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GI SPECIAL 4G9: 9/7/06 Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

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In this U.S. Air Force photo released by the Department of Defense Wednesday, July 5, 2006, U.S. Army Sgt. Kenneth Strong, left, and his fellow Soldiers exit a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during an aerial traffic control point mission near Tall Afar, Iraq, July 2. The Soldiers are assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. (AP Photo/Department of Defense, Jacob N. Bailey)

U.S. soldier Sgt. Kenneth Strong (L) and fellow soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team conduct a mission near Tal Afar town, near Mosul, about 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, in this handout photo taken July 7, 2006, and released July 8, 2006. (Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey/Handout – IRAQ/Reuters)




CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq: Three Soldiers assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD) died due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province today.

Local Marine Killed

06/28/2006 By ROBERT MILLS, Sun Staff


The knock came about 8:30 Sunday night, and when the door swung open to reveal Marines, Paul C. King knew exactly what had happened.

His son, decorated Marine Cpl. Paul “Nick” King, 23, had been killed in Iraq.

“It was complete devastation,” said his mother, Julie King.

“Opening the door, seeing them there and knowing exactly why they were there is something I will never forget,” Paul C. King said.

That same moment came about a half-hour later for Becky King, Nick King’s wife.

She was at a party at her father’s house to celebrate her recent graduation from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy when her mother-in-law called and told her to go home and listen to what the Marines had to say.

She already knew what it was going to be as she made that drive home alone.

“It was a long ride,” she said.

Becky King last saw her husband in March.

She went to Twentynine Palms, Calif., to see him just before he deployed to Iraq. He had been activated in December and sent to California for desert training.

Nick had five days off. The couple drove from the base and visited Seaworld and the San Diego Zoo.

No one knew it would be the last time Becky would see her high-school sweetheart alive.

Paul Nicholas King, who went by “Nick” since his father is also Paul King, was a mortarman with the 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Weapons Company, Regimental Combat Team 5. He was killed Sunday while serving with a mobile assault platoon, a group patrolling the notorious city of Fallujah to weed out insurgents, according to a biography released by the Marine Corps.

King had gotten out of his Humvee and was maintaining a security perimeter when he was killed. No other Marines were hurt in the incident, according to the Marine Corps.

King is the first Tyngsboro resident killed in action since Vietnam, when two men were killed, according to Veterans’ Agent and Selectman Kevin O’Connor.

“He was the boy next door,” Becky said last night, recounting how her family moved next door to King on Cannongate Road in August of 1998. King helped her mother move in.

By November of that year, the two were a couple. They married on May 20, 2003.

King graduated from studying electronics at Greater Lowell Vocational High School in 2001. Becky attended Dracut High through the school-choice program, and before she graduated in 2002 King wore his uniform to her prom.

He had enlisted in the Marine Reserves while still in school and went to boot camp after graduation. “He wanted to do something he could be proud of,” a tearful Becky King said last night. “My mother’s father is a Marine and (King) started listening to him about the respect and whatnot, so he wanted to be a part of it.” “He loved being a Marine.”

Nick King certainly earned the respect he sought when he joined the Corps. His father said last night that it was not just the service to country that made him proud of his son, though. “I’m proud of everything he did,” Paul C. King said. “There is no prouder person in this world than me right now.”

His younger sister, Dianna King, felt the same, and pointed out that her brother volunteered for his dangerous duty.

“I couldn’t be any more proud of my brother, and even if he never went to Iraq I’d be just as proud,” Dianna King said. “Nick volunteered because not everyone had a choice. He feared something would happen that he could have prevented.”

King had volunteered for deployment. His unit had been deployed to Korea, Japan and Thailand in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, so unit members had an option to stay home from Iraq.

“It was not for political purposes, he just didn’t want to make his comrades feel abandoned or lost,” Becky King said. “It made me proud to know that’s what kind of person he was.”

He rarely spoke of his experiences when he called from Iraq. “Whenever we’d talk, he’d assure me he loved me and couldn’t wait to be home,” Becky King said.

His mother also said Nick King was homesick.

Becky King last talked to her husband Thursday night. He mentioned that he couldn’t wait to get home and get a Playstation 3. He was also looking forward to fixing up a motorcycle the couple had bought. They have several bikes and loved to go riding together.

Nick was outgoing, happy, and quick with a joke, Becky said. He would rarely judge others. A good cook, his pizza and ribs were “the best.”

Becky said she fell in love with the man that her husband was.

“He had a really great take on life,” she said. “He would try anything, and he always encouraged people to try anything.”

King stayed out of trouble growing up, although his energy was never spent. His sister, Julie King, said her brother, a delivery boy for The Sun, would Rollerblade from the family’s condominium off Dunstable Road in Tyngsboro deep into Westford.

He would watch out for Julie in those years. “Half the knowledge I have I learned from him,” Julie said, clutching her baby, Anna, in her arms. It was Paul and Becky’s love for Anna that made them want to have kids as soon as he got back. The couple also planned to start looking for a home, Becky said.

Dianna King said her brother was always faithful to his friends. Once he made a friend he kept a friend.

King’s brother, Daniel King, 19, just graduated and was also enlisted to enter the Marines on July 10. Those plans are on hold. Julie and Paul C. King told him they could not let him go in light of what has happened. The Marine Corps agreed to give him the option since he is the only surviving male child in the family.

