“The Enemy Has Successfully Denied The Western Media Access To The Battlefields”: The Case For Milblogging
When Marine Corps General James Mattis remarked to a reporter on December 23rd of last year that the enemy had “successfully denied the Western media access to the battlefields” of Iraq, he was right. But the enemy had not denied the homefront information from those battlefields because of the vast network of computers and blogs operated by the men and women in uniform serving in the theater who kept pumping out crucial information to their families, friends and admirers back in the States.
When four months earlier General John Abizaid had told me in an interview that “it would be a huge help for everybody if we started talking about our enemies out here, what they stand for, what they want, what their vision of the world is, why they're dangerous, and how this is a worthy fight to fight at this level now, rather than letting it wait to get worse,” I realized that thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were doing just that via their milblogs such as MudvilleGazette and their e-mails to civilian bloggers such as Powerline, Instapundit, CaptainsQuarters, Michelle Malkin and me.
The MSM might have been denied the battlefield because of the risks involved –though some like Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, and John Burns were not deterred—and the anti-Bush media might have refused to talk about our enemies or the worthiness of the fight, the men and women of the American military never stopped reporting on the war or describing in detail the nature of the enemy or the ebb and flow of the battle.