
( Here, we can even cast aside the adverse criticism leveled by our media-friends time and again, which claims that most of the scenes pertaining to these Wild-Life Programmes would be shot inside the Studios that are maintained for the specific purpose of shooting outdoor scenes)..
But, this Channel has never spoken a word on the fundamental rights of these wild animals and rare species. (ANIMAL RIGHTS). Further, it has never uttered a word on the basic rights of those tribal communities which it introduces, of course with a flat bird-view perception, with the sole intention of making it all very interesting to the common, average viewers and so depicting it as minutely as possible. It has never been concerned about highlighting the basic rights of these tribal communities and it has never felt the need to probe into the causes of their plights and travails; nor it has bothered to raise voice against the political activities which exploit these Tribals in various manner and so blatantly; it has never telecast a programme highlighting the Tribal rights.
Recently, I chanced to view a Programme called FUTURE WEAPONS that is being telecast in Discovery Channel on a regular basis and it left me shocked to the core. The Programme was exploding on the ‘small screen’ as a kind of rehearsal or trailer for the Future Wars of the World. This Programme shows the viewers all the recent technologies in warfare, the new weapons being manufactured and their range and power in causing colossal destruction to Humanity. The viewers are offered a glimpse into the way these new technologies and new weapons are being tested and evaluated right in front of the viewers and the process of handling these new technologies and deadly weapons is explained in a detailed and interesting manner. The telecast of this Programme is always accompanied by detailed discourses from expert hands at Warfare. The Programme is hosted by a former Navy SEAL(United States Navy, Sea, Air and Land Forces), Mr.Mack Machowicz. The deadly weapons are exhibited in a fine array and the way they are used in the battle-fields is shown all too realistically, with the picturization of real attacks and explosions that go on at the war-front. While viewing I could see that those scenes had the power to fascinate and capture the mind and attention of the viewers and so make them view those scenes as heroic deeds.
The host of this deadly telecast, former SEAL of US Naval Force begins the Programme with this introduction: Do you know how skilled and dangerous the weapons of tomorrow would be? The very recent, highly skilled and dangerous warfare technologies have already expanded its range and scope so much as to dominate the warfare of the 21st Century. And, the new found missiles which could find and attack its targets on their own are being introduced.
The next stage has begun. A great pile of highly dangerous weapons is approaching you now, moving closer and closer. There is no place to hide. Absolutely no place at all to hide.
Yes, from those guns which could revolve, go round and round and shoot the targets right up to the most recent technological advancement of the world which is the Supersonic Jet Fighter Plane - all these weapons give no room at all for the enemies to hide themselves from its scrutiny and assault. More than that, these neo-missiles would keep the enemy in the dark, i.e., the so-called enemy wouldn’t have any clue as to wherefrom the attack originates and hence he could do nothing to safeguard his land and people. If you think that you are in a safe place, say, in a bunker or under a shielding metal sheet or behind a strong wall, you should reconsider. Especially, if you happen to come straight across this mammoth long-distance range riffle called Panzer Howitzer (Discovery.com/Future Weapons) the need for such review and reconsideration becomes all the more essential. For a moment I felt utterly bewildered and confused wondering for whosoever all these future weapons were.
‘These future weapons have unimaginable range and power and precision. They would spy and find out enemy’s hide-outs with so soon and with such ease and smash and ground them beyond recognition. They would remain undefeatable in any war ‘- so the Discovery Channel Programme was singing, non-stop, the praise of these new, all-time deadly weapons,.
Who is the so-called Enemy that the host and other participants of the said Progamme repeat time and again. Who is The Enemy? It I said that anybody can buy and have such glorious weapons in their possession and benefit from their power of annihilation and seen in this light anyone who doesn’t have such weapons in his possession becomes the Enemy. The image or symbol Enemy so becomes the person who doesn’t possess these weapons or missilies. This means, the Discovery Channel has thrown open the busy market of Weapon Trade.
Feeling terribly restive and agitated I began to search for more details about these weapons in the Discovery Channel Website called Future Weapons. There I was confronted with a gigantic mine of weaponry.
