www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.27.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B12:

 

 

Update On Spc. Barron

 

 

ArchAngel Update

04-25-05

 

From: ArchAngel1BL@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 8:58 PM

Subject: ArchAngel Update 04-25-05

 

It's been a little over a month since the last ArchAngel report, and we would like to apologize for that.  I, ArchAngel1BL, had to move my family to a new location, and everybody knows that moving is a pain, especially having to do it with two small children that had to travel back and forth with us.  But, we got it done and I am fully settled in and ready to go.

 

ArchAngel would like to report an update on Spc. Barron, a soldier who was forced into Iraq despite being found medically unfit for service.  He is currently attached to B Co. 2/142 infantry, 56 BCT 36th ID and stationed at the Tallil Air Base in Iraq.

 

According to his wife, mail has gotten entirely slow.  It takes almost 2 weeks for him to get mail and mail that her husband sends to takes over a month to get to her.

 

After a long wait, she finally received a medical document stating that the doctor is requesting permission from medical records in Austin to give him a Permanent 3 Profile because of the severe damage to both knees.

 

What I don't understand, is why does a military doctor need permission to give a Soldier a medical profile?  Has the command intimidated this doctor? 

 

It most certainly raises question.

 

From what his wife says, they are still waiting for the go ahead permission to write that profile.  She herself has contacted Austin about this, they say they have no record of the recommendation, but even if they did, they would not issue a P-3 to him until he returns stateside.

 

Does this raise any questions in anyone else’s mind?  It does for me.  Why not redeploy him back stateside now?  Why wait until his condition worsens?

 

As for Barron right now, he is still taking medication, and what is shocking now, he is having to wear a knee brace on his right knee and awaiting a brace for his left as well.  Which means he will be walking with two knee braces.

 

What does that tell you America?  This is all that the doctors can do for his pain and suffering.

 

Wrong, there is something else they can do, and that is the right thing and tell his command that he needs to be redeployed back home.

 

To top things off, he is being forced still to do clerk work in which he was not trained to do, but then again, if you remember, because of his medical condition, he wasn't even able to perform in the training exercises that his company had gone through while state side.

 

What do you think America??

 

Now Mrs. Barron is still waiting on other medical documents that will give more information stating that he should not have even been sent to Iraq.  She still remains in contact with her State Senator and others who are making noise about her husband. 

 

What would be great is if a TV news company would contact her.  She has a great bit of information that she will be willing to show including her husband's medical records that show he should not have been deployed.

 

If our readers would like to make some noise, write your State Senator and ask why are Soldiers who are medically unfit for service being forced into War.

 

WAR CANNOT BE WON WITH BROKEN SOLDIERS

 

 

Another Soldier stationed at Fort Polk, La. is requesting help because he has filed for CO, because he believes that what is being done in Iraq is wrong and feels that he cannot kill another human for the wrong reasons.

 

So far his CO status has been denied but is appealing the decision.  As soon as more information comes in, will give an update.

 

 

A BIT OF GOOD NEWS

 

Now for a bit of good news.  Back in Feb., ArchAngel was contacted by an IRR Soldier requesting help.  Well, on the 29th of March, the Soldier contacted us again letting us know that his request for exception has been accepted.  Below is the first email requesting help, and then the update email giving the good news. 

 

Dear Archangel,

 

“I have recently become a victim of the IRR mobilization process.  I currently have 18 months of time left on my 8 year service contract.  I was due to report last October but filed an exemption request which took them 6 months to deny.

 

My disqualifying back condition "Chronic Spondylolysisis" is clearly stated in multiple Army Regulations as an "unfit" condition but the Commander at HRC did not agree.   I have submitted sufficient medical documentation from my civilian doctors to support my case a need for ongoing care.

 

My condition will not become better with then next year so they have to discharge me according to the regulations.  I am currently filing my appeal which is a last effort to make them understand my condition.

 

I see no point in reporting to the mobilization site for fear of being put on medical hold like the rest. I respectfully would like your help if you can do so, as I am desperate.”

 

 

Update As Of 29 FEB 2005

 

“I am happy to inform you that my Exemption appeal was approved on March 23rd and that I will be medically discharged from the IRR.  The Army finally came to their senses.  I would like to thank you for your support and please feel free to update your newsletter with my situation.  Hopefully it will give some soldiers that were in my situation the will to keep fighting the system.”

 

 

Another Soldier stationed in Germany also reports that his/hers CO status is looking in his/hers favor but will not go into details just yet.

 

As of now, that is all that ArchAngel can report.

 

We are still here to help those who need help in finding information and other things.  Again, we are sorry for not posting like we would like.  Now that things are settled from moving, we are here to help out in anyway that we can.

 

Just a reminder, we will only post with permission and names will be omitted unless told otherwise.

 

Feel free to contact us anytime.

 

ArchAngel has a new fax number (337) 460-0958.  If you would like to fax a letter, please do so between the hours of 12:00pm - 2:00pm central standard time.

 

Thank you and God Bless,

ArchAngel1BL@aol.com

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

U.S. Soldier Dies In Muqdadiyah Wreck

 

4.26.05 CNN

 

A U.S. soldier with Task Force Liberty died Tuesday morning after being injured in a vehicle accident near Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

 

 

Medic From Portland Dies:

"The Job Market Was Not So Good In The Portland Area"

 

April 26, 2005 HARRY ESTEVE, The Oregonian

 

A U.S. Navy medic from Portland was killed over the weekend by a roadside bomb, the Defense Department announced Monday, marking the 49th person with close ties to Oregon to die in Iraq or Afghanistan.

