A few years ago I wrote a book on the history of the visualization of war.  Today, writing a book on blogging, I see a striking differences between two “blogs of war,” that is, first person accounts of a battle in the Middle East.

Then: In c. 1300 BCE, the pharaoh Rameses II and his army fought a battle against a Hittite army at Kadesh, in what is now Syria. The battle was a draw; in fact, the Egyptians ended up retreating. But Rameses’ memorial temple–an instance of massive communication–shows on its 100-foot walls pictures and hieroglyphics of the great ruler as victorious. As originally painted, Rameses is bronze skinned, broad shouldered, long armed, resolute of face, wearing the twin crowns of upper and lower Egypt, and many times larger than the Hittites and his own men–a superman in the anthropological as well as comic book sense. (Rameses became the “Ozymandias”  who, in Shelley’s poem, demanded that all “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.”) In the written records accompanying the images, Rameses boasts that he personally routed “every warrior of the Hittite enemy, together with the many foreign countries which were with them.”

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In contrast, the pharaoh blames his own men for early problems in the battle: “You have done a cowardly deed, altogether. Not one man among you had stood up to assist me when I was fighting. . . not one among you shall talk about his service, after returning to the land of Egypt.” In other words, here was the mighty-thighed Pharaoh announcing that his own men were cowards and he won the battle single-handedly. I have often wondered whether some veteran of Kadesh, walking by the tableaus, did not squint up, shake his head, gnash his teeth, and growl to his wife, “The lying bastard, it was his bad generalship/leadership that lost the day, not our cowardice.” But of course we don’t know; foot soldiers in Pharaoh’s army didn’t carve or write their campaign memoirs; and no scribe or stonemason interviewed them.

But now the dogs of war blog. Rather than expound on how blogging can put us in the action, live from ground zero, in hearts and minds of those who are there, in their own voice, let me simply reprint a recent post from the battle front in Iraq by CAPT B of “One Marine’s View.”

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SMOKE EM IF YA GOTEM!
Friday, November 25, 2005

Another fine day here in Iraq. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are that much closer to getting outa here. The holiday was nice although it was the same as every other day here as we maintained vigilance and on guard for attacks and concluded operations. The chow was hot chow……..It resembled turkey, really it did…..kinda….….oh well I digest. It was hot chow and I am thankful for that. As I remember back in Afghani living months on MRE’s, yes it was hot chow and Im damn glad to have it. On our Thanksgiving some of my guys were wrapping up a convoy as they would on the typical day here when they were ambushed and hit with an IED. Probably an 81mm mortar size. Because there were many civilians in the area they weren’t able to fire into the crowed where the known triggerman was hiding within. No Marines were injured due to their training, gear and armor hummers. Its was the fourth IED for us. Not a lot compared to others but about four too many, trust me one was plenty and I have the T-shirt Im good to go.

Now we race down what we call the “White Knuckle Express” It’s a road to our destination similar to others with names like ambush alley, dead mans curve and the gauntlet. I really hate this road and respect it a lot because of how dangerous it is. The second time we were scheduled to travel this route I rewrote some items in a “last letter” to my family the night before……..just in case the worse happened because this is where it would happen. I did this because the first time really got my attention if you know what I mean. We maneuver down the bare street (never a good sign) and have to jump the curb to go around an M1 Tank that is protecting our flank. M1’s are great to have around as they bring a lot of fire power to the fight. “Watch the bag on the right with wires” says truck one, as we continue our movement through the dirty trash covered streets. What doesn’t look like an IED at this point??? Everything you see looks like it could hide an artillery shell underneath it. A pack of 5 dogs begins to chase truck 2 in the street as the other trucks continue their paths. We aren’t moving or stopping for anything. In this area its survival of the meanest as these same dogs are probably some that have been seen feeding on dead enemy, a real pleasant sight.

I could explain every detail to you about it but you wouldn’t feel the sneaky eyes peeking around corners with cell phones calling trigger men ahead waiting to try to blow you up or you wouldn’t feel the weight on your chest as you swerve to miss the crater holes and the radio chatter is calling out the probable IEDs spotted. Its very surreal because while this is going on small kids are waving hello at you on the sidewalks. I guess that’s better than them mashing their thumbs down imitating the act of detonating an IED like they sometimes do. This place is crazy. As we drive Ive now counted at least twenty IED crater holes in the road and have lost count there are so many. However, this fear keeps you razor sharp and alert with adrenalin pumping in your veins to where it takes an hour or so to chill the hell out. Smoke em if ya gotem!

