|14/02/04||GI Special #2.26: Bush & Kerry Soldier-Killers|
GI SPECIAL 2#26
“His Life Has Been Snuffed Out In A Meaningless War” Dead Soldier’s Father Says Bush Made The World “A Horrible Place To Live In”
Published in the Central New Jersey Home News Tribune 2/05/04
Dear President Bush, With heavy heart, tears in my eyes and a home full of sorrow, I pick up my pen to write you about a brave soldier, 2nd Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, U.S. Army. My son was killed in Iraq on Feb. 3, 2004 fighting in a war.
Seth was a good boy, well-mannered, smart, kind and understanding.
He joined the Army in an effort to serve his country. And serve his country he did. Seth made the ultimate sacrifice.
Burying a child will no doubt be the hardest task that his mother and I shall ever have to do. The one question I have, and the one question I would like you to answer, is, “Why did my son and every other soldier that was killed, maimed and wounded have to suffer settling your vendetta?”
My son is gone just when he was laying a strong foundation to build upon for the rest of his life.
Now, President Bush, his life has been snuffed out in a meaningless war. Where are all the weapons of mass destruction, where are the stock piles of chemical and biological weapons?
Please President, pray for all our fallen heroes and as a tribute to these heroes get our boys and girls out of Iraq now, before too much more blood is shed.
Since you waged this unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein the world has become a horrible place to live in.
I know my boy is safe now, in a new world free of hate and prejudices where GOD is his president, but you tell me President Bush why he had to go so soon and in such a violent way.
Respectfully yours, Richard M. Dvorin
Slain Soldier’s Parents Condemn Bush And War; “It’s Time For Us To Get Out Of There,” Mother Says
Published in the Central New Jersey Home News Tribune 2/11/04
By SHARON WATERS, STAFF WRITER
With a mix of Jewish and military traditions, Army 1st Lt. Seth J. Dvorin was buried and honored yesterday by more than 400 people one week after he was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.
On Feb. 3, Dvorin saved the lives of 18 men in his platoon, including the Army specialist whom Dvorin, 24, pushed away seconds before the device exploded near Iskandariyah, Iraq, with Dvorin’s body bearing the brunt of the blast, a relative said.
“Seth stood between life and death because that’s what he was trained to do, but that’s also who Seth was. That’s what he had in his heart — to protect his men, to care for them, no matter what. Seth was our hero,” said the Rev. Mike O’Brien, a Presbyterian minister and stepfather of the soldier’s wife, Kelly Dvorin.
At the graveside later, “Taps” was played and the casket’s American flag was presented to Dvorin’s wife. Mourners then lined up to shovel dirt into Dvorin’s grave at Marlboro Memorial Cemetery in a Jewish tradition considered the greatest favor to the deceased.
The send-off also included tributes personalized for the Middlesex County native who joined the Army less than two years ago. Leading the way behind the silver hearse in the 150-vehicle procession was Dvorin’s gleaming maroon Mustang, with an American flag in the rear window, driven by a close friend. Thirty-five New Brunswick police officers stood at attention near the grave in honor of his father, Richard Dvorin of East Brunswick, who retired from the force last year.
The hourlong funeral service at East Brunswick Jewish Center included recollections of Dvorin’s personal nature. Best friend and fellow Rutgers University graduate Eric Nili of North Brunswick spoke of Dvorin’s generosity and good will. Dvorin’s mother, Sue Niederer of Pennington, spoke of the number of hearts her son had touched.
In remarks read by O’Brien, Kelly Dvorin recalled her husband’s smile, his willingness to give a home to a cat no one would adopt and his phone calls from Iraq expressing concern for her well-being and happiness. There was also the memory of the quick, laughter-filled exit from a restaurant after Dvorin had insisted the sweets on a dessert tray were fake only to learn they were a gooey reality when he snatched one and turned it upside down on the table. Kelly Dvorin recalled her husband’s lessons of love, loyalty, friendship and hard work.
“I made Seth a scrapbook and on the front it read, ‘If I could sit across the porch from God, I would thank him for sending me you,’ “ Kelly Dvorin wrote. “Having Seth in my life was a blessing and a gift. Seth taught me lessons about life that I will carry with me forever.”
Throughout the day, sister Rebekah Dvorin of East Brunswick clutched to her chest one of the American flags presented to the family.
“My brother is a brave hero who would never step down from any mission he was asked to conduct and for this he has given the ultimate sacrifice. I just want everybody to know how much I love my brother and how much he’ll be missed,” his sister said.
