www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

5.2.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B17:

 

(Graphic via Soldier X 4.26.05)

 

 

“You Say UCMJ And I Organize A Motherfuckin' Revolution”

 

From:  Soldier X

To: GI Special

Sent: April 26, 2005

 

This was forwarded to me and I thought it was pretty good work.  I have no idea who the original author is.  He wrote it with a pure fire.

peace

 

 

Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:03 PM

Subject: my letter to protest my proposed bar of reenlistment

 

By Soldier “Infidel”

 

To the infinite minds that produce unending consequences reflecting the horrible job they've done as leaders:

 

We reflect on you in every way sense and form.

 

As you come to work looking like shit, we notice and take great pride in doing the same.

 

You lead from the front from an air-conditioned office while the real leaders sweat out their breakfast.

 

You complain about physical fitness while you eat three square meals.

 

Your double standard is taken to the extreme as you pride yourself on your ability to make no one follow your lead.

 

Your soldiers fear but do they respect you?

 

They hate you.

 

You make them hate authority.

 

The strong always prevail in your absence, but while you stand in their way, your rank causes an eclipse of reason and their hearts and minds are broken.

 

You break them of their dreams.

 

They are worried for their right to fight in your army and become willing to die not for you, but in an effort to rid themselves of you.

 

In another world, they die in honor against an enemy that has been deemed horrible enough to strike fear into the wives and children we left behind, but us on the frontline realize that they died because of the torment you caused them.

 

You are nothing but a disgrace.

 

You are a disgrace to the very men that led the continental army to victory over the British redcoats to win our independence.

 

You are a disgrace to the men who volunteered to fight the threat that arrived while you were in service.

 

It arrived because of people like you.

 

You've created a more evil America.

 

We are proud to wear our flag because of the constitution, which you were never able to manipulate.

 

We are proud to defy your authority, not to rebel against our oath as men, but because human nature defines us clearer as we fight for our own lives.

 

You've certainly done nothing for the better advancement of my own life. 

 

For some you've created terrible leaders, as they follow in your wake to risk the lives of other great men in the field.

 

But for most, you've become a loose rock in a beautiful assortment of cobbles leading to a castle on a hill.

 

You are a nuisance.

 

We regard you as such and as we look upon the world as businessmen, entrepreneurs, aristocrats, or critics, we will remember you as a tyrant who learned his skills from a similar man bred by the problems of our society; bred on lies, selfishness and greed.

 

We'll continue to follow our good sense and realize our desire to live a happy and at times restful civilian life of our choosing. 

 

Not one that you prescribe to me.

 

Not one that is ordered upon us by fate or by someone else's lack of understanding.

 

In short, forgive me of my inability to comply.

 

I refuse a life like yours.

 

You ask me to explain to you why I should be allowed to reenlist in your army.

 

I say fuck you; I wouldn't reenlist if you let me.

 

You say bar certificate and I say freedom.

 

You say UCMJ and I organize a motherfuckin' revolution.

 

Take my words as gospel and realize your mistakes.

 

I leave you now on a note of self-reflection.

 

Sleep well and remember that you were a horrible leader.

 

You will never be in a history book as the men beside me will.

 

Rarely do they ever remember an American idiot.

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

22-Year-Old Long Beach Soldier Killed

 

May 1, 2005 KESQ

 

LOS ANGELES A 22-year-old Army soldier from Long Beach who was married and the father of two young girls has died in Iraq.

 

The Pentagon says Sergeant Anthony J Davis Junior was killed Saturday in Mosul when a car bomb exploded near his Stryker military vehicle.

 

 

Troy Native Killed

 

05/01/2005 By: Shawn Charniga, The Record

 

A roadside bomb known as an IED, or improvised explosive device, took the life of a Troy native Thursday while he was serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

 

The federal Department of Defense has not yet confirmed the death of Sgt. Eric Wayne Morris, 31, a member of the Army and a former River Street resident, but a police source has confirmed that Troy Police escorted a DoD staffer to his mother's Troy home Friday morning to inform her of his death.

 

Morris is believed to be the first person with ties to Rensselaer County to be killed in the line of duty in the ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

 

Morris' family said this was his second tour of duty in Iraq.

 

According to information his family received from the government, Morris and three other soldiers were on a two-day tour when a mine exploded beneath their vehicle.

 

Morris' mother, Bonnie Bolinger, told a reporter during a telephone interview that she thought she was having a bad dream when she saw a member of the military on her doorstep.

 

Morris joined the military at age 18 and, after his four-year tour, was a civilian for one year before re-enlisting.

 

Bolinger said she will most fondly remember her son's sense of humor. "Whenever I was down and really upset, he'd always make me laugh and smile, and he was an honest person about his feelings," Bolinger said.

 

The United Family Veterans Group is currently raising money to buy Bolinger a plane ticket to her son's funeral.

