GI Special:



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







1,600 Dead


May 9, 2005 (CNN)


Total U.S. troop casualties in the Iraq war passed 1,600 Sunday, according to a CNN count, when two soldiers were killed near Khaldiya and a third died in Samarra.


To date, 1,601 American forces have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.  In all, 1,780 coalition forces -- not counting Iraqi forces -- have been killed.


The U.S. death toll passed 1,000 in September 2004.  [Picking up speed.]



Marine Dies From IED Injuries In Nasser Wa Salaam


05/10/05 mnf-iraq #050510a


CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died May 9 from injuries received from an improvised explosion device.


The incident took place during combat operations in Nasser Wa Salaam, Iraq.



Marine Dies After Indirect Fire Attack In Al Karmah


05/10/05 mnf-iraq Release #050510b


CAMP FALLUJAH, IraqA Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died May 9 of injuries from an indirect fire attack.


The incident took place during combat operations in Al Karmah, Iraq.







CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died May 9 from injuries received from an indirect fire explosion.


The incident took place during combat operations in Al Karmah, Iraq.



Three Ohio Servicemen Killed in One Weekend


May 10, 2005 WTOL, TOLEDO


An Ohio Marine and two soldiers from the state, including one who survived a bomb blast a year ago, died in Iraq on the same day this past weekend, family members and the military said Monday.


Army Sgt. Andy Eckert, 24, of Toledo, was killed on Sunday by an explosion near his convoy, said Bill Geddes, a spokesman for the 88th Regional Readiness Command in Minnesota.


Eckert served with the 983rd Engineer Battalion, a reserve unit based in Monclova. Eckert received a Purple Heart after he suffered shrapnel wounds to the jaw, arm and neck when a roadside bomb exploded near Tikrit in March 2004.  "He said he was glad it was him and not one of his soldiers," Geddes said, adding that Eckert volunteered to go back to Iraq.


Eckert was married with a 2-year-old daughter and a son who was born six weeks ago.


Marine Cpl. Dustin Derga, 24, of Columbus, died on Sunday when he was caught in enemy small arms fire during combat near Ubaydi, Iraq, according to a Pentagon news release. Derga was assigned to the Marine Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, 4th Division in Columbus.


Army Pfc. Nick Messmer also died in Iraq on Sunday, said his brother Joe Messmer, 23. The family was notified Sunday. Nick Messmer, 20, joined the Army in August 2003, the summer after he graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School in suburban Columbus, his brother said.



Two Marines With Pa. Connections Killed


May 10, 2005 Associated Press


A Marine from Pennsylvania was killed by a suicide bomber during combat in Hadithah, Iraq, and a Pennsylvania native also in the Marine Corps was killed in combat in Afghanistan.


Sgt. Michael A. Marzano, 28, of Greenville, about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh, was killed Saturday in Iraq, the Defense Department announced Monday.


"He's wanted to go into the Marines since I can remember," said his father, Albert Marzano.


Cpl. Richard P. Schoener, of Hayes, La., died Sunday in the Alishang district of Laghman Province in Afghanistan, the military said.  Schoener, 22, was born in Pottsville, Pa., and graduated from Bell City High School in Bell City, La., said officials at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.


Michael Marzano graduated from Sharon High School in Pennsylvania in 1995, but was refused admission by the Marines because he tore a knee ligament in a high school wrestling tournament his senior year, his father said. Marzano had surgery and kept reapplying to the Marines until he was accepted in 1999.  He served on active duty until 2003.


Marzano won several amateur boxing titles in Youngstown, Ohio, and Cleveland in recent years, his father said, competing as a heavyweight and light heavyweight.  But he was gentle outside the ring, and the Marines remained his passion.


Albert Marzano was also a Marine Corps veteran and served in Vietnam in 1969.


Schoener enlisted in the Marine Corps on Sept. 6, 2001, and reported for training Dec. 11 of that year, graduating from infantry school in April 2002, base officials said.  He was based at the Marine Corps Security Force Company at Kings Bay, Ga., until moving to Hawaii in August.  He was deployed to Afghanistan in November.


He was an infantry rifleman assigned to the 3d Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.



Marine With Cincinnati Ties Killed


Taylor Prazynski



5/10/2005 WCPO-TV


A Marine whose parents live in the Cincinnati area has been killed in Iraq.


Lance Corporal Taylor Prazynski, 20, who graduated from Fairfield High School in 2003, was killed Monday in a military battle against insurgents in the Al Anbar province.


Friends said Prazynski's life has come full-circle.  He was born on an Air Force base and died in military service.


Tuesday, friends and family are wept over his young life lost.


"He was seriously one of the best guys ever. I'm not just saying that because of this but he would do anything for anyone," said Ashely Baker of Fairfield.



