Sixty-One More Names
By Carol Sterritt
Here is a partial list of those men and women killed during the month of June 2005 in Iraq. They died between June 1st and June 22nd.
On June 1st: Phillip C Edmundson, 22, of Wilson, North Carolina, Army SPC, June 01; Louis E Niedermeier, Largo, FL, Army, PFC; Virgil R Case, Army National Guard; Linda J Villar, 41, of Franklington, LA, Dept of the Army Civilian-On June 3: Todd Bolding, 23, Manvel, TX, Lance Cpl.; Antonia Mendoza, 21, Marine Cpl.; Eric J Poelman, 21, Racine, WI, Army SPC-June 05: Brian Scott (No Other Information); Justin L Vasquez, 26, of Mananola, CO, Army Staff Sgt,; Private S. Ulbrich, 23, Chapmanville, W VA; Theodore S Westhusing, 44, Dallas, TX, Army Col.; Carrie L French, 19, Caldwell, OH, Army National Guard SPC-On June 6th: Robert T Mininger, Sellersville, PA, 21, Marine Lance Cpl.; Brian M Romines, 20, Army National Guard SPC; Jonathan L Smith, of Eva, AL, 22, Marine Lance Cpl.-On June 7th: Eric T Burri, 21, Wyoming MT, Army; Terrence K Crowe, 44, Grand Island, NY, Army Reserve Lt. Col.-On June 8th: Roberto Arizola, Jr, 31, Laredo TX, Army Sgt.; Michael J Fasnacht, 25, Columbus, GA, Army 1st Lt.; Casey Byers, 22, Schleswig, IA, Company B, National Guard (IA); Douglas E Kashmier, 27, Sharon, PA, Army PFC.; Louis E Allen, 34, Milford, PA, Army National Guard 1st Lt.; Phillip T Esposito, 30, Army National Guard, Captain; Michael Dooley, 23, Pulaski, VA, First Squadron, Cavalry Regiment; Marc Lucas Tucker, 24, Pontotoc, MS, Marine Lance Cpl.; Mark O Edwards, 40, Unicoi, TN, Army National Guard Staff Sgt.-On June 9th: David Joseph Murray, Army National Guard Sgt.; Daniel Chavez, 20, Seattle, WA, Marine Lance Cpl.; Dustin V Birch, 22, St. Anthony ID, Marine Reserve Lance Cpl.; Thomas O Keeling, Strongville, OH, Marine Reserve Lance Cpl.; Devon Paul Seymour, 21, St. Louis, OH, Marine Reserve Lance Cpl.; Brad D Squires, 26, of Middleburg Heights, OH, Marine Reserve Cpl.,; On June 10th: Mano A Castillo, 20, Brownswood, TX, Lance Cpl., 2nd Combat Engineering, Marines-On June 11th: Stanley J Lipinski, 35, of Las Vegas NV, Captain, Company B, 3rd Infantry Division; Larry R Arnold, Sr, 46, Carriere MS, Company B, Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard (MS)-On June 13th: Larry R Kuhns, Jr, 24, of Austintown, OH, Sgt., HDQ Battalion; Anthony D Kunslow, of Westerville, OH, 21, SPC, HDQ Battery, 2nd Infantry-On June 14th: Joshua P Klinger, 21, Easton, PA, Company B, 1st Battalion, Marines; Michael Hayes, 29, Morgantown, KY, PFC, 617th Military Police; Nathan Clemons, 20, Winchester, IN, 2nd Light Armored Battalion, Marines-On June 15th: Dion M Whitley, 21, Los Angeles, CA, Lance Cpl, Marines; Jonathan R Flores, 18, San Antonio, TX, Company A, Marines; Jesse Jaime, 22, Henderson, NV, Company A, Marines; Chad B Maynard, 19, Montrose, CA, Company A, Marines-On June 16th: John W Maloney, 36, Chicopee, MS, Company C Marines; Erik R Heldt, 26, Lance Cpl, Company C, Marines; Paul R Syverson, 32, Lake Zurich, IL, Major, 5th Spec Forces (Airborne)-On June 17th: Michael L McNulty, 36, Knoxville, TN, Master Sgt, US Army Spec Ops; Robert Horrigan, Austin, TX, Master Sgt. Army Spec Ops-On June 18th: William A Long, 26, Lilbaum, GA, Company B, 3rd Infantry; Noah Harris, 23, Ellijay, GA, 3rd Infantry Division; Adam J Crumpler, 19, Charlestown, WVA, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines; June 20th: Christopher Kilpatrick, 18, Columbus, TX, Transportation Co., 142nd Corps Support-On June 21st: Brian A Vaughn, Sgt., Pell City, AL, 23, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry ; Christopher