Thread:

bigann - 2/9/2007 at 05:12 PM

February deaths - 36
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,118

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 558
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802

[Edited on 2/10/2007 by bigann]

[Edited on 1/1/2008 by bigann]


Chain - 2/9/2007 at 05:26 PM

The 10th Mountain Division based up here in Watertown, NY had about a dozen deaths in the past 3 weeks. It's to the point where the local CBS affiliate reports every other day of multiple deaths. We had two on Tuesday, and one reported this morning.


bigann - 2/9/2007 at 05:38 PM

quote:
The 10th Mountain Division based up here in Watertown, NY had about a dozen deaths in the past 3 weeks. It's to the point where the local CBS affiliate reports every other day of multiple deaths. We had two on Tuesday, and one reported this morning.



bigann - 2/9/2007 at 07:11 PM

Here is another intersting set of figures....

Total wounded - 23,417
Total non-mortal casualties - 54, 910

Countless lives have been directly and indirectly altered and our elected officials can't even get it together to pass a non-binding resolution!


bigann - 2/10/2007 at 06:07 PM

Today's updated total:

February deaths - 39
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,121

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 568
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802


dougrhon - 2/10/2007 at 09:25 PM

quote:
Today's updated total:

February deaths - 39
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,121

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 568
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802


Do you have any numbers on daily deaths in other wars such as Korea, Vietnam, WWII or WWI?


bigann - 2/10/2007 at 09:30 PM

Nope......those wars are all history.....people are dying now. They are the ones I'm recognizing..each day.....in this war.


PattyG - 2/10/2007 at 09:36 PM

See the thing is Ann some folks don't think it is necessary to actually know the facts of those who are injured or perish. One of those numbers belongs to a young man, a friend of my son who was shot in the face on Christmas Day in Iraq.

He is a great kid and a real hero and he should be counted, if he was man enough to take a bullet in the face then people should be man/women enough to acknowledge it.

[Edited on 2/10/2007 by PattyG]


bigann - 2/10/2007 at 09:48 PM

You're right Patty. I'm going to amend my postings to include wounded....their sacrafice should be equally acknowledged!

Total wounded - 33, 814

February '07 - 40
January '07 - 631


PattyG - 2/10/2007 at 09:51 PM

That wasn't for you Ann it was for those who don't think it necessary that we should acknowledge any of them.


bigann - 2/10/2007 at 09:59 PM

I know, Patty, but you helped me recognize the information needs to be out there. And those figures don't include those who were injured and returned to duty!

While I'm at it please permit me a rant. These men and women are being asked to stay over in Iraq for two, three, even four tours of duty. It's wrong and it's demoralizing. This war is being prosecuted by men who need to be prosecuted for mismanagement. Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush never saw day of combat, the first two didn't even serve, and their criteria for selecting people to help rebuild Iraq has been based, not on qualifications, but whether or not they voted for Bush. It's prevented our soldiers from being able to complete their mission and kept them in harms way. I'm sorry to say, I don't have any figures that will tell how many lost their lives due to that situation....


dougrhon - 2/11/2007 at 04:58 AM

quote:
Nope......those wars are all history.....people are dying now. They are the ones I'm recognizing..each day.....in this war.

Nothing wrong with recognizing sacrifice. But spouting numbers does not do that. You know how you recognize sacrifice? You tell stories of their heroism so we can know what they did, as has been done in every war. But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing. Whatever has gone wrong to this point (as happened in all those wars of history) Many of us and many of them don't believe the sacrifice was for nothing. But if we go home in defeat it will be for nothing.


bigann - 2/11/2007 at 05:38 AM

I'm not spouting numbers.....I'm trying to raise awareness.....and I refuse to accept the arguement that wanting this war to end so no one else has to die for something as poorly executed as this war is demoralizing the country. Keeping soldiers in a war without an exit strategy is not honoring them and wanting them to come home is not demeaning their sacrafice. Sorry, but I can't support 'staying the course' just because someone has the perception that going home is a defeat.

These soldiers have no reason to feel defeated....they've done their part....but shame on the people making the decisions that are getting them killed. And the numbers I post are not just numbers.....every one of them has a face, a family and a story.

And may I ask about your military service?

[Edited on 2/11/2007 by bigann]


rlrichie - 2/11/2007 at 05:42 AM

quote:
But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing.


I don't think this is true. First of all, I don't think we can always assume we know why other people do or say things. Secondly, I don't find the numbers demoralizing; I find them sobering, tragic and respectful. And lastly, I think it's disgusting the way the horrific number of Iraqis killed in this invasion has never exactly been front page news, so thank you, ann, for mentioning the numbers that represent mostly civilians--women, children, students, police, marketplace vendors, worshippers...

may they all rest in peace


crossroad_blues - 2/11/2007 at 08:45 AM

quote:
quote:
But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing.


I don't think this is true. First of all, I don't think we can always assume we know why other people do or say things. Secondly, I don't find the numbers demoralizing; I find them sobering, tragic and respectful. And lastly, I think it's disgusting the way the horrific number of Iraqis killed in this invasion has never exactly been front page news, so thank you, ann, for mentioning the numbers that represent mostly civilians--women, children, students, police, marketplace vendors, worshippers...

may they all rest in peace


First of all let me say that I hesitantly jump in this discussion. It is a very volatile & emotionally charged subject. The death of any serviceman (or woman) is a tragedy. Bearing that in mind it is what they decided to volunteer to do. I realize this is comes across as somewhat callous and I don't mean it to be, but the nature of service in the military is to kill the enemy (whoever the state deems so). In that process there will be losses of life. It is the nature of the occupation. Military service is not an extension of the Peace Corps.

I do tend to lean to a different tack than the majority that has been posted on this thread. (Ann, I love you girl & I thank you for your hard work & contributions to this site. It's people like you that makes it feel like family). I feel that the purpose of posting casualties is to express opposition to the operation in Iraq. Plain & simple. And let me say that you have every right to do so. The more people on this planet that realize the real tradedy of war is the suffering of the innocent (and no one should have the right to do so), the better off we will be in the future. Sadly, there are many still that wish nothing but assimilation or annillation of those that do not conform to their beliefs or way of life.

There are losses of life every day in every conceivable fashion. Each & every one of them a tragedy to someone. The reason that drunk driving and smoking are such no-no's in today's society is that groups like MADD started posting statistics on casualties of drunk drivers and the ACS started listing statistics. The American people decided that this was unacceptable. Let's face it, we kill many more on the highways of the US than the last four years in Iraq. We murder each other much more than our casualties in Iraq. In California (an area & population roughly comparible to Iraq) more people die each year from homicide than troop casualties in Iraq, and we blithly accept it.

I don't mean to denigrate the sacrifice of the warriors or make light of each & every death, but I would like to ask another question. Without googling, can anyone state off the top of their head how many American were killed in Iraq in the whole year of 2006? It's about the same as the murder rate of any large city in the US.

It's all perception. If I were to say to you that the same number of service men (and women) would be killed in four years in Iraq as attended just one ABB concert date at the Beacon, most of us would probably say, gee, that's not too many. It's all perception.

You want to talk numbers? Fine. Would it be worth the lives of over 600,000 Americans and countless millions of wounded & crippled for life, with overwhelming devistation to the civilian population to free people that were held in slavery for generations?

Would it be worth it to occupy a country we conquered, despite the casualties, to turn them into a stable, democratic society?

This is what was trying to happen in Iraq. Did anyone here account for the loss of life in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was charge? Where was the running tally then? Why then do we care about the Iraqi casualties now?

I say " 'was' trying to happen in Iraq" because the American people have turned their backs on Iraq, and by doing so have changed the goal of creating some sembalance of stability in the Middle East. The majority of us have decided that the freedom of Iraq is not worth saving. It is not worth one more American life. Building a free nation in the hatred-filled Middle East is not in our interest.

We have basically given up because we haven't the collective will to try & create something that has the potential to give to another group of people the enjoyment of the basic freedoms that we, today take for granted. I am saddened that we are so myopic.


SquatchTexas - 2/11/2007 at 11:53 AM

quote:
quote:
Today's updated total:

February deaths - 39
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,121

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 568
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802


Do you have any numbers on daily deaths in other wars such as Korea, Vietnam, WWII or WWI?


Im not Ann so please forgive me for trying to answer this.

Korea - Youre talking about a war between industrialized nations, hundreds of thousands of troops on both sides. Not quite the same thing as us in Iraq chasing shadows.

Vietnam - Not only were we fighting another industrialized nation, but also the local population willing to pick up arms against us. Again, not quite the same thing as us in Iraq. The only true comparison I think that can be made between Vietnam and Iraq is that both wars were of our choosing. Incidentally, about 6 months ago, I seem to recall that the deaths in the Iraq war thus far have outpaced the deaths for the first 4-5 years of the Vietnam war. I dont recall where I saw it, but Ill try to find it.

WW2- Now youre comparing Apples and Transmissions. Conservatives would love to legitimize this Iraq problem as similar to WW2 for the romance of it all. If they could get the kind of backing and support that FDR had, they would be heroes. Well, this is a prime example of us being forced into a war and having the support of the people for the resolution of the problem. Wars of choice are never quite as popular. Simply put, again, youre comparing a world war involving millions of people, dozens of nations as well as fully equipped standing armies on all sides to our invasion of Iraq? Not quite the same thing.

WW1 - Im tired of typing, see above.


SquatchTexas - 2/11/2007 at 12:03 PM

quote:
Nothing wrong with recognizing sacrifice. But spouting numbers does not do that.


Every one of those numbers is a dead human being that didnt need to die.

quote:
You know how you recognize sacrifice? You tell stories of their heroism so we can know what they did, as has been done in every war.


The difference being that the majority of those previous wars were not of choice but force. Sacrifice is defined a bit differently in that way to me. Going to war because you have been bombed and attacked by Japan is far different than choosing to invade a weak nation so you can be a "war president" and impress dad.

quote:
But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing.


Yeah, youre right, we shouldnt talk about all the dead people at all and maybe this Iraq disaster will just go away. Shhhh. Unreal.

Sorry, but every single person that backed this war, supported this war or voted for the people running this war are complicit in the deaths of each and every one of those soliders and civilians who died. They should be reminded daily of the hell they have wrought. This war has been about nothing and their sacrifices, unfortunately, are not for the greater good, but for the greater good of some folks.

quote:
Whatever has gone wrong to this point (as happened in all those wars of history) Many of us and many of them don't believe the sacrifice was for nothing. But if we go home in defeat it will be for nothing.


How do you define victory in Iraq? Who do we defeat? Wheres their capitol? Who are the leaders that will sign the surrender papers? At what point is it over? Saying it will be all for nothing is all nice and patriotic, but the reality of the problem is that because the premise for this war was flawed, the only outcome is going to be us leaving either sooner or later but leaving none-the-less. After watching this for 4 years, I dont believe victory as we define it is going to be achieved. We lost this a long time ago.


SquatchTexas - 2/11/2007 at 12:11 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing.


I don't think this is true. First of all, I don't think we can always assume we know why other people do or say things. Secondly, I don't find the numbers demoralizing; I find them sobering, tragic and respectful. And lastly, I think it's disgusting the way the horrific number of Iraqis killed in this invasion has never exactly been front page news, so thank you, ann, for mentioning the numbers that represent mostly civilians--women, children, students, police, marketplace vendors, worshippers...

may they all rest in peace


First of all let me say that I hesitantly jump in this discussion. It is a very volatile & emotionally charged subject. The death of any serviceman (or woman) is a tragedy. Bearing that in mind it is what they decided to volunteer to do. I realize this is comes across as somewhat callous and I don't mean it to be, but the nature of service in the military is to kill the enemy (whoever the state deems so). In that process there will be losses of life. It is the nature of the occupation. Military service is not an extension of the Peace Corps.

I do tend to lean to a different tack than the majority that has been posted on this thread. (Ann, I love you girl & I thank you for your hard work & contributions to this site. It's people like you that makes it feel like family). I feel that the purpose of posting casualties is to express opposition to the operation in Iraq. Plain & simple. And let me say that you have every right to do so. The more people on this planet that realize the real tradedy of war is the suffering of the innocent (and no one should have the right to do so), the better off we will be in the future. Sadly, there are many still that wish nothing but assimilation or annillation of those that do not conform to their beliefs or way of life.

There are losses of life every day in every conceivable fashion. Each & every one of them a tragedy to someone. The reason that drunk driving and smoking are such no-no's in today's society is that groups like MADD started posting statistics on casualties of drunk drivers and the ACS started listing statistics. The American people decided that this was unacceptable. Let's face it, we kill many more on the highways of the US than the last four years in Iraq. We murder each other much more than our casualties in Iraq. In California (an area & population roughly comparible to Iraq) more people die each year from homicide than troop casualties in Iraq, and we blithly accept it.

I don't mean to denigrate the sacrifice of the warriors or make light of each & every death, but I would like to ask another question. Without googling, can anyone state off the top of their head how many American were killed in Iraq in the whole year of 2006? It's about the same as the murder rate of any large city in the US.


You were doing so well up to this point and then it just got silly. Will you guys please, please stop comparing war dead to car crash victims or gang violence victims? It shiats all over what the military does and cheapens their mission by equating them with some guy unlucky enough to be killed by a drunk driver or shot in a robbery. When we are invaded by another country and we are house to house fighting in our major cities, Ill be the first one to join up with you guys in comparing the numbers, but at this point, its APPLES AND ORANGES. Its sad to see otherwise intelligent people spout that nonsense without applying a lick of critical thinking skills. Why dont you just compare our war dead to people with disease? More people die each year from disease than have died in Iraq in all the time we have been there. See how stupid that sounds?

[Edited on 2/11/2007 by SquatchTexas]


Edge - 2/11/2007 at 12:56 PM

Squatch, your view of the Iraq debacle, is right on the mark.....


dougrhon - 2/11/2007 at 03:17 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
Today's updated total:

February deaths - 39
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,121

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 568
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802


Do you have any numbers on daily deaths in other wars such as Korea, Vietnam, WWII or WWI?


Im not Ann so please forgive me for trying to answer this.

Korea - Youre talking about a war between industrialized nations, hundreds of thousands of troops on both sides. Not quite the same thing as us in Iraq chasing shadows.

Vietnam - Not only were we fighting another industrialized nation, but also the local population willing to pick up arms against us. Again, not quite the same thing as us in Iraq. The only true comparison I think that can be made between Vietnam and Iraq is that both wars were of our choosing. Incidentally, about 6 months ago, I seem to recall that the deaths in the Iraq war thus far have outpaced the deaths for the first 4-5 years of the Vietnam war. I dont recall where I saw it, but Ill try to find it.

WW2- Now youre comparing Apples and Transmissions. Conservatives would love to legitimize this Iraq problem as similar to WW2 for the romance of it all. If they could get the kind of backing and support that FDR had, they would be heroes. Well, this is a prime example of us being forced into a war and having the support of the people for the resolution of the problem. Wars of choice are never quite as popular. Simply put, again, youre comparing a world war involving millions of people, dozens of nations as well as fully equipped standing armies on all sides to our invasion of Iraq? Not quite the same thing.

WW1 - Im tired of typing, see above.


One response. I am not a conservative, althoughbased on my views you might consider me one. I do not consider WWII in any way "romantic". It was the most destructive 6 year period in the history of man kind and probably 100 million people died, of which 300,000 were American. Contrary to the views of many, just because we support a war does not mean we like war or consider it "romantic" I am not Teddy Roosevelt. In the words of Robert E. Lee, "It is good that war is so terrible, otherwise we might grow too fond of it."


SquatchTexas - 2/11/2007 at 03:46 PM

quote:
One response. I am not a conservative, althoughbased on my views you might consider me one. I do not consider WWII in any way "romantic". It was the most destructive 6 year period in the history of man kind and probably 100 million people died, of which 300,000 were American.


Exactly. So, why then is it compared to Iraq? Its my opinion that WW2 was the last true noble war. Good vs. Evil if you will. We had to win by all means necessary, and ultimately thats what we did.

quote:
Contrary to the views of many, just because we support a war does not mean we like war or consider it "romantic" I am not Teddy Roosevelt. In the words of Robert E. Lee, "It is good that war is so terrible, otherwise we might grow too fond of it."




I agree with you. Unfortunately, those that make the decisions to go to war often have no experience in it and have no idea about the hell they create. Supporting a war is fine as long as the cause is just and attainable. Right now, its neither.


SquatchTexas - 2/11/2007 at 03:48 PM

quote:
Squatch, your view of the Iraq debacle, is right on the mark.....


Thanks.


bigann - 2/11/2007 at 05:38 PM

I'm glad these numbers have sparked a debate on the issue. I know more Americans are killed each year in their cars, by smoking, heck, probably by choking on an M&M....but this is my small reminder of what's been happening due to what I personally perceive as a war motivated by greed and ego. And although each service man or woman volunteered to serve in the military, that doesn't mean we don't have a responsibility to spend their dedication wisely and I don't believe we've done so.


February deaths - 41
January deaths - 86

Total dead - 3,123
Total wounded - 33, 814

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 581
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802


OldABBFan - 2/11/2007 at 11:50 PM

They often run photos of service men and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq at the end of PBS's "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer". Those faces, mostly quite young, look out at you and make the consequences of this war quite vivid.






crossroad_blues - 2/12/2007 at 01:13 AM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
But when numbers are recited they are for one reason, to demoralize the country so that we abandon the effort and make all the sacrifices for nothing.


I don't think this is true. First of all, I don't think we can always assume we know why other people do or say things. Secondly, I don't find the numbers demoralizing; I find them sobering, tragic and respectful. And lastly, I think it's disgusting the way the horrific number of Iraqis killed in this invasion has never exactly been front page news, so thank you, ann, for mentioning the numbers that represent mostly civilians--women, children, students, police, marketplace vendors, worshippers...

may they all rest in peace


First of all let me say that I hesitantly jump in this discussion. It is a very volatile & emotionally charged subject. The death of any serviceman (or woman) is a tragedy. Bearing that in mind it is what they decided to volunteer to do. I realize this is comes across as somewhat callous and I don't mean it to be, but the nature of service in the military is to kill the enemy (whoever the state deems so). In that process there will be losses of life. It is the nature of the occupation. Military service is not an extension of the Peace Corps.

I do tend to lean to a different tack than the majority that has been posted on this thread. (Ann, I love you girl & I thank you for your hard work & contributions to this site. It's people like you that makes it feel like family). I feel that the purpose of posting casualties is to express opposition to the operation in Iraq. Plain & simple. And let me say that you have every right to do so. The more people on this planet that realize the real tradedy of war is the suffering of the innocent (and no one should have the right to do so), the better off we will be in the future. Sadly, there are many still that wish nothing but assimilation or annillation of those that do not conform to their beliefs or way of life.

There are losses of life every day in every conceivable fashion. Each & every one of them a tragedy to someone. The reason that drunk driving and smoking are such no-no's in today's society is that groups like MADD started posting statistics on casualties of drunk drivers and the ACS started listing statistics. The American people decided that this was unacceptable. Let's face it, we kill many more on the highways of the US than the last four years in Iraq. We murder each other much more than our casualties in Iraq. In California (an area & population roughly comparible to Iraq) more people die each year from homicide than troop casualties in Iraq, and we blithly accept it.

I don't mean to denigrate the sacrifice of the warriors or make light of each & every death, but I would like to ask another question. Without googling, can anyone state off the top of their head how many American were killed in Iraq in the whole year of 2006? It's about the same as the murder rate of any large city in the US.


You were doing so well up to this point and then it just got silly. Will you guys please, please stop comparing war dead to car crash victims or gang violence victims? It shiats all over what the military does and cheapens their mission by equating them with some guy unlucky enough to be killed by a drunk driver or shot in a robbery. When we are invaded by another country and we are house to house fighting in our major cities, Ill be the first one to join up with you guys in comparing the numbers, but at this point, its APPLES AND ORANGES. Its sad to see otherwise intelligent people spout that nonsense without applying a lick of critical thinking skills. Why dont you just compare our war dead to people with disease? More people die each year from disease than have died in Iraq in all the time we have been there. See how stupid that sounds?

[Edited on 2/11/2007 by SquatchTexas]


Get down off your so sanctimonious high horse SqTex. And spare me, "I'll be the first to join" rap. Your chest may get hurt from beating in it. The whole point of the excersize of this thread is it make an issue of the numbers of dead in Iraq. Numbers mean nothng unless they are comparable to other numbers. I'ts just like your Big Oil profits whine. A&O's, right? You obviously have a problem with people that make a different point than you have, 'cause you pull this bait & switch line out every time. As I said before, it's not even good hi school debate team stuff. Your MoveOn.Org schtick is getting old. This threads about Numbers of dead, get it?

Ann strives to make an issue of the numbers because to her (& others here) they are unacceptable. She makes a valid point. To others, particularly our Government and those that join the military, they are acceptable. As I posted above it's the military's job to kill & be killed. I hold the value of their dying much higher than someone getting killed by drinking & driving. They volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. They are held in the highest regard. So spare me your 'shait'ing on the military crap.



bigann - 2/12/2007 at 01:25 AM

Get down off your so sanctimonious high horse SqTex. And spare me, "I'll be the first to join" rap. Your chest may get hurt from beating in it. The whole point of the excersize of this thread is it make an issue of the numbers of dead in Iraq. Numbers mean nothng unless they are comparable to other numbers. I'ts just like your Big Oil profits whine. A&O's, right? You obviously have a problem with people that make a different point than you have, 'cause you pull this bait & switch line out every time. As I said before, it's not even good hi school debate team stuff. Your MoveOn.Org schtick is getting old. This threads about Numbers of dead, get it?

Ann strives to make an issue of the numbers because to her (& others here) they are unacceptable. She makes a valid point. To others, particularly our Government and those that join the military, they are acceptable. As I posted above it's the military's job to kill & be killed. I hold the value of their dying much higher than someone getting killed by drinking & driving. They volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. They are held in the highest regard. So spare me your 'shait'ing on the military crap.


First of all, tell a family who had to bury a young national guardsman that numbers don't mean anything. And as for 'shait'ing on the military....tell that to my son-in-law who is a disabled vetern from the Gulf War. He believed in what he was doing then....but he doesn't believe in what's being done now. My father was in WW II, my brother served during the Vietnam War and my son-in-law was a career soldier. I would never criticize the military.....but I'll damn sure continue to criticize this war and I'll keep posting the numbers. As I said before...they aren't numbers to me....each one represents real people....and they don't have to be compared to any other numbers to count.


sibwalker - 2/12/2007 at 04:08 AM

quote:
First of all, tell a family who had to bury a young national guardsman that numbers don't mean anything. And as for 'shait'ing on the military....tell that to my son-in-law who is a disabled vetern from the Gulf War. He believed in what he was doing then....but he doesn't believe in what's being done now. My father was in WW II, my brother served during the Vietnam War and my son-in-law was a career soldier. I would never criticize the military.....but I'll damn sure continue to criticize this war and I'll keep posting the numbers. As I said before...they aren't numbers to me....each one represents real people....and they don't have to be compared to any other numbers to count.



Hey Ann,

Obviously Crossroad doesn't have a clue one about military people when he presumes that those who join the military, accept the numbers of deaths and serious injuries to their fellow servicemen and women that is happening in this war. They don't because to many of these servicemen and women, these are people they know very well, people who they entrust their lives to on a daily bases, and when one of their own is killed or seriously injured it affects them deeply. Guaranteed, Crossroad has never served in the military, because if he had, he would realize just how asinine and completely wrong his presumption about what servicemen and women think about the deaths and serious injuries of any their members. btw, Crossroad just FYI - I am a veteran.


jim - 2/12/2007 at 04:14 PM

I just received notice over the weekend of my friend's future cousin in-law was killed. Army Ranger, 26 years old, bright young good guy. You might read the article to see his father's reaction. Of course this is merely one person's thought on the whole issue, I', sure families who have lost loved ones have a whole range of feelings/emotions on the subject. My best friend of 25 years just left last week to go to Sadr City with the 1st Infantry 4th Brigade, praying for his safe return.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lisold0212,0,4991263.story? coll=ny-li-bigpix


DerekFromCincinnati - 2/12/2007 at 05:17 PM

quote:
I just received notice over the weekend of my friend's future cousin in-law was killed. Army Ranger, 26 years old, bright young good guy. You might read the article to see his father's reaction. Of course this is merely one person's thought on the whole issue, I', sure families who have lost loved ones have a whole range of feelings/emotions on the subject. My best friend of 25 years just left last week to go to Sadr City with the 1st Infantry 4th Brigade, praying for his safe return.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lisold0212, 0,4991263.story?coll=ny-li-bigpix



Jim, this article needs top be posted, so I'll do it to make sure it is read. Amazing stuff. The only thing missing is some folks on here telling his family that they view it all wrong, that he was wasting his time in an effort that means nothing. That would be impressive.

Here it is,

quote:
Fallen LI soldier a 'friend to everyone'
BY REID J. EPSTEIN
Newsday Staff Writer


With an undergraduate degree from Duke, a top LSAT score and a laser-like focus, Jimmy Regan would have succeeded in whatever he wanted to do in life.

Instead of taking a scholarship to law school or a financial services job, Regan followed a calling to the military, where he became an Army Ranger and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, family members said.

Regan, 26, was killed in Iraq last week, though no other details of his death have been released, said Jayne Evans, a family spokeswoman. With mourners filling the Regan home in Manhasset yesterday, friends and family fought back tears in describing the young man -- known to family and friends as "Jimmy" or "Reges" -- each of them called their best friend.

After graduating from Duke, Regan turned down a job offer from UBS, a financial services company, and a scholarship to Southern Methodist University's law school to enlist in the Army, where he passed on Officer Candidate School to focus on becoming a Ranger.

"He said, 'If I don't do it, then who will do it?'" said Regan's fiancee, Mary McHugh, a medical student at Emory University who, like scores of others at the Park Avenue house yesterday, wore Regan's high school graduation photo clipped to her shirt. "He recognized it as an option and he couldn't not do it."

Army Sgt. James John Regan was born June 27, 1980, in Rockville Centre. He graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola, where his lacrosse skills earned him a scholarship to Duke. There, while earning a bachelor's degree in economics, he played midfield on two teams that won conference championships and one that reached the NCAA semifinals.

Regan enlisted in February 2004 and spent three years in the Army, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and several medals marking his service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He went to the Army's language training school and read about the countries he patrolled, but remained humble enough to make his three sisters laugh with a Borat film-character impression or explain the region's centuries-old conflict to his mother, Mary Regan, when he was home for Christmas.

He was "a best friend to everyone he knew," said his youngest sister, Michaela, 16.

Regan's stint in the Army was to end in February 2008, and he and McHugh planned to marry the next month. They were to move to the Chicago area, where her family lives, and he was going to become a social studies teacher and coach lacrosse.

Though Regan died in combat,, his family's support for the Iraq war remains strong. Criticism of it, either in the media or by politicians, serves to undermine the effort, said Regan's father, who is also named James Regan.

"What is written in the papers and what is being politicized out there by our candidates is undermining our service," said James Regan, a senior vice president at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Manhattan financial services investment bank.

"These gentlemen that are out there are mission-focused," he said of the troops. "They're trying to do the best job they possibly can. There have been mistakes made, why even list them? ... You cannot put men in the field of battle and then change your mind and go out as a whip-dog. Let the men do their job."

In addition to his parents and sister, Jimmy Regan is survived by two other sisters, Maribeth, 25, of Manhattan and Colleen, 20, of Manhasset. Funeral arrangements were pending. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

The family has established a scholarship fund in his name. Donations should be sent to the Jim Regan Scholarship, c/o Chaminade Development Office, 340 Jackson Ave., Mineola, N.Y. 11501.


Jim, if you could pass on a personal thanks to his people for his service and their service along with him, I'd appreciate it.

So, here is a chance to tell James Reagan why he is wrong when he said the following,

Though Regan died in combat,, his family's support for the Iraq war remains strong. Criticism of it, either in the media or by politicians, serves to undermine the effort, said Regan's father, who is also named James Regan.

"What is written in the papers and what is being politicized out there by our candidates is undermining our service," said James Regan, a senior vice president at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Manhattan financial services investment bank.

"These gentlemen that are out there are mission-focused," he said of the troops. "They're trying to do the best job they possibly can. There have been mistakes made, why even list them? ... You cannot put men in the field of battle and then change your mind and go out as a whip-dog. Let the men do their job."



Ok, you're on - go......................................................................... ..

[Edited on 2/12/2007 by DerekFromCincinnati]


bigann - 2/12/2007 at 05:34 PM

February deaths - 42
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,124

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 641
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802

[Edited on 2/12/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 2/12/2007 at 05:40 PM

The only thing missing is some folks on here telling his family that they view it all wrong, that he was wasting his time in an effort that means nothing. That would be impressive.

No one I know has ever said these brave soldiers are wasting their time....it's only a ploy to be used against people who wish to hold our politicians accountable for sending them off to war with poor planning and lack of adequate equipment. I know it's much easier to blame a protest as implying their 'effort means nothing' than to admit one voted for a government who couldn't successfully oversee a bakesale much less a war.

And one last thing....all this freedom for Iraqi hyperbole.....the original mission was to find WMDs and in case you've forgotten there were none.


DerekFromCincinnati - 2/12/2007 at 07:02 PM

Why is James Regan wrong???


bigann - 2/12/2007 at 07:09 PM

Though Regan died in combat,, his family's support for the Iraq war remains strong. Criticism of it, either in the media or by politicians, serves to undermine the effort, said Regan's father, who is also named James Regan.

I never said HE was wrong....he's the father of a fallen soldier. I don't get your point? I don't believe the people who are against this war are undermining anything.....politicians who have mismanaged the debacle already beat us to it.


bigann - 2/13/2007 at 05:19 PM

February deaths - 44
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,125

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 803
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,261


bigann - 2/14/2007 at 06:00 PM

February deaths - 46
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,127

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 834
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,292


bigann - 2/15/2007 at 05:49 PM

February deaths - 51
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,132

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 865
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,323


bigann - 2/16/2007 at 09:32 PM

February deaths - 51
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,132

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 879
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,337


bigann - 2/17/2007 at 05:05 PM

February deaths - 52
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,133

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 909
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,381


bigann - 2/18/2007 at 05:13 PM

February deaths - 54
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,135

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 926
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,396




bigann - 2/19/2007 at 05:27 PM

February deaths - 59
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,140

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 996
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,466

*********
Dec. 11, 2006: Three years and nine months after the U.S.-led Coalition began its war against Saddam Hussein, researchers have quietly recorded another grim milestone in the cost of the conflict. American military casualties have now exceeded 25,000.

Considering there were only about 150,000 troops sent into Iraq, that means approximately 1 out of every 6 soldiers has been wounded or killed.





bigann - 2/21/2007 at 02:23 AM

February deaths - 66
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,147

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,057
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,527


ruthelane - 2/21/2007 at 03:32 AM

Ann Thanks for these postings.We need to know.


bigann - 2/21/2007 at 04:06 AM

And thank you for caring enough to read them!


Chain - 2/21/2007 at 03:12 PM

As reported on the CBS affiliate in Watertown, NY this morning, three more 10th Mountain Division soldiers based at Fort Drum, NY, were killed Monday just south of Baghdad. Cause of deaths? IED

Three Fort Drum Soldiers Killed In Iraq

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:28pm

Fort Drum confirmed Tuesday that an improvised explosive device killed three local soldiers in Iraq.

Spokesman Ben Abel told 7 News the troops died Monday in Baghdad.

According to the Department of Defense, the three soldiers were killed and two were wounded when an IED hit a Multinational Division Baghdad security patrol southwest of Baghdad.

Abel said the names of the fallen soldiers would be released after family members were notified.

[Edited on 2/21/2007 by Chain]


bigann - 2/21/2007 at 05:38 PM

How sad. I guess they'll show up in the figures in the next day or two as the listing I receive is usually that far behind. Also, the wounded figures evidentally are updated only periodically. Here's today's somber news:

February deaths - 67
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,148

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,107
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,577


bluboy - 2/21/2007 at 06:51 PM

Hey bigann, my hat is off to you for having the guts and gumption to post these figures. It was people like you who put a halt to the Vietnam War.

I assume your figures are from some “official” source, and for the moment that’s probably most of what we have to go on. It is enough in many ways. However, I’m willing to bet the real figures are higher, possibly MUCH higher. When everything coming out of the sewer-pipe mouths of the neocons is a lie, I wouldn’t expect any honesty over casualty figures.


musichick3 - 2/21/2007 at 07:06 PM

And now we're gonna send another 20,000


bigann - 2/21/2007 at 07:24 PM

quote:
Hey bigann, my hat is off to you for having the guts and gumption to post these figures. It was people like you who put a halt to the Vietnam War.

I assume your figures are from some “official” source, and for the moment that’s probably most of what we have to go on. It is enough in many ways. However, I’m willing to bet the real figures are higher, possibly MUCH higher. When everything coming out of the sewer-pipe mouths of the neocons is a lie, I wouldn’t expect any honesty over casualty figures.



Thank you. Yes, my figures come an 'unofficial' official source. And you're right...American casualties...the wounded to be specific, are so catagorized that it's difficult to get an accurate accounting of the true number of wounded. This, howver is what is posted concerning the Iraqi casualties:

Note: Iraqi deaths based on news reports . This is not a definitive count. Actual totals for Iraqi deaths are higher than the numbers recorded on this site.

By the time I'd found my voice during the Vietnam war, it was almost over....I vowed to never allow this country to go into a similar situation again without being heard. I never said a word about Afghanistan...it was a rightous pursuit of terrorists....Iraq was a bogus and unnecessary attack on a country that never did a thing to our people. It was and is wrong and our troops are being sacrificed on the alter of this administration's personal agendas.

Thank you all for reading each day....the first step to effective protest is enlightenment.


bigann - 2/22/2007 at 03:27 AM

Mission Accomplished...day 1,410


jim - 2/22/2007 at 03:41 AM

quote:
my hat is off to you for having the guts and gumption to post these figures.


It doesn't take guts and gumption to do this. None of what we do here takes guts and gumption. We are all tapping on our keyboards, while the people who really have guts and gumption are the ones over there right now, the ones who are wounded, and the ones who came home in the box.


bigann - 2/22/2007 at 05:12 AM

quote:
quote:
my hat is off to you for having the guts and gumption to post these figures.


It doesn't take guts and gumption to do this. None of what we do here takes guts and gumption. We are all tapping on our keyboards, while the people who really have guts and gumption are the ones over there right now, the ones who are wounded, and the ones who came home in the box.


You're right....posting numbers doesn't take the courage it takes these people to just wake up every morning.

[Edited on 2/22/2007 by bigann]


RedRider - 2/22/2007 at 05:16 PM

Sure wish we could switch these numbers with the ones in the cookbook thread....


bluboy - 2/22/2007 at 05:41 PM

I disagree, Jim, but then I’m not going to make a big deal about it. A definition of the word “gumption” is initiative, and bigann has taken initiative, and she is resourceful.

The word “guts” is more subjective. To my mind, bigann sees the human lives behind these figures, not just those whose lives have been extinguished or ruined, but also those who loved the departed and wounded and must continue living with the grief. To stare at that excruciating loss and pain every day takes guts, in my opinion.

Also, this subject is not too popular here and I think many people would just as soon turn a blind eye. And with a valid reason perhaps, because this is a feel-good music site, although I see the WP forum as a section to display other issues. To post an unpopular subject on this site takes some guts, in my opinion.



bigann - 2/22/2007 at 05:51 PM

February deaths - 69
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,150

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,187
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,659

Mission Accomplished day 1,411


SantaCruzBluz - 2/22/2007 at 07:07 PM

Thanks, Ann. It does take guts to post this, as many in this country (and on this site) consider those who oppose this senseless and illegal war to be unpatriotic, un-American, coddling terrorists, supporters of Saddam Hussein, etc. If everyone blindly followed Bush, Cheney, & Co., like some here do, our way of life would cease to exist in a very short time.

Those who question authority are the true patriots. That was proven in the late 1700s.

One thing I've noticed when reading the reports of the war in the Times-Picayune is that the number of Americans killed to date is very seldom reported, and any American deaths reported are always in the last paragraph of their daily story on the "War in Iraq" page.


sibwalker - 2/22/2007 at 09:27 PM

Ann,

As a veteran I appreciate your posting on this topic. Granted it doesn't take the "guts and gumption" that the men and women who are serving "in harm's way" show every day, but nevertheless, one of the reasons that they (along with all the other veterans who have ever served) is for you as an American to have the right to post this type of information. In your own way, you're showing that they are not forgotten and that you appreciate their sacrifices. God Bless you for doing so.


bigann - 2/22/2007 at 10:11 PM

Thank you....and God bless you and all who serve and have served to protect this country.

