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GI Special 4H29: Cornered Rat - August 29, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

8.29.06

Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

 GI SPECIAL 4H29:

 

CORNERED RAT

The Traitor Rumsfeld Aug. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

 Rumsfeld Caught Telling More Stupid Lies:

Meets With Families Of Soldiers Held In Iraq Against Their Will;

Press Shut Out, But Soldiers Wife Tapes And Spreads It;

“A ‘Death Watch’ For Soldiers”

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

 8.27.06 By ROBERT BURNS, The Associated Press & By Kristin Roberts, FAIRBANKS, Alaska (Reuters)

 In a lively but polite give-and-take at a meeting in an Army gymnasium, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fielded questions Saturday from wives and other family members of Alaska-based soldiers. [“Lively but polite” means they didn’t rip his face off. This time.]

 The Pentagon decided last month to keep about 3,000 Alaska-based soldiers of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq, extending their tours and returning more than 300 who had already gone back home.

 The extended deployment poses a hardship for both troops who have been sent to one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq, and their families in Alaska.

 The delay has also put families and the U.S. Army on what one defense official called a "death watch" for soldiers who otherwise would have been on their way home if not already there.

 Rumsfeld, who received a mixed reception from a crowd that offered more applause for the questions asked than the answers provided, praised the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

 The estimated 700 to 800 family members of soldiers whose combat tours in Iraq were abruptly extended just as they prepared to return home this month peppered U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with tough questions, some that he could not answer, at a closed-door meeting in Alaska on Saturday.

 "It is something we don't want to do," Rumsfeld told several hundred family members who gathered in a gymnasium at nearby Ft. Wainwright, home of the 172nd Stryker Brigade. The unit's deployment to Iraq was extended by up to four months to bolster U.S. firepower in the Baghdad area.

 "But in this case we had to," he added, referring to the decision made in late July to extend the 172nd.

 Questions from family members ranged from personal appeals for help on securing short-time leave for soldiers to broader issues, such as whether another brigade was being trained to replace the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in case the intended improvements in Baghdad are not achieved by mid-December, a question that received thunderous applause from the crowd and calls for a yes or no response.

 The defense secretary said he could not give them a definitive answer.

 "I wish I had a magic wand and the power to say, 'yes.' But I don't," he told them.

 Reporters, including five who traveled with Rumsfeld from Washington, D.C., were not permitted to cover his meeting with the family members, which lasted about an hour. But a wife who made a video tape of the event showed it to reporters afterward.

 One wife asked Rumsfeld why the 172nd was doing house-to-house searches in Baghdad instead of the kinds of combat operations they are trained to perform. Rumsfeld disputed her assertion, saying that 95 percent of the house-clearing operations are being done by Iraqi troops.

 [What disgusting arrogance. As if the families aren’t in touch with their soldiers, and don’t know what they’re doing.

 [This is the kind of blind contempt for the common sense and intelligence of real people that the Rumsfeld’s of the world make a habit. It’s not so much that they lie as that they tell such stupid, obvious lies, like passing a plate of shit, and saying, “Eat this, it’s really good.”

 [And they have not a clue that their lies heap up and heap up, like some combustibles destined to explode, until they do explode, and, with the exploding, the lies and the Rumsfeld’s must vanish, having no useful purpose, except to have fueled the explosion called “revolution.”]

 "I think it was a show," said Jennifer Davis, the wife of one soldier in Iraq. She declined to give her husband's name. [There it is. Let that be engraved on the tombstone of the Empire.]

 In an interview during his flight to Fairbanks, Rumsfeld said he saw no reason for the soldiers or their families to be angry at him. [But military families will not be told by any kind of Rumsfeld how they should or should not feel, especially whether they should or should not be angry with him. What haughty ignorance and contempt he displays for them. It’s reminiscent of the posture of the last Louis King of France, who was beheaded for his ignorant condescension, and the last Czar of the Russians, executed also for the same kind of scornful dismissions.]

 "I don't put it in that context," he said. "These people are all volunteers. They all signed up. They all are there doing what they're doing because they want to do it." [In that case, then let every one of them who wants to leave this minute come home. Unless this is only another stupid Rumsfeld lie, marching in column formation with all the lies that preceded it, and all the stupid lies to follow it. Does he actually expect not to be called out for this?]

 Asked why reporters would not be permitted to cover his meeting with the family members, Rumsfeld at first replied, "I don't have any idea. I haven't addressed the subject." Later he said he makes it a practice to make all family meetings private.

 [He can’t even manage his small lies anymore. It’s time for this simulation of a human to disappear into whatever sewer generated it, and be obeyed no more.]

 A newly formed Alaska chapter of the Military Families Speak Out group issued a statement in Fairbanks saying it would make a public call for the Bush administration to bring home the 172nd and all other U.S. troops.

 It quoted Jennifer Davis of Anchorage, whose husband is a member of the 172nd. "I am totally frustrated, disappointed and heart broken," she said in the statement. "Just when I thought we were going to be able to resume a ‘normal’ life and when I thought the nightmare was over, the nightmare was extended."

 [In fairness, let no one say he accomplished nothing. He accomplished magic: where there was no organized opposition, now there is, and angry, and spreading. So Rumsfeld has done his bit, sowing the wind and the dragons’ teeth, and see who comes forth to face him down.