 

In addition to his mother, he leaves behind a brother, Guy, wife Jolene, and stepdaughters Chyann and Chyna as well as a number of relatives in Reno, Nevada, where he will be buried in Mt. View Cemetery with full military honors.

 

 

Two U.S. Soldiers Wounded In Mosul Attacks

 

5.1.05 By Jamie Tarabay, Associated Press

 

Two U.S. soldiers also were injured in the attacks in Mosul.

 

A bomb hidden in a Mosul shrine killed a woman and two children and injured one American soldier, the military said.

 

A car bomber targeting an American convoy killed two more Iraqis and wounded three, and another targeting Iraqi police injured four officers and five civilians, the military said in a statement.

 

 

U.S. Military Worker Captured

 

May 1 2005 ITV Network

 

An Australian citizen has been taken hostage in Iraq, according to a video tape released by militants.

 

On the two-minute video, the blond-haired man identifies himself as Douglas Wood, a 63-year-old who lives in California and is married to an American.

 

Mr Wood says on the tape that he has worked in Iraq for more than a year and that he "has done many jobs with the American military".

 

He appeals to US, Australian and British authorities to withdraw from the country.

 

"I don't want to die," he says on the tape, which shows him sitting on the floor as two masked man armed with assault rifles stand on either side.

 

A statement from the militants issued with the tape said it had been released to coincide with a visit to Iraq by Australia's defence minister, who is in Baghdad.

 

The statement says that Mr Wood has confessed to "dirty acts on our soil".

 

On the tape Mr Wood has his head slumped forward and his voice is close to breaking.

 

 

NO MORE.

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

An Iraqi looks at wreckage of US Humvee that was destroyed in a car bomb attack west of Baghdad.  (AFP/Karim Sahib)

 

 

“A Deliberate Slap In The Face To U.S. Forces”

 

April 30, 2005 By Martin Sieff, UPI Senior News Analyst

 

On Friday alone 17 bombs exploded around the country including 13 in the capital Baghdad, killing at least 23 members of the Iraqi security forces and wounding 31 more.

 

They also appear to have been designed to be a deliberate slap in the face to U.S. forces in Baghdad as two of them were in an area a dozen miles southwest of Baghdad that Iraqi forces raided to clean out insurgent guerrillas only two weeks ago.

 

A new government will finally take office this Tuesday, but it appears very shaky to say the least.  Even now the Shiite and Kurdish parties cannot agree on who should lead many important ministries.

 

The government therefore looks like a hollow shell.  And the obvious pressure that the Bush administration had to apply to get the parties to agree on anything at all made them appear all the more like mere American puppets.

 

Most important of all, the latest wave of attacks has demonstrated once again that U.S. forces and their newly trained Iraqi allies still do not have the capability to protect their own members or even high-level officials from assassination.

 

On the contrary, many intelligence assessments suggest that the insurgents and al-Qaida cells are successfully penetrating the new Iraqi security forces and continue to enjoy excellent intelligence on them.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

A CALL FOR HELP:

Disabled Vietnam Vet Fucked Over By Rochester New York Scumbag Cops:

Come To Protest Action May 10

 

There will be a picket outside East High School, Tuesday May 10th at 2 pm (when school lets out).

 

Join us so that we can build an anti-recruiter campaign at East High in the coming days and respond to this egregious treatment of a respected Latino activist and Vietnam War Veteran.

 

From: Joshua Karpoff

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 8:26 PM

Subject: Counter-Recruiters manhandled by school security

 

Hey T, the below article describes an incident from this past Friday when school security manhandled a disabled Vietnam Vet (and a member of the Veteran Advisory board for "Traveling Soldier") for distributing counter recruitment literature outside a Rochester city high school.

 

According to Rochester school officials the tragic incident at Columbine was triggered by disabled vets, students and teachers peacefully distributing counter recruitment literature.

 

Josh Karpoff

Rochester Institute of Technology Anti War, Organizer

Campus Antiwar Network, Coordinating Committee (Northeast Rep.)

Phone: (585)-224-5330

EMAIL: Click On: Joshua Karpoff

 

 

Friday, April 29th, four members of Rochester Against War (RAW) a city wide antiwar coalition, went to East High School (Rochester City School District) to hand out flyers and talk to students about the lies they are being told by the military recruiters at their school.

 

The four activists included a disabled Vietnam Veteran, a Rochester City School Teacher and two students from School Without Walls Youth Resistance, a chapter of the Campus Antiwar Network.

 

When a recruiter in full dress uniform, who was outside strutting around the students, saw the activists on the sidewalk handing out flyers he told the high school security guards to go out and remove them.  [Now the recruiter is running the school, telling the rent-a-cops what to do?  What the fuck is that?]

 

East High security then proceeded to manhandle a RAW member who is also a disabled Vietnam Vet and pushed him off the campus.

 

These guards then called the police who further harassed the counter recruitment activists and even frisked and temporarily detained the man who was manhandled by the guards. [This is the disabled Vietnam Vet he’s talking about here, and that is unacceptable.  Time to teach a lesson about that.]

