GI SPECIAL 2#B80
BRING THEM ALL HOME
“The worst part of
this thing is you don’t really know who the bad guys are. And some
days I don’t think we’re the good guys.” U.S.
Soldier, Iraq, reported on CNN 10.2.04 10:47 AM
Badly Wounded Get
Instant Pay Cut:
With The “Thanks”
Of An Ingrateful Imperial Government
October 2, 2004 By Jules Crittenden
Marine Lance Cpl. James Crosby left Iraq, he was unconscious,
strapped to a gurney, his legs paralyzed and his guts lacerated by
shrapnel. That's when the military cut his pay in half.
leave the combat zone, they swipe your ID card through a computer,
and you go back to your base pay,'' said Crosby, who is now
undergoing rehabilitation at the West Roxbury Veterans
pay had been cut from $2,500 a month to $1,200.
``You need that pay
more than ever, to move your life around,'' said Crosby, whose wife
had to move from California to Massachusetts.
Badly wounded men
may be out of combat, but Crosby, in a wheelchair and on a colostomy
bag, said, ``I still have to fight the consequences of what
happened. I struggle every day.''
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth
- about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the
dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling
Soldier is necessary. But we want to do more than tell the truth;
we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets
of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for
Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class
people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter
to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed
forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join
with us in building a network of active duty organizers.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
SMALL ARMS FIRE
KILLS ONE SOLDIER
October 2, 2004 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Release Number: 04-10-02C
BAGHDAD, Iraq --
One Task Force Baghdad Soldier was
killed Oct. 1 by small arms fire around 11 p.m. No other
casualties occurred in the incident.
Marine Wounded In Attack On Military Convoy Near Fallujah
2 October 2004 Focus 1 News & AP:
A U.S. marine has been wounded at the
attack with a car bomb of the military convoy near Fallujah, AFP
The attack took place south of the
town of Karama, some nine miles east of Fallujah, where a resistance
fighter set into motion a self-made exploding device in a car that
was on the convoy’s way.
Injured In Iraq
October 2, 2004 By BRANDON FORMBY, The
Dallas Morning News
When she heard her
son's voice on the phone, Debby Schick of Flower Mound thought his
nine-day mission in Iraq had ended early.
But Marine Lance
Cpl. Jacob Schick, 22, wasn't bearing good news.
"He said, 'Mom,
listen to me. I'm in the hospital in Baghdad,' " Ms. Schick said.
While driving in
Iraq last month, a bomb exploded beneath Cpl. Schick's vehicle. His
right foot had to be amputated. His left arm and left leg received
several compound fractures. He lost a finger.
Cpl. Schick, a 2001 Coppell High
graduate who played football for the Coppell Cowboys, now is in the
intensive care unit in a Maryland hospital. He faces several
surgeries to repair his left appendages.
"When I'm with him
by myself, I look at this athlete, I look at this stump, and I look
at the months of arduous rehab," Ms. Schick said through tears. "I'm
so mad, but he wanted to do it. I asked God to bring him home
safely. I forgot to ask with all of his legs and feet and everything
"It makes me angry to see how hurt
these kids are," she said. "But at the same time, they'd all go back
in a heartbeat. It's just mystifying."
Cpl. Schick's family members have
created a Web site to spread the word on his progress at www.
jacobschick.org. They've also set up a fund to raise money for him.
Ms. Schick described her son as a
"full-blown Marine at heart" and a ladies' man whom the other
Marines called Schickalicious. She sees hard times ahead but is
thankful he survived.
"I'll take him
anyway I can get him," she said. "He's alive, and that's all that
Battles Resistance in Samarra;
Command Issues Most
Idiotic Statement Of Year So Far
10/2/2004 By ZIDAN KHALAF Associated
Press Writer & Reuters
through the city routinely
being engaged in military skirmishes by rocket-propelled grenades,
improvised explosive devices and both direct and indirect fire."
[Find the idiot who wrote this, the idiot who approved it, place
them under arrest and armed guard, and bring them into the streets
of Samarra, and we’ll see how “routine” they think it is to have
people sparing no effort to kill you with a wide array of
weaponry. What a brainless piece of shit, and how perfectly
representative of the empty suits in command.]
Sporadic gunfire echoed through this
Sunni Muslim stronghold Saturday as U.S. and Iraqi forces battled
pockets of resistance a day after the start of what appeared to be
the first major push to regain control of a string of cities before
elections in January.
The city appeared mostly calm Saturday
except for in the center, where American snipers on rooftops fired
at anybody appearing in the streets below.
Many bodies were strewn in the
street but could not be collected for fear of the snipers, residents
"They are buried in the gardens of
their homes," said Ali Abdul-Latif, a 19-year-old high school
student. Saturday was the first official school day after a
nationwide holiday, but Abdul-Latif and other students in Samarra
A 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew was in
effect, and water and electricity services were severed.
In a statement released late Friday,
the U.S. military said "Troops
proceeded through the city routinely being engaged in military
skirmishes by rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive
devices and both direct and indirect fire."
DEEPER AND DEEPER
INTO THE SHIT:
BRING THEM ALL HOME
soldiers in Samarra, Oct. 2, 2004. (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan)
Update: Fierce Resistance To U.S. Attack Continues:
Collective Punishment On Civilians
October 2 By Samir Hadad
On the ground, the
Iraqi government and the US occupation forces claimed Saturday
control over most areas in Samarra except for some pockets of
told IOL that the eastern parts of the city saw intermittent
fighting between the American forces and the residents.
