Monday, July 21, 2008


You may have seen portions of this tape on your TV, but this is the whole video including Barack Obama sinking a 3-point range basketball shot as he visited with U.S. troops in Kuwait.


With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lasting longer than five and seven years respectively, the toll on families of the GIs deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan---sometimes on their third and fourth rotation---are suffering even despite the Army's attempts to help them.

The Associated Press talked with families of soldiers deployed to Iraq from Fort Campbell, Kentucky and their stories are heart-breaking.

Below is the first a three-part series by AP of what is not getting reported in the rest of mainstream press about the havoc caused on families by two wars that are showing no signs of ending soon.

As Wars Lengthen, Toll On Military Families Mounts

Last Update: 10:22 am

EDITOR'S NOTE - With troops fighting on foreign soil since late 2001, the United States is learning about the long-term toll of modern war on the home front. In the first of a three-part package of stories, The Associated Press examines some of the consequences for military families. By DAVID CRARY= AP National Writer= FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) -

Far from the combat zones, the strains and separations of no-end-in-sight wars are taking an ever-growing toll on military families despite the armed services' earnest efforts to help.

Divorce lawyers see it in the breakup of youthful marriages as long, multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan fuel alienation and mistrust. Domestic violence experts see it in the scuffles that often precede a soldier's departure or sour a briefly joyous homecoming.

Teresa Moss, a counselor at Fort Campbell's Lincoln Elementary School, hears it in the voices of deployed soldiers' children as they meet in groups to share accounts of nightmares, bedwetting and heartache. "They listen to each other. They hear that they aren't the only ones not able to sleep, having their teachers yell at them," Moss said.

Even for Army spouses with solid marriages, the repeated separations are an ordeal. "Three deployments in, I still have days when I want to hide under the bed and cry," said Jessica Leonard, who is raising two small children and teaching a "family team building" class to other wives at Fort Campbell. Her husband, Capt. Lance Leonard, is in Iraq.

Those classes are among numerous initiatives to support war-strained families. Yet military officials acknowledge that the vast needs outweigh available resources, and critics complain of persistent shortcomings - a dearth of updated data on domestic violence, short shrift for families of National Guard and Reserve members, inadequate support for spouses and children of wounded and traumatized soldiers. If the burden sounds heavier than what families bore in the 20th century's longest wars - World War II and Vietnam - it is, in some ways.

Today's wars entail a deployment pattern of two, three, sometimes four overseas stints of 12 or 15 months - a schedule virtually unheard of in the past. "It's hard to go away, it's hard to come back, and go away and come back again," said Dr. David Benedek, an Army psychiatrist. "That is happening on a larger scale than in our previous military endeavors."

Almost in one breath, military officials praise the resiliency that enables most of these families to endure while acknowledging that the wars expose them to unprecedented stresses and the risk of long-lasting scars. An array of studies by the Army and outside researchers say that marital strains, risk of child maltreatment and other family problems worsen as soldiers serve multiple combat tours.

Continue read here:


While the WHOLE world is focused on Sen. Barack Obama's trip to Baghdad, and how his trip will impact on the lives of 160,000 young Americans serving in the military in Iraq, the FOX NEWS web site ( features a block of "Most Read" articles by FOX NEWS viewers.

Here is what FOX NEWS viewers think are the most important stories:

Plea Deal Unlikely Before First Gitmo War Crimes Trial
ElectionHQ: James Dobson May Endorse McCain- Financial Outlooks Reflect Different Strategies
Paulson Braces Public for Tough Times Ahead
Bus Explosions Kill 2, Wound 14 in Southwest China
Woman Accused of Stealing Baby Charged With Homicide
Apparent Conjoined Barn Swallows Found in Arkansas
Pope Meets Clergy Abuse Victims in Australia
Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Talks Deal Struck
Investigator Into Madeleine McCann Probe Pens Book
$20,000 Earrings Found in New York Trash Dump
Tropical Storm Cristobal Weakens- Tropical Storm Dolly Forms in Western Caribbean
Landslide in Guatemala Kills 12 Family Members
Group Ordains Three Female Catholic Priests
Report: Genetic Similarities More Common Than Thought
Harrington Wins Second British Open PHOTOS
Racial Mix in U.S. Cities Marks End of White Flight
Katie Holmes Shows Off Her New Severe Bob
B-52 Bomber Carrying 6 Crew Members Crashes Off Guam
Missing Fort Bliss Soldier Found Alive, Sister Says
French Tourist Allegedly Beats Daughter Into Coma Against Roman Monument
Paulson Braces Public for Tough Times Ahead
Changing Racial Makeup in U.S. Cities Marks the End of White Flight
Scientist’s Quest for ‘Megafish’ Leads Him to Giant Freshwater Stingray
Pop Tarts: Jessica Simpson's Super-Sexy (and Smelly) Photo Shoot
$20,000 Earrings Found in New York Trash Dump
Apparent Conjoined Barn Swallows Found in Arkansas
Activists: 9 Iranians Convicted of Adultery Set to Be Stoned to Death
Report: Genetic Profiles More Common Than Once Thought
'Dark Knight' Sets Weekend Box-Office Record With $155.34M
Rice: Iran Not Serious at Nuke Meeting, Could Face New Sanctions
Pa. Woman Accused of Stealing Baby Charged With Homicide
Bus Explosions Kill 2, Wound 14 in Southwest China