[Edited on 2/22/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 2/23/2007 at 12:51 AM

For those of you who want to read more:

http://icasualties.org/oif/


bigann - 2/23/2007 at 04:44 PM

February deaths - 73
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,154

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,199
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,671

Mission Accomplished day 1,412





[Edited on 2/24/2007 by bigann]


Bhawk - 2/23/2007 at 05:27 PM

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

-St. Augustine


bigann - 2/24/2007 at 05:49 PM

Beautiful quote Bhawk.

February deaths - 73
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,154

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,240
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,712

Mission Accomplished day 1,413


gina - 2/24/2007 at 08:22 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bbc49KEU1E



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6384781.stm


bigann - 2/25/2007 at 04:54 AM

Unfortunately war isn't something that brings out the best in people.


hoosier - 2/25/2007 at 05:06 AM

“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say give them all they want.”

- William Tecumseh Sherman


bigann - 2/25/2007 at 07:16 PM

Alas....who exactly is the enemy....that's the question!

February deaths - 74
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,155

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,297
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,769

Mission Accomplished day 1,414




bigann - 2/26/2007 at 04:57 PM

It's a good day....no new Americans reported as killed.....bad day for the Iraqis....103 of them listed as dead.

February deaths - 74
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,155

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,400
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,769

Mission Accomplished day 1,415


gina - 2/26/2007 at 11:48 PM

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged)
In America'sWar On Iraq 3,155
http://icasualties.org/oif/

The U.S. War On Iraq Costs
$369,232,548,295

See the cost in your community
http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182


bigann - 2/27/2007 at 01:59 AM

Thank you for posting links to those two sites. I couldn't figure out how to do it......very illuminating information people need access to!


ruthelane - 2/27/2007 at 02:34 AM

It just makes me angry and sad for these young lives lost.
I get a weekly home town newspaper and quite often they
report local soldiers' killed in Iraq. They stare out at us in photos.
They are beautiful and smile proudly in their uniforms. Then they list
the spouses, young children, mothers, fathers left behind.

And it sure does take courage and fortitude and caring to do what Ann is doing here.


bigann - 2/27/2007 at 03:15 AM

What the Flag Draped Coffin Means



Uunderstand what the flag draped coffin really means. Here is how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is surrendered to so many survivors.


Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?



Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.



The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."



The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge allegiance to the flag of the United! States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.



The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.



The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.



The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.



The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.



The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.



The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.



The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."

And then as they hand the folded flag to the spouse or family member and say those words "from a grateful nation......................." and the tears begin to flow.................



After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why


bigann - 2/27/2007 at 03:25 AM

I also look at the pictures of young fallen soldiers, Ruth...usually dressed in their military finest looking so serious, so committed and I see babies only two or three years older than my oldest granddaughter. I look into pictures of the older fallen soldiers and see weariness and pride in their eyes, and I see my son-in-law who fought at that age in the first gulf war. And I see my daughters in every woman who is fighing and giving their lives for our freedom.

These faces break my heart because they are my family, I see them in the face of my loved ones every day and I selfishly thank God my loved ones are safe. I suppose it's always been the case that babies fight our wars...but I haven't always seen the faces of my children and grandchildren marching to war. They are us and we are their families. How can we not feel diminished by the loss or wounding of each and every one?

[Edited on 2/27/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 2/27/2007 at 05:41 PM

February deaths - 80
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,161

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,449
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,818

Mission Accomplished day 1,415


DerekFromCincinnati - 2/27/2007 at 07:12 PM

quote:
WILLIE NELSON CASTS HIS MUSICAL VOTE FOR PEACE
"WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PEACE ON EARTH?" BENEFITS VETERANS

(Los Angeles) American music icon Willie Nelson proves you can oppose war
and also support the troops with his recently released single, "Whatever
Happened To Peace On Earth?" available as an online download, the track
features such Nelson friends as Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Michael McDonald,
Patrick Simmons of The Doobie Brothers and even Willie's sons Lukas and
Micah Nelson, and proceeds benefit the National Veterans Foundation.

Nelson's commentary on current politics and world affairs was born on
Christmas day in 2003. "I have a son who was born on Christmas," Nelson
explains. But the dual celebration that day was shadowed by the war in Iraq
as well as other military and political conflicts around the globe. "I was
watching TV and the war was going on and the bombs were going off. I said to
my wife, 'There's babies dying and mothers crying.' She said, 'Write that
down.'"

The resulting song asks pointed questions about the Iraq war ("How much oil
is one life worth?") and the political maneuvering that led to the U.S.
invasion and occupation ("How much is a liar's word worth?"), ultimately
wondering: "Is this what God wants us to do?" The single is yet another
effort by Nelson within his ongoing personal commitment to causes that make
the world a better place: His longtime support of American farmers via Farm
Aid, his use and promotion of Bio-Diesel to help protect the environment,
his participation in a number of benefit shows for the victims of Hurricane
Katrina (including one he helped organize in Austin) and his recent adoption
via Habitat for Horses of 22 horses that would otherwise have been
slaughtered, among other activities.

"Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth" can be heard at:
http://main.losthighwayrecords.com/product.aspx?ob=disc&src=art&pid =1713

For more information about the National Veterans Foundation go to:
www.nvf.org



Chain - 2/28/2007 at 04:07 PM

Three more 10th Mountain Division soldiers killed. And no, this is not the same post I made last week. Frightingly similar, however.....


First of Three Fort Drum Soldiers Killed in Iraq ID'ed

Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 10:19am

One of three soldiers from Fort Drum killed Tuesday was a 21 year old from Niagara Falls.

Three soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division were killed in Iraq Tuesday, according to Major General Benjamin Freakley, the commander of the 10th.

Freakley made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a meeting of the Fort Drum Regional Liason Organization.

None of the three were publicly identified Tuesday, but WGRZ television in Buffalo and newspapers in the region reported Lorne Henry, 21, stationed at Fort Drum, was killed in Iraq Tuesday when a bomb detonated near the truck he was driving.

Henry was due to leave the military in August, a relative said.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that three American soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad.

It was not immediately known if the soldiers Freakley referred to were the same soldiers as the ones identified in the Associated Press story.

The AP reported the soldiers were assigned to a unit based in Baghdad and were killed by an improvised explosive device.

The deaths come as U-S and Iraqi forces staged raids in Baghdad's main Shiite militant stronghold as part of politically sensitive forays into areas loyal to the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

- 7 News staff and Associated Press





[Edited on 2/28/2007 by Chain]


bigann - 2/28/2007 at 04:55 PM

February deaths - 81
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,161

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,504
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,873

Mission Accomplished day 1,416




bigann - 3/2/2007 at 01:45 AM


February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,164

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,511
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 13 months - 21,880

Mission Accomplished day 1,416


ruthelane - 3/2/2007 at 06:16 AM

I am right here with you Ann.


bigann - 3/2/2007 at 05:19 PM

Thank you Ruth! We may not be a crowd....but we're together!

March deaths - 2
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,166

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 23
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 21,923

Mission Accomplished day 1,416


bigann - 3/2/2007 at 05:20 PM

For some reason, the number of wounded haven't been posted for the past few weeks. That's why the numbers haven't changed.


bigann - 3/3/2007 at 04:37 PM

March deaths - 2
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,166

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 61
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 21,961

Mission Accomplished day 1,417


dougrhon - 3/3/2007 at 07:33 PM

Do you think it's even worth mentioning the mission what it was intended to do, what has been accomplished or anything positive at all? Or is it best to just mention the deaths in a complete and total vacuum?


ruthelane - 3/3/2007 at 08:26 PM

We constantly hear about the cost of war in billions of dollars and
we have been told repeatedly of the "successes" by the Bush adminstration.

It seems the one thing not being reported adequately were the wounded
and the dead. It was rare to see a photo of a flag-draped coffin even.

We are not in a vacuum here. This daily report is filling in some of the blanks that are being neglected elsewhere.

I find this to be a good daily reminder of the true cost of the war in young lives.

We all have our opinions about Iraq, reporting the dead and wounded is not a
matter of opinion.

I applaud Ann for her diligence in keeping this tread going. I'll be here every day
reading her report.


gina - 3/3/2007 at 09:11 PM

As of 3/1/07

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged)
In America'sWar On Iraq 3,163
http://icasualties.org/oif/

The War in Iraq Costs
$404,544,009,913

See the cost in your community
http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182


gina - 3/3/2007 at 09:14 PM

Contractor Could Lose $400 million
By Jay Price
The News & Observer

Friday 02 March 2007

Military contracting giant KBR Inc. could be docked up to $400 million for improperly using private security companies in Iraq, the company disclosed this week.

The Army has already said it withheld about $20 million in payments to KBR's parent company, Halliburton, because the company's subcontractors used private security contractors, including North Carolina-based Blackwater USA. Army officials have said that private security companies were not allowed under Halliburton's main contract in Iraq and that the military was to provide security.

The Army began looking into the use of private security firms by KBR's subcontractors after a congressional investigation sparked by a series of stories in The News & Observer. KBR has won billions in contracts to provide troops in Iraq with basic needs.

In its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, KBR said the Army was continuing to review its contract and that it would begin withholding more payments unless the company "can provide timely information sufficient to show that such action is not necessary to protect the government's interests." If KBR fails, it could lose $400 million in Army payments, although the actual losses could be lower, according to the report.

KBR contends that its Army contract does not prohibit subcontractors from hiring private security services. It's unclear how many security companies might have worked under the KBR contract, but it's certain that Blackwater was not the only one.

In 2004, The N&O investigated Blackwater's work in Iraq and the deaths and public mutilation of four of its workers in Fallujah. Prompted in part by the articles, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California who now heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, started an investigation into how layers of subcontracts in Iraq add to the Pentagon's costs and limit its ability to oversee the work.

It was during a hearing of Waxman's committee last month that a top Army contracting official revealed that the Army had decided to withhold $19.6 million in payments to KBR. Waxman released a statement Thursday saying that the Army's decision showed why Congress must keep an eye on Pentagon contracts.

"Our investigation might mean a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars for taxpayers," Waxman said. "It would have been better if the money had never been wasted in the first place, but there's at least a chance now to fix this expensive mistake."

-------

Comments: Sad thing is even $400 million is a drop in the bucket for Halliburton. They're still way ahead profit wise, no matter how many people are sent there to die. The newest thing is the chlorine suicide mission trucks that explode and in effect gas the troops to death. So consider the battlefield like one big gas chamber. Since the US started using those uranimum enriched munitions, the gloves are off and anything is possible. We changed the rules of engagement using liquid phosphorus on civilians so now anything goes.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/3/2007 at 09:18 PM

quote:
Al Qaeda's outrages swing Sunnis to U.S.
By Pamela Hess
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
February 17, 2007


RAMADI, Iraq -- Sunni tribes in troubled Anbar province have begun working closely with U.S. and government forces, contributing nearly 2,400 men to the police department and 1,600 to a newly organized tribal security force, authorities say.
U.S. troops are training and equipping the new tribal forces, which are called Emergency Response Units (ERUs), and are charged with defending the areas where they live, according to the local U.S. commander.
By a U.S. count, 12 of the Ramadi area's 21 tribes are cooperating in the security effort, six are considered neutral, and three are actively hostile. That is almost the reverse of the tribal posture last June, when three were cooperative and 12 were hostile.
For nearly four years, the tribes around Ramadi survived by playing both sides, working with U.S. forces when it suited them, while at the same time helping or tolerating Sunni insurgent groups and al Qaeda in Iraq -- the terrorist organization once led by Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi.
That changed in August, according to U.S. Army Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, which has been responsible for security operations in Ramadi since June.
Al Qaeda in Iraq -- which has also turned its intimidation tactics on the tribal leaders -- kidnapped and killed Sheik Khalid of the Albu Ali Jassim tribe and left his body where it could not be found, preventing the family from burying him within 24 hours as prescribed by Muslim tradition.
"Al Qaeda overplayed its hand," Col. MacFarland said at his headquarters, a dusty base on the west side of Ramadi.
At a meeting that month, several sheiks drew up an 11-point declaration vowing to fight al Qaeda, within the rule of law, and declaring solidarity with coalition and government security forces. It is a movement referred to by the tribes as "the Awakening."
Al Qaeda "assassinated a lot of the sheiks," said Sheik Ahmed Abureeshah, 41, whose brother, Sheik Sitar, is the driving force behind the initiative. "They killed my father. They killed three of my brothers. They killed 14 other sheiks from different tribes. ...
"Then we met the sheiks of the tribe one after one, and we decided that we must put our hands together and fight to defeat these criminals."
The tribes sent hundreds of young men to join the police -- more than 1,000 in December and more than that last month, a record recruiting effort for the province.
The men were assigned to police stations in their own tribes' neighborhoods, giving the tribes a vested interest in their success and contributing to unusually high rates of policemen turning up for work. Others were organized into the ERUs, which operate in the countryside while the police remain in the cities.
Improved security, in turn, made it possible for the brigade to pour in reconstruction money, enabling some $3 million in projects to be undertaken.
As the benefits of cooperation became evident, "the tribes began flipping, like a domino effect," Col. MacFarland said. "Almost every week, we get another sheik knocking on our door."
Ramadi remains dangerous for Americans -- Col. MacFarland's brigade has lost 85 troops in the area -- but the improvement in security is measurable.
From July 2006 to January 2007, the daily average number of attacks fell by 38 percent and roadside bomb attacks dropped by 57 percent to an 18-month low.
The roadside bombs also are getting smaller and less complex, enabling the brigade and the Iraqi police to find more than 80 percent of improvised explosive devices before they detonate.
It is "a very significant indicator that this potent weapon system has become less effective in Ramadi," Col. MacFarland said.
More important to the colonel, attacks are occurring farther from the town center and from the main road -- suggesting that residents are not tolerating insurgents the way they once did, and are tipping off police to suspicious activities.






DerekFromCincinnati - 3/3/2007 at 09:26 PM

quote:
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006605124

Army Engineers Say Americans Never Hears About The "Good News" From Iraq

February 28, 2007 10:23 p.m. EST


Matthew Borghese - All Headline News Staff Writer
Baghdad, Iraq (AHN) - U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, commander of the Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division, spoke to reporters in Baghdad, saying that the American public knows very little about ongoing efforts to rebuild Iraq.

General Walsh says that the average American doesn't know that $22 billion of their tax dollars are being spent to "jumpstart the Iraqi economy" through almost 1,100 separate reconstruction projects.

The General explains, "We see successes in the U.S. government's construction program here" every day." While the World Bank estimated Iraq needs between $60 and $80 billion to rebuild after the 2001 invasion, the U.S. investment will "lay the foundation" to build upon the "infrastructure shortfalls of the Hussein regime"

"The vast majority of these projects are on track and good solid construction and meeting the deadlines we have set," General Walsh says."If there is only one percent of those 1,100 projects that are troubled, that's only 11 projects and its those projects that tend to spotlighted, and that's not fair to the American taxpayers or the reconstruction efforts that are under way."

"I am proud of the efforts of our team in the military, defense civilians, contractors and Iraqi associates continue to put forth in increasing the services. We have set our goals. We keep track of them, and we are going to meet them."

According to the Pentagon, projects include building 10,045 schools, completing 154 border forts, completing 97 fire stations, 34 post office projects, and renovating 102 railroad stations.

General Walsh believes "Americans should hear of the current 989 projects where we are advancing and enhancing the lives of the Iraqi people. Americans should see the photos of Iraqis being educated in clean, safe learning environments or playing in newly built youth centers. Americans should see in the infants being cared for in modern medical facilities that previously did not exist."

"We have lost good people and had setbacks due to the insurgency and security difficulties. But we still have completed more than 3,000 projects to help the country of Iraq to jumpstart its economy and solidify its infrastructure."




Gregallmanfan - 3/3/2007 at 11:02 PM

OK, here's the problem...as horrific as this may sound, 9/11 was just the beginning. There will be future attacks, and they will be worse. One does not need to be a Middle East scholar to know that a fundamental hatred of the United States has blossomed and grows every day. The Middle Eastern countries are raising a generation that believes the U.S. is the devil. Read some Thomas Friedman and the implications will scare you to death. I suggest Friedman because he's brilliant, easy to read, knows the subject matter as well as anyone yet comes from a decidely left point of view. This is not O'Reilly or Limbaugh, this is a pulitzer prize winning NY Times columnist.

State sponsored terrorists will attack us again and one day it will be a nuclear weapon and a city filled with loved ones and memories will disappear. I live in CT, what if it's NY and the fallout kills some of my family or loved ones? I understand that the Iraq war was not in retribution for a terrorist attack, but leaving now that it's messy sends the message that our President, our Congress, our military and our citizens don't have the stomach for conflict. And let's face it, right now it looks like we don't.

I don't pretend to know why they hate the US - our money, arrogance, egregious consumption of the world's resources, military strength, support of Israel and economic blackmail come most easily to mind, but I suspect there's more to it and I don't think we're as bad as they portray us. As Friedman notes, we're a convenient scapegoat for their government to blame for their peoples limited economic opportunities. Obviously this war is not helping.

Bush's idea that bringing democracy to Iraq would somehow free them and make them love us was absurd (in hindsight) and probably little more than pretense. Everyone, libs included, believed Iraq had WMD - Saddam himself did NOTHING to dispel that notion - even encouraging it by refusing UN inspections. Did it justify an invasion - I don't know - people much smarter than me read the intelligence reports and decided it did.

But we CANNOT ignore this festering hatred. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong, but I believe this is just the beginning of our conflict with the Middle East. As much as they hate us now, imagine what will happen when their oil reserves dwindle (or even better, when we finally stop using so damn much and the price drops). In their eyes, our only redeeming quality (money for oil) will dissipate and they will hate us even more - and their economies have little else to fall back on. Their leaders blame the US for their people's misery now, it will only grow.

I have close friends of Iranian descent...so I reiterate, I hope that I am wrong, but I honestly believe this conflict will, at some point, be reduced to us or them. I understand the terrorists claim no home and no country willingly claims them, but our options will be limited. This war is just the beginning...this is a people that takes a much longer view of time than we do - decades, 100s, 1000s of years. This conflict will not fit neatly into a TV mini series.

I wouldn't suggest that we abandon diplomatic efforts or attempts to understand/rehabilitate our image in the Middle East. But should that fail, and most think that it will, I see two very ugly choices:

1. We can pull out of Iraq, do our mea culpas, limp home with our tails between our legs and put our heads in the sand thinking "Well, we haven't had a terrorist attack at home in almost six years, let's ignore this huge group of people that hates us and wants to kill us. Maybe the attacks will be limited to other countries. I know this war wasn't about a terrorist attack, but pulling out does portray as not having the stomach to fight in retaliation for future attacks.

2. We could stop being politically correct about this. I suppose one thing we could salvage out of this war is to establish some deterrent effect. We can show the world that we are still the baddest mother f-ckers and have the resolve to do what we need to. Pull our troops the hell out of there - we've lost enough precious lives already - then turn the rest of the country into a parking lot from about 10 miles up. And let Iran and North Korea know they have 2 weeks to give up the nuclear weapons or they're next. Civilian casualties would occur, but they don't care about them and they started this. This is immoral and not what we are all about as a country.

I don't like either of these options, and I wish I were smart enough to think of others, but I don't think we have much choice. Right now we're trying to split the hair, doing nothing and not pleasing anyone.

In the short run, we can pretend that no attacks will happen here, and the further we get from 9/11, the easier that is, but that's foolish. I hope (and pray) that the next person we elect has the vision and the wisdom to see the solution and the charisma to lead the world to it. I have children ages 17, 15, 11 and 8. They are the generation that will fight future wars and I can't bear the thought of losing them - here or overseas.

One last thought - we're a very lucky people to be able to voice our disparate views in open forums with absolutely no fear of state retribution whatsoever. Many people are not so fortunate.

Greg


ruthelane - 3/3/2007 at 11:38 PM

quote:
quote:
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006605124

Army Engineers Say Americans Never Hears About The "Good News" From Iraq

February 28, 2007 10:23 p.m. EST


Matthew Borghese - All Headline News Staff Writer
Baghdad, Iraq (AHN) - U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, commander of the Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division, spoke to reporters in Baghdad, saying that the American public knows very little about ongoing efforts to rebuild Iraq.

General Walsh says that the average American doesn't know that $22 billion of their tax dollars are being spent to "jumpstart the Iraqi economy" through almost 1,100 separate reconstruction projects.

The General explains, "We see successes in the U.S. government's construction program here" every day." While the World Bank estimated Iraq needs between $60 and $80 billion to rebuild after the 2001 invasion, the U.S. investment will "lay the foundation" to build upon the "infrastructure shortfalls of the Hussein regime"

"The vast majority of these projects are on track and good solid construction and meeting the deadlines we have set," General Walsh says."If there is only one percent of those 1,100 projects that are troubled, that's only 11 projects and its those projects that tend to spotlighted, and that's not fair to the American taxpayers or the reconstruction efforts that are under way."

"I am proud of the efforts of our team in the military, defense civilians, contractors and Iraqi associates continue to put forth in increasing the services. We have set our goals. We keep track of them, and we are going to meet them."

According to the Pentagon, projects include building 10,045 schools, completing 154 border forts, completing 97 fire stations, 34 post office projects, and renovating 102 railroad stations.

General Walsh believes "Americans should hear of the current 989 projects where we are advancing and enhancing the lives of the Iraqi people. Americans should see the photos of Iraqis being educated in clean, safe learning environments or playing in newly built youth centers. Americans should see in the infants being cared for in modern medical facilities that previously did not exist."

"We have lost good people and had setbacks due to the insurgency and security difficulties. But we still have completed more than 3,000 projects to help the country of Iraq to jumpstart its economy and solidify its infrastructure."






You and I probably would not agree on much except music.
We are both on this website and I love Billy Joe Shaver
Ruthie


bigann - 3/4/2007 at 03:39 AM

I have an idea.....first, let's ask Halliaburton for the return of the 400 million or so dollars missing and then, instead of spending 3 million dollalrs on projects, mentioned in a previous article, we could spend 30 million and divert the remaining 370 million to true homeland security.

Let's take some of that 22 billion we're investing in Iraq and bring it back home to hire agents to secure our borders and ports. We could find out why the several million dollar Homeland Security project that was supposed to hook up all the police computers isn't working and fix it. We could pay for additional police officers to beef up security and we could bring our National .....and I repeat National...as in our nation...guardsmen back home and equip them fully with the latest armament and technology so we would have our own force to combat terror on our soil.

It was said terrorists have no country.....well then, we can stop trying to find them in other countries and devote more resources to find them in this one. I don't see how anyone can believe this country is more secure with so many of our National guardsmen abroad.....it was reported on the news recently that their ability to protect America has been greatly diminshed by dwindling reserves and inadequate equipment in the National Guard.

Oh, and let's send some of that money to help rehab the returning soldiers in state of the art hospitals. Why is Walter Reed in a shambles? Partly because this administration announced its closing...funding was lost because no one wanted to invest in something that is slated to be closed and as yet, there has been no replacement built.

When I read about how much Halliburton has squandered and realize how much good that money could do to secure our country I get livid. I'd cut them off at the knees, prosecute the offenders and make an example out of anyone making excessive profits at our troops expense. Maybe then we could get a handle on the situation. This isn't a republican or democrat issue.....this is America's problem...and last time I checked, we're all Americans.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 04:50 AM

quote:
We constantly hear about the cost of war in billions of dollars and
we have been told repeatedly of the "successes" by the Bush adminstration.

It seems the one thing not being reported adequately were the wounded
and the dead. It was rare to see a photo of a flag-draped coffin even.

We are not in a vacuum here. This daily report is filling in some of the blanks that are being neglected elsewhere.

I find this to be a good daily reminder of the true cost of the war in young lives.

We all have our opinions about Iraq, reporting the dead and wounded is not a
matter of opinion.

I applaud Ann for her diligence in keeping this tread going. I'll be here every day
reading her report.


It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits? Of what has been gained? Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission? About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant? Of what the costs of failure are? Of what the benefits of victory are? Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 04:52 AM

quote:
OK, here's the problem...as horrific as this may sound, 9/11 was just the beginning. There will be future attacks, and they will be worse. One does not need to be a Middle East scholar to know that a fundamental hatred of the United States has blossomed and grows every day. The Middle Eastern countries are raising a generation that believes the U.S. is the devil. Read some Thomas Friedman and the implications will scare you to death. I suggest Friedman because he's brilliant, easy to read, knows the subject matter as well as anyone yet comes from a decidely left point of view. This is not O'Reilly or Limbaugh, this is a pulitzer prize winning NY Times columnist.

State sponsored terrorists will attack us again and one day it will be a nuclear weapon and a city filled with loved ones and memories will disappear. I live in CT, what if it's NY and the fallout kills some of my family or loved ones? I understand that the Iraq war was not in retribution for a terrorist attack, but leaving now that it's messy sends the message that our President, our Congress, our military and our citizens don't have the stomach for conflict. And let's face it, right now it looks like we don't.

I don't pretend to know why they hate the US - our money, arrogance, egregious consumption of the world's resources, military strength, support of Israel and economic blackmail come most easily to mind, but I suspect there's more to it and I don't think we're as bad as they portray us. As Friedman notes, we're a convenient scapegoat for their government to blame for their peoples limited economic opportunities. Obviously this war is not helping.

Bush's idea that bringing democracy to Iraq would somehow free them and make them love us was absurd (in hindsight) and probably little more than pretense. Everyone, libs included, believed Iraq had WMD - Saddam himself did NOTHING to dispel that notion - even encouraging it by refusing UN inspections. Did it justify an invasion - I don't know - people much smarter than me read the intelligence reports and decided it did.

But we CANNOT ignore this festering hatred. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong, but I believe this is just the beginning of our conflict with the Middle East. As much as they hate us now, imagine what will happen when their oil reserves dwindle (or even better, when we finally stop using so damn much and the price drops). In their eyes, our only redeeming quality (money for oil) will dissipate and they will hate us even more - and their economies have little else to fall back on. Their leaders blame the US for their people's misery now, it will only grow.

I have close friends of Iranian descent...so I reiterate, I hope that I am wrong, but I honestly believe this conflict will, at some point, be reduced to us or them. I understand the terrorists claim no home and no country willingly claims them, but our options will be limited. This war is just the beginning...this is a people that takes a much longer view of time than we do - decades, 100s, 1000s of years. This conflict will not fit neatly into a TV mini series.

I wouldn't suggest that we abandon diplomatic efforts or attempts to understand/rehabilitate our image in the Middle East. But should that fail, and most think that it will, I see two very ugly choices:

1. We can pull out of Iraq, do our mea culpas, limp home with our tails between our legs and put our heads in the sand thinking "Well, we haven't had a terrorist attack at home in almost six years, let's ignore this huge group of people that hates us and wants to kill us. Maybe the attacks will be limited to other countries. I know this war wasn't about a terrorist attack, but pulling out does portray as not having the stomach to fight in retaliation for future attacks.

2. We could stop being politically correct about this. I suppose one thing we could salvage out of this war is to establish some deterrent effect. We can show the world that we are still the baddest mother f-ckers and have the resolve to do what we need to. Pull our troops the hell out of there - we've lost enough precious lives already - then turn the rest of the country into a parking lot from about 10 miles up. And let Iran and North Korea know they have 2 weeks to give up the nuclear weapons or they're next. Civilian casualties would occur, but they don't care about them and they started this. This is immoral and not what we are all about as a country.

I don't like either of these options, and I wish I were smart enough to think of others, but I don't think we have much choice. Right now we're trying to split the hair, doing nothing and not pleasing anyone.

In the short run, we can pretend that no attacks will happen here, and the further we get from 9/11, the easier that is, but that's foolish. I hope (and pray) that the next person we elect has the vision and the wisdom to see the solution and the charisma to lead the world to it. I have children ages 17, 15, 11 and 8. They are the generation that will fight future wars and I can't bear the thought of losing them - here or overseas.

One last thought - we're a very lucky people to be able to voice our disparate views in open forums with absolutely no fear of state retribution whatsoever. Many people are not so fortunate.

Greg




What you wrote is very wise and very reasonable. Which is why it will be rejected by the left, by the people who hate Bush more than our jihadist enemies.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 04:54 AM

quote:
I have an idea.....first, let's ask Halliaburton for the return of the 400 million or so dollars missing and then, instead of spending 3 million dollalrs on projects, mentioned in a previous article, we could spend 30 million and divert the remaining 370 million to true homeland security.

Let's take some of that 22 billion we're investing in Iraq and bring it back home to hire agents to secure our borders and ports. We could find out why the several million dollar Homeland Security project that was supposed to hook up all the police computers isn't working and fix it. We could pay for additional police officers to beef up security and we could bring our National .....and I repeat National...as in our nation...guardsmen back home and equip them fully with the latest armament and technology so we would have our own force to combat terror on our soil.

It was said terrorists have no country.....well then, we can stop trying to find them in other countries and devote more resources to find them in this one. I don't see how anyone can believe this country is more secure with so many of our National guardsmen abroad.....it was reported on the news recently that their ability to protect America has been greatly diminshed by dwindling reserves and inadequate equipment in the National Guard.

Oh, and let's send some of that money to help rehab the returning soldiers in state of the art hospitals. Why is Walter Reed in a shambles? Partly because this administration announced its closing...funding was lost because no one wanted to invest in something that is slated to be closed and as yet, there has been no replacement built.

When I read about how much Halliburton has squandered and realize how much good that money could do to secure our country I get livid. I'd cut them off at the knees, prosecute the offenders and make an example out of anyone making excessive profits at our troops expense. Maybe then we could get a handle on the situation. This isn't a republican or democrat issue.....this is America's problem...and last time I checked, we're all Americans.


Let's be honest here. We can NEVER make this country secure enough to block the jihad from coming here. We must defeat or at least diminish the jihad. If I agree that it has not been done properly over the past six years you need to at least agree that we can't sit back and play goal while our enemies find ways to penetrate our blessedly free and open country.


bigann - 3/4/2007 at 06:21 AM

Seems to me, before you go out looking for a burgler you might lock your house. If we're going to go after terrorists, I would think we should secure this country first. To go after an enemy in unfamiliar territory without world wide support is sheer folly. To leave our country underprotected is beyond dangerous. It's not sitting back and playing goal to consider this country's security first....it's locking the door before we go after the burgler.


ruthelane - 3/4/2007 at 06:39 AM

quote:
quote:
We constantly hear about the cost of war in billions of dollars and
we have been told repeatedly of the "successes" by the Bush adminstration.

It seems the one thing not being reported adequately were the wounded
and the dead. It was rare to see a photo of a flag-draped coffin even.

We are not in a vacuum here. This daily report is filling in some of the blanks that are being neglected elsewhere.

I find this to be a good daily reminder of the true cost of the war in young lives.

We all have our opinions about Iraq, reporting the dead and wounded is not a
matter of opinion.

I applaud Ann for her diligence in keeping this tread going. I'll be here every day
reading her report.


It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits? Of what has been gained? Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission? About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant? Of what the costs of failure are? Of what the benefits of victory are? Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?



You and I are so far apart on this I doubt we could ever convince each other of much.
I feel very strongly about this and I've read all the articles and listened to the news. I am well informed but I just don't see things your way. I won't accuse you of anything, like thinking in a vacuum. You have a right to your views. I suppose I am in "the left" you speak of. And right now I'm proud to be there.
Ruthie

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]

BTW I don't hate Bush more than the jihadists. I don't hate him at all, I just believe
he is wrong-headed and incompetent.

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]


ruthelane - 3/4/2007 at 06:49 AM

quote:
Seems to me, before you go out looking for a burgler you might lock your house. If we're going to go after terrorists, I would think we should secure this country first. To go after an enemy in unfamiliar territory without world wide support is sheer folly. To leave our country underprotected is beyond dangerous. It's not sitting back and playing goal to consider this country's security first....it's locking the door before we go after the burgler.



AMEN TO THAT!


SquatchTexas - 3/4/2007 at 09:23 AM

quote:
It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits?


Theres benefits to all the dead people, missing money, corruption, Pakistani complicity etc.? You were led down a path by some very bad people. Its ok if you want to feel differently about all this now.

quote:
Of what has been gained?


Such as what?

quote:
Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission?


You will find as many that are for the war as are against it, I wager.

quote:
About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant?


...to be occupied by a foreign army. To have less electricity and water than they did under Saddam...to worry like never before about sending their kids to school...the hundreds of attacks per day on the population... yeah, Im sure they are thrilled. Keep in mind that these people "freed from the yoke of a tyrant" are the same people that want us OUT of Iraq. All those people throwing roses at our feet never did quite materialize despite the best efforts of Cheney and others to say it would be so.

quote:
Of what the costs of failure are?


We have been watching the costs of failure for the past 4 years. Where have you been?

quote:
Of what the benefits of victory are?


Define victory. Tell us how you defeat a tactic. Tell us how you defeat a guerilla army with conventional forces. So far, our military and our glorious leader have been unable to do any of this.

quote:
Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?


Nobody wants the "mission" to fail. It was failed from the start. Some of us were able to see that ahead of time. The "mission" was to get rid of the WMD that didnt exist. The mission got bastardized into something else in an effort to make the best of a bad situation, but people much smarter than your president were ignored in favor of saving face and staying the course. Now, we are laying in the bed we made.


SquatchTexas - 3/4/2007 at 09:36 AM

quote:
Let's be honest here. We can NEVER make this country secure enough to block the jihad from coming here.


Jihad. Its the new communism. The 50's had McCarthy, the 00's has Rush Limbaugh and his idiot followers. "Jihad" is no more a threat now than it was 20 years ago. Its been blown way, way out of proportion. If you really fear some idiots with a perverted view of Islam being any more dangerous than say, some idiots with a perverted view of Christianity, then I would suggest that you are a long way down the path to being brainwashed by those that have very little understanding of this entire issue. Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and others are loons. Dont follow that line of thinking, please.

quote:
We must defeat or at least diminish the jihad.


Please tell everyone how we can defeat a ideology. I hate to tell you this, but Islam is not the problem...its the people who interpret it to be not what it was intended. It reminds me of people like Koresh and Jim Jones for instance.

quote:
If I agree that it has not been done properly over the past six years you need to at least agree that we can't sit back and play goal while our enemies find ways to penetrate our blessedly free and open country.


They dont have to come here to affect us. They can hit our interests anywhere on the planet. As Ive said before, there doesnt have to be a concerted effort against us. One person could do a lot of damage...this is one of the reasons why I believe the so called threat to us is very overstated. If these people really wanted to hit us, you would be reading about bus bombings, mall bombings, day care center bombings etc. on a daily basis. This country would basically have to be on a lockdown / martial law status to stop anyone.


bigann - 3/4/2007 at 04:29 PM

March deaths - 6
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,170

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 91
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 21,991

Mission Accomplished day 1,418



DerekFromCincinnati - 3/4/2007 at 05:49 PM

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



...to be occupied by a foreign army. To have less electricity and water than they did under Saddam...to worry like never before about sending their kids to school...the hundreds of attacks per day on the population... yeah, Im sure they are thrilled. Keep in mind that these people "freed from the yoke of a tyrant" are the same people that want us OUT of Iraq. All those people throwing roses at our feet never did quite materialize despite the best efforts of Cheney and others to say it would be so.



It took from 1776 to 1789 for the United States Of America to come up with a Constitution. The Iraqi government has been in power for less than a year. I do have toadmit, however, that your longing for the days of Saddam and how he should still be in power and that things were better under his regime is consistent. In 14 of the 18 provinces, folks in Iraq are getting things together, the sharing of the oil with the Sunni's will be worked out shortly, Patreaus is doing a good job so far, and the potential is still there for this to work out. But the idea that the liberals on here have a problem with this simply because it hasn't gone right for a long time is bogus. At the core of it is not our troops, many of which think you pathetic, but is as simple as appeasement. We keep reliving the past, yet we are there right now and the situation is dynamic, and cut and run seems to be the prevailing thought. I knew that any sense of good news from Iraq, yet again, would not go down well with the appeasers, and I was right.

quote:
Jihad. Its the new communism.


Stupidity. It's the same old liberalism. But then again, your incredibly limited intellect doesnt give a damn about those that have and still do live under communism and other forms of dictatorship, so why start now. In fact, you admire those dictators that thumb their nose at Bush whenever possible. What it comes down to is the folks that live under such conditions are considered "those people," and they're not you, so you don't give a rat's ass. Hence the admiration for Saddam and Chavez and the rest.

quote:
Its been blown way, way out of proportion. If you really fear some idiots with a perverted view of Islam being any more dangerous than say, some idiots with a perverted view of Christianity, then I would suggest that you are a long way down the path to being brainwashed by those that have very little understanding of this entire issue


Yep, folks, Islamo-fascist movement is not real, and in fact, is less dangerous that the so-called Christian movements of the world right now in 2007. I refuse to believe that all athiest liberals are this stupid, therefore I will try and not stereotype.

quote:
OK, here's the problem...as horrific as this may sound, 9/11 was just the beginning. There will be future attacks, and they will be worse. One does not need to be a Middle East scholar to know that a fundamental hatred of the United States has blossomed and grows every day. The Middle Eastern countries are raising a generation that believes the U.S. is the devil. Read some Thomas Friedman and the implications will scare you to death. I suggest Friedman because he's brilliant, easy to read, knows the subject matter as well as anyone yet comes from a decidely left point of view. This is not O'Reilly or Limbaugh, this is a pulitzer prize winning NY Times columnist.

