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GI Special 4H10: War Reports - August 10, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

8.10.06

Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.

 GI SPECIAL 4H10:

 

[Thanks to Mark Shaprio, who sent this in.]

  

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

  

Three U.S. Soldiers Killed In Anbar

 09 Aug 2006 Reuters

 Three U.S. soldiers were killed in action in the restive Iraqi province of Anbar, the U.S. military said. The three were assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, the military said in a statement.

 

 

Two U.S. Servicemen Missing After Anbar Chopper Crash;

Four Injured

 August 9, 2006 Reuters

 The US military says two US servicemen are missing in Iraq's restive Anbar province after their helicopter crashed.

 The military says the helicopter went down on Tuesday (local time) with six crew on board.  Four survived and are in a stable condition.

 "We are using all the resources available to find our missing comrades," Marine spokesman Major Riccoh Player said in a statement.

 The helicopter, a US Army Blackhawk UH 60 from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, was on an area familiarisation flight.

 

 

Marine Fought For Place In History;

Frederick County Native Was Due Home This Month

Lance Cpl. James W. Higgins Jr., 22, was fatally shot in the chest in Anbar province, his mother said. (Family Photo)

 August 2, 2006 By Nelson Hernandez, Washington Post Staff Writer

 Lance Cpl. James W. Higgins Jr. was fascinated by the past.  His favorite musician was Frank Sinatra; his favorite comedians, Abbott and Costello; his favorite books, histories -- particularly anything about World War II.

 And when the Frederick County native saw his chance to serve his country and become part of history in the making, as part of a new global war, he jumped at it.

 He grabbed his piece of history, but it cost him.  The Pentagon announced Monday that Higgins was killed Thursday in Anbar province, a desert region in western Iraq that is the heartland of the Sunni-led insurgent movement.

 His mother, Deborah Higgins, said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. His unit, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, is at Camp Fallujah, a base about 35 miles west of Baghdad.  The red sign at the camp's gate had been a welcome sight when he returned from missions, his family said.

Higgins, 22, was to return from his tour of duty this month.  He had a first-class ticket that would have taken him from his base at Camp Pendleton, Calif., to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Aug. 26, his family said.

 His body returned to Maryland yesterday. After making funeral arrangements, his relatives went back to their two-story home in Thurmont, a tidy place with an American flag, a lawn, a white picket fence.

 His younger brother, Joseph, 20, was hardly able to speak in anything but a whisper. He held his brother's big, black Casio G-Shock watch, still set eight hours ahead to Iraqi time.

 Pictures of Higgins were piled up on the kitchen table. The family recalled a young man who was naturally disciplined but who had a fun streak.

 Higgins made the honor roll at Catoctin High School, where he graduated in 2003, and earned several awards for his participation in the Civil Air Patrol.  Conscious of his public appearance, he sometimes wore his uniform to class.  He showered, shaved and dressed neatly even for a run to the grocery store, his family said.  He was also intensely competitive, playing football all four years of high school.

 His sister, Melinda Sue, said his final game was memorable: "The guys just wanted to end the season and get on with their lives.  But he wanted to win.  The game was dead, and all of a sudden you just saw James pick up the ball and score a touchdown."

 When he wasn't at school, he was often at home, playing PlayStation 2 and Xbox video games on a 75-inch television or watching TV programs, his mother said.  His hero was R. Lee Ermey, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant who hosts the History Channel show "Mail Call."

 After a brief time at Frederick Community College, Higgins enlisted in the Marines in April 2005, graduating in the top 5 percent of recruits going through boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. When he got the news that he was going to Iraq, he was excited, writing "OFF TO WAR!" on his calendar for Jan. 19.

 "He thought it was an honor to be part of the military," his mother said. "He had his worries, obviously, but he kept saying it'd be all right."

 As he neared the end of his tour, he became eager to come home.  He sent home a photo of him standing next to a Humvee.  His eyes are shadowed, his face harder than in the pictures of him smiling before the war; perhaps because of the bright desert sun, but the symbolism was not lost on his mother.

 When she asked about it, he told her: "This place changes people."

 Her last conversation with him was July 23.  "When he called me Sunday, he told me it was getting really bad," she said. "The danger had escalated so much."

 "Be safe," she remembered telling him.

 

 

Haven Marine Dies In Combat

 August 2, 2006 By Bill Rufty, The Ledger

 LAKELAND: Christian B. Williams, Chris to his friends and fellow workers at Hughes Supply in Winter Haven, loved the Marine Corps.

 From his days at Lake Region High School in the Marine JROTC through re-enlistments, he was a dedicated Marine, rising to the rank of sergeant.

