Still keeping vigil


After the reported U.S. death toll in Iraq reached 4,000, we checked to see if the residents of this house across from Lincoln Park (previously noted here and here) were still keeping vigil — they are, with the U.S. injury toll as a second number.

37 Replies to "Still keeping vigil"

  • OP March 24, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    Every time we come to some “death anniversary” (for lack of a better term), the left morbidly marks the occasion by plastering the number across the front pages—and, in this case, the front yard. Granted even one soldier lost is worthy of tears and prayer, but I sincerely doubt that folks like these WS’ers give a damn about one soldier or 4,000—it makes no difference, the body is just fodder for their anti-war agenda. Really want to show you care for our troops? Volunteer at your local VA hospital; send pre-paid phone cards to military families; donate money groups like Families United; or, just talk to a soldier’s wife or parent or child and tell them how proud you are of their son or daughter and thank them for their sacrifice. But undercutting their morale and mission by noting the number of dead isn’t support in any way shape or form; it’s just morbid, self-absorbed, self-serving and worthless politicking.

    And, oh yeah, “the surge” is working spectacularly thanks to our men and women who are kicking AQ’s freedom-hating, inhumane and sick asses.

  • Tonya March 24, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    Somehow, 4,000 deaths in the course of a five-year conflict seems like cause for celebration–not because of the deaths, which are tragic, but because the level of casualties in this conflict is astoundingly low.
    Would that we could have gotten rid of Hitler or Stalin, or toppled the Korean dictatorship or ended the Pol Pot murderfest with a mere 4,000 deaths.

  • Aidan Hadley March 24, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    4,000 is but a drop in the bucket of the tremendous human toll exacted because Saddam Hussein defied multiple UN Security Counsil resolutions after playing cat and mouse with UN weapons inspectors for more than 12 years.

  • forrest March 24, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    Aidan- 4,000 isn’t counting the number of IRAQI lives. Saddam may have been bad, but the mess we’ve made in Iraq isn’t much better.

    There have been an estimately 82,000+ Iraqi civilian deaths since the war began. Is that a drop in the bucket too?

    Tonya- the American people were told we’d be welcomed as liberators. Somehow, though, there have been 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Seems fairly incongruous to what our leaders told us to expect, don’t you think?

  • Illegal March 24, 2008 (3:02 pm)

    Well, I guess that is the one thing Saddam and Bush have in common – they both breached the UN charter.

  • Clay March 24, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    4000 is 4000 too many – really, for what reason did they die? How many have died since the declaration of “Mission Accomplished?”

  • Aidan Hadley March 24, 2008 (3:28 pm)

    Forrest: I think the “tremendous human toll” about covers it. That can even broadly include the Kurds who were exterminated and dumped into the ground, citizens who were gassed with chemical weapons, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died of malnutrition and disease under UN sanctions as Hussein gilded his palaces while apparently pretending to have WMDs. Be assured that future enemies are making note of our obsession with blaming our own government and no on else for every last combat death. Intercepted Chinese intelligence has already marked American’s “surprising lack of public tolerance for combat deaths” as an advantage for them should we ever feel the need to stick our neck out to protect Taiwan. Better start practicing your Mandarin.

  • barmargia March 24, 2008 (3:58 pm)

    OP-very well put!

  • charlabob March 24, 2008 (4:05 pm)

    If you do visit the VA hospital, be sure to take a surgeon, a doctor, medical supplies — since our government is in no way supporting our troops once they come home and their medical care is far below acceptable. Apparently we need all those trillions to pay the war profiteers who support this war. Perhaps that’s why it’s necessary to keep the soldiers in Iraq–we can’t afford to bring them home.

    We do not use the dead; we weep for them. Tonya, since you choose to celebrate their deaths, I trust you and your cronies will not disrupt the vigil planned by those who mourn.

  • JT March 24, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    OP, the VIAW (veterans against the Iraq war) found it important enough news to feature it on their front page. Why don’t you read some of their stories to see how well the surge is working. And they’re the brave ones by the way. Not only did they admirably fight on behalf of our country, but when they discovered how wrong this war is, they took a public stand to try and get the truth out.

