www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.18.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B3:

 

 

Army Times 4.18.05

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

Indirect Fire Kills Three Soldiers At Ramadi;

Seven Wounded

 

04/17/05 mnf Release #050417b

 

CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq Three soldiers were killed in an indirect fire attack on Camp Ramadi last night. The attackers fled into a nearby mosque.  Iraqi Security forces conducted a search of the mosque but did not find the terrorists.

 

Seven service members were injured in the attack.  Of those, three were evacuated and four received minor injuries. Two have returned to duty.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

 

[Thank to David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent these in.]

 

 

Staten Island Staff Sgt. Opposes The War “Because The Reasons Are Not Justified”

 

March 20, 2005 By YOAV GONEN, ADVANCE STAFF WRITER

 

The Andersons were separated because of the war in Iraq; the McAnanamas separated yesterday in the name of peace.

 

Marking the second anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, about 60 Staten Islanders, including Debra Anderson and Susan McAnanama, held a prayer for peace gathering at the entrance to Von Briesen Park on Bay Street near Fort Wadsworth.

 

The Peace Action of Staten Island-sponsored rally was one of an estimated 800 held across the country -- including protests and marches in all five boroughs -- and in Europe, according to the group United for Peace and Justice, which helped coordinate many of the events.

 

Among the speakers yesterday was Debra Anderson, whose husband, Charles -- a member of the National Guard for the past 23 years -- was sent to Iraq in September.

 

A staff sergeant, Anderson is serving in Baghdad despite his opposition to the war.

 

"He does not support the war because the reasons are not justified," said Mrs. Anderson, a mother of two who lives in West Brighton.

 

"I want my husband and the other troops home now.  My children miss their daddy."

 

Also speaking was Livingston resident Susan McAnanama, whose husband, George, is a Vietnam veteran.  A U.S. Army specialist fourth class who served from 1966 to 1968, McAnanama rode a packed bus nine hours to Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg on Friday night for a rally held there yesterday, while his wife voiced her opposition here.

 

"I really want peace in my lifetime and I'm sick of this war," Mrs. McAnanama told the Advance with tears in her eyes.  "My son is 28 years old and I can't imagine losing him."

 

Over 500 miles south, McAnanama, vice president of New York Veterans for Peace, was joined by a dozen group-members and many others in a rally attended by an estimated 3,000 people.

 

"This was basically to remember the losses -- mourn the 1,500-plus fallen soldiers and the thousands and thousands of Iraqis that are dead because of this," he told the Advance by phone yesterday.

 

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.

 

 

Prepackaged News Damages Delusional DoD

 

This sort of deceptive packaging goes beyond the need to publicize good news stories about U.S. soldiers. 

 

It indicates a broader agenda of managing public perception, perhaps as part of a political package aimed at softening the growing public disillusion with the war.

 

April 18, 2005 By Scott Curthoys, Army Times

 

The writer is a retired Army military intelligence and foreign area officer working as a counterintelligence analyst contracted to a federal law-enforcement agency. He lives in Fairfax, Va.

 

For the Bush administration, the news must be trying: far too many killed by another car bomb in Baghdad; U.S. soldiers on trial for abusing and murdering Iraqi civilians; and all topped off by an endless parade of names and faces of young Americans killed in Iraq.

 

Is it any wonder that last autumn the Pentagon began advocating more “good news” stories in the media?  But the media failed to play along, instead showing the attacks, bombings and casualties of Mr. Bush’s war.

 

They were reporting the news they had, not the news Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wishes they had.

 

So now the administration is in the journalism business.  In the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” officials provide the media with prepackaged news segments that support the administration.

 

As reported in The New York Times, these government-produced segments for television look and sound like any network or local news story.  Stations that air them often represent these segments as self-produced news stories and do not credit the government as the source.

 

While the Defense Department is not the only government agency to offer these segments, its participation gives rise to the question of whether the Defense Department’s use of prepackaged news is an effort at complementing the mainstream media and getting the good news story to the public or an attempt at managing the public’s perception of the administration’s political actions.

 

Col. William M. Darley, in an article in Army magazine titled “Why public affairs is not information operations,” rightly points out that “some in the military at the policy level now advocate that military public affairs be subsumed by effects-based information operations.  To such individuals, controlling the flow of news … and the uniformity of good news messages is the Holy Grail — the key to ultimately winning the IO war.

 

“They see in a matrix of messages the tool to force, on one hand, recalcitrant news executives to report good news stories, and on the other hand, Arab populations and our allies to love us through manipulation of the global media environment, he wrote.

 

“The concept is delusional.”

 

The Pentagon has had a “good news” effort for many years.  Some of us remember the hometown news releases we had to fill out after promotions and awards.  The Pentagon’s Web site, www.defenselink.mil and the Pentagon Channel, now available to cable and satellite operators in the United States, are recognized as Defense Department entities.

