GI SPECIAL 3A48:
SOLDIERS’ LETTERS HOME RETURNED MARKED “POSTAGE DUE”!!
K, WIFE OF SOLDIER DEPLOYED TO
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 3:42 PM
Letters from Iraq
Just thought I
would let you know that soldiers in Iraq that are sending letters
back home to the states, are receiving their letters back, marked
I didn't know that
Haji is selling stamps now, Ain't that some shit?
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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
Soldier Killed In
BAGHDAD, Feb 16 (AFP) &
announced that a US soldier assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force was killed in action on Tuesday in the province of Al-Anbar.
SOLDIER DIES IN
BALLAD VEHICULAR ACCIDENT
February 16, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-02-21C
BALAD, Iraq – One 1st Corps Support Command soldier is dead and
another was wounded today as the result of a vehicular accident
about 7 miles southeast of here at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 16.
The soldier was pronounced dead at the
scene of the accident and the wounded soldier was evacuated to the
hospital at Landing Support Area Anaconda.
TASK FORCE LIBERTY
SOLDIER DEAD IN AS-SADIAYH VEHICLE ACCIDENT
February 16, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-02-20C
TIKRIT, Iraq -- One
Task Force Liberty Soldier died and one was injured in a vehicle
accident near As Sadiyah in Diyala Province at about 7:30 a.m. Feb.
One Iraqi civilian died and two were
injured when a Coalition vehicle and civilian vehicle collided. The
injured Soldier was taken to a Coalition Forces medical treatment
TWO SOLDIERS KILLED
IN BABIL VEHICLE WRECK
February 16, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-02-22C
Iraq -- Two Soldiers assigned to the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force
were killed in a non-hostile vehicle accident Feb. 16 in the
northern Babil Province.
FORCE LIBERTY SOLDIER DIES OF NON-COMBAT INJURY
February 16, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-02-19C
IRAQ – A Task Force Liberty Soldier died of a non-combat injury on a
Multi-National Forces base at about 9:15 a.m. Feb 16.
Soldier Reported Killed
February 16, 2005 KCCI8, DES MOINES,
Military officials say a 21-year-old
Des Moines soldier is one of three reported killed when their
armored Humvee overturned into a canal near the town of Balad, Iraq,
during a combat patrol.
Officials say Specialist Dakotah L.
Gooding was assigned to the Army's 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3d
Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. The accident occured Sunday.
Relatives said Gooding grew up in
Keokuk and he and his mother moved to Des Moines five years ago.
His mother, who was
in Georgia last night awaiting his coffin, said he had wanted to be
a soldier since he was five years old.
Gooding, who also left a wife, two sisters and three nieces and
nephews, had been in Iraq less than three weeks when he was killed.
Gooding is the 21st
Iowa service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Bombs Hit U.S.
Military Convoys in Mosul
Feb 16 AP
MOSUL, Iraq - A car bomb
exploded alongside a U.S. military convoy in northern Iraq on
Wednesday, witnesses said.
Several people were injured in the
blast near Mosul's Yarmouk Square, witnesses said.
At least one U.S. military vehicle
was damaged in the blast.
In a separate
incident, a bomb exploded alongside another U.S. convoy in the east
of the city, witnesses said.
No casualties were
reported in the blast, but American troops opened
fire afterward, injuring several people, residents said.
Forces Battle In Ramadi,
Officer Says It Never Happened;
More Fighting In
In Ramadi, 70 miles
west of the capital, insurgents fired more than 25 mortar rounds at
U.S. and Iraqi positions, including a group of American troops
hunkered in an abandoned glass factory, witnesses said.
The attack sparked
clashes in several parts of the city afterward,
and American troops sealed off a southeastern district of Ramadi,
said resident Hussein Molseh.
There was no word on casualties.
U.S. Marine Capt. Brad Gordon denied
any clashes had taken place. [Why? What, exactly, is that obvious
lie supposed to accomplish?]
militants and U.S. troops backed by Iraqi National Guardsmen also
erupted in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad,
leaving at least one Iraqi and wounding another, hospital official
Alaa Eldin Mohammed said.
Also in Diyala
province, Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops stormed an insurgent
hideout, killing one insurgent and capturing another. One policeman
was killed in the raid, Shabab said.
Soldier Is Killed
February 16, 2005 By Walt Philbin,
Staff writer, The Times-Picayune
A 22-year-old soldier from eastern New
Orleans was killed in Iraq early Sunday morning when the vehicle he
shared with two other soldiers rolled into a canal.
