GI SPECIAL 3A75:
SEE ANYBODY OUT
THERE THROWING FLOWERS?
BRING THEM ALL HOME
Sergeant Screamed At Me For A Half Hour Straight”
From: Ward Reilly,
81mm Mortar Gunner, Weapons Platoon, Co C 1st Bn 16th Inf. First
Infantry Division 1971-1974, Veterans For Peace, New Orleans
To: GI Special
Sent: March 14, 2005
Conscientious Objector Sounds Off, needs help
To: Ward Reilly
I just notified my
command today that I am a conscientious objector. My platoon
sergeant screamed at me for a half hour straight calling me a coward
and an idiot.
The two E5's in the
orderly room refused to type up the 4187 personal action form until
I explained that they had to since it had already been cleared by
the chaplain etc.
Then they spent all
day going all over the squadron trying to find out HOW to do it, and
it never got done.
I'm in one of those
moron infested Cav units too, so I'm in for the long haul.
I've already filled out the required
questions from Appendix B of 600-43 and got the chaplain's
memorandum and my own memorandum for the commander, all I need is
the 4187 to get started. I don't
know how you can help me but I assure I need it.
F (PFC, tanker,
iraq veteran etc.)
PS If it will help
somebody else then by all means use it [in GI Special],
just please withhold my name on anything that is viewed
[NOTE FROM WARD
REILLY: ...if anybody wants to contact F, then route them through
firstname.lastname@example.org ] [F
has been made aware of GI Rights Hotline.]
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
US Soldier Killed,
Six Others Wounded By Car Bomb In Western Baghdad
March 15 (AFP) & By RAWYA RAGEH,
Associated Press Writer & By Todd Pitman, Associated Press
A car bomb in
western Baghdad on Tuesday killed a US soldier and wounded six
others, a US military spokesman told AFP.
"A Taskforce Baghdad soldier died
March 15th at around 10 am (0700 GMT) when a vehicle-borne
improvised explosive device detonated, while the soldier was on
patrol. Six other soldiers were wounded," the spokesman said.
The car bomb attack was one of two
near a gas station in Hai Amel in western Baghdad.
The car bomb targeted a U.S. military
convoy, exploding on a road about 500 yards from the main avenue
leading to Baghdad’s international airport, police Capt. Thamir
The first car bomb
wounded US soldiers who had been called to the scene to inspect a
suspicious blue BMW that had been parked close by, the gas station's
Witnesses said some
American troops also were wounded.
When U.S. forces
arrived to evacuate them, another car bomb exploded, wounding more
One Humvee was
destroyed and two civilian cars were in flames,
A U.S. military medical evacuation
helicopter lands at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad,
March 15, 2005. Police said that
two U.S. soldiers were also wounded in the attack and were
immediately evacuated from the site by a medical evacuation
helicopter. REUTERS/Ali Jasim
Marine Killed In
Mar 15, 2005 By RAWYA RAGEH,
Associated Press Writer
A U.S. Marine with
the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force died Monday in Anbar March 14,
a province that has been a hotbed of guerrilla
activity and includes the cities of Fallujah, Ramadi and Qaim,
Italy Soldier Dies
In IraqTraining Exercise
March 15, 2005 Union-Tribune
ROME – An Italian soldier in Iraq died
on Tuesday in an accident during a target-shooting training
exercise, military officials said.
They said the soldier, Salvatore
Marracino, was first taken to a field hospital and then flown to a
hospital in Kuwait City, where he died of injuries to the head.
Minister Marco Follini told parliament that Marracino died when his
rifle went off accidentally while he was trying to unblock it.
Iraqi General Shot
Dead By US Troops At Checkpoint West Of Ramadi
3/15/2005 AFP and Turkish Press
RAMADI, Iraq -
The deputy commander of the Iraqi
army in western Al-Anbar province was shot dead by US troops at a
checkpoint Tuesday night, a police officer said.
"The US forces opened fire at 8:00 pm
(1700 GMT) on Brigadier General Ismail Swayed al-Obeid, who had left
his base in Baghdadi to head home," police Captain Amin al-Hitti
"They spotted him
on the road after the curfew, which goes into
effect at 6 pm," the officer said in Baghdadi, 185 kilometres (142
miles) west of the capital. [Use
your imagination on this one.]
Rumsfeld Breaks Law
& Defies Congress:
Reimburse Military Families For Equipment They Were Forced To Buy
For Loved Ones
Mar 9 By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated
The Defense Department hasn't
developed a plan to reimburse soldiers for equipment they've bought
to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan despite requirements in a law
passed last year, a senator says.
"Very simply, this
is either negligence on their part, because they were not happy with
this when it passed, or it's incompetence,"
Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn. said. "It's pretty outrageous when you
have all their rhetoric about how much we care about our people in
Soldiers serving in
Iraq and their families have reported buying everything from
higher-quality protective gear to armor for their Humvees, medical
supplies and even global positioning devices.
In response to the complaints,
Congress last year passed Dodd's
amendment requiring the Pentagon to reimburse members of the Armed
Services for the cost of any safety or health equipment that they
bought or someone else bought on their behalf.
