Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Meme of One's Own

[posted by Callimachus]

It was Reader who started me looking at Memeorandum, a round-up site that lists selected major news outlet stories and then links you to the blogs that link to them.

I don't know how thorough it is. That is, I don't know whether the list of blogs at the end of every news story blurb is a complete sample of the ones that have linked to it.

If it's anywhere near representative, however, it's sad confirmation of the separate realities and bubble mentality of the modern U.S. political scene -- or at least the blogs.

Once you get to know the blogs, and their general orientation on the flatline scale of "left" and "right," you see that certain stories are copiously linked from the left and ignored by the right. And vice versa.

Often this puzzles me. As with this story about a U.S. military unit's struggle in Iraq. It's both unspeakably foul and morally uplifting. The good guys are left with a feeling of loss by the time it ends. But you never doubt who the good guys are. You never stop wanting them to triumph.

When I read it, I came away more dedicated than ever to honoring these men and women we send to do this harrowing work, who do it consistent with the ancient warrior code of honor, and with respect for the culture of the land they now tread. They are not cartoon Spartans; they are real, everyday people. Which is what makes them so worth honoring.

I came away more determined than ever that the good and innocent people of Iraq who found themselves forced to choose between a future that starts in the shade of our tanks, or one that starts under the banners of murderous jihad, and who chose the path we offered, should be protected and supported. They should not be dropped like an inconvenient Newt Gingrich wife for the sake of making domestic political hay.

I came away more determined than ever that the invisible men who wrought the brutality that frames this platoon's story -- the vicious murders that begin and end it -- should never find haven in this world, or be able to laugh at America's surrender, or be emboldened by our craven leaders to think their evil has God's imprimatur for triumph in the 21st century.

Yet the story only has three links (as of now) on Memeorandum. One is Wonkette doing snarkity-snark-snark at the U.S. troops. The other two actually are the same post, here and double-dipped at Huffington.

This poster read the same story I did, but somehow manages to come out with the impression that it describes "... the exact moment when President Bush's brutish policy grabs hold of an American soldier and ruins his life," and proves "... the rotting stench of Bush's kingly intransigence ..." in "... a failed and useless war ...."

Very well, then: Let's talk about it. Let's have it out over the same words, the same published story, and see who is arguing what, based on what, to what larger purpose, with what goals and ideals in mind.