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GI Special 4I4: Stand Firm -September 4, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

9.4.06

Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 4I4:

 

 

 

 

So Much For That “Sovereignty” Bullshit:

Collaborators Want “Thorough Control” Of Their Army;

U.S. Military Dictatorship Says No:

“An Embarrassing Delay Of A Signing Ceremony In Baghdad”

 

Saturday's ceremony to transfer control of Iraq's army from U.S. commander General George Casey to the Iraqi Defense Ministry had been hailed by U.S. officials as a big step towards Iraq taking responsibility for security.

 

Sep 3 By Ibon Villelabeitia, Reuters & By ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press Writer

 

Talks between the United States and Iraq over the transfer of operational command of Iraq's armed forces were deadlocked on Sunday, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanding more independence from the U.S. military.

 

A day after the dispute forced an embarrassing delay of a signing ceremony in Baghdad, an Iraqi Defense Ministry source said disagreements remained over the wording of a document that outlines the new relationship between U.S.-led occupying forces and Iraq's new military.

 

The ceremony, initially set for Saturday, was postponed to Sunday and then canceled altogether.

 

"There are some disputes between the two parties. We have our own point of view and they have theirs. We want thorough control and want the freedom to make decisions independently," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

 

Saturday's ceremony to transfer control of Iraq's army from U.S. commander General George Casey to the Iraqi Defense Ministry had been hailed by U.S. officials as a big step towards Iraq taking responsibility for security. [It would appear they wanted real command and control, not some bullshit “responsibility.”

Mighty Casey struck out.]

 

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman, originally said the delay was due to "miscommunication" between coalition forces and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense regarding the timing of the ceremony.

 

Johnson said later that it had become "apparent" that part of the miscommunication had been about the wording of the document "delineating" the responsibilities of the joint headquarters and the coalition's role in supporting their efforts.

 

"It is embarrassing, but it was decided it was better not to sign the document," he said.

 

But in a sign that negotiations could drag on, Mohammed al-Askari, spokesman for Iraq's Defense Ministry, said the government would take its time until an agreement was reached.

 

"We need more time regarding these discussions. There are some articles that need more discussions with the Americans. We don't want to be rushed into making these decisions. Our points of view are not identical," he said.

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

2 MND Baghdad Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb

 

Sept. 3, 2006 Multi-National Corps Iraq Press Release No. 20060903-01

 

BAGHDAD: Two Multi National Division Baghdad Soldiers died at approximately 6:20 a.m. Sunday when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by an improvised-explosive device in eastern Baghdad.

 

 

Marine Killed In Anbar

 

9.3.06 AP

 

In Anbar province, a Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Sunday of wounds sustained during enemy action, according to the military.

 

 

Marine From Charlotte Killed

 

Sep. 03, 2006 DAVID PERLMUTT, Charlotte Observer

 

After graduating from Providence High School in 2003, Cliff Golla didn't know what he wanted to do.

 

He took a chance as a Marine.

 

And at boot camp graduation at Parris Island, S.C., where Golla spent his 18th birthday, his family saw a changed man.

 

"It was like he found himself," said his older sister, Lynette Ingram of Charlotte. "He felt closer to us; he didn't mind if we hugged him and kissed him. Cliff never felt the Marines necessarily was his calling.

 

"But he thought it would be good for him."

 

On Friday, 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Golla -- the only son of Polish immigrants -- died near Habbaniyah in central Iraq in a roadside bombing. He was serving a second tour in Iraq, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, Lima Company, 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune.

 

Details were sketchy Saturday. But Golla's family and friends said two Marine officers came to the Charlotte home of his mother, Yvonna, late Friday with the news.

 

George Richardson, a family friend, said Golla was leading his squad of 10 men on a foot patrol to root out explosive devices when an explosive device was detonated by insurgents.

 

"It was an ambush," Richardson said. "They were close to a field base medical facility and tried to save him. But they couldn't."

 

Golla had just returned to Iraq in July for his second tour.

 

He moved to Charlotte with his family about 1988, when Golla was 3, his sister said.

 

His father, Chris, immigrated to America in 1980, moving to Buffalo, N.Y., where he had relatives. His mother wasn't allowed to leave Poland at the time and eventually had to sneak out of the country to Sweden before coming to the United States in 1982.

 

A year later, Lynette was born. Fifteen months after that, Cliff was born. They have a younger sister, Scarlett, who is almost 15.

 

Cliff and Lynette went to Northwest School of the Arts. But for his senior year, Cliff transferred to Providence High.

 

His sister and friends described Golla as a prankster who always encouraged them to strive to do better. He was something of a matchmaker, too, having introduced Lynette and her husband, Wayne Ingram.

 

"In high school, the girls wouldn't stay away from him," Lynette Ingram said.

 

Golla's mother said her son was a rebellious teenager and she constantly urged him to do something with his life, Richardson said she told him.

 

"So he did -- he joined the Marines," Richardson said. "They say in three years it was a magical transformation."

 

Golla called his mother a week ago with news that a comrade had died. "He said he carried him all the way back to base," Richardson said.

