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GI Special 4L2: Down- Rating Our Service - December 2, 2006


After spending a year in Iraq, I have found that the Iraqis are not a threat or the enemy. I did find that we are the threat and the enemy to them.
They acted as we would if someone came into America and said we are going to change your ways.
I feel this war is no longer about taking out a threat. But I believe it is about securing oil commerce for the future.


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GI Special 4L2: Down- Rating Our Service - December 2, 2006

Thomas F. Barton


GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

12.2.06

Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

 GI SPECIAL 4L2:

 

 

[Thanks to Pham Binh, Traveling Soldier, who sent this in.]

 

 “Comments Like The Ones You Are Making Are Working Against Us And Down-Rating Our Service”

 

Criticism:

 From: Sander, Timothy P USA SGT USAR HHC 3D BCT 10MTN DIV

To: GI Special

Sent: November 29, 2006 5:45 AM

Subject: Your blog

 I recently stumbled upon your website while researching information of my fallen camrades. I don't think you realize how discouraging it is when we hear people back home making comments like "This is how Bush brings them home," (while showing one of our brothers in a flag-draped coffin) and "Hopeless War with no mission."

 We are out here every single day trying to help people who are less fortunate than ourselves. We are building schools and providing medical care in addition to constantly rooting out the dangerous terrorist cells that are scattered throughout these lands. We are extremely proud of the sacrafices we are making to keep America safe and comments like the ones you are making are working against us and down-rating our service.

 The entire point I'm trying to make is that many of us would love to come home, but not until we know the mission is accomplished. Our mission here and in Iraq have not been accomplished yet sir so please stop trying to "bring us home now!" We are not quitters and we will come home when the job is finished!

 Thank you,

 Tim P. Sander, Sgt.

345th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Task Force Spartan Public Affairs

Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan

DSN: 318.851.1534

 “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”

-General George S. Patton Jr.

 

Response:

 Sgt. Sander,

 First, neither GI Special nor The Military Project operate a blog.

 GI Special is a newsletter. Most readers and contributors to the newsletter are either serving in the armed forces; military families whose service member relatives are still alive; Gold Star family members; veterans of Iraq and other wars; or other members of the huge majority of Americans now firmly and proudly opposed to the Bush regime’s program of war without end.

 Surely news of the election returns reached Afghanistan? The notion that GI Special can have a greater impact on troops than that event is ridiculous. Observers here from the far right to the far left agree: the election repudiated Bush’s war policy.

 In your letter, you represent as photo captions: "This is how Bush brings them home," and "Hopeless War with no mission." GI Special has never, one time, printed photos with the few words you quote as the captions.

 It may be you have been misled. The only web site maintained by the Military Project to post GI Special newsletters is http://www.militaryproject.org. Anyone technically proficient may go to that web site, copy material, and post it on some other website, having forged material to suit themselves.

 Perhaps the web site you visited is maintained by some other entity that carried the photos with the most important words omitted from the photo captions, leaving only the few words you quote, in order, by misrepresenting what the photo captions say, to create an impression of cold, uncaring stupidity.

 Below are two examples of photos and captions as they do appear in GI Special. Please compare the reality with the misrepresentation of the captions reported in your letter. Note the words your complaint did not quote.

 By the way, working in public affairs, and therefore committed to reporting relevant information to those asked to give up their lives for his government, surely you are making it known to those who serve with you that Hamid Karzai, the suppositious head of government in Afghanistan, is a former employee of Unocal Corporation, the parent company of Union Oil Company of California.

 Finally, isolated in Afghanistan, it is understandable that you would not have the faintest notion of how troops in Iraq see the war, but not understandable that you would presume to speak for them.

 You are entitled to speak for yourself; you have no right whatever to speak for them.

 They have made their views clear.

 So you may be brought up to speed about that, three articles on that subject appear below your letter, marked #1, #2 and #3..

 Great quote from Patton. But it’s a sword that cuts two ways.

