Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Leonard Clark is Arrested


From Leonard Clark, Monday, April 10, 2005


Hello Mrs. Lumm, it's Leonard Clark again. I hope you remember me. I met you at La Parrilla Suiza almost a month ago. I'm the guy who told you he ran for the State House District #12 position several times, including the last election, and that I would be in Iraq soon. Well, I'm in Iraq, near Baghdad. I'm writing you to ask a big favor and I don't know if you will be able to do it for me. Here it is: I'm stuck over near Baghdad, Iraq, and I see a lot of things that should be recorded and that shoudn't be forgotten. The problem is I'm writing everything by hand in my journal. I'm worried that if anything happens to me it will be lost or prevented from reaching the outside world. I know that I am writing you due to the miracle of the internet, but I am only able to do so on this computer at an internet cafe located at our little forward operating base (FOB). I don't have any other way of getting information [out] except by snail mail, which I hopefully will use also. At this time I'm worried about being accused of violating operational security, so everything I write will be carefully worded so as not to violate operational security. I can say that I am near or in Baghdad and later I will probably tell you the camp where I'm located.

I'm worried about asking my wife to record everything that I am writing, because quite frankly she is already stressed out and might not be able to take in some of the reality of this place in which I am surviving in right now. That is why I am asking you if you could record everything I write by using some type of computer disk or other tech method. In so doing I give you permission to use everything I write for you. I am just hoping you will give it to my wife and keep a copy for yourself if anything should happen to me. I would like to write about what I am experiencing when I get back if the Lord lets me get back.

I know that it's a big favor but I just can't let what I am experiencing and learning go to waste. Of course any questions you would have of me that didn't violate our operational security I'll gladly answer. I am deeply concerned [about] how minorities are being treated in our unit and in the Arizona National Guard.

Thanks again,

Leonard Clark
Candidate for Arizona District #1
United States Senate


From Leonard Clark, Monday, April 11, 2005


Dear Mrs Lumm,

Thank you for writing back. Thank you so much for your prayers. Also, my father Roy A. Clark passed away on March 26, 2005 to go be with my mother, his family and the Lord. I will miss him but I know that GOD is taking care of him, and that he is back with his family on the other side. Someday my family and I will go join him (GOD willing).

Also, if possible, I do not want to worry my wife because I don't think she might be able to handle some of what I and my fellow soldiers are going through right now.

I would like to start now the flow of information to you. Let me start the flow of information here by giving a quick situational brief of the morale of soldiers and the real situation over here right now. Pardon spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors, as I have to go out on a patrol mission shortly.

Apparently, the men and women soldiers over here are starting to sense that the American politicians back home are starting to decide that we will be out of here sooner than later. Today at the chow hall on television CNN announced that President Talabani had announced that American forces could be out of here within two years. We have now been drastically limited in what we can do, as our commander has stated that Iraq now has a soveriegn government. Basically, we are support to go out on patrols as M.P. on the same routes over and over, looking for bombs or other suspicious activity.

The problem is, I fear, that since the enemy knows that we will not pursue them due to the shrinking role, they will start to use us as moving targets, as one would do in a "Turkey Shoot." My unit has already been hit multi-times with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

A growing number of men here are starting to wonder why we should continue to risk our lives for this whole mess when we know that the government will probably pull out of here. By being here I have seen how it seems not only the insurgents, but the Iraqi people all want us out of here. You might have heard about Muqtada Sadr's Million Man March. Even though ostensibly the march wasn't successful because it didn't draw a million people, it still drew hundreds of thousands. The Iraqi government gave permission for this March and blocked the roads. What I am worried about is that our current executive government will not listen to the writing on the wall to save face, and will allow more of us to be murdered over here. After all, it is not they who have to go out of the fortified compounds (out of the wire) everyday and know that the insurgents are waiting to blow us up or shoot us like sitting ducks. The sister unit with us had a soldier killed by a sniper the day we got here. There is some talk that the Chechens have sent skilled snipers here to help the insurgents.

Some of the frustration of the average poor Iraqi citizen here who is young and is a Shiite, is that the Iraqi police here are corrupt. For example, I asked one of the young Iraqi Shiite workers here why he didn't feel more hope [that] the Iraqi police and Iraqi army were getting stronger, and he told me this: "Mister, if you have a lot of money and the Iraqi people stop you, they are going to take your money; if you have a nice car and they stop you they are going to take your car." The fellow M.P.s with me backed me up on this, by stating that they had dealings with Iraqi police and they "walked around like they owned the place." These fellow soldiers postulated that a lot of these police are former workers for Saddam. This makes it even harder for the average Iraqi to trust the police, because the average Shiite Iraqi hates Saddam Hussein. This also helps one to understand why the Iraqi police are probably infiltrated, to a large extent, by insurgents or crooks.

Still, many of the poor soldiers here naively believe that nothing is changing. Little do they know it, but things seem to be changing at an almost exponential rate. I just hope the insurgents just don't smell blood (our blood) and intensify their attacks.

There is also great resentment by the men that certain members of our leadership never go outside "The Wire" (the fort) and risk their lives like we do in this game of worsening "Russian Roulette". Rumors are now flying everywhere that many units could be leaving early to be replaced by other units. But if things here hit the fan we could be in here for a long time. I'm hoping for the former.

Our Captain is beginning to be felt by the men to be a glory seeker. He wants us to start going out on night missions and is volunteering us to go do more dangerous work than even the other MP units stationed here. Most of us believe it is because he is trying to look good when he gets back so that he can brag about what a big hero he is and he gets promoted to Major.

Also, I am concerned about how the minority soldiers are being treated here. I don't believe outright discrimination is being carried out in the open, but rather a more subtle form, where their opinions are dismissed and they are looked down on as if they are some kind of grown-up children. One thing I believe which has serious charges behind it is that the Arizona National Guard is a "good ol' boy" network for right-wing Anglo Saxons. The AZ National Guard, as opposed to the actual federal army which has strict EEOC protections enforced, is woefully and drastically underrepresented in the amount of minorities, especially African Amercans, that it has in its leadership ranks. The excuse that there are not that many minorities in the National Guard doesn't fly, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that minorities, especially African Americans, don't want to join the Guard in Arizona because they know that they won't get fair treatment.

I know an African American E-5 here who was an E-5 in the Persian Gulf and was going for becoming a Warrant Officer, but was instead forced to come back to Iraq 14 years later as an E-5, when other Warrant Officer candidates were allowed to continue on with their Warrant Officer training. The Governor needs to do something about this, and if the Lord lets me get back alive I will do something about it if she doesn't.

Well, I'm going to have to go now. I will start also sending the mundane notes, but although mundane [they are] very important because they will have the dates, times and quotes to back up the charges of abuse maltreatment [Illegible] our soldiers [Illegible: residing?] here under this petty glory-seeking leadership who risks our lives not for the defense of nation and state, but rather for their own personal gratification and promotion.

Sorry about the spelling but whenever I write I am almost always limited on time.


From Leonard Clark, April 13, 2005


Today was another terrifying day for the soldiers in my unit who had to go out and patrol their little cruel section of Iraqi roads. One of our squads' lives were saved only by the grace of GOD. As they were coming up their stretch of road they spotted one vehicle next to another, one at the side of the road. They very quickly realized that one of the cars was trying to arm the other car, so that when our convoy came by they could blow us up. As soon as the other car spotted us it took off immediately. When our men and women M.P.'s went to block off traffic so no one would get killed from the Iraqi population, the bombers set off the car bomb. We got lucky; from what I understand, the closest we came to an injury was a fragment from the crashed car onto the top of the helmet of one of our gunners. This same unlucky yet lucky squad later in their patrol didn't spot the second vehicle loaded with a 500-pound bomb set to go off to kill them. By the grace of GOD the trigger man for the bomb was sloppy or sleeping on the job.

