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Glenn Reynolds has your must-read post of the day. In fact I'm tempted to call it your blog from Iraq of the day too. Check it out, it looks like one that will be updated frequently.
Stop by here later as I'll update this post too.
Update: Note the reference at the link to emails home, etc. That point grabbed me. For several months while I was in Iraq I felt I had a second mission - not to be over dramatic but nearly as important as my official one (though my priorities were always straight). That second-level effort was to counter the doom and gloom reporting that was being sent out from the various hotel rooms in Baghdad for re-writes on international desks in newsrooms in London, Melbourne, New York, Washington, LA, and points between.
Stop and think about that for a minute. The troops at the front had to counter the negative (and non-factual) reporting of America's media. Don't just read these words - really, think about the ramifications. America's media had let it's readers/viewers down. By design or by incompetence there was never anything in major media to indicate that Iraq's elections would be anything other than a dismal, bloody, and catastrophic failure. Overall they were guilty of incredible ignorance or unpardonable crimes.
Go read this.
You might have some idea why I believed the Iraqi elections would be every bit as successful as they were.
Then try these posts - one per day for the week prior to the Iraqi elections. If you read them when they originally went up, try reading them now with the benefit of hindsight, and see what you think.
I wasn't the only voice, of course, but I'm proud Mudvile became a place for others to sound off too. While I was still in Iraq I posted a story about action involving John Lucas' son. In no time flat Mr Lucas had emailed clarification and additional details he'd heard from his son. (Note this is the same John Lucas mentioned in Glenn's post)
Most of the last year's msm stories of Iraq should be acknowledged as the finest examples of journalistic malpractice in history.
But now all the vets of Operation Iraqi Freedom II are coming home. Home to tell the truth about their war. Home to counter the garbage that's been trumpeted by those back here claiming to speak for them for all these months. A great example is this response from a Vermont guardsman to the headline grabbing stunt pulled by the left in that state.
Likely the main stories of returning vets you'll see from that same msm now will be of GIs coming home and killing their wives. Guys who's wounds have left them struggling. Guys who can't adjust, guys who wake up screaming...
Some will even be true. But it will be increasingly difficult not to tell America the full truth when their sons and daughters, husbands wives and neighbors come marching home.
Thanks for refreshing our memories. Those "archive" articles were great. You are still doing a great job.Posted by Lucille at March 17, 2005 07:39 PM
God Bless and keep you. you - with your comrades - are part of a new "Greatest Generation" of this new century. selfless, dedicated, proud yet humble, you - with your comrades - show the best and the brightest this country has to offer.
how embarrassing for the selfish, self-aggrandizing cry-baby candy asses that are the Baby Boom generation.Posted by boarwild at March 17, 2005 09:23 PM
Greyhawk? Humble? This guy is one of the most shameless self-promoters going.
Sorry, but "sticking it out till 20" doesn't automatically make one qualify for "greatest generation" status. Maybe I just see it that way because I'm not a wannabe sycophant that desperately needs to live vicariously through "our brave troops." Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and I'm still liable to be recalled for more duty.
The thing that torques me is that at the 20 year mark of military service, an individual, if they are worth anything to the organization, generally is placed in a position of great responsibility. It amazes me that at with his length of service that "Greyhawk" finds the time to devote to his blog. Sorry, but the Field Grade officers, CW4s and 5s and Senior NCOs I served with had a lot on their plate with professional development, work responsibilities and family. To keep up this "project" going, something obviously has to give. I pray that it is not the time, energy and unity of purpose in leading those that follow you.Posted by IRR Soldier... at March 17, 2005 10:22 PM
Greatest generation my ass!
What makes a baby boomer a candy ass is his parents.Posted by Tara Sue at March 17, 2005 11:48 PM
Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time, IRR. Some of us can be effective at work, at home and have hobbies. Don't hate on those who have gifts that you don't. I'm sure that God has given you some other gift. It's up to you to find it, instead of wasting your time being envious of others.
