www.albasrah.net
 

  

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

10.25.04

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

 

GI SPECIAL 2#C2

 

 

HELL NO, HE WON’T GO!

COURT HALTS DEPLOYMENT:

Army Captain Jay Ferriola, center, and his girlfriend Jeannie Cohler following an emergency hearing Oct. 24 in New York.  Ferriola received a November 1st extension on his bid for an injunction to block the army's attempt to deploy him to Iraq after completing his eight years of service. (AP Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek)

 

 

“This Is Vietnam”

 

October 24, 2004 Edward Wong, New York Times

 

The biggest question, the Marines said, is whether the Iraqi people want them here at all.

 

"This is Vietnam," said Cpl. Daniel Planalp, 21, of San Diego.  "I don't even know why we're over here fighting.  We're fighting for survival.  The Iraqis don't want us here.  If they wanted us here, they'd help us.  They're certainly not helping us in this city."

 

RAMADI, IRAQ -- The Marines in Ramadi are still searching for their kind of war.

 

It is not for lack of an enemy.  In the heart of this provincial capital, where the Marines routinely run convoys and patrols down a 4-mile stretch of road, hidden bombs explode daily, leaving Americans riddled with shrapnel, if not ripped apart.

 

Guerrillas pop out and take shots with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.  The Marines are even exposed at bases at each end of the downtown area -- mortar shells hit regularly, and snipers' bullets occasionally zing through the air.

 

But when the Marines fire back or give chase, they find the insurgents have slipped into the palm groves and narrow alleys and mosques, melting in with the civilians and floating away like so many dust motes.

 

"This phase is a lot worse than the first part of the war," said Staff Sgt. Jose Gomez, 28, of Beeville, Texas, just back from 24-hour guard duty at the besieged government center downtown.  "They know we're here; they know what we do; they know our routine. We're used to coming in, blowing stuff up. Now we wait to get hit."

 

In six weeks in Ramadi, six members of this battalion have been killed and at least 72 wounded.

 

"It's scary sometimes," said a hospital corpsman, Hulester Holley, 21, of Tulare, Calif. "Sometimes we get hit so quick I don't know who's hit or what the injuries are."

 

In this guerrilla war, the Marines said, strict rules of engagement have kept their hands tied.  They said the Iraqi police and National Guard are unhelpful at best and enemy agents at worst

 

The Marines said that they could use better equipment from the Pentagon and that they fear that Americans are ignorant of the hardships they face.

 

The day-to-day goal of the Marines in Ramadi is to keep open and secure the major east-west artery, which runs through the downtown area and which the Marines call Route Michigan.  The main 4-mile stretch runs past a crowded market and several mosques, all peppered with insurgents.

 

The Marines have bases on each end and four observation posts in buildings along the way, the most crucial one inside the provincial government compound, which overlooks the market and is attacked almost daily.

 

"This isn't hell, but what we do is hell," said Sgt. Clarence Sentell, 25, of Artesia, N.M.

 

The biggest question, the Marines said, is whether the Iraqi people want them here at all.

 

"This is Vietnam," said Cpl. Daniel Planalp, 21, of San Diego. "I don't even know why we're over here fighting.  We're fighting for survival.  The Iraqis don't want us here.  If they wanted us here, they'd help us.  They're certainly not helping us in this city."

 

Planalp was speaking while driving a Humvee in a 10-vehicle convoy that crosses Route Michigan twice a day to deliver food to bases.

 

Some Marines call the run "the suicide train."  On one recent morning, nine bombs went off or were discovered on the route, an average of one every half-mile.

 

In the government center, Cpl. John Rios, 29, of Corpus Christi, Texas, rested on a cot and said, "Before, during the invasion, it was a free-fire zone."

 

"Now, we have a lot of rules of engagement to protect the civilians," he said.  "But the enemy doesn't follow the same rules as we do.  They use civilians as shields; they use mosques against us; they use graveyards."

 

The solution was to let the Iraqi security forces take charge, he added, "but honestly, they're not ready."

 

Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Jaime, 35, sitting beside Rios, said: "I don't know if they're intimidated or scared, or maybe they share the feeling that we don't belong here. I don't know what it is."

 

The sergeant said one thing the Marines could use from the Pentagon is better gear. Marines traditionally complain that the Army gets the best equipment. But given the perils of this war, he said, it is criminal that some Marines have to use makeshift armored vehicles, driving around in trucks with welded doors that look like "something out of Mad Max."

 

The 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, which preceded this battalion in Ramadi, suffered numerous casualties because of a shortage of properly armored vehicles, the Marines in Ramadi said.

 

Back in a bunkhouse at the Snake Pit, Marines mulled over what Americans back home think of them and whether they are fighting a forgotten war in a forgotten land.

 

"They don't have a clue what's going on here," said Cpl. Patrick Hansen, 24, of Tewksbury, Mass.  "The Iraq story will come in fourth on the TV news, behind Betsy the Cow having a first-prize calf at the county fair.  Then it'll go back to Bob the weatherman."

 

"All I heard back home was, 'Once we get Osama, this whole thing will be over,' " he said.  "It's like the Iraqis here saying, 'Once we get rid of Saddam, it'll be over.'  Well, right now, it's far from over."