Hopefully, tommorrow I will go out with my comrades. I'm worried the leadership is going to stop me from going out on patrols so as to discredit me with my comrades, or will send me on virtual suicide missions knowing by the laws of averages that it will be only a matter of time before I'm killed.

The Nitty Gritty of the situation, as you've probably already seen being played out in the media, is that hints are being thrown around everywhere, officially and unofficially, that significant troop withdrawals could start as early as next year. I fear that the terrorists have seen, as we have, Fox/CNN, and are now spelling blood, and terrorists will be emboldened by these hints and will increase the frequency of their attacks, hoping to force American forces to pull out even sooner. I believe that if this is what they are thinking they are sadly mistaken; we will dig in even deeper.

Earlier today I was sitting with my battle buddy (gunner for my humvee, I'm its driver) in a humvee (which I might add is not even my own humvee but somebody else's) and he asked me how I was taking the death of my father, Roy A. Clark. I told him that I had to force myself not to think about it because if I did it would overwhelm me. He told me that he had gone through the same thing with another member of his family and didn't even really start grieving until last year about that family member's death.

What I also didn't tell my buddy was that I'll never forgive myself for what I perceive as leaving my father behind when he needed me in the last years of his life. As I was sitting there, surrounded by the instruments of war: Blackhawk choppers flying overhead, humvees driving by, and tanks sitting in the camp, I realized that my father died from a broken heart. I left him when he needed me. He was not only my father; he was my dad, the old soldier who served under General Patton in WWII; he was just as much a comrade as my fellow soldiers; and finally, he was the buddy I could sit down with and take everywhere to drink coffee and eat meals with.

I paid an uncalculable price: the loss of my father Roy A. Clark. But let me make one thing clear. I don't blame my brothers and sisters who serve in the U.S. Army and Armed Forces with me. I blame the causes for why I am here: you know what they are. You should see these brave young men and women and how much they are sacrificing, especially every time they leave the wire (go outside the fort). They do this even though sometimes their cruel and callous leaders bear down upon them harshly while they themselves sit their sorry asses behind the walls and wire of their fort.

Mom and Dad, if GOD lets me get back, the first thing I'm going to do is go to your graves that I didn't visit the day after your funeral when I left for Iraq. I'm going to fall down on your graves and I am going to let a tortuous cry for your help in letting me know that you know I'm sorry for leaving, Dad, and not giving you the things in life that a good son should have given you. I guess the only thing I can give you is to always fight the fascist military robotic mindset that sees everything only through the barrel of a gun. The true American soldier fights for peace, not for war. If I don't make it back I pray to GOD that he will let me be with you, and that he will let me help him in protecting my beautiful wife and daughter and all the helpless and hopeless of this world. Oh GOD, when are we going to shed ourselves of war?

Leonard Clark
Candidate for the United States Senate
District #1 in Arizona


From Leonard Clark, April 14, 2005


Hello, Mrs. Lumm,

Sorry, about not clarifying. Yes, I want to get the word out to as many people as possible about the deplorable conditions that our young men and women are being forced to live under.

Well, anyway, I'm hoping that you might consider becoming part of my campaign to run for the Senate against Kyl in the Democratic Primary. As for hurt egos and bruised pride, I think the more powerful and elite in the party, who only want one candidate in the Democratic party, are only weakening us. If anything, my candidacy against another well-funded elite Democrat will only serve to better the ideals of our Democratic party, by bringing up issues that more right-wing Democrats will not bring up--for example, the plight of the working poor, the poor immigrants who are dying in our deserts only because they want better lives for their families, the enviroment, and the plight of our soldiers in the armed forces, just to name a few.

The following is my journal for today. Disseminate it to as many people as you can. The only problem is when I write these journals it is usually my night time here and I'm very tired, so please excuse the spelling and grammar. I've been going through a lot lately but I've just got to get the word out.

Routine day for myself and my miltary police company. I went beyond the wire today and we patrolled our normal stretch of road today in our Humvees. We stopped at many diferent places, and my team leader woud get ouf of the vehicle and talk to different peoople.

The children will usually watch us and peek at us from a distance, while the braver ones will even approach us and carry on conversations that we can't understand, but the smile of a child and a G.I. while observing each other is universally understood by both.

The average G.I. has a weakness in his or her heart towards a child or an elderly person. When I say `weakness' what I really mean is love. An American soldier would no sooner hurt a child or a helpless person than they would their own loved ones. Unfortunately, there are always those few military leaders who try to brand the hearts of our soldiers with cruelty so they will do cruel things. This is where the ethics and morals of each individual soldier come into play. If they know they would commit a crime or commit an act against humanity when following a certain order, then they have an obligation as a civilized human being and American soldier not to follow that illegal order.

Also, looking out the window of my Humvee that I was driving today on patrol, it was as if I was looking back thousands of years. It was as if I could have been taking a scene out of those movies about what it was like when Jesus or Mohammed walked the earth. There were ladies young and old dressed from head to foot in black gowns (that almost made them look like ghostly figures walking alongside the road in the heat of the day), pulling poor tired, old, skinny little donkeys with big loads of long green grass on their backs that is used to feed the sheep that seem to be herded everywhere alongside the dusty, dirty and trashed out roads. It was as if I was looking back in time to when my father was a child and many people in America were still using horses and buggies.

Also, another characteristic about this place somewhere in rural Iraq is that there are many tired, worn-out and starving dogs roaming this place.

Unfortunately, one grizzly story I have heard second-hand from other soldiers was that when a car bomber had blown himself up with innocent victims, a pack of wild dogs descended upon their remains to devour them, while our soldiers decided whether or not our leaders would criminally charge them for firing on these wild dogs scavenging on human remains. You see, here in Iraq we are not really fighting a war now-- we are fighting a police action. Basically, to us soldiers this means that you sometimes have to hesitate whether you should fire your weapon or not to defend you or buddies' lives, because our leaders have received orders from higher leaders to warn us we might be prosecuted for any mistakes we make. This is the state of things--fire your weapon and maybe stay alive, make a mistake and shoot wrongly in the moment of intense terror and you go home a war criminal. You see, it's not our leaders who will be prosecuted--it's us soldiers, because our commanding officers and many platoon sergeants don't even have to fire their weapons or even leave the safe confines of these fortresses that we live in. They conveniently cover themselves by using us as scapegoats. The powerful and the elite make terrible decisions but it is we so-called normal soldiers who have to go beyond the wire everyday that have to make the critical decisions that could land us in jail. In the military, the higher NCO's and all the officers stick together while scapegoating the common soldier. That's the way we see it, and that's not what you're going to see on FOX television tonight, nor on the unethical recruiting commercials suckering our children into this hell that is Iraq.

The air here (especially at night) reeks of the sweet putrid smell of burnt trash and raw sewage. People here burn things with impunity. Trash is just dumped on the side of the road where people feel like dumping it. The thing that kind of gets to me is watching the children walking and playing around this trash. I am a kindergarten teacher on the side, and it hurts to see these poor people who have been in the middle for so long live in such miserable, filthy, conditions.

