Thursday, June 09, 2011

6 US soldiers have died in Iraq this week

Killion told of how Cook volunteered to put together a yearbook for the district's elementary school students.
"He would always volunteer," Killion said.
"He was the kind of kid that all the younger ones were comfortable with."
Cook's two siblings are still students in the school system. Lucas is a student at Salem High and Kimberly attends Woodbury Middle School.

The above is from Doug Ireland's "Salem High graduate is killed in Iraq" (Eagle Tribune) and Killion is the school's computer science teacher Curtis Killion while Cook is Michael Cook. 5 US soldiers were killed Monday in Iraq, Michael Cook was one of them. We noted more details about Michael Cook in yesterday's snapshot. The five who died have still not been identified by DoD as of this morning (nor has DoD noted how many were injured -- reports range from five more soldiers wounded to 15). Another of the fallen is Emilio Camp Jr. and the 20-year-old's survivors is how the press knows of his death. Pat Pheifer (Star Tribune) reports:

Allan Beyer, the high school principal, said Campo, a 2009 graduate, "was a credit to his school and the community" and called him "a very outstanding young man."
Campo played basketball, his main sport, but also soccer, track and football. Whenever he returned to his hometown of 2,400 people about 100 miles southwest of Minneapolis, he'd stop at school to say hello to the staff. Five of his classmates stopped by Tuesday to share their grief and their memories, Beyer said.
Campo's death was the first war loss for Madelia since Vietnam, Beyer said.
Dustin VanHale, a classmate and good friend, said Campo "was always best friends with everybody." He was a motivator, telling basketball teammates after a 25-point loss, "don't worry, we'll get 'em next time."

KARE (link has text and video) observes, "His picture seems to be on every page of his high school yearbook. Campo played varsity football, basketball, ran track, was a member of the Business Professionals of America, and sang in the choir." Mark Steil (MPR -- link has text and audio) speaks with several people who remember Emilio Campo including his cousin Martha Magally Garcia who talks about how he'd always call home when something bad happened in Iraq so that his family would know he was okay and not worry, "It was something that he always said when called. Don't worry family, I'm still alive. Joking and teasing with us on the phone. We couldn't believe, we can't believe, that he's gone now." AP notes that "when he died he also had a steady girlfriend, Samantha Crowley, who was prom queen when Campo was prom king in 2009."

It really is amazing how little attention national press attention the 5 deaths have received -- not to mention that another US soldier died yesterday in Iraq. There's no front page story on any of the major dailies in the United States, there's no effort at all to really report these tragedies other than on the part of the local communities. Internationally, it's a different story. The international press has noted the deaths. Today Arab News offers an editorial which opens by referencing Monday's violence:

Five US soldiers have been killed in Iraq. This is the single most serious loss the US has suffered in Iraq in more than two years. The killing of Americans in a rocket attack on the outskirts of Baghdad coincides with two interesting opinion polls in the US. Although President Barack Obama formally ended Iraq combat operations last year, there are still 45,000 US troops and thousands of other Americans in the country who serve as “advisers.” A Washington Post-ABC poll suggests that support for the war in Afghanistan had actually risen in the past month understandably buoyed by the sensational killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. Forty-three percent of Americans now think the war is worth fighting, compared with 31 percent in March. This is still a minority against those who are opposed to the Afghan war.
A different poll by the Pew Research Center shows that a whopping majority of Americans blames the country’s current economic woes and debt on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sixty percent of Americans agree that the two wars contributed a great deal to the size of the national debt.

AP notes that a Brookings Army National Guard unit "will be activated" today for a tour of duty in Iraq.

The following community sites -- plus NPR, Jane Fonda and -- updated last night and this morning:

And we'll close with international law expert Francis A. Boyle's "Could Obama Veto Palestine's Application to the United Nations in September?":

On November 15, 1988 the Palestine National Council (P.N.C.) meeting in Algiers proclaimed the Palestinian Declaration of Independence that created the independent state of Palestine. Today the State of Palestine is bilaterally recognized de jure by about 130 states. Palestine has de facto diplomatic recognition from most states of Europe. It was only massive political pressure applied by the U.S. government that prevented European states from according de jure diplomatic recognition to Palestine.
Palestine is a member state of the League of Arab States and of the Organization of Islamic Conference (O.I.C). When the International Court of Justice in The Hague—the World Court of the United Nations System—conducted its legal proceedings on Israel’s apartheid wall on the West Bank, it invited the State of Palestine to participate in the proceedings. In other words, the International Court of Justice recognized the State of Palestine.
Palestine has Observer State Status with the United Nations Organization, and basically all the rights of a U.N. Member State except the right to vote. Effectively, Palestine has de facto U.N. Membership. The only thing keeping Palestine from de jure U.N. Membership is the implicit threat of a veto at the U.N. Security Council by the United States, which is clearly illegal because it would violate a solemn and binding pledge given by the United States not to veto States applying for U.N. Membership. Someday, Palestine shall become a full-fledged U.N. Member State.
The votes are there already in the U.N. General Assembly to admit Palestine pursuant to the terms of its Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950). It is the U.N. General Assembly that admits a Member State, not the Security Council. Obama’s veto at the Security Council can be circumvented by the General Assembly acting under the Uniting for Peace Resolution to admit Palestine as a U.N Member State in September.

The e-mail address for this site is