www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

5.10.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B25:

 

NEW YORK STANDS UP FOR BENDERMAN & PARADES

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

MARINE KILLED IN AL QAIM MAY 8

 

May 9, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-10C

 

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed May 8 during combat operations in Al Qaim, Iraq.

 

 

MARINE KILLED NEAR AL QAIM MAY 9

 

May 9, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-11C

 

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed May 9 by enemy small-arms fire near Al Qaim, Iraq.

 

 

MARINE KILLED IN UBAYDI

 

May 9, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-09C

 

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed May 8 during combat operations in Ubaydi, Iraq.

 

 

More Than A Dozen Marines Wounded Near Ubaydi

 

5/9/2005 Al Jazeera Publishing Limited

 

One Marine was killed and more than a dozen were wounded Sunday in western Iraq as troops engaged in fierce clashes with Iraqi rebels in the villages of Karabilah, Sadah and Ubaydi.

 

 

Winston Soldier Killed

Army Spc. Ricky William Rockholt Jr. is shown in an undated photo provided by his mother.

 

May 2, 2005 The News-Review

 

A Winston man married only four months was among four U.S. soldiers killed last week when a homemade bomb detonated near their vehicle in a town of northern Iraq.

 

Army Spc. Ricky William Rockholt Jr., 28, died Thursday in Tal Afar after the bomb exploded near their Stryker military vehicle.

 

“Rick was well-known among a lot of people in Roseburg and well-liked,” his dad, Rick Rockholt said this morning.  “I’m sure going to miss him terribly.”

 

Rick Rockholt learned of his son’s death Friday afternoon, when an Army sergeant and a chaplain drove to Diamond Lake to tell him.  Rockholt serves as the marketing director for Diamond Lake Resort. His mother, Sherry, lives in Portland.

 

Ricky Rockholt got married in Canyonville on Dec. 20 to Sheridan L. Begley of Roseburg.  The couple could only spend a short time together before Rockholt had to leave for Iraq.

 

Rick Rockholt spoke to his son two weeks ago on the telephone.  Ricky Rockholt had just landed at the Baghdad airport after arriving from Kuwait.  He tried to calm his father by telling him that all of their equipment was new and that they would be well-protected.

 

Ricky Rockholt was born in Coos Bay.  When he was 7 or 8, he moved with his family to Diamond Lake.  He later moved to Roseburg, where he earned a GED from Umpqua Community College.

 

“He was a nice boy, hard-working and he didn’t cause any trouble,” said Marie Gambill, a GED instructor at the Woolley Center in Roseburg. 

 

After school, he worked in several local mills.  He joined the Army two years ago to obtain education benefits so he could go back to school.

 

His dad said he wanted to open a business in Roseburg.  Rockholt had spent a year in Korea and came back to Fort Carson for additional training before being sent to Iraq.

 

Ricky Rockholt loved to snowmobile at Diamond Lake and just about anything that kept him surrounded by nature, his dad said.  “He loved the outdoors.  He was an avid fisherman. He loved fishing for salmon and trout,” his father said.

 

Funeral arrangements are still being made.  They will be announced at a later time.

 

 

Father Of Three Killed In Iraq Had Yet To Meet Baby Daughter

 

May 06, 2005 The Press-Enterprise, TEMECULA, Calif.

 

Sgt. Stephen Patrick Saxton, a husband and father of three who couldn't wait for his mid-tour leave from Iraq to see his newborn daughter, was killed when a bomb hit his humvee, officials said.

 

The roadside bomb killed Saxton, an air defense artillery sergeant with the Army's 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, during a combat mission in Baghdad Tuesday, the Department of Defense said.

 

"The last time I ever spoke to him, he was so excited about his baby girl," said his mother Deborah Saxton, from her Temecula home.  "Everyone is going to miss him so much."

 

Saxton's mother Deborah said her son knew the dangers of the military and talked about them with his wife Maegan before enlisting in October 2002.

 

"He understood it," she said.  "And him and his wife discussed it a lot and he figured it was best for the family."

 

Saxton was a well-rounded student-athlete in high school who was equally drawn to the math team and the football team, his mother said.  He opted for the military, in part to earn money for college.

 

"He always wanted to go to college, and with the Army he had an opportunity to serve the country and to get a good education," she said.

 

Saxton is survived by his wife Maegan, his daughters Katelynn, 4, and Sierra Rose, 3 weeks, and his son Joseph, 2.

 

 

Area Man Killed In Baghdad

 

5/3/2005 By JERRY ZREMSKI, News Washington Bureau, WASHINGTON

 

In his father's words, Army Pvt. Charles S. Cooper Jr. of Jamestown "was just so excited" when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld awarded him a Purple Heart in Iraq last month.

 

Two weeks and three days later, with his shrapnel wounds healed, Cooper was back on duty when another bomb went off.

 

This time, though, the bomb did more than leave him bleeding. This time the bomb killed him.

 

Cooper, 19, died Friday in Baghdad, the Pentagon announced Monday.  He and Pvt. Darren A. Deblanc, 20, of Evansville, Ind., were killed when a bomb exploded near where they were walking on patrol.

 

Only a few weeks earlier, "he got hit with a little shrapnel, and he got right back up and went back at his job," said Cooper's father, Charles S. Cooper, 48, of Jamestown.  "I'm so proud of him."

 

Cooper is the 18th Western New York soldier to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since the fall of 2001.