 On Saturday, Williams, 27, of Winter Haven, died in Iraq.

 He, Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19, of Clovis, Calif., and Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, of Wolf Creek, Mont., were killed during combat operations in Al Anbar province, the Department of Defense said in a release Tuesday. Baucus was the nephew of U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, DMontana. 

The three were were assigned to the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

 The military release reporting Williams' death does not explain the depth of feeling he had for his country, the Marines and his family and friends, a close friend said.

 "We have been friends for more than 13 years," said Derrick Lettau. "We were in Marine JROTC together at Lake Region." Williams was a platoon leader in the high school unit, as was Lettau.

 Lettau, who left the Marines on a medical discharge two years ago, said he and Williams had served together briefly in North Carolina, but most of the time they were in different units.

 Through the day Tuesday, customers at Hughes Supply learned the sad news.

 Williams worked in the electrical section of the store during leaves and between stints in the service, said Lettau, who is a fulltime employee at Hughes.

 His parents, Jack and Lisa Williams of Winter Haven, declined to speak Tuesday until learning more about his death, said Lettau, who was acting as spokesman for the family.

 Williams was the fifth member of the military with connections to Polk County to die in Iraq.

 

 

Roadside Bomb That Kills Guardsman Also Injured Another

 Aug 03, 2006 By The Associated Press

 OMAHA: A roadside bomb in Iraq that killed an Army National Guardsman from Pender also injured another Guardsman from Beemer.

 Spc. Benjamin Marksmeier, 20, suffered serious leg wounds in the same attack that killed Spc. Joshua Ford, 20, Monday in An Numaniyah in south-central Iraq, according to family members. The men were riding in the same truck, army officials said.

 Ford and Marksmeier both were members of the Wayne-based Detachment 1, 189th Transportation Company. Marksmeier graduated in 2004 from Wisner-Pilger High School, and Ford graduated in 2004 from Pender High School.

 Marksmeier’s family said they would travel to Texas in the next few days to meet him after he is transported there from Germany. Marksmeier’s brother, Chadwick Marksmeier, 24, serves with the same unit, and traveled with Benjamin Marksmeier to Germany.

 Ford joined the guard while still attending Pender High School and learned to drive heavy trucks.

 Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Wieland, who works full time for the guard at the armory in Wayne, said Tuesday that he was a friend of the Ford family.

 He said Ford loved the guard and even talked three of his friends into joining the 189th. They were among the 180 or so guardsman who were sent to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 One of those friends, Pfc. Jeffrey Meyer of Wayne, was in the same convoy as Ford and Marksmeier when the truck was hit.

 “He just happened to look back in his rearview mirror and saw that it got blown up,” said Meyer’s girlfriend, Jamie Peatrowsky of Omaha. She said she talked to Meyer by telephone on Wednesday.

 “He went over to Josh’s vehicle and pulled him out,” Peatrowsky said.

 The unit was activated in August and landed in Kuwait on Oct. 31, Wieland said.

 Ford was survived by his fiancee, Michelle Frohlich of Pender; his father, Lonnie W. Ford; three sisters, Erin, Jessica and Shawn; grandmother, Ella Petersen of North Bend; and a nephew, William Dyer.

 

 

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO COMPREHENSIBLE REASON TO BE IN THIS EXTREMELY HIGH RISK LOCATION AT THIS TIME, EXCEPT THAT A CROOKED POLITICIAN WHO LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU THERE, SO HE WILL LOOK GOOD.

That is not a good enough reason.

A U.S. soldier aboard an armoured vehicle near the scene of two roadside bomb attacks in the Saidiya district, south of Baghdad July 15, 2006.  REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud (IRAQ)

 

 

New Zealand Mercenary Dies In Iraq Blast

 

10 August 2006 By NICK CHURCHOUSE, Stuff.NZ

 

Te Ina Marokura Ngamata, 37, died when his truck transporting workers was bombed in an attack on Tuesday night.

 

Mr Ngamata was employed by international security firm Armourgroup, the same company that employed six Fijian security guards killed in insurgent attacks on transport convoys since April.

 

Hamilton security firm Red Key International employed staff in Iraq but did not have any New Zealanders there at present, managing director Terry Phelan said.

 

The danger Mr Ngamata faced was just part of a job that attracted people for high pay rates and the challenge of working in a dangerous environment, he said. "We have people there that have lost legs, lost arms, or have been killed. A lot of people have been killed."