Nick King was last in Tyngsboro in February. He had a long weekend off and flew home to see his family.

O’Connor, the town’s veterans agent, said Nick King was his paperboy while growing up. “He was a quiet, unassuming kid,” O’Connor said. “Nick was a great kid.” O’Connor described the loss as tragic and emotional, and said the town is deeply sorry for the family.

Becky King’s father, G. J. Brown, owns the Century 21 in Tyngsboro, O’Connor said.

The Marine Corps told King’s family his remains would be flown to Maryland within days, but it is still not clear how much longer it will take the body to return to Massachusetts. As a result, funeral plans have not yet been made.

No matter how long it takes to set up those arrangments, Nick King’s memory will not fade. “Before he left he told me he wasn’t worried about himself. He said he’d be fine,” said his sister Dianna, her voice low. “He promised me he’d come back home. He will be in our hearts and thoughts forever.”

U.S. Convoy Ambushed In Karma:
Many Casualties Reported

Jul 8, 2006 Deutsche Presse-Agentur

A roadside bomb and mortar rockets struck a US military convoy in the town of Karma near Fallujah, 70 kilometers west of Baghdad, killing and wounding a number of US soldiers on Saturday, a police source said.

A large number of armed men riding in civilian vehicles attacked the US convoy with RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and mortar rounds immediately after the ambush, wounding further soldiers, the source said.

Before the roadside explosion, the US soldiers sprayed shots randomly at civilians, killing a number of them, the source said.

Karma, 15 kilometers east of Fallujah, has witnessed an extensive arrest raid and all entrances were blocked, he added.

Idiocy On The March:
Occupation Command Fucking With The Mehdi Army;
[They Think Too Few Iraqis Are Trying To Kill U.S. Troops]

The US army in Iraq is evidently starting a new confrontation with the Mehdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr, which now controls much of Baghdad. “This is a big escalation from the American side,” said Sheikh Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, an aide to Mr Sadr, the nationalist Shia cleric whose men twice fought the US in 2004.

08 July 2006 By Patrick Cockburn, Independent News and Media Limited [Excerpts] & By Lutfi Abu Oun, (Reuters)

US forces in Iraq have launched a series of bloody attacks on Shia militia forces in and around Baghdad, killing or wounding 30 fighters and provoking widespread anger in the Shia community.

Iraqi government security forces, backed by the US troops and aircraft, moved into the vast Shia slum of al-Sadr City in eastern Baghdad at 3:15am yesterday in an attempt to arrest a commander of the Mehdi Army, the main Shia militia, called Abu Diraa. Iraqi police said nine people were killed including a woman.

An Iraqi officer said the Americans had provided lists of people to be arrested in al-Sadr City.

The US army in Iraq is evidently starting a new confrontation with the Mehdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr, which now controls much of Baghdad.

“This is a big escalation from the American side,” said Sheikh Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, an aide to Mr Sadr, the nationalist Shia cleric whose men twice fought the US in 2004.

Speaking after the attack on al-Sadr City, he said 11 people had been killed and dozens wounded as US jets fired on the area while they slept on their rooftops to escape the heat. An Iraqi army officer said troops had failed to find Mr Diraa, the militia leader, while the US said it had captured an insurgent commander.

In another sign of growing US confrontation with the Mehdi Army, one of its commanders, Adnan al-Unaybi, was arrested by US and Iraqi forces at Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad.

The US army is masking the fact that it is increasingly at war with the Iraqi Shia militias by referring to both Sunni and Shia as insurgents.

Thus, after the raid into al-Sadr City, the US military said in a statement: “The captured individual heads multiple insurgent cells in Baghdad whose main focus is to conduct attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.”

This conceals the fact that the US is fighting the Mehdi Army, which is controlled by Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party is an important part of the Iraqi government.

U.S. and Iraqi forces with armoured vehicles surrounded a Shi’ite mosque in southeastern Baghdad after dark on Saturday in what appeared to be the latest operation against Shi’ite militias, police said.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military or the Iraqi Interior Ministry but a policeman at the scene outside the Sadrain mosque in the Zafaraniya district said he believed they were trying to arrest members of the Shi’ite Mehdi Army militia.

The mosque is believed to be loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Mehdi Army fighters have been the target of several recent operations by government and U.S. forces, including a major raid on Baghdad’s Sadr City area on Friday.

Great Moments In U.S. Military History:
The Attack On Ramadi Hospital

Geneva Conventions:
Article 18: Civilian hospitals organized to care to the wounded and sick, infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

A U.S. Marine handcuffs an Iraqi citizen taken prisoner inside the Ramadi General Hospital July 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

[Thanks to many who sent this in.]

July 05, 2006 By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer [Excerpts]

BAGHDAD: U.S. and Iraqi forces on Wednesday raided a hospital in Ramadi that they suspect is a base for insurgents.

Hundreds of U.S. Marines stormed through dimly lit hallways of the largest hospital in western Iraq on Wednesday, taking control of a facility allegedly used by insurgents — and encountering a regional health infrastructure in serious decay.

They knocked down dozens of locked doors and searched medicine chests and storage closets for additional weapons.

Just to reach the hospital, residents must negotiate bomb-saturated roads and gunbattles that often block the way.

