Account of firefight was badly slanted

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Regarding the Associated Press article March 5 ("Wounded say shots came from U.S. troops"): After reading this, I became so angry I could hardly see straight. This is what is wrong with the liberal press.

Our soldiers were attacked by a crazy man, then shot at by other crazy men. Is this the focus of the story in an American newspaper? No! The liberal left turns the focus on the United States military - that somehow our soldiers are at fault for protecting themselves.

As a former journalist myself, I am ashamed of my colleagues nationwide for allowing this kind of drivel to enter American homes by way of paper, radio or television. No wonder the citizens of this great nation are so wishy-washy.

We as citizens of the United States have a responsibility to support the men and women who are keeping us safe, not question their actions when fired upon.

In the middle of an Afghan street we should not expect a soldier to call for a show of hands on who is there to kill or shop then proclaim, "Have a nice day."

This is not first-grade P.E.; this is war. I pray for the innocent who were killed or wounded in that attack, but it is considered collateral damage. Those Marines were provoked by cold-blooded murderers. The blame lies with the group that sent in the suicide bomber and put guns in the hands of the militants, not U.S. soldiers.

That United States Marine envoy in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, opened fire to protect me and this soap-box letter to the editor. And if there is anyone out there who disagrees with me, think of it this way: That Marine envoy, as well as others, are protecting your right to get up on a soap box next to me and tell me I'm wrong.

Katherine Wideman, Martinez

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Signal Always
3
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Signal Always 03/14/07 - 03:27 am
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Thank you, Katherine. You get

Thank you, Katherine. You get it. You are completely correct in your assessment. Problem is, liberals see the troops and they see Bush. They hate both. No, there is no difference with them. I've been to Democratic Underground.com. Yes, there are people in this city that visit, and actively participate, in that site. They post here, and on the forums. Nothing we can do is good enough. Why? Bush is in office. I have posed this question to many liberals in the past. They said nothing about Kosovo. Nothing about Bosnia-Herzegovina. Why? A Democrat was in office. However, what's the difference? Was Sadaam not doing the same thing Milosovic was doing? Well, you have to view it with some intelligence to see, "yeah". Problem, is it was Clinton, not Bush. The left can say they support the troops all they want, it matters not a damn bit. The troops don't believe it. Trust me, in my position as one that travels a-lot, I know. I cannot support UGA and wish for them to lose a game. It just isn't feasible. The troops know this.....but liberals think they're all idiots that didn't have a choice anyway, right? This is funny to me.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 03/14/07 - 04:18 am
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Signal Always, your UGA

Signal Always, your UGA analogy was perfect. The left has chosen sides and anyone who doesn't agree with them is wrong [to their way of thinking]. The fact that they wouldn't have that choice if our troops didn't defend it doesn't seem to occur to them. The brainstorming from DemocraticUndergound.com does show up on this venu way too often. Fanaticism is the refuge of the misinformed. They must foist blame on others to justify their own position. Use of fact is optional.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/14/07 - 04:32 am
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0
Perhaps you would like to

Perhaps you would like to flesh out your bonafides as a "former
journalist", Ms. Wideman? I cannot locate the AP article titled "Wounded say shots came from U.S. troops" you
cite, but the headline seems accurate to me. I assume you are talking about an incident in Afghanistan that
happened on March 4th which the U.S. military labels "a complex
attack". Human Rights Watch described the incident this way: "On March
4, 2007, insurgents in a civilian van carried out a suicide bomb attack
on a US military convoy on the Jalalabad highway in eastern Nangarhar
province. No US personnel or Afghan civilians were reported killed in
the suicide attack. Witnesses told journalists and Afghan officials
that US forces, while speeding away from the attack, shot at vehicles
and pedestrians along at least a six-mile stretch of highway. At least
eight and as many as 16 civilians were killed, and approximately 25
others were wounded. The dead included a woman and two children." Ms. Wideman, you
claim to have been a journalist and you posit that American soldiers
fighting in Afghanistan are defending my right to free speech here in
United States, but you write "I am ashamed of my colleagues nationwide
for allowing this kind of drivel to enter American homes by way of
paper, radio or television." That reads like a call for censorship to me.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 03/14/07 - 05:04 am
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I wonder what kind of

I wonder what kind of individual would confuse responsible journalism with censorship? [see DemocraticUndreground.com]

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/14/07 - 05:13 am
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Here is BBC News coverage of

Here is BBC News coverage of the incident apparently referred to by Ms. Wideman:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6416667.stm

ohhsweetconcord
3
Points
ohhsweetconcord 03/14/07 - 07:01 am
0
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I don't get the UGA

I don't get the UGA analogy...

