www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

5.9.05

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

 

GI SPECIAL 3B24:

 

 

 

 

“Frag An Officer?

“I Can Relate Brother.

“Damn Shame That Guy Got The Death Sentence If You Ask Me.  Damn Shame”

 

From: Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace

To: GI Special

Sent: May 03, 2005

Subject: US soldier sentenced to death for grenade attack

 

T,

It's from an IVAW friend......he's a good friend, and was at the Ft Bragg action...

Happy Mothers Day to all your readers that are MOTHERS, T.

Peace from Ward

 

 

Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace wrote to M:

 

M,

 

Hey bro....

 

I never saw any "fragging" but it became a common occurrence toward the end in Viet Nam, or so I hear....fucking officers trying to get some hero-badge to advance his career at the expense of wasting good men...

 

I do know that they can fuck with you so bad in the military that it can drive you to kill...how do you feel about this?

 

We got a 101-0 vote in the House of Rep. to approve DU testing for all Louisiana soldiers...please let IVAW know, OK?

 

Everything else rocking along...Iraq is a complete clusterfuck, as we used to say in the Infantry....no surprises from there...except maybe for the White House...

 

George saw too many John Wayne movies, and thought the Indians would roll over dead with one shot...way to go, George and Dick....perhaps they should have learned about the military before they tried leading it...duhhh...

 

Peace from Ward

 

 

From: M

To: Ward Reilly

Subject: RE: US soldier sentenced to death for grenade attack

Date: 3 May 2005

 

Ward,

 

The DU testing is great news.  Fucked up that we have to fight for shit like that, that should be a given.

 

You asked me how I feel about the fragging. 

 

My CO did not give us permission to open fire on suicide bombers that were tearing ass toward the ship.  We out sped them.  He also did not give us permission to open fire on an armed unidentified helicopter headed toward us.

 

The end result of that was that I ended up standing 15 feet in front of an armed, unidentified helo that was staring right back at me.  8 feet behind me was a missile deck. I was trapped in the middle of both of them.

 

The deck armed, and the pilot saw it, and you bet your ass that I did too.

 

He took off, and I lived, but I cannot deal with helicopters at all.   I hear them in the morning, and they paralyze me.

 

He told us that he would not support us if we fired on someone when we weren't absolutely sure if they were there to kill us.  In other words, he would rather get us killed, than take some heat himself about civilian deaths.  That was the only reason for his statement.

 

And the only reason why I did not kill him over it was because I knew that it would kill my parents when they found out about it.

 

We all ended up living, but it very easily could have been very different.

 

When we got back state-side the CO said, "Sailors, if you are put in a situation where you think someone is going to attack, use your best judgement, and I will support you 100 percent.”  That was the exact opposite of what he said to us when we were going through the Straights of Hormuz, which is the deadliest waters in the world for mines and ambushes.

 

Frag an officer?

 

I can relate brother.

 

Damn shame that guy got the death sentence if you ask me.  Damn shame.

 

Peace,

M

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

Heavy Casualties In Ubaydi Goat Fuck

 

May. 08, 2005 BY JAMES JANEGA, Chicago Tribune

 

Marine officers would not release casualty information, saying their policy requires families to be notified first.  But during the day, evacuation helicopters swooped repeatedly to the emergency landing zone set up near the intended river crossing.

 

"We thought the enemy was north of the river," Lawson said.  "Obviously, they were here too."

 

UBAYDI, Iraq

 

More than 1,000 U.S. troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships attacked villages Sunday along the Euphrates River, seeking to uproot a persistent insurgency in an area that American intelligence indicated has become a haven for foreign fighters flowing in from Syria.

 

Marine officials said the operation near the Syrian border, one of the largest involving U.S. ground troops since the battle for Fallujah last fall, is expected to last for several days.

 

Plans to press the attack north of the Euphrates were temporarily derailed when insurgents on the south side of the river launched counterattacks, sparking heavy fighting in the small river town of Ubaydi.

 

While some American units were able to conduct limited raids north of the Euphrates on Sunday, most of the rest were trapped south of the river while Army engineers struggled to build a pontoon bridge across it.

 

Said Col. Stephen Davis, commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team 2, which has responsibility for western Anbar province, "The trademark of these folks is to be where we're not.  We haven't got north of the river for a while."

 

Sunday's elaborate mission, planned for weeks, was designed to combat that.

 

But a combination of bad luck and insurgent counterattacks quickly disrupted the plan.

 

Overnight, the Army's 814th Multi-Role Bridge Company crawled along back roads towards the Euphrates, where it was to construct a pontoon bridge that would allow the Marines to cross.  The trucks were forced to use their headlights to allow them to spot land mines along the route.

 

But the routine safety practice apparently alerted area residents to the convoy's presence.  An entire town along the route switched off its lights all at once, a move Marines believe is used to send signals from one river town to the next.

 

As the bridging unit approached the river crossing early Sunday, they switched off the truck headlights even though many soldiers lacked night-vision goggles.  In the gloom, one truck rolled off the road and into a ditch, bringing the column to a dead halt in the darkness.

