Showing posts with label deaths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deaths. Show all posts

Saturday, September 27, 2014


From Informed Comment:
On a 36-month schedule for “destroying” ISIS, the president is already ceding his war to the next president, as was done to him by George W. Bush. That next president may well be Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state as Iraq War 2.0 sputtered to its conclusion. Notably, it was her husband whose administration kept the original Iraq War of 1990-1991 alive via no-fly zones and sanctions. Call that a pedigree of sorts when it comes to fighting in Iraq until hell freezes over.

If there is a summary lesson here, perhaps it’s that there is evidently no hole that can’t be dug deeper. How could it be more obvious, after more than two decades of empty declarations of victory in Iraq, that genuine “success,” however defined, is impossible? The only way to win is not to play. Otherwise, you’re just a sucker at the geopolitical equivalent of a carnival ringtoss game with a fist full of quarters to trade for a cheap stuffed animal.
In his televised address on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, President Obama said, "Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy." and, "...we will not get dragged into another ground war."  Whatever the label for the present war, it is now Obama's war. I thought it right that the US helped to rescue the Yazidis from the mountain where they were trapped and that we provide assistance and military equipment to the Kurds, who seem to me the sanest people in the territory, but we should stop there. Is anyone thinking through to possible consequences of bombing in Iraq and now in Syria?

What will happen if a pilot is shot down and captured by ISIL, and the worst happens? Surely there will be cries for further escalation. Turkey has taken in over 1 million refugees. Are we willing to welcome refugees from Syria and Iraq whose homes are destroyed by our bombs or who flee from their homes for fear of being bombed? While it's true that we created a number of the problems in Iraq, I don't see how bombing, killing, and wounding more Iraqis will solve them. ISIL is a brutal organization, but what is the end game? How will we know when ISIL is defeated?  What if ISIL is not destroyed in 36 months?

Iraq, as a country, was cobbled together by British colonial powers after WWI.  Kurds and Shi'ites tried to break away at the time, but the colonial powers quelled the revolt.  Sunni/Shi'ite divisions go further back than the colonial period.  Despite past interventions by Western powers, we cannot now fix the troubles in the Middle East.  In Iraq, the center will not hold, no matter how many bombs we drop, but the destruction proceeds, and who knows how or when it will all end?  We can be certain the end will not come before more innocents are killed, wounded, or driven from their homes.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


One of the strictest gun crimes on the books in Louisiana was ruled invalid Thursday by a New Orleans criminal court judge in the wake of the state’s powerful new “right to bear arms” provisions.

District Judge Darryl Derbigny ruled that the law prohibiting felons from carrying firearms violates Louisiana new “strict scrutiny” amendment to the state Constitution. The amendment, backed by heavy lobbying by the National Rifle Association, was adopted by a wide margin by voters last year and became effective Jan. 1.

The strict-scrutiny amendment makes gun ownership a fundamental right that can only be regulated by meeting a very narrow set of standards upon review by the state Supreme Court.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office immediately appealed Derbigny’s ruling, taking the case straight to the high court for a ruling.
Who says felons can't have their guns?  Well, they can here in Louisiana with our new constitutional  amendment requiring "strict scrutiny" for depriving anyone of the right to bear arms. So says the judge in New Orleans, and he may be right, according to the new law.  We'll see what the Louisiana Supreme Court decides.
The case before Derbigny involved a man who was caught with a .40-caliber pistol and AK-47. The man, Glen Draughter, previously had been convicted of a felony burglary charge.

Regarding the push to arm employees in the schools, which we are told will prevent future shootings, I read yesterday that three people were killed at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.  The base is surely armed, and three people are dead.

May those who died rest in peace and rise in glory.  May God give comfort, consolation, and the peace that passes understanding to all who love them.

May God have mercy on us all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


From ABCNews:
An Afghan Air Corps pilot, angered by an argument with nine American trainers at Kabul airport, pulled a gun on the Americans, disarmed them and methodically killed them, officials said today.

The shooter then apparently shot and killed himself.

The Afghan military said the gunman was a 20 year veteran of the Afghan Air Corps who had gotten in an argument with the American trainers during a meeting in a conference room at the Afghan Air Force headquarters.

The dead included eight U.S military personnel and one American contractor. Five Afghan soldiers were also injured in the shooting, said Bahader.

It was the deadliest incident so far of an Afghan ally turning against his coalition partners, officials said. This is the seventh time this year that coalition soldiers or Afghan security forces have been killed by either members of the Afghan security force or insurgents impersonating them.

What the hell is the goal of the US and its coalition partners in Afghanistan? We are engaged in a war seemingly without end at great expense in lives and money. The British tried to get control of Afghanistan and failed. The Russians tried and failed, at the expense of the collapse of their empire. Why can't we learn from history? We should have destroyed the Taliban's training camps after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and then left the country.