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Canadian Killed In Afghan Shooting Incident;

Collision Injures Six More

 

August 09, 2006 KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP)

 

It has been another tragic day for Canadian troops in Afghanistan with the death of one soldier in an apparent shooting accident and injuries to six others in a traffic collision.

 

Military officials say Master Cpl. Jeffrey Scott Walsh, who had only days ago arrived in Afghanistan, was shot and killed in what appears to have been an accidental discharge of a rifle.

 

Lt.-Col. Derek Irwin, the chief of staff to the National Command Element, says Walsh's death is under investigation by the military's National Investigation Service.

 

In another incident earlier, six soldiers were injured when their armoured vehicle slammed into a truck.

 

Two of the soldiers are in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the other four were treated and released.

 

 

Two U.S. Soldiers Wounded In Nuristan Ambush

 

August 9, 2006 Agence France-Presse

 

Taliban militants ambushed coalition forces in mountainous eastern Afghanistan, a US military spokesman said on Wednesday.

 

Two US soldiers and an Afghan soldier were wounded in Tuesday's battle in the remote province of Nuristan, which borders Pakistan, Colonel Tom Collins told a press conference in Kabul.

 

"There was a significant coalition engagement yesterday in Nuristan, in which enemy extremists attacked our forces with rockets and rifle fire," Collins said.

 

Nuristan is one of the provinces where Taliban-led militants are most active. It is a wooded mountainous area where they find it easy to hide.

 

 

Resistance Mounts Night Attack On U.S. Base At Kamdesh

 

August 09, 2006 By Paul Garwood, Associated Press

 

NARAY, Afghanistan

 

Soldiers and jet fighters repelled a coordinated insurgent attack on a new American base early Wednesday, killing 18 militants who were resisting a push by coalition forces into remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

 

The raid on the U.S. base at Kamdesh in the eastern province of Nuristan — one of Afghanistan’s least accessible and wildest regions — was launched after midnight Wednesday by unidentified militants, attacking in three directions from the surrounding forested mountains, using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.

 

The several hundred soldiers at the base, which lies in a small town but backs onto a sheer mountain face, returned fire with mortars and small arms, before fighter jets dropped two 500 pound bombs, ending the one-hour clash.

 

“This is the first large, coordinated attack on our base since we arrived three weeks ago,” said Lt. Joel Rees, 26, of Memphis, Tenn., who joined the battle.

 

“When light broke, we found large crater holes from the RPG attack throughout the base and several tents had bullet holes.”

 

A coalition statement said two U.S. soldiers were wounded, but returned to duty after

 

Kamdesh can only be reached by helicopter.

 

U.S. officials have yet to identify who launched the attack and on Wednesday were seeking leads from the still-wary locals in Kamdesh town. 

 

[Oh.  You don’t suppose it could have been the “wary locals” who launched the attack?  You know how those crazy foreigners are; some of them don’t care to be occupied by a military dictatorship imposed by George Bush. Odd how that is, isn’t it?  T]

 

 

OOPS

 

August 09, 2006 Chris Hawke, ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

In northern Helmand province, British troops accidentally killed an armed Afghan policeman wearing civilian clothes yesterday after mistaking him for an insurgent outside a base in Musa Qula , a British Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

[Thanks to Mark Shaprio, who sent this in.]

 

 

“Our Country Is Turning Into The Very Thing We Created It Against.  I Feel Like Soon We Should Be Taking Up Arms Against It”

[BRING HOME THE 172ND STRYKER COMBAT BRIGADE!]

[http://www.bringhome172nd.org/stryker/]

 

[Thanks to D for sending in, and to Katherin GY for organizing the content.]

 

[Excerpts from: http://www.bringhome172nd.org/stryker/]

 

On July 26th, the men and women of the 172nd Stryker Combat Brigade prepared to end their unit's deployment to Iraq.  This unit of 3,800 Americans had endured the fight for a year, distinguishing itself as an essential and effective factor in bringing stability to the North of Iraq.  A small number of the brigade had taken the first steps back on U.S. soil, arriving to their base near Fairbanks, Alaska, while many others were already in Kuwait waiting to board homebound planes. 

 

With these successes behind them, their flak vests packed, personal items sent stateside, and their Stryker Armored Vehicles turned over to other newly-arrived units, this battle brigade was able to breathe a sigh of relief and prepare to Go Home.

 

The following day, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld gave his approval to extend the 172nd Brigade's deployment in Iraq.  Instead of greeting their loved ones, the Strykers will help to fight the insurgency in Baghdad.

 

Below are the voices of some of the people affected by this re-deployment...