In the website http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/future-weapons/weapons/zone2/ the technological expertise and advancement of the ‘Future Weapons” are shown in great detail, inch by inch, with the help of a special software of the Discovery Channel. And, with the help of a virtual screen designed by Ex-ray like accessories even the insides of the weapons and missiles are shown and the data of the specific computer technology used in the making of the ‘future weapons’ , their finesse and intricacies are all being laid bare on the small screen. Their length, breadth, width, height, weight and the appearance of these weapons and missiles from different angles and in different postures, from below and above and so on are all so colourfully and meticulously displayed.
The dissolving scenes in quick succession teach the viewers the ways and means of handling the weapons and instill in us a sense of satisfaction as if we have learnt it all very well and have become an expert in weaponry. When we see with our own eyes the heroic, fabulous deeds of the ‘future weapons’ we are given the choice of selecting a suitable site(!) for us – the Land or Water or Space – and there the actions of the future weapons would take place ‘so magnificently’ right in front of your eyes
These are no shadow fights of the likes of Video-Games or Computer-Games. They represent the real wars that are taking place around us. A psychological fantasy whereby your heart is fixed in the ‘warfare’ and the battle-zones become our own and not of someone else; they happen not somewhere else but in our very midst. Let Programmes like this take place in the Internet. We have no qualms. But, Television is something which has become an integral part of ordinary people’s lives and hence screening such deadly Programmes on Small Screen is highly condemnable.
I had the opportunity of reading several chapters of this Discovery Channel Series. It is very evident that this Programme is designed in such a way which would attract the viewers’ attention at once; and also stir the minds of those who have elementary, superficial knowledge about war/fight and for whom warfare is shrouded in mystery. The Programme gives a detailed account of the advantages and benefits of the technical expertise of these deadly weapons and they also highlight at length the differences and similarities between the weapons of the present time and these ‘Future Weapons’. A particular weapon has so much of capacity to attack and to cause colossal damage, a particular weapon has so much potential to withstand the attack from the enemy side - such information and details are given along with suitable targets that have already been attacked. Instead of offering mere numbers and data the Host and other participants of this Telecast present real life-like demonstrations and explain at length the attacking strategies or withstanding capacities of the said weapons.
Modern warfare is about creeping up on your target unseen. To be invincible, it’s good to be invisible. The notorious Predator, the silent aerial assassin and then, the formidable Barrett M107 rifle, loaded with new military-grade munitions that out-snipe the sniper — from nearly 2 miles away.
In a breathtaking display of firepower, this episode of Future Weapons reveals the most powerful conventional weapons yet devised. Capable of unleashing a million rounds a minute, Metal Storm is the most destructive automatic gun ever created. The Thermobaric bomb is designed to use a lethal combination of flame, pressure and suffocation. This state-of-the-art bomb reaches deep into caves, creating an enormous bone-crushing blast, which is quickly followed by a firestorm that leaves nothing but charred landscape in its wake. The Multiple Rocket Launch System fires off a barrage of missiles against its target with such ferocity and speed that it guarantees total destruction. Where before stood an army, now only shadows remain.
More sinister and subtle than anything that’s been seen before, these weapons can destroy entire cities in the blink of an eye. The EMP bomb paralyzes a city with an invisible electromagnetic pulse, sending civilization back into the dark ages. The LRAD weapon strikes down human targets with low frequency noise; and powerful lasers take the place of bombs and bullets, when a laser mounted in a plane incinerates other planes and ground targets at the speed of light. The future has arrived! (Discovery.com/Future Weapons)
Is the Future so gruesome and horrible? 99% of those who view the Discovery Channel Programmes are children and teenagers.
People like Ms.Radhika Koomarasami , the Special Representative of U.N. Assembly who have been constantly raising their voices against the practice of turning children into militants and engaging them in warfare should give spell-out their views on this Telecast.
For whom all these Programmes are? for a moment I turned confusion-confounded. I just couldn’t understand how at all such programmes could benefit the ordinary, average viewers. Won’t it be proper that these Programmes are shown to the rulers of the nations and their army generals and the Advisors of War-strategies? The Organizers of this Programme may justify the telecast by saying that the Programme intends to create the much-needed awareness about the impending danger of the ‘future Weapons and Warfare. But, instead of awareness all that this Programme does is creating a terrible sense of despair and fear about the future in one and all the viewers ad nohing else.
