The nation’s defense chief says Iraq’s army had “no will to fight.” A Cleveland judge exonerates a police officer who fired 15 shots at two unarmed people. And on Memorial Day, it’s time to remember fallen soldiers.
It’s Monday, and here are the five things to know for your New Day:
Solemn remembrance: Sure, it’s a holiday, and cars are cramming onto highways to fun places — beaches, mountains and Grandma’s. But Memorial Day is not a festive affair like our freedom bash the Fourth of July. Today, we commemorate with a presidential wreath laying and eulogy at Arlington National Cemetery those who made the ultimate sacrifice in military service — their lives.
‘No will to fight:’ It’s the main reason why Iraqi soldiers lost the city of Ramadi to ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told CNN yesterday in his first comments on the defeat. “What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” he said. Iraqi soldiers vastly outnumbered Islamist militants, but they cut and ran anyway, Carter said. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi pushed back, telling the BBC he was “surprised” by Carter’s remarks and that the defense secretary had been “fed the wrong information.”
Fifteen bullets: On November 29, 2012, police Officer Michael Brelo climbed onto the hood of a car and fired 15 shots through the windshield. Over the weekend, a Cleveland judge acquitted him of manslaughter in the deaths of the unarmed driver and passenger. The judge said that they were likely already dead from the some 130 bullets that 13 officers had fired into the car after chasing it 22 miles. Brelo was the only officer charged. He is white. The deceased were African-American. Protesters angry at the verdict took to the streets afterward chanting, “Black lives matter.”
Woeful waters: When the bottom dropped out of storm clouds over north Texas and Oklahoma over the weekend, it left three people dead and washed away hundreds of homes. The heavens have less rage today, but with rivers and creeks still way above flood stage and the ground saturated, even an inch or two of new rain can trigger new heartache. So much rain fell over the weekend, that it pushed Oklahoma City to a new rainfall record for any month ever recorded. Some rivers also overflowed to new record highs.
A beautiful mind: Most know him from the feature film that his life inspired — “A Beautiful Mind.” But history will remember the Princeton mathematician for combining calculation and human behavior in his work on game theory, which won him the Nobel Prize for Economics. Nash’s personal life embodied the adage that, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.” He suffered from schizophrenia. His wife Alicia saved his life, helping him through it for decades. Over the weekend a taxi the two were riding in crashed in New Jersey, killing them both. He was 86; she was 82.