Marines Surprised By Insurgents At Ubaydi:

At Least 20 Marines Wounded,

Tank Destroyed:

Marine Officer Nails Commands’ Silly Lie About Body Count


Though military commanders in Baghdad announced that 100 insurgent fighters were killed in the early fighting, along with three Marines, Davis' figures were lower.  He said "a couple of dozen" insurgents had been killed in Ubaydi, about 10 at another river crossing near Al Qaim, and several who were killed by air strikes north of the river.


[Thanks to Desmond, NF and PB for sending this in.]


5.10.05 BY JAMES JANEGA, Chicago Tribune & Aljazeera & By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer & By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer & AFP News




The Marines who swept into the Euphrates River town of Ubaydi confronted an enemy they had not expected to find - and one that attacked in surprising ways.


As they pushed from house to house in early fighting, trying to flush out the insurgents who had attacked their column with mortar fire, the Marines ran into sandbagged emplacements behind garden walls. 


A Los Angeles Times reporter embedded with the offensive said 20 U.S. troops also were wounded.


On Monday night, rebels launched a counterattack 5 miles from U.S. Camp Gannon in Qaim, said U.S. Marine Capt. Jeffrey Pool.  They attacked a Marine convoy with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, roadside bombs and two car bombers, Pool said in a statement.


One bomb damaged an armoured Humvee.    A Marine suffered a broken back and at least two were wounded Sunday when a land mine hit their tank.


Commanders said Marines also found a house where insurgents were crouching in the basement, firing rifles and machine guns upward through holes at ankle height in the ground-floor walls, aiming at spots that the Marines' body armor did not cover.


A Marine who was retrieving a wounded comrade inside a house suffered shrapnel wounds when a grenade was thrown through a window, the Times said.


The shock was that the enemy was not supposed to be in Ubaydi at all.  Instead, American intelligence indicated that the insurgency had massed on the other side of the river.  [There is no “American intelligence.”  There is only information provided by Iraqis who pretend to help the Occupation.  Just like Vietnam, they give the wrong information, while alerting their freedom fighters to the invaders’ moves.  Below, Col. Davis almost figures it out.]


Marine commanders expressed surprise Monday not only at the insurgents' presence but also the extent of their preparations, as if they expected the Marines to come.


"That is the great question," said Col. Stephen Davis, commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team 2, responsible for this rugged corner of Anbar province near the Syrian border.


The offensive that began Sunday is described as one of the largest involving U.S. troops since the assault on Fallujah last fall.  It involves more than 1,000 Marines and Army personnel, backed by helicopters and jet fighters.


With the Marines pressing the assault, new details emerged about the pitched battles that took place Sunday in Ubaydi, a town perched on the tip of a bend in the Euphrates, about 12 miles east of the Syrian border.  As Army engineers worked to build the pontoon bridge, waiting Marines came under mortar fire from a town they had assumed was free of the enemy.


After calling in air strikes from prowling fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Marines entered the town in armored personnel carriers and light armored vehicles.  At times the fighting was door to door as Marines sifted through areas where resistance was stiffest.


The LA Times reporter embedded with the offensive said the insurgents appeared well-prepared, having sandbag bunkers piled in front of some homes and that fighters were strategically positioned on rooftops and balconies.


The report said the anti-occupation fighters were using boats to transport weapons from one side of the Euphrates River to another, and that some were wearing body armor.


According to commanders, Marines entered walled-off front yards in a row of white townhouses in the town's southwest corner to find a scene reminiscent of the fighting in Fallujah: sandbagged firing positions next to the front doors.  They suspected the area had been used for mortar attacks.


Maj. Steve Lawson of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines said his troops had found a house on the north side of town where insurgents apparently lay in ambush.  Holes low in the walls allowed insurgents hiding in the basement to fire up at the Marines as they entered.


After retreating, Marines in Lawson's company called in artillery and heavy machine guns to rake the house. As sporadic fighting continued Monday morning, they brought in tanks and leveled it, Davis said.


Though military commanders in Baghdad announced that 100 insurgent fighters were killed in the early fighting, along with three Marines, Davis' figures were lower. He said "a couple of dozen" insurgents had been killed in Ubaydi, about 10 at another river crossing near Al Qaim, and several who were killed by air strikes north of the river.


Other commanders said they had recovered few bodies but had seen blood trails that suggested insurgents were dragging away wounded or dead fighters.


The number of insurgents in the region is "in the hundreds," Davis said. "How many hundreds is tough to tell."


But more surprising, he said, was the insurgents' preparation and tactical prowess, a development that he said reinforced intelligence that many of the insurgents have been trained by outsiders. 