 [They have seen him, and what he is, and above all, seen that he is only what he is, not something bigger, wrapped in media puffery. There came a day when the poor and the working classes of Paris marched on the King’s palace at Versailles, and breaking in, and seeing the King, found not some exalted personage, but only a stupid, arrogant man. And that was the end of him.]

 The brigade's tour was extended by up to 120 days, bringing them close to a Christmas return date. Rumsfeld said he would make no promises that the full brigade would be back home by the holidays.

 "I'd love to be Santa Claus. I'm not," he told reporters. [And what can he do if they decide to take themselves home at Christmas, or at least decide to refuse their work in Baghdad, and instead of kicking down Iraqis’ doors, meet and demand to come home immediately? That will be the end of Rumsfeld, and perhaps more, and welcome.]

 If it turned out that by December, U.S. commanders in Iraq felt they needed an unscheduled infusion of troops, "our first choice obviously would be to have them be someone other than the people we just extended," Rumsfeld said.

 "But I'm not going to get into the promises business. That isn't my style."

 Rumsfeld's visit to Fairbanks lured curious onlookers, one of whom yelled to the defense secretary to "get us out of Iraq." "I know the feeling," he yelled back. [Mark that. He is greeted with public yelling. And, exasperated enough, people will have done with yelling only, and will do somewhat more.]

 

MORE:

 

Loony Rumsfeld Complains That Terrorists Manipulate U.S. Media;

 [Thanks to David Honish, who sent this in.]

 8.28.06 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

 "They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

 In his remarks at Fallon he did not offer any new examples of media manipulation; he put unusual emphasis, however, on the negative impact it is having on Americans in an era of 24-hour news.

 [If terrorists really could control the media, he’d have nothing to complain about. The media would carry only happy reports favoring Rumsfeld and Bush and their war of terror, 24/7.]

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

4 U.S. Soldiers Killed By Bomb

 

Aug 28 The Associated Press

 

Four American soldiers were killed when their vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb in 3 pm Sunday north of Baghdad, the U.S. military command said Monday.

 

The deaths happened Sunday, a military statement said without elaborating.

 

 

Nebraska Sgt. Dies

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey J. Hansen, 31, of Cairo, Neb., died Aug. 27, 2006, of injuries suffered during a Humvee accident near Balad, Iraq, on Aug. 21, 2006. (AP Photo/ Nebraska National Guard)

 

 

MND BAGHDAD SOLDIER KILLED BY SMALL-ARMS FIRE

 

8/28/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 06-08-02c

 

BAGHDAD: A Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday by small-arms fire in eastern Baghdad.

 

 

Bomb Claims Superiorite

 

August 28th, 2006 The Daily Telegram

 

Superior native Kenneth Cross, 21, was killed by a roadside bomb Sunday in Iraq, according to Gerald Nelson, a cousin.

 

Recently married and residing in the state of Washington, he had served one year in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Baghdad.

 

Nelson grew up with Cross, who said his family is in shock.

 

He becomes the second Superiorite killed while serving in Iraq.

 

Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Van Alstine suffered fatal wounds in February from a roadside bomb. Services for Cross are pending.

 

 

Marine From Milford Killed

 

August 26, 2006 The New York Times Company

 

HARTFORD, Conn.: A marine from Connecticut was killed in combat Friday in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday.

 

Cpl. Jordan C. Pierson, 21, of Milford, died during combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division in Plainville.

 

Pierson was the second marine from the 25th Marine Regiment to be killed in three weeks. Lance Cpl. Kurt Dechen, 24, of Springfield, Vt., was on a foot patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, on Aug. 3 when his unit came under fire and he was shot.

 

Thirty-two servicemen and women and civilians with Connecticut ties have died since March 2002 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Pierson and another serviceman were hit with shrapnel earlier this year after a grenade exploded near them, The Hartford Courant reported in May.

 

Roberto Diaz, of Manchester, said he trained with Pierson in California and last saw him nine months ago.

 

"He was an excellent marine," he said. "He did his job to the fullest."

 

 

Guardsman Dies Of Accident Injuries

 

08/28/06 Associated Press

 

LINCOLN, Neb. A Nebraska National Guard soldier from Cairo dies of injuries from a vehicle accident in Iraq.

 

Major General Roger Lempke said today that Staff Sergeant Jeffrey J- Hansen died yesterday at a U-S- hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

 

The 31-year-old Hansen is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his father, Robert Hansen of Bertrand.

 

A news release from the Guard said Hansen and three other members of the 1st Squadron, 167th Cavalry Regiment were injured on August 21st when their Humvee turned over off a berm and fell into a canal near Camp Anaconda north of Baghdad.

 

The Guard says one of the other soldiers has already returned to duty. The other two are still being treated.

 

 

Relative Confirms Two Rivers Soldier Killed

 

August 28, 2006 TWO RIVERS, Wis. (AP)

 

A 21-year-old soldier from Two Rivers has been killed in Iraq, his aunt confirmed Monday.

 

Army Pfc. Shaun Novak was killed Sunday when some sort of an explosion happened while he was riding in an armored vehicle, his aunt, Sheila Halverson, said Monday.

 

She did not know what unit he was serving in, but said it was out of Fort Hood, Texas and he had been in the infantry.