 

The Army and Air Force Hometown News Service films soldiers sending holiday greetings to their hometowns, but this unit also produces news reports that are offered to local stations for broadcast.  These reports are designed, according to The New York Times report, to make it easy for local stations to run them unedited and for the military origin to be hidden.  Reporters on the story are not in uniform and not identified by their military titles.

 

This sort of deceptive packaging goes beyond the need to publicize good news stories about U.S. soldiers. 

 

It indicates a broader agenda of managing public perception, perhaps as part of a political package aimed at softening the growing public disillusion with the war.

 

News reports are not the cause of such disillusion, events themselves are.

 

But the capability and willingness of news organizations to publish “bad” news instantly puts them at odds with the Pentagon’s desire to minimize and control the flow of information it deems damaging.

 

Nevertheless, the Defense Department is crossing the line between public affairs and information operations with these homemade news reports.  Such prepackaged and unattributed news reports represent an offensive information measure that enables the Defense Department to manipulate the perception of the target audience — you and I.

 

Col. Darley points out that the “foremost role of public affairs is to protect the integrity of the military as an institution overall by ensuring that it is recognized as the most reliable source for official military information among all competing sources.”

 

Hiding Pentagon involvement in prepackaged news stories, to ensure that local news organizations feel comfortable putting them on the air, is not protecting the integrity of the military. 

 

It is deception played out by the U.S. military on its own populace.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

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

 

 

Britain Cannot Sustain Its Army Deployments Abroad, MPs Warn

 

[Thanks to Artisan, who sent this in.]

 

March 17 2005 Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

 

The intensity with which the British army is deployed on operations is unsustainable, a cross-party committee of MPs says in a report published today.

 

The government has undervalued the continuing need to deploy significant numbers of "boots on the ground", while cuts in manpower and equipment programmes will lead to capability gaps, the Commons defence committee warns.

 

"Many frontline units in the army have for some years been experiencing an operational and training cycle whose intensity is unsustainable over the longer term," it says.

 

The MoD's emphasis is on an "expeditionary strategy" under which the threat from international terrorism is "dealt with at source".

 

Pressure on the defence budget, meanwhile, has led to the early scrapping of surface ships, submarines, and fast jets including Jaguars and Sea Harriers.  The MPs point out that many of the key capabilities identified by the MoD, including two aircraft carriers, the planes to be based on them, submarines, destroyers, and helicopters, will not be available until the end of the decade or after.

 

 

Canonical Murphy's Laws of Combat

 

70. Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss.  Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn.

 

71. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.

 

72. The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon's operator.

 

73. Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

 

74. No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.

 

75. If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.

 

76. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)

 

77. Air strikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.

 

78. When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.

 

79. Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.

 

80. Body count Math --> 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.

 

81. Beer Math --> 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.

 

82. The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.

 

83. Murphy was a grunt.

 

84. When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.

 

85. The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.

 

86. A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

April 17 (KUNA) & (Xinhuanet) & Aljazeera.Net

 

Unidentified insurgents assassinated last night a top officer in the Iraqi commando forces.

 

A source in the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Sunday that the armed men opened fire against Major Amar Hussein at Al-Iskan district in Baghdad.

 

Major Hussein was able to arrest dozens of insurgents involved in terrorist operations in Mosul.

 

Meanwhile, armed men assassinated today director of Haditha police along with two of his family members.

 

The Iraqi police said that masked insurgents broke into the house of Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Al-Jaghaini last night and opened fire at him, his son and nephew.

 

A roadside bomb exploded Sunday morning at a civilian car in Dhuluiyah, north of Baghdad, killing two police officers, a police officer said.

 

"The bomb blasted at 8:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) in the town of Duluiyah as a civilian car passed by, killing two police officers and a civilian," Ibrahim al-Jaboury told Xinhua.

 

Lieutenant Nadhum Mutlaq and Lieutenant Latif Naser were heading to office when the blast occurred at about 300 meters away from a police checkpoint, killing them along with one civilian.

 

Seven Iraqi Kurdish civilians working on a US military base were captured late on Sunday in central Iraq after leaving work, a police chief told AFP.

 

Armed men seized the seven Kurds after stopping their bus as they travelled home from the base in the Mansuria region to Khanaqin, some 180km northeast of Baghdad.

 

The bus driver, whom the armed men beat up, alerted police.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Falluja April 2003;

It Begins

 

April 30, 2003 New York Times, FALLUJA, Iraq

 

United States soldiers opened fire here today on marchers protesting a clash late Monday night in which 15 anti-American demonstrators were reported killed by American troops.  The city's mayor and hospital officials said two protesters were killed in today's incident and 14 were wounded.

 

A United States Army officer said soldiers in a convoy passing the demonstrators were shot at, and then returned fire.  There was no immediate indication of any American casualties.

