GI Special:



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






Family and friends follow military pall bearers as they carry the casket of Kentucky National Guard Sgt. James A. Sherrill to his burial site, April 12, 2005, near Ekron, Ky. Sgt. Sherrill was killed April 3, 2005 in Iraq.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)



“Soldiers Were Used For The Financial Gain Of Those In Power”

Debbie Roath’s husband is an Army reservist who spent 15 months in Iraq fighting a war that neither of them believed in.  Roath, a pastor at a small church in Slater, Missouri, is now leading the effort to bring more information about the military to students at her daughter’s high school in the nearby town of Marshall.


[Thanks to Max Watts for sending this in.]


19 Apr 2005 by John Tarleton, nycindymedia.com


Slater, Missouri:


“I feel my husband and many, many other soldiers were used for the financial gain of those in power,” says the 41-year-old mother of five.  “I find a lot of scriptural support that leads me to believe that peace is the better way.”


With the military’s enlistment numbers dropping and a “counter-recruitment” movement becoming increasingly active in college towns and major urban centers, the battle for the hearts and minds of possible enlistees is spreading to the more conservative parts of the country, where the military draws a substantial amount of recruits.  Small-town counter-recruiters like Roath are working on difficult cultural terrain, but the bloody stalemate in Iraq has given them a chance.


Roath and two other peace activists tabled at Marshall High School for the first time on Feb. 25.  She said about 50 students approached her.  To her surprise, many were critical of the war.  She plans to table again in April, and will also try to get counter recruiting information into the guidance counselor’s office.


“They (the students) were very interested in conscientious-objector status and what it’s about and how you build a file,” Roath said.  “We also wanted to get across that the military is not the only way to get college money.”


“We asked them to consider if they would be able to kill even if they think they are going in for the money,” added Wanita Blumhorst, who tabled with Roath.


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.







Four More Wounded




BAGHDAD, Iraq – Two Task Force Baghdad Soldiers died April 19 after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their patrol around 7 p.m. in southern Baghdad.


Four were injured.


The bomb went off in the west of the capital late on Tuesday, as the patrol was moving near the airport road, one of the most dangerous in the country.



Soldier From Nashua Killed;

"He Told Us He Was Coming Home In Two Weeks”


April 20, 2005 The Telegraph, NASHUA, N.H.


The last call from Sgt. Angelo Lozada Jr. was a happy one:  He was headed home in two weeks.


But this weekend, his family learned that Lozada, 36, was one of three soldiers killed in combat in Ramadi, Iraq.


Lozada was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, Korea. Also killed Saturday were Army Spc. Randy L. Stevens, 21, Swartz Creek, Mich.; and Army Sgt. Tromaine K. Toy Sr., 24, Eastville, Va.


"I miss him already," said Angelo's son, Michael, one of his three children.  "I would give anything to be able to talk to my dad again."


The last call came last Wednesday.  "He told us he was coming home in two weeks.  He wanted us to drive down and pick him up," his sister Angela said, standing outside her parents' Nashua home Tuesday.


Lozada and his two brothers, Louis and Antonio, joined the reserves after graduating from Easton District High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., but Angelo was the only one to stay. He lived in Nashua after coming out of the reserves and before re-enlisting. He went to Iraq in 2003.


Antonio Lozada said one of the reasons his brother loved the reserves was traveling the world.


"He wanted to travel and he got to.  He was gung ho all the way," Antonio said.


Angelo also worked with handicapped people and worked for Angela for a while.


On Tuesday, yellow ribbons and bouquets of flowers adorned the porch of the apartment building where he lived.


Family was very important to him, his sister said.  His son, Michael, said his father often brought him to the movies and had coached his baseball team when he was little.  Two months ago, Angelo became a grandfather.


"He did right for everybody.  We were always worried about him, but he was always worried about us," Angela said.


Angelo's brother, Louis, said family and friends from California, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania and New York are on their way to New Hampshire for the funeral.


"They told me they're going to rent a bus from New York. There's people coming from everywhere. This is just the beginning," he said.



Two WNY Soldiers Killed


April 20, 2005 WIVB


Two more soldiers from Western New York have lost their lives while serving their country.


A training accident in Fort Riley, Kansas, killed Wesley Gordon of Allegany County.  And News 4's Jodi Hovenden reports a suicide bomb killed Jake Pfister in Baghdad, Iraq.


Amy MacGregor said, "I had a weird feeling yesterday."


MacGregor says she knew something was wrong when she couldn't stop thinking about her son, Army Specialist Jacob Pfister, Tuesday night.


Wednesday morning, she learned the devastating news.


MacGregor said, "The Army was knocking on my front door, and I knew."


The 27-year-old Western New York native was one of two U.S. soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad.


MacGregor said, "His squad was waiting for transport when a suicide truck bomb blew up while waiting for their convoy."


Pfister, who grew up in Evans and Buffalo, moved to Florida after joining the Army four years ago.


One of Jake's biggest roles in life was yet to come.  He and his wife Ashley were expecting their first child in June.


MacGregor said, "He was so excited; he goes, 'Mom, now I know what you mean when you say having kids is what makes life all about.'"


Family members say they'll make sure his daughter knows everything about her daddy -- everything that made him so special.


The family is still waiting to make funeral arrangements for Specialist Pfister.



