GI SPECIAL 4I29: 29/9/06
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60% Of Iraqis Favor Killing U.S. Troops
Shia And Sunni Agree Perfectly:
[Thanks to Don Bacon, The Smedley Butler Society, and Pham Binh, Traveling Soldier, who sent this in.]
9/27/2006 By BARRY SCHWEID, AP & Program on International Policy Attitudes
As many as six in ten Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces in their country. But almost as many say they also have an overwhelmingly negative opinion of Osama bin Laden.
Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the US government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq.
About 61 percent approved of the attacks – up from 47 percent in January.
A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according
Three-fourths believe the U.S. intends to keep military bases in Iraq permanently.
“Strong Majority” Of Iraqis Say Get Out Of Our Country Now!
The director of another Iraqi polling firm, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared being killed, said public opinion surveys he conducted last month showed that 80 percent of Iraqis who were questioned favored an immediate withdrawal.
9.27.06 By Amit R. Paley Washington Post Staff Writer, Washington Post [Excerpts]
A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.
By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.
The stark assessments, among the most negative attitudes toward U.S.-led forces since they invaded Iraq in 2003, contrast sharply with views expressed by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Last week at the United Nations, President Jalal Talabani said coalition troops should remain in the country until Iraqi security forces are “capable of putting an end to terrorism and maintaining stability and security.”
“Majorities in all regions except Kurdish areas state that the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) should withdraw immediately, adding that the MNF-I’s departure would make them feel safer and decrease violence,” concludes the 20-page State Department report, titled “Iraq Civil War Fears Remain High in Sunni and Mixed Areas.”
The report was based on 1,870 face-to-face interviews conducted from late June to early July.
The director of another Iraqi polling firm, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared being killed, said public opinion surveys he conducted last month showed that 80 percent of Iraqis who were questioned favored an immediate withdrawal.
Eight-five percent of Sunnis in that poll supported an immediate withdrawal, a number virtually unchanged in the past two years, except for the two months after the Samarra bombing, when the number fell to about 70 percent, the poll director said.
Interviews with two dozen Baghdad residents in recent weeks suggest one central cause for Iraqi distrust of the Americans: They believe the U.S. government has deliberately thrown the country into chaos.
The most common theory heard on the streets of Baghdad is that the American military is creating a civil war to create an excuse to keep its forces here.
“Do you really think it’s possible that America — the greatest country in the world — cannot manage a small country like this?” Mohammad Ali, 42, an unemployed construction worker, said as he sat in his friend’s electronics shop on a recent afternoon. “No! They have not made any mistakes. They brought people here to destroy Iraq, not to build Iraq.”
As he drew on a cigarette and two other men in the store nodded in agreement, Ali said the U.S. government was purposely depriving the Iraqi people of electricity, water, gasoline and security, to name just some of the things that most people in this country often lack.
“They could fix everything in one hour if they wanted!” he said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis.
Mohammed Kadhem al-Dulaimi, 54, a Sunni Arab who used to be a professional soccer player, said he thought the United States was creating chaos in the country as a pretext to stay in Iraq as long as it has stayed in Germany.
“All bad things that are happening in Iraq are just because of the Americans,” he said, sipping a tiny cup of sweet tea in a cafe. “When should they leave? As soon as possible. Every Iraqi will tell you this.”
Sitting in a neon-orange chair as he waited for a haircut, Firas Adnan, a 27-year-old music student, said: “I really don’t know what I want. If the Americans leave right now, there is going to be a massacre in Iraq. But if they don’t leave, there will be more problems.
“From my point of view, though, it would be better for them to go out today than tomorrow.”
He paused for a moment, then said, “We just want to go back and live like we did before.”
Having Read That, Get This:
[Evidently unhappy with how few U.S. troops are being killed and maimed, these Generals want to attack Sadr City, where millions of Shia militants have, so far, mostly stood aside. With a majority of Iraqis already for killing occupation troops, and for every last U.S. troops getting out of Iraq immediately, their brilliant plan is to provoke the huge Shia population into going into military action against the occupation.
[In everyday speech, this is called a death wish. The problem is that, unfortunately, it’s the troops, not the generals, who will die.]
9.28.06 By Solomon Moore, Los Angeles Times [Excerpts]
A map provided by the U.S. military Wednesday identified nine neighborhoods that have been targeted in an ongoing Baghdad security plan, a major effort aimed at ridding the capital of Sunni Arab insurgents and Shiite militias. However, all but two of those neighborhoods are predominantly Sunni.
U.S. military leaders described various hindrances as they attempt to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad, including “no-touch lists’’ that prohibit them from arresting politicians and other high-status individuals, and off-limits areas inside Baghdad that the U.S. military must avoid without permission from the Iraqi government.
