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News ::
U.S. TROOP MORALE PLUMMETS AS ANGER MOUNTS (english)
17 Aug 2003
Modified: 20 Aug 2003
U.S. TROOP MORALE PLUMMETS AS ANGER MOUNTS

By Heather Cottin
-------------------------
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Aug. 21, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper
-------------------------

U.S. TROOP MORALE PLUMMETS AS ANGER MOUNTS

By Heather Cottin

As the Pentagon's occupation of Iraq deepens, GIs and their families are growing angry at the brass and the U.S. government.

An anguished mother in Shelbourne Falls, Mass., waits for word of her
son, Justin, who is stationed in the Iraqi desert. "I want them to bring our troops home. I am appalled at Bush's policies. He has got us into a terrible mess," said Susan Schuman. "I don't know anyone around here who disagrees with me."

Web sites filled with e-mails from soldiers and families who oppose the war against Iraq and the military occupation are proliferating.
"Somewhere down the line, we became an occupation force in [Iraqi]
eyes," said Private Isaac Kindblade of the 671st Engineer Company. "We
are outnumbered. We are exhausted. We are in over our heads. The
president says, 'Bring 'em on.'" (observer.guardian.co.uk)

A father in Nashville, Tenn., made public an email his soldier son sent him from Iraq. "We are here because he ordered us to be here and now for him to make such a ridiculous statement inviting violence towards us causes us to lose respect for him and his judgment. We are learning that we never should have come here in the first place." The son also wrote, "Get us out of here now! There is nothing we can do to pacify the Iraqi people except get out of their country and allow them to restore order in whatever way THEY wish." (join-snafu.org)

Workers World interviewed two mothers of Marines from Suffolk County,
L.I. Suzy and Shalini were both adamantly against the war and the
occupation. But they asked that WW not use their last names in order to protect their sons.

"My son is coming home," said Suzy, "but I heard that the trailers that were supposed to be making Weapons of Mass Destruction were actually making helium for children's balloons. I cannot bear that our young people were sent to kill the children of Iraq who just wanted to have beautiful balloons."

Shalini's son was returning, too. "He opposes the war," she said. He is a Marine whom the recruiters pursued. "They should never be allowed to talk to these kids in high school."

The indifference of the military brass to the plight of the soldiers is causing growing resentment, too.

An aunt of a GI in Iraq told Workers World that her nephew measured the temperature inside of his uniform. "It was 150 degrees," she said. When a soldier recently died of heat stroke in Iraq it was no surprise to her.

In Lynwood, Ill., a father mourns his daughter, Army Spc. Rachael Lacy, who died of pneumonia. Moses Lacy said his daughter "was a healthy young woman," but that she had fallen ill within days of receiving anthrax and smallpox vaccinations and never recovered. The Army reports that 100 soldiers have gotten pneumonia in Iraq and southwestern Asia. Two died and another 13 had to be put on respirators.

Erik Gustafson, a veteran of the 1991 Gulf war, has founded Veterans for Common Sense. "There is an anger boiling under the surface now," he said.

This anger, notes the online observer.guardian, is exacerbated by
government plans to reverse recent increases in "imminent danger" pay
and a family-separation allowance.

Even the conservative Army Times military newspaper said these planned
cuts made "the Bush administration seem mean-spirited and hypocritical."

And as reported GI casualties are mounting, the Guardian of London
reveals that "U.S. military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media." The newspaper reports that 827 GIs have been wounded since the military assault began.

But the number may actually be in the thousands: Lt. Col. Allen DeLane
told Nat ional Public Radio that 4,000 wounded soldiers have been
shipped home to hospitals at Andrews Air Force Base, Walter Reed and
Bethesda, and that 90 percent of injuries were directly war-related.
(Julian Borger, The Guardian, Aug. 4)

U.S. government officials aren't just covering up the number of GI
casualties. They are hiding the numbers of Iraqi dead and wounded, too. And they are covering up the brutal reality of the colonial occupation of Iraq. That's why they want to silence the troops and their families. They are afraid of the GIs, their loved ones, and all the people of the United States who want to end the occupation, end the bloodshed, end the lies and bring the troops home now.