U.S. Convoy Hit Near Abu Ghraib;

Tanker Burning


20 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net


A car bomb exploded near a US convoy in an area of western Baghdad where Abu Ghraib prison is located, setting an oil tanker on fire, said police Major Musa Abd al-Karim.


Muhammad Abd Allah, an Iraqi journalist, told Aljazeera a US military vehicle was burnt in the attack and a number of civilians injured in the explosion.



Battalion Commander Injured By IED


Apr. 20, 2005 BY ANGELIQUE SOENARIE, Staff Writer, KRT


One of Fort Benning's battalion commanders was injured Thursday by an improvised explosive device in Iraq.


The incident marks the first time a battalion commander from the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division has been injured since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.


Lt. Col. Scott Spellmon, who commands the Brigade Troops Battalion, will head home this week from an Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, said Lt. Col. Jim DesJardin, the brigade's rear detachment commander.


Spellmon, who suffered a leg wound from shrapnel, will be treated at Fort Benning's Martin Army Community Hospital.


DesJardin said it is not yet determined if someone will take Spellmon's place as commander of the battalion since it will depend on his recovery, DesJardin said.



Canadian Mercenary Killed In Baghdad


April 20, 2005 HALIFAX (CP)


A man from a tiny Nova Scotia community was killed Wednesday by insurgents during a car ambush in Baghdad, while his vehicle waited for a road to reopen.


Family members in Saint-Anne-du-Ruisseau, N.S., confirmed that Stefan Surette, 30, an employee of Edinburgh Risk Inc., a British private security firm in Iraq, died from gunshot wounds.


As family and friends gathered to grieve, Elaine Surette, Stefan's mother, said her son had been caught in an insurgent ambush.


"What they told us is that they had been on the road to go to the airport and the road had been closed because of a previous bombing," she said.


"They were waiting for the road to reopen when insurgents came along and opened fire. That's as much as I know."


Surette moved away from Nova Scotia over a decade ago, to become part of the British military.  He later joined a private security firm.



Iraq Insurgents Switch Strategy, Go For Major Attacks


One military analyst, who asked that his name not be used, told Knight Ridder that the insurgents displayed a greater level of coordination and synchronization than the Americans had seen in the past.


That analyst added, "The argument about 'bigger targets equals easier to find and hit' to a degree fails to explain if we are looking as hard as we should be, how did the 'bigger targets' get formed up without detection?"


By contrast, the assailants demonstrated the capability to manoeuvre from one area of operation to another with ease, making use of superior techniques and means of communication and transportation to strike at a chosen target in an organised manner.


Apr. 20, 2005 By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, Knight Ridder Newspapers, WASHINGTON & 21 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net


Strategists who keep close tabs on the war in Iraq are scratching their heads over a sudden shift to large-scale attacks on American bases by the insurgents who heretofore have primarily bedeviled U.S. forces with their roadside bombs and hit-and-run attacks.  [Otherwise known as guerrilla warfare Stage 1.] Giap wrote the book.]


Just when military commanders in Iraq were beginning to feel optimistic about the marked fall in the number of terrorist incidents and attacks in the wake of the January elections, the insurgents twice so far this month have staged well planned and coordinated mass attacks on U.S. facilities at Abu Ghraib prison and a Marine base on the Syrian border.


In the case of the remote and isolated Marine base at Husaybah, the insurgents massed a force estimated to number more than 100 men and distracted the defenders with mortar and rocket-propelled grenade attacks as a dump truck loaded with explosives blew apart a roadblock at the entrance to the base.


The attack at Husaybah on April 11 came a week after a similar mass insurgent attack on the prison at Abu Ghraib, just outside the capital of Baghdad, which injured 44 Americans guarding or working in the prison.


That attack was preceded by a fierce enemy bombardment of American positions by 80mm and 120mm mortars, as well as twin suicide car bombings aimed at breaching the prison wall.


Two columns of 30 to 40 insurgents each advanced directly against the American Marines guarding the perimeter.


The attack was so fierce the Marines were forced to pull back.


The insurgent/terrorist leaders score points for being able to pull a company-size attack force together quickly in so open and barren a terrain, and to plan and coordinate a complicated, precisely timed assault.


One military analyst, who asked that his name not be used, told Knight Ridder that the insurgents displayed a greater level of coordination and synchronization than the Americans had seen in the past.


That analyst added, "The argument about 'bigger targets equals easier to find and hit' to a degree fails to explain if we are looking as hard as we should be, how did the 'bigger targets' get formed up without detection?"  [This is not rocket science.  The occupation only controls the ground the occupation troops stand on at any given moment.  That leaves 99.9% of the rest of Iraq for the resistance to use any fucking way they please, including forming up for attacks in force.  Duh.  And students of guerrilla warfare will remember this is called Stage 2.  Stage 3 is when the Ambassador leaves by helicopter from the Embassy roof.]


It is worth noting that the recent attacks have focused more or less on the same targets.


In Haditha, for example, the town's police commander and other senior officers were killed a few days ago, to be followed by the killing of several Iraqi soldiers.  This indicated that the security measures taken in Haditha were ineffective.


By contrast, the assailants demonstrated the capability to manoeuvre from one area of operation to another with ease, making use of superior techniques and means of communication and transportation to strike at a chosen target in an organised manner.


The depressing pace of the political process coupled with the pervasive presence of US forces has convinced many Iraqis that they have lost sovereignty and political independence.



