GI Special:



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A US Marine of the 1st Division outside Fallujah Oct. 30, 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)



NCOs Led Mississippi Guards “Rebellion”

“They Just Decided Enough Was Enough”


The platoon's noncommissioned officers rebelled with the support of the enlisted men and demanded a meeting with the battalion commander about their grievances, said fellow soldiers from the platoon.


October 22, 2004 SCOTT TYNES, DAILY LEADER Staff Writer


Three soldiers of the Army National Guard's 155th Infantry Battalion, training at Camp Shelby, were detained and the leadership of their platoon dispersed among other platoons in the battalion following an Oct. 6 incident in which noncommissioned officers of the platoon refused to conduct training, soldiers say.


Two NCOs and a private first class of a scout platoon, based in Natchez, were detained overnight for their alleged roles in what several members of the platoon say was a protest of training conditions at Camp Shelby.


The platoon's noncommissioned officers rebelled with the support of the enlisted men and demanded a meeting with the battalion commander about their grievances, said fellow soldiers from the platoon.


The soldiers spoke to The DAILY LEADER on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal from the military command.  All of the soldiers involved in the incident had been warned not to discuss it with the media.


Maj. Greg Michel, executive officer of the 155th, on Wednesday acknowledged the incident but did not give specific details.


"The NCOs of that platoon disobeyed a direct order from an officer - their platoon leader - to conduct training," Michel said. "It was a lawful order. There's no excuse for that. Ever."  [Go fuck yourself Michel.  There are plenty of times and plenty of good reasons, and you’re full of shit right up to the eyes.  Just be very very grateful you’re not in a combat zone, with all those weapons in the hands of people around you who see things differently.  Never know what can happen in a firefight.]


Col. Leon Collins, brigade commander of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, also confirmed the incident without going into specifics, citing an ongoing investigation by the 155th Infantry Battalion commander, Lt. Col. John Rhodes.


 "It would be premature for me to say anything at all about that situation," Collins said. "It's also a privacy issue for the soldiers.  I don't want to give any information out on them that might embarrass them later."


Collins did, however, confirm that three soldiers were detained following the incident and that they have returned to the battalion to continue their training.  He did not say if they had returned to their platoon or were reassigned.


Michel on Wednesday told The DAILY LEADER that the NCOs still had not rejoined their platoon.


"The NCOs were separated pending the results of the investigation," Michel said. Following the probe, "a decision will be made whether or not to return those individuals to that platoon."


Regarding the detention of the three soldiers, Collins said that was the battalion commander's call.


"They were detained because the battalion commander felt that the situation warranted it," he said.  "Once the situation was contained, they were brought back to the post."


Although Collins and other military officials would not disclose where the soldiers were detained, Forrest County Deputy Mitchell Smith, told The DAILY LEADER the three were confined overnight at the Forrest County Jail.


The three soldiers were brought in by the Army on the morning of Oct. 6 and housed overnight, said Smith, who is a jailer at the facility.  Jail records did not indicate what they were charged with, citing only that they were there by court order, he said.


Several soldiers who spoke with The DAILY LEADER said some of the NCOs have been told they will be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or military law, but they were not aware of the charges.


Collins would not say if any of the platoon had been charged with a crime but indicated later there were charges, saying "the preliminary actions are already under way, so we expect a judgment soon."


According to soldiers of the scout platoon, the Army has failed to understand the motivation behind the soldiers' refusal to follow orders after they were not given a hot meal that they say they had been promised.


"It wasn't about the hot chow," one of the soldiers said. "That was just the final straw in a continuing chain of circumstances. They just decided then that enough was enough."


Pay problems, rank and promotion issues and other matters were among the many frustrations faced by members of the platoon, a soldier said. And when the platoon returned from nearly a week in the field to receive their expected hot meal, it was denied, the soldier said.


The noncommissioned officers, soldiers said, were simply standing up for their troops. They told their immediate superiors that the chain of command had broken down and demanded to see the battalion commander to voice their concerns.


When they were ordered to continue their training, the soldiers said, the platoon refused until they were promised their demands would be met.


"The methodology was wrong, but the intent was correct," a soldier said. "Was it a mutiny?  No.  There were grievances they were trying to reconcile."


 The same soldier admitted he stood with the platoon's NCOs despite believing their approach was wrong.


 "Initially, all but one (enlisted man) stood behind the NCOs," he said. "But when (command) issued the ultimatum, two others crossed over. I stood behind them even though I didn't agree with the way they were going about it."


 He stayed, he said, because the grievances were real and those were the men he would be standing next to in combat when the unit is deployed to Iraq in coming months.


 "I couldn't betray them," he said. "If I betrayed them now, what would they think I would do in a combat situation with our lives on the line?"


