GI SPECIAL 3B2:
SO MUCH FOR THE
BRING THEM ALL HOME
Publishing Co., 2005
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Somebody Finally Noticed!
By Luke Baker, (Reuters) & THE WASHINGTON POST
The resurgence of
the type of violence that has been so common in Iraq for the past
two years has raised concerns that militants are regrouping after
a period of relative quiet.
Days ago, some
Iraqi and U.S. officials had spoken hopefully of breaking the
insurgency. [Example: Christian Science
Monitor, April 15, 2005, “U.S. forces appear to be making headway
in their battle against entrenched insurgency in Iraq.”]
after days of deadlier-than-normal attacks and the first
kidnapping of an American contractor in months, some Iraqi
officials already were talking about emerging from false
Asked if the
insurgency had a much longer run ahead of it, the senior U.S.
military official said, “Historically, the answer has to be yes.
“Because I think
the average insurgency lasts about eight, nine or 10 years,
something along those lines,” said the official, speaking to
reporters in Baghdad on condition of anonymity. “So we're two
years into this thing. History would tell us yes.”
“Do I know
whether it's going to be three years, five years, seven years,
nine years, 15 years? No. I don't think anybody can tell you
that. Insurgencies aren't normally short-lived.”
[As usual, this
“senior U.S. military official” gives no thought to the fact that
troops can have something to say about how long an Imperial war of
occupation goes on. When the army rebelled against the same kind
of Imperial occupation in Vietnam, all the bullshit about how the
war would go on for X or Y numbers of years went right out the
window, and the troops came home. Time to do that again.
military official has it right, the war goes on forever.
[How could it be
[The Iraqis live
there. It’s their country. They’re fighting for their freedom
from foreign rule. They won’t stop until they win. Just like the
Vietnamese. Who fought for 30 years and could have done another
30, having, like the Iraqis, only about 3000 years history,
tradition & experience of warfare against foreign invading
armies. Case closed. T]
Task Force Liberty
Soldier Killed By Indirect Fire Near Tikrit
One Task Force
Liberty Soldier was killed when a Coalition Force base was attacked
by indirect fire at about 8:00 p.m. on April 15.
The Soldier, who was evacuated to a Coalition medical facility,
died of wounds sustained in the attack.
The attack occurred near Tikrit in the
Province of Salah AD Din.
4.16.05 mnf Release #050416e, BAGHDAD,
A Soldier from the
42nd Military Police Brigade died of wounds received at about 11
a.m. April 16 when an IED exploded on a convoy of uparmored
The attack happened
near Taji, north of Baghdad.
MP Killed Near Taji
4.16.05 Baltimore Sun
One soldier, from
the 42nd Military Police Brigade, was wounded and died when his
convoy was hit by an explosive device near Taji, 20 kilometers (12
miles) north of Baghdad.
“There Have Been
More Attacks In Recent Weeks”
“It Remains... A
Focal Point Of The Insurgency" Marine Officer Says:
14 April, 2005 By Andrew North, BBC
The reality is that Falluja is still
far from settled or secure.
At a US marine base
in the city, troops from the unit come under fire late one evening.
A support team is
quickly scrambled. By past standards, it turns out to be a minor
incident in which one marine is injured. [Not very fucking “minor”
for the Marine.]
But there have been
more attacks in recent weeks.
The signs are that
as more people return home, more insurgents are coming back, too.
Captain Rob Hancock is the unit's
"It's not the
dangerous place it was back in November or December but it
remains... a focal point of the insurgency," he says.
"They got their nose bloodied pretty
bad here and they definitely want to show that they're still
Later the same night, he briefs his
marines for a raid to catch two suspected insurgents. The plan is to
try to persuade them to come out through force of numbers.
Through loudspeakers, an interpreter
orders people in the first house to come out with their hands up.
"Drop your weapons - you're surrounded
by massive military force," the voice continues. It's 0400 in the
A man comes out of the gate of the
house with his hands in the air. There are about 10 to 15 marines
immediately around the gate, and now another five or so have moved
up closer - weapons raised and ready.
The family is distraught. There is no
struggle as the men are taken away to a US-run detention centre.
It is another reminder of how fragile
things remain here, despite the toughest security measures anywhere
in Iraq. There are checks on
every person and vehicle trying to enter the city, which take hours
to get through.
Such measures also
inhibit reconstruction, acknowledges Colonel Mark Gurganus, the US
marine commander for Falluja.
"Those are things that we're working
on very hard to streamline the process.
But we're still going to maintain a
relatively tight security posture until we have a few more of the
bad actors off the streets." [Try 80% of the adult population of
Mosul Car Bomb
Wounds Six U.S. Troops
4.16.05 Baltimore Sun & (Xinhuanet)
In the northern
city of Mosul, a car bomb damaged one vehicle in a U.S. military
convoy, wounding six soldiers lightly, said Sgt. John H. Franzen.
The attack came as Iraqi and U.S. forces were
completing two days of raids in and around Mosul that led to the
detention of 27 suspected insurgents, the military said in a
Humvee Hit In
Iraqis gather around a damaged Humvee
after a car bomb targeted a U.S. Army patrol in Baghdad April 15,
2005. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
April 16, 2005 By
Paul Brooks, Times Herald-Record
Ellenville – Angela and Chris Ryan are
at the side of their critically wounded son, Marine Cpl. Ed Ryan, in
a military hospital in Germany.
