29 February 2008

Let's show the Sky Soldiers some love

On Monday a friend pointed me to the hit job on the 173rd ABCT published by the NYT last weekend. Since then, I've been too furious to do anything other than forward the link to others who will do a better job of taking them on than I can.

A dear friend has told me that if she saw what I do on a regular basis she'd be in a perpetual state of pissed off-ness.

Which, in fact, I am.

But it's been a while since I've been this disturbed. I've met quite a few Sky Soldiers at Landstuhl, including a couple of those shown covered in blood in the photo gallery of this article.

Picture this. You're standing beside a hospital bed. The guy lying in the bed has been shot or blown up just a day or two before, and has lost friends. And you both know that while HE has been out there killing terrorists to keep YOU safe at home, YOU have let the media stab him in the back.

Now hold that thought while executing on the following action items:

Call bullshit on this article to anyone who will listen, AND to those who won't.

Stop worrying about whether or not to question the patriotism of people who write articles like this. They are traitors.

Show the Sky Soldiers the love. Cards and emails needed. Addresses here.

That is all.

Click here for more 173rd ABCT Afghanistan posts.

21 February 2008

Big excitement on the new Pech River Road

Rock 6, LTC Ostlund, and his interpreter Sammy ask each of the children their names and tell jokes and stories while handing out Beanie Babies.

Here's a cute story from CJTF-82 Operations. 2-503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (TF Rock) of the 173rd ABCT was traveling down Pech River Road after meeting with Watapur District Governor, Zalmay, when the TF Rock Battalion Commander, LTC Ostlund, decided to redirect the convoy to the communities of Chagan, Doshakheyl, and Qazan.

Once the convoy pulled in, the Afghan National Army Soldiers and 2-503rd Paratroopers waved the children over and soon there were 30-40 excited children - including those from passing vehicles which stopped when they saw the crowd.

Then Manogai District Governor Rahman happened to drive past and HE pulled over to join the festivities. He spoke with the children, encouraging them to stay in school and stressing the importance of education. Governor Rahman also told the children to be very careful with the new road – not to play near the road and ALWAYS look both ways before crossing.

Click here for more 173rd ABCT Afghanistan posts.

19 February 2008

The Unknown

The bus comes to a halt in front of Landstuhl hospital and the engine is turned off.

In the dim light, Soldiers on litters line both sides, double-decker. None is in serious condition, but none speaks in the uneasy silence.

The back doors swing open. Cold, light, and noise flood in.


Below and out of sight, dozens of staff move to the back of the bus. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force. Digital and woodland cammo, PT uniforms and hospital scrubs. All wear blue surgical gloves.

“Ok, we’ve got Smith”, announces the Air Force Sergeant inside. He turns back, and with the help of his colleagues Smith’s litter is removed from the metal rack fastenings which drop against the inner wall of the bus with a clang.

Smith is carried to the door where eight pairs of hands reach up to receive him.

“Lower [the litter]! Lower!”

Smith is lowered out of sight.

The remaining Soldiers lay silent on their litters.

It won’t be long now. One by one, they’ll be taken from the bus.


“This’ll be Miller.”

Another litter is removed from the rack. The fastenings clang. The litter is carried to the doors, passed to the waiting hands below.

“Lower! Lower!”

It won’t be long now. Until they’ll all be taken from the bus.

Taken one step further away from their brothers back downrange, away from the only life they’ve known for many months, away from the work they were called to do.


“Jones. We’ve got Jones next.”

“Lower! Lower!”

The hands lower Jones out of sight and into the Unknown.

18 February 2008

President Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home

President Abraham Lincoln lived at the Soldiers' Home in what is now called Anderson Cottage on and off for a total of 13 months between the summer of 1862 and the fall of 1864.

The Soldiers' Home was established in 1851, as an "asylum for old and disabled veterans." The cottage there served as a retreat for Lincoln, though it brought the president face to face with the Civil War.

Wounded Union troops living at the adjacent Soldiers’ Home pitched tents and drilled on his lawn. Grave sites multiplied on the grounds.

