www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.23.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B8:

 

 

Occupation Vietnam 1970

(Iraq is no different)

 

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

 

 

“We Were Misused And Misled”

Iraq Vet Says Bring The Troops Home Now

 

APRIL 21, 2005 By Jeff Eason, Mountain News (North Carolina)

 

With increasing media attention on issues of the day such as Social Security, the installation of the new Pope at the Vatican, and the Michael Jackson trial, you could understand why some people might be under the impression that the War in Iraq is a done deal.

 

When you talk to Navy Corpsman 2nd Class Charlie Anderson, however, you begin to realize that there are many unresolved issues regarding our country’s conflict in Iraq.

 

“There are 50 to 60 attacks on U.S. personnel every day in Iraq,” said Anderson Tuesday in a phone interview.  “Make no mistake about it, we’re still in Iraq.”

 

Anderson recently got out of the Navy after a stint in Iraq and has made increasing the public’s awareness about the war and about veterans’ issues his top priorities.

 

Corpsman Anderson, currently working as the Southern Regional Coordinator for the organization Iraq Veterans Against the War, will speak on Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Roan Mountain Room at ASU’s Plemmons Student Union and on Sunday, April 24, he will lead a discussion group at the High Country United Church of Christ on State Farm Road in Boone. Also on Sunday he will speak at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Council Street in Boone at 2:30 p.m.

 

Anderson was first deployed to Iraq during the initial invasion on February 1, 2003 and worked as a medic with a tank division in country until May 28, 2003. The tank division stayed on the move around Basra and Baghdad until it was moved out of country into Kuwait.

 

“Tank divisions are a big target,” said Anderson. “So we tend to keep moving.”

 

After become a leader in Iraq Veterans Against the War, (www.ivaw.net) Anderson decided the best way to utilize his experiences was to tell the public about ways in which he feels that veterans and active military personnel are being treated unfairly by the policies of the Bush Administration.

 

“There was a lot of misunderstanding among military personnel and the public about why we went to war in the first place,” said Anderson.

 

“I’m trying to raise the collective consciousness of the people who were lied to.  Most of the people in the military went in wanting to help other people.  Some went in for job opportunities, some went in to better themselves as people, and some went in to get money to go to school.

 

“We were misused and misled.  At first we were told that it was about weapons of mass destruction.  They were not there and our leaders knew that before the invasion.  We were told that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11 when there was no such link.  And we were told that Saddam Hussein was a threat when he was no threat whatsoever.

 

“We keep losing good people over there and it’s wrong.”

 

Anderson also wants people to know that the government is reneging on promises made to military personnel regarding education and health benefits for veterans.

 

“Veterans benefits are a completely under-funded aspect of the war,” said Anderson.

 

“There are a lot of vets coming home that are going to need those benefits and they just aren’t going to be there.  That was supposed to be the deal with an all-volunteer military. We have contracts that we signed in good faith and now they are not being honored.  I’m speaking to people to tell them that if we send people to war, we need to be willing to honor those contracts and do the right thing when they get home.”

 

As a medic, Anderson saw his share of wounded men and women and he feels that one of the bigger problems related to the War in Iraq is the number of disabled Americans that will have to be rehabilitated stateside.

 

“A lot has been made of the fact that this war has resulted in a lower number of people killed (1,559 American deaths as of Wednesday, April 19) in this conflict compared to, say, the Vietnam War,” said Anderson.  “A lot of that is due to modern medicine and advances in in-the-field care.  A lot of people who would have been dead in Vietnam or in other wars have been kept alive.  They’re coming back to communities that are simply not prepared to receive them. They are becoming misfits in their own communities, without the help or training that they will need to become useful members of society for the rest of their lives.  That issue is like the elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about.”

 

Anderson stated that he plans to use this weekend’s speaking opportunities as a chance to tell people about what it was like in Iraq and to remind them that there is still a war taking place.

 

“When I returned home to Virginia Beach, I felt a very hollow sense of support from a lot of people in my community,” said Anderson.  “When I went to church that first Sunday, a lot of people pointed to the yellow stickers on their cars that said ‘Support Our Troops.’ But those same people did very little to help my family or send letters to the troops in Iraq.  It takes about 30 seconds to buy a sticker at Wal-Mart and put it on your car. But what does it really mean?”

 

“I’m going to continue to go around and speak on these issues as long as we have problems to solve,” said Anderson.

 

“I want our troops to come home now and I want our veterans to have the benefits to which they are entitled.”

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW 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)

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

Tal Afar IED Kills One U.S. Soldier, Another Wounded

 

22 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net:  One US soldier was killed and another wounded when a bomb exploded near their patrol vehicle in northern Iraq, the US military said in a statement.

 

The attack took place early on Friday north of Tal Afar, about 80km west of Mosul, at about 2.30am local time, the statement said.

 

 

Lowville Marine Killed

 

April 22, 2005 Associated Press

 

LOWVILLE, N.Y. The Defense Department reported that a 21-year-old Marine from northern New York has died from combat injuries in Iraq.

 

Corporal Kelly M. Cannan, of Lowville, and another Marine were killed Wednesday by a homemade bomb while they were conducting combat operations in Ar Ramadi.

 

WWNY-TV reports that Cannan was a 2001 graduate of Lowville Academy, and flags yesterday were lowered to half-staff in the Lewis County village.

 

Military officials told the family he was fatally injured while riding in a Humvee in the Al Anbar province and the bomb exploded nearby.

