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Six snipers among seven Marines killed in Iraq


Shepherd
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The American death toll in Iraq has topped 1,800 with the killings of seven Marines in northwestern Iraq, including six sniper team members, U.S. commanders said Tuesday.

Five of the snipers died Monday during an insurgent attack on a patrol outside Haditha, according to a Marine Corps news release. The body of a sixth was discovered later a few miles away. All were killed by small-arms fire, the Marines said.

Pentagon officials in Washington said the men were members of Marine sniper teams operating in the Haditha area.

A suicide car bomb killed a seventh Marine the same day about 40 miles away in Hit, the Marine Corps said.

All seven were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, part of the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

Their deaths brought the number of U.S. troops killed in the war to 1,806, according to military reports.

Haditha and Hit are Sunni Arab cities along the Euphrates River about 135 miles and 95 northwest of Baghdad respectively. Both have been the subject of recent efforts by U.S. and Iraqi troops to clear out insurgents.

They are in sprawling Anbar province, which stretches from the western environs of Baghdad to the Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi borders.

The province has been a hotbed of insurgents and jihadists from other Muslim countries since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.

S! To the Shooters of 2/2

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Saw that today, I was disturbed that the report was only a foot note scrolling by on the bottom of the screen of my local news. The major story was Jennifer Aniston and her depression...WTF is going on with society today...

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I think it's time to face reality and admit that no matter how great a military nation we may be,that unless we nuke Iraq and wipe the whole damn bunch off the face of the earth and save one American,that trying to fight a guerrilla war that only has ROE for us that we are going to fail. The Romans tried it in Britain and failed,we tried it in Vietnam and failed,the Russians tried it in Afghanistan and failed. I'm going to fight like hell the next time some politician tells me we have to fight on foreign soil to save our country. Lying bastards. No WMD's,no looking for the head of the snake,just chase the tail. If Washington had put the same money and resources into finding Bin Laden and Al Zarqawi this would be over now. Sorry,guys,I'm beyond upset! May God give the families of the fallen peace.

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The way I heard it Neddie the sniper team thought the guys they ran into were friendlies. The enemy was in Iraqi army or police uniforms or something and then they opened up on them.

Whizzers, usually I agree with you man, but this time I can't. I'd rather have the military chasing Jihadi around the desert in Iraq than having them have to chase them around New Jersey or Michigan. Killing Bin Laden and/or Zarqawi would be great, I'd have a big ol' party and everything, but it won't end the war. The snake analogy doesn't hold with Al Queda, they're more like a hyda. Cut off one head and another head grows up in it's place so you have to completely destroy it. The tails won't just go away and some of them will turn into heads, so you have to wipe the whole thing out completely.

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War is a process of making mistakes. Some argue that the side making the fewest mistakes wins. I'm suspicious of simplistic reasoning as a rule.

What I do know is that war involves little mistakes and big ones. In Vietnam a big mistake could easily cost us 200-300 GIs or Marines in a day. In WW2 the toll often exceeded 2,000 - 4,000 a day, and that was just in normal combat operations.

The other guy is also allowed to get lucky and pure chance says that they will, from time to time. We just want to minimize his opportunities to do so.

All that said, I still feel a hollow spot for the Marines we lost, for their comrades and the families. Perspective ain't in it.

Sometimes I want to turn the whole ME into a glass-lined roller rink. But, Schatten has the right of it. That won't work.

We have to keep going, correct our mistakes, depend on our troops, keep the faith.

Jim

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I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.

I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.

They gave me this plot of land,

Me and some other men, for a job well done.

There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.

The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.

They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:

"We're proud of your son."

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.

I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.

I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.

I can rest in peace;

I'm one of the chosen ones:

I made it to Arlington.

I remember Daddy brought me here when I was eight.

We searched all day to find out where my grand-dad lay.

And when we finally found that cross,

He said: "Son, this is what it cost to keep us free."

Now here I am, a thousand stones away from him.

He recognized me on the first day I came in.

And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels,

And saluted me.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.

I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.

I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.

I can rest in peace;

I'm one of the chosen ones:

I made it to Arlington.

And everytime I hear twenty-one guns,

I know they brought another hero home to us.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.

I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done.

We can rest in peace;

'Cause we are the chosen ones:

We made it to Arlington.

Yeah, dust to dust,

Don't cry for us:

We made it to Arlington.

~Trace Atkins

~S~

God bless...

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Whizzers, usually I agree with you man, but this time I can't. I'd rather have the military chasing Jihadi around the desert in Iraq than having them have to chase them around New Jersey or Michigan. Killing Bin Laden and/or Zarqawi would be great, I'd have a big ol' party and everything, but it won't end the war. The snake analogy doesn't hold with Al Queda, they're more like a hyda. Cut off one head and another head grows up in it's place so you have to completely destroy it. The tails won't just go away and some of them will turn into heads, so you have to wipe the whole thing out completely.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Yeah,Schatt,I see your point. Problem I have is the duplicity in Washington. If only somebody would tell me what those self-serving idiots really have got planned and would pro-act instead of re-act all the time. I just feel that between their lies to us and the medias lies to us I can't figure out what the real truth is. I'm a long time Republican but I'm starting to really feel that nothing changes no matter who gets in if it suits their agenda or the agenda of their advisers. I don't trust Cheney as far as I can throw him. I guess I'm just feeling really down about those poor guys today.