 

***************************************************

 

“I Feel Like We're In A Nightmare, And That Our Country Is Turning Into The Very Thing We Created It Against.  I Feel Like Soon We Should Be Taking Up Arms Against It”

 

Our hearts were stomped on, their morale was sucked out like a black hole, and now, they question everything their government wants them to do.

 

Submitted Thu 03 August , 1:15 AM CST

 

I got off of the phone today with my husband in the 172nd Stryker Brigade.

 

He says all of the soldiers he sees walking around are dazed and detached.

 

He himself is more depressed and listless than I have ever heard him be before.

 

It's not the extension, it's that our government led us all to believe they were coming home without a doubt.  They got them ready, even sat them on their planes and then "whoops!  We were shortsighted, you guys gotta pay for that now. Let's go to Baghdad!"

 

Our guys are in serious danger because they were literally traumatized, ALL of us were, and still are.

 

How can our military in this day and age, seriously reflect their lack of respect for our soldiers so blatantly?

 

You see it daily when you work for them, but this was just unbelievable and the last straw.

 

These men and women were moments from home.  In fact, it was just a couple of days before the vast majority of them were to be home, when this news was sprung on all of us. 

 

Our hearts were stomped on, their morale was sucked out like a black hole, and now, they question everything their government wants them to do.

 

Instead of being home with the people they love, the people they worked their butts off to come home to for roughly 365 days, they have to think, "Now I have another chance to die for Iraq, a country I want nothing more to do with."

 

This move was so careless, so thoughtless, and so painful. 

 

I want to kill someone myself when I hear how sad and just overall beaten my husband sounds.  It is my damn turn to take care of him!  To make up for the neglect he and all of them have received!

 

The military was shortsighted and should not have turned to these guys, especially not for Iraq.

 

Iraq will never take care of itself until we tell it we're moving on.

 

I hear in the news George "desk jockey" Casey Jr. telling the media, not us, empty promises regarding our brigade.  It's all a media show.

 

 I also hear, and sadly it has manipulated some people, that our guys are just so good and that's why they are being punished.  Is this brigade going to be called on every time something needs to be done?  Yeah, they're good, but they are now DONE mentally and physically.

 

I just can't believe the awful life they have catapulted our guys into, when they thought they were finally free of it.

 

No, not only are we not free of it, but they have made it 100% worse by sending our precious guys to Baghdad of all places.

 

I have lost all faith in this government.  I feel it is tyrannical, and it hides itself from our voices when it messes up.

 

Nothing could make up for the feeling they have put us through except for allowing our guys to come home.

 

The government better get that rotation going fast. 

 

My husband says he can't even imagine putting his armor back on and going out there for missions again, for Iraq.  But he has to.

 

I only hope the media helps us, instead of trying to make him feel guilty when he gets down there with all the havoc they are expected to wreak.

 

If he could be home, he would.

 

Damn our government, and damn our "desk jockey" military. They have no idea and I will not stop harassing them until my sweetheart is home.

 

Iraq is not worth anymore of us.

 

The biggest point of this outrage is, they were coming home the week they found out about this horrific plan. 

 

They were packed, stored away important items that now they can't get to, they sold most of their equipment, they signed over their strykers (my husband still hasn't gotten replacement strykers), they made plans with those of us that actually CARE for their well being.

 

We all finally started to relax, not suspecting AT ALL that the military would say "hang tight, you're going to Baghdad".

 

How sick and unhealthy this move is. 

 

I only pray that the government gets heat for this move until they decide to expedite our soldier's returns.

 

All of my husband's superiors are also mad.

 

They need to put on happy faces for their jobs, but when there isn't a big whig to answer to, they are listless like the others.

 

My husband's platoon Sgt. said to them "make no mistake about it, this whole move is to save money".

 

While that sounds crazy given all the things they need to send back up, it shows the conspiracy theories about why something so ridiculous would happen.  Meaning, yes, it is ridiculous.  And they all feel that way.

 

I used to support this administration completely, now I just can't believe it.

 

Ever since my husband was first deployed, I would listen to Bush talk about caring for our soldiers and just laugh, a very sad laugh.  I knew then and I, without a doubt, know now, that if he knew the pain and suffering he has caused for his agenda, he wouldn't be smiling.  If he knew how irreplaceable each soldier he "owns" is to someone else in this world, he would not smile.

 

I feel like we're in a nightmare, and that our country is turning into the very thing we created it against.  I feel like soon we should be taking up arms against it.

 

I feel betrayed and my husband is abused.  All he and I want out of life is to be alive and together, everything else is cake.

