www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

3.29.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3A83:

 

 

 

 

"The Contract With The U.S. Army Is A Slavery Contract."

Spc. Lemoine Had Condemned The Invasion Of Iraq

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this in.]

 

March 28, 2005 By Andy Buerger, (Reuters)

 

DARMSTADT, Germany — A military court on Monday found a soldier guilty of refusing to perform his duty as a mechanic.

 

Judge Col. Denise Lind convicted Spc. Blake Lemoine, a generator repair mechanic, of refusing to obey a lawful order.

 

The special military court sentenced Lemoine to seven months confinement, reduction in rank to private and gave him a bad conduct discharge, said Bruce Anderson, deputy public affairs spokesman for the 3rd Corps support command.

 

He was charged for repeatedly refusing to obey orders from commanders between Jan. 10 and Feb. 15 at a base in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt.

 

Lemoine, from Moraville, Louisiana, told a recent news conference in Germany sponsored by anti-war groups that even though he volunteered to join the army, he had changed his mind and wanted to leave.

 

"It was simply a slow realisation that serving in the U.S. military at this day and time contradicts my religion and to continue to do so would make me a hypocrite," he said last week.

 

Lemoine had also been quoted in German newspapers as saying: "The contract with the U.S. army is a slavery contract."  He also spoke out against U.S. army violence against Iraqis, saying: "Iraqi civilians are often treated worse than animals."

 

He had been scheduled to be discharged Feb. 13, but under military rules had to extend his service though Oct. 13 in order to bring his wife over from the United States.

 

Lemoine, 23, from Moraville, La., is with the 5-96th Maintenance Company of the 16th Combat Support Group.

 

Lemoine sent a letter through his chain of command explaining why he should be allowed to quit the Army.

 

Lemoine said he decided he wanted out during a personal crisis, on which he would not elaborate, after returning from a yearlong tour in Iraq.  He also argued that his duties as an ordained pagan minister were in conflict with his job in the Army.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT 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)

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

Two U.S. Troops Wounded In Mosul Car Bomb Attack

 

28mar05 Herald and Weekly Times

 

A car bomber blew himself up on Sunday at 5:20pm in the path of a US military convoy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, 370km north of Baghdad, police said.

 

Aljazeera reported that the attack occurred in al-Maliya neighbourhood, and that a tight security cordon had been thrown around the blast site by US soldiers.

 

The US military later said two US soldiers and two Iraqi soldiers were wounded in the attack.

 

 

U.S. Troops Kill Collaborator Police Major

 

3/28/2005 Al Jazeera Publishing & 3.27 Aljazeera

 

U.S. forces shot dead police major Nour Karim Nour in the holy city of Najaf, south of Karbala, Najaf’s police chief said.  The soldiers claimed that Nour’s car approached a checkpoint on the wrong side of the road.

 

The U.S. military said an Iraqi driver was killed when his car pulled in front of a tank in Ad Duluiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad.  Coalition forces were not injured. The incident occurred Sunday evening.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Local Marine Undergoes Surgery After Car Bomb Attack

 

03/17/05 Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.

 

CLEAR SPRING, MD- A Clear Spring Marine injured in a car bomb attack in Iraq over the weekend is in Bethesda after having two surgeries overseas.

 

William Worthington had surgery again Wednesday at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.  The Marine lost at least one toe during the attack and had shrapnel in his leg, shoulder and back.  Both of his lungs were also bruised.  Students and teachers at Clear Spring High School say they’re grateful Will made it home.

 

"I just seen Will’s picture in the paper for his wedding, and I remember seeing it and saying to my wife that I had that young man in class.  I didn’t even hear he was in Iraq, and then to hear he was hurt badly it was very disturbing to all of us,” said Jim Hudson, Worthington’s former teacher.

 

Clear Spring High School plans on throwing a celebration for Worthington and wishes him a speedy recovery.

 

 

Missing Casey

 

20 March 2005 Jonathan Curiel, The San Francisco Chronicle

 

On April 4, 2004, Casey [Sheehan] was killed in a Baghdad slum. He died in an ambush while trying to rescue other soldiers who were under attack.  Seven other soldiers perished with Casey that day. The newscasts made passing note of their deaths.

 

Casey was 24.  He's survived by his mother, Cindy; his father, Pat; his younger brother, Andy; and younger sisters, Carly and Jane.

 

Carly Sheehan

 

Carly, 24, works as a waitress at a local restaurant and goes to Solano Community College.  She wrote a poem about her brother's death:

 

Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done.

They call him a hero, you should be glad that he's one,

but have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

 

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

He must be brave because his boy died for another man's lies.

The only grief he allows himself are long, deep sighs.

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

 

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

They say that he died so that the flag will continue to wave,

but I believe he died because they had oil to save.

 

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?

 

The leaders want to keep you numb so the pain won't be so deep,

but if we the people let them continue, another mother will weep.

 

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?

 

 

“He Never Wanted To Go To Iraq”

 

March 21st, 2005 Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

 

We turn now to Joyce and Kevin Lucey.

 

Their son, Jeffrey, also fought in Iraq.

 

He came home, was eventually put in a military hospital, and three weeks after being discharged, committed suicide.

 

JOYCE LUCEY:

 

Whatever happened to the young man's heart, swallowed by pain as he slowly fell apart?  These words were in a song our son listened to over and over again last May and June.

 

In a way, they described Jeff.

 

I'm the mother of Corporal Jeffrey Michael Lucey.

 

Yesterday would have been his 24th birthday.

 

I say would have been, because Jeff died on June 22, at the age of 23.

 

He chose to end his life after struggling with the demons of post-traumatic stress several months after his return from Iraq.  He was deployed with his Marine Reserve unit from January 2003 until July 2003.