Staff members also complained that key supplies were scarce. Patients needing CT scans are sent to Baghdad, 70 miles to the east on some of the most dangerous roads in the country. Faulty X-ray equipment produced scans that were barely visible. Shortages of medicine at the hospital force patients to pick up drugs from local pharmacies. And irregular electricity keeps hospital lights flickering on and off.

During Wednesday’s raid, tensions were apparent between some doctors and Marines. The Marines, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C., said one member of their platoon had been shot in the arm near the hospital while handing candy to children at a nearby school.

Some angrily accused doctors of harboring and helping insurgents.

They [the doctors] insisted they were bound by the Hippocratic oath to serve all patients.

[Gee whiz, imagine that! Doctors treating anybody who needs treatment! Doctors obeying the oath they took to minister to those needing medical aid regardless of who they are. Those Iraqi hospital workers sure are a sneaky, devious bunch. OK, from now on, if doctors have to take sides, doctors opposed to the occupation will simply let any wounded U.S. troops they come across bleed to death, or whatever. You like that idea better, asshole? As for the “harboring” idiocy, it is customary in medicine to put people who are injured into a hospital bed. Duh.]

“On my floor of the hospital, I’ve seen nothing. I have no idea about the other floors,” the medical aide said when asked if insurgents had ever visited the hospital.

Marines expressed frustration at the lack of cooperation.

“They don’t play by the same rules that we do,” said Pfc. Gilberto Rodriguez, 20, of Alexandria, Va., as he stood guard in a hallway. “Insurgents have free rein here. They can do whatever they want. They use whatever tactics are most effective.”

[Good Lord. It just gets worse and worse! Soldiers fighting a foreign enemy army occupying their country using “whatever tactics are most effective.” Why how unfair of them. Obviously, when fighting a war, soldiers on the other side should be required to use whatever tactics are least effective, right?

[And by all means let’s get all those Iraqi resistance fighters together in a very large room, maybe an auditorium, so they can be taught what kind of rules George W. Bush and his commanders wish them to “play by,” so they will stop this unfair violation of the invading army’s rules. No, that won’t work. Maybe TV or radio broadcasts? “Attention all resistance fighters: Here are the rules you are required to use in fighting our occupying Army.”

[Now why didn’t the British think of that one in 1776?

[Well, actually, they also spent a lot of time whining about how those cowardly American terrorists at Lexington and Concord, and elsewhere, wouldn’t follow their rules. Those American sneaks hid behind trees and rocks, “Indian style,” and ambushed the British soldiers, instead of standing up in the open to be cheerfully slaughtered.

[Maybe for Americans in 1776, and Iraqis in 2006, it’s not a “game.” Maybe they’re fighting for their independence from a foreign politician using his soldiers to grab their country for himself. If so, they got it right.]

Marines and Iraqi soldiers sat outside the rooms of about 30-40 patients. As worried mothers stroked the faces of their sick children, Marines rested in the hallways outside to escape nighttime temperatures that hovered around 100.

Some staff members were visibly angered by the U.S. presence. The young physician’s leg shook as U.S. troops interviewed him about critical needs they hoped to fill.

“The young man was angry. I could see it in his eyes,” said Navy Capt. Saleem Khan, 58, a soft-spoken surgeon from Sherman, Texas, shortly after meeting with the doctors.

Later, as the doctors returned to visit their patients, the young physician pointed to bottles of medicine strewn about the floor by Marines looking for weapons. He said he wished the Marines had never come to the hospital.

“Why is all this damaged?” the doctor asked a Marine, who apologized. “The next time you visit the hospital, please try not to intimidate the patients.”

Geneva Conventions:
Article 18: Civilian hospitals organized to care to the wounded and sick, infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

Iraqi citizens in the Ramadi Hospital taken prisoner July 5. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)


Marines assigned to the Hawaii-based Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, search a house in Barwana June 16, 2006. REUTERS/Sgt. Roe F. Seigle/U.S. Army/Handout (IRAQ)


Spanish Soldier Killed, 4 Wounded Near Farah

Jul 8, 2006 Deutsche Presse-Agentur & (AP)

A Spanish soldier was killed and four injured Saturday in an explosion near Farah in western Afghanistan, the Defence Ministry said in Madrid.

The victim was identified as Peruvian paratrooper Jorge Arnaldo Hernandez. The others were reported to have been slightly injured.

The soldiers were patrolling in an armored convoy near the city of Farah after sunset when a bomb exploded near their vehicles, said Maj. Ian Clooney, spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

The soldiers were taken to a camp hospital in Herat. The medical evacuation of the wounded soldiers is underway, NATO-led ISAF spokesman Euan Downie said without disclosing details.

Spain has around 680 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The contingent was recently increased by 150 soldiers.

Eight U.S. Or Canadian Troops Wounded In Kandahar Province:
Nationality Not Announced

8 July 2006 BBC NEWS & Reuters

A coalition spokesman said eight of its soldiers and one Afghan army soldier had been wounded in the battle in Kandahar province.

The coalition forces did not disclose the nationalities of the soldiers who were injured, but the largest contingent of foreign troops in the province are from Canada and the US.

Two coalition soldiers were wounded in the Panjwai district.

