GI SPECIAL 3A33:
1,438 Wounded: 10,770
Photo and caption from the
I-R-A-Q ( I Remember
Another Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army
Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (Please contact at: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for examples of his outstanding work. T)
“It’s A War
About Money -- To Keep Money In Rich People’s Pockets.”
Kentucky Soldier Flees To Canada
2.1.05 Associated Press &
LEXINGTON, Ky. —
Rather than face another tour of duty in Iraq, a Lexington
Division soldier who won a Purple Heart after he was
wounded by a roadside bomb in April has deserted to Canada.
Anderson, 22, wounded in Iraq last April, was deeply
disillusioned about the war, according to his mother, Anita
Anderson. The possibility of another tour in Iraq this
summer was something he couldn’t face, she told the
When Anderson’s holiday leave
in Lexington ended three weeks ago, he didn’t return to his
Army unit in Germany. Instead, he fled to Canada, where he
is hoping the Canadian government will provide refuge for
him and a small number of U.S. military deserters who want
to avoid the war.
to think ... what’s it really for? I was willing to die for
my country. I thought I was going over there to defend my
country. But that’s not what I was doing,” Anderson said by
telephone from Toronto on Monday.
When he came home from Iraq
last July, Anita Anderson said her son seemed fine, but was
deeply changed when he returned home on leave again at
“He paced the floor
constantly, never once slept through the night,” Anita
Anderson said of her son. “He would get up in the middle of
the night and go out walking. He was having nightmares; he
was depressed; he couldn’t even watch a movie.”
be allowed to stay in Canada, but never be able to return
home again to see his parents or his 4-year-old daughter
without risking arrest. His daughter now lives with her
the Army in January 2003 to get money for college and to
serve his country.
He went to
Iraq a year later with the Army’s 1st Armored Division.
Over the next seven months, he was in the thick of the fight
against insurgents, mostly in Baghdad.
An incident last April changed
his views concerning the fighting.
with a group of soldiers helping to defend an Iraqi police
station that was under fire. Suddenly, a car swerved into
the area, refusing to stop. Soldiers are expected to open
fire when that happens because any stranger is a potential
enemy and any vehicle might contain a bomb. But Anderson
never pulled the trigger of his M-16.
“This car kept coming, and the
other guys were yelling, ‘Why don’t you shoot, why don’t you
shoot?’ But I felt the car posed no threat. Then, the
window of the car rolled down, and it was just an Iraqi
family,” Anderson said. “I said, ‘Look it’s just innocent
people.’ But they kept telling me, ‘The next time, you open
fire. We don’t care.”’
A few days later, Anderson was
wounded by a roadside bomb. He received the Purple Heart.
But he says the incident at the police station, not his
wounds, convinced him that the war was wrong. He said he
felt he was being forced to possibly gun down innocent
no weapons of mass destruction. Innocent people are being
killed every day. It’s a war about money -- to keep money in
rich people’s pockets. There is no way I can believe in
that. I still believe in my country, but I can no longer be
a part of the Army or that war,” Anderson said.
The Pentagon has reported
about 5,500 U.S. deserters since the war began. Anderson is
one of about a dozen or so who have fled to Canada and
sought the assistance of Toronto attorney Jeffry House, who
is representing them. House, a Vietnam draft dodger, is
hoping to persuade Canadian officials to let them stay.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
the truth - about the occupation or the criminals
running the government in Washington - is the first
reason for Traveling Soldier. 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.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Troop Deaths Hit 100 For Month
Alan S. who sent this in.]
February 1, 2005 WASHINGTON
the third month since the U.S. invasion of Iraq that U.S.
troop deaths reached or exceeded 100, and it was one of the
deadliest months for the National Guard and Reserve.
According to the Pentagon's
latest count, at least 100 died in January. An Associated
Press tally put the figure at 102.
Pentagon also said Tuesday, in its weekly update on the
number wounded in action in Iraq, that the total now
stands at 10,770, up 152 from a week earlier and up
about 500 over the last four weeks.
The only months deadlier than
January for U.S. troops in Iraq were last November, when 138
died, and last April, with 135.
January's total included at
least 28 members of the National Guard and Reserve,
including 11 from the Louisiana Army National Guard.
The total of 28 is the
highest for any month, matching the 28 lost in November
2004. The Marine Corps Reserve also had a bad month, with
seven killed in January.
Wounded In Mosul Grenade Attack
Feb. 01, 2005 By GARY HOLLAND,
THE SUN HERALD
Army Pfc. Brandon J. Miller
suffered shrapnel wounds to his knees and upper legs early
Sunday in an explosion in Mosul as Miller's unit stood guard
for the election. Five
soldiers were injured.
"We are just thankful that he
is going to be OK," said his mother, Carol Miller, who works
at Wal-Mart. "He has been flown to a hospital in Germany and
will be coming home to Fort Bragg, N.C., this weekend. We'll
be there to welcome him.
said that his unit had been told to take down its equipment
and leave the roof in 20 minutes as the election was
ending. That's when the grenade exploded," his mother said
Miller and his wife, Stephine,
graduated from Pascagoula High School in 2003, and he
enlisted in the Army.
The family lives at Fort Bragg. They have a 1-year-old son,
Aiden. He was serving in Iraq when his son was born and
again when the family celebrated his first birthday Jan. 16.
Miller got his training for
duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Benning, Ga. He
returned in December for his second tour in Iraq.
"We were so glad when he
called me this morning and said he would be OK," said his
grandmother, Maurice Ellis.
His father, Wayne Miller,
served in the Navy, so the family has lived on many bases,
according to Ellis.
