GI SPECIAL 3A88:
THIS IS HOW BUSH
BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME
Combat hospital's critical care air
transport team, responsible for critically ill and injured patients,
prepares for departure from Iraq. New York Times Company
“And To The
A Trojan Jackass
For The Anti-War Movement
It's this fear
that motivates the cheap attack on the Fayetteville action,
because when the resistance is carried into the dark heart of the
imperial military itself a storm threat appears on the horizon,
and not just for the war but for the bosses at home.
April 2 / 3, 2005
By STAN GOFF, Master Sgt. U.S. Army, Special Forces (ret’d);
Fayetteville, North Carolina
"To mark the second anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq on March
19, various anti-war groups are planning to protest in Fayetteville,
N.C., the home of Fort Bragg. It's not the protest, but the location
that has some people upset.
"An organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan said demonstrators are 'wrong and insensitive' to take
their complaints to Fort Bragg, because it blames the warriors for
"'The decision makers are not at Fort Bragg, they are in Washington.
Rallying against the war by marching at Fort Bragg is like
protesting the cows if you don't like McDonalds,' said Paul
Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth."
Groups Protesting US Troops Instead of Decision-Makers," by Susan
Jones, CNSNews.com, March 17, 2005
Everyone knows the
story of the Trojan Horse. An act of friendship used to smuggle the
enemy force inside your gates.
the dumbed down version.
The Greeks led the
Trojans to believe that the great wooden horse was a Greek war
offering to Athena, alleging it had been abandoned on the
battlefield. The Greeks left a soldier behind, pretending he was
now a non-combatant, to convince the Trojans that if they didn't
carry the ligneous steed back into fortified Troy, the Trojans
themselves would risk the wrath of the goddess Athena. It's a
better story this way.
Maybe it's a more
apt metaphor, too, for what Paul Rieckhoff and "Operation Truth" are
up to with the antiwar movement.
Paul Rieckhoff, a
former first-looey in the Reserves who went to Iraq, has now found
his political niche as a plant for the Democratic Party, using his
outfit's non-profit status to give him plausible deniability. The
NGO in question is Operation Truth, which has somehow managed to
pass itself off as an antiwar group every since its inception while
explicitly not taking a position against the war.
It's a little like calling Camille
Paglia a feminist or James Carville a leftist. Say it a couple of
times in the press and its riveted together in the public
consciousness. Feminist Camille Paglia... "from the left, James
Carville." Basically, people can get away with any damn thing these
days, or think they can. Not this, though.
Let me be frank.
Operation Truth is a sham, and its staff commandant is a jackass.
Just so no one tries to attribute my
remarks to anyone or any organization or any campaign I might be in
now, or any in the future, I say again... I am speaking for myself.
I have a number of friends and colleagues who are a good deal more
diplomatic than I am that can speak for their organizations. But
after Reickhoff's creepy little attack on the Fayetteville, North
Carolina antiwar action of March 19th , I can hold my tongue no
longer on either Rieckhoff or the attempt by the operatives of
liberal imperialism more generally to blunt the sharpening
anti-imperial edge of the broad movement against the Mesopotamian
Let me reiterate
again that I am speaking for myself, personally, representing no
organization... so no one like Rieckhoff can attribute anything I
say to any of my allies in any current or campaign within the
I'm speaking for
myself as an unabashed leftist -- that's someone who opposes
capitalism, in case this term is confusing. (James Carville is not
a leftist. He is an obnoxious asshole, which is just one current
within the Democratic Party... the Republicans have a lot of
obnoxious assholes, too.)
Leftism is part of
the broad antiwar movement, openly so, and we argue openly for our
position: that capitalism as a system, and not some moral or
intellectual failure, causes these wars.
My reaction here doesn't only include
Operation Truth, but the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC),
and all the rest of these bombardier-liberal shills. I haven't
gotten ugly with any of them in public in the past because they were
still mixed in with us when the pre-2004-election antiwar efforts
were homogenized within a movement that was not antiwar, but
And this is the first time they have
very publicly attacked those of us who are organizing among military
families, veterans, and GI's.
Just two weeks ago,
Operation Truth's Rieckhoff launched a full frontal bullshit assault
against that action in the press saying, "If you support the troops,
don't protest them in their backyards -- especially not as they're
sent to war or returning home."
Of course, the
entire call-up for that event was painfully clear from the very
beginning that this was not a protest "against troops," which is a
red herring in any case, and the speaker line-up was ponderously
heaped with the families of military members, veterans, and the
surviving families of the war dead.
this, and he lied about the character of the demo anyway.
Anyone who cares to
search Rieckhoff's Operation Truth website, by the way, hungry for a
single statement opposing either the invasion or occupation of Iraq
will go home with an empty stomach. That's
because it is not an antiwar NGO. It is criticizing the conduct of
the war and the actions of the Republican administration on veterans
benefits in a way calculated to bewilder people into believing it is
an ally of the antiwar movement.
So here's my
message to Rieckhoff. We got your number. Go home to your imperial
The same goes for Eric Gustafson who
heads up the Education for Peace in Iraq Coalition (EPIC), another
vet mired in the issue-policy swamp of liberal pluralism. From
their own news release in which they piled onto the campaign of lies
directed at the Fayetteville action: "Founded in 1998 by human
rights advocates, EPIC promotes peace, human rights, and democracy
for the people of Iraq. Since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq two
years ago this week, EPIC has advocated U.S. and international
assistance for Iraqi-led nation-building and opposed the withdrawal
of UN-sanctioned forces until Iraq is able to provide for its own
EPIC's website claims is "was" against
the war, but now... here's the uniform mantra among these fronts...
WE cannot "abandon" Iraq.
