www.albasrah.net
 

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

10.14.04

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 2#B91

 

HOW MANY MORE FOR IMPERIAL WAR?

Bring them all home now!

U.S. Army soldiers line up to pay their final respects to Army PFC Aaron James Rusin, 19, of the 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division during a memorial service at Camp Ramadi Oct. 13.   Rusin, of western Pennsylvania, was killed during an ambush in Ramadi on Oct. 11.  (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

 

No Help Is On The Way:

Dead And Maimed Pile Up;

No Troops Left To Protect LSA Anaconda, Too Many Sent To Samarra;

Cargo Aircraft Touch And Dump, Like Vietnam At The End

 

October 11, 2004 By Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun Foreign Staff

 

Meanwhile, the Air Force will not base its big cargo planes here because it is considered unsafe, said an officer at Anaconda, who requested anonymity. Instead, pilots keep their engines running as they drop off cargo, then quickly take off.

 

Soldiers and officers say the mortar attacks predate the arrival of U.S. troops.  Saddam Hussein seized the land from local sheiks and built the base, further annoying residents with the constant roar of low-flying aircraft.   Now and then a mortar shell would arc into Hussein's base as a message of local anger.  [What?  They’re not “foreign fighters” or “Saddam Hussein remnants?]

 

LSA ANACONDA, Iraq - This sprawling supply base on a dusty stretch about 50 miles northwest of Baghdad is officially known as a "logistical support area."  But some of the thousands of soldiers and contractors who suffer daily mortar and rocket attacks have another name for it: "Mortaritaville."

 

At least a half-dozen soldiers and contractors have been killed and nearly 100 wounded here since April.  There have been about two attacks a day since July.  Three weeks ago, a young airman lost both legs and his right hand when a mortar shell slammed into the base.

 

Officers say Anaconda, the largest support base in the country, with 22,500 U.S. troops and 2,500 contractors spread over 15 square miles, is also the most frequently attacked. But there is no indication the soldiers will get the help they want to deal with their nagging and deadly problem.

 

Since May, Brig. Gen. Oscar B. Hilman, commander of the 81st Brigade Combat Team, a National Guard unit from Washington state that operates the base, has requested 500 to 700 more soldiers.  But he said the request has been denied.

 

"Because the enemy is persistent, we need additional forces. We asked twice," said Hilman, who arrived here in April for a yearlong stint.

 

But Hilman said he was told that "there are no additional forces," and that U.S. soldiers are needed elsewhere, particularly to battle insurgents and cover a large area to the north that includes the rebellious cities of Tikrit and Samarra.

 

The 81st Brigade's top enlisted man, Sgt. Maj. Robert Barr, said the soldiers here are frustrated, and that he often hears the same question: "Why aren't we stopping it or killing their guys who are doing it?"

 

Their complaints contrast sharply with statements by President Bush and top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who say U.S. troop strength is sufficient but that more soldiers will be sent if senior commanders ask.

 

While the 81st provides security inside the fence that surrounds the base, the task of protection outside the concertina wire falls to the 2nd Brigade, part of the 1st Infantry Division, based in Tikrit.  During the past week, the division has participated in the effort to take back Samarra from insurgents.  Those units, too, are stretched thin.

 

"They have other operational concerns," said Lt. Col. Harry Gonzalez, a spokesman for the 81st. "There's a lot of real estate."

 

Hilman said he requested additional forces in the spring and again in the summer from 13th Corps Support Command, which is responsible for LSA Anaconda and all other multinational supply and transportation facilities in Iraq.

 

Maj. Richard W. Spiegel, a spokesman for the 13th Corps, confirmed that Hilman put in the request and that it was endorsed by the command's top officer, Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers.

 

The request was forwarded to Multi-National Corps Iraq headquarters, which assesses troop requirements and makes the final decision, Spiegel said. The request was denied, he said, declining to provide details.

 

Meanwhile, the Air Force will not base its big cargo planes here because it is considered unsafe, said an officer at Anaconda, who requested anonymity. Instead, pilots keep their engines running as they drop off cargo, then quickly take off.

 

Hilman calls Anaconda "the life support" of the theater of operations.

 

Over the past month, tall concrete slabs have been installed at Anaconda to protect sleeping areas from the Soviet-era 82 mm mortar shells and 57 mm rockets that hit daily.  Shells and rockets have landed near the operations center, the mess hall, a mosque and a chaplain's car.

 

A sort of gallows humor has infected some of the soldiers. The base store sells T-shirts picturing a soldier looking skyward and the words: "Mom, I'll call when the mortars stop."

 

On Thursday morning, two mortar shells landed near the south gate.  No injuries were reported.  Just before dinner, there was another explosion outside the fence.  A siren warned those inside to take shelter in the bunkers.  Contractors in the mess hall stopped serving food and hunkered down.

 

"You can never tell where they're coming from," said Sgt. Charles Rhoade of Havre de Grace, part of a five-member team from the Maryland Army National Guard that helps bring supplies into Anaconda.

 

Sgt. Richard Trucks, a guardsman from California, was finishing his dinner nearby and simply shrugged.  "You accept it," he said.  Still, he added, "We would appreciate a little more direct action" from U.S. forces.

 

The next morning, Sgt. Mark Long of Hilman's security detail said U.S. forces must better control the expanse of rolling hills, heavy vegetation and small villages outside the base.  The attackers change tactics often and cleverly conceal their firing positions. A mortar tube was so carefully hidden that only 4 inches rose above the ground.

