www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

2.7.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3A38:

 

 

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE.

Pfc. Jesus Fonseca’s wife Marlene Zaragoza during funeral services Feb. 1 2005, in Degollado, Mexico. Jesus Fonseca, 19, of Ga., died in a car bombing in Iraq along with two other soldiers. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

 

“Capitalism Has Failed”

 

From: Soldier X, Iraq

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005

 

Here are some stats my buddy sent me.

 

If The World Were A Village- Of 100 People:

 

60-Asian

14-African

12-European

8-Latin American

5-USA and Canadian

1-South Pacific

51-Male 49-Female

67-Unable to read

50-Malnourished 1-Dying of starvation

82-Non-White 18-White

24-No Electricity

80-Would live in substandard housing

1-Would have a college education

 

The depressing thing about the village stats, the world isn’t formed into villages of a hundred.  There are entire continents that will never break out of the economic thumb of the Imperialist nations.

 

Entire ghettos in rich countries that never receive the attention they need because Capitalism has failed to be a successful economic system that insures civil responsibility.  And those who are above the poverty line proudly protect the archaic machine, the greedy won’t share and the fearful too desperate to join the poor.

 

How do we make a balanced village?

 

Judging from the facts, we have to assume that either the majority of the world’s ethnic groups are either incapable of developing into a successful society, or the minority got a head start on monopolizing the world’s resources and have a serious prejudice.  [Got that right.  You IDd them.  That tiny minority are the capitalists.  And they got both hands firmly around our throats.]

 

My thoughts are in option B, but most Neo Cons will defend option A?  [Sure they will.  Right again.  Misdirection, like the reasons they came up with for shipping you off to Iraq.]

 

I am living like a refugee.  All my possessions are now in two bags.  Not too unlike some hard times when I was a homeless civilian, so no big deal.  I have just over a week now in country!  I am very impatient.  But, what can I do?  [Hang on, and wait for the enemy to give us all an opening.]

 

Easy bro, easy  [You too.  Better days coming.  We can make it happen.  T]

 

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.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

Marine Killed In Babil Province

 

02/06/05 MNF Release #A050205b

 

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- A Marine assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in action yesterday in the north Babil Province.

 

 

One U.S. Soldier Killed, Two Wounded By IED North Of Baghdad

 

2.6.05 By JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer

 

One U.S. soldier from Task Force Baghdad was killed and two others were wounded Sunday afternoon in a roadside bombing north of the capital, the U.S. command said.

 

 

U.S. Convoy Ambushed Near Karbala, Vehicle Destroyed;

Casualties Not Yet Announced

 

Feb 6 By JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer

 

Police in the Shiite city of Karbala reported that a car bomber struck a U.S. convoy south of the city Sunday morning, destroying a U.S. vehicle.

 

Elsewhere in the city, gunmen fired rifle shots at a gasoline tanker truck, and the vehicle exploded into a huge ball of fire.  No one was hurt, said police Capt. Mushtaq Talib, adding that the tanker was heading to an illegal port used by oil smugglers in the city.

 

 

Dead Ukrainian Col. Found In Baghdad;

New “Zealous Investigation” Launched

 

6.02.2005 Ukraynska Pravda

 

On Sunday, approximately 2 pm local time, the body of the senior officer from Ukrainian forces of multinational division in Iraq, the colonel Roman Serednytskij was found in Baghdad, Iraq.

 

It was informed by the Press Agency of the Ministry of Defense, "Ukrainian news" say.

 

The body of the officer was found in his own apartment.

 

The previous conclusions of doctors from the military hospital in Baghdad, where his body was taken to, say that the reason of Ukrainian officer’s death could be a heart attack.

 

By the command of the Minister of Defense, Anatoly Grytsenko a new zealous investigation has been launched into the causes of Serednytskij’s death.

 

There are still 1600 Ukrainian militaries in Iraq, which are dislocated in Vasyt province, 120-140 km southeast from Baghdad in the Polish zone of command.

 

Earlier Grytsenko stated that the question of withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Iraq will be tackled already this year.  [Time to get dislocated back home zealously.]

 

 

Friendly Fire Incident Involving 278th Investigated

 

2005-02-06 The Associated Press

 

CHATTANOOGA -- An election night friendly fire incident involving members of the 278th Regimental Combat Team in Iraq is under investigation, regimental officers said.

 

Lt. Col. Mark Hart on Friday told a Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter embedded with the 278th that officials from both units involved in the Jan. 30 shooting are conducting inquiries.

 

No one was injured in the incident.

 

The incident occurred when Hart's convoy of six Humvees, returning to Camp Caldwell, Iraq, after disposing of a homemade bomb near the town of Balad Ruz, tried to join another U.S. military convoy.

