News from Iraq


Richard Moore

From: "dnordin" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: MUST READ-------Shocking  Story Of Military Serviceman Who Served 
In Iraq
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:45:28 -0700
> From: Bea Bernhausen <•••@••.•••>
> To: •••@••.•••
> Subject: MUST READ-------Shocking  Story Of Military Serviceman Who
Served In Iraq
> Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:48 AM

US Soldiers to America: "Bring Us Home Now! We're dying for oil and
corporate greed!"


Part 1 in a 5 part series
Interviews by Jay Shaft
Coalition For Free Thought In Media

I had the unique opportunity to interview five US military servicemen who
just got back from Iraq, or in the case of two men, corresponded with their
wives so that I could ask questions of these soldiers by mail. When the two
I corresponded with came back just last week, I was able to complete the
interviews I started several months ago with some new details on how the
war is actually going.

I was shocked and angered when I found out how many of the service men hate
being in Iraq and want nothing to do with rebuilding and policing the
devastated nation. From the conversations I had, many soldiers never wanted
to go over to Iraq and fight, and the ones who had were now convinced of
the awful crime that had been committed against Iraq and our own troops. I
was told very few soldiers now believe in staying in Iraq, or want to stay
in the country and serve any more days.

The following interview was with an enlisted man, but someone very high up
in the enlisted ranks, with over 20 years of military service. I have
promised not to reveal his identity for reasons that he has a family and
has been told not to speak to journalists. He told me the Army had put a
gag order on him while he was home, and told him they would give him twenty
years in prison if he spoke out in any manner against the US or the

I took several weeks to finish this interview because of not being able to
safely be seen with this individual out of his fears of being caught
speaking out.

He asked me to call him USA in all the transcripts of these interviews. I
have followed his wishes and tried to write what he said in the manner it
was said so as not to lose any impact. At times the interview was very
rough and the grammar is not perfect, but I tried to write this in his
voice so that he can tell the world how bad it is in Iraq. I truly want you
to feel what he has experienced in some way if possible.

CFTM-- "How are you today? Resting I hope?"

USA-- "Can't sleep for sh..t and I have horrible nightmares when I do
sleep. I might be lucky to catch an hour at a time before the nightmares
wake me up. I slept easier in the combat then now that I'm away from there.
Most awful place I've ever been or served duty and I didn't want to leave
my guys. That was the hardest part was leaving the guys I had been leading
around and trying to keep out of trouble and alive."

CFTM-- "Did you see a lot of your buddies get killed? How did it affect

USA-"How the hell do you think it affected me? I saw over 30 of the men I
had to keep safe die, and over 100 get wounded and not come back. I still
don't know if some of the wounded men made it or not. I was never told
before I came back home."

CFTM-"So it really was awful and as bad as some returning troops have

USA-"It was like a long trip to hell that you knew you might return from.
Of course it is as bad as the soldiers say it is. Hell it's even worse if
the truth has to come out. It's a constant nightmare trying to
figure out where the guerillas are going to hit, how to keep the civilians
calm, and also getting enough water and food to eat. That is one thing the
media never really told the Americans about, how bad it was when our
convoys weren't getting through. We had to go to some Iraqi people and
trade socks and underwear for some food and a little water."

CFTM-"You really did get that desperate because I saw it in the foreign
media that the Iraqi civilians had stepped in and fed a whole bunch of
troops that had been days without food."

USA---"Yeah, that ain't no joke about getting help from the civilians right
after the invasion. We had a pretty good laugh about that and how the army
owed them some money for reimbursement. We would not have starved probably,
but when we got the food from the people it made sure we could still
operate as a functioning unit. It was a near thing that several guys almost
died of dehydration because we ran out of clean water for a few days."

CFTM-"Just keep going, I want to hear more about the hardships the military
and Bush made you go through. I want the American people to know what a
nightmare this war has become and what it's doing to our service men over

USA-"Okay, well I can bitch about the problems like food being short and
water going bad, but I want to tell people about how bad the attacks on US
and coalition forces have gotten in the last month. In the last two weeks I
was there we were attacked at least 20 times a day if you count all the
shots we heard from random sniper or opportunity attacks. We were losing at
least five men a day to injuries and there was at least one of our unit
killed every twenty four hours."

CFTM---"So you were getting one a day killed and at least five injured? Did
you know many of the guys killed?"

USA---"That's a real dumb question to ask me. You know what my rank
is, of course I knew them, I was the head NCO for years in our unit. I knew
most of the guys who died and I held a lot of hands as they were dying. You
tell me that's not gonna to give you nightmares!"