At the graveside, six military pallbearers held an American flag taut as Dvorin’s wife and immediate family threw flowers with red, white and blue ribbons onto the casket. Another five servicemen fired three volleys each before “Taps” was played by an Army bugler. After the casket’s flag was folded corner over corner to make a tight triangle, a final white-gloved salute was given and a soldier presented the flag to Kelly Dvorin. His wife also received Dvorin’s Purple Heart, for being wounded and killed in action, and the Bronze Star, for meritorious service.
Dvorin’s relatives have spoken out against the United States’ continuing involvement in Iraq with his father writing an open letter to President Bush. Yesterday, his mother made her own public statement on the war, saying her son died a hero for Bush’s vendetta.
“I want to know why my son was playing with bombs when that’s not what he was trained to do,” said Niederer, wearing the tan yarmulke painted with sports equipment and her son’s name that she made for his bar mitzvah. “It’s not a declared war so what did my son die for? It’s time for us to get out of there. No parent should have to go through this.”
(For more comments from military families and veterans, see the article “Bring Them Home Now” at www.socialistworker.org.)
John Kerry, Soldier-Killing Hypocrite; A Thirty Year Journey To Betrayal
By Scott Ritter February 9, 2004
Scott Ritter, former UN chief inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998, is author of “Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America.”
On April 23, 1971, a 27-year-old Navy veteran named John Kerry sat before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and chided members on their leadership failures regarding the war in Vietnam.
“Where is the leadership?” Kerry, a decorated hero who had proved his courage under fire, demanded of the senators. “Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned?” Kerry lambasted those who had pushed so strongly for war in Vietnam. “These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude.”
Today, on the issue of the war in Iraq, it is John Kerry who is all pious rectitude. “I think the administration owes the entire country a full explanation on this war – not just their exaggerations but on the failure of American intelligence,” Kerry said following the stunning announcement by David Kay, the Bush administration’s former lead investigator in Iraq, that “we were all wrong” about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in that country. The problem for Sen. Kerry, of course, is that he, too, is culpable in the massive breach of public trust that has come to light regarding Iraq, WMD and the rush to war.
Almost 30 years after his appearance before the Senate, Sen. Kerry was given the opportunity to make good on his promises that he had learned the lessons of Vietnam. During a visit to Washington in April 2000, when I lobbied senators and representatives for a full review of American policy regarding Iraq, I spoke with John Kerry about what I held to be the hyped-up intelligence regarding the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD. “Put it in writing,” Kerry told me, “and send it to me so I can review what you’re saying in detail.”
I did just that, penning a comprehensive article for Arms Control Today, the journal of the Arms Control Association, on the “Case for the Qualitative Disarmament of Iraq.” This article, published in June 2000, provided a detailed breakdown of Iraq’s WMD capability and made a comprehensive case that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat. I asked the Arms Control Association to send several copies to Sen. Kerry’s office but, just to make sure, I sent him one myself. I never heard back from the senator.
Two years later, in the buildup toward war that took place in the summer of 2002, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which Kerry sits, convened a hearing on Iraq. At that hearing a parade of witnesses appeared, testifying to the existence of WMD in Iraq. Featured prominently was Khidir Hamza, the self-proclaimed “bombmaker to Saddam,” who gave stirring first-hand testimony to the existence of not only nuclear weapons capability, but also chemical and biological weapons as well. Every word of Hamza’s testimony has since been proved false.
Despite receiving thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails demanding that dissenting expert opinion, including my own, be aired at the hearing, Sen. Kerry apparently did nothing, allowing a sham hearing to conclude with the finding that there was “no doubt” Saddam Hussein had WMD.
Sen. Kerry followed up this performance in October 2002 by voting for the war in Iraq.
Today he justifies that vote by noting that he only approved the “threat of war,” and that the blame for Iraq rests with President George W. Bush, who failed to assemble adequate international support for the war. But this explanation rings hollow in the face of David Kay’s findings that there are no WMD in Iraq. With the stated casus belli shown to be false, John Kerry needs to better explain his role not only in propelling our nation into a war that is rapidly devolving into a quagmire, but more importantly, his perpetuation of the falsehoods that got us there to begin with. “Where is the leadership?” John Kerry asked more than 30 years ago, questioning a war that consumed life, money and national honor. Today this question still hangs in the air, haunting a former Navy combat veteran…
(Kerry, of course, has refused to support the movement to bring the troops home now. Dead American soldiers are more to his liking.)
