Tuesday, April 8, 2003

The first battle for Hilla

..or so the Post says in this excellent-as-usual embed report, but there was action around Hilla last week, as I recall.

A report on the same battle from the NYTimes embed. What - how many embeds do each of these units have to haul around with them?

Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed one of many themes - me looking at different accounts of the same event. It's just the way I do things, and what feeds my mind. It's easy and satisfying to simply rely on accounts that are going to confirm your opinions, but where's the growth in that? What's interesting in that?

When I was in graduate school, I did a paper for a historiography seminar (for those of you who don't know - historiography is the study of the study of history. Got it?) examing the issue of female deacons in early Christianity. As you might expect, there aren't many primary sources to work with, so it's a good, narrow topic to use while examining certain issues in doing history. I read several studies that all used exactly the same primary documents and examined how they used these same sources and managed to come up with totally opposite conclusions about the existence and function of female deacons. I mean - totally opposite using the exact same sources.

I'm not saying, of course, that truth is relative. Not at all. I'm saying that in order to find truth we have to look at it from all sides. To do anything else would be boring, constricting and dishonest. At least that's the way I see it.