GI SPECIAL 3B40:
THIS IS HOW
BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
ALL HOME NOW
Debbee Way holds
the flag from the coffin of her son, Lt Brian Gienau, at a
graveside service March 9, 2005, in Tripoli, Iowa. (AP
Photo/ Dan Nierling)
Troops Killed In Baghdad Fighting
May 24, 2005 ABC & (Xinhuanet)
from the US
Third Infantry Division died in central Baghdad when a car
bomb exploded next to their convoy at about 1:30 p.m.
half-hour later, a U.S. soldier sitting in the back of a
Bradley fighting vehicle at an observation post was shot to
death by gunmen in a passing car.
BCT SOLDIERS KILLED IN HASWA
May 24, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-29C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq --
Four Soldiers assigned to
the 155th Brigade Combat Team, II Marine Expeditionary Force
(Forward), were killed yesterday when an improvised
explosive device detonated near their vehicle.
The incident took place during
combat operations in Haswa, Iraq.
KILLED IN RAMADI
May 24, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-30C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq –
A Marine assigned to 2nd
Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward),
was killed May 23 during an indirect fire attack on Camp
Blue Diamond, Ramadi, Iraq.
Dies In Al Qaim
May 24, 2005 U.S. Department
of Defense News Release No. 509-05
T. Brazee, 25, of Sand Creek, Mich., died May 23, in Al
Qaim, Iraq, from non-combat related injuries.
Brazee was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3d Armored
Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.
Ohio Soldier Dies:
Killed When Bomb Struck Vehicle
May 23, 2005 AP
MASSILLON, Ohio --
When the phone rang at 11 p.m. Saturday and Chiquita Seesan
heard her son was hurt by a bomb in Iraq, she initially
thought it was a prank call.
found out this was no joke. Her son, Army 1st Lt. Aaron
Seesan, was being flown to Germany after suffering
third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body. He died the
next day in Germany.
Aaron Seesan, 24, was serving
with the 73rd Engineering Company out of Ft. Lewis, Wash.,
his mother said. He was part of a unit in charge of
diffusing mines and other bombs.
when a bomb struck the gas tank of the vehicle he was riding
in, causing it to burst into flames.
That was around 6 p.m.
Saturday night. Aaron had called home around 4 p.m.
"There was nothing unusual
about his call," Chiquita Seesan said. "He joked and teased
with his siblings as he always does."
Aaron Seesan joined the Army
in 2003, the day he graduated from the Merchant Marine
Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., his mother said. He was the
only member of his graduating class to join the Army.
Chiquita Seesan said her son
was a history buff who knew every battle fought in World War
II. He graduated from Massillon Washington High School in
She said her son was always
wearing camouflage clothes and wanted to go into the Army
from a young age.
Pennsylvania National Guard Soldier Killed
May 24 /PRNewswire
A Pennsylvania Army National
Guard soldier was killed in Khadasia, Iraq, by a suicide
bomber, Sunday, May 22.
Morgain, 40, Butler, was providing security outside an Iraqi
police station when a vehicle with taxi markings pulled near
his HMMWV and exploded.
The 9:52 a.m. blast also
injured three other Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers and
four Iraqi police, none of them seriously.
sitting in the turret when the vehicle detonated some 10
yards from his location. He was initially
transported to Speicher Combat Support Hospital and then
airlifted to a hospital in Balad, where he died of traumatic
with 11 unit members, part of a four HMMWV detail, providing
security while the unit commander met with Iraqi police.
The unit, Company A (-), 1st
Battalion, 112th Infantry, Butler, is part of Task Force
Dragoon, a force of 750 Pennsylvania Army National Guard
soldiers. Task Force Dragoon deployed to Iraq in December
for a one-year assignment.
Morgain joined the
Pennsylvania National Guard in June 2000 as a traditional
Guard member. He served four years of duty in the active
Army from 1982 to 1986. In his civilian career, Morgain was
employed by T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co., Butler.
He is survived by his wife,
the former Janice Elaine Sanky, 40; daughter, Madison Marie
Morgain, 12; stepson, Zachary Taylor Macurak, 17; and his
mother Carol Fay Morgain. Morgain's wife is head of "Support
our Soldiers," a non- profit organization that has raised
thousands of dollars from local merchants in the Butler
area. In turn, the organization sent care packages to
deployed soldiers. A trust for the Morgain family has been
set up with the National City Bank of Pennsylvania.
Soldiers Hurt In Iraq:
The Command Report Said “Minor Injuries” -- More Lies]
May 23, 2005 By Christine
Five Fort Wainwright soldiers
are injured after their helicopter crashed in Iraq on
Saturday. The Chinook Cargo helicopter lost power and the
pilot was forced to make an emergency landing.
Army officials are being
pretty tight lipped about what exactly happened, and haven't
released the names of injured troops. But we do know that
Five Fort Wainwright soldiers were hurt, after the chopper
had to make an emergency landing.
"Two of the crew members were
treated and released, one is in the hospital overnight for
observation, two others
were evacuated to Germany for further treatment
none of them suffered life threatening injuries,” says Linda
Douglass, a public affairs officer at Fort Wainwright.
five soldiers on board when CH-47 Chinook Helicopter was
forced to land after both engines lost engines... and now
has significant damage. "Damage to the aircraft is
significant and but again, we are just
pleased that the pilot was able to bring the helicopter down
with no fatalities,” says Douglass.
All five of the injured
soldiers have spoken with their families, who were
immediately notified about the crash.
Fort Wainwright officials
say families are always very relieved to hear from there
loved ones whenever anything like this happens in war.