 

About 1,000 residents marching down Falluja's main street stopped today in front of a battalion headquarters of the United States Army's 82nd Airborne Division, in a compound formerly occupied by Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. The demonstrators were carrying signs condemning Monday night's shooting.

 

Protesters threw rocks and shoes at the compound and troops opened fire at about 10:30 a.m., scattering the demonstrators.

 

Lt. Col. Tobin Green, commander of the Second Squadron of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, which is taking over from the 82nd Airborne in Falluja, said a six-vehicle convoy was shot at and responded with gunfire.

 

"The evildoers are deliberately placing at risk the good civilians," Colonel Green told The Associated Press.  "These are deliberate actions by the enemy to use the population as cover."

 

The mayor of Falluja, Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, asked for an investigation and compensation for the victims.

 

"The number of killed was two," Ahmed al-Taha, a senior official at the main hospital in Falluja, told Reuters.  "They were hit in the head."

 

He put their ages between the late 20's and early 30's and said they had been hit by bullets or shrapnel.  At least eight people were being treated for wounds, he added.

 

After a meeting with American troops, the mayor said United States soldiers had been asked to stay away from mosques, residential areas and other sensitive places.

 

"Many people believe these are occupying forces," Mr. al-Alwani said.  "And many of them are still cautious until they see their intentions."

 

Maj. Michael Marti, an intelligence officer for the division's Second Brigade, said soldiers in a passing convoy fired on the crowd after rocks were thrown at them and a vehicle window was broken by what was believed to be automatic weapons fire.

 

"Fire came from the crowd," Major Marti said. "It was at that point that they returned fire. It was well- aimed fire."

 

City officials who said they witnessed the gunfire said they saw or heard no shooting from among the protesters.

 

In Monday's incident Iraqis said the soldiers opened fire, unprovoked, while the Americans — who were positioned in a school — said they were fired on first and then carefully counterattacked.

 

Either way, with 65 people reported wounded during the rally on Saddam Hussein's birthday, sentiment against the American military presence jumped several notches, even as United States officials are seeking to build greater trust among ordinary Iraqis.

 

As American military units in this city about 30 miles west of Baghdad left the school Tuesday evening, boys shook their shoes at the soldiers, an insult, pelted them with stones and yelled in English, "Down USA!"

 

"We won't remain quiet over this," said Ahmad Hussein, in a hospital room with his 18-year-old son, Riyadh, who was shot in the stomach and who, his doctor said, will probably die.  "Either they leave Falluja or we will make them leave."

 

In the northern city of Mosul, meanwhile, 9 people were killed and 29 were injured on Tuesday as residents celebrated Mr. Hussein's birthday by firing guns into the air, hospital officials said.  Doctors said the majority were killed by celebratory gunfire, but they said American soldiers had apparently shot several Iraqis after they mistook celebratory gunfire shots for attacks.

 

A military spokesman said three Iraqis were killed in the city on Monday after they fired repeatedly on American forces.

 

The incident at the rally on Monday was the second in which American soldiers have been accused of firing into crowds of demonstrators, underscoring the difficulties facing the military as it moves from active combat to peacekeeping duties.

 

In a still-murky incident two weeks ago in Mosul, residents said, American soldiers killed 10 demonstrators, although, as in the incident on Monday, the soldiers said they were fired on first.

 

There were few details about the shootings that the Americans and residents could agree, apart from the fact that it began with a demonstration of perhaps 200 people, some shouting slogans in support of Mr. Hussein on his 66th birthday.  Soldiers said it was a night of far more gunfire and rock-throwing than had been usual in this city of mostly Sunni Muslims, many still loyal to Mr. Hussein.

 

The demonstrators gathered on Monday after evening prayers sometime after 9 p.m., first stopping at the headquarters of one unit of American soldiers in the Nazzal neighborhood.  An American officer, Capt. Mike Riedmuller, said some in the crowd fired automatic rifles in the air, but he said the soldiers did not fire at the demonstrators because they did not feel they were being shot at directly.

 

He said the crowd then moved several blocks away to the yellow, two-story Al Qaed school, where American soldiers had positioned themselves for the previous three nights.  The two versions of what happened there diverge sharply.

 

Lt. Wes Davidson, an officer at the school, said that about 20 to 30 demonstrators were shooting rifles mostly in the air, and that the soldiers responded with smoke grenades.

 

Then, he said, several more people with rifles appeared from three houses across from the school and began shooting directly at the soldiers, as did others among the demonstrators and from the houses' roofs.

 

Both Lieutenant Davidson and Captain Riedmuller said the Americans returned fire precisely.

 

"Our soldiers returned deliberately aimed fire at people with weapons, and only at people with weapons," Captain Riedmuller said.

 

On Tuesday the second story of the school was pocked with bullet holes, most of them apparently from low- caliber weapons, and there were a half-dozen other holes in the school's concrete wall.  There were also bullet holes in houses across the street, along with several pools of blood on the sidewalks, which residents said was evidence of what they claimed was indiscriminate fire.