"They are where they should be," said
Ryan's uncle, Tony Puccio of Ulster Heights. "But what can they do
but pray and hope he will recover?"
Ryan was hit with a
bullet in his brain sometime Tuesday night in Iraq.
Ryan was serving
his second tour of duty with the Marines, Puccio said.
Official” In Deep Shit -- Tells The Truth:
Bush, Rumsfeld &
Co. Lying About “Foreign Fighters” Leading Iraq Resistance
[For two years the
traitors running the war have been raving about how Iraqis love the
occupation, and it’s just those nasty foreign fighters leading some
silly Iraqis to fight back. Have some truth. The foreign fighters
entering and wrecking Iraq are under the command of George W. Bush,
and have had more than enough of it.]
4/16/2005 United Press International
The U.S. military is detaining
hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq representing 25 countries, a
senior U.S. military official said Friday in Baghdad.
Still, the vast majority of insurgents
"We've got, oh,
roughly 10,800 -- give or take -- prisoners. I think there are like
357, 358, something like that, third-country nationals,
some of whom have been in Iraq for
many, many years," the senior official said. [That comes
Almost half are from Syria, Saudi
Arabia and Iran, the official said; there are roughly 50 from each
of the three countries.
The Iranian fighters are likely
Shi'ites but are fighting alongside the largely Sunni insurgency,
joining up with Ansar al Islam/Ansar al Sunnah in northern Iraq, the
"None of these, I
would say, are state sponsored by any stretch of the imagination,"
the official said.
“If I Can Go To
The U.S. Army And Fight The War At 18, Why Can't You Play Basketball
For 48 Minutes And Then Go Home?"
[Thanks to Desmond,
who sent this in.]
April 12, 2005 By Mike Wells, Gannett
TORONTO -- Indiana Pacers forward
Jermaine O'Neal is not happy there could be a higher age limit for
NBA players in the next collective bargaining agreement.
"In the last two or three years, the
Rookie of the Year has been a high school player," O'Neal said
before Monday's game against Toronto. "There were seven high school
players in the All-Star game, so why we even talking (about) an age
Cleveland's LeBron James and Phoenix's
Amare Stoudemire, both players who made the jump straight from high
school, have won the past two Rookie of the Year awards.
O'Neal, who is trying to return from a
shoulder injury, made the jump from high school to the NBA in 1996.
He didn't flourish until being traded to the Pacers in 2000.
NBA commissioner David Stern wants to
raise the minimum age for the NBA draft from 18 to 20. O'Neal said
he would be willing to listen to arguments for raising the age
O'Neal hinted that race is a factor.
"As a black guy,
you kind of think (race is) the reason why it's coming up," O'Neal
"You don't hear
about it in baseball or hockey. To say you have to be 20, 21 to get
in the league, it's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. Army
and fight the war at 18, why can't you play basketball for 48
minutes and then go home?"
Straight Outta High
April 15, 2005 By Dave Zirin,
As part of the "No
Child Left Behind Act," high schools are required under penalty of
law to hand over student phone lists to U.S. military recruiters.
The armed forces
believe that children as young as 14 should consider a career
traveling to far away places, guarding oil pipe lines, and killing
people . But NBA commissioner David Stern contends that 18 and 19
year olds may be able to vote, work a shift at Abu Ghraib, and watch
Sin City, but they have no place in his league.
The worst kept secret in sports is
that Stern is demanding an NBA age rule, requiring players to be 20
years old to play pro ball. Jermaine O'Neal simply wants to know
After a game in
Toronto last week, the Indiana Pacers forward was asked a blissfully
simple question about Stern's power play. A Canadian reporter,
clearly dazed from medical marijuana and national health care,
queried, "Is it because you guys are Black that the league is trying
to put an age limit on the draft?"
because he was feeling the cool breezes of social democracy,
responded freely, without a censor, without a filter, and without
approval from his sneaker company.
He said, "In the last two years, the
rookie of the year has a been a high school player. There were seven
high school players in the All-Star game, so why we even talking an
age limit? As a black guy, you
kind of think that's the reason why it's coming up. You don't hear
about it in baseball or hockey. To say you have to be 20, 21 to get
in the league, it's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. army
and fight the war at 18, why can't you play basketball for 48
Now the harpies
of sports radio have descended upon O'Neal like he tipped over the
Pope's coffin in Vatican City. He has been called stupid. He has
been told to "just shut up." He has basically been treated like
Joseph Massad at a JDL meeting. All of this because he spoke a
truth that made much of the US sports media squirm.
But it was a question that needed to
be asked. 76% of NBA players are African-American. But the
percentage of players who came right out of High School that are
Black is more like 99.9% (the one exception ever: Seattle's Rob
In other words, a policy is being
proposed that will hurt the ability of young Black men to make a
living. Is this racist? There is no similar clamor for baseball,
soccer or hockey leagues to stop drafting high schoolers.
