"The U.S. Time Here Has Come And Gone"
"Us And The Insurgents Have Grown Together,"
Sowers Said.† "Itís A Deadly Little Dance Weíre
Doing, And Theyíre Improving"
August 30, 2007 By Chris Collins, McClatchy
SOUTHEAST OF SALMAN PAK, Iraq ó
Standing in a small room in the Iraqi home theyíd raided an hour earlier, a
dozen soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the Armyís 3rd
Infantry Division were trading jokes when 1st Sgt. Troy Moore, Company Aís
senior enlisted man, shouted out.
"Weíre bringing democracy to
Iraq," he called, with obvious sarcasm, as a reporter entered the room.
Then Moore began loudly humming the "Battle
Hymn of the Republic." Within seconds the rest of the troops had joined in,
filling the small, barren home in the middle of Iraq with the patriotic chorus
of a Civil War-era ballad.
Although the soldiers who since spring have
walked and ridden through this volatile area mixed with Sunni and Shiite
Muslims have seen some signs of progress, they still face the daily threat of
roadside bombs, an unreliable Iraqi police force, the limitations of depending
on Iraqis for tips and the ever-elusive enemy.
"Even though weíve out-stayed our welcome, in
the big picture of whether weíve helped or not, I know we have," said Sgt.
Christofer Kitto, a 23-year-old sniper from Altamont, N.Y.
"But now itís just in a state
"The U.S. time here has come
On this night, the troops had been ferried by
helicopter to a rural enclave abutting the Tigris River. Their mission: Uproot
a suspected nest of Sunni insurgents.
But the soldiers found only a small cache of
weapons outside one of the 13 houses they searched. They detained one man who
identified himself with a name that didnít match his government-issued ID,
earning him a noisy, expletive-laden interrogation that was easily overheard in
the next room.
"Keep your head down! Keep your (expletive)
head down!" the interrogator yelled in English as an interpreter translated.† "Why are you speaking if youíre lying? You
better think about what youíre saying before you talk to me, son. Iíve got a
real short temper tonight!"
Another Iraqi man who lived in the house also
was questioned, though he wasnít detained. What did he know about Sunni
insurgents living in the area, asked Staff Sgt. Kenneth Braxton, whoís from
Philadelphia. Nothing, the man said. Braxton said he knew the man was lying
because of the way he moved his eyes. The sergeant tore an American flag Velcro
patch from his sleeve and told the Iraqi to hold it to his chest. Then another
soldier used a digital camera to take a picture of the man.
"So weíve got a picture of you holding an
American flag now," Braxton said. He told the man that if he didnít cooperate,
the photo would be posted around the neighborhood.
It the end, it didnít appear
that the soldiers gleaned any helpful information from the man. The military
didnít say what happened to the detainee.
A few hours later, the soldiers
returned to Command Outpost Cleary, weary and disappointed.
Sowers, a public affairs officer from
Richmond, Ind., said that during his first tour in 2004, "there was no such
thing" as EFPs, which the U.S. military says that the Iranian military
"Us and the insurgents have
grown together," [Maj. Joe] Sowers said.†
"Itís a deadly little dance weíre doing, and theyíre improving."
Itís not just the roadside bombs that kill.
Standing in FOB Hammerís conference room,
Sowers pointed to a wall with framed photos of 19 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade
whoíve been killed in action.† He ticked
off the way they died: "I was on this patrol. It was an EFP," Sowers said,
pointing to one of the photos.
"This one was small-arms fire.† This one was a crush-wire IED (improvised
explosive device).† This one was a
rocket.† This one was a sniper."
OK!† You Can
Go Home Now!
Collaborator Prime Minister Says Civil War Is Over
And His Government Won It
Sept 2, 2007 AP
BAGHDAD - Iraqís beleaguered prime minister
accused his American critics on Sunday of underestimating how hard it is to
rebuild his country and failing to appreciate his governmentís achievements "such
as stopping the civil and sectarian war."
He also said U.S. critics may not know "the
size of the destruction that Iraq passed through" and do not appreciate "the
big role of the Iraqi government and its achievements, such as stopping the
civil and sectarian war."
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Soldier Killed In
Iraq Has Local Ties
Aug 26, 2007 By JOSE PATINO GIRONA, The Tampa
TAMPA - Sgt. 1st Class David A. Heringes, a
graduate of Tampaís Leto High School, joined the U.S. Army 15 years ago because
he had a passion for it.
"He was making a career of it and he had no
problem where they sent him," said his father, Ron Heringes of Spring Hill. †"That was part of his job."
On Friday, Heringes, 36, died when an
improvised explosive device detonated near his unit while he was on a mission
in Bayji, Iraq, near Tikrit.
"Right now, it is still a shock," said his
brother-in-law Bobby Rhone of Wesley Chapel. "Everyone here is still in
David Heringes had served in Iraq for one
He had been scheduled to return to the United
States this month, but four months ago he learned his tour was extended until
November, Ron Heringes said.
Ron Heringes said he had been communicating
with his son once a week by phone or e-mail and that his spirits had been
positive. †David Heringes never spoke
about his missions.
He was born in Cleveland and his family moved
to Tampa when he was 15. He graduated from Leto High in 1989.