The caps are
intentional, and the claim is mendacious. Their opposition was not
to invading and occupying Iraq, but to the way in which the neocons
went about it... that is, without a resolution from the UN Security
'Give me a Security Council
resolution, and I'll release my masculine energy on those wogs in a
cloudburst of 500-pound bombs!'
speciality of this "tendency" is to red-bait. So I might as well
take that away right here. I'm as red as a baboon's ass and proud of
I don't have to put on a red hat,
though, to talk about this WE business... this WE must not "abandon
Even my movement
allies in the hardly-seditious North Carolina Council of Churches
-- who co-sponsored the Fayetteville action -- know that support
of ANY continuation of ANY imperial military occupation is NOT
If you support a
military occupation, then you are supporting a war. Two plus two.
This is not complicated.
Just for the record, Paul & Eric, the
US military is not in Iraq to do a damned thing for the Iraqi
brand of cheap magical-mystery acid does someone take when he
implies that Pizarro should be nominated to help the Incas with
reconstruction? WE are the barbarians here!
This benevolent force you are arguing
to leave in Iraq has been used to enforce attacks and sanctions that
are slouching toward a body count of 2 million, microtoxified the
entire environment with a radioactive condiment that produces babies
born without brains, slaughtered children in front of their parents
and parents in front of their children, trashed the social and
economic infrastructure, imprisoned thousands of people in
indiscriminate round-ups (including children, by the way), subjected
detainees to sexual humiliation, beatings, rape, murder, and other
methods of systematic torture, bombed whole neighborhoods, kicked in
the doors of sleeping families and waved guns at their infants and
grandmothers, surrounded a city (Fallujah, in case WE forgot), then
blocked the exits against "military-aged males," who the US armed
forces then exterminated, Warsaw-style, by the thousands.
You know, Paul & Eric , that I could
go on with this list for some time.
That's why the
antiwar movement is going to reject your little containment mission
for the liberal bourgeoisie (Oh my God, he used another one of those
commie words!). It doesn't take a Red to see the White-Man's-Burden
stamp across this box of goods you are selling. WE can't abandon
the Iraqis, indeed!
There is no WE.
There is a THEY. I may as well explain this wild-eyed leftist
claim. THEY are an imperial ruling class. THEY really do exist,
and with about a month's dedicated research, it would be possible
for a small staff to list them out with names and addresses... but
then someone would accuse us of developing hit lists. Hmmm.
THEY operate very like a mafia, and
THEY rely very much on their US state to keep things running
smoothly, including sending out hirelings to kill their enemies and
The difference is that the hirelings,
who are vast numbers of working class kids, have been convinced all
their lives by a zillion-dollar-a-year Orwellian brainwashing
apparatus to believe that killing for bankers and currency
speculators and politicians is some noble cause.
THEY just sent
hundreds of thousands of working class people in uniform to kill
hundreds of thousands of unfashionable brown people in order to
establish the redisposition of a post-Cold War imperial military
into Southwest Asia. THEY have not for one milisecond considered,
nor will THEY ever consider, the welfare of Iraqis except when it is
politically and militarily expedient.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq
will not be converted into a Botticelli painting.
THEY want to establish permanent
military bases there, and every day that they stay there puts them
one day closer to that... or more likely to some humiliating
denouement like Vietnam, so we can ring up the carcass numbers in
five figures with the only body count THEY keep -- American dead.
Iraqis don't count, you see.
So as long as we're
playing the pronoun game, let me point out that YOU and the flabby
Democratic Party bosses you ultimately work for when you attack us
on actions like Fayetteville... YOU are arguing precisely what your
correlatives did during the Vietnam occupation.
YOU and all the rest of the
civil-societist gasbags in the alphabet soup of issue-policy NGO's
are advising moderation in the face of a world that is already
deeply in the grip of the very barbarism that Rosa Luxemburg warned
us about. (She was red, too.)
That's what YOU
always do when big sections of the people start to look left. It's
your nasty little job, and the latte fumes meandering up from your
cups have always masked the smell of spilt blood... because what YOU
are endorsing is nothing more nor less than the continuation of
Wolfowitz's lethal Caligulan fantasy in Iraq to save capitalism from
its own dirty, dangerous, and expensive messes.
where you would like to have shut us up, Cindy Sheehan tore open the
tender wound of her grief for the hundredth time before a crowd,
describing the moment when she learned that the child she pushed out
of her own body no longer existed, that he had disappeared in a
sustained moment of terror and pain during the Sadr rebellion, a
rebellion incited gratuitously by the occupation authorities.
She puts that grief
on display again and again in the hope that others won't have to
experience it, when she could stay home and let the wound heal.
So I am not going
to be diplomatic with Paul Rieckhoff and his ilk, when they
misrepresent the action in Fayetteville as somehow being directed
against those bewildered, economically caged-in workers in uniform
we call "the troops."
Of course, class has been off their
agenda for a long time.
More and more of us already know who
is served by trying to check the growing militancy within the
antiwar movement, and we recognize the Kiplingesque racism that
props up their flaccid argument that the Iraqis are uniquely
unqualified to take control of their own destiny.
It's not Iraq they are concerned with,
after all, is it?
They are worried,
just like any Democratic Party boss or entrenched union bureaucrat
that the left shift in the movement, where a lot of "ordinary"
people now seek out and speak with known socialists, will eat into
their careerist base. This has always been the motivation for
cluster-bomb Democrats. Nothing freaks them out worse than school
teachers and postal workers and janitors who are educating
themselves on the deeper meaning of words like "imperialism."
It's this fear that
motivates the cheap attack on the Fayetteville action, because when
the resistance is carried into the dark heart of the imperial
military itself a storm threat appears on the horizon, and not just
for the war but for the bosses at home.
The left in this
movement is not "against" the soldiers.
myself, I am on the soldier's side, not as a soldier, but as a human
being. I encourage all soldiers to resist.
I won't conceal
the fact that my encouragement of that resistance is aimed at
utterly gutting the capacity of that institution to continue
operations in the charnel house they've made of Iraq. Because
when the institution of the military can no longer occupy other
nations and kill their people, then our sons and daughters will
quit returning as torn flesh and pain in mobile burn units,
wheelchairs, and body bags.
