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Saturday, October 30, 2004

A US marine (L) and a US Army soldier man their position on the rooftop of a hotel in Ramadi, 100 kms west of Baghdad.

A US marine (L) and a US Army soldier man their position on the rooftop of a hotel in Ramadi, 100 kms west of Baghdad. Eight US marines were killed conducting security operations in the Iraqi province that is home to rebel strongholds.(AFP/Patrick Baz) Yahoo! News - Top Stories World Photos - AFP

Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP

US Army soldiers and a marine (C) treat an injured comrade shot by a sniper in Ramadi. Eight US marines were killed conducting security operations in an Iraqi province that is home to rebel strongholds.(AFP/Patrick Baz) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP

Reuters | Latest Financial News MARINES CONTINUED COVERAGE

The U.S. military said the marines were killed in the restive western province of Anbar, which includes Falluja and Ramadi, but gave no details. Nine marines were also wounded.

Witnesses said earlier they had seen three U.S. vehicles burning on a road east of Falluja, in the same province. It was not clear if that was where the marine casualties occurred.

The deaths bring to 858 the number of U.S. troops killed in combat. The total number of U.S. troop deaths, including accidents and other causes, is now almost 1,120.

The decapitated body of an Asian man shown in a video shot in Baghdad appears to be that of missing Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda, Reuters witnesses who viewed the video said.

The video showed the severed head of a Japanese-looking man which resembled photographs of Koda. Iraq's Interior Ministry said it could be that of the kidnapped Japanese.

U.S. marine commanders said on Friday they were preparing for a major assault on Falluja and Ramadi.

The aim is to crush guerrillas and root out militants led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to enable Iraq's interim government to hold national elections in January.

At least a dozen air strikes hit south-eastern Falluja, witnesses said. U.S. marine spokesman Lieutenant Lyle Gilbert said marines on the edge of Falluja had come under mortar fire from insurgents and called in artillery support.

He said it was the "most consistent and drawn out artillery barrage in recent days", but was not the start of the offensive.


Marine commanders say they face a volatile mix of up to 2,000 Iraqi and foreign fighters entrenched in the city. Some are thought to be former army officers loyal to Saddam Hussein, others Islamist militants led by Zarqawi, a Jordanian.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi met a group of Sunni clerics in a last-ditch appeal for a peaceful solution. The clerics, too frightened to be named publicly, said they would respond in "a few" days, a statement from Allawi's office said.

Zarqawi, America's top enemy in Iraq and with a $25 million (13.6 million pound) price on his head, has claimed some of the bloodiest violence in the country and the beheadings of foreign hostages.

In Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said 19 people were also wounded in the blast outside the Al Arabiya office in an up-market neighbourhood. Television footage showed doctors stitching the bloodied face of one woman.

The majority Saudi-owned satellite channel has often been attacked on Web sites used by Islamist militant groups for its perceived pro-Western stance in the Arab world. A recent posting purportedly by Zarqawi's group also threatened Al Arabiya.

A little-known Iraqi group said it carried out the attack.

"Thank God, the building of the Arabic-speaking Americanised spy journalists was destroyed," said the 1920 Battalions, in a statement on Web sites used by Iraqi militants.

Al Arabiya later said the group had denied it was responsible. It gave no details and the Web statement could not be independently authenticated.

The interim government and its U.S. backers are battling to restore peace to the country so Iraqis can elect a national assembly in January to draft a new constitution.

But some rebels fighting to drive out U.S.-led forces oppose the polls. The election commission has received death threats signed by militants using the old name of Zarqawi's group.

Typewritten letters in the name of the Tawhid wal Jihad (One God and Holy War) Assassinations Squad warned members of the commission would be killed, along with their families, if they stayed at their posts, spokesman Farid Ayar said.

Iraqi-Polish hostage Teresa Borcz Khalifa appealed to her government on a video aired on Saturday, saying her life depended on the withdrawal of Polish forces from Iraq as demanded by her Iraqi captors.

"I am asking for help ... from Poland and the Polish people and whoever can help me," Al Jazeera television quoted her as saying in the video which showed her sitting under the black banner the militant Islamic group, Abu Bakr al-Seddiq Salafist Brigades, that kidnapped her last week.

At least 25 foreigners from a dozen countries are thought to be in the hands of kidnappers trying to drive U.S.-led forces and foreign workers from Iraq. Scores of foreigners have been abducted since April. Many have been freed but more than 35 have been killed, several of them beheaded.
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Headless body of Asian-looking man found in Baghdad: ministry

BAGHDAD, Oct. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- The decapitated body of an Asian-looking man was found in Baghdad on Saturday, an official from the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

"A decapitated body was retrieved behind the al-Karma hospital, near to Haifa Street," said Adnan Abdul Rahman.

"The head, which was next to the body, had Asian characteristics," he said.

But he could not confirm that the body belonged to the Japanese man who was taken hostage by Iraqi militants.

On Tuesday, the Islamic militant group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said that it had kidnapped a Japanese citizen, identified as Shosei Koda, threatening to execute him if Tokyo did not withdraw troops from Iraq within 48 hours.

The Japanese government has refused the demand. Enditem
:: Xinhuanet - English ::

Soldiers' Angels

When the telephone rang, Soldiers' Angels was quick to respond. A soldier was calling for help with a soldiers' mom. As we listened to the families needs, one by one we rushed into motion. There were Angels on the phone with the airlines, Angels on the phone to make lodging arrangements, Angels on the phone to other Angels, and an Angel on the phone with our wounded heroes mom.

As the mother cried on the phone we sat quietly to let her vent, as a mother asked why, we quietly comforted her. As she worried about what would happen next, we were their to offer a lending hand.

A mother's trust for the care of her child is not one so easily won, this mother turned to the Angels for help and we all banded together as one. A mother who's life seems like it is all spinning around her, found comfort from the phone calls from a perfect stranger. When the night came to pass this mother of a hero, called one of her new found Angels to say thank-you, your my hero.

Today, we received word about an injured soldier, today the Angels banded together to bring ease to his mother, and today the Angels learned one by one why we are here and why we do this. We are here for this soldiers' mother, we will be here until the end, we are our Soldiers' Angels and a mother's new friend.
Viktoria Carter

Soldiers' Angels

Columbia Basin Herald The Army has extended by two months the Iraq tours of about 6,500 soldiers,

WASHINGTON - The Army has extended by two months the Iraq tours of about 6,500 soldiers, citing a need for experienced troops through the Iraqi elections scheduled for late January.

No official statement was released, but the Pentagon's public affairs office posted an article on its Web site Saturday that said 3,500 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and 3,000 from the 1st Infantry Division headquarters will remain in Iraq at least two months longer than planned.

The Army had scheduled those units for 10-month deployments, rather than the usual 12-month tours, to stagger the rotation of forces in and out of Iraq this winter to avoid overburdening transportation systems. Instead they will remain to provide security through the elections.

The Pentagon article spoke of "the troops' frustration" over having their tours extended. It said some of the soldiers had been told they would be leaving Iraq as early as November. Instead they will stay through January.

Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, requested the extensions in late September, and his immediate superior, Army Gen. John Abizaid, made the decision Oct. 16, the Pentagon article said.

The decision appeared to mark the second time in recent weeks that soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, have had their Iraq deployments extended. On Oct. 4 the U.S. military command in Baghdad announced that rather than complete its redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas, in December, the brigade was to begin heading home in January. On Saturday the Pentagon said these soldiers will begin their return in mid-February, with the last ones due out by mid-March.

The 3,000 soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division headquarters, based in Wurzburg, Germany, will remain in Iraq until mid-February or mid-March. They previously were scheduled to have been replaced in January, before the elections, by the 42nd Infantry Division headquarters of the New York National Guard.

