The other shoe drops.
The L.A. Times releases details from Major General Antonio M. Taguba's findings into prisoner abuse in Iraq, including evidence that convinced him that a U.S. soldier had sex with an Iraqi female.
(Can we all agree that she didn't ask for it...?)
An American in Mongolia. A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore.
Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?"
The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions.
As Helena Cobham notes
, They don't want to call it a draft but it sure ain't your father's "all-volunteer military" any more... Marine's Girl
, Cobham's cause celebre
of some time ago, writes about stop-loss here
. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers
A little Iraqi girl -- no more than eight years old
-- squatted beside the road with tears of humiliation streaming down her cheeks.
Twenty feet away, three American soldiers had their rifles aimed at her as she was forced to relieve herself in full view of a long line of parked cars. From inside their vehicles, the Iraqi onlookers screamed their rage at the U.S. troops.
Whenever one of the Iraqis ventured to step out of his vehicle, an American officer bellowed, "Get back in the car, a--hole!" and the .50-calibre machinegun mounted on the U.S. Hummer would swing menacingly toward the protester.
Labor Day's forgotten ones.
"...there is one class of workers who are largely ignored during Labor Day celebrations, even as our country remains at war on multiple fronts: members of the U.S. armed forces."
"hey mom and dad"
a word from the front - i feel horrible for this guy and his family. why isn't he getting food, water and being rotated? where are all our taxpayer dollars going anyway
Operation: Air Conditioner
It's about dropping our differences and getting together to support our troops and keep them cool.
Should I feel terribly guilty about giggling at some of the things on this web page? Like: "Together We Are: An Army of One" (Say what?) and "Here are some of the items that I buy and send besides air conditioners: Baby Wipes, Powder... Liquid Soap (I heard the bar melts)... Tiki Torches
. Check out the Baghdad Weather Report near the bottom, and... wait a minute... "I’ve organized people to begin “Operation Christmas” and we need to start planning that in August." (So we aren't leaving anytime soon?)
And, while they seem to have enough power to run the A/C at the Army camp, electricity for the rest of Iraq is still gonna take some more money
I really don't know what to say about this site. Except that I didn't even know a .mil domain extension existed until now. The link comes from a letter to the editor of my hometown, small-town Indiana newspaper
(also see "Operation Dear Abby"), where people are generally in support of the war. A boy from my hometown was killed. He was a really good kid; I knew his family, who are just the kind of people you think of when you think of small town John Couger-style, pink-housed, middle class America. I am against this war in principle, but how can you say this really decent kid's life
was wasted? All questions, no answers, probably a bad post. Apologies all around.
- No pagans in foxholes? Think again! Meanwhile, the Adopt-a-Soldier movement
gains momentum. Heed this well, opponents of the ongoing invasion (or liberation) of Iraq: US troops did not engineer the plan for a "Pax Americana"
which underlies the US action in Iraq. No, they were pulled away from their families and their jobs, and lack basic necessities: such as SPF-30 sunscreen
, and chapstick. Send them a care package
. And while you are at it, why not donate to the UN Refugee Fund
set up to cope with an expected 1 millon or so refugees, and a possible humanitarian disaster
, in Iraq?
Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town
The military is taking pains to prepare naive recruits for the reality of their dirty work, and at the same time diminish the regard for native populations. Oh, people whining about being attacked is so routine. Don't they know we're trying to liberate
The Green Fields of Vietnam
There was an interesting program aired tonight on RTE (Irish TV), about Irish born soliders who fought in the Vietnam War. Although only one Irish born solider is officially listed as having been killed, there were 20 others, who gave their US address when they enlisted. It's believed that 2000 Irish born men served in that conflict (they had emigrated and a Greencard means you can be conscripted) but the vast majority of these remain unknown.
Four Canadian soldiers killed, 8 injured in friendly fire accident.
The first Canadian soldiers killed in a combat zone since the Korean War 50 years ago were hit by laser guided bombs from a U.S. national guard F-16 fighter-bomber. Damn it...
'Special forces' may be crucial...
"They are a hammer in the kisser," said Andy Messing, a retired major from the Army special forces. "They're directed like light coming out of the magnifying glass. The beam of light fries the ant."
PNGDF soliders take arms, hold Port Moresby barracks
PM Morauta in hiding
The Defence Force is protesting pay and planned downsizing of the military. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the takeover was sparked by rumors of an Australian seizure of the Moresby barracks. As of yesterday, more troops have joined the takeover
There are unconfirmed reports that the soldiers would stage a protest march on the Parliament building. The Parliament is not currently in session.