 

"We have no weapons — we didn't shoot one shot," said Ali Rawi, 65, a neighbor who said that dozens of people ran inside his gate.  "If it wasn't for this gate, there would have been more than 70 people killed."

 

Other neighbors, however, conceded that there had been shots fired into air, but not at the soldiers.

 

Lieutenant Davidson said snipers had been shooting at the soldiers from behind a car. But Yasir Khalil, 31, said the car's owner, Osama Ahmed Saleh, a handyman who lives across the street from the school, got into the car to drive his brother, Muthena, who had been shot in the leg, to the hospital.

 

Mr. Khalil said the soldiers opened fire on the car, hitting both men.  Then, he said, the oldest brother, Walid, left the house and began shouting at the soldiers.  He was shot dead, Mr. Khalil said.

 

"He was yelling, `Stop, stop, stop!' " Mr. Saleh said.  "But they didn't listen." He said their mother was also hit by the American fire.

 

Three hospitals, two in Falluja and one in Ramadi to the west, reported 15 dead and 65 injured.  Captain Davidson said that his soldiers recovered nine automatic rifles, two pistols and 2,000 rounds of ammunition from the houses across the street, and that the roofs were littered with spent cartridge cases.

 

Residents said their anger stemmed from a general opposition to having American soldiers in a residential neighborhood as well as complaints that the soldiers used their binoculars and night-vision equipment to look at women, who are veiled and by Islamic tradition stay out of public, and had shown children pornography — an allegation that the soldiers strongly denied.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

Trouble In The Gulf;

GI Resistance Before The First Gulf War Began

 

[Written before the fighting started in the first Gulf War, this account of GI resistance back then makes two important points:

 

1.  Resistance today comes on much more quickly than was the case during the Vietnam Imperial War, and expresses “a highly evolved political understanding” and

 

2.  Today’s military leadership is more reluctant to impose extreme punishments for troops who resist Imperial wars.

 

That’s encouraging, and even more the case today, on both counts.  T]

 

From: LEFT FACE, Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies, By DAVID CORTRIGHT AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in Military Studies, Number 107; GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport, Connecticut • London

 

The Persian Gulf crisis has raised critical challenges for the armed forces of the United States, France, Australia, and a number of the other nations involved.

 

Although as of this writing no shots have been fired, incidents of soldier antiwar opposition have already surfaced.

 

In the United States dozens of soldiers and reservists have publicly refused to go to Saudi Arabia in the first three months of the deployment.

 

The most famous case was that of marine corporal Jeff Patterson, stationed in Hawaii, who refused to board a plane to Saudi Arabia in August 1990.  Patterson’s press statement at the time of his refusal shows a highly evolved political understanding of the Persian Gulf crisis:

 

“Although the U.S. is facing off against a truly despicable man in Saddam Hussein, the reality is that U.S. foreign policy created this monster.  It was the U.S. who tacitly endorsed the Iraqi invasion of Iran ten years ago.  It was the U.S. and West Germany who sold Hussein chemical weapons throughout the war.  It was the U.S. who remained silent when Hussein used these weapons on his own populations. . . . I cannot and will not be a pawn in America’s power plays for profits and oil in the Middle East.”

 

Although Patterson refused a direct order and made frequent antiwar statements to the press, the marine corps dropped all legal charges in December 1990 and granted him an administrative discharge.

 

This unusually lenient treatment no doubt reflected the military’s fear that the example of his refusal might spread to others.

 

Better to get the case (and the attendant publicity) over with quickly than to “make an example” of the young marine.  This was especially necessary in the case of Patterson because of his strong political opposition to U.S. policy and his frequent appearances at “no blood for oil” antiwar rallies.

 

One of the first incidents of group protest came in November 1990 when six members of Fox Company in a marine corps reserve unit in the Bronx, New York, refused call up orders.  According to a December 5, 1990 report on the incident in The Guardian (New York), the refusal by the Bronx reservists was another in a growing number of acts of resistance by soldiers and reservists mobilized for the Middle East crisis.

 

Because of the military’s extremely tight control of news coverage in the Persian Gulf (beginning with the Grenada invasion, reporters were no longer allowed to travel or report freely on U.S. military operations), it has been difficult to determine how much resistance has developed among U.S. troops. 

 

Even within the restrictions imposed by the military, however, evidence of discontent within the ranks has occasionally slipped through.  In an October 17, 1990 dispatch from Saudi Arabia in the New York Times a disgusted GI exclaimed, “Tell George Bush to get off the golf course and out of his fishing boat. . . and drink hot water with us.”  Another angry private exclaimed, “I had to come out here to find out what the army really thinks I’m worth—nothing. . . Why is it that when the U.S. economy gets bad we always go to war?”