 

An RPD Lieutenant who arrived later said that the school administration "was concerned about another Columbine incident."  [What lame lying idiotic bullshit.]

 

At no time did RAW members retaliate against this mistreatment.  Instead they stood firm against this abuse and continued to hand out flyers and talk with the kids.

 

As a result a small group of East High students (among a larger crowd of students that watched this entire event) are now interested in building a counter recruitment campaign at the highschool.

 

There will be a picket outside East High School, Tuesday May 10th at 2 pm (when school lets out).

 

Join us so that we can build an anti-recruiter campaign at East High in the coming days and respond to this egregious treatment of a respected Latino activist and Vietnam War Veteran.

 

 

Notes From A Lost War:

 

The Armed Forces Death Spiral

 

27 April 2005 By Michael Schwartz, TomDispatch.com

 

A key reason for the ever-more-evident strain on military resources is that more than 40% of the 150,000 soldiers in Iraq are Army Reserves and National Guards.

 

As Army Historian Renee Hylton told Salon reporter Jeff Horowitz, use of these forces creates pressure to "win and get out...there's a definite limit to people's service."

 

When they are called to active duty, these troops risk their jobs as well as their lives; so, when their mandatory two-year terms expire, a significant proportion of them, under the best of circumstances, are likely to refuse further service.  And service in Iraq has already proved something less than the best of circumstances.

 

Little wonder then that, just past the two year anniversary of our invasion, the military is under increasing pressure to replenish this crucial element in the recruitment mix - without much of an idea of how to do so.

 

In addition, in order to maintain troop strength in Iraq at anything like present levels, large numbers of active-duty soldiers must return there for more than one nine-month tour of duty, and this redeployment too generates distrust and distaste.

 

Sooner or later, sizeable numbers of these angry soldiers must nevertheless be convinced to re-enlist, or else the pressure for new enlistees will escalate out of control and beyond the bounds of the present system to satisfy.

 

Add to this a constantly increasing casualty toll, now well beyond 30,000, which, in a variety of ways, places yet more pressure on recruitment.

 

Finally, as embittered double-deployment veterans and angry Reserves, along with wounded and mentally stressed dischargees, return home, they only stiffen the resistance to enlistment among the young in their neighborhoods.

 

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.

 

 

Brit General Who Led Iraq Invasion Says He Won’t Take War Criminal Rap Alone;

He’ll Take Blair Down With Him

 

5/1/2005 Al Jazeera Publishing

 

Sir Michael Boyce, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, who led the British army in Iraq, says that the British PM Tony Blair and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will join British soldiers in the dock if the military was ever prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq.

 

In an interview with The Observer, Boyce said that he never had full legal cover from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

“If my soldiers went to jail and I did, some other people would go with me,” said Boyce.

 

Explaining why he demanded an unequivocal assurance that the war was legal, he said: "I wanted to make sure that we had this anchor which has been signed by the government law officer ...

 

“It may not stop us from being charged, but, by God, it would make sure other people were brought into the frame as well.”

 

Asked whether he meant the British Prime Minister and the Attorney General, the admiral told The Observer: "Too bloody right."

 

Boyce also said that he had never been shown Iraq war’s legal advice by Goldsmith. He said he was only given a later assurance of the war legality, which contained none of the warnings.

 

It was only after he questioned Number 10 about legal 'top cover' that he was given Goldsmith's opinion, Boyce said.

 

Previously, Boyce said that he believed the war was legal and morally justified.

 

However, asked now whether the British government provided him with the legal cover necessary to avoid prosecution for war crimes, his reply was: “No.”

 

 

Lying Assholes At Work

 

[Thanks to Phil G. who sent this in.]

 

Far from spitting on veterans, the antiwar movement welcomed them into its ranks and thousands of veterans joined the opposition to the war.

 

April 30, 2005 By Jerry Lembcke, Boston Globe

 

STORIES ABOUT spat-upon Vietnam veterans are like mercury: Smash one and six more appear.

 

It's hard to say where they come from.

 

For a book I wrote in 1998 I looked back to the time when the spit was supposedly flying, the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

I found nothing.

 

No news reports or even claims that someone was being spat on.

 

What I did find is that around 1980, scores of Vietnam-generation men were saying they were greeted by spitters when they came home from Vietnam.

 

There is an element of urban legend in the stories in that their point of origin in time and place is obscure, and, yet, they have very similar details.  The story told by the man who spat on Jane Fonda at a book signing in Kansas City recently is typical. 

 

Michael Smith said he came back through Los Angeles airport where ''people were lined up to spit on us."

 

Like many stories of the spat-upon veteran genre, Smith's lacks credulity.  [That’s polite for saying he’s a lying asshole who merits having his teeth distributed on the nearest floor.]

 

GIs landed at military airbases, not civilian airports, and protesters could not have gotten onto the bases and anywhere near deplaning troops.