 

His 22nd birthday was celebrated in Kuwait the day before the war started.

 

He never wanted to go to Iraq.  He felt we were going there for the wrong reasons, but he went because he was a good Marine and he was loyal to his unit.

 

His dad and I have struggled every day since my husband found Jeff hanging by our garden hose in the basement.

 

What did our son die for?

 

We have yet to receive an answer we are comfortable with.  There were no weapons of mass destruction.  Yet this was used to promote fear and justify the actions taken by our government.

 

Some may say Jeffrey returned unharmed, but the man who came home without obvious physical wounds was destroyed by the dark hidden pain of the emotional cost of this war.

 

How many other Jeffreys will this conflict claim?  And, again, the question is “why?”

 

Do the recent Iraqi elections justify our invasion of Iraq?  Does it make us feel less anger about the death of our son and the 1500-plus that have died?

 

No, it does not.  Jeff's unit has returned to Iraq for their second tour.  When will this end?  We feel the end needs to begin now.

 

KEVIN LUCEY:

 

Glorious words and sound bites are used in regards to our troops.  But then upon their return, when they and their loved ones seek help, it is probable that they will have to meet hurdles, challenges, and to some of the injured, these may be daunting, so daunting that they give up.

 

It is unconscionable and morally repugnant that billions and billions of dollars are poured into the war effort with very little in being devoted to the care of these men and women upon their return.  In fact, some has recommended that they bear more of the burden of the cost. 

 

We argue in various forms about the rationale for the war and its urgency. Regardless of the absence of weapons of mass destruction, regardless of the lack of proof of terrorist networking, regardless of the lack of imminent threat, we must deal with the horrible reality of war and the impact of loved ones.

 

And what of our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, family and friends returning? Regardless of your stance on this war, we should -- no, we are obligated by all that is right and good to -- I'm sorry. Jesus -- to truly not give just adequate, but the best of care.

 

Whether democrat or republican, be you from a red state or blue, let not another parent find their child as we found ours, seeking relief from such horrific, unmanageable torment.

 

Let not another mother or sister endure such an agonizing tormented journey to come home to find that their home has been changed forever, to a tomb for some in a connection to his life to memories.

 

It was as I cradled him and took the hose from around his neck, I began crying out "why?" and have yet to stop.

 

AMY GOODMAN: Kevin and Joyce Lucey.

 

They lost their son, Jeffrey, after he returned from Iraq and committed suicide.

 

 

Capitalism At Work:

“Don't Let Them Hear You Cry"

Soldiers & Military Families Raped By Profiteering Corporate Scum

 

At Fort Hood, Tex., a soldier's wife was sued by a creditor trying to collect a debt owed by her and her husband, who was serving in Baghdad at the time.  A local judge ruled against her, saying she had defaulted, even though specialists say the relief act forbids default judgments against soldiers serving overseas and protects their spouses as well.

 

March 28, 2005 By DIANA B. HENRIQUES, New York Times

 

Sgt. John J. Savage III, an Army reservist, was about to climb onto a troop transport plane for a flight to Iraq from Fayetteville, N.C., when his wife called with alarming news: "They're foreclosing on our house."

 

Sergeant Savage recalled, "There was not a thing I could do; I had to jump on the plane and boil for 22 hours."

 

He had reason to be angry.  A longstanding federal law strictly limits the ability of his mortgage company and other lenders to foreclose against active-duty service members.

 

But Sergeant Savage's experience was not unusual.

 

Though statistics are scarce, court records and interviews with military and civilian lawyers suggest that Americans heading off to war are sometimes facing distracting and demoralizing demands from financial companies trying to collect on obligations that, by law, they cannot enforce.

 

Some cases involve nationally prominent companies like Wells Fargo and Citigroup, though both say they are committed to strict compliance with the law.

 

The law, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, protects all active-duty military families from foreclosures, evictions and other financial consequences of military service.  The Supreme Court has ruled that its provisions must "be liberally construed to protect those who have been obliged to drop their own affairs to take up the burdens of the nation."

 

Yet the relief act has not seemed to work in recent cases like these:

 

At Fort Hood, Tex., a soldier's wife was sued by a creditor trying to collect a debt owed by her and her husband, who was serving in Baghdad at the time.  A local judge ruled against her, saying she had defaulted, even though specialists say the relief act forbids default judgments against soldiers serving overseas and protects their spouses as well.

 

At Camp Pendleton, Calif., more than a dozen marines returned from Iraq to find that their cars and other possessions had been improperly sold to cover unpaid storage and towing fees.  The law forbids such seizures without a court order.

 

In northern Ohio, Wells Fargo served a young Army couple with foreclosure papers despite the wife's repeated efforts to negotiate new repayment terms with the bank. Wells Fargo said later that it had been unaware of the couple's military status. The foreclosure was dropped after a military lawyer intervened.

 

The relief act provides a broad spectrum of protections to service members, their spouses and their dependents.  The interest rate on debts incurred before enlistment, for example, must be capped at 6 percent if military duty has reduced a service member's family income.

 

The law also protects service members from repossession or foreclosure without a court order.  It allows them to terminate any real estate lease when their military orders require them to do so.  And it forbids judges from holding service members in default on any legal matter unless the court has first appointed a lawyer to protect their interests.

 

One reason they are surfacing in unlikely places is the Pentagon's increased reliance on Reserve and National Guard units that do not hail from traditional military towns, said Lt. Col. Barry Bernstein, the judge advocate general for the South Carolina National Guard. When these units are called up, he said, their members find themselves facing creditors and courts that may never have dealt with the relief act.

