Friday, May 23, 2008

25th INFANTRY DIVISION-FIRST STRYKER BRIGADE--COMBAT VIDEO WITH MUSIC FROM IRAQ WAR

This weekend we honor past war heroes with Memorial Day, but there are war heroes still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and this video with music depicts just one unit---the 25th Infantry Division, First Stryker Brigade as they battle in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC0PiFRuBWI

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MARINES IN FALLUJAH---GRAPHIC VIDEO OF THE BATTLE FOR FALLUJAH

The mainstream media is hyping that the Iraqi Army is moving into Sadr City to take control of it over the enemy combatants, but what the mainstream media is not telling the American public is that the war has again shifted to Fallujah where this video footage with music of Marines fighting to bring control to Fallujah was shot. WARNING: Graphic language and pictures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzu3RV-vtSQ

RAT TEAM MUSIC VIDEO FROM IRAQ WAR---COMBAT ENGINEERS

I was a Combat Engineer in the US Army during the Korean war and I thought this video was an especially great tribute to the Army Engineers on this Memorial Day weekend. Far too many Americans have no idea what our brave young men and women are going through in Iraq. The mainstream media, and especially cable news stations, no longer cover the Iraq war and IMO that is not only a shame, it is a crime and an insult to every young person serving our country and their families back in the United States.

For those reasons we present this outstanding VIDEO;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sep63Dv2Gs

LONELY TRAIN-A VIDEO TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO AREN'T HOME ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY

While Americans all across the United States gather for cookouts and family get togethers, this video shows another side of American life of our young men and women engaged in combat in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1SagJ8Xgkg

COMBAT IN IRAQ. VIDEO WITH MUSIC

The mainstream media in the United States doesn't want Americans to know there is still a war going on Iraq, but we refuse to be intimidated by the media and will continue to show what our brave young men and women face every single day in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed8WrcR_NnI

BLAZE OF GLORY--A VIDEO TRIBUTE TO OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN IN IRAQ

Perhaps it is time to stop on this Memorial Day weekend and remember the men and women who are still fighting every single day to try and bring democracy to Iraq. They may be an Army of occupation, but they are still engaged in combat operations.

This video spells out in vivid footage what it is like to be in the Iraq war zone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODIa2qnuZ4w

NEW VIDEO:US COMPANY IN IRAQ ACCUSED OF MALPRACTICE

Most of you have heard about how US companies are making money hand over fist from the Iraq war. Many of them use former US military officers as lobbyists. This NEW video gives you a birds eye view of how one company is using the Iraq war to reap huge profits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLO6fticUK8

WASHINGTON POST: SURGE IN US AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ. SAVES TROOPS LIVES BUT MANY CIVILIANS KILLED

In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. AirstrikesMilitary Says Attacks Save Troops' Lives, but Civilian Casualties Elicit Criticism

By Ernesto LondoƱo and Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, May 23, 2008
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/22/AR2008052203869.html

CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- From an Apache helicopter, Capt. Ben Katzenberger's battlefield resembles a vast mosaic of tiny brown boxes.

"The city looks like a bucket of Legos dumped out on the ground," the 26-year-old pilot said. "It's brown Legos, no color. It's really dense and hard to pick things out because everything looks the same."

He uses a powerful lens to zoom in on tiny silhouettes, trying to identify people with "hostile intent" among hundreds of ordinary citizens in Baghdad.

In recent weeks, Katzenberger and other pilots have dramatically increased their use of helicopter-fired missiles against enemy fighters, often in densely populated areas. Since late March, the military has fired more than 200 Hellfire missiles in the capital, compared with just six missiles fired in the previous three months.

The military says the tactic has saved the lives of ground troops and prevented attacks, but the strikes have also killed and wounded civilians, provoking criticism from Iraqis.

On Wednesday, eight people, including two children, were killed when a U.S. helicopter opened fire on a group of Iraqis traveling to a U.S. detention center to greet a man who was being released from custody, Iraqi officials said.

The U.S. military said in a statement that it had targeted men linked to a suicide bombing network. "Unfortunately, two children were killed when the other occupants of the vehicle, in which they were riding, exhibited hostile intent," the statement said.