The Pentagon public affairs article said officials had considered deploying the New York guardsmen to Kuwait before moving them into Iraq, but they decided against that "in light of the high threat level in Kuwait." It did not elaborate on the threat in Kuwait.

The 42nd Infantry will be the first division-level National Guard deployment into combat since World War II, reflecting the extraordinarily heavy reliance the Army is placing on the Guard to provide troops for the Iraq mission. More than 40 percent of the U.S. force in Iraq is Guard or Reserve.

On the Net:

Defense Department: http://www.defenselink.mil
Columbia Basin Herald

US Marine Heroes

U.S. Marines

Yahoo! News - 8 U.S. Marines Killed, 9 Wounded in Iraq

8 U.S. Marines Killed, 9 Wounded in Iraq

Middle East - AP

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Eight U.S. Marines were killed and nine others wounded in action Saturday in Anbar province west of Baghdad, the U.S. military announced.

The statement gave no details of how they were killed or injured and did not say where the engagement took place, citing security. They were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Anbar province includes Fallujah, where the U.S. military is gearing up for a major offensive, as well as Ramadi and Qaim along the Syrian border.

Yahoo! News - 8 U.S. Marines Killed, 9 Wounded in Iraq

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment rush to defensive positions during a close-range insurgent mortar attack on their base, Combat Outpost, in Ramadi, Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004. There were no U.S. casualties. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Soldier killed in Iraq convoy crash: "The bulk of an 850-strong group of British troops are gathering near their new base in a US-controlled area of Iraq."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Bin Laden video admits 9/11 attack: "Days before the US presidential election, the Arab television station Al-Jazeera has aired a video of Osama bin Laden, directly admitting for the first time that he carried out the September 11 attacks and criticising President George W. Bush."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

US won't be intimidated, says Bush: "President George Bush said that Americans would not be "intimidated or influenced" by terrorists after Osama bin Laden released a video tape just days before the country goes to the polls."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

U.S. forces hold tribal leader in Baghdad: "U.S. forces detained a key Iraqi tribal leader and two family members during an early morning raid Saturday in Baghdad, his family said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Palestinian leaders meets without Arafat: "The Palestinian leadership convened Saturday without Yasser Arafat in the chair for the first time in years, while doctors in a French hospital conducted a battery of blood tests to see whether the veteran leader's illness is terminal."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Iraq's interim president visits Kuwait: "Iraq's interim president on Saturday visited this small oil-rich state that Saddam Hussein invaded in 1990 and occupied for seven months until U.S.-led forces evicted his army, the first visit by an Iraqi head of state here in about four decades."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Bin Laden tape called "propaganda"...Kerry, Bush attack on war on terror in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Taliban-linked group threatens to kill kidnapped UN election workers in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Al-Jazeera says it received Osama bin Laden tape in Pakistani capital in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Strikes in Fallujah, Iraqi troops fire on vehicles in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Crunch talks on Fallujah crisis, mystery surrounds Japanese hostage (AFP): "AFP - Crunch talks to avert a military assault on rebel-held Fallujah rumbled, as British troops started to patrol a hostile region outside Baghdad and confusion reigned over the fate of a Japanese hostage."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

News Video Is at Center of Storm Over Iraq Explosives (Los Angeles Times): "Los Angeles Times - WASHINGTON â?? On April 18, 2003, a television news crew from Minnesota videotaped U.S. troops in Iraq using bolt cutters to break through chains and wire seals on the door of a dusty bunker and finding explosives stored inside."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

SEAL takes stand in prisoner abuse hearing: "A Navy SEAL admitted yesterday that he held a loaded gun to an Iraqi prisoner's head and posed for a picture, and he also testified that a fellow SEAL beat the hooded prisoner with the muzzle of a gun."

In San Diego Union-Tribune: In Iraq

U.N. envoy: Probe into Iraqi fraud very tough: "The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Danforth, said yesterday that investigators face tremendous obstacles in trying to get to the bottom of alleged corruption in Iraq's oil-for-food program."

In San Diego Union-Tribune: In Iraq

U.S. forces launch airstrikes in Fallujah: "NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - U.S. forces launched airstrikes against suspected militant bases in Fallujah and carried out probing attacks on the city's outskirts, as they prepared for a major operation in the insurgent bastion that has become the symbol of Iraqi resistance."

In Modesto Bee: Iraq

Iraqi forces fire on six vehicles: "Iraqi forces opened fire Saturday on six vehicles, including three minibuses, after a U.S. convoy came under attack in central Iraq, killing or injuring more than a dozen people, witnesses said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Arafat may be suffering from leukemia: "Physicians specializing in the treatment of leukemia were examining ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday to determine whether he suffers from the blood disorder, Palestinian sources said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Al-Jazeera: Got bin Laden tape in Pakistan: "The Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera said Saturday that it received the latest videotaped message from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at its offices in the Pakistani capital."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Friday, October 29, 2004

Yahoo! News - Bin Laden: U.S. Can Avoid Another Attack

Bin Laden: U.S. Can Avoid Another Attack

36 minutes ago Top Stories - AP

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden, publicly injecting himself into the campaign four days ahead of presidential elections, said in a videotape aired Friday that the United States can avoid another Sept. 11 attack if it stops threatening the security of Muslims.

In the portion of the tape that was broadcast, the al-Qaida leader refrained from directly warning of new attacks, although he said "there are still reasons to repeat what happened."

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said, referring to the president and his Democratic opponent. "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security."

Yahoo! News - Bin Laden: U.S. Can Avoid Another Attack

I think he should worry about his own security!

Students help our nation's soldiers

Eight-graders at Mount Airy Middle School are already entrenched in the holiday spirit, way before the season of giving has even rounded the corner.

With the help of Family Consumer Science teacher Louise Lance, several classes are helping with Soldiers' Angels, a nonprofit that provides aid and comfort to our military and their families.

Boys and girls alike are sewing holiday stockings and stuffing them with goodies, anything from trial-size toothpaste to Gatorade to socks to beef jerky and other snacks -- anything soldiers might need as they serve our country.

A display set up in the front lobby shows off trial-size toothpaste and bug repellant lotion, among other gifts for the soldiers to illustrate the types of things the eighth-graders want to fill the stockings with.

Another hot item for the stockings are calling cards.

The classes are participating in Operation Holiday Spirit, part of the Soldiers' Angels organization, which sends holiday gifts and spirit to the soldiers stationed overseas.

Jean Keltner of Sykesville, the organization's manager for Maryland, said Mount Airy Middle School is the only school in Maryland so far that is helping out specifically under Soldiers' Angels.

She calls Mount Airy Middle's efforts "Mount Airy Stockings for Soldiers." Meanwhile, all over the nation, schools are teaming up to send holiday cards, wishes, gifts and spirit. "It's hard to be away from your family for the holidays," Keltner said, adding that this is just one way the community is helping support soldiers.

She's lined up to speak at some classes in Eldersburg, and hopes that as time goes on, more schools will learn about the organization.

Keltner started out just looking for a way to help our soldiers back in February and found the Soldiers' Angels Web site.

The organization has between 10,000 and 15,000 angels across the nation, from Alaska to Hawaii and everywhere in between, working to support soldiers. "It's amazing to read the stuff to support our troops," Keltner said. "It's very addicting, in a positive way."

Lance agreed. She said she hopes to continue the project next year, and hopes to get the stockings sent out by next week.

Mixed in with a variety of hand-sewn socks are colorful holiday cards (and not just in Christmas colors), decorated with markers and warm holiday wishes. Cards include handwritten notes, often lengthy, that thank the soldiers and bring news from home. One card thanked a soldier for his or her service and cheered on the Boston Red Sox, in the World Series for the first time in almost two decades. Another just thanked soldiers for all they are doing and wished them happy holidays.

The cards will accompany the red-and-white stockings stocked with goodies and treats.

