GI SPECIAL 3B16:
Should Be Home. There’s No Need For This”
For Fallen Nashua Soldier
[Thanks to Desmond, who sent
specialist in the reserves, said she was angered that
Lozada died fighting a “senseless” war. “Honestly, I’m
speechless. The troops should be home. There’s no need
for this,” she said.
Apr. 25, 2005 By MICHAEL
BRINDLEY, Telegraph Staff
Gus Rodriguez was always looking out for his younger
brother, Angelo Lozada Jr., as they grew up together in
weekend, Lozada, a 36-year-old sergeant in the Army
Reserves, was killed in combat in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
Now grieving his brother’s
death, Rodriguez, a pastor in New York City, continues to
look over Lozada and the rest of the family, leading the
family in prayer at Lozada’s wake Sunday at Davis Funeral
Home in Nashua.
“We’ve always been a
close-knit family. We’ve always been there for each other,”
Rodriguez said, adding that he spoke mostly of God and
family in the prayer.
Lozada lived in Nashua before
re-enlisting in the reserves in 2000. He was stationed with
the 17th Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Infantry
Division’s 2nd Combat Brigade in Camp Hovey, South Korea.
While living in Nashua, Lozada
worked in several different capacities, including taking
care of handicapped people. Several members of Lozada’s
family still live in the city, including his parents, three
of his fourth brothers, his two sisters and three children.
just become a grandfather and was due home in two weeks.
Nearly everyone from the
family was there Sunday and those who couldn’t make it plan
on coming today for the second wake, Rodriguez said. Family
friends came to pay their respects, as did several local
soldiers and veterans. Rodriguez said he shared many fond
memories from childhood as he spoke in front of his family.
He said many of his siblings were simply too emotional to
speak. As a pastor, Rodriguez has helped hundreds of
families cope with death. But now he must learn to cope
“It’s never easy. It’s never
something you can prepare for,” Rodriguez said.
As they pulled in just after
noon, Lozada’s siblings expressed their thoughts with
messages on their back windshields.
“R.I.P. my brother, Angelo,”
read the back of sister Angela Jiminez’s car. “I love you
and miss you,” read brother Antonio Lozada’s car.
Several employees of Delta
Education Inc. in Nashua came to pay their respects. Angelo
Lozada Sr. and brother Louis Lozada both work there.
Robert and Tina Pavlakos of
Nashua both work at Delta Education and came Sunday.
specialist in the reserves, said she was angered that Lozada
died fighting a “senseless” war. “Honestly, I’m speechless.
The troops should be home. There’s no need for this,” she
Three of Lozada’s nieces,
Nanetta Gonzalez and Christina Cruz of Nashua and Esther
Rodriguez of Brooklyn, said they remembered their uncle’s
sense of humor. They also remembered his passion for
“No matter what, he’d always
be there for us. He’d always take me for drives when he
came to New York,” Rodriguez said.
Five family friends from New
York City talked outside the funeral home about their
memories of Lozada. “We left as soon as we heard. There was
no doubt we would be here for the family,” said Fabricio
Diaz of Queens, N.Y.
Diaz drove up with Ernie
Arman, Jose Santos, Greg Villanueva and Ed Gudarrama, all of
Brooklyn. They got into Nashua on Friday night. The group
went to high school together in Brooklyn and played sports
Diaz said he was not surprised
that Lozada decided to dedicate his life to serving his
“His character – he was a
soldier. We’re all very proud of him,” Diaz said. “He was
amazing,” Villanueva said.
questioned whether Lozada had to die, saying he has
questions about the war in Iraq and whether the troops
should still be there.
“As far as
the war goes, I think a lot of us have questions about it,”
Evelyn Cruz of Nashua, a
family friend, had a difficult time containing her emotions
trying to describe what she remembers about Lozada.
“I just see his smile. He was
always laughing and smiling. He was such a beautiful person.
It’s such a great loss. There’s nothing bad you can say
about the man. I just wanted to be there for the family and
Angela,” she said, referring to Lozada’s sister.
Carlos Perez of Nashua, a
close family friend for about 10 years, said he remembers
Lozada as a “good father and a good man.” “He always had
good family values. I just want to be here today to comfort
the family,” he said.
Lozada will be buried in New
Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Tuesday.
FORCE FREEDOM SOLDIERS KILLED, TWO INJURED BY TALL AFAR IED
April 30, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-04-33C
- Four Task Force Freedom Soldiers were killed, and two were
injured by an improvised explosive device attack in Tal Afar
Thursday, April 28. The injured Soldiers were taken to a
combat hospital for treatment.
Killed In Khaldiyah
01 May 2005 Aljazeera.Net
Iraq, a soldier was killed on Saturday by gunfire in
Khaldiyah, 120km west of Baghdad. The
soldier was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd
Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Soldiers Hurt In Wreck
4/30/2005 By Bushra Juhi,
soldiers in a convoy were wounded when their Humvee rolled
into a ditch late Friday night near Abu Ghraib prison,
west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Saturday.
Bomb Hits Abu Ghraib Prison:
Not Announced Yet
April 30 (KUNA)
explosion rocked the front gate of Abu Ghraib prison outside
Baghdad Saturday morning as an American patrol passed
nearby, according to Iraqi police.
