GI SPECIAL 2#B82
THIS IS HOW BUSH
BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME
Sandra Torres, center, and Maria Luisa
Rangel, left, wife and mother respectively, of 22-year-old U.S.
Marine Juan Lopez at the funeral in San Luis de la Paz, Mexico July
4, 2004. Lopez was killed in Iraq on June 21. .(AP Photo/Jose Luis
My Son Died For A
September 29, 2004 Rose Gentle, The
Rose Gentle is the mother of Gordon
Gentle, a British soldier killed in Iraq this year
Tony Blair says we
are now fighting a "new war" in Iraq. That may suit him, to
distract people from questions about the "old war" there. The one
which killed my son Gordon at the age of 19. Sent to Iraq with just
six months training at Catterick, with inadequate protection, he was
killed by a bomb in Basra in June.
Gordon wanted to be
a soldier to defend his country. Not to die in a war of
aggression. My family is one of nearly 70
grieving for a lost son because of this war. Two more families
joined the list yesterday. Many more of our soldiers are suffering
from serious injuries.
Some people say
that soldiers have to expect to die or be injured when they sign
up for the armed services. Maybe so. But they also have the
right to expect that they will only be sent to fight for a proper
cause, by a government which tells the truth.
These poor boys are
being sent to Iraq to die for this government's lies. Where are the
chemical and nuclear weapons they were supposed to be looking for?
And if the war was about upholding the UN, why
has the UN secretary general now said it is unlawful? Blair hasn't
answered that either.
He said our troops would be welcomed
by the Iraqis. Instead, it is all endless bloodshed and chaos
there. Yet he hasn't apologised. If my children had the same
regard for honesty as the prime minister, I would be ashamed.
It seems to me that Blair cares more
about George Bush than about British soldiers. He made secret
promises to the president behind our backs, without a thought for
people like Gordon, or like my daughter Maxine, deprived of her
If he cares, why
doesn't he bring our troops back home before more are killed?
After all, power is
supposed to have been handed over to the Iraqi government. There
are no more weapons of mass destruction to look for. The Iraqis
should be allowed to sort out their own problems now.
Instead, I heard Geoff Hoon talking
about sending more of our lads and lasses over to Iraq. That will
mean more dead, more injured, to stop the government facing up to
what it has done. I am working
with other service families to ensure that our voice can be heard
too. Many have already got in touch.
I grieve also for all the Iraqis who
have died in this war. It all seems to have been completely
Blair may be let
off the hook by Lord this and Justice that in their inquiries. The
establishment will stick together. But I do not believe the
ordinary people will forgive him so easily.
I want the
government to be held to account. The prime minister says he
wants a democracy for Iraq. If we had a proper democracy here, we
would never have got into this war. And Gordon would be with us
2nd-Deadliest Month In 2004 For U.S. Troops
Oct. 04, 2004 ROBERT BURNS, Associated
- September was the second-deadliest month of the year for U.S.
forces in Iraq.
The month's death toll was 80, up from
65 in August and equal to the 80 who died in May.
Some had hoped the
violence would decrease after an interim Iraqi government was given
sovereignty June 28, but the death toll has risen steadily since
military deaths were recorded in June and 54 in July.
Sgt. Killed In Taji
October 4, 2004 U.S. Department of
Defense News Release No. 989-04
Sgt. Russell L. Collier, 48, of
Harrison, Ark., died October 3rd in Taji, Iraq. His unit was
conducting traffic control operations when enemy forces attacked
them using small arms fire. Collier was assigned to 1st
Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, Arkansas
National Guard, Russellville, Ark.
Guardsman Killed At Taji Checkpoint;
10/4/2004 By Richard C. Lewis,
CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) A
Rhode Island National Guardsman was killed during an attack by
insurgents as he manned a traffic-control post in Iraq, the Guard
Potts was killed Sunday, his 38th birthday, in a
firefight sparked when an unknown number of insurgents attacked the
traffic post in Taji, about 13 miles north of Baghdad in the
so-called Sunni Triangle.
Potts was a member of the Alpha
Battery, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery based in Providence.
The Tiverton resident had been in the Guard for 14 years. In
civilian life, he worked as a marine mechanic at New England
Boatworks, a yacht builder and marina operator in Portsmouth.
Potts is survived by his wife, Terri,
and two sons, Christopher Jr., 16, and Jackson, 2.
As seven wives of
Potts' comrades looked on at Guard headquarters, officials alluded
to increased anxiety among soldiers and their families with the
continued deployments and deaths.
concerns about fraying morale was ''undoubtedly a
consideration.'' Carcieri said the only thing that can be done is
to give grieving family members a hug.
Potts' death was the first in his
unit, McNamara said.
