Before Army 1st Lt. Bianca Philson's first deployment to Iraq earlier this year, she trained as a battle captain, learning how to keep commanders informed of progress during fierce fights against insurgents.
Philson's extensive drills included simulated urban gun battles, intelligence gathering and jamming signals to prevent the detonation of roadside bombs. Now that she's been in Iraq for five months, how much of that training is put into practice?
"None," said Philson, 24, of Huntsville, Ala. "I don't do any of that stuff."
The above is from Hannah Allam's "For U.S. combat soldiers, new role in Iraq is frustrating" (McClatchy Newspapers) so they stay on the base. And they stay in Iraq and it's really past time Americans stopped asking why and started demanding all US service members out of Iraq. There is no reason for them to be in Iraq. Not only was there never an excuse to start a war, there is no reason for the US to be there now. Nothing is being accomplished. Nothing. But US forces are insulted by the thugs the US government installed. From Allam's "Iraqis, Americans seeking a new relationship" (McClatchy Newspapers):
"History records everything about the invasion of 2003 and it will say that Baghdad fell because of air strikes," Maliki said, speaking slowly so the interpreter wouldn't miss the implicit insult that the U.S. military had avoided hand-to-hand combat. The interpreter grimaced, but did his job.
The Americans looked uneasy. One muttered, "Is he saying what I think he's saying?" The room grew quiet. Another soldier said, diplomatically, that things had changed since 2003.
"Yes, yes, we're friends now, and I'm proud to be your friend," Maliki said quickly. "It's not supposed to go on, this tension. We should remember the real enemy was Saddam Hussein."
So the US government started an illegal war and then ignored the needs of the Iraqi people to install thugs. The Iraqis have to live under these thugs (most of the thugs fled Iraq and lived in exile for years -- they wanted a 'change' but were too chicken s**t to do it themselves). Now these installed thugs and their puppets think they can insult American service members. That's what happens when you install criminals. All US forces need to leave Iraq and leave now. We'll return to this topic in the next entry.
From the June 16th snapshot: "Today the US military announced: 'CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq -- A Multi-National Division-South Soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device near the city of Samawah June 16. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. The name of the Soldier will be announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official Web site at http://www.defenselink.mil/. The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next-of-kin.' The announcement brought to 4313 the number of US service members killed in the Iraq War." Denny Boyles (Fresno Bee) reported the soldier was 25-year-old Joshua Soto and quotes his aunt Carol Maldonado stating, "Joshua's brother Shane is serving in the Air Force, and he called home after he was told his brother had died in Tallil." Boyles notes that Joshua Soto's survivors include a widow and "a 10-month old son" as well as "eight sets of aunts and uncles". Norma Yuriar (KMPH, link has text and video) quoted Joshua's friends Koneeshia and Brenda Brown stating that he was on his third tour of Iraq. Koneeshia Brown declares, "Josh was a funny guy, he was a big joker and loved to mess around and play jokes on people. He was into sports and an all around good friend." Yesterday Paloma Esquivel (Los Angeles Times) reported on Joshua Soto by speaking with his brother, Air Force Sgt Shane Soto:
Just over a year earlier, he had married a young woman he met online and visited while on leave from the military.
While he was serving his third tour, his wife, Thelma, who lives in Denver, gave birth to their son, Jayden, now 1.
Shane disapproved of the marriage at first, thinking his brother should have taken more time.
Looking back now, he said, he realizes it was a blessing for his brother.
"He had the opportunity to be married and have a kid," Shane said. "He got to experience a little bit of life here before he went."
Meanwhile Erin Alberty (Salt Lake Tribune) reports 45 soldiers from Utah's Army National Guard's 2-285th Aviation Battalion are deploying to Iraq for one year while AP notes that Arizon's Army National Guard's 2-285th Assault Helicopter Battallion is sending over 250 soldiers to Iraq.
We'll note Debra Sweet's "Surge of Support Needed: $5,000 in 48 Hours" (World Can't Wait):
World Can't Wait has been able to do some amazing things while operating on a shoestring budget.
We've organized War Criminals Watch protests, disrupting business as usual in Grand Central Station, New York, and hounding war criminals like Karl Rove and John Yoo.
We've mobilized to support the targeted abortion doctor in Nevada, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, after his colleague, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered.
We broke into national news - twice this year - with large protests shutting down the military's new video-game based recruitment center in Philadelphia.
We organized the We Are Not Your Soldiers speaking tour, taking the brutal truth about the reality of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to high school students in their classrooms.
We're leading visible resistance this coming week, the start of the ninth year of the war and occupation of Afghanistan.
While we don't operate on a shoestring out of principle… even a shoestring wears out!
Donate this coming Monday and Tuesday towards our goal of $5,000 in 48 hours. This will sustain this national movement and its website and office through the fall and enable World Can't Wait to continue and grow this much-needed resistance movement.
Think of all the amazing things done with so little (and compare but don't despair at the enormous cost of death and destruction your tax dollars are financing now to the tune of $915 billion!).
Sign up for this online event and write why you want to see a surge of resistance this fall. Invite your friends to join us, either on our website or on Facebook.
We noted that in full . . . even though World Can't Wait hasn't noted Ehren Watada in the last two weeks but had more than enough time to finger point at others. You know if World Can't Wait would focus on ending wars, maybe it would end them? I was talking to a friend this weekend who, like me, never watches Fox "News" and she made a point of referring to a group of people with a "Glenn Beck" preface. She's never watched him (nor have I). That's what the left's 'leadership' has accomplished. We don't know a damn thing about anything that matters or is important but we've turned Glenn Beck into a star. We've wasted our time with all this b.s. when we should have been focusing on ending the wars. We've always had time to dabble in this and that, we just haven't had time to focus. And it's why the illegal wars continue. If I didn't care for World Can't Wait (and Debra), I wouldn't have noted their appeal. They remain, in my opinion, one of only two groups doing serious work to end the illegal wars (the other being IVAW). But I'm not in the mood for all the garbage. I'm not in the mood for Let's-fret-about-the-New-Racists! There are no new racists. There are the same racists that are always with us. They're a minority opinion and become a smaller segment of US society each year. And those of us who didn't care for the distortions of the peace movement based on the behaviors and statements of a few people shouldn't be wasting time obsessing over what is a tiny segment of the right-wing. It's garbage. It's garbage meant to make us feel superior and smarter but feel-good 'news,' like feel-good movies, are nothing but empty calories. As a society, our brains are fat enough. We need to get serious and start working them.
Bonnie notes that Kat's "Kat's Korner: Combo is the answer" went up Sunday as did Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Dream Team Take Two." The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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