www.albasrah.net
 

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

10.10.04

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 2#B87

 

 

 

Iraq Soldiers Say:

Fight To Survive:

SIGN THE "STOP-LOSS" PETITION!!!

To: GI Special

October 08, 2004

 

To whom it may concern:

 

We recently noticed that since the Stop-Loss was put into effect, there has never been a petition against it.

 

The Statistics are now 15 days away from our original release date from the US ARMY.

 

Unfortunately, we are under the jurisdiction of the Army's Stop-Loss, a "back door draft" designed to keep soldiers in the army for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan for the duration of 3 months before the 12 month deployment until 3 months after it.

 

Many soldiers' lives have been put on hold, dismantled, ruined or expired due to this defacto draft.  Time is running out for thousands of soldiers who were supposed to be out, and thousands more will be affected by the Stop-Loss in the not so distant future.

 

Help to end this madness by signing you name and concerns at nostoploss@yahoo.com.

 

On behalf of The Statistics and a myriad of soldiers chained to this war, we thank you all!

 

-hEkLe

Statistic

 

MORE:

 

SIGN THE "STOP-LOSS" PETITION!!!

STOP-LOSS: "the back door draft"

 

My sympathies go out to all the families of soldiers who were lost in this war.  My deepest sympathies are for those soldiers who have died after they were supposed to be discharged from the army.  That is the real crime, killing soldiers who should have been civilians.

 

I am now approaching my original ETS date that I was contracted for when I joined the Army three years ago. 

 

Despite serving in two deployments in my enlistment as well as living over seas, I have been involuntarily extended to stay in the military until 90 days after my unit redeploys back to Germany.

 

This could be eight or more additional months of service that I will not receive compensation pay for.

 

A year ago I could have at least re-enlisted and picked up a bonus for the additional year on my contract.  With the cuts to soldiers' standard pay and combat pay (compliments of President Bush), it is already not as profitable for a deployed soldier as it once was.

 

I have missed my daughter as she has grown from the age of one to four, and I long to start a relationship with her.

 

I thought three years ago that, by this time, I could finally start my life over.  I have planned on enrolling in college this coming Spring.  I am in my late twenties and can finally afford to go to school with my well earned GI Bill.  But this dream will not come true for quite some time.  I will be thirty before I see the civilian life I was told I would have by the end of this October.

 

I do understand that if my country needs me for an honorable purpose, that I would be there to pick up arms against our enemies.  But this occupation displays none of the ARMY VALUES that I was once taught to live by.

 

I can no longer take pride in my job as a soldier when it has become a humiliating form of slavery.

 

Enough is enough!  If I am to be punished in the near future for my overly-extreme views, than the college money and benefits I have suffered for will slip away in a dishonorable discharge.  Normally I would not be at risk, because I would have received an honorable discharge already.

 

My sympathies go out to all the families of soldiers who were lost in this war.  My deepest sympathies are for those soldiers who have died after they were supposed to be discharged from the army.  That is the real crime, killing soldiers who should have been civilians.

 

Please help in speaking out against this form of selective service. It is wrong and degrading to our country.

 

If we act collectively we can restore the dignity of the Armed Services that has been stripped away.

 

Until then...I have now been DRAFTED!

 

If you disagree with the STOP-LOSS please sign your name at nostoploss@yahoo.com.  If you are a soldier in the US Army and have been affected by and disagree with the STOP-LOSS, write your original ETS date by your name.

 

Thank you.

 

-hEkLe

 

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 social protest movements here in the USA.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

U.S. Soldier Killed By Baghdad IED

 

10/10/2004 BAGHDAD (AP)

 

A car bomb exploded as an American military convoy was passing near a small market in east Baghdad, police Lt. Ahmed Hussein said at the scene.  An American soldier wounded in the attack was evacuated for treatment but died at a nearby military medical facility, a military statement said.

 

The blast also wounded at least one bystander and left a gaping crater in the road.

 

 

Marine Dead In Anbar

 

10/10/2004 BAGHDAD (AP)

 

A Marine was killed in action in Anbar province Saturday, a day before Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to the area, the military said in a statement. No other details were released.

 

 

Rumsfeld Visit To Iraq Greeted By Bombs;

Occupation Police Academy Hit

 

10/10/2004 BAGHDAD (AP) & By Alistair Lyon (Reuters)

 

Two bombs shook the capital in quick succession Sunday, killing at least 11 people, including an American soldier, and wounding 16, U.S. and Iraqi officials said, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to troops in the field. 

 

With American troops getting killed at a rate of more than one per day in Iraq, Rumsfeld's trip was not announced in advance.

 

An attacker detonated a minibus packed with explosives near an eastern Baghdad police academy, police Cap. Ali Ayez said at the scene.  However an Interior Ministry official said investigators were still trying to decide if the blast was caused by a bomb or a rocket.  At least four mangled bodies lay on the street amid scattered shoes, papers and a handbag.  Police collected body parts on stretchers.