 

The soldiers soon discovered another problem: The river banks, sodden after recent rains, might have been too wet to support the oncoming American tanks.

 

"I hope security keeps us safe all day," Capt. Chris Taylor of the 814th said as officers tried to find other ways to get troops and equipment across the river.

 

But when dawn broke, the column came under mortar fire from Ubaydi, the nearest town.  Two mortars dropped within feet of the Marines' command post and an officer's Humvee.  The insurgents the Marines expected to find north of the river were on the south side as well.

 

Marines and soldiers scrambled into a ramshackle building on a bluff overlooking the river, then devised a new strategy: They would not cross the river Sunday.  They would attack Ubaydi instead.

 

"There's been a firefight here all morning.  Anyone still in that neighborhood has signalled their hostile intention by remaining," Capt. Chris Ieva said [Back to the old Vietnam “free fire zones.”] as he prepared to lead the 3/2's Kilo Company into the southwest corner of town.  Most of the morning's mortars and gunfire had come from the area.  

 

Ieva's armored personnel carriers jounced over rough roads toward Ubaydi, the sound of gunfire getting louder all the time.  A rocket rushed over one of the carrier's open hatches, answered by American .50-caliber machine guns and air strikes.

 

Meanwhile, Maj. Steve Lawson of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines led his troops through the north end of Ubaydi in tough fighting that lasted until after sunset.

 

Marine officers would not release casualty information, saying their policy requires families to be notified first.  But during the day, evacuation helicopters swooped repeatedly to the emergency landing zone set up near the intended river crossing.

 

"We thought the enemy was north of the river," Lawson said.  "Obviously, they were here too."

 

 

The bodies of two men lie on a street corner in the western Iraq city of Ramadi May 7, 2005.  The men were executed by insurgents because they worked with Americans, witnesses said.  One of the men, left, was identified as Mohammed Abdul-Razaq, a well known tribal leader in Ramadi, who was working together with US Forces. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

 

 

Three Marines And Sailor Killed In Haditha Battle

 

May 8, 2005 By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHARA (AP)

 

On Saturday, three U.S. Marines and a sailor were killed in fighting with insurgents in western Iraq, some of whom fought from inside a civilian hospital, the military said.

 

The battle, in which an unspecified number of insurgents were killed, began in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, when U.S. forces responding to small arms fire near the Haditha Dam and saw Iraqi civilians running from Haditha Hospital, the military said.

 

The soldiers were then attacked by a car bomb, which destroyed a nearby building and set fire to the hospital.  Insurgents inside the hospital set off a roadside bomb and fired small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the U.S. forces.

 

After the fight, Marines searched the hospital and found fortified firing positions with sandbagged windows.

 

 

3 US Soldiers Killed In Sunday Attacks

 

08/05/2005 AP

 

Three US soldiers were killed by bombs in central Iraq today, the military said.

 

One soldier was killed and another wounded during an attack on their combat logistics patrol near Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

 

The wounded soldier was evacuated to a military medical facility, the statement said. Both soldiers were assigned to One Task Force Liberty.

 

Two soldiers were killed during combat operations in an explosion near Khaldiyah, 75 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.

 

 The soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

 

 

An Iraqi truck, carrying supplies for the US military, was attacked on the highway near Khalis, 70 km, (45 miles) north of Baqouba, May 8, 2005.  Both Iraqi drivers in the truck were killed, according to local police. (AP Photo/Mohammed Adnan)

 

 

Mother Of Fallen Soldier Begged Son Not To Enlist

 

May 03, 2005 United Communications Corp

 

A day after the Pentagon announced that Fort Drum soldier Darren Deblanc was killed in Iraq, the grieving mother says she begged her son not to enlist in the military.

 

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

 

Deblanc entered the Army in November 2003 and arrived at Fort Drum in March 2004.

 

While in Iraq, Deblanc received the Purple Heart for surviving a bomb attack.

 

He was leaving Iraq in two weeks for Kuwait.

 

He was expected to return home in June.

 

 

Fort Walton Beach Soldier Killed:

"Now I Don't Know What The Reason Was," His Mother Said Sadly

 

May 1, 2005 FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP)

 

When Army 2nd Lt. Clifford "CC" Gadsden left for Iraq, he told his mother he was mostly scared of one thing.

 

"'I'm so afraid my son's not going to remember me,'" Minerva Gadsden recalled her son saying.  "That was his greatest fear."  Now his relatives say they'll work to keep the soldier's memory alive.

 

The father of Karistophere, 17 months, and Kinshaza, 5, was killed by a truck bomb Friday while traveling in a convoy between Baghdad and Kuwait, his family said.  The military has yet to confirm his death.  The 25-year-old was based in Fort Polk, La., with the Army's 603rd Transportation Company.

 

As a child, the soldier closely resembled his father and namesake, earning his nickname that stood for "Continuously Clifford."

 

While pursuing his degree in mechanical engineering at South Carolina State College, Gadsden's daughter's birth set him on a new track, and he joined the Army ROTC.