After high school, he worked as an auto
mechanic. At age 20, he enlisted in the military, Ron Heringes said, and he
planned to stay 20 years or more.
David Heringes became a paratrooper with the
1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd
Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. He was also a mechanic for the Army.
He served six weeks in Afghanistan during
elections and two years in South Korea, Ron Heringes said.
He described his son as fearless and a "fun-loving
father." †He enjoyed working on
motorcycles and cars, Rhone said.
In addition to his father and brother-in-law,
he is survived by his wife, Shannan Heringes of Fayetteville, N.C.; a son,
5-year-old Logan Heringes, and a stepdaughter, 9-year-old Cheyenne Ward, both
of Fayetteville; his mother, Joyce Heringes of Spring Hill; and his sister,
Melissa Rhone, 27, of Wesley Chapel.
Soldier With Local
Ties Killed In Iraq;
LEHT Manís Son Was A New Father-To-Be
August 25, 2007 By ROB SPAHR, Staff Writer, The
Press of Atlantic City
LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Michael Hook was
excited to become a father.
His first child, a son, is due at the end of
September - just one week after his first tour in Iraq was scheduled to end.
But on Friday, what would have been Hookís
26th birthday, his body was scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in
Dover, Del., along with the bodies of 13 other soldiers who were killed
Wednesday when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq.
Hook, an Army specialist, lived in Altoona,
Pa., but spent summers in Little Egg Harbor Township, Ocean County, with his
father and stepmother, Larry Hook and Belinda Sands, and he lived there for a
year after graduating from high school.
"He was able to make friends pretty easily
out here and he loved being around them," said Larry Hook, who has lived in
Little Egg Harbor Township for 21 years. †"They would all hang out together, go to the
beach and all of the other typical things that young people do."
Hook also loved motorcycles and had one of
his own at his home base in Hawaii, which Larry Hook said he had only just
learned about recently.
"Knowing Michael, it was probably one of the
high-performance bikes," he said.
Hook decided to enlist in the Army two years
ago, and within a year he knew that he was bound for either Iraq or
"There was a point in his life after he
graduated from high school where he was trying to figure out what direction he
wanted to go in his life," Larry Hook said. †"Thatís when he began looking toward the
military, and I didnít deter him at all."
When asked how Hook had adjusted to life on
the front lines, Larry Hook said his son was "determined to do his job over
Last Christmas was the last time Larry Hook
"He came home on leave, so I went out to
Altoona to spend the week with him," Larry Hook said. †"We basically just buddied around the whole
But the two talked to each other last
"The conversation lasted about an hour," said
Larry Hook, who said his son called to thank him for a care package he sent,
which included birthday cards. "He was very tired because they had just
returned back from a mission. †It was the
middle of the night out there, so he was looking forward to getting some rest."
Larry Hook first heard of his sonís death
Wednesday, when he sat down to have his morning cup of coffee and watch the
"I saw that a helicopter had gone down and
instantly I got a bad feeling," he said. †"No more than an hour later, there were two
men at my front door."
Hook was scheduled to return from his first
tour in Iraq on Sept. 24, a week before his fiancť Susan Fetterman, of Altoona,
is due to have a baby boy.
"He needed to stay in Hawaii for about 30
days for debriefing or something along those lines, but he was anxious to get
back to Altoona to see his child. †He was
extremely excited to be a father," said Larry Hook, who added the couple was
planning a wedding but were unsure of a date, due to Hookís military
Hookís body was to arrive in Dover at 6:30
p.m. Friday. †Larry Hook said funeral
arrangements for his son had not been finalized as of Friday afternoon.
"Michael really enjoyed life," Larry Hook
said. †"How ironic is it that he is
returning home on his 26th birthday?"
Fallen Hero Leaves Brand-New Wife
August 25, 2007 By Rosemarie Bernardo, Honolulu
Cpl. Joshua Harmon couldnít wait to return to
Hawaii from Iraq to start his life with Kristin, his wife of several months.
Harmon and Kristin legally wed by proxy
marriage in the spring when he found out that his yearlong tour in Iraq was
extended by three months.
"He couldnít wait any longer," said friend
Eric Lemr during a phone interview from Mentor, Ohio. Harmon had proposed to
her earlier while he was on leave. The couple planned to start their married
life together in Hawaii.
But Harmon, 20, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio,
was one of 14 soldiers killed early Wednesday when their UH-60 Black Hawk
helicopter crashed in Iraq after it had experienced mechanical problems during
a night mission.
Harmon served as a combat medic and was on
his second tour of duty in Iraq.
His mother, Donna, counted the days when her
younger son was due to return home in the first week of October. †"He was my baby. He was 20 years old. He had
42 more days to come home," she said.
Harmonís wife was planning to return to
Hawaii next month to prepare for his arrival with a new apartment and car. †The couple met at a nightclub in Hawaii while
Kristin was in the islands for her auntís wedding.
"She was the love of his life," Harmonís
The couple planned to have their formal
wedding among family and friends next summer in Norfolk, Va., Kristinís
hometown. Both wanted to have children.
"Itís just a crazy, living nightmare," Harmonís
mother said as she cried. "He was the most fun-loving, honest, caring person
you would ever meet.† "Itís not fair. He
had so much to live for."
