GI Special:



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








A. Young Kim comforted her 1-month-old son, Apollo Ikaika Kim, after the casket of her husband, Pvt. Jeungjin "Nikky" Kim, was loaded into the hearse yesterday following his funeral at the Honolulu Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nuuanu.  Jeungjin Kim was killed in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Oct. 6.



Is Suicide Part of the Job?

[In Defense Of Mutiny]


10/21/2004 Jonathan Turley, Los Angeles Times


The recent refusal of at least 18 soldiers in the 343rd Quartermaster Company to go on a perilous mission in Iraq has created a torrent of competing allegations of mutiny and military incompetence.  With an election approaching, the Bush administration is now desperately seeking to defuse the controversy.


History has shown, however, that alleged mutinies do not go away easily and that they often reflect deeper problems in a war.


For the military, even saying "mutiny" is like crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater.


When it first appears, commanders are trained to isolate it and crush it before it spreads.


In Roman times, reluctant or mutinous soldiers were punished through "decimation," a word often used incorrectly to refer to total destruction. Generals would "decimate" units by executing every 10th soldier as collective punishment. (In one case, Marcus Licinius Crassus put as many as 4,000 legionnaires to death.)


Yet history has often proved the mutineers to be correct in their judgment of the incompetence or futility of military orders.  Indeed, as with the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789, the public often comes to not only agree with but to lionize mutineers who opposed tyrannical or self-destructive commands.


The incident in Iraq follows other cases of dissension, including the action taken against a National Guard battalion in South Carolina after 13 members went AWOL before shipping out to Iraq.


Yet even the Pentagon admits that some of the complaints of the alleged mutineers are "valid."  After writing about the shortage of body armor in 2003, I was deluged by such complaints from soldiers, including one who recounted how her unit was hanging buckets of rocks on the sides of unarmored Humvees for added protection.


Whereas cowardice is usually a failing of an individual soldier, mutinies involve groups of soldiers and are often more about the commanders than their troops.  For example, some of the largest mutinies in history occurred among the French in World War I.  After hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in suicidal offensives, French troops began to refuse to leave their trenches.  Notably, these troops had served bravely and they did not desert.  With mutinies in 50 divisions, the commanders took a lesson from the Romans and selected "representatives" of each unit to be sentenced to death. History proved the mutineers right:  The offensives were sheer lunacy by commanders who lacked both talent and compassion.


The U.S. military has always refused to condone defiance of orders except in cases where the orders were unlawful, such as calling for committing war crimes.


Soldiers are not allowed to refuse an order because it is illogical or wasteful or wrongheaded or dangerous.


But is that a reasonable position?


One French unit in the mutinies of 1917 lost 400 out of 600 men in a single attack — slaughtered only yards from their trenches. When ordered to attack again, they refused.  Technically, they committed mutiny.  They were expected to voice any objections but then run directly into German machine-gun fire.


The U.S. military still follows this view by considering the incompetence of an order largely during the sentencing of the mutineers rather than when considering guilt.


Bush officials are now trying to defuse the controversy by emphasizing in interviews such phrases as a "confused situation" and "temporary breakdown." What was a technical mutiny may be downgraded in the interest of politics to a misunderstanding.  As in many past mutinies, we seem to be moving toward a symbolic gesture of discipline.


One report says two of the 18 might be selected for punishment to satisfy appearances.  It is a result that Crassus would love; two out of 18 is just about right for a good old-fashioned Roman decimation.


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.  Send requests to address up top.




Trained To Survive


10.21.04 JACKSON, Mississippi (AP)


Jackie Butler, whose husband, 44-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Butler, also was reassigned for disobeying the order, said her husband was only doing what he was trained to do -- survive.  The Gulf War veteran with 24 years of service would not have refused the order without a compelling reason, she said.


``He was at that point that he didn't have a choice.  It's been going on for too long,'' she said. ``Even though he knew what was going to happen to him, in his mind he's saying, At least other soldiers over there will get the equipment they need to go and do their job.'''


Both wives said their soldier husbands still don't know what punishment they face.


``I just want to wake up and it be over,'' Jackie Butler




Iraq Soldier Defends Combat Refusal


October 16, 2004 http://soldierlife.blogspot.com/


I will go out on a limb and because this is my forum, I will say that I agree with what they did.


I read all the articles and I am reading between the lines here. Those soldiers, who have been in Iraq for quite sometime now, did not carry out an order because they felt it would endanger their fellow soldiers lives! I don't blame them. They said the vehicles were deadline. That means that they are not suppose to leave the motorpool (garage), unless a commander signs off on it. Typically those vehicles will not go out on a mission, when a vehicle is deadlined, it means it is fucked up, not going to go very far. When you are strolling down a MSR in Iraq, you don't want to break down. You don't want to even stop; hell you would rather take a piss in a Gatorade bottle then stop!


