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November 27, 2003
Jesse's in the Game!By Greyhawk
Thanksgiving is upon us, feasting and football are in store for America. I certainly hope yours is a peaceful one, with much for which to give thanks.
Speaking of football, former star running back of the Democratic party (and still a power broker) Jesse Jackson had some shocking revelations about the war in Iraq in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial this week:
Rush To Iraq War Backfiring On U.S.
Sure, Jesse's twisting the horrific deaths of two brave Americans to his own purposes, but hey, he's just whipping up the crowd. The early part of the sermon.
On his visit to our closest ally, Great Britain, and in the face of massive opposition from the British people, the president offered the British something that he has not offered his own citizens: a broad explanation of his policy and purpose.
Massive opposition? Since four times the number turned out to protest the fox hunting ban one wonders why the rev isn't cashing in on that hot button issue too. And yes, we can only hope that some day Americans will be able to hear speeches from Britain, and those words delivered only to Londoners could be heard all around the world. Perhaps, somehow, someday, using the web...
Now Jesse starts tossing bombshells.
Bush proclaims his support for strong international institutions and his commitment to NATO. Yet he launched the war on Iraq in the face of opposition from the United Nations and the NATO alliance. Our troops bear the burden of occupation virtually alone in Iraq.
Yes, you heard it here first; Shocker #1: the world was against us.
Only now, with U.S. soldiers shouldering an occupation that they were not trained for and with U.S. citizens presented with an $87 billion bill for a mission they were told would pay for itself, does the president sheepishly return to the U.N. and seek support. Sadly, the U.N. and the allies now demonstrate their relevance by leaving the American people to pay in lives and money for the war they opposed.
Shocker #1a and 2 (in one brief paragraph!): The world is still against us! War is expensive! (Could these be related? Jesse doesn't say.)
The president states that he must defend Americans, and this may require the ''violent restraint of violent men.'' He says that free nations must, when the last resort arises, be willing to ''restrain aggression and evil by force.''
#3: There was a "rush to war" - 12 years was just not enough!
I'm starting to think Bush lied! Why? Why?
No, the war on Iraq was, as Bush's own former head of policy planning states, a ''war of choice'' -- waged not to defend Americans from an imminent threat, but to fulfill an imperial fantasy of freeing Iraq, transforming the Middle East and strengthening America's grip on oil.
Bombshell 6! "It's all about the oiiiiiiil!" Why didn't I think of that? I wonder if Cheney's Halliburton cronies are profiting from this.
Bush told the British that ''freedom must be chosen and defended by those who choose it.'' Heralding the progress of democracy in the Middle East, he acknowledged that the progress ''was not imposed from abroad, and neither will the greater progress we hope to see.''
Buried amidst most of this closing hyperbole is this concept, (shocker #7, though only hinted at): The Iraqis aren't capable of having a democratic society. The rev doesn't directly address his causes for concern; one gathers it's somehow because of Bush. They would have replaced Saddam with a democratic paradise, but Bush hosed it up.
But as the mutilation of U.S. soldiers by Iraqis demonstrates, one thing is clear already. This nation and those young men and women who serve it would have been far better off if the president had practiced what he preaches.
Those are Jesse's final words on the subject. (I wish) If you didn't get it, it's another twisted use of the American deaths in Iraq.
Summary of Jesse's points:
1: The world was against us.
And here's one he missed: Where are the WMDs? Hmmm... perhaps it's inherent in #4.
In light of this new evidence, presented by a man of God, we must now conclude that Bush lied.
< /condescending tongue in cheek attitude. >
Yes, the rev published that screed on the day before Thanksgiving, months after all those arguments were beaten to death by the droolsquad wing of the Democratic party. I'm not sure why he was out of the game when the issues were current.
Jesse is the tired veteran running back of the Democratic Party; once feared by the opposition, still a cause for some concern as he has clout in some corners, but long past his glory. He'll take the ball, he'll run, but just not too far. Touchdowns will be rare, and he didn't score one here.
In fact I have a mental image here of a losing football team's kicker, attempting a meaningless late-game field goal to make the final score 47 - 6. Except Jesse just missed his kick; it went wide left.
Yes, Iraqi youth's are reported to have mutilated the corpses of Americans; in times of war and peace one expects such cruelty from certain elements. Recall the Blackhawk Down incident; this is eerily similar, except in that tragedy in Mogadishu we were trying to deliver food. I'm always shocked, always saddened, never surprised at the ruthless behavior of representatives of radical fringe groups like that.
Sadly I'm becoming increasingly less surprised at those like Jackson who cheer them on.
Posted by Greyhawk / November 27, 2003 4:52 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.
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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.
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