 

That convoy, composed of American soldiers from various military branches here to oversee the elections, also was heading back to Camp Caldwell.

 

Witnesses said the lead convoy of non-278th soldiers discharged nearly 50 rounds of ammunition and left bullet marks on two 278th Humvees.

 

The firing occurred when Hart's group came within 800 meters of the lead convoy, which was escorting ballots from the election, witnesses said.

 

``There were tracers (bullets) everywhere firing to the left and the right,'' said Sgt. Caleb Baker, 23, of Greenback, ``I thought we were being ambushed.''

 

The incident happened about 9:30 p.m., said Cpl. Greg Dixon, 33, of Dayton, who was the hatch gunner on Hart's front Humvee.

 

Dixon said he heard three bursts coming from the rear Humvee in the lead convoy.  The first burst sent bullet rounds to the left of the vehicles as a warning shot, but the second burst came right down the middle of the road toward Hart's convoy, passing within five to 10 meters of Dixon's face.

 

``As soon as I saw that, I ducked down (inside the Humvee) and said, `They are shooting at us,''' Dixon said.

 

His Humvee driver swerved off the road and headed for cover behind a small mud hut when soldiers with the lead convoy discharged a third burst of gunfire toward the 278th detachment.

 

Sgt. Chad Crisp, 28, of Cleveland said two bullets ricocheted off the front ballistic windshield of the second Humvee, while another lodged into the driver's side windshield of the sixth and final Humvee in the 278th convoy.

 

Every fifth round fired by a U.S. weapon is illuminated with a red glow that continues to burn along the flight path of the bullet.  These tracer rounds allow soldiers firing at night to acquire a reliable aim on an intended target.

 

``It was like watching the movie Star Wars up close and personal,'' said Crisp, referring to the streams of red that tipped off the 278th soldiers that the bullets were coming from fellow Americans.

 

Crisp said Hart yelled over the radio to cease firing at friendly targets, but there was no response.

 

Carrying the completed election ballots to Camp Caldwell where they would be guarded overnight, the lead convoy never stopped.

 

Back at Camp Caldwell, one of the passengers in the vehicle where the shooting came from said there were reports that insurgents in Baghdad had stolen a Humvee, Crisp said.  [Now that is truly lame.  By that logic, waste every humvee in Baghdad.  Which it would appear was the intent of this incident.  Hey, maybe somebody could start a rumor that the insurgents have stolen some General’s full-dress and one has infiltrated the Green Zone wearing it with a concealed explosive belt.  That might spice up the day a bit.  Be sure the 278th is on duty there when the rumor gets underway.  They’ll know just what to do.]

 

Despite the darkness, Spc. Michael French, 35, of Whitwell said the gunner should have seen the headlights of each Humvee in Hart's convoy and known they were U.S. forces.

 

``I almost had rather it been the enemy because you know what to do then,'' French said. ``It is a hard situation when your own people are shooting at you.''

 

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 inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

ENOUGH.

THIS IS NOT WINNING FRIENDS AND INFLUENCING PEOPLE.

THERE IS NO MISSION OR LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.

AND WHEN HE GETS OLD ENOUGH TO HANDLE AN AK-47……

…..HE WILL REMEMBER AND COME HUNTING.

COME ON HOME NOW!

HE’S GROWING UP FAST AND HE’S NOT AFRAID.

HE DOESN’T READ THE CENTCOM PRESS RELEASES.

ALL HE KNOWS IS YOU’RE IN HIS COUNTRY FUCKING WITH HIS FAMILY.

THAT’S PLENTY, ISN’T IT?

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

 

 

General Misery & Scandals Called “Good Recruiting Environment”

 

“In the end, the good recruiting environment that has prevailed over the last four years has been influenced by the pace of recovery from recession, an unemployment rate that has consistently approached 6 percent, uncertain prices on Wall Street exchanges and the corporate accounting scandals,” the memo says.

 

“Should the economy begin to produce more jobs, as some predict will occur in the near term, more of America’s youth could quickly conclude that their future lies in the private sector, not in the military.” House Armed Services Committee memo dated Dec. 23 cited by Rick Maze, Army Times staff writer February 07, 2005

 

 

 

Points Of View

 

Sent to GI Special 2.2.05: UNSOURCED

 

1. Dan Rather Didn't Lose Vietnam

 

Posted by: Sgt. Killer. January 15, 2005 01:41 AM

 

Okay, this passage alone is worth the price of admission:

 

“I sit in my command post at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well. We are not under attack by the enemy; on the contrary, we are taking the fight to him daily and have him on the ropes. In the distance, I can hear the repeated impacts of heavy artillery and five hundred-pound bombs hitting their targets in the city. The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction. Right now, as elements from all four services complete the absolute annihilation of the insurgent forces remaining in Fallujah, the area around the former stronghold is more peaceful than it has been for more than a year.”