Resistance Attacks U.S. Base In Ramadi;

Casualties Not Announced


Apr 20 By Ian Simpson BAGHDAD (Reuters) & 21 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net


Two car bombs struck the entrance of a U.S. and National Guard base in Ramadi, about 60 miles west of Baghdad.


Aljazeera reports that a booby-trapped tanker has exploded near a US army base in central Ramadi, followed by a fierce barrage of mortar rounds targeting the governorate building, being used as a barracks by US troops.


Sporadic clashes also erupted between armed fighters and US troops in other parts of Ramadi on Wednesday, but no details about casualties or losses were available.



2nd Brigade Combat Team Losses


April 18, 2005 Colorado Springs Gazette


Since arriving last August from bases in South Korea, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Ramadi has had 51 soldiers killed, with all but a few of those felled by guerrilla bombs or bullets.



A “Devastated” Line Of Defense:

"This Is Worse Than Anybody Thought"


Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2005


Traveling 200 miles of Iraq's borders with Jordan and Syria, as Marine Lt. Col. Ken DeSimone did recently, one finds snapshots of a line of defense so devastated that "porous" would be an improvement.  "It's like the Wild West out here," said DeSimone. "This is worse than anybody thought."







Three Injured MS Soldiers Head To Hospital In Germany


04/20/05 WLOX


Three Mississippi soldiers and another from Alabama injured in an explosion in Iraq were scheduled to be transported to an Army hospital in Germany on Wednesday, National Guard officials said.


Lt. Col. Tim Powell, a Mississippi Army National Guard spokesman, said five members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team were injured Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicles.


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.


Elizenberry, Jones, Little and Brooks are members of Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery out of Columbus. Galatas is a member of Headquarters Company, 150th Engineer Battalion in Meridian.


Janis Galatas said Wednesday her husband lost a lot of blood and doctors performed surgery to stop the bleeding.


"He's not doing too good.  He lost a lot of blood.  They had him sedated and he was resting (Tuesday) night, but they had to take him to surgery,'' Galatas said in a telephone interview from Meridian.


Stacy Elizenberry told The Associated Press that her husband suffered second degree burns on his arms, hands and face.


"He's doing OK,'' she said. "He's in good spirits.''



“I Fight To Protect My Own 2 Loved Ones From A 2nd Deployment”


From: Lietta & Arthur Ruger

To: GI Special

Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 5:47 PM

Subject: Santiago decision, Stop Loss, and contracts


While our troops are imprisoned in 2nd and 3rd and potentially ongoing repetitious deployments, the language of our nation confines them to that imprisonment indefinitely.


Dear GI Special


I am forwarding the below to you for consideration.  It was a response I sent to CNN at their request for an interview with a soldier affected by Santiago v Rumsfeld decision on Stop Loss.  The request from CNN came to MFSO who forwarded it on to member MFSO families in Seattle area.


I called the CNN correspondent, indicated my willingness to speak on behalf of the experience of my own two loved ones affected directly by Stop Loss in 2nd deployments to Iraq.  The correspondent indicated I should put it in writing and send to her, which I did (below).  I did not hear back from her.


I then decided to forward the below to every newspaper in our state, Washington.  I heard back from none of the publications.


Rather than have the below go unpublished anywhere, I am submitting for your consideration.


It is important to me for several reasons, on a personal level which is addressed below, but also because our MFSO member families in Washington and Oregon worked on behalf of support for Emiliano Santiago at his hearing trial in Seattle, WA on April 6, 2005.  A support Santiago event was coordinated and held at University of Washington the day of the hearing, with press release by MFSO and also at local level media sources.


Correctly, our local media focused on the history of Santiago's legal suit and the decision.  However, as a sideline to the story, any reporting of military families coming out in a show of support for one of our troops was mentioned only incidentally and dismissively.


It is wearisome to me to have stories of military families speaking out represented as anti-war and sometimes dismissively as disgruntled family members.


Of note, the young man who coordinated the support rally on behalf of MFSO and Gold Star Families for Peace is from a family deeply affected by the war in that he lost his younger brother in Iraq, killed in 2003.


In other words, as I fight to protect my own 2 loved ones from a 2nd deployment to Iraq in fear of having to wear the two hats of MFSO and GSFfP, this young man endeavors to work in his efforts that I might not have to wear the same two hats he now wears.


If protests by military families are not being covered by media so appear to be non-events, and supportive rallies by military families are not media-covered as a fair representation of the message meaning which is one of authentic support for our troops, and if a very personal opportunity to support a young man willing to challenge the Stop Loss on behalf of himself and with the potential for larger positive ramifications for all our troops went unattended by the larger military family community, what are any next steps that can be taken?


While there has indeed been some responsible media who have covered the authenticity of our message as military families, more so media prefers to paint us with the anti-war brush which dilutes the message.


As has been pointed out to me by a very reputable news correspondent, the phenomenon of military families speaking out is itself a message and one not seen before, even in Vietnam-era. 


It took the soldiers themselves speaking out in Vietnam-era with their own military families and other supporters joining their efforts.  In this era, as military families dare to challenge the status quo of the traditional military culture of silence and adhering to that code of silence, it is a significant change in approach.


While I cannot presume to speak for all or even the larger population of military families, I can and do speak with a seasoned voice and I hope young families that hear an older generation military family take issue with the status quo will find a way to bridge the traditional 'wisdom' to find their own voices in this time of war in Iraq.


