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Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Last night was a very long post that went all over the place, tonight will just be a few things both of which are politics. First, Tom Ridge has announced that he will be leaving as director of the Department of Homeland Security. I can't really say that I'm sad that he's leaving but I also can't say that it makes me glad either. He didn't have the polarizing ability that do Ashcroft or Rumsfeld or Cheney or Bush. Having said that he had the amazing ability to announce that we were in danger of attack every time something happened that made W look bad and still say with a straight face that DHS was non-political. He also was the one that caused the run on plastic sheeting and duct tape during his first year in office. Admittedly, being the Director of the Department of Homeland Security would be a very difficult job but I don't think it can be an effective post without combining it with intelligence. The way the government is working to form a new intelligence director will further Balkanize the intelligence community. There is no reason that we need 14 different intelligence departments.

And following on the political thread, Pres. Bush has finally decided to visit Canada. It has been billed as a move to mend relations but my guess is that it won't be doing anything. Bush thanked Canada for its support during the 9/11 tragedy and asked for more support in the "War on Terror". Canada is upset because of bans on Canadian beef in the United States (kind of like we're upset about asian bans on American beef.) Canada did not support our preemptive strike on Iraq because they rightly did not believe there was any danger. American media has tried to make the point that we protect Canada but a Canadian MP rightly brought up the fact that Canada is marching with the rest of the world. It's America that's isolationist not Canada.

The death toll in November rose to 134 which brought the overall death toll to 1255. One more person was confirmed killed in November. 134 deaths, while still a lot, fell one short of the deadliest month of April 2004.
The following month, May 2004, saw 80 people lose their lives, which brought the total, at the end of May, to 816. The names of the people who were killed in Iraq in May are as follows:

May 1: Spc. Trevor A. Wine, Sgt. Joshua S. Ladd, Ssgt. Oscar D. Vargas-Medina, Spc. Ramon C. Ojeda

May 2: PO2 Scott R. McHugh, Spc. Ervin Caradine Jr., Pvt. Jeremy L. Drexler, Ssgt. Todd E. Nunes, PO2 Michael E. Anderson, PO2 Trace W. Dossett, Capt. John E. Tipton, PO3 Ronald A. Ginther, PO2 Robert B. Jenkins

May 3: Sgt. Marvin R. Sprayberry III, Sgt. Gregory L. Wahl, PFC Lyndon A. Marcus Jr., Ssgt. Erickson H. Petty, Gsgt. Ronald E. Baum, 1st Lt. Christopher J. Kenny

May 5: PFC Jesse R. Buryj, Spc. James E. Marshall, PFC Bradley G. Kritzer, Cpl. Jeffrey G. Green

May 6: Ssgt. Hesley Box Jr., Cpl. Dustin H. Schrage

May 8: Spc. James J. Holmes, Spc. Philip D. Brown, Spc. Chase R. Whitman, Spc. Isela Rubalcava

May 9: Sgt. Rodney A. Murray

May 10: PFC Andrew L. Tuazon

May 11: Spc. Kyle A. Brinlee

May 12: Spc. Jeffrey R. Shaver, Lcpl. Jeremiah E. Savage

May 13: PFC Brandon C. Sturdy, PFC Brian K. Cutter

May 14: Com. Sgt. Maj. Edward C. Barnhill, Spc. Philip I. Spakosky, Sgt. James William Harlan, PFC Michael A. Mora, Sgt. Brud J. Cronkrite

May 15: Sr. Airman Pedro I. Espaillat Jr., Ssgt. Rene Ledesma

May 16: 2nd Lt. Leonard M. Cowherd Jr.

May 17: Spc. Mark Joseph Kasecky, Spc. Carl F. Curran, Lcpl. Bob W. Roberts

May 18: PFC Michael M. Carey, Ssgt. Joseph P. Garyantes, Spc. Marcus O. Nolasco, Ssgt. William D. Chaney

May 19: Michael C. Campbell

May 20: SFC Troy "Leon" Miranda. Cpl. Rudy Salas, PFC Leslie D. Jackson

May 21: Ssgt. Jeremy R. Horton, Lcpl. Andrew J. Zabierek

May 23: Spc. Jeremy l. Ridlen, Ssgt. Jorge A. Molina Bautista

May 24: Spc. Beau R. Beaulieu. PFC Owen D. Witt

May 25: Sgt. Kevin F. Sheehan, Spc. Alan N. Bean Jr., PFC Daniel Paul Unger, PFC Richard H. Rosas, PFC James P. Lambert

May 26: Lcpl. Kyle W. Codner, Cpl. Matthew C. Henderson, Cpl. Dominique J. Nicolas

May 28: Spc. Michael J. Wiesemann

May 29: Lcpl. Benjamin R. Gonzales, PFC Cody F. Calavan, Lcpl. Rafael Reynosasuarez

May 30: Sgt. Aaron C. Elandt, 1st Lt. Kenneth Michael Ballard, PFC Nicholaus E. Zimmer, Pvt. Bradli N. Coleman, Spc. Charles E. Odums II

May 31: Capt. Robert C. Sheetz Jr., Lcpl. Dustin L. Sides

Details on these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.


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