Sunday, July 16, 2006

Military Blogs Show How Propagandized U.S. Troops Are

By MARC McDONALD

It's become pretty obvious lately that Iraq has plunged into a civil war. That's the opinion of a variety of commentators and observers on the ground in the hell on earth that is today's Iraq.

That the Iraq War is a failure is hardly a viewpoint that is only coming from the likes of Howard Dean or Michael Moore. Here's a quote from William F. Buckley Jr., the dean of conservative American authors, writing in National Review, the bible of American conservative thought: "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."

After reading countless blood-curdling accounts of the ongoing Iraq civil war, I got curious recently about what the U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq think about all this.

It's not difficult to find the soldiers' viewpoints on the Web these days. After all, hundreds of soldiers on the ground in Iraq operate their own blogs, in which they write about their views and war experiences on a regular basis.

After reading hundreds of stories describing the situation in Iraq as a "civil war," I was curious to see what the soldiers have to say about all this. After all, if Iraq really is in a civil war, this has got to be demoralizing to our troops, (as the collapse of Iraq is the worst possible outcome for that nation). I began my quest at the popular site Milblogging.com, which offers a large roundup of military blogs from around the Web.

I spent a few hours, browsing various military blogs, and I have to admit, I saw very few references to a "civil war." I found this curious. If the media and various other commentators and observers are falsely characterizing what's going on as a "civil war," then you'd think that the military blogs would challenge this notion.

To be sure, most military blogs that I encountered are quite angry at the media. They bitterly blast the likes of the Washington Post and The New York Times.

Actually, I wouldn't blame the troops for being angry at The New York Times. After all, the Times assisted the Bush White House in its efforts to lie America into the war in the first place.

Recall during 2002, during the buildup to the Iraq War, Bush was trying to convince the nation that Iraq had WMDs and posed a threat to Americans. Instead of taking a hard look at Bush's claims to see if they were true, the Times did the worst possible thing. It pretended to investigate Bush's claims and then gave its blessing to Bush's case for war.

I know if I was in the military, I'd be angry as hell at the likes of the Times and the rest of the U.S. mainstream media that acted as cheerleaders for a war based on lies.

There's only one problem.

Most military blog writers are angry at the media---but it doesn't have anything to do with cheerleading the nation into a war based on lies. Instead, they're angry at the media for supposedly being "liberal" and anti-Bush. In fact, they're pretty much angry at anyone who opposes Bush, period (which, by the way, includes a majority of Americans these days, according to the polls, including the one conducted by Fox News).

I was really hoping that the military blogs would give me some valuable insight into this war. But most of the blogs I saw didn't offer any more "insight" than one would get from listening to an episode of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Most military blogs seem to consist of just a bunch of right-wing/Fox News bullsh*t talking points and pro-Bush blather.

Reading over the blogs, my ability to see the troops in a positive light was tested by their fanatical loyalty to Bush himself. I mean, here's a coward who ran away from serving in combat in Vietnam. Bush was waving pompons as a cheerleader at Andover prep school while true heroes like John Murtha and Wesley Clark were getting shot at in the jungle by the Viet Cong.

I guess you can't blame the troops for supporting their "commander in chief," though. What is bizarre is how many of the MilBlogs also support the likes of Rush Limbaugh, another chickensh*t coward who refused to serve his country in war-time.

Maybe I'm being unfair. The military blogs that I saw were all pro-Bush and full of right-wing cliches and Fox "News" talking points. Maybe there are military blogs out there will differing points of view. But if there are, I didn't see them. Maybe the military censors don't allow dissident points of view. Highly ironic for a "democracy," don't you think?

There's no doubt, of course, that our troops in Iraq have been heavily propagandized. That's probably the case in every war. Our nation's ruling class, of course, needs to convince the troops dying on its behalf to fully believe in the cause for which they're fighting.

However, there's a big difference between rallying the troops with the Stars and Stripes and cynically lying to them. That's clearly what has happened in the Iraq War. For evidence of this, you need to look no further than surveys like this one that show that an incredible 90 percent of U.S. troops believe that the Iraq war is retaliation for Iraq’s (nonexistent) role in 9/11.

A message to any troops who might be reading this: We support you. We just don't support this war. You've been lied to. You may not realize this today. But you will, someday. You are, in fact, fighting on behalf of a gang of crooks, cowards and liars in the White House and their wealthy backers. But you're NOT fighting on behalf of a majority of the American people (who now believe that this war was a mistake).