Just as we enter the friendly lines a large IED goes off behind us. It was triggered too late to hit us and no one was injured, well that was number five says one of the Marine, 6 if you count the one we discovered and detonated ourselves. As we pull in to our destination, prayer begins and the familiar Arabic chant is broadcasted throughout the area. You remind your Marines of where not to position themselves because of past sniper shots claiming warriors. The Marines are fired up and have lightening reflexes ready for anything. It’s a good thing because I think if “Bambi” the deer ran across them now the little thing would be vapor.

We conduct our mission on scene and adjust to do the run again. Its another fine day here in Iraq.

Semper Fi, time for a cigar!

POSTED BY CAPT B AT 9:29 AM Comments (23) | Trackback (0)

How far such communication is from the days of Rameses! I agree with the anonymous commenter who wrote CaptB that he “Felt like I was there with you Capt, through your riveting account. How did you ever learn to write like that? It is an amazing gift! We can never thank you and your Marines enough for the outstanding service and sacrifice you are providing America every day. You are all in our hearts and prayers.”

The ordinary soldier can now tell his story, in his own words, even with his own pictures. And by doing so, he is changing the world of media and politics.

Originally posted November 26, 2005 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (18)

    Another source of information that would not have been available in ancient Egypt is an account of war from the people who have to stay behind. Camouflaged Daydreams is a blog written by the wife of a soldier and mother of his three children. I came across this blog when the author posted a comment on my blog. If you go to her site, (www.justanarmywife.blogspot.com), you can look on her blogroll and find links to forty other blogs about the same subject. As the wife of a diver, I can relate to the stress of knowing that your spouse is away for an indefinite period of time, working on a job that is constantly life-threatening, and cannot always communicate with you. These blogs are valuable because army wives and husbands have a unique perspective on the wars in which their spouses fight. They are privy to information that is often filtered out by the news media or the government. These blogs remind readers that war certainly does not affect only the people directly involved. They make the experience accessible and relevant to everyone.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdiversgirl

    As miliblogs gain popularity and prominence, a backlash of “security concerns” is inevitable.

    This is very similar to the controversy surrounding the military’s decision to embed journalists into military units. When the embedding program began a few years ago, critics noted that something was inherently wrong about the military and the media joining forces. In the embedding situation, the military ideal of secrecy clashed with the media’s ideal of disclosure. Read more about this in the Florida Bar Journal

    The media have historically tried to adhere to a policy of self restraint during times of war, but since no actual punitive policy is in place sometimes issues of national security are leaked through the msm and caused unnecessary harm to soldiers or civilians.

    The concept of miliblogs brings about this same conflict. Military bloggers in Iraq and Afghanistan have a unique opportunity to offer their often unheard side of the story to friends, family and strangers. But if these miliblogs are unregulated, some of the information posted in blogs could pose security risks for our military.

    Should miliblogs be regulated? And if so, how should they be regulated? Earlier this month Newsday reported that the U.S. military has tightened its control on milibloggers by requiring them to register their blogs and creating “security squads” to monitor the content (Jan. 2, 2006). I agree with the idea that national security should be a priority in times of war, but it’s also a sad fact that these miliblogs might be regulated to a point that only one side of the story will be told.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersmarin3

    Not only are military bloggers changing the world of media and politics, they are offering immediate first-hand perspectives on war that can more fully inform public opinion.
    Upon hearing about military bloggers, initial opinion might be that they are all written by gung-ho, war-mongering extremists. Not at all the case. A demographical examination of military bloggers reveals that they can range from active service men (365 and a Wakeup; http://thunder6.typepad.com/, Sisyphus Today; ) and women (Akinoluna; http://akinoluna.blogspot.com/), stationed both in the U.S. and overseas, to retired vets (Outside the Beltway; http://www.outsidethebeltway.com, Beast7’s How it Ought to Be; http://beast7.blogspot.com/). Some military bloggers make frequent religious references (Dadmanly; http://dadmanly.blogspot.com/) and some are outright atheists (An Atheist Soldier; http://www.godlesskinser.com/blog/).
    Some military bloggers give rather objective accounts of their military experiences. Firepower 5, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan, gives a basic account of his surroundings (http://bdelapla.typepad.com/firepowerforward/2005/06/life_at_baf.html), and American Short-timer (http://americanshort-timer.blogspot.com) rants about the military and those who he feels blindly support it.
    “I wish more people would have the time and opportunity and mindset to tell command to #@!% OFF and cough up their deepest fears and their innermost reservations online.”
    The point is, military blogs are written and published by a range of diverse individuals who have all had similar training, yet whose different backgrounds and experiences yield very different perspectives on the military and the current Iraq war. Considering these perspectives from an ‘average citizen’ point of view, can inform the opinions we have on the war in Iraq, thus informing our public’s opinion as well.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlittle34
    The positive side of military blogs is that they can possibly help the rest of us and especially the family members and friends of service members deployed, to understand the other side of the story that some in the msm are not presenting regarding the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    As someone with military experience, I see potential danger here, though unlikely or minimal, it does exist and probably need to be regulated. The downside is that there should be concern that the possibility exists, that the images or information posted on these blogs could weaken or threaten our troops’ operational security.