[Here is a classic of Imperial arrogance and stupidity, repeated by assorted occupation officers since the British fought George Washington.  What?  These scum know how to fight?  Why, somebody else must have trained them!  The Imperial commanders never catch on.  People fighting a foreign army that has invaded their nation are neither stupid nor in need of “foreign” training.  They’re fighting for their national liberation, and need no lessons from anyone.]


Davis described sophisticated attacks in which the detonation of a roadside bomb would be quickly followed by accurate mortar or rocket fire, then machine-gun fire as Marines raced to the area.


"They clearly have trained people," he said. "It looks rehearsed." 


"There are reports that these people are in uniforms, in some cases are wearing protective vests, and there's some suspicion that their training exceeds what we have seen with other engagements further east," Marine Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters.


Marines who had captured an existing bridge over the Euphrates north of Al Qaim came under attack early Monday by several insurgents, Davis said.


As the fighting raged Sunday in Ubaydi and other towns along the Euphrates, a platoon of Marines watched from cliffs near the Syrian border, hoping to call in air strikes on any fighters who tried to slip across, commanders said.


The commanders reported that the Marines saw truckloads of men speeding toward remote houses in the region, leaping off the trucks and racing inside.


They came out carrying armloads of rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles, loaded them onto their trucks and headed back east, toward the fighting.


"At this point, we simply don't know if there's movement across the border associated with this, because the preponderance of our fighters are engaged in this fight," Lieutenant General James Conway, operations director of the Joint Staff, said.


"This is an area which we believe has been pretty heavy with foreign insurgents from many different areas — Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine," Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, told The Associated Press late Monday.  "That's a fairly porous area of the border because of the terrain. It is very difficult."  [See the response to this bullshit that comes next:]




No “Foreign” Fighters Need Apply


May 10, 2005, By Kelebdooni, Anti-Allawi Group


No need for Afganistan/Chechnia./Vietnam veterans.  Foreign fighters is a convenient myth.  Not 1% of non-Iraqis fought in Falluja by US accounts, and they were of Arab nationalities.  Possibly about 5% of the population were resident Arabs long before the war anyway.


Prepared?  Appeared well trained?  Everyone seems to be forgetting that there was an army there of about one million.  It fought long wars throughout the eighties, and saw occasional action in the nineties.


There were special units setup years before the war specializing in light tactics and urban war.



The photo shows 4 men in black uniforms, which belong to the Fedayeen of Saddam special force.  They had been trained specifically for the role.


While the army and other forces lacked the firepower and the high-tech after 15 years of embargo to meet the invasion, it does not lack light weaponry and combat tactical experience.



Three U.S. Soldiers Wounded By Baghdad Car Bomb

Car bomb in central Baghdad May 10, 2005.  At least five vehicles were burning. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)


05/10/05 By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer & By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer


Two car bombs exploded during morning rush hour Tuesday, wounding three U.S. soldiers, a U.S. military spokeswoman, Capt. Kelly Lewis, said.


Tuesday's worst car bomb attack in Baghdad occurred near a movie theater in al-Nasr Square.  The Interior Ministry said at least seven people were killed and 16 wounded by a car bomb that exploded as a U.S. military convoy was passing.


A U.S. military spokeswoman, Capt. Kelly Lewis, confirmed the attack, but said it apparently targeted an Iraqi army patrol, wounding at least 10 Iraqis, including security forces and civilians.  Three American soldiers were also wounded, Lewis said, but she could not confirm whether they were part of a convoy.



Local Soldier Injured


05/10/2005 Tom Fontaine, Times Staff


NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. - A New Sewickley Township man serving in Iraq was injured Saturday when the Humvee in which he was riding apparently was struck by a roadside bomb outside Fallujah.


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Hendrickson, 22, did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the blast, though his arms, legs and cheeks apparently were injured by shrapnel, his mother, Diane Hendrickson, said Monday.


Diane Hendrickson spoke with her son for several minutes earlier in the day, and said he "sounded groggy, but was in good spirits."


Diane Hendrickson, however, was on edge. "We're still waiting for all the information. I don't know where he's at right now or if anyone else was riding with him or what their injuries were," she said.


Justin Hendrickson, a Freedom Area High School graduate, has served in the Navy about four years, his mother said.  He previously served two tours in Afghanistan and has been in Iraq since January.



W. Fargo Graduate Wounded


May 10, 2005 By Teri Finneman, The Forum


HORACE, N.D. - A West Fargo High School graduate was injured Sunday in Iraq after a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee.


Sgt. Ryan Cossette, 24, and fellow soldiers were on a patrol near Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, when the incident occurred.


The explosion fractured Cossette's right arm, which was also hit by shrapnel.


A soldier sitting behind Cossette in the Humvee was killed.


Cossette's mother, Lori, was notified Sunday morning - Mother's Day - that her son was hurt.