At the end of the day, are we to conclude that all our troops in Iraq are NeoCons who worship Bush? Fortunately, that's not the case, despite the fact that most "MilBlog" site owners seem to be Republicans. The fact is, there are plenty of troops these days who believe otherwise. There are also groups out there such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, who seek to end the war in Iraq as soon as possible.

12 comments:

Kathi said...

Sir I was wondering if it was possible for you to list exactly which milblogs you read?

I have been reading milblogs for several years, and I seem to have missed the ones that are..."a bunch of right-wing/Fox News bullsh*t talking points and pro-Bush blather."?

And I'm sorry your "ability to see the troops in a positive light" was tested. Most of the milblogs I read seem to be by very honorable,astute men and women,who give me great hope for the future of this country.

John said...

I'm a milblogger and I consider myself a propagandist.

http://op-for.com/2006/05/my_name_is_john_and_im_a_propa.html

Would be happy to discuss with you further.

boo said...

Sounds to me like you're the one who has been propagandized. Soldiers listen to Rush Limbaugh because they choose to, not because their superiors are making them, or because there is no other choice. They have the same access to information on the web as do you.

Huntress said...

Its too bad Mark is either suffering from some synapic misfire or he is just plain stupid...

First off that Liberal biased slanted Zogby poll has been PROVEN endlessly to be misleading...and PROVEN to have been commissioned by someone who is ANTI BUSH & ANTI MILITARY.

The questions were written to elict the response HE wanted...and in fact the data has been interpreted by Zogby in a misguided way as to reflect the above agenda.

I wrote about that as well did many other online and print publications...altho the liberal media relegated that revelation to their back pages.

As for the Military censoring disident views...nope..milbloggers often write the truth...good bad or ugly...but they keep OPSEC in mind.
Truthfully no one in uniform is allowed to disparage the President..nor express political views one way or the other.

Which begs the question why is Murtha allowed to do so. Ahh well..that may soon change for Murtha. The rules of the Military apply to that bugger as well as those now serving.

The only propagandizing going on is in your mind..and that of all the left wing candy ass pro jihad pro terrorist pro communist lemmings on the left.

To ignore the truth that these terrorists we fight will slit the throats of the those on the left inspite of your support for them
only proves how much you live with your heads in the sand.

They hate secularists more than they hate Jews and Christians..they hate liberals in America who support freedom and democracy...they laughed at Carter when he "abandonned" the Embassy and hostages to Iran after his feckless policy created that mess...they laughed at Clinton's ineptitude when it came to realizing the threat Al Queda posed...and laughed harder when he refused an offer to have Bin Laden handed over to HIM by our friends in the M.E.

Its amazing what someone who understands Arabic and spent time in the M.E.....listening to the arab man on the street in cafes, shooppes, restaurants discussing his thoughts about America and Americans.

As for what the troops think. Re Enlistment numbers on the part of the National Guard and Reservists is huge...and career soldiers and Marines are willingly going back to Iraq because they KNOW they are doing alot more good than the media ever reports and then jerks like you and your left wing lemmings will ever be able to comprehend.

As for the "civil war" issue..
people define civil war differently...many feel that whats going on in Iraq is not a civil war by the accepted definition.

Until the newly elected Iraqi leader, Maliki states unequivocably that Iraq is now in a state of civil war...everyone will debate the term.

And you act as if civil war is sign of defeat. America broke into a multi year civil war over slavery..losing far more people than the war in Iraq during the same length of time. THe American Civil War didn't deter America from becoming a strong democracy...with no further civil wars since then.

So only a fool would use "civil war" as a mean of defining defeat...

If the dunce cap fits...

James Frank Solís said...

It's interesting that when confronted by the fact that milbloggers don't share your view, you immediately discount the probability (if not the bare possibility) that they are just better informed than you. No, when confronted with war-supporting milbloggers you decide that this must surely mean that the military are being censored, kept in the dark like mushrooms, or simply and mindlessly repeating Fox News talking points. (As if it isn't possible that Fox is getting its talking points from the milbloggers.) You so-called progressives can't make up your minds about the credibility of the military. On one hand, only those who have served in combat (Mertha, Kerry) are entitled to an opinion on war, while those who did not (much less serve) are not entitled to an opinion (Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity). But when confronted by those presently serving who still manage to be in favor of the war, you must speculate and make up facts in order to impeach their testimony. And that, right there, makes your opinion matter less than theirs. You're so filled with your Marxist class struggle bullshit ("ruling class" --give me a break) you've not taken the time to learn just how much access to information that troops really have.