 

As a result, some service members heading off to war have confronted exactly the kinds of problems the law was supposed to prevent.  The Coast Guard alone handled more than 300 complaints last year; military law specialists say the numbers are probably higher in the branches sending troops abroad.

 

Sergeant Savage's lender eventually dropped its foreclosure against him after receiving repeated warnings from military lawyers at Fort Bragg, N.C.  But damage was done. The foreclosure dispute remained on his credit history, hurting his ability to revive his struggling wireless Internet connection business when he returned home to Asheboro, N.C., he said.

 

By then he had retired on full disability after being seriously injured while working on a sabotaged electrical system at the former Baghdad Convention Center.

 

Sergeant Savage has not let the matter end.

 

Represented by Colonel Odom, he has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Greensboro, N.C. He says the EverHome Mortgage Company, a unit of the EverBank Financial Corporation in Jacksonville, Fla., violated the relief act by failing to cap his mortgage at 6 percent, wrongfully initiating foreclosure and, after dropping the foreclosure, failing to remove information about it from his credit history.

 

When Sgt. Michael Gaskins of Fort Hood, Tex., was sent to Iraq last April, his wife, Melissa, was left to cope with a dispute over a delinquent loan from the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital credit union; the couple took out the loan just before Sergeant Gaskins enlisted in November 2001.

 

When the credit union took the couple to court in Texas last year, a military lawyer at Fort Hood alerted the local judge that the new relief act required that the case be deferred because Sergeant Gaskins was abroad.  But on Feb. 18, a county court judge in Gatesville, Tex., ruled that Mrs. Gaskins had lost the case by default.  She was ordered to pay the credit union more than $6,000 and turn over the family truck, which secured the loan.  [Send this asshole judge to Iraq.  Fair is fair.]

 

Colonel Odom, who is also representing the couple, is trying to have the default judgment overturned, in part on the ground that the relief act protects spouses as well as service members.

 

The credit union in Tallahassee, Fla., disputes that. "It's our position the act does not protect her," said Palmer Williams, a lawyer for the organization.  [Translation:  the soldier is away, so his wife can eat shit and die.  Palmer Williams must not have read up on PTSD.  Some returned Vets reading this story may snap and decide to visit him at his local office, which should be very easy to find.  Wouldn’t that be a shame, seeing him going down main street with a bag on his head.  There would probably be a lot of civilian volunteers for that mission too.]

 

Judge Susan R. Stephens, the county judge who signed the default judgment, said she did not think that Mrs. Gaskins had ever invoked the relief act but said she would review the matter when it came before her.  [But we just read that the military lawyer “alerted” her to the situation.  Now she acts all surprised, because a reporter is inquiring?  Repeat, send her ass to Iraq, and let her argue law with the resistance, up close and personal.  Maybe she can foreclose on some RPGs.]

 

The relief act was also supposed to prevent the kind of situation that the marines returning to Camp Pendleton faced when they discovered that their cars and other possessions had been sold to cover towing and storage fees.

 

"The act says you need a court order to do that, and you can't get a court order without notice to the service member," said Maj. Michael R. Renz, director of the joint legal assistance office there.  "I've got six attorneys here, and each one of us has handled at least two or three of these cases within the last eight months."

 

Stephen Lynch, a civilian lawyer for the Coast Guard in Cleveland, said he had stepped in repeatedly over the past year to help service members invoke their rights under the act.

 

One of them is a young soldier sent to east Asia, leaving a wife and two children at home in northern Ohio.  His periods of unemployment and the death of a newborn daughter last July left the young family struggling financially.  Their situation was aggravated by delays in the processing of his first military paychecks, said Mr. Lynch, who asked that the couple's name not be used because their debt problems could hurt the soldier's career.

 

The soldier's wife said she had tried for months to renegotiate their mortgage with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.  But on March 8, just three weeks after paying the bank $3,000 that the U.S.O. had raised on her behalf, she was served with foreclosure papers.

 

"I'm having anxiety attacks," the wife said in an interview that night.  "I'm not sleeping."  She said she was especially worried about how much to tell her husband.  "The other military wives I've spoken to all say, 'Don't let them know you're upset; don't let them hear you cry.' "  [Well, there it is.  The enemy isn’t in Iraq.  This is the enemy, right here at home, and their whole rotten, vicious corrupt system for enriching the rich and fucking over the troops and their families.  It really has outlived its usefulness.  Time for a predator extermination movement.]

 

A Coast Guardsman, Kevin Cornell, was baffled by his experience with Citigroup's credit card unit.  When he enlisted, he had a Citibank card and another from Sears, whose credit card operations Citibank acquired in late 2003.  When he applied last fall to have the interest rates on both cards capped at 6 percent, Citibank did even better: it cut the rate on his pre-enlistment balance to zero.

 

But the Sears card was another story; a different Citibank employee refused to make the interest rate cut on that card retroactive to his date of enlistment, as the new relief act requires.  Again, Mr. Lynch intervened.  But he said he wondered how many other service members had been misinformed.

 

The biggest problem, both bankers and military lawyers say, is that the enforcement of the act rests initially on the shoulders of the service members themselves. They must notify their creditors or landlords of their military status to invoke their rights under the act. It is one more chore for a soldier getting ready for overseas duty, and it often does not get done properly.

 

And if a landlord or creditor, out of ignorance or intransigence, refuses to comply with the act, the service member may not have the time or money to fight back, said Capt. Kevin P. Flood, a retired Navy lawyer.

 

"Sure, if you take them to court and win, you can even collect damages," Captain Flood said. "But most of our people are not in that position. They are just regular Joes, and they don't have the money to hire a lawyer."  [And that’s why the class of capitalists set it up that way.  Duh.]