The army sure isn't
shutting down their High School recruitment booths around the
country. No age restrictions are coming down the pike to prevent
Dakota Fanning from acting or Ashlee Simpson from singing (although
legislation on the latter is a necessity). And yet the NBA calls for
The arguments in defense of Stern's
proposal have more holes than a Dunkin Donuts. Steve Kerr wrote, "So
why is David Stern interested in an age limit? To improve the NBA's
product; a better product on and off the court." A better product
"on and off the court"? Would the league be a better product
without instant sensations LeBron James and Amare Stoudamire? Even
considering players who have taken longer to develop like O'Neal
himself or Tracy McGrady, it's the team's decision to draft
"potential" over immediate dividends, and the player's right at 18
to try and make a living.
But the proof that the product isn't
damaged is in the ticket sales. The league is in an economic
renaissance largely on the strength of these very straight outta
high school players. As O'Neal said, "The product and economic
reasons can't be the reason, because the league is doing well and
the prime faces of the NBA are of high-school players. So why are
they trying to change that? It doesn't make sense to me."
The other Stern
argument is that players who come straight out of high school are
"unprepared" and they need "the guidance and discipline" of college
life to ready them for the NBA. Anyone thinks the life of a college
athlete breeds "discipline" has turned a blind eye to the University
of Colorado's "hooker slush fund" program or Maurice Clarett's
exposure of Ohio State as a place where apple cheeked boosters stuff
$100 bills in your pocket for playing x-box with their kids.
But even beyond
this ridiculous view of college as a Buddhist Temple of austere
discipline, there is a paternalism to this statement that these
young Black men need a father figure (often white father figure) to
set them on the right track.
As one columnist wrote in defense of
raising the age limit, "Perhaps Kobe Bryant would have dealt with
adversity in a more positive manner had he spent a season or two
playing for Mike Kryzwezski at Duke."
Yes, a season or two of god-status
amongst the preppy wealth of Cameron Crazies, and some fatherly pats
on the head from Coach K in between American Express commercial
shoots would have altered his entire path. Christian Laettner,
numerous drug suspensions and failed NBA career aside, is a
testament to the St. Assisi-like powers of Coach K.
The fact is that O'Neal is right.
There is no economic reason, no reason
with regard to the quality of play, and no reason with regard to the
stunting of talent, which justifies Stern's move. That leaves race.
Stern is simply
expressing in policy the long held concerns by NBA executives that a
league whose base of talent are America's bogeyman, the YBT (Young
Black Teenager) is unsustainable. In other words, as Steve Kerr
alluded to, the concerns are "off the court": image, marketability,
and concerns that the league is too "hip-hop."
As Brian Burwell wrote in the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch, "(NBA marketing people) thought they were
getting Will Smith and LL Cool J. But now they've discovered the
dark side of hip-hop has also infiltrated their game, with its
'bling-bling' ostentation, its unrepentant I- gotta-get-paid
ruthlessness, its unregulated culture of posses, and the constant
underlying threat of violence." The Tampa Bay Tribune wrote a whole
piece about how "hip hop" was "alienating" older fans. All of this
is ideological cover for racism and discomfort with seeing young
Black men fronting a billion dollar enterprise.
The message is
that young Black men are good enough to die in Iraq, but not good
enough to play ball. This - no matter how you dress it up - is
racism, and far from stupid, O'Neal has every right to raise this
and be heard.
As journalist Scoop Jackson wrote,
"Let's define stupid. Stupid is Barry Bonds still working out with
Greg Anderson. Stupid is Mike Tyson still fighting for a title
shot. Stupid is the Lakers not getting at least one All-Star in
return for Shaq.
An NBA superstar
finding something racially motivated when the principals involved
are specifically of one race? That's not stupid. That's
Letters To The Editor
For the past few
months, I have noticed that base exchanges and bookstores sell only
anti-liberal or anti-Democrat books, such as “How to Talk to a
Liberal (If You Must)” or “Unfit for Command.” Is this not
propaganda toward the right?
I wrote a letter to
the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and received no response.
I have been in the
military for five years and have found that senior leadership tends
to push junior servicemen toward the Republican side.
I find that disheartening.
For example, during last year’s
election, whenever service members talked about why they voted for
President Bush instead of Sen. John Kerry, more than 70 percent of
the time they said, “Democrats hate the military” or “Republicans
give us more money.”
This is what junior
soldiers are being told, and it angers me that they don’t take the
time to learn who they really side with, since most junior
servicemen have more democratic beliefs anyway.
Marine Cpl. Victor Rodriguez
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
[The slant is
especially dimwitted because Kerry was just as dedicated to Imperial
USA and keeping the war in Iraq going as any Republican. Democrats
yield to none in their commitment to killing off U.S. troops for no
good reason, witness Kerry’s demand to send 40,000 more troops to
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.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
Dump The Gay Policy
Letters To The Editor
Finally, someone dared to frame the
“don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in its fundamental context: the
genius of democracy, where every citizen counts.
Having spent nine years of my life at
West Point — as a cadet, a former associate professor and then aide
to its superintendent — I am proud of Lt. Col. Allen Bishop’s
courage (“Gays in the military: It’s a question of liberty,” Back
Talk, March 14) in upholding the U.S. Military Academy’s values of
duty, honor, country.