 

Enlisted opposition to the Persian Gulf deployment has not been confined to U.S. forces. In France two conscripts were arrested for demonstrating against war in the Gulf, according to reports from ECCO.  In Australia seaman Terry Jones jumped ship from HMAS Adelaide in Perth in August 1990 and refused to participate in military operations in the Gulf.  As Jones explained to the press:

 

“I am not a coward and I would be prepared to die for my country, but I am taking a political stand because this is not our war, we are just following the Americans....

 

Who gave the Americans and the British the right to impose their ways of life on others and to get Australians to die for it?”

 

As was the case with Jeff Patterson, Terry Jones received very light punishment for his refusal.  In October 1990 he was found “guilty” of four days AWOL (absent without leave) and was sentenced to a reduction of one rank, forfeiture of four days pay and a suspended sentence of twenty-one days restriction.  Considering that he could have received a year in prison and a dishonorable discharge, Jones and his family and friends were quite pleased with the “non-sentence” and considered it a victory.

 

So far these examples of opposition within the lower ranks have appeared only in the armies of industrialized nations, such as the United States, Australia, and France.  No GI resistance has been observed in the armies of the less-capitalized nations participating in the Persian Gulf deployment, such as Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco.  This might be considered surprising in light of the pressures of Moslem solidarity and widespread opposition within the Arab world to the policies of the “infidel” West.

 

As we have observed throughout the book, however, enlisted resistance rarely appears in the armies of nations below a certain threshold of capital accumulation.  Perhaps opposition tendencies will arise in the officer corps of these armies, but conscripts and low ranking soldiers are likely to “follow orders,” even if this means killing their Arab brothers.

 

During the Vietnam War it took more than a year of heavy combat before the first case of soldiers publicly refusing to go to Indochina, the “Ft. Hood 3,” was reported.

 

Only in 1968, when war had raged for three years and U.S. casualties already totaled 30,000, did an organized antiwar movement emerge.

 

In the case of the Persian Gulf crisis, opposition has surfaced before the outbreak of war and has quickly become a worrisome problem for the military command.

 

GI resistance in the United States and other industrialized countries has started out rapidly and at a far higher level than at the beginning of past wars, including not only Korea but also Vietnam.

 

As we have observed, in the armies of nations above a certain capital accumulation threshold, the behavior of low-ranking soldiers has changed, creating a greater readiness to question authority.

 

Even though organized dissent has declined in most armies from the peak levels of the 1970s, GI resistance remains an important factor that could have a significant impact on the prospects for peace.

 

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.

 

 

Unexpected Rebels

Iran: 1979

The Air Force Acts To Help Overthrow A Tyrant

 

From: LEFT FACE, Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies, By DAVID CORTRIGHT AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in Military Studies, Number 107; GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport, Connecticut • London

 

Why did the air force technicians rebel and help bring down the established government?  The answer lies in the background of the revolution and Iranian society.

 

Some have argued that the Shah for all his faults was relatively progressive, while the Islamic revolution led by the ayatollahs was a return to an irrational, reactionary past. The Shah and his Washington allies said they were carrying out a revolution from above, dragging a reluctant Iran into the modern world.  The fight was between modernism and “old-time” fundamentalism.

 

A far more important and fundamental reality, however, was that the Shah had always been linked to foreign imperialism.

 

In 1941 he had been installed on the throne by the British, who had forced his father, considered pro-German, to abdicate.  For ten years the Shah served England and the Anglo-Iranian oil company.  In 1953 he opposed the Mossadegh government, a first attempt by the Iranian bourgeoisie to gain control of their country’s oil.  After 1953, when a CIA-organized coup overthrew Mossadegh, the Shah switched his allegiance to the United States.

 

The Shah and his regime did not represent national interests, not even of the bourgeoisie, but rather foreign interests, especially those of U.S. capitalism.

 

This arrangement worked for sometime, but inevitable contradictions emerged.  Foreign capital is not interested in domestic change or revolution.  It does not want nationalism to get out of hand.  Its aim is to increase exports and imports.  But these imports undermine domestic handicraft industries and antagonize the national bourgeoisie, which wants to increase domestic production.  The more imports grow, the greater the destruction of the peasant economy, the stronger the pressure on the national bourgeoisie.

 

Eventually a broad revolutionary coalition emerged. It was patriotic, anti-imperialist, and rabidly anti-foreign.  Workers and students were joined by the national bourgeoisie, who wanted to end foreign control of wealth, and by the mullahs, who were the religious leaders of the peasantry.

 

The revolution took on an Islamic and religious character in part because British and U.S. interests had devalued the native religion and looked down on the Iranian mullahs as backward fanatics.

 

The Shah, America’s stooge, had exiled the Ayatollah Khomeini, thus making him a symbol of resistance.  Nonreligious rationalism or other liberal ideologies were at a disadvantage, since they were associated with the hated foreign imperialists.