ID Soldier Dead In “Non-Combat” Injury
February 1, 2005 U.S.
Department of Defense News Release No. 111-05
The Department of Defense
announced today the death of a soldier.
Stephen A. Castellano, 21, of Long Beach, Calif., died Jan.
28 in Mosul, Iraq, from a non-combat related injury.
Castellano was assigned to 1st Battalion, 14th
Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Resistance Attacks On Election Day Set Record
(Washington Post, February 1,
2005, 2004, Pg. 11)
Insurgents made good on their
repeated threats to attack Iraq's polling stations on
election day, unleashing car and suicide bombs, mortars,
rockets, small-arms fire and grenades in 109 separate
attacks, according to U.S. officials.
In all, there were more
attacks than on any other day in Iraq since the U.S.
invasion almost two years ago.
Down Slimy Asshole Lt. Col.
pretty disgusting for you to pose the invasion of Iraq
to me as having something to do with September 11th.
and uncle were killed that day in the World Trade Center
--- E4 Resta
co-editor Derek Seidman recently interviewed Patrick Resta,
an antiwar Army medic who returned from Iraq in November,
2004 and began speaking out against the war and occupation.
words were published far and wide, and he received a huge
response from readers.
Almost all the feedback was positive; some of it was
He received one email from a Lieutenant Colonel Lusk
criticizing the interview (the subject of the email was
"Disgraceful Interview"). Patrick Resta responded. We
thought readers would be interested in reading this
exchange, printed below. The original email sent by the
Lieutenant Colonel is first, followed by Patrick Resta's
Having just returned from Iraq
with the 30th BCT (Brigade Combat Team) at the end of 2004,
I want to thank you for your service, commitment, and
willingness to defend our country. I congratulate you and
your embarkation into this forum so that you may solicit
personal praise and notoriety from the public.
I must admit that I was simply
amazed by how two people, with the same experiences can have
such opposite views.
Where you see disaster, I see
opportunity for a long suppressed people. Where you see
corporate corruption as the basis for this war, I see the
United States taking a proactive stance to defend herself,
its citizens, and OUR future generations. Where you see a
people that didn't want us occupying their country, I see a
people that are tasting freedom and independence for the
first time ever.
I think that our different
viewpoints can best be explained by our individual focal
points. Where you
apparently spent most of your time gazing into a mirror and
seeing only yourself, I looked around the FOB and saw many
selfless soldiers proud to carry out their duty and return
home having contributed to a cause bigger than themselves.
I challenge you to seek this
Army Value of selfless service as I think it will add more
pride and positive outlook to your personal life.
If you should try and fail,
then please continue to express yourself, however, don't do
so at the expense of every National Guardsman and family who
see hope and promise resulting from their actions.
LTC Greg Lusk
I want to thank you for your
service to our great country as well. It's senior officers
like you that have made the military what it is today.
You can save your time, I'm
not in the 30th anymore and will be out of the military all
together fairly soon.
attempt to threaten or intimidate me won't work anyway sir.
motivates me to speak out that much more. Perhaps you can
tell me what unit you are in so I may contact them. Where
and when were you in Iraq? What type of unit were you in?
As for your
premise that I'll receive personal praise and notoriety from
the public I can only surmise that you refer to emails like
I read your
email several times trying to make sense of it. I think the
thing that intrigued me the most was that you didn't even
attempt to refute anything I said.
But, how could you? I didn't
really talk about anything that hasn't been widely reported
in the media already.
You call my interview
Because you don't like what I
have to say?
"disgraceful" to me that you would try to use your rank to
quiet someone in a public forum with a viewpoint that you
don't agree with.
Is that freedom?
I think that your real problem
is that I criticize this administration and/or make things
public that the military would rather keep secret. Freedom
means changing the channel, station, or URL when you don't
like what's on. (Just
out of curiosity why were you reading an online magazine
like Left Hook anyway?)
Isn't the foundation of
freedom voting? Why didn't my vote count in Iraq? Isn't
that "disgraceful"? I submit that maybe you're putting your
politics before principle.
A wise man once said that
when someone can't dispute your premise (either they're not
intelligent enough or the facts aren't there) they resort to
anger and personal attacks. As I read your email I caught a
distinct hint of both. Maybe it's just a coincidence.
I think that your main problem
with my interview is that I spoke out at all. You would
like to see the current situation in Iraq continue
indefinitely. Was it "disgraceful" when that TN [Tennessee]
Guardsman questioned why over two years after the buildup
for war began he still didn't have armor for his vehicle?
I would think that those that
are really concerned for the lives of the service members
wouldn't let a situation like that go on and on.
used your rank to address this issue?
"disgraceful" that an E4 had to stand up and risk punishment
before someone would even address the issue? Isn't it
"disgraceful" to send soldiers into combat with half inch
thick sheets of plywood as armor? Isn't it "disgraceful" to
try to send soldiers on a several hundred mile journey
through Iraq with only 100 rounds per person?
"disgraceful" to send soldiers into combat with weapons that
aren't zeroed, gas masks that were never tested, and gas
masks that don't even fit?
"disgraceful" to try to send a medic on a several hundred
mile journey through Iraq without basic medical supplies
such as bandages and IV fluid?
your outrage at these things? I can tell you plenty of
things that are disgraceful. Obviously, you don't want to
hear about them or address the issues.
pretty disgusting for you to pose the invasion of Iraq
to me as having something to do with September 11th.
and uncle were killed that day in the World Trade
Obviously you fail to see the
big picture and history behind and in front of that event.
Where are all these Iraqis that love us and want us in their
country? Why aren't they being interviewed by the media?
