Friday, January 18, 2008

Update: Bloggers & Milbloggers at WSI 2008

There’s movement. I’m not privy to all contacts being made with IVAW, but these are public.

Read the comments at Active Duty Patriot’s site. Former SFC (Army, 20 years) Jonn Lilyea of the blog This ain’t Hell but you can see it from here is interested. Jonn also blogs at Red Maryland. Hope he gets the details and can make it.

Milblogger Zero Ponsdorf of Another Voice has also contacted IVAW about attending.

Eight weeks to go, folks!

UPDATE: Word is spreading among the Milbloggers. Here's Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys on the subject. Scroll down to "Winter Soldier for Iraq and Afstan".


Zero Ponsdorf said...

My pal Rurik has also applied. He's a published expert about some Russian stuff and co-blogs with me.

It'll be interesting..

Denis Keohane said...

If only back in 1971....

New media indeed!

Thanks to you both.

Jonn Lilyea said...

Thanks for the link, Denis. I'm pretty sure that I meet the qualifications, so if they exclude me, it'll be for reasons other than my service.

But, if they include me, you can count on a fair and balanced report - as long as I get to verify the service of the participants. As you pointed out earlier, they have to overcome the Jesse MacBeth stigma.

Denis Keohane said...

Thanks much, Jonn.

When young John Kerry gave the smear speech to Senator Fulbright's Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, with Big Media fawning coverage, that made the first WSI. The actual event had flown under media radar.

When the young John O'Neill from the same unit asked that Committee if he could give testimony from a somewhat different perspective than claiming the U.S. had murdered "200,000 Vietnamese a year" (Kerry), he was denied the opportunity.

The first WSI survived in myth largely because these was no contemporaneous scrutiny and rebuttal from other vets and active duty who knew otherwise. This will be different, and that will be owning to folks like you: vets with hard earned bull detectors and keyboards!

Thanks again and much!

Army Sergeant said...

No one is going to be turned away for politics. Prime reasons people may be turned away would be:

1) lack of civility to others
2) Refusal to abide by the rules of the event
3) A record of violence
4) Don't submit an actual request, or don't submit paperwork in enough time.

People may also be kicked out for causing disruptions, I'll tell you that in advance. No forming a booing section, and no holding signs over your head like Olympic judges.

I'm hopeful it will all go smoothly, though, and you'll all get to be bitter about Winter Soldier together. My personal pipe dream is that you'll realize IVAW is made up of former military and there are a lot more similarities than there are differences. There doesn't have to be so much hate between people who should be brothers.

Zero Ponsdorf said...

Sarge, my history of violence is long behind me. I will be civil if invited.

Candidly I see no positive value in being disruptive 'in the house'.

Another crazed Vietnam vet on camera wouldn't serve us old guys well.

Denis Keohane said...

"and no holding signs over your head like Olympic judges."

What, like CODE PINK?

Okay, that was meant to be funny! Really!

Sarge, my guestimate from what I've seen of milbloggers of all stripes - they're not interested in disruption. No matter what the persuasion, overall they seem more interested in getting the story as they see it out there on the Net on their blogs. They are about the words that convey ideas, and not about showmanship or shoving matches!

One of the folks from BLACKFIVE got to FOB Falcon while the Scott Thomas beauchamp imbroglio was hot on the Net. He sat down with Beauchamp. He had made it plain in other posts that he thought Beauchamp's stories were crap and did a disservice to the troops he served with, but he also wrote that he liked the young man.

Then he said something that I think showed that the milbloggers are a different breed. He suggested everybody back off Beauchamp because even though the young man screwed up, he was in a war.

Michael Yon also delivered a combat veterans's persepctive that was not the customary:

"At the reconciliation meeting, Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay...Lapses of judgment are bound to happen, and accountability is critical, but that’s not the same thing as pulling out the hanging rope every time a soldier makes a mistake.

Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it...The commander said I was welcome to talk with Beauchamp, but clearly he did not want anyone else coming at his soldier. LTC Glaze told me that at least one blog had even called for Beauchamp to be killed, which seems rather extreme even on a very bad day. LTC Glaze wants to keep Beauchamp, and hopes folks will let it rest. I’m with LTC Glaze on this: it’s time to let Beauchamp get back to the war. The young soldier learned his lessons. He paid enough to earn his second chance that he must know he will never get a third.

Though Beauchamp is close, I’m not going to spend half a day tracking him down when just this morning I woke to rockets launching from nearby and landing on an American base. Who has time to skin Beauchamp? We need him on his post and focused."

I think there will be more mutual respect and understanding of each other among the veterans and active duty bloggers, even in intense disagreement, then with any other collection of folks.

The Sniper wrote a while ago, after he met an IVAW member he liked, that he thought there were three types of guys involved in IVAW. Whie he disagrees with al of them, and thinks there are some who are distasteful, he also said this:

"The last category is like my [IVAW] friend I met a few weeks ago. They are believers, and joiners, and in my opinion, not even a little malicious. If you served honorably and then get out, speak your mind. At every opportunity. I applaud such. I think these guys are wrong, but they are at least wrong for all the right reasons. I am a firm believer in the “Marketplace of ideas” of Justice Holmes...

I'm optomistic aboutthat part at least.