GI SPECIAL 2#C1
(Thanks to John Gingerich)
Soldier, Sunni area
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 6:58 AM
This story in GI Special about Diyala Suicide:
SPECIAL, Oct 20, 2004:
Soldier Found Dead In Diyala
1st Infantry Division Soldier died from a non-combat injury at
a base in Diyala province, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
was found at late Sunday in his living quarters after he did
not return to his guard post. The incident is under
"investigation" was unfortunately a suicide. it happened at a
FOB in our area of operations. no tangible reason why he shot
himself, although life at that FOB is mundane and depressing,
that and the surrounding area is rather violent.
what’s interesting is this is
the first suicide of our brigade's deployment. by this time
in kosovo over a year ago, we already had 4 suicides. i'm
interested in the psychology of suicidal individuals during a
conflict. is a reality of the life and death ambiance of this
war actually preventing more suicides?
we attend occasional suicide
prevention classes, especially during deployments. the usual
reasons are when a soldier discovers his wife is cheating on
him, or mainly just depression.
Soldier, Sunni area
Thursday, October 21, 2004 8:03 AM
Re: Diyala suicide
turns out that the kid has been harassed and hazed for over
a year now. the unit he was in is a rough outfit of
infantrymen. their leadership has always been shady swine.
know this kid has been harassed for a long time, and now
that it all went down, no changes will be made. it’s the
Army Leadership Values...
anyways, this is a serious
matter. i’m going to do my own research into the accurate
yeah man, go
with it. this shit needs to be heard. hazing makes me fuckin
ok. enough for now.
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And join with
Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring
our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Gloria Salazar, mother of Las
Vegas Marine Cpl. William I. Salazar, cries on the coffin of
her 26-year-old son Oct. 23, 2004, at the Resurrection
Cemetery in San Gabriel, Calif. He was assigned to
Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Expeditionary
Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
U.S. Troops Wounded In Attack On Mosul Mosque
MOSUL, Iraq, Oct
An Iraqi was killed Friday and
nine people wounded, including seven US soldiers, in clashes
and bomb attacks near a mosque in the northern Iraqi city of
Mosul, according to the military and medics.
US troops were
pulling out from around the Thul-Nurain mosque in the city
centre when a roadside bomb hit their convoy, wounding five
soldiers, the military said.
Hundreds of Iraqis gathered
outside the mosque to protest the operation chanting "God is
greatest," and "down with the occupation" as troops fired
rubber bullets in an effort to disperse them.
Some people were seen pelting
Iraqi forces with stones.
The military said two US
soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were wounded in the clashes.
The imam of the mosque, Sheikh
Rayan Tawfic, who heads the local chapter of the influential
Sunni Committee of Muslim Scholars, and some of his followers
barricaded themselves inside.
Baya Baghdad Bradley Burning,
Burning Bradley that was
attacked along the highway leading to the airport in Baghdad.
October 23, 2004 (AEST)
A roadside bomb blew up near a
US military patrol in Baghdad today, wounding six soldiers,
the military said in a statement. Witnesses said guerrillas
had hit the vehicle with grenades.
It said the attack occurred in
western Baghdad at about 7:15am local time and gave no other
television footage showed flames and smoke pouring from a US
Bradley fighting vehicle in the south-western Baya district
on a highway leading to Baghdad
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!
helicopter belonging to the 45th Medical Company, based in
Babylon, Iraq, on Wednesday. — John Moore /
Useless Against Resistance Mortars
October 25, 2004 By Megan
Scully, Special to the Army Times
Before the Army deployed its
20-year-old AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder Weapon Locating System to
Iraq, the service developed new software to bring the system
up to date. But at least
one operational unit said the upgraded system failed to do
what it was intended to do: detect mortar rounds.
soldiers in 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the
TPQ-37 was more of a problem than an asset. The unit came
under mortar fire 40 times in Iraq, but the system detected
rounds only three times. The squadron suffered between 10
and 15 injuries from mortars.
“We stopped, we moved the radar
around, the technical guys around worked the [software]
programming,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Reilly, the squadron’s
leader. “We tried
everything humanly possible.”
The unit even
fired its own mortars at the system in an attempt to work out
[Which is about all it’s good
for: target practice.] Even
under the best circumstances, the radar detected only one out
of five rounds. “I just don’t think there was
fidelity in the system,” Reilly said.