Well over 6000 Soldiers have been maimed by IED and Roadside bombs already. Why in the world would you order solders to go out on a mission with 'already' declared contaminated fuel?



Yes, I know people will say, that regardless, they should have carried out the order and they swore an oath when they enlisted.  Lets not forget that if you think the order is one that will most certainly bring harm to you, you can disobey it. Yes there will be an investigation, but if you are in the right, then you will be let off.  Just because you attain a degree and given some butter bars doesn't mean that you are god and can order soldiers into a situation that would make no sense!


Let's revisit the reasons here:


Fuel already considered contaminated -Vehicles Deadlined -No armed escort -Very hostile destination -Vehicles with little to no armor


You do the math.  This is an outrage and shit like this pisses me off.  Fuck!


American Soldier



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






British Confirm U.S. Has Few Combat Troops In Iraq:

Will Let Theirs Be Used But Only For 30 Days


[This confirms a previous report that of the 140,000 U.S. armed forces in Iraq, only 23,000 are actual combat troops.  They will be very very lucky to escape millions of armed, pissed off Iraqis with their lives.  They are surrounded and besieged, capable of concentrating enough forces to take a town here and there, but utterly incapable of holding ground they do not stand on, or avoiding being chewed up one bite at a time.  This war is over.  This was is lost.  The only question is how many more have to die before the politicians quit covering their asses with the bodies of U.S. troops, and admit it, and get the survivors the fuck out.  In another lost war, Vietnam, it took a rebellion in the armed forces to stop the war, when enough troops decided they didn’t want to die for political bullshit, and that’s what it will take to stop this one. T]


October 22, 2004 Patrick E. Tyler, New York Times


Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon announced Thursday that 850 British troops in southern Iraq would advance toward Baghdad to replace American fighting units that are expected to mount an assault on Iraqi insurgents west of the capital, near Fallujah.


Opposition members of Parliament have asked why the United States, with 130,000 troops in the Iraq theater, needs 850 British troops for the Fallujah mission.


Hoon said Thursday that the number of armored combat troops in Iraq was a small fraction of the total deployment.


Gen. Michael Walker, chief of the defense staff, speaking at a news conference after Hoon, said there would be a 30-day limit on the British redeployment.



U.S. Soldiers Wounded, Vehicles Destroyed In Karma And Al-Miqdadiya


10/21/2004 AlJazeera Publishing Limited


A number of U.S. soldiers were wounded when bombs exploded in the main highway in al-Miqdadiya northeast Baquba.


Witnesses said that the blast severely destroyed two U.S. military vehicles.


In a separate incident, two U.S. military vehicles were also destroyed when another bomb went off in the main highway in the Karma area in northeastern Falluja.



Stryker Blown Up In Mosul, 5 Wounded


Oct. 22, 2004 Associated Press


A car bomb exploded Friday near an American armored vehicle in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, wounding five U.S. soldiers, the military said.


In Mosul, the blast hit the Stryker vehicle as it returned to a coalition base after operations near Mosul, said Capt. Angela Bowman, a spokeswoman with Task Force Olympia.



First Danish Occupation Troops Wounded


2004-10-22 Middle East Online


Military officials in Copenhagen said three Danish soldiers were wounded Friday when two roadside bombs exploded next to their vehicles in separate incidents southwest of Basra.  None of the injuries were life-threatening.  [Charming phrase.  Think about it.  It’s supposed to make the reader feel good.  “Oh, that’s good, not life threatening.”  Guess what, losing both legs or eyes or arms isn’t “life threatening” either.  You live.]


This was the first time Danish soldiers have been wounded in bombings since Copenhagen sent troops to Iraq in 2003.



“I Don't Think He Died For A Good Reason.  He Shouldn't Be Dead.”



October 21, 2004 By Jodie Tweed, Staff Writer, Brainerd Dispatch


"It really frosts me," she said.  "This is sad.  To me, this is a senseless death, all the people who are dying over there. ... People are going through this every day all over.  This is sad.  I don't think he died for a good reason.  He shouldn't be dead."


A North Dakota Army Reserve soldier killed in Iraq with family ties in the Pine River area, will be remembered today as a "good kid," someone who went to Iraq because he believed he could do some good there.


Pvt. 1st Class Anthony Monroe, 21, Bismarck, N.D., was killed Oct. 10 while serving in southern Iraq.  He was one of two soldiers killed and five soldiers wounded in a rocket attack.