Kristin Harmon and her parents are due to
arrive in Ohio today to be with Harmonís family. "She is having a rough time,"
Harmonís mother said.† "Weíll all get
through this. Josh wouldíve wanted us to carry on and not be sad," she added. "Thatís
the type of person he was."
Harmon, a 2005 graduate of Mentor High
School, received the Army Medal Commendation of Valor after he saved a fellow
soldier who suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Harmon got the soldier to the
hospital where doctors were impressed with Harmonís treatment.
The soldier is recovering in a Maryland
hospital, said Lt. Tim Serazin, of the Willoughby Hills Fire Department, where
Harmonís father, Richard, serves as fire chief.
"Josh was every bit a soldier. He had a lot
of compassion. Heís a truly genuine kid," Serazin said.
Harmon joined the Army in August 2005 and was
transferred to Schofield Barracks in April 2006 after he completed his advanced
individual training in Houston. He had planned to attend medical school when he
returned from Iraq.
Loved ones remembered how he had a great
sense of humor and smile and easily made friends. "He made friends everywhere,"
his mother said.
He was also fearless and lived life to the
fullest, said Lemr, the Ohio friend.
Harmon enjoyed music from country to rap and
played the drums and guitar. He also liked working on cars.
He grew up in a small town near Lake Erie.
During his deployment, he regularly kept in contact with his family and
friends. "He loved his family. He loved his friends," his mother said.
Lemr, who had known Harmon all his life, said
they regarded each other as brothers. "Thatís what we called each other," he
said.† Lemr said he last spoke to Harmon
on Monday when they talked about how he was to head back to Ohio for two weeks
during the holiday season. Both had planned to celebrate their 21st birthdays
Harmon was to have turned 21 on Nov. 25.
U.S. Patrol Convoy Attacked, Humvee Destroyed In
Casualties Not Yet Announced
Sept 2 (KUNA)
An Iraqi security source said an improvised
bomb exploded on Al-Qanat street
targeting a US patrol convoy which resulted in complete damage to one of the
four military Humvee patrols.
Eyewitnesses close to the scene saw one US
soldier laying on the ground, the source said.
BEEN ON THE JOB TOO
COME ON HOME, NOW
US soldiers in the village of Sweb, south of
Baquba, 01 August 2007.†
British Troops Withdraw From Basra;
Forces Concentrated At The Airport
September 2, 2007 Ian Black and Michael
White. The Guardian
British troops began pulling out of Basra
Palace in Iraq tonight, handing control of the base to Iraqi forces amid new
Anglo-American recriminations about the aftermath of the war.
The UK battlegroup in Saddam Husseinís former
compound comprises about 500 troops and their redeployment to the cityís
airbase is the penultimate stage of Britainís presence in the country.
The Ministry of Defence refused to give any
detailed information about the timing of the move until the pullout is
completed, but it was expected to take around four to five hours.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
THIS IS NOT A SATIRE:
Resistance Says Copter Shot Down:
Occupation Command Says Thatís A Lie:
It Was "Targeted" And Made "Emergency Landing"
September 02, 2007 Pakistan Tribune
KABUL: Taliban militants have claimed downing
a NATO helicopter.
NATO officials rejected the claim as
Taliban spokesman Zabeehullah Mujahid told
Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that the chopper was shot down in
Kamdesh district of the province the other day.
A NATO spokesman said a NATO helicopter was
targeted; however, it did not crash.† He
said the chopper had made emergency landing and the people on board stayed
"Over The Past Six Weeks, The Taliban Has Driven
Government Forces Out Of Roughly Half Of A Strategic Area In Southern Afghanistan
That American And NATO Officials Declared A Success Story Last Fall"
Silly Occupation General Says The Resistance Is In
[Thanks to Alan Stolzer, The Military
Project, who sent this in.]
number of attacks are taking a heavy toll. At least 2,500 to 3,000 people have
died in insurgency-related violence so far this year, a quarter of them
civilians, according to the U.N. tally, a 20 percent increase over 2006.† [Do the math.†
That means 75% of those killed were not civilians.† That means 1875 to 2250 were occupation
troops or armed collaborators.]
09/02/2007 By David Rohde, New York Times
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Over
the past six weeks, the Taliban has driven government forces out of roughly
half of a strategic area in southern Afghanistan that American and NATO
officials declared a success story last fall in their campaign to clear out
insurgents and make way for development programs, Afghan officials say.
A year after Canadian and American forces
drove hundreds of Taliban fighters from the area, the Panjwai and Zhare
districts southwest of Kandahar, the rebels are back and have adopted new
tactics. †Carrying out guerrilla attacks
after NATO troops partly withdrew in July, they overran isolated police posts
and are now operating in areas where they can mount attacks on Kandahar, the
southís largest city.
The setback is part of a bloody stalemate
that has occurred between NATO troops and Taliban fighters across southern
Afghanistan this summer. †NATO and Afghan
army soldiers can push the Taliban out of rural areas, but the Afghan police
are too weak to hold the territory after they withdraw.
The Panjwai and Zhare districts, in
particular, highlight the changing nature of the fight in the south. †The military operation there in September 2006
was the largest conventional battle in the country since 2002. †But this year, the Taliban is avoiding set
battles with NATO and instead are attacking the police and stepping up their
use of roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices or IEDs.
