GI SPECIAL 3B11:
BRING THEM ALL HOME
Makes Vietnam Look Almost Clean”
Monday, April 25, 2005 11:35 AM
Here's the latest news, and it's kind
Jeff is training on the PSL's right
Anyway, it's either PLC or PSL... I
get my acronyms screwed up.
In his platoon, he's one of 10 who are
Apparently, it is so they can train
others in their platoons, units whatever on the PSL's. They are
still doing that now, but the new rumor is that his unit will be
sent home this fall instead of 2006. Deployment Over.
According to Jeff, the trucks that
were to have been delivered probably will not get there in time for
them to maintain the routes. Supposedly,
KBR will have taken
over all military routes at that point in time.
Ok, T, I know the drill when it comes
to rumors and what will be done. Don't count on anything until it
Having said that, I
have two questions (Hell, I have a million, but I don't count on
them being answered).
who is running supplies now and how? Something's fishy.
Jeff went out on a mission this evening (his morn) to his FOB.
I wasn't able to ask him what he was
driving because we were using text msg on my phone.
My second question is this.... when
and if the PSL's (that probably
haven't even been assembled yet) do arrive, will KBR (owned
by Haliburton) be using our military vehicles?
I know all about the white trucks.
They target those. Those are the KBR trucks.
Something is just
not right. I'm not military, but I'm not stupid either.
Another thing: KBR is attempting to
recruit any and everybody over there to work for them once they are
able too. Big money.
I told Jeff he could kiss my skinny
ass because the closest thing he will touch with regard to Iraq when
this is done is putting gas in my Suburban.
Not that it even probably comes from
My point is this... there are a lot of
guys over there who would be willing to re-up to go back just
because the money is good, ie hazard pay, easy promo, etc.
T, I personally know at least four.
However, here is my
other point... Cheney's company is taking our military drivers.
That means that
more bodies will be needed to fill the fucking boots.
New deployments for
This bullshit makes
Vietnam look almost clean (not the same, I know).
I was just a kid
then, but the thing that freaks me out is that THIS BULLSHIT THAT IS
GOING ON IS OUT THERE TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. It's not being hidden
(for the most part) like it was then.
I swear to God, I sometimes think the
French are right when they call us "Stupid Americans".
I think I told you about our good
friend who just came home, and he confirmed the recruitment of our
guys by KBR. Starting pay no less that 180K annually. I just don't
know what to think.
It's the PSL trucks
that have the good factory armor that Sgt. Rogers said that reg army
had and Guard and Reserve did not.
The truck thing has me very puzzled,
though, as I said.
If they have
grounded all 915's, how is the Op able to function?
Makes NO sense.
By the way, I was looking over some
recent archives of IMs from a friend of ours currently in Kuwait
(from Jeff's original unit).
Anyway, he was
getting the same rumors about KBR and the truck routes.
Jeff told me this
morning that KBR would be getting the old 915's. Just makes you
want to go to work for them doesn't it?
This is disgusting.
Another thing, last night I was told
that KBR had picked up the old 915's.
Also, the insurgents (from what I can
gather) seem to be increasing the use of VBIED's on the convoys.
Others out there on those routes
probably already know that, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
Jeff got one the other day, and two more were spotted on the same
Apparently, all routes went "black".
Anyway, thanks again for all that you
do to keep the word out.
[Respect to you,
because the real word is coming from real people like you, not me,
or the politicians, or the liars on TV. And the truth will keep
right on coming out, as long as good people fight back. T]
Do you have a
friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra
important for your service friend, too often cut off from access
to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and
inside the armed services.
Send requests to address up top.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
IED Kills Baghdad
April 25, 2005 By SAMEER N. YACOUB,
Associated Press Writer
bombs aimed at U.S. military convoys exploded in the capital Monday,
including one in western Baghdad that killed an American soldier,
said Army Lt. Col. Clifford Kent.
The U.S. military said a car bomb
exploded in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, on Monday, wounding
two civilians and slightly damaging a U.S. Marine vehicle.
Falluja IED Wounds
US Troops In Armored Vehicle
April 25 (KUNA)
A US Army patrol was targeted Monday
with a bomb in Falluja west of Baghdad.
Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the bomb was detonated as a US
military patrol passed by, noting that the bomb damaged the armored
vehicle and injured soldiers onboard.
They added that US forces cordoned off
the area and prevented civilians from approaching the scene, which
made it impossible to determine the US losses.
Hawai'i Troops Hit
12 Wounded In A
Almost On A Daily Basis Now"
April 25, 2005 By William Cole,
Honolulu Advertiser Military Writer
About a dozen
soldiers with the 29th Brigade Combat Team have been wounded in Iraq
in just more than a week, including one soldier from American Samoa
whose leg and wrist were broken when a bomb blew off a Humvee's
fender and tire, the brigade's commanding general said.
