Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What It's All About


Today while I was doing my "real job" out in this barren wasteland, I had some time to reflect on the weirdness of the past couple days. I've said it before- sometimes I think I get too bogged down in politics, the MSM, or whatever. I had to once again remind myself that this blog was never meant to be about me, rogue news personalities, or anyone else. This blog is about our brave soldiers who are out there fighting the good fight. Some think it's kind of crazy for me to say this, because they insist that I am one of those soldiers out there "fighting the good fight." Well, as a staff officer in Kuwait, it's not really like that. Sure, I was in Iraq. But now I'm sort of in a "supporting role"- and I guess I'm just taking that supporting role a little further than what's "required." But enough about me. The most important things will always come first...

One of the best ways we can honor those brave heroes who have sacrificed so much (some of whom gave their lives) is by studying and appreciating their amazing accomplishments. If we focus too much of our attention on one Marine who may or may not have been "caught on tape" or a group of misguided miscreants at Abu Ghraib, then we do the vast majority of our brave soldiers a disservice.

Fallujah

In the case of Fallujah, I'd recommend looking no further than this wonderfully comprehensive site at Winds of Change. Please- take some time and just pour through all that stuff. There's so much information there, you'd never be able to get through it all in one day. But it's there. So look at it, tell your friends about it, and be proud of what these heroes accomplished. I think I speak for most soldiers when I say that spending your time learning about our accomplishments is a better way of supporting us than sending us care packages (not that there's anything wrong with care packages!- you get the point).

Mosul

Looks like the focus is shifting to Mosul, my old stomping grounds. Make no mistake- Mosul is not Fallujah. Mosul is an amazing city with a history that would blow your mind. Did you know that Mosul lies directly on the old Biblical province of Nineveh? Locals told me (every chance they had) that it is the oldest known city in the world. It is an amazing amalgamation (big word for the day) of Sunnis, Kurds, Assyrian Christians, and even some Jews (there used to be lots). Jonah's Tomb is right in the middle of town. Some say it used to be a Jewish Synagogue. Don't repeat that to a local Sunni Arab unless you're ready to rumble. It's a fascinating town, really. When peace finally reigns supreme in Iraq (and it will), Mosul will become an absolute gold mine for history buffs and archaeological types. Amazing sights to see there. There are many PhD-holding professors, doctors, intellectuals, etc.- many of whom were educated in Michigan, Ohio, the UK, you name it. They are going through an amazing change right now, and it sounds like things are going to get even more interesting for them. Tonight I'll try to see what I can learn about the kind of operation that's going on over there, and hopefully I'll be able to write about it tomorrow...

The Fallujah Incident

I haven't been able to learn enough about what happened yet, so I won't offer anything specific. One thing I will say is that unless you've been in that man's combat boots getting shot at, watching your buddies die, and struggling to stay alive amidst a several-day long journey into pure hell- DO NOT pass judgment on this individual. I know that the Geneva Convention forbids killing enemy combatants who are wounded and unable to pose a threat. I also know that on today's battlefield, with booby-trapped bodies, suicide vests, and an enemy who cares nothing for "rules of war"- the Geneva Convention needs to be reexamined and more specifically defined. A wounded enemy soldier can theoretically pose a significant threat if he simply has the ability to move his finger. Times are different and war is hell- let the facts come out and let the military authorities handle it. If the MSM starts to spin this into another Abu Ghraib, I will come at them with a cyberfury not yet seen. I know you will all be there with me. Call this an official warning to the MSM- keep it fair, or the blogosphere will activate the Bat Signal.

Administrative Stuff

I've been getting tons of emails and (as you can see) comments during the past couple days. I'll get to all the emails as best I can, but please understand that I do have a "real job" out here and so my time on the net is somewhat (OK- a lot) limited. Please be patient. As several commenters mentioned, my site survived (yet another) Instalaunch yesterday. Instalaunches create Instalanches. Yes, that sounds strange and it was the subject of a great number of questions...

What is an Instalaunch?

Simply put, it's when your site gets linked by Instapundit (the blog of blogs featuring the famous Glenn Reynolds- thanks Glenn- and thanks to Kate). Glenn gets thousands and thousands of hits a day, and when he links your site- watch out. You get hit with an Instalanche- thousands of his readers come flooding to your site. The first time it happened, my site shut down for a while. Last night, I was asleep during the whole thing, so I have no idea what happened. I do know that the Forum took more than 40,000 hits in a period of about 10 hours. That's a little bit more than my daily average of about 500. The comments and emails come flooding in, and all that...