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 in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here in the USA. Send requests to address up top. For copies on web site see:www.notinourname.net/gi-special/
IRAQ WAR REPORTS: ONE SOLDIER DEAD, TWO WOUNDED IN BAGHDAD ATTACK
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
February 13, 2004 Release Number: 04-02-06C
BAGHDAD, Iraq – An improvised-explosive-device and small-arms-fire attack killed one 16th Military Police Brigade soldier and wounded two others at approximately 10:40 p.m. Feb. 12. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the 31st Combat Support Hospital for treatment.
British Soldier Killed In Road Accident
February 14, 2004, ABC News Online
A British soldier has been killed in a road accident at a military base in southern Iraq, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said. Richard Ivell, a 29-year-old vehicle mechanic, died at a logistics base at Shaibah, an airfield in the south-western outskirts of Basra, it said.
U.S. Trained Iraqi Collaborator Troops Won’t Fight Without Body Armor
(Chicago Tribune, February 11, 2004)
Less than a month after becoming the first Iraqi civil defense troops allowed to live and work independently in Baghdad, Bravo Company was ordered this week to dismantle its headquarters and move back to a U.S. military base, after members complained they lacked protective equipment.
Dead U.S. Soldiers “Unimportant” To Pentagon
Letter To The Editor, Army Times, 2.16.04
How can people pretend they support the troops when they find the subject of what keeps them alive too boring to discuss?
Regarding President Bush’s recent State of the Union address, everyone claims they support the troops, yet the fact that troops are sent on patrols without armor on their Humvees is causing many young men to come home dead instead of alive.
I heard an interview with a man whose son was killed for this very reason.
Apparently the armor is deemed an unimportant expense by the Pentagon. If the media mention something in passing and then becomes bored with it, refusing to feature it, the government never will act on it.
If the media consistently clamor for something, never relenting until it is done, we have a chance that action will follow.
If you were to make this an issue regularly, I have no doubt that you would save many lives.
SOLDIER-KILLING RAT IN ACTION
“Oh fuck, those pathetic wimps still whining about not having body armor? That stuff costs real money; let ‘em use aluminum foil. It’s cheaper to expand Arlington anyhow.” (U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lets it all hang out during a briefing at the Pentagon February 10, 2004.) REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Killing Soldiers Not Enough; Now Rumsfeld Cheats Wounded Out Of R&R Travel Money
TWO LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Army Times 2.16.04
I am writing in regard to the article in the Feb. 2 Army Times, “Shortchanged on R&R,” and the editorial “Unfair, all the way home.” My husband is one of those soldiers shortchanged by this law. He was one of the first to take leave under the categories his battalion put in place.
He fell under Category 2, which was anyone injured in action. My husband and two other soldiers were injured by an improvised explosive device in August. For that reason, they were put on leave before a lot of other people.
They didn’t have a choice on when they were going to be able to go home. The only choices were fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport and pay for your ticket home, or don’t go on leave.
Now this new law that refunds the total cost of flights home for soldiers who took leave after Dec. 19 punishes my husband for getting injured and going home earlier than other people. Because he was injured, he has to pay for his round-trip airline ticket home and back to BWI.
This law really needs to be changed. I know we are not the only ones in this situation who are getting “shortchanged.”
Copperas Cove, Texas
I would like to know what made Charles Abell, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, set Dec. 19 as the date to begin reimbursements for R&R airfare.
What about the roughly 30,000 soldiers who went on R&R leave between the time the program began and Dec. 18. Is it not true that the $55 million appropriated was supposed to take care of these soldiers as well?
The bill was approved Nov. 24, so why did it take a month to decide how to disperse the money? Since Dec. 19, not as many soldiers have qualified for R&R leave because of the transitioning in and out of country.
It seems to me that Mr. Abell is trying to stretch the $55 million as far as it will go at the expense of the soldiers it is designed to take care of.
The reimbursement should be retroactive to the date the R&R leave program began.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Whelan
Colorado Springs, Colo.
GET SOME TRUTH: CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth – about the occupation, the cuts to veterans benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium – is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary. 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. www.traveling-soldier.org/
Bush And Rumsfeld Love The Rich; Have “No Concern” For Soldiers, Sailors, Vets
(Two Letters To The Editor From Army Times 12.1.03: True Then, True Now)
[Many people quoted in] the cover story Nov. 3 blame the Defense Department and the Pentagon for cutting services, benefits and pay raises [”An act of ‘betrayal’”].