Qahtan Al-Douri, spoke of "fierce resistance" inside the city.
Other sources told IOL that the
American forces cordoned off the city from the four corners, while
warplanes and artillery continued to bombard residential areas.
Hundreds of Iraqi families, mostly
women and children, lined up at the main entrances of Samarra, 125
kilometers north of Baghdad, in a desperate attempt to escape.
"The US forces
are still barring families from leaving Samarra without giving any
justification," Oday Al-Samrraei told IslamOnline.net.
managed to flee the city two days earlier, dismissed the American
measure a "collective punishment", accusing the occupation forces
of "humiliating Iraqi families."
forces are even preventing the families from burying their dead or
evacuating wounded people scattered across the city streets, "
Many bodies were
strewn in the streets but could not be collected for fear of the
American snipers, residents said.
"Dead bodies and
injured people are everywhere in the city and when we tried to
evacuate them, the Americans fired at us," one ambulance driver told
AP Television News.
"Later on they told
us than we can evacuate only injured women and children and we are
not allowed to pick up injured men."
Iraqi Red Crescent has set up more than twenty tents on the
outskirts of the city to help the wounded, barred by the US from
sources accused the American forces of denying ambulances access
into the city.
The Association of
Muslim Scholars (AMS), Iraq’s top Sunni religious authority, heaped
blame on the interim government for the bloodshed in Samarra.
"We blame the government for the
injustices and aggressions suffered by the inhabitants of Samarra,"
the AMS said in a statement.
campaign carried out by the occupying forces, and regrettably
blessed by the interim government, is the last in a series of
aggressions against the city under the pretext of rebuilding
The AMS also stressed that "resorting
to iron and fire" to set the scene of the general elections remains
a "flawed method."
Prime Minister After Falluja Air Raid:
Slaughters More Civilians, Kids
“Is this a
October 2, 2004
FALLUJA, Iraq -
After the latest U.S. air strike on Falluja, enraged residents
clasped wounded children and challenged Iraq's prime minister to
visit the town to see how bombs were hitting civilians, not
"Is this a
terrorist? Is this a terrorist? Iyad Allawi come and show us the
terrorists," screamed a man as he fixed a bandage on the head of a
small boy in his arms.
A U.S. warplane struck Falluja late
Friday night, the latest in a weeks-long campaign of bombardments
Since the handover
of power to an Iraqi government in June, U.S. forces are supposed to
get a green light from the Iraqi government before conducting any
air strikes. But many Iraqis believe Washington often acts of its
After Friday's attack, hospital
officials said at least seven civilians were killed and 13 wounded.
Reuters television pictures showed Iraqis digging through mounds of
rubble and twisted metal hoping to find survivors.
At one point, a
child no older than 10 was pulled alive from under a pile of bricks
U.S. military officials
have suggested that insurgents have pressured doctors into
exaggerating casualty tolls and have cast doubt on television
footage, indicating that scenes after air strikes may have been
staged. [U.S. military officials
lie. U.S. military officials have to. Otherwise, they’re subject
to the death penalty for retaliation against civilians in time of
footage of the destruction after Friday night's strike showed
panicked men using their bare hands to dig out bodies. One man lay
face down, covered by a heavy slab of cement over his waist and
Such scenes are familiar to the people
of Falluja, who say they have seen no evidence backing U.S.
assertions that insurgents and foreign fighters were operating from
houses that are flattened by U.S. warplanes.
Amid the screams
and groans of children having their wounds stitched at a Falluja
hospital Saturday, a young girl pulled dead from the rubble lay on
thin mat on the floor.
In a report Wednesday, the Reuters
news agency offered a different explanation for this hostility to
the “civilized world,” saying that
“heavy-handed military tactics have
fueled hatred of American troops and boosted the ranks of
It quoted a
resident of Fallujah, Abu Ghnem Awuud, whose wife and five
children were slaughtered in one of the daily US air strikes
against the city.
compensation for the killing of his entire family, he told a US
officer: “Is this the logic of your civilization? How can money
compensate me for the loss of my family? I await compensation
from God to kill all of you in Iraq.”
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
Iraqis Blame U.S. For Massacre Of Baghdad Children
Oct 2 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated
BAGHDAD, Iraq -
Families of the 35 children who died
in a string of bombings in Baghdad blamed American troops for the
tragedy. In the carnage, several explosions ripped into
a crowd gathered to celebrate the inauguration of a new, much needed
Residents said that
before the start of the celebration, U.S. soldiers called upon the
children through loudspeakers to join the crowd, promising them
sweets. There were an unusually large number
around because the long school holidays were nearing an end.
"I blame the
Americans for this tragedy. They wanted to make human shields out of
our children. They should have kept the children away from danger,"
said Abdel-Hadi al-Badri, a cleric a the al-Mubashroun al-Ashra
mosque, breaking down in tears during Friday prayers.
Al-Badri's son lost
his right leg in the explosion after he ignored
his father's warnings to stay away from the U.S. troops.