State sponsored terrorists will attack us again and one day it will be a nuclear weapon and a city filled with loved ones and memories will disappear. I live in CT, what if it's NY and the fallout kills some of my family or loved ones? I understand that the Iraq war was not in retribution for a terrorist attack, but leaving now that it's messy sends the message that our President, our Congress, our military and our citizens don't have the stomach for conflict. And let's face it, right now it looks like we don't.

I don't pretend to know why they hate the US - our money, arrogance, egregious consumption of the world's resources, military strength, support of Israel and economic blackmail come most easily to mind, but I suspect there's more to it and I don't think we're as bad as they portray us. As Friedman notes, we're a convenient scapegoat for their government to blame for their peoples limited economic opportunities. Obviously this war is not helping.

Bush's idea that bringing democracy to Iraq would somehow free them and make them love us was absurd (in hindsight) and probably little more than pretense. Everyone, libs included, believed Iraq had WMD - Saddam himself did NOTHING to dispel that notion - even encouraging it by refusing UN inspections. Did it justify an invasion - I don't know - people much smarter than me read the intelligence reports and decided it did.

But we CANNOT ignore this festering hatred. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong, but I believe this is just the beginning of our conflict with the Middle East. As much as they hate us now, imagine what will happen when their oil reserves dwindle (or even better, when we finally stop using so damn much and the price drops). In their eyes, our only redeeming quality (money for oil) will dissipate and they will hate us even more - and their economies have little else to fall back on. Their leaders blame the US for their people's misery now, it will only grow.

I have close friends of Iranian descent...so I reiterate, I hope that I am wrong, but I honestly believe this conflict will, at some point, be reduced to us or them. I understand the terrorists claim no home and no country willingly claims them, but our options will be limited. This war is just the beginning...this is a people that takes a much longer view of time than we do - decades, 100s, 1000s of years. This conflict will not fit neatly into a TV mini series.

I wouldn't suggest that we abandon diplomatic efforts or attempts to understand/rehabilitate our image in the Middle East. But should that fail, and most think that it will, I see two very ugly choices:

1. We can pull out of Iraq, do our mea culpas, limp home with our tails between our legs and put our heads in the sand thinking "Well, we haven't had a terrorist attack at home in almost six years, let's ignore this huge group of people that hates us and wants to kill us. Maybe the attacks will be limited to other countries. I know this war wasn't about a terrorist attack, but pulling out does portray as not having the stomach to fight in retaliation for future attacks.

2. We could stop being politically correct about this. I suppose one thing we could salvage out of this war is to establish some deterrent effect. We can show the world that we are still the baddest mother f-ckers and have the resolve to do what we need to. Pull our troops the hell out of there - we've lost enough precious lives already - then turn the rest of the country into a parking lot from about 10 miles up. And let Iran and North Korea know they have 2 weeks to give up the nuclear weapons or they're next. Civilian casualties would occur, but they don't care about them and they started this. This is immoral and not what we are all about as a country.

I don't like either of these options, and I wish I were smart enough to think of others, but I don't think we have much choice. Right now we're trying to split the hair, doing nothing and not pleasing anyone.

In the short run, we can pretend that no attacks will happen here, and the further we get from 9/11, the easier that is, but that's foolish. I hope (and pray) that the next person we elect has the vision and the wisdom to see the solution and the charisma to lead the world to it. I have children ages 17, 15, 11 and 8. They are the generation that will fight future wars and I can't bear the thought of losing them - here or overseas.

One last thought - we're a very lucky people to be able to voice our disparate views in open forums with absolutely no fear of state retribution whatsoever. Many people are not so fortunate.

Greg



I don't agree with all of it, but I appreciate most of it. The Head-In-The-Sand Brigade just doesn't get what is going on in the real world. Good stuff.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 08:36 PM

quote:
Seems to me, before you go out looking for a burgler you might lock your house. If we're going to go after terrorists, I would think we should secure this country first. To go after an enemy in unfamiliar territory without world wide support is sheer folly. To leave our country underprotected is beyond dangerous. It's not sitting back and playing goal to consider this country's security first....it's locking the door before we go after the burgler.


How about doing both concurrently? The problem is that every single thing the administration wants to do to "lock the door" is opposed by the left and civil libertarians. Let me hear some of your ideas to "lock the door". Other than check every single container entering the country which is just not feasible.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 08:39 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
We constantly hear about the cost of war in billions of dollars and
we have been told repeatedly of the "successes" by the Bush adminstration.

It seems the one thing not being reported adequately were the wounded
and the dead. It was rare to see a photo of a flag-draped coffin even.

We are not in a vacuum here. This daily report is filling in some of the blanks that are being neglected elsewhere.

I find this to be a good daily reminder of the true cost of the war in young lives.

We all have our opinions about Iraq, reporting the dead and wounded is not a
matter of opinion.

I applaud Ann for her diligence in keeping this tread going. I'll be here every day
reading her report.


It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits? Of what has been gained? Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission? About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant? Of what the costs of failure are? Of what the benefits of victory are? Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?



You and I are so far apart on this I doubt we could ever convince each other of much.
I feel very strongly about this and I've read all the articles and listened to the news. I am well informed but I just don't see things your way. I won't accuse you of anything, like thinking in a vacuum. You have a right to your views. I suppose I am in "the left" you speak of. And right now I'm proud to be there.
Ruthie

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]

BTW I don't hate Bush more than the jihadists. I don't hate him at all, I just believe
he is wrong-headed and incompetent.

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]


I accept what you say. But many MANY people in this country hate Bush and hate him more than or consider him more dangerous than the jihadists. I am coming around to the opinion that he is incompetent for a variety of reasons but I don't think he is wrong-headed. Most of the people who want to lead us I am afraid would be both wrongheaded and highly incompetent. It's not a happy day. At this point my man is Guliani. But it's early.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 08:42 PM

quote:
quote:
It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits?


Theres benefits to all the dead people, missing money, corruption, Pakistani complicity etc.? You were led down a path by some very bad people. Its ok if you want to feel differently about all this now.

quote:
Of what has been gained?


Such as what?

quote:
Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission?


You will find as many that are for the war as are against it, I wager.

quote:
About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant?


...to be occupied by a foreign army. To have less electricity and water than they did under Saddam...to worry like never before about sending their kids to school...the hundreds of attacks per day on the population... yeah, Im sure they are thrilled. Keep in mind that these people "freed from the yoke of a tyrant" are the same people that want us OUT of Iraq. All those people throwing roses at our feet never did quite materialize despite the best efforts of Cheney and others to say it would be so.

quote:
Of what the costs of failure are?


We have been watching the costs of failure for the past 4 years. Where have you been?

quote:
Of what the benefits of victory are?


Define victory. Tell us how you defeat a tactic. Tell us how you defeat a guerilla army with conventional forces. So far, our military and our glorious leader have been unable to do any of this.

quote:
Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?


Nobody wants the "mission" to fail. It was failed from the start. Some of us were able to see that ahead of time. The "mission" was to get rid of the WMD that didnt exist. The mission got bastardized into something else in an effort to make the best of a bad situation, but people much smarter than your president were ignored in favor of saving face and staying the course. Now, we are laying in the bed we made.


I disagree with you on much of this as you know but I will mention only one thing which I think you are very wrong about. There are MANY people who want us to fail. I will give the mainstream Democrats the benefit of saying they don't think that failure will have a serious consequence so why not tag Bush with it? But others actualyl hate the U.S. and want us to fail to hurt us. That is clear on a daily basis.


dougrhon - 3/4/2007 at 08:45 PM

quote:
quote:
Let's be honest here. We can NEVER make this country secure enough to block the jihad from coming here.


Jihad. Its the new communism. The 50's had McCarthy, the 00's has Rush Limbaugh and his idiot followers. "Jihad" is no more a threat now than it was 20 years ago. Its been blown way, way out of proportion. If you really fear some idiots with a perverted view of Islam being any more dangerous than say, some idiots with a perverted view of Christianity, then I would suggest that you are a long way down the path to being brainwashed by those that have very little understanding of this entire issue. Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and others are loons. Dont follow that line of thinking, please.


I don't listen to a single one of those people. I don't listen t o talk radio.

quote:
We must defeat or at least diminish the jihad.


Please tell everyone how we can defeat a ideology. I hate to tell you this, but Islam is not the problem...its the people who interpret it to be not what it was intended. It reminds me of people like Koresh and Jim Jones for instance.


I didn't say "Islam" I said "The Jihad" And you say its the new communism like communism was not a problem. You don't have to be a Mcarthyist to realize that Communism was indeed an evil ideology that had to be coutnered. There was a time when liberals believed that. The ADA was founded as a movement of liberal anti-communism. But that's gone now.

quote:
If I agree that it has not been done properly over the past six years you need to at least agree that we can't sit back and play goal while our enemies find ways to penetrate our blessedly free and open country.


They dont have to come here to affect us. They can hit our interests anywhere on the planet. As Ive said before, there doesnt have to be a concerted effort against us. One person could do a lot of damage...this is one of the reasons why I believe the so called threat to us is very overstated. If these people really wanted to hit us, you would be reading about bus bombings, mall bombings, day care center bombings etc. on a daily basis. This country would basically have to be on a lockdown / martial law status to stop anyone.


I don't think they are going to settle for hitting our interests abroad. I agree we can't stop every determined jihadist. That's why the ideology itself needs to be fought.


ruthelane - 3/4/2007 at 09:13 PM

quote:
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say give them all they want.”

- William Tecumseh Sherman





"Bring it on."
- George W. Bush

I'll wager that's one Bush wishes he had never said.


ruthelane - 3/4/2007 at 09:24 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
We constantly hear about the cost of war in billions of dollars and
we have been told repeatedly of the "successes" by the Bush adminstration.

It seems the one thing not being reported adequately were the wounded
and the dead. It was rare to see a photo of a flag-draped coffin even.

We are not in a vacuum here. This daily report is filling in some of the blanks that are being neglected elsewhere.

I find this to be a good daily reminder of the true cost of the war in young lives.

We all have our opinions about Iraq, reporting the dead and wounded is not a
matter of opinion.

I applaud Ann for her diligence in keeping this tread going. I'll be here every day
reading her report.


It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters
.

You and I are so far apart on this I doubt we could ever convince each other of much.
I feel very strongly about this and I've read all the articles and listened to the news. I am well informed but I just don't see things your way. I won't accuse you of anything, like thinking in a vacuum. You have a right to your views. I suppose I am in "the left" you speak of. And right now I'm proud to be there.
Ruthie

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]

BTW I don't hate Bush more than the jihadists. I don't hate him at all, I just believe
he is wrong-headed and incompetent.

[Edited on 3/4/2007 by ruthelane]


I accept what you say. But many MANY people in this country hate Bush and hate him more than or consider him more dangerous than the jihadists. I am coming around to the opinion that he is incompetent for a variety of reasons but I don't think he is wrong-headed. Most of the people who want to lead us I am afraid would be both wrongheaded and highly incompetent. It's not a happy day. At this point my man is Guliani. But it's early.


I don't have a favorite but they would definitely be democrats. I think Guliani is more democrat than republican, but, he would be at the bottom of my list. I don't care for his gunslinger approach.


ruthelane - 3/4/2007 at 09:27 PM

quote:
quote:
It's not neglected to me. I am fully aware of the costs as are most of the war's supporters. But are you aware of the benefits?


Theres benefits to all the dead people, missing money, corruption, Pakistani complicity etc.? You were led down a path by some very bad people. Its ok if you want to feel differently about all this now.

quote:
Of what has been gained?


Such as what?

quote:
Of how the average soldier over there feels about the mission?


You will find as many that are for the war as are against it, I wager.

quote:
About how ordinary Iraqi's feel about being freed from the yoke of a tyrant?


...to be occupied by a foreign army. To have less electricity and water than they did under Saddam...to worry like never before about sending their kids to school...the hundreds of attacks per day on the population... yeah, Im sure they are thrilled. Keep in mind that these people "freed from the yoke of a tyrant" are the same people that want us OUT of Iraq. All those people throwing roses at our feet never did quite materialize despite the best efforts of Cheney and others to say it would be so.

quote:
Of what the costs of failure are?


We have been watching the costs of failure for the past 4 years. Where have you been?

quote:
Of what the benefits of victory are?


Define victory. Tell us how you defeat a tactic. Tell us how you defeat a guerilla army with conventional forces. So far, our military and our glorious leader have been unable to do any of this.

quote:
Or is it all filtered through those who have either given up altogether or who actually want the mission to fail?


Nobody wants the "mission" to fail. It was failed from the start. Some of us were able to see that ahead of time. The "mission" was to get rid of the WMD that didnt exist. The mission got bastardized into something else in an effort to make the best of a bad situation, but people much smarter than your president were ignored in favor of saving face and staying the course. Now, we are laying in the bed we made.


I agree with you 100% on this. Well spoken.


bigann - 3/4/2007 at 11:32 PM

I find this current dialogue very interesting. With some people posting, you're either with Bush or you're a liberal, cowardly, America hating democrat. It's not that simple. There are those of us who believe this administration made the decision to attack Iraq with at best, faulty information. Once there were no WMDs discovered, then we were told we were spreading freedom and the country would be better off. Please allow me at this point to discredit the often used association with the Iraq war and this country's war for independence.

First, the people of this country wanted their freedom from English rule. They banded together, issued the Declaration of Independence and then fought it out. In Iraq, they never came together for a common cause and therefore do not have a vested interest in a unified outcome. Second, even with the people wanting independence it took from 1776 until about 1789 to fight the war and for all of the states to come to an agreement on the constitution.....and remember....they independently declared their desire for freedom....Iraq never did.

Are we prepared to spend thirteen years in Iraq making them want independence? How do we do that?

Those who say this is the mission our soldiers were sent in to fight for have forgotten the original mission. That one was declared as 'accomplished' 1,418 days ago....the rest of this war has been for reasons other than stated.

We can't check each container coming into America? Then how do we even think we can protect this country? You say it's impossible? Why? That's a statement that begs a clarification.

Sorry, people who support this madness can't claim only the democrats are against it...it's just the recycling of old talking points. Love the war if you wish, belive we can fight ideology if you so desire, but you can't accurately say everyone else is wrong. The end of this story hasn't been written yet. And unless you've served in uniform, I find it difficult to buy into the gung ho go get 'em rhetoric. You know...the 'bring it on' mentality.

One last thought.....the hatred I am sensing for those with other religious beliefs, those who would hold Christianity out as the model of common sense must have forgotten the Crusades. When Christians were going into foreign countries and killing those who refused to convert I have to believe those dying at their hands had to believe they were the radicals who must be stopped.

It's a matter of perspective. It would be nice if some people had some.


Gregallmanfan - 3/5/2007 at 12:02 AM

quote:
We can't check each container coming into America? Then how do we even think we can protect this country? You say it's impossible? Why? That's a statement that begs a clarification.


Well, of course we could, but I suspect the cost would then make it prohibitive for all of us to get the cheap stuff we love so much from Hell Mart and Targay. And I think unfortunately the ultimate cost to this situation will be a very real change in how we live - and not for the better.

A greater problem is probably not whether we could check every container, it's whether the nuclear missile feels the need to stop at customs before detonating, or whether the terrorist that's already here exits the country and re-enters legally before performing his/her mischief.

Someone earlier made a great point (sorry I have to run, or I'd find it) that it's very interesting that many that make the argument that we should secure our borders first, are often the ones most resistant to the means to do so. And imagine their reaction if we started rounding up illegal aliens?!?!

bigann I apologize - I don't know you and I hope this doesn't feel like it's pointed only at you. I suspect that you started this thread not to initiate a debate, but to remind everyone of the very real human cost to this war - regardless of politics - and regardless of our politics, I think we all feel the same way that you do, it's tragic. We can argue the merits ad nauseum, but I think we all wish we didn't have leave another drop of blood in Iraq.

Greg


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 12:18 AM

No apology needed, Greg. I'm glad to see this is an active forum. It's, as you recognize, a reminder that there is a very human consequence to this war on both sides, but it's also meant to be thought provoking...whatever the thought, whatever the side is taken.

I'm a liberal and I'm proud of it....but you're in error when you imply all of us who want our borders secured would object to rounding up illegal aliens. I want them rounded up and sent home. I don't want states stuck with the rising health costs of providing care for them nor do I want tax dollars spent on welfare programs for those who didn't enter legally. I understand our economy is dependant on illegal labor and it's a shame. In the long run, it would cost our economy less to pay a higher price for items direct rather than indirect for subsidies to the workers. But you can lay that problem at the door of business.

I believe in the right to human dignity, but I also believe in the law and its application. Here's another thing with which I take issue. Just because someone is born in this country, I don't think it should confer automatic citizenship. If you're not a legal resident of the United States, then your children born here should not be legal either. I stand by what I said previously. We need to secure our borders, return the illegals to their homes and keep up with those who have been given visas. If we don't pay attention to those we're allowing inside our country we're literally sleeping with the enemy.

Thank you all for the dialogue. As long as we're talking about it, in most cases we can find common ground.


CEEJ - 3/5/2007 at 01:22 AM

quote:
Do you think it's even worth mentioning the mission what it was intended to do, what has been accomplished or anything positive at all? Or is it best to just mention the deaths in a complete and total vacuum?
One of the most frustrating aspects of this whole debacle is that there was never a clear, coherent mission communicated. It has changed so many times, it is likely that most people couldn't even come close to stating all of the missions. This is truly a sad state of affairs for this great nation and you bet it is one of the most demoralizing points in our short history.

BTW, Ann, thanks for starting this thread. I have a nephew out there who could appear as one of those numbers at any time. Does any one know if the casualty counts being posted include deaths of those employed by private security corporations? One of the unique aspects of this war is the level of privatization. We are in a time where corporations have plenty of resources to field their own private armies. I heard or read recently that there is a firm that markets its services as a private "CIA" for corporations. The consequences of a world wide, public corporate race to militarize is quite frightening to me, although, I believe we are now experiencing its infant stages.

Peace.

Erik







[Edited on 3/5/2007 by CEEJ]


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 02:24 AM

Hi Erik. I truly pray for the safety of your nephew as well as all others on the line in Iraq. No, the count does not mention private security forces in Iraq. Last I read, the count of those dead was close to the number of military personell. I agree with you that it's rather frightening to think much of our military is being privatized. I may not live to rue the day, but future generations may well do so. Our government has truly run amok and it doesn't seem as if there is much of a viable fix in the near future.


dougrhon - 3/5/2007 at 03:08 AM

quote:
I find this current dialogue very interesting. With some people posting, you're either with Bush or you're a liberal, cowardly, America hating democrat. It's not that simple. There are those of us who believe this administration made the decision to attack Iraq with at best, faulty information. Once there were no WMDs discovered, then we were told we were spreading freedom and the country would be better off. Please allow me at this point to discredit the often used association with the Iraq war and this country's war for independence.

First, the people of this country wanted their freedom from English rule. They banded together, issued the Declaration of Independence and then fought it out. In Iraq, they never came together for a common cause and therefore do not have a vested interest in a unified outcome. Second, even with the people wanting independence it took from 1776 until about 1789 to fight the war and for all of the states to come to an agreement on the constitution.....and remember....they independently declared their desire for freedom....Iraq never did.

Are we prepared to spend thirteen years in Iraq making them want independence? How do we do that?

Those who say this is the mission our soldiers were sent in to fight for have forgotten the original mission. That one was declared as 'accomplished' 1,418 days ago....the rest of this war has been for reasons other than stated.

We can't check each container coming into America? Then how do we even think we can protect this country? You say it's impossible? Why? That's a statement that begs a clarification.

Sorry, people who support this madness can't claim only the democrats are against it...it's just the recycling of old talking points. Love the war if you wish, belive we can fight ideology if you so desire, but you can't accurately say everyone else is wrong. The end of this story hasn't been written yet. And unless you've served in uniform, I find it difficult to buy into the gung ho go get 'em rhetoric. You know...the 'bring it on' mentality.

One last thought.....the hatred I am sensing for those with other religious beliefs, those who would hold Christianity out as the model of common sense must have forgotten the Crusades. When Christians were going into foreign countries and killing those who refused to convert I have to believe those dying at their hands had to believe they were the radicals who must be stopped.

It's a matter of perspective. It would be nice if some people had some.


I think you are the one pigeonholing people. No one ever said you either love Bush or you are an America hating pinko. But you are calling those of us who support the war gung ho rah rah types when that is not the reality at all. I hate war and love peace. But I have a different view than you on what consitutes peace. And I really have a problem with totalitarian dictators who kill hundreds of thousands. I would not go to war with all of them but I think it is a positive good when they disappear. I am not going to get back into the reasons why it is vital for us to have success as we are way beyond convincing each other. But I think you should look at your statements and see the assumptions about me and other war supporters that you are making. For one thing I am not Christian and this has NOTHING to do with Christianity vs. Islam. It has to do with modern civilization vs. barbarism. And again for the millionth time, it is not Islam that we are fighting it is jihadism, a subset of Islam and a distorted evil one at that. It's like saying that fighting communism is like fighting all left of center political movements. It's just not true.


dougrhon - 3/5/2007 at 03:12 AM

quote:
No apology needed, Greg. I'm glad to see this is an active forum. It's, as you recognize, a reminder that there is a very human consequence to this war on both sides, but it's also meant to be thought provoking...whatever the thought, whatever the side is taken.

I'm a liberal and I'm proud of it....but you're in error when you imply all of us who want our borders secured would object to rounding up illegal aliens. I want them rounded up and sent home. I don't want states stuck with the rising health costs of providing care for them nor do I want tax dollars spent on welfare programs for those who didn't enter legally. I understand our economy is dependant on illegal labor and it's a shame. In the long run, it would cost our economy less to pay a higher price for items direct rather than indirect for subsidies to the workers. But you can lay that problem at the door of business.

I believe in the right to human dignity, but I also believe in the law and its application. Here's another thing with which I take issue. Just because someone is born in this country, I don't think it should confer automatic citizenship. If you're not a legal resident of the United States, then your children born here should not be legal either. I stand by what I said previously. We need to secure our borders, return the illegals to their homes and keep up with those who have been given visas. If we don't pay attention to those we're allowing inside our country we're literally sleeping with the enemy.

Thank you all for the dialogue. As long as we're talking about it, in most cases we can find common ground.


Well the rules on citizenship are very clearly stated in the constitution and it would require an ammendment to change them. I somehow don't see the left wing in this country (I will not use the word liberal because I don't think most "liberals" are very liberal) going along with it. Frankly, I think most Democrats in this country are opposing all the homeland security measures just because Bush supports them. I suspect that if Hillary Clinton were president and favored them, we would not hear the opposition. And you know what? That's somehow much much worse.


dougrhon - 3/5/2007 at 03:17 AM

I will admit something here. One of the primary reasons I supported the overthrow of Sadaam Hussein was that I hoped that the overthrow of a vile anti-American de-stablizing dictator in the heart of the middle east would send a serious message to Iran of our resolve and give them reason to make the strategic decision to back off their weapons and terrorism programs as Libya did. I always felt it would be difficult to impossible to do to Iran what was done to Iraq and hoped the invasion of Iraq would make military action against Iran unnecessary. I suspect that you will find this is a large component of the thought process behind many supporters of the invasion. We hoped the long term benefit of a decent society in the Middle East would help spread liberalism throughout the region as well. This may still happen in the long run but obviously the other thing has backfired as Iran has been emboldened by what they see as our timidity and lack of resolve. Given this, I would probably not have supported the invasion but I think Sadaam and his psychopathic sons would have been a long term danger. But now that we are there we must salvage the situation and I firmly believe that it can be salvaged if we give the new strategy a chance.


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 04:11 AM

I think you are the one pigeonholing people. No one ever said you either love Bush or you are an America hating pinko. But you are calling those of us who support the war gung ho rah rah types when that is not the reality at all.

Contrary to your belief, I was not referring to you directly. If you choose to read yourself into my comments, then it says much for what you're thought proccess is.


I somehow don't see the left wing in this country (I will not use the word liberal because I don't think most "liberals" are very liberal) going along with it. Frankly, I think most Democrats in this country are opposing all the homeland security measures just because Bush supports them. I suspect that if Hillary Clinton were president and favored them, we would not hear the opposition.

And yet, you respond with a pigeonholing statement about Democrats. I find that interesting. I make the assumption from your comments, that it's pigeonholing only if it doesn't fit into your thought process. But I could be wrong.


We hoped the long term benefit of a decent society in the Middle East would help spread liberalism throughout the region as well. This may still happen in the long run but obviously the other thing has backfired as Iran has been emboldened by what they see as our timidity and lack of resolve

I've always found it rather presumptious of the American governments to believe they could create peace in the Middle East. These cultures have been at war for thousands of years....I see little chance we can change the ingrained beliefs and hatereds of generations of peoples.

I speak with a number of people with differing views on various issues....I try to make blanket statements concerning the comments I've received rather than personalizing them. I stand by my statements concerning Bush....I've found the people supporting the war to be very militant in their defense of this administration's policies and rather dismissive of those who don't. If my remarks seem to hit home, my point has been made. If they ring hollow, then I'm not referring to the reader.


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 04:14 AM

I supported the overthrow of Sadaam Hussein was that I hoped that the overthrow of a vile anti-American de-stablizing dictator in the heart of the middle east

ps....and who helped create that monster?


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/5/2007 at 06:50 AM

quote:
First, the people of this country wanted their freedom from English rule. They banded together, issued the Declaration of Independence and then fought it out. In Iraq, they never came together for a common cause and therefore do not have a vested interest in a unified outcome. Second, even with the people wanting independence it took from 1776 until about 1789 to fight the war and for all of the states to come to an agreement on the constitution.....and remember....they independently declared their desire for freedom....Iraq never did.



Number one, during the American Revolution, the country was divided into three seperate sections, about one third wanted the revolution, about one third was loyal to England as the Tories, and the other third waited to see who won. The idea that it was one big common cause is dead wrong. Unity was not there, even after we won, which is why it took so long to come up with a Constitution. Plus, in light of the 42nd anniversary of the Selma March, and the four young girls killed in the church bombings, there was a lot of this country, some parts more than others, who were far from a 'common cause' in my lifetime.

Secondly, the idea that the majority of folks in Iraq were for Saddam is equally misguided. The Sunni's, from which Saddam's tribe sprang, were always a minority. The Shi'ites and Kurds combined easily outnumbered the dictators minions and was the biggest part of the Iraqi population. Saddam ruled by intimidation, murder, torture, and secret police. To suggest that the majority of Iraqi's didn't want Saddam out because there wasn't some kind of 'Declaration' doesn't fly, because that would have had led to all involved instantly killed. Saddam was right there, over their heads, as opposed to King George's troops which had an ocean to cross.

quote:
Ann, thanks for starting this thread. I have a nephew out there who could appear as one of those numbers at any time. Does any one know if the casualty counts being posted include deaths of those employed by private security corporations? One of the unique aspects of this war is the level of privatization. We are in a time where corporations have plenty of resources to field their own private armies. I heard or read recently that there is a firm that markets its services as a private "CIA" for corporations. The consequences of a world wide, public corporate race to militarize is quite frightening to me, although, I believe we are now experiencing its infant stages.



Number one, my first cousin, a veteran of both Gulf Wars, is over there now as well, only in a 'consulting' mode this time around. As far as the notion of being alarmed at private militaries, they are as old as the hills.

quote:
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2007-02-08-most-dangerous-places- forbes_x.htm

By Elisabeth Eaves
It's no wonder the world seems to be getting more dangerous. After all, we're bombarded every day by news of violence, natural disaster and the rising death toll in Iraq.
Sounds like a good reason to stay home, or at least take your vacations in Canada. But business travelers often have no choice. Where corporations go, so do their employees, sometimes even at risk to life and limb.

Fortunately, companies have a place to turn for know-how on bringing employees back alive. Risk consultancies such as Annapolis, Md.-based iJet Intelligent Risk Systems and London-based Control Risks specialize in advising corporations on staying safe in the world's most dangerous places. Security contractors such as Triple Canopy, Blackwater USA and DynCorp International can provide physical protection just about anywhere in the world.

In Pictures: The world's most dangerous destinations

Based on the banner year risk consultants had in 2006, it would seem that the world really is getting less safe. As privately held companies, several of those we talked to wouldn't disclose profits. But iJet—which has advised companies including Archer Daniels Midland and Prudential Financial—announced last week that revenues for 2006 had increased by more than 50% over 2005. Triple Canopy, meanwhile, opened new offices in Lagos, Abu Dhabi and Manila, and Control Risks added four new offices, including one in Hong Kong and another in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. DynCorp, whose clients include the U.S. government, went public last May.

How we play a role

Perhaps, though, it's not more danger that's helping these businesses thrive, but the fact that we put ourselves in harm's way more often.

"I wouldn't say it's a more dangerous world," says James Smither, global issues manager for Control Risks. "I'd say the risks are changing. Civilians and business travelers are more in the firing line."

For one thing, we go to more places we didn't used to, thanks to globalization, easier and cheaper travel and, according to Smither, some very specific market forces.

For instance, prices for platinum, copper, aluminum and other metals are high because they serve as raw materials in industrial manufacturing, which is growing tremendously in India and China.

"So mining companies are looking at countries that previously would have been written off as too risky, because of the high price of metals," Smither says.

That means these companies' employees are heading for places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country with extravagant natural wealth but also a long history of brutal government, where urban crime is high and some areas are dominated by local militias. Both Control Risk and iJet give Congo their highest risk rating, and the U.S. State Department warns citizens against traveling there.

Other countries on our most-dangerous list include Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan and Burundi. Most are in the grip of conflict to one degree or another. For instance, a civil war that began in 1993 is ongoing in Burundi, with rebel factions engaging in intense fighting with government forces. In Somalia, the federal government recently retook much of the country from the Union of Islamic Courts, but remains weak and dependent on the backing of the Ethiopian army. And in Côte d'Ivoire, a 2002 uprising nominally ended in 2003, but the north of the country remains under the control of armed rebels.

In many of these places, conflict has tended to exacerbate lawlessness—in Iraq, for instance, criminal gangs operate alongside ideologically motivated insurgents. Other countries make our list mainly because of crime. Neither Liberia nor Haiti is technically at war, but rampant criminality can make parts of these countries feel like war zones.

New to our list this year: Sri Lanka, Chad and Lebanon. Lush tropical beauty made Sri Lanka a popular holiday destination, but a ceasefire between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers broke down last year. While foreigners are not directly targeted, the risk of becoming collateral damage is rising in the north and northeast. Chad has seen ethnic conflicts spillover from the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan and is also experiencing tension between its own government and rebel groups. And while hostilities between Lebanon and Israel ended last August, political tensions within Lebanon have been on the rise.

Because oil and other natural resource companies have to go where the riches are, they make up a big percentage of the clientele for risk consulting and security companies, but other sectors are in growing need of their services too. As mobile telephone use expands in the poorest and most conflict-prone areas of the world, telecom companies are increasingly doing business there, Smither says.

Triple Canopy's main customer is the U.S. government, but it's also focusing on gaining commercial customers, especially in the oil, mining and shipping industries, says CEO Lee Van Arsdale. It opened its new Nigeria office based on a simple business equation: Lots of Western workers plus massive political instability add up to demand. About 120 foreign oil workers were kidnapped in Nigeria in 2006, and violence by armed groups is on the rise. Though Nigeria doesn't make our most dangerous places list (there's a lot of competition), Control Risks' Smither also cites it as a hot spot in danger of worsening this year.

New terrorist targets

One big change taking place internationally, according to Smither, is that terrorists are increasingly focusing on so-called "soft" targets—unprotected tourists, commuters and other civilians. In the past, embassies, government buildings and airlines were among the most common terrorist targets, but they've all stepped up security in recent years. In response, terrorists seeking maximum damage on a limited budget increasingly seek to hit civilians.

"The soft target is a favorite of armed terrorists who, unlike al-Qaeda, have limited means," says Smither.

Another danger on the rise is kidnapping.

"It's really grown as a cottage industry," says Triple Canopy's Van Arsdale. "It used to be just Colombia, but now it could happen on any continent, and not just for political purposes but for profit."

Watch yourself

What to do if you have to work in a danger zone? Risk consultancies offer their clients extensive pre-trip advice and help track and protect employees in-country.

Van Arsdale suggests you familiarize yourself with the most current information on where you're going—because sometimes out-of-date facts can be more dangerous than none at all. (Last year's rebel leader could be this year's president.)

He also recommends varying your daily route so that potential attackers can't predict when you'll be in particular place, dispensing with obvious signs of wealth and if possible traveling in a group. Control Risks provides a list of general advice that includes suggestions such as memorizing important local phrases and avoiding alcohol intake, which, no surprise, tends to make people more vulnerable to attack.

Travelers to potential danger zones should also always check the State Department's website for the latest travel warnings before departure. The State Department currently has standing warnings on 31 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, but also places that make Western headlines much less, like the Philippines.

To determine which places were the most dangerous, we asked Control Risks and iJet to provide us with their watch lists of high-risk countries. IJet evaluates countries across six categories, including crime and civil unrest, and assigns each country a rating of one to five, with five being the most severe. Control Risks assesses countries for overall security risks, specific terrorism risks and travel risks and rates each of these categories on a five-point scale. "Extreme" and "high" are the first- and second-most dangerous ratings.

We came up with 13 countries that get the highest rating from either Control Risks, iJet or both. The State Department has also issued warnings against travel to all of these places. If you plan to visit any of them, we hope you are equipped with the latest body armor and have an excellent life insurance policy—and that you get plenty of danger pay.



SquatchTexas - 3/5/2007 at 02:34 PM

quote:
I don't listen to a single one of those people. I don't listen t o talk radio.


Its the same line of thinking.

quote:
I didn't say "Islam" I said "The Jihad" And you say its the new communism like communism was not a problem.


Last I checked, "Jihad" was associated only with Islam. The Red Scare was our propaganda machine running at full throttle. Anti-Islamic rhetoric is the new Red Scare. Communism is still an ideology that has never been defeated, just as Democracy cannot be defeated and just as militant Islam cannot be defeated.

quote:
The ADA was founded as a movement of liberal anti-communism. But that's gone now.


What? Not quite.

http://www.adaction.org/about.htm

Civil rights, not anti-communism

quote:
I don't think they are going to settle for hitting our interests abroad. I agree we can't stop every determined jihadist. That's why the ideology itself needs to be fought.


How are you going to defeat an ideology? Be as specific as you can.


dougrhon - 3/5/2007 at 02:55 PM

quote:
quote:
I don't listen to a single one of those people. I don't listen t o talk radio.


Its the same line of thinking.

I don't have a "line of thinking" I think indepndently. I know it is difficult for you to believe that an independent thinker could reach such a conclusion.

quote:
I didn't say "Islam" I said "The Jihad" And you say its the new communism like communism was not a problem.


Last I checked, "Jihad" was associated only with Islam.

Yes. It is related to Islam. But it is you, not us, who are saying that we are attacking Islam. We are attacking a radical distortion of Islam that is a menace to the world.

The Red Scare was our propaganda machine running at full throttle. Anti-Islamic rhetoric is the new Red Scare. Communism is still an ideology that has never been defeated, just as Democracy cannot be defeated and just as militant Islam cannot be defeated.


Never been defeated? I think not. You show me the country where the rhetoric of Marx is still seriously followed. The ideology has been defeated and largely defeated within the countries that followed it. That does not mean Democracy is flourishing in those countries.

quote:
The ADA was founded as a movement of liberal anti-communism. But that's gone now.


What? Not quite.

http://www.adaction.org/about.htm

Civil rights, not anti-communism

The ADA separated itself from fellow travelers of the far left who had a soft spot for the Stalin and the Soviet Union. I did not mean the ADA was an anti-communist organization. I meant it was an organization for liberal anti-communists to pursue liberal causes without seeking to undermine the American free-enterprise system for the benefit of Moscow. You can talk all you want about the "red scare" but if you don't think that the Soviet Union and communism was an advesary of ours, well then I understand why you don't see the threat from the Islamic fascists.

quote:
I don't think they are going to settle for hitting our interests abroad. I agree we can't stop every determined jihadist. That's why the ideology itself needs to be fought.


How are you going to defeat an ideology? Be as specific as you can.


I don't know how to defeat it but I do no that like all bullying ideologies such as Naziism and Soviet style Marxism, the ideology scorns weakness and respects or at least fears strength. The best way to fight it is to never give in and accomodate it, to support its opponents and work against its adherents and to give the people an alternative. This is how we defeated Communism. Sometimes you have to be prepared to use violence and sometimes merely being prepared lets you avoid actually having to use it. These things are axiomatic. You should read the essays of George Orwell.


SquatchTexas - 3/5/2007 at 03:00 PM

quote:
No one ever said you either love Bush or you are an America hating pinko.


