GI Special:



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





The Healing Touch Of Another World


When you look into the eyes of a young female nurse in an emergency evacuation hospital, whose uniform is saturated with blood—desperately trying to save a teenager’s life as he bleeds to death from a massive combat injury, you are looking into the face of a Vietnam Veteran.  If people in this country knew how many thousands of lives these nurses saved, there would be a monument dedicated in their honor in every city across America.  I hope these women have made peace with their memories.  They gave emotional last rites to countless American soldiers—bless them all, wherever they may be.

Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71


Photo from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71  (Please contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more examples of his outstanding work.  T)



The Fuse Is Lit:

GI Rights Attorney Demands Immediate Access to Client, One Of The Seventeen Refusers From 343d Quartermaster Co:

Wants Army To Return All Refusers Now To US For Legal Proceedings


Additional info: (212) 679-2250 citizensoldier1@aol.com


Tod Ensign, Legal Director for Citizen Soldier, a New York City based non profit GI/Veterans rights advocacy group is demanding that Major Richard Spiegel of the 13th Corps Support Command in Iraq or his superiors, facilitate Ensign's immediate contact with Pfc. Colin Durham, 20 of Rock Hill, S.C. Durham's godmother, Ms Nadine Stafford of Rock Hill has asked Mr. Ensign to ascertain from Durham his current legal status and that of sixteen other members of his unit, the 343d Quartermaster Co.


According to accounts provided to family members, seventeen enlisted members of the 343d Quartermaster Company had refused to perform a recklessly dangerous mission.  They were immediately imprisoned in a tent for nearly two days by armed guards who kept loaded rifles pointed at them.  Subsequently, Lt. Col. Dave Rodgers of the Army Reserves' 81st Regional Readiness Command in Birmingham, AL told reporters that, "No soldier has been confined, arrested or charged as a result of this incident."


According to unit members who gave phone accounts to family members, their unit had been ordered to operate a fuel supply convoy through 200 miles of extremely hostile urban areas around Baghdad.  Their tanker trucks lacked bullet-resistant armor and had a top speed of 40 mph.  Also, the trucks were in poor condition and prone to breakdowns.  The unit was also told that they were to make this run without armed escort or air cover.  Finally, the jet fuel they were hauling was contaminated with diesel fuel and had already been rejected at another refueling base.


Specialist Joseph Dobbs, of Vandiver, AL told his mother, Beverly; "We refused to go because our vehicles were in awful shape. The place they wanted to send us was dangerous.  We had to go without guns.  All of us refused to go; we're not risking our lives like that."


In 1992, Ensign was involved in an appeal of Specialist Dwayne Brown who, along with other Black reservists at Ft Hood, TX had discussed refusing to deploy to Iraq because they didn't believe they had received adequate combat training.  The Army prosecuted Brown and two other Louisiana National Guard members using a law which forbids GIs from organizing GI unions.  Two of the three received one or more years in prison and punitive discharges.  "These reservists have a legal right to representation by civilian attorneys.  This shouldn't be denied because potential charges have arisen in a war zone," Ensign argues.


"Some of the GIs accused of detainee torture at Abu Ghraib prison have been transferred back to U.S. bases to provide them with better access to their civilian defense attorneys, " Ensign noted.  "These seventeen reservists deserve no less. Despite what Army spokespeople have said, I expect these GIs to be eventually charged under the military's penal code."


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.



(See Petition In “Received”




Inquiry Opens After Reservists Refuse Orders In Baghdad


10/15/2004 NEELA BANERJEE and ARIEL HART , New York Times


The Army is investigating members of a Reserve unit in Iraq who refused to deliver a fuel shipment north of Baghdad under conditions they considered unsafe, the Pentagon and relatives of the soldiers said Friday.  Several soldiers called it a "suicide mission," relatives said.


Some 18 members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, S.C., were detained at gunpoint for nearly two days after disobeying orders to drive trucks that they said had not been serviced and were not being escorted by armed vehicles to Taji, about 15 miles north of Baghdad, relatives said after speaking to some of the soldiers.