As soon as she heard a military spokesman on the end of the phone line, she burst into tears and began shaking.


"Of course I think of the worst," she said. "I came so close to fainting. It wasn't as bad as my mind thought."


Trying to calm down, she was told her son was taken to a hospital in Balad, Iraq.  He called her Monday to let her know he had been transferred to a hospital in Germany.


"He was in good spirits," Lori Cossette said. "He said he was fine."


A 1999 West Fargo graduate, Ryan Cossette belongs to Fargo's 461st U.S. Army Reserve.  He was serving with the 983rd Engineer Company in Iraq.  He is also a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead.


His future stepfather, Gary Niemcryk, knew as soon as Lori started crying on the phone that something was wrong with "Private Ryan."


"It freaked me out.  Thank God nothing happened to him," Niemcryk said. "He's a good kid."


The past few days have been emotional and filled with phone calls and prayers, Lori Cossette said.


Ryan Cossette won't lose his right arm, but will need rehabilitation, his mother said. He hopes to be back in the United States by Friday.


Lori Cossette has thought of the mother of the soldier sitting behind Ryan who received much worse Mother's Day news.


"It's bad enough what I received.  It's really minor to what she had to go through (Sunday)," Lori Cossette said.










May 07, 2005 From: Victor Paredes


Since the inception of president Bush’s cruel and unjustified act of aggression on the innocent people of Iraq; over 100,000 Iraqi civilian have died along with nearly 1,600 American military members. 


Young men like Pablo Paredes, Kevin Benderman, Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado and many others have chosen to “err on the side of life” and respond to the voice of their hearts and conscience. 


While the Pentagon and Lt. Gen. John Sattler acquit marines of the murder they commit; Pablo and Kevin face the full extent of the law for the murder they chose NOT to commit.   


"All of the politicians that want to fight a war are free to trade places with me at any time. I will gladly go and learn war no more." --Sgt. Kevin Benderman.


"I call on everyone who reads these words, to reclaim their humanity.  Refuse, as every member of humanity should, to promote this mass violence against innocent people." --Pablo Paredes


For this reason, we call upon the nation to make 05/10 – 05/13 a time of national action against war, against hate, against injustice.


Given that Pablo Paredes’  court martial is in San Diego, we will lead with a series of events near the venue of the court martial – The 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego.  These efforts will kick-off with a press conference on May 10th at 7pm at the Aswan Hall in National City, San Diego.  Other events are planned in various cities including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and reaching out as far as Puerto Rico.  Many piece organizations across the country have responded to our call and over 20 actions of support are currently in action.


San Diego’s Aswan Hall will host a conference series featuring 2 main events: Voices of Resistance and Put the War on Trial.  “Voices of Resistance” will have Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado sharing their personal experiences and motivations in seeking Conscientious Objector Status and renouncing war.  “Put the War on Trial” will bring international law expert Marjorie Cohn and renown author Naomi Klein to address the legality of this war.  In addition to the panel of speakers, the events will also feature spoken word artists and potential celebrity guests.


In synergy with the conference series; a 3 day street theatre/protest will take place.  A staged trial will be presented at Memorial Park where the defendant is the war itself!  Student activists, puppet artists, spoken word artists such as Al Howard and many more will collaborate on prosecuting the war and its impact on our lives.  The trial will last an hour a day for 3 days.  On each day, the trial proceedings will be followed by a march from the park to the 32 Street Navy Base.


A Message From Pablo Paredes:


"On May 10th, in San Diego, three Voices of Resistance will tell their  stories.  Camilo Mejia will speak of the 9 months of incarceration he gladly  suffered for showing his humanity and publicly refusing to lend his efforts  to the violence in Iraq.  Aidan Delgado will speak of the inhumanity he  witnessed in Iraq, which led him to leave the military as a Conscientious  Objector.


“I will speak of what it took for me to reaffirm my humanity and  resist this war; and how small a price to pay it is, no matter what amount  of prison time I am handed, for living with peace of mind, a clear  conscience and my humanity in tact.  I hope that anyone who still believes  in Humanity will come out to hear our voices."


Schedule of events in San Diego:


May 10th @ 7pm: Voices of Resistance
War resisters Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Aiden Delgado with surprise guest!

Aswan Hall - 401 Mile of Cars Way @ Hoover Street (619-474-9104)


May 11th @ 7pm: Put the WAR on Trial

Author Naomi Klein, international law expert Marjorie Cohn and Pablo Paredes
Aswan Hall - 401 Mile of Cars Way @ Hoover Street (619-474-9104)


We live in a historical moment where a debate about a culture of life has emerged.  The lives and deaths of 2 individuals have captivated the world and brought to the surface strong consideration for the value of human life.. 


Pablo and Kevin have followed their conscience and taken a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation of Iraq. 