But, optimistically, one sees little wooden shanty stores alongside of the roads here, trying to eke out a living selling sodas and snacks. The little people who only want to live their lives in peace are trying to survive every day. I see the little children and older children staring out at me from these little shacks selling these things and hope and pray to GOD that somehow they will have much better lives than the ones before them have experienced. They are in the middle, between the coalition and the terrorists. We cannot be there to protect them 24 hours a day.

A case in point is the recent murder of cleaning ladies who worked at a camp that my fellow soldiers knew. These poor ladies were killed for nothing more than working for the Americans. This is when I get really pissed off and wish we could catch those murdering scum and hang `em high from the tallest date tree that we can find.

Today, while in the chow hall I was watching CNBC on a large screen T.V. They announced multiple large bombs carried by cars (VBIEDS - vehicle borne improvised explosive devices) had gone off and killed many poor souls. My buddy, who was in a squad from my platoon that had been in Baghdad, heard at least several of these very powerful explosions. As I was talking to him he explained that the other soldiers were asking why our forces weren't apprehending or killing the terrorists at their training camps of which we knew the locations in Iraq. He told me that he told them the reason was that certain very powerful people and interests (mainly oil company interests) needed Iraq to stay unstable so that we would have an excuse to keep American forces in Iraq and in the Middle East. I'm not sure if I agree with his assessment but it sure does seem to make more and more sense as the days go by here.

Well I sure miss all of you, my friends and family, and I don't know if the government will finally cut off my emails, but if they do don't worry--I won't let the bastards get me down. The reason I am writing this is so that what I am experiencing gets out to the free world and won't be forgotten, so that if I should not survive or am incapacitated maybe our children won't have to go through this. I am also writing this to say how proud I am to serve with normal human beings who volunteered to serve their country even though many of them have been abused by the military for doing so.

Those powerful people that I told you about earlier could stop me at any time, and hide behind the military, saying it was the military's doing, but we would know better. We already know how one man's wife was outed by very powerful people in the administration for daring not to kow tow to you know who. If these very same powerful people were willing to do that to the American ambassador who had the courage to speak the truth, just imagine what they could do to me here in this war zone, where we drive almost every day outside the wire Knowing we could be blown up by road-sided bombs, snipers, or suicide bombers.

P.S. Please forgive my spelling and grammar. I don't have much time to get them out to you.

GOD willing I will write you another journal article if I survive another day.

Vaya Con DIOS
Leonard Clark
Democratic Candidate from Arizona
for U.S. Senate District #1 against John Kyl


From Leonard Clark, 860th M.P. Co., Arizona Army National Guard Unit


Hello Mrs. Lumm, it's Leonard. Thank you so much for caring. Around here it's a lot of tedious work with little rest lumped in with moments of terror.

I apologize again for the spelling, and by the way feel free to compile what I write. I am also trying to email this journal other people because in the long run if the essence and the truth of what I'm saying gets out, that's all that matters. Whew! Here go several days' worth of journals:

April 15, 2005

Early in the morning, it seems right before I woke up, my father Roy A. Clark came to me in a vision while I was sleeping. I cannot yet say whether he was happy or sad or angry. He was talking to me but I just can't remember what he said.

In the morning I worked in the motorpool, and helped out the mechanics with my platoon's vehicles (Humvees). The maintenance of our vehicles is critical, [since] if they should go down while out on our patrols we would be in great danger because of our immobility. One of my mechanic friends that I have is an immigrant from Nicaragua. He also lives in Glendale, Arizona, not far from where I live. This man who is from Nicaragua shows how the immigrants of this country contribute greatly to its defense. I know of other immigrants who are serving in this Military Police company with me. I'd like to tell those who spread hate on immigrants to this country that they need to look in our United States Armed Forces and see the work and sacrifice that these immigrants are contributing to our country.

I finally got to take a shower after an embarrasing amount of time that I won't disclose here. After that nice shower I got a haircut here from an Iraqi national. The barbers here charge only $3.00 but I paid him $10.00, and told him that's around the amount of money we pay in the United States for a haircut. He did an excellent job and earned the money I paid him.


April 16th, 2005

Today was a long day. We went on a patrol of our territory, "13 miles of bad road". We ended up staying out longer beyond the wire for our shift. We had to stay out longer because another squad from one of our platoons had one of their Humvees get hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Thanks to the grace of GOD the men in the Humvee were not killed. The gunner suffered a concussion and double vision, and the team leader suffered pretty much the same injuries. I talked to their team leader who also [is] a friend of mine, and he said the blast blew the ear plugs right out of his ears.

We went and took over guarding the site of the explosion while the other squad took their men to get medical attention. Some of our men had to dismount our vehicles and get out and search the area around them for any more possible IEDS or triggering devices. The sobering fact of the matter was that my squad had just minutes before patrolling down that same stretch of road.

Unfortunately, two other soldiers from our fort were not so fortunate. They were killed by bombs in two different incidents. One soldier apparently was a gunner in a Humvee, and was hit by a very powerful IED. I was told that the bomb contained ball bearings which practically decapitated the soldier in the turret of the Humvee. The other soldier killed was in a heavily armored type vehicle. Somehow the terrorist managed to penetrate the vehicle with a very powerful bomb.

Other things took place that day and the next which I hopefully can tell you about at another time but cannot reveal now. During the patrol that day we stopped alongside the road to stretch our legs. I got out of my vehicle and met with some of the people and got to practice my Arabic that I have been trying to teach myself for a while now. "Ana Ismee Leonard," I told them, or "My name is Leonard," and then I asked them, "Intu Ismee?" What is your name? And they responded to me. It was a magical moment. This is why I have always loved to learn the languages of other people; there is something so wondrous and captivating about it--perhaps akin to being an explorer of brave new exotic worlds. One of the Iraqi people that I met was a young man by the name of Muhammed.

The placed where we stopped and where we met these people was in my opinion not one of the smartest places to stop for a rest, because it was a place where large gas tanker trucks park. Well, I know I've left out a lot of details, but I have to wake and get up early.


April 17th, 2005

It's the next day and we're full of tension and wondering about the unknown that might occur. I can reveal no more than that for now. Since I have a little bit more time now, I would like to go back to yesterday, when I finally was able to get out of my vehicle and meet the common people of Iraq. Apparently, most of the men I met were pretty much all young. None of these young men spoke English, except for an older man who drove one of the big fuel rigs. These young Iraqis who had oil and dirt all over them from working in this kind of truck stop/junk yard/auto party area looked at me as if I were from another planet. The young man named Mohammed watched me as I got back into my Humvee from behind the thick bullet-proof glass, and then took out some Iraqi money and waved it at me. I don't if he was trying to tell me out of pride that he was earning money like I was or that he was asking me to give him some Iraqi money. I shrugged my shoulders as if to tell him that I didn't know what he was asking.

Right now as I write this I'm enjoying a rare opportunity to listen to one of the two CDs that I own. I'm listening to a CD of classic Blue Grass music, and I'm thinking of home and of my mom and dad, grandma, and my aunts and uncles [who are] alive and who have passed away. The song I'm listening to right now is called "Keep On the Sunny Side". While over here I'm discovering that ironically I'm thinking of home and of my roots and of my family's roots, and about its Southern and Southwestern folk culture past. I've lived some of that past and now I miss it, and I miss most of family who taught it to me and who are departed. Right now I picture a beautiful day back there in Arizona.