Jackie Butler of Jackson, Miss., the wife of Staff Sgt. Michael Butler, 44, said she was awakened about 5:30 or 6 a.m. Thursday by a call from an officer from Iraq.  He told her "that my husband was being detained for disobeying a direct order," Ms. Butler said, "and he went on to tell me that it was a bogus charge that they got against him and some of those soldiers over there, because what they was doing was sending them into a suicide mission, and they refused to go."


A senior Army officer said that 19 soldiers from the unit had been assembled Wednesday morning to deliver fuel but that some had refused to go.  He denied they had been held under guard.


The officer said the soldiers raised "some valid concerns."


"Unfortunately it appears that a small number of the soldiers involved chose to express their concerns in an inappropriate manner," said the officer, who discussed the preliminary findings only on the condition of anonymity.  Insubordination in wartime is a grave offense, and an inquiry is under way, the officer said, to determine if the Uniform Code of Military Justice was violated and whether disciplinary measures were warranted.


It is unclear if this is the first time a group of soldiers in Iraq has refused to carry out orders, and the military is playing down the incident as an isolated event. But the small rebellion suggests that problems linger with outfitting soldiers with adequate equipment in an increasingly dangerous country.


The incident, which was first reported in The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., where several of the soldiers live, apparently began after the company tried to deliver a shipment of fuel to a base, but was turned away because the fuel was unusable, according to family members.


According to relatives and the Army officer, they returned to their base in Tallil, where they were told to deliver the fuel to Taji.  The group refused, citing the poor condition of their vehicles and the lack of an armed escort, family members said.  American convoys, which are usually accompanied by armored cars and sometimes by aircraft, are often attacked by insurgents.


"Yesterday we refused to go on a convoy to Taji," Specialist Amber McClenny, 21, said in a message she left on the answering machine of her mother, Teresa Hill, in Dothan, Ala.  "We had broken-down trucks, nonarmored vehicles.  We were carrying contaminated fuel."


After the soldiers were released, Specialist McClenny called her mother again and explained that the jet fuel the convoy had to carry had been contaminated with diesel, and that because it had been rejected by one base, it would likely be rejected by the Taji base.


Taji is in the volatile Sunni-dominated swath of Iraq, and Ms. Hill said her daughter felt "that if you go there, it's a 99 percent chance you will be ambushed or fired upon."


"They had not slept, the trucks had not been maintained, they were going without armed guards, it was just a bad deal," Ms. Hill said. "And that's when the whole unit said no." She said their defense is "cease action on an unsafe order."


Relatives said that prior to the incident, soldiers had complained to them that their equipment was shoddy and put them in greater danger.  The relatives said they did not know if such complaints were made to the unit's command.


Patricia McCook of Jackson, Miss., said her husband, Sgt. Larry O. McCook, 41, had told her "that these vehicles were unsafe."


"He said, we go out on these missions, you know, he was afraid they were going to break down, that they were no good, they were just piecemealing something together, and set up for people to come ambushing you," she added.


The senior Army officer said the military was investigating the issue of vehicle maintenance.


Phillip Carter, a former Army captain and expert on legal and military affairs, said the kind of insubordination the unit showed had been more common during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, when the draft was still in place and the average conscript's goal was survival.  The formation of an all-volunteer Army was supposed to address these problems, Mr. Carter said.  [The only thing that “addresses the problem” of murderous incompetents in command during a disastrous unjustified war for Empire is doing what the whole army did in Vietnam: stop fighting it.  Brought the troops home back then, same now.]


But the continually shifting war in Iraq is testing the preparation of the military, especially the Reserve and the National Guard, military experts said.  Since last year, Reserve and National Guard units have complained about lack of proper equipment and training.


The Army officer who discussed the case said service records of the 343rd indicated that it has performed well for the nearly nine months it has served in Iraq.