 

Long, who served with the 1st Infantry Division in the Persian Gulf War, said senior officers are not being aggressive enough in trying to stop the attacks.  An abandoned house near the south gate has been the source of two recent mortar attacks and is still standing, Long said.  Attacks also come from boats in the Tigris River, which skirts the base, and from its far side.

 

Officers say about two dozen local men have been arrested in the attacks; some have been released for lack of evidence.  "Lots of politics," Long said, pausing near one of the concrete barriers that protect the soldiers' housing trailers.

 

One officer who requested anonymity said some Air Force pilots and mechanics have volunteered to patrol outside the fence to stop the attacks.

 

"They're fed up," he said. But it would take about three weeks to teach them basic infantry tactics and weaponry, and they can't spare the time.  "They've got other jobs."

 

Soldiers and officers say the mortar attacks predate the arrival of U.S. troops.  Saddam Hussein seized the land from local sheiks and built the base, further annoying residents with the constant roar of low-flying aircraft. Now and then a mortar shell would arc into Hussein's base as a message of local anger.

 

U.S. officers say the attacks worsened in April as the insurgency intensified.  Local residents taken into custody said insurgents from Baghdad and Fallujah paid them to attack Americans.

 

A senior U.S. officer, requesting anonymity, said that besides more troops, what is needed here is a "psychological operations" campaign. Soldiers should meet with villagers and convince them that they risk losing their homes if they fail to turn in insurgents.  Bulldozers could clear a large swath that could be more easily patrolled and offer less cover for attackers, the officer said.  [Proving once again, as if further proof were needed, that “senior” U.S. officers tend to be brain dead.  The silly fellow doesn’t understand that the patriotic desire to kick foreign invaders and occupiers out of your country is not amenable to a “psy-ops” solution, and if “clearing a swath” could defeat a war for national liberation, he might be serving in a soft command job in Saigon today instead of babbling bullshit in the middle of a losing war of occupation at Camp Anaconda.  The soldier in Iraq has no institutional protection against the exercise of exceptional command stupidity.]

 

There were 61 mortar or rocket attacks on the base in April, 61 in May and 40 in June. July and August saw 58 attacks each.  There were 27 attacks on the base in the first 16 days of September, the most recent period for which figures were available.

 

In the past month, Hilman, the 81st's commander, has set up an operations center manned round the clock to combat the attacks.  Soldiers watch huge television monitors that show live video from flying drones and from cameras perched on the guard towers. They can pinpoint attackers' locations and quickly dispatch helicopters and troops.  Still, mortar rounds and rockets continue to strike at all hours.  [But the defense contractors selling all this useless video-game shit are laughing all the way to the bank.]

 

Last week, the explosion closing the mess hall came as the top officer of the National Guard, Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, a former Baltimore teacher, was visiting from the Pentagon. 

 

"It was very clear to me that force protection is priority one here and they will deal with this," Blum said. "The commanders see this is a problem that must be solved." […he said shortly before he got the fuck out and went off to someplace safe to write his report.]

 

But that will not come in time to help Senior Airman Brian Kolfage, a 22-year-old military policeman from Dearborn Heights, Mich.  A mortar round exploded several feet behind him on Sept. 11 as he was walking near the airfield in search of a soda.  He recalled being swept into the air on a brownish cloud and slammed to the hot gravel.  He lost both legs and his right hand.  Shrapnel also pierced his left hand, leaving a deep, jagged wound.

 

[And this is who pays the price for this completely fucked Imperial dream, not the politicians who decided to launch the greatest and most completely pointless U.S. military disaster in 40 years.  The politicians lie, the soldiers die.]

 

Kolfage had served in Iraq during the drive to Baghdad last year.  This summer, he was back in the region, this time in Kuwait, where he volunteered to return to Iraq. He was at Anaconda barely two weeks before being wounded, and recalled that he and fellow airmen would dash for shelter "at least once a day" when there was an explosion and the piercing wail of the base alarm.

 

"People talked about what they should do to stop it," Kolfage said in a halting voice during a bedside interview at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda. "Increased patrols, I think more patrols.  [Didn’t work in Vietnam.  Won’t work here.  Game over.  Time to go home.  Now.  There’s plenty of work to do here backing up Kolfage and making very sure he and all the others who got hurt can live out their lives well, without wanting for anything, and taking care of the families whose troops didn’t come back alive.]

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

Four U.S. Soldiers Dead In Baghdad

 

Oct 13, 2004 By Alistair Lyon (Reuters) & Aljazeera

 

ِA statement released by the military said an "improvised explosive device" detonated at approximately 04:50 killing one Task Force Baghdad soldier in western Baghdad.

 

Three U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb attack on their convoy in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday night at 10 pm, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

 

 

Two Dead, Five Wounded Mosul

 

A U.S. Humvee vehicle burns in Mosul, October 13. A bomber blew up his vehicle next to a U.S. military convoy. (Namir Noor-Eldeen/Reuters)

 

10.13.04 Aljazeera & By Robert H. Reid, Associated Press

 

Two US soldiers were killed and five wounded in a car bomb attack against their convoy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, the military said.

 

The car bomb was followed by small arms fire, killing two soldiers and wounding five others, two of whom immediately returned to duty, it said in a statement.  

The attack took place at about 2:20 pm (1120 GMT) on the northeastern side of Mosul.

 

It was the second deadly suicide attack against American convoys in Mosul in the past three days.

 

 

The Death Of Two Marines

 

October 13, 2004 U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 1021-04

 

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines.

 

Pfc. Oscar A. Martinez, 19, of North Lauderdale, Fla.

 

Cpl. Ian T. Zook, 24, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.