Al-Badri's is a
common lament here. Confronted by daily bombings,
kidnappings, deadly crossfires and soaring violent crime,
many Iraqis blame most of their ills
on the Americans. Many say that they and their children would not
be dying today had the U.S. not invaded their country 17 months
ago. [Or had gotten the fuck out and gone home.]
About 100 yards from the site of two
of the three explosions, a large red and yellow tent was filled with
mourners for two sisters, Raghad Dharar, 12, and Meisoun Dharar,10,
who were killed as they returned from a nearby market.
"The day before
yesterday, I bought them new school dresses and I was planning to
buy them shoes. I did not know that they were not going ever to
attend again," the father said.
Dharar Ahmed, a
policeman, said that there was no reason to stage a large
celebration for a small sewage plant that was already partially
"The Americans were
attracting the children by offering sweets. They should not have
done this," he said amid the sounds of wailing women.
Bush Blunder Cost
Son His Life
September 29, 2004 Rob Zaleski, The
Sixteen months have passed since Kirk
Straseskie of Beaver Dam, a 23-year-old U.S. Marine infantry
sergeant, became the first Wisconsin fatality in the Iraq war. "I
don't think Bush has a clue what he's doing over there," John
Straseskie, the father of Kirk Straseskie , a 52-year-old
retired Beaver Dam resident, said in a phone interview this week.
suspects things will just continue to deteriorate because, he
maintains, the president and his advisers can't seem to comprehend
one simple fact.
"Anytime you have
guerrilla-type warfare going on, you kill a lot of innocent people -
and that just feeds the guerillas," he says. "And there's gonna come
a time when we're running with our tails tucked between our legs
just to get out of there."
Though he originally supported the
idea - like the vast majority of Americans, he says, "I believed
this stuff about weapons of mass destruction and all the other horse
Straseskie says, "because more and more innocent soldiers are dying
in a war that we had no business starting in the first place."
Yes, the initial
shock of Kirk's death has worn off, Straseskie says. "But you never
really get over it. Especially at holidays and birthdays. You look
around and realize your son's not there.
"It's like an open
The likelihood that his son - and
1,052 other Americans - gave his life in a war that in the long run
"probably isn't going to solve a thing;" that's been the toughest
thing to accept over the last 16 months, Straseskie says.
captions following from the I-R-A-Q ( I Remember Another
Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam
1970-71 (Pease contact at: (email@example.com)
for more examples of his outstanding work. T)
M-60 Machine gun
When it comes to
war, business has no conscience.
military deaths have reached the 1,000 mark. Secretary Rumsfeld
said the death toll illustrates that the U.S. is aggressively
engaging terrorists around the world, and in the overall scheme of
the Iraq war, the losses are “relatively small.”
L.A. Times Sept. 8, 2004
2004 in Washington. The look tells it all. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
"Bush Lied, My Son
30 September 2004 By Michelle
In excruciating new TV ads, family members of soldiers killed in
Iraq speak out about the horrible waste of their loved ones' lives.
In a TV commercial released Wednesday,
Cindy Sheehan, a 47-year-old woman from Vacaville, Calif., whose
24-year-old son was killed in Sadr City in April, speaks directly to
George W. Bush.
Shot in black-and-white, her soft
voice cracking, she says, "I imagined it would hurt if one of my
kids was killed, but I never thought it would hurt this bad,
especially someone so honest and brave as Casey, my son. When you
haven't been honest with us, when you and your advisors rushed us
into this war. How do you think we felt when we heard the Senate
report that said there was no link between Iraq and 9/11?"
This is one of four
new ads featuring relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq, produced by
a new political action committee called RealVoices.org.
At a time when
soldiers' parents have been arrested at Bush rallies and thrown out
of the Republican National Convention for trying to make themselves
heard, Real Voices was formed to broadcast the excruciating messages
of those who feel that their loved ones' lives were wasted in Iraq.
Real Voices is spending $200,000 on
its initial ad buy while trying to raise more money.
Each one of the spots is bitter and
In one, Raphael
Zappala, whose 30-year-old brother was killed in Baghdad while
searching a warehouse for weapons of mass destruction, says, "My
brother died trying to make an honest man out of George W. Bush,
needlessly. He was betrayed by the lies of his commander in
chief. And the troops still in Iraq are being betrayed."
Another features a California mother
named Jane Bright, who remains livid about Bush's rash "Bring 'em
on!" challenge. "Mr. Bush," she
says, "I have no way of knowing whether the insurgent who killed my
son ever heard your foolish taunt. But thanks to you, Mr.
President, I have the rest of my life to wonder about it."
Sheehan tells Salon that she has never
been politically active before. But speaking out against Bush is a
way to assuage a tiny bit of the futility she feels about her son's
death. "I need to speak out for what I think is right, and I have
this chance right now because people want to listen to me," she
says. "If I didn't do that, I wouldn't be able to get up in the
morning or face a new day, because every day for me is like a new
April 4, when my son was killed."
Since her son died, Sheehan has
tormented herself for not doing more to fight Bush four years ago.
"My biggest regret in my entire life is that when Bush was selected
as president by the Supreme Court that I didn't go out and say, 'No,
this is B.S., we can't stop this election until we count every
single vote.' I just regret it so much. I don't know if I did
something more maybe my son would still be alive."
One might think that Sheehan's
sacrifice would protect her from assaults by the right-wing
patriotism police, but one would be wrong.