The statements by ranking U.S. authorities complaining about the situation highlight rising American dissatisfaction with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, and an increasing willingness to exert pressure on the fledging Iraqi government.
The U.S. military would like to stage heightened military operations in Baghdad neighborhoods like Sadr City, a stronghold for the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Army Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of U.S. troops in Baghdad, said last week that …… “I consider that issue a problem that the government must deal with immediately.’’
Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman:
[The Iraqis want the U.S. troops gone now. And this piece of shit has the gall to babble about “holding the rule of law in contempt.” When the majority of people in a country want foreign invaders and occupiers to get the fuck out of their country now, that is the law. And when Bush and his pack of murdering traitors refuse to get the troops out, patriotic Iraqis take arms and fight for their freedom. They are right to do so. And this skank for Bush dares talk about holding the rule of law in contempt! The blood of U.S. troops and Iraqis is on his hands. Payback is overdue. By the rule of law, this traitor should be under arrest and facing trial for murder. T]
“Militias are holding the rule of law in contempt. We’re pushing this government to get a policy as to how they’re going to deal with it so their own people know how to deal with the militias,’’ Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman told The Associated Press last week.
MORE FROM THURMAN:
Silly Liar Thurman Tells More Silly Lies
[Thanks to Don Bacon, The Smedley Butler Society, who sent this in.]
[First, Silly Liar Thurman:]
(22 Sep 06): U.S. Department of Defense News Briefing from Iraq: Presenter: Commander, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, Maj. Gen. James Thurman [Excerpt]
Q General, it’s Nick Simeone at Fox News. Does the military plan to move into Sadr City, or maybe you already have, and disarm militias there?
GENERAL THURMAN: “I’m in Sadr City all the time. It’s a misnomer to say we don’t go into Sadr City.
I myself walk in the streets of Sadr City. [Figures. What else would a Bush whore do but walk the streets? Thanks for confirming your occupation.]
And, you know, we don’t need to paint an enemy that’s 15 feet tall here.
I’m not going to discuss future operations with you, but we conduct combined patrolling in there with Iraqi security forces — with police and army units — in Sadr City every day.
And I’d invite you to come over here and go with me and we’ll go in there.”
[Second, the truth silly liar Thurman tries to hide:]
U.S.: Sadr City Again A Militants’ Haven
25 Sep 06 By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. soldiers trying to calm Baghdad say the sprawling Sadr City slum has once again become a haven for anti-American militants – and the source of most of the gunfire and mortars directed at them.
In the last two weeks, U.S. forces have suffered several casualties from dozens of shootings, mortar attacks and roadside bombings that American troops believe originated from Sadr City. . .
Instead of venturing into Sadr City in strength, U.S. troops are concentrating instead on the mostly Shiite neighborhoods that surround the militia stronghold. All the while they are drawing fire from Sadr City.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Two Hawaii-Based Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb
9.28.06 The Associated Press
HONOLULU: The Army on Tuesday identified two Hawaii-based soldiers who were killed by a roadside bomb Saturday in Iraq.
They were identified as Sgt. Velton Locklear IV, 29, of Lacey and Pfc. Kenneth E. Kincaid, 25, of Lilburn, Ga.
The infantrymen died in Riyadh when a bomb detonated near their Humvee during combat operations. Three other soldiers were injured.
Locklear and Kincaid were both assigned from the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade.
The soldiers were part of Task Force Lightning in northern Iraq. They both were assigned to Schofield Barracks in February 2006.
Locklear joined the Army in June 2003. Kincaid enlisted in October
Soldier Killed In Iraq Always Had OSU In Mind
September 20, 2006 Jeb Phillips, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Sgt. Adam Knox would have been home from Iraq on Nov. 17.
He scheduled his leave to start then so he could be back for the Ohio State-Michigan game the next day.
There was no bigger Buckeye fan than Adam. He’d yell so loud when a player on the team made a mistake that people two counties over could hear him. He once told his homecoming date at Westland High School he was going to have to skip the dance to watch the Northwestern game.
He joined the Army Reserves in part to pay for school. He told his friends that when his deployment to Iraq was over, he’d eventually like to start school at Ohio State.
In March, he deployed with Whitehall’s 346 th Psychological Operations Company, whose mission is to help the U.S. win over the hearts and minds of Iraqis. He handed out candy and soccer balls to the kids there, and he ate dinner with Iraqi officials.
But a few weeks ago, he was attached to another unit in Baghdad. He told his family that it would be dangerous for a little while, then he’d be back with his old unit.
Knox, 21, had about a week of dangerous duty left when he was killed Sunday. A Defense Department news release said he was hit with small-arms fire during combat operations.