Main Press Contact:

Victor Paredes

(917) 864-9179





Sgt. Benderman has already won.  The question is how will the U.S. military handle the reality of a man of conscience?  Kevin B. Zeese, Democracy Rising, May 9, 2005


On May 11th, Sailor Pablo Paredes and soldier Kevin Benderman are scheduled to appear before military court martial tribunals for their opposition to the Iraq War.  They face forfeiture of pay and benefits, and military jail time.


On December 6, 2004, Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes refused to board his ship as it left the San Diego Naval Station in support of the Iraq War and occupation.


On January 5, 2005, Army Sgt Kevin Benderman refused to deploy for a second tour of duty in Iraq with the Army's Third Infantry Division. At the same time seventeen other soldiers from his unit went AWOL, two tried to kill themselves and one had a relative shoot him in the leg to avoid deploying.


Both men applied for discharge from the US military as conscientious objectors.  The military has wrongly rejected both claims.


It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of Pablo, Kevin and the thousands of other courageous men and women who have followed their conscience to uphold international law and to take a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation of Iraq. It's time we had their backs.


On May 12th, we will have a unique event. What Pablo and Kevin are unable to say in their trials we will say in public.  We will put the war on trial.


"All of the politicians that want to fight a war are free to trade places with me at any time. I will gladly go and learn war no more." --Sgt. Kevin Benderman


"I call on everyone who reads these words, to reclaim their humanity. Refuse, as every member of humanity should, to promote this mass violence against innocent people."


--Pablo Paredes











[This is from Rose Gentle.  Her son was killed in Iraq.  She leads a campaign to bring all the Scots and other troops home from Iraq, now.  She ran for election in Scotland to carry that message and fight for that objective.  The Labour Party candidate won but her fight has only begun. T]


From: Rose Gentle

To: GI Special

Sent:, May 10, 2005 4:08 PM

Subject: Rose Gentle East Kilbride Count: pictures






















































mr  ingrum  is  the  one  thait  is  not  happy


he  won  but  we gave  him  hell,


ingrum   you  have  blood  on  your  hands. 


  no  more  troops  for  oil


tony  tony  you have  to  go.


[you  lied  my son  died. 


 i loved  it  and  would

do  it all  over






                   rose gentle



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)



Army, Marines Miss Recruiting Goals Again:

“Our Recruiting Posture Is Now Coming Apart”


May 10, 2005 By Jim Miklaszewski, MSNBC


In April, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the third month in a row, short by nearly 2,800 recruits, or 42 percent off its target.


And for the first time in 10 years, the Marine Corps missed its recruiting goal for the last four months.


"Because the Army and Marines are too small and we're employing them in constant operations, our recruiting posture is now coming apart," says retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC News analyst.



Recruiters Go After 5-Year-Olds


From: Karen Ahern

To: GI Special


Thanks, T...keep the great work up....it lifts my heavy heart when you add your bad ass comments in.


The resistance is alive!


High school students surfacing to engage in counter recruitment.  My own daughter has begun counter recruitment materials for school hand outs.  I am writing counter recruitment songs I will send you lyrics to tomorrow.


We will be out in force for the Seattle Counter Recruitment Forum with moms and kids May 11th....check out the 4 and 5 year olds being groomed for war in letter below!


Across the country we are standing up for Benderman and Paredes!!  These wonderful war resisters are our HEROES!


Solidarity and gratitude,

Kنren Ahern


[Article from Karen A.]


Questionable Army Recruiting Tactics


5/6/05, Bainbridge Review, Bremerton Sun, Seattle PI


Letter to the Editor:


We want to take the opportunity to thank 15 year old Bainbridge High School student Mariah Ahern and her mom, Karen Ahern who quickly put the word out that the Bainbridge High School was to permit a Blackhawk helicopter to land on the BHS football field and be available for student tours as part of the high school’s annual Career Fest on April 28.   Attendance of Career Fest is mandatory for 11th and 12th graders.


As a result of Mariah’s and Karen’s emails, calls flooded the school district.  Wisely, BHS principal Brent Peterson denied the helicopter’s landing.


Rightfully so, as the event called for a balanced presence from counter-recruitment resources such as Veterans for Peace #92 and Washington Truth in Recruitment WaTir. 


We couldn’t agree more with Karen in her email to alert the community, “While recruiters may be allowed by law to be at career fairs and while No Child Left Behind forces schools to allow recruiters in or they lose federal money, the helicopter is a high drama selling tactic to minors to recruit them.” 


This brought to mind another event we recently witnessed which was yet another example of high drama tactics. - in this case, for even younger children. 