The silence is killing our young.


The silence is killing the family structures of military families.  The silence is affecting the next generation as 1 million youngsters under age 11 who are among the military families learn at our instruction of stoically enduring an unwarranted war in silence.


I personally believe there are many more military families out there that are sympathetic to our efforts to try to speak out on behalf of the troops and their families, but are still apprehensive of reprisals to their own loved ones and I fully appreciate that the very reprisals they fear are a potential reality.


It would seem to me that there would be some middle ground that fosters permission for military families to express the concerns they do have for their deployed loved ones; i.e. equipment shortages, repeat deployments, back door draft, impact on families with extended and repeat deployments, returning maimed loved ones and their future ability to provide for their families, returning loved ones who will face the long road of PTSD and recovery which will impact the soldier and family, and the need for adequate resources to be put in place now if military families are to endure the sustained trauma of repetitious deployments.


At this time it is said that the combat actions in Iraq will continue for years if not a decade.


It is incredulous to think that a soldier and family can sustain under the present conditions for this duration of time without a complete breakdown of the soldier, the family, the military itself while citizens and civilians continue to 'discuss' the pros and cons and leave the dirty work and trauma to military families.


It is a disproportionate burden and weight carried by the soldier and military family in an uneven distribution of sacrifice and responsibility when our nation has declared itself at war.


At the very least this nation at war owes more than a 'thank you for keeping us safe' to the soldier and family and it is past time for the nation at large to take a larger responsibility.  At the very least this nation at war needs to address the realities of its military population with a deeper concern than superficial rhetoric confined to a pro or anti sentiment.


While our troops are imprisoned in 2nd and 3rd and potentially ongoing repetitious deployments, the language of our nation confines them to that imprisonment indefinitely.


If our nation agrees to the conditions that now define deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, then it is reasonable to expect this same nation to honestly address their agreement directly rather than hiding behind the implied consent of silence.  It is no longer a matter of pro-war or anti-war, it is now a discussion based on reality and it's past time to get real about the public dialogue.


It is past time to expect military families to silently endure the burdens they have been forced to carry with some off-handed dismissal that they signed up for this or that they knew what they were getting into when they signed up or that they have an obligation to some age-old tradition to keep their silence and just suck it up and press on somehow.


That is unrealistic and not in keeping with what our civilized studies tell us about people forced to endure sustained and repetitious trauma-related circumstances.


There is no honor in silence, rather it is an age-old mechanism to keep secret the secrets.  Ask any child who has been subjected to abuse and trauma about the culture of silence.


That same culture of silence when applied to an adult population can yield similar results; one of enduring abuse, misuse, exploitation in stoic silence and never letting the outside world see the internal pain or anguish, while the perpetrators continue to carry out their abuse undetected.


I am one voice who will not easily countenance an unwillingness to hear other aspects of a truth kept silent by conformity to a code that no longer serves.


Here are some statistics that I used in a recent article I published:


One of the features of military families in this war that differs from previous wars is that there are more young married soldiers.


Here are some statistics:


in Iraq war, soldiers often married, with children


55% of military personnel are married. 56% of those married are between 22 and 29.


One million military children are under 11.


40% are 5 or younger.


63% of spouses work, including 87% of junior-enlisted spouses.


(Source: Department of Defense and National Military Family Association)


Thank you for your consideration.


Lietta Ruger, a MFSO Pacific Northwest family

PO Box 335

Bay Center, WA, 98527


Website: Military Families Speak Out, Pacific Northwest

My blog; Dying to Preserve the Lies

Feature Writer Topic, Military Families; Impact with Loved Ones Deployed to Iraq




“A Sufficient Back Door Draft Is Happening To Keep The Troops In And Ensure None Will Get Out.”

Reply To: CNN Request To Interview Soldier, Seattle Area, Re; Santiago Decision, Stop Loss, And Contracts


I suggest that the exploitation of those who signed in good faith in honor and integrity has compromised any semblance of an all volunteer military acting on choice; rather I would suggest that a sufficient back door draft is happening to keep the troops in and ensure none will get out.


Contracts are not concrete contracts at all, rather are the noose that catches up the young and that noose is tightened after they have signed on the dotted line.


Original Message

07 Apr 2005 Lietta & Arthur Ruger


Dear Kimberly,



My name is Lietta Ruger. 


I phoned you regarding the email below; your request to interview a soldier in Seattle area impacted by the Santiago v. Rumsfeld decision, Stop Loss and contracts.  You spoke with me briefly and asked me to send you an email with the information and details.


I indicated that I would be willing as a military family to talk about the effect on the two loved ones in our family who are under orders for a 2nd deployment to Iraq + Stop Loss orders.


I can speak about what I know to be their experience, but it is not theirs alone as it affects approximately 10,000 of the 1st Armored.


They are all under orders for deployment to Iraq + Stop Lossed.


For many it will be a second deployment, for some it will be their first deployment.


They will deploy to Iraq in a few short months, having received orders for deployment and having been told they are Stop Lossed.  The 1st Armored already served in Iraq in March 2003 - June 2004.  They were extended in April of 2004 last year so most served, as did my own two, an extended 15 month tour in Iraq.


Both my 2 loved ones are also in a situation of having to make a decision to re-enlist this month.