Staff Sgt. Dies Of
Road Wreck Injuries
October 3, 2004
U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 983-04
Staff Sgt. Mike A. Dennie, 31, of
Fayetteville, N.C., died Sept. 29 in Balad, Iraq, from injuries
sustained on Sept. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, when the driver of his
military vehicle pulled off the road and lost control, causing it to
roll over. Dennie was assigned to the 106th Finance Battalion from
Spc. Dies Of IED
October 3, 2004
U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 982-04
Spc. Allen Nolan, 38, of Marietta,
Ohio, died Sept. 30 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of injuries
sustained on Sept. 18 in Balad, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle struck
an improvised explosive device and then came under small arms fire.
Nolan was assigned to the Army Reserve's 660th Transportation
Company, Zanesville, Ohio.
TWO SOLDIERS KILLED
BY SMALL ARMS FIRE
October 4, 2004 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Release Number: 04-10-03C & AP
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Two
Task Force Baghdad Soldiers were killed by small arms fire Oct. 3.
The Soldiers were engaged by small
arms fire at a traffic control point jointly manned by Iraqi
security forces Sunday afternoon.
Soldier Killed At Baghdad Checkpoint
October 4, 2004 WLS Television, Inc.
October 4, 2004 — Family and friends
are mourning the death of a young Naperville soldier who was killed
in Iraq. Sergeant Jack Taft Hennessey was manning a checkpoint in
Baghdad when he was attacked.
in the Army three years ago and was nearing the end of his service.
After that, he planned to go to college.
A popular athlete at Naperville
Central High School, the flag is flying at half-staff as students
and staff remember the 2001 graduate.
"The there is a big
empty feeling and at first you are in shock. And, then we went to
the Hennessy house and that is when reality set in that Jack wasn't
going to be able to talk to them again," said Glen
Reimers, gymnastics coach.
"It was tough to talk about it to the
students. Something we hear all the time on tv and now something
difficult for our students to hear," said Jeff Nudera, wrestling and
Friends and family describe Hennessy
as a dynamic, outgoing guy who was always fun to be around.
"Well, you couldn't keep him still for
one thing. He was, among other thing, besides a fun-loving guy, did
a lot of pranks to other people. He was a prankster, a jokester.
He loved to make people laugh," said Reimers.
According to Hennessy's family, a car
went through a checkpoint on Friday and gunfire was exchanged.
Hennessy was killed in that incident.
That same night, Naperville High
School honored another soldier, Steve Begonia, who was wounded and
sent home from Iraq, during the football game. By the time the game
was over, word of Hennessy's death had spread.
"When I heard about it, I was
shocked," said Steve Begonia, wounded soldier.
"We're just very lucky to have him
here. Few cuts and bruises isn't anything compared to what other
people have to go through," said Megan Knopf, Begonia's friend
"I guess it was luck. God was on my
side that day. Pretty lucky," said Begonia.
Car Bomb Gets Military Convoy:
One U.S. Casualty
MOSUL, Iraq, Oct 4 (AFP)
"At 4:00 pm (1300
GMT) this afternoon a car bomb hit a military convoy, one soldier
was wounded and has been evacuated to a military hospital,"
said an army spokeswoman, Angela Bowman, adding the injury was not
Smoke billows after a car-bomb
exploded in Mosul. (AFP/Mujahed Mohammed)
Recruiting Center And Hotel For Foreigners Bombed In Baghdad
US soldier following a car bomb at an
army recruitment center in Baghdad. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)
October 04, 2004 AFP & By: Luke Baker
Eleven people died when a car bomb ripped through the entrance of an
Iraqi army recruitment centre in Baghdad today, while a second bomb
exploded near a hotel used by foreigners killing at least one
At the army
recruitment centre in Baghdad, hundreds of young men, some already
signed up to join the army and others hoping to enlist, had been
waiting inside when the car bomb detonated, witnesses said.
"It was a car bomb that went off at
the entrance of the recruitment centre," said Iraqi army Lieutenant
Mohamed Abdallah at the scene of the carnage.
Witnesses said a car blew up near one
of the entrances to the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the
Iraqi interim government, exploding amid army recruits milling
around the recruitment site.
Blood was splattered on the ground at
the nearby Yarmuk hospital where cars and trucks sped in and out,
ferrying the casualties from the blast site, which had been quickly
cordoned off by Iraqi security forces.
Doctor Firas al-Amin said at least 15
people died and 80 were wounded but he warned the figures could rise
"Our wards are working at full
capacity. We are trying to cope with the situation, but it is really
horrible," he said.
Inside, young men, some with horrific
wounds, were screaming in agony and grief.