Have you been living in the same America Ive been in for the past 6 years? Either you are with us or against us ring a bell? Dixie Chicks? Examples of this type of thinking are so numerous that I cant list them all here. All it took for Cindy Sheehan to become a 4 letter word was for her to speak out about Bush, for example.

quote:
But you are calling those of us who support the war gung ho rah rah types when that is not the reality at all.


But in many cases, it is and has been. Its one of the principle reasons we are where we are right now.

quote:
I hate war and love peace. But I have a different view than you on what consitutes peace. And I really have a problem with totalitarian dictators who kill hundreds of thousands.


Then you should be really pissed off that we support them when its convenient to us. I hate the hypocrisy of our foreign policy. You should be asking why we are such good friends with such oppressive regimes as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Sudan.

I should say that I fully support military action when its warranted and I completely support our mission in Afghanistan. Iraq, not so much. I want our guys out before another single soldier is killed or maimed.

quote:
I would not go to war with all of them but I think it is a positive good when they disappear.


If you wouldnt go to war with all of them, then by what measure are you saying one is worse than another?

quote:
I am not going to get back into the reasons why it is vital for us to have success as we are way beyond convincing each other.


Again, how are we measuring success? At what point have we "won"?.

quote:
But I think you should look at your statements and see the assumptions about me and other war supporters that you are making. For one thing I am not Christian and this has NOTHING to do with Christianity vs. Islam.


For many, it does. Especially many of our leaders and their supporters.

quote:
It has to do with modern civilization vs. barbarism.


Ah, I see. From my perspective, both sides have their barbarians. Our torture isnt as bad as Saddams torture, for instance.

quote:
And again for the millionth time, it is not Islam that we are fighting it is jihadism, a subset of Islam and a distorted evil one at that.


Well, the larger problem you are going to face is the fact that militant Islam is still, at its core, Islamic, and ultimately the radical and militant ideologies which cannot be defeated with bombs or bullets. Islamic nations are not differentiating between militant/radical Islam and regular Islam when a foreign army is poised to occupy them. Do the research and you will see that mainstream Islam feels very threatened and feel they are being singled out. When cornered, most people will defend themselves.

quote:
It's like saying that fighting communism is like fighting all left of center political movements. It's just not true.


No, its not true, but that doesnt mean that people dont believe that. I know of one person here, for instance, that believes liberals and communists are all linked together even though there is a wide variance of beliefs even among liberals.


SquatchTexas - 3/5/2007 at 03:24 PM

quote:
I don't have a "line of thinking" I think indepndently. I know it is difficult for you to believe that an independent thinker could reach such a conclusion.


With all due respect, it seems like you have been "scared" into believing that the sky is falling with regards to the threat of Islam.

quote:
Yes. It is related to Islam. But it is you, not us, who are saying that we are attacking Islam. We are attacking a radical distortion of Islam that is a menace to the world.


You are attacking Islam whether you believe that or not. Its not how Im seeing it, its how mainstream Islamic followers are seeing it and they are the ones that we should be working with.

quote:
Never been defeated? I think not. You show me the country where the rhetoric of Marx is still seriously followed.


Marxism, as I understand it, is the basis of communism itself. That said, any country thats still communist is still following Marx. Its a pretty broad topic to limit just to Marxism considering all the other forms of communism out there.

quote:
The ideology has been defeated and largely defeated within the countries that followed it. That does not mean Democracy is flourishing in those countries.


Ideas are never defeated. Its why declaring war on militant Islam is so pointless.

quote:
You can talk all you want about the "red scare" but if you don't think that the Soviet Union and communism was an advesary of ours, well then I understand why you don't see the threat from the Islamic fascists.


Russia was certainly a threat...hyper industrialized nation, possibly the largest standing army in the world at the time, millions of troops, nuclear missles, etc. Militant Islam has always been around but they have none of that. Are we to believe that its only become a threat to us since 9/11? I dont see the threat the same way many people that have been talked into it see it. I know that if they wanted to, they could detonate a device every day in America, but for some reason, its not happening. I dont buy the threat especially because of who is doing the warning. I have 0 trust in the Bush administration since they have a long record of lying and deceit. Scaring everyone is a great way to push other measures (P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act for instance) through without proper evaluation and debate. Whittling away of our rights if you will.

quote:
I don't know how to defeat it but I do no that like all bullying ideologies such as Naziism and Soviet style Marxism, the ideology scorns weakness and respects or at least fears strength.


Some would say that what we are doing in Iraq is "bullying". Who are we to say which form of government is the best? It seems like in the past 30 years, we invade or have issues with nations that really have no real way of defending themselves against us. North Korea has nukes and we give them a pass. Iraq had nothing and we invaded them. Strange.

quote:
The best way to fight it is to never give in and accomodate it, to support its opponents and work against its adherents and to give the people an alternative.


But again, who are we to march in and do that to another country? Arent we doing wrong by spreading Democracy through war?

quote:
This is how we defeated Communism.


Again, I wouldnt say we defeated anything in that regard. Cuba is still around. Dozens of other nations, not the least of which is China, still practice communism. North Korea... etc.


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 04:21 PM

March deaths - 9
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,173

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 137
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,037

Mission Accomplished day 1,419



DerekFromCincinnati - 3/5/2007 at 06:23 PM


quote:
Have you been living in the same America Ive been in for the past 6 years? Either you are with us or against us ring a bell? Dixie Chicks? Examples of this type of thinking are so numerous that I cant list them all here. All it took for Cindy Sheehan to become a 4 letter word was for her to speak out about Bush,
]

Interesting. Is that why you have thrown Cindy under the bus in recent months??


quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
I hate war and love peace. But I have a different view than you on what consitutes peace. And I really have a problem with totalitarian dictators who kill hundreds of thousands.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Then you should be really pissed off that we support them when its convenient to us.


Situational ethics. Here is a question that you have STILL yet to answer specifially. Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin during WWII to defeat Hitler?? Yes or no??


quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
It has to do with modern civilization vs. barbarism.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Ah, I see. From my perspective, both sides have their barbarians. Our torture isnt as bad as Saddams torture, for instance.


We have American soldiers in jail right now for what they did. When did that happen in and under your buddy Saddam's regime?? You honestly can't tell the difference?? Pathetic.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
And again for the millionth time, it is not Islam that we are fighting it is jihadism, a subset of Islam and a distorted evil one at that.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Well, the larger problem you are going to face is the fact that militant Islam is still, at its core, Islamic, and ultimately the radical and militant ideologies which cannot be defeated with bombs or bullets. Islamic nations are not differentiating between militant/radical Islam and regular Islam when a foreign army is poised to occupy them.


Wrong again. In fact, in an article that probably bothers you because there is agood news in it, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada making your argument, as usual, clueless. Below,

quote:
Al Qaeda's outrages swing Sunnis to U.S.
By Pamela Hess
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
February 17, 2007


RAMADI, Iraq -- Sunni tribes in troubled Anbar province have begun working closely with U.S. and government forces, contributing nearly 2,400 men to the police department and 1,600 to a newly organized tribal security force, authorities say.
U.S. troops are training and equipping the new tribal forces, which are called Emergency Response Units (ERUs), and are charged with defending the areas where they live, according to the local U.S. commander.
By a U.S. count, 12 of the Ramadi area's 21 tribes are cooperating in the security effort, six are considered neutral, and three are actively hostile. That is almost the reverse of the tribal posture last June, when three were cooperative and 12 were hostile.
For nearly four years, the tribes around Ramadi survived by playing both sides, working with U.S. forces when it suited them, while at the same time helping or tolerating Sunni insurgent groups and al Qaeda in Iraq -- the terrorist organization once led by Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi.
That changed in August, according to U.S. Army Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, which has been responsible for security operations in Ramadi since June.
Al Qaeda in Iraq -- which has also turned its intimidation tactics on the tribal leaders -- kidnapped and killed Sheik Khalid of the Albu Ali Jassim tribe and left his body where it could not be found, preventing the family from burying him within 24 hours as prescribed by Muslim tradition.
"Al Qaeda overplayed its hand," Col. MacFarland said at his headquarters, a dusty base on the west side of Ramadi.
At a meeting that month, several sheiks drew up an 11-point declaration vowing to fight al Qaeda, within the rule of law, and declaring solidarity with coalition and government security forces. It is a movement referred to by the tribes as "the Awakening."



Duh.............

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
It's like saying that fighting communism is like fighting all left of center political movements. It's just not true.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



No, its not true, but that doesnt mean that people dont believe that. I know of one person here, for instance, that believes liberals and communists are all linked together even though there is a wide variance of beliefs even among liberals.


They're on the same path. It's just a matter of degree.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
I don't have a "line of thinking" I think indepndently. I know it is difficult for you to believe that an independent thinker could reach such a conclusion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



With all due respect, it seems like you have been "scared" into believing that the sky is falling with regards to the threat of Islam.



Nope, just folks that are intelligent enough to know that Islamo-Fascism is a world-wide movement.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Yes. It is related to Islam. But it is you, not us, who are saying that we are attacking Islam. We are attacking a radical distortion of Islam that is a menace to the world.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



You are attacking Islam whether you believe that or not. Its not how Im seeing it,


Of course you don't. That would require international and religious knowledge as well as the ability to decipher nuance.

quote:
Marxism, as I understand it, is the basis of communism itself. That said, any country thats still communist is still following Marx. Its a pretty broad topic to limit just to Marxism considering all the other forms of communism out there.



This ought to be good- explain the different kinds of communism out there??

And then, explain your buddy Chavez's fascination with Marx while you're at it.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
The ideology has been defeated and largely defeated within the countries that followed it. That does not mean Democracy is flourishing in those countries.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Ideas are never defeated. Its why declaring war on militant Islam is so pointless.




There are still followers of nazism in the world, but they damn sure don't control any countries or armies. I guess that you, and God forbid that the modern day liberal movement would have existed during World War Two or the Revolutionary War, would not have declared war on nazism because it is pointless??

quote:
Russia was certainly a threat...hyper industrialized nation, possibly the largest standing army in the world at the time, millions of troops, nuclear missles, etc. Militant Islam has always been around but they have none of that.


The minute that they get nukes they do.

quote:
we to believe that its only become a threat to us since 9/11? I dont see the threat the same way many people that have been talked into it see it. I know that if they wanted to, they could detonate a device every day in America, but for some reason, its not happening.


....therefore there is no threat from "terrorism?"


Squatch, Bigann said the following on here,

"We need to secure our borders, return the illegals to their homes and keep up with those who have been given visas. If we don't pay attention to those we're allowing inside our country we're literally sleeping with the enemy."

Is she foolish for thinking that way????

quote:
But again, who are we to march in and do that to another country? Arent we doing wrong by spreading Democracy through war?



Japan.

quote:
Again, I wouldnt say we defeated anything in that regard. Cuba is still around. Dozens of other nations, not the least of which is China, still practice communism. North Korea... etc.


So, your highly nuanced mind sees no difference in the amount of communism compared to pre-1989??



DH


SquatchTexas - 3/5/2007 at 08:48 PM

quote:
Interesting. Is that why you have thrown Cindy under the bus in recent months??


There you go again with your dishonest portrayals. I pointed out that Sheehan became a hated figure due to her comments about Bush and this war. Do you deny that or think Im wrong? If so, please elaborate. Beyond that, I havent thrown anyone "under the bus" as I was never her supporter to begin with aside from the fact that I agree with her in that this war was a mistake. If Hitler liked ice cream and I like ice cream does that mean I like Hitler? Moron.

quote:
Situational ethics. Here is a question that you have STILL yet to answer specifially. Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin during WWII to defeat Hitler?? Yes or no??


The situations are quite different between then and now. Did we know then what we know now? I doubt it. Its always easy to make the right decision after the facts are known. The fact that you keep trying with this stupid comparison is evidence that you know youre wrong in pursuing "situational ethics" (your preaching about ethics is hysterical. You wouldnt know whats ethically correct if it walked up and introduced itself). Its either right or wrong all of the time, not sometimes when it suits us. Like Ive said before; Saddam didnt just wake up one day in '91 and decide to be a shait. He was a shiat for decades prior to that and we helped him murder thousands because it was good for us. He was a horrible, sadistic dictator but he was our horrible, sadistic dictator and as long as he was doing what we approved of, we looked the other way and helped him when we could. Just like we do today with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others.

quote:
We have American soldiers in jail right now for what they did.


By my count its two people.. come on Derek. Not even you can believe that there was only two people responsible for the wrongdoing thats going on over there under our occupation. The hidden camps..the troop ships that were left off of declaration lists for the Red Cross...it goes on and on and its still happening today. We have approved the torture and encourage it to this day.

quote:
When did that happen in and under your buddy Saddam's regime?? You honestly can't tell the difference?? Pathetic.


Whats pathetic is that you approve of torture when its us doing it while bellyaching about Saddam doing it. Youre a typical RW lowlife hypocrite. I expect torture from people like Saddam. I dont expect torture from our troops nor do I expect the explicit endorsement of said behavior from our government.

quote:
Wrong again. In fact, in an article that probably bothers you because there is agood news in it, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada making your argument, as usual, clueless. Below,


LOL.. you dont even know the difference between factions and ideology. Derek, please, shut the fark up until you can get a grasp on things you dont know anything about. The core philosophies are the same. Ideology doesnt change.

<snip irrelevant article attempting to derail the discussion as usual>

quote:
They're on the same path. It's just a matter of degree.


So then the same could be said for everyone on the Right being fascists. Hey, they are all on the same path, its just a matter of degrees. Goose/Gander and all that.

quote:
Nope, just folks that are intelligent enough to know that Islamo-Fascism is a world-wide movement.


Hooey. Its no more of a movement than any other bastardized take on a religion. If you were as smart as you think you are, you would recognize that.

quote:
This ought to be good- explain the different kinds of communism out there??


Nice try, but F.O. I indicated in my post that I was quite unsure as to the varying differences in the different forms of communism. Feel free to educate the masses with your superior intelligence, Derek.

quote:
And then, explain your buddy Chavez's fascination with Marx while you're at it.


Chavez, as far as I know, is a Socialist, not a communist. Apparently youre too stupid to understand the nuances there.


quote:
There are still followers of nazism in the world, but they damn sure don't control any countries or armies.


Oh hell, now we have to discuss scale? We were having a perfectly good discussion until you showed up, Derek. Anyway, yes, theres followers of nazism in the world (a few thousand maybe). Compared to the number of militant Islamists (a few million maybe), I would suggest that the number is a tiny fraction, so what is your point? Any more nits you want to pick?

quote:
I guess that you, and God forbid that the modern day liberal movement would have existed during World War Two or the Revolutionary War, would not have declared war on nazism because it is pointless??


No, and again, you miss the point entirely.

Nazis- invaded countries, murdered millions, had a standing army, professional military etc. etc. etc.

Militant Islamists - not so much.

quote:
The minute that they get nukes they do.


How would they get a nuke? Surely our good friends in Pakistan are keeping tabs on everything while they help us look for Bin Laden (remember him?)

quote:
....therefore there is no threat from "terrorism?"


I didnt say that. I believe the threat is vastly overstated and hyped by our government to keep us scared so they can do things they otherwise wouldnt be able to do, such as the PATRIOT act. We have covered this ground many times before.


quote:
Squatch, Bigann said the following on here,

"We need to secure our borders, return the illegals to their homes and keep up with those who have been given visas. If we don't pay attention to those we're allowing inside our country we're literally sleeping with the enemy."

Is she foolish for thinking that way????


Absolutely not. I agree with her 100% on that. Note though that none of that involves invading other countries and occupying them for years based on bs.

quote:
Japan.


Our goal wasnt to spread Democracy to Japan through war. Our goal was to defeat them in a time of war. Nice try, though.

quote:
So, your highly nuanced mind sees no difference in the amount of communism compared to pre-1989??


You still dont know what ideology is? As long as their are two people alive on this world, there will be two sets of ideas. You cannot kill an idea. You cannot bomb an idea and you cannot shoot an idea. All you can do is educate and assist. People and nations will have to make their own decisions and in 5 years, your map may look better or worse depending on global politics. The big change, of course, is the collapse of the USSR. This was not a defeat of ideology, but a breaking of the bank. You know this. Surely communism is alive and well or you and others like you wouldnt be so bent on trying to defeat it.


bigann - 3/5/2007 at 09:10 PM

Yeah, what Squatch just said.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/5/2007 at 09:37 PM

quote:
Situational ethics. Here is a question that you have STILL yet to answer specifially. Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin during WWII to defeat Hitler?? Yes or no??
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



The situations are quite different between then and now. Did we know then what we know now? I doubt it. Its always easy to make the right decision after the facts are known. The fact that you keep trying with this stupid comparison is evidence that you know youre wrong in pursuing "situational ethics" (your preaching about ethics is hysterical. You wouldnt know whats ethically correct if it walked up and introduced itself). Its either right or wrong all of the time, not sometimes when it suits us. Like Ive said before; Saddam didnt just wake up one day in '91 and decide to be a shait. He was a shiat for decades prior to that and we helped him murder thousands because it was good for us. He was a horrible, sadistic dictator but he was our horrible, sadistic dictator and as long as he was doing what we approved of, we looked the other way and helped him when we could. Just like we do today with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others.




There you go, folks.....yet again....no answer.


quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Wrong again. In fact, in an article that probably bothers you because there is agood news in it, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada making your argument, as usual, clueless. Below,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



LOL.. you dont even know the difference between factions and ideology. Derek, please, shut the fark up until you can get a grasp on things you dont know anything about. The core philosophies are the same. Ideology doesnt change.



All this time you have said that there was no Saddam- Iraqi Sunni and Al Qeada connection because their ideologies were different, and now your saying that they are the same??


quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
I guess that you, and God forbid that the modern day liberal movement would have existed during World War Two or the Revolutionary War, would not have declared war on nazism because it is pointless??
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



No, and again, you miss the point entirely.

Nazis- invaded countries, murdered millions, had a standing army, professional military etc. etc. etc.

Militant Islamists - not so much.



Islamo-fascists attacked America. When did the nazis attack America?? Who killed the most Americans on American soil?

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
So, your highly nuanced mind sees no difference in the amount of communism compared to pre-1989??
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



You still dont know what ideology is? As long as their are two people alive on this world, there will be two sets of ideas. You cannot kill an idea. You cannot bomb an idea and you cannot shoot an idea. All you can do is educate and assist. People and nations will have to make their own decisions and in 5 years, your map may look better or worse depending on global politics. The big change, of course, is the collapse of the USSR. This was not a defeat of ideology, but a breaking of the bank. You know this. Surely communism is alive and well or you and others like you wouldnt be so bent on trying to defeat it.


"This was not a defeat of ideology"???????????????????????????

Unreal.


CEEJ - 3/5/2007 at 10:21 PM

quote:
quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Ann, thanks for starting this thread. I have a nephew out there who could appear as one of those numbers at any time. Does any one know if the casualty counts being posted include deaths of those employed by private security corporations? One of the unique aspects of this war is the level of privatization. We are in a time where corporations have plenty of resources to field their own private armies. I heard or read recently that there is a firm that markets its services as a private "CIA" for corporations. The consequences of a world wide, public corporate race to militarize is quite frightening to me, although, I believe we are now experiencing its infant stages.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Number one, my first cousin, a veteran of both Gulf Wars, is over there now as well, only in a 'consulting' mode this time around. As far as the notion of being alarmed at private militaries, they are as old as the hills.


I did not say I am alarmed at the notion of private militias and, yes, mercenaries have been around as long as war has existed. If, however, you actually read that to which you respond, perhaps you might get lucky and make a relevant point. My assertion was directed to the " level of privatization". Private firms are being relied on at an unprecedented level in this war. No one disputes this and the ramifications are significant and disconcerting:

http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/fellows/singer20040416.htm


Outsourcing the War

Salon.com, April 16, 2004

Peter W. Singer, National Security Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies

The killing of four American military contractors in Fallujah last week not only touched off a growing wave of violence but also raised concern about just how much of the mission has been outsourced to private firms. Private military contractors in Iraq are present in unprecedented numbers, more than 15,000, and they engage in a range of mission-critical activities—often armed combat—contrary to the U.S. military's own doctrine of how civilians should be employed in the field. Everything from handling military logistics and training the local army, to protecting key installations and escorting convoys has been turned over to a literal small army's worth of private troops.

This expansion arose not out of a well-planned strategy, but from a process that can at best be described as ad hoc. The public and Congress remain largely unaware, and the senior military leadership is in denial about the size and scope of such firms, but many in the military's junior and field ranks have begun to ask questions about what such outsourcing will mean in the long term. Papers within the professional war college system have asked: How does such outsourcing so many of its core tasks affect the health of the military institution? Does dependence on the marketplace bring new vulnerabilities in war zones? What is the exact legal status of the contracting firms and their employees, not just within outdated international law, but also within U.S. military regulations that consider contractors to be "civilians accompanying the force," not integral to its very operations? Is the military even equipped to be a business-savvy client and an efficient regulator?

Iraq is the largest private military market in modern history and also a testing ground for just how far the outsourcing trend will play out for the U.S. military. While vast areas within the operation have been turned over to private firms, helping to minimize the political costs of the war, the killings in Fallujah illustrate that outsourcing is never without cost. Indeed, the tragic deaths have raised two more key issues that continue to trouble the broader military-contractor relationship in Iraq: 1) private military firms, or PMFs, are integral to, but not within, the military operation, and 2) there are no universally established standards or even operating procedures, leaving too much to market discretion. In an era when "jointness" (the ability of the armed services to work with and depend on each other) is the dominant buzzword for transforming the Pentagon, the U.S. military is ignoring a critical disconnect.

Although PMFs take on the full range of military roles within Iraq, at the end of the day they are not part of the force. As Nigel Churton, chief executive officer of Control Risks, a firm that has about 500 personnel in Iraq, notes, "I think the key points one has to start from [are] we're not now military. We cannot pretend that we have the ability to respond like a military force can."

The consequence is that PMFs are independent entities, responsible for their own operations, safety and security. They do not receive full or timely access to the military and CIA's complete intelligence picture, do not have full access to the military's communications net, and, when out in the field on their own, do not have access to the same weapons, established systems of rapid reaction and response, or protection.

The lack of formally shared information on current threats and ongoing or planned operations is a crucial missing link. Military officers question why or how exactly the military should share confidential information with entities that not only lie outside their chain of command but also often hire local Iraqi and third-party nationals. But, according to one firm executive, the lack of information means that contractors are "flying blind, often guessing about places that they shouldn't go." For example, before the Fallujah killings, Marines were preparing their own operations in the vicinity as a follow-up to fighting in the city a week earlier, and the intelligence was that insurgents in the town were prepped for ambush.

These contradictions carry over to critical differences in the field. When contractor units are attacked, they must deal with the situation, in the words of one executive, "completely on their own." The difficulty is compounded in Iraq. One of the very few restrictions that the CPA applies to the firms is an upper threshold on their armaments, limiting them to small arms. So, while contractors in other war zones wield heavy weaponry and call in air strikes from contractor-manned jet fighters and attack helicopters, in Iraq, where they face the greatest risks, they are often outgunned by local insurgents. For instance, while Fallujah was a city that U.S. military units were allowed to enter only if accompanied by an up-armored vehicle equipped with heavy machine guns or more, the contractors were limited to SUVs armed only with automatic rifles.

The United States has put civilians in a war zone, asked them to carry out key military tasks, but restricted their ability to accomplish those tasks, let alone protect themselves. However, loosening the rules and allowing contractors to bring in heavy weaponry would further call into question the lack of sufficient U.S. forces on the ground, besides raising all sorts of legal and political red flags. But not allowing contractors to do so, particularly when they are singled out for attack because of their greater vulnerability, is costing lives—and hostages.

Regardless of the policy, many contractors feel they have to respond. As Malcolm Nance, the head of one firm in Baghdad, notes, "We are going to have to get heavy now, although discreetly. Some people already carry grenades, although I wouldn't do it because it's not permitted by the coalition. But in markets in Baghdad, you can pick them for $1 apiece, and I suspect a lot of people will be shopping there soon ... It's not just the coalition armies who are fighting this war now."

The rights and responsibilities between the military and its contractors also constitute an uncertain, gray zone. As opposed to what happens with a U.S. soldier, the military is under no compulsion to launch a full-scale search when a contractor goes missing. For instance, the U.S. military has spent 13 years searching for Navy Capt. Scott Speicher, whose plane crashed during the 1991 Gulf War. But when Kirk von Ackermann, a former Air Force captain working for Istanbul-based Ultra Services, disappeared outside Tikrit in November, the response was not a frantic mobilization or house-to-house hunt. Instead, von Ackerman's photo was given to local Iraqi police, and little has been heard of the incident since. Indeed, the difference carries all the way to when PMFs employees are killed; the firms are responsible for notifying the families, deciding what level of grief counseling to provide, and shipping the bodies home. A PMF executive I spoke with grumbled that when one of his employees was killed in western Iraq, the only support he got from the U.S. military unit in his sector "was a free body bag."

The obligations of the military when contractors are under attack is another area where the disconnect surfaces. One of the most disturbing aspects of the fighting in Kut was how all three outnumbered contractor contingents requested coalition military assistance, but received none. All were forced to "self-evacuate," to the detriment of their safety, their missions, and the overall operation. The Hart Group unit, which had one contractor bleed to death while stranded on the rooftop, made so many fruitless calls for help that its mobile phone batteries ran out during the night.

Private contractors complain that in this area they give more than they get. Scott Custer, a principal with Custer Battles, comments, "We've responded to the military at least half a dozen times, but not once have they responded to our emergencies. We have our own quick-reaction force now." For instance, when an Army helicopter crashed in Fallujah in November, nearby PMF forces rushed to defend the crash site. By contrast, many contractors ask whether the Marines would have intervened more rapidly in Fallujah if the corpses treated in such a barbaric manner had been those of Marines; instead, the Marines waited six hours only to send in Iraqi security to retrieve the bodies. (Marine officers respond that to have rushed in would only have inflamed the situation and that, because of they and the PMFs were not in communication, they only learned of the mutilations from the media.)

The problems of this PMF-military disconnect also deeply concern serving military officers. Clarified command and control is essential for commanders in the field. Military officers say that it is "so important it is one of the observed [that is, most fundamental] principles of war." One officer notes, "Not to be overly dramatic, but the centrality of having clear command and control in our profession relates to the obvious and direct impact it has on lives when we engage in combat. Doctrinally, every written/formal order we produce has a section that deals with command and control."

Unity of command may be a fundamental concept, but in Iraq, it is already lost. Officers must worry about armed forces operating within their sector of responsibility but outside the bounds of their authority. Many of these contractors work directly for the CPA, which coordinates and communicates only on a limited basis with the normal U.S. military chain of command. Others work for entities other than the CPA, such as construction firms and media companies. Thus, local military commanders are often unaware of the daily actions of firms in their zones of responsibility. This disconnect is not just a simple point of discomfort for officers: "Friendly fire" incidents have even broken out between contractor and coalition convoys.

Failures of command and control can have great consequences for the mission. Local populations are generally unable to distinguish between public and private forces, and as journalist David Wood of the Newhouse News Service writes, in Iraq, "a single misstep can ignite a spiral of political violence." Retired Army Col. Robert Killebrew describes the predicament as follows: "You want very, very tight control. The issue is not so much their safety, although we worry about them. The question is: What does this [private contingents getting into firefights] do to American legitimacy in the country?"

Military jurists are equally concerned that by ignoring the well-thought-out doctrine on civilians' role in warfare, contractors now operate in a legal no man's land, beyond established boundaries of military or international law. If a U.S. soldier is suspected of committing a crime, there are the military criminal investigations, judge advocate, and court-martial system set up to investigate, prosecute and punish if appropriate. But contractors do not fall under this system and thus are generally self-policing entities. Rumors abound about PMF friendly-fire incidents, drunken firefights, and accidental discharges of weapons, but there is little that a firm can do other than fire its employees. Dismissal is even less likely when firm executives are implicated.

In turn, the worst that the combatant commander can do if a crime is presented to him is suspend the firm's contract and expel the individual employee from the theater, again clearly insufficient punishment for felony offenses. The 2000 Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act does not provide legal recourse, because it applies only to U.S. citizens working directly for the Defense Department on U.S. military installations, not to those working for other government agencies or private entities, or to other nationalities. Moreover, military jurists describe the "dearth of doctrine, policy and procedure" about when and how to apply the act, and no PMF employee in Iraq—American or foreign—has been held accountable under it.

Thus regulation is left to the local government, the irony being of course that the collapse of the local state is usually the very reason the firm is there in the first place. In Iraq, just as it was unlikely we would turn contractors suspected of crimes over to Saddam Hussein's regime during the war, so it is equally unlikely we would turn them over to the Iraqi interim council. In turn, it is unlikely the council would have either the interest or capacity to deal with contractor issues.

The second key dilemma results from the fact that private military operations are carried out by competing firms operating in a fluctuating and sometimes unpredictable marketplace. Contractors thus have no common standard for recruitment, vetting, training, weapons, appearance, tactics. As one former Special Forces veteran said, "The military really can't tell you how to do your job—they can advise you, but they really have no control over you."


The result is that, as in any other industry, the companies diverge in the information they collect, the quality of their personnel and recruiting, their methods for evaluating risk, and their operational procedures. Knowledge of the battlefield means not just power but profits. Yet the firms not only do not have ready access to the military's intelligence, getting only a delayed and "sanitized" version from the CPA, but also do not have any formal procedures or institutionalized incentives for sharing the local knowledge they have gathered. While there are certainly informal information transfers among clusters of firms, there is no central repository of intelligence or systemized threat analysis across the industry. Indeed, such a system would denude the leading firms of their very competitive advantage.

Many soldiers and analysts express admiration for the professionalism of and the difficult jobs carried out by firms such as Blackwater and others. But all realize that not every firm can be the best and that, at the lower end of the market space, some are barely competent, if that. This has become a particular concern in what executives term the Iraqi "gold rush." The firms in Iraq range from well-established firms with thousands of years of collective experience in war zones, to start-ups that did not exist before the war. As Scott Custer of Custer Battles notes, "You've got a whole host of fly-by-night and disreputable companies. They're terrible. They get people killed."

Because of this loose and lethal environment, some of the best-respected firms in the industry have avoided Iraq altogether. For example, ICI is a firm with a strong operating history in some of the world's worst war zones, including Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 1998, the State Department named it small contractor of the year. Its president, Brian Boquist, is a former Green Beret. "In Iraq it is the Wild West," Boquist writes. "Almost none of them [the security firms in Iraq] have any real experience in war zones. We have stayed out of the place as it disintegrates from an insurgency to a civil war."

One of the challenges of the booming PMF market in Iraq is that demand is now outpacing supply, and the once tight-knit community, where every employee knew and had worked with every other, has been cracked wide open. David Claridge, head of Janusian, said, "There is a shortage of quality labor. Hiring people takes time now, whereas before we had a database of people we could just call up. Now we have to wait for people to come off other jobs." Claridge added, in an interview with NPR: "We are aware as an industry that perhaps some of the people being employed in Iraq—because of the massive demand for labor—some are perhaps not up to the task. As I say and I reiterate that this is not referring specifically to the individuals here [those killed in Fallujah], but we have seen a number of security operatives die during the last seven days, and we have to make sure that everyone providing services there is professionally trained and up to the task."

Firm seek to meet this labor shortage in different ways. Some continue the practice of hiring only personnel that are personally vetted and known by the company leaders beforehand. But this comes at the cost of lower employee rolls and lost revenue opportunities. Others pull in a grab bag of skill sets and backgrounds as they multiplied their numbers. What it means to be "Ghurka," "commando," or even "Special Forces" has a looser standard. But now, as Paul Rees, the managing director of Centurion, noted to Knight Ridder News, the labor market is so tight that firms are hiring people who don't know when to fire at attackers and when not to.

With no planning and a limited staff, as one senior Defense Department official comments, "the CPA has let all kinds of contracts to all kinds of people. It's blindsided us." At times, not only the lesser skilled but also some particularly disturbing characters have made it through the limited vetting, which can involve little more than sending in one's résumé. For example, British forces were not pleased to learn that a former soldier convicted of working with Irish terrorists had been hired by the ArmorGroup firm (which has a reported 600 personnel in Iraq) and granted clearance to enter U.S. and British bases in Iraq. (After an Irish newspaper reported the story, the employee was suspended.) South African political activists have identified a number of the contractors in Iraq from appearances before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including one who admitted to firebombing more than 60 homes for the apartheid regime.

Where the billing is done by the day in a madly expanding market, the labor crunch also affects preparation. Experienced employees complain that pre-deployment briefing and training, important not only for honing sometimes rusty skills, but also for building small-unit cohesion in combat, have been shortened and in some cases even eliminated. It is important to note that some skills needed in the private military world, such as evasive-driving tactics, are not regularly taught in the military, so private contractors cannot exclusively rely on past training. As one PMF executive says, "Just because you used to be a SEAL doesn't mean you'll know how to handle every problem in a place like Iraq."

Each firm determines its own standards and procedures, and there is no formal regulation or even an industry self-regulatory mechanism to establish them or to police and punish those who fall below standards. While the best firms will blackball rogue or incapable employees, the industry has grown so huge and the clients remain so clueless that such tagging offers minimal recourse. For instance, industry insiders could only shake their heads when one firm invited CNN "Crossfire" talk-show host Tucker Carlson to ride along on a mission into Iraq. Not only did the firm's personnel give the conservative pundit an AK-47 to wield in the middle of a volatile war zone, but when they needed gas, Carlson and crew took over an Iraqi gas station by holding local civilians waiting in line at gunpoint. (One hopes he wasn't wearing his trademark bowtie, which would have only added to the local insult.) Carlson described the incident with proud delight in Esquire magazine, apparently not understanding the multiple industry sins that had been committed. Firms also greatly vary in their tactics and operations. For example, in the role of escort and protection, some firms opt to stay under the radar of potential adversaries. They purchase local vehicles, grow beards to blend in, and keep weapons hidden until needed. Others "cowboy up" and attempt to deter threats through posturing. They are recognizable by their web gear, Oakley sunglasses, cradled submachine guns, and brand-new black or white SUVs that can act as magnets for ambush: a mode of operation that is a huge point of contention in the industry.

Risk evaluation, likewise, differs by firm. In the PMF realm, risk incorporates battlefield threats as well as investment hazards. With differing intelligence collection and analysis capabilities (some create an in-house cell; others don't), each firm weighs the risks using all sorts of metrics. The Monday morning quarterbacking of the Fallujah decisions has already begun, illustrating how various firms evaluate situations. Jonathan Garratt, the group managing director of Erinys, has publicly noted that he would have insisted his clients avoid Fallujah altogether. "It's very dangerous. As a generalization, Fallujah is out of bounds on our map. We would only go through there in armored vehicles and a significant security force to defeat all threats." Military officers have even suggested that if the decision to go into a "no go" area like Fallujah without the required up-armored vehicles and heavy weapons had been made within the military, the officer in charge "could expect a court-martial hearing." In response, Blackwater officials have said that their units may have been tricked into entering the town by turncoat Iraqi security forces, leaving aside the point that they didn't have access to such weapons in the first place.

The blame casting will likely continue, and may even result in civil suits, but the underlying point holds true that firms evaluate risks differently. This carries over to their life insurance packages—a complaint of the Chilean hired unit is that their contracting firm chose a poor one without their understanding—or the backup support they guarantee—some firms pay the cost of having a quick-reaction force in place, ready to rush to the rescue, while others save money by hoping for the best.

Another important difference between the PMFs and the military is that even individual members of firms can weigh the risks in deciding their own involvement. In the wake of last week's killings, many employees decided it was best to change their job locales, regardless of the heady pay. As one Halliburton employee departing Iraq commented, after his truck blew up underneath him in a convoy attack, "It was time to come home." Similarly, Michael Cherkasky, the president of Kroll, may have 100 employees on the ground in Iraq, but admits that he has chosen not to go. When asked why, he replied, "Are you kidding? I will fly into Kuwait. I will fly into Jordan. I will not fly into Iraq."

In contrast to military standardization, there is a simple market reality at play in Iraq: Each firm has its own approach (which each thinks is the best), but not every firm's recruiting, information and operating procedures can be the best, and some are not even optimal. Every industry has its winners and losers, but the price of establishing those in the private military world is different than in other marketplaces. This issue is compounded by the lack of formal weeding-out processes or the establishment of minimum capabilities, inherent needs in the military environment. One Special Forces veteran goes further: "How these contractors operate is determined by the individual companies. There's no such thing as a 'best practice.' It's a question of sheer economics—how much is the client willing to pay?"

Within the private military industry itself, the killings in Fallujah were shocking but not unexpected. As opposed to the first few months of the war, when contractor attrition was rumored to be as high as 30 percent (comparing quite poorly to the zero percent of U.S. soldiers that are able to decide to return home), those now going into Iraq know that it is an active war zone. Indeed, two contractors working for the Olive Security firm had been killed outside Mosul just days before the Fallujah incident, the main difference being that their deaths were not recorded on film. However, the Fallujah incident, followed so rapidly by the mass violence and the incidents in Najaf and Kut, caused most of the firms to reexamine their procedures, risk factors, and reliance on military support that may not be there. Christopher Bees, a director at ArmorGroup, says, "It'd be fair to say that anyone involved in the business in Iraq is bound to take a second look at what they do."

