www.albasrah.net
 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

11.16.04

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

 

GI SPECIAL 2#C22

 

 

ArchAngel:

Military Family Members Fighting For Troops Rights:

WE WANT TO BE YOUR VOICE

Subject: Archangel

From: ArchAngel1BL@aol.com

To: GI Special

 

I am writing to you as a member of ArchAngel.

 

We are a group of military families that are fighting for troops rights, and we want to be the troops voice.

 

As of right now there are three cases that we are working on involving two National Guard Members and one Full Time Army.  We are not going to mention names at this point.  The only thing that we will name is where they are currently, and what the Soldier's ranks are.  All three of these Soldiers are medically unfit for service, and are and/or will be sent to Iraq.

 

The two NG members are currently in training for deployment, both are Specialist, E-4. One is at Fort Hood, Tx., and the other is at Camp Atterbury, In.

 

Between the two of them their medical issues are loss of hearing, damaged knees, and a broken ankle that has not fully healed, and contains screws, pins, and plates.  Both Soldiers have a medical profile that says they cannot run, jump, march, no PT, most major things that a Soldier is required to do.

 

One even has a maximum weight carrying of 15lbs.

 

Both Soldiers feel that not only would their lives be in danger if deployed to Iraq, but the lives of their fellow Soldiers who depend on them as a combat ready Soldier.  Even during training further damage could take place which would most certain make matters worse.  One reported to the emergency room only to be told to come back tomorrow.

 

Why was this Soldier not treated when he went to the emergency room?

 

Not only are these two Soldiers being denied medical treatment, but from what we have been told, many of the National Guard Soldiers are not being treated fairly involving medical issues, proper protective gear and associated equipment, and last but not least they are not even getting feed the 3 meals that they have a right too.

 

Both Soldiers are getting the run around from their staff NCOs and above.

 

To try to keep them from further injuring themselves, they get transferred from one company to another and assigned different jobs from their actual MOS (military occupational skill), to a job they know nothing about.  By doing this, this proves that these two Soldiers commands are trying to cover their ass by hiding the Soldier so that he cannot be seen limping around and to ocelot them from the others.

 

Now for the Full Time Soldier who is in Iraq now.

 

This Soldier, a Private First Class, E-3, is very proud to be a Soldier and fighting for his country, but his medical problem is something to be greatly questioned about.  He has severe asthma that has been diagnosed by military doctors in Korea and Germany.

 

Further evaluation was to be done while in Kuwait, but his command snuck him out of Kuwait before anyone knew he was gone.

 

Not only that, medical paper work has disappeared from his records.   From what I have been told, he has passed out 3 times, in which he was very lucky that he did not die because these asthma related pass outs can be killers.  He too, like the others, is afraid for his life and his fellow Soldiers because of his medical situation.

 

Dying of an asthma attack during combat is not what a Soldier should have to worry about because if the military doctors would have done their job, the moment he was diagnosed with asthma he would have been medically discharged from the service because the military does not except men/women with asthma.

 

We ArchAngels want to know why are medically unfit Soldiers being treated in such way.

 

Why are they not getting the proper medical attention that they are seeking?

 

Why is the medical screening process of Soldiers not fully completed?

 

These questions need to be answered and answered now.

 

Like I have said at the beginning of this letter. The ArchAngel is a new group that wants to help our troops who want to speak their mind but are afraid of what will happen to them.

 

We want to here from them or even their family members who want our help.  We will offer our help in anyway that we can.

 

As of right now the only way to contact us is by email, but we are looking into getting a post office box so that we can receive letters.

 

If anyone would like to contact us there are two contacts to email.

 

One is ArchAngel1BL@hotmail.com, and ArchAngel2KB@hotmail.com.

 

You can also fax letters to this number (830) 365-4125. We promise that we will edit out names if requested etc..

 

We understand the rules.

 

One of us is former military and keeps us informed as to what can and cannot be said as a precaution to the Soldier/Troop.

 

If anyone emails us, please make the subject line say Letter from Troop.  This will help us sort the emails.

 

Also, if you want us to post what you wish to say, make sure you give permission to do so.  If there is no permission we will not be able to post.

 

GI Special, if it is OK with you we would like to post what info. that we get on your newsletter.

 

As of right now, we do not have a web site, but it is in the works.  It will be small at first, but hopefully it will grow.

 

We would greatly appreciate it if you could accommodate us by posting our letters.

 

You do such great work, keep it up.

 

ArchAngel

 

REPLY: GI Special would be proud and honored to be of service.  Please consider GI Special your publication.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

Indirect Fire Kills One, Wounds Three U.S. Soldiers At Military Base Outside Baghdad

 

11/14/04 cjtf7 Release #041114a

 

Baghdad, Iraq – Insurgents attacked a military base outside Baghdad this evening with indirect fire killing one U.S. soldier and wounding three.  No further information is available at this time.

 

 

Cockeysville Marine Killed In Fight For Fallujah

 

November 14, 2004 AP

 

BALTIMORE -- A Marine from Cockeysville, who loved cooking and worked in restaurants before enlisting, was killed during the fight for the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in Iraq, the Pentagon said.