And it is envy, isn't it? You don't have to be honest with Greyhawk's reading public, but at least be honest with yourself.Posted by Juliette at March 18, 2005 12:13 AM
Wow Juliette - great sentiments.Posted by Toni at March 18, 2005 12:17 AM
"walk and chew gum at the same time" - That's Cute.
Call me all the names you want, but you have no idea what you are talking about or what the workday is like for most persons with 20 years of active military service that are worth any value.Talk to any Brigade XO, Battalion Commander, Operations SGM, First Sergeant or non aviation warrant officer and you will find damn few that have time to "sharpen their ax", keep their subordinates trained, equipped and alive while maintaining a right-wing blog. Basically, your pithy and sarcastic comments are an insult to many currrently and formerly serving that gave every measure to their unit, faith and family - the very population you allege to "support." To make light of their responsibilities in coming to the defense of a servicemeber whose blogging probably takes away from his work performance and professional development.Posted by IRR Soldier... at March 18, 2005 12:33 AM
You know what they say...the most sucessful men have a damn good women behind them and supporting them.
Way to go MR.and......Mrs.G.Posted by Ross Myers at March 18, 2005 12:49 AM
How much time do you spend READING blogs to the possible detriment of service to our Country?Posted by Ross Myers at March 18, 2005 12:50 AM
IR Reservist bravely(?) taunts baldilocks with:
Call me all the names you want, but you have no idea what you are talking about or what the workday is like for most persons with 20 years of active military service that are worth any value.
Yep. Baldilocks has absolutely no idea what serving 20 or so years in the military is like. You are so knowledgeable about your debating opponents, it's absolutely amazing.
Ross: Actually, I get the feeling that no matter how much time IR spends reading blogs, certain details escape him. Though I must admit some people don't put huge essays on their life experiences in a section marked "Hey! IR must read this before insulting me!" or anything. It's so unfair... ;)
Keep up the good work. It's critical that the Ameerican people hear these alternative view that the MSM are not reporting.
This thread is in several essays at:
This also key to assist the Iranian people to effect a regime change and implode the ruling Mad Mullahs of Iran:Ron Wright at March 18, 2005 01:21 AM
Thanks for all your effort to work through your archives to contrast the quality of soldier vs. media reportage.
Mrs. G. posted a mention of the just-released IRI Iraq poll. I think this poll illustrates exactly the media problem you are addressing (the poll results are now published, so I 've accessed the detailed graphics). I found the contrast to the ABC-WaPo poll to be startling to say the least "Majority of Iraqis Are Optimistic- Majority of Americans Pessimistic":
Compare the Iraqi trendlines to the American voter trendlines from the latest ABC-WaPo poll. Is there a disconnect here? Is this possibly a consequence of the unwavering media pessimism regarding Iraq as well as WW IV? Is there any correlation with Al Qaeda's Combat Doctrine? See this MEMRI translation "Bin Laden Lieutenant Admits to September 11 and Explains Al-Qa'ida's Combat Doctrine":
... In these wars, the experts stated in their article, 'television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.'...
Shame you didn't serve under me IRR. I'd love to have you at Captain's Mast. It's obvious you need the reprimand and denunciation for your behavior. But alas, you're so full of yourself you'd probably wear it as a badge of honor. Unfortunately for you there is absolutely nothing honorable about you. Your drivel at B5's and now at Mudville gives you away as a pantywaist first class. You are not even credible enough now to be annoying. IRR simply stands for IRRelevant! Heh! Try looking up my record since you are a master investigator in your own mind! Some lessons are learned the hard way by hardheaded folks and some folks are simply too dense to learn. I put you in the latter category.