 

The dead included three police academy students and a female officer, Ayez said.

U.S. forces assisted the wounded, including a police recruit who received stitches in his abdomen.

 

The nearby Kindi Hospital received 10 bodies and treated five wounded from the blast, said Dr. Ali Ghazi. Police said 15 people were injured in all.

 

South of the capital, the U.S. command said 15 more insurgents were rounded up Saturday in a joint American-Iraqi operation to suppress resistance in an area notorious for ambushes and kidnappings. At least 78 people have been apprehended since the push began last week, the military said Sunday.

 

Rebels in the area fought back Saturday, firing several mortar rounds at U.S. forces near Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad, said Capt. David Nevers, a Marine spokesman. U.S. forces returned fire with mortar and artillery shells, he said.

 

Three civilians were killed in the exchanges, including a father and child, said Dr. Dawood al-Taie of nearby Mahmoudiya hospital.

 

 

COMBATING INSURGENTS;

Pentagon Sets Strategy To Retake Iraq Rebel Cities

 

[This looks like an accurate report.  The fun starts when the choice is made: pull the US forces out and move on to the next city, in which case the resistance takes it back in about 10 minutes, or leave behind thousands of troops per city, like the 1500 or so left in Samarra.  Pretty soon, you run out of troops, leaving the resistance in full control of every square inch where U.S. troops aren’t.  Including inside Baghdad.  Oops.]

 

October 8, 2004 By ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER, New York Times

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 - Pentagon planners and military commanders have identified 20 to 30 towns and cities in Iraq that must be brought under control before nationwide elections can be held in January, and have devised detailed ways of deciding which ones should be early priorities, according to senior administration and military officials.

 

The military campaign relies heavily on preparing Iraqi forces to hold the cities after American and Iraqi troops retake insurgent strongholds like Samarra.  After the Iraqi forces' dismal showing in the uprisings in April, the training program was revamped.  One of the Army's top officers, Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, was brought in to oversee a training mission that in many ways was starting from scratch.

 

General Petraeus and Dr. Allawi have disagreed on the pace of fielding Iraqi forces, military officials say, with the Iraqi leader wanting more troops, faster, and General Petraeus wary of pushing the Iraqis too quickly into what one American official called "a rush to failure."

 

The recent military operations have included a mix of American soldiers and marines, with Iraqis trained in counterterrorism, urban combat and emergency response situations.

 

But American commanders say it is still an open question whether the newly trained Iraqi forces can stand up over the long run to insurgent attacks, bribes and threats against their families.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

More On Lampin Scandal:

FSH Doc Confirms Sgt. Getting Shafted Big Time:

Reports Other Cases Of “Lost Records”

 

The last update she wrote that Sgt. Lampkin's medical records are missing.

 

To tell you the truth, that happens a great deal, and has been happening more then ever since this war started.

 

This is where the Army will try to fix it so that the Soldier will not get the benefits that he/she so deserves.

 

From: Military Doctor

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2004 6:49 AM

Subject: Sgt. Lampin Case

 

I am responding to the Sgt. Lampin articles that you have been posting  First, let me say that God Bless this woman for what she is doing.  She has true courage, something that most people don't have. I admit she is a lot braver then I am personally, and that says a lot.

 

I am a medical doctor in the military at Fort Sam Houston.

 

After reading her letter/articles that you post on your web site, I must say that I will most certain agree with what she says.

 

If a commander can override what is written on a medical profile, then why does a Soldier even bother coming to us when he/she is in pain?

 

Our recommendations should be taken more seriously, in fact what we write on a profile should be the final decision in a Soldiers medical condition.

 

With what I have read, this commander, Colonel Short, he truly is digging a hole for himself.  Does he not realize that if God forbid Sgt. Lampin gets killed during an attack that he would be held accountable for his actions of having him deployed after his surgeon says that he shouldn't?

 

Not only that, Mrs. Lampin will most certain have a lawsuit that will go in her favor 10 times and more.

 

She has a point about Army Regulation 40-501, where it says the commander cannot override a medical profile.  She said that if his doctor wrote that he recommends medical board, and that he is non-deployable that should be counted as going against his profile, but unfortunately, this commander says different.

 

I would like to point out something that she did mention in that first initial letter that was posted.  In it, she said that on Sgt. Lampin's medical profile that one of the subjects that the doctor marked said that he is unhealthy by medical condition that prevents deployment.

 

This is a fact, that on a medical profile, under category 5 letter f, it is written: IS SOLDIER HEALTHY WITHOUT ANY MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PREVENTS DEPLOYMENT?  If there is a mark in the NO column, then yes despite that the doctor wrote non-deployable, this commander is going against his medical profile.  This profile is an official document, marked DD FORM 3349.

 

I have seen many cases like Sgt. Lampin, who are medical boarded out.  In fact I can recall two cases where the Soldiers, like Sgt. Lampin, were sent to Iraq when they shouldn't have, and wind up getting sent back because further damage did occur.

