Grandma in Iraq

Suzanne Fournier of Alexandria, grandmother of 15, posts from Iraq. Fournier is the Public Affairs Officer for the Gulf Region Southern District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iraq.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 05, 2006

Clearing up a few facts
Greetings to all, Gosh, I had no idea my blog would stir up such strong voices. I truly do belief in freedom of speech and expression, but may I ask you to be tolerant, courteous and respectful of each other's opinions? I want to take a few moments to clear up misinformation posted about my blog recently. There was never an attempt on my part or on the part of the Cincinnati Enquirer to hide the fact that I am a public affairs officer and that my profession is communication. From the very first day of publishing my blog clearly stated, US Army Corps of Engineers, right under my name. In almost every picture of me on my blog, I am wearing the civilian USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers)desert camouflage uniform and the personal protective equipment issued to me for my deployment to Iraq. I've said repeatedly, I wanted to share my experiences because I am in a unique

position of being able to travel to nine of the southern provinces with my job as a communicator. In addition to my mentioning what I do in my blog, let me provide you with excerpts from the Cincinnati Enquirer/Cincinnati Post articles published about my deployment to Iraq. Published August 15, 2005 ALEXANDRIA - When Suzanne Fournier tells people where she's going, the 60-yearold wife, mother and grandmother always gets the same reaction: disbelief. "They say, 'You're doing what?' " Fournier said. "Yes, I'd be crazy if I wasn't a little apprehensive, but I'm comfortable with it. I want to help those who need help." Fournier will depart for Iraq on Aug. 28. For six months, she'll leave her husband of 39 years, seven children and 15 grandchildren to do public affairs work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She does that work now, but from a downtown Cincinnati office.

Published December 24, 2005 ALEXANDRIA - It's been about four months since 61-year-old Suzanne Fournier of Alexandria left for Iraq. The mother of seven and grandmother of 15 usually works in downtown Cincinnati in public affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since August, though, she's been performing her same duties while donning heavy body armor and accompanied by at least a half-dozen soldiers. She escorts media and VIPs to some of the corps' $2 billion worth of construction

projects such as schools and hospitals, explaining what has been and is being accomplished. "It's absolutely the greatest experience of a lifetime," Fournier said by e-mail this week from her base at Camp Adder in southeast Iraq. But it's Christmastime now, and for the first time since 1965, she and her husband, Gil, will be apart for the holiday.

Published April 5, 2006 ALEXANDRIA - "It's March, and Suzanne Fournier of Alexandria is still in Iraq. The 61-year-old mother of seven and grandmother of 15 was supposed to be home Feb. 23, but she'll be there about two more months - by her choice. "My husband's first reaction was 'absolutely not,' " Fournier said by e-mail this week from Camp Adder in southeast Iraq, where she is based. "But as time went on and he heard what I was doing, he understood why I wanted to stay on. My replacement isn't here yet and I feel it is important to have some oerlap time with him." Fournier works in public affairs for the U.S. Army corps of Engineers in downtown Cincinnati. She left in August for Iraq, where she escorts media and VIPs to some of the corps' $2 billion worth of construction projects such as schools and hospitals.

My final comment on this subject: This isn't about me, the real heroes over here are the soldiers and the Iraqi people. I believe we need to support all Coalition forces and their families.

I believe the Iraqi people should have a chance to experience the same opportunities for freedom of speech, access to information, education, healthcare, transportation, employment and quality of life that we enjoy in our country. posted by Suzanne Fournier @ 8:02 AM 58 comments

58 Comments:

At 4:30 AM, Anonymous said...

"I believe the Iraqi people should have a chance to experience the same opportunities for freedom of speech, access to information, education, healthcare, transportation, employment and quality of life that we enjoy in our country." Me, too. But there is no evidence that our current policies and actions are doing anything but putting that farther and farther in the future. This Administration went to war ignorant, clueless, and with no plan. They still have no plan except "stay the course." I suppose that once you dive off the cliff you have no choice, but ain't nobody going to enjoy the landing. And ain't nothing going to be intact at the bottom.

At 6:09 AM, Anonymous said...

The U.S. and Brits went into a war on Iraq based on nothing more than lies. They knew long before they invaded Iraq had no WMD. I think it is high time the U.S. and Brits started minding there own business and stop waging war on othere countries.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous said...

This is nothing but attempted subversive PR for the US Admin istration that has been caught out. You probably aren't to blame as you have probably been told to do this by your Unit. Such a shame that the US Govt has to use a blog to try and drum up support for it's illegal war and slaughter of thousands of innocent lives. Shame on you for using the term "Grandma in Iraq" as the blog title - It should be "Liar in Iraq".

At 6:39 AM, Raccam said...

