Turning Tables

In the original incarnation of the chutry experiment, I reflected (scroll down to March 16 and 17) on what I found to be a fascinating use of blogs, the first hand accounts from journalists, soldiers, and civilians on the war in Iraq, the most famous of which is, of course, Salam Pax. I was struck by the fact that the immediate publication associated with blogging seemed perfectly fit to the immediacy of first-person narratives about the war. I’m less wide-eyed about the medium now, but I have recently come across a blog published by a U.S. soldier that struck me as particularly fascinating. The soldier, who publishes under the identity “moja,” is frequently critical of U.S. policy and in many of his posts carefully weighs the consequences of our actions in Iraq, while often expressing sympathy with the Iraqi citizens (including Salam Pax). Perhpas most interesting is his reflection on what is permissible for him to say, a question that comes across in an exchange with an ex-Navy Seal. Moja writes that the ex-Seal

feels that as a soldier i should keep quite about all of my political beliefs…i, as a soldier, feel that i do have the right of free speech with in the realm of the army…there are things that i can not speak about…my chain of command…the president…their decisions…and the like…
These questions frequently come to the surface in Moja’s blog, and through his ambivalence about U.S. policy, he provides an intriguing perspective on the situation in Iraq. As with other “front bloggers” (I prefer that term to “warbloggers”), there has been some debate about the authenticity of <...turning tables...>, but it’s still an interesting read.

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