www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

2.21.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3A52:

 

 

DEFINITELY TIME TO GET THE FUCK OUT AND COME ON HOME.

(Albasrah Photo)

 

A WAR ON ALL FRONTS

 

From: Tom Joad [pen name], Soldier, Iraq

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 1:36 AM

Subject: A WAR ON ALL FRONTS

 

here's one more piece you might be able to use.  it will prove to be my last from here, for as it stands, we leave TOMORROW!!!!

 

you have been great for us and for The Cause.  you will hear from us soon, i promise.

 

frag out!!

Tom Joad

 

Somewhere on the forward operating base another trash fire was burning away at the random uselessness of one division leaving the Sunni Triangle and another one replacing it.  The soot and ashes of the waste-consuming inferno fell from the sky like twisted feathers of charcoal.  The scene resembled that of a post apocalyptic death rain, as if the whole world were caught on fire by the ravages of a gruesome war.

 

Of course, describing a storm of black ash from a nearby trash fire as “post apocalyptic” would certainly be an exaggeration in this case.  But despite the ominous overtones of falling ash resembling the aftermath of some horribly destructive event, there is no “aftermath” about it.  The war rages on, more or less, depending on how you look at it, or who you ask.

 

Some may notice that the TV media coverage of the War In Iraq seems somewhat lacking as of late.  This, of course, was bound to happen.  A news flash here and there.  A scrolled sentence of morbid carnage depicting unknown deaths run across the screen, right under the daily stock market quotes, which seem to be slipping more everyday.

 

A quick war update usually sums up “just another” car bomb and its devastating effects in under five seconds, which leaves plenty of time to get back to the hot gossip.  A sexually attractive 30 year old school teacher sexually molesting a 13 year old sexually-inexperienced school boy and a deviously altered life for everyone is much healthier for American Morale than the stark realities of “the same old war”.

 

Its not about The Truth anymore, its about entertainment.  No one cares about what happens in Iraq because, quite frankly, its boring.  Car bombs are no fun for anyone anymore.  They usually only happen in some far away dysfunctional country, and they never really seem to amount to much more than a few dead people who probably had it coming anyways.

 

The controversy of another dead American soldier or the demise of many faceless 3rd world indigents seems to be a mundane cliché.  Besides, a government at war is always too much controversy for anyone to handle in these fast times of mall-madness hysteria.

 

One would think that Bells and Whistles would be screaming all over the world when the White House finally had to come out and admit that rumors of a New World Order were actually true.

 

For two years the public had grown so accustomed to hearing about a rich boy’s oil war that when the schematics for bombing Iran were finally confirmed, no one seemed to notice.  Its as if Iran and Iraq were so similar in spelling or geological proximity that all of a sudden a preemptive attack on another random country seemed to be about right.  In fact, it seemed to be The Norm.

 

Bells and Whistles, indeed.

 

But who was listening to the war drums when a major ground war started way back in 2003?  No one except for greedy corporate profit-mongers and an entire world population of sensible, peace-minded adults.  In the end the forces of tyranny got their way, and the antiwar majority went back to their work-a-day worlds to lick their wounds and hope for the best.

 

But doesn’t a preemptive attack on Iran all of a sudden look like Nazi Germany rolling into Poland on what they called a justified and entertaining “blitzkrieg”?  No one stopped Crazy Adolf and his minion of “good ol’ boys” from crossing that line, and no one will stop our evangelical hero President George W. Bush when the time comes to teach some terrorists a valuable lesson in hegemonic warfare.

 

This is now the way of the world.

 

There is no longer a war, just a long and annoying (sometimes boring) but always enduring maniacal process.

 

The cute jargon of yesteryear’s Cold War is back with a festive sentiment: “Imminent threat”, “Domino Theory”, “Arms race”, “Nuclear annihilation”, “Peace, Freedom, and The American Way”.  These theories seemed important during the most crucial moments of US and Soviet tensions, so why not today?  Especially when a whole nation of Prozac poppin’, Bud Light drinkin’, fast food binging, TV zombie inner-child spoiled brats are fully convinced that Johnny Jihad and his Forty Thieves are to blame for every malicious evil that lurks on the opposite side of their one dimensional white picket electric fences.

 

The War Process shall continue undisturbed, and a nation of frightened sheep will thank the Bush Dynasty ever-so-gratefully by showering them with high popularity ratings and excessive amounts of young blood to grease the gears of an important and necessary World Police Force.

 

At least the War against Communism had a respectable counter-culture committed to ending the senseless violence of their day.

 

At a very critical moment, a whole generation of everyday people woke up from their dazed slumber to realize the jaded hypocrisy of the American Dream.  They struck back at the “Masters of War” with an idea of peace and understanding.   They conveyed the beauty of their vision to the masses through words and music, through non-violent protests and steadfast patience.

 

A system of skeptical nay-sayers and conformed automatons attempted to slander their ways by insisting their “hippy-dippy bullshit” was a result of “communist and enemy infiltration”.

 

However, the idea that the war could be over was a romantic concept, and while mind expanding experiences in the movement exposed the lies and degeneration proliferated by the elitists on top, a counter-culture gyrating around the ideas of peace and harmony proved to be more rational than the fruits of endless war could impossibly conceive.

 

What are we left with today?  Where is our counter-culture headed?  Is there a counter-culture at all?  These will prove to be good questions when the War on Terror spreads like a plague to all corners of the globe.  Statistics are showing that more and more college students are diving head first into the right wing side of politics.  It seems to be no surprise that neoconservative republicans could be hailed as champions and heroes in these grizzly and menacing times.

 

Blood lusting nationalism has taken a front seat to good morals and basic civil rights, and subservient patriotism is the new gauge of a devout and pious Good Citizen.  Violence in America has become a way of life to the point where it seems to be the new religion.  It dominates our airwaves, households, and social behaviors.  In a society blinded to the realities of these perils, its no wonder that our addiction to war is so rampant, or that the maturing mind of a teenager would choose to play a blood-lusting shoot-em-up video game as opposed to indulging in the ideas of a Hemingway or Kurt Vonnegut novel.

 

So as the rain of ash continues to fall, it becomes quite evident that this storm’s menacing overtones are indeed a prophetic metaphor for our state of being in these dark times.  Where the ashes fall are not secluded to this war in Iraq, but any place where the flames of apathy and destruction burn away what we have left of a human existence.