  • forrest March 24, 2008 (4:31 pm)

    Aidan- Don’t act as if the American public’s disgust with its own government over this war is somehow undeserved or regrettable. Simply because the Chinese are allegedly taking note of this (By way, I can’t help but laugh at your “Fear! Fear! Fear! Learn Mandarin!” BS. GIVE ME A BREAK) does not mean it should not be happening.

    As I stated up thread, Americans were told they would be greeted as liberators; they were not, and the related horrific botching of planning warrants all the scrutiny, dissent, and anger it has received. To act otherwise excuses poor judgment and a lack of accountability. This, of course, leads to unnecessary suffering/death among brave soldiers. Taking a blind eye to that, or justifying it for some other reason (Fear China!! OMG!!), is disgusting.

  • Aidan Hadley March 24, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Forrest: You read way too much into my comments. I simply don’t share the way you and others seem to live for dissatisfaction. As the American public pulls up to the pump and gorges themselves yet again on massive quantities of gasoline, perhaps they should turn some of that disgust towards themselves. Our government wouldn’t have to play rough in the Middle East if we didn’t need to exploit its resources. China will indeed be the next superpower. The only question is how long until it will happen. I actually like China and have traveled there extensively. I’ve seen many signs of free-market Capitalism there which is encouraging. But as the Chinese government massacres Tibetan monks as we speak, I expect you’ll someday realize how benign a superpower the US truly was. PS: Mandarin is an extremely challenging language. I urge you again to begin practicing now.

  • forrest March 24, 2008 (5:07 pm)

    Aidan, I’ve traveled to China for work and school as well. I know that Mandarin is extremely difficult to learn. :)

    I apologize for my strong reaction, though you surely must understand that from my perspective it could appear that you were solely criticizing those opposed to the war and not also the behaviors/tendencies/attitudes of the nation as it relates to greed and ignorance of what results from such greed. Your first two comments did not differ from those who support the war unconditionally.

    I still, however, do sharply take issue w/ the notion you continue to express that those criticizing the war “seem to live for dissatisfaction.” That may be true of some, but is DEFINITELY not true of all those who oppose the war.

  • Val Vashon March 24, 2008 (6:41 pm)

    For those of you who want a real source of information about how things are going in Iraq, I suggest you listen to last week’s “Democracy Now” programs featuring the “Winter Soldier 2008” hearings two weekends ago in the other Washington. Virtually ignored by the Mainstream Media, these programs (Monday-Thursday’s episodes) paint the truest picture of exactly what is going on in Iraq, and it’s alternately infuriating and heartbreaking.;

  • JT March 24, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    Another veterans against war website

  • Clay March 25, 2008 (8:07 am)

    Where is Osama bin Laden? That’s where our efforts should have been and should still be.

  • Huindekmi March 25, 2008 (9:32 am)

    The point of the surge was to temporarily increase troop strength to quell violence enough for the Iraqi government to make significant progress on a number of domestic issues and allow a drawdown of US troops.
    Even Gen Petraeus admits that while the increased troop strength has reduced the violence on the surface, little to no progress has been made by the government and little to no progress has been made in permanently quelling the insurgency/resistance, meaning that a reduction of troops back down to pre-surge levels would mean an immediate return to the same levels of violence as before.
    If an action doesn’t meet its stated goals, can it really be said to be “working”?
    If the increased troop levels need to be sustained indefinitely, can it really be called a “surge”?
    Please note that I’m not reveling in dissatisfaction. I’m honestly questioning whether our current strategy of policing ethnically cleansed neighborhoods and buying off warlords is accomplishing anything beyond a temporary PR stunt.

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (11:08 am)