Since they are already under orders to redeploy to Iraq as well as Stop Loss orders should they decide not to re-enlist, they will wind up in Iraq anyway to serve out the conclusion of this enlistment and being Stop Lossed, will serve beyond their enlistment. 


If they choose to re-enlist, they will wind up in Iraq anyway under the orders they have already + the Stop Loss orders, however, they will then get the re-enlist bonus.  Either way they will redeploy for 2nd deployment to Iraq.  Should they re-enlist, they will then also be committed for another 6 years and more repeat deployments to Iraq.


This is NOT a choice situation, or if it is a choice at all, it's a choice to be redeployed to Iraq having accepted the re-enlist bonus since the other choice is to be redeployed to Iraq without the bonus.....either way they are Stop Lossed already.  At the point that they do decide and should they decide to re-enlist, the military can then claim they are still 'volunteer' military since they signed the re-enlist 'contract' which requires 6 additional years.  This is not voluntary as much as it is entrapment.


I suggest that the military is using creative means and strategies in retention (and recruitment) to meet the needs placed upon the military by this Administration and those strategies are coercive and deceptive in the use of Stop Loss to meet the needs of the mission in Iraq. 


I suggest that the 'voluntary' aspect for those already in the military ceased being voluntary at least a year ago as the military continues to employ the use of Stop Loss; extended tours; repeat tours; activating the National Guard, Reserves and IRR.


I suggest that while there may be 'legal' means for the military to pull out all the stops and employ every hidden rule that ever existed in the use of the troops in combat, it goes to a matter of trust and honor in the use of our troops.


I suggest that the exploitation of those who signed in good faith in honor and integrity has compromised any semblance of an all volunteer military acting on choice; rather I would suggest that a sufficient back door draft is happening to keep the troops in and ensure none will get out.


As this is not part of public dialogue these days, I suggest that what goes on is 'under the radar' of public knowledge or perception.


And I further suggest (or hope) that if the public had a clear sense of how our troops are being dishonored and mis-used in these deceptive practices the idea of 'support the troops' would take on a quite different meaning.


Yesterday, as I listened to our local TV news channels report on the Santiago v. Rumsfeld decision, I heard them say that there are 1,400 troops Stop Lossed now.


I suggest that the 10,000 of 1st Armored who have already received orders for redeployment are Stop Lossed; that a more accurate reporting would be 11,400 troops are Stop Lossed. There may be more but I am not privy to information except as it affects my own.


With recruiting numbers down for the third consecutive month, it is becoming apparent that the young are not as willing to sign up given that deployment to Iraq is an inevitability and that contracts are not concrete contracts at all, rather are the noose that catches up the young and that noose is tightened after they have signed on the dotted line.


This is not honorable to our troops, nor honorable for the citizens of our country.  There is no way that with the aggressive recruitment campaigns that promise much without providing factual information about the nature of the contract any young person can have a full scope sense of what the enlistment contract entails until AFTER they have agreed to sign.


I am myself a military brat, raised in military life in peace time years of the 1950's and 1960's.  I was a young bride to a young husband who was drafted and sent to Vietnam.


Now I am mother-in-law and aunt to two young Iraq veterans facing orders for second deployments to Iraq under Stop Loss orders.


I am not a stranger to the military culture and traditions and I well know how to support the troops.   What is happening now in our country with regard to the use of the troops is not supporting the troops in any honorable way that I am familiar with over the course of my years and exposure. 


Our troops are honorable, and will do their mission, follow their orders and do so in the fashion of military discipline. 


I see a neglect on the part of our Administration, our Legislators, our military, our citizenry and civilians in 'watching their back' while they attempt to continue the impossible.


It is outrageously unreasonable to expect troops to perform at optimum when they are obviously experiencing a shortage of troops and are sent into combat in extended and repeat deployments.


When they are not deployed, they are in perpetual 'training' for the next deployment which requires long hours and taskings to the point of exhaustion.


This hardly builds up stamina for the time of deployment; rather it sends exhausted troops into exhaustive combat.  The matter of what the contract actually says and what it does not say is relevant because once these men and women are 'in', they cannot get out.


I would be willing to speak on these things on behalf of my own 2 loved ones and their comrades.




Lietta Ruger,


Proud mother and aunt to 2 Iraq veterans; proud wife to Vietnam-era veteran (two times); proud military brat, a MFSO Pacific Northwest family


PO Box 335

Bay Center, WA, 98527



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)



Slain Marine’s Father Urges Mexicans Not To Join U.S. Military


The annual number of non-citizen enlistees has fallen nearly 20 percent from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2004, from 11,829 to 9,477 recruits, according to military data.  Much of the decline came last year alone — and despite new rules that offer expedited citizenship for non-citizens soldiers.


April 20, 2005 By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press


MEXICO CITY — The father of a Mexican-born Marine slain in Iraq came back to his native Mexico on Tuesday to convince young Mexicans not to immigrate to the United States or allow themselves to be recruited into the U.S. armed services.


“People should stay here, rather than pursue the misnamed American dream,” said Fernando Suarez del Solar of San Diego, Calif., who has traveled across the United States and visited Iraq during his anti-war campaign.


Suarez de Solar noted that the U.S. armed forces have seen shortfalls in their recruiting goals. “They (recruiters) are desperate, and that poses a risk for the Latino community and Mexicans on the border,” he said.


“It’s not fair for them to use our sons and daughters in their unjust war,” he said.