A police spokesman told KUNA
that a booby trapped car was detonated by a remote control
device, but details of damage and casualties were not
Marine Units KIA Rate Nearly 10%
Honolulu Advertiser, April 27,
Hawaii Marines, the touchdown of their
flights marked the official end to a 10-month deployment in
which they faced intense house-to-house fighting in Fallujah
and the loss of 46 Marine
Casualty-Hit Marines Used Dummies To Fool Rebels:
1/3rd Of Company;
Maps, No Armor
April 27 2005 London Telegraph
who suffered the highest casualty rate of any unit in Iraq
have revealed that they were so short of soldiers that they
used cardboard dummies to fool insurgents into believing
that they faced more men.
Company E of the First Marine
Division dressed the cutouts in camouflage shirts and placed
them in observation posts to trick Iraqi rebels into
thinking that they were manned.
one third of the unit's 185 troops were killed or wounded
during its six-month tour last year in Ramadi,
an insurgent stronghold west of Fallujah, during which it
was targeted by 26 firefights, 90 mortar attacks and nearly
100 home-made bombs.
When the unit arrived, none
was fully armoured and the unit's commanders had to find
scrap metal to line the sides and bottom of their vehicles.
It was also
issued with maps that were several years out of date and
showed urbanised areas still to be farmland.
forces moving on Najaf and Karbala reported exactly the same
problem: hopelessly outdated maps showing open areas which
turned out to be urban areas. Obviously nothing has changed
in over two years.]
In The Room Says
Troops Out Of Iraq NOW!
salient point that seems to be forgotten by those
reporting on this travesty is that we are an occupying
force and no one likes an occupier, particularly when
the occupation has been bungled at great cost in lives,
American and Iraqi. (Not to mention nearly $165 billion
in tax dollars.)
April 28, 2005 By Ed Garvey,
The Capital Times
It was the
last question at the first "Lincoln-La Follette" Democratic
dinner in Amery, Wis. (I know what you are
thinking. Hey, Abe and "Fighting Bob" were Republicans. The
answer from Amery was, "True, but today they would be
Democrats. So we are adopting them.")
The woman asked, "Why is no
one outraged by this war?"
I asked for
a show of hands: "How many of you want to bring the troops
home now?" Every hand went skyward but her question hung
over the audience.
Where is the voice of the
Democrats in Washington?
Are liberals like Hillary
Clinton playing coy because they are running for president
in 2008 and fear a Swift Boat attack like the one on John
Kerry if they "abandon" the troops in a time of war?
Are they afraid not to be as
"macho" as W?
Progressive magazine put it succinctly: "The invasion was
illegal and foolish in the first place. And the occupation
be any serious argument among serious people with that
conclusion? I don't think so.
salient point that seems to be forgotten by those
reporting on this travesty is that we are an occupying
force and no one likes an occupier, particularly when
the occupation has been bungled at great cost in lives,
American and Iraqi. (Not to mention nearly $165 billion
in tax dollars.)
Last week Milwaukee County
found it would be $3 million in the red. The immediate
reaction from governor-wannabe Scott Walker? Cut social
services. (Why not pick on these, the least of our brothers
and sisters, when he knows they won't vote for him?)
much this Iraq invasion has cost the city of Milwaukee in
tax dollars - $282 million. It has cost Madison $128
million. Our two major cities have lost nearly half a
billion dollars that will never be recovered while we fret
over a $3 million shortfall. If Walker was thinking, he
would join in demanding we end the invasion.
Apparently it is impossible
for our president to admit a mistake but the facts are in.
The invasion was based on cooked books. There were no WMDs,
and there was no threat from Saddam to this country's
security, and Iraq was not involved in 9/11.
news ignored by the media is that this administration does
not have an exit strategy now nor has it ever. We need one
and we must bring our troops home.
There will be no peace until
we leave. Leaving does not guarantee peace but, to recall
the song of another misadventure, our leaving "will give
peace a chance." Remaining for five more years is not a
policy, it is a shoulder shrug.
American people are sick of this invasion and occupation.
They want the National Guard troops home and they want to
stop the killing.
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
Send requests to address up top.
Shit-Brained Lying Weasels At Pentagon Say Troops Just Love
So It Will
Go On and On And On
April 25, 2005 By Rick Maze,
Army Times staff writer
congressional questioning, Army active-duty and reserve
leaders said stop-loss policies for active and reserve
personnel will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
testimony before House and Senate subcommittees the week
of April 11, officials tried to put a positive spin on
that news, describing it as a beneficial policy that
most affected members — about 6,660 active, 3,020 Army
Reserve and 2,680 Army National Guard soldiers in
January — do not really mind.
In fact, officials told the
House Appropriations defense subcommittee, some soldiers use
the 90-day post-deployment period before they are allowed to
separate as time to reconsider their decision to leave at
TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
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.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Benderman Coming To Atlanta:
Monica Benderman Speaking At Georgia Tech
Desmond, who sent this in.]
sergeant and Iraq War veteran turned conscientious objector
Kevin Benderman currently faces a May 11 court martial for
refusing a second deployment to Iraq. Kevin and his wife
Monica will be speaking out in Atlanta on the last weekend
preceding his court martial.