Though the soldiers have been released from detention, they could face anything from reprimands to courts-martial.


Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington for this article, and Norimitsu Onishi from Baghdad.



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)






Helicopters Crash, 2 U.S. Troops Die


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two Army helicopters crashed in southwest Baghdad late Saturday, killing two soldiers and wounding two others, the U.S. military said.


The 1st Cavalry Division said the crashes occurred about 8:30 p.m.



One U.S. Soldier Dead In Mosul Car Bomb Attack


16 October 2004 By Robert H. Reid, The Associated Press


The U.S. military said a U.S. soldier assigned to Task Force Olympia died of wounds suffered in a car bomb attack in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said Saturday.  A statement by the U.S. command said the blast occurred Friday in the east-central area of Mosul.



U.S. Patrol In Qaim Hit By Car Bomb,

Four Dead


16 October 2004 By Robert H. Reid, & By TINI TRAN, The Associated Press


A bomber driving an explosive-laden vehicle, targeted a U.S. patrol near the town of Qaim, an insurgent hotspot near the border with Syria according to Lt. Col. Chris Woodbridge, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.


Three U.S. troops — two soldiers and one Marine — were killed.  An Iraqi interpreter was also killed.


One soldier was wounded.



Another Victory In Falluja Bombing Campaign


10.16.04 By Alistair Lyon, BAGHDAD (Reuters)


U.S. forces bombarded western Falluja, destroying a house and killing a baby girl on Saturday.  Reuters television footage showed the dead infant in hospital with its arm blown off. Three other children and a woman were wounded.






Bye Bye Green Zone

Black smoke billows from the "Green Zone" following two explosions in central Baghdad. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)



Auburn Soldier Killed;

He Mourned Mom A Year Ago


October 16, 2004 By Art CamposSacramento Bee Staff Writer


David Waters of Auburn was a troubled teen, searching for direction in life.


He found it when he enlisted in the U.S. Army early last year.  He couldn't wait to come home and show off his uniform to his family.


When he did return 13 months ago, it was under the saddest of circumstances:  His mother had been killed, her body found behind some bushes in Auburn.


On Wednesday, Waters, 19, also lost his life.  He was the victim of a bombing in Iraq, where he'd been sent by the Army, his family has reported.


"It's been so heartbreaking," said Debbie Waters of Visalia, whose husband is David Waters' cousin.  "David had been a troubled youngster in high school.  I can recall at his mom's funeral last year, David was in his uniform and said, 'I know my mom would be so proud to see how I've turned out.'


"From what we've learned, he was one of two men on patrol and a car bomb blew up," said Debbie Waters.


David Waters' aunt, Patricia Work of West Sacramento, said her nephew and his mother, Susan Waters, struggled.


"David was in and out of trouble: His background wasn't the best," Work said.  "But then he joined the service, and oh, he was so handsome in that uniform and he was so proud to be in it."


Susan Waters was born with hydrocephalus, commonly known as "water on the brain." Complications from the disease left her with spinal problems and constant pain, Work said.


Susan Waters, 42, got by with little income and often lived on the streets, family members said.  When she would meet other homeless people, she brought them to shelters or churches for free meals, they said.


"She was a child of God," said Debbie Waters. "She was always helping other people out.  That's probably what got her killed.  I don't think she ever met anyone she didn't like."


Auburn Police Officer Dan Coe said Susan Waters' killer remains unknown.  Waters, though not a drinker, was last seen at the Shanghai Bar in Old Auburn on Sept. 5, 2003. Her body was found the next day behind a hedge in the 1100 block of Lincoln Way, Coe said.


Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Waters' killer. Anyone with information is asked to call (530) 823-4234.


Susan Waters helped distribute food to the homeless at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Auburn, said Lucille Gaede, director of the church's community services program.


"It's so tragic that she didn't know how sweet he turned out," Gaede said.  "Life is full of pain for some people."