There are approximately 27 soldiers in the scout platoon.


Another soldier gave a similar description of events.


"The chain of command had completely broken down," the second soldier said.  "We wanted someone from command to hear our complaints.  Once we were assured that would happen, we went on with our training."


His reasons for supporting the NCOs were the same as others in the platoon, he said, and he thought the matter was resolved then.


"Everything went back to normal, but later that afternoon the sergeant major called us to formation and then called the NCOs out by name for reassignment."


All but two of the platoon's NCOs were reassigned to other platoons, he said.  The platoon leader, a lieutenant, was also reassigned despite not participating in the protest, he said.  The soldier said the lieutenant was reassigned for allowing the situation to develop.


Afterwards, he said, the sergeant major made every soldier in the platoon write a sworn statement of the incident.


"Even if the methodology may not have been right," he said, "I don't think you should blame NCOs who are standing up for their troops.  Isn't that what they want them to do?"


In the meantime, the soldiers said, the Army has assigned to the scout platoon NCOs with no experience in scouting operations.


"They're bringing in fillers, NCOs from other units, but they're not MOS qualified," a soldier said. MOS, or Military Occupational Specialty, numbers are used to denote a soldier's chosen or assigned job in a military branch of service.


Despite that, they said, "it's training as usual to a degree."


The soldiers who spoke to The DAILY LEADER said the enlisted men were not held officially accountable for the incident.


"There hasn't been any repercussions so far, but we've been blacklisted," a soldier said.


Soldiers in the platoon have been subjected to stares from other soldiers training at Camp Shelby, some who spoke to The DAILY LEADER said.  They said they believe the incident will continue to follow them during their careers.


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 in Iraq.  Send requests to address up top.






Attackers Kill 3 British Soldiers;

8 Wounded


November 4, 2004 BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) & Mirror.co.uk


Unknown attackers using a car bomb killed have killed three British soldiers serving with the Black Watch Regiment in Iraq in the blast and mortar fire which followed the attack the British government announced Thursday.  [They didn’t leave cards with their names?  More idiocy.  Obviously the resistance.  Was it only yesterday British officers were babbling about how happy the Iraqis were to see them?]


A translator, believed to be Iraqi, also died in the attack at a checkpoint.  Eight soldiers were wounded in the attack, which took place in a Black Watch patrol area.


The patrol was reported to have come under heavy fire 17km from its "Dogwood" base camp on the banks of the Euphrates River.


It was only the regiment's second day of operations in Iraq.


Last night (Tuesday) a patrol was ambushed 20 miles south of Baghdad.


One armoured vehicle had its four front wheels blown off when it hit a roadside bomb in the heart of Iraqi rebel territory.


A second Warrior careered into a ditch after a huge mortar exploded just feet away as it sped to the assistance of the troops in the stricken vehicle.  The soldiers eventually managed to regroup.



Hamilton Soldier Killed;

Mother Opposes War,

"She Said Her Son’s Death Was A Waste”



November 4, 2004 AP


An east Alabama family is mourning the death of a loved one killed in Iraq.


Army sergeant Charles Joseph Webb, 22, who grew up in Calhoun County, died in Iraq Tuesday.


Webb, 22, was killed in Iraq Tuesday when the armored personnel carrier he was riding in was struck by an explosive device southwest of Baghdad, family members said.


Webb had joined the Army shortly after graduating from Hamilton High School in June of 2000.


"He signed up for the military to be able to go to college because he wanted to become a teacher," said his sister-in-law, Vanessa Foreman.  He had plans to leave the Army next July for school to become a teacher.


Webb had married his high school sweetheart in Ohio and entered the Army at 18. He had been stationed in Kansas, Kosovo and Germany before shipping out to Iraq in July.


"It's been rough," Barbara Webb, the soldier's mother, said. "He was our youngest child, our only son."


The soldier's mother, Barbara Webb of Alexandria, said an Army representative notified the family Wednesday.


Webb's mother said she did not know where the explosion occurred, but said her son had been on a mission away from his base northeast of Baghdad.  He was an engineer with the 82nd Engineer Battalion of the Big Red One division.


Barbara Webb said she opposes U.S. presence in Iraq and said her son's death was a waste.


Webb had received a Purple Heart for surviving a roadside bomb this summer, his brother-in-law, Brad Ryan, said.


Brad said he hadn't told anyone he received the award until months later.


Their father, Conley J. Webb, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and Desert Storm.


Webb's sister said he was home for a two-week leave six weeks ago and was scheduled to return from Iraq in July 2005.


"He was in Iraq since January of 2004," Foreman said.  "He had been there for too long.  He's loved and he will be missed.  All we can do is pray"


The funeral will be held in Hamilton, but no arrangements had been made, his mother said.


Webb was in the 82nd Engineering Battalion, his family said.