 

Now he has been ripped away for nearly another deployment, to the most dangerous place in Iraq, to be the main assault against it, and to still have no commitment from the government of when he might come home.  The military has made sure to leave every statement open ended so that they don't have to commit.

 

All of this, for Iraq.  Not America anymore, but Iraq.

 

 It is not our job to police their streets.

 

I'm ashamed of our government. No one is telling us what's going on, it's silent where my husband and I am. 

 

The calm before the storm.  The storm that they don't have much left to give to.  I am scared for them.  They are not ready, they are distraught and tired.

 

How careless our government was, and that is why we are outraged.

 

Bring them home if you have moral bones in your bodies!  These are your SOLDIERS!

 

*********************************************************

 

“One Year Is *More* Than Enough.

Bring These Poor Soldiers Home To Their Families!”

 

Submitted Thu 03 August , 1:30 AM CST

 

I suppose I am fortunate to be able to say that my fiance is not deployed with 172nd. However, my fiance is currently 7 months into a 12 month deployment down range.

 

This is his second tour of Iraq.  The first time he went, his 12 months turned into 15 months.  Now, as he's in the middle of his second we are all crossing our fingers that another extension doesn't occur.

 

I just wanted to say that I find the last minute extension of 172nd absolutely appalling.

 

It amazes me that some divisions end up going home 2 or 3 months early.. and yet still certain others are being extended. One year is *more* than enough.

 

Bring these poor soldiers home to their families!

 

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 inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

Help Lt. Ehren Watada Put The War On Trial!

 

Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada http://thankyoult.live.radicaldesigns.org/content/view/105/

 

On August 17, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada will face a pre-trial hearing for refusing to deploy to Iraq.

 

“It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. The war and what we’re doing over there is illegal,” explained the first military officer to publicly take such a stand.

 

On August 16, the day prior to the hearing, The Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada are calling for a “National Day of Education” to pose the question, “Is the war illegal?”  This day can also serve to anchor a “week of outreach” leading up to the pre-trial hearing.

 

In response, the Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada are calling for a “National Day of Education” to address the question, “Is the Iraq War Illegal?”

 

On Wednesday, August 16 – the day prior to Lt. Watada’s pretrial court hearing – we are asking friends to organize house parties or larger public gatherings to look at the facts. Students and teachers in summer session can hold campus and classroom teach-ins using Lt. Watada’s stand as a catalyst for discussion.

 

Topics to cover include:

Is this a war of aggression as outlined by the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg principles?

 

Has the U.S. military’s conduct in Iraq amounted to war crimes?

 

Does the war violate the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Act?

 

Do military personal have a right to refuse illegal orders?

 

In addition to education, people will also be taking action of August 16.  At the Interstate 5, Exit 119 bridge at the entrance to Fort Lewis, Washington supporters will gather at 4:00pm with a 6:00pm rally.

 

Friends across the country are also encouraged to use this opportunity to stage a rally, vigil or freeway bannering.  This is another step towards a mass mobilization at Fort Lewis during Lt. Watada’s court martial in the fall.

 

Help Lt. Ehren Watada put the war on trial!

 

************************************

 

From The Troops And Iraq Veterans In Support Of Lt. Watada

 

 

J.P. U.S. Marine LAV Gunner

 

I just wanted to let you know Lt. Watada that I admire your decision and have more respect for you than any other member of the military right now.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with your position and wish you the best.

 

Active duty Marine, Light Armored Vehicle gunner, completed two Iraq tours.

 

**********************************

 

Sr Airman, USAF, Camp Sather, Baghdad Int'l Airport

 

Lt. Watada, I would just like to say that you are a brave man for doing what you have done.

 

I am currently serving in Iraq for the second time in two years, in what I also believe is an illegal war.

 

Unlike you, I chose not to pick a battle and to finish out my four year enlistment without conflict.

 

I have less than a year before I am free of my moral burdens and count down every one of them. Thank you for raising awareness about this war, and thank you for your selfless act.

 

Name withheld on request.

 

****************************************

 

“Lt. Watada, Along With Every Other Service Member Who Has The Courage To Stand Up And Say No To This Illegal War Are MY WAR HEROES”

Cloy Richards, US Marine Iraq War Infantry/Artillery

 

 

I was a Corporal in the Marine Corps.  I finished active duty a year ago.  I saw extensive combat while serving with 11th Marines and 7th Marines during my two tours in Iraq.

 

Before my unit left for Iraq, my roommate filed a conscientous objection.

 

This young Marine was an extremely motivated hard-charging devil dog.  He wanted to kill kill kill for his country and for freedom and he spent almost all of his free time training himself. Because he was so dedicated I couldn't understand why he would object to war but I accepted his opinion and gave my support.