For merely viewing it and going our way, this is not a movie of science-fiction. Real weapons. The documentary evidence that is extended before us in flesh and blood. Hence, with the great impact of reality it goes straight into the hearts of the viewers and gets stuck there for all times.
Further, the Programme makes it a point to show in a detailed manner how these new technological advancements in weaponry and warfare can be useful and applicable to various situations that we have to come across in our day-to-day life and thus pave the way for these weapons to be accessed and handled by the ordinary viewers in their daily life and activities. The viewers are made to experience a sense of pride for having gained exclusive access to some high-security zones and Research Centers run by the State as well as private concerns. They are able to learn even the names of those who are the makers of America’s Future weaponry and its technology.
In this a lady who has designed one of those deadly weapons while speaking about herself says that she is a Vietnamese refugee and that she had undergone all the cruelties of war and only then had managed to find a way out. What is worse, she says so proudly that it was her life’s ambition to design such a deadly weapon and only after finishing the work she could feel a sense of fulfillment in life.
All the great literary works of the world and real-life documentary writings tell us that those who had faced the horrors of the war and are haunted by its memories, seek Peace and Harmony in life but, this lady’s statement sounds exactly the reverse. Her words do not sound the voice of one who had been fortunate enough to escape from being right under the wheels of the weapons of war but instead, her voice has the romantic overtones of one who is actively engaged in Weapon Trade.
This is but a vicious scheme of psychologically pushing forward those numerous human-rights groups which are struggling all over the world for the preservation of human rights into the next stage. The prevailing climate whereby the big countries and super powers of the world alone are engaging in warfare doesn’t prove congenial for Weapon Trade. Added to that, the UN Assembly, Amnesty International, Treaties and Declarations of Human Rights against War, Nuremberg policies, Geneva Conventions, International Criminal Courts and so a lot of blockades are there for the flourishing of Weapon Trade. No use relying on these. So, if the realm of Weapon Trade is to be expanded the small little militant groups of the third World are to be targeted.
We can easily perceive how systematically the symbol of a Vietnamese refugee is inserted as the inner layers of the theme-content in this Programme. And, we should ponder over the intrinsic politics of this strategy. Anti-American sentiment is the worldwide counter-image and this has been cleverly made use of in the sense that it is subtly made known to the viewers that such a dangerous future weapon is indeed the brain-child of one such affected person.
Not only that, but they also give practical demonstration explaining the ways and means of attacking the hideouts of the terrorists in such countries as Iraq and Afganisthan. In this subtle strategy of depicting the Muslims and Muslims alone as the deadly terrorists of the world, we can see the real horrifying face of the merciless dictatorial Monopolist regime cleverly lurking behind, peeping out.
Thus, in various angles and from various backgrounds we have to look at this Programme. See the horrible way they introduce a future weapons by name MOAB. : MOAB, which is hailed as the Mother of Atom-Bombs is the heaviest of the world. It weighs 18,000 Tons and the very fact that we possess one would give our enemies the worst possible fear. Before it was used in Iraq War, at the time of its massive test-run itself Iraq became all jittery seeing the success and results of the test-run and started retracing its steps. Eventually Sadham Hussain tasted defeat..” the voice that speaks thus is not just the voice of the woman who is compeering the Show. It is in fact the intmidating voice of America which has been adopting this strategy of terrorizing the other nations with its possession of such so-called ‘Future Weapons’ and reaping fruits down the ages.
When we see the various episodes of this Programme as a whole, there might surely be some more points to ponder glaring at you. For instance, the First Series of this Programme has been aired in six Episodes under the following heads: 1.No Place To Hide 2.Stealth 3.Maximum Impact 4.Future Shock 5.Smart Weapons 6.The Power of Fear . The Second Series had thirteen episodes - 1. Search and Destroy 2. The Protectors 3. No Escape 4. Mission Invisible 5. Front Line 6. First Strike 7. Predators 8. Top Guns 9. Smart Destroyers 10. Close Quarter Combat 11. Immediate Action 12. Future Combat 13. Massive Attack which have been telecast so far.