By Defense Department [those quoted] mean Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. While it is true that Rumsfeld has odd ideas about running our armed forces he does not operate in a vacuum. His ideas are only a reflection of this administration’s attitude toward its armed forces
President Bush’s tax cuts, which might have paid for commissaries, schools and pay raises, favor the very rich and multinational corporations but do little for the ordinary family.
The tax cuts received by most service members would not pay for one child’s braces or for one trip across country for a family member, and they sure wouldn’t pay for a landing on an aircraft carrier.
This administration has little or no concern for sailors and soldiers and none at all for veterans, who no longer are useful to them.
They may take away benefits, services and pay raises but they cannot take away the right to vote. I suggest we use it wisely next year.
Caroline Greer Nolan
Key West, Fla.
It’s obvious that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld thinks he is running a corporation rather than the U.S. military. The military is more than just a 9-to-5 job; it is a chosen lifestyle.
People in uniform leave families for extended periods, risk their limbs and lives for the United States, while Donald Rumsfeld is more interested in the financial bottom line.
Budgeting is important, but is it more important than showing our soldiers that their personal sacrifices for country and family are appreciated?
The military lifestyle isn’t easy. The Defense Department needs to realize that cutting benefits will decrease family and troop satisfaction, which will result in decreasing the numbers of troops. Benefits are a clue to the value put on any employee by his employer, so what does that say about the value the Defense Department gives its military?
Fort Knox, Ky.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to the E-mail address up top. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
1st ID, Guard Brigade Head For Bush’s Imperial Slaughterhouse
Army Times 2.16.04
The 1st Infantry Division and about 4,000 soldiers from the National Guard’s 30th Enhanced Separate Brigade have begun deploying to Kuwait, where they will prepare for the three-day road march into Iraq.
The division’s advance party rolled out of Germany on Feb. 1 and the remaining troops will deploy through the end of February and be on duty in Iraq until March 2005. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Hawaii, which will form part of a 24,000-strong task force headed by the Big Red One, deployed to Kuwait in mid- January.
In Schweinfurt at the headquarters of the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the Dagger Brigade, took a midmorning run Feb. 5 to salute family members staying behind. Soldiers wound their way through Conn Barracks past throngs of flag-waving children.
The division and its attached units will be named Task Force Danger. (No shit. One step closer to the truth. How about “Task Force Oil War,” or maybe “Task Force Imperial Occupation.” Or, for a three day road march, “Task Force IED.”)
HOW MANY MORE FOR BUSH’S WAR?
Army Staff Sgt. Richard P. Ramey, 27, of Canton, Ohio, killed Feb. 8, 2004, in Mahmudiyah. He was assigned to the 703rd Ordnance Company out of Fort Knox, Ky., and was supporting the work of the 82nd Airborne Division. (AP Photo/Fort Knox Public Affairs Office)
Russian Soldiers Forced To Work In Sawmill To Pay For Supplies
Army Times 2.16.04
A Russian army commander is under investigation for allegedly forcing some of his troops to work at a private sawmill without getting extra pay for their effort. Full details are unclear, but the soldiers apparently were sent to work after the commander’s unit failed to pay the sawmill owner for lumber. Instead of money, the commander allegedly assigned nine soldiers and two officers to work off the debt.
Money problems have plagued the Russian military in recent years, with power being cut off to bases and suppliers refusing to deliver food. Forcing troops to do labor to pay the bills probably isn’t a good solution. (”Probably”??)
Bush Wants Veterans Excluded From Overtime Pay As Civilians
February 16, 2004, By Rick Maze, Army Times staff writer
The Bush administration has proposed overtime rules that for the first time cite military training as a reason to deny extra pay for extra hours.
Military training previously was not cited in federal regulations on overtime pay. The AFL-CIO labor group says in a statement that the proposed regulations would allow an employer to determine whether military training is equivalent to having a specialized college or university degree. Those in engineering, medical, scientific and technical occupations would be hurt the most, the group said.
National Guard Screwed: General Says Iraq Duty “Will Ease”--- In 2005!! (But How Did He Know Three Years Ago About Endless Deployment?)
February 16, 2004 By Jane McHugh, Army Times staff writer
It will take another year before the Army starts easing its activations of National Guard and Reserve soldiers, a top general said.