 

 

Marine Dead In “Non-Hostile” Incident

 

April 22, 2005 Associated Press

 

FALLUJAH, Iraq — A Marine was killed in a non-hostile incident in Iraq, the U.S. military said Friday.

 

The Marine, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force was killed on Thursday at Camp Delta, near Karmah, west of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

 

 

Flagstaff Marine Is Killed

 

Apr. 22, 2005 David J. Cieslak, The Arizona Republic

 

A 22-year-old Marine from Flagstaff was killed Wednesday while serving in Iraq, marking the second death of a soldier from the northern Arizona city during the war.

 

Lance Cpl. Marty G. Mortenson died when an improvised explosive device detonated during a combat operation in Ramadi, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement Thursday night.

 

Mortenson is the 48th soldier from Arizona to die in Iraq. It brings the number of Arizonans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to 51.

 

His death comes less than a week after two soldiers with Arizona ties were killed when their units were attacked in Iraq.

 

 

3rd Armored Cavalry's CSM Wounded

 

4/22/2005 The Associated Press, FORT CARSON, Colo.

 

An Alabama soldier who is the highest ranking enlisted man of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was wounded in an attack in Iraq that claimed the life of one of his soldiers.

 

Command Sgt. Maj. John Caldwell was hurt when his vehicle was attacked by small arms fire and a homemade bomb, the post newspaper, the Mountaineer, reported Friday.

 

Caldwell, 43, of Elba, Ala., has served 25 years in the Army.  He was flown first to Landstuhl Regional Army Medical Center in Germany and then Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.

 

The hospital would not discuss his injuries but said he was stable.

 

 

How Do You Know When You’re Truly Fucked?

A.  Read a CENTCOM Press Release --- Command Always Tells The Truth

B.  Try To Drive Seven Miles

 

22 April 2005 By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil, Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

 

The inability of the US army to secure the seven-mile road between Baghdad and the airport, also the site of the main US military base, has become a symbol of the failure of the US in Iraq.

 

Heavily armoured US patrols, prone to open fire unpredictably, are regarded as being as dangerous as the insurgents.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Wounded Still Forced To Beg For Charity;

Assholes In Washington Won’t Come Up With Clothes, Shaving Gear

 

Today, the Wounded Warriors provide a care package for seriously wounded soldiers when they reach stateside treatment centers. The items include a change of clothes, a shaving kit and a CDplayer.

 

April 22, 2005 By Roger W. Hoskins, The Modesto Bee.

 

Sgt. Joshua Olson came to Modesto and Escalon on Thursday to show the flag … and his limp.

 

Olson lost his right leg Oct. 27, 2003, during what he called a routine patrol in northern Iraq.

 

"We got in this firefight and there was an explosion." Olson said he took the brunt of the blast in the upper thigh. His femoral artery was severed.

 

"I should have bled out in five minutes," he said. "I was awake for about an hour until they got me to Mosul and they put me in this induced coma."

 

He received "a complete oil change," 37 units of blood between the time he was wounded and when he reached the American base in Landstuhl, Germany, a stop he doesn't remember.

 

Olson said he woke up eight days after he was hurt and he could see his father, mother and girlfriend. "I thought, 'How did you get to Iraq?'"

 

The reality was Olson was in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and he had lost his right leg up to the hip.

 

Soon, some comrades came to his aid, messengers from Wounded Warriors. Their objective was to help other grievously wounded service personnel with rehabilitation and transition to a new and different life.

 

Today, the Wounded Warriors provide a care package for seriously wounded soldiers when they reach stateside treatment centers. The items include a change of clothes, a shaving kit and a CD player.

 

[The only possible reason to be collecting money to do this is because the corporate scum who planned this war and run the government still don’t give a fuck about the wounded, and won’t come up with the money for such pathetically basic items as clothes and a shaving kit.  $80 billion more for the war and the wounded can beg for handouts.  There is no enemy in Iraq: the enemy is running the government in Washington DC, using the troops as so much disposable meat to further their Imperial dreams and fill their own pockets with millions and billions.  Payback is overdue.]

 

 

Young Marine Wounded

 

April 22, 2005 (AP)

 

A 21-year-old Marine Corporal from Yonkers is recuperating in a Maryland naval hospital after being wounded while on duty in Iraq.

 

Marine Corporal Ed Ryan was shot twice in the head.

 

The bullets were removed in a hospital in Germany and Ryan was flown this week to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

 

Ryan's uncle, also named Ed Ryan, who owns the Palmer Dairy deli in Yonkers, says this was Ryan's second tour of duty in Iraq.

 

 

"NO MORE WAR!”

Remembrance & Resistance:

Humboldt State Univ. Teach-In, Apr. 27-30

 

From: Brian Willson

Date: 22 Apr 2005 13:23:03 -0700

 

On 30th anniversary of the end of the U.S. War against Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos, and 35th anniversary of the Kent State shootings ------

 

From Wednesday, April 27-Sat., Apr. 30, students and academic departments at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, in conjunction with Humboldt Bay Veterans For Peace will be sponsoring "NO MORE WAR! Remembrance & Resistance," a series of workshops and presentations for students and community members alike.

 

Preserving historic memory is critical if we are to possess vital frames of reference for critiquing contemporary policies that continue to repeat sickening patterns.