Under the law,
the Defense Department had until Feb. 25 to develop regulations on
the reimbursement, which is limited to $1,100 per item. [So,
Rumsfeld had a year to get this done. You can be sure he gets his
paycheck and benefits on time. But his attitude towards military
families is quite clear: fuck ‘em. Instead of sitting on his
scrawny ass in a plush Pentagon office, he belongs on trail for
his life before a court-martial. He stalled the orders for new
uparmored vehicles, got caught lying about it; refused for two
years to get the new tourniquets that could have saved troops from
bleeding to death; and did his bit to bring on this disgusting war
for oil and Empire. He’s up to his neck in blood. He’s betrayed
every troop wearing the uniform. He merits arrest, trial and
condign punishment. Bring that on.
"The Military," He
Said, "Is A Bunch Of Lies."
1mar2005 By KATHY DOBIE / Harper's
Magazine v.310, n.1858. Kathy Dobie is the author of The Only Girl
in the Car, which originated as a memoir in this magazine. She
lives in Brooklyn. [Excerpt]
AWOL and desertion are chronic
problems; all any Army can hope for is to keep them at manageable
levels, not to lose soldiers needlessly. The Army admits that
youth, lack of a high-school diploma, coming from "broken homes,"
and having early scrapes with the law make a soldier only
"relatively more likely" to go AWOL or to desert. In fact, the Army
is careful to note, "the vast majority of soldiers who fit this
profile are not going to desert."
Yet the Army used that very same
profile to try to identify potential deserters and give them extra
attention-and the desertion rate, mysteriously, rose.
It doesn't take a
huge leap of the imagination to suppose that high-school dropouts
and juvenile delinquents might have joined the military for a fresh
start, a chance to succeed at something, and when they were instead
tagged as potential failures and trouble-makers, they took off.
None of the Army
data comes close to capturing the hearts and minds of soldiers.
What is any given person looking for
when he or she joins the Army? Direction in life? A chance to
belong to something? Father figures? An adventure with buddies or
a test of manhood? Their parents' approval?
And when they
entered the military, what did they find? That they'd been given
false promises by the recruiter? That the people they turned to for
help threatened them or made idiotic speeches about Bible-carrying
Iraqis? No help for depression?
Or a lack of armor
and ammunition on the battlefield?
According to the Army's own study,
before soldiers went AWOL, more than half of them sought help within
the military-they spoke to their COs, to military chaplains,
military shrinks. Apparently, to little avail.
The Army has
examined the soldier, but not itself.
It is tantamount to trying to
understand the problem of teenage runaways without ever asking about
their home life.
Failure to adapt, issues with chain of
command – there's no sense that the military culture and
environment, the commanders, themselves, also play a part in driving
soldiers out and away.
The Georgia Marine
who thought he would be stationed in Kentucky made it all the way to
his MOS training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before he took
off. There, Jarred tried to get a foot injury treated and was told
to take Tylenol.
His pay was less
than the recruiter had promised him, and he even seemed to be
missing money from what he was paid. When he complained to his
CO, he was told to shut up and mind his own business. Then he
learned that his company was going to be deployed to Fallujah. "I
ain't goin' to war," he told his sister flatly.
His sister kept telling Jarred to go
talk to somebody. "Ain’t anybody to talk to," Jarred told her.
"Ain't nobody here interested."
When he went home
to Georgia on leave last March, he didn't return to his base. He
made his mother and sister take down from the walls all their Marine
paraphernalia, stripped the bumper stickers from their trucks, and
refused to watch any movies or TV shows that featured the military.
"The military," he
said, "is a bunch of lies."
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT 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
February 28, 2005 Advertising Age
"The U.S. Army is adjusting its
marketing pitch to minorities as the war in Iraq hurts recruiting
efforts among Hispanics and, especially, African-Americans," reports
professor Peter Feaver expressed skepticism, saying, "If the problem
is Iraq, there's not much in the short run that the Army recruiters
“If Soldiers Had
Invaded Us Then I Would Have Fought Back, Too” AWOL Iraq Vet Says
I'd been brutally
honest with these people that, yes, this war is wrong, but if
soldiers had come into our country and had invaded us and had come
into our homes, then I would have fought back, too.
They're trying to
keep this military intact, and if they let soldiers know that
people do leave and they do manage to get out and get on with
their lives, I think they’re afraid that there’s going to be
droves of soldiers leaving at that point.
March 15th, 2005 Amy Goodman,
[Thanks to Desmond,
who sent this in.]
We're also joined on the phone right now by an anonymous soldier,
AWOL, in the army for three years, June 2002 signed up, sent to Iraq
in March 2003. But let's let him tell his own story.
Welcome to Democracy Now!
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER: I’m glad to be
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about when
you enlisted and why? And what happened in Iraq?
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER: Well, I
enlisted my junior year of high school, summer of 2002, before
September 11th ever happened or the summer of 2001, before September
11th. I graduated May 2002, and in June I was gone to basic
training, 18 years old. I then went to my active duty unit at Fort
Hood in January of 2003 and then I was in Iraq by March 2003. I was
in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004. A military policeman, I did
typical work. I did checkpoints, we raided homes, gate security,
things like that.
AMY GOODMAN: Tell us what you saw in
Iraq, what you experienced.
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER:
Well, when I first went to Iraq, I actually believed what the
government was saying, that we were searching for weapons of mass
destruction, we were making the country safe for democracy and
things like that. But when we got there, I quickly found another
I very quickly
found that the Iraqis didn't want us there and that the image
they're reporting in the news at home was that everything is --
everything is going well. And I really think the
media tried to make a face on that at the beginning. But we got
there, the Iraqis, they'd throw stones at us, unless you gave them
money. If you gave them money or food, they liked you for a little
bit. But public opinion was not very good over there at all.
One thing that I saw that very much
bothered me was as a military policeman some of our jobs.