Webb is the second Hamilton High grad to be killed in Iraq.



Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  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)



Fighting Resumes In “Pacified” Samarra


Nov. 03, 2004 ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press


In Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, residents said U.S. soldiers clashed with resistance soldiers Wednesday in the city center.  Four Iraqis were killed and two injured, said Ahmed Jadour of the Samarra General Hospital.


A statement distributed Wednesday in Samarra warned Iraqis against turning in weapons to the Americans.


"The occupier is thinking of a new way to corrupt the morals of the honorable Muslims by paying huge sums of money to buy weapons that are not worth anything compared to his destructive weapons," the statement said.  "We will not allow any person who helps the infidels and turns over his weapons to the enemy to live among honorable people."



General Says Supply Logistics Weak Link In Iraq’s Chains


November 02, 2004 MIKE FRANCIS, The Oregonian


Wars are always chaotic and deadly, Acting Adjutant Gen. Ray Byrne said.


"Sometimes we forget that we're fighting a thinking enemy," he said. "They look for a weakness, and the weakness they found is our logistical tail."


Troops need supplies, and they need to drive over unguarded roads to get them, he said.



U.S. Continues Terror Bombing Of Fallujah


4 November 2004 (Reuters)


A wounded Iraqi woman lies in a hospital bed next to her wounded 16 month-old child after their house was hit during an overnight raid in Falluja, November 4 (Omar Khodor/Reuters)


US planes and tanks bombarded Fallujah overnight, killing five people.


Hospital doctor Ahmed Mohammed said five people had been killed, including a woman and a child. All had been in a car hit while trying to escape the violence.


A woman was badly wounded and a teenage girl lost a leg in earlier air strikes on Wednesday, hospital officials said.







Sgt. Tony Lampin Is Home:

“If You Keep Up The Fight, You Can Win”


It was a long hard 3 months of composing letters, making phone calls, and bugging the hell out of the command of the 115th Field Hospital, who knew they did wrong in forcing a medically unfit soldier into Iraq.


Also, I have been keeping in touch with the mother of another Soldier who is in Iraq now, afraid for his life not only of getting killed by the enemy or possibly dying from his medical condition, but what he is afraid of the most is getting shot by his own fellow Soldiers who have the orders to shoot him if they think he is running away from a fight.


I ask this, how is he supposed to fight with something like that on his mind?  Not only that, his command wrote a letter that his mother had received and in it she told me that her son's commanding officers called her a lying bitch, and that her son was a horrible Soldier.  Now what kind of crap is that, I ask you? 


From: Brandie Lampin (USMC ret’d) BLampin4036@aol.com

To: GI Special

Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 11:17 AM




Well, my husband, Sgt. Tony Lampin is finally home safe and sound.  He arrived late Tuesday night tired, stiff and sore from the flight.  One of my step daughters, my farther-in-law and of course my two children were there at the airport to welcome him home.


I would like to thank all the supporters again for the prayers that were said, thanks again to the Congressmen/women and Senators that got involved.  Thank you to NOPG "C3," for their help in the fight.  To you GI Special, keep up the great work, you are a great help.  Last but not least Thank You God for answering the prayers and helping me in the fight for his return.


It was a long hard 3 months of composing letters, making phone calls, and bugging the hell out of the command of the 115th Field Hospital, who knew they did wrong in forcing a medically unfit soldier into Iraq.


Thank you Mother for giving my sister and I the chance to see our Dada, our hero, one more time.  We missed him so much.  Welcome home Dada, We love you.



I have been asked to "cool it" by an officer there at the Abu Ghraib, according to my husband.  Well, guess what, I don't take orders, I give them.  Just because my husband is home doesn't mean that I am going to stop fighting for others that I know that are either fixing to go, or are already there.


I am going to help fight for their rights, and continue to write to Congress to see about getting some things changed involving medical issues.  I know I made a big impression on some of the commanders here in the U.S., because I have been informed that a great many of them have read what I have wrote about my husband, and how his command was treating him and decided to reconsider their decision on some of their Soldiers who have medical conditions.


With what I have accomplished, it goes to show you that if you keep up the fight, you can win in so many ways.


There are two Soldiers that I know of that request my help, and I am not going to let them down.


I maintain contact with one Soldiers wife in Texas, and have helped her a great deal by giving her advice in what all she and her husband need to do, and are making great progress.


Also, I have been keeping in touch with the mother of another Soldier who is in Iraq now, afraid for his life not only of getting killed by the enemy or possibly dying from his medical condition, but what he is afraid of the most is getting shot by his own fellow Soldiers who have the orders to shoot him if they think he is running away from a fight.


