the "Second Liberation of Baghdad"
--coming soon, in which we act as "enforcers", providing "protection" --...American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies.
Sunni insurgent strongholds are almost certain to be the first targets, although the Shi’ite militias such as the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical cleric, and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade would need to be contained. ...
Will we be greeted with candy and flowers again as well?
posted by amberglow
on Apr 16, 2006 -
This heart-wrenching 4 part story
of the lives of some of the severely wounded US soldiers brought tears to my eyes - the descriptions of what these kids are enduring, the difficulties faced by their families, the courage they display under circumstances that would reduce most of us to useless blobs. These are the true costs of an illegal, immoral war. Truly tragic in scope.
posted by dbiedny
on Mar 26, 2006 -
It was an instant icon
, with Dan Rather calling it "the best war photograph in recent years." About 100 newspapers ran the photo, dubbing the anonymous warrior
the "Marlboro Man."
The photograph hit the world on Nov. 10, 2004: a close-cropped shot of a U.S. Marine in Iraq
, his face smeared with blood and dirt
, a cigarette dangling from his lips, smoke curling across weary eyes. He's quieter now -- easier to anger. He turns to fight at the sound of a backfire, can't look at fireworks without thinking of fire raining down on a city. He has trouble sleeping
, and when he does, his fingers twitch on invisible triggers.
The diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder.
The man in the photograph is James Blake Miller
, now 21, and he is an icon, although in ways Rather probably never imagined.
Previously mentioned briefly here
posted by stenseng
on Jan 29, 2006 -
The Sex Lives and Sexual Frustrations of US troops in Iraq
"Well over a hundred thousand American men and women, most younger than 30, spend a year or more at a time in a foreign country where they are almost totally isolated from the indigenous population. Are all these troops really chaste for those long periods, as called for by military regulations?"
posted by halekon
on Jan 2, 2006 -
"He is profane, uneducated, impious, lecherous, and unwashed.
He doesn’t care much about the war. In most cases, he misses his mother badly. But the American combat infantryman in Iraq is doing just fine." An in-depth (and apolitical) profile of day-to-day life in the 506th Infantry; "the same regiment that immortalized itself as the Band of Brothers in Normandy and Bastogne during World War II."
posted by kirkaracha
on Aug 9, 2005 -
How to destroy an American soldier.
Imagine you're a Marine, just two months back from your first tour of duty in Iraq. Imagine you've gone through a hellish experience
that left you isolated
, profoundly depressed, and struggling with addiction
. The Marine Corps knows you have an untreated mental disorder
, but you're still supposed to go back to Iraq next year for a second tour of duty. Now imagine that you have just discovered you may have to go back to Iraq again this year, too. "If I do get chosen that'll mean by 2007 (assuming I'm still alive ha ha) I'll have made 3 fucking trips to that country. Which in return will end up making me a bitter angry salty fucker. . . If I have to go I'm gonna fuck some shit up . . . your whole mentality just shifts cause of that fear. I wish you all who don't have to deal with a life like that could jump into my head for a second you'd wanna go fucking nuts too! ha ha ha ha
LET'S GO EAT SOME BABIES AND SHOOT SOME ROO'S"
posted by insomnia_lj
on May 18, 2005 -
Marines recall faulty body armor.
In yet another blow to the struggle to supply soldiers with adequate armor, 5,277 defective vests were recalled today from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to the armor shortages, new Oklahoma legislation
would create "Patriot Plates," a $35 license plate of which $20 would go to supply body armor for Oklahoma soldiers.
Soldiers have been lacking this armor for months now. According to an April GAO report
Because of the shortages, many individuals bought body armor with personal funds. The Congressional Budget Office estimated (1) that as many as 10,000 personnel purchased vests, (2) as many as 20,000 purchased plates with personal funds, and (3) the total cost to reimburse them would be $16 million in 2005. (P. 78)
Another continuing problem is a lack of adequately armored HMMWVs. "Current HMMWVs are protected only by canvas tops and have no additional armor protection." (P. 122) In this case, for protection from ambushes and roadside bombs, an add-on armor kit is required. However, "as of September 2004, the Army supplied 8,771 of the 13,872 Add-on Armor kits required by CENTCOM but still needed 5,101 additional kits to meet all requirements." (P. 121) Attacks on vehicles have accounted for as many as 40 percent of the 1,037 deaths attributed to hostile action.
But at least we can sleep soundly knowing that manufacturers are seeing record profits
from all of this.
posted by ScottMorris
on May 10, 2005 -
Now here's an interesting story.
And well worth the read. It mentions some disturbing facts - he reloads and starts shooting again - but is still sympathetic to our hero. Of course if you compare it with this
"nothing to see here folks, keep moving right along!" Oh, and is "frought" a word?
posted by milkwood
on Apr 18, 2005 -
"He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."
--thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has received documents detailing detention, abuse, and death, of many, including children,
at Abu Ghraib. Mostly PDFs, but summaries
available on most pages: ... Investigation closed because furtherance "would be of little or no value" ...
--statements of that sort are common throughout.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 11, 2005 -
The journal of an American soldier.
Although it's typically my policy not to reveal the identity of people I know in Iraq, I am making an exception in this case. The journal above belongs to Michael Smith, a LiveJournal friend of mine who died in Iraq on Tuesday
when an RPG hit his Humvee. Mike
was 24 years old and leaves behind family, friends, and a newlywed wife, who he married in Korea shortly before he deployed to Iraq. As is tradition on LiveJournal, his last journal entry
has become a memorial of sorts.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Jan 13, 2005 -
Gaming in Iraq by US troops. Soon after the battle for Fallujah ended in November, U.S. Marines brought their Xbox consoles, Gameboys and laptops forward and started fighting the Covenant hordes in "Halo," Mario and Luigi's worst enemies and those irksome roommates from "The Sims."
