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The road to Haditha: changing face of war
Baltimore Sun ^ | 8/22/06 | George Bryjak

Posted on 08/23/2006 5:16:07 AM PDT by Coop

SAN DIEGO // On Nov. 19, 2005, a unit of Marines arrived at the Iraqi village of Haditha to remove the bodies of civilians reportedly killed by a roadside blast. What they found were infants, women and children shot in the face and chest and the body of a wheelchair-bound elderly man riddled with bullets.

A group of Marines are under criminal investigation that could lead to murder charges in the slayings of 24 civilians in the western Iraqi village. Like Abu Ghraib, Haditha has become synonymous with war atrocities, in this case an alleged act of retribution for the roadside bombing death of a fellow Marine. If the Marines are charged, it will be for a military court to determine their guilt or innocence. But some already have sought to explain what can never be condoned.

"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," Rep. John P. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and former Marine Corps officer, contended based on his discussions with military officials.

While stress may have been a factor in that particular incident, the changing nature of war and the American military's response to those changes provide a history and context for the challenges confronting U.S. servicemen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere today.

...

Military sociologist Charles Moskos notes that when insurgents are supported by the local populace, innocent civilians are likely to be viewed as the bad guys. "In these situations of extreme stress," he notes, "one can lose one's moral balance."

... George J. Bryjak, a former Marine, is a research associate in the department of sociology at the University of San Diego. His e-mail is bryjak@verizon.net

(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: exmarine; guiltbeforeinnocence; haditha; iraq; murthawatch
"one can lose one's moral balance."

Indeed. For example, this author chose not to make a single mention of terrorists routinely using women and children as shields, but rather focused all his attention on blaming America (specifically, her military.

This garbage just makes my blood boil. The jerk didn't even consider that the Marines may not even be guilty of crimes.

This crap is only going to continue unless and until America's military supporters rise up. And I'm not sure that will ever happen.

1 posted on 08/23/2006 5:16:10 AM PDT by Coop
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To: RaceBannon; freema; patton; IGOTMINE; river rat; usmcobra
Letter to Mr. Bryjak:

Title: You were a Marine?

I find it difficult to believe you EVER wore the eagle, globe and anchor. The only thing missing from your hit piece was your pronouncement of guilt -- although you did make up for it by quoting Jack Murtha.

Presumption of innocence? Familiar with the term? Look it up sometime, ESPECIALLY when discussing our finest waging combat on behalf of our country. It would have been fascinating to have seen such a mention in your hit pi... err, objective article.

You and Murtha are both disgraces to the Corps, not to mention the human race.

Coop
"Hawkish, decorated combat Marine veteran"
USMC, 84-93



And yes, I did see Bryjak's little mention of guilt being up to a military court caveat. Strikingly different from the tone of his article.
2 posted on 08/23/2006 5:19:07 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: zakker500; W04Man; bmwcyle; stand watie
"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," Rep. John P. Murtha,

Never forget why we're rallying in October.

Come to the National VFTT Boot Murtha Rally
Sunday, Oct. 1st in Johnstown, PA

3 posted on 08/23/2006 5:22:49 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: oldtimer2

Ping


4 posted on 08/23/2006 5:37:44 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: flightline

Ping


5 posted on 08/23/2006 5:39:55 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: Coop

The Baltimore Sun is so unbalanced, you have to read it laying down.


6 posted on 08/23/2006 5:41:21 AM PDT by Senator Goldwater
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To: Coop
No matter how difficult the military objective, how chaotic the field of battle, the wholesale killing of civilians can never be justified or excused. To absolve military personnel of any responsibility for their behavior is to take the first step toward condoning war crimes.

Our enemies justify the wholesale killing of civilians all the time, to them it is a way to break our will to fight back, to them it is the only way to break our nerve, to them if they can make the war we are fighting too terrible we will surrender rather then fight back.

I don't believe that our Marines killed everyone in the immediate area as retaliation for a single roadside bomb and the death of one Marine, but perhaps they should have, the insurgents would have, the terrorists would have, our past enemies would have, they're fighting to win this war, and today we are fighting to look civil while losing it.