I ask this, how is he supposed to fight with something like that on his mind?  Not only that, his command wrote a letter that his mother had received and in it she told me that her son's commanding officers called her a lying bitch, and that her son was a horrible Soldier.  Now what kind of crap is that, I ask you? 


Anyway, now that Tony is home, I only hope that the command doesn't try to (pardon my language) screw him over.  Not to mention his benefits that he so deserves.  If the Army tries to screw him over with that, their will be no stopping me in that fight.  I have already started doing my research in this area so as to be prepared. 


After my husband is discharged, I have been thinking about writing a book or something about my accomplishment in this situation.  There is so much that I can add, but will wait until he is out.  Don't know how good it will turn out, but I feel it is something that I have to do. 


I hope that what I have accomplished, that others in a similar situation like mine will step forward.  If they need my help, I will be there in anyway that I can.


Again, I would like to thank everyone for your help, it helped a great deal in keeping me going strong.


God Bless you all, and God Bless America



Soldier Disabled For Life In Iraq, Denied Benefits, Told Injury Not “Combat-Related”

Interview With Denver Jones


10.27.04 Lakshmi Chaudhry , AlterNet.org


When U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Denver Jones re-enlisted in the military after the 9/11 attacks, little did he realize that he would become one of the invisible.  The Gulf War veteran -- who was working as a UPS mechanic at the time -- was soon deployed to serve in Iraq with a transportation unit.


Disaster struck when a Humvee accident ruptured three disks and fractured two of the vertebrae in his spine.  As he described it to Now with Bill Moyers, "My head came up, hit the ceiling, jammed my neck down, I came down and hit on my tail in the seat, and it broke some seat brackets out from under the seat, and I pretty much was, you know, pretty hurt after that."


Although now disabled for life, Denver is not included in the Pentagon's estimate of the casualties of war -- the 7,500-plus number of wounded that counts only those who were injured in combat.


After a year-long medical review, the Army finally awarded Denver $1,300 a month, along with VA benefits.  But it's small compensation for a life permanently shattered by war.  It's hard for Denver to perform the simplest tasks: walk, sit, sleep.  As he puts it, "I feel like a 90-year-old man trapped in a 35-year-old body."


Q: What are your hopes and fears now that you look at the future?


My hopes are that the world can communicate as people -- not governments communicating for us.  If we communicated as people, there wouldn't be disputes and problems and war.


The governments of countries go and speak as though they represent the people of the country.  But they don't represent what the people are actually saying.  I've spoken to Iraqi soldiers who at one point wanted to kill me.  And once we talked, there was no reason for fighting.  Their leader tells them one thing while our leader tells us another. And we go on that.


If you had five minutes with the president -- whomever it may be on Nov. 3, George Bush or John Kerry --- what would you say to him?


Give me just a minute. [pauses] I believe I would say --- regardless of who the president was --- is to remember how this country's been blessed.


To remember the people who are the backbone of this country --- the working people. Without the working people, this country wouldn't exist, it couldn't function.


Just lay down one basic rule --- one plain paragraph ---- so that the soldiers can be taken care of.  Just so you understand, you might have one soldier who was grazed by a bullet across the shoulder.  And the only thing that is wrong with him physically is a little two-inch long scar.  He receives a multitude of benefits.


On the other hand, you have another soldier who was in the same war, at the same time, in a truck accident.  And his legs get cut off.  But he doesn't get the same gratitude or benefits as the first soldier.


If a soldier is doing the job he is supposed to be doing and injured, then how is that any different?  But that's the way it is.  I was personally in the war, during the war, before the ceasefire.  I get injured and the Army says it's not war combat-related.  That's not what the regulations say.  When you question them, they say, "The regulations are only a guideline."


But then they get to tell me that if I were at Fort Bragg or Fort Jackson --- any training facility within the United States --- simulating a war, playing a war game, and got injured, then it would've been war-related.


That's what I'd do.  Work with the president and Congress to take all these laws --- this basic crap --- and throw it in the trash can.



Fresh Meat For The Imperial Slaughterhouse “For The First Time In History”


November 4, 2004 WorldNow and WBNS-TV & Laramie Daily Boomerang


For the first time in history, about 200 members of the 211th Maintenance Unit of the Ohio National Guard are taking a combat support role overseas.


Wednesday, family members and friends lined the streets of Newark to say goodbye to the men and women headed overseas.  They will go to Indiana first for training and then head to Iraq.


Another Wyoming Army National Guard unit is being deployed.


On Wednesday, 125 members of the 133rd Engineer Company boarded buses bound for Denver to catch flights to Fort Lewis, Wash., and, eventually, to Iraq.  More than 150 friends and family members were on hand for the send-off.


Many of the young men and women stood quietly, holding small children, comforting spouses, hugging parents, and kidding around with siblings.  At the sound of a whistle, the soldiers gathered their small packs and firearms, came to formation and stood at attention.