So far I believe you've tried, quite unsuccessfully, to attack people that have more credibility in their little finger then you do in your entire being. Makes you a little man there hoss. Baldilocks is spot on with her comments on that envy thing you got goin' on. I believe they make medications for that disorder now. You might give it a whirl. You're obviously already maimed from the neck up. Might as well try and fix the rest! And now you've become so irrelevant as to be ignored. Enjoy! ;-)
Well said Hawk. I get allot of the same stories from the Jarheads that have already come home. The biggest thing that draws amazement is the way the news is presented. Took some getting used to and for some they never could. Most of the Grunts I know seek the internet for their news updates and have already given up on the MSM as a whole. They still read some of the guys and ladies that were embedded with them but rarely anyone else. In a way it is sad, the death of an era and all that, but at the same time it speaks volumes about the credibility of sites like yours and the other milbloggers. The guys are entering work-up and have a list of sites they'll take with them on their return. Maybe we'll see more milblogs as well when they get back in-country. This will be the third trip for most, some going on four. It's funny to me how these guys don't have mikes stuck in their faces by rabid news hounds as in previous times! ;-)
Keep on truckin' Papa Hawk. You and the lovely Mrs. G are truly pioneers of the positive kind and your work is greatly appreciated!
In matters of principle, stand like a rock! --Thomas JeffersonPosted by JarheadDad at March 18, 2005 03:36 AM
Go back to the du. Spew your troll blather here no longer! Go take on the Rott(nicedoggie.net) if you are so smart. Leave these good people alone. NOW!
JarheadDad, You got this boy figured out bout right! I'll bet he'd of had a boot up the backside had he worked for you!
I am in Iraq right now as a Company Commander and I have time to keep a blog. This is how I relax at the end of the day. I work my butt off taking care of the troops and the mission. But at the end of the day, I need to wind down or I will never get any sleep.
How dare you accuse someone of dereliction of duty when you do not know the facts.Posted by Mustang 23 at March 18, 2005 06:55 AM
I don't normally resort to name calling, it's not my style, but you're an Idiot. You're not fooling anyone.
BTW, two people run this blog.
"That's all I have to say about that"Posted by Mrs G at March 18, 2005 09:29 AM
20-year+ Field Graders, CW4s and 5s and SNCOs are the product of two decades of trial-by-fire, and a vetting process the likes of which you're apparently trying hard to avoid. Our main responsibility, in my opinion, is one I'll simplify to "care and feeding of junior troops." Since obviously few have taken the time to discharge this duty with you, I'll spend a minute of my precious time (my secret: I don't watch television) on your behalf.
First though I must correct a false impression you may have left with a number of readers. Military people actually have spare time - in fact it's crucial to sanity, and though you might prefer readers to think otherwise I will assure them that the service life is actually not 24/7 drudgery, and there's ample time to spend at self development, hobbies, and other pursuits. These are in fact encouraged by the powers-that-be. In many regards there's even more available time when we're deployed - those many days when the worst enemy we face is boredom.
But back to you. An important thing for you to remember as you while away the hours surfing the web and reading about the thoughts and accomplishments of so many others in the big wide world - do not embarrass yourself or your profession. Take it from me, you're doing so here. But hurling insults in comment threads of blogs is one thing - violating comsec/opsec is another. I honestly meant to send you a private and friendly email when I read some of your earlier comments on Blackfive's blog, but before I could do it you had actually used AKO to access personal information on an E4 and posted it on a blog run by someone you admittedly don't know and who's legitimacy you question. That you can access AKO indicates you are indeed a soldier; that you would pull personal information about a fellow soldier - most likely a junior troop - and post it on a web log indicates you lack the judgment and discretion necessary to keep the title. (I'm being kind. There are other interpretations of your actions.)
I'm not playing silly online games here IRR. You're in a hole. Stop digging.Posted by Greyhawk at March 18, 2005 03:40 PM
I wanted to sleep on this post before commenting on the importance of the communications that are now available.
It's pretty common knowledge that my generation's war in Southeat Asia was lost at home rather than in the field.
