www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

3.13.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3A72:

 

 

Photo: Vietnam 1970                                                                                             (Mike Hastie)

 

When I marched off to war in 1917, I remember a Civil War veteran, over seventy years old, telling me, “Son, you are all heroes now.  But someday they’ll treat you like dogs.”

                                                      Benjamin B. Shepherd

                                                            World War I Veteran

 

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.  (Contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more of this outstanding work.  T)

 

 

All Out For Ft. Bragg March 19:

Bring The Troops Home NOW!

 

From: Lou Plummer

To: GI Special

Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 6:26 AM

 

Fayetteville is really popping.

 

The Friday night concert is blowing up.

 

The program on Saturday is amazing and we're hearing from folks all over the country who are coming.

 

The Sunday organizer's conference and meetings of Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out, are all falling in place.

 

In short, Fayetteville is going to be something else!

 

Check out the website www.ncpeacejustice.org for all the updates. Make sure you check out the list of speakers at http://www.ncpeacejustice.org/article.php?id=91

 

Problem is...we're just about out of money.

 

Unfortunately, there's much less access to organizing money down here, and we're going about this about every way that we can imagine right now, but there are still huge gaps to fill.

 

Ultimately, with the numbers that we're expecting, and the plan we are developing, we believe that we can bring in probably a fair amount of cash on the 19th, but we need the money to get us there.  I'm asking y'all to consider

 

a) personally signing on as a co-sponsor (which I know you have)

b) getting your organizations to sign on

c) passing the letter along to folks you know, especially folks you know that have deep pockets

d) sharing with us any resources that you may know of.

 

I don't think that I'm exaggerating when I say that this weekend is going lead to dramatic shifts in the military families/vets/GI movements, and Southern anti-war movement more broadly.

 

Please be as creative as possible on this one y'all, we need all the help we can get.

 

Peace,

Lou Plummer

Military Families Speak Out

Bring Them Home Now!

Fayetteville Peace With Justice

 

MORE:

 

Bush Is Getting $81 Billion For The War:

Can You Spare Some $ For Reaching Out To Troops Against The War?

 

From:

Lou Plummer,

March 19 Organizer,

NC Peace & Justice Coalition

 

Dear Supporter

 

I am writing to you to ask for your financial support for the upcoming March and Rally to Bring the Troops Home Now in Fayetteville, NC, home of Ft. Bragg, March 19.

 

This event has grown far larger than we could have dreamed of when we started planning in November.

 

With military families and veterans central to the program and planning, we are mobilizing thousands from around the country.

 

This historic event demands significant financial investments from the community to support the work of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and the NC Peace & Justice Coalition.

 

Our budget calls for $30,000, and we are half-way there!

 

We need funds for airfare for speakers like Camilo Mejia, an Iraq Vet and Conscientious Objector, and Abdul Henderson, the Marine reservist featured in Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11.  We have to pay for a top-rate sound system, permits, room rentals, and advertisements, postcards, and literature to reach tens of thousands of people.

 

We need your donation to keep up with the costs.  We are seeking online or check donations of $50.  If you fill in the co-sponsor form at www.NCpeacejustice.org by Sunday March 13, we can include your name or your group in the March 19 Program.

 

Your financial support is essential to supporting the work of a growing number of veterans, reservists, soldiers and their families who are speaking out against the war in Iraq.

 

Donations by Check:

Make out to “TSEC” (Twin Streams Education Center, Peace 1st)

Mark checks "March 19"

Mail to: Wes Hare, 243 Flemington Rd, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517.

 

Contribute online: at http://www.ncpeacejustice.org

 

The March 19 event falls on the second anniversary of the beginning of the war.  The program features dozens of military-related speakers.  A full program is online, with highlights including:

 

Kelly Dougherty, Co-Founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Colorado:  An eight-year veteran of the Colorado National Guard, she served as an MP Sergeant in Nazariah.  "We formed it (IVAW) just to give returning Iraqi veterans who are disillusioned and angry with the government and with this war in Iraq, a way to come together and organize a voice because we think it's powerful to have returning veterans especially who have seen what it is like over there, to speak against it."

 

Abdul Henderson, Marine reservist featured in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 Henderson stated he would not return to Iraq if his reserve unit was called back to duty, saying "I will not let anyone send me back over there to kill other poor people; especially when they pose no threat to me or my country.  Mr. Henderson has also been featured on radio shows Democracy Now and the Joe Madison Show.  In addition, he has appeared on the morning show Good Morning America and CNN's show Inside Politics.

 

Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, California:  Her son Casey, a soldier, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004.  "Our family never agreed with the war or it's reasons, but since Casey was killed, so many of the reasons and rationalizations that Bush has given have proven to be lies.  My goal is to bring our troops home to try and save another mother from going through what I am going through"

 

Sincerely

Lou Plummer,

lou.plummer@mac.com,

910-433-9053

March 19 Organizer, NC Peace & Justice Coalition

 

 

WHY?

 

 

From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 10:44 AM

Subject: WHY

 

To G.I. Special,

 

As a medic in Vietnam, there were two back to back experiences that remain vivid in my mind for the past 35 years.