 

Novak is survived by his father, Randy, a Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department deputy; his mother, Brenda, an employee of the Manitowoc County Human Services Department; and a brother, Danny, 15, who enters Two Rivers High School this fall, Halverson said.

 

Shaun Novak enlisted in the Army in 2004 and was shipped to Iraq in December of 2005, his aunt said.

 

“Shaun felt like he should serve his country. We're all very proud of him,'' Halverson said.

 

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc County Center for a year after graduating from Two Rivers High School. He had planned to study accounting or marketing after his discharge from the military, his aunt said.

 

 

Bomb Kills Soldier

Jeffrey and Mary Loa

 

August 23, 2006 The Honolulu Advertiser

 

Over the past year, three Loa brothers saw duty in Iraq.

 

Their father, Duke Loa, who had a greater chance than most of hearing the news every soldier's parent dreads, last week learned that his son, Army Staff Sgt. Jeffrey S. Loa, 32, was killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi.

 

Although Jeffrey S. Loa grew up in American Samoa, and much of his family is there, he has a sister in Wai'anae and considered Hawai'i to be his second home, relatives said.

 

"It's still surreal. I'm trying to accept it, but I know he's in a better place," said his sister, Tanya Bishop.

 

From American Samoa, Duke Loa said, "Considering the loss of my son, I'm surprised that I took it fairly well."

 

Loa was killed last Wednesday when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded while he was on foot patrol. The married man was with the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment out of Baumholder, Germany.

 

He was on his first deployment to Iraq and had been in the country for about nine months, family members said.

 

With Loa's death, 108 service members with Hawai'i ties have died as a result of injuries received in Iraq. Another 29 have been killed in Afghanistan.

 

Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province and part of the Sunni Triangle, is considered one of the most dangerous places in Iraq. Support for the insurgency there runs high.

 

Bishop said the military didn't tell the family anything other than that Loa was killed by a roadside bomb.

 

Among those suffering the loss is Loa's wife, Mary, who had moved back to Kansas to be with her family during the deployment, Duke Loa said.

 

Noting that her brother married a year and half ago, Bishop added, "He would have been a great father because he was like a second dad to my kids."

 

In April, Jeffrey Loa sent some photos with the message, "Hello family, these are some pictures of us, man I am soooo hot and fine, love u all." Her brother had a sense of humor, but he was quiet, and not one for confrontation, Bishop said.

 

Duke Loa said, "Ask him a question and you'll get a smile from him before you get a direct answer."

 

Jeffrey S. Loa was the oldest of three brothers, all of whom had enlisted in the Army. Jason Loa was in Egypt after being in Iraq earlier this year, and brother Monty had been on deployment to Iraq, but is now back for the funeral.

 

Jeffrey S. Loa's stepbrother, Lloyd Mageo, is stationed at Schofield Barracks. "The younger ones wanted to follow each other (into the Army)," Bishop said.

 

Jeffrey S. Loa had been in the Army about nine years, but there was a gap in between when he had got out and then rejoined, family members said. He'll be buried in American Samoa, his father said.

 

"He joined the armed forces, so (going to Iraq) was part of his job," said Duke Loa, who also served in the Army. "The Samoans feel that it is an honor to serve in the military as part of their service to the (United States)."

 

 

Mortars Hit U.S. Consulate In Hilla;

Casualties Not Announced

 

Aug 28, (VOI)

 

Four mortar shells slammed on the U.S. consulate in Iraqi town of Hilla on Monday, Babel province.

 

The mortars hit the consulate in Babel hotel located in northern Hilla, a security source in Babel police department said.

 

The U.S. side did not reveal the extent of damage, the source, who declined to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

 

 

Helping Recruit For Armed Resistance As Usual:

More Civilians Slaughtered By Occupation Forces As Street Fighting Breaks Out In Baghdad

 

August 28. 2006 By Ellen Knickmeyer, The Washington Post

 

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman, confirmed seven Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday night in what Johnson said was a street battle between American forces and insurgents in Baghdad.

 

It began when a bomb exploded near American troops in a Stryker armored vehicle in the mostly Sunni west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghaziliyah, a district where U.S. forces have beefed up their presence in an effort to quell sectarian violence.

 

Insurgents opened fire with grenade launchers and guns after the bomb hit the Stryker, Johnson said. U.S. forces returned fire, wounding four attackers, whom Americans took into custody, Johnson said. He said it appeared the civilians had been caught in the cross-fire.

 

A resident at the scene gave a different account, saying all seven, including a family of five traveling together, were killed when U.S. forces opened fire on cars around their vehicle following the bombing.

 

 

Fools With A Death Wish:

Collaborator Regime Picks Fight With Mahdi Army

 

08-28-2006 (AFP) & By ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press Writer & By THASSIN ABDUL-KARAIM, Associated Press Writer

 

In the city of Diwaniyah, fighting between Iraqi forces and militiamen of the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr left at least 34 people dead: 25 Iraqi soldiers, seven civilians and two militiamen.

 

Five Iraqi soldiers also went missing in the fighting which started on Sunday, the army source said.

 

Sheikh Abdul-Razaq al-Nidawi, the manager of al-Sadr's office in Diwaniyah, told The Associated Press that trouble had been brewing since Saturday night when the Iraqi army arrested an al-Sadr supporter from the Jumhouri neighborhood.

 

On Sunday, the army raided the same place and "a gunfight erupted between them and the Mahdi Army," al-Nidawi said.

 

Army Capt. Fatik Aied said gunbattles broke out at about 11 p.m. Sunday south of Diwaniyah, when Iraqi soldiers conducted raids in three neighborhoods to flush out militiamen and seize weapons.

 

Al-Nidawi said "a big force of the army raided Jumhouri, Sadr and Askouri neighborhoods and clashes broke out (again) between the army and the Mahdi Army." He said the raids took place early Monday.

 

Fighting continued for most of the day, as the army brought in extra troops from other cities to reinforce its soldiers, said Brig. Gen. Othman al-Farhoud, commander of the 8th Iraqi Army Division.

 

By evening, the militia had set up road checkpoints and taken over seven neighborhoods in the south and east of the city, while the Iraqi army was controlling the northern and western parts, Aied said.

 

Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Muhsen of the city's general hospital said 34 bodies were brought in. He said at least 70 people were injured, but could not immediately give a breakdown.

 

Fatik said the militiamen were using rocket-propelled grenades and automatic assault rifles.

 

Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad, is a city where the influence of Mahdi Army has been gradually increasing. It already runs a virtual parallel government in Sadr City, a slum in eastern Baghdad.

 

But American forces have also been wary of confronting the Mahdi Army because of al-Sadr's clout over the government and his large following among Shiites, who are in a majority in Iraq.

 

The al-Sadr representative in Diwaniyah, Sheik Abdul-Razaq al-Nidawi, told The Associated Press that "the Iraqi army pulled out of Diwaniya and the Mahdi army is in state of high alert."

 

 

 

FUTILE EXERCISE:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

U.S. soldiers at the site of a car bomb explosion, Baghdad, Aug. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Occupation Road Project Workers Killed

 

8/28/2006 Agence France Presse & Anadolu Agency

 

A Turkish road worker was killed Monday in an armed attack on a key highway in southern Afghanistan, the Turkish embassy said, without being able to immediately give the circumstances of the incident.

 

The man was killed on the highway between the southern city of Kandahar and the western city of Herat.

 

Several Turkish companies are helping to rebuild Afghanistan's war-ravaged infrastructure, and they as well as other foreign firms have been the target of attacks by militants linked to the Taliban.

 

The Taliban have warned foreign companies, on which the government relies for reconstruction, to leave Afghanistan and told Afghans not to work for them.

 

Another Turkish citizen was killed in Afghanistan, sources said on Monday. His body was found in a construction site near a road between Kabul and Pul-i Charkhi.

 

He was identified as Riza Ozsimsek, who was working for the Jeo-Son Construction Firm. Diplomatic sources said that he was beaten to death.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

 

Aug. 28 (Xinhua) & By Fisnik Abrashi, Associated Press

 

Unknown armed militants kidnapped a local intelligence official in Afghanistan's southern Ghazni province, an official at the spokesman's office of Interior Ministry said Monday.

 

"An intelligence official who was also the son of Qarabagh district chief was abducted by armed militants Sunday evening," the official told Xinhua but refused to be named.

 

The incident occurred when the ill-fated man, he added, was on his way home to the neighboring Andar district.

 

In Ghazni province, militants attacked a building early Saturday, killing one court official and wounding two policemen, said Abdul Ali Fakuri, spokesman for Ghazni’s governor. Three vehicles were burned during the attack, he said.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

One Message Simply Read:

“Too Many, Too Soon”

Traveling Exhibit Calls Attention To U.S. Soldiers Killed In Iraq

 

August 27, 2006 By ALEXANDRA JACOBS, STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE STAFF WRITER

 

Hundreds of boots stood empty in Clove Lakes Park yesterday, symbolic of the soldiers from New York and New Jersey who have been killed in Iraq.

 

Up front, the boots representing Pfc. Collin Mason faced Clove Road, a street the South Beach native had probably walked more than once in his life.

 

The 20-year-old Army specialist who dreamed of joining the New York City Police Department was killed by indirect fire at a checkpoint outside Fort Taji in Baghdad on July 2.

 

According to Susan McAnanama, who helped organize the event, Pfc. Mason's mother, Cynthia Boone-Mason, stopped by the exhibit, but had to leave because she was overwhelmed.

 

Beyond the two boots representing Pfc. Mason's life lay 336 more, symbolic of the 169 soldiers from New York and New Jersey killed in the war.

 

Tags listing soldiers' ranks, names, ages and hometowns were laced on every set, while some held flowers or prayer cards left by visitors.

 

It's enough to overwhelm any mother. Just ask Elaine Brower of Great Kills, whose son, James, is serving with the Marine Corps in Fallujah.

 

For her, the boots represent her worst fear -- her son getting killed.

 

"I feel like there's such a far distance between me and the troops," she said, eliciting a hug from Mrs. McAnanama.

 

The traveling memorial is part of a national memorial dubbed Eyes Wide Open: An Exhibition of the Human Cost of War, supported by the American Friends Service Committee. Peace Action of Staten Island and Military Families Speak Out NY co-sponsored the local exhibit, meant to reflect the human cost of war as it impacts the metropolitan region.

 

The boots are donated or come from Army surplus stores, said Debra Anderson of West Brighton, who helped bring the event to the Island.

