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Hero:

From the official site of the allied forces in Iraq:

An Iraqi man saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.

The incident occurred while Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were talking with members of the al-Arafia Concerned Citizens, a volunteer community group, at a member's house.

"I was about 12 feet away when the bomber came around the corner," said Staff Sgt. Sean Kane, of Los Altos, Calif., acting platoon sergeant of Troop B, 3-1 Cav. "I was about to engage when he jumped in front of us and intercepted the bomber as he ran toward us. As he pushed him away, the bomb went off." ...

"He could have run behind us or away from us, but he made the decision to sacrifice himself to protect everyone. Having talked with his father, I was told that even if he would have known the outcome before hand, he wouldn't have acted differently."

The man's name isn't mentioned; I take it this is because of eminently reasonable concern for the security of his family, but it's too bad that we can't properly honor and remember him by name.

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

Mike BUSL07 (mail):
An amazing story - but I'm not holding my breath to see it on CNN.
8.22.2007 1:33pm
cirby (mail):
That's the difference.

The bad guys don't mind dying as long as they can kill someone.

The good guys don't mind dying as long as they can protect someone.
8.22.2007 1:45pm
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
Prof. Volokh wrote:

The man's name isn't mentioned; I take it this is because of eminently reasonable concern for the security of his family
When we cannot properly acknowledge heroes like this man because of a "reasonable concern for the security of his family," we know things are deeply wrong in Iraq. It's not like he was a covert agent or even a combatant. Saving innocent civilians should not create a threat to a man's family
8.22.2007 1:56pm
Montie (mail):

When we cannot properly acknowledge heroes like this man because of a "reasonable concern for the security of his family," we know things are deeply wrong in Iraq. It's not like he was a covert agent or even a combatant. Saving innocent civilians should not create a threat to a man's family


I think any reasonable person would agree with those sentiments. However, what are the implications? What can we or should we do about it?
8.22.2007 2:17pm
Cornellian (mail):
Ideally that man should be granted immediate permanent residence in the United States or some other Western country like Australia or Britain and not left in Iraq to be murdered in retaliation for his act of heroism.
8.22.2007 2:36pm
Shake-N-Bake:
I hope you're joking Cornellian and it isn't that you didn't read very carefully. I don't know if being buried at Arlington or somewhere else would make him less dead. Maybe his family could be moved though to avoid retaliation, then his name could be released.
8.22.2007 2:40pm
anym_avey (mail):
When we cannot properly acknowledge heroes like this man because of a "reasonable concern for the security of his family," we know things are deeply wrong in Iraq. It's not like he was a covert agent or even a combatant. Saving innocent civilians should not create a threat to a man's family

That really depends on the location and circumstances, yes? Even here in the States we often have problems with mob or gang retaliations against persons who act counter to what said gang or mob considers to be its best interests, in spite of the nation overall being generally safe. The possibility of reprisals against the family of a hero acting on behalf of American troops in an area of Iraq where suicide bombers are still getting through, is IMO not the strongest evidence of "things [being] deeply wrong in [all of] Iraq".
8.22.2007 2:50pm
Ugh (mail):

From the official site of the allied online propaganda arm of the U.S. armed forces in Iraq



Fixed.
8.22.2007 3:19pm
Cornellian (mail):
Well the post doesn't actually say the guy died, though I'd admit the implication is there. In that case, my earlier comment re relocation to a Western country should apply to his wife and children instead, after a reasonable background check. Sometimes children are not at all like their parents.
8.22.2007 3:54pm
Cornellian (mail):
And at a bare minimum, give that wife a pension. She should not suffer for her husband's heroism.
8.22.2007 3:55pm
KeithK (mail):

From the official site of the allied online propaganda arm of the U.S. armed forces in Iraq


Yes. What's your point? You write this as if this is somehow a bad thing.
8.22.2007 3:55pm
ATL (mail) (www):
Is this true or only Pat Tillman true?
8.22.2007 4:04pm
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
Nicely done, Ugh. Way to work hard to presumptively discredit the truth. Did they teach that in Trotskyism 101, or was it the grad seminar in Frankfurt School Neomarxist Apologetics?
8.22.2007 4:13pm
ATL (mail) (www):

Nicely done, Ugh. Way to work hard to presumptively discredit the truth. Did they teach that in Trotskyism 101, or was it the grad seminar in Frankfurt School Neomarxist Apologetics?