"Itís very seldom that we have direct
engagement with the Taliban," said Brig. Gen. Guy Laroche, the commander of
Canadian forces leading the NATO effort in Kandahar. "What theyíre going to use
NATO and American military
officials have declined to release exact Taliban attack statistics, and
collecting accurate information is difficult, particularly in rural
According to an internal U.N. tally,
insurgents have set off 516 IEDs in 2007. Another 402 such devices have been
discovered before detonation.
Reported security incidents, a broad category
that includes bombings, firefights and intimidation, are up from roughly 500 a
month last year to 600 a month this year, a 20 percent increase, according to
the United Nations.
number of attacks are taking a heavy toll. At least 2,500 to 3,000 people have
died in insurgency-related violence so far this year, a quarter of them
civilians, according to the U.N. tally, a 20 percent increase over 2006.† [Do the math.†
That means 75% of those killed were not civilians.† That means 1875 to 2250 were occupation
troops or armed collaborators!]
NATO and American casualty rates are up by
about 20 percent this year, to 161, according to Iraq Casualty Count, a Web
site that tracks deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux,
deputy commander for security for the NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force, said the Talibanís leadership was in "disarray" and had not
been able to launch the attacks it had hoped this year and would be even weaker
The trouble has come when the army and
foreign troops withdraw, leaving lightly armed Afghan police forces struggling
to hold rural areas. Corruption is rampant among the police, and some units
have exaggerated casualty rates or abandoned checkpoints.
And in Oruzgan province, where Dutch NATO
forces focus more on development programs than on combat, the government
controls the provincial capital, several district centers and little of the
"Use My Death As A Tool With The Media To End This
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
August 13, 2007 Gary Younge, The Guardian
On the day that Zach sent his
email home, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney addressed a town hall meeting 50
miles from his home town. Romney was asked why none of his children are serving
in the military.
"One of the ways my sons are
showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think Iíd
be a great president," he said.
Mom, I had another friend die today from a
massive ied and many more wounded with shattered bones and scrapes.† We used to be in the same platoon. 1st
platoon and the same squad when I first arrived at fort hood for a good 7
months or so.† He was 17 then and barely
a day over 19 now that he has passed away.
Itís tearing me up so badly inside. I just
canít stand it.
I canít get rid of the feeling that I
probably wonít make it home from this war. I have this horrible feeling that
his fate will soon become my own.
I donít want to die here Mom. Donít tell Erin
bc I know it will devastate her.
But if somehow I donít make it, I want you
Mom and Dad and all the family and especially Erin to know I love you all so so
much and appreciate everything you all have done for me in the thick and thin.
The most important thing I want you all to
do, is to use all of your connections to do everything in your will to use my
death as a tool with the media to end this pointless war.
Contact Michael Moore or whomever it may be
to get the word out about how disgusted with our government I am about forcing
us to come here to wait for death to claim us.
I want it to end.
How many more friends, sons, daughters,
mothers, and dads must die here before they say itís enough?
And if you donít die, the worst part you have
to live with is the guilt of surviving.†
Surviving this war and not dying like your buddies to your left and to
your right in combat.
I love you all so so much.
Do you have a friend or relative in the
service?† Forward GI Special along, or
send us the address if you wish and weíll 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, inside the armed
services and at home.† Send email requests to address
up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Military Survivors Fucked Over As Usual;
"Money Was Taken Out Of Survivorsí Checks, To Be
Repaid Later When Everything Was Worked Out"
"Unhelpful And Occasionally Rude Feedback From
September 03, 2007 Army Times
Because of complaints from surviving family
members about financial problems caused by slow service from the Defense
Finance and Accounting Service, the Senate Armed Services Committee has ordered
a comprehensive study.
"Some beneficiaries report
their inquiries to DFAS have required extended wait times that led to unhelpful
and occasionally rude feedback from representatives who could not answer their
specific questions," the committee says in its report on the 2008 defense
One of the biggest complaints from survivors
is about long delays in getting benefits changed.
In some cases, people waiting for DFAS to
process changes have received multiple notices from the government that they
have been overpaid.
In a few instances, money was
taken out of survivorsí checks, to be repaid later when everything was worked
The Defense Department has to survey
survivors about problems and report back to the committee by March 1 on what
changes it will make.
Dragunovís Son Develops New Model Kalashnikov
Aug 9 by Dario ThuburnThu, AFP
Light, silent and regulation black: the AK-9
is the latest model of the famous Kalashnikov assault rifle to come off
production lines at the Izhmash factory in Russia.
"It shoots virtually without a sound and it
can go through a bullet-proof vest," said Alexei Dragunov, 52, one of the
designers of the weapon, as he assembled the gun at a firing range in a Russian
Russian special forces last year asked
Izhmash, based in the city of Izhevsk, to make a rifle that combined the
qualities of the Kalashnikov with the stealth required for secret missions,
company officials said.
The AK-9 is fitted with a silencer and fires
large 9.0-millimeter caliber bullets intended to pierce body armour. †At 3.8 kilograms (8.4 pounds) it is also
slightly lighter than previous models of the Kalashnikov.
"Thereís no one else making it," said Richard
Jones, editor of British-based Janeís Infantry Weapons, a specialist journal,
referring to other rifles combining such a large caliber with a silencer.