 

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.

 

 

Petty Tyrants In Dept. Of Homeland Security Lock Up Returning Soldiers:

Won’t Let Them Off Plane At San Francisco Airport

 

2005-03-17 kcbs

 

Military personnel returning from Afghanistan did not get a warm welcome when they touched down in San Francisco.

 

KCBS reporter Margie Shafer learned that soldiers fighting the war on terror were not allowed to disembark this week, because of security concerns.

 

The soldiers landed on a chartered ATA aircraft, but were forced to remain on the plane for three hours, while it refueled.

 

"There are some security issues involved here.  They have weapons," said Ed Gomez with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  "They have weapons, and we have to secure the weapons.  We have to secure the airplane.  We have to communicate properly."  [Typical idiot bureaucrat.  “We have to communicate properly.”  It is very possible troops with weapons, locked up on a plane, can devise a method of communicating even this babbling fool can understand.]

 

Generally, unloaded weapons are guarded as military personnel go into the terminal to get drinks, call home or stretch.

 

But a KCBS source at the airport said a TSA official told the airline that if the soldiers got off the plane, the terminal would be evacuated.  [Can’t have civilians mixing with soldiers, can we?  Where do they find these pieces of shit?]

 

Tempers flared at the gate among TSA employees, airline personnel and the military.

 

The source told KCBS a military chartered airline that landed last week was towed to a remote section of the airport for soldiers to get off and stretch their legs.  [They must have thought it was a plane bringing back the war dead.  Coward Bush is pants-pissing scared to have the public know about that.  He might lose some popularity points, and what the hell, it’s just dead American troops.  Yeah, sure, hide them.  Now they have to hide the live ones too?]

 

 

Bulgarian Army To Punish High-Ranking Commander In Iraq

 

28 March 2005 FOCUS News Agency

 

Bulgaria is going to punish its commander of military operations in Iraq, the Defense Ministry announced today but refused to pint out whether this decision is connected with the killing of Bulgarian soldier by the US forces earlier this month, Reuters reports.

 

The new NATO member accused the US forces for the incident in which Bulgarian Private Gardi Gardev was killed by the so-called “friendly fire” on March 4.

 

Senior Bulgarian military representative in Iraq Colonel Geno Chepilski was in charge with the coordination of the actions with the US forces but the Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov refused to point out whether Chepilski will be called back, nor whether his punishment is connected with the incident.

 

 

“Together, We Have

The Power To End U.S. Occupation In Iraq.”

 

27 Mar 2005

From: New York City Labor Against The War

 

Statement of Michael Letwin: Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War, Troops Out Now Coalition Rally, Central Park, NYC -- March 19, 2005

 

The U.S. war in Iraq has never had anything to do with finding weapons of mass destruction or Al-Qaeda; it has brought neither liberation nor democracy.

 

From day one, it has been a naked grab for oil and empire.

 

It is part and parcel of the Bush administration's shameless exploitation of 9/11 to promote unjust wars and occupation in Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti abroad, and to assault immigrants, workers, and civil liberties at home.

 

It has brought neither liberation nor democracy - only death, torture, devastation and oppression.

 

Like Vietnam, this war is thoroughly bipartisan - from Democratic support for the invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriotic Act, to John Kerry's pro-war presidential candidacy, to this week's overwhelming Congressional passage of $81 billion more for the war.

 

It has inflicted countless civilian casualties and bred vicious racism.  It has killed more than 1500 G.I.s. and maimed thousands of others.

 

But there is hope.  The U.S. government lost in Vietnam because that war inevitably bred anti-colonial resistance, mass protest at home, and a G.I. mutiny that crippled the most powerful war machine the world had ever seen.

 

Today, the United States is losing in Iraq because *this* unjust war also breeds resistance.

 

We see that resistance when ordinary Iraqis fight back the U.S. occupation and its collaborators.  That's why the U.S. hasn't been able to invade Iran or Syria.

 

We have seen it reflected in the largest mass protests in world history; in Burlington, Vermont's vote of a few weeks ago to bring the troops home now; in the growing counter-recruitment movement; and in Italy's announced troop withdrawal.

 

We see it in the unions - including AFSCME, postal workers, communication workers, mail handlers, and SEIU - that have come out against this war.

 

We have seen it in the growing number of American G.I.s - workers in uniform - who are quitting at the end of their enlistments, refusing to fight, going AWOL or deserting, and in the rising number of teenagers who are refusing to join up in the first place.

 

And as we stand here in New York City, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and other vets and military families are leading antiwar protests in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of the huge Army base at Ft. Bragg.  Let's give them a strong shout-out.

 

So don't lose heart.  Together, we have:

 

The power to end U.S. occupation in Iraq.

 

The power to end imperial war and occupation in Afghanistan, in Palestine, in the Philippines, in Colombia, in Korea, in Haiti, in Puerto Rico - and across the globe.

 

The power to fight against the war being waged at home against workers, immigrants, civil rights and civil liberties.

 

Bring the Troops Home Now!

 

MORE:

 

New York City Marches Against The War:

Harlem The Heart Of The Action;

Slimy UFPJ Leaders Refuse To Endorse March Focused On People Of Color

 

27 Mar 2005 From: New York City Labor Against The War

 

Subject: 3.19: New York City Labor Against The War Report on NYC Demo

 

On March 19, 15,000 antiwar protesters stretched for 15 blocks as they marched from Harlem to Central Park in New York City.

 

In New York City, it was the largest antiwar protest since March 20, 2004, when 100,000 turned out on the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq; much of the antiwar movement subsequently collapsed into support for pro-war presidential candidate John Kerry.

 

The demonstration successfully defeated the city's policy of denying permits for antiwar protests in Central Park and on Fifth Avenue.