    The gullible, rabid anti-war left readily believes the “stories” from the “Winter Solider II” testimonies just like they did during the Vietnam War and “Winter solider I” The sad fact is much like in “WS I” the testimony given by the so called soldiers then face the same problem as now. Most, if not all, have been shown to: 1. NEVER have been in the military or 2. NEVER been to Iraq. They readily believe that the atrocities that these fake soldiers spew are the “gospel” truth, just like in the 60’s and 70’s. They NEVER bother to seek out the truth.
    Do you guys (lefties, war-protesters) believe Scott Thomas Beauchamp and his story?
    Or how about Jessie McBeth?
    Do your selves a favor and look at sites other than DailyKOS, NYT, DU or The Seattle PI for your info on the troops and the BATTLE in Iraq (Iraq is PART of the War on Terror and if you don’t think we are at war with the Jihadists then you better prepare to do what Adam Gahdan said to do in Oct of 2006: “You have but one choice; Convert or Die”).
    As far as the “Mission Accomplished” banner – If you REALLY want to know the truth about it, let me know. I’ll be happy to tell you it. I served 4.5 years on the Lincoln, I know the people who requested the banner, hung the banner and the reason behind the banner. Though I doubt any of the lefties here will believe it, they would rather believe the story perpetrated by the left and the MSM, than someone who actually knows the truth.
    Protest the war all you want, but do me a favor. Protest it at the places where those there can do something about it. Protesting on the corner is a feel good measure but does it really do anything? NO. Protesting at Recruiting Stations and the Recruiters there shows just how ignorant some of the war protesters are. You want to do some good for protesting the war? Go protest it outside the offices of Cantwell (who voted YEA on HJR 114), Murray and McDermott. The Dems have held a majority for more than a year now and can any of you tell me how many “Troop Withdrawal” bills have made it to Bush’s desk for him to approve or veto? I give you a hint – it’s less than one. That’s right, the DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED CONGRESS, BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE, CAN STOP THIS, BUT EVEN THEY REALIZE THE DANGER WE FACE IF WE DO.
    Support the Troops? Don’t feed me your lies. Most of the people here in Seattle and WS despise the troops. Thats is why we have a Vets/Memorial Day parade honoring those that serve/served and died for this Great Country.
    OH!!! My bad…we don’t have any of those parades/celebrations in Seattle or WS.
    What a way to show support.

    USN Ret.
    22 Years of Active Duty

  • flipjack March 25, 2008 (11:25 am)

    Thanks for posting those links Val. I hadn’t heard about that, although I already knew what was going on over there. Anyone with a half an ounce of intuition or self awareness knows what is going doesn’t take much research to uncover the truth.

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    “although I already knew what was going on over there”

    Please enlighten us with your knowledge of what was going on over there.

    VAIW is full of wannabes and lairs, just like VVAW was in the 60’s/70’s.


  • Frank March 25, 2008 (6:11 pm)

    I wonder what happened to my post with links to the stories of the GOOD things done by our troops in Iraq and Afganistan???

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (6:18 pm)

    Here is one

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    Well I guess my posting of links to good stories coming out of Iraq and Afgan just isn’t wlcome on this blog

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    Belay my last. sorry

  • Indaknow March 25, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    There have been times that my posts with links attached have been delayed from showing up on the blog. It is likely that they will show up here a little later….

  • Val Vashon March 25, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    Hey Frank- I believe the Winter Soldier stories that I heard last week because nobody would admit to doing those things unless they actually did them. War crimes almost all of them, unfortunately. Wait- I just heard a replay of some of Colin Powell’s UN speech today. Maybe it is possible to tell a whopper to a whole room full of people…

  • angelescrest March 25, 2008 (8:35 pm)

    Today’s NY Times published individual pictures of the last 1,000 troops to die in Iraq. The effect is overwhelming.

  • WSB March 25, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    If there is more than one link in a comment, it will be held as possible spam. We are besieged by thousands of spam “comments” (really just attempts to get links to spam sites) per day and our spam filter keeps those from showing up on the site. However, that means it holds onto some other comments for moderation too. In addition, if your IP is variable, your comment may be held because you have not been “approved” previously. There are any number of reasons things don’t always show up immediately so please don’t jump to conclusions. You’re always welcome to e-mail and ask:

    Also, moderation is sometimes fast, but if we’re away from the keyboard for a while, it might not be.

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (10:10 pm)


    Jesse McBeth was/is a member of VAIW. Do some research on the web. Many of them, like those from the VVAW have been found to be false witnesses. They say those things, then when asked to give sworn statements they balk at it and refuse to do so.

    Here is some info from WS I:
    “In 2005, I visited the National Archives at College Park, Maryland with Vietnam veteran and researcher John Boyle. Sifting through the limited material available, we found summary data for the WSI allegations the Army had investigated. The Army’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) had opened cases for 43 WSI “witnesses” whose claims, if true, would qualify as crimes. An additional 25 Army WSI participants had criticized the military in general terms, without sufficient substance to warrant any investigation.