“Mexico is paying a very high price in blood for this illegal and immoral war,” said Suarez del Solar, who estimated that 202 soldiers of Hispanic origin have died in Iraq, 89 of them Mexicans who were legal residents in the United States.


He called them — and other Mexican immigrants serving in the U.S. armed forces — “the soldiers without a country” because many are not U.S. citizens and lose their Mexican citizenship by virtue of serving in a foreign army.


The annual number of non-citizen enlistees has fallen nearly 20 percent from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2004, from 11,829 to 9,477 recruits, according to military data.


Much of the decline came last year alone — and despite new rules that offer expedited citizenship for non-citizens soldiers.


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.



G.I. Bill Is G.I. Bull:

“You Might Sign Up To Be A Fighter Pilot And End Up Being A Mail Clerk"


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


In fact, G.I. Bill participants have to pay the military $100 a month during their first year of service in order to be eligible for education benefits later.  That $1,200 deposit is nonrefundable, even though a Rand Corp. study conducted in 2000 found that only 16 percent of enlisted personnel who complete four years in the military ever receive money for school.


4.20.04 By Abigail Kramer San Francisco Bay Guardian


Berenice Morales is a young woman caught in the middle of the recruitment struggle. A 17-year-old junior at Philip and Sala Burton High School in San Francisco, Morales is not sure what she wants to do after she graduates next year.  She's worried about the future.


When navy recruiters came to her Career Education class a couple weeks ago, they offered a solution that seemed too good to be true.  "They said that they give you free money and pay everything for school," Morales told us.


"Plus you get a job faster when you get out because you already have experience.  At first I was concerned about going to war, but they were like, 'Oh, it's not true that we take you to war.'  Most people in the navy don't go to Iraq – it's just a small percentage." About 10 percent of the active-duty navy was forward-deployed as of April 18.


The most common promise recruiters use to entice young people into service, according to Aimee Allison, an Oakland City Council candidate and army veteran, who became a conscientious objector during the first Gulf War, is that the military will finance their college education.


In fact, G.I. Bill participants have to pay the military $100 a month during their first year of service in order to be eligible for education benefits later.  That $1,200 deposit is nonrefundable, even though a Rand Corp. study conducted in 2000 found that only 16 percent of enlisted personnel who complete four years in the military ever receive money for school.


Equally disingenuous, Allison says, are recruiters' promises of job training and career development. "They lie about the kinds of jobs (recruits) will get.


The military doesn't have to make any promises – you might sign up to be a fighter pilot and end up being a mail clerk."



F-16 Crashes In Marsh:

The Col. Has The Answer


Charleston Post and Courier, S.C., April 19, 2005


Two pilots on a training mission ejected safely from an Air Force F-16D seconds before the jet crashed and burned along the Ashley River.  Col. Michael Beale, vice commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base said there was "some sort of malfunction."







Chief Collaborator Allawi Survives Assassination Bid


Apr 20 By Ian Simpson, BAGHDAD (Reuters) & 4.21.05 Gulf Daily News & From correspondents in Kut, Iraq; The Daily Telegraph


Iraq’s caretaker prime minister survived an assassination attempt by a bomber on Wednesday.


Iyad Allawi escaped unhurt when a bomber in a car attacked his convoy as he headed home from a meeting on a new cabinet line-up, said Thaier al-Naqib, a government spokesman.


One policeman was killed in the blast and four were wounded, police said.


"He had attended an important meeting to discuss the formation of the government and was on his way back home when a car bomber blew himself up near the convoy as it approached the checkpoint," said a spokesman.


Allawi's guards opened fire at the attacker as he drove towards the convoy coming around the Faris Al Arabi roundabout near Zawra Park on the city's westside.


"He did not stop and blew himself up almost near the middle of the convoy," he said.


An interior ministry spokesman said earlier that two policemen were killed and one wounded in the attack, which happened at about 11pm (5am AEST) and involved a pickup truck packed with TNT and mortar rounds.


The checkpoint near the park leads to Mr Allawi's home and the Iraqi National Accord party headquarters.


Allawi spokesman Thaer al-Naqib said members of Mr Allawi's parliamentary bloc were travelling with him, but was unable to identify them or say anything about their condition.


Before the late-night attack near Mr Allawi's headquarters, three more car bombs exploded in the capital as insurgents stepped up attacks after a relative lull following the January 30 election.



Widespread Resistance Action


20 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net & (Reuters) & By Sameer N. Yacoub, The Associated Press & April 21, 2005, From correspondents in Kut, Iraq, The Daily Telegraph


The bodies of 19 men, all believed to be National Guards, were found in a football stadium in the town of Haditha, northwest of Baghdad.


The killings followed clashes in the area between National Guardsmen, U.S. troops and rebels, according to Hadithi and a witness who said she had seen the bodies in the town stadium.


In Haditha, taxi drivers Usama Rauf and Ousama Halim said they rushed to the stadium after hearing gunshots and found the bodies lined up against a wall.  The reporter and other residents counted 19 bodies and said all appeared to have been shot.


Two car bombs blew up at the entrance to an Iraqi National Guard base in Ramadi on Wednesday, witnesses said.


A Reuters witness said the cars blew up as they tried to enter the base in the centre of the city, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad. Thick clouds of smoke poured into the air and gunfire could be heard immediately afterwards.


In Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, armed men in a speeding car opened fire on policeman Ali Talib as he walked towards his car, killing him, said police Colonel Husain Abd al-Wahid.


