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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Everyday Angel Speaks-For The Troops

I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Thank you for protecting our country and our freedom. I can't imagine how hard it is being away from your family and home. But I really appreciate all you have had to sacrifice on our behalf. The American people owe you so much. And I know we will never be able to repay you. All I can offer you are words of gratitude. I have two children one is 8 and the other is 6. I feel like you are defending our freedom and giving them a better future. For that, I am forever grateful. I have taught them about you and what you have to give up for us to live in this land of freedom. When they see a military person they go up and say, " thank you for protecting our country." I've seen grown men almost brought to tears by this simple gesture. Funny how the small things in life are taken for granted isn't it? Sept. 11 taught me to take small things for granted no more. And I hope to live the rest of my life remembering those lessons. I only wish more people remembered how we felt on Sept. 12. Then more people would remember to say thank you to you and those with you.
In closing, let me once again tell you thank you. May you be safe in your travels.
Paulette Nelson

Email Received-For Our Troops

Ladies and Gents,
Just a note to convey my gratitude for all of your service to our great nation. In a time when these things are certainly not popular and many politicians are making light of your sacrifices to further their political agendas since its an election year.

Make no mistake, your efforts and personal sacrifices are definietly appreciated by us at home.

Stay safe, and God Bless.
Sgt. Ken Russo


Thank A Soldier


Here is why you are needed to STAND and Support our very brave young heroes.

Hello my fellow Soldiers Angels,
It's just little old me writing to say thank you for all the letters and care packages you all have sent to me, my unit and to all of the SO guys here in Iraq. I can't even begin to thank you enough or tell you what it means to a lot of us over here. If it wasn't for you we would be a bunch of very dirty, hungry, disgruntled soldiers and sailors (had to add sailors because I used to be one!)
The SO guys here on base that help me wanted me to say thank you for them, too, and let you all know how much it means to them as well. They told me to tell you they think you guys are great for going out of your way and writing people you don't know and sending care packages and letters to them. They said they want to apologize for the ones who either don't write back or are in a place they can't write back but say they are thankful for you anyway. So far 36 units of SO guys have been receiving your letters and care packages along with a few units here on base when I get too backed up when the choppers can't make the runs to the guys. A few times, the roads have been bombed out and the choppers are busy doing force protection so they are around. This generally happens about 4-5 days before I'm up 2 days straight catching up on the packages that were sent but couldn't get through.So from the bottom of every soldier and sailors heart we thank you very much for doing everything that you have done. There is no way that we could ever thank you for everything that you have done for us. To us, you are the heroes, without you our time over here wouldn't be nearly as good. We all look forward to your letters, email and cards telling us to "keep" our chin up and to fight through a new day.

With much love and appreciation,
"SO guys" of Tikrit, Iraq

Care Packages

Minimus.biz Teams with Soldiers’ Angels Organization to Design Military Care Packages
Minimus.biz, the world's first store dedicated exclusively to travel size items, is now offering 17 pre-made military care packages. The packages were designed in conjunction with Soldiers' Angels, an oganization whose members adopt soldiers stationed overseas, sending them regular care packages.

(PRWEB) October 15, 2004 -- Minimus.biz has just launched a line of seventeen different military care packages for military personnel stationed overseas. The kits include basic and deluxe versions of a beverage kit, mini-meal kit, snack kit, condiment kit, medical kit, personal care kits for men and women, laundry kit, and military field kits.

“One of our customers was part of a great organization called Soldiers’ Angels, where each member adopts a soldier and sends them regular care packages. We worked with the membership of the organization to find out what their adopted soldiers were requesting, and we put together a full line of care packages to meet their needs,” notes company marketing Vice-President and co-founder Paul Shrater.

Soldiers’ Angels slogan is “may no soldier go unloved.” More importantly, the slogan describes the motivation behind Soldiers' Angels. By working together and sharing a common vision of service, the volunteers of Soldiers' Angels send care to deployed soldiers and their loved ones at home. To date, they have send thousands of care packages to deployed soldiers, helped the wounded at three major military hospitals, and aided many military families.

While customers can create their own custom care packages from Minimus.biz’s 500+ individual and travel size product offerings, the new “care package” aisle on the site offers pre-made military care packages. Customers can add additional items from the site to the care packages as well.

The packages can be shipped to the customer for their own re-packaging, or can be shipped directly to the military post office in the United States that then forwards to the soldiers overseas. Minimus.biz offers free domestic shipping for orders over $20, which includes the military post office.

Soldiers' Angels

Email Received

I read your blog, and like so many, you are confronted with IED's. I'm a remote sensing scientist, not a soldier, and my am aware that my ideas my help or belong in File 13; I just thought I'd pass them on.

I developed a method for the foot soldier to identify IED's up to 5 meters away (landmines closer). The method is pocket-size, so cheap everyone could carry one, and works battery-free.

I don't mean to be presumptuous, just thought it may help. When ever you get a break off duty and can get on the net, (if interested) please look it over and let me know. The direct link is listed below my email address.

best of luck and do take care of yourself (that expression is what my girlfriend wrote me during my days in the Vietnam war). All sites and info are free.

John Janks

Houston, TX


Pfc James Prevete-Fallen Hero

Pfc James Prevete

How To Handle " Peace Activists "

How to handle "Peace Activists
"With all of this talk of war, many of us will encounter "Peace Activists" who will try and convince us that we must refrain from retaliating against the ones who terrorized us all on September 11, 2001, and those who support terror.
These activists may be alone or in a gathering.....most of us don't know how to react to them. When you come upon one of these people, or one of their rallies, here are the proper rules of etiquette:
1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us, we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from political to religious to humanitarian.
2. In the middle of their remarks, without any warning, punch them in the nose.
3. When the person gets up off of the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you, so be careful.
4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell them if they are really committed to a non-violent approach toundeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.
5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.
6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder. Square in the nose.
7. Repeat steps 2-5 until the desired results are obtained and the idiot realizes how stupid of an argument he/she is making.
8. There is no difference in an individual attacking an unsuspecting victim or a group of terrorists attacking a nation of people.
It is unacceptable and must be dealt with. Perhaps at a high cost.
We owe our military a huge debt for what they are about to do for us and our children. We must support them and our leaders at times like these.We have no choice. We either strike back, VERY HARD, or we will keep getting hit in the nose.
Lesson over, class dismissed.

"Let every nation know....whether it wishes us well or ill....that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival andthe success of LIBERTY"~John F. Kennedy ~January 20, 1961

Iraq War News


U.S. Army soldiers investigate an early morning rocket attack

U.S. Army soldiers investigate an early morning rocket attack at Al-Mansour hotel, October 16, 2004. One rocket landed in the parking area of the hotel, where some foreign media is staying, causing slight structural damage. U.S. forces investigated the scene of attack and there were no reports of any casualties. REUTERS/Ammar Awad Yahoo! News - World Photos - Reuters

A US soldier looks at a piece of shrapnel

A US soldier looks at a piece of shrapnel after a mortar round hit the parking lot of the al-Mansour Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq Saturday Oct 16, 2004, where some foreign journalists and diplomats stay. There were no reports of casualties. (AP Photo/Samir Mizban) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

This should help our soldiers in Iraq feel good about their job...NOT

This group from St. Paul Minnesota submitted this undated photo to the Fellowship of Reconciliation of Nyack, N.Y., which made it available Friday, Oct. 15, 2004. More than 2,000 people bemoaning the war in Iraq including teachers, lawyers and the father of a beheaded American, are sending pictures of themselves and their protest signs to Iraq to show civilians there 'what Americans are really like.' (AP Photo/Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

Artillery Attacks on Church, Hospital: "

From the AFP via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

â?¦a mortar round was fired into a car park between a hotel and St Georgeâ??s Anglican church, witnesses said.