    The 43 WSI CID cases were eventually resolved as follows: 25 WSI participants refused to cooperate, 13 provided information but failed to support the allegations, and five could not be located. No criminal charges were filed as a result of any of the investigations. The individual CID case files, which had been available to the public beginning in 1994, were withdrawn from public access around 2003, when the National Archives realized that the documents should have been embargoed until the personal information they contained could be removed, or “redacted,” as required by the Privacy Act of 1974.”

    The “new” VIAW is being supported by the leaders from VVAW.

    “Organizers of the new IVAW tribunal, which is supported by several former VVAW leaders…” (from above link)

    People like Hubbard the leader from VVAW who claimed he was a jet pilot during ‘Nam.

    “During the publicity generated by the April, 1971 anti-war protest march on Washington DC, Hubbard made claims during an interview that were later shown to be false. He was introduced on Meet the Press as a decorated Air Force captain who had spent two years in Vietnam. After receiving a tip that Hubbard was a sergeant and not a captain, NBC contacted Hubbard about the discrepancy. Hubbard admitted to lying about being an officer, and appeared on the Today Show the following morning. Frank Jordan, then Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News, recalls Hubbard’s explanation that “He was convinced no one would listen to a black man who was also an enlisted man.
    he was a flight engineer with the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron at Tachikawa Air Force Base, Japan and made frequent flights into and within South Vietnam.”

    Give it some time. Those who told the stories you heard last week while be investigated and if there is any truth to their stories, the military will tkae care of it.
    Do your self a favor and read the two links I placed to Jesse McBeth and Scott Thomas Beauchamp. I have a strong feeling that most of the stories from those who spoke will end up being like those two guys stories – FALSE.

    One of the founders of the IVAW is Jimmy Massey (USMC), The founders were current Executive Director Kelly Dougherty (US Army), Tim Goodrich (US Air Force), Mike Hoffman (USMC), Alex Ryabov (USMC), Jimmy Massey (USMC), Isaiah Pallos (USMC), and Diana Morrison (US Army), all Iraq veterans. Here is what the AP found out about him after doing stories that he claimed were true:
    “In a lengthy telephone interview with The Associated Press, Massey repeated his claim that his unit _ and he personally _ fired on the demonstrators. He said four were killed. He said his original estimate of 10 was inaccurate.

    But reporters and a photographer who were embedded with the 3/7 say there is no evidence such a shooting happened _ indeed, no evidence that the Marines confronted any demonstrators so early in the war.

    “There was certainly no organized protesting, no `Go home,’ anything like that,” said Ravi Nessman, an AP reporter who knew Massey while he was embedded with Weapons Company. “When (the Marines) were driving into central Baghdad, they were cheered.”

    “Things went bad much later,” he said.

    Ron Harris, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter whose November article called into question Massey’s claims, said neither he nor any Marine he has interviewed remembers a protest.

    “What demonstrators?” he asked in a phone interview. “It was almost like a parade atmosphere. People had been lining the streets for blocks to see these Marines drive by…”
    Read the full story here:
    And here:
    Read more about the IVAW:
    And here:
    And here:
    The MSM won’t report on these guys, so it is up to the bloggers to find out the truth. Here is quote from the above link:
    “So far, three or four of the testifiers have been kicked out of IVAW for lying. The rest are on their way. They keep getting caught in a variety of lies and Walter Mitty like exaggerations. One soldier – who’s trying to get out of the military – spent his time in the rear, on profile for a knee injury he had in High School that he aggravated in training. He was a Power-Point ‘Clicker’ – the guy who flips the slides. In his ever-growing stories he’s now a combat-injured vet (spinal) who ‘gave briefings to Generals’. Unh-Hunh.”
    The truth is out there…you just need a desire to find it and face it, even if it doesn’t follow your ingrained beliefs.


  • Frank March 25, 2008 (10:18 pm)

    This says it better then I can:

    Members of the military with actual knowledge of crimes committed by US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan have a legal and moral obligation to report them to military authorities. The activists who will claim in Washington that they saw or participated in such crimes presumably failed to do this. What are we to make of “witnesses” who ignore crimes while in the field, but later make allegations in a venue designed to smear the military and its mission? Add the near-certainty that the charges themselves will be vague, lacking the specific details and supporting evidence that real investigations require. Perhaps this time we should assume that the troops who defend us are innocent when they are accused of unsubstantiated “crimes” by a radical movement with a long history of deceit.