Sgt. Rene Knox Jr. died.
Knox was a graduate of Alfred Lawless
High School, said Sheila Cordier, a cousin of Knox's father.
Cordier said her
cousin was taking the news hard.
"That was his
oldest son, and he himself just returned from serving in the Army in
Iraq last year," she said.
Knox was the second of five children
of Rene Knox Sr. and his wife, Eliria Knox, she said.
Knox is the 33rd
Louisiana serviceman to be killed in Iraq, and the ninth person from
the immediate seven-parish area.
Resistance Keeps On
[Washington Post, February 16, 2005,
Marines patrolling battle-torn Fallujah understand that insurgents
still remain in the city, with their single idea set on killing U.S.
and Iraqi security forces. [How many months has it been since the
idiot Generals proclaimed the fighting in Falluja was over and the
resistance had been wiped out?]
3rd ID Back In The
Bad Moon Rising
[Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2005]
The 3rd Infantry Division, which led
the 2003 attack on Baghdad, learns about its new mission as it takes
over from the 1st Cavalry.
The 3rd is assuming
control of the hostile area in and around Sadr City.
About 65% of the Division's
20,000 troops led the assault on Baghdad during the first weeks of
the invasion in 2003.
[During the Vietnam
War, nobody ever had to go back to the combat zone once their year
was up. Never, ever, for any reason. Even so, Washington got an
armed forces rebellion in Vietnam that finally ended that Imperial
war. Today’s crop of Imperial politicians appear to have no grip on
reality whatsoever, just merrily sending the troops back over and
over again. When the armed forces explode this time, it will be
far, far worse for the corporate class and their political stooges
in Washington than they can possibly imagine. Hopefully, it will
put an end to them, their Empire, and their class once and for all.
We didn’t finish that job last time, and look at the price in blood
being paid for letting them off the hook 30 years ago. No more
second chances for these predators in human form. T]
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Off To The Imperial
1.) 40 More Vermont
Unit For Duty
February 16, 2005 COLCHESTER (AP)
Another 80 Vermont Army National Guard
soldiers will be deployed within the next month, 40 each for duty in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Those going to Iraq will replace
soldiers mobilized in January but later deemed unfit for active
duty, said spokeswoman 1st Lt. Veronica Saffo.
The first 15 will leave Vermont on
Sunday or Monday for Camp Shelby, Miss. They will join about 375
Guardsmen training at the base near Hattiesburg. Most belong to the
172nd Armored Regiment of the 86th Brigade or the Jericho-based
172nd Mountain Infantry. They
are training for a year of combat in Iraq, a mission expected to
begin this summer. The entire deployment could last up to 18
One of the Guard members the Army said
was unable to fight is a man with a back problem, Saffo said.
Other soldiers the Army deemed
medically unable to serve include men with dental problems, newly
diagnosed pre-existing conditions such as heart disorders, or
Guardsmen injured during training, Saffo said.
Some of the 40
soldiers were sent home for family, legal or economic reasons, as
well, she said.
about 10 percent that get sent back," she said. "Our rate over
the past several months has been about 2 percent."
The percentage of
the 375 soldiers returning to Vermont is about 11.
2.) 1800 More
Guards, Reserves Called Up
February 16, 2005
U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 165-05
This week, the Air Force and Navy
announced an increase, while the Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard
had a decrease in the number of reservists on active duty in support
of the partial mobilization. The net collective result is 1,811 more
reservists mobilized than last week.
Rejects “Obscene War” In Iraq
from the Stop the War Coalition liaises with the military families
campaign. He read out a letter from an army wife on a base in
Germany. She described how her husband was to be ordered off to
Iraq, but did not want to go and fight an "obscene" war.
Socialist Worker (UK)
Reg Keys is the
father of one of the six military police who were killed near Basra,
southern Iraq, two years ago. He told the conference about one of
the final telephone conversations he had with his son, Tom.
"He said, 'Dad, I
don't know what we are doing here. These people are poor, they have
nothing and we are not helping.'
"Tom and two other
soldiers had to dig out a woman and her three children after an
action by another unit. Her husband was distraught. He went into
his house, got his Kalashnikov and said, 'I'm going north to
Fallujah to kill Americans.'
So what do I call him? A terrorist?
I think of him as a dehumanised human being. And who did that? It
was Bush, Blair and this war.