From Nation Of Georgia Badly Wounded
May 24 (Itar-Tass) &
Tbilisi has released
information about the Georgian serviceman, who was heavily
wounded in Iraq on Tuesday.
Platoon commander Mikhail
Kutateladze was sharing a car with American servicemen en
route from Baghdad to Baquba, the Georgian Defense Ministry
said. The car hit a handmade mine.
American servicemen died, and Kutateladze was taken to
hospital with multiple injuries. His hand was amputated.
It was reported earlier that the serviceman would receive a
therapy in Germany, but Georgian sources said that was not
According to the Defense
Ministry injuries sustained by the soldier required that his
leg be amputated.
The Kutateladze family has
been informed about the accident.
About 900 Georgian servicemen
are currently on mission in Iraq. Three hundred of them are
stationed in Baquba, and the rest are in Baghdad.
Increasing Warfighting Abilities:
Against Coalition Forces Have Never Stopped”
U.S. Central Command spokesman
Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said
"Attacks against coalition
forces have never stopped. We are averaging about 70
attacks against us per day."
Charles Heyman, a senior
defense analyst with Jane's Consultancy Group in Britain,
said the rate of attacks against American forces are the
same as any time during the conflict - but the key
difference is the increasing capabilities of the insurgents.
"We would have hoped that the
insurgency would have decreased in line with the ability of
the Iraqi security forces to hold the ring and become more
capable," Heyman said.
doesn't appear to be panning out that way with the
insurgents increasing in their abilities to kill, attack and
strike when and where they want."
For Reservists In Iraq Rises
May. 24, 2005 ROBERT BURNS,
remain in the firing line, targeted by insurgents that have
shown increasing abilities to attack when and where they
rate in Iraq this month among members of the National Guard
and Reserve is the highest since January and one of the
highest of the entire war, Pentagon figures show.
At least 21
part-time soldiers and Marines have died in May, although
the number may be higher since the Pentagon has not yet
identified most of the 14 U.S. troops who have died since
As of May 20, the Pentagon had
identified 16 Guard and Reserve members among the month's
The 21 deaths account for a
little over one-third of the total of 58 U.S. troops who
have died so far this month. That is about in line with the
ratio of Guard and Reserve troops to regular active-duty
troops deployed in Iraq - now about 40 percent Guard/Reserve
and 60 percent regular troops.
In April, 11 members of the
Guard and Reserve died in Iraq. In March, there were 13,
and February's total was 16.
the May toll already is the highest since January, when
there were 30 for the entire month.
January was one of the bloodiest months of the war for U.S.
forces, with a total of 107 deaths, including 30 Marines and
one Navy corpsman who died in a single helicopter crash.
war began in March 2003, at least 163 members of the
National Guard, plus 45 in the Army Reserve and 45 in the
Marine Reserves had died in Iraq, according to an unofficial
count as of Friday. The Pentagon does not release an
official death toll for the Guard and Reserve.
Mississippi Soldier Returns Home To Warm Welcome
May. 24, 2005 Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. -
Family members friends joined military officials Tuesday to
welcome home Sgt. 1st Class Ellis Martin of Summit, a member
of the Army National Guard's 155th Brigade Combat Team who
was critically wounded more than two months ago in Iraq.
a motorized wheelchair, was escorted into the Jackson
International Airport terminal by Maj. Gen. Harold Cross,
adjutant general for the Mississippi National Guard. Other
Guard personnel also accompanied Martin.
"We're so excited to have him
back home," said Dolisa Simmons, Martin's sister and one of
several family members who made the trip from Summit to
welcome the soldier.
Martin and Sgt. Robert Shane
Pugh, 25, were injured in March when an improvised explosive
device detonated near their vehicle. Pugh died of his
Pugh, a combat medic with the
155th, was credited with helping his wounded comrade before
Miss. Soldiers Recount Explosion;
Know Who The Enemy Is"
May. 23, 2005 Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Miss. - A
Mississippi soldier injured last month in Iraq says he
remembers waking up after the explosion, hanging upside down
and being held in place only by his seat belt.
"I remember blood coming from
my nose and fire coming toward my face. I remember beating
the fire with my hands because I didn't want my face to get
burned," said Spc. Melvin Gatewood, a member of
Columbus-based Battery A of the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field
Artillery in Starkville.
Gatewood, who's been home
recovering, was recalling the April 19 accident in which
Staff Sgt. Tommy A. Little of Aliceville, Ala., was killed
and four soldiers were injured.
Gatewood, 21, who suffered
burns to his hands and back, was driving the soldiers'
Humvee when the vehicle ran over and detonated an improvised
explosive device, then flipped and caught fire.
Little out of the vehicle, and I told him it would be all
right, it would be good," Gatewood said. "He responded well
and kept asking, 'How do I look?' I told him he looked good
and would be all right. We had a memorial service for him
Gatewood said he plans to
visit Little's grave site. Gatewood served with Little for
"He was a nice man," Gatewood
said. "He was quiet and kept to himself. He did everything
he was asked to do. You just ask yourself, 'Why him?'"
One of Gatewood's cousins,
Sgt. Terrence A. Elizenberry, also was injured in the April
"I heard a loud explosion and
the next thing I remember is waking up upside down," said
Elizenberry, 31. "I heard the driver calling my name, and I
helped him get his seat belt off. I tried to help the other
guys. The guys helped put the fire out and got the last
person out through the roof."
Elizenberry was flown to
Baghdad and then to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in
Germany, where he had surgery for second-degree burns on his
ears, face and hands. He then was sent to Brooke Army
Medical Center in San Antonio.
