Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kennedy's Speech at Johns Hopkins SAIS on Iraq


We attended this speech. Kennedy makes a compelling case for developing an exit strategy and timetable for Iraq.

When we got home, we heard the speech referenced in the media. We could hardly recognize the speech we heard from the one reported.

I would encourage those interested in our future in Iraq to read the speech in its entirety and draw their own conclusion.

I ask the simple question, “Now that the Iraqis have voted for their freedom, how do we get them to fight for it?”


February 10, 2005
The quoted references are from the son of a friend of ours who went dumpster diving for 5 inch squares of scrap in Kuwait just 10 days ago. Its hard to believe that this nonsense continues.
The important point here is that the Marines need $300 MM more and the Army $540 MM. to meet the existing needs. Incredibly they haven’t yet asked for the money, so its hard to understand how on earth the military can say all vehicles will be protected when the purchase orders haven’t yet been placed for the kits.

"Light at the End of the Tunnel", A Proposed Exit Strategy from Iraq

Here is link to an interesting report prepared by Rep. Martin Meehan, a member of the House Armed Services Committee on building an exit strategy in Iraq which is worth reading. It is the best documented position paper I’ve found on the subject.

[PDF] Light at the End of the Tunnel

Carry On My Wayward Son

As I mull the loss of John and Travis and the odd twists of fate that have befallen our family this song has echoed in my mind.

I tried to name my blog “Wayward Son” but it was taken so I named it Minstrel Boy instead.

I’ve felt compelled to raise issue with the way this war’s been fought. I’ve lost friends because of this but in time found others. Men make hard choices. Hard choices for hard times.

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more
Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion I
was soaring ever higher
But I flew too high
Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I'm dreaming I can hear them say
Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more
Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, well
It surely means that I don't know
On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about I'm like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune
But I hear the voices say
Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more No!
Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life's no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you
Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more
- Kansas

Improvised Explosive Devices

View 1MB PowerPoint Slideshow
Here is an excellent power point presentation on Improvised Explosive Devices and how they are being used in Iraq as of January 2004. It was prepared by the Coalition and published on

The House-to-House Fight in Fallujah

1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment was one of many U.S. military units involved in the bitter street fighting of Fallujah last month, and the stress and chaos of house-to-house combat can be seen in this 16-minute special report from embedded BBC reporter Paul Wood.

Travis DeSiato from Bedford, MA died in Fallujah on Nov. 15, 2004 fighting for the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. This is part of his story. He was the second casualty from Bedford to die in combat in Iraq, a friend of my children, a husband, a son of a friend, a graduate of Bedford High School Class of 2003 and an American patriot.

The Developing Iraqi Insurgency: Status at End-2004

This document is referenced by and I have stolen their link to the PDF file below. It is an excellent document discussing the failure to recognize the growth and character of the insurgent threat; the evolving threat tactics and nature of the insurgency.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) summary report of U.S. lessons learned in Iraq. View Report (PDF) “The Developing Iraqi Insurgency: Status at End-2004” Working Draft 12/22/04



I reviewed U.S. hostile fatalities in Iraq from January 1, 2005 to February 6, 2005 on This analysis excludes non-hostile casualties.
There were 72 hostile fire casualties; 58 had a stated cause and 14 did not specify the form of hostile fire. Marines are not stating the cause from hostile fire, hence the unspecified 14. The Army is identifying so the figures presented are essentially Army hostile fire casualties.


Here are results from all 58 known causes of death from hostile fire from January 1, 2005 to February 6, 2005

74% IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Attack (43)
14% RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) Attack (8)
5% Car Bomb (3)
3% Rocket (2)
2% Mortar (1)
2% Sniper (1)

IED attacks would almost certainly be on soldiers in vehicles since they drive by the IED. It is unclear how many RPG and Car Bomb attacks on our troops occur while they are in vehicles.

Conclusion: Approximately 3/4s of hostile fire casualties now come from IED or other attacks on vehicles.

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