    Unlike the embedded media, who sign ground rules to live with and report on the troops, most military bloggers have no checks & balances to ensure that security measures are emplace. If a media member violates a ground rule, say it publishes information about a future operation, that journalists or media outlet could be kicked-out of the embedded process. What keeps a military blogger from publishing the same details just because they believe, in their opinion; it is not a security issue? One could argue, that the author of the blog is in the military so he or she should know what is safe to publish on such a blog. I disagree and believe that some service members, who have regular blogs, are probably not trained or qualified to identify all information or data that might harm not only themselves or their unit, but others may be at risk. Others could potentially be put into harm’s way, because the blogger was looking down a straw and not seeing or more than likely understanding the larger picture of what actions or military operations might be occurring around them. This of course would all depend on the location and topics being mentioned on the blog, as some would probably never carry the potential of leaking military information just due to the fact of who and where the blog originates. If the blog is created in the U.S., I doubt most of the information could ever become harmful, but say the blogger is in Najaf or Baghdad in Iraq, that could increase the chances of such an error occurring.

    The bad guys watch CNN and FOX News. Do not tell me they lack the capability to surf the Internet. I agree, the chances of this type of military leak are low, but it does exist. One would never think that someone that works in the Pentagon would be a spy or a soldier would use weapons to kill fellow paratroopers within his own perimeter. Lawrence A. Franklin, 59, a policy analyst, was sentenced this month to 12 years in prison for spying while working in the Pentagon and Army Sergeant Hasan Akbbar was sentenced to death after killing two Army officers and wounding 14 other soldiers within his unit on March 23, 2003 in Kuwait, just prior to the unit deploying to war in Iraq.

    Military blogs can be a good tool for some situations, but not in all. As mentioned in the Newsday article, the solution to ensure safety of our troops might indeed be regulation by the military. If they are in a combat zone and are paid to be a soldier, then the blog is regulated. If the blog originates back in the U.S. and the soldier participates in blog activities on during off duty hours, then it should not be regulated.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBigAL1993

    It seems to me that a journalist peered up with this soldier could have given the same account, if not better worded descriptions perhaps. The difference is that a newspaper would not necessarily have run the story, because to an editor, the experience of this captain would have to be generalized and framed. Blogs allowed this captain to distinguish his experience from the rest of marines. Newspapers or newscasts would have had to place his experience in context, which would have taken the essence out of the account.

    While there is nothing more riveting than a personal account, one cannot always trust a personal account as being completely true, as blogs would have readers to believe. Rameses himself enhanced his account of the battle to make the outcome reflect favorable on his leadership. Lately in mainstream journalism, the same can be said for the validity of story accounts. But again, the difference between mainstream journalism and blogs is that the press is held to a higher standard of authenticity and truth by the public.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertrinireporter

    This is the perfect example of why I respect blogs, but still don’t read (unless assigned of course). These blogs are putting a face on what is usually, “the fight for freedom” by the supposed good guys (the United States).
    Also people, let’s use some common sense. You don’t go through two weeks of training and then they ship you off to Iraq or wherever. These soldiers are not stupid and they understand what may be a potential security threat. At least in this blog, he didn’t mention any specific towns or streets, he used the nicknames.
    I am pretty sure this is the case with most blogs. These men don’t care to talk about tactical manuevers, they want a place where they can still be human. How would you feel killing people you don’t know on a daily basis? No matter how you are trained, you can’t erase memories like that.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterharrison72

