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Several mainstream news sites - The Washington Post, the NY Times, Fox News - now feature military blogs, with bloggers deployed to Iraq. This is admirable.
The Post's MilBlog is called Reporting for Duty. It's author, CWO2 Bert Stover, is a Virginia Army National Guard member curently serving in Iraq.
...a 29-year-old, single male resident of the District of Columbia and the owner of a one bedroom condo. I work in the civilian sector as a computer programmer for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), the publisher of washingtonpost.com. In the military, I am a member of the Virginia Army National Guard performing the duties of a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. I have no professional writing experience.His latest entry relates the story of a helicopter crash. Nothing deep, certainly nothing political, just an account of human events at the Tactical Operations Center as news of the accident spread.
The blog also has a comments section. Of course, having milbloggers on mainstream news sites means opening those comments sections to people whose worldviews are shaped by mainstream news:
The United States lost one more airplane. Imagine the feelings of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have lost family members as a result of the US takeover of their country.More:
Posted by: Uncle Sam | April 12, 2006 01:51 PM
That airplane could have been useful to the Iraqi people, or in devastated New Orleans, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was being used for war and also unfortunately, the antiwar majority will be forced to pay for its replacement.
Posted by: Bring them home alive | April 12, 2006 02:17 PM
I think you're a criminal. I know you didn't plan this invasion yourself, and that you are a small cog in a big machine. But the project of which you are apart is criminal.
You and your collegues went half way around the world to invade and occupy a country that posed you no threat. In doing so you broke the most important of international law (the UN charter) and set the example of 'might-is-right' for all the thugs of the world.
The Iraqis who oppose your presence are right to resist you. I would set IEDs for you if you invaded and occupied my country (Ireland) - and so would most people in most countries.
Many of us around the world had thought that the days of colonialism and imperialism were over. America has returned the world to this nightmare and people like yourself will kill and die until it returns to civility and the rule of law among nations. What a waste and what a crime.
Posted by: Anon | April 12, 2006 02:31 PM
There can be no discussion of any human experiences outside of their historical context. The historical context of Bert Stover's experiences is the violent invasion of Iraq by the United States in violation of the foundational principle of international law as expressed at Geneva and Nuremberg: the prohibition against unprovoked aggressive war and the affirmation that illegal orders have no legal standing.One interesting comment is signed "I hope you crash them all". Some eye opening stuff for anyone who thinks the Left's "support the troops" mantra is earnest or sustainable. Those wanting to add a few words of simple thanks for the author's efforts (and not further bog down the comments section already clogged by this type of sewage) are encouraged to do so here.
Posted by: Anon. | April 12, 2006 05:57 PM
Moreover those Nuremburg principles clearly state that uniformed soldiers should not be excused when they participate in illegal acts.
That's why we hanged hundreds of uniformed soldiers after WW2.
'War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders." '
G.W. Bush, addressing Iraqi military, March 17 2003
Posted by: Not in my name | April 12, 2006 06:18 PM
The left is certainly not supporting the troops. They know that the military voted 80% Republican. The fifth-column left is seeking to undermine America at all costs.Posted by Junko at April 14, 2006 12:07 AM
Hey, they will NOT have their patriotism questioned!
They're real tough when they're only facing American troops, but if a Muslim mob starts burning our flag or trashing American franchise stores, they fold like a cheap tent. It angers me that people like this are all through our government, and willing to sell us out through leaks to the NYTimes.
How can you get any more treasonous than what these jerks are doing?Posted by AST at April 14, 2006 12:26 AM
When I recently left a comment on a blog where comments were overwhelmingly giddy that VP Cheney was booed @ RFK Stadium, I reminded them that 3 wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan had accompanied the Veep.
Their response was, "Your point is...?", "So?", and then it got worse.
I had to take a shower after reading some that stuff.