At Logistical Support Area Anaconda
and in Baghdad, two of the locations where Hawai'i National Guard
and Reserve soldiers are based, vehicle-borne and roadside bomb
attacks are on the rise, said Brig. Gen. Joseph Chaves, in his first
interview with Hawai'i media since deploying to the war zone.
almost on a daily basis now," Chaves said by phone. "We don't know
(if) this is a trend because it's becoming summertime and
(insurgents) are getting more active."
"I don't know if it's a seasonal
occurrence or it's the bad guys getting more active now" for other
reasons, he said.
Chaves said the armoring of Humvees
"without a doubt" has made a difference in protecting soldiers.
Three of the vehicles already had to be replaced as a result of bomb
"We've been very, very fortunate
because we've had a number of our armored Humvees hit (roadside
bombs), and we've been successful with our survival rate," Chaves
The area of operation for the 3,700
soldiers of the 29th Brigade stretches from Saudi Arabia in the
south to Anaconda, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. More than 2,200
of the soldiers are from Hawai'i. The brigade also draws from
American Samoa, Guam, Saipan and the Mainland.
The 2nd Battalion, 299th Infantry, is
based at Camp Victory South next to Baghdad International Airport.
The 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry, out of California, is assigned to
Forward Operating Base Falcon in southern Baghdad at the smallest of
the 29th Brigade's bases.
In addition to the brigade
headquarters, the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry; 29th Support
Battalion; part of a cavalry troop; the 229th Military Intelligence
Company; and a platoon of the 227th Engineer Company are at LSA
The soldier whose leg and wrist were
broken in Wednesday's explosion is with the 100th Battalion. The
vehicle may have hit a land mine. A few other soldiers were shaken
up, but have returned to duty, Chaves said.
soldiers leave the security of the base only in either
factory-armored Humvees, or in Humvees with armored side, door and
bullet-proof glass kits added to them.
“They Are Still
Coming At Us"
Ghraib, in west Baghdad, April 20, 2005. (Inforshop.org)
April 24, 2005 By Bryan Bender, Boston
WASHINGTON -- Insurgents in Iraq have
staged increasingly sophisticated attacks in recent weeks, according
to US military assessments, moving beyond roadside bombings and
suicide attacks to mount large-scale assaults against US and Iraqi
forces and civilians.
of the insurgency's strengths is its capacity to regenerate," said
retired Army General John Keane, who returned recently from a
fact-finding mission in Iraq. ''We have killed thousands of them
and detained even more, but they are still able to regenerate.
They are still coming at us." [Right. That’s what happens when
people fight to rid their country of a foreign invader. They are
right to do so. And it never ends.]
In the past,
military commanders have issued triumphant statements when the
number of insurgent attacks fell, only to see the number skyrocket
again in subsequent months.
to the insurgency, meanwhile, assert that fighters have increased
their ability to strike effectively against US forces and the Iraqi
The propaganda of
insurgent supporters has grown increasingly strident, accusing the
current Iraqi government of extending an illegal US occupation.
that! Yeah, that’s really “strident”! The obvious frequently is.]
''Right now, everybody's worried about
it, so we're watching to see if that trend continues," a senior
coalition military official told reporters Friday in Baghdad.
''Despite the fact that attacks are down and the psychological and
political momentum is showing some success, we have to understand
the insurgency is resilient, dynamic, and capable of significant
surprise. They could undermine political support and political
will. The military commanders are very much aware of this."
HOW MANY MORE FOR
BRING THEM ALL HOME
"The Enemy Is
Adapting All The Time"
April 25, 2005 By Rowan Scarborough,
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Iraqi insurgents keep finding new ways
to conceal and detonate deadly improvised explosive devices, making
the Pentagon's countermeasures that much more difficult to develop,
confidential military documents say.
sophistication continually improves," said a recent U.S. military
briefing to commanders. "The enemy is adapting all the time."
The document said that after the U.S.
had success with jamming radio signals between the bomber and the
improvised explosive devices (IEDs), insurgents quickly reverted to
direct-wire ignition that cannot be jammed.
"I hate to say
this, but the Defense Department is not where it should be in
defeating these things," said a Defense source who is working on
solutions to the problem.
The insurgents also have turned to
hard-to-spot improvised launchers.
In some cases,
insurgents made a plaster mold resembling a concrete block. The
structure was used to remotely launch French-made anti-vehicle
munitions that rain down on a convoy.
Enrollment In Army
ROTC Down In Past 2 School Years
April 24, 2005 By Josh White,
Washington Post Staff Writer
enrollment in the Army's Reserve Officers' Training Corps has
slipped more than 16 percent over the past two school years, leaving
the program, which trains and commissions more than six of every 10
new Army officers each year, with its fewest participants in nearly
The decline includes a drop of 10
percent from the 2003-04 school year to the term ending this spring.
