:: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 ::

Welcome to the Occupation

As British troops prepare to go into Northern Iraq (surely agreed by Blair some time ago) minds will be concentrated on our occupation of that land once again. The British troops are there to free up US troops for a massive post-election assault on centres of resistance. Bush is waiting till after the November Presidential elections, for obvious reasons. More talk about "terrists" and less dead GI's on screen whilst voters are contemplating where to put their cross.

Iraq Occupation Focus is a campaign that is worth checking out. It is also a valuable news source and I can recommend its email newsletter.

A sample from the current issue:

US soldiers refuse orders, while others grow disillusioned

The New York Times reports (October 16): Some 18 members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company were detained at gunpoint for nearly two days after disobeying orders to drive trucks to Taji, about 15 miles north of Baghdad. Jackie Butler, wife of Staff Sgt. Michael Butler, said an officer from Iraq told her “that my husband was being detained for disobeying a direct order ... and he went on to tell me that it was a bogus charge that they got against him and some of those soldiers over there, because what they was doing was sending them into a suicide mission, and they refused to go.” It is unclear if this is the first time a group of soldiers in Iraq has refused to carry out orders, and the military is playing down the incident as an isolated event.

Patricia McCook told the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger that her husband, a staff sergeant, “understands the severity of disobeying orders but he did not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip. ‘He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that.’ A mother of another soldier in the unit said her daughter told her: ‘They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at’. Kathy Harris, mother of Aaron Gordon, who was among those detained, said conditions for the platoon have been difficult of late. Her son e-mailed her earlier this week to ask what the penalty would be if he became physical with a commanding officer, she said.”

:: Alister | 3:48 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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