The Dead Of Fallujah

Three of the four victims of the atrocity in Fallujah have been identified:

Scott Helvenston

Scott Helvenston, 38, was a former member of the US Navy SEALs who joined at the age of 17 and served until 1994. He then became a fitness instructor and actor, appearing in such films as GI Jane and Face/Off. He was the father of two sons, one 15, the other 13. His brother had this to say about Helvenston:

He’s a hero. He died supplying food to people who needed it.

Democratic blogger "Kos" had this to say about Helvenston:

I feel nothing over the death of merceneries.

Jerry Zovko

Jerry Zovko, 32, was a veteran of the US Army and a mechanic. He joined the army in 1991 at the age of 19 and served with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. His mother, Donna Zovko, had this to say about him:

Jerry was a man with a principle, an idea. He loved people. He wanted the world to be without borders, for everybody to be free and safe.

Democratic blogger "Kos" had this to say about Zovko and his associates:

They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit.

Mike Teague

Mike Teague, 38, was a member of the US Army, earning a Bronze Star in Afghanistan. He also served in Panama and Grenada. His wife, Rhonda Teague, had this to say about him:

Mike was a proud father, soldier, and American. I, his son Brandon, and his friends and family will miss him without measure.

Democratic blogger "Kos" had this message for the families of the slain:

Screw them.

The three individuals pictured here, and the one unnamed victim, killed in Fallujah, killed by a mass of people they were trying to help, were examples of the best of this country. They wore many hats: soldier, patriot, father, husband, brother, son. They were mechanics and sports fans, actors and athletes, soldiers and sailors. They gave their lives in the highest pursuit known to man – selflessly going into the face of grave danger to help their common man.

And "Kos" feels the need to spit on their graves.

So much for that much vaunted liberal "compassion."

Spoons suggests dropping The Daily Kos from blogrolls in protest. I agree entirely…

Michael Friedman has a list of Kos advertisers running political campaigns. Writing letters of disgust to them would be entirely appropriate – campaigning against them would be even better. (UPDATE: Both Joe Donnelly and Martin Frost have pulled their ads from The Daily Kos.)

Memorials to the victims of this atrocity can be sent here:

Memorial Fund
PO Box 159
Moyock, NC 27958

UPDATE: The fourth and final victim has been identified:

Wesley Batalona

Wesley Batalona, 48, was a former Army Ranger. A native Hawaiian, he joined the Army in 1974. He leaves behind a wife, June, and a daughter, Krystal. Said a friend of him and his family:

This a tight-knit plantation community… He was a hero to us.

God bless and keep them all.

115 thoughts on “The Dead Of Fallujah

  1. Jay, you’ve performed an invaluable service by not only linking the consequences of this sickening atrocity to the moral and intellectual vacuity of “Kos”, but giving people (like me) a place to take action.


  2. Yesterday, I said “You rule” because of your Stalinist April Fool’s Theme.

    Today I say “you rule” for posting this piece.

    Tonight I will raise my glass high to you, Jay.

  3. God bless the families of these men, mere words cannot express the sorrow …. I especially could not believe it when I saw the picture of Scott Helvenston, I remember watching him on the TV show Combat Mission a couple of seasons ago and loving him for his brash, bold spirit…. These men represent the best and brightest of what it means to be an American.

  4. It’s too bad that these men are dead, but the fact is that they were there because they wanted to be – whether it was out of a desire to help the situation in Fallujah or the fact that they were being paid handsomely for the work they were doing.

    Either way, all of them assuredly knew that there were risks involved in being there. The five U.S. soldiers who died on the same day did not get to make the same choice about going – and they were paid far less for it. I take no joy from seeing these four men lose their lives in such a brutal way, but at the same time, there is something intrinsically shady about going to war for profit.

    In case anyone is actually interested in hearing Kos’ side of the story, he has posted a follow-up discussing his remarks at

  5. This is exactly why the left disgusts me.

    Those four people were all former soldiers – Navy SEALS and SpecOps grunts – the very best of the best. They all had other jobs they could have done, but they took the job in Iraq because they wanted to help the Iraqi people. Someone like Scott Helvenston sure as hell wasn’t doing it strictly for the money when he could make just as much if not more at home in safety.

    No, this is illustrative of the cold and dark heart of the left, the way in which those who are seen as “advantaged” in some way are viewed as morally suspect. It’s disgusting and childish. They weren’t “mercenaries”, they were given the difficult and dangerous job of protecting the Iraqi people and those trying to help the Iraqi people.

    Hiding behind the cloak of moral indignation doesn’t make such disgusting attitudes any more palatable.

  6. I love all these non-soldiers speaking for us. Devin, how do you know the soldiers don’t want to be there? Do you know why most guys join the infantry? For chances like this…to fight the bad guys. And these are bad guys. And yes, it IS that simple.

    Don’t speak for people you know nothing about.

    Also, the men killed were all veterans. They were putting their skills to work to protect relief efforts. I have a friend, a “mercenary” as some would call him, who is providing security for a de-mining operation. He knows that Iraqi insurgents will dig these mines up and reuse them on our troops…the people YOU claim to speak for. I’d say he’s performing humanitarian work, not waging “war for profit.” Grow up.

    And hey, I’m a soldier…I had a choice…it was to join the army and follow any lawful orders I’m given…or to not join the army. The draft ended what, 30 years ago?

  7. FYI: Kos was featured in that BlogAds article as “left-leaning.”

    I wonder if there will be a follow-up ad demonstrating what happens when you rant like a jackass and LOSE blog advertising dollars.

  8. These men didn’t “go to war” for profit. They weren’t even IN the war. They were providing security for a food shipment. Hell of a way to go to war, wouldn’t you say?

    Makes me wonder if you think its no biggie if some private security guard is killed in the US by thugs. Afterall, he wanted to be there and he knew it could be dangeous.

    I’m sorry … I just don’t understand the attitude that seems to regard human life as LESS sacred or LESS important because they disapprove of the occupation the dead person had.

  9. protecting a food shipment?

    In Fallujah?

    Two unarmored SUVs?

    No truck with food?

    Does anyone believe this? Seriously?

    (And what do you call a soldier for rent–one without any legal oversight, no oath to serve… except “Mercenary”?)

  10. Thanks for the commentary Jay.

    The left doesn’t have to believe “My country, right or wrong.” But a smidgen of decency would be appreciated. I know they call their brand of spraying acid on things “dissent” but my understanding, is dissent is part of a dialogue. It’s hard to see how a dialogue can for long consist of arguments on one side, and “I’m glad you’re dead” on the other.

  11. Jane Mitakides’ website is currently promoting Daily Kos’s for his blog post just above his idiotic replacement rant about Fallujah. Talk about being above the fray. Just send money to her opponent!

  12. Social Justice…

    I am outraged…

    Outraged that Saddam Hussein made all this necessary…

    Outraged that if you were in charge, you would have left Saddam in power, and then the deaths of millions of Iraqis would have been a CERTAINTY….

    I’m outraged people try this moral equivelance BS…yes, GWB sent orders to “Make sure you kill plenty of children, boys!” Get a clue, Ass….

  13. Jay Reding is like Hitler? Well, that didn’t take long.

    A couple of questions:

    1. Has Jay ever stated that the deaths of Iraqi civilians cause him to “feel nothing”?

    2. Has he ever said, “Screw their families”?

    The comparison is ridiculous.

  14. If you’re so naive that you can’t understand the concept of someone being killed accidentally in an effort to liberate millions of people and someone being ambushed in cold blood and then having their corpses mutilated and hung from a bridge then you have a problem. Yes, the civilian casualties in Iraq are a tragedy, but that does absolutely nothing to absolve the atrocities in Fallujah.

    The only one offering apologia for fascism is you.

  15. Paul, I would appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth. I did not claim to be speaking for anyone serving in Iraq, nor did I claim that soldiers did not want to be there. Certainly, some of them do want to be there. Many of them do not want to be. Many of them are questioning the validity of this war in light of the fact that we have found no weapons of mass destruction, which as you know was the chief rationale for invading.

    Certainly, there are plenty of non-military people in Iraq who have gone there to be a force for good, including your friend who is assisting in the de-mining efforts. But the truth is that there would be no need to pursue those efforts if Bush had not lied us into a war that he could subsequently provide no justification for having prosecuted.

    And Jay, the “cold and dark heart of the left” is a very dramatic phrase, but I would remind you that it isn’t the left who needlessly killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians with cluster bombs, then turned around and claimed to be “liberating” them. Where is your outrage for them?

  16. But the truth is that there would be no need to pursue those efforts if Bush had not lied us into a war that he could subsequently provide no justification for having prosecuted.

    Well, other than the hundreds of mass graves, Abu Abbas, the fact that Saddam Hussein was sheltering al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Zarqawi, the payments to suicide bombers, etc… WMD were but the loudest of many important justifications.

    And Jay, the “cold and dark heart of the left” is a very dramatic phrase, but I would remind you that it isn’t the left who needlessly killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians with cluster bombs, then turned around and claimed to be “liberating” them. Where is your outrage for them?

    Here’s why the left is clueless about war: we didn’t just randomly kill people. Our weapons were precisely targeted to avoid civilian casualties. We weren’t dropping cluster bombs “to kill tens of thousands of Iraq civilians”. We were liberating them.

    The left instinctively wants to blame US soldiers of atrocities, no matter if their charges are responsible or not. It’s disgusting and one of the reasons why we don’t need someone with this thinly disguised hatred for the people who fight and die so that they can be free anywhere near political power.

    Try talking to an Iraqi sometime – they’ll tell you the horror stories of living under Saddam. Then again, it was the left that ignored the cries of the Iraqi Kurds and Shi’as, the people raped and murdered by the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge, the millions murdered by Mao T’se Tung in the “Great Leap Forward” and the millions starved to death by Stalin.

    The political left has decades of blood on its hands at the same time it tries to shamefully take the moral high ground with lies and innuendos.

  17. Do we really know why these guys were in Iraq, that they were not hired swords but on purely humanitarian missions? You see, I remember how Pvt. Lynch emptied her weapons while her body was being riddled with bullets.

    Few men deserve the gruesome demise that these undoubtedly brave gentlemen endured, and no family deserves this horrific loss, on this I disagree with Kos. But for you guys to attribute Kos’s statements to the pathology of the left, blah, blah, blah, while turning ostensible mercenaries into missionaries based upon no evidence whatsoever, appears just another manifestation of the strange sissification of the American right.

    I mean, these are same comments I read about those of us who opposed the war in the first place, that we hated America, that we hated Bush, that we’re insane, oh, the vapors. It’s getting kinda stale guys. Call Kos to account if you’d like, he probably deserves it in this case, but please, spear us the mock outrage & amatuer psychology. It’s a transparent attempt to policize the Iraqi conflict away from a discussion of its merits, and perfectly timed to distract us from the criticisms of the war president’s handling of the WoT. And it dishonors these men as much anything Kos has written.

  18. Let me clear a few things up for you, Jay.

    Nobody is disputing Hussein’s brutality, or that he killed vast numbers of his own people. But Fidel Castro is an oppressive dictator who kills his own people as well. I don’t see Bush drawing up plans to invade Cuba. If it was such a pressing concern for Bush, why did he wait until more than two years into his administration to act upon it?

    Abu Abbas and payments to suicide bombers: OK. But if we haven’t invaded Pakistan yet for selling information on how to build nuclear weapons to any number of hostile countries, how do you justify invading Iraq for these two items?

    And Abu al-Zarqawi. Ah yes. That training camp that Hussein was “harboring.” You do realize that it was located in the northern no-fly zone in an area of the country not controlled by Hussein? And I agree with you that it was a problem to be dealt with. I just think that lobbing a few Tomahawk missles into the camp would have been more effective, less messy, and less expensive than a full-scale invasion.

    Now then. Please tell me where I have blamed U.S. soldiers for the deaths of Iraq civilians.

    You won’t be able to. Because I have done no such thing. Indeed, I have every confidence that those firing the missles did everything in their power to direct them accurately into targets and minimize civilian casualties. On dozens of occasions, Donald Rumsfeld was asked to authorize missile strikes because the military planners analysis showed that they were likely to kill civilian bystanders. He ordered every single one of them, and by doing so, signed the death warrants of thousands of innocents. I blame Rumsfeld. I blame Bush. And you need to understand that the left’s opposition to the war is not incompatible with supporting the troops and hoping they come home safely.

    Jay, it wasn’t the left that failed the Kurds. It was the current president’s father who failed them, first by participating in Reagan’s delivery of banned weapons to Saddam Hussein and then by reneging on a promise he made to help them overthrow the Ba’athists.

    I think that you’re wrong for supporting this war. I think you’re being disingenuous in the arguments you claim provide justification for it. But I’m not questioning your patriotism or inferring that you hate America because you take those positions. I could easily accuse you of not supporting the troops because you support such a low bar for sending them in to get killed.

    I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to question your patriotism, or accuse you of hating America because you don’t agree with me. We can look at the same set of facts and reach different conclusions. But I really wish that you’d give it a rest and realize that we don’t love this country any less than you do for disagreeing with you and the present leadership.

  19. Update; Three of the four democratic candidate blog ads have been withdrawn from Daily Kos. Only ad still there is for Jane Mitakides D-Ohio , 3rd district. Keep up the good work, folks!

  20. All the anti-war arguments are mere justifications, façades of moral righteousness that mask the very simple realities of the situation.

    The only way to both save the Iraqi people from the Ba’athist’s atrocities and to absolutely and permanently assure that Saddam Hussein would not harbor, aid, or give WMDs to terrorists was to remove him and his regime from power.

    The removal of a cancerous regime and the liberation of 24 million people should be a prima facie good to anyone with even the most basic understanding of morality.

    The largest number of deaths that is even remotely credible for the war is right around 7,000. Even if it’s closer to 10,000 as some allege, that’s still a fraction of the number that would have been killed either by Saddam’s looting of the oil-for-food program or directly by Saddam’s Ba’athist thugs.

    The entire humanitarian premise of the anti-war crowd is that there was a choice of war, which would kill "tens of thousands" or no war which would kill none. Except that dichototomy is completely wrong and based on a completely naive worldview. The least humanitarian choice was to leave Saddam Hussein free to kill.

    The world had a choice: accept the death of some Iraqis to liberate all Iraqis or accept the continued year-after-year death of hundreds of thousands, thousands upon thousands of rapes and mutilations, and the risk of Saddam Hussein enabling a terrorist action that could have killed millions.

    To argue that the costs of war are greater than the costs of leaving a cruel and inhuman dictator is to not only be disingenous, but it cruelly minimizes the suffering of the Iraqi people under the bootheel of Saddam and his thuggish sons.

    Now which was the sane choice to make?

  21. I hadn’t seen Kos’s commentary. Sounds positively heartless. Shame on him, if so.

    That said, I have distinct recollections of all manner of visciously heartless jokes bandied about from certain quarters outright mocking the death of Rachel Corrie. Consequently, mustering up the gumption to be incensed at the left over the random comments of a sole blogger is difficult, considering the source calling for my indignation.

    The “outrage” here is too shallow for words, and too typically right-wing hypocritical. Sorry folks.

  22. There are no WMDs, therefore any argument that continues to use the threat of them is in error. Period. We could have found that out without having to invade, but we chose to ignore what the weapons inspectors were telling us. That choice has cost us 600 American soldiers and counting.

    And you haven’t answered my question. If the humanitarian disaster in Iraq was such a pressing concern, why did Bush wait until more than two years after he took office to do anything about it? If arguing that the cost of war minimizes the suffering of the Iraqi people under Hussein, then by your logic, Bush is culpable for every Iraqi who died in one of Hussein’s prisons between the time he took office and the time we killed even more of them with our bombs.

    Are you sure you want to go down that road?

  23. A mercenary is defined as someone who goes to war for the highest bidder. These guys were not involved in combat operations, and one has to doubt that they would have gone to work for the Ba’athists had they offered more money.

    So where do the Left-wing chuckleheads get off calling these guys “mercenaries”? Well, it’s a convenient pejorative, and like many pejoratives that Left-wingers are fond of using — “racist”; “imperialist”; “sexist”; etc. — it is a substitute for complex thinking. Ascribing such pejoratives allows the Lefties to dehumanize those men, and that of course leads to the kind of weasily comments from ninnies like Devin.

    Because it is Devin who is being disingenuous when he asks:

    If the humanitarian disaster in Iraq was such a pressing concern, why did Bush wait until more than two years after he took office to do anything about it?

    Like most Lefties, Devin conveniently ignores September 11th, which changed the strategic picture for the U.S. indefinitely. Clearly, containment of terrorists and the regimes that support them (and there’s no serious doubt that Saddam supported terrorists — Abu Abbas, Zarqawi, and the 1993 WTC bombers were examples of global terrorists who were given protection by Saddam) would no longer work. In an era in which WMD are increasingly available, we cannot suffer to allow thuggish, murderous, kleptocratic dictators like Saddam to continue to thrive.

    Moreover, Saddam’s brutalization of his own people was turning the entire country into a miasma of sociopathy. This is essentially what David Kay concluded — that the very deterioration of the social fabric in Iraq, combined with the increasing black markets in WMD, the free-flow of terrorists through the country, and the fact that Saddam was gradually seeking to burnish his Islamist credentials all made Iraq a much more dangerous place than we had anticipated. The very fact that Saddam had driven people like those thugs in Fallujah to such levels of inhuman depravity speaks volumes for what we would have been dealing with had we been forced to confront Saddam on his terms, sometime down the road.

    And there is no doubt that we would have eventually had to confront Saddam on his own terms. This is where ninnies like Devin fall off the face of reality — they offer no alternative to deposing Saddam and trying to build some modicum of civic life in Iraq. What were the options? Well, besides liberation there were only two: continue the sanctions indefinitely, leading to greater misery for the Iraqi people and greater danger that Iraqi society would become another failed state (think Afghanistan to the power of ten); or simply end the sanctions, call things off, and allow Saddam to enrich himself and rebuild his military and WMD capability, eventually threatening us and the region.

    When viewing these options, then only viable one becomes clear: Take on Saddam now, while we can still do it on our terms and Iraqi society still has some chance of being rebuilt. This clearly has collateral strategic benefits, as well, which no doubt played a role in the decision to go to war:

    – It allowed us to withdraw from Saudi Arabia without seeming to appease bin Laden;
    – It showed the other dictators in the region that we are no longer going to accept business as usual. Khaddafi learned this, and gave up his WMD programs.
    – The dismantling of Khaddafi’s WMD programs has had additional collateral benefits, as it blew the lid off of a global nuclear proliferation ring that would have become a huge threat had it continued much longer;
    – We have given hope to reformers and democracy activists in the region, such as in Iran and Syria;
    – Finally (and this list is by no means exhaustive), the spurring of reform in the region is the best long-term protection against terrorism, because people living in free societies tend to focus their energies inward, on their own institutions and on their own struggles to better themselves.

    The Lefties are well aware of all of these points, but they pretend not to understand, or they resort to jingoistic taunts such as, “So, the war is just one big humanitarian exercise?”

    Seriously, you can’t talk to these people without getting a major headache…

  24. I have distinct recollections of all manner of visciously heartless jokes bandied about from certain quarters outright mocking the death of Rachel Corrie.

    Rachel Corrie supported terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians, and rather moronically threw herself in front of a bulldozer where the driver couldn’t see her while trying to prevent the IDF from filling in a tunnel that was being used to smuggle arms from the Sinai to be used against civilians.

    Certain organisms self-select for being culled from the gene pool. Darwin at work.

  25. Why the heck won’t the anti-war folks ever, ever answer a direct and simple question? Instead of an answer, there is always a diversion, ranging from slight to ridiculous, but always a diversion.

    I’ve wondered why the anti-war feelings are so strongly held, but usuallyI find they are only tenable if the holder of the views supports them with incorrect factual information.

    I noticed this about the environmental movement about ten years ago. It triggered my shift away from the left, and it looks like it’s only gotten worse.

    As Ronald Reagon said, I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.

  26. Kos needs to pay the consequences of his postings.
    Losing money is the most effective way of making him care and feel the pain. That’s about the only sensibility he has that can be used against him.

    Of course he may be wishing he hadn’t posted his mug on line. There might be some who will enjoy a meeting with him in the future.

  27. Brant, you can call me all the names you like. And you can talk in circles until you’re blue in the face. But September 11 had no effect whatsoever on the humanitarian situation in Iraq, just as Saddam Hussein had no hand in the attacks. The deleterious conditions there existed long before we were attacked.

    It is you who dodges the question. It’s quite simple. Since you can no longer hang your hat on any WMD claims you may have used to justify the war, you fall back on the justification that the invasion was motivated by humanitarian concerns. If that is true, then why was there no effort made to address these concerns in the two years Bush was in office before the invasion?

    Insult me all you want. Just give me a straight answer, please.

  28. Meh. As far as I’m concerned, you’re as bad as Kos, Jay.

    Using the names of the dead for political cheap shots is dirty pool no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. You had a chance to act the better man, and you blew it.

    BTW, I agree with you, Devin. Bandying about terms like “Bush-hater” cheapens the debate and is simplistic. But honestly, can you expect any less from a Bush-fellater?

  29. Whether it’s a highly-paid Mercenary or a uniformed grunt getting his hazard pay cut, the death of any American citizen in a foreign conflict touches us all. We should agree on this.

    And we should remember the fallen – all of the fallen, be they Soldier or Soldier of Fortune.

    But I ask only this:

    Please remember that some of the fallen first took a solemn vow to defend our Constitution and our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They sacrificed their lives and their sacred honor for us. Think of that when you’re tying a yellow ribbon around the tree.

    For all the rest, use a green ribbon.

  30. Devin:

    I gave you a straight answer. You just didn’t understand it. You Lefties accuse conservatives of being simple-minded, yet you seem completely unable to grasp complex arguments.

    You are again being disingenuous (or really dense) when you frame my argument thus:

    But September 11 had no effect whatsoever on the humanitarian situation in Iraq, just as Saddam Hussein had no hand in the attacks. The deleterious conditions there existed long before we were attacked.

    Of course the conditions existed before September 11. But September 11 changed the calculus of what was an acceptable security risk. Before September 11, it seemed like the threat of terrorism was manageable, due to the fact that we were naturally protected by two oceans and were at peace with our neighbors. But what September 11 taught us is that (1) our sense of security was false; and (2) the Islamists would have unleashed an even greater atrocity, without hesitation, were they to get their hands on a nuclear weapon or some other form of WMD.

    Before September 11, containment of Saddam seemed like a reasonable approach. The Bush Administration was even talking about changing the approach to sanctions to so-called “smart sanctions.”

    After September 11, it became obvious that the Hussein regime was no longer a tolerable security risk. The humanitarian situation in Iraq was one facet of the long-term danger posed by an unstable Iraq, but only one facet. But the humanitarian situation was given added urgency by the conclusion that the key thing that made terrorism so rife in the ME was the lack of freedom, economic opportunity, democracy and civic institutions, which led young men to turn to the mosque instead of participating in civic life.

    Your assumption that I personally placed a great deal of emphasis on the WMD aspect is errant. For me, the bigger issue is a strategic one, that the surest way to be safe from ME terrorism in the long term is to spur political and economic reform in the region. This will be a long project, one that may not be completed in my lifetime. But it is worth the effort.

    Having said that, there is no question that WMD in Iraq, and in the region, presents a long-term security threat. If Saddam didn’t have large stockpiles of WMD now does not mean that he would not have eventually rebuilt his program had his regime been allowed to survive. The question of stockpiles hasn’t even been fully resolved, yet. But clearly, a regime of thugs like that crowd in Fallujah getting a nuclear bomb in ten or twenty years would have been too terrible to contemplate.

    The response that Iraq had nothing to do with September 11 misses the point. First, it is not yet clear that Saddam had nothing to do with it. Czech intelligence still insists that Atta met with an Iraqi spy in Prague, and we know for a fact that Saddam provided a safe haven to terrorists who were implicated in the first WTC bombing attack in 1993. Since that first operation was an al Qaida operation, it would be foolish to conclude out of hand that Saddam had no connections to the 2001 attack. (In fact, Richard Clarke acknowledged the existence of Iraq-al Qaida connections.)

    But the larger point is that Saddam clearly provided succor to global terrorists, and that he was gradually working to burnish his Islamic credentials (for example, adding Islamic symbology to the Iraqi flag). The notion that Saddam could not have worked hand-in-glove with a group like al Qaida is simply and quite plainly belied by known facts.

    It also fails to explain stuff like this. Clearly, Saddam is trying to link himself with the 9/11 attacks in that painting. Why would he do that? Even if he had nothing to do with the attacks, he clearly approved of them.

    In brief, Saddam Hussein was our enemy. I know that words like “enemy” are hard for soft-headed Lefties to wrap their minds around. But enemies do indeed exist. And when you have enemies as ruthless and implacable as Saddam Hussein and the Islamic terrorists, together with the possibility that they will acquire WMD to unleash an atrocity on a scale even greater than 9/11, then you are faced with a very troubling security dilemma, one that would be ignored at your peril.

    So I’ve answered your question — twice — and now I want you to answer mine: What would you have done about Saddam’s regime?

  31. Calling Jay “as bad as Kos” is utterly silly and deplorable in itself. Jay did nothing but juxtapose information about the men who died with Kos’s disgusting comments.

    It’s hardly a “political cheap shot” to simply quote a man’s words back to him. Indeed, I can think of nothing more fair.

  32. Whether it’s a highly-paid Mercenary or a uniformed grunt getting his hazard pay cut, the death of any American citizen in a foreign conflict touches us all. We should agree on this.

    I do agree with this, which is why I found Kos’s comments unconscionable. But these guys deserved better than to be ammunition for Jay’s little pissing contests.

  33. What would you have done about Saddam’s regime?

    I’ll tell you what I would have done – bombed him into the Stone Age. Only I would have done it ten years ago when they were asking us to.

    If Saddam is so bad, Brant, why the wait? Did it take you ten years for you and Bush to get the memo?

  34. An explanation is on the CNN site about the jobs the security guys do. Note to those who sling the word mercenaries around without a clue as to what they are talking about they are DEFENSIVE not “offensive.”

    Food delivery is mentioned. But hey, Bush lied, so that couldn’t possibly be true.

    As for the timing (2 years?) the place (Why Iraq?) it seems that either those who are complaining have memory loss or they did not listen to the President lay out the plan in the weeks & months after 9/11. The US will never go to the right places at the right time with the right information for you folks. We’re not in Pakistan and Cuba because there is a plan, there are goals, there are limited resources and there are more ways to succeed in bringing peace and safety to places which are threats than military firepower. (That’s what some folks keep harping on, right? Sounds like damned if you do and damned if you don’t.) But there are times when military force is what must be done.

    I hear no real plan from the anti-peace people for accomplishing anything like what has occurred in the past 2 1/2 years.

    It is more clear than ever that we must stay the course. How can we give up the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and the free world itself to people whose joy is found in mutilating and terrorizing?

  35. Hey, good (at least semi civil) discussion going on here between left and right.

    I think you can’t question that the Iraq War is a good thing. It’s just there are a ton of other good things we could have done with that money, which would have cost fewer lives. 87 billion can buy a lot of medicine, food, or other forms of aid we could spread around the world. Thats the problem with fighting for humanitarian goals. Every part of the world could use some help, many need it much more than Iraq.

    Now, if you want to talk about long term foriegn policy and general global strategery…I’m not certain invading Iraq has helped stabilize the region or reduce terrorism, in the long term. (libya is certainly a big short term bonus)

    The question is, what do we do once we are finished with Iraq? Are we going to invade more countries or just wait for them to become democracies?

    As for the mercenaries, kos was out of line with his comments, but I really wanna know…where is the food truck they were guarding?

  36. The question is, what do we do once we are finished with Iraq? Are we going to invade more countries or just wait for them to become democracies?

    If Iraq goes well, we won’t have to.

    There’s a kind of thermodynamics of democracy, in that democracy tends to spread. Look at what happened with Eastern Europe – you had an entire bloc fall in a matter of a few years – an almost unprecedented event in world history.

    Iran is going to become democratic within our lifetimes – every day brings the mullahs closer to being ousted in a revolt. The conditions in Iran are exactly like those of the Soviet bloc in 1987-1988, and the results will be the same.

    There’s going to be a major change in the Middle East in the next few years. The old regimes are damned, and they know it. That’s why they’re trying so desperately to stop what we’re doing in Iraq. They know damn well that once the tides of freedom begin there isn’t a damn thing they can do to stop it. They know that once their people realize that democracy is in their grasp, they’re done.

    All of this depends on success in Iraq, which is why the deaths of those 600 soldiers must not be in vain. Failure is not acceptable, and the only way we can win in the war on terror is to see this through – which is exactly why we cannot afford leaders who are anything less than absolutely serious about viewing this situation as the war it is and having the guts to do whatever it takes to win – even it it means giving Jacques Chirac, la bras d’honneur.

  37. I understand the sentiment quite well, sadly. TO folks like Kos, and others, real peopel aren’t real. They are merely political props and pawns in their world view. Ideas and ideology is all important. Not even whether the ideas work or not is important. You are either with them, or against them.

    Of course, the second you equate them with the terrorists, or any other murderous thugs and cruel inhuman barbarians in the world, they get all defensive. Sorry, but if it quacks like a duck, acts like a duck, looks like a duck, its a duck.

    I question their patriotism, their intelligence, and their sanity, and will continue to do so as long as they keep giving me reason to. Now, I also question their humanity and compassion. They ain’t showing any, so probably it ain’t there.

  38. Kos is sniveling little chickenshit who is looking for a reaction to his phony idealism. It’s only because of the actions of these men and MEN like them that he has a place to live where he can spout his ignorance without fear of physical reprisal. What is an intellectual? A person who spews theory instead of partaking in “action” of any sort. Come on Kos, be man – step out instead of hiding behind a pseudonym. I’ll bet you you cried like a like a little bitch when your hamster died, didn’t you…

  39. My word!
    I love this:
    What would you have done about Saddam’s regime?

    I’ll tell you what I would have done – bombed him into the Stone Age. Only I would have done it ten years ago when they were asking us to.

    If Saddam is so bad, Brant, why the wait? Did it take you ten years for you and Bush to get the memo?

    Let’s all use facts is we can, OK? First of all, today’s administration is not responsible for what was done in the past administrations. So let’s lose the ten years that Bush (the current) had to get the memo, since he wasn’t in power for that long. I’ll get back to that, but let me dispense with the other part first.

    Next, you would have flown in the face of the UN, would you? That’s what GHWB didn’t do. The UN resolution supporting the first Gulf War specifically stated that driving Saddam out of Kuwait and securing Kuwait was the object of the mission. Yes, in doing that, they tried to encourage the oppressed of Iraq to overthrow Saddam. GHWB has stated in many an interview that he feels deep regret and responsibility for this, because he underestimated the brutality of the regime and the depth of the fear grip that it had.
    But you would have bombed him into the Stone Age? And the deaths of Iraqi civilians then would have been justified right? If you are being truthful then you would have done JUST what GWB has done to correct the situation in Iraq. There are two other pieces that need to be answered here. One being the “why did it take so long if it was humanitarian?”. Well, Bush has said that Iraq was being watched from the day that he came into the administration, since it was the only place in the world that our military was under fire constantly by a government while patrolling the no-fly zone there. There was discussion of what would be the response if a plane was shot down, if we lost soldiers, if they were captured, etc. BUT, Bush knows full well that you need to have the people and the congress behind you before you can act on such a thing in this country. He tried to go the UN route, but we all know what happened there. Then he was able to make the move that his father could not have made, as he had “permission” from his own country, if not the entire international community.
    Second, the WMD claim. Have you ever read the Iraqi blog sites? Iraq the Model is only one of many that has posted on convoys of trucks before the war started seen crossing the border to Syria. There have been reports as recently as two days ago from a former scientist exiled in Australia that met with Hussein on a regular basis and was working for him as late as 1998 on bioweapons, and he named a number of places where things were hidden when he escaped that are now empty. He knows that there are still plenty of supporters of the regime that would love to silence him, I’m sure he’s just saying this for the attention, right? And he’s not the first. We gave Saddam so much warning time that there was plenty of time for him to have had weapons moved. And if you read Kay’s report in full, though there have been conventional weapons found, the mass destruction ones WERE in the process of being acquired and/or produced. So even if they didn’t have them, they did plan on having them asap (they being the regime). So they didn’t actually have them yet, so Bush shouldn’t have gone in. But if we waited then they would have them and it would have been a much larger loss when we did and what happens…then Bush would have been lambasted for waiting too long, putting our boys in harm’s way, etc. The intelligence on WMD did not just come from us either, it was also from Britain, France and other international intelligence agencies.
    Why aren’t we in Cuba? Iran? Korea?
    Rather obvious isn’t it? Iran will fall on it’s own, particularly if we are able to maintain Iraq getting on it’s feet as a democratic state. Domino theory and all that. Cuba is not in our national interest. In other words, as sad as it is that Cubans live under a dictator we must pick and choose where we go to affect on as large a scale as possible. This is why it is good to have a CIC that sees in black and white, not in grays like the rest of us. It is necessary and vital to our interests, otherwise you end up with a Carter administation where feelings don’t accomplish as much as a Reagan where thoughts do. Hopefully, if the longterm ME initiative works, there will be more “Libyas”, and maybe Cuba will become one of them. North Korea? Horrific. If ever there was a case to go in, there it is. For one second, would you send the military in to a nuclear armed country with a guy that is so unbalanced as to be almost certain to use them? Yeah, let’s get all the people that live there killed AND our guys, cause that makes sense. We’re stuck with the long term approach on this one. Why, because somebody didn’t go in when they should have, at the time that was critical. At the time when we went into Iraq.

  40. And this Kos guy sees no comparison at all to his making a huge profit off his blogads by joining the war of ideologies against the Conservative Right and some guys trying to protect food suppliers in a country with several generations that grew up under a totalitarian brutal regime and know nothing of compassion or respect for anyone else.

    Screw *him*.

  41. On Fox


    March 31, 2004 Wednesday

    …GIBSON: OK, let me ask you about these contractors. Who is driving around in unprotected SUV’s in Fallujah?

    PETERS: I have to give you a painful answer on this. Either the most foolish contractors in the history of mankind or frankly it may have been intelligence people doing intelligence work. I don’t know. I was talking to a colonel friend of mine who is over in the Gulf right now, today, about this. And he said, if they’re contractors this is Darwinian selection at work.

    GIBSON: Yes, but it’s just kind of astonishing because Saddam Hussein got along apparently for months driving around in an old beat up taxi. Nothing could be more obvious than an American or European SUV driving around the middle of Fallujah. And you have to ask, what where these people thinking?

  42. Chet writes:

    But these guys deserved better than to be ammunition for Jay’s little pissing contests.

    That’s silly. As the saying goes, Kos started it by writing “screw them”. It’s not a pissing contest at all to contrast such vile sentiments with information on the human beings whose memory Kos spat on.

    Chet also writes:

    I’ll tell you what I would have done – bombed him into the Stone Age. Only I would have done it ten years ago when they were asking us to.

    If Saddam is so bad, Brant, why the wait? Did it take you ten years for you and Bush to get the memo?

    This is asinine for two reasons. First, it assumes I personally supported the decision to declare a ceasefire in Gulf War I when we did (I did not support the decision, although I understood the reasoning behind it).

    Second, it assumes that GWB is responsible for decisions that were actually made some 12 years prior to Gulf I.

    Sure, we blew an historic opportunity in 1991, when we might have kept going on to Baghdad and deposed Saddam, and saved the Iraqi people from the next 12 years of death and misery. It would not have been the first time in American military history that such an opportunity was squandered. Think of McClellan’s failure to destroy Lee’s army after Antietam, or Meade’s failure to finish the job after Gettysburg. History has demonstrated that leaving your enemy alive to fight another day is never, ever a good idea.

    But, as Kerry DuPont points out above, the political realities in 1991 were that we were in the Gulf on a UN Security Council mandate (the first and last UNSC resolution to ever be clearly and unequivocally enforced) to expel Saddam from Kuwait. If we had gone on to Baghdad, what would that have done to coalition unity? Remember, we had military support from a number of Arab countries in Gulf War I, as well as European countries whose populations were dubious about the whole project. So I don’t think it was an easy call to make.

    As well, one must remember that, in the wake of the end of the Cold War, GHWB saw an opportunity to begin building an international system that actually worked (what he often referred to as a “new world order”) where it previously had not. This required building consensus and not agitating allies. The irony, compared to now, is obvious.

  43. I read the “apology” by Kos and found it ironic. Kos’s thesis is that the four men were mercs helping Bush so they deserved what happende to them. Kos a blog merc who accepts money for advertisments. He loses clients because of his idioticy and suddenly he is sorry.

    The difference between those men and Kos is that they were actually helping people. Kos reminds us that he saw war and injustice and he infers some sort of solidarity with the people of Iraq. The fact of the matter is that those four men also saw war and injustice. Not just in Iraq, but in other countries while they served while on active duty.

    The difference is that those four men accepted money to help end the suffering of an entire nation. Kos accepts money while undermining an operation to provide that same nation with a chance at freedom and an end to misery.

    Kos needs to look in the mirror and realize he has no moral authority to judge others. He is the mercenary. He is the one who wants others to live in misery and accepts money while he does this.

  44. God Bless you guys. We need to get involved. I applaud the 3 Democratic congressmen who did pull their ad from the Daily Kos blog after Kos said “screw” the dead contractors. You are true Americans. Of the 4 candidates only JANE MITAKIDES of OHIO still has an ad on Daily Kos. I sent her an e-mail, like many of you. I think we can now safely say she knows about Kos despicable remarks about how the 4 American contractors who died in Falluja deserved to die and supports his views. I think we should try to make sure this deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, America hating, blood thirsty piece of shit does not get elected. We must all help to defeat this sadistic woman. If you are in this despicable monkey’s constituency, please give us the website and e-mail of her opponent and of the local Republican party chapter. It is obvious this woman thinks that sticking with Daily Kos will get her elected. We must prove her and like minded people wrong. This is not a Republic partisan action. It is about being human and being loyal to fellow Americans who were gruesomely murdered and mutilated while they were guarding food transports to feed the good people of Iraq. We must honor their memory and do our duty in this War of Terror against America. Our duty is to make sure JANE MITAKIDES does not get elected and that the DAILY KOS blog disappears from the blogosphere. We must not falter or fail, because these two people have chosen to align themselves with the terrorists who killed 4 of our fellow Americans. Get involved:

  45. jay, your sick. using these people’s death for a political cheap shot is nasty. God will judge you, no need for anyone else.

  46. Only to someone with a very distorted view of the world would defending the honor of the dead from a vicious attack be considered a “political cheap shot”.

  47. i honestly don’t understand how this is immediately construed as a political cheapshot by jay detractors. jay is a man, calling out another man on horrible words and challenging acquaintances to reflect and do the same. this smacks of politics only if you want it to.

  48. Some of the comments here are pretty damn amusing to say the least. Kos was out of line in what he said. Regardless of what these guys were doing there they were fathers, etc. On the other hand I’d bet good money that none of the dopes (including the guy who owns this blog) posting here know what these guys were doing and for whom. I keep seeing the point of ‘delivering food to the people of Iraq’. So these guys were guarding humanitarian food shipments? Any evidence to prove that assertion?

    I also see people questioning the patriotism of Kos and other questionable things. The guy served in the military. Questioning his patriotism is out of the question.

    Until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes its stupid to try to judge their actions. He explained himself quite well on his site. There was no reason why he shouldn’t have deleted the original comment. He probably thought about it afterwards and after cooling down probably thought it was a stupid thing to say.

  49. The guy served in the military. Questioning his patriotism is out of the question.

    Gen. George B. McClellan served in the military, too. And your point would be?

  50. Jay,

    I guess it wouldnt get through your pint sized brain that these were guys who were paid excessively to kill and die. They and others like them worsen conflicts the world over by killing for money. And now we are to feel sorry for them? I am disgusted by the fact that my tax money was funding their inordinate wealth. Fuck ’em bastards!

    Kos is a true American hero. These mercenaries are no better than convicted death row inmates. Each and every one of them deserve to die like dogs.

    Mark Cardigan

  51. jay is a man, calling out another man on horrible words and challenging acquaintances to reflect and do the same. this smacks of politics only if you want it to.

    Criticising Kos isn’t the cheap shot. Kos is an asshole, I guess. I don’t read his site or anything.

    Painting all Democrats and liberals with the same broad brush is what turned what could have been the morally appropriate response into a cheapening partisan screed. But Jay’s no stranger to the cheapening of debate – every time he reduces opposition to “Bush-hating”, you can just watch the IQ of the debate drop another standard deviation.

  52. “I also see people questioning the patriotism of Kos and other questionable things. The guy served in the military. Questioning his patriotism is out of the question.”

    No it isn’t. I served in the military, both enlisted and as an officer.

    If I gloat about the deaths of my brothers and sisters in arms I am just as much of a shitbag as Kos.

    I don’t give Kos or Kerry a pass when they disparage other Veterans. In fact I consider them to be even lower than those who didn’t serve.

    When some idiot comes home from this and disparages other Vets for their own personal gain like Kerry did after Vietnam they are going to get a rude awakening. My generation of Vets are not going to go quietly. We all saw what Kerry did to the reputation of Vietnam Vets.

    Never again!

  53. I worked with both Wes and Jerry here in Iraq. Jerry was known as “Encino Man”. And Wes, well he was just old gravel voice Wes. I still remember when he told me he was going on another “job”. I wished him well and told him to “watch his 6!” We worked together on a project in SEP ’03- JAN ’04. They were both good men. They are remembered here and will be missed.

    Personal Security Detail (PSD) jobs are not jobs that have the requirment to go and kill. The job requires one to provide security for fixed sites or installations, personnel and or vehicle convoys. NOT HIRED KILLERS; HIRED SECURITY. Period.

    True they have to be able to and are trained to use deadly force to protect themselves and their principals AND kill if need be. But to say they are hired killers, reeks of Mafia Hitmen.

    They are paid well for their services. As anyone knows, security around the globe is a well paid job because these men (& women) put their lives on the line everyday and do so by choice. Being paid better than most folks is not a crime; nor is it cause to look at us as less than professionals who have skills that are marketable. The specific circumstances of these mens death bears not on who they were or what they represent.

    I do not question their motivations and I hope no one questions mine. Politics aside, they were hired to provide a service to their client and they were killed in the execution of that duty and obligation. May they rest in peace

    Letsroll, TonyJ

  54. Devin,

    You are a cretin.

    You are easily the least intelligent commenter I’ve seen on this site.

  55. Hey there, compared to most of the leftists I’ve heard, Devin at least doesn’t feel the need to call people names. He’s still wrong, but at least less egregiously and offensively so than most.

  56. It’s indicative of the mentality of the left that some would dismiss these deaths because these people were actually (gasp!) making money off of their job.

    Do we react contemptuously when any person making money in a risky profession dies over here? No, we generally grieve and mourn.

    Apparently, for leftists making money is one of the highest sins…except, of course, when they are the ones making the money.

    However, the root reality is that the left will use any excuse to express disdain and contempt for America. The political left never misses any opportunity to spit in the face of the country that allows them a fantastic way of life.

  57. These guys were Americans! They were trying to do something to help. Yes, they were getting paid well. So what. They were getting paid what every soldier should at least be getting paid. They were vets who already put their lives on the line for the shit pay the military offers. Scott was a Seal for 12 yrs. He was a 5 time world champion Pentathlete. He owned a Fitness bussiness in Ca. and has done some acting. But it was in his blood to leave it all behind, to go and try to help. One of the guys was over 40. Wether it was protecting a convoy, an embassy, a person ect. or if he/they were hired guns for the US govt. They were killed driving through a city in non military SUV’s and then mutilated and displayed.

    How can any American say ” screw ’em ” ?

    That makes you ” kos ” no better than the animals that did this. Just because you don’t see a truck in the footage doesn’t mean they were’nt involved in convoy security. Maybe they already passed through with other trucks and were on their way back to Bagdahd for another convoy. What ever the case. The fact is they were killed while driving in civilian SUV’s. They say it was a carefully planned atack, so that tells me they were passing through on a regular basis.

    I just want to say that Scott Helvenston was an inspiration to me and lots of others and was one hell of a Seal. HOO YAH!! Scotty, you will be missed.

    And to the other heros that died along with Scott, my condolences to your friends and families and wish I had the pleasure of working along side of you. I salute you.

    HOO YAH!

  58. i just wanted to send my prayers to all the families that lost thier loved ones . They make me proud to be a american cause they gave thier lives to keep us free .. You never think that it will hit home ive had 2 cousins and a few online friends over there thier fighting but who would know that id wake up april 3 2004 and see on the front page of the Punxsutawney Spirit that one of my friends and classmates Mike Teague had died over there. I hadnt seen him since we graduated but i hadnt forgot him he helped me out in school if it wasnt for him pushing me to do good i wouldnt had graduated .
    Mike i was proud to call u my friend but u made me even prouder now may god be with your families and see them threw this . You will be really missed

  59. Hello Everyone,

    I am 14 years old. I was a very close friend to Scott and his family, he used to live by me and his son and I would play everyday. I owe a lot to this man, he tought me fitness, how to rockclimb, ect. It was very hard for me to hear that he passed away. I had seen him only about a month ago attending one of our schools football games. I miss him greatly and it is very hard to deal with his death, but in time, I feel that i can overcome. Again, i thank every thing that Scott has tought me and i guess now he is in a better place. R~I~P Scott Helvenston.

  60. Just for the record, I consider myself part of the left and think the Iraq adventure was initially misguided, but now that we are there, we must finish the job. My heart goes out to the families of these courageous, dead men. I’m sure no words can possibly express their grief and how much they will miss them. Kos is a jerk for saying these things. However, just because one jackass lacks common decency, please don’t paint all members of a group with the same brush. This only serves to widen the already frightful gap between the right and left.

  61. What happened to these four men is absolutely horrible. My dad knows one of the guys’ parents, apparently he used to cut my uncle’s grass. Everyone says he was a damn good guy, and nothing justifies what happened to him.

    But we should all keep in perspective what the mob who did this associates with Americans. This site has some pictures of children of Fallujah that have been hurt in the ongoing seige. I know if I were an Iraqi and i saw things like that happening I might be capable of doing some pretty horrific things myself. sorry, I guess I don’t know how to make that a link.

  62. Scott had to go, he needed to prove something to himself. This wasn’t about money. This was about being canned from the teams for refusing to go Ranger Training after spending an extended period of time as a BUDS Instructor. I am certain that Burt Calland (3 Star Admiral under Donald Rumsfield) has thought the same thing at hearing of Scotts tragic death, as he was the CO who took Scotts Trident. Our thoughts are with the family. We wish them well and are saddened by their loss. I think its best for those who have served and are itching to go to Iraq for whatever reason, to be patient, the war will be on our doorstep soon enough and you will be needed here.

  63. Scott had to go, he needed to prove something to himself. This wasn’t about money. This was about being canned from the teams for refusing to go to Ranger Training after spending an extended period of time as a BUDS Instructor. I am certain that Burt Calland (3 Star Admiral under Donald Rumsfield) has thought the same thing at hearing of Scotts tragic death, as he was the CO who took Scotts Trident. Our thoughts are with the family. We wish them well and are saddened by their loss. I think its best for those who have served and are itching to go to Iraq for whatever reason, to be patient, the war will be on our doorstep soon enough and you will be needed here.

  64. I find the statements here is this forum to be totally disrespectable to the 4 fallen comrades that lost their lives. People are always quick to judge without any merit at all – I guess that’s what makes us American!

    If people here in the forum feel so strongly about the situation in Fallujah, I have yet to see anyone offering more than just email support?

    I think we here in this forum are all bright individuals that need to reflect and try to discover some sort of balance on world events that are changing the core of our lives and the rest of the world.

    Our government needs to reassess our policies, information gathering, promote healthy thinking people and quit being the care-taker’s of other plague-infested countries!

    Peace can never be attained, because we have mercenaries here in this country that cover up the truth!

    To all of the families affect these atrocities – you have my deepest condolences and may your light shine once more.

    How bout them apples!!!

  65. “killed by people they were trying to help”?

    Clearly they didn’t belong there in the first place. Their help was not wanted. In face, the “help” of the US was not wanted anywhere. This invasion is wrong.

    I stand by Kos. Screw them.

  66. “killed by people they were trying to help”?

    Clearly they didn’t belong there in the first place. Their help was not wanted. In fact, the “help” of the US is not and was not wanted anywhere. This invasion is wrong.

    I stand with Kos. Screw them.

  67. The murders of these four men were despicable.
    My heart goes out to them and their families.
    However, I find it completely tasteless to use
    an obituary to spread your political gossip.
    The lack of empathy and respect coming from you rightwingers never ceases to amaze me !

  68. Blackwater Security is providing security to various parts of Iraq’s social and economic infastructure, thats part of public record and very easy to prove, so lets get away this ridiculous idea that these men were well paid killers, they were not, they were highly qualified and well paid security.
    Why were they so well paid, considering how they were killed that seem’s pretty obvious so i won’t waste any more time on that particular issue.
    Countries involved in the war on terrorism need to take long term approaches to potential problems, Iraq may not have been an imminent and direct threat to Great Britain or the United States, to name just two of the many countries involved, but eventually it would have been, better to deal with a potential problem now than a real problem, ten times as bad, later on.

  69. Who the fuck are these mindless sons of bitches that are calling the dead mercanaries. YOU HAVE NO CLUE. They were there for anything but profit. It is because of men like Jerry and his allies that we enjoy the freedoms that we do. Why don’t you go and pick up a rifle and fight instead of running your mouth like a scared motherfucker. WE ALL NEED TO PITY YOU, YOUR INGNORANCE IS FRIGHTENING.

