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The Difference Between Bush & Kerry

John Jonik is a cartoonist and activist living in Philadelphia, USA. He can be contacted by email.



Marine In Iraq: “It's Worse Every Day”


October 14, 2004 MIKE ARGENTO, York Daily Record


His son doesn't say a lot about what's going on in Iraq.  He does say, though, that things aren't going well.


And he does question the war.


The summer of 2000, before his senior year in high school, Jonathan Snyder made up his mind.  He was going to be a Marine.


That's all he talked about, says his father, Sherman Snyder Jr.  That's what he was all about, his dad says.  He wanted to be the best, and the best were the Marines.  His dad's not sure where his oldest son's desire came from.  He has a couple of cousins who are Marines and an uncle served during World War II.


Jonathan, he said, was 100 percent dedicated to becoming a Marine.


He signed up that summer and, upon graduating from Gettysburg High School in 2001, he went off to Parris Island, S.C., for basic training.  He was going to be a warrior.


His corps class graduated from basic on Sept. 12, 2001.


Snyder was gung-ho, as many of his Marine brothers were at the time.  They were ready to kick ass and take names.  They were ready to take vengeance on those who attacked the country they had sworn to defend with their lives.


He was sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where he joined the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines.


He knew he'd be going to battle.  His father said that's why he'd signed up — to protect his country.


After a few stateside assignments, his unit went to Iraq.


And it is there that the education of Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder really began.


His lessons culminated Sunday, when he was quoted in the Washington Post, saying, "Every day you read articles in the states when it's like 'Oh, it's getting better and better.'  But when you're here, you know it's worse every day."


In July, his platoon — the 81s, named for the size of its mortar rounds — was deployed to Camp Iskandariyah, in Babil Province, about 30 miles southwest of Baghdad.  The fighting there has been fierce, even though it's drowned out by headlines from places like Fallujah, Samarra and Sadr City.  Since the Marines entered Babil Province, 102 of their ranks have been wounded.  Four have been killed.


Nearly every day, the Marines encounter roadside bombs.  Hardly a day passes without their camp coming under rocket or mortar attack.


Every day in the Corps, the saying goes, is a holiday — a holiday in hell.


When the 81s go out on patrol, the Post quoted the soldiers as saying, they seldom accomplish anything.  One Marine told the reporter, "You don't really know who you're fighting."  Other Marines said that by the time they respond to an attack, the insurgents have disappeared, and they're left with nobody to fight.


They hear their officers telling them that once they train Iraqi security forces, they'll be able to leave.  They think that's nonsense — although you'd be hard pressed to find a Marine who uses that word in lieu of a more descriptive term.


The soldiers believe the Iraqis are nowhere near being able to take over for the Marines and may never be.  Some of the Iraqi police, in fact, have changed sides and have joined the insurgents.


* * *


Sherman Snyder has heard some of this from his son.


He doesn't hear from him as regularly as he'd like.  It's hard to make a phone call or write a letter when you're under attack.  Sherman said his son has kept in touch with his wife, Stephanie, and 7-month-old daughter, Ann Marie.  They are living with Sherman in Gettysburg while Jonathan is overseas.


His son doesn't say a lot about what's going on in Iraq.  He does say, though, that things aren't going well.


And he does question the war.


"I feel about the same way he does," said Sherman, who works for a weatherization company. "We've lost 1,000 soldiers for nothing."


Sherman said, "I don't blame those boys over there. They're doing their job. But the people who got us into this ..."


The people who got us into this.


You know who they are.  They are the same people who told us we had to fear Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his ties to the people who attacked us — things that turned out to be fiction.  They are the same people who are now saying they'll delay any large-scale military action in Iraq until after the election — playing politics with the lives of guys like Jonathan Snyder.


Sherman said Jonathan has told him that he's supposed to leave Iraq next February. He'll believe it when it happens.


His son, he said, went into the Marines to protect this country.  Now, Sherman said, he doesn't know.  He just doesn't know.



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)



To Anyone At The Abu Ghraib That Reads This


From: BLampin4036@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2004 1:32 PM


To anyone at the Abu Ghraib that reads this.  Please, could you please ask Sgt. Lampin to call me on Oct. 19, as soon as he can.  It is very important.


Thank you and God Bless,


Brandie Lampin


(Wife of not just a medically unfit for service soldier, but a soldier who no longer qualifies for his MOS.)