Oh, but WE can not abandon Iraq!
Hearing this from
Rieckhoff who has never claimed to oppose the war has created the
controversy it has partly because many in the antiwar movement,
including the alternative media, feted this barn weasel. They
thought that his noisy entreaties for better body armor and more
Prozac for PTSD were "progressive" for the same reason people voted
for that Boston Basset hound, John Kerry. They believe the war is
about George W. Bush instead of capitalism.
One pampered, intellectually
challenged, legacy admission to the White House does not explain the
direct line that can be drawn between an airplane flying into a
skyscraper and a kid that will kill for a pair of shoes.
It doesn't explain the straight line
from Abu Ghraib to Pelican Bay. It doesn't explain the connection
between Ken Lay and My Lai, between the battering of a wife in
Cleveland and the sexual torture of a prisoner in Afghanistan, or
between a flood victim in Princeville, North Carolina, and a tsunami
victim in Aceh.
But there are
connections, and they become clearer to people the longer they stay
in the antiwar movement, because they want answers.
The drivel about
staying the course is unsatisfactory.
People can see
Luxemburg's prediction of barbarism right in front of them. It's
here, and this WE finds it unacceptable for future generations.
Take your big
wooden jackass home and leave us to be on our way. We taking that
left turn ahead in the road.
And to the
is the author of "Hideous
Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti"
(Soft Skull Press, 2000), "Full
Spectrum Disorder" (Soft Skull Press, 2003) and "Sex
& War" which will be released approximately December, 2005. His blog
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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Resistance Attack In Force Slams Abu G:
More Than 20 U.S.
Death Toll Not Yet
Apr 2, 2005 (Reuters)
insurgents attacked Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad on Saturday,
detonating two car bombs and firing rocket-propelled grenades at
U.S. forces before the assault was repelled, the U.S. military said.
At least 20 U.S.
soldiers were wounded in the fighting, which lasted around an hour,
a U.S. officer said. At least 12 detainees were also wounded, some
severely. It was not known how many insurgents were wounded or
"A group of
between 40 and 60 insurgents attacked the U.S. forward operating
base at Abu Ghraib," Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, spokesman
for detainee affairs, told Reuters, saying the attack began at
around 10 a.m. EST.
"They detonated two
VBIEDs and also fired rocket-propelled grenades into the prison camp
... it was a sustained attack," he said.
U.S. forces responded with heavy
weapons, and the situation was under control by 2 p.m. EST, Rudisill
said. [That’s four hours later,
in case you’re counting.]
"The attacks were intermittent. They
would fire RPGs and then stop, then they would attack again," he
said. "It's under control now."
Witnesses said the
second car bomb was detonated against U.S. forces as they were
trying to evacuate casualties from the first car bomb blast.
Rudisill said U.S. troops had sealed
the prison grounds and it was not
believed that any insurgents had managed to penetrate the
Marine Killed In
April 2, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-04-01C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq
– A Marine assigned to the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment,
2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed
yesterday by enemy small-arms fire.
April 2, 2005 By William F. West,
The death of a Marine reservist is
being felt both in his home city of Montgomery and his adopted home
of Orlando, Fla.
Charles G. Wells Jr., 32, was killed Wednesday while on his second
tour of duty in Iraq. A convoy commander, Wells was in the western
part of the country when his vehicle struck a land mine.
"It's very tragic that it happened,"
said Zacc Haeus, a Montgomery barber who served in the Marines. He
said he met Wells when Wells was a recruiting assistant.
"He told me the ins-and-outs on how to
keep my nose clean and how I could be successful as a Marine," Haeus
said Friday afternoon.
At the same time, Haeus recalled Wells
as fun-loving and kind.
Antonio King, another Montgomery
barber who served in the Marines, said Wells was dedicated and
"He was a squared-away Marine," King
King, who had heard the news of Wells'
death earlier in the day, said his reaction was, "Oh, man."
"It was a shock," he said.
Wells joined the Marine Corps in
1991. He held at least a dozen honors, including the Presidential
Unit Citation. He was promoted to warrant officer in December and
was serving with the 6th Transport Battalion, 4th Force Service
Support Group, Marine Reserve officials said Friday.
Wells was working
for United Parcel Service when he joined the Orange County, Fla.,
Fire Rescue Department. He had completed emergency medical training
and was preparing to become a firefighter when he received the call
to go to Iraq again.
News of his death
reached the Orange County firefighters Thursday afternoon. They
lowered station flags to half-staff and covered their badges with a
that hits every one of us," said Marianne Nuckles, a department
Wells is survived
by his wife, Nicole, 33, and a four-year-old daughter. Family
members, for privacy reasons, are declining comment.
Dies In Mosul
April 2nd, 2005 MICHAEL GILBERT AND
ADAM LYNN; The News Tribune
A Steilacoom man
who dreamed as a kid of being a soldier was shot to death Wednesday
in Mosul as Stryker soldiers investigated a suspicious car,
officials said Friday.
Fort Lewis identified the soldier as
Sgt. Kenneth L. Ridgley, 30, originally of Olney, Ill. He was
assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, which is part
of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
His brother-in-law, Earl Strausbaugh,
said Ridgley set his sights on being a soldier at a young age.
“Since he was a kid, being in the Army
was all he ever wanted to do,” Strausbaugh said. “When he was only 8
or 9 years old, he’d go down and hang out at the recruiting office.”
Strausbaugh’s sister, Charity, last August and was in the process of
adopting her 3-year-old son, Dillon. The couple bought a house not
long before he deployed to Iraq in October, Strausbaugh said.
Charity Ridgley is a prenursing student at Pacific Lutheran
University and a cadet in the school’s ROTC program.
“He was scheduled
for leave in a month or so,” Strausbaugh said. “That was something
they were anticipating greatly.”
