GI Special:



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





[Thanks to David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]



Iraq Mission “Stupid”’

“Don’t Bash Others Because They Think This Mission Is Complete Crap, Because It Is.”


[Thanks to Lietta Ruger for sending this in.  She is a member of Pacific Northwest Military Families Speak Out; (www.nwmfso.org) chapter of MFSO at (www.mfso.org)]


April 17, 2005 Pfc. Bradley Robb Camp Striker, Iraq


Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Stars and Stripes


In response to “Because we gave our word” (letter, April 6), about people who are dodging military service and refuse to serve overseas: Yes, I did give the oath, I did swear to uphold the Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies.


I swore to preserve freedom, but what they left out was to preserve freedom of other countries.


Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11.  I understand fighting for freedom when it’s necessary, and Afghanistan was necessary, but not Iraq.


How many troops are left in the United States?  If there were an attack on U.S. soil right now, God forbid, they’d get all the way to Iowa before we could attempt to stop them.  By the time we could get all our troops back home, the entire country would be lost.


The letter writer said people are refusing to fight.  That’s easy to say from Arifjan, Kuwait. Come to Iraq for a year. In fact, come here for two years.  This is my second tour here.


I also made a promise to my country, and I stand by that promise.


Don’t bash others because they think this mission is complete crap, because it is.


It’s stupid and we’re risking other soldiers’ lives.  For what?  Iraqi liberation?  Weapons of mass destruction?  Neither one of those has been even close to being found.


Bring soldiers home to protect what we’ve come to love so dearly — the United States, to protect those freedoms we take for granted, to protect our people, our children, wives, sons, daughters and husbands.


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.






Benning Soldier Dies In His Sleep


Apr. 19, 2005 BY JOYCE RUSSELL, The Times of Northwest Indiana


PORTAGE, Ind. -- Steven Sirko didn't have to go to Iraq.


The U.S. Army combat medic had been offered a chance to join the Army's Special Forces, said his dad, Rick Sirko.


It would have meant remaining stateside, but Steven had met another army medic, Virginia, while in medical training in Fort Hood, Texas.  They were married in October 2004.


She was being deployed to Iraq and Steven wanted to be near his new wife.


Sirko, a soldier with the Fort Benning-based 3rd Brigade in Maqdadiyah, Iraq, was found dead in his barracks Sunday morning, Iraq time.


His family isn't only coping with the loss of the 20-year-old former Portage High School football player and wrestler, but trying to understand how the athletic, recently married, outgoing young man could have died.


As of late Monday afternoon, U.S. Army officials offered the Sirkos little information, except that Steven died in his sleep and an investigation is being conducted to determine his cause of death.


"We are still trying to piece all of this together," said Rick Sirko from his Portage home, adding officers who visited his home Sunday and Monday could give him no details of his son's death.


Steven Sirko attended Portage High School his sophomore, junior and half of his senior year before moving back to North Carolina to live with his mother, Linda Lipford.  He played junior varsity and varsity football and was on the wrestling team at the Portage school.  He also worked at a local fast food restaurant.



Soldier From Eastern Shore Killed In Combat


Tromaine K. Toy Sr.


April 19, 2005 By JACK DORSEY, The Virginian-Pilot


A second local military man has died in the past week in Ramadi, Iraq, this time a six-year Army veteran from Eastville on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.


Army Sgt. Tromaine K. Toy Sr., 24, was one of three soldiers killed Saturday when a Marine base came under indirect fire in the city about 60 miles west of Baghdad, according to Central Command officials.


On Thursday Marine Capt. James C. Edge, 31, of Virginia Beach, died in Ramadi when he was hit by small arms fire during a separate attack.


Edge, 31, of Virginia Beach, died in Ramadi when he was hit by small arms fire during a separate attack.


Toy is the 17th service member either from Hampton Roads, or based in the area, to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.



4 Mississippi Soldiers, One From Alabama Injured


April 19, 2005 By Holbrook Mohr, The Associated Press


Four Mississippi soldiers and another from Alabama were injured today when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicles, Guard officials said.


Lt. Col. Tim Powell, a Mississippi Army National Guard spokesman, said all five soldiers are members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which deployed to Iraq in January with 3,500 Mississippi Guard soldiers and others from Vermont and Arkansas.


Powell said Sgts. Terrance A. Elizenberry of Clinton and Wyman H. Jones of Columbus were injured along with Staff Sgt. Tommy S. Little of Aliceville, Ala., Pfc. Stephen B. Brooks of Columbus, and Sgt. 1st Class Grayson N. Galatas of Meridian.


Details of the explosion were sketchy this afternoon and Powell told The Associated Press he did not know the extent of the soldiers injuries.  Stacy Elizenberry, contacted by telephone in Clinton, said her husband suffered second degree burns on his arms, hands and face.


"He was the first person to call me so I wouldn't have to hear it from somebody else," she said. "They went over one of those IEDS," or improvised explosive devices.


Stacy Elizenberry said her husband is a 33-year-old father of two with 17 years in the military.  He was employed at the Nissan factory in Clinton when he was called to active duty.