 

Guest presenters for the 4 days includes:

 

Camilo Mejia, first Iraq War II vet to publicly refuse a second deployment to Iraq for which he served nearly a year in prison;

 

Tim Goodrich, co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War;

 

Charlie Liteky, Congr. Medal of Honor recipient from Viet Nam, who later renounced his Medal in protest of Reagan's terrorist policies in Central America, and who served as an eyewitness to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003

 

Mike Hastie, a Viet Nam combat medic who travels with his photo essay, "Lying Is the Most Powerful Weapon In War"

 

Jack Ryan, ex-FBI counterterrorism agent who was fired after 22 years for refusing to investigate nonviolent activists as "domestic terrorist suspects," two of whom were Liteky and Brian Willson

 

Joe Lewis and Jim Russell, two of the nine surviving woundees of the May 4, 1970 Kent State massacre

 

Brian Willson, Viet Nam vet, longtime activist, and CA contact for VVAW.

 

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.

 

 

Army Pukes Out Propaganda Movie For Rolling Coffins:

“Behind Closed Doors, Soldiers And Commanders Raised Serious Issues”

 

April 22, 2005 By Robert Burns, Associated Press

 

Citing videotaped testimonials from soldiers in Iraq, the Army on Thursday returned fire in a battle with critics of its Stryker troop-carrying vehicle, which some say inadequately protects soldiers.

 

The Army gave news organizations a digital videotape that it said was produced by soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, from Fort Lewis, Wash., which spent a year in Iraq and was the first unit to deploy the Stryker in combat.

 

Eric Miller, who has led the Project on Government Oversight’s scrutiny of the Stryker, said in an interview Thursday that he considers the Army’s vigorous public defense of the Stryker suspicious.  He thinks it might indicate the Army feels vulnerable on this issue.

 

Danielle Brian, the executive director of Miller’s organization, called the videotape “propagandistic.”

 

“This video includes ‘so-called’ testimonials which cannot be taken seriously,” Brian said.  “Behind closed doors, soldiers and commanders raised serious issues about the performance of the Stryker.  The only question left is whether these issues have been adequately addressed.  Rather than spending funds on promotional videos, the Army should be fixing these problems.”

 

The Army think tank report, written in December and based on interviews with soldiers and commanders, found a number of problems with the Stryker. Among them:

 

• The weapon system does not shoot accurately when the Stryker is moving.

 

• Troops cannot fasten their seat belts when they are wearing bulky body armor.

 

• Computer systems for communications, intelligence and other systems have malfunctioned in the desert heat because of air conditioning problems.

 

[Since whoever is responsible for this silly bullshit loves the Stryker so much, let whoever leave immediately for Iraq, and spend the next six months inside one lurching into canals, off cliffs, and facing RPGs with inadequate defenses.  And, yes, let whoever also have the honor of checking the fucking tires nine times a day, out in the open, visible to any and all resistance warriors in the neighborhood.]

 

 

Only A Month Ago:

Silly General Boasted Iraq Insurgency on Decline

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this in.  He writes: MYERS IS DELUSIONAL DUE TO LACK OF OXYGEN CAUSED BY HIS HEAD BEING UP HIS OWN ASS FOR 2-3 YEARS]

 

Mar 17, 2005 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

 

AMMAN, Jordan - The military's top general gave his most optimistic public assessment on Thursday of progress in Iraq, saying the insurgency shows signs of slipping as the U.S.-led international effort gains momentum in building Iraqi police and military forces.

 

"I think we're getting some momentum built up against the insurgency," he told reporters at his hotel in the Jordanian capital at the conclusion of a weeklong trip that also took him to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

 

 

David Beals Tribute Page

 

[For background, see GI SPECIAL 3A84: “Now Is The Time For The Lies To Stop And The Help To Start.” at  http://www.militaryproject.org/article.asp?id=515 ]

 

From: Dawn Marie Beals

April 21, 2005

 

Hey everybody-

 

I made a tribute page for David.  I am sending the link to it.  If anyone would like to check it out and post a message to him.  You can post anytime you like and he gets to check it.  It helps to boost morale.  If you know anyone else that would like to post on it as well the more the merrier.

 

http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/extra/terror/tribute/view.cgi?id=11783

 

Thanks everybody!

 

 

Soldiers Testify Captain An Abusive Liar

 

Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky., April 21, 2005 & By Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press

 

An Army captain stood by as drill sergeants abused trainees at Fort Knox, including knocking one to the floor and punching another in the chest, soldiers testified Wednesday.

 

Capt. William Fulton, a company commander who is facing charges including dereliction of duty stemming from the accusations, was required to stop the abuse, according to military law.  But he did nothing to help the soldiers, Capt. Joseph Krill, who is prosecuting the case, said at a hearing to review evidence.

 

Soldiers testified that verbal and physical abuse by drill sergeants began during the trainees’ first hours at Fort Knox.

 

Army Spc. Andrew Soper said Fulton just watched as a drill sergeant knocked him down at the top of a stairway, then picked him up by the neck and tossed him through a doorway.  Pvt. Xavier DeHoyos testified Fulton punched him in the chest.

 

“He just watched for a minute before going into the other room,” Pvt. Jason Steenberger testified of one incident of alleged abuse.  “I looked the captain in the face.”

 

Five soldiers testified at a pre-trial hearing.

 

Capt. William Fulton, a company commander, faces charges of dereliction of duty, cruelty and mistreatment and false swearing.