 

There may have been exceptions, of course, but in those cases how would protesters have known in advance that a plane was being diverted to a civilian site?

 

And even then, returnees would have been immediately bused to nearby military installations and processed for reassignment or discharge.

 

The exaggerations in Smith's story are characteristic of those told by others.

 

''Most Vietnam veterans were spat on when we came back," he said.

 

That's not true.

 

A 1971 Harris poll conducted for the Veterans Administration found over 90 percent of Vietnam veterans reporting a friendly homecoming.

 

Far from spitting on veterans, the antiwar movement welcomed them into its ranks and thousands of veterans joined the opposition to the war.

 

Many tellers of the spitting tales identify the culprits as girls, a curious quality to the stories that gives away their gendered subtext.

 

Moreover, the spitting images that emerged a decade after the troops had come home from Vietnam are similar enough to the legends of defeated German soldiers defiled by women upon their return from World War I, and the rejection from women felt by French soldiers when they returned from their lost war in Indochina, to suggest something universal and troubling at work in their making.

 

Remembering the war in Vietnam through the images of betrayal is dangerous because it rekindles the hope that wars like it, in countries where we are not welcomed, can be won.

 

It disparages the reputation of those who opposed that war and intimidates a new generation of activists now finding the courage to resist Vietnam-type ventures in the 21st century.

 

Today, on the 30th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam, new stories of spat-upon veterans appear faster than they can be challenged.

 

Debunking them one by one is unlikely to slow their proliferation but, by contesting them where and when we can, we engage the historical record in a way that helps all of us remember that, in the end, soldiers and veterans joined with civilians to stop a war that should have never been fought.

 

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)

 

 

You Want A Real Vietnam War Hero?

 

August 1969

 

 

Many good men never came back from Nam.  Some came back disabled in mind. Jeff Sharlet came back a pretty together cat--and he came back angry.  Jeff started VGI, and for almost two years poured his life into it, in an endless succession of 18-hour days trying to organize men to fight for their own rights.

 

On Monday, June 16th, at 2:45 pm, Jeff died in the Miami VA Hospital.  He died of a sudden heart failure, brought on by the uncontrollable growth of the cancer that had earlier destroyed his kidney.  There was no way to save him.  He was only 27 years old.

 

Rather than wait for the draft, like so many others Jeff went RA. With dreams of seeing Europe, he applied for "translator-interpreter", and found himself at the US Army Language School at Monterey, California.  But instead of French, Czech or German, he was assigned a strange language called "Vietnamese"-- spoken in a country he couldn't even find on the map.  For eleven months in 1962 he was drilled in Vietnamese.

 

In 1963 he was assigned to Army Security Agency, and left for his first tour in Nam. Stationed in Saigon awhile, Jeff witnessed the ARVN coup that overthrew Saigon dictator Ngo Diem.  On his second tour his ASA unit was stationed near Phu Bai. Engaged in top-secret work monitoring, decoding and translating North Vietnamese radio messages, they wore AF uniforms and worked at a small air base.  But every time they went into the bars, every bargirl could reel off all the facts about their mission.

 

Speaking the language well, Jeff could talk to many Vietnamese about what was happening to their country.  He spent long hours questioning ex-Foreign Legion men, who'd settled in Vietnam after the French left, peasants, ARVN officers, students, and even suspected VC agents.  By the time he ETSed in July, 1964 he'd put a lot of pieces together.

 

Jeff went back to school, and got his college degree (with honors) from Indiana University in 1967. 

 

During his "GI Bill years" he joined the peace movement, and became chairman of his local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.  But he had become increasingly disillusioned about the student movement, and felt that its shallowness and snotty attitude towards other people made it ineffective.

 

That summer he went to New York City to work with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and it was there that he decided to try to organize other GIs to fight the brass.

 

Jeff had won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study at the University of Chicago.  He enrolled and" picked up his check.  From then on all his time and money were sunk into starting a newspaper for servicemen.

 

After two years of endless traveling, fund-raising and writing, Jeff's drive started to fade. That restless energy that had brought him countless miles to base after base wasn't there.  After his last trip to Ft. Hood in the Fall of 1968, Jeff complained that he was really beat, burnt out.  We all agreed that he should go "on leave" and take a rest.

 

It was while visiting friends in Boston that the first really severe pains started. Jeff flew home to Florida, and entered the hospital.  From there it was steadily downhill all the way. The removal of his left kidney, massive radiation treatments, drugs--nothing stopped the growth of his cancer.  At the end he was weak and emaciated, without enough breath in his lungs to speak for more than a few sentences. 

 

He said that he had many new ideas for our fight, but was just too exhausted to talk about them.

 

Jeff was a truly rare man.  He was our friend and comrade, and those of us who came together in this fight will never forget him.

 

VGI, the paper that so many readers called "the truth paper," will go on fighting.

 

 

 

 

Iraq Rage Drives Family Furies That Will Haunt Blair At The Ballot Box

 

[Thanks to NB, who sent this in.]