â??There were no injuries,â?? said Tassin Ali, a security guard who had been sitting at the front gate to the hotel.

The mortar round struck directly opposite the church but it was unclear whether it had been the target, an AFP reporter said.

About five cars were damaged in the blast.
One medic was killed and nine others wounded when a mortar round exploded outside a hospital in Baghdad, just after an artillery shell struck near a church down the road, officials said.

â??The mortar landed in the garden of the hospital,â?? said Hashim Mohammed, a security officer at the Ibn el-Bitar hospital.

The hospital deputy said one person was killed and nine wounded, all of them staff.


In Command Post: Irak

Mosul Car Bomb kills US Soldier: "

From the AFP via The Australian :

A US soldier has died of wounds sustained in a car bomb attack yesterday in the northern city of Mosul, the military said today.

â??One soldier assigned to Task Force Olympia died of wounds following a car bomb attack on a Multinational Forces convoy on October 15.

The attack occurred in the east central area of Mosul at approximately 1.20pm (local time),â?? a statement said.


In Command Post: Irak

5 Churches Bombed in Iraq: "

From The Australian :

A string of bombs exploded at five churches across Baghdad today though no casualties have been reported, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

The explosions rang out in quick succession over an hour and half starting at 4am local time (11am AEST) at St Joseph Church in the Nafaq Al-Shurta area, said ministry spokesman Colonel Adnan Abdul-Rahman.

The other churches hit were St Jacobâ??s Church and St Georgeâ??s Church in the Doura neighbourhood, the Church of Rome in the Karrada neighbourhood and St Thomas Church in the Mansour area.

Colonel Abdul-Rahman said the churches all had some exterior damage, with windows blown out.

â??It is a criminal act to make Iraq unstable and to create religious difficulties,â?? Rev Zaya Yousef of St Georgeâ??s Church said.

â??But this will not happen because we all live together like brothers in this country through sadness and happiness.â??


In Command Post: Irak

US troops 'refused Iraq mission': "The US military says it is investigating claims that 19 US soldiers in Iraq refused to undertake a convoy mission."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Task Force Olympia soldier dies of wounds suffered in car bombing in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Two U-S soldiers killed in attack in southern Afghanistan in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Three Iraqis die in bomb blast outside restive Iraqi city of Baquba: "Three Iraqis from the same family were killed in a roadside bomb blast outside the restive city of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, local police said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

UK troops may be called to aid US: "The Government is facing pressure to end the uncertainty over plans to send British troops to reinforce the Americans in some of the most volatile areas of Iraq."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Wounder soldier's wife goes into labor, gives birth to five in IraqWar.info

Military probing whether unit in Iraq refused dangerous mission in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

5th NewsMinute (TOPS) in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Explosions in Baghdad Kill One, Wound Five: "Two blasts, one near a hospital and theother near a hotel, killed one person and wounded five inBaghdad on Saturday, witnesses and hospital officials said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraq War News
Five churches, hospital bombed in Baghdad: "Bombs exploded outside five churches in Baghdad and mortar rounds hit near a hospital and a hotel frequented by foreigners, as U.S. forces loosened a cordon around the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah after several days of clashes with rebels there."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan: "A bomb killed two American soldiers and wounded three others in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Saturday, while a separate attack in an eastern Afghan province killed at least three children and a policeman on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Unit refused Iraq mission, military says: "Relatives of soldiers who refused to deliver supplies in Iraq say the troops considered the mission too dangerous, in part because their vehicles were in poor shape."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

AP Poll: National security captivates U.S.: "National security issues such as the war in Iraq and terrorism are dominating voters' attention in the final weeks before Election Day, Associated Press polling found."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Friday, October 15, 2004

Bayji Iraq Camp Summerall Soldiers: A Visit to FOB Summerall

A Visit to FOB Summerall
I was given permission to put this blog posting up from a visitor to FOB Summerall. I've included a link to the blog it is taken from if you would like to go and read other FOB stories or view their uploaded Movies, Ii couldn't get them to load, but perhaps Im using the wrong player for it.

FOB (Forward Operating Base) Summerall was by far the smallest base that we visited, only about 1,500 troops. So, it was an extremely big deal for the guys and gals on base to get some some live entertainment from the States. There was a "FOB Summerall Welcomes Chely Wright" banner on their communications building and we all received plenty of goodies (mugs and sweatshirts, etc. from the commanding officer). The true fun highlight of Summerall, though, was our trip to the artillery range.

After sound check, all of us that were interested (the whole band and crew), went up to the artillery range to shoot whatever weapons we wanted to. We got to shoot 9mm Glocks (pistols), M-16 machine guns, M-203 grenade launchers, M-249 machine guns, a 50 cal machine gun mounted in the turret of a Humvee and finally, the AT4 (anti-tank rocket launched from the shoulder) "bazooka."

Warning: You may hear some profanity in the background about 14 seconds in. I will try to fix that soon. (hopefully this weekend - first weekend of October)

Tall Version Artillery Range (file size 712 KB) (You'll need to visit the original blog to try and view these...sorry, a link is provided above...))
Venti Version Artillery Range (file size 4.3 MB)
Grande Version Artillery Range (file size 1.3 MB)

There was only one AT4 rocket for the entire band to share. For some reason or another, I got to be the one to launch it. It was incredible (click to watch -- I just added a short clip of the AT4 that Clay, our Bass Player got with his digital camera). There's no kick because the propulsion of the rocket shoots out of the back of the tube. You do, however, feel an incredible flash of heat and energy when it launches and it kicks up sand all around you. I'll proudly say that I hit my target (an old junked-up Iraqi tank or truck) and it made a loud boom. I was high on an endorphin rush for a good 30 minutes afterward.

Bayji Iraq Camp Summerall Soldiers: A Visit to FOB Summerall

ContraCostaTimes.com | 10/15/2004 | Panel blames chemicals for gulf war syndrome

Panel blames chemicals for gulf war syndrome

By Scott Shane


WASHINGTON - A federal panel of medical experts studying illnesses among veterans of the war in the Persian Gulf has broken with several earlier studies and concluded that many suffer from neurological damage caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, rejecting past findings that the ailments resulted mostly from wartime stress.

Citing new scientific research on the effects of exposure to low levels of neurotoxins, the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses concludes in its draft report that "a substantial proportion of gulf war veterans are ill with multi-symptom conditions not explained by wartime stress or psychiatric illness."

It says a growing body of research suggests that many veterans' symptoms have a neurological cause and that there is a "probable link" to exposure to neurotoxins.

The report says possible sources include sarin, a nerve gas, from an Iraqi weapons depot blown up by U.S. forces in 1991; a drug, pyridostigmine bromide, given to troops to protect against nerve gas; and pesticides used to protect soldiers in the region.

Dr. Joyce Lashof, the chairwoman of a presidential advisory group that reported in 1996 that there was no causal link between toxic exposure and the veterans' symptoms, said Thursday that she had not seen the new report.

