www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.12.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3A96:

 

 

“GOOD JOB AND THANK YOU SGT. ROGERS!”

 

From: GL

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:55 PM

Subject: Re: GI Special 3A94: "They Need To Stop These Missions"

 

Hey T,

 

Sorry long time no hear, but just so you know they've grounded ALL 915 trucks at Anaconda for the next 30 days pending the receipt of 80 PLS (PLC?) trucks to take their place.

 

GOOD JOB AND THANK YOU SGT. ROGERS!

 

I'm not totally clear on the details, but I know it had to do with this story, and thank God for you and Sgt. Rogers.  [XXX] was driving one of those death traps.

 

Thank you.  I can't say it better than that, but I know it will never be close to enough to pay the debt I owe for [XXX's] safety.

 

I only regret that those in power didn't choose to listen until their political butts were in a sling.  They could have saved lives.

 

GL

 

[Sgt. Rodgers saved lives.  This is part of the story from GI Special 3A94.  For the rest: http://www.militaryproject.org/   T]

 

Public Protest Wins!

Deadly Kentucky Guards Missions Cancelled!!

 

April 08, 2005 By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press & 07 April 2005 Editor & Publisher

 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Military officials in Iraq say they will make safety improvements before sending a Kentucky National Guard unit on more missions, a decision that follows a guardsman’s e-mail complaints about inadequate armor and windshields on trucks.

 

Staff Sgt. Brad Rogers, a 16-year Guard veteran, wrote that Kentucky guardsmen are driving old trucks that are prone to break down and have inadequate armor.

 

“Most everyone, if not everyone, has the ballistic or bulletproof windows that are running our missions to the places we are going,” Rogers wrote. “We don’t have a single M915 (truck) with ballistic windows.”

 

Tom Loftus, reporter for the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, opened his story Thursday this way: "Kentucky Army National Guard soldiers in Iraq are being put at risk because their trucks are unreliable, poorly armored and lack protective glass, according to a guardsman stationed in Iraq."

 

He revealed that Staff Sgt. Brad Rogers, 33, had declared in e-mails to the paper on Wednesday that Kentucky National Guardsman Sgt. James A. Sherrill might have survived a bomb attack Sunday if his truck had protective glass.

 

Rogers said Sherrill's death inspired him to issue his warning, hoping to alert the media and lawmakers: "I know these things that happen in war.  I was in Desert Storm.  This didn't have to happen, and this shouldn't have happened."

 

Rogers wrote in an email to the newspaper: "The only thing we have is what they call 'hillbilly armor,' which consists of one armor panel on the passenger side and one armor panel on the driver's side."

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

US Marine Dies In Non-Hostile Incident

 

April 10 (Xinhuanet)

 

TA Soldier assigned to the 155th Brigade Combat Team, II Marine Expeditionary Force, died April 9 from wounds received in a non-hostile incident that occurred April 6 near Forward Operating Base Kalsu.

 

 

Car Bombs Hit US Military Position In Al-Qaim:

U.S. Troops Wounded

 

April 11 (AFP) & Aljazeera.Net & Independent Online & Sapa-AFP

 

Aljazeera reports that five car bombs have hit US military targets in the western Iraqi city of al-Qaim near the border with Syria, wounding at least three US soldiers.

 

Aljazeera, quoting an Iraqi journalist, said two of Monday's attacks took place simultaneously.  The first rammed into a checkpoint outside the camp and detonated before breaching the gate, witnesses said.

 

US and Iraqi troops helped the wounded after a second car bomber drove up and blew up his vehicle, they said.

 

Three bombs hit a US military headquarters, while a fourth targeted a US military convoy.

 

The witnesses, speaking in Ramadi, about 300km east of Qaim, said three US helicopters arrived at the scene to evacuate casualties.

 

Clashes erupted later between fighters and the US troops in the city damaging a number of houses', the journalist told Aljazeera.

 

However, no civilians were injured as they had left before the clashes took place, he said.

 

A spokesperson for the US Marines said on Monday three of their soldiers were wounded in the attack, which occurred outside Camp Gannon, a forward operating base in al-Qaim, about 300km west of Baghdad in Anbar province.

 

Clashes broke out between fighters and US and Iraqi forces immediately after the explosions.

 

"The blast was incredible," said Iraqi police Lieutenant Yasir al-Hadithi, adding that US helicopters were hovering over the scene of the attack which was followed by the sound of heavy gunfire.

 

The US military camp in the town is next to a customs station set up to monitor the border crossing.

 

Despite a massive US-led assault on the former rebel bastion of Fallujah in November, the government has been unable to reassert control over Anbar.

 

Local police in areas like Qaim and throughout Al-Anbar province are no longer considered a credible force by the US military due to intimidation and infiltration by the insurgency.

 

 

Car Bomb Hits U.S. Convoy In Samarra;

Casualties Not Announced

 

April 11 (Xinhuanet)

 

A pickup truck exploded near a US convoy patrolling a crowded market in the Al-Dubat neighborhood of Samarra.

 

"I saw a pickup truck ram into a four-vehicle US convoy," said a witness.

 

 

1/156th Guardsman Wounded

 

04-11-2005 KTBS 3

 

A national guardsman based at the 1/156th Armor in Shreveport is recovering at a Texas hospital after being wounded in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

 

Sgt. Broderick Mosley was among the soldiers in a Humvee when a suicide bomber pulled up next to them and detonated the explosive.