 

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.  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)

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

U.S. Diplomat Killed, Soldier Wounded In Baghdad Mortar Attack On Command Hq

 

October 24, 2004 Japan Today, BAGHDAD & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

A State Department security officer was killed Sunday when a rebel-fired rocket or mortar shell crashed into the trailer where he was sleeping at a U.S. base near Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. Embassy announced.

 

Ed Seitz, an agent with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was killed about 5 a.m. at Camp Victory, embassy spokesman Bob Callahan said. Camp Victory is the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition's ground forces command.

 

One American soldier also was wounded in the pre-dawn attack that killed Seitz, the State Department official.  Camp Victory is the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition's ground forces command.

 

 

Bulgarian Soldier Killed

 

24 October 2004 Novinite Ltd & AFP & Xinhua News Agency (China)

 

One Bulgarian soldier died and three others were wounded Sunday in Iraq when a truck loaded with explosives blew up near their convoy near the southern city Karbala.

 

The incident took place as the convoy was entering Karbala south of the capital, the spokeswoman for the ministry, Roumiana Strougarova, said.

 

Senior Sergeant Vladimir Pashov, 35, died of his wounds while being transported to a hospital.  The other three Bulgarian soldiers, who were lightly injured, were immediately rushed into the Lima base hospital with no risk for their lives.

 

This is the seventh Bulgarian soldier killed in Iraq. Last December, a cistern bomb [Anybody know what the fuck that is?] destroyed the Bulgarian camp, claiming the lives of five soldiers.

 

When a Bulgarian unit was first deployed in the city, it was considered rather a peaceful one.  Experts commented that the Karbala Shiites were well predisposed toward the coalition troops.  [Rule 1: Never pay the slightest attention to experts.  They’re not likely to be around when you get killed.]

 

Opinion polls show around 70 percent of Bulgarians oppose the war.

 

 

Abu G Bomb Hits U.S. Patrol;

Tank Destroyed In Baghdad

 

October 24, 2004 Aljazeera.net

 

Aljazeera has also learned that a car bomb exploded near a US patrol near a governmental compound in the Abu Ghraib area of Baghdad.

 

The explosion has caused casualties among the soldiers and damaged some vehicles.  No further details were available.

 

Elsewhere, an explosive device detonated on the Kharnabat bridge in western Baghdad, destroying a tank that later fell into the Tigris river.  US forces sealed off the site.

 

 

Occupation Guardsmen Die In Samarra;

U.S. Armored Vehicle Damaged

 

October 23, 2004 Associated Press & 10.24 (Xinhuanet) & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

Two Iraqi National Guards were killed and another six injured when a land mine exploded as their convoy passed by in northern Samara, police said.

 

That explosion took place at 5 p.m., said a police official speaking on condition of anonymity.  The road is often taken by Iraqi military convoys en route to their base in Samarra, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

 

U.S. and Iraqi forces seized control of Samarra last month and since then, Iraqi officials have pointed to the city as an example of how the Americans and the Baghdad government can restore order in restive towns and cities from the insurgents.

 

Clashes broke out between US troops and insurgents in Samarra, north of Baghdad, police said on Sunday killing a 17-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy, said the police.

 

Witnesses said a US armored vehicle was also damaged in the fighting.

 

Last month, U.S. and Iraqi forces recaptured Samarra from insurgents but have faced car bombings and scattered attacks ever since.

 

 

Pro-Occupation Intel Service Reports:

U.S. Forces Beaten Back At Yusufiyah-Latifiyah;

Timetable For Falluja Offensive;

Resistance Growing More Popular, Occupation Less

 

October 22, 2004 The Stratfor Report [Stratfor is very pro-Empire.]

 

Shiite tribal sources said Iraqi insurgents recently have moved into the towns of Yusufiyah and Latifiyah.  This movement comes after reports indicating U.S. Marines operating in the area were unable to rout the insurgents and were seen leaving the two towns in armored columns.  U.S. commanders operating in Yusufiyah recently turned up large weapons caches --an important indicator that insurgents are still operating in the area.

 

Growing numbers of Iraqi insurgents were seen Oct.20 in that same area.  The Iraqi insurgents are Sunni guerrillas in a Shiite-dominated area, who largely do not have popular support.  Some of the younger Shia have joined their ranks, despite the fact that several local Shia remained neutral during previous U.S. military operations in the area.

 

The move by local Sunni guerrillas to recruit young Shiite guerrillas also could be another indication of the insurgency's growing popularity -- and the unpopularity of occupation.

 

Tribal sources within Anbar province repeatedly have said al-Zarqawi is not in Al Fallujah, and sources claim Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi knows he is not there.

 

The redeployment -- including moving the British troops into the area, having the U.S. Marines bring them up to speed on the situation and then relocating the U.S. Marines themselves -- will likely take a couple of weeks. 

 

Scheduling the renewed offensive on Sunni strongholds in the west to begin around the same time as the U.S. elections -- which appears to be the case, based on the continued offensive operations going on throughout Iraq -- leaves little to make us believe the military will wait for the end of Ramadan in mid-November to begin its new assault.

 

Residents say US troops and fighters skirmish daily in the city, which remains under curfew at night.

 

 

[Original photo source unknown]  US Soldier is checking out a new weapon!  The rocket launcher home-made & hand-made was developed by the resistance.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

The Reserve Mutiny:

How The War Cripples The Army Reserve

 

Oct. 18, 2004 By Phillip Carter, MSN Slate.  Phillip Carter is a former U.S. Army officer who now writes on legal and military affairs in Los Angeles.