By the way, which branch of the service were you in? I'm Army myself.

Anonymous said...

In response to "Philologous Lector," you may think that "class struggle" is "bullshit." But it's a cause that a lot of us are fully prepared to die for. Personally, I think dying in Iraq to increase Halliburton's profits is bullshit, but maybe that's just me.
Actually, I gave up arguing with BushBots a long time ago. You can't use reason or logic with these sick Kool Aid drinkers.
I will say this: a lot of you Bush-worshipping, Rush-listening Nazi brownshirts scare me a hell of a lot more than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Kathi said...

To 'Anonymous'...."Class struggle is something a lot of us are willing to die for"....but you can't post an identity with that sentence, like all us "sick Kool-Aid drinkers"who ARE willing to step out from anonymity?

I myself am much more frightened by people who resort to labels and name-calling for those who have a differing viewpoint from themselves, in an apparent effort to shut down intelligent discourse before it ever begins?But oh well...if you've already got such a closed mind,nothing I or anyone else says will open that back up.

And MARK......still extremely interested in WHICH blogs you read, that gave you such a jaundiced view?(But have pretty much given up that you'll reply to that)

Also, why not just get rid of the 'Chinese Spam" in the comments:)

James Frank Solís said...

In response to the courageous "Anonymous," if you think that the war in Iraq is about Halliburton's profits: (1) that's ad hominem; (2) you are not paying attention to what Halliburton's profits, relative to the war in Iraq really are. A profit margin of less than 3 percent really isn't all that impressive. (Should be closer to 10 percent before it's anything to write home about.) Even if that were not true, you are committing the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc--not very impressive for someone who criticizes the logical reasoning skills of others.

Actually, I gave up arguing with BushBots a long time ago. Really? It looks otherwise to me.

I will say this: a lot of you Bush-worshipping, Rush-listening Nazi brownshirts scare me a hell of a lot more than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. See? The ad hominem, again. When you complain about the reasoning capacity of your opponent and then do that sort of thing, it really doesn't establish your own credibility when it comes to logical reasoning. This inclines me to believe that the reason you find it difficult to reason with "BushBots" may be that you just have trouble reasoning at all.

Anonymous said...

>>>re: Halliburton's profits
What in the FUCK are you rambling on about?? Three percent, 10 percent: I don't give a flying fuck what percent they earn. The fact is, they're getting BILLIONS of dollars from hard-working taxpayers like me in CLOSED, NO-BID CONTRACTS. These war profiteering assholes wouldn't know capitalism if it ran over them on the fucking highway. Just like Bush and Cheney themselves.

People like you always smear progressives as "socialist." But the fact is, you BushBots are the biggest fucking supporters of socialism that ever lived----socialism for the rich, that is.

You have no problem with this government stealing my hard-earned tax dollars and handing it over to the likes of Wal-Mart and ExxonMobil, (as well as the biggest piglet of them all, Halliburton).

Spin this all you want and give me all the Rush/Fox "News" talking points you want, but the fact is, this is SOCIALISM FOR THE RICH. People like you are nothing more than useful idiots for the Billionaire Class.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark

Normally I don't get into political arguments or post much political stuff in my online journal. I am a wounded Marine Vet of OIF. I do read plenty of milblogs and many are supportive of the President or the war and a number seem against him or the war it. There are plenty of left leaning ones and some which are conservative too - just like America.

Polls and all of that don't fix the problems. I have only read this entry of yours, but discussions are good - first amendment and all of that. It is too bad both sides of the debate can't try to see the other side's position. Madison talked about factions in "Federalist #10" - it seems that our public conversations are so black and white we are destroying our own liberty. I am not saying you or anyone here is fitting that description.

No true warrior wants a war. We serve the "We" in "We the People" - you elect them we follow their orders. The system is not perfect and I would hope that everyone on both sides would try to look at each other in the color of what Madison talked about when he warned of such factions.

Not sure if that contributes much - just my take.

A.M.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what most soldiers believe today, they are careerists in a volunteer army. When I was in Vietnam, if someone had asked me what I thought of the war and LBJ, I would have told them to tell LBJ to shove the Vietnam War up his ass. But then, I didn't want to be there, didn't want to be in the Army and knew the worst thing the Army would do for saying such a thing would be to send me back to the jungle, where I was going anyway.

MyMilitaryYears said...

Soldiers blogs are nowadays watched and criticized due to various security reasons. Let them share their ideas and Iraq is also in the same situation. Let them continue to meet these challenges with grace and strength.

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