Monroe was serving with the 1st Calvary Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.  He had been in the Army since the fall of 2002 and had been in Iraq for the past couple of months. He was a vehicle mechanic.


Monroe is the son of Bernadette Monroe, formerly of Backus and a Bismarck resident, and the late Jeffery Monroe.  He was a 2002 graduate of Bismarck High School and has a younger sister, Caitlyn, and a brother, Nicholas.


Monroe is the grandson of Florence Hamilton, Pine River; the nephew of Jim and Debbie Hamilton, Hackensack, Carolyn and Bob Hamilton and Bill and Brenda Hamilton, all of Pine River; Lovette McAninch, Backus; Paul Hamilton, Backus; and a cousin and relative to many others in the Pine River area.


Carolyn Hamilton said her nephew spent a lot of time in the Pine River area.


"He was a good kid," said Hamilton.  "He really enjoyed life.  He was excited about going over to Iraq.  He thought he could do some good.  He'll be really missed."


"He was a clown," added his aunt, Debbie Hamilton. "He was your typical teeny-bopper. He liked to make you laugh. He was funny, a good kid."


Debbie Hamilton said her sister-in-law just lost her husband in 1998 to cancer and her nephew's death is another devastating blow for the family.


Monroe's grandmother, Florence Hamilton, sent her grandson care packages once or twice a week from Pine River to Iraq.  She had purchased prepaid mailing envelopes to send letters and small comforts from home to her grandson.  She recently returned to the Pine River Post Office to return the prepaid envelopes, telling them to give them to another family who needs them for their soldier.


"This is just awful. I just feel so bad for her," said Debbie Hamilton, of her sister-in-law.  "It's like your mind doesn't even go there.  It's too awful. I cannot imagine losing one of your children. I can't even go there."


Monroe had a large family and was close to many of his cousins, she said. Hamilton said she is angered by her nephew's death.


"It really frosts me," she said.  "This is sad.  To me, this is a senseless death, all the people who are dying over there. ... People are going through this every day all over.  This is sad.  I don't think he died for a good reason.  He shouldn't be dead."


According to his obituary, Anthony "Tony" William Hamilton Monroe was born April 26, 1983, to Jeffery and Bernadette (Hamilton) Monroe.  As an infant, he moved with his parents to Lakeland, Fla., where he attended kindergarten and first grade.  The family moved to Bismarck where he attended school, graduating from Bismarck High School in May 2002.


Monroe worked at the Pretzel Maker kiosk at Kirkwood Plaza and job shadowed at KXMB-TV of Bismarck while attending school.  He enjoyed photography and writing poetry, aspiring to be a photojournalist.  He loved music and was a talented bass guitarist.  In his spare time, Monroe was an avid billiards player.


Following in his father's footsteps, Monroe had enlisted after graduating from high school.  He took his basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C.  Because his father had been a member of the Air Force and remained in the North Dakota National Guard, Monroe followed his example.  Monroe was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck.


Monroe's funeral is planned for 11 a.m. today at First Presbyterian Church in Bismarck. A private burial will be in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, N.D.





US soldiers, Samarra. (AFP/File/Jewel Samad)



Baghdad Base Under Constant Attack


Oct. 21, 2004 Claire Bush, Special for the ABG


In the 1930s in rural Iowa, an enterprising engineer and peace activist named C. Maxwell Stanley took over Young Engineering Co. Through the next four decades, Stanley built his firm into a global enterprise that now sends crews to more than 85 countries.


One of those projects involves the reconstruction of seven Army barracks just outside Baghdad that had undergone extensive damage during the Iraq conflict.


Brad Collins, a civil engineer with Stanley's Phoenix office underwent some tense situations during his stay at the barracks 12 miles outside Baghdad.


"We knew we were surrounded by U.S. troops, so we felt safe, but we had to stay alert.  Mortars were fired at any time, day or night.  When we heard the explosions and saw the smoke rising, we knew to run from our trailers and take shelter in nearby buildings."



Recruiting For The Resistance:

U.S. Troops Raid Prayers At Mosque In Mosul:

Worshippers Defend Themselves And Beat Them Back

Two U.S. Soldiers Shot



Iraqi men chant outside a mosque in the northern city of Mosul after a raid October 22.  Troops left the mosque they were raiding for suspected insurgents in Mosul after coming under fire, witnesses said. Photo by Namir Noor-Eldeen/Reuters



22 October, 2004 MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) & Middle East Online


Shooting has broken out at a mosque in the northern city of Mosul during a raid by U.S. troops and Iraqi National Guards, witnesses say.


The mosque preacher, Sheikh Rayan Tawfiq, said earlier that the American and Iraqi forces had broken into the compound of the mosque in eastern Mosul to arrest unidentified suspects.