 

When the ravages of war have incinerated all hope for a better tomorrow, the only direction for those smoldering hopes to fall are down to a barren wasteland.  War has certainly evolved much from the early days of hand to hand combat into what we are faced with today:

 

An omnipotent beast devouring all life everywhere and at once.  Ironically, while technology and its ability to correct our dehibilitating mistakes has also evolved, our desire for compassion and understanding have definitely not.  Because of our unwillingness to change the current pattern of mass destruction, this new process of conflict is not waged solely on an urban battlefield.  This war on all fronts is fought everyday and in every aspect of your life:  In your homes, in your neighborhoods, in your schools, and in your minds.  In light of this insidious force, it would appear that the human race is certainly doomed.  However, these machinations are simply a result of our own neglect to ourselves.

 

The only way to prevent our doomed future is to understand it for what it is, our future.

 

During the insane climax of the Vietnam War, a leading spokesperson for the counterculture serenely stabbed at the heart of the vicious conundrum facing the world. John Lennon summed up humanity’s biggest problem, and its solution, with one simple revelation:

                                      “War is over!  If you want it.”

 

FIGHT TO SURVIVE!!

 

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.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

Marine Killed In Anbar

 

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters)

 

A U.S. Marine was killed in action in Iraq's western Al Anbar province, the U.S. military said on Sunday.

 

The soldier, who belonged to the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, died on Saturday, the military said in a statement.

 

 

Crowley Soldier Dies When Tank Hits Mine

 

February 20, 2005 By Beverly Corbell, Louisiana Gannett News Service,

 

CROWLEY - A Crowley soldier, Spc. Seth Trahan, 20, was killed in Iraq on Saturday, according to family members.

 

Crowley Mayor Isabella dela Houssaye said she had been told Trahan died around noon when his tank patrol hit a land mine. She did not know the family, she said.

 

Trahan was the son of Emma and Randy Trahan of Crowley.  A family spokesman at their home said family members were still too upset to speak with reporters.

 

 

Resistance Attack In Falluja;

U.S. Military Vehicles Burning

 

2.20.05 Aljazeera

 

Residents of Falluja said the city was sealed off by soldiers after fighters launched a missile at a roadblock operated by US and Iraqi soldiers.

 

Several military vehicles were set ablaze, but residents said they were unable to determine whether there were casualties.

 

 

Huge Fire Breaks Out In State's Pharmaceutical Warehouse In Mosul

 

BAGHDAD, Feb 20 (KUNA)

 

A medical source said in a press statement today that a huge fire erupted in the building of a state-owned pharmaceutical marketing company Sunday afternoon in Mosul, adding that fire engines rushed to the scene to put out the fire.

 

The source, requesting anonymity, explained that the fire was caused by armed clashes between the US forces and unidentified gunmen which took place near the building, without giving any further information on the number of the victims.

 

 

U.S. In Not Very Secret Talks With Iraqi Resistance

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this.  He writes: It's interesting that the resistance groups that the U.S. is talking with are consciously looking to the model of the IRA when their strategy basically failed to liberate Ireland from the clutches of the British as opposed to, say, the NLF in Vietnam which did win (eventually, and after decades and huge costs). Also, the fact that the resistance groups mentioned in the article say they "wouldn't mind" a UN occupation or permanent US bases leads me to believe that either these groups are somewhat marginal within the resistance itself because of their semi-collaborationist positions, or a lot of resistance fighters are going to be feel very betrayed by their bourgeois nationalist leaders if any kind of negotiated settlement actually comes about.]

 

Feb 20, 2005 WASHINGTON (Reuters)

 

U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers are conducting secret talks with Iraq's Sunni insurgents on ways to end fighting there, Time magazine reported on Sunday, citing Pentagon and other sources.

 

The Bush administration has said it would not negotiate with Iraqi fighters and there is no authorized dialogue but the U.S. is having "back-channel" communications with certain insurgents, unidentified Washington and Iraqi sources told the magazine.

 

The magazine cited a secret meeting between two members of the U.S. military and an Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein's regime and the senior representative of what he called the nationalist insurgency.

 

Iraqi insurgent leaders not aligned with al Qaeda ally Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi told the magazine several nationalist groups composed of what the Pentagon calls "former regime elements" have become open to negotiating.

 

When asked about the contacts, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a member of both the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees, said it was important to "reach out" in Iraq.

 

"We've got a very complicated and dangerous situation over there and you are going to have to reach out, you are going to have to develop some relationships and networks," he said on CNN's "Late Edition."

 

Controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi said on Sunday the outcome of any negotiations between insurgents and the U.S. military would not be binding for a new Iraqi government.

 

"I know nothing about such negotiations. Those negotiations will in no way bind the elected government of Iraq," he said in an interview with ABC's "This Week." "The issue here is not negotiating with the killers who are killing the Iraqi people."

[He’s pissing his pants.  He has no future without the occupation, except exile or a grave.  Jordan wants him for bank fraud.]

 

MORE:

 

The Time Magazine Report:

“Inside the secret dialogue between the U.S. and insurgents in Iraq—and what the rebels say they want.”

 

Feb. 20, 2005 By MICHAEL WARE, Time Magazine

 

The secret meeting is taking place in the bowels of a facility in Baghdad, a cavernous, heavily guarded building in the U.S.-controlled green zone.  The Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein's regime and the senior representative of the self-described nationalist insurgency, sits on one side of the table.

 

He is here to talk to two members of the U.S. military.

 

One of them, an officer, takes notes during the meeting.  The other, dressed in civilian clothes, listens as the Iraqi outlines a list of demands the U.S. must satisfy before the insurgents stop fighting.  The parties trade boilerplate complaints: the U.S. officer presses the Iraqi for names of other insurgent leaders; the Iraqi says the newly elected Shi'a-dominated government is being controlled by Iran.  The discussion does not go beyond generalities, but both sides know what's behind the coded language.

 

The Iraqi's very presence conveys a message: Members of the insurgency are open to negotiating an end to their struggle with the U.S.  "We are ready," he says before leaving, "to work with you."

 

In that guarded pledge may lie the first sign that after nearly two years of fighting, parts of the insurgency in Iraq are prepared to talk and move toward putting away their arms—and the U.S. is willing to listen.