"I had burns on either side of
my face, but they've healed real fast," he said. "It has
something to do with the blood flow in the face. Of course,
they were not as bad as my hands."
Doctors said Elizenberry is
expected to heal 100 percent but he must wear special gloves
on his hands for a year. "It's to prevent swelling and
scarring," he said. "But I've already seen improvements and
coloration starting to come back."
Gatewood will go to Ft. Gordon
in Georgia sometime in June.
Elizenberry, who has been in the military nearly 16 years,
is working on his recovery. He wants people to pray for
American soldiers in Iraq.
insurgents don't have military uniforms, they dress like
citizens and it's hard to distinguish them," he said. "You
don't know who the enemy is." [Which is why occupation
armies lose wars. The occupation troops don’t know who the
enemy is. The occupied people fighting for their freedom
who exactly who the enemy is, every minute of every day, and
where they go, and what they do. Game over. Time to come
Kin Rap Army's 'Outright Lies'
PB and Phil G. for sending this in.]
5.23.05 BY BILL HUTCHINSON,
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER & By Josh White, Washington Post
The parents of slain NFL
star-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman are blasting military
brass for the "outright lies" they told about their son's
purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it
up," Patrick Tillman Sr. told The Washington Post about his
son's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan last year. "After
it happened, all the people in positions of authority went
out of their way to script this."
they thought they could control it, and they realized that
their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a
handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew
up their poster boy."
Mary Tillman said "The
military let him down. The administration let him down. It
was a sign of disrespect.”
Tillman, 27, turned down a
multimillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to
join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was
killed April 22, 2004, while hunting Osama Bin Laden in
Afghanistan. The military initially claimed he was killed
by the enemy, and even awarded him the Silver Star
waited weeks after they knew the real cause of Tillman's
death to tell his family.
"The fact that he was the
ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is
absolutely heartbreaking and tragic," his mother, Mary
Tillman, said. "The fact that they lied about it afterward
Tillman Sr. ripped military officials for conducting a
"botched homicide investigation" and said high-ranking Army
officers told him and his family "outright lies."
lying's not a big deal anymore," the father said. "Pat's
dead, and this isn't going to bring him back. But these
guys should have been held up to scrutiny ... and no one
Patrick Tillman Sr. believes
he will never get the truth, and he says he is resigned to
that now. But he wants everyone in the chain of command,
from Tillman's direct supervisors to the one-star general
who conducted the latest investigation, to face discipline
for "dishonorable acts."
Mary Tillman said her son's
death and the deception about it "keeps slapping me in the
"It makes you feel like you're
losing your mind in a way," she said. "You imagine things.
When you don't know the truth, certain details can be blown
out of proportion. The truth may be painful, but it's the
truth. You start to contrive all these scenarios that could
have taken place because they just kept lying. If you feel
you're being lied to, you can never put it to rest."
there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they
wouldn't still be covering their tails," she said.
"If this is
what happens when someone high profile dies, I can only
imagine what happens with everyone else."
she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a
taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football
game shortly before the presidential election last fall.
She again felt as though her son was being used, something
he never would have wanted.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
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.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Takes Tal Afar
24 May 2005 (AFP) & (CNN) & AP
northern city of Tal Afar, there were reports that militants
were in control
Police Capt. Ahmed Hashem Taki
said Tal Afar was experiencing "civil war." Journalists
were blocked from entering the city of 200,000.
northeastern Mosul on Tuesday, a member of Iraqi civil
defense died after a bomb he was trying to defuse detonated,
a spokesman for the region's Joint
Coordination Center said. Four others were wounded in the
Tuesday kidnapped Nassir Sa'ed Al-Sayfi, an employee of
Oman's embassy in Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said
Tuesday. "He was kidnapped from his house
by unknown gunmen in a black BMW," the ministry said.
opened fire on a convoy carrying conservative Shia
legislator Salamah al-Khafaji, one of the most prominent
women in Iraq's new parliament, critically injuring four of
Al-Khafaji was driving from
Baghdad to the Shia holy city of Najaf, south of the
capital, when the attempt took place, according to her
spokesman. She was not injured.
"It was a motorcade of four
cars driving to Najaf. They were subjected to gunfire, four
of guards were critically injured", said spokesman Bahaa
posted on the Internet Tuesday shows three Arab truck
drivers being shot to death, apparently for transferring
goods to U.S. troops.
was a Jordanian man shown apologizing for helping the U.S.
military and advising others to stop cooperating with U.S.
Two Iraqi drivers, reportedly
seized outside the al-Asad base west of Baghdad, are shown
making similar statements before all three were shot dead by
a masked man.
militant group Ansar al-Sunnah Army took responsibility for
the executions in a statement warning "all those who assist
the Crusaders." The group labeled them "partners in
shedding the blood of innocent Muslims."
The Jordanian truck driver
appeared on the video sitting in front of a black banner
bearing the name of the group, identifying himself as Hammad
"I'm extremely sorry. I advise
all my Jordanian colleagues to immediately stop working"
with U.S. forces, he said.
al-Sunnah also said that two Iraqi drivers, identified as
Khairy Abdul Majeed Fattah and Furon Faiq Fadhil, were
seized as they drove out of the al-Asad base in western
appears on a video saying he's a Baghdad resident who works
for a company called Seven Seas, and that he was
transferring electrical equipment to the base, including
"I call on drivers from here
not to work with such companies and not to work with the
Americans," he said.
separate statement also posted Tuesday, Ansar al-Sunnah
claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kirkuk on
Monday. The statement said the attack targeted a convoy of
a senior official from President Jalal Talabani's party, the
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
The unnamed official escaped
the attack, but the group vowed "not to miss the second
Military Contractor Captured
Turkish businessman has been captured in Iraq by insurgents
demanding that his transportation company stop working with
US forces in the war-torn country, relatives were quoted as
saying on Tuesday.