 

Those Soldiers are now getting 50%, or that is what they were told, for disability, and their commanders will have to answer for it if they knew that they should not have been deployed in the first place.

 

The last update she wrote that Sgt. Lampin's medical records are missing.

 

To tell you the truth, that happens a great deal, and has been happening more then ever since this war started.

 

This is where the Army will try to fix it so that the Soldier will not get the benefits that he/she so deserves.

 

I will be willing to bet that in some of the letters that she receives from the AG that they cannot look into Sgt. Lampin's medical records because of Privacy Act Release.  That right there will give Sgt. Lampin's command a chance to hide what medical consultation he has accumulated there at the prison, and more then likely these records will never be found.

 

She also mentioned that Sgt. Lampin told her that some of the doctors there are now saying that he should be redeployed but Colonel Short still will not accept it.  I would like to ask this, "What kind of doctor is this Colonel Short?"

 

I would like to close this letter with two notes; one is addressed to my fellow Soldiers in the Medical Field who are there at the Abu Ghraib, and one to Mrs. Lampin.

 

All of you should be constantly recommending that Sgt. Lampin be redeployed to Colonel Short.

 

If that doesn't work I know you all know how to write an inquiry.

 

Do so, and make copies of it and give them to Sgt. Lampin so that he will have proof that you agree that he should be redeployed.

 

To Mrs. Lampin, again, I would like to tell you that you are a brave women, and that Sgt. Lampin is lucky to have you.

 

We need more courageous women like yourself.

 

Keep up the fight Mrs. Lampin because you know have my full support, and the support of some of my close friends.

 

God Bless you Mrs. Lampin, and Thank You.

 

Sincerely,

Doc. at FSH

 

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.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

Getting Ready For The Blind War Wounded

 

Oct. 9, 2004 WMU News

 

KALAMAZOO--For the first time since the Vietnam War, blindness and low vision experts, including those at Western Michigan University, are gearing up for an influx of newly blinded veterans, this time from Iraq.

 

Dr. Paul E. Ponchillia, chair of the WMU Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, says his department is mobilizing to address the latest effects of the war in Iraq.

 

“What we have are very young soldiers, often still in their teens or early 20s, who survive roadside bombings, but who have multiple permanent injuries.  Adjustment to blindness is difficult for anyone.  However, waking up in a military hospital missing a hand or leg, or having a brain injury combined with blindness is even more difficult for anyone to face. So we are preparing our graduates for the multiple challenges of working with newly blinded soldiers with other physical injuries."

 

According to Veterans Administration Blind Rehabilitation Center officials, wounded soldiers are returning with multiple injuries.  Often an injury that causes blindness also results in traumatic brain injury, making recovery more difficult. Head injuries can affect the normal adjustment to blindness by causing behavioral and cognitive issues, further complicating rehabilitation and return to a normal life. In addition, men and women wounded in battle or roadside bombings with severe injuries to their arms, hands or lower extremities may lose limbs.

 

There are already more than a dozen soldiers with traumatic brain injury who have also lost their sight.  It is unlikely all will receive blind rehabilitation services at the same time, but since most VA blind centers hold only about 20-25 blind veterans, the number of newly blinded soldiers is significant.

 

Paul Ponchillia reports a chronic shortage of personnel in all areas of blindness and low vision expertise. "So we anticipate a further shortage of graduates to fill positions at blind centers, such as those operated by the Veterans Administration," he says.

 

 

The Latest Idiocy From Command

An Iraqi detainee is taken away in Sadr City, Baghdad, Oct. 9, 2004.  Army soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division said that he and a second prisoner both tested positive for explosive residue on their hands.  (AP Photo/John Moore)

 

[And given the frequency of car bombs and IED explosions in Baghdad, which generate clouds of explosive residue accumulating all over the city, that only leaves about 2,874,937 more Iraqis to arrest.  What colossal asshole thought this one up?  He should be tested for brain residue.  Oh, almost forgot another possibility.  Maybe some Bush campaign contributor makes the residue detectors, and pocketed a bundle for selling the devices, and the program, to the Pentagon.  So now all kinds of Iraqis get picked up and stuck in prison and promptly double their dedication to the resistance.] 

 

 

Re-Enlistment A Game Of Guilt, Spin, Arm-Twisting — And Gotti Approach

 

October 11, 2004 Army Times:  By Ralf W. Zimmermann:  The writer is a former tank battalion commander and decorated Desert Storm veteran. He writes on numerous military topics. His new novel, “Brotherhood of Iron,” deals with the German soldier in World War II.

 

Was my old outfit — the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division — up to new tricks in the Army re-enlistment game?

 

That was the question when local TV stations in Colorado recently featured several young troopers muttering about threat methods to keep them involuntarily in their units. Stay with the brigade until 2007 or get shipped off to some other outfit deploying to Iraq, they reportedly were told.