I no longer question their patriotism (no doubt in my mind that there is none) but I do question their humanity.Posted by JDB at April 14, 2006 12:34 AM
These poor fools are the same ones who if cnn didn't remind them who the president was, they would forget. They know nothing of sacrifice, beyond the fact that maybe they had to pay extra to go to blockbuster to rent a michael moore flick. These clowns say they are humanitarian, but the hate they heap upon our men and women is atrocious. These fools and freaks are the same as the assholes who tortured our returning soldiers 30 years ago. I think it is high time to bring back some of the sedition laws of the past. Clowns like these have to pay, and when they ask why, tell them Franklin Roosevelt said so. He was one of the most censoring presidents ever. And we fought a world war back then.
these people have it so good, they are guilty over America. Therefore, they want everyone else to suffer and bring our country down to the third world level. What better way to help the enemy and disgrace our country than weakening our soldiers? These hateful people make me sick. They make me angry. SO I send more to help our soldiers, and to tell these moonbats to go to hell!
semper fi, carry on! God bless our men and women in uniform!
MarkPosted by Mark at April 14, 2006 12:43 AM
Nice job of barn painting with the same broad
brush the loonies use to paint all rightwingers
as skin-headed Klansmen.
Semanticleo - You've got a responsibility to clean up after your crazies as the right has to clean up after its own. When I hear an Ann Coulter going overboard, I do my little bit to denounce her. The left should too. In fact, some of them do, just not enough of them actually do it.Posted by TM Lutas at April 14, 2006 01:05 AM
It would be nice if WaPo would enforce its stated posting guidelines.Posted by Steve in Houston at April 14, 2006 01:15 AM
" You've got a responsibility to clean up after your crazies as the right has to clean up after its own."
..and whose responsibility is it to clean up this post?Posted by Semanticleo at April 14, 2006 01:43 AM
Original comment here deleted. When you make this comment section resmble the Post's - even if the Post commenters are the target of your rage - you miss my point entirely.Posted by Greyhawk at April 14, 2006 01:43 AM
What exactly do you think needs cleaned up in this post?Posted by buzz at April 14, 2006 02:32 AM
I can't understand why these people, if they are so opposed to ___________________ (a. the war in Iraq b. all wars c. George Bush d. anything American e. all the above), why don't they just catch a plane and go to Iraq to try to do what they can like the members (minus one) of a peace group did. It is one thing to sit in front of a computer in a warm room drinking lattes and another to actually do something besides write silly remarks on a blog. I am sure they will be greeted with open arms by the people they are trying to help like the peace group (minus one) was.Posted by Mad Jayhawk at April 14, 2006 03:11 AM
I have to remind myself that the scum who would bad mouth our military vets is in all probability as miserable in real life as the premise of their post(s).
They deserve the a dulled edge of a cold knife but I'll let God handle the justice.
In the meantime, to anyone who has served, is serving, or has immediate family associated with the military, my family thanks you for your sacrifice and service. In our book, you're the real heroes.Posted by Goodbye Natalie at April 14, 2006 03:22 AM
Painting with a broad brush? Where in the world can I find any reasonable voices on the Democratic/liberal/left side of the divide willing to speak rationally about the war without slipping into BDS, raving against our our military, defending the rights of war criminals (terrorism is a a war crime, and terrorists are war criminals) or utterly indifferent to an American defeat/jihadi victory in the Iraq front?
Until then, I think the "broad brush" you speak of is not only warranted, but fully earned and a necessary expression of our vigilance.Posted by Tim at April 14, 2006 03:39 AM
Junko at April 14, 2006 12:07 AM
The left is certainly not supporting the troops. They know that the military voted 80% Republican. The fifth-column left is seeking to undermine America at all costs.
Watch what will happen if the left ever regains control of America:
They will "redeploy" the troops. They'll have Marines inspecting cargo containers in Newark instead of fighting the enemy on his home ground. This, of course, will destroy morale.
More and more members of the military will decline to re-enlist.
Then they will reinstate the draft. In the name of "fairness" and "shared sacrifice", no doubt, since they are rampant collectivists.
This will have two effects: First, it will cause the anti-war movement to explode in popularity beyond anything we have seen to date.
