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Thread: United States death toll in Iraq hits 4,000

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default United States death toll in Iraq hits 4,000

    U.S. death toll in Iraq reaches 4,000
    Associated Press

    BAGHDAD - The overall U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 4,000 after four soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad, a grim milestone that is likely to fuel calls for the withdrawal of American forces as the war enters its sixth year.

    The White House said it was "a sober moment." President Bush received a lengthy update on the war and aides said he was likely to embrace recommendations for a pause in troop withdrawals beyond those already scheduled.

    Bush was to participate in a two-hour conference by secure video hookup with Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Petraeus and Crocker are due to testify in Congress on April 8-9.

    The American deaths occurred Sunday, the same day rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.

    An Iraqi military spokesman said Monday that troops had found rocket launching pads used by extremists to fire on the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government headquarters.

    "We hope to deal with this issue professionally to avoid civilian casualties," the spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said.

    The four soldiers with Multi-National Division — Baghdad were on a patrol when their vehicle was struck at about 10 p.m. Sunday in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Another soldier was wounded in the attack — less than a week after the fifth anniversary of the conflict.

    Navy Lt. Patrick Evans, a military spokesman, expressed condolences to all the families of soldiers killed in Iraq, saying each death is "equally tragic."

    "There have been some significant gains. However, this enemy is resilient and will not give up, nor will we," he said. "There's still a lot of work to be done."

    Toll includes 8 civilian workers
    Last year, the U.S. military deaths spiked as U.S. troops sought to regain control of Baghdad and surrounding areas.

    The death toll has seesawed since, with 2007 ending as the deadliest year for American troops at 901 deaths. That was 51 more deaths than 2004, the second deadliest year for U.S. soldiers.

    The Associated Press count of 4,000 deaths is based on U.S. military reports and includes eight civilians who worked for the Department of Defense.

    Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians also have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion on March 20, 2003, although estimates of a specific figure vary widely due to the difficulty in collecting accurate information.

    One widely respected tally by Iraq Body Count, which collects figures based mostly on media reports, estimates that 82,349 to 89,867 Iraqi civilians have lost their lives in the conflict.

    Overall attacks also have decreased against Iraqi civilians but recent weeks have seen several high-profile bombings, underscoring the fragile security situation and the resilience of both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups.

    Mosul, Iraq's third largest city about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, has been described as the last major urban area where the Sunni extremist al-Qaida group maintains a significant presence.

    Quick pullout?
    The persistent violence has led to strong public opposition to the war in the United States, with both Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton promising a quick pullout if they are elected.

    Bush has insisted the decline in violence shows his strategy is working and needs more time, a position taken by Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

    Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie said he sympathized with the American losses but warned against pulling out U.S. troops before Iraqi forces are ready to take over their own security and the situation is sufficiently stable.

    "Honestly, this war is well worth fighting. This war, we are talking about war against global terror," he said Sunday in an interview with CNN.

    Iraq war timeline

    Key political and military moments since the 2003 invasion

    No group claimed responsibility for the Green Zone attacks, but suspicion fell on Shiite extremists based on the areas from which the weapons were fired.

    At least 10 civilians were killed and 20 more were wounded in rocket or mortar blasts in scattered areas of eastern Baghdad, some probably due to rounds aimed at the Green Zone that fell short.

    Heavily fortified
    The U.S. Embassy said at least five people were injured but no Americans were reported killed in the Green Zone attacks, which sent dark plumes of smoke rising over the district in the heart of the capital.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information, said those injured included an American and four third-country nationals, meaning they were not American, British or Iraqi.

    The heavily fortified area has frequently come under fire by Shiite and Sunni extremists, but the attacks have tapered off as violence declined over the past year.

    The attacks followed a series of clashes last week between U.S. and Iraqi forces and factions of the Mahdi Army, the biggest Shiite militia loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    Al-Sadr has declared a cease-fire through mid-August to purge the militia of criminal and dissident elements but it has come under severe strains in recent weeks.

    Al-Sadr's followers have accused the Shiite-dominated government of exploiting the cease-fire to target the cleric's supporters in advance of provincial elections expected this fall and demanded the release of supporters rounded up in recent weeks.
    U.S. death toll in Iraq hits 4,000 - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com
    “What are you looking at, sugar-tits?” - Mel Gibson

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    Mary McHugh and James Regan






    Mary McHugh, the fiancé of a James Regan, moved a thousand mourners to tears with her touching tribute at his funeral. “Jimmy was a hero to many, but he was always very humble,” she said of her beloved. “He always sought team success and not personal glory.”
    Regan was to marry McHugh, a medical student at Emory University, when his Army service ended. He was killed in February 2007 by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
    “Jimmy and I were so excited to stand up in front of God, our family and friends and declare our love for each other,” McHugh said. ”Only God knows why we were deprived of that opportunity, but it doesn’t change the sentiments I have.”
    Regan, an All-American lacrosse player and All-State football scholar at Chaminade High School in Mineola, graduated from Duke University five years ago. He was deeply affected by the 9/11 terror attacks, which claimed many lives in Manhasset, and turned down a position at financial services firm UBS and deferred a scholarship to Southern Methodist University Law School to join the Army in 2004. He had earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
    After reading a love letter Regan wrote to her, McHugh said in a passionate whisper, “Jimmy, we never got to wake up next to each other every morning. Jimmy, I will wake up every morning and thank God for the opportunity to love and be loved by you.”
    McHugh remembered Regan as someone who always wore a smile and “simply wanted to be happy and make others around him happy.”
    Regan’s father, also named James, said his son did just that.
    “Last week in Iraq the bell tolled for Jimbo and he gave the ultimate sacrifice,” the grieving father said. “You have done your duty, son, as you saw it. You are a wonderful son.”