“We have found refuge in the soldiers’ home, but in a way it brings us closer to the war than ever before,” wrote first lady Mary Lincoln.

On his daily commute to and from the White House, Lincoln discussed the front lines with wounded, active-duty soldiers in the hospitals he passed along the way. They were his eyes and ears on the battlefield. Their stories and opinions helped him decide how to wage the war.

The interaction and stories that come from his time there are considered instrumental in making Lincoln a father figure to the Union army.

When Fort Stevens, about two miles from the cottage, was under attack by Confederate troops, Lincoln went two days in a row to observe the battle. There, Lincoln became the only sitting U.S. president to come under enemy fire.

Perched on one of Washington’s highest points, with a breeze not possible three miles away at the White House, Lincoln mulled each battle’s progress. The cottage, which had a view of the Capitol’s dome midconstruction, was where Lincoln could decide how to constitutionally emancipate slaves and write the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Sources: Stars & Stripes, DefenseLink, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

CSM Neil Ciotola on Going Home

Message from Command Sergeant Major Neil Ciotola, MNC-I, passed on for distribution by Jeff Mellinger (Multi-National Force-Iraq CSM from Aug 04 - May 07).

Family and Friends,

In less than 23 hours my tenure here in Iraq will come to a close. In less than a day I, and many others, shall board a transport and head to Kuwait and then ultimately back home to all of you.

To be honest it's almost surreal, all we've known for the last 15 months is this place called Iraq. We've experienced so many highs and so many lows. We've endured (regardless of locale) days on end of mortar and rocket fire. Countless days of "Big Voice" wailing "Incoming, Incoming, Incoming". Running for cover, waiting out the impacts, holding one's breath; listening for the sirens or yells of Medic. We've endured the almost constant thunder of IEDs, RPGs, Car and truck bombs, the staccato of small arms fire. If someone had asked me in June or July if th ere was any hope of turning this thing around I don't know what I'd have told them.

For those that traversed the roads, trails and fields of Iraq there was the constant threat of IEDs, RPGs, suicide bombers, small arms fire, land mines, Houses rigged to explode and all the indigenous people looking for a way to escape the violence, the sectarian murders, the foreign fighters, and the ever present criminal element.

Something happened in June, I (and many others) don't know what it was, cannot quite put our finger on it, but something changed. Good people in Iraq started to stand-up, good people began to join with us. The back of Al Qaida began to break. We achieved a tipping point of sorts, the Iraqi Security forces, long berated for a lack of ability began to take a pre-emptive role in security operations. Good people starting coming forward and telling coalition forces where the bad guys and their tools of war were hidden. We began to roll-up mid and high level AQI and Special Groups leadership, and the more we did, the more the good people of Iraq came forward with even more information.

There are countless thousands of Iraqis on the streets of the country from Baghdad to points west and north. 24 hours a day, seven days a week the people of Iraq provide us the freedom of maneuver we have been looking for in our effort to hunt down and capture (or kill) those that want nothing but chaos for this country.

Along the way, the manner and method our troops employed in the operating environment evolved as well. Instead of standing for anyone particular person and or group we began standing for everyone. We planted ourselves squarely in the middle of those who would do one another harm. We became the arbitrators and the honest brokers. We (the coalition), in the eyes of the Iraqi people, became the "go to guys". In their effort to end the violence and create an environment conducive to rebuilding and pursuing a "normal life", t he Iraqi people began a grass roots movement of running the evil out and governing themselves. There is a litany of things, large and small that turned the tide in our favor last summer, far too many for me to elaborate on here. Suffice to say it was all contingent on the efforts of our youth and the quality and character of our leadership.

Our men and women committed themselves to the fight every day. When they lost a comrade they mourned the same, donned their armor and weaponry and marched back out onto the streets and fields. While small when compared to previous conflicts, our losses where, in the end, debilitating. Our sacrifices took their toll on our soul(s); we will never be the same.

In our fifteen months we have lost nearly 900 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines; we've endured over 10,000 wounded in action. So many sent home for the last time, so many others sent home less than they left. And countless others that will bear the emotional scars of this war for many years to come.