Why haven't we seen an opinion poll to see what the Iraqi's
really think and want? After all, this is all about them
know how often you left your FOB, but I saw plenty of
devastation through out Iraq. The hospitals, sanitation,
pollution, lack of jobs, infrastructure and on and on.
As for your
contention that I spent most my time looking in the mirror,
it's really not that funny.
We didn't have KBR at my FOB
so mirrors were hard to come by.
You're right though, having
one would have been nice.
I stayed pretty busy in our
BAS, going on convoys, and going on missions.
Have you ever asked your
fellow soldiers (especially the enlisted) for a straight up
and off the record opinion about Iraq? I know I did. I
looked around my FOB also, but I saw something different. I
saw 650 lives. I saw 650 families. Those lives and
families are worth more to me than what is going on in Iraq.
we have a fundamental difference of opinion on this issue.
Is it "disgraceful" to you that I put a human face on the
people dying and getting maimed? Why? As a medic it is my
job to look out for the welfare, safety, and health of the
members of my unit. It would seem that senior officers have
a problem or are hesitant in doing this.
said, why aren't people like yourself addressing these
problems so I don't have to speak out? Isn't that your job
also? It is my hope that the selfless soldiers in Iraq that
you talk about are equipped properly and not another one of
them is killed or injured senselessly.
In your last paragraph you
talk about selfless service. You don't know me do you? I
don't believe we've met, but I guess I could be mistaken.
You don't know the sacrifices I made during the two years
that I was put on active duty. I know the sacrifices that
are made by those that are in Iraq, especially Guardsmen and
Reservists. That's why I'm speaking out.
value that is the most important to me is integrity.
To me it
means doing the right thing even when it's not easy or
I could not
sit here with a clear conscience knowing that soldiers in
Iraq are still getting killed or maimed because of clearly
avoidable circumstances. But more importantly, how could
you? Why isn't it "disgraceful" to you that soldiers are
still dying and getting maimed because of plywood armor?
I'm one person, but there are many like me.
claimed to speak for everyone in the military. I did an
interview that I answered bluntly and honestly. I never
took an oath to lie for the military and I never will.
What Army value is that?
your time and your rank would be better spent comforting the
widows and wounded of this war that are struggling to
receive the care that they are owed.
Thanks for writing, and I hope
I have given you some ideas of things that need to be worked
on. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
PS - -
I noticed in your email that your AKO email link doesn't
work. Why is that? It kind of makes me think. Any
future contact by you is unwanted and uninvited. Just
so I'm perfectly clear - - - DON'T CONTACT ME AGAIN.
You're not in my chain of command and I'm not active
(Resta can be reached at
Eosonifilic@aol.com. He is involved with Iraq Veterans
Against the War,
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 inside the armed
Send requests to address up top.
Soldiers Don't Fade Away;
Those Who Sent Them
January 31, 2005 by Fred Reed,
The American Conservative
The observant will have
noticed that we hear little from the troops in Iraq and see
almost nothing of the wounded.
Why, one might wonder, does
not CNN put an enlisted Marine before a camera and, for 15
minutes without editing, let him say what he thinks? Is he
not an adult and a citizen? Is he not engaged in important
events on our behalf?
Sound political reasons exist.
are a risk PR-wise, the wounded a liability. No one can
tell what they might say, and conspicuous dismemberment is
bad for recruiting.
man in front of a camera is dangerous.
wreck the governmental spin apparatus in five minutes.
better to keep soldiers discreetly out of sight. So we do
not see much of the casualties, ours or theirs.
Yet they are there, somewhere,
with missing legs, blind, becoming accustomed to groping at
things in their new darkness, learning to use the
wheelchairs that will be theirs for 50 years. Some face
worse fates than others. Quadriplegics will be warehoused
in VA hospitals where nurses will turn them at intervals,
like hamburgers, to prevent bedsores. Friends and relatives
will soon forget them. Suicide will be a frequent thought.
The less damaged will get around.
For a brief
moment perhaps the casualties will believe, then try
desperately to keep believing, that they did something brave
and worthy and terribly important for that abstraction,
country. Some will expect thanks.
will be no thanks, or few, and those quickly forgotten.
It will be
worse. People will ask how they lost the leg. In Iraq,
they will say, hoping for sympathy, or respect, or
understanding. The response, often unvoiced but
unmistakable, will be, "What did you do that for?" The
wounded will realize that they are not only crippled, but
The years will go by. Iraq
will fade into the mist. Wars always do. A generation will
rise for whom it will be just history.
The dismembered veterans will
find first that almost nobody appreciates what they did,
then that few even remember it.
many would say--the United States is driven out of Iraq, the
soldiers will look back and realize that the whole affair
was a fraud. Wars are just wars. They seem important at
the time. At any rate, we are told that they are important.
wounds will remain. Arms do not grow back. For the
paralyzed there will never be girlfriends, dancing, rolling
in the grass with children. The blind will adapt as best
they can. Those with merely a missing leg will count
themselves lucky. They will hobble about, managing to lead
semi-normal lives, and people will say, "How well he handles
it." An admirable freak. For others it will be less good.
A colostomy bag is a sorry companion on a wedding night.
These men will come to hate. It will not be the Iraqis they
hate. This we do not talk about.
It is hard to admit that one
has been used.
Some of the crippled will
forever insist that the war was needed, that they were
protecting their sisters from an Islamic invasion, or
Vietnamese, or Chinese.
Others will keep quiet and
drink too much.
Still others will read, grow
older and wiser--and bitter.
They will remember that their
vice president, a man named Cheney, said that during his
war, the one in Asia, he "had other priorities." The
veterans will remember this when everyone else has long
since forgotten Cheney.
I once watched the first
meeting between a young Marine from the South, blind, much
of his face shot away, and his high-school sweetheart, who
had come from Tennessee to Bethesda Naval Hospital to see
Hatred comes easily.
There are wounds and there are
A friend of mine spent two
tours in Asia in that war now little remembered.
He killed many people, not all
of them soldiers. It is what happens in wars. The memory
haunts him. Jack is a hard man from a tough neighborhood,
quick with his fists, intelligent but uneducated--not a
liberal flower vain over his sensitivity.
He lives in
Mexican bars few would enter and has no politics beyond an
anger toward government. He was not a
joyous killer. He remembers what he did, knows now that he
was had. It gnaws at him. One is wise to stay away from
him when he is drinking.
People say that this war isn’t
like Vietnam. They are correct. Washington fights its war
in Iraq with no better understanding of Iraq than it had of
Vietnam, but with much better understanding of the United
Pentagon learned from Asia. This time around it has
controlled the press well. Here is the great lesson of
Southeast Asia: the press is dangerous, not because it is
inaccurate, which it often is, but because it often isn't.
So we don't much see the
caskets --for reasons of privacy, you understand.
in Iraq is fought by volunteers, which means people that
no one in power cares about. No one in the mysteriously
named "elite" gives a damn about some kid from a town in
Tennessee that has one gas station and a beer hall with
a stuffed buck's head.
kid is a redneck at best, pretty much from another
planet, and certainly not someone you would let your
daughter date. If conscription came back, and college
students with rich parents learned to live in fear of
The Envelope, riots would blossom as before. Now Yale
can rest easy. Thank God for throwaway people.
perfect separation between the military and the rest of the
country, or at least the influential in the country, is
wonderful for the war effort. It prevents concern. How
many people with a college degree even know a soldier? Yes,
some, and I will get e-mail from them, but they are a
minority. How many Americans have been on a military base?
Or, to be truly absurd, how many men in combat arms went to,
say, Harvard? Ah, but they have other priorities.
In 15 years in Washington, I
knew many, many reporters and intellectuals and educated
people. Almost none had worn boots.
So it is.
count do not have to go, and do not know anyone who has
gone, and don't interest themselves.
There is a price for this,
though not one Washington cares about.
America, in places where you might not expect it--in Legion
halls and VFW posts, among those who carry membership cards
from the Disabled American Veterans--there are men who hate.
those who sent them.
Talk to the
wounded from Iraq in five years.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
email@example.com. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
Dad And Husband In War
Feb 01, 2005 By BOBBY ROSS
JR., Associated Press Writer
Orlando A. Bonilla, 27, of Killeen, Texas, was killed Friday
in a helicopter accident in Baghdad. Her father, Army Sgt.
1st Class Henry A. Bacon, 45, died last February in a
bad news came just days after Tabitha Bonilla and Army Capt.
Orlando A. Bonilla had talked about his anticipated return
home in early March.
"He told me
he was going to fly a couple more missions before he came
home," Tabitha Bonilla, 23, said Monday night from her
mother's home in North Carolina. "I was going to welcome him
home, since I didn't get to welcome my dad home."
Through tears and long pauses,
Orlando Bonilla's wife — and Henry Bacon's daughter — tried
to "do justice," as she put it, to the two most important
men in her life.
"I stand behind my daddy and
my husband, and I stand behind the job they had to do, and
that's my take on it," she said.
"I just support them,
regardless of who sent them over there and why they sent
them over there, no matter whether it's for right or wrong
Orlando Bonilla was attending
the University of Texas at Austin and waiting to get his
Army commission when he took a part-time job at a Target
store in fall 1999.
That's where he met his future
wife, a fellow Target employee whose father was stationed at
She described her 27-year-old
husband, a pilot from Killeen, as "just a wonderful,
kindhearted, caring, gentle person."
Bonilla's "easygoing, sweet,
gentlemanly" personality attracted Tabitha Bacon to him, she
said. He told her he had decided in high school that he
wanted to be an Army pilot. "He liked flying," she said.
Tabitha Bonilla's mechanic
father died when he was hit by one vehicle while making
repairs on another in Dujayl, Iraq. Bacon, who joined the
Army in 1982, had delayed his retirement to serve in the
war, relatives said.
Bacon's death delayed his
son-in-law's deployment to Iraq, but only for a few months.
Bonillas, who married at Fort Hood, would have celebrated
their third wedding anniversary March 16. He would have
turned 28 on March 18. But instead of parties, his widow
must now plan a funeral.
"I wanted to show him that I
could be strong," said Tabitha Bonilla, 23, explaining why
she did not pressure her husband to stay home. "I
told him that my biggest regret would be that if he left too
and wouldn't come back." "But I also knew that was his
stupid," she added, through her tears, "but ... I'm just
Son Killed, Father Wants Other Son Out Of Iraq Now
February 1, 2005 ABC Inc.,
grief-stricken father in Vineland, New Jersey, wants his
younger son taken out of an Iraqi combat zone – because his
older son was killed there.
A roadside bomb killed Marine
Lance Corporal Harry Swain, IV Monday, just south of
Baghdad. Swain's father is Sergeant Harry Swain, III, of
the Vineland police force.
at the force says Sergeant Swain is calling on the Marines
to get his other son, 19-year-old Jaymes, out of Iraq.