Strausbaugh said his brother-in-law
looked forward to being a father to Dillon.
troops had an Opel surrounded when one of the three men inside
grabbed an AK-47 and sprayed shots in all directions. A round hit
Ridgley in the side of the chest, between the ballistic shields in
his bullet-proof vest.
Ridgley is the 23rd
service member from the 1st Brigade to be killed in Iraq, and the
51st from Fort Lewis to be killed there since the 2003 invasion.
A memorial ceremony is scheduled him
Tuesday at Fort Lewis’ Evergreen Chapel.
Baghdad RPG Wounds
Two U.S. Troops
April 2, 2005 The Canadian Press
In the capital
Friday, insurgents fired a rocket propelled grenade and shot at an
armored vehicle used to transport U.S. troops on a road leading to
the dangerous airport highway, injuring two American soldiers,
the U.S. military said.
April 04, 2005 By Gina Cavallaro, Army
Times staff writer
In the seven months the 2nd Brigade
Combat Team has been in Ramadi, Army Col. Gary Patton, commander of
2nd BCT said his soldiers have seen more than 24 car bombs; 18 were
detonated in November during Ramadan. Some of those have been at
checkpoints and have contributed to the high human toll the U.S.
troops have paid.
As of March 20, the
brigade had lost 52 soldiers and 16 Marines working with them.
In Ramadi, the arrival of the Iraqi
1st Battalion, 2nd Special Police Commandos from outside the
province boosted manpower to the levels needed to operate the three
permanent joint checkpoints in the city, which is the capital of
Anbar province and the largest population center in western Iraq
with close to 400,000 residents.
The II Marine Expeditionary Force has
responsibility for the province and uses those roads as main supply
routes from Baghdad to the Syrian and Jordanian borders and points
Between the checkpoints, soldiers man
mobile observation points on overpasses and other high points from
where they can relay information or watch for insurgent activity,
such as the planting of roadside bombs.
One of the enemy’s
newest tactics is what Patton called the stop-and-drop — a bomb
inside a sandbag sack that is dropped alongside the road from a car
that slows down just long enough to drop it.
U.S. Troops Kill
Two Occupation Cops
The US occupation
forces shot dead two Iraqi policemen in western Baghdad.
The Americans after
being targeted by unknown individuals in Khalediyeh, west of Baghdad
on Saturday shot Iraqi policemen, killing two and wounding four
The American occupiers are said to have mistakenly opened fire at
In Tikrit, northern
Baghdad, three Iraqis on board a boat in the Tigris River were
killed as a US military helicopter opened fire on them.
Vet Fired After
Iraq Duty Awarded $500,000
April 02, 2005 By Mike McPhee, The
A federal judge
Friday awarded a military veteran nearly $500,000 for having been
fired illegally from his civilian job shortly after returning from
two tours of combat duty in Iraq.
Marine Reserve Lt. Col. Steve Duarte
was fired by Agilent Technologies, where he had worked for more than
19 years, in November 2003 - just four months after completing his
second combat tour.
"I'm thrilled by
the ruling," Duarte said. "I just hope that the people of Agilent
think of me every time they see the American flag.
"I have a tinge of
anger, but this is much bigger than me. This is about all the
younger vets coming back who can't afford to fight their employers."
Duarte sued under
the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of
1994 (USERRA), which prohibits employers from firing returning
veterans within the first year, except for with cause.
After presiding over a three-day trial
last month, U.S. District Chief Judge Lewis Babcock ruled Friday
that Agilent had not given Duarte "a fair opportunity to resume his
previous duties" in human resources.
Agilent hired back Duarte with
diminished responsibilities, then forced him out after four months
because of his poor job skills, the company testified.
His manager also
testified she was under pressure to trim more than $700,000 from her
budget, which motivated her to release Duarte and a co-worker.
But Agilent then
posted an ad for Duarte's job a few months later.
Babcock ruled that Duarte was never
given a chance to resume his previous job or to relearn his job
skills before he was evaluated and ranked against other employees.
"Duarte paid a steep price for his
military deployment during his employment with Agilent," wrote
Babcock. "This is the harm USERRA was enacted to prevent."
Duarte was awarded $498,261 in back
pay and future pay, as well as interest. He also was awarded
attorney's fees and costs.
He was represented
by attorney George Aucoin, a former Denver lawyer and Marine
reservist who left the day after the trial for combat duty in Iraq.
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.
From: Don Bacon The Smedley Butler
To: GI Special
Sent: April 02, 2005
RUMMY THROWS IN THE
portion of interview on National
Public Radio, 29 March 05
There are some
military officers, both serving and former, who have said in
different ways that with this insurgency or any insurgency really,
it is not possible to defeat the insurgents militarily. Do you
think that's true?
RUMSFELD: Oh, I
think it certainly is reasonable to say that the coalition is not
going to defeat the insurgency.
---portion of interview on National
Public Radio, 29 March 05
"The Iraqi security forces are
increasingly demonstrating greater and greater capability. Within
the last week they undertook an independent operation without U.S.
or coalition assistance and were highly successful,
some of them."
NONSENSICALLY THAT THE CRITICAL QUESTION IS NONSENSE FIRST, A NEWS
Iraqi Counterterrorism Force Graduates
By U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Joe
Kane, Multinational Security Transition Command - Iraq
Seventy-two hand-picked Iraqi police
officers completed the training as part of the Iraqi government
commitment to field a highly trained counterrorism force.
AMMAN, Jordan, Dec. 3, 2004 -- A class
of 72 Iraqi Counterterrorism Force 'special forces' police completed
a 13-week counterterrorism course at the Jordanian Counterterrorism
Training Academy in Amman, Jordan Dec. 1. More than 250 police were
initially selected for screening and 75 were sent to Jordan for the
training. Three were dropped during the course and 72 made it
through to graduation bringing the total of Iraq's counterterrorism
forces to 300. (REPEAT, "THE TOTAL OF IRAQ'S COUNTERTERRORISM FORCES
TO THREE HUNDRED")
NOW, A PORTION OF A
DONALD RUMSFELD INPR INTERVIEW ON 29 MARCH 2005
NPR: Just looking
at the timeframe - you mentioned the training of Iraqi forces. You
have used a figure of more than 140,000 Iraqis trained. The
Government Accountability Office looked at that number. They said
well, maybe more than 140,000 have been trained but tens of
thousands have walked off the job.
