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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Grim Toll 

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Brick City's Jonathan Lootens: another unnecessary Iraq War victim and hero.

The REAL war on Christmas. From

In a span of a few hours, 2,973 people were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a span of 45 months, the number of American troops killed in Iraq has exceeded that grim toll.

The milestone in Iraq came on Christmas, nearly four years after the war began, according to a count by The Associated Press.

President Bush has said the Iraq war is part of the United States' post-Sept. 11 approach to threats abroad: Taking the offensive against enemies before they could harm Americans.

There has not been any credible evidence linking Iraq to the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The president believes that every life is precious and he grieves for each one that is lost," deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said Tuesday. "The hardest decision the president has ever made has been to send our young men and women in uniform into harm's way.

"The president will ensure that their sacrifice was not made in vain."

Many enlisted because they felt it was a way to battle international terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Jonathan Lootens, from upstate New York, joined the Army, telling family members: "This is something I have to do."

The 25-year-old sergeant was killed during his second tour of duty when a roadside bomb went off near his vehicle in the city of Kirkuk. His father says more than enough Americans have died in the conflict.

"I want the boys to come home, you know," Lootens said. "Personally, I can't see where we're really accomplishing anything over there anymore."

Click here for more from "U.S. Iraq War Toll Passes That of 9/11."

Bonus audio: James Brown "The Payback" [MP3: YSI | zshare stream/download]

On the web: James Brown - MySpace Pages | website | Buy the In Yo' Face!: The History of Funk, Vol. 4 or The Payback albums both of which include "The Payback."

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