 

On a firebase one day, I helped put a severely wounded American soldier on a medevac helicopter.  He was barely alive, because he had been shot in the abdomen.  We were trying desperately to get him to an evacuation hospital, so he could be operated on.

 

As the chopper lifted off, I saw something written on the front of the helicopter just above the Red Cross: It simply said, " WHY." That teenage soldier never made it to the operating room.

 

Two days later, I was awakened in the middle of the night by another medic, and told that a soldier had shot himself in his tent.  When I got there, he was lying under his bunk. When I turned him over, I realized he had taken his M-16 and shot himself in the front of his head.

 

The whole back of his skull was blown out, and I eventually had brain tissue and blood all over myself.  

 

He was nineteen, a heroin addict, and was getting ready to go home. But, like so many heroin addicts I saw in Vietnam, he was scared to go home with a full blown addiction, so he took his own life.

 

By the time I left Vietnam, I had experienced the rapid deterioration of U.S. operations in Southeast Asia.  In looking back, I never once had a conversation with a fellow soldier about the merits of being in Vietnam.  By 1971, most of us knew that the war was a big fucking lie!

 

Nothing made any sense anymore.

 

For so many of us, something died in us over there.  I have never felt like I came home.

 

In fact, when people say, " Welcome Home," it means nothing to me.

 

Betrayal has always been the unspeakable wound that no one wants to talk about.

 

For me, it almost became the lethal injection that destroyed my life.

 

After I experienced that suicide, I remember throwing my blood soaked fatigue jacked into a 55 gallon oil drum.

 

Now, here it is 2005, and I am experiencing the same lies all over again in Iraq.

 

Whenever I hear any member of the Bush administration speak, I see America dying.

 

They are sending American soldiers into a one-way abyss.  And, Iraqi people are dying as fast as the U.S. government can kill them.

 

As Marcus Cicero once wrote: " He who does not know history, is destined to remain a child."  All the silent people, where do they all come from?

 

Mike Hastie

 

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.  (Contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more of this outstanding work.  T)

 

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

 

 

The Dead Dog Tactic At Work

 

March 10, 2005 By Antonio Castaneda, Associated Press

 

OUTSKIRTS OF BAQUBAH, Iraq — The convoy of U.S. armored vehicles creeps down the rural roads outside this central Iraqi city at nightfall, soldiers peering through the windows to spot the preferred weapon of insurgents — the roadside bomb.

 

The 18 soldiers know that as they study the heavily used routes for anything that seems unnatural, they also are being watched by insurgents hidden in dark desert.

 

Just the night before, gunmen fired a grenade at a convoy in the same area, and two days earlier they planted bombs along this road.

 

“Especially at night time, we know they’re watching us,” said Spc. James Acker, 25, of Worcester, Mass. He is the driver of the lead armored Humvee in a patrol of soldiers from the 467th Engineering Battalion, 42nd Division, based in Millington, Tenn.

 

“IED is still the weapon of choice,” said Maj. Ed House of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

 

House said he thinks the bombs are planted by locals but are built by more organized insurgents.

 

“This isn’t your regular Iraqi building an IED in his garage,” he said.

 

In the region around Baqubah — a city of 300,000 people and an insurgent hotbed — more than 1,400 IEDs have exploded or been found since November 2003, according to U.S. military statistics.

 

Major roads are searched several times a day.  Acker’s team crawls along its assigned roads at 20-25 mph.

 

One hour into a recent 50-mile patrol, the sun dipped below the skyline, leaving a moonless night sky.  Night vision goggles are helpful but often cannot locate attackers in the surrounding bumpy terrain, full of shrubs, palm trees, burning roadside garbage and abandoned buildings.

 

The lead Humvee’s headlights revealed a dark lump in the center of the road — a dead, black dog, similar to the carcass in which the group found their first bomb.  It lay precisely in the center of the road, suspicious enough to hush the three soldiers.  They called in “the Buffalo,” a 22-ton armored mine-clearing vehicle in their convoy.

 

The mammoth vehicle rumbled to the front to inspect, stopping local traffic in both lanes.  Twenty minutes later the vehicle lowered its large mechanical arm and harmlessly tossed the carcass aside.

 

The lead Humvee then drove by a dozen idling cars, with the gunner carefully monitoring movement.  Most of the Iraqis in the cars stared straight ahead without any _expression.

 

As the convoy went down its route, Iraqi drivers were forced onto the shoulder.

 

Acker suddenly hit the brakes.  “Tracer, right to left,” he said, alerting them to gunfire off the left side of the road.

 

Night vision goggles were thrown on and the soldier scanned for follow-up shots. After several minutes, the shots were dismissed as celebratory gunfire, a common occurrence in the country, and the convoy cautiously proceeded.

 

Then a loud thump caused everyone in the Humvee to tense up.

 

Acker’s boot had inadvertently hit the side of the vehicle.

 

“Scare the hell out of you?” asked Acker.

 

“Yes,” said his gunner Jose Santiago, a 26-year-old from Kerman, Calif.

