Sad news. Blogger and soldier Andrew Olmsted has died, presumably in Iraq. He pre-wrote his last and posthumous post and it was posted today on his behalf by Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings. He wrote a long and moving post which you should read in full. But I hope everyone takes this bit to heart:
I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don't drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don't cite my name as an example of someone's life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I'm not around to expound on them I'd prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn't support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I'd prefer that you did so.You can read it all here.
And there's more from Hilzoy and many, many commenters at Obsidian Wings.
Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee and someone I've sparred with on occasion, sent me the heads up on this and also emailled me to confirm Major Olmsted did indeed die in combat in Iraq. It just goes to show how much less ideological differences are when set beside human tragedy. Thanks, Bob.