Thales Raytheon System’s Q-37
Firefinder radar, which can be transported on a 2.5-ton truck,
was first fielded in the 1980s to detect rounds from
long-range Soviet artillery up to 30 miles away.
also has adapted their tactics to defeat the radars, using
“nontraditional trajectories and nonstandard launchers,”
the Q-37 was built to protect division-size units. Five
apiece would cover an entire front line. But in Iraq, the
friendly units are smaller and the enemies more mobile. The
Firefinders have been parceled out to brigades, typically
one each. Offering only 90-degree coverage, the Q-37 leaves
part of the battlefield uncovered, Bowman said.
The Army’s teams also are
working on software problems with the TPQ-36, which has been
picking up too much “clutter,” or interference.
Humvees Destroyed In Falluja:
23 October 2004 Aljazeera.net &
Iraq, Oct. 22 Xinhuanet
US forces used
warplanes and artillery in the bombardments and militias
reacted with rocket-propelled grenades in the suburban areas,
where witnesses saw a US tank and two Humvees destroyed.
Aljazeera has learned that US
troops arrested Mahmud al-Jarassi, deputy governor of Falluja
when he arrived in the city on Saturday morning.
Bombers Change Tactics
October 25, 2004 By Matthew Cox,
Army Times staff writer
MOSUL, Iraq —
Suicide bombers steering explosives-laden vehicles have
launched two deadly attacks on U.S. forces in a tactic Army
leaders here say that until recently has been confined to the
In the Oct. 13 attack, the
insurgent waited in an alley as an Army convoy of three
Humvees rumbled along a main road about 2:20 p.m. in the
northeastern section of the city.
After the first Humvee passed,
the insurgent sped from the alley and slammed his vehicle into
the side of the second Humvee.
tactic that has been used down south, but we have not seen it
here until now,” said Col. Tom Knight, deputy commander of
Task Force Olympia.
Apologies To Top Military Commanders In Iraq;
We Had It
GI Special reported that over $30 million handled by top
military commanders in Iraq is missing, and no documentation
can be found for what they did with the money.
to each and all of them. As you will see in the news story
below, the correct amount of money handled by top military
commanders in Iraq which is missing, and for which no
documentation can be found, is $100 million.
make the military families who have to beg friends, relatives
and strangers for money to visit wounded soldiers, feel a lot
[To avoid any
suspicion the commanders pocketed the money, no doubt they
will be willing to make
all personal and family financial records available
immediately to the public and the press. Being brave noble
patriots and all that, how could any honest high officer
who refuse to do so could be brought before a jury made up of
relatives of wounded soldiers for appropriate punishment.
Since they have military skills, perhaps those thieving fucks
could serve out their sentences cleaning up DU. Needless to
say, for those cases where it may be proven the money was
split with the resistance, and used to buy weapons to kill
U.S. soldiers, battlefield court-marshal and summary execution
would be appropriate.
[By the way,
does your commanding officer have a new Rolex?]
Audit Can't Find Billions
October 16, 2004 By Bryan
Bender, Boston Globe Staff
WASHINGTON -- About half of the
roughly $5 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds disbursed by
the US government in the first half of this year cannot be
accounted for, according to an audit commissioned by the
United Nations, which could not find records for numerous
rebuilding projects and other payments.
projects worth more than $100 million covered by the
Commander's Emergency Response Program, designed to allow US
military officers to quickly fund small reconstruction
projects around the country, had either no contracts on
file, no evidence that bids were obtained through
competition, no purchase invoices, or no payment vouchers.
One chunk of the money -- $1.4
billion -- was deposited into a local bank by Kurdish leaders
in northern Iraq but could be tracked no further: The auditors
reported that they were shown a deposit slip but could find no
additional records to explain how the money was used or to
prove that it remains in the bank.
Auditors also said they could
not track more than $1 billion in funds doled out by US
authorities for hundreds of large and small reconstruction
All the funds -- more than $5
billion -- were spent between Jan. 1 and June 28, 2004, during
the period when the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority ran
The audit reported numerous
instances of improper disbursement practices by the coalition
authority. Among the findings:
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
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.
Against War Salutes GI Resistance
21 Oct 2004 NYCLAW
following message from New York City Labor Against the War was
presented at the October 17 Million Worker March by Michael
Letwin, NYCLAW co-convener, and former president of UAW Local
2325/Association of Legal Aid Attorneys.)
9/11, New York City Labor Against the War has resisted the
exploitation of our suffering at Ground Zero as a cynical
pretext for the war of terror, conquest and empire waged by
both the Bush administration and Democratic politicians on
working people abroad and at home.
