www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.26.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B11:

 

 

NO MORE:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

www.rense.com

 

 

“This Bullshit Makes Vietnam Look Almost Clean”

From: DSD

To: GI Special

Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 11:35 AM

 

Here's the latest news, and it's kind of weird.

 

Jeff is training on the PSL's right now.

 

Anyway, it's either PLC or PSL... I get my acronyms screwed up.

 

In his platoon, he's one of 10 who are in training.

 

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 happens.

 

Having said that, I have two questions (Hell, I have a million, but I don't count on them being answered).

 

Anyway, just 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 there anyway.

 

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 virgins.

 

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 trip.

 

Apparently, all routes went "black".  Just great.

 

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 Soldier

 

April 25, 2005 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer

 

Three roadside 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.

 

Witnesses told 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 Hard;

12 Wounded In A Week;

"It's Happening 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.

 

"It's happening 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 blasts.

 

"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 said.

 

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 Anaconda.

 

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.

 

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"

Near Abu Ghraib, in west Baghdad, April 20, 2005.  (Inforshop.org)

 

April 24, 2005 By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff

 

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.

 

''One 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.

 

Iraqis sympathetic to the insurgency, meanwhile, assert that fighters have increased their ability to strike effectively against US forces and the Iraqi government.

 

The propaganda of insurgent supporters has grown increasingly strident, accusing the current Iraqi government of extending an illegal US occupation.  [Wow!  Imagine 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.

 

Keane said: ''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 BUSH’S’ WAR?

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

April 14th, Baquba. (Inforshop.org)

 

 

Resistance Improves IED Techniques:

"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.

 

"Enemy 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.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Enrollment In Army ROTC Down In Past 2 School Years

 

April 24, 2005 By Josh White, Washington Post Staff Writer

 

Nationwide 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 a decade.

 

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 now.

 

Army and ROTC officials are concerned that flagging enrollments could soon strain the program's ability to meet its annual quotas for commissioned officers.

 

Some ROTC 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.

 

Also mirroring 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 enlisting.

 

 

30 Years Later, Vietnam Vet Says:

"I Don't Blame The Vietnamese"

 

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. Army.

 

The Bonus Army An American Epic; Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen; Walker & Co.: 370 pp., $27

 

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.

 

This so-called 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 cool entirely.

 

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.

 

Patton was 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."

 

That callous 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 trek.  

 

"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 flop."

 

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 elsewhere.

 

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 seemed assured.

 

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.

 

 

The New Issue Of Traveling Soldier Is Out!

 

GI Says:

"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 http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.ivaw1.php

 

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" http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.ivaw2.php

 

3. Military mom: "I will not stop fighting until our last soldier is home" http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.mfso.php

 

4. GIs, Iraq vets, and military families speak out. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.mailbag.php

 

5. Should al-Qaeda occupy New York? http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.al-qaeda.php

 

6. The Chicken Factory - it's time to organize. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.chicken.php

 

7. Words from the front-lines - what soldiers are saying about the war in Iraq. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/4.05.words.php

 

8. Download the new Traveling Soldier to pass it out at your school, workplace, or nearby base.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/TS10.pdf

 

 

Fucked Over Again:

New York National Guards Denied Ground Zero Retirement Credit

 

4.25.05 BY MAKI BECKER, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

 

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 military retirement.

 

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 service.

 

"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 Fighting 69th.

 

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 support."

 

"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.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Insurgents Attack Oil Pipelines;

Fires Out Of Control

A pipeline near Beiji hit on Monday, April 18th.

 

April 25 (KUNA) & By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer

 

Insurgents attacked 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.

 

Guerrillas opened 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)

 

Islamic militant 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.

 

"Your mujahideen 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 THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“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.

 

Kevin Zeese: 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 war?

 

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.

 

Kevin Zeese: 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.

 

Some military 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 Duckboard.

 

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?

 

General Butler: 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 lives.

 

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.

 

Kevin Zeese: 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 http://www.warisaracket.org.

 

 

Demagogy, Dictators

and their

Dictionaries

 

Terrorism: is what the other does

 

"Democracy-spreading" :......is what you do

 

Suicide Bombing: is what the other did

Carpet-Bombing: is what you did

 

Kidnapping: is what the other did

Administrative-Detention: is what you do

 

Terrorism: is what the other does

Invasion and Occupation: is what you do

 

Liberating one's own country is Terrorism

but

Invading + Occupying another by force...... is not.....!!

 

Raja Chemayel

April 25, 2005

Anti-allawi-group

 

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.

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

“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."

 

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.

 

 

RECRUITING FOR THE RESISTANCE:

BRILLIANT TACTIC 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.  (Inforshop.org)

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

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”

 

Mr. Dean,

 

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.

 

However, I 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 devastation.

 

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 deceptions.

 

Not 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?  

 

Continued sanctioning of the occupation of Iraq is continued sanctioning of premeditated murder.

 

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.

 

Additionally, my 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.

 

Cindy Sheehan

Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04

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

 

 

Big Brother Is On Your Ass

 

Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2005

 

The National 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.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Romanian Soldier 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.

 

 

Welcome To “Liberated” Afghanistan:

UN Human Rights Abuse Investigator Fired:

He Found Human Rights Abuses

 

25 April 2005 Nick Meo, The Independent (UK)

 

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 Bagram.

 

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 military.

 

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 Newspapers

 

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."

 

Web Copies

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http://www.albasrah.net/maqalat/english/gi-special.htm

 

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