According to the Army's Cadet Command
at Fort Monroe, Va., which supervises ROTC, 26,566 students are
enrolled in the program now, down from 29,618 last year and 31,765
in 2002-03, the first full school year after the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks. Pre-Sept. 11 enrollments were also higher than they are
Army and ROTC
officials are concerned that flagging enrollments could soon strain
the program's ability to meet its annual quotas for commissioned
programs, such as the one at the University of New Hampshire, have
seen more than 80 percent of their graduates fight in Afghanistan
or Iraq over the past few years, and the Army's increasing need
for young, capable officers has been drawing more ROTC graduates
into the fighting ranks.
"During Vietnam, the services lost a
large number of very good but very disgruntled junior officers, and
it took many years to recover," Dorn said. "The services may be
creating a problem that will be with them for another generation if
they don't solve the officer recruiting problem.
You can't go out and hire a bunch
of majors; you have to have commissioned a group of second
lieutenants years earlier."
According to a U.S.
military image study published in August, the three key barriers for
prospective ROTC recruits were making a commitment to going on
active duty after graduation, possibly ending up in combat and
losing too many years to an Army contract.
general Army recruitment numbers for enlisted soldiers, African
American enrollment in Army ROTC has dropped significantly over the
past few years.
This school year, 3,328 African
American students are in the program, down 18 percent from last year
and down 34 percent from a high of 5,044 in the 2001-02 school year.
Army studies last year showed that the war in Iraq was more
unpopular in the black community and served as a deterrent to
30 Years Later,
Vietnam Vet Says:
"I Don't Blame The
John Kass, Chicago Tribune,
April 24, 2005
Next week marks the 30th anniversary
of the end of the war in Vietnam. Rather than talk to a professor,
I talked to John Colovos.
"I don't blame the
Vietnamese," he says. "They did what they did. We did what we did.
But I'm not going back. So many kids got killed, and now our
country and Vietnam are friends. They have vacations, resorts, and
you ask me if it was worth it. So many dead. My friends are dead.
What did we get out of it? What did we gain?"
Washington DC 1932:
“On July 28, The
Army Attacked, Bayoneting Women And Children, Shooting Veterans,
Brutalizing Bystanders And Torching The Shantytowns”
April 24, 2005: Book review by Clancy Sigal, Los Angeles Times.
Clancy Sigal, a screenwriter and novelist, is a veteran of the U.S.
The Bonus Army An
American Epic; Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen; Walker & Co.: 370
The last great
cavalry charge in the United States occurred within sight of the
White House on a hot July day in 1932.
It was led by saber-wielding Maj.
George S. Patton Jr. under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Mounted troopers were followed by tanks, machine gunners and
soldiers with fixed bayonets hurling teargas bombs.
The enemy was an
"army" of more than 20,000 of the poorest American civilians —
unarmed, gaunt, sometimes wounded or shellshocked veterans of World
War I, their wives and children.
Bonus Army had traveled by boxcars and thumb to Washington in late
spring to peacefully petition Congress for an early release of
promised war service "bonus" payments of $600 each that would save
many of them from starvation.
Because of budget
wrangling, their bonus had been deferred until 1945. President
Hoover refused to see these "bums, pacifists and radicals," and
locked the White House gates against them. He ordered MacArthur
to forcibly expel the vets and their families from shantytowns
named "Hoovervilles" along the Anacostia River, igniting the
bloody Battle of Anacostia Flats.
In cities and towns across America,
most people were sympathetic to the bonus marchers and had offered
handouts and dollar bills. But members of the Washington
establishment, especially in the War Department, were so gripped by
fear of a revolution and the radical potential of organized veterans
— as happened in fascist Germany and Italy — that they lost their
With the exception
of some Marines, especially fiery Quantico commandant Gen. Smedley
Butler, the military officer class, led by MacArthur, were prepared
to kill their former comrades without scruple.
especially thirsty for the blood of the "bums" he'd fought with in
France, including the very soldier, by then down and out, who had
saved his life.
"Use the bayonets,"
Patton urged his troops. "If they resist they must be killed."
"The Bonus Army," a haunting,
compellingly written and marvelously researched book, is an
important contribution to American history.
Today the actions
of these veterans is virtually unknown. Yet the fight on the
Capitol steps is contemporary dynamite.
Co-authors Paul Dickson and Thomas B.
Allen end on a note of triumph with passage during World War II of
the GI Bill of Rights, which laid the educational and technological
basis for America's postwar prosperity. As they make clear, the GI
Bill would have faced much rougher passage had it not been for
memories of the defiant Bonus Army vets, who hung on in the face of
negative news coverage, government propaganda and, in the end, the
slashing bayonets of the U.S. Army.
