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July 28 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: It's Not Like It's YOUR Life Or YOUR Death But It's Time The 'Forces Of Peace' Got Off Their Asses
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It’s fascinating to watch the so-called “progressive” COIN fans circle the wagons over the Wikileaks release of over 90,000 files from Afghanistan. Everywhere you look – from Joshua Foust to our very own Attackerman’s selection of Adam Weinstein’s post in Mother Jones as the “winner” of “the WikiLeaks commentary contest” – you’ll find concerned military journos assuring us that there’s really nothing there, no need to bother our pretty little heads trying to read or understand these files. As Weinstein writes: “But in truth, there’s not much there. I know, because I’ve seen many of these reports before—at least, thousands of similar ones from Iraq, when I was a contractor there last year.”WikiLeaks also claims there appears to be evidence of War Crimes and more... So pay no attention to those men behind the curtain little people.
Repeating the White House and Pentagon talking points that “ there were few, if any, revelations in the documents” many followed the lead of Andrew Exum who, after assuring us that he has “spent the past two days” looking at the 92,000 files (even though his piece was published considerably less than 48 hours after the release) and “seen nothing in the documents that has either surprised me or told me anything of significance,” goes on to express his concern for us poor befuddled readers:The publication of these documents, by contrast, dumps 92,000 new primary source documents into the laps of the world’s public with no context, no explanation as to why some accounts may contradict others, no sense of what is important or unusual as opposed to the normal march of war.What these fellows miss is that the documents are important for us to read precisely because they are raw original source materials “written during combat by officers.” After years of watching the ISAF press office attempt to coverup mass civilian casualty events until some reporter or local doctor provides a cell phone video, after years of rhetoric from Bush and now Obama claiming progress in this disaster than spirals further into chaos, after all those McChrystal claims of caution and concern for the people of Afghanistan, we can now read the actual reports ourselves, with no PR officer to hide the facts. (cont’d.) [In Full @ Firedoglake]
Many experts on the war, both in the military and the press, have long been struggling to come to grips with the conflict’s complexity and nuances. What is the public going to make of this haphazard cache of documents, many written during combat by officers with little sense of how their observations fit into the fuller scope of the war?
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