Worshippers attending Friday prayers resisted, at first without weapons, when they tried to enter the mosque itself.


The American troops then sparked an uproar when they entered the women's section of the mosque, he told Reuters by telephone.


"I did my best to calm the people, but we don't want any Americans or any security organisation to go into the mosque under the pretext of arresting people," Tawfiq said before the firefight began.


Two US soldiers and an Iraqi were wounded.


The military said insurgents fired small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at Iraqi and US forces.




U.S. Air Strikes Kill Family Of Six:

Occupation Government Party Condemns Falluja Terror Bombing Raids;

Command Tries Dumbest Psy-Op Yet


21-10-2004 Reuters & Syria Times


U.S. air strikes killed a family of six.


Reuters television footage showed men chanting "There is no God but Allah!" as they carried the body of the father through the rubble of the razed family home in the town of Falluja on Wednesday.


"Is this the gift that (interim Prime Minister) Iyad Allawi is giving to the people of Falluja?" asked one man, pointing to the small bodies of two of the children lying in the trunk of a car.  "Every day they strike Fallujah." 


The Committee of Muslim Scholars, an influential association of clerics, warned it would call a boycott of Iraq’s January elections if the US army launches a major assault on Fallujah.


"It is unacceptable to use the pretext of elections to invade towns.  We will call on Iraqis to boycott the polls and to consider the results null and void in case of operations in Fallujah," the group said after a meeting in Baghdad.


It called on the US military to halt all air and artillery strikes on the city in western Iraq.


The association said its meeting included political figures who endorsed the statement but did not publish their names.


Among the participants was Iraq’s Islamic Party, which sits on the interim government. ‏


The committee labeled the campaign against “insurgent” hotspots in some areas north and west of Iraq "a war of extermination led against the Iraqi people by the forces of the occupation with the help of government and militia forces."


Fallujah has the right "to resist the occupation", it said. ‏


Two young Iraqi girls have been killed when their car came under US fire near the rebel-held city of Fallujah, according to an Iraqi who helped rescue four people wounded in the incident.


Villager Mahmoud Mohammed says the mother of the two girls and the driver of the car, who have both been wounded, had told him a US tank had fired at the vehicle in Naamiya, 10 km south-east of Fallujah.


Two other children in the car have been hurt.  Hospital officials in Fallujah confirm the casualties.


U.S. military vehicles cut off a northwestern entrance to the city and urged residents by loudspeaker to "hand over the terrorists, or the night is near," witnesses said.  [Yes, at least once every 24 hours, usually following late afternoon.  Whoever came up with that one has been watching too many really bad movies.  On the other hand, after all the bombing, the citizens got reassuring confirmation their opponents are commanded by incompetent fools]



Silly “Senior Army Leader” Says Falluja, Ramadi Will Be “Eliminated”


Oct. 21, 2004 By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, Knight Ridder Newspapers


A senior Army leader says the coming third rotation of U.S. military forces into Iraq has begun, with called-up Army National Guard units deploying to the war zone over the next three months and regular Army forces beginning to shift in to replace other units in December.


The Army official said it was clear that the "inner sanctuaries" in towns like Fallujah and Ramadi would have to be eliminated to make progress in Iraq.  [Well, so much for Imperial “progress” in Iraq.  With only 23,000 combat ground troops in the whole country, the odds favor “eliminating” senior Army leaders before that happens.)



Marine Command Doesn’t Know How Many Marines Killed In Falluja Fighting




U.S. Marines clashed with insurgents on the outskirts of the rebel bastion of Fallujah and launched airstrikes at militant targets, the U.S. command said Friday.


Multiple secondary explosions were seen but the military said it had no information on anti-Iraq forces killed.



Medivac Crews Say Business Up Sharply




Sgt. Amos Ritter, a crew chief with the Army's 45th Medical Company…..is one of at least a dozen men and women in the company responsible for evacuating casualties in south-central Iraq.  Based near the historic ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, they have three Black Hawks at their disposal.


The medics report a sharp climb in demand for their services, with insurgents' roadside bombs and ambushes increasingly targeting U.S. and coalition forces.


The 45th ferries a steady flow of wounded to Iraq's main hospital, a U.S.-run facility in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. The helicopters carry stretcher-borne patients as well as those able to walk.


Not all injuries handled by the 45th are combat-related.


Some evacuations during one recent 48-hour period: U.S. soldier swallowed a retainer at chow hall; U.S. soldier hit in head with football; U.S. soldier struck by lightning; Polish soldier constipated.


"Last few days, we've had some weird ones," Carroll said.  [Not so weird.  Gets you the fuck out of the hot spot.]