 

Two others soldiers were killed. Mosley suffered burns to his face, arms and hand, family members said.

 

Mosley has undergone several surgeries and skin grafts. His rehabilitation is expected to take several months, family members said.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

From: Soldier X

To: GI Special

Sent: April 05, 2005 3:06 AM

 

 

 

War’s “Losses Include 12 Percent Of The Entire Army Wheeled Vehicle Fleet”

Toll On U.S. Military Gear May Be $8B A Year

 

04/11/05 By Vince Crawley, Defence News

 

The war in Iraq is burning through U.S. military equipment at five to 10 times the peacetime training rate, and the services will have to spend $13 billion to $18 billion to replace it, congressional budget experts say.

 

The services themselves calculate they have unfunded equipment losses of $13 billion.

 

Over the past three years, the Army has deployed about 40 percent of its equipment inventory to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Lt. Gen. C.V. Christianson, the Army’s logistics chief.

 

Christianson said Army battle losses include 51 helicopters, 97 tracked combat vehicles, 76 heavy wheeled vehicles, 217 light wheeled vehicles and 62 medium wheeled vehicles.

 

The losses include 12 percent of the entire Army wheeled vehicle fleet.

 

 

Resistance In The Military:

Sunday, April 17, 12pm

New York City

 

CUNY Graduate Center (Room 6115)

365 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY

 

Global Left Dialogue

Chair: Barbara Garson, author, Money Makes the World Go Around

 

Tod Ensign, Citizen Soldier

Alex Ryabov, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Victor Paredes, brother of Pablo Paredes

Kim Rosario, MFSO, mother of a G.I. currently serving in Iraq

 

$30.00 Admission for all Sunday Global Left Dialogue sessions: http://www.2005leftforum.org/

 

 

Big Surprise:

Army Fails To Reach Goal On Armored Humvees

 

[USA Today, April 6, 2005, Pg. 11]

The Army has failed to reach its goal for the number of factory-armored Humvees it planned to have in Iraq and other combat zones to protect U.S. troops. The stated goal for April 1 was to have 8,105 factory-armored Humvees in the Central Command “theater,” which includes Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army, as of March 28, had 7,520 of the special Humvees in the Iraq-Afghan theater.

 

 

Fraud Alert

 

April 9 / 10, 2005 By M. Junaid Alam, CounterPunch: excerpt

 

The most principled, active, and resolute forces in the American anti-war movement, which are working hard on the ground to galvanize people against the war, are being subjected to a sustained infiltration campaign mounted by certain "liberal" frauds and Democratic Party front groups whose aim is to co-opt the movement.

 

These forces do not oppose the war, but instead offer apologetics on its behalf, emote about how they used to oppose war, and peddle, both openly and subversively, a pro-occupation political line.  Their politics leads straight back to the graveyard of isolation and  demoralization we are trying to escape.

 

The basis of the liberal Democratic sentiment is a fundamental belief in the benevolence of American imperialism and White Man's Burden.

 

Combined with the WMD intelligence report, the reality of an  unplanned occupation should serve as a piercingly sharp illustration of the unshakable, immovable fact that the American effort in Iraq is neither guided by benevolence nor driven by compassion.

 

Therefore the liberal sell-out position of "we broke it, so we should fix it" not only has no basis in reality, but ignores the simple fact that  anyone who has a tendency to run around breaking and destroying things is intrinsically broken and destroyed himself.

 

Just as no sane fireman allows an arsonist to "care" for the house he has tried to burn down, just as no court of law assigns a murderer to "protect" surviving relatives of the murdered, no principled American can accept the US occupation of Iraq when Iraq has been decimated by the US.

 

In fact, the principled American will go one step further and realize that all this liberal talk of "we broke it" and "we should fix it" contains another major deception - namely, there is really  no "we" involved.

 

Those at the top of the power structure in  America - the political, financial, and military elite - enlist and exploit the Americans below them to kill and die, to sacrifice their  bodies and souls, in devastating and unnecessary confrontations which produce massive profit at top levels and massive suffering at our level.

 

 

She Says Husband’s Life Worth More Than $12,420:

Widow On Mission To Raise Benefits For Those Killed Outside Combat Zones

 

[Cincinnati Enquirer, March 30, 2005]

Shauna Moore can’t put a dollar value on the life of her husband, Sgt. Benjamin Moore, who was accidentally killed as his Army unit trained for duty in Iraq.  She just believes that his life was worth more than $12,420---the one-time payment paid by the federal government to spouses of those killed while wearing a military uniform.

 

 

Assholes In Action:

“Nine Disciples Of FOB Courage” Tormenting Soldiers

 

[Washington Post, April 4, 2005, Pg. 11]

 

A change of command at the forward operating base that serves as headquarters for U.S. forces in northern Iraq has dramatically changed the military culture in that region.

 

A corps of disciplinarians, known as the “Nine Disciples of FOB Courage”, has launched a crackdown on disheveled uniforms, improper use of sunglasses and even swearing.

 

Those demands don’t sit well with troops who spend most days “outside the wire” and don’t appreciate being called for uniform violations by rear-guard soldiers.

 

 

Former Recruiter Turned Antiwar Activist:

‘‘My Job Is To Show What The Military Is About’’

 

[Thanks to Desmond G. for sending this in.  Concerning his own contact with a recruiter, he writes:

 

[Summary of recruiter call:  The recruiter basically pushed the disaster response aspect of the Guard and that it was only 39 days a year, a great part time job, they'd pay for any already existing student loans I had, they have officer programs if I was interested in that; if we were called to "do service in another country" then I would have to go.