So we are proud to participate
in the Million Worker March initiated by Clarence Thomas of
ILWU Local 10, and proud that one of the march's co-chairs is
Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME DC 1707, and a co-convener
Million Worker March may not have support of AFL-CIO or John
Kerry. But it is part of a much greater power: worldwide
resistance to empire.
We have seen that resistance as
ordinary Iraqis in Falluja, Najaf and Sadr City fight a brutal
U.S. occupation of bombing and torture that has left tens of
thousands of Iraqis and G.I.s dead and maimed.
We have seen resistance in
Jenin, Ramallah and Jabaliya, where, like David against
Goliath, Palestinians armed with rocks oppose tanks, Apache
helicopters and F-16s -- provided through U.S. tax dollars and
union pension funds -- in order to end Israeli apartheid and
ethnic cleansing, and for right to return to their homes
throughout historic Palestine.
We have seen resistance as the
largest mass protests in history have taken place across the
We have seen it in the
establishment of U.S. Labor Against the War and in the growing
number of unions -- including AFSCME, APWU, CWA, MHU, and SEIU
-- that have gone on record against the war in Iraq.
We have seen
it in the work of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Military
Families Speak Out, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
certainly saw it last Wednesday when, after nearly 1,100 G.I.
deaths, an entire platoon of the 343rd Quartermaster Company
from Rock Hill, South Carolina, refused to carry out orders
for a suicidal convoy in Iraq -- a courageous act that
foreshadows the kind of G.I. revolt which crippled the U.S.
war machine in Vietnam. We send these G.I.s a special salute.
words, the Million Worker March is part of a growing worldwide
movement that will:
occupation of Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now.
**End imperial wars and
occupations in Afghanistan, Palestine, the Philippines,
Colombia, Korea, Haiti, Puerto Rico -- and everywhere else.
**Fight against the war being
waged at home against workers, immigrants, civil rights and
Let's let all
the G.I.s know that we want them home now!
What 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.
Says Millions Fighting U.S. Empire
October 25, 2004 By Vince
Crawley, Army Times staff writer
Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the
Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, told reporters
The Army also is developing the ability to send information in
real time, while the unit is on the move. Future rotations
might include a link with intelligence officers assigned to
follow-on forces, so they can follow the ebb and flow of the
battlefield before arriving there.
The changes are part of a
massive rethinking of how the military collects data on
potential enemies, Alexander said.
Cold War, finding Soviet military units “was an easy job,” he
said. “If you have a lot of moving parts, a lot of dust, a lot
of emitters, it’s easy.”
harder, he said, is trying to track down terrorists, which
he described as “trying to find a group
within millions that are
bent on doing harm to this country and our way of
October 23, 2004 Darren Meritz,
El Paso Times
A 20-year-old Marine from El
Paso on his second tour of duty in Iraq was seriously injured
while on patrol near Fallujah, family members said Friday.
Lance Cpl. Francisco Paz Jr., a
2002 graduate of Coronado High School who was married about
two months ago, was ambushed while in a Humvee, cousin Daniel
Silva said. Silva said he believed that two other members of
Paz's unit were killed in the attack.
Paz, who is in intensive care at
the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., received injuries
to his neck, shoulder, arms and legs, Silva said.
"Right now he's OK, but he's
still serious. He's got a long way to recovery," Silva said.
Sgt's Wife Blames Command For Iraq Abuse
October 22, 2004 Associated
The wife of
an Army reservist sentenced to prison for abusing prisoners in
Iraq said she knows her husband did wrong, but she also blames
the abuse on higher-ranking officials who "sit behind the
"The pain sets deeper yet in
knowing that he serves these years not only for his actions or
actions of a few reservists, but those included in the chain
of command," she wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Her 38-year-old husband, of
Buckingham, Va., received the stiffest punishment given so far
in the scandal. But she
questioned why her husband's superiors were not punished for
what she said was their complicity on the abuse.
outrage that he and a few others will bear the weight for the
actions of many," she wrote.
October 25, 2004 By Rick Maze,
Army Times staff writer
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the
House Appropriations defense subcommittee’s senior Democrat
and a frequent ally of Republicans on national security
issues, said a young
sergeant told him there’s a rule in the field that “you say
nothing against the war or you get fired.” The sergeant said
troops call that the “Rumsfeld rule,” referring to
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Army Times 10.25.04
remember the Alamo
Tourists at the Alamo saw
something besides historical exhibits at the shrine to Texas
security officer caught two soldiers having sex near a public
viewing area Oct. 10, police said.