He joined the Army Reserve just after he graduated from Westland in 2003.
His father, Jay Knox, an Army veteran, was sick with an inoperable spinal tumor that eventually would kill him. Adam joined in part for the college money, said younger brother Tom Knox, and in part because of his father’s influence.
Adam was always a hard worker, at a Meijer store, at Skyline Chili and, just before he mobilized, at a businessproducts wholesaler.
The Army suited him, his friends said. He had a predisposition to neatness and order. He made people take off their shoes before getting in his Z28 Camaro so they wouldn’t mess up the carpets, said Rob Wallace, his best friend since first grade. He scrubbed that car inside and out every weekend.
But he was a little shy before he joined the Army.
“It’s not that he lacked confidence, but he just seemed more proud of himself after he finished training,” said Aaron Festog, another longtime friend. Knox believed in what the military was doing in Iraq, his friends said. He complained that people focused too much on why the U.S. was there, or how much it was costing, and not enough on the good that individual soldiers were doing.
He hadn’t quite figured out what he wanted for his life. He’d talked about the military as a career, about firefighting, maybe. His brother said that while in Iraq, Adam thought about becoming a park ranger.
But his friends said he still wanted to come back and go to Ohio State. He liked the idea of student football tickets.
Besides his brother, Tom, Knox is survived by his mother, Deborah, and an older brother, Tony.
Funeral arrangements were pending last night.
Soldier From Brighton Killed In Iraq
[Thanks to Anna Bradley, who sent this in.]
For the 11th time since the beginning of the War on Terror, the Rochester area has lost one of its own.
Thursday News 10NBC learned that a soldier from Brighton was killed by a sniper in Iraq. 28 year old, First Lieutenant James Lyons died Wednesday. He was shot while on patrol with the 4th Infantry Division, south of Baghdad.
He is the third soldier killed in the war from Brighton.
News 10NBC spoke with the Lyons family about their loss. Lyons’ tour in Iraq was to be over in November and he was home as recently as August. His parents described him as a born leader, from the football games he would organize in his front yard as a kid, to the tank platoon he led in Iraq.
Lt. James Lyons of Brighton served in Iraq since last Christmas, and was killed by sniper fire early Wednesday morning. His parents, Robert and Marcia, talked to News 10NBC in their home Thursday.
Marcia Lyons remembers when she heard the doorbell ring Wednesday at noon. “So I opened the door and in front of me were two army officer in full uniform and when you see that you know your son is a casualty,” said Marcia Lyons.
The Lyons admitted their guard was down. James Lyons had already survived two roadside bomb attacks, including one less than a week ago. Now their yellow ribbon is wrapped in black and their blue star soon to be gold. Despite the loss, the Lyons continue to support their son’s mission. “I think we have the opportunity that Bush has set out for us to do something important for the world and to protect ourselves by being there,” said Robert Lyons.
Lt. Lyons grew up in Brighton. He played football and lacrosse in high school and graduated from Syracuse University in 2003. He served in the army for three years.
“I believe my son is a hero, he’ll always be a hero and we’re very proud of him,” said Marcia Lyons.
The body of James Lyons will return home to Brighton sometime next week. He will be buried in a family plot in Corry, Pennsylvania where he will lie next to his great great grandfather who was a hero in the Civil War.
Local Marine Shot In Iraq
September 28, 2006 By GREG MILLER of the Tribune’s staff, The Columbia Daily Tribune
Connie McClellan struggled to keep her composure as the glow of flames lit her face during a candlelight vigil for her 20-year-old son, John, a Marine injured this week by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq.
“I can’t tell you how touched we are by the outpouring here,” she said last night as dozens of friends and family gathered on her north Columbia lawn. “I know he’s going to be healed.”
John McClellan was shot in the head Tuesday while manning his post in Haditha, Iraq. Although he was wearing a helmet, the bullet entered over his left ear and exited through the back of his neck.
McClellan survived the attack and is being cared for in a hospital in Germany.
Connie McClellan said doctors told her this morning that her son has movement in all four extremities, he is responding to sensory stimuli and major brain functions are intact.
The initial phone call to the family at 12:15 a.m. yesterday wasn’t as reassuring.
“When the phone first rang in the middle of the night like that, our first response was John was calling,” Connie McClellan said. “And then you hear this male voice: ‘Mrs. McClellan.’ Your emotions start to plummet.”
From a military hospital in Iraq, a doctor told Connie McClellan that her son’s brain was swelling and a shunt had been placed. If McClellan survived, his mother said the doctor told her, he’d have “severe brain damage.”
“I’m asking that they pray for a miracle,” the 56-year-old said yesterday afternoon. “Our prayer is that a miracle happens again.”