 

But the March 19 demonstration, organized by the Troops Out Now Coalition, was most notable as the first large antiwar march to emerge from Harlem, and for its strong representation of African Americans, Latinos, Arabs, Muslims and Asians -- many of them immigrants -- from communities most directly impacted by the war, both abroad and at home.

 

The protest began with a rally at Marcus Garvey Park.  It rallied again at the military recruitment station on 125 Street, traveled through Central and East Harlem, and ended with a main rally in Central Park's East Meadow.

 

Afterwards, thousands marched through the wealthy Upper Eastside to deliver the same message to the home of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

 

The Troops Out Now Coalition was initiated last fall by the International Action Center, and by trade unionists and community activists of color of the Million Worker March.

 

These include Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME DC 1707, co-convener of New York City Labor Against the War, and co-chair of the Million Worker March; Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council; Christopher Silvera, chair of the Teamsters Black Caucus, and secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 808; TWU Local 100 activists Charles Jenkins and Richard McKnight; Una Muzak, owner of Liberation Bookstore in Harlem; and Gil Banks, cofounder of Harlem Fight Back.

 

Labor endorsements and contingents came from AFSCME DC 1707 Local 205; AFSCME DC 37 Locals 375, 1930 and 262; AFM Local 1000; Association of Mexican American Workers; Black Telephone Workers for Justice; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-NY; Guyanese-American Workers United; National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981; Educators Against the War; Postal Workers Against the War; Transit Workers Against the War; New Jersey Labor Against the War, 1199ers for Peace and Justice; NY Taxi Workers Alliance; and Troy Area Labor Council.

 

At the rally, NYCLAW co-convener Brenda Stokely told marchers that: "It is very important that the demonstration began in Harlem.  Not only because the people of Harlem, and especially its young people, have had rain on them the costs of militarism, war and racism.  Harlem is also important as a symbol of resistance.  Every nationality in New York was represented in the march from Marcus Garvey Park to Central Park."

 

Also participating in the protest were many activists affiliated with United for Peace and Justice.

 

UFPJ's leadership, however, rejected repeated invitations to cosponsor, endorse or publicize the event.  [If only John Kerry had decided to come these “leaders” might have changed their minds.  As he was calling for more troops in Iraq and the destruction of Falluja in the election campaign, too many of them were busy kissing his ass as their perverted notion of a “peace” candidate.]

 

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.

 

 

Army Takes Texas-New Mexico Rescue Copters To Iraq;

Civilians Will Die;

Private Profiteers Won’t Do Risky Missions

 

Another concern is that Southwest Med Eva helicopters, which are based in Las Cruces and Alamogordo, will take longer to arrive at accident scenes in the El Paso area, she said.  The two MAST Blackhawk’s are based at Beaumont Army Medical Center.

 

The helicopters aren't equipped with hoists that can winch an injured person out of a tight spot because that activity is "uninsurable," he said.

 

March 17, 2005 Chris Roberts, El Paso Times

 

As of June 1, Army Blackhawk helicopters that have been used for medical evacuations in Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas no longer will be available because the aircraft and crews are needed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Fort Bliss officials said Wednesday.

 

Southwest Med Eva, the Las Cruces Company that has been flying most of the civilian evacuations in recent years, is prepared to take on more missions.

 

However, Southwest Med Eva’s aircraft can't duplicate some of the Blackhawk’s' abilities, including hoist rescues and multi-patient transports, so changes will be required region wide in trauma procedures.

 

"The reason we were here was because there was no civilian company capable of providing the service," said Lt. Col. Michael Nipple, Fort Bliss' chief of aviation. 

 

The program, which has been in El Paso for more than 20 years, will also be ended at about 10 other major Army installations, including Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Hood, Texas, he said.

 

"The biggest concern we have is multi-victim" transports, Lois Bough, director of emergency, trauma and neurological services at Thomason Hospital said.   "We'll have to do more intensive ground triaging and ground transporting."

 

Another concern is that Southwest Med Eva helicopters, which are based in Las Cruces and Alamogordo, will take longer to arrive at accident scenes in the El Paso area, she said.  The two MAST Blackhawk’s are based at Beaumont Army Medical Center.

 

The helicopters aren't equipped with hoists that can winch an injured person out of a tight spot because that activity is "uninsurable," he said.

 

And he said Southwest Med Eva has criteria that are meant to provide aid to the most vulnerable victims while protecting the company, which flies the $1,000-an-hour search missions at its own expense.

 

In general, the missions will be undertaken for people younger than 12 or older than 55 who have been missing in rural areas for less than 24 hours.

 

 

Boosting Death Benefits:

“I Do Not Foresee Any Soldier Re-Upping To Go Get Killed”

 

3.21.05 Army Times

Letters To The Editor

 

I have to say that the article “Boosting benefits” [Feb. 28] made me laugh.

 

While the idea of boosting benefits is a real issue in retaining trained and experienced soldiers — and some of the benefits discussed should have been in place years ago — I disagree that these benefits will help retain soldiers.

 

I would have to die or be severely injured for my family or me to “qualify” for receipt of 11 of the 21 proposals.

 

Personally, my family and I will not be in a rush to take advantage of most of these proposals and I do not foresee any soldier re-upping to go get killed so his family can benefit from them.

 

Why don’t Congress and the Pentagon take action where soldiers would appreciate it most — in the wallet.

 

Elimination of federal taxes for all active military, Guard and reserve for their entire period of active federal service would be a good start.  A number of states have had this for many years.  Other states do not tax military retirement pay.  Why does the federal government not see the light?