Even newly elected
President Roosevelt, who defeated Hoover — in large part due to
public revulsion over the attack, which left 100 injured and several
dead, including a 3-month-old child — opposed paying the bonus
because it might cost too much and, in the words
of one executive, "make mercenaries out of our patriotic boys."
attitude lingers in the present-day bureaucracies of the
Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon. Ask any GI
returning from Iraq, especially a National Guardsman, who has
tried to navigate the veterans agency's medical red tape or obtain
treatment for post-traumatic stress.
We've seen images of broken men
shuffling in bread lines or selling apples on street corners during
the Great Depression. But as Dickson and Allen illustrate, the
"cruel year" of 1932 had pushed masses of Americans over the edge
into rage and collective action. With a quarter of all families
unemployed and banks foreclosing on homes and farms, "two million
people wandered the country in a futile search for work." But the
remarkably self-disciplined, single-purpose Bonus Army "knew where
they were going and why they were going there."
Official Washington's paranoia was not
altogether misplaced. "In the United States, there was open talk of
domestic war," the authors declare.
"Fear of …
revolutionary unrest spread in the wake of the Ford Massacre," when
auto company hit men fired into a crowd of strikers, killing four.
"High-ranking Army officers were so convinced of a potential Red-led
revolution" that they secretly studied, for immediate use, the
deadly tactics of the German officers who used aircraft to
machine-gun rioters in Weimar Germany.
The Bonus Army
was the inspired idea of one man, Walter Waters, a former sergeant
down on his luck in Portland, Ore.
At first nobody
listened, but as conditions worsened, he organized 250 jobless
veterans — who had only $30 among them — to start the cross-country
"The Oregon veterans joined hundreds
of thousands of men, women, children and babies who were already on
the move … walking, hitchhiking, hopping freights, heading
somewhere, heading nowhere, looking for a meal, a job, a place to
The idea took fire.
Men wearing their ragged WWI uniforms and combat medals streamed
toward Washington, D.C., from all corners of the nation.
They perched on
"boxcars, on coal gondolas, and on the sides of tank cars" in what
Waters called "a struggle in passive resistance." They elected
Workers Councils. And most extraordinary, the Bonus Army was
racially integrated at a time when strict segregation was the rule
Almost all photographs of these vets
prominently show African Americans. Perhaps more than anything
else, the prospect of disaffected blacks and whites uniting
terrified Washington. Gen.
George Van Horn Moseley, MacArthur's chief of intelligence, called
the vets "drifters, dope fiends, unfortunates and degenerates." It
also was assumed that they were Communists if they had "a Jewish
name or a black face."
Communist veterans were real enough.
They had their own agenda but often marched alongside the Bonus
Army in their own (much smaller) formations.
They were shunned by Waters' men, who
on occasion ran them from camp. Eventually, Waters did try to
organize vets into a fascist-like "Khaki Shirts" army. But most of
his followers rallied under such imploring slogans as "We ask very
little for what we gave."
Thanks to Hoover's isolation from
reality and Washington's unease about being invaded by hordes of the
"forgotten men" and their hungry families, confrontation was
inevitable. MacArthur, in pressed jodhpurs and freshly shined boots,
struck poses for the cameras while his troops torched the veterans'
Anacostia shantytowns. (He similarly ordered his closest aide, an
uncomfortable-looking Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower, to be properly
tailored for the bloodbath.)
On July 28, the
Army attacked, bayoneting women and children, shooting veterans,
brutalizing bystanders and torching the shantytowns. A Paramount
Pictures newsreel of the Anacostia atrocity was shown later in
movie houses nationwide to loud boos. FDR's election in November
When a second Bonus Army marched on
Washington in 1933, Roosevelt shrewdly sent his wife, Eleanor, to
hand out coffee and cookies and persuade the destitute vets to leave
for a hastily prepared job-creation scheme in the Florida Keys.
There, the biggest hurricane of the century smashed into their
flimsy barracks and washed hundreds out to sea.
Ernest Hemingway, a
witness to the catastrophe, wrote furiously that Roosevelt "who sent
those poor bonus march guys down there to get rid of them got rid of
them all right."
It wasn't until
1935, over FDR's veto, that a "bonus" bill was finally passed.
An army of postmen — many of them veterans
themselves — swiftly delivered checks to families close to
starvation and, in some cases, suicide.
The America we know
today was built on the backs — and bodies — of the "bums, drunkards,
riffraff, and crazy men" who made up the Bonus Army. Their despair
and stick-to-it-iveness created a social climate in which veterans
could no longer be treated openly like dogs.