 

The reporters seemed surprised by these revelations.  One anonymous young sergeant’s comments struck deep: “I don’t want to go back to Iraq . I went through a lot of things for the Army that weren’t necessary and were risky. Iraq has changed a lot of people.”

 

What is up?

 

You’d be a fool to believe that military enlisting and re-enlisting is a clean process, characterized with mainly wonderful emotions.   Just the opposite is true.  It’s more like a brutal used car sale.

 

To recruit and retain soldiers, some recruiters and their bosses apply a good dose of spin.

 

I remember one young trooper coming into my commander’s office, complaining he never wanted to be a tank crewman.  He insisted that he had signed up to work with computers and that the recruiting sergeant had promised him just that.  The young man complained about a breach of contract and demanded “the lying sack” be fired.

 

Sadly enough, the recruiter had not lied at all.  As a tank gunner, our troop actually worked with a very simplistic ballistic hand-crank computer.

 

Re-enlisting on duty also offers the possibility of deception.  Most senior commanders judge subordinate units by the number of re-enlistments.  Therefore, higher re-enlistment rates translate into the senior’s belief that a unit must have great leaders and a nice working environment.

 

That may be true for a small percentage of units and leaders.

 

But, in general, re-enlisting is about statistics.  When pressured, units won’t leave any stone unturned to buy soldiers’ loyalties.  It’s the time when retention noncoms and commanders bring out the trinkets — logo bags, special pens, T-shirts and other goodies — to secure the troops’ signatures.

 

If a soldier refuses to sign his life away for the trinket, it’s on to the next level of coercion with the question: “What are you going to do on the outside?  You know that there are no jobs out there.”

 

If that doesn’t do it, the command shifts to the John Gotti approach, with threats of unfavorable assignments and unwanted extensions.

 

Despite a growing personnel crunch in reserve, Guard and active-duty troops, the Army must stabilize its outfits.  That’s a good thing.  Maintaining close leadership relationships and retaining experienced warriors produces higher combat efficiency.  For the 3rd Brigade, it means having people sign on until 2007, the end of the unit’s first stabilization cycle.

 

Knowing the 3rd BCT in Fort Carson, I have to give it the benefit of the doubt.  Many unit commanders will actually try to do what’s right and let those who want to leave move on to military jobs on post.

 

But, there are only so many jobs available there.  The reality is that not every GI Joe or Jane can become a gym attendant, a permanent grass-cutter or tend to the “horsies” of Fort Carson’s Mounted Color Guard.  Many with outstanding volunteer time will have to go to other units — some deploying to not-so-nice places.

 

The key for the troops faced with arm-twisting is to lay out their individual cases to their chain of command.  Be truthful.  Tell them why you don’t want to stay in after your commitment is up and remain committed to the getting-out decision.

 

Ignore the threats, because there is only so much the chain of command can do.

 

 

Old Enough To Die;

Too Young To Buy A Beer?:

Bullshit!

 

Army Times 10.11.04

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Military Supply Convoy Attacked, Near Baiji

 

9 October 2004 (AFP) SAMARRA, Iraq

 

“Unknown assailants attacked a convoy of about four lorries at about 10 am (0700 GMT) with rocket-propelled grenade fire,” said police Captain Mizhar Khalaf.

One of the tankers caught fire, injuring the driver who later had his leg amputated in hospital, Khalaf told AFP.

 

“They then kidnapped one of the other drivers and took him to an unknown destination,” he said, adding that the ambush happened near a national guard checkpoint outside Baiji, 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Baghdad.

 

Turkish nationals, driving convoys of supplies across Iraq to US army bases, are an easy target, with five drivers known to have been kidnapped and killed.

 

Separately, Captain Khalaf said bandits elsewhere kidnapped the son of an Iraqi police officer who works in a liaison office with the US Army.

 

 

Resistance Blows Up Iskandariyah City Hall

 

October 10, 2004 The Edmonton Sun

 

In Iskandariyah, 50 km south of Baghdad, about 20 masked insurgents pulled up in front of the local municipal council, told employees to leave and then blew up the building.

 

 

Collaborator Intel Officer Killed

 

10/10/2004 BAGHDAD (AP)

 

In Baghdad, an Iraqi intelligence officer was killed Sunday morning in a drive-by shooting, said Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman of the Interior Ministry. Three gunmen in a car opened fire on the man as he left his house to go to work, Abdul-Rahman said. He did not identify the officer.

 

 

Iraqis Collaborators Quit Jobs After Getting Threats

 

(Miami Herald, October 8, 2004)

The letters are turning up on more front doors in Iraq every day: Quit your job or, in the name of Allah, we will kill you, burn your home and slaughter your family, they read.  The campaign of intimidation has widened to include secretaries, laborers, doctors, drivers, scientists, janitors, seemingly anyone whose paycheck is issued by coalition forces, Western companies or the interim government. The tactic has deepened the sense that no one in Iraq is safe.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

You Can Take Samarra, But What Do You Do With It?