Since she started speaking out,
she's been attacked as a political opportunist and accused of
"I have had people tell me that what
I'm doing is supporting terrorists and that my son would be ashamed
of me," she says. "I was on a radio call-in show on Sunday morning,
and I had a lot of people call me a traitor."
Still, she plans to continue speaking
out, joining a growing list of people channeling their grief into
There's Lila Lipscomb, the bereft
mother from "Fahrenheit 9/11." There's Fernando Suarez del Solar,
who crashed the Republican National Convention with a poster bearing
a picture of his son, a Marine named Jesus, and the words, "Bush
lied, my son died." There's Sue Sapir Niederer, who wore a T-shirt
saying "President Bush You Killed My Son" to a campaign rally
featuring Laura Bush, and ended up being arrested and charged with
"defiant trespassing," even though she had a ticket for the event.
And there are more like them coming forth every day.
those who want her to shut up, Sheehan says, "I think those people
are traitors, because my son and millions of brave Americans before
him have died for my right to speak out against the government."
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Vets Spark Anti-War Rally
10.1.04 Forwarded from VVAW National
Staffperson Hannah Frisch to VVAWINC & VVAWNET
On September 19 Chicago VVAW supported
a remarkable anti-war rally in the heart of wealthy Republican
territory in the Chicago suburbs.
Rob Sarra, a
founding member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and a close
supporter of VVAW gave a moving speech opposing the war.
He was followed by two member of military families.
Then the flag on the coffin was folded while a poem was read by Pat
Vogel, and, in the tradition of presenting the flag to the relatives
of the deceased, organizer Paul Vogel told the crowd that "You are
the brothers and sisters of the soldiers who have died in Iraq, so I
am presenting the flag to all of you." People then lined up to
place the lilies on the coffin.
The march and rally had its origin in
a display of flags representing soldiers who have died that Paul
Vogel placed in the front yard of his temporary staffing business.
As local people walked by and stopped in to tell Vogel that they
agreed with opposing the war but honoring the soldiers, the Vogel
family got the idea for a larger event.
Paul's son Aaron
has just returned from Iraq after serving there with his Army
Reserve unit, the 652nd Engineering Company from Ellsworth,
Wisconsin. The unit was assigned not to engineering but to MP
Four of Aaron's
comrades were killed in Iraq. Aaron worked on the web site for
the event, and his mother and grandmother helped with publicity.
Aaron was shown in a Chicago Tribune photo sitting in the yard in
front of his father's business surrounded by the flags
representing the soldiers.
At the event, he
joined Iraq Veterans Against The War. [Check it out at:
In addition to VVAW, Iraq Veterans
Against the War, American Friends Service Committee and Military
Families Speak Out co-sponsored the march and public radio stations,
in addition to stories in the Tribune and in local suburban papers.
Do you have a
friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra
important for your service friend, too often cut off from access
to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and
in Iraq, and information about other
here in the USA.
Send requests to address up top.
Update On The
I am not going to
give up Tony, because you deserve better after now serving 13
years in the Army which owe you it's gratitude for the service you
have already given to them.
Brandie Lampin, (USMC ret’d)
Friday, October 01, 2004
Hey something new I just received in the mail: permission to post
Today I just received in the mail two
letters. One from my husband, and one from the commander of the
Hospital at Fort Polk.
In Tony's letter, he sent me a
document that was from a physical therapist. It goes over what was
said on his medical profile, and that he agrees with what was
written on the medical profile, and that is MEDICAL BOARD. It also
says that my husband has been given compressive wraps and ice packs.
I couldn't read it all, but I will ask
this. Why is he going through physical therapy, and why has he been
given ice packs, and compressive wraps? Again, it is obvious that
my husband's knee is not getting better, and that being over there
is causing more damage.
In the letter from Fort Polk's
Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, the commander wrote me in
response to the letter that I sent to the President. One of the
passages reads this:
In reviewing the
documents attached to your correspondence, I found your husband was
issued a medical profile and recommended for a Medical Evaluation
Board (MEB). In accordance with Army Regulation 40-501, Standard of
Medical Fitness, a Soldier's commander can question or challenge the
diagnosis of the doctor for clarity of the profile; however, a
unit commander CANNOT override a medical profile. The medical
officer designee is the only individual authorized to overturn a
medical profile, but it is the responsibility of the unit commander
to determine what duties or tasks a Soldier will perform based on
the limitations of that profile. After consideration of your
husband's medical condition and consultation with Sgt. Lampin's
attending medical physician, the unit commander decided to add your
husband to his unit's deployable roster.
whether Sgt. Lampin should be deployed is the unit's decision and
not a medical decision. Based on consultation with Sgt. Lampin's
physician, it was determined that he could be deployed with his
current medical condition and not suffer any further deterioration
in his medical condition than what he has currently experienced.
First, if a commander cannot override
a medical profile, then why is he over there when he is overriding
No lifting or carrying of 30lbs, no
climbing, no squatting, and no bending at the knees which is some of
the new things that was written on a medical profile.
I know that the second part of what
was written says the commander can determine if a soldier is
deployable or not, but NON-DEPLOYABLE is written on his profile.
If that can be override, then why was
it written on his permanent 3 medical profile?
I will also ask this again. "
If a Soldier's commander has the
right to decide if a Soldier can be deployed despite medical advise
that says different, then why does a Soldier bother going for
medical attention at all? Why does the military even have doctors,
if commanders have the final say?