 

Lance Cpl. David M. Branning, 21, was assigned to Hawaii-based 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. He was killed Friday by enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Department of Defense officials said in a news release.

 

Branning is the second Marylander to die in less than a week in Iraq. On Thursday, Army Spc. Thomas K. Doerflinger, 20, died in Mosul when his unit came under small arms fire while conducting combat operations.

 

"We're very sad," Megan Branning, a cousin of Branning's, said Sunday. "The war in Iraq has hit close to home in our family."

 

Another member of the infantry unit, Lance Cpl. Brian Medina of Woodbridge, Va., also was killed Friday. They are the 10th and 11th members of that regiment to die in Iraq since it arrived there last month.

 

"When you lose your 21-year-old son, your only son, I don't think he expected that to happen," David L. Branning said.  "So when I talked to him, he was pretty devastated."

 

 

Truck Accident Kills COSCOM Soldier

 

11/15/04 MNF-Release #041115j

 

LSA ANACONDA, BALAD, Iraq -- A 13th Corps Support Command soldier is dead as the result of a military vehicle accident in Baghdad at 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 15.  The solider was evacuated by air to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad and died upon arrival.

 

 

Three Marines Die In Fallujah Booby-Trap;

13 More Wounded In Fighting;

38 Dead, 275 Wounded So Far

 

11/14/2004 FALLUJAH (AFP) & 11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer & 11.15.04 By Michael Georgy (Reuters)

 

Fresh fighting broke out in the Iraqi city of Falluja Monday after U.S. forces attacked suspected rebel targets with air strikes, artillery and mortar rounds, a Reuters correspondent in Falluja said.

 

Three marines have been killed in an explosion as they entered a booby-trapped building in central Fallujah, while another 13 were wounded in a firefight nearby, a marine officer said.

 

Of the 13, 10 were seriously injured in the gun battle just south of the main road that cuts through the centre of the Sunni Muslim bastion, the officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

 

The latest deaths bring to at least 38 the number of US troops who have been killed in the fight for Fallujah, which was launched on Monday.  The number of U.S. troops wounded is now 275.

 

On Saturday, Iraq's top security official said the battle for the restive city had been completed and only stubborn pockets of resistance remained.

 

But US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the comments were premature, while US commanders insisted that the largest military operation in Iraq since last year's US-led invasion was still going on.

 

Tank commanders said late Sunday that the Shuhada district in the south of the city, the last rebel stronghold, still had a significant number of guerrillas.

 

One Marine and an Iraqi soldier were hurt when five mortar shells struck a checkpoint outside Fallujah.

 

ABC pool video footage showed Marines continuing to search door-to-door, blowing the gates off houses with explosives.

 

A bit of bright color stood out on one of the city's ubiquitous gray, rubble-strewn streets - a pink dress on the body of a small child crumpled next to the curb.

 

 

AP Photographer Says Civilian Swimmers Trying To Leave Falluja Ordered Executed

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq Nov 14, 2004 AP

 

In the weeks before the crushing military assault on his hometown, Bilal Hussein sent his parents and brother away from Fallujah to stay with relatives.

 

The 33-year-old Associated Press photographer stayed behind to capture insider images during the siege of the former insurgent stronghold.

 

Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city.

 

"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "Suddenly, I just had to get out. I didn't think there was any other choice."

 

"I decided to swim … but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."

 

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross.  Then, he "helped bury a man by the river bank, with my own hands."

 

"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim.  I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards."

 

 

GREAT MOMENTS IN US MILITARY HISTORY:

The Falluja Hospital Massacre

 

November 15. 2004 By ALISSA J. RUBIN, Los Angeles Times

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Dr. Ahmed Ghanim's nightmarish week began with a phone call in the operating room of a triage center in downtown Fallujah.

 

On the line was the manager of the city's General Hospital. Iraqi national guardsmen and U.S. Marines, the manager said, had entered the hospital, handcuffed the doctors and were forcing the patients out to the parking lot.

 

The guardsmen "stole the mobile phones, the hospital safe where the money is kept and damaged the ambulances and cars," said Ghanim, an orthopedic surgeon who works at the hospital.  "The Americans were more sympathetic with the hospital staff and . . . untied the doctors and allowed them to go outside with the patients."

 

But the worst was yet to come.  In the coming days, Ghanim would narrowly escape a bombing, then run through his city's battle-torn streets.  He would walk hungry and scared for miles, carrying with him memories of the people he could not save.

 

The fight for Fallujah began Nov. 7.  The hospital, the city's main medical center, was seized that night by U.S. and Iraqi troops.  Military commanders said it was taken to ensure that there was a medical treatment facility available to civilians and to make sure that insurgents could not exaggerate casualties.

 

As fighting raged for a week, few civilian accounts of the battle have been available, and there have been only scattered reports on casualties.  But as combat eased, Ghanim and other survivors emerged and began to tell their stories.