 

Golla's tour was to end in February, and then he was scheduled to return home for more training, Ingram said.

 

Before he left for Iraq, his family spent a week at Myrtle Beach. During off-time at Camp Lejeune, Golla was able to visit his family at the beach.

 

Two days before he was deployed, he told everyone he didn't think he would be coming back.

 

"One night I looked him straight in the eye and said, ‘Cliff, you take care of yourself,'" Wayne Ingram said. “He looked right back and said, ‘I'm not coming home.’”

 

"I told him he was. But he's not coming home. Cliff was very, very unselfish, and I don't know why he had to die."

 

 

REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

U.S. soldiers take cover behind vehicles and return fire at insurgents at a traffic control point on Alternate Supply Route Michigan in Tameem, Iraq, Aug. 16, 2006. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock/Reuters)

 

 

Soldier From Desloge Is Killed In Iraq:

“He Was Due To Come Home This Week”

 

9.3.06 KCTV5

 

DESLOGE, Mo.: An Army staff sergeant from Desloge was killed in Iraq last week, just days before he was due to return home.

 

Michael Deason, 28, died Thursday when an armor-piercing grenade struck his Humvee, part of an attack on a six-vehicle convoy, his wife told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for Sunday's edition.

 

He was with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky.

 

Tiffany Deason said he was due to come home this week and had been looking forward to seeing their children: son Jayden, 2 1/2, and daughter Kayler, 9 months.

 

Deason was in his seventh year in the Army and his second tour of duty in Iraq. He had been in Iraq during the births of both children and got to hold each baby at the age of 1 month. Tiffany Deason said her husband had planned to leave the military when his service was up in 15 months.

 

"He was very brave and good at what he did, but he said he was ready to have a backyard and be with his kids," said Tiffany Deason, 23. "He asked me not to play T-ball with Jayden this summer because he wanted to teach him."

 

A military officer and chaplain broke the news to the family Thursday.

 

"Michael told me, with all the training he had, he thought he could handle himself, but he knew there were some things out of his control, like a roadside bomb," his father, David Deason, said.

 

His family said Michael Deason was proud of his service. In a note he sent his father for Father's Day, he wrote: "It feels good knowing people are free because of us."

 

Michael Deason grew up in Desloge and was a graduate of North County High School.

 

He joined the Army after attending Mineral Area College for three years.

 

David Deason said his son had already planned his own funeral and requested it be at the First Assembly of God church in Farmington, where he went to daycare as a child and attended church as a youth.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Four Foreign Occupation Soldiers Killed, Seven Wounded

 

09/03/06 Radio Australia & MSNBC News Services

 

Four soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force were killed and seven others were wounded in the fighting in Kandahar province, a statement from the alliance said.

 

Afghanistan's defence ministry says three Canadian troops were killed in a major operation in the south of the country...

 

The NATO force involved in the operation would only say it had "taken casualties."

 

 

Afghanistan Battle Takes Local Soldier

 

August 24, 2006 BY DAN WEST, STAFF WRITER, Home Town Life

 

Joe Blake was in his 30s nearly two years when he made a rather unusual decision for a man his age. He decided to join the U.S. Army.

 

"He had thought about it for a while, but at that stage in his life, he figured if he was going to do it, he'd have to do it now," said his father, Doug Blake.

 

Keeping in excellent physical shape was nothing new for Joe Blake, who loved to run and work out. His conditioning helped him adjust to life in the military and the Redford native took pride in the fact he could keep up with fellow infantrymen who were about 15 years his junior.

 

The pride and success he developed during his time in the Army came to a sudden end Aug. 17 when he was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan. He was 35.

 

"We are terribly grieved and I don't think the fullness of this has hit us yet," Doug Blake said. "We are very proud of him. He felt good about what he accomplished."

 

He added his family will treasure Joe's mid-deployment, two-week leave last month when he came home to his parents' Livonia home to attend a family barbecue and go to Greenfield Village. He was able to spend several nights at his parents' home in Livonia.

"We were really, really glad to have that time with him. It will be a good memory for us," Doug Blake said. "We admired his courage because you could tell he wasn't telling us everything so we wouldn't worry, but he knew he was going back to a dangerous situation.

 

"Still, he was fully committed to his duty and to his fellow infantrymen."

 

Joseph Robert Blake was the youngest of three siblings, born in Westland in December 1971. He attended classes at the Redford Union and Southfield Christian schools. After working various jobs throughout his adult life, he joined the Army in January 2005, completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was assigned to the 32nd Infantry, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum in New York.

 

His initial deployment to Afghanistan was in March and he recently returned for duty there after his leave in July.

 

"I think it's important for the public to realize the dangers for those in the military who are stationed over there," Doug Blake said.

 

Joe Blake is survived by his parents, Doug and Joann Blake, brother Kevin Blake, sister Tina Steinkemper, a grandfather, and many uncles, aunts and cousins. There are plans for a memorial service, but family was not ready to publicize those plans Wednesday.