By the end of this week, Lance hopes to have 197 stockings stuffed, placed in priority mail boxes (to get to their destinations quicker) and ready to be mailed to their adopted unit, 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery of the Army.

Lance said she got involved when her oldest daughter's boyfriend was fighting the war in Afghanistan. She sent boxes two soldiers about two or so years ago and enjoyed contributing. "You feel helpless. ... Everyone wants to help in some way," Lance said.

And the extra support can be so meaningful to many of the soldiers. Lance told of a soldier given two weeks to live recently, after being wounded in the war and discovering he had spinal cancer. When Soldiers' Angels found out, the organization sent flowers and balloons and other trinkets to wish the soldier well. The soldier had been in foster care all his life and had no real family, so Soldiers' Angels stepped up to the task, following the organization's motto "may no soldier go unloved." He's now living well beyond his original two weeks' notice.

Lance said the eighth-graders' efforts are part of the Angel Club, which is comprised of Mount Airy Middle students who want to raise money and awareness and volunteer time and effort for causes like Soldiers' Angels, or Project Linus, a national organization that provides blankets to ill children.

The club has also worked in the community, helping other families make ends meet: a local boy with cancer, and a large family, who's father had been diagnosed with cancer, are among two who received profits from fundraising.

The club also has a holiday shop, and money goes back into the community, and the club makes polar fleece hats and scarves, sells them inexpensively so anyone can purchase the gifts for themselves or for friends and family, Lance said.

She hopes to have all the stockings sewn and stuffed by this Friday; she has four sewing machines ready for the students to use.

She said she'll hold the stockings to be mailed until no later than Friday, November 5; she'd like to get the stockings out as soon as possible so the soldiers can begin using them.

Principal Virginia G. Savell said she was appreciates the work Lance is doing. "She could accomplish the curriculum goals without [the projects,]" Savell said.

"Kids ... caring for others, it's a really terrific thing," Savell said of Lance's projects. And it's more meaningful when the kids work on projects that can affect others in positive ways, she added.

For information about Soldiers' Angels, visit the Web site at www.soldiersangels.com. To donate supplies for the stockings, drop them by the front office at Mount Airy Middle School.

Students help our nation's soldiers

Brian Lewis/The Gazette
Eighth-grader Hannah Ehlman sews a stocking as part of a holiday project for soldiers in Iraq.

Soldiers' Angels Wounded Family needs us

This family is headed to Walter Reed to meet their son who is seriously wounded. They need help with hotel and food expenses.
Please help

Sgt Bazik Fund
c/o Centura Bank
14615 US HWY 17 PO BOX 74
ATTN aiko raynor
910 772 8930

Soldiers' Angels

OSAMA BIN LADEN tape to play..

Jazeera TV Says to Air Bin Laden Video Tape

Friday, October 29, 2004 3:09 p.m. ET

DUBAI (Reuters) - Arab satellite television Al Jazeera said on Friday it would broadcast a video tape from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden addressing the American people.

It said the tape, to be aired at 4 p.m. EDT, would discuss the reasons behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and their repercussions. It gave no further details.
Google Search: OSAMA BIN LADEN

U.S. Barred From Forcing Troops to Get Anthrax Shots (washingtonpost.com)

U.S. Barred From Forcing Troops to Get Anthrax Shots

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2004; Page A01

The Defense Department must immediately stop inoculating troops with anthrax vaccine, a federal judge ruled yesterday, saying that the Food and Drug Administration acted improperly when it approved the experimental injections for general use.

Concluding that the FDA violated its own rules by approving the vaccine late last year, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the mandatory vaccination program -- which has inoculated more than 1.2 million troops since 1998 -- is "illegal."

Sullivan said that his ban on involuntary vaccination will remain in place until the FDA reviews the anthrax vaccine properly or until President Bush determines that the normal process must be waived because of emergency circumstances.

The Defense Department has required many troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to be vaccinated, and it has punished and sometimes court-martialed those who refused. The Pentagon expanded its anthrax and smallpox vaccination programs in July to include troops stationed in South Korea and other areas in Asia and Africa, despite complaints from some service members that the anthrax vaccine made them sick.

In a statement, the Defense Department said it is reviewing the decision and will "pause giving anthrax vaccinations until the legal situation is clarified. . . . DoD remains convinced that the anthrax immunization program complies with all the legal requirements and that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective."

In his ruling, Sullivan said that the FDA's approval was invalid because it did not meet the required review standards and the agency failed to seek the necessary public comment.

"Congress has prohibited the administration of investigational drugs to service members without their consent," Sullivan said. "This Court will not permit the government to circumvent this requirement."

"The men and women of our armed forces deserve the assurance that the vaccines our government compels them to take into their bodies have been tested by the greatest scrutiny of all -- public scrutiny. This is the process the FDA in its expert judgment has outlined, and this is the course this court shall compel FDA to follow," Sullivan wrote.

The judge ruled on a suit filed in March 2003 by six service members and civilians who argued that the FDA never properly reviewed the vaccine's ability to protect against inhalation anthrax. The suit contended that the drug was never shown to be effective, and that some vaccinated troops experienced extreme fatigue, joint pain and temporary memory loss after being vaccinated. The vaccine, made by BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Mich., is given in a series of shots.

Mark Zaid, an attorney for the six who has also defended more than a dozen service members court-martialed for refusing the vaccination, said one of his clients is a breast-feeding mother who does not think the vaccine is safe for her child.

"We will now initiate an effort to ensure the government reverses all punishments that were imposed for refusing an order to take the vaccine," Zaid said. He said he will also seek compensation for service members who contend they were harmed. "As we've seen in Iraq, there wasn't any actual threat from anthrax, so there was never any real need for the vaccine," Zaid said.

U.S. Barred From Forcing Troops to Get Anthrax Shots (washingtonpost.com)

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment return fire on enemy positions after insurgents launched an attack with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades in Ramadi, Iraq (news - web sites), Friday Oct. 29, 2004. Sporadic fighting could be heard across central Ramadi through much of the morning. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

U.S. Marine Cpl. Jose Vazquez, Jr. of Los Angeles, CA

U.S. Marine Cpl. Jose Vazquez, Jr. of Los Angeles, CA, from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment looks back during a battle with insurgents who launched an attack with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades in Ramadi, Iraq ,Friday Oct. 29, 2004. Sporadic fighting could be heard across central Ramadi through much of the morning. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

CBS News | U.S. Military Families In Need | October 19, 2004?20:28:29

(CBS) At a recent march for military families, it seems everybody in Lacey, Wash. turned out to support the troops at nearby Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, both morally and financially.

John McClatchey, who donated $20, says, "It's not much, but I know every little bit counts."

As CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker reports, they raised $15,000 for military families in need.

"They're out there in Iraq and money is tight for those families," says Gary Benton.

At the Miramar Marine Air Station near San Diego where the movie "Top Gun" was filmed, some families are hitting rock bottom.

"It's not payday yet and I've got three kids at home," says Gloria Mendez. "(It's) time to feed them and the Navy doesn't pay enough for what we have to live here in San Diego."

So, some 500 military families come to the Food Locker on base every month for free groceries, donated by stores, the military and the Boy Scouts.

"Without us a lot of these families wouldn't make it," says Rita Riddick, co-chairman of the Food Locker.

The families agree they need the help.

"Yeah, actually we do," says Christina Roberts, a military wife. "That's the sad part about it.

You hear the same thing from families in every branch of the military, because enlisted men and women can earn as little as $1,104.00 a month.

And with the National Guard serving longer tours, their families are going longer without civilian salaries. Even with housing and medical benefits many military families, especially in expensive cities, are losing the battle to make ends meet.

"We're considered below the poverty line," says Mendez. "Poverty's here, we're below it."

Still most are good soldiers, as proud to serve as their spouses. Shalmarie Ryan's husband is in Iraq.