 

[He also said I could gain work skills that would be transferable to civilian jobs; he also asked if I had any family in the military.  I told him my dad was Army ret'd and he asked if I ever thought about joining the Army.  He actually called when I was leaving for the bus (and I ride a bike to the bus stop, so I ended the conversation)].

 

 

CHRIS DUGAN served in the Marines from 1995 to 1999 and was briefly a recruiter in his hometown of New York City.  Since leaving the military, he has become an antiwar activist, speaking out to expose the tactics used by recruiters.  Here, we print excerpts from Chris’ interview with Socialist Worker’s NICOLE COLSON about what antiwar activists should know to counter the military recruiters.

 

YOU’VE RECENTLY went to several military recruiters. What are they telling people to get them to join up?

 

I VISITED a Navy recruiter.  I have yet to visit an Army recruiter or an Air Force recruiter. I went in and told the gentleman, “I’m 28 years old, I have school loans, and I don’t know what to do.”  He said, “We’re offering money for school.”

 

But what was peculiar to me was that he said the Army and the Marines are offering bonuses.  That’s very rare.  When I was a recruiter’s assistant--and I can remember when I was recruited--the recruiter would never refer you to another armed service.  That would take away from their quota, obviously.  So you can see that there’s a push, because the Marines and the Army aren’t making their quotas.

 

I told him he should know that I didn’t want to be in combat.  I wanted to just pay off my school loans, perhaps work with computers on a ship or something like that.  So then he knew where I stood, and he just pitched the story to me.

 

I acted a little bit reluctant, like I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do.  I said, “I’m 28. My mother’s a little scared.  She doesn’t want me to join the military.”  “No problem,” the recruiter said.  “We’ll go down and pick up your mother.  Where does she live?”  “New Jersey.”  He says, “We’ll drive to New Jersey and pick her up in the government vehicle. That’s why we have them.  We’ll show her some videos.  We’ll go out to eat.  We’ll talk.”

 

It’s exactly what they did with my mom.  My mother would actually call the recruiter and say, “Chris is misbehaving in school.  Can you talk to him about it?”

 

I said, “What if I want to get out?  Let’s say I don’t like what I’m doing, and I want to change my job.  Can I change my job?”  This is one of the reasons I joined, actually--because they told me I could change my job.

 

The recruiter said, “Of course.  We don’t want you doing a job that you don’t want to do, because that means that you might be a hazard to the rest of the workers.  We don’t want you working on a jet airplane if you don’t want to work on a jet airplane.”

 

Which is ridiculous. They make it seem like you can just change jobs--like you can fill out a form. It’s a huge bureaucracy.  It rarely ever happens unless it suits them.

 

I said, “What if I don’t like it, and I want to get out completely?”  Again, he said, “If you don’t like it, we don’t want you in there, because you’re a liability to the armed forces, to the Navy...So, you can get out.”

 

I said, “What kind of discharge would I get?” He said it would be an administrative discharge. That’s the bullshit they tell you. You’ll get an administrative discharge--but it takes a lot of work to get that, and by then, you’re tagged as a “slacker,” so they’re looking for other ways to get you out.  They’re looking at you as a troublemaker.  But he made sure to make it seem like these are easy things to do.

 

When I was in the office, there was a young African American gentleman behind me.  They were acting in that paternal role--like, “Hey, how’d you do on your test?  How’s your family life.”  I’m looking at them, and I’m thinking--all they care about is that number.

 

They asked me how much money I made. I said, “Well, I’m just a student” I made it up, I said, “I work at a bar. I maybe make $350 a week.”  They said, “Oh, that’s really horrible. This is how much you’ll be making right away.  This is how much will go into your school loans.”  They pitch you a story off of what you tell them.

 

They want to add warm bodies--that’s the key.  It’s not about what they can do for you--it’s about what you can do for them.

 

THERE’S BEEN some discussion about whether anti-recruitment activists should be just a legal or educational resource, or whether we should be confronting recruiters on campus and holding protests.  What do you think?

 

CONFRONT.  I see it when we go--you confront recruiters, and you get people thinking. You have to be out there.  You have to be showing people what’s going on, and the only way you do that is not just handing out flyers, but handing out flyers and drawing the parallels to what’s going on as far as the politics of the situation.  I’m totally opposed to just “being a resource.”

 

What I’m hearing from other people is you can’t confront recruiters because they’re just doing their job.  Well, I’m doing my job--and my job is to show people what the military does.

 

Whether you go to war or you don’t go to war, you come out with less chance of making more money--if that’s your goal.  You have a greater chance of having psychological problems.

 

Even if you don’t go to war, the dehumanizing aspects of the Marine Corps are insane.  I didn’t realize it until I started talking to other vets.  When you start to hang around other vets, you start to draw parallels--even if you weren’t in war--to what’s going on today.

 

 

Silly General Says No Shortage,

He Can “Generate” Troops

 

[Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, April 6, 2005]

JCS Chairman Gen. Richard Myers dismissed as “wrong” any perception that the Pentagon is struggling to get enough troops for operations in the Middle East.  He said, “If we need more, we can generate more.”

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

“They Can't Suppress Us Anymore, Even With All Their Strength And Power" Day Laborer Says

 

Iraqi demonstrators ignore U.S. Army tank en route to a protest in Baghdad April 9 demanding an end to the U.S. military presence in Iraq.  REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

 

 

[Excerpts from a longer article with information not covered yesterday.  T]

 

Several times during the protest, thousands of marchers stopped in front of the hotels, raising their firsts and directing chants at the soldiers in the complex.