 

Several people walked down the side of the road, some waiting for taxis, others casually walking home or elsewhere before the 11 p.m. curfew.

 

The convoy passed through four Iraqi Army checkpoints.  Initially, all were manned by several soldiers who waved the U.S. troops through, but on the return trip two of the checkpoints only had one Iraqi soldier visible each.

 

“Well, they could be sleeping.  You just don’t know, you can’t ever tell,” said Sgt. Dallas Bryan, 50, of Pittsburgh, the senior soldier in the patrol.

 

“But they’re around here,” he quickly added.

 

The danger to the Iraqi soldiers is clear — about 12 hours later, some 20 insurgents attacked a nearby Baqubah checkpoint and killed five soldiers.

 

Just a few miles from completing their three-hour patrol, Bryan searched for the dog carcass that had been moved at the beginning of the patrol.

 

“It’s gone. I can’t believe it’s gone,” said Bryan.  After a pause, Santiago said the insurgents may have carried away the carcass for use in a future attack.

 

[Maybe, maybe not.  If tossing a dead dog or garbage in the middle of the highway can bring a convoy or armored column to a complete stop, waiting for the mine-clearing vehicle to come up and do its thing, the resistance is smart enough to figure out that tossing endless numbers of dead animals, etc. on the highway totally fucks any hope of effective movement, and in some ways is just as debilitating to occupation forces as actual IEDs.  Duh.]

 

 

U.S. Command: Troops Opened Fire On Stopped Vehicle With No Warning Shots

 

March 12, 2005 (AEDT)

 

US forces have admitted responsibility for a Bulgarian soldier's "friendly fire" death last week in Iraq, saying it was "unintentional" and provoked by two nearby terrorist attacks, the Bulgarian Defence Ministry said today.  [That’s how the reporter opens the account.  Sounds all nice and innocent, doesn’t it.  What bullshit.  Check the last sentence.:]

 

The same day an Italian intelligence agent, Nicola Calipari, was shot to death by US troops at a roadblock in Baghdad as he was escorting an Italian journalist to the airport after helping to free her from insurgents who held her hostage for a month.

 

The journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, and another Italian agent were wounded in the shooting.

 

The Multinational Forces Command said the US attack on the Bulgarian unit was "unintentional" but also admitted that US forces "did not put enough effort into identifying the objects on Tampa Road and directly opened fire without the required warning shots."

 

According to the investigation results "the Bulgarian patrol had acted in complete compliance with the standard operational procedures and the rules for application of force and did not in any way threaten the security of the US communication unit."

 

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)

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Ukraine Begins Pulling Troops From Iraq

 

3/12/2005 (AP)

 

KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine withdrew 150 servicemen from Iraq on Saturday, starting a phased pullout that officials say is to be complete by October, the Defense Ministry said.

 

A company that was based near As Suwayrah left the country is expected to return home by March 15, the ministry said.  Earlier this month, President Viktor Yushchenko and top defense officials ordered a phased pullout of Ukraine's 1,650-strong contingent from the U.S. coalition in Iraq.

 

 

Rumsfeld Finds A New Way To Kill U.S. Troops:

Refuses To Provide Them With Modern Tourniquets;

Two Year Delay -- How Many Dead?

 

March 10, 2005 Associated Press

 

Convinced that modern tourniquets would save lives, lawmakers are asking Pentagon and Army officials to investigate why the simple device is not standard issue for U.S. troops in Iraq — as military surgeons and leaders have recommended for more than two years.

 

Two senators wrote to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday, asking him to conduct a thorough and “high level” review of the issue, and requesting a timetable for outfitting the roughly 150,000 soldiers and Marines in Iraq with modern tourniquets.

 

The defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee made a similar request of top officials in the Army.

 

“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Pentagon has failed to identify and fulfill urgent requests for equipment essential to saving lives of our troops in the field,” Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, both Democrats, wrote to Rumsfeld according to a report Thursday in The (Baltimore) Sun.

 

“This type of delay is disturbing during times of peace, but in the midst of the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is nothing short of appalling,” the letter said.

 

Military doctors say the simple medical devices could significantly reduce deaths from extremity wounds — the leading cause of preventable death in combat.

 

The calls for an investigation followed a story Sunday in The Sun detailing how efforts to supply soldiers with the $20 medical devices have been delayed while training manuals are written and the Army conducts tests to determine the best pouch in which to put the tourniquets. [!]

 

The U.S. Central Command, which oversees combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued a directive Jan. 6 requiring every soldier in Iraq to carry a modern tourniquet, but compliance was left up to individual units.  Many units have not acquired the devices.

 

Modern tourniquets, typically a nylon and plastic version of the simple cloth-and-stick device that armies have used to stop bleeding from arm and leg wounds for centuries, already are carried by Army Rangers, special operations troops, and Marines. A committee of military doctors recommended in February 2003 that every American soldier carry one.

 

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey, testifying before the appropriations subcommittee Wednesday promised to provide a detailed report to the Senate. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, assured the committee that none of the nation’s front-line soldiers enter combat without everything they need, and he said soldiers are trained to make improvised tourniquets out of bandages.  [Fine.  If somebody pops this asshole, toss him a few bandages so he can see how he likes bleeding to death.]