Nice try, but you are STILL not owning up to the fact that your job is to write positive things about how the war's going. You are being paid to make the U.S. look better; not to tell the truth about how tings are going. I have no doubt you've seen examples of all the positive things you've written. But I also have no doubt there's plenty of very bad things you've seen, and I'm positive you either downplay those negatives or you don't report them at all. If something you see tomorrow suddenly convinced you that our being in Iraq is wrong, and that the war is not about what you've been saying it is, and that it won't turn out as well as you and the Administration claim it will -- would you write that? If you did write that, would the Army allow you to send it? If they did, would the "Enquirer" publish it? I think the answer to all three questions is "No." It's not good enough for you to admit that you're in the Army. You

have to admit that what you're writing is not objective journalism -because it is not.

At 6:40 AM, Raccam said...

This post has been removed by the author.

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous said...

This is too much like the planted stories in Iraqi newspapers.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous said...

How are you posting to a blog from Iraq? The DoD has specific regulations in using government computer systems for "personal" use. I been to Iraq and if I wrote what was going on there at a blog from a government computer I would of been given an Article 15. The only way you can report to a blog from Iraq if it is fully supported and authorized by your chain of command and CENTCOM. So please come clean and tell the truth.

At 8:45 AM, Kathi said...

Suzanne I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed following your adventures and reading your stories. I hope you will not let all the negativity discourage you from continuing to share your stories with the rest of us. It distresses me a great deal that people who are against the war feel they have to make ugly and personal attacks on you and your character. I am always amazed at the 'intolerance' of those who disagree with anyone supporting the troops, and I am always amazed at the venom and hatred they feel they need to spew onto anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint.It seems ironic that those who claim to support 'peace' feel they must be so nasty and vicious in their speech? God bless you, Suzanne, and thank you for sharing your stories!

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous said...

Thank goodness there are people like you who would seek to find the positive in such a world as ours. I, for one, love to read and hear about anything good that we do in light of the fact that there are people out there who would have you think that Americans are simply evil people who want to dominate the world. I am sick of the liberal press, of only the reporting done that tells everything bad about the U.S. Why on earth can people not see that we are trying to do something good for those people in Iraq. We are there now. We can not undo how we got there. Isn't it worth anything that the U.S. is trying to help people who were kept in the dark ages, to have even safe drinking water, schools that aren't falling down on the children in them and roads to get from one place to another? Doesn't that count for ANYTHING? There will

always be people quick to criticize from their cozy desks at home.....What are they doing to help the world, I'd like to know? The poster who wrote that you shouldn't be called a "Grandma in Iraq," is a one-sided, one-dimensional person who would only choose to see the bad in everything. What a sad life they must have. Thank you for your service to our country and the job that you do. Thank you for sharing your experiences and showing us something other than every single negative thing about what we are doing over there. I know many people who feel the same way I do. Don't let those with nothing else to do, but complain, keep you from your passion. I know you will leave soon and I will miss your stories, your information, and your talent for capturing pictures that speak 1000 words about the good hearts and souls of our men and women in uniform over there. Chin up !!!!!!

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous said...

How much do you get paid to post these items on you phlog(phony blog)? I hope that is a just compensation for each soldier and civilian killed in an illegal war. Hope you sleep well at night. In the end you can use the Nuremburg Defense.

At 9:10 AM, Jon Garfunkel said...

Again, as was stated yesterday, you (Suzanne) do not need to explain or apologize for anything. It's the job of the Cincinatti Enquirer to do that for their readers. That's the verdict of the Online Journalism Review. And the paper should stop allowing anonymous comments on this blog.

Many of them are truly insipid-- it is pointless and destructive for continuing to call this a "lie" or "propaganda." The fault is with the editors for not making this clear. The editors would also like to think that a public commenting forum is an acceptable substitute for their explaining matters. The reward for that thinking is just more ugly comments on this site.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous said...

HA HA..It is obvious granny got her friends posting in to give support for her. Guess she don't want to lose her high paying pay check.

At 10:07 AM, Missy said...

I'd first like to say we DO appreciate your contribution. Perhaps we don't comment as often as we should. I'm grateful you would consider the mission worthy and that you give the American people a chance to see news about Iraqi daily life. The casualty reports are necessary, we need to know about our boys and girls over there, especially for those of us waiting, but at the same time, it needs to be a complete story. Not just of death, but of life and rebirth. My family has been very fortunate, my husband, sister and brother all have deployed, sometimes more than once to Iraq and Afghanistan. Two were in Operation: Desert Shield and Storm and all three returned

without physical injury but with enough knowledge and experience to say our freedom and quality of life is taken for granted. Thank you (from one grandma to another!) for reporting what you do and see. God bless!

