Tag Archives: US soldiers

Bye Bye US Troops, Hello Iraqi Army!

It is virtually a certainty the United States will be withdrawing its forces from Iraq over the coming months, but the exact date of final departure is still unclear. A recent survey by the Army Times reveals a wide difference of opinion among Iraqis over the planned American departure from their nation. Prime Minister Maliki repeatedly insists the US must go so his army can assume control over the land. Sunni lawmaker, Mustafa al-Hiti reflected the views of many people by noting, “the aspirations of many Iraqis who want to see the occupying forces our of the country.” On the other hand, there are some who worry before leaving, America “should solve the ethnic and sectarian disputes in Iraq” in order to avoid the potentiality of civil war.

America is going to leave Iraq, the question is not merely when, but what might result in altering the plan. One concern of this writer is why have we constructed a huge embassy with 1,000 employees for such a small country?

No AWOL Deportations Promise Canadian Leaders

The government of Stephen Harper has cooperated with US authorities in returning AWOL American soldiers to America. However, Liberal and New Democratic politicians promised if the current Harper government falls, they would protect AWOL soldiers from being returned. Liberal Mario Silva said: “To all those brave men and women who have in fact objected to the (Iraq) war we say, bravo. We say welcome, you should be here in Canada.” The House of Commons in Canada passed a resolution in June calling for a cease in returning AWOL men and women to the states.

New Democrat Olivia Chow, emphasized, “we are a nation of compassion and peace. We really should not deport war resisters into American jails.” We sometime forget the brave men and woman who fought in Iraq were sent there because their president lied to them. To lie to men and women who are sent into combat should result in jail time for those who lied.

Army Charges Soldiers In Deaths Of Iraqi Detainees

The Bush war has created pain for so many people whether in Iraq or the United States and its consequences are daily unfolding in disastrous outcomes for individuals who served in the armed forces. Many carry away physical pain from the conflict, others must deal with the nightmares which invariably accompany war. Three American solders were charged yesterday for the deaths of four Iraqis who were bound, blindfolded, shot in the head and their bodies dumped into a canal last year. Four other soldiers already have been charged with conspiracy for the Iraqi deaths which, most probably, occurred as an outcome of casualties inflicted on American soldiers.

The allegations against the soldiers relate to “the deaths of several detainees who were captured as a result of combat operations.” The Sunnis were captured during a shootout between American soldiers and militants. There is no question war brings out the best and the worse in individuals. Killing captured militants or civilians can not be excused away. Unfortunately, fear and anxiety can overwhelm even decent humans and lead them to perform actions that are not part of their normal behavior.

Road Rage In Kuwait City Involves US Military

A fight broke out between Kuwaitis and members of the US army on Arabian Gulf Street in Kuwait City when a driver of a bus belong to the American army alledgedly drove recklessly and almost caused several accidents. The incident led to a clash between American soldiers on the scene with Kuwaitis. The result was a massive traffic jam, shouting people and at least one soldier who fired his weapon into the air. A retired Kuwait army officer attempted to intervene and sooth feelings but he supposedly was ignored and insulted by the American soldiers. Witnesses say the Americans insisted that Kuwait police had no authoriy over their actions and they had a right to do whatever they so desired.

These scenes of conflict between soldiers and civilians are common in war zones. An eye witness told the Arab Times Americans were driving recklessly and then shouted and threatened Kuwaitis. The incident is minor, but symbolic. As long as American military forces remain as occupiers in Arab nations we can expect such situations to occur.

April Is The Cruelest Month In Months For GIs

In September of last year, the American military lost 65 soldiers in fighting but in subsequent months the total continually declined. It declined, however, until the cruel winds of April hit those fighting. The final figures are in for April and apparently 46 fine young Americans died in fighting, mainly in Baghdad. In addition to Americans who were victims of violence, at least 400 civilians died in Baghdad fighting according to Iraqi hospital officials who are overwhelmed attempting to deal with the price of violence and brutality. The Sadr city area of over two million people has been the scene of a high percent of the fighting as militants battle Iraqi and American forces.

On Tuesday, as the month drew to a close, US forces killed 28 militants in Baghdad while losing four of their own. Baghdad hospitals are stretched to the breaking point coping with hundreds of wounded in addition to their normal case loads. Staff at the hospitals are worried they are running out of clean water and donot lhave sufficient trauma specialists to treat all those in need of help.