Reservists will make up 30 percent of the force when Operation Iraqi Freedom III begins sometime in 2005, said Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
“We’re going to have a pretty high-stress environment for the next 18 months” Blum told a roundtable of reporters in Washington on Feb. 4. (”We?” This brass-kisser won’t go near combat, and he talks about “we?” His only stress comes when he tries to figure out whether to have rare steak or seafood in the Pentagon dining room. ) Blum, however, said: “There’s nobody who hasn’t joined the National Guard in the past three years who hasn’t known they’re going to be deployed.”
(Think hard about that. Three years ago is February 2001. Think real hard about that. Then think real hard about that again. Then send this asshole to a cage at Guantanamo and keep him there till he explains how he knew about 9-11 in February 2001.)
Congressional Task Force Ignores Marine Brass Bullshit About Harrier Safety; Going Ahead With Investigation
(Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2004) Despite assertions by the Marine Corps that its crash-plagued AV-8B Harrier attack jet is safe, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter said that he would create a task force to investigate a spate of recent accidents.
Invest In Iraq? No Thanks; U.S. Capitalists Worried About Safety, Stability
(USA Today, February 12, 2004, Pg. 2B) U.S. and Iraqi officials urged American businesses to invest in Iraq amid signs that concerns about security and stability continue to dampen interest. (Dead is not a good investment plan.)
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Big Surprise!: U.S. Won’t Even Set Up Fake Government In Iraq
(Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2004, Pg. 1
Secretary of State Colin Powell signaled that the administration might delay plans to return sovereignty to Iraqis by June 30, telling a congressional oversight panel that violence continued to vex U.S. and Iraqi officials. (Dead is a bit more than “vexing.”)
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Pentagon Eager To Wash Hands Of Iraq Mess It Created; Fake Iraq “Government” A Pack Of Thieves
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, Knight Ridder Newspapers, 2.11.04
“Iraq is now a contaminated environment and Rumsfeld and his people want out,” said one senior administration official. “They can’t wait for July 1 when the CPA (Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority) turns into the U.S. Embassy and the whole mess they have made becomes Colin Powell’s.”
The only question is whether Rumsfeld and Company can keep the lid on all the boiling pots until they can pass the CPA and the whole nation-rebuilding buck to the State Department.
The investigations and audits of Halliburton’s and Halliburton subsidiaries’ alleged contract overcharges, with their uncomfortable proximity to Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton’s former chief, are just the tip of the iceberg.
The real action, knowledgeable American officials say, is in local contracts that are being let under authority of the ruling Iraqi Governing Council. U.S. officials say some less savory Council members are demanding kickbacks on some contracts in hopes of investing the ill-gotten gains in buying or bending the selection of local and regional councils who will help choose a new government and bolstering their own distant hopes of holding onto power.
Corrupt U.S. Stooge In Action: Stealing Billions While Soldiers Die For Lack Of Body Armor
3 Months Of War Cost $14 Billion
(Dallas Morning News, February 12, 2004)
The ongoing war in Iraq cost about $4 billion in September, spiked to $7 billion in October and was just under $3 billion in November, the Pentagon said.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
ONE U. S. SOLDIER KILLED, NINE WOUNDED BY MINE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
February 13, 2004, Release Number: 04-02-07C
KABUL, Afghanistan – One Soldier was killed and nine wounded by a mine at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13 near Ghazni.
Four of the Soldiers were treated on the scene and the others were medically evacuated by helicopter to the 452nd Combat Support Hospital at Bagram Air Base.
Afghan Intelligence Official Slain In Resistance Attack
(New York Times, February 12, 2004)
A gunman killed an Afghan intelligence official in the city of Kost, 90 miles south of Kabul, and then blew himself up, in the country’s third suicide bombing this year. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Afghans Reject Phony Occupation Election Plan
Army Times 2.16.04
Fewer than 500,000 of Afghanistan’s 10.5 million people have registered to vote.
Earthquake Cracks Knesset; A Warning From The Lord About Butchering Palestinians?
By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff, February 11, 2004
Jerusalem (jnewswire.com) – An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale rocked Israel Wednesday morning, sending frightened people streaming into streets throughout the country, but causing no injuries and, according to initial reports, only minor damage.
Israel Radio reported the quake left a crack in the ceiling of the Knesset plenum, Israel’s parliament, just minutes before lawmakers were scheduled to take their seats for the day’s debates.
According to Israel Radio an engineering crew discovered a crack in the ceiling of the Knesset plenum, “directly above the table at which cabinet ministers sit.” The quake occurred half an hour before they were scheduled to take their seats.
(To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafah.vze.com. The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.)
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