 

 

Polish Officers Caught Stealing Iraq Aid Money

 

10 March 2005 Aljazeera.net

 

Polish army officers serving in Iraq are among a number of people who have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged corruption on aid contracts, Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said.

 

"The inquiry is progressing," he told the public radio station Jedynka on Thursday.  "We could have dealt rapidly with this matter in Iraq, but we prefer to go all the way up the line."

 

According to the daily Zycie Warszawy, military police have arrested five Polish officers and two civilians.

 

The officers include the head of a liaison group with civilian authorities that is notably responsible for the distribution of aid project contracts in areas of Iraq under Polish military administration, the paper added.

 

It said those arrested are suspected to have pocketed bribes of $250,000 to $500,000.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Oil Pipeline Blown Up Near Samarra

Burning oil pipeline in Thathar, 9 kilometers west of the city of Samarra, , after it was damaged by an explosive device. (AFP/Dia Hamid)

 

3.12.05 AP

 

North of the capital, insurgents blew up an oil pipeline near Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.  The amount of damage was not clear.  [Looks pretty fucking clear from the photo.  It’s blown up, burning, and not very likely to be transmitting oil.]

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action:

 

12 March, 2005 AFP & irib.ir & AP

 

Three Iraqi policemen were killed in Mosul.

 

The policemen, including an officer, were killed by assailants aboard a vehicle in the Al-Sukar neighbourhood on Mosul's northern side, said Mohammed Fathi, a local police commander.

 

He said the attack happened at about 1:00 pm (1000 GMT), and a medic at a city hospital said the men were hit in the head and abdomen.

 

A foreign truck driver, presumed Turkish, was killed Saturday in a bomb attack on a convoy carrying supplies for the US military near Baiji

 

A roadside bomb exploded at about 8:00 am as a convoy passed through Makhool, close to the northern oil refinery town of Baiji, 220 kilometres (136 miles) north of Baghdad, killing one of the drivers, said police Lieutenant Colonel Hasan Salah.

 

Also in Baiji a dawn mortar attack on an Iraqi army barracks wounded one soldier and destroyed a vehicle, said Captain Hassan Yusif.

 

In Ishaki, further south, a mortar attack partially destroyed an abandoned building of a joint Iraqi-US security task force.

 

In nearby Balad, which has seen a recent uptick in attacks on Iraqi forces, soldiers clashed with insurgents for about two hours starting at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) Friday after they were ambushed in the al-Nabai area, said Lieutenant Hussein Abbas.  Three soldiers were wounded and a car belonging to the attackers was destroyed and left burning on the scene, he added.

 

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and three wounded during clashes with insurgents on the road between Babil and Diwaniyah, south of the capital, army Maj. Hassan Ali said.

 

In Baghdad, gunmen in a car opened fire on a hotel housing foreigners.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Story About Resistance Chopping Off 15 Heads Was A Lie

 

Mar 12, 2005 Associated Press

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi authorities on Saturday disputed reports that 15 headless bodies were found south of Baghdad earlier in the week.

 

The Government Communications Directorate's Media Relations office said in an English-language announcement that "official sources in the ministries of Defense, Interior and Health deny the news that some of mass media reported regarding finding 15 bodies beheaded in Latifiya."

 

Defense Ministry Capt. Sabah Yassin and Capt. Fatiq Ayed, of the Iraqi Army's 50th regiment that is responsible for the region where the bodies were found, said that a patrol of the regiment found the corpses March 8.

 

An Arabic version of the Media Relations office statement said: "Capt. Sabah Yassin has nothing to do with the Iraqi army," but gave no further explanation.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Ghosts Of War

 

"Nothing is the same, even as nothing changes. The ghosts of war are chained to America's ankles, as it marches onward.  I have a poster from the days of Vietnam. I have kept it all these years as a reminder of the politics behind war.  It is a photograph of Arlington Cemetery, neat orderly rows of white headstones, on green grass, below a sunny sky.

 

“The caption reads: We are the unwilling, led by the unqualified, to do the unnecessary, for the ungrateful."

 

John Corry, A Vietnam Veteran who received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V device.

 

 

“Fighting To Protect What You Love Is Different’

 

From: JM

To: GI Special

Sent: March 11, 2005

Subject: Reply to Ewa Jasiewicz, Pacifism

 

"I often find that it’s people who haven’t witnessed the violence of an occupation or even violence in their own specific context who are the first to advocate pacifism"

 

I've read Ewa's reports for a long time and admire her.  I agree that a lot of people who have never experienced violence are pacifists.  Normally the people who are the strongest supporters of war, and violence, haven't experienced war either.

 

What one should look at is the number of people who became pacifists because they experienced terrible violence and killing.  A pacifist, like a follower of Ghandi, says war and violence must be avoided at all costs.  They are tested when they face prison or death as a result of their beliefs.