Disturbed by the upswing in violence and the lack of military backing and coordination, at least four military contractors (Halliburton, Triple Canopy, AKE and Control Risks) were reported by journalists and CPA officials to be reconsidering the extent of their presence in Iraq, and they suspended key parts of their operations as they waited for the situation to settle. However, most indicators are that Fallujah killings won't collapse the energetic PMF market in Iraq. The pay scale remains so high that those leaving will likely find ready replacements. In the days after the killings, I was contacted by two firms looking for advice on how they might crack the market, including one that had never operated in a war zone before.

So, while the boom for PMFs in Iraq certainly can't last forever, it bodes to be lucrative while it does. Duncan Bullivant of Henderson Risk notes, "I wouldn't give it more than another year at this level. The bubble will burst, but there's an immense drive to cash in while it lasts." U.S. plans for the transition to Iraqi sovereignty mean an even greater use of private contractors, such as a contract worth up to $1 billion to take over the responsibility for protecting the Green Zone, the four-square-mile area in central Baghdad where coalition officials live and work. Who knows, perhaps the PMF bubble may last longer than the dot.com one did.

The greater challenge looks to be how the broader business community responds to Fallujah and its aftermath. The cornerstone of the Bush administration's plan to turn the corner in Iraq is the transfer to local Iraqi sovereignty on June 30 and the simultaneous dump of some $18 billion in reconstruction contracts over the summer. It was hoped that the massive infusion of aid would draw in outside business and create an upsurge of employment that would dry out the insurgency.

But, instead, the Fallujah killings and the ensuing outbreak of fighting in six cities might have sucked the wind out of the corporate participation necessary to making the plan a reality. Those already on-site have restricted their movement and activity ("no go" areas have ballooned), while a number of other firms set to enter the country have cancelled. The head of the firm Meyer and Associates, which provides protection for a number of contractors, reports that "right now everything is at a standstill." Among the lesser-noticed victims of Fallujah was the Baghdad Expo, the largest conference planned by the Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was to highlight business opportunities in postwar Iraq, with more than 200 companies scheduled to attend. The day after the killings, it was postponed.

So while the PMF industry has boomed, the accompanying investment needed to prop up the Iraqi economy has not (which could indirectly undercut the PMF industry in the long term). Companies know that the insurgents' strategy is to weaken the coalition by targeting them, and thus many firms are waiting on the sidelines for the situation to stabilize and a real, functional Iraqi government somehow to come into being. As one potential investor commented after a U.S. Commerce Department briefing on investment in Iraq, "The carrot that's being waved in front of everybody is that we should get involved on the ground floor. But this is below the ground floor. There are too many other markets now that are stable."

This reluctance derives from more than a fear of going into a war zone; rather, it represents real financial calculations. As the situation has grown increasingly dangerous, insurance premiums have skyrocketed. Because the Defense Department had no policy on it beforehand, Bunny Greenhouse, chief contracting official for the Army Corps of Engineers, relates that for contractors in Iraq as much as 40 cents of every dollar is spent on insurance. "Why are we paying 40 percent? That's unbelievable ... Nobody foresaw that we were going to be in this kind of dilemma." While Greenhouse is wrong —the experts on Iraq did predict the current turmoil, just as industry analysts pointed out the dangers of such poor planning—the insurance problem is yet another illustration of the costs of an ad hoc approach to doing business in the realm of war.

In turn, security costs have escalated, which is a boon for the PMF industry, but not for the broader effort. Many construction firms, such as Washington Group International, now have to employ two security personnel for every one worker carrying out the actual contracted task. Just before Fallujah, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the inspector general for the CPA, estimated that at least 10 cents of every reconstruction dollar in Iraq was spent for security, up from 7 cents in the fall of 2003. If the present spate of violence continues, industry insiders think it might grow to as much as 20 cents per dollar. As a point of comparison, security costs for oil operations in war-torn Colombia average about 6 cents per dollar.

These added costs mean that the reconstruction package funded by taxpayers may not go as far as hoped (Bowen contended that as much as $4 billion could be spent on security), perhaps requiring even more funding on top of the previous budget supplementals. Already, the CPA has had to transfer $184 million meant for clean-water projects, the kind of aid package that seeks to bolster local popularity, to cover spiraling security costs for its own installations. Additionally, these added costs mean that within firms' investment calculations, the threshold for turning a profit has been raised, further deterring outside investment. Bowen writes, "The inability to accurately predict the costs of security, including insurance, raises questions about the need for more funding—Iraqi, donor, or U.S.—to accomplish the reconstruction mission ... We are in this big gray area about how security concerns will affect reconstruction timelines."

In a recent campaign speech, President Bush proclaimed that "America must never outsource America's national security." Once again, the gap between rhetoric and reality is yawning.

While Bush was trying to make a point about U.S. relations with the international community, the fact is that the United States has indeed outsourced major portions of its effort in the war in Iraq. More important, it has done so in an ad hoc manner, without public awareness or discussion.

The private military industry is such a new phenomenon that most in Congress remain unaware of it. In turn, the issue is highly susceptible to partisan rancor, mainly because of the identity and political practices of some of the firms. For instance, simply mention the name Halliburton in a congressional hearing and the battle line is already drawn. Unfortunately, this ends rather than begins the inquiry, even though questions about the private military industry cut to the heart of national security and our soldiers' welfare.

In the wake of the shock over Fallujah, this may change. A group of senators led by former West Pointer Jack Reed, D-R.I., has requested that the Pentagon begin the basic accounting task of tallying the number of armed non-Iraqi private military personnel on the ground. They have also requested that the Pentagon begin to adopt written guidelines, with legal justifications, for the rules of engagement the firms must follow, as well as how they will be coordinated with U.S. and sovereign Iraqi forces. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has not yet responded.

Those are good first steps, but they do not go far enough. To put it in economic terms, privatization always comes with both positive and negative externalities. The onus is not on the contracting firm, but on the client, in this case the U.S. government, to guard its own interests and make sure the job is done right. We must set up the processes needed to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives.

A clear examination is needed to bring higher standards and greater clarity into our current and future military outsourcing decisions. This need goes beyond tracking the armed personnel. It includes a basic accounting of the broader realm of contractor forces, public transparency of contractor casualties, and an examination of what is being spent. The U.S. budget on the service side of war has tripled in the last decade. We need far better financial scrutiny of contract competitions, awards and oversight to ensure that money is being saved through outsourcing (no formal study has yet proven this). Serious thinking must take account of such fundamental military questions as command and control, rights and responsibilities for both the good and the bad times, legal status, and the establishment of industry standards on recruiting, procedures and intelligence.

We should also take a step back and examine the overall trend, rather than continue to breathlessly outsource. Just because we can turn something over to the private market does not always mean we should. Two basic questions must always be asked before handing over any public function, most particularly to private military firms: Is the function being privatized in symmetry with national security and the public interest? If so, how will this privatization save money and promote efficiency? Unfortunately, our CEO-filled defense leadership has forgotten Economics 101 and brushed aside basic issues of public accountability. Instead, it has outsourced first and not even bothered to ask questions later.


© Copyright 2004 Salon.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

Note: The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and should not be attributed to the staff, officers or trustees of The Brookings Institution




Peace.

Erik






[Edited on 3/5/2007 by CEEJ]


gina - 3/6/2007 at 12:16 AM

The cost in the lives of those who don't get killed but still have their lives shattered nevertheless.

60,000 Marriages Broken by Iraq, Including Mine

By Stacy Bannerman, The Progressive. Posted March 5, 2007.

When one military wife got the news that her husband was coming home from Iraq, they didn't tell her he was going to bring the war back with him. Tools

I was folding fliers for a high school workshop on nonviolence when my husband, a mortar platoon sergeant with the Army National Guard 81st Brigade, walked into my office and said, "I got the call."

We hadn't talked about the possibility of him being deployed for months, not since President Bush had declared, "Mission accomplished." But I knew exactly what he meant; I didn't know then what it would mean for us.

We weren't prepared, and neither was the Guard. The Guard sent him into harm's way without providing some of the basic equipment and materials, such as global positioning systems, night vision gear, and insect repellant, that he would rely on during his year-long tour of duty at LSA Anaconda, the most-attacked base in Iraq, as determined by the sheer number of incoming rockets and mortars, which averaged at least five per day.

Unlike active duty military, the National Guard had no functional family support system or services in place. While the Guard was scrambling to get it together, my husband was already gone, and I was alone, just months after we had moved to Seattle.

Twenty-four hours after Lorin boarded the plane for Iraq, I hung a blue star service flag -- denoting an immediate family member in combat -- in the front window. Then I closed the blinds, hoping to keep the harbingers of death at bay. They still got in, through the phone, the Internet, the newspaper, and the TV.

Each week, I heard of a friend's husband or son: wounded, maimed, shot, hit, hurt, burned, amputated, decapitated, detonated, dead. A glossary of pain. I checked icasualties.org all the time, cursing and crying as the numbers rose relentlessly, praying that Lorin wouldn't be next.

I got involved with Military Families Speak Out, which is exactly what the name suggests: an organization of people with loved ones in uniform who are adamantly opposed to the war in Iraq. We were breaking the military's traditional code of silence by publicly protesting this war, and the pushback was intense, particularly for military wives. I was ostracized by the women married to men in my husband's company, and my husband was reprimanded by his superior officers. I was an "unruly spouse," and Lorin could "expect adverse career consequences."

I thought being forced to serve in a war based on lies was itself an "adverse consequence." I said as much during an interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews, which just happened to be broadcast on the big-screen TV during lunchtime in the mess tent at Anaconda. Lorin didn't see it, but approximately 5,000 of the troops he was serving with did. He heard about it for weeks, but never asked me to stop. He had his own questions and concerns about Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During the run-up to the war, when 76 percent of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq, we protested in the streets of Spokane. But he was contractually bound and committed to his men. He clung to what he'd been briefed on regarding the Guard's mission in Iraq, which included building schools for kids.

Two months into his deployment, I got a call from him, and he said, choking up, that there was an "accident." Two Iraqi children were dead because he gave the order to fire a couple of mortar rounds. Several weeks later, he phoned again, his voice flat and emotionless, to tell me that the men he had dinner with the previous night had been killed by the same Iraqi soldiers that they were training six hours earlier.

Days went by without any communication -- anxious hours, restless nights. I swerved between anger and fear.

His e-mails were sometimes delayed, or returned to him as undeliverable, with portions blacked out by military censors. The ones that got through asked for more homemade treats, baby wipes, batteries, movies, and magazines. One missive informed me about rockets landing next to the trailer where he slept ... while he was in bed. Another ended abruptly because he was under attack.

Lorin spent hours loading coffins onto cargo jets; I spent days on red alert.

Finally, the phone rang with the news that my husband was coming home, after nearly a year in Iraq. They didn't tell me he'd bring the war with him.

He'd been back for almost two months, but he was still checking to see where his weapon was every time he got in a vehicle. He drove aggressively, talked aggressively, and sometimes I could swear that he was breathing aggressively. This was not the man I married, this hard-eyed, hyper-vigilant stranger who spent his nights watching the dozens of DVDs that he got from soldiers he served with in Iraq. He couldn't sleep, and missed the adrenaline surge of constant, imminent danger. The amateur videos of combat eased the ache of withdrawal from war, but did nothing to heal my soldier's heart.

At a conference on post-deployment care and services for soldiers and their families, a Marine Corps chaplain asked, "How do you know if you're an SOB? Your wife will tell you!"

Har-de-har-har-har. The remark got the predictable round of applause from the capacity crowd, which, with one exception, wasn't living with anyone who had recently returned from Iraq. I was that exception, and it infuriated me that this was a joke. The Pentagon's solution for the constant stress endured by those of us who felt bewildered and betrayed was: "Learn how to laugh." With help from the Pentagon's chief laughter instructor, families of National Guard members were learning to walk like a penguin, laugh like a lion, and blurt "ha, ha, hee, hee, and ho, ho."

Emotional isolation is one of the hallmarks of post-combat mental health problems. The National Guard didn't conduct follow-up mental health screening or evaluations of the men in my husband's company until they had been home for almost eight months. Nearly a year later, in August of 2006, my husband was informed of his results: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It was obvious that he was suffering, but when I brought it up, he parroted what the military told him: "Give it time."

Time wasn't a panacea for Jeffrey Lucey, Doug Barber, or the dozens of other Guard members and Reservists who have committed suicide after serving in Iraq. Time hasn't helped the hundreds of homeless Iraq War veterans wandering lost in the streets of what military families are assured is a deeply grateful nation. Time is most definitely not on our side.

My husband has served his time with the Guard. He's got more than twenty-three years of actual service, and almost twenty years of "good time" that qualifies him for retirement benefits.

But then he learned about a few loopholes. Now, if he serves as a member in good standing for 364 days in a year, instead of 365, that year isn't credited as time served toward his retirement. If he's deemed irreplaceable -- he's one of a handful of mortar platoon sergeants who've seen combat -- the Guard can retain him for several more years after his contract expires.

He is surprised by this, but I'm not. I no longer expect that the Department of Defense will keep its promises to the soldiers or their families. I don't pretend that the Pentagon will adhere to its policies. And I know from experience that "support the troops" is a slogan, and not a practice.

On January 11, 2007, the Pentagon discarded the time limit that prevented Guard members and Reservists from serving more than 24 total months on active duty for either the Iraq or Afghan wars. The Pentagon's announcement came in the wake of President Bush's decision to deploy an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.

The escalation contradicts the advice of top U.S. military officials. Although the majority of Americans are opposed to the "surge," most members of Congress are reluctant to block the supplemental appropriations request that will fund it, claiming that they don't want to abandon the troops. Congress has abandoned the troops for nearly four years. It is the soldiers, their families, and the people of Iraq that pay the human costs. The tab so far: more than 3,000 dead U.S. troops, tens of thousands of wounded, over half a million Iraqi casualties, roughly 250,000 American servicemen and women struggling with PTSD, and almost 60,000 military marriages that have been broken by this war. Including mine.

It was hard to reconnect after more than a year apart, and the open wound of untreated PTSD made it virtually impossible. Lorin is still the best evidence I have of God's grace in this world, but we just couldn't find our way back together after the war came home.

Stacy Bannerman is the author of "When the War Came Home: The Inside Story of Reservists and the Families They Leave Behind." She is a member of Military Families Speak Out, www.mfso.org, and can be contacted at her website, stacybannerman.com.




bigann - 3/6/2007 at 01:42 AM

Thank you for the article Gina. Very heartfelt and incredibly sad.


ruthelane - 3/6/2007 at 04:30 AM

Gina, Thank you so much for posting this article.
I wish I could say I am shocked, but, really, I am
not even surprised.

Squatch, You are so right on this topic.


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 01:09 PM

quote:
There you go, folks.....yet again....no answer.


I gave you the best answer for the loaded question you asked. In short, its not a black and white issue. But, you know that. I also asked you questions relevant to your own. I dont see any answers here from you either. I know you too well to know that you think others wont check your work, so Im asking you to support your argument before I waste a bunch of time digging out the truth of your so-called "situational ethics" regarding the Russians.


quote:
All this time you have said that there was no Saddam- Iraqi Sunni and Al Qeada connection because their ideologies were different, and now your saying that they are the same??


Oh lord. No, there was no connections between Saddam and Al Queda. Stop trying to make one. Your semi-rational points of discussion go right out the window when you start in with the RW fantasy crap.

quote:
Islamo-fascists attacked America.


Youre right! Theres a cookie for you in the hallway.

quote:
When did the nazis attack America??


Pretty sure it was Kasserine Pass.

quote:
Who killed the most Americans on American soil?


The Union Army? Seriously though, if we are going to follow your logic, then you are equating the militant islamists to one of the largest and most formidable military armies in the history of the world? The same army and nation that had a goal of world domination and who actually had the means to carry it out? The same army that had an airforce, navy and army. Dozens of armored divisions, bombers, fighters etc. Yes, I can surely see the parallels between the Nazis and militant Islam. You guys are so desperate to tie your war with Islam to an actual struggle for survival that you will say the most ridiculous things.

quote:
"This was not a defeat of ideology"???????????????????????????

Unreal.



Whats unreal is that you think helping to foster the financial collapse of Russia (outspending them) equated to a defeat of an idea. Interesting that during all this talk of how dead communism is, you havent once mentioned Chavez, who according to you, is the next big thing in communism. Why is that? Heck, you dont even mention Castro..or China..or NK.


sibwalker - 3/6/2007 at 01:37 PM

Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


bigann - 3/6/2007 at 05:28 PM

March deaths - 22
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,185

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 223
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,123

Mission Accomplished day 1,420


SantaCruzBluz - 3/6/2007 at 05:56 PM

quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.


bigann - 3/6/2007 at 06:20 PM

Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 06:21 PM

quote:
Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


Hey, look on the bright side, Ann. Cheney finally saw combat the other day.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/6/2007 at 06:47 PM

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
There you go, folks.....yet again....no answer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



I gave you the best answer for the loaded question you asked. In short, its not a black and white issue. But, you know that. I also asked you questions relevant to your own. I dont see any answers here from you either. I know you too well to know that you think others wont check your work, so Im asking you to support your argument before I waste a bunch of time digging out the truth of your so-called "situational ethics" regarding the Russians.



What a boatload of diversionary BS, yet a typical response from the 'no core values whatsoever' Left. Answer the question.

Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin in WWII or not??

quote:
so Im asking you to support your argument before I waste a bunch of time digging out the truth of your so-called "situational ethics" regarding the Russians.



Support what argument?? What the hell are you talking about??

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
All this time you have said that there was no Saddam- Iraqi Sunni and Al Qeada connection because their ideologies were different, and now your saying that they are the same??
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Oh lord. No, there was no connections between Saddam and Al Queda. Stop trying to make one. Your semi-rational points of discussion go right out the window when you start in with the RW fantasy crap.



How did I just try to connect Saddam with Al Qeada?? I pointed out your duplicitous bullsh*t. Are you even bright enough to understand what is written?? Once again, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada in response to your post below,

quote:
LOL.. you dont even know the difference between factions and ideology. Derek, please, shut the fark up until you can get a grasp on things you dont know anything about. The core philosophies are the same. Ideology doesnt change.




quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
"This was not a defeat of ideology"???????????????????????????

Unreal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Whats unreal is that you think helping to foster the financial collapse of Russia (outspending them) equated to a defeat of an idea. Interesting that during all this talk of how dead communism is, you havent once mentioned Chavez, who according to you, is the next big thing in communism. Why is that? Heck, you dont even mention Castro..or China..or NK.


One last time as I try to enlighten the unenlightenable - Underneath everything to do with Russia and the Soviet Union was the concept of communism. When folks defected from the Soviet Bloc, it was to escape communism. When the Soviets forced its citizens to stay within its borders, as Castro and Il Kim still do, or if a citizen did travel they never let whole families do so at the same time, it was to further perpetuate communism. When the call for the Berlin Wall to fall came, it was to go against communism. When folks were shot in the back trying to escape East Berlin, it was to escape communism. When the Soviet Union expanded its empire, it was to expand communism. I know first hand, because, as I have told about countless times on here, I was a part of helping Soviet, Hungarian, Polish defectors to make it here in America in the 1970's and 80's after they escaped communism, and even spent countless hours talking with, living with, breaking bread with the Soviet citizens and cultural exchange liasons who visited my best friend's father on a regular basis, he being one of the pre-eminent Russian language teachers in the country - (Henry Ziegler of Princeton High School, Cincinnati, Ohio who was also the President, Slava; Chair, U.S. Olympiada Committee; Board of Directors, American Council of Teachers of Russian, and author of 1982's "My Russian Program Is Alive and Growing." http://tinyurl.com/2cwmnt)

The Soviet citizens who visited us for months at a time were not allowed to travel with their spouses or family members at the same time, because communism splits them up so they have to come back. But, some Soviet visitors to us did defect anyway, and we helped them out as well.

But I understand your underlying leftist loyalties, so this doesn't really surprise me. It accounts for ther fronting for Hugo Chavez.

Past that, what question is it that I am not answering?? Whatever it is, and whoever has one that they feel I'm not answering, bring it on, please, and be specific.

DH


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 07:22 PM

quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.


It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 07:24 PM

quote:
Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


Well in those days, wars of conquest for the personal agrandazement of the King was the order of the day. I guess you want to return to that. Do you have a problem that Lincoln didn't lead the union forces out into battle? Perhaps Roosevelt should have rode in a tank with Patton. That's just silly.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/6/2007 at 07:32 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.


It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.


You've obviously been listening to the propaganda from the right-wing pundits who are putting out the word that "the surge is working." I'd like for someone to explain how you can see such results based on what has happened in the past two weeks. Has it occurred to anyone on the right that the insurgents are "laying low" for the time being, or have directed their efforts in another area? I think we should give the surge a few more weeks before we break out the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

And why would you think that we hear about "American casualties and NOTHING else?" Do you have some source of information the rest of us don't have? I mean, besides Rush, Bill, and Sean?


bigann - 3/6/2007 at 09:24 PM

quote:
quote:
Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


Well in those days, wars of conquest for the personal agrandazement of the King was the order of the day. I guess you want to return to that. Do you have a problem that Lincoln didn't lead the union forces out into battle? Perhaps Roosevelt should have rode in a tank with Patton. That's just silly.


I may be a number of things....sarcastic, rude, adamant and at times ironic....but I don't deal in just silly. I've noticed that you have a difficult time allowing a statement that we all know is not realistic to stand without charging in with a retort. You constantly make my point that some people have no sense of irony about certain issues. Although in defense of Lincoln, he did travel to Gettysburg to make his address during the war and was often photographed with the troops at various encampments.....and in not a single picture will you see him serving the troops with a plastic turkey.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 09:58 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.


It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.


You've obviously been listening to the propaganda from the right-wing pundits who are putting out the word that "the surge is working." I'd like for someone to explain how you can see such results based on what has happened in the past two weeks. Has it occurred to anyone on the right that the insurgents are "laying low" for the time being, or have directed their efforts in another area? I think we should give the surge a few more weeks before we break out the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

And why would you think that we hear about "American casualties and NOTHING else?" Do you have some source of information the rest of us don't have? I mean, besides Rush, Bill, and Sean?


As I've said before, I don't listen to propogandists of any party. If you are interested, you can surf the net for news that doesn't make the front page of the NY Times or ABC news. You can read people who know what's going on, who have sources and who report on it. People I respect as being straight shooters. One example is Ralph Peters, a retired military intelligence office who has been HIGHLY critical of Bush and Rumsfeld. He sees things starting to change in a positive way. The evidence is not in the casualties or the number of forces but the change in tactics and the reaction of the people we are fighting. Have you read the reports of anyone other than those against the war succeeding? I doubt it.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/6/2007 at 09:59 PM

quote:
I may be a number of things....sarcastic, rude, adamant and at times ironic....but I don't deal in just silly. I've noticed that you have a difficult time allowing a statement that we all know is not realistic to stand without charging in with a retort. You constantly make my point that some people have no sense of irony about certain issues. Although in defense of Lincoln, he did travel to Gettysburg to make his address during the war and was often photographed with the troops at various encampments.....and in not a single picture will you see him serving the troops with a plastic turkey.


I'd say that flying into Baghdad is more dangerous that standing around an encampment.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 10:02 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


Well in those days, wars of conquest for the personal agrandazement of the King was the order of the day. I guess you want to return to that. Do you have a problem that Lincoln didn't lead the union forces out into battle? Perhaps Roosevelt should have rode in a tank with Patton. That's just silly.


I may be a number of things....sarcastic, rude, adamant and at times ironic....but I don't deal in just silly. I've noticed that you have a difficult time allowing a statement that we all know is not realistic to stand without charging in with a retort. You constantly make my point that some people have no sense of irony about certain issues. Although in defense of Lincoln, he did travel to Gettysburg to make his address during the war and was often photographed with the troops at various encampments.....and in not a single picture will you see him serving the troops with a plastic turkey.


And yet all polls show that the majority of troops fighting like and respect the commander in chief. Strange.

I respect your opinions (even when I disagree adamently with them) but I don't respect unfair statements. If you were being ironic it went over my head. I think its unfair to criticize the president of the United States for not leading the troops in person and there seems to be that suggestion once again of the "chicken hawk" which I find highly unfair. I don't think you are silly. But that statement, if meant seriously, is silly. If it wasn't meant seriously then I am the silly one for taking it seriously.


bigann - 3/6/2007 at 10:03 PM

Bullsh*t.....obviously you're not a history buff.....the closest Bush has gotten to a bullet in this war has been in the gun of one of his 'posse.' There is absolutely no comparison to Bush flying into Baghdad and Lincoln in an army encampment at the time. But thank you for playing.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/6/2007 at 10:10 PM

quote:
Bullsh*t.....obviously you're not a history buff.....the closest Bush has gotten to a bullet in this war has been in the gun of one of his 'posse.' There is absolutely no comparison to Bush flying into Baghdad and Lincoln in an army encampment at the time. But thank you for playing.



I'm absolutely a history buff, especially considering what I have had to correct on here at times. Now, obviously Lincoln eventually got it in the head from a sick minded southerner, and officers did want him to take his trademark hat off when out in the field because he made too much of a target should a would be assassin be nearby an encampment , but I still stand by what I said, and would gladly put up my knowledge of history to all but the most researched among us. Apparently you are not aware of what it takes specifially to fly into Baghdad, and apparently don't think it is dangerous simply because Bush was the one flying in at the time, but, that's fine..................


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 10:31 PM

quote:
What a boatload of diversionary BS, yet a typical response from the 'no core values whatsoever' Left. Answer the question.


This from the king of misdirection. Hysterical. Yeah, the Right is just brimming with core values huh?

quote:
Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin in WWII or not??


Loaded question, already answered. See above.

quote:
Support what argument?? What the hell are you talking about??


Do I have to teach you reading comprehension?

quote:
How did I just try to connect Saddam with Al Qeada?? I pointed out your duplicitous bullsh*t. Are you even bright enough to understand what is written?? Once again, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada in response to your post below,


Beats me why you brought up Saddam and AQ. Apparently the actions of a few people means that the whole ideology is changing? Maybe you can clarify your intent.

quote:
One last time as I try to enlighten the unenlightenable - Underneath everything to do with Russia and the Soviet Union was the concept of communism. When folks defected from the Soviet Bloc, it was to escape communism. When the Soviets forced its citizens to stay within its borders, as Castro and Il Kim still do, or if a citizen did travel they never let whole families do so at the same time, it was to further perpetuate communism. When the call for the Berlin Wall to fall came, it was to go against communism. When folks were shot in the back trying to escape East Berlin, it was to escape communism. When the Soviet Union expanded its empire, it was to expand communism. I know first hand, because, as I have told about countless times on here, I was a part of helping Soviet, Hungarian, Polish defectors to make it here in America in the 1970's and 80's after they escaped communism, and even spent countless hours talking with, living with, breaking bread with the Soviet citizens and cultural exchange liasons who visited my best friend's father on a regular basis, he being one of the pre-eminent Russian language teachers in the country - (Henry Ziegler of Princeton High School, Cincinnati, Ohio who was also the President, Slava; Chair, U.S. Olympiada Committee; Board of Directors, American Council of Teachers of Russian, and author of 1982's "My Russian Program Is Alive and Growing." http://tinyurl.com/2cwmnt)

The Soviet citizens who visited us for months at a time were not allowed to travel with their spouses or family members at the same time, because communism splits them up so they have to come back. But, some Soviet visitors to us did defect anyway, and we helped them out as well.


Meanwhile, after you wasted all that time, you still cant admit that communism is alive and well in a number of largely populated countries such as China and NK. Either its been defeated or it hasnt. You dont get it both ways. All of what you said is true. Whats also true is that its still going on today. Russia did not change into something other than Communism. They went broke and fell apart. It had 0 to do with Democracy or anything else related to political ideology. There are fewer Communist nations now than in the past, but that can and will likely, change due to global politics. Youre too shortsighted to see that.

quote:
But I understand your underlying leftist loyalties, so this doesn't really surprise me. It accounts for ther fronting for Hugo Chavez.


LOL..what you understand would fit in a thimble. Stick to music.

quote:
Past that, what question is it that I am not answering?? Whatever it is, and whoever has one that they feel I'm not answering, bring it on, please, and be specific.

DH


I asked you "Did we know then what we know now?" (with regard to Russia at the time) and I added "I doubt it". Beyond that, the Russians would have pursued victory over Germany with or without our help and I believe the outcome would have been the same. I dont know the historical particulars of our alignment with Russia, but I doubt it was a choice of choosing one bad guy over another.




SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 10:32 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.


It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.


What makes you think its working?


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 10:36 PM

quote:
I'd say that flying into Baghdad is more dangerous that standing around an encampment.


Sure you would. You are willfully ignoring the fact that the area he is going into is so sanitized as to be as safe as a city street in Anytown USA. He is at no risk or he wouldnt be going. Its also quite telling that each time is a "surprise visit". If things were as peachy as we are being told, why not just show up with a couple of weeks advance notice?


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 10:41 PM

quote:
I'm absolutely a history buff, especially considering what I have had to correct on here at times.


..and the revisions you spout.

quote:
Apparently you are not aware of what it takes specifially to fly into Baghdad, and apparently don't think it is dangerous simply because Bush was the one flying in at the time, but, that's fine..................


If you honestly think they are going to let Bush get within 20 miles of danger, youre dumber than even I thought you were.


SquatchTexas - 3/6/2007 at 10:41 PM

quote:
I'm absolutely a history buff, especially considering what I have had to correct on here at times.


..and the revisions you spout.

quote:
Apparently you are not aware of what it takes specifially to fly into Baghdad, and apparently don't think it is dangerous simply because Bush was the one flying in at the time, but, that's fine..................


If you honestly think they are going to let Bush get within 20 miles of danger, youre dumber than even I thought you were.


ruthelane - 3/6/2007 at 10:42 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.





It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.



Just how do you know what we read and where we get information? Not enough attention is being given to the dead American soldiers. At this point that is more important to me than anything else and should be on the front page of every newspaper everyday. As for propaganda, the Bush/Cheney bunch are experts at that. I know propaganda and BS when I see it. I've seen plenty
of it in my lifetime. Why do you continue to insist our beliefs come from thinking in a vacuum? Is it because you are so narrow minded you can't accept that others have different views.


bigann - 3/6/2007 at 10:55 PM

When I read a right wing party line that flies in the face of common sense I pause to remember this is the party championed by Ann Coulter and then it all falls into place.

You can't argue with a blind man about the color of the sky.


ruthelane - 3/6/2007 at 11:13 PM

quote:
quote:
Whatever happened to the days when the king would lead the troops into battle? I suppose Bush could never do that because he's too busy doing interviews with Fox and photo ops!


Well in those days, wars of conquest for the personal agrandazement of the King was the order of the day. I guess you want to return to that. Do you have a problem that Lincoln didn't lead the union forces out into battle? Perhaps Roosevelt should have rode in a tank with Patton. That's just silly.


EXCUSE ME! Silly? Ann? You are so wrong. An intelligent, strong minded woman who can hold her on with any of you. When you don't have a good argument you resort to insults. This makes me so angry. Silly? Please.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 11:53 PM

quote:
quote:
What a boatload of diversionary BS, yet a typical response from the 'no core values whatsoever' Left. Answer the question.


This from the king of misdirection. Hysterical. Yeah, the Right is just brimming with core values huh?

quote:
Would you have teamed up with the murdering communist dictator Stalin in WWII or not??


Loaded question, already answered. See above.

quote:
Support what argument?? What the hell are you talking about??


Do I have to teach you reading comprehension?

quote:
How did I just try to connect Saddam with Al Qeada?? I pointed out your duplicitous bullsh*t. Are you even bright enough to understand what is written?? Once again, I pointed out the other day on this thread that even Sunni's were turning against Al Qeada in response to your post below,


Beats me why you brought up Saddam and AQ. Apparently the actions of a few people means that the whole ideology is changing? Maybe you can clarify your intent.

quote:
One last time as I try to enlighten the unenlightenable - Underneath everything to do with Russia and the Soviet Union was the concept of communism. When folks defected from the Soviet Bloc, it was to escape communism. When the Soviets forced its citizens to stay within its borders, as Castro and Il Kim still do, or if a citizen did travel they never let whole families do so at the same time, it was to further perpetuate communism. When the call for the Berlin Wall to fall came, it was to go against communism. When folks were shot in the back trying to escape East Berlin, it was to escape communism. When the Soviet Union expanded its empire, it was to expand communism. I know first hand, because, as I have told about countless times on here, I was a part of helping Soviet, Hungarian, Polish defectors to make it here in America in the 1970's and 80's after they escaped communism, and even spent countless hours talking with, living with, breaking bread with the Soviet citizens and cultural exchange liasons who visited my best friend's father on a regular basis, he being one of the pre-eminent Russian language teachers in the country - (Henry Ziegler of Princeton High School, Cincinnati, Ohio who was also the President, Slava; Chair, U.S. Olympiada Committee; Board of Directors, American Council of Teachers of Russian, and author of 1982's "My Russian Program Is Alive and Growing." http://tinyurl.com/2cwmnt)

The Soviet citizens who visited us for months at a time were not allowed to travel with their spouses or family members at the same time, because communism splits them up so they have to come back. But, some Soviet visitors to us did defect anyway, and we helped them out as well.


Meanwhile, after you wasted all that time, you still cant admit that communism is alive and well in a number of largely populated countries such as China and NK. Either its been defeated or it hasnt. You dont get it both ways. All of what you said is true. Whats also true is that its still going on today. Russia did not change into something other than Communism. They went broke and fell apart. It had 0 to do with Democracy or anything else related to political ideology. There are fewer Communist nations now than in the past, but that can and will likely, change due to global politics. Youre too shortsighted to see that.

quote:
But I understand your underlying leftist loyalties, so this doesn't really surprise me. It accounts for ther fronting for Hugo Chavez.


LOL..what you understand would fit in a thimble. Stick to music.

quote:
Past that, what question is it that I am not answering?? Whatever it is, and whoever has one that they feel I'm not answering, bring it on, please, and be specific.

DH


I asked you "Did we know then what we know now?" (with regard to Russia at the time) and I added "I doubt it". Beyond that, the Russians would have pursued victory over Germany with or without our help and I believe the outcome would have been the same. I dont know the historical particulars of our alignment with Russia, but I doubt it was a choice of choosing one bad guy over another.






China is not ideologically communist anymore. Although NK is a threat to South Korea and the region due to its madman dictator, it is not a risk to export its ideology anywhere else on earth. Ideologically communism is a spent force.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 11:57 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.





It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.



Just how do you know what we read and where we get information? Not enough attention is being given to the dead American soldiers. At this point that is more important to me than anything else and should be on the front page of every newspaper everyday. As for propaganda, the Bush/Cheney bunch are experts at that. I know propaganda and BS when I see it. I've seen plenty
of it in my lifetime. Why do you continue to insist our beliefs come from thinking in a vacuum? Is it because you are so narrow minded you can't accept that others have different views.


I accept that you have different views. I just think they are wrong. I am constantly accused of taking marchinng orders from Hannity and Limbaugh which is a load of crap. If you think the MOST important thing is to trumpet the casualties everyday tot he exclusion of all other news, then you are not interested in our success but our failure. It would be more intellectually honest to just admit this. You want the U.S. to fail in Iraq for whatever reason and the best way to do that is to maximize news of the casualties and minimize any good news. We could not have won any war we were ever forced to fight in under such conditions including WWII and the American Revolution, let alone the Civil War.


dougrhon - 3/6/2007 at 11:58 PM

quote:
When I read a right wing party line that flies in the face of common sense I pause to remember this is the party championed by Ann Coulter and then it all falls into place.

You can't argue with a blind man about the color of the sky.


So this is what it's come to. Supporting the mission of our country is now a "right-wing party line". That makes me sad. But it's probably accurate.


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 12:19 AM

Nope, but the rhetoric being slung around here certainly can be implied as such And if you can explain exactly what the mission IS, please feel free to do so....what it was supposed to be was accomplished 1,420 days ago...since then there really hasn't been a clear mission with a projected goal and plan to accomplish it. That's a fact.


Bhawk - 3/7/2007 at 12:44 AM

quote:
You want the U.S. to fail in Iraq for whatever reason and the best way to do that is to maximize news of the casualties and minimize any good news. We could not have won any war we were ever forced to fight in under such conditions including WWII and the American Revolution, let alone the Civil War.