 

Cooper's tour of duty in Iraq was scheduled to end in a few weeks.

 

But Friday, "he was at the wrong place at the wrong time," David Cooper said.

 

The Cooper family found that out Friday evening, when Cooper's father found two police officers and a man wearing a green beret on his front porch.

 

"It wasn't right," Cooper's father said.  "He always said that if a guy with a green beret came by, it would be bad."

 

In addition to his father and brothers, Cooper is survived by his mother, Sherry Weaver of Jamestown; another brother, Steven; and two sisters, Jennifer and Danielle.

 

Charles was the youngest of the six siblings, and his father remembers happy moments hunting and fishing with his son.

 

"Whatever I did, they did," Cooper's father said.

 

But once Cooper graduated from Jamestown High School last year, he decided to join the Army.

 

"He just wanted to make a better life for himself," Patrick Cooper said.

 

Cooper wanted to join the infantry, and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division's Second Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, Second Combat Team.

 

"He went straight through and didn't give up no matter what," David Cooper said. "He became a man real quick."

 

 

Sgt. Kenya Parker, 26, Of Fairfield Dies

 

May 05, 2005 TOM GORDON, News staff writer

 

Army Sgt. Kenya Parker said he was going to be fine when he started his second tour of Iraq in January.  And the Fairfield High graduate was fine until Saturday, when he died unexpectedly in Baghdad of what military officials have called respiratory arrest.

 

Sgt. Parker was 26 and had spent about five years in the Army.  His plans for the future were not clear, but more than a few friends and relatives had told him he ought to do comedy.

 

"You would never be bored around him," said his sister, LaTonya Stephens.

 

"He just used to have everybody laughing all the time," said his mother, Diane Parker. "Everybody used to tell him he needed to be a comedian, he needed to be onstage.  He just said, `One day, I will be up there.'"

 

Called Kenny by his family and friends, Sgt. Parker had joined the Army with an eye to making it a career.  His mother and sister said he was thinking about getting out after finishing his second tour in Iraq, where he was working as a light wheel mechanic with the 62nd Signal Battalion.

 

His first tour was last year, from January to August.  When he came home, "He didn't really talk about it," his sister said.  "He just said it wasn't as easy as it seemed ... . He just said for us to continue to pray for everybody over there."

 

If Sgt. Parker had any close calls, he didn't mention them, though he did break an arm in a pickup baseball game.

 

His mother said she talked to her son last week.  She said she told him a package of things he wanted - Gummy Bears, Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies, new rap CDs and other items - was on the way.  She doesn't know whether he lived long enough to get it.

 

Besides his mother and sister, Sgt. Parker's survivors include his father, Ronald Parker. His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church, Fairfield, with burial in G.W. Carver Memorial Gardens.

 

 

Columbus, Ga. Resident Killed

 

May 05, 2005 Associated Press, JACKSON, Miss.

 

Staff Sgt. John McGee, an Alabama guardsman and Mississippi native, died in Iraq when his tanker truck was hit by a bomb blast, the Army said Thursday.

 

McGee, 36, was living in Columbus, Ga., and working for a home health agency when he was deployed, Rebecca McGee, his mother, told The Associated Press.

 

She said funeral arrangements were incomplete.

 

Rebecca McGee said an Army chaplain brought her the word Tuesday about her son's death.

 

She said her son enlisted in the Army when he was 17 and expected to leave the National Guard in August.  McGee served 8 years in the Army before joining the National Guard in 1996.

 

"He was such an inspiring person," Rebecca McGee said. "He walked around smiling. He was wonderful. I love him."

 

McGee had two sons, ages 11 and 2, and a 6-year-old daughter.  He was born and raised in Cary, a tiny town in the Mississippi Delta.

 

"We were classmates at Rolling Fork High School and good friends.  We were like family," Rolling Fork Police Chief Undray Williams said Wednesday after learning of McGee's death.  "This hit me like a brick."

 

 

Toledo Soldier Killed

 

May 9, 2005 WTOL, TOLEDO

 

A Toledo-area soldier who was wounded once before in action in Iraq has been killed in action.  Family members and the 983rd Engineering Battalion both confirm that Army Sergeant Andy Eckert was killed in combat a few days ago.  He was 24.

 

The Department of Defense has not yet confirmed the death, or reported the circumstances around the death.

 

In his first tour of duty, Eckert was assigned to another engineering unit from Colorado that went to Iraq.   While traveling in a convoy near Tikrit, a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy, wounding Eckert in the face and neck.   He recovered, and was able to go when the 983rd shipped out last fall.

 

Eckert leaves behind a wife and two children.  The younger is only a few weeks old, and Eckert was given leave from the military to be in Toledo for the birth.

 

 

Aliceville Services Friday For Guardsman Killed In Iraq Bombing:

“I Didn't Want Him To Keep Serving”

 

5/4/2005 ALICEVILLE, Ala. (AP)

 

An Aliceville National Guardsman, who died from injuries he suffered in Iraq during a roadside bombing, will be buried after a funeral service Friday with military honors.

 

Mississippi Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tommy S. Little, 45, died Monday from injuries suffered in an April 19 attack that wounded four others.  Little's leg, ankle and arm were broken, and he received puncture wounds to his shoulder and chest, according to the Army incident report.

 

Little was flown from Iraq to Germany and then to a hospital near San Antonio, Texas. Initial reports from Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston held out hope that he might recover.

