People believe that the internet gives you anonymity. There is a group of "activists" know as "anonymous" who seem to revile in causing as much chaos as possible whenever someone gets up their hackles. That they target the DoD, CIA, NSA, and even fortune 500 companies, and seriously penetrate the same, should give some people pause. But nothing, not even on the internet happens in a vacuum. The things you do, and say will get back to you. Blogging is the most obvious example, but we've seen social media get back to a person in a really big way as well. Even Anonymous has been itself penetrated, and some of the ring leaders names released. That the group is diffuse and that they are not so much coordinated as pointed at a target has been an asset to them, but again, that is not fool proof.
I want to give you a few examples of how things you can say get back to you. Way back in 2004, I was working at the Ivory Combat Clinic in Kirkuk Iraq. It was named for a 173rd Airborne trooper that had died of non-combat related injury, in 2003. Now I was curious to learn more about this individual so I went looking for him and found a message board where I left a brief message:
"I never knew you but I see your name, and face every day at the Ivory Combat Clinic, Named after you. I pray you find peace.
SPC Bailey of ICC, Kirkuk , Iraq
It was nothing much to me and I completely forgot about it. Flash forward a few months and 225 Forward Support Bn is getting ready to go home, and Lt Ammeda pulls me aside and asks me to take the board that had been hanging on the T barrier in front of the Aid Station.
The lower one. The white sign to my knowlege still hangs in the Company area in Hawaii
Sure says I, even though I've already been tasked with an Aid Bag (lest anything happen) and my own personal bag. I asked her why, and she stopped. and looked at me rather seriously (which is impressive considering she is about 5'1")
"hasn't anyone told you?"
"Told me what ma'am?"
"Did you leave a message on a message board about SPC Ivory?"
At this I really racked my brain, and in one of those "ah-ha" moments remembered something that had taken all of five seconds.
"yes ma'am." I said this with trepidation. The Army was cracking down on bloggers
"Well SPC Ivory's parents found out about that, and contacted our PAO, we're presenting it to them when we get back, and its all thanks to you."
Well needless to say I was rather stunned by this. It was an honor and a privilege to carry this sign back, even though it quickly grew to headache proportions when we finally got to Doha. We finally get back, I am told to give up the sign and I kind of forget about it again. Until SPC Ivory's mom and Step Dad come to Hawaii, and we give them the sign. A lot of the members of the company were treated to a dinner at Ruth's Cris (if you've been to Hawaii, you'll know that this is a top flight, steak house). I was given a coin, and despite the fact that I protested vehemently that I really hadn't done anything, I was treated like one of his son's best friends by his step dad. One small throw away line gave a man a measure of peace regarding the loss of a child he called his own. Sometimes the Internet can be a tool for good.
There is of course a number of negative examples. I don't think I need to talk about the "Army Wife, Army Life" blog. It's been well documented and responded to. This is an example of a negative action getting back to you. Of course there's PFC Manning, who I really won't get into, Matthis Chiroux, whose favorite hobby is going around to schools and telling kids that the military rapes half the women serving, and lies about his service. The truth comes out eventually, and though most people know Matthis is a liar, the little things he says will come back to haunt him.
Another person, who has caused my personal Ire, is Ethan McCord. I could go into a long winded explanation about how much of a jackass he has become, but seriously, that's not necessary, I'm not the only one that is pissed about it. The Incident itself is surprisingly well documented. He talks about "War Crimes" and how we're daily gunning down women and children. He talks about the Children he saved, and the pain he has from that day. Which I might have sympathy for. If he hadn't gone and sought out the media when PFC Manning had released the video that would become Collateral Murder, and then fallen in with IVAW, and Not Your Soldiers. He has become the darling of the Liberal Masses (I'm thinking the Unwashed strongly in the forefront), and forgotten what it means to be a Soldier.
I firmly believe he is doing this for purely narcissistic reasons. He is a darling now. He is getting all the love that he can stand, and though I don not think that there is massive monetary compensation, I would not be surprised if there is. In the process he has thrown every Soldier he ever served with under the bus. I've decided, now that some of my fellow comrades have actually shown interest in hitting back at this Blue Falcon. . . I make this public Decoration for all to see. For everyone to know and in the hopes that it will get back to McCord.