Resistance Attack Inside Green Zone Kills Six Americans, Including Four Mercenaries


10.15.04 AFP, Reuters, Baghdad & The Associated Press & Al Bawaba 14-10-2004


Eight civilians were killed and 20 wounded yesterday in an attack on Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, home to the US embassy and the Iraqi government, a US army spokesman said.


The blasts occurred about five minutes apart, just before 1 p.m.


Four Americans were killed and three wounded as one bomb ripped through Vendors' Alley, a busy outdoor bazaar that caters to westerners, selling everything from mobile phone accessories to pornographic DVDs, inside the compound, which houses Iraqi government offices and the U.S. and British embassies on the west bank of the Tigris river.


Two civilians were killed and one wounded at the Green Zone cafe," a military spokesman told AFP.


He was referring to two locations popular with US soldiers and civilians inside the fortress-like area of central Baghdad.


Witnesses said two men, each carrying a backpack but not the required ID badges, entered the Green Zone Cafe full of Americans and other patrons at around lunchtime, drank tea and talked to each other for nearly half an hour - one of them appearing to reassure his more nervous colleague.


One of them then left and soon after an explosion was heard, then the man who remained in the cafe detonated his bomb moments later, ripping through the building, said an Iraqi vendor who was in the cafe at the time.


Witnesses said around 20 other patrons were in the cafe at the time, about half of them American.


Four of the dead Americans were employees of the private U.S. security firm DynCorp, two U.S. officials said Thursday.


Thick black smoke billowed from one of the sites after the explosions.  "Both appeared to be hand-carried explosives," Lt. Col. James Hutton, a spokesman for the 1st Cavalry Division, said.


Two State Department officials were injured, neither critically, along with another DynCorp employee, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.  And several Americans were injured in a second blast.


The firm, Dyncorp, helps provide security primarily in areas where Americans work in the Iraqi capital.


Thursday's attack raised fears over security in the compound and underscored militants' ability to strike in the capital even as U.S.-Iraqi forces are carrying out a new offensive to suppress them in other parts of the country ahead of January elections.


The fact that insurgents were able to penetrate Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone that contained U.S. and Iraqi government headquarters was a serious setback to the Bush administration's campaign to pacify Iraq.


A top Iraqi official said the attacks appeared to have been a "suicide operation."  If so, it would be the first time insurgents have successfully infiltrated and set off bombs in the heart of the U.S.-Iraqi leadership of the country.


In the wake of the bombings, the embassy warned Americans to limit their movements in the Green Zone and stay away from the market and restaurants.


The U.S. military announced increased armed patrols in and around the Green Zone, at the airport and other checkpoints, and combat air patrols and air surveillance.



The Death Of Three Marines


October 14, 2004 U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 1026-04


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


Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Wyatt, 22, of Calendonia, Wis., died on Oct. 12 due to enemy action in Babil Province, Iraq.  Wyatt was assigned to Marine Corps Reserve’s 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division in Chicago, Ill.


2nd Lt. Paul M. Felsberg, 27, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Lance Cpl. Victor A. Gonzalez, 19, of Watsonville, Calif., died on Oct. 13 as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.  They were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force of Camp Pendleton, Calif.



Two US Soldiers Killed In Baghdad Attacks




"One Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed in central Baghdad when a patrol was attacked with small arms fire at about 1:45 pm (1045 GMT)."


An improvised explosive device detonated in eastern Baghdad on Oct. 14, at about 11:25 a.m., killing one Task Force Baghdad Soldier and wounding two others.  The two injured were evacuated to a military medical facility.



Two U.S. Troops Killed In Ramadi Raid;

Occupation Withdraws From City Center


10.14.04 Associated Press & Al Bawaba 14-10-2004


In Ramadi, two soldiers were killed Thursday when their Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and caught on fire, according to a U.S. military spokesman at Camp Ramadi.  Their convoy had been on a combat mission, searching the city for weapons caches.


U.S. forces exchanged fire with Iraqi fighters in Ramadi following a series of raids, locals said Thursday. At least eight people were reported dead.


Three mortars, apparently aimed at city hall, hit a nearby house, killing two people and injuring four, including women and children, said Dr. Alaa al-Aani of Ramadi General Hospital.