The School of the Americas, Columbus, Georgia
8.22.2007 4:17pm
DCraig:
[insert typical self-assured comment from the right about how the liberal, communist media never prints "real news" like this here.]
8.22.2007 4:18pm
M. Gross (mail):
When we cannot properly acknowledge heroes like this man because of a "reasonable concern for the security of his family," we know things are deeply wrong in Iraq. It's not like he was a covert agent or even a combatant. Saving innocent civilians should not create a threat to a man's family

This has more to do with the nature of our enemy than any security problems in general. Al Qaeda and their related ilk have no qualms about killing anyone who does anything even passingly useful to the coalition, regardless of intent.
8.22.2007 4:25pm
Houston Lawyer:
Of course it's only true if on the pages of The New Republic. There are few sources I'd trust more than our military. They know that the MSM will do its best to discredit anything they say.
8.22.2007 5:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Being a potential murder witness in DC could be fatal.
I say, after two hundred years, if we haven't succeeded, we withdraw.
8.22.2007 5:10pm
Russ (mail):
Some of the partisan comments from folks on here is truly appalling. It's as if they feel that acknowledging a brave and sacraficial act will be seen as support for the War In Iraq.

Acknowledge the guy is a hero and pray for the loved ones he left behind. That is all a decent human being need do here.
8.22.2007 5:18pm
GV:
There are few sources I'd trust more than our military.

Pat Tillman's family and Jessica Lynch likely disagree with you.
8.22.2007 5:37pm
TMac (mail):
Having spent 28 years in the military and 23 more as a consumer of military and mainstream media information, I'll take what the military says 99 to 1 over what is in the mainstream media.
8.22.2007 5:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
GV. Not speaking of the Tillman case where there is far less than the left desires.

However, the Lynch case is nuts. The only source for the WaPo's story was an anonymous official in the DoD. Everything else the military said was on the order of...we don't know much. The Lynch hysteria was generated by the media. Hard to think you don't know this.
8.22.2007 5:57pm
GV:
Richard, you might want to get your story straight with Lynch herself, who seems to disagree: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3251731.stm.

You also look silly when you say things like "the left . . . " -- as silly as when people say things like the "right . . .".
8.22.2007 6:36pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
GV. Lynch knows what she read in the papers. Which was wrong. And the source for the story was....anonymous.
That's the point. The media got it wrong and blamed it on DoD.

As to the left as a group, do you know of any lefties who don't believe the Lynch story as posted in the media was entirely the fault of the DoD?
8.22.2007 7:41pm
Ugh (mail):
Let's just say after the past few years I'm not inclined to believe pronouncements of heroic acts from the U.S. gov't without some sort of corroboration from a distinterested observer.

And, jeebus, look at that the front page (circa 7pm EDT today). This alone is ridiculous:


Freedom Facts: In 2006, medical care improved in Iraq with the renovation of 15 hospitals.


"Freedom Facts"? Renovating 15 hospitals shows that medical care improved in all of Iraq for the whole of 2006? And that's just one small sample.
8.22.2007 8:07pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
There are few sources I'd trust more than our military.

Would have agreed with those sentiments five years ago, but those who still hold that view are willfully, dangerously ignorant. It's not the military I don't trust in fact, it's the military's top brass has been so politicized by the Cheney and his boy that it is a joke (and if Clinton did it, you all here would be screaming bloody murder, as would I). For examples, see Jessica Lynch; Pat Tillman; Abu Ghraib (e.g., Don Rumsfeld's admission to not looking at the pictures from there that were publicly available for at least a week before he bothered to see them); "last throes"; "the next 6 months in Iraq are critical" (said repeatedly by military officials controlled by the Bush administration for the last 6 years); etc.
8.22.2007 8:22pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Not speaking of the Tillman case where there is far less than the left desires.

Because demanding to know the truth and not seeing a hero used as a propaganda tool to be thrown away once his family stops towing the Bush line is the exclusive interest of the "left." Give me a break Aubrey -- why aren't you in Iraq, you little chicken. My cousin is there right now; he was trained as an engineer in the Navy but because of the "surge" and the associated shortage of combat troops, he is being used in a combat position. We have a real shortage Richard Aubrey; why are you not there?
8.22.2007 8:25pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"The only source for the WaPo's story was an anonymous official in the DoD."


Her rescue was filmed for a reason.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1830500.stm

The Pentagon is toying with the idea of black propaganda.

As part of George Bush's war on terrorism, the military is thinking of planting propaganda and misleading stories in the international media.

A new department has been set up inside the Pentagon with the Orwellian title of the Office of Strategic Influence.

It is well funded, is being run by a general and its aim is to influence public opinion abroad.