 

Everyone else in the unit gave him an extremely hard time for it.  He was called names like coward and traitor and a entire dictionary full of obscenities for standing up against the war. When his objection was denied, he went AWOL.

 

While the rest of us were in Iraq from time to time his name would be brought up and the trash-talking would start up again.  I was his roommate and I felt I had to defend him, so I would.

 

The real reason I was standing up for him was because he had the courage to stand up for what he believed in no matter what.  He is my one true war hero because despite every adversity, this young man managed to think clearly and do the right thing.

 

Lt. Watada, along with every other service member who has the courage to stand up and say no to this illegal war are MY WAR HEROES.

 

Thank you Lt. Watada for standing up for me and every veteran. I admire your courage and patriotism. I wish I was brave enough to stand up and say no when it really counted. Instead I said OK and went along with the lies I was told.

 

Thank you Sir. 

 

********************************************

 

“Hey LT, Thanks For Standing Up For All Of Us”

Clifton Hicks, US Army Iraq War tanker

 

Hey LT, thanks for standing up for all of us, hopefully other junior officers will be inspired by your actions and do the right thing as well.

 

Jail is going to suck but at least you won't be in Iraq!

 

You've done something to be proud of man, you're setting an excellent example for every soldier in the armed forces.

 

History will prove that you were right. Camp Slayer, Iraq 2005 - US Army 1/1 Cav 

 

**************************************

 

“I Feel That Each Soldier Is Justified In His Position To Refuse To Fight In This Illegal War”

Garett Reppenhagen, US Army Iraq War sniper

 

Thank you Lt. Watada.

 

I was a sniper in the 1st Infantry Division and spent one year at FOB Scunion in Baquaba Iraq.

 

I went to war believing that I had an obligation to my country because I signed a contract and gave an oath that I would be the weapon of my democracy. After my experience in combat I firmly believe that that social contract has been broken.

 

America has a responsibility to use force only as a last resort option, when all other peaceful solutions have been exhausted.  The preemptive assault on Iraq was rushed in its use and planning.  Soldiers were not properly trained or given the equipment to go to war. 

 

We were told that Iraq had WMDs and that Saddam was linked to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, both were proven to be lies.  The fact that we invaded without the vote of congress make the entire conflict unconstitutional.

 

I feel that each soldier is justified in his position to refuse to fight in this illegal war.  It is leaders like Lt. Watada whose responsibility is to protect the lives of his men and to live up to the Army core values.

 

With his actions he exemplifies LOYALTY to the nation he loves, DUTY to the Constitution he swore to defend, RESPECT for his fellow man, SELFLESS SERVICE to stand by his convictions while facing UCMJ punishment, HONOR to live by the standards of the Armed Forces, INTEGRITY to do what moral and honest and PERSONAL COURAGE to become a leader despite the risks to his career and character.

 

Thank you for your service,

Garett Reppenhagen

Iraq Veteran, Sniper 1st Infantry Division

 

********************************************

 

Prentice N Reid, US Army Iraq War Veteran

 

Thank you Lt. Watada for your immense courage faced with so much opposition I only hope all of us can find the balls to stand up for truth when the time comes you not only risked your reputation but also potentially your freedom for truth, and for this we all salute you sir!

 

********************************************

 

Joshua Dawson, US Army Iraq War Infantry

 

Dear Lt. Watada;

 

The Aina has your back!  The Hawai’i Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War stands firmly beside you.  You are a living definition of Integrity!

 

Should you need anything at all, just ask.  Mahalo Nui Loa and God Bless.

 

Dawson served in Iraq from January 2004 to January 2005, opting out of leave for rest and relaxation.  As a radio man with the Army's 25th Infantry Division, he spoke to his superiors about his opposition to the war, and told them he didn’t want to take vacation time away because he might not return.

 

******************************************

 

Harvey Tharp III, US Navy Iraq War Veteran

 

Speaking from experience, I fully support the actions of Lt. Watada in refusing to fight in this unjust and illegal war.

 

I was deployed to Iraq from October of 2003 to March of 2004. Based on what I saw there and my research into the war and its causes I became convinced that I could not voluntarily return to Iraq.

 

I resigned my commission in protest of the war, and fortunately for me the Navy accepted it. Had they declined to do so I would be in the exact same position Lt. Watada finds himself in right now.

 

****************************************

 

Luis A Irizarry, US Navy Iraq War Veteran

 

Keep on going!  I did not know how illegal it was until i was there

 

MORE:

 

“The Military Project Wishes To Extend Its Support For Lt. Watada

 

The following statement was sent to the Thank you LT.org website this am:

 

The Military Project wishes to extend its support for Lt. Watada’s principled stand against the war in Iraq.

 

It is of great importance to support anti-war troops and give aid and comfort to those against this war.

 

For this work to have maximum effect it is necessary to demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops not only from Iraq but Afghanistan as well and to reject the term “war on terror” as any form of valid description of reality. 

 

Those words are nothing less than a façade for imperial invasion and occupation.

 

The Military Project

 

 

 

Shocking!  Shocking!!

Returning Iraq Vets Shifting Their Anger To Bush And/Or Their “Superiors”

 

08/08/06 By CLAUDIA PINTO, Staff Writer, The Tennessean

 

The military says it has taken new steps to help soldiers get treatment for emotional and psychological problems resulting from warfare.

 

One Clarksville therapist who has treated hundreds of soldiers says she believes the military is not doing enough.

 

"It terrifies me," said Polly Coe, a marriage and family therapist who has been counseling Fort Campbell soldiers for two years.  "I just took a vacation before they get back, so that I could be ready to treat them."

 

Coe is concerned that the military limits off-base, private therapy sessions, which do not go on soldiers' records.

 

Coe, who has an off-base private practice, says the soldiers she sees typically face problems of substance abuse, road rage, nightmares, flashbacks, depression and violence.

 

The most common factor among them, she says, is anger.

 

"Anger keeps them alert.  It's a survival tool.  They come home, and they can't turn it off," Coe said.  "There is no enemy, so they shift it to their wife and kids.  Or Bush.  Or their superiors." 

 

[What lame bullshit.  Yes, there is an enemy, and some these veterans understand perfectly who their enemy is.  That’s why they shift the anger to Bush and their “superiors.”  And anybody who pretends to be doing PTSD counseling who tries to tell a vet he or she should not be enraged at Bush and their “superiors” for sending them off to fight in this evil war for oil and empire doesn’t have the common sense to counsel a piece of toast.  

 

[If the proposed therapy discussed here is telling people to “turn off” their completely justified anger, that’s like telling somebody not to breathe, eat, or piss.  It’s stupid, pointless, condescending, and disastrous.

 

[Being enraged at betrayal is profoundly healthy, and healing.  The Vietnam Vets who organized to fight the government tended to say sane.  And the ones who bought into bullshit like Coe is spouting about “turning off” their anger, whatever that silly phrase means, tended to have the worst problems.  But then if Coe helped them organize to fight Bush and the bi-partisan Imperial government in Washington DC, well, maybe no more government payments to Coe, right?  And after all, what’s more important?  The vets or the paychecks?  Duh.]

 

 

British Government Finds Clever New Way To Kill Their Soliers:

Bake Them To Death In IED Magnets

 

August 10, 2006 By Michael Evans, Times Newspapers Ltd.

 

DOUBT was expressed by MPs yesterday as to whether British troops in Iraq were properly structured, equipped and trained for their role in an increasingly dangerous operation.

 

The Commons Defence Committee said that soldiers in the back of Warrior armoured cars were having to endure temperatures as high as 60C (140F), which medical staff on the ground had told them could prove fatal.

 

However, Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, had told the committee during its inquiry into conditions for troops in Iraq that there were no plans to equip Warriors and other vehicles with air conditioning.

 

An alternative solution had been considered: to provide each soldier sitting in the back of a closed-up Warrior with coolant packs worn around their body armour.  [This is NOT a parody.]

 

The committee urged the MoD to look again at installing air conditioning in the Warriors.  The MPs also criticised the MoD for failing to provide enough helicopters.

 

They also pointed out that troops were still relying on armoured Land Rovers to get around on routine patrols, which they said were particularly vulnerable to roadside bomb attacks.  

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

August 9, 2006 Reuters

 

In Basra, an Iraqi Army colonel was shot dead on his way to work in the southern city, the Army said.

 

Guerrillas killed Army Colonel Qasim Abdul Qadir on his way to work in Basra, Iraq's second city, 550 km (340 miles) south of Baghdad, the army said.

 

Guerrillas  captured two Iraqi contractors working with the U.S. military on Tuesday in the oil refinery city of Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad.

 

Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb beside their patrol on the main road between Hawija and Kirkuk, police said.

 

Three policemen were killed and another seven wounded when a car bomber rammed his car into a police station in the former tourist area of Habaniya, 85 km (51 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

 

The body of a policeman was found in Mosul, 390 km (24 miles) north of Baghdad, a source at the morgue said.  The policeman had been shot.