I hold Tony Blair
as guilty as the Iraqis who killed my son for his death. I like to
think that they did not kill Tom, but killed what he represented."
Andrew Burgin from
the Stop the War Coalition liaises with the military families
campaign. He read out a letter from an army wife on a base in
Germany. She described how her husband was to be ordered off to
Iraq, but did not want to go and fight an "obscene" war.
"Last night one of my neighbours' husband was threatening to kill
himself," rather than be sent to Iraq. "I want to
be part of something to contribute positively to the people of
Iraq," she concluded.
In the discussion
that followed Lizi Allnatt from Stop the War in Exeter reported how
her local group had leafleted a Territorial Army centre.
"We were nervous
and so we decided to send all women, but the response was like a
coffee morning," she said. "Loads of people really wanted to talk
and take the leaflets. One man dropped off his son and then reversed
back to come and talk to us . He wasn't totally convinced, but he
said he would come to a meeting that Rose Gentle was to speak at."
The whole session underlined just how
wide the potential support is for the anti-war movement in the
run-up to 19 March and the general election.
“For A Veteran
Maimed In Iraq Or Afghanistan It Is, In My Mind, Pure Treason.”
I am angered
every time I see a "Support your troops" sticker. If a person
honestly thinks that buying a magnet and proudly displaying it on
their vehicle is helping us they are dead wrong. You are doing
exactly the same thing the leaders in this country are doing,
turning your backs on us.
02/11/2005 By: Michael H. Riordan,
Veterans for Common Sense, East Hartford Gazette
I feel compelled to write again based
on the president's new Veterans Affairs (VA) budget for 2006.
He does increase the spending by 2.7
percent over 2005's budget and overall 40 percent since taking
office. What he also proposes is
that certain veterans pay a $250 fee for use of the VA health care
system and raises co-pays for some veterans from $7 to $15. These
new charges incurred by veterans basically make up the 2.7 percent
increase proposed meaning we receive no additional funding for 2006.
On paper, 40 percent overall increase
since President Bush took office in 2001 looks attractive. Let us
not forget that two major conflicts have been fought during this
time period in Afghanistan and Iraq. Secondly, we are still
conducting operations in both theatres with ongoing causalities.
The main part of the Veterans Affairs
budget goes to health care and disability payments. Prior to 2001
life was not pretty for veterans in the health care realm or the
disability denial and wait system (Veterans Affairs Disability
benefits system). Although I do admit the care I receive at the
Veterans Health Center in Newington seems superior after reading
stories about VA health care facilities throughout the U.S.
However, we still as a standard do not see medical doctors as our
primary care providers. I have a nurse practitioner that I see.
I have also had
numerous confrontations at the facility with certain staff members
that, at times, have disrespected me. Having been a Marine and
still relatively young compared to most veterans I give it right
back to them.
This practice would
never be tolerated in a civilian facility. So why must we face
I guess being
former property of the government they feel we don't deserve the
same respect that a civilian receives.
I have current appeals that started as
cases in 2000. Five years later I have been either denied twice for
service connected disability claims or denied twice for increased
As you can picture in your mind we
don't get anywhere quickly.
No one in Congress or in the White
House ever seems to care about this part of taking care of veterans.
In my own case I did however finally receive a proper rating for my
service-connected asthma disability (one of my 8 service
later they finally realized that had rated me improperly since
1996. That's only eight years to get it right. That is
unacceptable for any veteran to face but for a veteran maimed in
Iraq or Afghanistan it is, in my mind, pure treason.
I honestly wish
people would step off of their patriotism clouds and take some
action for us.
I am angered every
time I see a "Support your troops" sticker. If a person honestly
thinks that buying a magnet and proudly displaying it on their
vehicle is helping us they are dead wrong. You are doing exactly
the same thing the leaders in this country are doing, turning your
backs on us.
You don't support
someone by displaying a magnet, a ribbon, or a flag. You
support us by standing up for us and taking action with our sleeping
politicians. You support us by
finding out the truth and not buying into twisted propaganda making
it look like we are supported.
Remember, it is
your responsibility to make sure that we are taken care of as
promised by this country. Once we become veterans, let alone
disabled veterans, our voice doesn't seem to mean that much anymore.
Michael H. Riordan
CPL. USMC 1991-1995
Disabled American Veteran, Veterans
for Common Sense
1990 Synergy High graduate
A Hundred Thursdays
[Thanks to D, who
sent this in.]
