2 SEALs Receive Navy Cross

Washington Post:

Wounded and locked in a harrowing gunfight deep in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush mountains, Navy SEAL Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson laid down covering fire so a teammate could escape — an act of heroism for which Axelson was yesterday posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s second-highest medal.

Fighting nearby, Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz was also mortally wounded but stood his ground in a barrage of fire from 30 to 40 Taliban militiamen who surrounded his four-man SEAL reconnaissance team on June 28, 2005. For his “undaunted courage,” as described by the military, Dietz, 25, of Littleton, Colo., also posthumously received the Navy Cross yesterday in a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial.

Here.

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In Haditha

Lucian Read, from Digital Journalist:

The battalion and company limped out of Fallujah heroes–a fistful of Bronze Stars, a Navy Cross. That Navy Cross was one of only eight since the war began. If the First Sergeant who earned it had died they probably would have given him The Medal. I took the photo that helped to bring him the recognition. In the image, two young Marines carry a grim older Marine from a house, his arms around their shoulders, lap and legs covered in blood, pistol still at the ready as he nearly bleeds to death. He saved Nicoll’s life when he took the blast from the grenade. Then he gave up his tourniquet as he bled from 50 places. Books have been, are being written about it. The picture is now on posters wherever two or three Marines gather together, an example for generations of Marines to come.

To the Marines, I am that guy who took that picture. A year and a half later, my pictures of these same Marines run under the words “shame, massacre, bloodbath.”

Here.

Press Politicizes, Instead of Examining, Death Toll in Iraq

From CJR Daily:

What seemed to matter more than dead soldiers was the speculation about how the death toll would influence the president or his party’s political fortunes. Here’s how the AP story began: “The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that 2,500 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war since it began more than three years ago, marking a grim milestone even as President Bush hopes a recent spate of good news will reverse the war’s widespread unpopularity at home. The latest death was announced as Congress was launching into a symbolic election-year debate over the war, with Republicans rallying against calls by some Democrats to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.”

As Tony Snow blithely told reporters yesterday, ”It’s a number.”

Here.

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Under a guise of fiction, realities of war

From The New York Times:

In 2000 Mr. Junger went with Mr. Scott Anderson to Bosnia, where they accidentally almost captured one of the world’s most-wanted war criminals. “The idea was to head to the Croatian coast, drink beer and look at girls,” recalled Mr. Junger. “Instead we detoured into some hell hole on the border of Montenegro when we heard that Radovan Karadzic had been spotted there.”

Serb satraps mistook them for an American intelligence hit team and offered up Karadzic in exchange for bribes including visas to the United States. “We said, O.K., let’s see where this goes,” Mr. Junger said. “It was a stupid, dangerous game to be playing,” one that quickly put them in the sights of real C.I.A. officers, who were not amused.

Here.

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Bound, Blindfolded, and Dead: The Face of Revenge in Baghdad

From the New York Times:

“If the Americans leave, we are finished,” said Hassan al-Azawi, whose brother was taken from the pet shop.

He thought for a moment more.

“We may be finished already.”

Here.

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Categorized as War

Iraq Violence Turns Inward

From the New York Times:
I recently met a Sunni man who used to be virulently anti-American. He showed me postmortem pictures of his younger brother, who had been kidnapped by death squads and had holes drilled in his face.

“Even the Americans wouldn’t do this,” he said.

Here.

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Photo Books Show Two Different Iraqs

From PDN:

With the benefit of more time, two recent photo books have tried to show the war from new angles. They take fundamentally different approaches: one from the viewpoint of the American solider, the other from the viewpoint of the Iraqi citizens.

Here.

The books:


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Categorized as Books, War

Iraq war correspondents discuss…

From UC Berkeley News:

Jackie Spinner, Washington Post staff writer and author of “Tell Them I Didn’t Cry,” an account of a year spent in Baghdad starting in May 2004, disagreed that reporters in Iraq are prevented from telling both sides. “I think we’re getting 90 percent of the story,” she said. When disbelieving guffaws rang out from the audience, she retorted, “Excuse me, have you been there?”

Here.

Dash to Baghdad Left Top U.S. Generals Divided

From the New York Times:

The war was barely a week old when Gen. Tommy R. Franks threatened to fire the Army’s field commander.

Here.

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Categorized as War

The Web This Morning

Photography – Pictures of the Year winners gallery

Artist – Jude Buffum, does hilarious art with classic 8-bit videogame imagery

Yahoo war reporter Kevin Sites is now in Chechnya

Q&A with Kevin Sites

WFMU – Compilation of the month: Shut up and Play (mp3’s of inane between-song banter). Featuring Slayer, Mercyful Fate, and the infamous Venom in Cleveland tracks

WFMU – And if you liked those, in this post are a few Paul Stanley from KISS clips

KSL – Family resolution causes concern in Kanab

Iraq – Toll in Iraq’s deadly surge: 1,300

CIA – Pillar to press: don’t get fooled again

NYT – More tin than gold for Olympic spots

NYT – poor and muslim? jewish? soup kitchen is not for you