GI Special:



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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 Soldiers... Resist!”

Operation (Un)Truth:

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); CounterPunch


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 war.


"'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."

-from "Anti-War 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.


Actually, that's 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 misadventure.


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 antiwar movement. 


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 anti-Bush.


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.


Rieckhoff knew 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 buddies.


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 security."


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 Council.


'Give me a Security Council resolution, and I'll release my masculine energy on those wogs in a cloudburst of 500-pound bombs!'


The other 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 it.


I don't have to put on a red hat, though, to talk about this WE business... this WE must not "abandon Iraq."


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 antiwar.


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 people.


What particular 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 victims.


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.


In Fayetteville, 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.


Speaking for 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 soldiers... resist!


Stan Goff 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 is at www.stangoff.com.



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)






Sustained Resistance Attack In Force Slams Abu G:

More Than 20 U.S. Troops Wounded;

Death Toll Not Yet Announced


Apr 2, 2005 (Reuters)


Dozens of 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 killed. 


"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 jail's perimeter.




Marine Killed In Ramadi




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.



Marine Reservist Killed



April 2, 2005 By William F. West, Montgomery Advertiser


The death of a Marine reservist is being felt both in his home city of Montgomery and his adopted home of Orlando, Fla.


Warrant Officer 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 focused.


"He was a squared-away Marine," King said.


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 black stripe.


"It's something that hits every one of us," said Marianne Nuckles, a department spokeswoman.


Wells is survived by his wife, Nicole, 33, and a four-year-old daughter.  Family members, for privacy reasons, are declining comment.



Steilacoom Soldier 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.”


Ridgley married 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.


Wednesday Stryker 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 in between.


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


04/02/05 irib


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 others.  The American occupiers are said to have mistakenly opened fire at the policemen.


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 Denver Post


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 Society http://www.warisaracket.org

To: GI Special

Sent: April 02, 2005



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."





Iraqi Counterterrorism Force Graduates Newest Class

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")




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.


RUMSFELD:  Of 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 lives."







Al-Sadr Calls For Mass Demonstration Against Occupation On Anniversary Of Fall Of Baghdad


02 April 2005 By Sinan Salaheddin, The Associated Press


Radical Shiite 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.


Sheik Hassan 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.



Assorted Resistance Action


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 said.


On Saturday 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 details.







Digging Our Graves With Their Mouths


[Shortly before 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 and other 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.


Members of 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.]


A 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 is (“I’m 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.]


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.



“Intellectuals 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.


Intellectuals 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.


As anti-war 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 anti-war consciousness.


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.


The original 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 power.


Direct action 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 disability.


Left 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.


The “progressive 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 regime.


Even those 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.


The progressive 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.


The progressive 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 government.


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 certain prisons.


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 wielders.


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.


The historical 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.


The transformation is the result of fear, fear of those in power -- even as they face no real threat to their lives, careers or living standards.


But intellectuals 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.


Intellectuals 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.



The Amazing Hypocrites


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.


From: Cindy Sheehan, Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04

To: Fox News

Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 1:18 PM


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 Schiavo.


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 live!


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 tragedy---NO!!


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 elections.


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 murders.


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 baseball.


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 Peace



Casey's Peace Page







Iraq Reconstruction Fund Invested On Wall Street:

Document Page 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: t.stan@cox.net


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.


A recently 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 reconstruction.


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 dead-enders.


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]


(Pentagon officials have offered no comment on the memo.)







Resistance Attacks, Burns U.S. Military Fuel Convoy


04/02/05 irib


Interior Ministry 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.


Meanwhile, officials said Saturday: “Suspected insurgents killed three truck drivers supplying oil to US forces and burned their vehicles in an attack in southern Afghanistan.”










From: Brooks

To: GI Special

Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 6:21 PM

Subject: 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


Reply:  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








1 Apr 2005 From: NYCLAW

Subject: Defend SFSU Counter-Recruiters


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 the building.


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.


The letter 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.


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 war.


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.



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: corrigan@sfsu.edu please CC your email to: cansfsu@hotmail.com


Penny Saffold, SFSU Vice President/Dean of Students Phone: (415) 338-2032, Fax: (415) 338-0900 Email: psaffold@sfsu.edu please CC your email to: cansfsu@hotmail.com


Also, please sign our online petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/sfsu/petition.html/


Watch a video of the protest at http://www.indybay.org/uploads/collegenotcombat.mov.


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 cansfsu@hotmail.com



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