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LOAD-DATE: June 27, 2005

331 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 27, 2005 Monday

LENGTH: 736 words

Keep hope for young

The media's inability to see what is happening in Boston's neighborhoods is nothing short of incompetent (June 24).

They treat the hopelessness of our teens as crime statistics. Forget politicians and spin. The young people of Charlestown, South Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury and other neighborhoods desperately need help. They are not insignificant; they are human beings and if given opportunities, guidance and love, they will become productive citizens. Ignoring them or treating them as sensational crime stories will make the situation worse. Boston is losing its reputation and its soul.

Bostonians must demand support from civic, religious and business leaders. It's their city, their families and their children who are suffering.

- Ray Flynn, Boston

The writer is a former Boston mayor.

This tribute fits

My compliments to guest columnist Thomas H. O'Connor for endorsing Mayor Tom Menino's idea for a Kevin White statue near Faneuil Hall (``Statue will depict a real man about town,'' June 23). Professor O'Connor reminds us in his books that arguably the most successful development in city history came to fruition only after Mayor White made it a priority and persuaded local banks to underwrite half of it. The suggested site would be a wonderful tribute to White's leadership in making Boston a far better place to stroll, eat, shop and linger.

- Frank D. Barrett, Boston

Keep colleges open

I'm writing regarding Robert Beal's guest column (``It's time to renew American Dream,'' June 15). Allowing students to pay in-state tuition in our public colleges and universities is not a gift. They deserve it for their hard work. Massachusetts deserves it for the investment. These students have excelled in our school system and are now fully prepared for college. Making further education inaccessible is simply unfair and unwise.

- Regina Moriarty, South Boston

Stop threat at root

Columnist Charles Krauthammer believes that the threat to the survival of the United States is not immigration but bilingualism and biculturalism (``Don't alienate immigrants,'' June 19).

Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, among other countries, have survived bilingualism for many years. The real threat to the United States is population growth due to uncontrolled immigration into our country. Since the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, the United States has absorbed more than 100 million immigrants, primarily from the Third World. Falling wages, decline in the standard of living, skyrocketing price increases for necessities, enviromental burdens, high taxes and criminal activity followed.

The short-term solution is not more cultural assimilation as Krauthammer suggests, but a moratorium on all immigration for at least 10 years. Anything short will lead to social chaos and economic destruction. Then, bilingualism and biculturalism will become the least of our problems.

- Jim Sullivan, Wakefield

Leave hate at home

The town of Marblehead is mourning the loss of one of its sons, Staff Sgt. Christopher N. Piper. He is the latest in a long line of Marbleheaders, beginning with our revolutionary heroes, to give his life for his country and the ideals for which it stands. Those ideals do not include the venomous hate spewed by Margie Phelps and her father, Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church leader and self-declared prophet (``Kansas group to spew hate at local soldiers' funerals,'' June 21).

Marblehead's tribute to Chris is not ``being made into a public ordeal,'' Margie. It is a personal, sorrowful goodbye from family and friends to a fine man who embodied the best that this country has to offer. Stay in Kansas and stew in your own misguided hate. Leave his family and the rest of our community alone to grieve.

- Marcia L. Sweeney, Marblehead

Hussein explained

The editorial about Saddam Hussein telling his prison guards that he is still president of Iraq is no more delusional than President Bush claiming that he can bring democracy to that country (``Dissing the Fruit Loops,'' June 22).

Saddam's preference of President Reagan over President Clinton has nothing to do with good taste and common sense. Lest the Herald editorial staff forget, Saddam was our country's ally when Reagan was president, and the Reagan administration helped to supply him with some of those weapons of mass destruction that were used against fellow Iraqis and Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war.

- Cynthia Curry, Plymouth
LOAD-DATE: June 27, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 26, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 417 words
HEADLINE: Online from the front lines
BYLINE: By O'Ryan Johnson

Michael, a U.S. soldier in Iraq who requested anonymity, checked his M-240 rifle, strapped himself to the side of a humvee and began the hunt for a ``mad mortar man'' who had been tormenting a nearby base. As the long, fruitless search wore on, his legs grew numb, and he regreted not bringing a Civil War novel he was reading.

``I go back to thinking about (Stonewall) Jackson, (Robert E.) Lee and (Joshua) Chamberlain, and others, reliving the horror they witnessed and wondering if the smell of death on their battlefield was as bad as the smell here,'' he later wrote in his blog.