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY,
NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) wwpublish.com. Subscribe wwnews-
on (at) wwpublish.com. Unsubscribe wwnews-off (at) wwpublish.com. Support the
voice of resistance http://www.workers.org/orders/donate.php)
See also:
www.workers.org
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Comments

I Can Confirm This Story...!!!! (english)
18 Aug 2003
After just getting back from the Gulf ( I was there since October 2002) and serving proudly with the Marines, I can confirm that the above story is absolute and total BULLSHIT. With the exception of a few whiners ( who didn't want to go in the first place), morale is good. The real problem is the "fast food society" that we live in is unable to comprehend that a mission like this takes time. Unfortunately people will get hurt or worse, but this job has to be done. We GREATLY appreciate your support, but just let us do our job...... The W.M.D.'s will turn up eventually by the way, they're just well hidden. If you can hide fighters, then you can hide a coke bottle fun of anthrax pretty easily.....IT"S A HUGE COUNTRY !!!!!!!!
After Bush's buddies plant the WMD! (english)
18 Aug 2003
Being prior military, and American born...I guess I can comment to the above...(Freedom of Speech!)
There is NO Weapons of Mass Destruction. If there is?...The CIA will plant them!
And as far as any rational person would feel, in a illegal war, such as Iraq? Get me the hell out of there!!!
Hey...I got a great idea! Send Bush, Rummy and Cheney over there for 6 months. Let them get shot at...Let them get no rest, showers and spit on...
Fuck this 1 billion dollar a month oil war. BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! NO MORE LIES! NO MORE DEATHS! Give the damn country back to the Iraqis!
Ok kris... (english)
19 Aug 2003
What branch of the military did you serve in kris....M.O.S. please, and how long did you serve....My guess, not to long. Why is this war illegal..?? Was it illegal when Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998 ?? Was it illegal when Clinton bombed Yugoslavia( where we had no business being) to get himself out of a sex scandal.....? ( the answer to the clinto scenarios could be, YES), or when Clinton got Americans killed in Somalia. Why weren't you protesting..?? People, like YOU, didn't complain because thier icon was running the show. You are not against the war, face it, you are just against President Bush. If the "clintonistas" were still in power you, and others like you, would think the war was "wonderful because we are saving the children". Iraq, and a few other nations, are a clear and present danger to the U.S. and must be dealt with. It's not a pleasant job, but it has to be done.....So get over it !!!!
Stop Pollishing Your War Balls (english)
19 Aug 2003
Bush needs to be taken off his high horse by none

other than the American people, whom he lies to

consistantly.
Its ok for Mr. Bush, he comes from a bloodline worth

billions (old money-oil), while the majority of Americans

will never own their own home. (When I say American, I

mean United States Citizen of the 51) The elderly and

youth of America have been ignored by Mr. Bush and his

administration, who is more concerned with International

appeal than domestic issues. He is really no better than

Saddam Hussein, because they are all killers.
I hope that the American people don't allow Mr. Bush

to ruin their country by provoking terrorism, and trying

to run everybodys business. (He is a greedy bird)
Its the everyday American citizen who will suffer most in

the New World Order, it is their

brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers coming home in body bags

from the Middle East, not Mr. Bush's family.
While many Americans bury their loved ones and know just

how much they've lost, Mr. Bush will be clad in a flight

jacket on the deck of another carrier boasting that he

wants to help the people of the next resourse filled

nation so that he can take whats there too, considering

it has extreme international value.
The administration is only interested in the Capital

class of American society, not the Burgeoisie or

Proletariat classes.
I've got one question for G.W.Bush, Who made you and your

administration the dictators of right and wrong is this

world?
Mind your own business. Take care of your schools,

hospitals and citizens, half of your propaganda and war

budget would fix each and every school and hospital in

the nation. Mr. Bush needs to tell the American people

that statistic.
Comment to James (english)
20 Aug 2003
Firstly, I thank God that you made it home safely. My prayers are also with all of the Iraqi people and with the troops that have been dumped on them.

I would hope that you did believe in the cause that sent you and thousands of others on this mission. Otherwise putting your life in danger, as well as being willing to risk Iraqi lives would be not only insane, but evil. I do not now and have never believed that the publically stated rationales were true.

That being said, I think you are WAY off base as regards WMD. Did the Iraqi government have them at some time? Perhaps...probably...maybe not. The one thing that does seem clear, however is that Mr. Bush and/or his advisors deliberately and systematically lied to Congress and to the American people in order to force us into war. Intelligence data was manipulated, spun and manufactured to suit the needs of the Bush regime.

And as regards Yugoslavia, Somalia, Gulf War Part1, AND Panama, Liberia, etc, I don't take any pride in any of those military interventions either. I have no love for Bill Clinton, but please note that some of the military actions which you cited were entered into under the misguided leadership of George Bush I and Ronald Reagan. And don't forget that Saddam Hussein's "reign of terror" was brought to you courtesy of the Reagan/Bush "reign of terror."

So clearly there's plenty of blame to go around. The American people have to stop acting like a pack of pathetic sheep, and start taking responsibility for their own lives, actions (or INaction), and government!