The gunfire subsided Thursday morning and U.S. forces withdrew from the city center, witnesses said.  City hospital officials said eight people in all were killed and 17 were wounded.


Residents say U-S troops swept into the city last night, sealing off streets and taking positions on rooftops as they searched buildings.


Hospital officials say rebels fought back with gunfire and mortar blasts and that women and children were among those killed and injured.



Littleton Resident Killed

"The Most Important Thing Now Is To Get Him Home."



October 14, 2004 By PAUL HAYES, Staff Writer, The Caledonian-Record News




Jeremy Regnier enlisted in the U.S. Army to better his life, and planned to make a career out of military service.


The 22-year-old Littleton resident wanted to become a helicopter mechanic, serve for 20 years, leave the armed services for the aviation industry and collect two pensions upon his retirement.


Family members said Jeremy turned his life around through the military.


"He didn't want to end up on Main Street," said his aunt, Judy Ash. "He wanted to better himself."


But his plans, and his life, were cut tragically short Wednesday when he was killed while on duty in Iraq.


Jeremy, who held the rank Specialist E-4, died Wednesday morning outside of Baghdad when the Bradley armored vehicle he was traveling in drove over a makeshift bomb, according to his father, Kevin Regnier.


He appears to be the first Littleton area casualty since the Iraq war began March 20, 2003.


Jeremy's family was notified at 11 a.m. by U.S. Army National Guard officials.


His parents stood on the front porch of their South Street home Wednesday afternoon trying to make sense of their son's death.


Stepmother Shawn Regnier clutched a framed photo taken last year in which Jeremy wore a New York Yankees hat and stood between his parents, his arms around their shoulders.


Jeremy called his parents from Iraq every week, talking to them for the full 20 minutes before he was forced to hang up.  Kevin -- who supports the troops but not the Iraq war -- said his son maintained a positive attitude despite watching friends and fellow soldiers die in combat.


"I was proud of him sticking it out -- taking the bad and continuing on," said Kevin. "I don't know if I could do that."


When Jeremy called, he always told his family not to worry.


Generations of his family had safely returned from military conflicts, including great-grandfather Wilfred Regnier in World War I, grandfather Edgar Regnier and great-uncle Richard Regnier in World War II, and his father in Grenada.


"Every Regnier that goes to war comes back," Jeremy told his father.  "I know I'll be back."


Jeremy moved to Littleton from Agawam, Mass., about seven years ago.  His parents wanted to raise Jeremy and sister Amanda, 17, in a more safe and secure environment.


While in Agawam, Jeremy regularly worked for his father, who owned and operated R&L Siding and Remodeling and later was assistant projects manager at Six Flags New England in Agawam.


Whether they were at work or cheering on sports teams (Kevin cheers the Red Sox, Jeremy the Yankees), father and son often clashed because they were similar personalities.


"When we worked together it was cats and dogs," said Kevin. "We're both stubborn."


But the father and son shared a tight bond.  Once during deer season, Jeremy asked his father to go hunting.  When Kevin said he would but didn't have a gun, Jeremy ran out and bought him a rifle.


"He'd give you the shirt off his back," said Kevin. "He'd do anything for anybody."


Jeremy dropped out of Littleton High School following grade 11, and earned his GED equivalency diploma later that year in order to sign up for the National Guard.  During that time he worked local manufacturing jobs at Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. and Genfoot Inc.


He later enlisted in the U.S. Army and served 27 months at Camp Casey in the South Korea demilitarized zone.


Earlier this year he re-enlisted and trained at Fort Hood, Texas, before being shipped out to Camp Victory North, Baghdad, in March.


He returned home in August on two weeks leave, during which time he celebrated his 22nd birthday.  The night before he returned to Iraq, Jeremy and his family stayed overnight in a hotel near Manchester International Airport.


The next day, as he walked toward the waiting plane, dressed in fatigues, he told his stepmother, "stop crying, I'll be back."


Days before the return flight he held a cookout at his home for about a dozen close friends including Brendon Beane, 20, who met Jeremy in high school English class.


Beane recalled Jeremy as someone who enjoyed playing pickup basketball games at Remich Park, rifle target shooting and spending time with friends.


"He was a really great friend, he was always there when you needed him," said Beane. "He helped me through my parents' divorce, and through other tough times."