"I came here with
109 of my colleagues from Najaf, we were told to bring relevant
papers to sign up to a new special force in the army,"
said Wafi Mohamed, 32, slapping his head as he waited outside the
"Oh my God where are my friends?"
asked the young man from the holy city south of Baghdad, which had
been the scene of heavy fighting in August between US troops and
rebel fighters loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.
Another young man, Mohamed Jassem, 25,
lay wailing, his legs fractured. "I was blown away by the impact
of the blast," Jassem yelled as a group of friends tried to comfort
Raed Majid, 31, described how Monday
had been his first day on the job and he had gone to the centre with
about 400 new recruits and other people hoping to enlist.
A US army spokesman
said the bomb had exploded just after 8:45 am (0545 GMT) outside the
Green Zone in Baghdad that houses key Iraqi government buildings and
the US embassy, but there had been no US casualties. The army
recruitment centre is adjacent to the Green Zone.
A second car bomb rocked the centre of
Baghdad at about 9:30 am (0630 GMT), sending a thick column of smoke
into the sky.
"We have received one dead and 12
injured," said Salman Helu Salman, an official in the emergency
department of the nearby Ibn Nafiss hospital.
The blast, which
struck 100 metres away from the Baghdad Hotel - a place often used
by Westerners - ripped through several nearby vehicles, including an
all-terrain vehicle of the sort used by many mercenaries here,
an AFP correspondent on the scene said.
The car bomb
exploded about an hour later as a U.S. military convoy was passing
along Baghdad's Sadoun Street,
where several hotels used by foreign
contractors are located, a major thoroughfare on the
eastern side of the Tigris river.
The blast destroyed several cars,
shattered dozens of shop windows and sprayed wreckage across the
street, leaving a car door hanging from a street sign. At least six
people were killed and a dozen wounded, Iraq's Interior Ministry
I saw a head in one place and a leg in
another. This was a suicide bombing," said one bystander as thick
clouds of black smoke billowed behind him and U.S. helicopters
Lying Pukes At U.S.
Command & Puppet Gov’t Say No Civilians Killed In Samarra:
“I Saw Dogs Eating
The Body Of A Woman”
10.4.04 By: Luke Baker (Reuters) &
Independent News & Media & By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad, The
Residents of Samarra tried to bury
their dead on Monday -- the cemetery was off limits on Sunday --
progressing through the streets of the city waving white flags tied
to sticks, family members weeping as they bore the coffins for
minister, who comes from Samarra, said he did not believe any
civilians had been killed in the offensive, a statement which drew
an angry response from residents. The U.S. military said it had
tried to avoid civilian casualties.
Sunday's operation in Samarra, north
of Baghdad, brought condemnation from residents about the cost in
lives and suffering.
One man, who said he escaped the city
yesterday, reported that civilians had been killed. He said he had
seen dogs picking at corpses in the street.
"I swear I saw dogs eating the body of
a woman," he said.
insisted that the estimated 125 people killed in the storming of the
city were all insurgents. Doctors and local people reported women,
children and the elderly among the dead, and that bodies were still
being brought into hospitals.
There also appeared
to have been discord over the military action between members of the
US-sponsored Iraqi interim government.
The Interior Minister, Falah Naqib,
echoed the American line that no civilians had been killed and only
"bad guys and terrorists" had suffered. It was, he said, a "great
day for Samarra".
But the Human
Rights Ministry, in a letter to the Iraqi Red Crescent, described
what happened in the city as a "tragedy" and called for urgent
Local people in
Samarra claimed that many of the 1,000 insurgents the Americans were
targeting had escaped before the attack, and civilians had borne the
brunt of the casualties.
Of 70 bodies
brought into Samarra General Hospital, 23 were children and 18
women, said Abdul-Nasser Hamed Yassin, a hospital administrator.
There were also 23 women among the 160 wounded.
Families trying to bury the dead found
the road to the cemetery had been blocked by American soldiers.
Abdel Latif Hadi, 45, said: "The
people who were hurt most are normal people who have nothing to do
Mohammed Ali Amin, said: "There were American snipers on rooftops
who were shooting people trying to get to their homes. Even at the
hospital the Americans arrested injured boys of 15 saying they were
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
Illness, Low Doses Of Sarin?
Burden Of Proof Is
Too High, Say Exposed Veterans
October 04, 2004 By Deborah Funk, Army
Times staff writer
Even after revisiting the question, an
expert medical committee has not changed its position on whether
exposure to levels of sarin too low to cause immediate symptoms is
linked to long-term health effects.
In a report issued Aug. 20, the
Institute of Medicine found that there is not enough evidence to
know whether low doses of the nerve agent are associated with
long-term neurological illness.
Previous IOM reports also concluded
there was insufficient evidence to address these issues.
