Friday, August 12, 2005

Get the REAL News from Iraq

Because of this article in this a.m.'s WashPost, I've spent the morning cruising through some of the fascinating stuff on blogs posted by members of the U.S. military in Iraq. Raw news from the front. Things ain't as rosy over there, morale-wise, as El Presidente & Rummy want us to believe.

Military blogging has obviously made the Pentagon very edgy. There are now Army rules for bloggers, most importantly, the order "Thou Shalt Register Your Site with the Chain of Command."

According to the WashPost, after an explosion in a soldiers' mess hall near the northern city of Mosul killed 22 people last December, including 14 U.S. soldiers, Maj. Michael Cohen, the doctor on duty at the nearest medical facility, wrote about the carnage on his blog: "As I stepped outside, I couldn't believe what was going on. There had to be at least 30 patients on the ground waiting for medical care. We divided and conquered, going from patient to patient trying to determine who had the worst wounds and who needed to be treated first. We identified several patients with femur fractures as well as two humerus fractures. We also had two patients who were paralyzed from the waste [sic] down, another with some bleeding in the brain, and two more with eye injuries."

Go to Maj. Cohen's site now, and this is what you see: "...I have some very unfortunate news. Levels above me have ordered me to shut down this website. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations. I have made a decision to turn off the site."

Our favorite discovery of the morning is "My War: Killing Time in Iraq" by Colby Buzzell, who spent a year in Iraq and started his blogging while on the front lines. He signed all his posts (and still does) CBFTW for "Colby Buzzell Fuck the War." He's back in L.A. now and describes himself as "an unemployed trigger-puller." His book-length account, "My War," is soon to be published by Putnam's.

"The Mudville Gazette" is a "clearinghouse of information on military blogging" administered by an Army veteran who goes by the screen name Greyhawk. There's some "liberal" bashing on his site, not that there's anything wrong with that in this land of the free ("liberal"). I'm all for Greyhawk's operation, outside the purview of military censors.

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