 

Both Marines died Oct. 12 as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

 

 Martinez was assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.  Zook was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

 

 

Roadside Bomb Kills Moore Guardsman

 

Oct 13, 2004 BY JOHN CHAPPELL: Staff Writer, The Pilot LLC (N.C.)

 

The flags at Sandhills Community College fly at half-staff this week.

 

Staff Sgt. Michael S. Voss, 35, an honor student from Carthage, lost his life last Friday fighting in Iraq.  He leaves behind a wife and two small children.  He was in the National Guard.

 

Emily Voss had taken their daughters, 5-year-old Lauren and 4-year-old Madelyn, on a weekend trip when two Army chaplains arrived at the Voss home to bring sad news.

 

“We had gone camping at Morrow Mountain, and we had our tent set up and everything,” she said.  “My cousin, who is a deputy sheriff, saw the chaplains parked in our driveway. The people who live out here know we are here alone.  They take care of us.”

 

Moore County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Gore escorted the chaplains to the campground. Emily Voss saw them coming toward her tent.

 

“I thought they were two Army guys out there camping, too,” Voss said. “Then I thought, ‘No, they wouldn’t be camping in class A uniforms!’ That’s when I realized.”

 

It was the devastating news everyone who has a loved one at war fears.

 

Voss died when a roadside bomb blew up near his Humvee.  Voss was in the lead vehicle of a convoy heading north to a base near Kirkut.

 

He had deployed to Iraq early this year with his unit, the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Wilmington.  The unit is scheduled to come home in February

 

Voss was a regular Army soldier before entering the National Guard. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division.  He joined the Army in 1988 and was wounded during the Panama operation the next year.  He saw action in defense of Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield, and in the operation to free Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm.

 

After leaving the regular Army for civilian life and the National Guard, Voss worked in Sanford for Caterpillar.

 

“We met through a friend nine years ago,” his wife said.  “We dated two years. We have been married six years.”

 

Voss went back to school, studying business at Sandhills in hopes of advancing his career with Caterpillar.  He was within one semester of completing his work on an associate’s degree.  Voss was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society that is the junior college equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa.

 

One teacher, Mary Dixon, inspired him, his wife said.  She said Dixon, who was his adviser, “was a special person in his life. She impacted all our lives the way she taught.”

 

Voss would have returned to Sandhills and to his family.  Last Friday, his Humvee encountered a hidden bomb called an IED, for “improvised explosive device.”

 

Voss is the fifth soldier from the brigade killed in Iraq, and the first from Sandhills.  Flags will remain at half-staff until the end of the week, according to SCC President John Dempsey.

 

Powell Funeral Home in Southern Pines is handling funeral arrangements. The Voss family will receive visitors Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

A funeral service will be held Saturday at Manly Presbyterian in Southern Pines. The time will be announced later.

 

“They will have military honors outside the church,” Emily Voss said. “We were married in that church.”

 

 

Local Man Killed In Iraq

 

October 13, 2004 By Chris Barron, Sun Staff

 

A 1988 Bremerton High School graduate with a stellar Army career who was due to arrive home from in Iraq in two weeks died in combat Monday in Mosul, Iraq.

 

Staff Sgt. Michael Lee Burbank was killed when insurgents steered a bomb-filled pick-up truck, disguised as a produce truck, toward the Stryker convoy he was riding in.

 

Standing in the open hatch of his Stryker vehicle, Burbank was exposed to the blast and killed. He was 34.

 

Burbank lived in Bremerton for about 12 years until he enlisted in the Army in 1997. He is survived by his wife Shawna, 29, a 1994 South Kitsap High School graduate.

 

"He was a nice kid," retired Bremerton High history teacher Al Smith said. "He was a friendly kind of one-on-one kid, but in class getting him to talk was like pulling teeth.

 

"He was the kind of kid who you'd expect to get a job in the Navy yard, do a little fishing, have a wife and a kid and just be a rock of the community."

 

 

Two More Dead South African Mercenaries

 

13 Oct 2004 Boyd Webb, iafrica.com

 

Two more South Africans were killed in Iraq on Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Wednesday in Pretoria.

 

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said that the two men had been employed by Omega Risk Solutions, Iraq.

 

Omega Risk Solutions' West African and Middle East manager, Cobus de Kock, said Johan Botha (37), and Louis Campher (43) were killed in an attack at 6.30am South African time on Tuesday while travelling from one construction sight to another, 11km south of Baghdad.

 

"Botha and Campher were the only two men killed when their convoy came under fire," he said.

 

He said the men were security managers for the company.

 

De Kock explained that Omega protected construction workers.

 

Refusing to say exactly how many South Africans were working for Omega in Iraq, De Kock said it was a "significant number".

 

He said construction workers were regularly attacked by militants and it was their job to protect them.  Their specialised vehicles were all unmarked as it was advisable to keep as low a profile in Iraq as possible.  [Not low enough, apparently.]

 

Botha, a former soldier of 121 Battalion in Piet Retief joined Omega on September 15 this year after working for in the security industry in Angola.  Campher, a former policeman, joined the company on August 1.

 

De Kock said arrangements had been made for their bodies to be flown back to South Africa.

 

 

Injured Mercenary Airlifted To Kuwait

Two More Wounded By IED

 

October 13, 2004 Fiji Times Limited

 

A SECURITY guard serving with Global Risk Strategies in Iraq has been airlifted to Kuwait to undergo surgery yesterday while two colleagues are recovering from injuries.

 

Global Risks Strategy spokesman Sakiusa Raivoce said the security guard from Cakaudrove was involved in a car bombing accident with two other local security officers on Sunday.