This needs to be changed.
should be the final say in a Soldier's medical condition. Not spit
on and then risk their lives by sending them to war where no place
is safe no matter where they are.
Second, I would like to know which
physician they are talking about.
I know it can't be his orthopedic
surgeon here, because he told me in person, and I have it on
recording that he did not advise Tony to be deployed.
Also if he is going
to sick call 2 - 3 times a week ever since he got there because of
pain and swelling, and if he is going to physical therapy, wouldn't
that mean that he is suffering do to further deterioration?
Third, I would
just like to say this that I should have said when I first
Tony's name was
not on the roster until after he got his P3 profile on June 9,
2004. Before that date, his name was not on the list to go
because the command knew that his doctor was going to recommend a
medical board out of service.
If they knew it
then, and was going to accept it then, then why can't they accept
it now and redeploy him so that he can receive his medical board?
And I don't want to hear "because we need him," because if you
need him so badly, then why are you not letting him do his job
that you say you badly need him for.
After receiving this medical document
from my husband, I immediately went to the Rep. of Senator Jim
McCrery's office in town.
I told the case worker there what was
going on with my husband, about what all I have done involving
letters to the White House, other Senators, and Congressmen, and
about what has been posted on the internet.
I showed her the document that Tony
sent me and she couldn't understand why Tony was there, and why he
is on physical therapy, and that she will most certainly look into
the case. She told me that she would contact me if she needed
I told her about the document that
Tony had to sign that was some kind of release form, and she said
that is good, that that, will help. I played the recording of his
doctor here at Fort Polk saying that he advised that Tony should not
be deployed, and she found it interesting.
I told the case
worker before I left the office that I would like to prove to
Colonel Short that he is not GOD, and that I was not
going to stop fighting for my husband's rights as a Soldier.
Now that I have this document, I made
copies of it to mail out to the contacts that I have mailed to in
the past, like the President, Vice President etc. I will send it out
along with this update.
I am not going to
give up Tony, because you deserve better after now serving 13 years
in the Army which owe you it's gratitude for the service you have
already given to them.
[Thanks for your
update, will run in next GI Special. Respect to you and very best
wishes to your husband.
[Sooner or later
somebody will realize that after all you have done to publicize the
situation, it would be best to send him home alive now, rather than
maimed or dead later, because if that happens there will be a
gigantic shitstorm and heads will roll for sure.
personal career survival comes first for 99.9% of officers, all it
takes is a tiny scrap of intelligence to see the big trap door just
waiting to open. Solidarity, T.]
Army To Call Up 5,000 More Ex-Soldiers In 2005
(Thanks to Lou
Plummer, Vets For Peace & BTHN, and for
By Will Dunham REUTERS
3:51 p.m. October 1, 2004
The U.S. Army, now mobilizing 5,600
former soldiers from a rarely used personnel pool to go to Iraq and
Afghanistan, plans to summon a similar number next year
for duty in those war zones, a senior official said Friday.
The Army also said it plans to step up
recruitment efforts to try to meet goals to sign up 80,000 new
soldiers for the regular Army and 22,000 for the Army Reserve in the
fiscal year that began Friday. The Army recruiting command's chief
acknowledged the wars were deterring some potential recruits.
To plug shortfalls in certain skills
in units being deployed, the Army has tapped the Individual Ready
Reserve (IRR), made up of 111,000 people who have completed
voluntary military commitments and have returned to civilian life
but remain eligible to be mobilized in a national emergency.
The Army said about 3,900 of the 5,600
IRR soldiers scheduled to be summoned to active duty already have
received orders to report. The mobilization, which began in July,
is intended to yield about 4,400 soldiers for duty in Iraq and
Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months after the Army provides
service exemptions for medical problems and other hardships.
Critics have cited the Army's reliance
on the IRR as evidence that it has too few soldiers to sustain force
levels in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We're a nation at war. And we need
these people to come on active duty,"
[No, you are an Army at war. The
nation is at peace] said Brig. Gen. Sean Byrne, the
Army's director of personnel policy.
Of the IRR members whose date to
report for duty has already arrived, roughly one-third have not
shown up on time, with most of those requesting service exemptions
or a delay in reporting, Byrne said.
Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army
spokeswoman at the Pentagon, said the Army has identified six IRR
members who have not reported by the date ordered, and have not
requested an exemption from service or a delay in reporting.
These six people potentially could
face future criminal charges if deemed absent without leave, or
AWOL, although Hart said charges were unlikely and noted that
commanders have a great deal of discretion in how to handle these
A spokeswoman for the Army Human
Resources Command had said Tuesday that eight IRR members had been
listed as AWOL. Byrne said the Human Resources Command was
mistaken, adding, "No one is considered in an AWOL status right
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Michael Rochelle,
head of the Army Recruiting Command, said the Army is adding 1,000
recruiters and $12 million in advertising money to boost efforts to
sign up fresh soldiers. [What
they aren't saying is that the new recruiters are civilians. They
are sending the active duty recruiters back to line units because
they need the manpower] In the fiscal year that ended
Thursday, the regular Army and Army Reserve met recruiting goals,
while the Army National Guard fell short.