Black and white

It has been canvassing opinion within the Pentagon on what it should do.

The options range from the standard public relations stuff - doing more to explain the Pentagon's role - to more underhand tactics such as e-mailing journalists and community leaders abroad with information that undermines governments hostile to the United States.

These e-mails would come from a .com return address rather than .mil to hide the Pentagon's role.

The most controversial suggestion is the covert planting of disinformation in foreign media, a process known as black propaganda.

All this has sparked off a fierce debate within the Pentagon. The options range from "the blackest of black programmes to the whitest of white," one official told the New York Times.

Some generals are worried that even a suggestion of disinformation would undermine the Pentagon's credibility and America's attempts to portray herself as the beacon of liberty and democratic values.

Under review

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has asked a team of lawyers to check the proposals' legality.

The Pentagon is forbidden from spreading black propaganda in the American media, but there is nothing to stop an American newspaper picking up a story carried abroad.

The Pentagon is well versed in what it calls "psyops", dropping leaflets and using radio broadcasts to undermine enemy morale.

But these kind of activities have always been confined to the battlefield, such as Afghanistan.

Using covert tactics on media outlets of friendly countries is much more controversial.
8.22.2007 8:27pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Some of the partisan comments from folks on here is truly appalling. It's as if they feel that acknowledging a brave and sacraficial act will be seen as support for the War In Iraq.

Acknowledge the guy is a hero and pray for the loved ones he left behind. That is all a decent human being need do here.


Unfortunately, it is simply a reflection of the Cheney Administration's politicization of the military and everything else in this country (eg DOJ) that it is no longer reasonable to accept these stories as true without asking questions.
8.22.2007 8:28pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Some of the partisan comments from folks on here is truly appalling."


As if partisan motivations played no role in this (or Instapundit's) post? Please...
8.22.2007 8:30pm
LM (mail):
This thread's predictable digression into polemics saddens me. I'd like to think the man's sacrifice would inspire us to put aside our differences and share a moment of gratitude for his courage and sympathy for his family's loss.
8.22.2007 9:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Crazy. I paid my dues several wars ago.

The Lynch rescue was filmed because such things are always filmed.

The real Tillman case had to do with a platoon leader who was wounded between the time Tillman was getting ready to assault a hill and the time Tillman was hit. He knew only the first thing. Eventually, somebody found out and decided, temporarily, to keep it from the family for the family's sake. That was short-lived.

There was no using of either.

But, just in case you want another, Michael Yon had a similar case to report which included no Americans. I think that was about six months ago.

However, Crazy, challenging those who disagree with you to either fight or, if not fighting, shut up puts you in Starship Troopers country. You recall that terrible movie made from a good book. The author postulated a society in which the franchise was held only by honorably discharged veterans. Which meant only they could be elected or hold public service jobs. That was considered fascist by the left.

Ty Cobb was used during WW I. Ted Williams was "used" during WW II, and was called up--several reserve classes being passed over to get him for PR purposes--to fly in Korea. Clark Gable actually did some combat missions and Jimmy Stewart was a full-fledged combatant. They were used. Ditto Victor Mature--my uncle's Chief Bosun's Mate.
And Colin Kelly didn't really sink a battleship.

There is nothing new here.
8.22.2007 10:41pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Crazy. See Hanson on this subject. His view is that the revered institutions, from the CIA to the press, are at least as untrustworthy. He has examples.
8.22.2007 10:43pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
I don't know why people argue with 'CrazyTrain'. Anyone pushing the line that Cheney is running the country with Bush as a mere puppet is beyond the reach of reasoned argument. Putting 'Crazy' right in his pseudonym looks like a case of Truth in Advertising.
8.22.2007 10:52pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"This thread's predictable digression into polemics saddens me."


Hey man, bipartisanship went out the window about five years ago when anybody who had the foresight to oppose this war was labeled a "traitor on the side of the terrorists."

So you want to sing kumbaya now that it has become bloody obvious Dear Leader's war was a complete strategic disaster? Sorry, that don't fly...
8.22.2007 10:56pm
LM (mail):
Mahan,

I happen to be one of those who had the foresight to oppose the war. And, though I believe there's blame enough to go around, I do hold those who called our patriotism into question principally responsible for the depth of the current partisan acrimony. So if you're saying, "Don't come crawling to me now that your bankrupt policies have been laid bare," you're barking up the wrong tree.