Ultimately the moral balance of history is written by the victors of any war, they get to decide who get tried for war crimes, they get to decide who lives and who dies after one side has surrendered, and we know what the insurgents, the terrorists, Al Queda, Bin Ladin, islamofascists have in mind for every American or for that matter every non Muslim in this world should we lose to them.

They won't be as civil, as kind, as gracious in victory as we have always been. they will enslave us and destroy us as a pox upon their planet, perhaps it is time to show them we can be even more brutal then they can even imagine in their wildest nightmares to break once and for all time their willingness to destroy anyone that doesn't follow their beliefs.

7 posted on 08/23/2006 6:39:58 AM PDT by usmcobra (I got my end of the world underwear on, It's totally stain proof and aluminum.)
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To: Coop
YEP!

murtha, the CREEP, must GO!

free dixie,sw

8 posted on 08/23/2006 7:08:26 AM PDT by stand watie ( Resistance to tyrants is OBEDIENCE to God. -----T.Jefferson)
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To: Coop

This guy is such a dirtbag!Marine?my ass.Biased?you bet.


9 posted on 08/23/2006 7:10:24 AM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: usmcobra

Total War

Nothing else is acceptable.


10 posted on 08/23/2006 7:12:09 AM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: Coop; TomasUSMC
I'm sure glad I didn't know there were assholes like this in the Corps -- when I naively believed I could trust ALL the brothers around me with my life..

How in hell can ANYONE turn on our warriors, before ALL the evidence is in??? It really disturbs me, that bastards like Murtha and this asshole have an agenda that doesn't include our Republic's security, survival..and Force Protection at the highest priority.

What is very revealing, and disturbing is the realization that OUR media and politicians are so eager to get "ahead of the facts" and propagandize in a manner demeaning to our Corps and giving aid, comfort and encouragement to our enemy..

A POX on all their asses. They had better "duck and dive" when the SHTF, cause lots of folks will remember their treachery and come hunting.

Semper Fi
11 posted on 08/23/2006 7:37:29 AM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: river rat

There are everyday a growning army of vets coming back to the United States and seeing things that they will want to change SOON. The politicos better listen to them or they will start to lose their jobs to them.

And thats exactly what this country needs, a Leader who has been in the Shiite.


12 posted on 08/23/2006 12:00:03 PM PDT by TomasUSMC ((FIGHT LIKE WW2, FINISH LIKE WW2. FIGHT LIKE NAM, FINISH LIKE NAM.))
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To: Coop; RaceBannon; All
I can't agree more, all the vet's have to stand, and as always we do have the numbers to help change. All that is left is to get it done!!!!!! Penn. in Oct. is one way to show are interest and further determination, Vets have a voice and sooner or later they will have to listen
13 posted on 08/23/2006 3:22:54 PM PDT by flightline (they fight for us,We fight for them........!)
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To: Coop
The Road to Haditha
Fallujah offensive-American marines carry an injured colleague after a mortar exploded on their position
14 posted on 08/23/2006 5:21:29 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: usmcobra
The Road to Haditha
Marine Lance Cpl. Mike Meyer is evacuated after being shot during a firefight south of Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.
15 posted on 08/23/2006 5:24:21 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: Leatherneck_MT
The Road to Haditha
U.S. Marines with 3rd Batt., 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division load an injured Iraqi man on to their vehicle after the bus he was riding in came under fire as it entered a military compound that U.S. Marines had recently taken in southeast Baghdad on Tuesday, April 8, 2003.
16 posted on 08/23/2006 5:27:23 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: river rat
The Road to Haditha
A critically injured Marine brought to Balad Air Base is lifted into an aircraft for medical evacuation to Germany in June. During the flight, he was cared for by a specialized critical care trio consisting of an ICU nurse, emergency medicine physician, and a respiratory therapist. Photo by SrA Tim Beckham. Photo by Christopher J. Haug, MSgt, USAF.
18 posted on 08/23/2006 5:29:48 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: TomasUSMC
The Road to Haditha
Three Marines are wounded by a land mine at Kandahar's airport, where they are moving most of their operations from Camp Rhino in the nearby desert; one is in danger of having his leg amputated.
19 posted on 08/23/2006 5:38:04 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: flightline
The Road to Haditha
Jessica R. Ross, a Navy corpsman with the Surgical/Shock Trauma Platoon at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, checks the heart rate of an Iraqi boy Nov. 16, 2004. Marines brought the boy and his father to the SSTP after the boy sustained a broken wrist and shrapnel in his leg during a mortar attack against a Marine checkpoint in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
20 posted on 08/23/2006 5:41:42 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: freema

Powerful....