 

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Aaron A. Kent, 28, a graduate of Roosevelt High School, was a passenger in a Humvee on patrol Saturday afternoon near Fallujah when the bomb exploded.  He died at the scene from massive internal chest injuries, according to the Navy.

 

"As far as I know, he was the only one killed or injured" in the incident, said Kent's father, Gary Kent, of North Portland.

 

Aaron Kent is the first member of the Navy from Oregon to die in Iraq.

 

Gary Kent described his son as an athletic, upbeat young man who joined the Navy as a way to learn and pursue a medical career.

 

"He was my best friend," Kent said.  "He was a very compassionate, kind, loving person. He liked to joke around, liked to make people laugh.  Everybody who came into Aaron's life came away with a real positive feeling."

 

Aaron Kent was a wrestler for the Peninsula Wrestling Club and played high school football. He also liked listening to music, shooting pool and watching professional sports and was a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, his father said.

 

Aaron Kent joined the Navy about three years ago after working at Wacker Siltronic and as a lab technician for the Red Cross.

 

"The job market was not so good in the Portland area" when Aaron decided to go into the military, Gary Kent said.  "It's the same thing that makes so many people join up."

 

Kent, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said he didn't push his son to join the Navy, but understood his decision.

 

"He did a tour in Afghanistan last year, and made it through that," Gary Kent said.  “He came home for a while, but they knew they were going to turn around and go to Iraq.”

 

 

Mount Gilead Soldier Killed On Patrol:

"He Just Wanted To Come Home."

 

April 26, 2005 Gannett News Service

 

MOUNT GILEAD -- Despite 10 years and thousands of miles between them, Kelly Howick and her brother remained close.

 

"The most important thing for me is I got married last May and he made it to the wedding," she said Monday, two days after Spc. Kevin William Prince, 22, was killed in a roadside bombing while on patrol in Al Haswah, Iraq.

 

"He's just a really sweet kid.  He was becoming a man.  He died too young," Howick said.

 

"He had a great sense of humor; just a fun-loving guy.  He was the baby of the family and he knew how to work it."

 

Howick said they took plenty of photographs at the wedding and they also had dinner Veterans Day and they "just hung out" before he shipped out Jan. 8.

 

She describes her bother as "always really smart and kind of older than his age in a lot of ways ... pretty ornery."

 

Howick said Kevin planned to go to college after he returned from the war.

 

Brother Jason, 27, of Galloway, said Kevin cared a lot about his family.

 

"He wanted what was best for us.  He would call me and tell me stuff.  He didn't want my parents to worry about him."

 

Prince's Humvee drove over an improvised explosive device, according to his brother.

 

"The Humvee hit the device and it blew up right under his knee.  He was rushed to a hospital in Baghdad and died on an emergency room table."

 

Jason said his brother enjoyed reading and had played soccer since age 5.  They talked often through America Online's Instant Messenger.

 

"Kevin never complained about being over there.  All he said when we talked was he was just really tired all the time."

 

Kelly said her brother's goal was "to do something with himself" after the service.

 

"He just wanted to come home." she said.

 

 

Area Marine Wounded On Sunday:

“The Phone Call Definitely Wasn't Good News, That's For Sure''

 

04/26/2005 MIKE SAKAL, Morning Journal Writer, SOUTH AMHERST

 

A local Marine was seriously injured in Iraq early Sunday when a mortar shell exploded on a group of men in his unit who were carrying it, according to the his father.

 

Pfc. Adam J. McCann, 19, of South Amherst, a 2003 graduate of Firelands High School, suffered shrapnel wounds to his legs as his unit was clearing out unexploded mortar shells in an area northwest of Baghdad, according to his father, Bob McCann, who said the information came from a member of his son's unit and a military nurse.

 

Adam McCann, of the 325th Kilo Company's 2nd Platoon machine gun unit, had been deployed to Iraq from his base in Moundsville, W.Va., about two months ago, according to Bob McCann.

 

''I don't know exactly what happened, yet,'' Bob McCann said.  ''All I know is that a group of men in his unit were clearing out unexploded mortars, and one they were carrying exploded.

 

''He's in a lot of pain right now, and on painkillers,'' Bob McCann said.  ''The marine from his unit who called me and the nurse I talked to said he had all his fingers and toes, but that his legs were badly injured.  There was some damage done to his tendons and veins and his foot.''

 

Bob McCann said he was uncertain of what the news would be when he received a phone call came from Iraq.

 

''After seeing all the news reports, you're always kind of on edge,'' he said.  ''You always wonder, “Was he one of the ones killed or injured?'  The phone call definitely wasn't good news, that's for sure.''

 

His son last visited with his family around the Christmas holidays, Bob McCann said. Adam's mother is Gayle Olbrysh.  He also had a younger sister, Mikki McCann, 16.

 

 

Car Bomb In Iraq Injures 1999 Archer City Graduate

 

Fudge said she was told that her son's vehicle had struck an explosive and was then hit from behind by a car bomb.  She said two soldiers had been killed and five others injured.  Army officials would only confirm one death.

 

April 26, 2005 By Michael Hines/Times Record News

 

Leisa Fudge was still wearing her light blue bathrobe Monday afternoon.

 

The Burkburnett resident hadn't changed clothes since 8:10 a.m. Sunday when she learned her son had been severely wounded by a bombing in Iraq.

 

Fashion statements just weren't on her mind.

 

From a phone call Sunday, she learned her son had third degree burns over much of his body. She learned a section of bone from his skull had been removed to relieve pressure building there.  He also had shrapnel lodged into his elbow and hip.

 

She learned he would live.

 

She changed clothes Monday afternoon - 15 hours later - donning one of her son's T-shirts.