The 48-year-old Ali Musluoglu
called his brother in Turkey on his mobile phone and told
him he had been kidnapped, the brother, Ahmet Musluoglu,
told Anatolia news agency.
very anxious... One of the insurgents took the phone and
said in Arabic that we should stop doing business with the
Americans or otherwise we will never see our brother again,”
“I promised that we will not
do business with the Americans again and that we are even
ready to quit the transportation business,” he added.
The two brothers were among
the partners of a company based in Reyhanli, in the province
of Hatay on the border with Syria, which was carrying sand
and pebble for construction work in Iraq, the NTV news
Ali Musluoglu went to Baghdad
on business 10 days ago and had been missing for four days
when he telephoned, it said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Write On Occupation And Resistance:
The Story That Set Off Part Of This Discussion:
Troops To Quit Iraq Mid-2006”
Monday, May 02, 2005 6:05 AM
Troops To Quit Iraq Mid-2006
02 May 2005 Aljazeera
From: Ahmed Al-Habbabi]
troops in Iraq will probably start pulling out in large
numbers by the middle of next year, Iraq's national security
adviser has said.
In an interview on CNN's Late
Edition, Muafaq al-Rubai said: "I will be very surprised if
they (US and other foreign troops) don't think very
seriously of starting [to] pull out probably by the end of
the first half of next year."
Al-Rubai said the new Iraqi
government was determined to quell violence in Iraq by the
end of 2005.
"I think we are winning - on
the winning course, there is no doubt about it. The level of
violence is not measured only by the number of explosions
every day, or the number of casualties," he said.
[It is also
measured by rhetoric?]
He added: "There is no shadow
of doubt in my mind, that by the end of the year, we would
have achieved a lot, and probably the back of the insurgency
has already been broken."
optimism, don't you?
[But of the
course, he's only a week late behind similar tunes from his
[All comments below originally
circulated to the Anti-Allawi Group]
“One Way Of
Getting Kicked Out Is By Reaching The Limits Of Hanging On”
To: Anti-Allawi Group
Sent: May 04, 2005 3:43 PM
Subject: Re: U.S. to withdraw
troops from Iraq in December - Report
We can remain optimistic while
avoiding being too credulous. A leak is usually a leak on
purpose, yet may it still be indicative of something?
official line is still: No timetable. We're staying as long
as necessary. Or, as translated, until we've got what we're
after or get kicked out.
stumbles on a variation for testing the acoustics, so later
Bush can play a safe tune, the official line is still
official to stand by and die for.
leaking assurances to appease the American public has only
been going on recently.
I think the
need to appease is indicative of rising dissent. It is a
counter-measure to retain control lest dissent escalates to
proportions that need to be addressed by relatively binding
official declarations, with possibility of a forced change
The Daily Telegraph leaks.
And what is the Daily Telegraph, one may ask? As
reactionary-conservative as they come. Next day, joins in
the local insecurity advicer on strings. An orchestra is
O when the Saints...
leaks of talks with the resistance or Saddam are much in
the same vein too.
There is no
reason to believe that a decision on the need for serious
negotiation has been made at this stage yet. At each
leaked instance, with or without substance, they are psy-op
attempts to split resistance ranks and to shape
middle-of-the-road Iraqi opinion against the seemingly
Simultaneously, the leaks are messages of progress being
supposedly made to solve the thorny issues, to reduce the
costs of staying, or to allow for eventual withdrawal.
words, it's time for the morphine injections, folks.
Back to staying as long as
necessary, getting what they're after in terms of regional
hegemony and returns on investment will take a long time.
local sand bags hold the fort, while the boys can sneak
It is a
precarious situation holding the status quo as it is by the
big guys with all the high tech stuff as it is. Local
forces cannot hope to do it alone without constant heavier
backing or unless they're supplied with what gives them the
tech edge. The latter is highly unlikely, as some of the
equipment is bound to be used against the patrons, so
they'll have to make do with AK47 tops for now.
possibility of getting kicked out doesn't look conceivably
close yet. Not militarily of course, but whenever has a
resistance triumphed militarily? So, isn't it closer than
we may imagine?
I find a lot of sense in T
Barton's thesis that he voiced at Fayetteville. To
paraphrase, local resistance is essential, and global
(particularly US) resistance is crucial, but are both
within the military ranks, instigated primarily by the
former resistances, is the decisive factor that will end
deployment to Iraq has encompassed almost all of the US
forces, and we're beginning to have third deployments.
trickle of dissent accompanied the second, what will it be
like with the third getting underway soon?
By the end of this year, there
will be fourth deployments! What will it be like then?
isn't working. A draft can well be the straw that broke the
camel's back. One way of getting kicked out is by reaching
the limits of hanging on.
Occupation Can Be For The Good”
May 04, 2005
All Iraqis share your
sentiments on the need for unity. HOW is what they differ
The facts are clear, and it
requires no degree in political science. The simplest
village idiots know the role of oil in the equation. All
realize instinctively that no occupation can be for the
people's opinions on how to deal with the occupation
European resistance to Nazi occupation. Some are motivated
to fight and even face death. Some collaborate for
short-term benefits come what may later. The vast majority
wants the occupation over right now, but they don't know how
to go about it, and wish to carry on living in the meantime.