Since when does maximizing or minimizing whatever news as reported to the general public in America have anything to do with the operations in Iraq? Seriously, now. 90% of this country could give a flying rat's a$$ about Iraq. American Idol is on tonight. More people are going to be talking tomorrow about how bad Sanjaya was as opposed to how bad things are in Baghdad or anywhere else. If you're so upset about the lack of support for the "mission," whatever the hell it happens to be this week, then look straight at the Administration that has given people zero reason to support the war in the first place. Soldiers in hospitals are told not to talk to reporters and their bodies are brought home in secrecy. There has not and there will not be any call for shared sacrifice.

The issue surrounding the war is simple. Everyone knows, but won't say the truth - we are never leaving Iraq, especially the way things stand now. Apparently it's just fine to send Americans into a meat grinder to establish whatever it is we're trying to establish to enhance another country at the expense of ours. If that's fine with you, then you are fine with the "mission." If you don't agree with that, you can protest, vote, speak out or list statistics the remind all of the human cost of the war.

The real tragedy, as it always has been, is that the military is at war, but the country is not. That begins and ends with tragically comical leadership from the get go, and no spin, rhetoric, blog, message board or argument is going to change that.


dougrhon - 3/7/2007 at 12:48 AM

quote:
Nope, but the rhetoric being slung around here certainly can be implied as such And if you can explain exactly what the mission IS, please feel free to do so....what it was supposed to be was accomplished 1,420 days ago...since then there really hasn't been a clear mission with a projected goal and plan to accomplish it. That's a fact.


We're trying to leave the country stable enough so that the government can support itself when we leave. I agree it has been mishandled but that is the mission. And there is still a shot at success if it is given a chance. The alternative is chaos and terrible terrible bloodshed which will make the current situation seem like nothing.


bstone - 3/7/2007 at 01:33 AM

I urge you to join Wes Clark's effort to investigate the Bush Administration's appalling disregard for the welfare & safety of American troops in Iraq.

An internal government report recently obtained by the NY Times & published in an article this past weekend confirms "80 percent of the Marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor." The Times report continued, noting that "such armor has been available since 2003," but the Pentagon declined to supply it to the troops despite "calls from the field for additional protection." This is unconscionable. This is incompetent.

I just co-signed General Wes Clark's letter to Senate Armed Services . . . urging a full
investigation - Congress needs to act now - demand body armor for our troops in Iraq.
You, too, can sign up:

http://ga4.org/campaign/bodyarmor?rk=zp_J19s1qmy5W


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 02:57 AM

I just signed the petition.......and I saw this link......what's this about!!!!????

Ending the Widow's Tax

I was proud to join House Leaders Nancy Pelosi, Ike Skelton, Lane Evans, and John Salazar last year on Capitol Hill to unveil the new GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century, legislation designed to improve benefits for our soldiers and their families today, while providing long overdue benefits for our veterans and military retirees.

We recognized that something needed to be done to eliminate the "widow's tax," which penalizes the survivors of those killed in combat by reducing the benefits to which they are entitled.

Unfortunately, the one-party Congress has chosen to pursue their own agenda -- focusing on making the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent. As for the "widow's tax?" An amendment to repeal it was removed from the latest defense authorization bill by the Republican Congressional leadership.

A widow of a service member killed in the line of duty is supported by the survivors' plan paid by the Department of Defense and a dependent's compensation paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But under the current law, the payment from the Defense Department is reduced dollar for dollar by the Veterans Administration's payment: The "widow's tax."

Please contact President Bush and your Members of Congress. Tell them to end the "widow's tax" today.


ruthelane - 3/7/2007 at 03:03 AM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.





It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.



Just how do you know what we read and where we get information? Not enough attention is being given to the dead American soldiers. At this point that is more important to me than anything else and should be on the front page of every newspaper everyday. As for propaganda, the Bush/Cheney bunch are experts at that. I know propaganda and BS when I see it. I've seen plenty
of it in my lifetime. Why do you continue to insist our beliefs come from thinking in a vacuum? Is it because you are so narrow minded you can't accept that others have different views.


I accept that you have different views. I just think they are wrong. I am constantly accused of taking marchinng orders from Hannity and Limbaugh which is a load of crap. If you think the MOST important thing is to trumpet the casualties everyday tot he exclusion of all other news, then you are not interested in our success but our failure. It would be more intellectually honest to just admit this. You want the U.S. to fail in Iraq for whatever reason and the best way to do that is to maximize news of the casualties and minimize any good news. We could not have won any war we were ever forced to fight in under such conditions including WWII and the American Revolution, let alone the Civil War.



It is amazing to me how you can read other peoples thoughts. And the way you try to
revise what others have said. Have you looked into a career as a psychic?
No where did I say "minimize any good news". Those are your words not mine.
You said I want failure. Ann was right. You can't argue the color of the sky with a blind man.
As for intellectual honesty - that's funny coming from you.


dougrhon - 3/7/2007 at 03:33 AM

quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attacks, Military Says

It is believed to be the third deadliest attack on U.S. troops in Iraq this year. Twelve soldiers were killed in January when their helicopter was shot down and 7 died in another helicopter downing the following month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR200703060 0181.html


Clearly, the "surge" is working.





It actually does seem to be working but when you only hear about American casualties and NOTHING else, its understandable you would get a gloomy outlook. It's caleld propganda.



Just how do you know what we read and where we get information? Not enough attention is being given to the dead American soldiers. At this point that is more important to me than anything else and should be on the front page of every newspaper everyday. As for propaganda, the Bush/Cheney bunch are experts at that. I know propaganda and BS when I see it. I've seen plenty
of it in my lifetime. Why do you continue to insist our beliefs come from thinking in a vacuum? Is it because you are so narrow minded you can't accept that others have different views.


I accept that you have different views. I just think they are wrong. I am constantly accused of taking marchinng orders from Hannity and Limbaugh which is a load of crap. If you think the MOST important thing is to trumpet the casualties everyday tot he exclusion of all other news, then you are not interested in our success but our failure. It would be more intellectually honest to just admit this. You want the U.S. to fail in Iraq for whatever reason and the best way to do that is to maximize news of the casualties and minimize any good news. We could not have won any war we were ever forced to fight in under such conditions including WWII and the American Revolution, let alone the Civil War.



It is amazing to me how you can read other peoples thoughts. And the way you try to
revise what others have said. Have you looked into a career as a psychic?
No where did I say "minimize any good news". Those are your words not mine.
You said I want failure. Ann was right. You can't argue the color of the sky with a blind man.
As for intellectual honesty - that's funny coming from you.



I'm not going to get into a shouting match with you. You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I don't know what you really think. This is the impression I have gotten, if not from you, then from others here and elsewhere. No one I have encountered on this board who opposes the war has given me any reason to believe your views are based on anything more than a reflexive distaste for war and a dislike of Bush in particular. Distaste for war is a great thing and something we all have. (Whether you believe it or not) But the anti-war folks have yet to give me any reason to believe they understand the consequences of cutting and running. While I do not know what you folks are thinking, as you rightly point out, it seems that you believe there will be no negative consequence to our leaving Iraq right now. You act as if this is nothing more than a lark or plot of the Bush administration to waste lives. Except for Squatchtexas who doesn't believe there is any jihadist threat to us or at least that it is greatly exagerated (I apologize if I mischaracterized your position Squatch) None of you seem to have come to grips with what leaving Iraq right now would mean. It's something to think about. I don't think I am revising what others have said. Please correct me where I have done so. It is not my intention to do so. I, frankly think the ability to have a civil discussion is vital to our national well-being. Certainly both sides are guilty of moving the discussion beyond policy and into the personal. I happen to support the war effort so I notice it more from the war opponents. But you guys who oppose the war don't seem to notice it when your side does so. I am fully willing to admit that both sides need to be civil. Those of us who support the war are aware of the casualties. I wonder if those who oppose the war are aware of the good that has come, even with all the bad. It is certainly out there. Much of Iraq is infinitely better off than it was under Hussein. There is tremendous civil strife but many societies have that and eventually overcome it. Our own society did. I believe that it is our job to try to hand off to the new Iraqi government, the ability to fight the strife. I do not believe the tactics used over the last three years have been effective and I blame the administration for that. I believe a new tactic is being used now and it has a decent chance at success. The best way to save lives, American and Iraqi, is to support the effort to bring the war to a successful conclusion. General Patreus was confirmed by the entire Senate. This is what he wants to do. Why not give it a chance? Let's discuss this civilly. As for minimizing good news, while you may not have said it, there is no doubt in my mind that, for a variety of reasons, it is being done. The biggest reason may be simply because its more interesting to report a glossy disaster than a somewhat boring positive trend. But I do believe much of the mainstream media is lazy (not liberal, lazy) and that they fit their reporting into a pre-existing mold. Right now the mold is, war lost, lives wasted. Unless something pretty dramatic happens, they are not going to change the mold. There are ways to acknowledge, honor, and remember the casualties while still supporting the effort to win. I certainly do not believe they should be supressed. I am sorry if I gave that impression. One way to honor the soldiers is to play up the many instances of heroism. In order to do that, we need to examine the individual stories, not simply report statistics.

[Edited on 3/7/2007 by dougrhon]


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 04:06 AM

I will continue to report the statistics.....as I've said before the numbers represent people who have made a sacrifice, both American and Iraqi. You want to report the stories of heroism, I'll be proud to read them. Some posting here have already done so. But I want you to read 'the numbers'.

Do I think of the consequences of leaving Iraq? Yes...but I was also aware of the consequences of our leaving Vietnam....and yet today, they're doing well without our occupation of their country. The Middle East has centuries of history that we in the United States don't understand.....nor have any of our previous attempts to help settle their differences lasted. This was been doomed before it started.

We should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Thousands of innocent Iraqis have died because we did. (Now is the time to trot out what a terrible man Sadaam was and how much better off they are for him being gone....sorry, that doesn't fly.) The United States helped create that monster. We should have withdrawn support immediately and given some of it to the factions in the best position to overthrow his regime.

This country was led down the path by lies from this administration and a congress without guts to say no. It was obvious from the beginning Afghanistan was only the door into Iraq and I've never said we shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan....but going into Iraq was and is a mistake. So we leave. What happens? The people fight it out themseves....like they did in Vietnam.....and they settle their differences in the context of their history.

The reason so many people don't want us out of this war is because they don't want to 'lose'. Looking objectively at a situation and realizing that it is time to withdraw isn't losing.....it's called making a wise decision. As once said.....who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake? I knew one of the last ones to die for the Vietnam mistake. I don't want to know one of the last ones to die from this mistake. It was too painful then and it's too painful now.






bstone - 3/7/2007 at 04:11 AM

Wow, dougrhon - all i can say is it takes every bit of my might to be civil about this insane war - it's just not in me to drink the kool-aid - and at the risk of going back to 9/11 - correct me if i'm wrong - but I do not believe that it was ever discovered or reported that any of the terrorist involved in 9/11 were from Iraq - I believe they were all Saudis and one or two Egyptians, etc.

Ann, beats me about the "widows tax" - we're all learning DAILY about more and more unconscionable matters associated with this "war" and Bush Administration.


ruthelane - 3/7/2007 at 04:16 AM

quote:
I urge you to join Wes Clark's effort to investigate the Bush Administration's appalling disregard for the welfare & safety of American troops in Iraq.

An internal government report recently obtained by the NY Times & published in an article this past weekend confirms "80 percent of the Marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor." The Times report continued, noting that "such armor has been available since 2003," but the Pentagon declined to supply it to the troops despite "calls from the field for additional protection." This is unconscionable. This is incompetent.

I just co-signed General Wes Clark's letter to Senate Armed Services . . . urging a full
investigation - Congress needs to act now - demand body armor for our troops in Iraq.
You, too, can sign up:

http://ga4.org/campaign/bodyarmor?rk=zp_J19s1qmy5W


I just signed the petition and sent it to friends.
Thanks for posting the address.


dougrhon - 3/7/2007 at 04:22 AM

quote:
I will continue to report the statistics.....as I've said before the numbers represent people who have made a sacrifice, both American and Iraqi. You want to report the stories of heroism, I'll be proud to read them. Some posting here have already done so. But I want you to read 'the numbers'.

Do I think of the consequences of leaving Iraq? Yes...but I was also aware of the consequences of our leaving Vietnam....and yet today, they're doing well without our occupation of their country. The Middle East has centuries of history that we in the United States don't understand.....nor have any of our previous attempts to help settle their differences lasted. This was been doomed before it started.

We should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Thousands of innocent Iraqis have died because we did. (Now is the time to trot out what a terrible man Sadaam was and how much better off they are for him being gone....sorry, that doesn't fly.) The United States helped create that monster. We should have withdrawn support immediately and given some of it to the factions in the best position to overthrow his regime.

This country was led down the path by lies from this administration and a congress without guts to say no. It was obvious from the beginning Afghanistan was only the door into Iraq and I've never said we shouldn't have gone into Afghanistan....but going into Iraq was and is a mistake. So we leave. What happens? The people fight it out themseves....like they did in Vietnam.....and they settle their differences in the context of their history.

The reason so many people don't want us out of this war is because they don't want to 'lose'. Looking objectively at a situation and realizing that it is time to withdraw isn't losing.....it's called making a wise decision. As once said.....who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake? I knew one of the last ones to die for the Vietnam mistake. I don't want to know one of the last ones to die from this mistake. It was too painful then and it's too painful now.








That's a thoughtful response. I disagree with much of what you say and most of your basic premises. But I will only respond to one thing: You say in Vietnam we left to let them fight it out. Actually we abandoned an ally (I mean the logisitical and monetary aid that was cut off not actually fighting for them) while Moscow and Beijing continued to support the North, thereby making it impossible for the South to survive. But more importantly, our abandonment not only led to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Vietnam but also to the genocide in Cambodia where millions died inthe killing fields. You can argue that Vietnam was not worth one American life and I might even agree with you. But don't pretend our abandonment of South Vietnam was without serious consequence.


RedRider - 3/7/2007 at 05:20 AM

quote:
I may be a number of things....sarcastic, rude, adamant and at times ironic....but I don't deal in just silly.






bigann - 3/7/2007 at 05:37 AM

You say in Vietnam we left to let them fight it out. Actually we abandoned an ally (I mean the logisitical and monetary aid that was cut off not actually fighting for them) while Moscow and Beijing continued to support the North, thereby making it impossible for the South to survive. But more importantly, our abandonment not only led to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Vietnam but also to the genocide in Cambodia where millions died inthe killing fields. You can argue that Vietnam was not worth one American life and I might even agree with you. But don't pretend our abandonment of South Vietnam was without serious consequence.

I said I was aware of the consequences, but my point was, they fought it out and made their own peace...whatever it was.....without our being there. And who's to say Cambodia and the fall of South Vietnam wouldn't have happened if we'd never fought over there to begin with? And I agree that Vietnam was not worth a single life lost from our involvement. Yesterday's enemy is today's friend....that being the case, why were they ever our enemy? (That's a rhetorical question...yes, I know the dynamics of the Vietnam war.)


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 05:37 AM

quote:
quote:
I may be a number of things....sarcastic, rude, adamant and at times ironic....but I don't deal in just silly.








I should have said Vaylorette folder excluded!!!


RedRider - 3/7/2007 at 02:07 PM

Thanks for the body armour petition link!


bstone - 3/7/2007 at 02:42 PM

Yes, RedRider - maybe we can all jump on this one quick bandwagon & start a movement . . .

"Do not take lightly small good deeds,
Believing they can hardly help,
For drops of water, one by one,
In time can fill a giant pot."

patrul rinpoche quoted by joseph goldstein


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 02:57 PM

quote:
No one I have encountered on this board who opposes the war has given me any reason to believe your views are based on anything more than a reflexive distaste for war and a dislike of Bush in particular.


I know at least speaking for myself, Ive posted many sources that show we were lied to and misled about this war. Even Powell regrets his actions at the UN. Again, speaking for myself, I tend to dislike the man most responsible for getting so many thousands killed and putting America at greater risk while failing to accomplish anything of note after lying to get us where we are today. I think thats a good enough reason to dislike Bush. I should ask what it would take one of his supporters to feel dislike for the man.

quote:
Distaste for war is a great thing and something we all have. (Whether you believe it or not) But the anti-war folks have yet to give me any reason to believe they understand the consequences of cutting and running.


Why are you using a wholly conservative-created talking point if you arent parroting their POV? (emphasis added by me). I respect that you think you are being independent in all this, but the term "cut and run" was coservative in origin so Im not sure why you are using it. Its designed to make any withdrawl appear to be a cowardly act as opposed to keeping our men and women in that meat grinder for no real purpose. The mission in which they were sent to accomplish was a farce and their were never re-directed to a goal that would stabilize Iraq or get us out with the least loss of life. We are all dressed up with no place to go.

quote:
While I do not know what you folks are thinking, as you rightly point out, it seems that you believe there will be no negative consequence to our leaving Iraq right now.


And you guys dont seem to see that its been nothing but negative consequences for us in staying. Some of you seem to think that victory is just around the corner if we just hang in there but yet nobody can define what victory is and we have turned so many corners that we are going in circles.

quote:
You act as if this is nothing more than a lark or plot of the Bush administration to waste lives.


So far, thats whats been going on. Bush was told by many people much smarter than him not to go into Iraq (not the least of which was his dad), but here we are. I dont believe they care one iota about anyone thats died over there. The way Pat Tillmans death was ebellished for political gain was horrible (when the truth came out, who apologized for what they did?). Then there was the issue with the staged POW rescue of Jessica Lynch just to name a couple of things. The soldiers are tools for political gain and they arent the least bit shameful in how they use them.

quote:
Except for Squatchtexas who doesn't believe there is any jihadist threat to us or at least that it is greatly exagerated (I apologize if I mischaracterized your position Squatch) None of you seem to have come to grips with what leaving Iraq right now would mean.


As Ive said before numerous times, I believe the threat to us here has been greatly exaggerated. I do not trust this administration to "shoot straight" with us as they have pissed on our leg in the past and told us its raining. If you want to buy their line this time, go ahead, but if the threat was as pronounced as they say, we would be seeing the threat materialize on our own city streets. Im more at risk from a street gang than I am a radical islamist. Leaving Iraq would mean that no more of our soldiers will die there for no reason. Those groups are going to continue to kill each other whether we are there or not and regardless of the direction we ultimately go, THEY are the ONLY ONES who can determine the course of their own nation. They have already shown they have no interest in Democracy and we have already polluted that process anyway when we bullied the actual elected leader into stepping down and replaced him with someone we approved of. Some people see it as a bad idea for us to meddle in the politics of other nations. Personally, I wish we would spend as much time worrying about our own country as we do others.

quote:
It's something to think about. I don't think I am revising what others have said. Please correct me where I have done so. It is not my intention to do so. I, frankly think the ability to have a civil discussion is vital to our national well-being. Certainly both sides are guilty of moving the discussion beyond policy and into the personal. I happen to support the war effort so I notice it more from the war opponents. But you guys who oppose the war don't seem to notice it when your side does so.


Oh I notice it, but I see it so much more from the pro-war crowd like Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh etc. Much of it is distortions, lies and innuendo. I think a lot of that is simply a desire to avoid having to admit they were wrong in a lot of ways. Nobody likes to eat crow or say they were wrong.

quote:
I am fully willing to admit that both sides need to be civil. Those of us who support the war are aware of the casualties. I wonder if those who oppose the war are aware of the good that has come, even with all the bad. It is certainly out there.


Like what?

quote:
Much of Iraq is infinitely better off than it was under Hussein.


According to a lot of Iraqis, this isnt true. Civil war, electricity shortages, water shortages etc. were not a problem under Saddam. This isnt to defend Saddam as he was a turd of the 1st order, but these are specific examples where the Iraqi people have made statements regarding life now vs. then.

quote:
There is tremendous civil strife but many societies have that and eventually overcome it. Our own society did. I believe that it is our job to try to hand off to the new Iraqi government, the ability to fight the strife. I do not believe the tactics used over the last three years have been effective and I blame the administration for that.


Another frustrating reason to dislike Bush. When a plan fails, most smart people try a new plan. Stay the course was preferred.

quote:
I believe a new tactic is being used now and it has a decent chance at success.


Why do you say this? The General that literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency tactics (General Prateous) said that this "surge" will likely fail because its not enough men when you factor in downtime, rotations and other variables.

quote:
The best way to save lives, American and Iraqi, is to support the effort to bring the war to a successful conclusion.


That means bringing them home. There is no defined "end" to this war. There is no measure of when we have won. The concept of victory has yet to be defined. These are very basic things that need to happen before we can declare the war won.

quote:
General Patreus was confirmed by the entire Senate. This is what he wants to do. Why not give it a chance?


Someone should ask him why his actions are contradicting what his own teachings have said. This tells me that either he is afraid to speak his mind for fear of being "retired" or he doesnt have enough faith in his own experiences and believes that this time, this solution might work.

quote:
Let's discuss this civilly. As for minimizing good news, while you may not have said it, there is no doubt in my mind that, for a variety of reasons, it is being done. The biggest reason may be simply because its more interesting to report a glossy disaster than a somewhat boring positive trend.


Everyone likes good news and it would seem to me that as bad as things are going that good news would be welcome. The only reason Ive ever heard as to why we arent hearing the good news is that the media is "liburul" which IMO, is BS. FOX certainly isnt liberal so why isnt there the Iraqi Good News Hour every day? Wishing for something doesnt make it so and I think the amount of bad news in Iraq is far greater than any small amount of good news.

quote:
But I do believe much of the mainstream media is lazy (not liberal, lazy) and that they fit their reporting into a pre-existing mold. Right now the mold is, war lost, lives wasted. Unless something pretty dramatic happens, they are not going to change the mold.


Well, I agree with you that they are lazy, but we probably disagree in how they are lazy. I believe they were lazy throughout all the runup to this war. They never questioned this administration, they never investigated anything and when admissions were made and the truth was drug out into the light, they werent around to make it known to the general public. Hell, we still have a large group of Americans that believe Saddam was responsible for 9/11 and this is specifically because our media hasnt done their job and STILL arent doing their jobs. Look at the Walter Reed mess. More attention was paid to Anna Nicole Smith still being dead than what was going on at Walter Reed. It took Democrats to hold hearings on why thats a mess.

quote:
There are ways to acknowledge, honor, and remember the casualties while still supporting the effort to win. I certainly do not believe they should be supressed. I am sorry if I gave that impression. One way to honor the soldiers is to play up the many instances of heroism. In order to do that, we need to examine the individual stories, not simply report statistics.


Well, this administration is a poor choice for cheerleader. Pat Tillmans family would attest to that I think.


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 05:34 PM

March deaths - 22
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,185

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 376
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,676

Mission Accomplished day 1,421




ruthelane - 3/7/2007 at 06:38 PM

Ann, Thanks for posting the numbers of our soldiers who died in this insane war.
And the wounded.
I wonder why no one wants to talk about days since mission accomplished.
KEEP ON POSTING HERE
Ruthie


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 07:25 PM

Thank you Ruthie....and you're right...no comment yet about the 'mission accomplished' numbers. As long as we're over there and I can type, I'll keep posting. It's a very small thing to do in the large scheme of things, but it's the one 'candle' I can keep lit until they return home.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/7/2007 at 08:01 PM

quote:
You say in Vietnam we left to let them fight it out. Actually we abandoned an ally (I mean the logisitical and monetary aid that was cut off not actually fighting for them) while Moscow and Beijing continued to support the North, thereby making it impossible for the South to survive. But more importantly, our abandonment not only led to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Vietnam but also to the genocide in Cambodia where millions died inthe killing fields. You can argue that Vietnam was not worth one American life and I might even agree with you. But don't pretend our abandonment of South Vietnam was without serious consequence.

I said I was aware of the consequences, but my point was, they fought it out and made their own peace...whatever it was.....without our being there. And who's to say Cambodia and the fall of South Vietnam wouldn't have happened if we'd never fought over there to begin with? And I agree that Vietnam was not worth a single life lost from our involvement. Yesterday's enemy is today's friend....that being the case, why were they ever our enemy?


quote:
I was also aware of the consequences of our leaving Vietnam....and yet today, they're doing well without our occupation of their country.


After Saigon fell, the communists took over. Yeah!

As a result, a blood bath ensued as the VC and NVA took over and many were scarificed to the 'people's tribunals,'

over 300,000 South Vietnamses were put in so-called communist 're-education camps' including Catholic Bishop Nguyen Van Thuan and 72-year-old Hoa-Hao Buddhist leader Luong Trong Tuong.

Also, over 2,500 journalsts, artists, musicians, intellectuals and such were made to go through 'political purification' which communism needs to streamline the one party dictatorship,

Premier Pham Van Dong spoke to the Fourth Communist Party Congress in Hanoi and told them and the world in 1975 that one million South Vietnamese would be forcibly relocated to the North to ensure 'political purity.'

And the flight of escapees from communist Vietnam far exceeded the current exodus of folks leaving Cuba anyway they can to escape Castro's communism,

And, of course, over 2.5 million were slaughtered in cambodia in Pol Pot's genocide,


Yep, it was a good thing that them communists took over. And, they had some help;


quote:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110005025


HANOI (Reuters) - Celebrating the 29th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the North Vietnamese general who led his forces to victory said Friday he was grateful to leaders of the anti-war movement.

"I would like to thank them", said General Vo Nguyen Giap, now 93, without mentioning Kerry by name. "Any forces that wish to impose their will on other nations will surely fail", he added.

Reuters, which first reported Giap's comments, suggested that the former enemy general was mindful of Kerry's role in leading some of the highest profile anti-war protests of the entire Vietnam War.

Before the British wire service quoted General Giap, it noted:

"The Vietnam War, known in Vietnam as the American War, has become a hot issue in the U.S. presidential race with Democrat John Kerry drawing attention to his service and President Bush's Republicans disparaging Kerry's later anti-war stand."

North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, who served under General Giap on the general staff of the North Vietnamese Army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, Colonel Tin explicitly credited leaders of the U.S. anti-war movement, saying they were "essential to our strategy."

"Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9AM to follow the growth of the anti-war movement," Colonel Tin told the Journal.

Visits to Hanoi by Kerry anti-war allies Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, he said, "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

"We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war," the North Vietnamese military man explained.

"Through dissent and protest [America] lost the ability to mobilize a will to win," Colonel Tin concluded.




quote:
Meanwhile, after you wasted all that time, you still cant admit that communism is alive and well in a number of largely populated countries such as China and NK. Either its been defeated or it hasnt. You dont get it both ways. All of what you said is true. Whats also true is that its still going on today. Russia did not change into something other than Communism. They went broke and fell apart. It had 0 to do with Democracy or anything else related to political ideology. There are fewer Communist nations now than in the past, but that can and will likely, change due to global politics. Youre too shortsighted to see that.



Actually, I am the ony one bringing it up. Castro, Il Kim, and as Chavez virtually admits that Marx is his example and he is going down the path, you couldn't care less, thinks its cute that he insulted Bush at the UN, and your buddies Sheehan, Glover, and Belafonte go down and praise him in person.

quote:
Just how do you know what we read and where we get information? Not enough attention is being given to the dead American soldiers. At this point that is more important to me than anything else and should be on the front page of every newspaper everyday.


I don't know where you live, Ruth, but here in Ohio every soldier that is killed from this part of the world is on the TV screen and in the paper, including the injured. This is also the home of Matt Maupin, the first MIA soldier in this war who has yet to be found, and whose parents are active and in the news at all times. If it isn't that way where you are at, I can't help that. We back our soldiers here.

DH


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 08:22 PM

You're very loose with the terms 'your buddies', 'your friends', etc when making a point. If you're trying to tar those of us who have a differing opinion from yours with the same feather then you likewise must allow yourself to be tarred with the feather of mismanagement, lying and subtrufuge of your buddies in this administration. Your sneer comes through when you use those expressions. You wish to be considered an individual thinker and yet make no allowances for those of us who have formed our opinions based on life experience, personal experience and observation and our vision for America.


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 08:26 PM

Silence.

That is what worries me. With every passing day that the administration won't talk to Iran, we come closer to an Iranian nuclear weapon, and the time at which the decision must be made whether or not the administration will use its military option.

The Bush Administration may refuse to have direct talks with Iran, but we cannot remain silent.

An attack on Iran will put additional strain on our already overextended military. It could well affect the United States' ability to extricate our forces from Iraq, as our troops will likely face even more attacks on the ground. And there will be potential for hostilities on American embassies abroad, a hike in oil prices, and an increased likelihood of terrorist attacks wherever Hizballah has active cells. You just don't know, and quite frankly, I don't want us to find out.

I need you to stand with me today.


Make your voice heard. Tell George W. Bush war with Iran is not the answer.
Your efforts are having an impact. The media is starting to pay attention. Democratic leaders in Washington are starting to act. But we can't rest now. We cannot remain silent.

Sincerely,



Wes Clark


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 08:49 PM

quote:
Yep, it was a good thing that them communists took over. And, they had some help;

http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110005025


Hysterical. Derek using communist propaganda to complain about the communists and to take a swipe at anti-war positions. How strange that the communists are such bad people, but when they say things you agree with, you "front" for them without any problem at all. Can I call you a hypocrite now?


quote:
Actually, I am the ony one bringing it up. Castro, Il Kim, and as Chavez virtually admits that Marx is his example and he is going down the path, you couldn't care less, thinks its cute that he insulted Bush at the UN, and your buddies Sheehan, Glover, and Belafonte go down and praise him in person.


I dont care who hates Bush..its about 3/4 of the planet right now and with good reason. You think communism is a threat to us, I dont. Its as simple as that. Youre an alarmist and someone who obviously doesnt understand how insignificant communisim is in the larger scheme of world politics at this point. You spent paragraph after paragraph telling us here how its been defeated but then you talk about it like its going to come and get us while we sleep. Will you please make up your mind as to where you stand? Is it a threat or has it been defeated? Again, you dont get to have it both ways.


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 09:17 PM

quote:
You're very loose with the terms 'your buddies', 'your friends', etc when making a point.


Welcome to Discussions with Derek. Its his number one weapon. If you have the same opinion as the Boston Strangler, then you and the Boston Strangler are just alike and good buddies. See, you and me are good buddies with Cindy Sheehan because we dont like the war. This is Derek logic. If a bunch of people are against something, then all those people are one in the same. He does like his broad brush.

Like Ive pointed out to Derek in the past, this is a horribly dishonest way to be, but as you stay here longer, you will learn that honesty and Derek parted company long ago and he has a rather extensive history of saying whatever regardless whether its true or not. Its about making those stinging little barbs rather than any coherent points of discussion.

quote:
If you're trying to tar those of us who have a differing opinion from yours with the same feather then you likewise must allow yourself to be tarred with the feather of mismanagement, lying and subtrufuge of your buddies in this administration. Your sneer comes through when you use those expressions.


Very true, but I would suggest refraining from doing that as it would make you as dishonest as him in describing him in such broad terms.

quote:
You wish to be considered an individual thinker and yet make no allowances for those of us who have formed our opinions based on life experience, personal experience and observation and our vision for America.


One thing you will learn about Derek is that you are less than him, always.


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 09:31 PM

I have noticed a few people around who subscribe to the premise 'if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull sh*t'.

And I would never stoop to tar Derek with that dirty feather....he's too busy doing it to himself.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/7/2007 at 09:40 PM

quote:
You're very loose with the terms 'your buddies', 'your friends', etc when making a point. If you're trying to tar those of us who have a differing opinion from yours with the same feather then you likewise must allow yourself to be tarred with the feather of mismanagement, lying and subtrufuge of your buddies in this administration.


One difference, I tell it like it is, and that includes disagreeing with the Administration. I'm not a republican. For instance, I called for Rumsfield to be fired way back in 2004, I called for Cheney to be kicked off the ticket in the 2004 election, I called the notion of 'Occupation on the cheap' wrong and have suggested a different tack, I think Bush is one of the worse communicating presidents in my lifetime, I've said that we should talk to Iran, and I've brought up what is going on in the Sudan long before it was hip, back when it was about slavery instead of genocide, I have ripped on Bush up one side and down the other for not using the presidential veto on a spending bill even once, on and on.


Now, please show me a different feather, please show me some examples where you disagree with Squatch..................


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/7/2007 at 09:48 PM

quote:
Welcome to Discussions with Derek. Its his number one weapon. If you have the same opinion as the Boston Strangler, then you and the Boston Strangler are just alike and good buddies. See, you and me are good buddies with Cindy Sheehan because we dont like the war.


Are you speaking for someone else, Squatch??


quote:
Like Ive pointed out to Derek in the past, this is a horribly dishonest way to be, but as you stay here longer, you will learn that honesty and Derek parted company long ago and he has a rather extensive history of saying whatever regardless whether its true or not. Its about making those stinging little barbs rather than any coherent points of discussion.



...........One thing you will learn about Derek is that you are less than him, always.


Nope, only you. Props to Bigann, actually, as she is far less a crybaby compared to you, apparently. Wow. Boo hoo. And yet you are bringing her and others into your level of intellect and whining??? Now that's worth crying about.


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 10:18 PM

quote:
Are you speaking for someone else, Squatch??


I dont know where you would get that. More redirection I guess...

quote:
Nope, only you. Props to Bigann, actually, as she is far less a crybaby compared to you, apparently. Wow. Boo hoo. And yet you are bringing her and others into your level of intellect and whining??? Now that's worth crying about.


Who's crying? Just stating the obvious and letting her know how you are. Shamelessly kissing her ass wont help you as she is smart enough to read you like a book.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/7/2007 at 10:26 PM

quote:
Who's crying? Just stating the obvious and letting her know how you are. Shamelessly kissing her ass wont help you as she is smart enough to read you like a book.





She knows who I am, and she can take care of herself, so no ass kissing required.


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 10:27 PM

quote:
One difference, I tell it like it is, and that includes disagreeing with the Administration. I'm not a republican. For instance, I called for Rumsfield to be fired way back in 2004, I called for Cheney to be kicked off the ticket in the 2004 election, I called the notion of 'Occupation on the cheap' wrong and have suggested a different tack, I think Bush is one of the worse communicating presidents in my lifetime, I've said that we should talk to Iran, and I've brought up what is going on in the Sudan long before it was hip, back when it was about slavery instead of genocide, I have ripped on Bush up one side and down the other for not using the presidential veto on a spending bill even once, on and on.[/qutoe]

blah blah blah..yadda yadda yadda

Hysterical..yet you defend this war and the actions of all the Republicans without missing a beat. Strange how you say one thing and do another...


quote:
Now, please show me a different feather, please show me some examples where you disagree with Squatch..................



Why does she have to disagree with me for your edification? What makes you think she agrees with me on anything beyond our mutal dislike of this war?


SquatchTexas - 3/7/2007 at 10:27 PM

quote:
quote:
Who's crying? Just stating the obvious and letting her know how you are. Shamelessly kissing her ass wont help you as she is smart enough to read you like a book.





She knows who I am, and she can take care of herself, so no ass kissing required.


Then you might want to stop.


bigann - 3/7/2007 at 10:53 PM

Since it's my *ss being discussed, may I please state for the record I've experienced absolutely no discernable kissing whatsoever....


ruthelane - 3/8/2007 at 12:20 AM

quote:
Since it's my *ss being discussed, may I please state for the record I've experienced absolutely no discernable kissing whatsoever....



Now ya'll leave Miss Ann's *ss out of this.


gina - 3/8/2007 at 01:01 AM

Derek it's like Gregg's song 'Everybody's Talkin', "everybody's talking, they don't tell the story right" and "they don't really want to know the truth". You DO tell it like it is, and you should continue. You should also try to get down to the big protest march if possible March 17th. www.marchonpentagon.org There are some other big grassroots things happening with regards to demanding the truth about 9/11, I gotta go deal with some of that now. It will be interesting in 2008!


bigann - 3/8/2007 at 02:02 AM

Actually, the lyrics of that particular song refer to the time when Midnight Riders was first published.... and the punch line is "It's hard to live your life in color and tell the truth in black and white." The song was started by Johnny one day while he was recording tracks for Searching For Simplicity. I worked with Johnny on the lyrics as did Scott who also worked on the music. Gregg came in, changed a chord or two and recorded the song which was a representation of how he was feeling about the book.

I suppose truth is subjective and is personal. My concept of the truth is obviously different from some others who post here. It must be intrepretation. And as for a number of issues that have been presented to the American people by this administration and congress....'Everybody's talkin' but nobody's telling the truth'

[Edited on 3/8/2007 by bigann]


bstone - 3/8/2007 at 02:57 AM

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
"through dissent and protest [America] lost the ability to mobilize and a will to win," Colonel Tin concluded
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----


That is outright absurd. Derek were you around during the Vietnam war? However sad, it has been conceeded by our Military officials, advisers to our Presidents over that period of time, historians, etc., that our military operated with one hand tied behind its back and that's a fact.

We did not lose our will to win - we were stymied by our own government.

We did not know our opponents (North Vietnamese) or even our allies (South Vietnamese) - we did not know the society.
But we went ahead and jumped into a very complicated mess. Sound familiar?

Once involved, President Kennedy's advisers could not agree on how to proceed - the South Vietnamese government was unstable. Sound familiar?