 

 

Life On Another Planet:

Mouth & Butt Sex Will Still Be Crime In Military:

(Ass-Kissing At Pentagon Not Prohibited)

 

Washington Times, April 22, 2005, Pg. 6

 

The Pentagon is asking Congress to change the military's anti-sodomy law so it can be enforced under a "good order and discipline" standard, although the armed services would continue their ban on open homosexuals in the ranks.

 

The Pentagon will continue to consider sodomy a crime and will prosecute cases when the conduct is done during adultery, homosexual acts or other instances considered detrimental to good order and discipline.

 

 

Military Families Poland;

A Village Mourns

 

I wanted to interview his parents in order to find out what they think about the war and the heavy price they paid as a family for Poland's role in 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'.

 

From: Ewa Jasiewicz

To: GI Special

Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 8:25 AM

Subject: Military Families Poland

 

I’m in Poland till the 14th.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that last week, myself and my friend Ania travelled all the way deep into the depths of South-East Poland to a small village (Pop. 600) near the Ukrainian Border.

 

There lives the family of Darek, a Polish Soldier killed in Iraq along with two others in an attack on their vehicle last September.  Darek was only 24-years-old.  An officer, he was decorated posthumously with the Polish version of the St Georges Cross for bravery.

 

I wanted to interview his parents in order to find out what they think about the war and the heavy price they paid as a family for Poland's role in 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'.

 

Myself and Ania hitched a lift with an old couple who turned out to be the neighbours of the family.  They were reticent to speak of the incident, visibly clamming up and stiffening in the seats of their rickety fruit and vegetable ferrying van when I mentioned Darek's name.

 

'I don’t think his mother will speak to you' told me the straight-taking woman, 'she's still too distraught.  Journalists came and went but, they wont talk to anyone, they cant talk about it, its too fresh, its too raw'.

 

The admitted that no one really knew precisely what happened but the official version was a 'terrorist attack' but this did not appear to be totally accepted.  The suspicion of power and government is entrenched in polish culture after decades of occupation, authoritarian rule, martial law and ongoing state and media manipulation.  I did find out that Darek had a twin brother though.  And that Darek loved the army, loved it.

 

Darek's mother was getting something out of her car when we approached their large and elegant home.  Darek's twin brother was in the garden fixing up some summer furniture.

 

When I explained who I was and that I wanted to talk, Darek's mother turned away and back again with tears in her eyes. 'I’m sorry, I cant talk about it, its too painful'.

 

I realise, and I respect that decision I told her, and I told her Id been in Iraq and lost someone close, obviously, not like a mother losing her son, but..  

 

She turned back and said, 'I tried, we told him not to, but'. She stopped, distraught.  'Its just every time someone comes to talk about it, it brings it all back, all of it.  Darek loved the army, he did.  We just cant talk now, not yet'.

 

When I asked whether she was forbidden from speaking to journalists by the Polish ministry of defence, she stressed no no not at all.  But people had told us, a number of different people, that they felt such a notice had been issued to all the families of the war dead.  According to friends here active in the anti war movement, so far no journalist in Poland has succeeded in interviewing any families who've lost loved ones in Iraq.

 

We left and stopped at a small corner store/shady bar not 2 minutes away from Darek's house. I asked the shop keeper what she thought about Darek's death, the price, Polish troops going in to Iraq, was it worth his life?

 

'We're all devastated by his death,' she said, 'the whole village, the whole village.  If you want to know what people think, go, go and ask.'

 

I explained that the occupation hadn’t brought many social or economic benefits to ordinary Iraqi people who were still living in poverty.

 

She replied, 'What about here? I don’t even know why we went in there when we have people here living on the social minimum, people hungry, why are we out there trying to improve the lives of other people when we aren’t even doing it here? People need benefits and aid right here'.

 

The conversation came to a halt when Darek's twin brother came in.  Me and Ania stiffened, we both wanted to say something but were caught in the throat by some sort of shame, a need not to intrude any more, to scratch at the still open wound.  He was buying candles for Darek's grave.

 

We left.  The shopkeeper told us to get hitching for a lift as soon as possible because Darek's family would be going to the graveyard and would be driving by and maybe we could get a lift with them....

 

They didn’t pass us on the road, the beautiful brown earth fields and forest flanked road, but another car did, 2 passengers and a driver, going our way.  Getting in, sparking up a conversation, and getting to the point of what the hell we were doing in the village, we mentioned Darek's name and the car hushed cold and people looked pained.

 

The driver was from the village.  He said, 'People were silent about it all at first, supporting Darek being there but when he died, well, then peoples' real feelings came out'.  He didn’t really elaborate. We didn’t push it.

 

I cant forget the silence and the pain that came in to people when Darek was mentioned, everywhere, it was like a secret you were blurting out every time you mentioned it.

 

I don’t know if the Polish MOD is censoring people or whether its self-censorship, I think its the latter, because Darek, as they said, loved the army and was decorated after his death.  Maybe people speaking out about his death would feel like a betrayal of the army or his memory as a soldier as someone who was proud of being a soldier.

 

People are also afraid of the government in many ways, remembering the days when police would shoot at demonstrators and Russian tanks ruled the streets.  It was 20 years ago but the legacy continues.

 

I’m still planning to try and speak to at least one Polish military family while I’m here.

 

I told that shop keeper in The village about you Rose and your campaign, what you’re doing.

 

I hope she tells Darek's mother but I don’t think she's ready to speak out.

