Monday, March 08, 2010

Still deploying to Iraq and David Miliband's fanciful statements

For many of the families of men and women with the Louisiana National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade, the past few days have been bittersweet. Many of the soldiers are home on leave from Camp Shelby, Miss., as they prepare to deploy to Iraq next week.
The Fontenot family of Port Barre is one of those families.
A party was held Saturday afternoon for Specialist Charles Fontenot in the home of his grandparents, Ludric and Leoma Fontenot.

The above is from Judy Bastien's "Passing Down Duty" (Opelousas Daily World)and despite the most fervent desires of so many in the Cult of St. Barack to look the other way and ignore it, the Iraq War has not ended. Yesterday Jake Miller (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune) reported:

The small American flags and marching soldiers on the Medford Middle School basketball court Saturday morning meant one thing: Lacey Meyer and Spc. Jace Klimeck were about to face "Phase six."
It's what the young Medford couple that recently got engaged began preparing for in October, when Klimeck, along with about 60 other soldiers of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 273rd Engineer Company (Sapper) of Medford, received orders he would deploy to northern Iraq for a one-year tour.

And Saturday, Bill Capo (WWl-TV and Daily Comet) reported:

Hundreds of Louisiana’s citizen-soldiers, including about 300 from Houma and Thibodaux, assembled Friday for a special send-off that featured Cajun food, music and a rousing cheer of Who Dat.
The ceremony, held at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Miss., was for about 400 soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s 1-116th Infantry Battalion, based in Lynchburg, and the 3,000-strong National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade, which is just days away from a deployment to Iraq.
Wearing camouflage uniforms and looks of determination, the men and women stood in formation as their commanders thanked them and their families cheered them.

But remember, you can ignore it if reality's too much for you. If you're not serving and no loved one is serving and you're not Iraqi, you can be one of the people Ani DiFranco once sang of:

still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so I would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
til I'd passed and left them alone

That's from Ani's "32 Flavours."

In London today, the Iraq Inquiry continues with Bill Jeffrey (MOD Permanent Secretary from 2005 to 2009) and David Miliband testifying. As disclosed before, I know Miliband. I know and like David. He's already made a fool of himself today declaring that the Iraq War increased respect for England in the Arab world. Keith Weir (Reuters) quotes him stating, "We mustn't be a country that turns our back on the world." And? Oh. Weir's done. Apparently not aware of how this echoes the marker Tony Blair laid out in his infamous 1999 Chicago speech (click here for PBS' coverage on The NewsHour) where Poodle made declarations such as "We are all internationalists now, whether we like it or not." In The News reports:

Mr Miliband, who was a junior minister at the time of the invasion, said: "The authority of the UN, I think, would have been severely dented if the hypothetical case that you are putting - that we had marched to the top of the hill of pressure and then walked down again without disarming Saddam - then I think that would have been really quite damaging for any of the multilateral aims that we have that need to be pursued through the UN.
"The fact that the argument was made very clearly, notably in this country, that feeble follow-through undermines strong words, I think, is significant."

That's nonsense and laughable and we'll tackle it in the snapshot today. Andrew Sparrow (Guardian) covers David and covers for David here. James Kirkup (Telegraph of London) offers actual reporting. Meanwhile Tim King (Salem-News) notes the recent fallen from the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. Our focus here is Iraq so we'll excerpt on the fallen from the Iraq War:

Army Sergeant William C. Spencer, 40, of Tacoma, Washington, died February 25 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained Feb. 20 while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost Marez, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment, Olympia, Washington.

Army Corporal Daniel T. O’Leary, 23, of Youngsville, North Carolina, died February 23 in Fallujah, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over. He was assigned to the 307th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Army Captain Marcus R. Alford, 28, of Knoxville, Tennessee lost his life February 21 in Qayyarah, Iraq, from injuries sustained during the hard landing crash of his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder died in the same crash. Marcus R. Alford was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 230th Cavalry Regiment, Louisville, Tennessee.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder, 25, of Gallatin, Tennessee, died February 21 in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter experienced a hard landing. Captain Marcus R. Alford who was in the same aircraft, also died from injuries. Billie Grinder was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 230th Cavalry Regiment, Louisville, Tennessee.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "War Hawk Youth Mentor" went up last night.

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