 

An account of the secret meeting between the senior insurgent negotiator and the U.S. military officials was provided to TIME by the insurgent negotiator.

 

He says two such meetings have taken place.  While U.S. officials would not confirm the details of any specific meetings, sources in Washington told TIME that for the first time the U.S. is in direct contact with members of the Sunni insurgency, including former members of Saddam's Baathist regime.

 

Pentagon officials say the secret contacts with insurgent leaders are being conducted mainly by U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers.  A Western observer close to the discussions says that "there is no authorized dialogue with the insurgents" but that the U.S. has joined "back-channel" communications with rebels.  Says the observer: "There's a lot bubbling under the surface today."

 

Over the course of the war in Iraq, as the anti-U.S. resistance has grown in size and intensity, Administration officials have been steadfast in their refusal to negotiate with enemy fighters.

 

But in recent months, the persistence of the fighting and signs of division in the ranks of the insurgency have prompted some U.S. officials to seek a political solution. And Pentagon and intelligence officials hope the high voter turnout in last month's election will deflate the morale of the insurgents and persuade more of them to come in from the cold.

 

Hard-line islamist fighters like Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda group will not compromise in their campaign to create an Islamic state.  But in interviews with TIME, senior Iraqi insurgent commanders said several "nationalist" rebel groups—composed predominantly of ex-military officers and what the Pentagon dubs "former regime elements"—have moved toward a strategy of "fight and negotiate."

 

Although they have no immediate plans to halt attacks on U.S. troops, they say their aim is to establish a political identity that can represent disenfranchised Sunnis and eventually negotiate an end to the U.S. military's offensive in the Sunni triangle.  Their model is Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, which ultimately earned the I.R.A. a role in the Northern Ireland peace process. "That's what we're working for, to have a political face appear from the battlefield, to unify the groups, to resist the aggressor and put our views to the people," says a battle commander in the upper tiers of the insurgency who asked to be identified by his nom de guerre, Abu Marwan. Another negotiator, called Abu Mohammed, told TIME, "Despite what has happened, the possibility for negotiation is still open."

 

But can such talks succeed?  A senior official in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad says the nationalist insurgents "want to cut a deal, thinking we get ours and they get theirs."  Any deal with the insurgents would be up to the new government, but embassy officials say they believe that reaching an accord should be the new government's top priority.

 

Behind the scenes, the U.S. is encouraging Sunni leaders and the insurgents to talk with the government.  A tougher job may be to convince the leaders of political parties about to assume power—many of whom were brutalized by Baathists now coordinating the insurgency—that it's in their interests to reach a peaceful settlement with their former tormentors.

 

In the U.S. command, there is increasing skepticism that the insurgency can be defeated through military might alone. Says a senior U.S. officer: "The Iraqis are the solution to the insurgency, and they are the solution to our departure."

 

Insurgent sources say both sides have been feeling each other out for months.

 

Some of the earliest advances were made last year through Jordanian intelligence officers, but insurgents balked at the idea of meeting in Jordan.  U.S. diplomats also initiated contact with conservative Sunnis known to have influence with the insurgents, such as Harith al-Dhari, the head of the Association of Muslim Scholars.

 

Insurgent sources say that last summer a loose amalgam of nationalist groups—Mohammed's Army, al-Nasser al-Saladin, the 1920 Revolution Brigades and perhaps even the Islamic Army of Iraq—met to discuss forging a common political platform.

 

Meanwhile, some Americans showed openness to a dialogue.  In meetings with Sunni tribal leaders, Lieut. Colonel Rick Welch, the senior special-operations civil-military affairs adviser to the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, put word out that the military was willing to talk to hard-liners about their grievances and that, as Welch says, "the door is not closed, except for some very top regime guys." Welch, a reservist and prosecutor from Morgan County, Ohio, told TIME, "I don't meet all the insurgent leaders, but I've met some of them."

 

Although not an authorized negotiator, Welch has become a back channel in the nascent U.S. dialogue with the insurgents.  Insurgent negotiators confirm to TIME that they have met with Welch.

 

What do the insurgents want?

 

Top insurgent field commanders and negotiators informed TIME that the rebels have told diplomats and military officers that they support a secular democracy in Iraq but resent the prospect of a government run by exiles who fled to Iran and the West during Saddam's regime.

 

The insurgents also seek a guaranteed timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, a demand the U.S. refuses.

 

But there are some hints of compromise: insurgent negotiators have told their U.S. counterparts they would accept a U.N. peacekeeping force as the U.S. troop presence recedes.  Insurgent representative Abu Mohammed says the nationalists would even tolerate U.S. bases on Iraqi soil.  "We don't mind if the invader becomes a guest," he says, suggesting a situation akin to the U.S. military presence in Germany and Japan.

 

As promising as such proffers might sound, it's far too early for optimism.  The new U.S. policy of engagement is aimed at driving a wedge between nationalist insurgents and the jihadists.

 

But al-Zarqawi and his allies have silenced nationalists by threatening to kill them if they negotiate.  The Western observer close to the discussions says, "Al-Zarqawi keeps pulling the process away from 'fight and negotiate' to 'pure mayhem.'"

 

The engagement strategy faces another obstacle: the new Iraqi government.  Leaders of the victorious political parties say they have no interest in continuing dialogue with the insurgents.  "The voters gave us a mandate to attack these insurgents, not negotiate with them," says Humam Bakr Hammoudi, a political strategist for the dominant sciri party.  U.S. negotiators say they believe the new government will eventually realize that only a political settlement will subdue the insurgency—which may soon direct its wrath at the new Iraqi rulers if it believes its interests are being ignored.

 

While some in the Bush Administration might find the idea of backing an accord with archenemy Baathists distasteful, the Western observer says, "I think you've got a pretty flexible [U.S.] government."  Now it's up to the others to follow.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

"Why Are We There?  Why Me? That's Basically What I Want To Say When I Write: Why?"

 

20 February 2005 By Monica Davey, The New York Times

 

On one more steaming day in Baghdad, word filtered out to the artillery regiment that some of the younger guys were not going to get to fly home for their promised rest-and-relaxation break. Soldiers fumed.  They'd spent months of long hours in this crazy place, knowing that at any moment a homemade bomb might explode, a rocket-propelled grenade might land or an Iraqi child might spit at them.