 

I think that whole village feels cheated and angry with the polish govt but that rage and betrayal isn’t going to translate into activism, not yet. But it might do elsewhere.

 

Opinion polls state 80% of the Polish population is opposed to Poland's ongoing presence in Iraq.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

“Saddam Hussein Was An Oppressive Ruler.  But A More Oppressive Power Bigger Than Saddam Hussein Has Come...”

 

On windswept Lake TharThar, the rebel leader, a onetime day labourer, is content to carry on his fight.

 

“Saddam Hussein was an oppressive ruler. He was unjust to us and to Iraq.  But a more oppressive power bigger than Saddam Hussein has come... We are against oppression and against what is being done by the occupiers.”

 

22 April 2005 (AFP)

 

LAKE THARTHAR - The rebel leader kneels against a barren white wall, his face shrouded in a red and white Keffiyeh as he grips a rusty Kalashnikov and considers his options.

 

He runs a five-man cell living a threadbare existence in a shack with plastic canvas walls on the dirt banks of Lake TharThar, which Iraqi commandos and US Apache helicopters assaulted one month ago.

 

Long after Iraqi forces said they had burnt to the ground terror camps on the lake, the cell leader, a survivor of that battle, continues to operate on TharThar, which has been described as a gateway between the insurgent haven of Anbar province and Salahaddin to the north.

 

Reporters chanced on him when they met insurgents who were patrolling the lakeside after the March assault.  The rebels challenged Iraqi government claims that more than 80 of their fighters had been killed.

 

Between attacks, the five-man cell takes out their rusty red metal boat, cast fishing nets and fry their catch on a hot plate.

 

The rebel leader, who declines to be named, and his men sleep on thin mattresses and pour steaming cups of tea in their shack, littered with vegetable tins.

 

They pride themselves on their spartan existence

 

When talking about car bombings and beheadings they feel have tarnished the insurgency’s name: “There are some groups who are doing some killing, robberies and other acts that does not please God and his messenger. This is aimed at distorting resistance in the eyes of the Iraqi people,” the leader says

 

“We are following the Muslim Scholars Association.... If the Muslim Scholars Association orders us to stop fighting then we would consider it.  But if we see that their demand do not go in harmony with the book of God and the teaching of his prophet then we will keep fighting them,” the rebel leader says.

 

On windswept Lake TharThar, the rebel leader, a onetime day labourer, is content to carry on his fight.

 

“Saddam Hussein was an oppressive ruler. He was unjust to us and to Iraq.  But a more oppressive power bigger than Saddam Hussein has come... We are against oppression and against what is being done by the occupiers.”

 

 

Collaborator Prison Boss Killed In Mosul

 

April 22 (KUNA)

 

Guerrillas shot dead on Friday a manager of a government prison in the northern city of Mosul, witnesses said.

 

They said Khaled Abdullah, the man in charge of the prison, located in a suburban region of the city, was shot dead by guerrillas in two speeding cars.  The man died on the spot and the attackers fled safely.

 

 

Resistance Hits Domestic Iraq Oil Pipeline

 

April 22, 2005 Pak Tribune

 

Insurgents have attacked an oil pipeline that feeds a power station in the northern Iraqi town of Baiji, a police official said on Friday.

 

The pipeline, which runs from the oil centre of Kirkuk to Baiji, home to Iraq's biggest oil refinery, does not pump oil for exports but it is a key domestic line.

 

Iraq is expecting to resume oil exports through its northern export line to Turkey this week.  [Yeah, right.  Only been announced about 4,928 times since the invasion.  And every time it’s announced, the pipeline is blown again.]

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

4.21.05 Anatolia.com Inc. & DـNYA Süper Veb & 22 April 2005 Aljazeera.Net

 

An Iraqi interpreter working in the green zone, a protected area which is home to parliament, the government and the US embassy, was captured Thursday by armed men who grabbed him in a taxi, an interior ministry official said.

 

A Turkish truck driver was reportedly killed near Baghdad yesterday when a roadside bomb exploded.

 

Aljazeera reported seven Iraqi police officers were injured, including a brigadier, in a roadside bomb attack in the centre of Basra.

 

The blast destroyed the vehicle in which they were travelling.

 

A car bombing on Wednesday at a Baghdad police checkpoint killed two Interior Ministry workers and a police officer, the US military said.  An officer and two civilians were wounded.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

OCCUPATION HAITI

 

 

“Haiti, The Other Occupation”

[Check it out at: http://www.covertactionquarterly.org/ ]

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“We Must Bring American Troops Home”

“It Is Not Their Place To Stop The Insurgents”

 

Outspoken, direct-action, grass-roots support for such a withdrawal is unambiguously advancing the cause of Iraqi self-determination while also adhering to the demands of those troops who have returned from Iraq opposed to the war.

 

April 20, 2005 Liz Sperber, ICH.  Liz Sperber studies English, History, and Africana Studies at Brown University.  She is active with the Brown Student Antiwar Coalition.

 

"Before we prescribe how a pristine Iraqi resistance must conduct their secular, feminist, democratic, nonviolent battle, we should shore up our end of the resistance by forcing the U.S. and its allied governments to withdraw from Iraq." -Arundhati Roy

 

Unconditionally - that's the way I support the Iraqi Resistance these days.  While I do not offer political support to all groups involved in the anti-imperial struggle in Iraq, I work to support its collective purpose: forcing the troops out now.  Forcing, because the United States won't leave any other way.

