GI Special:



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Resistance Rules Ramadi:

“The Insurgent Activity Is Everywhere”


[The reporter doesn’t get it.  Except for whatever few feet of ground U.S. troops stand on at any given minute, Ramadi is free of Bush and his Occupation.]


October 28, 2004 By EDWARD WONG, The New York Times


"We used to go to civilian areas in one or two Humvees to look at hospitals and other places.  Now it's too dangerous, and we need four Humvees for a convoy, and we don't have the resources."


On a recent afternoon, two Iraqi National Guardsmen at a checkpoint at the government center watched as a group of marines walked up.  "Here come the sons of dogs," one guardsman said to an Iraqi reporter.  "The resistance has the right to fight the occupation.  It's an obligation for every Muslim.  The Allawi government has no power."


RAMADI, Iraq, Oct. 21 -The American military and the interim Iraqi government are quickly losing control of this provincial capital, which is larger and strategically more important than its sister city of Falluja, say local officials, clerics, tribal sheiks and officers with the United States Marines.  [Wrong---“have lost control.”  Read on.]


Said Sheik Ali al-Dulaimi, a leader of the region's largest tribe, "There's no presence of the Allawi government," he added, speaking of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.


While Ramadi is not exactly a "no go" zone for the marines, like the insurgent stronghold of Falluja 30 miles to the east, officers say it is fast slipping in that direction.  [“Not exactly” a no-go zone?  What the fuck does that mean?  Oh, it means you can go, provided you take a whole up-armored column along with you.  Otherwise you’re dead.]


In the last six weeks, guerrillas have stepped up the pace of assassinations of Iraqis working with the Americans, and marine officials say they suspect Iraqi security officers have been helping insurgents to attack their troops. Reconstruction efforts have ground to a halt because no local contractors are willing to work.  [A few little problems, but remember, command says the resistance is being defeated.]


Ramadi lies astride the major western supply route to Baghdad.


The city, whose 400,000 residents have at best merely tolerated the foreign military presence, is seen as a crucial part of American efforts to plant a secular democracy in Iraq [Translation: efforts to keep Iraq a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. Empire, and fuck democracy.  If there were any “democracy,” the whole occupation army would have come home a long time ago, because every poll shows that’s what the Iraqis want.  But who the hell cares what the Iraqis want, they just live there.  If they don’t like being under the control of a U.S. military dictatorship run by politicians in Washington DC, why don’t they go back where they came from?]


But the disintegration of authority puts in jeopardy both the Bush administration's plan to stage nationwide elections by Jan. 31 and any sense of legitimacy such elections might have.  [Finally, some good news.]  It also complicates the American military's plans to invade Falluja, because of the close coordination between insurgents in the two cities. 


"The provincial government is on the verge of collapse," said Second Lt. Ryan Schranel, whose platoon does 24-hour guard duty at the besieged government center opposite the main bazaar.  "Just about everybody has resigned or is on the verge of resigning."  [Wrong.  The Occupations’ “provisional government” is on the verge of collapse.  The resistance provisional government is doing just fine, thank you.]


The provincial governor, Muhammad Awad is juggling two jobs because no one has come forward to be mayor.


"We hit the deck one and a half months ago, and the area has changed for the downhill very quickly," said Staff Sgt. James Keefer, one of six civil affairs officers attached to the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, which arrived here in early September.


"We used to go to civilian areas in one or two Humvees to look at hospitals and other places.  Now it's too dangerous, and we need four Humvees for a convoy, and we don't have the resources."


The power vacuum here also muddies plans for an invasion of Falluja, which has about 300,000 people, because Ramadi could well become a haven for retreating guerrillas.


Marines here say they have found it impossible to seal off either the highway or the desert smuggling routes between the two cities.  [How can that be?  The Occupation can’t seal off one lousy highway?  Can it be the occupation forces are outnumbered and barely hanging on?]


Indeed, Marine officials say there is a high level of coordination between insurgent groups in the two cities, with the suspected guerrilla leader in Ramadi, Muhammad Daham, working closely with counterparts in Falluja.


Calls for resistance emanate from mosque loudspeakers when Marine convoys roll past.  In a coordinated raid on seven mosques on Oct. 12, marines said, they found large weapons caches, taped anti-American sermons and DVD's showing beheadings.