 

"The officers, who were serving in Mosul, were travelling on the road when their vehicle exploded after hitting a homemade bomb that was left on the road by Iraqi insurgents," he said.

 

The officers who were injured were Amoni Cadravula, 23, of Muaivuso Village, Mua Parauni, 44, of Nabouciwa in Nakelo, and Apenisa Tikomailodoni, 39, of Natewa in Cakaudrove.

 

Mr Raivoce said Mr Cadravula and Mr Parauni suffered minor injuries and were treated at a nearby hospital before being sent back to their camp.  He said Mr Tikomailodoni was airlifted to Kuwait Hospital for an operation.

 

 

How Much Bombing Is Really Going On?

 

10.11.02 Bonnie Azab Powell.  UC Berkeley News (California)

Seymour Hersh speaks in California

 

“I've been doing an alternate history of the war, from inside, because people, right after 9/11, because people inside -- and there are a lot of good people inside -- are scared, as scared as anybody watching this tonight I think should be, because [Bush], if he's re-elected, has only one thing to do, he's going to bomb the hell out of that place.

 

“He's been bombing the hell of that place -- and here's what really irritates me again, about the press -- since he set up this Potemkin Village government with Allawi on June 28 -- the bombing, the daily bombing rates inside Iraq, have gone up exponentially.“

 

“There's no public accounting of how many missions are flown, how much ordinance is dropped, we have no accounting and no demand to know.  The only sense you get is we're basically in a full-scale air war against invisible people that we can't find, that we have no intelligence about, so we bomb what we can see.”

 

"No amount of body bags is going to dissuade [Bush]," said Hersh, despite the fact that Hersh's sources say the war in Iraq is "not winnable. It's over."

 

As for Kerry's war plans, Hersh said he wished he could tell him to stop talking as if the senator's plan for Iraq could somehow still eke out a victory there.  "This is a disaster that's been going on.  It's a civil war, the insurgency. There is no 'win' anymore in this war," he argued. "As somebody said, 'We're playing chess, they're playing Go.'"

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

The U.S. Command In Iraq:

Proud Successors To Great Imperial Traditions:

(Hitler, Stalin, & Pontius Pilate)

Or

How To Slaughter Civilians And Lie About It For Fun And Profit

 

BAGHDAD, October 12, 2004 VRI

 

Continuing rain of US bombs, insurgent activity drive inhabitants of isolated Fallujah from home.

 

Fallujah may be admired as a bastion of insurgent resistance by those opposed to the US presence in Iraq but the battle-scarred city is slowly emptying of its inhabitants because of insurgent activity and a continuing rain of US bombs.

 

"I was born in Fallujah, I was married in Fallujah and I lost my first teeth in Fallujah.  I never left, and now (US President George W.) Bush has chased me out," says Tarfa Frayyeh Ali, her face etched with tribal tattoos.

 

She says she has five daughters and six sons, before catching herself and blinking tears from her eyes.  "I lost a son in an American raid. He left a widow and six children who now have no income and no home."

 

This aged Iraqi woman, who is unsure of her own age, now lives with 50 other relatives in a house in the capital, Baghdad, far from her friends and her fields.

 

"We left because of the bombs. The explosions terrified the children," she continues, surrounded by a cluster of young curious onlookers.

 

Living conditions have deteriorated along with security in Fallujah which is often sealed off from the outside world.

 

"They lack everything.  If you have lunch, then you don't have dinner," she says.

 

The men of the household follow the news to find out how talks are progressing between the city's leaders and the government.

 

"If they reach an agreement, we'll go back immediately," says 26-year-old Ibrahim Rachid.

 

"But the last time they did a deal, we ended up with bombs falling on us again," he says, referring to an agreement in April aimed at ending fighting in the Sunni city between US marines and rebels.

 

Agreement or not, 48-year-old Faraj al-Obeidi, has no desire to go home to Fallujah, where more than 200,000 people once lived.

 

"I spent 15 years in Saddam's prisons. I never imagined the situation could get worse after his fall," he says.

 

Obeidi has rented a house in Baghdad, where three families are staying, including that of Khadija Hadi, who arrived three days earlier with her husband and two children.

 

"We didn't want to leave our home but it was hit in a raid a few days ago. We fled with nothing more than the clothes on our backs," she recounts, adding that her Al-Askari neighbourhood is now deserted.

 

"We resisted the urge to leave in April but my husband has no job and I haven't been paid in four months. (The Muslim holy month of) Ramadan is coming, we're lost," she whispers in a voice tinged with embarrassment.

 

She is skeptical of the negotiations with the US-backed Iraqi government.

 

The Americans "talk peace during the day and at nightfall start dropping bombs" says the 37-year-old teacher, her four-month-old baby in her arms.

 

The US military says it is targeting the hideouts of Iraq's most wanted man, Abu Mussab al-Zaraqawi, a militant said to have links to Al-Qaeda who is blamed for a string of attacks and abductions in the strife-torn country.

 

"What Zaraqawi?  There's no Zaraqawi in Fallujah.  The people fighting the Americans are those who have lost a father or a brother in a US attack.  They are the sons of Fallujah," says Obeidi.

 

"They say they're after Zaraqawi.  Then in the morning we find children in the bombed-out ruins of houses," he rages.

 

He says that only families living in the city centre remain. Outlying districts are deserted.

 

"Our children live in fear.  They tremble when they hear explosions.  The schools are closed.  There's often no electricity and the roads are closed. That's Fallujah," the engineer says, sadness etching his face.

 

 

War Reports On Fallujah:

Resistance Point Of View;

 

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member editorial board The Free Arab Voice

 

Tuesday, 12 October 2004.