"I had one guy tell me all he wanted was to see his little daughter; she
was born three days after the war started. He died in the sand holding my
hand and crying because his daughter would never know him. Tell me that's right. Where was George Bush when this kid was gasping for air and
spitting his blood on foreign soil?"

CFTM---"I talked to you about this the other day. Do you think George Bush
is the wrong man to order troops into battle when he ducked it himself?"

USA---"That asshole went AWOL and never showed up for duty and then he has
the nerve to take us into two different wars that will be going on for
years. I do not believe he should be president of this country, he's a
complete idiot and he's controlled by madmen with a drive for only profits
and getting oil."

CFTM---"I just have to get this straight for the public, you are well
educated are you not? I mean you have had years of leadership training and
schools right? You sound very well informed and aware of the current lies
and manipulations, which I have not found in some other soldiers."

USA---"I have a four year degree in the economics field and I am not a
soldier all the time. I am Reservist who just keeps getting caught on long
duty assignments. Believe it or not I read authors like Noam Chomsky, Gore
Vidal, and Jim Hightower, and went through three copies of 'Stupid White
Men' by Michael Moore while I was over there. I let people read parts of
Mike's book and they were irate that Bush had screwed us so hard. I had
parts of 'Best Democracy Money Can Buy' mailed to me because I knew if I
had the whole book it would get stolen in a heartbeat."

CFTM---"So you might be quite a bit more aware and well informed about the
real reasons for the war that others did not know. I don't know of many
line soldiers reading Greg Palast or Noam Chomsky."

USA---"I guess you're right and that might be why I am trying to speak out
and let the Americans know that they are sending us to be slaughtered. If
you don't mind I am going to cut through all the niceties and get down to
why I am going against every oath I took and giving you this interview. I
am doing it for the guys still over there and for the ones who are going.
If I'm not careful I'll end up back there for another six months."

CFTM---"Alright tell me what it was really like and don't skip the gory
details. I want people to be shocked and offended enough to realize why you
spoke out and what it is doing to our military by sending them over there
with blind flag waving and cheers of false victory"

USA---"Well the first thing I would like to thank Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld,
and Congress for is that nice huge cut they made to Veterans Benefits as
soon as the war started. I am in the Reserves after years of active duty
and now I cannot get PTSD counseling or many medical benefits I used to
take for granted. I knew I would have the benefits because I was laying my
life down for my country. Now my benefits are cut by around 2/3 and I have
to go to either group therapy or pay for a private counselor out of my own
pocket. What happens when someone like me has been through enormous battle
stress and combat fatigue and then comes home to no counseling?"

"I'll tell you what is going to happen, he will either kill himself or take
a bunch of people with him. Some of the guys coming back are going to have
gone through the worst time of their lives with their buddies dying and
getting hurt, and then they'll find out they got screwed out of any
counseling. It is the greatest disservice America is committing against
soldiers who fought for this country and may come back wounded or horribly
scarred. Medical services, school aid to dependents, school aid for the
vets, all slashed to the bare bones; mental health and drug and alcohol
counseling are being eliminated or the waiting lists will be years long for
whatever services manage to survive."

"That is one thing the American people still have not really caught on to
is the fact that while they were screaming out 'Support Our Troops' the
current regime makers were the military and veterans out of almost
every social program and non essential service that would make life

"Bush really fu..ked us while we were gone. We found out about after being
in the middle of heavy fighting for several weeks. It was one of the first
things I read in Stars and Stripes, and I thought it was a joke because it
was just to hard to believe Congress and our leaders would screw us that
bad while we were fighting and dying."

CFTM---"Glad you brought that up about counseling because I wasn't even
aware of it. Are you alright to talk about some of the civilian casualties
you witnessed and some of the horrifying images you told me about when we
first started talking?"

USA---"I want to talk about some of the children I saw killed for no
reason, maybe it will wake someone up who doesn't believe it was happening,
or that it was very bad. I can tell you I will never forget the screams of
the wounded or orphaned kids, or the wailing of the parents who lost their
kids. The Iraqis and most Muslims have a very vocal way of mourning the
dead by lamenting and wailing for the dead. There is no mistaking a mother
or father crying out in pain for the loss of a child. They don't cry like
that unless there has been a death. Sometimes after a bombing raid or an
artillery attack you could here hundreds of people wiling and weeping."

"I have several grown children with grand kids about the age of most of the
dead children I saw in Iraq. I also have several kids who are about half
grown and I saw a lot of Iraqi children that age wandering around in charge
of three or four little ones because their parents were dead."