 

"But when I heard they had blown a hole in his lung, I kind of knew that would be it," his mother, Luedella Little, said Tuesday. "I just had a feeling"

 

She told The Tuscaloosa News that her son had joined the National Guard out of high school, and he planned to stay in it as long as he was eligible.

 

"He loved the Guard, and he loved serving in the Army," she said. "But sometimes, I didn't want him to keep serving, and I would have put him over my knee to make him stop if I could have.  But he was a grown man doing what he wanted to do."

 

The Guard soldier also worked at the Aliceville Cotton Mill for 20 years before it closed.

 

A veteran of Desert Storm assignments in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991, he was a member of the second battalion of the 114th Field Artillery that is based in Columbus, Miss.

 

After funeral services Friday at the Aliceville National Guard Armory, Little will be buried at Cedar Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in the Old Memphis community near the Mississippi line.

 

 

S.A. Marine Reservist Killed

 

May 9, 2005 KSAT, SAN ANTONIO

 

A San Antonio Marine reservist was killed Saturday night in Iraq.

 

Lance Cpl. Lance Graham, 26, died in a suicide bomb attack in western Iraq, a friend of the family said.

 

Graham was a graduate of Madison High School.

 

His father, Joe Graham, served in Vietnam.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

BUFFALO NEW YORK STANDS UP FOR PARADES & BENDERMAN

 

JOIN US TOMORROW as we stand in solidarity with GI resisters & conscientious objectors across the nation as part of the Courage to Resist National Day of Action!!

 

TUESDAY, MAY 10th, 5PM

Military Recruiting Stations

25 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY

 

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.  At the time of his refusal, Pablo said he hoped his protest might  inspire other GI's to refuse to take part in the war.

 

On January 5, 2005, 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. The right to conscientious objection is being systematically violated by the military.

 

Tomorrow, we will speak out against this injustice and for thousands of others who are refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan!  We will hear about the moral foundation of Conscientious Objection and why our military members must retain the right to claim Conscientious Objector status!  We will speak out in support of the GI's right to refuse to fight in this illegal war and occupation!

 

This is the day before the US Military is planning to bring sailor Pablo Paredes and soldier Kevin Benderman before military court martial tribunals for their opposition to the Iraq war & occupation.

 

Come out and show your support for them!

 

Co-sponsored by: WNY School of the Americas, Buffalo/WNY International Action Center, WNY Peace Center, Buffalo War Resisters League, Erie County Greens & WNY Pax Christi

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces.  If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

SAN DIEGO STANDS UP FOR BENDERMAN & PARADES

National Day of Action to Support Pablo Paredes & Kevin Benderman

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

 

BURLINGTON VERMONT STANDS UP FOR PARADES & BENDERMAN:

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

 

PUT THE IRAQ WAR ON TRIAL

NOT GI RESISTERS

 

Picket May 10th @ 5:00

Support GI Resisters!

Burlington

 

On Tuesday, May 10th at 5:00 Vermont Military Families Speak Out and other anti-war organizations will be holding a picket in Burlington in front of the Federal Building (corner of Elmwood and Pearl Streets).

 

We are picketing to support Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman, two GIs standing trial beginning May 11th for refusing deployments to Iraq. Their applications for conscientious objector status have not been accepted.

 

Please join us at this picket. Bring signs, banners, friends, co-workers!  We ask everyone who is against this war to join us in supporting these men who are refusing to take part in this unjustified and brutal war.

 

If you haven't signed the petition for Pablo Paredes, you can do it now at www.defendpablo.org.  

 

In just the last 5 days the number of signers has increased from less than 200 to over 4,000! --background information below--

 

Vermont Military Families Speak Out

864-5587--Paul Fleckenstein

vermontmfso@yahoo.com

 

Endorsed by: American Friends Service Committee, Burlington Anti-War Coalition, International Socialist Organization, Vermont Peace and Justice Center, Students Against War (UVM), U.S. Labor Against the War, Vermont Nonviolent Student Activism Coalition, Vermont Green Party, Enosburg Area Candlelight Peace Vigil, Johnson Anti-War Coalition

 

 

Letter of Solidarity from Vermont Military Families Speak Out to Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman

May 5, 2005

 

As members of the Vermont chapter of Military Families Speak Out we stand in solidarity with Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman.  Each man will stand trial on May 11th for refusing deployment to Iraq to fight the unjustified war that tears that country apart today. Their applications for conscientious objector status have not been accepted.

 

Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes refused deployment on December 6, 2004. He stated at the time, “I don't want to be a part of a ship that's taking 3,000 Marines over there, knowing a hundred or more of them won't come back. I can't sleep at night knowing that's what I do for a living." Since then he has actively opposed the war appearing at many rallies.

 

Sgt. Kevin Benderman refused redeployment after having served a year in Iraq. A! after seeing first hand the carnage that the war wrought on the Iraqi people he stated, “I was there for six months and I did not see the first weapon of mass destruction. I did receive orders from the company commander to shoot children if they threw small rocks at us and that was when I figured out that the entire thing was way over the line.”

 

These two men have become powerful voices in the opposition to the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.  Their refusal to take part in the war machine has given credence to the demand for immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.  Because of this the military is trying to make an example of these men by imprisoning them.

 

We believe that the war itself should be put on trial not the soldiers who refuse to fight it.

 

Join us in demanding the freedom of Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman.