Georgia Mercenary Dead


October 15, 2004 WSBTV


KENNESAW -- Steve Osborne was a police officer and a soldier, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who went to Iraq to work as a private contractor protecting personnel for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, his sister-in-law said.


Osborne, 40, died Thursday when two bombers penetrated the highly protected Green Zone and blew themselves up at a bazaar close to the Embassy. 


Osborne had been in Iraq since May and "was protecting dignitaries from the U.S. Embassy," said Amy Stafford, the sister of Osborne's wife, Karen.


Stafford said that Osborne, a 1982 graduate North Cobb High School, had gone to Kennesaw State University.  "He was constantly training with the military and was with the Cobb County Police Department," she said.


He also was in the Army Reserve and was in Afghanistan two years ago with the Special Forces, she said.


Some time prior to that, Stafford said, Osborne had worked with DynCorp in Bosnia, then was a police officer in Villa Rica, Ga., west of Atlanta.


After service in Afghanistan, Osborne was home and inactive with the Reserve, she said.


"Shortly after that year was up, he decided to go with DynCorp," Stafford said.



Minnesota Mercenary Dead


Oct. 15, 2004 AMY FORLITI, Associated Press


MINNEAPOLIS - Whether coaching high school football, training with the Marines, or running the city of North Branch as its mayor, John Pinsonneault was a true public servant and leader.


The 39-year-old went to Iraq to work for the private U.S. security firm DynCorp.  He was one of three employees killed Thursday in suicide bombings in Baghdad's Green Zone.


"John was very dynamic.  He was very much a leader, very ambitious and motivational," she said.


The couple kept in touch through e-mail. Lorie Pinsonneault said that even though her husband was in danger, he would keep tabs on things back home, making sure everything was running smoothly.  He even continued to do some of his motivational speaking work through e-mail, she said.


"He flew the P.O.W. flag and U.S. Marine Corps flag out on his garage.  In fact, I think the flag was bigger than his garage!" Moosey joked.



British Mercenary Dead




A British security guard has been shot dead near the northern Iraqi oil centre of Kirkuk, his employer said on Friday.


The ArmorGroup employee died of gunshot wounds suffered during an incident in Taza, south of Kirkuk, on October 11, the security company said in a statement.


A British source said he believed the shooting happened at a power plant near Kirkuk.



Two British Mercenaries Blown Up;

One Still Alive


15 Oct 2004 By David Stringer, PA News, News Scotsman


Two Britons were seriously injured in a suicide attack inside Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone which killed six people, it was confirmed today.


Michael Fitzpatrick, a British contractor, is recovering in the 31st Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone and the Foreign Office confirmed he and a fellow Briton have “serious, but not life threatening” injuries.


Mr Fitzpatrick said that he was drinking coffee in the Green Zone cafe when the bomber detonated one of two hand-held bombs close to the U.S. embassy and Iraqi government buildings.


A Foreign Office spokesman said that the identity of the second injured man has not been confirmed, but said that next of kin have been informed.





A Scout Platoon convoy,1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd ID near Fallujah Oct. 16, 2004. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)







Definitely Recommended


From: John Gingerich

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:40 AM

Subject: Serious business




I urge each and every one of you to download and watch this 50 second video.



Going To Iraq?

Bring Your Own Boots


October 12th, 2004 by James Ridgeway, Village Voice Media, Inc.  Additional reporting: David Botti and Laurie Anne Agnese


In the first debate, John Kerry pointed out that our soldiers are sent to Iraq without proper equipment, leaving their parents back home searching the Web for proper body armor. "Humvees—10,000 out of 12,000 Humvees that are over there aren't armored,"


Kerry said, as Bush Junior smirked. "And you go visit some of those kids in hospitals today who were maimed because they don't have the armament."