The report said an 18-year-old
woman and a 19-year-old man were partially clad when the
officer apprehended them after several tourists watched the
couple and became upset.
The pair are both members of the
232nd Medical Battalion at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Their
ranks were not available at press time. They were charged
with public lewdness, according to the San Antonio
Mississippi Air National Guard
[USA Today, October 22, 2004]
Air National Guard officers
in Meridian, Miss., padded payrolls, ran an illicit liquor
store and misstated the unit's training level so it
could participate in a mission in Afghanistan, according to an
investigation just completed by a staff judge advocate for the
Florida Air National Guard.
Would Let Halliburton Crooks Keep Billions
[Wall Street Journal, October
22, 2004, Pg. 1] The Army
is laying the groundwork to let Halliburton Co. keep several
billion dollars it was paid for work in Iraq that Pentagon
auditors say is questionable for not supported by proper
documentation. [Well they’re George’s friends. What do you
think the government is for anyway?]
Admits Huge Increase In Resistance Troops:
October 22, 2004 By Eric Schmitt
and Thom Shanker, New York Times
Senior American officials are
beginning to assemble a new portrait of the insurgency that
has continued to inflict casualties on American and Iraqi
forces, showing that it has significantly more fighters and
far greater financial resources than previously estimated.
fighters and the network of a Jordanian militant, Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, are counted with home-grown insurgents, the
hardcore resistance numbers between 8,000 and 12,000 people, a
tally that grows to more than 20,000 when active sympathizers
or covert accomplices are included, according to the American
estimates contrast sharply with earlier intelligence reports,
in which the number of insurgents has varied from as few as
2,000 to a maximum of 7,000 fighters. The revised estimate is
influencing the military campaign in Iraq, but has not
prompted a wholesale review of the strategy, officials said.
Brig. Gen. John DeFreitas III of
the Army, the military's senior intelligence officer in Iraq,
said in an interview in Baghdad: "It's detective work and it's
very difficult work." DeFreitas, who is a former chief
intelligence officer for the American military in South Korea
and for the secretive U.S. Special Operations Command, called
it "a challenge for the
U.S. military to use tools, well designed for maneuver
warfare, against an insurgency. Insurgents don't show up in
satellite imagery very well." [No shit?]
Even as American attacks are
killing dozens of fighters and some leadership figures every
week, officials said,
insurgents in many parts of Iraq have been able to promote
lieutenants into higher leadership roles and are able to
attract a steady stream of recruits.
Collaborator Leader Killed
October23, 2004 by Juan Cole,
published by Informed Consent
a leading member of the Iraqi National Accord was
assassinated. Mazin al-Samarra'i, a
prominent member of the political party of caretaker Prime
Minister Iyad Allawi, had
played a role in the negotiations between the government and
the people of Samarra during the recent clashes there.
is more alarming than will be generally recognized. Here we
have someone from the Prime Minister's own party, and who
was a prominent negotiator at Samarra' (also the home town
of Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib). If such an individual
can be killed easily and with impunity, then no one is safe,
including Allawi himself.
Cops Killed At Al-Asad
23 October 2004 Aljazeera.net &
By Robert H. Reid, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A car bomb
has exploded at an Iraqi police station near a US marine base
in western Iraq, killing up to 16 policemen.
Fifty were wounded.
Marine Lieutenant Lyle Gilbert
said the blast occurred at about 7am at an Iraqi police post
near al-Asad camp, about 180km northwest of Baghdad, between
the towns of Hiyt and Haditha. He said there were no US
Occupation Guards Dead At Al-Ishaqi
23 October 2004 Aljazeera.net
bomber blew up his vehicle near a checkpoint manned by Iraqi
National Guards north of Baghdad, killing four guards,
an Iraqi National Guard officer said.
He said six
guards were also wounded when the bomb
exploded in the village of Ishaqi, near the city of Samarra,
100km north of Baghdad.
Trashes Military Supply Convoy In Downtown Mosul, Two Drivers
October 23, 2004 MOSUL, Iraq
(CBS 2) & By Robert H. Reid, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Partisans opened fire on a
convoy of Turkish trucks in Mosul on Saturday, killing two
drivers, a Turk and a Yugoslav, and wounding two others,
hospital and police officials said.
the drivers were ferrying supplies to the U.S. military here.
occurred about noon in the center of the city. Damaged
vehicles could be seen at the site hours afterward.
Police and officials at Jumhuria
Hospital said two drivers were killed and two were wounded.
Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Turkish trucks in Mosul,
killing two drivers – a Turk and a Yugoslav – and wounding two
others, hospital and police officials said.