21 posted on 08/23/2006 5:42:38 PM PDT by Semus Dynnen
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To: Coop

I do not think a group of highly trained marines would execute civilians.

I do think that the terrorists in Haditha are quite capable of executing the civilians, even their own family if it serves their purpose.

What we are faced with is Liberal Hate. Nothing more. The marines have sworn to die for their country and they have not done so.

The Liberals will do everything to see that it happens.

And, there is no crime against the Liberals hating Marines.

There is a crime, it seems, in Marines not dying for their country or just not dying.


22 posted on 08/23/2006 5:43:13 PM PDT by Prost1 ((We can build a wall, we can evict - "Si, se puede!"))
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To: TEX06
"...they represent the true strength of the country and the heart and soul of its citizens." - President George W. Bush about the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, December 7th, 2004
www.semperfifund.org
23 posted on 08/23/2006 5:50:56 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: freema

I've often wondered how we can say to ourselves that a Bomber crew dumping tons of bombs on a city killing thousands of innocent civilians is different then a soldier that during combat killed a bunch of equally innocent civilians.

In both cases the intent is clear, the bomber crew and the soldier on the ground are tools of the nation for which they fight, and the civilians they kill are innocent pawns of our enemies.

It's been suggested to me that because the soldier on the ground can see the faces of those he kills in combat that some how he is personally responsible while the aircrew is not, because the aircrew cannot see what those are attacking.

In Haditha the events are clear enough for all but the most die hard defenders of our enemies. Our Marines were attacked, one was killed, several were injured and they fought back. That should have been the end of the story, this was not some preassigned attack meant to eradicate a village, or an example of genocide carried out against a selected bunch of people by elite troops, it was self defense as Marines are allowed to do under the rules of engagement they have to abide by.

And it is only an issue because a man that hates his Corps and country more then the truth is willing to lie and condemn those that once were his fellow Marines while they defend this country for him.