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted that the American military personnel are looked on as disposable mercenaries that can be used for whatever corporate driven exercise some government/corporate hacks can dream up. The sheer contempt for the American taxpayer and American soldier that the armchair 'freedom fighters' show by constantly talking about others 'freedom' without any regard for the cost to all American citizens through taxes and loss of life is truly sickening. Hack reporting by PA officers is what it is, propaganda. I pity those that fall for this foolishness everytime. The last time that America fought a war where the U.S. was actually invaded and the homeland was put at risk was in the 19th Century. As Marine Corps General Smedley Darlington Butler told us 70 years ago, "War is a Racket".

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous said...

Yes Granny, I believe in freedom of speech too. But you should be ashamed to put our nations kids lives on the line, for your paid Army "PR" position. I know plenty of decent, honest folks who have resigned in disgust-ones

with alot of time in the service too. Shame, shame, shame. My boy just returned from Iraq-with the Ohio National Guard. He has a purple heart now-at age 20. I damn glad you aren't HIS Grandma-she has enough sense to know the war is a LIE...

At 11:33 AM, furtail said...

Suzanne, Yes, the only point to be made is that I do believe that the Cincinnati Enquirer violated journalistic ethics by not informing readers of your position UP FRONT. It should have been explicity stated from the beginning what you do and who pays you to do what you do. The comments about freedom, wanting good for the Iraqi people, patriotism, or whether you're evil (you're not), lying, etc., are all very irrelevant. I agree 100 % that the Enquirer is the one that violated ethics, not you. When a commentator or anybody is being interviewed on TV or the radio, it is the responsibility of the broadcaster to explain/state what the person does or why the person may have an interesting point of view. I do not doubt your sincerity about what you are trying to accomplish; however, the crucial missing piece of information to understand your posts was covered up or buried in three posts, none of which EXPLICITLY state that you are paid to write press releases. Enough said and I'm not commenting further other to say I am very disappointed in some of the very mean hateful things hurled at you.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous said...

Whether your blog is legit, or a US propoganda tool changes nothing. Appearances are everything, and when you post without fully explaining that this is your job, your credibility disappears. No one being paid to represent the positives of the US Military could post a negative blog and keep their position. Freedom of speech is not the same thing as a disinformation campaign by the government. What is truly sad, is that our leaders are more concerned with winning the minds of the people at home than they are winning the fight on the ground. It is clear the current leadership is ill equipped to do either one.

At 11:43 AM, skipsailing said...

just a quick point, at this stage of the war the term "journalistic ethics" is an oxymoron.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous said...

Since when the heck is the U.S. so concerned about the Iraq people? They never were before. I think the U.S. attacking Iraq was self serving..OIL. Control of mid East. I think the real problem will start when the Iraq people see that the U.S. and Brits have no intentions of withdrawl from Iraq. That's why they had no exit plans, because they knew they would not be withdrawing, at least not untill the oil is gone or they have there puppets in Government there to keep asking them to stay. I think they will keep a few permanent bases there, to make sure the new Govt. is serving there purposes.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous said...

propaganda: n. the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, Who are you? Who do you work for? Where is your bio? Who do you represent? You write at all hours of the day and night, is that your job, to question anyone who does not agree with you?

I went to the web site you said to go to to get the "truth". Only one of the 15 ro so bloggers identified who he was, the others had no bio, no info at all, only a name. Did you demand their bios? Did you question their ethics? Not only that, but the only man who identified himself said he went to Iraq paid for by the people who read his blog. Do you believe that? Now THAT sounds pretty far fetched to me. Every one of those blogs where you sent me were either anti-war, antiBush, and usually both. Where is the other side? Why don't they they allow anyone who disagrees with them to blog there? And why do none of them allow anyone to post a comment? It seems that Granny "'fessed" up immediatly upon being questioned, and was always up front and honest as to who she is, but you won't let her alone. Why? You demanded her bio, now I demand yours. Why don't YOU "'fess" up. Granny, please keep up the good work. I knew you worked for the Army from blog #1 (I think. Early October?) It was never hidden, and anyone who wanted to know only had to go back a and read you past blogs. It is all there, Public Affairs, Amry, Corps of Engineers, etc. Bless you and all the other military and civilians who are there. B. Richards

At 12:59 PM, Scott Burgess said...