"Let me tell you about the cluster bomb raid we saw wipe out a whole bunch
of little kids. It looked like they had already lost their parents and were
trying to salvage food from a destroyed Iraqi convoy by the side of the
road we were on. The kids were way off to the side about half a mile away
by then when we got the word that the Iraqi column was going to be hit with
cluster bombs and we had to clear the area. We got on the radio and tried
to get the air strike stopped but we were told it was too late to get it

"We could see the body parts flying up into the air after the bombs hit. It
was terrible and we could not do a damn thing but watch it happen and
scream into the radio at the dumb sh.t pilot that was dropping the bombs.
After the strike was over we went to see if there were any survivors and
all we found was bits and pieces of little kids and here and there an arm
or leg you could still identify."

CFTM---"Pretty rough stuff to have to see. Did that kind of thing happen a

USA---"More than you can imagine until you've seen it over and over again.
Man I don't want to talk about this sh.t anymore. It doesn't help to talk
about it because it just makes me think about it again. I can't even get
any counseling without having to pay for it."

"Let all those people who support our troops in on that nice surprise that
Bush gave us. That's how much we really mean to Bush, the Department of
Defense and all those other stupid assholes who keep saying how good we're
doing over there. Let those patriotic morons go and fight and die for our
country. Let them leave their families behind for months and maybe come
back home in a box. I'll be the first one to salute them or honor them when
they die."

"It's just like Nam was in the beginning. I was twelve when my dad got back
and I'll never forget the pain and agony he lived with the rest of his
life. Its kind of what I feel now, I suppose. I never thought I would ever
serve in some stuff that's so much like Nam it isn't funny. Now I really
see what my pop went through, and if I could I would go back in the past a
few months, I would go AWOL or turn conscientious objector on them, but
it's too late for that now."

"I damn sure will not go back over there even if they throw me in
Leavenworth. I never could understand how a guy could be a conscientious
objector until what I just went through. I wish more guys would stand up
and tell Bush and the Pentagon they will not fight their war for oil. We
should not have to die for these rich bastards profits and enrichment."

CFTM---"Thank you for taking the risk and talking to me. I know there will
be other soldiers who can't speak out who will thank you for having the

USA---"It isn't about courage it's a matter of what's right. This war is
killing the poor or middle class American men and women who went in the
armed forces to have college or some kind of better future. You don't see
the rich kids joining up or any Senator's kid dying in Iraq. It's us little
guys who are dying over there or getting disabled for life. Where are the
leaders that are supposed to be looking out for the little man? They are
elected to look after out interests not the interests of Cheney and
Halliburton, or any of the rest of the fat cats piling up the profits while
the blood of our soldiers flows over their hands."

CFTM---"Anything else you want to say to America? Any final thoughts or

USA---"Yeah! Wake up America! Your sons and daughters are dying for
nothing! This war is not about freedom or stopping terrorism. Bring us home
now! We are dying for oil and corporate greed!"

    "Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the
    nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those
    conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse
    to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince
    himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he
    enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
    - Mark Twain, 1916

From: "dnordin" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••>
Subject: News from Iraq
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:51:57 -0700
> From: Ernest Goitein <•••@••.•••>
> To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
> Subject: [NN] [Fwd: [vfp-all] News from Iraq]
> Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:52 AM
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [vfp-all] News from Iraq
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 00:09:03 EDT
From: •••@••.•••
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
To: •••@••.•••

              By Patrick Cockburn in Dhuluaya, Iraq
               The Independent (UK), Oct. 12, 2003

U.S. soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from
loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well
as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy
of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information
about guerrillas attacking U.S. troops.

The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the
brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at
Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women
were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the
uprooted orange and lemon treesand carrying then back to their
homes for firewood.

Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees
destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide
in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything.
They didn't find any weapons."

Other farmers said that U.S. troops had told them, over a
loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed
to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which
is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.

"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while
they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of U.S.
troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali
Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the
nearby U.S. base to ask for compensation for the loss of the
fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened
as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the
resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by
way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in
Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half
of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of
what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of
crops took place along a kilometer-long stretch of road just
after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a
petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading
in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The
petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on
earning their life on these orchards and now they became very
poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in
front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to
eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that
one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation.
When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a
photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera
and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt. Col. Springman,
a U.S. commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers
several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was
responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."

Informing U.S. troops about the identity of their attackers would
be extremely dangerous in Iraqi villages, where most people are
related and everyone knows each other. The farmers who lost their
fruit trees all belong to the Khazraji tribe and are unlikely to
give information about fellow tribesmen if they are, in fact,
attacking U.S. troops.

Asked how much his lost orchard was worth, Nusayef Jassim said in
a distraught voice: "It is as if someone cut off my hands and you
asked me how much my hands were worth."



    "...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 humanity, not gods, ideologies, or programs.

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