 

Revolutionary anti-imperialism thus mixed with domestic reaction.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

U.S. COMMANDS’ NEW CAMPAIGN TO RECRUIT MORE RESISTANCE FIGHTERS IN FULL SWING

Apr 15:  US soldiers from the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry blindfold detainees in the village of Sallamiyah. (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Thousands Of Filipino Workers Urged To Leave Iraq

 

Manila, April 17, SPA

 

Philippine officials on Sunday urged about 6,000 Filipino workers to immediately leave Iraq after a foiled kidnapping injured two Filipinos, stressing that the situation there remains very dangerous for foreign workers.  Five Filipinos who had decided to return home because of sporadic mortar attacks on the U.S. military camp where they worked as food servers were en route Saturday to Baghdad's airport when their cars were blocked by suspected kidnappers, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. Armed bodyguards escorting the Filipinos returned fire and drove toward a police station amid a heavy exchange of fire, prompting the kidnappers to withdraw.

 

Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, citing the attack, called on all Filipino workers in Iraq "to now consider their immediate repatriation to the Philippines in view of the dangerous security situation there."  He said the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad would help returning Filipinos get flights

 

 

Iraqi men strike their boots against Bush during rally in Baghdad, April 9.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis called Saturday for American forces to withdraw from Iraq. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Train Wreck Of The Week:

Wolfowitz And The Gutted Empire

 

March 26 2005 By Bob Chapman, The International Forcaster

 

The World Bank and the IMF are subsidiaries of the US government and have been since their inception.

 

The Bush administration choice of Paul Wolfowitz to run the World Bank has to be a reward for ineptitude.

 

Wolfowitz was a strong voice in the WMD episode that brought us to invade Iraq.  Of course, we all now know that no such things existed and that Mr. Wolfowitz’s howlings were pure lies.

 

He was deeply involved in the reconstruction of Iraq, which has been a disaster.

 

Wolfowitz could not run anything; he is an ideologue.

 

He along with other elitists thought we would move him to Iraq, take over the oil wells and privatize them.  They would be sold to US oil interests for $0.05 on the dollar.  That did not work because the Iraqi people, who they had liberated, disagreed and an insurgency began, which has cost American families more than 4,000 dead and 30,000 wounded.

 

Paul Wolfowitz was a chief planner in this fiasco, which was all about stealing the Iraqis oil.  Elections, freedom and democracy came later.  The oil fields were never privatized and the war continues.

 

If Mr. Wolfowitz, as head of the World Bank, presents the same unworkable policies he put into motion in Iraq he will be confronted with great skepticism.  What other response could you expect, this is the man who contends there still were WMD’s in Iraq.  The appointment of Wolfowitz turns the World Bank into an ugly American bank.  The world will see the bank as another extension of failed American policies and the extension financially of Pax Americana.

 

Wolfowitz's track record at the Defense Department was a disaster accompanied by an epidemic of waste fraud and corruption.  Maybe the neocons just want him out of the way, because he has become too much of a burden.  Thus, they have awarded him a patronage plum; a reward to a loyal Sherpa, as these megalomaniacs like to call themselves.

 

Then again, Bush is just dumb enough to make such an appointment.  Maybe he is paying back his critics.  You know how vindictive he and his crew are.  Diseased minds do some very strange things.

 

Our President tells us Paul Wolfowitz is a man of compassion who believes deeply in uplifting the world's poor.  Another flagrantly stupid statement.

 

There is absolutely no evidence to support this assertion.  Wolfowitz will be a management disaster just as he and his boss Donald Rumsfeld were at the Department of Defense. They do not listen to anyone except themselves. This is a clique of arrogance and ideologues who are totally blind to their own mistakes and under such people our Defense Department is a disaster and we are losing billions of dollars every year.

 

Even in Iraq, the CAP lost $9 billion. It, of course, was stolen.  For this feat CFR elitist Paul Bremer was awarded the Medal of Freedom.  What a sick joke.  He should have been awarded for waste, fraud and corruption something the elitists are masters at.

 

There is no question, even omitting his failures; Wolfowitz is eminently unqualified for his job.  Foreigners have come to the same conclusion and believe Wolfowitz will turn the World Bank into a direct subsidiary of the US government and no longer make loans, just simply give money away to those who follow the US’s imperial line of empire.  The bank under Wolfowitz would visually become another pawn in America’s global dominance.

 

The French tempered their opinions by recognizing the appointment as a proposal. Other governments are preparing for talks on the matter thus; the appointment is not open and shut.  Government officials were diplomatic in their comments. 

 

Outside of government, comments were harsh.  In Der Spiegel (Mirror in English) the headline read: “Wolfowitz, Nein Danke (no thanks).”  In Europe, Wolfowitz is considered a unilateralist hawk and Europeans are outraged.  It is absolutely the wrong decision. The continent is not pleased.  Making matters more difficult is that the nomination follows that of John Bolton, an unspoken critic of the UN, an institution Europe would like to see strengthened.  Some in Europe even called the nomination of Wolfie truly terrifying.