Of course such actives during war are nothing new
. Iraqies have also gotten in on the action too
posted by Bag Man
on Jan 3, 2005 -
Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.
Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq
on Dec 6, 2004 -
Chris Hedges on war.
The long-time war correspondent explains why it will be years before we have any idea what's been going on in Iraq, and describes the gulf between here and there:
One of the Marines in the book returns to California and is invited to be the guest of honor in a gated community in Malibu, a place where he could never afford to live. The residents want to toast him as a war hero. "I'm not a hero," he tells the guests. "Guys like me are just a necessary part of things. To maintain this way of life in a fine community like this, you need psychos like us to go out and drop a bomb on somebody's house."
posted by languagehat
on Dec 2, 2004 -
Terrorising free speech.
Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win"
, has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
posted by acrobat
on Sep 29, 2004 -
Army to recall former military members It is good to be too old!
"The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army officials said Tuesday."
posted by Postroad
on Jun 29, 2004 -
Gmail 4 Troops! The idea of matching U.S. troops in need of a low-cost way to communicate with their friends, family, and other loved ones back home with those who have spare Gmail invitations is the brainchild of Wil Wheaton and Drew Olanoff. Gmail4Troops is their project, as a result of their inspiration. The sponsors here, including Whizardries and ISIPP, are here to help further and support Drew and Wil's project, and are honoured to be able to assist Wil and Drew, and to serve our troops serving overseas, and their loved ones back home, in this manner .
posted by konolia
on Jun 22, 2004 -
From the where-are-they-now (-and-I-hope-they-are-doing-ok) file: Jeremy Botter
, our medic man in Iraq
, has just released all his posts from Iraq as a free downloadable PDF
. It contains the story of capturing Saddam, getting bombed at camp as soldiers died, and a whole lot of playstation2.
posted by mathowie
on Jun 1, 2004 -
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...?)
posted by insomnia_lj
on May 4, 2004 -
How Kerry Earned His Decorations
For all the loud mouths who shout out that Kerry is a traitor, a guy who did not earn his medals, read this and then compare your medals with his! Did he turn against the war? Sure. Many soldiers did too. The nation also turned against the war and, finally, some responsible for getting us into the war admitted their mistake. "Kerry is one of the Senate's most decorated veterans — though he has far fewer medals than friend John McCain — and his record is impressive for an officer who spent just 10 months in Vietnam. Each of the medals below came with a matching ribbon. Kerry wore his ribbons when he testified before a Senate committee in 1971; the next day, joining hundreds of other vets, he lobbed them at the Capitol. "
posted by Postroad
on May 4, 2004 -
US Military Develops Robotic Exoskeleton.
The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton, or Bleex, is powered by an internal combustion engine, and can allow soldiers or rescue workers to carry heavy loads over long distances. Article is a follow-up to this story
. Perhaps this is the first step towards robotic assistance for the physically impaired. (Aside: a thank you to Soyjoy, who is a good man indeed!)
posted by mcgraw
on Mar 11, 2004 -
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.
posted by kablam
on Feb 20, 2004 -
Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out.
"What I want to say as my final statement to America is 'Stop letting your proud men and women die so senselessly. If we are going to die for our country let it be for something we can really be proud of. I just don t see us making the US any safer from terrorists because of what we are doing in Iraq. Bring us back home so we can defend the US from real threats to our shores.'" "Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Feb 7, 2004 -
The U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 500 this weekend, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years
of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.
posted by the fire you left me
on Jan 18, 2004 -
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
posted by y2karl
on Dec 30, 2003 -
Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!
Alan Tudball was supposed to marry his fiance Claire McCombe in April of this year, but unfortunately Iraq -- and friendly fire
from two U.S. A-10 tankbusters
(video) -- spoiled the wedding plans. Tudball would have died if not for brave Christopher Finney
, who rescued the grievously wounded Tudball, even as the U.S. planes circled around for another strafing run.
refused to pay the wedding's cancellation fee, and the Leasowe Castle Hotel
-- not knowing of Tudball's circumstances -- initiated a lawsuit, but after media attention and several concerned phone calls (mine included), I am pleased to announce that the management of the Leasowe Castle Hotel has announced that they are not only dropping the lawsuit, but that they will host the wedding of Mr. Alan Tudball and Miss Claire McCombe free of charge. It's worth noting that when our leaders seem to only be capable of serving up plastic turkeys, the action of ordinary people working together can still bring about honest-to-goodness Christmas miracles.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 23, 2003 -
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.
posted by tpoh.org
on Sep 28, 2003 -
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."
posted by skallas
on Sep 7, 2003 -
Support out troops?
The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.
posted by whatever
on Aug 14, 2003 -
Books Go To War
Between 1943 and 1947, the Council on Books in Wartime published 1322 small-format books
(4 in. x 5.75 in. — designed to fit easily into the pockets of service uniforms) for distribution to United States service personnel. These books were unabridged volumes
spanning a variety of topics: popular fiction, humor, classic literature, music, psychology, war stories, etc. Because the books were distributed only
to overseas troops, and printed on cheap paper (intended to be read, passed around, and discarded), they've become hard-to-find, the subject of museum exhibits
and, in the case of the rarer titles
, the object
posted by jdroth
on Jul 25, 2003 -