Time/Date: 3-5 PM, May 7, 2005
Location: Georgia Tech in the
Clary Theater, located in the Moore Student Success Center
Public is invited.
http://www.georgiapeace.org for more information.
Confidently Say We Did Not Learn A Thing At Fort Hood” ---
“Incompetent Training” For War
4.29.05 By William Petroski,
Des Moines (Iowa) Register
Army National Guard commander has complained that
incompetent training and other problems at an Army base in
Texas last year shortchanged his unit’s preparations for
combat in Iraq, according to a report
obtained by The Des Moines Register.
Baugher, whose detachment was the first Iowa infantry unit
trained at Fort Hood before being deployed to Iraq, wrote in
an “after-action report” that the 2004 training “was of very
little value and poorly instructed” by soldiers who
typically had never served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Baugher’s unit of 58 soldiers,
the 194th Long-Range Surveillance Detachment, returned to
Iowa in late February after nearly a year in Iraq.
been in Iraq . . . conducting combat operations on a wide
spectrum, we can confidently say we did not learn a thing at
Fort Hood,” Baugher wrote.
“This is like getting your
football team on the first of August and you have a game on
the first of September, and you are working pretty damn hard
to get people ready, except in this situation people can
die,” said Col. Luke Green, chief of staff of the 5th U.S.
report said that in some instances, instructors were so
inept that veteran Iowa soldiers intervened to correct them,
and much of the training was so elementary it was insulting.
critical report gives an insight into an Army system where
such complaints usually do not become public knowledge.
equipment: The Iowa unit did not receive some key equipment
before being deployed, including modern military radios
needed to call in medical evacuation helicopters and
additional combat support, Baugher said.
Once in Iraq, the Iowans had
to borrow satellite communications gear from other military
units until they received their own high-tech radios midway
through their tour, he said.
these issues build to one point, and that is a clear
picture to the soldier and the leadership that they are
not a priority and they are simply here to check a block
on required training and get pushed out the door to Iraq
with as little hassle to Fort Hood as possible,” Baugher
Disciplines AWOL Soldier
Protested Deficient Training
Los Angeles Times, April 28,
National Guard soldier who went AWOL for 28 days rather than
deploy to Iraq after what he called incomplete and
inadequate training has been busted to private and assigned
45 days of extra duty, the soldier and a
military spokeswoman said. The soldier, Joseph Jacobo,
eventually changed his mind and is stationed in southern
“It Is Time To Put Your Petty Bigotry Aside”
Letter To The Editor
I am not a Christian, but
please allow me to express my opinion as a soldier with an
open mind regarding the “Homosexuality is wrong” letters in
the April 4 issue.
homosexuals are not barred from military service for moral
reasons. They are excluded from service because of a
misguided notion that they are more promiscuous or sexually
aggressive than heterosexuals.
That is a
completely ludicrous thought.
all of the problems with sexual harassment and assault
females soldiers have to deal with from males.
Homosexuals are no more likely
to make unwanted advances to an individual than any other
person. If they do, they can be dealt with in the same
manner as any other soldier guilty of sexual harassment.
I have even read a letter in
Army Times that said homosexuals should not be allowed into
service because they are not as loyal to their country as
This is all ridiculous.
Homosexuals are people. If they would like to serve their
country, they should be allowed to do so without fear of
everyone. It is time to put your petty bigotry aside.
Staff Sgt. Raymond Andrews
Fort Carson, Colo.
Soldiers Serve Openly [Editorial]
(USA Today, April 28, 2005,
Gays should be able to serve
openly in the U.S. military. If they engage in sexual
harassment or misconduct, they should be punished—just as
heterosexual soldiers are punished for harassment or
of soldiers didn't dry up when the British army dropped its
gay ban. And there is no reason to believe that America's
MTV generation would act any differently if Congress junked
this archaic law.
Believed Our Government. That Was Our Only Sin.”
[2015 Iraq Reunion Next?]
PB who sent this in.]
the ones who led reconciliation. It was the veterans
who came back and extended their arms to the people they
fought. That's what a soldier does," said Patrick
Wiggins of Tallahassee, Fla., one of the 10 returnees.
4.30.05 By DENIS D. GRAY,
Associated Press Writer
The returning Americans had
fought and killed in the children's country, their forces
sowing the land with explosives that still take lives. But
now a thousand young Vietnamese faced the group of U.S.
veterans, smiled and chorused, "Thank you."
The "thank yous" were for the
help given by some of the 10 U.S. veterans who had come back
three decades after the conflict to end the killing and
crippling, and find their own personal peace with a receding
but still vivid past.
"I carry the war with me every
day," said Christos Cotsakos, wounded while fighting not far
from this central Vietnam village in some of the war's
bloodiest battles. For the past 37 years, he's had a now
yellowing newspaper story tucked in his wallet which reports
the deaths of three close buddies in his squad.
Cotsakos, a multimillionaire pioneer of online financial
services, who donated funds to start the effort to rid
Quang Tri province, the most heavily bombed and shelled
area of Vietnam, of what he calls "a heinous, barbarous
assault on innocent kids."
vets, `We didn't come here to kill Vietnamese people. We
believed our government. That was our only sin.