Keep in mind that the media was very restricted & filtered. (Glad we've made headway in that area thanks to the insanity of Vietnam.)

We basically knew that there was tremendous air power from the U.S. which was interpreted as suceeding - our military was able to do unlimited bombing for a while but we could not break the will of the North Vietnamese. Now, Pres. Johnson is in the picture - Johnson had to decide between losing South Vietnam or trying to save it by putting ground troops in - get out or go beyond logistical support & training. Sound familiar?

These issues were never fully debated. Sound familiar?

Jonhson chose to introduce U.S. Combat forces - which led to further intervention - 500,000 troops over a 2 to 3 year period - aka Draft. What a mess - between Johnson and Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and plenty of other advisers - no one could agree - restrictions in bombing and on land invasions by U.S. forces on North Vietnam were enforced - under Kennedy admin the American people were led to believe our supportive efforts to the South Vietnamese were succeeding. Sound familiar?

Back to Johnson - thousands and thousands of body bags are coming back to the U.S. it was apparent to Americans that . . . hmmm . . . somethings terribly wrong - can you explain to us, Mr. Government, again what the political objective is / what is the mission because we the people will not stand behind lies and betrayal and watch our young men & women die by the thousands. Sound familiar?

And, of course, we all know that our government could not give us any answers to justify this horrible event before our eyes. Our government was divided - get the hell out or send in more troops. Sound familiar?

As the war escalated, yet failed to bring results, the young men and women in America took a very strong stance . . .
and let our government know that they weren't going to get their hands on any more of us and we were ready to stand up against our government to get our people home. I sure wish this was a familiar sound right now.

And, while we were protesting, our government was clearly seeing the writing on the wall - that they could not achieve their political objectives, that they could not break the will of the North Vietnamese when asking our military to fight with one hand tied behind their backs. And thus, the North Vietnamese literally kicked us out.

America did not lose that war due to the dissent and protest from the American people and that's a fact. ( Not to mention it is now conceeded on all levels that Vietnam was a terrible mistake. )

Our government betrayed us plain and simple. Our government did not do its job and uphold its responsibilities to the American people. Our government did not do its homework thoroughly - at the expense of thousands of young men and women and many, many Americans at home.

Have you touched "The Wall" in Washington? It should make your hair stand up on your arms - it should put a very tight knot in your stomach.

It is the American way to have a will to win - given a clear mission, a very sound objective, supported by accurate facts, intelligence, truth - America will mobilize - but damn its so difficult when you witness our government repeating horrible past mistakes . . . The Bush Admin outright lied to the American people and then added fuel to the fire by not knowing and fully understanding their opponents and allies, not fully knowing the foreign land and society, not having clear objectives,etc., and then when we started to go hmmmm . . . something is terribly wrong - the only answer given is "stay the course" which answers nothing- and, oh, yeah, call in some more ground troops, and a President who pleads with the American people to stick with him - what ever happened to the will of the people - he's not listening to us and he's not listening to many military advisers . . .

I support our men and women in the military - I grew up in a military town - and, yes, i had family and friends in Vietnam and and many connected to Nam working behind the scenes in our homeland . . . I will never regret protesting the Vietnam war because in the end the truth prevailed - I vehemently protest the war in Irag and the Bush Administration and trust that truth will prevail - I don't believe it will be nice.

And, Derek, I can promise you that my protests or BigAnn's, Ruth, SquatchTexas - and many others - will not be the determining factor in "winning" this war. Alrighty now, I just had to get this off my chest - thank you.








bigann - 3/8/2007 at 04:30 AM

His name was Morgan Weed and he lived up the street from us in the early 60s. He was about four years younger than I, more the age of my oldest brother, and he would come down to our house and play basketball with the rest of the neighborhood kids who hung out at our house. He was a quiet, shy towheaded kid who was just fun to be around.

We lost track of Morgan for a few years and never knew he ended up in Vietnam. During the time he was there I became friends with a woman whose husband was there and I met several of the 'wives who waited' as they called themselves. I didn't believe in the war, as I don't believe in this one, but I don't think I'd have actively protested even if there'd been one in the town where I lived because of my friendship with this lady.

And then, as we found out later, right before the troops were withdrawn and only a couple of months before he was due to come home, Morgan was killed. He was the first one I knew of back then who served in 'nam. He left behind a young pregnant wife and the picture in the paper of her receiveing the flag from his casket still haunts me. I shared the grief through my friendship with the 'wives'. And I was ashamed of my silence.

I knew the war was wrong and I knew we'd been lied to by our elected officials. I vowed then to never be silent again when our family and friends were called on to fight a lie. And I haven't.

I've never visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, but coming into Alabama we have a smaller version listing the names of those who died during the war....I read the names through tears. Since then I've discovered that a lot of the kids I went to school with served, some missing limbs, some with damaged hearing, others with wounds you can't see.

I am the child of a WWII veteran, the sister of a former soldier, the cousin of a career navy man and the mother -in-law of a disabled veteran. I believe America carries in her heart the seeds of greatness......and for that reason I will continue to speak out against anything I feel diminishes all that this country could and should be.

That's where I'm coming from. Thank you bstone for your post. It helped me put what I'm feeling into words.


SquatchTexas - 3/8/2007 at 11:05 AM

Great posts you two. Thanks.


bstone - 3/8/2007 at 03:09 PM

I just want to clarify a few things . . . protesters can also be divided . . . and they were during the Vietnam War. Some violent, some peaceful, some non-verbal- simply wearing a "peace" pactch on clothing, some theatrical (Jane Fonda), etc.

Some protesters were sucked into extreme falsehoods, believing that our soldiers were killers and murderers - many of these protesters spit and threw things on our soldiers when they returned to the U.S. My Uncle, a fighter pilot, was one of those spit on.

Some of us were peaceful, but vocal. Protesting for truth from our government. Protesting for answers - what are we fighting for - why are thousands and thousands dying - why so many wounded - what's going on?????

And, then, Jane Fonda, who will forever be taken to the Whipping Post for her actions. There were many elected officials happy to see her come along - her actions took the focus off of their actions/mistakes.

It is difficult to say "Vietnam" without grimacing. Lies and betrayal turned our country inside-out. Lies and betrayal pitted Americans against Americans. This time in history was so so turbulent - protests were not solely related to the Vietnam war - coupled with the friction of the War was the Civil Rights Movement - the issues in America at that time goes on and on. Just mind boggling. I believe that entire era left all of us with a tremendous pain in our hearts, for various reasons, never to be forgotten.

Statistics of the dead/wounded - I don't know of anyone who takes pride in seeing them - but it is so very important and an unfortunate means of letting the American people know what is going on - when we receive news that 8 more soldiers have been blown up, we also get information as to why - what happened - it is just one of the ugly thermometers used to help the American people guage just what in fact is going on - what are our opponents doing to our soldiers - how are they fighting the war against us - how are our military and elected officials responding to our U.S. forces . . .

Ann, thank you for your efforts - thank you for your voice - thank you.

It is very apparent that the serious issues facing the American people, right now, are growing by the minute. Global foreign affairs, the war in Irag, mistreatment at Walter Reed, the economy, healthcare issues, immigration, Katrina, etc. Just mind boggling. Silence is not golden right now.

I will always reach for the 'peace-pipe' first - and, like Ann, desire and strive for what could and should be the greatness in America. Because of that, and because I have a daughter in college hoping to live the American dream, I cannot be silent and go to sleep with a clear conscience.


SquatchTexas - 3/8/2007 at 03:53 PM

Bears repeating...

quote:
I just want to clarify a few things . . . protesters can also be divided . . . and they were during the Vietnam War. Some violent, some peaceful, some non-verbal- simply wearing a "peace" pactch on clothing, some theatrical (Jane Fonda), etc.

Some protesters were sucked into extreme falsehoods, believing that our soldiers were killers and murderers - many of these protesters spit and threw things on our soldiers when they returned to the U.S. My Uncle, a fighter pilot, was one of those spit on.

Some of us were peaceful, but vocal. Protesting for truth from our government. Protesting for answers - what are we fighting for - why are thousands and thousands dying - why so many wounded - what's going on?????

And, then, Jane Fonda, who will forever be taken to the Whipping Post for her actions. There were many elected officials happy to see her come along - her actions took the focus off of their actions/mistakes.

It is difficult to say "Vietnam" without grimacing. Lies and betrayal turned our country inside-out. Lies and betrayal pitted Americans against Americans. This time in history was so so turbulent - protests were not solely related to the Vietnam war - coupled with the friction of the War was the Civil Rights Movement - the issues in America at that time goes on and on. Just mind boggling. I believe that entire era left all of us with a tremendous pain in our hearts, for various reasons, never to be forgotten.

Statistics of the dead/wounded - I don't know of anyone who takes pride in seeing them - but it is so very important and an unfortunate means of letting the American people know what is going on - when we receive news that 8 more soldiers have been blown up, we also get information as to why - what happened - it is just one of the ugly thermometers used to help the American people guage just what in fact is going on - what are our opponents doing to our soldiers - how are they fighting the war against us - how are our military and elected officials responding to our U.S. forces . . .

Ann, thank you for your efforts - thank you for your voice - thank you.

It is very apparent that the serious issues facing the American people, right now, are growing by the minute. Global foreign affairs, the war in Irag, mistreatment at Walter Reed, the economy, healthcare issues, immigration, Katrina, etc. Just mind boggling. Silence is not golden right now.

I will always reach for the 'peace-pipe' first - and, like Ann, desire and strive for what could and should be the greatness in America. Because of that, and because I have a daughter in college hoping to live the American dream, I cannot be silent and go to sleep with a clear conscience.


SquatchTexas - 3/8/2007 at 04:08 PM

Doug,

Saw this article today:

U.S. commander urges talks, sees Baghdad backlash
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSPAR83430220070308?src=030807_082 7_TOPSTORY_no_military_solution

quote:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The new U.S. commander in Iraq said on Thursday military force would not end violence unless talks were held with some militant groups and warned of more "sensational attacks" during the current crackdown in Baghdad.

General David Petraeus, at his first news conference since he took command last month, also said he saw no immediate need for more U.S. troops, but reinforcements already requested would likely stay "well beyond the summer".

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.

"Military action is necessary to help improve security ... but it is not sufficient."

Political progress would require talking with "some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them".

He said a key challenge for the Shi'ite-led government of Nuri al-Maliki was to identify those militant groups who were "reconcilable" and to bring them into the political process.


*This* would be a good way to start working towards a solution in Iraq. You HAVE to involve the groups that are currently fighting it out. This is addressing cultural concerns, individual ideologies, common goals etc. This is one of the ways you fight insurgents in an environment like Iraq. I may not agree with Petraeus on his surge idea (considering his documentation on how to fight insurgencies specifically contradicts it), but this suggestion has my support.


bigann - 3/8/2007 at 04:27 PM

March deaths - 25
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,188

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 508
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,808

Mission Accomplished day 1,422


bstone - 3/8/2007 at 04:30 PM

thank you SquatchTexas - that means a lot to me.


dougrhon - 3/8/2007 at 06:22 PM

quote:
Doug,

Saw this article today:

U.S. commander urges talks, sees Baghdad backlash
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSPAR83430220070308?src=030807_082 7_TOPSTORY_no_military_solution

quote:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The new U.S. commander in Iraq said on Thursday military force would not end violence unless talks were held with some militant groups and warned of more "sensational attacks" during the current crackdown in Baghdad.

General David Petraeus, at his first news conference since he took command last month, also said he saw no immediate need for more U.S. troops, but reinforcements already requested would likely stay "well beyond the summer".

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.

"Military action is necessary to help improve security ... but it is not sufficient."

Political progress would require talking with "some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them".

He said a key challenge for the Shi'ite-led government of Nuri al-Maliki was to identify those militant groups who were "reconcilable" and to bring them into the political process.


*This* would be a good way to start working towards a solution in Iraq. You HAVE to involve the groups that are currently fighting it out. This is addressing cultural concerns, individual ideologies, common goals etc. This is one of the ways you fight insurgents in an environment like Iraq. I may not agree with Petraeus on his surge idea (considering his documentation on how to fight insurgencies specifically contradicts it), but this suggestion has my support.


I agree with it as well. My general approach is to decide whether I trust the person. If I do and they are the expert and I am not, I tend to defer to their judgment until proven otherwise.


ruthelane - 3/8/2007 at 06:24 PM

Ann and bstone,
I read your posts late last night and then reread them again this morning.
You have both said it so well by speaking with your mind and heart.
I thank you.


ruthelane - 3/8/2007 at 06:31 PM

One more thing:

Ann Coullter's column has been dropped by at least three newspapers because of her remark about Edwards.
And "the liberal media" can't be blamed this time.
One of the papers is in Sevierville,Tenn.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/8/2007 at 07:28 PM

quote:
It is difficult to say "Vietnam" without grimacing. Lies and betrayal turned our country inside-out. Lies and betrayal pitted Americans against Americans. This time in history was so so turbulent - protests were not solely related to the Vietnam war - coupled with the friction of the War was the Civil Rights Movement - the issues in America at that time goes on and on. Just mind boggling. I believe that entire era left all of us with a tremendous pain in our hearts, for various reasons, never to be forgotten.



...........It is very apparent that the serious issues facing the American people, right now, are growing by the minute. Global foreign affairs, the war in Irag, mistreatment at Walter Reed, the economy, healthcare issues, immigration, Katrina, etc. Just mind boggling. Silence is not golden right now.



As much as folks want apply what happened in the Vietnam era to the present, nothing going on right now compares to 1968. Not even close. Tet, MLK assassinated, JFK assassinated, presidential convention riots, race riots, and what you have left out was the Democrat's ruse that was the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, and the fact that not only was the White House and Democratic President LBJ micro-managing the war and thereby making our soldiers cannon fodder, but that those same kids could not vote for president. If you were 18, 19, or 20 years old you could not vote! Would the kids of today have enough ass to change something like that if it were like that now??

I was too young to be drafted, and in fact missed the draft by four years. Yet my father was in the military at the time, although his unit was not called up (he flew recon planes such as the L-19 and L-20 Beavers in the National Guard) but friends of mine were incountry. I remember debriefing my friend David, who was married to my best friend's sister Dottie Ziegler. He was a Marine and told me the story of hills that they would be ordered to take in ‘Nam for no tactical, strategic, or discernable reason during the day, and they would then be over-run again almost every night. There was no objective, it was just an order that came ‘from the top.’ A few Army platoons were hunkered down under intense fire on a nearby hill as well, yet the Army guys were rescued first because the Marines were supposed to be tougher and could hold out longer. Because he and his buddies were Marines, they told to take the heat until the Army guys were evacuated. It became crazy fast. He literally had an NVA almost step on his toes as he ran by; he was that close to the action and in the middle of it. Ultimately, his head couldn't take the war and he is still messed up, losing his family, and he may never be right again.

Another friend of mine was a black guy named Ross who was incountry for more than one tour. He was in a Time Magazine article in 1967 in a picture that showed him throwing a hand grenade. Some academy bookworm Lieutenant took over his platoon at some point and was clueless. He led them into mistake after mistake, yet wouldn't listen to those that had been there a long time. It got so bad that Ross and his fellow soldiers would purposely salute the Lieutenant while out in the field hoping a VC sniper would notice and take him out. It wasn’t exactly fragging, but it was close.

One day Ross and his buddies were asked by the Lieutenant to walk right into what they knew was a trap. At that point in time, Ross was three weeks from his tour of duty being up, and all he had to do was stay safe and wait it out until his trip home. But this asswipe officer was adamant about making the wrong move, time after time. Ross disagreed with him, and told him he was wrong one day. The officer said that if he said another word that he would get another tour of duty. Ross did not back down, and he was given another year in ‘Nam by the officer on the spot – Bam! The officer confronted him again with yet another tour of duty if he didn’t shut up, and Ross held his ground and got yet another tour of duty. Bam! Just minutes earlier he was out in three weeks, now he had two more years on the shelf.

At that point he didn't give a damn about anything, so he would volunteer to walk point. Now, a lot of times the guy who walks point through the jungle doesn't get killed because the ambushing VC or NVA would wait until the point man walked past them so they could wait on the bulk of the platoon to walk by and then they would attack. Ross walked point for six straight months and it f*cked with his brain and his nerves. I would be talking to Ross many years afterwards, and even then it was the same- if he was near a set of woods at the same time it was raining, even a light rain, the flashbacks would come back to the point that he was nervous and wary and damn near out of his mind. It happened right in front of me one day, as we were standing near some woods as a light rain fell.

Another story that Ross told me was about fighting in a small town in South Vietnam where a talented VC sniper was taking out soldier after soldier, with bullet after bullet, and doing so by moving from one building to the next on different days. After taking out a few of his fellow soldiers, his platoon finally took this f*ck out, and when they did they hooked the sniper's dead body onto the front of the tank and let his body rot so that the locals would see him rot for days until it was just his head left. They didn't care, as they wanted to show the locals what they would do to the enemy or those that helped the enemy.

As for the question of if I have ever seen the Vietnam Memorial, yes, and probably more times than you have. My kin live in DC and we always make a point of it. More than that, when I was in college in the 1980's I wrote a story on the Traveling Wall, which was a smaller replica of the Vietnam Wall that traveled from town to town. All of the names of the fallen soldiers were on it, just as with the DC memorial. Even when it was here in my part of Ohio, set up on the football field at Elder High school, a school that lost about ten kids in ‘Nam if I remember right, the scene was emotional and heartfelt. I met a soldier who had lost his leg in the war, and he had brought his family and friends to see the names of his fellow soldiers on the Wall that had died. Together they would find the names, and then this soldier would tell his people the story of why a particular soldier was important to him, and what he did while in action. The guy was a construction worker, and his artificial leg was dusty and creaky, but he was a big muscular boy who got the job done. He easily and proudly told the stories of his dead friends.

Other veterans that were there visiting the Wall, however, were not as able. Many would sit in their fatigues from a distance, not able to actually approach the Wall. Hats off to what our troops are going through today in Iraq, especially with the IED's. But man, Vietnam was a whole different ball game, with booby traps and devious jungle tactics that would make even an Iraqi veteran's skin crawl. While the Coppola movie "Apocalypse Now" is admittedly loosely based on the classic story "Heart Of Darkness" written by Joseph Conrad in 1902, ( A must read, an essential read, whether you went to college or not. It is short yet adventurous and well-written. A classic, and you will see where Coppola got his ideas for "Apocalypse Now" by the way, and you can read the book for free online here - http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/526, or http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ConDark.html) a lot of the crazy **** in that movie did happen in one way or another. And so, with buddies dead and memories too strong, many vets could not make the walk down the hill.

One interesting thing about taking in the Traveling Wall at that time was seeing the notes left to the dead soldiers. Even though it wasn't the real memorial in DC, it was a heartfelt thing to meet, talk to, and witness the visit to the wall of the children of the dead soldiers. What was unique about seeing that at that time was the time frame- it was the 1980's and it was when many of the kids of the slain soldiers were becoming the exact same age that their Dad was when he lost his life. They were 18, 19, 20, whatever, and it was dawning on them that the blood flowing through their veins was of the same age as the blood that flowed out of their father's veins when the **** hit the fan for him in that jungle so far away. It also hit them because they were reaching the age that their father would never get to. Her father never got past 19 years of age. All of a sudden, they were facing the fact that they were becoming older than their father ever got, and the reaction to that realization was amazing.

That also was true for the widows of the dead soldiers. Of course, by then they had gone on to marry other men, and start new families, and had moved on. Yet, walking up to that Wall reminded them of a love that was forever young, that they themselves were young then as well, and that their relationship with their young lover was nipped in the bud before it could grow long in the tooth, before problems could arise, before mortgages or bills or arguments could get out of hand. They were young when they met and got together, with all the vibrancy that comes with young love, yet he never got older. It was a young part of life frozen in time. The average age of a World War Two soldier was 26. The average age of a Vietnam War soldier was 19. To these people, the memory of their lover, boyfriend, husband, or friend will always be one of youth.

A lot of these people expressed their thoughts to their dead friends by writing them a note and leaving it at the Traveling Wall for all to see and read. It wasn't a matter of writing a tribute to someone. They were letters and notes written directly to that soldier, in real time, in the present. I have many of them written down in that article, but I can't find it at the moment. Suffice it to say, it got to me, a damn sure still does. Notes from a friend that said, "many have forgotten you, Jimmy, but I never will."


Derek H

[Edited on 3/8/2007 by DerekFromCincinnati]


bigann - 3/8/2007 at 07:45 PM

Being wrong and making poor choices isn't a democrat or republican issue....it's just wrong and making poor choices.


SquatchTexas - 3/8/2007 at 09:03 PM

quote:
As much as folks want apply what happened in the Vietnam era to the present, nothing going on right now compares to 1968. Not even close.


If it cant even be remotely compared to Vietnam, then how can it be compared to WW2?


bstone - 3/8/2007 at 09:23 PM

Derek - I did mention or elude to many other turbulent issues/events going on in our country during the Vietnam war. . .

"protesters were not solely related to the Vietnam war - coupled w/ the friction of the War was the Civil Rights Movement - issues in America at the time goes on and on . . ."

I just didn't get into all the specifics (but much earlier today I did so - covered many specifics, voting, assassinations, etc., on the Guestbook at RedDog's encouragement to speak out).

You speak of LBJ "micro-managing the war & thereby making our soldiers cannon fodder."

Well, hello, I did address that by stating, ". . . LBJ started putting restrictions on the ground troops & air bombers . . ."

I was never trying to imply that the combat in Vietnam is apples-to-apples with the combat in Irag. I do know the differences between jungle warfare & the Middle East desert. Actually have been there.

Having experienced the 60's & 70's, I would never imply that what is going on today is equal to that era.

My point was there were very poor decisions made going into Vietnam, poor decisions on how to proceed, a division amongst the elected officials, military officials, a divided country - lack of thorough debates and essentially poor homework that yielded devastating results - and history recorded it as a mistake.

That right there alone makes me see similarities (not identical, just similar) in how / why / we got into Irag, where are we going - how are we proceeding - where is the end -
will it be devastating to our country - will history record it as a mistake - we don't know that answer - but it sure as heck doesn't feel right - democrats and republicans alike are scrambling to find the right course - most all concur that the course has to be changed - but no one is quite sure what is best concerning the situation we are in - get the heck out or put more troops in, beef up training the Iragis so they can stand on their own - all of that has similarities to Vietnam.

And, yes, Derek, for those of us old enough during the Vietnam War then we all heard stories - story after story. All of the stories are equally moving and sad. All of the notes, all of the names of the dead, the wounded vets, the tears from men, women, and children . . .

Peace


bstone - 3/8/2007 at 09:50 PM

Have any of you seen the Thread: Akaka Amendment No. 3007?

????????????????????


ruthelane - 3/8/2007 at 10:31 PM

quote:
Actually, the lyrics of that particular song refer to the time when Midnight Riders was first published.... and the punch line is "It's hard to live your life in color and tell the truth in black and white." The song was started by Johnny one day while he was recording tracks for Searching For Simplicity. I worked with Johnny on the lyrics as did Scott who also worked on the music. Gregg came in, changed a chord or two and recorded the song which was a representation of how he was feeling about the book.

I suppose truth is subjective and is personal. My concept of the truth is obviously different from some others who post here. It must be intrepretation. And as for a number of issues that have been presented to the American people by this administration and congress....'Everybody's talkin' but nobody's telling the truth'

[Edited on 3/8/2007 by bigann]


I enjoyed reading this Ann. Personal stories are great.I know you are writing Johnny's book.
You are such an interesting story teller and writer, I look forward to the book.


LinnieXX - 3/9/2007 at 01:57 PM

quote:
Just stating the obvious and letting her know how you are.



as opposed to letting her figure out what derek is about on her own. that seems pretty partisan to me.


LinnieXX - 3/9/2007 at 01:58 PM

quote:
As much as folks want apply what happened in the Vietnam era to the present, nothing going on right now compares to 1968. Not even close. Tet, MLK assassinated, JFK assassinated, presidential convention riots, race riots, and what you have left out was the Democrat's ruse that was the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, and the fact that not only was the White House and Democratic President LBJ micro-managing the war and thereby making our soldiers cannon fodder, but that those same kids could not vote for president. If you were 18, 19, or 20 years old you could not vote! Would the kids of today have enough ass to change something like that if it were like that now??

I was too young to be drafted, and in fact missed the draft by four years. Yet my father was in the military at the time, although his unit was not called up (he flew recon planes such as the L-19 and L-20 Beavers in the National Guard) but friends of mine were incountry. I remember debriefing my friend David, who was married to my best friend's sister Dottie Ziegler. He was a Marine and told me the story of hills that they would be ordered to take in ‘Nam for no tactical, strategic, or discernable reason during the day, and they would then be over-run again almost every night. There was no objective, it was just an order that came ‘from the top.’ A few Army platoons were hunkered down under intense fire on a nearby hill as well, yet the Army guys were rescued first because the Marines were supposed to be tougher and could hold out longer. Because he and his buddies were Marines, they told to take the heat until the Army guys were evacuated. It became crazy fast. He literally had an NVA almost step on his toes as he ran by; he was that close to the action and in the middle of it. Ultimately, his head couldn't take the war and he is still messed up, losing his family, and he may never be right again.

Another friend of mine was a black guy named Ross who was incountry for more than one tour. He was in a Time Magazine article in 1967 in a picture that showed him throwing a hand grenade. Some academy bookworm Lieutenant took over his platoon at some point and was clueless. He led them into mistake after mistake, yet wouldn't listen to those that had been there a long time. It got so bad that Ross and his fellow soldiers would purposely salute the Lieutenant while out in the field hoping a VC sniper would notice and take him out. It wasn’t exactly fragging, but it was close.

One day Ross and his buddies were asked by the Lieutenant to walk right into what they knew was a trap. At that point in time, Ross was three weeks from his tour of duty being up, and all he had to do was stay safe and wait it out until his trip home. But this asswipe officer was adamant about making the wrong move, time after time. Ross disagreed with him, and told him he was wrong one day. The officer said that if he said another word that he would get another tour of duty. Ross did not back down, and he was given another year in ‘Nam by the officer on the spot – Bam! The officer confronted him again with yet another tour of duty if he didn’t shut up, and Ross held his ground and got yet another tour of duty. Bam! Just minutes earlier he was out in three weeks, now he had two more years on the shelf.

At that point he didn't give a damn about anything, so he would volunteer to walk point. Now, a lot of times the guy who walks point through the jungle doesn't get killed because the ambushing VC or NVA would wait until the point man walked past them so they could wait on the bulk of the platoon to walk by and then they would attack. Ross walked point for six straight months and it f*cked with his brain and his nerves. I would be talking to Ross many years afterwards, and even then it was the same- if he was near a set of woods at the same time it was raining, even a light rain, the flashbacks would come back to the point that he was nervous and wary and damn near out of his mind. It happened right in front of me one day, as we were standing near some woods as a light rain fell.

Another story that Ross told me was about fighting in a small town in South Vietnam where a talented VC sniper was taking out soldier after soldier, with bullet after bullet, and doing so by moving from one building to the next on different days. After taking out a few of his fellow soldiers, his platoon finally took this f*ck out, and when they did they hooked the sniper's dead body onto the front of the tank and let his body rot so that the locals would see him rot for days until it was just his head left. They didn't care, as they wanted to show the locals what they would do to the enemy or those that helped the enemy.

As for the question of if I have ever seen the Vietnam Memorial, yes, and probably more times than you have. My kin live in DC and we always make a point of it. More than that, when I was in college in the 1980's I wrote a story on the Traveling Wall, which was a smaller replica of the Vietnam Wall that traveled from town to town. All of the names of the fallen soldiers were on it, just as with the DC memorial. Even when it was here in my part of Ohio, set up on the football field at Elder High school, a school that lost about ten kids in ‘Nam if I remember right, the scene was emotional and heartfelt. I met a soldier who had lost his leg in the war, and he had brought his family and friends to see the names of his fellow soldiers on the Wall that had died. Together they would find the names, and then this soldier would tell his people the story of why a particular soldier was important to him, and what he did while in action. The guy was a construction worker, and his artificial leg was dusty and creaky, but he was a big muscular boy who got the job done. He easily and proudly told the stories of his dead friends.

Other veterans that were there visiting the Wall, however, were not as able. Many would sit in their fatigues from a distance, not able to actually approach the Wall. Hats off to what our troops are going through today in Iraq, especially with the IED's. But man, Vietnam was a whole different ball game, with booby traps and devious jungle tactics that would make even an Iraqi veteran's skin crawl. While the Coppola movie "Apocalypse Now" is admittedly loosely based on the classic story "Heart Of Darkness" written by Joseph Conrad in 1902, ( A must read, an essential read, whether you went to college or not. It is short yet adventurous and well-written. A classic, and you will see where Coppola got his ideas for "Apocalypse Now" by the way, and you can read the book for free online here - http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/526, or http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ConDark.html) a lot of the crazy **** in that movie did happen in one way or another. And so, with buddies dead and memories too strong, many vets could not make the walk down the hill.

One interesting thing about taking in the Traveling Wall at that time was seeing the notes left to the dead soldiers. Even though it wasn't the real memorial in DC, it was a heartfelt thing to meet, talk to, and witness the visit to the wall of the children of the dead soldiers. What was unique about seeing that at that time was the time frame- it was the 1980's and it was when many of the kids of the slain soldiers were becoming the exact same age that their Dad was when he lost his life. They were 18, 19, 20, whatever, and it was dawning on them that the blood flowing through their veins was of the same age as the blood that flowed out of their father's veins when the **** hit the fan for him in that jungle so far away. It also hit them because they were reaching the age that their father would never get to. Her father never got past 19 years of age. All of a sudden, they were facing the fact that they were becoming older than their father ever got, and the reaction to that realization was amazing.

That also was true for the widows of the dead soldiers. Of course, by then they had gone on to marry other men, and start new families, and had moved on. Yet, walking up to that Wall reminded them of a love that was forever young, that they themselves were young then as well, and that their relationship with their young lover was nipped in the bud before it could grow long in the tooth, before problems could arise, before mortgages or bills or arguments could get out of hand. They were young when they met and got together, with all the vibrancy that comes with young love, yet he never got older. It was a young part of life frozen in time. The average age of a World War Two soldier was 26. The average age of a Vietnam War soldier was 19. To these people, the memory of their lover, boyfriend, husband, or friend will always be one of youth.

A lot of these people expressed their thoughts to their dead friends by writing them a note and leaving it at the Traveling Wall for all to see and read. It wasn't a matter of writing a tribute to someone. They were letters and notes written directly to that soldier, in real time, in the present. I have many of them written down in that article, but I can't find it at the moment. Suffice it to say, it got to me, a damn sure still does. Notes from a friend that said, "many have forgotten you, Jimmy, but I never will."


Derek H



Sweetie do you need a cigarette after typing all of that, or what?

Very touching stuff Derek, thank you. My own father served in Vietnam and had his share of horror stories, friends that stood next to him one minute that died a minute later. Surreal stuff. My Grandfather served in WW2, and his ship, Then Enterprise, was attacked, many in the engine room drowned. Good people here one day, erased the next.

anyway, Ann, i salute your efforts to not letting this small place on the web forget the sacrifices our military is making everyday. I just hate how everything has to be labeled as something. the facts are simple: we are sending soldiers overseas, and some of them are not coming back. If that doesnt make you mad as hell despite what political party you run with, that is a sad, sad, thing.

[Edited on 3/9/2007 by LinnieXX]


SquatchTexas - 3/9/2007 at 02:46 PM

quote:
quote:
Just stating the obvious and letting her know how you are.



as opposed to letting her figure out what derek is about on her own. that seems pretty partisan to me.


I was trying to break it down for Derek. I know Ann can figure it out on her own. She already has.


sibwalker - 3/9/2007 at 04:36 PM

Derek, since you like to "tell it as it is", just how "old" were you during the Vietnam Era? Don't think you were ever old enough to have to face the prospects of being drafted, as some of like myself had to (of course, I was fortunate enough to get a "high number"). Also, for someone, who would have you believe, knows so much about the military and veterans, and has been pretty much "pro-war" and "pro-neoconservative" since the beginning. I'm curious why you yourself never served in the military? Care to "tell it as it is"?


bigann - 3/9/2007 at 04:49 PM

March deaths - 26
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,189

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 520
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,820

Mission Accomplished day 1,423


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/9/2007 at 06:23 PM

quote:
Derek, since you like to "tell it as it is", just how "old" were you during the Vietnam Era? Don't think you were ever old enough to have to face the prospects of being drafted, as some of like myself had to (of course, I was fortunate enough to get a "high number"). Also, for someone, who would have you believe, knows so much about the military and veterans, and has been pretty much "pro-war" and "pro-neoconservative" since the beginning. I'm curious why you yourself never served in the military? Care to "tell it as it is"?



Well, number on Sib, if you will adjust your meds and heighten your reading retention you will see that I addressed that specifically when I said above that "I was too young to be drafted, and in fact missed the draft by four years." As for myself, I came of age in 1977 during your buddy Jimmy Carter's reign, when he was cutting the military left and right, and his 'leadership' of 'malaise' brought the country down. Vietnam was over, and the military was shrinking, and the benefits that are there now weren't there then. My dad was a full bird Colonel and I butted heads with him, especially after he left home a few year before, and I had no intention of following in his footsteps. Looking back, I probably could have used a two year stint right out of high school as I didn't go to college until much later, and I learned how to use a gun in my drug dealing days back then. A few hairy situations, but never hurt anyone. Even so, I actually voted for Carter in 1980 at the end of my liberal indoctrination. I was soon cured. Past that, you continue to write as if you saw action while in the military. When, and in what theater??


sibwalker - 3/9/2007 at 06:57 PM

Well Derek,

While I am "Vietnam era" veteran, fortunately I never was given orders to go that Asian nation, but nevertheless if given the orders I would gone and no doubt would have been assigned to a Marine Infantry unit (I was trained as a corpsman), which is a helluva lot more than you ever did for your country. btw, Derek, loved how you "blamed" your daddy. Granted he may have been an a$$hole, but joining the military wouldn't have necessarily been "following in his footsteps". As for your "learning to use a gun during my drug dealing days" comment, that ain't nothing to be impressed about, as your average 12 year old living in any "inner city neighborhood" knows how to do that, but then again I've been through some of those drug adventures myself, as have many around here, so all can say to that is "so what". What's even less impressive is your comment about " I actually voted for Carter in 1980 at the end of my liberal indoctrination". I didn't vote for Carter the first time around in 1976, much less in 1980. Perhaps "your buddy Jimmy Carter" should refer to yourself as YOU ACTUALLY vote for him after his 1st Four Years.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/9/2007 at 07:43 PM

quote:
... I learned how to use a gun in my drug dealing days back then. A few hairy situations, but never hurt anyone.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you spent a night in the New Orleans jail. You're a bad boy, no doubt about it.


LinnieXX - 3/9/2007 at 07:50 PM

quote:
so all can say to that is "so what".


Say it louder Sib! Maybe the band will hear you and they will play it at the Beacon this year


sibwalker - 3/9/2007 at 08:08 PM

SO WHAT!!!!!

Linnie,

Is that "Loud" enough? btw, that would be damn good song for the ABB to cover. Anyway here's a youTube link with Miles Davis and John Coltrane playing "So What".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4FAKRpUCYY


LinnieXX - 3/9/2007 at 08:09 PM



THANKS SIB!


SquatchTexas - 3/9/2007 at 09:33 PM

Someone needs to do a story on Derek..maybe A and E or Lifetime. Done it all, seen it all, been through it all and he still has time to grace us with his wisdom.


SmilingJack - 3/9/2007 at 09:48 PM

"One difference, I tell it like it is, and that includes disagreeing with the Administration. I'm not a republican. For instance, I called for Rumsfield to be fired way back in 2004, I called for Cheney to be kicked off the ticket in the 2004 election, I called the notion of 'Occupation on the cheap' wrong and have suggested a different tack, I think Bush is one of the worse communicating presidents in my lifetime, I've said that we should talk to Iran, and I've brought up what is going on in the Sudan long before it was hip, back when it was about slavery instead of genocide, I have ripped on Bush up one side and down the other for not using the presidential veto on a spending bill even once, on and on."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------
Well, I think this is probably true-Derek is for what the liberals are for a couple of years after the liberals first say it. Hindsight is perfect vision! Check the liberal positions now for where Derek will be in the future.


Edge - 3/10/2007 at 01:17 AM

quote:
quote:
It is difficult to say "Vietnam" without grimacing. Lies and betrayal turned our country inside-out. Lies and betrayal pitted Americans against Americans. This time in history was so so turbulent - protests were not solely related to the Vietnam war - coupled with the friction of the War was the Civil Rights Movement - the issues in America at that time goes on and on. Just mind boggling. I believe that entire era left all of us with a tremendous pain in our hearts, for various reasons, never to be forgotten.



...........It is very apparent that the serious issues facing the American people, right now, are growing by the minute. Global foreign affairs, the war in Irag, mistreatment at Walter Reed, the economy, healthcare issues, immigration, Katrina, etc. Just mind boggling. Silence is not golden right now.