She said her husband could not say how the other soldiers were doing at the time he talked to her about 2 a.m.


Today's injuries brings the total to at least a dozen troops in the 155th injured by explosive devices in recent weeks.  Two soldiers from Mississippi in the combat team have been killed by roadside bombs and another three have died in vehicle accidents.



3 Iowa Guard Soldiers Injured In Mortar Attack


April 19, 2005 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier


The Iowa Army National Guard reported Monday that three soldiers from an eastern Iowa unit in Iraq have been wounded in a mortar attack, two of them seriously enough to be transported to a German hospital.


Condition reports on the soldiers were not immediately available.


The soldiers, all members of Company C, 224th Engineer Battalion, suffered varying types and degrees of injuries, Lt. Col Gregory Hapgood said.  Company C is based in Mount Pleasant with a detachment in Keokuk.


Two soldiers were transported to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Balad for additional medical treatment and were evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.  The other soldier was treated and returned to duty.


The mortar attack by insurgents occurred in the evening hours Saturday at Camp Blue Diamond near Ramadi, about 70 miles west of Baghdad and struck a building there.


The 224th Engineer Battalion is comprised of units located in Fairfield (headquarters and Headquarters Company), Burlington (Company A), Ottumwa (Company B), Mount Pleasant (Company C) and Keokuk (Detachment 1, Company C). Additionally, the 834th Engineer Company from Davenport, which falls under the command and control of the 224th Engineer Battalion, also mobilized selected soldiers in support of the operation.


About 500 soldiers from the 224th Engineer Battalion were mobilized in October 2004. The unit arrived in the Iraq theater of operations in January.



U.S. Convoy Attacked Near Airport;

“Many Casualties”


4.19.05 Pakistan Times Wire Service


A car bomber detonated next to a U.S. army convoy traveling close to the capital's international airport and locals said there were many casualties.  A U.S. military spokesman said he had no immediate information.



Marines In Husaybah Forced Into Defensive Positions:

“We’re Facing A Well-Developed, Mature Insurgency With The Support Of The Local Population,” (About 100,000 Townspeople)

Major In Command Has A Solution:

“Kill Them All”


“What the future here is, it’s kill them all.  It really is.  Or make them run somewhere else.”  Marine Maj. John Reed


April 19, 2005 By Elliot Blair Smith, USA Today




Uprooting the criminal gangs that control this violent border town and defeating a small but well-trained insurgent force here may be left to new Iraqi security forces when they begin moving into the western desert this year, Marine Maj. John Reed says.


“We’re facing a well-developed, mature insurgency with the support of the local population” of about 100,000 townspeople, Reed says.  “There is no Iraqi security force here.  They are not effective.  There are no police.  They are dead or doing something else.”


Marines in Husaybah have been forced to hunker down in defensive positions. Their base, Camp Gannon, is named for Capt. Rick Gannon who died April 17, 2004, while leading an effort to rescue two sniper squads trapped on a rooftop in the city.


Five Marines died that day in a fight against about 100 insurgents.


Unable for safety reasons to patrol the city on foot and in vehicles, troops are limited in their ability to gain important street-level intelligence.


So the Marines primarily mount counterattacks on insurgents and criminals who fire into the camp. Last week, the Marines averted disaster when three car bombers backed by 30 insurgents assaulted the camp.


Marine Lt. Col. Tim Mundy, commander of the Third Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, who oversees Husaybah from his base in Al-Qaim, about 10 miles away, says “This is about as complex a situation as I can imagine any battalion facing.”


The insurgents face not only the Marines but also resistance from two Sunni Muslim tribes.  The Mahalowis and Salmanis historically controlled the town’s cross-border trade.  Reed says those tribes dominate the local criminal gangs, police and politicians. They feud with each other but unite to oppose the U.S. presence.  “There was always violence here, and now it’s much higher. It’s off the chart.  They’re killing each other every day, and we’re killing them,” Reed says.


Violence became routine here last fall after U.S. financial aid to the area dried up in anticipation of Iraq’s provisional government taking over the local administration.  That still hasn’t happened.


New Iraqi security forces might help stabilize the situation when they are trained and arrive in the late summer or fall, Reed says. He adds, “If we go it alone, we will have a flash point like Fallujah. We’re near that point now.”


Reed says he has doubts about this border town’s future.


“When the multinational force leaves, maybe the insurgency does,” he says.


“I don’t think so.  I think it has a higher goal: to make the new Iraq fail.  What the future here is, it’s kill them all.  It really is.  Or make them run somewhere else.”



The Grim Reaper, Riding A Firetruck In Iraq:

“An Extremely Mature And Capable Insurgency"


[Thanks to Phil G., Des and PB who sent this in.]


April 19, 2005 By Steve Fainaru, Washington Post Foreign Service


The attack "demonstrates an extremely mature and capable insurgency," said Maj. John Reed, executive officer for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which commands U.S. troops here. "It showed its ability to mass a very complex attack very quickly."