I was in Tikrit, Iraq. We would drive
around town and our sergeants, our officers, would get bored so
they'd tell us to go raid this whole block of homes, you know.
And so we'd go into
every home, and if we found anything as small as a knife or a pistol
in any home, which I think you could go in any home in America and
find a knife or a pistol, but if we found anything like that, we'd
arrest all the males in the house, ages eight to 80 and leave all
the females behind crying their eyes out, and that was never very
fun to watch.
Then what we’d go do is throw these
men who maybe didn't do anything in the same jails as the ones that
we knew had set off I.E.D.s and had set off -- and had tried to kill
So, you're just throwing them all in
with each other, and eventually it is going to change their minds.
You know, you are going to make
the distant relatives bitter, and you are going to -- you are
starting a whole new war with people who really don't deserve it.
AMY GOODMAN: So, when did you come
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER: March 2004.
Once I came back, I realized very
quickly that my whole opinion had changed about the idea of war and
why the United States gets involved in it. So, I applied for
conscientious objector at that point. I didn't know that civilian
attorneys are supposed to help out with that. They can. But the
military didn't give me any idea of what is supposed to be in this
conscientious objector application. They didn't tell me there was
an appendix for it, they didn’t tell me what the rules or standards
So, that night I went home, and I
typed up 10 pages of just complaints and rants and, you know, what I
felt was wrong with the military and with our government, period.
And I turned it in the very next day, and a week later I was in a
chaplain's office getting yelled at, and then a military
psychiatrist’s office pretty much getting harassed.
Getting yelled at by the chaplain?
SOLDIER: Oh, I've been yelled at by chaplains many times,
including basic training.
Chaplains are not
what they pretend to be, men of God in the army. They’re army all
the way through. They are soldiers. They would bleed green
before they would ever consider God, at least in -- at least in my
But I didn't know the process at all.
And so my application got denied very quickly. And at that point, I
had realized what the truth was. I had realized that if I really
want to do this the right way, I need to speak with civilian
attorneys. So I got in touch with the Veterans for Peace, and I
also got in contact with the G.I. Rights Hotline, and they got me in
touch with a civilian attorney who helped me to write a rebuttal to
the original application. And all this took nine months to have
happen. And then when I turned in my rebuttal, I found out that my
unit would be leaving for Iraq again in January of 2005.
So, I had never wanted to consider
It was always the
last thing I wanted to do. I'd been brutally honest with these
people that, yes, this war is wrong, but if soldiers had come into
our country and had invaded us and had come into our homes, then I
would have fought back, too.
So, I was more
seeing how the war felt from a lot of the Iraqis' point of view.
So, they said that doesn't count as
being a conscientious objector, that I'm not against the idea of
war, that I would have fought in another war, and they just started
lying, and that was part of what – when they had said no and turned
in the paperwork for that, there was a lot of lies in it.
And we proved that when I did the
But army law says
that while you are waiting for an application to be reviewed, and in
this case it was my rebuttal being reviewed, it could take up to six
months. So, that would have been June of this year. And my unit
went back to Iraq in January. So when I went on leave at the end of
December, I did the thing I never wanted to do, and I went AWOL.
AMY GOODMAN: Which is what you're
doing right now.
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER: Yes. I've been
AWOL since January.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think the military
knows where you are?
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER: Well, they
contacted my home of record, which is in Colorado and my family,
they don't know where I am. So, we're staying with some friends of
mine, and initially we stayed in a hotel under another name, and
then we've moved twice in the two months. So, we're just living
here and there, just trying to give the slip. I am married. So, it
is a little more difficult than if I was by myself. But my wife is
working a job right now to try to support us right now.
I've been told not to get a job, not
to apply for anything that requires a background check, not to even
drive my motor vehicle. So, because I could be pulled over at any
moment and arrested.
And the other soldier is right. You
are supposed to be dropped off the rolls, that means you stop
getting paid, and then they're supposed to put your name on the
deserter list, which is -- there is a deserter hotline that I call
twice a week to find out if my name is on the deserter rolls, and
then as soon as my name is on that, I will be turning myself in at
Fort Sill, which is what I've been advised.
But the problem is, however, in my
case, for some reason I was dropped from the payroll, but my name
hasn't been put on the deserter list yet. It has been almost two
months, and my name is supposed to be on there after one month. So
I'm kind of playing the waiting game right now.
I just want to get
this all over with. I want to be able to turn myself in. I know at
Fort Sill, I suppose in lieu of a court-martial, you ask for another
dishonorable discharge, and that looks pretty attractive to me
because the war in Iraq is wrong, and I want to be able to move on
with my life.
AMY GOODMAN: And on this second
anniversary of the invasion to the anonymous soldier on the phone,
what will you be doing?
ANONYMOUS AWOL SOLDIER:
I have spoken out twice before, once
in Austin -- I went to a protest down there at the Capitol building
-- and once in College Station.
So, right now I'm in a situation where
I can't really do much. I'm kind of isolated from the world.
But as soon as this is all done, I
plan on turning myself in as soon as I get a chance to. And all
these veteran groups I'm working with, I plan on protesting very
Kathy Dobie has the
cover story of Harper's magazine called "AWOL in America."
We don't, Kathy Dobie, hear very much
about this number. It may have surprised a lot of people listening
and watching right now, 5,500, what, near 6,000 [AWOL].