--Vermont Military Families Speak Out

 

 

Honoring A Fallen Brother

 

From: M

To: GI Special

Sent: May 09, 2005 1:53 PM

 

I felt the need to write after reading the section of your website about Sagun Akintade.

 

I called him "Africa" and as a member of his platoon I spent many long nights on guard duty with him.  As a combat life saver I rendered what aid I could for Africa when he was hit on Oct. 28th.

 

The Medic, two other soldiers and myself provided medical aid to Africa under fire in the open for twenty minutes because he was one of us and we loved him.

 

Not a day goes by (and its been six months) that I dont see his face while we were working on him.

 

The article was right on about a lot of things.  Akintade was a great guy, usually outgoing and cheery, but a force to be reckoned with when you pissed him off (thank god I managed to stay on his good side)

 

The problem that I do have is that the article made him out to be against the war.

 

Africa did have problems with the way some of the Iraqis were treated by soldiers.  The city kids could really get under the average G.I.'s skin, and we could grow impatient with them, but never Africa.

 

I saw him dress down several of his buddies for chasing the kids away in a manner less than polite.

 

One time on a raid an old man grabbed me to try to pull me off his son whom I was trying to detain.  Being caught up in the moment I grabbed the old fellow by the arms and was about to hand cuff him, then I caught Akintade out of the corner of my eye.

 

He was making a tsking sound and waiving his pointer finger back and forth.  I calmed down took a little more time communicating with the old guy to avoid arresting him.

 

The single conversation I remember having with Africa the most was one night on gate guard.  Akintade told me he was considering a second tour.

 

He said he felt we were doing something good for the Iraqis.  Does this sound like someone that is against the war, or a reluctant soldier?

 

Also, I don’t want to cause any suffering in Akintades family, but the loudest person saying that Akintade was against the war and forced to go back to Iraq, was also suspected by Akintade of being responsible for his identity theft.

 

If you do choose to post this email it, I would like my name with held.  It’s for you.  I just wanted you to know how I felt about my friend.

 

There are always a few sides to a story, and the truth is in between them.  I am not against the war in Iraq, and neither was my friend.

 

 

Protest Works!

Assholes Who Suspended Student For Talking To Mom In Iraq Forced To End The Suspension!!

 

May 09, 2005 Associated Press, COLUMBUS, Ga.

 

Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn’t give up his cell phone while talking to his mom — a sergeant on duty in Iraq.

 

The angry calls about the boy’s suspension got so bad at one point that secretaries had to take their phones off the hook, assistant principal Alfred Parham said.

 

Kevin Francois, a 17-year-old junior at Spencer High School, was suspended for 10 days for disorderly conduct Wednesday after a teacher told him to give up his cell phone outside the school during his lunch break and he refused, the teen said.

 

The boy said he had not expected the call from his mother, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, who left in January for a one-year tour.

 

On Friday, the school district reduced the suspension to three days, which will allow Francois to return to school Monday, after officials met with him, the guardian who cares for him while his mother is out of the country, and a representative of her unit.

 

“People are fussing at us, calling us names,” said assistant principal Wendell Turner.

 

Parham said, however, that Francois’ behavior at school has been “a chronic problem.”

 

And Francois added: “I’m not a golden child and I’ve been wrong, but I was right this time.”  [Amen to that.]

 

 

Air Force Commandos Used Up:

“They Sometimes Cannot Practice In The Air For Lack Of Planes”

 

May 9, 2005 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

 

In the shadow of their better-known Army and Navy counterparts, Air Force commandos have been sent into Iraq and Afghanistan so frequently that strains are showing in many corners of their secretive world.

 

Wear and tear on their specialized helicopters and airplanes is mounting, as is the human toll in lives lost and families separated.

 

Spare parts are in such demand for special operations aircraft now seeing action that those remaining at Hurlburt are not fully ready for training.

 

"We're wearing 'em down," says Lt. Col. Don Timpson of the 19th Special Operations Squadron, which trains air crews.  He was referring to pilots who fly the AC-130 gunships, MC-130 Combat Talon airlifters and other specialized airplanes and helicopters that require extensive training.

 

Timpson and other officers are using flight simulators much more to train new pilots and keep veterans proficient because they sometimes cannot practice in the air for lack of planes.

 

"We were nearly tapped out" of wartime resources at that point, Col. Thomas Hull, vice director of operations for Air Force Special Operations Command, said.  "That was pretty near the whole shootin' match.  Then what we ended up having to do is kind of regroup and draw back and say, ‘What is it we can sustain?'"

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Attacks On Oil Industry Cutting Production;

Foreign Contractors Death Rates Up Sharply

 

5.9.05 By Chip Cummins, Hassan Hafidh and Yochi J. Dreazen, Wall St. Journal

 

In recent months, oil production, which had stabilized somewhat late last year, is starting to fall off, preliminary estimates show.

 

Violence and insecurity in the fields have prevented long-planned repairs and restricted access by engineers to facilities damaged by fresh rebel attacks, Iraqi officials said.

 

Foreign contractors, hired with Oil Ministry funds and American reconstruction aid, routinely aren’t able to finish their work.

 

The industry is ‘deteriorating day after day,” said one ministry official in Baghdad.

 

In the first quarter of this year, output averaged slightly more than 1.8 million barrels a day, according to estimates compiled by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

 

That is down from the last two quarters of 2004, when Iraq was managing an average of about two million barrels a day.