There's another song I can't get out of my head and it's called the "Big Rock Candy Mountain". The funny thing is I couldn't find my CDs to bring with me from home, when I returned from emergency leave, so I've got to call my wife and tell her the address of this place so she can mail them to me.

The song I'm listening to now is called "Will the Circle Be Broken".

During the writing of this letter I also forgot to mention the Arab community here is constantly singing songs of prayers from their mosques. I was thinking that the songs were for the insurgents, but instead these songs of prayers are for the Iraqi National Guard who are getting ready to fight a life and death situation to what could be the biggest battle for them yet. If they succeed they will have not only have earned their own confidence, but that of the world.

Over the short time that I've been here I've talked to the interpreters, and I've talked to the Iraqi workers, and in their voices can be detected a deep painful sadness for the plight of their country. When they speak of their native land of Iraq they also express hope that one day their country will be a place [where] they can live in peace. As for me, to see such a great country in such great despair and disunity almost forces me in turn to think of my own country, the United States of America. I wonder in amazement how and why we came to be so powerful of a democracy and shining example to all of mankind.

As I continue to write I've now put in my 2nd CD and am listening to a song called "Born In the U.S.A".

Talking with these Iraqi people also makes me think not only of our country's strengths, but also of her weaknesses. How did/do we work out the great wrongs in our own system, such as the genocide of Native Americans, slavery and discrimination? And what are we doing now to work out our problems with the enviroment and the treatment of our immigrants, especially Mexican immigrants? I fear that hate is now being promulgated in the Southwest towards our Mexican immigrants. I fear that instead of dealing with the security of our borders and the growing humanitarian problem in the Southwest regarding our Mexican immigrants, instigators and provocators only want to start a balkanization, civil war akin to Bosnia or Iraq, or get votes for their politicians by spreading hate and possibly causing a blood bath in our own country.

Right now the song I'm now listening to is Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful." I just pray that nothing happens to our country. I believe that many among us have grown complacent about our country, thinking that it will stay as great as it always has been. I worry that they forget this country is not so old in terms of historical length, and is still "The Great Experiment".

This country, I believe, will not stay great with only a strong army nor lots of money; it will stay strong and great with a belief that we must be humble too and under GOD as a nation. That the separation of Church and State must stay in place as our Forefathers had the wisdom and foresight to see what could happen if it didn't (witness sectarianism wherever it rears its ugly head in the world). That our country should endeavor to have an extremely well-educated populace, and that it wouldn't hurt for our country to take the basic version of the Golden Rule: Do unto other countries as you would have them do unto your country.

Well, I'm going to stop for now, and by the way the song I finished off this journal entry with was the song "American Pie". I love you Mari (wife), and Karen (daughter). I pray that GOD takes care of you and of all my family living and departed.

Our other mission has been postponed for now. Now we are preparing for a patrol mission. More or less (unless we are put on alert again) we are resuming our regular missions for today. Now we have just stopped alongside a curve in the road, and an old man and a little 6 to 7 year old, and 3 to 4 year old baby boy came walking out to us as we got out of our vehicles. The little boys would make any father proud and I'm sure I would be a proud father if they were my sons. The youngest of the little boys was barefooted while the older boy wore sandals.

My gunner gave the little boys the Power Bars that he got from the chow hall, then apparently to another 9 year old boy who walked out to us. These Power Bar snacks were the lunch he brought out for himself.

The youngest of the boys wore no shoes and their clothes seemed to be old and weathered. The little one appeared to be thin but nontheless healthy enough to smile at us and show us that GOD does exist in Iraq even though the most horrible things occur here on a day to day basis.

I went to our platoon meeting and as usual our out-of-touch, insensitive, "hide behind the wire" leadership, as per the First Sergeant, insists that in between trying to survive not getting blown up or decapitated, that we beautify our area and do a police call of cigarette butts tomorrow. The insensitiviy of these fat lard asses who call themselves our leaders is truly amazing. Screw them! I'm risking my ass everyday and our First Sergeant can do nothing but scream in fits of rage at his soldiers, then later try to kiss their asses with his two-faced lies of compassion.

Well, I wish I didn't end that last segment with a negative but I will try to end it with a worn out cliche: "Tomorrow is a new day."

I love you Karen and Mari.



From Leonard Clark, 860th M.P. CO., Arizona Army National Guard, April 19, 2005


Hello, Mrs. Lumm.

Today, April 19, 2005, was a day I didn't have to go outside of the wire. I went on "contractor watch/guard". This duty consists of following the Iraqi contractors we pay to do maintenance work here on our F.O.B (Forward Operating Base). This base is the place I live and sleep at when we are not on patrol outside of the base. I learned a lot on this duty because I got to interact with the contractors and the workers they brought with them.

Today I watched the contractor and his workers install tile on the walls of our batallion aid station. The weather was hot and dry just like it probably is back in Arizona. I felt bad for the contractors' workers--for the most part they look to be desperately poor, young and scruffy men. They constantly are eating a very tiny berry that resembles a cross between a cranberry and a crabapple that is no bigger than the tip of one's pinky. They do not have enough to eat. We had to observe them eat their lunch while we ate our lunch. They ate in the classic Arabic style--their food was in the middle, on a piece of cardboard box that they had cleaned off. The contractor supplied them with their food. It mainly consisted of a wheat tortilla/pita bread. They all would eat in a civil manner, obtaining the food they wanted from the center of their makeshift cardboard mat. They also had what looked to be some lemons and some type of vegetables. Their only drink was water. Watching them as I ate, I felt guilty because I was eating a hot meal brought to me courtesy of Dick Cheney and his company chow hall, KBR, Inc.

These poor young men were still scavenging off the nearby tree the fruit they call "Nabuka". Most of these little berries were not even ripe yet and were still very green and had a sour taste. The reason I know they had a sour taste is that one of these men offered me some of the berries he had picked off the tree. I did not want to turn him down, so as to [not] be unappreciative, although he had given me 7 to 10 of these berries, I ate one in his presence and then put the rest in my pocket, because they were so sour I could not eat them. Another friend of mine, who is like a brother, is a sergeant who was watching another detail. This detail of men were not supplied any lunch by their boss (contractor). My friend knew there was left-over food from the soldiers' lunch, and he requested that the left-over food be given to these men, even though we are not supposed to give them any food. My friend the sergeant was given permission, and these men got something to eat. Later, when these men were working, I was alone with one them who had to go to the other side of the building to get more dirt; at this time I gave him the only food I had on me and that was the Power Bar that I had gotten from the chow hall.

After eating their small lunch the men resumed their work in the hot sun, although most of them worked inside placing the tile, one or two them stayed outside to make the cement. One very interesting thing that I noticed was how these men made the cement by hand and shovel. I realized that they were making the cement the way they had probably made it since it was brought to them from the Romans. First, the worker would put soft dirt he had shoveled into the wheelbarrow on the ground, then he would hold a small strainer that consisted of a fine wire mesh and pour this dirt a small amount at a time through the strainer. After the dirt was into a fair size pile he would pour in the cement mix and stir it into the soft dirt with his shovel. After mixing the cement and dirt together the man would then flatten it with his shovel and make a spiral canal on the inside of the flattened pile of dirt. Finally, the man would pour a small amount of water into the pile into a hollow space he had made in the middle of the pile of dirt, then he would make a small opening from the hollow in the center of the pile of dirt and the water would flow into the spiral canal he had made. When the water had flowed into the dirt he would then stir into the dirt, constantly mixing it with his shovel. And this is how he made cement--the way it's been made for many hundreds and hundreds of years.

