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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Regular commenter saltydog:

The first article I read today was about Bush offering nuclear technology to Iran. Then I got a call from my sister that my nephew was killed in action today.

Read the whole thing. Salty, deepest sympathies from your friends in Australia.

UPDATE. Commenter stats sends a note to salty: “You break our hearts with love. Keep up the good work for us and your courageous family.” Thousands of amens to that.

UPDATE II. Ben Johnson: “If Bill Clinton had unveiled George W. Bush’s Iran policy, we would have called it appeasement.”

Posted by Tim B. on 06/07/2006 at 09:11 AM
    1. Salty:

      A rallying cry for personal freedom if ever I heard one. And again, my deepest sympathies for the loss of that gallant young man.

      Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 09:25 AM • permalink


    1. My deepest sympathies for your loss and your nephew’s sacrifice.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 07 at 09:31 AM • permalink


    1. You hit a few nails on the head about the appeasment factions within Australia and the US I think.
      For my 2 bobs worth I hope Bush is just giving the EU and UN enough rope to hang themselves. Iran will play the diplomacy game until they feel secure, then throw it all back into the faces of the so called “peace” lobbies.
      Again sorry for your loss.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 06 07 at 09:44 AM • permalink


    1. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
      At the going down of the sun and in the morning
      We will remember them.

      But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
      Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
      To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
      As the stars are known to the Night;

      As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
      Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
      As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
      To the end, to the end, they remain.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 06 07 at 09:47 AM • permalink


    1. I’m so very sorry for you and your family. I presume that it was in Iraq? I hope you guys can take some solace from the fact that he died for a noble cause.

      “Greater love hath no man than he who layeth down his life for another.”
      John 15:13

      Posted by Mr Snuffalupagus on 2006 06 07 at 09:49 AM • permalink


    1. My condolences, saltydog.

      No need to apologize.  You merely speak the truth, something that we all need to hear.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 07 at 09:51 AM • permalink


    1. So sorry to hear this, Salty Dog. Deepest sympathies to you and your family, eternal gratitude to your nephew for his sacrifice on our behalf.  A plague on the terrorists and those in the West who use the deaths of our soldiers to further their agenda and thereby dishonor these heroes.

      Posted by Latino on 2006 06 07 at 09:55 AM • permalink


    1. A grieving heart has strengthened a fine mind. Thank you for your example.

      Posted by chinesearithmetic on 2006 06 07 at 09:59 AM • permalink


    1. What Snuffie, Jeff and Latino said. My condolences, saltydog. Thank you for your essay – truly written from the heart.

      Posted by C.L. on 2006 06 07 at 10:03 AM • permalink


    1. My condolences to you and your family, Saltydog.

      And thanks for your essay. As vents go, that one is pretty rational and realistic, not easy to accomplish at an emotional time. Well done.

      Posted by Retread on 2006 06 07 at 10:13 AM • permalink


    1. Sincere sympathy.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 06 07 at 10:15 AM • permalink


    1. Our condolences, saltydog.

      And our sincerest thanks.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2006 06 07 at 10:18 AM • permalink


    1. My deepest condolences to you and your family, salty.

      Your post was exactly right.  Sometimes I despair that we’re giving up, but your post makes me determined that we won’t.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 06 07 at 10:26 AM • permalink


    1. saltydog and family…

      May you and your family have peace in your heart and strength to carry on. He proudly served his country. May he proudly serve a higher power.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 10:40 AM • permalink


    1. Deepest condolences.You break our hearts with love.  Keep up the good work for us and your courageous family.

      Posted by stats on 2006 06 07 at 10:41 AM • permalink


    1. “But the world I love is dying,inside I’m crying….Salt water wells in my eyes…”
      God take care of him…

      Posted by crash on 2006 06 07 at 10:42 AM • permalink


    1. Saltydog,

      Take as long as you need. I doubt Tim is going anywhere anytime soon, or his commentors. We’ll be here when you’re ready to return

      Posted by mythusmage on 2006 06 07 at 10:43 AM • permalink


    1. As I said below, my sincere condolences for you and your sister.

      Imperial Keeper

      Posted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 2006 06 07 at 10:51 AM • permalink


    1. My sympathy, salty.  Please know and believe in your heart that the majority of the people know they are the most noble of warriors.