 

The late-2004 level was in turn short of the output of 2.5 million barrels a day Iraq posted before the invasion, but it still was about 2.5% of global demand and was enough to retain Iraq’s standing as one of the world’s biggest exporters.

 

According to the Special Inspector General’s audit: “The threat to life and property continues to be a major barrier to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq.”

 

At least 276 civilians working on U.S. government-funded projects have died in Iraq as of March 31, with at least 2,582 wounded.

 

Since the end of 2004, the number of contractor deaths has climbed 19%, to 44 in the first quarter of 2005; in the same period, there were 97 American military deaths.

 

The security situation is forcing the U.S. to devote more money to bodyguards, armored vehicles and other protective measures for foreign contractors, thus reducing the funds available for reconstruction.

 

Security costs accounted for 4.2% of the $440 million spent by the United States Agency for International Development on projects completed in Iraq from March 2003 to February 2004.  For the final nine months of 2004, by contrast, security costs constituted 22% of the agency’s contracts.

 

 

Japanese Mercenary Captured In Convoy Attack:

Other Mercenaries Killed

 

The group said Saito was seized after Ansar al-Sunnah fighters ambushed a convoy of five foreign contractors, protected by 12 members of the Iraqi security forces.  It claimed all of them were killed in the fight except for the Japanese.  It said some of the foreigners were intelligence agents.

 

May 09, 2005 By MARIAM FAM, (AP) & Thomas Crosbie

 

Iraqi militants claimed in a Web posting Monday that they took a Japanese security contractor hostage after ambushing a convoy of foreigners and Iraqi troops in western Iraq.

 

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army identified the Japanese hostage as Akihito Saito, 44, and posted a photocopy of his passport, including his picture, on the group's Web site.  It said Saito was “severely injured'' in the fight.

 

The group posted other photo ID cards allegedly belonging to Saito, with one identifying him as a security manager of Hart GMSSCO, a British-based firm that provides security in Iraq.  Another document seemed to be a weapons permit.

 

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said Saito was employed by a security firm from Cyprus and may have been working as a security officer at a US facility.

 

Simon Falkner, chief operating officer of Hart, speaking to The Associated Press from London, confirmed there was an ambush Sunday night involving Hart personnel,

 

“There were casualties. It was in a remote area. ... We are at the moment trying to determine what the situation is,'' he said, refusing to give further details.

 

The group said Saito was seized after Ansar al-Sunnah fighters ambushed a convoy of five foreign contractors, protected by 12 members of the Iraqi security forces.  It claimed all of them were killed in the fight except for the Japanese.  It said some of the foreigners were intelligence agents.

 

The group claimed it ambushed the convoy near Hit, west of Baghdad, and said a fierce battle erupted between the fighters and those in the convoy.

 

In the gunbattle that erupted after the ambush, both sides called in reinforcements, the Ansar al-Sunnah statement said.  When U.S. helicopters arrived at the scene, the fighters captured and immediately killed all those in the convoy, except for one, the Japanese man, it said.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

5/9/2005 Al Jazeera Publishing Limited & Bassem Mroue, Canadian Press & NBC News and news services & Sapa-AFP

 

A car bomb exploded Monday morning in southern Baghdad, killing two Iraqi police officers and two civilians, witnesses said.  The police officers burned to death in their vehicle.

 

Six policemen were wounded.

 

Also nine people were injured when the attacker drove his car into a checkpoint of two police cars at a busy intersection in al-Darwish district.

 

At least three other car bombs exploded in Baghdad later Monday, including one that wounded five Iraqi soldiers and three civilians near an army checkpoint in eastern Baghdad, police said.

 

Six bodies also were found Monday in a deserted area in Markab al-Tair village, near the Syrian frontier, police Col. Wathiq Mohammed said.  He identified them as a senior Iraqi border policeman and five of his relatives.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Dalaf al-Qaissy, head of the defence force at Baiji oil refinery, 200km north of Baghdad, was killed by assailants as he left for work, police Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Salah said.

 

Dr Khalid al-Juburi said "the victim's body was found riddled with 22 bullets".

 

Truck driver Sami Nazar Ali was killed by insurgents who attacked a United States-escorted convoy in Ishaki, 100km north of Baghdad, police said.

 

And an Iraqi soldier was killed by a roadside bomb as a US-Iraqi convoy passed Shabab village near Dujail, 40km outside the capital, said army Captain Muayad al-Shadeedi.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Tide Turns:

(Some Get It, Some Don’t)

 

From: Gene Glazer

To: Veterans For Peace

Sent: May 05, 2005

Subject: Good Guys

 

We are all aware that the tide has begun to turn against Geo. Bush and his war agenda. I've had a gratifying experience which supports that position. 

 

For several years I've had a friendly relationship with the postal clerks at the Bloomfield Post Office.  Yesterday, the clerk who served me looked at my button and said, "So - 'He lied-they died'  You've been saying that for a long time - and you're right. I've noticed all the buttons you wear and that veterans cap of yours - and you were right.  I should have known to always trust a vet."  This is a blue collar guy who probably never thought of being critical of his country.

 

But now he has no problem in admitting he had it wrong.

 

I thanked him and welcomed him to the cause of waging peace.

 

Wherever I go - the diner, bank, super market, etc, I wear my buttons.

 

Last week I found a piece of paper on my wind shield - two hearts and the words, "Love your bumper stickers."

