Tuesday, October 19, 2010

8th US soldier to die in Iraq War since 'combat' ended

Yesterday, DoD announced the death of 24-year-old Pfc Dylan T. Reid in Iraq on Saturday. KY3 News notes that he was on his first deployment to Iraq (which began in March). Jakob Rodgers (Colorado Springs Gazette) reports that "Reid is the 318th Fort Crason soldier to die since the US invaded Iraq in 2003," that he and his wife Alecia Reid became parents last month (their daughter Avery Lynn Reid, born on September 14th), and quotes his sister Erika Reid stating, "He was a smartass. And he was really funny." Jess Rollins (News-Leader) adds, "A private ceremony will be held for Dylan Reid at Daniel Funeral Home in Lamar on Saturday."

Meanwhile Neil Nisperos (Contra Costa Times) reports, "Army veteran Juan Beltran broke his neck in 2003 after his Apache helicopter crashed in Iraq, leaving him a paraplegic. Beltran, who is confined to an electric wheelchair, can move his arms, but has no motor skills in his hands, and can't walk." Juan and Gabriela Beltran and their seven-year-old daughter Sara have moved into "a solar-powered, energy-efficient house" with Juan's hope that this will provide an independence that won't leave his daughter open to the sort of exploitation California experienced under Enron. Columnist Tony Norman (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) writes:

How is it possible for a country to be at war on two fronts for nearly a decade and not be plunged into constant fits of epic soul-searching? Whatever trick of light makes it possible to pretend "We, the People" have nothing to do with wars waged in our name overseas also blinds us to its tragic legacies at home.
In a little more than two weeks, a nation suffering from willful amnesia about Iraq and Afghanistan will either vote for new representatives who share their myopia -- or retain those incumbents most skilled at exploiting it.
If polls are to be believed, these wars are too low on the list of voter priorities to prompt much turnout on Election Day. Although more than a trillion dollars has been spent on the wars, that's an unthinkable abstraction to the vast majority of us.

The following community sites -- plus wowOwow, SDS and Antiwar.com -- updated last night:

And we'll close with this from Gareth Porter's "Report Shows Drones Strikes Based on Scant Evidence" (IPS via Information Clearing House):

New information on the Central Intelligence Agency's campaign of drone strikes in northwest Pakistan directly contradicts the image the Barack Obama administration and the CIA have sought to establish in the news media of a programme based on highly accurate targeting that is effective in disrupting al Qaeda's terrorist plots against the United States.
A new report on civilian casualties in the war in Pakistan has revealed direct evidence that a house was targeted for a drone attack merely because it had been visited by a group of Taliban soldiers.
The report came shortly after publication of the results of a survey of opinion within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan showing overwhelming popular opposition to the drone strikes and majority support for suicide attacks on U.S. forces under some circumstances.
Meanwhile, data on targeting of the drone strikes in Pakistan indicate that they have now become primarily an adjunct of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, targeting almost entirely militant groups involved in the Afghan insurgency rather than al Qaeda officials involved in plotting global terrorism.
The new report published by the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) last week offers the first glimpse of the drone strikes based on actual interviews with civilian victims of the strikes.
In an interview with a researcher for CIVIC, a civilian victim of a drone strike in North Waziristan carried out during the Obama administration recounted how his home had been visited by Taliban troops asking for lunch. He said he had agreed out of fear of refusing them.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends