First things first, Appeal for Redress is founded on a lie. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has done his usual brilliant investigative work and shows how this group is an astroturf creation of the anti-war movement that recruited it's two "founders".
I feel no animosity toward any of those who serve and choose to do this, but I question the importance beyond it's use by the media to attempt to lose the war in Iraq. Esprit de Corps is what makes a soldier move forward into gunfire rather than retreat. That is a bond that says we will stand firm together and part of that is not throwing red meat to the jackals of the press.
One of the appealers said that he wanted to send a message to his Congressman as a constituent that he thought the mission was wrong. And there you have it, as a constituent is not how you are acting when you join an anti-war group and send your message specifically as a military member, not a constituent. You are gaming the system, using a whistle-blower provision to play anti-war games that you are not supposed to be doing. It may be legal, but it is still weak and sad.
The math would show that these people represent tenths, maybe thousandths of a percent of the total military strength, but their value as propaganda ensures they get exposure far beyond their unimportant opinions on US foreign policy or war-fighting. Opinions are like bungs, everybody's got one. Doesn't mean that it's important. Sgts, and Majors, and PFCs don't get a vote on policy or "which war they will fight" as one of the non-appealing Cav troops noted. They get to serve and they are definitely not supposed to be on 60 Minutes disagreeing with their superiors by using a program designed to protect whistle blowers. That there are some who oppose the war, even in the military was not news to anyone. That they could sneak on 60 Minutes to pour salt in the wounds all Americans feel from this war, was unsurprising. They have not committed any crimes and should suffer no punishment other than the disdain of those who understand the need for good order and discipline in a fighting unit, something the appealers have shown to be sorely lacking.
The timestamp will show that this was more or less liveblogged, so I reserve the right to revise my opinions. Buuuuuuut, this sounds to me like a bunch of the usual suspects who we're always whining about how the system screws them, and were looking for ways to game regulations. Now I've gamed many myself, but there is a difference between cheating for a good time and cheating to aid the anti-war efforts. An eye-opener only for anyone who never served, the rest of us have seen these wankers in every unit.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
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Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
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Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
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Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
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A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.