 

Soldiers are federal employees — the government pays them and they work for the government — yet soldiers do not receive matching funds for Thrift Savings Plan contributions, while their civilian counterparts do.

 

Somebody (or a whole lot of somebodies) in the Capitol is definitely missing the point when it comes to retaining and adequately compensating soldiers and their families.

 

Sgt. 1st Class David Poppert

Honolulu

 

 

Army Continues Tormenting PTSD Soldier

 

(Washington Post, March 23, 2005, 2004, Pg. 4)

The Army has dismissed AWOL charges against an officer and Iraq war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  First Lt. Jullian P. Goodrum, who checked himself into a civilian hospital after an Army clinic turned him away, still faces two non-judicial charges.

 

 

Army Continues Tormenting Troops;

95% Of Guard, Reserve Have Fucked Up Paychecks

 

March 21, 2005 By Vince Crawley, Army Times staff writer

 

With 95 percent of mobilized National Guard and reserve members — and a fair number of active-duty troops — plagued by payroll mistakes, military finance officials this spring are rushing into place a new pay system aimed at eliminating what one lawmaker has labeled “financial friendly fire.” 

 

In July, the Government Accountability Office told Congress that 19 out of every 20 mobilized reservists have experienced pay errors.

 

“It’s a wonder anybody gets paid accurately,” said Lt. Gen. James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., called the situation “financial friendly fire.”

 

As recently as March 1, lawmakers expressed concern about the enormous scale of military payroll glitches.  Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., raised the issue at a hearing on the 2006 defense budget and noted that complaints about military pay problems crop up often in her talks with wounded service members and reservists from her state.

 

“It is of great concern to me and I hope it is to you, as well … this is just not acceptable,” Stabenow told Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

 

 

Younger “Corporals And Below” On Okinawa Treated Like Stupid, Bad Children:

Must Be Home By Midnight

 

(Pacific Stars and Stripes, March 20, 2005)

Under a new liberty card program, junior service members must be back on their base by midnight.  "The group most likely to get into trouble are the corporals and below, ages 18 to 20 or so," a Marine spokesman said, noting that most off-base crimes occur after midnight. 

 

 

Criminals In Command:

Liars Deliberately Defraud Soldiers

 

3.21.05 Army Times

Letters To The Editor

 

Thousands of soldiers are being bamboozled into taking this deal.  I feel like a fool for giving up that much tuition assistance for something being sold at such a low price in the civilian market.

 

I am writing this letter to express my serious concerns with the eArmyU program.

 

More than $1,200 of a student’s tuition assistance goes to pay for, in most cases, an obsolete IBM ThinkPad that is claimed to be state of the art but is worth hundreds of dollars less than the amount of tuition assistance taken to provide the laptop.

 

The program uses the technology package to lure unsuspecting soldiers into giving up 25 percent of their tuition assistance for a computer that is not even capable of playing an interactive educational DVD.

 

More specifically, eArmyU students at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, are being told they will receive a state-of-the art laptop, meaning the equipment should be of high quality and up-to-date technology.

 

Thousands of soldiers are being bamboozled into taking this deal.  I feel like a fool for giving up that much tuition assistance for something being sold at such a low price in the civilian market.

 

Spc. Casey Fitzgerald

Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

 

 

The Piece-Of-Shit Plane That War Profiteers Pay Congress To Love

 

(New York Times, March 24, 2005)

 

It is hard to imagine an airplane with more problems than the C-130J, the latest version of the venerable workhorse the Air Force uses to drop cargo and paratroopers into global hot spots.

 

The plane has so many flaws that it cannot fly its intended combat missions. It is unable to drop heavy equipment, operate well in cold weather or perform combat search-and-rescue missions.

 

Paratroopers cannot jump out of it without risk of banging up against the fuselage.

 

Still, the C-130J has one important fan: Congress.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

"If It Were Up To Me, I'd Kill The Americans And Drink Their Blood"

 

March 28 By Owen Matthews, Newsweek

 

Hussein Hassan was hurrying to get home.

 

His wife, Kamila, sat beside him in the family Opel; their five youngest children, 2 to 14, were squeezed in the back seat with a 6-year-old cousin. They had been at his brother's house, but now curfew was 15 minutes away, and Tall Afar's streets are no place for a family after dark. Hussein turned off Tall Afar's main traffic circle onto Mansour Boulevard.

 

Rakan was first to spot the soldiers in the deepening dusk. They were waving their arms and raising their assault rifles.

 

The boy jumped up in the back seat. Before he could open his mouth to warn his father, a storm of gunfire struck the car, killing both parents and covering the children with their blood.

 

Army investigators in Iraq have cleared Apache Company's soldiers of any wrongdoing. The men did what they were trained to do under the circumstances.

 

Yet that's small comfort to the Hassan orphans.  "If it were up to me, I'd kill the Americans and drink their blood," says Jilan, 14.

 

 

Demonstration Against Occupation Killing & Arrests In Al-Saqlawiya

 

3.27.05 Aljazeera

 

Aljazeera has learned that hundreds of residents of al-Saqlawiya town, north of Falluja, took to the streets on Sunday to protest against the alleged detention of the mother of a wanted man who was subsequently killed during a raid by US forces on his house.

 

A delegation representing citizens of al-Saqlawiya headed towards a US military base to demand the release of the woman and others detained during the raid.

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

3/28/2005 & 3.27 Al Jazeera Publishing & By TRACI CARL, Associated Press Writer & Herald and Weekly Times & "PA" & (UPI) & (Xinhuanet)

 

Two Iraqi policemen were killed and several people wounded, including two policemen, in a booby-trapped bicycle attack against a police car in the Iraqi town of Mussayib Monday, police said.