Taliban insurgents attacked coalition troops in Zabul province, to the north of Kandahar, late on Friday. Five coalition soldiers were wounded and one Taliban killed in that clash,

Two Canadian Soldiers Wounded Near Pashmol

July 08, 2006 Matthew Fisher, CanWest News Service & By JOHN COTTER, (CP)


A Canadian forces soldier was critically wounded in a firefight with Taliban insurgents Saturday in Afghanistan.

The soldier, a member of the Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group, was rushed by air ambulance to a U.S. Army combat hospital in Germany for specialized medical care.

The infantryman was wounded Saturday during one of several violent firefights between the Princess Patricias and the Taliban in the neighbouring districts of Zharei and Panjwei, two notorious hotbeds of the insurgency in farming country about 30 kilometres west of Kandahar.

The soldier was first treated at the Canadian combat hospital at the Kandahar Airfield where surgeons decided that he should be sent on to the facility at Landstuhl, Germany which treats many of the most seriously wounded coalition troops from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Another Canadian who was less seriously wounded in one of Saturday’s battles was to continue being treated at the hospital at the Kandahar Airfield. He is expected to return to duty before the Patricias rotate back to Canada next month. The PPCLI are to be replaced by a similar battle group from the Ottawa Valley-based Royal Canadian Regiment.

The troops were hit during a sweep through an area of villages and farms that have been the scene of numerous clashes with insurgents over the last two months, said Maj. Mark Theriault, a Canadian Forces spokesman.

“In response to small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire, Canadian and Afghan soldiers returned fire and called in coalition air support,” Theriault said Saturday.

The more seriously injured of the two was wounded in the firefight itself.

The other man was hurt as a result of the coalition air strike. He was listed in good condition.

The battles raged during a day when temperatures in the area reached into the high 50s Celsius.

“Obviously, the fighting is fierce,” Major Marc Theriault said of Operation Zahar (or Operation Sword in English), which was launched two days ago as a result of intelligence received by the Canadian battle group and their Afghan army and police allies. “This is an ongoing effort that we expect to last several days.

At least five Taliban were killed in Saturday’s exchanges, which occurred in and near the village of Pashmol.

An Afghan National Army soldier was also wounded in the battle and was at the hospital at Kandahar Airfield.

During the firefight in the Panjwaii district, the Canadian battle group called in artillery support from a battery of heavy guns.

British Troops Facing Air Supply Crisis In Afghanistan

05 July 2006 By Tom Coghlan in Kabul, The Independent (UK)

British forces in Afghanistan are facing a supply crisis because nearly half of their helicopter transport fleet is unable to fly in daylight hours due to the searing Helmand heat.

The 3,300 British troops in the south rely on six Chinook and four Lynx aircraft for all transport and supply. The extreme heat and thin, rising air of the Helmand desert has limited the Lynx, an attack and utility helicopter, to use between dusk and dawn, when temperatures fall to acceptable levels, military sources confirmed.

A Chinook resupply flight – able to carry 54 troops or 11 tons of equipment – was cancelled last month when a US soldier based with British troops in Musa Qala needed air evacuation with appendicitis. A Lynx would normally be used.

British forces pinned down by Taliban guerrillas near the town of Gereshk last week waited for more than four hours for air support because no Lynx could fly.

Blair Regime Has Boosted Resistance, Admits Defence Chief

July 8, 2006 Patrick Wintour and Declan Walsh in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan; The Guardian [Excerpt]

Des Browne, the defence secretary, conceded yesterday that the deployment of 3,300 British forces into the Taliban heartland of southern Helmand has “energised” the Taliban.

His sombre assessment came after a week in which a sixth British soldier was killed in the province, and as he prepares to announce next week the dispatch of reinforcements to the country, including extra air cover and engineers.

How Bad Is It?

24 June 2006 Socialist Worker (UK) [Excerpts]

More soldiers have died so far this year than in the whole of 2004, with May and June the bloodiest months for Western troops since the occupation began.

Areas once considered safe are now classified as “unstable”, and fighting has even reached the outskirts of the capital, Kabul.



The coffin of Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Webb, 20, of Swartz Creek, Mich., during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, July 6, 2006. Webb, who enlisted in May 2005, was killed June 20 when a bomb detonated under his vehicle in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

7000 From Hawaii Off To Bush’s Imperial Slaughterhouse

Members of the 25th Infantry Division during a deployment ceremony at Schofield Barracks, near Wahiawa, Hawaii, July 7, 2006. About 7,000 troops from Schofield will be leaving Hawaii in the next few weeks and will be deployed to Iraq. This continues the largest deployment of Hawaii-based troops since the Vietnam War. REUTERS/Lucy Pemoni (UNITED STATES)

Soldiers Wife Not Taking Any More Shit From Command:
Declares War On The “One Hundred And Worst”

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

The doctor sent several messages to her husband’s unit asking that he be sent home on emergency leave until she was stable. The unit’s response was that there was nothing and she was making the up the bipolar diagnoses up just to get her husband home. They suggested that she was only bored and should take up a hobby like basket weaving.

07 Jul 2006 by Anna Thompson, Tennessee Indymedia

Clarksville, TN: Civilian personnel frequently call the 101st Airborne Unit the “one hundred and worst” rather than 101st.

It is unusual for someone from within the 101st to step forward and demand redress for improper procedure, but in the face of growing scandals, some people are stepping forward to talk about accountability and not the least of them is Stephanie Murphy.