    This blog represents some of the best of what blogging can be. There is no spin and no agenda. It is simply and stunningly a real life account from inside the war from the most credible of sources. As a reader, I was at once moved by the fear and anxiety in this “day in the life” account while simultaneously rendered with the conflicting emotions of pride, sorrow, comfort, humility and regret. The writer does not try to take sides in the war, which allowed those emotions to flow with greater ease than if he had pontificated about either the pros or cons of his presence in Iraq. He just paints a vivid picture, allowing the reader to reflect on the details with no intended bias on the part of the writer.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHog79

    Anyone who has watched the famous anti-war movie “Full Metal Jacket” by Stanley Kubrick will be impressed deeply by the scenes that the soldiers are trained to be killing machines in Marine base. Of course that movie is kind of a black satire; however, it still exposes an instinct character of war: soldiers are treated as living-machines without their own feelings, wills and opinions. This character is always one of the focuses in anti-war art works.

    Soldiers have their own feelings, wills and opinions. Blogging is a good place where we can discern what soldiers really feel and think in wartime. That is always absent in the msm for various reasons. As one possible reason, few media would contribute their limited space/time to the details of a common soldier’s life. The overall military strategies and progresses are thought to be more newsworthy and thus more preferred. Now we have blogging, a wider back window into common soldiers’ daily life in battlefield.

    Furthermore, I am interested in the comment of BigAL1993 about military blogs and security. Surely, as BigAL1993 said, the author himself/herself will check whether something should be said or not in a blog out of the consideration of security, but there is still risk. For example, the circumstances, living conditions, daily schedules and other details that have no direct connections with military secrets may become secrecy, especially in wartime. Therefore I agree with BigAL1993, regulation of military blogs at certain times is necessary.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentereusuee

    This was an interesting blog post as it illustrates the progression of communication and media. I definitely visualized being with the soldier on this particular ride.

    After reading the whole post, I thought the Egyptian soldiers would have been in big trouble with Rameses II if they had the resources to communicate their opinion of the battle with the Hittite army like the American soldiers have now. Something tells me that the Egyptian pharaoh controlled information flow and would not have been excited to hear the soldiers’ opinions.

    The construction of the temple, I believe, was also an act of propaganda. First it demonstrated the pharaoh’s power, but it could have also been an act to thwart a negative morale caused by the retreat from earlier battle. This action reminded me of our latest reading, News and the Society in the Greek Polis. Sian Lewis (1996) wrote several times about the Spartan generals who used their political power to control media and information dissemination. “In 406 the general Eteonikos received news of the defeat of the Spartans at Arginusai, and after hearing the news, he told the messengers to leave the harbour without speaking to anyone, then sail back in, wearing garlands and shouting that the Spartans had won a great victory” (p. 57). He used this act of media control to prevent morale loss and panic during a time of war. For the same reason, “In 394, Agesilaos also announced a Spartan defeat as a victory to his men, when the news of the naval defeat at Knidos reached him” (p. 57).

    Referring back to the original post, I think it is more difficult now, especially in democratic countries, to control news information before, during and after war because of these new media. Abdel Karim Samara showed an attempt by the Iraqi media to control the news in his article, “The media’s depiction of war and media wars,” “Many high-ranking officials appeared and exaggerated their estimations of Iraqi capabilities, especially those of the Republican Guard, the Special Guard and Saddam’s guerrillas. Some of them even promised viewers an Iraqi victory over the American and British troops, indicating that the invading forces were covering up their losses. Political analysts appeared on every channel. Most spoke with respect and awe of the Iraqi resistance.” Certainly the United States provided their own public relations twists involving war efforts and activity.

    Robin Franzen, a writer for the Oregonian, wrote in the article, “Online on the front line,” “A few things are generally known about the growing prevalence of blogs: About 7 percent of all U.S. adults have their own Web-based diaries, according to a study released in January by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Almost 30 percent of Internet users are reported blog readers.” With the prevalence and the increasing use of military and generic blogs and other new media that provide such a wide range of vivid and realistic war experiences, the military and media will have to find alternative ways to allow military and political propaganda to have lasting effect on public opinion.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNOLA7

    That the “ordinary soldier can now tell his story, in his own words, even with his own pictures” is, I think, indisputable.

    PBB/Editor’s example of the Pharaoh’s communication is a bit ancient, and so a bit extreme. We have more recent examples of soldiers’ written letters being saved and preserved in museums, for example, for the public to see. But it is true that never before have soldiers been able to use an instant mass medium to communicate their own version of war.