Top Marine commanders say they may open an offensive in Ramadi together with one in Falluja.  But such an assault would probably have only a limited effect, because insurgents here do not hold well-defined territory, as they do in Falluja.  They have instead blended into the population and conduct hit-and-run strikes on Marine patrols and outposts along the main downtown strip.  [Typical clueless “Marine commanders.”  They just can’t get it.  The “insurgents” don’t “blend in” to the local population.  The insurgents are the local population.]


"It's difficult to describe 'sense of control' in terms of insurgent activity," said Capt. Eric Dougherty, the commander of Company E, which lost four men in the first six weeks here.  "The insurgent activity is everywhere.  It's at our fire bases here.  It's among women and children, those cowards."  [Wrong again.  The women and children aren’t cowards, they are very brave indeed.  Many of them fight too.  That’s what a national liberation movement looks like.  That’s why they’ve won the war.]


Dozens of government employees still come to work every day at the provincial center, a three-story building pockmarked by bullets and shrapnel.  Marines sitting watch behind sandbags on the roof get shot at regularly with AK-47's, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.


"We're one of the only units that's got bases inside the city," said Lt. Col. Randall P. Newman, the battalion commander.  "This is not Falluja.  We want to keep this place from becoming a Falluja."  [In your dreams it’s not.]


In an interview in his office, Governor Awad attributed the anarchy to the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi security forces and the limited presence of the marines.


"The performance of the police and national guard is very weak in all of central Iraq," Mr. Awad said as he sat behind his desk, two Iraqi guards in civilian clothes hovering near him. "The marines are not protecting us.”  [The Marines can’t protect themselves.  How the fuck are they supposed to protect the local traitor?]


The local forces sometimes aid the insurgency.  [Now there’s a real big surprise.]


Lieutenant Schranel said Iraqi National Guardsmen were suspected of helping insurgents blow up a veterans' building that marines were using as an observation post.


Colonel Newman said the only effective Iraqi troops in Ramadi are 80 or so Iraqi Special Forces soldiers from elsewhere in the country. They live at battalion headquarters and are used for specific operations like mosque raids, not day-to-day security.


On a recent afternoon, two Iraqi National Guardsmen at a checkpoint at the government center watched as a group of marines walked up.  "Here come the sons of dogs," one guardsman said to an Iraqi reporter.


Next door, in police headquarters, Iraqi officers tossed around conspiracy theories.


"The Americans gave us nothing more than AK-47's so they could stay in Iraq for a long time," Lt. Abdul-Latif Salim said.


"The resistance has the right to fight the occupation.  It's an obligation for every Muslim.  The Allawi government has no power."







Ramadi Car Bomb Wounds U.S. Troops


October 29, 2004 The Associated Press


In Ramadi, Iraqi police say a suicide car bomber has hit a U-S military checkpoint.


Witnesses say they saw several U-S soldiers hurt and an armored vehicle destroyed.



Army Guardsman Killed;

"He Didn't Want To Go Back”


Oct. 29, 2004 Associated Press


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jerome Lemon of North Charleston died in Iraq this week, only days after returning there from leave, his family and friends said.


Lemon, 42, was a convoy commander with the Kingstree-based 1052nd Transportation Company of the Army National Guard. Family members said they were told he was killed when his convoy was ambushed Wednesday morning.


He left behind a wife and four children.


Lemon wasn't thrilled about heading back to Iraq, his wife, Shelia Lemon, said Thursday.


"He didn't want to go back, but he knew he had to," she said.


Jerome Lemon called his wife Sunday to let her know he'd made it back to the war front safely and that he was heading out on a mission soon.



Car Bombs Hit Mosul Military Patrols;

Five U.S. Soldiers Wounded


October 29, 2004 Middle East Online & RTة 2004


(Middle East Online)


MOSUL, Iraq - An Iraqi was killed and 10 people wounded, including five US soldiers, as car bombs targeted two US military patrols in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, a US army spokeswoman said.


The first blast ripped through a convoy in the south side of the city, leaving an Iraqi civilian dead, three others wounded and two US soldiers lightly injured, said Captain Angela Bowman.


Attackers appeared to have detonated the bomb, concealed in a car that had been parked on the side of the road, as the convoy passed by, she said.


Less than two hours later a second vehicle blew up in the path of a patrol in northern Mosul, wounding three US soldiers, Bowman said.  A Stryker armoured vehicle was damaged and two cars destroyed.



Injured Maryland Soldier Recuperating


Oct 29, 2004 (WJZ)


A Maryland soldier is recuperating in an American military hospital in Germany, after being seriously hurt while serving in Iraq.