This isn’t the first time McClellan has been shot. A lance corporal machine gunner with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Echo Company, McClellan completed a seven-month stint in Afghanistan in January. During his time abroad, the Hickman High School graduate was shot in the right arm on two different October days in the same week.
The soldier, whom fellow Marines started calling “Lucky,” left for Iraq on Sept. 11.
Thirty minutes before the candlelight vigil was scheduled to begin last night, more than 40 people were waiting in Oakland Park. As more friends arrived and the yellow glow grew stronger, Susie Edwards of Columbia was quick to direct people to a poster and markers resting on the hood of a Nissan.
She wanted folks to leave messages for her injured godson.
“We kind of thought they could maybe take it to John,” Edwards said. “That would help him.”
People in the park approached the poster without hesitation to leave notes, such as “Our prayers are with you” and “Love you Johnny,” for their fallen friend.
In high school, McClellan bussed tables at Everett’s Restaurant & Lounge and still drops by when he’s in town. Everett’s co-owner Holly Russell sent food to the family when she heard about the shooting.
It was important for her to be at the vigil “to let John know that I’m supporting him and that we love him,” she said as she began to cry, “and pray.”
When the vigil began in earnest at 7:30 p.m., Tom Leuther, pastor of Family Worship Center, led the more than 100-person gathering in prayer and a procession from the park, across Blue Ridge Road to the McClellan home. “We’re standing with them,” Leuther said. “We’re supporting them in this time of crisis in their lives.”
Clad in a T-shirt that read, “My son … one of the few, the proud, the Marines,” Connie McClellan welcomed the gathering and cried along with them. After a short prayer, she hugged every member of the gathering and told them to expect an e-mail with information after her 1 a.m. phone call with doctors. She had the news out at 1:20 a.m. “THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!” she wrote.
Connie McClellan said doctors told her the only part of her son’s brain that might be affected has to do with eyesight. McClellan might be taken off of the ventilator in the next week, and there’s a good chance for a full recovery. There’s no timetable to get McClellan home, but Connie McClellan said he’ll most likely be headed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
When asked this morning how she was doing, Connie McClellan said, “I am wonderful. The report was such the antithesis of the night before that we are claiming the miracle.”
Hagerstown Marine Wounded In Iraq
September 14, 2006 By TAMELA BAKER, The Herald-Mail Company
HAGERSTOWN: The war in Iraq came home to a Hagerstown family Thursday with word that 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Jonathan Breehl had been wounded in Habbaniyah, Iraq.
Breehl’s mother and stepfather, Melissa and Jeremy Custer, said the family had been told the Marine suffered injuries to his right wrist and left thigh when shrapnel from a remote-controlled improvised explosive device struck him Thursday morning.
His mother said she’d been told he was in serious condition and that he was to be transferred to a military hospital in Baghdad. Habbaniyah is west of Baghdad, between Fallujah and Ramadi.
Breehl is a 2005 graduate of North Hagerstown High School, where he was a standout wrestler and played football and baseball. Shortly after he completed boot camp last year, Breehl and his mother were featured in a Herald-Mail story about parents watching their first children leave home.
His grandfather, William R. Nutter, took the call from officials at Camp Lejeune on Thursday morning. “The first thing I asked was, ‘Is he alive?’” Nutter said.
He called Breehl’s mother at her job at Smithsburg Medical Center with the news. “I about died right then,” she said.
Still wearing her work smock, Custer quivered and fought back tears as she described Breehl’s injuries, appearing to reassure herself as she affirmed that “he’s gonna live.”
Then, she apologized for appearing upset. “I feel numb. Excuse me,” she said.
Family members gathered at the Custers’ home on Linganore Avenue on Thursday to console each other and await further word on their Marine. His uncle, William C. Nutter, and aunt, Matty Chaney, talked almost nonstop Thursday about Jonathan Breehl and his achievements.
“He was part of the ‘New Breed’ football team at North; remember that?” said his uncle. “He loves his family; he loves his brothers. He’s real loyal to his friends. He was always a good leader.”
Chaney said Breehl started training even before he joined the Marines. She knows that because at 7:30 on the morning after his high school graduation, she found him and a friend in her pool. They’d been running, building their stamina, and they “got hot” and decided to take a dip, she said. “He probably had an angel watching over him” Thursday morning, Chaney said.
Her daughter’s fourth-grade class at Maugansville Elementary had written a packet of letters to Breehl that she was preparing to send him. “One said, ‘Thank you for protecting our country,’” she said. Another wrote, “You are very brave.”
“Everything he did, he excelled at,” Jeremy Custer said.
Breehl plans to go to college after his four-year stint in the Marines to study engineering, his stepfather said.
