Still, the road, but also online....
George, you are on target. Many of the more experienced guys were tracking with your comments. My quandary was trying to present a Fox News Channel (fair & balanced) article and not come off like I was just bashing or whining. That wouldn't have served anyone, particularly the magazine.
Denny will back up the fact that the original article was almost twice as long. I was struggling with drawing conclusions and making judgements without explaining the situation. To do so would've let everything rest on my reputation, if such a thing exists! Jeff Cooper can write without full explanations, people look at his columns for opinion and judgement... I'm here to try to inform. I need to establish some facts before I feel comfortable with tossing my judgements out for the world.. afterall, I'm just some hack with a word processor and lots of free time
. I didn't think it would serve much purpose to say "ISS Sucks for US LE Training!" and leave it be. In fact, I do think that is the case. I think that they do have something to offer....they just need to figure out the right way to present it. I honestly believe two things: They mean well and that they didn't realize that what they were doing was so far out of line. If anyone is to "blame," I'd point the finger at their US employees and consultants before the Isrealis themsevles.
Hopefully, people will read the article (both inside ISS and out) and see exactly what you did: some areas that need serious attention. Two years from now, If ISS is offering some tough, but practical and realistic, training for US LE, I'll be proud to have participated in their development.
The latest word from the locals in the St. Augustine area is that the First Coast Technical Insitute ( a regional fire/police/EMS academy) has severed ties with ISS. The last time I talked to Matt Takahasi (sp?) he told me that the situation in Isreal is keeping ISS from developing their efforts in the US at this time, but he did say that they were looking at purchasing and developing their own training center.
A few points of clarification:
1. If the "finale" came across as a death shot to the head, it should not have. It was meant to simulate the fact that a man going down (or a balloon being popped) does not necessarily mean that the threat has ended.
2. The fascination with "Isreali Tactics" is part of the reason that I really wanted to write the article the way I did. Some people are going to want to attend just because of the name of the school... when it comes down to it, that's probably why Rich and I were interested... Like I said in the article, if you want that "experience" man-up and go for it, but I wanted people to be prepared for what I saw. I have no doubt that other magazines would have written the story differently, or (more likely) not at all. Other than asking me to shorten it (of necessity), Denny did not change one bit of content.
3. The founder of the school had a hard time understanding how I could be "police" and "journalist".. he warned me the first morning that I was not going to be treated as a journalist if I choose to undertake the training. Apparently, they had another writer at the course two weeks earlier and he dropped out the first morning.
4.They had two "introductory" courses, mine was the second. I've met three people who took the first one, and there were very few changes, although they did not have the TV crews present. On that topic, some of you saw me on Fox TV earlier this year, that interview was filmed during this school.
5. Rich is still owed for that phone call he made after that first morning.