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April 08, 2007

Jane on NPR

The intrepid blogger who made her way to Iraq, Jane Stillwater, was interviewed this morning on NPR.  They reported that Jane was the first person who asked John McCain a question last week.  She compared sending our soldiers into Iraqi neighborhoods with the foolishness of sending soldiers into battle in World War I that Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about in the "Charge of the Light Brigade".  She talked about the blunders of the Bush Administration in getting us in this war.  Needless to say, McCain didn't respond or comment; he just went on to the next question. 

Hearing about Jane reminded me to check in on Jane's blog again.  There I learned that she had been scheduled to be interviewed by CNN but her comments to McCain squelched that.  Too bad, she would have had an interesting perspective. 

On her blog, she talks about her experiences in the Green Zone, the only area she's been allowed to be in.  Here's how she summarized what she's seen: 

I’m tired of being in Iraq. I’m tired of facing tragedy here day after day. This country is in trouble. This country is screwed.

I’ve been in Iraq for a week now and already I’m ready to go home. Everywhere I look, there is tragedy – tragedy for the Americans, tragedy for the Iraqis. This country is like Humpty Dumpty. It’s a freaking broken egg. And nothing the Americans or the insurgents or the thugs or the Iraqi government can do will put it back together again and make it back into an egg.

So. If you can’t put the egg back in its shell, what CAN you do? Make an omelet? Sure. But even if you make it into the best omelet in the world, Iraq is still gonna get all eaten up.

I wrote a brief piece on Jane and how she arrived in Iraq a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by Lynn Allen on April 8, 2007 at 08:54 AM in Media, National and International Politics | Permalink


The Charge of the Light Brigade was in the Crimean War, 60 years before World War I. I do not remember reading about any cavalry charges in World War I.

Posted by: ivan | Apr 8, 2007 9:56:08 AM

You're right about The Charge of the Light Brigade, ivan. It was written in 1854. However, WWI is seen as the demise of the cavalry. To quote Wikipedia:

"In August 1914 all combatant armies still retained substantial numbers of cavalry and the mobile nature of the opening battles on both Eastern and Western Fronts provided a number of instances of traditional cavalry actions, though on a smaller and more scattered scale than those of previous wars. The Imperial German Cavalry, while as colourful and traditional as any in peacetime appearance, had adopted a practice of falling back on infantry support when any substantial opposition was encountered. These cautious tactics aroused derision amongst their more conservative French and Russian opponents but proved appropriate to the new nature of warfare."


Cavalry units were maintained in the US Army through the 1920s, but were disbanded once it was clear that motorized infantry and armor could be more mobile.

Posted by: Cujo359 | Apr 8, 2007 12:25:02 PM

Lynn, thanks very much for pointing us to Jane's blog. She got close enough to St. McCain to see the prints of Little bush's ass right there on his lying lips.

Posted by: Brenda Helverson | Apr 8, 2007 4:10:39 PM

Well, I guess I'll have to play devil's advocate.

I heard Jane Stillwell on the radio this morning and cringed. She sounded as though she had taken three bong hits just before doing the interview -- and that she has spent most of her life on the bong. It's not the 1970's anymore and I really don't want to have to endure inarticulate, hippie-throwbacks purporting to represent America's current political left. If Jane Stillwell is what our side has to offer, then we are in serious, serious trouble. After reading her blog, I cringed once again. I just find her to be an embarassment.

Lynn, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one...

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 8, 2007 7:04:49 PM

Shoephone, not so very. I liked Jane a lot more before I actually heard her talk on NPR this morning, which is to say that the idea of what she was doing was more compelling that what she is actually doing. That said, getting a rawer picture of what is going on over there, via her blog, is interesting to me. The idea that she was the first embedded blogger and, therefore, the first blogger that many folks might hear, made me cringe as well.

I thought she was a bit ADHD-like. But a couple bong hits down the road might be another way of saying that.

Posted by: Lynn | Apr 8, 2007 8:05:14 PM

Oh, and welcome back. It was tax prep week for me so I was not so available to post. So, with luck, we'll both be back more.

Posted by: Lynn | Apr 8, 2007 8:07:09 PM

Lynn - I'm supposed to have my taxes done tomorrow, but I'm usng the excuse of having been out of town last week... as if my accountant will care!

Don't get me wrong, I think having a blogger embedded with the troops is fantastic. It's about time. And there's no doubt it takes a heck of lot of courage to go over there. Considering that this war has cost more journalists their lives than any war in modern memory proves that courage. I just wish it had been another blogger, one with real cred. Maybe I just see things through the prism of my Seattle-ishness (if I may make up a word... *g*) but Jane's naivete may be more charming to her peeps in Berkeley than it is to me and mine.

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 8, 2007 9:19:43 PM

Don't know much about ADHD. I do know a bit about bongs however...in the past...all in the past...

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 8, 2007 9:23:26 PM

Stillwater was an embarrassment before she set foot in Iraq. Dissing MSM'ers who fly to to Iraq for "photo-ops" and fly back.

Her current blog post includes encounters (direct or indirect) with one MSM'er who was kidnapped for a year, and 15 who got blow'd up. Real reporters (like Anne Garrels,
fr'instance) are doing real, hard, high-risk work, in-country, bringing us as much of the story as they can get, practicing creative survival skills, and a lot of them aren't coming back.

And we're supposed to applaud this disrespectful ditz because she's a blogger?

Posted by: RonK, Seattle | Apr 10, 2007 3:09:30 PM

Hello from Iraq:

Jane's comments here are absurd given that she was only in the Green Zone, one of the quietest places in Iraq.

Posted by: matt sanchez | Oct 14, 2007 4:29:27 PM

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