RUMSFELD: That's fair enough. But the
number's something over 140,000. That's just a fact. Now, it's
less than that by some margin, but it's gone from zero up to that.
NPR: It does raise the question of how many forces are really ready
to take over for the United States.
course. That's the critical question. And how skilled -- I think
the whole debate over numbers is nonsensical, frankly.
(REPEAT, "THE WHOLE DEBATE OVER NUMBERS IS NONSENSICAL")
"War is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the
most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the
only one in which profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in
Al-Sadr Calls For
Mass Demonstration Against Occupation On Anniversary Of Fall Of
02 April 2005 By Sinan Salaheddin, The
cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led uprisings against the U.S.-led
coalition last year, called on his supporters to stage a protest in
Baghdad on April 9 to mark the second anniversary of US troops
entering the capital.
al-Edhari, an official at al-Sadr's Baghdad office, said the
protesters will demand that the new Iraqi government set a timetable
for withdrawing foreign troops and for trying Saddam.
April 2, 2005 The Canadian Press & By
Antonio Castaneda, ASSOCIATED PRESS & BBC & irib
A car bomb exploded
Saturday in central Iraq, killing five people, including four police
officers on patrol, in Khan Bani Saad, near Baqouba in central Iraq,
also injured two police officers and three civilians,
provincial police Col. Mudafar al-Jubori said.
Tahsin Mahmoud said: “Four policemen
were killed when they came up to inspect the empty car parked on the
main highway outside the town and it exploded.”
In Baghdad, gunmen opened fire from a
car, killing Hassib Zamil outside of the Education Ministry offices
in the Sadr City neighborhood, education official Ibrahim Abid Wali
evening, the Abu Ghraib prison – made infamous by reports of
prisoner abuse – came under attack, police officer Akram al-Zawbayee
said. Plumes of smoke rose from the area. U.S. military officials
confirmed there was activity in the area but refused to give further
Digging Our Graves
With Their Mouths
General Pinochet used the troops to establish his bloody
dictatorship and slaughter Chileans by the thousands, one left
group, the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, made a half-hearted
attempt to reach out to soldiers. They got slapped down as
“ultra-left” by the Allende government and other assorted
pants-pissing assholes. The result was mass death.
[Ever wonder why so
few in the U.S. anti-war movement today want to reach out to the
troops, preferring instead public posturing and doing everything
else but, while finding all kinds of lame excuses not to act? Check
out the Left Face quote below. T]
From: LEFT FACE,
Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern
Armies, By DAVID CORTRIGHT AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in
Military Studies, Number 107; GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport,
Connecticut • London
The MIR thereafter
downgraded its attempts to work with soldiers.
The fact of the matter is that
this largely student and middle-class-based
organization had little or no direct contact with the
peasant-based enlisted ranks.
For the MIR
leftist groups, rank-and-file soldiers were a separate group, not
part of themselves. The student revolutionaries were largely of
middle-class, urban backgrounds, while the rank-and-file soldiers
came from the rural peasantry and the poor and working classes.
MIR had little or no
personal contact with rank-and-file soldiers, and there was no
concerted effort to encourage activists to join the army and
organize from within. [Or even
simply go find some troops and talk things over with them. As in
the USA, they don’t live on Mars. There were, as in the USA, units
in major cities. Here in the USA they’re called National Guard and
Reserves. They meet in buildings near you. Imagine that.]
few student leftists might have ended up as junior
officers, but very few
activists intentionally joined the military or allowed
themselves to be drafted.
Had leftists worked
inside the army and demanded elementary rights such as better pay
and access to reading material, the fate of the Popular Unity
government might have been different.
[For empty anti-war
intellectuals, talk is more important than doing something real.
For them, the focus is on what one tells others one
a radical. “I’m a
socialist.” --- otherwise known as identity politics).
[The empty words
they deliver at this or that public anti-war meeting don’t cut it.
Rather than reaching out to troops, you hear the same old tedious
crap about “building a movement” and “rebuilding the left.”
[Words mouthed in a
room without action do nothing to reach the troops. The problem
isn’t what they say,
it’s what they refuse to do.
They proclaim their love for the troops in the abstract, but won’t
go near them in person. How typical of their class.]
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Never Sell-Out, They Are Rented To The Strongest Party”
By James Petras ,
Excerpt from: Rebeliَn.org
Once it is safe,
once the ravages of a losing imperial war have torn asunder the
tissues of official lies, out bold progressive intellectuals step
up, seize the center stage and proclaim their opposition to war.
never sell-out, they are rented to the strongest party, the rising
new political configuration. As opposition to the imperial war
grows our progressive intellectuals become bolder.
activity moves toward electoral politics, it is absorbed by the
established electoral parties and politicians, who opportunistically
tip their hat to anti-war sentiment in exchange for diluting
The electoral process involves
anti-war social movements making deep compromises with the pro-war
financiers of campaigns, with politicians articulating ambiguous and
inconsistent positions and with political parties having long-time,
large-scale allegiances to imperial policies and interests.
Such is the experience in the US and
elsewhere: Established political institutions bend sufficiently to
question an unpopular war in order to attract the mass opposition,
and once capturing their allegiance, return to re-building the
military capacity for imperial wars. The moment in which the
movements dissolve into established political parties, competing in
electoral campaigns through “dissident” politicians, “historical
consciousness” is severely eroded.
impetus for organizing mass anti-war movements came precisely
through the recognition that existing political parties and ‘normal
political processes’ are deeply immersed and corrupted by their
structural ties to imperial interests. By returning to these
institutions, with new personalities and slogans, mass consciousness
lost sight of its historical insights into the nature of imperial
movements bypass the distorting influence of the “political
guardians” (conventional politicians, accepted ideologues and media
pundits) and directly articulate the anti-war ideas and
anti-militarist interests of the mass of the people.