 

October 4, 2004 From article by Tom Engelhardt, http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2004/10/10_500.html

 

You can train someone to fire a gun or wield a baton, but you can't train him to be loyal.  You can't train him not to see the obvious.  You can't train him to be the Iraqi of your dreams.

 

We've sent several thousand American troops backed by our air power, and newly trained Iraqi troops as well into the city [Samarra]; and as guerrillas will do in the face of overwhelming force, the insurgents are reported to be "melting away."

 

After three days we, or our Iraqi client-officials, are already declaring "victory."  According to a New York Times report,, our troops went through Samarra neighborhoods kicking (or shotgunning) down doors -- in one case finding a startled Turkish truck driver being held hostage.

 

As we all know by now, there are only 140,000 American troops in Iraq. Our troops can't be left garrisoning "taken" cities all over the country.  There aren't enough of them.  So those cities will have to be turned over to the troops and police of a regime whose prime minister's major speech in the United States was at least partially written by someone on the Bush election team.

 

We all know -- or should know -- more or less what's likely to happen to the cities where (non-Kurdish) Iraqi troops are the main or sole garrisoning force.  They will not remain "taken" for long.  Things will get more desperate.  The time of withdrawal, which will by then be a defeat beyond measure, will sooner or later be upon even a second Bush administration.

 

The problem for the Bush administration, of course, lies not in "taking" the no-go cities of Iraq, but in what to do with them, once taken.  You can kick down the doors to apartments, shops, offices, and governmental buildings; it's less easy to kick down the doors to people's brains.

 

Bombs and other heavy armaments, however "precise," are by their nature indiscriminate and tend to do quite the opposite -- as of course does the kicking down of a door if a hostage isn't on the other side.

 

Nor can you build up doors on your own side based solely on military training and a paycheck, though both presidential candidates have put great emphasis on the need to speed up the training of Iraqi troops and police.

 

You can train someone to fire a gun or wield a baton, but you can't train him to be loyal.  You can't train him not to see the obvious.  You can't train him to be the Iraqi of your dreams.

 

 

Oil Wars:

Transforming The American Military Into A Global Oil-Protection Service

 

By Michael T. Klare: From his article is based on his new book, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency (Metropolitan / Henry Holt).

 

American leaders have responded to this systemic challenge to stability in oil-producing areas in a consistent fashion: by employing military means to guarantee the unhindered flow of petroleum.

 

This approach was first adopted by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations after World War II, when Soviet adventurism in Iran and pan-Arab upheavals in the Middle East seemed to threaten the safety of Persian Gulf oil deliveries. It was given formal _expression by President Carter in January 1980, when, in response to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the Islamic revolution in Iran, he announced that the secure flow of Persian Gulf oil was in "the vital interests of the United States of America," and that in protecting this interest we would use "any means necessary, including military force."

 

Carter's principle of using force to protect the flow of oil was later cited by President Bush the elder to justify American intervention in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91, and it provided the underlying strategic rationale for our recent invasion of Iraq.

 

Originally, this policy was largely confined to the world's most important oil-producing region, the Persian Gulf.  But given America's ever-growing requirement for imported petroleum, U.S. officials have begun to extend it to other major producing zones, including the Caspian Sea basin, Africa, and Latin America.  The initial step in this direction was taken by President Clinton, who sought to exploit the energy potential of the Caspian basin and, worrying about instability in the area, established military ties with future suppliers, including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and with the pivotal transit state of Georgia.

 

It was Clinton who first championed the construction of a pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan and who initially took steps to protect that conduit by boosting the military capabilities of the countries involved. President Bush junior has built on this effort, increasing military aid to these states and deploying American combat advisers in Georgia; Bush is also considering the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases in the Caspian region.

 

Typically, such moves are justified as being crucial to the "war on terror."

 

A close reading of Pentagon and State Department documents shows, however, that anti-terrorism and the protection of oil supplies are closely related in administration thinking.  When requesting funds in 2004 to establish a "rapid-reaction brigade" in Kazakhstan, for example, the State Department told Congress that such a force is needed to "enhance Kazakhstan's capability to respond to major terrorist threats to oil platforms" in the Caspian Sea.

 

As noted, a very similar trajectory is now under way in Colombia.  The American military presence in oil-producing areas of Africa, though less conspicuous, is growing rapidly. The Department of Defense has stepped up its arms deliveries to military forces in Angola and Nigeria, and is helping to train their officers and enlisted personnel; meanwhile, Pentagon officials have begun to look for permanent U.S. bases in the area, focusing on Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Uganda, and Kenya.

 

Although these officials tend to talk only about terrorism when explaining the need for such facilities, one officer told Greg Jaffe of the Wall Street Journal in June 2003 that "a key mission for U.S. forces [in Africa] would be to ensure that Nigeria's oil fields, which in the future could account for as much as 25 percent of all U.S. oil imports, are secure."