That's the half of it. Here's a recent e-mail from a Marine infantryman, part of the original invasion force, who recently returned from combat in Iraq:


• On footwear:  "Days before we flew out from North Carolina to Kuwait, some Marines were still not being provided with the correct size desert boots. There were extra boots left, but none that would fit.  The unit was allotted only a certain number of boots for each size. Still, others were issued two pairs of boots . . . the older type and a new type just released.  The Marines without boots had to pay for cabs to bring them outside of the base to a military surplus store in town, where they could buy desert boots that actually fit."


• On weapons: "We were issued a certain amount of ammunition while in Kuwait, prior to flying into Iraq.  This was on 4/1/03.  There was no ammo for the machine gunners. Therefore, our infantry rifle company had no heavy guns support.  While we were in the hangar in Kuwait, waiting to fly out, a few of the machine gunners went up to a Navy SEAL team, which was also staged in the hangar.  They had a small arsenal of weapons, including all-terrain vehicles with shoulder-launched rockets attached, and box upon box of ammunition.  When told that we had no machine gun ammo, they gave us a few boxes so we could fly into Iraq with working machine guns."


• On backpacks: "Their frames were made of plastic. The Marine Corps knew that these packs were shit.  They were supposed to be the 'next-generation' thing, but troops in Afghanistan complained about them.  The USMC already began developing new packs, but sent us into Iraq with these plastic frames.  Many Marines had their frames break, simply by putting them on under the full combat load weight. Then they're expected to carry them.  Some had to repair their packs with string."


An official Marine report prepared this past January, Marine Corps Reserve Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom: Lessons Learned, confirmed much of what this soldier reported, and noted other scarcely believable screwups.


"Convoys as large as 100 to 150 vehicles had only two or three military radios for long-range communications and virtually no capability for intra-convoy communications," the report said.  "Intra-convoy communications is needed because a 100-vehicle convoy can cover two to three miles from head to tail."  To stay in touch, the reserve units on their own went out and bought civilian short-range, handheld radios.


On their return, the government won't give these soldiers the most basic benefits. Here are a couple of examples:


Families visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington and elsewhere up to now were granted $51 a day to help pay some of their expenses.  But Congress cut the per diem payment from the budget.


Some 40 percent of reservists have no health insurance, and the Pentagon has been fighting to avoid including them under the military's TriCare Health benefits system.  The vets want to be able to buy insurance under this plan at affordable prices.  Legislation being worked out in Congress will allow some, but not all, reservists to enter the military's medical plan.



Local Marine Injured In Iraq Finally Awake


10/15/2004 By: Stacy Rector , Staff writer, Star Community Newspapers


Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob Schick is finally awake.


The 22-year-old 2001 graduate of Coppell High School was injured while driving in Iraq last month when a bomb exploded beneath his vehicle.  His injuries were extensive. His right foot had to be amputated. He lost a finger.


On Monday, doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland decided it was time to wake him up.


Just Friday morning, his family was waiting for "Jake" to come out of surgery.  Waiting patiently were his mother, Debby Schick, a Flower Mound resident, his aunt, Becky Pierson of Coppell, his brother and his sister.


Schick's left arm and leg sustained several compound fractures, Pierson said.  He will require several surgeries to correct those.


During Friday's surgery, doctors had to clean out the area on his left arm that had not been grated over yet.  "They have to stick a wound [vacuum] in it," Pierson said. "They're suctioning out the yucky stuff.


Because of Schick's extensive injuries, he had been placed on a ventilator.  The skin was burned off the top of his left hand and part of his arm, so doctors grafted his stomach skin to his arm and put his hand to his stomach.  His left leg, which has been repaired, is still in traction, so he is required to stay flat on his back.


"They've kept him just short of being totally asleep," Pierson said. "He's heavily sedated."


On Friday morning, the word was that doctors were going to try to begin to wake Schick up to see if he would be agitated.  For his family, the waiting never seemed to end. Pierson stayed at her nephew's side for three weeks until returning home on Saturday.


The soldier's girlfriend, a medical student currently in the middle of her rotations, arrived Saturday.  Other family members rotated out so that someone would be by Schick's side 24 hours a day.