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Why would one sign up to die for this stupid war; espeically when he has all that going for him?

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    I think he did it for the right reasons after 9/11 and getting the Taliban out of Afghanistan, he just got in at the worst time before the misguided Iraq operation.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Now there's a creepy thought.. Bush causing 9/11 in order to generate more military enlistments, and then using them for an Iraq invasion.

    omg how sick would that be. i wonder what the numbers were pre and post 9/11 for enlistment
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Fucking disgusting and truly horrifying.

    So many families, so many people affected. Here, and in Iraq/Afghanistan. It hurts my head to even fathom it all.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ingi View Post
    I think he did it for the right reasons after 9/11 and getting the Taliban out of Afghanistan, he just got in at the worst time before the misguided Iraq operation.
    The article says he joined the army in 2004, we invaded Iraq in March 2003, so your theory cannot be correct.

    Maybe he wished to join for his own personal reasons. R.I.P.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    maybe he was one of the 85% of soldiers who thought Saddam caused 9/11. No sympathy from me in that case.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    maybe he was one of the 85% of soldiers who thought Saddam caused 9/11. No sympathy from me in that case.
    I thought Colin Powell was telling us the truth at the UN, I won't make that mistake again!

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    Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey. Todd Heisler’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographic Series



    At the first sight of her husband’s flag-draped casket, Katherine Cathey broke into uncontrollable sobs, finding support in the arms of Major Steve Beck. When Beck first knocked on her door in Brighton, Colorado, to notify her of her husband’s death, she glared at him, cursed him, and refused to speak to him for more than an hour. Over the next several days, he helped guide her through the grief. By the time they reached the tarmac, she wouldn’t let go.
    The 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography went to Todd Heisler and The Rocky Mountain News for this photographic series.
    © All rights reserved by Todd Heisler and Rocky Mountain News.
    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/
    (Click on images to view them individually.)

    Minutes after her husband’s casket arrived at the Reno airport, Katherine Cathey fell onto the flag. When 2nd Lt. James Cathey left for Iraq, he wrote a letter to Katherine that read, in part, “there are no words to describe how much I love you, and will miss you. I will also promise you one thing: I will be home. I have a wife and a new baby to take care of, and you guys are my world.”

    The knock at the door begins a ritual steeped in tradition more than two centuries old; a tradition based on the same tenet: “Never leave a Marine behind.” When the wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, Maj. Steve Beck expected to find himself overseas, in the heat of battle. He never thought he would be the one arranging funerals for his fallen comrades.
    Major Steve Beck and another Marine approach the family home of 2nd Lt. James Cathey, preparing to escort the Catheys to the airport to receive their son’s body. Five days earlier, the shadows of Casualty Assistance Call Officers followed the same path, carrying the news no military family ever wants to hear. “I’ll never forget Major Beck’s profile,” said Bob Burns of the night he was notified of his son’s death. The gold star flag in the window signifies the death of a loved one oversees.

    After arriving at the funeral home, Katherine Cathey pressed her pregnant belly to her husband’s casket, moaning softly. Two days after she was notified of Jim’s death in Iraq, she found out they would have a boy. Born on December 23, 2005, he was named James Jeffrey Cathey, Jr.

    Since James Cathey was killed in a massive explosion, his body was delicately wrapped in a shroud by military morticians, then his Marine uniform was laid atop his body. Since Katherine Cathey decided not to view her husband’s body, Maj. Steve Beck took her hand, and pressed it down on the uniform. “He’s here,” he said quietly. “Feel right here.”

    The night before the burial of her husband’s body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of “Cat,” and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. “I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,” she said. “I think that’s what he would have wanted.”

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    Marine Sgt. Ty Ziegel was seriously wounded by a suicide car bomber while serving in Iraq in 2004. He spent 19 months recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. He was supported during this time by his family and his fiancée Renee Kline. Ty and Renee married in October 2006.
    Nina Berman: Ty and Renee Ziegel - More Than Just a Marine’s Wedding


    More Than Just a Marine’s Wedding - Photo Journalism by Nina Berman:

    Love is not simply concerned with the question of: How much would you sacrifice for what you love?
    Love is also equally concerned with finding answers to these questions:
    What can I do to prevent or reduce the need for others to make sacrifices?
    What policies, innovations, or ideologies can I help create or support so that loved ones don’t have to as often make sacrifices?
    Praise to those who make honorable sacrifices.
    Praise to those who fight every day so fewer need do the same.
    Thank you to the Ziegels, Redux, and Nina Berman for continuing to demonstrate their courage, bravery, and love.
    (Click on images to view them individually.)









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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ She doesn't look to happy. I bet that marriage doesn't last long.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *shudder*

    Good god.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    These are the stories that should run on an endless loop on the news stations to remind everyone what is at stake in this election. Do we really what "100 years of war" McCain? NO!

    ^ She doesn't look to happy. I bet that marriage doesn't last long.
    It didn't. They separated just before their 1st anniversary. So sad.

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    edit
    Last edited by ingi; March 24th, 2008 at 11:48 AM.

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