Hoskins, Danielson, CT, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division; James D Stewart, 29, Chattanooga, TN, Sgt., 57th Transportation Company; Nicholas Idalski, 23, Crown Pt IN, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division-On June 22nd: Arnold Duplantier, II, 26, Sacramento, CA, 1st Battalion Army National Guard. Also killed in June with Date Unknown: Michael L Tosto, 24, Apex, NC, 1st Battalion, 1st Armored Division; Anthony G Jones, 25, Greenville, SC, 104th Transportation Company, Army; Tyler S Travillon, 23, Richardson, TX, Marines; and the final name, Humberto Timoteo, Battery A, Army National Guard (NJ).
The names reflect our lives. We all know a Phillip or a Marc or a Carrie, Tyler or Dave. Someone reading this list might actually know someone listed on it. For now, it serves as the "Coastal Post" version of "The Wall." You don't need to go to Washington, D.C. I am bringing the war on home to you. Choose a name. If it is in your belief system, offer up a big prayer for the families and the friends of that soldier. These people need some help about now.
However, there are names that are very involved with Iraq that will never be on the list. I don't have to detail those names for you, you know them as well as I do.
No one named Jenna or Barbara Bush are ever to be found here. And as fond of war games as they are, it is unlikely that Rumsfeld and Cheney will make this list. (Although last autumn, the plane that Rummie was on was indeed shot at while inside an Iraqi flight takeoff zone.)
Where Are the Names of Gitmo Residents?
There are other names I can't bring to you. Six hundred human beings, we are told, have been incarcerated in Guantanamo. It's hard to say, though, isn't it? Without a list of names, what do we know? There are reports that people held in Guantanamo have been transferred to other countries and tortured there. Did they make it back to the safety of their Gitmo cell? And if they did, did they end up as one of the Gitmo suicides?
Those imprisoned at Gitmo are nameless. Many people connected with and concerned about the Gitmo operation have stated that at least one third of these captives are innocent of anything other than being swept up in raids inside Afghanistan.
Looking into Guantanamo, we have to ask ourselves: How much easier it is to replace a nameless body count with innumerable bodiesÉ
Was Wellstone a Casualty of the NeoCons' Need for More War?
And still the war goes on. Would we even have this war now if it weren't for earlier casualties? If let's say, Senator Wellstone of Minnesota had been around to oppose it. Oh, but wait a minute, he was taken out by "unruly weather" in late October of 2002. There's a possibility that "unruly weather" has a name to it, right? Some lowly operative was told to "dispatch" a "target" and only three mild pieces of proof remain as to the insidious nature of the crash that took eight people's lives.
One piece of proof is the spoken words of a local Everett Minnesota news reporter that the weather DID NOT cause Wellstone's accident. (She would know - she was in the vicinity when it happened. A light drizzle and temperatures in the thirties and forties are nothing for an early winter day in the Northern Woods of Minnesota. ) The second piece of evidence relates to a driver along the roadway near the woods where Wellstone's plane went down. His cell phone had a mysterious failure at about the same moment that the cockpit was no longer making contact with the Everett airport control tower. In this day of Electro- Magnetic Pulse Technology, you no longer need a bazooka to take down a plane or helicopter.