"Obviously there's a war going on. No
one would deny that. And for some people, for some of our prospects
for our target age, young men and women, that is in fact a
drawback. And it will deter some of them,"
[only the smart ones and the really poor ones] Rochelle
"Many of them, once presented with the
facts, can be convinced otherwise."
[right after they finish drinking their snake oil, you slimy
Common Sense In A
Vast Sea Of Bullshit
[Yeah, it’s long,
but clear as a bell, and one that badly needs ringing, as most of
the left collapses into electoral idiocy and turns its back on what
can stop this war. Gurewitz knows what can, and says so below.]
By Don Gurewitz, UFPJ Discussion List,
importance of the debate going on about the presidential election, I
thought you might be interested in the email below that I sent to
some close friends who had forwarded to me a recent national open
letter from Michael Moore.
As you know, Moore
is a main force behind the "anybody but Bush", "vote for Kerry"
campaign being waged by numerous antiwar and other activists. If
you're so inclined, feel free to forward this to anyone else you
think might be interested.
I’m sure this is not what you expected
when you forwarded me the piece by Michael Moore, but I just
finished watching the presidential "debate", and I am so outraged
that I feel I really need to respond to Moore’s position.
I certainly understand Moore’s hatred
for Bush and his criminal gang, and wanting to see them thrown out
on their ear. They should
be thrown out: in fact, they should
be put before an international war crimes tribunal.
As Kerry clearly
demonstrated tonight, though, throwing the Bush gang out by putting
Kerry in will not fundamentally change the U.S.'s increasingly
aggressive and war-like foreign policy, not in Iraq or any where
else in the world. nor will it fundamentally change
any of the u.s.
government's reactionary policies: not the attacks on democratic
rights here in the u.s.; not the attacks on social welfare policies
in the u.s.; not the attacks on the rights and living standards of
working people here and abroad.
How could any one
against this war, and against imperialism in general, possibly
vote for someone who said, as Kerry did tonight: "I will
double the special
forces...I will strengthen
won't rule out preemptive military strikes against
other nations...Bush has bogged us down in Iraq when
we should be confronting Iran and
am not talking about leaving Iraq, I am talking about winning in
Iraq." (my paraphrase, my emphasis).
One doesn't just
vote against Bush and
his policies; at the same time one votes
for someone else and
their policies. It is just sophistry to say "I’m voting for Kerry
but not his policies." If Kerry wins (with the help of Moore and
other antiwar activists) he will
implement the policies
he has so vigorously espoused and defended in tonight's debate—and
Moore, and every other antiwar activist, will have put him there to
do it with absolute foreknowledge.
I have heard some say, "Kerry is just
saying things like that because he has to win." In one sense I
think this is dangerously naive and self-delusional: Kerry
voted for the war;
at every juncture Kerry has spoken
in favor of the war (as Bush accurately quoted over and
over again tonight); Kerry still says
today that the war must
be won. What basis is there to believe that he doesn't mean what he
consistently says? Do his "only saying what he has to" apologists
have some inside dope that no one else knows about?
In another sense, I
think it is correct
to say, "Kerry is just saying what he has to": the war in Iraq--and
Bush's policies in general--are
not simply the policies of some extreme right wing cabal.
they are not just
George Bush trying to avenge or outdo his daddy. They are
not just "cowboy
politics". They are the policies of
a class, and they are
broadly agreed on by both major parties.
The war in Iraq is a product of the
intensified competition between the major imperial powers. The U.S.
is seeking to strengthen its control of the international economy,
and the strategic resources to protect that control, at the expense
of its imperial competitors. The British and French and German
governments know this: that is why the Germans and French "opposed"
the war (to resist u.s. efforts to deepen its control of the world
economy at their expense), and that is why Tony Blair supported the
war (to throw in his lot with the expected "winner" to get some
crumbs from the hoped-for booty).
As Bush accurately
pointed out tonight: Kerry (and all the other democrats and
republicans) saw exactly the same intelligence reports that Bush
saw. You and I , and
millions of others, without the
benefit of those reports, knew that the whole rationale
for war in Iraq was a lie. Kerry (and the other politicians) did
too. They were not fooled
by Bush: they knew exactly what they were doing.
There is a reason
why Kerry--and virtually every other democrat and republican--voted
for this war (as the democrats and republicans have for every one of
u.s. imperialism's wars): finding a substitute client state in the
middle east has been a goal of every u.s. administration, democrat
and republican alike, since the overthrow of the Shah in the 1979
Iranian revolution robbed u.s. imperialism of one of its 2 major
pillars in that region (the other being Israel).
The goal of overthrowing the Hussein
regime in Iraq was set as official u.s. policy by the
long before Sept. 11, because the u.s. ruling class perceived then
that the weakening of the Iraqi regime as a result of the first gulf
war and its aftermath, combined with Hussein’s brutality toward his
own people, made Iraq "ripe for the picking". The murderous
economic sanctions against Iraq, the establishment of so-called "no
fly zones", and the constant military assaults on Iraq aimed at
degrading its defenses, were as much as the Clinton administration
deemed they could get away with
at the time. Then came Sept. 11.
There is absolutely no basis for
assuming that things in the u.s. would look much different now if a
democrat--Clinton, Gore, or Kerry--had been in office when Sept 11
happened. Sept 11 provided the rulers of this country an
opportunity to greatly step up all of the policies they had been
pursuing through both democratic and republican administrations for
years: more aggressive foreign policy; more aggressive use of u.s.
military might; attacks on social programs and democratic rights;
attacks on the rights and living standards of working people.
