GI SPECIAL 2#C22
Members Fighting For Troops Rights:
WE WANT TO BE YOUR
I am writing to you as a member of
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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
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.
REPLY: GI Special
would be proud and honored to be of service. Please consider GI
Special your publication.
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.
Marine Killed In Fight For Fallujah
November 14, 2004 AP
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
"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
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
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
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.
Iraq's top security official said the battle for the restive city
had been completed and only stubborn pockets of resistance
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.
said late Sunday that the Shuhada district in the south of the city,
the last rebel stronghold, still had a significant number of
One Marine and an
Iraqi soldier were hurt when five mortar shells struck a checkpoint
ABC pool video footage showed Marines
continuing to search door-to-door, blowing the gates off houses with
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.
Says Civilian Swimmers Trying To Leave Falluja Ordered Executed
BAGHDAD, Iraq Nov 14,
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."
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
"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
GREAT MOMENTS IN US
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
Sgt. Killed By U.S.
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.
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
Governor’s House Burned Down;
Six U.S. Soldiers
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
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
The driver tried to ram his vehicle
into the convoy but missed, Captain Angela Bowman said.
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
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.
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
Heavy explosions rattled central Baghdad near the Palestine and
Sheraton hotels after nightfall Sunday, followed by bursts of
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
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;
Since Attack On Falluja Started
November 15, 2004 USA
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,"
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
troops coming in over the past week have been more seriously injured
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,"
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
The clash followed
an attack in Beiji against American soldiers, who
responded with tank rounds and Hellfire missiles, the U.S. military
Baiji. American ground
forces then moved into the center of the city,
which is a key
route for gasoline and kerosene tankers from Turkey.
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
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.
1st Infantry Division soldiers with rocket-propelled grenades and
small arms fire near a traffic circle and police station, officials
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.
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
The attack was coupled
with five artillery strikes.
"Iraqi security forces
and coalition forces are actively engaging insurgents right now,"
Revolt Spreads To Town Near Syria;
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.
soldiers battled an insurgent uprising in Tal Afar in early
September and said they had secured the area
dozens of fighters, many of whom were believed to have entered from
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.
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.
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.
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.
contributed reporting from Washington for this article, and an Iraqi
employee of The New York Times contributed from Mosul and Tal Afar.
Others Get Official
Protection For Reporting Command Wrongdoing
November 15, 2004 By Rick Maze, Army
Times staff writer
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
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.
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
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
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
Send requests to address up top.
More On The 343rd Combat Refusal:
No Armor, No
Letters To The Editor
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
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.
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
November 15, 2004 By John A. Wickham.
The writer is a former Army officer now practicing military law in
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.
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
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
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
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
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
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to email@example.com.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
“I Am Not The
Soldiers With Arms
Not Allowed Near The President
Letters To The Editor
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
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
Sgt. Richard L. Denham
Allen Park, Mich.
Resistance Captures Taji, Blows Up Pipeline To Baghdad
November 15, 2004
TAJI, Iraq There's word that militants have attacked an oil pipeline
just north of Baghdad.
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.
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
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
Another Turkish Truck Driver Killed
November 15 2004
Another Turkish truck
driver was reportedly killed last night in the Iraqi capital of
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
Resistance Attacks In Buhruz;
Collaborator Police Chief Killed
& 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,
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
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)
prominent official of the Iraqi Communist Party was gunned down with
two of his bodyguards outside of Baghdad, a party official said
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
Communist Party is part of the interim government of Prime Minister
Ayad Allawi. Culture Minister Mufeed al-Jazaeri is a party member.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
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