In eastern Baghdad, a Health Ministry car was attacked by armed men, killing the Iraqi driver and wounding one unidentified passenger, said police Colonel Hasan Jalub.


A car bomb also exploded near a Doura police station, damaging police vehicles.


One Iraqi policeman was killed and two were seriously wounded when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in the town of Mowailha, said police Capt. Muthana Al-Furati.


South of Baghdad, Iraqi police major Bassem Shaker was killed outside his home in Karmah bin Said near Nasiriyah, a provincial police spokesman said.


A powerful roadside bomb exploded in downtown Baghdad as an Iraqi police patrol truck was driving past, wounding three policemen and a civilian who was walking on a nearby sidewalk, an official said.  The police truck was thrown 10 metres and severely damaged by the blast.


One of the wounded policemen was hospitalised with serious injuries, police Lt Uthman Abd al-Sattar said.









Two In Five Americans Don’t Believe Iraq Prisoner Torture By U.S. Has Stopped


WSJ.com, April 20, 2005


A majority of U.S. adults believe Americans have tortured prisoners captured in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll.  Furthermore, 61 percent of those who believe that torture has taken place—41 percent of all adults—think that it is still going on, according to the poll.



“From Now On, All Bets Are Off.”


From: Richard Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:45 PM


When the Grim Reaper gets arrested, the far Right has gone too far.


That's crossing over the line baby!!


From now on, all bets are off.




PS: I did not take this picture, but I wish I had.







Got That Right


04/19/2005 By John Toler, Times Community Newspapers


As a professional soldier, Puccini has not been impressed by the recruits hired to serve in the Iraqi National Guard or police force.


"Here you have a raw recruit who doesn't speak English, and can't even read or write in his own language ... and we're trying to train them," said Puccini.  "It's tough, and they (Iraqi troops) don't react well under stress."  [Wonder why.  The resistance troops react well under stress.  Something about betraying their country make the collaborators nervous?]



Notes From A Lost War:

Theory Vs. Practice


Denver Post, April 17, 2005


Commanders say positive mixing with Iraqis is crucial for the United States to build understanding and win over those who otherwise might support anti-U.S. forces.


But actually making the initial contact in Hillah Province—an area south of Baghdad where insurgent attacks are frequent—still is risky for soldiers who must venture out from their armored vehicles.






Iraq Expects To Import $3 Billion Of Refined Oil This Year


April 20, 2005 By Jill Carroll, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor


Iraq sits on one of the world's largest oil reserves, producing 2.3 million barrels a day.

But its aging refineries have struggled to keep up with growing demand, fueled in large part 1.5 million new cars on the roads and an influx of home appliances.


Add to this Hussein-era subsidies that keep prices artificially low, continuing insurgent attacks on pipelines, and corruption, and the shortages are creating an underground market that the new government is struggling to control.


Then there's corruption. Money is paid at just about every level of the oil industry - from government officials to gas-station owners to oil-tanker drivers to the soldiers and police who guard the gas stations and demand bribes to enter, say former officials here.




April 20, 2005 By Kelebdooni, Anti-Allawi Group


May I remind everybody that Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world (after Saudi Arabia).


The oil industry was bombed by USA in 1991 back to the stone age.  The destruction encompassed all stages of oil production thru exploration facilities, well heads, field degassing, pumping systems, storage, export facilities, and of course refining.  The

refineries were reduced to intertwined piping and absolute shambles.


Essential refining capacity for domestic use was restored in 2 months.  Normal refining capacity and most complementary systems were restored in 1-2 years. Remember: UNDER TOTAL EMBARGO!


The Saddam regime exported refined products, mainly to Turkey and Iran, during the sanctions era.


The oil industry was practically untouched in the 2003 war.


After two years of occupation, Iraq now needs to IMPORT 3 billion dollars worth of oil products!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So much for reconstruction.


So much for the new installed government.







Two Israelis Wounded In Sniper Attack In Southern Gaza


18 April 2005 By George Rishmawi, Middle East Media Center


Two Israelis were wounded Monday afternoon when a Palestinian sniper opened fire at them in the southern Gaza Strip close to the border with Egypt, Israeli media sources reported.


The wounded, an Israeli soldier and a civilian, were in the Philadelphi area, close to where three kids were killed by the Israeli troops last week.


The two received emergency medical treatment at the scene, before being transferred to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.


The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a coalition of fighters, claimed responsibility for the shooting.


The PRC did not commit to the calm declared by the Palestinian factions in Cairo last month.


It is headed by Jamal Abu Smahadana, who has previously been the target of Israeli assassination attempts.


The group said it was avenging the killing of three unarmed Palestinian youths by Israel Defense Forces troops in Rafah several days ago, and of a resistance fighter during a raid in Balata refugee in the West Bank city of Nablus last Thursday.


[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org  The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]






Day Of Action Against Corporate Plunder Of Iraq


From: Ewa Jasiewicz freelance@mailworks.org

Sent: April 20, 2005 8:39 AM

Subject: Day of Action against Corporate Plunder of Iraq @ Iraq Oil Petroleum Conference


Me hearties,


Corporate Pirates have called a day of action outside the Iraq Oil Petroleum Conference on 29th June, at the Hilton, Paddington, London.