U.S. officials say they go to great lengths to avoid harming civilians in airstrikes.

Click on link to read full account.

SENATE PASSES NEW GI BILL 75-22 GIVING VETS BETTER EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS. MCCAIN DIDN'T SHOW UP FOR VOTE

Senate Passes Senator Webb's GI Bill, 75 to 22 - Bill is Now Veto Proof

See list of Senators who voted against the bill at end of this story.

Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain didn't show up for vote. He was attending fund raising events.

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/ArticleID/10193

May 22, 2008, Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka issued the following statement today regarding his votes in favor of passage of amendments to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2642):

“I am delighted that Senate approved the New GI Bill for the 21st Century that I worked closely with Senator Webb to develop.

This measure would establish a new program of educational assistance for veterans and service members. Sadly, President Bush, who sent our troops into war and is again requesting billions of dollars to pay for it, has threatened to veto this measure.

“Today, I extend my personal pledge to Senator Webb and all who support a revitalized GI Bill. If bill is vetoed and Congress fails to override the veto, I will bring Senator Webb’s New GI Bill before the Veterans’ Affairs Committee during our markup next month and urge that the Committee favorably report it to the Senate.

It is time to give those young servicemembers, stepping forward voluntarily and putting themselves in harm’s way, an opportunity for quality educational assistance. We must make good on our promise of an education in return for serving honorably in our military. I am committed to seeing this legislation become law.”

Akaka is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. He is a veteran of World War II and was a beneficiary of the original WWII GI Bill. -END-

25 Senators Failed to Support GI Bill for Veterans:
NAYs ---22Alexander (R-TN)Allard (R-CO)Barrasso (R-WY)Bennett (R-UT)Brownback (R-KS)Bunning (R-KY)Burr (R-NC)Cochran (R-MS)Corker (R-TN)Cornyn (R-TX)DeMint (R-SC)Ensign (R-NV)Enzi (R-WY)Graham (R-SC)Grassley (R-IA)Gregg (R-NH)Hatch (R-UT)Kyl (R-AZ)Lugar (R-IN)McConnell (R-KY)Sessions (R-AL)Voinovich (R-OH)
Not Voting - 3Coburn (R-OK)Kennedy (D-MA)McCain (R-AZ)

US TAXPAYER MONEY GOES DOWN THE DRAIN IN IRAQ

We knew it was bad in Iraq, but we never knew there was this much corruption going on in Iraq and it is costing the US taxpayer BILLIONS of dollars.

This is just a small sample of the corruption going on in Iraq with the new US-backed government.

It is mind-boggling to think schools, roads and health care in the United States are in dire need of help and yet the Bush administration continues to pour more and more money into the failed strategy to turn Iraq into a democracy.


Corruption costs Iraq $4 billion annually. $8.8 billion the U.S. gave the Iraqi government cannot be fully accounted for. More than 20% of the government’s Ministry of Interior staff are “ghost employees”—nonexistent workers who collect paychecks. As much as 30% of Iraq’s refined oil ends up on the black market or is illegally taken out of the country. The U.S. government says the insurgency raises $25 to $100 million a year smuggling oil. $9 billion in oil revenues has been lost, almost as much as Saddam Hussein stole from the U.N. Oil-for-Food program over five years.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/bill_me_later.html

With Friends Like These41 cents of every dollar of American reconstruction money is spent on the Iraqi military or police. 3 cents goes to “democracy building.” A newly recruited Iraqi soldier makes $60 a month. Iraqi units report that half of their soldiers go awol when sent to new combat areas. The Pentagon says it’s trying to instill “a more deployable mindset.” Of the 323,000 members of Iraq’s security forces, 1/3 are considered “technically proficient” and only 10,000 are “politically dependable.” American trainers report that 70% of the police force has been infiltrated by militias. 90,000 rifles and 80,000 pistols supplied to the Iraqi security forces cannot be accounted for.

Click on link to read more if you can stomach it.

GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH A PARENT IN IRAQ ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN

High school in wartime sets soldiers' kids apart

By KRISTIN M. HALL, Associated Press Writer 24 minutes ago
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080523/ap_on_re_us/iraq_war_grads

When Evelyn Burwell put on a cap and gown to accept her high school diploma, she knew someone wasn't in the audience — her dad.
The 18-year-old's father is serving in Iraq, like so many other parents of her classmates at Fort Campbell High School, the largest high school on an American military base. His service has meant missing two of his children's high school graduations, countless anniversaries and birthdays, and this year, his daughter being crowned prom queen.
"You don't even have to explain it most of the time; everybody feels the same way," said Burwell.
Burwell and the other students here understand their parents' sacrifice, and there is an unspoken bond that allows them to vent their frustrations about the war and deployments. They may be graduating like millions of others across the country this spring, but their memories of school life in wartime set the class of 116 teenagers apart.
Most had at least one parent gone on lengthy deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan. Former classmates have gone on to fight, some dying in service. Students have watched as uniformed soldiers came to neighbors' homes to notify families of war deaths.
Burwell's father, Lt. Col. Dave Burwell, was able to watch his daughter graduate on a special Internet broadcast in Iraq. He hopes she and his other children understand why he couldn't be there.
"I pray that my children will understand and appreciate that the sacrifices that they made during my years of deployment and service helped secure a bright future for their generation," he said in an e-mail interview from Iraq.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean thousands of American teenagers have grown up without a military parent at home. Studies have shown that military family adolescents are very adaptive to deployments but are still prone to school performance problems or signs of depression.
Every student at Fort Campbell High has a parent in the military, and most of them grow up the moment a soldier mom or dad steps out the door. They take on extra chores at home, look after younger siblings, work jobs and set aside their own desires.
"Now I have to step up, be the man, take on the responsibilities," says Josh McWherter, whose dad listened to him win the AA football state championship on the radio while deployed in Iraq. "I didn't get the time I wish I could have had if he had been home for me to grow into those responsibilities, but I feel like I've done a pretty good job."
Outside Fort Campbell High, the surrounding base bustles with activity as Humvees and trucks rumble past and the "Screaming Eagle" emblem of the 101st Airborne waves prominently on a flag at the school's entrance.
Administrators know that problems at school can be intensified by a parent's deployment. Teachers often act as counselors, adjusting to an individual student's individual needs. But Fort Campbell High operates just like any other high school, and rules don't get bent just because a student has a deployed parent.
"So if they come in and act out, that's where our job really gets to be out of the cookie cutter recipe," said principal David Witte.
McWherter says he doesn't use his dad's absence as an excuse for bad grades or getting stressed out.
"If we're going to use that as an excuse, why couldn't the whole school?" he said, shrugging. "I feel like you have to be responsible."
Deployed parents make Fort Campbell students more aware of the war than their counterparts at nonmilitary high schools. Witte said the class was brought even closer together by the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan of two former classmates, Pfc. Ron Joshua Jr. and Pfc. Timothy Vimoto, last summer.
Vimoto graduated in 2006 while Joshua spent two years at Fort Campbell High before transferring to a school in Texas. The two soldiers were honored by friends, teachers and coaches at a tearful memorial service at the school only weeks before graduation.
"When you know the people, it's different than just hearing the news say another soldier died," said Jesse Naputi, 17, a linebacker on the football team that Vimoto helped lead as a student manager. "That was your friend: you've got memories of him, you used to eat lunch with him, you used to play football with him, you were close. When they are gone, it's not just another statistic."
Darrissa Dodson, 17, said every death on the base creates stress among soldiers' children. She recalled coming home after middle school one day and seeing two uniformed soldiers walking to a neighbor's house, thinking it was odd that recruiters were visiting a home where only women lived.
"But then I stayed outside for a minute and I saw the girls run outside," Dodson said, her eyes welling with tears as she recounted the memory. "They were crying and saying, 'No, no, not us. It's the wrong person.' I realized that their dad had died and they had just found out. So that was hard on me and I didn't even know them."
The students voice little resentment over being without a parent during a time of war.
"My father doesn't do an everyday job," Naputi said. "Coming from a military childhood, it makes you that much more stronger. And that's going to help me along in life. I wouldn't want to change it, to tell you the truth. It's something different — I'm proud of it."

