War hits close to home
Iraq 1; Korea 0

Life and death in Iraq

Pages from the Iraqi joke book (from IraqSlogger.com):

Morbid Iraqi Jokes
As the Carnage Worsens, Iraqi Humor Grimmer than Ever
The latest jokes making the rounds among Iraqis in Baghdad:

-- Talabani's (the Iraqi president's) wife calls her husband in the middle of a cabinet meeting and says, "Come home! Thieves are breaking into the house." Talabani replies that she must be mistaken, "All the thieves are right here in front of me."

-- An Iraqi guy has a new girlfriend and wants to know whether she is Sunni or Shia. But he is too shy to ask directly. Finally he asked her, "where does your family bury your corpses?"

-- A Chinese guy and an Iraqi guy are challenging each other. The Chinese guy says, "we have the longest wall in history." The Iraqi responds "and we have the longest gas queue in the history."

-- A Duleimi (Sunni tribe that supports the resistance) opened a new car fair with an advertisement: "We have car bombs."

-- Near the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) headquarters there is a sign that says "no parking for car bombs please."

You had to be there!

On a grimmer matter, the number of U.S. servicemen and women dying in Iraq is approaching 3,000. Most of the time, all you ever hear on TV news or national newspapers are statistics: 3 soldiers killed today in Baghdad; 4 Marines killed by IED in Ramadi, death toll tops 35 for the week, etc..  It doesn't make it easier that the White House has banned the press from covering the arrival of caskets to Dover Air Force Base and many military funerals.   But local newspapers have filled the void, bringing color, life and emotion to the statistics.  Take a quick read at this snippet from the New York Daily News article by TANYANIKA SAMUELS and CORKY SIEMASZKO:

>>The first blow was delivered to the fiancée of a Staten Island soldier by a man in uniform - word that her beloved was killed in combat in Iraq. The second was delivered two hours later by a FedEx truck - a package from Sgt. Yevgeniy Ryndych with an engagement ring inside.

This story of love, war and cruel fate was described by Ryndych's grieving brother last night after the military confirmed that the 24-year-old soldier was felled Wednesday by a homemade bomb while on foot patrol with his unit in Ramadi.

Fighting back tears, his face tight with grief, Ivan Ryndych said his brother's beloved was named Kim, but he couldn't bring himself to talk about her - or what their life together might have been.

But his eyes flashed with anger when he realized he lost his brother on the same day a historic report damning President Bush's failing Iraq strategy came out. "It won't change anything," said Ivan Ryndych, 20, today."<<

That is journalism at its best. Absolutely powerful. Ernie Pyle would be proud.