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Tuesday, January 9, 2007
A couple of months ago, I blogged on multiple occasions about the hot debate surrounding the use of Microsoft's PowerPoint, an application designed to create slide presentations, as an intellectual tool for digesting and presenting information and opinions.
Now we have the strange and sad story of Capt. Travis Patriquin, who created a cartoonish PowerPoint slide set that depicted the path to victory in Anbar province, and, by extension, in Iraq as a whole. It made the unofficial rounds among the coalition ranks.
The presentation makes some glancing criticism of the military, for instance by saying that 80 pounds of battle gear actually make it very difficult to do battle, even if safety is greatly improved. But on the whole it's just one grunt's view of the right strategy, outlining both the frustrations of distinguishing good guys from bad, and the way to circumvent that problem -- mainly by approaching and recruiting the sheiks (rather than the politicians) for help. Capt. Patriquin writes, at the bottom of a slide, "The Sheik brings more Sheiks, more sheiks bring more men. [G.I.?] Joe realizes that if he'd done this three years ago, maybe his wife would be happier, and he'd have been home more."
Capt. Patriquin was killed on Dec. 13 in Anbar province by an improvised explosive device.