 

As Rose Gentle put it: “You get so angry that you can’t see straight.  You get so angry that nothing else matters.  The rage stops you from grieving for your dead son.” 

 

The quiet men and women of Britain, ignored for too long, are turning up the volume.

 

April 26, 2005 By Burhan Wazir, Times Newspapers Ltd.

 

THIS is about rage.

 

Incandescent anger.

 

The kind of finger-curling, jaw-tightening fury that happens to everyone at least once in their lifetime.

 

As Rose Gentle put it: “You get so angry that you can’t see straight.  You get so angry that nothing else matters.  The rage stops you from grieving for your dead son.”

 

In key constituencies across the country the casualties of war are making sure that they are heard.

 

The election, once pungent with the odour of familiarity has, in a number of constituencies, turned into a boxing match with a host of alternative and independent candidates launching a jeremiad against key ministerial constituencies.

 

In seats such as East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow Birmingham Hodge Hill and Sedgefield, Labour Party workers, fearful of being shouted at, keep a low profile from anti-war candidates.

 

“Tony Blair lied, my son died,” shouted Rose Gentle, 40, campaigning in East Kilbride, a blighted new town outside Glasgow, seemingly cursed by cold weather, where she is challenging Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister.

 

As wind and rain whistled through wide avenues, Mrs Gentle, whose son Gordon, 19, died in Iraq last summer while serving with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, dropped leaflets door-to-door accompanied by supporters.

 

“I just take it day by day,” she said, rubbing her hands together. “I just keep thinking about Gordon.  The strange thing is, when he left for Iraq something told me that he wasn’t going to make it back.  I said that to my husband who told me I was being silly. But I just knew it: Gordon wasn’t going to make it back.  Call it intuition.”

 

Earlier, Mrs Gentle sat on her couch at home in Pollock, surrounded by tributes and photographs of her son.  Looking out of her living room window, she described her epiphany.  While working in the Pollock Centre last summer, a greying shopping arcade scheduled for demolition, two men approached her. “They took me into their car and told me there was no other way to inform me; Gordon had died in Iraq.  I just didn’t believe them.  And when I realised it was true, I just thought, ‘What a waste of a beautiful life’. That’s when I started to get angry.”

 

As her husband, smiling and red-faced, fetched cups of coffee and cigarettes, Mrs Gentle stared into the distance.  “I hate that stupid grin on Blair’s face,” she said.  “He should resign for what he’s done.”

 

She wandered into Gordon’s room: untouched since he died.  Her husband sat at a PC in the corner, checking e-mails from supporters.

 

Later that evening, back in East Kilbride, Mrs Gentle and her volunteer team stumbled across a two men dropping leaflets on behalf of the Labour Party.  They raced off. “We’ve got nothing to say to you,” said one.

 

“I shouldn’t be doing this,” Mrs Gentle said, heading off towards another dank street.  Her anger gives her grim determination. “None of us should be doing this.  If Gordon hadn’t died, none of us would be here right now.  But what are we supposed to do?  I just feel so angry about what happened.”

 

The rage is more tempered in some communities across Britain.  In a detached house in Mosley, Birmingham, Azmat Begg, whose son, Moazzam, 37, spent three years in detention, first at Baghram airbase in Afghanistan, later at Guantanamo Bay, has decided to challenge a seat in Hodge Hill, backed by Peace and Progress.

 

Mr Begg, 50, a retired banker who became the public and statesman-like figure behind the campaign to free his son, said: “I hadn’t considered a career in politics.  But when I was campaigning for the release of my son, a lot of people mentioned it to me.  I am standing for them: I want to give them a voice.  There are too many people who are living in a culture of fear in this country.” Mr Begg said: “I have voted Labour my entire life, but I do not recognise this Government at all.  It seems to be that Blair has abandoned all the principles that the party was built on.”

 

Over in Sedgefield, another anti-war candidate is little short of incandescent.

 

“This is the Big Match,” boomed Reg Keys, 52, into a megaphone, standing on his bus. “May 5; Reg Keys v Tony Blair. The Big Event.”  Mr Keys, who is hoping to overturn the Prime Minister’s 17,713 majority, visited the Dun Cow Inn, the quaint pub where Mr Blair met President Bush in November 2003.

 

Mr Keys, whose son, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, was one of six Red Caps killed in a Iraqi police station in al-Majar al-Kabir on June 24, 2003, stood at the bar. “This is where I’ll end the Bush/Blair axis,” he said.

 

The owner looked on nervously. “I thought just a couple of people were coming in,” he complained.  “This is chaos.  Absolute bedlam.”  Asked about Blair/Bush visit, he said: “I’d rather not go into that.”

 

Mr Keys continued shouting: “Tony Blair lied to Britain and lied to the people of Sedgefield.  He lied about the weapons of mass destruction.”  The bar owner finally asked them to leave.