Stephanie Murphy is a soldier’s wife. Her husband is currently deployed in Iraq and she lives at Fort Campbell.

She has been active working within the system to bring awareness to basic issues she feels need to be addressed within the service, she wants to bring attention to problems both large and small in the 101st Airborne Division, Post at Ft. Campbell and for those soldiers currently deployed in Iraq.

She feels that these problems are not just about her and her husband, but rather, they are only the tip of the iceberg.

The first complaint Stephanie has is about the military following proper procedure regarding facility visitation for health issues. Approximately two months ago she wrote a letter that was sent to the White House and many members of Congress and the Senate, about her most recent complaint.

On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, she received a phone call from her battalion FRG leader concerning a letter her husband, the Battalion CO, had written to him about her complaints. She was asked to write an email listing her specific complaints and what the unit could do that “would make her happy”.

Her primary complaint at the time of the initial letter to the White House, was about family visitation for health issues.

In April of this year she was admitted into a psychiatric facility, to begin medication for Bipolar I disorder in a controlled environment, and treatment for a depressed episode. Her assigned psychiatrist felt that upon discharge she should not be alone until her medication was stabilized.

The doctor sent several messages to her husband’s unit asking that he be sent home on emergency leave until she was stable. The unit’s response was that there was nothing and she was making the up the bipolar diagnoses up just to get her husband home. They suggested that she was only bored and should take up a hobby like basket weaving.

These attitudes and statements of course were not beneficial to Stephanie or her husband.

Army regulation states that emergency leave should be granted when a situation with an immediate family member arises that would negatively affect the soldier were he not to be sent home to deal with it.

Stephanie has medical records from 2002-2004, as well as records from 1984, which show unequivocally that she did not “suddenly” develop a problem.

Beyond this incident, there was also a medical problem concerning Stephanie’s husband within the first two months of his deployment.

Her husband went to sick call, reporting that there was a large amount of blood in his urine. He was given Tylenol 3 and sent on his way. When Stephanie found out about the lack of medical testing and treatment he should have received, she contacted his Rear Detachment CO, who then passed her off to the Post Hospital CO. Stephanie called and complained, threatened media exposure, and the issue was resolved.

Stephanie feels that the Army is providing sub-standard medical care to it’s soldiers, and treating both soldiers and family members alike with little to no basic human dignity.

They pray on fear of reprisal so that virtually no soldier or family member will complain for fear of damaging consequences such as blocking promotions, excessive physical punishment to the point of injury and so forth.

More basic examples of incidents at Ft. Campbell, KY include but are not limited to: no water provided on the firing range in 90 degree heat, thereby providing “victims” of dehydration for the emergency medical class who “happened” to be on site with several thousand bags of saline to practice on.

This practice has led to serious consequences, including one last summer in which a soldier died after complaining of not feeling well and feeling dizzy, but was not permitted to stop, and the situation was not checked out.

Stephanie Murphy feels that perhaps if the rest of the country is made aware, it will force the Army to take action and begin to remedy these and many other problems in 101st Airborne Division and the units attached to it.

If you would like to contact Stephanie Murphy she can be reached at

General Reports Haditha Massacre Officers “Derelict In Their Duties”:
Colonel Reportedly Ignored Evidence Of A Crime

07/07/06 NBC & Reuters, BAGHDAD, Iraq

The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq completed a review Friday of an investigation into a possible cover-up of the alleged Marine killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in the western town of Haditha.

The New York Times quoted two Defense Department officials as saying that Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, head of ground forces in Iraq, had faulted senior staff of the Second Marine Division and recommended unspecified disciplinary action for some officers.

“He concludes that some officers were derelict in their duties,” the Times quoted one of the officials as saying.

The findings have not officially been made public yet, but U.S. military officials speaking on condition of anonymity told NBC News that the investigation found a number of Marines allegedly filed false reports claiming the civilians were victims of a roadside bomb by militants.

The probe also found higher officers allegedly ignored evidence that there may have been criminal activity in the case, the officials said.

CBS News reported that those officers were at every level up to and including the colonel who commanded the regiment involved in the incident.

Running On Empty:
Recruiting Collapses In Boston Area

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

July 6, 2006 By Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe Staff [Excerpts]

According to Major Mark Spear, who commands 44 Army recruiters covering more than 50 communities north and west of Boston, the urge to serve has waned since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

After 101 percent of his area’s enlistment goal was reached in fiscal 2003, the numbers dipped to 84.4 percent in 2004, fell to 55.7 percent in 2005, and stand at 45.2 percent for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Recruiters in the city of Boston and its southern suburbs also have struggled to meet their targets.

Enlistment numbers reached 123 percent of the goal in fiscal 2003, and then fell to 90.1 percent and 55.8 percent in the next two years. For fiscal 2006, according to the latest data, enlistments stood at 39.7 percent of the goal.

Nationally, the Army’s active-duty enlistments in fiscal 2005 dropped to 73,373 soldiers, 8 percent short of its goal of 80,000 recruits following five consecutive years of exceeding its target.

As of May 26, the Army had enlisted 42,859 soldiers for 2006, which appears well short of the number required to meet this year’s goal of 80,000.