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 06 07 at 11:26 AM • permalink


    1. I’m sorry for your loss. In a way, it’s our loss as well.

      Posted by Blue Hen on 2006 06 07 at 11:40 AM • permalink


    1. Saltydog,

      Whenever loss occurs in war it becomes difficult to see what purpose that loss serves and when there seem to be no signs of victory the temptation to give in to frustration can be overwhelming.  I have seen this with soldiers in the combat zone and it is difficult to talk of the larger strategic imperatives at those times-the heart will always overrule the head in the short term.  But we will not have many moments that signal a clear victory in this conflict, no “marching through Paris” or “Battleship Missouri” against our current foe.  Our enemies know this and construct their strategy accordingly, relying on what they perceive as our lack of will.

      It has now been almost five years since September 11th, but I think we all have vivid memories of that day.  When the first plane hit it wasn’t immediately clear to me what was happening and I went to my first class of the day.  As students started to dribble in more details began to emerge and I understood that we were at war with all that that implied: I knew that there would be war with whoever sponsored this (though at the time I did not know who that was), I knew that there would be war between Israel and the Palestinians, and I knew that we would have to depose Saddam because he was our avowed enemy and in wartime you cannot allow your enemies the freedom to plot against you.

      By the time I went to my second class all of this was clear in my mind, but I was still agitated over the events of the morning so I dismissed my class.  I remember distinctly one of my students exclaiming “I am not going to fight in any war”.  Now, I swallowed hard and let it pass, but it was troubling.  Thousands of Americans were dead and we were facing the most serious crisis for our nation in some time and this person’s only thought was for himself.  In retrospect I should have told the little shit that no one was asking him to and that he was unworthy of the sacrifices of those who would go to fight in the coming war.

      I assume that your nephew either enlisted or reenlisted after September 11th.  So all I can say is that he obviously knew what was required of him-where his duty lay-and he did not shrink from it.  What more can you say of a man?  I honor his sacrifice and the fact that millions-and not just in America-are unworthy of that sacrifice does nothing to cheapen it.  Winning or losing against those we fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other places matters more than most now understand, but we must win or else the forces which stand in direct opposition to all those things that the west stands for will be greatly strengthened.

      I am sorry if the tone of this message has been blunt.  You have my most sincere condolences.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 06 07 at 11:51 AM • permalink


    1. Deepest sympathy to you and your family, Saltydog.  I flew my flag yesterday to commemorate D-Day.  I raised it again today in honor of your nephew and his sacrifice.

      Posted by Polish Frizzle on 2006 06 07 at 12:25 PM • permalink


    1. saltydog and family

      Posted by krossport on 2006 06 07 at 12:31 PM • permalink


    1. #21 91B30 – How beautifully put. How absolutely, beautifully put.

      I remember reading somewhere that however short a man’s life, or whatever kind of life he has led, in the end he can at least die well. Your nephew may not have had a long life, Salty, but imagine the intensity and heroism and nobility of that life, as short as it may have been. There are those of us who may live to be ninety who’s earthly span will not have been even a fraction as useful and noble and heroic as that of your nephew.

      Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 12:31 PM • permalink


    1. Should have continued:

      Sorry to hear this sad news. Sincere condolences.

      Posted by krossport on 2006 06 07 at 12:33 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog

      I am so sorry.  I cannot find the words to express the sorrow.  As most regulars here know I am not very articulate in expressing things so I can only follow what others have said.

      El Cid at 14 and 91B30 come closest to expressing what I feel.  As Blue Hen points out, we are a family here.

      May God watch over you and your family and guide you at this time.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 06 07 at 01:05 PM • permalink


    1. Salty, sincere condolences on the loss in your family. We feel it here, too.

      This was the poem we read for my dad, one of his favorites.

      In Flanders Fields
      By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
      Canadian Army

      IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
      Between the crosses row on row,
      That mark our place; and in the sky
      The larks, still bravely singing, fly
      Scarce heard amid the guns below.

      We are the Dead. Short days ago
      We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
      Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

      Take up our quarrel with the foe:
      To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch; be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
      We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

      G-d bless you and yours, Salty.

      Posted by KC on 2006 06 07 at 01:09 PM • permalink


    1. Once again saltydog, my deepest sympathies to you, your sister and family. It doesn’t matter we likely have never met. This has saddened me as if we were old friends.