The cookout was held on a warm Sunday afternoon under clear, sunny skies and Jeremy seemed in high spirits.  The thought occurred to Beane he might not see his friend again, but he knew Jeremy - who had a tattoo of a skull wearing an Army helmet on one arm - was devoted to military service.


"I was happy to see him happy," said Beane. "In my opinion he died doing something he loved."


During his final calls home, Jeremy told his family he was working four days for every one day off.  Despite the long hours and hostile environment, and the deaths of fellow soldiers including a roommate, he was steadfast in his commitment to duty.


"As he put it, it's his job," said Kevin.


As Jeremy's family and friends overcome their initial shock and pull together over the next few days, Kevin said the first order of business was to travel to Delaware and accompany his son's coffin back to Littleton.  Jeremy had promised to return to his family; it was time for Kevin to deliver him.


Said Kevin, "The most important thing now is to get him home."



U.S. Convoy Attacked In Khan Dhari


Al Bawaba 14-10-2004 & AP


A car bomb went off next to an American convoy west of Baghdad, killing at least one Iraqi and injuring eight, hospital officials said Thursday.  The attack took place Wednesday in Khan Dhari, some 35 kilometers west of Baghdad, said Abbas al-Timimi, director of the nearby Abu Ghraib Hospital, The AP reported.


"A car bomb exploded as the Americans passed by and then the Americans opened fire," one of the injured, Ali Sada, told Associated Press Television News in the hospital, his left leg in a bloody cast.


Footage of the blast obtained by APTN showed a white, hatchback car exploding near a pair of treaded, armored American vehicles, one with at least two servicemembers exposed in the gun turret.  U.S. forces could later be seen securing the blast site.


On Thursday, only the exploded vehicle's frame remained and children scoured the wreckage for salvageable material.  A punctured car wheel lay on the ground, apparently thrown from the blast.



Racine Reservist Killed


10.14.04 By Journal Times staff, The Journal Times On-line


RACINE - A Marine reservist from Racine has been killed while on active duty in Iraq.


Lance Corporal Daniel Wyatt, 22, died after an explosion, said Chief Warrant Officer Terry Bellis at the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Milwaukee.  Bellis did not know where or when Wyatt died.


Wyatt graduated from Horlick High School in 2001, where he was listed as a high honor roll student his senior year.



Sisters Mourn Brother Killed In Iraq; Mother Of Two Also Killed


October 14, 2004 Local 10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Marine Pfc. Oscar A. Martinez


When several Marines broke the news to the family yesterday, his grandmother yelled at them, asking why they sent her grandson to fight.


NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Two South Florida families are mourning the loss of loved ones killed in Iraq this week.


Marine Pfc. Oscar A. Martinez died Tuesday as a member of the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force stationed in Camp Pendleton, California.  He was killed when a mortar fired by insurgents exploded at a U.S. base where he was eating with his unit in the Iraqi province of Anbar.


Oscar's sister, Morena, said, "It's not fair. I didn't think it would happen to us again because I thought, 'God already took our Mom, why would he take our older brother?'  You know. It's only fair."


His sister says the 19-year-old joined the Marines last year, shortly before graduating in 2003 from North Lauderdale High School where he played on the football team.  He was working as a military convoy driver delivering supplies to the front lines.  He had only been in Iraq three weeks.


When several Marines broke the news to the family yesterday, his grandmother yelled at them, asking why they sent her grandson to fight.


Carolina Durand, Oscar's girlfriend, said, "He wasn't even worried about it.  I said, 'How can you be so sure?'  And he's like, 'My mom is watching over me, she wouldn't let anything happen to me.'"


Oscar's other sister, Marta, said, "He promised me he's gonna come home and he kept that promise.  He's right here right now.  He's gonna be right here forever with me and my family.  He's gonna be here forever."


Martinez was the second South Florida soldier to die this week in Iraq.  Sergeant Pamela G. Osbourne, who was from Hollywood, was killed Sunday in Baghdad when rockets hit the camp where she was stationed with the Army's First Cavalry Division Osbourne was a mother of two.


Sgt. Pamela G. Osbourne



Whitestone Soldier Becomes Queens’ 4th Fatality In Iraq


October 14, 2004 By Liz Rhoades, Managing Editor, Queens Chronicle


A 22-year-old Whitestone soldier became Queens’ fourth fatality in Iraq, when his military vehicle crashed on Sunday due to poor weather conditions.