 

April 11. 2005 By EDMUND SANDERS, Los Angeles Times, BAGHDAD, Iraq

 

Chanting "Death to America" and burning effigies of President Bush and Saddam Hussein, tens of thousands of Iraqis flooded central Baghdad yesterday in what police called the largest anti-American protest since the fall of Baghdad, the capital, exactly two years ago.

 

Some estimates put the number of protesters at 300,000.

 

Carrying banners that read "Go Out” and "Leave Our Country," marchers hit the streets early yesterday morning, blocking roads and causing traffic jams around the city.  Most of the protesters came from the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, but busloads also arrived from Kut, Amara, Baqubah and other cities.

 

"The American people need to know that they can't suppress us anymore, even with all their strength and power," said Mohammed Salih Khalaf, 54, a day laborer from Sadr City.

 

Raising fists and shouting in unison, protesters chanted, "No, No to America!  No, No to Occupation!"

 

A few Iraqi police officers observing the scene raised their own fists in unity.

 

Munaf Abbas, 25, a chemical engineer from the southern city of Amara, blamed the presence of U.S. troops for rising violence in Iraq.

 

"America is the mother of terrorism," he said. "All the explosions are happening because they are here."

 

Fatah Sheik, one of about two dozen assembly members who support Muqtada al-Sadr and participated in yesterday's demonstration, said, "Today's protest proves that Iraqis are able to maintain security by themselves, without an American presence."

 

U.S. troops kept a low profile yesterday, leaving security oversight to several hundred Iraqi police and national guard members. With the exception of a military unit that protects the Palestine and Sheraton hotel complex, U.S. soldiers and tanks remained out of view, watching through binoculars from rooftops and helicopters.

 

Several times during the protest, thousands of marchers stopped in front of the hotels, raising their firsts and directing chants at the soldiers in the complex.

 

 

Sunni & Shia United To Oppose Occupation

 

There are indications that the Sunni and Shiite anti-occupation forces are collaborating. In Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, spokesmen for Sadr and the Association of Muslim Scholars said in interviews Friday that they supported each other's calls for a U.S. withdrawal.

 

April 9, 2005 By Caryle Murphy, Washington Post Staff Writer

 

BAGHDAD, April 8 -- Two militant Muslim clerics, one Sunni and one Shiite, have called for demonstrations here Saturday to protest the continuing U.S. military occupation of Iraq two years after the toppling of President Saddam Hussein.

 

During communal prayers at Baghdad's Um al-Qura mosque on Friday, a Sunni cleric, Harith Dhari, chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, urged Sunnis to come out in protest against the U.S. military presence.

 

Dhari maintains that the new Iraqi government is illegitimate because it was elected under military occupation, and he is widely seen as sympathetic to the predominantly Sunni insurgency that targets U.S. forces and Iraqis who work with them.

 

"Tomorrow will be the second black anniversary of the Iraq occupation," he said during the sermon.  "We have seen nothing but bloodshed, destruction, pillage and thievery before the very eyes of the Iraqi people, who are looking on as their sons are butchered, detained, and the state funds looted and taken outside the country by the thieves who have taken over."

 

He added: "I call on the Iraqi people to wake up from their sleep and to say with one united voice, 'No to occupation!' and to go out tomorrow in demonstrations in all parts of the country -- in Basra, Baghdad, Mosul, Dahuk and everywhere."

 

There are indications that the Sunni and Shiite anti-occupation forces are collaborating. In Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, spokesmen for Sadr and the Association of Muslim Scholars said in interviews Friday that they supported each other's calls for a U.S. withdrawal.

 

April 9, 2005.  REUTERS/Akram Saleh

 

 

 

Baquba Demonstration Against Occupation

 

3.11.05 Anatolia.com Inc.

 

In Baquba northeast of Baghdad, about 400 university students chanted anti-US slogans and burnt an American flag at a demonstration against the US troop presence, following Saturday's massive protest in Baghdad by supporters of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

April 11 Aljazeera.Net & Arabic News.com & Anatolia.com Inc. & (KUNA)

 

Iraqi security sources said that guerrillas opened fire at a members of Ninawa governorate council Ojeil Mohsin Ojeil, while he was riding his car in al-Ma'moun area to the south of Musil city, and killed him immediately.  A group of armed men leaped out of another car parked nearby and shot him.  His driver was also killed.

 

Anti-US forces in Iraq frequently target officials seen as collaborating with US authorities or working with the US-backed interim government.

 

The source added that two contractors working for the American army were killed in a similar attack in the same quarters.  The body of one officer in the Iraqi army was found. He was slaughtered in the northern part of the quarters.

 

A civilian was killed and three policemen were injured in an attack by missiles that targeted an Iraqi procession in al-Maidan quarters in the downtown of Musil city.

 

The explosion took place on Sunday on the road linking Baghdad and Karkouk city to the north was followed by clashes between gunmen and the police, and resulted in killing one Iraqi soldier and injuring three, one is in a critical health condition..

 

Two bodies for Iraqi soldiers killed by the bullets of guerrillas were admitted to al-Kout hospital to the south of Baghdad.

 

The police found near Beiji, in the north of Baghdad, the body of one security man in charge of protecting oil installations..