NEWS ALERT: US AIR STRIKE KILLS 8 IRAQI CIVILIANS


The US military in Iraq wants to do everything possible to hold down casualties of US troops as we approach the election in the United States so air strikes have been stepped up, but for all the ballyhoo about "precision bombing" the air strikes are anything but "precision" and the latest "precision bombing" killed 8 Iraqi civilians, including two children.

BEIJING, (Xinhuanet) -- An overnight U.S. air strike hit a village in Iraq's Salahudin province, killing eight civilians, including two children, a provincial police source said on Thursday.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/22/content_8229702.htm

The incident occurred when U.S. troops conducted a search operation late on Wednesday in the Mazra'a village near town Beiji, some 200 kilometers north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua.
Colonel Mudhher al-Qaisi, police chief in the town of Beiji, said the attack was on a group of shepherds in a vehicle in a farming area. Relatives said some of those killed were fleeing on foot after the U.S. military arrived in the area.
"This is a criminal act. It will make the relations between Iraqi citizens and the U.S. forces tense. This will negatively affect security improvements," Qaisi told Reuters. A U.S. military spokeswoman, Lieutenant-Colonel Maura Gillen, said the helicopter fired on the vehicle after observing "suspicious activity." She said the driver had ignored warnings to stop.

MICHAEL SAVAGE IS MOST SAVAGE SHOCK JOCK OF ALL


The Most Savage Shock Jock of Them All

Savage once owned the Communist bookstore "City Lights" in San Francisco.

By Rory O'Connor and Aaron Cutler, AlterNet BooksPosted on May 23, 2008, Printed on May 23, 2008

http://www.alternet.org/story/86237/

Who is Michael Savage? On its surface the question seems obvious: he's a 66-year-old nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host whose program, The Savage Nation, airs five days a week from its home base of KNEW in San Francisco. He's the founder of the Paul Revere Society, which, according to its mission statement, aims to "take back our borders, our language, and our traditional culture from the liberal left corroding our great nation." He's a former MSNBC cable television talk host who was red after four months on the job after he told a phone caller, "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig." He's also the third most popular radio talk show host in America, whose weekly audience of more than eight million listeners is surpassed only by Limbaugh and Hannity.

Dig deeper, however, and the question of who Savage is, and how truly savage he is, becomes far more complicated. "Savage" isn't his real name; it seems to speak to his heightened sense of masculinity, his aggression, and his antipathy toward minorities. Born Michael Alan Weiner, "Savage" is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He earned two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in nutritional ethnomedicine from that liberal bastion the University of California, Berkeley. He's written two dozen books, five as Michael Savage and an additional 19 under his given name, on medicine, the subjects of which range from maintaining a healthy diet to breaking a cocaine habit. But by any name, he professes to know what's good for you.

Before the vitriolic monologist emerged, there was another, kinder and gentler Michael. This one roamed Greenwich Village and the Bay Area in the early 1970s, kept a weathered copy of On the Road in his back pocket, and lay on the beach with the renowned beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti whenever he wasn't working on stand-up comedy routines. He guarded Timothy Leary's LSD supply, and he even once posed naked in a photograph with Ginsberg, a well-known and very public homosexual, which he distributed among friends in an attempt to prove himself part of the counterculture. At some point, however, more than 25 years ago, something took a sinister turn and, like Prince Hal rejecting Falstaff, Savage suddenly disavowed his former friends. In a 2006 interview for SF Weekly, Savage explained, "I was once a child; I am now a man." In the same interview, he said of Ginsberg, "I looked at him almost like a rabbinic figure. Little did I know that he was the fucking devil." For Savage, rejecting his old friends was simply a part of growing up.

The moralist, the healer, and the hedonist -- there's a tension between his three identities, which interact like a trio of siblings elbowing each other for seconds at the dinner table. As one listens to his conservative radio talk personality, one is moved to question whether it's his true self, not because Savage isn't consistent in his views, but because the views are so grotesque it's difficult to believe that anyone-let alone a former beatnik-could espouse them with a straight face. While it's more than passing strange for a homophobic, conservative radio host to work out of San Francisco, Savage continues to broadcast nationally from his base in the city he likes to call "San Fran Sicko."