 

"I just wanted to feel closer to him," she said.

 

Paul Bublis II sustained severe head trauma and third-degree burns to his nose, back, arms, legs and lungs.

 

Fudge said she was told that her son's vehicle had struck an explosive and was then hit from behind by a car bomb.  She said two soldiers had been killed and five others injured.  Army officials would only confirm one death.

 

He is now in Germany and the head wound has stabilized, Fudge said a German neurologist has told her.  "He said the most serious injuries now are the burns," she said.

 

Bublis' early ambitions didn't prepare him for such bodily destruction.

 

When he was growing up, Bublis wanted to design airplanes.  When he was looking for colleges, his stepdad hoped to convince the University of Texas-enthusiast to attend his alma mater at Texas A&M University.  But one day, Bublis came up with an entirely different option.

 

"He said 'I want to go to West Point,' " Fudge said. "I was going to be supportive no matter what."

 

He graduated from Archer City High School in 1999 and graduated from West Point in 2003.  He went to Iraq in October 2004.

 

"He was nervous, his hands were shaking," Fudge said. "He said 'Mama, I don't want to go.' "

 

Once there, he would later point out, it wasn't as bad as he'd thought.  Even the landscape seemed familiar.

 

"He said 'Mama, it's not so bad,' " Fudge said. "He said 'It's just like being in West Texas.' "

 

He relayed many things via e-mail, and the two communicated as often as they could, Fudge said.

 

"He wanted me to send him more cigars," she said.  "One of the last e-mails I got, he said please pray for my friend.  There had been a car bomb and he lost one eye.  That was within the last two or three weeks."

 

That's one of 89 messages that Fudge keeps in e-mail account.  The separate folder is titled "mybaby."

 

Not long ago, she got one saying he had just gotten his R&R orders.  He'd have off for two weeks at the end of May.  He was hoping to attend a friend's wedding on the first of June, Fudge said.

 

But Bublis also relayed the dangers of Iraq.

 

His evidence were the three or four car bombs attacks that happened daily, Fudge said. He also wrote about feeling bad about riding in a heavily armored unit while Iraqi National Guard rode in Nissan pick-ups.

 

"The natural mama instinct, I wanted to be there with him," she said.  "I don't want him to be afraid."

 

Now she's going to make sure of it.

 

"I felt pretty numb, and I started shaking pretty bad" not long after hearing the news, she said.  "Then I thought 'Get your butt up, get your clothes washed, get your bags packed so you can be ready.'

 

"I'm going to meet him there."

 

 

Mortar Attack Hits US Military Base In Samarra

 

April 26, 2005 Xinhua

 

Insurgents lobbed mortar rounds on a US military base in the Iraqi city of Samarra on Tuesday morning, local police said.

 

"A mortar attack at about 7:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) on a US military base stationed in the education directorate in Samarra," a local police source told Xinhua.

 

The source said "insurgents traded fire with the US soldiers after the blast at the base, where thick and black smoke was seen rising over the area."

 

Shortly after, the US troops surrounded the Hadi district in central Sammara, where the US base was situated.  The US soldiers searched the house and detained several individuals, according to the source.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Myers Says No War Progress In A Year;

Rumsfeld Refuses To Answer “Who’s Winning?” Question

 

26 Apr 2005 By Will Dunham, AP

 

Iraq's insurgency remains undiminished in its capabilities in the past year despite U.S.-led efforts to crush the rebels, the top American general said on Tuesday.

 

"I think their capacity stays about the same," Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of Iraq's insurgents during a Pentagon briefing.

 

"And where they are right now is where they were almost a year ago."

 

Asked during the briefing "are we winning" the war, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not directly respond.

 

"The United States and the coalition forces, in my personal view, will not be the thing that will defeat the insurgency," Rumsfeld said.

 

"So, therefore, winning or losing is not the issue for 'we,' in my view, in the traditional, conventional context of using the word 'winning' and 'losing' in a war.

 

Myers said rebels are staging 50 or 60 attacks a day in Iraq after the number had dipped to about 40 daily.

 

He said the number of daily attacks is about the same as a year ago.

 

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.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

Injured Sergeant Being Treated:

"I Am Not Happy By Any Of It"

 

April 26, 2005 By SHAWBONG FOK/Democrat staff Writer

 

Woodlander Sgt. Brandon Huff, a platoon sergeant who lost his left leg from a hidden explosive in Mosul, Iraq last week, is scheduled to move today to Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C.

 

Huff, 22, who was serving in the Stryker Brigade, has been in the intensive care unit in Landstuhl Medical Center near Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

 

Huff's injuries were caused by a hidden electronic explosive - known as an IED. or improvised electronic device - that blew up while his platoon scoured for a reported car bomb on April 20.  The IED not only blew up his left leg but also sprayed shrapnel all throughout his body.

 

Huff remains seriously injured but stable, said Don Huff, his father.

 

"I am not happy by any of it," Don said last week.

 

Brandon, whose Iraq service started in October 2004, graduated from Woodland High School in 2000.  He later attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 2001. He then trained at Ft. Denning, Ga., until he was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

 

 

Wounded Oregon Soldier Adjusts After Mine Attack

 

Apr 26, 2005 By BEN JACKLET, The Tribune

 

 Matthew Braddock was driving a Humvee near Kirkuk, Iraq, when an anti-tank mine destroyed his vehicle and pulverized the bones in his feet.

 

“I remember smoke and stuff flying at me and my truck commander yelling, ‘Is everybody all right?’ ” he said.  “My gunner yelled down that he was all right. And I yelled that I was all right because I thought I was.

 

“Then I took two steps and hit the ground.”