Here we are 10 years later having lost 2436 lives, probably not counting those mentioned above, with numbers more wounded, and having spent a total of $455.4 billion, and what have we gained?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The New Orleans Times-Picayune posted pictures of the 11 men who died in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well in their print edition, but I can't find the pictures online. However, the men have names:
James Anderson - 35 - Drill supervisor - Married, father of two - Bay City, Texas

Aaron Dale Burkeen - 37 Crane operator - Married, father of two - Philadelphia, Mississippi

Donald Clark - 49 - Assistant driller - Married - Newelton, Louisiana

Stephen Ray Curtis - 39 - Married, father of two - Georgetown, Louisiana

Gordon Jones - 28 - Mud engineer - Married, father of two - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Roy Wyatt Kemp - 27 - Roughneck - Married, father of two - Jonesville, Louisiana

Karl Kepplinger, Jr - 38 - Mud pit worker - Married, father of one - Natchez, Mississippi

Blair Manuel - 56 - Chemical engineer - Engaged, father of three, Gonzales, Louisiana

Dewey Revette - 48 - Oil driller - Married, father of two - State Line, Mississippi

Shane Rosto - 22 - Floor hand - Married, father of one - Liberty, Mississippi

Adam Weise - 24 - Floor hand - Single - Yorktown, Texas

Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that, casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the oil? It's still there.

Photo from

Picture at the head of the post from Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Quadi S. Hudgins, of New Orleans, La., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Tuesday. Hudgins was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
DOD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation New Dawn. They died April 2 of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their position with indirect fire in Babil, Iraq.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Quadi S. Hudgins, 26, of New Orleans, La.

Sgt. Christian A. S. Garcia, 30, of Goodyear, Ariz.

They were assigned to the Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.

Hudgins was featured in a story about soldiers boxing at Fort Hood in the Fort Hood Sentinel in March 2010. It said he had been fighting his way to-and-from school in his "highly territorial" New Orleans neighborhood.

He quoted his uncle telling him: "If I was going to fight somebody I might as well do it in the ring."

May Staff Sgt. Quadi S. Hudgins and Sgt. Christian A. S. Garcia rest in peace and rise in glory.
An Internet Prayer For Peace

O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis.
Your power changes hearts.

Muslims, Christians and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
Children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.

Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these
truths by the way we live.
Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love

From GodWeb.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The scene in Natori, Japan

From the New York Times:
The tsunami that barreled into northeast Japan on Friday was so murderous and efficient that not much was left when search-and-rescue teams finally reached Natori on Monday. There was searching, but not much rescuing. There was, essentially, nobody left to rescue.

The mournful scene here in Natori, a farm and fishing town that has been reduced to a vast muddy plain, was similar to rescue efforts in other communities along the coast as police, military and foreign assistance teams poked through splintered houses and piles of wreckage.

Also from the New York Times:
The risk of a meltdown spread to a third reactor at a stricken nuclear power plant in Japan on Monday as its cooling systems failed, exposing its fuel rods, only hours after a second explosion at a separate reactor blew the roof off a containment building.

The widening problems underscored the difficulties the Japanese authorities are having in bringing several damaged reactors under control three days after a devastating earthquake and a tsunami hit Japan’s northeast coast and shut down the electricity that runs the crucial cooling systems for reactors.

The situation is dire in ways unimaginable for those not actually on the scene.
Prayer for Japan after the Earthquake
from the Church of England

O loving Creator, bring healing and hope to those who, at this time, grieve, suffer pain, or who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We remember those who have died and we pray for those who mourn for them. We pray for those who were affected by the tsunami. May we all be aware of your compassion, O God, which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls. May we pray with humility with our troubled and struggling brothers and sisters on earth. May we dare to hope that through the generosity of the privileged, the destitute might glimpse hope, warmth and life again. Through our Savior Christ who lives with us, comforts us and soothes us. Amen.

If you'd like to help, you may donate to: Episcopal Relief and Development, the Red Cross, or the Salvation Army.

H/T to The Daily Office for the prayer which I posted in a slightly edited form to reflect the present situation.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Clockwise from top left (AP):
Christina-Taylor Green: A "Face of Hope," this 9-year-old politician often wore red, white and blue in honor of her country.

Dorothy Morris: The 76-year-old retiree, Dorothy Morris, attended the event with her husband and high school sweetheart George Morris.

Judge John Roll: A widely respected federal judge, Roll received death threats in 2009 after his decision allowed a case brought forward by illegal immigrants to proceed to a jury trial.

Gabe Zimmerman: Recently engaged and one of Giffords's aides, he was known as a master in dealing with other people.

Dorwin Stoddard: A fixture at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, Stoddard blocked his wife from gunfire, eyewitness reports said.

Phyllis Schneck: A great-grandmother, the 79-year-old retiree admired Giffords's stance on border safety.

From the Washington Post.

Heartbreaking pictures.
O God, whose beloved Son took little children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust this child Christina-Taylor to your never-failing care and love, and bring us all to your heavenly kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servants Dorothy, John, Gabe, Dorwin, and Phyllis, and grant them entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.