 

On a good day, the US corporate media would have its audience believe that a kinder, gentler imperialism is the only way forward for Iraq.  This is, of course, not the case.  Nor does it seem plausible, after two long years of occupation, that any kind of imperialism will be tolerated by the Iraqi people.

 

I believe there is only one effective, though seemingly unspeakable, way to resolve the Iraq quagmire: immediate, unconditional withdrawal of US-led coalition forces.

 

Outspoken, direct-action, grass-roots support for such a withdrawal is unambiguously advancing the cause of Iraqi self-determination while also adhering to the demands of those troops who have returned from Iraq opposed to the war.

 

While the ostensible savagery of targeting of civilians does help the US government label the freedom fighters of the present as terrorists, the simultaneous media censorship omnipresent throughout the war in Iraq blinds us to the equally if not more savage violence perpetrated by our state against the Iraqi civilians.

 

In Fallujah, for instance, where reporters were prohibited for several months beginning in November 2004, 65 percent of buildings were leveled to the ground and anywhere between 600 to 3,000 civilians were murdered, mostly by carpet-bombing, the increasingly favored technique employed in Iraq as manpower begins to dwindle.  All of these conditions must be recognized when we consider our relation to the Iraqi resistance.

 

If we support the Iraqis right to self-determination, it must be because we identify a common, equal humanity between us; because we recognize that US occupation of Iraqi land and the US-sanctioned torture, rape, murder, and theft are unjust.

 

That, in addition to the plight of our soldiers, which many of them argue is worsening every day, is why we must demand troops out now.   For no other reason.   Accordingly, since the Iraqi resistance is the force working to regain Iraqi sovereignty, we support them-unconditionally.

 

We must bring American troops home simply because it is not their place to stop the insurgents.

 

Granted, even the most inspiring national liberation movements had their crimes and their tragedies.  Many liberation struggles, fought under the watchful eyes of the Cold War superpowers, even failed, in the end, to achieve their objectives (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Algeria, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, the list goes on).

 

Yet, suffice it to say here that the limits or failures of a movement do not nullify its purpose, although they may hamper it.  Past failures cannot justify the abandonment of our commitment to the right of people everywhere to self-determination.

 

They are easy traps to fall into-romanticizing past struggles or indicting 'insurgents' for use of terroristic tactics.  Yet, concerning the flat and stigmatized notion of 'terrorism,' 20th century history, in concert with brave soldiers such as Carmello Mejia, and the invaluable independent (unembedded) media shows us that our understanding of the word 'terrorism' is necessarily compromised when our government is occupying the land of the so-called terrorists.

 

Conversely, regarding the romanticization of the resistance we have a model in Louisa May Alcott's writing through Jo in Little Women: "it is not because women are good that they should vote.  It's because it is fair and just."

 

Historical hindsight would have us see a certain truth, a certain continued struggle, in the efforts and desires of people in Iraq-without needing to judge or purify them.

 

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.

 

 

Iraq’s Sunni Majority

 

April 21, 2005 Muwaffaq Rifai, Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt)

 

Although there are no reliable statistics, Iraq has a clear Sunni majority if Arabs and Kurds are combined.

 

Not that such a fact makes any difference to those forces bent on partitioning Iraq.  They have categorised the Kurds as a separate national identity so that they can speak of an Arab Sunni minority dominating a Shia majority.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

The Great Iraq Hostage Massacre Fraud Rolls On

 

22 April 2005 By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil, Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd. & Aljazeera & 21 April, 2005 By Jim Muir, BBC, Baghdad

 

Mystery still surrounds the claim by President Jalal al-Talabani that the bodies of 50 Shia hostages, from Madain, south of Baghdad, had been found in the Tigris river.

 

Dr Falah al-Permani of the Swera health department said 50 bodies had been found in the river over three weeks.  But Mr Talabani said there had been a massacre of Shia hostages in the past few days.

 

Medical sources in the town of al-Madain have cast doubts that 60 bloated bodies recovered from a river in Iraq are those of civilians thought to have been taken hostage there last week.

 

Senior police officials at the regional headquarters for the area gave a detailed breakdown of when the bodies had been found.

 

They said they had started to appear in the al-Suwayra stretch of the Tigris nearly two months earlier, on 27 February.  On the first three days, 27 bodies were retrieved, while during and after the supposed hostage crisis only six corpses were pulled from the river.

 

Earlier, President Jalal Talabani said the discovery proved that armed Sunni fighters had seized up to 100 Shia last week in the town of al-Madain, 20km southeast of Baghdad.

But local officials said the bodies have been floating to the surface for weeks, and there is no way of telling where they came from.

 

Iraq was last week rocked by claims that fighters had seized as many as 100 Shia Muslims and were threatening to kill them unless all Shia left the area.

 

Shia leaders and government officials warned of a major sectarian standoff, only to see the claims evaporate when Iraqi security forces swept into the region over the weekend and found no hostages.

 

But Talabani insisted he knew where the bodies found in the Tigris came from.

 

"Terrorists committed crimes there. It is not true to say there were no hostages," he said.

 

But Dr Falah al-Permani, head of the Suwayrah health department, said families had identified just a few of the bodies, and it was impossible to tell where most were from.

 

"The extent of decomposition suggests all the slayings happened more than three weeks ago, while the crisis in al-Madain started less than one week ago," al-Permani said.  