 

An increasing share of our naval forces is also being committed to the protection of foreign oil shipments.  The Navy's Fifth Fleet, based at the island state of Bahrain, now spends much of its time patrolling the vital tanker lanes of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz -- the narrow waterway connecting the Gulf to the Arabian Sea and the larger oceans beyond.

 

The Navy has also beefed up its ability to protect vital sea lanes in the South China Sea -- the site of promising oil fields claimed by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia -- and in the Strait of Malacca, the critical sea-link between the Persian Gulf and America's allies in East Asia.

 

Even Africa has come in for increased attention from the Navy. In order to increase the U.S. naval presence in waters adjoining Nigeria and other key producers, carrier battle groups assigned to the European Command (which controls the South Atlantic) will shorten their future visits to the Mediterranean "and spend half the time going down the west coast of Africa," the command's top officer, General James Jones, announced in May 2003.

 

This, then, is the future of U.S. military involvement abroad. 

 

While anti-terrorism and traditional national security rhetoric will be employed to explain risky deployments abroad, a growing number of American soldiers and sailors will be committed to the protection of overseas oil fields, pipeline, refineries, and tanker routes.

 

And because these facilities are likely to come under increasing attack from guerrillas and terrorists, the risk to American lives will grow accordingly. Inevitably, we will pay a higher price in blood for every additional gallon of oil we obtain from abroad.

 

 

Vietnam

 

Photo and words from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71

 

(Pease contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more examples of his outstanding work.  T)

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

No Place To Hide

 

08 October 2004 By Edward Wong and Dexter Filkins, The New York Times

 

An American military official said Thursday that a homemade bomb was discovered Tuesday in a popular restaurant inside the complex.  That bomb was defused, and officials declined to comment on how it might have been planted inside the restaurant.

 

Some 12,000 Iraqis live inside the four-square-mile complex, called the Green Zone, where there are indications of growing anger at the American occupation. There have been reports in recent months of foreigners being stabbed and mugged inside the compound, and a poolside July Fourth party at the American Embassy was marred by a car-bomb scare outside an embassy gate.

 

Late Thursday afternoon, the restaurant where the bomb was found - a ramshackle place called the Green Zone Restaurant and Cafe - was empty save for Iraqi employees lounging around in brown plastic chairs.  An American security contractor wearing a flak jacket walked in and asked for a beer.  A worker said there was no beer.

 

There are no assuredly safe zones left in the capital, not even in the fortified compound west of the Tigris that houses the Iraqi government headquarters and the American Embassy.

 

 

Resistance Going After Civilian Collaborators;

Situation Much Worse Than A Year Ago

 

Oct. 10, 2004 From article by Patrick Kerkstra, KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

 

The campaign of intimidation has widened to include secretaries, laborers, doctors, drivers, scientists, janitors, seemingly anyone whose paycheck is cut by coalition forces, Western companies or the interim government.

 

The tactic has deepened the sense that no one in Iraq is safe.  It undermines reconstruction efforts [translation: occupation efforts], as well as basic government functions [translation: helping Bush keep his hands on Iraq], by terrifying legions of employees [translation: traitors] into quitting their jobs.

 

And it strikes at the heart of the Bush administration's efforts to rebuild the government and establish its legitimacy.  [Reporter goes off into propaganda land.]

 

"Instability is their ally," Michael Noonan, a national security fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said of the insurgents.

 

"If they can intimidate people, it creates a sense that the government and the U.S. are impotent."  [“Creates?”  That fact has been evident for over a year.]

 

A number of Iraqi employees have quit their jobs at the British and U.S. embassies out of fear, and the Iraq Project and Contracting Office, which is responsible for the U.S. reconstruction effort, said the intimidation had led to "a loss of Iraqi employees in some areas that has affected construction in these areas."

 

Western firms doing business in Iraq declined to comment.  One U.S. company worried that any extra publicity "will just increase the risk to our employees' safety and the safety of their families."

 

No comprehensive statistics are kept on the number of Iraqis who've quit out of fear, and there's no reliable tally of those who've been killed, kidnapped or threatened.

 

But Sabah Kadhim, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, acknowledged that "it is a very serious problem indeed."  [As he packed his bags for the next flight out of the country.]

 

Employees who haven't been attacked or threatened conceal their jobs from all but the closest family members; some lie even to their husbands and wives.  They take different routes to work, checking to see if they've been followed.

 

Rumors abound of "collaborator lists" drawn up by insurgents.

 

One woman who's contemplating leaving her job with a Western contractor refused even to talk on the phone.  "You never know who might be listening," she said.

 

They've been beaten and tortured, and the bodies of those who are killed often are dumped in public places to serve as a gruesome warning.

 

Perhaps no other group of employees has been targeted as viciously [translation: effectively] as the Iraqi translators who work for the U.S. military.