How can one
possibly ignore that every major policy of the Bush administration
from war to tax credits for the rich to attacks on women's rights,
to the patriot act, etc, etc has been accomplished with significant
support from the democrats?
In fact, much of
the "Bush agenda" was "begun" under Clinton.
It was the
that set up the first military command for North America in u.s.
history, long before Sept. 11. It was the
that launched the first military assault on Afghanistan. It was
administration that set the goal of overthrowing Hussein. It was
administration that "abolished welfare as we know it", throwing
millions into a social crisis which continues to unfold today, and
setting the stage for the increasing attacks on other social
welfare programs that are now in the works.
The "drift to the
right" in u.s. policy is a bipartisan shift, consistent now for at
least a couple decades, that is the result of the deepening
competition between the major imperial powers caused by profound
economic factors Clinton went as far as he could given the
conditions at the time. As George Bush has said, "Sept 11 changed
everything". Sept 11 opened a huge space for the
ruling class in this
country to take big steps forward on every front in their attack on
working people here and around the globe, and to greatly step up
their efforts to strengthen their position vis a vis their imperial
Of course, there
differences between the parties, candidates, factions, etc. in the
democratic and republican parties, just as their are in all large
groups trying to decide how best to pursue and protect their
There were and
are debates about how best to establish a stable client regime in
the mideast, how to overthrow the Cuban revolution, how to protect
u.s. investments in Latin America, how to cut back on social
benefits, how to whittle away at social security, etc. but these
are debates about "how far can we go...can we get away with going
this far...is this the best way to implement these policies?"
These debates take place in democratic
and republican party circles with fundamental agreement on the basic
objectives: promote, pursue, and protect the interests of the
Enrons, General Motors, General Electrics, Texacos, Citibanks, Wall
Street, etc. John Kerry stands on exactly the same principles in
these discussions as does George Bush and every other democratic and
republican party politician.
I am sometimes
asked, "do you want to be responsible for Bush's election by not
voting for Kerry?" of course I do not want to be responsible for
Bush's reelection: that is why I will not vote for him and will
instead vote for a socialist candidate for president.
For those who claim to be fighting so
hard for democratic rights that they're even considering voting for
someone they don't like (Kerry), it seems to me to be a shocking
betrayal of the most
elementary of democratic principles to hold someone responsible for
electing a candidate that they
It seems to me that
a much fairer question is: "do the Michael Moore's want to be
responsible for ousting Bush by putting Kerry in? Will
they take responsibility
for Kerry’s policies because
they actually voted for him?" What will they tell the
Iraqi people--"you have to understand, Kerry’s war against you is
much better than Bush's"?
Those who do
not vote for Bush are
not responsible for
his policies if he is elected. Those who vote
are responsible for
his if he wins.
I also don't agree with the "logic":
"well, even if Kerry doesn't end the war, at least his policies at
home will be better."
I think it is an illusion to believe
that the war of aggression in Iraq (and those that will come whether
a democrat or a republican is in the white house) can be fought
while things are "at least not so bad" here at home.
This war (these wars) have to be paid
for: paid for in lives and blood, paid for in treasure, paid for in
suppression of rights of those who will inevitably protest, paid for
in "increased sacrifice" for the war effort. It has always been
thus, and thus it will always be. Whatever line Kerry is mouthing
to try and garner votes from a disgruntled electorate, he will be as
compelled to "tighten up" at home in the face of his wars exactly as
every other war president has been.
And even if it were true that "Kerry
might not end the war, but some things will be better in the u.s.",
what would those who vote for Kerry tell the Iraqis: "You have to
understand, I gave Kerry my vote even though I knew he would
continue the war against you because I was hoping that at least the
air I breathe in the u.s. would be a little less polluted?"
We've been down this road before.
I, and those in my
age range, were urged to go "part of the way with LBJ" to stop the
right-wing "Goldwater cabal" that supposedly would go to war in
Vietnam and threaten to use nuclear weapons. Remember that?
And what did we get
when the "fascist, warmonger Goldwater" was beaten and Johnson won?
The Vietnam war! And remember when we had to "stop Nixon" and then
"dump Nixon" to stop the war in Vietnam and the right wing assaults
on our liberties?
And what did we get
when Nixon won? He
stopped the war.
because he wanted to, but because he was
forced to--by the
Vietnamese people and their echo in the antiwar movement in the U.S.
and the U.S. military and around the world.
That has been,
and remains, the only way a U.S. (or any other) imperial war will
end short of imperialism's victory: if the resistance in the
occupied country, and a mass international anti-war movement,
become so strong, and, consequently, the morale of imperialism's
troops becomes so low, that it becomes the lesser of two evils for
imperialism to withdraw. [Morale was very high, against the war
That is how the
U.S. war in Vietnam ended. That is how the French war in Vietnam
ended. That is how the French occupation of Algeria ended. That
is how the war in Iraq--and the war in Afghanistan--and all the
other colonial wars to come--will end: not by the act of
any u.s. president, be
it Kerry or Bush, but only
by the resistance of the occupied and those who
mobilize in solidarity with them in the U.S. and around the
world. [And in the armed forces.
That stopped Vietnam.]