Movements acted directly against the
militarist policies which negatively impacted on the populations -
conscription, forced and extended war duties - and against the
policy-makers who sent hundreds of thousands to death and
intellectuals have been fervent critics of war in general, until
they face the reality of their country engaging in war – and then
opposition gives way to evasive statements, ambiguous moral
temporizing and, among the most “courageous”, a condemnation of
the violence of the aggressor and as well as the victim.
Even worst, many left and progressive
intellectuals have argued for, defended and propagated the doctrine
of “humanitarian intervention (imperialism)”.
This moral betrayal was evident during
the US invasion and destruction of Yugoslavia, and support for the
terrorist Kosovo Liberation (sic) Army and the “ethnic cleansing” of
hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Kosovo, Croatia and elsewhere.
US progressive intellectuals were conspicuously silent.
intellectuals” repeated their performance: providing tendentious
political justifications for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq
-- though in the latter case, up until the start of the war, a
minority of intellectuals condemned the war and the victimized
progressive intellectuals, who criticized the imperialist wars,
refused to support the anti-colonial resistance and many opposed
the immediate withdrawal of the colonial armies.
The question of war and peace is a
momentous issue. In the events leading up to an imperialist war, all
the propaganda machinery is set in motion, the mass media dramatize
the righteousness of the imperial cause and the evil of the country
which is to be invaded.
Repressive legislation (“security
measures”) is enacted by large congressional majorities. Publicists,
religious notables, demagogues, statesmen, and respectable leaders
of civil society find lofty moral purposes to laud “this war”. The
latent chauvinist “instincts” of the masses are aroused.
intellectuals become fearful; the repressive legislation may ruin a
career and undermine everyday routines – their classes, seminars and
completion of their latest article or book. Their professional
colleagues eye them with suspicion unless they openly pledge
allegiance – “beyond any criticism in other times, in time of our
survival, we must join forces” – with the military invaders.
It is not merely fear of material
losses or disruption of everyday routines which causes our
progressive intellectuals to embrace the war or remain silent or (in
the case of the most courageous minority) to condemn both sides, but
the sense of being left out of national history, of being shunned by
neighbors and colleagues, of having to accept the consequences of
living in a savage imperial civilization that thrives on war,
especially a successful war.
intellectuals respond far more often to the pressures of their
milieu than to the suffering of the colonized people.
The commitment of the progressive
intellectual is not fixed in stone – they change with the conditions
of their milieu and the strength and fortunes of the imperial
With the colonial occupation, and the
graphic visuals of death and destruction of the colonized countries,
the progressive intellectuals argue for a humanitarian mission, to
correct the excesses of the war.
They even raise their voices a few
decibels before the abuse and torture of certain prisoners in
But rarely do
progressive intellectuals dare to transgress the colonial frontiers
to publicly support the anti-colonial resistance.
They claim that to
commit to the resistance would call into question their “moral
credentials” with the moderate imperial institutional power
Since the end of
the Vietnam War, Western intellectuals have not expressed solidarity
with the popular resistance to any of the imperialist invasions.
Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine
and Lebanon, the imperial wars are numerous, but the list of
committed intellectuals is short.
shift of intellectuals from opposition to pro-war politics and
support of imperial candidates is not simply a “pragmatic choice” of
the lesser evil against the greater evil.
is the result of fear, fear of those in power -- even as they face
no real threat to their lives, careers or living standards.
imagine a threat, and they concoct wild scenarios of “fascist”
repression to hide their moral cowardice. This imagined fear is
magnified by the possible threat to personal safety, security, and
property if the imperial force is defeated and the rulers “take
their revenge” against internal critics.
Supporting the war or “opposing both
sides” as the moral hypocrites prefer it, is insurance for the
future. In the black fantasy world of intellectuals, when the
imagined state investigation takes place, they can always present as
evidence in their favor, their articles and speeches condemning the
“moral barbarians” who attacked “our boys”.
But if there is one universal truth
about our progressive intellectuals it is that they do no “stand in
one place” – they move with the times – they gauge the changing
winds of political fortune.
When those suffering the war, the
“average people” turn against the war, when the imperial regime is
split with elite conflicts, when the soldiers question their orders,
their officers, the war, the president and the generals, then our
moral intellectuals concoct a new set of moral imperatives, adding
their voices to the multitudes who question the war.
Once it is safe,
once the ravages of a losing imperial war have torn asunder the
tissues of official lies, out bold progressive intellectuals step
up, seize the center stage and proclaim their opposition to war.
never sell-out, they are rented to the strongest party, the rising
new political configuration. As opposition to the imperial war
grows our progressive intellectuals become bolder.
In the war of words, the ideological
warfare in the cultural sphere, our progressive intellectuals take
on the neo-conservatives, they expose the lies of the mass media,
they become the self-promoted “face of the opposition” to the
outside world, even if their claims have little merit.
Even as the
intellectuals diagnose the sources of wars, they overlook the
specific and concrete configurations of power in favor of focusing
on easy targets, ones which offer no threats to their professional
careers and intellectual acceptance.
Why does Terry
Schiavo deserve to live more than my son, Spc. Casey Austin
Sheehan? Casey was misused and abused by his Commander-in-Chief
and executive branch that boldly lied to the American public and
the less gullible citizens of other countries about the reasons
for the invasion of Iraq.
Cindy Sheehan, Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04
To: Fox News
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005
This past weekend was the two year
anniversary of the beginning of “shock and awe” of the US
Government’s aggression in Iraq. If all you did was watch CNN, FOX
News, or MSNBC, you would never know.