 

The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that under heavy blows from the Iraqi Resistance, US forces on Tuesday completed their withdrawal of 80 percent of their Marine forces from the al-Latifiyah – al-Yusufiyah area, leaving only 500 Marines there.

 

The pull-back began on Monday evening, and involved withdrawing the troops to three positions.  One group withdrew to the US base at Saddam International Airport.  Another part of the US force pulled back to the Polish-American base in al-Hillah.  The remainder retreated to the US base in the agricultural area northeast of al-Fallujah.

 

US forces reportedly sustained heavy casualties in the course of their offensive south of Baghdad over the last few days, in particular in incidents like that where a 6-meter Ra`d missile blasted into an American camp on Sunday night.

 

The aim of the US offensive on al-Latifiyah and al-Yusufiyah was to destroy the Resistance forces that could encircle American troops when they launch their planned offensive against the defiant city of al-Fallujah.  During the American siege of al-Fallujah in spring 2004, the Resistance struck at the rear of the attacking Americans' lines from four directions – al-Latifiyah, al-Yusufiyah, Samarra', and Abu Ghurayb.

 

Using massive high-tech firepower and at the cost of heavy civilian casualties, US forces last week managed to take almost half of Samarrà out of Resistance hands.  The Resistance, however, continues to pound the US occupation forces and their stooges from positions ringing Samarra', denying the invaders a victory there too.

 

Resistance cuts road shutting off fuel supplies to US forces in al-Latifiyah area

Iraqi Resistance forces in al-Latifiyah have cut the road to the petroleum production station used by fuel tankers that supply the US forces in the area.  The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent reported that five fuel tank trucks, three belonging to the US military and two owned by the puppet so-called "ministry of petroleum" were destroyed in a Resistance attack.

 

Meanwhile the correspondent has learned of an effort by the US military to use Iraqi fuel trucks to transport fuel to the US military.  That way, when the Resistance attacks the trucks, the American side can claim falsely that the Resistance is trying to cut off fuel from the Iraqi people. The correspondent wrote that it is likely that satellite news networks might pick up that manufactured American story and try to gain propaganda points with it.

 

 

Resistance protects Iraq's Oil Resources.  Blows up northern Iraqi oil pipeline.

 

Iraqi Resistance forces blew up four bombs on a major oil pipeline in the northern Iraqi an-Niba`i area, setting the pipeline ablaze and cutting off oil shipments.

 

On Friday, Resistance forces blew up the oil pipeline in the Bayji area.

 

The Resistance campaign against the oil pipelines is part of an effort to prevent the US invaders from reaping profits from the plunder of Iraqi oil.

 

 

 

BAD PLACE TO BE:

TIME TO COME HOME

Ramadi: 2004-10-13 Middle East Online

 

 

 

U.S. Snipers Kill Occupation Cops In Ramadi

 

10.13.04 Aljazeera

 

Aljazeera has learned that two Iraqi policemen were also killed in the al-Malab neighbourhood in eastern Ramadi after US snipers fired on them as they attended a wounded fighter.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Dead Soquel Soldier Leaves Legacy Of Friendship

 

October 13, 2004 By GENEVIEVE BOOKWALTER, SENTINEL STAFF writer

 

SANTA CRUZ — Ask about Morgen Jacobs, and you’ll probably hear about all his friends.

 

Morgen was the one who brought people together, his buddies said.  Whether it was skimboarding with friends in Santa Cruz or organizing barbecues for his battalion in Iraq, the handsome 20-year-old with blond hair and a bright smile always knew who to invite.

 

His circle of friends was an eclectic mix; it included a mad scientist, a punk, an engineer, students and soldiers, said his dad,  Todd Jacobs, from a chair on the patio of Santa Cruz Memorial Park Funeral Home on Tuesday.

 

Those buddies stopping by make it just a little easier to cope with his son’s death, he said.

 

Spc. Jacobs was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 1/18th Infantry Battalion, Company B, 7th Army.  He died Oct. 6 after a roadside bomb exploded next to the Humvee on which he was riding near Bayji, Iraq, about 90 miles north of Baghdad.  The blast wounded him severely, his father said.

 

He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

 

The explosion injured others on the vehicle, but only Morgen was killed.

 

 

Command Can Eat Shit And Die;

But Can't Stop Soldiers From Speaking Out

 

October 11, 2004 David H. Hackworth www.hackworth.com

 

Politicians and military commanders were lying about how wars were progressing long before the sword and the shield first clashed.   And the long distances and delayed communications made censoring what was reported to citizens no big stretch.

 

After all, from the Greek Wars to Gettysburg, it took months for letters and casualty lists to travel by runner, boat, pony and finally, rail.  By the time the bad news arrived from the front, the dead were buried and the battle long over.

 

But as war morphed from cannonballs to aircraft to missiles, communications also zoomed along -- from printing press, telegraph, radio, TV and satellites to the Net.

 

Even so, the Thought Police headquartered in space-age offices in Washington, D.C., are still trying to bend any and all information about military campaigns.  Our leaders know that in democratic America, they must have popular support for their wars, and they won’t keep it if folks start to think we're losing and being lied to.

 

One thing no one can control is the Net.  Today there’s a laptop in almost every bunker, manned by grunts who are a whole lot smarter and faster than their watchdogs.  Which means that despite a hogtied press corps, we’re getting the unspun word from Iraq -- and the news ain’t good.