 

"We were kicked out by the (Iraqi National Guard); even the Americans weren't as harsh as them," said Farhan Khalaf, 58, who had been at Fallujah General Hospital when it was seized.

 

"They were roughing up patients and tying up the doctors, hitting them in some instances,” he added.  "They stole whatever valuables they could get their hands on, including money and cell phones. This is unacceptable.  How could they do this against their own people?"

 

Last Monday came and went.  On Tuesday, the bombing came closer to the city center. The doctors were busy.

 

"I was doing amputations for many patients.  But I am an orthopedic surgeon; if a patient came to me with an abdominal injury, I could do nothing," he said, eyes cast down, close to tears.  "We would bring the patient in, and we would have to let him die."

 

Electricity to the city was cut off.  There was no water, no food, no fluids for the patients, Ghanim said.  But the patients just kept coming.

 

"We were treating everyone.  There were women, children, mujahids.  I don't ask someone if they are a fighter before I treat them.  I just take care of them," he said.

Late Tuesday, a bomb struck one side of the triage center.  Ghanim ran out of the building.

 

A second bomb hit, crashing through the roof and destroying most of the facility. Ghanim believes it killed at least two or three of the young resident doctors working there and most of the patients.

 

"At that moment, I wished to die," he said. "It was a catastrophe."

 

Afterward, he said, he half-ran, half-wandered through Fallujah, dodging explosions that seemed to be everywhere.  He took shelter in an empty house and did not move.

 

"I saw the injured people on the street, covered in blood, staggering, screaming, shouting, 'Help me! Help me!' but we could not get out and help them because we would be killed."

 

At one point, he looked out and saw a cousin in the street; he had been wounded. "I could not do anything for him, I could not move," Ghanim said.  "He died.  There was no mercy."

 

During a lull in the bombing, the doctor decided to try to leave Fallujah.  As he made his way through the rubble-filled streets, some fighters, Fallujah natives like himself, recognized the surgeon.  They showed him a way out.  He walked with a companion - an anesthetist - along the river, heading north.

 

First they walked to Saglawiya, a nearby village, he said, then more than 12 miles to the next village.  There, a car picked them up and drove them about three miles.  They resumed walking, occasionally getting a lift from a passing vehicle.

 

It took them 36 hours, mostly on foot, to make it the more than 30 miles to Baghdad. They didn't sleep and ate only a few dates and a packet of biscuits.

 

Yesterday, as Ghanim recounted the week that was, he was clearly haunted by what might have been, and those he could not help.

 

"I think if the Americans let us treat the injured, even in the streets," he said, "we could have saved hundreds."

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

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)

 

 

Sgt. Killed By U.S. Tank:

Soldier Had Predicted Death, Wife Says

 

 

November 15, 2004 The Associated Press

 

MORROW -- An Atlanta soldier was killed in Fallujah, Iraq, after he was accidentally struck by a tank, the Defense Department announced Saturday.

 

Sgt. Jonathan B. Shields, 25, died Friday, the military said.  He was assigned to the Army's 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Armor Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.

 

His widow, Deanna, said Sunday night that the fallen soldier had predicted his death in Iraq during their last telephone conversation on Nov. 2 as he prepared to go into Fallujah.

 

"He told me he wasn't coming back," she said.  "He said, 'Baby I'm not going to make it back from this mission."

 

Shields' parents, two brothers and sister live in Morrow. Deanna flew from Texas and joined them after she received word of his death.

 

"He didn't have any fear," she said. "But he seemed to have some knowledge of what was going to happen on the last mission."

 

His funeral is scheduled to be held Nov. 23 at Little Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta.

 

 

“Security” Worker From Northeast Arkansas Dies

 

November 15, 2004 The Associated Press

 

MARION, AR - A truck driver who lived in Marion was killed in a roadside attack.

 

Aaron Iversen, 38, died while on security duty for a private contractor.  The vehicle he was driving was attacked during the week, and an explosive that hit the windshield killed Iversen and another security worker.

 

 

Mosul:

Insurgents Storm Police Stations:

Collaborator Governor’s House Burned Down;

Six U.S. Soldiers Wounded;

Resistance “Has Created A Northern Front”

 

11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer & 15 November (Reuters) & November 16, 2004 By Edward Wong, The New York Times & HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Release Number: 04-11-45 & November 16, 2004 The Associated Press

 

Insurgents stormed two police stations Sunday in the strife-ridden city of Mosul, killing at least six Iraqi troops and wounding three others as attacks spread throughout Sunni Muslim areas following the U.S.-led assault on Fallujah.

 

Insurgents also set fire to the governor's house, destroying it and damaging his car in northern Mosul.  Governor Duraid Kashmoula also said the curfew will continue to be imposed on the city from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the morning.  [Starting with his house?]

 

A driver detonated his vehicle today near an American military convoy in the western edge of Mosul, injuring five US soldiers, a military spokeswoman said.

 

The driver tried to ram his vehicle into the convoy but missed, Captain Angela Bowman said.

 

Insurgents attacked Soldiers with small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire from a nearby building on the west bank of the Tigris River.  Soldiers quickly returned fire eliminating the threat. One soldier was wounded.