Last Word on Hockenberry?

If I ever bring him up again, I hope that it will be because of something positive. Some have said that the blogosphere will eventually overtake and destroy the MSM. That may happen- who knows? The blogosphere is still in it's infancy. My hope is that they can coexist in some sort of freakish, uber-balanced, peace and harmony. Maybe I'm just a crazy optimist...

Thanks

That whole ordeal was, as you may have guessed, a little much for a Black Hawk pilot who used to work at McD's. Especially since I'm still very new in the blogosphere. Thanks to all the great bloggers out there who helped me deal. You'll be filling up my blogroll shortly. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Greyhawk of the incomparable Mudville Gazette for inviting me on board (I love the new MILBLOG button). Also thanks to my always-supportive and amazing group of family (afy) and friends, the long-time Forum members, all the new folks who happened by, and last but certainly not least- the "secret force" behind the Forum- helping me out and supporting me from 7,000 miles away- my beautiful and brilliant fiance- the soon-to-be Mrs. 2Slick. 6 more weeks, Sweetie!!! Love you like crazy...

12 comments:

slarrow said...

And thank you, 2Slick, for doing what you do, both in the field and on this blog. I don't think you milbloggers appreciate the hunger we stateside civilians have for news from the front. Too often we see you guys--our cousins, brothers, uncles, husbands (and sisters, aunts, and wives these days)--used as fodder for the stories other people we don't know want to write. We want to hear your stories.

We also want to hear we are winning. Many of us know it, but we know it because of what isn't told to us instead of what is. No one in the MSM is telling us that our forces are losing battles, taking hundreds or thousands of casualities at a time, or that the populace is rising up against us all over the country. Those would be signs of defeat, and they're not happening; if they were, we know we would hear about them.

But what we do hear is disheartening enough: one or two killed here, X innocent bystanders killed in an attack, the standard disgruntled Iraqi/soldier/reporter account, the strategic "blunders" second-guessed by armchair generals. What we need is to hear the stories of how our plans are succeeding, how we've got the top-flight people in charge, and how we're pulling off a regional transformation like none ever attempted so well in so short a time.

We know it's true just because the bad news we hear isn't really that bad. But we can't rely on the traditional mediums to tell us, so you guys on the ground are food and drink to us. We're glad any chance we get to keep your morale high. But I want to thank you for what you're doing to keep our morale high. You keep on keepin' on, and you stay safe--especially for the next six weeks!

T A W M said...

2Slick...

First off thanks for all you do for this country, you've probably heard it hundreds of times, but one more never hurts. I am one of those that comes with an "Instalaunch" or whatever you called it. I'm a daily reader of Glenn's, and may have to add you to the daily reading list at lunch. I think you were way too easy on Huckleberry. You should have "fisked" the guy. Run him over the coals a couple times and then once more for good measure. I have the good fortune, some would say misfortune, of working in NYC. One of the few drawbacks I see is that is the epicenter of Elitist Liberal thought. Talk about people that have no compulsions to ever consider someone else's ideas. However, if you challenge theirs they pull out the first amendment left and right on you. It was a tough October to be an open Bushie in New York. I was however vindicated by my bretheren in the rest of the country, good show. The only thing I see as a solution to the likes of a Huckleberry is a revolution in the MSM. Maybe not by the blogosphere, but in conjunction with it... Random side note, why do they call Republican states "Red States", the Democrats are quasi-commies (some not so quasi), shouldn't they be the "Reds"?...Anyways, thanks again for all you do for this country, get home safe, and congrats and good luck to you and the future Mrs. 2Slick.

Michael B said...

You may be new to the blogosphere, but be encouraged. Your writing reflects solid instincts and further reflects an engaging style that ably combines crosscurrents of thought and interest. That's a lot of what it's all about.

Itsjustme said...

2Slick, although you and I politically don't agree on much... I sincerely enjoy reading your posts. You are very enlightening...and although, many things you say get me extremely heated...I admire how you express yourself as well as the wonderful work you and your brothers and of course sisters are doing for us over there. Additionally, I firmly agree with you...you do have a wonderful, brilliant and very beautiful fiancee and I wish you both tons of love and luck in your marriage.

Zoomlens, Zoomlens2 said...