 

The incident has raised alarm from Baghdad to Washington, because such mass disobedience is nearly unheard of in today's all-volunteer U.S. military.

 

The reserves are increasingly taking over the Iraq and Afghanistan missions because of the strain on the active forces.  Nearly 400,000 reservists have been mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001, with 158,000 Army and Marine Corps reservists serving on active duty now.

 

The reservists closely resemble the draftees of days gone by.  Reservists train for one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer: Thirty-nine days a year is hardly enough to build true tactical competence on the complex tasks of warfighting.

 

Soldiers in logistics units like the 343rd learn how to drive their big rigs and maintain them, but they hardly have time to practice convoy defense or route reconnaissance. The lack of training time is compounded by other resource problems in the reserves.

 

Many reserve leaders don't have significant active-duty experience, so they lack the expertise necessary to train their units on these important missions. Reserve equipment—particularly in the National Guard—suffers from decades of neglect.  It is not uncommon for reservists and National Guardsmen to drive vehicles that are older than they are.

 

When the Army created its "total force concept"—the mix of active and reserve forces it has today—after the Vietnam War, it allocated combat units mostly to the active force, while support and logistics units were put in the reserves.  The Army assumed it didn't need highly trained truck drivers on active duty as badly as it needed infantrymen, tankers, and aviators on active duty.  The problem with this model in Iraq is that truck drivers are front-line soldiers: A supply convoy driving up the Main Supply Route from Baghdad to Fallujah is as likely to see action as an infantry patrol, if not more so because the insurgents know the convoy is an easier target.  Thus, the soldiers in harm's way the most are in many ways the least prepared.

 

The unfortunate truth is that today's Guard and reserve units are being thrown into the fight in ways similar to conscript-based units of past generations.  Reservists today get mobilized, trained on the most basic tasks of war, and then shipped to Iraq in a matter of weeks. Today, just as in World War II and Korea, we are throwing unprepared units into battle with the hope that they survive and gel as a team in the ultimate Darwinian environment.

 

The reservists in Iraq lack the training, equipment, leadership, and resources to do their job.  And their morale proves it; surveys conducted under the Army's auspices last year showed a marked difference between the attitudes of active-duty soldiers and Marines, and of reservists like those in the 343rd.

 

There remain a number of salient differences between today's soldiers and the draftees of the World War II and Vietnam generations.  Unlike conscripts, today's reservists are volunteers, and they have gone through the rigors of boot camp.  But from an operational perspective, some of those differences have been slowly ground away by the exigencies of the mission in Iraq.

 

Consequently, reservists today are acting in ways that look startlingly like conscripts of yesterday.  The reservists in the 343rd made a conscious choice between the risk of court-martial and the risk of a combat mission, based on their gut feelings about their equipment, training, leadership, and likelihood of survival.

 

Professional soldiers face such risks every day, and yet they persevere because they have faith in their units, leaders, training, and equipment.

 

The reservists of the 343rd Quartermaster Company appear to have run out of faith, perhaps because the Army—which treated them as disposable—never gave them enough reason to have it.

 

MORE:

 

October 25, 2004 By Gina Cavallaro, Army Times staff writer

 

The Rock Hill, S.C.-based 343rd, a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver fuel and water, has been in Iraq nine months.

 

The platoon being held has troops from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina, said Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter, Spc. Amber McClenny, is among those being investigated.  The platoon under investigation includes three women and 14 men.

 

MORE:

 

October 18, 2004 By Ann Scott Tyson, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

 

It was one of the largest-scale incidents he recalled of a unit refusing to obey orders in wartime since 1990, when 67 soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade went AWOL from Fort Hood, Texas, during preparations for deployment to the Persian Gulf.

 

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.

 

 

“It’s Pissing Me Off.  They Left Me Out Hanging” Wounded Soldier Says

 

October 7, 2004 By Marley Shebala, The Navajo Times

 

Dawes, in a telephone interview from San Antonio, said, "It is pissing me off.  They (Army) left me out hanging.  They discharged me from the hospital when I couldn't walk or lift my arms.  I could hardly talk or feed myself.  And now they're making us pay for everything.  They should have paid for everything."

 

ALBUQUERQUE - After Army Sgt. Terrell Dawes, 22, settled into a wheelchair, he looked around, smiled and said it was great to see Indians again.

 

Dawes and his mother, Vesta James, returned from San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 6, where Dawes was treated for wounds at the Brooks Military Army Hospital from Sept. 10 to 17.

 

The Army awarded Dawes a Purple Heart on Sept. 8 but failed to arrange for wheelchair assistance or give him pain medication.

 

Dawes, who re-enlisted in the Army for four more years, was riding in a Humvee with four platoon members when it was hit by a car bomb in Iraq on Sept. 8.  The blast launched the Humvee into the air and when it landed, Dawes was partially pinned under it.

 

He was flown to a military hospital in Germany where he was treated for burns over half of his body.  He had the toes from one of his feet amputated and steel pins placed in his hips.

 

Dawes, a former Window Rock High School athlete, was using a cane and wincing each time he took a step or made a movement, which he did with great care. 

 

As Dawes got into the passenger side of his Mustang, the look of his face showed he was in pain.