 

The brass are going nuts trying to stop this electronic tsunami of truth that’s washing over the land courtesy of a generation of sharp kids who’ve been armed with computers since age 4.  Kids who glory in staying three irrepressible steps ahead of their minders via blogs, dummy ISP addresses and cute tricks like sending e-mails to cutouts for forwarding to guys like me.

 

So the brass have reverted to the weapon they’ve used to silence warriors since long before Caesar was running Rome: intimidation.  The troops are being warned: Shut up; and if you don’t button it, you’ll be drummed out of the service.

 

An officer in Iraq who has asked to remain anonymous says: “The establishment here wants to present the picture that everything is A-OK when it’s too often not the case. Soldiers shouldn’t be punished or made to feel like they’re disloyal, not part of the team, troublemakers, whiners, dissenters, malcontents, etc., etc., just because they give somebody a true sitrep on certain things going on over here. But sadly this is the case.”

 

Then there’s the personal attack on anyone with a point of view that’s different from the party line:  You’re un-American; or you’re supporting the enemy or not supporting the troops.  The latest tactic is to say you’re sending out mixed messages that hurt troop morale.

 

But according to our soldiers in Iraq, this is just not true. They say their morale is in the toilet because of how badly the war’s been handled, not because of what’s being reported or debated by politicians.

 

“I resent the fascist-style approach that tries to paint any objection of current policy as traitorous,” says Ken Druhut.  “I am a proud vet and gratefully enjoy the freedoms that our military has provided.  But this Gestapo stuff has to stop.”

 

Amen.

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here in the USA.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

Military Family Member Says:

Stand Up And Fight Back

 

P.S. I have family serving in the US army, so please keep my full name and email anonymous.  They are suffering enough as it is.

 

From: "J”

To: GI Special

Sent: October 13

Subject: "Crude dudes"

 

I think the true motivations for the war needs more coverage.

 

It makes me furious how Bush and his socalled opponent Kerry talks of "bad intel" - they knew very well what they were doing and why:

 

Sacrificing thousands of lives, Iraqi as well as American, for their own greed.  In my corner of the world (Denmark), the struggle is the same: One man and his corporation (MAERSK) controls the oil - they make billions of $ from the rising fuel prices, while ordinary families will pay when the cold months come.

 

They control the government - laws and speeches pass through their corporate headquarters for approval and editing.  The laws and speeches that refuse any notion of peace, any notion of withdrawal from Iraq, and lets us pay for their conquest.

 

We face an election within a year - and the "choice" is as nonexistant as in the US:

Vote for the occupation, or for the occupation. Vote for the rich or for the rich.

 

We are also presented with the "lesser of two evils" slogan, but I refuse to buy it.  I refuse to justify a system that kills for profit, a system that considers its citizens a disease and a burden instead of its strength and its lifeblood.

 

If democracy is a meaningless vote every four years, then democracy can go screw itself - if democracy is the power of the people, then we need to do some serious power grabbing before we can call ourselves a democracy.

 

I am a strong opponent of senseless violence, so lets put some sense in the violence and get the warmongers and profiteers before they have us all killed. I intend the world to be a nice place when I have kids, and I know it won't happen by itself.

 

This was a lot more than intended, but I am truly infuriated at the thought of this war.  Every time a person is killed in Iraq, the rich gets even richer.  And they are laughing at us.

 

Don't ever surrender

 

P.S. I have family serving in the US army, so please keep my full name and email anonymous.  They are suffering enough as it is.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Occupation Cop Officer Killed;

Oil Refinery Mortared

 

10.13.04 Aljazeera

 

An Iraqi police officer was shot dead in a city north of Baghdad when unknown assailants opened fire on his car as he drove to work.

 

A Diyala province police official confirmed that Captain Hasan al-Bayati was ambushed about six kilometres east of Baquba on the main highway.

 

A series of mortars were also fired at an oil refinery in Iraq's second city early on Wednesday, missing the facility but wounding three Iraqi National Guard members, officials said.

 

 

Car Bombs: Insurgents' 'Weapon of Choice'

 

Oct. 13, 2004 DENIS D. GRAY, Associated Press

 

Countrywide, and especially in Baghdad, the U.S. military says the VBIED - for "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" - has become the insurgents' weapon of choice, mostly wielded against Iraqi security personnel and American troops but often soaking the blast area with the blood of bystanders.

 

Car bombs offer the insurgents a range of advantages.

 

Planting a remote-controlled or booby-trapped bomb along a roadside can take up to two weeks, whereas a car, minibus or truck jammed with explosives can be quickly sent out in response to changing intelligence on targets

 

Car bombs are relatively easy to rig - troops have seized CDs in Baghdad showing how it's done - and can slip through checkpoints with explosives attached to the undersides of vehicles or hidden in piles of vegetables or construction materials.

 

And they reduce casualties for insurgent bands compared to other forms of attacks, such as ambushes with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, which generally trigger an overwhelming U.S. response.

 

Highlighted in the media, mass casualties inflicted by bombs raise the international profile of the insurgency and undermine popular support for a government many Iraqis feel cannot provide security.

 

Unleashed in the Islamic world over the past few decades after earlier use in Vietnam, Spain, Northern Ireland and elsewhere, vehicle bombs were inevitable in Iraq.

 

The attacks have escalated this year, with 1,077 killed through Oct. 9.  The Washington-based research organization says that of 136 bombings so far this year, 87 were carried out by suicide attackers, who are not included in its casualty count.

 

Around Baqouba, 35 miles north of Baghdad, the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion conducts at least two bomb-seeking patrols a day, seven days a week, in what is one of the most perilous jobs in Iraq.  Theurer, a sergeant in the North Dakota National Guard unit, says two of the six men in his squad have been wounded by explosives.