Issue Of Traveling Soldier Is Out!
"Ask Me 'What Would
You Rather Do, Spend Your Life In Prison Or Murder A Child?,' I
Would Much Rather Spend My Life In Prison."
This issue features:
1. "All the reasons we were given were
false, so it was people dying and people suffering for lies" say
Kelley Dougherty of Iraq Veterans Against the War
2. Nicholas Przybyla of I.V.A.W.: "I
don't think that's a good way to fight a war, just to blow the shit
out of a country, kill a bunch of innocent people, and then charge
into another country that has nothing to do with it"
3. Military mom: "I will not stop
fighting until our last soldier is home"
4. GIs, Iraq vets, and military
families speak out.
5. Should al-Qaeda occupy New York?
6. The Chicken Factory - it's time to
7. Words from the front-lines - what
soldiers are saying about the war in Iraq.
8. Download the new Traveling Soldier
to pass it out at your school, workplace, or nearby base.
Fucked Over Again:
New York National
Guards Denied Ground Zero Retirement Credit
4.25.05 BY MAKI BECKER, DAILY NEWS
Hundreds of members
of the U.S. Army National Guard who helped protect New York City
after the Sept. 11 terror attacks aren't getting credit toward their
military retirement for their service.
While Guard members
were paid for their time, not a single day they spent in the rubble
of the World Trade Center helping dig for survivors, controlling
crowds and keeping order around the city counted toward their
The time spent at Ground Zero is
considered state active duty - not federal.
Federal duty generally involves being
mobilized for war, but it also includes the protection of federal
sites in the months after the attacks.
Federal duty generally involves being
mobilized for war, but it also includes the protection of federal
sites in the months after the attacks.
Protecting the West
Point military academy, for example, did earn credit for that
"Compared to Ground
Zero, West Point was a luxury," recalled Francisco Sostre, 39, a
sergeant with New York's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, known as the
Sostre spent several weeks in lower
Manhattan before being transferred to protect West Point.
"At Ground Zero, we were breathing in
all that aftermath," said Sostre, who was home earlier this month
from Iraq, where the Fighting 69th is now deployed. "We didn't know
if we were safe, if there were bombs or more airplanes coming. ...
It should count equally."
"It's not fair,"
said Ramon Santiago, another specialist. "You do a lot of work
here. You leave your job and your family. ... We need a little
"It should count
from the moment 9/11 happened," said Alan Colombani, 39, a National
Guard specialist who helped patrol the street around the Trade
Center site to prevent looters.
Fires Out Of
near Beiji hit on Monday, April 18th.
April 25 (KUNA) & By SAMEER N.
YACOUB, Associated Press Writer
oil pipelines in the northern city of Kirkuk where some of the
country's vital oil installations are located.
A group of fighters attacked oil and
gas pipelines' valves.
Spokesman for Oil
Ministry Asem Jihad told KUNA that the attack started a huge fire
and caused serious damage, noting that technical
and engineering teams worked on isolating the damaged pipes to put
off the fire.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi
Police source said that insurgents blew up an oil pipeline in Dubez
District in Kirkuk, northern Iraq.
The source said
that fire brigades are not in control of the fire caused by the
blast, noting that this pipeline transports oil to
Bay Hasan refinery.
fire on police guarding a convoy of tanker trucks, officials said.
Two policemen were wounded and three insurgents arrested in a
one-hour gunbattle over the convoy, police said.
6 Sudanese Military
Support Drivers Captured
April 25 (Reuters)
group Army of Ansar al-Sunna said it had abducted six Sudanese
drivers working for U.S. forces in Iraq, according
to a statement posted on the Internet on Monday.
Militants seized the six after they
left a base west of Baghdad, said the statement, adding a video of
the drivers would be released soon.
brothers were able to ambush Sudanese drivers who were transporting
goods, supplies and weapons for American forces,"
the statement said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE
“How Many Of These
War Millionaires Shouldered A Rifle?”
"Interview" with Smedley D. Butler
Major General, USMC, with Kevin Zeese, Democracy Rising (Excerpts)
Major General Smedley Darlington
Butler, one of the most colorful officers in the Marine Corps, was
one of the two Marines who received two Medals of Honor for separate
acts of outstanding heroism. General Butler was born in 1881 and
raised as a Quaker. He was still in his teens when he was
commissioned as a second lieutenant for the war with Spain and
served in the Philippines, China, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua,
Mexico, Haiti, France, and, after a stint as Director of Public
Safety in Philadelphia, in China again. General Butler died at the
Naval Hospital in Philadelphia on 21 June 1940. At the time of his
death the most decorated marine in U.S. history.
General Butler is no longer with us in body, but his spirit and his
popularity live on. He left us a legacy in deeds and words which we
have used to construct this imaginary interview that is based on
verbatim words or paraphrased quotations.
