i also have a cunning plan

  1. 1,951 Posts.
    lets replace these troops with smelly yaks, sookers leaking scaVENgers , domains-- in short the entire stern gang ( love that one woow -- the stern gang). that is if these pansies have the guts-- or are they just armchair warriors

    US Troops Shocked By Move
    To Keep Them In Iraq
    By Michael Georgy

    FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) -- Under fire and unwanted by Iraqis, soldiers in the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division in the volatile town of Falluja were bitterly disappointed on Tuesday by a decision to keep them in Iraq indefinitely.

    "It's a big shock," said Sergeant Josh Holt of Montgomery, Alabama.

    Facing mounting threats in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Monday thousands of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanised) would stay in the country despite previous plans to bring them home in July and August.

    The division was the first American unit to enter Baghdad during the war and has been in the Gulf since September. Thirty- seven soldiers from the division have been killed in the war and its aftermath.

    U.S. troops have come under fire from loyalists of toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, armed gangs and those hoping to avenge relatives killed by U.S. troops.

    After hearing they would head home several times, 3rd Infantry soldiers were stunned by news that the gritty streets of Falluja would continue to be home for the foreseeable future.

    "We were told three times we would be going home in a couple of months. It is not a good time to announce this. We are demotivated," said Sergeant Chris Grisham, a military intelligence officer.

    "It has been tough. I have had to take a seven-year-old child home whose father we killed in an exchange of fire. The family just cried. They just cried. I am sure they will try to get revenge. That is the way it works in Iraq."

    The commander of the 3rd Infantry division, Major-General Buford Blount, said U.S. troops, including himself, were ready to go home but needed to remain committed to their task.

    "These soldiers have been here about 10 months after training hard in the desert for six months. They are doing hard work," he told Reuters Television.

    "They are doing a good job here. Morale is good. We are trying to get them out of here. But they have to stay focused on the mission."

    The 3rd Infantry shoulders a heavy burden in efforts to stabilise Iraq, controlling restive towns like Falluja, where anti-American sentiment is simmering and U.S. troops are attacked nearly every day.

    U.S. soldiers are training Iraqi police to eventually take over Falluja. Policemen have demonstrated against the U.S. presence and want the Americans to leave now. But the plan will take time.

    "The decision (to stay) is causing a lot of marriage problems. I am trying to be positive, thinking I will get out of here in one piece," said Private Christian Maldonado.

    Soldiers in the 3rd Infantry were just as disconsolate in the nearby town of Habbaniyah.

    "I felt probably a level of hopelessness that I never felt before in my life. It just felt like the knockout punch," said Sergeant Eric Wright.

    Iraqis Angry

    American soldiers were not the only ones angered by the decision to keep them in Iraq. Local Iraqis are also eager for them to depart.

    "We boil inside when we see these American soldiers drive by. There is no security here. If they stay we will fight them with our weapons," said Ahmed Abdel Razak, puffing on a water pipe in a crowded market.

    A man stopped his car to happily tell him that he had heard a U.S. tank had been attacked.

    American troops in Falluja sometimes pause from their patrols to try to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. But the public relations gestures often turn into verbal wars of attrition over electricity and water supply problems.

    Standing in the blistering heat as Iraqis listed their complaints, an American soldier brushed from his uniform the powdery white residue of sweat.

    His comrades nervously clutched M-4 semi-automatic rifles, securing the perimeter of a sidewalk crowded with Iraqis who didn't buy the argument that postwar rebuilding takes time.

    "I am hoping that as long as I can get my mail and make some calls home, I can survive," said Private Torrence Gilliam, from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
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