I also noticed that the contractors did not have much water for the men. True, they might be acclimated to this type of hot climate, but I could not drink my water in front of them because I felt guilty watching them work so hard and hardly be allowed to drink any water. At the end of the day I and a fellow contractor escorted these men off the FOB (Forward Operating Base). As I was escorting these men off, they crudely, through hand gestures, asked if I would let them pick the berries up from another tree nearby. I let them. It was a tragic sight to see these men desperately but happily scavenging the ground for these berries; for all I know they were picking them up to take home for their hungry families. So, from these common Iraqis I had learned kindness and perseverance. (All day they had patiently taught me words in Arabic.)

Another interesting topic that popped up today was with a medic with whom I met while he was on guard duty in front of our post store (PX). He basically as a medic had seen and treated Iraqis who had been shot, injured and even killed when they refused to slow down or run our road blocks. He brought up the fact about something I have yet to see in our media on any of the big networks, and that is the fact that a lot of Iraqis get drunk here, in a land where alcohol is strictly forbidden. The medic told me a man's children had been shot in their father's car when their father who was drunk refused to slow down. The men, fearing the worst--that a suicide bomber was about ready to ram their check point and detonate his car bomb--gave verbal commands, then hand signals, fired into the ground, then into the engine block of the car, and finally into the car's driver's compartment as well. I would be more skeptical about Iraqis driving drunk, but my buddies from another squad in my platoon have also encountered drunk drivers.

Finally, the last thing that I have noticed on this tragic anniversary of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, is that apparently white power groups are still alive in the U.S. Army. I believe the old axiom is true, that if you want to learn about a people read their graffitti. The reason I bring this up is because ever since arriving in Kuwait and then Iraq I have noticed on the walls of the J-Johns and bathrooms many very virulent racist writings by American soldiers. One group that is particularly targeted seems to be African Americans. I am also concerned that lip service seems to be only paid to the mandatory EEOC classes that we rarely attend.

With these final thoughts I leave all of you with the prayer that GOD protect you and your families and that somehow peace be restored in this sometimes violent and cruel world. I would like to say to you, Marisela and my baby Karen, [that] I love you always and that you have always enriched my life.

Finally, I hope that you will all pray for our soldiers and the people of Iraq--that they may have peace and that this terrible nightmare end.

Leonard Clark
Candidate for the U.S. Senate
District #1 in Arizona


From Leonard Clark, 860th MP CO, Arizona Army National Guard

April 23, 24, and 25, 2005


Esther, I will keep writing you but in the journals below you will find why I haven't been able to email you until now. Until we talk again, GOD be with you and yours.

Your friend Lennie

Here's my journal for the last 3 days.

April 23, 2005

I went out on a regular patrol up and down our small section of roads. We were allowed for the first time to patrol a little bit longer stretches of road. Because we were able to patrol longer stretches of road, it made this patrol more interesting than usual. Alongside the stretches of road we have been patrolling the area seems to be very low income. The people seem to be much poorer. But on the extension of the road we patrolled, the area seems to be affluent, lush farm land. The houses are nicer and are mostly of the traditional Middle Eastern style.

The people all along this stretch of road seem to be more indifferent of our presence. Their indifference has the feel of someone ignoring another--not because they don't care, but as way of being defiant. Pretty much this patrol went without incident.


April 24, 2005

We had a special mission, to take some personnel from our military fort to an Iraqi police station. This Iraqi police station was located near the center of Baghdad. Before we even left in the morning (while in the bathroom) I heard a loud explosion. From what I have gathered, it was a huge bomb--either an IED (improvised Explosive Device) or a VEBD (vehicle borne explosive device/suicide bomber). It apparently ocurred more than 3 miles away from us. Unfortunately, I later found out that the bomb's impact was so strong that it critically injured two other soldiers (one had his arm blown off), and the third (the driver) was decapitated. I'm not sure if any more of those soldiers have died; I pray to GOD that they have not. This fatality is the reason I haven't emailed you for more than 24 hours. Every time a soldier from our camp gets killed the email and phone access are denied to us, because the leadership understandably doesn't want a soldier to call home and say to his wife or mother that a private was killed, when he [only] received a scratch on his right arm.

The danger is much greater for military units such as mine, because my fellow soldiers routinely go out every day beyond "the wire" and act almost as sitting ducks for an enemy that knows what roads we patrol and has spotters with cell phones located along the densely populated countryside. This is not to say that soldiers who live inside our fort don't face danger. Right before I got here our fort was sporadically but constantly mortared. It is very possible that somebody could be injured or killed. This is how some of our brave soldiers have been killed. But I have been here almost three weeks and we have yet to be mortared, which means we're probably due for one [attack] at any time. But notwithstanding mortar attacks, my fellow soldiers have their chances of being injured or killed greatly multiplied when they go out every day in Humvees or trucks or ASVs.

True, most of us don't dwell on this because most of us wouldn't get our jobs done if we did, but we all know that on average someone has been dying every week among those who patrol outside of the wire. In other words: we are playing "Russian Roulette" with our lives, without being able to properly defend ourselves. For example, if someone sets off a bomb and tries to kill us on one of our patrols, we are not allowed to pursue them off of the road except for a few feet. And believe me, the terrorists know this. You see, the present administration knows that if most of us just keep inside our forts while the MPs like myself patrol outside the fort everyday, there will not be near as many deaths, or in political terms: the American public will accept it. For these men that I know, these brothers and sisters, it is evident that they are growing more and more aware that they are being used like ducks in a shooting gallery to protect another country that will probably become a theocracy a short time after we leave it. Why are our men and women dying now? Yes, we have liberated this country, but now it is clearly becoming evident that they should soon take care of themselves. Why should our sons and daughters (my brothers and sisters) sacrifice and die now for a country that will probably become a theocracy anyway? I'm glad we got rid of Saddam Hussein, but now we are being killed uselessly over here.


April 25, 2005

I had contractor watch detail. So far I haven't gone out of the wire today. In the morning I heard another explosion, and then, when I was finishing up on my contractor watch detail, I heard what sounded like another IED or VEBD explosion.

Well, for now I've got to go. I pray that no one was hurt or killed today, but if someone was you will probably not hear from me for another 24 hours, due to the standard email / phone blackout.

I love you Karen and Mari.



From Leonard Clark, 860th MP CO, Arizona Army National Guard, April 28, 2005


Hello Mrs. Lumm,

I hope everything is going well with you and yours. Unfortunately, I was sending out my email journals when the Arabs who run this Internet Cafe somehow screwed up and took me offline. Fortunately, I managed to send my entries for the 26th, 27th and the 28th to my wife and to my friends Dorothy and Ryan. As soon as I can get the journal entries back from them I will send them to you, or hopefully you can get them from Dorothy. It's frustrating, because I had typed up all 3 journals earlier, and these same Arabs had accidentally (I think) cut me off from the Internet.

Well, anyway, it's getting to be near one o'clock in the morning here. I will send those emails to you as soon as I can get them back. Well, ADIOS for now.

Your friend,


From Leonard Clark, 860th MP CO, Arizona Army National Guard, April 29, 2005


Journal: April 29, 2005

So-called "Fun Day" put on by batallion. Take this with a grain of salt, in the way that George Orwell in his book described how "Big Brother" used words to totally lie to the people (semantics).