Billions For War Profiteers While Soldiers Die


November 02, 2004 MIKE FRANCIS, The Oregonian


Three Democratic members of Oregon's congressional delegation have pressed the Army for the past 12 months to ensure that National Guard soldiers are fully equipped. They said Monday they were upset that the job isn't finished.


"The Pentagon is awash in money," said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Eugene, whose district includes the home armory for the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry. "I don't believe this is a monetary issue.  My understanding is that the procurement system is a mess."


Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who said he has been raising this issue for almost a year, said he was "outraged" by the fact that troops in Iraq aren't fully protected, when billions are being spent on missile defense and hundreds of millions on planning for next-generation aircraft.



Another Complete Fool On The Loose


11.1.04 by Tom Regan csmonitor.com


The Christian Science Monitor reported on Monday that US marines are aware of the tough task they face.


"You have to learn fast in this environment," says Lt. Colonel Ramos, from Dallas, Texas.  "The enemy is willing to sacrifice lives.  They are willing to martyr themselves for what they believe is an important cause.  The rules of war don't apply for them." 


[Another graduate of the Lt. Col. Training Academy, absolutely 100% guaranteed to produce people who make no sense whatever.  First, what army is unwilling to “sacrifice lives?”  Good war or bad war, that’s what happens.   Second, he’s whining because the resistance soldiers are willing to die for their cause?  What the fuck is his point?  They shouldn’t be?  Finally, is he saying that “the rules of war” require command be unwilling to sacrifice troops in war, and soldiers should be unwilling to die for their cause?  Well, he may be right about that, if the cause is a bad one, and invading and occupying Iraq for George W. Bush and his Imperial scum is certainly one of the worst causes for which soldiers were ever ordered to fight.  But somehow, one doubts that’s what Lt. Col. Ramos had in mind.]



Flu Vaccines In Short Supply At N.C. Bases


October 19, 2004 By Estes Thompson, Associated Press


RALEIGH, N.C. — At military bases already strained by the demands of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the men and women who defend the nation aren’t being defended against the flu.


Soldiers who deploy are getting shots once they receive their orders, as are young children and others in at-risk groups, according to base spokesmen from around North Carolina.  But for many others in the military, flu shots are as scarce as they are for civilians.


Normally, the Navy hospital at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — one of the state’s two largest installations — would be getting 50,000 to 60,000 doses of flu vaccine for more than 40,000 active duty Marines, dependents and retirees.


“There are none aboard the base at this time,” said George Reynolds, director of community health at Lejeune’s hospital, which also covers needs at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.  “We have not received the first dose.”


Deploying troops are exceptions to the federal rules that suggest only at-risk groups such as young children, the elderly and the chronically ill should receive the vaccine.


Marines who get deployment orders as well as special operations soldiers and aviators also classified as highly deployable — meaning they might be called to leave the country at any time — will get vaccinated only once the Department of Defense decides how to dole out the military’s vaccine supply.


“If they get exposed to an area where the flu is epidemic, there is a readiness problem,” Reynolds said.


But Marines who are staying at the base and normally would get flu shots will not this year.  Anyone who comes down with the flu will be quarantined and treated by medical personnel, Reynolds said.


“We don’t normally find high-risk people on active duty,” Reynolds said. “They’re all healthy individuals.”  [Famous last words.]


North Carolina’s other large military installation — Fort Bragg — also is grappling with how to handle a limited supply of vaccine.  Army hospital spokeswoman Shannon Lynch said soldiers deploying with the 18th Airborne Corps will receive the vaccine, but those who stay behind will not.



Old Enough To Die,

Too Young To Have A Beer?



Army Times 11.6.04


Starting Nov. 1, U.S. Forces Korea will raise the legal drinking age to 21 for all military personnel, contract workers, civilians and family members, according to an Oct. 27 announcement.


The change applies to all personnel whether they are off post or on, although the legal drinking age in South Korea remains at 20.


Officials did not reveal how they plan to enforce the new drinking age off base.


The change comes as command leaders face increasing concerns about the number of alcohol-related incidents involving younger troops, the USFK statement said.  [As if officers and others over 21 don’t get stupid drunk and drive that way.  Just a trick to get some PR that don’t mean shit, and stomp on the young enlisteds while doing so.  Disgusting.]


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.






Military Supply Drivers Captured, Killed;

Jordan Wants Drivers To Stop At Border


A Jordanian man has died of injuries sustained in an armed attack by an unknown Iraqi militant group that also abducted three Jordanian truck drivers in the same convoy, an official at the Jordanian Truckers Association said Thursday.


He said that three of Al Shaalan's colleagues in the convoy were kidnapped, while two others were missing and are believed to be still in Iraq.  He declined to provide other details on the phone call but said the three abducted men were those shown on a videotape of new hostages broadcast Thursday on Al-Jazeera satellite station.


