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Ask A Vet!
Author: TriSec    Date: 10/02/2007 10:24:47

Good Morning. Ask A Vet returns!

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths in Iraq
Since war began (3/19/03): 3807
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3668
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3346
Since Handover (6/29/04): 2948
Since Election (1/31/05): 2370

Other Coalition Troops: 300
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 447



This morning, we find the Cost of war standing at:

$456, 452, 150, 000. 00



And now turning to our friends at IAVA, we find a couple of interesting stories. The first is about the plight of Iraqi translators. Often, they and their families are the target of retaliation simply for trying to help us Americans. There's a piece of legislation that is currently pending that may help the situation somewhat.
NEW YORK – In the next week, the Senate will vote on the IAVA-endorsed “Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act” or 2872. This amendment to the Defense Authorization bill expedites visa processing for Iraqi translators and other Iraqis who risk their lives to work with U.S. forces.Many IAVA member veterans feel a deep personal connection to their translators and have worked tirelessly to help bring them to safety in the United States.

Retired Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea’s unit spent a year training and leading an Iraqi Army battalion in combat. Mike and his unit relied heavily on their translator, Sinan, whose life was frequently threatened for assisting American forces. After 22 months of hard work, Sinan obtained his permanent immigration visa from the United States. Mike plans to meet Sinan when he arrives at Newark Airport this evening. “For three years, Sinan risked his life to assist U.S. troops and better his country. He proved himself countless times in combat alongside my unit, and I am grateful that he will finally be safe,” said Zacchea.

Many Iraqi translators are not as fortunate as Sinan.

“My Iraqi civilian counterpart in Fallujah took the lead in establishing an election site that thousands of Iraqis used during the country’s first national elections. He was a critical member of our team,” said Todd Bowers, IAVA Director of Government Affairs. “Months after I returned home, I received an e-mail from a Marine in the unit that had replaced mine. My Iraqi comrade had been followed and assassinated by insurgents. He was shot twice in the chest and once in the head. The wife and five children he left behind were forced to flee their home.”

“There are thousands of Iraqis who risk their lives every day to support American troops in combat. They and their families are frequently threatened and even killed, yet these brave and dedicated translators remain dedicated to protecting U.S. troops. It is unsafe for them to remain in Iraq, but the process for them to seek asylum in the U.S. is inexcusably long and arduous,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Executive Director.

“In addition to our nation’s moral obligation to protect these loyal Iraqis, doing so is critical to our success in the battlefield. My translator, Esam, was the most critical weapon I had in Baghdad. Esam’s quick thinking and careful words often saved the lives of my soldiers and countless Iraq civilians,” said Rieckhoff. “Counterinsurgency work relies on keeping good faith with our local allies; abandoning our interpreters would send a terrible signal to anyone thinking of working with American forces.”

“The ‘Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act’, or Amendment 2872 to the DOD Authorization bill, eliminates much of the red tape Iraqi refugees face when they apply for U.S visas and expedites the process for those who are in serious danger because of their association with the U.S,” said Paul Rieckhoff. “Its passage means the difference between life and death for thousands of Iraqis who risk their lives for American troops.”



Also this morning, PBS "NOW" is featuring some video comment about returning veterans and PTSD....are they receiving the care they need?


PBS Now


Lastly this morning...a story from across the pond. You may recall that British troops recently pulled out of Basra. Well, the residents are calling the city 'quieter since the British troops left'.
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - Residents of Iraq's southern city of Basra have begun strolling riverfront streets again after four years of fear, their city much quieter since British troops withdrew from the grand Saddam Hussein-era Basra Palace.

Political assassinations and sectarian violence continue, some city officials say, but on a much smaller scale than at any time since British troops moved into the city after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.


Mortar rounds, rockets and small arms fire crashed almost daily into the palace, making life hazardous for British and Iraqis alike in Iraq's second-largest city. To many Basrans the withdrawal of the British a month ago removed a proven target.

"The situation these days is better. We were living in hell ... the area is calm since their withdrawal," said housewife Khairiya Salman, who lives near the palace.

Civil servant Wisam Abdul Sada agreed. "We do not hear the sounds of explosions which were shaking our houses and terrifying our women and children," he told Reuters.

Basra, in Iraq's Shi'ite south, has enormous strategic importance as the hub for the country's vital oil exports that account for 90 percent of its revenue and a centre of imports and exports throughout the Gulf.