February 12, 2005 By C. W. Nevius,.
San Francisco Chronicle
The radicals of Benicia are a cheerful
group. They were out on First Street on Thursday, holding signs
protesting the war in Iraq and waving at cars.
Some drivers honked on the way down
the street, and some honked going the other direction, which pleased
those in the vigil although they knew the drivers were often the
same people coming back.
The small group,
about 20 strong, was out between 5 and 6 o'clock, just as they
were the Thursday before. They started their little protest on
March 20, 2003, the day the first bombs fell, and it went so well
that some of them said they'd come back in a week.
That was 100
They've stood in
the rain, the wind and, until the days get long enough, the dark.
The vigil fell on Christmas Eve in December, so Tom Dragavon and
his wife, Darlene, brought Tom's 93-year-old mother out to hold a
"We dragged her down here,'' said Tom
Dragavon, who estimates he's been on the street for 90 of the 100
Thursdays. "She liked it. She got us all singing Christmas
Kniesler's signs, based on numbers from the Department of Defense,
showed 1,450 killed and 10,871 wounded.
Thursday after Thursday, they've
fallen into a comfortable and familiar routine. They see some
regulars, who honk and wave -- Steph Burns, the guitarist for Huey
Lewis and the News, flashed by last week. Even the counter-
protesters are on a schedule.
"Is it 5:30 yet?'' asked David Grumio,
Iraq Casualty Count's media coordinator. "Usually, the pro-war
people show up about now.''
Not this week. The 100th Thursday
came and went without an opposing view.
Down at the other
end of the line was Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, a tall woman with
a ready smile and sad eyes. She held a poster with a photo of her
son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. He was killed in Baghdad 10 months
She's pretty much
gotten used to the finger-flippers and profanity shouters, she says.
The worst was in Florida, before the election. Sheehan and some
other moms were at a Dick Cheney rally, silently protesting with
pictures of their dead sons.
"A man came up and said, 'I went to
Iraq but I came back,' and then he ran away,'' Sheehan says. "I
yelled, 'That's probably why you came back, because you ran.' ''
You can see she is
pleased with her comeback, but it still stung. Sheehan has formed
"Gold Star Families for Peace'' (www.gsfp.org)
and admits she's become a little obsessed.
"Sometimes I get up in the mornings
and turn on the computer,'' she says. "And my husband comes home at
5, and I'm still there in my pajamas.''
To be perfectly honest, the radicals
of Benicia aren't sure what they are accomplishing.
All they can
really say is that the reaction from drivers used to be 50-50, and
now there are probably 10 beeps and waves for every flip off or
Does standing on a
street for 100 Thursdays make a difference?
"I don't know,''
says Tom Dragavon. "But if I don't, I feel like I've done nothing.''
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.
Four Oil Pipelines
To Refinery For Baghdad Sabotaged By String Of Resistance Attacks
2.16.05 Middle East Online & KUNA & By
Aref Mohammed, (Reuters)
Four Iraqi oil pipelines were hit by
insurgent attacks early Wednesday morning near Baiji, said the oil
ministry, causing a large blaze and sending thick clouds of black
smoke over the city, officials and witnesses said.
"The pipeline carrying crude from
Kirkuk oilfields to Baiji refinery
in Salahuddin was sabotaged near Fatha as well as
another pipeline supplying the same refinery," the ministry said.
"It was sabotaged by a bomb at
al-Fatha, seven km east of Baiji," Majid Menoun, director of
pipelines at the Baiji refinery, told Reuters.
Others in Baiji said they heard a
series of explosions early in the morning.
Smoke pouring from the main blast
blanketed Baiji and sent several people to hospital with breathing
problems, doctors said.
A hospital official
said two people were killed by the fire and in a separate incident
four Iraqi soldiers were wounded by shrapnel from a mortar attack on
a cluster of pipelines north of Baiji.
He also added that
an armed group bombed the major oil-pipe. The explosions were
caused by bombs set by terrorists in these areas.
Another pipeline carrying oil from the
north to Dura refinery in Baghdad was sabotaged in the same area,
the ministry said, adding that oil had spilt into the Tigris River
and indicating that both explosions caused huge fire.
A fourth pipeline was sabotaged in the
Bajwan area, northwest of Kirkuk, the ministry added.