 

"It's a lot easier to find IEDs than car bombs. Most of the car bombs find us," the Bismarck, N.D., native says as the patrol scouts a 6-mile stretch of highway that soldiers have dubbed "IED Alley."

 

A half dozen car bombs and some 35 roadside bombs have been detonated along that strip the last six months.  A sign at both ends warns that any car left standing by the road for more than one hour may be destroyed by the U.S. military.

 

Some checkpoints have X-ray machines to scan vehicles and a video-equipped robot can be called up to peer into a suspicious car.  But out on the road, the best defense against VBIEDs is largely experience, eyesight and instinct, he said.

 

The patrols are on the lookout for certain aging car models, vehicles with low riding back ends, cars that try to get close to vehicles as they pass a military convoy or just a driver's darting, shifty look.

 

"Often it's one soldier's decision - a 19-year-old sitting behind a .50-caliber machine gun in a Humvee in 110-degree weather making a decision in five seconds," said Talarico, the engineer captain.

 

In one incident, he recalled, a remotely detonated car bomb went off at a traffic circle near Baqouba two months ago. As U.S. troops moved in to cordon the area, a young soldier spotted a nervous-looking driver trying to get a stalled, decrepit car moving. Within moments the soldier fired, turning the car and suicide bomber into a cauldron of flames and flying metal.

 

"The insurgents are always looking for new avenues of attack," Talarico says, then adds an ominous note: "What we have to find out is what comes after the VBIEDs."

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Bankrupt Empire

 

02 September, 2004 From article By Satya Sagar, Znet

 

Record US fiscal deficits and reckless increases in foreign loans are undermining the US dollar so seriously that the entire current global financial architecture-skewed to US benefit- may actually collapse soon.  The ability of US financial “voodoo doctors” to print lots of color paper and get the world to accept them is diminishing by the hour and with that the days of the “Great American Free Lunch” too are coming to an end.

 

Iraq today is to the US, in sheer military terms, what Afghanistan became for the USSR in the eighties.  The expense, the loss of lives, the sheer resistance from the occupied, the loss of global allies are all taking their toll steadily and it is just a matter of time before the Joker-in-Chief brings the house of cards tumbling down.

 

I honestly donıt think that the US is not about to disintegrate like the USSR or anything as dramatic as that.  But it is right now on course to go from being the worldıs only Superpower to something like say Britain or France- pining away for past glory-a simpering- whimpering- former-Superpower.

 

Consider this.  Just as in the case of the Soviet Union, whose misadventures in Afghanistan turned its own population against the ruling regime, large sections of the American people too are today deeply upset with the US Occupation of Iraq.  And not just Iraq but also about the growing unemployment, homelessness, inequality, the loss of democracy, the influence of fundamentalism on gender and education policies- the list of grievances runs long and deep.

 

What the rest of the world wants to see are walls and statues tumbling, people planting flowers on tanks, the hated “leader” chased by grannies with placards, crowds flashing V signs - in other words the Full Monty of a Peopleıs Power Revolution.

 

Anything less would be cheating Bush Jr. and “All the Presidentıs Men” of their just rewards for everything they have done for their country and the world.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Bush Promotes Iraq Civil War:

Occupation Uses Kurds, Shia to Raid Sunni Mosques

 

10.12.02 EDWARD WONG, NY Times

 

In nearby Ramadi, the seat of restive Anbar Province, American troops and Iraqi soldiers arrested a Sunni cleric, Sheik Abdul Aleem Saidy, and his son Osama, both members of one of the country's most famous religious families, according to spokesmen for the Muslim Scholars Association, a prominent group of mostly Sunni clerics.

 

Among the Iraqi soldiers involved in the mosque raids were former Kurdish and Shiite militiamen, one of the spokesmen, Abdul Satter Abdul Jabbar, said. "There is a sense of sectarianism in this," he said.

 

"It's a very bad situation in Ramadi," Muhammad Bashar al-Fadhi, a spokesman for the Muslim Scholars Association, said in an interview. "The Americans are just arresting whoever is in front of them at the mosques. They're behaving in a strange manner."

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Can You Buy Sadr City For 300 Chickens?

 

10.12.02 EDWARD WONG, NY Times

The American military said today that soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division handed out 300 frozen chickens to residents of Sadr City one day last week.  The military said in a statement that the soldiers drove up to a "major thoroughfare" with boxes of frozen chicken and began opening them, attracting swarms of impoverished children.  After a half-hour, "all that was left were empty boxes, most shredded by the groping hands of the Iraqi children," the military said.

 

 

State Department Funds Anti-Women's Rights Group To Train Iraqi Women

 

October 5, 2004 Feminist Daily News Wire

 

Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), was one of the recipients awarded part of a $10 million grant to train Iraqi women in the skills of democratic public life. 

 

“Talk about an inside deal, the IWF represents a small group of right-wing wheeler-dealers inside the Beltway,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.

 

IWF has a history of opposition to women’s rights, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), stating that VAWA was not helpful to the victims and gives too much authority to the government, reports the Washington Post.  In addition, IWF led a campaign against Title IX that calls for gender equity in education and the Women’s Educational Equity Act that gives schools the materials to combat sex discrimination.

 

IWF was founded by well-known and well-connected right-wing Republican conservatives.

 

Former board members include Lynne Cheney, PhD (literature), former chairman (sic) of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-1993), senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and wife of Vice President Dick Cheney; Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) and former board member of Enron.