The seventh man, Abdulwahab Al Bashabsheh, escaped to Jordan.


The insurgents threatened to strike with an iron-fist at anyone who deals with the occupation forces.  A station anchor said the hostages appealed to their country to warn its citizens against working with coalition forces in Iraq.


On Wednesday, government spokeswoman Asma Khader said four Jordanian drivers had been kidnapped in Iraq and that two other citizens came under gunfire in Fallujah's neighboring Ramadi area.


She said the safety of Jordanian drivers, who have been the target of Iraqi insurgents, topped the agenda of talks during Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's visit to the kingdom earlier this week.  The government is seeking to have Jordanian drivers unload cargo at the eastern border with Iraq to avoid militant kidnappings and attacks against its citizens inside Iraqi territory.



Al-Dujayl City Council Building Hit;

Four Occupation Guards Wounded


Nov. 03, 2004 ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press & "PA"


A suspected insurgent attack in a town north of Baghdad Thursday killed three Iraqis and wounded seven others, according to the 1st Infantry Division.  A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated in front of the city council building in al-Dujayl, which about 35 miles north of Baghdad.


Among the wounded were four members of the Iraqi National Guard, who were guarding the building, he said.


Jassim Mohammed, head of the City Council, said a truck was driving down the wrong side of the road when it rammed into a car parked outside the building and exploded.



Collaborator Sheik Killed Near Ramadi




An Iraqi known for cooperating with Americans was killed near Ramadi, police said.  The assailants stopped a car carrying Sheik Bezei Ftaykhan, ordered the driver to leave and pumped about 30 bullets into the sheik's body, police said.



Car Bomb Takes Out Occupation Guards Patrol


11.4.04 AP & Breaknews.ie


An Iraqi National Guard patrol was hit Thursday by a car bomb in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, killing three and wounding, Iraqi hospital officials said.


An officer in the National Guard, who declined to give his name, said four guardsmen were seriously injured in the attack.



Khubbaz Pipeline Attacked


11.4.04 Iraq Pipeline Watch, Energy Security


November 3 - attack on a pipeline network connecting the Khubbaz oil wells, 24 miles (40 km) west of Kirkuk with refineries in Bayji and Baghdad.



Two Occupation Guards Wounded In Najaf


Nov. 03, 2004 ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press


Attackers fired a mortar round Wednesday at an Iraqi National Guard checkpoint in Najaf's old city, injuring two soldiers, Lt. Haidar Hussein said.  It was the first such attack in the center of the Shiite holy city since a peace agreement last August ended weeks of fighting between U.S. troops and Shiite militiamen.







Four Decades Of Imperial Hubris


11-01-2004 David Hackworth , Soldiers For The Truth


In most of the wars we’ve fought, our leaders have understood our enemies and how to take them down.


But in the current shootout – a continuation of the revolutionary fervor first ignited in Algeria in the 1960s, then fanned by the Iranian Revolution, a huge Jihad victory against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Israel’s humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon and its interminable fight in Palestine culminating in 9/11 and our retaliatory invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – America’s leaders from both major parties and our military and intelligence establishments remain in deep denial and blindly continue to believe that because we’ve got the power, we shall overcome.


But unless we get real and bend our brains around what motivates our enemy, we will never prevail against the increasing millions of polarized Muslims who are becoming more united with every explosion of smart bombs and every Yankee occupation boot stumping across their turf.


It’s a commonly held belief among Muslims that the United States is grabbing their land in order to destroy their faith and their ancient way of life.  Most believe that our unconditional support of repressive Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and other “friendly” Arab lands is all about keeping the people in chains and sucking up their oil on the cheap at a price that Joe and Jane Doe can pay at the U.S. pump without stroking out.


“Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us,” writes “Anonymous,” the author of Imperial Hubris, a critically important book that defines Osama and what’s driving his bombers.  And the reasons don’t “have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world.”


A rationale that bin Laden – dressed in white robes topped by a golden cloak – repeated for our edification last week on global television.  Both presidential candidates came back with canned sound bites, choosing to respond only to the medium, not the inconvenient message. 


The author of Imperial Hubris is a CIA intelligence analyst who’s spent almost two decades “focused exclusively on terrorism, Islamic insurgencies and the state of affairs of South Asia – Afghanistan and Pakistan.”  He is our top intelligence gun on Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the “dangers they pose and symbolize for the United States.” He writes:


“The war bin Laden is waging has everything to do with the tenants of the Islamic religion. He could not have his current – and increasing – level of success if Muslims did not believe their faith, brethren, resources, and lands to be under attack by the United States and, more generally, the West.”