Other guns with the same caliber, which slows
down the bullet in order to silence it but can still pierce body armour, are
the Russian-made VSS and the VSK rifles used by special forces, Jones said.
"Thereís an increasing interest in suppressor
weapons for... tactical reasons," said Jones, using the specialist term for
guns fitted with silencers.
The AK-9 could be of interest to other
special forces in the world -- "commando-like units who have been able to
engage an enemy sentry or shoot their way out of trouble and not be heard," he
The weapon is still being tested and, pending
approval from the Russian defence ministry, it is being kept under wraps. †During a visit to a shooting range outside
Izhevsk, the gun was shown but could not be demonstrated.
"We think it has big export potential. †We hope we can get export permission as soon
as possible, said Grodetsky, explaining that arms factories now had to be "flexible,"
providing for regular soldiers as well as special forces.
Izhmash is known above all for the
Kalashnikov, a global brand and one of the most widely used small weapons in
the world, valued by soldiers and guerrillas for its simplicity and
Izhmash makes roughly 100,000 Kalashnikov
rifles every year and estimates that another 900,000 rifles similar to the
Kalashnikov are being made in other countries such as Bulgaria, China and
Poland as "counterfeits."
The Russia-made Kalashnikov sells for some
400 dollars (291 euros) a piece.
Celebrations are being held this week in
Izhevsk for the 60th anniversary of the first AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle. The
factory is also marking a 200-year history of gunmaking.
The earliest rifle models produced at the
factory, some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) east of Moscow, were used in the
Russian Empireís battles against Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century.
Dragunov, who started working at Izhmash 29
years ago, is part of that history.
His father developed a gun, the Dragunov
sniper rifle, that is now used by the Russian army and exported throughout the
"Itís the same as any kind of engineering
except you get to see the final product more easily," said Dragunov, whose
youngest son also works at the Izhmash arms design centre.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Collaborators Killed In Kut
Sept. 2 (Xinhua)
Militants shot dead an Iraqi contractor and
wounded an interpreter, both working with the U.S. forces, in the city of Kut
in central the country, a local police source said on Sunday.
The attack took place late on Saturday when
unknown fighters in a car opened fire on a contractor and a translator in the
al-Hourah neighborhood in Kut City, the source told Xinhua on condition of
The two victims were attacked while they were
on their way home in central the city, some 180 km south of Baghdad, the source
Assorted Resistance Action
02 Sep 2007 Reuters & (Xinhua)
A car bomb attack targeted an
Iraqi Army base north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing two soldiers and wounding
eight others, an Interior Ministry source said.
"A bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into
the entrance of an Iraqi Army base in the Taji area, just north of Baghdad, and
blew it up in the afternoon," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
At least two soldiers were killed and eight
others wounded in the attack, the source said, adding that the explosion
damaged several nearby military and civilian cars at the checkpoint of the
entrance of the base.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol
wounded three policemen in Baghdadís western Yarmouk district, police said.
Guerrillas killed an off-duty policeman and a
soldier in a drive-by shooting in a village near the town of Riyadh, 60 km (40
miles), southwest of the city of Kikruk, police said.
DONíT LIKE THE RESISTANCE
country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to
time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?† Let them take arms."† Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith,
September 3, 1838
"It Is Not Light
That Is Needed, But Fire"
Carl Bunin Peace History September 3-9
Frederick Douglass made his escape from
slavery in Baltimore and went on in life to become an Abolitionist, journalist,
author, and human rights advocate.
[During the Civil War, he pressed relentlessly
for the enlistments of former slaves into the U.S. army, and when this was
permitted, the served with honor and played an important role in defeating the
slave-owning traitors who formed the Confederacy.† T]
"Find out just what people will
submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which
will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with
either words or blows, or both.† The
limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
"Power concedes nothing without
demand. †It never has and never will."
"If there is no struggle, there
is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation,
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without
thunder and lightning."
"The thing worse than rebellion
is the thing that causes rebellion."
"I have found that, to make a
contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one."
"At a time like this, scorching
irony, not convincing argument, is needed.†
Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nationís ear, I would, pour
out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm,
and stern rebuke.† For it is not light
that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.† We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the
What do you think?† Comments from service men and women, and
veterans, are especially welcome.† Write
to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email firstname.lastname@example.org:.† Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication.† Replies confidential. ††Same address to unsubscribe.
60% Of Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Dead:
A US soldier from 3-509 Para-Infantry Regiment guards Iraqi citizens as other
soldiers search their home south of Baghdad.†
A U.S. soldier from the Delta 112 Cav.
Battalion holds a group of women at gunpoint in their kitchen during a home
invasion near the city of Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of
Baghdad Aug. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)
just humiliated this man in front of his entire family and terrorized his
entire family and youíve destroyed his home.†
And then you go right next door and you do the same thing in a hundred
[61% of Iraqis say they approve
of attacks on U.S.-led forces in their country, up from 47 percent in
January.† A solid majority of Shiite and
Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according to the poll.† 9/27/2006 By BARRY
SCHWEID, AP & Program on International Policy Attitudes
Iraqis feel about U.S. troops
trampling them in the dirt the same way Americans felt about British troops
trampling them in the dirt in 1776.† They
are right to resist by any means necessary.†
OCCUPATION ISNíT LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Pissed Off At Iraqi Cops, U.S. Command Tears Down
Their Police Station
[So Much For That Stupid, Silly, Lying Bullshit
About Iraqi "Sovereignty"]
Sept 2 (KUNA)
The US forces dismantled a police station in
Baghdad under the charge of "leniency" and failure to track down criminal
organizations, a US military statement said here Sunday.