Pfc. James Prevete, 22, died in Habbaniya, a town 50 miles outside Baghdad, when the driver of his vehicle lost control due to impaired visibility, according to the Army.  The local man had enlisted eight months ago and became the 1,075th American to die in Iraq.


“I remember him growing up as a very nice, happy kid,” said 5th Avenue neighbor Pat Trougakos. “He was obedient and compassionate, like the rest of his family.”


The news hit particularly hard in St. Francis Prep, where Prevete graduated in 2000 and where his sister, Laura is currently a senior.  At prep, Prevete played on the football team for four years as an offensive lineman.


Joe Licata, the school’s football moderator, remembered him as determined and dedicated.  “He was a big guy, at least 6 feet and over 200 pounds, and every time he made a good play, he would look up at the stands to find his mother and hold his arm up to show it was for her.  It was very heartwarming.”


Before a game he was very intense and dedicated to doing his best, Licata added, noting that he knew Prevete and his mother, who helped decorate for football dinners. His father, Vincent, a former banker, although confined to a wheelchair, attended most of the team’s games.  “As a parent, this is the worst nightmare.  He was so close to his mother,” the moderator said.


The wake will be held at the Gleason Funeral Home, 10-25 150th Street in Whitestone on Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.  Funeral mass will be celebrated at Prevete’s home parish, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 14-51 143rd Street, Whitestone, on Monday at 9:45 a.m.  Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Yonkers.


Prevete attended Holy Trinity’s elementary school, where he was a top student. His mother, Jean, is a librarian there and his sister works in the rectory.


Prevete briefly attended Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and Queens College before joining the Army.  Father James Fraser of Holy Trinity said the soldier had only been in Iraq a couple of weeks.  “He had been stationed in Korea and Kuwait. It’s a horror.”


Prevete was a member of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment. His unit was based out of Camp Greaves in South Korea.



Occupation Convoys Hit In Mosul


Al Bawaba 14-10-2004


Two Iraqi bystanders were killed in bomb blasts in the northern city of Mosul, hospital officials said.  According to The AP, one blast targeted an Iraqi National Guard convoy, wounding six Iraqi soldiers, and the other targeted an American convoy.



Pickerington Marine Injured In Blast


October 14, 2004 MACKENZIE FRY, ThisWeek Community Newspapers


A Pickerington Marine was injured Oct. 3 in Iraq when a suicide bomber blew up a station wagon driving alongside a convoy of Humvee military vehicles traveling toward the city of Al Qaim near the Syrian border.


The explosion left Lance Cpl. Jonathan Davis, 21, with a knee swollen three times its normal size and gashes to his knee and nose, said Davis's father, Jerry, who said he spoke with his son the following day and again Oct. 6.


He last spoke with Jonathan at 3:35 a.m. Monday, Ohio time, when his son called from a bus in Germany while on his way to a hospital.


"From what I understand, he was the lead vehicle in a convoy," Jerry Davis said.  "And Humvees are bulletproof all the way around, but they don't have a top ... so they all ducked their heads down."


As they did, Davis said his son told him that a red station wagon pulled up next to the Humvee, traveling at about 30 miles per hour.  It exploded within five feet of the Humvee.


The blast did not damage any other Humvees or cause injury to other Marines traveling in the convoy behind the lead vehicle, he said.


Davis said he believes Jonathan and the other Marines in his vehicle were knocked unconscious and woke up to find their Humvee on fire.


When he first spoke to his son, Jonathan was in a hospital at the Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, waiting for the swelling in his left knee to go down so doctors could take X-rays and stitch the gash.  Jonathan Davis told his father he was flown by helicopter to the air base.


Doctors in Iraq initially had believed Jonathan had ripped all the ligaments in his knee, Jerry Davis said last week.  After the swelling had gone down, doctors in Baghdad were able to take X-rays, but they were murky because of fluid in Jonathan's knee, Davis said.


"They think he's definitely torn his meniscus, which is cartilage," he said. "Other than that, they don't know what else."


Jonathan underwent physical therapy in Baghdad, according to his dad.  "Otherwise, his knee was going to start knotting up," his father said.


Jonathan Davis, a fire team leader, is a member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 2nd Platoon, his father said.


He is two months into his second tour of duty, having also served for 10 months at the beginning of the war.  His son's current tour of duty is not scheduled to end until April, Jerry Davis said.


