Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Army is Protecting Our Men From the Evils of Blogger

John Rohan at Shield of Achilles says:

Anything ending in “blogspot.com”, or “wordpress.com” is being blocked here in Germany.. I sent an email to the web administers asking for it to be unblocked, and they asked for my account info and said they would work on unblocking it for me. But that would be for me only, it would still be blocked for everyone else. So I complained again, but no response yet.

I presume he means that blogger and wordpress are being blocked by the military powers-that-be in Germany.

Soldier Rohan says of his blog’s name [image here]:

I finally created this weblog in the Spring of 2007 because frankly I was tired of so many professional pundits, with no real-life experience, pumping out misinformation from their ivory towers, writing about things that they had no knowledge or experience of. Not just in regard to the Iraq War, but many other subjects as well.

First I’ll clear up something. I am not “Achilles”, nor am I trying to compare myself to the Achilles of legend. The Achilles (or Akilleus) of Homer’s Iliad was a great and courageous warrior, but also a completely self-serving and self-hating mercenary who didn’t care about anyone or anything but his own lusts and needs.

The Shield of Achilles, however, is an item of Legend that held a very important meaning for the ancient Greeks. In Book 18 of the Iliad, Achilles’ mother Thetis appealed to the god Hephaestus to fashion a shield for her son. Hephaestus decorates it with dramatic images that tell several stories, in a passage filled with symbol[ism]. (Part of the passage is below). The engravings include two cities, one at peace and one at war. In the city at Peace, a man had been murdered, and an argument was ensuing over payment of blood-money. In the city at war, besiegers were divided over either sacking the city, or allowing it to pay a tribute for peace. Among other messages, one was clear: Times of War and Peace are both filled with conflict. Moreover, wartime is not always evil and peacetime is not always virtuous; while there is suffering in War, there is also courage, heroism and honor, and during times of Peace there is still murder, cowardice, and greed. Even people negotiating Peace sometimes have self-serving aims.

[Ummm…we could start with the U.S. State Department - D ]
- - - - - - - - -
[Hephaestus] wrought also two cities, fair to see and busy with the hum of men. In the one were weddings and wedding-feasts, and they were going about the city with brides whom they were escorting by torchlight from their chambers. Loud rose the cry of Hymen, and the youths danced to the music of flute and lyre, while the women stood each at her house door to see them. Meanwhile the people were gathered in assembly, for there was a quarrel, and two men were wrangling about the blood-money for a man who had been killed, the one saying before the people that he had paid damages in full, and the other that he had not been paid. Each was trying to make his own case good, and the people took sides, each man backing the side that he had taken; but the heralds kept them back, and the elders sate on their seats of stone in a solemn circle, holding the staves which the heralds had put into their hands. Then they rose and each in his turn gave judgment, and there were two talents laid down, to be given to him whose judgment should be deemed the fairest.

About the other city there lay encamped two hosts in gleaming armor, and they were divided whether to sack it, or to spare it and accept the half of what it contained. But the men of the city would not yet consent, and armed themselves for a surprise; their wives and little children kept guard upon the walls, and with them were the men who were past fighting through age; but the others sallied forth with Mars and Pallas Minerva at their head- both of them wrought in gold and clad in golden raiment, great and fair with their armor as befitting gods, while they that followed were smaller.
- Iliad, Book XVIII

This weblog was created on the premise that there is a continuous and fundamental struggle going on in the world between justice and injustice. Whether it’s a hot war, cold war, a war on crime, legally sanctioned oppression, or simply an effort to obscure the truth, the struggle itself never ends. Even in peacetime.

There is a tendency today, particularly in the US and Europe, to label every weblog and pundit as either a tool for the political right or left. I don’t belong to any political party, nor do I follow an extremist philosophy from any group. There is no nation, no leader, no philosophy, no race, no gender, no religious group, that has a complete monopoly on honesty, virtue, and integrity. Other than God himself, I don’t consider anyone or anything infallible and beyond question. I suppose that if you must pigeonhole me, you could consider me a hawkish libertarian with a strong environmental streak.

It’s worth going over there just to see the jeune fille on the top post.


Nyog of the Bog said...

I did observe that Blogger was down today for a half hour or so. (I was wanting to stop by here at the time.) Word press was fine however.

John Rohan said...

Thanks for the great write-up! And the official word is that my website, your website and anything else ending in "blogspot" or "wordpress".com are still being banned. More info is in this post on my site here.