 

I know of an ordinary young man, from the DRC, who was faced with this decision.  After experiencing violence, on a level few could imagine, he was forcibly recruited.  He was beaten unconscious because he refused to kill civilians.  He needed hospital treatment after the beating and a nurse was moved to help him escape.  She knew the next time he refused he would be killed and he was prepared for that to happen.  He escaped to a country that didn't recognize resistance, as legitimate, and was incarcerated in a detention centre.  That is typical of the world we live in.  Such people are very brave and deserve respect - not persecution.

 

Sometimes people who are true pacifists face another reality - watching family, or friends, murdered - their county destroyed.  In this situation they may be forced to fight because all other options have failed.  They will hope they can fight without being forced to kill and, after the fighting, they will again advocate pacifism.  I personally cannot see this as being inconsistent.  Fighting to protect what you love is different to fighting under orders to kill anyone you are told to kill.

 

J

 

ps - What a great letter from David Zeiger in the same GI Special.  I congratulate him. --- J

 

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

 

 

The Duty Not To Be Silent

 

From: AH

To: GI Special

Sent: March 10, 2005

 

"The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command.

 

Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent."

 

Charles Eliot Norton, True Patriotism (1898)

 

 

Chomsky Praises Bush Election Farce;

Pisses On Resistance

 

10 March, 2005 Ghali Hassan, Countercurrents.org

 

In a recent opinion piece, Noam Chomsky writes, "In Iraq, the January elections were successful and praiseworthy.  However, the main success is being reported only marginally:  The United States was compelled to allow them to take place.  That is a real triumph, not of the bomb-throwers, but of non-violent resistance by the people, secular as well as Islamist, for whom Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani is a symbol" (Khaleej Times Online, 4 March 2005

 

Mr. Chomsky is either completely out of touch with reality in Iraq, or simply ignorant of the legitimate rights of the Iraqi people to self-determination.

 

Firstly, the elections were a farce.

 

'It was hard to describe the vote as legitimate, when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote', Democrat Senator John Kerry warned.  It is important remembering that Mr. Chomsky encouraged Americans to vote for John Kerry in the last US elections, which Mr. Chomsky himself described as "undemocratic" and not "praiseworthy".

 

Secondly, to describe the Iraqi people resisting this violent and illegal Occupation of their nation as simply "bomb-throwers" is to ignore the gross atrocities committed against the Iraqi people by US forces.

 

This is like saying that, the Iraqi Resistance is responsible for all the violence and destruction in Iraq, and ignoring the violence of the Occupation and the many criminal elements working with the Occupation against the principle aim of the Iraqi people.

 

The violence is brought by the Occupation, not by the people fighting to end it. Everywhere, violent resistance arises from a violent foreign military occupation.

 

Chomsky is the darling of the left and right.  He is an icon for many people, and sometime provides useful information on US foreign policy.  

 

Mr. Chomsky has every right to his views, but he does not have the right to distort what the Iraqi people struggling for.

 

The Iraqi people have legitimate right to resist the Occupation.  The US and its allies will not leave Iraq; they have to be forced to leave.  Armed resistance to the occupation of Iraq will continue until the foreign occupiers withdraw their armies.

 

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

 

“Radical” Anti-Occupation Sadr Supporters Killed In Mosque Attack;

Occupation Propagandist Working For AP Tries To Blame Resistance.

 

[Now who could possibly have an interest in killing off the partisans of a “radical” anti-occupation cleric?]

 

AFP , MOSUL, IRAQ Mar 12, 2005 AFP , MOSUL, IRAQ & By SINDBAD AHMED, The Associated Press

 

Iraq's religious leaders called for calm yesterday amid fears of revenge attacks one day after a suicide bomber killed 47 Iraqis and wounded more than 80 in a packed Shiite funeral tent in Mosul.

 

The bomber struck on Thursday as mourners gathered next to the Sadreen mosque, where a service was being held for Hisham al-Araji, the Mosul representative for radical Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr.

 

Families of the victims from Thursday’s bombing at a funeral in a Mosul mosque held individual wakes and funeral services after agreeing with community and religious leaders not to hold a joint funeral procession.

 

Most relatives were motivated by “fear of another attack like this one,” said Hamid Zain al-Ali, a member of the Al-Sadr Movement of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militants rose up against U.S. troops repeatedly last year.  He said one mortar round exploded Friday near the site of Thursday’s bombing.

 

[Now, in the next sentence, check the way the occupation mouthpiece from Associated Press tries to spin this, as if anybody is stupid enough to believe this was a resistance attack.  Again, who would be interested in killing militant anti-occupation Iraqis and trying to start trouble between two wings of the resistance?  Gee, get a rocket scientist and we’ll figure it out.]

 

“Insurgents led by Sunni Arabs, a minority who dominated under Saddam Hussein, are targeting Shiite funeral processions and ceremonies in an apparent campaign to spark a sectarian war.”  [Danger: Occupation Presstitute At Work.]

 

At Baghdad's Um al-Qura mosque, a Sunni Muslim cleric criticized the attacks.

 

"We strongly denounce the bombings and assassinations that killed innocent people," Sheik Mahmoud al-Sumaidei, a member of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, told worshippers. "Both the occupation and the Iraqi government shoulder the responsibility of this blood."  [Exactly right.  Nobody else would have the slightest interest in a mass murder of anti-occupation Iraqis, now would they?]