You are a fraud. Let's take a look at the Defense Information School, where you had to go in order to become a PAO (Public Affairs Officer). If you click here, you can see your goals and mission. http://www.dinfos.osd.mil/StrategicPlan.asp It states: Vision: "DINFOS is a recognized national asset for organizational communication success." Mission: 1. Grow and sustain a corps of professional organizational communicators* who fulfill the communication needs of military leaders and audiences. Goals: 1) Deliver total professional development support to organizational communicators throughout their careers, whenever and wherever needed. 2) Become the DoD and Interagency center of excellence for organizational communication. 3) Prepare public affairs and visual information operators to be force multipliers. 4) Apply DINFOS capabilities as operational multipliers. 5) Sustain DINFOS as a premier accredited military technical training center and optimum career assignment for faculty and staff. I'm sure you're an excellent force multiplier and continue to broadcast your message of all the great news in Iraq. Who knows, maybe you can get a couple of your grandkids to enlist. After all, if its good for the graying goose... It's truely a shame, as I believe (and have seen) many good news stories coming out of Iraq and you only hurt these stories. As a PAO your job is to spin the truth to put the military in the best light possible. This is not a personal blog, it's a company one and you're being properly

framed as a flak. Good luck and return home safe but be ashamed that every entry you made where you did not mention you work for the Army's PR department, you were doing a disservice.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous said...

Little by little the U.S. is setting Iran up the same way they did Iraq. They use the U.N. and as many countries as they can to make so called evidence look credible. (Iraq weapons of mass destruction)now(Iran trying to develope nukes)it's sad the way buck toothed Rice goes to other countries to try and drum up support for another illegal war.

At 1:17 PM, skipsailing said...

Many blogs that accept comments don't allow anonymous comments. It is my experience that the tone and tenor of conversation there is much improved.

At 2:32 PM, History Guy said...

You got busted being a shill for the war. Don't backpedal, or let commonsense like "integrity first", stop you. Geez, dishonesty like yours is why I am glad I work with lawyers.

At 3:21 PM, TW said...

Suzanne: I can't tell you how much I appreciate your blog. Not only is it interesting to read, it provides such a refreshing view of the war rather than the media's regular focus on the deaths of our soldiers. I may not completely agree with the war in Iraq (and in many ways consider myself politically agnostic), but it is incredible to read about the fact that we are using our knowledge of infrastructure and resources to enhance the quality of life for all Iraqis while rooting out the terrorism that has ruled it for so long. Don't listen to the spineless cowards who have such a self-focused, American-hating view. Your work in Iraq is necessary and appreciated no doubt by the Iraqi people, but also by Americans like me. As for the spineless, anonymous hate mongers who have commented here: I wish you would either shut up and quit believing what our "normal" media is spoon-feeding you or at least have the backbone to put your real name down. Pathetic. Don't you people realize that more people die in 3 months of car wrecks than have died in the entire Iraq war? With that fact in mind, it seems like I am safer in Iraq than I am driving in America. Have some perspective.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous said...

"From the very first day of publishing my blog clearly stated, US Army Corps of Engineers, right under my name." Yup, when I read that, I think Public Affairs Officer, NOT! I think of someone building somthing or blowing something up. Not very honest at all. Very sneaky on not disclosing your true profession.

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous said...

For all the pretty pictures shown on the front pages of this site, as to how well we are rebuilding Iraq. Truth is the electricity level and health care and just about every structure is way below pre war levels. Also now we hear they are running out of money to finish a great many projects in Iraq. What happened to all the money that was supposed to go to reconstruction? They site security is one factor. Did they not forsee problems in the beginning? Huh, after conning a great many countries into forgiving billions of dollars in loans to Iraq, plus the billions U.S. and Brits were supposed to be putting in..Still not enough. Out of about 130 health care centres supposed to be finished..Now they say only about 30 will be. The Iraq people just had there food stamps cut back on. Now most cant even afford a loaf of bread..Yep..things are getting better. The Iraq people hardly see clean watter. Many children die at child birth due to infection from impure watter. Why don't you talk about that Granny?

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous said...

does the military pay you to do this public relations exercise by the hour or by the word? just wondering.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous said...

In my view, this whole fiasco greatly tarnishes The Enquirer's credibility. True, the Grandma in Iraq blog is not on the Enquirer.com, but it is linked off Cincinnati.com, which is tied to the Enquirer in most people's minds. Also, I love the Editor & Publisher quote from the online editor who blamed the previous online editor, who works in Wisconsin. Way to be on top of things and take accountability.

At 6:13 PM, Warren said...

Amazing - Why is it important that you identify yourself as a PAO Officer on your BLOG? Is what you write factual and truthful? Are there other "Journalists" reporting on your subject matter that is contrary to your observations? Shallow minds believe the worst of all opponents -

just read some of the previous comments. Keep reporting - I'll keep reading.

At 7:48 PM, junehart said...

Good grief! What is the problem with anonymous? All American personnel in Iraque or anywhere else in the world are doing their jobs. Why rag on them? If you don't like how things are anonymous then use the power of your vote and freedom of speech affect change. Picking on a PO professional is just a little bit low. Suzanne is simply relating what she sees. That is her job. Are you in line to volunteer to do a better job than she is? Well then why don't you publish your feelings in the NY Times or LA Journal? Attacking Suzanne in her blog is just plain silly. And by the way -- just why are you anonymous? As you can see -- my name is proudly displayed here.