Savage is so extreme that even many of his fellow right-wing talk radio personalities don't like him. Bill O'Reilly calls him a "smear merchant," while Neal Boortz refers to Savage as "the Antichrist." Although Talkers Magazine recently bestowed its annual Freedom of Speech award upon Savage, publisher Michael Harrison says he thinks the man is "an asshole." Liberal advocacy organizations such as GLAAD and ACLU have censured him. Liberal media watchdog groups have compiled long lists of the especially inflammatory remarks Savage has made-many of which must be heard or seen in print to be believed. Collectively they justify the cautionary statement that is read by an announcer before each edition of The Savage Nation.

Click on link to read full story.

US TURNS TO AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ TO SAVE GI LIVES, BUT CIVILIAN CASUALTIES MOUNT

The US military command in Iraq has switched tactics and are now using more and more air strikes in a calculated move to save the lives of ground troops as we grow closer to the election.

In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. AirstrikesMilitary Says Attacks Save Troops' Lives, but Civilian Casualties Elicit Criticism

By Ernesto LondoƱo and Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, May 23, 2008; A10
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/22/AR2008052203869_pf.html

CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- From an Apache helicopter, Capt. Ben Katzenberger's battlefield resembles a vast mosaic of tiny brown boxes.
"The city looks like a bucket of Legos dumped out on the ground," the 26-year-old pilot said. "It's brown Legos, no color. It's really dense and hard to pick things out because everything looks the same."

He uses a powerful lens to zoom in on tiny silhouettes, trying to identify people with "hostile intent" among hundreds of ordinary citizens in Baghdad.

In recent weeks, Katzenberger and other pilots have dramatically increased their use of helicopter-fired missiles against enemy fighters, often in densely populated areas. Since late March, the military has fired more than 200 Hellfire missiles in the capital, compared with just six missiles fired in the previous three months.

The military says the tactic has saved the lives of ground troops and prevented attacks, but the strikes have also killed and wounded civilians, provoking criticism from Iraqis.

BREAKING NEWS: BLAST ROCKS FALLUJAH

The city of Fallujah has been hailed by the Bush Administration their mouthpiece FOX NEWS as a model of how well "the surge" is working, however early Friday morning a blast ripped through a government building in Fallujah and large plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the city.

It is too early to tell if there were any casualties or who set off the bomb.

Source: http://www.aswataliraq.info/look/english/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrArticle=80107&NrIssue=2&NrSection=1

HOLLYWOOD IS BECOMING THE PENTAGON'S MOUTHPIECE FOR PROPAGANDA

"Liberal Hollywood" is a favorite whipping-boy of right-wingers who suppose the town and its signature industry are ever-at-work undermining the U.S. military. In reality, the military has been deeply involved with the film industry since the Silent Era. Today, however, the ad hoc arrangements of the past have been replaced by a full-scale one-stop shop, occupying a floor of a Los Angeles office building. There, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense itself have established entertainment liaison offices to help ensure that Hollywood makes movies the military way.

By Nick Turse, Tomdispatch.comPosted on May 22, 2008, Printed on May 23, 2008

http://www.alternet.org/story/86093/

What they have to trade, especially when it comes to blockbuster films, is access to high-tech, tax-payer funded, otherwise unavailable gear. What they get in return is usually the right to alter or shape scripts to suit their needs. If you want to see the fruits of this relationship in action, all you need to do is head down to your local multiplex. Chances are that Iron Man -- the latest military-entertainment masterpiece -- is playing on a couple of screens.
For the past three weeks, Iron Man --a film produced by its comic-book parent Marvel and distributed by Paramount Pictures -- has cleaned up at the box office, taking in a staggering $222.5 million in the U.S. and $428.5 million worldwide. The movie, which opened with "the tenth biggest weekend box office performance of all time" and the second biggest for a non-sequel, has the added distinction of being the "best-reviewed movie of 2008 so far." For instance, in the New York Times, movie reviewer A.O. Scott called Iron Man "an unusually good superhero picture," while Roger Ebert wrote: "The world needs another comic book movie like it needs another Bush administration... [but] if we must have one more... 'Iron Man' is a swell one to have." There has even been nascent Oscar buzz.

Click on link to read full story.