April 30, 2005

I drove to Camp Victory and had a special device installed. I came down with some kind of stomach virus or heat exhaustion or both. I had neck, head and stomach pain along with "Iraq's Revenge" plus weakness,soreness and cold chills (shivers). I had a pretty high temperature. Apparently, this has stricken other soldiers, and the medics are trying to ascertain where it's coming from. Apparently, they have eliminated food off the local economy, because the soldiers do not eat it, so this leaves our dining facility, run by KBR.


May 1, 2005

I went to [the] medic. He did [a] good job checking me out, because I thought that he was just going to patronize me by giving me a couple of aspirin and saying "go back to work". This is why I love my brothers and sisters in the Army--most of them are not infected with the "hateful indifference" of those leaders that now poison our Army. If I am elected as a Senator representing Arizona in the United States Senate, I will push for a complete overhaul of how the U.S. Army treats its soldiers. If GOD lets me live to get home, I promise my honorable ancestors and my brothers and sisters and most of all myself to do this. GOD bless America.


May 2, 2005

Going out on a very early mission. If GOD decides for me not to come back please tell my wife and daughter that I love them.

I love you Mari, and Karen.


June 30th, 2005
Sorry, but I need to tell you who I am.

I've done my best to read some of your emails and all I can do is thank all of you, even the ones who criticize my points of view, because I am provoking you to do what tyrants hate for people to do: Think.

Now, I am greatly concerned that one of the methods that the Orwellians will use to discredit me is to say that I don't exist, or, even if I do, that I must have a record of discipline problems.

Well, I don't blame you, because in this day and age you have to be careful - just look no farther than the crooks who rule this country.

Well, here goes: Up till now I haven't revealed more about myself because I didn't want the message to be about me, and, even more importantly, I didn't want to endanger my family back home. After all, we have a crooked leadership who has "outed" one of our CIA agents because her husband dared to speak about the "cooking of evidence" to start this war and justify this lunacy.

I am 40 years old (even though I feel about 80 right now). I first went in the U.S. Army at the age of 17 in 1982. After finishing my stint with the U.S. Army I continually went in and out of the Arizona Army National Guard. In 1990, I volunteered and served in the Persian Gulf. I went with a unit called the 2221st Arizona Army National Guard Refuelers; at the time, they were based at an armory called the Silver Lake Armory in the proximity of Tucson, Arizona. Right after coming back from this war, I married a beautiful lady from Mexico and helped fuel the mini-American baby boom that occurred in the U.S. at the time. Unfortunately, my beautiful elderly mother and father were declining in health and in approximately 1997 I got out of the 855th MP CO. to take care of my mom and dad. Less than a year later my beautiful mother, Lillian C. Clark, passed from this earth and went to be with our Lord and Savior.

During this whole time I had to take care of my mother and father, and it was hard to watch them go. I was attending college off and on all throughout these hard economic years. I started my collegial odyssey in 1986 at G.C.C. (Glendale Community College). I loved to run and even though I tore my knee while in Germany, while conducting field exercises with the U.S. Army, I walked onto the track and cross country teams. I lettered there and placed 2nd in the National Junior Community College Track Championships Steeple Chase.

Borrrrrrrringgggg! SnooooooooooZe!

Then in November 1987, in the NJCCC Cross Country Championships, I placed 6th overall. Due to these high placings I was able to persuade coach Dave Murray at the University of Arizona to give me an athletic scholarship for tuition and books. Thanks also to the GI bill at the time, I was able to continue on through college. There at the University of Arizona, I lettered; this was one of the proudest days of my life, when I received my letter jacket, because it was the only letter jacket I ever had as we really couldn't afford to buy one when I was in high school. Unfortunately, foot injuries and the Persian Gulf War interrupted my pursuit of making it to the Olympics.

When I got back I managed to get an athletic scholarship to Grand Canyon Community College for Track and Cross Country; this was around 1993. I was the first male to make NCAA All American there because they had just entered the NCAA Division III group. After that I became a city and Arizona activist. In 2004, I and a group of individuals helped stop our city government in Glendale, Arizona, from tearing down an historic old Baptist Church in Glendale simply because they wanted some parking spaces. I briefly sat on a commission the City of Glendale put together to come up with ideas that would help save this important and significant landmark in Glendale. Right across the street from this old church is the house that the famous hometown boy and country and western singer Marty Robbins lived in. It was Marty Robbins who played as a poor high school boy in my mom's and dad's cafe outside of a place called White Tanks, Arizona.

Throughout this time I struggled, but finally graduated from Ottawa University (the branch located in Phoenix, Arizona). I received my B.A. in History and minor concentration in Education.

The part I have a hard time talking about right now is my beautiful father, Roy A. Clark. You see, I placed him in a nursing home because I had to come here; there were no competent family members that could take care of him. He was suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF) and was not expected to live long. When I told him that I joined the Arizona Army National Guard he cried because he knew what would probably happen next. Later, when I tried to come home on emergency leave my commander wouldn't let me come home to be with him as he died, and this was even after multiple Red Cross messages with the signatures of two specialists (doctors) who stated my father was probably going to die. After I contacted my senator back home and others, my commander relented. I hold myself responsible for leaving this man whom I loved more dearly than any man on earth. My father was the old veteran who served under General Patton in Europe. He needed me and I left him. He felt no differently than I did about this whole lie. Even though he cried when I told him that I was going to have to go Iraq he told me that he understood that I felt so bad about my fellow soldiers' suffering.

I will not lie - hindsight is twenty-twenty - but if I could go back and spend even just one minute more with my father, Roy A. Clark, and not have come here, I would. I know that my brothers and sisters would understand. They know that I faced the tribulations and pain of the hell we have been through. Now, I'm weary and tired, and I'm getting connected to my "battle buddy" because every time he goes up to gun I'm worried that something terrible is going to happen to him.

I can't think about him too much over here, I just can't right now. Right now as I'm writing you I'm listening to an old country Blue Grass song called `You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine.' This song is one of the theme songs that represent what my father was in life: the loving and loyal husband and excellent father. My mother's theme song should be the old Blue Grass song `Stay On the Sunny Side.' It speaks to her positiveness about life and so much more. Another song that kind of gives you an idea about my mother is `As I Went Down In the River To Pray.' Please, could one of you reading this out there tell somebody to play these songs and the rest of the songs on the `Oh Brother Where Art Thou' C.D. track if I don't make it back alive. Please, tell my loved ones back home in Glendale, Arizona, to make the funeral for my mother and father, Roy and Lillian Clark. Please, tell my wife to dig out one of the old pictures of them sitting together, particularly the one where they are sitting on the couch together with their arms around each other. After you do this, please play the song entitled: `A Man of Constant Sorrow' for me.

Well, I had to tell you a little about who I am because the Orwellians will try to discredit me any way they can. Please, call Representative Miranda in the Arizona legislature; Glendale City Council members: Phil Lieberman, Joyce Clark, Kevin Spidel of PDA America, Professor Jeffries, Professor Kiermayer at Glendale Community College, Professor Traugott of Ottawa University. You can also try to look up newspaper articles in the University of Arizona Wild Cat paper from 1988-89, and much more recently from the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Secretary of State's website. I fear telling you too much information about where I work and live because I now know that I am endangering my family.