As stated earlier, this Programme, unlike the direct reporting style or in the style of Documentation, sports the appearance of presenting actual life and its practices with the help of which it succeeds in securing the wholesome attention of the viewers to the subject-matter it deals with. Wherever and whenever possible it shows actual battle-front and the raging war there with the help of which it manages to create the impression that it is offering the viewers some rare visions of the present world scenario.
With the help of offering such real-life scenes from the battle-fields and the usage of the so-called ‘future weapons’ it enables the viewers to satiate the mysterious and indescribable quest and queries hidden in the minds and hearts of each and every man regarding man’s supposed to be primal thirst for war and also the burning quest for knowing answers to the mysterious questions pertaining to weaponry and warfare and also give answers to their quest for ‘future weapons’. And, the Host of the Show takes great pains to list out the invaluable things in man’s life and things that are sought after and respected most by them.
This is a Programme which is being telecast every week as a Serial and each episode of it shows in great detail a good number of ‘future weapons’ and their uses in different dimensions and perspectives. And, each Episode precisely makes it a point to give especial attention to the new technologies of warfare – both offensive and defensive. When the nature and characteristics of the weapons the language and expressions befitting a poet are employed. Thus, with such poetic and romantic usage of language the horrible scenes of warfare are given the status of a Classic or quality work of art which naturally fascinates the viewers.
For instance, there was this scene where one of the so-called ‘killer weapons’ called Thermobaric which is manufactured with tongues of fire and pressure combined together pierces through the rough and rocky outer surface of the cave and goes to its depth with lightning speed and turns everything there into ashes with its horrible storm of fire . The entire place has been turned into a scorched piece of land.
“The great grand leap of the predator-animal which hunts its prey and grabs it with such precision and firmness!”
“The incomparable companion of this Century!”
Accompanied by such fantastic expressions and descriptions the ‘Future Weapons’ wink at us.
To put it in a nutshell, this Programme shatters into pieces one of the all-time ideal dreams of the peoples of the world to have a world without the horror of war and to nurture the future generation in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere where are no guns and other weapons..
I wanted to know how the Media of the World view this Telecast and when I leafed through several websites and Internet Magazines, to my shock and dismay most of the Print Media have glorified this Host as some Super-Man.
The following are just two of the numerous write-ups on the Host and his Show:
Exclusive Interview: Mack Machowicz FutureWeapons” Host, TREXPO West Keynote Speaker
The host of “FutureWeapons” brings his motivational message of “Not Dead Can’t Quit” to TREXPO West.
by David Griffith - Also by this author policemag.com/Channel/Weapons/Articles/2009/03/The-Waking-Stick.aspx
You wouldn’t know it if you saw Richard “Mack” Machowicz hosting his Discovery Channel show “FutureWeapons” or leading one of his martial arts classes at the Los Angeles-based Bukido Institute, but this former Navy SEAL studied to be a Zen Buddhist priest.
On the surface, there seems to be very little about the man who insists on being called “Mack” that’s Zen. He’s intense—engaging, embracing, good humored, but all the same, intense. There’s a passion and a drive that burns deep inside the man. It’s the same passion that helped him conquer “Hell Week” in BUD/S (basic underwater demolition/SEAL training). And it’s the fire that drives him to succeed in the world of entertainment.
No, Mack doesn’t really fit the placid stereotype of a Zen priest. But he says the stereotype of Zen is wrong. He tells the tale of one of its greatest priests Rinzai who carried a “waking stick” to smack his students out of their daydreams.
In every thing he does, in his best-selling book “Unleash the Warrior Within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence, and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals,” in his classes, and in his hosting duties on “FutureWeapons,” Mack wants to be a “waking stick.” That’s his true mission in life. As Mack told me at the end of this interview: “If I exist solely to help somebody else do something great, I am OK with that. That would be a blessing to me.”