 

Dawes, in a telephone interview from San Antonio, said, "It is pissing me off.  They (Army) left me out hanging.  They discharged me from the hospital when I couldn't walk or lift my arms.  I could hardly talk or feed myself.  And now they're making us pay for everything.  They should have paid for everything."

 

He said the Army discharged him from the military hospital in San Antonio into the care of his mother on Sept. 17 but didn't tell them that the discharge meant the Army was washing its hands of all financial responsibility.

 

"They (Army) told us recently, 'Hey you're on your own and you have to pay for everything.' We have this big bill here to pay and we don't know how we're going to pay it," said Dawes.

 

He said his mother and he had to ask for more financial assistance from home.

 

Dawes was also upset about the Army making his mother stay with him and take care of him.

 

James, who took leave from her job at the Fort Defiance Indian Health Service hospital, said that when they found out last week that they had to pay a $1,500 bill, she started asking the Army to lift the medical hold on her son so they could go home.

 

She said Army officials told her that if she took Dawes home while the medical hold was in place, the Army could charge Dawes with absent without leave and her with kidnapping.

 

"So we couldn't leave the base," said James. "The things we went through. I just broke down and cried.  He (Dawes) was out there (in Iraq).  And he's fighting for his country and this is what we get."

 

Army Sgt. Terrell Dawes and his parents, Vesta James, right, and Fabian James are finally together at their home in Fort Defiance after returning from the airport in Albuquerque on Oct. 6. (Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)

 

She said the Army initially told her they would cover her financial expenses while she was in San Antonio, which they said would be from Sept. 10 to 27.

 

James said she felt like the Army was being discriminatory because of the color of their skin or because they were Native American.

 

She said that when she threatened to contact the local media about how they were being treated, the Army lifted the medical hold on Dawes a few minutes before 5 p.m. on Oct. 5.

 

Nelia Schrum, Army public affairs officer for medical centers, said in a Sept. 6 telephone interview from the military hospital that wounded soldiers are not discharged from the hospital until they can care for themselves.

 

When Schrum learned that James was on her way home with Dawes, she said, "She (James) can't do that."

 

But after learning that James arranged for the medical hold on Dawes to be lifted, Schrum said Dawes was probably released a convalescence pass.

 

According to Dawes' hospital discharge letter, which was written on Sept. 17 to Capt. Jacob Smith from Maj. Fran M. Renz, "He (Dawes) currently needs assistance to get out of bed and cannot walk without help.  He is unable to carry his own tray in the dining hall and will need assistance with daily hygiene needs."

 

James said maybe if her son, who went on four combat tours, had blue eyes and blonde hair, he would have been give the same treatment as Army Spc. Jessica Lynch, who went on only one combat tour.

 

The Army went all out for Lynch by paying for her family's travel expenses and buying her a new vehicle and home, said James.

 

At press time, no patient representative from the hospital had returned a message from the Navajo Times.

 

 

Marine Col. Says He’d Fight Invaders Too

 

24 October 2004 By Alissa J. Rubin and Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times

 

The Marines recognized that many of the [Falluja] fighters "weren't former regime loyalists, they certainly weren't foreign fighters, and they weren't religious extremists," said Coleman, the colonel.

 

"They were soldiers who have families," Col. John Coleman [USMC] said later.  He noted their frustration over being unemployed for a year after the army was disbanded.  

 

"They couldn't do the things a man and a father is expected to do … and then a force is all of a sudden arrayed and directed against your town.  What do you do?  Many of those men chose to pick up that AK-47 and join the fight."

 

 

Mother Of Dead Soldier Condemns War

 

[Thanks to Ewa Jasiewicz, who emailed this in.]

 

October 24, 2004

 

This is the text of leaflet by Rose Gentle, mother of Scottish soldier killed in Basra.

 

On 28t June this year, young Gordon Gentle was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra.

 

Gordon had joined the army 6 months previous.  He was a classic economic conscript.  If he had access to a half-decent job then he and many others like him, including at least another 5 from our local community would not have considered joining the army.

 

We know that Gordons life could have been saved if the MoD had provided his regiment with the proper equipment.

 

2 hours after Gordons death all RHF vehicles were fitted with a piece of equipment called the Bolterman (electronic jamming device).  The Bolterman is designed to jam the remote signal that is used to detonate roadside bombs.

 

The RHF were the only British battalion in Iraq that did not have the Bolterman fitted to their vehicles. the Bolterman units were sitting on a shelf in an MoD storeroom!

 

We firmly believe that the MoD are neglecting our soldiers in Iraq.

 

Serving soldiers have informed us that they have been sent out on patrol with only 20 rounds of ammunition, as well as being supplied with radios that don't work.  Gordons family are demanding that British soldiers are withdrawn from Iraq before any more families have to go through what they are going through.

 

We are asking local people in Greater Pollok to take a bit of time out to attend the demonstration, to find out about the Campaign for Justice for Gordon Gentle as well as the general situation in Iraq.

 

Support the Campaign for Justice Not War !

 

Contact: justiceforgordongentle@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: 0141 883 4536

write to the Gentle family, 52 Templeland Road, Pollok, G53 5PG

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

51 Iraqi Occupation Soldiers Killed In Ambush

 

24-10-2004 Al Bawaba & (AP) & CNN & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

The bodies of some 51 Iraqi soldiers were found on a road in eastern Iraq, apparently after they were killed in an ambush as they were heading home on leave, Iraqi authorities said Sunday.  The soldiers, who were found with their army IDs, had just graduated from training, he said.

