Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Trial Blog Post Using Flock

Military's Advice to Reporters: 2,000 Dead in Iraq 'Not a Milestone'

By E Staff

Published: October 25, 2005 1:11 PM ET updated 3:30 PM
NEW YORK CNN reported this morning that the U.S. death toll in Iraq had reached 2,000, and a little later The Associated Press confirmed this. AP said the 2,000th military fatality was an Army sergeant who was wounded by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad and died in Texas last weekend. He is Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas.

But the chief spokesman for the American-led multinational force has called on the media not to consider the 2,000 number as some kind of milestone.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined press center, wrote in an e-mail to reporters, "I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq. The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."

Boylan, according to AP, added: "The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations."

He complained that the true milestones of the war were "rarely covered or discussed," and said they included the troops who had volunteered to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more, and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their country. It also includes, he added, Iraqis who sought to join the security forces and had became daily targets for insurgent attacks at recruiting centers, those who turned out to vote in the constitutional referendum, and those who chose to risk their lives by joining the government.

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan wrote.

E Staff (letters@editorandpublisher.com)

UPDATE: Flock has potential, but it is buggy, which is to be expected in a product still under development (version=0.4.9). See their 13 things you can do with Flock (and how to do them) page to get an idea of what they have in mind. It integrates with del.icio.us and uses it to store your bookmarks online. It also integrates with Flickr. The integrated blog posting tool does not allow HTML editing (yet?) so I probably won't use it much, and I have no idea if it will use Firefox extensions, and I haven't tried using it with Flickr. Still, it is a great idea. It loads pages quickly, too. BTW, I forgot to include the link to the article above. It is here.