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January 13, 2006
Not In Whose Name?By Greyhawk
That crouch is interesting - most people strolling under the whirling blades of a helicopter adopt that pose. The blades are well above your head, but survival instinct is strong.
This photo was taken by US Army Spc Jennifer D. Atkinson. The picture is one of many produced by military journalists covering the war on terror. They are freely available for use - released by the government and essentially public domain.
Which is why you'll often find them on anti-war web sites. The link is the web page of Thomas Barton. Barton produces what he claims is "a near-daily news bulletin for service members" - and encourages wide distribution. Here's some background from the web site of the group "Not in Our Name" (NION):
Since May 2003, Thomas Barton has been distributing this comprehensive daily compilation of news about our government's immoral war without end. When Thomas began distributing these bulletins via email, notinourname.net was the only place you could go to get up-to-date issues, and all of the back issues as well. Now Thomas has his own page dedicated to "GI Special" -- making our archive redundant and never as current as militaryproject.org.NION was founded in March 2002 (a year before the invasion of Iraq) by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party. NION's stated purpose is to resist the U.S. government's course in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. The RCP believes "that the only way for the oppressed masses to ever liberate themselves is through waging a people's war, and building a new socialist society on the ashes of capitalism." Most US "peace protests" are organized by NION and "fellow travelers'" groups like International Answer.
Speaking of Fellow Travelers, Barton is also the producer of Traveling Soldier:
But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance to those on top - whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.In addition to that endorsement, you'll find Barton's compilations routinely available at various other "anti-war" sites. They also trickle down into personal web pages of folks who may or may not be aware of who their intellectual leaders are.
But speaking of personal web pages - it turns out the photographer who captured that photo has one:
OMG.I'll save you the bother; here's how the image appeared on Barton's "military project" page:
I'm not sure exactly how the photo is supposed to support the claim in that headline, but I suppose that's not the sort of question the consumers of Barton's material are expected (or permitted) to raise.
But after her initial surprise, Spc Atkinson responded:
Sir,This, my friends, is exactly what milblogs are about. Troops speaking for themselves - no reporter, congressman, or "'anti-war' traveler" in between. You want to speak for the troops? You better make damn sure you're not lying when you do so. "Not in our name" indeed.
I highly encourage all here to visit Spc Atkinson's blog and leave a few words of encouragement - or thanks. Her post doesn't note whether she's sent that letter yet or not. She's been busy though - returning home from Iraq. (In fact she was one of the soldiers who happened to be greeted by President Clinton when he went to Bangor after meeting Jacques Chirac.)
As for Barton...
"a member of the International Socialist Organization, Thomas Barton is a third-generation union activist: His grandfather belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World in Indiana, an uncle helped form a United Auto Workers local in Wisconsin, and another, called "Red," was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Barton himself has been involved in everything from publishing an anti-Vietnam War newspaper to arguing in D.C. this past week that Chinese sweatshop workers and prison inmates are not the enemies of organized labor, but rather its allies. As he puts it: "It's not the workers who are our enemies—it's the same class of rich people that run both the U.S. and China." He is also a frequent contributer to Socialist Worker Online)...he has a legal right to publish that photo. The question is now a moral one, and the answer isn't likely to surprise anyone.
Posted by Greyhawk / January 13, 2006 10:51 AM | Permalink
...using our Troops to fulfill their political agendas (read socialist/communist) with absolutely NO regard for the Troops whatsoever. Mudville Gazette does it again! Here an excerpt from Greyhawk's post: "Not in Whose Name?" 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.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
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