 

Did this "symphony of destruction" work particularly well in Vietnam?  Did it win us hearts and minds?  Did it work for the Russians in Chechnya?

 

This is a guerrilla war, and the man on the ground had best realize it.  The guerrillas win by fighting, even fighting and losing.  They're fighting the last remaining superpower, after all.  While our men were playing that symphony in Fallujah, what was going on in Mosul?  How many Bradley fighting vehicles have been destroyed in the last two weeks?

 

And to blame the media is just the same tired Dolchstoss garbage recycled from 1975.

 

Dan Rather didn't lose Vietnam; it was LBJ's lousy strategy, McNamara's mistakes, tactical screwups, myopia, and an inability to convince Vietnamese to fight with us, the foreigners, against Ho's men.

 

 

2. “If I Had Ever Had A Chance To Have The Likes Of That Lt. Colonel In My Gun Sites…”

 

Posted by: Diane January 15, 2005 08:39 AM

 

Ah, so some Lt. Colonel pontificates.  I'd feel much happier if it were some GI talking, not a f@$&#ing officer!

 

As a former draftee (time of the Korean war), I must tell you I met only one officer who wasn't a complete coward, one type or another, and always felt the officers were my true enemy.

 

Saluting a form of greeting -- HAH !  Tell me why, if this is true, one MUST salute an automobile (a general's car), even if it only has a GI driver in it!

 

The military is organized along feudal lines, with nobles shitting on the serfs.

 

If I had ever had a chance to have the likes of that Lt. Colonel in my gun sites, no telling what I would have done.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  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)

 

 

“The Investigating Officer Is Playing The Part Of Prosecuting Attorney.”

 

From: KL

To: GI Special

Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 2:35 PM

Subject: Our Son

 

I wrote to you a few months ago and about our son, Trent Helmkamp, and his hopes of getting a conscientious objector discharge from the US Marine Corp due to his beliefs and convictions that crystallized during boot camp.

 

I believe you asked me to report what the outcome was.

 

I write with great disappointment, that 32 days after his interview with the investigating officer, Trent finally got the report back and the officer is denying his claim and will not recommend a discharge.

 

We all had an idea that is what he would say since from the very start it was quite obvious the way they felt.  Their decision was made long before Trent had his interview.

 

They are treating him more like a criminal then a conscientious objector and the investigating officer is playing the part of prosecuting attorney.

 

We were hoping he would be treated fairly, but that has not happened.

 

The officers report contained so many inconsistencies, mistakes/lies.  Trent and his lawyer are working on a rebuttal now.  Trent will not kill nor will he fight in any war.  He would like to get out and help others in his situation.

 

Regards,

KH

Fredericksburg, VA

 

 

Senior Member Of Armed Services Committee Says Iraq “A Failed Strategy” (Duh!)

 

Marty Meehan (USA Today, February 4, 2005, Pg. 10)

 

A senior member of the House Armed Services Committee who recently returned from Iraq writes: "It is the seemingly indefinite nature of the occupation that is fueling the insurgency and uniting violent factions.  We cannot simply continue our current failed strategy.  Waiting and hoping that Iraq reaches certain benchmarks will only make it more unlikely that those benchmarks will be reached."

 

 

Meanwhile, On Another Planet

 

12.01.2005 By: Susan Meiselas, Magnum Photos

 

In the mock Iraqi villages of Jarbar Nahr and Sadiq, set up in May 2004 in Fort Polk, Louisiana, USA, to simulate "the conditions that soldiers will face when dispatched to Iraq".  Move over, Disneyland.

 

"Thanks for searching me in a culturally insensitive way!  Next time I hope it's in front of my family!"

 

USA. Fort Polk, Louisiana. March 2004.  US Military prepares new troops at the "Joint Readiness Training Center," at a mock Propane Station. 1200 "role players" have been hired to recreate the conditions that soldiers will face when dispatched to Iraq.  Here, Hukmat, a Kurd from Zakho, northern Iraq, thanks the troops in charge of security who have searched him.  He has lived in the US since 1994, making computer component parts in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

Sexual Predator Gets Off Easy;

Hey, He’s An Officer:

The Double Standard Of Military Injustice

 

The actions by senior leaders in the case of the former judge advocate general, Maj. Gen. Thomas Fiscus, do not surprise, but do bitterly disappoint.

 

The posted report of investigation discloses a sustained pattern of misconduct stretching over a decade.

 

I spent more than eight years as a military judge in the Air Force and can say without hesitation that I saw less-aggravated cases brought to general court-martial.

 

I then regularly listened to trial counsel make impassioned arguments that we should take away the accused’s retirement (if he was eligible) and lock him up and throw away the key.