We came here to help the Vietnamese people, so
let's come back and finish what we started,'" says Suel
Jones, a twice-wounded Marine veteran from Houston who runs
the Vietnam Friendship Village Project.
ones who led reconciliation. It was the veterans who came
back and extended their arms to the people they fought.
That's what a soldier does," said Patrick Wiggins of
Tallahassee, Fla., one of the 10 returnees.
Profiteers Get Light Slap
Washington Post, April 28,
2005, 2004, Pg. E5
contractor Science Applications International has agreed to
settle a lawsuit alleging the company defrauded the Air
Force by padding its bills on $24 million in contracts,
the Justice Department said.
Under the agreement, the company will pay the government
$2.5 million but will not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
4/30/2005 By Bushra Juhi,
Associated Press & Agence France Presse & 29 April 2005
A car bomb
exploded Saturday near the offices of the National Dialogue
Council, a coalition of 10 Sunni Arab factions. One guard,
sitting outside in a car, was killed, while 10 people, three
of them guards, were wounded.
was one of a number of moderate Sunni groups that took part
in negotiations for the new cabinet line-up unveiled
Thursday, to the fury of insurgents.
bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol exploded Saturday near
the Mohammad Rasoul Allah Mosque in eastern Baghdad, killing
two Iraqi women and a girl, and seriously wounding four
soldiers, police Lt. Col. Ahmed Abboud
a policeman and a former official in Saddam Hussein's Baath
Party also died in shootings Saturday in Baghdad,
In Mosul, a
car bomb exploded near a police patrol, killing a woman who
was passing by and wounding four policemen,
said Dr. Abdul Sattar Ramadhan al-Khalidi at Mosul's
Jimhouri Hospital. Two of the four policemen were seriously
wounded, said Izzaddin Mohammed, another doctor there.
"A suicide car bomb targeted a
police convoy in Zanjeeli, western Mosul, around 10:30 am”
police Major Mohammed Fathi told AFP.
in the city, guerrillas opened fire on a separate police
patrol, wounding two officers, al-Khalidi said.
Mosul, gunmen opened fire on a police patrol in the western
district of Al Zuhur wounding two officers before making
their escape, Lieutenant Mudar Mohammed
A US oil
tanker was set ablaze when fighters launched a
rocket-propelled grenade attack targeting a US military
convoy in al-Yusifiya south of Baghdad.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you
can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does
it or who says it.” Malcolm X.
In Iraq, An
Echo Of Algiers
April 28, 2005 George
F. Will, Washington Post,
A nagging question is whether,
in Iraq as in Algeria, time is on the side of the
insurgents. In Algeria,
French counterinsurgency measures were skillful, ruthless
and, by late 1958, successful. Briefly. In 1962 France
soldiers of SUV no longer wanted to desert. Instead,
one of their main demands was the right of soldiers to
remain in their units in the army.
new stage many young soldiers now wanted to stay in
their unit, their army. It was now the military
establishment that wanted to get rid of troublemakers in
the ranks and assure absolute, unquestioning discipline.
From: LEFT FACE,
Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies, By
DAVID CORTRIGHT AND MAX WATTS; Contributions in Military
Studies, Number 107; GREENWOOD PRESS, New York • Westport,
Connecticut • London
Soldiers United Will Win
when the revolution seemed lost for good, a quite
unexpected development occurred. An independent
rank-and-file movement arose among low-ranking soldiers.
For three months in the latter half of 1975 a few
thousand nineteen-year-old recruits, abandoned and
reviled by their superiors kept the revolution alive.
these soldiers who thought and acted as if they could change
history? How and why did they challenge
the power structure?
The facts are easy to
In early September 1975 some
soldiers in the northern city of Porto issued manifestos and
demonstrated in the streets. They called themselves
Soldados Unidos Vencerao (SUV), Soldiers United Will Win.
rank-and-file soldiers in Areman, Lisbon, Coimbra,
Ambrantes, Beja, and towns all over Portugal also began
meeting and organizing under the name SUV. Within weeks
these soldiers were in the streets, blocking the efforts of
the new counterrevolutionary government to restore and
protect capitalism and the established order. When the
government sent commandos to disperse demonstrating strikers
and farmers, the SUV protected the people.
forgotten now, but for three months in 1975 this
independent rank-and-file movement prevented an
apparently already victorious counterrevolution from
taking power. The story of the SUV shows what can
happen when previously passive soldiers finally move and
take matters into their own hands.
Of The Driving School
revolution of the carnations tens of thousands of young
Portuguese youths refused the draft or deserted military
service rather than perform two and sometimes four years of
duty defending the Portuguese empire.
They realized, quite correctly, that it was not their army,
nor their empire, and that they had no interest in
protecting these institutions.
The common thread among
low-ranking soldiers in the days before and immediately
after the revolution was to avoid or get out of the army.
But as the Armed Forces Movement developed and the
revolution it spawned showed promise, anew feeling of
In this new
stage many young soldiers now wanted to stay in their unit,
their army. It was now the military establishment that
wanted to get rid of troublemakers in the ranks and assure
absolute, unquestioning discipline.
This was the state of things
in September 1975 as SUV began to exert influence.
soldiers of SUV no longer wanted to desert. Instead, one of
their main demands was the right of soldiers to remain in
their units in the army.
