Saturday, June 11, 2011

Remembering the fallen

6 US soldiers died this week. 20-year-old Robert Hartwick was one of them. With four other soldiers, he died Wednesday in a rocket attack. The Chillicothe Gazette quotes Sandra Ogle, "I'm just heartbroken. He was just like any other boy. Always into things and a good kid. I know he was proud to be in the military. We just have to pray for his family." Rev John Williams, of the Bisonville United Methodist Church, states, "He was about 14 when he entered the church. What a great kid. He loved his dirt bike but didn't like the spotlight. I don't think he wanted to stand out. I think he'd probably be a little embarrassed by all this commotion going on for him. I don't think he would have liked the attention. [. . .] I think if there had been a job for him in the civilian world, he would have taken that. But there weren't any around here and he joined the Army. He was very proud to be a part of the U.S. Army." Randy Ludlow (Columbus Dispatch) reports that he shared a room with two of the other four killed: Emilio J. Campo Jr. and Michael B. Cook and Ludlow speaks with Spc Douglas Snow:

They remember a guy who drove a bass-rumbling beater with an awful paint job around Fort Riley, convinced he had the best ride on base.
"I have the best sound system on Riley," Hartwick would brag. Snow observed: "The only thing you could hear when he turned that up was the sound of your own ears bleeding."
They remember when Hartwick "quit smoking and took up swearing instead."
They remember his catch phrase: "Hang on bro, I got this."

To note all five deaths on Monday, we'll again include the Defense Dept announcement:

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of five soldiers who were supporting Operation New Dawn. They died June 6 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Field artillery Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
Killed were:
Spc. Emilio J. Campo Jr., 20, of Madelia, Minn.;
Spc. Michael B. Cook Jr., 27, of Middletown, Ohio;
Spc. Christopher B. Fishbeck, 24, of Victoville, Calif.;
Spc. Robert P. Hartwick, 20, of Rockbridge, Ohio; and
Pfc. Michael C. Olivieri, 26, Chicago, Ill.
For more information, the media may contact the 1st Infantry Division public affairs office at 785-240-6359 or 785-307-0641.

Brian Ojanpa (Mankato Free Press) focuses on the late Emilio Campo Jr. whose "death was the first war loss for Madelia since Vietnam and came as crushing news to friends and family of the outgoing former high school homecoming king. [. . .] Campo was described as a smooth talker, a ladies man, charismatic, and joyously impulsive." Campo's favorite quote is also noted "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." Lolly Bowean (Chicago Tribune -- link has text and video) speaks with Sharon Olivieri, the wife of Michael Olivieri, who states of her late husband, "He really knew how to connect with people. He was always laughing and making jokes. He'd slow down and really talk to people. [. . .] Mikey had a big heart and he wanted to help others. He wanted to contribute something big."

Along with the five deaths on Monday, there was also a death on Wednesday: Matthew J. England. The Baxter Bulletin notes that Pamela Hengen said her son was "really sweet" and had a "great sense of humor" and they note, "The Ozark County Times reported that England's body is to be flown back to Dover, Del., before being brought home to Missouri. While services still are pending, a vigil for England is planned from 8-10 p.m. Sunday on the Gainesville square, the Times reported."

The permalinks on the right aren't working (Blogger issue, not me). Currently Trina and Betty are not showing as having posted, earlier it was everyone but Elaine. So I'm just stealing from Wally and Cedric to grab the following:

"Eggplants and roma tomatoes in the Kitchen"
"Brown and Collins ask Panetta"
"Tracy Morgan is disgusting"
"Lunch panhandlers"
"4 men, 2 women"
"3 women, 2 men"
"the disgusting tracy morgan"
"Claire McCaskill"
"Trashy John Edwards"
"He is not stepping down"
"Time off?"
"Senate Armed Service Committee Boneheads"
"Morgan, Fey and Baldwin treat homophobia as a joke"
"Way more than just Spock"
"Enemy of the State"
"He's going to have to own his actions"
"When Front Runners Attack"
"The sick Chicago Tribune"
"Idiot of the week: Ron Nyswaner"
"The telling case"
"And how 'bout those fingers?"

And Wally and Cedric's posts today and we'll include Cindy Sheehan as well:

And we'll close with this from David Swanson's "The Antiwar Movement 10 Years On" (War Is A Crime):

We also learned recently from former president George W. Bush's book that in 2006, the Republican leader in the Senate, who was publicly vilifying war opponents, secretly urged Bush to get troops out of Iraq before the war cost the Republicans badly in the 2006 elections. Bush did not take that advice. The Democrats won big. And then they won big again in 2008. By January 2009 they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. And the peace movement was largely shut down after muttering a big collective "Our work here is done."
Michael T. Heaney and Fabio Rojas published a paper drawing on 5,398 surveys of demonstrators at antiwar protests, interviews with movement leaders, and ethnographic observation. They argued that "the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The scaling back of the Iraq occupation was dictated by a treaty put in place by President Bush, which will now be rewritten if we allow it, to avoid the December 31 deadline. Since we've had a peace prize winner in the White House our military has grown, our international bases have expanded, drone use has expanded, secret use of special forces has expanded, a new war has been launched, and war powers have been further concentrated. Some inspiring peace activists that I met in Afghanistan in April called the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers told me they had trouble selling Afghans on the idea of peace, since they'd never known it, and its leading representative, the prize winner, was bombing them. What remains of the U.S. peace movement is substantial and growing, but has been completely written out of corporate news coverage, as its existence doesn't fit comfortably into any narrative comprehensible to corporate news producers.
Americans, by the way, would die to have news media merely as awful as the British media.
Many of us have come to the conclusion that the antiwar movement in the United States needs to act much more boldly in order to succeed. When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world. In England too, people seem less inclined to accept abuse. Movements like UK Uncut inspire lesser versions like US Uncut.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends