VIET NOW: Local Boy Killed In Iraq

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skeleton-running.gifINQUIRER: A 20-year-old Marine from Atco who dreamed of becoming a police officer after a stint in the military was killed by an improvised explosive device this week in Anbar province, Iraq, the Department of Defense said yesterday. Lance Cpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr., a 2005 graduate of Hammonton High School, died Monday with Cpl. Carlos Gilorozco, 23, of San Jose, Calif., during combat, the military said. MORE

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skeleton-running.gifRELATED: The Op-Ed by seven active duty U.S. soldiers in Iraq questioning the war drew international attention just three weeks ago. Now two of the seven are dead. Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray died Monday in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, two of seven U.S. troops killed in the incident which was reported just as Gen. David Petraeus was about to report to Congress on progress in the “surge.” The controversial Times column on Aug. 19 was called “The War As We Saw It,” and expressed skepticism about American gains in Iraq. ?To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched,? the group wrote. [via EDITOR & PUBLISHER]
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skeleton-running.gifTHE OP-ED: “What soldiers call the ‘battle space’ remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: Had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.” [via INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE]

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