"No, we're not going to complain about it," she says. "It's our life, that's what we married."

But at the Food Locker, volunteers see more and more service families struggling in silence.

"We have young men and women laying down their lives day after day," says Riddick. "They're not making enough. It's not fair. It's not right."

Many sacrifice in time of war, some more than others.

CBS News | U.S. Military Families In Need | October 19, 2004?20:28:29
Iraq War News
Polish Little Old Lady Kidnapped: "

From Reuters via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

A hitherto unknown militant group says it has kidnapped a Polish woman in Iraq and is demanding that Poland withdraw its forces, Al Jazeera television reports.

Polandâ??s Defence Minister, Jerzy Szmajdzinski, says he could not verify the kidnap but no Polish soldiers are missing.

However, he says Poland will not bow to the demands of hostage-takers.

â??Poland is not in the business of meeting demands of hostage takers,â?? Mr Szmajdzinski told private Polish television news channel TVN24.

Al Jazeera has aired a video of an elderly-looking woman, who was not named, seated between two masked men.

One of the men was pointing a gun to her head.

A black banner carried the name of the group - Abi Baqr al-Siddiq al-Salafiya (Salafist) Brigades.

â??They said she worked for the US forces and would be released if Polish troops pull out of Iraq and if women prisoners in Iraq are freed,â?? the satellite news network said.


In Command Post: Irak

U.S. Forces Prepare to Attack Falluja and Ramadi: "U.S. marines prepared onFriday to mount a "decisive" assault on the Iraqi cities ofFalluja and Ramadi to crush Sunni Muslim insurgents and Arabmilitants. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Challenges mount for new Iraqi troops: "Squinting into the noon sun, Col. Bob Newman nods across the road toward a lot where dozens of Iraqi commandos gather around a martial-arts instructor. The instructor grabs a volunteer's arm and flips him onto the ground amid a cloud of dust and grunts. (USATODAY.com)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

News Video Is at Center of Storm Over Iraq Explosives: "WASHINGTON â?? On April 18, 2003, a television news crew from Minnesota videotaped U.S. troops in Iraq using bolt cutters to break through chains and wire seals on the door of a dusty bunker and finding explosives stored inside. (Los Angeles Times)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Manhunt underway for UN hostages, as fears rise of Iraq-style kindappings: "A massive manhunt was underway for three UN foreign election workers whose daylight abduction in Kabul has sparked fears of the start of Iraq-style kidnappings in Afghanistan. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

IRAQ: Interview with new environment minister: "BAGHDAD, 29 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - Iraqâ??s new Ministry of Environment (MoE) was created after last year's US-led war. Its brief is to deal with a myriad of environmental problems, many of which are the legacy of decades of conflict, including radiation at the countryâ??s nuclear bomb-making site at Tuwaitha, about 30 km south of Baghdad. Minister Mishkat Moumin, currently in the United States learning about environmental advocacy, answered IRINâ??s questions by e-mail. Before taking on her new role, Moumin specialised in human rights."

In IRIN: Iraq Crisis

Video of executed Iraqi soldiers on Web: "A militant group in Iraq posted a brutal scene on an Islamic militant Web site: the deaths of eleven Iraqi soldiers, executed one by one. The video was accompanied by a message warning all Iraqi police and soldiers to desert - or face death."

In Kansas City Star: Iraq

Zarqawi and Bin Laden: "How deep are the connections between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant thought to be in Iraq, and Osama Bin Laden?"

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Tactical concerns over UK troops: "The possible deployment of a British unit to central Iraq raises tactical questions, says News Online's Paul Reynolds"

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Fears for Japan hostage in Iraq: "Fears grow for a Japanese hostage after a key deadline passes but Baghdad says his body has not been found."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Taliban claims it kidnapped Briton: "International aid workers were keeping their heads down in Afghanistan following the brazen daylight kidnapping of a Briton and two other foreign UN election staff in the capital, Kabul."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Body found in Iraq not Japanese hostage in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Aid workers in lockdown after election workers kidnapped in Kabul in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

U.S. Forces Poised to Attack Rebel Iraqi Cities: "U.S. marines prepared onFriday for a "decisive" assault on the Iraqi cities of Fallujaand Ramadi to crush Sunni Muslim insurgents and Arab militantsbehind suicide bombings and beheadings of hostages. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Inside besieged Falluja: "A reporter in the rebel-held city of Falluja in Iraq tells BBC News Online of the mood in the besieged stronghold."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Iraq death toll 'soared post-war': "Poor planning and coalition air strikes have led to more than 100,000 extra civilian deaths in Iraq, scientists find."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Rumsfeld joins Iraq explosive row: "The US Defence Secretary enters the row over large amounts of explosives allegedly looted in Iraq."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Iraq violence: Your reaction: "Explosives have vanished from a former military complex in Iraq, the UN says. Could this increase violence further?"

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Iraqi security forces face onslaught: "Iraqi security forces face serious problems of training and effectiveness says News Online's Paul Reynolds"

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The State | 10/27/2004 | Soldier helping Iraqis connect

Posted on Wed, Oct. 27, 2004

Soldier helping Iraqis connect

Major from Columbia assists in finding places to build cellular towers


Staff Writer

More Iraqis are going wireless thanks to people like Columbia resident Shane Ousey.

Maj. Ousey, a 40-year-old Army signal officer, works with an Iraqi cell phone company to find locations to build cellular towers in Baghdad.

“There are a lot of key places where they want to put towers that are under American control,” said Ousey, who is assigned to the multinational forces communications control center at Camp Victory Base, near Baghdad.

It behooves the military to help because cell phones are the most convenient way for U.S. commanders to contact Iraqi contractors.

“The military does a lot of business with local contractors,” who do their business over cell phones, Ousey said in a recent telephone interview with The State.

Additionally, the military can suggest tower locations to improve service, he said.

The cell phone business has surged in Iraq, going from only a handful of users in April 2003, after Saddam Hussein was toppled, to more than 500,000 customers today. By comparison, traditional land-line phone systems have about 50,000 Iraqi users.

Unlike the United States, where there are a number of cell phone providers, Iraq has just three cellular companies. Each is granted a monopoly in its area of operation.

Cell phone providers do not sell contracts for services to customers like they do in the United States. Instead, they sell prepaid-service cards, which are popular in Europe.

A Colorado native, Ousey enlisted as a combat engineer in the Army in 1990, went through ROTC and became a signal battalion officer. Before his Baghdad assignment, he was at Fort Jackson, where he was executive officer of a training battalion.

When his deployment ends next spring, Ousey plans to return to Columbia and begin a 3-year assignment as a professor of military science at the University of South Carolina.

Once he is finished at USC, he will be eligible to retire.

After more than 20 years of moving around the country and being deployed to Bosnia, Korea, Africa and Iraq, Ousey said he and his family might settle down in the Palmetto State.

“My wife really likes it,” Ousey said, adding that, in any event, his family will be in Columbia long enough for 15-year-old Trevor to graduate from Ridge View High School. Trevor plays clarinet in the Blazer band.

“I would be very content to park it right here, root in and call Columbia home,” said Ousey’s wife, Cindy, a third-grade teacher at Forest Lake Elementary School.

“Columbia has been very kind to us. I have been blessed to make many friends here, and I honestly feel that I have an excellent support network between other band moms, teachers, our church and neighbors.”

But making that decision to retire and stay in Columbia will be tough, she said. “I can barely imagine Shane as anything but a soldier.”

The Ouseys stay in touch mostly by e-mail and occasional phone calls.

Being a teacher’s spouse, Ousey also sometimes contributes to his wife’s lesson plans — even from Iraq.

His offerings for third-graders are not about war, though. They are pictures of creepy creatures that crawl and slither across the Iraqi sands.