And the earlier and current reports
both conclude there is “limited” or “suggestive” evidence of a link
between higher doses that cause immediate symptoms, and long-term
health effects, such as fatigue, headache, blurred vision and
post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Citing defense officials, the
committee said immediate sarin poisoning symptoms weren’t reported
during sarin munitions demolitions at Khamisiyah, Iraq, in 1991.
executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, said
that’s not so. A defense database, he said, shows that troops who
were near Khamisiyah reported those kinds of symptoms as well as
chemical detection alarms sounding.
“You can’t say
there’s no evidence of acute cholinergic syndrome unless you take
DoD’s word for it,” Robinson said. “The veterans say otherwise.”
Veterans “are being
held to a standard that requires a burden of proof that we’ll never
be able to meet,” Robinson said. “If the burden of proof rests on
what data was collected, we’ll never be able to win.”
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.
October 04, 2004 By Vince Crawley,
Army Times staff writer
The Government Accountability Office,
the investigative arm of Congress, reported in mid-September “There
are already indications that some portions of the force are being
“For example, the
Army National Guard failed to meet its recruiting goal during 14 of
20 months from October 2002 to May 2004 and ended fiscal 2003
approximately 7,800 soldiers below its recruiting goal.”
A Mother Recalls
The Life Of Marine Who Died
Oct. 3, 2004 Ed Montini, Arizona
Rhonda McCarthy was 20 years old when
her son, Joe, was born. He was early. Problems developed two months
before her due date and she was rushed to the hospital for an
emergency C-section. It all happened so quickly.
"The doctor said something about a
baby boy," she says. "I remember nothing after that."
When Joe was 6 weeks old, Rhonda tried
to open a door while wedging the baby carrier with Joe in it against
the wall. It slipped, fracturing her boy's skull. At 8 months he
had a seizure and nearly died. She remembers asking herself why God
seemed to want her son back so quickly.
They lived in Concho, near St. Johns.
The athletic, mischievous boy that Joe grew into idolized Jim Carey
and Michael Jordan. "He set off the fire extinguisher in the garage
and nearly gave his uncle a heart attack," Rhonda says. "He helped
to fix my car by putting transmission fluid . . . in the brake
But he also could prepare homemade
lasagna and once set up an alternative school's sports program.
Before his high school prom, Joe and his girlfriend, Amanda Salazar,
dressed as clowns and entertained kids at a day-care center.
He had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. This made
classroom learning difficult, and by the time he was 16 Joe told
Rhonda that he wanted to become a Marine.
"I will never
forget the day he had me sign the pre-enlistment papers," she says.
"It turned my stomach, but I did it because it meant so much to
him. I was worried but I figured, what were the chances of war?"
Joe's family drove him to Phoenix the
day that he was supposed to enter the service.
It was Sept. 10, 2001.
He suffered some
shrapnel wounds and earned a Purple Heart, promising to tell his
mother all about it - someday. "I thought I could relax after
that," Rhonda says. "What were the chances of anything else
happening to him? I let my guard down."
Joe's wife showed Rhonda an e-mail he
had sent her that read in part:
"Other than wishing my Nana and Poppy were still alive, I would not
trade in my life for anything. To me, I have the perfect life;
perfect parents, perfect friends, perfect you, perfect job, perfect
On Labor Day, a car bomb detonated
near a group of soldiers outside of Fallujah. Joe and six others
were killed. He was 21.
"Maybe one day I'll
understand it all," Rhonda says. "Until then I will cry. Every
day. Not just out of anger but out of loss. Not only mine but this
POLAND A DICTATORSHIP PUBLISHED
A Polish soldier stands in the turret
of an armored vehicle in the Iraqi town of Samawa.
“According to the
latest poll, more than 70 percent of Poles are opposed to the
presence of their country's troops in Iraq. (AFP)”
[So, over 70% of
Polish population want troops out of Iraq, but here they are. The
people who make up the Polish government keep them there, ignoring
what the overwhelming majority want. That’s called a dictatorship.
Duh.] (AFP/File/Joseph Barrak)
Seabees Back To
“It’s Going To Be
October 2, 2004 Biloxi Sun Herald
Builder 1st Class Bobby Carey, an Iraq
veteran, isn't sure what to expect in the way of living and working
conditions for deploying Seabees.
"It's unpredictable," said the
Oklahoma native. "We'll have to get over there and see what's going
Carey, 28, has helped prepare other
Seabees for harsh desert conditions and combat.
However, he served in Iraq last
year, before insurgents began stepping up attacks.
"It's going to be
worse," he said.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7
from Gulfport began shipping out Thursday evening. Part of the
battalion will serve in Guam, while several hundred Seabees likely
will serve in Iraq. Seabees from NMCB 17, a reserve battalion in Ft.