 

Rebels captured several police stations last week and some police stripped off their uniforms to join the insurgents. U.S. troops fought for two hours to retake one station on Sunday.

 

"I expect the next few days will bring some hard fighting," U.S. northern commander Brigadier General Carter Ham said in a statement.  "The situation in Mosul is tense, but certainly not desperate."  [Now there’s a ringing proclamation of success!]

 

"There are a few stations which remain vacant -- generally those which were heavily looted or burned," he said.   "There is still much work to be done."  "I expect the next few days will still bring some hard fighting," he said.

 

Carloads of insurgents drove unhindered through parts of the city and attacked security forces on bridges spanning the Tigris River. 

 

Responding to a request from the provincial governor, thousands of Kurdish militiamen from outside Mosul began taking up positions in the streets, and residents said they saw vehicles from the Iraqi security forces rumbling in from the south.

 

The fighting in Mosul, the country's third-largest city, came on the fourth day of an uprising that has devastated the police force there and has created a northern front as the Americans fought in Falluja, about 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, south.

 

Hundreds of policemen in Mosul fled when attackers with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed at least six police stations on Thursday.  The coordinated assaults took the U.S. military by surprise, and commanders say they are struggling now to root out entrenched guerrilla cells.

 

 

Fighting In Baghdad;

Bradley Taken Out, Soldier Wounded

 

11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer

 

Heavy explosions rattled central Baghdad near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels after nightfall Sunday, followed by bursts of sporadic gunfire.  The U.S. military said initial reports indicated rockets or mortars had struck the area, killing two Iraqis and wounding another.

 

About an hour later, about four more large explosions rocked the Green Zone, headquarters of the U.S. and Iraqi leadership.  At least one private security guard was killed. Clashes were also reported on Haifa Street, a center of insurgent support in the heart of the capital.

 

A Bradley fighting vehicle was damaged by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, injuring one soldier, the military said.

 

 

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME;

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE.

U.S. Marines carry an injured colleague after a mortar exploded on their position near the city of Falluja, November 10, 2004. (Eliana Aponte/Reuters)

 

 

Huge Increase In Badly Wounded Floods U.S. Military Hospital;

419 Since Attack On Falluja Started

 

November 15, 2004 USA TODAY

 

She added that the influx has not yet let up.  "When I see a sustained decrease over more than 24 hours, I'll believe it," Cornum said.

 

LANDSTUHL, Germany - The number of injured U.S. military personnel arriving at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center this week, most from the offensive against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, reached its highest level since April, a U.S. military official here said Sunday.

 

The troops coming in over the past week have been more seriously injured than usual, and twice as many have been wounded in battle, said Army Col. Rhonda Cornum, commander of the hospital.

 

She added that the influx has not yet let up.  "When I see a sustained decrease over more than 24 hours, I'll believe it," Cornum said.

 

Patients treated here are not capable of returning to duty within seven working days.  Cornum said 419 patients, including one American civilian, have been flown for treatment to Landstuhl since Nov. 8, the day after the offensive began against militants in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.

 

She said 95% of those patients have come from Iraq, and 5% from Afghanistan.  Most of those from Iraq were wounded in Fallujah, but Cornum could not say exactly how many.

 

There have been two peaks in the patient load: 98 arrived Thursday, 44 on Friday, 94 on Saturday, and 49 on Sunday, Cornum said.  All of the patients have been U.S. citizens.

 

Before the new offensive, the average number of patients admitted daily had been 32. In the past week, that number has more than doubled to 70.  On Sunday, the number of patients in the hospital was 150, compared with the typical average of 100. The injuries suffered include gunshot and blast wounds and burns.

 

The seriousness of injuries is reflected by the number of inpatients.

 

About half the patients admitted since the Fallujah offensive began have needed to be hospitalized.  Hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw said most patients usually receive outpatient care.

 

More than 50% of incoming patients have had battle wounds this past week, compared with 25% before the offensive.  Among those seriously injured patients, 37 are in the intensive care unit.

 

Because of the heavier-than-usual load and the increased seriousness of injuries, the hospital has had to call in help from military facilities in the area.

 

"This was not a holiday weekend for us," said Air Force Col. Todd Hess, deputy commander for clinical services, referring to Veterans Day.

 

The number of beds in the medical-surgical ward has grown from 64 to 117.  The number could be increased if necessary, Cornum said.  The intensive care unit has gone from 20 to 27 beds.

 

 

Fighting In Beiji

 

11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer & VOA News

 

A gunbattle erupted Sunday between militants and U.S. troops in the main market in the northern town of Beiji, killing at least six people and wounding 20 others, according to witnesses.

 

The clash followed an attack in Beiji against American soldiers, who responded with tank rounds and Hellfire missiles, the U.S. military said.

 

Baiji. American ground forces then moved into the center of the city, which is a key route for gasoline and kerosene tankers from Turkey.