 

Apparently, Gen. Donald Cook felt that the stigma of an Article 15 and forced retirement was punishment enough.

 

Of course, it is rarely considered sufficient punishment to do the same to a senior noncommissioned officer or field-grade officer.

 

My experience is that many general officers view a fellow senior officer on a much more personal basis than they do an enlisted member or junior officer.  That’s not evil or unfair; it’s simply a natural human response.  Still, they need to overcome that instinct and try to treat every case similarly, regardless of rank.

 

And now the second shoe falls as he is allowed to retire as a colonel.  Somehow, the Air Force secretary believes that honorable service as a colonel includes meeting a captain for a sexual rendezvous, making a sexual advance toward a master sergeant, establishing a personal relationship with a staff sergeant and making unwelcome sexual advances on a civilian.  Apparently, the Air Force secretary has a pretty low standard for acceptable O-6 behavior.

 

We’ve already seen the Air Force spin machine go into action.  It points out that, with a reduction to O-6 upon retirement, the former judge advocate general will lose an expected $900,000 in retired pay.

 

The problem is he can’t lose something he didn’t earn. And he never served honorably as a general or full colonel.  Consequently, he never earned the right to receive retirement pay at those ranks.

 

Having him retire as a lieutenant colonel is nothing more than a correction of errors made by what appears to be a highly flawed (at least in this case) promotion system.

 

This is a sordid story from start to finish.

 

The Air Force secretary and Gen. Cook failed in their responsibility to vindicate the Air Force’s core values.  I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed.

 

Air Force Col. Patrick M. Rosenow (ret.)   

Mandeville, La.  Letter To The Editor, Army Times 2.7.05

 

 

[Thanks to Z, who sent this in.]

 

 

Mice Attack, Disable Four F-16 Fighter Jets

 

Army Times 2.7.05

 

Four Dutch F-16 fighter aircraft were grounded by a family of industrious mice in search of a warm hideout for the winter.  The rodents had launched a successful offensive to make nests in the aircraft — using some critical wiring that they had gnawed away.

 

A Reuters report quoted a Dutch military spokeswoman as explaining that the Leeuwarden air base, where the aircraft were stationed, borders a large nature reserve, and animals often migrate into the base when the weather turns frosty.  “As it is winter, mice seek warm places to shelter,” the spokeswoman said.

 

After a major overhaul that included new wiring, the jets were declared mouse-free zones and allowed to resume flying.

 

Now, Dutch military officials are trying to figure out how to make their aircraft, and the hangars in which they are stored, less rodent friendly, using traps, barriers and poison.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Attack In Force Kills

22 Iraqi Occupation Cops & Guards Near Baghdad

 

Feb 6 By JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents attacked a police station south of Baghdad under cover of darkness Sunday, killing 22 Iraqi police and soldiers, police said.

 

Fourteen attackers also died in the clash that broke out about 10:30 p.m. in Mahawil, 50 miles south of Baghdad, police Capt. Muthana Khalid Ali said.  The dead included five Iraqi national guardsmen and 17 policemen, he said.

 

Earlier Sunday, the multinational command said two Iraqi national guard soldiers were killed and three more injured in a rebel ambush in the same area.

 

 

Four Phone System Occupation Workers Captured

 

Feb 6 Associated Press

 

Guerillas captured four Egyptians technicians in Baghdad.

 

The four Egyptians were seized early Sunday near the Mansour district of western Baghdad, Egyptian and Iraqi officials said.  They worked for Iraqna, a subsidiary of the Egyptian firm Orascom Telecommunications, which operates the mobile phone network in Baghdad and central Iraq.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Two Hour Battle In Albu Mustafa & Other Resistance Action

 

February 6, 2005 AFP & The Los Angeles Times & By JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer

 

A battle erupted after Iraqi soldiers and police raided the village of Albu Mustafa, in the heart of the "triangle of death" south of Baghdad.

 

Police and medics said two soldiers, a police officer and a gunman were killed, while four soldiers and five gunmen were wounded. 

 

"Clashes erupted between the security forces and the armed men which lasted two hours," a police officer said.

 

Resistance fighters stormed a police station in the northern city of Mosul, killing five officers, police said.

 

Near Balad, a civilian was killed and four soldiers wounded when a homemade bomb exploded as a military convoy went past.

 

In the capital, an employee of the Baghdad provincial government was shot dead in the street by armed men early on Saturday, a ministry official said.

 

In another attack, gunmen fired on a group of Iraqi policemen working to dismantle a roadside bomb on a main street in central Baghdad, injuring two officers, a police official said.

 

Two rockets also exploded near Baghdad International Airport and a third slammed into an Iraqi national guard building in a western suburb.  No casualties were reported.