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Yeah Whizzers I'm feeling down too, more Marines got killed today right around where those snipers did. Which is right by the Syrian border. I hate comparing the war with Vietnam because there are tons more things different than there are similiar, but one thing that is is the fact that Syria is a lot like Cambodia/Laos, they're allowing fighters, equipment and money to flow into Iraq like there's no tommorow. When we tell them to cut it out they point out that their government is very anti-Fundamentalist, which they are but they allow the Fundamentalists to continue to stir up trouble because that's the only way they can stay in power.

Same thing with the Saudis, the royal family is against the Fundamentalists because the Fundamentalists hate them with a passion. But the Saudi royal family are the ones that started funding the Madrasahs and got the whole Wahabi ball rolling. Why would they do that? Simple, let the radicals go off to Afghanistan or Pakistan, let them hate the West just a tad more than they hate Saudi Arabia's government and there you go...

So when these governments say they hate the radical Jihadis they're partially being truthful, they do hate them and vice versa, but the governments would rather have them hate us a little bit more. That keeps them focused on us and not them for the time being. Not only do the radicals hate them, but a good proportion of their own people hate their governments because they're repressive dictatorships. They don't want the radicals, but they don't want the current governments too. There's the rub.

I'm convinced that the only way to win the war is to systematically destroy Al Queda. To get the "silent majority" of Muslims to actually speak the hell up against the Wahabi/Jihadists. And to democratize the Middle East so that the everyday citizen doesn't have to spend his time hating the government, the West, insert-group-of-your-choice here, but can go about living his life.

Some people say you can't democratize a country by force, to that I say it worked with Japan and Germany after WWII. Some people say that you can't have a democracy in a Muslim country, to that I say look at Turkey. A lot of people in these countries want democracy, so I say give it to them. The problem is that right now even if that's in our best interests I don't know if anyone's willing to actually go and do it. Too afraid of public opinion around the world, too afraid of failing, and I hate to say it a lot of people (even in Congress) aren't convinced we're actually in a world wide war right now either.

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Screw it! I'm going out to Monza and throw a Brabham around the track! Maybe that'll settle me down. Dog's looking a little nervous,too!

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Some people say you can't democratize a country by force, to that I say it worked with Japan and Germany after WWII.

Yeah, and what most people don't seem to realize is that neither Germany nor Japan had democratic governments right after the war ended. It took many years to establish those governments and unfortunately, we are an instant gratification society. Too many think it is a simple matter of going in, deposing the current government, set up a new government and get out. It's not that simple and if a democratic form of government is to survive in Iraq we will have to remain committed to maintaining both civilian and military forces in Iraq for a long time.

It seems that a vocal few in Congress do not have that sort of patience or understanding of the situation and the media feeds this "it's done, our job is over, get out, let them sink or swim" attitude. If we bail now, I can pretty much guarantee that the fledgeling government of Iraq will crumble within months and it will become another Taliban.

We have lost a little over 1800 service people in what? Two years. Compare that to any other war the U.S. has fought and you will quickly see that this is the least costly in terms of human life of any war that we have fought.

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This is getting kinda off topic, but here's the Army report on the Occupation of Germany from '44-'46.

US Army Occupation in Germany

Reading through it can show some very clear parallels between what we see now and what happened then. Of course some of it doesn't apply at all based on the cultural differences. And there are some bits that aren't applied now that should be maybe, de-Baathization should be a priority and follow closely how we de-Nazified Germany, but it seems to be ignored in a lot of cases as even being a problem, or in others there's a blanket "No Baathist" rule. Some of Saddam's generals were very bad men, no one is disputing that, but as with the Nazis if you discount someone from a position in the new Iraqi army because he was a card carrying Baathist...well that could be just as bad.

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But who are we fighting? Al Queda,Islam,the Moslem religion? I can't figure out what we are trying to accomplish. I understand our desire to strike back for 9/11 but how do you chase an enemy who is tacitly supported by their own people who don't like each other if you're not in the family or tribe,and don't even understand the principles of a democracy anyway? And meanwhile our own people struggle to pay health bills,keep their homes in a catastrophic time of losing their jobs,watch oil companies rip us all off,lose their sons and daughters to insurgents following a medieval warlord who wants to take them back to the stone age. I see no focus in this,no rally to the flag, because we don't know who we are supposed to be opposed to as compared to WW2 or Korea. This is my frustration.

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It is frustrating, but we're really not allowed to say who we're fighting against, because if we define it in black and white people will get offended.

I better stop now, but I know your frustration Whizzers, I feel it myself too sometimes. Our problem seems to be we're afraid of offending people who just want us dead. Hell of a way to go about things.

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