Amazing, but not one mention of Sen. Barack Obama's trip to Baghdad.

FOX NEWS continues to feed their audience "tabloid"news and that is why the average FOX NEWS viewer hasn't got a clue what is going on in the world.

Bill Corcoran, EDITOR: CORKSPHERE: url


Maliki, Obama tackle future of U.S. military presence in Iraq – source

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 21 /07 /2008 Time 1:09:06

BAGHDAD, July 21 (VOI) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and visiting U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama discussed a number of topics including the future of U.S. military presence in Iraq, according to a cabinet media source on Monday.

"Maliki received Obama as soon as he arrived in Baghdad and the two sides discussed the possibility of U.S. troop cuts in Iraq," the source, who asked that he is name not be revealed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).The source said the Illinois Senator would possibly meet other Iraqi officials today.Earlier in the day the U.S. army's media advisor Abdellatif Rayan told VOI Obama arrived in the Iraqi capital as part of a tour he started with Afghanistan earlier this week.Obama had pledged to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq if he won the presidential elections to be held next November.The U.S. White House hopeful had paid a single visit to Iraq in January 2006.


Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad and hours later a car bomb went off in Baghdad killing a civilian and wounding four others as a sign that peace in Iraq is still very fragile.

Baghdad hit by deadly car bomb

Story Highlights
NEW: Barack Obama arrives in Iraq for talks with Iraqi officials, U.S. commanders
U.S. military kills two relatives of Salaheddin governor
Police official, who's governor's brother, says dead includes governor's son
U.S. military says troops encountered two armed men, killed in "self-defense"

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A car bomb blew up in Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding four others, an Interior Ministry official said.

The Sunday attack underscored the fragility of relative calm in the Iraqi capital; violence levels have dropped sharply in Baghdad and across the country over the past few months.

Early Sunday in northern Iraq, U.S. forces killed two relatives of Salaheddin's governor Hamad al-Qaisi and identified them as members of al Qaeda in Iraq.

But a Baiji police official who is al-Qaisi's brother said the two males were al-Qaisi's 16-year-old son and the teenager's cousin. Lt. Col. Saad al-Qaisi said the two were "executed," as they headed to morning prayers.

Al-Qaisi said his nephew, Hussam Hamad al-Qaisi, and Badri Khalaf Issa walked out of a house next door to the building that was being raided by the U.S. military at around 3:30 a.m. He said the young men "were taken and executed" by the military.


Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has arrived in Baghdad, and many of the "surge" troops are leaving, but according to the Washington Post the troops are not sure that peace will hold in the war torn country.

What many people don't know is the United States has been arming the various militia groups and this could lead to an all out civil war when the U.S. leaves Iraq and there is nobody left to hold the fragile peace together.

For 'Surge' Troops, Pride Mingles With Doubt: Soldiers Leave a More Secure Iraq but Are Unsure if Hard-Won Gains Will Hold

By Ernesto LondoƱo
Washington Post Foreign ServiceMonday, July 21, 2008; A01

BAGHDAD -- This time last year, Capt. Wes Wilhite's men were getting ready to move into an abandoned house in western Baghdad wedged between cells of Sunni insurgents to the south and strongholds of Shiite militias to the north.

Violence in the Iraqi capital seemed unstoppable. U.S. military vehicles were getting attacked with armor-piercing roadside bombs almost daily, and a raging sectarian war was Balkanizing once-mixed neighborhoods.

"A slaughterhouse," is how Steve Murrani, an interpreter working with Wilhite's men, described it.

The soldiers, who came to Iraq as part of President Bush's troop increase, began returning home last week. They leave with sunburned faces, calloused hands, tattered boots. On their wrists they wear black metal bracelets inscribed with the names of five soldiers killed on a clear afternoon in March, just as progress was starting to seem irreversible.

For more from the Washington Post, click here: