GI SPECIAL 3A62:
“The Moving Wall,” in a large parking lot near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Average Age 19
From the Senior Prom to Vietnam
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 more of his outstanding work. T)
On Strike In Tikrit:
Of Commander Arrested By Occupation
March 2 (Xinhuanet)
Iraqi police in
Tikrit, north of Baghdad, went on strike Wednesday demanding the
release of a police chief captured by the US troops and guarantees
from the foreign forces to respect the local police, a police
Police stations and streets of Tikrit,
some 170 km north of Baghdad, were devoid of police who went on
strike in a protest against the capture of Brigadier
chief of the homicide department in Salahudin
provincial headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel
Muhamed Ali told Xinhua.
was arrested Tuesday along with another officer by the US troops who
surrounded the police headquarters of Salahudin
in Tikrit and confiscated all weapons there.
"How can we work
while the American soldiers arresting our officers without
accusations and confiscate our weapons," Ali said.
"We won't resume
our jobs unless the US troops release
BrigadierHatem and offer guarantees to respect the Iraqi
police," Ali added.
officer, Major General Mizher
described the US arrest as "premeditated disarmament of the Iraqi
police", accusing the US troops of destabilizing the province.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS:
Co. Family Mourns For Soldier Killed In Iraq:
Family Opposed War
March 2, 2005 By
Catharyn Campbell, 6 News Reporter
COUNTY (WATE) --
Pfc. Danny Anderson was deployed to Iraq in early February. He was
there two weeks and three days when his family heard he'd been
On February 25th, Danny's family
talked to the 29-year-old for the first time since he left for
Iraq. His sister, Patti
Kalas, says, "This weekend, we were
going to put together a care package. We were putting together the
cookies and everything to send him but we didn't get to do that."
Danny's mother, Pat Brady, was on her
way home from an out of town trip February 27th when she got a phone
call from her daughter saying Danny had been killed.
"They were at a checkpoint and a
vehicle came through with four or five men in it. They tried to run
the checkpoint and there was gun fire exchanged," Pat says.
Danny grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas
and later moved to Cocke County to live
with his family. He once worked
as a window washer but needed a stable job to support his new wife
and six-year-old stepson. So Danny joined the Army in April 2003.
The soldier never
thought he'd be able to have any children of his own. However, five
months ago he and his wife had a baby boy, Noah Daniel. "Before he
left, he said that he'd promised Noah that he would be back," Pat
family doesn't support the conflict in Iraq, they say they admire
him for the sacrifice he made for his country and his family.
3rd ID Casualties
Rise To 13
Mar. 02, 2005 Associated Press
FORT STEWART, Ga. -
The recent deaths of three Fort
Stewart soldiers in Iraq raises to 13 the
death toll of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division since it deployed for
a second tour of duty in January.
The Pentagon identified the latest
casualties on Tuesday.
Army Pfc. Min S.
Choi, 21, of River Vale, N.J., and Pvt. Landon S. Giles, 19,
of Indiana, Pa., died Saturday in Abertha,
Iraq, when an explosive detonated near their patrol. Both were
assigned to the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment,
4th Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division.
Army Spc. Michael S. Deem, 35, of
Rockledge, Fla., died Thursday in Baghdad from non-combat related
injuries, the Defense Department said. Deem was assigned to the
Special Troops Battalion of the 3rd Infantry.
The 3rd Infantry deployed 19,000
troops in January, and 12 division soldiers have been killed in Iraq
since Feb. 4. One other 3rd Infantry soldier died Jan. 21 in Kuwait
in a helicopter accident.
wife, Lynn, and the couple's 3-year-old son, William, live in
Hinesville, Ga., but still own their home in Rockledge, Fla.,
according to the Orlando Sentinel.
His ex-wife, Joy
Schaller, who has remarried and lived in Titusville, Fla., said the
military told the family that Deem was found dead in his bunk and
there was no obvious cause of death. Schaller and Deem had a
7-year-old daughter, who lives with her mother.
Giles graduated from Arkadelphia High
School in Arkansas last May. Flags at the Clark County Courthouse
in Arkadelphia were flown at half staff on Tuesday in honor of the
Basra IED Wounds
Two British Soldiers
BASRA, March 2 (KUNA)
A road-side bomb
blew up in central Basra Wednesday wounding two British soldiers and
Witnesses told KUNA the bomb exploded
when a British military vehicle passed near it. The three civilians
were also driving nearby. The explosion damaged a number of cars.
From The 612th Wounded
March 2, 2005
On February 28,
2005 , SGT. Derek Hunker, of the 612
th EN BN’s
Bravo Company, sustained a serious, but non-life threatening injury
to the head as a result of an IED detonation in close proximity to
SGT. Hunker had under
went surgery while in Iraq to stabilize
and repair the wound. SGT. Hunker will be sent to Germany and then
back to the States, where he will be sent to either
Reed Medical Center or to Fort Knox for recovery and rehabilitation.
400 Turks Fighting
March 2, 2005 By
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
ANKARA, Turkey --
Some 400 Turkish fighters from a
group linked to al-Qaida are helping
Iraqi insurgents battle U.S. forces, a report said Wednesday.
Tambo quoted a spokesman from the Islamic group
Yorosh as saying: "We do not carry out
any activity in Turkey, but focus on American targets in Iraq."
The unidentified spokesman said some
30 Turkish fighters have been killed fighting U.S.-led multinational
forces in Iraq.
Ceasefire Deal With Resistance Reported
U.S. Base Hit
March 2 (Xinhuanet)
An influential Iraqi Sunni religious
body brokered a peace deal between the US forces and insurgents in
one of the country's most volatile areas, a source from the Sunni
body said on Wednesday.
"The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS)
held clandestine negotiations with the leaders of the Iraqi
resistance on a possible ceasefire in the Anbar province," a source
in the AMS told
Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
"We all agreed
that the situation in Ramadi would be calmed by replacing Iraqi
security forces selected from people of Anbar instead of the US
troops,” the source said.
agreement was to prevent the US troops from conducting search
campaigns in the cities and to leave such missions to the Iraqi
forces," he added.
It has been reported recently that the
US diplomats in Baghdad were holding peace talks with
representatives allegedly close to the insurgent groups.
has rejected to take part in the country's first post-Saddam
elections and submitted harsh conditions for joining the political
Assisted by Iraqi troops, US marines
were stepping up military operations around Ramadi and other cities
along the Euphrates Riverthat runs
across the vast desert province.
While the forces
claimed that they had seized large weapon caches and captured dozens
of suspects, they came under bolder attacks from the insurgents.
Witnesses said a US
base east of Ramadi was attacked Tuesday night by 20
Katyusha rockets, and flames of fire and
smoke was seen over the base.
Well-Planned, General Abizaid Says;
Texas Rep. Has
March 02, 2005 By
Liz Sidoti, Associated Press
The attack that killed 125 people in
Iraq, mostly Shiite police and National Guard recruits, showed that
insurgents patiently plotted for a vulnerable target, the top U.S.
military officer in the Mideast said
A car bomber struck as recruits were
lined up for physical exams at a medical clinic Monday in the
deadliest single attack since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
“I believe that it
was well-scouted. It showed itself to be vulnerable. They figured
out that it was vulnerable. They figured out how to get the suicide
bomb into place,” Gen. John Abizaid told
the House Armed Services Committee. “They had taken the patience
necessary to find the target.”
“It seems that
every day recruits are killed,” said Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas.
“As long as they’re being
killed, they will never be able to take the position of our soldiers
Dutch Troops Go
2 March 2005 FOCUS News Agency
The mission of the Dutch
contingent, which is a part of the Centre-South Multinational
Division in Iraq, has ended, reported spokesman of the
Centre-South Multinational Division LtCol
for FOCUS News Agency.
At a ceremony in Camp Echo, commander
of the division General-Major Valdemar
Szypczak thanked the Dutch soldiers for
their work during the mission in Iraq and wished them success in
future missions and in their lives.
In Sight For Failure To Pay Wounded
Wolfowitz Refuses To Answer Senators About
March 01, 2005
ByRick Maze, Army Times staff writer
Under tough questioning from a Senate
Budget Committee member, senior Pentagon officials acknowledged
serious problems with the military pay system but offered no
predictions for when — or if — they could be fixed.
Stabenow, D-Mich., raised the issue at a
hearing on the 2006 defense budget and noted that complaints about
military pay problems crop up often in her talks with wounded
service members and reservists from her state.
“It is of great concern to me and I
hope it is to you, as well,” Stabenow said. “This is just not
She asked what
action the Defense Department is taking, and in
particular wanted to know how much money is being set aside in
either the 2006 regular defense budget request or the 2005 wartime
supplemental request to address problems with the pay system.
She did not get a direct answer.
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said he has talked with Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson about trying to reduce the amount of
time it can take for someone being medically retired due to combat
wounds to receive their first post-service paycheck, but did not
know when a solution would be found.
Marines Fail To
Reach Recruiting Goal Second Month In Row
Mar 02, 2005 By
Will Dunham (Reuters)
The Marine Corps
for the second straight month in February missed its goal for
signing up new recruits, the Marines said on Wednesday, in another
sign of the Iraq war's effect on military recruiting.
"It is a challenging recruiting
environment right now," said Maj. David
Griesmer, spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
For the first time
in more than a decade, the Marines in January fell short of their
monthly goal for new recruits signing enlistment
contracts to begin serving within a year. The Marines missed their
monthly goal again in February by more than 6 percent,
performed some of the most dangerous and grueling tasks in the
guerrilla war, for example spearheading the November offensive in
shortfalls come as Marines play an integral role in military
operations in Iraq, which have caused a steady stream of combat
Recruiter Tries New
And Raping Enlistees
March 01, 2005 Associated Press
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. —
An Indiana National Guard recruiter
was charged with sexually assaulting at least six women he enlisted
in the military, prosecutors said.
Vetesy, 36, faces 31 counts of rape,
sexual battery, official misconduct and corrupt business influence,
prosecutors said Monday.
“These were very young women who were
being recruited out of high school classes,” Hamilton County
Prosecutor Sonia Leercamp said. Some of
the women were groped and at least of them was raped, investigators
The Guard began investigating
Vetesy in January 2004 when a recruit
accused him of assaulting her while he was assigned to an armory
north of Indianapolis.
The Guard moved
Vetesy and restricted his ability to interact with female
recruits, but another recruit accused him of rape in May, Indiana
National Guard spokeswoman Capt. Lisa
detective Mike Sadler said some of the women were groped by
Vetesy as he drove them to an
Indianapolis processing station for enlistment proceedings.
Police are investigating whether other victims were involved.
March 01, 2005 by Elizabeth Herrick,
OSCODA n Navy Hospital Corpsman
Matthew Parzych was awarded the Purple
Heart during a ceremony on Jan. 20, for injuries he suffered while
who was in the Iraq desert from Jan. 28 until Sept. 13, 2004, grew
up in Oscoda and is a 2002 Oscoda High School graduate. Two weeks
after graduating, he went to Navy boot camp at Hospital Corpsman
School in Great Lakes, Ill.
He then attended Field Medical Service
School at Camp Lejuene, N.C. and was
stationed at Fleet Hospital Bremerton in Wash. for about one year.
was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq for 10 months as a medic for the
Marines to Fallujah and was wounded on Sept. 13, 2004, one day
before he was scheduled to return home.
Because his unit lost their platoon
commander during a mortar attack, Parzych
was assigned to a new Humvee to even out the manning. The Marines
mission on that particular day was a counter mortar attack. They
were also dropping off ice to an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV)
on their way back.
and three Marines were in the Humvee when they stopped to drop off
the ice, about 10 miles west of Abu Ghraib prison.
"I happen to
smoke. I know that's bad being a corpsman, but it saved my life
this time," said Parzych.
and the three Marines got out of the Humvee to talk. Because
Parzych couldn't light his cigarette in
the wind, he leaned into the back of the Humvee, between two steel
doors, just as a car ran into the side of the Humvee, detonating an
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the car.
He was knocked
unconscious and woke up with a fractured tibula
and two holes in his right calf.
He was the only one
who survived the explosion.
Get A Raw Deal
(Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March
The United States
is grinding up its soldiers not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but
here at home as well by improperly interrupting pay, medical care
and other benefits due injured and sick Army Reserve and National
Guard troops and their families.
Despite attempts to
fix the problem, the Army can't "provide reasonable assurance" that
it can deliver what it owes those soldiers. This state of affairs
cannot be tolerated.
Bankruptcy Protection For Troops
March 02, 2005 By Rick Maze, Army
Times staff writer
failed Tuesday in an attempt to include extra protections for
service members and their families in a bankruptcy reform bill.
rejected, 58-38, a Democratic amendment to streamline procedures for
troops to declare bankruptcy; protect troops in bankruptcy
proceedings from losing homes purchased prior to coming on active
duty; and prevent some debts, such as high-interest payday loans,
from being collected by lenders.
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., chief
sponsor of the amendment, said his proposal is designed to provide
protections for service members, especially mobilized National Guard
and reserve personnel, who may suffer financial setbacks due to
“Military service always involves
sacrifice,” he said. “In time of war, the sacrifice is multiplied.
Many families manage to scrape
by using their savings and relying on relatives and friends. Some
families do all of these things, but their financial problems still
become so severe they have no choice but to file for bankruptcy.”
Durbin and other
Democrats said the broad bankruptcy bill would make it harder for
service members to declare bankruptcy by forcing them to meet
tougher requirements to show why they are in financial trouble and
why they didn’t take more steps to protect themselves before being
released from debts.
“Men and women who volunteer to go to
war shouldn’t have to wage war against a mountain of paperwork that
this bill creates,” Durbin said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala said “If a
serviceman is unable to pay his debts, he will be able to file
bankruptcy against those — he will be able to wipe out all those
debts,” Sessions said. “If he is able to pay back a portion, like
any other citizen he would be required to pay back that portion
under this legislation. I think that is fair.”
He said the
Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act also provides protection
from legal action and caps the interest rate that can be charged to
service members on various types of loans.
Durbin was not
convinced, noting that the SCRA does
not cover debts incurred during military service and does not
prevent a creditor from going after a service members’ family.
Durbin said the bankruptcy bill also
offers no protection to service members from payday lender companies
whose loans come with extremely high interest rates. His amendment
would have limited companies to collecting 36 percent interest on
debts in bankruptcy proceedings.
For Ranger Cookies
(Washington Post, March 2, 2005, 2004,
U.S. troops subsisting on Meals, Ready
to Eat, have their own recipes to add variety to the portable
rations. To prepare a "Ranger
Cookie," pour the sugar packet into the powdered creamer packet,
seal it up, and heat it with an entire book of matches. The
ingredients crystallize into a white mass resembling a large
Sailors Force Royal
Navy Command To Retreat:
Pinups Back (Male
March 07, 2005 Army Times
Pinup pictures are
back aboard British warships, with men and women getting equal
The Royal Navy had
banned topless photos in December as part of a new
code of conduct that officials said was aimed at shielding personnel
from potentially offensive images, particularly female sailors who
serve aboard ships with men.
The new policy
provoked much discontent in the ranks.
So a new policy has been issued
allowing sailors to post pinups in their private spaces, such as
bunks and lockers, as long as the images are not graphically
sexual. The policy applies equally to images of men and women.
The Sun newspaper, famous for explicit
photos of its “Page Three girls,” helpfully printed posters to be
handed out to sailors to mark the policy reversal.
If that’s not good
enough, a few ships are photographing their own pinups.
The mine countermeasures ship HMS Bangor, for example,
publishes monthly pinup photos on its Web site.
The February photo
features a male cook posing topless on the ship’s deck.
London Financial Times)
3,500 Troops Election Day
(Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2005)
The top U.S.
general in the Middle East said that approximately 3,500 insurgents
were involved in planning and executing the roughly 300 attacks on
Recruiting Station Bombed:
Seven Dead, 30
02 March 2005 AFP & Aljazeera & By
TODD PITMAN, Associated Press Writer
At least seven
soldiers were killed and 30 wounded when a car blew up outside the
army base in western Baghdad at 7 am, hospital officials said
Interior ministry spokesman Colonel
Rahman reported that 27 other soldiers
were wounded in the attack.
They were queuing by the entrance to
the base at the disused Al-Muthanna
airport when a white Toyota Corolla sped to the gates and exploded,
"As he arrived, he blew himself up.
Two soldiers were lifted up into the air and knocked across the
street," said eyewitness Hussein Mohammed, who was 20
metres (yards) away when the car
airport is now used as U.S. and Iraqi army bases.
The explosion could be heard across
the city, and a plume of black smoke billowed into the air
afterward. Flames leapt from two destroyed civilian vehicles. Debris
from the blast was strewn around the area, and witnesses said the
severed head of a female soldier lay on the ground.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE
02 March 2005 AFP & By TODD PITMAN,
Associated Press Writer
Seven soldiers were
killed and three wounded when a car bomber blew
himself up, said an army officer.
The bomb blast hit a convoy of Iraqi
soldiers at an army checkpoint in southwest Baghdad, police said.
Two policemen were
shot dead in separate incidents in the restive northern city of
Mosul, police said.
Shot, One Dead
02 March 2005 AFP & By TODD PITMAN,
Associated Press Writer
In another attack
on those seen as collaborating with the government, insurgents on
Tuesday killed an Iraqi judge and his son who worked for a tribunal
set up to try Saddam and other former regime officials, a courts
source told AFP.
Marwane and his son, son, lawyer Aryan
Barwez al-Merwani, who worked as
a clerk for the Iraqi Special Tribunal, were killed as they stepped
out of their Baghdad home Tuesday, the source said. They were the
first known members of the tribunal to be killed.
Police Capt. Ali al-Obeidi
said three gunmen were in the car, a green Opel.
He said gunmen in a speeding car raked the pair with gunfire as they
were trying to get into a vehicle outside their home.
The shootings in northern Baghdad's
Azamyiah district on Tuesday marked the
first time any legal staff working for the Iraqi
Special Tribunal have been killed.
A court official
says the judge's killing "was something personal." He says it wasn't
because of the judge's work on the tribunal. The
son was a senior member in the PUK
office in Baghdad.
Judges and other legal staff working
at the court have not even been identified in public because of
concerns for their safety, and tribunal officials have kept a
low-profile for the same reason, even refusing to say where the
court is located.
In a second
incident Tuesday, gunmen shot three times and seriously wounded
investigative judge Wayed al-Jadr
moments after he left his courthouse in eastern Baghdad,
an Iraqi justice official said.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal was set up
in late 2003 after Saddam was toppled.
But after five potential candidates
were killed, some judges declined calls to work at the court. At
least half of the tribunal's budget has gone to security.
Two Military Supply
group Army of Ansar al-Sunna
said today it had killed two Turkish truck drivers transporting
cement to US forces in the north of Iraq,
according to an internet statement.
The statement said the group had
"carried out God's punishment" against Turan
Unal and Huseyin
Aytag after it burned their trucks on
the Kirkuk-Tikrit road.
It said the drivers
were carrying cement from Turkey to Tikrit for a company which the
group said supplied US forces.
Gas Pipeline Hit
March 2 (AFP)
blast hit a gas pipeline west of Kirkuk on Wednesday, an
oil company official said.
The attack on the pipeline happened at
about 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) near the town of Al-Safra,
50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Kirkuk, an official with the
Northern Oil Company told AFP.
There were no immediate details on
what caused the explosion but fires could be seen raging from the
scene of the attack.
connects to the major refining and power plant complex at
Suppliers Found Dead
March 2 (AFP)
The bullet-riddled bodies of two Iraqi
contractors were found in their abandoned vehicle in Kirkuk, said
Colonel Ali Abdullah of the local police.
The pair worked for
a company that manufactured and supplied concrete blast walls to US
and Iraqi forces, he added.
Of U.S. Armed Forces Rebellions
By Martin Smith
(Sgt. USMC ret’d)
The Grunt as
Through the trees
he watched the black figures of the gunners as they worked swiftly
and intently. Their labor seemed a complicated thing. He wondered
how they could remember its formula in the midst of confusion.
Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of
On March 8, 1965,
the first U.S. combat troops attacked the coast at
finding no enemy on the sandy shores. Instead, they constituted the
beginning edge of the quagmire known as Vietnam, the longest war in
U.S. history. While military advisors were in Vietnam since World
War II, and in the 1950s, the U.S. had paid almost 80 percent of the
cost for the French colonial war, the commitment of ground troops
marked the starting point of what the Vietnamese called the
author of Vietnam: A History,
points out that General Westmoreland despised the flashy landing the
U.S. navy orchestrated for television and movie newsreel viewers.
Rather than taking cover from enemy fire, marines engaged with
smiling Vietnamese women, stationed on the beach to welcome the U.S.
invaders with flowers and a sign that read, “Welcome to the Gallant
Marines.” General Maxwell Taylor objected to the plan altogether
and felt that the harsh Vietnamese jungles were unsuitable for
The Pentagon press declared the South
Vietnamese requested their assistance, yet the U.S. neither advised
nor communicated with the South Vietnamese government about the
While the uneasy footing of these marines at Da
Nang reveals the emerging power
struggles and racial ideology of the military planners, a study of
the troops’ formation reveals an aspect of the war rarely studied.
The assault by troops at Da
Nang, the same battle tactic that their
fathers employed as they charged the beaches in the Pacific during
World War II, required coordination, teamwork, and hard, physical
The labor of the grunt in Viet Nam
depended on a team effort. Soldiers lost their individuality
through basic training and emerged as collective laborers who saw
their interests combined with those of their teammates. Members of
the infantry literally depended on the person next to them to watch
their backs. They also cultivated bonds of friendship and
camaraderie forged through the experience of combat. It was the
desire to protect their teammates that motivated their work rather
than military leadership and discipline.
The American War (1965-1973) was a
“Regular Army war,” because the U.S. army supplied the majority of
combat troops, but its history continues to be told from the vantage
of the military planners and as a matter of foreign policy.
While soldiers composed the majority of the more than 2.5 million
that served during the course of the war, the story of its leaders,
McNamaras, Nixons and
Westmorelands, and their battle tactics
remain the primary realm of interest in mainstream discourse. The
dilemma of policy makers and war planners, far removed from harm’s
way, still continues as a debate between two sides.
On the one hand, whether the U.S.
fought with its hands tied and the military was not allowed to win.
Or on the other, if the war was a needless mistake based on a
misguided fear of the “domino theory,” that if Vietnam turned
communist other countries in Southeast Asia would soon follow.
Such debates meant very little, however, to the soldiers whose
mission was to merely survive and return to the “world.”
As Private First Class Carlton Dudley in a 1970 CBS news
documentary, “The World of Charlie Company,” put it, “What’s life
like over here? It’s like pure hell.”
During Vietnam, the
military assigned fewer troops to combat roles than in previous
wars. During the war’s entirety, only thirteen to eighteen percent
of the Armed Forces served in the field, the front lines of combat,
at any given time.
At the height of U.S. involvement in 1968, with troop levels at over
half a million, approximately eighty thousand people were in combat
units, the vast majority of these draftees.
The organization of the infantry
company depended on the unit and a top-down system of rank and
discipline. As defined by Shelby L. Stanton’s authoritative guide,
Vietnam Order of Battle, a standard infantry company was made
of four to six officers and about 158 enlisted men. These companies
held two or more rifle platoons, one mortar platoon, and the
The company headquarters, led by a
captain and a lieutenant, organized and directed the assigned
missions. The rifle platoons, each led by a lieutenant, in turn
comprised roughly forty-one enlisted men divided into two or more
rifle squads and one weapons squad.
These squads, the basic building block
of the combat unit, consisted of generally two fire teams of four
men each, all lower enlisted, with a sergeant in charge. Fire teams
were a basic combat formation that allowed soldiers to move without
exposing anyone in the company to friendly fire.
The vertical organizational structure
of the company mirrored the system of hierarchy and discipline of
the military overall and depended on the obedience to any and all
orders by the lower enlisted, thus allowing the command of the
officers to remain intact. When this sacred institution broke down,
as it did in the latter years of the war, the ability to carry out
orders and prosecute combat missions proved problematic.
Within the seven to ten member squads,
each member had a specific combat role that depended on the other.
These jobs included basic rifleman (the majority served in this
capacity); grenadier, in charge of the grenade launcher; radioman,
to call in coordinates or air support; machine gunner, the most
important role for defense; mortar man, generally a two-man team
that fired high angle shells; and point man, the dangerous job of
leading the squad or platoon in the front. The point man would
clear the thick forest and often would be the first to encounter
Each of these roles had specific
weapons or machinery that the troops had to master and remain
proficient on, involving technical and skilled labor, because their
lives and that of their team members depended on it.
In the rifle squad, the majority of
grunts carried M16 rifles, the basic infantry weapon, while some
carried M79 grenade launchers, a weapon that looked like a sawn-off
shotgun and bridged the gap between the short distance of a hand
grenade and the longer range of mortar fire.
The weapons squad included M16 rifles
as well, one 90mm recoilless rifle,
which was generally left at base camp, plus two M60 machine gunners,
which formed the backbone of defense and delivered grazing bands of
In addition, the mortar squads often functioned as rifle squads
instead, leaving the 81mm mortars at the
base camp due to their heavy weight.
When in use, the mortar required a
two-man team and delivered support fire of shells at a high angle of
fire with a range of 4,000 yards.
Each grunt held a particular role within the squad to protect and
defend their position from enemy attack—they worked as a team.
Night watch required organized unit
structure as well. Troops took turns staying awake as the other
soldiers slept, keeping their eye out for possible enemy activity.
“Sometimes you just can’t stay awake because you’re so damned
tired. At night, we had three guys on the gun squad, and each had
half-hour watches. So we’d sleep three hours,
then be on another hour and a half. But that’s every night,
seven days a week,” explained veteran Larry
Holguin, who served in the infantry from June 1969 to
[To be continued.]
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
inside the armed services.
Send requests to address up top.
The Coming End
Of The American Superpower
A venal and
self-important Washington establishment combined with a
globalized corporate mentality have
brought an end to America's rising living standards.
America's days as
a superpower are rapidly coming to an end. Isolated by the
nationalistic unilateralism of the neoconservatives who control
the Bush administration, the US can expect no sympathy or help
from former allies and rising new powers.
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor
of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of
The US economy is
headed toward crisis, and the political leadership of the
country--if it can be called leadership--is preoccupied with
nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
The US economy is failing. The
afflictions are serious. They could be fatal even if diagnosed and
treated. America is losing the
purchasing power of its currency and its ability to create middle
The dollar's sharp decline and
projections of continuing trade and budgetary red ink are
undermining the dollar's role as reserve currency. A number of
central banks have announced that they will be diversifying their
currency holdings and will not be buying dollars at the same rate as
in the past.
This will put more
pressure on the dollar. At some point the flight will begin.
Instead of buying fewer dollars, central banks will sell dollars
hoping to get out before the dollar hits bottom.
advantage of being the reserve currency becomes a nightmare as the
world's accumulations of dollars are brought to market. An enormous
supply and weak demand mean a very low exchange rate for the once
almighty US dollar.
cheap goods in Wal-Mart, which are the no-think economist's facile
justification for Wal-Mart's decimation of communities, small
businesses and employment, shoot up in price.
Interest rates will escalate as the
government struggles to finance its endless red ink.
Americans with adjustable rate mortgages will attempt to sell homes
just as rising mortgage rates reduce buyers. Real estate assets,
the rising value of which have been
keeping the economy going, will give back gains.
The US has lost
its ability to create middle class jobs or for that matter any
jobs. During the last four years the US has experienced a net
loss of 760,000 private sector jobs (January 2001 - January 2005).
Think what this means for graduating classes and people coming of
age to enter the work force.
No-think economists explain away the
difficulties as a "globalization adjustment" that will require
Americans to curtail their consumption of imported goods. These
economists are ignorant of American's dependence on imported
manufactured goods. Even American brand name goods are made abroad
in whole or in part. Tightening the belt will mean much more than
cutting out foreign made luxuries.
The dollars' decline will drive up the
price of all inputs except US labor which is being substituted out
of production functions and replaced with foreign labor.
reality, the Bush administration has proposed a Social Security
privatization that will cost $4.5 trillion in borrowing over the
next 10 years alone! America has no domestic savings to absorb this
debt, and foreigners will not lend such
enormous sums to a country with a collapsing currency--especially a
country mired in a Middle East war running up hundreds of billions
of dollars in war debt.
A venal and
self-important Washington establishment combined with a
globalized corporate mentality have
brought an end to America's rising living standards.
America's days as a
superpower are rapidly coming to an end. Isolated by the
nationalistic unilateralism of the neoconservatives who control the
Bush administration, the US can expect no sympathy or help from
former allies and rising new powers.
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.
March 07, 2005 By Gina
Cavallaro, Army Times staff writer
Iraq — Saturday is a big day at the Civil Military Operations Center
It is the day that the Judge Advocate
General staff of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division,
sets up shop downtown and hands out cold, hard U.S. dollars to
Iraqis who have legitimate claims against U.S. soldiers for property
damage, injury and loss of life during non-combat operations.
The first claimants
were five brothers, the proprietors of a well-known fruit orchard in
Buhriz, a violent
section in the southern part of the city. Insurgents repeatedly
targeted and sometimes overran the local police station, and
Buhriz was the only part of the city
that saw a protracted firefight during the Jan. 30 elections.
But the brothers’
claim went back to Nov. 21, when U.S. and Iraqi soldiers bulldozed a
part of their 1.5-acre orchard, next to the
besieged police station, in a move to deny the insurgents a hiding
place from which to launch rocket-propelled grenades.
The men took seats in plastic chairs
across a desk from Capt. Douglas W. Moore, the brigade JAG officer
in charge of the claims payout operation.
He informed them
that their claim was approved and that each brother would receive
$8,305 as compensation for losses
on one year’s crop. The
men argued that their original claim of $15,000 each should be paid
to compensate for next year’s crop, too.
“This is our claim
offer. If they don’t accept the money, they won’t get anything.
We can’t pay for future crops,”
Moore, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, told the Mahmood
Hussein brothers through a translator.
They would not be eligible to file
another claim next year, he added.
Eventually, the brothers shuffled out,
cash in hand.
[So, if somebody
poisons your crop lands in Iowa, or deliberately puts your eyes out,
by this obscene notion of justice, you would only get one years
damages for the loss of the crop land forever, or one year’s wages
for the loss of your eye sight forever. Bullshit. Meanwhile, Bush
buddies in Iraq are scooping up billions of dollars for helping Bush
occupy their country. Of course the Iraqis join the
resisstance and fight back. They are
right to do so.]
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
SWIFT BOAT VETS RIP
AARP'S VIETNAM WAR RECORD:
Over Social Security Gets Nastier In New
March 1, 2005 The
The scorched-earth battle over the
future of Social Security got a little nastier today with the
release of a new television ad in which the Swift Boat Veterans for
Truth attacked the Vietnam War record of the American Association of
Retired Persons (AARP).