Carson, Colo., also left with the Gulfport battalion.
While the unit
doesn't know its exact destination, other Seabee units from Gulfport
have worked throughout the dangerous Sunni triangle in the past 18
In preparation for the deployment,
NMCB 7 excelled in recent field exercises, added Maculan, who will
help lead a battalion with many seasoned veterans.
"For a lot of the
guys, it's their second time," he said.
London Financial Times)
4 Oct 2004 BAGHDAD, (AFP)
(AFP) - A top official at Iraq's science and technology ministry has
been shot dead along with a female civil servant by unknown
attackers in Baghdad, the interior ministry said.
"Thamer Abdellatif, one the general
directors of the ministry, and a civil servant, Ikhlas Ghalib, were
shot dead at 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in the al-Qhadeer district in the
centre of Baghdad," said ministry spokesman Colonel Adnan
The pair were targeted in their car as
they drove to work, he said.
Police Chief Killed
10.4.04 Luke Bakeer, Reuters
The chief of police in Balad Ruz, a
rebel bastion just north of Baghdad, was killed.
Losing A War The
Old Fashioned Way:
"In our ability to
let loose destructive power at great distances and by air, the
United States military is undoubtedly unparalleled as a power
today. And yet here's the counterintuitive way you have to think
about American airpower in Iraq:
Watch where the bombs and missiles are falling - starting with
Falluja and ending up on Haifa Street - and you can map almost
exactly where American power is blinking off. The use of air power,
in other words, is a sign of American weakness. Its use maps our
inability to control Iraq.
To the extent that you can monitor our air power, you'll know much
about what's going badly in that country, in part because the resort
to air power in a guerrilla war means the surefire alienation of the
contested population. It means that you've given up on 'hearts and
minds,' to use a classic Vietnam-era phrase, and turned to the
punitive destruction of bodies and souls."
The United States is losing the war in
Iraq one war crime at a time.
The Pentagon is completely oblivious to the fact that these air
attacks on civilians should be profoundly embarrassing to the United
States, and continues to announce these barbarities as if they were
And still, the Americans are losing,
and losing badly.
They are actually
losing in the good old fashioned way that would have been understood
by the Ancient Greeks. Each time they have a
battle, the Americans suffer more debilitating casualties than the
The Americans are
losing for the simple reason that they are running out of troops.
This explains the
more and more ridiculous stories we see of attempts to deal with the
lack of American troops.
It also explains
the reliance on aerial bombardment of civilians. Aerial
bombardment is completely useless against the resistance, who are
highly mobile and simply evacuate the area, leaving the women and
children and old men to die under American bombs.
If these bombs are
killing any members of the resistance, it is by sheer luck.
American reliance on the war crime of aerial bombardment reflects
the desperation of an army that is out of answers.
With every battle it cedes more and
more ground to the resistance, and suffers a disproportionate number
of casualties. They can't replace the troops they would lose.
Each case of aerial bombardment
increases the fury of the Iraqi people, and thus the size and
determination of the resistance. It is a vicious cycle the
Americans can't hope to win.
The attack on Iraq
has turned into one of the main embarrassments in American military
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.
“Will we ever have
victory,” he replied.
September 27, 2004 Israel Shamir
In The Dune, a visionary film that
predicted the US invasion of the Middle East, the spiritual leader
of the Resistance is asked:
- Will we ever have peace?
- We’ll have victory, - he replied.
Indeed, the invader
may relent and seek for peace; an attacked must seek victory until
the invader will seek peace.
The rule is often
forgotten by modern proponents of pacifism and non-violence. They
preach non-violence to the oppressed as the panacea for their
troubles. Not surprisingly, non-violence gets
very good media coverage and is supplied for downtrodden in great
non-violence grows not out of humility and self-sacrifice, but out
of self-preservation and fear; fear of supporting the right side
in the war. It is easier to be “against wars and violence” in
general than it is to stand against an aggressor and invader,
especially if your country happens to be the aggressor and
Thus, in Italy,
Communist leader Fausto Bertinotti has proclaimed that he is
“against the Iraqi War for he is a pacifist and against wars in
general’. After such a statement, he had no reason to demand the
return home of Italian soldiers. And he did not.
Good Americans supported the Viet Cong
against their own army; and good French – like our friends Ginette
Scandrani and Serge Thion – supported the Algerian resistance.
Pacifism offers a coward’s escape from facing moral choice.
Hail the warriors;
hang not on their shooting arm. Maybe we won’t have peace; but
we’ll have victory.
“The Americans Who
Die In Iraq Will Have Died For Nothing.”
August 30, 2004 By Charlie Reese, King
When you look at the Vietnam War
Memorial, with those 57,000 names of dead Americans on it, you
should feel anger.