 

At one Baghdad base alone, translators said insurgents had killed 10 of their co-workers.  Many of them were tortured first; one was shot dozens of times, another looked as though he had been strangled, they said.

 

Most of their bodies were dumped just outside the camp walls.

 

One of them, a tight-lipped 60-year-old with 15 grandchildren, agreed to move to the base only after gunmen twice shot up his home with automatic weapons.

 

Translating was considered safe, prestigious work when he took the job more than a year ago, he said.  Soldiers even had used their Humvees to drop off Iraqi employees in Baghdad neighborhoods at the end of the day.

 

That, the translators agreed, would get them killed instantly today. Now, they wear sunglasses, cloak their faces in handkerchiefs and adopt phony accents when on patrol with troops.

 

On the rare occasions when they slip off the base, some disguise themselves in religious garb.

 

"I can't quit.  If I do, they will find me and kill me," said the 25-year-old translator, who precedes every mention of the Mahdi Army with an expletive.

 

"I hate the (expletive) Mahdi Army.  I hate this life, but maybe it will be better in a year."

 

Like the other translators, he's expecting the job will help him land a U.S. visa.  "I hope to go to Florida," he said.  [By helicopter from the embassy roof when the panic starts, maybe, or maybe not.]

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

The Only Thing We Have to Fear...

(Is Lame Bullshit From The Whining Left)

…A Century of Waiting For The Fascists To Arrive

 

by Mickey Z. http://lefthook.org/Politics/DVReprint100904.html  First published in Dissident Voice

 

President (sic) George W. Bush and company have scared half the voters to death with stories about terrorists...so they’ll vote for him.

 

Senator John F. Kerry (JFK2) and his surrogates on the soft left have scared the other half to death with stories about creeping fascism...so they’ll vote for him.

 

Of course, anyone with an iota of objectivity left realizes the terror threat is laughably exaggerated...and there’s infinitely more danger in operating a motor vehicle than all the “evildoers” in the world combined.

 

But what should we make of the claims of the Democrats (and the disturbing number of lefties who support them)?  What about all the yarns spun about liberties lost...solely due, we hear, to one inarticulate puppet from Texas?

 

Whether we want to accept it or not; we’ve heard it all before. The fascists are perpetually at the gate, it seems.  But, I submit: Are Bush’s efforts truly more frightening than, say, Woodrow Wilson’s repressive behavior during World War I?

 

“Conformity will be the only virtue and any man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty,” Wilson warned...and he had the newly minted Espionage and Sedition Act to back him up.

 

Passed in June 1917, it cast a wide net and trampled civil liberties.  In Vermont, for example, a minister was sentenced to 15 years in prison for writing a pamphlet, distributed to five persons, in which he claimed that supporting the war was wrong for a Christian.  Here’s a sample of that law:

 

"Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years, or both."

 

“The Espionage Act had very little to do with espionage,” says Howard Zinn. “Instead it made it a crime, punishable by up to twenty years in prison, to say or print anything that would ‘willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States.’  The Sedition Act, which was an amendment to the Espionage Act, made it even a little more drastic.  In fact, two thousand people were prosecuted under those acts and about a thousand went to prison.”

 

(For those keeping score at home, the Espionage and Sedition Act is still on the books.)

 

All this “fascism” was in addition to the Palmer Raids and the deportation of Emma Goldman for saying and writing things often less radical than those that appear on this website.

 

If all this wasn’t worse than a Tom Ridge Code Orange, how about lefty hero FDR interning over 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process in 1942? How does that stack up against Dubya’s holy crusade?

 

We had McCarthyism in the 1950s...COINTELPRO in the 60s and 70s...Eight years of Reagan in the 80s.  And I’ve left out volumes.

 

Does anyone recall the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, signed into law on April 24, 1996 by the alleged liberal king, Bypass Bill Clinton?

 

This USA PATRIOT Act prequel contained provisions that Clinton himself admitted “makes a number of ill-advised changes in our immigration laws, having nothing to do with fighting terrorism.”

 

An unconstitutional salvo that did little to address so-called terrorism but plenty to limit the civil liberties of anyone—immigrant or resident—who disagrees with U.S. policies, foreign or domestic, the bill severely restricted habeas corpus and expanded the number of federal capital crimes...and the Patriot Act is mostly an extension its legal foundations.

 

News Flash: JFK2 voted for the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and wrote parts of the USA PATRIOT Act.  We now return to our regularly scheduled programming:

 

Things are bad under Bush.

 

Things will be bad under Kerry.

 

Things have been bad under every president.

 

Nothing will change until we change our minds...until we discover what Proust called “new eyes.”  Because, frightened readers, the facade of power is remarkably fragile. Consider the words of David Hume, written in 1758:

 

"Nothing appears more surprising...than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers.  When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded, and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as the most free and popular."