 

So - wear those buttons and your cap.  Make your silent statement.  People do take notice.

 

It's late in the game - but the good guys are going to win this one.  Like Michael says : "peace - one step at a time."

 

Peace

gene

 

[Unfortunately, we’re not “all aware.”  Some defeatists are still whining about the “collapse of the anti-war movement” and “a shift to the right.”  Of course, they spend most of their time in splendid isolation talking to others of the same opinion inhabiting the artificial world of self-proclaimed “leaders” of various movements, having minimal contact with the real world, which is indeed the working class world, including troops.  Thanks to Brother Glazer for having the common sense to interact with reality.  T]

 

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.

 

 

SEIZED:

SADDAM’S DOG, ZARQAWI’S LEG

 

[Thanks to Z, who sent this in.]

 

Washington, 5/8/05, Newsflash

 

The Pentagon has announced the capture of Saddam's dog Fuckbush and of Zarqawi's wooden leg.  Both were seized today in a daring raid by the new Iraqi forces who suffered only light casualties, mainly scattered bites and splinters.

 

The dog is currently being interrogated by US agents amid high hopes that it will reveal the whereabouts of Zarqawi himself, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and the rest of the global terrorist network.

 

Officials at the Pentagon have emphasized that Zarqawi's captive wooden leg--inscribed with the word "Mom"--is irreplaceable.  Losing the leg on Mother's Day lends particular irony to the incident and is certain to leave the terrorist mastermind utterly demoralized and as good as dead.

 

In light of the above events, Pentagon officials have confidently asserted that the Iraqi insurgency, whose back was already broken months ago, has now lost its bite and no longer has a leg to stand on.

 

The officials are highly optimistic that the US troops in Iraq will be able to leave the country within the next few weeks or months or years, except for a handful who will remain behind to man 14 large military bases, to protect the liberty-loving government of Iraq, and to guard the vast Iraqi petroleum reserves in the interests of freedom and democracy for the rest of eternity.

 

 

Who’s An Insurgent?

 

From: NF

To: GI Special

Sent: May 09, 2005

 

Saw a CNN report from that area near Syria.  No report on military casualties.  Just a report that we made progress on killing 54 insurgents, and that insurgents are turning one another in.

 

Why do reporters never ask "How do you know people aren't just turning in guys they owe money to or the husbands of people they want to sleep with?"

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Two Idiots In Action:

Bush Braggs Of Catching Al-Qaeda Office Boy;

Silly Gen. Myers Babbles Bullshit

 

In a recent incident in which Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bragged they "almost got him," al-Zarqawi leapt from a speeding pickup truck and fled on foot.  A one-legged man of sub-par intelligence outrunning a crack, highly trained special forces team.  I'd pay to see that feat, wouldn't you?

 

05/09/05 By Sheila Samples, ICH.  Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer.

 

Even as Tim Russert solemnly announced on Meet the Press Sunday that the "Number three man" in the entire Al-Qaeda network was now under lock and key, the world edition of The Sunday Times quoted European intelligence as saying that Abu Faraj al-Libbi was not only NOT number three, he is not even a blip on the terrorist radar screen.

 

According to The Times, "No European or American intelligence expert contacted last week had heard of al-Libbi until a Pakistani intelligence report last year claimed he had taken over as head of operations after Khalid Shaikh Mohammad's arrest.

 

A former close associate of Osama Bin Laden now living in London laughed -- "What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying."

 

But Bush and his minions, joined by their Pakistani counterparts, would not be denied their public victory dance, complete with back-slapping and high-fives.

 

"A critical victory in the war on terror," Bush crowed, and added that the capture of this "major facilitator and chief planner" for Osama bin Laden "removes a dangerous enemy who is a direct threat to America and for those who love freedom."

 

Although European terrorism experts pointed out that al-Libbi was nowhere to be found on the FBI's most wanted list nor on the State Department's "rewards for justice" list, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave an impressive "Benjamin Braddock" response, saying robotically that al-Libbi is "a very important figure."  Braddock, if you remember, is the idiot/savant "Rain Man" character played by Dustin Hoffman who drove the car back and forth in the driveway, going nowhere, while repeating inanely, "I am a very good driver..."

 

As she congratulated Musharraf for his coup, Rice also revealed that al-Libbi "is somebody we watched a lot every single day -- he is a very important figure for the Al Qaeda network."

 

Then, Bush press secretary Scott McClellan joined the fray, telling reporters at the White House, "Al-Libbi's capture is a great success in the global war on terrorism.  He is one of al-Qaida's most senior operational planners and one of the terrorist organization's top leaders," McClellan said.

 

How does he know that?  The only thing actually known about this Libyan national, other than he makes a mean cup of coffee and has mastered the art of running a copy machine is that he was involved in two 2003 attempts to assassinate Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.

 

Anybody see a pattern emerging here?  Looks like somebody should be asking where the actual al-Qaeda center of operations is -- why the majority of terrorists Bush wants "dead or alive" apparently reside in Pakistan.  

 

Doesn't anybody wonder how, when the Bush administration gets stuck in the driveway furiously driving nowhere, Musharraf pulls another "Number Three" al-Qaeda leader out of his, um...hat?

 

American officials were given the opportunity to make a graceful exit when it was revealed al-Libbi was possibly being confused with fellow Libyan Abu al-Liby, a senior al-Qaeda commander who was indicted for his role in the August 1998 bombings of two US embassies in east Africa, and who is on the FBI's most wanted list.