All of those young lives were
sacrificed by blundering civilian politicians and bureaucrats who
made their deaths meaningless. They died because of the posturing
and ineptness of politicians in Washington who sent them to war for
no logical reason and with no grand strategy for winning.
Vietnam today is a
communist country. It could have become a communist country without
57,000 Americans dying in its jungles, mountains and rice paddies.
At no time were the communists in Vietnam a threat to the United
Now we have
Americans dying in another country that was not and never could have
been a threat to the United States. Iraq had a bad dictator. Lots
of countries have or have had bad dictators. Some of the dictators
were installed by the United States, and others were aided by it.
Merely toppling a foreign dictator is not a
legitimate use of the U.S. military.
Nor is the world
safer for the absence of Saddam Hussein, as the present
administration keeps saying. That's because Saddam was never a
threat to the world in the first place.
American politicians so demonized
Saddam, you would think that he was a genius in charge of a large
industrial country. He is not a genius. Iraq is not a large
country. The only war Saddam ever won was against Kuwait, which is
the geographical equivalent of a postage stamp. Saddam was a
ruthless, but not overly bright, thug who held power in a small
country with a divided population.
He was a threat only to his own people.
And you tell me:
What is being accomplished by these young Americans dying in Iraq?
It's not saving Americans from weapons of mass destruction. There
aren't any. It's not saving America from al-Qaida. Saddam Hussein
and Osama bin Laden hated each other and never cooperated. Are
these young people dying just to do a favor for the Iraqis? The
Iraqis don't want us in their country. It's pretty hard to justify
the claim that Iraqis are grateful when they are busy killing
their so-called liberators.
It might not be on
the same scale, but it's Vietnam all over again.
A war in a foreign country that was no
threat to the United States. No strategy for victory. A complete
misreading of both the country and its people.
In the end, the
Americans who die in Iraq will, like their brothers who died in
Vietnam, have died for nothing.
We'll end up installing a replacement
dictator. But even if the Iraqis have elections, those elections
should not be purchased with American blood.
I would hope that
the American people would be (expletive deleted) tired of
politicians (expletive deleted) away the lives of our sons and
daughters for stupid or hidden reasons. No American soldier should
ever die, except in defense of his or her own country. Period. End
of story. And every politician who wastes American blood should be
thrown out of office.
The Cheap Lies,
1910 And 2004
"The loud little handful -- as usual
-- will shout for the war. The pulpit will -- warily and cautiously
-- object... at first. The great, big, dull bulk of the nation will
rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war,
and will say, earnestly and indignantly, ‘It is unjust and
dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.’
Then the handful will shout louder. A
few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war
with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be
applauded, but it will not last long; those others will outshout
them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and lose
Before long, you will see this curious
thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech
strangled by hordes of furious men...
Next the statesmen
will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is
attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing
falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any
refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself
that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he
enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”
Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger"
20041004 Charles Krauthammer /
Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times
Nixon, remember, was vilified by Kerry
and his antiwar colleagues for prolonging the suffering and dying in
Vietnam for four unnecessary years.
Yet here is Kerry,
after 30 years of torturous re-examination of Vietnam, coming full
circle and running as Nixon 1968: Mysterious plan, Iraqification,
out in four years. A novelist could not have written this tale. It
would be too implausible.
A Study by the Institute for Policy
Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus
Full report with citations (.pdf
'Transition' is the most comprehensive accounting
of the mounting costs of the Iraq war on the United States, Iraq,
and the world. Among its major findings are stark figures about the
escalation of costs in these most recent three months of
"transition" to Iraqi rule, a period that the Bush administration
claimed would be characterized by falling human and economic costs.
1. U.S. Military
Casualties Have Been Highest During the "Transition":
U.S. military casualties (wounded and killed) stand at a monthly
average of 747 since the so-called "transition" to Iraqi rule on
June 28, 2004. This contrasts with a monthly average of 482 U.S.
military casualties during the invasion (March 20-May 1, 2003) and a
monthly average of 415 during the occupation (May 2, 2003-June 28,
Contractor Deaths Have Also Been Highest During the "Transition":
There has also been a huge increase in the average monthly deaths of
U.S. and other non-Iraqi contractors since the "transition." On
average, 17.5 contractors have died each month since the June 28
"transition," versus 7.6 contractor deaths per month during the
previous 14 months of occupation.
Strength of Iraqi Resistance Skyrockets: Because
the U.S. military occupation remains in place, the "transition" has
failed to win Iraqi support or diminish Iraqi resistance to the
According to Pentagon estimates, the
number of Iraqi resistance fighters has quadrupled between November
of 2003 and early September 2004, from 5,000 to 20,000.