There were protests all across our
nation. CNN called the over 800 protest events “barely a ripple.” I
spoke at a protest in Fayetteville, North Carolina where there were
right around 4000 people. 4000 people full of energy and committed
to the task of peace and justice and reclaiming our country from the
sociopathic maniacs who are in power right now.
So what were the hypocrites in DC
doing while much of the country was working for peace…either at
rallies, marches, or candlelight vigils?
They were conducting an emergency
smokescreen session in Congress to draft legislation for one woman:
Terry’s story is tragic and her family
has suffered unbearable pain for many years with her “persistent
vegetative” state. I feel so much compassion for her mother who has
had to watch her daughter slowly waste away. My heart truly breaks
for everyone in Terry Schiavo’s family.
However, I have one
question for Congress and for George (“When in doubt it is always
better to err on the side of life”—Arizona, March 22, 2005) Bush,
though: Why does Terry Schiavo deserve to live more than my son,
Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan? Casey was misused and abused by his
Commander-in-Chief and executive branch that boldly lied to the
American public and the less gullible citizens of other countries
about the reasons for the invasion of Iraq.
Casey was sent to
Iraq to be killed by the same pack of cowards and murderers who so
“valiantly” and tirelessly fought for the right for Ms. Schiavo to
The green light for Casey’s murder was
given by a Congress who expediently abrogated their constitutional
rights to a president whose foreign policies are not based on
reality or even loosely based on any kind of Christian moral
values. Someone needs to give Congress basic lessons on the
Constitution: Declaring War---YES; Meddling in a family's private
As far as I am concerned, the amazing
hypocrites in our Government are not making up for killing thousands
of innocent Americans and Iraqis by passing emergency legislation to
save one life.
Every member of
Bush’s executive branch (past and present) and every member of
Congress who voted to give George the authority to invade Iraq
have innocent blood on their hands. For the next State of the
Union address, maybe the hypocrites in Congress should
shamefacedly display blood soaked hands, instead of proudly
wriggling fingers stained with ink to symbolize sham Iraqi
From Bush signing
into Texas law The Futile Care Bill, the culture of the death
penalty in Texas (and around our nation), proposed cuts in Medicaid,
laws restricting medical malpractice lawsuits and Chapter 7
bankruptcy for families who have incurred huge medical bills, this
shameful Congress should go back on vacation and go back to their
home districts and look for people who have been devastated by the
illegal occupation of Iraq.
Mr. Tom (“We should investigate every
avenue before we take the life of a living human being”) DeLay
should be outraged for the soldiers who have been murdered for the
cowardice of he and his colleagues. He should shed real tears for
the soldiers’ families whose lives have been destroyed by their
DeLay should search for a homeless
Iraq Vet and pass legislation to find him a job and an apartment.
Mr. Tom (who cried over Ms. Schiavo’s hunger pains) DeLay should go
to Walter Reed hospital and find one of our kids who has been
horribly maimed by the betrayal of his government and pass
legislation to pay for his meals. After 3 months, the wounded
soldier has to pay for his meals with his own money.
Maybe Mr. Tom
(Crocodile Tears) DeLay should find a soldier who has returned from
this abomination of a war who is suffering from PTSD and pass a law
to get him the help he needs before the soldier's dad finds him
hanging by a garden hose in the basement.
Maybe if Tom DeLay and the rest of the
members of Congress who voted for the Terry Schiavo Emergency Relief
Act and who voted to give George Bush the authority to go to war and
who voted to give George Bush more money to waste in Iraq, sought
out and talked to us citizens whose lives have been tragically
impaired by the invasion/occupation of Iraq and could hear our
stories, they might rush back to DC to vote to rip the authority out
of the president’s hands and end the immoral occupation of Iraq.
One thing this
“Circus of Hypocrisy” has shown me is that Congress can accomplish
something when it sets its mind to it. Now it is time to accomplish
something important…and I am not talking about steroids use in
I have a great
idea!! Although Mr. Tom (Politician Protection Act: HB 913) DeLay
is not my Congressman (hmmm…don’t think he’s Terry Schiavo’s
Congressman, either) maybe I should ask him to introduce the
Soldiers Put in Harm’s Way for Lies and Betrayals Emergency Relief
Act…and force the amazing hypocrites to bring our troops home, now!!
Co-Founder of Gold Star Families For
Casey's Peace Page
Fund Invested On Wall Street:
Accidentally Made Public
April 1, 2005 STAN COX, Salina,
Kansas. Stan Cox is a plant breeder and writer in Salina, Kansas.
He can be reached at: email@example.com
Of the $18.4
billion that Congress appropriated 16 months ago for postwar
reconstruction in Iraq, only $3.6 billion has been spent to date.
There has been much head-scratching over this uncharacteristic
failure of the Pentagon to spend money promptly.
unearthed portion of a Defense Department memo sheds some light on
the issue, suggesting that more than $14 billion earmarked for
reconstruction was actually invested on Wall Street.
The memo's author
and date are unknown.
This portion of
the apparently classified document -- marked "page 3" -- was
mistakenly sent to Mid-America Seed Savers, a nonprofit
organization in Lawrence, Kansas whose members had filed a Freedom
of Information Act request for documents related to the Army's
alleged distribution of genetically engineered wheat seed to
farmers in Iraq.
The memo fragment
is reproduced here in full:
[page heading] Reconstruction fund
enhancement - p. 3
[...] that among
these, the scenario with greatest potential was investment in a
medium-risk portfolio of U.S.-based securities. To accomplish this
without incurring excessive and unwarranted scrutiny, the Secretary
issued a classified order creating the Office of Special Brokerage
Services (OSBS), to which management of the reconstruction funds was
assigned. The OSBS, quietly through third parties, purchased
approximately $5 billion in stock in February, 2004. Another $9.2
billion was invested the following month. As of December 31, 2004,
the fund had shown a net growth of approximately -1.7%.