But Lashof said she was open to changing her views if the findings were based on solid new research and not advocacy by veterans' groups.

"We certainly weren't sure that our report was the definitive answer," said Lashof, professor emerita of public health at UC Berkeley. "It was based on the best evidence available at the time."

All the chemicals cited in the new study belong to a group called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, exposure to which can cause a range of symptoms including pain, fatigue, diarrhea and cognitive impairment.

Committee members said there might be minor changes in the report, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Times, but that the basic scientific findings would not change.

The committee says a search for medical treatments tailored to the new findings is "urgently needed" and recommends $60 million in federal funds for new research over the next four years.

It says an estimated 100,000 gulf war veterans, or about one in seven, suffer war-related health problems.

ContraCostaTimes.com | 10/15/2004 | Panel blames chemicals for gulf war syndrome


Bravo Battery, 1-62 ADA, Soldiers Help Iraqi Students Get School Year Off to Great Start
by 2nd Lt. Joel Haas

When asked what he liked most during the visit, Spec. Miguel Ordonez replied, “the smile on the kids’ faces, giving them something they never had before, and showing them we cared.” Operation Crayon is also an opportunity for the Soldiers to see whom they are fighting for. “It lets us know that we are making a difference in their lives. That’s satisfaction for me,” according to Cpl. Michael Jones. It’s amazing to see children ask the Soldiers for the simplest of things like flashlights, gum, or extra pens. Items we don’t think twice about are things they loved as gifts.

Besides school supplies, Soldiers also handed out candies and stuffed animals (Beenie Babies) to the children, instantly brightening their young faces. “The look in their eyes is one I will never forget, I saw my two kids in their faces whom I miss so much,” said Cpl. Jeff Simpson.


A U.S. Army soldier gestures to journalists to back off

A U.S. Army soldier gestures to journalists to back off from the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, October 15, 2004. A car bomb wounded five Iraqi police and five civilians outside a police station in southern Baghdad on Friday, the Interior Ministry said. REUTERS/Ali Jasim Yahoo! News - World Photos - Reuters

A U.S. Army soldier gestures

A U.S. Army soldier gestures as he secures the area after a car bomb exploded, Friday, Oct 15, 2004, near a police station in southwest Baghdad, Iraq killing one and injuring at least 11 others, the Interior Ministry and hospital officials said. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

US troops arrest Iraqi cleric involved in Fallujah truce talks

FALLUJAH, Iraq, Oct 15 (AFP) - US troops arrested on Friday a senior member of a delegation from the rebel Iraqi city of Fallujah that had been mediating a truce with the government, one of his colleagues said.

"They arrested him (Sheikh Khaled Hamoud) after Friday prayers at a mosque in the village of Albu-Issa outside Fallujah," Sheikh Abdul Hamid Jadu told AFP.

Jadu said he and Hamoud were together in Baghdad on Wednesday meeting members of the interim government before Prime Minister Iyad Allawi surprised them with his demand that they hand over the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, or face an invasion.

Before his arrest, Hamoud had said the delegation was close to working out a deal that would allow Iraqi forces back to the city and extend amnesty to some elements of the insurgency.

US troops arrest Iraqi cleric involved in Fallujah truce talks

HoustonChronicle.com - Militant leader al-Zarqawi gets bolder in Iraq

Militant leader al-Zarqawi gets bolder in Iraq
Reuters News Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Every day, U.S. warplanes pound his suspected bases in Falluja. His face is known to many Iraqis from television footage and wanted posters.

But elusive Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi continues launching spectacular attacks. His suicide bombers have now hit Baghdad's Green Zone -- the centre of the interim government and U.S. forces in Iraq -- for the first time.

Penetrating Iraq's most heavily fortified area, they killed five people on Thursday, sending a chilling message to U.S. and British diplomats who thought they were safe inside the fortress-like compound on the west bank of the Tigris.

The United States' enemy number one in Iraq keeps running circles around thousands of troops despite a massive manhunt, air strikes and a $25 million bounty on his head.

To judge by that reward alone, the United States wants Zarqawi as badly as al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden himself.

If there is one person in Iraq who can undermine the interim government's elections scheduled for January, it's Zarqawi.

Combining fiery calls for holy war with the organisational skills of a detached surgeon, he seems to strike at will to the dismay of U.S. military commanders.

The Green Zone attacks required patient planning to move the bombers and their explosives past several tough checkpoints. Perhaps it was an inside job in a country where police have sometimes joined forces with insurgents.

Little is known about Zarqawi apart from his rise from prison thug to master of terror in Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi officials portray him as a ruthless militant leader who is willing to kill thousands for his aims.

But those who know Zarqawi suggest it took more than a fearsome reputation to elevate him to someone who evades the world's mightiest army.

A Jordanian guard at the Iraqi embassy in Amman -- the type of official place Zarqawi blows up -- remembers him as a charismatic figure who commanded respect in prison.

"He used to lift weights and exercise. He was seen as a disciplined, strong man. People listened to him," said the guard, who worked in the prison where Zarqawi was held.

"I love Abu Musab."

Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group have appeared in images on the Internet standing behind their hostages before they are executed.

When an Islamist Web site showed a video in May of a man severing the head of American hostage Nicholas Berg, it said Zarqawi was the one wielding the knife.

The CIA said it was Zarqawi who read out the spine-chilling statement which accompanied the beheading of U.S. hostage Eugene Armstrong in September.

The interim government and its U.S. allies insist Zarqawi and his followers from across the Arab world plan their attacks from the rebel-held western city of Falluja.

But U.S. air strikes on Falluja often leave piles of rubble, dead civilians and furious Iraqis who accuse the Americans of creating the Zarqawi bogeyman to keep their forces in Iraq.

Zarqawi, a man with a string of aliases who spent years in the lawless wastes of western Pakistan and Afghanistan, is likely to keep the Americans guessing.

They have few clues about him, except a string of attacks, including the August 2003 bombings of the U.N. Baghdad headquarters and a Shi'ite shrine in Najaf as well as suicide car bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqis.

Despite the daily threat of air strikes, Zarqawi has managed to keep morale high among his fighters.

After a recent suicide attack in Baghdad, Iraqi insurgents stuck Tawhid and Jihad banners on a burning U.S. fighting vehicle. Others were hung on palm trees along the capital's Haifa street, one of several rebel strongholds.

HoustonChronicle.com - Militant leader al-Zarqawi gets bolder in Iraq
Iraq War News
U.S. warplanes pound insurgent stronghold: "U.S. warplanes pounded the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah on Friday, a day after the city's leaders suspended peace talks and rejected the Iraqi government's demands to turn over terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Zimbabwe opposition leader found innocent: "Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was acquitted on treason charges Friday, a surprise end to a yearlong trial that his party had said was orchestrated by the government of President Robert Mugabe."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Karzai takes early lead in Afghan count: "Interim leader Hamid Karzai took an early lead as vote counting began in Afghanistan's landmark presidential election, after allegations of ballot-box stuffing, voter intimidation and multiple voting forced five days of delay."

In JuneauEmpire.com: Associated Press

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Golden Dragons: B Co in Samarra

October 14, 2004
B Co in Samarra
Soldiers maintain security and win over residents on the streets of Samarra

SAMARRA, Iraq – Soldiers with B Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry walk through the streets, accompanied by two gun trucks. During the mission, time is made to speak with members of a youth soccer team and buy ice cream cones for grateful children.

