12/24/2005

Christmas in Baghdad 2005 , 3rd in a series

It's time for the seasonal special we have, "commemorating", lamenting actualy, the fact that troops have to spend the holidays on Baghdad, miles away from home, just to do.. What ? What are they still doing there Mr. President ? -- law

2005: Heartache, fear and solidarity from private citizens (zippo from Bush!)

Heartache
Churches Urged to pray for Iraq hostages this Christmas - 12/24/05

Supporters of the four Christian Peacemaker Teams activists who have been held hostage by militants in Iraq for the past month are urging churches around the world to remember tem this Christmas, along with all people detained and imprisoned in the country.

Norman Kember, Tom Fox, Harmeet Singh Sooder and Jim Loney were kidnapped in Baghdad by a group calling itself the Swords of Truth Brigades on 26 November 2005.

Two deadlines have passed during which time the militants have demanded the release of all Iraqi detainees in exchange for their lives.

Ironically the four had been meeting with Sunni clerics to discuss how best to help detainees when they were snatched.

No-one has been able to make direct contact with the hostage takers so far, but it is known that they have seen appeals for the men's release from many Muslim and Islamist leaders on Arabic TV stations.

Over the past week there have been vigils for the peace workers in Britain, Canada and the United States - as well as lobbying in Iraq and Palestine, where they have worked.

Groups seeking the release of the four men say that keeping public awareness and concern going is vital to their cause.

The fact that there has been no news of them since 8 December 2005 is seen as positive at one level, and worrying at another.

Fear of violence

U-S troops in Iraq celebrate Christmas a week early

BAGHDAD, Iraq Some American troops in Iraq have celebrated Christmas a week early.
At a base in Baghdad, members of the U-S military had their pictures taken with Santa Claus.

They also sang sacred and secular carols and wished their friends and families back home a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The festive atmosphere was mixed with regrets at being so far from home during the holidays

Heartwarming solidarity from private citizens (not from Bush!!!)
Video of Christmas fun will comfort G.I. in Iraq

Saturday, December 24, 2005 - Pfc. Jason Forsberg is spending Christmas in Iraq, but he'll still see his three daughters tearing open gifts under the tree. His wife, Jennifer, plans to record every holiday moment with a new video camera and send it to Jason via e-mail.

The camera, which records directly onto a DVD, was one of dozens of gifts from Season of Sharing contributors.. "What has been brought into my house shows incredible support for the soldiers and the people left at home," said [his wife] . "Sometimes I get to thinking that our soldiers are almost forgotten. It's times like this that I realize that they are thought of more than that."

In the eight months that Jason has been away, the family has had several health problems. They are living with Jason's parents in Forest Grove and struggling to get by on his modest salary. So gift cards totaling $1,000 for necessities, such as new tires, gas and shoes, were especially appreciated. Readers also sent money for toys, dolls, clothes, baby formula and other gifts. Two readers adopted two other military families in Jason's company, providing them with clothes, toys and gift certificates.


Excerpts from previous years
2003 Reply for "Poem of a soldier at Christmas", a pro-war chain mail often sent around this time
SANTA PROCEEDED
TO THE CHILD-PRINCE HOME
THOUSANDS OF PRESENTS THERE
MORE YET TO COME

...
'BRING IT ON', HE CRIED
I WANT MORE, MORE THAN I HAVE
FOR IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH
AS LONG AS SOMEONE ELSE HAS IT

BUT WAIT, THE BLACK OIL IS TAINTED
RED, BRIGHT AS A RUBY, THICKER THAN OIL
A DROP OF BLOOD GLISTENED
BLOOD OF THE SOLDIER, SOAKING THE SANDY SOIL

...