The Massachusetts National Guard also is coping with a sharp decline in its numbers, with 5,552 soldiers in its ranks in fiscal 2005, compared with 7,419 in fiscal 2002.

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.

New Corporals Have “Fruit Inserted In Body Cavities”

7.10.06 Army Times

A probe of initiation rites in the German army has produced unsettling findings, according to a United Press International report.

Members of a paratrooper battalion in Zweibruecken have been barred from taking part in a peacekeeping mission in Africa while investigators try to learn more about a promotion ceremony requiring new corporals to endure being stripped and paddled, and having fruit inserted in body cavities.

The UPI report quotes a military spokesman as saying it does not appear anyone was forced to take part in the “bizarre initiation ritual,” but it said officials still consider the ceremony troubling. One officer said the initiation “overstepped the line” and involved “despicable incidents which cannot be tolerated.”

It’s hardly the first extreme hazing incident in the German military. In 2004, Der Spiegel, a German magazine, reported four separate incidents in which recruits were roughed up during night exercises. At least two men were drenched with water and subjected to electric shocks, including to their groins.


“Missing From This Description Is The Number Of Shia Resistance Groups”

July 7, 2006 Firas Al-Atraqchi, AL-AHRAM (Cairo) [Excerpts]

By bundling up all terrorist organisations and resistance groups under the “insurgent” masthead, the media has co-opted Iraq into the global war on terror spectacle.

This was long the reasoning of the White House, and unfortunately the media continues to play ball. It remains a deceit.

For example, some wire agencies have portrayed the “insurgency” in Iraq as Sunni; the Sunnis were depicted as waging a war against the “Shia-led” government and their US military backers.

To the reader, it appears that the country is caught between Sunnis fighting US forces and the Shia community.

Missing from this description is the number of Shia resistance groups which in recent months have started to publicise their own videos of exploding Humvees, Abrams tanks and in one case at least, foreign contractors.




“The Soldiers We Have Deployed Over There Are Beginning To Snap”
“Their Mission Has Nothing To Do With Democracy Or Weapons Of Mass Destruction, And They Know It”

06 July 2006 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout Perspective [Excerpt]

According to reports, Steven D. Green and several other soldiers got boozed up before breaking into the home of a family in Mahmudiayh, some 20 miles outside Baghdad. They shot three family members to death with an AK-47, raped the young woman, and then killed her as well. Their blood-spattered clothes were later burned to dispose of evidence.

News reports of the incident describe Green has having a “personality disorder,” which may have motivated his actions, but nothing is said of the other soldiers involved having similar disorders.

They picked this young Iraqi woman out, raped her, and butchered her and her family. This is one of five incidents currently under investigation involving American soldiers killing Iraqi civilians, the most notorious being the massacre in Haditha of 24 Iraqis.

The soldiers we have deployed over there are beginning to snap. [Bullshit. “We” had no say in it. The people who own and operate the government in Washington DC for their own Imperial benefit deployed the troops, not “we.” Afraid to say so?]

They are trapped in an environment with no clear enemy to fight, but where their comrades are killed every day.

Their mission has nothing to do with democracy or weapons of mass destruction, and they know it.

All too often, they are killed on patrols between northern Iraq and Baghdad while guarding the convoys that run to and from the petroleum facilities. They go home and are sent back, and go home and are sent back.

The strain is on every soldier over there, and some of them are going insane from the pressure.

Those who do not explode in a frenzy of indiscriminate violence suffer nonetheless, and must now endure the moral stain brought upon them by those fellow soldiers for whom the pressure is too much.

Many vow to get out of the service once their time is up.

Experienced non-commissioned officers – the backbone of any effective military – are walking away in record numbers. The threat posed to the basic fabric of our armed forces by Iraq is manifest and growing.

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

As of now, the Pentagon has only investigated blatant criminal actions by rank-and-file soldiers and marines. No one has brought official charges against the high officers and politicians who systematically lied to justify the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. John Catalinotto, Workers World, July 5, 2006

“All We Did Is Go As Young Men To Fight For Our Country And To Have Them Poison Us With Chemicals”

July 04, 2006 Thomas Burkhart, vietnam vet 68 to 69, Firebase-chat [Excerpts]

well nothing surprises me about politicians.

just think of all the money that crossed hands.

its funny to me where the politicians can pass bills that do nothing for its citizens. they take and take more because there is nobody to stop it.

they are all into it together. i hope they bring charges against them and let the chips fall.

hell all we did is go as young men to fight for our country and to have them poison us with chemicals

all they got to do is stick together and dont send there kids to war

rich man goes to college poor man goes to work.

it has been that way for along time.

time for a change how we look at things

oil companys are bathing in money workers lose jobs retirement

you dont see any of them lose anything

thomas burkhart

If It’s Not Torture, Then It’s OK To Use It On Cheney

By Kirk Caraway, Veterans For Peace Newsletter, Spring 2006

“We do not torture.”

That’s what President George W. Bush said, and we can believe him, right? After all, that whole water boarding thing is just a walk in the park. Here is how CIA sources described this technique to ABC News:

“The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him.

Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.”

And it seems to work pretty well. Another passage from the ABC story:

“According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

“They said al-Qaida’s toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.”

Wow. Two-and-a-half minutes to get the truth. Not bad.