"We hope he doesn't wake up agitated," she said.  "Most explosion victims wake up scared."


This entire experience has been very difficult on the family, but they are getting through because of the soldiers surrounding them.  Soldiers and military personnel wander the hospital halls.  "Their bravery is such an inspiration," Pierson said.  The bravery of the Marines is just unreal.  They're so strong but they're in so much pain.


"The doctors say the pain from an explosion is different [than any other pain] because it rocks their whole body. It's different from a car accident, an amputation, a bad cut or anything. It causes trauma to the tissue, the brain, everything."


Additionally, doctors can't be sure how the tissue will respond. The first graft on Schick's arm failed.


And, he has nightmares.


The war injuries are new to the medical staff at the naval hospital.


"These doctors and nurses weren't around in the Vietnam war, so this is something they've never seen before," Pierson said. "[The soldiers] are never out of pain; [the doctors] just try to keep it balanced.


"It's a very hard time for the family and the doctors." They have seen soldiers with their eyes missing, facial injuries, their faces completely blown off, those who had blown up a leg and were trying to save it.


"There are 18 to 20 soldiers here right now," Pierson said. "They bring in a Medivac every night.


At this time, Schick's family is praying that his arm can be fixed. Right now the only limb he can work is his right arm.


The soldier is fully aware of his duty as a soldier, though.  "Jacob said his major concern is for the unit," Pierson said. "He told the head of Marines who came to see him 'I've taken responsibility.  I'm not blaming anybody.'  It's pretty powerful.


"You gain strength from them... But seeing Jake right now..." she chokes up. "Because he can't respond to any of us.. we don't know what level his pain is.. It's a hard time."


However, part of that changed when Schick awoke on Monday.  In a state of confusion, he had been asleep for a week. He woke up feeling very weak and very hot, so he now has a fan to help his comfort level.  And, his breathing tube has been removed.


Still, there is a long road ahead, and the family is asking for prayers that he remains still and calm, and that his pain medication will be strong enough to keep him comfortable.


Pierson doesn't know if other people feel the significance of the news when an American soldier is injured or killed fighting in the war.


"When you see that scroll across the [TV] screen, it is a major injury," she said. "All the guys need [people's] prayers."


Schick's family appreciates the exceptional care and support they have received from the hospital staff, friends, and others.



600 More For Imperial War:

Vt. Army National Guard Mobilized


Colchester, Vermont - October 15, 2004 WorldNow and WCAX


The waiting is over. After weeks of speculation 600 soldiers with the Vermont National Guard will be needed to help fight the Iraqi War.


"These soldiers come from Alpha Company in Bradford, Bravo Company in Westminster, Charlie Company in Bennington, Delta in Ludlow and Northfield, and HQ out of Rutland," Maj. Gen. Martha Rainville


Weeks ago the 86th Brigade was put on alert. Half of that group is now preparing to leave. They and their families have until November 15th to tie up any loose ends.


"So families should take a deep breath, know it is going to be hard emotionally, but they will get through this," Rainville said. "We stick together until they come home."


The soldiers head to Fort Dix in New Jersey for training, then head overseas. The entire deployment is scheduled to last 18 months.



Bulgaria Runs Out Of Equipment For Iraq Soldiers;

Won’t Increase Troop Strength


15 October 2004 Sofia News Agency


Bulgaria is having some problems with finding equipment for the country's fourth Iraq peacekeeping unit.


The Chief of Bulgarian Army Staff General Nikola Kolev revealed that Defence Minister Nikolay Svinarov has pledged to deliver the needed equipment within a month.


Kolev also explained that so far Sofia is not planning to boost its presence in Iraq by sending more troops to the war-torn country.







Resistance Overruns & Destroys Rawah Cop Station & Burns Fuel Tankers


16 October 2004 By TINI TRAN, The Associated Press


More than 20 armed men raided a police station in Rawah, some 200 miles west of Baghdad, taking six officers hostage, said witness Fakhry Mohammed Ali, 35.  The gunmen released the policemen but blew up the station, he said.