Takes Out Two More Pipelines To Dora Refinery
October 23, 2004 BAGHDAD
Saboteurs have bombed two oil
pipelines transporting crude from north and eastern Iraq to
Baghdad's Dora refinery, oil security officials said on
Mahmoud said National Guard forces were trying to extinguish a
fire which damaged 150 yards of the Khana pipeline northeast
of Baghdad. He said another bomb was found
on Saturday along the same line and was safely defused.
official said saboteurs on Friday blew up a section of another
oil pipeline in Mashahdeh area, around 31 miles north of
Baghdad. The pipeline feeds the same refinery
which processes 110,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Resistance Attacks On Convoys
A truck is seen burning near the
town of Balidiyat after the five-truck convoy was ambushed as
the drivers were heading back to Turkey after delivering to US
military bases.(AFP/Mujahed Mohammed)
Militants Say Behead Collaborator
23 October 2004 (Reuters)
DUBAI - An Iraqi
militant group said it beheaded an Iraqi man it accused of
collaborating with US forces and posted pictures of the
killing on the Internet.
The Army of Ansar al-Sunna said
in a statement posted on its Web site on Saturday it had
captured the man in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul where he
was working at a U.S. base.
“The mujahideen in the city of
Mosul succeeded in capturing a weak-willed individual living
off the blood of the mujahideen who was recruited as a
crusader spy by the American forces,” said the statement dated
Sami Ramadani, September 30,
2004 The Guardian. Sami
Ramadani was a political refugee from Saddam Hussein's regime
and is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University
occupation forces have admitted that the attacks on them by
the resistance rose last month to 2,700. And how many of
these 2,700 attacks a month were claimed by Zarqawi? Six.
Six headline-grabbing, TV-dominating, stomach-churning
Iraq's 25 million people were reduced, in the public's mind,
to the threat from weapons of mass destruction, ready to be
unleashed within 45 minutes, the resistance is now being
reduced to a single hoodlum.
To Bribe Cops To Turn In Their Weapons
10.16.04 By RICHARD A. OPPEL
Jr., New York Time
Oct. 15 — Kadham Jabar had
a simple plan to satisfy his daughter’s curiosity about
American dollars. It involved a woven white sack filled with
two dozen rocket-propelled grenade cartridges.
Mr. Jabar lugged the sack of
weapons to a rundown stadium in the Habibiya section of the
Sadr City district here on Thursday, the day before the
scheduled end of a weapons-for-cash exchange intended to
disarm the militiamen loyal to the Shiite cleric Moktada
al-Sadr who patrol this sprawling, dusty, trash-strewn
neighborhood in northeast Baghdad.
afternoon, Mr. Jabar was still standing outside, near the
Iraqi National Guard troops selecting who would be let into
the exchange. He still had the weapons, and no dollars.
said the Iraqi troops were demanding to be paid money before
they would allow people in.
television, Iraqi officials had promised a nice return for
weapons — $170 for each grenade launcher, for instance. Mr.
Jabar was deeply frustrated. “I don’t have the money to get
let in,” he said. His daughter, he said,
plays a game with friends that involves fake dollar bills, and
“I just wanted her to see a real dollar.”
Nearby, among small boys
carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and a man sitting with an
Khadar Karim Hassan complained that the Iraqi troops were not
paying as much for the weapons as had been promised.
stopped accepting some weapons altogether, he said.
looking for peace, but if they are not going to take the
weapons and pay what they said they would,” Mr. Hassan said,
the people in Sadr City “are going to do bad things with
and a group of men standing around him also said Iraqi troops
were demanding money to be let in to the weapons-exchange
reporter, a photographer and an interpreter approached the
exchange area, behind a long wall in front of the stadium, a
masked Iraqi guardsman ordered them to leave. Another
guardsman approached, clicking the safety off his automatic
Outside, in a
crowd of gunwielding Shiites, Iraqi guardsmen approached and
said that if the journalists did not leave, they would be
— before the question could be put to him — volunteered a
denial that bribes required for entry to the change. “These
people are liars,” he said.
THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Care Who Wins U.S. Presidency
[Miami Herald, October 22, 2004]
Most Iraqis told polls they
don't think it matters which candidate is the next U.S.
president. They believe
the election process is fixed and that U.S. policy toward Iraq
won't change no matter who wins. [Imagine that. And just
because neither Bush nor Kerry nor Nader want to bring the
troops home now.]