 In your letter, you assert that everybody serving in Afghanistan thinks the same way: all U.S. troops are pleased to be there doing good for those “unfortunate” people. Thank you for the quote, confirming that, if this is true, not only is it that “somebody isn’t thinking.” but “somebody” has no grip on the reality of a massive, growing and spreading insurgency, impossible without popular support, which one would hope has not escaped the notice of those serving in public affairs.

 To read why the war in Afghanistan is lost, see: The Guerrilla In History, by Robert B Asprey, USMC [Ret’d].

 Chapter 92, on the destruction of the Russian Army in Afghanistan, is particularly instructive. The notion that the occupation troops now in Afghanistan (a fraction of the force deployed by the Russians) have the slightest hope of success is a silly delusion fostered by politicians in and out of uniform, who are more concerned with preserving their careers than they are about the lives of those serving in the armed forces.

 Asprey documents how careerist idiocy has been a problem for Imperial armies for a few thousand years now, since Roman legions led by politicians in uniforms were ambushed and wiped out when they tried to occupy Gaul.

 10th Mountain troops are beloved and honored for their service by the majority of us who live in New York: far too valuable to us all to die in either of Bush’s stupid, hopeless, incompetently managed Imperial wars.

 Come home safe.

 T

 

REALLY BAD IDEA:

NO MISSION;

HOPELESS WAR:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

Photo

U.S. soldiers from 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team at a checkpoint in Baghdad, October 26, 2006. (Namir Noor-Eldeen/Reuters)

 MORE:

 #1

 

“After Spending A Year In Iraq, I Have Found That The Iraqis Are Not A Threat Or The Enemy”

“We Do Not Know What We Are Fighting For Anymore; We Do Not Know What Our Mission Is”

 [GI SPECIAL 4D24]

 Army Times

April 24, 2006

Letters To The Editor

 I am a soldier about to embark on my second tour in Iraq.

 My first tour started in November 2003. When we arrived, Saddam Hussein was on the loose. In December, he was caught.

 When I came into the military, I signed a contract that said I would defend this country against all threats, foreign and domestic.

 After spending a year in Iraq, I have found that the Iraqis are not a threat or the enemy. I did find that we are the threat and the enemy to them.

 They acted as we would if someone came into America and said we are going to change your ways.

 I feel this war is no longer about taking out a threat. But I believe it is about securing oil commerce for the future.

 Securing this country and stabilizing it would mean oil contracts and people lining their pockets with money from the oil that my friends have been wounded for and have died for.

 I hear the president speak with the press and tell them things to appease them and to divert them to a different subject.

 What I don’t see is the president having a conference with the soldiers who have fought on the ground in Iraq.

 We do not know what we are fighting for anymore; we do not know what our mission is.

 I am not alone in this thought. My boys need to know what they may possibly die for.

 Is it for a few extra bucks for Halliburton subsidiary KBR?

 Is it about the oil?

 Is it for America?

 How will this war help my family in the future?

 Staff Sgt. Christopher Galka

Rainier, Wash.

 

MORE:

 

#2

72% Of U.S. Troops Say Get Out Of Iraq By January 2007:

29% For Immediate Withdrawal:

 

[GI SPECIAL 4C2]

 2.28.06 Zogby.com & John Zogby, HuffingtonPost.com. 

In wars of America's century just past, we have sent our soldiers to far-off fields of battle and were left to wonder about their opinions of the life-and-death conflicts in which they were involved.

 Letters home, and more recently telephone calls and emails, would give us a peek into their states of mind. Some who returned would regale friends and family with tales from the front lines.

Times have now changed.

 A first-ever survey of U.S. troops on the ground fighting a war overseas has revealed surprising findings, not the least of which is that an overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year. [The poll was taken during January 2006.]

 Further, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows that more than one in four (29%) thought the U.S. should pull its troops immediately.

 MORE:

 

#3

“I’d Like To Thank You For GI Special”

 

[GI SPECIAL 4G11]

 From: Andrew Sapp

To: GI Special

Sent: July 08, 2006

 I'd like to thank you for GI Special. I found it last year while I was still serving in Iraq, and it helped keep me sane.

