07 April 2008

Bloggable Folder

When I write a blogger post, I tend to sit down and take my time with it, frequently an hour or more. I'm reading articles, deciding how they fit into what I'm going to write, etc. Unfortunately, I frequently lack either the time or the motivation to do this every day, or even every weekend. But here I am, at the house, with my lovely wife in Maryland covering some damn conference where some unit is getting some award.

So. . . Here goes nothing.

Al-Sadr surrendered to the Iraqi Government before I got a chance to blog about the little shooting match in Southern Iraq. Oh, excuse me. He didn't surrender. That would make him loose face and upset his Iranian handlers. He simply ordered his militia to get the hell off the streets of Basra before the Iraqi Army shot them all. His attempt use this as a media opportunity by increasing activity in Baghdad didn't fly too well either, at least according to this obviously-written-by-an-infantryman account. I am occasionally amused by folks in baby blue who must take off their boots to count past 10 (I can count to 144, but it takes a little thought), but it has the virtue of being first person and unfiltered by mass media censor/editors, or reporters who never leave the hotel, or stringers who turn out to be FRE. Now, he's being told he has to choose between keeping his fighters and participating in the elections. Raise your hand if you read this story in your morning paper in the past week. Yeah, me either.

Because if the media got ahold of it, you've have babble. I mean, the media fabricates "war crime" stories because it accords with the narrative they desperately WANT to sell the American People. But rarely do we get to compare, side by side, the media's account and the first-person account of the people involved.

Speaking of First Hand Accounts, let's talk Winter Soldier. . . I've been meaning to write about this, but I haven't really felt inspired.

Other folks have done the history of Winter Soldier better than I can, and for a shorter version check out this link. I blew off IVAW from the beginning, because if you want credibility with me, don't sell this as the updated version of a pack of liars who have been proven to be liars. Of course, IVAW is updated version of VVAW, which is a pack of liars proven to be liars. But I digress.

I admit that I could not sit through the live feed. Neither the time nor the inclination.

Others managed to go and sit through it all:
Part I
Part II

Part III
Part IV

Another summary.
His view of the first few panels.

Now, there's a lot of stuff there, but you know what I didn't hear?

Clear allegations of actual war crimes. Lots of fuzzy allegations and vague generalities, but no actual war crimes. There were allegations of racism, but it is a long way from the casual use of the term "hajji" for a Middle Eastern person to tossing said Middle Eastern persons into mass graves.

Whatever. I don't know what the media made of it, and I don't care.

I'm far more interested in other demonstrations and rallies.

I leave you with a YouTube video that should make you think a little bit.

I'll give you one military spouse's perspective on this video.


Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

gee, golly, whiz...

2:51 AM  
Blogger Army Sergeant said...

That's kind of because..well...

Winter Soldier wasn't ABOUT war crimes.

The accusation that Winter Soldier failed because it didn't show war crimes is much like saying that a Congressional Hearing failed because clowns failed to break out onto the floor and commence to tap-dancing.

It was never supposed to show war crimes.

It was a group of servicemembers and veterans talking about their experiences in war, that they felt were not being reported in the media. Telling their stories to people who wanted to listen.

It is people who are far too tied to Vietnam who made the allegations that it would be all about "war crimes". But that was not its intent.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

Far too tied to Vietnam?


"In 1971, a courageous group of veterans exposed the criminal nature of the Vietnam War in an event called Winter Soldier. Once again, we will demand that the voices of veterans are heard."

"Thanks to the mentorship of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, IVAW was able to put together Winter Soldier much sooner in our occupation than VVAW did. VVAW learned so much during their resistance, and they have passed that knowledge on to us; we so much appreciate our big brothers and sisters in VVAW."

"Camilo asked for all Vietnam veterans, VVAW members, and original Winter Soldier attendees to stand as IVAW gave them a rousing ovation. It is because of the strength of these men and women that we stand here today as Iraq Veterans Against the War. We are the new Winter Soldiers."

You know, you're starting to irritate me with some fundamental dishonesty about IVAW's methods and motives. Get your story straight, then attempt to rebut my points.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Army Sergeant said...

Taking pieces from a tradition is not taking wholecloth. There's a huge difference.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

You wish to associate yourselves with VVAW in order to get credibility with the left-wing anti war movements and other "progressive" organizations, and disassociate yourself from VVAW when honest people point out your links.

That's a more than a little dishonest, tovarisch. But straight out of Lenin's playbook.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Army Sergeant said...

I think it's not nearly as cold and calculated as you think it is.

Do some VVAW members help IVAW? Sure. I've met some. Some have truly helped me. One had myself and some fellow soldiers and vets over for Thanksgiving dinner when we were away from home. Another continually helps push the fight against the VA system. These are good men.

Winter Soldier was a good idea and is a good idea. Soldiers and veterans standing up to speak what they have seen is always peachy keen in my book. The last one appears to have pulled up a lot of war crimes. This one didn't, and wasn't intended to. That's not distancing-it's simply what is.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

Yeah, the last one "appeared" to pull a lot of war crimes, right until CID agents showed up with sworn statement forms asking for names, dates, places, unit designations, and names of witnesses so the Army could prosecute all these war criminals.

Then it turned out to a mass fraud organized by paid agents.

I have my doubts about the credibility of this one as well, but if it was supposed to be about veterans and their experiences, then what was the intent of certain panelists?

Antonia Juhasz isn't a veteran, and specifically stated that she believes the war is a crime and that Soldiers have an "obligation to the Constitution" to refuse to serve. But the IVAW doesn't support mutiny or desertion according to you.

Jeremy Scahill isn't a veteran either.

I won't go through every panelist, but those two are illuminating.

5:02 AM  

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