Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What's Pablo Paredes Up To Now?

Many of you will remember the saga of erstwhile Petty Officer Pablo Paredes, who missed movement of his ship, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), as a way of protesting our occupation of Iraq (and ended up missing out on some imperialistic tsunami-relief efforts). He ended up being administratively separated (General, Under Honorable Conditions) after being convicted at court-martial. We last saw him desperately trying to stay in the news in any way possible.

Well, he's back -- in Vermont, of all places, speaking at an anti-war rally. You can read the article yourself; I just wanted to point out the factual errors the reporter made in the three paragraphs that cover Paredes:

"Sapp and Pablo Paredes, a former junior Navy officer [He was a "Petty Officer", which is a not an "officer" in the sense commonly accepted] who refused to board an Iraq-bound ship in December 2004, were among the activists who spoke during a 90-minute rally that followed a march from City Hall to the wide, snow-covered lawn in front of the capitol...
"...Paredes, 24, of San Diego, made national news in December 2004 when he was arrested [he wasn't arrested right away, even though he had hoped to be] after failing to board a ship transporting Marines to Iraq. He was convicted last year but honorably discharged [General Under Honorable is not the same thing as an Honorable Discharge] from the military. He told the crowd of his efforts in "counter-recruiting," trying to persuade people not to join the military.
"Paraphrasing physicist Albert Einstein, Paredes said, "Wars will stop as soon as people stop fighting in them." [I suppose that it's a paraphrase -- couldn't find anything like in this list of Einstein quotes, and a Google search of the phrase was unhelpful, but I suppose "paraphrase" could mean "follows the general ideas held by that person".]

Three short paragraphs -- three questionable statements and an unknown quote. Not bad.

I was interested, though, to read about the other speaker, SSGT Andrew Sapp. He has a web page which indicates that he and his family are committed opponents of the war -- and he actually fulfilled his contractually-obligated service, as opposed to Paredes. Therefore, I can't complain that his home page implies that he spent 18 months "in Iraq" when the rest of his site indicates that he actually spent no more than 9 months there (he was away from his job for 18 months with pre-deployment training and 3 months in Kuwait, which, despite Saddam Hussein's best efforts in 1990, isn't actually part of Iraq).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out my error, Bubblehead. I can see where my wording was incorrect and confusing. I spent 5 months at Ft. Drum, NY, just over 2 months at Camp Spearhead, Kuwait, and just short of 10 months at FOB Summerall, Iraq. I was moblized for a total of 17 months and 5 days. I have corrected my error: there's been enough distortions and incorrect information coming out of Iraq as it is.

Obviously we are opposite sides of the political spectrum, and I joined the Navy at age 19 because I was smart enough to know that Idaho has no coastlines. I can, however, respect your service. We swore an oath to defend the Constitution, which guarantees us a pluralistic society. Despite what some may think, there's room for divergent ideas under its umbrella.

By the way, Pablo's a pretty good guy. Whatever else anyone can say, he's living by his principles. I'm a 19-year veteran, and I've enjoyed meeting him.


3/19/2006 7:50 PM


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