 I shared stories with a number of my buddies, and they went a long way in helping them try to make some sense out the insanity that is Iraq.

 

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE

Photo

The casket of Lance Cpl. Minhee Andy Kim of Ann Arbor, Mich. who died while serving in Iraq, during funeral service, Nov. 15, 2006 at Arlington National Cemetery. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward GI Special along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services. Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657

 

 IRAQ WAR REPORTS

  

Soldier Killed In Baghdad

 

01 December 2006 Multi National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20061201-02

 BAGHDAD: A Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldier was killed during combat

operations here Nov. 30.

 

 

U.S. Convoy Attacked Near Samarra:

Casualties Not Announced

 

01 Dec 2006 Reuters

 A U.S. convoy was attacked with machinegun fire in southwest of Samarra 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

 

 

Silly U.S. Commander Pretends Baqouba Hasn’t Shut Down

 12.1.06 Mideast Stars and Stripes

 The commander of American and coalition forces in Diyala province disputed reports saying the Iraqi city of Baqouba had been "shut down" because of widespread violence this week.

 Army Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, acknowledged "a recent setback experienced by the Iraqi police" but said the city is "fully operational."  

The violence flared on Monday, when insurgents attacked the Buhriz police station, scattering the policemen assigned to it.

 [How sad his talents were not available at other important military crises. One can hear him now, explaining that things aren’t as bad as they look for His Majesty’s Army at Yorktown, or the Confederate Army near Appomattox, or the German Army at Stalingrad, or the U.S. Army in Saigon. Just a few setbacks. Not to worry. T]

 

  

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

  

Resistance DVDs For Sale By Underground In Occupied Kandahar

 Nov. 8 2006 Steve Chao, CTV News

 KANDAHAR -- In the busy bazaars of Kandahar City, where everything from Chinese-made bicycles, to modern cellphones, to naan bread, hung individually on rusty nails, are for sale, there is another steady trade that exists mostly in secret.

 DVDs showcasing so-called Taliban "victories" against NATO forces can be bought for as little as 60 cents. They are sold by certain store owners who quietly support the Islamic militant group.

 CTV, working with The Globe and Mail, obtained a copy of one of the latest.

 

  

TROOP NEWS

  

Marine Corps Rats In Command Defy Military Board:

Send War Objector To Iraq

 [Thanks to Elaine Brower, The Military Project, who sent this in.]

 November 25, 2006 Associated Press

 PHILADELPHIA: A Marine was deployed to Iraq this month after a military board rejected a recommendation that he receive conscientious objector status and a discharge.

 The C.O. Status Screening Board noted that Marine Lance Cpl. John Rogowskyj Jr. requested the status after he learned that his Reserve unit was being sent to Iraq and suggested that the request "was simply a means to avoid a combat deployment."

 Rogowskyj, 22, was deployed Nov. 2.

 "He's not supposed to be there," Eugene R. Fidell, the lawyer representing him in federal court in Washington, told The Philadelphia Inquirer for Friday's newspapers.

 In April, a Marine captain who served as the hearing officer recommended the discharge.

 But in August, Maj. Gen. D.V. Odell Jr., commander of the Fourth Marine Division, said Rogowskyj's reasoning was "theologically confused and does not reflect any officially recognized faith group."  

[Another ignorant piece of shit wearing a general’s uniform.

 [There is no requirement whatever in the regs that require the individual to “reflect any officially recognized faith group.”

 [The general has just broken military law. Put his scrawny withered ass on trial.]

 In September, the screening board agreed with Odell.

 J.E. McNeil, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Conscience and War in Washington, said Rogowskyj's request is not as unusual as the military would make it seem because such requests are not tallied until completion.

