Perhaps one should rejoice at the sudden, refreshing change where the crowd of “milbloggers” (military bloggers, counter-bloggers, and militarist cheerleaders) has gone silent. What makes the moment difficult to celebrate is that they have chosen to go silent at this time and on this issue — I am referring specifically to this piece:
We are speaking here of persons who are, after all, serving in a military-run program, persons who have served in the military in other capacities previously. Are they the enemy now? Were you not all on the same side? Do you not care about the welfare of those who “serve the country” and who “wear the uniform”? What about the rights of women — remember your massive outpouring of what now appears to have been convenient and selective “grief” over Paula Loyd? Where is your Oprah moment now? Remember your outrage against “Afghan culture” and how the men are like inferior animals who abuse their women? Where is all that patriotism, outrage, and wonderful concern for the rights of women now? Where is you “pitchfork parade”? Where is the barrage of people posting from Afghanistan and ISP’s curiously close to Fort Leavenworth who would rush in here at the first chance they could find to bend the discussions underway so that the appropriate Pentagon or State Department perspective could win the day?
How about you “independent minded” military bloggers? Are you trying your best mime imitation right now? Did you have to choose this moment to practice? Or have your delicate little fingers suddenly gone numb from your latest keyboard commando exercise against the newest traitor who dares to speak an idea, or reveal some information, that you would rather not hear (and therefore want to prevent others from hearing)? Or is it that you left the room, looking for a replacement seat cushion for the next time you dive into cyberspace with your unit of the 101st Chairborne?
Silence is complicity, some say, but it is also moral and intellectual cowardice. For those who doubted, look at how “patriotism” really works, how it abandons or devours its own, while wiping away imaginary tears for “the men and women in uniform” who “proudly serve their country.” But look at them turn away now. That is correct, I am referring to you specifically, the chest-beating, nationalist heroes at:
…and all the other fine “Milblogs“
As always, however, let us not rush to judgment. They might not all be AWOL in the finest war-faring traditions of their illustrious statesmen, the various chickenhawks known as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George aWol Bush. They might simply be MIAs in cyberspace. Prepare your yellow ribbons and appropriate bumper stickers, just in case.
Update: Inconvenient truths? Perhaps, but also a poor definition of “milblogging” at work above. See some of the comments that follow below. See also the addenda to the story linked to above, found in comments on that story.