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April 16, 2003
Why I'm Not in ChargeBy Greyhawk
GREYHAWKS WARTIME PRESS CONFERENCEThe press is lucky I don't run the CENTCOM press briefing. If I did the Q & A would look like this:
And NOTE: Yes these are the actual questions from the actual reporters at the actual briefing on this actual day!
CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND OPERATIONAL UPDATE BRIEFING
GREYHAWK: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Yadda yadda yadda okay now your questions. Yes, Adi.
GREYHAWK: 'Maybe' on the reward thing. Would that lead you to tell us where they are? And DNA? we might have some. Why, do you want to donate from your collection? Or do you want DNA as a reward for turning someone in?
Q James Forlong (sp) from Sky News. You've mentioned you've got Saddam Hussein's DNA. Do you also have Bashar Al-Assad's DNA?
GREYHAWK: You people's obsession with DNA is really creeping me out here, okay? Can any of you explain DNA? Or do you just use it in sentences? Are you collecting and trading this stuff? I mean really, do you want to clone somebody or what?
Q Pam Sampson (sp), Associated Press. Can you please comment on reports that the Iraqi army's western An Bahr (ph) command surrendered today to U.S. forces?
GREYHAWK: We do have a rumor that the 12 guys who may have survived Air Force bombing runs might have given up.
Q General, Paul Adams, BBC. Do you have details of an incident reported in Mosul which may have involved fatalities and possibly involved American forces?
GREYHAWK: I think your referring to what we call the war. People are getting hurt and even killed.
Q (Inaudible) -- New York Times. Not to beat a dead horse, but to return for a second to the DNA question, you said you do have samples of DNA material from the Hussein family. Please tell us where, when, how and from whom they were obtained.
GREYHAWK: Listen freak, we're not giving you any DNA samples, okay? If you have some youd like to contribute we'd appreciate that. Otherwise forget about it.
Q (Inaudible) -- BBC. We have reports that you are searching sites -- this is fairly constantly raised -- for weapons of mass destruction. Will you be bringing in or inviting in any impartial body to help you with the search, possibly the U.N. weapons inspectors?
GREYHAWK: Yes, as soon as it can be reliably determined that Hell has frozen over.
Q Michael Weiskopf, Time Magazine. What is the price on Saddam's head?
GREYHAWK: Two Billion Iraqi Dinar.
Q (Inaudible) -- ABC Television Australia. Can you confirm this report around that the commander of the Republican Guard Baghdad reached an agreement with American forces to surrender and get his men to quit and go home in exchange for transfer, via an Apache helicopter, to an undisclosed safe haven?
GREYHAWK: It's true, these people will do anything for a helicopter ride. In fact the reward for Saddam is now Two Billion Iraqi Dinar and a helicopter ride.
Q (Inaudible) -- Al Jazeera. Actually, I've just been back from southern Iraq up to Nasiriyah, and I've witnessed the humanitarian efforts. And they were going up -- I mean, finding our way slowly. And actually can you give us some sort of a breakdown as to how much human aid have you injected into that area? What was taken from Iraqi warehouses from the stocks of the oil-for-food? What did you provide yourselves? And on the medical sort of thing, do you have all the answers to all the cases that are there?
GREYHAWK: I said please and you forgot to say "thank you". So sit down and shut up.
Q Chas Henry, WTOP Radio. Thank you Greyhawk. Can you give us a sense of the scope and scale of the coalition's effort to hunt for weapons of mass destruction? How many people are involved in this effort? Dozens? Hundreds? And how are they focusing their efforts?
GREYHAWK: Now, this is a good question. I believe we've got 250,000 armed inspectors combing Iraq freely right now, with no UN or Iraqi restrictions.
Q Pat Doyle (ph) from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Given the emphasis in the beginning of the campaign on eliminating weapons of mass destruction and getting rid of Saddam Hussein, if coalition forces are unable to capture or verify that Hussein is dead, either using DNA or some other process, and if they are unable to find unambiguous weapons of mass destruction, will the campaign have been less than a success?
GREYHAWK: Yes, dipshot. It will be declared a complete failure and we'll all go home in shame. By the way, thanks for making the trip from Viking country, moron. Hot enough for ya?
Q I'm Karen Sloan (ph) with AP Radio. I had two questions. One was getting back to the antiquities issue. Asking people to return things now is kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. Why did the coalition, when it went to great lengths to protect oil facilities not go to any lengths at all apparently to protect some of the museums in Baghdad that had great antiquities?
My second question is we are hearing some reports of anti-American demonstrations in Nasiriyah in conjunction with the political meeting going on there. Do you have any comment on that?
GREYHAWK: We are here for a war. Someone should have told you before you came over to see the museum. I see where you are disappointed. Sorry our troops were busy dealing with people who were trying to kill them. It's criminal what happened. Why didn't the AP protect the museum? As to the demonstrations, as I am trying to explain to you, we just had a war and a lot of these people are a little ticked off at us for shooting at them, okay? We hope they'll get over it but we'll see.
Q Hi, it's Paul Hunter, from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Yesterday you came close as Tikrit was falling. Do you today declare the major military operations in this war finished?
GREYHAWK: Okay, sure. The war is over. Anyone else gets killed by US troops from now on it's a crime and we'll investigate it as such, okay dipshot?
Q General, Pete Smallowitz from Knight Ridder. With more than 50 Iraqi leaders who are captured or who surrendered, what happens next with them? Is there a trial? Is there a sentencing? And how long does that process take? How will it work?
GREYHAWK: This is war. Trial, sentencing, execution, two weeks tops. So don't try anything stupid.
Q (Off mike) -- of Reuters. Can I ask what the situation is along the Syrian border? I know in the past you've said you control at least one of the border crossings. Do you control the whole border? Is it possible for leaders to cross over there? Is there evidence that they are doing so or that weapons of mass destruction have been taken over there?
GREYHAWK: Yes. We've got men spaced every six feet along the entire length of all borders of Iraq. No one leaves til we find the Top Dogs, the WMD, and all that stuff from the museum. I suggest you people check your luggage very carefully to make sure no one "planted any antiquities" on you, okay?
Thanks very much, I'll be here all week...
Posted by Greyhawk / April 16, 2003 5:30 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com