 

A Turkish truck driver was killed in a roadside bombing near the northern refinery town of Baiji, police said, while an Iraqi Kurdish engineer working with the US military was kidnapped in Balad north of Baghdad, his family and police said.

 

A bomb blast killed an Iraqi military officer in the region of Al-Toz in the governorate of Kirkuk on Monday, the Multi-National Forces said in a statement.

 

The blast took place close to a military patrol, it said, adding that American troops sealed off the scene.

 

 

Collaborators With Occupation Having A Rough Time

 

[Philadelphia Inquirer, April 6, 2005]

Iraqis employed by U.S. firms in their own country can collect American workers’ compensation insurance---whether they are hurt by a ladder fall or a car bomb.  They must be careful not to publicize those payments because they could be a ticket for execution by insurgents.

 

[Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2005]

Power struggles between local politicians have created real problems for provincial councils.  Many council members are reluctant to attend scheduled meetings for fear of violence.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

The Resistance Will Go On

 

7 - 13 April 2005 Mousa Al-Husseini, AL-AHRAM (Egypt)

 

Resistance remains a national calling for all Iraqis in the face of US designs.

 

On 11 April 2003, Iraqi resistance set out to free Iraq.  Since then, it managed not only to restore pride to all Iraqis and Arabs, but also to make Bush's racist administration change tack repeatedly.

 

But the conflict in Iraq is not just between the occupation forces and the resistance. The picture is quite murky, for someone is plotting behind the scenes.  Some individuals or groups are murdering hundreds of innocent people.  These individuals and groups are not part of the resistance.  They are foisted upon the scene to tarnish and discredit the valiant resistance.

 

Let me elaborate.

 

It did not take long for Iraqi resistance to spring into action.  Less than two weeks after the war was over, resistance began to trickle, developing into a flood.  At some point, over 40 operations were reported in a single day.

 

Unlike most liberation movements that take years of painstaking planning, of indoctrinating supporters, recruiting militants and moving from rural to urban areas, Iraqi resistance was born strong, fully-fledged, and ready to take on the enemy in the heart of Iraqi cities.  Also, the Iraqi resistance depended on purely domestic capabilities rather than on foreign support.

 

The Americans often claim that Iraqi resistance is nothing more than reckless operations by militants from outside Iraq.  Neither the occupation forces nor their local friends have ever been able to prove that Iraqi resistance is not homegrown. 

 

Surely, there is nothing wrong with non-Iraqi Arab militants joining the ranks of the resistance.  Thousands of Iraqis have fought along their Arab brethren across the region in the past.  When Italy invaded Libya in 1908, Shia ulema issued an edict urging Iraqis to go to Libya and wage jihad.

 

Some people maintain that the resistance is nothing more than an opportunistic campaign mounted by the disgruntled cronies of a defunct regime.  This can not be true. Opportunists and mercenaries are self-serving by nature.  The first impulse of the opportunists of the old regime was to turn coat and jump into the occupation's bandwagon.

 

The only Baathists who joined the resistance are the ones who are independent-minded, the ones who still believe in the purity of early Baathist tradition -- tradition once maintained by men such as Fouad Al-Rikabi, Iyad Thabit and Abdul-Wahhab Al-Ghariri.

 

Many people in Iraq want the Americans out.  Most of the public to start with, as well as patriotic Baathists, Marxists, Nasserists and pan-Arabists, all of whom are involved in the resistance in one way or another.

 

The Americas were shocked to see resistance on such a scale.  Their first reaction was to claim that it was of a sectarian nature, confined in what they dubbed "the Sunni Triangle".  This was laughable, for it was not long before Shia followers of Al-Sadr launched an insurgence in Najaf and the south.  Many Shias are known to have fought and died in Falluja.

 

Whenever major terrorist operations happened, it was mostly with US knowledge or involvement.  Israel's Mossad planned major terror operations in Iraq, recruiting 2,000 mercenaries before the war and sending them to various Iraqi cities to offer protection and support to the occupation forces.  The mercenaries mount horrific attacks, and these are soon blamed on Abu Mosaab Al-Zarqawi, a shadowy figure who I have reason to believe was killed in the second week of hostilities.  If dead, Al-Zarqawi cannot refute US allegations.  If alive, he is perhaps in a US base somewhere.  For a full review of this argument readers may consult my book, Iraqi Resistance and US Counter-Terror.

 

The Americans kill and maim, destroy entire cities, just to terrorise inhabitants and discourage them from abetting the resistance.  They did so in Najaf, Falluja, Samarra, Talafar and the Sadr neighbourhood in Baghdad.

 

If terror is defined as "military attacks against civilians to achieve political goals", there is no doubt in my mind as to who are the true terrorists in Iraq.

 

They sent lackeys, who served as ministers and top officials in the Interim Governing Council and interim government, on a spree of theft and graft.  Dozens of American-imposed agents amassed incredible fortunes over the past two years.  The elections were a US ploy.  The Iraqis went to the elections because they were told that elections were a peaceful means for ending occupation.  The Basic Law for the Administration of the State mentions that a legitimate government is entitled to ask the occupation forces to leave.

 

I believe that the Iraqi resistance will continue, particularly in the south.

 

The Iraqis know that the Americans did not come as liberators, but as occupiers.

 

They know that Al- Zarqawi is just a ghost. 

 

When asked about the recent bombing in their city, many inhabitants in Al-Hilla blamed the Americans, saying that the blast was caused by a bomb planted professionally and detonated by remote control, not by a suicide bomber as the authorities claimed.