Computer Centers, Internet Cafes To Quell Resistance Reporting
Oct 22, 2004 By Omar Al-Fair,
continuing effort to silence information coming out of Iraq,
US forces began early this week an offensive against Iraq’s
computer centers and Internet cafes.
On Tuesday US
occupation forces raided an internet center in the city of
Bayji, 180km north of Baghdad. The owner of the
establishment, Ali Hamid, told Reuters that “members of the US
forces raided the center this [Tuesday] morning and took five
computers and their equipment.” Hamid
noted, “This isn’t the first time the Americans have raided
the center and took computers. Some time ago they did the
same thing and they took a number of computers then too.”
Residents of the city of
Samarra’, 100km north of Baghdad, were quoted by Mafkarat
al-Islam as saying that similar raids had taken place on
computer cafes in their area as well. There the American
troops “confiscated the contents of the as-Safir Internet
Center and, in particular, all its computers.”
weeks, the US has employed a variety of strategies to stop the
information flow, including bombing “strategic targets” of
communications towers, Telecom switches and grids. In
addition, satellite phone operators have become legitimate
targets of US air strikes as signals are picked up on US GPS
The US has
also stepped up its efforts to control information at home in
advance of the elections. Several large ISPs in the Middle
East have been blocked en mass, and pressure has been put on
even the so called “uncensored” new outlets.
Burger Kings And Manicures
US troops patrol in a village
near the US-led coalition's Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.
[Really? U.S. Troops? How
about #3 with the full beard? Different regs over there?]
September 29, 2004 The Pak
Nobody said the hunt for Osama bin Laden would be easy. It's
Sunday evening at Bagram air base, the US military hub in
Afghanistan, and Specialist Henry Carter has booked himself a
manicure," he explains, as a beautician dips his outstretched
fingers into a bowl of warm water at the base day spa.
relax," he adds, a little bashfully.
In the next chair, a soldier is
having his eyebrows trimmed; behind the curtain another is
At reception, Sergeant Gregory
Duda flicks through a copy of the National Enquirer - M-16
rifle by his side - waiting for his weekly massage. All 12
booths are occupied.
There is no contradiction
between body care and military machismo, says the intelligence
officer from Georgia. "It keeps you ready," he says. "Sore
muscles can really inhibit if you have to fight."
president, George Bush, has vowed to keep his army in
Afghanistan for the long haul. He has just deployed another
1,000 soldiers to support the country's October 9 election.
long as Operation Enduring Freedom lasts, his generals want to
keep their troops happy, healthy and, if necessary,
Bagram is a
fortress-like base, surrounded by walls, sandbags and razor
wire. Outside the gates children beg passing troops for
pens. But inside is a cornucopia of modern conveniences: a
music, food and electronics store; internet and video halls;
esoteric gift outlets; a beauty spa; and, since July,
Afghanistan's first Burger King.
"We know we're going to be here
for a while," says Major Stacy Bathrick, a public affairs
officer. "If the soldiers have a good quality of life [on
base], it means their morale is high when out on mission."
The base store - commonly known
as the Postal Exchange - sells everything from pistol holders
to DVDs, microwave meals and Osama bin Laden T-shirts.
Soldiers are well fed, said Kenneth Limtiaco of AAFES, the
company that runs the shops. "But if you want a _mocha
frappuccino, you can't get it in the mess hall."
Neither can you get a bust of
Lenin or a souvenir medal to mark the "Order of the Red Flag
Socialist competition" - some of the items on sale at the
Soviet-themed gift shop.
It's cheap - 20% less than in
the US, says Mr Limtiaco. The beauty salon, which offers a
full-body massage for $15 (£8.30), recently extended to a
15-hour day to meet demand.
plans for expansion. Pizza Hut and Subway outlets are on the
way, and another Burger King is destined for the southern base
in Kandahar. AAFES reinvests the profits into other
facilities, including a gymnasium complete with a
mountain-climbing wall, internet cafes, phone centres and
distance learning classes. For the less active there are
PlayStation consoles, free popcorn and satellite TV.
There is also a strong social
element. In Kandahar the 24-hour Green Beans coffee shop has
become the base's social focus. Thursday is salsa night, when
soldiers gather to tango into the night. "It's really fun,"
says Specialist Cassie Gonzalez, a Texan architecture student
who suspended her studies for military service.
Camp life is far less luxurious
at the remote "firebases", where front-line troops are working
on reconstruction and hunting the Taliban remnants. There is
little power or running water and the threat of death lurks:
three American soldiers were killed last week.