 

Eyes Wide Open was created after the 500th death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq. Since then, the exhibition has grown, as the number of soldiers killed has risen to 2,621. It is meant to simply memorialize the troops without political sway, said project coordinator Anne Durston, though peace groups far outnumbered any war-supporters at yesterday's exhibition.

 

"The message is powerful and worth the effort. This illegal and immoral war needs to be stopped as soon as possible to save Iraqi lives and the lives of our servicemen and servicewomen," said George McAnanama of Livingston, Mrs. McAnanama's husband.

 

"If you believe the soldiers died for your country, then come pay your respects," Mrs. McAnanama said.

 

"The majority of people I meet are against the war. I feel strongly about the human and financial costs of this war."

 

A sign posted near the exhibit listed the Iraq War's calculated cost for New York State: $28,572,000,001. Beyond the soldiers' boots, 50 pairs of sneakers, children's shoes and high heels shoes were arranged.

 

Each shoe is meant to represent 50 Iraqi civilians killed in the conflict -- 100,000 in total.

 

On a table next to a binder of soldier biographies was a guest book.

 

In it, visitors scrawled comments about the exhibition.

 

One message simply read: "Too many, too soon."

 

 

Protesting Works!

Military Families Raise Hell To Stop Soldiers’ 18-Hour Bus Ride Home After Year in Iraq

 

8.28.06 Boston Globe

 

For at least a year, the 150 soldiers of the Massachusetts-based 220th Transportation Company had survived one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: driving trucks on the violent roads of Iraq. But when they arrived at Camp Atterbury in Indiana just after midnight Friday for demobilization, they were told they would have to take the bus home-an 18- to 20-hour ride.

 

Furious families of the soldiers called the office of their senator, Edward Kennedy, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I was absolutely outraged," Kennedy said.

 

He dashed off a letter to Army Secretary Francis Harvey, and now the Army says it will charter a plane to bring the soldiers home.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Bomber Blows Up Iraqi Interior Ministry

 

08-28-2006 (AFP) & By ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press Writer

 

A car bomber struck at the nerve centre of Iraq's security forces, killing 16 people in an attack on the interior ministry. Thirteen of the dead were policemen, police said. Sixty-two people were wounded, 47 of them police.

 

The blast could be heard a mile away, and smoke could be seen rising from the scene.

 

The attack came as Interior Minister Jawad Bolani was due to hold a meeting with police chiefs.

 

A security official told AFP that eight police commandos were among those killed when the bomber detonated his cargo of explosives near a checkpoint outside the ministry's tightly-guarded compound in downtown Baghdad.

 

The blast was the latest blow to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's campaign to convince Iraqis and the world that his government and security forces are up to the task of bringing peace to his bitterly divided country.

 

"The violence is on the decrease, and our security ability is increasing," Maliki said in an interview Sunday with CNN.

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

08-28-2006 (AFP) & (Xinhua) & By Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post & Reuters & VOI

 

Three bombings killed 11 people and wounded 66 more in oil city of Kirkuk, police Brigadier General Burhan Tayib told AFP.

 

One attack hit a shrine run by the family of [collaborator] President Jalal Talabani, the other the home of a police chief in the city.

 

Four policemen were ambushed and killed on a road outside the city by suspected militants, police said.

 

A car bomb parking on the side of a road in Baghdad Doura neighborhood detonated at around 1:00 p.m. (0900 GMT) at a passing police commando patrol, the source said on condition of anonymity.

 

The blast damaged a police vehicle and killed two police commando members and wounded two, the source said.

 

In the town of Khalis, militants stormed the house of a local judge, Hamdi al-Ubaidi, shot one of his brothers and moved to abduct another, police said.

 

When men from a nearby cafe ran to the aid of the family, the insurgents opened fire, killing 12 of the would-be rescuers and injuring 25, said police Brig. Safa al-Mandalawi.

 

They escaped, with the judge's brother as their captive, Mandalawi said.

 

A policeman was killed and two wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in southern Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said.

 

Guerrillas killed three policemen in separate attacks in Mosul, police said.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Killer

 

From: Dennis Serdel

To: GI Special

Sent: August 28, 2006

 

Written by Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade, purple heart, Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against The War, United Auto Workers GM Retiree, in Perry, Michigan

 

 

The Killer

 

Jimmy was released from a Military psychiatric hospital

in Maryland in June of 1969 after almost a full tour

in Vietnam in infantry.

He never went home though,

instead he spent his money on a used car and a .38.

 

But the back pay and separation pay didn't last long

and he found himself

in a bar in Pennsylvania drinking

his last beer at closing time and broke.

 

At the edge of town was an all night gas station,

Jimmy slid his car in and filled it up with gas.

Inside, he grabbed two 12 packs of beer

and slid them on the counter.

 

The 30 year old midnight shift man just shook his head

and said, "Sorry, it's too late and I can't sell them to you."

Jimmy just gazed at him with a blank stare and said,

"I need two cartons of Marlboros."

 

The man gave a nervous grin and stuttered,

"Those, those I can sell you," then he turned

around and bent down to get the cigarettes.

 

Jimmy pulled out the .38 and when the man turned

around with the cigarettes, it was pointed at his face.

"Give me the money," Jimmy demanded.

He carefully placed the cigarettes on the counter.

 

"All I have is about $70, when, when

I get over a $100, I slide it in the safe on the floor."

 

He opened the cash register

and held out $70 at arms length,

his head turned away.