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

“Democracy” Occupation Style:

US Command Imprisons Journalist

 

March 11, 2005 Arabic News.com

 

Reporters sans frontieres (RSF), Paris has called for the immediate release of Iraqi journalist Majed Fadhil Zaboun, of the independent daily "Al-Fourat."  Zaboun has been held by US military forces since he was arrested on the Syrian border, on 28 February 2005, as he was returning from a conference in Damascus.

 

"This is not the first time that US forces have arbitrarily detained a journalist in Iraq," RSF said.  "Even in an area of sensitive operations, it is important that the armed forces continue to respect the work of professional journalists. The US authorities must either explain why they have been holding this journalist all this time, or free him at once."

 

Reached by telephone, "Al-Fourat" editor Shaker Al-Jabbouri said he was "outraged" by Zaboun's arrest.  "Everyone knows Majed Fadhil Zaboun, he is a respected writer and journalist," Al-Jabbouri said.  "This illegal arrest is a flagrant violation of his rights.  The Americans suspect everyone and don't hesitate to imprison innocents.  This is not what I call democracy."

 

Zaboun, who is the cultural editor for "Al-Fourat," went to Damascus on 22 February with a delegation of Iraqi poets to cover a conference.  When they did not hear from him several days after his scheduled return, his colleagues became concerned and began to look for him.  It was not until 3 March, when they called the US embassy in Baghdad, that they learned he had been arrested.  Officials at the embassy gave their assurances that they would "do everything necessary" to get Zaboun released.

 

An independent, Arabic-language newspaper founded in 2003, "Al-Fourat" specialises in political analysis for Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.  It has a circulation of 10,000 and is distributed throughout the country.

 

 

Local Occupation Stooges Equipped With Useless Trash

 

[USA Today, March 9, 2005, Pg. 8]

Iraq's local occupation collaborators patrol in pickup trucks that provide little protection against enemy fire and lack the tool needed to properly sight their aging AK-47s.

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

 

March 11-12, 2005 LAGAUCHE IS RIGHT

 

After the 1989 invasion of Panama, the U.S. allowed the press to enter Manuel Noriega’s office.  He was portrayed as a sexual pervert. In the office were pictures of young boys, a picture of Hitler, red underpants and pornographic magazines.  The dirty bastard.

 

A few months later, the first Marine to enter Noriega’s office was released from the Corps.  He eventually talked to a reporter and said that he was the absolute first to enter the office after the U.S. kidnapped the former Panamanian president and all that was inside were a desk, a telephone, a chair and a typewriter.

 

Let’s go back 16 years from Noriega’s demise. In 1973, Salvador Allende, the president of Chile, was assassinated.

 

When the press was allowed to enter his office, they saw a pair of red underpants, pictures of young boys, a picture of Hitler and pornographic magazines.

 

The CIA did not have the decency to change props.

 

They used the same for both offices, thinking that 16 years was a long time and no one would figure out the ruse.  A reporter who covered the 1973 event was also in Panama in 1989 and happened to see both made-up scenarios.

 

 

Moron Prosecutor In Kentucky Out Of Control

 

[One more reason to Bring The Troops Home Now.  We need some help dealing with petty piss-pot local dictators and a loony police state “mentality” right here in the USA.]

 

William Poole: arrested for writing a short story

 

Feb. 27, 2005 WLEX-TV, [Lexington, KY

 

A George Rogers Clark High School junior arrested Tuesday for making terrorist threats told LEX 18 News Thursday that the "writings" that got him arrested are being taken out of context.

 

Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.

 

Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding.  He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class.

 

"My story is based on fiction," said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge.  "It's a fake story. I made it up.  I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies.  Yes, it did say a high school.  It was about a high school over ran by zombies."

 

Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony.  "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

 

Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone.

 

"It didn't mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn't mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn't mention no principal or cops, nothing," said Poole.  "Half the people at high school know me.  They know I'm not that stupid, that crazy."

 

On Thursday, a judge raised Poole's bond from one to five thousand dollars after prosecutors requested it, citing the seriousness of the charge.

 

Poole is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Twisted Freaks From Bragg MI Murdered Prisoners:

Lt. Gen. Daniel K. McNeill, Liar, Covered Up The Murders

 

12 March 2005 By Douglas Jehl, The New York Times

 

Washington - Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports that have not yet been made public.

 

One soldier, Pfc. Willie V. Brand, was charged with manslaughter in a closed hearing last month in Texas in connection with one of the deaths, another Army document shows.  Private Brand, who acknowledged striking a detainee named Dilawar 37 times, was accused of having maimed and killed him over a five-day period by "destroying his leg muscle tissue with repeated unlawful knee strikes."

 

The attacks on Mr. Dilawar were so severe that "even if he had survived, both legs would have had to be amputated," the Army report said, citing a medical examiner.