Perhaps the Justice Department could use this to speed up some investigations that are taking forever. How about that two-year investigation into who leaked Valerie Plame’s CIA status?

Stick Karl Rove on the water board and we can see who really leaked what in just a couple of minutes.

That would be fair, wouldn’t it? After all, his boss says it’s not torture, right?

And how about this whole question about whether we were lied into the war in Iraq. I bet Dick Cheney would have the answer for that one, though the water board may be tough on his bad heart. At least we would know for sure if 2,120+ brave Americans died for a lie.

Just for fun, we could strap Bill Clinton to the water board and find out a whole lot on what happened during his term in the White House. That’s one interrogation people would pay big money to see on pay-per-view.

Think of all the situations this could be used for. Hook up Tom DeLay, see if he really did break Texas campaign laws. Get the Halliburton executives in there and ask what happened to all our money. Stick O.J. Simpson on the water board and find out if he killed his ex-wife.

Remember, it’s not torture. Bush says so.

Of course, this method isn’t foolproof. The confessions obtained this way aren’t exactly trustworthy.

The ABC story recounts how one subject was water boarded into claiming Iraq helped train al-Qaida members to use biochemical weapons. This information then was used by the Bush Administration to justify the war.

As it turns out, the subject had no knowledge of such training, and he fabricated the story in order to stop the treatment.

“This is the problem with using the water board. They get so desperate that they begin telling you what they think you want to hear,” a source told ABC.

So maybe we weren’t lied into war, just water boarded into it.

At least it’s not torture. Bush said so.

And we can believe him, right? Perhaps he can volunteer for the water board and prove he’s telling the truth.

Kirk Caraway is Internet Editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at or 881-1273.

What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.

What NCOs Have Noticed About Officers

July 07, 2006 Joe Balshone, Firebase-Humor

It’s more important to look good than to be good.

Non-matching furniture is a show-stopper. Untrained troops are not a show-stopper.

A unit that has no money for new computers or spare parts will still manage to afford a big-screen TV for Powerpoint slide shows.

A bad plan with good slides is better than a good plan with bad slides.

Three sergeants thinking about an issue dealing with their MOS for four months and coming up with a detailed plan, is not as good as a colonel who knows nothing about their MOS or the problem thinking about it for 30 seconds.

When you achieve high rank, the difference between what you know and what you feel fades away.

The schools officers go to aren’t any better than the schools NCOs go to. But an NCO who goes to the ANCOC that deals with his MOS knows he’s not necessarily smarter about his MOS; an Army officer who goes to an Air Force graduate school or a Joint College thinks he now knows more about the branch he’s been away from for two years.

A year’s hard work by the troops can be destroyed because of some minor incident that happened to the Colonel when he was a lieutenant.

Officers sit around thinking a lot. In a vacuum. This is not a good thing.

Officers think they’re businessmen. They think the principles used in business, like “corporate vision” and “TQM” can work in the Army. This is because officers spend a lot of time trying to sell things, usually grand ideas and catchy names.

Officers believe that a plan won’t succeed unless it has a good name, like “Operation Intrinsic Action.” NCOs would rather give it something simple, like “Operation Beat Their Fucking Heads In 5,” and get on with it.

Officers really do believe that a soldier is happier when he’s busy, even if he’s not doing what’s important. NCOs know that nothing is so useless as doing well something which should not be done at all.

There are a lot of officers out there who would have been better as NCOs, and a lot of NCOs who would have been better as officers.

NCOs NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES refer to other soldiers as “customers.”

Creating a twenty-minute slide show that makes the commander look good will get you the same medal as working your ass off for 12 months for the same commander.


Look Who’s Been Kidnapped!

When the Palestinians do this, we call it “terror.” When we do it, we work overtime to whitewash the atrocity.

07.05.06 Arik Diamant, Arik Diamant is an IDF [Israeli army] reservist and the head of the Courage to Refuse organization

It’s the wee hours of the morning, still dark outside. A guerilla force comes out of nowhere to kidnap a soldier. After hours of careful movement, the force reaches its target, and the ambush is on! In seconds, the soldier finds himself looking down the barrel of a rifle.

A smash in the face with the butt of the gun and the soldier falls to the ground, bleeding. The kidnappers pick him up, quickly tie his hands and blindfold him, and disappear into the night.

This might be the end of the kidnapping, but the nightmare has just begun. The soldier’s mother collapses, his father prays. His commanding officers promise to do everything they can to get him back, his comrades swear revenge. An entire nation is up-in-arms, writing in pain and worry.

Nobody knows how the soldier is: Is he hurt? Do his captors give him even a minimum of human decency, or are they torturing him to death by trampling his honor? The worst sort of suffering is not knowing. Will he come home? And if so, when? And in what condition? Can anyone remain apathetic in the light of such drama?

This description, you’ll be surprised to know, has nothing to do with the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

It is the story of an arrest I carried out as an IDF soldier, in the Nablus casbah, about 10 years ago. The “soldier” was a 17-year-old boy, and we kidnapped him because he knew “someone” who had done “something.”

We brought him tied up, with a burlap sac over his head, to a Shin Bet interrogation center known as “Scream Hill” (at the time we thought it was funny). There, the prisoner was beaten, violently shaken and sleep deprived for weeks or months. Who knows.

No one wrote about it in the paper.

European diplomats were not called to help him.