One hit with the class, Cindy Ousey said, was a picture of a snake, minus its head, being devoured by wasps. Another favorite — a photo of two huge camel spiders that were found in a soldier’s sleeping bag.

“My third-graders love those kinds of pictures,” Cindy Ousey said. “Of course, he has sent other more traditional photos of palaces, etc., but nothing turns on third-graders like gross stuff.”

Reach Crumbo at (803) 771-8503 or ccrumbo@thestate.com.

The State | 10/27/2004 | Soldier helping Iraqis connect

Yahoo! News - For ex-GIs, fitting in on campus a struggle

Lying on the hood of the Humvee he used as his bed for much of the war, Brandon Nordhoff would put on his earphones, turn up the volume on his Discman to drown out battlefield noises, and imagine himself at a party back on the Indiana University campus.

After one such dream, Nordhoff determined that when he returned to campus, he would pledge a fraternity and make up for the social life he lost while deployed with his Indianapolis-based Marine reserve unit.

He has made up for lost time with his social life, but for Nordhoff and many of the thousands of Iraq (news - web sites) war veterans, the transition from war zone to campus hasn't gone smoothly. They acknowledge they struggle to mend war wounds, mental and physical, while trying to readjust to the relative triviality of life as a student.

As the oldest pledge in this year's Acacia fraternity class, Nordhoff, 21, often feels awkward. Partying while many of his Marine buddies are still in Iraq now seems frivolous. And the occasional war protest on campus can make him furious.

"Going to war changes you," said the corporal, a junior from Kirksville, Ind., a small farming community near Bloomington. "I feel 200 percent different than the people in Bloomington and a lot of the kids at the university."

In the first few weeks of the school year, veterans affairs officers at campuses throughout the Midwest have reported being inundated with soldier-students looking for help collecting their education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill.

The officers can help them straighten out their benefits, but universities have no one designated to help the GIs with the transition from battlefield to classroom.

Although the Iraq war hasn't generated the unrest on campuses that the Vietnam War brought in the 1960s and 1970s, divided opinion on the current conflict is obvious. Some returning soldiers complain that their classmates and professors often have a shallow view of the war and that they don't show enough support for the troops.

"Inevitably in classes, you have these kids who criticize the war and criticize the president and don't know what they're talking about," said Cpl. Daniel Rhodes, a Marine reservist from west suburban La Grange and a senior in political science at the University of Illinois in Champaign. "I want to say to them, `Do you realize that you're sitting here in a classroom, living freely, because we're willing to fight?'"

Yahoo! News - For ex-GIs, fitting in on campus a struggle

The Sheep Dogs by Russ Vaughn

The Sheepdogs

Most humans truly are like sheep

Wanting nothing more than peace to keep

To graze, grow fat and raise their young,

Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.

Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,

They sense no threat nor fear no harm.

On verdant meadows, they forage free

With naught to fear, with naught to flee.

They pay their sheepdogs little heed

For there is no threat; there is no need.

To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,

Roaming watchful round the peripheries.

These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar

With the fetid reek of the carnivore,

Too like the wolf of legends told,

To be amongst our docile fold.

Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?

They have no use, not in this day.

Lock them away, out of our sight

We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast

Has come to kill, has come to feast

The wolves attack; they give no warning

Upon that calm September morning

They slash and kill with frenzied glee

Their passive helpless enemy

Who had no clue the wolves were there

Far roaming from their Eastern lair.

Then from the carnage, from the rout,

Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”

Thus is our nature but too our plight

To keep our dogs on leashes tight

And live a life of illusive bliss

Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.

Until he has us by the throat,

We pay no heed; we take no note.

Not until he strikes us at our core

Will we unleash the Dogs of War

Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath

Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;

We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

Russ Vaughn

2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment

101st Airborne Division

Vietnam 65-66

The Sheep Dogs by Russ Vaughn

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes

Education center at LSA Anaconda opens the door to a better future

By Juliana Gittler, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Wednesday, October 27, 2004

LSA ANACONDA, Iraq — Soldiers wanting to advance their career, change jobs, become an officer or knock out some college courses during their down time in Iraq now have a few classrooms to try to reach those goals at LSA Anaconda.

“They’re basically in a holding pattern while they’re deployed,” said LSA Anaconda and 13th Corps Support Command, Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Elder. “They want to be promoted, they want to be warrant officers. They want to further their career. Education isn’t necessarily part of the deployment package [so] we had to carve out something.”

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment make their way through a residential section of Ramadi, Iraq , during a raid Thursday Oct. 28, 2004. Marines raided dozens of buildings, detained six Iraqis and recovered small arms and ammunition, while insurgents attacked the area with mortars and detonated a roadside bomb as the Marines returned to their base. There were no casualties. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

A U.S. Marine from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

A U.S. Marine from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment watches the area through his rifle scope during a raid in a residential section of Ramadi, Iraq (news - web sites), Thursday Oct. 28, 2004. Marines raided dozens of buildings, detained six Iraqis and recovered small arms and ammunition, while insurgents attacked the area with mortars and detonated a roadside bomb as the Marines returned to their base. There were no casualties. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment prepare to enter a home during a raid in a residential section of Ramadi, Iraq , Thursday Oct. 28, 2004. Marines raided dozens of buildings, detained six Iraqis and recovered small arms and ammunition, while insurgents attacked the area with mortars and detonated a roadside bomb as the Marines returned to their base. There were no casualties. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

Iraq War News
U.S. Air Strike Kills Two in Iraq's Falluja (Reuters): "Reuters - U.S. planes bombed the Iraqi city of Falluja overnight, killing two people, in a new strike on rebels digging in for an expected U.S.-led offensive."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

U.S. Bombs Suspected Rebel Site in Iraq (AP): "AP - U.S. aircraft bombed a suspected rebel safehouse Thursday in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, killing two people, the U.S. military and witnesses said."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

British troops start perilous Iraq mission, Japan defiant after kidnapping (AFP): "AFP - Hundreds of British soldiers have left southern Iraq on a risky mission to free US forces for a possible assault on rebel-held Fallujah, as a kidnapped British woman was seen reportedly pleading in a new video for the withdrawal of British troops from the country and the release of Iraqi women prisoners."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Car Bomb Hits U.S. Patrol in Iraq; 2 Dead (AP): "AP - A car bomb exploded Thursday in southern Baghdad, killing a U.S. soldier and at least one Iraqi civilian, the U.S. military said."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Armed Group Claims to Have Iraq Explosives (AP): "AP - An armed group claimed in a video Thursday to have obtained a large amount of explosives missing from a munitions depot facility in Iraq and threatened to use them against foreign troops."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Japan Presses for Release of Iraq Hostage (AP): "AP - Japanese leaders struggled on Thursday to make contact with Islamic militants in Iraq who took a Japanese traveler hostage as the 48-hour deadline approached for the young man's threatened beheading. Tokyo stood firm in its refusal to meet the kidnappers' demand to withdraw troops from Iraq."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

U-S aircraft bomb suspected "meeting site" in Iraq's rebel-held Fallujah in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

U-S soldier, civilian killed in Iraq car bomb in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Iraq Explosives Claim URGENT in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Hostage Hassan makes new plea: "The kidnapped British director of CARE International has made another plea for Britain to withdraw troops from Iraq and asked for the aid organisation to close its offices in the country."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Arafat 'in serious condition': "Yasser Arafat was in serious condition after collapsing and briefly losing consciousness, as his two-week illness took a sudden turn for the worse."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Black Watch reach first camp: "A Black Watch battle group has camped in the Iraqi town of Nasiryah on their way to the Triangle of Death to relieve US forces."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

U.S., allies leave mark on history in Iraq: "Hammurabi the lawgiver was here. So were Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Saddam Hussein and now, apparently, Sgt. Woods and "O-Dog.""