Also in Rawah, three Iraqi drivers transporting oil to an American base were kidnapped and their tankers set ablaze, Ali said.






Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.  George Orwell



The tree of liberty grows only when watered with the blood of tyrants" --- Barere



Rumsfeld Says US Troop Levels in Iraq Drop;

(But He’s Talking About The Dead And Maimed Not Being Replaced)


October 14, 2004 Xymphora


Back in September, Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech given at Ft. Campbell that U.S. forces in Iraq numbered 137,000, down from 150,000.


Rita Cosby of Fox News asked Rumsfeld before he left on his recent trip to Iraq whether the United States may 'start to pull out' after the Iraqi elections next year. Rumsfeld had replied:


"We've already started. We had 150,000 troops over there originally. We're down to 137,000 right now."


Think about the numbers. 150,000.  137,000.


The difference is 13,000.  What does that number represent?


Of course!  It's the American casualty rate. The numbers of American troops are dropping because the Pentagon hasn't got the troops to replace the fallen.  Rumsfeld has the audacity to boast about his reduced level of troops, not pointing out why they are reduced.


I have before never heard the civilian leader of an army boast about his huge number of casualties.


On this logic, the United States will have won the war when every American soldier is withdrawn from Iraq, either in a coffin or on a stretcher with missing limbs, eyes, or mind.


The shortage of fodder units is why the Americans are trying to get NATO into a combat role in Afghanistan.  An over-extended American army is just what the world needs right now.



Soldiers For The Truth (www.sftt.org) is the site run by Col. David Hackworth, and if you want to know about Generals putting themselves in for unearned medals, or civilian contract abuse, or just plain poor leadership and support of our active duty troops; this is a must. It is a site dedicated to supporting the troops beyond just slogans.






Munafiqueen Government A Thieves Market


15 October 2004 By Kathleen Ridolfo Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


Corruption is reportedly running rampant in the new Iraqi government, according to Judge Radi al-Radi, who heads the Commission on Public Integrity established by the Coalition Provisional Authority to monitor corruption.


Al-Diyar television cited al-Radi on 13 October as saying that 14 administrative corruption cases have been investigated at Iraqi ministries.  The cases were reportedly referred to the Iraqi courts.  Al-Radi also said that hundreds of instances of administrative corruption and bribery have been uncovered.


The Al-Diyar report is just one of many to surface in the Iraqi press in recent weeks. "Al-Zaman" reported on 7 October that Environment Ministry Undersecretary Ali Hanush resigned from his post a week earlier after his complaints of corruption and cronyism were not addressed. "I was extremely disappointed at the way affairs were being conducted in the ministry," Hanush told "Al-Zaman" in a letter.


He said that government offices were subject to what he called "administrative violence," adding that many civil servants were promoted, demoted, removed, and transferred without justification.  Loyalty to political factions tied to the government outweighed a person's qualifications, he said.  "Al-Zaman" reported that corruption is affecting several levels of the civil-service structure in Iraq, with officials openly seeking bribes to perform routine functions.


Many Iraqis seeking passports to travel abroad have complained in recent months that Iraqi passport agents were seeking between $100 and $200 to speed up the processing of passports.  The official cost for a new passport is $1.  AP reported on 10 August that Iraqi citizens have complained of having to pay bribes at other places as well: banks, the electric company, telecommunications offices, the tax service, and at real estate offices.







War Is Good Business, Invest Your Kid;

Bush Campaign Contributors Clean Up On War Contracts


14 October 2004 By Antonia Juhasz, The Los Angeles Times


President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are correct when they say things are not all bad in Iraq. It just depends on your perspective. Although the military campaign is in chaos, the economic campaign is moving along quite nicely, at least for U.S. corporations and the Republican Party.