 

 

Bye Bye Clusterfuck:

Italian Troops All Going Home Now:

No More Iraq War Forever

Photo

Italian Defense Minister Arturo Parisi, center, receives the Italian flag after its lowering at a military base in Nasiriyah, Dec. 1, 2006, during a ceremony marking the end of the Italian military mission there. (AP Photo/Nabil Al Jurani)

 

Photo

An Italian Carabinieri officer waves from a bus December 1, 2006. Italy pulled its last remaining troops out of Iraq on Friday where 32 of its soldiers died since the contingent arrived in June 2003. REUTERS/Atef Hassan (IRAQ)

 

 

War Profiteers At Work:

$s Charged DoD Up 900%

 

11.29.06 Hartford Courant

 

United Technologies' Hamilton Sundstrand unit overcharged the Defense Department for aircraft spare parts, according to a government watchdog group. The costs of some items under a nine-year, $860 million no-bid contract issued in 2004 have jumped as much as 900 percent, said the Washington-based Project on Government Oversight.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

“Sadr Still Insists His Main Fight Is With Foreign Invaders”

“We Iraqis, Sunnis And Shia, Will Always Be Brothers”

 

He's the one Shia leader who has opposed the U.S. occupation from the beginning, and who has continued to call for a strict timetable for American withdrawal. An overwhelming majority of Iraqis now agree with him.

 

A September poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org found that 63 percent of 501 Iraqi Shiites surveyed supported attacks against Americans.

 

[Thanks to Pham Binh, Traveling Soldier, who sent this in.]

 

Dec. 4, 2006 By Jeffrey Bartholet, Newsweek [Excerpts]

 

American soldiers who patrol Sadr's turf in Baghdad understand. They can spot his men.

 

"They look like they're pulling security," says First Lt. Robert Hartley, a 25-year-old who plays cat and mouse with the Mahdi Army in the Iraqi capital.

 

The Sadrists use children and young men as lookouts. When GIs get out of their Humvees to patrol on foot, one of the watchers will fly a kite, or release a flock of pigeons. Some of Sadr's people have even infiltrated top ranks of the Iraqi police. Capt. Tom Kapla, 29, says he knows who they are: "They look at you, and you can tell they want to kill you."

 

Sadr is a unique force in Iraq: a leader from the majority Shiites who has resisted American occupation from the start. He's a populist, a nationalist…

 

Large numbers of impoverished Shiites view Sadr as their guardian: the one leader who is willing not just to stand up for them but to strike back on their behalf.

 

His concerns are high-minded: he speaks of fuel shortages and cabinet politics.

 

In the past, Sadr was shrugged off as a rabble-rouser and a nuisance. Now he is undeniably one of the most popular leaders in the country.

 

But the longer the American occupation lasts, the less popular America gets, and the more popular Sadr [becomes.].

 

Among ordinary Iraqis, the United States bears much of the blame for the bloodshed, just for being there. As Sadr put it to NEWSWEEK earlier this year, "The occupation is the decision maker ... any attack is the occupier’s responsibility."

 

Saddam kept a close eye on Sadr because the young man inherited a wide network of mosques, schools and social centers built up by his father.

 

The network was focused on the impoverished masses of Iraqi Shiites; the sort of people other religious and secular leaders didn't have much time for.

 

Even some educated Shiites dismissed Moqtada as a zatut, or ignorant child. Some called him "Mullah Atari," because he apparently enjoyed videogames as a kid.

 

Sadr still insists his main fight is with foreign invaders.

 

He's the one Shia leader who has opposed the U.S. occupation from the beginning, and who has continued to call for a strict timetable for American withdrawal.

 

An overwhelming majority of Iraqis now agree with him.

 

A September poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org found that 63 percent of 501 Iraqi Shiites surveyed supported attacks against Americans.

 

Even in Baghdad, where ethnic tensions are worst, Shiites agree with Sunnis on one thing: the poll found that 80 percent of the capital's Shiites wanted U.S. forces to leave within a year.

 

Tehran's main Shiite clients in Iraq are rivals of Sadr, who is often critical of Persian influence.

 

Sadr worries that Iran may be trying to infiltrate his movement, and he's almost surely right. Fatah al-Sheikh, who is close to Sadr, says the boss sent a private letter to loyal imams around Baghdad in the past two weeks identifying 10 followers he believed were suspect.

 

       
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