 

Another US ploy is that of staging anti-violence protests. In these protests, every participant is paid $10 and given a free meal. Buying protesters is, if you ask me, a sign of guilt.

 

Freedom-seeking Iraqis now have no other option but to continue the resistance.

 

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.

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“War is utilized by the imperialists, first and foremost, to crush internal enemies.”    Leon Trotsky

 

 

Building A Movement To Bring Down An Empire

 

APISC

 

April 6, 2005 Rohan Pearce and Alison Dellit, Green Left Weekly (Australia)

 

“Masses of Americans are against this war and are looking for a way to express that”, Ahmed Shawki, the editor of US journal International Socialist Review, told the audience at the Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference (APISC) in Sydney on March 25.

 

Next to Shawki on the platform was Stan Goff, a former US Special Forces soldier who is a leader of the Bring Them Home Now! campaign.

 

In speaking to GLW, Shawki argued that the low-point of the movement came during the 2004 presidential election campaign, when the majority of its liberal leadership joined the “Anybody but Bush” (“ABB”) campaign, supporting the candidacy of Democrat Senator John Kerry, despite Kerry's pro-war stance.

 

Shawki told the APISC that the anti-war sentiment in the US is bigger than the main national anti-war coalitions and that local groupings unknown to the coalitions and to the left have organised significant protests. During the March 18-20 protests against the occupation of Iraq, there were demonstrations in every US state. Protests were held in 765 towns and cities according to United for Peace and Justice, from Superior in Wisconsin, to Hoover in Alabama, to Truth or Consequences in New Mexico.

 

During a public meeting on the Iraq war held the day before the APISC began, Goff drew comparisons between the growth of anti-war sentiment among GIs during the Vietnam War and today.  During Vietnam, opposition to the war reached a level that destroyed the US military's effectiveness as a fighting force.

 

Goff spoke of the importance of activists with a military background organising against the war, in order to reach soldiers who were less suspicious of veterans than others.

 

The sense that their comrades are dying for no reason has not yet reached the same level among US forces in Iraq as it did in Vietnam, according to Goff, but there is growing opposition to the war among soldiers, fuelled both by a sense of moral outrage at the acts they are being asked to commit in Iraq and an unwillingness to die for the sake of corporations like Halliburton.

 

A whole movement has sprung forth to support anti-war GIs.  Goff is one of the leaders of the effort to organise families of soldiers stationed in Iraq to call on the US government to bring the troops home.

 

What is needed isn't just an anti-war movement, Goff said, but an “anti-empire” movement that can challenge Washington's program for world domination. Shawki told the meeting that socialists need to be able to explain that “war is part of this system, part of this empire”.

 

While opposition to Bush's war continues to grow, the right-wing of the anti-war movement has tried to split the movement over the question of Iraqis' right to take up arms against the occupation.

 

Some, such as Erik Gustafson, of the Education for Peace in Iraq Coalition, even oppose the occupation's end because, as he put it in a March 19 statement, “The only responsible way out of Iraq is through nation building”.

 

A contrasting opinion to this support for the US occupation of Iraq and capitulation to neocolonial racism was put forward by Sharon Smith in the April 1 US Socialist Worker.

 

Smith argued that “‘Troops out now' is a demand that encompasses the interests of both U.S. troops and of Iraqis fighting to determine their own future.  Yet in the heart of US imperialism, Iraqis’ right to resist occupation has unnecessarily divided the antiwar movement.

 

While a broad-based movement must be the goal, this cannot be the excuse for diluting the politics of the antiwar movement so that its principles become indistinguishable from those of the apologists for US occupation.”

 

 

 

BEFORE AND AFTER

 

 

 

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

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Graft Taking 95% Of Contract Money

 

[Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2005]

Banking is a mess, telecommunications and electricity are still unreliable and there are few rules governing commerce.  Corruption is also siphoning off as much as 95 cents from every contract dollar.

 

 

“Collateral Damage”

 

April 04, 2005 Imad Khadduri , Free Iraq

 

 

April 2, 2005

Dear Imad,

 

Sorry to convey to you that the daughter of Dr. Hamodi Abbas Hameed was killed while traveling to Amman by American convoy for no reason whatsoever.

 

I am giving you hereunder rundown of the accident, and Dr. Hamodi kindly ask you to send to CBS or any other mass media.

 

On Thursday 20-01-05 at 8:16 A.M. (Sunny day, clear skies) while a number of GMC cars were traveling to Amman, and just after Ramadi (25KM away), they saw an American military convoy. All cars slowed down, and stayed away from the convoy by more than 200 meters.

 

No shots were fired on the convoy and none of the GMC’s tried to depart from the group pf GMC’s and there was non whatsoever reason to trigger any action by the American convoy.

 

All of a sudden the convoy opened fire of all the GMC’s (at head levels) causing the death of 5 civilian Iraqis and several injured. One of the dead was Mena the daughter of Hamodi.

 

Please note:

 

1. No alarm firing was initiated (usually by shooting on the tyres or the sky).  They started with shooting at head level of people in the GMC’s.  2. It was the first day of Eid. 3. Mena was only 12 days away from her 20th birthday.  4. The American convoy did not bother to stop to see what happened.  5. Witnesses are her brother Husam (Canadian Nationality), and her mother and other brothers.  6. Other killed are Mohammed Al Ani and his daughter.