On the ground, Iraqis can be seen waving.


"Some wave, some throw rocks and some kick their soccer balls at us," said Chief Warrant Officer Russ Toeller, 35, from Milwaukee.


The rescue Black Hawks frequently come under fire, despite the red crosses stenciled on the fuselage.


"At night, the Iraqis can't see the red cross," and tracer fire frequently crosses the Black Hawks, Gates said.


While the medics carry pistols, their Black Hawks lack the heavy weapons of attack helicopters - and bullets often flash toward the aircraft.  "We get shot at a lot," Toeller said. "But we get missed a lot, too."






Army Times 10.25.04



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.



800 IRR Fail To Report For Duty


Oct 22 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer & Vince Crawley, October 25, 2004, Army Times Staff Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than 800 former soldiers have failed to comply with Army orders to get back in uniform and report for duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Army said Friday.  That is more than one-third of the total who were told to report to a mobilization station by Oct. 17.


Three weeks ago the number stood at 622 amid talk that any who refused to report for duty could be declared Absent Without Leave. Refusing to report for duty normally would lead to AWOL charges, but the Army is going out of its way to resolve these cases as quietly as possible.


In all, 4,166 members of the Individual Ready Reserve have received mobilization orders since July 6, of which 2,288 were to have reported by Oct. 17.  The others are to report in coming weeks and months.


Of those due to have reported by now, 1,445 have done so, but 843 have neither reported nor asked for a delay or exemption.


While the number of IRR Army soldiers who have failed to comply with their mobilization order has increased this month, so has the number who have asked for a delay or to be excused from serving.


The number who have requested delays or exemptions has grown from 1,498 (out of a total of 3,899 mobilization orders) in late September to 1,671 (out of a total of 4,166 orders) as of Oct. 17.  A little over one-third of the requests have been acted on, with 584 approved and 21 denied.



First Recalled IRR Marine Killed


Oct 22 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer


The Marine Corps said Friday that a Marine killed in western Iraq earlier this week, Sgt. Douglas E. Bascom, 25, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was a member of the Individual Ready Reserve.  He was the first IRR Marine to die in Iraq, according to Gunnery Sgt. Kristine Scharber, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps headquarters in the Pentagon.



Wife Must Beg For Money To Visit Wounded Marine;

Government Says Donations Are Not Tax Deductible!


October 22, 2004 KCCI-TV


This week, KCCI learned that one of the Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, was injured.  Cpl. Donny Daughenbaugh, 23, Des Moines, was shot in the face while on patrol near Baghdad.


Daughenbaugh shipped out with 120 other members of Echo Company in June.  He needs surgery and won't be home for awhile.


"They did fly him to Germany, where he's currently staying until he comes home," said Sarah Daughenbaugh, Donny's wife.


Sarah Daughenbaugh said her husband could be headed to any one of several hospitals around the country.


One problem that the family faces is that they don't have the money to visit him.


If Donny Daughenbaugh was listed as "seriously injured," the military would pay to fly his wife anywhere in the world to be by her husband.  But he was downgraded to "not seriously injured," so her travel costs are her responsibility.


Donny Daughenbaugh is a 1999 graduate of Lincoln High School.  The student council and teachers there are helping raise funds for the family.


Sarah Daughenbaugh's employer, Allied Insurance, and several area churches are also raising money for travel expenses.


"I know in my situation, it's important that I get to see my husband, because I know in the long run it's going to help out with his recovery," Sarah Daughenbaugh said.


KCCI started the Echo Company Family Support Fund to help with travel costs when a Marine in the unit is injured.


The Family Fund will help ensure that if a local Marine is injured, a family member will be able to travel to be by their side.  The fund will also be used for family emergencies if needed.


All money donated will go directly to the fund.

Send your check donation to:

Marines Echo Company Family Fund


888 Ninth St.

Des Moines, IA 50309

Note: Donations are not tax-deductible.



And Another One:

Soldier Gets Arm Blown Off But That’s Not “Serious” Enough For $ For Family To Visit


Wounded soldier's family


October 21, 2004 By Jeff Wright, The Register-Guard


A 23-year-old soldier from Eugene will undergo an eighth surgery today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after losing his left arm in a bomber's attack near Mosul, Iraq, on Oct. 11.


Michael John Oreskovic, a corporal with the Army's 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division based at Fort Lewis, Wash., was injured on his final mission after a yearlong stint in Iraq. The attack came four days after he was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in a similar attack Oct. 5.


Oreskovic, a quality assurance worker at Lunar Logic, a Eugene computer software company, said he doesn't know how long he and his wife, Georganna, will be able to stay at their son's bedside.