 

 

Mortar Propeller Attack On Kabul Airport

 

3 September 2006 Novinite Ltd. & By NOOR KHAN Associated Press Writer, Sep. 2, 2006

 

The international airport in the Afghani capital Kabul, which is under Bulgaria's command, has been attacked with mortar propellers [no doubt some new weapon known only to Bulgarians] at 9:40 am Bulgarian time, the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

 

Three mines landed on the territory of the airport, one of which was found unexploded and defused.

 

There are no casualties, or material damages incurred on the base's staff and facilities, the statement adds.

 

Bulgarian military staff assumed the command of the Kabul Airport on July 31 to organize and supervise the functioning of the airport in accordance to NATO requirements.

 

Insurgents attacked a police checkpoint Friday in Helmand's Grieshk district, killing five officers and wounding seven, said Ghulam Muhiddin, the Helmand governor's spokesman. Police killed three Taliban and wounded two, he said.

 

Muhiddin said the insurgents also took away four captured officers and hundreds of police were hunting for them Saturday.

 

In southwestern Farah province Saturday, a Taliban ambush killed four policemen and the wife of one of the dead officers, provincial police chief Syed Agha Saqib said. The woman's 2-year-old son survived unhurt.

 

Four Afghan police officers and 10 suspected Taliban members were reported killed in three other clashes, in southwestern Nimroz province and southern Zabul province.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Waiting For Another Tour To End:

“He Told His Mother That In Iraq They Saran-Wrapped A Soldier And Tried To Send Him Home, And Andy Is Looking Ahead, Waiting For His Trip Home”

 

"The biggest fear for most guys is to be wounded, not killed. They have seen enough to know what their options are. The third time (of duty) is hard for everyone, and they say it's the one that breaks people down. Just about everyone Andy knows in the Marines are going back for a third time," said Lou Brady, assistant Columbia County coroner and Brady's mother.

 

September 3, 2006 By Jen McCoy, Portage Daily Register

 

MADISON: On Marine Andy Brady's second tour of duty in Fallujah, 10 days before he was to come home to Poynette on leave, his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb and he lost hearing in his left ear, had a concussion and suffered vision impairment.

 

He was told that he might not be called for duty a third time, but five months later, he was back in Iraq on the front lines.

 

The local Marine, who was first deployed in February 2004, is expected to return home in September or October. Brady, 22, has spent his last three birthdays in a desert, living in holes in the ground and going for months without a shower.

 

"The biggest fear for most guys is to be wounded, not killed. They have seen enough to know what their options are. The third time (of duty) is hard for everyone, and they say it's the one that breaks people down. Just about everyone Andy knows in the Marines are going back for a third time," said Lou Brady, assistant Columbia County coroner and Brady's mother.

 

But without hesitation, Lou supports her oldest son's role as a Marine.

 

Brady has lost weight again, but every time he has returned to combat he has lost weight, Lou said. The 125-degree heat, stress and 80-pound backpacks have melted body mass.

 

Brady will be greeted by his mother at Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., when he is relieved of duty and steps off of a bus in khaki uniform. She and other family members have ached to see the soldiers in America as they pass by on buses in to the Marine Combat Center.

 

"You see the buses go by and you wave and then they go to the armory to unload their weapons and that takes another two hours," Lou said. "We're all waiting there and it's usually hot or it's in the middle of the night and they have all this business to take care of before they can go anywhere. They have to work the next two days and cannot go farther than 500 miles away from the base."

 

Soldiers ride on commercial flights, 36 hours from Iraq, dressed in uniform with loaded M-16 weapons.

 

Brady laughed when he told his mother that the TSA officials collected all the nail clippers in the cabin, but guns went unmentioned.

 

The first time Brady was deployed as infantry, his younger brother, Joe, was 15 years old. Brady participated in basic training between his junior and senior year in high school, while Joe was a freshman.

 

Brady was deployed a second time in January 2005, and a third tour February 2006.

 

"Going back for a second and third time, he's more jaded, but I can't say what his views are that they are making progress or not. It doesn't matter what my feelings are because he's already over there, and when your brother is over there, it makes things tougher," said Joe Brady, 19, of Madison.

 

Brady will be living with his brother in a Madison apartment when he returns home.

 

"I'm not a fan of the current administration. It's an unpopular war, there's no doubt about that. But I think that generally most Americans support the troops without supporting the war. The soldiers are not the ones making the decisions. They just got put there," Joe said.

 

He does not think the residual combat left in his brother's body will affect him, but their mother is concerned.

 

"Andy's dad is a Vietnam veteran, and he knows what post-traumatic stress disorder is, and Andy doesn't think that he has it himself. We jokingly say denial is the first sign of PTSD," Lou said. Brady has difficulty sleeping and shows signs of agitation at home, she said as she fidgeted with a dog tag around her neck.

 

"I think a certain amount of PTSD is inevitable from being alert with adrenaline 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. I know he has been fired upon and he has fired at people. He has seen people die. There is no place in the human brain that can categorize the inhumanity of these images that don't go away," Lou said.

 

Years ago the unpopular Vietnam war broke Lou's family apart, she said, and she will not let this war have the same effect.