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 03/14/07 - 08:00 am
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Think about it,

Think about it, ohhsweetconcord, it will come to you. I promise

SnidleyWhiplash
2
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SnidleyWhiplash 03/14/07 - 08:13 am
0
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"Fanaticism is the refuge of

"Fanaticism is the refuge of the misinformed. They must foist blame on others to justify their own position. Use of fact is optional."
The same sentiment can be applied to the far-right in this country as well. People who live in glass houses...

farmer
0
Points
farmer 03/14/07 - 10:11 am
0
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Don't have time for a message

Don't have time for a message today I have to go clean the JRHC out of my cow pasture and horse stalls

augustalawyer
0
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augustalawyer 03/14/07 - 10:45 am
0
0
Sigh...Sigh....Sigh...OK, as

Sigh...Sigh....Sigh...OK, as much as I hate to, I have to agree, in part, with JRHC. The marines, unfortunately, did overreact. But they are all good men and had no intention of attacking civilians. But dude, when a huge bomb explodes next to you and machine gun fire comes from a crowd of people it can really freak you out and you can lose your perspective. Sometimes, even the bravest and well trained soldier can panic. However, we do have clear rules of engagement designed for the protection of civilians. In this case, the Marines may have violated them. However, JRHC, you are wrong to gloat over a soldier's mistake at war. Everyday, for the average Infantry soldier, we wake up with our daily cup of fear followed by a healthy dose of physical suffering. When you go on a patrol down the main roads, driving or in my case walking, you know you are going to get attacked, you just don't know when or how bad. It wears on you, it grinds you down and it never stops. These deployments are for a full year and some of these guys rarely get off the line due to shortages. OK, the Marines may have panicked and made a huge mistake. But why are you happy about it?

jack
10
Points
jack 03/14/07 - 11:00 am
0
0
Aaaaah, Mr Cain, our DNC

Aaaaah, Mr Cain, our DNC parrot is at it again. Anyone who puts any faith in anything Human Rights Watch or the BBC says about this country is a fool as we see their anti-American/military bias in every thing they say and publish. Cain, if the "shoe" (fool) fits, wear it. BTW, do you know how many of the Human Rights Watch (or you) have ever been in combast? Worn a uniform? God bless you Augustalawyer and our Marines there with you.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 03/14/07 - 11:43 am
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i certainly do not put much

i certainly do not put much faith in how the bbc reports anything. they have always been narrow minded perhaps that is why cain agrees so much with them. i am neither pro or con for the war but i will always support my troops regardless. the truth is that unless you are put in those situations you do not know how you will act or react. you never know who the enemy is and perhaps he is in here with us writing his opinions.....

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/14/07 - 12:11 pm
0
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I did not "gloat" about

I did not "gloat" about anything or pass judgement on the Marines
involved in this particular incident. I simply responded to Katherine
Wideman's letter to the editor, asked for her journalistic credentials,
pointed out that the AP's headline appeared accurate to me, referenced
the BBC, and quoted what Human Rights Watch said about the attack.
Augustalawyer, you confirm that U.S. Marines overreacted in this
instance which contradicts Ms. Wideman's assertions that the "liberal
press" was slanted in its coverage of this incident. Ms. Wideman also
attacked the "liberal left." Unfortunately U.S. soldiers killing
civilians for whatever
reasons is becoming an all too familiar story in both
Afghanistan and in Iraq. The fact that up to 25% of returning vets may
suffer from PTSD attests to the stress and trauma they are subjected to
in trying to accomplish impossible missions. The URL below is to an AP
story filed 9 days ago. That would be March 5. The incident happened on
March 4. Is this the AP story
that offended former journalist Katherine Wideman? I find nothing
untoward or unprofessional in the reporting. This begs the question of
what type of journalist Katherine Wideman claims to have been. Excuse
me for expressing my
sincere opinion as best I know how. Look at the name-calling one gets
for exercising his freedom of speech. Patricia Thomas has repeatedly asked me to leave the country. The poster whose screen-name is
"truthbetold" suggests I am the enemy.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-03-04-afghanistan_N.htm

aboveaverage
0
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aboveaverage 03/14/07 - 12:45 pm
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I am the mother if a soldier