He fulfilled the
obligation we all have of honorably defending the rights of all
citizens and speaking out against prejudice. He noted our ability
to overcome former legal biases against women and minorities, and
he’s pointing us at the injustice of this policy .
Hopefully, the prime defenders of our
country’s inalienable rights, equality and justice will heed his
call and the lead the way to freedom to serve for all.
Col. Stewart Bornhoft (ret.)
On 3 November
activists got inside RAF Welford in Berkshire, one of the largest
bomb-stores in Europe, hanging banners saying "No War" and "Stop
Bombing Kids" and chalking the words "Hands off Fallujah on the
munitions." (photo: Voices UK)
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
Government Tells Bush To Fuck Off;
Won’t Give U.S.
Control Of Their Army
April 15, 2005 Associated Press,
SEOUL, South Korea
South Korea has
turned down Washington’s request to draw up joint military plans
against North Korea in case of emergencies, according to a news
South Korea’s National Security
Council earlier this year rejected U.S. calls for a contingency
plan, which would include a range of military responses against
Pyongyang in the event of regime change or mass defections, South
Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Security Council said the plans
would have “severely” limited South Korea’s sovereignty, Yonhap
Under the proposal,
the United States would have been in command of both American and
South Korean troops in case an emergency happened in the North,
according to Yonhap.
were killed in an explosion at a restaurant in the town of Baquba.
The restaurant, popular with policemen, was packed with diners when
the bomb went off. (AFP/Ali Yussef)
April 16, 2005 Agence France-Presse &
Times Of Oman & AP & FOCUS News Agency & (KUNA) & By Luke Baker,
three members of Iraq's security forces on Saturday by firing from
speeding vehicles at army soldiers and policemen in the northern
city of Kirkuk, officials said.
The resistance fighters killed one
policeman and two soldiers as they headed to work in two separate
drive-by shootings, police Brig. Sarhat Qadir said.
The policeman was killed as he headed
home in the eastern part of the town, Colonel Anwar Abdallah said.
The soldiers, part of a guard detail
for a senior officer, were targeted in the south of the city,
Colonel Adel Zeinabbedin said.
A policeman was
also killed overnight by a bomb in Tuz, near Tikrit, north of
Baghdad, while a member of an oil protection force was killed in a
clash with suspected insurgents in Baiji.
An Iraqi soldier
was killed and another wounded overnight in an explosion in the
Al-Mutassim area near Samarra.
Iraqis, including three policemen, were killed in an explosion at a
restaurant in the town of Baquba, north of Baghdad, AFP
reported citing Iraqi army sources. At least five were reportedly
injured. The restaurant, popular
with policemen, was packed with diners when the bomb went off.
An Iraqi police
source said two Iraqis were wounded in northeastern Baghdad when an
explosive device targeting a US patrol vehicle blew up.
Insurgents shot and killed police
officer Mohammed Habib Ali in the center of Kut, 160 kilometers (100
miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE
Consolidating In Salman Pak Area
4.16.05 By Luke Baker, (Reuters)
In recent weeks, U.S. and Iraqi forces
have been caught up in several ambushes in Salman Pak, adjacent to
Madaen. Insurgents have built up a strong presence in the area, the
site of weapons factories during Saddam Hussein's rule.
Truck Driver Killed
April 16, 2005 Agence France-Presse &
A Turkish trucker
has been killed. The bomb went off in the Eyci vicinity a few miles
north of the oil refining town of Baiji, some 200 kilometers north
of Baghdad and the truck, said to be transporting goods for the US
military, was set on fire.
Briefly Liberate Selves From Iraqi Prison
April 16, 2005
The Associated Press, BAGHDAD, Iraq
The military says that eleven
detainees have escaped from an Iraqi prison, but ten are believed to
have already been captured.
prisoner says the group escaped through a hole in the fence that
surrounds the Camp Bucca prison. The detention
center is the largest in Iraq.
Officials will not
say why the prisoners are being detained.
Platform And Organizational Structure Of The Iraqi Resistance
April 14, 2005 Mothanna Harith
Al-Dhari , Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt).
Al-Dhari is the
spokesperson of the Muslim Scholars Association. The above article
is based on a lecture given by him this week at the Cairo-based
International Centre for Future and Strategic Studies.
Two years after
the US invasion of Iraq, Mothanna Harith Al-Dhari takes stock of the
Muslim Scholars Association's championing of resistance:
It is impossible to
examine Iraq's future options without taking the views of the Muslim
Scholars' Association (MSA) into account. The MSA opposed the
occupation when few had the foresight to do so.
As early as 18 July 2003, the MSA
organised a gathering to voice opposition to the then Iraqi
Governing Council (IGC). The gathering concluded that the IGC was
dividing the nation along ethnic and sectarian lines, fuelling
factional sentiments in the country and undermining national unity.
The MSA's denunciation of the IGC
publicised its work. As a
consequence the MSA held meetings with the Arab League and various
groups in neighbouring states during which it asserted its
opposition to occupation and outlined Iraq's strategic and tactical
Over the past two years the MSA has
made it clear that the occupation must end soon, for it is the
occupation that has undermined the fabric of society in Iraq and
shaken the institutions of the Iraqi state.
inconceivable until the occupation is over. Below is a brief
account of what the MSA has done in the course of the past two
The occupation authorities wanted to
hold elections in Iraq as early as 2004, then ditched the idea.