"These guys knew what they were doing," said Lt. Ronnie Choe, 25, of Los Angeles, the battalion's assistant intelligence officer. "These weren't just random guys who decided: Hey let's do something."


HUSAYBAH, Iraq -- Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Butler shook himself from the rubble of a suicide truck bombing.  He staggered to the ledge of his three-story guard tower and stared into a cloud of white smoke.


Butler, 21, of Altoona, Pa., was temporarily deafened by the blast, but he recalled what came next with cinematic clarity.  The white smoke parted to reveal a clean red fire engine.  It sped past a mural bidding travelers "Goodbye From Free Iraq" and hurtled directly toward Butler, who shot at the fire engine until it exploded about 40 yards away from him.


This true-life nightmare occurred on Monday last week.  The attack on this remote Marine outpost abutting the Syrian border caused only minor injuries, but it signaled a dramatic change in the methods of the insurgents, who have staged mostly guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks against the U.S. military for two years.


In interviews and in after-action reports, Marines who successfully defended the base that morning described a sophisticated assault that involved 50 to 100 insurgents.


The insurgents distracted Marine guards with well-aimed mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, then launched three successive suicide bombing strikes in an attempt to blow up the base and overrun it.  The fire engine had a driver, a spotter and a bulletproof windshield, and was packed with dozens of propane tanks filled with explosives.  The blast rained jagged red shrapnel for more than a minute, and unhinged doors and cracked the foundation of buildings well inside the Marine base.


The attack "demonstrates an extremely mature and capable insurgency," said Maj. John Reed, executive officer for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which commands U.S. troops here. "It showed its ability to mass a very complex attack very quickly."


Husaybah is a dusty smuggling hub in the barren reaches of western Iraq, a desert moonscape of dirt and rocks, its visibility frequently obscured by sandstorms.  Camp Gannon is situated in the city's northwest corner.


The base's northern perimeter is the Syrian border, marked by a 10-foot-tall barrier of sand bags and razor wire.  To the south and east are low-slung concrete houses and unpaved streets, neighborhoods so hostile the Marines cannot venture into the city without being attacked.


The austere base is shelled so frequently the Marines never leave their barracks without helmets and armored vests, even when visiting the urinals -- mortar tubes hammered into the ground.


The battle here began around 8:15 a.m., shortly after India Company's 2nd Platoon set up for guard duty on the base's eastern perimeter.  Four mortar rounds overshot the base and landed about 300 yards inside Syrian territory, said Cpl. Roy Mitros, the senior Marine on guard, who climbed into a tower to register where they landed.


Inside Post 8, a bunker on the southeast corner of the base, Lance Cpl. Joe Lampe, 22, of Lacey Township, N.J., and Cpl. Anthony Fink, 21, of Columbus, Ohio, began to receive reports that other guard positions were taking sporadic fire.  Then, at 8:25 a.m., a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into their bunker.


Lampe and Fink were unharmed, but the bunker filled with dust from dozens of protective sandbags.  "You couldn't see like an inch in front of us," Lampe said.  "It's like it just went 'whoof,' and then it was just dust collapsing all around us."


Moments later, Lance Cpl. Diego Naranja, 22, of the New York City borough of Queens, radioed from a guard tower just north of Post 8 that he had spotted a white dump truck moving north on a one-lane road the U.S. military calls West End.  "But as soon as he called it in, it was like, Blam!" Lampe said.  "That's when we got hit by another blast. That one knocked us to the ground."


Fink said he was convinced that the insurgents concentrated fire on Post 8 as a diversion.  "There's no doubt in my mind," he said.  "They knew that was the closest post to them.  If they could keep us down, then they could pull the (explosives-laden vehicles) out onto the road."  Naranja said he managed to shoot several rounds at the dump truck but it soon disappeared.


The dump truck reached a fork, then turned west.  It traveled beneath four concrete arches and sped toward the base, located next to the border crossing.  The U.S. military closed the border for security reasons before the January elections and has not reopened it.  The area is now a ghost town of abandoned customs and insurance houses and a 30-foot concrete mural painted with the Iraqi flag.


The dump truck headed directly toward Butler, who was standing guard under camouflage netting in Tower 2.  Butler opened fire, and the truck veered left, ramming a cluster of trucks the Marines had wired together to block access to the base entrance. The dump truck then exploded, sending Butler flying into the tower's ledge as concrete debris rained on him.


Camp Gannon was now under full-scale attack.  Mortars and rockets pelted the base from the south and east as most of the Marines, still in bed, scrambled toward the safety of bunkers.


About 45 seconds after the dump truck exploded, its purpose became clear: It was to serve as a battering ram to clear the base entrance for the fire engine.


The firetruck had become something of a phantom for India Company.  The Marines had heard that insurgents might use one as a suicide bomb.  For two months, they had been warned by commanders to be on the lookout for a firetruck, but it had never been seen and some Marines had concluded it wasn't real.


Now, the fire engine was roaring north along the West End.  "When I seen it, my heart stopped," said Lance Cpl. Sebastian Lankiewicz, 20, also of Queens.  "It was like I was looking at the Grim Reaper himself coming down freakin' West End."