 

But though they were armed to the teeth, they chose to respond with a different kind of weapon.  They stepped outside and, of all things, began to rap.

 

"I started doing some of the most outlandish freestyle you can imagine," Javorn Drummond, an Army specialist from Wade, N.C., recalled the other day.  "We were just going off about how we do all the work, but we can't go home.  We didn't care who could hear.  We didn't have to care.  I'll tell you, it felt good.  At that time, they were killing us. We were working so hard we weren't getting sleep."

 

Moments like those, when service members turn to rap to express, and perhaps relieve, fear, aggression, resentment and exhaustion, have become a common part of life during nearly two years of war in Iraq.  "Rap is the one place," Specialist Drummond said, "where you can get out your aggravation - your anger at the people who outrank you, your frustration at the Iraqi people who just didn't understand what we were doing.  You could get out everything."

 

If rock 'n' roll, the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Creedence Clearwater Revival, was the music of American service members in Vietnam, rap may become the defining pulse for the war in Iraq. 

 

It has emerged as a rare realm where soldiers and marines, hardly known for talking about their feelings, are voicing the full range of their emotions and reactions to war. They rap about their resentment of the military hierarchy.  But they also rap about their pride, their invincibility, their fallen brothers, their disdain for the enemy and their determination to succeed.

 

As for the many soldiers who are writing and performing their own raps, their lyrics sample the lexicon of the war - the Sandbox, I.E.D.'s (improvised explosive devices), I.C.D.C. (the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps) and Haji (the word many soldiers use derogatorily for the enemy) - and the wide scope of their feelings about it. 

 

"There is a great potential for ambivalence in their words," said Jeff Chang, author of a new book, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation" (St. Martin's Press).  "That's part of the ambivalence hip-hop has often carried.  You hear two ideas in what they are saying here:  An implicit critique of 'what am I doing here?' but at the same time, the idea of loyalty to your street soldiers, loyalty to your troops, loyalty to the guys you ride with."

 

Rap might seem at odds with the conformity of military life, but Mr. Tucker, who served in the reserve in the 1980's, sees it as an extension of the cadence, or the calling-out songs to which troops run.  And from the lyrics they write, it's clear that some of these soldiers identify their role - urban guerilla warriors fighting an unseen enemy - with that of the heroes of the genre.  Even the USO has responded: They sent Nappy Roots, Bubba Sparks, 50 Cent and G-Unit to perform for soldiers in Iraq, and Ludacris appeared at a giant welcome home for soldiers at Fort Hood, Tex.

 

"Rap has become another part of barracks culture," Mr. Tucker said in a phone interview.  "As far as soldiers go, rap is almost the perfect medium: they are able to say so much, to let off steam and also to have so many hidden meanings in what they say."

 

One day in April 2004 Sgt. Nick Moncrief, who said he had felt close to death many times during his 14 months in Iraq, felt at least four bullets whiz past his face while he was guarding the perimeter of an area in Baghdad.  "Those bullets were close to me the way you're close when you're getting ready to kiss a girl."

 

Not long after that, he scribbled down a rap: "I noticed that my face is aging so quickly/Cuz I've seen more than your average man in his fifties/I'm 24 now/Got two kids and a wife/Having visions of them picturing me up out of they life."

 

Now back at his post in Germany, Sergeant Moncrief, who also appears in Mr. Tucker's film, has turned 25. "My message in my rap is that I have a lot of anger about the war," he said. "Why are we there? Why me? That's basically what I want to say when I write: Why?"

 

In "mortar alley," a Baghdad spot where service members held freestyle contests outside their sleeping quarters, half a dozen soldiers or more would gather around; when the mortar rounds started coming - as they so often did between 7 p.m. and midnight - the music swiftly ended and everyone raced inside.  As Specialist Terry Taylor, 27, recalls, those raps tended to come particularly fast. "You wouldn't want to wait too long," he said. "We got caught outside with mortars coming more than a few times."

 

Other nights, Specialist Taylor said, he and his friends would sneak a radio along when they had to escort some high-ranking officer, and rap while they waited through his appointment.

 

According to Bakari Kitwana, the author of "The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture," "the contradiction that people in the hip-hop culture see is that the war is creating job options and life possibilities not just for Iraqi people but for large American corporations, and meanwhile, the soldiers have no such options."

 

As for the soldiers, some say the war has helped break down whatever barriers of race or taste there may have been before among the troops on questions of music.  Rap, country, metal - it's all Iraq.

 

"I guess I don't even see the difference between rap and country anymore, except the beat," said Specialist Richmond Shaw, 21, who grew up in Pontiac, Mich., and wrote jarring raps in Iraq.  "We're talking about the same things.  We're all out here in the middle of this oven.  There's nothing going on.  It's desolate.  We're basically stuck.  Dirty, dusty, windy, blowing, miserable."

 

"I might be part of the Tupac generation," he went on, "but we're all trying to avoid getting shot, and we're all wondering whether people will remember us and we're trying to make difference before we die.  Isn't that what country music is about, too?"

 

Three days after Specialist Shaw's friend was shot in Iraq, he wrote a song.  He said he knew he was "living on borrowed time" and needed people back home to know that life there was real, not something on the news, not something in a press conference, not an idea.  He sat in his room to write it, looking out, he said, at a river, listening to the constant flapping of choppers going by, and once in a while, gunfire somewhere:

 

'Trials and tribulations daily we do/And not always life's pains wash away in our pool/When we take a dip, we try to stick to the script/But when those guns start blazing and our friends get hit/That's when our hearts start racing and our stomach gets whoozy/Cuz for y'all this is just a show, but we live in this movie."

 

Unless pressed, Sergeant Moncrief does not talk much about what he saw in the war. He is trying to live in the now, he says. But his raps are still coming.

 

"I don't know any other way to get my feelings out," Sergeant Moncrief said. "I was scared over there, and frankly, I think if you weren't scared, there was something wrong with you.  I rap because I feel it."

 

 

Ukrainian Soldiers Going Home

 

2.20.05 Aljazeera

 

Ukrainian soldiers are preparing to leave Iraq, Ukrainian television TV 5 Kanal reported on Sunday.