We happened to be at the Kitsap Mall a few weekends ago where there was some type of festivity going on.   In one area of the mall there were half a dozen young Army recruits dressed in camouflage and their faces smudged in black.   A military Humvee was parked in the center of their display and next to it was large table stacked with M16’s and other military automatic weapons.


What was particularly disturbing to us was that there were some young boys who looked to be 4 or 5 years old who, too, had had their faces smudged in black.  They were transfixed upon the weapons and were actually allowed to touch them.  My husband and I were appalled and disturbed by this aggressive means to take advantage of such impressionable children. 


The New York Times recently ran an article about recruiters who ignore the rules to meet quotas and how the misconduct is becoming more common as its ranks shrink.   It quoted a recruiter as saying, “The problem is that no one wants to join.  We have to play fast and loose with the rules just to get by.”  While the article focused more on recruiters using deceptive practices to enlist otherwise ineligible applicants, the point is the Army is desperate.  The most eligible pool to influence is our children.


Children must understand the difference between protecting our freedoms and pre-emptively invading another country solely in the interest of protecting our misguided economy.


As parents we can and must provide a balanced view for our children to counter the glorified TV image of the GI Joe Action Figure.  It will teach our children as they enter adulthood to make informed decisions.    


Leona McQueen

Todd Kowalski

Weaver Avenue, Bainbridge Island



Injured Vinita Soldier Back Home:

"I Was Scared, I Didn't Want Him To Go"


5/10/2005 KOTV


A Vinita military mom celebrated the best Mother's Day of her life because her son lived to see it. And she's enjoying the last few hours of her Marine son's leave.


The 26-year old sergeant was critically injured last year in a roadside bombing near Fallujah. The News on 6's Heather Lewin says we first met Julia Roberts just days after she got word her son was injured.


After months of rehabilitation, Marine Sgt. Jake Rhinehart returned home for a very special event to celebrate the first birthday of his own son. Marine Sgt. Jake Rhinehart's biggest joy in life is his son.  A son he almost didn't get to know. Jake’s mom, Julia Roberts: "I was scared, I didn't want him to go."


Jake's vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device or IED. The driver was killed instantly; Jake was shipped back to the US, clinging to life. Jake Rhinehart: “I was hit in my legs, my back, my arms, got 31 percent of my body burned, lost my left kidney, part of my intestines, part of my colon."


Jake’s uncle Dee Spicer: "The things that he's seen, that he's experienced, he's gonna be dealing with the rest of his life."


Unfortunately, Jake is not home for good.  He's headed back to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina on Tuesday.  The next step after that is still unknown.


He wants to thank everyone in Vinita for taking care of his family.



St. Mary Parish’s First Iraq War Fatality


St. Mary Parish’s first Iraq war fatality has been reported.


1st Sgt. Michael Bordelon, a 1986 graduate of Patterson High School, died today at 1:25 a.m. at Brook Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of injuries sustained in a roadside bomb attack on an Iraqi convoy, according to friends of the family.


Bordelon, 37, originally was flown to Germany for treatment of injuries sustained in the Saturday, April 23, attack.


Media reports stated that a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army convoy in Mosul, wounding three soldiers.  One of them, according to Bruce Bordelon of Bayou Vista, the first sergeant’s father, was his son, Mike.


Local sources who followed the soldier’s recovery efforts said Bordelon, who was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq, sustained third-degree burns and internal injuries in the attack.


“He stayed in his (Stryker combat) vehicle until all his men were safe,” said one friend, Sal “Sammy” Russo of Morgan City, who employs Bordelon’s sister.


Bordelon also is survived by his wife, Mila, and children, Mike Jr., Jacob and Johanna; his mother, Dolores, of Bayou Vista; a sister, Doreen Scioneaux of Morgan City; and three nieces and nephews.


During his term at PHS, Bordelon was an all-district performer on the Lumberjack football squad.


One of his teachers, Evelyn Estay, said his friends used to call him “Rocky” because his physical features resembled those of Sylvester Stalone’s.


“He was a great person,” she said.  “All of us here are saddened by the news.”



Army Revises Weapons Training


May 10 By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY




The Army is toughening its safety training following 16 deaths and at least 121 injuries from accidental gunfire in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.


The Pentagon said many of the accidental shootings, which the military calls "negligent discharges," resulted from simple carelessness and the lack of rigorously taught safety habits.  But even some highly qualified veteran troops, some ranked as high as captain, have had accidents, said David Martin, a civilian who manages troops safety in Iraq.


Defense Department figures show that 14 troops in Iraq were killed in accidental shootings.  The total could rise; 17 more deaths from "non-hostile" gunshot wounds are under investigation, Pentagon spokesman James Turner said.


Such shootings wounded 121 U.S. troops in Iraq, Martin said.  The Pentagon has not provided statistics for wounds from accidental gunshots in Afghanistan.







