A friend of James', a team leader, was killed last week by a suicide bomber.

They're guarding a hydroelectric dam, not much safer than his old job of banging down doors with bolt cutters and a shotgun; the dam is a stationary target, and the advantage of surprise belongs to the attacker.

If you're new to this blog, family friend James Whelan signed up with the Marines after the September 11 attacks and is on his third tour of combat duty in Iraq. He is second from right in the wire photo here. The current (Saturday morning) cost of the war in Iraq is $236,892,800,000 and counting. The cost for a nation that feeds its young to the mother sow Death, all for the sake of a foolish Texan's vanity project, I leave up to you.

See also AP story with James, Bush Broke It, You Bought It, Kipling's Choice, Suspicious Death of Colonel Theodore Westhusing , Scylla and Charybdis in Iraq, Kipling on Blowback, Self-Delusion and Truth, others

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