At 9:53 PM, Pissedoffcabbie said...

You are a fraud. This blog should be removed, and you should refrain from pushing any more pro-war propaganda on the web. At ease, soldier.

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous said...

But................... OF COUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURSE, whenever I see US Army Corps of Engineers the VERY VERY first thing I think is, DANG, that MUST be some PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER with a job in COMMUNICATIONS publishing. After all, aren't all Army Corps of Engineers jobs just basically garden variety communications majors? Pooh pooh, what a stretch. Only a bureaucrat could spit out this sort of tripe with a straight face and believe it. Oh, btw, it's comforting to know that after investing a mere THREE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS and sacrificing two thousand three hundred and forty Americans' lives we've... fixed some pipes. WELL worth the investment. THANK YOU PAT TILLMAN for laying down your life so some PIPES could get fixed in some stinking Iraqi field. Good to see we've trucked 130,000 troops over to Mesopotamia to show them how to FIX PIPES. Boy oh boy oh boy.... all sense of decency, all sense of normalcy, all sense of propriety is gone gone gone in this country. We are 8 TRILLION in debt and not one stinking moron in the whole lot gives a damn. We have lost 2500 beautiful young men and women to a sham, a lie, a filthy stinking rotten LIE and we're supposed to stand tall, salute the flag, applaud loudly and vigorously when the filthy lying warmongers parade their vile crap out one more time, we're supposed to nod emphatically when they repeat for the millionth time that they are not personally benefitting from high oil prices and construction projects and bidrigging and the deaths and misery of twenty million people. Smile and salute and drink the coolaid.

Thanks for your "honesty" Suzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanne.

DISGUSTED.

ps - what's MY PROBLEM?????????? I CARE. I LOVE AMERICA. And I'm SICK that it's been hijacked by stinking lying war profiteers and sold down the river for scraps to the highest bidder in outhouses like Japan and CHINA.... CHINA PEOPLE... CHINA.... CHINA is financing our debt.... THINK ABOUT THAT for a second....

At 12:01 AM, Reginald Van Gleason IV said...

This is nothing but pure propaganda. You might as well as worked for Joseph Goebbels circa 1944. Saying that you are in the Corps of Engineers is disingenuous, deceiving and misleading. You are a PR officer, pure and simple. Posting this blog is so typical of the ever biased Spinqurer. I cancelled my subscription last year.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous said...

Thank you, Disgusted. Thank you, Reggie Van Gleason. I couldn't agree more. When is the Enquirer going to dump this blog, which Callinan has already admitted is Army PR. The Washington Post had to dump their recent blogger embarrassment, Ben Domenech, so why hasn't the Enquirer dumped this bunko "blog"?

At 12:41 AM, jk, tucson az said...

If the case for our invasion of Iraq could win on its merits there would be no need to fool us with secret "public relations". The very fact the

blog hid the actual profession of the author (Core of Engineers versus Public Relations) tells you something's fishy about what's contained therein. When our government uses totalitarian techniques to win a war for freedom, then everything's gone wrong. Has this country really come to this?

At 1:03 AM, GreginOz said...

QUISLING...you are the Cuckoo bird's egg, placed in the nest of the Bird of Democracy. You betray the American Constitution and the American People. I shall call you ... Goebells.

At 2:21 AM, Anonymous said...

Granny & The Fishwrap, Couldn't agree more with the above comments. You are indeed a quisling propagandist, and it is time for you to stop publishing this blog.

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous said...

The only reason the U.S. attacked Iraq is for the oil and control of the mid East. Simple as that. Now, they are trying to pull the same thing on Iran. WAKE UP AMERICANS.

At 2:16 PM, Nicole said...

My mother is indeed a real person, and a real Grandma. She is a generous, beautiful and amazing woman who truly believes in her job. She loves her job with the Corps of Engineers and she loves to tell people about the good things that they do. That's all this blog is about. It didn't pretend to be anything but that. We all know bad things are happening in Iraq. We hear about it every day on the news. Isn't it slightly refreshing to hear about some of the good things in Iraq? Even for us liberals? Personally, I would like to hope that some good is coming out of this war. My mother is giving us a glimpse of some of the progress that IS being made. Love you, Mom! Can't wait to see you when you get home!

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous said...

how much mom pay you nicole?

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous said...

Before the u.s. and British forced sanctions on Iraq, they had one of the highest standards of living in the Mid East. Check the U.N. findings. It's true. They also had a very modern health care system. Free university education, modern schools. The dean of the most prestigeous university in Baghdad was a woman. Strange how Bush and Blair forget to tell those things isn't it. Check the human rights findings and U.N. findings for before sanctions.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous said...