The puppets are specifically
there to cloud the issue too. It's their job to sow the
seeds of disunity.
Boiling Like Never Before”
May 05, 2005
Subject: Re: U.S. to withdraw
troops from Iraq in December - Report
But I can give you sure
answers. Sure I can, in my usually humble way! I'll dodge
the more difficult ones that's all.
Q- Do you
expect the Americans to remain in Iraq much longer?
There, that was easy!
long do you give them?
A- All the
time in the world to eventually come to the conclusion that
they cannot hold on there forever. That was a dodgy answer,
No, I'll have to stick my neck
I think the
next summer months will be decisive.
before the elections: Give the Iraqis two months after the
elections are over. Formation of a new
setup dragged on a bit. Yet for the past month now, the
resistance is back in business better than ever.
Shiite and Kurd areas is more pronounced now than ever.
Baghdad is boiling like never before. These are indications
of popular opinion.
short lull, a let's wait and see spell, things become
clearer to ordinary people. I think more people will
gradually shed whatever straw hopes they had in getting a
government that can speak out for them or improve things.
By the end
of the year, the US re-deployments of units will aggravate
as I wrote previously. By that time the Rummies will be
frantically searching for solutions. Short of commitment to
total withdrawal and a major revision of political changes,
I don't believe the resistance holding what feels like the
upper hand will then oblige.
about 2006 tops?
W. Churchill once said
something like a great statesman is capable of foreseeing
what will happen in a week, month, and year. And after a
draw on his cigar, he continued with... and can explain why
it didn't happen that week, month and year.
am not worried over the longer term at all. I know the
dynamics of the place. I am worried however, over whether
it can be done sooner to avoid further losses in all
Q- Do you
think the Americans will maintain bases in Iraq for years
like they'd like, or do you think popular discontent will
drive them completely out eventually?
A- If bases
are somehow kept, not one kid will pass by without throwing
a rock if he cannot manage something else. The US doesn't
understand the land. The bases will never be accepted.
Q- What do
you expect to happen when the Americans go? Civil war? If
not, how do you think Iraq will pull through all of these
A- One can draw on the
precedent of what is happening right now with allawi's mob.
All of those out of a job, including ALL-ALLAWI himself,
have already left Iraq or are contemplating leaving shortly
after checking out if there wasn't a bone left.
is out of the question. I am yet to find one Iraqi apart
from the puppets that expects it. Nobody is that stupid.
Nobody needs to or can unify the country by force. When the
US withdraws, the local puppets will disappear, not with a
bang but a whimper, except for a few with local bases of
some militias may stay on for some time, and there will be
localized forms of authority in an unofficially
decentralized set of many small regions, while talks and
arrangements go on in Baghdad.
happened before every time there was a vacuum of central
authority, so I am not looking into a crystal ball.
Eventually in a few years,
central government becomes stronger as the economic
situation stabilizes and improves. Economics reunites, and
central authority uses it to consolidate its tools and thus
its status. A healthy state is bound to re-emerge. Life
goes on. It always does.
Not Accept Defeat. They Just Don't”
May 05, 2005
This brings up the second
point, which makes a world of difference between the
occupation of Germany and Japan compared to Iraq.
not accept defeat. They just don't. This is the way ever
since there was an Arab, so it's not likely to change soon.
For example, Iraq never lost
the Mother of all battles in 1991. That was but one battle
of a continuing war. That was how it was fathomed by the
And in a
sense, you really cannot lose this way. As long as you
don't succumb to the recognition of defeat, as long as you
consider the fight ongoing endlessly unless you win, then
you cannot lose.
project in Iraq is a failure, precisely because it finds
the above reasoning illogical. Nevertheless, it is the
logic of the land.
could have accepted the liberation, whether pro or anti
of all kinds would have been ready to overlook the
destruction, if the US began to withdraw in April 2003.
were prepared to talk to each other and work out an
alternative. Without further interference in shaping a
substitute government of Iraq, the US project could have
had a margin of hope. The opportunity has been missed.
Even if the
US manages to quash or contain the current resistance, as
outlandish a probability as can be, that cannot be the end
of story. The story never ends, remember? With Arabs, it is
passed on through the generations.
What do you think the younger
psychologist can fill in on this better, for I wonder how
the young view the looks of humiliation and helplessness in
the eyes of their parents that they look up to.
increasing reports recently that the active resistance is
composed more of teenagers, with the elders relegated to
backstage leadership and consultative capacities.
been recently taking part in active combat, while in a
society that does not favor this.
From my lay
perspective, the young have their lives stretched out before
them to work their best at bettering their elders, and
making it exactly where they couldn't. The future will be
far more ominous.
Of Operations Are Still Direct Enough”
“sandbags” in the comment below refers to local collaborator
forces in Iraq, playing the role of sandbags heaped up to
protect the foreign Occupation forces. T]
May 05, 2005
Subject: Re: 57% of U.S.
public think Iraq War was not worth it
People wouldn't prefer to go
for their own kind if they can avoid it. It's certainly
more logical, and effective, to hit at the source and
cause. But the sand bags simply get in the way from time to
time, so the obstacle needs to be removed.
It must also be realized that
the prospect of the occupation project succeeding in
creating enough sand bags would be most detrimental to the
effectiveness of the resistance, and thus to the anti-war
cause in its entirety.
You wrote: "This is why I say
Americans being killed by the resistance is paramount to a
quicker success in getting the Americans out."
In fact, it is the initiating
pointed out, if there were no US casualties, there would be
no anti-war protests at home. The whole thing dies out.