 

"I am a very religious person and many wars have been fought in the name of religion. The people fighting Andy are just as tenacious about their beliefs as I am. I can't allow myself to get in to the negatives of being angry about the war because I need my energy to focus on my son getting home alive and well," Lou said.

 

Family members hope that Andy has retained his outgoing personality and humor.

 

He told his mother that in Iraq they Saran-wrapped a soldier and tried to send him home, and Andy is looking ahead, waiting for his trip home.

 

He has little in common with peers at home who talk about girlfriends and schoolwork, but he will have his chance when he enters the University of Wisconsin to study history.

 

 

BUSH IS COMING TO ATLANTA!

 

PROTEST AT THE GALLERIA

ON COBB PKWY IN COBB COUNTY

THURS., SEPT. 7, 9 AM

 

We will line the sidewalk of Cobb Pkwy on the Galleria side.

 

DRIVE 15 minutes north of downtown Atlanta on I 75; Take Exit 258 Cumberland Dr.; Left at light onto Cumberland Dr & thru 2 stoplights; Right on Cobb Pkwy & thru several lights; Left into parking at Cumberland Mall OR Right into parking in Galleria parking decks.

 

OR CARPOOL: Meet at Candler Park MARTA Station: Leave at 8:30.

 

Bring your signs, banners, and voices!

 

Sponsored by Georgia Peace and Justice Coaliton/Atlanta,

Atlanta International Action Center, and Orange Alert.

Go to www.georgiapeace.org & www.iacenter.org for updates.

 

WE ARE THE PEACE MAJORITY!

 

61% Of Americans Oppose The War

(CNN Poll, 8/22/06)

 

LET US RAISE OUR VOICES:

BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

JonBenet, The Beauty...

PFC Steven Sirko (Who’s That?)

 

August 28, 2006 Veterans Against The Iraq War

 

By Summer Lipford, Proud Mother Of PFC Steven Sirko, needlessly taken from my life April 17th, 2005;

 

The death of a child by the hands of a criminal is horrific, any child, any criminal.

 

I too lost a beautiful child, he had sandy blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes that had a laugh that danced in his eyes from the minute they opened in the morning until his prayers were said and they closed to dream of wonderful childhood things.

 

He too was in a beauty pageant, against his wishes and the wishes of his dad, however, he won 2nd place, (the judges must have been blind, he WAS the most beautiful 5 year old on the stage)

 

Just as JonBenet, I have movies, maybe not as many, but I have movies of him being silly, movies in grade school programs, pictures of him graduating from kindergarden, which doesn't seem like that was so long ago, and Christmas morning pictures with a grim that lights the room with delight of what Santa left for him.

 

I have picture of Pop Warner football, pictures holding his oldest sisters baby, Jr. High wrestling, graduation pictures, bootcamp pictures,(there wasn't anytime for growing up between high school and boot camp), AIT graduation.

 

Then pictures taken the last day I saw my baby, the day he was deployed to Iraq, the very last time I saw my child, forever.

 

Just as JonBenet, my pictures where taken at Christmas and a couple of weeks following Christmas Day, as a matter of fact, the last pictures I have were taken January 17, 2005, how many parents actually have the exact date a picture was taken if not a special holiday?

 

There are over 2600 parents that have those same pictures, knowing the exact date they were taken.

 

Just as JonBenet, my son too was born when I was not a young women, the last of four children and the light of my life, the child I did spend so much time with, the child that made me stay young, the child that was bright and curious and a joy to everyone that met him.

 

The child that was so protected by his brother and sisters, the child that caused the most aggrevation for his older siblings and the child that brought all his siblings home at the same time when he was home for the week end from the army. The child that held the family together.

 

My child was also murdered, in the most literal sense.

 

Now that I have pointed out the likeness, and I did not mention all of them, just a few, of JonBenet and Steven, my son, let me point out the differences.

 

There was not a mass of media coverage when Steven was murdered, one day in the local paper when word came that he died and front page coverage the day of his funeral.

 

No coverage of the mysterious circumstances that he died under, no droves of police officials investigating his death, in fact, it took 4 months for me to get anyone to take a hard look into his death.

 

Even when I did manage to get an real investigation going I was told that it was difficult due to the fact it was in a "War Theater". When did we go to war? What happened to "Operation Iraqi Freedom", what happened to "Mission Accomplished" May 1, 2003?

 

No teams of investigators looking for the guilty party, because they already knew why he died and who did it, so where was the need?

 

Of course there was a need, but that was never going to happen, not for Steven.

 

He wasn't the child of wealthy parents and his murderers were going to be protected at all costs.

 

If this death was not covered up then maybe a few people might take a different look at the war. Then again, maybe not. Now that I think about it, there hasn't been a public rage of Steven Green, the young man who raped and murdered an entire family. Oh of course not, these things happen in war now don't they.

 

My son was murdered.

 

I know where the person lives that sent him to his death.

 

I know the person that did the physical killing, both US citizens.

 

One is sitting in the White House, the other walking free living a very happy life.

 

My son died by the hands of the man who sent him to war and by the hands of a US soldier, my son was murdered indeed.