 

 

U.S. Base Near Ramadi Hit, Burning

 

11/14/2004 & 11.15.04 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer

 

A dozen explosions rocked an American base in the western part of Ramadi, about 30 miles west of Fallujah, after insurgents fired missiles.  Witnesses reported seeing flames and smoke billowing from the base.  Four U.S. soldiers were wounded in cam bomb attacks on U.S. convoys.

 

 

Convoy Attacks Wound One Soldier

 

11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer

 

One U.S. soldier was injured when a bomber blew up his car near a U.S. convoy traveling between Balad and Tikrit, the military said.

 

In another attack, the bomber rammed into a Marine armored vehicle, wounding the four troops inside.

 

North of Ramadi, a US convoy came under attack near the town of al-Baghdadi, with one Humvee destroyed, according to an al-Baghdadi police officer, Lieutenant Muhammad Abd al-Karim.

 

 

Fighting In Baquaba;

Four U.S. Troops Wounded

 

November 15, 2004 The Guardian & By Michael Georgy and Omar Anwar (Reuters) & Mail&Guardian & By Tini Tran, Associated Press & Aljazeera

 

At least nine people died today in fierce battles in Baquba, 35 miles north-east of Baghdad.  Militants attack several police stations with the US headquarters in the Iraqi city coming under attack by mortar fire.

 

Four 1st Infantry Division soldiers were wounded, although two of them returned to duty, the military said.

 

Insurgents attacked 1st Infantry Division soldiers with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire near a traffic circle and police station, officials said.

 

An Iraqi journalist told Aljazeera that five vehicles belonging to the Iraqi police were burned out in different parts of the city.

 

80 to 85 militants were still reported in the area where skirmishes were ongoing, said US Army Staff Sergeant Steve Johnson.

 

The unrest began at about 8am when a bus carrying 20 to 40 insurgents arrived in Baquba, the sergeant said.  [“Unrest?”  Unrest is when you can’t get a good nights sleep.]

 

Iraqi national guards clashed with gangs of militants in three separate skirmishes, while others were spotted planting roadside bombs, and US-led military forces in the area were attacked from a mosque.

 

The escalating lawlessness prompted the military to drop two 500-pound bombs on suspected insurgent targets on the outskirts of Baquba, 60km north-east of Baghdad, the official said.  [Ok, now it’s not “unrest,” it’s “lawlessness.”  Wrong again.  Lawlessness is when a President of the United States lies about a reason to start a war, invades somebody else’s country, kills and maims thousands of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis in the process, and insists on occupying the country when the people don’t want to be ruled from Washington D.C.  Or, in plainer language, treason.]

 

The attack was coupled with five artillery strikes.

 

"Iraqi security forces and coalition forces are actively engaging insurgents right now," said Johnson.

 

 

Mosul Revolt Spreads To Town Near Syria;

20 Occupation Guards Shot At Tal Afar

 

November 16, 2004 By Edward Wong, The New York Times

 

Pitched battles have erupted between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi forces in the northern city of Mosul, with the revolt spreading to Tal Afar, a town near the Syrian border, prompting residents to flee and U.S. armored vehicles to encircle it.

 

Guerrilla attacks have flared in Tal Afar, about 50 kilometers west of Mosul.  On Sunday, insurgents laid siege to several police stations in the area, partly demolishing one in a bomb attack, said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings, a spokesman for Task Force Olympia.  Frightened residents piled into cars and began fleeing the town.

 

U.S. soldiers battled an insurgent uprising in Tal Afar in early September and said they had secured the area after killing dozens of fighters, many of whom were believed to have entered from Syria.

 

The attacks breaking out across northern Iraq underscore a growing problem for U.S. forces: namely, that battlefield victories can be quickly undermined after the Americans leave and weaker Iraqi security forces are left to keep the area.

 

U.S. soldiers sealed off roads from Tal Afar and searched departing cars.

 

"The mujahedeen are attacking the Americans, who have been inside the city for two days now," Sabah Muhammad said as he drove from the town with two dozen family members packed into two trucks.  "So we must protect our families."

 

Muhammad said Al Saray, an older part of town, had almost cleared out entirely.

 

The insurgents began attacking the police stations in Tal Afar right after dawn prayers at the start of Id al-Fitr, the three-day festival marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, said Ahmed Fawzi, director of a local hospital.   

 

A group of partisans raided a prison and let out all the prisoners before bombing the building, he said. They did the same at the Hasan Koy police station.  The police station in the village of Afgani had been bombed.

 

Fawzi, the hospital director, said he had counted two dead and 22 wounded from the fighting on Sunday.

 

At noon, guerrillas ambushed a company of Iraqi police commandos as it moved to secure a police station that had been looted Thursday.  The security officers were hit by roadside bombs as soon as they crossed to the west bank of the Tigris on their way to the Sheik Fatih police station, Hastings said.  Then insurgent snipers opened up from the rooftop of the station.

 

At least 20 of the officers were wounded. U.S. soldiers arrived in light-armored Stryker vehicles to join the fighting.

 

It took five hours for the U.S. and Iraqi forces to kill or chase away the insurgents.

 

"There was a pretty substantial engagement there," Hastings said.