And that is the tragedy, in my
opinion, of the "anybody but Bush" (i.e. "vote Kerry") campaign
being waged by many opponents of the war in Iraq and many veterans
of the 60's. the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the patently
aggressive and rapacious and predatory nature of u.s. foreign
economic and political policy; the looting of the economy by giant
corporations; the destruction of medical plans and pensions for
millions of working people; the declining living standards of
millions of working people in the u.s.; the deepening attacks on
labor unions and workers in general; the rapidly expanding assaults
on civil liberties; the increased police violence--all these things
are having a huge impact on millions of people, particularly
millions of young people.
Look at the antiwar demonstrations,
look at the labor battles, look at the labor solidarity efforts by
Millions of young people are waking up
to the shocking reality, the horrifying truth, about the "American
way". These young people are our hope for the future. They are the
ones who can transform the lessons they are learning today into a
movement to fight for a better future, a future fit for humankind.
But at the moment
that they have begun to see the inhuman reality of American
capitalism, and have demonstrated their desire to take action
against it, so-called "antiwar leaders" and many with the authority
of the "60s generation" are telling them: "anybody but Bush. Vote
for Kerry. Don't pay attention to what Kerry
says, just throw everything you've got into this desperate attempt
to beat Bush in the so-called swing states. We'll be better off if
we just get rid of Bush".
This is urging
them to renew their faith in the very system they are just
learning to despise. It is a terrible disservice to them--to
us--and to the future of our children and the entire human race.
I can not vote for one imperialist
politician to oust another.
Eugene V. Debs once said, "It is better to vote for what you want
and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it."
Even more today,
when millions of young people are looking for something to believe
in, I couldn't agree more.
Election” Comes To Afghanistan:
Vote For Karzai Or
I’ll Burn Your House Down
10/01/04 By Chris Floyd, "Moscow
Here's a direct
quote from the campaign trail: "Vote for the president -- or we'll
burn your house down!"
Ah yes, democracy
in action, Bush-style -- ya gotta love it!
As it happens, this
particular manifestation of the Bushist Party's peculiar notion of
free elections comes not from the White House -- whose
court-appointed denizens have thus far confined themselves to mild,
civilized declarations that anybody who opposes them is a godless,
baby-killing traitor in league with Satanic terrorists. Instead
it's the Big Oil bagman whom the Bushists have installed as ruler of
their stepchild colony in Afghanistan.
Installee Hamid Karzai, facing
election on Oct. 9 (in those
isolated portions of the country not controlled by the "defeated"
Taliban, that is), has
hit upon a novel campaign strategy, the BBC reports: arson.
touting their fellow Pashtun for prez have broadcast explicit
warnings to their people: Anybody who doesn't vote for Karzai will
have their house burned down and their family cut
off from all communal activities, such as weddings and funerals.
Karzai, the polished sophisticate whose urbane manner and dynamite
threads have put a glamorous face (Ben Kingsley's face, actually) on
the Bush Regime's atrocious botching of the Afghan adventure,
urbanely refused to condemn this barbarity on his behalf.
And why should he?
Barbarity is all the rage in Bushist
Afghanistan, where large numbers of women are now burning themselves
alive to escape continuing repression at the hands of fundamentalist
warlords in the pay of the Pentagon, the Guardian reports.
And while three
years of pounding sand has failed to turn up Osama bin Laden, George
W. Bush's hugger-mugger "Special Forces" crews -- operating without
supervision or accountability -- have done a crackerjack job
torturing and killing civilians, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The paper detailed the delightful
antics of a Special Forces squad -- led by a berserker known only as
"Crazy Mike" -- who subjected captives to near-drowning and electric
shocks, ripped out their toenails, and beat them so savagely that
some were left crippled while others joined Bush's favorite
philosopher way up in the sky.
Crazy Mike also threatened to kill any
local official who interfered with his good clean fun. Army
investigators, prodded into action by the Times story, say they have
no idea who was actually in command of Mike's secret unit -- nor
could they say how many other pocket gulags were squirreled away
across the Bushist satrapy.
Fool Bush Boasts Of
10.1.04 Paul Krugman, NY Times
Mr. Bush and other administration officials often talk about the
10.5 million Afghans who have registered to vote in this
month's election, citing the figure as proof that democracy is
making strides after all.
They count on the
public not to know, and on reporters not to mention, that the number
of people registered considerably exceeds all estimates of the
eligible population. What they call evidence of democracy on the
march is actually evidence of large-scale electoral fraud.
Everywhere You Go
From: "Mohammed Al Moghayer"
To: GI Special
Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 2:52
From North of Gaza:
Quickly because there is no time, as
Apaches are shelling everywhere here in Gaza.. the situations are
Shreds of human flesh.. these fingers
of human beings that I have seen today spread in the streets of
Jabalya Camp, in the north of Gaza. These fingers used to work and
to write.. the situations are getting worst now..
Horrible situations everywhere you
I'm reporting from the North of Gaza
Strip, Jabalya Camp, where hundreds of people were injured and many
tens were killed. The operation is going to be continues for so
longer time, as the families have no water and food in the area.
One of the families appeals to every
human in the world to stop what is going on here..
I'm reporting from the North of Gaza
now, and exactly from Kamal Adwan hospital..
must leave nowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
(To check out what life is like under
a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to:
The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.)
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