Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Go Joe


Anonymous said...

Wrong title, Erin. It should be: "Go Away Joe!".

deangc said...

That's the sound of a man who has exhausted his 15 Warhol minutes.

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

Joe is right in one sense "they don't know half the story."

My account ...

January, 1991 .. my platoon is on the move in northern Saudi Arabia. We halt along what we called "tapline road," which is a line of a road paralleling an oil tapline. We begin to dig in, including vehicles.

We're told that there are terrorist threats, and that they will use SUVs as an infiltration method on major roads, or via the desert ...

Flash forward to the day my platoon's vehicles are being dug into the ground via bulldozer ...

I'm standing there, watching the second of my platoon's four vehicles being dug in when I (and many others) spot an SUV immediately to our front on a paved road bisecting our position. I run back to my vehicle, and immediately get in the turret, tell my driver to get the track fired up, and get my helmet on.

We get notification on the radio that we don't know who the folks on the road are. We subsequently observe two individuals exit said SUV with a camera, with which they proceed to photograph the entire defensive trace of my company. We're not amused. I direct every 25mm gun in my platoon to orient on the SUVs, ready to blow them off the road.

My commander goes out, dismounted, with his 9mm drawn. I don't know what was said, but soon the photographer and journalist leave our area, to the north. Two days later I hear via the BBC that the two in question are Bob Simon from CBS and his photographer. I also hear that the Iraqis have caught them, and they are now prisoners.

There is no doubt in my military mind that had Bob Simon and crew had succeeded in threatening the safety of me and my men that I would have blown him off that road. The fact that my company commander was able to get him out of there without causing him bodily harm speaks volumes about his ability as a commander in my view.

Joe talks about not allowing the media into some places. In my experience, there are some times and places where that should be the case.


Erin O'Brien said...

Good story and point of view, Al.

Al the Reitred Army Guy said...




philbilly said...

Mission accomplished, Joe, I saw no war reporting just then.

To Al's valid point, journalists in war zones have no Constitutional right to endanger troops. I think few citizens understand just how much restraint is exercised as a matter of policy and design by American and coalition troops. It makes a difficult job nearly impossible, but they get it done.


Thanks for letting me vent before, Erin, I'll be more restrained.

Erin O'Brien said...

Good christ you people make everything serious. I just thought his line at the end about watching the war at the movies was classic--oh, and about not being able to have a picnic.

Phil--you were wholly entitled to your reaction. When someone saunters into a room and trumpets about how their grandaddy was a card-carrying KKK member in a Foghorn Leghorn voice, I have my suspicions about why they're doing it.

I just wanted to extinguish any flame wars before they started. This is a place for the good stuff, not a place to cultivate hate and vitriol.

Erin O'Brien said...

I should add that it's not that I think all of you need some matron watching over everyone. I trust you.

But when a guys starts using needling tricks like that, I just sometimes like to say something about the sort of site this is.

Bill the wrenchbender said...

I understand both sides of this issue, having both served and being somewhat a part of the media. I certainly think that there should be members of the media reporting on the war, but not to the extent that missions or personnel are threatened or put in harms way as a result.
That being said, I think Joe should stick to plumbing, although maybe we could get him to interview Palin, talk about your intellectual giants!

philbilly said...

@ Bill the wrenchbender;

I'd watch that, Hi Ho! What a freakin' trainwreck it'll be.

Problem is, folks, we cain't afford to pretend to be homespun and folksy no more. Those sage old-timers Palin and Joe are 'sposed to emulate would just raise an eyebrow at their tortured ramblings.
"Better to keep your mouth shut and let others think you a dolt than open your mouth and prove it."

Old-timers didn't have electric outlets for crockpots, refrigeration, a/c, antibiotics, telephones, coyote huntin' helicopters etc., and you don't think they were in fact very intelligent, savvy and resourceful? We moderns wouldn't last a week. Did ya know the original Prairie Home Companion was a survival manual for homesteaders?
Huge book with color plates depicting diseases in humans and livestock . Plus how to prevent it, cure it with natural remedies or cut it off if too late. Here, drink this whiskey and bite this stick.

The Asiatics are going to eat our lunch. No more automoton jobs for
for the proles. 1 in 7 Americans is illiterate. Discounting for some effects of illegal immigration padding the stats, we're screwed.

Douchebag that Castro became later, he effectively wiped out illiteracy shortly after ousting Fatista.

No country for the uneducated, red, blue or purple.

Erin O'Brien said...

I think many people have forgotten how the big ol' lumbering "moo" animal is actually their hamburger.