The Swift Boat Veterans, dormant in
the months following the 2004 election, called their anti-AARP ad
"our finest work to date."
In the controversial commercial, a
swift boat veteran named Davis Debrew
claims to have served on the same swift boat as the AARP during the
"While the rest of us were in the
front of the boat shooting at the Vietcong, the AARP was in the back
of the boat talking about how to bankrupt Social Security," Mr.
But within hours of the commercial's
first airing, the AARP disputed Mr. Debrew's
claims, arguing that there was no way a retirees' organization
numbering 35 million members could ever have fit on a craft as small
and light as a swift boat.
The ad was released just as a new
study from the Brookings Institution found that the money spent on
anti-AARP ads, if invested in Social Security instead, could keep
the program solvent until the year 2200.
In response to the Brookings study,
swift boat veteran Debrew said, "I
served on the same boat as the Brookings Institution, and when it
came time to shoot at the Vietcong, they were no help at all."
SPOTTED IN D.C.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling 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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
Feb 27, 2005 Charles Post
On Friday, February
27, 2005, two FBI agents came to my home in Brooklyn. I was at work
and they began to question my partner about Solidarity, the
socialist organization I belong to, and its possible connection to a
young man who was arrested for allegedly vandalizing a military
recruitment center in the Bronx, NY.
The FBI agents indicated that they had
obtained our address from the Solidarity website, where I am listed
as the NY contact person. They
asked my partner numerous questions, including whether or not we
knew the young men who had been arrested, how long she (who is not a
member) and I have been members of Solidarity and whether Solidarity
had a "web forum."
This may or may not be the beginning
of FBI harassment of US citizens who are active in the movement
against the occupation of Iraq. It is certainly part of a pattern
of harassment and repression, mostly targeting people from the
Muslim and Arab communities and immigrants.
Whether it is the
beginning of more generalized harassment, we feel it is important
that socialists, radicals and anti-war and global justice activists
generally understand their rights when approached by the FBI.
Unless they have a
warrant or subpoena, you are under no obligation
to answer any questions nor permit agents in your home.
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do not
answer any questions from the FBI.
They may-- as they did when they
questioned my partner-- assure you that they are "not out to get
you." However, anything you tell them can be used against you or
other activists in the future.
Silence-- which is your right-- is
your best policy. If the FBI comes with a warrant or subpoena, we
strongly recommend you contact a lawyer immediately. We will be
consulting with civil rights/civil liberties attorneys in the near
future for more details.
281 Adelphi Street, Apt. 2
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Home: (718) 858-3458
Cell: (646) 206-9236
Nature Of The Christian Fundamentalist.
March 02, 2005
The apocalyptic nature of the Christian fundamentalist.
My comments on William Bowles writing
about an essay by Bill Moyers (There is
no tomorrow) - GI Special Feb 26. I agree with what he says but wish
to add my own ideas. --- JM.
I get the feeling that those who lead
America today don't care if they destroy the world environment and,
in doing so, bring about the end of life on the planet. This cannot
be the case because they also seek enormous wealth. If the
apocalypse is near the new wealth will be useless. I think they are
risking the destruction of the world for personal gain. They are,
for the same reason, presenting themselves as devout Christians. It
all helps their cause - personal wealth and power.
As for the
They put all their faith in the fact they will be saved because they
are the chosen ones. Jesus told his followers not to commit murder,
so why should people who advocate war and killing be saved? They
also read the Book of Revelations in a very lop-sided way. The new
Babylon, that is to be destroyed, is not Iraq. The ruins of the old
Babylon are there but the Bible gave images that people could
understated almost 2,000 years ago. The
new Babylon, in the prophesy, is a place
of many different peoples and languages. The kings and merchants of
the earth trade there and it seems to be
a cosmopolitan place very similar to America.
I believe the Biblical New Babylon and
New Jerusalem are both very different places to the old ones. Maybe
some Christians are following the false prophet who is also
mentioned in the Book of Revelations. They are told they can break
the commandments, that they can kill and
no longer need to love their enemies or turn the other cheek. They
no longer follow the teaching of Jesus because the false prophet
says what they want to hear.
Will they be saved
- or cast into the fiery pit? Jesus always supported the underdog
so I think they have chosen the wrong side. Any true Christian
should condemn torture or the destruction of Palestine and Iraq. I'm
certain that Jesus would have - even if it landed him in prison or
before a firing squad.
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