 

They started a planned handover of their zone of responsibility to the Iraqi army, in particular, the powers to guard a bridge in al-Suwaryra, a facility of strategic importance in al-Wasit province, will be handed over, added the TV report.

 

 

Georgia Organizers Report:

Reaching Out To The Troops

 

February 18 Report From D

 

Reservists, Vets...

 

The George State U antiwar group did some tabling this week with a "no military recruiters at GSU" message.

 

Many times the response was "I'm in the military."  So, in two days of tabling I met 10-12 service members and vets and a few military family members.

 

About half took a flyer w/ a GI Special weblink (GI Rights hotline, IVAW etc).

 

I'm getting someone at GSU to print some Traveling Soldiers for me. So, I will try to get our group to begin using those on campus at our table. (I didn't realize until after tabling that I should have told them about Ft. Bragg...)

 

I'm thinking that if there are also a lot of service members, vets and military families on other working-class campuses (like CCNY and SCCC) then they should also carry some Traveling Soldiers and consciously encourage their whole membership to distribute them to service members, vets, fam members they meet during tabling. 

 

 

Reserve, Guard Units Will Have To Wait A Year To Replace Gear

 

[European Stars and Stripes, February 18, 2005]

Reserve and National Guard units that leave equipment behind in Iraq and Afghanistan will have to wait more than a year before they get replacement gear.

 

 

Reserve Recruiting Collapses;

5 Components Miss Goals

 

[New York Times, February 17, 2005]

JCS Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said five of six military reserve components have not met their recruiting goals for the first four months of the current fiscal year.

 

 

How Bad Is It?

Dentist, 84, Gets An Offer To Reenlist In The Army

 

[Philadelphia Inquirer, February 17, 2005]

 

Floyd Baker, a semi-retired dentist, got an invitation from the Army to reenlist.  He was drafted in 1946 and discharged in 1948.

 

 

Military Commands Say Troops Stay In Iraq Until 12/05

 

[Washington Post, February 17, 2005, Pg. 12]

The Bush administration has not set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.  Military commanders have a timeline in mind, thinking that by year's end forces in Iraq could be cut back.  [The troops may have something to say about that.  Stay tuned.]

 

 

General Says Little Left For New War

 

[USA Today, February 17, 2005, Pg. 5]

JCS Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said the U.S. military is stretched thin and would have problems reacting as quickly and effectively as commanders would like if it had to go to war with Iran or North Korea.  [Translation: The Evil Empire is fucked.]

 

 

War Profiteer Boeing Sold Defective Survival Radios

 

[Bloomberg.com, February 16, 2005]

The Pentagon and the U.S. Army are looking into whether a Boeing Co. subcontractor that produced survival radios used by downed pilots and stranded soldiers withheld information about defects in the software it makes.

 

 

Hell On Earth:

The Dallas VA Hospital;

“Patients Dying Needlessly,” Doctor Says

 

Expecting a pleasant chat, they walked into his room one night and found him in bed, wearing only a diaper, unattended and not connected to equipment that monitors heart rate and blood pressure.  His call button was several feet away on a nightstand.

 

He had been dead so long his body was cold to the touch.  "His ears were blue, and his tongue was black," said his granddaughter, Teresa Garvin of Coppell. "More than half his body was discolored."

 

February 13, 2005 By DOUG J. SWANSON, The Dallas Morning News

 

John Hahn lay marooned in his bed last year at the Dallas veterans' hospital, desperately seeking a nurse.  An Air Force vet whose terminal bone cancer had made him a paraplegic, Mr. Hahn required turning every two hours.

 

That day, March 21, he started at 5:30 a.m. pushing his call button, which rang at the nearby nurse's station.  No one came.  He pushed it throughout the morning and into the afternoon, and still nothing.

 

"Called/Requested help for the past 8 hrs," he wrote in his journal.

 

Finally, in anger and frustration, Mr. Hahn used his bedside phone to summon the police.

 

An officer arrived within minutes, and nurses said they had in fact checked on Mr. Hahn several times.  When the officer left, a hospital aide gave the patient the relief he sought.

 

"Took 5 min," Mr. Hahn, 61, wrote in his journal.  "Within an 8 hr period of time they couldn't find 5 mins. to turn me."

 

Although his solution was unusual, Mr. Hahn's story of neglect at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center is not.

 

Virginia Pritchett of Mineral Wells recalled her father's stay there for hip surgery.

 

"I can take my animals to the veterinarian and get better treatment than my father got at the Dallas VA," she said. "They shouldn't do this to anybody, let alone someone who fights for their country."

 

Tammy Turner of Fort Worth also took her father to the Dallas VA. "They made it a living hell there," she said.

 

Stephanie Canada of Dallas remembered her husband's hospitalization last year for a stroke.  "The nurses there do not care if people live or die," she said.  "There was plenty of staff, but they'd rather play cards."

 

Even those with major complaints about the hospital praised some individual doctors, nurses and therapists who showed extraordinary devotion to duty.  Some singled out the spinal cord injury unit as particularly good.

 

But many of those interviewed also described deliberate mistreatment at the hands of nurses and support staff.  They portrayed much of the medical center as a dirty and ill-equipped institution where patients cry out vainly for aid and others are left to die alone.

 

Ms. Pritchett, for example, said nurses and aides routinely ignored her bed-ridden father, an 81-year-old Marine veteran of World War II who won the Navy Cross.  He wasn't alone in his suffering at the hospital's Transitional Care Unit.

 

"I would be walking down the hall, and patients would be calling out for me to get help, because the nurses wouldn't answer," Ms. Pritchett said.  When she went to nurses to complain, she said, she found them "sitting there having lunch."

 

Steve Van Note, a Plano police officer, said his stepfather, an Army veteran of World War II, checked into the Dallas VA in late 2003 for treatment of breathing problems. In his bathroom "there was feces splattered on the wall," Mr. Van Note said.  "In one week alone there were three or four days when they didn't feed him."

 

Aides told the family the patient had been set for medical tests that required them to withhold food.  Actually, Mr. Van Note said, no tests had been scheduled.

 

At the stepfather's request, the family moved him to a private facility, Mr. Van Note said. "Even he himself said, 'I need to get out of here and get to another hospital.'"

 

His stepfather, John M. Patton, died in April at the age of 74.