The Pentagon doesn't talk about it
very much. Why not? And we don't see a lot of people being rounded
Well, the military doesn't have the manpower to go after
deserters. But I also think they do not want other soldiers to know
that this number of people leave and that also when they leave that
they -- it is often possible after going AWOL, once you drop from
the rolls, to get out, to be processed out with an other than an
They are trying the best they can.
It’s -- recruiting is down, that's why they put in stop-loss orders.
They're trying to
keep this military intact, and if they let soldiers know that people
do leave and they do manage to get out and get on with their lives,
I think they’re afraid that there’s going to be droves of soldiers
leaving at that point.
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.
Marine Faces Long
Wounded On His
Fourth Wedding Anniversary
LeJeune’s third tour of duty in Iraq. This time, he had been
there only three weeks before being injured.
March 15, 2005 By Susan Morse,
SEABROOK - As Marine Staff Sgt. Ian C.
LeJeune, 26, recovers in a Texas hospital from wounds received in
Iraq, Seabrook Elementary School students spent last week creating
get-well cards for him.
The Seabrook Legion Ladies Auxiliary
asked the students to create cheerful cards to be included in a care
package organized by the auxiliary to send to LeJeune, according to
auxiliary organizer Peg Brown.
LeJeune, the son of Richard and
Bernice LeJeune of Seabrook, was seriously wounded last month when a
rocket hit his barracks.
Four were injured, with LeJeune the
most seriously hurt, according to his sister-in-law Tarnya Cody,
secretary to Seabrook Police Chief David Currier.
two broken legs, a broken left ankle and the loss of the Achilles
tendon in his right foot, as well as second- and third-degree burns.
returned from seeing LeJeune and her sister Vanessa.
Cody said, "He’s
got a long road. He had surgery for skin grafting, he’s sitting up
in a chair."
It will be at least
six months before LeJeune will be walking on both legs again, said
Cody. He’ll be able to put pressure on his left leg within six
weeks, she said.
This was LeJeune’s
third tour of duty in Iraq. This time, he had been there only three
weeks before being injured.
Cody returned to Seabrook with the
couple’s two youngest children, ages 1 and 3. She and her husband,
Seabrook Police Officer Edward Cody, have two teenagers.
He and Vanessa, 28,
were married on Feb. 23, 2001. He was injured on their fourth
Johannesburg Soldier Injured
March 15, 2005 By Sheri McWhirter,
Record-Eagle staff writer
JOHANNESBURG - A second soldier from
this small Otsego County town is recovering from wounds suffered in
Army Pfc. Josh Dipzinski, 19, of
Johannesburg, was injured last month while serving as a gunner on a
Humvee escort team in Iraq. A rocket-propelled grenade detonated
nearby and hurt the five soldiers in the vehicle.
Dipzinski received injuries to both
arms, his right leg and around his face and neck, said his uncle,
David Dipzinski of Gaylord.
"He's doing fine,
but he's not going to tell us everything until he's home," he said.
The initial soldier from Johannesburg
injured in the war in Iraq was Army Pfc. Derrick Harden, also 19.
He was injured in January while part of a building security team in
Ramadi, a city west of Baghdad. A car explosion injured him and
other members of his unit.
Harden, a 2003
graduate of Gaylord High School, underwent repeated surgeries to
remove shrapnel from his face and his right leg was amputated below
the knee. His pastor at Johannesburg Christian Church, the Rev. Don
Cleveland, said Harden may be home by the end of the month from his
stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
collected more than $10,000 in donations to cover travel expenses
for Harden's family, so they could afford to stay near him in
Washington. [Of course. If it were up to the Pentagon, his family
could stay home. No money? Tough shit. He’s of no use anymore.]
March 15, 2005 Nikki Young, The Times
A 19-year-old injured Marine has
returned home to Oakwood after fighting pneumonia for a week at a
Lance Cpl. Matthew Turner was admitted
March 6 to Northeast Georgia Medical Center's Lanier Park campus for
treatment of pneumonia, said Alton Edge, Turner's stepgrandfather.
Edge said Turner, who is feeling much
better, was released Sunday.
Turner must be able
to see better, Edge said, because he has been watching a lot of
television while he recuperates.
Turner, the son of Ronnie and Crystal
Edge of Oakwood, was wounded Jan. 30 when terrorists opened fire on
a building near Fallujah, Iraq.
The explosion from
a rocket-propelled grenade and fumes from a resulting fire severely
burned Turner internally and also injured two
other Marines. Turner now has
vision trouble and difficulty breathing.
The 2003 West Hall High School
graduate was treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
He came home March 1, but will return to Houston at the end of the
month so doctors can monitor his progress.
The American Legion
and Auxiliary set up a fund to help the family with expenses.
Checks can be sent to: Matthew Turner
Fund, American Legion and Auxiliary, P.O. Box 552, Gainesville, GA
Injured Marine Gets
Mar. 14, 2005 11:35 PM by News Channel
8's Bob Wilson (Hartford-WTNH)
A Connecticut Marine who fought for
his country in Iraq is about to get a warm welcome.
Sergeant Jared Luce suffered major
injuries in the war.
Fellow Marines are hoping to help
Luce's transition home a smooth one.
Sgt. Jared Luce arrived at Bradley
International this evening, and taken to his home in Coventry where
he is recovering form his wounds.
"He's got three little boys, 6, 5, and
Sgt. Jared Luce
reported for duty on January fifth in New Haven. He packed his
gear, kissed his wife and kids goodbye and went to serve his country
in Iraq. One month later he lost his legs to a road side bomb.