The volatile city has witnessed its share of violence in a sectarian conflict and insurgency that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis since the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam.

While the British were frequent targets -- 41 soldiers were killed this year, the most since 2003 -- Basra has also been the centre of a turf war between rival Shi'ite groups.

Continued...



We'll leave it at that today. This week is our annual Athenahealth user's conference, so I'll be working the floor this morning at the Sheraton in Boston. See everyone after lunch!

And welcome old friends and new faces....let's make this place rock, hmm?

87 comments (Latest Comment: 10/03/2007 02:57:02 by livingonli)
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Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 13:20:14
First.



So, what's up?

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 13:36:24
BobR? Raine? Anyone home?

Comment by producerchris on 10/02/2007 13:45:51
Hi Living!!



What the hell is going on over at AAP? Why is everyone sniping at each other?



ProducerChris

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 13:48:49
MOrning! :hug:



People are snipping at each other?

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 13:50:58
Quote by producerchris:

Hi Living!!



What the hell is going on over at AAP? Why is everyone sniping at each other?



ProducerChris


I wish I knew. I think one of the mods here could explain the situation because it started over at AAP's message board. You might want to fire an e-mail because most of the discussion was private. I wasn't involved in it.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 13:55:06
I wonder if we could get some of the message board people here. But I don't know how many of them listen to Momma? I think Velveeta does.

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 13:59:09
I don't know that they want to talk about what happened it's between them at this point.



I though Chris was refering to the Mondo comment on the other blog this morning.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:01:25
Quote by wickedpam:

I don't know that they want to talk about what happened it's between them at this point.



I though Chris was refering to the Mondo comment on the other blog this morning.


Things seemed to have gone downhill since the whole fallout last June. But it definitely was about what Mondo posted yesterday and some of the exchanges between his fiance and other bloggers at AAP yesterday.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:04:04
Can't we alll just get along?

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 14:05:15
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by wickedpam:

I don't know that they want to talk about what happened it's between them at this point.



I though Chris was refering to the Mondo comment on the other blog this morning.


Things seemed to have gone downhill since the whole fallout last June. But it definitely was about what Mondo posted yesterday and some of the exchanges between his fiance and other bloggers at AAP yesterday.




What happened? I miss everything!



Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:07:57
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by livingonli:

Quote by wickedpam:

I don't know that they want to talk about what happened it's between them at this point.



I though Chris was refering to the Mondo comment on the other blog this morning.


Things seemed to have gone downhill since the whole fallout last June. But it definitely was about what Mondo posted yesterday and some of the exchanges between his fiance and other bloggers at AAP yesterday.




What happened? I miss everything!



There were some exchanges between Miss Vickie and other bloggers that got a little heated (read yesterday's comments in early PM to judge for yourself) and then she got banned for creating sock puppets since she posted under three handles.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:09:21
I don't think that campaign ad is going to get Hillary on the show.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:10:09
Goldwater-Miller '08. The T&A team. That's what you should use in the TV ads.

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 14:11:15
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by livingonli:

Quote by wickedpam:

I don't know that they want to talk about what happened it's between them at this point.



I though Chris was refering to the Mondo comment on the other blog this morning.


Things seemed to have gone downhill since the whole fallout last June. But it definitely was about what Mondo posted yesterday and some of the exchanges between his fiance and other bloggers at AAP yesterday.




What happened? I miss everything!



There were some exchanges between Miss Vickie and other bloggers that got a little heated (read yesterday's comments in early PM to judge for yourself) and then she got banned for creating sock puppets since she posted under three handles.






I saw were crt banned a Miss Vicki but I didn't think was really Mondo's fiance. That's the only thing I saw though.



Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:17:13
Quote by wickedpam:

I saw were crt banned a Miss Vicki but I didn't think was really Mondo's fiance. That's the only thing I saw though.



That was her. She feels that we are being mean to Mondo when he got some ribbing about his new found fondness for College Football (see the weekend blog for the comments).



I guess she doesn't understand how silly we can get or our kind of humor.

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 14:19:45
OOoohhhhhhh!

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:22:19
I miss the old days.

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:22:47
Good morning!!