 

Jimmy grabbed the $70,

and shot the man in the side of his head, killing him.

 

He picked up the beer and cigarettes

and walked out to his car

and was gone.

 

Jimmy still liked killing too much.

 

 

Six More Americans Killed In Iraq

 

From: Richard Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: August 28, 2006

Subject: Six More Americans Killed in Iraq

 

Six More Americans Killed In Iraq

 

Well, six more Americans were killed in Iraq on Sunday, August 27, 2006.

 

And, they will continue to die, until the American people figure out that this insane war is all about saving face now. You don't want to pull out now, because there might be a miracle that the Iraqi people will stop hating us.

 

When I left Vietnam in 1971, the American military machine was shit faced!!

 

By 1971, over two million American soldiers had cycled through Vietnam. Nearly 58,000 had been killed, and 300,000 wounded.

 

Before I left Vietnam, an enlisted man in my unit shot and killed a Captain in broad daylight.

 

There were many heroin addicts in my unit, and if you pushed people too far, you might find yourself dead. As chief medic in my unit, I got threatened.

 

One day a fight broke out, and one guy got another soldier down on the ground and put a knife to his throat. Things were very intense, because the war had been going on forever.

 

All of this was going on, because Nixon did not want to loose face. He was drinking in the White House to get shit faced, because he did not want to loose face.

 

This is where the war in Iraq is now.

 

America is in a holding pattern, because George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld do not want to loose another guerrilla war like we did in Vietnam. But, if they keep the American people in a locked room a little longer, they might figure out how America can have peace with honor.

 

And of course, another six American soldiers are dead in Iraq.

 

And, two more here, three there, another two killed in an accident, an E-4 shot a Sgt. because the E-4 got a Dear John letter.

 

I saw a medic in Vietnam try to kill himself after he got a Dear John letter.

 

I met a Vietnam vet years later who shot and killed his Lt. in the field, because he was going to get the entire platoon killed. Several of the enlisted men drew straws in the field, and my friend was chosen. The next time they had contact, the CO was killed.

 

If Iraq is anything like Vietnam, I know this is happening again.

 

The war in Iraq is lost, because it was a lost cause in the first place.

 

But, the war will keep going on, because you don't want to loose face.

 

By the time the Vietnam war was over, Nixon was a madman. And, we all know what happened to him, as he left the White House in shame.

 

Two years later, American CIA people were pushing Vietnamese off of helicopters in Saigon.

 

This will be George Bush's "Bring 'Em On" legacy.

 

Mission Accomplished!!

 

Will the last American leaving Iraq please remember the past.

 

Mike Hastie

Vietnam Veteran

August 28, 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)

 

 

Pentagon Reports Limited Resources Hindering War Effort

Corey Anderson April 29, 2005 [Blogs.citypages.com]

[Thanks to John Gingerich, who sent this in.]

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

“The Percent Of Iraqis Who Said They Wouldn’t Want Americans As Neighbors Rose From 87% In 2004 To 90 % In 2006”

“I Am An Iraqi Above All” Rose >From 30 Percent To 62 Percent Among Baghdad Residents

 

When asked what they thought were the three main reasons why the United States invaded Iraq, 76 percent gave "to control Iraqi oil" as their first choice.

 

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

 

June 14, 2006 University of Michigan News Bureau, ANN ARBOR, Mich. [Excerpts]

 

Over the last two years, Iraqi political values have become more secular and nationalistic, even though attitudes toward Americans have deteriorated, according to surveys of nationally representative samples of the population conducted in November 2004 and April 2006.

 

The percentage of Iraqis who said they would not want to have Americans as neighbors rose from 87 percent in 2004 to 90 percent in 2006.

 

When asked what they thought were the three main reasons why the United States invaded Iraq, 76 percent gave "to control Iraqi oil" as their first choice.

 

In 2004, 27 percent of the 2,325 Iraqi adults surveyed strongly agreed that Iraq would be a better place if religion and politics were separated. In 2006, 41 percent of 2,701 adults surveyed strongly agreed.

 

In one indication of a possible lessening of sectarian conflict, the proportion of Iraqis who identified themselves as Muslim Arabs rather than as Shi'a or Sunni Arabs increased from 6 percent in 2004 to 14 percent in 2006.

 

The percentage of those surveyed who agreed with the statement "I am an Iraqi above all" rose from 23 percent in 2004 to 28 percent in 2006 in the country as a whole, from 23 percent to 33 percent in urban areas, and from 30 percent to 62 percent among Baghdad residents.

 

Among Iraqis as a whole, 59 percent of those surveyed in 2006 strongly agreed with the following statement: "In Iraq these days life is unpredictable and dangerous." That compares to 46 percent who strongly agreed in 2004.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

The Great Iraqi Troop Training Fiasco Rolls On:

Iraqi Soldiers Refuse To Go To Baghdad

 

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in. He writes: NOW IF OUR SOLDIERS WOULD FOLLOW THE IRAQI EXAMPLE THE WAR WOULD BE OVER.]

 

08/28/06 By MICHAEL R. GORDON, New York Times Company & By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

 

A group of Iraqi soldiers refused to go to Baghdad to participate in the effort to restore order in the Iraqi capital, a senior American military officer said today.

 

Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, who oversees the American-led effort to train the Iraqi Army, said the episode involved about 100 Iraqi soldiers, who were based in Iraq’s southern Maysan province, which borders Iran.

 

"The majority of this particular unit felt, or the leadership of that unit and their soldiers felt, like they were needed down there in Maysan."

 

The soldiers’ refusal to deploy is under formal investigation and the Iraqi government will soon decide whether to rescind the deployment order to their parent unit: the Second Battalion of the Fourth Brigade of the 10th Iraq Army.

 

Though the episode involves a small fraction of the 10-division Iraq Army, it points to a deep issue in recruiting the force.

 

The new Iraqi government wants to build a national military, one that can be deployed anywhere within the country and that is not a collection of local units with regional loyalties. But many Iraqis are reluctant to serve outside their home province.

 

This is not the first time that Iraqi soldiers had refused to deploy to a distant area. A large number of soldiers from a largely Kurdish unit in northern Iraq, the Second Battalion, Third Brigade of the Second Iraqi division, refused to go to Ramadi, where soldiers from the United States Army’s First Armored Division have been involved in a tough fight to take the city back from insurgents, General Pittard said.

 

In the case of Iraq units in the Anbar province in western Iraq, soldiers have deployed but their units have experienced high attrition rates. Partly because many soldiers have gone AWOL, the day-to-day strength of the two Iraqis divisions in that province are, respectively, 35 percent and 50 percent.

 

The American military has a system to rate the readiness of the Iraqi Army to carry out operations, with one being the highest level and four being the lowest. While such information has been made public in the past, General Pittard declined to provide specific information about the readiness level for the 10 Iraqi divisions, saying that it could be useful to insurgents.

 

 

“Despite”? No.

Because Of? Yes.

 

8.28.06 AFP News

 

Iraqi Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed has said that the security situation in the southern oil city of Basra was getting worse despite the presence of British troops.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE/LEBANON

 

 

Here Is The Face Of A Loathsome Racist Dictatorship:

The Overwhelming Majority Of Palestinians In Zionist Concentration Camps Have Been Convicted Of Nothing At All

 

In many cities, all Palestinian males from the ages of 15 to 45 were rounded up and detained or imprisoned.

 

August 22, 2006 Institute for Middle East Understanding [Excerpts]

 

How many Palestinian prisoners are there?

 

As of August 8, 2006, there are 9,273 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons or detention camps. Of these prisoners, 351 are children under the age of 18, 75 are women and 42 are over the age of 50. Of the total number of prisoners, 433 Palestinians, who were imprisoned prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords, remain in prison despite the Accords’ call for their release. The prisoners include members of the elected Palestinian Legislative Council.

 

Haven’t Palestinian prisoners been convicted of serious offenses against Israel?

 

In fact, of the 9,273 prisoners currently held by Israel, only an estimated 1,800 have actually been put on trial and convicted of any offense at all.

 

According to Amnesty International, these trials often fall short of international standards for fair trials.

 

Israel currently holds an estimated 800 Palestinians detained in prison camps who have not been charged with any crime under what is called “administrative detention.”

 

Administrative detention violates international law. Administrative detention orders may last for up to six months, with Palestinians held without charge or trial during this period.

 

Israel routinely renews the detention orders and may renew the orders without limitation, thereby holding Palestinians without charge or trial indefinitely. During this period, detainees may be denied legal counsel.

 

While detainees may appeal their detention, neither they nor their attorneys are allowed access to the State’s evidence, or know the purpose of the detention, thereby rendering the appeals procedure virtually useless.

 

Don’t most Palestinian prisoners have “blood on their hands”?

 

No. The vast majority of Palestinian prisoners are political prisoners who have been arbitrarily imprisoned or detained for no legitimate security reason, but for political expression, peaceful resistance or simply because they are Palestinian.

 

According to B’Tselem:

 

“Security is interpreted in an extremely broad manner such that non-violent speech and political activity are considered dangerous...(This) is a blatant contradiction of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion guaranteed under international law. If these same standards were applied inside Israel, half of the Likud party would be in administrative detention.”

 

Furthermore, of those Palestinians currently being held, the overwhelming majority have not been put on trial.

 

Many Palestinians are arrested arbitrarily.

 

For example, from February to March 2002, approximately 8,500 Palestinians were arrested arbitrarily.

 

In many cities, all Palestinian males from the ages of 15 to 45 were rounded up and detained or imprisoned.

 

Palestinians were blindfolded, handcuffed tightly with plastic handcuffs and forced to squat, sit or kneel for prolonged periods of time. Mass arrests and detention of this type have been condemned by Amnesty International as a breach of human rights.

 

Does Israel subject Palestinian prisoners to torture, and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment?

 

Yes.

 

Palestinian prisoners are routinely tortured in Israeli jails. A 1999 Israel High Court decision outlawing some forms of physical mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners has not ended Israel’s physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian detainees.

 

According to Amnesty International:

 

“Among the thousands of Palestinians arrested after 27 February 2002, some hundreds were transferred to full-scale interrogation by the GSS (Israel Security Agency), in centers...Amnesty International has received reports that some of the detainees interrogated by the GSS were subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation, shabeh (prolonged standing or sitting in a painful position), beatings and being violently shaken.”