  70. I’m a Liberal Democrat, but I’m an old fashion Liberal from the days when the Democratic Party use to kick ass! I’m not one of those custodial Hollywood liberals who are members of the 910 sewing circle. I for one support our war on terrorism, and I support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I just want to let you all know that you can’t paint all Liberals with the same broad brush.

  71. I’m a Liberal Democrat, but I’m an old fashion Liberal from the days when the Democratic Party use to kick ass! I’m not one of those custodial Hollywood liberals who are members of the 910 sewing circle. I for one support our war on terrorism, and I support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I just want to let you all know that you can’t paint all Liberals with the same broad brush.

  72. The four guys that were killed in Fallujah were working for a security company called BlackwaterUSA, they were highly trained security guards, not ruthless killers. Does any report say anywhere that these guys KILLED anyone!!!! I havn’t seen any. And if they did then it was out of self defense, b/c these guys are professionals and there job was not to assassinate anyone, but to guard. They gave up their lives in defense of things such as food, supplies, or their brothers in harms way.

    So what, Ive gotten paid money to do alot less than that. And I’m willing to bet that everyone here reading this is in the same boat as I on this. If you have a job,then you’re getting paid to do something. Right? It was no different for these guys. They have a job of protecting supplies and personnel in a very hostile environment and they get paid to do it. And no one can say they did it for just the money. To even be contracted by Blackwater for this specific job, you must have at least 8 yrs SpecOps experience or equivalent. Most of the ones that do apply have well over that. And anyone who knows anyone in SpecOps knows there motives go far beyond money. These guys could have done anything else to make that much money, hell Scott Helvenston had worked for Hollywood, but they chose to risk their lives, (just think about that for a second about what that means, risking your life, HAVE YOU EVER RISKED YOUR LIFE?) for a job that had to be done. And yes this IS a job that has to be done. Security is needed even in the most civilized of countries. You can’t go to the movies without finding a security guard eyeing you. So if these guys don’t do it then who will? Exactly. The soldiers. Well lets see. They have alot of other things to do as well. These military soldiers can’t be everywhere at once. Sure let’s just send more soldiers over there to replace these contractors right? Well yet another problem, soldiers do need rest, and we dont have an unlimited amount of them. If we send out more of our already thin stretched infantry soldiers then that means no possible rotations for the people already over there. Plus Iraq is not the only place we need soldiers. We need them here at home. We need them in over-seas bases. We need them in Afghanistan. And many other places that don’t make the news.
    So instead of re-instating the draft,which we all know would cause hell riots (because there are so many Americans out there that would rather FIGHT THEIR OWN AMERICAN BROTHERS THAN DEFEND THEIR OWN AMERICAN BROTHERS), the DoD decided to contract people who are already qualified to do the job. And I might add that this isn’t alot more expensive than re-instating the draft, IF it is more expensive at all. It does take ALOT of money to train soldiers. AND it takes EVEN MORE to train soldiers to the level that these guys(Blackwater Contracted) are trained to. So that being said, I just want to say in a loud unforceful voice…..TO THE SOLDIER AND ANYONE WHO IS FIGHTING FOR AND PROTECTING ME AND MY COUNTRY….YOU ARE ALL HEROES TO ME. AND MAY GOD BE WITH YOU AND BLESS YOU IN ALL THAT YOU DO!!! and I mean that….and anyone reading this that has something to say to my remarks, good or bad….please email me by clicking on my name below.

  73. I am a Daily Kos blogger. I was impressed with your display of the photos and names of the dead. Thank you. Ted Koppel did something similar last Friday. It really brings it an arrow to the heart..when you see these faces and realize they could have well been your best friend, your neighbor, your own loved one.
    These four were part of the privatized war-machine. It didn’t make their lives any less valuable. They each had their individual reasons for taking these jobs and none of us are truly able to judge them. Only they knew.
    There is a problem with privatizing war and not having an institutionalized system of established laws, checks, balances..there can be no consequences for private companies without a universal set of guidelines. This problem has surfaced in the form of the prvate contractors administering interrogation in Iraqi prisons.
    I deeply regret that people like Lynddie England, (the soldier acting frathouse-silly in the infamous Abu Ghraib photo)..who is a member of our loyal armed services… will be held as a scapegoat for a much wider problem dealing with more than just the armed services representatives. Some of you should stop trashing guys like Kos and let’s start talking to eachother like mature and caring Americans. Kos let his emotion enter his choice of words. He’s admitted it. I’m not here to defend him, I’m here to tell you these four men were beautiful. May they rest in peace. May we begin to talk to one another. Our nation will fall apart from within if we don’t.
    Heer’s to a better America. Jude

  74. To KOS:

    You know absoulutely nothing about the men that were killed. They were not mercenaries, not even close. I happen to know one of the deceased, and that man had not one melicious bone in his body. YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU GET OFF OF YOUR FAT LAZY ASS AND GO OVER TO IRAQ AND FIGHT LIKE THESE MEN DID. THEY WANTED TO HELP, YOU JUST WANT YOUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME DEFAMING THEM. GO TO HELL YOU MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR BLACK HEART AND YOUR SOUL!!!

  75. to flimsy Lynddie England,
    are you proud to be an american, where at least you feel you’re free – to parade around in uniform with your prisoners on a leash. do you know your ‘thumbs up’ has humiliated all in the USA today. and there ain’t no doubt you were enjoyin’ yourself… so leave the USA. i’m ashamed to know you ‘represent’ the US.

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  90. FYI:
    Scott Helvenston was divorced for about 3 years now. I lived with him for the past year before he was murdered in Fallujah, and we had plans to marry in Tahiti in June of 2004. His ex-wife and I are and have always been on good terms, and I adore and helped raise his children while we were together. I was the last person to be with him in Virginia Beach during Blackwater training. I slept next to this man for over a year and I am reading stuff about his “wife” – they were DIVORCED for years…please get your information straight. I know Tricia and she is a wonderful woman and although their marriage failed, still remained friends with my fiance. However, I am tired of all of the articles stating that he was married and “his wife” blah blah, he was my fiance and I deserve some credit for the past 2 years with him. If you need proof, let me know, but I am suffering, and have had no acknowledgement, besides from his mother, who adores me and knows how much Scotty loved me.

    Kelly Kasun

  91. I,m inerested to know for Raymond Christian Jedele from North Carolina if he is alive or dead.I,m worry too much .He was mercenary in Iraq from Blackwater and I don,t know nothing for him
    With respect Era !

  92. Everything I’m reading here is so incredibly, cozily self-congratulatory. You had all better read the BLACKWATER book by Jeremy Scahill, along with the mountains of other information on Blackwater, and so had Mr. Kos! However, Kos did not kill these men. These men are DEAD, people, and not your intellectual “property,” so shame on all of you, starting with the blogger you’re so busy toasting. Blackwater killed these men. Turn off your radios, go outside, meet some real live people, buy a newspaper, crack a book and read it from cover to cover. You’re all just way too comfortable wallowing together in your WRONGNESS, going off on simple tangents that make you feel warm and wonderful amongst yourselves.

    I am sorry to “troll” your like-minded gathering place with an opposing idea, but I was looking for photos and information about the four Blackwater employees killed in Falluja. Do a little searching of your own–you’ll find the families of these men are not angry with Kos, but with Blackwater. Try and have some FEELINGS, can’t you? Not for yourselves, your president, his cronies, and your party (or “team”), but for the PEOPLE this is about.

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