Great progress has been realized over the past year. All attributable to the sacrifice, courage, devotion, persistence and spirit of the American Soldier and Marine. Many of us questioned the resolve, determination and character of our youth. Many of us wondered if we possessed the depth of moral courage to close with evil. Heck, there was a time when I wondered if we could find it in ourselves to simply squeeze the trigger. All those doubts have been addressed, every question answered. I truly pity anyone foolish enough to confront the might of our military and the resolve of our men and women in uniform.

Everything we have accomplished has been made possible by and through the support we've received from all back home. In ways too many to count, you lifted us each day, you sustained us; you encouraged us. You gave us something to set our sights on; the prospect of once again, coming home.

There is so much to say, so many people to thank, so many to give thanks for. To each of you who receives this you have either inspired me, taught me, led me, loved me, sustained me or thankfully made me laugh when I needed it. We, yes all of you included, have achieved a great thing here in Iraq. We shall talk of it for years to come and thank God it appears there will be time enough for it. For now suffice to say, I'm coming home and I owe it all to you.

With great love, respect and admiration,


Thank you, CSM Ciotola, and God bless.

17 February 2008

Prayers needed for our Hero DJ Emery

Our friend and Hero DJ Emery has suffered a serious setback over the past couple of days after a scheduled surgery.

Here is the latest update from family friend Jamie:

Hello again everyone. I just spoke briefly with Connie a few minutes ago. She said DJ took a turn for the worse overnight. She had called late last night and said that they had done an EKG on DJ and were bringing in a specialist to check out his heart. They did find fluid around his heart, but the doctors don't think it is what is causing his high white blood cell count. Connie also said that DJ's magnesium levels are low, so he is getting some of that. Connie was allowed to stay with DJ last night after he was moved down to the 3rd floor. Around 5:00 this morning he woke her up and said that he didn't feel right. Connie got the nurse and said that DJ is now on oxygen. She had to go, but is supposed to be calling again later, so I will update again when I get some more news.

You all know how hard he has fought since being severely wounded one year ago, and now he could really use some more of the prayers and love sent his way back then.

If you would like send DJ a card here is the address:

Sgt. David Emery
c/o National Naval Medical Center
3rd West
8901 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, Md 20889

Click to read more stories about DJ here at SAG.

13 February 2008

Mugniyah dead

Killed in Damascus.

Mugniyah began his career in terrorism in the 1970s with Force 17, the personal bodyguard detachment for Yassar Arafat, and later joined Hezbollah.

His more infamous terror attacks include the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63; the October 1983 simultaneous truck bombings on the U.S. Marine and French paratrooper barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Marines and 58 French soldiers; the hijacking of TWA 847; the kidnappings and murders of U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic personnel in Beirut; the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992, killing 29 people; the bombing of a Jewish cultural center in 1994, killing 86 people.

He is suspected of direct involvement in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S. servicemen. He was also behind the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in Northern Israel, the event which triggered the Israel-Hezbollah War in July 2006.

Mugniyah likely played a role in the establishment of Iran's ratlines into Iraq and the creation of the Special Groups, which have been built to mirror Hezbollah.

Mugniyah had extensive links with the Iranian intelligence services, and was directly linked to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and former al Qaeda in Iraq commander Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Mugniyah was on FBI's list of 22 most wanted terrorists, with a $5 million dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Make sure to read the whole story from Bill Roggio.

Update: Thomas Joscelyn of the Worldwide Standard with a focus on the Mugniyah - al Qaeda connection.

Senator takes break from "day job" to fulfill Reservist comittment in Iraq

It's only 10 days but hey, he's the only one doing it.

Colonel Graham is heading back to Iraq, where he will wear cammies, pack a Beretta and snap off salutes left and right.

This week, for the third time in 10 months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will don a military uniform and go to Iraq as an ID card-carrying member of the U.S. armed forces. The Air Force Reservist is the only sitting member of the Senate to deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

But unlike most everyone else downrange, the senator’s stay will be brief, about 10 days, comparable to his two stints in April and August of last year.