 

Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdul-Rahman said the soldiers were believed to have been killed about sundown Saturday on a road about 150 kms east of Baghdad near the Iranian border.

 

Gen. Walid al-Azzawi, commander of the Diyala provincial police, said he believed the soldiers had been training at the Kirkush military camp northeast of Baghdad.

 

An Associated Press reporter on the scene reported seeing the burned frames of two minibuses.  Bloodstains were visible on the ground, along with human remains. Witnesses said the attackers stole some buses.  Police confirmed they had found 51 bodies from the attack place.

 

Iraqi government spokeswoman Maha Malik quoted witnesses as saying resistance fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades at two vehicles carrying the unarmed troops.

 

Some accounts by police said the rebels were dressed in Iraqi military uniforms.

 

The fact that the insurgents were able to strike at so many unarmed soldiers in such a remote region suggested the guerrillas may have had advance word on the soldiers' travel.

 

"There was probably collusion among the soldiers or other groups," Diyala's deputy Gov. Aqil Hamid al-Adili told Al-Arabiya television.  "Otherwise, the gunmen would not have gotten the information about the soldiers' departure from their training camp and that they were unarmed."

 

The extent of rebel infiltration is unknown. However, it raises concern about the American strategy of handing over more and more responsibility to Iraqi security forces so U.S. forces could be drawn down.

 

Oct. 24, 2004.The bodies of about 50 Iraqi soldiers were found on a remote road in eastern Iraq. (AP Photo/str)

 

 

Military Base Worker Beheaded

 

10.24.04 AP

 

A videotape posted Saturday on Islamic Web sites showed Iraqi militants claiming to have beheaded a man who said he worked for the U.S. military in the northern city of Mosul for the past year.  The man, who identified himself as Seif Adnan Kanaan, said he fixed vehicles and delivered beverages to U.S. forces based at Mosul airport.

 

The killing was claimed by the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, which claims to have killed at least 14 other hostages.

 

 

Explosions In Baqouba Wound Seven Occupation Guards

 

24 October 2004 Focus 1

 

Baqouba. Two bombs exploded in the Iraqi city of Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad; seven people are wounded, RIA Novosti reported, referring to police sources.

 

Six of them are personnel with the Iraqi National Guard.

 

According to the information, one of the explosions blasted when a military vehicle was passing by, which was transporting troops.

 

WELCOME TO BAQOUBA.  HAVE A NICE DAY.

Near Baqouba bomb attacks included an explosives-rigged flashlight, officials said. Oct. 24. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

 

 

Iraq Militant Group Kills Arbil Police Chief

 

Oct 24, 2004 DUBAI (Reuters) & AP

 

An Iraqi militant group said it had assassinated the chief of police in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil and threatened to kill Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, according to an Internet statement posted on Sunday.

 

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna said in a statement posted on its Web site that it had killed Colonel Tah Ahmed on Saturday as a message to Barzani that "the hands of the mujahideen would soon reach him."  The statement's authenticity could not be verified.

 

Iraqi authorities said a police officer who worked for the U.S. military as a translator was kidnapped Sunday in Ramadi, while another policeman was found dead.

 

 

Balad Checkpoint Bomb Kills Two Occupation Guards

 

24 October 2004 CNN

 

A car bomb detonated at a highway checkpoint near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.  Two Iraqi national guard members were killed and another was wounded, a U.S. military spokesman said.

 

 

Sadr Ready To Support Mujahideens In Fallujah

 

24 October 2004 Focus 1

 

The Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr expressed his readiness to support “the Mujahideens in Fallujah”, the Sunnite stronghold north of Baghdad, which is being under U.S. forces’ pressure for the last several weeks, AFP reported.

 

“I am ready to assist the Mujahideens in Fallujah.  I denounce the attacks on Iraqi cities and I am ready to put an end to that”, reads Sadr’s statement, distributed in Baghdad and Najaf.

 

“The invaders have no mercy, that is why our resistance would continue”, the announcement also reads.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

Who'll Stop The Rain?

 

24 October 2004 By Marc Ash, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

 

Long as I remember, the rain been comin' down.

Clouds of myst'ry pourin,' confusion on the ground.

Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun.

And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain.

- John Fogerty 1970, Who'll Stop The Rain

 

Day by day I hear the voices rising

Started with a whisper like it did before

Day by day we count the dead and dying

Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score

- John Fogerty 2004, Deja Vu (All Over Again)

 

Michael Pederson was a fighter.  I couldn't have known that from talking to him, because he's dead.  But I met his mother and she don't know what quit is, so I know in my heart he must have been a fighter.  They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  Well they should have said, earth knows no determination like that of a mother whose child has been taken by a lie.

 

Lila Lipscombe, like 1,100 American mothers, sent a son to defend her country and got back remains in a transfer tube.  She's asking why.  A mother who has lost a son is not fazed by this political season.  She wants to know what happened to her child.  And if she should find that a lie brought about the loss of her flesh and blood, she will not waiver in her pursuit of justice.

 

I do not support our troops.