Second, it will have the effect of wiping out the Republican majority in the armed forces, and it will fill the military with people who are resentful and who don't want to be there in the first place.Posted by rickl at April 14, 2006 04:31 AM
Were those the screen names of Hanoi John, Fat Ted, the Weasel Hellary and Dusty Reid? Sounds just like them. Yep we support the troops, hope they all get killed is the rallying call of the democratic party, but with the help of the NYT we'll blame it on someone else. If not for the left wing support for the terrorists the war would have been over in 2004. The blood of everyone killed in Iraq since then is on the hands of the democrats, just like the 3 to 5 million people in Southeast Asia. Evidently they like blood on their hands since it's mostly the same leadership after 40 years.Posted by Scrapiron at April 14, 2006 04:58 AM
rickl is right - the Dems' and the Left's fundamental inability to understand military culture and the purpose of the U.S. military will lead them to once again abuse and misuse it and spin us right into the same death spirals that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did. No one will volunteer to peacekeep (peacekeepers have earned a truly horrific reputation), especially for the U.N., and Dems do not believe in defending this country. It could very well lead to a draft, which will prove the Dems' loathing for this country. You do not need a draft as long as the citizens believe in defending our country against all enemies.
The Left also fundamentally do not understand the concept of volunteering to serve one's country or how anyone could conceivably do so. I can easily see the Dems gutting and demoralizing our military, until the next much bigger attack.
Then the Dems might actually be out of power for 50 years, when the truth of their betrayal is shown to us once again. I fear this is inevitable.
Posted by Peg C. at April 14, 2006 10:52 AM
I find the right's inability to understand morality with respect to the law equally shocking. The fact that we have the POWER to do things does not mean we have the right to do tham. The fact that we invaded Iraq raises a moral question that, whether you like it or not, will inevitably reflect on our troops down through the ages. Supporting the troops does not mean supporting the war. Unfortunately, their own personal commitment to the war, if the war be judged illegitimate, will reflect on them.Posted by ulpian at April 14, 2006 12:50 PM
Thank you for calling a few commentators on a single post on a single blog "The Left", thus equating them to 48% of the country. This certainly makes this an extremely relevant post which I expect will go a long way towards generating a civilized debate.
To me, the most telling comments that these anti-war idiots make involve the issue of morality. They love to talk about the "immorality" of the invasion and the liberation of millions of people from the daily threat of execution by the Taliban and Saadam. They think it's "moral" to sit on their asses and do nothing. They make me sick.Posted by Mike in Colorado at April 14, 2006 02:16 PM
It is interesting to watch the defensive crouch of some of the liberal commentators here. Instead of being embarrassed by the Fifth Columnist rantings of their own Democrats, liberals adopt a "so's your old man" approach.
There is a reason that liberals are not trusted with the national security of our country. The sentiments that were posted on the WaPo pages are in fact widespread among Democratic activists. The lefties posting here on Mudville are simply getting up on their hind legs and screaming because their true sentiments were being posted by their own people. Sort of like the old saying, "who do you believe, me or your lyin' eyes?"
Remember this when you look at Bush's lousy poll numbers. It's usually a result of a poll questioner forcing the issue on someone who likes some of what Bush is doing, but doesn't feel that Iraq is going quite well right now. However, that same person will not be voting for the Democrat. Why?
Any party that can produce activists who post brownshirted, fascistic insults to serving U.S. soldiers doesn't deserve power. Period.
And by the way, lefties, the soldiers know this. They're not fooled. They know who supports them, and who doesn't. They've seen the Murtha/Moran video, and they know which party's political activists have been trying to run military recruiters off of college campuses. They know who calls them war criminals, and who calls them heroes.
Lie to yourselves, please. But don't lie to the rest of us.Posted by section9 at April 14, 2006 02:47 PM
The fact that we invaded Iraq raises a moral question that, whether you like it or not, will inevitably reflect on our troops down through the ages.
Indeed, it will, and it will undoubtedly redound to their benefit. What the Left fails to understand, what the Left will never understand, is that the nation is not only worth defending, it is worth defending in a pre-emptive war, unilaterally, especially after 9/11 and when all the world's major intelligence services agree the other nation and its leadership possessed WMD capabilities. That those intelligence services were wrong does not, post facto, make the morality of the action immoral, not matter how much the Left desperately and painfully wants it so.
All that the Left has done with this ongoing temper tantrum of moral preening is to demonstrate, yet again, that they have no interest, desire or intent to defend the nation, its values, its culture or its interests, and that they hold those who have volunteered to do so, and their leadership, in utter contempt and disdain.
What the rest of us have learned is that the Left is not patriotic; they would surrender American sovereignty to the corrupt, kleptocratic socialists, and genocidal dictators of the United Nations. How the Left continues to believe this will help them win elections is unfathomable. After all, simple math would demonstrate more Americans love America than hate it; a platform based upon hating America, which the Left cannot change, will not help them win.