The fire engine followed the same route the dump truck had taken, turning left at the fork, going beneath the arches and roaring toward the entrance to the base.  Butler, who had staggered to his feet, could hear it before he could see it, the whining diesel engine getting louder behind a cloud of smoke.


"It was like a movie," he said. "It reminded me of 'Lethal Weapon.'  The smoke was all there and then he just rolled through it, just like in the movie."  Smoke "just rolled off the windows.  I couldn't believe what was happening."


Suddenly it was upon him, and Butler could see inside the vehicle.  "It had two individuals in it," he said. "They were dressed in all black, and their faces were veiled and covered.  I could see the slits of their eyes."


Butler fired approximately 100 rounds at the firetruck.  Like the dump truck, it turned left just before reaching the entrance.  Butler said he thought the driver was either distracted by the withering fire or was unable to locate the entrance.


The sound of the explosion was "really unexplainable, just the noise and the violence about it," said Diorio, the company commander.  Although the fire engine had failed to penetrate the entrance, "they were basically inside our perimeter," he said.  The blast was so loud, Diorio feared the worst.


Slowly the reports began to filter in over the platoon network.


"Second platoon all accounted for."


"Third platoon all accounted for."


"Fourth platoon all accounted for."


"Thank you, Lord," Diorio whispered to himself.


"They were definitely close enough to cause a lot of damage," he said.  "It was where they detonated it:  It was a miracle.  If I had to pick a place for them to detonate a firetruck full of explosives, if I had to pick one, I would have picked that place."


The vehicle exploded near the "Welcome to Iraq" mural, which absorbed some of the blast.  So did a huge corrugated metal overhang that had provided shade for vehicles waiting in line at the border.  It was obliterated, along with a low-slung blue-and-white building that also took some of the blast.


Only three Marines were wounded, none seriously.  A piece of shrapnel pierced Butler's plastic goggles but did not penetrate the helmet they were attached to.


First Sgt. Don Brazeal, 39, of Riviera Beach, Md., was inside the company command post when the firetruck exploded.  He had also feared the worst and rushed out to the base perimeter.  "It's kind of a parental instinct that took over," he said.  "A lot of these guys are young enough to be my sons.  Right away I had a mental picture that my kids were not in a good way."


Brazeal arrived at Post 8 to find Fink firing at about a dozen insurgents.  They were shielded by a wall on the other side of the road.


Brazeal grabbed a rocket launcher and climbed atop a dirt barrier, exposing himself to enemy fire.  He fired the rocket at the wall.  Fink then did the same. Then the shooting stopped, they said.


For nearly an hour, mortars and RPGs -- Marines estimated as many as 30 -- pelted the base.  The unit summoned F-18 fighter jets and Cobra helicopter gunships; the Cobras fired machine guns and Hellfire missiles at what an after-action report described as vehicles transporting weapons. 


The small-arms fire around the base subsided at 9:30 a.m. but continued sporadically for nearly 10 hours.


The Marines said 19 insurgents were killed and 15 were wounded during 24 hours of fighting.  An unknown number of civilians were also reported killed.


This week, the city remained tense.  The Marines believed they had scored a decisive victory, tempered only by the realization that they faced an adversary perhaps more sophisticated than they had known.


"These guys knew what they were doing," said Lt. Ronnie Choe, 25, of Los Angeles, the battalion's assistant intelligence officer. "These weren't just random guys who decided: Hey let's do something."







An Appeal From A Soldiers’ Mom


From: joshsmom85@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 11:48 PM


Dear Servicemembers,


My name is Kim Rosario and I am a mom of a GI currently serving in Iraq.


I am writing a book which will include a section on the low down dirty tactics of the military recruiters.


If any of you out there are willing to share your stories (anonymously is O.K.) I want to here how you were bamboozled by a recruiter.


I am also interested in how your deployment has affected your families.


Please email me at JOSHSMOM85@aol.com.


You remain in my prayers....


Keep your spirits up & your head down.


Kim r. (Josh's mom)



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)



Local Soldier Recovering From Wounds

PFC Scott Worsham


April 18, 2005 KLFY


An Acadiana soldier who was wounded overseas is recovering at home.  Private First Class Scott Worsham is suffering from various injuries to the right side of his body after a car explosion in Iraq last month.


Worsham joined the Army last year. He says he was patrolling neighborhoods for possible insurgents when the incident took place.


PFC Scott Worsham/Wounded Soldier: We were at a house where we found there were a lot of weapons in it and we were deciding what we would do with the house.  While they were doing that, we got out our striker [Stryker?] and walked around the neighborhood, when a car came speeding down the street and ran into a striker and it exploded...


Worsham must use a cane to walk and says he isn't sure if he'll ever be able to walk without it again.


For now, friends and family are helping him recover.


After 60 days leave, he'll return to Seattle and await deployment.



Rose Gentle Says “Bring All The Troops Home Now”

More Election Backing For Anti-War Mother

Pte Gordon Gentle was killed on patrol in Basra


[Thanks to Nigel Baldwin for sending this in.  He writes: I'm backing her!!!]