Start Mother Says:
MORE DROP OF BLOOD SHOULD BE SPILLED FOR THIS PACK OF LIES”
was told that he would be welcomed to Iraq as a
liberator with chocolates and rose petals strewn in
front of his unarmored Humvee. He was in Iraq for two
short weeks when the Shi’ite rebel “welcome wagon”
welcomed him to Baghdad with bullets and RPG’s, which
took his young and beautiful life.
my son’s helmet and Viet Nam era flak jacket would have
protected him better from the chocolates and flower
2.1.05 From: Cindy Sheehan,
Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04 Iraq.
Co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace:
I was supposed to be on the
Larry King Live show last night.
I was asked
to be on the show to offer my opinion on the election in
Iraq from the perspective of a mom whose son was killed in
the war prior to the elections.
One of the
questions I was going to be asked was: Do I think my son’s
sacrifice was “worth it?” Well, I didn’t get a chance to be
on the show last night, because I was bumped for something
that is really important: The Michael Jackson Trial.
If I was allowed to go on
Larry King Live last night and give my opinion about the
elections and about my son’s sacrifice, this is what I would
have told Mr. King and his viewers:
Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan (KIA, Sadr City, 04/04/04)
enlisted in the Army to protect America and give
something back to our country. He didn’t enlist to be
used and misused by a reckless Commander-in-Chief who
sent his troops to preemptively attack and occupy a
country that was no imminent threat (or any threat) to
our country. Casey was sent to die in a war that was
based on the imagination of some Neo-Cons who love to
fill our lives with fear.
Casey didn’t agree with the
“Mission” but being the courageous and honorable man that he
was he knew he had to go to this mistake of a war to support
his buddies. Casey also wondered aloud many times why
precious troops and resources were being diverted from the
real war on terror.
told that he would be welcomed to Iraq as a liberator with
chocolates and rose petals strewn in front of his unarmored
He was in
Iraq for two short weeks when the Shi’ite rebel “welcome
wagon” welcomed him to Baghdad with bullets and RPG’s, which
took his young and beautiful life.
I think my
son’s helmet and Viet Nam era flak jacket would have
protected him better from the chocolates and flower petals.
killed after George Bush proclaimed “Mission Accomplished”
on May 1, 2003…he was also killed after Saddam was captured
in December of that same year.
Casey was killed before the
transfer of power in June of 2004 and before these
elections. Four marines were tragically killed after the
By my count about five dozen
Iraqis and coalition troops were killed on Election Day…is
that the definition of “Catastrophic Success?”
But is that
a good day in Iraq? Hundreds of our young people and
thousands of Iraqis have been needlessly and senselessly
murdered since George Bush triumphantly announced an end to
“major combat” almost 2 years ago now.
All of the above events have
been heralded by this administration as “turning points” in
the “war on terror”…or as wonderful events in the “march of
democracy.” Really? I don’t think, judging by very recent
history, that the elections will stop the bloodshed and
have asked Mr. King if he would want to sacrifice one of his
children for sham elections in Iraq. Would he or George
Bush send their children to be killed, or maimed for life,
for a series of lies, mistakes and miscalculations? Now
that every lie has been exposed to the light for the
invasion and occupation of Iraq….why are our sons and
daughters still there?
was sold to the American people by a slimy leadership with a
maniacal zeal and phony sincerity that would have impressed
snake oil salesmen a century ago. The
average American needs to hear from people who have been
devastated by the arrogance and ignorance of an
administration that doesn’t even have the decency or
compassion to sign our “death” letters.
In the interest of being “fair
and balanced” (oops, wrong network), I would have been
pitted against a parent who still agrees with the “Mission”
and the President.
Although, I grieve for that
parent’s loss and I respect that parent’s opinion, I would
have defied Mr. King, or that parent to explain the
“Mission” to me. I don’t think anyone can do it with a
straight face. The President has also stated that we need
to keep our troops in Iraq to honor
sacrifices by completing this elusive and ever changing
“Mission.” My response to him is “Just because it is too
late for Casey and the Sheehan family, why would we want
another innocent life taken, in the name of this chameleon
of a “Mission?”
Well, I was
bumped from the show anyway.
Scott Peterson has been convicted and sentenced for his
crimes and Laci and Connor’s families have the justice they
deserve, we have the new “trial of the century” to keep our
minds off of the nasty and annoying fact that we are waging
an immoral war in Iraq.
We can fill our TV screens and
homes with the glorified images of the Michael Jackson
molestation trial. We can fill our lives with outrage over
MJ’s victims and hope they get justice; not even questioning
the fact that George Bush, his dishonest cabinet, and their
misguided policies aren’t even brought to the court of
have to confront ourselves with the fact that the leaders of
our country and their lies are responsible for the deaths of
1438 brave Americans…tens of thousands of innocent
Iraqis…and the loss of our Nation’s credibility throughout
the world. That might mean we would have to turn off our
television sets and do something about it.
Oh yeah. In answer to the
original question Larry:
No it wasn’t worth it!!
Marine Recovering After Rocket Attack;
May Costs Him Leg
Jan 31, 2005 MMV, KUTV
A Utah marine who helped
provide security for the Iraqi elections is now in a
hospital in Germany after he was hurt in an attack last
Corporal Robin Griffiths was just packing up to go home when
his tent was struck by rockets, killing one marine and
injuring three others.
He was evacuated to Germany
where he's been upgraded from critical condition to serious.
Doctors say he may lose a leg.
Tom, said his son suffered third-degree burns covering 25%
of his body. Burns on his lower body are the most serious.
was supposed to leave Iraq about a month ago, but his unit’s
service was extended to provide security for the elections.