My name is Michael Bailey. I swear that I will fight the negative image tooth and nail, that I will support and defend my battle buddies in this fight, and that I will make sure that everyone knows what a Blue Falcon former Spc McCord is.
So help me God.
You had some clout until you started to bring down a fellow soldier who has as much right as you do to speak out about his experiences. Just because his views differ with yours that is no reason to say the things that you have. I feel sad that you cannot honor the bravery that it has taken for Ethan McCord and Manning to speak out, it took guts and you know it. There is more to that war than ever met the eye of the public and it's about time it came to our attention.
I think as you continue life you'll discover this karma-like thing doesn't work quite as straightforward as that.
So the tagline of your blog is that you can air out anything, yet when other vets air out what's on their minds and it actually happens to resonate with people, then the fact that they are listened to (ie. become "darlings") makes them wrong? By that logic, how popular will you allow your blog to get until you become a darling yourself?
Guys, I wasn't anywhere near Michael's unit, however I have seen enough of the Truth to know that Ethan McCord is a fraudulent sack of shit. In and of itself, his "opinions" are not what will be his downfall, but the lies he tells of the military in general, and the incidents of the 2-16 specifically. To me, and I'm sure others, the ilk he has taken to surrounding himself with is the icing on the cake that he is a true Blue Falcon. There is a strong difference between true issues being brought to light and blatant lies. He has long since crossed the lone into nothing but lies.
Hmm sounds like these things have been said by MORE than just Ethan. Oh wait they must be lying too...and all shitbags? What's with the attacks on just him?? It doesn't make sense...
Well I've got trolls! YAY me! I'm really making it. So Anon 1). I don't care about clout. I will say what I want to say, and it will be (to the best of my ability to make it so) truth. Philosophically and morally I do not believe in telling lies, nor aggrandizing myself. Further I would have no issue if McCord was telling the truth, or if he kept his opinions about operations in the appropriate debates and public forums. But he does not. Not your Soldiers is despicable! What they do is perverse and wrong, and that he has gleefully joined them should tell you the quality of his character. Further, yes there is a LOT more to war then you'll ever see. Not to put too fine a point on it but if you're constantly watching war porn you'd think every day is Tet '68. Even Tet '68 wasn't as remembered. When you show combat, unless you're there you can't possibly understand who was there why they're fighting and over what. There simply is no earthly way to provide the details you need to make an informed opinion about the realities of ground combat without ever having SEEN it.
Argent: no I'd imagine not. But I do believe it is there. What you do always catches up to you. Both good (as illustrated above) and bad.
Anon2: How popular is my blog? You know what I really don't care. You might miss this part, but I'm all for Vets airing out their issues. Indeed if you read my previous posts about PTSD, you might know that I feel every vet suicide is a tragedy. There is a support group second to none among Veterans. What McCord has done is turn his back on those same veterans and started spouting slanderous lies. That in and of itself wouldn't be bad if no one actually listened to him. But people are. You know in '73 almost 12% of the US population were veterans? That didn't stop people from spitting on them at SEATAC. we isolated a whole generation of veterans and forced them to go through their own personal hell. ALONE. right now there are about 1.5 Million Iraq or Afghanistan Veterans in America. the US population is about 305 Million. That's less than .5%. If you do the math, we are one of the smallest minorities in the US. It would be unbelievably easy to isolate us, and start up that whole mess again. People like McCord, are trying to make that happen. So I have to ask this: why wouldn't I oppose him?
Anon 3: you really should go an look how many people are confirming what I have to say before you get all glitzy eyed over your "hero"
how bitter and mean are you. Sounds like you bought the war home with you buddy. Seek help.
Anon4: Bitter and mean. . . so wanting the truth to be heard, and not wanting him to drag the names of my fellow soldiers through the mud is not being bitter or mean.
As for seeking help. Gee thanks. I really appreciate some random person commenting on my mental health. Also said person who obviously hasn't read my posts on the subject of mental health. but thanks for playing.
From what I've read from McCord, he has never spoken badly about veterans or soldiers (at least, in general). I'm not sure about the specific people you're referring to, in terms of any claims he has made about them individually. While he does disagree with military policy, he's been very adamant that the soldiers themselves are good people who are putting their lives on the line for what they believe in. Being anti-war is not the same thing as hating soldiers. Anyone who spits on veterans, or in any way disrespects them simply based on the fact that they served in the military is ignorant. They don't, however, represent the views of people who question war as a whole, just as the Westboro Baptist Church bigots don't represent Christians as a whole.