 

I would like to say that I support our troops, but if I did I would leave the comfort of my home and tear a hole in the wall of the White House with my bare hands.  I would like to say that I support our troops, but if I did, I'd kick down the door of my Congressman or Senator's office and demand that they account for every life lost, every drop of blood shed, now, today.  If I truly supported my troops I would put my life on the line right along with theirs, leaving no stone unturned in their defense.  Then I could say that I supported my troops, because that's the kind of support they desperately need right now.

 

As the fires still burned at ground zero the victims' families were sounding the alert: "We are not getting accurate information … the facts do not add up … there is a cover up." No network coverage, no public outcry - no answers needed, no accountability forthcoming.  Words of support, but no actions.

 

1,100 dead and counting.  Once again the voices of the families of the fallen, those who have given their lives to defend this country rise in alarm: "There is back-door draft, we can't get out … we have to buy body armor out of our pay checks … we are being asked to kill civilians … why did my child die for a lie?"  All the while the airwaves are filled with images of glory to keep us sedate.

 

Low expectations

The debates have come and gone and with them the benefit of low expectations.  We do support our troops and their families, each and every one of us.  No one approves of the killing of innocent civilians or those who do nothing more than defend their homes. What will the standard be for the White House? Will we accept less than the best? Is it now okay to lie with impunity?  Are we still so afraid of wolves that we will offer the lives of our children to those who cry wolf?

 

Only a coward waits for a guarantee before going into battle.  Who'll stop the rain?

 

 

The Further Up The Tree The Monkey Climbs

The More All You Can See Is His Ass

 

Excerpts from Full Spectrum Disorder, by Stan Goff, SSGT. U.S. Army Special Forces (ret’d), Soft Skull Press, Brooklyn N.Y. 2004

 

The Nondenouement & More Moral Imperialism

 

On May 1, 2003, George W. Bush engaged in a bit of political theater that should have embarrassed even his supporters.  Flown onto the deck of the carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in a fighter jet, stepping out in his flight coveralls to give a thumbs-up to dutifully cheering crew members, Bush declared that the war in Iraq was over.  Banner in the background, placed strategically by his handlers for the camera frame: Mission Accomplished. (In a late October news conference, he had the temerity to claim that his people didn’t hang the banner.)

 

The further up the tree the monkey climbs, the more all you can see is his ass.

 

Now politics would began, the war was anything but over, and the Bush junta would begin to see just what kind of tar baby it had here.

 

“Intelligence leaks” began to trickle out and circulate on the most uncontrollable communications medium in the world, email lists.  Saddam was alive and well, and reorganizing with forty thousand fighters.  Rense.com, a shoot-from-the-hip anti-imperialist/conspiracy-affinity web site, published this report on May Day, and it spread like a drought fire.

 

Many considered the source and chalked it up to a combination of sloppy journalism, polemical frustration, and Ba’athist bravado.  Included in the report was the repetition of the claim that the abrupt fall of Baghdad was a case of bribery and betrayal by key Iraqi commanders, in particular Jamal Mustafa al-Umar, Saddam’s son-in-law.  Many others, crestfallen at the inevitable military victory of the U.S., bought this story, never appreciating the reality of uranium rain.

 

But there was resistance planning afoot.  That much was inevitable.

 

If there was any validity at all in this “betrayal thesis,” it has to be taken into account that in war, bribery counts too.

 

The more important thing to understand, however, is that the Americans were determined to take Baghdad, and they had the means to do it.  Wasting more Iraqi combatants in a high-attrition toe-to-toe confrontation with them would severely deplete any future capacity for “asymmetrical” resistance.

 

“A people who want to win independence cannot confine themselves to ordinary methods of warfare .  Mass insurrections, revolutionary warfare, guerilla detachments everywhere—such is the only way.”

—Frederick Engels

 

The more the U.S. was allowed to consolidate militarily, the more quickly could resistance forces take their measure of them and begin to craft an anti-occupation struggle.

 

The Americans were now in a position where there were no trusted agents—only competing agendas— leaving the U.S. military isolated, continually deluded by their own cultural myopia.  U.S. military commanders would come to rely on the distorted and self-serving reports of opportunists, filtered again through their own ground forces, to construct a strategic picture for themselves.

 

This was precisely the situation in Haiti, where without any armed struggle at all, the U.S. would finally withdraw its military occupation.  Ignorance, too, can be a remarkable weapon.  The liberation fighters of the future will learn to make allies of chaos and their enemy’s ignorance, which feed each other.

 

Perhaps even more importantly, Halliburton was already surveying the oil refineries, where they were met with sullen hostility by the “liberated” Iraqi oil workers.  Within a month, the principle of simplicity— long understood by the Colombian ELN—would lead Iraqi resisters to an unprotectable target, the network of oil pipelines.

(pages 104-105)

 

"Every successful revolution requires either the neutralization or active participation of military people.  It's really time we factor that into our thinking. It's time we thought about organizing within the military.  And organizing is not helping out a handful of conscientious objectors (though that is important) or dropping into Fayetteville with antiwar petitions for GIs to sign.  Organizing is getting to know them, listening to them, building relationships with them, and standing alongside them when they confront their own institution.

 

"My vision is that the American armed forces, when they are harshly taught, as the current conjuncture will teach them, will unite with the people, that sections of it will break away and become the defenders of their families, and thereby a liberatory force. As America's political class becomes ever more lawless, ever more compelled to scrap bourgeois democracy and slouch toward fascism, we shall need them, and they shall need us." (151)

 

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.