The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the corporate plunder of Iraq and of the silent takeover and exploitation of Iraq's natural resources.  Replicating the success of the Windrush Action on April Fools Day we hope to bring out the pirates in force and invite you to join us for another swash buckling adventure.


A week before Bush and Blair meet in Scotland for the G8, we are taking this opportunity to remind them of the violence of the corporate plunder of Iraq and urge groups and individuals to join us to expose the hypocrisy and lies behind why we went to war.


We may not have stopped the war but we can stop their spoils of war and we can stop this event.


We will be meeting to discuss the day in more detail on Tuesday 26th April at 6.30 at the Institute of Autonomy, 76 Gower St


This meeting will discuss the Oil Privatisation Event 29th June.


Fund Raising activities


Running an NVDA training day or "corporate pirates affinity group action day" for a few weeks before the Oil Privatisation Event probably the 4th June


Starting a regular vigil at Windrush


***We hope you can join us and get involved in the activities***





"You Goddamn Fucking Assholes.  You're Trying To Get
Me To Start World War III With Your Idiotic Bullshit - Your 'Military Wisdom.'"


From: te

To: GI Special

Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 6:56 PM

Subject: Re: Military Project


A small contribution to your excellent site:


CALL # 959.7043 A

AUTHOR Appy, Christian G.

TITLE Patriots : The Vietnam War remembered from all sides
PUBLISHER New York : Viking, c2003.

pp 122,123


Related by Lt. General(ret) Charles Cooper, a marine major who was assisting with a briefing in Johnson's office with the JCS in 1965:


...As I'm looking, Johnson says "Come on in, Major.  You can stand right over there."...


Johnson didn’t invite the chiefs to sit down.  Instead he took us over to some big picture window and started lining us up.  He had me standing in the middle (holding) the map.  Then he said, "Well, it's really nice to have you people over here.  You're so kind to come over and brief me."  I was thinking to myself, he's kind of greasy. ... So then he says, "Well what have you got."


General Wheeler, the chairman said, "Well, Mr. President, we fully realize that what we're going to present to you today requires a very difficult decision on your part."  The essence of what he said was, "We all have very serious misgivings about the direction of the war.  We don't want to be piling up American boys like cordwood fighting endless Asian troops.  We feel we can bring this war to a quick conclusion by using overwhelming naval and air power."


The basic idea was that we had to use our principal strengths to punish the North Vietnamese or we would risk becoming involved in another protracted Asian ground war with no definitive solution.


Wheeler proposed mining Hiaphong harbor, blockading the rest of the North Vietnamese coastline, and simultaneously beginning a B-52 bombing offensive on Hanoi.  The assumption was that the North Vietnamese would sue for peace if we increased the level of punishment.


At one point Johnson interrupted to say, "So you're going to cut them off, keep them from being reinforced, and then you're going to bomb them into the Stone Age."


Air force chief McConnell said, "Well, that's not exactly it, but you've got to punish them."  When the briefing was over Johnson turned to the Army and marine chiefs who had remained silent and asked, "Do you fully support these ideas?"  Both generals said they totally agreed.


At that moment Johnson exploded.  I almost dropped the map.  He just started screaming these obscenities.  They were just filthy.  It was something like, "You goddamn fucking assholes.  You're trying to get me to start World War III with your idiotic bullshit - your 'military wisdom.'"  He insulted each of them individually.  "You dumb shit.  Do you expect me to believe this kind of crap?  I've got the weight of the Free World on my shoulders and you want me to start World War III?"


He then called them shitheads and pompous assholes and used the f-word more freely than a marine in boot camp.  He really degraded them and cursed at them.  Then he stopped and went back to a calm voice, as if he'd finished playing his little role, and said:


"I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to give me an answer.


Imagine that you're me - that you're the president of the United States - and five incompetents came into your office and try to talk you into starting World War III.  Then let's see what kind of guts you have with the whole goddamn world to worry about.  What would you do?"  The silence was overpowering.  Finally he turned to Earl Wheeler and demanded an answer.


General Wheeler said, "Mr. President, we've obviously upset you."  The understatement of the year.  Then he said something close to this: "There are many things about the presidency that only one human being can understand.  You, Mr. President, are that human being.  With that thought in mind, I cannot take your place, think your thoughts, know all you know, and tell you what I would do if I were you.  I can't do it, Mr. President.  No man can honestly do it.  It's got to be your decision alone."


So then Johnson went down the line and they just kind of agreed with Wheeler.  Then Johnson erupted again.  "The risk is just too high.  How can you fucking assholes ignore what China might do?  You have just contaminated my office, you filthy shitheads.  Get the hell out of here right now."  I know memories are normally dimmed by time, but not this one.  My memory of Lyndon Johnson on that day is crystal clear.


The chiefs really thought that they could sell their plan to the president.  They had really built up a head of steam going into that meeting.  I think Johnson had already made up his mind long before they got there and was using his most forceful way to kill the plan.


When I got back into the car with Admiral McDonald, he said, "Never in my entire life did I ever expect to be put through something as horrible as what you just watched from the president of the United States to his five senior military advisers."  He was just destroyed.


For three or four days they seriously considered a mass resignation - all of them.  I think the reason they didn't was that we were at war and they did not want to be labeled as traitors who quit in the face of the enemy.  Well, I've been in positions damn near this tough, and I wouldn't have done what they did.


"People Need Not Be Helpless Before The Power Of Illegitimate Authority"


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