The Iraq War $100,000 a minute $195,000,000 a day $8,000,000,000 a week $271,000,000,000 to date US Debt with communist China: Priceless

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous said...

NOT A SINGE US SERVICE MEMBERS LIFE WAS WORTH THIS WAR! WE SHOULD NOT BE OPENING SCHOOLS IN IRAQ JUST TO HAVE TO SHUT THEM DOWN IN AMERICA!

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Daily Kos, the nation has exposed your lies... http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/4/8/75831/17761

At 8:35 AM, Smedley Darlington Butler said...

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. - Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed

"The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be so decorated.

At 8:39 AM, Dwight D. Eisenhower said...

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction... This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together. - President of the United States (and former General of the Army)

Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous said...

http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/syndication/trailers/whywefigh t/WhyWeFight-Trailer_300.mov

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous said...

I don't think our leaders told us the whole truth about why we went into Iraq. I think it is more''permanent base'' than truth. Maybe there intentions are more OIL than honorable. It's beggining to look that way.

At 9:53 AM, cyber joe said...

The Cincinnati Enquirer is obviously a right-wing newspaper, so it's no surprise that they would pull this stunt and violate journalistic ethics that anyone who lives in Cincinnati knew they lacked in the first place. As for the person writing this blog (Grandma in Iraq or not), I see no reason to believe what someone says who is part of the military's public

affairs unit about Iraq, especially when that information, even when it may be true, willfully and purposefully fails to tell important stories about what's happening in Iraq, which has nothing to do with whether a school somewhere is built. If you really want to post something interesting, tell us why the Shiites and Sunnis are engaged in a cycle of horrific violence. Of course you won't because you can't. Your position allows only rosy comments and no criticism. Only happy smiling boys playing soccer with American troops, while Baghdad simmers with a low-grade civil war. No wounded Americans or blown up children. If you want to see what this war really looks like, skip this site and check out this Special Report in the L.A. Times. Then you realize the human impact of this war on our troops that's easy to ignore while those of you looking for "good news from Iraq" scour the internet for confirmation of your pre-existing beliefs without any ability to change your mind based on additional new information. What will it take for you to realize that the war is being incompetently fought and will never be won if it continues this way? http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wounded/la-na-woundedseries,0,936394.special

At 3:18 PM, junehart said...

You anti war people don't seem to get it. Suzanne is doing her job. She doesn't say in her blog that she thinks the war (occupation, invasion, etc) is a great idea she just reports some of the work her employers (the Corps of Engineers) have accomplished. In the meanwhile she is sharing some of the wealth of our country with Iraqui kids.

Yes, I am also anti-war. However, the soldiers and Suzanne and many others like them did make the decision to take aggressive action. If you have a beef then write to your senator/congressperson/the whitehouse/carl rove -- leave Suzanne to do her job. If she were my Mom I would be darn proud of her.

At 2:15 PM, Tired of the Noise said...

This blog is an example of the Pentagon's efforts to control information. Read below: America's war on the web While the US remains committed to hunting down al-Qaeda operatives, it is now taking the battle to new fronts. Deep within the Pentagon, technologies are being deployed to wage the war on terror on the internet, in newspapers and even through mobile phones. Investigations editor Neil Mackay reports. The Pentagon has already signed off $383 million to force through the document’s recommendations by 2009. Military and intelligence sources in the US talk of “a revolution in the concept of warfare”. The report orders three new developments in America’s approach to warfare: Firstly, the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyberattacks against enemies. Secondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media – from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys

and personal digital assistants (PDAs) – to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy. Psyops involve the dissemination of lies and fake stories and releasing information to wrong-foot the enemy. Thirdly, the US wants to take control of the Earth’s electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America. The report says the US military’s first priority is that the “department [of defence] must be prepared to ‘fight the net’”. The internet is seen in much the same way as an enemy state by the Pentagon because of the way it can be used to propagandise, organise and mount electronic attacks on crucial US targets. Under the heading “offensive cyber operations”, two pages outlining possible operations are blacked out. http://www.sundayherald.com/54975

At 2:18 AM, Anonymous said...

Great blog here. As with any open forum, the comment sections here inevitably will be visited by the viruently anti-war people who are frothing at the mouth to see anything other than negativity coming out of Iraq. The blog is interesting and informative, and the pictures are great. Please blog as much as you can.

At 11:24 AM, Brad Eleven said...

PR for the US Military. Think about it. A growing majority of American citizens are sick and tired of being sick and tired of being forced to pay for things that don't benefit us. Grandma, if you think you're being paid by the Army, think again. General Electric is the only officer involved with your financial support. I have profound and enduring admiration for our military. I have revulsion for those who would participate in the distortion of facts to suit those in power. Wake up and pee, everybody! The world's on fire!!