It happened yesterday morning.


Morris Harris, Jr. is one of two soldiers injured when their humvee was targeted on a highway that links Baghdad to a town called Hilla.


The Baltimore native was burned on his face and neck.  He is being treated for those injuries at an American base in Germany.  Another soldier died in the attack.



U.S. Mercenary Killed


October 29, 2004 The Associated Press - COLUMBUS, Ga.


A contract worker from Columbus has been killed in a car bomb attack in Iraq, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Friday.


Travis Schnoor, 39, was killed Wednesday when the vehicle he was riding in flipped over after hitting an improvised explosive device, according to the report, which cited Columbus police officials.


Schnoor worked for Custer Battle of Rhode Island, a security consulting firm, apparently living near Abu Ghraib about 20 miles west of Baghdad.





Oct 29 2004 By Padraic Flanagan, Mirror.co.uk


TROOPS flying into Iraq's Triangle of Death spoke bitterly yesterday of their mission to bolster the US.


Pte Manny Lynch, 19, below, part of a Black Watch convoy braced for roadside boobytraps and suicide bombs, said: "I'm angry and nervous."


Young soldiers with him were equally furious at the order to bail out the US and quit Basra for the danger zone south of Baghdad.


Ben Brereton, also 19, said: "It seems we are moving up to take over a piece of ground, while the Americans push off."


Pte Manny Lynch got the order to quit Basra in the south four days before he was due to come home.


"That is hard to take," he said. "It wouldn't have bothered me so much if I had been told when they first knew."


Ben Brereton, 19, from Truro in Cornwall, a REME craftsman (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), said: "I just feel angry and wonder why we are going there.


"I feel pissed off that the Americans have got so many more people here, more than 10 times what we have, and we're having to help them out.


"Now we're on our way, there's nothing you can do. You just want to get it over with and get home."




Black Watch Senior Officers Question Imbecilic British Government “Strategy;”

Isolated, No Supply Lines


Oct 29 By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent, Telegraph Group Ltd


Senior officers with the Black Watch battle group sent north to replace American soldiers believe that the Government agreed to send them there without properly understanding the risks the troops face.


"We expect every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey," a high-ranking officer said in an e-mail home this week.


"I hope the Government knows what it has got itself into.  I am not sure it fully understands the risks."


Sources close to the Black Watch said that that view was representative of most of the regiment's senior officers.


"The troops are well and coming at it with their usual humour," the e-mail said.  [Oh yeah, just laughing their heads off.]


But while the officers retain undiminished faith in their men's ability, they are worried that the atmosphere created by the more aggressive tactics of the American troops will leave the British soldiers with a difficult task in picking up the pieces.


The officer also expressed concern over the way in which the troops were being sent hundreds of miles north of their commanders back in Basra, effectively leaving them isolated with supplies and rapid reinforcements possible only by aircraft.


Another e-mail said: "The task looks quite challenging - a 500-mile line of communication to sustain 800 men and over 100 armoured vehicles largely from the air."


A former Black Watch officer said there was an acceptance that the troops might suffer up to 20 per cent casualties.  He added: "They are very happy to do what they are paid to do."  [“Acceptance”?  Acceptance by who exactly?  This silly babbling proves conclusively that officers are asshole idiots the whole world over.  Hopefully, all the 20% killed and maimed will be officers like this piece of shit.  We’ll see how much “acceptance” the officers have of being blind, armless, legless, or dead.  Will they be “very happy” about that?]


The concerns of the senior officers were reflected in comments yesterday from ordinary soldiers who were flown north while the first convoy of armoured vehicles travelled by road.


Speaking at Basra before boarding an aircraft, 19-year-old Pte Manny Lynch, from Fife, admitted that he was nervous.


He said: "We have heard a lot about the triangle of death, which makes everyone nervous because it seems much worse up there than it has been down here.


"We have controlled the situation down here while the Americans seem to have ruined it up there."


The battle group includes an armoured reconnaissance squadron from the Queen's Dragoon Guards and Royal Marines commandos equipped with mortars to provide added protection.


"The one thing the Jocks are good at is winning hearts and minds," a former Black Watch officer said.


"The first 48 to 72 hours are going to be pretty tough.  But I do think that after a while the Iraqis will realise that these are the good guys.