 

 

Delta Charlie Says

 

10.11.04 http://soldierlife.blogspot.com/2004/10/do-you-believe-in-miracles.html

 

Delta Charlie says:  I do believe in miracles.  But to end this stupid war and to put an end on killing we need ten thousand miracles.  [Delta Charlie might remember an old saying: The Lord helps those who help themselves.]

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Mass Murder In Fallujah

 

October 20, 2004 By Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor

 

"I think the residents of Fallujah don't want this sort of peace.  They want a real peace, not a peace that stabs in the back and strikes and destroys homes and kills women."

 

The collapse of peace talks between Fallujah representatives and the Iraqi government signaled an end of hope for Ahmad Salim last Thursday. The generator mechanic loaded his tearful family into a car and escaped the embattled city of Fallujah by way of dusty farm tracks.

 

"We were happy when the negotiations started, but were shocked when they arrested [chief Fallujah representative Sheikh Khaled] al-Jumaili," says Mr. Salim, speaking at a relative's home in Baghdad, where he has brought his wife and three children to wait out the conflict.

 

"We hate anyone who comes to [occupy] our city.  Most people refuse to allow foreign (fighters) to go there," says Salim.  "There are many operations across Iraq – car bombs, mortars, everything – not just in Fallujah.  Why do they insist  Fallujah, and one man?"

 

Salim turns up the volume of the television, as the Al Jazeera channel shows headlines of several wounded children in a Fallujah hospital, and reports that the U.S. bombing intensified on Sunday.

 

Media reports cited witnesses, who said that during a nine-hour battle Sunday, U.S. forces fired on a family trying to escape, killing all five. News agencies reported Fallujah doctors saying that four civilians were killed, including a child.

 

"We are just concerned with living in safety," says Salim's wife, who wears a conservative white head wrap over a black shawl. "Sure, when you leave your city you are sad. We've left a father and mother and a house and more family. We are always thinking about them."

 

Personal experience with civilian casualties during the latest surge of fighting, and the battles last April, convinced the Salim family to go.

 

"What did this teach us about the Americans?" asks Mrs. Salim. "First we thought the Americans came to liberate our country, but now our conclusion is the opposite. We know they came to destroy our country."

 

Reversing that perception will not be easy, in a city where U.S. and Iraqi forces are erring on the side of striking first and asking questions later.

 

One source close to the Iraqi leadership says that U.S. airstrikes are "hitting a lot of people, [and] not that every one is a target. The intelligence isn't great – but there comes a point when you just go."

 

Though the U.S. asserts that nearly every attack is a "precision strike" on a target related to Zarqawi's network, civilians have inevitably died is the urban environment.

 

Some were killed two weeks ago, when a huge air-dropped bomb landed a few hundred yards from Salim's house at 2 a.m. – a wake-up call that shook the family to their core. The children came running to their father's bed, looking for sanctuary.

 

"I held all my family together and said: 'We die just once in this life, not twice. Thank God, [the bombing] was far from us.'" Salim recalls. Within 30 minutes – after waiting, in case of a second U.S. strike – Salim made his way in the dark down to the two-family house that was targeted.

 

He will never forget the image that greeted him, and never forgive.

 

"Most of them were children, all of them dead," Salim says, of the families he helped dig out of the rubble with bare hands. "When something happens, everybody runs there to help rescue, like an ambulance - maybe a friend will be [the victim] there."

 

Salim says he gave blood twice that day. And there are other shortages – especially of anesthetics.  The targeted house often hosts weddings and other gatherings.  "Maybe the Americans thought: Why are there so many cars there? The father had a trucking business."

 

Whatever the reasons, the lesson for the Salim family was that their survival was at risk in Fallujah, regardless of their political views.

 

"I can't describe the feelings of that day," says Mrs. Salim, recalling her husband's vivid description of the bomb scene. "It's not just fear for your family – maybe your neighbor or a relative can be killed, by a misfired rocket, maybe randomly. Even walking in the street."

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Rumsfeld Earns The Death Penalty

 

10.21.04 By Carl Bloice, Left Margin

 

Military officials now speak openly about the aim of the air strikes being 'pacification,' implicitly acknowledging that what they are confronting is nothing less than a guerilla war.  The 'coalition forces' are engaged in a widespread counterinsurgency effort not very different than the European wars in Asia and Africa four decades ago and the U.S. war in Southeast Asia.  Planes from the USS Kennedy are reported taking off on bombing raids over Iraq about 20 times a day.  The war from the air minimizes coalition casualties.

 

What is taking place now - and seems to be in the offing for the city of Fallujah - is of a different and more ominous nature.  What is being called the 'carrot and stick' policy toward that city and other locales is really a threat not to the resistance fighter operating there but to the civilian populations.

 

Residents are being told to either eliminate or turn over the insurgents or face further death and destruction.  In order to back up the ultimatum, bombing raids in recent days have struck hotels, cafes and wedding parties, reducing buildings to giant craters in the ground and filling hospitals with non-combatant men, women and children.

 

It is a practice that would appear to be in direct violation of the Geneva Convention on the conduct of war.  [Following precedents, Rumsfeld, by ordering the deliberate slaughter of non-combatant civilians to put pressure on the resistance, has earned the death penalty.]