 

Quick action by his fellow Oregon National Guard soldiers saved Braddock’s life, but the best surgeons in the Army couldn’t save his left leg below the knee.  Right before his amputation, he drew a dotted line on his ankle and wrote, “Cut Here.”

 

The Iraq War’s 6 percent amputee rate is about double that of previous wars.

 

The blast that injured him was so powerful that one of the tires of his vehicle was later found on top of a two-story-tall embankment.  The artery in his left arm was severed, shrapnel lodged into his left knee and the bones in his feet were crushed.

 

Three of his fellow soldiers from the 116th Brigade Combat Team — Josiah Jurich, Charles Jordan and Marvin Albert — have since been honored with the Bronze Star for keeping him alive.

 

Braddock was treated in Landstuhl, Germany, and at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Wash., before being sent to the medical center in Texas.  There, the director of orthopedic trauma, Dr. Roman Hayda, reconstructed Braddock’s right foot using pins, plates and screws.

 

Drennan said Hayda was the only doctor willing to attempt surgery on her son’s right foot.  “This is a man who works miracles every day,” she said.

 

 

The Army's Cold War Thinking Impeded Production of Armored Humvee

 

From: Don Bacon smedleybutlersociety@msn.com

To: GI Special

Sent: April 26, 2005

Subject: Armored Humvee

 

From Murdoc Online, 19 Mar 04, with a paragraph from the Wall Street Journal

 

The Military Police, previously the major supporters of the up-armored Humvee variants, was out-weighed and out-voted by the combat arms, especially the armored generals. The initial armored Humvees suffered a variety of mechanical problems, and the armor folks jumped all over them.

 

The Armor community may have cited these problems in its decision, but the real issue was that it didn't want to procure equipment for anything less than high-intensity combat. You see, an admission of the value of equipment for low-intensity conflict and peacekeeping operations would diminish the value of armored forces, which are designed to fight high-intensity battles.

 

The Armor community was even willing to do so at the expense of its scouts, who drive the exact same M1025 un-armored HMMWVs that MPs do.

 

This Cold War high-intensity combat paradigm was so prevalent in the Army that the MP community -- the Army's center of excellence for peacekeeping ops -- could not sell this program to the Army in any sufficient numbers.  The MP corps lacks a 3- or 4-star general. 

 

The path to advancement in the Army has never been through low-intensity conflict or peacekeeping operations; it has always been through the combat arms.

 

Senior Army leaders today may see things differently, because many have Balkans experience (like retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, who predicted it would take "several hundred thousand" troops to secure Iraq).

 

But in the mid-1990s, when this program was in the early stages, the Army still believed in its Cold War paradigm.

 

[And who wants to remember the dust-up in 'Nam?]

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

Philippine Gov’t Tells U.S. Gov’t To Get Fucked:

Wants Its People Out Of Iraq Now;

“Romulo Said The US Cannot Make The Philippines Change Its Stand”

 

"We are a sovereign country, and we have to protect our citizens.  That’s the law. That’s in the Constitution."

 

April 27, 2005 By Pia Lee-Brago (STAR) MANILA

 

The United States is troubled by the Philippine government’s attempts to persuade Filipino workers to leave Iraq.

 

US officials in Manila have repeatedly aired their concerns over the repatriation of Filipinos working in military bases in Iraq, Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo said Monday night.

 

But Romulo said he had told the US embassy officials that the priority of the Philippine government is the security of Filipino workers.

 

"We have to explain to them that our obligation is to our citizens," he said.

 

Romulo said the US cannot make the Philippines change its stand.

 

"We are a sovereign country, and we have to protect our citizens.  That’s the law. That’s in the Constitution," he said.

 

Records from the Department of Foreign Affairs showed that around 6,000 Filipinos still work in US military camps in Iraq.

 

Most of the workers provide non-military services as food servers and kitchen helpers to the troops.

 

Their withdrawal from Iraq is expected to have an adverse impact on the operation of the camps since Filipinos make up the largest number of foreign workers in the camps.

 

But recent events have shown that the threat to the lives of Filipino workers in Iraq has increased, Romulo said.  Two Filipino workers were killed in Iraq this month.

 

Marcelo Salazar was killed last April 14 while driving a US military vehicle along MSR Tampa, a road used exclusively by US and coalition forces that connects Baghdad to Southern Iraq.  Three days earlier, Rey Torres, who worked as a guard and a driver, was gunned down in Baghdad.

 

Chargé d’ Affaires Ricardo Endaya said he learned of Salazar’s death only during his visit to Camp Victory to arrange for the shipment of Torres’ remains to the Philippines.

 

 

SAILOR PABLO PAREDES DENIED C.O. STATUS:

FACES SPECIAL COURT-MARTIAL MAY 11

 

Feel free to contact us with any further questions.

Victor Paredes Jr.

(917)864-9179

 

Despite positive recommendations from the Navy chaplain, Navy staff psychiatrist, as well as colleagues; the investigating officer has recommended to deny Pablo Paredes request for CO status.   In addition, Pablo Paredes request for Other than Honorable discharge in lieu of trial has been denied.

 

Pablo Paredes and his supporters are now preparing for his defense on May 11, 2005 as well as developing massive support activities on May 10th.

 

These activities will include a staged symbolic public trial to denounce the war and its immoral impact on Americans and Iraqis alike.  The May 10th proceeding will include the participation of other public military resisters such as Camilo Mejia.  In addition, many important figures from the political and activist community are expected to participate.  More details will be made public shortly. 

 

In an effort to bring resolve the situation quickly and move on to civilian activist life; Pablo Paredes requested Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge in lieu of trial.  This motion was rejected by the military.