 

Not only patients and families find fault. Dr. Dell Simmons, a resident physician in emergency medicine at the Dallas VA, said patients are dying needlessly.

 

"Lives are being lost unnecessarily due to the mismanagement of this facility," Dr. Simmons said.  "We're constantly in a battle to get care accomplished. ... They have an undertrained and undermanned staff, and it's poorly deployed."

 

Dr. Simmons, who is in the second month of his residency, said many patients face long delays in receiving routine tests and procedures, especially on nights and weekends. "Those kinds of things can turn a problem that can be easily treated into a disaster," he said, adding that he sees little hope for improvement.  "People here have really kind of given up fixing problems."

 

The inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs, in a report completed in November 2004, gave the Dallas hospital low marks in many areas, including sanitation, management and patient safety.

 

Robert Faulkner of Abilene, an Air Force veteran and safety engineer, said he was admitted to the hospital in November and found his room filthy.  A urine-soaked pad had been left under his bed, he said. He discovered another pad in the nightstand drawer, this one smeared with excrement.

 

"There was bloody gauze all over the floor," Mr. Faulkner said. "I showed it to the nurse, and she said, 'What do you expect? This is the VA.' "

 

Dorothy Davis of Dallas said the man for whom she is a legal caretaker, a 56-year-old Army veteran, spent time in the Dallas VA in October for a stroke that paralyzed his left side.  "He received the worst care any human could have," she said.

 

Ms. Davis said the man, who asked that he not be identified for fear of retaliation, had a tracheotomy with a breathing tube inserted.  Such tubes often need to be suctioned for the removal of mucous and saliva.  Many times, she said, nurses refused to perform this procedure.

 

"I literally had to go in and do the suction for him," she said. "The nurses would disappear."

 

Last month, The News disclosed results of a federal survey of medical students at the Dallas VA.  They said an incompetent and uncaring nursing staff often neglected and abused patients.

 

One day later, the chief of nursing services for the hospital was replaced.  And the national veterans health office in Washington announced it was sending two special teams to Dallas to investigate conditions.

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs turned down a request by The News to interview members of the inspection teams.  The department also refused requests for interviews with managers of the nursing service at the Dallas VA.

 

Many patients and families said hospital management has shown little interest in reacting to problems.

 

Ms. Turner said she filed an estimated 10 complaints with hospital officials but never received a satisfactory response.  "Nobody wants to do anything there," she said. "Ninety percent of the people, if you ask them to do anything, they act like you asked them to do a flip or something."

 

Her father, an ex-Marine named Ronald Short, had cancer that had spread to his spine, she said.  That made sitting or standing excruciatingly painful. So when she brought him to the Dallas VA for his check-ups, Ms. Turner said, he needed to lie on a gurney.

 

However, she said, "they wouldn't ever have a gurney. ... They told me they didn't have enough."

 

Once, while waiting to see a doctor, "He said, 'I've got to lay down. I've got to lay down now,' " Ms. Turner recalled. With no bed or gurney available, "I had to take him outside on one of those steel benches in the pouring rain."

 

Mr. Short died last year at age 68.  During one of his hospital stays, Ms. Turner said, "two of the nurses that were supposed to be helping my dad were out in the hallway cussing up a storm about what they had to do for him.  My dad could hear the whole thing."

 

She conveyed her concerns about such treatment to hospital officials, Ms. Turner said. "They never got back with us on anything.  Nothing."

 

Lynn Lopez, the daughter of the journal-keeping Mr. Hahn, echoed those sentiments. "We complained at least 15 or 20 times over three months," she said.  "The response was kind of like a brush-off.  You never saw anything different."

 

For example, she said that despite their complaints, the staff often failed to give Mr. Hahn all his medications.  Sometimes they would find his pills dumped into his bed, Mrs. Lopez said.

 

"We basically turned into the policing agency," she said.  "We had somebody up at that hospital 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week."  Mr. Hahn died in June.

 

Frank Watson, a retired American Airlines executive and Navy veteran, came to the hospital's Transitional Care Unit in January for a two-week stay. Mr. Watson, 74, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

 

Mr. Watson, who once enjoyed playing tennis, was diagnosed with the degenerative nerve disease in 2002.  It has left him with no use of his legs and only two functioning fingers. He went to the Dallas VA so his wife, Carol, could have a much-needed break from caring for him.

 

Mr. Watson had been a patient at the medical center about five years before, "and everything was terrific," he said.  This time was different.

 

He got one bath in two weeks.  His teeth were never brushed.  An emaciated patient roamed from room to room, stealing food off other patients' trays.  Nurses told Mr. Watson that the man had a tapeworm.

 

When he needed to urinate, Mr. Watson pressed his call button for help with the bottle. Frequently no one responded.  This made little sense to Mr. Watson, who could see the nurse's station from his bed.

 

"I could see three or four nurses sitting over there just chatting, having a good time," he said.  "Sometimes they'd let it ring for around a half-hour."

 

At times he was left lying in his own waste for hours, and no one would answer his call button.  "One night they just turned it off for an hour or more," he said.

 

On another occasion he asked a nurse who was in his room to help him move his feet to ease his pain. "I said, ' Nurse, could you help me for a second?'  She said no and just kept on going out the door."

 

After he returned home, the Watsons complained and received an apology from one of the nursing managers.  "He asked that we give him another chance," Mrs. Watson said. "I would never send Frank back there. Never."

 

A death unnoticed

Another family - a daughter, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren - came to the Dallas VA in October to visit David Sledge, 67, an Army veteran who had been admitted two days before with symptoms of a possible stroke.

 

Expecting a pleasant chat, they walked into his room one night and found him in bed, wearing only a diaper, unattended and not connected to equipment that monitors heart rate and blood pressure.  His call button was several feet away on a nightstand.

 

He had been dead so long his body was cold to the touch. "His ears were blue, and his tongue was black," said his granddaughter, Teresa Garvin of Coppell. "More than half his body was discolored."

 

She went to the nurse's station about 50 feet down the hall.  The time was 8 p.m.  "I asked the nurse, 'When was the last time you checked on David Sledge?' " Ms. Garvin said. "She said, 'We checked on him about 6:30 [p.m.]. Why?' "

 

An autopsy later showed the cause of death to be cardiac arrest, Ms. Garvin said.