SO SANTA DECIDED THEN AND THERE
TO SWITCH THE SOLDIER WITH THE PRINCE
AND LEAVE THEN AS THEY WERE

UPON AWAKENING IN A BLODDY OIL BATH
THE SOLDIER HAD NO CHOICE OTHER THAN WAIT
WAIT FOR HIS CITIZENS TO RESCUE HIM FROM THERE
FOR HE COULD NOT FIGHT HIS OWN PRINCE WHO BETRAYED HIM

THE CHILD-PRINCE AWAKENED CRYING FOR SERVANTS, 'I NEED MORE OIL','I DON'T LIKE THIS SANDS'
UPON REALIZING HE WAS ALL ALONE
THE CHILD-PRINCE WET HIS PANTS...

SO THIS IS THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS
IN A LAND FULL OF SAND

2003 - On the first day of bushmas Bush lovers sent to me
A tyrant under a palm tree.

On the twelth day of bushmas Bush lovers sent to me
Twelve lemmings leaping
Eleven Lybians dancing
Ten Haliburtons piping
Nine Rummies drumming (war drums)
Eight Chenneys milking (oil)
Seven Roves spinning
Six Ashcrofts praying
Five golden spoons
Four collin lies
Three french vetos
Two Rush rehabs and
A tyrant under a palm tree....

2003 - Christmas in Baghda
by: law_n_order_here (100/F/Jurassic) 12/25/03 09:36 am
Msg: 439410 of 676406
3 recommendations

The soldiers of Charlie Company haven't been counting the days until Christmas. They don't count the weeks until they go home for good in February. Since their convoy was attacked Nov. 7 and a beloved sergeant was killed, they don't even count themselves as lucky.

First Sgt. William Karpowecz, has missed so many holidays at home that he barely noticed Thanksgiving.

The crusty sergeant with a mischievous smile plans to decorate the ugly 5-ton trucks with tinsel and lights. If circumstances and headquarters permit, he'll take his soldiers - those who can sing - and serenade the battalion's three other companies with Christmas carols.

Lt. Col. Rick Carlson took command in June of the 3rd Battalion which Charlie Company is part. he recalls. Mosul, about 250 miles north of Baghdad, was settling down after the U.S. invasion in March. Soldiers could wander through the bazaars, shopping and eating. They were sure they'd soon be going home.

Then, gradually, the violence against them accelerated. Grenades were tossed at the troops. Rifles were fired at them. It was back to war, with an enemy that was often invisible and deadly. They learned that going home early wasn't always good news.

'Oh, they have aged tremendously,' Carlson says of the soldiers. 'I see it physically, and I see it emotionally. But I detect it in a positive way. I see a lot of maturity.'

In June, he says, the troops' attitude was, 'What can we do for the Iraqi people?' Now, he says, 'what the soldiers are doing is, they are fighting for each other. I get that every time I go to the hospital, when we have soldiers that get hurt. The first thing they say is, 'I'm so sorry.' That one still tears me up. They have nothing to be sorry for. And yet it's the first thing they all say. ... '

2004 - Guardsmen: tell the" Republican relatives to fvck off and die for me


by crazymom on Daily Kos :: Comments "We are going to pay for this in blood" - Guardsmen
My son is an Ohio Nat'l Guardsmen...

stationed in Iraq. He has been gone since Dec. and will not be home until March. They did their "basic" training in Indiana in the snow and cold. He claims they were trained fairly well and I know they received proper body armor( my husband and I raised hell about it) , but their equipment is old and totally worn out . They are running up and down the roads with trucks that look like they're from the Vietnam era.During my son's basic training in Georgia years ago they told him didn't need the combat training because he was just in the Guard.(Has this attitude changed?) The over use and abuse of the Guard has been my major beef. Some may be willing to go ,they support the war and this idiotic president-I say let'em go. But others should not be forced to serve more than one deployment. They end up getting deployed for longer periods and receive fewer benefits than regular army. The majority do not want to go and if they go once they don't want to go again. It's devastating to their lives personally and financially.My son e-mailed me yesterday and told me to have a happy T. Day. He said to tell the" Republican relatives to fuck off and die for me (haha?)".His words not mine.
2004 - Dear Reverend/ President/ Leader Bush:

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.
I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends -soldiers on my troop - get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
lawnorder: 12/24/2003

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