 

The rejection of his CO and OTH are strong indications that the military intends to firmly punish Pablo Paredes for his decision to follow his conscience and not support inhumane acts of aggression.  Navy jags have attended Pablo’s public speaking engagements and have provided sworn statements that will be used against him in his Special Court Martial. 

 

On December 6, 2004 Pablo Paredes took a brave stance in opposition to acts of war by conscientiously objecting to taking part in such actions.  On this date, Navy sailor Pablo Paredes did not board his assigned ship (USS Bonhomme) with thousands of marines and military equipment destined for the Persian Gulf.

 

"I can't sleep at night knowing that's what I do for a living" said Pablo about his refusal to take part in putting thousands of Marines in harms way.  He reported to the pier wearing civilian clothing and a T-shirt that read: "Like a cabinet member, I resign." "I just want people to know how many Americans feel about the war" Pablo Paredes explained.

 

Pablo Paredes is available for limited interviews and speaking engagements.

 

In addition, the voice of the family continues to be represented by brother Victor Paredes.

 

Lawyer Jeremy Warren (619.234.4433) is available to answer all legal logistics of Pablo’s case.

 

The Paredes family continues to work towards generating greater awareness of Pablo’s case and cause as well as raising the necessary funds for Pablo’s potential defense.

 

DONATIONS INFORMATION:

Payable to: Victor Paredes

Send to: San Diego Military Counseling Project

Cause: Pablo Paredes

P.O. Box 15307

San Diego, CA 92175

Or donate online at: www.sdmcp.org

 

 

Shipyard Workers Nail War Profiteer For Leaving Aircraft Carriers “Vulnerable To Attack”

 

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, April 26, 2005

 

“Shortcuts to rush production” of a protective foam used by Northrop Grumman's Newport News shipbuilding in the construction of aircraft carriers may have left some of the flattops vulnerable to attack.

 

The Savannah Morning News reported that a dozen shipyard workers said "they had fudged records or installed the foam contrary to specifications in order to meet deadlines."

 

 

U.S. Sgt. Trusted In Iraq;

Barred From Cuba

 

April 26, 2005 By Carlos Lazo, Los Angeles Times

 

A sergeant in the Army National Guard who served as a combat medic in Iraq complains that tightened U.S. government travel regulations to his native Cuba prevent him from visiting his teen-age sons.

 

 

Commanders Who Share Blame For Detainee Mistreatment Get A Pass On Abu Ghraib Abuse

 

Miami Herald, April 26, 2005

 

If the generals aren't responsible for the conduct of U.S. troops in a combat zone, pray tell, who is?

 

So far, only one brigade-level general has been reprimanded for the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses.

 

Now, a yet-to-be-released Army inspector-general's report apparently concludes that none of the top senior officers in Iraq should bear responsibility for the scandalous breakdown in military discipline and abrogation of U.S. prisoner policy.

 

"This is unacceptable. It would be as if the captain of a ship were not held liable for crew members who beat up detainees held in the brig."

 

 

Israeli Soldiers Stage "Food Revolt"

Flee Their Base

 

4/25/2005 YNetNews

 

The Israeli Army is set to launch an investigation Monday after dozens of soldiers fled their IDF base claiming they had not received enough food for three days.

 

The soldiers fled a southern basic training base Thursday without authorization in protest of the food shortage.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“This Regime Is Our Mad Dog”

 

From: JF

To: GI Special

Sent:, April 26, 2005

Subject: " Washington DC 1932 " & " Interview" with Smedley D. Butler MajorGeneral, USMC "

 

The letters, personal information and news reports on Iraq are the backbone of the GI Special. It is the only place I know of to read the real news about the toll this war is taking on innocent Americans and Iraqis alike.

 

But in addition I savor the articles like "Washington DC 1932", the tale of the murder of WWI vets by Patton and MacArthur and the other thugs in the professional military.

 

It's great to read the real skinny from the horse's mouth in "Interview with Smedley D. Butler Major General, USMC".  There's one marine who ought to be in bronze and on a pedestal in Washington DC in 2005.

 

Thanks for your good work and thanks especially to all the GIs and their family members who are writing in and telling it like it is. 

 

I know there are many, many good Americans who are as repulsed by the present American regime as are the rest of the people on this earth. 

 

This regime is our mad dog and we're going to have put it down before it bites any more of us.

 

REPLY:  You’re right.  The proof: starting tomorrow, each front page for several days will carry articles just sent in from active duty troops. 

 

 

No Shit Kidding?

(Thank God For Think Tanks!)

 

“I think Americans’ tolerance for casualties might ultimately waver if there is no visible sign of progress in Iraq.” Michael O’Hanlon, a senior foreign policy analyst at the Brookings Institution.  Apr. 26, 2005, TOM RAUM, The Associated Press

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Welcome To Liberated Iraq:

Occupation Thugs Beat, Arrest Reuters Cameraman;

Arrest His Father Too For Asking Why

 

April 25, 2005 CPJ

 

Iraqi police detained without charge a cameraman working for Reuters news agency.

 

Reuters said about 20 police officers raided cameraman Nabil Hussein's home and assaulted him, his driver, and another journalist before taking all three away.

 

The driver and the second journalist were released later Saturday, but Hussein was still being held for unknown reasons, relatives and colleagues told the news agency.

 

Hussein's father was arrested when he went to inquire about his son's arrest.  He was still being held today for reasons that were not made clear.

 

Iraqi police have threatened, harassed, or detained without charge working journalists on numerous occasions in the last year.