 

Fascism, to me, is not a bigger or more urgent concern than irreparable environmental damage, and I certainly lose less sleep over facile Bush/Hitler comparisons than I do a planet populated with oppressed and starving humans.

 

Things are bad...but Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rice, Ridge, Wolfowitz, Powell, et al did not invent these problems. Not even close.  Replacing them with JFK2 will not eliminate these problems.  Not even close.  The fascists aren’t at the gate.  In a country this conditioned, they don’t have to be.

 

“The corporate grip on opinion is the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World,” says Gore Vidal. “No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity—much less dissent.”

 

That corporate grip, obscured by layers of fear, is a very, very weak grip...but until we recognize that reality, we’ll be too busy running scared from terrorists and fascists to inspire genuine change.


Mickey Z. is the author of two brand new books: The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda (Common Courage Press) and A Gigantic Mistake: Articles and Essays for Your Intellectual Self-Defense (Library Empyreal/Wildside Press).  For more information, please visit: http://mickeyz.net.

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

Boss & Employee Meet In Baghdad

 

Rumsfeld visits Occupation employee “Interim Prime Minister” Ayad Allawi in the Green Zone in Baghdad, October 10, 2004.  Allawi complained that the Occupation was not paying him enough to betray his country, and asked for a substantially enhanced benefits package as well as an immediate pay increase.  Rumsfeld said the demands would be reviewed, but that at this time the U. S. could not agree to an enriched death benefit package.  He pointed out that the costs of benefits for dead and maimed U.S. soldiers were expected to increase sharply, and that extra funds were not available for Allawi.  (Pool/Reuters)

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Three U.S. Soldiers Wounded

 

10 October 2004 Aljazeera.Net

 

A firefight between US-led troops and armed fighters south of Kabul.  Three soldiers from the US-led force were wounded, Major Scott Nelson said.

 

 

Opposition Says Election Fraud;

U.S. Stooge Will Win, Of Course;

U.S. “Puppet Master” Making Sure

 

10.9.04 By DANIEL COONEY, Associated Press Writer & 10 October 2004 Aljazeera.Net

 

Khalilzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, has been widely criticized for perceived favoritism for Karzai, and he is seen by many Afghans as a puppet-master.

 

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's first direct presidential election was thrust into turmoil hours after it started Saturday when all 15 candidates challenging interim leader Hamid Karzai fraud over the ink meant to ensure people voted only once and vowed to boycott the results.

 

But electoral officials rejected their demand that the vote be called off, saying an apparent mix-up with ink used to mark voters' thumbs was not severe enough to halt the historic vote. They said they would rule on the legitimacy of the vote later.

 

"Who is more important, these 15 candidates, or the millions of people who turned out today to vote?" Karzai said.  The boycott cast a pall over what had been a joyous day in Afghanistan.

 

The opposition candidates, meeting at the house of Uzbek candidate Abdul Satar Sirat, signed a petition saying they would not recognize the results because the glitches with ink opened the way for widespread fraud.

 

"Today's election is not a legitimate election. It should be stopped and we don't recognize the results," said Sirat, a former aide to Afghanistan's last king and a minor candidate given little chance of winning.

 

The boycott call had also been prompted by claims that while polling stations were open in areas noted for Karzai supporters, they had closed in areas popular with opposition supporters.

 

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad arrived at Sirat's house after Karzai's challengers reiterated their charges in a second meeting.  He made no comment other than to say he was there "only to help."

 

Khalilzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, has been widely criticized for perceived favoritism for Karzai, and he is seen by many Afghans as a puppet-master.  After his arrival, several Afghans gathered outside the house joked that a resolution to the crisis was near because "the big man has arrived."

 

The issue of the ink was crucial because officials said before the vote that many people had received more than one registration card for the election by mistake.  Vote organizers argued that the indelible ink would prevent people from voting twice, even if they had more than one card.

 

About 10.5 million registration cards were handed out ahead of the election, a staggering number that U.N. and Afghan officials say was inflated by widespread double registration.  Human rights groups said some people obtained four or five voter cards, thinking they would be able to use them to receive humanitarian aid.

 

Massooda Jalal, the only woman in the field and one of the candidates to sign the petition, said she decided to protest after getting calls of complaint from her constituents.

 

"The ink that is being used can be rubbed off in a minute. Voters can vote 10 times!" she said.  Another candidate, ethnic Tajik newspaper editor Hafiz Mansoor, also complained.  "Very easily they can erase the ink," he said. "This is a trick that is designed to clear the way for cheating."

 

A flurry of rockets landed in several cities around the country on Thursday and Friday, including one that hit a parking lot near the US embassy

 

Women voted at separate booths from men.

 

 

Diplomats Take Cover After Explosion Rocks Kabul Near U.S. Embassy

 

(Baltimore Sun, October 8, 2004)

A loud explosion rattled the Afghan capital near the U.S. Embassy, prompting American officials to order diplomatic staff to take shelter in an underground bunker.

 

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