Halliburton, far and away the largest recipient of Iraq reconstruction dollars with about $18 billion in contracts, has seen revenues increase by 80% in the first quarter of 2004 compared with the same quarter of 2003, according to the Financial Times. These revenues reflect "steep profits from their Iraq operations."


Next in line is the Bechtel Group of San Francisco, with nearly $3 billion in Iraq reconstruction contracts. In fact, revenues generated outside the United States have increased by 158% since 2003 for Bechtel - turning around a three-year slump in that category. San Ramon-based ChevronTexaco has a contract to market Iraqi oil. Its profits have increased 90% during the first half of 2004 compared with the same period in 2003, for a total increase of more than $3 billion.


And then there's Lockheed Martin, which hasn't even had to risk operating in Iraq to earn its war booty. In 2004, Lockheed's shares have more than tripled in value since their low in early 2000. A Lockheed spokesman told the New York Times that the company's success since 2000 came from the "changed geopolitical landscape."


Not surprisingly, some of the profits generated by the war in Iraq appear to be making their way into Republican Party coffers.


According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, each of these corporations is among the leaders in its industry in 2003-2004 election-cycle contributions, with most of the donations going to Republicans.


Halliburton funneled 85% of its $165,949 in contributions to Republicans.  ChevronTexaco donated 83% of $367,731 in political contributions to Republicans. Lockheed, whose contribution total of $1,397,132 is more than the contributions of the other three corporations combined, gave 59% to Republicans, and Bechtel, 53% of $199,847.


(For more, see the article Why Iraq isn’t a “diversion” from the “real war”. The bipartisan war on the world, By ELIZABETH SCHULTE, at ww.socialistworker.org.)



Electoral Politics Is A Cesspool


Sent: October 13, 2004 9:43 AM

Subject: Hands off VFP to Kerry sycophants!


I think electoral politics is a cesspool and it drives our nation to distraction and is bankrupt of any true meaning.  It is all hype and Bullshit, Kerry or Bush neither has a clue as to what working people need and want.


We don't want our children and grandchildren used as cannon fodder.


We want a true worldclass education of our children of all colors and ages.


We want real jobs with living wages.


We want healthcare for all Americans.


We want real livable retirements for our seniors.


We want America to be respected in the world for what our nation is and does.


We don't want to live in a xenophobic society.


These are some obvious needs.


I want to hear from a F-Cking candidate that the war must be abandoned ASAP.


I want to hear from a F-Cking candidate that we will leave Iraq to Iraqi's.


I want the John Kerry of 1971 not today's' apologist for the rulers and the roadkill DLC.


Please take me off ALL Kerry lists.


Wage Peace,



Veterans For Peace NYC


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.


I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can

George W. Bush during campaign rally, Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.

(AFP/Tim Sloan)







A Palestinian woman looks on as a relative shows her a piece of clothing retrieved from the rubble of her destroyed house in the Jebaliya, Palestine refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 16, 2004.


Israel withdrew tanks and ground forces from populated areas in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, leaving behind areas of wide destruction and wrapping up its bloodiest offensive in the area in more than four years of fighting. The operation was an effort to prevent Palestinian militants from fighting back against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)




Palestinian kids throw stones at an Israeli army bulldozer during clashes in the Balata refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, Palestine, October 16, 2004. (Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)


From: "Mohammed"

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:55 AM


Please take some time and see what is going on here, www.rafahtoday.org please let your media know about what is life look like here.. I hope that you can help me to share the truths about what is going on here.


Thank you and best regards!

Mohammed, Occupied Palestine


[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org.  The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]









A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson, Mississippi and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday, October 14.


The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq — north of Baghdad — because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.


We the Undersigned recognize and support the right of troops to disobey unsafe orders in an unjust war. We demand that all of the members if the 343rd Quartermaster Company be released and sent home immediately with no charges.


Name (Print)          Address   Phone             Signature










































Please Return All Signed Petitions to the International Socialist Org. Call: 212-502-0707


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