After all, there was nothing out of the ordinary about the kidnapping of this Palestinian kid.

Over the 40 years of occupation we have kidnapped thousands of people, exactly like Gilad Shalit was captured: Threatened by a gun, beaten mercilessly, with no judge or jury, or witnesses, and without providing the family with any information about the captive.

When the Palestinians do this, we call it “terror.” When we do it, we work overtime to whitewash the atrocity.

Some people will say: The IDF doesn’t “just” kidnap. These people are “suspects.” There is no more perverse lie than this. In all the years I served, I reached one simple conclusion: What makes a “suspect”? Who, exactly suspects him, and of what?

Who has the right to sentence a 17-year-old to kidnapping, torture and possible death? A 26-year-old Shin Bet interrogator? A 46-year-old one? Do these people have any higher education, apart from the ability to interrogate? What are his considerations? If all these “suspects” are so guilty, why not bring them to trial?

Anyone who believes that despite the lack of transparency, the IDF and Shin Bet to their best to minimize violations of human rights is na´ve, if not brainwashed.

One need only read the testimonies of soldiers who have carried out administrative detentions to be convinced of the depth of the immorality of our actions in the territories.

To this very day, there are hundreds of prisoners rotting in Shin Bet prisons and dungeons, people who have never been –and never will be – tried.

And Israelis are silently resolved to this phenomenon.

The day Gilad Shalit was kidnapped I rode in a taxi. The driver told me we must go into Gaza, start shooting people one-by-one, until someone breaks and returns the hostage. It isn’t clear that such an operation would bring Gilad back alive.

Instead of getting dragged into terrorist responses, as Palestinian society has done, we should release some of the soldiers and civilians we have kidnapped. This is appropriate, right, and could bring about an air of reconciliation in the territories.

Hell, if this is what will bring Gilad home safe-and-sound, we have a responsibility to him to do it.

Israeli Tanks Meet Fierce Resistance

July 7, 2006 By Scott Wilson, Washington Post Foreign Service & By Avi Issacharoff, Amos Harel, Aluf Benn, Mijal Grinberg and Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies & Hanan Greenberg,

BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip, July 6 — Israeli tanks pushed into populated areas here Thursday for the first time since reentering the Gaza Strip last week and met fierce resistance from Palestinians using rocket-propelled grenades, roadside mines and rifles to slow their advance.

At least 21 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, many from the governing Hamas movement’s armed wing, and an Israeli soldier died after being shot in the head by a sniper.

Two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded near Beit Lahia early Thursday afternoon, one by Palestinian gunfire and the other when a weapon misfired.

The battlefield was concentrated along a half-mile strip of homes, dunes and orchards in a western neighborhood of this city, the deepest Israel has reached inside Gaza since evacuating its settlements and military bases here almost a year ago.

A late-afternoon Israeli missile strike on a group of gunmen inflicted most of the Palestinian casualties, filling the overwhelmed emergency rooms of the Kamal Adwan and al-Shifa hospitals with dead and wounded. There were several civilians among the dead, according to wounded witnesses in recovery wards at al-Shifa. Hospital officials said 60 people were wounded, nearly one-third of them children.

Soon after, a spokesman for Palestinian Interior Minister Saed Siyam of Hamas called on the Palestinian security forces to fight the Israeli incursion, effectively issuing a declaration of war.

Khaled Abu Hilal, the spokesman, said those forces, which number more than 70,000 men and are dominated by the rival Fatah party, had a “religious and moral duty to stand up to this aggression and cowardly Zionist invasion.”

The Israeli soldier who died after being hit by sniper fire was identified as 1st Lt. Yehuda Bessal. The army said that after Bessal was shot, his airlift evacuation to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba was delayed by continuing Palestinian attacks on his position.

Captain [Eliezer] Peretz demanded a rescue: “Bring me urgent rescue, the soldier must be taken out of here as fast as possible.”

An armored tank used also as an ambulance was rushed to Peretz’s position.

En route it encountered sniper fire, and the rescue mission was delayed. The fighting continued, and the doctor mobilized to treat the injured soldier was forced to be delayed due to the level of unending gunfire.

At this stage an Apache chopper was dispatched to aid the forces. Regiment Commander Lieutenant Colonel Yoav Mordechai directed the helicopter to the house containing Peretz. Another tank advanced as the helicopter hovered above.

At 14:28 the tank arrived at the house’s entrance and soldiers evacuated their injured comrade under heavy fire.

First Lieutenant Rafi Safiked, who formally commanded the brigade, came on the radio, and together with Yoav, coordinated the rescue operation over the communications network.

Rafi advanced his forces towards the injured soldier, and Yoav moved the Apache helicopter into position for the new mission, which was to open an access route for an ambulance to connect with Rafi’s forces.

The area was flooded with terrorists as the army believed it would be before the operation. The gunmen increased the pressure, and fire on the forces was incessant.

Resistance Gets An Israeli Tank

Ma’an News 7/6/2006

Gaza: Qassam Brigade, a military group connected to Hamas, announced responsibility for targeting tanks in the northern Gaza Strip.

The brigade made a statement that it had made a direct hit on an Israeli tank and that the attack was part of the ongoing confrontation in the Strip. The statement said that, “the enemy will be taught a lesson never to forget.”

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



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.  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now!

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