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Russian troops linked to missing Iraqi explosives (AFP): "AFP - Russian special forces "almost certainly" removed the explosives missing from a military base south of Baghdad before the March 2003 US invasion and sent them to Syria, Lebanon and possibly Iran, The Washington Times daily said quoting a US official."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Once again Blackfive says it all !!

I've said it before, "You can't be anti-war and support the troops at the same time." It just doesn't work. The terrorists are encouraged by anti-war rhetoric. And they will keep striking harder as our resolve appears to weaken.

And our courageous men and women just might come home to the same reception that our Vietnam veterans received. I know that almost every single one of you reading this op-ed will do everything that you can in order to prevent that from happening. But it may not be enough...

Move America Forward

October 26, 2004 (916) 441-6197


Move America Forward
Takes to Airwaves With New TV Spot:

* NEW Iraqi Intelligence Documents Indicate Extensive Ties Between Al Qaeda & Iraq

* Documents Reveal WMD in Iraq Not Long Before U.S. Led Invasion

(SACRAMENTO) – The pro-freedom/pro-America group, “Move America Forward,” today released their final ad that will air prior to next Tuesday’s election.

The ad titled “WMD Al Qaeda” focuses on newly discovered Iraqi Intelligence Service documents that indicate Saddam Hussein did indeed possess Weapons of Mass Destruction not long before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The documents also reveal much more extensive ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda than has yet to be reported by media organizations.

The documents were obtained and first reported by CNS News, and sources tell Move America Forward that the documents have been determined to be authentic by officials in the Department of Defense and Defense Intelligence Agency.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Had we not taken action, Iraq would have eclipsed Afghanistan as the most despicable backer of terrorist organizations,” said Melanie Morgan, Vice Chair of Move America Forward.

“We have learned from extremely reliable sources that the Department of Defense and Defense Intelligence Agency have obtained copies of these documents and verified their authenticity,” said Morgan.

The ad can be viewed online at http://www.moveamericaforward.org/. Members of the press corps desiring a copy of this ad in Beta, VHS or other format can call Siobhan Guiney, Executive Director of Move America Forward, at (916) 441-6197.



October 20, 2004

To mark the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq war, GQ magazine will publish a photo essay in March, made up entirely of pictures taken by members of the US military. We want to show America what the war looks like to the men and women who have fought it, the people who live it, instead of relying on journalists. We hope you see this as a unique way to tell your story, and we think it will become an important part of history.

We are soliciting your pictures. Please send us ANY AND EVERY PICTURE YOU HAVE. Don’t edit your photographs! What may not seem interesting to you could be important for the essay. This project will reflect the war the way it really is, and we are not averse to blood, dirt or anything else, as long as it really happened. We want pictures of you, your buddies, battles, what you do to entertain yourself when you’re bored, even pictures your families have sent you from home. Think as broadly as possible.

Please send your pictures as soon as possible.

Email to: GREG POND at GQ: greg_pond@gq.com
Or, send prints or discs to:
Bradley Young/Greg Pond - GQ Magazine/Photo Department
4 Times Square, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10006 USA

HIGH RES FILES (IDEALLY, 300 DPI) ARE PREFERRED, but we will accept ANYTHING you can send. Prints and/or discs will be returned in a timely fashion. On either email or regular mail, mark clearly IRAQ PHOTOGRAPHS, and include: your NAME, RANK, AGE, EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER, AND WHEN YOU WERE IN IRAQ. We can’t publish your pictures if we can’t reach you.

GQ will contact you if your pictures are chosen. We will pay you between $200 to $1,000 for each picture published (depending on the size your pictures are printed.) We will also credit you in the magazine, unless you prefer to be anonymous. We are also planning an exhibition of the photographs, to be held near the anniversary of the war, in New York.

Please email us if there are other people you know who would be interested in this project, or if there are places on the internet where we can post an announcement. Please forward this email to anyone you know who might be interested in participating.

Thank you for your consideration. Email with any questions. We look forward to seeing your pictures!

Operation Shoe Fly brings smiles

Operation Shoe Fly brings smiles
Alabama helicopter pilot ferries troops, supplies in Afghanistan, as well as clothes for remote villages
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
News staff writer
An Alabama soldier is helping fly troops and supplies around Afghanistan, and even helped fly President Hamid Karzai to parts of the country during the recent national election campaign.

But Capt. Adam Reynolds is part of another operation that to him is a worthy addition to his military mission: bringing shoes, clothing and other necessities to Afghan villagers.

"It's real cool to see what we're doing for them and how they're reacting to it," said Reynolds, 28, a Pell City native and University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate. He spoke by phone from Bagram Air Base, north of the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Operation Shoe Fly brings smiles

Far From Home : Index

New Milblogger, I hope you all have a chance to email encouragement to this hero,

Far From Home : Index

1st Response Care Package

We need your help. Please donate Items for the wounded TODAY

1st Response Care Package

A US soldier carries a rocket

A US soldier carries a rocket he removed from close to the wreckage of a car bomb along a road north of the city of Baquba. A US soldier was killed and another wounded in a suspected motorcycle bombing against their convoy in eastern Iraq , the military said.(AFP/Ali Yussef) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AFP

Operation Bracken

British troops make their way north from southern Iraq to start Operation Bracken, October 27, 2004. British troops moved north from Basra to take over a deadly area near Baghdad and free up U.S. troops for a possible attack on Falluja. Photo by Reuters (Handout) Yahoo! News - World Photos - Reuters


Chris is 20, serving in Iraq with the Ist Marine Division, 2/7 Echo Company. He is radio operator. Chris was the youngest in our small valley of Westcliffe, CO to go out and get his red card for wild land firefighting and also was a member of our volunteer fire department. He loves his friends and family and misses them and our mountains very much.

News First Online

Star - Vehicle bombed in Baghdad

Vehicle bombed in Baghdad
October 27, 2004

Baghdad - Witnesses claimed attackers detonated a roadside bomb today in the Iraqi capital, and news footage showed US forces at the blast site guarding a destroyed 4x4.

Associated Press Television News showed the vehicle flipped over and peppered with holes in Ghazaliya.

The US military had no immediate information on the attack.

In a separate incident, insurgents hit a US Bradley armoured vehicle with a bomb on Baghdad's airport road, damaging it, but causing no injuries, the military said.

The Ghazaliya blast came as about 800 British troops, accompanied by US marines, began making their way toward Baghdad today as part of a redeployment ahead of an expected coalition offensive against insurgent strongholds.

British Lieutenant Colonel James Cowan said British troops left the southern city of Basra to head for a base north of Hillah, about 95km south of Baghdad. Forty US marines were with them, he said.

APTN footage showed large flatbed trucks carrying British armoured vehicles up a road through Iraq's southern desert.

Nearly 800 Scottish soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Black Watch, are to replace US forces who are expected to take part in offensives against insurgent strongholds west and north of the capital to bring order to Iraq before elections in January.

The US military wants the British to assume security responsibility in areas close to Baghdad, so US forces can move to insurgency strongholds west of the capital. - Sapa-AP

Star - Vehicle bombed in Baghdad

Jihad Unspun - An UNClear View On The US War On "Terrorism"

Ansar al-Sunnah Army Captures 11 Guardsmen; US Warned On Entering Fallujah
Oct 27, 2004
JUS News Desk

An Iraqi resistance group has claimed to have captured 11 US-backed Iraqi National Guard soldiers hostage. They were seized on a highway between Baghdad and Hillah, according to the Internet posting by Ansar al-Sunnah Army. The posting included the names of all 11 but as of press time no demands for their release have been made.

Meanwhile, a masked gunman warned in a videotape that Mujahideen will attack all Iraqi and multinational military and civilian targets with "weapons and military tactics they have not experienced" if US occupation forces try to storm the city.