 

The attack targeted a police car guarding the highway between Baghdad and Najaf in the Musayab area, a police spokesman said.

 

An unknown person left his bicycle next to the parking police car and ran away, the police said.

 

It was reported that a human bomber riding a motorcycle blew himself up near a police patrol protecting a Shiites holy shrine.

 

Rebels killed the chief of a police station in Baghdad’s Dora district.  Capt. Falah al-Muhimadawi said that unknown rebels opened fire on a car carrying police Col Abdul Karim Fahd Abbas, killing the police chief and his driver.

 

Two other police officers were killed and 12 others wounded in two roadside bomb explosions in the western part of Baghdad.  The police had been tipped off to the locations of the bombs, but they detonated before they could be defused.

 

Security was tightened Monday around the already heavily fortified Green Zone.  But insurgents still targeted the area, firing three mortar rounds that slammed into the banks of the Tigris River, just outside the zone's concrete barrier.

 

Three members of the Badr Organistion, a Shiite political grouping, were killed on the road near Baqouba, 60km northeast of the capital.  The incident happened when the assailants opened fire on the car carrying the three men to their homes near Abu Tamir village in the town of al-Khalis, north of Baquba, according to Aljazeera.  Resistance fighters in another car pulled alongside their vehicle and shot them, police and defence ministry sources said.

 

Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and three more were wounded in separate attacks in and around Baquba.

 

In the first instance, a lieutenant colonel from the former Iraqi army was shot dead by resistance fighters in his friend's shop, according to police.

 

Nearby, one soldier was killed and another was injured in an attack in Dhuluiyah, 70km north of Baghdad, said police captain Omar Jumaha.

 

Another soldier was killed and two more were wounded in Balad, about 70km north of Baghdad, said police captain Assad Sudad.

 

Further north, four police were killed and six were wounded when rebels attacked their police station in Tal Afar with mortars and small arms fire, said Salah Mohammed, a doctor at the Tal Afar hospital.

 

One civilian was killed and six others wounded when fighting erupted later on Sunday in Tal Afar between anti-government fighters and the Iraqi army after one of their convoys was hit with a roadside bomb near the town's water pumping station, police and medical sources said.

 

A video on the internet showed the execution of a man identifying himself as Col. Ryadh Gatie Olyway.

 

The man displayed his Interior Ministry identification card and said he was a liaison officer with the American forces.

 

Olyway said he provided the US military with the names “of officers of the former Iraqi army, who are Sunnis, and their addresses”.

 

At the end of the video, Olyway was blindfolded and appeared to be shot once in the head.

 

In the northern city of Mosul, two Iraqi army soldiers were injured when attackers opened fire on their car, Dr. Bahaa al-Deen al-Bakry said. The two were dressed in civilian clothes at the time of the attack, he said.

 

A truck driver travelling in a US-guarded convoy was shot dead by anti-government fighters on the road to the northern city of Mosul, Police Lieutenant-Colonel Faris Mahdi said.

 

Two Iraqi policemen were shot dead in Baghdad's western Yarmuk neighbourhood, a Defence Ministry official said.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“The People Over In Iraq, They’re Not Terrorists”

“They’re People Defending Their Country From Us.”

 

March 28, 2005 By Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As one of just eight American soldiers who fled to Canada instead of going to Iraq, Cliff Cornell hopes he will be granted political asylum rather than be forced to fight a war to which he objects.

 

Now living in Toronto as a peace volunteer, Cornell had his bags packed in early January, ready to return to Fort Stewart, Ga., and join the rest of his battalion preparing to deploy.  But the car stood in the driveway and he changed his mind, heading north.

 

“I wanted a legal way out,” Cornell said by phone Sunday. “But ... the only option I had was to go to Iraq or come up here. I choose to come up here because I didn’t want to be a part of that.”

 

“The people over in Iraq, they’re not terrorists,” he said. “They’re not insurgents. They’re people defending their country from us.  We have invaded them and it’s wrong.”

 

Cornell is one of eight known U.S. military deserters who fled to Canada to avoid war in Iraq.  They are represented by Jeffry House, a Wisconsin native who came to Canada in 1970 to avoid the Vietnam draft.

 

House estimated as many as 100 American war resisters are hiding in Canada.

 

“In my heart I felt it’s wrong,” Cornell said of the war.  “I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about all the innocent people who are being killed and the prisons over there where they’ve been torturing people.  I just didn’t want to be a part of it.”

 

Cornell says he joined the Army in 2002 when he could no longer afford to go to college. The Army’s package of tuition assistance, an enlistment bonus and medical coverage were attractive.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Defending Life!!!?????

 

March 28, 2005 By Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder: Gold Star Families for Peace

 

Dear Peace People,

 

"President Bush supports all those who stand up to defend life."

 

March 26th...quoted by Peter Baker in The Washington Post. "Bush's Back-and-Forth Reflects Rift in Party."

 

Said by: Dana Perino: White House Spokesperson.

 

 

I think we should claim that statement.

 

I think we should inundate her with e-mails asking her to have the president publicly support the anti-war movement in general, and GSFP (Gold Star Families for Peace); MFSO (Military Families Speak Out) and IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) in particular.

 

Below is a copy of the letter that I am sending her.

 

Love

Cindy

 

 

To: Dana Perino

White House Press Secretary

 

From: Cindy Sheehan

           Mother of Spc Casey Austin Sheehan

           KIA Sadr City Iraq; 04/04/04

           Co-founder: Gold Star Families for Peace www,gsfp.org  

 

Dear Ms Perino,

 

I read with great interest and excitement your quote in The Washington Post dated 03/26/2005.  The article is titled "Bush's Back-and-Forth Reflects Rift in Party."  The author, of the piece, Peter Baker quotes you as saying: "President Bush supports all those who stand up to defend life."