I am the mother if a soldier fighting for his life in Afganastan. Whatever decision that is made when shots are fired and you fear for your life is the right one There is no such thing as overreacting. My son has been shot twice and by the grace of God is still alive. If you are not there, please do not pass judgement on our troops.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/14/07 - 01:26 pm
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Aboveaverage, I sympathize

Aboveaverage, I sympathize with the stress that your son and your
family are having to endure. It sounds like your son likely will have
long term mental health issues stemming from this war. Returning
vets have come down both for and against this war once they return.
Many have become authors, poets, playwrites, and expressed themselves
musically. I hope there are therapies to help your son function fully
in future. As far as your statement "Whatever decision that is made
when shots are fired and you fear for your life is the right one There
is no such thing as overreacting" THAT IS ABSOUTELY WRONG! There
certainly is such a thing as over-reacting, and there are laws, rules,
and regulations governing how soldiers respond while under attack.
Taking out civilians along a six mile stretch of road is not justified.
Augustalawyer says these particular Marines (reported to be Special
Operations forces) overreacted in this particular situation. The
Associated Press reported the story accurately AFAIK, and the American
public has every right to read such news accounts in newspapers. Today
I heard former CIA officer Milt Bearden say that U.S. forces will
indeed make tactical gains and kill many Taliban in this sping's
offensive BUT THIS IS UNLIKELY TO CHANGE THE DOWNWARD TRAGECTORY OF
THIS
WAR. That spells trouble for U.S. occupation forces in Afghanistan.
Bearden says that Afghanistan has not been pacified by any foreign
occupier in 2,500 years including by the Soviets, the British, the
Moguls, and going
all the way back to Alexander the Great. Warfare in this part of the
world has an ancient seasonal rhythm to it. Returning Soviet vetarans
of their failed war in Afghanistan warned "These people know how to
die. They die looking at you." This does not auger well
for U.S. prospects in Afghanistan. Call me a defeatest or call me a realist.
That is how I see the situation.

buddydawg
0
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buddydawg 03/14/07 - 02:24 pm
0
0
JRHC, just because you do not

JRHC, just because you do not have the mental fortitude to hande the pressures of war does not automatically mean that another will suffer the same mental defect that you do. Most of out troops are brave and fierce. To top it off they are putting it on the line so blow hards like yourself can do what you do best....

aboveaverage
0
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aboveaverage 03/14/07 - 02:47 pm
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JohnRandolf Call me when you

JohnRandolf Call me when you return from your tour in Afganastan and we will talk. Your trust in what ever is reported on the news is admirable but first hand experience is best. As far as his mental health I do not have a clear picture as of yet, but thank-you for your concern I have worried about that myself.

agnellus
0
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agnellus 03/16/07 - 02:51 pm
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Ms. Wideman: Do you really

Ms. Wideman: Do you really believe that the Afghans killed or wounded are comforted by your prayers? Even as you discount their sufferings as collateral damage?
A terrible situation for the Marines, but as an elite force were they trained to respond by randomly shooting at whoever and whatever?
The President’s stated goal for Afghanistan is the complete defeat of the Taliban and other terrorists groups and the development of a stable and democratically elected government.
While the safety of the military is of high importance it cannot be of a higher importance than success in the mission. If it were the troops should simply be pulled out and removed from mad men with weapons.
In this case, did the actions of the troops further the mission or damage it? Real success requires that Afghans willingly embrace our efforts. They recognize through our deeds as well as the President’s rhetoric that America is truly trying to improve their lives. This becomes less likely every time innocents are inadvertently bombed or shot. Will it really matter to the families whether their innocents died from intentional American action or as collateral damage?

agnellus
0
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agnellus 03/23/07 - 03:11 pm
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Late Breaking News on 23

Late Breaking News on 23 March: Leto, the spokesman at Special Operations Command Central headquarters in Tampa, Fla., said the Marines, after being ambushed, responded in a way that created "perceptions (that) have really damaged the relationship between the local population and this unit."

The unit of Marines involved in the incident has been ordered out of the country.

So much for the tighty righties who believe that questioning any military action is somehow unpatriotic.

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