The Deputy Commander of Coalition
forces in Iraq, British Major General Andrew Graham, indicated to
Time magazine in early September that he thinks the 20,000 estimate
is too low; he estimates Iraqi resistance strength at
40,000-50,000. This rise is even starker when juxtaposed to
Brookings Institution estimates that an additional 24,000 Iraqi
resistance fighters have been detained or killed between May 2003
and August 2004.
4. U.S.- led
Coalition Shrinks Further After "Transition": The
number of countries identified as members of the Coalition backing
the U.S.-led war started with 30 on March 18, 2003, then grew in the
early months of the war. Since then, eight countries have withdrawn
their troops and Costa Rica has demanded to be taken off the
coalition list. At the war's start, coalition countries represented
19.1 percent of the world's population; today, the remaining
countries with forces in Iraq represent only 13.6 percent of the
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
October 4, 2004 By WILLIAM SAFIRE, New
As the Democratic Whoopee Brigade
hailed Senator Kerry's edge in debating technique, nobody noticed
his foreign policy sea change. On
both military tactics and grand strategy, the newest neoconservative
announced doctrines more hawkish than President Bush.
First, on war-fighting in Iraq:
Hard-liners criticized the Bush decision this spring not to send
U.S. troops in to crush Sunni resistance in the Baathist stronghold
in Falluja. Our forces wanted to fight to win but soft-liners in
Washington worried about the effect of heavier civilian casualties
on the hearts and minds of Iraqis, and of U.S. troop losses on
Last week in
debate, John Kerry - until recently, the antiwar candidate too eager
to galvanize dovish Democrats - suddenly reversed field, and came
down on the side of the military hard-liners.
"What I want to do
is change the dynamics on the ground," Kerry volunteered. "And you
have to do that by beginning to not back off of Falluja and other
places and send the wrong message to terrorists. ... You've got to
show you're serious."
Right on, John! Although he added his
standard softener of "sharing the stakes" with "the rest of the
world," he issued his radically
revised military policy: wipe out resistance in terrorist
strongholds like Falluja, which requires us to inflict and accept
Kerry's belated but
welcome hawkish call to "change the dynamics on the ground" supports
the joint U.S.-Iraqi seizure of control of that terrorist haven.
It will be bloody, but such use of firepower in
"serious" denial of sanctuary should save lives in the long run.
Next, to grand strategy: Kerry was
asked by Jim Lehrer, "What is your position on the whole concept of
pre-emptive war?" In the past, Kerry has given a safe
never-say-never response, but last week he gave a Strangelovian
answer: "The president always
has the right and always has had the right for pre-emptive strike."
He pledged never to cede "the right to pre-empt in any way
necessary'' to protect the U.S.
But in embracing his right to pre-empt
- always derided in horror by the two-minutes-to-midnight crowd as
impermissible "preventive war" - Kerry felt the need to interject:
"That was a great doctrine throughout the cold war. And it was one
of the things we argued about with respect to arms control."
Hold on; nuclear pre-emption was never
America's "great doctrine" during confrontation with the Soviets.
Our strategic doctrine, which some of us remember, was at first
"massive retaliation," later "mutual assured destruction.'' Maybe
arms control negotiators listed pre-emption or preventive war as a
dangerous notion of extremists, but only kooks portrayed by the
likes of Peter Sellers called for a nuclear final solution to the
If Bush had defined pre-emption as
such a "great doctrine throughout the cold war," we would have seen
sustained snickering on cable and horrified eye-rolling from the
Charles River Gang.
On stopping North
Korea's nuclear buildup, Kerry abandoned his global-testing
multilateralism; our newest neocon derided Bush's six-nation talks
and demands America go it gloriously alone.
And in embracing
Wilsonian idealism to intervene in Darfur's potential genocide,
Kerry's promise of troops outdid Pentagon liberators: "If it took
American forces to some degree to coalesce the African Union, I'd be
prepared to do it.”
antiwar supporters celebrate the Kerry personality makeover. They
shut their eyes to Kerry's hard-line, right-wing, unilateral,
pre-election policy epiphany.
KERRY: I WILL FIX
MOUNT ST. HELENS
Bush 'In Denial'
About Volcano, Senator Charges
October 3, 2004 The Borowitz Report
Democratic presidential nominee John
Kerry kept President Bush on the defensive today, telling a
Pittsburgh audience that Mr. Bush had allowed the long-dormant
volcano Mount St. Helens to erupt on his watch, adding that he would
"fix Mount St. Helens once and for all" if elected in November.
"When George Bush was elected
president, Mount St. Helens was nothing but a trivia question," Mr.