Breehl has overcome injuries before . He was hospitalized with a concussion during boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., Melissa Custer told The Herald-Mail last year. And he qualified for the state wrestling tournament during his senior year at North High despite wrestling with an injured ankle.
Breehl was deployed to Iraq in July, Melissa Custer said, and was scheduled to leave Iraq next March.
Custer said her son, the oldest of three boys, was determined to join the Marines as soon as he reached the age of 18. “I said, ‘Why?’ and he said, ‘Mom, if everybody felt that way, who’s gonna defend our country?’”
9.28.06 by Paul Schemm, AFP
US military intelligence warned that militias are reoccupying previously cleared neighborhoods while local police turn a blind eye.
Fighting raged on as a coalition intelligence official told reporters that illegal armed groups were returning to Baghdad areas once deemed to have been secured by a massive joint US and Iraqi security operation.
Worse, he said there is evidence that the Iraqi police units left behind after military forces move through the areas are collaborating.
“The pattern we have tended to see is that as we’ve cleared areas, the numbers of murders and executions have decreased in most sectors,” the officer said. He admitted, however. that in some places the violence has returned.
“We would ascribe that to probably some measure of some elements in MOI (Ministry of Interior) facilitating the re-entry of folks into the secure area,” said the intelligence official
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:
3 Occupation Soldiers Injured In Western Afghanistan;
September 28, 2006 Xinhua
Three soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and their local interpreter were injured as an explosive device struck their vehicle in western Herat province, a press release of the multinational force said Thursday.
“An improvised explosive device exploded at the edge of the road while an ISAF vehicle was driving near Shindand, approximately 90 km south of Herat city, wounding three ISAF soldiers,” said the press release.
An Afghan national working as interpreter was also wounded in the incident Wednesday, it said.
However, it did not identify the nationality of the wounded soldiers.
Afghan Resistance Thanks U.S. For Helping Their Logistics By Building Better Roads
September 28, 2006 By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press
[Lt. Col. John Paradis, a U.S. military spokesman] said attacks on U.S. troops along the Pakistan border have increased two to threefold the last several weeks, underscoring the risks of building new infrastructure.
Anti-War Soldier Refused Second Tour In Iraq;
September 26, 2006 by Jeff Paterson [Excerpts] & Sep. 27, 2006 Aaron Glantz, OneWorld US [Excerpts]
FORT IRWIN, CA: Standing in front of Mission Los Angeles, Army Specialist Agustin Aguayo explained to a throng of media his irreconcilable objections to returning to Iraq, even as a medic.
Agustin, a 34-year-old U.S. citizen who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, explained that he was not anti-war when he enlisted in 2002. But his military experiences changed him. He applied for a conscientious objector discharge in February 2004 before he was sent to Tikrit, Iraq for a year as a combat medic. He has unsuccessfully fought the Pentagon for a discharge since.
A few weeks ago, Agustin escaped through his base apartment window at Schweinfurt, Germany U.S. Army base to resist another forced deployment to Iraq. With the help of German anti-war activists, he made his way back to the United States.
At this morning’s downtown Los Angeles press conference, Agustin declared, “Why am I turning myself in? Because it is the right thing to do. It is the responsible thing to do. I’m not a deserter or a coward. I just felt that I needed to be unavailable for this movement because I have come to believe that it is so wrong.”
Surrounded by dozens of supporters from organizations such Military Families Speak Out, American Friends Service Committee, MEChA., CodePink, Courage to Resist, and Not in Our Name, Agustin’s family and friends expressed their gratitude for his courage in the face of an immoral and illegal war.
Helga Aguayo, Agustin’s wife of 15-years, said of her husband’s last deployment: “It changed him, and not in a good way. I’ve seen my husband die, little by little. The greatest lesson he could teach (our daughters) is to stand up for what you believe in, and if you don’t, you hurt the people around you.” She said that she hopes that their experience will strengthen others to speak out against the war as well.
Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was one of the first soldiers killed in Iraq seven days into the invasion, said, “Agustin is a Mexican American like my son and me. For me, it’s an honor to support him. It’s very important for people to understand the Hispanic community shows real patriotism. Immigrants come to this country to serve the United States, not to fight an immoral war in Iraq.”
At the Fort Irwin National Training Center, Spokesman John Wagstaffe said Agustin will go through processing and will either be sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for discharge, or back to Germany to face military prosecution. He could be in custody at Fort Irwin for up to 72 hours. Wagstaffe said that because of its location in Southern California, Fort Irwin processes, on average, about 20 AWOL soldiers per month, “Some months it is closer to 40.”
Attorneys for Augustin Aguayo filed new appeal papers requesting his immediate release from military service as a conscientious objector approximately 30 minutes before the 34-year-old father of two presented himself at Fort Irwin in California’s Mojave desert.