 

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington for this article, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times contributed from Mosul and Tal Afar.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Service Member Whistleblower Praised;

Others Get Official Protection For Reporting Command Wrongdoing

 

November 15, 2004 By Rick Maze, Army Times staff writer

 

Congress has praised the soldier who blew the whistle on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and lawmakers are trying to make it easier for other service members to report wrongdoing without worrying about repercussions.

 

The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Act, signed by President Bush on Oct. 28, praises Army Spc. Joseph Darby for being the first person to complain to someone in the chain of command about the alleged mistreatment of detainees at the Iraq prison.

 

Darby’s complaint, it ends up, wasn’t protected by previous whistleblower protection laws.

 

Under previous law, communication with members of Congress or with a military inspector general were protected.  The military could not restrict a member from communicating and could not retaliate against anyone who contacted a member of Congress or inspector general for any reason.  But communication within the chain of command was not covered, leaving the possibility of reprisal for reporting wrongdoing.

 

The new law adds communication with any person in the chain of command to the whistleblower protections included in title 10, Section 1034, of the U.S. Code. It takes effect immediately, preventing any reprisal from Oct. 28 on.

 

Under the law, the inspector general is required to investigate any time an action is threatened against someone for communicating with a member of Congress, the inspector general or someone in the chain of command.  It applies to complaints about sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, mismanagement, and specific dangers to public health or safety.

 

Adverse actions in retaliation for complaints could be a bad job evaluation, denial of promotion, reassignment or denial of a reassignment, or any of a wide range of punishments for speaking out, congressional aides said.

 

Whistleblower protections have been on the books since the 1940s but did not gain real power until the mid-1980s, aides said.

 

“The need to act in accord with one’s conscience, risking one’s career and even the esteem of one’s colleagues by pursuing what is right, is especially important today,” says the resolution praising Darby that was attached to the defense bill.

 

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.

 

 

More On The 343rd Combat Refusal:

No Armor, No Survival

 

Letters To The Editor

Army Times

11.15.04

 

In “Convoy controversy” in the Nov. 1 issue — about the 343rd Quartermaster Company’s refusal to go on a mission — a statement was made to the effect that the mission was carried out successfully later that day.

 

I ask, what is the Army’s meaning of success?

 

I was a gunner doing convoy security for that very convoy starting Oct. 13.  My unit was chosen to carry out the mission that was refused by the 343rd.

 

In the early hours of Oct. 14, as we drove through Taji, Iraq, we were hit by an improvised explosive device and I was wounded by shrapnel.  I was in the gun turret of an armored Humvee.

 

Had we not had armor on our vehicle, my entire crew would have been killed.  The blast from the IED, believed to be an artillery round, lifted my vehicle, almost causing it to flip over, shattered two ballistic windows on the driver’s side, blew out the rear tire and put other holes and dents in the side of the vehicle.

 

I am alive today because of the actions taken by my driver.  My unit did in fact deliver the convoy to a destination only to be turned away and sent to another location that would receive it.

 

Is the fact that we delivered it a success?  It didn’t feel like a success to me, not at any point during my 11-day hospital stay, or during my two surgeries to repair my arm, or since then.

 

If the 343rd Quartermaster unit had taken that convoy with unarmored vehicles, there would certainly have been more unnecessary deaths of U.S. soldiers.

 

My comment is not about whether their decision not to go was right or wrong.  My comment is questioning the meaning of “success” as printed in your newspaper.

 

Sgt. Scott Montgomery

Udairi, Kuwait

 

 

Soldiers “Bullied” To Re-Enlist

 

November 15, 2004 By John A. Wickham.  The writer is a former Army officer now practicing military law in Evergreen, Colo.

 

The 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., is reorganizing as a unit of action with a life cycle ending December 2007.

 

Soldiers who intended not to extend or re-enlist were ordered to sign an intent statement.  Using clever wording, the form first advised soldiers that they already “incurred a service-remaining requirement” as a result of their unit’s reorganization. Therefore, it went on, “in order to comply with [this] operational commitment [you] must re-enlist or extend.”

 

The form then offered three options: re-enlist, extend or do neither.  But there was an ominous reference at the end for soldiers electing neither: “refusal … to comply with the commitment.”

 

There is nothing ambiguous about the language.  For midcareerists not re-enlisting or extending, a section additionally implied contempt because they “failed” to meet this operational commitment.

 

More confusing is the form’s warning for all refusing soldiers: “I will be reported to HRC/G1 for worldwide assignment [in accordance with] the needs of the Department of the Army.”

 

At one of these unit briefings, the battalion re-enlistment noncommissioned officer told the soldiers that if they didn’t re-enlist or extend, the need of the Army is to send them to units going to Iraq, or send them to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Division or 7th Infantry Division, which are planning to go back to Iraq — and then they’d be under stop-loss anyway.

 

To young, initial-term soldiers returning from combat in Iraq, these bully tactics may be coercive, or at least disdainful of their service to America.  Is this how we reward their sacrifice?  Does this demonstrate the Army values of respect and honor?