"Teams of firefighters have begun to
tackle the fires caused by the sabotage and technical teams have
begun to evaluate the damage with the aim of beginning repairs."
Asem Jihad added
that the explosions will influence the performance of the struck
according to Jihad, supplies Beji station with electricity, ad the
station is the second largest power generation station in the county
after Nasiriah Station.
Beji refinery is
also responsible for covering 40-50 percent of requirements of
Baghdad and the surrounding areas oil derivatives.
The refinery had
previously stopped operating for 17 days due to resistance
activities in the country causing a major fuel crisis in the
To Turkey Reopens And Is Immediately Blown Up, Cutting Exports North
Feb 16, 2005 By Aref Mohammed,
Iraq's oil export
pipeline to Turkey has been hit by sabotage and flows are likely to
be halted until early next week, an Iraqi oil official says.
In Kirkuk, an Iraqi
army colonel, Ibrahim Ahmed, died of wounds suffered after
resistance soldiers opened fire on his vehicle west of the city a
day earlier, said police Col. Anwar Hassan.
Police said on Wednesday Colonel Ibrahim Ahmed was killed in his car
in the town of Ajeel west of Kirkuk.
had only just restarted crude exports along the pipeline from its
northern fields via the refinery at Baiji to the Turkish port of
Ceyhan on Monday, reopening a route that had been closed by
sabotage since December.
Pumping had managed
a flow rate of just over 100,000 barrels per day, and stocks in
tanks at Ceyhan had reached only about 100,000-150,000 barrels,
shippers said. The pipeline has the capacity to pump over one
"It was hit by sabotage on Tuesday
night and flows are expected to start again on Monday or Tuesday of
next week," the Iraqi oil official told Reuters.
[Yeah, right. Lots of luck.]
Falluja: The Next
February 11, 2005 Anne Montgomery,
Christian Peacemaker Teams, Voices from Iraq
airplanes do not frighten me. Our Fallujah is ours. We will build
it with the clay of Fallujah and irrigate it with our blood. The
American soldiers destroyed my toys and my life, and I want them to
leave." (Ruah, 10, 5th grade)
"If the Americans
are strong, why didn't they find Al Zarqawi? Why did they destroy
my books and games, the children's toys? Is my teddy bear
Zarqawi?” (Rania, l2, 7th grade)
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
Lots Of Resistance
Attacks Everywhere Today
2.16.05 AP & Aljazeera & Middle East
Online & (Xinhuanet)
In a northern
district of the city, guerrillas seriously wounded a police colonel
and killed his driver in Mosul, said Sayed
Hussein, a medic at a Mosul hospital where the casualties were
brought. The colonel's bodyguard
was also wounded in the attack, he said.
In the capital,
guerrillas shot dead Interior Ministry intelligence officer 1st Lt.
Ghazi Hoshi as he was getting into his car to go to work
in the southern neighborhood of
Dora, said Falah Mohamadawi, a police detective.
north of the capital Baghdad, three Iraqi soldiers were killed and
two others wounded by a bomb concealed in the burnt-out shell of a
car abandoned on the roadside. "The blast
occurred near the village of Al-Amin," army Lieutenant Colonel Jomaa
In Dujail, also
north of the capital, two Iraqi soldiers and an Iraqi contractor
were killed in a mortar attack on an army base, police said.
Clashes broke out overnight in the
restive town of Baquba, leaving one Iraqi policeman and two gunmen
dead, security sources said. The
fighting in the town's central Mohandessin neighbourhood lasted most
of the night, the sources said.
In nearby Buhriz, insurgents attacked
a police station with machine-gun fire at dawn, but no casualties
were reported, Shabab said.
Officials say they
found the bodies of two policemen on a highway south of Baghdad.
Each had been shot in the head.
In Mosul, three
television technicians were injured after a mortar attack on Mosul
TV station, an employee there said.
Jassim Mohammed Mousa al-Daraji, a former municipal official and
ex-Baath Party member in the eastern Baghdad slum of Sadr City,
residents said Wednesday as they gathered for his funeral.
In western Baghdad,
unidentified attackers killed a civil aviation official and shot
dead a police sergeant as he was driving through
the east of the city, police said.
Two Iraqi security officers were
killed on Wednesday while patrolling near the northern city of
Tikrit, said the police.
shot down two officers as they were patrolling along the main road
between Tikrit and Kirkuk, close to the Hemreen oilfields,"
Colonel Hassan Ahmed of the Salahudin police headquarters told
The attackers left the bodies on the
roadside near the Hemreen mountain and fled the scene, Ahmed added.