Composing a story under enemy fire was once the exclusive domain of journalism's elite war correspondents.

But the first armed conflict of the Internet era has given would-be Ernie Pyles the chance to broadcast their most recent gun battle to family, friends and indeed anyone with a computer. The grammar and language can be rough, but these blogs put on display the raw feelings of infantrymen in combat.

Avid GI bloggers draw followings on Web sites such as, which hosts dozens of the soldiers' stories.

One popular blogger, Army Capt. Charles Ziegenfuss - who commands a tank company and posts his writing at - was injured by a roadside bomb while on patrol last week. According to a blog post from his wife, Ziegenfuss is in intensive care at a German hospital, set to return to the states this week.

Before the injury, he talked to the Herald via e-mail about why he blogs:

``I write to give the folks at home an understanding of what life is like here,'' he said in his e-mail. ``I write so that my wife will know if I am doing ok. I write to keep my sense of humor. It allows me to absorb and digest what goes on around here.''

On June 10 he described his unit's mission of explaining to locals why a terrorist who had attacked the tank unit was killed. As U.S. soldiers handed out leaflets, Ziegenfuss said a crowd of Iraqis began shuffling by.

``And it dawns on me,'' he wrote in the blog. ``It's his funeral. And we're passing out flyers explaining why his killing was justified. Jeebus. Why me?''

On his blog,, Michael fumed about his roommate's alarm clock, the boredom of war and the longing for a hot meal.

``I just try to write what I'm feeling,'' said the Alabama rifleman with the 3rd Infantry Division. ``I pretty much struggle over everything I write. I guess part of the reason I have the blog is to work on something I would like to get better at.''
LOAD-DATE: June 26, 2005

333 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 26, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 290 words
HEADLINE: Slain R.I woman was a `proud Marine'
BYLINE: By Jessica Fargen

In high school, Holly Charette was the girl with the smile and the trademark dimples walking happily down the hall, a pal to everyone, a friend said yesterday.

Some classmates never knew that same cheerleader and field hockey player had joined the Marines and ended up in one of the most dangerous places an American soldier can be.

``She was one of the most genuine people you'd meet in your life,'' said Aubrey Sears, who grew up with Charette in Cranston, R.I., and went to high school with her.

``She was one of those people who got along with absolutely anybody.''

Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, a 2001 graduate of Cranston High School East, was among the six U.S. military personnel killed in Fallujah, Iraq, on Thursday.

Charette, 21, was killed by a suicide bomber who drove a car into the convoy she was riding in.

``She wanted to become a Marine after 9/11,'' Charlene Wheetman, Charette's aunt, said in a statement on behalf of the family. ``She wanted to do something for her country. She was a very proud Marine.''

Gov. Don Carcieri yesterday ordered state flags lowered in honor of Charette.

Charette was among four women killed and 11 women wounded in the attack that military officials say may have specifically targeted female service members.

Charette delivered mail for the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

She had her eye on becoming a mail carrier because it was job that people depended on, she said in a May 3 Marine Corps press release.

``It won't be the same as being being a Marine, but at least I'm still in uniform,'' she said.

``I never really thought too hard about being a mail person but it's really an important job,'' she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
GRAPHIC: AMERICA'S FINEST: Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, of Cranston, R.I., was killed when a suicide bomber attacked her convoy in Fallujah, Iraq. on Thursday. AP photo
LOAD-DATE: June 26, 2005

334 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 26, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 409 words
HEADLINE: Editorial;

Keeping pressure on terror in Iraq

As the clamor for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal grows ever more shrill on Capital Hill, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld this week held his ground, saying ``That would be a mistake.''

And it surely would be, especially in the wake of new evidence that in western Iraq near the Syrain border, enemy factions are fighting each other, according to Marine units in the area.

Under those circumstances, the last thing U.S. forces should be thinking about now is a date for withdrawal, as called for by a House resolution backed by two Republicans and four Democrats (including Rep. Marty Meehan of Lowell, who ought to know better). Now is the time to increase the pressure on the enemy to take advantage of the division in its ranks, especially since disaffected Sunni Muslims have now agreed to participate fully in drafting a new constitution.

The split is between native Iraqis and foreign ``jihadists,'' with the Iraqis reportedly objecting to tactics of the foreigners that kill large numbers of Iraqi civilians.

The Marines recount instances of mortar fire that wasn't aimed at them, according to a report in The New York Times. In towns along the Euphrates River, the absence of cell phones tells Marines that foreigners control the area - they believe cell phones make it easier for the locals to report on them.