During this phase the MSA issued a statement saying that it "does
not hold much store by the elections or other schemes suggested for
the transfer of power so long as the occupation continues and the
nation is deprived from exercising its will freely".
The MSA then
proceeded to hold closed dialogues with like-minded groups in the
country. It was the agreement among these groups that provided the
backdrop for the proposed Iraqi National Constitutive Council
The INCC, formed on
8 May 2004, provided a platform through which national groups
opposed to the occupation could speak their mind, express their
national preferences, refute pro-occupation arguments and denounce
those working closely with the occupation authorities.
The MSA was instrumental in drafting
the Charter of Understanding and National Work, endorsed by the
contained 14 national and pan- Arab demands, among the most
relevant being: commitment to the unity of Iraq's land, people,
and sovereignty, as well as the rejection of any attempt to divide
the country along ethnic or confessional lines; rejection of laws
issued under occupation and of any attempt to dispose of Iraq's
natural, financial and human resources without the consent of an
elected national authority; the rehabilitation of national armed
forces and the disbanding of all existing militias and the
supremacy of the law in a country committed to political,
economic, and social reconstruction.
The INCC's work culminated in the
forming of the Delegation of the National Forces Resisting
The DNFRC toured
Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan to present a national agenda
offering an alternative to occupation. The DNFRC met the
secretary-general of the Arab League on 8 December 2004 to discuss
that agenda and present an alternative path to the political process
then underway in Iraq.
proposed a broad-based national front of all parties and political
groups be formed to defend national principles, end the occupation,
safeguard the country's unity, sovereignty and independence, uphold
justice, equity, democracy, pluralism, human rights and sustainable
development, guarantee the religious, cultural, civic and political
rights of all Iraqis and combat all forms of ethnic, sectarian and
national front then formed an expanded committee to formulate a
timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq and to
restore Iraq's full sovereignty and independence in a complete and
decisive manner supported by international guarantees.
It called for an interim government of
technocrats selected on the basis of patriotism, efficiency and
willingness to serve the country that would act under the
supervision of the expanded committee, and suggested that a
constitutional committee be chosen to prepare an interim
constitution to be submitted to the broad- based national front for
It recommended a timetable be set for
a population census that would be followed by general elections
producing an interim government and legislative council.
These two bodies would then prepare
the permanent constitution which would then be voted on in a
referendum, with both bodies being disbanded as soon as the
executive and legislative authorities are elected in accordance with
the permanent constitution. All
laws approved or issued by the occupation authorities or by Iraqi
institutions created under occupation would, furthermore, become nil
and void once the occupation ends.
The national front and interim
government would issue the laws and legislation needed to run the
country in the interim phase and until such time that elected Iraqi
institutions are formed in coordination with the expanded committee.
The above are the
options the MSA presented to the nation, the focus being on ending
the occupation since it is the occupation that has caused the
disintegration of Iraq as a state.
In other words, Iraq must assert
national unity as a means of building the state and keeping it
together; conduct the political process on a sound basis and away
from the intervention of the occupation authorities and rehabilitate
security institutions so they can keep law and order.
Security concerns have been emphasised
in Iraq at the expense of all other aspects of reconstruction. And
yet the security services are clearly flawed, for reasons connected
with the occupation under which they were put together. This is a
serious problem which impedes the process of reconstruction.
The MSA's views of
Iraq's options are shared by many across the political and
There is ample ground for agreement,
and yet occupation remains a thorny issue.
When it comes to
occupation the MSA sees no room for compromise.
No one is going
to convince us that occupation is good for the country, not after
the experience we've had with the interim government and the
now-disbanded IGC. Iraq's future as a viable country is at stake.
The probity of the political process
has been compromised in a manner that disregards the country's
future. The rehabilitation of the security services has been
conducted in a questionable manner. As a result national unity is
at risk. The gap is still wide between people who are active on
Iraq's political scene and those, such as the MSA, who oppose the
Good Guys & Bad
April 14, 2005 Aaron Glantz,
Sean Langan is a documentary filmmaker
with the BBC who spent months reporting both embedded and unembedded
He told me that the
more the U.S. cracks down on the insurgency, the more it grows.
And, he says, that's not good for the troops.
"Many of these guys back home would be
the good guys," he said.
"They would be the guys who would help
out in the community, and yet finding themselves in a town like
Fallujah where they are getting shot at every day, they ended up as
the bad guys.
“The nice guys and
good guys were then the same guys who would shout abuse at the Iraqi
civilians and run cars off the road. Whatever kind of guy you are,
you end up in a difficult, no-win situation."
[No. You don’t
“end up” by magic in a difficult, no-win situation. Somebody puts
you there. In this case, the corporate assholes running the U.S.
government put you there, for their benefit, and nobody else’s’
[That is not an
[And then they
blame the troops who snap. Old story. Some of the troops who
rebelled in Vietnam, and finally stopped the war, were the same
troops who had committed atrocities before they saw the truth.
politicians and the corporate interests that buy the politicians,
devise the Imperial wars and spread the lies that cover up what’s
really going on. Take them on. They can and will be brought down,
and made to pay for every life, American and Iraqi, that has been
thrown away in this stupid, fucked up, hopeless Imperial disaster.