 

A policeman was shot by assailants while shopping in central Kirkuk, said police chief General Turhan Yusif. 

 

A soldier and a civilian died when Iraqi troops and fighters clashed in Samarra.  Another seven people were wounded, including four children, in a nearby gun battle between insurgents and security sources, said a hospital doctor.

 

Attackers killed an Iraqi contractor who apparently worked with the U.S. military.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

Two Challenges And Thanks To Soldier X

 

From: Rev. G. David Daley

To: GI Special

Date: 2.2.05

 

October 14, 1942, 3:25 a.m., twenty-five miles off the coast of Newfoundland, there was an explosion.  A torpedo struck the Caribou amidships on the last night of her life.  Of 237 passengers and crew, 101 survived.

 

One, George Alfred Daley, is my father.

 

Now 81, it was many years before he spoke of the frigid, North Atlantic waters, or of the screams for help that pierced the blackness of that night.

 

Or of that moment that he surrendered to the waters as consciousness slip away, and then felt a rope brushed his hand in the depths.  He says that it is true that a drowning man grasps instinctively at anything.  So he lived.

 

When he did tell it, I heard in my father’s story something sacred.  I knew then that stories must be heard.

 

I thank-you for Soldier X’ story, and all those that you post.  [Soldier X will read what you have to say.  It will mean something special to know that while he’s stuck in Iraq, people all over see his strong words.  T]

 

Thank-you for your work.  Since discovering the GI Special website late in December 2004, I have downloaded your reports daily.

 

Each Sunday, the congregation that I pastor hears the names of our soldiers.  We name the fallen; we ask God to comfort their families in their grief, and to keep their comrades at arms.  For the maimed, we ask for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.  Every Sunday, our people hear their names.  Frequently, we pray that world leaders will learn to do justice.  Thank-you for helping us as you do.

 

A Brief Address To Pastors:

 

From: Rev. G. David Daley

 

If you are a pastor, I challenge you to remember our service people.

 

Pray that mourning families may find God’s comfort.

 

Let the names of the fallen be heard.  Tell their stories.  In the interest of recruiting soldiers for future, discretionary wars, the state would prefer that their names remain unspoken and their stories untold.  But to love God above all, we must refuse to bow down to the state.  And to love our sons and daughters as ourselves, we must not allow them to die meaningless deaths as nameless soldiers in an unseen war.

 

Telling the stories of the fallen revolts against the referencing of their deaths as mere statistics.

 

Telling their stories confesses their personhood as those who are God’s image.  Telling their stories acknowledges their relationships, their passion, their creativity, their loves, their aspirations and their dreams.  Telling their stories insists that they were worth knowing in life.  Telling their stories affirms our bonds of fellowship with them.  Telling their stories refuses to cheapen their lives by giving them up easily to death.  Telling their stories refuses make their humanity the currency of a bankrupt ideology or of profligate causes.  Telling their stories is a proper declaration that their deaths are an outrage.  Telling their stories dignifies the deaths that they died by honoring the lives they lived.

 

It is not easy to endure a weekly litany of human carnage.  But then death is not easy even when it comes easily. 

 

The alternative to telling their stories is to become callused to their suffering and indifferent to their deaths.

 

If we close our ears to their cries, we dehumanize ourselves. If we shut our eyes while life ebbs from the wounded, we abandon human decency and belie whatever justice might remain to our cause.

 

We must not forget that they like we ourselves were fashioned in God’s image.  And just as God heard the blood of Abel crying from the ground that drank it in, so we must witness that they are precious in his sight.  Let the names of our service people be heard. Tell their stories.

 

Many times, the Psalmist cried out to Yahweh God who hears those who call on him.

 

When we care for our wounded service people, when we hear their death cry, when we seek the comfort of their families, when we care for the wounded, we imitate God who hears us when we call on Him.

 

Let their names be heard.

 

Tell their stories.

 

 

A Challenge To The Laity:

 

From: Rev. G. David Daley

 

If you are a lay person, copy this text, print it and share it with several of your church friends. 

 

Get their support. 

 

Write a letter to your church council proposing regular, public prayer for service people recently wounded, and for the families of the fallen.  Indicate that you are willing gather names and stories and get them to your worship leader in advance.  Putting this proposal in writing means that your council or governing body must deal with it as a formal request.  Some decision must then be made regarding it.  Then you and your friends must visit this site several times a week.  Download and save the reports, and use them to prepare the information your worship leaders need.

 

Some denominations have a chaplaincy program.

 

Your church office or Pastor should have a denominational Yearbook that identifies the director of this program and the office from which (s)he works.  Contact this person.

 

Learn what is being done and what more could be done locally or denominationally for service people and their families.  Find our what resources are available.  Become a contact person for your chaplaincy program who will work in churches of your denomination in your area.