Company leaders speak with merchants offering everything from watermelon to hubcaps. Virtually every resident stops and stares at the passing throng, most of them smiling and waving. After an hour on patrol, the Soldiers turn and head back to their forward operating base.

The situation would be unremarkable, if not for the location. Less than two weeks prior, anti-Iraq forces controlled Samarra and most of the residents stayed inside out of fear.

“We couldn’t have walked through this area a week ago without being shot up with RPGs,” said 1st Lt. Greg Longo, a B 1-14 platoon leader from Calumet, Mich.

Golden Dragons: B Co in Samarra

Army Spc. Christopher Merville Fallen Hero

Army Spc. Christopher Merville, 26, of Albuquerque, N.M., shown in this undated photo, died Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004, when his unit came under fire during combat operations in Baghdad. Merville was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division. (AP Photo)
Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

U.S. Army soldiers secure a road in Taash

U.S. Army soldiers secure a road in Taash, on the outskirts of Ramadi, Iraq Thursday, Oct. 14 2004. Soldiers were searching for a car used by an insurgent sniper who recently killed two soldiers in a three-day period. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)

Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

US soldiers secure the area as smokes billows from a burning US military vehicle

US soldiers secure the area as smokes billows from a burning US military vehicle along a highway to the west of Baghdad which leads to the restive Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah.(AFP/Awad Awad) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP

From the front to Soldiers' Angels

Would like to thank everyone for their support. You have no idea how much this means to a soilier. If you saw in the news today, the International Zone was hit, its people like you all, whom care so much for us that makes this mission so much worth the while. Again, Thank you.
SGT. James


Soldier Ride - A Wounded Warrior Project Fundraiser

We’re a group of people from East Hampton, New York who wanted to make some gesture towards the members of our armed forces who have sacrificed so much for us. This winter we held two benefit concerts to raise money for soldiers on Long Island who had been severely wounded overseas. One of us, Chris Carney, then volunteered to cycle across the United States to help raise money for – and consciousness about – these brave soldiers.
Soldier Ride - A Wounded Warrior Project Fundraiser

Iraq's Suicide Bombers Remain Lethal Mystery

By Michael Georgy
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A few Iraqis have spotted them speeding toward death before they disintegrate in a bloody fireball. But little is known of Iraq's suicide bombers except that the supply seems endless.

Suicide bombers are the biggest security nightmare in Iraq, terrorizing the streets up to three times a week with huge explosions that have killed more than 1,000 people.

But Iraq's interim government, struggling to stabilize the country before elections planned for January, still has few clues as to who they are.

"Either they are foreigners so you don't hear anything about them or they are Iraqis and their families just keep quiet out of fear of being arrested," said Ghassan al-Attiyah, executive director of the Iraq Foundation for Development and Democracy.

Top News Article | Reuters.com

AP Wire | 10/14/2004 | Explosions in Baghdad's Green Zone Kill 8

Explosions in Baghdad's Green Zone Kill 8

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two bombs apparently carried in by insurgents exploded at an outdoor market and a popular cafe in Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone on Thursday, killing eight civilians and wounding a number of others, a U.S. military spokesman said.

Thick black smoke billowed from one of the sites after the explosions. "Both appeared to be hand-carried explosives," Lt. Col. James Hutton, a spokesman for the 1st Cavalry Division, said.

The blasts occured at two sites inside the zone - one at an outdoor bazaar, killing six and wounding three, the second at an indoor cafe where two were killed and "a number of others were wounded."

Hutton said there did not appear to be any U.S. military casualties. He did not give a breakdown of nationalities for the dead and injured.

Last week, an improvised bomb was found and safely defused at the Green Zone Cafe, a popular hangout for Americans living and working in the compound. It was not immediately known if Thursday's blast targeted the same site.

The possibility that explosives were carried into the heavily guarded area raises serious questions about security in the Green Zone, a barricaded neighborhood were the headquarters of the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy are located. About 10,000 Iraqis live in the zone.

The zone is a regular target of insurgents, who have frequently fired mortar rounds at the compound. There have also been a number of deadly car bombings at its gates.

AP Wire | 10/14/2004 | Explosions in Baghdad's Green Zone Kill 8

U.S. Army soldiers line up to pay their final respects to Army PFC Aaron James Rusin

U.S. Army soldiers line up to pay their final respects to Army PFC Aaron James Rusin, 19, of the 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division during a memorial service at Camp Ramadi, on the outskirts of Ramadi, Iraq , Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004. Rusin, of western Pennsylvania, was killed during an ambush in Ramadi on Oct. 11, and was among two U.S. Army soldiers and two U.S. Marines from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team killed in action in during a five-day period ending Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

A US Army soldier secures the area after a car bomb exploded

A US Army soldier secures the area after a car bomb exploded in the center of Baghdad, Iraq , in this Oct 12, 2003 file photo. The U.S. command reports that 59 car bombs were detonated or discovered before going off in September 2004, the highest total since the war began. They killed 29 Iraqi and multinational troops, along with scores of civilians. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

God Bless This Family and their Hero

Terri Potts, center, wife of Rhode Island National Guard Sgt. Christopher Potts watches as RING Maj. Gen. Reginald Centracchio presents a second flag to Sgt. Potts oldest son Christopher Potts Jr., during the funeral Sgt. Potts' funeral service at Trinity Cemetery Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 in Portsmouth, R.I. Potts was with the A Battery, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery unit when he was killed in action Oct. 3, 2004 in Iraq . (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho) Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

A U.S. military supply truck burns in the western part of Baghdad

A U.S. military supply truck burns in the western part of Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004. The U.S. military convoy was attacked by a small explosive device while driving on a highway west of the Iraqi capital setting one vehicle on fire and causing no injuries, according to military sources. (AP Photo/Asaad Muhsin) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP
Iraq War News
U-S forces trade fire with insurgents in Ramadi in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Car Bomb Explodes Next to U.S. Convoy: "A car bomb exploded next to a U.S. convoy west of the capital, killing at least one Iraqi and wounding eight, hospital officials and survivors said Thursday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Iraqi PM warns Fallujah to give up Zarqawi or face attack: "Prime Minister Iyad Allawi threatened a military assault on Fallujah if the rebel bastion does not surrender Iraq's most wanted man, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

U.S. Forces, Insurgents Battle in Ramadi: "U.S. forces traded fire with insurgents in the Sunni stronghold of Ramadi following a series of raids, residents said Thursday, and at least eight people were reported killed. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

'Direct threat to Britons in Iraq': "British nationals in northern Iraq may be targeted in "a direct threat of kidnap to foreign nationals", The Foreign Office said."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

CIA Secret Detention center in Jordan in IraqWar.info

Female Iraqi Candidates a Diverse Group: "Salama al-Khafaji, a deeply religious woman in an all-enveloping black robe, says that if elected, she'll bring "bright Islamic thoughts" to Iraq's legislature. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Ramadan Takes on New Meaning in Iraq: "Ramadan is upon this troubled nation again â?? a holy month when pious Muslims seek to cleanse their souls and come together. But in Iraq, many fear the holy season will bring more than usual violence and divisions. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Falluja Negotiator: Iraq Govt.'s Demand Absurd: "Iraq's interim prime minister hasthreatened to attack Falluja unless it turns in foreignmilitants, but a negotiator for the rebel-held city said onThursday its people were being asked to chase shadows. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Afghan Election URGENT in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Mass Iraqi grave yields infants, unborn - (United Press International) Now you tell me this War is wrong...