I wonder how many Vietnamese would have died in the reeducation camps and at sea, trying to escape had we been able to tell the stories of what was going on. I wonder how many of those Cambodians killed in Pol Pot's camps would have lived.
If we'd had Blogs and E-mail would the sacrifice of some 58,000, mostly volunteer, members of Boarwild's candy ass generation been for nothing?
If we'd had Blogs and E-mail would we have been able to counter the lies? Could we have undone some of the insane restrictions we worked under?
If we had the same ability to complain about the shortcomings of our equipment would so many men have burned to death because of the insanity of gasoline engines, rather than diesel, in the APCs?
Would the Tet Offensive in '68 be known for what it really was, a defeat of the VC and NVA on a scale of Hitler's defeat in the Battle of the Bulge?
These are the questions I slept on. I awoke with no answers.
The cause was noble and right! The sacrifice was not in vain.The micro-management from D.C. is what lost that war. Our military was up to the task! Those that would lead in the future learned from the mistakes made then. Look at how awesome our military and the people in it are. They have the same dedication as those in Vietnam,but they are better equipped, better trained and most of all, better led. What if those lessons were just being learned now? We are stronger in this war on terrorism because of those lessons.
As far as the rest goes, NEVER AGAIN will the msm be able to spoon feed the public and now the everyday G.I. Joe and Jane have a voice. Their own!
Am I in a "hole" Greyhawk?
That "troop" you are defending was an E-4 that publicly misrepresnted himself as an NCO. In committing this misrepresentation he 1) utilized a government issued e-mail account (that was clearly visible to all readers on that site); 2) his e-mail email@example.com plainly stated his name - for all to see.
I called him out as a fraud and sure enough - he was one. This bolstered my consistent and principled point that the service records and experiences claimed by many "blog warriors" differ markedly from reality.
You accuse me of violating opsec? Spare me. Both his name and e-mail address were visible in the comment section of Blackfive.net. I deleted his phone number and personal address. I left his rank and unit of assignment as verification that he was, indeed, a fraud. Would anyone have believed me otherwise? Remember, the mysterious Blackfive isn't in the IRR so I needed to post my "smoking gun." You are so quick to defend a complete poser that tried to paint me as a callow, inexperienced officer that doesn't know what I'm talking about. I do, whether you care to entertain that notion or not.
If I wanted to be especially vindicative, which I am not, I could have easily gotten and posted the offending fraud's personal home phone number and home address. Sorry, I won't do that. A soldier's name, rank and unit are fair game - especially when publicly claiming to be something he's not.
What's that old saying about "never walking by a correction..." Oh yeah, you're too busy blogging away to be bothered with a fraud claiming to be an NCO when he's not. You're doing a pretty great job of embarrising YOUR profession by 1) defending a turd that lies about his rank to get more "respect" on a mil-blog and uses his AKO address to do it; and 2) you chastize me for uncovering this hoax after I was not-so-politely told to "shut the %$#@ up" by a fake-NCO.Posted by IRR Soldier... at March 18, 2005 08:47 PM
Yes, that 98% ACC selection rate to Captain and 93% rate to Major sure are some arduous vetting processes...
... So is the new, automatic SGT stripes after 48 months TIS. You know that this effectively grants anyone that stays a 20 year career now that the RCP for E-5 is 20 years.Posted by IRR Soldier... at March 18, 2005 08:56 PM
IRR, you've gone from posting private information you downloaded from secure Army web sites to calling an Army E4 a "turd" and making false claims about him (I actually read the comments you're referencing, and your "quotes" are fabricated.) The implications of your final statement are even more indicative of 'conduct unbecoming'.
Young lady, you are in a public forum, and I will second that fine advice you got from Greyhawk: you're in a hole, stop digging.
And add this:
Yes, we know people like you are out there, no one is shocked or surprised, but your public display is still embarrassing. When everyone tells you you're drunk it's time to sit quietly down.Posted by Older Soldier at March 19, 2005 03:21 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(22) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)