to David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]
To Brian, My Beloved Son
Veterans For Peace Newsletter, Spring 2006
His boots are empty now
the hopeful one who wore them
ground beneath the juggernaut
Where we laid him
a stone will stay,
flags flutter, and flowers
watered by tears and rain.
War is cruel,
and love must suffer long,
but can it suffer so in vain?
Do you hear their voices
from out those deep empty
We went where we were sent,
and there we faced the worst.
Upon our bodies
dare you take a stand?
Or will our deaths,
just like our lives,
be lost in desert sand?
Rosemarie Dietz Slavenas,
for my son Brian,
KIA, Falluja, Iraq,
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Massachusetts Marine Killed
Paul King, 23, of Tyngsboro, Mass., was killed June 25, 2006, in Al Anbar province.
(AP Photo/U.S. Marines)
MARINE KILLED IN AL ANBAR
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq: A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5
died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar
BAGHDAD SOLDIER KILLED BY ROADSIDE BOMB
BAGHDAD: A Multi National Division Baghdad Soldier was
killed Tuesday at approximately 10 p.m. when his vehicle was struck by a
roadside bomb north of Baghdad.
Oklahoma Soldier Killed
06/28/06 Omaha World-Herald
Jeremy Jones, 25, died in Iskandariyah, Iraq,
after he was hit with a roadside bomb on Tuesday morning, his family said. He'd been in Iraq since November, serving
with the Army's 1-67 Armor based in Foot Hood, Texas. Jones graduated in 1999 from Millard West
High School, where he played football and wrestled.
Fox Lake Soldier
Jun 28, 2006 WEEK-TV
Operation Iraqi Freedom has claimed another
casulaty from the state of Illinois.
The Department of Defense said Sergeant Terry
Lisk died Monday from injuries sustained in Ar Ramadi, Iraq when his unit
received indirect fire from enemy forces during combat operations.
The 26-year-old from Fox Lake, Illinois was
assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team,
1st Armored Division based in Friedberg, Germany.
Hardin County Native
Jun. 23, 2006 Associated Press,
A Kentucky native was one of three Marines
killed in an explosion in Iraq this week.
Pfc. Christopher N. White, 23, of Southport,
N.C., was killed Tuesday in Al-Anbar Province, Iraq, the Department of Defense
said on Thursday.
White graduated from Central Hardin High
School in 2001.
"The love he had for all of us was so
strong that he gave the ultimate doing what he believed was right," said
White's brother, Mike. "Chris White
will live on in all of us in some way, but to me he was the greatest brother
one could ever have."
White's parents, William and Galia, owned a
farm in Hardin County where Chris grew up.
"Christopher was a good kid,"
William White said. "Everybody liked him. He was just a likeable
His friends said they remember an athletic
guy who got into weightlifting in high school, and played football for a short
"He never met a stranger," said
Josh Garcia, who went to high school with White. "Everybody knew Chris
He followed his father, who retired from the
Army, into military service, but his brother said he dreamed of becoming a
"He talked about it all his life,"
Mike White said.
White joined the Marines in May 2005.
Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Marine
Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., he deployed to Iraq in January.
White, a machine gunner, and four other
Marines were riding in the last Humvee in a convoy when a roadside bomb
exploded, William White said. White and two other Marines were killed in the
Mike White said his brother had plans to wed
his girlfriend once he returned home from the war.
"He was going to get
married the day he came back," Mike White said. "He only had a month and half
A memorial service will be held in St. Louis,
the family said.
Area Marine Killed In Combat
06/24/2006 By Benjamin Poston, ST. LOUIS
A Marine who was a star athlete and prom king
at Eureka High School and whose neighbors called him "a gem," was
killed Thursday in Iraq.
The Pentagon confirmed Friday night that Cpl.
