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May 3, 2004
03 May 04 Morning BriefingBy Greyhawk
1. Report On Abuse Faults 2 Officers In Intelligence
2. Angry Ex-Detainees Tell Of Abuse
3. 11 Troops Killed In Attacks In Iraq
4. Hostage Is Free; 9 G.I.'s Killed In Iraq Attacks
5. U.S., Seeking To Stabilize Iraq, Casts Baathists In Lead Roles
6. Israeli Vote Also Deals A Blow To U.S. Policy
7. Authority Of Iraqi General Questioned By Myers
8. 137 Troops Lost Lives In Iraq During April
9. On Or Off? Odd U.S. Alliance With An Ex-Hussein General
10. Falloujans Cheer Changing Of Guard
11. Iraqi Force In Falluja, With City Still On Brink
12. No More Troops Needed In Iraq, Says Gen. Abizaid
13. New Defense Chief Voices Concerns Over Insurgency
14. U.S. Official: Abuse Allegations Are 'A Big Deal'
17. Military Sees No Evidence Of An Increase In Drug Use
18. Military Officials Dismiss Depleted Uranium Fears
19. Guantanamo -- A Holding Cell In War On Terror
20. Tillman Was Killed Saving Comrades
21. Woman To Head Air Force Fighter Squad Unit
22. Near Reservists' Base, Disappointment At Accusations Of Abuse
23. Bush Lauds Armed Forces, Reporters
24. Bremer Regrets Criticism Of President
25. Outcry Grows Over Abuse Of Prisoners
26. U.S., Afghan Officials Agree To Fight A New Insurgency
27. U.S. Airstrikes In Afghanistan Kill 4 After Attack On Convoy
28. Afghan Faction Reaches Out To Karzai
29. Pakistani Strategy Worries U.S. Military
30. Doubts Surfacing On Abuse Of Iraqis In British Photos
31. Britain To Send In A Further 4,000 Troops To Iraq Danger Zone
32. German Protection Of U.S. Bases To End
33. New Polish Prime Minister Vows To Back U.S. In Iraq
34. Many Leaving After Saudi Attack
35. CACI To Open Probe Of Workers In Iraq
36. War-Zone Security Is A Job For...Private Contractors?
37. The Cruelest Month
38. 11-Step Program For Iraq Failure
39. Success Requires Patience
40. Refusal To Tally War's Price Costs Public Needed Debate
41. Too Late To Tweak Budget
42. The Pentagon And Terrorism -- (Letter)
43. The Nightmare At Abu Ghraib
45. Sadistic Abuse Of Iraqi Inmates
46. Don't Sink 'Law Of The Sea'
Posted by Greyhawk / May 3, 2004 12:53 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...)
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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