I would not be endangering my loved ones and taking these extreme risks if I did not believe that there exists this great evil out there that wishes to profit off of the blood of my fellow soldiers and myself, and that actual lives can now be saved (my fellow soldiers' lives). You see, every day now that another soldier dies is another tragic waste of a life that could have gone back to family and, in many cases now, leaves fatherless and motherless children.

Help stop the madness.

Fight non-violently for the just and righteous cause of Not One More American Soldier's Life being Lost! N.O. M.A.S.!

Written by Leonard A. Clark (the damned liberal who patrols the means streets of Iraq every day.)
Civilian job: Kindergarten teacher in the Public School System
Sí Se Puede! Yes, You Can! Viva Cesar Chavez, Viva Martin Luther King Jr., Viva Ghandi!

Please dear GOD, mine enemies now seek to destroy me. If this is necessary to save my fellow soldiers' lives then I accept Your, will but if You can let my fellow soldiers and me come back alive to our families I accept that and pray for it also. Glory to GOD in the highest, Amen.

Thanks be to GOD, I came back alive with my unit from that conflict.

From Leonard Clark, 860th MP CO, AZ Army National Guard, May 2, 2005


Today we went on an early mission. We were making our second trip around the same stretch of road we had been on earlier in the morning when an I.E.D. was set off. The triggerman let the Humvee I was driving ( I was the first vehicle in a convoy of 3 vehicles) go by. There was a tremendous boom sound behind me. The initial reaction was `What the bleep was that!' My team leader, who sits in the front passenger seat, looked back; I glanced back in my mirror and for a few seconds I had a sickening feeling in my stomach when I realized that my friends in the two vehicles behind might be dead or badly injured. My second reaction was [that] wow, the guy could have blown me up had he chosen to, but instead let me go by. Most of these same men had already been hit by an I.E.D. several weeks before I arrived back from emergency leave when my father passed away.

Apparently, the only casualty was an Iraqi civilian who had been driving a blue van. This person's van was hit by fragments and all the windows were shattered. Apparently, the Iraqi civilian hurt his arm. My team leader, SSG. B and our interpreter (an Iraqi national) tried to gather information on who had done this. Apparently, all that was found out about the attackers was that they possibly drove off at a high speed in a little black truck.

While we were waiting for instructions from our company T.O.C. (Tactical Operations Command Center) about what to do next, swarms of little kids descended upon us (this is the Catch 22 of being nice to the children during previous encounters, because then when there is immediate threat or danger they will not leave unless firmly told to do so, and even then they tend to come back). Due to the fact that we didn't know if the enemy would hit us again, we chased the children off (who were themselves becoming quite aggresive for candy or food or "American food"), because we didn't want them to get hurt if a second bomb (IED) went off. Sometimes the terrorists will set off a decoy bomb only to kill the unsuspecting victims who think they are out of danger; also the terrorists will sometimes follow up a bomb attack with an armed ambush. But after we chased these children off they came back again, this time displaying fragments from the bomb that just went off. There were so many people walking in the area that we couldn't keep them out--there weren't enough of us to stop them. I believe they were aware of the danger of a second bomb going off, but my buddies have told me about a kind of "live, let live" philosophy that Iraqis have here: they believe if they are blown up by a bomb it is ALLAH'S will so they will endanger themselves needlessly when they don't have to. Getting back to the children, I yelled loudly the word for `leave' in Arabic: "Imshee!, Imshee!" One little boy went so far as to force his hands on the window frame of my vehicle and shout, "Mister, Food!" At this point we took off, feeling that we were becoming targets more and more every second.

While driving back to the base we were furiously honking our horns for the civilian traffic to move aside as we went down the road. We knew that we did not want to become easy targets by being stopped by traffic. You see, one of the methods I'm told the cowardly murderers use is to pick a vehicle in our convoy to time when they set off their bomb/ bombs. Lately all of the Iraqis have become more brash to us, because they know our government has told us soldiers that this is no longer a war, even though many thousands of terrorists are still trying and succeeding at killing us.

Most of us, including the higher-ranking soldiers, know that this talk from the politicians in Washington, that we are no longer at war in Iraq, is hogwash! When an organized group of murderous cowards are trying to and succeeding at killing us day and night 7 days a week, it's a war. Basically, you've heard the expression "when someone else loses their job it's a recession, but when you lose your job it's a depression". Well, the politicians in Washington are not losing their lives, nor are the generals and fat asses such as high-ranking non-commissioned and commissioned superiors here who have us picking up cigarette butts when we get back to our base even though we just got hit with an I.E.D. (bomb) [losing theirs].

The Sgt Major here loves to be an inhuman monster. He has us picking up cigarette butts or standing long guard shifts when one vehicle is off by a couple of feet (which causes some soldiers to go without much sleep, which in turn causes accidents such as vehicle rollovers). I never see him going outside of the wire--all he has time for is to persecute my fellow soldiers who have the guts to go out of the wire every day even though they know that the odds are that sooner or later they will be hit by an I.E.D. Many of our soldiers here don't get proper sleep, not because there is a shortage of men, but because they don't want the men (horror of horrors) to think they're not in the army anymore. That is the logic that runs our Army: the "Meat Grinder" principle--human beings are numbers, stats, etc. Tell the American people that you are treating them like human beings so that good-hearted parents who want to send their child through college but financially send their children into the U.S. Meat Grinder, aka `Army'. You see, it's always easy to send other people's children off to high danger of mutilation or death, not to mention mental problems, because if you are a Congressman or Senator your children will never have to serve in a war. First of all, you make a pretty damn good salary by this K-Mart boy's reasoning, so their college is paid for; second of all, you're influential and powerful. This is the reality of the U.S. Army, not to mention how the National Guard are treated like second-class soldiers. You may ask why am I here. Well, I'm here because my brothers and sisters are here, and even at 40 years of age I couldn't stand by. This decision has cost me an incalculable price: my beautiful father who died of a broken heart. No one can say I shirk going beyond the wire--I'm a liberal, damn it, and I go out beyond the wire every day, which is a hell of a lot more than the right-wing hate talk show hosts who sit their fat asses behind microphones do! Like I said, it's always easy to go off to war when you don't have to go.

While waiting we got our food `to go' from the K.B.R. (aka: Halliburton) dining facility. I wasn't very hungry--I think it's mostly because the heat and the sickness I'm getting over is causing my loss of appetite. But there is now another quite serious health concern for soldiers at this post: extremely high levels of air pollution. Half the time we never know what lies in the smoke we are breathing. The smoke is constant, and sometimes I know that I can smell the smell of plastic and other toxic materials.

Today, I've had to walk through clouds of this smoke, not least of all we sit right next to an apparent lake or handy sewage dump. I'm starting to realize why some soldiers, as myself, are getting tight-chested. Just remember, this is what your children will be going through if you let these monsters get their hands on them. There has been no effort to address this very serious health threat. Mark my words: the future problems this will cause soldiers will make the Persian Gulf Syndrome pale in comparison. You just haven't heard about these problems because the "Orwells" in Washington have made sure you don't hear about them.

Later, some other men and I from 2nd Platoon unloaded concertina wire from the back of a five-ton military truck. Our platoon Sgt. asked another platoon Sgt. to get his men to help, but they never showed up. This really steamed our men, because we had loaded our Humvee trailer several weeks ago with concertina wire that was supposed to be used by our platoon. Well, another platoon in our company took the wire our men had loaded, instead of loading their own. Not only did they take our wire--they took a tire off our Humvee trailer and left it standing on Jacks. When I first saw it I thought I was in a tough neighborhood back home and that someone had the tire of my car!