Kerry said. "Well, guess what, folks - it's spewing volcanic gases
right now and it's only a matter of time before she blows."
Mr. Kerry said that Mr. Bush had
refused to keep an eye on the troubling increase in volcanic
activity at Mount St. Helens because he was "totally obsessed with
"I've got news for George Bush, " Mr.
Kerry said. "Saddam Hussein isn't erupting. Mount St. Helens is
After accusing Mr. Bush of being "in
denial" about "the molten magma stewing inside that scary sucker,"
Mr. Bush fired back, saying that it would be "sending the wrong
message" to say that Mr. St. Helens was erupting.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia
rose to the president's defense, saying that he believed it would be
"awesome" to have group sex inside the volcano's red-hot crater.
"Throw in a few barnyard animals and
that's what I call a party," Justice Scalia said.
In other campaign
news, Mr. Bush ridiculed Mr. Kerry's statement that the U.S. must
pass "a global test" before using military force, adding, "I have
never passed a test in my life and I'm not going to start now."
1,700 Troops In Zabul:
Bush Buddy Babbles
2004/10/04 By The Associated Press and
The Christian Science Monitor
Americans did was take away the dead bodies after the battle was
The deaths of three Afghan soldiers
and two militants over the weekend -- barely noted in news reports
-- brought to at least 957 the number of people reported killed in
political violence this year, according to an Associated Press
review. The toll includes about 30 U.S. soldiers.
On Saturday, rebels
killed two militia guards at the home of a former senior official in
Uruzgan province, said Police Chief Rozi Khan. A third soldier died
when troops came under fire as they tried to flee with a suspect
captured during the battle. The prisoner also was fatally wounded,
In Qalat, the capital of restive Zabul
province, security chief Lt. Gen. Amir Mohammad Noori said his 1,500
police and 500 Afghan National Army soldiers are ready for whatever
the Taliban have planned for election day.
Even so, he
conceded that the Taliban are evenly matched, with 1,700
guerrillas in Zabul, and that they travel freely in far-off
districts such as Sari and Khake Afghan.
"We have a very
strong plan for security," Noori said. "We'll
have patrols, we'll strengthen our checkpoints. The
road will be closed to any armed people,
unless they have a permission slip
from their commander."
[Looks like 1,700 permission slips
headed your way.]
This is small
comfort for Malik Ali Mohammad, the commander of Khake Afghan
district. Mohammad said he is disappointed by U.S. forces, who
neglected to support him against the Taliban last week.
"We called the
American forces, but they didn't come to help us,"
he said. "In 4 1/2 hours of
face-to-face fighting, we didn't get any support. What can the
Afghan government do for us? They don't have transportation to get
to our areas. All the Americans did was take away the dead bodies
after the battle was over."
"If we don't have
disarmament in Afghanistan, we will get the same faces in
Parliament, and if they get into Parliament, we should all pack our
bags and give up," said Andrew Wilder, head of the
Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, an independent think tank in
Kabul. "I'm really in favor of elections, but this is the last
important opportunity to get things right."
Such a dark
assessment, echoed by a number of recent reports on deteriorating
security, contrasted with the bright picture presented to Congress
last week by assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Armitage told members of Congress that
the Afghan elections would be a "success," although he expected the
Taliban to attempt to disrupt the process.
David Cline, Veterans For Peace
Monday, October 04, 2004 9:12 PM
Re: GI Special 2#B81: Most Mil. Families Oppose War
Vigil for the
Fallen was on 10/2 but in NYC not Washington, DC
Bringing The Troops
Home From Iraq Now Is NOT Debatable-
01 Oct 2004, Oct. 17- Million Worker
Bringing the Troops
Home from Iraq is NOT debatable—
Nor was is part of
the debates last night
We Need Our Own
Voice in the Debate
That's way we must
be in Washington DC on October 17
Whatever your view of the debates last
night, this much was clear-- although the big topic of debate was
supposed to be the war and continued occupation of Iraq --
Nobody in the debate called for
bringing the troops home now.
This is the
reason why those of us who are demanding that the troops come home
now must do everything we can to keep the debate in the street.
The street is the
only place where the anti-war position is being forcefully made.
Oct 17 is the next big chance for the anti-war movement to join
the debate and WE MUST NOT FAIL TO SHOW UP FOR IT.
We need our own voice in the debates!
Working people will speak for
themselves, in their own voice on October 17 at the Million Worker
On October 17, we will have the
opportunity to enter the debate, on our terms, in our name, as we
march on Washington, DC.
This is a march and a movement
initiated by working people--starting with ILWU Local 10 in San
Francisco. The leadership of the movement is drawn from working
people. And the issues we will raise are issues that effect working
Momentum is building for the Million
Worker March---new organizing centers are springing up all over the
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