24 posted on 08/23/2006 6:50:18 PM PDT by usmcobra (I got my end of the world underwear on, It's totally stain proof and aluminum.)
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To: Prost1
~~~But the mission wasn’t en­tirely diplomatic. The Marines were also looking for known insurgents. They were authorized to search homes, interrogate residents and place snipers to fend off an enemy that blends in with the population. In the past, the Marines had rolled through towns like Karmah in caravans of Humvees, but after months of devastating IED attacks, commanders decided to try a new tactic: Foot patrols. The thinking was, if the Marines didn’t spend so much time on the roads, the insurgents would have fewer opportunities to stage their deadly ambushes. Small groups of a couple dozen Marines would stay in the town for several days at a stretch, instead of trucking out and back from the large, fortified Marine base down the road. There was, as the Marines discovered, a problem with the plan. The insurgents changed tactics too. They began planting explosives in the streets of the town itself. Insurgent scouts would track the Marines’ movements from the rooftops, and deto­nate the IEDs, buried in the ground, when the Marines were a few yards away. One of the ambushes nearly cost me my left arm. The morning started calmly enough. The Marines were setting out in search of an insurgent on their wanted list. They’d received a tip that the man might be found at an auto repair shop in town. The Marines questioned some people, but the man wasn’t there. On the way back, the unit’s radio operator got a call. Someone had spotted a black sedan like one involved in a sniper attack that had wounded a Ma­rine in the head the day before. The Marines didn’t get excited at the news. Photographer Laurent Van der Stockt -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “There are a thousand f---g black cars in this place!” one smirked darkly. But a little while later, while patrolling the town, the Marines spotted a young man, maybe 18 years old, running away from them. They chased him down, hoping to find out why he had fled. The young man ran down a side street and jumped the iron gate into a courtyard, a feat of athleticism that impressed the Americans. The young lieutenant leading the group rang the bell at the gate and waited for someone to an­swer. I was next to him, taking pictures, when a feeling of dread came over me. The street, usually busy with people, was deserted. The blast came a second later. A blinding flash of light coupled with a thun­derous explosion so loud that it left me deaf for 24 hours. The kid we’d seen running away had likely been the one who set the device’s timer. Then I realized I had been hit. I looked down to find my arm in bad shape. The flesh and bone below the elbow were badly damaged, and I was losing blood. It was only later that doctors discovered an AK-47 slug in my arm, along with the shrapnel. Apparently, a rooftop sniper had fired at me at the same time the IED went off, shatter­ing the limb. I was in pain, but oddly, mostly what I felt was anger. It was the third time I had been injured in combat zones. In 2001, I’d been shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper in Ramallah. A decade earlier, a mortar blast in Yugoslavia had injured the same arm. My response was to pick up my camera and start taking pictures of the dusty chaos. Fortunately, only one Marine had been injured, and not badly. It turned out the person who planted the IED had buried it too deeply in the ground, which directed the force of the blast upward instead of hor­izontally—hindering its explosive force. We were put onto trucks headed to the Marine hospital in Fallujah. But along the way, the convoy was hit by another IED. That blast was too far away to do any damage. I am now back home in Paris. It will take a year of bone grafts and reconstructive surgery to rebuild my arm. No matter what they call them, there is nothing “improvised” about the way the insurgents are using IEDs to kill Marines and soldiers in Iraq. The de­vice went off just a few yards away from where the men were standing. It was planned that way. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11901549/site/newsweek/
25 posted on 08/23/2006 6:57:41 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: usmcobra
Jordan McDonald cries by his brother's M-16 after a ceremony honoring 15 fallen Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at W.P.T. Field at Camp Lejeunee, N.C., on Thursday. McDonald's brother Cpl. Jonathan Beatty was killed in Iraq on Jan. 27
Marine Cpl. Cory Spencer weeps during a Service of Remembrance for nine Marines and one Navy corpsman killed in Iraq. Spencer was a close friend of one of the Marines, Lance Cpl. Franklin Sweger.
Sgt. Joe Houser pauses at the casket of his brother, Sgt. Tom Houser, following funeral services at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday. Houser, a member of the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company assigned to work with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed Jan. 3 by enemy fire in Iraq’s Anbar province, military officials said.
Gunnery Sgt. Jorge Miranda, right, and Gunnery Sgt. Paul Faulkner knelt to pray during the funeral for Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas on Tuesday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church.
26 posted on 08/23/2006 7:19:22 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; AirForceBrat23; Ajnin; AlaskaErik; ...

27 posted on 08/23/2006 7:22:49 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: freema

This has to be the most saddest post of the day. The pictures and the textual descriptions. Like I have said more then once in the past two years. Almost every day is Memorial Day for me. I wish none of our men and women in uniform have to be in any foreign land. But in my heart and mind I understand there simply is no alternative.


28 posted on 08/23/2006 7:46:35 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle; Coop
I can only reiterate Coop's words:

"one can lose one's moral balance."

Indeed. For example, this author chose not to make a single mention of terrorists routinely using women and children as shields, but rather focused all his attention on blaming America (specifically, her military.