Aguayo had been in hiding since early September.
Aguayo escaped through a window in base housing and fled rather than face a second tour. He maintains military commanders told him they would send him to Iraq in handcuffs, if necessary.
“He just walked off the base,” said David Spitzman, the former director of the Military Counseling Network, a non-military group of organizations that advocate for GIs in Germany where Aguayo was stationed.
Spitzman says the logistics of going AWOL were easy for Aguayo, as they would be for any of the 70,000 U.S. servicemen and women stationed in Germany.
“We all know that Europe has been critical of the war so finding supporters among local activists and normal citizens is easy,” he said.
Sptizman said while Aguayo is the only serviceman based in Germany to speak publicly about his decision to go AWOL, he’s hardly the only U.S. soldier to leave the military illegally.
“I wouldn’t want to quantify it,” Spitzman said. “But we get a lot of calls. Out of the 300 people who’ve contacted us at least 20 or 30 people have asked about going AWOL.”
THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
Bush Regime And Congressional Rats Agree:
[When inflation goes up more than your pay, that’s called a pay cut. Duh.]
September 28, 2006 By Rick Maze, Army Times Staff writer
Congress has set the Jan. 1 military pay raise at 2.2 percent.
The 2.2 percent raise is exactly what the Bush administration asked for in its defense budget blueprint in February, and, in the end, Congress decided it could not afford to do more for service members.
The House earlier this year endorsed a 2.7 percent raise proposed by the House Armed Services military personnel panel.
But that proposal never had a chance of winning full congressional approval, according to sources involved in negotiations to write the final 2007 defense budget.
Fuck The Troops Pay;
9.28.06 Wall Street Journal
Congress is poised to send President Bush a record $447 billion Pentagon budget that anticipates defense spending next year will exceed annual expenditures at the height of the Vietnam War.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Assorted Resistance Action
September 28, 2006 AP & AFP & Reuters
BAGHDAD: A car bomber attacked an army post in north-east Baghdad today killing two soldiers and wounding eleven others, as well as one civilian in part of Baghdad where American and Iraqi troops had just conducted a security sweep.
The attack, which used a microbus packed with explosives, took place at 7am (0300 GMT) in Shaab, a neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad that had just been cleared by troops taking part in Operation Together Forward.
A car bomber attacked a police checkpoint near the U.S. military base at Kirkuk airport, killing one policeman and badly wounding eight, police said.
A car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded in quick succession, killing four people including two policemen and wounding 38 in the al-Saadoun district in central Baghdad, police said.
A car bomb targeting a police patrol wounded four policemen in the southern Doura district of Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said.
U.S. forces killed two insurgents when they came under fire from a truck attempting to ram the gate of a U.S. military base near Hawija, 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, the U.S. military said.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two policemen in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
A roadside bomb targeted police commander Brigadier Serhat Qadir, wounding one of his guards in the main road between Rashad town and Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Qadir was unharmed.
A car bomb wounded two people, including a policeman, in Bayaa district in southwestern Baghdad, police said.
A roadside bomb targeted a police commando patrol, wounding three of them in central Baghdad, police said. A car bomb near a police criminal investigation department killed one officer and wounded four civilians.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
From: Dennis Serdel
The IED’s will stop when soldiers begin to pour sand into the gas tanks of their vehicles.
There are actually 1000's of ways to sabotage their vehicles.
In Vietnam, I remember being all nasty and dirty from being in the boonies too long. We were in a field with tall grass, some bushes and in sight of the LZ where we could rest up, clean up and party for awhile.
Then we saw the Personal Carriers, who had nothing to do, coming at us and then dropping their door for us to get in.
We told them we did not want to get into those tin cans.
Back then, they had pressure land mines, a vehicle would have to weigh so many pounds before it would go off. A soldier could step on the same mine but it would not go off because he didn’t weigh enough.
Except for Saigon, etc. Highway 1, Vietnam was not a mobile war like Iraq is. The Vietnam war was a humping war, a helicopter combat assault war.
If I was in Iraq, I would prefer to hump the sand rather than ride in those tin can death traps.
But then, we would need more soldiers, wouldn’t we?
We couldn’t cover the same amount of land on foot. The Mobile War would end when it was no longer mobile.
Iraq has a lot of sand.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
“I Served In The Last Big Mindless War: Vietnam”
From: Doug A
I served in the last big mindless war — Vietnam — and watched it kill millions of people and destroy this country’s belief in government.
The right wing extremist administration of George Bush is a criminal organization that has used fascist rhetoric and fear to build its base. Now even that base is beginning to question his sanity.
Worse than that, he does not even care about his base: he cares about serving the rich, and moving the country’s wealth away from its people and into the hands of a few.