[Blind imperial arrogance is certainly not limited to U.S. officers.  The implication is that the simple, stupid, childlike Iraqis will be so happy to have their nation occupied by a British army instead of an American one.  This pathetic fool forgets years of blood shed by Iraqis to kill every British soldier they could lay hands on the last time Imperial England invaded and occupied Iraq.  What the Iraqis “will realize” is that these troops have no supply lines.  Sitting ducks.]




British Troop Convoy Comes Under Attack


29 Oct 2004 By PA News Reporters


Black Watch troops came under bomb attack as they made their way to their new base close to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, it emerged today.


Troops and vehicles were halted in the desert by a series of roadside bombs.


The troops’ destination, a military-industrial complex called Camp Dogwood around 15 miles south west of Baghdad, also came under bombardment.


The sprawling former logistics base was hit by an explosive device, either an armour-penetrating rocket-propelled grenade or a mortar bomb.


Vehicles had to be taken off low-loaders to negotiate one device. US soldiers also had to defuse the others.


They stayed overnight at a base on the outskirts of Nasiriyah before setting of for Camp Dogwood through remote desert.  But at noon yesterday, a roadside bomb planted by insurgents exploded as the convoy was passing.


Soldiers then found a second bomb nearby – a common and lethal terrorist tactic designed to kill or maim any unsuspecting survivors of an initial attack.


As drivers in the rear took an alternative road to the camp, “Route San Juan”, a helicopter escort spotted a third device.


At least half the convoy was forced to spend the night at a second way station while troops, assisted by US helicopter gunship escorts, scouted the route to ensure it was clear of bombs.


A fourth unexploded bomb planted by the road on the approach to the camp was also discovered.


According to one experienced un-named officer, the massive publicity created when the Black Watch’s planned 30-day deployment was announced, may have unwittingly helped Iraqi militants.


“Every time soldiers are forced to halt, they are vulnerable.  Speed, awareness and armour are their advantages.  The key is always to keep moving and keep your fingers crossed.”


The Black Watch’s A Company will tomorrow ‘picket’ approach roads to Camp Dogwood – patrolling the routes to prevent insurgents planting improvised explosive devices in broad daylight.  [Which only leaves the 10 hours of darkness.]




From: Raja Chemayel 10.29.04

He writes: They flew....they did not dare drive through the "Liberated-Iraq....."


Black Watch soldiers and medics at Basra airport




Black Watch Soldier Dies In Crash


29 October, 2004 LONDON (Reuters)


A soldier from the Black Watch regiment has died in an accident in Iraq as the troops moved towards positions near Baghdad to free up U.S. units for an expected offensive against rebel-held Falluja.


"We can confirm that a vehicle accident, not involving hostile action, occurred today with the Black Watch battle group in north Babil province," the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.


"Sadly, one soldier from the Black Watch has died and a further three suffered minor injuries and shock."



U-S Bombs "Meeting Site" In Fallujah;

Kills Eligible Bachelors


October 29, 2004 WorldNow and WTVO


FALLUJAH, Iraq The U-S military says two people are dead after U-S forces bombed a suspected rebel safehouse in Fallujah, Iraq.


Local residents say two brothers died in the strike and a third sibling was injured. The victim's family denies the men were insurgents.  A family member says he had been preparing to "marry them off" but now says he's burying them with his own hands.










4000 More For Bush’s Slaughterhouse


October 28, 2004 Times Picayun


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Officials at Camp Shelby are preparing a big send-off ceremony on Veteran's Day for Tennessee's 278th Regimental Combat Team, which is made up of more than 4,000 soldiers from six states.


The entire 278th, with units from Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, has been training at the Mississippi National Guard facility since June - with a short stint at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Ca. - in preparation for deployment to Iraq.



“They Don’t Want Us There”


October 29, 2004 By DAVID PERRY, Lowell Sun Staff


"We went over there to help out.  We gave them candy, food, water.  But they bite the hand that feeds them.  They don't want us there.  Well, some do, but the majority don't."


There's a little "Welcome home!" sign perched among the Halloween decorations in front of the house on Chatham Street in Lowell.




Jason Gatto knows it well.


The 21-year-old Marine Corps sergeant, home for a few days this week, spent months in the thick of fighting in Iraq, dodging attacks from insurgents.  He earned a commendation for bravery for his actions in April, when he charged headlong into a barrage of machine-gun fire, taking out the gunners and sparing his squad from further danger.


Gatto, who heads back to Camp Pendleton in California today, is with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, and spent seven months in Iraq.


He joined during his junior year at Lowell High School, and left for basic training after graduating with the Class of 2001. The Marines has become his way of life, his family, but he's leaving when his stint is up in June.