Vet Gets Mangled Thumb, Loses Educational Benefits;
Him A Bill For $3000:
And Served Time In Iraq, And They Want Him To Pay Them"
January 29, 2005 By Amy
Hatten, The Daily Press
Tyler McWilliams thought he'd
retire from the Army when he enlisted for a six-year
commitment as a reservist during his junior year in high
He spent the summer break of
that year sweating it out in basic training. Four days
after receiving his diploma, the 2000 Moffat County High
School graduate officially was inducted.
He later served as a heavy
equipment operator in the 244th Engineer Battalion under
Hayden's Staff Sgt. Mark Lawton, who was killed when the
convoy he and McWilliams were traveling in was struck by a
rocket-propelled grenade north of As Suaydat, Iraq.
can still point out the places on his arms and face where
shrapnel from that attack is lodged.
McWilliams carries the scars of battle and three years
of service in Iraq, but he came away from the experience
with something more -- a bill from the Defense
Department for more than $3,000 and 30 days to pay it.
"It's a bad
deal," McWilliams said. "I got out of the Army, moved on,
and six months later, I get this bill and they can't justify
what it's for. As far as I'm concerned, they owe me money."
McWilliams' six years of
service should have been completed in February 2006. But
after smashing his right middle finger in a truck tailgate
in Iraq, he was honorably discharged and released from duty
June 10, 2004.
McWilliams' finger is permanently knotted, contorted in such
a way that he may never be unable to straighten it.
decided to put his wallet in his left back pocket because
his right finger always seemed to be getting stuck. He
finds he can't perform menial tasks such as swinging a
hammer. But, his one hope is that his damaged finger won't
interfere with flying helicopters. That was McWilliams'
initial motivation for joining the Army.
These days, McWilliams is
pursuing that dream without the Army's help. He's enrolled
in his third semester at the Rangely campus of Colorado
Northwestern Community College, in the start of a two-year
McWilliams' and his high
school sweetheart, Megan, married last August, two months
after Tyler was discharged.
McWilliams never wanted to be released from the Army, he
said the move disqualified him from educational assistance
through the GI Bill that he was promised.
said he was underpaid for three years in the Army.
McWilliams said he received pay for private status while in
Iraq, though his rank was a specialist. It's a difference of
about $500 a month, he said.
it's probably why the bill from the Army for $3,100 that
the couple received in late December "for overpayment"
came as such a shock. Because McWilliams is a full-time
student, the couple can defer payment until he
enrages me that he went and served time in Iraq, and they
want him to pay them," Megan said. How can you ask that?
There's not even a good reason why."
McWilliams said that while in
Iraq he complained about the pay discrepancy, though he said
it was never cleared up. McWilliams' superior, Lawton, also
tried to help straighten out the issue, to no avail.
The McWilliams said they'd sit
on their bill and wait until Tyler graduates to deal with
it. They've filed a counter-claim with the Army for the
three years of underpayment.
served in Iraq, lost the function of his finger, and they
want him to pay money," Megan said. "That's ridiculous."
Marines Back Home
February 1, 2005 By ANDY
KRAVETZ, of the Journal Star
- Lance Cpl. Jeremy Janssen remembers the orange and white
car seconds before the explosion. Cpl. Pete Carey doesn't
remember the car and says he saw something "black" before he
was knocked down.
remember the smoke, fire and smells of the car bomb that
destroyed their truck slightly more than a month ago. The
Dec. 22 car bomb also injured four others from the Peoria
County-based Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion.
The Marines were on convoy
duty, running supplies to another base two hours west of
Baghdad. Janssen and Carey's "gun truck," a converted 7-ton
truck which bristled with firepower, was in the middle.
Janssen, 22, stood on the
passenger seat of the truck's cab, manning a .50-caliber
machine gun. Carey, 24, of Washington was in the middle of
the truck bed on the driver's side. He was the radio man,
and it was his job to keep in contact with the other 20 or
so vehicles in the convoy.
About 4:30 p.m., the LaSalle
County man noticed the orange and white car, which resembled
a Ford Crown Victoria, parked along the road.
Until then, it had been an
uneventful but cold day. It's not unusual to see other
cars, the men said. Still, there was something about this
"I even remember seeing the
guy. He had a red headdress, white robe and sunglasses. He
was playing with his mirror," Janssen said. "We were less
than 30 feet away from him, and at the last moment, he
became really fidgety, so I began to swing the 50 around to
take out his engine.
"That time, we were parallel,
and he detonated. I don't remember anything after that."
Carey doesn't remember the car
or the explosion. Things just got black, and the next thing
he remembers was being on the bed floor. The explosion
caused the large truck to swerve off the road. Within
seconds, it was engulfed in flames.
"I remember feeling the heat
and the pressure. Time went so slow. I guess my perception
of time was way off," Carey said. "As soon as the blast went
off, I knew what it was. I knew it was an IED of some
As engineers, the Peoria
County-based Marines had often done recovery missions on
other vehicles attacked in a similar fashion. Never before,
however, had it happened to them.
Janssen regained consciousness
and looked around. The cab was full of flames, forcing him
to climb out the gunner's turret. Carey was one of the last
off the truck. He and another Marine jumped out and walked
300 meters to where medics had begun treating the wounded.
"I looked back and the cab was
completely engulfed. At that point, I didn't see anyone
other than us get off the truck. I was pretty certain that
if they were still in there, they were dead," Carey said.
The heat of
the fire was so intense it melted Carey's goggles and burned
through his flak jacket and through five layers of clothing.
Janssen already was on a stretcher. Carey, an emergency
medical technician student at Illinois Central College,
looked around, saw everyone was OK and immediately pitched
"I got a
lot of respect for him," Janssen said of Carey. "He was hurt
and he still took the time to work on us."
