Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"A Plan to Kill Everyone"

"FALLUJAH — A sign on the door leading out of India Company’s Combat Operations Center says 'Have a Plan to Kill Everyone You Meet.' For a fraction of second I thought it might be some kind of joke. But I was with the Marine Corps in Fallujah, and it wasn’t a joke."

That's how today's post starts in "Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal."

The sign is an indication of two things:
  1. Falluujah isn't as rough as it used to be, but it's a place where complacency kills.
  2. The diplomatic corps and the Marine Corps have very different job descriptions.
Michael Totten is an embedded reporter in Iraq. I've intended to link to his blog for some time now, and his January 2, 2008, post was an excellent opportunity.

Aside from first-hand personal observations about his experiences in Iraq, Mr. Totten posts photos. I appreciate seeing a side of Iraq that the new doesn't generally cover: streets without burning cars, people who haven't been shot recently. He doesn't paint a rosy picture, but I think we're getting a more complete, and maybe more accurate, look at Iraq than many traditional news outlets offer.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.