General Butler, Marine Corps General Zinni has recently said that
going into Iraq was a strategic blunder. Do you agree?
General Butler: When our forefathers
planned this government, they saw no necessity for foreign wars, for
wars that didn't concern us. As a matter of fact, after we got our
independence our army and navy were eliminated. The Constitution
states that the Congress has the power to provide for the common
defense, and has the power to raise and support armies, but it also
states that such forces can't be funded for more than two years. We
had a militia, that is each state had a militia, but this was the
only armed force at the time and was not to be used beyond the
territorial limits of the United States.
If you look into
history, you will find that during the War of 1812 a certain
regiment of militia marched northward toward Canada, but they
refused to cross the border and went home. The militia was for home
defense only. That's what our armed forces should be. Home
defenders, ready and able to defend our homes, to defend us against
attack, and that's all.
Kevin Zeese: If
you had found yourself in Iraq with the Marines, would you have
conducted a deadly "shock and awe" campaign? Do you think it's fun
to shoot people as Marine Corps General Mathis recently said?
General Butler: Well, I served in the
Marine Corps for thirty-three years, and of course my military
philosophy evolved. As a seventeen year old second lieutenant in
the Boxer rebellion, and then as a field grade officer in Central
America and Haiti, I conducted myself with a certain flair.
Later, as a brigadier general
commanding troops in China again, I had a different, and I think
more successful, way of dealing with the differences of opinion that
normally occur in the course of human events. We had some interests
in China at the time, and some Americans were just hoopin' and
hollerin' for military action. I, however, felt that they all had
personal axes to grind. They were just trouble makers and not
problem solvers. If you took them seriously and tried to listen to
everything that they said, you'd be hopelessly mixed up.
I felt that the
local people should settle, among themselves, their own form of
government and their own ruler. Our job was to
make sure they didn't molest our people, that's all.
As long as I was
commander, we weren't going to do what we did in the Banana Wars.
We weren't going to cause a lot of violence and take over their
banks and run things the way we did in Central America. I felt that
the millions of dollars in American capital in China was nothing
compared to the taxes Americans would have to pay for the
battleships and Marines to protect them. At the time, we were known
as 'the Marines who wouldn't fight,' which was fine with me. My
views haven't changed.
Kevin Zeese: What do you think of the
current political situation in Washington, with Wall Street and the
neocons in control of the government and their talk of continuous
General Butler: I always sided with
the underdog against the rich and powerful with their damnable wars,
and I'd do it again.
I spent 33 years
and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most
agile military force--the Marine Corps. I served in all
commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And
during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle
man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In
short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of
a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it.
Getting back to the Iraq war, many reports say that the troops are
being treated poorly, they have their service extended, that their
equipment and medical care are substandard and their lack of
financial support is punitive and insulting. We don't hear of a
soldier's general these days, how did you operate differently?
General Butler: If you take care of
the troops, they'll take care of you.
people are just careerists, and you can't expect civilians who never
served to understand soldiers. In 1917, when I commanded the
training base at Quantico, I opposed elevating the Corps Commandant
to lieutenant general so long as the soldiers were getting no extra
reward for doing the heavy work in the trenches.
When I was sent to France, we had a
situation where we were building up to a million men but our camp
was knee-deep in eternal mud and supply requisitions weren't
working. So one afternoon I marched down to the docks with seven
thousand men, confiscated fifty thousand sections of duckboards
(wooden slats to be used in trenches), plus some shovels and kettles
that we needed, and we carried them back to camp. Since I too
carried a duckboard up the hill, I became known as General
Years later, in
1932, when President Hoover and the Congress had denied these
brave men their bonus, and twenty thousand of them gathered in
Washington, I urged them to stick it out. I got up on this
rickety stand they had built and said: "You hear folks call you
fellows tramps, but they didn't call you that in '17 and '18. I
never saw such fine soldiers. I never saw such discipline . . .
You have as much right to lobby here as the United States Steel
Corporation." If I were around today I'd be up on that stand
again, believe me.
Kevin Zeese: There
has been a lot of evidence of corporate profiteering on this current
war, extending to the highest levels. What's you view?
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 in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in
A racket is best described, I believe,
as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people.
Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about.
It is conducted for
the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out
of the war a few people make huge fortunes. New millionaires and
billionaires are created in a war.
How many of these
war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench?
How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war
nations acquire additional territory. They just take it. This
newly acquired territory is exploited by the few-- the self-same
few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public
shoulders the bill.
And what is this
bill? This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed
gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and
homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant
miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.
Truly, war is a racket.
Kevin Zeese: What
do you suggest Americans do to stop this war?