Just dropped by to check on you and make sure you are OK. You sound good. Alright, we will let Hockenjerk rest for the present. The point is, now that we have discovered you, well........I guess you just can't get rid of us! Interesting stuff about Mosul. Can't wait to hear what is really going on there...and any place else you can tell us about...About that poor GI who, in my opinion, was defending himself, O'Rielly was all over the story last night.So, he is on our side. I haven't heard anybody say anything negative about what happenned. People are just talking about how hard it must be to know who the enemy is and how it would have taken practically nothing for the enemy to have pulled out a grenade and killed all the soldiers, etc. The very fact that he was faking death makes him suspicious...As for you: Just because you aren't fighting in Falleujah doesn't mean you are not in harm's way. So, take good care and we'll check back for updates tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for joining Greyhawk's band of MilBlog brothers!

You are the answer to a question Michael Durant asked once. Here's a link to a post I did after meeting him once. linkDurant is just as frustrated with the inability to get truth from what you see on the news, but he didn't know what a blogger is. I can pass you his work email if you leave a comment over at my place.

Chap.

2Slick said...

Thanks all-

This sort of feedback inpires us all, and it reinforces our belief that the American people want to know about what's really going on- not suffer through the Michael Moronic spin that has no basis in reality. As long as great people like you want to know what's on our minds and how we can explain the current events, we'll continue to blog away. I'd encourage everyone to click on the "random" or "list" tabs underneath my left-side MILBLOG button and see what other milbloggers are saying out there. There are so many great military writers out there you wouldn't believe it.

Next time you hear someone say "they never report any of the good news on the major networks"- I'd ask you to politely inform them that it's because there's no profit in it- and let them know that the real story is out there- they just have to go find it. The MSM will "spoonfeed"- it's right there on your TV while you're eating dinner- searching the blogosphere takes a little effort. And as most of you know already- the truth is well worth finding...

Lola said...

Thank you for keeping us all up to date on what is going on the grounds. Now, whenever I see the headlines in WaPo, I just roll my eyes and check out the blogs the next chance I get to do so. I've also learned a lot from my husband, who is a GW1 vet and says one cannot understand what happened until one has actually signed up with the military and gone over there and wishes that the armchair "soldiers" would actually do this.

Bill Faith said...

Glad to see the MilBlogs button. I'm proud of mine. You're on my "daily" list. Be safe, Captain. Thanks for all you do.

Bill Faith said...

I just got my first Instalanche on "About that terrorist that really is dead now ..." My post links to this one and to Greyhawk's take on the matter, among others.

Bill Faith
Proud to be a MilBlogger
Proud to have friends like 2Slick and Greyhawk

Anonymous said...

Heya, 2slick! Love your blog. Thanks for the insight on Mosul.

This Marine story infuriates me - just in case you media types don't understand, the UCMJ follows the Constitution fairly closely in some respects and one of them is this: This young man is INNOCENT until proven guilty.

Good Lord, he had just been hit in the face the day before, he'd seen Marines wounded and killed by a booby-trapped body... as far as I can tell, he did exactly the right thing.

The media needs to back off of this and stop trying to turn it into another Abu Ghraib situation. Let the military do its investigation - we, the people, can't let the press inflict a "guilty" verdict on this man without benefit of due process and we can't let them insist that the military come up with the same conclusions that they have.

The press keeps pushing its "Vietnamization" program on the Iraqi war - we need to push back every time it rears its ugly head. We can never let this happen, again.

Incredibly, they're screaming that this Marine shot a wounded man in the back. But, they drooled all over the recent Presidential candidate who, by his own admission, shot a wounded enemy in the back as he was fleeing. How friggin' ironic.

Kevin Sites has a very strongly expressed anti-war, anti-US military agenda and has NO business being in a war zone.

He's already proven that he has no compunction about endangering coalition forces by revealing troop movements when he was with CNN - WTF is he even doing embedded in a battle zone, anyway?

I hope that the military investigation results in HIS being brought up on charges.

To all you active duty out there - especially those of you in danger - you're in our prayers and best hopes 24/7. Please be safe and come home sound in mind, body and spirit.

We love you and appreciate you and admire you more than mere words can say!

Echo Juliet

2Slick said...

Thanks EJ!!!

Always good to have you around. I have no TV access out here, but the reports I'm getting is that this Marine shooting is being way overhyped and overplayed. The blogosphere has activated the Bat Signal and I'll discuss that in my next post.

As always, thanks for all that you do and please keep stopping by...

-2Slick