The third piece of evidence relates to the fact that this plane caught fire either directly before or directly after impact, and burned from about 11Am to close to 5:30 pm the day of the accident. For a small plane to burn that long is unheard of. Only an extraordinary cargo could cause such a fire.
Kennedy Gets His Dander Up
Scheduled to be on that plane was one Senator Edward M Kennedy. So although this missed flight occurred more than two and a half years ago, perhaps it somehow influenced the following remarks in an exchange with Rumsfeld. These statements were made at the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq, on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005.
KENNEDY: "Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, we are in serious trouble in Iraq and this war has been consistently and grossly mismanaged. And we are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire. Our troops are dying and there really is no end in sight." (Next paragraph ignored for purpose of brevity.)
"You were wrong on September, 2002, when you told the House Armed Services Committee that, knowing what we know about Iraq's history, no conclusion is possible except that they are escalating their WMD programs.
"And you were wrong when you told this committee that no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq .
"When General Shinseki estimated that we'd need several hundred thousand soldiers, you scoffed and said the idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces is far from the mark. And when the massive looting occurred after Baghdad fell, because we didn't have enough troops for security, you callously said: "Stuff happens."
"You wrongly insisted after Saddam fell that there was no guerrilla war, even though our soldiers continue to be killed. In June, 2003, you said, "The reason I don't use the phrase 'guerrilla' war is because there isn't one."
"You wrongly called the insurgents dead-enders-but they are killing Americans, almost three a day, and Iraqis with alarming frequency and intensity.
"You wrongly sent our service members into battle without the proper armor. When asked by a soldier about inadequate equipment, you said you go to war with the army you have. They're not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.
"You exaggerated our success in training capable Iraqi security forces. February, 2004, you told this committee, "We have accelerated the training of Iraqi security forces-now more than 200,000.""
RUMSFELD: "That's in February of this year."
KENNEDY: "In fact, we have far fewer actually able or capable of fighting then and far fewer that are capable even now. So you basically have mismanaged the war and created an impossible situation for military recruiters and put our forces and our national security in danger.
"Our troops deserve better, Mr. Secretary. I think the American people deserve better. They deserve competency and they deserve the facts. In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the secretary of defense?"
Then comes Rumsfeld's denials.
RUMSFELD: "Well, that is quite a statement."
"First, let me say that there isn't a person at this table who agrees with you that we're in a quagmire and that there's no end in sight. The presentations today have been very clear, they've been very forthright."
What Rumsfeld neglects to say is that these presentations are a pack of lies. And after his denials, comes the following interchange:
KENNEDY: Well, my time has just expired. But, Mr. Secretary, I'm talking about the misjudgments and the mistakes that have made-the series of events which I mentioned-the disarming of the Iraqi army. Those were judgments that were made and there have been a series of gross errors and mistakes. Those were on your watch." KENNEDY repeats this last phrase, "Those are on your watch."
"Isn't it time for you to resign?"
RUMSFELD: "Senator, I've offered my resignation to the president twice, and he's decided that he would prefer that he not accept it, and that's his call."
KENNEDY: "Thank you, Mr. Chairman."
A small bipartisan group in Congress has proposed a resolution calling on President George W Bush to start bringing home US troops from Iraq by 1 October 2006.
But Mr Rumsfeld said that timing in war was not predictable and there were no guarantees.
"And any who say that we've lost this war, or that we're losing this war are wrong. We are not," he said.
However, the continuing violence had led some US commanders to scale back any optimistic predictions about US troop numbers being reduced any time soon, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus.
And while Iraq's new security forces are growing in number, their effectiveness remains very much in doubt. At least one military expert has put it in another way. He claims that the US is losing a battallion of troops every month to deaths and injuries. With the size of our Army, how can anyone say we are not losing?
And how long will it be before those in charge, that is, the Bush Administration, is forced out, or else someone in the Administratin comes to their senses, admits a spade is a spade and brings the troops home? With even the Republicans in Congress started to complain about the inept policies that Rumsfeld et al have created, the day of reckoning might be at hand.
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