 

Our faith communities should be the conscience of the nation.

 

Fail in this and it will be the ideology of the state that shapes (or perhaps more aptly, “corrupts”) that conscience.

 

We must not allow the heretical ideologies of state to be overlaid upon the theology of the church.

 

Let the church be the countervailing voice that calls the nation to worship God, rather than bowing down in worship of state doctrines of militarism and empire.

 

Do not think that because you are a lay person that you can’t “do” anything.

 

You can be the catalyst that calls your church or faith community to recover her countervailing voice.

 

With your friends, you can form a committee public justice with an emphasis on issues relevant to service people.  The Yearbook should also list your missionaries serving around the world. 

 

Contact those working in troubled countries.  They can give you a picture very different from what government and the media will tell you.

 

Use your PCs and the Internet to research war issues and peace studies.  Study the politics of war and the economics of the small arms industry.  Some churches as the Mennonites (and no, I’m not Mennonite) have done much work in conflict studies.

 

Learn from them.  Set up study projects.  Make recommendations.  Draft proposals.  Do public advocacy work for service people, veterans and for peace and justice around the world.

 

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

 

[If you wish to contact Rev. Daley, email c/o GI Special, address top left page one, and your email will be forwarded to him.]

 

 

HIRED KILLERS OR DOING THE RIGHT THING?

 

From: JL

To: GI Special

Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 2:10 PM

Subject: Stop whining

 

It sounds like you feel sorry for those soldiers getting killed in Iraq.  Why?  That’s what they signed up for when they became hired killers for Bush. 

 

 

REPLY:

 

Let’s see if I got it right.

 

Jerry, age 18, talks to a recruiter.

 

The recruiter says, “Hey Jerry, why don’t you enlist?   Bush wants you to be his hired killer.

 

“And here’s the best part!  Your commander-in-chief will lie to you about why he’s sending you off to invade somebody else’s country and maybe come home in a bag, or missing a leg.  He’ll tell you it’s to defend your country and protect your friends and family from people who want to hurt them.  But later on you’ll find out that he and the rest of the politicians, Democrat and Republican alike, just want to grab some oil and build an Empire.  Isn’t that great?  Here’s the pen.  Sign right there.”

 

“Oh, I forgot to mention.  When you find out you’ve been tricked and betrayed, and you’re nothing but a hired hand for the corporate rich that really run America, YOU’LL BE IN IRAQ AND TOTALLY FUCKED.  HA HA HA.”

 

Why do we doubt this is what the recruiter told Jerry?  What stupid horseshit.

 

Furthermore, don’t ever think that everybody joins up just to get money for school or whatever.

 

That’s one reason, sure.  But there’s a lot more to it than that.

 

"They were moved to enlist, they say, by a combination of factors.  As freshmen and sophomores in high school, some watched their country endure the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and wanted to do something in response.

 

“Others are interested in money for college.  Most say they sought discipline and a chance to do meaningful work."  [December 16, 2004 by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, clinical psychologist. Quoted in mparent7777.blog-city.com]

 

How fortunate for us all that a huge number enlist because they really, truly want to be of service.  They want to do something decent, and honorable with the lives, and they really do want to protect their families, their friends, and do good things in the world, instead of becoming one more rat in the rat race.

 

If this idiot who wrote in was right, we’d really be fucked.  We’d be dealing with maniacal killers and losers motivated only by personal greed.

 

Thankfully, the impulse to do something good and honorable is why, sooner or later, troops have, and will again, rebel against social predators and greedy corporate scum, and have come to the defense of the people when the bad guys are running a government.  In country after country, in every successful revolution against rich and powerful predators, the troops have come over to the revolution.

 

Let the troops be honored for their commitment to doing the right thing.  And they are finding out what the right thing is in a hurry.

 

We need them back here at home to protect us against our real enemies, the people in charge in Washington DC.  T

 

 

Blown Away By The News From Baraboo

 

In short, this is small town Midwestern America.  Got any idea what antiwar demonstrations here really mean?

 

From: David Honish, Vets For Peace, PTSD-Alliance

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2005 8:40 AM

Subject: Blown Away by GI Special 3A37

 

The latest GI Special blew me away this morning.

 

Specifically the reprint from the Baraboo Republic on a local demonstration there.

 

I was born and raised in the area, so let me put it in context for those not familiar with the area.  While Wisconsin is not exactly Berkeley, it does have a reputation for independence of thought in the way folks vote up there.

 

Sadly, it also produced the likes of a one term Junior Senator by the name of Joe McCarthy.  Hey, everybody makes a few mistakes.

 

At least they learned from that one. 