 

I know how my son died. I know so many facts and cannot get resolution from this administration for a two fold reason.

 

One, this administration will not take responsibility for sending my son to an illegal, immoral war, and cannot take responsibility for having him serve with less than an honorable fellow soldier...no this cannot happen! And who do I turn to for help?

 

The CID certainly will cover up his death. They have refused to bring the guilty party to justice. The American people will not come together to bring GW Bush, "THE ULTIMATE CRIMINAL" to justice.

 

So, where do I turn?

 

Would GW be "Staying the course" if more than .04% of the American people were suffering the losses so many have suffered? Would GW be "Staying the course" if parents had their child murdered in a war zone by another soldier for gain and his death being covered up to protect this administration? I think we all know the answer to that!!!!!

 

Of course not, people would be taking to the streets, demanding answers, demanding an end to this war, demanding this administration to be held accountable. This is not the case, this is not what I can tell my son when I visit his grave everyday. I can only tell him that I am trying, I am begging for the truth, I will not let him down. I love him very much and I miss him so much.

 

When my children were little and I had to go to work before they woke up in the morning I would put on red lipstick and go to each of their rooms and kiss their foreheads and tell them mommy loved them and I would be seeing them very soon. I also whispered that I would be thinking of them all day and even though I wasn't there I would be protecting them with my heart. I knew when my children looked in the mirror when brushing their teeth they would see that kiss and know I loved them.

 

The very last day I saw my boy, Steven, just before closing his casket I put on red lipstick and kissed his forehead. I told him I how much I loved him and I would do all I could to find the truth, I told him I hoped with all my heart I would be seeing him very soon. I told him I would miss him and I would be thinking of him everyday and I was so very sorry that I wasn't able to protect him....this has not all come to pass for me. I haven't been able to get the truth even though it is there.

 

Now who has the answers for me? Where do I turn now? I will keep working for the truth. I will keep seeking out those responsible and I have resolved myself to begging for help, whatever it takes, a mother has no pride when it comes to her children.

 

How I wish I had the cameras flashing and news media parked outside my home pressuring those responsible to bring the criminals to justice, but I don't. All I have is this. I hope it works, no, I pray this works.

 

I ask God and Steven to bring Devine intervention, because with this administration I am going to need Devine Intervention for the truth to be exposed.

 

If only my son and all the sons and daughters lost had the attention given JonBenet our losses would have stopped a long time ago.

 

 

Army Investigator Wants Death Penalty For Soldiers Ordered To “Kill All Military Age Males”

SOLUTION:

“PUT THE COMMANDERS TO DEATH”

 

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in. He writes: DEATH PENALTY ASKED FOR SOLDIERS FOR FOLLOWING THEIR COMMANDERS' ORDERS. WHY NOT PUT THE COMMANDERS TO DEATH?]

 

9.2.06 An Army investigator has recommended that four soldiers accused of murder in a raid in Iraq should face the death penalty, according to a report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

 

Lt. Col. James P. Daniel Jr. concluded that the slayings were premeditated and warranted the death sentence based on evidence he heard at an August hearing. The case will now be forwarded to Army officials, who will decide whether Daniel's recommendation should be followed.

 

The soldiers, all from the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 101st Airborne Division's 187th Infantry Regiment, are accused of killing three Iraqi men taken from a house May 9 on a marshy island outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

 

Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett and Spc. Juston R. Graber have claimed they were ordered to "kill all military age males" during the raid on the island. According to statements from some of the soldiers, they were told the target was an al-Qaida training camp.

 

Ishikawa and Kuroshima would understand: insert troops into a hell on earth and there's no way to prevent atrocities. Yet the real fiends in their capital suites are never spattered with a single drop of blood. Solidarity, Z

 

 

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.

 

 

Welcome Home Soldier:

After Year In Iraq, Soldiers Faced 18 Hour Bus Ride Home;

Their Families Raise A Shitstorm And Win!

 

[Thanks to Anne L. S., who sent this in.]

 

[The families of these soldiers raised so much hell the politicians had to act, and they got their plane ride home. Lesson learned.]

 

August 28, 2006 By Lisa Wangsness, Globe Staff

 

For at least a year, the soldiers had survived one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: driving trucks on the violent roads of Iraq for the US Army. Half the company had been at it nearly two years.

 

But when the 150 soldiers in the Massachusetts-based 220th Transportation Company , 94th Regional Readiness Command , 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 Senator Edward M. Kennedy , a Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

 

“I was absolutely outraged," Kennedy said in a phone interview yesterday. “These are men and women who have worn our uniform that bears the flag of the United States of America. They deserve a hero's welcome." The senator dashed off a letter to Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey, pointing out that the Indianapolis International Airport was 38 miles from Camp Atterbury .

 

Yesterday, aides to Kennedy said, the Army notified Kennedy's office that it would charter a flight to bring the soldiers home. The flight time was still being worked out last night, an aide to Kennedy said, but a welcome-home celebration for the unit is planned for tomorrow afternoon in Boxborough .

