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Friday, August 27, 2004

Man Down 
You bastards!!!

CB, the anonymous infantryman in Mosul who wrote My War: Fear and Loathing in Iraq, was penning the best grunt's-eye journalism of the entire war. Actually, I rank his riveting personal accounts of small-unit action in Iraq to be some of the best pure military writing anywhere.

His company and battalion commander were apparently fine with it. Some rear-echolon idiot higher up apparently shut him down.

And now he's shut down his site, deleting its archives and renaming it "Over and Out," and featuring no text except Johnny Rotten's last public words at his last gig: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Well, I've got that feeling right now. And the American people have been cheated. They've been cheated of the best war writing in Iraq by the kind of square-headed morons Robin Williams parodied in "Good Morning, Vietnam!"

Officially, of course, there would be concerns that a blogger might leak operational details that might be useful to the enemy.

But I never once saw anything he wrote that would violate the ground rules the Army gives to any imbedded journalist.

I hate to break it to the Army, but the kids joining up today are not dumb. They are media savvy. They consume news from a variety of sources. They fix computers. They set up their own satellite internet networks in the barracks from wires and gear they buy off the local hajis. They get around the censors and filters. Yes, they even download porn.

They are light years ahead of the brass when it comes to technology and media.

And in this case it shows.

This kind of leadership makes me want to tear my hair out. And it makes these super kids, these smart, independent-thinking, squared-away soldiers, want to leave the Army as soon as they can.

Fortunately, all is not lost. You can find a cached snapshot of "Fear and Loathing in Iraq" here.

Don't miss it.

I hope this kid gets out of the Army soon, so he can become a journalist. He's put the Army and journalism to shame.

Splash, out

Jason


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