 

"So there is no way to link the two incidents."

 

Senior police officials at the regional headquarters for the area gave a detailed breakdown of when the bodies had been found.

 

They said they had started to appear in the al-Suwayra stretch of the Tigris nearly two months earlier, on 27 February.  On the first three days, 27 bodies were retrieved, while during and after the supposed hostage crisis only six corpses were pulled from the river.

 

MORE:

 

“The Most Stupid Resistance Fighters In Recent Memory”

 

April 21, 2005 Kurt Nimmo, Another Day in the Empire

 

Once again, qui bono enters the equation.

 

Does the Iraqi resistance benefit from killing civilians—fellow Sunnis, or so we are told—or does the United States and its stage managed and emerging Shia government?

 

Does it make sense for the Sunni-dominated resistance to kill its own base and grotesquely float dozens of their slaughtered bodies down the Tigris?  No, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, that is unless the resistance wants to send the following message: we are brutal mass murderers who kill our own and for no reason beyond sheer mindless terror.

 

If in fact the resistance killed these hapless Sunni civilians, they are the most stupid resistance fighters in recent memory.

 

Of course, they are not stupid and logic dictates they would not target civilians directly.

 

On the other hand, as history—generally ignored and glossed over, if mentioned at all by the corporate media—demonstrates, the United States has consistently employed terrorism in its “dirty wars” of “counterinsurgency” since the end of the Second World War.

 

Obviously, the United States and its stage managed government in Iraq have more to gain from dead people floating downstream for all to see and fear than the resistance does.

 

 

"There's A Lot Of Things That Are Going On Behind The Scenes That People Don't Really Have A Lot Of Knowledge About"

 

22 April 2005 The Age, Australia

 

Another Australian contractor working in Iraq for security company AKE Asia Pacific said today the tempo of violence was on the rise again.

 

"It appears that it's now picking up again ... it's quite dangerous here," the contractor, identified only as Rodge, told ABC radio.

 

"You certainly wouldn't want to be on the ground without some kind of protection," he said.

 

"I would say that things are becoming more unstable here on the ground and every day you can just see people are a little more scared.  "There's a lot of things that are going on behind the scenes that people don't really have a lot of knowledge about."

 

Rodge said the stretch of road between Baghdad and the airport was a particularly dangerous place.

 

"I think because it's a main artery for all foreigners coming in and out of the country.  That road is essentially pretty much the only way you can get into the country."

 

"It's one of those situations where you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That road out to the airport is notorious," Rodge said.

 

"I've narrowly missed car bombings myself.  You can get lucky sometimes.  I've been on the road and there's not an incident.  Other times I've been there and there's been an incident beforehand and an incident after I've gone, so it's a real timing issue."

 

 

Welcome To Liberated Iraq;

U.S. Cuts Money For Clean Drinking Water

 

USA Today, April 21, 2005, Pg. 8

 

As summer marches into dusty Iraq, few things become more important than a tall, cool drink of water.  But the country's supply of clean water is being seriously threatened because of shrinking funds from the United States.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Afghan War Heats Up

 

Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2005

 

U.S. troops fired artillery and called in airstrikes as they battled Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan's southeast.

 

 

U.S. Mercenary Narcs Forced To Back Off:

“With This Government A Warlord Can Grow The Poppy But A Poor Man Cannot."

 

[Thanks to Desmond, who sent this in:]

 

Many farmers said they now look back with nostalgia to the Taliban era as a time of firm but fair rule.

 

"When the Taliban opposed the poppy everyone obeyed the Taliban," said Adbul Wali.  "But with this government a warlord can grow the poppy but a poor man cannot."

 

21/04/2005 By Tom Coghlan in Maiwand, Telegraph Group Limited

 

Britain's efforts to stamp out opium production in Afghanistan by destroying its poppy fields appeared doomed to failure this week before they had properly begun.

 

Faced with violent protests from locals, US-trained Afghan police backed by American security contractors have suspended their mission to rid the country's lawless south of the poppies after just one disastrous sortie.

 

The 60-man Central Drugs Eradication Force, with eight men from the US security company DynCorp supporting them, made a single abortive mission from their fortified base near the town of Maiwand last week.

 

Their attempt to plough up an opium poppy field ended when incensed farmers and their families threw themselves in front of government tractors and opened fire on police.  In the resulting battle six locals were injured and two killed.

 

Tribal elders now claim that the provincial government has agreed to a compromise - but it is a compromise that defeats much of the point of the exercise.

 

The authorities will eradicate only a third of each poppy field in exchange for a pledge of non-resistance from the farmers. In practice, this guarantees scenes such as the one played out south of Kandahar on Sunday.

 

A band of portly policemen with sticks were half-heartedly beating poppy plants, knocking over a third of them in one field, a 10th in the next, and then downing cans of Pepsi in the shade.

 

So farcical a deal between the poppy cultivators and the police will be highly embarrassing to Britain, the official "lead nation" in the international crackdown on Afghan opium production.

 

"Most of the police, I won't mention names, benefit from the poppy trade," said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a local leader.

 

Under the British-led anti-drug initiative, farmers should be given an alternative source of income to compensate for switching from growing poppies.  But the farmers blame corruption for undermining the cultivation of new crops.

 

"The radio said there would be seed distribution in January," said Wali Jan, a farmer from Arghan Dab who shares his poppy fields with five others.  "We got none because those with friends in the local government got 20 or 30 parcels each."