This is well illustrated in
the incident at the army driving school, the CICAP, in
As so often
with soldier resistance, events started with a minor
incident. On September 11, 1975, the
soldiers had stood in silence for one minute during the
morning formation. Silent standing, of course, is hardly
unusual for morning assembly. It is what the soldiers are
expected to do, while officers give them orders. But this
minute of silence was different: It was to commemorate the
second anniversary of the Pinochet putsch in Chile.
And also to demand better
again the linkage of the small and the great, the demand
for food and opposition to military dictatorship. This
is a constant hallmark of effective GI resistance.)
earlier, before the MFA turned right, this minute of silence
might have passed unnoticed. But now, in September, the
officers were out to reestablish discipline and order.
Ringleaders were sought and found and were later expelled,
gladly accepting the return to civilian life, though, these
soldiers wanted to stay in the army. They appealed their
discharge, not to the commanding officer but to their peers,
the other CICAP soldiers.
These troops voted 312 to 6 that the dismissed men be
allowed to stay.
The issue escalated. The
command gave everyone a three-day pass over a holiday
weekend, but when the soldiers returned, they found the
entire unit disbanded, the barracks closed.
hundred draftees now faced early discharges.
of rejoicing and going home, the fired soldiers insisted
on staying in the army.
They moved in with a
neighboring artillery regiment, the RASP. Together the
drivers and the artillerymen ran their barracks
democratically. An “open-door festival” was organized.
Civilians were invited in, films shown, and a good time had
commanders, dominated by the now counterrevolutionary
leadership of the MFA, went berserk. One general wanted to
starve the soldiers out, while another, Fires Veloso, wanted
to bomb the barracks. Right-wing demonstrators attempted to
storm the barracks, but the soldiers easily dispersed them.
After a series of dramatic confrontations the command backed
off. It accepted the “volunteers” and reopened their unit.
soldiers fought to stay in their units, they did not want to
stay inside the stockades. On September 26 over 3,000
Lisbon-area soldiers, followed by twice as many civilians,
marched on the Caxix prison. They were peaceful but
determined. They demanded that two GIs, jailed for
participating in SUV, be freed. By 3 A.M. they were.
When the command could not
disband a SUV-infected unit, they tried to transfer it away,
out of Lisbon, and if possible out of Portugal.
This was the case of airmen at
Beja, who were ordered to the Azores. The airmen and their
civilian supporters responded by marching through the
streets; four were arrested and jailed. As the situation
escalated, the supposedly “unpoliticized” parachutists from
Tancos were flown in to reestablish order. The airmen
refused to be intimidated and staged a sit-in and occupation
of their barracks, daring the parachutists to open fire.
In another incident the Lisbon
military police regiment, a stronghold of the SUV, was to be
transferred to Angola. The MP’s discussed the transfer,
noting that other units, not yet “infected” by the SUV, were
being brought back from Africa. They voted not to go. And
they stayed in Lisbon.
For The People, And For Themselves
every army the soldiers swear to “protect the people.” In
practice this sometimes means shooting them. In Portugal,
as SUV grew in strength, this was no longer the case.
the incident of the veterans’ march in September 1975.
Thirty soldiers who had been maimed and permanently injured
during the African wars precipitated a near-fatal
Their pensions were miserably
low, approximately $80 per month. Since November 1974 the
disabled veterans had been asking for more, but nothing had
changed. In September the veterans took to the streets and
marched near the parliament.
unit was called in to disperse them, a unit where all
leftist soldiers and officers had been replaced by “trusted”
troops. When an armored car bore down on a crippled vet in
a wheelchair, ready to run him over, SUV soldiers from
another unit intervened, firing over the heads of the
The commandos withdrew, and
the vets stayed. They took over the bridge on the Tagus
River, abolished tolls, and then collected them one night in
order to give the money to Republica, an independent
newspaper run by its printers and journalists.
government sent additional troops to chase the vets from the
bridge, but again the soldiers intervened on the side of the
vets. In the end the pensions were increased.
Another incident occurred at
the Spanish embassy on September 27. The dying Franco
dictatorship had murdered, through garroting, five political
prisoners. Antifascist demonstrators stormed the Spanish
embassy in Lisbon, setting it on fire.
Soldiers were called in and
told to shoot to disperse the crowd. They refused. Instead
they helped the firemen control the flames and then sang
songs and picnicked with the crowd.
12, building workers went on strike and marched on the
parliament. They wanted better pay and collective
bargaining. The government said: “Later.” The workers
said, “We can wait,” and on the spot they staged a giant
sit-in. To help speed up the debate they blocked food vans
delivering supper to the members of parliament.
called out to save the legislators from starvation. The
soldiers laughed and sat down with the strikers to share the
officials’ dinner. Parliament quickly granted the workers’
course the soldiers also had demands of their own. They
marched in Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra, and elsewhere not
only for “revolutionary unity between workers and
soldiers”, but also for free transport and more pay
(they were getting only $20 per month). They also
wanted better food and insisted upon the revolutionary
demand that soldiers, officers, and NCOs be fed alike.
soldiers elsewhere they also demanded freedom for their
heads, to wear their beards and hair as long as they
They also wanted to speak out,
not only in their own newspapers, but also on the radio.