At 11:09 PM, Hasan said...

2006-04-10 HADITHA, IRAQ - In the middle of methodically recalling the day his brother's family was killed, Yaseen's monotone voice and stream of tears suddenly stopped. He looked up, paused and pleaded: "Please don't let me say anything that will get me killed by the Americans. My family can't handle any more." The story of what happened to Yaseen and his brother Younes' family has redefined Haditha's relationship with the Marines who patrol it. On Nov. 19, a roadside bomb struck a Humvee on Haditha's main road, killing one Marine and injuring two others.

The Marines say they took heavy gunfire afterwards and thought it was coming from the area around Younes' house. They went to investigate, and 23 people were killed. Eight were from Younes' family. The only survivor, Younes' 13-year-old daughter, said her family wasn't shooting at Marines or harboring extremists that morning. They were sleeping when the bomb exploded. And when the Marines entered their house, she said, they shot at everyone inside. The Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) began an investigation in February after a Time Magazine reporter passed on accounts he had received about the incident. A second investigation was opened into how the Marines initially reported the killings - the Marines said that 15 people were killed by the roadside explosion and that eight insurgents were killed in subsequent combat. On Friday, the Marines relieved of duty three leaders of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, which had responsibility for Haditha when the shooting occurred. They are Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and two of his company commanders, Capt. James S. Kimber and Capt. Lucas M. McConnell. McConnell was commanding Kilo Company of the 3rd Battalion, the unit that struck the roadside bomb on Nov. 19 and led the subsequent search of the area. The Marines' announcement didn't tie the disciplinary actions directly to Haditha, saying only that Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, had lost confidence in the officers' ability to command. They were relieved because of "multiple incidents that occurred throughout their deployment," said Lt. Lawton King, a spokesman at the Marines' home base at Camp Pendleton, Calif., to which they recently returned. "This decision was made independent of the NCIS

investigation." The events of last November have clearly taken their toll on Yaseen and his niece, Safa, who trembles visibly as she listens to Yaseen recount what she told him of the attack. She cannot bring herself to tell the tale herself. She fainted after the Marines burst through the door and began firing. When she regained consciousness, only her 3-year-old brother was still alive, but bleeding heavily. She comforted him in a room filled with dead family members until he died, too. And then she went to her Uncle Yaseen's house next door. Neither Yaseen nor Safa have returned home since. Indeed, many in this town, whose residents are stuck in the battle between extremists and the Americans, said now it is the U.S. military they fear most. "The mujahadeen (holy warriors) will kill you if you stand against them or say anything against them. And the Americans will kill you if the mujahadeen attack them several kilometers away," said Mohammed alHadithi, 32, a barber who lives in neighboring Haqlania. With a cigarette between his fingers, he pointed at a Marine patrol as it passed in front of his shop. "I look at each of them, and I see killers." Haditha, a town of about 100,000 people in Anbar province, undeniably is an insurgent bastion. Around the time of the attack, several storefronts were lined with posters and pictures supporting al-Qaida, although residents said they posted them to appease extremists. Insurgents blend in with the residents, setting up their cells in homes next to those belonging to everyday citizens, some of them supportive. There is no functioning police station and the government offices are largely vacant. The last man to call himself mayor relinquished the title

earlier this year after scores of death threats from insurgents. The military wouldn't release statistics, but attacks on U.S. troops are frequent. Indeed, Haditha has been the site of some of the deadliest attacks against U.S. forces. On Aug. 1, six Marine reservists were killed in an ambush; two days later, a roadside bomb killed 14 Marines traveling in an amphibious assault vehicle just outside the town, the deadliest single attack ever on U.S. forces. On Nov. 19, according to military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle MartinHing, the Marines were hit four separate times by roadside bombs and were fired on multiple times by gunmen they couldn't see. Three years after the war began, the U.S. military concedes it hasn't figured out how to tell a terrorist from an ordinary citizen in places like Haditha. A newly poured spot of asphalt now marks the spot where the IED, or improvised explosive device, exploded. It was 7:15 a.m. and the blast was the first IED of the day. Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas, died instantly. The armed fire attack started immediately, according to the Marines. There is as yet no official public version of what took place next and U.S. officials familiar with the investigation would discuss the incident only if their names were not used. According to these officials, a car approached the convoy at about the same time the shooting began. The Marines signaled it to stop and it did. But it was too close to the convoy and when four men jumped out of it, the Marines, suspecting the men had been involved in the IED attack, shot them dead. Yaseen said he and his brother's family were asleep in their houses