His fellow Marines
immediately rallied to help. They spent a week at his house in
Connecticut building a new ramp for his wheelchair.
Oppose Prescription Benefit For Vets;
Hogs Fear It Will
Cut Their Profits
March 15, 2005 By Rick Maze, Army
Times staff writer
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., thinks
veterans would be willing to pay for the opportunity to have
prescriptions filled at Department of Veterans Affairs medical
Specter, former chairman of the Senate
Veterans’ Affairs Committee proposes to allow Medicare-eligible
veterans who are not otherwise eligible for VA health care and
services to have prescriptions filled at VA pharmacies for a fee,
the size of which is not yet determined.
Specter made a
similar proposal two years ago, and it ended up being adopted in
June 2004 by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on a 10-5 vote.
The bill, however, never advanced to the Senate floor, in part
because of opposition from drug manufacturers who could lose money
under the plan. [Lie. Not lose money. Just slightly decrease the
obscene amount of profits they grab now.]
Italy To Start
Pulling Troops From Iraq In Sept
Mar 15, 2005 ROME (Reuters)
Italy will start to
withdraw its troops from Iraq this September, Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday.
"We will begin to
reduce our contingent even before the end of the year, starting in
September, in agreement with our allies," he said
in an interview on state television RAI.
Iraqis look over a burning truck in
Youssifiyah March 15, 2005.
Witnesses reported that the truck was struck by a rocket-propelled
grenade while traveling with a U.S. military convoy, and
that two casualties were evacuated. (AP Photo/Haidar Fatehi)
March 15 (Xinhuanet)
a convoy of trucks carrying supplies to a US military base near the
town of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, a
source from the police of Dujail told Xinhua. Three trucks were hit
and their drivers were wounded, the police said, adding they were
evacuated to a nearby hospital.
3.15.05 By RAWYA RAGEH, Associated
Press Writer & Energy Security & (Xinhuanet) & Aljazzera
In northern Iraq,
insurgents blew up an oil pipeline
in Fatha connecting the Kirkuk
fields with a refinery in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad,
an official in the Northern Oil Co. said.
The pipeline is used only for domestic
deliveries, the official said on condition of anonymity. He did not
have details on the extent of the damage.
"A bomb was planted
under an oil pipeline causing huge fire, on the
east side of Tigris river in Fatha area near Baiji," an official in
Baiji refinery told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Black and thick smoke could be seen
over the area, about 200 km north of the capital, as security forces
and teams of firefighters raced to the scene to put out the fire, he
Allah, part of a 3000 strong oil protection force, said firemen
hoped to control the blaze by Wednesday and put it out in three
To The “Jodhpurs And Pith Helmets” Crowd?
March 14, 2005 by Patrick J. Buchanan,
The American Conservative
Did I miss
something? Where did all the “not since Rome” bombast, talk of
America’s “benevolent global hegemony,” “Pax Americana,” and the New
World Order disappear to? Whatever happened to the “jodhpurs and
pith helmets” crowd?
Just a year ago, in the Irving Kristol
Lecture at the annual AEI dinner, columnist Charles Krauthammer
rhapsodized about America’s “global dominion” and our having
“acquired the largest seeming empire in the history of the world.”
We have “overwhelming global power,”
said Krauthammer. We are history’s “designated custodians of the
international system.” When the Soviet Union fell, “something new
was born, something utterly new—a unipolar world dominated by a
single superpower unchecked by any rival and with decisive reach in
every corner of the globe. This is a staggering new development in
history, not seen since the fall of Rome. ... Even Rome is no model
for what America is today.”
Our NATO allies, Tony Blair included,
are lifting their embargo on weapons sales to China over the
protests of President Bush. Old Europe remains adamant in its
refusal to send troops to Iraq, as the Ukrainians and Poles,
following the Spanish, quietly depart the beleaguered nation.
Germany, France, and Britain are
negotiating a deal by which Iran, if she will submit to regular IAEA
inspections, will be permitted to enrich uranium for nuclear power,
be granted security guarantees, and be brought into the WTO. America
opposes the three allies’ concessions, but there is no NATO support
for U.S. military action.
exercise that option, America will be alone in fighting insurgents
from the eastern border of Syria to the western border of Pakistan.
U.S. generals are advising the president that his legions are
already stretched thin.
“Unchecked by any
rival,” is how Krauthammer described the new Rome.
Yet as one
watches the Old Republic spend herself into bankruptcy, run up
trade deficits that debauch her currency, decline to defend her
own bleeding borders, permit rivals to loot her technology and
cart off her manufacturing plants, America does in a way resemble
Rome. But it is, unfortunately, the Rome of the late fourth
The Kipling of the late Victorian era
was speaking of folks like us when he wrote in his poem
“Recessional”: “For frantic boast and foolish word/Thy Mercy on Thy
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.
AND IF TOMORROW
HE’S OUT THERE PLANTING AN IED, COULD YOU BLAME HIM?
CHECK THE LOOKS.
TIME TO GET THE
FUCK OUT AND COME HOME.
IT’S THEIR COUNTRY.
A man looks at his wife and baby as he
is searched by U.S. Army soldiers at a traffic checkpoint in
Baghdad, March 15, 2005. REUTERS/Bob Strong
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
3.9.05 Eman Ahmed Khammas, BRussells
Seeing Falluja, I realize why the
American called the operation woe and shock.