In fairness to the platoon that took our wire: it could have been that the emergency mission that platoon went on didn't give them time to unload their own wire, but I doubt it; they were probably being lazy and because of poor planning had not pre-loaded their c-wire like 2nd Platoon had.

This last subject blends right into the next, and that is the widely-held belief that we are not the "Black Sheep" in name only. You see, the official nickname for our platoon is the "Black Sheep". Most others and I in my platoon believe we were given this name because we are looked down upon by our leadership Captain, First Sergeant, etc. I personally think we were given this name because we are not the mindless ass-kissing groveling robots that they would like us to be. Me, I am proud to hold the name "Black Sheep".

My platoon Sgt., even though he is one of the military good ol' boys, rather impressed me today, because he popped into one of our Humvees going out on the early patrol. I don't think he had to go, and on top of it he got hit by an I.E.D. in his convoy. I don't think any other platoon Sgts. have been through an I.E.D. attack.

Right now, as I write these words I'm sitting on the top of my Humvee, watching all of the activity on my base, some military, some not military. It is getting to be late afternoon. From my vantage point I can see Iraqis working, shoveling and sweeping dirt off our little road in front of the building in which I live. I must say I know that I'm a target for a sniper, but it's the one way I can watch the three Humvees while our men are inside taking a break from the heat while we are on standby. From my vantage point on top of the Humvee I can also see other fellow soldiers returning to the base in their Humvees, taking off their heavy body armor and Kevlar helmets soaked with sweat and relieved that they have returned back to base (yet one more time) alive.

It has been a rather sobering experience for me to have gone through an I.E.D. attack knowing the triggerman had my vehicle in his sights but decided for some reason to try to hit the second vehicle. It is a sobering thought to know that my fellow soldiers and I in the 860th M.P. CO. have 8 1/2 more months to go. My fellow brother and sister M.P.s who go out of the gate every day know that the law of averages means that eventually there is a good chance a good many more of us will have someone trying to kill us again, either with I.E.D.s, snipers, or other means. The people who stay back behind the wire also risk their lives from mortar attacks and snipers, even though (thank GOD

Happy 4th

Well, happy days are here again! Our great Attorney General Gonzales flew into the Ultra Safe Green Zone and gave a speech at the embassy. You remember our Attorney General, the one who a chief counsel to the President, said it was quite alright to use certain torture methods that might get by the Geneva Convention, Washboarding, beating, etc. It's all there, folks, and our great maniac executive strongly supports him. I'm reading the Stars and Stripes and I'll feel so much more comforted when I'm standing up in the turret of my Humvee or driving it because of these very comforting words by our A.G. : "As we approach the Fourth of July weekend, I suspect there's some of you that are here that sometimes feel lonely and you sometimes wonder whether you are not alone, " and I'm here to tell you that you are not alone, that the American people are very much with you."--Stars and Stripes, 7-4-05.

Oh, I can rest peacfully when the next bomb goes off because the man who approved torture by the United States of America and deeply shamed this nation has told me I am not alone. Well, he's right about one thing I know I'm not alone - whether it's the spooks or agents that are monitoring me or my journals or those of you out there reading these words I am certainly not alone. I know that many of those Iraqi people who wish to kill me and my fellow soldiers and are constantly waiting for their oppurtunity are making sure my fellow soldiers and I are not alone.

Well, I just wanted to thank the brave A.G. for flying into the Green Zone and having to endanger himself behind all of his heavy security just so he could tell me I'm not alone. My heart is truly warmed.

Now, fellow activists, let us keep up the non-violent fight against the terrorists and the tryants at home who are needlessly endangering my fellow soldiers and causing many of them to die needless deaths in this lie we call the Occupation of Iraq. We need to let the three-piece-suited politicians and their crooked lackeys know that we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore! Immediately, fellow activist (even if you have to do it on your own, although working through one of the organizations linked to this site might also be the best way) find out how you local city, state, and federal politicians stand on the occupation of Iraq. If they stand for the lie or are just too afraid to do the right moral thing by standing against this horrible occupation of Iraq, then quickly find somebody who is running against them. If there is nobody running against, find somebody to run against them. Boycott any companies that are profiting off of the blood of my fellow American soldiers. And let us not forget our governors, congressmen and senators (especially Democratic ones) - ask them or their representatives where they stand on a timetable, and if they will not give you an answer then by all means find someone who can take their places who will support a timetable.

I'm damn tired of my Democratic leadership in Washington D.C. that refuses to publicly call for an immediate timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq. To those Democratic and Republican leaders who have done so I apologize in advance for the questions you are going to start receiving from your constituents on this issue, but you can no longer sit on the fence - our American soldiers are dying needless deaths over here and dammit, you've got to take a stand or we'll vote somebody else in your place!

Not One More American Soldier Should Die Over Here in this Lie We Call the Occupation of Iraq!
N.O. M.A.S. !

Written by Leonard Clark (the damn liberal who patrols the mean streets of Iraq everyday)
and Kindergarten teacher in the public schools of America
Candidate for the U.S. Senate against John Kyl in Arizona
July 3rd, 2005
Fellow Soldier Injured

This is a quick update on the fellow soldier from my 860th MP CO. He took 5 pieces of shrapnel to his hand. Two of these pieces of shrapnel have been removed but 3 have been left in for now because of concerns over nerve and muscle damage when removal of these fragments is attempted.

A strong cheer for that whole Humvee crew. The driver did as he was supposed to do in that situation when driving through the danger area, then exposed himself to danger by getting out of his vehicle and helping to set up a 360 perimeter, and then finally helping the other Humvee crew hook a tow strap to his vehicle. The medic with that squad Humvees also sprinted from the last Humvee up to the injured soldier. During this whole time the Humvee squad was under small arms fire.

It is truly an honor to serve with such fine men and women, the soldiers of the 860th MP CO.

Please, don't stop praying for my fellow soldiers because it seems that all of the other MP Companies around us have all had multiple fatalities by now.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

July 2nd, 2005
I.E.D. Attack

Hello, and thanks again for all the prayers. Today, I thank GOD, he was listening to your prayers for the safety of my fellow soldiers in the 860th MP CO. While driving down a road today another platoon had a Humvee that got hit by an I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device). Thanks to the grace of GOD nobody was killed or badly hurt. Apparently only the gunner received a minor cut to his hand. The outcome could have been much worse, as my battle buddy was down in the motor pool today and said that the vehicle had two tires that were blown out. A fragment from the bomb penetrated through the back of the vehicle and also penetrated through the front of the vehicle into the engine block. The terrorists hid the bomb in a wheelbarrow by the side of the road. So thank you - your prayers matter.

P.S. I'm also having trouble accessing my email, which I find very strange as this has not happened very often in the past. I need Dorothy, Susie, Esther and all my friends who have been emailing me to know that I'm trying to answer your emails, but it seems someone might not want me to answer them. Sorry about sounding paranoid, but living in a war zone can do that to a person sometimes. In the meantime I will continue to try to answer your emails.

Also, I will try to get to all the websites that you have been linking me to.

Nothing new that I know of to report, except that it's hot as you know what over here!


Leonard Clark (the Damned liberal serving and driving the mean streets of Iraq everyday)

It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

Leonard Clark, 860th MP Co AZ Army National Guard, Iraq | 1 comments | Strict chronological order | Post A Comment


Post a Comment

<< Home