14 April, 2005 BBC


The group fighting to preserve Scotland's army regiments has withdrawn its candidate from the seat of the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.


Save the Scottish Regiments said its decision would clear the way for Rose Gentle, who is standing against Mr Ingram on an anti-war ticket.


Mrs Gentle's son Gordon was serving in Iraq with the Royal Highland Fusiliers when he was killed by a roadside bomb.


She is contesting the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat.


Mrs Gentle has campaigned against the conflict since the death of her son.


Scottish Socialist Party candidate Cathy Pederson has already stood down in favour of backing her and on Thursday, Save the Scottish Regiments candidate Allan Hendry also announced he would not contest the seat.


Pte Gordon Gentle, 19, was serving with the Royal Highland Fusiliers when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra just weeks after completing his training.


Since then the 40-year-old Glaswegian mother has frequently spoken out against the war and has launched an election bid alongside her Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign.


Mrs Gentle has called on all other candidates opposed to the Iraq war to stand down to enable her to compete against the minister alone.


Mr Hendry said: "I look forward to helping Rose in her campaign as does the whole Save the Scottish Regiments campaign.


"As I am now the second candidate to stand aside, I would urge the other candidates of the major parties to do the same and allow Rose Gentle to deliver a bloody nose to a government minister of this duplicitous government."



RFK Must Be Rolling In His Grave.


April 19, 2005, John Judge, "Copa"


Did you know that the Pentagon and an as yet unnamed corporation are splitting a cost of $6 million to change the name of RFK stadium to Armed Forces Field at RFK, and to have a permanent set of recruiting booths at all the games there?


Originally the National Guard made the bid for a name change, but Senator Warner felt it was not cost efficient for the Guard alone, so he switched to the new arrangement.


One former school board member told me that she attended a game there recently and saw the military recruiting table outside.


I'd like to counter that soon with a CHOICES table.


RFK must be rolling in his grave.



Tricare Coverage Is "Crap" Anyway


April 19, 2005 Military Counselor Ray Parrish, Vietnam Veterans Against the War


Tricare coverage is "crap" anyway;  I had that challenge up to my eyelashes and beyond, when I was doing the High Risk Mothers and Babies gig out in WA.


The nameless, faceless characters at the other end of the phone are very skilled at telling you "NO" - for even the most reasonable services.


They have an amazing bag-of-tricks by which they can persist in denial of services.  Lots of rah-rah rhetoric from the mucky mucks about how important our Vets are, but when the smoke clears and folks go back to their busy lives, the show is over. we carry on~







Biting The Hand That Created Them:

"Enough Is Enough!"

“The Green Zone Must Be Liberated From Occupation!"

“This Shows That The Democracy We Are Enjoying Is Fake.”


Another unidentified MP shouted: "Yes, the end of occupation begins here.  The Green Zone must be liberated from occupation!"


Speaker Hajem al-Hassani said he would suspend sessions altogether unless they move within a week to a building on the fringes of the Green Zone that has its own entrance and would be guarded by Iraqi soldiers.


"Enough is enough!" he said before adjourning parliament until Sunday.


4/19/2005 By Jamie Tarabay, Associated Press & FOCUS News Agency & Anatolia.com Inc.


Iraq's National Assembly briefly delayed its session Tuesday to protest the mistreatment of a Shiite legislator by a soldier at a U.S. checkpoint outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, where parliament meets in central Baghdad with some calling for the fortified Green Zone to be "liberated from the occupation".


Deputies took turns to speak for almost two hours about the many indignities that they and the Iraqi population suffer when coming in contact with US troops.


"According to the Geneva conventions, an occupying force must respect the occupied nation," said Abdul Khaliq Zanganah, a Kurdish MP.  "This offending soldier must be thrown out of our country."


Another unidentified MP shouted: "Yes, the end of occupation begins here.  The Green Zone must be liberated from occupation!"


Speaker Hajem al-Hassani said he would suspend sessions altogether unless they move within a week to a building on the fringes of the Green Zone that has its own entrance and would be guarded by Iraqi soldiers.


"Enough is enough!" he said before adjourning parliament until Sunday.


A Sunni MP, Mudhar Shawkat, handed in the green VIP badge issued by the US military authorising him and other deputies to enter the Green Zone and said he would only attend parliament if sessions were moved to another location.


"They should be put on notice and given two months -- no more -- to leave the Green Zone," he said before walking out.


Deputies suspended their session for an hour in protest


In an emotional speech to the legislature, a sobbing Fattah al-Sheik, whose small party has been linked to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said the American soldier had kicked his car, mocked the legislature, handcuffed him and held him by the neck.


''What happened to me represents an insult to the whole National Assembly that was elected by the Iraqi people.


"When I told the translator with the soldier that I was a member of the National Assembly, he answered: to hell with you and the National Assembly," Sheikh told his colleagues. 


He said he decided to get out of line and come back later when it was less crowded, but that as he began to pull out, a US soldier came over and kicked his car.