When his company got word they were headed to Iraq to help with stability and support efforts, they were told they'd be there to "keep the peace, win hearts and minds."


But once in Al Ramadi, on the western side of the Sunni Triangle, they renovated condemned houses, jerry-rigged electricity and helped build a soccer stadium.


At first, it was "relatively quiet." Gatto and the rest of the 130-man company handed out soccer balls and candy, put on smiles and waved.


But last April 6, as his squad patrolled the city, something hit the ground and went "boom!"


There was gunfire, "explosion after explosion," and, Gatto says, "anybody who had a gun came out and played."


After several hours, the shooting stopped and Gatto and his men made it out.


"We went out again the next day, to the same spot, and everybody came out of their houses, smiling and waving. It was weird. We kept going."  Someone launched an explosive off a rooftop, followed by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, says Gatto.


Another squad leader radioed that half his troops were in a house, the rest piled between an 18-wheeler.


"And then this car comes around a corner, with a guy hanging out of the side, firing. I thought, are you serious?  This never works," says Gatto.  "It was like some movie."


They shot the insurgent, but the ensuing car crash took out the Marines' radio.  The gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG's) were exploding "everywhere."


Gatto looked up and saw "like 3,000 people on the rooftops."


And with little ammunition and reinforcement ambushed, he thought, "we're finished."


When the shooting died down a bit, Gatto poked his head outside the house they were holed up in and saw "women and kids coming out, just before four RPGs hit the house. They were pointing us out."


The company of about 30 men finally made it to a street they ironically had dubbed "Easy Street," where they were again pinned down.


What Gatto did then straight out of a video game.  He figured, "Well, someone has to bite the bullet on this one," so he grabbed a grenade launcher, ran out into the street and took out three machine-gun positions.


While skirmishes continued over the months, the company didn't suffer another casualty until July.


And the insurgents "got smart," says Gatto.  "They started blending in with the population real good."


The truth about the war?  "You got me," he says.


"We went over there to help out.  We gave them candy, food, water.  But they bite the hand that feeds them.  They don't want us there.  Well, some do, but the majority don't."


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.



Marine Getting New Eye


October 28, 2004 By DANIE HARRELSON, The Daily Sentinel


Linda Nichols last saw her 21-year-old son at home in early September.  The boy who seemed to become a man overnight was headed to Iraq for his second tour of duty in two years.


Nichols wasn’t sure when she would see her son again.  Six months or a year, it all sounded the same.


An unexpected loss sped up their reunion.


The 45-year-old Craig woman flew Tuesday to San Diego, Calif., to be with her son.


Lance Cpl. Cory J. Hixson lost his eye earlier this month as he was transferring prisoners of war near Fallujah.


Two surgeries are scheduled today to prepare Hixson’s eye socket for a new eye.


Hixson spent his early childhood in Grand Junction before Nichols moved her family to Craig. Hixson’s grandparents, Oliver and Beatrice Archuleta, live in Grand Junction.


Nichols said her son will receive a glass eye in the near future, but she is unsure when the procedure will happen.


Hixson can hardly wait.  In the week following his injury, Hixson told his mother several times over the phone how excited he was about getting the procedure done.


“Every once in a while he would say, ‘Boy, I can’t wait to get my eye,’” Nichols said.


Her son is ready to move on with life. Hixson prefers to look at all that’s ahead for him rather than what he no longer has.


The 2002 Moffat County High School graduate spoke of pursuing a degree after he recovers, Nichols said.


“He never complained,” she said. “He’s a strong kid.”


That goes for mental as well as physical toughness.  Hixson wrestled alongside his 22-year-old brother in high school.


Gregory Hixson joined the Marines about six months after his younger brother signed up for the Marines.  He saw his wounded sibling in a Baghdad infirmary shortly after the incident and informed their parents of the injury.


Nichols said she was relieved to hear her son was not alone when he needed his big brother the most.


“They’ve always been close,” she said.



Army Won’t Pay For Visit To Wounded Soldier;

Family Has To Take Charity



Donny, Sarah and Gabrielle Daughenbaugh


October 28, 2004 Internet Broadcasting System


DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's a happy ending for a Des Moines Marine who has helped many children in central Iowa.


Cpl. Donny Daughenbaugh, 23, was shot in the face two weeks ago while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


He is a member of the Echo Company, the unit that has supported Toys For Tots in Iowa for many years. Most members of Echo Company were called to active duty this summer and are serving in Iraq.