I am for arresting him and trying him for both international crimes and national corruption.
I call upon the military to resist any invasion of Iran, and to summarily deal with George Bush should he try to act unilaterally.
1st ID Veteran Says:
When I volunteered for the Army Infantry during our last unjust war, I swore to “defend my nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
9-27-2006 by WARD REILLY, Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel [Excerpts]
Ward Reilly is active with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace. He was a volunteer Infantryman in the First Infantry Division from 1971 to 1974. He writes from Louisiana.
If those that we elect in November don’t start the process of prosecuting the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush gang, then they will force us to make a citizen’s arrest.
They will force us to do their job for them, and that is not what we want to do.
This week 16 U.S. intelligence services said that we are in more danger now than before 9-11.
Bush and Cheney simply must be stopped.
When I volunteered for the Army Infantry during our last unjust war, I swore to “defend my nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I take this oath very seriously.
As an infantry veteran, it is my duty to stop them, especially if the newly elected House and Senate don’t.
When I volunteered for the Army Infantry during our last unjust war, I swore to “defend my nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
And I did my job then, rising up against the Nixon regime as part of the GI antiwar movement.
Only prison sentences for the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush gang can save our nation.
They have become the enemy of my Constitution…our Constitution…and I will make a citizen’s arrest if I am forced to do so.
Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward GI Special 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.
“Military Official” Say Iraq Collaborator Government A Pack Of Stinking Thieves As Bad As Saddam Hussein
9.28.06 New York Times
Senior American military officials are warning that time is growing short for Iraq to root out militias inside and outside the government and purge ministries of corrupt officials who are diverting large sums of money to their own political parties.
“I can tell you in every single ministry how they are using that ministry to fill the coffers of the political parties,” one official said. “They are doing that because that is exactly what Saddam Hussein did.”
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
Did The Resistance Get The Contract To Build New Collaborator Cop Training Building?
September 28, 2006 By Amit R. Paley, Washington Post Staff Writer [Excerpts]
A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.
The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country’s security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks.
Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed “the rain forest.”
“This is the most essential civil security project in the country — and it’s a failure,” said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress.
“The Baghdad police academy is a disaster.”
The report serves as the latest indictment of Parsons Corp., the U.S. construction giant that was awarded about $1 billion for a variety of reconstruction projects across Iraq. After chronicling previous Parsons failures to properly build health clinics, prisons and hospitals, Bowen said he now plans to conduct an audit of every Parsons project.
“The truth needs to be told about what we didn’t get for our dollar from Parsons,” Bowen said.
The Coalition Provisional Authority hired Parsons in 2004 to transform the Baghdad Police College, a ramshackle collection of 1930s buildings, into a modern facility whose training capacity would expand from 1,500 recruits to at least 4,000. The contract called for the firm to remake the campus by building, among other things, eight three-story student barracks, classroom buildings and a central laundry facility.
As top U.S. military commanders declared 2006 “the year of the police,” in an acknowledgment of their critical role in allowing for any withdrawal of American troops, officials highlighted the Baghdad Police College as one of their success stories.
“This facility has definitely been a top priority,” Lt. Col. Joel Holtrop of the Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division Project and Contracting Office said in a July news release.
“It’s a very exciting time as the cadets move into the new structures.” [How about tossing a few buckets of shit and piss on Lt. Col Holtrop, and see how exciting he finds that. Or, better yet, waterbording him in it? Bet some of the cadets would volunteer for that duty.]
Complaints about the new facilities, however, began pouring in two weeks after the recruits arrived at the end of May, a Corps of Engineers official said.
The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building. A light fixture in one room stopped working because it was filled with urine and fecal matter.
The waste threatened the integrity of load-bearing slabs, federal investigators concluded.
“When we walked down the halls, the Iraqis came running up and said, ‘Please help us. Please do something about this,’ “ Bowen recalled.
Phillip A. Galeoto, director of the Baghdad Police College, wrote an Aug. 16 memo that catalogued at least 20 problems: shower and bathroom fixtures that leaked from the first day of occupancy, concrete and tile floors that heaved more than two inches off the ground, water rushing down hallways and stairwells because of improper slopes or drains in bathrooms, classroom buildings with foundation problems that caused structures to sink.
Galeoto noted that one entire building and five floors in others had to be shuttered for repairs, limiting the capacity of the college by up to 800 recruits.
His memo, too, pointed out that the urine and feces flowed throughout the building and, sometimes, onto occupants of the barracks.
“This is not a complete list,” he wrote, but rather a snapshot of “issues we are confronted with on a daily basis (as recent as the last hour) by the incomplete and/or poor work left behind by these builders.”