"I showed him my badge, but he grabbed it from my hand and tossed it in my face," said the Sheikh. "When I got out of my car, the soldier twisted my arm."


“This shows that the democracy we are enjoying is fake.  Through such incidents, the U.S. Army tries to show that it is the real controlling power in the country, not the new Iraqi government, and that it can impose its rules on every Iraqi,'' he said.


At least three other deputies said they witnessed the mistreatment of Sheikh who was in a black vehicle bearing posters of Sadr.


"I saw the whole thing and adding insult to injury was when Iraqi soldiers drew their rifles at brother Fatah as he was being mistreated by the Americans," said Ali Yushaa an independent Shiite MP.



Crude oil pipeline near Fatha, between the Kirkuk oil fields and the Baiji refinery April 18, 2005, after saboteurs attacked it.  (AFP)



Another Collaborator General Killed


4.19.05 Middle East Online


An inspector general responsible for southern provinces, Brigadier General Hussein Hato al-Jabeeri, and his driver were shot dead in their car in Amara, some 350 kilometres (210 miles) southeast of Baghdad, a police captain said.



Assorted Resistance Action


4/19/2005 By Jamie Tarabay, Associated Press, & Middle East Online & Reuters & By Robert F. Worth, New York Times


A car bombing outside an Iraqi army recruitment center occurred in the Azamiyah section of the capital about 20 yards from the front gate of the recruitment center, a palace of ousted president Saddam Hussein, now used by the army, killing at least six Iraqis, including four soldiers, and wounding 44, said police Col. Hussein Mutlaq.


Most of the victims were soldiers or would-be recruits.


Insurgents opened fire on Iraqi soldiers in Khalidiyah town, 75 miles west of Baghdad, killing five soldiers and wounding seven, police and hospital officials said.


A businessman who runs a travel agency was also shot and killed in the western neighborhood of Ghazaliya at noon, Interior Ministry officials said.  The businessman, Tariq Hasoun Khadim, was the manager of the Travel Call Co., based in the ``green zone,'' the fortified compound that houses Iraq's government.









“Mass Defiance Rendered The Majority Of Ground Troops ‘Unreliable’ In The Eyes Of Their Government”


[Thanks to Max Watts for sending in: from Australian TV announcement]


Sir! No Sir is the story of how American GI's, in their thousands, created a widespread, unprecedented movement against the war in Vietnam.


With April 30th 2005 marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, Sir! No Sir provocatively links that historic moment to today's world.


Through demonstrations, underground newspapers, combat refusals and more, American GI's altered the course of the Vietnam War and rocked the foundations of the American military.


By 1971, resistance had grown to a level of mass defiance that rendered the majority of ground troops "unreliable" in the eyes of their government.


A Pentagon study that year determined more than half of all troops in the military opposed the war.


Yet today, the memory of the GI movement has been buried.


Along with gripping, exclusive interviews with key participants in the movement, Sir! No Sir unearths a wealth of visual material including never-before-seen film footage from personal archives, to tell a startling story.


With hundreds of thousands of American soldiers again spread across the globe and signs of opposition emerging among troops Sir! No Sir resurrects the suppressed memory of the GI movement.


[Check it out at: http://www.sirnosir.com/ ]



A 1980 Classic:




5/1/80 U. MASS/BOSTON ANTI-WAR COMMITTEE [Thanks to Michael Letwin]


During the Vietnam war, the answer seemed obvious to millions of people: the U.S. military was waging a ghastly war of aggression against the people of Vietnam.  Some 2 million Vietnamese and 65,000 American soldiers were being killed.  The entire country of Vietnam, along with large portions of Cambodia and Laos were permanently maimed by the scorched‑earth and saturation bombing policies of the U.S. government.  The myth that America fought for “democracy” seemed dead.


As a result, in the late ‘60's and early ‘70's, students declared that their schools would not be used to service and provide more cannon‑fodder for the military machine responsible for such brutality.  Students at nearly every campus in the country drove military recruiters and the ROTC out of their schools.  At U. Mass/Boston, the military was officially banned from campus in 1972.


But today, when millions of Americans have forgotten Vietnam, young people have never been taught the truth about the war, and all of us are being whipped up for yet another war (against Iran or some other former possession of the U.S.) the military is back, with the blessing of the university, which lifted the recruitment ban in 1974 when things were quiet.


Today, the military comes against the background of waves of government and media‑inspired nationalism and racism directed against anyone who is not a white American.  They exploit the economic draft: the pressure on working class and third world students to join because they can’t find decent jobs.  They send recruiters in fancy uniforms and rows of shiny medals armed with videos, slick pamphlets and ads in the Mass Media (4/29/80) that promise everything most of us are missing: training, jobs and “adventure.”


But they are lying.


They don’t tell us that in peacetime army life is demeaning, boring and harsh; that they can put you at whatever Job they want regardless of any recruitment promise; that you have few rights of free speech and no union; and that sexism and racism (though blacks make up 30% of the army, they fill 51% of the army’s prison population — Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/10/78) are rampant.


But the biggest lies are about wartime, especially the war in Vietnam.