 

The screaming circus snaked its way through Sedgefield for most of the day, stopping at Ferryhill Market, a local shopping centre and the Labour Party constituency office.

 

Later that afternoon, John Burton, Mr Blair’s constituency agent in Sedgefield, grinning behind his moustache, sat in his car outside a shop.  He surveyed the Keys bandwagon with mild amusement. 

 

“I don’t think there is an element of mistrust in the Prime Minister at all,” said Mr Burton. “I’ve known Tony Blair for decades and I trust him completely.”

 

He smiled when asked if locals were wasting their democratic obligation by voting for Mr Keys. “What can Reg Keys do for the people of Sedgefield?” he said. “Nothing. What can Tony Blair do?  Well, he’s the Prime Minister.”

 

Over the next two weeks, the shouting might rise to a crescendo.  The quiet men and women of Britain, ignored for too long, are turning up the volume.

 

 

Iraq?

 

Been There.

Done That.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Force Of 30 Attacks Inside Baghdad;

5 Occupation Cops Killed

 

May 1, 2005 United Press International & By Lutfi Abu Oun, Reuters & By Jamie Tarabay, Associated Press

 

Sunday, an attack by about 30 Iraqi insurgents resulted in the deaths of five Iraqi police officers in an ambush at a checkpoint in Baghdad.

 

The shooting attack near a military college serving as a U.S. military camp reinforced concerns that U.S.-trained Iraqi forces still have a long way to go before they can take over security from American soldiers.

 

The attack was followed by an explosion in the area, police said.

 

 

Two Employees Of Supplier Of US Army Shot in Baghdad

 

1 May 2005 FOCUS News Agency

 

Two employees of an Iraqi company, supplier of the US Army, were shot by unknown armed men in the southeastern part of Baghdad, AFP informed going by Police sources.

 

According to the information, the three men were in a truck and started firing at the two employees.  Then, the three armed men managed to run away.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

Resistance Taking Down Electrical System;

Occupation Needed Six Months To Organize A Generator Convoy (!)

 

But perhaps the biggest constraint has been the insurgency, which Whitaker called "a big wet blanket that's thrown over the projects. It's a big decelerator."

 

In a dramatic example, a huge, German-made 260-megawatt combustion turbine generator for Kirkuk power station sat in Jordan for at least six months until US military and civilian officials could organize a convoy to bring it unscathed through insurgent territory.

 

[“Insurgent territory”?!  What an admission!  And what part of Iraq isn’t?  Perhaps the reporter will have something to say about that in the future.  And perhaps not.]

 

01 May 2005 By Caryle Murphy and Bassam Sebti, The Washington Post

 

Thousands of roaring generators in Iraqi back yards, driveways and street corners demonstrate that after two years and at least $1.2 billion, the US effort to resuscitate Iraq's electrical system is still very wide of its mark.

 

In fact, the national grid's average daily output of 4,000-4,200 megawatts falls below its prewar level of about 4,400 megawatts.

 

Electricity "is a huge issue in every province," said Mohammed Musabah, governor of Iraq's southern city of Basra, where riots broke out in the summer of 2003 to protest lengthy power cuts. Musabah gets a daily report on power production and frequent visits from Maytham Wasfi, assistant general director for power distribution for southern Iraq.

 

"We want people to understand," Wasfi said recently, "the situation of electricity this summer is going to be worse than last summer."

 

But perhaps the biggest constraint has been the insurgency, which Whitaker called "a big wet blanket that's thrown over the projects.  It's a big decelerator."

 

In a dramatic example, a huge, German-made 260-megawatt combustion turbine generator for Kirkuk power station sat in Jordan for at least six months until US military and civilian officials could organize a convoy to bring it unscathed through insurgent territory.

 

"Security continues to be a destabilizing factor, leading to project delays and cost increases," the recent update to Congress stated.

 

Sabotage to an oil line has delayed the addition of two combustion turbine units at Baiji power station, it noted. And at the Baghdad South power plant, where 21 workdays were lost because of a mortar attack and the murder of two Iraqi engineers, installation of two new generators will be delayed several months.

 

The insurgency has also sharply raised security costs for US corporations working in the electrical sector.

 

For example, an ongoing project to install two huge generators at a power station in Kirkuk involves 323 mostly foreign employees who live on-site.  Of those workers, 141 provide security for the rest.

 

"Every month, costs were going up," the embassy official recalled. "And we'd have weeks with no work getting done."

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

5.1.05 Feza Newspaper Publishing Co & (Reuters) & AP

 

A Turkish truck driver was reported killed in an attack the other morning in the north Baghdad in Iraq.

 

An Iraqi police official said that armed people fired at the Turkish driver in Mekhul region in the neighborhood of Beyci 200 km outside of Baghdad.

 

Meanwhile, 1 Iraqi soldier died and 2 were injured after a bomb exploded in Samarra city in the south.

 

A bomber attacked the headquarters of a Kurdish party in north Iraq Sunday, killing around 25 people, Arabic satellite television Al Arabiya reported.