 

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and B’Tselem report that methods of torture include the following: slapping, kicking, threats, verbal abuse and humiliation, bending the body in extremely painful positions, intentional tightening of the handcuffs, stepping on manacles, application of pressure to different parts of the body, choking and other forms of violence and humiliation (pulling out hair, spitting etc.), exposure to extreme heat and cold, and continuous exposure to artificial light.

 

Palestinians are held in detention centers and prisons that do not meet the minimum international standards and are routinely denied visitation rights.

 

Amnesty International reports that:

 

“According to consistent reports received by Amnesty International, detainees’ conditions in Ofer and Ansar III/Ketziot are poor and may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment...

 

“In both camps, detainees sleep in tents; in Ansar III/Ketziot nights are particularly cold. Conditions in Ofer are said to be overcrowded, with detainees sleeping 25 to 30 to a tent. In both camps detainees initially slept on pieces of rough wood...

 

“Detainees were said to be given frozen chicken schnitzels which they had to defrost in the sun; a tub of yoghurt, one or two cucumbers and two pieces of fruit between 10 prisoners.”

 

[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.”]

 

 

GET THE ME MESSAGE?

Rally in Washington DC around the White House to Protests the American-Israeli aggression in the Middle East [Majed, 8/12/06]

 

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)

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Outrageous Bullshit:

Government Demands Woman Pay $6,700 For Being Human Shield

In Iraq To Protest War;

Bush Scum Call This Breaking Economic Sanctions!

Hearing In New York City September 11th

 

“She went as a humanitarian witness and a writer, so she could come back and talk about it. Yet this administration is trying to retrofit the law to prosecute her and intimidate others from traveling to see for themselves what US policies are doing in another country.

 

From: Judith Karpova

Sent: August 28, 2006 3:51 PM

 

On September 11, at 2 pm, the case of the US Treasury Department against Judith Karpova, who was a Human Shield in Iraq just prior to the 2003 war, will go before the Federal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, Ceremonial Courtroom, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY

 

Miss Karpova, of Kerhonkson, NY, went to Iraq to protest the impending war, and to bring attention to the threat to Iraqi civilians and their infrastructure, such as power generating stations and water treatment plants, which had been bombed in the first Gulf War (1991). The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department has been attempting to fine her thousands of dollars ($6,700), stating that it was illegal under the economic sanctions then in place against Iraq.

 

“I foresaw that if this war went forward, there would be a creeping police state in my own country and war spreading all over the Middle East. My fears have become realities. What will be next? War with Iran, with Syria, with Saudi Arabia? Where will it end? I felt I had to do whatever I could to resist it.” Her attorney, Michael Sussman of Goshen, NY has taken Miss Karpova’s case from the New York State District Court in 2005, to the Federal hearing now set for September 11th.

 

“The law under which my client is charged was created to prevent businesses from taking advantage of Iraq’s economic embargo. Miss Karpova engaged in no commerce and supplied no services to Iraq.

 

“She went as a humanitarian witness and a writer, so she could come back and talk about it. Yet this administration is trying to retrofit the law to prosecute her and intimidate others from traveling to see for themselves what US policies are doing in another country.

 

“The question is, does the law mean what it says or whatever the President wants it to mean for his political agenda?

 

“This issue has been raised regarding torture, warrantless wiretapping and the indefinite detentions of so-called ‘enemy combatants.’

 

“We will see what the courts have to say about bending an economic law to attack a woman who brought coloring books to children in Iraqi hospitals.”

 

“It is ironic to me that my hearing is set for September 11th,” says Karpova. “This is the anniversary of a great tragedy for our country. The greater tragedy is that it was opportunistically used to attack a helpless country that never harmed us.

 

“Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead, hundreds of thousands injured, and the death toll of our own soldiers keeps mounting. The whole region is much more unstable and violent, and I feel this country is much less safe than before 9/11. And for what?

 

“I am literally being prosecuted for buying a cup of tea and a plate of food in Iraq. Yet the real economic beneficiaries of the war, the corporations walking off with billions in reconstruction profits and tens of billions in escalating gasoline prices, are not questioned or challenged.

 

“It is also the anniversary of the negligence of this administration towards New Orleans when it was hit by Hurricane Katrina. In this case as well, the consequences have been death and profiteering. Rather than using war and natural disasters as opportunities for spying, torture and giving contracts to political supporters, we need a government that treats its own people and its global neighbors with humanity.”

 

Other organizations and individuals, including other human shields, have been targeted by the Treasury Department. Voices in the Wilderness, was fined for both travel and for bringing medicines to Iraq prior to the war.

 

There are cases pending against a retired schoolteacher of the blind, Faith Fippinger of Sarasota, FL, a Methodist Minister, Rev. Frederic Boyle of Linden, NJ, and a record store owner, Ryan Clancy of Milwaukee, WI, who all traveled to pre-war Iraq to meet their civilian counterparts under the threat of impending war.

 

Karpova is hopeful that the Appeals Court will rule in her favor. “The higher courts have been drawing the line,” she says. A state of war is not a blank check for any President to do whatever he wants.”

 

The proceedings are open to the media and the public. “All are invited,” says Sussman.

 

Miss Karpova is completing a book about her experiences in Iraq.

 

Contact: Judith Karpova, 845 626-7355 dahlia@ix.netcom.com

Michael Sussman, 845 294-3991 sussman1@frontiernet.net

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.




:: Article nr. 26218 sent on 29-aug-2006 10:54 ECT

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