In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

CB

When I started blogging, a legend was beginning to be censored. His name to the internet world was simply “CB” and his blog My War was the most widely read of its kind. If you’ve never read his blog, it’s too late to visit the site and read the compelling, first-person accounts of Spc. Colby Buzzell, a soldier with Bco, 1-23 (Tomahawks). Buzzell was stationed in the same city as me and I was even embedded with his company, but I never met him. At least, I don’t think I did. Anyway, his blog was turned into a book and will hit the bookshelves in the fall. His first chapter is featured in the latest edition of Esquire.

Buzzell envied the great writer Hunter S. Thompson, who recently killed himself, but Colby himself could really tell a story in the sort of raw, uncensored form not found in most milblogs. The way he captured combat through words made the war real for thousands, if not millions, of Americans. I admired the way he wrote even when he knew his posts were being read by his commander, battalion commander and the brigade commander. His work was deemed “inappropriate” by his leaders and he eventually quit writing, which I assume was an order. At the time, he garnered so much attention that we were tasked with writing a story on “milblogging” and all army types with blogs were afraid that they were being read by their leaders. This is why there is a huge gap in my posts.

A few readers have made comments to me that my writing reminded them of CB’s, which to me is one heckuva compliment. CB was kind of like Rosa Parks for milbloggers. He more or less put us on the map. I am really happy for Buzzell and will be one of the first to buy his book.

16 Comments:

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Kim said...

I might have to read that book. But I'd much rather be waiting in line to buy YOUR book...

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Sammy said...

Fred,

Do I still get to read the rough draft of your book? How ya doin'? I never got a response after I sent that last email with the address to send the stuff to. Didn't know if you were using AKO.

Have heard from Joe and Dave. But you've just kinda disappeared.


Sammy

 
At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Sammy said...

Your stuff, to me,is actually more like Ernie Pyle's and I believe I've told you that...

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous watchya said...

Thanks for the tip: I'll look the blog up.

Incidently, your blog has given me a unique perspective both on the war in Iraq, your situation on returning home, and some moving photography. Truly, thank you. Whatever you do, keep blogging, there are people out her taht are interested and care.

:-)

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

Ok you got 3 and now I will be 4. Get the thing in order and we get first dibs on the first ones rolled off the press!

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger membrain said...

CB got me started reading Military blogs and through him I found you. I look forward to both your books. By the way CB has put all the archives back on his sight, so it can be read from his very first post.

 
At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read CB's blog, and he was definitely raw and edgy in his writing from Iraq. I would wake up in the morning and couldn't wait to read what happened overnight.

CB has lost some of his luster for me with those weird posts since he has been home. He will put up posts and then take them down like the one where he talks about how wonderful Janeane Garafolo is.

Our country has problems, but I can't think of anywhere on earth I would rather live. I'm so tired of people trashing it, our president, and the military.

I'm not going to buy or read CB's book, but will buy yours, Smink.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger betsy said...

Yeah, CB seems to have fallen into some kind of black hole. He posts and then removes the posts (I think the trolls upset him and for some reason he's not able to ignore them). He's removed all of his original blogs (mayhap saved for the book), and the infamous "Men In Black" one which brought him all that attention in the first place, unfortunately is gone. Now there are just a few referring to his being "caught". I bought the new Esquire and his chapter in there is a provocative tease for his book.

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

CB's was also my first soldier's blog. I thought his stuff was good even before "Men in Black" but this is the article that helped me realize how bad the reporting out of Iraq actually was. However, I also have heard great things about his LTC and believe that if this LTC told him to revise or remove any part of his blog it was for good reason. From what I understand this particular LTC was all about the soldier even at the expense of his own career. The blog was valuable but not at the expense of any of the soldiers in the platoon. I always figured he would write a book and I would learn the full story at that time. I may not agree with everything CB says or does, but believe that he tells it as he sees it...in truly raw form. I also understand that other soldiers may not see the situation the same way. A soldier who was there due to stop loss is likely to have a different perspective than one who was not. I will definitely buy his book.

Your writing is good like CB's but there is a difference in style and perhaps perspective. This is a good thing because I don't want to buy a bunch of books that sound the same. If you decide to write a book I hope you also include your collection of photos.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

Yeah, CB was something else...I used to visit his site 4x a day hoping for an update...and if he waited 2 days to update people would start freaking out. His reporting was vivid and raw and completely objective from his perspective...if that makes any sense...I can remember one of my favorite posts from him was about a House Raid, I think it was entitled something like I don't want to live alone.
I don't care what he says now, or what his political stance is...people don't own him or his experiences. His writing was so engrossing.
And he was so oblivious to how unique he was. I can remember the list he made of things soldiers should bring, and mentioned a sling shot, explaining that it was good for non-lethal force...like for shooting at wild dogs...that was something they probably didn't prepare you for back home.
I think your writing is different, because you are able to step back and assess things, and he always seemed in the thick of it. He was always shooting from the hip. Different styles, both great. It's great that you are dedicating a post to him.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger marty said...

I used to read CB too, until he started copying and pasting from CNN.com and other websites. I'll also be waiting for your book Smink, (I think a photo journal of the war would sell very well) and hopefully one from Neil Prakash, who has the Armor Geddon blog. If you haven't been there, go and read his previous posts, especially the ones on the assault on Falluaja last November. He's back home now, I hope he keeps writing as well.

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger Jack Naka said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about movie fashion fcsdebug 1 nocache 1 aggregatorquerydebug 1 aggregatorcaptiondebug 1. It pretty much covers movie fashion fcsdebug 1 nocache 1 aggregatorquerydebug 1 aggregatorcaptiondebug 1 related stuff.

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger vente said...

Vous avez un blog très agréable et je l'aime, je vais placer un lien de retour à lui dans un de mon blogs qui égale votre contenu. Il peut prendre quelques jours mais je ferai besure pour poster un nouveau commentaire avec le lien arrière.

Merci pour est un bon blogger.

 
At 4:57 AM, Blogger Bill Adams said...

Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit AmericanFlags.com right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

Semper Fi!

Bill Adams

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

 
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