 

Wolfowitz’s appointment is part of spring-cleaning but it is also means the World Bank would be shaped to ensure that the US domestic and business interests will be served as well as that of free trade and globalization.  The pursuit of so called free market liberalization and deregulation will be accelerated.

 

What we are witnessing is an intercine fight among elitists as to the direction toward world government.  Europe’s view is slow and methodical.  The US advocates want to speed up the process.  We believe underlying all this is a fear and skepticism by Europe’s Nobility that the American elitists may go it alone, bypass the world government and impose an American world empire.  Make no mistake, this appointment is very important for George and the neocons.

 

America is fast becoming a nation that does not manufacture.  If you do not manufacture how can we maintain a technological lead?  It is obvious we cannot.  We are also outsourcing technology jobs.  There has been a loss of 221,000 jobs in six major engineering job classifications.  When you do not manufacture, you do not need engineers. 

 

Original proprietary design and core intellectual property are being done in Asia. Due to this outsourcing, R&D budgets are being scaled back.  The outcome is a brand name with a sales force selling foreign designed, engineered and manufactured goods, which ultimately Americans will not be able to afford, because most will be without jobs. The jobs will have been sent to another country.

 

As we stated in an earlier issue: What is the sense in getting a college degree, the cost of which is at least $150,000, that you have to pay off for the rest of your life, when you cannot get a job. 373,000 discouraged college graduates dropped out of the labor force in February.  That is not very encouraging.

 

Doesn’t anyone get it out there?  Foreigners hold trillions of our dollars. It is only a matter of time before we start to get those dollars back. That will be followed by a further fall in the dollar, which will eventually end up losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.

 

The elitist government in America is deliberately destroying our country and all we get from Congress is a new bankruptcy law that turns debtors into indentured slaves.

 

GM will cut 28% from its 38,000 “US” white collar workers, or 10,640 will lose their jobs. As we predicted, this will happen for years to come as production is moved to China and the third world, destroying the industrial economies of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Ontario, and Quebec. These will be targeted reductions; nevertheless jobs will be gone forever. This year GM’s earnings will fall 75% to 85% and their $100 billion in bonds are in junk status. This is the beginning of the end for the US car and truck industry.

 

The US has just coerced Guatemala, its latest victim, into repealing an important law to lower the price of pharmaceuticals and promote generic competition.

 

All of the CAFTA countries are already members of the WTO, which requires countries to adopt US-style patent systems, featuring 20-year patent protections of all products, including pharmaceuticals.  The bottom line is compulsory licensing, and requiring CAFTA members to establish special monopoly protections for pharmaceutical regulatory data.  The US imposed provision would establish a five to ten year period during which generic firms could not rely on the brand name companies’ tests. As a result, brand name companies would get protected monopolies even if a product were not a patent.  As a result of Pharma and US government pressure, Guatemala capitulated.

 

Americans and people throughout the world have been lulled into a sense of false security via tremendous borrowing and almost no savings.  Savings, so they think, are not needed because our government and Federal Reserve tells them that. They spend merrily along, as they enter their financial death spiral. These deceivers tell us that a current account deficit of 8% is sustainable. Of course, they believe that because they want to believe that.

 

The United States is now an empire, which is being gutted.

 

 

Slime-Mold Beetles Named For Bush, Cheney And Rumsfeld

 

15.04.2005 By Michael Schirber, LiveScience Staff Writer, LiveScience.com

 

Namesakes of the U.S. President and two of his key people might be crawling around your back yard as you read this.

 

Three new beetles of the genus Agathidium have been named after members of the current administration: A. bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi.

 

Two former Cornell University entomologists, Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller, were in charge of naming 65 new species of slime-mold beetles, which they discovered while studying the insects' evolution and classification.

 

The slime-mold beetles are so-called because they feed on fungi-like molds.

 

The new names are reported in a monograph in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Resistance Attacks Destroy Five U.S. Fuel Trucks

 

17 Apr 2005 (Reuters)

 

A bomb planted by Taliban rebels destroyed five trucks carrying oil for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and wounded three drivers, a senior Afghan army official said.

 

The attack on the oil tankers came a day after the Taliban triggered a remote-control explosive device that injured nine Afghan government soldiers in a passing car in Zabul province, district chief Wazir Mohammad told Reuters.

 

The pre-dawn blast destroyed one of the trucks parked outside Kandahar airbase -- a major U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan -- and caused four others to catch fire, said General Muslim Hamid, army corps commander for Kandahar province.

 

"Three drivers of the tankers have been critically wounded in the incident," he said, adding the three were from neighbouring Pakistan.

 

Taliban attacks have picked up following a winter lull after the guerrillas failed in their vow to disrupt October elections.