Guerrilla fighters are supposed to be like fish, and the civilian population the sea in which they move without impediment. But this news means the guerrillas are close to being stranded on the beach.

U.S. and Iraqi forces only recently have begun major operations near the Syrian border to disrupt the flow of Saudis, Algerians, Egyptians, Yemenis and others who, with Syrian help, are feeding arms and supplies to the terrorists. As long as the border is unsecured - and for lack of troops it has been effectively unsecured throughout the two years since the defeat of Saddam Hussein's army - there will be no end to terrorist violence in Iraq no matter how capable Iraqi police and troops become.

The border ought to be the No. 1 military priority in Iraq.

Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf region, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, ``I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago.''

If the panel weren't so fixated on withdrawing troops, perhaps they might have explored whether Abizaid, indeed, needs more troops to stop the flow of terrorists.
LOAD-DATE: June 26, 2005

335 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 24, 2005 Friday

LENGTH: 388 words
HEADLINE: Testy Ted K takes aim at Rummy over Iraq war: `Isn't it time for you to resign?'

WASHINGTON - In a heated face-to-face show-down on Capitol Hill, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy yesterday demanded Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation for ``mishandling'' the Iraq war, calling it a `quagmire'' with '`no end in sight.''

``In baseball, it's three strikes you're out,'' Kennedy scolded. ``What is it for the secretary of defense? Isn't it time for you to resign?''

A dour Rumsfeld glowered at his accuser from across a Senate hearing room before responding tartly: ``I've offered my resignation to the president twice. That's his call.''

Bush has rejected Rumsfeld's offers to step down, standing behind his defense chief despite a rising chorus of criticism from many congressional Democrats - and even a few Republicans - disenchanted with the course of the war.

The Bay State senior senator, one of the Bush administration's harshest Iraq war critics, provided a shot of high-voltage drama as he tore into Rumsfeld during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Kennedy, who has made similar calls for Rumsfeld's resignation in past months, cited a laundry list of what he branded ``gross errors and mistakes'' as he lashed one of the administration's prime architects of the Iraq war.

``This war has been consistently and grossly mismanaged,'' asserted Kennedy, the second ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. ``Our troops are dying and there really is no end in sight. And we are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire.''

Rumsfeld scoffed at Kennedy's charge. ``Well, that is quite a statement,'' said Rumsfeld, who appeared at the hearing along with several senior U.S. military commanders. ``First, let me say that there isn't a person at this table who agrees with you that we're in a quagmire and that there's no end in sight.''

Emboldened by polls showing President Bush's popularity slipping, Democrats have pumped up the volume recently on their criticisms of the administration's handling of the war. Even some Republicans admit that voters are skeptical of how the war is going.

``Public support in my state is turning,'' said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, a state that has a high concentration of military families. ``People are beginning to question.''

The Pentagon reported 1,725 military deaths and more than 13,000 casualties since the fighting began in 2003.
LOAD-DATE: June 24, 2005

336 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
June 23, 2005 Thursday

LENGTH: 282 words
HEADLINE: Kerry bolts D.C. and misses Bolton vote
BYLINE: By Noelle Straub

WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry has been an outspoken critic of John Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but the senator skipped a roll-call vote on the appointment Monday as he took a two-day leave from his Washington duties.

Kerry missed four roll-call votes altogether on Monday and Tuesday, including one on an energy amendment he co-sponsored.

Kerry spokesman David Wade refused to divulge where the Bay State senator had been, characterizing his absence only as a ``longstanding commitment which could not be rescheduled.'' Monday evening, Kerry skipped the vote that Republican leaders had scheduled to end debate on the Bolton nomination.

``While we hate to miss any vote, the fact remains that (Kerry's) vote would not have been decisive in any outcome,'' Wade said. ``The fight against the Bolton nomination continues, and John Kerry will continue to speak out.''

On Tuesday, the Bay State senator missed a roll-call vote on an amendment he co-sponsored that would have stripped a provision from the energy bill allowing an inventory of all offshore oil and natural gas resources. The Senate rejected the measure, but Kerry's vote would not have changed the outcome.

The senator missed votes on two other energy amendments, on promoting technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reducing emissions on from diesel engines. The senator's aides said he has cast 97 percent of votes this Congress.

Kerry's office on Tuesday also released a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about equipment shortages in

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