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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Mother of Slain U.S. Soldier Describes Her Grief and Opposition to Iraq War
18 Nov 2005
Interview with Dolores Kesterson, mother of Army chief warrant officer Erik Kesterson killed in Iraq Nov. 15, 2003, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Mother of Slain U.S. Soldier Describes Her Grief and Opposition to Iraq War

Interview with Dolores Kesterson, mother of Army chief warrant officer Erik Kesterson killed in Iraq Nov. 15, 2003, conducted by Scott Harris

After months of White House and Republican Party scandals and growing opposition to the war in Iraq, President Bush has gone on the offensive, attacking critics who assert that he lied the nation into war. The president, speaking on Veterans Day claimed that those who accuse him of manipulating intelligence to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq are sending mixed signals to our troops and hurting the war effort.

But the president's credibility won't be easy to repair. According to a Newsweek public opinion poll conducted Nov. 11 and 12, only 36 percent of Americans approve of Bush's job performance. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the direction of the country, the highest number during the Bush presidency. More worrying for the White House is the 50 percent of Americans in this poll who believe that Bush is not honest or ethical.

Since the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq has passed the 2,000 mark, more Americans support a withdrawal of U.S. troops. But the numbers of dead and wounded alone cannot convey the toll that the war has taken on countless families across America. Dolores Kesterson's son Erik, an Army chief warrant officer 1, was killed in Iraq Nov. 15, 2003 while piloting a Black Hawk helicopter over Mosul. Kesterson has spoken against the war in a one-on-one meeting with President Bush and held her ground against right-wing cable TV host Bill O'Reilly. Here, she describes her grief and anger about the war that took her son's life and daily continues to claim American and Iraqi lives.

U.S. Tour of Duty, a group giving voice to veterans and military families can be contacted by calling (310) 842-8794 or visit their website at

Related links:

Cindy Sheehan's website at

Code Pink at

Military Families Speak Out at Gold Star Families for Peace at

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2005 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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