Therefore, the occupiers must be brought out into the open,
so that more direct casualties can be inflicted, which
builds up dissent at home, and thus more political pressure
against the war and more dissent within the military ranks.
Unfortunately, that's the only way at present to get
the occupation force is the main and effective target to hit
at, the sand bags project must not succeed in shielding
them. So which comes first, the egg or the chicken?
short of thinking that the resistance has its hands full
with the sand bags and contrary to the popular media
picture, the bulk of operations are still direct enough.
November 2004 to 12 March 2005 there were a total of 3306
attacks in the Baghdad area. Of these, 2400 were directed
against Coalition Forces." - Source: GI SPECIAL 3B18 from
Information Clearing House.org, Giuliana Sgrena Killing: The
uncensored U.S. report.
within Baghdad alone. The overall figure can only be much
higher when considering resistance land outside the capital,
where most resistance ops occur and where the sand bags are
approx distribution of ops, it can be estimated that direct
attacks must be of the order of 90%+.
“Why Won’t Our Iraqis Fight?”
Military Does Not Control Baghdad. If The US Military Does
Not Control The Capital Of A Country It Conquered, Then It
Controls Nothing Of Importance.”
23 May 2005 By Tom Engelhardt,
In the case of those "trained"
Iraqi military men, as things went from bad to worse, the
metrics meant to measure training success did indeed
multiply. As a Washington Post piece (A Report Card on
Iraqi Troops) indicated just recently, now that ten-men
"transition" teams of American advisors have been assigned
to Iraqi troops in the field (à la Vietnam), a whole new
system of measurement has come into existence, the
Transition Readiness Assessment.
Just now being tested out in
the field, it's meant to determine the quality, not just
quantity, of "our" Iraqis on the ground. As in Vietnam, the
TRA has a plenitude of categories of "readiness" (or the
lack thereof) -- six in all -- and has already been
transformed into a set of nifty, color-coded visuals with,
as it turns out, lots of "red squares."
According to reporter Bradley
Graham, the initial TRA found the following:
Iraqi army battalions assessed, only three were rated green,
able to conduct operations independently. Of 26 larger
brigade headquarters formed so far, only one earned such a
rating, according to officers familiar with the confidential
As happened with similar
systems of measurement in Vietnam, the new ratings system is
already being scammed by Iraqi commanders eager to rate
their forces even lower than may be justified in order to
get ever more U.S. military aid flowing in to their units.
such measures lies a frustration that would have been
deeply familiar to American military men in Vietnam:
How come it's going to take us years, if ever, to get
our forces up and fighting effectively, when the other
side, without those ten-man advisory teams or special
American training or much of anything else (except vast
stores of munitions and weaponry left over from Saddam
Hussein's day) are already fighting and dying with
when it comes to foreign jihadis, why are theirs ready
to die for nothing, while ours -- the thousands of hired
guns, known as "security contractors," we've imported
into the country from all over the globe -- cost a
Numbers are a tricky thing.
Counts of various sorts can themselves be interpreted
various ways. Numbers, even when accurate, can lead to
quite different conclusions. Sometimes you need a sharp
interpretive brain just to grasp the nature of the figures
coming your way. Sometimes you need just such a brain to
step past the numbers.
Considering the recent Baghdad
car bombings, Juan Cole, who may have the best interpretive
brain around on the subject of Iraq, offered this succinct
summary of the American position in that country at his
Informed Comment website:
commentators, when they mention such news (of car bombs
targeting convoys in Baghdad), point out the obvious.
States military does not control Baghdad. It doesn't
control the major roads leading out of the capital. It does
not control the downtown area except possibly the heavily
barricaded "green zone." It does not control the capital.
guerrillas strike at will, even at Iraqi notables who can
afford American security guards (many of them e.g. ex-Navy
Seals). If the US military does not control the capital of a
country it conquered, then it controls nothing of
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
email@example.com. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
Soldiers’ Rebellion In The Kitchen
[Thanks to Max Watts, who sent
it worthwhile to translate this from the weekend Ma'ariv.
It is remarkable in several ways: it is a very detailed
eye-witness description of an act which can be definitely
classed as [Resistance In The Army], which happened some
unspecified number of years ago. It is written with very
much approval, in fact giving it as an example future
soldiers to follow. And what is more remarkable, it is
published quite prominently in a mainstream paper (and in
fact Ma'ariv is the most right-wing of the mainstream
Israeli papers) and most remarkable the writer Hanoch Daum
is not at all left- wing, in fact he is a religious settler
who lives in the West Bank settlement Efrat south of
Jerusalem - though he is considered very much of "a moderate
settler" (which puts him rather right-of-center in the
overall political spectrum).
would like to hear what you think of this.
May 20, 2005 By Hanoch Daum,
1) Dear Oren, thanks for your
You told me you are about to
be drafted and that in my column you have read stories which
made you feel worried about service life. You asked me to
console you with some more positive stories, stories of
happy moments in the army, times when a soldier feels strong
2) Well, it was one of these
missions where you are not told in advance what is waiting
for you. You are just
told to get on an Abir, an ugly military vehicle with a
terrible smell of occupation, and it moves off. In this
kind of travel I was always reminded of the turkeys from the
Golan Heights who are put into boxes and loaded on trucks
without knowing they are going to the slaughter-house.
When the car stopped we
realized that we were in another battalion of the brigade.