Collaborators Found Dead Near Baghdad
Police found the bodies of eight
Iraqis in shallow graves in a desert-area north of Baghdad.
Officials say the
men who had worked at a U-S military base had been bound, gagged and
shot in the back of the head.
A piece of paper
was attached to each body, on which was written: "This is the
punishment of the traitors and those who work for the American
Seven of the slain men were last heard
from as they were heading from a military base in al-Bakr to their
homes in Dejali. An eighth unidentified corpse was discovered along
with them, Latif said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE
Dutch Soldiers Get
Rid Of The Salute
LEFT FACE, Soldier
Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies, By DAVID CORTRIGHT
AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in Military Studies, Number 107;
GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport, Connecticut • London
As Dutch soldiers gained increasing
rights and became more active, they began to take exception to
certain military customs and traditions that they considered
obsolete in a democratic army.
The conscripts were no longer willing to play the role of mere
pawns, and they objected to previously accepted rituals that
reinforced rank privilege.
particular came to be seen as a demeaning vestige of the old system,
and an important movement developed within the ranks to do away with
The pioneer in the
saluting campaign was Henk Van der Horst, who was a VVDM [the Dutch
soldiers’ union] activist in the base at Oirschot. In 1970 Van der
Horst shocked his colleagues and local military commanders by
declaring that henceforth he would no longer salute anyone.
Van der Horst’s public announcement
excited many of his fellow conscripts, but it outraged his
commanding officers. They responded swiftly and harshly (by
normally tolerant Dutch standards) and sentenced him to eight
months’ imprisonment, equal to his
remaining time of service.
Far from quieting
the situation, the army’s stiff sentence against Van der Horst
proved counterproductive and sparked widespread indignation within
agreed with Van der Horst that saluting was ridiculous and
anachronistic, and they were concerned about the harsh sentence
meted out to their fellow unionist.
VVDM responded to these concerns and
came to the aid of Van der Horst by organizing a defense campaign.
Soon the VVDM
leadership went beyond merely defending Van der Horst. The union
decided to take up his cause and launched a campaign to put an end
to mandatory saluting.
Their choice of
tactics was both unusual and inventive, and was strongly
influenced by the example of the freewheeling Provos and
Kabouters: they decided to use the weapon of ridicule.
The union called
for a “national saluting day,” urging soldiers on that day to
salute anyone and everyone, regardless of rank, civilians
included. The first saluting day was held on July 1, 1970, and
proved to be a rollicking success. Once again the press helped
the conscripts by providing widespread news coverage. Soldiers
saluted everyone--garbagemen, other conscripts,
policemen—thoroughly lampooning the saluting regulations.
The union kept up the fight for two
more years, demanding that saluting regulations be changed. In
summer 1971 a second national saluting day was held, with soldiers
sending postcards to the government objecting to mandatory
saluting. Several thousand cards were actually sent to the Ministry
of Defense under the heading “Greetings from the barracks.”
In Havelte there
was a demonstration of around 600 soldiers to protest saluting and
other military restrictions. In 1972 there was a
third national saluting day. This time soldiers were urged to act
“normally,” that is, to refuse to salute.
Many soldiers participated in the
action, and a number of demonstrations were held, including an
action at one base where 150 soldiers clapped, waved, and cheered as
their officers came through the gates after lunch.
In 1973, after
three years of struggle, the saluting campaign finally achieved
Elections that year produced a new,
Social Democratic government coalition in Holland. The new
officials, especially Defense Minister Henk Vredeling, brought with
them a more progressive and democratic view of the military.
Vredeling was much more sympathetic to the views of the conscripts
than were his predecessors. In fact, he was once quoted as saying,
“My whole life I have been against discipline. . . I am in fact
absolutely allergic to uniforms.”
leadership the Ministry of Defense finally responded to the
union’s demands. New regulations were issued making saluting
optional. According to the new rules, the salute would no longer
be automatic but would have to be earned by officers through
respect and enlightened leadership.
Mercenaries In Iraq
Say They Witnessed
Murder Of Unarmed Civilians
[Thanks to Carl
Rogers, who sent this in.]
