That he is totally uneducated about what Mary Ann - and Soldiers' Angels - actually does, for ALL our troops, is so obvious, Sweeney comes across as a pathetic little creature. I *could* say more, lots more, but two others - both highly qualified to speak about SA - have already done such an admirable job, I'll just share their responses with you.
First up, from Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghanistan Adventure, comes this:
Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm sure that you are all aware of who Soldiers' Angels are. They are the most magnificent Angels on God's green earth; they are heroes, and I love them. I saw their generosity and love lavished upon many Soldiers in Afghanistan, and I know that they did just as much... more... for the Soldiers in Iraq (there were more Soldiers to be loved there.) Among these Angels are some who do extra extraordinary things. They give of themselves in the most difficult of situations. These Angels spend their time ministering to gravely wounded warriors who find themselves in the fight of their lives, sometimes struggling to live; sometimes losing that fight. When there is no one else to hold their hand as they lay in such peril, there are Angels there with them.
This is in no way a dismissal of what medical personnel do. Our medical personnel are magnificent, too. This is not about them. This is about our Angels, and I will explain that shortly.
These Angels are volunteers. No one makes them do what they do. They do what they do out of patriotism and love and respect. They give; they do not take. Their motto is, "Let no Soldier go unloved."
Right now I am telling you; if you mess with my Angels, you are messing with me, and I am calling on each Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airman to say, "Amen," and stand with me in their defense. I am claiming each of them as one of us. They are our Angels. Someone has messed with one of my Angels, and I am about to call him by name.
Many Soldiers' Angels chapters have blogs. They share with the world what they think, some of their experiences, and their patriotism. They call for help and tell stories of inspiration. They summon other Angels. The most powerful experiences will never be shared with anyone, even their own friends, because they are moments of private human intimacy that require great respect. They are moments of incredible pain, shocking life-changing realizations, terrible loss, and moments when life ends. They willingly subject themselves to great pain, and they go in there knowing that it will hurt, but they go anyway. That is bravery. These Angels are strong, strong people. They are, in every sense of the word, Angels. I am a Soldier, and I will call them my own. ...[a brat note here to B & B: and I love you for it :), but I digress...lol]
You really MUST go and read the rest of this most excellent, articulate smackdown of the 'rocketspaniel' here.
I wonder if Michael Sweeney is capable of learning anything? Meanwhile, Laughing Wolf, from BlackFive dissects Sweeney's ill-informed, bully drivel:
Oh Yes It Did
Posted By Laughing_WolfIt seems that Michael Sweeney of Leavenworth, WA took it upon itself not merely to castigate MaryAnn of Soldiers' Angels Germany for her blogging, but also to report her to the head of Army PAO operations and members of Congress for allegedly engaging in politics under the guise of charity.
Let's take a look at this impressive missive.Madam,
First Mistake: Salutation. For one who is PC, the use of Madam is contraindicated as it implies ownership, as in the person being married. It also has the connotation of an older woman. In terms of general use and connotation, this is most often used in real life by pretentious a******s in restaurants (along with the snap of a finger) to attract the attention of a waitress they feel is improperly ignoring them. It carries the strong connotation of a superior dealing with an errant inferior, and is meant to in that useage. In terms of writing usage, the proper form of respectful address to a female (and in this case lady) who's marital status is unknown to you is Ms. (in American English) and it is no longer even used as a proper mode of address in correspondence in British English, which was obviously not the case here since you failed to sign it "Yours Faithfully" at the bottom. Which pretty much means that you are either woefully ignorant of manners and etiquette or that you (most likely) intended it to be belittling and insulting.I think the work that you do aiding wounded soldiers and their families at Landstuhl Army Medical Center is commendable, but as a veteran I find the extreme right-wing political slant of your web site to be a disturbing travesty that runs in direct contradiction of the official policy of the United Stated Army which is to always remain above politics . Perhaps you should consider re-registering your entity as a PAC?
How do we count the failures here? Logical fallacies or simply facts? Hmmmm. Let's see. There is the wonderful slam of "work...is commendable, but" right out the gate, a debate tactic used almost exclusively by those either in a weaker position or that are about to proceed into ad hom. Then there is the fallacy of the false appeal to authority in the "as a veteran" part on a subject that has nothing to do with veteran or non-veteran status. Proper usage would be "as a veteran who used it, I find that your story analysis of the MX1000 weapon system was flawed." It becomes a logical fallacy when used as part of an apple-orange comparison as in this case. Especially when the subject of the rather long winded overly adjectified diatribe appears to be the content of the website. To put the whipped cream on this bit of pseudointellectual drivel, Michael Sweeney of Leavenworth WA seems to be also trying to claim that this blog is either an official Army blog or it should operate under what he regards as the proper rules for such a beast. He then further beats a dead horse by implying that Soldiers' Angels is a small entity consisting simply of MaryAnn. The execrable grammatical structure of the sentences makes it very hard to tell exactly what he is demonizing or modifying, or flat out just trying to say.
As for the claim of "extreme right-wing political slant" there is no apparent research on this nor is there any modifier that would indicate that anything is coming to back up this rather outlandish claim. I modify this part by noting that the Soldiers' Angels Germany blog goes to great lengths to be apolitical, and that any rational bit of basic analysis will demonstrate that fact. The same can't be said of what appears to be the source of Michael Sweeney's outrage as noted below.
So, massive failure of fact, grammar, and massive use of logical fallacies. Good job!...
And of course Laughing Wolf doesn't stop there! You can read the rest of HIS missive here.
My regular readers also know I am not an American. However, it is no coincidence that my tagline on SA states: "Every Soldier is one of our own...". This is my belief, and it extends to EVERY Angel who works - as a volunteer. You mess with one of our soldiers, or one of our Angels, and you mess with all of us. It really IS that basic.
Just as I know that our troops in harm's way serve together, regardless of which flag they serve, so, too do our Angels all work together, regardless of where we come from.
Michael Sweeney? Two points for you: First, before you lock and load next time, inform yourself, do your research (as a very famous journalist once told me when I was a neophyte! ) Second: Do not ever attempt to bully an Angel. That truly is a battle you cannot win.
I am done, for now.