Love the soldier; hate the war. Hate the war politicians, Democrat
and Republican alike, and the war profiteers. As Malcolm X once
said, “If blood must be spilled, let it be theirs.” T]
Do you have a
friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra
important for your service friend, too often cut off from access
to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and
inside the armed services.
Send requests to address up top.
RALLY BAD PLACE TO
BRING THEM ALL HOME
May 2, 2005
JIM MCGOVERN, The Nation
"Trust me when I
tell you things are so much better in Iraq," said one US military
official to me on my recent visit to that war-ravaged country.
I was in Iraq as part of a delegation
of eight members of Congress, led by House minority leader Nancy
We were in Iraq for one day--for
security reasons, it is US policy that Congressional delegations are
not allowed to spend the night. We spent most of our time in the
heavily fortified Green Zone, which serves as coalition
headquarters. It's the most heavily guarded encampment I've ever
seen--and it still gets attacked.
One military leader
told us they can tell that things are changing for the better
because when US helicopters fly over certain areas of Iraq, Iraqis
wave. Well, I took a helicopter ride (it's too dangerous to drive)
from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone wearing an armored vest
and sandwiched between two heavily armed American soldiers who were
pointing their guns down at the ground.
I suggested to the
military leader that perhaps he was confusing a wave with a plea not
“Who Exactly Are The Insurgents?”
"Embedded" In Baghdad, Telling It Like It Is
coming from various sources -- former Iraqi army people,
Islamists, Ba'athists, nationalists and ordinary people who hate
this new way of life Iraqis are being relegated to.
April 15, 2005 BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
"Riverbend" is a
storyteller. Her "Baghdad Burning" blog is one part Anne Frank,
another part Scheherazade and "A Thousand and One Arabian Nights" --
from cyberspace. As she wrote in her first weblog entry, dated
August 17, 2003: "So this is the beginning for me, I guess ...
expect a lot of complaining and ranting. ... A little bit about
myself: I'm female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That's all you
need to know. It's all that matters these days anyway."
One thing about your blog that has struck us is your frequent
references to the Governing Council as American puppets. That,
because the majority of the Governing Council members have not lived
in Iraq for a long time, they are not viewed by most Iraqis as
representatives of Iraq. Is this viewpoint aired in the Arab press?
How and how often? This perspective is rarely, if ever, seen in the
mainstream media in the United States.
It's not so much that these people have been living abroad for such
long periods of time, it's because these people did so many things
over the years to prove they never really wanted the welfare of the
It's difficult to view someone like
Chalabi as Iraqi when he was living in luxury abroad all his life
and simultaneously encouraging the blockade on Iraq, helping plan a
war, riding in on occupation tanks and cheering on foreign troops
while the country is pillaged and burned.
People who have
lived in Iraq their entire lives are also seen as puppets when they
cooperate with occupation people. The Arab media doesn't often
portray them as puppets because, let's face it, many Arab leaders
themselves are American puppets -- the Jordanian and Saudi royals,
for example, and we really do have very few truly free media
networks or newspapers in the Arab world.
You often state that, among Iraqis, there is a strong sense of
nationhood that supercedes ethnic or religious differences. You
point out that your family is a fairly typical Iraqi family in that
it includes members of various ethnic and religious groups. But
isn't Iraq, as a nation, an artificial construct created by Western
powers at the end of the last colonial era?
I think many Iraqis don't care so much about how the
nation was formed as they do about it remaining a united country.
Iraq has a long and rich history and
historically, people of different religions and ethnicities have
been very able to live together in peace. The important thing to us
right now is that we remain united as one country. We've been able
to live together, Sunnis, Shia and Kurds, in the past -- it
shouldn't be any different now. Though the language may differ in
some places, we share similar cultures and beliefs -- there is
nothing that should stand in the way of internal peace and unity.
I know for a fact
that the majority of Iraqis don't like being labeled as Sunni, Shia
or Kurd. These labels are being promoted by the current new
government and the Bush administration and many Iraqis believe they
are being used to divide and conquer.
Who exactly are the insurgents? The White House and the American
press lump them all together. We guess that it keeps it simple for
them that way. But from what we can deduce from the foreign press,
the resistance to the American occupation is coming from a variety
of sources. Can you speculate as to how many different groups are
attacking American forces, as well as soldiers in the Iraqi Army,
Iraqi police and Iraqi civilians? To what extent are the bombings
and attacks due to Sunni/Shiite jockeying for power?
The White House makes it very simple when talking about the
insurgency -- foreign, Islamic terrorists. It's hardly that simple.
I guess most Iraqis believe there is
resistance and there is terror. Resistance is coming from various
sources -- former Iraqi army people, Islamists, Ba'athists,
nationalists and ordinary people who hate this new way of life
Iraqis are being relegated to.
Terror is also
coming from various sources and in many cases it is a complete
mystery. Many people believe the attacks against the police force
and security forces are the work of outsiders or people who want
Iraqis to hate the resistance.