 

You don't know how absolutely THRILLED I was when I read that quote; because I SUPPORT LIFE!!  I am so honored that President Bush supports me and my organization!!

 

My organization, Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) got together specifically to end this war and to end the killing in Iraq.  GSFP is made up of family members who have lost precious loved ones in the invasion/occupation of Iraq.  We are opposed to the killing on both sides of the conflict.  Especially the estimated two hundred thousand innocent Iraqi civilians who have been killed.

 

Here are some concrete things that President Bush can do to support me and my organization in our life-defending activities:

 

1)  Bring our troops home from Iraq now so no other innocent people have to be killed.

 

2)  Change the 81 billion dollar killing and war-profit appropriation's bill into a reparation's bill.

 

3)  Stop meddling in the affairs of sovereign Middle-Eastern countries..like Iran and Syria.

 

4)  Bring members of my organization to the White House to show his support for our life-defending activities.  This visit would not have to include any medals.  Just a public  _expression of support for our life-defending activities would be appropriate.

 

5)  Stop misleading the world about the reasons he invaded Iraq and stop misleading the world in his reasons for staying in Iraq.

 

6)  Stop appointing people who support war and torture to high level positions; i.e.: Condaleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, John Bolton, John Negroponte, Paul Wolfowitz..to name a few.

 

7)  Stop trying to cover up the quagmire of Iraq by going all over the country misleading us about the mess Social Security is in.

 

8)  Take some of the reparations money for Iraq and fully fund the VA and Veteran's groups to help take care of our physically, mentally, and emotionally wounded children who are coming back barely alive from Iraq themselves.

 

9)  Do not, under any circumstances attack Iran or Syria.

 

10) Did I mention, bring our children home from Iraq, now??

 

I have other ideas if the President, or yourself would like to contact me, or meet with me.

 

Again, please congratulate the President for supporting activities that defend life.

 

Please let him know that GSFP is fully behind life and that we are relieved that the situation in Iraq should be coming to a swift end now.

 

We are also joyful that all of our children who come home will now be taken care of the way they deserve.  We are also pleased that the Iraqi people will now be able to rebuild their own country and get on with their lives without being occupied.

 

My hope is restored.

 

Thank you Mr. President.

 

Sincerely,

Cindy Sheehan

Co-Founder: Gold Star Families for Peace

Mother of Fallen Hero: Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Collaborator Interior Minister Says Murderers Of Unarmed Workers “Just Doing Their Job”

 

Mar 28, 2005 AP

 

Iraq's interior minister warned citizens Monday not to hold protests, saying the gatherings were an invitation for a large-scale terrorist attack.  His comments came a day after government bodyguards opened fire on a group of employees demanding higher wages, killing one person.  [He’s right.  The collaborators Bush uses to control Iraq will indeed launch terrorist attacks, just like this one. 

 

Interim Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib, likely to be out of job once the new government takes over, said the protest was among "attempts to destabilize the situation" in Iraq.

 

He accused the protesters of trying to enter the office of Science and Technology Minister Rashad Mandan Omar and said the bodyguards were just doing their job by protecting the official.  [He’s right about that too.  Their job is serving Bush and killing Iraqis who are demonstrating for higher wages.  And when the resistance gets him and the guards and they’re found dead in a ditch, they’ll be just doing their job too.]

 

Hamid Balasem, an engineer at the Science and Technology Ministry, said about 50 ministry guards were demonstrating because they said they were paid only part of their wages.

 

“We didn’t carry any weapons or have any intention of shooting, but the minister’s bodyguards started firing on us,” said Haithem Jassim, one of three people injured in the melee.

 

 

RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ

 

March 28, 2005 Ahmed Al-Habbabi, [anti-allawi-group] [photo Feb 2005]

 

Here is exactly where it all starts...

and precisely where it all ends.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

IED Hits Canadian Occupation Car

 

March 28, 2005 By Stephen Graham, Associated Press

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — The main U.S. bases in Afghanistan are getting an $83 million upgrade, an Air Force general said Monday, a fresh sign American forces may remain in Central Asia for years.  [That’s what the Russians thought.  They got their ass whipped right out of town.  Afghans do not like foreign occupations.]

 

Meanwhile, in a reminder of the instability still busying 25,000 foreign troops, a roadside bomb hit a Canadian Embassy vehicle and another car in Kabul, injuring at least four people.

 

150 U.S. aircraft, including ground-attack jets and helicopter gunships as well as transport and reconnaissance planes, were using 14 airfields around Afghanistan. Many are close to the Pakistani border.  Other planes such as B-1 bombers patrol over Afghanistan without landing.

 

U.S. forces are increasingly focused on the area along the Pakistani border, but security remains fragile also in the capital.

 

Monday’s explosion left a sports utility vehicle from the Canadian Embassy with several broken windows and pocked the bodywork with shrapnel.  Afghan officials said one Canadian was injured by the bomb, which left a 1.5-meter (five-foot) -wide crater next to the road.

 

However, witnesses said the man, identified by an embassy official as a security guard, walked unaided from the damaged vehicle.

 

 

 

Received:

 

WHAT DID SMEDLEY SAY?

 

From: DB

To: GI Special

Sent: March 28, 2005

 

President Bush recently said: "During this holy season, we thank God for His blessings and ask for His wisdom and guidance. We also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces -- especially those far from home, separated from family and friends by the call of duty."

 

Major General Smedley Butler (USMC) said: "So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in this clamor to kill, kill, kill.  To kill the (enemy).  God is on our side . . . it is His will that the (enemy) be killed."

 

Further information at: http://www.warisaracket.org

 

 

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.