In the videotape obtained by Associated Press Television News, the gunman, dressed in an old-style Iraqi army uniform, read the statement on behalf of the factions of Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq.

The speaker, who appeared with seven other masked and armed men, accused the Iraqi government of "aborting a peaceful solution with the people of Fallujah." He warned all Iraqi military personnel and government employees to quit their jobs or otherwise they "will be permissible targets for our fighters."

Jihad Unspun - A Clear View On The US War On "Terrorism"

Japan refuses to withdraw troops from Iraq as hostage faces execution

Japan refuses to withdraw troops from Iraq as hostage faces execution
Updated: 2004-10-27 20:42

Japan insisted it would not bow to the demands of Islamic militants in Iraq who threatened to behead a young Japanese unless Tokyo withdraws its troops from the country within 48 hours.

Masumi Koda, father of Shosei Koda, identified as the Japanese man taken hostage and threatened to be beheaded by al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq, speaks to reporters with his weeping wife Setsuko outside their home in Nogata, southern Japan October 27, 2004. [Reuters]
"The Self-Defence Forces will not withdraw," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a staunch US ally, said as he went ahead with a tour of typhoon damage in western Japan. "We must not bow to terrorism."

The al-Qaeda-linked group of Iraq's most wanted man Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi released a video overnight on the Internet of a shaggy-haired Japanese-speaking man in a white T-shirt, at the feet of three armed and masked men.

"We are giving the Japanese government 48 hours in which to withdraw its troops from Iraq, otherwise this infidel will join the others (executed)," a militant said in the video.

Among the others, the militant mentioned the American Nicholas Berg and Briton Kenneth Bigley, who were both decapitated.

The Japanese man said on the video: "Mr Koizumi, they demand the Japanese government withdraw the Japanese Self-Defence Forces from Iraq or they will chop off my head.

"I'm sorry, but I want to come back to Japan," he said unemotionally in Japanese.

Japan identified the hostage as Shosei Koda, a 24-year-old from southern Fukuoka province who "has been wandering around many countries", said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda, the government spokesman.

Koda had been in New Zealand on a working holiday until July but had not been in contact since, his father said, according to the foreign ministry.

The incident marked the second hostage crisis faced by Koizumi, a close supporter of US President George W. Bush, since his historic decision to deploy troops to Iraq despite widespread domestic opposition.

In April militants kidnapped three Japanese aid workers and two journalists in Iraq but they were released unharmed after days
Japan refuses to withdraw troops from Iraq as hostage faces execution
Iraq War News
Iraq British URGENT in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Kin of Slain Troops Harden Political Views (AP): "AP - In the year and a half since her son died in Iraq, Arlene Walters has transformed her living room into a shrine."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

British troops in southern Iraq start heading north (AFP): "AFP - A battle group of British troops in southern Iraq started to move northwards on a US-requested mission to more dangerous areas nearer Baghdad, an AFP reporter said."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

British military begins deployment in Iraq: "Some 800 British forces, accompanied by U.S. Marines, began making their way toward Baghdad on Wednesday as part of a redeployment ahead of an expected coalition offensive against insurgent strongholds."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Iraq PM: US-led military negligent in recruit massacre, Japan refuses troop withdrawal (AFP): "AFP - Iraq's prime minister accused the US-led military of negligence in the massacre of 49 unarmed Iraqi soldiers, and Japan refused to withdraw its troops from Iraq following a kidnapping."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Al-Qaqaa Spokesman Says No Weapons Search: "One of the first U.S. military units to reach the Al-Qaqaa military installation south of Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq did not have orders to search for the nearly 400 tons of explosives that are missing from the site, the unit spokesman said Tuesday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Independent probe sought in Abu Ghraib case: "LONDON (AP) - Amnesty International on Wednesday renewed its call for the United States to set up an independent investigation of the abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq."

In Fresno Bee: Iraq

Iraq group 'seizes Japan citizen': "Japan's prime minister rejects Iraqi militants' demands for a troop pullout after a Japanese man is seized."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Pentagon mulls Iraq troop boost: "The US is considering sending more troops to Iraq in the run-up to January election, the Pentagon confirms."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Soldiers' Angels Featured Artist

This song heroes is so close to our hearts if you can, click on the link and then visit their website...Here

Soldiers' Angels

Renegade Rail

God Bless Our Troops

Soldiers' Angels Operation Holiday Spirit

Our troops need a holiday surprise. Our troops will be gone for another year lets send them some Holiday cheer. We are starting our Stockings for Troops Campaign.

We would like for all of the men and women in the military to know that they are not forgotten this holiday season. Please help by donating a stocking and an AT&T phone card so all our military members may call home and share the holidays with their families.

Thousands of Angels Seeking Help with Getting Holiday Stockings for the Troops

Soldiers' Angels launch Operation Holiday Spirit

(PRWEB) October 7 , 2004 -- Having a must do mindset the members of Soldiers' Angels have made it their number one priority to get Christmas stockings to all of the men and women deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world during this upcoming holiday season. What started as a small wish of Patti Patton-Bader, the founder, has sparked attention from several large corporations, a radio-talk show personality, and a Hollywood actor.

Also in this campaign is the efforts of VFW in Centerreach, New York who has agreed to pack all of the stockings.Soldiers' Angels, a non profit organization started by a mother whose son informed her that members of his unit were not receiving mail from home. The organization has been sending letters and care packages to our men and women of the military since June of 2003. " no soldier go unloved" has been Patti Patton-Bader's motto since the beginning of what started out as one woman's dream has grown to over 14, 000 members supporting our military. To date the organization has about 10,000 military members in its adoption program. While the numbers keep growing everyday the members have not lost focus of their mission and that is to "provide aid and comfort to our military"

Since starting the Stockings for Troops campaign the organization has received 331 cases of items from Neutrogena they plan on putting in the Christmas stockings. AT&T, the only carrier whose phone cards work from many locations where our military are currently deployed. Ms. Patton-Bader and the rest of the Angels believe that if our military cannot be home for the holidays, they can a bit of home to our military. Between now and November 20th Soldiers' Angels hopes to send 140, 000 Christmas stockings to the military men and women defending our countrites freedom far from home. The organization would like to fill each stocking with a card of encoragement, an AT&T phone card, some holiday candy, hot chocolate packets, instant soup, a sand scarf, and other holiday items. They have set up a special link on their website, www.soldiersangels.com for monetary donations.

They are asking that all donations of stockings, AT&T phone cards, cards, and other holiday items to fill the stockings be sent to the

VFW Post 4927,
31 Horseblock Road,
Centerreach, NY 11720.

All monentary donations can be sent to
Soldiers' Angels,
1792 E. Washington Blvd.,
Pasadena, CA 91104.

You may call John Adams of the VFW at (631) 585-7390 or Patti Patton-Bader at (626) 398-3131 for more information on items needed or how to donate.

Soldiers' Angels

Godspeed Hero

Army SGT Nicholas with our son Dylan(the baby) and his 3 stepchildren. This picture was taken on July 20th, 2004 at our home on Fort Hood the day he went back for the rest of his year in the sandbox!

God Bless Our Troops

US soldiers with the 2-17 Field Artillery Regiment

US soldiers with the 2-17 Field Artillery Regiment frisk Iraqis at a military checkpoint in Ramadi, west of Baghdad.(AFP/Patrick Baz) Yahoo! News - Mideast Photos - AFP

Syrian border village is caught in the cross-fire

Syria Villagers in this tiny hamlet abutting the Syrian-Iraqi border no longer wait for the call to prayer to mark the end of the daily fast for Ramadan. Instead, sundown arrives in tandem with an eruption of mortar rounds and gunfire between Iraqi insurgents and the American forces stationed right next door.
"Even before the muezzin cries out 'Alluhu Akbar' we start hearing the bombs and shelling," said Fayad al-Hussein, the owner of a one-story cement house with an unexploded mortar round in his front yard and a view of the American flag flapping over a small base some 200 meters, or 650 feet, away in the Iraqi town of Qaim.
"Now, just 10 minutes before the call to prayer, we gather all the children into the house because we are pretty sure there will be a firefight just as soon as the iftar starts," he added, using the Arabic for the sunset meal....more
Syrian border village is caught in the cross-fire

U.S. Troops Reinforce After Falluja Air Strike (washingtonpost.com)

U.S. Troops Reinforce After Falluja Air Strike
Tuesday, October 26, 2004; 8:13 AM

By Alistair Lyon

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops cut roads and reinforced positions around Falluja Tuesday after an air strike aimed at Arab militants said to roam the rebel-held city.