“I’d like to do more, but [with] the day job, you know in the Senate, it’s hard to get away for any long period,” Graham said in an interview with Stars and Stripes during the recent Munich conference on world security.

Graham served as an Air Force lawyer for more than six years. When he left the active-duty ranks in 1989, he joined the South Carolina Air National Guard, until he was elected to the House in 1994. At that point, he signed on with the Reserve, and is now an instructor at the Air Force Judge Advocate General School.

The Defense Department has given Graham special dispensation that allows him to stay in the Reserve. Graham said his schedule is now such that he couldn’t continue his service without some form of dispensation.

“I know it is something unique and different and I appreciate it,” Graham said, “and I try to make it a positive experience for DOD. ... I know my contribution is small and insignificant compared to most, but it’s what I can do. I want to do what I can do.”

As was the case last year, Graham will work for Task Force 134, which handles detainee issues and efforts to rebuild Iraq’s justice system, among other things. The senator indicated he would spend some of his time at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

When he is milling about a camp in camouflage some people recognize him. Many don’t. A few sort of know, but can’t quite place him.

“One guy came up, and he said: ‘Do I know you?’ I said, ‘Well you might.’ He said, ‘Are you on TV?’ And I said, ‘Sometimes.’ He says, ‘Do you do the weather?’ [He thought] I was the AFN weather guy,” Graham recalled, referring to the American Forces Network TV personality.

Read the rest of his (more serious) comments here.

Operations in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan

Students of Oshay School, in the Shahidi Hasas District of Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, show off their new notebooks on the opening day of classes Feb. 10. Afghan National Army Commandos from the 201st Kandak and Coalition forces visited with students, teachers and parents providing school supplies for the more than 120 children attending opening day classes. (U.S. Army Photo)

Oruzgan is located in central Afghanistan but considered part of the south due to its cultural and tribal links to Kandahar. Taliban leader Mullah Omar was born in Oruzgan province.

Elsewhere in Oruzgan, CJFT-82 reports on operations likely involving elements of the 82nd Airborne.

An armed assailant was killed and three individuals were detained during a Coalition forces’ operation Feb. 12 in Oruzgan Province to degrade insurgent networks in the area.

Coalition forces performed a search of compounds in the Tarin Kowt district targeting a Taliban commander responsible for conducting anti-government activities.

While conducting a search of one of the compounds, Coalition forces were engaged by multiple armed assailants barricaded in a building. One of the assailants was killed by Coalition forces employing small-arms fire. Another armed assailant who fired on Coalition forces was captured.

Completing the search, Coalition Forces detained three individuals, including the captured assailant who fired on Coalition forces, with suspected links to the Taliban. The detained individuals will be questioned on their involvement with Taliban operations and other extremist activities.

Over at The Long War Journal, Matt Dupee discusses recent arrests of Afghan insurgents in Pakistan, the northeast areas of Afghanistan (where the 173rd ABCT operate), and the challenges presented by complex tribal structures.

Although the US military has reported a 40 percent decrease in Taliban activity along Afghanistan’s porous border with Pakistan, the rugged mountain provinces of Nuristan and Kunar tucked away in northeastern Afghanistan have remained turbulent.

Despite the frigid weather and heavy snowfall, insurgent activity in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar province has been particularly fierce. According to an Afghan security report obtained by the Long War Journal, Kunar suffered 963 attacks in 2007, making it the second most active province for insurgents, after Kandahar.

Click here for more 173rd ABCT Afghanistan posts.

12 February 2008

Live thread of today's events in Berkeley

By Andrea Shea King at The Radio Patriot. THIRDWAVEDAVE has been on the scene since 0345 PST and is calling in with regular reports.

I sent the link to my sister who commented, "I love the part about them doing Pilates on the lawn. What a bunch of kooks!!!"

Not sure how Pilates fits in with the rest of the Pinko's otherwise agressive behavior, but what do I know?

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Enjoy.

Thanks to Carrie.