Al-Khadhra police station, in west Baghdad,
was dismantled on August 29 due to failure of its staffers to prevent insurgent
activities in the area, according to the statement.
The staff of the police station will join
other stations in downtown Baghdad after they received August salaries.
Explosive charges used to be found some 100
meters from police checkpoints in Al-Khadhra district, the statement pointed
The inability of Al-Khadhra police station
staff to prevent crimes led to the conviction among local authorities and Multi-National
Force in Iraq (MNF) that the policemen were apathetic to insurgent activities
>From A Lost War:
"Right Now The Mahdi Army Is The Only Iraqi
Security Force With Any Legitimacy In Kadhimiya"
[The Lonely, Precarious Life Of A Collaborator
August 30, 2007 By GREG JAFFE, Wall St.
BAGHDAD -- Early this month,
Brig. Gen. Falah Hassan Kinbar barely escaped a kidnap attempt by the Mahdi
Army, a radical [translation: anti-occupation] Shiite militia.
During the attack, more than a
dozen of the moderate [translation: collaborator] Shiite generalís own men
betrayed him [translation: refused to betray their country], switching sides to
aid the militia fighters, U.S. officials say. †When it was over, Gen. Kinbarís superiors
seemed to distance themselves from him, he says.
The day after the attack, as the clock in a
dingy U.S. chow hall here approached midnight, Gen. Kinbar sat with the man who
seemed to be his only friend -- a 39-year-old American officer from Long
Island, N.Y.† [Yes, traitors do lead a
"I am all alone on the battlefield," the
general told Lt. Col. Steven Miska through an interpreter. "I want to do my
duty.† But I am very sure my own
government will abandon me."
Gen. Kinbar pleaded with Col.
Miska to help him relocate his wife and two children. "Any country, any
country, any country," he said, breaking into English.
The two men talked for four hours amid the
soft clatter of a rat foraging for food. Col. Miska promised he would try to
help.† The general "is one of the few
military commanders up here who refuses to violate his principles and work with
the Mahdi Army," said Col. Miska.† "Thatís
why they want to kill him."
U.S. commanders intent on
building capable Iraqi security forces and a competent Iraqi government say
their efforts are increasingly being stymied by the radical [translation:
anti-occupation] Mahdi Army.† [Which will
be good news for patriotic Iraqis who hate foreign military dictatorship.† Duh.]
Today, the Mahdi Army has
infiltrated Iraqís government and society so deeply that the Americans are
struggling to distinguish friend from foe.
To counter the Mahdi Armyís influence over
Iraqís army and police forces, U.S. commanders have focused on strengthening
relationships with moderate [translation: collaborator] Shiites like Gen.
But for Iraqi officers,
standing up to the Mahdi Army often means taking huge risks that isolate them
from fellow officers and put their families in danger. "If we are not standing
by Falah, heís got nobody," says Col. Miska, using Gen. Kinbarís first name. "He
has cast his lot."
As Prime Minister Nouri al-Malikiís
government has teetered in recent weeks, the Mahdi Army seems to have stepped
up efforts to consolidate power, say U.S. military officials.
Today, few districts in Baghdad are more
important to the Mahdi Army than Kadhimiya, the area where Col. Miska and Gen.
Kinbar are charged with maintaining security. Kadhimiya, home to more than
200,000 Iraqis and the cityís holiest Shiite shrine, has become a major center
of Shiite political and economic power.
Col. Miska, a 39-year-old infantry officer,
arrived in Kadhimiya in November for his second Iraq tour. The son of a Vietnam
veteran, he grew up in a rural part of Long Island, N.Y., and attended the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point at his fatherís urging.
He has a calm demeanor, rarely raising his
voice. He worries deeply about what will happen to his Iraqi translators when
U.S. forces leave.
So far, 22 of the 59 translators have applied
for U.S. visas with his help. Two have received them.
Shortly after Col. Miska assumed command, the
senior Iraqi commander in Kadhimiya was arrested by U.S. forces for cooperating
with the Mahdi Army.
In January, he was replaced by Gen. Kinbar,
who is also 39. Gen. Kinbar, who is trim with a neat, black mustache, grew up
in Baghdad, and spent most of his adult life in the Iraqi Army Special
Forces.† He says he hated Saddam Hussein,
but loved the discipline of army life.
Prior to the war, he says he got along well
with fellow officers, both Sunni and Shiite. Although his wife and daughter
both wear traditional Muslim head-covering, he isnít devoutly religious and
often regales Col. Miska with stories of Baghdadís nightclubs from the late
1980s and early '90s.
In 2004, he rejoined the Iraqi army.
The officer helped lead
operations against insurgents in northern and western Iraq.
In 2006, he accepted the job as the military
commander in Kadhimiya. "In Kadhimiya, I knew there would be a lot of political
interference in military operations," he says.
