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February 12, 2004
Bush AWOL?By Greyhawk
Calpundit had a very enlightening post on Bush/AWOL a few days back. Enlightening insofar as it displayed for the world the ignorance from the Left on the issue. Reading the post (or any of the others in the endless series he's made on the topic) and the comments you can almost imagine the group gathered around the paper, or the glowing monitors displaying the image thereof, marveling at the possible significance of their "Holy Grail". One went so far as to refer to the document as the "blue dress" for the Bush administration, which by itself gives a tremendous amount of insight into why the Dems get themselves into a slathering rage over this whole issue.
The only problem is, there's not one of them that comprehends what that document is, let alone whether it had any significance whatsoever, because none of them has a military background. In fact, few even know anyone who knows anyone in the military. To be fair, site owner Kevin Drum admits as much in the post, but also makes clear what his fondest dream is. (Or is that "Fonda-est" dream?)
Reading Kevin's post several days ago I hoped that Baldilocks would weigh in; a retired Air Force Reservist has a bit of gravitas when it come to interpreting such documents. She's done so, and she doesn't disappoint.
And both sides of the issue will be satisfied with her response; the Right because she completely and satisfactorily answers the questions and settles the issue, and the Left because the truth absolutely doesn't matter to them. In fact, their eyes are closed and their fingers are jammed dangerously deep into their... ears on this one.
Case in point, even after the White House released documents on the issue, Idiotarians in Congress attempted to push it. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong guy. Even more unfortunately for them, cameras were rolling, and America was treated to the site of a genuine military hero calmly dismantling a witless congressman and one of his lackeys.
...Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., Robert Melendez, D-N.J., Rep. Robert I Wexler, D-Fla., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, challenged Powell about the administration's case, suggesting it may have been misleading from the outset.
If you haven't seen the video yet, you should try. The secretary was instantly the Four Star, with a dash of Top Sergeant thrown in for good measure. The exchange continued:
Powell then went on to defend the Bush administration's assertions on Iraq's prewar weaponry. "We didn't make it up," Powell said. "It was information that reflected the views of analysts in all the various agencies."
Indeed they do. In my opinion, Mr. Brown (who has no military service in his background) is a sad little fool, and a poor representative of the people of Ohio.
And he's fortunate that the "Secretary of State" side of Colin Powell stayed in control. Who wasn't longing for the unasked question; "How 'bout I walk across the room and wipe that smirk of your face?" Followed by a complete transformation into something that would make R. Lee Ermy cringe in fear.
But the General kept his cool. Ice, baby, pure ice. And you have to see it to truly appreciate it. A clueless congressman exposed with cameras rolling.
But none of this matters, as WaPo reports in this story about the President's visit to the Dentist
...White House press secretary Scott McClellan criticized Democrats and others who were asking new questions.
He's referring to some in congress and the press, as the White House Press corps has made this their cause célèbre, in light of the lack of American deaths in Iraq this week. (Feb 11 White House press briefing video here)
Not to be outdone, Katie Couric got to ask hopeful future VP candidate Edwards on Today for his thoughts on the issue, specifically whether he thought the release of the President's records resolved everything. The wanna-veep said he thought there were plenty of legitimate questions to be answered.
Depends on what your definition of word "legitimate" is.
Update: The WaPo has more details, and a slightly different spin, (and the most intrusive registration process I've seen) on the General's testimony:
The public scolding came after Powell had already endured a number of attacks by Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy during an appearance before the House International Relations Committee. He had just snapped at a member of Congress who had casually declared President Bush "AWOL" from the Vietnam War.
Repeat: The WaPo might be impressed with his 12 years in the House, but this guy Brown is an embarrassment to Ohio.
And the behavior of the Democrats can only be explained in light of the fact that the party is self-destructing. Not funny.
Posted by Greyhawk / February 12, 2004 2:34 PM | 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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