Beginning Of The End:
Intervention Groups And The Commandos
right-wing officers who took control of the government in
September were bent on stopping this revolution in the
But as long as the politicized
soldiers of the SUV remained in their barracks, armed, the
officers were hampered.
answer was to start a new army. Its core
were the Armed Intervention Groups (AMI). At first these
were to be formed from normal army units, with draftees
commanded by right-wing officers. This did not work,
because the soldiers organized SUV groups and refused to
follow counterrevolutionary orders.
commandos were used to form entirely new groups. These
commando units included exfascist NCOs and officers brought
back from the previous year’s early retirement,
uncontaminated troops freshly returned from Africa and free
of the revolutionary influences of the past year, and the
reactivated GNR, the hated fascist police force from the
period of the dictatorship.
The formation of these
commando units posed a serious problem for the leftist
officers, who had to make a choice between obeying their
superiors and charting a new, independent political course.
In July 1975 one of the MFA
commanders, Colonel Jaime Neves, began to convert his unit
by bringing in right-wing commandos. Some of the other
captains of the MFA opposed this trend and tried to stop the
colonel. Together with a group of soldiers they barred the
colonel from his unit.
Colonel Neves then appealed to
General Otelo de Carvalho, leader of the radicals within
In the name
of discipline and hierarchy, Otelo ordered the leftist
captains to obey the colonel, who, once back in command,
quickly got rid of them and any other soldiers considered
later the purged commando units played a major role in
defeating the SUV, and then in arresting Otelo and other
learned: “those who make half a revolution dig their own
graves.” And those who trust officers to lead their
movement hang themselves by the neck until dead. T]
What 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.
As The Fall
Of Rome Showed, Imperialism Never Pays
April 26, 2005 Robert Scheer,
Los Angeles Times
price of gasoline lately? Isn't it great that we have
secured Iraq's oil? And as Congress signs off on yet
another huge supplementary grant to supposedly protect U.S.
interests in the Mideast, our president pathetically begs
his Saudi buddies for a price break. As the fall of Rome
showed, imperialism never pays.
Of course, back in 2003,
conquering Iraq looked like a great package deal, what with
all that oil — second only to Saudi Arabia — and the
manufactured photo ops of cheering Iraqis. So what if those
pesky weapons of mass destruction weren't really there? So
what if no solid links to Al Qaeda are ever found? This was
a win-win, as the corporate guys like to say: Not only would
we be able to conduct this operation for next to nothing, we
would be welcomed with flowers.
"There is a
lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S.
taxpayer money," then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz told Congress days before the war, in testimony on
the potential costs of invading Iraq. "We are talking about
a country that can finance its own reconstruction and
In the real
world, however, this turned out to be utter nonsense.
With approval of the latest
spending bill, taxpayers will have been forced to cough up
more than $300 billion for the war to date — above and
beyond the annual $400-billion Pentagon budget — and tens of
billions for a bungled reconstruction.
emergency funding that the Senate passed 99 to 0 last week
gives the military roughly $80 billion and pays for the
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan only through September.
That is twice what President Bush insists he needs to cut
from the federal support for Medicaid over the next decade.
red state of Missouri is set to end its Medicaid program
entirely within the next three years because of a lack of
As the Los
Angeles Times reported, that will save the state $5 billion,
but at the cost of ending healthcare for the more than 1
million Missourians enrolled in the program.
sum is less than half of what Halliburton, Vice
President Dick Cheney's old company, alone has been paid
for reconstruction efforts in Iraq, without much to show
for it in terms of improving the Iraqis' quality of
must "support our troops" at all costs — even if the cost is
their lives — while at home, the nation's
leaders are all about tough love.
late-era Rome, where mindless militaristic expansion is
considered patriotic and where demagogues who recklessly
waste taxes and young lives in empire-building are deemed
for example, has been rewarded for his ignorance and
arrogance with the top job at the World Bank.
It is not too late, however,
for us to wake up and recall that, in the end, once
militarism trumped republicanism, the glory that was Rome
proved to be a hollow boast.
President Says He Will Not Return To U.S. Until Americans
Liberate Their Nation
April 29, 2005 by Andrea
Rodriguez, Associated Press
Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez told an international gathering of activists here
that before an earlier trip to Cuba, a U.S. State Department
undersecretary he did not identify warned him not to go
because he would no longer be received in Washington.
He said he went ahead with
that trip anyway, and later traveled to the United States to
visit U.S. President George W. Bush, who he said greeted him
with a Coca-Cola in his hand.
"I have not
returned, nor do I think about returning again, until the
people of the United States liberate that nation," said
Chavez, saying that Americans are "oppressed" by their
government and U.S. media.
Welcome To “Liberated” Iraq:
Preachers Arrested For Criticizing New Occupation Government
Around Baghdad, Iraqi forces
traitors] arrested 11 Sunni clerics
on charges of abetting
terrorism, a defence ministry official said.
"We arrested 11 imams on
charges of inciting terrorism, mainly in the Baghdad
al-Jadida district," the official said.
captured yesterday and today were, among other things,
calling for a boycott of the new government,"
the official said, without providing the names of the
simple error. Arrested for “abetting terrorism”? Not
possible. No, they clearly oppose Bush and the occupation.
