Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Marine uniforms not allowed at political events?

June 2, 2007

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in April wearing fatigues – with military insignia removed – during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war.

Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine Corps spokesman, said Kokesh is under administrative review because he wore his uniform at a political event, which is prohibited. And, Lapan said, when a senior officer told Kokesh that he violated military regulations, Kokesh used an obscenity and indicated he would not comply with the rules.

“It’s the political activity that is prohibited, not the type of event that it was,” Lapan said. “If it had been a pro-war rally, it would still have been a violation.”

A second Marine who was at the same event was also called about the violation, but told the officer he was unaware he was breaking the rules and said he would not do it again, Lapan said. That Marine, who has not been identified, has not been called to an administrative hearing.

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Army of God

June 2, 2007

Many Troops Return to War; Many Never Go
Jun 1, 9:29 PM (ET)
By PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even as troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are serving longer and more often – three, four, even five times – roughly half of Americans in uniform have not been sent at all.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t seem fair to Marine Sgt. Matthew Clark, who sits behind a desk in Illinois but has asked to “go to the fight” instead.

Clark is among some 1,000 reassigned for deployment since Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway issued a policy message early this year called “Every Marine into the Fight.”

“When they join our Corps, Marines expect to train, deploy and fight,” Conway said in the January message. “That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

By this spring, roughly 150,000 active duty soldiers, 85,000 sailors, 90,000 airmen and 65,000 Marines had gone more than once to Iraq, Afghanistan or surrounding countries. About half the total force had not deployed to either conflict, Defense Department figures show.

Fifty-three percent of the active duty Air Force and 50 percent of the Navy had not been to the wars, not surprising since the fighting is overwhelmingly on the ground.

Still, 45 percent of the Marines and 37 percent of Army forces had never been deployed.

– The military is an ever-morphing body, with people coming in and going out constantly. The four branches recruited about 180,000 just last year – meaning there are always new people still in training.

– Though the two wars are the biggest Pentagon efforts, there are tens of thousands of forces in other parts of the world, from Korea to the Philippines to Africa

“There are a lot of folks doing God’s work right here stateside that are invaluable to the people overseas,” said Col. Daniel Baggio, an Army spokesman. “The spirit of the Army is really that folks want to do their part … in any way they can. … They go where they’re told to go.”

Anyone who stays in for more than one enlistment can pretty much count on going overseas.

“We like to say there are three kinds of soldiers: those that are deployed, those that have been deployed and those that are going to be deployed,” Baggio said.

Now, there are almost 220,000 troops, airmen and sailors serving in the Iraq and Afghan campaigns – 150,000 in Iraq, 28,000 in Afghanistan and 40,000 in neighboring countries and on ships offshore

Conway’s January order directed leaders to change policies “to ensure all Marines, first termers and career Marines alike, are provided the ability to deploy to a combat zone.”

Since then, officials have been identifying people who haven’t deployed, looking at assignment lengths and making needed changes, said Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel of the Marine assignments office.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine and fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said it’s a good idea.

The Marine Corps is a “war-fighting-oriented organization,” Wood said. “People join the Marines to be operational. That’s the kind of person you’re drawing; they’re looking for excitement, engagement.”

You don’t get those things, Wood said in a football analogy, “if the same 11 guys take the field and you keep sitting on the bench.”

There are inevitably some people who don’t want to go, who are suspected of manufacturing a health problem or maneuvering into a job that will help them stay put, Pentagon officials say privately. In fact, there are those who like their location or work and don’t want any of the moves that can come with military life.

People in the military call them “homesteaders.” One is said to have worked in Washington his entire 17 years in the service and never been deployed anywhere.

Iran

April 10, 2007

I have lived through a revolution and a war in Iran. As a matter of fact and ironically, it was the Iraqis who were bombing our cities with American weapons and full support.

http://maryamie.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!9592F3DEF41537A3!3300.entry

captivity over; Iran lost the most

April 5, 2007

Well, the British prisoners have been freed by Iran.

I did not follow all of the news reports very closely, but here is my country by country analysis:

*Iran’s government: There were many US citizens who thought that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a non-crazy and OK guy, and actually supported his resistance of American imperialism, hegemony, or whatever they want to call it; but he has now lost a lot of support from them because of the prisoner stunts that he seemingly ordered. Iran now will definitely get less support from anti-war people in the US should Bush order the US military to attack Iran.

(Interesting system we have here in the US. One man can seemingly order any employee of the US military to do anything at anytime.)