On April 29, Americans learned
the Mahdi Army was holding an underground court to discipline renegade members
near the shrine in Kadhimiya. Several key Mahdi Army leaders that the U.S.
wanted to detain were there, Col. Miska says. As U.S. troops approached the
shrine, they came under withering fire and called for Iraqi Army help. Gen.
Kinbar told his battalion commanders to join the fight.
None came to help the
They did, however, help the
Mahdi Army. Some of Gen. Kinbarís soldiers stripped off their uniforms and
passed their weapons to the Mahdi fighters, according to U.S. officials.
That evening, with the battle still raging,
Col. Miska, Gen. Kinbar and Baha al-Araji, leader of the parliamentary bloc
loyal to Mr. Sadr, all met at Camp Justice, the joint U.S.-Iraqi base.
Gen. Kinbar brokered an agreement in which
U.S. troops withdrew from around the shrine and his Iraqi troops took their
Although eight Mahdi Army fighters were
killed in the fighting and the U.S. suffered no casualties, the battle was a
defeat for U.S. forces, Col. Miska says.
In the days following the battle, mosque
loudspeakers blared that U.S. forces had tried to destroy the shrine.
"Our relationship with the population was
greatly damaged because of the gun battle," he says.
Meanwhile, Gen. Kinbarís close relationship
with Col. Miska put him at risk. He says he began receiving threatening
Throughout July and August, Gen. Kinbar and
Col. Miska met regularly in the chow hall on the American side of the joint
base. Col. Miska says he could see his friend was "walking a tightrope."
On Aug. 4 -- five days before pilgrims
descended on the Kadhimiya shrine -- Gen. Kinbar met with Col. Miska, and his
boss, Col. J.B. Burton.
The Mahdi Army had painted
murals of Iraqi flags on cement barriers in Kadhimiya. At the bottom of the
barriers, they stenciled: "A gift to the Iraqi people from the Mahdi Army."
Col. Burton didnít want the
Mahdi Army to get any credit for providing security during the pilgrimage and
asked Gen. Kinbar to paint over the signs.
Gen. Kinbar politely refused.
"If I paint over the signs I will get calls
from 25 or 30 politicians," he said.
"Miska painted over some signs and nothing
happened to him," Col. Burton retorted.
"They cannot send him to jail," Gen. Kinbar
The following day, Gen. Kinbar was summoned
by Mr. al-Araji, the lawmaker, to an 11 a.m. meeting to discuss plans for
providing security for the massive Aug. 9 pilgrimage.
No U.S. officials were
invited.† The meeting was attended by
more than 100 people -- including some militia leaders on the U.S. target list.
Gen. Kinbar gave an uneventful presentation.
After the meeting, one of Gen. Kinbarís
subordinates told him that a cleric affiliated with the Mahdi Army wanted to
meet with him privately in his office. Gen. Kinbar, sensing a setup, refused.
"Just sit down for tea with him," the
Suddenly, about 100 Mahdi Army
fighters moved in and leveled guns at Gen. Kinbarís head, according to a U.S.
military report and interviews with the Iraqi troops. They stripped him and his
soldiers of their radios and weapons. Iraqi military vehicles -- commandeered
by militia fighters -- moved to block his exit.
In the chaos, Gen. Kinbar escaped after one
of his bodyguards threw him into a car.
Col. Miska says he believes the Mahdi Army
didnít want to kill the Iraqi general, which would have forced the U.S. to make
an arrest, but just wanted to humiliate him.†
Five members of Gen. Kinbarís security detail were taken captive for
about an hour.† They told U.S. officials
that they were questioned by Hazim al-Araji, a cleric and the aide to Mr. Sadr
who announced yesterdayís freeze on Mahdi operations. His brother is the
lawmaker from the district.† The Iraqi
troops told U.S. officials they were then beaten and released.
All that afternoon, mosque
loudspeakers throughout Kadhimiya blared that the only legitimate security
forces in Iraq were the Mahdi Army.† The
speakers also announced that if Gen. Kinbar returned to the area he would be
Back at his office at Camp Justice, Gen.
Kinbar was furious. "There is no law in Iraq," he screamed. "There is only
power.† Power creates the law."
After about an hour, the Iraqi officer who
had urged Gen. Kinbar to meet with the cleric stopped by his office, which is
decorated with pictures of Gen. Kinbar with senior U.S. officers.† Gen. Kinbar stared at his subordinate with
fury. "You were involved in the kidnapping," he said.† "You kept telling me to just go see him."
"I didnít know," the officer replied shifting
in his chair. "I am sorry." Gen. Kinbar looked away in disgust.
Col. Miska then took Gen.
Kinbar aside and told him that U.S. and Iraqi forces had to go back to the
shrine that afternoon and demand that the militia fighters return the weapons
and radios they had seized.
"From what I have seen, the Mahdi Army takes
advantage of your soldiers," Col. Miska said. "Unless we do something about it,
that will always be the perception."
Gen. Kinbar slumped over in a plastic lawn
chair and said nothing.
The Iraqi general needed his superiorsí
approval before he could launch a raid. Around 4 p.m., Gen. Kinbar received
word from the prime ministerís office that Iraqi forces shouldnít confront the
Mahdi Army.† He says the mission was
blocked because of fears it would lead to unrest in the run-up to the big
The normally calm Col. Miska
was frustrated. "Right now the Mahdi Army is the only Iraqi security force with
any legitimacy in Kadhimiya," he said.
