Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How do we honor those who are injured or die when called in the service of a false cause?

Photo caption:

Elena Cothran, whose son Lance Cpl. Derrick Cothran was killed in Iraq on April 15, kisses the hand of her son's widow Victoria as the soldier's sister Antoinette C. Hebert (L) looks on.

Michael DeMocker / Times-Picayune

The accompanying T-P article:
"Derrick loved his job so much," Victoria Cothran said. "I'm just so proud of him. He wouldn't have wanted it any other way."

Previously on PGR, "The great tragedy of war":
The great tragedy of war is that those who don't survive never have the opportunity to see how their lives and families would have turned out. They never have the opportunity to say whether it truly was a cause worth dying for, after the fact of their deaths, although the living sure feel free to speak for them.

Anonymous said...
Shame on YOU! Using Derriks to down HIS president! Derrik knew his sacrifice. He left college to become a marine. His brother T.J. is also a marine. T.J. was givent the option not to go to Iraq (which he has been called to do) since he was the last son of Ted's (Derriks father)to carry on his name. T.J. says he needs to go. This family has a strong belief in God. They are not only serving our country, but serving our religious freedoms. Please do not bring our family down! Derrick loved his country, loved his president, and most of all...Love God.

Being that this goes against what you believe probadly wont be posted!

Oh and by the way...His wife, also a Marine! They all joined the Marines after the war had begun.

God bless the Conthrans!

Family of the Cothrans and Martinez's (maternal side of Derrik)


At 5/05/2006 05:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you honor them? Needless to say, if they joined the services after the war in Iraq'd better believe they believed in what they were fighting for.

To say what they were fighting for is a false cause...dishonors their memory.

Sadam himself was a weapon of mass destruction. And there was weapons. They were moved just prior to the invasion. There is proof of that on satellite photos.

Derrick loved this country, Derrick loved his president, but most of all Derrick loved his creator.

As does his brother T.J., who says he must go to Iraq. His father, Ted, was also a marine. You'd better believe these fine young men believed what they strongly believed in prior to joining the services after the war started.

By you coming against what these fallen men believed in ...that they were willing to give their lives, is very much dishonoring their memory's.

I do not belief you intended to disrepect. However, before using someones name and scarfice for your 'blog'...get the facts straight sir... Find out what they believed in.

Ted and Helen (Elena to those of you not friends or family) honors their president. Even through this. T.J. (Ted Jr.) is also a serving Marine honors his president. Victoria (Derricks wife) also honors her president. So, not dishonor Derricks memory by coming against what he so strongly faught and paid the ultimate sacrifice for.

God Bless our President, God bless our country, and God bless those emerging christians in the country of Iraq!

At 5/05/2006 01:36:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

I have nothing but respect for the service given by Lance Cpl. Cothran.

When soldiers are called into service, they have a duty to fulfill. That's what they signed up for. That they fulfill that duty is among the most honorable things that a human being can do.

Each individual soldier has to make their own decision what they are serving. One calling is to serve the democratic principles that are the foundation of our nation. Another is to defend family and loved ones. Still another is to serve fellow soldiers.

All of these honorable causes, however, do not have to mean that the reason a president chooses to send soldiers into harm's way is righteous.

Was Saddam Hussein a dangerous man? Undoubtedly -- to his own people.

Was he a threat to anyone else? Absolutely not. He was, thanks to our armed forces, contained in a box within which he had no room to maneuver.

There are *no* satellite photos of any weapons of mass destruction. I would challenge you to find them since you believe photos exist.

You may have seen photos of vehicles presented by Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council. The vehicles, he claimed, were mobile biological weapons labs. Our own scientists later concluded that they weren't biological labs:

"In his February 5, 2003, presentation to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell charged that Iraq had begun constructing mobile facilities to produce biological weapons in the mid-1990s. ...

Engineers from the Defense Intelligence Agency who examined the trailers concluded in June that the vehicles were probably used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons, as the Iraqi had claimed."

I don't mean to argue or show you any disrespect. This is an extremely difficult array of issues to sort out.

Let me ask you, if Saddam was such a monster, what would you call a nation that provided him with the tools and technology he needed to kill his own people, and to threaten his neighbors:

"The U.S. exported $500 million of dual use exports to Iraq that were approved by the Commerce department. Among them were advanced computers, some of which were used in Iraq’s nuclear program, and strains of anthrax and botulinum which helped Iraq’s biological warfare capabilities in the late 1980s."

That was in the 1980s. Subsequent to the first President Bush's invasion of Iraq, Saddam's weapons programs were completely destroyed by the U.N. inspections program.

Did Saddam reconstitute his weapons program?

Would you trust the opinion of a United States Marine?

Scott Ritter was a U.S. Marine for 12 years before being assigned as a weapons inspector in Iraq. Here's what he had to say about WMD in Iraq in 2002:

"In 2002, Ritter stated that, as of 1998, 90–95% of Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical capabilities, and long-range ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons, had been verified as destroyed. ...

During the 2002–2003 build-up to war Ritter criticized the Bush administration and maintained that it had provided no credible evidence that Iraq had reconstituted a significant WMD capability. In an interview with Time in September 2002 (Calabresi, 2002) he stated:

'We have tremendous capabilities to detect any effort by Iraq to obtain prohibited capability. The fact that no one has shown that he has acquired that capability doesn't necessarily translate into incompetence on the part of the intelligence community. It may mean that he hasn't done anything.'"

Our own intelligence analysts who went into Iraq after the 2003 invasion found no WMD:

"On September 30, 2004, the U.S. Iraq Survey Group Final Report concluded that, 'ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Husayn (sic) possessed WMD stocks in 2003, but the available evidence from its investigation—including detainee interviews and document exploitation—leaves open the possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq although not of a militarily significant capability.'"

Well, then the question becomes, should we believe what the president and his administration was telling us about WMD? Was the president lying, and what would have been his motivation for lying?

If you've come this far, I'll let you decide. All you have to do is look for the evidence yourself.

A good place to start is the top secret Downing Street Memo leaked to the press which revealed the details of a meeting among British intelligence and defense experts:

"Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Then, if you care to explore the evidence for WMD further, you can find pros and cons in the very objective Wikipedia link I've already provided above:

Would what the president did in any way change the reason why Lance Cpl. Cothran served his nation, or the honorable way in which he did?

Absolutely not. His service remains honorable. And the nation thanks him for his service.


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