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  • Print it out: color best. Pass it on.GI Special: thomasfbarton@earthlink.net 9.13.07

    GI SPECIAL 5I13:

    Some Soldiers Began Questioning The War

    The Toothpaste Is Out Of The Tube

    The Militarys Information Nannies Are Not Going To Be Able To Stuff It

    Back In


  • Sep 9, 2007 By Robert Weller, The Associated Press [Excerpts] DENVER With the world being bombarded by all factions on their side on the war in Iraq, U.S. soldiers Internet blogs provided the kind of public relations Madison Avenue would drool over. Soldiers told of helping Iraqi families, the loss of friends and their dangerous daily missions. In the past year, as soldiers and Marines return for the second, third or even fourth deployments, and the death toll approaches 4,000, some soldiers began questioning the war. The toothpaste is out of the tube. And, try as they might, the militarys information nannies are not going to be able to stuff it back in, said Noah Schatman of Wired Magazine in an e-mail from Taji, Iraq. He said soldiers will pay $55 a month for a private connection. The military is so petrified it will lose information control screensavers were installed on military computers warning blogs could jeopardize security, said Schatman, who runs Wireds Danger Room blog and has tracked the unofficial use of the Internet by soldiers. The campaign has led some soldiers to steer clear of the Internet. Others do it anyway as confusion reigns because of conflicting signals sent from Washington, he said. President Eisenhower warned of the growing military industrial complex in his farewell address. Since Dick Cheney can now afford solid gold oil derricks, its safe to say we failed Ike miserably. After losing two friends and over a dozen comrades, I have this to say: Do not wage war unless it is absolutely, positively the last ditch effort for survival, wrote Spc. Alex Horton, 22, of the 3rd Stryker Brigade in Army of Dude. In the future, I want my children to grow up with the belief that what I did here was wrong, in a society that doesnt deem that idea unpatriotic, he blogged. Sgt. Thomas Strickland, 27, of Douglasville, Ga., calling himself the Rev Wayfarer, was one of the earliest to speak out publicly. Two days before he drowned in a vehicle accident at Mahmudijah on his second tour he condemned the leadership in One Foot in the Grave. He asked what the chain of command had been doing since his first tour. We were winning somewhat when I left. And now we are being pinned down in our own fucking homes. Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said a soldier would have to go pretty far before facing any retribution, and officers would be more vulnerable. The government never wants to make someone a martyr, he said.

  • Its the first digital war. Its exciting to watch this because it is going to raise rich issues, said Fidell, who also teaches at Yale, American University and practices law. Loren Thompson, CEO of the Lexington Insatiate, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, agreed. Its the subversive nature of the Internet. Technology has caught up with the soldiers, who have always known what was really going on but didnt have the tools to tell their story, said Thompson. In April, the Army announced new rules on blogging that required soldiers to clear them with a superior. Access to MySpace and some other popular Web sites was blocked. The Army said it was not trying to stop soldiers from speaking their mind, however. And so far, some of them have been. Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward GI Special along, or send us the address if you wish and well send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657


    Texas Marine Killed In Anbar

    U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. John C. Stock, 26, of Longview, Texas, died Sept. 6, 2007, in Al Anbar province, Iraq, during combat operations. (AP Photo/Stock family)

  • Texas Soldier Killed In Balad

    Cpl. William T. Warford III, 24, of Temple, Texas, died Sept. 5, 2007 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. (AP Photo/U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas)

    Texas Soldier Killed In Baghdad

    Cpl. Javier G. Paredes, 24, of San Antonio died Sept. 5, 2007 in Baghdad of wounds suffered from a rocket propelled grenade. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News/family)

  • Two Of Soldiers Who Wrote Op-Ed Criticism Of War Killed In Iraq

    Olga Capetillo holds her favorite family snapshot of her son Sgt. Omar Mora with his daughter Jordan at her home Sept. 12, 2007 in Texas City, Texas. Mora, a co-author of an Aug. 19, 2007 New York Times op-ed critical of the Pentagons positive assessment of the Iraq war, was killed Monday. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) [Thanks to J.D. Englehart, IVAW & The Military Project & Felicity Arbuthnot & Phil G, who sent this in.] September 12, 2007 By Greg Mitchell, Editor And Publisher [Excerpts] NEW YORK: The Op-Ed by seven active duty U.S. soldiers in Iraq questioning the war drew international attention just three weeks ago. Now two of the seven are dead. Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray died Monday in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, two of seven U.S. troops killed in the incident which was reported just as Gen. David Petraeus was about to report to Congress on progress in the surge. The names have just been released. Gen. Petraeus was questioned about the message of the op-ed in testimony before a Senate committee yesterday.

  • The controversial Times column on Aug. 19 was called The War As We Saw It, and expressed skepticism about American gains in Iraq. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched, the group wrote. Mora, 28, hailed from Texas City, Texas, and was a native of Ecuador, who had just become a U.S. citizen. He was due to leave Iraq in November and leaves behind a wife and daughter. Gray, 26, had lived in Ismay, Montana, and is also survived by a wife and infant daughter. The accident in Iraq occurred when a cargo truck the men were riding in overturned. The Daily News in Galveston interviewed Moras mother, who confirmed his death and that he was one of the co-authors of the Times piece. The article today relates: Olga Capetillo said that by the time Mora submitted the editorial, he had grown increasingly depressed. I told him God is going to take care of him and take him home, she said. But yesterday is the darkest day for me. MORE: 9.12.07 CNN Staff Sgt. Yance Gray and Sgt. Omar Mora were members of the Armys 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Gray, 26, joined the Army out of high school in Ismay, Montana, in 2000, said his father, Richard Gray. In their article, Mora, Gray and their comrades wrote that American troops in Iraq are operating in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear, and said the progress being reported was being offset by failures elsewhere. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages.


    Soldier, Ismay Native, Dies In Vehicle Crash In Iraq

    September 11, 2007

  • MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) - Staff Sergeant Yance Gray of Ismay was killed when the cargo truck he was riding in overturned in Baghdad. It happened yesterday. The 26-year-old Gray joined the Army in 2000. Public information officer Major Garth Scott of the Montana National Guard says Gray was a member of the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, attached to the 1st Infantry Division at the time of his death. Sergeant 1st Class Steven Klang of Baker is serving as the casualty assistance officer. He says Gray was a passenger in an M-915 five-ton cargo truck when it rolled over. Klang says he has not been told what caused the rollover. A funeral with military honors is planned at Arlington National Cemetery. And a public memorial service is planned later in Ismay. Gray was a graduate of Plevna High School, and the son of Richard and Karen Gray of Ismay. He is also survived by his wife and infant daughter, who live in North Carolina.


    U.S. soldiers of Bravo company, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment during a night operation at Zafraniya neighborhood in Baghdad September 8, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

    IED Gets Mercenary Convoy; Vehicle Destroyed

  • September 12, 2007 Xinhua A roadside bomb struck a convoy of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), used by foreign security contractors, in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, burning a vehicle and killing a civilian, a well-informed police source said. A roadside bomb went off near a convoy of SUVs carrying foreign security contractors near the Beirut Square in eastern Baghdad, leaving one of the convoys vehicle ablaze, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. A civilian was killed and five others wounded by the blast, the source said without revealing the casualties and nationality of the foreigners. U.S. troops immediately sealed off the area preventing the Iraqi police and civilians from approaching the scene, the source added.



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