But none of that should matter. I would hope (but not bet) you'd agree that even acolytes of Wolfowitz, Perle, Addington and Yu are human beings who can share common aspects of the human experience across ideological lines in response to the right catalyst. I merely lamented and do lament the state of affairs that prevents this act of heroism from being one of those events and providing a pause in the incessant finger-pointing and back-biting that colors so much of our discourse.

Unfortunately, your belittling the aspiration to mutual respect and common cause with "kumbaya" makes me question whether your window to bipartisanship was open five years ago or ever.
8.22.2007 11:46pm
Russ (mail):
Mahan,

Reasonable people can disagree over the war. That you think the Iraqi civilian in question might not have been a hero b/c his action occured on the Bush/Cheney watch shows you to be incredibly close-minded.

I think LM is right - you were never open to "bipartisanship," b/c in your view such a term meant people held the same world view and did what you wanted.

The guy in the story is a hero. God bless him, and maybe, just maybe, we can all share a moment of humanity and pray for his family.
8.23.2007 1:10am
Brian G (mail) (www):
If the NY Times ever ran this story, they's work in the standard cab driver quote where the guy would say life was better under Saddam.
8.23.2007 1:25am
Brian G (mail) (www):
If the NY Times ever ran this story, they'd work in the standard cab driver quote where the guy would say life was better under Saddam.
8.23.2007 1:26am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Reasonable people can disagree over the war."


No, they cannot. To any reasonable person, it is blatantly obvious that the war was a huge mistake with no decent solution. If you dispute this, you are not reasonable, you are deluded.

"That you think the Iraqi civilian in question might not have been a hero..."


I said no such thing. In fact what sickens me most is the fact that you all see fit to use his death as a piece of propaganda in defense of your little war, when in fact it speaks volumes against it.

This man would never have been put in such a position if we had not invaded in the first place. And in fact, there are thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of innocent Iraqis who have died because of our actions, yet you all see fit not to trumpet those deaths on this blog, unless of course the circumstances were such that they could be twisted to fit your disgusting support of said war....

'Nuff said...
8.23.2007 1:33am
Dave N (mail):
Anyone as didactic as Mahan is not worth talking to. His worldview is not that people can genuinely disagree--but that he is right and anyone who disagrees with him is wrong.

So if I disagree with him regarding the war, I am not only mistaken; I am unreasonable, and ergo, I am also evil.

As far as I concerned, he can take his sanctimonious, self righetous tone back to DailyKos or whatever left-wing blog he crawled out of. His commentary is par for the course for that blog--but far beneath the standards of this one.

I have much greater respect for LM--who opposes the war, as is certainly his right and but also wants to do as I do--pay homage to a selfless act or Allen Asch--who also apparently considers the man a hero even though it is also apparent Mr. Asch opposes the war.

The man died a heroic death--he gave his life to save others. He should be honored for that. He should be thanked for that. Those who cheapen his death cheapen themselves.

There are other days and other forums for anti-war broadsides. I don't think this man's death is such an occassion.
8.23.2007 4:16am
rarango (mail):
What Russ and Dave N said. Not what Mahan said. Mahan rather reminds me of a guy I saw about 20 years ago: a committed internationist communist who was in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. He was still fighting the Spanish Civil War in 1987 against the fascists. It was not possible to discuss anything with him 50 years afterward so rigid had his blinders become.
8.23.2007 10:34am
Mark Nazimova (mail):

> Michael Yon had a similar case to report
> which included no Americans.

You can find that here.

"As the murderer dressed in women's clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. ... The [village man] walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug.... The blast ripped the [village man] to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village."
8.23.2007 1:46pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It's one thing to have comrades on every hand, "an' leave an' likin' to shout. But to stand an' be still to the Birkenhead drill is a damn' tough bullet to chew".

I have a relation whose platoon was first on the scene of the horrid mass killing among the Yazidis. I can't imagine what it must have looked like. I mean, I can imagine, but I probably wouldn't have it right. Among other things, how will he get over that?
8.23.2007 2:15pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Folks: People who continue calling others "you little chicken" will be banned from posting. You can say lots of things without stooping to personal insults like that.
8.23.2007 2:52pm
Russ (mail):
Dave N,

I have to agree. Mahan is not interested in debating; he is interested in preaching and trying to force others to cowtow. Many people disagree on the war, and the lack of civility in the debate is exactly what keeps policy from moving forward.

Besides which, I don't think I ever told Mahan my feelings on the war, which he could not know one way or the other unless he read other posts I have made. Apparently pointing out a hero is something we can't even do on a "bipartisan" basis anymore.
8.23.2007 7:35pm