 

Kennedy said there is a role for bus transportation in the military, but no American soldier returning from an extended stay overseas should have to take the bus home after demobilization when a plane would be more comfortable and convenient.

 

“This is absolutely intolerable," he said.

 

He said the soldiers were told there was not enough money to pay for their air travel home. [Right. Billions for the Bush Buddy war profiteers to grab, and fuck the troops.]

 

“This is a demobilization," he said. “They're on their way home, they served in Iraq and to be told . . . there are not enough resources in the Defense Department budget to treat people first-class is indefensible, unwarranted, and outrageous."

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

An Iraqi soldier walks near a damaged armoured vehicle after a roadside bomb attack in Baquba September 3, 2006. Four suspected insurgents were detained near the scene of a roadside bomb attack targeting an Iraqi patrol, an Iraqi military official said. The attack injured two soldiers. REUTERS/Helmiy al-Azawi (IRAQ)

 

Sep. 03, 2006 ELENA BECATOROS, Associated Press & 4 September, Arab News

 

On Sunday morning, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in eastern Baghdad killed two policemen and a civilian and wounded three policemen, police Maj. Mahir Hameed Mosa said.

 

Guerrillas killed three policemen at a Baqouba bus station. Two policemen were shot dead when insurgents opened fire on a police patrol in New Baquba. Another government official was assassinated on his way to work in Yarmouk district in western Baquba.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Here Is The Force The Fools In Occupation Command Are Trying To Pick A Fight With;

[Obviously, They Believe They Have A Shortage Of Dead American Troops]

 

03 September 2006 By Gethin Chamberlain and Aqeel Hussein, The Telegraph UK [Excerpts] & Aug 31st 2006 The Economist

 

According to al-Sadr's aides, he owes his success to keeping in touch with the people. "He meets his representatives every week or every day. Sistani only meets his representatives every month," said his spokesman, Sheik Hussein al-Aboudi.

 

"Muqtada al-Sadr asks them what the situation is on the street, are there any fights against the Shia, he is asking all the time. So the people become close to al-Sadr because he is closer to them than Sistani. Sistani is the ayatollah, he is very expert in Islam, but not as a politician."

 

Many, perhaps most, of the killings attributed to the Mahdi Army are done by groups that pay lip service to Mr Sadr's authority but in fact run their own operations. Mr Sadr himself frequently calls for Shia-Sunni reconciliation.

 

Even the Iraqi army seems to have accepted that things have changed.

 

First Lieut Jaffar al-Mayahi, an Iraqi National Guard officer, said many soldiers accepted that al-Sadr's Mehdi army was protecting Shias.

 

"When they go to checkpoints and their vehicles are searched, they say they are Mehdi army and they are allowed through. But if we stop Sistani's people we sometimes arrest them and take away their weapons."

 

MORE:

 

Here Is The Force The Fools In Occupation Command Are Trying To Pick A Fight With, Part 2;

“Within The Shiite Community, Al-Sadr Is Clearly A Dominant Figure”

“His Popularity Among Impoverished Shiites Has Eclipsed Those Of Mainstream Shiite Politicians”

 

[Sadr holds the cards. He can afford to wait. As field general Napoleon Bonaparte once said: “Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.”]

 

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

 

Aug 30 By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer [Excerpts]

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq: This week's intense clashes between the Iraqi army and a Shiite militia are part of a strategy to whittle away the power of a radical cleric.

 

But the high-risk gambit could trigger more fighting across the Shiite south, at a time when the cleric's stronghold in the capital is virtually off-limits.

 

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to disband militias, including the Mahdi Army of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, as a way to curb the sectarian violence propelling Iraq to the brink of civil war. The United States has made clear it views that effort as crucial.

 

But a full-scale assault by either American or Iraqi forces on al-Sadr's stronghold of Sadr City is highly risky. Al-Maliki, a fellow Shiite with political ties to the cleric, has publicly criticized a U.S.-Iraqi raid this month on the teeming district in Baghdad, where al-Sadr's followers maintain control and mete out Islamic justice in religious courts.

 

With Sadr City thus out of play for the time being, the U.S. military and its partners have been going after al-Sadr's forces outside the capital, arresting a Mahdi commander in Basra and raiding militia offices in other cities to cut into the cleric's power base.

 

The fighting Sunday and Monday in Diwaniyah, a ramshackle Shiite market town about 100 miles south of Baghdad, was the latest and one of the most intense examples.

 

The trouble started when Iraqi soldiers arrested one of the cleric's supporters before dawn Sunday, said an al-Sadr aide. Later in the day, Iraqi soldiers launched more raids and fighting broke out.

 

Such confrontations test the loyalty of Iraq's mostly Shiite army and police, whose ranks have been infiltrated by al-Sadr's supporters.

 

But military moves are all the more risky because of the intense rivalry within various Shiite parties and militias, all competing for power.

 

Diwaniyah, for example, is controlled by a rival Shiite party, leading al-Sadr aides to blame local officials from the other party of essentially using the national army to deal with their rivals. [The reporter somehow omits mentioning that the “rival Shiite party” is a collaborator party, tied to Iran, that runs much of the fake government in the Green Zone.]

