From Tom Barton of GI Special on 2nd brigade letter

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Jul 27 22:41:23 MDT 2003


Fred,
Re your correspondence, reproduced below, see the Yahoo story that
follows it for major media surfacing of the letter in question.  It
(the letter) was circulated in full by Military Families a few days
before GI Special ran it 7.20.03.  My best surmise is that it is
genuine, although perhaps written by an individual or perhaps a few
close friends, rather than circulated among the whole brigade.  But
then perhaps not, things are moving so fast now.

The reference in it to the General sucking up Burger Kings at the
Baghdad airport is too real to dismiss as an invention.  It rings
true, which is why I decided to run it, as well as because of it’s
acceptance by the military families.

For the record, “GI Resistance” is unknown to me.  Our work is the GI
Special, which I send to you directly.  If there is an entity called
GI Resistance also sending it to you, this is news to me.  I am active
in the ISO but, repeat, do not know of a “GI Resistance” organization.
Thank you for expressing your view that I can be conned by a fake
(true) but that I would not be party to one (also true).  This one
passes the smell test, unlike some stuff I was sent supposedly written
by an anti-war GI that sounded more like a movement talk by a graduate
student, which I did not run.



Solidarity, T.

______________________________________________________________________






-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Feldman [mailto:ffeldman at bellatlantic.net]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 8:19 PM
To: Jennifer Van Bergen; ufpj-news at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ufpj-news] From the soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd
Infantry Division


Partly because of my open expressions of ignorance, I now know more
details about this mailing.  The mailing came from GI Resistance. I
know little about GI Resistance except that it is put out by one
thomasfbarton at earthlink.net.  Barton puts out the GI Special online
newsletter.  In general, his reports are completely consistent with
the reports coming out from other sources.
Could he be conned by a fake? Maybe, but his journalistic work
convinces me he would not be a party to one.

Having put it out there for a day to see whether anyone would shoot it
down, I have become more convinced that this is an authentic document.
Fred

|

 From: Jennifer Van Bergen [mailto:jvb000 at earthlink.net]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 9:37 AM
To: Fred Feldman
Subject: Re: [ufpj-news] From the soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd
Infantry Division


In order to post this, I need the source information, please.  JVB



______________________________________________________



(From GI Special 60)





News of a letter from the troops surfaces,

along with a rising tide of anger from military families
.



Whole Units Of US Soldiers In Iraq On Suicide Watch
yahoo.com news 7.16.03



IN THE towns and suburbs around Fort Stewart, Ga., there are banners
welcoming home the heroes of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

But the "3ID" - the mechanized division that raided and captured the
center of Baghdad back in April, bringing the war to a close six weeks
earlier than Central Command expected - isn't coming home any time
soon.

Yes, on July 9, Donald Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services
Committee (news - web sites) that the 3ID would at last be home by
September.

But four days later, the Pentagon (news - web sites) suddenly, quietly
changed its mind, informing the stunned troops and their shocked
families that the return home of its 1st and 2nd Brigades has been
postponed "indefinitely."

The wives of the men in these units are up in arms, sending letters to
congressmen, the media and anyone who will listen.

"We've contacted senators, celebrities, even companies like
Harley-Davidson," Spreanna Pomroy, whose husband is in the division's
1/9 Field Artillery, told The Post.

The reason she and others are so angry is that this is the second
postponement of the division's departure. These 9,000 men and women,
most of whom have been in the Persian Gulf since September, were due
to come home by the end of May.

And the fact is that with the exception of the 1st Marine
Expeditionary Force, most of the units that played a key role in the
war's big battles have come home.

But because they had done such a good job stabilizing key areas of the
Iraqi capital, the Army delayed the division's departure for 90 days
and sent them to pacify the restive towns of Falluja and Habbaniyeh.

There, too, they have done a superb job, their prior peacekeeping
experience in Bosnia and Kosovo as well as their combat experience
during the war, enabling them to win hearts and minds while
intimidating would-be resisters.

But now these men are exhausted.

E-mails and phone calls received by The Post from troops in the 2nd
Brigade as well as their wives tell of whole units being put on
suicide watch.

A "to whom it may concern" letter presumably written by a 3ID officer
or noncommissioned officer, and signed "the soldiers of 2nd Brigade,
3rd ID" is being circulated by wives of the men in the Iraq.

The soldier writes: "Our morale is not high or even low. Our morale is
non-existent . . . The 3rd Infantry Division soldiers feel betrayed,
and forgotten."

The 3ID has done a great job, but it's hard to believe that no other
unit can take its place. As one Army wife said to me, "Can't they just
bring them home for 90 days of stabilization leave to see their
families and then send them back?"

(Jonathan Foreman was embedded with troops attached to the 3rd
Infantry Division from March to May)





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