••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

now, what makes me think these 3 stories go together?

BAGHDAD - A US attack killed 19 insurgents and 15 civilians, including nine children, northwest of the capital Thursday — one of the heaviest civilian death tolls in an American operation in recent months. The military said it was targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

American forces have applied fierce and determined pressure on militants, especially al-Qaida in Iraq, since the full contingent of additional US troops arrived June 15. But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has recently confronted top American commander Gen. David Petraeus about what he sees as overly aggressive US tactics that harm innocent civilians, according to Iraqi officials.

The military statement detailing Thursday's air and ground assault said soldiers were acting on intelligence reports about an al-Qaida meeting in the Lake Tharthar region. The southern reaches of the big, man-made lake are about 50 miles northwest of the capital.

The American account said US surveillance confirmed "activity consistent with the reports and supporting aircraft engaged the time-sensitive target." The first air attack killed "four terrorists," said the statement.

The military said it then tracked some of those who escaped the initial attack to a place south of Lake Tharthar. It said ground forces moved on the site and came under fire. Air support was called in.

"After securing the area, the ground force assessed 15 terrorists, six women and nine children were killed," the statement said. Two suspected al-Qaida members, a woman and three children were wounded, according to the military account.

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs, reversing the flow of top commandos to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering big salaries.

The retention effort, started nearly three years ago and overseen by US Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL, has helped preserve a small but elite group of enlisted troops with vast experience fighting the unconventional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defense Department statistics.

Overall, more than 1200 of the military's most specialized personnel near or already eligible for retirement have opted for payments of up to $150,000 in return for staying in uniform several more years.

CLEVELAND - Despite 26 security cameras, officials couldn't say Thursday how an armed, suspended 14-year-old student was able to get into his downtown school a day earlier and shoot two students and two teachers before killing himself.

School officials also were investigating how a number of warning signs from the troubled student, including threats made last week, apparently went unheeded.

Police were checking surveillance video Thursday for clues as to how Asa H Coon, armed with two revolvers, was able to enter the SuccessTech Academy alternative school. Police Chief Michael McGrath said a classmate could have let him in a back door.
His older brother, Stephen, was taken into custody at the family home for parole violations, according to prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Lyons. The 19-year-old said his brother did not get any guns from him but wouldn't answer questions about the shooting.
Christina Burns, who volunteered at one of the schools Coon attended, said Coon both received and delivered abuse. She said that in seventh grade, he did nothing after a classmate dropped a book on Coon's head while the teacher wasn't looking.
Burns said she is angry no one reached out to him. "This all could have been prevented if he had the proper intervention," she said.

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