Within minutes, the Marines
were flown by helicopter to a nearby Army hospital. After
emergency surgery, those with more immediate needs went to
Baghdad. Others, like Carey, returned to base before going
to Baghdad. Ultimately, all went to Germany and then back
to the United States.
Janssen suffered third-degree
burns on his right hand, which still is bandaged. His right
arm sports a scar from his thumb to his elbow where doctors
had to operate immediately after the attack.
"I took a bunch of shrapnel in
my right arm. The doctors had to tie off the arteries in my
arm because it was swelling up so bad that it was cutting
off the circulation," he said. "They cut open my arm from
base of my thumb up to my elbow to relieve some of that
pressure and let some of the blood out."
He's now undergoing the first
of 11 months of therapy. Carey's injuries were largely
limited to burns on his face and hands. The burns on his
face have largely healed but his hand, like Janssen, remains
Undeployed Yet Not Trained Or Equipped For War
January 25, 2005 By Bradley
With the Pentagon having
relied heavily on reservists to fill out deployments to
Iraq, military officers have warned recently that the pool
of available part-time soldiers is dwindling.
By later this year, when
the Army is scheduled to begin its fourth rotation of troops
since the invasion in March 2003, all 15 of the National
Guard's most readily deployable brigades will have been
Although other Guard troops remain and could be tapped
for Iraq duty, they belong to units that historically
have not received the same priority in equipping and
training as the brigades chosen to go in the rotations
As the Army
reaches farther down in the reserve force, Lovelace said,
the amount of "pre-mobilization" time necessary to get the
troops ready to send to Iraq is likely to increase.
"We're not going to send
anybody into combat who is not trained and ready," the
three-star general said.
But he noted that already in each rotation, the amount of
pre-mobilization time required has increased.
Waste Of Money
Letters To The Editor
read the article on the Army’s new marksmanship training
program “Going the distance,” Dec. 20].
It is a
gigantic waste of money.
I do not know why the Army is
fixated on 300-yard ranges. Perhaps it simply has failed to
update its training since the M1 Garand.
The M16A2 service rifle is an
exemplary weapon. It is one of perhaps three assault weapons
in the world that have been field-tested effectively against
point targets to 550 yards.
All Marines qualify annually
on a 500-yard course, and they do not require retooled
rifles, scopes and special ammunition to do it. They take
the time to learn about the weapon — how to use the sights,
how to use the sling (much more effective than sandbags and
easier to carry on patrol), the elements of a good firing
position and so on.
A lot of
people say the Army has sabotaged the A2 since day one.
Since we are finally acknowledging the
need to engage enemies past 300-yards, would it really kill
us to learn how to use the weapon the way it was designed to
Spc. Jason C. Diederich
Fort Story, Va.
Command Admits Only Kurdish Province Secure;
Has Strategic, Tactical Initiative
31 January 2005 William Pfaff,
The International Herald Tribune
ROME - The Iraq
insurgency is many things, but above all it is anti-American
and nationalist. The
U.S. command in Baghdad still does not reliably know the
composition of the insurrection. It variously describes it
as "regime-remnants," ex-Baathists, foreign jihadists,
criminals, "dead-enders," or members of Al Qaeda led by Abu
All these are self-serving
formulations for U.S. domestic political use. The important
issue is what would happen to the insurgency in an Iraq that
had regained its independence.
The political process the
United States started with Sunday's election is to conclude
with the Iraqis governing themselves. There is an
unacknowledged factor in this promise:
The United States is already
unable to govern Iraq.
States and its allies have become the victims of the chaos
they provoked. It is the insurgency that now holds the
strategic and tactical military initiative in that unhappy
military commanders acknowledge that no Iraqi province
is secure outside the Kurdish north - and that things
are not entirely secure even there.
Cops, Guards Killed In Nablus, Irbil
February 1, 2005 MARIAM FAM,
Associated Press Writer
In the latest violence,
clashes broke out early Tuesday in the eastern Mosul
neighborhood of Nablus between insurgents and Iraqi National
Guards, officials said. One person was killed and another
injured. A roadside bomb
killed four Iraqi National Guardsmen in the northwest of the
city, Lt. Khalil Rashid said.
policemen were killed when a bomb they were trying to defuse
exploded on a street in the Kurdish-run city of Irbil.
Of An Election
Bush is like the man who caused the wreck, and like the
man who was protected from it. Deranged. Detached.
Alive and well in the bubble he calls "freedom,"
February 1, 2005 James
Carroll. Boston Globe
IN THINKING about the election
in Iraq, my mind keeps jumping back to last week's train
wreck in California. A deranged man, intending suicide,
drove his Jeep Cherokee onto the railroad tracks, where it
The onrushing train drew near.
The man suddenly left his vehicle and leapt out of the way.
He watched as the train crashed into his SUV, derailed,
jackknifed, and hit another train. Railroad cars crumbled.
Eleven people were killed and nearly 200 were injured, some
gravely. The deranged man was arrested. Whatever troubles
had made him suicidal in the first place paled in comparison
to the trouble he had now.
is a train wreck. The man who caused it is not in trouble.
Tomorrow night he will give
his State of the Union speech, and the Washington
establishment will applaud him.
thousands of Iraqis are dead. More than 1,400 Americans are
dead. An Arab nation is humiliated. Islamic hatred of the
West is ignited. The American military is emasculated. Lies
define the foreign policy of the United States. On all sides
of Operation Iraqi Freedom, there is wreckage. In the
center, there are the dead, the maimed, the displaced --
those who will be the ghosts of this war for the rest of
their days. All for what?