It's difficult to
tell at this point just what is going on. Some attacks are meant
to cause sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shia, but those are
quite easy to see through (for example the bombing of Sunni
mosques or Shia Husseiniyas) and Iraqis have proven over the last
two years that they are far too tolerant to fall for such
You are obviously a secular Iraqi, with great skills of observation
in writing in English. You are also an independent, thinking young
woman. Do you have fears of a fundamentalist Islamic takeover of
the Iraqi government?
have fears of fundamentalism of any type. I fear Sunni
fundamentalism and Shia fundamentalism. I fear we might be slowly
working our way towards a state run by Mullahs and clerics.
I fear Iraq being turned into
another Iran by parties like Da'awa and SCIRI, currently being
promoted by the occupation powers.
It is not Islam
that I fear -- I am a Muslim and a practicing one -- it is the
deformation of Islam practiced in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia
that I fear.
The American military successfully kept reporters from describing
what was clearly a devastating assault on Fallujah, as well as some
other cities. But, again, from reading the foreign press, it appears
Fallujah was decimated and that countless civilians were killed. Do
you have any information on Fallujah or other cities that the
American military assaulted without allowing the media to cover
Many cities are assaulted by
the military without proper press coverage.
The latest is Qaim, for example. There
has been a siege and assault that has lasted several days already.
Last week it was Haditha and Mash'had. We know things are not
going well in these areas when we get refugees in Baghdad -- often
women and children of men who have been detained for no reason or
Very few media
sources are actually covering it, and the only casualties discussed
are the deaths of 'insurgents' and 'terrorists.' Very few media
outlets report about the deaths of women and children -- only when
they are caused by roadside bombs or terrorists. Even Arab news
networks aren't reporting casualties like before.
A study in the British journal, "The Lancet," which was largely
ignored by the American press, indicated that possibly more than
100,000 Iraqis have been killed since the American invasion. Do you
think this might be accurate?
I'm sure more than 100,000 people have died in the last
Everyone literally knows more than one
person who died -- often a relative or a friend. We have people
dying of bombs, dying under torture, dying of malnutrition, a lack
of shelter, missiles, attacks, abductions, etc. We have illnesses
emerging that Iraqis hadn't even heard of in the past -- cancer
rates have gone up drastically and in some areas we hear about
cholera or typhoid. It's
difficult to know just how many people have died because the
Ministry of Health was given explicit instructions about not keeping
The Bush White House and their representatives keep saying it was
all worth it to get rid of Saddam Hussein. We think there might
have been other ways of getting rid of Saddam Hussein besides
wrecking a nation and taking over its oil. What do you think?
I think this wasn't about the welfare of Iraqi people and
ridding them of a dictator. I think this has been about the US
strategically placing itself in a Middle Eastern 'hot spot' -- in
the middle of Turkey, Iran, Syria and the Gulf countries -- to wreak
havoc and promote instability in the area, and have direct access to
the oil, of course.
Democracy has to
come from within and it has to be a request of the people -- not of
expatriates who have alliances with the CIA and British
intelligence. People have to want something enough to rise up and
change it. They have to be ready for democracy and willing to
accept its responsibility. The US could have promoted democracy in
Iraq peacefully, but then they wouldn't have permanent bases in the
country, would they?
IMPERIAL PROPAGANDA AWARD: 2005
26, explains how a bullet grazed his head during a clash between UN
gang members Friday, in
Cite Soleil a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 16, 2005. The
fighting killed at least five and perhaps as many as 10
suspects described as
members of an armed band loyal to
deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, U.N. officials
said.” (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos; writer of text
[The U.S. Imperial
government engineers the overthrow by force and violence of the
lawfully elected President of Haiti because he won’t kiss Bush’s
[Using the usual
stooges at the UN as cover, the Bush regime gets some corrupt thugs,
like Lula, the President of Brazil, and the government of China, to
send occupation troops. When the Haitians fight back, they are
called “gang members.” The occupation troops are called
“peacekeepers.” And some fools on the U.S. left call the scum
running Brazil and China “progressives.” George Orwell would have
loved it. And hated it.]
Wanted For Murder:
While Their Troops
Kill Haitian Patriots, These UN Vultures Do “Fact Finding”
Members of the U.N.
Security Council address the media at a hotel in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, April 16, 2005, concluding their four-day fact-finding trip.
From left are, Philippine U.N.
Ambassador Lauro R. Baja, Tanzanian U.N. Ambassador Augustine P.
Mahiga, Greece U.N. Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou, Romanian U.N.
Ambassador Georghe Dumitru, China U.N. Ambassasor Guangya Wang,
Brazilian U.N. Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, U.N. envoy to
Haiti Juan Gabriel Valdes, Japan U.N. Ambassador Shinichi Kitaoka,
Russian U.N. Ambassador Andrey I.Denisov, Denmark U.N. Ambassador
Lars Faaborg Andersen and Argentina U.N. Ambassador Cesar Mayoral.
Brazil is leading the 7,000 U.N.
occupation] force in Haiti. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Bush Says His
Privacy Must Be Protected;
Won’t Use E-mail
[THANKS TO B WHO
E-MAILED THIS IN. B WRITES:
So I guess he’s not getting GI
WASHINGTON –President Bush said
Thursday that the public should know as much as possible about
government decision-making, but
national security and personal privacy — including his —
need to be protected.