 

The reports, obtained by Human Rights Watch, provide the first official account of events that led to the deaths of the detainees, Mullah Habibullah and Mr. Dilawar, at the Bagram Control Point, about 40 miles north of Kabul.  The deaths took place nearly a year before the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

 

Among those implicated in the killings at Bagram were members of Company A of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, from Fort Bragg, N.C.  The battalion went on to Iraq, where some members established the interrogation unit at Abu Ghraib and have been implicated in some abuses there.

 

The reports, from the Army Criminal Investigation Command, also make clear that the abuse at Bagram went far beyond the two killings.  Among those recommended for prosecution is an Army military interrogator from the 519th Battalion who is said to have "placed his penis along the face" of one Afghan detainee and later to have "simulated anally sodomizing him (over his clothes)."

 

American military officials in Afghanistan initially said the deaths of Mr. Habibullah, in an isolation cell on Dec. 4, 2002, and Mr. Dilawar, in another such cell six days later, were from natural causes.

 

Lt. Gen. Daniel K. McNeill, the American commander of allied forces in Afghanistan at the time, denied then that prisoners had been chained to the ceiling or that conditions at Bagram endangered the lives of prisoners.

 

But among those mentioned in the new reports is Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, the chief military intelligence officer at Bagram.

 

The reports conclude that Captain Wood lied to investigators by saying that shackling prisoners in standing positions was intended to protect interrogators from harm. In fact, the report says, the technique was used to inflict pain and sleep deprivation.

 

Captain Wood, who commanded Company A in Afghanistan, later helped to establish the interrogation and debriefing center at Abu Ghraib.  Two Defense Department reports have said that a list of interrogation procedures she drew up there, which went beyond those approved by Army commanders, may have contributed to abuses at Abu Ghraib.

 

Mr. Habibullah, a brother of a former Taliban commander, died of a pulmonary embolism apparently caused by blood clots formed in his legs from the beatings, according to the report of June 1, 2004.  Mr. Dilawar, who suffered from a heart condition, is described in an Army report dated July 6, 2004, as having died from "blunt force trauma to the lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease."

 

 

 

CLASS WAR NEWS

 

 

The U.S. Dollar Crisis

 

By Joel Geier, January-February 2005 International Socialist Review.  Excerpts.

 

The second aspect that allowed this [foreign money financing the U.S. deficit] to go on for so many years was that the Clinton administration sustained a government budget surplus that offset the stock market bubble and accelerated the trade deficit.  When Clinton left office there was a $250 billion a year budget surplus.

 

The Bush administration took that money and gave it to the rich as tax cuts.  It was a disaster for the economy, but that never stopped the greed of the rich, particularly if they can get others to pay for the problems they create.

 

[Interviewer]: YOU SAID that the Bush administration wanted to let the dollar fall so long as it didn’t turn into a collapse.  What do they hope to gain from that?

 

THEIR SOLUTION is to lower the dollar—gradually so that it does not precipitate a crisis—to make imports more expensive and to make exports to other countries less expensive.  By doing this, they hope to increase exports and decrease imports, thereby bringing down the trade imbalance.  Over time that might work, according to bourgeois economic theory, but so far it hasn’t.  The trade deficit has gotten worse, despite the decline of the dollar in the last three years.

 

Moreover, they have done this unilaterally. Just like they carried out a unilateral foreign policy in Iraq, made a mess of it, and then told the rest of the world they have a stake in cleaning it up.

 

Unlike the international cooperation they got with the Plaza Accords, the U.S. this time is trying to drive the dollar lower, no matter what the consequences are for the rest of the world.  It’s a kind of financial unilateralism.

 

They think that lowering the dollar will help.  They thought that invading Iraq would lower the price of oil.  There are unintended consequences of the policies of an arrogant ruling class whose incompetent political representatives act on the assumption that the world’s only superpower can unilaterally impose whatever it wants on the world.

 

WHAT ARE the likely problems, the “unintended consequences,” that might result from this?

 

LET’S START with this country.

 

First, higher inflation.

 

The prices of goods that are going to be imported are going to be a lot higher.  U.S. manufacturers will take advantage of higher import prices to also raise their prices.  If an import goes up from $100 to $120, domestic manufacturers can raise their price to $110, still be cheaper than their foreign competitors but with an additional $10 of inflated profits.

 

Interest rates are going to go up quite a bit, because of higher inflation, and in order to attract continued foreign loans.

 

In essence, what is happening is that the American government is defaulting on a part of its debt.  They will pay back the debt at its face value, but in a devalued currency.

 

It’s not declaring bankruptcy but the world’s biggest debtor is telling its creditors: “Well pay you 80 cents on the dollar, or 60 cents on the dollar.”

 

Try that with your credit card company.

 

The biggest losers, Japan, which holds $720 billion and China with $400 billion of U.S. debt, will take steep losses.

 

The question is, why should foreigners invest in the U.S. when their assets lose value? This will necessitate even higher interest rates in order to continue to attract foreign borrowing.

 

In this country; it means that the standard of living is going to be cut.

 

WHAT DOES the dollar crisis tell us about the relative strength of the U.S. economy and its position as the world’s superpower?

 

ALL THOSE people who think that U.S. imperialism is all-powerful, and that the Bush administration is going to go from one victory to the next, are mistaken.

