Entropy and Irony – Part II

May 23rd, 2007 by xformed

Fess up, someone. Who forgot to invite William Arkin of the Los Angeles Times?

That’s what it’s all about. Step forward and apologize…then everything will be alright. In the meantime, some commentary and opinion editorializing:

While bemoaning the job security competition milbloggers in his article “If Only War Reporting Were More Like Sports Reporting”, William Arkin makes a blatant falsehood a pivot point for his discussion:

[…]
I’ve been wanting to write about the 2nd Annual MilBlog conference (I wasn’t invited),…
[…]

I suspect he may not have been graced with a gold foil engraved, leather invitation, secured with a silk ribbon, but then again, I didn’t get one either.

On top of that, he’s way behind the power curve in trying to say something that makes me believe he all of a sudden had equated the conduct of baseball to the conduct of war. I blogged about it some time ago, on several occasions, and I still like my analysis much better.

Soldier’s Dad has already chimed in and was the first to reply to Mr. Arkin at the WAPO site.

I left my version, too..something to do with how the registration was open for almost 6 weeks and at the bargain price of $40. I further went on to say his mis-stating of facts was exactly what makes people distrust them and his article further hurt the “cause.”

I’ve often thought if we could cover the military like sports, with transparency and intimate knowledge and a play-by-play that was both affectionate and unsparingly critical, we’d have a healthier debate. Interest and knowledge on the part of the typical American in foreign affairs and national security would actually increase.

This would go over much better is most people in the US actually had military experience, but even more importantly, an education that thought them how to critically think about such issues. Then, yes, we could have that rewarding debate Mr. Arkin desires.

But alas, it is the military, and whether it is the death of Pat Tillman or a war plan, the impulse of the institution is strategic defense. Secrecy, of course, is always justified on OPSEC grounds.

I’m guessing Mr. Arkin has not spent anytime being the potential target of an enemy, be they German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Soviet, Vietnamese, or many nationalities of Islamic jihadis. If so, he would not make such a flippant remark.

Using absolute words can absolutely get you into trouble now, or later, or maybe for a long time, like the rest of your life, when you make sweeping statements. People hang onto absolutes, because they are rare….or should be, but we cry “all” or “nothing” way too much anymore, just to get the gaze shifted to whoever wants attention.

And side note: Yep…OPSEC is the thing we do because stuff is secret.

Anyhow, it’s ironic, isn’t it, that a writer/editorialist can’t move his body around the country in order to even be a fly on the wall, let alone possible meet some MilBloggers in person and sit and chat. Think about it: There we were, in one place, at an appointed time slot on two sequential days. Good thing we haven’t had any attacks in country since 9/11….but, a wide range of bloggers filled the room and that’s only an annual event right now. Perfect timing for anyone who wants to save a lot of funding to get a lot of interviews. I’m sure his Editor would have sprung for the airfare and hotel bill, just on the hopes of a lot of out of context remarks they could quote later on.

And then, he makes it “our” fault for not letting him come to a conference that was open to everyone who wanted to sign up, up to 200 people.

H/T: Milblogs via Mrs Greyhawk

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 at 5:41 pm and is filed under Blogging, Entropy and Irony, Military, Political, Stream of Consciousness, Supporting the Troops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 responses about “Entropy and Irony – Part II”

  1. Steeljaw Scribe said:

    You know, 25-30 years ago ol’ Bill Arkin really worked hard and did some pretty decent reportage and analysis, particularly in the nuclear field. Of late however (last 10 or so years) he’s gotten lazy and spends too much time contemplating his navel and reporting on the profundity of what he extracts with this latest being but one more example. He is rapidly becoming a cypher…
    -SJS

  2. Entropy and Irony - Part III - - It’s not random, it’s CHAOS! said:

    […] « Entropy and Irony – Part II […]

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