The Parsons contract, which eventually totaled at least $75 million, was terminated May 31 “due to cost overruns, schedule slippage, and sub-standard quality,” according to a Sept. 4 internal military memo. But rather than fire the Pasadena, Calif.-based company for cause, the contract was halted for “the government’s convenience.”
The U.S. military initially agreed to take a Washington Post reporter on a tour of the facility Wednesday to examine the construction issues, but the trip was postponed Tuesday night.
Federal investigators who visited the academy last week, though, expressed concerns about the structural integrity of the buildings and worries that fecal residue could cause a typhoid outbreak or other health crisis.
“They may have to demolish everything they built,” said Robert DeShurley, a senior engineer with the inspector general’s office. “The buildings are falling down as they sit.”
Inside the inspector general’s office in Baghdad on a recent blistering afternoon, several federal investigators expressed amazement that such construction blunders could be concentrated in one project.
Even in Iraq, they said, failure on this magnitude is unusual.
When asked how the problems at the police college compared with other projects they had inspected, the answers came swiftly.
“This is significant,” said Jon E. Novak, a senior adviser in the office.
“It’s catastrophic,” DeShurley added.
Bowen said: “It’s the worst.”
One Of The Greatest Poets In Hebrew Writes:
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
23 September 2006 By: Najwan Darwish, occupied Jerusalem; Jerusalemiloveyou.net. Translated by: Adib S. Kawar
“In time of war
In the name of the beautiful books I read
Aharon Shabatai who is considered one of the greatest poets in Hebrew, could not publish his latest poem against the war on Lebanon in any “Israeli” paper.
He wrote this poem during the first week of the war. It is in the form of a prayer and supplication raised so that the occupation army may lose the war.
The “Israeli” poet that warbles outside his flock condemned the last atrocity on Lebanon, and declared in a press conferences: “I wish that the army would lose the war, then and only then we will be wiser, more human, compassionate, and be able to live with other peoples.
“This failure shall wash out the dirty military spot that stains our hearts.”
Shabatai was born in Tel Aviv in 1939, and studied Greek culture and philosophy in the Hebrew University in occupied Jerusalem, Cambridge and the Sorbonne. He taught Greek drama for long years in the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv.
He is now working hard to quit “Israel” because of the oppression he and his wife, Tania Reinhardt, professor of linguistics in the Tel Aviv University, political thinker and supporter of academic divestment of Israeli universities, are exposed to.
Shabatai published 17 volumes of poems, in addition to his translations of Greek drama to Hebrew (about 25 pieces).
He exceeds in his political stances other Hebrew poets such as Natan Zakh and Yitzhak Lahour who were considered as leftists, criticism of the Zionist entity and condemnations of its crimes. He even criticizes these colleagues of his considering them and their likes, because their political stances “usually lack credibility” and accuses them of incapability to turn words into deeds.
It is correct to say about Aharon Shabatai that he is warbling outside his flock – thus he does not form a movement in the “Israeli” political culture, which is overwhelmed by a colonialist and racist character, even in the leftist’s speech, which covers a great deal of falsification.
He is not only a unique phenomenon: but he could be an exception that proves the Zionist rule…
But besides his political stances, it is inevitable to ignore his work’s literary value. Aharon Shabatai is a poet of a special character. His poetry is characterized by vitality and lively senses. The substance of his poetic world is personal in its basis; it reflects a lot of his daily life, expressions and materials, even when he deals with a historical subject.
During the last few years most of Shabatai’s work was about his favorite subject: The “Israeli” shame.
He repeated quite often, through his poetic and political activity, that he tries to protect his humanity “within a culture in which the level of racism is continuously on the rise”.
He does not hesitate to dub “Israeli” generals and politicians with Nazism.
He severely criticizes himself when remembering his past life, when he was living as an “ordinary citizen” not comprehending the magnanimity of his state’s crimes, “I was blind” he says with anger and regret that usually accompanies the complex of guilt.
Haaretz daily refused to publish Shabatai’s poem about the last assault, while it already published his direct political and pungent poems in its cultural supplement, which raised at the time a severe campaign instigated by extremist “Israelis”.
But this time the repressive environment awaits the publishing of its Arabic translation before publishing it in any “Israeli” paper:
“In the name of the beautiful books I read/in the name of the kisses I kissed/May the army be defeated.”
The poet writes about the cruelty of the “Israeli” war machine, the machine that had never harvested except the innocent and unarmed civilians in Lebanon, he sided with peace and the victim: “In time of war/I side with the villages/with the mosques/in this war/I side with the Shiite family/with Sour (Tyre)/with the mother/with the grandfather/with the eight kids in the mini van/with the white silken headscarf”.
[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
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
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. 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
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