Oreskovic was hired at Lunar Logic in March after being out of work for a year following layoffs at Symantec and Monaco Coach, and his wife suffers from several chronic medical ailments.  They also have a 21-year-old daughter, Andrea.


His son sent some of his Army pay back to Eugene to help cover Georganna Oreskovic's prescription costs, the senior Oreskovic said.


He said he and his wife paid for their own airfare to Washington, D.C., because the Army doesn't cover such expenses for families whose children suffer their son's level of injury.


Oct. 11 when Cpl. Oreskovic and others returned on what was to be their final mission.  He was in the turret of a Stryker armored vehicle when a bomber detonated a pickup truck - full of explosives but covered by fruits and vegetables, so as to resemble a vehicle bound for market.


His son and others managed to fire on the pickup but were unable to stop it, Oreskovic said.  "It was the biggest explosion the cavalry had seen there in a year," he said. Two sergeants were killed in the blast, and eight others were injured.



“My Life Flashed Before My Eyes”


10-21-2004 Tom Murray, (KAAL)


A soldier from our area is home tonight after seven months of service in Iraq.


She earned a Purple Heart after being wounded under fire in Fallujah.  SIX NEWS FIRST reporter Tom Murray has her story from Chatfield.


Army specialist Thiara Herold of Chatfield shows us where shrapnel hit the HUMVEE she was working on in Fallujah while her unit was under attack.


"My life flashed before my eyes.  My vehicle was on fire.  All the HUMVEEs were getting out of the kill zone, passing my vehicle."


She suffered hearing loss and cuts on her hands and neck.  Her parents Doug and Twyla found out their daughter had been injured when they received a phone call.


"The person on the other end says this is the Department of the Army Casualty Division.  We need to let you know your daughter's been wounded and she's going to be ok."


Thiara's is one of the Herold's four children.  Her mom says the hardest part was not knowing what was going on, an emotion most parents can relate to.


"It's constant praying, waiting for that next phone call or e-mail that she's ok."


We don't often see photos captured by soldiers on the front line.  A soldier driving this tanker truck did not make it out of the fiery blaze.  Some images Thiara's captured like those of dead bodies are just too graphic to show.


"I've had to fire before.  You don't think about it, you just do it."


The 22-year-old soldier says she doesn't think people here truly grasp what is going on in places like Fallujah.


"If they saw what I've seen, they would understand don't take anything for granted here and be very grateful."


Thiara returns to Iraq on November fifth.



Together Forever


October 21, 2004 By Rosemarie Bernardo, Honolulu Star-Bulletin


A. Young Kim and husband Pvt. Jeungjin "Nikky" Kim "were supposed to be together forever," she told mourners at his funeral.


"We still are going to be together forever, babe," she said. "I'm going to love you for the rest of my life."


Family members and friends gathered at the Honolulu Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nuuanu yesterday to honor and remember Jeungjin Kim, 23, who was killed Oct. 6 when his patrol was attacked by a homemade bomb and small arms fire in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.


During the service, A. Young Kim read a letter her husband wrote before he left for Iraq. "I need you to know the only way I can make it through this hard time is that you stay strong and be happy with our baby boy until I get back," he wrote.


Kim said her husband of three years was able to see their 1-month-old son through pictures she had sent to Iraq earlier.


Kim was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and good-conduct medal at a burial service held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl after he was honored with a 15-gun salute.


Services for Spc. Kyle Ka'eo Fernandez of Pearl City will be held today and tomorrow at Borthwick Mortuary.  Fernandez and Sgt. Brian Hobbs, who were both based at Schofield Barracks, were killed last Thursday when a homemade bomb struck their Humvee.


A. Young Kim reached over her husband's casket during yesterday's funeral.



Soldier With “Much Of Head Blown Off” Loses Eye, Gets Citizenship


October 20, 2004 Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle


A man from the nation's capital flew out to hand Cpl. Jason Poole his citizenship papers on Tuesday and, if Poole were the crying type, he might have cried out of the one eye he can still cry with.


But he didn't cry, maybe because he's a U.S. Marine and there are too many things he's seen after three combat tours in Iraq that are more worth crying over.


Poole, a 21-year-old immigrant from Bristol in Great Britain, is spending his days at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, waiting for doctors to figure out how to fix the left side of his face.


An Iraqi booby trap blew it up on June 30 while Poole and three comrades were patrolling near the Syrian border. The other three guys died and Poole -- who had been 10 days away from leaving Iraq -- came home on a stretcher, with much of his head blown off and his arms and legs loaded with shrapnel.