History is peppered with examples of a numerically inferior insurgent opponent destroying a Goliath. Especially a Goliath who obviously learned nothing from the Vietnam experience. 


Israeli historian Martin van Creveld, one of the world’s top insurgency experts, says: “If you are strong, and you are fighting the weak ... (t)he problem is that you cannot prove yourself against someone who is much weaker than yourself – the Israeli forces have not yet lost, but they are, as far as I can see, well on their way to losing.”


We have mindlessly waded into the same minefield and are getting clobbered daily.  And we will never win over an enemy we refuse to understand.  [And that enemy is in Washington DC, the Imperial politicians, not in Iraq.]


--Eilhys England contributed to this column.






The Zarqawi Myth


November 4th, 2004 From Ashraf Fahim in New York, Middle East International


Combating Iraqis who are fighting to liberate themselves from their “liberators” presents the Bush Administration with serious moral and legal quandaries and, of course, and an acute public relations dilemma.


To traverse this minefield and salve any unease the American people might have about crushing a nationalist uprising, the Administration has sold the “foreign fighter” argument to the media.  Zarqawi, the alleged leader of the Tawhid and Jihad group, has been a particular hit, with the media gratefully wielding him to personalize the amorphous Iraqi quagmire to a befuddled nation.  Even a recent headline in the left-leaning Christian Science Monitor read: “Fallujans flee from US-Zarqawi fight”, suggesting a showdown between the Jordanian guerrilla leader and 5,000 Marines.


The media has also taken the US military’s assurances that the strikes have been “precise” at face value, with occasionally surreal results.  A recent CNN broadcast featured raw footage of a house in Falluja that had been flattened by an American air strike, and, as wounded children were pulled from the rubble, broadcaster Carol Lin informed viewers, without qualification, that the US had struck a “Zarqawi meeting place”.



Got That Right


Nov 04, Reuters


While President Bush prepared to declare victory in the U.S.  election, ordinary Iraqis said Wednesday they were too busy trying  to stay alive to worry about who will be the next American leader.


"We are too busy with our own problems, these explosions, this lack of stability, these saboteurs, to be bothered about the election of this person or that," said Georges Butros, a grandfather sitting outside his grocery shop in Baghdad.


"You can never tell what politicians are really like until they’re in office anyway."







Mercenary Firm Abandons Iraq:

"The Situation Gets Worse With Each Passing Day"


2004-11-04 Middle East Online


"Every foreigner will be a potential hostage and guerilla warfare will make towns impossible to live in," he predicted: "The elections will be chaos and I want to be far away from here to enjoy my earnings."


ROME - Iraq is becoming impossible to live in and all foreigners will be potential targets for "terrorists", the Lebanese American head of a security company said Thursday in an interview with an Italian newspaper.


"In the short term Iraq will become impossible, ungovernable," said George Haddad in remarks quoted in Italian by the newspaper Corriere della Sera, coinciding with a visit here by Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.


Haddad said he was winding up his company, Al Safar Group.


"The situation gets worse with each passing day," Corriere della Sera quoted Haddad as saying: "It's like playing Russian roulette.  You can get killed at any time."


Haddad's company employed 140, mainly Iraqis, and was on sub-contract to major security groups such as Global Risk.


He said his group had been providing escorts for food and supplies deliveries.


Ali Hadi, one of his Iraqi staff, was quoted by Corriere della Sera as saying: "We're going to have to change our jobs fast and get out so that we won't be accused of being American agents."


Hadi said his wages had risen from 300 to 1,500 dollars a month while he served with Haddad's company.


"I always hated Saddam Hussein and his regime," Hadi was quoted as saying:  "I danced with joy in the streets when the Americans overthrew him. But I have to admit we lived better then.  There was no freedom, but at least you could live, move about the country and go about your work safely."






The Trial Of George W. Bush


By Jerry Ghinelli


On June 28, 2004, the Government of France, led by its President Jacques Chirac, transferred sovereignty to an appointed coalition of select Americans who will run the US government until free and fair elections can occur.


The French government concurrently transferred custody of its prisoner, George W. Bush, the former US president, who was brought before an anonymous American judge and formally indicted for crimes committed while he served as President of the United States.


Bush served as America's 43rd president until he was captured by French liberation forces on December 13, 2003, nearly eight months after Chirac invaded the US to free the American people from the unelected tyrant.


Bush, bedraggled and confused, was pulled from his "spider hole" near his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and charged, by Chirac’s government of possessing weapons of mass destruction, invading sovereign nations and violating UN resolutions.  Until now Bush has been held in an undisclosed location for security purposes.


In a courthouse hastily built just outside the former residence of the 43rd president, an anonymous American judge, appointed by the French government, asked the former US president to identify himself.


"I am George Walker Bush, President of the United States."