 

It is devaluing the dollar because it sees no way out of its current problems, and it’s gambling that its remedy won’t produce an even worse crisis.

 

The lowering of the dollar’s value is not going to increase U.S. power.  It is going to decrease it, either by a modest amount, or by a more significant amount.

 

American capital is now worth 50 percent of what it was three years ago in Europe.  If you’re an American capitalist who wants a factory in Europe, you have to pay out 50 percent more.  The press may present this as a brilliant stroke by the political representatives of the U.S. capitalist class, but it is not a sign of strength.

 

[For more see the article at http://www.isreview.org/issues/39/dollar.shtml ]

 

Geier Had It Right: #1

 

11 March 2005 By Elizabeth Becker, The New York Times

 

Washington - The United States trade deficit hit $58.3 billion, its second-highest level on record in January, defying predictions that a weakened dollar and lower oil prices would improve the American trade picture.

 

Instead, American consumers continued to buy foreign-made goods at a record pace, including cars, electronics and business equipment, helping to increase the trade deficit by 4.5 percent from $55.7 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported today.

 

Geier Had It Right: #2:

Foreign Central Banks Dumping Dollars

 

Foreign Treasuries Purchases Update 3/11/05

 

March 11, 2005 By Bud Conrad

 

The Band for International Settlements reported Tuesday (03/08) that Asian central and commercial banks held only 67% of their deposits in dollars as of September 2004, down from 81% in the Q3 2001.  The big change is India, which went from 68% to 43%, while China went from 83% to 68%, albeit mostly before Q3 2002.

 

The BIS had earlier reported that Middle Eastern central banks had cut dollar holdings from 75% to 61.5% of total foreign deposits in the same period.

 

Central bankers are questioning the wisdom of holding so many dollars, and could shift to other currencies.  But doing so could hurt their holdings, because the shift itself would drive the dollar down.  Foreigners hold over 40% of all US government debt.

 

These shifts are far from dollar friendly, and the rise in rates is consistent with a need for higher returns to cover currency depreciation expectations.  The situation is considered unsustainable by traditional economic analysis – the US cannot simply go on buying more and issuing paper dollars to foreigners in payment.

 

 

China Cutting Reserves Held In Dollars

 

03.11.2005 Associated Press

 

China cut the share of its foreign reserves held in U.S. dollar assets last year, suggesting that the United States might no longer be able to rely on Asia to finance growing deficits, investment bank Lehman Brothers said in a report this week.

 

Even as the reserves grew, the share of dollar assets held by China's central bank fell to 76 percent, down from 82 percent in 2003, Lehman Brothers said.

 

The bank "is slowly diversifying its FX (foreign-exchange) reserves away from U.S. dollars," said the report, written by London-based analyst Shruti Sood.

 

The results of research on Chinese holdings suggests that the United States might no longer be able to rely on Asian official financing for its growing current account deficit, the report said.

 

 

China, Greenspan Rub Salt In Dollar Wound

 

Mar 12, 2005 Asia Times

 

The US dollar was struggling near a two-month low against the euro on Friday as the market braced for fresh trade data that were likely to show a further widening of the trade gap.  As if this weren't trouble enough for the besieged greenback, US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan stirred up the market Thursday night saying foreign investors would reduce their US asset holdings at some point, while new findings came to light that China is indeed doing so.

 

Greenspan's comments came close on the heels of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's startling remark on Thursday that Japan needs to diversify its foreign-exchange reserves, reviving fears of Asian central banks cutting their giant dollar reserves.

 

Any move by Japan, which has the largest foreign-exchange reserve in the world ($840 billion), to reduce its dollar holdings could be disastrous for the greenback. The dollar has already been dropping against the yen for four straight weeks now. Koizumi's statement, though later qualified by his finance minister, will only prolong the agony.

 

US dollars accounted for 63.8% of the world's currency reserves at the end of 2003, down from 66.9% two years earlier, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures released last April.  A survey this January commissioned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and conducted by London-based Central Banking Publications Ltd showed that central banks across the world were boosting euro holdings.  Almost 70% of the 56 central banks surveyed said they had increased exposure to the euro.

 

Citing a more recent finding, Asia Times Online reported on Thursday (Dollar catching Asian flu) that Asian central banks have been quietly switching their dollar holdings to regional currencies for at least three years now.

 

Bloomberg reported on Friday that according to an estimate by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, China's central bank has been cutting the share of its currency reserves held in dollars and replenishing them with euros.  Some 76% of China's reserves were in dollars last year, down from 82% in 2003, said Lehman, the fifth-largest US securities firm.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

Miss Israel

From: Z

To: GI Special

Sent: March 10, 2005

Subject: miss israel

 

Greetings, T!

 

Have you ever seen this photo?  Try to find the future Palestinian state.

 

(Will it be a sliver of the blue portion, as soon as all Palestinians learn to swim?)

 

Not surprisingly, Israel's most liberal newspaper, Ha'aretz, uses the same map.

 

In solidarity,

Z

 

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, to: www.rafahtoday.org  The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]

 

 

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.

 

If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.