    There is also, in my mind, no question that this is invaluable both to Americans today seeking to learn of the conditions of a present war, or to future scholars who will study our time.

    What I am not as sure about is whether this phenomenon is somehow “changing the world of media and politics.” PBB/Editor offers little conjecture (or evidence) as to how or why this is true. Is it that the soldier is changing the world of media somehow because more people are turning to military blogs as a primary source of information about the War in Iraq, for example? Is it that the soldier is changing politics because readers somehow are demanding alternate government action based on their alternate media choices?

    I think both these possibilities are, at best, not fully realized, and at worst, unlikely.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrepublic3

    Yes Mr. McLuhan, the medium is indeed the message. During the Age of Rameses, only the officers had the means to write about the war. The soldiers had no skills or opportunity to permanently record their thoughts. Historical documentation was for the elite; consequently, there was no accountability. Today, the dogs of war can scrawl their stories all over the cave walls of the blogoshere. Everyone gets a say, right? Or do they? Blogging seems to allow the average person a venue that he or she did not used to have to record thoughts and history, but is blogging just another chapter in the book of elitist control over words and news? ComScore Networks reported in 2005 that, compared to the general internet user, bloggers tend to be more affluent. The study was actually conducted for the purpose of investigating online marketing behavior, but the finding is useful to this topic. It is highly doubtful, for example, that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there were scores of 9th Ward residents in the blogosphere defending their position against the wagging fingers of fine gentlemen from New York or Boston. If bloggers are indeed more affluent, how will the less affluent correct all the inaccuracies written on the cave walls?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterweezy138

    As Harrison72 points out, the Marine blogger “didn’t mention any specific towns or streets….I am pretty sure this is the case with most blogs.” Well, at least in the case of battles, war, and security threats, I should hope so. This man’s blog may be intended for personal posterity or communicating with family back home, but like it or not, there’s a reason it’s called the World Wide Web. Locations, schedules, dates, even a soldier’s personal thoughts are open portals to sensitive information. I think personal military blogs tread on thin ground.

    With that in mind, I think political correctness is something worth noting in any analysis of blogging. Though the need to be p.c. may be somewhat truncated by anonymity, it is still worthy of discussion. Though the personal nature of blogs may make it seem like opinions are being expressed and personal details shared, the same agendas, politics and abridgments apply to personal accounts as they do in msm. I think this is important to remember as people often read blogs with a faulty sense of trustworthiness because they are not tied to msm or sponsored publications.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterow1018

    The contrast between these two Blogs is more than just the span of 2,500 years. These two examples of war accounts show us two things: 1) How much information has been democratized and equalized in the over time; and 2) How official news sources often differ from informal accounts of actual events.

    In ancient times all the way up to around the enlightenment (or beyond) reading and writing has been the domain to the rich who were also the literate. They were the ones who could commission monuments, buy books, afford education, and had the leisure time to indulge in the news. Therefore, what have been passed down to us through history are the accounts of the rich and mighty, which may or may not be accurate or biased. Today, however, information passes much more freely and the skills available are available to almost anyone, providing differing accounts of the news events.

    For the second point, as illustrated in Lewis’s book News and Society in the Greek Polis(1996), in ancient times the informal spread to the news had different purposes than the formal proclamation of news. Most people, he claimed, got news for informal sources such as personal contacts and interaction in shops. Formal proclamation of news, however, had less to do with informing citizens that with building social cohesion. Maybe the difference between the two examples is solely the difference between formal and informal sources of news. We can see this difference today. Information taken from the president’s State of the Union Address about the war will be vastly different that information reported through a soldier’s Blog. However each are important sources of information for our society.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjohn444