But there is room for occasional
extravagances. At Camp Anaconda in arid Uruzgan province,
troops celebrated a resupply run last week with a
Fun at the
major bases is subject to two restrictions: no alcohol, and no
sex between soldiers. The top brass take an indulgent
approach to the second rule, says one woman soldier: "If
anyone thinks there's no sex, they're just kidding
themselves," she says.
There is no such ambiguity at
the Bagram beauty salon, staffed by hairdressers and
beauticians from the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.
A notice tells customers to wear
underpants, and warns: "Soliciting any sexual or indecent
services/acts is subject to punishment under the Military Code
of Uniform Justice."
Tania Mitko, the 24-year-old
manager, says: "We're just here to work normally - that's all.
Sometimes the soldiers ask us out for a coffee and a talk.
But we always say no."
Soldiers Wounded In Grenade Attack
10.22.04 AP An attacker
detonated grenades on a commercial street in downtown Kabul on
Saturday, killing himself and injuring seven other people,
including three foreign soldiers, police said.
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Respect And Solidarity To 17 Who Defied Suicide Orders
October 22, 2004 9:45 PM
I have for months, and
especially these past few weeks, been scouring the Internet
for alternative news on the situation in Iraq, and
particularly from the troops themselves. So it was with
tremendous relief tonight when I ran across the GI Special
I've only had the chance to read
one report thus far (extremely poignant: GI Special 2#B95),
but I do intend to read on. And, I can only hope that these
stories somehow reach the due attention of the mainstream
media. Because right now,
more than anything else, the American public needs to hear the
voices of our young men and women, whom this Administration
has so cavalierly sacrificed.
At such a crucial juncture in
this war--with the Stop-loss program taking place, and the
real possibility of a draft being reinstated, and what appears
to be an ever-imploding chaos all throughout Iraq--the
troops are our most reliable source for understanding what is
going on over there, and what the troops are up against w/ our
own military and the consequences of this Administration's
For what it
is worth: My wholehearted support to the heroic 17 troops who
valiantly refused to go on the suicidal mission they were
ordered to undertake.
Wave of Prayer and Sound
medically unfit Soldier forced into Iraq
On Nov. 1st,
before the elections, when it gets to be 11:58 AM
are, let’s start
WAVE OF PRAYER AND SOUND
support our troops,
If you want
the medically unfit sent home,
If you want
them all sent home,
you are doing wherever you are.
with your family, friends or even your neighbor
that this war will end.
Go to your
vehicle if you have one
the horn for 30 seconds.
loud enough America!
Make it so
that the wave of prayers and sound
troops to show them that we care.
has been posted on the internet as a chain letter. I am
trying to get all of America to make this happen. In order to
make this a wave of prayer and sound, this must be followed by
your own time/zone in your state.
So the first
states that will start this should be along the East Coast,
then work its way west.
So past it on
to people you know and have them pass it to people they know
and so on. Let us prove that this mission WILL BE
From: "max watts"
Sent: October 22, 2004 4:16 AM
Subject: Re: beginning - but of
WHAT I WANT TO POINT OUT IS THE
SAME MESSAGE YOU HAVE SEEN IN TRAVELING SOLDIER AND GI SPECIAL
NOW: THAT THERE IS A
CHANGE, AND RELATIVELY RAPID, IN THE FORMS OF RESISTANCE IN
THE ARMED FORCES (RITA) WE ARE SEEING IN IRAQ.
SOLDIER HAS NOTED - THE "INDIVIDUAL HERO" CAN BE CRUSHED FAR
MORE EASILY THAN A GROUP.
ACTUALLY, OUR EXPERIENCE DURING
VIETNAM WAS THAT THESE ARE NOT CONTRADICTORY, OR CONFLICTING,
ACTIONS: RITA IS AS RITA DOES, AND THE RITA SOLDIERS
THEMSELVES ARE THE ONES WHO DECIDE ON THE FORM OF ACTION.
AROUND 1968 I
NOTED THAT BY THEN RITA IN THE US/VIETNAM WAR HAD GONE THRU
(AND OF COURSE I WROTE ABOUT
THOSE WHICH HAD BECOME KNOWN TO ME, MUCH HAPPENED ELSEWHERE,
"IN THE DARK").
STARTED OUT WITH "INDIVIDUAL HEROISM", ONE, 2, THEN 3 GI'S
SAYING: "NO, WE WON'T GO" -THESE GI'S OFTEN
GOT 3-5 YEARS AND MORE JAIL SENTENCES.