As much as folks want apply what happened in the Vietnam era to the present, nothing going on right now compares to 1968. Not even close. Tet, MLK assassinated, JFK assassinated, presidential convention riots, race riots, and what you have left out was the Democrat's ruse that was the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, and the fact that not only was the White House and Democratic President LBJ micro-managing the war and thereby making our soldiers cannon fodder, but that those same kids could not vote for president. If you were 18, 19, or 20 years old you could not vote! Would the kids of today have enough ass to change something like that if it were like that now??

I was too young to be drafted, and in fact missed the draft by four years. Yet my father was in the military at the time, although his unit was not called up (he flew recon planes such as the L-19 and L-20 Beavers in the National Guard) but friends of mine were incountry. I remember debriefing my friend David, who was married to my best friend's sister Dottie Ziegler. He was a Marine and told me the story of hills that they would be ordered to take in ‘Nam for no tactical, strategic, or discernable reason during the day, and they would then be over-run again almost every night. There was no objective, it was just an order that came ‘from the top.’ A few Army platoons were hunkered down under intense fire on a nearby hill as well, yet the Army guys were rescued first because the Marines were supposed to be tougher and could hold out longer. Because he and his buddies were Marines, they told to take the heat until the Army guys were evacuated. It became crazy fast. He literally had an NVA almost step on his toes as he ran by; he was that close to the action and in the middle of it. Ultimately, his head couldn't take the war and he is still messed up, losing his family, and he may never be right again.

Another friend of mine was a black guy named Ross who was incountry for more than one tour. He was in a Time Magazine article in 1967 in a picture that showed him throwing a hand grenade. Some academy bookworm Lieutenant took over his platoon at some point and was clueless. He led them into mistake after mistake, yet wouldn't listen to those that had been there a long time. It got so bad that Ross and his fellow soldiers would purposely salute the Lieutenant while out in the field hoping a VC sniper would notice and take him out. It wasn’t exactly fragging, but it was close.

One day Ross and his buddies were asked by the Lieutenant to walk right into what they knew was a trap. At that point in time, Ross was three weeks from his tour of duty being up, and all he had to do was stay safe and wait it out until his trip home. But this asswipe officer was adamant about making the wrong move, time after time. Ross disagreed with him, and told him he was wrong one day. The officer said that if he said another word that he would get another tour of duty. Ross did not back down, and he was given another year in ‘Nam by the officer on the spot – Bam! The officer confronted him again with yet another tour of duty if he didn’t shut up, and Ross held his ground and got yet another tour of duty. Bam! Just minutes earlier he was out in three weeks, now he had two more years on the shelf.

At that point he didn't give a damn about anything, so he would volunteer to walk point. Now, a lot of times the guy who walks point through the jungle doesn't get killed because the ambushing VC or NVA would wait until the point man walked past them so they could wait on the bulk of the platoon to walk by and then they would attack. Ross walked point for six straight months and it f*cked with his brain and his nerves. I would be talking to Ross many years afterwards, and even then it was the same- if he was near a set of woods at the same time it was raining, even a light rain, the flashbacks would come back to the point that he was nervous and wary and damn near out of his mind. It happened right in front of me one day, as we were standing near some woods as a light rain fell.

Another story that Ross told me was about fighting in a small town in South Vietnam where a talented VC sniper was taking out soldier after soldier, with bullet after bullet, and doing so by moving from one building to the next on different days. After taking out a few of his fellow soldiers, his platoon finally took this f*ck out, and when they did they hooked the sniper's dead body onto the front of the tank and let his body rot so that the locals would see him rot for days until it was just his head left. They didn't care, as they wanted to show the locals what they would do to the enemy or those that helped the enemy.

As for the question of if I have ever seen the Vietnam Memorial, yes, and probably more times than you have. My kin live in DC and we always make a point of it. More than that, when I was in college in the 1980's I wrote a story on the Traveling Wall, which was a smaller replica of the Vietnam Wall that traveled from town to town. All of the names of the fallen soldiers were on it, just as with the DC memorial. Even when it was here in my part of Ohio, set up on the football field at Elder High school, a school that lost about ten kids in ‘Nam if I remember right, the scene was emotional and heartfelt. I met a soldier who had lost his leg in the war, and he had brought his family and friends to see the names of his fellow soldiers on the Wall that had died. Together they would find the names, and then this soldier would tell his people the story of why a particular soldier was important to him, and what he did while in action. The guy was a construction worker, and his artificial leg was dusty and creaky, but he was a big muscular boy who got the job done. He easily and proudly told the stories of his dead friends.

Other veterans that were there visiting the Wall, however, were not as able. Many would sit in their fatigues from a distance, not able to actually approach the Wall. Hats off to what our troops are going through today in Iraq, especially with the IED's. But man, Vietnam was a whole different ball game, with booby traps and devious jungle tactics that would make even an Iraqi veteran's skin crawl. While the Coppola movie "Apocalypse Now" is admittedly loosely based on the classic story "Heart Of Darkness" written by Joseph Conrad in 1902, ( A must read, an essential read, whether you went to college or not. It is short yet adventurous and well-written. A classic, and you will see where Coppola got his ideas for "Apocalypse Now" by the way, and you can read the book for free online here - http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/526, or http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ConDark.html) a lot of the crazy **** in that movie did happen in one way or another. And so, with buddies dead and memories too strong, many vets could not make the walk down the hill.

One interesting thing about taking in the Traveling Wall at that time was seeing the notes left to the dead soldiers. Even though it wasn't the real memorial in DC, it was a heartfelt thing to meet, talk to, and witness the visit to the wall of the children of the dead soldiers. What was unique about seeing that at that time was the time frame- it was the 1980's and it was when many of the kids of the slain soldiers were becoming the exact same age that their Dad was when he lost his life. They were 18, 19, 20, whatever, and it was dawning on them that the blood flowing through their veins was of the same age as the blood that flowed out of their father's veins when the **** hit the fan for him in that jungle so far away. It also hit them because they were reaching the age that their father would never get to. Her father never got past 19 years of age. All of a sudden, they were facing the fact that they were becoming older than their father ever got, and the reaction to that realization was amazing.

That also was true for the widows of the dead soldiers. Of course, by then they had gone on to marry other men, and start new families, and had moved on. Yet, walking up to that Wall reminded them of a love that was forever young, that they themselves were young then as well, and that their relationship with their young lover was nipped in the bud before it could grow long in the tooth, before problems could arise, before mortgages or bills or arguments could get out of hand. They were young when they met and got together, with all the vibrancy that comes with young love, yet he never got older. It was a young part of life frozen in time. The average age of a World War Two soldier was 26. The average age of a Vietnam War soldier was 19. To these people, the memory of their lover, boyfriend, husband, or friend will always be one of youth.

A lot of these people expressed their thoughts to their dead friends by writing them a note and leaving it at the Traveling Wall for all to see and read. It wasn't a matter of writing a tribute to someone. They were letters and notes written directly to that soldier, in real time, in the present. I have many of them written down in that article, but I can't find it at the moment. Suffice it to say, it got to me, a damn sure still does. Notes from a friend that said, "many have forgotten you, Jimmy, but I never will."


Derek H

[Edited on 3/8/2007 by DerekFromCincinnati]



I generally stay away from replying to threads such as this, but I'm a little slow, so derek, If you would, explain to me what you are trying to say in this post.....


bigann - 3/10/2007 at 04:52 PM

March deaths - 27
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,190

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 520
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,820

Mission Accomplished day 1,424


ruthelane - 3/11/2007 at 07:33 AM

Ann, Just keep on beating your drum.


bigann - 3/11/2007 at 03:19 PM

A good report today for our soldiers. No new fatalities listed. A fair report for the Iraqis.

March deaths - 27
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,190

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 578
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,878

Mission Accomplished day 1,425


gina - 3/11/2007 at 07:04 PM

Bush Seeks 8,200 More Troops for Wars
By Deb Riechmann,
The Associated Press

Saturday 10 March 2007

Montevideo, Uruguay - President President Bush asked Congress on Saturday for $3.2 billion to pay for 8,200 more US troops needed in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of the 21,500-troop buildup he announced in January.

Bush wants Congress to fund 3,500 new US troops to expand training of local police and army units in Afghanistan. The money also would pay for the estimated 3,500 existing U.S. troops he already announced would be staying longer in the region to counter an anticipated Taliban offensive in Afghanistan this spring.

In Iraq, most of the additional troops would help with the latest Baghdad security plan, which is getting under way in the capital. The money would pay for 2,400 combat support troops, 2,200 military police forces and 129 troops for reconstruction teams.

The budget revisions come as many lawmakers opposed to the buildup in Iraq are debating funding for the war. But in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Bush proposed canceling $3.2 billion in low-priority defense items to offset the extra money needed to support the additional troops.

Cutting the programs, he said, would eliminate the need to increase the overall $93.4 billion in additional defense money he's already requested to finance this year's war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This revised request would better align resources based on the assessment of military commanders to achieve the goal of establishing Iraq and Afghanistan as democratic and secure nations that are free of terrorism," Bush wrote in his letter to lawmakers.

Bush signed the letter on his flight Friday from Brazil to Uruguay, part of his five-nation tour of Latin America that continues on Sunday in Colombia. The White House released the letter Saturday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, recently hinted of the need to bolster the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

"Gen. Petraeus expects under the Baghdad security plan as well as other parts of Iraq, that the number of people going into detention will increase and so these military police forces will be for that," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

-------


ruthelane - 3/12/2007 at 12:43 AM

Thank God for one day without losing a single soldier's life.
Pray that we have more days like this.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/12/2007 at 04:21 AM

"Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors." - Abraham Lincoln


bigann - 3/12/2007 at 04:32 AM

I've always respected the words of Abraham Lincoln. I believe, however, for this president in this situation, 'You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' would be a more important message for him to understand.


ruthelane - 3/12/2007 at 06:16 AM

Derek, Your signature is a Billy Joe Shaver quote:
"Simplicity don't have to be greased"
Why don't you try following that nugget of wisdom.

And like I've said before I love Billy Joe Shaver.


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/12/2007 at 12:42 PM

Howdy ladies!


LinnieXX - 3/12/2007 at 12:55 PM


Hi Derek!


bigann - 3/12/2007 at 03:30 PM

March deaths - 32
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,195

February '07 - 50
January '07 - 631
Total wounded - 33, 814

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 658
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,958

Mission Accomplished day 1,426


bigann - 3/13/2007 at 05:42 PM

March deaths - 32
February deaths - 84
January deaths - 86
Total dead - 3,195

Total wounded - 33, 714

March Iraqi civilian deaths - 661
February Iraqi civilian deaths - 1,531
January Iraqi civilian deaths -1,802
Total Iraqi civilian deaths in past 14 months - 22,961

Mission Accomplished day 1,427


[Edited on 3/13/2007 by bigann]


SantaCruzBluz - 3/13/2007 at 06:45 PM

Ann, I saw an article in the paper that said that as many as 800 American civilian "contractors" (i.e. mercenaries) have also died in this war. Those deaths go pretty much unreported. I wonder if they should be included here as well. Any thoughts?


bigann - 3/13/2007 at 06:52 PM

I think they should be included, but I don't have access to accurate figures on a daily basis. I would welcome the addition should anyone know what they are and wish to post them here. Thank you for the suggestion.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/13/2007 at 07:06 PM

Here's a site with a list of names, but they are not numbered.

http://icasualties.org/oif/Civ.aspx

I'll keep looking.


SquatchTexas - 3/13/2007 at 09:28 PM

With all due respect to the intent of this thread, I think it should be limited to the soldiers and not those seeking to profit from this mess. Many of the mercs are part of the problem we are facing as they do not have to "follow the rules" like our soldiers are expected to do. Just a thought.


bigann - 3/13/2007 at 09:42 PM

A valid thought for consideration....I'll continue to post the information I've been posting, however, I'm not opposed to someone else posting the other information.


Chain - 3/14/2007 at 12:39 PM

Another soldier killed from Fort Drum:

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Thomas L. Latham, 23, of Delmar, Md., died March 11 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

For more information on this soldier, contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-8286.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/14/2007 at 01:42 PM

My son was stationed at Ft. Drum before he got out of the Army. He served in Kosovo, and I thank God he got out before our Idiot-in-Chief started this war. And I have a world of sympathy for anyone who has a loved one in Iraq.


Chain - 3/14/2007 at 01:48 PM

quote:
My son was stationed at Ft. Drum before he got out of the Army. He served in Kosovo, and I thank God he got out before our Idiot-in-Chief started this war. And I have a world of sympathy for anyone who has a loved one in Iraq.


No kidding? What did he think of upstate, NY? While Fort Drum is a bit dreary, the area as a whole is a wonderful place to live if you appreciate the outdoors. Happy to hear he got out before the current idiots in charge destroyed our military.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/14/2007 at 01:53 PM

quote:
quote:
My son was stationed at Ft. Drum before he got out of the Army. He served in Kosovo, and I thank God he got out before our Idiot-in-Chief started this war. And I have a world of sympathy for anyone who has a loved one in Iraq.


No kidding? What did he think of upstate, NY? While Fort Drum is a bit dreary, the area as a whole is a wonderful place to live if you appreciate the outdoors. Happy to hear he got out before the current idiots in charge destroyed our military.


He thought it was cold! I really haven't talked to him much about it. While he was in the Army, I moved to Santa Cruz, and now New Orleans. He's living back in Macon, and we don't have many chances to get together. I'll ask him sometime, tho. I think a little of it is, what happens in the Army stays in the Army.

[Edited on 3/14/2007 by SantaCruzBluz]


bigann - 3/14/2007 at 04:20 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 34
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,197

Weekly Wounded Report

3/1 - 3/7 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 721
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,021

Mission Accomplished day 1,428

I've been having difficulty obtaining an accurate count of the wounded so I'm going to post the weekly reports instead of the previous accounting.


Chain - 3/14/2007 at 06:13 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
My son was stationed at Ft. Drum before he got out of the Army. He served in Kosovo, and I thank God he got out before our Idiot-in-Chief started this war. And I have a world of sympathy for anyone who has a loved one in Iraq.


No kidding? What did he think of upstate, NY? While Fort Drum is a bit dreary, the area as a whole is a wonderful place to live if you appreciate the outdoors. Happy to hear he got out before the current idiots in charge destroyed our military.


He thought it was cold! I really haven't talked to him much about it. While he was in the Army, I moved to Santa Cruz, and now New Orleans. He's living back in Macon, and we don't have many chances to get together. I'll ask him sometime, tho. I think a little of it is, what happens in the Army stays in the Army.

[Edited on 3/14/2007 by SantaCruzBluz]


It's definitely cold up here in the winter time, and we get tons of snow (as you know if you've watched the news at all this winter...massive amounts of lake effect snow). However, we get lots of hot, humid weather in the summer. Fortunately, we have literally hundreds of bodies of water in New York, many of which are a short drive from Fort Drum. the Thousand Islands region, Adirondack Park with ponds rivers, lakes, etc., the Finger Lakes region, St. Lawrence river and Lake Ontario. If you like to fish, hunt swim, boat, scuba, etc. you really can't beat upstate, NY....

[Edited on 3/15/2007 by Chain]


SantaCruzBluz - 3/14/2007 at 07:42 PM

I've never been to upstate New York, but I've known lots of people from up there. I've always thought it was funny that they were quick to let you know they were from UPSTATE New York. I worked with a guy in Texas that we nicknamed "Upstate" for that very reason. I would like to visit someday.


SquatchTexas - 3/14/2007 at 08:28 PM

Hey Ann, I found something kind of interesting for you to use.



I believe the image is updated regularly. If you go to the site itself ( http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/USfatalities.html ), you can click on the various parts of it to get more information from the links it includes.


bigann - 3/14/2007 at 10:02 PM

Thank you.....it's a good link to go to for information. I hope others will also check it out too.


RedRider - 3/15/2007 at 03:56 AM

quote:
I've never been to upstate New York, but I've known lots of people from up there. I've always thought it was funny that they were quick to let you know they were from UPSTATE New York. I worked with a guy in Texas that we nicknamed "Upstate" for that very reason. I would like to visit someday.


LOL Allen! Because people assume NYC if not stated otherwise and there is a world of difference....


DerekFromCincinnati - 3/15/2007 at 12:12 PM

quote:
Because people assume NYC if not stated otherwise and there is a world of difference....


I agree, Redrider. My sister lived in Saugerties for a long time, and it is night and day different from NYC. Vineyards, excellent and plentiful finger lakes, Hunter Mountain, etc. You won't be mining a lot of Herkimer Diamonds in Manhatten.


SantaCruzBluz - 3/15/2007 at 01:40 PM

quote:
quote:
I've never been to upstate New York, but I've known lots of people from up there. I've always thought it was funny that they were quick to let you know they were from UPSTATE New York. I worked with a guy in Texas that we nicknamed "Upstate" for that very reason. I would like to visit someday.


LOL Allen! Because people assume NYC if not stated otherwise and there is a world of difference....




Exactly. They want to make sure you know they are NOT from NYC.


Chain - 3/15/2007 at 02:29 PM

quote:
I've never been to upstate New York, but I've known lots of people from up there. I've always thought it was funny that they were quick to let you know they were from UPSTATE New York. I worked with a guy in Texas that we nicknamed "Upstate" for that very reason. I would like to visit someday.


Yes, we're very quick to explain exactly what "upstate" New York means to Nyer's. Most people think anywhere above New York city is "upstate." When in fact there's "central" New York, "western" New York, Catskills region, etc...Upstate is pretty much anything above Syracuse, NY....Fort Drum is about 30 minutes from the Canadian border. Anyway, you really should visit. New York State as a whole is quite diverse and a very beautiful place to live....if you can stand the cold, snowy winters..


bigann - 3/15/2007 at 04:40 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 40
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,203

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 751
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,051

Mission Accomplished day 1,429


bigann - 3/16/2007 at 03:54 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 47
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,210

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 795
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,095

Mission Accomplished day 1,430


bigann - 3/17/2007 at 03:35 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 47
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,210

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 800
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,100

Mission Accomplished day 1,431


ruthelane - 3/17/2007 at 08:45 PM

I come by this thread everyday and read the posts and try to absorb so many dead.
It makes me sad and to think of mothers who lost children in this war.

But there is also chatting about other topics which can be very interesting.

Re: Upstate New York
One summer, 18 or 19 years ago we sent our daughter to summer camp in Upstate NY. It was about an hour from Lake Placid. The camp was six weeks and they had Parents Day for the middle of summer camp. My husband and I stayed in Lake Placid but took day trips We had such a great time and the pace of life is not NYC.Everybody was very friendly. I would love to go back for another vacation. It was very cool and lots of little streams and picnic tables. It would be a wonderful respite from the Florida's summer oven. There is no real point to this story, just to say we love Upstate NY. And I am a Southern gal.


bigann - 3/18/2007 at 03:49 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 55
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,218

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 823
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,123

Mission Accomplished day 1,432


gina - 3/18/2007 at 07:16 PM

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged)
In America'sWar On Iraq 3,211
http://icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America's War On Iraq - At
Least 655,000 + +

The War in Iraq Costs
$409,052,121,231

See the cost in your community
http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182


A Nation in Ruins

2,000,000 Iraqis now live outside Iraq, according to UNHCR

12,000 doctors have fled Iraq since the war began. Another 2,000 are said to have been killed, and at least 250 kidnapped

50% Average inflation in 2006, according to the World Bank

6.3 hours of electricity daily in Baghdad in December 2006. In May 2003 there were 16-24 hours

32 percentage of people in Iraq with drinkable water

3,700,000 Iraqis now receive food aid from the UN World Food Programme

16% Proportion of Iraqis who said in January that their income meets their basic needs

And for this we need to send:

an additional 21,500 combat troops to be sent to Iraq. But the figure has since crept up to nearly 30,000, with 2,200 military police being added. To have 160,000 troops there.

Do all the native Iraqis have to leave and join the other 2,000,000 that have left? Is that when we can declare victory?


ruthelane - 3/19/2007 at 06:54 AM

Gina, This is good information. It is so horrific to think about.
I guess nobody's home in Wash. D.C.
It is just overwhelming and I keep thinking "how did we let this happen?"


bigann - 3/19/2007 at 04:29 PM

Put on your party hats everyone and blow up the balloons. Today is the 4th anniversary of this war. And as the people begin to question the wisdom of the whole thing, the statistics of those injured and dead are being lowered daily.....well, that is excpet for the Iraqis....they're still dying on a regular basis.

Soldier Deaths

March - 54
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,217

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 864
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,164

Mission Accomplished day 1,433


bigann - 3/20/2007 at 06:31 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 58
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,221

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 925
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,225

Mission Accomplished day 1,434


bigann - 3/21/2007 at 04:38 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 60
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,223

Weekly Wounded Report

3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1018
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,318

Mission Accomplished day 1,435


bigann - 3/22/2007 at 04:05 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 63
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,228

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1042
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,342

Mission Accomplished day 1,439

[Edited on 3/23/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 3/23/2007 at 03:46 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 68
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,233

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1042
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,342

Mission Accomplished day 1,440


bigann - 3/24/2007 at 04:03 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 71
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,236

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,134
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,434

Mission Accomplished day 1,441



[Edited on 3/24/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 3/25/2007 at 11:13 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 76
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,247

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,211
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,511

Mission Accomplished day 1,442


PhotoRon286 - 3/25/2007 at 11:26 PM

quote:
My son was stationed at Ft. Drum before he got out of the Army. He served in Kosovo, and I thank God he got out before our Idiot-in-Chief started this war. And I have a world of sympathy for anyone who has a loved one in Iraq.


My daughter Amy just called to tell me her unit is being deployed April 5.


To Baghdad.


bigann - 3/25/2007 at 11:56 PM

My prayers will be going with her.


bigann - 3/27/2007 at 04:03 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 77
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,248

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,291
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,591

Mission Accomplished day 1,443

Bush in office - 665 left


bigann - 3/28/2007 at 03:24 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 78
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,243

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,396
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,696

Mission Accomplished day 1,444

Bush in office - 664 left


bigann - 3/29/2007 at 02:38 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 80
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,245

Weekly Wounded Report

3/22 - 3/28 - 127
3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,600

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,396
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,696

Mission Accomplished day 1,445

Bush in office - 663 left


bigann - 3/30/2007 at 03:50 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 80
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,245

Weekly Wounded Report

3/22 - 3/28 - 127
3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,600

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,673
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 23,973

Mission Accomplished day 1,446

Bush in office - 662 left



[Edited on 3/31/2007 by bigann]


ruthelane - 3/31/2007 at 04:26 AM

Hey Ann, I think the number of days since MA for 3/30/07 is a typo.
I stop by here sometimes and look at the horrific numbers.
I'm glad you are still here beating your drum.
Your conviction is inspiring.
Ruthie


bigann - 3/31/2007 at 04:30 AM

Oh yes....big typo....I don't do well first thing in the morning! Thank you!


cleaneduphippy - 3/31/2007 at 01:45 PM

If any of you get a chance, pick up the 2 April issue of Newsweek. The issue is entitled "Voices of the Fallen" and in it, the men and women who have given their lives in the war, tell their story through the letters and emails that they had sent to their familes and friends. Very powerful issue. btw, here's a link to one of the articles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17773294/site/newsweek/


bigann - 3/31/2007 at 03:49 PM

Soldier Deaths

March - 81
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,246

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,808
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 24,108

Mission Accomplished day 1,447

Bush in office - 661 left





[Edited on 4/1/2007 by bigann]


bigann - 3/31/2007 at 03:52 PM

quote:
If any of you get a chance, pick up the 2 April issue of Newsweek. The issue is entitled "Voices of the Fallen" and in it, the men and women who have given their lives in the war, tell their story through the letters and emails that they had sent to their familes and friends. Very powerful issue. btw, here's a link to one of the articles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17773294/site/newsweek/



That's one of the most painful things I've read and seen. I hope everyone will take the time to read the stories and listen to the men.


bigann - 4/1/2007 at 06:23 PM

Wish I could say this was an April Fool's joke....but it's not.

Soldier Deaths

March - 81
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,246

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

March - 1,808
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 14 months - 24,108

Mission Accomplished day 1,448

Bush in office - 660 left


cleaneduphippy - 4/2/2007 at 01:17 PM

While we remember those who have given their lives, let's also remember those that have to go on living. An example would be PFC Nicholas Addis, who's story is told in this article from the American Conservative magazine. PFC Addis has a long road ahead of him in getting over his "survivor's guilt", and I certainly hope and pray that the examples and sacrifice of SFC Borea and Sgt Casitillo help him "move on" and become the soldier, the man and the brother that they wanted him to be. Thoughts and prayers to them all incuding "Terp" who I assume was an Iraqi interpeter.

Band of Brothers
American troops fight less for democracy than for the men next to them.

by Stewart Nusbaumer

MOSUL, IRAQ—“That’s a day I’ll never forget,” Private First Class Addis says slowly, gently rubbing his M16 rifle.

Three weeks ago, when driving through Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, PFC Addis steered his Humvee around a big pothole and pile of garbage and right into the full blast of a roadside bomb. “It was a loud-ass boom and then everything went dark. When I woke up, I said, ‘I don’t want to die.’ I know that sounds really selfish.”

We are sitting outside my military quarters on an Army cot under a warm, soothing sun. The gloomy winter darkness and dampness has only recently passed; the searing summer heat has yet to arrive. This is the best weather in Iraq. But for Private First Class Addis, this is the very worst time, probably in his entire life.

“I immediately knew Sergeant Borea was dead,” the young 1st Calvary Division soldier says slowly, each word pulsating with agony. “He was missing a big chunk of his body. Terp [the interpreter] was hanging out—both legs were gone. One of Sergeant Casitillo’s legs was barely attached.”

Nicholas Addis, now 21, was born in Galesburg, Illinois and later moved to Chicago. He looks several years younger. With light freckles, clear eyes, and soft features, he has a classic all-American face. What you first notice, however—what you cannot help but first notice—is a dark red mark on the side of his nose. Tiny, yet obvious, it is an unnatural imposition on his unblemished face. Shrapnel wound, he says—adding that he was also wounded in the shoulder.

When your platoon sergeant is killed, your interpreter has both legs blown off, your fire team leader has one leg amputated, and you, the driver of the vehicle, get off relatively easy—well, you haven’t gotten off relatively easy. Survivor’s guilt is a haunting, ruthless wound, a cruel demon that stalks and terrorizes the mind.

“I’m the only one walking around,” he says rocking back and forth on the cot as his eyes remain fixed straight ahead, “but I’m the one without a wife and kid. Mind if I smoke, sir? People say I should be happy that I’m not dead.” His voice trails off into pain too deep to speak.

“You see these things on TV,” he stops in mid-sentence. “I used to have expensive clothes and all that, but I don’t care about that stuff anymore.”

There are several dull thuds, probably incoming mortar rounds landing somewhere on this sprawling U.S. Army base, called Forward Operating Base Marez. If only one loud boom, normally that is EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) blasting a cache of captured ordnances —not an unusual occurrence here. A few short bursts of small arms fire occasionally flare on the perimeter wire. Few soldiers pay much attention to any of this.

In Iraq, the main weapon of death and destruction is the IED (Improvised Explosive Device), which grows in both number and intensity. IEDs are usually placed on roads. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, they have caused approximately 70 percent of U.S. causalities in Iraq. This means that nearly 3,000 American military personnel and contractors have been lost to IEDs. One of those killed was Sergeant First Class Russell P. Borea.

“He was a really good guy, I miss him,” says PFC Addis. “We looked sort of alike, so they gave us nicknames.” The corners of the Addis’s mouth curve up and slowly push out a smile. “I was Mini Rue, he was Papa Rue. He was a father to me.”

He gazes across the low rolling hills of brown dirt and rocks, past the perimeter wire and guard towers, beyond the buildings and streets of Mosul in the far distance and sees absolutely nothing. With eyes locked, he has the thousand-yard stare, which could just as well be called the million-mile stare. His eyes see nothing because his mind sees so intensely.

Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the U.S. Army’s 7th Regiment, 1st Calvary Division in Mosul, tells me that those who plant IEDs are mostly unemployed young Iraqi males. “We need to provide them with employment, with skilled jobs,” he says, “we need to get factories up and running, get stores open. That will take care of much of the problem.”

Yet there have been only 120 projects, costing $102 million, for the reconstruction of the entire Ninewa Province, and most of the effort has gone into short-term programs, such as building wells. “What is needed is an infusion of money for long-term employment,” Colonel Twitty says.

“Sergeant Borea was a good soldier,” Addis says as he slowly rocks back and forth, rubbing his rifle. “All he cared about was teaching other soldiers—even those not staying in the Army.” Another smile peeks through, “He just wanted to help everyone to become a better man. Good father figure, he cared for everyone, a great man. I want you to write that, sir. And he had a family, a wife and child.” The PFC hesitates, and then, in nearly a whisper—I strain to hear the words—“I wish it was me.”

Survivor’s guilt has pushed Addis from “I don’t want to die” immediately after the bombing to “I wish it was me.” For three weeks, wrenching questions that cannot be answered have bombarded his mind. Why did Sergeant Borea die? Why did I live? He has a family and I don’t—why him and not me?

Addis’s eyes brighten: “Sergeant Casitillo was another good guy, my team leader.” (Fire teams are composed of four soldiers and are the smallest unit in the military.) “When we were in the hospital I couldn’t sleep, so I went to his bed and held his hand all night. When he woke up we tried using sign language, but we couldn’t understand each other.” Another smile struggles out. “The nurse got us pen and paper, and the first thing he asked was about Sergeant Borea.” The PFC’s eyes narrow. “I was the one. I was the one that had to tell him Sergeant Borea didn’t make it.” He looks away again.

“I would like you to write the Borea and Casitillo families are always in my prayers. And Terp’s family, he paid the same as us.”

I ask softly, “You ready to go home?”

“No, I don’t want to go,” he responds quickly, throwing me a quick glance. “Sir, why would I want to leave my brothers behind?”

“Well, I thought—”

“I would feel so guilty if I left—Sergeant Borea would say that. He wouldn’t leave his guys.”

“Yeah, but you’ve been through a—”

“Sergeant Casitillo said to me when medevacked out, ‘We’re brothers for life.’ Sir, I want to stay right here with my brothers.”

A shiver rips down my spine. I turn away as water forms in my eyes. I turn toward the rolling hills of brown dirt and stones, the perimeter wire and guard post, the buildings and streets of Mosul, and I see none of it.

The words “loyalty” and “sacrifice” are used ubiquitously in America, by self-assured pundits, by self-proclaimed patriots, in ordinary malls and in all kinds of bars, everyday, everywhere. When one young American soldier in Iraq doesn’t use the words but believes whole heartedly in their meaning, I’m suddenly emptied of every word I ever knew.

Several quick thuds; the mortars hit closer this time. I barely hear them. I’m thinking of the weapon of destruction and death in Iraq. I’m thinking PFC Nicholas Addis will soon return to the lethal streets of Mosul, and I will soon return to the safe streets of America. I’m wondering when I steer around a big pothole back home, what I will think—I’m thankful that my front-end alignment is still good? How about, I don’t want to die? .
___________________________________

Stewart Nusbaumer is embedded with various Army and Marine units in Iraq.


bigann - 4/2/2007 at 05:05 PM

Thank you for that article. We needed to read it.

Soldier Deaths

April - 6
March - 82
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,252

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

April - 21
March - 1,889
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 15 months - 24,210

Mission Accomplished day 1,449

Bush in office - 659 left


Chain - 4/2/2007 at 05:58 PM

Eight more from Fort Drum:

Breaking: Fort Drum Loses 8 Soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan
Monday, April 02, 2007, 1:12pm

Eight 10th Mountain Division soldiers stationed at Fort Drum were killed overseas since last Thursday, a post spokesman told 7 News.

Seven soldiers died in incidents in Iraq over the weekend, according to post spokesman Ben Abel.

Another soldier was killed in Afghanistan last Thursday, Abel said.

Abel said details of the deaths would be released over the next several days.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that roadside bombings claimed the lives of six American soldiers in incidents Saturday and Sunday.

Two of the soldiers were killed late Saturday.

Soon after, four others died responding to the first attack.

The bombings, which came southwest of Baghdad, appeared to be coordinated attacks.

- 7 News staff & Associated Press


bigann - 4/2/2007 at 06:05 PM

I guess those are the soldiers represented in yesterday's 6 and the incresase in the March total on the last day. I'm so sorry....seems as if your area is losing more than most.


dancingrhonda - 4/2/2007 at 07:02 PM

From the AP today:

WASHINGTON -- For just the second time since the war began, the Army is sending large units back to Iraq without giving them at least a year at home, defense officials said Monday.

.....what a mess!!!!


bigann - 4/2/2007 at 10:45 PM

Does anyone have access to the statistics of how many divorces have occurred in the military since the war started or how many people in the national guard have lost their businesses or jobs due to lengthy deployments? There is a lot for this administration to answer for!


PhotoRon286 - 4/3/2007 at 01:47 AM

If you haven't seen it in the other threads, we got great news today!

My daughter Amy will not be deployed to Baghdad with her unit.

Her knee was torn up during training and she'll have to have surgery.

I couldn't be happier.

[Edited on 4/3/2007 by PhotoRon286]


bigann - 4/3/2007 at 02:15 AM

And in all honesty, Ron, we couldn't be happier for you and your daughter either! I thank God for answered prayers!


cleaneduphippy - 4/3/2007 at 06:11 AM

quote:
Does anyone have access to the statistics of how many divorces have occurred in the military since the war started



quote:
It is the soldiers, their families, and the people of Iraq that pay the human costs. The tab so far: more than 3,000 dead U.S. troops, tens of thousands of wounded, over half a million Iraqi casualties, roughly 250,000 American servicemen and women struggling with PTSD, and almost 60,000 military marriages that have been broken by this war.



Anyway, here's the link to the article where the above quote came from.

http://www.shoutwire.com/viewstory/56513/More_Casualties_From_Iraq_Nearly_6 0_000_U_S_Divorces

Ron,

God does have interesting ways of answering prayers. Sorry about your daughter having to have knee surgery, but if it keeps her out of harm's way, then it's worth it. In any case, glad she doesn't have to go to Iraq.


bigann - 4/3/2007 at 04:13 PM

Thank you Ron.....When you read the numbers it's staggering and when you realize that in addition to those figures are even more effected by the divorces and PTSD....husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers, siblings.....and I keep asking myself...for what! The numbers of Iraq dead and all those others effected by this mess is just unimaginable. No wonder Bush ended up 4th...right after Michael Jackson and ahead of O.J. Simpson on the Biggest Fools list this year. Only this isn't foolish....it's just wrong.

Now, for today's report

Soldier Deaths

April - 12
March - 82
February - 84
January - 86
Total dead - 3,257

Weekly Wounded Report

3/15 - 3/21 - 145
3/9 - 3/14 - 118
3/1 - 3/8 - 139
2/22 - 2/28 - 108
2/15 - 2/21 - 147
2/8 - 2/14 - 113
2/1 - 2/7 - 138
1/25 - 1/31 - 165
1/18 - 1/24 - 163
1/11 - 1/17 - 117
12/28/06 - 1/10/07 - 120

Total wounded 2007 - 1,473

Iraqi Civilian Deaths

April - 79
March - 1,889
February - 1,531
January -1,802
Total deaths in past 15 months - 24,268

Mission Accomplished day 1,450

Bush in office - 658 left


Chain - 4/3/2007 at 07:16 PM

quote:
I guess those are the soldiers represented in yesterday's 6 and the incresase in the March total on the last day. I'm so sorry....seems as if your area is losing more than most.


Yes, it seems so doesn't it? Incidentally, the story on the local evening news right after this report was of a funeral for a young marine killed last week in Afghanistan. It was held in a small community about an hour from Fort Drum. Since he was a Marine, he was not stationed at Fort Drum (a United States Army base). Between both stories, it made for a rather depressing day here in the "North Country," as we're often referred to.

Just last week I had a young student in my office explaining that he had committed to the Marine Corps and would be heading to Paris Island in mid August. In his words, he "couldn't wait to get the chance to kill some "towel heads" in Iraq." It made me sad to think there's a good chance his photo will be hanging on the wall in our school lobby along with the other two young men who left with the same attitude and lost their lives six months after graduating.


bigann - 4/3/2007 at 10:16 PM

I spoke with a friend who was in Vietnam and asked him what happened. Of course then there was the draft. He told me during boot camp they disassembled everyone and built them back into fighting machines who couldn't wait to kill a commie. He said that lasted for about three months and after that everyone he knew just prayed they'd stay alive to make it back home......a lot didn't.

When I hear someone so pumped up to go kill another human being I can't help but think there is something seriously wrong. I'd shoot to kill if someone threatened my family in a heartbeat....but I have a difficult time justifying going into someone else's country for the reasons we're there to kill another human being. This young man needs our prayers as much as those who serve...... reluctantly yet proudly.


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