about 100 yards away when the explosion woke them. Minutes later, they heard the Marines blocking off the road. Yaseen, citing Safa's account, said Younes started to prepare the family for the search they knew was coming, separating the men from the women and the children, as is custom during searches. Younes moved his five children and sister-in-law into the bedroom, Yaseen said Safa told him. There, his wife was lying in bed, recovering from an appendectomy. They waited. The Marines moved into another house first, according to U.S. officials. In that house, the Marines saw a line of closed doors and thought an ambush was coming. They shot, and seven people inside were killed, including one child. Two other children who stayed in the house survived. A woman who ran out with her baby also survived, military officials said. Yaseen said Safa told him that her father heard something so he went to the front of the house. Seconds later, Safa said she heard several gunshots. She didn't know it at the time, but her father was dying. Four Marines then moved into the bedroom, where some of her sisters were standing at their mother's bedside, hugging her. Yassen said Safa told him that one Marine started yelling at them in English, but that they didn't understand what he was saying. The women and children started screaming in fear, which Yaseen could hear from next door. This went on for several minutes, he said. He said he never heard gunshots, only a long sudden silence. Desperate, he tried to get next door and find out what happened, but Marines wouldn't let him pass. "The waiting was killing me," Yaseen said. "We didn't know what happened."

Three hours later, someone knocked at Yaseen's door. He could hear a young voice wheezing and sobbing on the other side. It was Safa, covered in blood and dirt. Yaseen said he couldn't remember what she was wearing; he only saw the blood. The family was dead, Safa told Yaseen. Yaseen's wife cleaned Safa up while Yaseen prepared a white flag. Marines were still blocking the area. Carrying the flag, Yaseen, his wife, and Safa ran 200 yards to another relative's house where they have stayed since. Safa trembled as Yaseen told the story to a visitor. She tried to tell it herself, but she couldn't. "My father told us to gather in one room, so the Americans could search," she said. And then she started to cry. Yaseen said that Safa told him that four soldiers came into the bedroom, but only one did the yelling. Her mother, who had heard the shooting asked: "What did you do to my husband?" Her sisters, mother and aunt were crying. And then the one soldier who had been yelling started shooting. Frightened, Safa fainted. She thought she had died. When she awoke, she remembered seeing her mother still lying in bed. Her head was blown open. She looked around and heard her 3-year-old brother, Mohammed, moan in pain. The blood was pouring out of his right arm. "Come on, Mohammed. Get up so we can go to uncle's house," she told her brother. But he couldn't. In the same room where her mother, aunt and sisters lay dead, Safa grabbed the toddler, sat down and leaned his head against her shoulder. She put his arm against her chest and held it to try to stop the bleeding. She kept holding and talking to him until, like everyone else in the room, he too was silent. And then she ran next door.

Yaseen didn't see the rest of his brother's family until he went to Haditha Hospital the next day to pick up the bodies. Dr. Waleed Abdul Khaliq al-Obeidi, the director of Haditha Hospital, said they arrived around midnight, about 12 hours after Safa left her house. According to the death certificates, Younes died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. His wife, who was lying in bed, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The daughters were all shot in the chest. Mohammed bled to death. Younes didn't have a weapon, military officials confirmed. According to the U.S. military officials, the Marines entered five houses that day. In the third house, they found a group of women and children and asked where the men were. The women pointed out the house and the Marines left, without firing a round. At that house, they found four men, some of them armed, and shot them dead. Another group of Marines entered a fifth house, which appeared to be a terrorist cell. It had sleeping bags, weapons and a pile of Jordanian passports, military officials said. The men there were detained without incident. Late last month, an IED exploded near the same spot where Terrazas was killed. Nearby shops started closing in the middle of the day, telling customers they feared being detained. Drivers suddenly stopped and pointed to the rising plume of smoke. "That might have targeted the Americans," one driver said to another stopped and fearful about what to do next. "The Americans are coming." AMERICANS:STOP KILLING PEOPLE FOR WALL STREET. ARE YOU NOT TIRED OF KILLING FOR 200 YEARS? ONLY MORE TERROR WILL FOLLOW.

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous said...

I think those Iraqis are the bravest people in the world.. The Americans and British beating down on them defenseless people. Still the Iraqis will not quit.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous said...

You have been duped. The real Saddam is not on trial. "This is not my husband but his double. Where is my husband? Take me to my husband...You think I do not know my husband? I was married to the man for more than twentyfive years!" ...Sajida Hussein

The real Mohammed Atta does not have a weak chin. He called his father a day after 9/11. His father believes that he is in hiding because the Mossad

is after him to kill him. Almost all of the Major US TV networks broadcasted evidence that a UAV destroyed one of the WTC towers. Here is the video (in a zip file) to prove it. WTC #7 was brought down by a controlled Demolition. The media has been mum about this fact. Why? Could it be because it was targeted but the plane which was supposed to destroy it came down in Pennsylvania instead? Convince me that I am wrong. Choose Your topic. Here or at Letsroll911. com

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