In the two days that followed
the kidnapping, none of Gen. Kinbarís senior officers came by to check on him.
The general told Col. Miska that he was
hearing rumors that he was going to be transferred.† If he lost his job, he worried he would also
lose his security detail, which consists of about a dozen officers he has known
He worried that someone would try to kidnap
his wife and children, who had gone into hiding. "I am in a very tight place,"
he told Col. Miska one evening in the U.S. chow hall. "Things are happening too
fast. My mind is going 500 miles per hour. I donít sleep at night. It is beyond
Col. Miska and Brig. Gen. John Campbell, the
deputy commander of U.S. troops in Baghdad, worked to help Gen. Kinbar.†
Col. Miska launched an
investigation to determine which Iraqi troops had participated in the
kidnapping.† [So much for the sovereignty
bullshit, as usual.]]
Gen. Campbell put pressure on
Lt. Gen. Abboud Ghanbar, who commands all Iraqi army and police forces in
Baghdad, to ensure Gen. Kinbar wasnít transferred or fired.
Three days after the kidnapping, he flew Gen.
Ghanbar, a confidant of Prime Minister Maliki, to Kadhimiya to see Gen. Kinbar
and tour the area.
After only a few minutes on the
ground, Gen. Campbell -- a square-shouldered U.S. Special Forces soldier who
doesnít walk so much as stomp -- spotted Iraqi soldiers sitting around without
their helmets. "Get your helmet on and try to look like a goddamn soldier!" he
barked.† Although there was no one to
translate, the men put on their helmets.†
[And thereby humiliating and destroying the authority of their Iraqi
Because of concern about car bombs, no
vehicles were supposed to pass into Kadhimiya in the lead up to the
pilgrimage.† But at several Iraqi
checkpoints, soldiers were letting in cars with militia-supplied passes. Gen.
Campbell summoned Gen. Kinbar, who yelled at the soldiers to stop it.
A few feet away, the U.S. general
pulled aside the Iraqi Gen. Ghanbar. "The government has got to back (Gen.
Kinbar) up," Gen. Campbell said, as they marched through the 120-degree heat.
Gen. Ghanbar, brushing away sweat, said he understood.
Later in the day, Gen. Campbell draped an arm
around Gen. Kinbar and leaned his stubble-covered face in close. "You need to
know we are behind you here. You have got your battle buddy Col. Miska.† He is going to be with you," he said.
Col. Miska and Gen. Kinbar now visit at least
once a day. Gen. Kinbar says he had always been drawn to the "order and control"
of military life. He often laments Iraqís army now has few of those qualities. "We
are disorganized and dirty," he says.
Col. Miska says he is trying to
get Gen. Kinbarís wife and two children out of the country. Heís talked with
representatives from the State Department, his own command and nonprofit groups
that deal with refugee issues. His hope is that if Gen. Kinbarís family is
beyond the Mahdi Armyís reach, the Iraqi will be better able to stand up to
"Most Bomb Attacks Against American Patrols In The
Area This Spring Occurred Close To Police Checkpoints"
August 31, 2007 By DAVID S. CLOUD, New York
American commanders on the ground in
Shiite-controlled areas of Baghdad say that the local police actively subvert
efforts to loosen the grip of militias, and in some cases, attack Americans
directly. One commander in northwest Baghdad said most bomb attacks against
American patrols in the area this spring occurred close to police checkpoints.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
By LLOYD DANGLE
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Police Say Man Threw His Dying Wife From Balcony;
He Could Not Pay Bills For Medical Care
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
Aug 16, 2007 AP
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man threw his seriously
ill wife four stories to her death because he could no longer afford to pay for
her medical care, prosecutors said in charging him with second-degree murder.
According to court documents filed Wednesday
in Jackson County Circuit Court, Stanley Reimer walked his wife to the balcony
of their apartment and kissed her before throwing her over.
The body of Criste Reimer, 47, was found
Tuesday night outside the apartment building, near the upscale Country Club
Plaza shopping district.
Stanley Reimer, 51, was charged Wednesday. He
remained jailed on $250,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
In the probable cause statement filed with
the charges, police said Reimer was desperate because he could not pay the
bills for his wifeís treatment for neurological problems and uterine cancer.
Investigators said that Reimer was in the
apartment when they arrived. He told them, "She didnít jump," but did not
elaborate, they said.
Her weight had fallen to 75 lbs.
Criste Reimerís caregiver told police she
could barely walk and would not have been able to climb over the railing of the
balcony, according to the probable cause statement.
Reimerís alleged motive emerged after several
more hours of questioning, police said.
According to Jackson County Probate Court
records, Criste Reimer had been in ill health for several years. Her weight had
fallen to 75 pounds and she was partly blind.
According to the court records, she had no
health insurance to pay for medical bills that ranged from $700 to $800 per
The Probate Court documents were filed in
April, when Stanley Reimer petitioned to be allowed to sell personal property
his wife owned in Wheeler County, Texas, for $20,000.
The documents listed her assets at
approximately $6,700, with monthly income of $725 from oil royalties and
Supplemental Security Income.
It was not immediately known if Stanley
Reimer had an attorney.
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Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now!
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