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"Miliblog" gives soldiers a voice

V2_logo_homeBrowsing through my morning blogs I came across a truly amazing website: Operation Truth. A non-profit, non-partisan veterans' organization that “seeks to amplify the soldiers' voice in the American public dialogue,” Operation Truth has been publishing news, veteran resources as well as a group weblog (complete with RSS feed) by American combat servicemen and women since October 2004. Founder Paul Rieckoff writes on the website that “American servicemen and women have a voice that deserves to be heard; the issues and hardships troops face merit attention. Additionally, American troops have a distinct and important perspective that can influence the American political scene in a powerful way.” 

The blog, which provides unvarnished news and opinion of the situation in combat zones, chiefly Afghanistan and Iraq, is a refreshing and up-close look at what soldiers are facing on the ground every day in two of the most hotly debated regions of the world. Rieckoff met recently with NBC news anchor—and blog detractor when things don’t go his way—Tom Brokaw:

"I felt like the American public was really detached from the soldier's experience. And I wanted to find a new way to try to utilize technology and utilize the soldier's experience to create a visceral connection, so people could really see soldiers, see what they experience, and get a sense for what they're really going through in Iraq and when they come home." 

The website is full of interesting information and, judging from the number of comments, it has a fairly large readership. Operation Truth is yet another excellent example of how blogs are being used to shape opinion. Rieckoff should be applauded for recognizing a gap in the opinion topography, and for seizing the opportunity to give servicemen and women a voice in the ongoing debate about the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether you’re for or against, it’s required reading. //Billy McCormac

November 22, 2004 in Posts in English | Permalink


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