Feb. 15, 2005 By Lisa Myers & the NBC
There are new allegations that heavily
armed private security contractors in Iraq are brutalizing Iraqi
civilians. In an exclusive
interview, four former security contractors told NBC News that they
watched as innocent Iraqi civilians were fired upon, and one crushed
by a truck. The contractors worked for an American
company paid by U.S. taxpayers.
The four men are all retired military
veterans: Capt. Bill Craun, Army Rangers; Sgt. Jim Errante, military
police; Cpl. Ernest Colling, U.S. Army; and Will Hough, U.S.
Marines. All went to Iraq months ago as private security
"I went there for the money," says
"I'm a patriot," says Craun.
"You can't turn off being a soldier,"
They worked for an
American company named Custer Battles, hired by the Pentagon to
conduct dangerous missions guarding supply convoys. They were so
upset by what they saw, three quit after only one or two missions.
"What we saw, I know the American
population wouldn't stand for," says Craun.
They claim heavily armed security
operators on Custer Battles' missions — among them poorly trained
young Kurds, who have historical resentments against other Iraqis —
terrorized civilians, shooting indiscriminately as they ran for
cover, smashing into and shooting up cars.
On a mission on
Nov. 8, escorting ammunition and equipment for the Iraqi army, they
claim a Kurd guarding the convoy allegedly shot into a passenger car
to clear a traffic jam.
"(He) sighted down
his AK-47 and started firing," says Colling. "It went through the
window. As far as I could see, it hit a passenger. And they didn't
even know we were there."
Later, the convoy
came upon two teenagers by the road. One allegedly was gunned down.
"The rear gunner in
my vehicle shot him," says Colling. "Unarmed, walking kids."
In another traffic
jam, they claim a Ford 350 pickup truck smashed into, then rolled up
and over the back of a small sedan full of Iraqis.
"The front of the
truck came down," says Craun. "I could see two children sitting in
the back seat of that car with their eyes looking up at the axle as
it came down and pulverized the back."
"I said, 'Wow, what hit this car?'"
Could anyone have
"Probably not. Not
from what I saw," says Hough.
The men assume that in all three
incidents the Iraqis were seriously hurt or killed. But they can't
"It was chaos and
carnage and destruction the whole day," says Craun.
Two of the men —
Craun and Colling — say they quit immediately.
Craun, in an e-mail
two days later to a friend at the Pentagon, wrote: "I didn't want
any part of an organization that deliberately murders children and
Errante says he
also quit after witnessing wild, indiscriminate shootings on two
"I said I didn't
want to be a witness to any of these, what could be classified as a
war crime," says Errante.
Once back in the
U.S., Craun — recipient of the Bronze Star — took the allegations to
Army criminal investigators. The Army tells NBC News it's looking
into the matter. [And the check is in the mail.]
The company is
already under criminal investigation for allegations of fraud
centering on the way it billed the government.
Those allegations are also at the heart of a lawsuit by former
associates. In September, the
military banned the firm and its associates from obtaining new
federal contracts or subcontracts.
In any case, the ban didn’t stop the
company from fulfilling its old contracts, such as the missions
performed by Craun, Hough, Colling and Errante.
insurgents that we're brutalizing," says Craun. "It was local
civilians on their way to work. It's wrong."
Anyone who's been there says Iraq is a
brutal, deadly place. So why do the men blame Custer Battles?
"Simply, they're negligent," says
Colling. "(Just) throwing people out there and then forcing us to
use these brutal tactics. They're responsible, absolutely
So why are these men going public with
these allegations now? They say because they care about American
soldiers and about winning the war.
"If we continue to
let this happen, those people will hate us even more than they
already do," says Craun.
And they say that
only makes Iraq more dangerous for American soldiers.
HERE COME THE
To: The Anti-Allawi
Sent: February 10,
Subject: Here come
1. They're cheap!
at $150 a month each
available! in a country with 70% unemployment caused by the
3. Dispensable and
Replaceable! we count only the coalition casualties naturally
4. Dependable? a
mere 40% desertion rate (so they say) so far
5. Loyal? give me
Uninfiltratable? your guess now...
“Our Governments Do
Not Like It”
do not like it when we present evidence that contradicts the
upbeat official version.
February 12, 2005 Rory McCarthy, The
What the US and
Britain have yet to acknowledge about the past two years in Iraq is
the searing humiliation brought by their occupation. It is helping
fuel the insurgency and is turning even moderate Iraqis against the
western forces who once promised liberation.
