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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Does PTSD Make You Speak Out in Support of the Surge?

The blogosphere has been on fire about the dust-up between the Sgt in uniform and Jon Soltz at Yearly Kos so there is no sense in rehashing that here. But The Angry Rakkasan over at KOS has an explanation for the Sgt's speaking out - after he essentially calls the soldier "a troll"...

It's pretty clear that there is more at work here than a simple troll intending to cause trouble at YearlyKos.
We need to get to the bottom of this. This is a soldier who needs some help--whether it's more training in military bearing and discipline or treatment for complex PTSD, we just don't know yet. Either way, he's being exploited by the right-wing blogs.

Exploited by Right-wing blogs? Since when does giving the Sgt the space to speak his mind without being hounded by a pompous ass equal exploitation? Does that mean that every anti-war vet that gets some diary time at KOS and in the media is being exploited? What is the difference other than one speaks out in support of the surge and the other speaks out about cutting funding to bring the troops home?

At least Soltz is having some second thoughts about how he handled the situation...

I've talked to Jon several times since Friday morning, and if he had it to do over again, he would have handled it a little differently.

Nah - ya think? That negative coverage and video documentation of being an asshat can't help promote the cause can it?

For full disclosure, The Angry Rakkasan is also a member of VoteVets. Here's Brandon Friedman's bio from the VoteVets website...

"Brandon Friedman served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan and Iraq. In March 2002, he led a rifle platoon into Afghanistan’s Shah-e-Kot Valley in order to engage Taliban and al Qaeda fighters as part of Operation Anaconda. A year later, Brandon commanded a heavy weapons platoon during the invasion of Iraq. He led troops during combat operations in Hillah, Baghdad, and Tal Afar. Brandon eventually left the country in late 2003 after having spent the latter half of the year as a rifle executive officer managing troop movements, security issues, and logistics in several parts of northern Iraq. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his service in Afghanistan and Iraq. An active member of VoteVets, Brandon is an author and blogger whose combat memoir, The War I Always Wanted, will be released by Zenith Press in August. Writing under the pseudonym “The Angry Rakkasan,” Brandon’s other writings have appeared on the political blogs Daily Kos, No Quarter, and ePluribusMedia. He holds a degree in History from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and a Master’s degree (MPA) in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas"

Friedman gave the Democratic response to the President's weekly radio address back in July 2007. Imagine that a KOS kid speaking for the DNC.

Brandon Friedman, a former infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, criticized Bush’s war strategy in a radio address that followed the president’s speech Saturday morning.

Friedman also has a book about his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here's a blurb about The War I Always Wanted from Amazon...

"In this gripping memoir of a young soldier learning the hardest lessons of combat, we see the terrors and disillusion of war as the insurgency in Iraq spirals out of control. And we see the true valor of character emerging under fire."

I doubt this one will make it on my reading list anytime soon. I think I'll stick to Michael Yon and Bing West.

Fisk away everyone...

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