Something else about that
California train wreck strikes me.
reports suggested, so many passengers were killed and
injured because the locomotive was pushing the train from
behind, which put the lightweight passenger coaches
vulnerably in front. If, instead, the heavy, track-clearing
locomotive had been leading and had hit the Jeep, it could
have pushed the vehicle aside.
The jack-knifing and
derailment would not have occurred.
American war machine is like a train running in "push-mode,"
with the engineer safely back away from danger. In the train
wreck of Iraq, it is passengers who have borne the brunt.
with his hand on the throttle couldn't be more securely
removed from the terrible consequences of his locomotion.
is like the man who caused the wreck, and like the man who
was protected from it. Deranged. Detached. Alive and well
in the bubble he calls "freedom," receiving applause.
Listed, But Not Told About It
Late in the
election season, several politicians discovered that they
had been listed without their permission and angrily
demanded that the lists withdraw their names.
So not only
were the candidates mostly anonymous, but some persons were
running without knowing it. 01 February
2005 Juan Cole, Salon.com
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
SPILLS THE BEANS
MOSSAD D/B/A DEBKAFILE 31 Jan
2005 04:33 GMT [Mossad:
Israeli Intelligence Service]
Four hours after the polls
closed, a clearly relieved President George W. Bush spoke at
the White House in praise of the bravery of Iraqis who
turned out to vote and “firmly rejected the antidemocratic
ideology” of terrorists.
But the US
president seemed to edge away from his usual encomiums on a
“victory for democracy.” Nor did he actually commend the
Iraqis for the big step they took towards establishing a
free and democratic government.
is that there was not much of either in this remarkable
Long queues and 80% percentage
of eligible voters appeared only in the two shrine cities of
Najef and Karbala.
south in the densely populated Diwanya, Mussana, Qadasiya
and Amara, the proportion did not go beyond 40%. In Basra,
Iraq’s second largest town, the turnout was 32-35%, although
Iraqi election officials claimed 90%.
characterize Shiite voting activity as “lots of hustle and
bustle, but not too many ballots.”
The Sunni districts
predictably obeyed their leaders boycott directive.
memos, American military officials reported that 150 voting
centers never opened at all in some Sunni strongholds.
Polling booths were not installed in the Sunni, Turkomen
and Assyrian neighborhoods of the northern town of Mosul.
Assyrian Christians staged large
demonstrations to protest their loss of voting right and
representation in the national assembly, but were given no
alternative means of balloting; nor did they rate media
A sprinkle of votes was marked
in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province of western Iraq
and the Saladin district – even in Fallujah and Baqouba. In
Diyala, south of Baghdad, voting reached 30 percent under
heavy US and Iraqi military security.
In parts of
Baghdad, particularly the Sunni districts, many polling
stations did not open and citizens lost their chance to
striking vote-rigging incident was reported in the northern
oil town of Kirkuk. There, Kurdish troops
and intelligence are alleged to have trucked in tens of
thousands of armed Kurds from across the province to
commandeer the polling stations. Cautious estimates put the
figure of imported voters at 50,000. In the absence of a
proper voters’ register and computers, there was no way of
establishing which voters were intruders from other
districts. When the non-Kurdish politicians saw the
invasion, they backed off.
By artificially inflating
Unified Kurdish List numbers in Kirkuk, the Kurdish
community substantially stepped up its representation in the
Ballot-counting had barely begun Sunday night when the
Shiites declared themselves the big winners over their
Euphrates River TV station.
cannot possibly be known before the week or ten days needed
to tally the ballots by hand because computers are not
available to Iraq’s election authorities.
During Sunday night, the boxes
are to be transported from tens of thousands of polling
stations across the country to Baghdad. Some may not make
it, either because of terrorist attacks or because they
might “disappear” off the backs of trucks en route. But
even without a precise count, Shiite and Kurdish victories
can be safely predicted.
No one can tell yet how well
the lists run by interim president Ghazi Yawar and interim
prime minister Iyad Allawi have fared. Yawar is not running
for election, but Allawi, to stay in office, will need at
least 40-50 national assembly seats.
POLITICIANS AT WORK
To Hold Free And Fair Elections In Tibet
Phil G who sent this in.]
January 31, 2005 Beau Grosscup
Government of the Peoples Republic of China has announced
that now that it knows the standards of a free and fair
election, it will be holding free and fair elections in
The free and fair elections
will be held under the following conditions:
1. The rules of Chinese
Occupation will remain
2. The estimated 300,000
Chinese troops will provide election security
3. Martial Law will be
4. Candidates for office will
not reveal their names
5. Voters will not know whom
they are voting for.
6. The borders and airports
will be closed and the country in security 'lockdown.'
7. The elections will be paid
for by the Chinese taxpayers
8. The International election
observers will monitor the election from the monitoring
center set up by the Chinese military in Nepal.
Government wishes to thank the United States government and
Fox News for clarifying the meaning and criteria of free and
fair elections and how to bring freedom and democracy to a
long suffering people.
Mass Deception” Film:
NYC Feb. 4
From: Paul O'Hanlon
To: GI Special
Sent: February 01, 2005
Subject: Review of `WMD
weapons of mass deception`
I read, enjoy and pass on GI
you might like to know about Danny Schechter's new film `WMD
weapons of mass deception` which is currently showing in the
US. It will be showing in New York and Portland, Oregon on
Friday 4th February.
For details of the film and
its showing schedule please see
I wrote a review with photos
of the film and put it on Indymedia, here is the link for
the Portland Indymedia report:
All the Best from Edinburgh,
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