Mass Iraqi grave yields infants, unborn

Hatra, Iraq, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Investigators have unearthed a mass grave in northern Iraq containing hundreds of bodies of women and children believed killed in the 1980s.

"It is my personal opinion that this is a killing field," Greg Kehoe, a U.S. investigator working with the Iraqi Special Tribunal, told reporters in Hatra, south of the city of Mosul.

Nine trenches have been located containing hundreds of bodies believed to be Kurds executed and then bulldozed into trenches during Saddam Hussein's repression of 1987-88.

"Someone used this field on significant occasions over time to take bodies up there, and to take people up there and execute them," Kehoe said.

The body of one woman was found still clutching a baby. The infant had been shot in the back of the head and the woman in the face, the BBC reported.

Iraq's human rights ministry has reportedly identified 40 possible mass graves across the country.

Mass Iraqi grave yields infants, unborn - (United Press International)

3 U.S. Soldiers Killed By Bomb

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A roadside bomb attack killed three American soldiers in a convoy on the day of a country-wide offensive by U.S. troops and Iraqi soldiers against Sunni insurgents and suspected extremists.

The attack happened at around 10 p.m. Tuesday in eastern Baghdad, a military statement said. The names of the soldiers were withheld pending notification of their families. No further details of the incident were disclosed.

It wasn't immediately clear if the soldiers were part of the massive offensive Tuesday, which was launched ahead of Ramadan in an apparent attempt at preventing a repeat of the insurgent violence that took place at the start of last year's Muslim holy month. Ramadan is expected to start at week's end.

3 U.S. Soldiers Killed By Bomb

Yahoo! News - masked gunmen and a man it claims to be Luqman

A video grab image taken from the Web site of militant Iraqi group the Army of Ansar al-Sunna, Oct. 13, 2004, shows masked gunmen and a man it claims to be Luqman Hussein Mohammed, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The group said it had beheaded a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party who it described as a 'spy' working as a translator for the U.S. army, according to an Internet statement. (Reuters - Handout) Yahoo! News - World - Reuters

A television image broadcast by Al Arabiya television of Paul Taggart

A television image broadcast by Al Arabiya television of Paul Taggart, a U.S. photographer who was freed by his abductors in Baghdad, October 12, 2004. Taggart said after his release Tuesday that he was treated well but did not know why he had been kidnapped. (Al Arabiya/Reuters) Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - Reuters

Freedom Festival


Freedom Festival Honors United States Military
Barrington event offers creative & fun ways to honor, support and thank the troops

Barrington, Illinois, October 12, 2004 – We-Do-Care.org , a not-for-profit organization created to support the brave men and women of the United States military, is proud to announce details for the Barrington Freedom Festival on Saturday October 23, 2004 to honor and thank America’s troops.

The Freedom Festival will be held, rain or shine, from noon to 3:00pm at Langendorf Park, 235 Lions Drive, Barrington, Illinois. Admission is free and families are encouraged to attend.

We-Do-Care is partnering with a number of not-for-profit organizations that provide support and services to troops and their families. The Festival will showcase opportunities to show your support by sending care packages through the USO of Illinois, adopting a front line soldier through Soldiers' Angels, donate blood with LifeSource, donate school supplies to Operation Iraqi Children, and many more.

“We are delighted to help pull our community together and demonstrate support for our troops,’ said Dirk Beveridge, president of We-Do-Care, “The response from the community, event supporters and the volunteer performers like Sally Mudd and Keni Thomas has been great. We hope everyone will come, enjoy some fine entertainment and let our troops know, “we do care” in Barrington and Illinois.”

Kevin Matthews, WCKG radio personality, will be serving as emcee for the event, and will be joined on stage by local leaders, military veterans recently returned from duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere who will share some of their experiences.

In organizing the Freedom Festival, We-Do-Care volunteers found a high degree of community and group interest in participating in an event to thank the troops.

“We are thrilled our community has come up with a positive and uplifting way to acknowledge the great sacrifice our brave men and women in the service are making for the cause of freedom” said Barrington resident Kimberly Pesavento.

We Do Care registered the Freedom Festival as an official Operation Tribute to Freedom event. Events such as the Freedom Festival help the American people learn more about the Soldiers and the military that defends them. It also provides events, celebrations and activities to demonstrate public appreciation for American men and women in uniform
and reinforce the bond between the citizenry and the military. Operation Tribute to Freedom began as a Department of Defense effort, and is now managed by the Army.

“The efforts by the We Do Care volunteers, their support and all the people participating in the Freedom Festival is great,” said Dennis Coll, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Northern Illinois and former Barrington resident, “ I know from having served and now supporting our Soldiers in my current position, how important events like these are in letting our troops know the American people really care.”

A detailed list of events and activities can be found at

About We Do Care
We Do Care (
http://www.we-do-care.org/) is a not-for-profit organization founded by Barrington-area residents to support the brave men and women of the United States military.

Media are invited to attend and cover the Freedom Festival. We-Do-Care will be operating a media contact point at the We-Do-Care tent and military public affairs officers will be on site to assist with interviews and questions.

Media Contacts

Dirk Beveridge
Cell 847-910-0269
Work 847-381-7797
Home 847-910-0269

Karen Boccabella
Home 847-381-9817
Cell 847-204-9164

Iraq War News
Iraqi deputy prime minister pleads for aid: "TOKYO (AP) - Iraq's deputy leader pleaded with donors Wednesday to fulfill their promises of aid to help rebuild his war-ravaged nation, while U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged that Washington was initially too slow in channeling money to Iraq."

In Modesto Bee: Iraq

Iraq urges donors to release cash: "Iraq's deputy PM asks nations meeting in Tokyo to fulfil pledges of aid, saying it is key to "beating terrorism"."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Blair faces demands to apologize over Iraq war: "LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Tony Blair faced growing demandsWednesday to apologize for the way his government handledintelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as it built acase for war."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Three U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A roadside bomb attack killed threeAmerican soldiers in a convoy as American troops and Iraqi soldiersstepped up pressure on Sunni insurgents before the start of theIslamic holy month of Ramadan this week."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

U.N. Nuclear Inspectors Ready to Return to Iraq: "U.N. inspectors, barred from most ofIraq since last year's invasion, are ready to return to probethe disappearance of equipment that could be used in atomicweapons, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Wednesday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

U.S., Iraqi forces launch Baqouba raids: "More than 1,000 U.S. troops, Iraqi police and Iraqi National Guardsmen launched two simultaneous raids Wednesday in Baqouba, north of Baghdad, to clear the area of insurgents before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan this week."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Military helping troops vote in November election. in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq says nuclear sites are 'well protected' in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

U-S general says election marks end of rule of gun in Afghanistan in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Investigators unearth mass grave in search of evidence against Saddam Hussein in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

GIs Eager To Vote: "In Iraq, Afghanistan, at U.S. bases, and all over the globe, U.S. military men and women are getting their absentee ballots in order. Extra care is being taken to avoid 2000's scenario, which disqualified hundreds of ballots."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

U.S. Photographer Says Unharmed by Iraq Captors: "An American photographer abducted bygunmen in Iraq said after his release Tuesday that he wastreated well but did not know why he had been kidnapped. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Israeli army suspends accused officer: "The Israeli army has suspended a platoon commander suspected of emptying an ammunition clip into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who had already been shot several times by soldiers, a commander said Wednesday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Marine Moms In Action



I wanted to tell you about the Marine Corps and Military theme Christmas cards I created for this year. I am the mother of a United States Marine who is currently stationed at Cherry Point, NC with the VMGR-252. He will be deployed to Iraq in February 2005. My husband and I own a print shop, and that is how I am able to make and sell these cards. I am also one of the moms who heads up our Washington State Marine Moms support group, and part of the proceeds will go to our group. We are very active in helping support the families of our fallen Marines, as well as any other related issues that arise.