The negative growth
observed to date should not be cause for gloom. This is a long-term
investment of behalf of the Iraqi people. According to OSBS
projections, the fund's assets will achieve a value of $38.9 billion
by a decade from now, assuming
vigorous growth in the US economy.
It is important to
compare that figure with the almost-certain undesirable outcome of
spending the money directly on infrastructure enhancement. The past
two years' experience shows that new public works run a significant
risk of damage or even instantaneous 100% depreciation due to
hostile and friendly combat activities. And, as
the CJCS [Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers]
has noted, insurgencies typically last 7 to 12 years. If invested
on the ground in Iraq today, the reconstruction funds might well be
worth precisely zero to the Iraqi people a decade from now.
Prudent investment, on the other hand,
can help Iraq rebuild while becoming an ownership society. The OSBS
has assigned portions of the fund's assets to individual citizens,
based on voting rolls from the January election. Although he or she
is not yet aware of it, each and every Iraqi voter now owns a
Personal Reconstruction Account (PRA) that will continue to grow in
value, safely, until violence in Iraq subsides and normal economic
activity can resume. At that point, Iraqi citizens will be able to
draw on their PRAs as needed, putting that money to work in their
economy and stimulating private-sector solutions to the problem of
PRAs will provide Iraqis with what
they desire most: freedom of choice. Under this plan, money will go
directly into the pockets of the Iraqi people, for whose benefit
Congress intended it. Furthermore, the use of voting records to
allocate PRAs will ensure that impetus for rebuilding the country
will come from those who have demonstrated a commitment to the
democratic process -- not from Muslim extremists or Baathist
The question of
whether to inform American or Iraqi citizens of OSBS activities and
plans is a difficult one. Taking into consideration current
political realities, it is probably best not [. . . end of page]
have offered no comment on the memo.)
Burns U.S. Military Fuel Convoy
Spokesman, Lutfullah Mashal said “A separate explosion on Friday
blew up a tractor trolley in northern provincial capital
Mazar-i-Sharif, leaving two dead and five wounded.”
Authorities said they had no immediate
clues as to who may have carried out the attacks but such incidents
have previously been linked to Taliban insurgents.
officials said Saturday: “Suspected insurgents killed three truck
drivers supplying oil to US forces and burned their vehicles in an
attack in southern Afghanistan.”
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
Saturday, April 02, 2005 6:21 PM
Re: GI Special 3A87: "No No, Don't Go"
This is the best information. It is
what I need to refuel. Keep up the GREAT work
The great work is done by the troops, veterans, military families’
members and civilians determined to end this Imperial disaster. GI
Special tries to focus that work, but isn’t making it happen.
People everywhere, like Brooks, are doing that. Respect and honor
to them all. T
PATRIOT ACT AT
SFSU: ADMINISTRATION DEMANDS SECRET MEETINGS TO THREATEN STUDENTS
1 Apr 2005 From: NYCLAW
Subject: Defend SFSU
On Wednesday, March
9th, students from New York to San Francisco rallied to protest
military recruiters on their campuses. The
students were expressing their outrage at the military's anti-gay
"don't ask, don't tell" policy, the diversion of federal funding
away from education into military spending, and the war in Iraq.
At San Francisco
State University, the administration has responded with police
action and secret meetings.
At SFSU over 150 students joined
Students Against War -- the school's Campus Antiwar Network chapter
-- and other groups to protest Air Force recruiters and Army Corps
of Engineers attending a school sponsored career fair.
The crowd flooded the fair,
surrounding their tables and chanting. When Air Force recruiters
tried to wait out the protest, students staged a peaceful anti-war
sit-in and teach-in.
The following day, recruiters returned
to the SFSU career fair.
As soon as two
activists entered the career fair, eight police officers forcibly
removed them from their own student center, pushing them and
twisting one activist's arm. When the other activist asked why she
was being forced to leave, she was pushed into a doorway, told she
was causing a fire hazard by standing there, and then kicked out of
A number of members
of Students Against War have received official notices of
appointment from the Coordinator of Judicial Affairs dated March 18,
2005. The letters state that the administration has received a
complaint from the Chief of Public Safety and that each student must
meet individually with Judicial Affairs the week of April 4th.
specifically states that the meetings are confidential and none of
the students have been informed of nature of the charges against
them. Failure to respond the summons may jeopardize the student's
status at San Francisco State University. Disciplinary action by
the administration could result in probation, suspension or
expulsion from the university.
demanding secret meetings with students is unacceptable.
The actions of the
police and the San Francisco State administration are a blatant
attempt to stifle dissent and create a climate of intimidation. The
administration is purposely singling out the leading organizers of
the student antiwar movement on campus to prosecute.
San Francisco State University should
be ashamed that they are a shell for the US military.
They undermine their own
anti-discrimination policies and commitments to diversity by
allowing a racist, sexist and anti-gay institution to recruit on
campus. When the administration refuses to defend it own policies,
students are forced to be the moral backbone of the university.
The students, who participated in the
March 9th demonstration, where defending their classmates and
refusing to let one more person become cannon fodder in an illegal
These attacks are
an attempt to go after one of the leading campuses in the growing
counter recruitment movement around the country. If they can punish
students at San Francisco State for protesting, it will be easier to
arrest, sanction and intimidate students on other campuses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We ask the public to speak-out against
the administration's plans to limit free speech rights, and demand
that no sanctions be placed on students that helped to plan the
March 9th protest. Please contact:
Robert A. Corrigan, SFSU President
Phone: (415) 338-1381, Fax: (415) 338-6210 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
please CC your email to: email@example.com
Penny Saffold, SFSU Vice
President/Dean of Students Phone: (415) 338-2032, Fax: (415)
338-0900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org please CC your email to:
Also, please sign our online petition
Watch a video of the protest at
We urgently need
your help. Please lend your support to anti-war student activists
and activists who are fighting the militarization of our schools by
letting the administration know that their actions are not supported
by members of the community, students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
Students Against War
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