That makes them enemies of terrorism.]
Am not sure where exactly is
the below sign carried, or where it might be posted.
'Please, A Very Serious
Warning - We are authorized to fire on any vehicle that
approaches the convoy less than 50 meters'
on a moving Humvee, then you must be able to read it from 50
meters afar, assuming that the gunner on a fast moving
Humvee can himself measure accurately the distance of
objects moving towards him at a distance of 50 meters,
and not being at 55 meters, for yet another easily discarded
statistic in the horrifically ignored “collateral damage"
Sovereignty is: There is a 50 meters
distance between you and death every time you leave your
home in your own country.
[Thanks to several people who
sent this in.]
Bush wanted Iraq to have a democracy like ours. It's on
its way, nearing an ethics-free zone where a corrupt
official can hold sway and a theocracy can curb women's
April 30, 2005 By Maureen
Down, The New York Times
The Iraqis have thrown us
Chalabi - convicted embezzler in Jordan, suspected Iranian
spy, double-crosser of America, purveyor of phony
war-instigating intelligence - is the new acting Iraqi oil
Is that why
we went to war, to put the oily in charge of the oil, to set
the swindler who pretended to be Spartacus atop the ultimate
anybody still think the path to war wasn't greased by oil?
Anthony Cordesman, a Middle
East expert at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington, told Reuters that many Iraqis would
consider the plum oil job for Mr. Chalabi "putting a fox in
charge of the henhouse." The choice, he added, "is going to
make it extremely easy for people to make charges about
on the front burner only in Iraq. Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney
know that time is running out to pay back the Texas buddies
who sent them here with an energy bill. So those two oilmen
are frantically pushing one loaded with giveaways to the oil
industry at a time when it's already raking in huge profits
because of high gasoline prices.
In Baghdad, we may wind up
with a one-man Enron - never underestimate the snaky
charmer. And the
draconian efforts of Mr. Chalabi and other Shiites in power
to purge Baathists from the government will breathe fire
into the insurgency.
Bush wanted Iraq to have a democracy like ours. It's on
its way, nearing an ethics-free zone where a corrupt
official can hold sway and a theocracy can curb women's
April 29, 2005 "PA", Scotsman
& April 28, 2005
leave Chalabi, who has no expertise in oil, steering the oil
industry of the country with the third largest reserves
through a turbulent period of suicide bombings and frequent
attacks on pipelines.
Unlike his predecessors
Ghadhban and Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, Chalabi — scion of a
Baghdad merchant family — has no experience in the
state-owned oil sector that employs 80,000.
oil officials expressed reservations over Chalabi’s
appointment in part due to his lack of energy expertise.
The outgoing government is
bedeviled by allegations of corruption within its ranks.
elections slated before the end of the year, analysts warn
some incoming officials could be tempted to use their short
time in office for maximum financial gain.
Sunni MP Says “What Tourism?”
April 28, 2005
(IslamOnline.net & News Agencies)
we get? The ministry of culture, but everyone knows there's
no culture in this country torn by violence. The ministry
of tourism. But what tourism?” asked Modhar Shawkat, a
Sunni MP elected on the Shiite alliance list.
Al-Juburi, another Sunni MP, lashed out at Sunni leaders for
agreeing to the government deal and even called Yawar “a
Superlatively Stupid Occupation Command Questions:
April 29, 2005 Harry Browne
From time to time someone
writes an essay that impresses enough people that the essay
is circulated from hand to hand throughout the Internet.
received such an essay. It consists of a series of "Did you
know . . . " questions.
purpose, obviously, is to make us realize that we don’t know
the whole story of what’s happening in Iraq (thanks to the
liberal media). And if we did know the whole story, we’d be
getting down on our knees and thanking George Bush for being
so much more far-sighted than we are.
Or something like that.
However, the questions
indicate that the writer himself is a little confused about
the war and especially uninformed about pre-war Iraq.
Did You Ever . . .?
the questions (grouped together to consolidate them),
together with my observations.
know there are more than 1,100 building projects going on in
Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15
hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water
facilities and 69 electrical facilities.
know that none of that work would be necessary if the U.S.
military hadn’t destroyed so many buildings and public
know that 3,100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are
under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction
and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?
know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in
primary school by mid October?
know that Iraq's higher educational structure now consists
of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research
know that before the U.S. invaded, Iraq was generally
considered to have the best educational system and best
medical facilities in the Middle East?
know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully
trained and equipped police officers. And there are 5
Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers
each 8 weeks.
know that Iraq had all that and more before the U.S. invaded
Iraq? Or did Saddam Hussein operate his fabled police state
with only the help of his two sons?
Visit To Abu G
July 8, 2004 By Janet Reitman,
Rolling Stone Magazine
When I arrive in Baghdad in
April, most American journalists are holed up in their
rooms, reporting the war by remote: scanning the wires,
working their cell phones, watching broadcasts of Al
Jazeera. In many cases, they’ve been reduced to relying on
sources available to anyone with an Internet connection.
writers might like to compare Iraq to Vietnam, but reporters
on the ground say there’s no comparison. In Vietnam,
journalists rode Hondas to the front. In Iraq, they rarely
venture into the streets. When they do, they hide behind
the smoked windows of their armored vehicles, called “hard
While Arabic and European
media such as The
Guardian and Le
Monde manage to
cover the war on the ground, American reporters seldom
interview actual Iraqis. Instead, they talk to U.S.
officials who are every bit as isolated as they are, or rely
on local stringers and fixers, several of whom have been
killed while working for Americans. “We live in a bubble,”
grumbles one AP reporter. “If we know one percent of what’s
going on in Iraq we’re lucky.”