 

The Sunday Times reports when it contacted a senior FBI official for information about al-Libbi's importance, the official inexplicably sent material on al-Liby.

 

However, a US counterterrorism official, who understandably refused to be named, proclaimed the arrest of al-Libbi as the most important blow to al-Qaeda since the arrest of Mohammad more than two years ago, especially since al-Libbi had assumed Mohammad's leadership position and was busily planning attacks against the United States homeland.

 

It gets better.  US officials explain craftily that the reason al-Libbi's name is not on the FBI list is because "we did not want him to know he was wanted."

 

So let me get this straight -- Here is a guy who is Number Three in the al-Qaeda network; a guy so important that he became head of operations when Khalid Shaikh Mohammad was captured; a guy known to be planning a myriad of 9-11 attacks on our homeland -- and we don't want him to know he's wanted?

 

None of that matters, according to the official, whether it's Libbi or Liby, the important thing is that his capture is smoking the evildoers out.  "Whether big fry or small fry," the official added lamely, "they’re on the run, I can tell you that.”

 

No, the important thing here is that Bush and his unnamed intelligence officials with the help of a complicit media are speaking only to the American people; they are buying time with the American people.  When the proletariat begins to get restless -- begins to ask why Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are still on the loose -- or begins to writhe under the weight of lies, to feel the constraints of the loss of freedoms, they are thrown the red meat of another Abu-al-somebody and the danger of being exposed subsides for a time.

 

With the al-Libbi ploy falling flat on its face, few should be surprised that CNN and FOX are back out there, breathlessly announcing that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's "top aide" has been captured in Baghdad.

 

So, just where are bin Laden and al-Zarqawi?

 

I guess if we're ever going to snag these two, we're going to be forced to remove their names from the FBI "to do" list so they won't suspect they're wanted.  We've come close to capturing bin Laden many times -- even visited him two months before 9-11 in a US hospital in Dubai where he received treatment for his ailing kidneys -- but like the persistent ghost of a man who's been dead for years, Osama always manages to slip noiselessly away.

 

Al-Zarqawi, a bogeyman of our own making, gets blamed for everything -- car bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, beheadings -- and, apparently, he is just as wily as bin Laden.

 

In a recent incident in which Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bragged they "almost got him," al-Zarqawi leapt from a speeding pickup truck and fled on foot.  A one-legged man of sub-par intelligence outrunning a crack, highly trained special forces team. I'd pay to see that feat, wouldn't you?

 

Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi are ideological poles apart and, in real life, would have no reason to team up or to have anything at all to do with each other.  But now, thanks to Bush, they are like two evil, mischievous undead spirits, they appear only to create havoc and, as Bush is wont to say, strike with sudden horror, and then -- Poof! -- they disappear into the atmosphere, leaving behind only laptop computers, tapes, detailed plans and charts outlining their next bit of bloody derring do.

 

Whether they like it or not, we're going to keep nabbing their "Number Three" men until we get it right and they are brought to justice.

 

So, if you see a 7-foot-tall bearded man in a dress dragging around a dialysis machine, accompanied by a squat, fleet-footed guy with only one leg, tell 'em they can run and they can hide, but it won't do them any good -- because we're hot on their trail.

 

Yes, indeedy.  And we are very good drivers...

 

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.

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Two US Troops Die

 

9 May, 2005 BBC & AP

 

Two US marines have been killed in a battle in eastern Afghanistan.

 

The marines engaged the band of militants in Laghman province, east of Kabul, on Sunday, the Associated Press reported the military as saying.

 

There has been an upsurge in attacks on US-led forces following a winter lull.

 

The US military said its warplanes were called in during the fighting in Laghman, an opium-producing region that has seen a number of clashes between US-led coalition forces and militants.

 

The military said the Marines initially came under attack with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades from about 25 insurgents who split into two groups, one of which fled to a village and the other to a cave on a nearby ridge.

 

The two Marines died while clearing the cave after Air Force A-10 ground attack planes had pounded the rebels holed up inside, the statement said, without elaborating.

 

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press quoted a witness in Laghman as saying he had seen 17 people dead as a result of American bombing.

 

Militants opposed to the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai have made good on threats to step up their three-year-old insurgency, carrying out assaults and bombings that have killed dozens of Afghan and U.S. troops and government officials in recent weeks.

 

American commanders have said they expect to have forces in the country, which borders Iran, nuclear-armed Pakistan and oil-rich Central Asia, for many years to come.  [The troops will have something to say about that.  At the rate they’re getting fed up with the Imperial bullshit in Iraq and Afghanistan, the “American commanders” may find themselves with troops to command.]

 

The new Afghan army, trained mainly by the United States, Britain and France, was expected to reach its full strength of 70,000 in September next year, although Afghan defense officials insist even that is far too small to defend the country.

 

Sunday’s deaths brought to 143 the number of American troops killed in and around Afghanistan since the start of the occupation in 2001, according to Defense Department statistics.

 

 

 

CLASS WAR REPORTS

 

 

An Appeal For Help:

Tuesday May 10 Action Needed:

Stop Racial Profiling & Police Brutality! Drop All Charges Against The Somerville 5!

 

Please take a minute to read the flyer below regarding a very important struggle against police brutality and racial profiling in Somerville, MA.