Iraqi Police Vent Anger At U.S. After Car Bombings:

"Get Out Of Our Country”

“They Have Brought Nothing But Evil"


May 10, 2005 AFP


Iraqi police hurled insults at US soldiers after two suicide car bomb blasts in Baghdad killed at least seven people and left 19 wounded, including policemen.


"It's all because you're here," a policeman shouted in Arabic at a group of US soldiers after the latest in a bloody wave of attacks that have rocked Baghdad this month.


"Get out of our country and there will be no more explosions," he told the uncomprehending Americans staring at the smouldering wreck of a car bomb.


The explosion wounded three policemen as they stood guard at the entrance to the River Police compound on Abu Nawas street in the centre of the capital.


"We were near the headquarters and all of a sudden a Ford car rushed very fast at the closed gate.  One of the guards opened fire and the car stopped, but moments later it exploded," Sergeant Abbas Mohammed told AFP.


"One guard was burnt and is in very critical condition. Two others were caught by the blast," he said.


"I was driving my bus with many passengers and on the other side of the street a US convoy was passing by," 45-year-old minibus driver Abdullah Jassim Mohammed said.


"All of a sudden there was a big explosion and I saw a man dying in front of me. The US convoy was unharmed," the driver said, who sustained slight head wounds.


"Since Americans invaded our country they have brought nothing but evil."






Occupation Cops HQ Bombed

A U.S. Army soldier secures the scene of a car bomb explosion outside a police base on the banks of the Tigris River in Baghdad May 10, 2005.  Police said there were several casualties at the base which is used by police who patrol the river.



Resistance Captures Governor of Iraqi Province


May 10th, 2005 (AP) & Aljazeera


Resistance fighters captured kidnapped the governor of Iraq's western Anbar province Tuesday and told his family he would be released when U.S. forces withdraw from Qaim, the site of a major new offensive relatives said.


Gov. Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi was seized as he drove from Qaim to the provincial capital of Ramadi, his brother, Hammad, told The Associated Press.


The kidnappers later called the family and said they were holding the governor until U.S. forces pull out of the Syrian border town, about 200 miles west of Baghdad, Hammad Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi said.


"The kidnappers have demanded that American forces leave Qaim in order to release him," he said.


Al-Mahalawi only recently became governor after tribal leaders forced out his predecessor, Fassal Raikan al-Gout al-Namrawi, who narrowly escaped a roadside bombing in February.  Al-Mahalawi, who is originally from Qaim, served as mayor of the town under Saddam Hussein.






Saboteurs Hit Oil Facility In North Iraq


May 10, 2005 (Reuters)


Saboteurs attacked a crude oil pipeline complex near the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry said.


"It was a bomb.  Crews are working on extinguishing the fire in the complex, which is part of the northern production system," Assem Jihad told Reuters by telephone from Baghdad.


Jihad did not say whether the attack could further delay restarting exports from the northern fields to Turkey, which have been idle for most of the past two years because of sabotage against the network.



Resistance Action


By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer & 5.10.05 The Independent (UK)


Three policemen were wounded when a car bomb exploded several miles to the south of al-Nasr Square in Abu Nawas, an area of the capital once famous for riverside restaurants and nightclubs.


The sound of an explosion reverberated across south Baghdad yesterday morning as a vehicle packed with explosives blew up near a police station.  It killed two policemen and one civilian and wounded six police and three civilians.


The bomber appears to have been trying to attack a police station in the Shebab district. He drove across an open space, the ground covered in rotting garbage, towards the rear entrance of the station but his way was blocked by two patrol cars.


The driver detonated his explosives, the blast killing or wounding all nearby.  It was powerful enough to destroy a spider's web of electric power lines overhead that workmen were trying to fix later.  The burnt-out wreckage of a police car lay nearby.







U.S. Occupation Command Launches Recruiting Drive For Resistance In Mosul

5.10.05 A US Army soldier from the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry confronts an Iraqi woman while another soldier searches her home for possible leads to insurgents in the Palestine district of Mosul. (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)



How Bad Is It?


2005-05-09 Hiwa Osman, Washington Post


Many government ministers and public officials have been stuck in their houses for weeks, even months.  Some do not even visit their ministries.








Situation Disastrous But Not Catastrophic, Defense Sec'y Says


May 9, 2005 The Borowitz Report


Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon today that the conflict in Iraq had improved to the point that it could no longer be considered a quagmire and should now be thought of as a morass.


"After taking a look at what is going on there on the ground, it is my judgment that it is time to upgrade Iraq from quagmire to morass," Mr. Rumsfeld said, adding that he was "very confident" in making the new assessment.


The Defense Secretary said that the decision to invade Iraq could no longer be considered "a boneheaded mistake of unthinkable proportions" and should now be thought of as "a colossal error we will regret for years to come."