Daughenbaugh's wife, Sarah, couldn't afford to fly to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and be with him.


But thanks to a generous NewsChannel 8 viewer, the husband and wife were reunited this week.  The viewer donated his frequent flier miles so the couple could be together.


"He is in really good spirits and he's up and joking around with other people," Sarah Daughenbaugh said.  "I didn't cry because I was too excited to see him."


Sarah Daughenbaugh said that she didn't expect her husband to be up and walking around so soon.  She said they were both in awe of the situation.



Aggie's Fiancé Loses Legs And Arm


Army Sgt. Joseph Bozik and his fiancée, Jayme Peters, embrace in a family photo. (Special to The Eagle)


October 29, 2004 By GREG OKUHARA, Eagle Staff Writer


Before Army Sgt. Joseph Bozik left for duty in Iraq last month, his fiancée, Jayme Peters, told him she would always be there for him — no matter what happened.


Just weeks later, tragedy struck. Bozik was severely injured in Baghdad on Wednesday when the vehicle he was traveling in drove over a roadside bomb, Peters said.


As a result of his injuries, the sergeant lost both legs and his left arm.  The two other soldiers riding in the vehicle received minor injuries, Peters said.


“I’m still kind of in shock because it doesn’t seem real,” the Texas A&M University senior said Thursday as she prepared to travel overseas to see her wounded fiancé.  “It just seemed unbelievable because he had just been home on [leave] less than a month ago.”


Bozik was scheduled to return home from duty in February.


About 20 minutes after Peters learned he was wounded, the reality of the situation sunk in.  She said she went to her mother’s workplace and cried on her shoulder.


But Peters said she will remain by the side of the man she describes as “the love of my life.”


“I’d rather it be his limbs than his life,” she said.


She still has not been able to talk to Bozik, although she said he probably is heavily sedated.  She said she can’t wait to see him again.


Peters, 24, said she was told that because she is not an immediate family member, the Army may delay the couple’s reunion.


“If I have to run down the hospital halls and break through nurses, I’ll do it,” she said with a slight giggle.  “I’m not a violent person, but I’ll do what I need to do to see him.”


Because he was one of the oldest soldiers in his unit, the younger guys looked up to him like a big brother, she added.


The two met through a mutual friend while he and Bozik were stationed in Afghanistan. Peters’ friend thought Bozik should meet her, and the two began corresponding through e-mail two years ago, she said.


They decided when Bozik returned from duty in Afghanistan that they would meet. And when they did, sparks flew.  Peters said she remembers telling her mom that they were a great match, connected so strongly that they would sometimes finish each other’s sentences.


“We just hit it off,” she said.  “I had found my soul mate. It was like we were twins. We were just right together.”



A Soldier Speaks

“It Took Two Soldiers Being Shot Before We Got Body Armor.”


10/28/2004 Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet.org


David Grimm signed up to join the Florida National Guard in 1999.  The former Marine, who'd entered the military straight out of high school, was glad to answer the call of duty when he was called up for combat duty in Iraq in December, 2002. But the veteran of U.S. operations in Somalia was in for a rude shock when he went into a war zone, this time as a member of the National Guard.


He found that in the Iraq War, there were separate rules for the reservists and the soldiers on active duty.   Before long the 32-year old and his fellow guardsmen were writing home, asking for essential equipment that the Pentagon simply refused to provide for reservists.


David's parents had to send him batteries, and even radio equipment from Wal-Mart to make up for supplies that was missing or broken and not replaced.  Night vision equipment amongst the reservists was in such short supply that soldiers had to take turns using it.   Worst of all, guardsmen like David were expected to perform the same dangerous missions as regular soldiers, but without any body armor.


He spoke to AlterNet about what he learned from the ten long months he spent in Iraq.



David Grimm:

Yeah, there are several things that I think about often.  One of them is the sense of camaraderie that you can only find when you're in a tough situation.  We got some low days when we had some injuries.  We had some high days when everything was just fine.


We had an incident where two soldiers were wounded very badly.  It was during a raid. One was shot in his face and the other in his stomach and legs.  It happened on Dec. 23, 2003 – two days before Christmas – and they weren't expected to live.


And what really upsets me and really pisses me off about it is that the military unit we were with did not want to call his family until after the holidays, because they didn't want to upset them.


We were going through a really strenuous time then. We were taking a lot of casualties. And we were doing raids almost nightly in our sector. And it really upset me that the leadership didn't want to own up to the fact that they had to say something to the parents.


