GI SPECIAL 2#B94
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
from the I-R-A-Q ( I Remember Another Quagmire ) portfolio of
Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71 (Please contact at:
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
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
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
here in the USA.
Send requests to address up top.
(See Petition In
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.
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.
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,"
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
contributed reporting from Washington for this article, and
Norimitsu Onishi from Baghdad.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT THE NEW 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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
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
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
Patrol In Qaim Hit By Car Bomb,
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
One soldier was wounded.
Another Victory In
Falluja Bombing Campaign
10.16.04 By Alistair Lyon, BAGHDAD
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
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
Bye Bye Green Zone
Black smoke billows from the "Green
Zone" following two explosions in central Baghdad. (AFP/Ahmad
He Mourned Mom A
October 16, 2004 By Art Campos
– Sacramento 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.
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,
"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,
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
October 15, 2004 WSBTV
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.
Oct. 15, 2004 AMY FORLITI, Associated
- 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
"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.
BAGHDAD, Oct 15 (AFP)
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.
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.
WHAT THE FUCK IS
BRING THEM ALL HOME
A Scout Platoon
convoy,1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd ID near Fallujah
Oct. 16, 2004. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:40 AM
I urge each and every one of you to
download and watch this 50 second video.
Going To Iraq?
Bring Your Own
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.
Injured In Iraq Finally Awake
10/15/2004 By: Stacy Rector , Staff
writer, Star Community Newspapers
Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob Schick is
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
The soldiers head to Fort Dix in New
Jersey for training, then head overseas. The entire deployment is
scheduled to last 18 months.
Runs Out Of Equipment For Iraq Soldiers;
15 October 2004 Sofia News Agency
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.
explained that so far Sofia is not planning to boost its presence in
Iraq by sending more troops to the war-torn country.
& Destroys Rawah Cop Station & Burns Fuel Tankers
16 October 2004 By TINI TRAN, The
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" ---
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
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.
Government A Thieves Market
15 October 2004 By Kathleen Ridolfo
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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
Is A Cesspool
October 13, 2004 9:43 AM
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
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
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
Please take me off
ALL Kerry lists.
Veterans For Peace
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
I’m Dancing As Fast
As I Can
Bush during campaign rally, Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
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.
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)
To: GI Special
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:55
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:
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,
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.
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
Company be released and sent home immediately with no charges.
(Print) Address Phone Signature
Return All Signed Petitions to the International Socialist Org.
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