"That's a measure of how much things have improved," he said.  "Anyone who takes a look at the big picture over there would come away saying that the situation is disastrous but not catastrophic."


In order to fight the perception that the war in Iraq is going badly, Mr. Rumsfeld said he would ask Congress for an additional $37 billion dollars to go toward euphemisms and synonyms.


Mr. Rumsfeld appeared to bristle at the question of one reporter, Charles Dolgian of the Toledo Blade, who asked if it was still appropriate to refer to the war in Iraq as "a train wreck."


"It is most decidedly not a train wreck," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "It is a train derailment in which the train hurtles down into the embankment and bursts into flames."


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.



US Refuses Arrest Blunder Damages


[Thanks to NB, who sent this in.]


5 May, 2005 BBC


A Bristol pensioner who was arrested at gunpoint after the FBI put him on their "most-wanted" list has been told he will not receive any compensation.


Derek Bond, 74, says the FBI admitted its mistake but will now only pay for his legal expenses.


He was held at Durban police station in South Africa for nearly three weeks after being arrested at gunpoint while on holiday in February 2003.


Derek Bond: On “Most Wanted” List?


FBI agents had detained Mr Bond believing him to be someone else.


Mr Bond's solicitor, Andrew Gregg, said Mr Bond had been treated absolutely appallingly.  He said: "The Americans reneged on the understanding reached when he was repatriated in March 2003.


"We had profuse apologies and people coming down from the American Embassy saying he would receive compensation and saying we are all terribly sorry we've made a dreadful mistake.


"They changed their minds because of a decision of the Supreme Court in 2005 which basically said that where people were arrested or treated wrongly outside the United States of America they weren't entitled to any compensation at all.


"In short, they have sheltered behind that decision and ratted on the original agreement," Mr Gregg said.


Rotarian Mr Bond received a personal apology from South African President Thabo Mbeki after he was arrested while on a wine tasting trip.


The Americans had claimed the Bristol grandfather and Rotarian was on their ten "most-wanted" list but eventually conceded he was not the man they had been seeking.






Against An International NATO Conference In Sweden


From: Network for Global Peace and Democracy

To: GI Special

Sent: May 10, 2005 3:13 AM

Subject: Anti-Nato


By Kick Leijnse


In our area in the north of Sweden there will be hold a very big NATO meeting. Foreign ministers from about 50 countries will come to the meeting.  Among them Condoleezza Rice, USA and Jack Straw UK.  They want to persuade our government to join them in their criminal war in Iraq.


We are preparing for protest meetings and should be grateful for international support in this important matter.  Please mail your support and send this mail to organisations in your country that even they can be interested to oppose the aggressive military forces represented by these countries.  If you want more information about our actions please inform us.


Please join us in our protests against the NATO by returning this mail.


Comradely greetings

Network for Global Peace and Democracy

ضstersund Sweden



An international NATO conference with all its members and its partners will be held in the north of Sweden on May the 24-25.  Among other participants we can see the USA foreign minister Condoleezza Rice and UKs Jack Straw.


It will be held in the part of the country there we act and we and a big number of organisations in Sweden will cooperate to protest loudly against any participation of Sweden in this partnership.


We are living in a democratic country and can’t accept an organisation that is oppressing such a big part of the world with its military force.  We know that we have a world opinion backing us up and we will hand a list of opposing Swedish organisations as well as Swedish individuals to our minister of foreign affairs, who will be the host of this meeting.


To strengthen our protest it should be of big help if we even could leave a list of protesting organisations from other countries, specially those countries that will be represented at this meeting, about 50.


I hope your organisation will send us a mail that confirms your protest to the oppressive politics represented by the NATO, and even send this mail to organisations in your country that could do the same.


All peace loving people in the world will thank you for your cooperation.  After the anti NATO demonstrations we will send you a report with a list of the organisations that supported this protest.


We hope to hear from you,

Network for Global Peace and Democracy  ضstersund Sweden

Kick Leijnse tel nr  +46   63 51 97 60



As of 4.25.05, more than 100 individuals and organisations from all over the world have mailed their support



Program for ANTI - NATO protests 23- 24 May in ضstersund and إre Sweden


Monday 23 Workshops   12.00 – 16.00

Seminaries  13.00 – 16.00

Demonstration 17.00 – 18.00

Speeches and entertainment    18.00 -


Tuesday 24   Workshops and seminaries 12.00 – 16.00

Presentation of participating organisations and book sales on the central square of the town, Stortorget 12.00 – 16.30

Buss transports to إre from the buss centre:  Departure   17.00 – 17.30

Protest meeting: إRE Square    19.00


March from the parking places to the centre of the village

Speeches and entertainment about two hours

Book sales and street theatre


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.


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