HOWEVER, THEY WERE NOT ATTACKED
BY OTHER PRISONERS IN THE STOCKADES, OR FED PRISONS, AS HAD
OCCURRED TO LEFTISTS DURING THE KOREAN WAR PERIOD. THE OTHER
PRISONERS MORE OR LESS ADMIRED THEM, BUT THOUGHT THEY SHOULD
HAVE DESERTED, INSTEAD OF HANGING AROUND FOR TRIALS AND JAIL
NEXT WE NOTED
- GROWING DESERTION,
AND IN EUROPE: "OFF BASE"
RITA, SOLDIERS IN FRANCE, SWEDEN, CANADA,
ORGANISING AND - FROM FRANCE MOSTLY - MAINTAINING CONTACTS
WITH THEIR UNITS IN GERMANY
SIMPLE DESERTION, TO POLITICAL DESERTION/AWOL,
(WITH GI'S MAKING STATEMENTS TO THE MEDIA AS TO WHY THEY'D
SPLIT) AND THEN "OFF-BASE-RITA" WITH CONTACTS...
NOW, THAT WAS V IMPORTANT,
BECAUSE IT TOLD GI'S INSIDE THAT IF THEY NEEDED, THEY COULD
SPLIT. (EXAMPLE: TERRY KLUG, STUCK IN ITALY, READ ABOUT PARIS
IN THE ROME DAILY AMERICAN... AND HEADED PARISWARDS)
PERRIN, WHO HAD RESISTED IN FORT
SILL, AND TRIED TO IN KITZINGEN (GERMANY) FELT HE COULDN'T
HACK IT ANY MORE (TOO MUCH RACISM IN HIS UNIT) AND SPLIT TO
PARIS, WHERE HE DID MARVELS..
NOW, THIS IS 1966-67
1968, PARTICULARLY AFTER TET, THE BALANCE OF POWER INSIDE THE
ARMY WAS SWINGING OUR WAY. AND NOW GI'S
WERE COMING TO VISIT THE OFF-BASE RITAS, DISCUSS, PICK UP
LITERATURE, AND GOING BACK TO THEIR UNITS IN GERMANY, "WITH
SOMETIMES THEY EVEN PARTICIPATED
IN THE BARRICADE BATTLES IN MAY 1968 PARIS, BEFORE GOING
NOW IT BECAME
POSSIBLE TO WORK MORE AND MORE OPENLY ON BASE, PUT OUT BASE
PAPERS, LINK UP TO GERMAN LEFTISTS, AND ... AS THE YEARS WENT
ON... COME OUT IN THE OPEN.
I FELT (I'M
FAR AWAY, PLEASE, THIS IS A FEELING OF COURSE I CAN BE WRONG,
BUT? AM I?) THAT THE RESISTANCE IN THE US MILITARY IS ABOUT TO
ENTER A NEW PHASE.
343RD QM CO... COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED A YEAR AGO... OR 6
AND THE WORK OF THE WIVES,
MOTHERS, IS ALSO GOING TO A NEW, HIGHER, STRONGER, LEVEL...
AM I DELUDING MYSELF? OR ??
WE SHALL SEE
KEEP UP YOUR VERY GOOD WORK. I
HAVE DOWNLOADED TRAVELING SOLDIER #8 AND WILL XEROX COPIES,
FOR PRINT SNAIL MAIL DISTRIB.
ALL VERY BEST
You Got That
Ralph Nader is a hypocrite. He
is NOT an antiwar candidate. He wants the US to have the
cover of the United Nations. He does not stand up for Iraqi
From his web site:
"The quagmire of the Iraq war
and occupation could have been averted and needs to be ended
expeditiously, replacing US forces with a UN peacekeeping
force, prompt supervised elections and humanitarian assistance
before we sink deeper into this occupation, with more U.S.
casualties, huge financial costs, and diminished US security
around and from the Islamic world."
We would like to
receive your regular email GI Specials. Stephen Darley,
anti-war activist in Adelaide Australia, recommended you to
us. We are politically-active independent printers who would
like to use your material (with attribution of course) to
advance anti-war work in Australia. Is this okay with you?
J and B, S
Printing, Adelaide, Australia.
Yes. And check out Traveling
GI Special distributes and posts
to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not
always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
We are making such material available in an effort to advance
understanding of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We
believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted
material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law since it is being distributed
without charge or profit for purely educational
purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for educational purposes,
in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Go to:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. for more
information. If you wish to use copyrighted material from
this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use',
you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot
legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of unauthorized
material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive 1325.6 Section