So my platoon sergeant took it upon himself to make a call to the fathers of the two soldiers that night after we got back.  He took a lot of grief for that because he'd stepped over the line.  The thing that sticks out in my mind is that after we got back and talked to the families, they really supported him making that call.


They wanted to know.  It was the only right thing to do.  You can't hide something like that, especially if someone is on his deathbed.


When you look back, how has this war changed you?


It's made me stronger person in the sense of being able to hold up to my responsibilities. Over there, I was responsible for nine other guys as a squad leader.  And being in a situation where you don't have all the equipment that you might need or you don't have the support that you might need, you have to go the extra mile for your soldiers. You have to maintain their security as well as your own.


That was probably the biggest life-changing experience for me – taking care of someone who is bleeding badly or dying right in front of you.  And you just watch the color run out of their face.  You have to think about what you have to do to pull everyone back together and keep them focused.


If you had five minutes with the president – whomever it may be on Nov. 3, George Bush or John Kerry – what would you say to him?


[laughs] I've been thinking about that question quite a lot.


As most people in America teach their kids, if you're the big kid, you don't need to be the bully.  Sometimes you have to stand up for what's right and not fight.


But if you are going to fight – and that is the only way to resolve the problem – go out to win.  Don't hold back.  Don't tie the hands of the soldiers.  Fighting is not the best solution but if we are going to fight, then the soldiers need to be equipped properly.


We got our call up orders in Dec. 26, 2002.  When we went to our mobilization site in Georgia – and as we were being issued all the equipment we were supposed to take – they refused to issue us body armor.


The military was told that since we were National Guard, we weren't going get body armor.  It was our state's responsibility to send us with body armor.  The state of Florida said, "No, you're now on federal active duty. It's the federal government's job to supply you with body armor."


We went to Kuwait in April.  We were there for almost a month.  All the other units at the camp had body armor.  We didn’t get body armor until after we were in Baghdad for two months.  And it took two soldiers being shot before we got body armor. Soldiers were writing home to their parents and begging them to send body armor.


To put it in perspective, when we left Iraq to come back to the United State, before we flew out of Iraq, we had turn in our body armor so they could ship it back down to Kuwait. There wasn't enough body armor for the soldiers coming in.


The fact is that they sent us into the battle zone without proper equipment.


So that's what I would say, "If we're going to go to war, then we need to fight as soldiers not as politicians."




Into The Wild Blue Yesteryear


[New York Times, October 29, 2004]

The Pentagon wasted money on the F/A-22 Raptor that could have been better spent on outfitting our troops in Iraq.



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)



Thieves At Work

Halliburton Failed To Properly Account For Property


[Bloomberg.com, October 28, 2004]

A Pentagon audit determined that Halliburton Co. could not properly account for 43 percent of the government property in manages in Kuwait, including trucks, generators and computers.



Corrupt Commanders Give Thieves At Halliburton Free Pass


[Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2004, Pg. 1]

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanders gave Halliburton Co. a lucrative contract extension this month by circumventing the organization's top contracting officer, who had objected to the proposal.



Soldiers Told To Fuck Off

Military Ballots "No Emergency"


[Washington Times, October 29, 2004, Pg. 3]

The Pentagon is taking no last-minute measures in its absentee-ballot system despite complaints from some soldiers.







Deputy Governor Killed In Diyala


BAGHDAD, Oct. 29 (Xinhuanet)


Akil al-Adili, deputy governor of Diyala province in eastern Iraq, was shot dead by unknown assailants on Friday, police sources said.


The assailants opened fire at his car, killing him and injuring one of his bodyguards, said the sources.


Three men attacked the official as he went to an estate agency in the city, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a police officer said, adding the owner of the agency was also injured.



Turkish Supply Truck Burned, Driver Killed


A Turkish truck burns after insurgents opened fire on it in Mosul Oct. 29, 2004. The driver was killed, according to Iraqi police.  (AP Photo)


29 October 2004 RTة 2004


Gunmen today killed the driver of a Turkish-registered truck in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and then set it ablaze.


Witnesses said assailants with assault rifles shot the driver and then set fire to the truck with his body inside.


The attack occurred in Yarmuk Square in western Mosul.



Pipeline Blown Up Again (And Again Etc)


October 29 2004 Turks.US


Unidentified saboteurs carried out a bomb attack at the oil pipeline on Friday in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.