You are going to the kitchen, the commander explained
shortly, there are a lot of plates to be washed. Get it
done and we will get back to base.
volunteered some more info. The thing is, he said, they had
here a graduation party for a company commanders course, and
it was decided that there will be an intensified brigade
effort re dirty plates. I will never forget this stupid
_expression: intensified brigade effort re dirty plates.
3) Well, dear Oren, if dirty
plates have a paradise than that kitchen on that night was
it. When the kitchen door was opened to us, we saw the
corridor full of carriages full of dirty plates. It took us
only a few seconds to understand that the dirty plates and
dishes were not only in the sink and its environs.
Far from it: they had spread
out and out and occupied the entire kitchen, and quite a big
kitchen it was. Carriages upon carriages full of cups, and
plates, and pots, and pans, and baking pans for cakes, and
knives and forks and spoons, and water pitchers.
new company commanders had had themselves a really swell
graduation party, and the number of plates which this party
left behind was just inconceivable. We looked around at
this big kitchen full of dirty plates, and we felt totally
helpless. It was a mountain, a real mountain. How could
just four soldiers possibly get through this mountain in
less than two weeks of constant work?
4) I took the pots outside to
wash them in hot water and make the tough food remnants soft
enough to be scraped off. Another friend took up the plates
and cups. But the real hell was reserved to the two who got
the baking pans. There were dozens of them, and the
remnants of the army cakes were stuck as if made of
concrete. Even in the Russian hard labor camps there is no
labor quite that hard (much much later I got a chance to ask
Sharansky, and he should know!).
hours of hard labor did produce an effect. We started out at
7.30 pm. By half past one the end was in sight. Six hours
of scraping off this company commanders graduation party,
six hours of a crazy orgy of water and soap.
At the end
of these six hours we could hardly stand, but we were quite
proud of ourselves. As ordered, we woke up our commander
and the kitchen sergeant- major, to have them confirm that
the intensified brigade effort had come to a victorious
Yes, we felt proud. We did
not expect compliments (you don't expect compliments at this
stage of your army life) but we did hope to see in the eyes
of these two some hint of satisfaction, even if not
expressed in words.
But there was no satisfying
them, no Sir! The sergeant-major, plainly irritated at
being woken up, got as far the pile of drying plastic cups
when he suddenly shouted: What is this? We looked and saw a
bit of soap on one of the cups. My friend tried to take it
and wash it again, but he pushed his hand away very roughly
and shouted "And what is this!" and pointed to another cup
where he saw a trace of soap quite invisible to us. "I ask
you what is this!" this bastard shouted again and suddenly
his hand shot out and the whole pyramid of cups which we had
so carefully built up went crashing over the kitchen floor.
A terrible noise, more than a hundred cups flying and
rolling and crashing in all directions.
The sergeant-major became more
and more exited, running around and shouting "This is not
clean!" and "And this is also not clean!" and "This is very
He did not
even bother to look any more, just with every shout he was
pushing another pile over the floor with more terrible
noise. Ten big pots went crashing and rolling over
everything else, crashing and smashing some of the smaller
things. He was totally oblivious now, running amok through
the kitchen for the whole of ten minutes, completely
demolishing the handiwork of our six hours of hard labor,
strewing everything in total confusion and chaos over the
floor, with angry shouting, really throwing a tantrum. The
next time you wake us, said the commander who had until this
moment kept silent, the plates had better be REALLY clean.
6) At this moment, Oren,
when our commander did not stand up for his soldiers but
joined the teasing and bullying, I was very forcefully
reminded of the turkeys on their way to the slaughter.
filled with tears. I could stand the brigade effort, and
the being sent to another battalion to clean up after the
company commanders. I could stand the six hours of hard
labor and even the whim of the bastard sergeant major who
threw completely clean plates on kitchen floors. What I
could not stand was the betrayal of the commander.
The fact that he, the only
familiar face in this alien battalion, had turned his back
on us at 1.30 am and sent us off to additional hours of hard
labor. That I just could not stomach.
After a few minutes of total silence one of my friends
stared picking up plates and carrying them to the sink,
moving slowly like a dying man in the last moment of
expiring. I looked at him, totally paralyzed and
desperate. I could not move a single finger to help
him. Suddenly I saw that one of the cups he was holding
was broken, smashed in the sergeant major's rampage. I
took it and threw it to the garbage. My friends looked
at me silently.
what we started doing then, we did not need to exchange
a single word. Within two minutes, all the cups which
the bastard has thrown to the floor were in the garbage.
We found a big garbage nylon in a corner and filled it
up with cups and tied it closed and went out to the big
garbage container to destroy the evidence. Then a
second nylon bag was filled with plates and we found for
it another garbage container far away, in an altogether
different part of the strange camp. And then pots and
pans and baking pans and trays, collected off the floor
and filling four full enormous garbage nylons and gone
forever away from that kitchen.
8) We worked with the
efficiency of a machine of destruction. The garbage
containers filled up with eating and cooking utensils of
every possible kind, all carefully wrapped in garbage nylons
to hide what they were. What was left in the kitchen we
spread out to give the appearance of filling all the
shelves. After destroying all the evidence, we caught a two
hours' nap on the kitchen floor and then we called again on
our commander and on the sergeant-major. The bastard just
went on snoring.
The commander glanced around
the kitchen in a very cursory way and said O.K. and took us
back to our own base.
later we heard by chance of the sergeant-major being
court-martialled for the disappearance of army property
worth thousands of shekels, for which he could not give a
satisfactory account. We felt it better not to be too
inquisitive, so we never found out how it ended for him.
Badly, I hope.
9) We could
have been punished, we might even have gone to prison.