 

 

April 2003

Ammunition Dump Explosion Kills Six In Baghdad;

"The Americans Are Killing Iraqis With The Weapons Of Saddam Hussein"

Iraqi mourners, leading a procession with coffins carrying the dead, protest in front of American soldiers guarding a site where an American ammunition dump exploded and killed at least six Saturday April 26, 2003.  (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Iraqi mourners, leading a procession with coffins carrying the dead, protest in front of American soldiers guarding a site where an American ammunition dump exploded and killed at least six Saturday April 26, 2003. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

 

 

BAGHDAD (AFP)(April 27, 2003) - At least six members of the same family were killed Saturday when a stash of Iraqi arms exploded in Baghdad, provoking angry demonstrations, while US officials blamed the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein

 

Witnesses described a grisly scene of blood-spattered bodies being pulled from the wreckage.  Dozens were reported wounded, including one US soldier, and three other family members were missing.

 

The incident came ahead of what was supposed to be a week of hope amid efforts to rebuild the devastated Iraqi capital and stirred volatile anti-US feeling in the occupied capital, over two weeks after US tanks first rolled in.

 

"No, no to America, yes, yes to Islam!" chanted demonstrators from Baghdad's Zaafaraniya district after the blast, carrying banners accusing US troops of negligence for dumping the weapons in a residential neighborhood.

 

"The Americans are killing Iraqis with the weapons of Saddam Hussein," one banner read.

 

"Someone shot a flare into this disposal site and caused this huge explosion," said US Army Major Frank McClary.  "It is sabotage."

 

US officials at central command in Qatar said in a statement that an attacker had fired "an unknown incendiary device into the cache, causing it to catch fire and explode.  The explosion caused the destruction of the cache as well as a nearby building."

 

It further blamed the ousted government of Saddam Hussein for the incident.

 

"The location of the ammunition cache near a civilian population is another example of the former regime's disregard for the safety of Iraqi citizens," it said.

 

Khilal said the houses that were hit were more than one kilometre (half a mile) away from where the US troops had stored the ammunition.

 

"We saw four rockets go into the air.  One came down and totally destroyed three houses," Khilal said.  Other witnesses said two adjoining houses had been flattened.

 

"We kept telling the Americans not to store explosives so close by. What happened? Why didn't they listen to us?"

 

The latest deaths quickly inflamed tensions already high over the chaos in Baghdad. Around 300 people organised an immediate protest near the site of the carnage, crying "No to America, Yes to Islam!"

 

A local cleric, Sheikh Khaled Shumari, addressed the crowd, saying that the Iraqis would refuse further US intervention in Iraq.

 

MORE:

 

"America's No Better Than Saddam"

 

By ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press Writer, BAGHDAD, Iraq (4.27.03) –

 

Angry residents briefly fired on U.S. troops trying to treat the injured and recover bodies from the rubble, driving them from the area for a short time.  Residents blamed the U.S. military for not moving the dangerous material away from a populated area.

 

U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar said soldiers of the army's 3rd Infantry Division came under attack as they guarded the cache

 

The ordnance that exploded in Baghdad was stored in a large field surrounded by high walls in Zafaraniyah and, according to Lt. Herb Josey at Central Command, had been used by Saddam's regime.  He would not say if U.S. forces had added weapons to the existing depot.

 

Ammunition at the dump was still exploding Saturday afternoon, setting off large blasts, whistling rockets and rounds going off from the heat.

 

A highway outside the dump was littered for hundreds of yards with grenades, shrapnel, bullets and rocket mortars.

 

The U.S. military said an American was hurt in the initial attack on the depot, not the subsequent explosions. The soldier suffered a broken arm said Col. John Peabody, commanding officer of U.S. Army's 11th Engineering Brigade

 

An open bed truck loaded with six coffins carrying victims drove through Zafaraniyah. Men stood around the coffins and chanted, "Down with America!"

 

At one point, the coffins were brought to the victims' home, where crowds shouted anti-U.S. slogans and women ululated. When the coffins were carried out for burials, women collapsed on them.

 

Hundreds of people in private vehicles began evacuating the neighborhood at the behest of U.S. soldiers.  Many chanted angrily and waved their fists at the troops: "America's no better than Saddam," some chanted.

 

"This is the responsibility of the U.S. Army because we told them this is a civilian area," one man said from a beat-up white car.

 

Angry residents denounced the U.S. military for storing ammunition at the depot. Families said they had gone to American officers repeatedly to ask the military to stop controlled explosions at the dump that had been conducted in recent days.

 

In remarks to Abu Dhabi Television, seen widely throughout the Arab world, Waleed al-Haliy, secretary general of a newly constituted Iraqi human rights organization, said as occupiers, the Americans should be held responsible for the explosions. He called for an international investigation

 

"This is the request of the Iraqi people who continue to suffer from Saddam's weapons that are scattered around residential areas," he added.

 

Army Spc. Kevin Braam said the dump stored both Iraqi and U.S. ammunition.

 

MORE:

 

By Rosalind Russell and Michael Georgy (Reuters) April 27, 2003

 

There was also confusion over the cause of the blast, which the U.S. military blamed on unidentified attackers who fired a flare or incendiary device into the store of Iraqi ammunition.

 

Local residents said U.S. forces had been packing cars with Iraqi weapons over the last three days and detonating them at the site, but a U.S. officer, Colonel John Peabody, denied that.

 

Some turned their anger on the Americans, shooting and forcing them back from the scene for a while until they joined forces to search for casualties, soldiers said.

 

Whatever the precise cause of the explosions, they are likely to complicate U.S. efforts to win Iraqi hearts and minds after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein

 

U.S. Central Command said in a statement issued in Qatar that an unknown number of individuals attacked U.S. troops guarding the store and one soldier was wounded.