 

The fighting in Diwaniyah thus points to one of the most serious problems facing Iraq — the possibility that trouble will spread widely throughout the quieter, calmer south. [That’s putting it mildly. Piss off the movement that Sadr leads too much, and millions of Iraqis, who haven’t been doing much, will grab their weapons and go for the nearest U.S. troops.]

 

Another raid earlier this month on the office of a relatively obscure cleric, Mahmoud al-Hassani, triggered a day of street fighting in the Shiite city of Karbala and protests in Nasiriyah and Basra.

 

Within the Shiite community, al-Sadr is clearly a dominant figure. His popularity among impoverished Shiites has eclipsed those of mainstream Shiite politicians.

 

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad contends Iran has urged Shiite militias to fire mortars and rockets on the Green Zone and says splinter groups of the Mahdi Army are behind the attacks.

 

Others doubt al-Sadr, whose politics are strongly nationalistic, is beholden to the Iranians, who instead have directed most of their aid to mainstream Shiite parties. [He is so shy. He means the “mainstream” parties playing kissy-face with the Occupation.]

 

"Learning the hard way, the U.S. and its allies have had to recognize the reality of the Sadrists' strength," the group wrote. [Don’t bet that the Occupation Generals have learned anything at all. They may cost thousands more U.S. troops their lives if they don’t back off, and they have their heads so far up Rumsfeld’s ass they can’t see daylight, let alone what’s going on in Iraq right in front of them.]

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“Betrayal Is The Spider, The Web Is The Cover-Up”

 

A Letter From A 20 Year Airforce Veteran To A Vietnam Veteran

And His Reply

 

From: Myra jazz

Sent: Aug 24, 2006 8:01 AM

To: hastiemike@earthlink.net

Subject: from: Fayetteville NC

 

Not only do they come home from war talking dirty, but they come home and beat and abuse their families. In September 2004 a 16-year study showed Fort Bragg had the highest rate of CHILD ABUSE DEATHS; children age 0 thru 10 killed during child abuse. Fort Bragg's solution to that pesky problem was to KILL THE NEWS.

 

My brother served two tours in Vietnam. I am retired (20 years in the Air National Guard FULL TIME) same branch of service as the Oval Office Resident War Monger.

 

I heard an Ft Bragg Officer lie under oath during an Article 32 Hearing (PFC Lynndie England). I was so obcessed with getting someone to tell me why they refused to address her perjury (like her civilian and her military lawyer).

 

No one wanted to reveal this, so they sent Lynndie off to Fort Hood, TX. I, of course, took the liberty of informing them that using her Ft Bragg Art. 32 Hearing to hold Court Martial would be against due process.

 

I annoyed so many people. The perjury was NEVER addressed. The perjurer was awarded 2 Bronze Stars.

 

I wanted to know if you ever had any training or any connection with Fort Bragg. It's one hell of a scary place.

 

Thanks!

Myra

 

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

 

From: Mike Hastie

Sent: Aug 24, 2006 8:10 PM

To: Myra jazz

Subject: Re: from: Fayetteville NC

 

Myra,

 

Mike Hastie here from Portland, Oregon. Thanks for the e-mail.

 

As far as Ft. Bragg is concerned, it is like most military bases throughout the U.S., everything is a cover-up. If everything looks good on the outside, then everything is just OK.

 

Having been raised on military bases the first eleven years of my life, everything is a front.

 

As in war, what happens in the field, stays in the field. And this continues long after the war is over.

 

The military is such a closed system. There are so many people who have been traumatized in the military. They are walking time bombs. Soldiers carry so much anger inside.

 

My father was a retired military officer with combat experience in North Africa during WWII. I walked on egg shells everyday of my childhood, until I finished high school.

 

That's just the way it was.

 

This war in Iraq is such a traumatic lie, just like Vietnam.

 

Betrayal will be the #1 PTSD wound, though that will not be revealed for years for many veterans.

 

Abuse issues within the family system will be enormous. It's like having a IED in the home.

 

Soldiers are pawns in a chess game, so the corporate monsters can make millions off of a war economy.

 

I did not serve in Vietnam for the cause of freedom, I served Big Business in America for the cause of profit. That truth put me in a padded cell of a psychiatric hospital in 1980.

 

As a veteran, it reminds me of a helicopter that was pushed off the aircraft carrier at the end of the Vietnam War. That was me being pushed off into the sea. We are disposable G.I.'s.

 

The mission is the goal, I am just a wheel in the Green Machine. When I have no further use anymore, I am pushed off into the sea.

 

Graveyards are full of soldiers who killed themselves in silence. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier should read: " Here Rests In Emotional Silence, An American Soldier Known But To God."

 

Betrayal is the spider, the web is the cover-up.

 

The war in Iraq is a mega-lie, and it is killing everything. The "Blowback" from this war will be staggering.

 

America IS a quagmire.

 

Mike Hastie

Vietnam Veteran

August 24, 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)

 

 

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.