*England’s government: somewhat weak and ineffectual; seemingly with wimpy military personnel

*Iraqi government: seemingly weak and possibly lackadaisical in this situation

*US government: not really bellicose, but potentially a dangerous ally to have; it is also interesting to note how much the US media did not care about the story when they were first captured

UPDATES:

At Britain’s request, the two carrier groups, totaling 40 ships plus aircraft, changed their exercises to make them appear less confrontational, The Guardian said. London also asked Washington to tone down its rhetoric against Tehran, the newspaper added.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20070408&articleId=5303

Overplaying the hurt factor when one’s own is aggrieved isn’t anything new – while part of the British public gaped in horror at the ‘torture’ that their 15 servicemen endured under Iranian capture, many were quick to point out that British servicemen in Iraq were never shy of using physical torture on their captives, either. At least all 15 British servicemen were released safe and sound – and few thousand quid richer. Baha Mousa was released in a body bag, and his murderers have yet to be brought to justice.

http://iam.subhumour.us/?p=2035

British soldiers accused of beatings in Basra, Iraq

March 14, 2007

Mr Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was among a group of detainees arrested following a counter-insurgency operation.

Julian Bevan QC, prosecuting, said the detainees had been arrested on 14 September 2003 at the Haitham Hotel, where the army had found weapons including rifles, bayonets and suspected bomb-making equipment.

They were subsequently taken to a temporary detention centre where they were held for 36 hours and repeatedly beaten while handcuffed and forced to wear sacks on their heads, Mr Bevan said.

He told the seven-man judging panel: “One civilian, Baha Mousa, died as a result, in part, from the multiple injuries he had received.

“There were no less than 93 injuries on his body at the post-mortem stage, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.”

Other prisoners received serious kidney injuries consistent with being kicked and punched, Mr Bevan added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5360432.stm

why public executions might be dangerous

January 4, 2007

Multan – A young boy who tried to copy hanging scenes from the execution video of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein died in central Pakistan, said police on Monday.

Mubashar Ali, 9, hanged himself, while re-enacting Hussein’s hanging with the help of elder sister, 10, after tying a rope to a ceiling fan and his neck in his home in Rahim Yar Khan district on Sunday, said a local police official.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,9294,2-10-1462_2050341,00.html

Kolkata, India – A 15-year-old girl from eastern India hanged herself in response to the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, police and family members said on Thursday.

“She said they had hanged a patriot. We didn’t take her seriously when she told us that she wanted to feel the pain Saddam did during the execution,” the girl’s father, Manmohan Karmakar, told AFP by phone from the town of Kharda.

He said his daughter, called Moon Moon, had become extremely depressed after watching Saddam’s execution on television.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2051037,00.html

Police and family members said a 10-year-old boy who died by hanging himself from a bunk bed was apparently mimicking the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Sergio Pelico was found dead Sunday in his apartment bedroom in the Houston-area city of Webster, said Webster police Lt. Tom Claunch. Pelico’s mother told police he had previously watched a news report on Saddam’s death.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=4904242

death penalty video

December 22, 2006

The lethal attacks came a day after the Iraqi government sought to make an example of 13 convicted kidnappers and killers. It hanged the men, then distributed video of the execution to Iraqi and foreign media.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6293597,00.html

Najaf, Iraq

December 22, 2006

Najaf is a generally peaceful area under tight control by police and Shiite guards. It is home to the Imam Ali shrine, where Shiite Muslims believe the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad is buried.

Millions make pilgrimages to the city annually, and Shiites from across Iraq come to bury their dead in Najaf’s huge cemetery.

The city of Najaf saw heavy fighting in 2004 between the U.S. Army and militiamen loyal to radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Parts of the city still lay in ruins.

But Najaf’s violence now is aimed at Shiite pilgrims, adding to sectarian tensions that escalated over the last year.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6293597,00.html

Iraqi military eats rabbit

December 22, 2006

About 1,500 police officers and soldiers paraded on a soccer field, and other officers drove shiny new patrol cars and motorcycles around a dusty track ringing the field.At one point, a small group of elite Iraqi special forces officers wearing dark green T-shirts stepped forward with a live rabbit and ripped it apart with their teeth.

The leader chomped out the animal’s heart with a yell, then passed around the blood-soaked carcass to his comrades, each of whom took a bite. The group also bit the heads off frogs.

Elite Iraqi forces have demonstrated their toughness by chewing on live animals during military ceremonies since the time of Saddam Hussein’s rule.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6293597,00.html

Kurds ignored by Iraq Study Group?

December 8, 2006

Even before the report came out, the prime minister of the Kurdish autonomous region, Nechirvan Barzani, dismissed its significance — at least for Kurds.

“None of the people in the Iraqi Study Group have ever visited the Kurdish region,” he said in a press conference just hours before the reports release. “They haven’t asked us about our opinion so we think there will be great shortcomings in the report.”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/update_detail.asp?id=14123