Anon5: maybe you ought to watch what he says again. There is such a thing as not wanting to fight wars. Ant-war, is a different ball of wax. He has made it clear that 12 July is a daily thing that we're killing kids, in a callous way. He may through disclaimers out there, but the net effect is to suggest that there was a daily My Lai.
As for the spitting on soldiers not representing the group as a whole. . . Well no it hasn't gotten to that point yet. But I would strongly argue that the late 60's and early 70's that was what the majority of the Anti-war movement felt. The current anti-war movement is very careful to be respectful, but if you let them get a full head of steam. . . they'll say what they really think about Soldiers.
There are many parallels between now and the 70's.
The main reason for the parallels is the same people that gave us the anti-war movement then are part of it today, but the arguments of then, don’t resonate now, they don’t get real traction. Same tactics won’t work in a different time. This time there is no strong general public out cry. The all volunteer force, 9/11 and no draft are part of it. No one finds it interesting the only ones seen screaming for a draft are the liberal side. Also the public can get different view points on the news. Plus a majority from my generation who didn’t serve (I use that word with reverence) are working hard not to treat the military the way they were treated then.
The younger ones in the “movement” are trying to find something they have seen in the movies and on TV. The want to be the new love children. It seems they are always hoping they will find the new atrocity, Haditha is the new My Lai. Manning is the new Ellsberg. McCord is the new John Kerry at Winter Soldier, citing the killing of women and children. How many in the media want to be the next Cronkite calling the war is lost (after the enemy is decimated).
They should of learned when tried to do a second Woodstock, it did work either.
Point of context I joined the army in 1975 at 18 and was straight leg infantry, even then there was animosity by certain “persons”. I served all 4 years in the 1/19, 25 ID, and never had to go into combat. All my first NCOs were Nam Vets who taught me alot. I did get a quick trip to South Korea but mostly I kept Hawaii safe for surfing. And I do belive in Karma.
You don't agree with McCord's POV on the war, I get that. But where and when has EM ever "dragged soldiers names through the mud?" Can you reference that, some time when he said such-and-such soldier did this thing wrong? Where are the "slanderous lies" you speak of? Those are some very strong charges you keep leveling, but you never seem to have a specific example. Sooner or later people are going to notice that you're just bashing the hell out of this guy because he has a different opinion than you.
11C: You know I probably stomped the same ground. Did you ever have to do the Khole Khole Run? MAN that sucked.
Anon (what number are we on now?) well we could talk about the 360 degree fire, or we could talk about when he used a shotgun on a random person (bet you didn't get that from him) we could also talk about him going to schools with "not your soldiers" and showing them gruesome pictures and telling horror stories (if any of the videos I've seen are true, MUCH inflated) to get them to "resist" the recruiters because, really the military is BAAAD. I've actually been trying to compile as many things he released as possible.
SINCE i don't have unlimited time on my hands (I DO have to work, and go to school ya know) I'm relying mostly on my fellow soldiers to do as much leg work as possible.
I will say that one of his battle buddies that was pretty close to him has told me some really disturbing things about his behavior. I'm trying to get him to write down as much as possible. Check back later I suppose.
You can't have differing perspectives on FACTS. Either the American military is gleefully gunning down kids or they're not. It isn't something that one guy "feels" or "perceives" and another guy doesn't.
If something DIDN'T happen, the other guy's views can't "differ" if they live in reality.
Keep talking, Doc. There is good, bad and ugly. What is TRUE is what matters.
Hey Doc, good job. Never mind the ignorant a-holes that feel that speaking out is okay even if its slander, or at least that slander supports their cause. Now if we used slander to speak out against those calling for the heads of the military, and we used lies their would be a lynch mob. They like to take isolated incidents and blow them up too, I have been overseas as both a Corpsmen and a Flight Medic, and I never pissed on a dead guy, or the various other crimes we have all been accused of. Brother they will believe what they want to believe as the truth because they do not want to be challenged, and have no idea what sacrifice really is.
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