 

 

“The Total Number Of People Killed Since 9/11 By Al Qaeda Or Al Qaeda-Like Operatives Is Not Much Higher Than The Number Who Drown In Bathtubs”

 

September/October 2006 By John Mueller, Foreign Affairs [Excerpts]

 

Some 80,000 Arab and Muslim immigrants have been subjected to fingerprinting and registration, another 8,000 have been called in for interviews with the FBI, and over 5,000 foreign nationals have been imprisoned in initiatives designed to prevent terrorism.

 

This activity, notes the Georgetown University law professor David Cole, has not resulted in a single conviction for a terrorist crime.

 

In fact, only a small number of people picked up on terrorism charges - always to great official fanfare - have been convicted at all, and almost all of these convictions have been for other infractions, particularly immigration violations.

 

Some of those convicted have clearly been mental cases or simply flaunting jihadist bravado - rattling on about taking down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch, blowing up the Sears Tower if only they could get to Chicago, beheading the prime minister of Canada, or flooding lower Manhattan by somehow doing something terrible to one of those tunnels.

 

But while keeping such potential dangers in mind, it is worth remembering that the total number of people killed since 9/11 by al Qaeda or al Qaeda-like operatives outside of Afghanistan and Iraq is not much higher than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States in a single year, and that the lifetime chance of an American being killed by international terrorism is about one in 80,000; about the same chance of being killed by a comet or a meteor.

 

 

Iraqi Insurgents Have Devised Yet Another Fiendish Trap To Harm Our Troops!

The B*St*Rds!!

August 31, 2006 Joe Balshone, Firebase Humor

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;

RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS

A comfortably seated foreign fighter from the U.S. armed forces and his comfortably seated interpreter in an Iraqi citizens home in Ramadi, June 25, 2006. The foreign occupation soldier inspects the citizens ID. The translator questions him as he sits beneath them, on the floor, in his own home. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

 

[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA. They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses and force them to answer any questions they please, butcher their families, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign,” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any charges being filed against them, or any trial.]

 

[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]

 

“In the States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit,” said Wood, 42, from Iowa, who did not accompany Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his battalion, on Thursday’s raid. “Here, there are no lawyers. Their resources are limited, so they plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices) instead.”

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE/LEBANON

 

 

The Master Race Happily Continues Exterminating Palestinians

 

31 / 08 / 2006 Ma'an

 

52 Palestinian men were killed by the Israeli army in August 2006. 6 Palestinian women were killed. 14 Palestinian children were killed.

 

In addition, 190 Palestinians were injured during this period, including 62 children and women, the report says.

 

The Israeli forces arrested 220 Palestinians in August, including 10 women.

 

61 Palestinian houses were destroyed, 46 completely. 15 houses were taken over as military posts. More than 500 olive trees were burned down and 2293 hectares of Palestinian land were confiscated for the enlargement of the illegal Israeli settlements and the illegal separation wall.

 

The PLO report adds that between 29 September 2000 and 30 August 2006, the Israeli army killed 4418 Palestinians.

 

Of this figure, 862 were children, 295 were women, 360 were security members, 471 were killed in targeted assassination operations, 144 were patients trying to pass through Israeli military checkpoints, 59 were killed by Israeli settlers, 10 were journalists and 220 were sportsmen. In addition, 6 foreigners were killed in this period.

 

During the same period, 37,430 Palestinians were injured.

 

Of this number, 7550 were left permanently handicapped. More than 50,000 Palestinians were arrested, of whom 10,100 are still serving in Israeli jails. 114 Palestinian women and 335 Palestinian children are being held in Israeli prisons today. Since the end of September 2000, 7754 Palestinian houses have been completely destroyed and their residents have had to evacuate.

 

 

“We Are Angels Of Death”

“Israel Must Always Be Allowed To Do As It Likes Even If This Involves Scorching Its Supremacy Into Arab Bodies”

 

August 9 By Yitzhak Laor, 2006, London Review of Books [Excerpt]

 

Military thinking has become our only thinking. The wish for superiority has become the need to have the upper hand in every aspect of relations with our neighbours.

 

The Arabs must be crippled, socially and economically, and smashed militarily, and of course they must then appear to us in the degraded state to which we've reduced them. Our usual way of looking at them is borrowed from our intelligence corps, who 'translate' them and interpret them, but cannot recognise them as human beings.

 

Israelis long ago ceased to be distressed by images of sobbing women in white scarves, searching for the remains of their homes in the rubble left by our soldiers.

 

We think of them much as we think of chickens or cats.

 

The truth behind this is that Israel must always be allowed to do as it likes even if this involves scorching its supremacy into Arab bodies.

 

This supremacy is beyond discussion and it is simple to the point of madness.

 

We have the right to abduct. You don't. We have the right to arrest. You don't. You are terrorists. We are virtuous.

 

We have sovereignty. You don't. We can ruin you. You cannot ruin us, even when you retaliate, because we are tied to the most powerful nation on earth. We are angels of death.

 

Elections are a wholly inadequate form of accountability in Israel: the people we kill and maim and ruin cannot vote here.

 

[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.




:: Article nr. 26406 sent on 05-sep-2006 07:16 ECT

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