I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to share the Web site where these Christmas cards are displayed. There is an order form that can be downloaded and faxed or mailed to me at my place of business.

Thank you for your consideration. You can find the links to the cards either by going to our business Web site at http://www.fineprintcompany.com/ (look under Hot Off The Press towards the bottom of the page) or our Marine Moms Web site at http://www.sharp-design.us/bandofmothers/home.html (in the upper left corner of the page).

Semper Fi,
Julie Sharp
253.852.6020 (work)
Minuteman Press
841 Central Ave. N. #105
Kent, WA 98032

A US soldier patrols

A US soldier patrols with others (unseen) the area close to a designated Iraqi police station, serving as a drop-off center in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, on the first day of disarming radical cleric Moqtada Sadr's Mehdi Army.(AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP

A US soldier of the 1 Cavalry Division

A US soldier of the 1 Cavalry Division secures an area near a police station in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, during the first day of disarming Sadr's Mehdi Army.(AFP/Jewel Samad) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP
Iraq War News
MPs to quiz ministers over Iraq: "MPs are getting their first chance to quiz the Government over Iraq since Parliament broke for the summer in July."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

10 Turkish hostages freed in Iraq: "ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's foreign minister confirmedTuesday that 10 Turks abducted last month in Iraq had been freed."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

U.S. and Iraqi forces raid Ramadi mosques: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi forces backed by U.S. soldiers and Marines raided mosques Tuesday in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi and detained a prominent cleric following fierce clashes that hospital officials said killed at least four people."

In Modesto Bee: Iraq

U.S. Warplanes Strike Fallujah Restaurant in

Iraqi Forces Raid Ramadi Mosques in

US Soldier, 2 Iraqis killed by Suicide Car Bomb in

Turkish Contractor, Translator Beheaded in

Nuclear Equipment Missing, says IAEA in

US to press NATO allies to do more in Afghanistan, Iraq: "US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is to press his NATO counterparts this week to contribute more in Afghanistan and Iraq, as the Alliance battles to expand its roles in both countries. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Through Hussein's Looking Glass: "WASHINGTON â?? Saddam Hussein was convinced he won the Persian Gulf War in 1991. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Sadr Fighters Begin Giving Up Arms: "BAGHDAD â?? Members of cleric Muqtada Sadr's Al Mahdi militia began turning over weapons to Iraqi authorities here Monday as the first step in a fledgling peace agreement designed to end weeks of deadly clashes in the capital. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Oil tops 54-dollar mark in Asian trading in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

U.S. aircraft strike twice in rebel-held Fallujah in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Teaching of Islam in schools backed: "A new drive to teach Islam in schools is set to be launched."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Sources: Body of Briton Bigley Dumped Near Baghdad: "The body of British engineer KennethBigley, killed by his kidnappers last week after three weeks incaptivity, was dumped just south of Baghdad Friday, sourcesclose to the insurgency said Tuesday. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Nuclear assets 'vanish' in Iraq: "Technology that could help produce a nuclear bomb has gone missing in Iraq, the UN nuclear watchdog warns."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Hostage release confirmed...Iraq heats up...Skyward crude prices in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sgt Michael Voss-Fallen Hero

Staff Sgt. Michael S. Voss, 35, shown in this undated photo, died Friday, Oct. 8, 2004, in Iraq when his convoy vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device and small arms fire, the Department of Defense (news - web sites) announced, Sunday. Voss was a squad leader assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment, based in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/North Carolina National Guard) Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

From Hugh Hewitt

Off to Phoenix,
but not before a pointer to a new milblog, direct from that not Iwo Jima: Baghdad. It is titled, simply, Direct from Baghdad.
Check in on MudvilleGazette,
also e-mailing it in from Iraq. And drop by SoldiersAngels and help with Operation Holiday Spirit,
which is sending all of our troops some holiday cheer. Contribute if you can. Great people running a great organization. When I am on the road I always meet up with people who have adopted a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine through SoldiersAngels,
and these folks, almost all civilians like me, always remark how it is among the most meaningful things they have ever done.

Major Assaults Delayed

Major Assaults Delayed
October 11, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration will delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.

Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent successes in insurgent-held towns such as Samarra and Tall Afar, administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi - where insurgents' grip is strongest and U.S. military casualties could be the greatest - until after Americans vote in what is likely to be a close election.

"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We're not on hold right now. We're just not as aggressive."

Major Assaults Delayed

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

CHAGMALAI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Islamic militants holding two Chinese engineers hostage in Pakistan have threatened to kill one unless security forces end a siege of their hideout, a tactic the interior minister said had echoes of Iraq.

Abdullah Mehsud, leader of the kidnappers holding the engineers in Pakistan's remote South Waziristan region, initially insisted that they and the hostages be allowed to join him in a nearby area by noon otherwise one of the Chinese would be killed.

The deadline was subsequently extended by four hours.

"There is no change in the situation," said a senior security official as the extended 4 p.m. (noon British time) deadline passed on Monday. "Tribal elders are in contact with the militants."

The kidnappers, with explosives strapped to their bodies, were holed up in a mud house surrounded by security forces and their tribal allies in the Chagmalai area of South Waziristan, about 330 km (200 miles) southwest of Islamabad. Tribal militiamen prevented journalists approaching the scene.

Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said the kidnappers had threatened to blow themselves up along with the hostages unless their demands were met.

"They have mines strapped to their bodies. They also have grenades," he said, adding that the kidnappers were demanding the freedom of two Uzbek al Qaeda militants detained in the rugged tribal region.

Officials have also said the kidnappers were demanding an end to military operations in the semi-autonomous tribal region, where hundreds have been killed since March in battles between security forces and al Qaeda-linked militants, including Chechens, Uzbeks and Arabs, protected by local tribesmen.

Sherpao said the militants, two of whom appeared to be Arabs and two Pakistanis had learned from tactics employed in Iraq.

"Whatever is happening in Iraq, they are moving according to that," he said.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

ABC News: Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers

Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting CentersBallots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers After Election; Opposition Boycott Wavering
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, left, has a laugh as he listens to Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking to the press at the Afghan presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 11, 2004. Schroeder said Monday he hoped the presidential election would bring peace and stability to this war-battered nation. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan Oct. 11, 2004 — Ballot boxes poured into counting centers Monday for a tally of the troubled presidential election in Afghanistan amid signs an opposition boycott was wavering after at least two candidates agreed to accept the ruling of an independent panel's inquiry.

Election organizers hope their decision, announced late Sunday, to establish a panel of about three foreign election experts to investigate the balloting will end the boycott, which many fear could seriously undermine the winner's ability to rule this war-ravaged nation.