"I believe in open
government," Bush said at a meeting of the American Society of
Newspaper Editors. "I've always believed in open government. I don't
e-mail, however. And there's a reason: I don't want you reading my
Bush once was a prolific e-mailer.
he signed off from cyberspace just before taking office in 2001
after lawyers told him that his presidential e-mail communications
would be subject to legal and archival requirements.
Bush Wins War On
15 April 2005 By Jonathan S. Landay,
Knight Ridder Newspapers, Washington
Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on
international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center
concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any
year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.
"Instead of dealing
with the facts and dealing with them in an intelligent fashion, they
try to hide their facts from the American public," charged Larry C.
Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert
who first disclosed the decision to eliminate the report in The
Counterterrorism Blog, an online journal.
Seeking Iraq War
Vets for Documentary
Friday, April 15, 2005 10:42 AM
Seeking Iraq War Vets for Documentry
Metropole Filmworx LLC is an
independent film producer looking for soldiers to appear in an
upcoming documentary about their experiences in Iraq.
If you have stories or experiences
that would help people understand
What is happening to soldiers prior to
deployment to Iraq
What is happening on the ground in
What is happening to soldiers and
their families when they get back from Iraq
We would like to hear from you.
This is a non-partisan film. The only
objective is to find out what is happening in Iraq from people who
have actually served there.
Please email email@example.com if you
might be interested in chatting with us. Provide your phone number
and tell us a good time to call so we can contact you.
If you would like to send a photo of
yourself or show us a picture of something you'd like to talk about,
please do so. If you have a website, feel free to provide us with a
If you prefer, you can fax us on (310)
This movie has no agenda other than to
let soldiers with important information communicate it to the rest
of the country.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely, Nancy Fulton
Info Request From
From: "mario portanova 2"
To: GI Special
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 6:15 AM
Subject: info request from Italy
My name is Mario
Portanova, I'm a journalist of Italian weekly magazine "Diario".
I'm writing an article on what happened during Falluja battle last
I'm looking for
direct witnesses of it. Did you publish some soldier's stories
related to Falluja, the battle, the days before and after? Can you
send me something?
I'd like to interview some soldiers
who fought there, do you think you can help me?
Thank you for your kind attention,
here you find my references.
Diario della settimana
+39 339 5976868
fax +39 022046261
1st Sgt. Waters
From: Ward Reilly
To: GI Special
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 9:28 AM
Subject: 1st Sgt. Waters
Good morning to you my friend...Tell
the 1st Sgt. in question that obeying the Constitution and Bill of
Rights was in HIS Commander In Chief's contract...and if the CIC
doesn't follow the Constitution, that all other contracts for the
troops he abuses are null and void.
Also tell 1st Sgt. Waters that he
needs to carry his ass out of retirement, and go directly to
Baghdad...they need him there desperately...
If ANY of the NG or Reservists had
wanted to be active duty full-time soldiers, they wouldn't have
joined the NG or Reserves.
Typical right-wing "pretzel logic."
Good comment T, and PEACE from an
[This is the item
Brother Ward refers to:]
In a letter to Army
Times, Retired 1st Sgt. J. Alan Waters, Copperas Cove, Texas wrote:
“I have a problem
with people complaining about stop-loss and the call-up of the
Individual Ready Reserve.
contract. You signed it.
“The military is
not a scholarship to play Army and then go to college.”
So, according to
Waters, the following happens in the recruiting office:
“OK, and one more
thing. If some criminal asshole in the White House starts a war for
oil and Empire, lies about the real motives, and the invasion gets
all fucked up, you can be forbidden to leave the Army for as long as
the war lasts.
“You may have
signed up here for X years in the Army, but that don’t matter at
all. If the war goes on for 5 years, you can be kept in the Army
for 5 years. If the war lasts 10 years or 20 years, it could be
that you will NOT be allowed to leave the Army, or the battlefield,
until the war is over, unless it’s feet first. There is no limit on
how long you can be forced to remain in the army.
“If you try to
leave, you can be arrested and imprisoned.
“We call that
Sgt. Waters says
that’s what soldiers knowingly signed up for at the recruiting
“Power To The
To: GI Special
Sent: April 15, 2005
Subject: power to the imagination!
I'm an avid reader of your newsletter,
which I think is a great project and a courageous blow to the
empire's politics of secrecy and planned exposure of details to keep
Thank you very much for putting it
out. I have a link to your website on mine, and I thought you might
like to check it out.
There's a picture I made on the bottom
of the web page you'll get a kick out of.
website i made is
me what you think; I dig the edge on the comments you often include
in brackets, and think you'd appreciate it.
feel free to take whatever you want
from the site and use it as you wish. although I am not the biggest
fan of the socialist organizations you sometimes quote (i think
they're a little too doctrinaire, too many illusions about ideology,
hierarchy etc.) and am more into organizationless, spontaneous
subversion, I'm surely one of the biggest fans of your work, and
hope we can accelerate the decomposition of this whole civilization
and watch it crumble together.
anarchy and polyamory (since peace and
love are commodified now)
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
GI Special distributes and posts to our
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