When Jonathan called his father early Monday morning, he said he was "very uncomfortable" on the bus, Jerry Davis said.  "Other than that, he sounded OK. But at the time, he wasn't thinking about himself, he was thinking about getting the number (of Fisher House) for his buddy."


Fisher House is an organization that helps the families of hospitalized military personnel. A fellow soldier with a knee injury from a separate incident was traveling on the same bus as Jonathan Davis, and hoped Fisher House would pay for his wife to visit him.


Davis said last week that he had spoken with representatives from the organization, who said Fisher House would pay the airfare to Germany and accommodations for him and Jonathan's mother, Rhonda Cunningham, should Jonathan need surgery.


"We're not going to fly over there, because the more we thought about it, with the knee surgery, we're not going to use it," Jerry Davis said Tuesday. They felt others would need the opportunity more than they.


Davis said the base in Twentynine Palms had contacted him Monday with an update on Jonathan. He planned to call the base yesterday, Wednesday, to see if officials had further information.  "(We're) always just sitting and waiting, because we don't know anything concrete," he said.


When he first spoke to his son following the blast, Jonathan "seemed blessed," Jerry Davis said.  "He said that if you would have seen the Humvee and the other car ... someone had to be looking out for him."


Jonathan is the middle of five siblings ranging in age from 13 to 24.


"We're all grateful he's OK," his father said.  "It could have been a heck of a lot worse."



A US soldier looks at a burning military vehicle after it was attacked as it drove on a highway to the west of Baghdad on the road leading to Fallujah yesterday. PHOTO: AFP







“I Felt Betrayed”



Oct. 14, 2004 –ABC News


Following inquiries by ABC News, the Pentagon has dropped plans to force a severely wounded U.S. soldier to repay his enlistment bonus after injuries had forced him out of the service.


Army Spc. Tyson Johnson III of Mobile, Ala., who lost a kidney in a mortar attack last year in Iraq, was still recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center when he received notice from the Pentagon's own collection agency that he owed more than $2,700 because he could not fulfill his full 36-month tour of duty.


Johnson said the Pentagon listed the bonus on his credit report as an unpaid government loan, making it impossible for him to rent an apartment or obtain credit cards.


"Oh man, I felt betrayed," Johnson said.  "I felt, like, oh, my heart dropped."


Army Spc. Tyson Johnson III


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.



Injured Soldier Vows to Return to Full Duty


By Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service


FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 13, 2004


"As long as you have heart, there's nothing to stop you," said Army Sgt. Joshua Forbess, one of just five soldiers who survived a fiery Black Hawk helicopter collision over Mosul, Iraq, last November.


The driving force behind his efforts to recover fully from his injuries — and to return to full duty in the military — is "all in here," Forbess said, tapping his chest.


The 27-year-old Decator, Ill., native never woke up from the incident until eight weeks later, and still tears up when he discusses the 17 of his fellow 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers who died in the crash, many of them his friends.  Forbess lost an ear and half of his nose and received broken bones, extensive burns and smoke inhalation injuries.


While he continues to recover from his injuries — a process that, including reconstruction surgery, could take two or three years — he's back working at Fort Campbell, Ky., and committed to returning to full duty with his unit, the 320th Field Artillery Regiment's 1st Battalion.


Forbess said he barely notices the curious looks he receives when he goes out in public, revealing his facial injuries to the world. "I don't notice people staring," he said.  "There's no shame. I'm still the same person inside."


Army Sgt. Joshua Forbess.  AFPS photo



Local Woman Injured In Baghdad Blast


October 13, 2004 By Michelle Krish (KBCI TV)


A Mountain Home woman is recovering in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C., after being seriously injured in a car bomb attack in Baghdad.


42 year old Sara Latona suffered multiple wounds when a car bomb exploded next to the bus she'd been driving.  Sara was delivering supplies to Baghdad and had three soldiers with her.



Her family says she was more worried about them than herself.  Sara's mother says her daughter is in good spirits.


She's expected to undergo a number of surgeries including a cornea transplant. Her husband and fifteen year old son are taking it day by day, and her mom says the community's support has helped them get through this difficult time.


"I had so many people saying prayers. I even mentioned to my husband she could turn into a saint," says Sara's mother Leni Briggs.


"I just hope everything works out and she comes home safe," says Sara's neighbor Dorothy Todtenbier.