This garbage just makes my blood boil. The jerk didn't even consider that the Marines may not even be guilty of crimes.

This crap is only going to continue unless and until America's military supporters rise up. And I'm not sure that will ever happen.

29 posted on 08/23/2006 7:56:07 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: usmcobra; flightline; RaceBannon; IPWGOP; smoothsailing

That was beautiful.

Especially the last paragraph.


30 posted on 08/23/2006 7:59:35 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: devolve; Coop; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; Grampa Dave; bitt; Smartass; abb; Interesting Times; ...

31 posted on 08/23/2006 8:05:26 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: freema
It is a long battle we must endure. Now you understand what many in the past have eluded to when they would say, knowledge has a price.
Ignorance is bliss and spares one's soul. Those of us that seek knowledge often must carry a burden many choose not by some strange instinct to do.
But in their ignorance. They truely lose things of often immense value. Things one cannot set a price on. You have a great upcoming day. I gotta hit the rack.
32 posted on 08/23/2006 8:18:24 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: potlatch
Thanks for the ping.
Another winner Potlatch...
He's going to provide lots of good entertainment!


 

33 posted on 08/23/2006 8:20:43 PM PDT by Smartass ("In God We Trust" - "An informed and knowledgeably citizen is the best defense against tyranny")
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To: Smartass

Thanks SmartA, just finished it!


34 posted on 08/23/2006 8:21:57 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: potlatch
A little collaboration - A huge payoff



35 posted on 08/23/2006 9:08:04 PM PDT by devolve (fx 9125_AMERICANS_KILLED_2003_BY_ILLEGALS MEX_ILLEGAL_GOT_911_TERRORISTS_ID NO_NUEVO_TEJAS)
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To: potlatch


An excellent graphic potlatch!


36 posted on 08/23/2006 9:12:35 PM PDT by devolve (fx 9125_AMERICANS_KILLED_2003_BY_ILLEGALS MEX_ILLEGAL_GOT_911_TERRORISTS_ID NO_NUEVO_TEJAS)
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To: devolve

Oh my! You have been working, that is so cute.

It's hard to paint when you're traveling like that, lol.


37 posted on 08/23/2006 9:12:53 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: devolve

Thank you devolve, you know me - I could keep doing things forever on it but said 'enough'!!


38 posted on 08/23/2006 9:15:51 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: TEX06
This republican and retired USAR is getting tired of the stupidity and incompetence eminating out of the White House and the Pentagon.

That's okay. This conservative independent and veteran Jarhead is getting tired of the moronic statements emanating from keyboard commandos on this forum.

Fortunately for us all, neither you nor I are in charge.

39 posted on 08/24/2006 5:39:18 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: Prost1
I don't argue with what you say. But what are we going to do about it? Just chattering away on a conservative forum isn't accomplishing anything.

So Rep. Murtha Accused American Marines of Cold-Blooded Murder... So What?

40 posted on 08/24/2006 5:42:55 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: freema

[sigh]


41 posted on 08/24/2006 5:47:14 AM PDT by Coop (No, there are no @!%$&#*! polls on Irey vs. Murtha!)
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To: usmcobra
Wars are one by the total destruction of the enemy or that enemy surrenders. When these bombers strap one on and kill soldiers or civilians we should then flatten whichever village that person lived. It won't be long before the civilians start giving up these suicide bombers as they'll be more afraid of our retaliation rather then fearing the bomber and his co-conspiritors.
42 posted on 08/24/2006 5:49:41 AM PDT by liberty or death
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To: liberty or death

"It is well that war is so horrible, else we should grow too fond of it." -General Robert E. Lee

The UN has made war not so horrible any more, it has hampered our ability to force a rapid conclusion to it with our enemies by denying a resolute victory over them. Now we negotiate cease fires, Draw up demilitarized zones, agree to "Temporary" settlements for refugees, allow our enemies to regroup and rearm, we trade the lives of our brave men and women for time against a foe that will not rest until we are dead enslave or one of them.

But Islam and the terrorists driving it's latest campaign of conversion by force have made one fatal error in logic, you cannot force your religion upon a stronger country through terror, the time is rapidly approaching when they will learn the hard way that the benevolence we live by is not a weakness but the safety on our power to destroy.

43 posted on 08/24/2006 6:37:32 AM PDT by usmcobra (I got my end of the world underwear on, It's totally stain proof and aluminum.)
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To: usmcobra

I fear that before we teach them the "Hard Way" its gonna take a massive terror strike, killing possibly in the millions.
Most people learn through pain and suffering what a few know by reading history.


44 posted on 08/24/2006 6:47:41 AM PDT by liberty or death
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To: usmcobra

!


45 posted on 08/24/2006 7:26:28 PM PDT by freema (Marine FRiend, 1stCuz2xRemoved, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: potlatch
Thanks for the extra ping. I missed this great refinishing. Thanks for doing this.


46 posted on 08/25/2006 3:26:08 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: Grampa Dave

Enjoy!!


47 posted on 08/25/2006 3:28:35 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: potlatch

Thanks this has been put into my Murtha Clip of great realities.

48 posted on 08/25/2006 3:35:34 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic lies/wet dreams posing as news.)
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To: Grampa Dave

LOL, that's funny!


49 posted on 08/25/2006 3:37:53 PM PDT by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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