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"Bullet, meet foot"

The Army goes overboard with new OPSEC restrictions that apply to milblogs, e-mail, IMs and in theory, pretty much any way a soldier might want to communicate with people on the home front. Great move, guys. We're already getting our asses kicked in the propaganda war, and you're trying to shut the mouths of the only people actually trying to fight it. WTF is wrong with these people? Professor Death has links to reactions by Blackfive and Dadmanly, who are both justifiably pissed about this.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
mplsvala
May. 2nd, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Sadly, it's simple. They have chosen the Big Lie approach and refuse to change direction, so they feel compelled to do all they can to make sure as little of the truth gets out as possible.
wombat_socho
May. 2nd, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, right. You either don't know me very well, haven't read much of this LJ, or you're trolling. I'm going to assume some combination of A and B, since I don't know you and I tend to avoid deliberate rudeness to strangers.
mplsvala
May. 3rd, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Well, it seems obvious that this comment offended you, but I'm at a loss to figure out how. I do not, in fact, know you well enough to guess whether you are a loyal Bushie who is enraged that I believe that they are great big unabashed liars, or you feel I'm wasting your time by stating the obvious, or something else entirely. I didn't really find much to shed light on it while glancing at your last page of entries. I don't know what you think should have clued me in to whatever I'm missing. I've only been on lj about a year, so I haven't read anything prior to that and only parts since then. I know I've read and enjoyed your posts in the past, or I wouldn't have friended you. Our last contact was the TWK article. Since I don't know your name, I don't know if I know you or not. We're both part of the same community, so it is certainly possible. Convergance would be the obvious place, but you say you worked in programming and I only help with deliveries, set up and tear downs. I've been too broke to buy a membership for any con but Minicon, and I won't crash a con, so I only help with stuff on the edges. Although once, walking through on a delivery I randomly encountered people who were printing and selling their own badges and stupid enough to drop one of the copies. On that occasion I spent a fair chunk of time on the bridge while they found the right person and I told them what I knew. I always put in at least an appearance Minicon and usually move in for it, so it would be easy to have encountered each other there and highly likely if you happen to be a smoker as I am. The trolling option leaves me at a total loss. Is this lj term? What is it? Lurking under a bridge with intent? It must be bad, since you are kind enough to dismiss it, but ??? The problem I have here is that I don't understand what in my comment called for a rude response. So, I'm going to go with my best guess here. If you think my comment implies distain or disregard for the military, you are very much mistaken. My dad was Corp of Engineers and my parents are buried at Fort Snelling. I have great respect for those that serve. However, I have nothing but contempt for our Executive branch. I think they've crossed over into evil and it's high time we all stood up and did something about it. I welcome dissenting views as long as they are delivered without malice. And I do sincerely believe that the admin came down this way because they cannot afford to let ordinary grunts tell us what is really happening there in real time. They need the time lag to spin things. They are liars. Big Liars. Bad Liars. And don't get me started on the way the military spending has enriched Bushies, to the detriment of us all, but especially those in the field. And we're all going to pay for their sins. While I strongly approve of your inclination to avoid deliberate rudeness to strangers, I think it would have been more polite (and kinder) to simply address the issue, whatever it is, directly. And since we are both part of the family of fen in the same city, I'm not sure we are really strangers even if we've never me. So, feel free, spill, what's your problem with my post?

MplsVala/Reen Brust
wombat_socho
May. 3rd, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)
And since we are both part of the family of fen in the same city, I'm not sure we are really strangers even if we've never me.
More like red-headed stepchild in my case, but we do have fandom in common - though I learned many decades ago not to assume that other fans share my politics just because they're fans. Quite the contrary, and especially in these parts.

So, feel free, spill, what's your problem with my post?
We have some basic disagreements about W and the Administration, especially with respect to the war. You view them as evil and driven by a desire for personal gain (which is not at all supported by credible evidence) whereas I don't think they've handled the war at all well after the initial blitzkrieg that toppled Saddam Hussein and his regime, but I don't believe that policy differences deserve to be redacted to evil/good dichotomies and I think that kind of attitude is really corrosive to the kind of nation we're supposed to be. Disagreement is one thing, but treating your opponents as evil people to be destroyed is just wrong imo.

As to the specifics of the post...I used to be in the Army/Army Reserve, specifically in the electronic warfare/military intelligence part of it, and OPSEC was drilled into us pretty hard. So when I look at the regulation in question here, I can see that it's overly broad and has some ugly side effects. Most of the milblogs out there (and I'd be happy to provide a collection of bookmarks for you to peruse, if you're interested) support the war against Al Qaeda and the Sunni bitter-enders who are causing most of the remaining problem in Iraq, in contrast to the mainstream media who have made it abundantly clear that they do not support the war and are willing to fold, spindle and mutilate the truth in order to undercut domestic support for it. So my concern is mainly that the majority of the troops who support the war and follow the rules are going to be muzzled while the handful who oppose it are just going to keep on with it regardless of the regulations.