 

We are appealing to you to immediately call or send a fax to Dr. Albert Argenziano, Superintendent of Somerville Schools, demanding that all five students immediately be reinstated at Somerville High School, in good standing, with no repercussions.  The decision to reinstate or expel is currently in the hands of Dr. Argenziano and the deadline is this Thursday, May 12.

 

The students have been unjustly suspended for more than 10 days.

 

No court has found them guilty but Somerville High School officials have decided they are "guilty until proven innocent".  This is a travesty of justice!!  More than 300 of their peers at Somerville High School signed a petition requesting their reinstatement.  Please help save their futures!  Make your voice heard!

 

Dr. Albert Argenziano Superintendent, Somerville School Department Phone: 617-625-6600 x6005 or 617-625-6600 x6000 Fax: 617-625-4731  aargenziano@k12.somerville.ma.us

 

Come & Pack the Court! Tuesday, May 10, 9:00 AM Somerville District Court (Orange Line to Sullivan Station, Bus #92 or #90)

 

Call the Mayor of Medford, Michael McGlynn to demand that all charges be dropped Now! - 781-393-2408

 

What Happened To The Kids

 

Every day, across the country, Black youth and other young people of color are the victims of racial profiling and police brutality.

 

Skin color and national origin are seen by police as a cause for suspicion and a reason to violate people's rights.

 

"Driving while Black" or "walking while Black" is the all too common harsh reality for our young people.  Racial profiling can result in beatings, maiming, imprisonment and even death.

 

On April 20, 2005, 5 Black youths from Somerville (Calvin Belfon 17, Cassius Belfon 15, Earl Guerra 16, Isiah Anderson 17, and Marquis Anderson 16) were the victims of racial profiling and a brutal, unprovoked attack by Medford Police.

 

The Somerville youths were walking to catch a bus home and stopped at a Store 24 nearby.  Outside they were confronted by a heavily armed Medford police officer.  He grabbed Calvin Belfon by the throat and punched him twice in the face.

 

Fearing serious bodily harm or worse, Belfon defended himself.  His brothers and friends came to his aid.  When Calvin appealed for the cop to stop, he responded by calling him a racist name.  A police riot ensued with at least 10 cops armed with guns, clubs, mace and flashlights, beating the 5 youths.

 

All 5 young people sustained injuries to the face and head and all were maced.  Calvin and Isiah were clubbed on their heads with a flashlight.  All later went to the hospital for treatment.  Police also gang-profiled the youths as evidenced by asking them what their "street names" were.

 

A cover-up of this vicious assault by the Medford Police quickly followed.  In pre-fabricated stories, police told the press and media such things as they were "fighting for their lives" "teens turned on them" , "were overwhelmed", etc.

 

Absurd lies like these are commonly used by police to cover up abuse and pin it on the victims in order to get away with it.  Needing a probable cause for the unprovoked attack, the police claimed the youth were making trouble in the Store 24 and that the youth had tried to grab cop's weapons.

 

All five of these young people are students at Somerville High School who get good grades and have never been in trouble at school or with the law.

 

They are all excellent athletes and members of the football, track and basketball teams; respected by their peers.  All five attend church on a regular basis.  All dream of going to college.  They currently have been unjustly suspended from school.  They have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct. The future of these promising students and athletes is now in jeopardy.

 

Our youths have a right to walk down the street, attend an event, or drive their cars free from police harassment both psychological and physical.  They have a right to walk safely and not be terrorized by racist police.  We need to come together as a community and demand this - parents, guardians, educators, peers, and residents.

 

Join us in demanding: Drop all charges now.  Reinstate the students at SHS immediately.  Conduct an independent investigation into police actions on April 20, 2005.  Stop racial profiling and police brutality.

 

Issued by: Committee to Defend the Somerville High School 5 Against Police Brutality c/o Women's Fightback Network & International Action Center - 617-522-6626

 

 

 

Received:

 

ANOTHER COUNTRY HEARD FROM;

THE MOVEMENT IS EVERYWHERE!

 

PROGRAM OF ANTI-IRAQ WAR FILMS

TO MARK THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF

THE ILLEGAL US-UK INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF IRAQ

 

 

NAME OF FILMS:

 

1. FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (Edited)                Dir. Michael Moore                                   Dur. 70 mins

 

2. IN WHOSE INTEREST                        Dir. David Kaplowitz                                Dur. 27 mins     ( On  50 years of US interventions around the globe)

 

3. INFORMED DISSENT                          Prod. by Undercurrents, UK                    Dur. Approx. 50 mins.     ( A series of anti-war microdocumentaries)

 

The screening of these films will be followed by a discussion. All are invited.

 

DATE: March 20, 2005

TIME: 4-8 pm

LOCATION: Brahme Bungalow, ‘Infinity Building’, Opposite Syndicate Bank,

                        Law College Road, Pune, India.

 

For more information, please contact:

Neeraj Jain / Alka Joshi                Tel.: 2528 9187

Rupesh Yadav                               Tel.: 98238 33501

Madhav Sahasrabuddhe                Tel.: 93707 22114

 

Condemn and Oppose the American occupation of Iraq!

Victory to the Iraqi people in their revolutionary resistance for national liberation!!

 

…..……..…………………………………….…….. LOKAYAT

 

Contact address:                                                                                                                                    Contact  e-mail:

Sulabha Brahme                                                                                                                   neerajjain_61@yahoo.co.in

129B/2, Erandawane, Pune-4                                                                                                

 

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