 

I attach to you few photos of Mena and also will try to send cell phone photos of the incident.  Any journalist can contact the family on: + 9641 7781807 + 9641 7781122 Cell phone: + 964 7901918147

 

I hope you can do something to make it known about the thousands of Iraqi’s that are being such killed, with no one even mentioning it.

 

 

I recall Dr Hamodi as a highly respectable gentleman, dignified, humble, clean (unlike the present corrupt puppet ministers) yet scientifically capable.

 

You can actually feel his serenity, inner depth and humbleness when talking with him.

 

He had a very distinguished career at the nuclear program and particularly excelled after the 1991 war in running the huge state run pharmaceutical complex in Samarra (whose famous 1200 years old Milwiya minaret's top was bombed a few days ago) that supplied near-free medicine to the Iraqi populace during the harsh economic sanctions of the last decade.

 

And

 

This is another such recent incident April 3, 2005 of a mother, who is a teacher, who was mowed down by Hummer gunners as she tried to protect her children (10, 7 and 5 years old).  The en masse slaying claimed her life as well as six of her neighbours who tried to assist her.

 

Goodbye Mena ................... She was on her way to meet her mother and father

 

 

 

 

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces.  If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

U.S. Soldier Wounded By Land Mine

 

April 11, 2005 By Stephen Graham, Associated Press & Los Angeles Times

 

The military said late Friday that a soldier was injured by a land mine explosion near Bagram.  The soldier, who suffered injuries to his legs, was evacuated to a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

 

Incidents reported Saturday included the killing of an Afghan official in the border province of Zabul, which police blamed on Taliban insurgents.

 

An American threw himself from a moving car to escape his kidnappers in Kabul.

 

 

How Bad Is It?

 

3.30.05 By Ramtanu Maitra, Asia Times Online Ltd

 

US intelligence is of the view that Afghan President Hamid Karzai will not be able to hold on to his throne beyond June unless the US Army can speed up training of a large number of Afghan army recruits and protect Kabul.

 

Even today, the inner core of Karzai's security is run by the US State Department with personnel provided by private US contractors.

 

 

 

CLASS WAR NEWS

 

 

Capitalism At Work:

Profits Up, Prices Up, Wages Down

 

11 April 2005 By Nicholas Riccardi, The Los Angeles Times

 

For the first time in 14 years, the American work force has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut.

 

The growth in wages in 2004 and the first two months of this year trailed the growth in prices, compounding the squeeze from higher housing, energy and other costs.

 

This is the first time that salaries have increased more slowly than inflation since the 1990-91 recession.  While salary growth has been relatively sluggish since the 2001 downturn, inflation had stayed relatively subdued until last year, when the consumer price index rose 2.7 percent.  But average hourly wages rose only 2.5 percent.

 

The effective 0.2-percentage-point erosion in workers' living standards occurred while the economy expanded at a healthy 4 percent, better than the 3 percent historical average.

 

At the same time, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay raises down.

 

Some see climbing profits and stagnant wages as not only unfair but ultimately unsustainable.

 

For now, workers' wallets are being pummeled by something of a perfect storm of economic forces: a weak job market, rising health insurance premiums and inflationary pressures.

 

The biggest factor is the slack employment market, which means there is little pressure on businesses to boost pay. "They take advantage of you because there's no work and anyone will work for anything," Victor Romero said.

 

Although the unemployment rate has dropped to a relatively low 5.2 percent, that figure doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of jobless people who've given up their searches and dropped out of the labor market at a greater rate than any time since 1988.

 

At the same time, the cost of health premiums has skyrocketed, eating into the pool of corporate cash set aside for raises.  While pay increased only about 2.4 percent last year, benefit costs jumped almost 7 percent.

 

"Health care has eroded the wage base," said Janemarie Mulvey, chief economist with the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank in Washington.  "In the long run, we can't continue like this. If health care keeps crowding out wages forever, something's got to give."

 

The squeeze is especially intense on the 47 percent of the work force whose employers don't directly provide their health insurance.  For lower-income workers, who are more likely to be uninsured, the falling value of their wages is even more serious, because they're more likely to live paycheck to paycheck.

 

And rising food and energy prices take a higher toll on the poor than on the rich.

 

"Chances are that those workers that have problems getting by because of higher fuel prices will probably tell their employers, ‘I can't make it,"' said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody's Investors Service.

 

So far that hasn't worked for Brian Chartier. The 29-year-old Glendale, Calif., resident handles inventory for a Los Angeles manufacturing company.  No one there, he said, has gotten a raise in two years.

 

"They're able to do this and I haven't quit, because where am I going to go?" he said. "There are no jobs."

 

While his salary remained flat, rising health-care premiums kept eating up more and more of his take-home pay, so he dropped out of his employer's insurance program.  His rent also is climbing.

 

As Chartier loaded bags of groceries into his Honda Civic last week, he boasted that they were full of bargains. "I don't get a single thing that's not on sale," Chartier said. "I can't afford to anymore."

 

 

Capitalism At Work:

Super Rich Get Super Tax Breaks:

Ordinary Americans Paying More, Multi-Millionaires Paying Less Or Nothing At All

 

If your child becomes seriously ill, Congress, under this same law, will raise your income taxes if you spend more than 7.5 percent of your income trying to keep your child alive.

 

IRS data, adjusted for inflation, show that the poor are really getting poorer and the super rich are getting fabulously richer, a trend enhanced by their falling tax burden.

 

11 April 2004 By David Cay Johnston, The San Francisco Chronicle

 

The federal tax system that millions of Americans are forced to deal with before April 15 is not at all what you think it is.  