Greyhawk here -
Let me describe the path down which the Left is currently taking tentative steps.
1. Having failed to reinstitute a draft, and in light of high re-enlistment and adequate recruiting rates (3 years after the invasion of Iraq the majority have either enlisted or re-enlisted once), the argument that troops are victims ("Support the troops - bring them home!") has grown thin.
2. "Falling enlistment standards" is now the response to successful recruiting efforts. Admittedly, people who would have joined a peacetime military for all the wrong reasons aren't signing up for a shooting war. The result: qualified older people, people with neck tattoos, people with multiple speeding tickets and even people with lower IQs and GEDs are being allowed to join when before they weren't. The argument that these people are unfit for service is becoming very popular.
3. When jihadists accuse US troops of atrocities in the NY Times, Leftists will quickly accept without question that these unfit troops are certainly capable of such acts. (Never mind that the Abu Ghraib crowd joined when standards were "higher").
4, The spiral they imagine will continue. It will get uglier.
Face it, worldwide the Left sees civilization's war with Islamic fascism as a pathway to (or back to) power. In Denmark, India, through Europe and in the United States jihadists and Leftists are seeing each other as useful idiots. Look back closely at the "Cartoon Riots" in Denmark and you'll see a perfect example. (And here's a link for the India story, btw).
If you want to see some related opportunism at the cost of human lives, check out the behavior of the Communists in Paris during the liberation in 1945, or in the Philippines (search inside the book for "communist") during the liberation from Japan.
I'm left-of-center on plenty of issues, and when I say Left with a "big L" I mean something very specific, and very different from that. If you disagree with the kind of bile these people spread, if you think Paris isn't worth 200,000 dead, then please express your outrage at those who do, and spare those of us who agree with you.Posted by Greyhawk at April 14, 2006 04:37 PM
This is nothing new and nothing that is changing anytime soon. We are still cleaning up from the mess the Worst Generation made when they supported the North Vietnamese Communists over their own country, THIS country, paragon of freedom and prosperity in the world. They hate us for defeating the global Communist menace that would have ushered in their utopia. They prefered the Khmer Rouge to modern freedom, the Shining Path likewise. Mao and his murderers were the vanguard of an earthly paradise, needless to say Lenin and Stalin and their many henchmen in the New Dealers are what they call "heroes". Their vicious hate and stupidity is its own reward and would be sufficient if they kept it to themselves. My favorite sign at one recent "anti-war" protest thus: BUSH IS A SATANIC SAND NIGGER AGITATOR! Genius! Broad brush? Not yet broad enough. Anyone who voted for Kerry voted for a Commie traitor to this nation. That most of them don't know it is, as they say, no excuse.Posted by megapotamus at April 14, 2006 05:23 PM
It reminds me of Fred Phelps.
And when Fred Phelps, the looniest of loonies that could possibly be labled "right wing" shows up, the "right" does everything they can to shut him up.
What happens (I'm asking those of you who think it's so wrong to paint with broad brushes) when someone who is arguably "left" calls soldiers criminals or murderers?
Huh? Guys? What happens?
Do people on the "left" do anything at all? Do these rather rude folks, at the very least, feel the weight of social disapproval from their peers?
Do they?Posted by Julie (Synova) at April 14, 2006 05:32 PM
Sorry Julie, you mean well but Phelps is a Democrat (ran for office even), his "Church" is a cover - he's running a scam.Posted by Greyhawk at April 14, 2006 07:07 PM
Phelps is a Democrat like Lyndon LaRouche is a Democrat.Posted by Tim at April 14, 2006 09:53 PM
Let the kooks vent. Theirlosing steam.
AST :"but if a Muslim mob starts burning our flag or trashing American franchise stores, they fold like a cheap tent. "
AST, Amen brother. This is a constant problem in the liberal enclave where I live. Muslim mobs are constantly torching McDonald's and Foot Locker, I think 3 or 4 last night alone. And sure enough the LIEburuls just look the other way and pretend not to notice - I saw one group mumble something about needing to go home and fold their tents, or something. Of course you never hear about this violence in the MSM.Posted by e at April 15, 2006 04:08 AM
Feh. Do you expect any better from the good folks who read the Washington Post?