 

An attending physician had this explanation for Ms. Garvin of her grandfather's unattended death: "She stated to me, 'I apologize, but our nurses are overworked and underpaid, and things like this just happen.' "

 

With the next wave of VA patients coming from the war in Iraq, officials are bracing for new challenges and increased scrutiny.

 

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)

 

 

Inspection:

 

P= Problem logged by the pilot.

S= Solution and action taken by ground crew.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

----------------------------------------

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.

S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

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P: Something loose in cockpit.

S: Something tightened in cockpit.

----------------------------------------

P: Dead bugs on windshield.

S: Live bugs on back-order.

----------------------------------------

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.

S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

----------------------------------------

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

S: Evidence removed.

----------------------------------------

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.

S: DME volume set to more believable level.

----------------------------------------

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

S: That's what they're for.

----------------------------------------

P: IFF inoperative.

S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

----------------------------------------

P: Suspected crack in windshield.

S: Suspect you're right.

----------------------------------------

P: Number 3 engine missing.

S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

----------------------------------------

P: Aircraft handles funny.

S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

----------------------------------------

P: Target radar hums.

S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

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P: Mouse in cockpit.

S: Cat installed.

----------------------------------------

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on   something with a hammer.

S: Took hammer away from midget

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Action

 

February 20, 2005 The Associated Press

 

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting a convoy of Iraqi troops killed two Iraqi National Guardsmen in western, a commander said.  The blast occurred in Ghazaliyah and destroyed a truck the guardsmen were riding in, police 1st Lt. Ali Hussein al-Hamadani said.

 

In the same area, coalition gunners in a convoy opened fire on a car that approached too closely, killing an Iraqi man, said police 1st Lt. Muthana Hussein.

 

In a separate shooting in Baghdad, foreign troops shot and killed a woman and injured another person traveling with her in Amiriyah, on the dangerous road to Baghdad's international airport, al-Hamadani said.  The small white car could be seen on the road Sunday, its shattered windows splattered with blood.

 

Explosions reverberated in the capital throughout the day and into the night.

 

East of Baquba, some 65km northeast of Baghdad, fighters ambushed and killed an Iraqi soldier as he went home, an army officer said.

 

 

"We Are Living As Strangers In Our Own Country."

 

February 15, 2005 Rory Carroll in Baghdad, The Guardian

 

Yesterday in al-Mansure, a Sunni district of Baghdad, people had no regrets about boycotting the election.

 

"It was not legitimate," said Faizal Muhammad, 38, a tea shop owner. "We are living as strangers in our own country."

 

He accused American patrols of intimidation and said snipers in a communications tower overlooking his shop were trigger-happy. Destroyed in the Gulf war, the structure was rebuilt in 1994 and named Saddam Tower.  It had a revolving restaurant popular with tourists and members of the regime.  But it was wrecked in the most recent war, and its base is now ringed by sandbags, barbed wire and cement blocks behind which US soldiers' helmets can be seen.

 

"It was a symbol of Iraq.  Now it is a symbol of occupation," said Mr Muhammad.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

“We Will Resist Until The Last Drop Of Our Blood”

 

February 16 Anti-Allawi-group

 

Comments by Ahmed Al-Habbabi:

 

“Let's listen to what a genuine Iraqi worker and unionist has to say on the resistance.

 

“The man formed a union at root level among fellow workers in Basra after the invasion, in defiance of the occupation authorities and the central union in Baghdad, which was over-run by the imported CPI gang that came into Iraq on American tanks to speak for the Iraqi workers they do not know.

 

“This man organized a strike and pressured the occupation authority to grant some of the workers' demands.

 

“I would say this guy's words must be more authentic than any party's theory claiming to be a left and worker struggle supporter.”

 

Socialist Worker (UK) 19 February 2005: Issue 1939

 

Hassan Jumaa Awad, the president of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra, Iraq, received a standing ovation from the conference.  Here is an extract from his speech:

 

I would like to salute you.  Your activities here are hidden from the Iraqi people.  I have been amazed since arriving in Britain how many young people in particular are active in the anti-war movement.

 

I come from country where people are being raped.  I was very moved when I heard the families of the British soldiers speak.  The people of Iraq are suffering thousands of casualties from the British and US forces.

 

The excuse was to liberate Iraq.  But while Saddam used to come and arrest us at night, the US army comes to arrest us during the day.  This is a "democracy" built on destruction.

 

Anyone who opposes the US is seen as a terrorist.  The Americans are attacking people who are defending their own lives, wealth and proper.

 

The US is intending to stay a long time - to privatise the oil industry, the economy and to run Iraq.  They came for the sake of oil, not just in Iraq, but for control of the entire Gulf.

 

The US's Paul Bremer passed a law that prevents the formation of trade unions and even public gatherings.

 

Iraqis decided to organise themselves and resist within a month of the occupation. So now the US has destroyed the uprising in Sadr City. They have destroyed the uprising in Najaf. They have destroyed the uprising in Fallujah.

 

They want to hold us down with weapons. But we will resist until the last drop of our blood, until all the foreign troops have left Iraq.

 

We appeal to you to support the popular resistance who are trying their best to get rid of the occupation.  We appeal to you to support democratic rights in Iraq.

 

 

Two Cops Wounded In Basra Explosion

 

BASRA, Feb 20 (KUNA)

 

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded downtown Basra Sunday, wounding two policemen and a civilian, witnesses told KUNA.

 

The witnesses said that the IED was targeting a police patrol and exploded when the patrol passed by in a street in downtown Basra.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: February 20, 2005

 

The difference between a liberal and a radical is, the liberal is still naive.

 

Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71

 

 

Dying In Vain:

“We Aren't Fighting To Win Anymore”

 

In short, U.S. troops today are no longer fighting to win, but simply to buy time: This has become the Bush administration's substitute for victory.  

 

February 20, 2005 By Andrew J. Bacevich, L.A. Times

 

Americans of a certain age will recall Douglas MacArthur's pithy aphorism: "There is no substitute for victory."  The remark captures an essential element of our military tradition.  When the United States goes to war, it fights to win, to force the enemy to do our will. To sacrifice our soldiers' lives for anything less - as MacArthur charged was the case in Korea and later unambiguously became the case in Vietnam - smacks of being somehow un-American.