Witnesses said U.S. tanks and armored vehicles blocked the main highway to Jordan that runs just north of Falluja, as warplanes criss-crossed the skies. Troops took up positions in empty buildings on the Sunni Muslim city's southern perimeter.

A civilian driver was shot dead near a U.S. checkpoint on the highway, witnesses said. The military said it was checking the report. Only one road leading northwest out of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, was open to civilian traffic.

Many families have already fled Falluja fearing a widely expected U.S. assault designed to bring the city under the interim government's control before elections due in January.

The U.S. military said it had carried out a "precision strike" at 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) on a safe house used by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network in Falluja, killing one of his aides. It did not name the man or state his nationality.

Residents said one house was destroyed and three damaged in the strike. Hospital officials reported no casualties.

It was the second time in a few days the military had claimed to have eliminated a Zarqawi associate without identifying him. Saturday it said it had captured a "senior leader" of the group in a raid in southern Falluja.

Interim Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said the government was seeking a political solution in Falluja to "separate the local population from the foreign fighters, the terrorists."

"We are trying to exhaust all political channels and avenues before any final decision is made," he told the BBC.

Zebari said a failed U.S. assault on Falluja in April was "mismanaged," after a lack of consultation with Iraqi leaders.

U.S. Troops Reinforce After Falluja Air Strike (washingtonpost.com)

Monday, October 25, 2004



Subject: Chaplain's report on Iraq

I thought many of you should have the chance to read a first hand report of what is happening in Iraq with the troops. You can compare for yourself what you read with what you hear from the media.

Dear Friends and Family:

I am addressing this letter to you to express a frustration that I know has been voiced time and again, yet is met with little change. It concerns the media coverage of this war and the effect of that
coverage on the morale of our troops. As a battalion chaplain I hear the comments and complaints of
soldiers who, while performing an incredibly difficult job under hostile and stressful conditions, constantly see their efforts portrayed as futile. NBC's coverage this morning (your Thursday evening, 16 September 2004) is a prime example that I believe shows the gulf that exists between the truth of what is happening here and the deceitful agenda of the mainstream media at home and abroad.

Only 24 hours ago the NBC media crew arrived here and filmed hours of footage with our unit. They were told of numerous projects in which our unit is involved, not only in the area of force protection
and Troop Medical Clinic support, but also in humanitarian aide to a local village here in Baghdad. Here is an example of some of the projects to which they were introduced:

1. The reconstruction and furnishing of a clinic
2. Miscellaneous enhancements for a local elementary school and a local day care center
3. Reconstruction of the decimated electrical, sewer and water systems
4. Reparation of exterior walls and gates surrounding the village
5. Rubble and garbage removal projects to clean up the entire village
6. Construction of a protective chain link fence around the local Shi'a Mosque
7. Studies to examine the development of agricultural systems and a garment industry to help the locals provide for themselves
8. The ever-growing clothing and school supplies drive for the children of the village.

In the roughly one minute clip that they drew from their day of filming, what did they show? The First Lieutenant who is the primary driver of these projects was shown with one quote about never believing he would be in Iraq, being a National Guard soldier. This was followed by their interview of another soldier's wife, saying her husband was supposed to have retired this summer, that his responsibility to the military should be over and that he should be home. They showed NOTHING of
the great humanitarian efforts that are going on here!

.It is coverage like this that is convincing more and more soldiers that the consistent media agenda is to show you, the American people, the futility of our current efforts and how everything is going
wrong. There is no apparent attempt to show all the good that is happening,that,for those of us who are here, far outweighs the very weak, though spectacular, moments of insurgency. And we see it via satellite, just as you do.

In a day of great violence across the country, last Sunday, where the insurgency failed to take one American life, what one film clip was shown over and over? They showed the lone burning Bradley
fighting vehicle, with Iraqis dancing on and around it, waving flags of the insurgency. Out of the thousands of troops who made it safely around Baghdad and the country that day, the media focused on one piece of impressive footage and repeated it over and over until the viewer receives the message that this is all that went on in Iraq today - an insurgent victory. I also remember how the body count, for two days thereafter, was printed in ever-increasing increments, never mentioning who the casualties were - giving the impression that they were American casualties.

The despair and depression, as well as the thankfully limited anti-war sentiment, over our country's efforts in Iraq are not based upon all of the facts. They are rather based on what the media
has chosen to show -and what they have chosen NOT to show. The media knows that they can always find those willing to complain, grouse, protest and disagree. And they splash those voices all over their screens and pages, drowning out the voices that will tell you, as I am, that there is good going on here.

There are things going on here you would be proud of, things that would bring tears to your eyes; like the looks of parents whose children are going to school for the first time in years, equipped with pencils, pens and paper and clothed with clean new clothes.

There are essential services being provided to people to whom they were denied under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. There is a trial going on for that man and at least eleven of his evil
cronies who, let us remember, killed over 300,000 people under the watchful eye of the Untied Nations (pun intended) during the 12 years they had responsibility for the health and welfare of this nation (yes, the same, inept organization that is currently ignoring the Darfur, Sudan slaughter of Christians by Islamic fundamentalists).

This was the same time that the oil-for-food program monies were being used to line the pockets of Saddam and his friends and build luxurious palaces like the ones our forces now occupy as headquarters all over this nation. And Saddam all the while complained that it was "American Sanctions" that were killing his people. I don't remember a sanction that required a mass grave.

Please know that the media is NOT giving you the right picture, much less the WHOLE picture. They have an agenda, it is clear, and that agenda does not include the current administration claiming
success in this endeavor. It is unclear if their sensationalist "reporting" will change if the administration changes. The one thing I know as I watch the morale of the men who are here
doing the job is that every time the enemy's paltry attacks are made out by the media to be marker events in Iraq, it becomes a little harder for soldiers to see value in even the greatest things
we are doing. Your care packages, your letters and your constant prayers are the only things that remind us that the majority of thoughtful Americans are truly behind this effort and that what we are doing has great value. Don't let that go. Keep supporting your troops, not just in word, but in action. Remember this: You cannot support the troops AND denigrate the war effort. It is a logical and a practical inconsistency. While the soldier fights the enemy, he needs those behind him to offer support to his back, not daggers. The news media is one of the greatest threats to this war. Just ask a terrorist. Every time he can do something desperate and spectacular and have the effect with one man blowing himself up in a crowd that an entire U.S. Brigade has in securing a city, the media has thrown terror the victory. It is not the side that wins the most ground anymore that is victorious, but the one that can satiate the blood-hungry media. We have given them the stories they need to show how much we are truly doing. The question then must turn to why they have a fascination with making
the villain the victor. If we win this war, it may not be much of a story for them, but if we lose it...

Your troops are doing amazing things here - things many of them are not even trained to do, like a medical platoon leader doing public works projects! I hope that either the media start showing the REAL stories here or that you will show your contempt of their deceitfulness with your complaints and, ultimately, with your vote. Don't watch the news media that thrives on the death of American soldiers to bump their ratings! And remember your troops.

Support of victory is support of your troops.

Sincerely, CH (CPT) Chris Bassett, Baghdad, Iraq


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