On Tuesday, Poole sat in the hospital day room, next to a jack-o'-lantern and some physical therapy machines, surrounded by his parents, girlfriend, twin sister and a dozen fellow disabled patients who had been through other versions of the same hell.  Nearby was a U.S. flag on a pole that someone dragged over from the auditorium.


Undersecretary Eduardo Aguirre [Department of Homeland Security], asked Poole to raise his right hand, and the corporal managed to elevate his arm about halfway up.  He wasn't able to repeat the entire citizenship oath word for word, the way they do it at naturalization ceremonies, but Aguirre said that was OK. The oath says new citizens must "bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law, '' and Poole had already done that part.


"Yes,'' was all Poole could utter, after Aguirre finished rattling off the oath, and that was good enough.


"We're very proud to have you as a citizen,'' the undersecretary said as he handed Poole his blue naturalization certificate with an eagle on it, right next to a color photograph of him -- taken before the injury -- that his mom, who is visiting from England, spent a long time looking at.  Poole also got a letter of congratulations from President Bush, but the corporal was not about to waste the services of his one remaining eye reading the letter.


His parents, Trudy and Steve Poole, gave him a hug. His girlfriend, Michelle Starr, and his sister, Lisa Poole, gave him hugs, too.


"You're not British anymore,'' his mother said, looking to be the only person in the crying mode.


"He still can keep the British passport,'' the undersecretary said, trying to say something.


Poole will spend another 18 months in rehabilitation at the VA hospital, undergoing three operations to repair his facial features and to attempt to restore sensation to his left side.


And maybe, he said, one of the docs can remove the bits of shrapnel on his left upper arm, the ones that have defaced his beloved U.S. flag tattoo.  After that, Poole hopes to travel to Venice and Barcelona with Starr, then attend college and become an elementary school teacher.



The Cost Of War


10/21/04 Seattle Post-Intelligencer: (pdf)

Billions of dollars have been earmarked to restore the basic infrastructure of the shattered nation, but running water, electricity and food are still in short supply.



T.A. Soldiers 'Sent to Iraq Despite Failing Weapons Tests'


21 Oct 2004 By Nick Foley, Scotsman.com


Nearly 1,000 Territorial Army soldiers were sent to fight in Iraq despite failing their weapons test, a court martial heard today.


A total of 949 part-time soldiers failed to achieve the required standard or were trained by instructors who had not passed the test themselves, the hearing was told.


But because the figures were only based on records over an eight-month period the number could have been as high as 2,300, the court was told.


The hearing was told that reservists had to acquire a “skilled” mark in their weapon test before being deployed to a war zone.  But many soldiers who had only achieved “average” grades and should have been failed were sent to the Gulf.


Last week TA training adviser Sergeant Major John Drain, who helped train part-time soldiers at the Reserve Training And Mobilisation Centre at Chilwell, Notts, said some were being passed despite not achieving the required standard.


He added that the figure was agreed by both prosecution and defence.  But Judge Advocate General Paul Camp said that based on the recorded figures, the total number of reservists who could have been sent to Iraq over the entire period could have been as high as 2,300.







Insurgents Infiltrate Iraqi Forces;

Gaining Strength And Winning Popular Support CIA Man Says


October 22, 2004 HeraldNet


WASHINGTON Iraq’s new security forces are heavily infiltrated by insurgents, and the guerrilla groups have access to almost unlimited money to pay for deadly attacks, according to a U.S. defense official who provided new details on the evolution of the rebels.


In some cases, members of the Iraqi security services have developed sympathies and contacts with the guerrillas; in other cases, infiltrators were sent to join the groups, the official said.  U.S. military analysts foresee little chance of the insurgency evaporating during the next few years, the official said.


Attacks have increased by about 25 percent since the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that began last weekend.


"The overall resistance in Iraq is popular and is getting more popular in the Arab world," said Vince Cannistraro, a former counterterrorism chief for the Central Intelligence Agency.



Bomb Wounds Cops, Prisoners Escape


10.22.04 Reuters


A car bomb exploded near a police station in Ishaqi, about 80 kilometres north of Baghdad, wounding two policemen.


Two prisoners escaped after the blast.







U.S. Finishes A “Strong Second” In Iraq War


10.20.2004 The Onion


BAGHDAD—After 19 months of struggle in Iraq, U.S. military officials conceded a loss to Iraqi insurgents Monday, but said America can be proud of finishing "a very strong second."


"We went out there, gave it our all, and fought a really good fight," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.  "America's got nothing to be ashamed of.  We outperformed Great Britain, Poland, and a lot of the other top-notch nations, but Iraq just wouldn't stay down for the count.  It may have come down to them simply wanting it more."