      I keep thinking that it was just a few days ago we had to see off some unworthy piece of trash who had come here to gloat at the finest and most noble of men and women who have willingly put themselves in harm’s way to stand between him and those who would cut his throat. Like all wars this is a time for cowards and worse and they seem to be everywhere. They will learn the cost if they get their way and we were to lose the war.

      But it is also a time for heroes. Like your nephew. Because of him and others like him, and with God’s grace, we have the chance to honour them forever in freedom and peace.

      All the very best to you and yours.

      Posted by geoff on 2006 06 07 at 01:31 PM • permalink


    1. saltydog,
      Auntie KC took the words out of my mouth. I was just introducing my son to the poem this past Memorial Day. I think it bears repeating:

      Take up our quarrel with the foe:
      To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch, be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
      We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

      I have the great fortune to live in a country that is protected by people like your nephew, and populated by families like yours who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that I may live in peace and freedom.

      With deepest thanks and sympathies, our prayers are with you and your family.


      Posted by Not My Problem on 2006 06 07 at 01:43 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog – so sorry about your loss.  I thank you for your family’s sacrifice, making my life safer and freer.

      Posted by Nightfly on 2006 06 07 at 02:50 PM • permalink


    1. Condolences, Saltydog, to you and your family. I salute your nephew for choosing to serve and for his service. Seldom have so many asked so much of so few. And never have those few responded with more courage and sense of purpose. God bless and keep them all and may He hold your nephew in the palm of His hand.

      Tony Blankley has some on-target thoughts about the unprecendented nature of the sacrifice we ask today:

      It is particularly commendable of our American troops that they willingly go into battle under such restrictive rules of engagement that they are required to constantly risk their own lives in order not to offend civilians/terrorists(?) until they are almost sure they are really combatants.

      No other military force in history has been so tightly limited in its defensive actions. And probably no other military force has been sufficiently disciplined to maintain such restrictive rules in the heat of combat. God bless our troops—if not necessarily the policy that so restricts them.

      For the parents, wives, husbands and children of our young warriors who are killed because they followed the restrictive rules and didn’t fire first, this is a damned bitter pill to swallow—whatever the geopolitical wisdom of it.

      A damned bitter pill indeed. I pray the good Lord will provide succor and comfort to the family members and friends who struggle to come to terms with such devastating loss.

      More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 06 07 at 03:00 PM • permalink


    1. Oh, saltydog, I am so sorry.

      I can’t say anything that will help, but I am praying for you, for your nephew, and for your family.

      Posted by VKI on 2006 06 07 at 03:01 PM • permalink


    1. My condolences, saltydog. We are all grateful to your family for your sacrifice.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 06 07 at 03:23 PM • permalink


    1. Everything I could say has already been said, and far more eloquently than ever I could, by others here.  My deepest sympathies.

      Posted by Achillea on 2006 06 07 at 03:45 PM • permalink


    1. Dear Saltydog,
      My prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.

      God bless you all, and God be with you.

      I am not eloquent at times like this, and others have already expressed themselves, so I’ll close off now.

      Sending lots of hugs you way, because you can never have enough.


      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 06 07 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. Dear Saltydog,
      I share your grief.
      I know you only through your comments on this site and I know the US a little better from hundreds of visits to your country, but I love you both.
      Please don’t abandon us.
      Australia and the rest of the world need you more than they will ever know.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2006 06 07 at 04:59 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog, my sincerest sympathies to you and your family.

      Posted by tdw77 on 2006 06 07 at 05:45 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog,

      I wish I had some words of comfort but I can’t put into words what is in my heart.

      Please know I honor the service of your nephew and the sacrifice of your family…you aren’t alone in your grief.

      a grunts wife

      Posted by Tink on 2006 06 07 at 06:09 PM • permalink


    1. Salty

      tears for your nephew

      I hope you have someone close, to hold if you need to, and to hold you

      see you soon

      They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
      At the going down of the sun and in the morning
      We will remember them.

      Posted by kae on 2006 06 07 at 06:47 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog

      It is because of resolve and sacrifice like this that my family lives in peace.

      My sincere condolences to you and your family.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 06 07 at 06:51 PM • permalink


    1. saltydog- Words fail… Condolences and sincerest sympathy to you and your family. God be with you.