Comment by BobR on 10/02/2007 14:24:06
morning, folks! :coffee:

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:26:18
Quote by livingonli:
Quote by producerchris: Hi Living!! What the hell is going on over at AAP? Why is everyone sniping at each other? ProducerChris
I wish I knew. I think one of the mods here could explain the situation because it started over at AAP's message board. You might want to fire an e-mail because most of the discussion was private. I wasn't involved in it.
Regarding the DAily blog, I do not now what is going on. REgarding the message board... Well, yes, that is something that we choose to keep private. Truthfully what happened does not have anything to do with our members over there or here! Now if Prod Chris is still around... I am going to ask, can we be the unofficial daily blog for Goldwater Miller 08? Considering our mission statement, I think we would be just poifect!

Comment by wickedpam on 10/02/2007 14:28:05
Hey Bob & Raine!

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:29:05
Morning Bob and Raine.



How are things in the ATL?

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:29:37
Ugh... JAke from where ever he lives now... I want to try to call the show, but my phone reception has been crappy in da house these past few days!

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:30:57
Quote by livingonli: I miss the old days.
So do i, liv. The ATL is nice and quiet this morning. I have the windows to the studio this morning and it feels like a loverly spring morning

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:31:55
I think Jake took his paper shack and moved it all by himself.



And talk about a call-in whore, he has also called Thom Hartmann and Mike Malloy as well. Of course, it would be the shows I really like.

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:33:07
HEYA! I don't know where Tri is, but it is damn nice to see Ask aVet back!!!

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:33:30
Quote by Raine:

Quote by livingonli:

I miss the old days.


So do i, liv.



The ATL is nice and quiet this morning. I have the windows to the studio this morning and it feels like a loverly spring morning


That sounds nice. I guess you have a good view.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:35:27
Quote by Raine:

HEYA! I don't know where Tri is, but it is damn nice to see Ask aVet back!!!


I figured the health conference was keeping him busy. Damn salt mines.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:37:23
So is US Citizen the next Sock?

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:38:37
So bobber, did you get headphones yesterday?

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:42:02
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KGgdMRFnp6A

Comment by BobR on 10/02/2007 14:42:18
Quote by Raine:

So bobber, did you get headphones yesterday?




No. So again today there's no Momma and the Mooks © for me... :kickcan:

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:42:24
How do you use the tags on this blog?

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:43:08
Oh dear... I cannot believe sometimes that this war iis still happening.

Comment by BobR on 10/02/2007 14:43:28
Quote by livingonli:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=KGgdMRFnp6A




Hey Livin - next time use the YouTube button!



Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:43:57
Quote by livingonli: How do you use the tags on this blog?
Do the buttons not work for you?

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:44:38
Quote by Raine:

Quote by livingonli:

How do you use the tags on this blog?


Do the buttons not work for you?


Nope. They didn't work for me on Firefox or Netscape.

Comment by BobR on 10/02/2007 14:44:56
Quote by livingonli:

How do you use the tags on this blog?




For the YouTube, you can either click the button and paste in the URL, or you can past it into the comment box, highlight it, and click the YouTube button - it will wrap the URL in the tags...

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:46:57
I just LOVE the fact that we can put the youtubery and the pictures on the bloggie. BobR done good, he done real good.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:47:44
Quote by BobR:

Quote by livingonli:

How do you use the tags on this blog?




For the YouTube, you can either click the button and paste in the URL, or you can past it into the comment box, highlight it, and click the YouTube button - it will wrap the URL in the tags...


I tried doing that but it didn't work for me.

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:49:07
Firefox? yeah I think some bugs still need to be worked out with browser. I have been typing them in out of habit, and yeah, I see that it is not working for me.

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:52:05
Quote by Raine: So for the future... [ youtube ] www dot youtuber adress [/ youtube ] should work, until the button issues can be fixed...
Fixity fix so you can read the code, just remove the spaces as needed.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:53:04




I can get it to work on IE. Test.

Comment by livingonli on 10/02/2007 14:57:00
Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:57:19
:mAnn Coulter Voice: Firefox has it's issues... :lol:

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 14:58:50
Quote by livingonli: Check out mAnn's new look.
No mother no!!!

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 15:00:03
ATTENTION Please note our links!!! Goldwater Miller 08 is there!!!

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 15:09:14
Just wondering, has Momma tried a simple glass of Milk... maybe warm... before bed? Perhaps a heaping help of a nice bailey's in it?

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 15:10:02
And I am now officially talking to myself here! Oh well... I do that anyway... :P

Comment by Raine on 10/02/2007 15:12:23
Fred Thomson... I can only shake my head...