It is not only the American earthquake
ridden city, the completely destroyed houses, schools, hospitals,
market places, shops, streets, vehicles, not only the burnt out
walls, the hills of garbage, not the only the broken life, it is
more the feelings read on the Fallujan's faces. I could not find
any other description more expressive than woe and shock. It is the
silence that hides anger, bewilderment, fatigue, helpless, suspicion
of any thing and any body. It is the sadness.
"Are you from the committee?" An old
man who was collecting some ruined materials from the rubbles, asked
me when he saw my camera.
"What committee?" I asked. He
exchanged glances with his young son.
"If you have something of benefit for
us, say, if not, please go sister, and put your camera in your
"Look behind me!"
Behind him there were four soldiers’
nests, as an American friend called them, hiding on the houses'
"If you want to move around, just say
that you are from the committee" he adviced.
He was referring to a compensation
committee which was visiting Falloja, estimating the damage and the
I did not say that.
I told the pharmacist, who was
repairing the public clinic in Golan area, that I was looking for
families, especially children and women, who are badly in need of
help, trying to help them in whatever way I can. He asked one of
the construction workers to help us around.
Dr. Najm, the director of Jolan health
center, said that the center receives at least 1000 patient a day,
because the nearest health center, in Hay Al-Jomhuria, is ruined in
bombing. In his center, which works 24 hours a day, only 4-5 male
doctors can attend work now, female doctors find it too difficult to
come from Baghdad.
They have shortage in every thing,
even stethoscopes and manometers. He gave my colleague, Dr. Intisar
, a long list of the medicines they lack. It includes all the
essential medicines, such as antibiotics and painkillers. They just
got electricity generators a week ago, 3 months after the October
attack on Falloja.
What about the children vaccines? Dr.
No vaccines, was Dr. Najm's answer.
Dr Thamir , the director of the
Falloja area hospitals, complains that the Ministry of Health has no
good understanding of problems he faces in his area. Lacking of
medicines, supplies, medicines for chronic diseases, electricity…is
not his only problem.
To come to the hospital daily is.
"Some times I have
to wait at the check points queue for hours. This is our main
problem. A road that normally takes 10 minutes, takes now 1.5 hours
or more. We do not care any more about searching and humiliating
us, but we need to pass through easily. Ambulances are attacked.
Last time we had medicines, they were not allowed in, so we had to
divide them into smaller packages and deliver them little by
little. Now the way to Ramadi (the province capital) is cut.
Ramadi is under siege for days."
Dr. Najm's family was not allowed to
"But to go to the Falluja main
hospital is even more difficult"
"We need to go there; do you think
this is not possible now?" I asked
"You can try" He called Dr. Ayad, the
director of the Falluja main hospital, who promised to wait for us,
no matter how long it would take.
When we went to the main hospital, we
had a better understanding of this situation. It is located across
the Old Bridge, outside the city.
The American troops use the river as a
natural barrier to enter Falloja. The bridge is closed. Patients
have to go through three check points to reach the bridge. They have
to go on foot. We had to leave the car in the destroyed market
place (Sooq Al-Shohada'), far away from the first Iraqi check point,
and walk. The Iraqi soldiers did not think that we can pass through
because we were females, but they allowed us to try at the American
"No madam, female patients have to go
through the other bridge" confirmed the American soldier at the next
check point, who had Asian features, pointing to the other bridge
far away behind him. The other bridge is more than 2 kilometers
away. We had to walk there, cross the New Bridge and come to the
hospital all the way again on the other side of the river, and of
course we had to make the same trip again back.
"But why females?" I asked.
"Do not know, madam"
"But we are not patients" said Dr.
Intisar, "we want to meet Dr. Ayad for half an hour, that is all, he
is waiting for us". The soldier called his officer, who came to see
us. We explained the problem again, he allowed us to go through, if
it is no more than 30 minutes.
We had to run on
the bridge. "Why do not they allow women patients to come through
this bridge? What if a woman has labor or bleeding'' was my first
question to Dr. Ayad.
"They do not have
woman soldier to search women, that is all. This is a big problem
for all patients, not only women. The Handicapped, the old, the
emergencies, imagine how these people walk all the way to the
hospital, especially in the middle of the night.
Women normally have
labor at night, which makes it even more difficult and dangerous".
There are no priorities, explained Dr. Ayad, not for ambulances, not
for emergencies, not for doctors…
"But why do not
they simply put the check point behind the hospital, so that
patients do not have to go through all these difficulties?" I asked
"We have been
negotiating this for months with the American officers, some of whom
are women. They understood and agreed to open the bridge, but did
not open it yet"
Dr. Ayad was very grateful that we
tried to meet him and ask about his needs. Again he gave Dr. Intisar
a long list of medicines and supplies.
"Do you thing you can provide wheel
chairs, especially for children?"
"How many?" I asked
"Oh, as many as you can get?"
"Hundred if you can"
I explained to him that there are
international humanitarian organizations that are willing to help
children injured in the bombing. He promised to give me these
children’s medical records.
We had to run again back, Dr Ayad was
searched on his way out. "Do not they know you?"
"Of course they do, but these are the
normal procedures. We are used to it".
The Angry Sheikh
Some men in the market place were very
happy that we could enter the hospital." Do you want to see the
graveyard? There are at least 2500 new graves" One of them
volunteered enthusiastically to take us there.
"Not really, we are here trying to
help the injured".
"Do you want to go to Fawzi's house?"
another one said
"What about him?" I asked
"His three daughters, who are students
in the medical college, are killed under the rubbles".
We had to leave Falloja before 4 pm,
other wise we could not go back to Baghdad.
