Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I'm back, sort of, using dial up, sigh. Another week for DSL to get hooked up. That's not that big of a deal if I only had this blog but it makes posting pictures on the fotopage a huge time eating task. Oh well a job is never done.

I wanted to say a few words about CB from My War's blog going down following the story that NPR did on him. He had written in one of his earlier posts that he had started reading blogs just months prior to starting his own blog which translates into having not read the warbloggers that came out of OIF I. Those guys did everything possible to keep their identities secret, I knew Sean's full name from turningtables because he had left a comment on Salam Pax's fotopage. Not sure what he's doing these days though, he was my favorite warblogger out there in the early days of the war, pickings were slim, there was only a dozen or so out there at that time. Not one of the earlier milbloggers used his real name in association with is blog. Chief Wiggles had his name blurted out by the President on national TV, guess that counts as approval from the highest sources.

You could tell they were all paranoid about OPSEC. They talked about daily interactions with people, how things sucked in different ways, made fun of other bloggers camps, people in their stories were given descriptive names, pretty much a light hearted look at it all. Most of the very early milblogs were bright shinny people of somewhat higher rank then the average Joe. That gave an upbeat look at the war, mostly because they didn't have it as bad as some of the people that were directly in the front lines who didn't have an internet connection. Not that it was easy for them but they had different experiences. Enjoyable but not a full meal, you knew something was still missing.

Then Turningtables showed up, lower ranking Army Sergeant, not happy about being called away from his job and sent to war on the other side of the world (he wasn't in the front lines either). He was the disgruntled guy and people loved him, not a bad writer either, got a lot of people hooked on milblogs. We would sit around and read of his daily angst and be happy that we weren't him (note, my trip wasn't that bad at all and I think of it in a positive way). See, its easy believing someone's writing if he's miserable and has a good way with words. He was also the first milblogger to open up a comments section in Iraq. The fans from both sides of the spectrum flocked to his comments started interacting. Soon, it became a war zone which I think finally stopped him from blogging in the end. His words were raw, real and stuck. Finally I think he burned out from all the attention.

Back to CB, his writing was raw and right to the point; he barely had a censor in his own mind. He has the making of a great reporter, good eye for detail and you could visualize actually what he was going through by his words. Unlike the most of us, we're out here writing online textbooks, it's interesting but we haven't captured the soul of what's actually happening on the streets. Not that I actually experienced any interesting streets from the back of a 46. More of a different view of the battle field. My travels in Iraq were basically boring compared to his day to day life. He painted a picture that you couldn't forget but his pictures were too good and attracted more attention then any milblogger wants. I hope he pulls out of this alright and doesn't stop writing. After everything is said and done and he does sell a book, I'll be in line.

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