November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.
SEE ADDENDUM with commentary by
Dr. Doug Rokke, Tedd Weyman (umrc.net) and Ross Wilcock, MD
Killing of Marines at An Nasiriyah
Soldiers' accounts reveal new details: 'depleted' uranium rounds devastated US troops at An Nasiriyah
"It's bad enough to be shot, but to be shot with a depleted uranium round that basically turns you into a hand full of mush."
- Col. Reed Bonadonna, field historian, talking to NPR's Jackie Northam
Hear an clip (edited for brevity) containing the Colonel's remarks (mp3 file) about DU. Listen also to the entire NPR reports (first report deals with 'friendly fire' incident).
On March 19, 2004 NPR aired the first of two reports by Jackie Northam on the experiences of US Marines in battle. 11 field historians had entered Iraq with Marine units and interviewed marines after battle. She was given access to 20 hours of interview tapes. Her first report concerns a battle on March 23, 2003 near An Nasiriyah, during which an A-10 repeatedly straffed US troops with 'depleted uranium' rounds. As reported by Jackie Northam, the Marine Corps says that 18 marines died at An Nasiriyah that day but will not reveal how many died from the DU rounds.
It does seem clear though that previous assessments undersestimated Marine deaths from so-called 'friendly fire' that day. Dan Fahey, for example, in his review of media accounts, reported the following as part of his assessment of DU use during Gulf War II:
23 March, near Nasiriyah – A-10 fires on Marine Corps vehicles attached to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. At least one vehicle, an armored assault vehicle (possibly AAVP7A1), is hit and penetrated by A-10 fire, killing at least one Marine and possibly wounding others. A total of nine Marines and seven vehicles were destroyed in this incident, although it is believed Iraqi forces caused the majority of the deaths and damage during this engagement. "The Use of Depleted Uranium in the 2003 Iraq War: An Initial Assessment of Information and Policies," page 5. Dan Fahey, June 24, 2003. [Fahey cited media sources for his figures.]
Fahey's reporting of the "belief" that Iraqi forces caused the majority of the deaths and damage during the engagement appears to this writer to be a repeating of military spin. Listen to the interviews (first report) with soldiers soon after the battle. While the military will not disclose how many soldiers died that day from A-10 fire, or from the A-10's strafing of Marines with 'depleted' uranium rounds, Fahey's reference of "at least one" seems like a gross understatement, based on US media accounts. Sargeant Lonnie Parker said in the interview said that they lost the majority of their people from 'friendly' fire that day. [Note: this paragraph was edited on April 8, 2004 to take into account the Central Command's investigation announced on March 29, 2004. See this web page's Addendum.]
Contrast the Fahey assessment with that of retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner:
Gardiner writes: "A disheartening aspect of the white flag story is what is beginning to surface about what might have been the real cause of the Marine casualties near An Nasiriyah on March 23. Marines are saying that nine of those killed may have been killed by an A-10 that made repeated passes attacking their position." Quoted in The not-so-friendly reality of US casualties, by David Isenberg, Aaia Times, Oct 22, 2003.
See also the Charlotte Observer, March 29, 2003 (questioning if 9 marines who were said to have been ambushed by Iraqi's pretending to surrender had actually been killed by 'friendly' fire).
And for identification of individual soldiers killed that day, see the Washington Post, Faces of the fallen, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/iraq/casualties/facesofthefallen.htm The Post reports that 18 marines died in or around An Nasiriyah that day, 12 due to an alleged ambush by Iraqi soldiers who reported to have pretended to surrender; and 6 "killed during operations" on the outskirts of the city. [The Post is repeating the fiction of the Iraqi surrender ploy.]
March 21, 2004 - page created by Charlie Jenks; updated April 8, 2004