    Blogs do provide an outlet that has not been as widely available for soldiers to chronicle their experiences and share their feelings about warfare. It is a much more expedient process than sending letters home and the characteristics of the Internet allow this message to be broadcast to a mass audience. This provides an insight to how things are progressing, or not, on a daily basis, while imbedded journalists do provide a valuable source of information about the conflict, they get a more specific view, from unit to unit. Miliblogs allow soldiers to explain different situations that unfold from a first person perspective, which can create a wider view of how the war is developing, while the general consensus or mood may be the same, the entries of different miliblogs may differ, in that their in different situations in different parts of the (foreign) country.
    As far as regulation of the blogs, it is a tough question, because it depends on what information is being disclosed, whether that soldier is in combat at the time of the transcription, and other factors. The military has to serve its best interest, so their regulations may be more restrictive than on normal blogs, because of that inherent danger in times of conflict. That being stated, I am inclined to agree with the comments made by harrison72, that military personnel would not disclose tactical information, in fact, it would behoove them to refer to nicknames and generalities, because disclosing that information could endanger their lives as well as the lives of their fellow soldiers.
    While the Internet, specifically blogs, are changing the way the public retrieves information, it is tough to say whether there is a direct impact on changing media and politics. I feel that the use of blogs has begun to shape the way people access information, because there is a blog for every hobby and interest, people can find a source of information about something that is important to them; like the stories from the front lines, and other personal accounts. I think that in years to come blogging may become more mainstream as it is adopted by more and more people, and when this happens there is a distinct possibility that blogs can shape and even change media and later politics.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervanguard15

    Not only are military bloggers changing the world of media and politics, they are offering immediate first-hand perspectives on war that can more fully inform public opinion.
    Upon hearing about military bloggers, initial opinion might be that they are all written by gung-ho, war-mongering extremists. Not at all the case. A demographical examination of military bloggers reveals that they can range from active service men (365 and a Wakeup; http://thunder6.typepad.com/, Sisyphus Today; http://deanmichael.blogspot.com) and women (Akinoluna; http://akinoluna.blogspot.com/), stationed both in the U.S. and overseas, to retired vets (Outside the Beltway; http://www.outsidethebeltway.com, Beast7’s How it Ought to Be; http://beast7.blogspot.com/). Some military bloggers make frequent religious references (Dadmanly; http://dadmanly.blogspot.com/) and some are outright atheists (An Atheist Soldier; http://www.godlesskinser.com/blog/).
    Some military bloggers give rather objective accounts of their military experiences. Firepower 5, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan, gives a basic account of his surroundings (http://bdelapla.typepad.com/firepowerforward/2005/06/life_at_baf.html), and American Short-timer (http://americanshort-timer.blogspot.com) rants about the military and those who he feels blindly support it.
    “I wish more people would have the time and opportunity and mindset to tell command to #@!% OFF and cough up their deepest fears and their innermost reservations online.”
    The point is, military blogs are written and published by a range of diverse individuals who have all had similar training, yet whose different backgrounds and experiences yield very different perspectives on the military and the current Iraq war. Considering these perspectives from an ‘average citizen’ point of view, can inform the opinions we have on the war in Iraq, thus informing our public’s opinion as well.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlittle34

    This post illustrates the continuing truth that freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. Rameses controlled all the “media” and thus controlled the recorded history around him. Today, anyone can essentially have a press, and a platform for his point of view. This is stunningly beneficial to the future anthropologists and historians who will find (if this stuff gets stored effectively) a remarkably rich resource to use to examine this point in our civilization. But I don’t believe for a second that every soldier who creates a blog recognizes the potential security threat she might create or has an impartial view of the war. Military training obliterates the free-thinking required for impartiality. It’s the only way commanders can succeed in leading soldiers into what may well be their deaths. It’s absolutely necessary for the military to operate. I think public access to first-hand accounts of what is happening in Iraq and other parts of the world is extremely valuable. It will be interesting to see how history views these immediate accounts and their ultimate impact on public opinion.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa7005

    A military doctor serving in Iraq said he was forced to shut down his blog after Army officials decided that the information on the blog was inappropriate. (http://www.strykernews.com/archives/2005/01/05/us_military_doctor_says_military_forced_closure_of_online_war_diary.html). “Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this Web site. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations.”
    The popularity of military blogs has skyrocketed in the past years as the American public looks to assess progress in the war in Iraq. In fact, military blogs deliver perspectives from the front lines and offer unfiltered, first-hand accounts. As we try to find balance between the free flow of information and preserving national security, I believe that national security should come first. In other words, I believe that miliblogs need to be strictly regulated as Internet content is available not only to general public but to military groups and terrorists.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfocus1

    This was a highly interested blog to read. Unlike other blogs that I have encountered, this seemed to give a very observant, truthful account of the situation. The details gave a clear visualization of war. For individuals who have no direct contact with the face of war (much like myself), this provided clearer understanding on what actually takes place. By looking at first person accounts of battle, the writer was able to give new insight. As Hog79 writes, “This blog represents some of the best of what blogging can be”.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterQTPi1021

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