Sara's mother isn't sure when she'll see her daughter or what condition she'll be in.


"As long as she's alive she's Sara, faced messed up or not she's still my daughter and she's still beautiful," says Leni Briggs.



Georgetown Soldier Injured In Bombing May Lose Leg


Oct. 14, 2004 By Ivonne D'Amato, The Sun News


The wife and mother of a Georgetown County Army soldier injured in Baghdad, Iraq, and soon to be hospitalized in Germany are glad he is alive and hope he will not lose his leg.


Ramon Guitard was deployed June 15 to the Middle East and was injured during a bombing in Iraq.


Family members say doctors are trying to save his right leg.


Lottie Guitard, Ramon Guitard's mother, found out about his injuries Sunday.


Lottie Guitard and Ramon Guitard's wife, Melissa Guitard, will travel to Germany, where he is being transported for further medical treatment.


"People tell you what his injuries are like, but you really can't tell unless you see it yourself," Lottie Guitard said.  "I just want to go to see the extent of his injuries myself. I am hoping and praying he is of a good frame of mind, for the mind controls the body."


He has two young daughters waiting for his return, Shanta, 5, and Alecia Ray-Lyn, born May 25, just before Ramon Guitard was deployed.  He also has a sister, Elan Guitard, 21.


It is not known when Ramon Guitard will be shipped to the United States, his mother said.  Lottie Guitard said she hopes he will be home soon



Wounded Soldier Returns To Charlotte


Sgt. James Cooper is reunited with his family.


10/14/2004 By: News 14 Carolina


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local soldier who was wounded in Iraq came home Wednesday night to a hero's welcome.


Family and friends greeted Sgt. James Cooper at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.


Cooper was hit in the face with bullet fragments. He nearly lost his eye, and spent a year recovering in a hospital overseas.


The soldier said when he arrived that it was just great to be home.


“It feels good," Cooper said. "I've gone a while without seeing them now.  I've been through a lot of stuff.  I'm just glad to be home, be safe, and be with my family."


Cooper received a purple heart after his ordeal.


He will be home for two weeks and then heads back to be with his unit.


Cooper has nine months of service left and said he is undecided about whether to re-enlist.



50 Dead From Twentynine Palms


October 14th, 2004 The Desert Sun


TWENTYNINE PALMS -- A Marine from Florida who died Tuesday in Iraq has become the 50th servicemember from the Twentynine Palms Marine base to die during the current war in Iraq.


Cpl. Ian T. Zook, 24, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., was killed Tuesday in enemy action in Al Anbar province


Zook was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force deployed from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.


Zook is the first servicemember from Twentynine Palms killed in Iraq this month and the eighth member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines to die in Iraq.  Seven of those deaths within the battalion have occurred since Sept. 1.



Ukraine Cuts Iraq Forces By 200


LVOV, October 14 (Itar-Tass)


The rotation of Ukrainian soldiers in Iraq, started on September 22, is nearing completion.


They will be replaced by troops of the Southern Command. However, the Ukrainian government decided to cut the number by 200.



Mercenaries Get $1000 A Day;

"To Grow Up Without A Father Is Not Worth It”


October 14, 2004 By Graeme Hosken


Pretoria: A South African is killed every month in Iraq, yet US dollar payments continue to lure thousands of locals who flock to the country to help restore "peace and order".


The drawcard is the $1 000 that more than 4 000 South Africans are paid every day while working on security contracts throughout the war-torn country.  They were paid in US dollars


Johan Botha, 37, who lived in Pretoria North, and Louis Campher, 43, of Port Elizabeth, were shot dead on Tuesday, bringing the number of South Africans killed in Iraq this year to 11.


Yesterday, Botha's distraught sister, Petro Rademan, said she was beside herself with grief.


"I cannot understand people going to a place like Iraq for money, especially if you are not going to live to spend it," she said.


Rademan said she hoped that her brother's death would make those who were going think about the horrifying ordeal they were about to put their families through.


"To grow up without a father is not worth it.  Money can't buy you a goodnight kiss, a comforting hug, wisdom or love," she sobbed.


Botha's one-year-old son, Johan, is now without a father.


His widow said the worst was constantly worrying about the whereabouts of a relative while they were in the battle-scarred country.


"Every day we would pray that he would be alright, waiting for his phone calls and e-mails," she said.