ANA Commandos capture key Taliban IED facilitator

Afghan National Army Commandos from the 203rd Kandak board a Coalition Forces helicopter before conducting security operations in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 7. During the operation, a key Taliban commander, suspected of being of responsible for several attacks against Afghan National Security Forces, was captured. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Michael D. Carter)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army Commandos from the 203rd Kandak, assisted by Coalition forces, captured a key insurgent facilitator in Khowst Province Feb. 9.

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense announced that ANA forces captured a known Taliban commander, Nasimulla, during a combined operation in the Dand Faqiran area of Yaqubi District.

Nasimulla is suspected of being a key Taliban facilitator responsible for several attacks against Afghan National Security Forces using improvised explosive devices. He is also suspected of commanding an IED emplacement cell based in the Sabari District and travels throughout Khowst and Paktika Provinces to conduct attacks against GIRoA forces and civilians.

BAF Fire Dept. fights B-hut blaze

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - A firefighter from the Bagram Airfield Fire Department walks through the smoke of a burning B-hut here as the firefighters work to bring the fire under control, Feb. 11. A B-hut is a wooden structure used to house up to eight Servicemembers. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jim Wilt, CJTF-82 PAO)

Tip leads MND-C Soldiers to EFP cache

Staff Sgt. Daniel Butler, front, Spc. Tim O’Donnell, left, and Spc. Tim Davis process a cache of explosively formed penetrators discovered in a village southeast of Baghdad on Sunday. The soldiers are members of the 789th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company. Officers believe the cache belonged to an alleged Shiite militant who was arrested two weeks ago. Story and photo Michael Gisick / S&S

Members of 3rd Platoon, Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, which found the weapons, said they were led to them by members of a neighborhood militia group.

“The report we got was one [improvised explosive device],” said Sgt. 1st Class Max Donahue, 39, of Houston. Donahue said his patrol proceeded to a building described by the neighborhood militia members, where they found the EFPs inside a bag.

“As soon as I cut it open, I realized what we were really looking at,” he said.

Summing up the universal respect accorded to the weapon, Donahue said “they would have destroyed us if we’d hit them on a patrol. It would have been catastrophic death.”

The cache found Friday consisted of 13 EFPs, 37 blocks of C4 explosive, a mortar tube and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Officers said it was easily the largest EFP cache found in the area.

On Sunday, the platoon found five more EFPs, several shaped charges, 28 grenades, three RPG rounds and detonating devices hidden in the weeds of an abandoned field approximately 650 feet from the building where the earlier cache was found.

The explosives are believed to be of Iranian origin.

On Saturday, Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in the Abu Ghuraib region. He is thought to be a key facilitator of terrorist activities in southern Baghdad and is the regiment’s number-one, high-value target.

And on Monday, US troops and Iraqi Police captured a suspected commander of the Iranian-backed Special Groups in the Hillah area, south of Baghdad. He was reportedly in charge of Special Groups elements in Wasit, Babil and Najaf provinces and involved in the coordination of weapons shipments and the planning of attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces. More at The Long War Journal.

11 February 2008

Power Line's Book of the Year award - updated

Power Line:

We proudly announce our selection of World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism by Norman Podhoretz as the Power Line book of the year (2007). Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, a contribution of $25,000 will be made in honor of the author to Soldiers' Angels, thus giving the award a larger financial component than any of the major book awards. By comparison, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle awards provide for a $10,000 payment to the winning authors.

Tonight, Power Line will be hosting a gala dinner in New York to present the Book of the Year award to Norman Podhoretz, and a check for $25,000 to Patti Patton-Bader of Soldiers' Angels. Speakers will include Podhoretz, Henry Kissinger and Mark Steyn.

Thank you Power Line and thank you to the anonymous benefactor!

More here, and more to come!

Update 12 Feb.

Power Line's first post-mortem of the event includes lots of photos and part of John Hinderaker's opening remarks:

World War IV marshals facts in support of these propositions to construct an argument that is not just compelling, but irrefutable. It sweeps away the trivia that so often clogs our daily headlines, and reminds us of the basic principles that must guide the next phase of our war against the Islamic extremists — which, whether we seek it or not, may soon be upon us.

