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Major Andrew Olmstead's last blog post
dmo-deblaugh
ohiblather
I don't have time to do a proper Blathering about this today, but had to post about a New York Times article I read online this morning:

http://tinyurl.com/3a8zdf

Andrew Olmstead, a United States Army major who had a blog, had written a post in advance. He gave the text to a friend and asked her to post it in case of his death. Andrew, who was 38, was killed Jan. 3 by small-arms fire from insurgents in Sadiyah, 100 miles northeast of Baghdad.

You can see his post here:
http://andrewolmsted.com/

He quotes from Babylon Five and The Princess Bride, among sources. He wrote with humour and honesty; I wish I could have met him. An incredibly moving post, especially the paragraphs near the end about his wife.

Update: Out of respect to Andrew and his family, I ask that you please adhere to Andrew's wishes and not use this tragic event to push a political agenda in your comments. If you DO see someone doing this, PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND to the comment -- if I see signs of a flamewar starting up, I will delete the comments involved. Thanks.]

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Thanks very much for linking to this.

I first read about Andrew from the babylon5 Babylon 5 LJ community. He's a soldier I wished I would have known or at least corresponded with while he was alive.

Thank you for the link, I'm glad I read it. He would have been an interesting person to know.

My word... A very moving post and amazing writer. Thank you for posting this link.

This makes me sad, but of course, I am also thankful for our electronic age where we can provide a way to help those we knew achieve closure during hard times, blogging being but one medium.

Major Olmstead's last post.

Interesting. The late major follows his plea that his death not be used for political purposes with a throughly political argument about the necessity of obeying duly constituted authority. Since he obviously wasn't naive enough to think that any mention of his views could not have political implications, and since he himself makes a political argument, I'll feel free to do the same.
He is mistaken. According to the learned jurists of the Nuremburg Tribunal, launching a war of aggression is not only a war crime, but the primary war crime, the one that brings all others in its train.
That makes an order to engage in unprovoked aggression a criminal order, and under international and US law a soldier has not only the right but the duty to refuse to obey a criminal order.
Of course very few soldiers will recognize the situation as so baldly stated in the above paragraph, when not only the chain of command they are trained to obey but pretty well the whole society around them say the opposite. So, special honour to the rare soldier who carries out this duty, usually at great personal cost, with no disrespect implied to the great najority who do not.
After all, the major's tragic death, not to mention hundreds of thousands of others, could only take place because criminal orders were obeyed.
Lest we forget,
John Caspell

I wonder whether there were many other soldiers who thought to write something like this to be left after them in case of their deaths.

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