"You can stay with my family" he
"Thank you, may be next time" I said
sincerely, "can you take us to Gebeil, and to some one who can help
us around." I explained to him that we were looking for injured
He took us to a sheikh, who was
hesitant to help.
"Many people come
here and they ask for medical records of people in need of help, we
do our best to provide all the medical papers, then they go and we
never hear about them again, and I remain embarrassed, do not know
what to tell these families" the sheikh explained.
I understood his
situation perfectly. I did not insist. He was very angry about
many things: the promises of compensations that never come, the
absence of services, the tricks played by some political parties
during the elections, the burning of libraries, his helplessness
before families who come to him asking for help.
He took us to see two neighboring
families. The first was of a widow and two girls. The widow,
Wichriya Alwan, 50, lost her husband, 51, and son, 18, in the
bombing. They were buried alive under the rubbles. Her house was
totally destroyed. Her daughter Sheima', 12, is mentally retarded
and paralyzed. The family lives on relatives donations.
"What are you going to do now?"
"Waiting for God's mercy, and the
compensations" she replied.
The second family was of Khalaf Abid
Khalaf , the ambulance driver who was killed during the fighting,
when he was trying to help the injured. He left behind a widow and
six children, the oldest of them is 12.
"Yes, go to Gebeil, and then you
understand what I am talking about" the sheikh suggested angrily.
On the way to Gebeil, I stopped the
driver in front of a school. There were two girl schools in the
same building according to the sign, Falloja and Sokeina. Part of
the roof was flattened to the ground, a 10 meter wide hole was
opened in the yard, windows and doors were broken.
I had some pictures
and was leaving when a voice of a woman called me." Come in please,
have some photos for the classrooms, see how the girls are studying"
"Are you saying
that there are students here?"
"Of course" said
Ikhlass, the assistant director, who saw me from the window and came
to meet me. I did not imagine that there were people in.
classrooms were freezing. Big holes and broken windows were
entering very cold wind. The director's office, the bathrooms, the
yard, were all destroyed.
"Is not it
dangerous for girls to be here?"
“Of course it is,
what else we can do?" said Ikhlass. She suggested
that I visit the neighboring boy's high school, Al-Jahidh.
There was no one in
that school except the guard and his family. The school was more
badly damaged. There was a huge opening in the biology laboratory
with the iron and cement ceiling falling to the ground. The class
rooms, the administration and teachers' rooms were burned.
"What are you
guarding here?" I asked sarcastically.
"Where else would I
go, this is my home" was the guard's answer. It was so bitter, I
could hear all the Iraqis saying the same sentence.
Gebeil Was the
"Are you sure you want to go to
Gebeil?" The driver asked
"Yes, why not?" I was very childishly
"Nothing, lets go, only you have to
hide your camera" he answered
It seems that the American
"earthquake" hit Gebeil most badly. The majority of the houses were
100% damaged. Lakes of stagnant water, hills of garbage, dusty
roads were all around. Few families were still there.
Queues of women
were waiting near 3 big water tanks, trying to get some water for
the families. Dr. Thamir had already explained to us that the water
was not good for drinking. He tested six samples, 2 of them had
bacteria, the other 4 had under minimum chlorine.
"I need to have some photos!" I told
"Not now!" was his abrupt reply. He
moved the car few meters back ward "now, and make it very quick"
He did not stop the car. I had two
shots for a school and a mosque, and he drove quickly.
There were 4 or 5
American snipers around, as he explained later. Many American
vehicles were driving along one of the roads. The driver decided to
take a side road.
"You do not have to
do that" I objected. "We are not doing anything wrong". He did not
reply, just smiled.
In the side road, a red old Toyota
stopped us. Four men came out of the car and approached. Who are
you? What are you doing here? Why this sister was taking
pictures...etc. were their questions. We introduced our selves, and
explained what we were doing there. They were still suspicious. We
were more suspicious.
"It is getting too late, you come with
us now, and stay with our families, or you come tomorrow, we can
give any help you need".
We thanked them and promised to return
in few days. On the way back to Baghdad, three Iraqi National
Guards check points stopped us. They were surprised that we were
going on the high way that late. They searched the car, checked the
papers, made some jokes, gave suspicious hints and let us go.
Pentagon Data On
Iraq Forces “Unreliable”'
The GAO report
also said that members of the Interior Ministry's security forces
"committed numerous, serious human rights abuses" including the
killing of 10 members of the Baath Party and the killing of a
mother and daughter accused of prostitution.
March 15, 2005 (AEDT) & Manorama
Online & Radio Free Europe
A US government
watchdog agency says Pentagon data on Iraqi security forces was
"unreliable," with poor discipline, questionable loyalties and a
rate of absenteeism possibly reaching into tens of thousands.
The report also
showed there was an escalating insurgency.
The Pentagon had told Congress on
Monday that there are 142,472 trained and equipped Iraqi security
"Data on the status
of Iraqi security forces is unreliable and provides limited
information on their capabilities," Joseph Christoff, of the
Government Accountability Office (GAO), told a House of
Representatives Government Reform sub-committee.
Mr Christoff also
said Pentagon intelligence data showed an escalating insurgency,
as "each monthly peak in the number of violent incidents is
followed by a higher average number of attacks in subsequent
Rear Admiral William Sullivan, who
provided the Pentagon figures to the committee, acknowledged they
included some Iraqi police who may have left their post or were
absent without leave.