Trolling isn't just an LJ term; it refers to deliberately baiting someone on the internet to draw an angry response. I didn't think that was what you were up to, but occasionally I do tend to think "out loud" when replying to comments. I encourage you to take a stroll through the last few years of my LJ, particularly posts with the "culture & politics" and "military" tags. You'll get a much better idea where I'm coming from on this and other issues; I'm guessing it's a place you don't normally see a lot of folks from. ;)


Oh, boy. Where to start with this?
mplsvala
May. 5th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
"which is not at all supported by credible evidence"

I heartedly disagree with this. More evidence oozes out every day. I didn't start out with this position. I have not been against the war from the beginning. I was one of those idiot who got suckered in by Bush. (I had a passenger crack me up by noting that she felt more betrayed by Bush than by any man she'd never slept with.) I could not believe, until credible evidence emerged, that he would really lie about a thing like that. But he did. And now we're stuck with this hideously mismanaged war.

"I think that kind of attitude is really corrosive"

I agree with you for the most part. It took a long time to bring me to this point. What get me more than any given example is that there is a broad pattern of bad behaviors. This many years down the road, there's no acceptable excuse for not noticing how far one has drifted off course. Yet the same sort of crap still keeps happening. Over and over, there is no limit to their shame or hubris. I was really struck by a story I heard on MPR about a soldier who was fighting his deployment orders on the grounds that Bush had lied and caused him to enlist under what could now be proved to be false circumstances. I feel for the guy. I think he's right. I wonder what happened to him. I believe that this administration demonstrably continues to place the profits of their cronies in higher regard than the health and safety of the citizens. I'm still spilling over from the Katrina pump failures that turned out to be just another case of this. Scream. It is evil. And I'm concerned about things West Point going religious right (see: http://www.commonwonders.com/) The Supreme Court abortion decision that doesn't include an exception for saving the life of the mother. And the crusade for denying civil rights to gays. All these things rise to the level of actual evil. However, if it's any consolation, I don't use such terms with strangers in political discussions. In my view, I'm at home among friends in lj.

I am indeed interested in the bookmarks you offer. I'm a great one for trying to consider everyone's opinion. I feel like your position is calling for a huge data slam post citing a myriad of sources, but I don't have the time. It's a good idea, though, I'll think about that. Although, we certainly don't have to argue the point if you'd rather not.

"a place you don't normally see"

Here again, it depends on how you mean that. If you mean in lj you are certainly correct. It does remind me of a type that was very common in the Nixon years. The gallant old soldier who just can't believe that his CinC has feet of clay. Refuses to actually. It simply couldn't be true, lies all lies, just political spin. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of those gents still believed that Nixon was framed. Well, as Martin, says: It isn't a matter of proof, there's plenty of proof, it's a matter of getting people to believe it.
wombat_socho
May. 5th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
If you think W lied about the reasons for going to war, then he was in very good company, which includes a number of Democratic party senators. It doesn't really matter now how we got in. The question is whether we want to win this and leave Iraq in better shape than we found it or whether we want to pull out and see the slaughters of the post-Vietnam era reenacted in Arabic instead of Khmer and Vietnamese.

As for the fellow who complains that he was misled into soldiering, I have no sympathy for him. He took the same oath I did, and he can rot in Leavenworth for all I care.

What is going on at West Point is emblematic of how little the media and a lot of civilians understand the military culture of the South, which is the dominant culture of the American military, especially in the Army and Marines. While I don't think people should be forced into a religious tradition, I think they should be aware that the military does have established religions and people are very open about their belief in God, and if they're not comfortable with that then perhaps they need to find another career.

Some of the blogs I read (the more military-oriented ones) can be found here. I'll spare you the effort of sorting through the whole pile of blog bookmarks. ;)
mplsvala
May. 5th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
mplsvala
May. 3rd, 2007 05:22 am (UTC)
Hey, I think I do know you
While closing pages just now, I noticed that you are about my age and have a handle of KTrain somewhere. And suddenly Keven Trainor's face sprang vividly to mind. Is that you? If so, we do indeed know each other.
wombat_socho
May. 3rd, 2007 11:09 am (UTC)
Re: Hey, I think I do know you
In order to maintain the few remaining shreds of plausible deniability I have left on here, I'm not going to give a direct answer to that question. We do indeed know each other, but we haven't moved in the same circles in years.
mplsvala
May. 5th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey, I think I do know you
Depends how you look at it. While you probably haven't thought of me in years, I was a friend of your ex's before your marriage and she went on to marry one of our Godparents, so you are an implied presence for me everytime I see your kids.
wombat_socho
May. 5th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey, I think I do know you
...so you are an implied presence for me everytime I see your kids.

Interesting way of putting it - and mind you, I'm not a Minnesotan, so "interesting" doesn't carry the negative connotation it normally does in these parts. ;)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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