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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Stryker? I barely knew her!

Stryker Losses in Iraq Raise Questions (ap)

BAGHDAD — A string of heavy losses from powerful roadside bombs has raised new questions about the vulnerability of the Stryker, the Army's troop-carrying vehicle hailed by supporters as the key to a leaner, more mobile force.

ya think!?!

Look, there is a calvacade of idiots at the pentagon who are more than happy to hand some piece of crap to the poor bastards what has to try to use it in a combat zone because they got some cash from International Dynamic Crap Weapons Inc.

But right now in Iraq we 2 death traps which are a little different than some crappy backpack or leaky canteen. The Osprey which has killed 30 people so far and that was just in its testing phase. And the Stryker;

A 19 ton troop killer. Here you see one exiting a C-130, which it cant do anymore because they added some armor to it for deployment to Iraq. Yes, you read that right. The Stryker doesnt fit into our aircraft anymore. If you are asking yourself why didnt it have armor before, you cant work for the pentagon.

Since the Strykers went into action in violent Diyala province north of Baghdad two months ago, losses of the vehicles have been rising steadily, U.S. officials said. ....

Trouble started as soon as the Strykers arrived in Baqouba, the provincial capital of Diyala.

U.S. commanders ordered the vehicles into Baqouba's streets at dawn the day after they arrived. The hope was that the large, menacing vehicles _ armed with a heavy machine gun and a 105mm cannon _ would intimidate insurgents and reassure local residents.

Instead, insurgents hammered the Strykers with automatic weapons fire, rocket-propelled grenades and a network of roadside bombs. By the end of that first day, one American soldier was dead, 12 were wounded and two Strykers were destroyed.

Its absolutely asinine to use light armor in a urban environment. No, no, its just plain murder.

Here is a troop trying to get out of this thing (a good idea). The hatch is way to small for combat operations. With a backpack or a SAW or anything other than a pistol it would be disaster trying to exit this hatch under fire. One man at a time? are they kidding? As some of you on this blog who have been under fire know there will be no order to getting out of a burning vehicle it will be everyone all at once with gear catching on everything, everywhere.

This piece of junk needs to be pulled out Iraq, along with the troops.