"This is like
fantasy land. This is as fictive as the weapons of mass
destruction," Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat Congressman, told
Rear Admiral Sullivan of the Pentagon's figures.
for you that you would come to a congressional committee with this
kind of a phony report."
Rear Admiral Sullivan said the latest
numbers were verified by General David Petraeus, who is in charge of
developing Iraqi forces, and General George Casey, commander of US
forces in Iraq, although he said
they admit there are gaps in knowing how many are on duty on a given
day. [Oh. Is that all..]
The GAO report also
said that members of the Interior Ministry's security forces
"committed numerous, serious human rights abuses" including the
killing of 10 members of the Baath Party and the killing of a mother
and daughter accused of prostitution.
Citing unnamed US defense officials,
congressional investigators said Iraqi soldiers absent from their
units without leave number "probably in the tens of thousands."
As for the national
police, the Iraqi Interior Ministry simply does not know how many
police officers it has at any given moment because local police
stations don't provide accurate reporting, the report stated.
The GAO report also
said that the State Department stopped providing government auditors
with information about the number of Iraqi troops who have been
issued flak jackets, weapons, and communications equipment six
GAO Director of International Affairs
and Trade Joseph A. Christoff told the House Government Reform
subcommittee on international relations on 14 March that
unreliable data coming from Baghdad
makes it difficult to accurately account for the billions of dollars
being spent on the training of Iraqi security forces.
George W. Bush surrenders to troops of the 82nd Airborne
in Washington DC, March 19, 2006. Following interrogation at the
US Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, guarded by U.S. Marine
veterans of the Iraq War, Bush will be charged with premeditated
murder in the deaths of over 3,500 U.S. troops and 150,000 Iraqi
citizens, and with high treason for engaging the armed forces in
acts of war under false pretenses. The jury in the Bush case will
be composed of the nearest relatives of troops killed in Iraq, and
disabled veterans who participated in Operation Iraqi Fuckup. It
has not yet been decided whether detained general officers who tried
to stop the 82nd troops from making the arrest will be
court-martialed. After troops from the 3rd ID took the
Pentagon, former SecDef Rumsfeld was found hiding in a spider hole
on the grounds and also placed under arrest. (Mannie
Why Do We Let Them?
March 15, 2005 James Patton, Anti
After 10 thousand
years of human history of deceit and war-profiteering, how do they
continue to get away with this stuff? And why do we let them?
A quick search on
google "9 billion Pentagon Halliburton" turns up the following...
Citizen Works -
Cheney, and wartime spoils
became CEO and Halliburton
jumped from 73rd to 18th on the
Halliburton subsidiaries in offshore tax havens increased
from 9 to 44.
- 15k -
Army agrees to
pay Halliburton $2
billion for imaginary
9 Feb 2005 06:47:05
-0600. _NEWS IMAGE_. KBR eats. By
unsubstantiated bills, Pentagon
- 15k -
Raytheon and Bechtel get a $5
and Bechtel get a $5 billion
(By the way, there was no mention of
9/11 among the
- 5k -
| Halliburton operates
in Iran despite sanctions
The World According to
Billion a day for health
care for a couple of years you could
- 17k -
Halliburton Wins in Iraq
- Collective Bellaciao
to Halliburton for its
work in Iraq after a Pentagon
inspector general, ...
Explain to me how you lose
billion dollars? Monday
7th March-18:04 ...
- 62k -
Reports: Another Bush Ripoff: The Hazards of
it overcharged the Pentagon
$6.3 million for an Army ...
In January 2004, President Bush
proposed to spend billion
of dollars on a ...
- 26k -
Corporate Policy: Mission
Wins New Iraq Contract Amid US Probe," WSJ, 1/1/9/2004)
(Neil King, "Pentagon
Auditor requests Probe of
Halliburton," WSJ, 1/15/2004)
- 30k -
Billion In Iraq Contracts
Halliburton Co. has
been awarded over $10 billion
in contracts for ...
of Halliburton's work
in Iraq. ...
http://www.atsnn.com/story/104100.html - 29k -
Political Morons In
[Thanks to Phil G.
who sent this in. He writes: It's apparently OK for community
college students to sign up for the military and die in Iraq, but
not to study in Spain. The narrow-minded, reactionary insularity of
the US ruling class in all its splendor.]
Mar 6 AP
Calif. - Two community colleges have ended their study-abroad
program in Spain, citing the country's troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Trustees of the South Orange County
Community College District, comprising Irvine Valley College and
Saddleback College, voted 5-2 last week to cancel the 14-year-old
abandoned our fighting men and women, withdrawing their support,"
said trustee Tom Fuentes, a former head of the Republican Party in
Orange County. "I see no reason to send students of our colleges to
Spain at this moment in history."
Spain pulled its 1,300 troops last
Fuentes said the
bombing also raised concerns about student safety, although students
were allowed to visit Spain three months after the bombings.
"Bringing this up
now is strange," said trustee Marcia Milchiker, who voted to keep
the program. "I'm still in shock," said Professor Carmenmara
Hernandez-Bravo, who runs the study abroad program. "I cannot
believe a community college can put this much politics into
Advocate Found With Illegal Gun
3/7/2005 The Free Lance-Star
REGISTER in Springfield, Ill., reports that the head of the local
chapter of the Million Mom March, an anti-gun-violence group, has
been arrested for having an illegal firearm.
Annette "Flirty" Stevens got involved
in the gun-control movement after her son was killed in 2002. Last
week, police executing a search warrant at her home found a gun with
an allegedly scratched-off serial number, which is against the law.
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