Still, I would have done it all over again, no question
about it, whatever the price. The feeling of taking our fate
in our own hands on that terrible night was worth
everything, really everything.
It was one
of the happiest moments of my life.
My dear Oren, if there is
anything I can give you as an encouragement towards the day
of your joining the army, it is this knowledge that army
life also contains these moments of liberty, these rare
moments of justice, the moments when you become a human
being again. So, have a nice time in the army!
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
Send requests to address up top.
Oil Exports Suspended:
Gas Separation Stations Fail & Exports May Stop Also
May. 24, 2005 By
HASSAN HAFIDH, The Associated Press
Iraq has suspended oil exports to the Turkish port of Ceyhan
because of a production shortage in the northern fields of
Kirkuk, an Iraqi official said Tuesday. The northern
pipeline and facilities regularly are sabotaged by
In the south, Iraq's
oil output has fallen by nearly 190,000 barrels a day since
Monday because of technical problems, said the Oil Ministry
official, who asked not to be named for security reasons.
Production from the oil-rich south has fallen from 1.85
million barrels a day to 1.66 million barrels because the
gas separation stations at the southern oil fields have
failed, the official said.
"There has been no
pumping from Kirkuk to Ceyhan since Saturday and the
pipeline won't be pumping until probably Thursday," the
official told Dow Jones Newswires, adding that there was not
enough crude to pump.
Iraqi officials say
the country's northern oil production has been averaging
500,000 barrels per day, of which about 380,000 barrels are
being pumped to nearby refineries for domestic use. The
remaining 120,000 barrels a day are kept in storage tanks at
the pumping stations or at Beiji refinery.
Baghdad needs to
fill its storage facilities in Ceyhan, whose capacity is
estimated at 7.6 million barrels, before deciding how to
sell the accumulated crude.
Persistent sabotage of the pipeline network and facilities
has kept Kirkuk exports shut in for most of this year.
Oil exports from the
south have been averaging 1.4 million-1.5 million barrels a
The technical problems are not expected to impact exports
from the south immediately, because oil is held in storage
near the offshore oil terminals. However, if the problems
persist, exports will fall, the official said.
Rebuilding Is Slow:
Only 15% Of
People Come Back;
Progress Has Been Made”
they (US troops) decided to destroy Fallujah they were
so fast but when you talk about rebuilding the city and
paying for destruction they are very slow.”
24 May 2005 (IRIN)
FALLUJAH: Reconstruction of
Fallujah, the city which was the scene of fierce battles
between US forces and insurgents between November 2004 and
January 2005, has been slow according to local officials.
Little progress has been made.
people complain that there are still no basic facilities
such as sewage systems, adequate electricity and water
supplies and there are disputes over how much compensation
has been distributed so far.
percent of buildings, many of them houses, were destroyed
during the conflict.
According to Bassel Mahmoud,
director of Fallujah's reconstruction project, less than $50
million of the $200 million for reconstruction had been
released so far.
although the main hospital had been repaired, only three
schools out of 40 and four government buildings out of 20
had been rebuilt.
water treatment and sewage systems were badly damaged in the
city. Some districts are still dependant on water tankers
as the only way to access clean water and most houses with
electricity are connected to private generators.
The official said more funds need to be released
in order to accelerate reconstruction.
who are giving lessons inside tents on the outskirts of the
city, said most schools in Fallujah are unsuitable for
children to study in and that those some of those that
remain intact are being used by US troops as military bases.
teach without essential materials and a minimum of comfort
for our students. We have been giving lessons using old and
small blackboards and paper and notebooks collected by the
families," Fadia al-Jumaili, a primary school teacher in
Fallujah, told IRIN.
contractors complained that tight security restrictions had
delayed their work and their movement around Fallujah.
The Iraqi Central Committee
for the Compensation of the People of Fallujah (CCCPF) told
IRIN that 200 families have been given payments spread over
eight months. Each
person has received nearly $2,000 but residents complained
that the amount was not enough to rebuild their lives and
Taylor, director of the US-Iraqi reconstruction
management office, told IRIN that insecurity and attacks
elsewhere in the country had caused a general delay in
Khalid Kubaissy, a senior
official from the CCCPF, told IRIN that 30,000 houses were
damaged in the battle and more than 5,000 had been totally
destroyed. In addition, around 8,500 shops, 60 mosques and
20 government offices required massive repair work.
(US troops) decided to destroy Fallujah they were so fast
but when you talk about rebuilding the city and paying for
destruction they are very slow. We lost
our house, personal things and traditions but no one cares
about that and even in the media, Fallujah has been
forgotten," Abu Athir, a local resident, told IRIN standing
next to the rubble where his home once stood.
Sallon, general secretary for the Iraqi Red Crescent Society
(IRCS) said only 15 percent of former residents had returned
to the city and that the rest who were still camped on the
outskirts should not be forgotten.
although the IRCS had been supporting these families, their
work had been diverted to the western town of al-Qaim after
the US offensive there last week.
In addition, local doctors
fear that there could be an outbreak of disease in the
summer caused by the open sewers and a lack of potable water
in the camps populated by residents who have nowhere else to
As well as
the curfew, still in the place for more than 10 hours a day,
shopkeepers and business people complained that security
measures were affecting their income.
Dawood, a shopkeeper in the city, told IRIN that he was
stopped from bringing in supplies from the capital, because
of heavy security and checkpoints at the entrance to the
city. When he had sold all his stock he would have no
choice but to shut down unless there was a drastic change in
image how awful the checking at the entrance of the city
is. You are looked at and checked as if you are a criminal
because you are bringing something in from outside the
city," Dawood added.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
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