 

Another farmer said: "Last year a powerful commander here gave 400,000 Pakistani rupees [£3,500] to the district commissioner and brought a digital satellite dish for the police chief.  His poppies weren't destroyed."

 

Many farmers said they now look back with nostalgia to the Taliban era as a time of firm but fair rule.

 

"When the Taliban opposed the poppy everyone obeyed the Taliban," said Adbul Wali. "But with this government a warlord can grow the poppy but a poor man cannot."

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

Who Are The “Terrorists”?

 

A.) Sharon Demands Palestinians Stop “Terrorism”

 

Middle East Online 4/21/2005

 

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demanded Thursday "a complete stop to terrorism" by Palestinians before any implementation of the international roadmap for peace. "We will not be committed to the roadmap until the Palestinians respect their commitment to stop terrorism," Sharon told public radio.

 

 

B.) Israeli Occupation Troops Attack Non-Violent Procession Near Ramallah

 

International Middle East Media Center 4/21/2005

 

Friday afternoon, Israeli soldiers attacked a peaceful procession against the Wall and land annexations in the village of Safa, near Ramallah.  A local source in Ramallah reported that soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition and gas bombs at the protestors, dozens suffocated after inhaling gas fired by the army. It is worth mentioning that Israeli and international peace activists participated in the protest.

 

[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

 

 

"Que Se Vayan Todos"

Popular Uprising Overthrows U.S. Stooge In Ecuador;

Army Won’t Fight For Him

 

He attempted to declare a state of emergency, only to backtrack after the protesters refused to disperse and the army did nothing to discourage them.

 

Mr Gutierrez, a former army colonel from the Amazonian forests of Ecuador's interior, came to power in November 2002 on a wave of left-wing populism, but failed to fulfil many of his electoral promises because of political weakness and deference to both the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

 

21 April 2005 By Andrew Gumbel, The Independent Online & By Kintto Lucas, Inter Press Service

 

Ecuador's embattled president Lucio Gutierrez was unexpectedly thrown out of office yesterday after a week-long popular uprising in Quito and other cities in which he was accused of attempting to cling to power through dictatorial means.

 

An extraordinary session of Ecuador's parliament, which convened amid the shouted slogans of tens of thousands of protesters in the streets outside, voted 60-0 to remove him.

 

Almost as soon as the vote was complete, a helicopter carrying Mr Gutierrez and his wife, took off from the roof of the presidential palace, the Palacio Corondolet, and headed to Quito's international airport.  Any hopes he might have had of leaving the country were stymied by a throng of demonstrators who poured on to the runway at Mariscal Sucre airport and prevented his plane from taking off.

 

Meanwhile, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Mr Gutierrez and two of his political allies - the culmination of a week of extraordinary revolt against a leader a little over halfway through his one and only four-year term of office.

 

Mr Gutierrez's fatal error was to mishandle street protests which erupted a week ago over what was seen as grotesque political manipulation of the Supreme Court.

 

He attempted to declare a state of emergency, only to backtrack after the protesters refused to disperse and the army did nothing to discourage them.

 

He was immediately replaced by his vice-president, left-winger Alfredo Palacio, who is likely to serve in an interim capacity pending new elections.

 

Mr Palacio took the oath of office to loud cheers from Ecuadorian politicians who attended the hastily organised ceremony.  "The dictatorship has ended," he declared in his remarks on taking on the country's leadership.

 

Mr Gutierrez, a former army colonel from the Amazonian forests of Ecuador's interior, came to power in November 2002 on a wave of left-wing populism, but failed to fulfil many of his electoral promises because of political weakness and deference to both the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

 

On Tuesday, the police cracked down harshly on a march by more than 30,000 demonstrators.

 

The protesters opposed any interference by the political parties in their demonstrations and demanded the resignation of all executive, legislative and judicial branch officials, chanting "Lucio, Get Out!" and "Que se vayan todos" (They Should All Go).

 

The protests broke out last Wednesday in Quito, with thousands of people taking to the streets to call for Gutiérrez's removal.

 

Luis Macas, the president of the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), said his organisation would continue to press for compliance with its demands, even though Gutiérrez was ousted.

 

"We are demanding that the country suspend the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the United States, close the Manta military base, and oppose the country's involvement in Plan Colombia," the U.S.-financed counterinsurgency and anti-drug strategy implemented in war-torn neighbouring Colombia, said Macas.

 

 

Received:

 

“A Policy Based On Injustice Is Doomed To Failure”

 

From: JF

To: GI Special

Sent: April 22, 2005

Subject: Same Old Same-Old: Kenya Then; Iraq Now

 

Thanks for the remembrance of the British colonial atrocities in Kenya and the blowback they inspired among the Kenyans.

 

As long as the US chooses to defend the injustices at the root of "our" support for the Israeli dispossession and expropriation of the Palestinians and the prosecution of that colonial war and its new Eastern Front in Iraq we will reap the whirlwind of blowback from the people we oppress, those labeled "Islamo-Fascists" by the people who have seized our government and spend our lives and treasure in the doomed campaign to rob and oppress them.

 

None of us Americans benefits in any way from the murder, dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians and Iraqis or from the expropriation of their lands or from the extermination of their nations.

 

We just pay for it in blood and treasure.

 

Keep up the good work.  We need to be educated as to "why they hate us".

 

A policy based on injustice is doomed to failure.

 

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