BREAKING: U.S. Platoon Mutiny in Iraq, Refuses ‘Suicide Mission’


Richard Moore

      Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. 
      Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
      All the Kings horses and all the King's men 
      couldn't put Humpty together again.


Bush's Iraq policy is a bit like Humpty Dumpty. When Bush
declared "Mission Accomplished", he was placing the egg on the
wall, and ever since then the policy has been falling apart.
Over a thousand troops killed, torture photos, and 'Fahrenheit
911' have cut seriously into popular support. On the ground,
the policy cannot maintain order. The people of Iraq refuse to
accept that occupation equals liberation. In the effort to put
Humpty together again, the King has been pushing his men to
their limits, extending their stays, and giving them
inadequate horses. When his men start refusing to risk their
lives, the policy could be in very serious trouble.

To some extent, the Iraq invasion has been a speeded-up
version of Vietnam. Toward the end of that long war, the
increasing refusal of troops to follow orders became a
significant factor in the decision to pull out. Troops began
killing their own officers, in what came to be known as
'fragging' incidents. No one wanted to be the last soldier to
die in 'Nam, and the 'will to win' turned into the 'will to
survive'. In the final analysis, the seemingly limitless power
of the King depends entirely on the willingness of his minions
to do his bidding.

This incident presents, perhaps, a no-win scenario to Bush and
his handlers. If they come down hard on the refuseniks,
they're likely to create sympathy for them. The patriotic
response of citizens may turn from 'support our boys' to
'support our boys by bringing them home'. On the other hand,
if the refuseniks are let off easy, that may encourage wider
rebellion. And it doesn't help that this is occurring just
before the election.

Personally, I am always encouraged when people at the bottom
begin standing up for their rights. Ultimately, that is what
global transformation is all about.



 Platoon Defies Orders in Iraq 
By Jeremy Hudson 
The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson MS 

Friday 15 October 2004 
Miss. soldier calls home, cites safety concerns. 

A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson,
Miss., and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under
arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the
troops' relatives said Thursday.

The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq
- north of Baghdad - because their vehicles were considered
"deadlined" or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of
Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.

Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County, Miss., Detention
Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster
Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were read their rights and moved
from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said
her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m.

The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of
orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of
pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert
Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at
Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C.

On Friday, the Army confirmed that the unit's actions were
under scrutiny.

"The commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command has
appointed the Deputy Commander to lead an investigation into
allegations that members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company
refused to participate in their assigned convoy mission
October 13," said Lt. Col Steven A. Boylan, a spokesman for
U.S. Army and multinational forces in Iraq.

"The investigating team is currently in Tallil taking
statements and interviewing those involved. This is an
isolated incident and it is far too early in the investigation
to speculate as to what happened, why it happened or any
action that might be taken," Boylan said.

"It is important to note that the mission in question was
carried out using other soldiers from the unit," Boylan said.

Boylan also confirmed that the unit is stationed in Tallil, a
logistical support air base south of Nasiriyah.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said he plans to submit a
congressional inquiry today on behalf of the Mississippi
soldiers to launch an investigation into whether they are
being treated improperly.

"I would not want any member of the military to be put in a
dangerous situation ill-equipped," said Thompson, who was
contacted by families. "I have had similar complaints from
military families about vehicles that weren't armor-plated, or
bullet-proof vests that are outdated. It concerns me because
we made over $150 billion in funds available to equip our
forces in Iraq.

"President Bush takes the position that the troops are
well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into
question how honest he has been with the country," Thompson

The 343rd is a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver
fuel and water. The unit includes three women and 14 men and
those with ranking up to sergeant first class.

"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday)
morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been
arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a
suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt.
Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses
to follow an order, it has to be something major."

The platoon being held has troops from Alabama, Kentucky,
North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina, said Teresa
Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter Amber McClenny is among
those being detained.

McClenny, 21, pleaded for help in a message left on her
mother's answering machine early Thursday morning.

"They are holding us against our will," McClenny said. "We are
now prisoners."

McClenny told her mother her unit tried to deliver fuel to
another base in Iraq Wednesday, but was sent back because the
fuel had been contaminated with water. The platoon returned to
its base, where it was told to take the fuel to another base,
McClenny told her mother.

The platoon is normally escorted by armed Humvees and
helicopters, but did not have that support Wednesday, McClenny
told her mother.

The convoy trucks the platoon was driving had experienced
problems in the past and were not being properly maintained,
Hill said her daughter told her.

The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on
missions without proper equipment.

Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly
dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision
goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops'
families purchasing body armor because the military didn't
provide them with adequate equipment have been included in
recent presidential debates.

Patricia McCook said her husband, a staff sergeant,
understands well the severity of disobeying orders. But he did
not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip.

"He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were
deadlines ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that," Patricia
McCook said.

Hill said the trucks her daughter's unit was driving could not
top 40 mph.

"They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to
get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her.
"They would have had no way to fight back."

Kathy Harris of Vicksburg, Miss., is the mother of Aaron
Gordon, 20, who is among those being detained. Her primary
concern is that she has been told the soldiers have not been
provided access to a judge advocate general.

Stevens said if the soldiers are being confined, law requires
them to have a hearing before a magistrate within seven days.

Harris said conditions for the platoon have been difficult of
late. Her son e-mailed her earlier this week to ask what the
penalty would be if he became physical with a commanding
officer, she said.

But Nadine Stratford of Rock Hill, S.C., said her godson Colin
Durham, 20, has been happy with his time in Iraq. She has not
heard from him since the platoon was detained.

"When I talked to him about a month ago, he was fine,"
Stratford said. "He said it was like being at home."

Billions in Iraqi Oil Revenues Missing

 Auditors Can't Account for Iraq Spent Funds 
By Larry Margasak 
The Associated Press 

Friday 15 October 2004 

Washington - U.S. and Iraqi officials doled out hundreds of
millions of dollars in oil proceeds and other moneys for Iraqi
projects earlier this year, but there was little effort to
monitor or justify the expenditures, according to an audit
released Thursday.

Files that could explain many of the payments are missing or
nonexistent, and contracting rules were ignored, according to
auditors working for an agency created by the United Nations.

"We found one case where a payment ($2.6 million) was
authorized by the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) senior
adviser to the Ministry of Oil," the report said. "We were
unable to obtain an underlying contract" or even "evidence of
services being rendered."



Here we begin to see why the Pentagon can't afford flak
jackets for the troops. Every dollar wasted on the troops is
one less dollar of profit for Halliburton and the other crony
neocon corporations. Bush has no more concern for the welfare
of the troops than he does for the Iraqi people. They're all
expendable pawns in the quest for oil domination.



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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland

"Global Transformation: Whey We Need It And How We Can Achieve It", current 
    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in ourselves - not gods, ideologies, leaders, or programs.
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