Bush, who was without legal representation, asked the judge if he would identify himself as well.


"I am the investigative judge of the central court of the United States," advised the judge. For security purposes the judge's name is censored, but a spectator noted he bore an uncanny resemblance to scruffy and overweight American filmmaker, Michael Moore.


"So that I understand, you are an investigative judge of the central court of the United States?  What resolution, what law formed this court?" asked Bush.


The judge responded, "I have been appointed by the Government of France and you are being charged under the 2001 US Patriot Act."


"Appointed by the Government of France, charged under the Patriot Act?" muttered Bush.  "You are an American judge appointed by the French, and are charging me under an act that I signed as President of the United States?"


"Former President," the judge interrupted.


“I am the current President of the United States,” emphasized Bush, “immune to prosecution under the Constitution of the United States.”  Bush went on to refer to the French invasion of America as illegal, without UN mandate, and to the French as an occupying power with no legitimacy under US or international law.


Bush termed the judge and the American guards holding him prisoner “traitors” and “French collaborators.”  In a rare display of anger he called the French "dogs" and the American judge a "French poodle."  The judge admonished the former president to refrain from using insulting language in his courtroom.  The term "poodle" in America is a derisive term implying cowardliness.


Traces of the old combative Bush continued to emerge.  Flashing his trademark smirk with both hands firmly clutched to the podium, the former leader of the world’s superpower leaned over and declared, "This is all theater, fiction and worthy of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The real criminal is Chirac," he charged.


A growing number of Americans, weary from the violence, high unemployment and power shortages caused by the French invasion have adopted a c'est la vie attitude to the new government, but remain divided over the fate of Bush.


Although 58% of the American public disapproved of the man when he was in office, the sight of an American president hauled before a judge appointed by the hated French has brought to the fore disappointment, humiliation and even anger in some Americans.


In Paris, Chirac rejoiced at the sight of the handcuffed Bush being hauled into court in chains.  The French president remarked, "Laisser le règne de liberté" ("Let freedom reign").  Chirac hailed the French soldiers who brought freedom to America as “heroes.”


"George W. Bush has been brought to justice by the sacrifices made of the brave men and women of France.  Those who served to bring the former unelected president and his entourage to justice have made France and the world community safe from US aggression," Chirac declared.


The French president, of course, was referring to the capture of several of Bush's entourage including the former ace of diamonds, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, king of hearts, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former presidential press spokesman Ari Fleisher, referred to as "Comical Ari."


All appeared tired and humiliated when they were arraigned before the same American judge.  All pleaded innocent to the charges and called the French invasion of America illegal, without UN mandate, and the interim American government illegitimate.


Former Vice President Richard "Big Time" Cheney, the one-eyed jack in Chirac's deck of cards, was held in contempt by the same judge earlier in the day for using a "four-letter word" to describe the interim American government.


The judge concluded today's proceedings by asking the former US president if he could afford a lawyer.


"My opponents say my family received millions from the Saudis.  How can I not have the money to pay for one? I will sign nothing, nothing until I have spoken to a lawyer," Bush announced.


The judge clenched his teeth, stared menacingly at Bush and replied, “I would like to remind you, Mr. Bush, you are an accused terrorist charged under the 2001 US Patriot Act.  You should not have been granted either this hearing or be entitled to a lawyer.”


Court adjourned. 







A Palestinian youth hurls stones at an Israeli army APC, during clashes in the occupied northern West Bank city of Jenin. (AFP/Saif Dahlah)


[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign

power, go to: www.rafahtoday.opg.  The foreign army is Israeli, the occupied nation is Palestine.]







Insurers Get Bigger Health Dollar Cut


Oct. 15, 2004 By Russ Britt, LOS ANGELES (CBS.MW)


Despite a weak economy and soaring medical costs, U.S. health insurers have raked in earnings at a far greater pace than the rest of corporate America, with annual profits and margins doubling in the last four years.


As U.S. companies struggled with leaner profits amid double-digit increases in employee-health premiums, insurers spent less on medical costs but ate up more of America's health-care dollars in profits and claims processing.


With healthcare one of the main issues in next month's presidential vote, the debate over costs has yet to focus in on how much insurers have made over the last four years. Health-industry analysts say employers they talk to are under the impression it was rising costs that were pressuring margins, hence the need for higher premiums.


"The reality is, we don't know what we're buying for the increased expenditure," said Dr. Kenneth Kizer, chief executive of the National Quality Forum, a nonprofit watchdog group.


Profits for the 17 top U.S. health insurers rose 114 percent to $414 million from $193 million on average in 2000, according to research by CBS MarketWatch. Profit margins doubled to 5 percent -- the highest level in at least a decade for the industry's top 10 insurers -- and revenue climbed 21 percent to $9.3 billion on average.



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