General Butler: The Government
declares war. To say helplessly: As individuals we have nothing to
do with it, can't prevent it. But WHO ARE WE? Well, "WE" right now
are the mothers and fathers of every able-bodied boy of military age
in the United States. "WE" are also you young men of voting age and
over, that they'll use for cannon fodder. And "WE" can prevent it.
Now--you MOTHERS, particularly.
The only way you
can resist all this war hysteria and beating tomtoms is by hanging
onto the love you bear your boys. When you listen to some
well-worded, well-delivered speech, just remember that it's nothing
but Sound. It's your boy that matters. And no amount of sound can
make up to you for the loss of your boy.
Finally, general, how do we end this war racket?
General Butler: Well, it's a racket
all right. A few profit, and the many pay. But there is a way to
stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences, peace parlays
in Geneva or well-meaning resolutions. It can be smashed
effectively only by taking the profit out of war.
First, before the
government can recruit or conscript young people for military
service, they must conscript politicians and industry and labor.
Pay them $1500 a month, the same that the soldiers get. They aren't
running any risk of being killed or having their bodies mangled or
their minds shattered, so why shouldn't they?
Smedley D. Butler, Major General
United States Marine Corps
Double recipient of the Congressional
Medal of Honor
For further information visit the
Smedley Butler Society at
Terrorism: is what
the other does
"Democracy-spreading" :......is what you do
Suicide Bombing: is
what the other did
what you did
Kidnapping: is what
the other did
Administrative-Detention: is what you do
Terrorism: is what
the other does
Occupation: is what you do
own country is Terrorism
Occupying another by force...... is not.....!!
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
“You Can't Put A
Positive Spin On Dead Children"
Bob Herbert New York Times,
April 25, 2005
"The vast amount of suffering and
death endured by civilians as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq has, for the most part, been carefully kept out of the
consciousness of the average American.
I can't think of anything the Bush
administration would like to talk about less. You can't put a
positive spin on dead children."
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to email@example.com.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
RECRUITING FOR THE
ASSURES IMMEDIATE RESULTS!
A woman argues with a translator in
Mosul, where U.S. solders were
said to be rounding up all middle aged males, including the woman’s
husband, in a certain neighborhood on the 20th.
Howard Dean's Sell
Out And Betrayal
Mr. Dean even
more importantly and catastrophically, this "war" is based on
treasonous deceptions. When does all the blood shed become enough
for our bloodthirsty leaders? Sorry to say, Mr. Dean, it appears
that you have become one of them. …You are like all the rest of
the cowards who won't speak out against the pointless slaughter…
April 24, 2005 By Cindy Sheehan. “My
response to Howard Dean after he advocated for the continued
occupation of Iraq”
My son was KIA in
Iraq on 04/04/04.
I have in the past admired you for
your steadfast efforts for truth and for your integrity.
seriously have to disagree with you when you say that the US can't
leave Iraq now. I think that our mere presence in that country is
fueling the insurgency that killed my son.
This revolt has also killed many more
of America's sons and daughters (more than the official count) and
has also maimed thousands of our nation’s children. Very
tragically, our very presence in that country has been responsible
for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and for the
destruction of the country.
Mr. Dean, don't you think that the
Iraqi people can rebuild their own country? Before the US invasion
in March of 2003, they had a very capable work force filled with
construction workers, contractors, engineers, etc.
The Iraqi people
are not feeble minded. To think that the Iraqi citizens need our
military presence there to rebuild their country is arrogant and
even racist. I think the 81 billion dollar
appropriation's bill that the misguided and foolish Congress just
passed would be better off being a reparations bill.
The argument that
Iraq will descend into chaos if the US military presence leaves is
also specious. The country is already a confusing entanglement of
Let's pull our troops out and see if
that helps suppress the insurgency.
I know it will help
stop American soldiers and Marines from being killed and maimed for
absolutely no reason.
Also, I know you
know the despicable condition that the VA system and military
hospital system are in right now. Are you suggesting that we
create thousands of more mentally and physically wounded of our
children who will be dependent on a system that is so flawed?
If you recall, Congress just rejected
1.3 billion dollars in additional emergency funding for the VA. Who
will diagnose and support our soldiers who are coming home
contaminated by depleted uranium sickness? This serious consequence
of our government's waging of a nuclear war in the middle east will
never be recognized by our government. In addition to the physical
suffering, I know some soldiers who have returned from this US led
aggression in Iraq who are suffering terribly from PTSD and they
have been waiting for over a year for VA approval to get treated.
PTSD is rarely
diagnosed so our young people who were sent to fight an immoral,
illegal and unnecessary war by their reckless and arrogant
Commander-in-Chief have extreme difficulty receiving the help they
need from their ungrateful government.