 

The station, citing its correspondent, said the attack took place in the town of Talafar near Mosul.

 

The strikes have been increasingly well coordinated, and that was the case in an ambush Sunday on a small road near Diala Bridge in eastern Baghdad, said police Lt. Col. Sabah Hamid al-Firtosi.

 

At 6:15 a.m., a pickup truck stopped near a checkpoint and insurgents jumped out and began firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Other insurgents appeared from behind nearby trees and joined the fight.  Five policemen were killed and one was wounded, al-Firtosi said.

 

In Baghdad, insurgents in three parked cars opened fire with hand guns on a police patrol in the western Jihad neighborhood, wounding four policemen, said police Capt. Talib Thamir.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

So Much For That Silly “Sovereignty” Lie:

Iraqi Politician Begs “Permission” In DC On Who To Put In Office

 

2005-04-25  By Caroline Alexander, (Bloomberg)

 

Adel Abdel Mahdi, one of Iraq's two vice-presidents, spent the past three days in Washington pressing the Bush administration for permission to give the Interior Ministry to a Shiite, Azzaman newspaper said.

 

Mahdi wants a member of his Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as Sciri, to get the post, the Iraqi daily said, citing unidentified U.S. officials.

 

Mahdi gave assurances that a member of Sciri won't adopt policies that contradict the security plans of the U.S. military in Iraq, it said, citing the officials.

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

The Incredible Condescending Imperial Fools At Work And Play

 

“I have seen the true face of those who occupied Iraq, and understood their plans about the future of Iraq….Iraqi women…will not be anyone’s fool.…Sooner or later they will collide with the occupation, and its true face will be revealed.…

 

“Sooner or later, they (the new nationalists) will show up and lead the people to the path of liberation, salvation, and democracy.”

 

April 27, 2005 Col. DAN SMITH, CounterPunch.  Col. Daniel Smith is a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran.

 

“Americans never quit.”

General Douglas MacArthur (among others)

 

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

W. C. Fields (alone)

 

Emotionally and instinctively, most of the U.S. public would agree and self-identify with the conqueror and dismiss the comedian.  More’s the pity.  As so often with statements of absolutes like “never,” the principle becomes so dogmatic that believers cannot recognize instances wherein rational pragmatism points to needed change – sometimes radical change – in tactics.

 

More telling – and more dangerous to the hope that a functioning democracy will emerge eventually – is the failure of the U.S. to engage Iraqis in the process of creating and empowering civil society organizations.

 

A case in point is a national conference, held in early April, attended by leading Iraqi women on the future of their country.

 

One woman, an engineer who considered herself a moderate before the meeting, wrote a six page “letter” about the meeting.  A few points she highlighted are:

 

“-although conference dates were known to coalition forces and the Iraqi transitional government, there was no extra security on Iraq’s dangerous highways (no one was flown) and many delegates were harassed at the Jordanian border – the conference was held on the shores of the Dead Sea;

 

“-the conference coordinators and organizers were Iraqis who, during the Saddam era, lived in the U.S. – including a woman “who read a speech in Congress thanking Bush for liberating Iraq” – and now were “salesmen to market the American ideas…exactly as the Ba’athists used to do…opportunists, who deserve no respect”;

 

“-the Americans who spoke either didn’t know the context of political conditions in Iraq or were lying – in either case the delegates sensed “hypocrisy” and condescension;

 

“-an Arab who headed an American university in an adjoining Arab state “looked like there was a brand on his brow that says “Made in America”…How do we trust him?”;

 

“-an American focused on separating religion from the state, but the attendees argued that “separating it [religion] from the state would spread chaos and corruption in society”;

 

“-another American warned against government control of Iraq’s oil wealth and said Iraqis should “forget the government in our future life,” to which some attendees asked how they could trust the private sector, given that in the post-war era “corrupt leadership came, steeling a lot of the people’s money?”

 

While the letter records many more inaccurate assumptions, poor understanding of conditions on-the-ground (including the pillars of Iraqi society), and egregious errors in recommendations proffered, three phrases summarize the viewpoint of the author and most of the women from Iraq: “Not the American way”; The future of Iraq belongs to us [Iraqi women], not to you (Americans)”; and “This is a brain wash.”

 

Lest one try to write off the letter’s author as unrepresentative, the sentiments expressed (and in context shared by many conference delegates) struck such a resonating chord that the letter is now circulating among a significant number of individuals and groups who are or will be the core of civil society in Iraq. The net effect is a radicalizing of the very people the U.S. is trying to win over to “democracy.”

 

Conferences run by Westerners and exiles reek of arrogance and condescension; they are another example of a failing strategy.

 

What the U.S. ought to run are conferences whose sole purpose is not instructing, not lecturing, but listening – listening to those who, like Faiza, have an enduring stake in the game – and empowering.