Riley Baker, 22, of the Pacific area, was killed during combat operations in Anbar
He had been assigned to the 3rd Battalion of
the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force out
of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
A Brilliant Account Of A Lost War Of Occupation
[This is one for the
textbooks. When people resist occupation
by a foreign Imperial power, this is what it looks like. The rich collaborator, the scheming
informers, the stubborn refusal to lift a finger to help the foreign invaders,
the lies, the chaos, the confusion, the sabotage by malicious cooperation, and
the inability to find out anything useful to the invading army could have been
written about the German occupation of France, or the French or U.S.
occupations of Vietnam, or any other failed effort to set up an Imperial
military dictatorship, including the British in the USA in 1776.]
June 28, 2006 Tom Lasseter, McClatchy
Capt. Carson Green walked slowly down the
highway, simmering in the sun, looking for signs of a roadside bombing that had
ripped both feet off an American soldier.
Green thought that if he could find the site
of the bombing, he could figure out where witnesses might have been standing -
at roadside groceries, houses, taxi stands - and, he hoped, ''flip'' them into
giving up the names of insurgents in the area.
But after a half-hour of going up and down
the road, Green couldn't tell the new bomb craters from the old ones. The heat had climbed above 110 degrees with
no hint of wind, and the asphalt, stretching toward the horizon, felt like a
Frustrated, Green muttered an obscenity.
''Let's go,'' he said.
Green, 26, has commanded Alpha Company of the
4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team since April, when a bomb killed
Most officers agree that victory
in Iraq will be determined not by generals or weapons systems, but by captains
like Green who decide how to fight an oft-unseen enemy in a land where they
don't speak the language or know whom to trust. [Meaning the effort is
fucked from start to finish, and the notion of “victory in Iraq”
would be laughable, were it not for the endless toll of the dead.]
Four days spent with Green recently showed
just how difficult that battle is.
At every turn Green confronted
situations that seemed to defy solution. Police were uncooperative, if not
infiltrated, informants were coy, if not dishonest, and death or crippling
injury was just a misstep away.
Green decided early in his command that the
best way to pacify the insurgency and the militias was to rely on informants
more than on raids, to be as much a detective as a soldier.
''You can't fight a counterinsurgency by
sweeping an area. You've got to collect
intelligence on a specific cell leader,'' said Green, who has a slightly pug
nose and a sharp jaw line that tenses when he's thinking. ''These big sweeps and roadblocks, you don't
catch anybody doing that.''
But it's also hard, he said, to
catch anyone when you don't know who's telling the truth and who isn't, who's
on your side, and who isn't.
Green's days and nights in Iraq are shadowed
by the death of the man who came before him.
Capt. Ian Weikel was riding in a patrol on
April 18, crossing a bridge north of Baghdad, when a roadside bomb
erupted. Shrapnel tore into Weikel's
Humvee. The soldiers he commanded rushed to the vehicle and saw their captain
slumped over, blood pouring from his head.
At the time of Weikel's death, Green was a
young staff officer waiting for a company command spot to open.
Green seems almost obsessed with finding
Weikel's killer. As he pieces together
bits of information about the insurgency, and the Shiite militias it wars with,
Green strains to find leads, pushing every informant for something, anything,
that could lead to the insurgent who set off the bomb that killed Weikel.
The informants, knowing the
value of such a tip, often dangle the possibility that they could help Green
solve the case.
An informant recently led Green to a man who
lived near the bridge where Weikel was killed.
The Iraqi said in an initial interview that he had information about the
insurgent cell that was behind the bombing.
Green was planning to bring him into the base and question him for more
After searching for the bombing site that
morning, Green and his men drove to the Taji police station to meet a
high-ranking Iraqi officer. For three
months, the officer has been giving Green information not only on Sunni
insurgents, but also on Shiite militia members operating in the police force.
The informant - a Shiite who asked that his
name not be used - has told Green several times that his police chief is a
member of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. Green said he wouldn't be surprised if that
Walking into the informant's office, Green
shook hands and quickly got to the point: ''There was a bomb this morning. Who did it?''