Mr. Dean even more
importantly and catastrophically, this "war" is based on treasonous
one American soldier, nor
one Iraqi should have
been killed for the irresponsible and tragic invasion and occupation
of a sovereign nation. Common sense would dictate that not one more
person should be killed for these same lies.
One of the people
killed so pointlessly, my son, was more than enough for me and my
family. I will live in almost unbearable pain until I die. First
of all, because my first born was killed violently, and secondly,
because he was killed for a neo-con agenda that only benefits a
very chosen few in this world.
This agenda and their war machine will
chew up and spit out as many of our children as they can
unless we stop them now.
In 1967 it was recognized by our
government officials that Viet Nam was not winnable. From that point
until the "Pullout," 38,000 more of our sons and daughters were
needlessly slaughtered. How many innocent Vietnamese were killed
before we finally pulled out? Millions?
sanctioning of the occupation of Iraq is continued sanctioning of
Please use your forum to expose the
pack of lies and the senseless blood and tears bath that this
invasion/occupation is causing. We should not stay. We should not
let Israel/USA invade Syria or Iran. The consequences of this would
be too shocking to even contemplate.
The only way that I
and my organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, feel that our
children in the armed forces should be supported at this point would
be to bring them home, immediately.
family and my group are offended by hearing this administration say
that our troops have to remain in Iraq and complete "the mission" to
honor our loved one's sacrifices.
First of all, no one can explain this
constantly changing mission to us. Secondly, we don't want any more
innocent blood spilled just because it is too late for our soldiers
and our families.
When does all the
blood shed become enough for our bloodthirsty leaders? Sorry to
say, Mr. Dean, it appears that you have become one of them.
Mr. Dean, your
speaking out as a representative of the Democratic party for
continuing the occupation disgusted me beyond belief. I was going
to give the Demopublicans (Republicrats) another chance when you
were elected as Chair, but now: See you later, alligator.
You should be relentlessly and
courageously fighting to end the occupation. You should be making
sure that a consistent policy against all preemptive war is set in
stone in our country. You should be joining us in the Peace
movement in guaranteeing that our Nation's precious lifeblood is
never used so carelessly again.
But, alas, you are
like all the rest of the cowards who won't speak out against the
pointless slaughter and I am distressed and disheartened.
Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin
Sheehan KIA 04/04/04
Co-founder of Gold Star Families for
Big Brother Is On
Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2005
Security Agency, which eavesdrops on electronic communications
around the world, receives thousands of requests each year from U.S.
government officials seeking the names of Americans who show up in
intercepted calls or e-mails, and it complies in
the vast majority of cases without challenging the basis for the
requests, according to current and former intelligence officials.
Killed, 2 Hurt In Attack In Afghanistan
Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 2005
A roadside bomb hit
a convoy in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, and the
Romanian Defense Ministry said one Romanian soldier was killed and
two were wounded.
UN Human Rights
Abuse Investigator Fired:
He Found Human
25 April 2005 Nick Meo, The
The UN's top human
rights investigator in Afghanistan has been forced out under
American pressure just days after he presented a report criticising
the US military for detaining suspects without trial and holding
them in secret prisons.
Cherif Bassiouni had needled the US
military since his appointment a year ago, repeatedly trying,
without success, to interview alleged Taliban and al-Qa'ida
prisoners at the two biggest US bases in Afghanistan, Kandahar and
Mr Bassiouni's report had highlighted
America's policy of detaining prisoners without trial and lambasted
coalition officials for barring independent human rights monitors
from its bases.
The UN eliminated
Mr Bassiouni's job last week after Washington had pressed for his
mandate to be changed so that it would no longer cover the US
Just days earlier,
the Egyptian-born law professor, now based in Chicago, had presented
his criticisms in a 24-page report to the UN
Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
The report, based
on a year spent travelling around Afghanistan interviewing Afghans,
international agency staff and the Afghan Human Rights Commission,
estimated that around 1,000 Afghans had been detained and accused US
troops of breaking into homes, arresting residents and abusing them.
CLASS WAR NEWS
“If All Of Them Go,
We'll Be Better Off"
4.25.05 STEVEN DUDLEY, Knight Ridder
Peru, Argentina, Haiti and Bolivia
have all seen presidents flee throngs of pot-clanging,
banner-bearing, bandana-wearing protesters in the past few years.
Graffiti on a wall in Quito touted
SpongeBob SquarePants for president.
But many Ecuadorans
now contend that the solution these days is to get rid of all
politicians (and cartoon characters).
"Fine, we make mistakes" in voting for
some politicians, acknowledged Diego Cardenas, a 22-year old
university student protesting in front of the Brazilian Embassy
compound where Gutierrez was seeking asylum.
"But there's no one
to choose from. If all of them go, we'll be better off."
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