They don’t tell us what nearly everyone began to realize by the late ‘60's: that the U.S. had created and was backing a corrupt military dictatorship with no popular support, for the sole purpose of protecting the American business empire around the world from growing revolt.


They don’t say anything about the routine policies of torture and murder which American soldiers were forced to carry out under programs such as “Operation Phoenix,” the “Electronic Battlefield,” “Strategic Hamlets,” and “Body Counts.”


They “forget” the systematic rape and murder of Vietnamese women.  They say nothing about napalm, anti‑personnel weapons, defoliants, and more bombs than were dropped in all of WWII.  They forget to mention that the military encouraged racism so that American soldiers wouldn’t think twice about killing “gooks” and “chinks.”


Nor do they have much to say about the effect of the war on American soldiers.  That working class and non‑white troops were the people murdered on the front lines (by 1970, blacks made up 11% of the troops in Vietnam, but 22% of the casualties -- Robert Mullen, Blacks in America’s Wars, New York, 1973, p. 77).  And that those who made it home met unemployment and racism as cripples, agent‑orange victims and heroin addicts.


The recruiters are also silent about America’s other recent Vietnams: (for example) Korea’ (1950‑2), Lebanon (1958), and the Dominican Republic (1965), not to mention the training in murder and torture provided to countless military dictatorships in all corners of the far‑flung American empire.


Perhaps most hidden is the role of the military at home: in suppressing ghetto rebellions (Detroit 1967, Washington, D.C. 1968), anti‑war activity (Chicago 1968, Kent State 1970), and in strike‑breaking (against the postal workers 1970, and threatened against the coal miners 1978).


What’s more, it’s not just the past.  The army is gearing up now for other Vietnams, in Iran, El Salvador or the Philippines — wherever U.S. business is threatened.


In other words, what the recruiters don’t tell us is that the whole point of “recruitment” and the draft is to get us to fight and kill people very much like ourselves in other countries or cities, based on phony myths about “protecting democracy,” when what’s really at stake is the power and profits of an IBM, G.M., Coca Cola or Exxon.


Even a U.S. Marine Corps Major General, Smedley D. Butler, hardly a radical, came to see this earlier in the century: “I spent 33 years and four months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force -- the Marine Corps . . . And during that period I spent most of my time” as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short I was a racketeer for capitalism . . .”


American soldiers in Vietnam came to realize the same thing.  The result was that by the late ‘60's, American troops were always stoned, GIs had formed groups against the war and racism, entire units had been known to refuse combat orders, and gung‑ho officers and lifers watched their backs to make sure they weren’t “fragged” (killed) by “their own” men.





If organized crime set up a table in building 020 to “recruit” assassins would anyone defend their “right to free speech?”  If pimps came to “recruit” prostitutes or heroin pushers “recruited” junkies would crowds of angry students gather in their defense? Hardly.  That type of “speech” is directly related to activity so obviously dangerous and wrong that no one defends them.


Why then is military recruitment different? 


We’ve seen that the military serves as the armed wing of big business, that it actively encourages racism and sexism, and that its purpose is to suppress by murder popular movements whether in Vietnam, the non‑white communities in the U.S., the unions or the universities.


As such, it is the most deadly and large scale form of organized’ crime in the world today.  It is legal (as was slavery 100 years ago) only because those who make the laws (the corporations and their representatives) need it to survive.


But like organized crime, pimps, heroin pushers and slave traders, it has no right to organize anyone into its criminal activities.  Legal or not, it must be stopped.






Welcome To Liberated Iraq:

Occupation Cops Attack Demonstrators Calling For More Jobs


April 19 (KUNA)


The Iraqi Police clashed on Tuesday with protestors in the town of Dewayah in Nasiriyah Province, southern Iraq.


Iraqi Police sources told KUNA that the Iraqi armed forces and Iraqi Police, with support of Italian helicopters, tried to end a demonstration in downtown Dewayah, north of Nasiriyah city.


The security forces were able to break the demonstration and arrest 15, while three Iraqi policemen were injured and transported to a hospital for treatment, the source added.


The protestors interfered with work processes in government authorities in the town, demanding the government to provide more jobs. [!]


[The next time you hear some apologist for the Empire whining about how the resistance bombs Iraqi cops, remember this.]






The Great Iraqi “Police Training” Farce Rolls On


APRIL 18, 2005 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.


Infiltration of the police by insurgents poses a critical problem, says a U.S. Army captain who returned from Iraq in February after a yearlong tour as a military intelligence officer.


Sometimes the police even act in cahoots with the insurgents. In one instance, insurgents let it be known that they were going to attack a police station, and the cops left ahead of time.  The next day, weapons and patrol cars had disappeared. "In some towns, we don't trust the police as far as we can throw them," says the captain.


It's also not uncommon for recruits to go through training, disappear, and then sell their weapons on the black market.


An Iraqi-led "qualifying committee," using cutting-edge biometric technology provided by Cross Match Technologies in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is conducting an assessment of the Iraqi police payroll to detect the number of deserters, crooks, and retirees.  The Iraq Interior Minister recently extended the committee's April deadline by four months because certain parts of the country have been too dangerous to visit.


