Monday, November 05, 2007

Active Duty Fort Drum Soldier Protests Iraq War






I took this photo
of Phil Aliff on September 29th
in Syracuse, N.Y., where he was the first active duty soldier (and Iraq war vet) to publicly denounce the U.S. foreign policy in Iraq and participate in an IVAW chapter.

See my post from September



Excerpt from:

US soldiers shy from battle in Iraq
By Dahr Jamail


Read entire article here

WATERTOWN, New York - Iraq war veterans now stationed at a base here in upstate New York say that morale among US soldiers in the country is so poor, many are simply parking their Humvees and pretending to be on patrol, a practice dubbed "search and avoid" missions.

Phil Aliff is an active duty soldier with the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum. He served nearly one year in Iraq from August 2005 to July 2006, in the areas of Abu Ghraib and



Fallujah, both west of Baghdad.

"Morale was incredibly low," said Aliff, adding that he joined the military because he was raised in a poor family by a single mother and had few other prospects. "Most men in my platoon in Iraq were just in from combat tours in Afghanistan."

According to Aliff, their mission was to help the Iraqi army "stand up" in the Abu Ghraib area of western Baghdad, but in fact his platoon was doing all the fighting without support from the Iraqis they were supposedly preparing to take control of the security situation.

"I never heard of an Iraqi unit that was able to operate on their own," said Aliff, who is now a member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). "The only reason we were replaced by an Iraqi army unit was for publicity."

Aliff said he participated in roughly 300 patrols. "We were hit by so many roadside bombs we became incredibly demoralized, so we decided the only way we wouldn't be blown up was to avoid driving around all the time."

"So we would go find an open field and park, and call our base every hour to tell them we were searching for weapons caches in the fields and doing weapons patrols and everything was going fine," he said, adding, "All our enlisted people became very disenchanted with our chain of command."

Aliff, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), refused to return to Iraq with his unit, which arrived in Kirkuk two weeks ago. "They've already lost a guy, and they are now fostering the sectarian violence by arming the Sunnis while supporting the Shi'ites politically ... classic divide and conquer."

Aliff told Inter Press Service (IPS) he is set to be discharged by the military next month because they claim his PTSD "is untreatable by their doctors".




Phil is on the far right with fellow Iraq War veterans/members of IVAW
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell




4 comments:

b billy marse said...

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Gorknoids said...

So, they've propped up a guy who readily admits to dereliction of duty to protest the war?
Kind'a hard to cheer THAT with Veterans' Day just around the corner.

Have you contacted him WRT Hugo Chavez ordering the murder of protestors in Venezuela?

Just wanted to stop in and say "Hi!" and say that I'm jealous that it snowed up that way already.

AWG/Gorknoids

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

Hello there G, I was in Cape Vincent this past summer with Anonymoses and we thought about you..we were reminiscing about the old PBI days. My best to you and yours!

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