 

But among the various official statements being issued to explain events in Iraq, any mention of military victory has become notable by its absence.  Tacitly - unnoticed even by the war's critics - the Bush administration has all but given up any expectation of defeating the enemy with whom we are engaged.

 

In the early days of the insurgency, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez vowed to use "whatever combat power is necessary to win," displaying all the pugnacity of a George Patton or Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf.  "That's what America expects of me," declared Sanchez in December 2003, "and that's what I'm going to accomplish."  Senior commanders no longer make such bold promises.  Nor do senior civilian officials in Washington.

 

Indeed, today the Bush administration's aim is not to win but to relieve itself of responsibility for waging a war that it began but cannot finish.  Debate in national security circles focuses not on deploying war-winning technologies or fielding innovative tactics that might turn the tide, but on how we can extricate ourselves before our overstretched forces suffer irreparable damage.

 

Optimists are placing their hopes on a crash program to create a new Iraqi security force that just might permit us in a year or so to begin reducing the size of our garrison. Pessimists have their doubts.  But virtually no one is predicting we will be even remotely close to crushing the insurgency.  The decisive victory promised by the war's advocates back in March 2003 - remember all the talk of "shock and awe"? - has now slipped beyond our grasp.

 

Of course, following the heady assault on Baghdad, the conflict took an unexpected turn - precisely as wars throughout history have tended to do.  As a consequence, today a low-tech enemy force estimated at about 10,000 fighters has stymied the mightiest military establishment the world has ever seen.

 

To be sure, the adversary cannot defeat us militarily.  But neither can we defeat it.

 

In short, U.S. troops today are no longer fighting to win, but simply to buy time: This has become the Bush administration's substitute for victory.  Worse, in a war such as in Iraq, time is more likely to work in the other guy's favor.

 

Better to talk about Social Security reform and banning gay marriage than to call attention to the unhappy fact that we are spending several billion dollars per month and losing, on average, two soldiers per day - not to prevail but simply to prolong the stalemate.

 

Moreover, if the administration gets its way, we can expect that expenditure of blood and treasure to continue for many months, until there emerges an Iraqi government able to fend for itself or Iraq descends into chaos.

 

Pending the final judgment of President Bush's war, this much we can say for sure: Two years after the dash on Baghdad seemingly affirmed the invincibility of the U.S. armed forces, the actual limits of American power now lay exposed for all to see.

 

 

"We Screwed Up...We Have Got To Get Out."

 

2-14-05 By Carl Mirra, History News Network

 

Whatever the motives behind the intervention, it is a failure that must come to an end, according to many former military strategists.  William Odom, Director of the National Security Agency in the eighties, describes Iraq as a "strategic disaster," the "sooner we leave, the better."

 

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, William Crowe, puts it bluntly: "we screwed up...we have got to get out.”

 

 

Hill Told Intelligence Officials "Baffled"

 

[Washington Post, February 17, 2005, Pg. 1]

 

National security officials told Congress that Iraq's insurgency continues to baffle American military and intelligence officials.  [Reading some Patrick Henry might help.  Or Thomas Paine.  Both wrote about why it is right to resist Imperial occupation.  Duh.]

 

 

Game Over

 

January-February 2005 By Rick Jahnkow, Draft Notices

 

If the military believes it cannot marshal the resources needed to carry out its mission, and if the draft is an unacceptable solution because of the perceived likelihood of a severe political backlash, it leaves only the choice of changing the mission.

 

In other words, the US would have to find a way to begin phasing out its occupation of Iraq relatively soon.

 

Even though Bush has talked about staying the course, there is little he can do if the troops, money, and will are not there to continue, and if the career officers at the Pentagon become more vocal in defending their own vital institutional interests.  In this case, the Pentagon's interests are best served by changing the mission rather than resorting to a draft.

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Rumsfeld Won't Tell Senate How Big Resistance Is:

Fool Thinks Resistance Doesn't Know How Big It Is;

Fools In Senate Accept His Idiocy

 

[Washington Times, February 17, 2005, Pg. 4]

 

Secretary Rumsfeld said the intelligence community has come up with different estimates about the size if Iraq's insurgency.  He would not reveal the numbers of insurgents contained in classified documents prepared by the CIA and the DIA.

 

 

Rumsfeld Facing Contempt Of Court Charge For Continuing With Experimental, Illegal Anthrax Shots

 

Washington, DC, Feb. 15 (UPI)

 

A judge in Washington has warned Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld he could face contempt for ignoring a ruling on Pentagon anthrax vaccinations.

 

In October, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan largely struck down the U.S. military's involuntary vaccinations for weaponized anthrax.

 

The judge said the program could not be administered unless individual service members give "informed consent" to the vaccinations, President Bush issues a specific waiver or the Food And Drug Administration properly classifies a drug for use in the program.

 

A 1999 executive order by then President Bill Clinton required "informed consent" before administering the vaccine.

 

Monday, Sullivan ordered "Donald H. Rumsfeld" to "show cause by Feb. 28" why "he/or the government should not be held in contempt" for failing to follow the earlier ruling.

 

Sullivan also ordered Pentagon employees and soldiers challenging the program to respond to an emergency motion by the Pentagon asking that the earlier injunction be modified.

 

In October, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan largely struck down the U.S. military's involuntary vaccinations for weaponized anthrax.

 

The judge said the program could not be administered unless individual service members give "informed consent" to the vaccinations, President Bush issues a specific waiver or the Food And Drug Administration properly classifies a drug for use in the program.

 

A 1999 executive order by then President Bill Clinton required "informed consent" before administering the vaccine.

 

 

SATAN APPEARS AT D.C. PRESS CONFERENCE

Satan ponders a question during a press conference at a White House office building, February 17, 2005.  He vowed to support Israel if its security is threatened by Tehran.  “When it comes to evildoing, Israel is in a class by itself,” he said.  “They’re my homies.” (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

 

"The marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have been attacked by a faceless enemy.  But the enemy has got a face.  He's called Satan.”  US Marine Colonel Gareth Brandl

 

 

Our Friends, The Torturers

 

Bob Herbert [New York Times, February 18, 2005]

 

If the U.S. government considers Syria such a horrible state, then why did the Bush administration arrest a Canadian citizen, and then hand him over to the Syrians, who promptly tortured him?

 

 

GI Special distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without charge or profit for purely educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  Go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

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