      Posted by nofixedabode on 2006 06 07 at 07:16 PM • permalink


    1. My deepest sympathies to Saltydog and his family.

      Posted by youngy on 2006 06 07 at 07:27 PM • permalink


    1. Dear Saltydog:

      I have enjoyed your erudite comments for years.  Know that you and your family, especially your brave nephew are in our prayers.

      My father died recently and though I’m not a particularly religious person this oldie comforted me and I hope it will you and your family:

      “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
      He makes me lie down in green pastures;
      he leads me beside still waters; he restoreth my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake;

      Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I shall fear no evil;
      for thou art with me;
      your rod and staff—they comfort me.

      You preparedest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;  thou annoint my head with oil, my cup overfloweth.

      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life,

      and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

      Psalm 23

      My best thoughts to you and yours during this trying time.

      Posted by Kathy from Austin on 2006 06 07 at 09:46 PM • permalink


    1. Much as we but heads Salty, I offer you and your family my deepest sympathies.  God Bless.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 06 07 at 10:17 PM • permalink


    1. My sympathy to you and yours, saltydog.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 06 07 at 10:18 PM • permalink


    1. What a disgrace. What has happened to GW?

      Posted by JamesP on 2006 06 07 at 10:49 PM • permalink


    1. “If Bill Clinton had unveiled George W. Bush’s Iran policy, we would have called it appeasement.”

      Guess Ben Johnson should ask Kim Jong Il and the ever vibrant people of North Korea. Clinton’s way worked there real well…have a picture of Madeline Albright clinking glasses with Jong Il and what I assume was at least day old aged, North Korean champagne.

      Now one must understand that North Korea has NO oil, so I believe the deal with Persia, will work out infinitely better.

      Now that that is dispensed with, I have this bridge, it a quite lovely bridge and…..

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 10:58 PM • permalink


    1. Day is done, gone the sun,
      From the hills, from the lake,
      From the sky.
      All is well, safely rest,
      God is nigh.

      Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
      May the soldier or sailor,
      God keep.
      On the land or the deep,
      Safe in sleep.

      Love, good night, Must thou go,
      When the day, And the night
      Need thee so?
      All is well. Speedeth all
      To their rest.

      Fades the light; And afar
      Goeth day, And the stars
      Shineth bright,
      Fare thee well; Day has gone,
      Night is on.

      Thanks and praise, For our days,
      ‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
      ‘Neath the sky,
      As we go, This we know,
      God is nigh.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. My condolences Salty.

      We don’t make sacrifices so that the we will be honored and grieved for, we make sacrifes so that those we leave behind can celebrate life.

      Posted by aaron_ on 2006 06 07 at 11:17 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo:  I’m proud of you.

      Posted by Kathy from Austin on 2006 06 08 at 12:01 AM • permalink


    1. Saltydog: Deepest sympathies to you, your sister, and the rest of your family. Be assured your nephew’s sacrifice was for a noble cause and there are many of us who appreciate it beyond words.

      Posted by Tommy Shanks on 2006 06 08 at 01:26 AM • permalink


    1. my deepest sympathies also.

      Posted by larrikin on 2006 06 08 at 02:15 AM • permalink


    1. Someone should explain to Ben that Bush’s Iraq policy is appeasement, too. First, he kicked the Sunnis out of the government. Now, he demands that they be kicked back in.

      And screw the Kurds.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2006 06 08 at 04:00 AM • permalink


    1. All my sympathies to you and your family, Saltydog.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 06 08 at 05:56 AM • permalink


    1. Saltydog, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 06 08 at 07:58 AM • permalink


    1. Ah, saltydog . . .

      Two days ago I lifted a glass for a neighbor, now gone to his reward, a small (5’5” , 130# or so) farmer who physically humped ammo across Europe from D-day on, mostly for Patton.  He NEVER,EVER said anything except that there are times when men (and I think today he would merely say humans or people) must do what they can to conquer evil.

      I would think your nephew was similar.  Two of my great-grandfathers survived combat in the Civil War.  One grandfather survived combat in WWI.  My father survived combat in the South Pacific from the Solomons to nearly the end.  I was lucky, as was my son and my cousins and nephews not to have to face combat, partly due to those who fought before and those like your nephew who stepped up to the challenge that we didn’t have to.

      We can never, never repay him or your family for the sacrifice made, but we can honor it so long as we live.

      “Greater love” indeed.

      My most sincere condolences.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 06 08 at 01:07 PM • permalink


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