 

In an ambush on April 1, members of the radical group killed three Pakistani truck drivers carrying supplies for the U.S. military in Kandahar.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

For more, see www.covertactionquarterly.org

 

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org  The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]

 

 

 

CLASS WAR NEWS

 

 

Capitalism At Work:

How Rich Get Richer: All The Rest Pay More

 

April 10, 2005 David Cay Johnston, sfgate.com

 

Get a raise last year, or a bigger job, or make some extra money working overtime? You'll pay the tax man.

 

Too bad you did not get a job as a hedge fund manager.  If you had, you would not owe any taxes come April 15 on your share of the hedge fund's profits.

 

Hedge funds are unregulated investment pools open only to rich individuals and big institutions.  They operate offshore.  And for their managers, some of whom earned a half-billion dollars last year, taxes are deferred as long as they keep the hedge fund open and the profits offshore, while you get taxes deducted from your paycheck.  And, thanks to our government, their tax avoidance is perfectly legal.

 

The favored treatment afforded hedge fund managers, several of whom are in their 30s and have untaxed, multibillion-dollar fortunes, is just the tip of a very costly iceberg.

 

Vast amounts of untaxed income, collecting unseen beneath the surface of the news, helps explain why the administration proposes less spending on education, health care, basic scientific research and veterans.  Even as our government borrows more than $50 billion each month, it lets many of the richest Americans defer and sometimes completely avoid taxes.

 

What few of us realize is that the United States has two income tax systems, separate and unequal.

 

One system is for wage earners.  Congress requires that your employer report your pay so Internal Revenue Service computers can check up on your tax return.  Banks report interest. Brokerages report dividends.  You must provide a Social Security number for each child you claim as a dependent.  Congress does not trust you.

 

The other system is for business owners, landlords and investors. Congress does not require such independent reporting, saying that would be a burden.

 

These people do not escape all independent reporting.  Anyone who sells stock, for example, has the gross proceeds reported to the IRS. But the investor is trusted to say how much the stock cost and, thus, how much profit or loss was incurred.

 

Studies by the government show that investors understate their capital gains by close to $200 billion each year. The IRS has no mechanism -- none - - to check up on capital gains, according to two professors, Jay Soled, who teaches business at Rutgers in New Jersey, and Joseph Dodge, who teaches tax law at Florida State University. They estimate that capital gains tax cheating alone costs the government $29 billion annually. But IRS auditors will catch people who cheat, right?  Not really.

 

For more than a decade, Congress has steadily eroded the capacity of the IRS to enforce the tax laws, with one exception.

 

Since 1997, Congress has approved more than $1 billion in extra funds to audit the working poor.  In recent years, parents who work full time at the minimum wage have been as much as eight times more likely to be audited than millionaire investors in partnerships.

 

The wealthy who mine the tax system face little risk of getting caught.  Only 1 partnership in 400 gets audited, and agents say many audits are superficial and closed quickly to make statistical reports create the appearance of toughening enforcement.

 

Charles Rossotti, the wealthy businessman who was IRS commissioner for five years beginning in 1997, says so in his own new book, "Many Unhappy Returns."  He wrote that the IRS is "like a police department that was giving out lots of parking tickets while organized crime was running rampant."

 

The IRS, he wrote, "picks on the little guy" over small sums while "largely overlooking an ocean of money hidden in business entities for which the owners, rather than the businesses themselves, were supposed to pay taxes."

 

Under President Bill Clinton, who is widely known to have raised taxes on top wage earners, the effective tax rates paid by the 400 highest-income Americans fell sharply, from 30 percent in 1993 to 22 percent in 2000.

 

I calculated that had the Bush tax cuts been in effect in 2000, the top 400 would have paid a tax rate of 18 percent on incomes that averaged $174 million each that year.  The government knows what the top 400 actually paid in 2001 and 2002, but the Bush administration refuses to release the data.

 

One official who has seen the numbers said my 18 percent figure is wrong. "Your estimate was high," he said.

 

 

 

Received:

 

Where Soldiers Come From

 

From: JL

To: GI Special

Sent: 4.16.05

 

1957: Author Unknown

 

The Park is beautiful as ever, with the Smokies vaguely in mind, and more in mind the wilderness of 20 years before, and the old people are there and in gingham and trousers and worn blue Denham, years of work and wind written in the lines of their expressions, hard and rough, yet with a youth unequalled in their eyes.

 

And the city ones in a row on the front porch, too lines too thick too brittle in their feelings, too preoccupied with looking as they want the other brittle ones to see them, none of them themselves, some looking like bored, some looking like how quaint, some looking like I can get in the spirit of the hillbillies, some looking like tired and old, yet young in age.   All busy, as if to not be busy were some crime, even some being busy at relaxing.

 

And the ones from the land, being with great dignity more in their faded (but always clean for company) clothes then all the rest with their busyness.  They have great strength and it is what they are.

 

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