"The Blog of War" book cover

Front-Line Dispatches from Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan

Matthew Currier Burden

Simon & Schuster, 2006

ISBN 0-7432-9418-1

304 pages

$15.00 (paperback)

Reviewed by: Patrick Thomas

intro | ch1 | ch2 | ch3 | ch4 | ch5 | ch6 | ch7 | ch8 | epilogue

Chapter 4

"Leaders, Warriors, and Diplomats"

Providing an interesting juxtaposition to the previous chapter, “Leaders, Warriors, and Diplomats” contrasts the grotesque stories of Chapter 3 with testimonies of heroism and bravery. Interestingly, the posts in this chapter come from military commanders who write in what sometimes appear to be direct contradistinction to what they see as misrepresentations of the War on Terror. Frequently, commanders note that military operations differ from the depiction of war from mainstream media or Hollywood’s interpretation. These posts illustrate goodwill missions of soldiers bonding with Iraqi and Afghan civilians (one officer shares a cup of tea with an Iraqi family) and reinforce the notion that military personnel take diplomatic measures in dealing with the enemy. Stressing good leadership decisions, including the deliberative move to refrain from using artillery force in stressful situations, these posts also infrequently mention combat casualties.