Numbers in the Iraq war tend to focus more often on the dead while the living are left to suffer the effects of being wounded. Hospitals have problems disposing of dead bodies, but the living ones require ongoing attention and medical supplies which frequently are not available.

Shiite Cleric Warns About End To Cease Fire

Muqtada al-Sadr, Shiite leader of the Mahdi militia, warned the Iraq government he might end the self imposed cease fire which has held his men away from fighting American and Iraq armed forces. However, his comments did not stop US and Iraq military forces from continuing their efforts to defeat the Mahdi militia in their stronghold in Sadr City. At least 12 American soldiers have died since fierce fighting began on Sunday. Iraq soldiers banned the use of vehicles on the streets of the capital for the coming days. Al-Sadr told a press conference, “I call on the Iraqi government, if it exists, to work to protect the Iraqi people, stop the spilling of blood, and the abuse of its honor.” He wants the Iraq government to join with him in demanding evacuation of American forces from Iraq.

Confusion still reigns in Iraq as its government confronts a host of enemies and with the end of Sadr’s support, there are fewer allies around to be of assistance. One reality that must be faced is the present situation emerges as the surge concludes. There is still civil war in Iraq, Iraqi civilians are dying, and so are American soldiers.

US Soldier Death Rate Nears 4,000

The figure of 4,000 deaths of American soldiers is among the few aspects of the Bush initiated war which cannot be denied away. Five years of promises the war will soon be “won” continue to be uttered by Dick Cheney and George Bush even as rockets and mortors pounded the US protected Green Zone in Baghdad. The latest violence in Basra underscored the fragile security in Iraq as the deadliest attack in weeks left 13 Iraq soldiers dead and over 40 people wounded. Gunmen fired on passengers waiting for buses in southern Baghdad leaving seven dead and 16 wounded. Police also found the bullet ridden bodies of six people dead. Although no group took responsibillity for the latest Baghdad attacks, suspicion lay on Shiite extremists.

Shiite militant leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who has ordered his Mahdi Militia to observe a cease fire now is permitting them to defend themselves in case of attack. There are rumors latest attacks on the Green Zone may come from al-Sadr forces who are responding to American pressure.

Elewhere, the American airforce claimed its planes killed 12 insurgents but the Iraq police insist those killed were innocent civilians. For many Iraqis the question of who is killing them is no longer as important as the reality they are dying in a war begun in lies.

Iraq’s Deadliest Day In Months

At least eight American soldiers died yesterday in what appears to be the deadliest day in fighting in many months. The attacks showed the ability of insurgents to strike in the heart of the heavily fortified cap[ital as welll as in the restive Diyala province. The suicide bomber hit the soldiers after they had left their Humvees and were chatting with shop owners. While face-to-face contact builds good-will, it also gives suicide bombers, who often slip past security gurard checkpoints by walking, better access to striking at soldiers.

There is no question deaths are down significantly in the past few months due to a combination of the surge, a cease-fire by radical Shiite cleric Muqutada al-Sadr, and the role of former Sunni militants and tribal groups who have switched sides to join the fight against al-Qaida. However, this is a fragile alliance which might well collapse if American troops withdraw from Iraq. An ongoing problem is failure on the part of the Iraq government to create a true alliance and become a force of unity and reconstruction. Until the Iraq government assumes leadership everything depends on an alliance which is centered in the presence of 160,000 US troops.

The Bush administration insists the surge has worked. Has it?

US Troops Grill Chief Of Staff Mike Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen held an “all hands call” session with troops at the Hickman officers club with a crowd of 200. Many of the questions came from servicemen who wer concerned about deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Chief of Staff was asked by a soldier why private contractors make six-figure salaries which is widely different from that received by those who are doing the fighting. Mullen responded that members of the military receive enlistment bonuses and efforts are being made to raise pay. Other questions related to the isue of short deploment notices for sailors who deploy as individuals and are assigned to other units and to regulations against Marines obtaining items from home that are in short supply in Iraq. Another soldier wanted to know why Marine officers are issued new M4 carbines while enlisted men still use the older M16 rifles. Admiral Mullen admitted he had previously been asked the question and still doesn’t have a good answer but will try to find out.

It is refreshing an American leader esponsible for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is actually having an open dialogue with those who must bear the brunt of fighting. He noted his concern “about the continued pressure on our armed forces — particularly on our ground forces, with the multiple deployments, the length of the deployments.”

The basic trouble is lack of sufficient troops for the multiple tasks being asked of the armed forces. Hopefully, the new president will have an answer to the question of when does it all end?