 

Even those choosing to re-enlist or extend may now be less inclined to trust “the Army family” or devote themselves again selflessly.

 

True, the form was not a clear ultimatum to re-enlist or face discipline for disobedience or a punitive reassignment.

 

But that’s no excuse.  The campaign still smelled of trickery to mislead or confuse young soldiers. If this was a civilian contract transaction, the overall circumstances might raise questions under the Federal Trade Acts as “unfair and deceptive business practices.”

 

The Army in early October scrapped all local forms in favor of an Armywide one removing the offending and legally questionable language.

 

The new form is short and easy to understand, with respectful language avoiding subtle threats.  No longer do soldiers have to admit they magically incurred an obligation under units of action activation and thus must either stay or be charged with refusal of their wartime commitment.  And instead of the affirmative act of “refusal,” a soldier is now asked to simply “take no action.” This is consistent with each soldier’s right to a voluntary expiration of his enlistment term.

 

The prior threat “will be reported for worldwide assignment” is changed to a more flexible, noncommittal approach.  A soldier acknowledges taking “no action” doesn’t prevent the Army from keeping him with the unit or from re-assigning him to another duty station, or exempt him from stop-loss or stop-movement actions.

 

In other words, the Army is saying, “We can’t guarantee what will happen.”  This may keep the options open and be correct.  But it essentially says nothing.  Soldiers are left in the dark about the risks depending upon actual end-of-service date or personal circumstances.  Soldiers signing the prior deceptive form should be given the opportunity to withdraw prior elections and sign the new one.

 

Was this campaign at Fort Carson — that combined misinformation with suggestions of disobedience or disgrace — an isolated event?  Because Fort Carson spokesmen bragged this unit had a re-enlistment rate of 153 percent, does it portend more desperate measures for reorganization elsewhere where retention is hurting?

 

This is the first test under prolonged hostilities of a volunteer Army shrunken from its Cold War strength.  It is an Army squeezed dry under stop-loss and laboring under exhausted reserve forces.

 

It is an Army with a short window to quickly reorganize and train together while engaging enemies on two fronts.  In the end, as Ernie Pyle would have agreed, it all comes down to the individual soldier who bears the brunt of this national dilemma.

 

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.

 

 

“I Am Not The Enemy”

Soldiers With Arms Not Allowed Near The President

 

Letters To The Editor

Army Times

11.15.04

 

Why do members of the military have to disarm in the presence of the president?  When President Bush visited Michigan for a local event Oct. 6, my military police team was required to lock our side arms in the trunk of our vehicle.   [An answer to that question may be found in a careful reading history of the rebellion in the armed forces against the Vietnam War.  Try “The GI’s Revolt” chapter in Johnathan Neales’ book, The American War.  It is most illuminating.]

 

I was embarrassed because we were standing among local police and sheriff’s deputies and just finished spending almost 24 hours guarding Air Force One and its assets.

 

As an Army MP with a secret clearance, I cannot understand why the Secret Service would require me to disarm but not the local cops.

 

When I asked why the Army is treated this way, I was reminded by a plain clothed Air Force representative that Timothy McVeigh, the man who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, was in the Army.  

 

I am deeply dedicated to the safety of this country and the safety of the president.

 

I also briefed my team that if something happens in the presence of the president, take cover, do not draw your side arm and wait for orders from the Secret Service.  I volunteered for this duty the last two times the president visited Michigan, but I will not again.  [There are a whole lot of Vietnam Vets, and an increasing number of soldiers who’ve been through Iraq, who would certainly agree with those orders most perfectly.  There are moments when neutrality is the best choice.]

 

If ordered to, I will perform my duty with honor and respect for the commander in chief. I just prefer not to be treated like the enemy by the Secret Service and the Air Force.

 

Sgt. Richard L. Denham

Allen Park, Mich.

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Captures Taji, Blows Up Pipeline To Baghdad

 

November 15, 2004 Associated Press

 

TAJI, Iraq There's word that militants have attacked an oil pipeline just north of Baghdad.

 

Witnesses report flames and heavy black smoke rising high into the sky.  The pipeline carries crude oil that runs to the Daura refinery in Baghdad.

 

Five U-S helicopters have been hovering nearby.  But no Iraqi security forces or firefighters have been spotted at the scene of the fire.

 

Witnesses say insurgents have virtually taken control of the town of Taji, which is about 12 miles north of Baghdad.  They say militants have been distributing leaflets warning people not to leave their houses or open their shops.

 

 

Oil Wells Blown Up In Khabbaza

 

Burning oil pipe in the town of Fathat Baiji November 15, 2004. Photo by Reuters

 

 

11/14/2004 By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer

 

Saboteurs set fire Sunday to four oil wells in Iraq's northern fields, setting off successive explosions in Khabbaza, 12 miles northwest of Kirkuk, oil officials said.

 

 

Another Turkish Truck Driver Killed

 

November 15 2004 Turks.US

 

Another Turkish truck driver was reportedly killed last night in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

 

A police officer in Beyci city, Lieutenant Colonel Cemal Salih, disclosed that armed men killed the driver yesterday and then set fire to the man and his truck.