 

 

Marines' Proximity To Power Plant Makes It A Target

 

Oct. 13, 2004 BY RICK JERVIS, Chicago Tribune

 

ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq - (KRT) - The Musayyab Power Plant sits on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in this city like a steel giant laboring to breathe.  Two of its four towering smokestacks spew a steady stream of white smoke, a sign that the turbine engines attached to them are working.  One smokestack puffs out weak wisps. The fourth is dormant.

 

But the Musayyab plant has an added liability: It sits within the razor-wire confines of a U.S. military base.  The living arrangements, created to protect the plant, raise concerns from plant officials, who fear mortars aimed at Marines will one day bludgeon the plant, and from military officers, who must monitor the nearly 1,000 mostly Iraqi employees and temporary staffers who come to work in it each day.

 

Securing it has been a challenge.  Shrapnel from mortars aimed at the Marines has punched holes in fuel tanks that run the plant.  Oil pipelines that once fueled the facility have been ruptured by insurgents.  Workers have been threatened and killed.  In August, the plant's manager disappeared on his way to work, reportedly snatched by kidnappers.

 

Marine officials here said keeping the plant safe and running is the central mission of the base, and a task delegated to Capt. Henry Parrish, camp commandant.

 

On Aug. 18, the plant's top manager was driving to work on a road in the nearby town of Musayyab when gunmen shot out a tire and took him from his car, according to a witness, Marine spokesman Capt. David Nevers said.  Military investigators pursued the case but the trail went cold, Nevers said.  The manager has not been seen since.

 

"Everyone in this company is in danger," said Ali Hassan, 25, a chief engineer in the plant's main control room.  Piles of employees' shoes line the entrance to the control room.  A blinking computer panel, circa 1984, monitors the turbines and boiler rooms, next to a portrait of the green-hooded Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law.

 

Another threat for employees and the plant are the rockets and mortars fired almost daily at the Marines on base.  Two weeks ago, 15 mortars pounded the base in less than an hour, officials said.

 

And recently, a mortar shell exploded near a 3,000-gallon tank holding diesel fuel for the plant, Parrish said.  Shrapnel from the mortar sprayed across the tank, punching quarter-size holes in its base that leaked fuel.

 

One plant official, who asked not to be named, said the plant would be safer outside a U.S. base.  But that is not an option U.S. military officials are willing to consider.

 

One of the first tasks assigned to Parrish when he arrived in June was to improve plant defenses against mortars, he said.  He fortified outgoing mortar positions surrounding the plant that were set up by the Army, which previously occupied the base, and set up artillery guns to fire 155 mm rounds in an effort to discourage enemy fire, he said. 

 

Another concern for Parrish was the nearly 1,000 plant workers who entered the base each day - people who could relay the base's layout to insurgents or bring in bombs.

 

Each morning, every person who enters the plant is patted down for bombs and other weapons, Parrish said.  Mobile phones, which could be used as detonation devices or to help pinpoint targets for mortar teams, are not allowed, he said.  And every vehicle that enters the base is searched by bomb-sniffing dogs.

 

"You have to be diligent," Parrish said. "But you have to be courteous.  These people work here.  It's their livelihood."

 

 

Boom Times For Contractors Don't Translate To Funding War

 

September 30, 2004 by Tim Weiner NYT

 

Amid one of the greatest military spending increases in history, the Pentagon is starved for cash.

 

The United States will spend more than $500 billion on national security in the fiscal year beginning O ct.1.  That represents a historic high-water mark, and it is creating boom times in the military-contracting industry.

 

Yet the military says it has run $1 billion a month short over the past year paying for the basics of fighting the war in Iraq: troops, equipment, spare parts, and training.

 

The disparity between spending on the arsenals of the future and the armies of today is great, and growing.

 

The rise in Pentagon spending is the greatest in 20 years, nearly matching the buildup that President Ronald Reagan initiated in the early 1980s.  But when it comes to fighting wars, the money has not flown as freely.

 

The Pentagon will spend at least $420 billion for the coming year, not counting the costs of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will run at least $72 billion and probably more, according to numbers-crunchers in Congress.

 

Why is there plenty of money available for the weapons of the future, but not enough for the troops at war today?

 

Because, military experts say, one thing did not change after Sept. 11: the way the Pentagon and Congress pay for wars.  ''We pay for war with supplementals,'' emergency requests to Congress, said Lieutenant Colonel RoseAnne Lynch, a Pentagon public affairs officer.  ''We do not budget for war.  That's the way we do it and that's the way we've been doing it for years.''

 

Despite the historic increases in weapons spending, the military still faced shortfalls of more than $12 billion over the past year for the myriad nuts and bolts of war: supporting troops, buying spare parts, and maintaining equipment, according to the General Accountability Office, the budget watchdog of Congress.  When the war-fighting money runs dry, the Pentagon taps into operations accounts and seeks tens of billions in ''emergency'' funds, spending them as fast as they are approved by Congress, sometimes faster.

 

''The military has been under-reporting the actual costs of war in Iraq,'' said Adams, now director of security policy studies at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

 

 

Received:

 

Re: Najaf Destroyed In Order To Save It;

 

From: Joan M

To: GI Special

Sent: October 13, 2004

 

One thing rarely mentioned - Iraq is one of the oldest, most historic countries, in the world. Saddam, for all his nasty ways, was restoring historic sites.  Along come the liberating allies and museums, libraries, and ancient mosques, are destroyed or badly damaged.  Some of this can never be replaced.  If God talks to Bush, He only says what Bush wants to hear (as is the case with all fanatics).

 

Only barbarians destroy history. US, and world, historians weep at what is happening. So should all true Jews, Christians and Muslims because Iraq is the birthplace of all three religions.

 

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