"It's safe to say there are tens of thousands on the payroll who aren't working," says Matt Sherman, a State Dept. official who served as senior security adviser to Iraq's Interior Minister for 14 months.


More than 800 former FBI agents, cops, and other private-contract employees are helping to build a police force.


The majority work for DynCorp International, which has a $500 million contract, or SAIC, which has a $200 million contract and more than 250 personnel in-country. Last spring, the U.S. military's Civilian Police Assistance Training Team gave a $200 million contract to U.S. Investigations Services, which has 50 people in Iraq, to help train police in counterinsurgency operations.


And in February, the Justice Dept. awarded a contract valued at up to $400 million to L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL), a subsidiary of MPRI, to help provide police training. MPRI is taking over the work performed by SAIC.


The pay typically exceeds $100,000 a year, but being a private-contract employee in Iraq may qualify as the most dangerous civilian job in the world.







Poor Marks For Bush, Congress:

Americans Cite War In Iraq As Country's Top Priority


18 April 2005 CBS News


President Bush doesn't fare very well in the latest CBS News poll with an approval rating of just 44 percent.


But at least he's doing better than Congress, which earns a thumbs-up from only 35 percent of Americans - nearly as low a rating as it received last month immediately after lawmakers' unpopular intervention in the Terri Schiavo case.


Just 37 percent think what the current Congress has accomplished so far has been good for the country; 41 percent think what Congress has done has been bad.


Americans cited the war in Iraq as the country's top priority.


Few Americans think Congress really cares about what they think anyway. Only 8 percent say elected officials pay a good deal of attention to the people who elect them; 43 percent think they pay some attention to voters, and 43 percent say not much attention.


As for President Bush, his overall approval rating remained little changed at 44 percent, but his disapproval rating climbed above 50 percent for only the third time since he took office.





Danger: Political Snakes At Work

California Democrats Call For End Of US Occupation Of Iraq “At Earliest Possible Time”


April 17, 2005


The state convention of the California Democratic Party meeting today in Los Angeles in a nearly unanimous vote called for "termination of the occupation at the earliest possible time with the withdrawal of American troops coupled with the creation of an international body that can assist the Iraqi people in freely and peacefully determining their own future and that we participate in multi-lateral reconstruction."



Comment #1



In anti-allawi-group@yahoogroups.com, Bob wrote:


The earliest possible moment is right now!  Start those engines and get those tanks moving toward Kuwait!  Pull up those tent pins and get those boys and girls marching the hell out of there!  Hell - leave the tanks there and just evacuate on those transport planes and helis.


This sounds like they want to tell the anti-war folk - see we're about getting out and the pro-war folk - but of course we agree that we got to win the war first - that's why we say - earliest possible moment.


And just what is meant by creating an international body?  Is that aside from NATO and the UN?


We need an independent political party - an anti-war party – that says straight up - get out now!


Let's not fall for rhetoric that sounds anti-war but when you break it down - leaves the counter insurgency and brutal occupation intact!



Comment #2


April 18, 2005 Kelebdooni, anti-allawi-group


Re: California Democrats call for end of US occupation of Iraq


NOW, yes Bob, exactly.  Stalling is insincerity.  Let's have a little more war first?  Declared warmongers and hegemonists are at least honest.


Coupling with the creation of an international body?  This is yet more colonial patronizing, and a pretext for prolonging the occupation and/or shaping Iraq's future from without.


After withdrawal, if the Iraqi people need assistance, as if they weren't among the first people of the world to invent the concepts of state and nation about 5000 years ago, they're the ones who should ask for it.


In fact, to enable the Iraqi people to determine their own future freely and peacefully, they should be left alone without unsolicited interference of any kind to grapple with it for better or for worse.


If violence ensues, so be it, till it can be sorted out by the people themselves. Otherwise, any interference even with good intent to keep the peace will inevitably cause further eruption of violence.


As if enough damage hasn't been done already, if the people are to be free, they must be freed of interference first.


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.



Police In Ariz. Seek Monkey For SWAT Team


[Thanks to David Honish, Vets For Peace, who sent this in.  He writes: If a chimp can be president, why not a monkey for a SWAT team?]


Apr 18 MESA, Ariz. (AP)


The Mesa Police Department is looking to add some primal instinct to its SWAT team. And to do that, it's looking to a monkey.


"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," said Mesa Officer Sean Truelove, who builds and operates tactical robots for the suburban Phoenix SWAT team. "It would change the way we do business."


Truelove is spearheading the department's request to purchase and train a capuchin monkey, considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee. The department is seeking about $100,000 in federal grant money to put the idea to use in Mesa SWAT operations.


The monkey, which costs $15,000, is what Truelove envisions as the ultimate SWAT reconnaissance tool.







Taliban Start Radio Station


(Washington Times, April 19, 2005, Pg. 12)


Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime has started a pirate radio station that pumps out broadsides from a mobile transmitter against the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, officials and reports said.


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