 

Congress has changed it in recent decades from a progressive system in which the more one earns the more one pays in income taxes.  It has become a subsidy system for the super rich.

 

Through explicit policies, as well as tax laws never reported in the news, Congress now literally takes money from those making $30,000 to $500,000 per year and funnels it in subtle ways to the super rich -- the top 1/100th of 1 percent of Americans.

 

People making $60,000 paid a larger share of their 2001 income in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes than a family making $25 million, the latest Internal Revenue Service data show.

 

Two billionaires in New York, the art dealer Alec Wildenstein and his former wife, Jocelyn, testified under oath in their divorce that for 30 years they never filed a tax return.  They have not been prosecuted.

 

There are now seminars that show business owners how to drop out of the tax system with virtually no risk of detection by the IRS, which relies on a computer system installed when John F. Kennedy was president.

 

While letting rich tax cheats run wild, Congress did finance a crackdown on the poor. The working poor, most of whom make less than $16,000, are eight times more likely to be audited than millionaire investors in partnerships.

 

These and other unseen changes in the tax system are major factors in profound economic changes that have caused so many in America to lurch from job to job, a fourth of which pay less than $8 an hour, while helping a very few grow very rich.

 

Because the news media focus on what politicians say about the tax system, rather than how it actually operates, few Americans realize that:

 

Corporate income tax laws reward companies that move jobs offshore, allowing them to earn untaxed profits as long as the money stays offshore.

 

The 2001 Bush tax cuts included a stealth tax increase on the middle class and upper-middle class that will cost them a half trillion dollars in the first 10 years and, for 35 million families, wiping out part or all of their Bush tax cuts.

 

The stealth tax boost on people making $30,000 to $500,000 was explicitly used to make sure that the super rich would get their entire Bush tax cuts.

 

If your child becomes seriously ill, Congress, under this same law, will raise your income taxes if you spend more than 7.5 percent of your income trying to keep your child alive.

 

Since 1983, under a plan devised by Alan Greenspan, Americans have paid $1.8 trillion more in Social Security taxes than have been paid out in benefits, money that is used to finance tax cuts for the super rich while robbing the middle class of their capacity to save.

 

A family earning $50,000 this year will have about $1,500 of its money funneled to the super rich because of the Greenspan plan.

 

Since 1993, the income tax burden on the 400 highest-income Americans has been cut 40 percent when measured the way that President Bush prefers, which is by counting how many pennies out of each dollar go to income taxes.

 

In 1993 the top 400 paid 30 cents out of each dollar in federal income taxes.  By the end of the Clinton administration in 2000 they were down to 22 cents.  Under Bush, their burden is less than 18 cents.  Everyone else felt their tax bite rise to 15 cents on the dollar from an average of 13 cents.

 

Over time, the impact of tax relief for the super rich and more taxes for everyone else is profound.  The rich can save and invest more and more, increasing their incomes and political power over time through the magic of compound interest, while everyone else has less of their money to spend or save and millions of people are mired in debt.

 

While wage earners have every dollar of income reported to the government, the super rich control what the IRS knows about their incomes.  Congress also gives them many perfectly legal devices to defer reporting income for years or decades.  That means that the real incomes of the super rich are much larger than the IRS data show and their tax burden is even lighter.

 

IRS data, adjusted for inflation, show that the poor are really getting poorer and the super rich are getting fabulously richer, a trend enhanced by their falling tax burden.

 

In 1970, the poorest third of Americans had more than 10 times as much income as the super rich, the top 1/100th of one percent.  Back then the poor had more than 10 percent of all income and the super rich had one percent.  By 2000 the two groups were equal -- the 28,000 Americans at the top had as much income as the 96 million at the bottom. The poor's share of income fell by half while the super rich's share rose to more than 5 percent of all income.

 

Not only did the poorest third's share of income shrink, they actually had less money. The average 25-year-old man in 1970 made $2 per hour more, adjusted for inflation, than in 2000.

 

Over those three decades the bottom 99 percent of Americans had an average increase in total income of $2,710.  That is an annual raise of less than $100 per year, the equivalent of a nickel an hour raise each year for 30 years.  The super rich did fabulously better, their average incomes rising $20. 3 million to an average of $24 million each.

 

Plot these figures on a chart and the results astound. If the increase for 99 percent of Americans is a bar 1-inch high, the bar for the super rich soars heavenward 625 feet.

 

 

 

Received:

 

Defend Human Shields

From: nl

Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 4:01 AM

 

The US government intends to fine two of the US "human shields" who travelled to Iraq. They are Faith Fippinger, a retired teacher of blind children, and Judith Karpova. Judith wrote to me and said she had worked her whole life for her little place in the country, but felt she had to go to Iraq as she no "longer felt safe anyway".  In other words, the US "war on terror" is a pretext for universal war on humanitarian values.  Neither Faith nor Judith will have the opportunity to present their case before the fine is imposed.  If the fine is not paid they will be stripped of their assets.

 

This is the freedom, the shining example of democracy, our soldiers are being sent to defend.  Unfortunately they are bogged down in Iraq.  It is up to us, the public, to support the cash-strapped US government.  Write to the attorneys of these women and offer them money not to defend them.  Judith's is sussman1@frontiernet.net, and Faith's is GurleyJ@Coudert.com.  We cannot afford to have a world run by do-gooders.  Die-hard corporate values are vital to our survival.

 

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