The informant gave three names - one of them
Sunni and two of them Shiite.
Green raised his eyebrows. ''Shiites?'' he
asked. ''Why are they working together?''
''Money,'' came the answer.
At the end of the conversation
- in which the informant gave long and often contradictory accounts about local
insurgent cells - Green asked the officer if everything he'd told him was true.
''Maybe true, maybe false,''
the officer said, giggling.
In the Humvee outside, Green was asked how
much he trusted the informant.
''Who knows what his motivation is,'' he
said. ''But a lot of his information has
been good in the past.''
The next day, Green went to see another
Iraqi. He waited until after dark so the
neighbors wouldn't see the long line of Humvees pull up in front of Abu
Haider's house. [Oh right, fucking brilliant, nobody’s
going to notice “the long line of Humvees” because it’s dark, and Iraqis can’t see in the dark. Why, everybody knows that.]
Sometime after 11 p.m., Abu Haider walked in
wearing a gray dishdasha, a traditional Arab tunic, and smoking Davidoff
cigarettes. A gold watch hung loosely on
his left wrist.
Abu Haider, who asked that his
full name not be used, is a Shiite businessman and power broker who's received
hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military during the
past three years. He's also one of
Green's main informants and often a conduit to others. He lives in a compound of nice homes. [And all this is supposed to be some kind of
A large man given to sweeping hand gestures
and the influence of sizable amounts of alcohol, Abu Haider punctuates his
conversation with statements such as, ''Listen to me, Captain Green, I have worked
with the coalition forces for three years and I have never told them a lie.''
Green was there because he needed
witnesses. His men had detained an
insurgent named Bashir and had compiled a collection of sworn statements about
his connection with kidnappings and killings.
But only one of the statements tied him
directly to an attack - a roadside bomb - against U.S. soldiers.
Unless Green could come up with
another statement or two linking Bashir to attacks against Americans, he'd have
to turn him over to the Iraqi police, who've been known to release suspected
insurgents for money.
Green explained the situation to Abu Haider.
''I know many people who can give you sworn
statements about people putting bombs on the road,'' Abu Haider said.
Green moved to the edge of the sofa and said
to his translator, ''He says he has some witnesses. Do they know anything about Captain Weikel?''
Abu Haider smiled.
''I can give you the names of
three people who lay bombs,'' Abu Haider said. ''On the same road where Captain
''What are their names?'' Green
''I don't know,'' Abu Haider
About half an hour later, a
collection of local politicians and businessmen invited by Abu Haider walked
into the living room. [Marvelous. That’s really total security. Since it’s open house for the whole
world, what was all that silly bullshit before about keeping the “long
line of Humvees” hidden in the dark.
Looks like plenty of lies to go around, or maybe just plain stupidity.]
Green said hello, then made his
pitch: ''In order to get Bashir in Abu Ghraib for a very, very long time, I
need one more witness who has seen him put in an IED and attack coalition or
Several of the men promised to
produce witnesses within the week. [For
a bit of Abu Haider’s cash no doubt.
Witnesses are on sale this week.
Just write the script, and they’ll say whatever the foreigner
At least one of the three
Iraqis had promised to become an informant.
Now they were all dead. [Oops.
Looks like somebody informed on the informants.]
Green got the orders from brigade
headquarters: Go find the bodies and then find out who killed them.
1st Lt. Garrett Cathcart, 24, of
Indianapolis, explained: The men had been detained by another company. One had agreed to become an informer in
exchange for their release. They'd been shot in a taxi either by insurgents
because they were traitors or by Shiite militiamen because they were Sunnis.
Green and his men drove to an apartment
complex - home to a mixture of Sunnis and Shiites - where the men had slept the
''The Shiite guys for the most part aren't
going to inform on other Shiites.
They're going to inform on Sunni neighbors,'' said Green, who added that
the same holds true for Sunnis. ''So
you've got to play both sides.''
