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May 24, 2006
The Adventures of Jesse and JackBy Greyhawk
The modern Leftist is poorly educated, extremely gullible, and easily (mis)led.
Few other lessons are as starkly obvious as this conclusion from the Jesse MacBeth story. In such a situation it becomes difficult to discern who was the con man, who else was "in on it", and who were the conned, but clearly this week a large number of people were quite willingly duped by a third-rate phony. This is not the first time so many have been so taken in by so obvious a fraud. At some point they may wise up, but thus far like aging children at Christmas they "want to believe".
While the video has disappeared from it's original site, you can still read the words that introduced Jesse to the world:
There is a current story in the US press about a squad of Marines that are being investigated for "war crimes" after they murdered a whole Iraqi family one night a few months back. US officials are approaching this story as if this wasn't standard procedure, and are focusing on holding the individual Marines accountable. Jessie Macbeth blows the lid off that story.Actually US officials have had no comment on the Marine story as yet - to do so could prejudice the case. But those words quoted above have spread - to the pro-terrorist uruknet, the Smirking Chimp (don't laugh - it's a popular "liberal" site) and to countless smaller blogs like The Left Coaster.
At that last site in particular, the obvious connection was made to this story:
Former U.S. colonel John Murtha acknowledged in his Pentagon report Wednesday on the Haditha incident in Iraq that the U.S. Marines 'killed innocent civilians in cold blood'.Ironically - or perhaps not - the blogger chose to link the Xinhuanet version of the John Murtha story. From small blogs to Chinese news agencies, the stories spread globally.
Make no mistake about it - Jack Murtha's pronouncement of guilt in the case of the Marines (here's the al Jazeera coverage) set the stage for the viral spread and eager acclaim for Jesse MacBeth's video debut. This is not to say the congressman was involved in the con - he was quite busy accepting an award for his "courage" this week. But while they might not be "battle buddies" the symbiotic relationship between the ex-Marine and his admirers - as indicated in that original introduction to the MacBeth video fraud - is undeniable.
Nor would I imply the congressman is wrong. The honorable Mr Murtha was simply "getting ahead of the news cycle” as we say these days. In the military justice system investigations are conducted, preliminary hearings are held, and a decision is made whether a trial will follow. In the case of the Marines we are still in the investigation stage. But in courageously declaring their guilt at this point Mr Murtha has 1) perhaps duped those who weren’t paying attention into believing this is something he exposed, 2) ensured that the future news stories of the findings, the hearings, and the trials will include a mention of or quotes from congressman Jack Murtha, and 3) inspired a young Wendy's employee to make his mark on the world too.
So perhaps the congressman will comment on this:
Macbeth is a former US Army Ranger, who served in Iraq for 16 months before being wounded and ultimately discharged. His squad did night raids, using the same techniques the Marines are accused of, 4 or 5 times a night for many months. Macbeth, who is now a member of "Iraq Veterans Against the War," was interviewed for the public access TV show "Indymedia Presents."We now know that MacBeth was protesting coffee in Arizona at that time. And some of us knew at a glance that he was never a Ranger.
For some time I've been trying to come up with a more apt term for the now widely misused "liberal", and gullible seems an excellent choice. I fear they will get fooled again.
Posted by Greyhawk / May 24, 2006 11:02 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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