Huge flames covered the pipeline and dense smoke rose into the sky as a result of the explosion heard around 0600 am (local time).


The pipeline near the Havice district of Kirkuk is still on fire and efforts to extinguish the flames are underway.


Kirkuk police stepped up security measures in the region to prevent a possible second attack.  [Why bother?  The next attack comes as soon as the damage from this attack is repaired.]



Two Occupation Cops Killed In Latifiya


Oct 29, 2004 By Michael Georgy (Reuters)


Resistance fighters shot dead two policemen in Latifiya, just south of Baghdad, as they were driving from Baghdad to their posts in the Shi'ite city of Kerbala, police in Kerbala said.



Military Supply Driver Captured


October 29, 2004 ColomboPage


Oct 29, Colombo: A Sri Lankan working as a driver for a Kuwaiti company has been abducted by the Islamic Army in Iraq.


Al-Jazeera television, showing footage of the pair, quoted the Islamic Army as saying, “The two hostages were abducted before driving their trucks into a US base in Iraq.”







Good News!


From: Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War

To: GI Special

Sent: Friday, October 29, 2004 12:01 AM

Subject: Re: GI Special 2#C5: Soldiers Can’t Be Forced To Take Anthrax Shots


I'm glad that the troops finally have a choice on whether or not to receive the anthrax vaccination.  I was fortunate enough to only have to get three of the six anthrax shots while I served, but it still wasn't pleasant.  The first thirty seconds after getting the shot are fine, but then it feels like your arm is on fire.


After that, you get to look forward to having a nickel sized lump on your arm that doesn't go away for three to four weeks.


I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem too healthy to me.


[Iraq Veterans Against The War looks real healthy.  Check it out at: http://www.ivaw.net/  T ]



"Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did, and it never will.  Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted."  -Frederick Douglass 1857


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.






At Least 100,000 Dead In Iraq


October 29, 2004 By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, International Herald Tribune


In a medical study being published today, scientists have concluded that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqis, "and may be much higher."  It further revealed that most of the 100,000 Iraqis who died were killed in violent deaths, primarily carried out by U.S. forces airstrikes.


"Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children," according to the study.  The study was designed and conducted by researches at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad (The Lancet, October 29, 2004).  Coming just five days before the presidential election the finding is certain to generate intense controversy, since it is far higher than previous mortality estimates for the Iraq









[THANKS TO B WHO E-MAILED THIS IN:  B WRITES:  Even this guy knows there’s no difference between Bush and Kerry on Iraq.]


Saudi Ambassador Says Bush, Kerry The Same On Mideast


Oct 28 By Barry Moody and Jeremy Lovell LONDON (Reuters)


Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain and a former Saudi spy master, said he did not see much difference on Middle East policy between President Bush and his Democrat challenger John Kerry, who are running virtually neck and neck in opinion polls.


"They are both saying the same thing -- whether it is Palestine or Iraq," he said.  "It is regrettable."







Soldier Wounded In Kabul


Oct 29 AP.  One NATO soldier was wounded in a shooting incident in the Afghan capital Friday



25th ID Soldier Dies Of Wounds


10.29.04 Department Of Defense New Release No. 1086-04


Cpl. Billy Gomez, 25, of Perris, Calif., died Oct.27 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device on Oct. 20 in Naka, Afghanistan.  Gomez was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.



Three Foreign Occupation Workers Captured


October 28, 2004 Guardian Unlimited


Three foreign election workers were kidnapped at gunpoint today in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, including a woman believed to be from Northern Ireland.


Those taken were working for a joint UN-Afghan body which has been overseeing the October 9 elections, which are close to being concluded.


Abdul Hadi Qasemi, an Afghan working for UN security, said the three were stopped and abducted by five gunmen on a road slightly away from the capital's busy streets.


This afternoon, UN security staff ringed the white vehicle, found near the office of the joint UN-Afghan electoral team.  The car had its doors locked and there was no sign of any struggle.  Police said the kidnappers headed in the direction of Paghman, a district in the west of Kabul province that is considered rife with banditry.


A statement from the Philippine department of foreign affairs identified the abducted Filipino as Angelito Nayan, a foreign service officer seconded to the UN electoral effort.


Police said Nato troops searched about a dozen houses before pulling out.


Election day passed relatively peacefully, but optimism that the militants were a fading force was dampened Saturday when a suicide attacker armed with grenades killed an American woman and injured three Nato soldiers in a Kabul shopping street.






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