 

Three beheaded corpses were found on the side of the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk, police said.  One of the dead men was Brigadier General Salamah Mohamed Latif, supply director in the Iraqi border police.  The other two were his bodyguards.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Truth Is Horrendous

 

From: Richard Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: August 07, 2006

Subject: The Truth Is Horrendous

 

        The Truth Is Horrendous

 

The primary reason a soldier ends up in

a pill bottle is because he or she believes

there is something dreadfully wrong with

them.

 

PTSD is really a normal reaction to

an insane situation.

 

Soldiers come back

from war, and are never allowed to bear

witness to their experiences. The public

wants to call them heroes, while many of the

veterans feel a vague sense of being used.

 

The public never wants to hear the real truth,

so they can never be a significant part of the

soldier's healing process.

 

In so many cases, when

the soldier returns home, everyday life back in

the States makes no sense.

 

The veteran can have trouble

relating to his friends and family.

 

Society wants to put the whole war in the past, and just

move on with life. 

 

Little do these people realize,

there is no separation from the soldier and the

war. What they experienced, and especially lost

during the war, will alter their lives forever.

 

The general public will never understand this--never.

 

On top of all that pain and suffering, will be the

greatest secret of all: " Betrayal."

 

This is the silent killer, the demon nobody wants to talk about

at first.

 

This is the pathology that the American

psyche will hide with the greatest of fear.

 

This is the big moral question that no one wants to face.

 

This was the biggest lie I had to face from Vietnam.

 

After what seemed like an eternal search, you finally

ask yourself, Why Was I There?

 

Why am I having a

hard time getting answers to this question?

 

Why did

Willie and Bobby have to die?

 

Why do I now want

to go on a rampage?

 

That is when you come face to

face with,

Political Incest.

 

Mike Hastie

Vietnam Veteran

August 7, 2006

 

Photo from the I-R-A-Q  (I  Remember  Another  Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.  (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net)  T)

 

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.

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE/LEBANON

 

 

UNCONQUERED

UNCONQUERABLE

Lebanese chant anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans during a funeral in Beirut, August 9, 2006. (Sharif Karim/Reuters)

 

 

The Master Race Purifying Their Environemnt

A Lebanese civil defence worker removes the body of a toddler from the wreckage of a building August 8, 2006 that was hit by an Israeli raid in Beirut. The attack which took place yesterday on Chiyah, a residential neighbourhood in Beirut, killed 13 people and wounded dozens according to police.  REUTERS/Issam Kobeisy (LEBANON)

 

 

The Latest Cowardly Zionist Terror Tactic:

Attacking Funeral Processions Of Those They Killed Previously

 

August 09, 2006 Juancole.com/

 

The Israeli air force hit civilians at Ghaziyah in the south on Monday, killing 14.

 

When the victims' families and friends held a funeral procession on Tuesday, the Israelis hit them again, killing 6 more innocent civilians.

 

The Israelis killed another five innocents, these being fruit packers and truckers near the border with Syria.

 

In the south, the Israeli invaders fought hard battles as they moved as much as 7 miles into Lebanon, losing two reservists in firefights with the formidable Hizbullah.

 

So the Israelis warned the southern Shiites that they should flee north, otherwise these ordinary civilians would be considered fair game. 

 

So thousands flee north to Beirut and go to schools and other shelters in Shiite districts like Shiyah.

 

So then the Israelis bomb Shiyah.

 

If they were going to be bombed anyway, they may as well have stayed home.

 

 

The Master Race Declares All Lebanese In Vehicles South Of The Litani River Will Be Exterminated

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery  [Forteantimes.com]

 

August 9, 2006 By Jonathan Finer and Edward Cody, Washington Post Foreign Service

 

Israeli forces dropped leaflets that residents found in the streets of Tyre on Tuesday morning, warning of attacks on any cars on the roads in southern Lebanon. The leaflet was addressed to the "people of Lebanon living south of the Litani River."

 

"Any vehicle of any type that moves south of the Litani River will be targeted because it will be suspected of carrying rockets and other military equipment," it said.  "Be warned that anyone traveling in any vehicle will be exposed to great danger."

 

[Were any entity to declare that everyone in vehicles living in Israel north of Tel Aviv were to be exterminated, the screaming about a new holocaust would be deafening.  T]

 

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org  The occupied nation is Palestine.  The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  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)

 

 

GI Special distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without charge or profit for educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  GI Special has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is GI Special endorsed or sponsored by the originators.  This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research, education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice Go to: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

 

If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.





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