 

Tourism is the number one industry in Wisconsin, followed closely by agriculture.  Folks there tend to be more interested in weather that is favorable to year round outdoor recreational business and adequate rainfall for the crops than they are what is happening on Wall Street, or what trends are being set in California.

 

The Baraboo / Wisconsin Dells area typify this more than most, since they are in the heart of a tourism center.  The local Chambers of Commerce are more concerned with not making waves and accommodating tourists above all else.  Wholesale milk and grain prices are far more important than the latest dot com wunderkind on the NASDAQ.

 

Baraboo is the county seat of Sauk County.  It has a population of about 30,000. Wisconsin Dells is a town of about 2,500 that is most known for being in the middle of a few miles of scenic sandstone formations carved by the Wisconsin River.  All sorts of tourist attractions have sprang up to ride the coat tails of the Duck and boat tours of the river.

 

In short, this is small town Midwestern America.

 

Got any idea what antiwar demonstrations here really mean?

 

Even during the peak of the carnage in Viet Nam, the nearest antiwar demonstrations were at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

 

If small town mid America is demonstrating against the war, clearly the government propaganda trying to blow smoke up the voter's skirts is not working.

 

Obviously momentum is building for the concept of having the National Guard available for tornado and flood duty, rather than coming back in body bags from Iraq.

 

SUPPORT THE TROOPS!  BRING THEM HOME NOW!

 

Oh, and of course, GO PACKERS!

 

David Honish

http://www.ptsd-alliance.org

http://www.veteransforpeace.org

 

 

Homeland Defense, Iraqi Style

 

February 4, 2005 William Marvel, Intervention Magazine.  William Marvel is a freelance writer in New Hampshire and served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1971. His many books include the award-winning Andersonville: The Last Depot and Lee’s Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox.

 

The American occupation of Iraq struggles against the moral advantage enjoyed by those who are defending the land of their birth from alien invaders.  The “insurgents” of that war see themselves as the true patriots of that conflict.

 

They merely imitate the tactics of the Minutemen who chased the redcoats back to Boston, and of John Mosby’s guerrilla war against Phil Sheridan’s Yankee cavalry.

 

They defend their homeland as ferociously as the old men and boys of Petersburg did, fighting with a spirit that we can only hope American citizens would show if a foreign power landed an army on our shores to deliver us from George W. Bush.

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Bush Salutes The Flag

http://www.flickr.com/photos/83397219@N00/3300812

 

From: D

To: GI Special

Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 11:33 PM

Subject: Bush' Salute

 

The attached file shows our Anarchist-In-Chief displaying the salute that he apparently deems appropriate for Old Glory.

 

I’m unfamiliar with military protocol, but it may be that his doing so prescribes the use of the same maneuver throughout the chain of command.

 

If “Bush’ Salute” (that one should be made to stick!) is real, I’m thinking that there are protest signs that need graphics, and stores that print images on T-shirts.

 

The possibilities are endless…

 

Thank-you for the occasional plugs for Palestine.  Sharon must want those people to become the Misery Index standard against which other occupations are measured.

 

 

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

DEMOCRACY BUSH STYLE:

“If I Do Not Go Out And Vote They Will Take My Ration Book Away.”

 

January 30, 2005 By Hala Jaber, The Sunday Times - World

 

Suheila now lives in penury on a pension equal to about 12 a month.  Like many impoverished Iraqis, she says she has been threatened that unless she votes she will not receive her monthly food ration.

 

She said: "We are all due to die someday. I am not afraid of being killed by a bomb or a shell, but I would hate to die of hunger. But if I do not go out and vote they will take my ration book away.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

"Medical" Hell At Abu G

 

M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan H. Marks (New York Times, February 4, 2005)

 

The authors of an inquiry into medical conditions at the Abu Ghraib prison conducted for The New England Journal of Medicine write that both prisoners and their captors endured hellish conditions.

 

Amid shortages of medical personnel and supplies "physician's assistants and general practitioners amputated limbs, a dentist did heart surgery . . . When they ran out of blood sugar test strips for Abu Ghraib's many diabetics, according to a medic assigned to the unit, they gave insulin by guessing the dose and watching for bad reactions."

 

 

Election Parallels

Vietnam, 1967; Iraq, 2005

 

February 4, 2005 By BILL CHRISTISON, Counterpunch.  Bill Christison was director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. He has written extensively in recent years on the problems of U.S. foreign policy.

 

Dozens of comments have appeared in the last few days comparing a 1967 election in Vietnam with the election of January 30, 2005 in Iraq.

 

The following historical summary of the 1967 election, written in the 1980s, contains more details than most of the recent comments and strengthens the view that one should be exceedingly skeptical of the Bush administration's self-congratulatory propaganda on the Iraq election. The source of the paragraphs quoted below appears at the end.

