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December 9, 2003
December 7th, 2003...By Greyhawk
John Roberts is apparently stunned that not all Republicans think exactly alike; that some are willing to express their own opinions on things. I'm not sure why freedom of thought is so hard for the media to grasp.
From Face The Nation, CBS TV, DECEMBER 7, 2003, Interview with Andrew Card
JOHN ROBERTS: And welcome to the broadcast. Bob Schieffer is off this morning. Joining us now from the White House is White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Mr. Card, good morning.
In his hard-hitting crusading journalist style, Roberts then attacks the security measures in place in Iraq, comparing it to the oppression his Palestinian comrades' experience under the boot heel of the evil Jews:
MR. ROBERTS: You're being accused in some parts of Iraq for lack of a better word barbwire diplomacy, ringing entire villages in razor wire. Making people pass through checkpoints. Detaining family members of suspected Iraqi insurgents. Destroying buildings that the insurgency has been using. Some people in Iraq are saying this is very much like the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. And I'm wondering is this the way to win hearts and minds in Iraq?
But I have a suspicion you'll see more from Al Jazeera and CBS on that comparison.
MR. ROBERTS: All right. The Chief Civil Administrator there, Paul Bremer, said recently that he expects attacks are going to increase as you make this transition toward severty (sic). That these hold outs - these dead enders will try to stop the process by stepping up attacks. Do you agree with that assessment?
Time out: Are there any American's out there that need that warning? Do you really think, Mr Roberts, that some Americans are that stupid?
MR. CARD: Well the president has said all along that this is a difficult task, but it's one that can be met. And he is very supportive of the work that is done by our troops and you should be supportive too because they are carrying out the most important mission and that's to help rid the world of a horrible regime and create hope and opportunity for democracy.
But first, this quick summary from me.
Mr. Card's key points:
What we're doing, where we're headed:
The president has as his goal first of all to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein. And we've done that.
The second thing is he is working to bring democracy and hope to the Iraqi people and all around Iraq there are dramatic signs of improvement in life. Schools are open. Small businesses are working.
We have to do more work on the security front, but it's really limited to kind of the Tikrit, Mosul, Baghdad area and we're working hard to address that problem. But we're making significant progress.
Iraqis are part of the security solution in Iraq and they are part of the governing structure in Iraq. We're making progress, but we are going to work to secure their communities and we'll have to work hard to do that as they build their own security forces.
The more and more that the old Baathist regime loses their authority the more they're going to fight back.
I think that we will find that the security situation is still a challenge, but the good news is the United States is up to that challenge.
Things are going better than they could have been expected to go at this time and we're making great progress. More has to be done and we are committed to staying there until it's done right.
The president has said all along that this is a difficult task, but it's one that can be met. And he is very supportive of the work that is done by our troops and you should be supportive too because they are carrying out the most important mission and that's to help rid the world of a horrible regime and create hope and opportunity for democracy.
Okay, sounds realistic to me. A tough road, but we'll stay the course. Got it, now back to you, John:
MR. ROBERTS: And with us now is New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Good to see you this morning. Thanks for coming in.
I'm not sure, but does this mean that anyone expressing hope for anything other then complete American failure in Iraq is "painting a rosy scenario?"
Posted by Greyhawk / December 9, 2003 5:20 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...)
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