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit live-blogged the event and has much more, including comments from Dr. Henry Kissinger and Mark Steyn.

And here's a short interview with Patti Patton-Bader

Pulling security in Baghdad's Hateen district

A puppy stares as Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Brennan from Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, attached to 2nd Brigrade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), while seeking cover in a trash pile outside a local market in Hateen, Iraq, Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Sharhonda R. McCoy, 55th Combat Camera)

Guess I'd stare too if I found a Soldier in my trash pile.

06 February 2008

Ayah's Park

“Next summer, the trees will grow up more, and we will have a shady place.” Photo by Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S

This is one of the most touching stories I've read in a while.

FALLUJAH, Iraq — It was Ayah’s first day of school. Her father put the 7-year-old on the bus for her first day in the Iraqi school system, thinking it safer than having her walk the Fallujah streets.

The men of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines had been on the ground for just a few weeks as of Oct. 26, the day Ayah’s school bus passed a Company L convoy.

A Humvee gunner repeatedly motioned for the bus driver to stop, according to company commander Capt. Steve Eastin. The driver did not stop, and the gunner fired a warning shot into the ground in front of Ayah’s bus.

The bullet ricocheted off the street and into the bus before striking Ayah in the chest. Marines offered aid at the scene, but locals refused and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she died.

Not long ago an incident like this would have caused the city to erupt into violence.

But things have changed in Fallujah.

That night, bearing the customary items [of a sheep, a bag of flour, a bag of sugar and some cooking oil], Eastin and his Marines went and offered their condolences to Ayah’s family.

“I said ‘I’m sorry for your great loss’” to each family elder, he said.

“They said, ‘It was God’s will.’”

As the months passed after Ayah’s death, Lima Company adopted Ayah’s family, in a way.

“The Marines did many great things for me, and they did not stop checking up on my family,” Ayah’s father, Jamal Abu Khalid, said recently through an interpreter. Eastin gave Khalid a generator to operate for the neighborhood.

“And they built a playground for my daughter,” Khalid said inside his house, just across the street from the set of swings and slides erected in Ayah’s name.
“Everyone loved her,” Khalid said. “The whole neighborhood loved her, and I do not forget my daughter. Every time I see a bunch of kids playing outside I think of her. I cannot forget.”

The site of Ayah’s park “looked like a horrible place before,” said Athir Abdul al Hamid Zidan, a Fallujah cab driver who stood near the park recently.

The park will continue to benefit the neighborhood friends and family that Ayah left behind, the cabbie said. “Next summer, the trees will grow up more, and we will have a shady place.”

04 February 2008

2-508 PIR Scouts save Afghan accident victims

CJTF-82 Operations - On January 13, 2008, a Reconnaissance Platoon from 2-508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division was traveling north on Highway 1 from Forward Operating Base Ghazni. They came across a major accident in the Sayed Abad District of Wardak Province involving a large passenger bus and a Jingle truck that had collided due to icy road conditions.

The platoon stopped and rendered aid to the victims of the accident. One bus passenger was seriously injured and was trapped in the bus. Members of the platoon used vehicle jacks and crow bars to free the passenger.

His injuries required further medical care, so the platoon set up a hasty landing zone on highway 1 and called for a MEDEVAC. A coalition Forces MEDEVAC landed within minutes and transported the injured Afghan to the hospital.


I missed this the other day.

Two suicide attacks on pet markets in Baghdad today have left approximately 100 killed and twice as many wounded. Both attacks used women "with Down's syndrome" according the the Daily Mail and less specifically, they were described as "mentally disabled" according to CNN.

Both bombs appear to have been remote detonated. These women probably did not know they were carrying explosives at all, and it would probably be fair to include them among the victims.

The ever-objective, ever-unbiased New York Times saw fit to exclude the horrific detail of their alleged mental disabilities from their reporting of the day's massacre.

Using the suffering of others to make a political point seems to be something the NYT and the terrorists have in common.