A senior Western official who met with some of the 15 candidates said many had decided to back down and support the investigative team.

"Some of the candidates say they made that statement (the boycott) in too much of a rush," the official said on condition of anonymity. "They are now looking for a way out that allows them to save face."
ABC News: Ballots Pour Into Afghan Counting Centers

In response to: "My Son... a US Marine"

In response to: "My Son... a US Marine"

By: SGT Mark R. Brown, Portland, OR
Published: Oct 11, 2004

First off I would like to say that I am a Republican voting for Kerry. I am a 15 year veteran currently serving in the National Guard and was in Desert Storm. My 21 year old son is now serving in Iraq as an Infantry soldier with the 2/7th Cav. I understand that the message to belittle our Governments actions are a good attempt to help Kerry and his campaign as President Bush has used the Military in the wrong way. However, I find that the lies he tells cannot be supported with more hysterics and deeper lies. I find it disturbing that this article is coming from a mother who's son has not even been in the Marines more than 3 years yet, and depending on any college he may have had upon entering the Marines he may have not even been in for more than a year.

Below is a post I made on a message board I frequent when I read this article there. I would hope that you would show me the same courtesy that you showed Ms. Austin and publish this rebuttal. It's bad enough that us parents out there are worried sick about the welfare of their children just to have more thrown at them that our soldiers are not well enough equipped, which is a fabrication. Yes this war is unjust, but lets not give false information to those concerned families. Bush has given enough of that which is why I will vote for Kerry. Let us not shed the light on lies made by our Government by spreading more lies in defense. Here is what I wrote, and thank you for your time.

SGT Mark R. Brown

Here are some things said that this mother does not realize:

(Almost $100 of this money had to be spent on a third set of “new and improved” Digital Cammies. Money is being deducted from their pay for “equipment”.)

First, money that she thinks is being deducted for "equipment" is actually a "clothing allowance"! After their "initial" issue of clothing, soldiers are required to buy what ever they may need after that, but are given approximately $1000.00 a year added to their pay to do so. Most soldiers piss it off and bitch when they don't have the money to buy new boots and uniforms.

(I was enraged when I found out that the Flack Jacket (their bullet proof vests) were the woodland version, the ones that are supposed to blend in with TREES! These marines will look like a group of trees in the middle of the desert!)

This depends on where he is stationed in Iraq. I have been "talking" to my son over the internet who is in the Baghdad area. He is an Infantry soldier that goes out every night with his Squad Leader looking for IED's with a $80.00 metal detector. They found two in the last three days. He told me that the area he is in is all "high grass like in Vietnam, and Date trees and Palm trees. It's like a marshy area." He in fact has a desert colored set of body armor. I bet he wishes right now that he could trade with her son not only the body armor but the digital uniform that is good in any terrain!

(He noticed some Marines were wearing eye-protectors. He asked where they had gotten them. A Marine told him that he was “ISSUED” a pair. Sierra Battery was NOT issued any! My son had to spend another $100 at the PX to buy himself a pair TO PROTECT HIS EYES!!)

This right here is nothing more than having a shitty Supply Sergeant! I have a Supply MOS and was doing that job during our first phase of our deployment to Iraq before I was put in a Squad Leader position. I ordered every soldier a pair of "Wiley X's" (at $85.00 a piece). At this point it's up to the Supply Sergeant to take care of the troops. It seems that his isn't doing his job!

(The new rifles they were supposed to be issued were not. Some military personnel do have the new rifles that have been modified for the desert conditions. NOT MY SON!)

Well, there are 180,000 troops in Iraq right now. Just how fast do you think these weapons can be made? Be patient, and give thanks that he still has better equipment and a better weapon than those he is fighting.

Leave it to a mother uninformed to go off on things she knows NOTHING about. In response to: "My Son... a US Marine"
Iraq War News
Kurds disillusioned by Iraq's main parties: "SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) - Maliha Barzanji says that the last party she voted for ended up arresting her son and she never saw him again. This time around, she plans to cast no vote at all, saying she hates both of the two big parties that run the Kurdish north of Iraq. "If they give me their blood," she says, "I will gladly drink it.""

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Rumsfeld to Iraqi commanders: Grow seeds of security: "KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - After listening to two U.S. Army officers describe recent progress in battling the insurgency and stabilizing northern Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld swung his chair around and faced four senior Iraqi commanders who had sat silently through the briefing."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Rocket attack kills 2 U.S. troops in Iraq: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Two soldiers from Task Force Baghdad were killed and five wounded Monday in a rocket attack in southern Baghdad, the military said."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Polish-led force in Iraq to leave base: "WARSAW, Poland (AP) - The command of the Polish-led multinational force in Iraq will move out of a camp that includes ancient Babylonian archaeological sites by year's end, Poland's defense minister said Sunday during a surprise visit to the troops."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Rumsfeld hoping for troop cutback in Iraq: "AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) - The United States may be able to reduce its troop levels in Iraq after this country's January elections if security improves and local forces continue to expand and become more effective, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Iraqi security forces coming under fire: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - With no work and five children to feed, Salah Abbas ignored his family's pleas not to join the Iraqi National Guard, a job where the paycheck comes with a deadly risk."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Shiite militiamen turn in weapons in Baghdad in

Armed group threatens to behead Turkish hostage: "Armed men claiming to belong to the militant group of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi appeared in a video on Dubai's Al-Arabiya television on threatening to behead a Turkish hostage. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Israeli aircraft attacks militant's house: "An Israeli aircraft fired a missile Monday at a house in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, wounding five people, including a top Islamic Jihad leader, witnesses and hospital officials said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Egyptian military seals off bombed hotel: "With Israeli rescue workers pulling out, the Egyptian military sealed off a bombed luxury hotel Monday to clear more debris and collect evidence for investigators tracing the explosives and vehicles used in the attack that targeted Israeli tourists."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Aid Money Must Flow Quickly, Iraq to Tell Donors: "Iraq could plunge into still deeperchaos unless billions of dollars the international communityhas pledged for rebuilding are spent quickly, the Baghdadgovernment will warn this week. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Bobby-trapped car explodes in Mosul: "A car bomb exploded Monday in western Mosul as an American military convoy was passing by, witnesses said. First reports indicated it may have been a suicide attack."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Just because we cannot ever forget.


News - StatesmanJournal.com-

53 hours with G Troop

ANDREA J. WRIGHT / Statesman Journal

G Troop 1st Lt. Brian Rogers directs a convoy training exercise.


Learning the lessons of war at Fort Bliss

Statesman Journal
October 10, 2004

DONA ANA BASE, New Mexico — For three months, this desert plain has been home to about 150 members of G Troop, 82nd Cavalry — the latest Oregon National Guard unit called to duty in Iraq.

The Redmond, Ore., unit trained at Fort Bliss as part of the Idaho-based 116th Brigade Combat Team, a unit of a few thousand troops from the Pacific Northwest.

They are expected to be serving in Iraq by late fall.

This is first part of an hour-by-hour look at the lives of the soldiers of G Troop of the

Oregon National Guard.

1300 hours

14 September

The sun is high and the temperature approaches 100 degrees as the gated-flatbed truck rumbles down a dusty road.

The dirt road is rutted and bumpy. Four soldiers line each side of the truck with one arm holding the rail and the other holding an M-4 rifle ready for use.

