Saturday, May 05, 2007

 

2007 MILBLOG Conference

Kick-off and Keynote Addresses

We’re here, where are you?

Today is the 2nd annual MILBLOG Conference, and Andi’s done wonders again!

Hook is here, and Matt of Blackfive of course, Mrs. Greyhawk, editor and link master for Mudville Gazette’s Dawn Patrol. Chuck Z, Eaglespeak, Neptunus Lex, John of Castle Arrgghhh!, the “cotillion” from SpouseBuzz, lots of Soldiers’ Angels, Murdoc, Bill Roggio, Michael Fumento, Ward and the folks from Milblogging.com.

Geez, that’s only scratching the surface. This is the place to be today!

Surprise: President Bush with a taped message for the Conference.

Many bloggers are private citizen who want to help
Responsibility to support troops and their families
Milbloggers Tell stories of courage and sacrifice
Report important developments in war on terror
Rally fellow citizens
Strengthens our nation
Milbloggers an important voice for freedom
Understand that defeating terrorists must defeat their ideology
Thanked us for our support
Voices and energy for the causes of freedom

Admiral Mark Fox, in Iraq, live feed
Don't get a chance everyday to put an Admiral in the hot seat in Iraq.

Talking about a remarkable turnabout in Al Anbar.

Adm Fox, "it's a humbling experience to serve in the US Military today."

Giving a current update:
GEN Petraeus took over in January. "Enforce the Law," Iraqi focused plan to change the security situation.

4 of 5 brigades have arrived in Iraq. Fifth by mid next month, operational. Little over 20,000 combat reinforcement, another 10,000 or so support, MP, etc.

We would build but not hold in the past.

Joint security stations (Iraqi military, police, US)

57 such outposts, 24x7, persistant presence, in the neighborhoods.

ISF continues to mature, more capable. Still need mentoring, more effective when alongside US troops. Have cultural sensitivity.

Before, we were on FOBs. Commute to the war. Patrol.

Cnter of gravity is Iraqi people. Must be in their midst. Increasing level of contact between Iraqi people and their security forces. Increases cooperation. More tips, intelligence. April all time high for stockpiles, weapons tipped off and captured. 2/3 reduction in violence in Baghdad.

Still high casualty, high visibility ttacks to get media attention.

Facing a really mevil and diabolical enemy.

Iraqi people very restrained really.

ADM Fox does a great job, very knowledgeable. Good presence.

Q: With MSM not covering war in positive way, what can we do as MILBLOGGERS to help?

A: This is such an important new way to explain things. Milblogs leading the Media. Phenomena of blogging, truth will alway come out. Quotes Bible, "truth will make you free."

Just speaking the truth. Lost in this debate, the moral aspect. We are the good guys in this effort. When we have shortfalls, we bring the news out, take appropriate action. Unfortunate incident, but don't see this on the other side.

Great sense of confidence, our system and our ethic, we admit. Enjoy being part of a free society, where people can speak out. Stay engaged.

Will only grow in importance. Journalists, I've grown to respect. I have an issue with how some of their stories are edited. Have more of a beef with editors and producers. How some stories are characterized.

Stories that have more excitement that opening schools or health clinics.

[Milbloggers] a more clear picture of what's happening.

An honor to serve in the military.

God wired us to make a difference. We liberated a people, we protected the weak.

For the first time ever, a representative Government in Middle East.

Given the Iraqi people an opportunity for hope.

Long hard fight. Hard, doesn't mean it's hopeless.

ADM Fox just finished speaking.

Ward Carroll, on behalf of media, "we screwed it up, we're sorry."

Thanks JP Borda, who couldn't be here. (My fellow committee member.)
Thanks to Andi!!! On her way to San Diego, SpouseBuzz Live 2.

Ward, mentioning Claude from the White House.

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