 

 

Resistance Attacks In Buhruz;

Collaborator Police Chief Killed

 

11.15.04 Mail&Guardian & By Tini Tran, Associated Press

 

Violent clashes also erupted in the town of Buhruz, north-east of Baghdad, on Monday, pitting rebels against Iraqi police and national guards and a nearby US base, witnesses said.

 

Militants killed the town police chief, Lt. Gen Qassem Mohammed, in an attack on his house, officials said.

 

A fighting formation of about 20 militants set fire to two police vehicles and three belonging to the national guards and captured any weapons that they found, the witnesses said.

 

 

Resistance Attacks In Suwayrah, Occupation Cop Chief Killed

 

By Tini Tran, Associated Press, 11/15/2004

 

Resistance fighters carried out near-simultaneous attacks on a police station and an Iraqi National Guard headquarters in Suwayra, 25 miles south of Baghdad.  The assault came after an attacker drove an explosives-laden car at the headquarters.  Police shot the driver before he could detonate his bomb, police said.

 

Seven Iraqi police and national guardsmen were killed in the Suwayrah fighting, including Maj. Hadi Refeidi, the director of the Suwayrah police station, officials said.

 

 

Communist Party Collaborator Killed

 

November 14, 2004 Baghdad, Nov 14. (AP)

 

A prominent official of the Iraqi Communist Party was gunned down with two of his bodyguards outside of Baghdad, a party official said today.

 

Sadoun Mohammed was returning home from the northern city of Kirkuk when armed men ambushed his car by opening fire on it, party official Amar Abdul-Hussein said adding the incident took place on Saturday evening.

 

Iraq's Communist Party is part of the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.  Culture Minister Mufeed al-Jazaeri is a party member.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

GI Resistance

 

From: LEFT FACE: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies. By DAVID CORTRIGHT AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in Military Studies, Number 107, GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport, Connecticut • London

 

The army’s study thus seems to confirm what GI activists have long noted.  Contrary to popular impression, soldier opposition was far more concentrated among volunteers than among draftees.

 

One of the most interesting retrospectives of the Vietnam era is a two-volume study of soldier dissent prepared for army commanders in l970 and 1971 by the Research Analysis Corporation, a Virginia based think-tank that frequently served army needs.  The two reports, Determination of the Potential for Dissidence in the U.S. Army and Future Impact of Dissident Elements Within the Army, were not available when Soldiers in Revolt was written.

 

They provide hitherto unavailable insight into the startling dimensions of Gl resistance, depicting a movement even more widespread than those of us involved at the time thought possible.  The study provides Important data not only on the scale of the GI movement but also on the socioeconomic characteristics of those involved.  It also gives valuable clues for assessing the potential for continuing opposition within the volunteer force.

 

The study documents the pervasiveness of resistance through a survey of 844 soldiers at five major army bases in the continental United States  The GIs were asked about their involvement in various forms of protest.

 

The Research Analysis Corporation’s sociologists classified protest under two separate headings, “dissidence” and “disobedience.”

 

Under “dissidence” they grouped attendance at a coffeehouse, publication of a GI newspaper, and participation in a demonstration.  Under “disobedience” they placed insubordination, refusing orders, individual sabotage, and the like.

 

This separation conforms to what GIs and their supporters, without benefit of sociology degrees, long ago established as the distinction between the GI movement and GI resistance.

 

The first category involves more verbal and formal forms of opposition, while the second implies a more physical and immediate response.  Dissidence is often created, as we shall see below, by so-called “middle-class intellectuals” and is aimed at the higher ranks: colonels, generals, and even the commander-in-chief.  The resister or “disobedient,” on the other hand, strikes out at a more immediate target: the first sergeant or company commander.

 

The survey finds that during the height of the GI movement one out of every four enlisted men participated in dissident activities; with an equal percentage engaging in acts of disobedience.

 

The combined results show a startling 47 percent of low-ranking soldiers engaging in some form of dissent or disobedience, with 32 percent involved in such acts more than once.  If frequent drug use is added as another form of resistance, the combined percentage of soldiers involved in disobedience, dissidence, or drug use comes to an incredible 55 percent.  The army’s own investigation thus shows that half of all soldiers during the 1970-1971 period were involved in resistance activity—a truly remarkable and unprecedented level of disaffection.

 

Interestingly, the report notes that levels of dissent and disobedience were highest In Grade E-5, among those nearing the end of their first term of service.

 

While 25 percent of those in Grades E-1 to E4 engaged in dissent at least once, the percentage among first-term E-5s was 38 percent.  These E-5s were almost certainly three-year volunteers, since few draftees with a two-year term made it past the rank of E-4.

 

The army’s study thus seems to confirm what GI activists have long noted.  Contrary to popular impression, soldier opposition was far more concentrated among volunteers than among draftees.

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Stupidest World Class Lie Of The Year, So Far

 

November 15, 2004 The Guardian

 

Ayad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister, said he did not believe any civilians had been killed in the [Falluja] offensive.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

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