American tanks and infantry surged out to an impressive early lead in March 2003, scoring major points by capturing Baghdad early in the faceoff.  The stage seemed set for a second American victory in as many clashes with Iraq, with commentators and generals alike declaring the contest all but decided with the fall of Tikrit in April 2003.


"In spite of jumping out to an early lead and having the better-trained, better-equipped team, I'm afraid we still came up short in the end," Casey said.  "Sometimes, the underdog just pulls one out on you.  But there's no reason for the guys who were out in the field to feel any shame over this one.  They played through pain and injury and never questioned the strategy, even when we started losing ground."


"The troops were great out there," Casey continued. "It's not their fault the guys with the clipboards just couldn't put this one away."


Casey said that, although the U.S. military did not win, it did set records for kills, yardage gained, palaces overrun, defensive stops, and military bases stolen.


"The Americans can be proud of the numbers," Casey said.  "All things considered, there was some very impressive maneuvering out there.  We kept the folks at home on the edge of their seats, that's for sure."


PFC Brian Walters was part of a squad at Fallujah for the past three months.


"We're looking at an opponent who just keeps coming at you until the echo of the whistle," Walters said.  "I gotta hand it to them, they weren't gonna roll over.  We were just out there playing not to lose."


Former civil administrator of Iraq L. Paul Bremer said the U.S. troops performed admirably, adding that overconfidence may have been a factor.


"After that strong start, I really thought that we were going to take it home," Bremer said. "I'd say we can chalk this loss up to a combination of Iraq's home-field advantage and a poor second-half U.S. game plan."


U.S. offensive captain John Baptiste of the 656th Infantry said that his fellow troops "were solid to the end," adding that he was disappointed in U.S. leaders' decision to call the game so early.


"The chief should never come out at halftime and call it 'Mission Accomplished,'" Baptiste said.  "You never say that until the clock runs out.  My guys did their best, but we've gotta remember that everyone plays to the final gun."


Loyal fans of the U.S. are still coming to terms with the loss, a rarity for an organization that won undisputed world championships in the '10s and '40s, but has not always played its best on hostile ground in recent years.


"What kind of a defense was that in the final quarter of 2003?" said retired Air Force colonel Charles Carruthers, now a professor at the Army War College at West Point. "The field generals all thought they had Iraq on the ropes, but no one told the Iraqis, who just kept nickel-and-diming them to death.  In the end, our guys were getting absolutely shelled out there.  You can't blame the men for that.  That's underestimating the opposition."


Added Carruthers: "You'd think they hadn't even scouted their opponent beforehand, let alone beaten them soundly the last time they squared off.  Someone should lose his job over this."


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused to take questions from reporters, saying that "Monday-morning quarterbacking never solved anything."


"Injuries and a shallow bench were major factors," Rumsfeld said, speaking to angry team boosters in Washington.  "We've lost about 75 guys every month for the past year."


"But remember that this was just one war," Rumsfeld added. "We'll get 'em next time."







Liberation U.S. Empire Style:

More Preachers Arrested For Speaking Against Occupation


[Why should anyone be surprised?  Hitler’s armies arrested anybody objecting to Germany occupying their nation.  Stalin’s armies arrested anybody objecting to the Russian Empire occupying their nation.  Invading Imperial powers have done this throughout history.  And invaded and occupied nations have formed resistance movements and fought back with arms in hand against the occupiers and for their national independence throughout history.  They are right to do so.  The only thing Empires understand is armed force.]


Oct 22 By Lin Noueihed BAGHDAD (Reuters)


U.S. and Iraqi forces detained a leading member of the Muslim Clerics' Association on Friday in what the influential Sunni group described as a campaign against opponents of the U.S. presence in Iraq.


Sheikh Abdel-Sattar Abdel-Jabbar, his two sons and a neighbor were arrested in a raid on the mosque compound where they live in the Tunis area of Baghdad around 1:30 a.m., association officials said.


"This arrest is part of a campaign not just against the Muslim Clerics' Association but all opposition voices," spokesman Mohamed Bashar al-Faidhi told Reuters.


Witnesses said hundreds protested for his release after noon prayers outside the Najib mosque where he preached.


The U.S. military said it had no reports of any Iraqi cleric being arrested in Baghdad.  [Oh please, at least stop the really stupid lies.  Nobody believes them on either side.]


But Faidhi said several clerics affiliated with the group, which has played a role in hostage negotiations and in bringing about a truce in the rebel-held city of Falluja, had been detained in recent days.


He said Sheikh Maher al-Sharji had been detained in the northern city of Samarra, Sheikh Bassem al-Samarraei in the eastern Diala province and five clerics in Qubayssa in the west.









Q. What's the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War?

A. George W. Bush had a plan to get out of the Vietnam War.




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