The platoons of G Troop are rolling through one of the many ranges on this Army training ground just north of El Paso and the Texas state line.

Sgt. Theron Roe of Monmouth holds the .240-caliber big gun. Also on the truck is Spc. Michael Beach of Albany, who is preparing for his first war. Staff Sgt. Randy Stratton, 51, a Vietnam veteran from Prineville, is poised for his second. Three members of the Utah National Guard also are on board.

Abrupt gunfire sounds ahead. Sgt. Kenneth Lockman of Lincoln City relays the message from the Humvee leading the convoy with a call of “Contact right! Eleven o’clock!”

Suddenly, four soldiers spot the “enemy,” a man wearing sunglasses, a white shirt and dark pants and peeking up behind a clump of mesquite firing an automatic weapon. The soldiers return fire. Brass spits from their weapons and clangs off the metal truck bed while the stink of gunpowder fills the air.

It feels real, it sounds real, and it looks real, but the guns are firing blanks.

The truck and the other vehicles in the convoy continue past, not wanting to settle into what could become a “kill zone.” It is a rule they will live by in Iraq. Stick and move. Don’t give the enemy time to respond.

The tactics they are learning have been developed through the pain of others. As the war in Iraq progresses, tactics are reviewed and updated and passed down to those on the way. Even during their “down time,” the training continues.

1400 hours

Farther along the convoy course, the soldiers of 1st Platoon spot what they suspect is the simulated improvised explosive device they were told to locate on the course. It turns out to be a discarded metal cylinder from some other exercise. The soldiers don’t get credit for spotting it, but the practice is useful.

Other scenarios are played out including stalled cars being found on the roadside and how to approach a road block. The unit takes varying approaches in seeking out the enemy and responding to ambush attempts, but time is always critical.

News - StatesmanJournal.com

newsobserver.com | World-Bombing at Shiite mosque in Pakistan injures four

Bombing at Shiite mosque in Pakistan injures four


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - A bomb exploded Sunday at a Shiite mosque in the eastern city of Lahore, injuring four people, officials said.
The blast happened at the Husainia Hall mosque in the ancient walled part of the city, said Mohammed Abid, an official at the Lahore police control room.

"So far we only know it was a bomb blast and injured are being taken to hospital," he told The Associated Press by phone.

The bomb went off at the mosque at 5:40 p.m. after prayers, said Raja Basharat Illahi, law minister for Punjab province.

He said four people were injured, none seriously.

"It seems to be a small bomb blast and there appear to be not many casualties," he said.
newsobserver.com | World

Bigley beheaded on video - witness

Bigley beheaded on video - witness
08/10/2004 17:31 - (SA)

Dubai - A videotape shows British hostage Kenneth Bigley beheaded by his captors in Iraq, a witness who saw the tape said on Friday.

The witness, who asked not to be identified by name, said the tape shows six hooded, armed men standing behind the kneeling Bigley, whom the witness recognised from two previous tapes released by the kidnappers.

One of the six then spoke in Arabic for about a minute.

Afterward, the speaker took a knife from his belt and severed Bigley's head as three others held him down, the witness said. The tape ends with the killer holding up the severed head.

British officials in Baghdad said they had no confirmation that Bigley was dead, and American military authorities said no body had been found.

Bigley beheaded on video - witness


1000 Words from Iraq

It seems that, more and more, the majority of the violence here is focused on the Iraqis themselves. The most violent terrorist attacks in this region recently have been on Iraqi government officials and Iraqi security forces. I think the terrorists have diverted their attention to attacking the Iraqi Security Forces for a very important strategic reason.
The terrorists have realized that US forces aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re a force that is unstoppable. They can cause injury to us, and sure, the rising death toll my have sway on the opinions of the people back home, but they’re not getting to us here. We don’t scare easily.
It’s the Iraqis who are weak, who are vulnerable right now because they are trying to get on their feet. The terrorists have launched a massive information war, trying to put fear into the Iraqi people’s hearts, which is where they are going to be more successful.
There are dvds circulating around Mosul of beheadings and horrible images meant to intimidate the people. There are black lists, or hit lists, out on the streets containing the names of the people who are working with the Coalition. Every day a leader who is working with the Coalition is assassinated. Every day more of our interpreters quit because they are afraid. The residents of the city face death threats, drive-bys and kidnappings for working with us.
People are scared, and rightfully so. If they’re caught working for us, the terrorists will kill them, if they’re caught working against us, we will kill them. More...

1000 Words from Iraq

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks to U.S. troops

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks to U.S. troops as he stands with Iraqi Minister of Defense Hazim al Sha'laan (L) at the Al Asad Air Base in the western Iraqi desert, Oct. 10, 2004. (Pool/Reuters) Yahoo! News - World - Reuters

U.S. Army medics hand out spare food supplies

U.S. Army medics hand out spare food supplies next to their vehicle in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004. The military has stepped-up humanitarian missions in the conflictive area, as militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have pledged to turn in heavy weapons beginning Monday as part of a tentative peace deal.(AP Photo/John Moore) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

Iraq War News
Iraq 'honours list' sparks protest: "Prime Minister Tony Blair has provoked fresh controversy over the war with a "special Iraq Honours list"."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Afghanistan's presidential election will take awhile to tabulate in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Two explosions kill ten in Baghdad in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

The Other Weapons Threat in Iraq: "WASHINGTON â?? Insurgent networks across Iraq are increasingly trying to acquire and use toxic nerve gases, blister agents and germ weapons against U.S. and coalition forces, according to a CIA report. Investigators said one group recruited scientists and sought to prepare poisons over seven months before it was dismantled in June. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Cease-Fire Deal Reached, Sadr Militia Announces: "BAGHDAD â?? Followers of radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr said they reached a cease-fire agreement Saturday with the interim Iraqi government, but a government spokesman said the only proof of a deal would be if the rebels started handing over their weapons Monday. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Bombs Kill 10 in Baghdad; Rumsfeld Visits: "Two car bombs shook the capital in quick succession Sunday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 17, including an American soldier, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Blast Kills Up to 17 Near Baghdad Police Academy: "A suspected suicide car bomb killed upto 17 people near Baghdad's Oil Ministry and a nearby policeacademy Sunday, a spokesman for the ministry said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Bigley escaped for night - reports: "There is still confusion over exactly what happened during Ken Bigley's last few desperate hours as it emerged that the Prime Minister had spoken to his family for the first time since his brutal murder."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Four killed, two wounded in rocket attack near Baghdad oil ministry: "At least four people were killed and two wounded in a rocket attack near the oil ministry in the Iraqi capital, medical sources and police said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Allies urged to make good on Iraq pledges: "Hoping to keep much-needed cash flowing into war-ravaged Iraq, Japan will host a 50-nation Iraqi reconstruction donors' conference this week that may focus less on getting new pledges than on getting countries to honor their earlier promises."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Israeli missile kills one in Gaza camp: "An Israeli aircraft fired a missile Sunday at a Palestinian house in Gaza's Jebaliya refugee camp, killing one person and wounding eight, witnesses and rescue workers said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Rumsfeld gives troops timetable in Iraq: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld greeted U.S. Marines at this dusty air field in Iraq's western desert Sunday morning, telling them it was unlikely the United States would pull out any troops before Iraq's elections in January."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



Defense secretary makes surprise visit to Iraq in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

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