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May 17, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Warning: the following links are to blogs - who, unlike traditional media, don't use editors, fact checkers, and other devices to ensure that what Newsweek did won't happen.
Posted by Greyhawk / May 17, 2005 8:57 PM | Permalink
Little known in the under-reported story of Operation Matador was a secondary operation, entitled Operation "Kingdom of Heaven" (OKOH), that was timed to coincide with the first... Read More
If you haven't seen Team America World Police and have seen Moore's Falafel 7/11 then you are a traitor and actively helping the terrorists. Read More
As fellow fake news outlet Newsweek continues their internal investigation into the Koran flushing incident, it appears the law of unintended consequences has struck across the Middle East. Many Muslims have become so enraged by the reported desecratio... Read More
This is the Girls Softball team in Baghdad celebrating their victory over a team from Diwaniay. The sacrifices of American soldiers and families in partnership with the Iraqi people made this possible. These girls can celebrate a softball game today in... Read More
Here's my idea on how to truly test the level of trust of "journalists" against those two groups of people: Each reporter at Guantanamo gets a choice - 10 minutes alone with a prisoner, without handcuffs or any other restraints or 10 minutes alone w... Read More
A lot has been said on the subject of the Newsweek story alleging that American soldiers had flushed a Quran down the toilet. Reynolds is concise as always, one of the things I love about him. Sandmonkey is always worth reading. Quote: In th... Read More
If they can't get away with making something up (ala Newsweek) then they go back a couple years. That bastion of money grubbing lawyers - The ACLU - has dug up cases through the Freedom of Information from June of 2003. This is the best they can now ... Read More
Should this story be dismissed as a typical negatively slanted story from the left leaning liberal media? Or, is it a just a reflection of the chaos of combat? It could be both…or neither. The report that follows suggests that while US forces m... Read More
While I have been reluctant to post about his site, not wanting to generate any more traffic for the weasel, I think that this is an opportunity - it can serve as a reminder that people like him are out there. During the Vietnam War, there were t... Read More
David Limbaugh writes: If anyone doubted which side of the political aisle is playing dirty in the fight over federal judicial nominees, he hasn't read about the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League's mission to dig up financial and... Read More
I remember well walking through the streets of Varanasi, India in 1991 when there were deadly riots between hindus and muslims. Muslims were killing hindus, hindus were killing muslims in revenge . . . martial law was declared and the only living... Read More
Why worry about women in combat? Why not just let the Pentagon go ahead with boiling the frog? After all, proponents argue, it is an all-volunteer army now. Let me highlight one reason, among others: the draft. This argument is... Read More
David Gelernter reports on findings in a report recently issued by the Bible Literacy Project, which makes clear that young Americans know very little about the Bible. Gelernter is more concerned with the fact that a sizable number of Americans don't k... Read More
The Equuschick observed, during her sojourns, that the Enviromental Protection Agency takes up a ridiculous amount of enviroment. A very random observation, but one that struck her quite noticeably. But let not us dwell on these small items. The... Read More
Thomas Donnelly of AEI has published a 100 page study called, The Military We Need - The Defense Requirements of the Bush Doctrine. This is available at the link I have provided in a PDF format. Basically, the argument is that our military structure is... Read More
Often it is proper to put yourself first so that you can save others. It happens with oxygen masks on airplanes. It happens when you remain in good health so you can provide for your family for... Read More
The blame for those deaths is squarely, completely, totally on the militant Islamics who are so desperately out of touch with reality that they think that the mere thought of someone theoretically dropping a Koran into a toilet is sufficient excuse t... Read More
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