 

Troops near the scene said the attackers fired four flares into the store, sparking explosions that shot missiles as far as three km (two miles) away.

 

About 500 Iraqi men, chanting anti-American, pro-Islam slogans, drove in a convoy of trucks, buses and cars out of the suburb -- the first truck carrying six coffins, apparently containing bodies.

 

"No Americans or Saddam; Yes, Yes to Islam!" the men chanted in Arabic, some of them flying green Islamic flags and banners. Among the slogans were two in English: "Stop Explosions Near Civilians" and "The Terror After War."

 

The blasts also sparked an angry demonstration in central Baghdad where protesters carried banners reading "No bombs between houses!  Yes, yes to freedom!" and "U.S. forces kill innocents with Saddam's weapons in Zaafaraniya."

 

[Comment from PB]

 

[So an unknown number of unidentified somebodies fired something that blew up a whole lot of stuff and killed some people.  Sounds like the US is making its story up, bit by bit.]

 

“Local residents said U.S. forces had been packing cars with Iraqi weapons over the last three days and detonating them at the site, but a U.S. officer, Colonel John Peabody, denied that.

 

”Central Command said the location of the ammunition dump near a residential area was an example of the former regimes disregard for the safety of civilians.”

 

[Actually, it shows the CURRENT regimes disregard for the safety of civilians. Yes Saddam might have put a weapons cache in a baby hospital - but it was the United States military that chose to blow up the weapons there!]

 

MORE:

 

"George W. Bush And Saddam Are Both Criminals"

"First We Had Saddam And Then We Were Given Bush.  What Did We Do To Deserve This?"

 

By Michael Georgy, Reuters, April 26, 2003

 

An elderly woman, Hasna Aboud, said she had relatives among the dead. "George W. Bush and Saddam are both criminals," she said.  "First we had Saddam and then we were given Bush.  What did we do to deserve this?"

 

Residents said U.S. forces had been packing vehicles with confiscated Iraqi weapons over the last three days and detonating them.  Some believed U.S. efforts to destroy ammunition on Saturday had gone wrong.

 

"Saddam was a butcher, and now this. This is a residential area. Why are the Americans blowing up weapons near us?" said Hussein Hafez, a 57-year-old resident.

 

"We dug out six people who died, with our own hands," Nassir Abdelrahman told Reuters.  "The Americans are the worst human beings on earth."

 

"America is talking about freedom but where is our freedom?" asked Khaidar Rahim, 54, expressing the anti-U.S. sentiment of the crowd.  "Now they are causing explosions inside civilian areas.  We would like to face (U.S. President) Bush and tell him he is a criminal."

 

Earlier hundreds of Iraqi men, chanting anti-American, pro-Islam slogans, drove in a convoy of trucks, buses and cars out of the suburb.

 

A first truck carried six coffins, apparently containing bodies, followed by the rest of the convoy as it passed a U.S. military checkpoint set up after angry residents forced out U.S. troops.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

In Case You Missed It, Democrats And Republican Senators Agree:

Let’s Have More War!!

 

26 April 2005 By Robert Scheer, The Los Angeles Times

 

The emergency funding that the Senate passed 99 to 0 last week gives the military roughly $80 billion and pays for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan only through September.

 

 

Another Stupid Bush Regime Lie Nailed:

Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms

 

Washington Post, April 26, 2005

 

U.S. investigators hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have found no evidence that any such material was moved to Syria for safekeeping before the war, according to a final report of the investigation.

 

The Iraq Survey Group's main findings—that Hussein's Iraq did not possess chemical and biological weapons and had only aspirations for a nuclear program—were made public last October in an interim report.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Two U.S. Troops Wounded In Attack On Patrol

 

New York Times, April 26, 2005

 

In the south, two American soldiers and two Afghan soldiers were wounded when their patrol came under attack, the U.S. military said.

 

 

 

CLASS WAR NEWS

 

 

Union Members, Anti-War Activists Join Forces:

“This Solidarity Is Incredible!”

 

[Thanks to Desmond, who sent this in.]

 

Students in the antiwar coalition quickly decided to move the meeting spot for the march to the front of the dining hall in order to show solidarity with the workers who are battling the war at home. 

 

“We’re here for the same reasons – to combat corporate greed.  They’re stealing our health care and insurance the same way they’re stealing it from soldiers.  Those soldiers just want to find a way to take care of their families – same as us and the students who go here.  It’s great that we could all join in together – unions and antiwar, workers and students.  This is an amazing example of people using their power in unity so that we can all get out of the same mess, whether it’s in Baghdad or New Haven.”

 

25 Apr 2005 FROM: Samuel Bernstein, New Haven, Conn.  

 

In an unprecedented display of grassroots solidarity between the antiwar and labor movements, members of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) No War and UNITE HERE Local 217, which represents the seventy dining hall workers at SCSU, picketed and marched to demand a fair contract for the workers and an end to the war in Iraq.

 

On Wednesday, SCSU No War organized a Day of Protest on campus.  Army recruiters were scheduled to table all day and former-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had a high-profile speaking event that evening.

 

Among orchestrating many horrific foreign policy initiatives under the Clinton Administration, Albright oversaw the disastrous economic sanctions on Iraq that killed up to 1.5 million Iraqis, including more than 500,000 children, and paved the way for Bush’s invasion of Iraq by destroying the country’s infrastructure.

 

When asked on national television a few years ago whether the murder of half a million Iraqi children was “worth it,” she said it was.  She has since declared her general support for Bush’s invasion and occupation, seeking to advise him on how to more effectively establish a pro-US regime in Iraq.  SCSU No War declared that it would not accept a war criminal such as Albright on campus.