Sheraton, the tallest building in Baghdad — has been struck
so often, some journalists call it the Missile Magnet.
“More rockets have hit this place than any other building in
the city,” says Paul Roubicek, an Australian cameraman who
has done segments for Fox News.
Roubicek is sitting in his
room on the third floor of the Sheraton, drinking red wine
and getting high on Afghan hash. You can buy excellent hash
in Iraq. It’s one of the perks of reconstruction. Before
the war, getting high was punishable by a long stint in one
of Saddam Hussein’s jails. Now you can send an e-mail order
and have hash delivered right to your hotel room.
Roubicek’s dealer is a cigarette salesman in the compound.
briefing, Jim Chu of NBC News notes images of ”ordinary
Iraqis” cheering attacks on coalition forces. “How does
this jive with what the coalition has been saying — that
this is essentially a small minority that’s supporting these
insurgents?” Chu asks.
Without skipping a beat,
coalition spokesman Dan Senor assures Chu that those “select
images” in no way reflect the majority of Iraqis. “If you
look at the polling” — Senor often brings up polling in his
briefings — “while there are some who cheer on violence, the
silent majority of Iraqis express grateful appreciation for
Reluctantly, he concedes that quite a few Iraqis also
expressed opposition to the occupation. “Which we
understand,” Senor says. “It’s not nice to be occupied.”
A Visit To
Hoping to contain the damage,
the Army offers the press a tour of the prison.
Then the bus arrives, the
reporters file off and approach a massive expanse of tents,
each housing twenty-five prisoners. A soldier screams, “No
talking to the detainees!”
But as soon as the prisoners
catch sight of the press corps, pandemonium erupts. Dressed
in rags, the Iraqis press their bodies against double layers
of barbed wire. There are hundreds of them: shouting,
holding up crude signs or crutches. Several wave prosthetic
the freedom?” they shout in Arabic. “Is this the freedom?”
A prisoner with a bullhorn denounces Americans in English:
“They’ve taken away our freedom, our liberty, our rights!”
The military’s staged press tour has devolved into
Fassihi of the Wall
Street Journal stands frozen. “I feel like I’m
in a bad dream,” she whispers. “God, what have the
Trying to control the damage,
the MPs quickly herd everyone back on the buses. “Get the
hell on that bus!” an MP orders Anja Niedringhaus, an AP
photographer trying to photograph the scene.
the tour reaches the “hard facility” where the infamous
photos were taken, the screams are even more horrific.
Female detainees, who, like most prisoners, have not yet
been charged with any crimes, shout down to reporters from
the second tier of the prison. “I’ve been here five
months!” one woman yells from her cell. “Why?”
“This is a
sin!” another cries, in Arabic. “I have five children, and
they’re alone!” As the screams echo and bounce against the
cement walls, the MPs push the reporters along. One soldier
grabs a journalist’s camera.
shouts that soldiers in the prison stripped her naked.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
POLITICIANS AT WORK
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro for
sending. He writes: This one came from a friend in Sweden]
BUSH: POLITICAL GENIUS
our country's interests to find those who would do harm to
us and get them out of harm's way." —George W. Bush,
Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005
David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in. He
writes: Perhaps it is past time to require written
examinations of presidential candidates?]
Cloud Causes White House Evacuation
Nigel Baldwin, who sent this in. He writes: Q. What's the
difference between Napoleon and Bush? A. Napoleon led while
on a horse's ass - Bush leads with his ass underground!]
April 29 2005 Julian Borger in
Washington, The Guardian
George Bush was bundled into an underground bunker, Dick
Cheney was evacuated to an "undisclosed location" and
heavily armed secret servicemen took up defensive positions
when a fast-moving cloud scudded towards the White House, it
was reported yesterday.
The cloud that materialised 30
miles south of Washington on Wednesday morning was so dense
it triggered radar monitors on the Domestic Events Network,
intended to prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks.
anti-aircraft missile battery on the roof of a nearby
building was raised to the fire position, a Black Hawk
helicopter was scrambled to take a look, but saw nothing
except some clouds, one of which turned out to be the
Such false alarms are common,
triggered by clouds, flocks of birds or private aircraft
wandering off course, but the White House confirmed
yesterday that this was not the first time since September
11 2001 that the president has taken refuge in the hi-tech
bunker beneath the building, the Presidential Emergency
It was not
clear yesterday what it was about Wednesday morning's cloud
that created such havoc. It was moving at about the speed of
a helicopter, disappearing and then appearing again on the
radar screen, but the same could be said of many clouds.
The White House spokesman,
Scott McClellan, said the president was in the bunker for
only a short time - the all-clear was sounded about 20
minutes after the first alert.
US officials claimed that
the incident showed how smoothly the alert system was
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