  • Frank March 25, 2008 (10:23 pm)


    I offer my profound apologies to jumping to a hasty assumption on the posts with links. I had posted the links at around 2PM and at 6PM the post wasn’t up.

    Not offering any excuses for my error, but I have been kicked off two other boards for posting some of those same links.

    I will not make the mistake again in reference to WSB.

    Again I am sorry for jumping to the wrong conclusion.


  • OP March 26, 2008 (3:32 pm)

    For those of you who want a real source of information about how things are going in Iraq, I suggest you listen to last week’s “Democracy Now”…

    I couldn’t read any more, I was laughing too hard. Democracy Now is the bastard step child of Your “source” for “news” is remarkably laughable.

    And they’re the brave ones by the way. Not only did they admirably fight on behalf of our country, but when they discovered how wrong this war is, they took a public stand to try and get the truth out.

    The VAIW represent such a minute percentage (less than 1%) of Iraq war vets that to cite them and imply that they somehow represent a majority of IWV is patently disingenuous and deliberately misleading. Just because a minority speaks out doesn’t make them right. They’re also a highly questionable group as Frank astutely notes.

    If an action doesn’t meet its stated goals, can it really be said to be “working”?

    You listen to Nancy Pelosi too much. Every security goal for the surge has been met. And the Iraq Parliament recently passed 3 major issues directly concerning Reconciliation, distribution of oil revenue and one other one that I can’t remember at the moment. Without security and without the surge, those don’t happen.

  • JT March 27, 2008 (12:00 am)

    Frank, thank-you for taking the time to explain your thoughts and for giving links to support your view. It’s often very difficult to discern the truth when just about everyone has an agenda one way or another. I am definitely an anti-war (in this case), lefty. I personally feel we should have kept the focus on Afghanistan. However, arguing the point is irrelevant.

    Just know that I do not in any way, shape, or form, despise the troops. A large portion of my family have been, or are currently in, the military. I also respect and appreciate your long record of service. I am not opposed to reading, discussing, and learning different view points.

    It’s hard to have a proper dialog sometimes when people laugh and gloat over their position as another poster did. Continue to inform and explain what you see as the truth and try not to generalize about what you think the left is. I imagine we won’t often agree, but that doesn’t mean I won’t listen.

  • Frank March 27, 2008 (9:09 am)


    I will try to refrain from generalizations in the future. I realize that there are “Lefties” that support the troops and the Battle in Afghanistan, but not the Battle in Iraq.

    The thing that bothers me the most is how some people readily believe the stories from IVAW and earlier VVAW without question. There are people who listen to these stories, which represent an MINUSCULE percentage of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as the norm for the conduct of all our military. Am I saying that there are no possible way ANY of these claims can happen? NO, I’m sure that there is a slim possibility that they can occur, but they are FAR, FAR RARER than these “soldiers” claim. See my second to last post about the conduct of those that see ANY atrocities committed and what they are MORALLY OBLIGATED to do.
    One of the things I was taught in my time in the Navy about orders, is that an order HAS to be LAWFUL for you to obey it. The stories from the IVAW people ALL indicate orders that WERE UNLAWFUL and therefore they and the other troops were under NO compulsion to follow them and should have reported those orders to the highest rung in the Chain of Command.
    Yes I have refused orders that weren’t lawful in my 22 years, granted they weren’t in the heat of combat, but more in the communications realm of the Navy, and have been backed up by the upper chain of command.
    One of my favorite sayings is:
    Pray for Peace, but Prepare for War.
    And make no mistake about it, we are at war with Fundamental Islam and the Jihadists, and have been since 1996 when Bin Laden declared War on the “Great Satan”

  • Brian Glanz » War More Perceived, War More Real March 31, 2008 (2:23 pm)

    […] Ron Richardson of Seattle publishes two simple counts, of Americans killed and injured in Iraq, on a hand-written sign in his yard. As the count of U.S. Iraq war dead reached 4,000 in March 2008, the sign, Ron Richardson, the casualty count, and the war all received more attention. Mike Lewis at the Seattle P-I picked up the story for Under The Needle, and West Seattle Blog wrote it up several times. […]

  • Mariah March 31, 2008 (3:49 pm)

    What about the 60 minutes story last night?

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