To a journalist the security threat is
paramount. Nearly all the roads
out of the capital are too dangerous to drive and several districts
of Baghdad itself are too dangerous for us to enter.
Many of my colleagues have been shot at, kidnapped, arrested or
At the same time we
come under tremendous pressure to accept the US and British official
version of events. Too often we have sat and listened to officials
tell us what is happening in an Iraq that they themselves are barely
able to visit.
In the summer of 2003 I sat in Baghdad
with a British diplomat who told me in all seriousness that the
killing of Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, in a gunbattle in
Mosul would be the "tipping-point" that would halt the violence.
Since then so many other supposed tipping points have passed: the
capture of Saddam himself, the handover of sovereignty in June last
year, two assaults on the rebel bastion of Falluja and then last
month's elections. Yet the insurgency remains stronger than ever.
Our governments do
not like it when we present evidence that contradicts the upbeat
The Poetry Of
has compiled a collection of Rumsfeld's poems, bringing them to a
wider public for the first time. The poems that follow are the
exact words of the defense secretary, as taken from the official
transcripts on the Defense Department Web site.
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense
You know, it's the old glass box at
At the gas station,
Where you're using those little things
Trying to pick up the prize,
And you can't find it.
And it's all these arms are going down
And so you keep dropping it,
And picking it up again and moving it,
Some of you are probably too young to
Those glass boxes,
But they used to have them
At all the gas stations
When I was a kid.
Dec. 6, 2001, Department of Defense
Once in a while,
I'm standing here, doing something.
And I think,
"What in the world am I doing here?"
It's a big surprise.
May 16, 2001, interview with the New
You're going to be told lots of
You get told things every day that
It doesn't seem to bother people, they
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things
They never happened.
Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there,
That the world is constantly being
Things that haven't happened.
All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.
Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense
Oh my goodness gracious,
What you can buy off the Internet
In terms of overhead photography!
A trained ape can know an awful lot
Of what is going on in this world,
Just by punching on his mouse
For a relatively modest cost!
June 9, 2001, following European trip
Things will not be necessarily
The fact that they are something other
than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterized as a
There will be some things that people
There will be some things that people
And life goes on.
Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense
I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.
And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.
Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense
"Whom the gods
would destroy they first give control of both ends of Pennsylvania
"Well, while I'm
here I'll do the work and what's the work?
To ease the pain of
living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow."
Changing To PDF
February 16, 2005
Changing to PDF format
Much thanks for your newsletter. I
thought I’d heard it all on the Hotline; but you are giving us much
new information. Wouldn’t it be great to have this stuff on the
headlines of the NYT!!!
I would like to
change my subscription to PDF format.
Thanks for all your good work.
Thanks for your encouragement. Most of the credit goes
to those who send in good stuff, especially people in the armed
services, military family members, and veterans. They make it
possible. PDF is available to anyone who wishes to receive in that
An Urgent Message
On Depleted Uranium
02 Feb 2005 From Dr. Doug Rokke and
Damacio Lopez. Forwarded from VVAW National Staffperson Jeff
Machota to all on VVAWNET:
We have a proposal for those
individuals and organizations who wish to stop the use of depleted
uranium in weapons, ensure that medical care is provided, and ensure
that all environmental contamination is cleaned up.
Please join us in a
world-wide campaign in demanding that the Pentagon of the United
States follow it's own directive requiring thorough environmental
remediation and that medical care is provided to all individuals
contaminated by depleted uranium and/or other low level radioactive
mandates are prescribed in Army Regulation 700-48, with specific
maximum exposure criteria in US Army Technical Bulletin
9-1300-278. These require thorough environmental remediation and
that medical care is provided to all casualties.
The responsible person to uphold this
Dr. Michael Kilpatrick
The Special Assistant, Deployment
Four Skyline Place -
5113 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
Let's encourage Dr. Kilpatrick to
uphold these legal requirements.
LT. General Ronald Peake, then Surgeon
General of the U.S. Army, also appointed Colonel Robert Eng, Ph.D.
(telephone 210-221-6612, email: Robert.Eng@amedd.army.mil, Fort Sam
Houston, Texas) as his representative to ensure medical care is
provided to all DU casualties when he issued his medical order dated
April 29, 2004.
Please get this
message to as many people as possible; this might be the straw that
breaks the camels back. Past environmental remediation costs alone
would be in the billions of dollars.
Damacio Lopez and Doug Rokke, Ph.D.
GI Special distributes and posts to our
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