A funeral was being held for the taxi driver.
His car was there: bullet holes through the windshield, doors and seats. Blood
was smeared all over.
The family said an Iraqi police
lieutenant had come by that morning. He seemed
to be working very hard to solve the case, they said.
Green headed to the Taji police
station. He wanted to speak with the lieutenant, 1st Lt. Nadhum Ajeed.
The police had bad news: On his
way back from investigating the informants' murders, Ajeed had been shot to
Green asked to see Ajeed's file
on the informants. It'd been sent to
Well, Green said, where are the
photographs of the dead informants?
1st Lt. Ayad Ahmed told Green
that there were no photographs.
''Where the . . . are the
pictures, man?'' Green said. ''You guys
always take pictures.''
Ahmed said that, on second
thought, the pictures were with another officer, but he lived far away.
''I think you're lying to
me. I think you have the pictures
here,'' Green said. As for the first,
brilliant fucking deduction. As for the
second, they’re not that stupid.]
Green asked Ahmed if he found it strange that
the lieutenant investigating the deaths had been killed.
''These killings are a coincidence,'' Ahmed
Green went to a smaller office
across the hall, where a group of Iraqi officers was packed around a desk. A large photograph of radical Shiite cleric
Muqtada al Sadr hung on the wall behind them.
On the facing wall, a smaller one showed Sadr at Mecca.
They said the officer who could
answer Green's questions about the deaths was on the way.
A few minutes later, the
officer walked in, saw Green and smiled.
''Oh man, you've got to be . .
. kidding me,'' Green said.
Green's men had arrested the
Iraqi police officer recently for setting up a checkpoint and robbing truck
The officer said he had no
information about the killings.
The next day, Green checked
back with police. There were still no pictures.
''They're being really weird
about it,'' Green said. ''Maybe they killed those guys - I don't know.''
Green's mood was low. When Green's soldiers brought in the
informant who lived near the bridge where Weikel was killed, the man turned out
not to know much. Or at least he wasn't
willing to say much.
''We didn't get what we thought
we would,'' Green said. ''We're sort of
back to square one.''
There was one bright note: Abu Haider, the
informant, had delivered. An eyewitness
came forward to say that he'd seen Bashir placing bombs targeting U.S. convoys. [Of course. As noted by the reporter, he’s
“received hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts from the U.S.
military during the past three years.”
That buys, among other things, all the witnesses you could ever need.]
It looked like Bashir was headed for a long
stay at Abu Ghraib prison.
That, for Green, was something to hold on to. [And that is simply pathetic.]
From The Department Of Microscopic Optimism
the more accurate phrase for Operation Forward Together, "total fucking failure,"
wasn't deemed politically correct enough to use.
Jun 27 2006 By Swopa,Needlenose.com
Some gallows-humor material
from the Associated Press this evening:
The U.S. military issued a
sober assessment Tuesday of the Baghdad security crackdown, saying violence had
decreased slightly but not to "the degree we would like to see" in
the two weeks since 75,000 Iraqi and American troops flooded the capital.
The evaluation came as 18 more Iraqis fell
victim to sectarian and insurgent violence, including five people whose bodies
were found dumped in Baghdad. The U.S.
military also announced the deaths of a Marine and three soldiers; three of the
deaths were west of the capital in volatile Anbar province, an insurgent
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman for
U.S. forces in Iraq, said the overwhelming security operation launched two
weeks ago to rein in violence in Baghdad was moving more slowly than hoped.
"It's going to take some time. We do not see an upward trend. We ... see a slight decrease but not of the
degree we would like to see at this point," he said at a news conference
in the heavily fortified Green Zone.
However, Caldwell added, "we don't see
this as turning into a civil war right now."
"Right now." They don't think the situation in Iraq is
becoming a civil war right now.
Apparently, the more accurate
phrase for Operation Forward Together, "total fucking failure,"
wasn't deemed politically correct enough to use.