Thursday, July 19, 2007

Personal Manifesto (Part One)

I feel compelled to write. My Windows Media Player is on random and Albinoni, of all options, just began to gently resonate. I have a Venti Sumatra from Starbucks and there is slight rumbling thunder outside my fraternity house. The scene seems perfectly developed for the incessant slamming of keys as one types madly. I have this 18th century mental image of a prolific classical writer, rambunctiously applying ink to paper; his big wig of gray/white perm hair dominating the illustration. His quill pen is topped by a sagging, light white feather.

But I canvassed the deepest corners of my mind and temporarily found no worthy topic of such a momentous setting. While I *admittedly* watched much of the Senate’s 24-hour filibuster debacle a few days back, I prohibit myself from commenting any further because of the complete futility of the entire act. All other current issues seem tirelessly beaten to the ground. This moment is simply too special to waste in an endeavor convincing you why we must finish our mission in Iraq, for example. Frankly, I am going to continue that enterprise tomorrow and the day after, and probably many following days after that as well. Something larger beckons tonight…

After much internal struggle, I am left with a single recourse. While I believe that I may have attempted something similar before, tonight I am going to begin my “manifesto” of sorts. While the contents may be a bit abstract and sporadic, bear with this style as it is my chosen technique. There will be an overriding point, however; to express what exactly it is that I am trying to accomplish via the publication of this blog and, further, what I expect out of life as pertains to topics at hand here at Educated Soldier. I foresee this work to be decidedly broad, encompassing much more length then can be swallowed during a single post. So, tonight is the beginning; the beginning of something that I hope to be personally special.

One day I will be the person in the classical image, furiously delivering thought from mind to computer by feverishly pounding on the keyboard. And, hopefully, this manifesto will go a long way towards the explanation of the rationale of a man who foresees himself in a position much more grand then opposite a screen, constantly analyzing the actions of those in the positions of power.

I’ll begin my elucidation by explaining the motivation that spawns Educated Soldier. Hopefully this will also depict strong reason as to why you should be interested. I will be careful to be absolutely honest.

The only issue that could easily become hidden behind deceit is the original motivation for Educated Soldier. It would be effortless and noble to claim that I began the blog merely for the purpose of engaging in interesting political and military discourse with like-minded individuals. While this reason was certainly core to my decision to begin publishing, it is also akin to dropping ice cream in a mug and declaring that you have a float. The root beer here, in fact, is that I perceived an opportunity to gain a foot into the political field via writing- a habit that I genuinely enjoy.

I have bought into the many stories that I have heard of various bloggers who, through steady publication, found their way into higher circles. While I have not yet achieved such success, it is nonetheless a motivating factor for me. At the very least, it would be particularly fortunate for my writing to become a boon to my continuing path of higher education. This is to say that it is my opinion that, by amassing quality work here, I may potentially use such as part of a larger application package to present to a university of my choice, thus increasing the likelihood of my acceptance.

That’s where it began.

But why Educated Soldier?

I honestly feel that I am in a unique situation birthed by the diversity of my experiences. I took part first-hand in the overriding event of our current times, the War in Iraq. I have a perspective into the situation in the Middle East, born of numerous hours and ferocious violence, which the majority of Americans do not. I feel that the people who most notably lack in this area where I excel, are those that most often “armchair quarterback” the situation. It is nearly no less then a duty for me to write because of this unique viewpoint.

While the majority of citizens do not have this experience, I recognize that there are many that do. So why is my outlook any different then the numerous others who have shed blood, sweat and tears in the Middle East? One reason: I have since left the service and turned my attention to further understanding of the Middle Eastern dynamic through university education. This is to say that I am currently developing a mindset of sorts that is honed not by focused concentration but rather by a broadened field of view. Again, I feel that my knowledge is unique in the sense that I can compare book knowledge to experience that can be gained only by having “been there and done that.” In both cases, I feel that my knowledge is limited. However, the sum of the parts creates an approach greater then the individual components.

Furthermore, I am genuinely interested in the topics that I discuss here. I look for every available method of diversifying my education. I frequent websites such as PROFESSIONAL SOLDIERS, SOCNET and SHADOW SPEAR that emphasize the direct word-of-mouth experiences of warriors much more practiced then me. On the other hand, at any given time, I can be found watching CSPAN or conversing intellectually with university friends with similar interests. Some of these friends share my ideals of what is right for this country. The majority of them do not. I dearly want my political, domestic and international knowledge to be a sword sharpened via any number of different tools.

Finally, and this is very important to me, I feel that my opinion is one that is shared by many of my fellow soldiers. However, I feel that this opinion is easily glossed over by a populace that simply doesn’t recognize that they do not know the whole story. This manifesto is not the forum for expressing endlessly the disservice that modern media has been doing for its readership. However, I truly feel that too many of America’s citizens are taking news for being ground truth. I want it to be effectively known that it is not. While I may never be absolutely correct in my judgments, I can assure you that nearly every piece of information delivered via major media is bent to nourish someone’s agenda; whether that someone represents Republican or Democratic Party thought is not important. What is important is that the whole story is rarely being published. I, of course, can not single-handedly remedy this dilemma. I can, however, bring it to attention to the best of my ability. And I can do so while encouraging all readers to truly make informed decisions whether it is at the polls or while leisurely discussing current events. Read beyond the headlines. Explore what isn’t being told. Endeavor to find out why certain events occur as they do. The drive to promote such reader participation is a forthright goal of Educated Soldier.

These are the reasons why Educated Soldier exists. I think that I am going to halt the development of my manifesto for the night. Next time I tackle this project, I would like to explain why my ideology leans so admittedly to the Right. As a taste of this part of the project, I will divulge a sample of the reasons now.

It should be declared that my leaning has less to do with the war in Iraq then what might be expected. Instead, it has much more to do with my continuing fascination with economics especially at the macro level. My conservative philosophy is very much rooted in the economical teachings imparted by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Furthermore, while being religiously agnostic myself, I recognize that values rooted in Christian belief lay the groundwork for the successful establishment of morals as those that make the United States of America such a wonderful place to live.

However, the explanation of my personal values will come in the next continuation of my “manifesto.”

Thanks for your time.