 

“I have seen the true face of those who occupied Iraq, and understood their plans about the future of Iraq….Iraqi women…will not be anyone’s fool.…Sooner or later they will collide with the occupation, and its true face will be revealed.…

 

“Those are the new opposition, an opposition against the foreign occupation of Iraq and against all who support this occupation, or spread and market its thoughts. Sooner or later, they (the new nationalists) will show up and lead the people to the path of liberation, salvation, and democracy.  Away from fake leaders, salesmen of fake ideas, and vicious intentions that became exposed to the young and old, to the ignorant and educated, to the near and far.

 

“I must move from the middle to some other, clearer position.  And I think what befell me will befall most Iraqis with the passage of time, when they face the true face of the American occupation….It is always a matter of time.”

 

 

“Sovereignty”?

“Democracy”?

Bullshit!!

U.S. Occupation Dictatorship Says

If You Display A Poster Critical Of USA You Go To Prison

 

May 02, 2005 By Gina Cavallaro, Army Times staff writer

 

RAMADI, Iraq — There was a guy at a house in Tamin who supposedly was responsible for some bomb-making activity. Alpha Company scheduled a patrol to go and check it out.

 

As Capt. Kevin Capozzoli chatted with a cabinet maker about wood sealants and gently plied store owners for a sense of what was going on in the neighborhood, 1st Lt. Matt Miller, the company’s fire support officer, worked the other side of the civil affairs patrol — the search for information on insurgents.

 

He asked a shop owner why he didn’t tear down an anti-U.S. poster that was taped to a utility pole in front of his store.

 

“The next time we find that stuff in front of your shop, we’re going to hold you responsible and arrest you,” Miller told the merchant softly but sternly.

 

[There it is.  What “sovereign” Iraqi government told the Captain to say and do this?   Don’t be silly.  There is no sovereign Iraqi government giving orders to U.S. troops to arrest shop keepers for displaying “an anti-U.S. poster.”  There is no sovereign government in Iraq other than the Occupation dictatorship. 

 

[Thanks to Capt. Kevin Capozzoli for proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that George W. Bush is a shit-eating liar when he talks about who’s running Iraq.  It ain’t Iraqis.  It’s Bush’s very own piss-pot petty tyrants, like him, who think prison is where people belong for having an opinion he doesn’t like.]

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

[Thanks to Mark S. who sent this in.]

 

 

CLASS WAR REPORTS

 

Prison Nation

 

Apr 24 By SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, Associated Press Writer

 

Growing at a rate of about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, the nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday.

 

By last June 30, there were 48,000 more inmates, or 2.3 percent, more than the year before, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

 

The total inmate population has hovered around 2 million for the past few years, reaching 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later.

 

While the crime rate has fallen over the past decade, the number of people in prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released, said the report's co-author, Paige Harrison. For example, the number of admissions to federal prisons in 2004 exceeded releases by more than 8,000, the study found.

 

Harrison said the increase can be attributed largely to get-tough policies enacted in the 1980s and 1990s.  Among them are mandatory drug sentences, "three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws for repeat offenders, and "truth-in-sentencing" laws that restrict early releases.

 

"As a whole most of these policies remain in place," she said. "These policies were a reaction to the rise in crime in the '80s and early 90s."

 

Malcolm Young, executive director of the Sentencing Project, said many of those incarcerated are not serious or violent offenders, but are low-level drug offenders.  Young said one way to help lower the number is to introduce drug treatment programs that offer effective ways of changing behavior and to provide appropriate assistance for the mentally ill.

 

The United States has a higher rate of incarceration than any other country, followed by Britain, China, France, Japan and Nigeria.

 

In 2004, 61 percent of prison and jail inmates were of racial or ethnic minorities, the government said.

 

An estimated 12.6 percent of all black men in their late 20s were in jails or prisons, as were 3.6 percent of Hispanic men and 1.7 percent of white men in that age group, the report said.

 

 

 

Received:

 

Killing Hope:

US Military And CIA Interventions Since World War II:

“It Is Enough To Give Imperialism A Bad Name”

 

 

[Thanks to John Gingerich for sending this in.]

 

If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out ...

 

invasions ... bombings ... overthrowing governments ... suppressing movements for social change ... assassinating political leaders ... perverting elections ... manipulating labor unions ... manufacturing "news" ... death squads ... torture ... biological warfare ...depleted uranium ... drug trafficking ... mercenaries ...

 

It's not a pretty picture.

It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.

Read the full details in:

 

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II

by William Blum

 

"Far and away the best book on the topic."

Noam Chomsky

 

"I enjoyed it immensely."

Gore Vidal

 

"I bought several more copies to circulate to friends with the hope of shedding new light and understanding on their political outlooks."

Oliver Stone

 

"A very valuable book. The research and organization are extremely impressive."

A. J. Langguth, author, former New York Times Bureau Chief

 

"A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope, important."

Thomas Powers, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

 

"Each chapter I read made me more and more angry."

Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of the anti-nuclear and environmental movements

 

Web Copies

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

 

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