 

The day got off to a positive start when the Army recruiters left campus after only ninety minutes and not talking to a single interested student.  Antiwar activists, meanwhile, passed out pamphlets and fliers that slammed the war, the lies recruiters tell, and the military’s bigoted “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  They also argued with students to come out to protest Albright that evening.

 

During the counter-recruitment action, activists learned that SCSU dining hall workers would be holding an informational picket in front of the dining hall at the same time that they were planning on convening to march to the Albright protest.

 

The workers, who work for Chartwells – a multinational corporation that runs the food service, have been working without a contract since it expired in February. Chartwells has consistently sought to stall negotiations and already terrible working conditions have further deteriorated.  Workers complain of an utter lack of respect on the job and workers active in the union have been threatened, harassed, and even outright fired for the smallest infractions.  Since January alone, Local 217 has filed fifty-eight unfair labor practice violations against Chartwells.  The picket was organized to spread the word to students as well as demand respect and a fair contract.

 

Students in the antiwar coalition quickly decided to move the meeting spot for the march to the front of the dining hall in order to show solidarity with the workers who are battling the war at home.  As Rich, a member of the antiwar coalition said, “The same people in corporate boardrooms are making profits by waging war in Iraq and slashing our wages here.”

 

More than forty workers and students joined the picket line, which was well received by workers inside and students passing by.  The workers immediately took up antiwar chants and alternated them with their union chants.  Workers and students alike led demands such as, “What do we want?  A contract!  When do we want it?  Now!  What do we want?  Troops Home!  When do we want it?  Now!” and “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!”

 

After forty-five minutes in front of the dining hall, all of the workers and students, behind the antiwar coalition’s banner, marched to protest Albright’s speaking event, where they were joined by a handful of community members and supporters.  The march immediately began to picket directly in front of the hall where the event was being held until police forced the march into a protest pen across the street.

 

For another hour, demonstrators chanted and spoke out against the SCSU administration, Albright, Chartwells, and the bipartisan war against workers everywhere.  Although SCSU claims there is no money for the dining hall workers’ contract, they forked over more than $70,000 to Albright for her two-hour appearance, according to the Southern News.

 

As Bransley Barnaby, an activist in Local 217 who has worked at SCSU for fourteen years, said at the event, “This solidarity is incredible!”

 

“We’re here for the same reasons – to combat corporate greed.  They’re stealing our health care and insurance the same way they’re stealing it from soldiers.  Those soldiers just want to find a way to take care of their families – same as us and the students who go here.  It’s great that we could all join in together – unions and antiwar, workers and students.  This is an amazing example of people using their power in unity so that we can all get out of the same mess, whether it’s in Baghdad or New Haven.”

 

Student activists pledged to raise awareness of the workers’ contract campaign and the war at home.   They also hope to get campus workers more involved in antiwar organizing.  It will take similar grassroots solidarity in order to build a mass antiwar movement and reverse the decades long attack on workers around the world.

 

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.

 

 

Bad Moon Rising

 

April 23 2005 By Bob Chapman, The International Forcaster

 

You may not want to believe it but our economy has been in disintegration since 1989 and only one trick after another has salvaged it.

 

Just look at the dollar.  It is only reflecting the collapse of a once great economy. Soon the US dollar will cease to be the world’s reserve currency.

 

We have major corporations on the verge of bankruptcy, GM is a good example.  Its debt will shortly be junk.  Its supplier, Delphi, along with GM, is under investigation and will precede GM into bankruptcy.

 

Potential retirees and pensioners are going to be in for a big surprise - like the loss of 65% to 75% of their pensions.  

 

GM has $50 billion in debt to refinance over the next 20 months. We do not believe the market can or will want to handle it.  The market cannot even handle the Treasury refinancings.

 

GMAC, General Motors Acceptance Corp., contributes about two-thirds of GM’s profits.

 

After three years of $5,000 rebates per car, which was double the sector average, car and truck sale growth is falling. GMAC’s $260 billion debt is larger than all of that of the auto division combined.

 

GM’s euro bond issues are trading at a yield of over 11%, which is certainly junk quality.

 

The money maker GMAC is faced with declining vehicle sales and has been a major investor in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, thus, as interest rates rise and home prices fall, paper quality will come into question and mortgage volume will dry up, especially in cash outs and home equity loans.

 

GMAC is facing a double-edged sword.  At GM the most profitable sales unit is the SUV and with today’s gasoline prices, they will suffer.  Sales overall for January and February were off 11% despite having lowered prices in February.  As you can see, the market is simply saturated with vehicles.  GM lost $2.6 billion in Europe last year via Vauxhall, Saab and Opel and is laying off 12,000 workers.  

 

Since 1980 the auto workforce has shrunk by 70% due to deliberate de-industrialization and, of course, thousands of smaller firms supplying the industry have been phased out with massive job losses.

 

In 2006, GM either will pay off or refinance $44.7 billion in debt and Ford has to do $37.1 billion or $174 billion in debt.  Can the market handle that at junk levels or will they want too?  That could be bonds with a 13-14% coupon.  Will financial firms, such as GMAC continue the hobby of producing cars?  We don’t think so.

 

If all of that wasn’t bad enough GM’s pension fund is underfunded by $17 billion or is only funded to 80% of its obligations.

 

This is a debt bomb and Washington knows it.

 

If reform passes Congress for the benefit of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., many companies will achieve junk status.

 

GM wants to split off GMAC hoping to save GMAC.

 

If that happens this year it is guaranteed GM will go into bankruptcy.

 

PBGC is already $23 billion in debt and can not absorb the obligations to GM’s hundreds of thousands of pensioners.  This is a disaster of major proportions.

 

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