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

The GOP Congressional leadership has issued a press release containing the attached photo as an indication of the planned withdrawal date for troops in the South West Asian oil wars.  [Thanks to David Honish, Vets For Peace]

 

 

Bush Foresaw No War Casualties, Robertson Recalls

 

21 October 2004 By Peter Wallsten and Edwin Chen, The Los Angeles Times

 

Appearing on CNN on Tuesday night televangelist and Bush supporter Pat Robertson recalled a private meeting with Bush before the Iraq war began, at which he said the president asserted there would be no casualties.

 

"I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties," Robertson told CNN's Paula Zahn.

 

But Bush said, " 'Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties,' " Robertson related.

 

When CNN's Paula Zahn asked Robertson how evangelicals who might disagree with Bush on the war and other policies could still vote for him, Robertson seemed to stop just short of calling the president the lesser of two evils.

 

"Well, you know, you don't run against perfection.  It's two fallible people," Robertson said.  "So it's either the lesser of the evil or the best of second - the best - whatever."

 

 

Kerry Promises More Dead U.S. Soldiers

 

October 24, 2004 By Edward Luttwak, Sunday Telegraph

 

Kerry is unlikely to change course.

 

The only difference - and here is the greatest irony - is that Kerry would almost certainly disengage more slowly than Bush simply as a matter of political positioning: he is the one more vulnerable to accusations of abandoning Iraq to Islamic fanatics, warlord-priests and Saddam loyalists.

 

MORE:

 

John Kerry: The Rolling Stone Interview, By Jann S. Wenner, Rolling Stone Magazine

 

Rolling Stone: If you send troops into Iraq, how will you be able to tell them they're not risking their lives for a mistake?

 

Kerry: Because I'm going to make it a success, 'cause we're going to win.  We're going to do what we need to do to get this job done.  And I'm committed to doing that - and I know how to do it.  

 

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

Gaza Sinks In A Sea Of Blood

 

From: M

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 4:49 PM

Subject: The "Days of Penitence": Gaza Sinks in a Sea of Blood

 

Dear friends: I hope that you are doing fine..

 

Please see what is going on here and let your media, newspapers and everyone know about what is the Israeli Occupation Forces are doing in the North of Gaza..

 

Show them the human flesh, arms, legs, heads, brains scattered in the streets, show them what is the meaning of life in Gaza Strip.

 

Please forward the report below to your newspapers and all media so they can share about what is going on here.. and please REMEMBER that your silence means encouraging the Israeli Army to kill more and more civilians in Gaza Strip.

 

Does the time came to move from your silence?!!!

 

 

The "Days of Penitence":

Gaza Sinks in a Sea of Blood

by Mohammed Omer: www.rafahtoday.org

 

It smells unbelievably bad here.  To walk down any street—if you dare to—you skirt, or sometimes unavoidably walk through, pools of blood.  There are shreds of human flesh—some of them unrecognizable as human remains—all over, on rooftops,  plastered to broken windows, on the street.  The stench of rotting blood mixes with the more acrid odor of flesh burnt to black char by the rockets fired by the Israeli Army's American-made Apache helicopters.

 

The sky is full of black smoke, some from the rocket explosions, but even more, it sometimes seems, from the endless fires of tires and other debris that people keep stoking.  The smoke confuses the heat-seeking unmanned drone surveillance planes, so setting fires in any relatively open area may draw fire and let a bomb explode somewhat harmlessly.

 

All this smoke mixed with plaster and cement dust is a blessing and a curse.  The stench of burning flesh and rotting blood masks to some extent the smell of raw sewage from broken sewer pipes and the tens of thousands of bodies unwashed for over a week now.  Water to drink is a rare and precious commodity here—baths and showers have become impossible luxuries.

 

(To read the rest of this report and check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org.  The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.)

 

 

 

CLASS WAR NEWS

 

 

Bush Signs Corporate Tax-Cut:

$136 Billion Measure Assailed For Catering To Special Interests

 

 

Oct. 22, 2004 The Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON - With no fanfare, President Bush Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups.  [Meanwhile, the Pentagon won’t come up with $ for families to visit wounded soldiers, or equip those Marines dying in Ramadi described on the front page of GI Special.  The enemy isn’t in Iraq, the enemy has grabbed hold of the U.S. government, and both the Democrats and Republicans are part of the grab.]

 

 

The Bankrupt Empire;

Foreigners Bailing Out

 

October 20, 2004 Chuck Butler, Everbank World Markets

 

I read some stories yesterday that tried like the dickens to put a positive spin on the TIC capital flows data... I can't believe they don't see the warning signs that are flashing in neon red!

 

The Bank of Japan isn't buying Treasuries by the truckload any longer folks...

 

Look at last month's auction, that I illustrated at that time, primary dealers in the U.S. had to take on the bulk of the auction... OUCH! So, who will have to pick up the pace of those previous purchases?

 

Individual foreign investors, that's who!

 

And let's see... Do they want yields that can be bettered abroad?  NO!  Do they want stocks after being brought to their knees two years ago by a stock crash and Corporate scandal?  NO!  The warning signs are flashing...

 

 

Received:

 

From: K

To: GI Special

Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2004 11:19 PM

 

I heard about GI Special thru my friend B.... her and I have some of the same issues although My husband is at Ft Hood waiting to ship out with the National Guard.... I love your publication and all that you are doing for her and T.. Thank you so much.

Regards,

K

 

 

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