 

"September 3, 1967, 4:00 p.m. Election day in South Vietnam.  The polls in the country's forty-four provinces and municipalities were closing.  It had been a busy day. In nine hours, 4,868,266 people out of 5,853,251 registered voters had visited thousands of polling stations to cast their votes for president, an 83 percent turnout.  Two days later the results were announced: Nguyen Van Thieu would be the president and Nguyen Cao Ky the vice president of South Vietnam.  The American establishment in Washington and Saigon was pleased.  A State Department spokesman acclaimed the election as a 'major step forward., 'It is an important and heartening fact' he stated, 'that 83 percent who registered actually voted a much higher percentage than in our presidential election of 1964.'

 

"President Johnson's hand-picked team of American election observers in South Vietnam senators, governors, and respected citizens was positive in its assessment of the fairness of the election.  Senator George Murphy of California ventured to call the elections not 'unlike an election in Beverly Hills.' Democratic Governor Richard J. Hughes of New Jersey dismissed the possibility that the South Vietnamese might have hoodwinked the observers: 'We could all possibly have been bamboozled, but it would have taken a minimum or 25,000 character actors and about 11,000 stagehands to put on the production we have seen.'

 

"Many Vietnamese had doubts about the fairness of the election.  One Vietnamese businessman commented, 'Ninety-nine percent of the people think it's a fraudulent election, but they are voting because it is the proper thing to do.'  There were also indications that the heavy turnout had much to do with government coercion and fears of retaliation against those not showing up at the polls.  Since election officials stamped each voter's identification card, it was widely suspected that lacking this 'symbol of loyalty' to the government would lead to trouble later, perhaps even charges of being VC.

 

"In the wake of the elections, President Johnson sought to justify American involvement in Vietnam as a sacrifice in support of a 'legitimate' elected government representing the will of the South Vietnamese people.

 

“But the will of how many South Vietnamese people?

 

“By official U.S. estimates, about one-third of South Vietnam's population of nearly 17 million was in VC-controlled territory and so could not vote.  The government itself disqualified tens of thousands of voters, and many Buddhists, the victims of harsh treatment by the junta, boycotted the election.  Furthermore, the military ticket of Thieu and Ky received only 35 percent of the votes cast, hardly a popular mandate.

 

"Most Vietnamese, wrote Robert Shaplen in a dispatch to the New Yorker, felt that American-style elections were forced on them, with little relevance to their own political dynamics and conditions, that the elections were 'simply an American-directed performance with a Vietnamese cast.  As long as many Vietnamese believed the Thieu-Ky regime was not the majority's choice, it did not matter how hard the GVN [Government of (South) Vietnam] would try to make it appear that way or how sincerely the Americans believed it. Meanwhile, the war went on."

 

The paragraphs above are from The Vietnam Experience, a detailed 20-volume series of histories published in the early 1980s.  The books, by various authors but all fairly carefully researched, were published by the Boston Publishing Company, Boston, MA. The 20 volumes are unnumbered, so that the only way to identify each volume is to cite the entire title of that volume.  The section quoted above, titled "The making of a president," is taken from pp. 168-169 of a volume entitled The Vietnam Experience: America Takes Over, 1965-67.  The principal authors of this volume are Edward Doyle, Samuel Lipsman, and the editors if the Boston Publishing Company.

 

The paragraphs quoted are worth mulling over when thinking about the recent election in Iraq, because they show the wildly over-optimistic reactions in the U.S. to a nationwide election in South Vietnam in 1967.

 

This election took place less than five months before the surprise Tet offensive of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong began.  That offensive was perhaps the key factor in turning a majority of Americans against the Vietnam War.

 

We should all also remember that despite the Tet offensive it took seven more years before the Vietnam War ended in utter defeat for the U.S.  These were seven years in which an additional million or so Vietnamese were killed as well as some 25,000-30,000 Americans over and above similar numbers killed on both sides before 1968.

 

It is difficult to avoid concluding that these people all died in vain.

 

Unless the U.S. in 2005 changes its entire foreign policies much more quickly than it did in Vietnam, we are likely to face a similarly excruciating, slow, dismal defeat and slaughter in Iraq.

 

 

Iraqis Protest Voting Irregularities

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this in.  He writes: Florida in Iraq.]

 

Feb 6 AP

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Hundreds of Iraqis shouted slogans and waved Iraqi flags Sunday outside Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone to protest alleged irregularities they say prevented tens of thousands of people in Mosul from voting in last weekend's landmark elections.

 

 

Received:

 

From: AH

To: GI Special

Sent: February 03, 2005

Subject: Kudos

 

I read that last Special that I think was called like, "It's all about the money". Anyway, it seriously rocked.  Thanks again for your service.

 

 

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