The last time Rademan spoke to her brother was on Friday night when he called to tell her that he loved her and that she should look after herself.


"I knew then that, deep down, Johan knew he would not be coming home (alive).







Falluja Ready To Fight


October 14, 2004 BAGHDAD (AP) - U.S. marines launched air and ground attacks Thursday on the insurgent bastion Fallujah after city representatives suspended peace talks with the government over Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's demand to hand over terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.


Abu Asaad, spokesman for the religious council of Fallujah, said that "handing over al-Zarqawi" was an "impossible condition" since even the Americans were unable to catch him.


"Since we exhausted all peaceful solutions, the city is now ready to bear arms and defend its religion and honour and it's not afraid of Allawi's statements," Asaad said in a live interview with Al-Jazeera television.


DynCorp is a subsidiary of California-based Computer Sciences Corp.


Computer Sciences Corp. employs 90,000 people in 80 countries worldwide, according to its Web site.  The company once advertised jobs to help re-establish police functions in Iraq.


The company lists among its employees ''ethical hackers, nanotechnologists, informaticians, cybersecurity specialists and high-performance computing architects.''






Outpost Overrun:

15 Occupation Guards Killed In Ramadi


10.15.04 AFP, Reuters, Baghdad & (Xinhuanet)


In Ramadi, fifteen Iraqi national guardsmen were killed in an overnight attack in Qaim, the farthest town in Anbar province near the Syrian border, according to a police officer in the town and a message received at provincial police headquarters yesterday.


"Armed gunmen attacked a national guard post overnight, killing 15 soldiers and stealing their weapons," read the internal message at the Ramadi headquarters for Al-Anbar province.



Iraqi Occupation General And Lt. Col. Killed In Baquba


BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet)


Unidentified attackers shot down two Iraqi army officers in a drive-by shooting Thursday in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman said.


General Nadhem Flayih and Lieutenant Colonel Imad Awad Ahmed were killed when they were traveling on a main road in Baquba, heading to their work at about 7:30 a.m., Adnan Abdul-Rahman said.



U.S. Military Supply Truck Driver Beheaded


Oct. 14, 2004 Associated Press


CAIRO, Egypt - A man identified as a Turkish driver kidnapped in Iraq was beheaded in a video shown on an Islamic Web site Thursday.


The video began with the white haired and bearded captive saying: "I am Ramadan."  "I drove a truck of supplies to the Americans. ... When I was coming back (to Turkey), the group captured me. I call on all Turkish drivers not to come to Iraq," he said.



Judge Blown Away


October 14, 2004 The Associated Press


A judge was shot dead, Ministry spokesman Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman said.


Judge Abdel Amir Kadhem was killed at 7:55 a.m. in the Shiite neighborhood of Azamiyah in Baghdad.







Military Says U.S. Occupation Trying To Disrupt Elections And Create Instability


10.14.04 AP


The U.S. military announced increased armed patrols in and around the Green Zone, at the airport and other checkpoints, and combat air patrols and air surveillance.


"Anti-Iraqi forces are trying to create the perception of instability in Iraq and thereby disrupt the upcoming Iraqi elections."



Real Democracy in Iraq

John Jonik is a cartoonist and activist living in Philadelphia, USA. He can be contacted by email.


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.






Two U.N. Soldiers Wounded


10.13.04  Wall St. Journal


Haiti tensions soared as two U.N. soldiers were wounded battling Aristide supporters in Port-Au-Prince and restive Gonaives hurricane survivors.






From: D. Rejman

To: GI Special

Sent: October 14, 2004 11:01 PM

Subject: possible article (an uplifting one) for one of your newsletters


Annie and the Vets is a group of members of Veterans for Peace who sing political/country/folk songs.  They perform throughout the SF Bay area.  Their first CD, "Touch A Name On the Wall" is selling very well.  All proceeds from the sale of the CD are going to Veterans for Peace.


You can listen to samples at www.cdbaby.com/cd/annieandthevets.  The most appropriate songs for what is going on these days are "Smart Bombs and Stupid Leaders," "Connecticut Yankee," and "Pipeline."  The cover song of course is about the Vietnam wall.  The reason the CD was made was because after each time the band played this song, when the audience, esp. Vietnam vets, stopped crying, they'd ask when it was going to be recorded.


Here's the link to the article:



Wage peace,



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