Richard Machowicz from “Future Weapons”
Written by: Tim http://www.maninstitute.com/?p=223 14 April 2009
As men, we often feel the need to destroy and break stuff. The Man Institute has researched extensively why this is and we have discovered the answer:
Breaking stuff, blowing stuff up, lighting stuff on fire, etc. is something that all manly men have done throughout their lives. Whether it be burning ants with a magnifying glass and playing “car accident” with a Hot-Wheels car and a hammer as kids or taking up a career in demolition or pyrotechnics, all men have sweet destructive urges.
Before you take this the wrong way and start thinking we’re arsonists or criminals or something of the sort, we’re not. We’re just men and as men, we constantly think about giving things a good smashing.
Enter Mr. Richard “Mack” Machowicz. At this point, I can say with 99% certainty that Mack is at least 40 times the man you will ever be. Don’t feel bad, though, as his man levels are through the roof, much higher than the average man. Plus if you start getting upset, there’s a good chance his fruit-loop detector will go off and get you properly beaten down.
To start things off, Mack has a sweet nickname. If at any point your nickname could be someone’s real name and is simply the root of one of your names, it’s a good indicator of a high man ranking, keep it up. If your nickname happens to make reference to your weight, sexuality, emotionality or anything not manly, chances are good you should be closing your web browser now.
Mack has made a living out of blowing things up and destroying things. No, he isn’t one of your average demolition men, although he would probably be more effective. Mack has his own show and has become famous testing Future Weapons. Essentially his job consists of taking sweet new weapons that are still being tested and shooting them at things.
You might ask, “How do I get such a sweet job? That sounds fantastic!” The answer is quite simple: get off your couch and start working out… A lot. After that, join one of the most competitive and exclusive teams in the armed forces (the Navy SEALS), stay with the SEALS for 10 years, study martial arts for 20 years and create your own fighting system, achieve multiple blackbelts in said martial arts, teach combat training to future combat trainers, specialise in personal protection for the rich and famous and you will then be well on your way to being half the man that Mack is and therefore, have a very small chance of getting a similar job.
On top of all the above requirments (which I hope you have realised that Mack has already achieved), Mack has also written a book called: Unleash the Warrior Within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals and is also the co-founder of Warpath Entertainment, a bad ass film company.
We’ve searched a few videos of this manly man at work. I think you’re going to like what you see.
I’m hoping that just reading about Mack has got your testosterone pumping. If every man were as manly as Mack, the world would be a much better place; however, as long as there are men putting miniature clothes on dogs and designing pre-faded or ripped $200 dollar jeans and drinking Cosmos, super-manly men such as Richard Machowicz will be necessary to provide some form of balance.
For his extreme manliness in various aspects, Richard Machowicz has earned a superb man rank of 9/10. Well done, Mack.
The Discovery Channel’s ‘FutureWeapons’ Reveals Technology of the Future
February 08, 2007
by Tara M. Clapper
Hosted by Richard “Mack” Machowicz, The Discovery Channel’s FutureWeapons introduces battle technology of the future in an engaging format. Mack, a former Navy Seal, personally tests and inspects the technology featured on the show. FutureWeapons combines test footage, interviews with key developers of technology, and real life war footage to demonstrate munitions, rifles, defense systems, armor, tanks, and airplanes that would otherwise seem able to exist only in a science-fiction movie _ so a person by name Tara.M.Clapper writes a detailed essay highlighting the salient features of these weapons in a web-magazine called Associated content.com.
As far as my probe goes, no other Media has written against this Telecast or condemned it. I would like to know if any has indeed protested against the telecast of this Programme or raised the issue of its adverse impact on an average human mind, in general and on the impressionalble minds in particular.
The progressive –minded people the world over and those with reformist-zeal, the discerning and socially conscious Media personalities, world-renowned anti-war campaigners and activists, those who strive for the cause of human rights, those who advocate for Global Peace and Harmony, those belonging to Art and Literary Fields – why are they keeping quiet, not coming forward to spell-out the intrinsically political agenda of this Programme called Future Weapons? Or, can it be that the unfortunate human-beings of the Third-World alone are not capable of realizing the ‘magnificent’ aspects of this Programme?
Thanks to the following Websites ::
Gauthama Siddharthan is a noted short-Story writer, novelist and essayist and a Editor in Tamil International political Magazine UNNATHAM). He can be reached at email@example.com
Translated into English by Latha Ramakrishnan
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