 

"He had other choices," his mother said.  "It was just a stepping stone.  He wanted to provide for his little girl."

 

Minerva Gadsden said she recently sent her son an e-mail saying she believed there was a reason he was in Iraq, that he was meant to lead his soldiers and then return home to raise his children with his wife, Erica.

 

"Now I don't know what the reason was," his mother said sadly. "I can't even imagine."

 

 

2 Hoosiers Die As Styker Blown Up:

Soldiers From Westfield, Evansville Killed In Blast Last Week

 

May 3, 2005 By Paul Bird, Indianapolis Star

 

A 2002 Westfield High School graduate who was born in a military hospital was one of two Hoosiers killed in Iraq last week.

 

Army Pfc. Robert W. Murray Jr., 21, Westfield, and three other soldiers were killed on a reconnaissance mission Thursday when a homemade bomb exploded beside their vehicle in Tal Afar.

 

Murray and Deblanc bring to 48 the number of Hoosier soldiers who have died in the Middle East since early 2003.

 

Murray was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Fort Carson, Colo.

 

On Thursday, Murray was riding in a convoy of five armored vehicles -- two of them Strykers with rubber tires, and three M1 tanks -- that had entered southwestern Tal Afar.

 

About 4:20 p.m., one of the Strykers, carrying troops from both units, hit a bomb planted in a dirt road.

 

It blew through the bottom plate, right through where soldiers were sitting, and through the roof and rear of the vehicle.  Six tires were flattened.

 

The tanks circled around the Strykers, firing at a man nearby who seemed to be fleeing, platoon leaders said later.  Two specialists newly trained in emergency medicine pulled out the wounded.  Choppers arrived to evacuate them.

 

But four soldiers died, including Murray.

 

Murray was born at Fort Campbell, Ky.  After graduating high school, he attended Indiana State University and studied aviation management.  He was a licensed pilot and a musician.

 

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Murray entered the Marine Corps.  After breaking a leg in basic training, he was discharged.

 

Murray joined the Army in March 2004.  He was shipped to Kuwait in late February and later deployed to Iraq.

 

"He was a nice, straightforward individual with a nice sense of humor," said Doug Orahood, 58, a technical education instructor for 32 years at Westfield High School.

 

 

Soldier Who Said He Couldn’t Be Killed In A Stryker Killed When Stryker Blown Up

 

5/2/2005 Don Cox, RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

 

Sgt. Eric W. Morris of Sparks figured he couldn’t be killed patrolling the Iraq desert in the Army’s Stryker armored combat vehicle, a friend said Monday.

 

“He was doing nothing but raving about them,” Jeff Sawtell, a family friend, said Monday. “He ran over a mine a week or two (ago). He said, ‘I thought I was a goner, but all it did was rock the vehicle.’  He really did think they were invincible, until this happened.”

 

Morris, 31, and three other soldiers were killed Thursday in Iraq when a homemade bomb exploded near their Stryker, the Department of Defense said.

 

Morris attended Reed High School in Sparks in 1992 and 1993.

 

His unit, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, deployed to Iraq in September from Fort Lewis. It was the second tour of duty in Iraq for Morris.

 

Morris spent 17 months in Iraq, then came home and returned with the 1st Battalion, said his sister, Tina Farley.

 

“He was only home two months,” Farley said.

 

 

Notes From A Lost War:

Troops Come Up Empty In Search For Insurgents:

“Somehow They Got Tipped Off”

 

May 02, 2005 By Jacob Silberberg, Associated Press

 

UDAIM, Iraq — Hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers swept through this village Sunday, searching homes, detaining insurgent suspects and taking their weapons.

 

Army Capt. Matthew Rawlins, 28, of Lansing, Mich., who also took part in the operation, called it a partial success.

 

He said few Iraqi men were in the village when the coalition forces arrived, meaning the soldiers ended up detaining fewer suspected insurgents than expected.

 

“Somehow they got tipped off” about the operation, Rawlins said.

 

[That’s what happens when you try to occupy somebody else’s’ country for no good reason at all except corporate greed and the Washington DC politicians’ lust for Empire.  The Iraqis hate being occupied.  They spy on you.  They know your every move. They prepare for it.  And when you’re gone, they come back.  That’s what guerrilla warfare is.  The British found out about that in 1776, right here in the USA.

 

[It’s their country.  They’ll keep fighting till you’re gone, just like you would do if they occupied your country.  They’re right to do so, and they can’t be defeated.  Way too many of them.  Fuck Bush.  Time to come home, a long time ago.]

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Alleged Deserter Speaks At Ga. Tech:

Sergeant's Court-Martial To Start Thursday

 

Supporters from 31 countries have written to him.  And "a lot of people who served with me are supportive," he said.  "Nobody hates war more than a soldier."

 

05/08/05 By KEVIN DUFFY, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

For a man facing court-martial this week, Kevin Benderman appeared unworried.

 

"I'm confident. I know that I'm not a deserter," the Army sergeant said in a telephone interview Saturday before speaking at Georgia Tech.  "They're court-martialing me because I applied for conscientious objector status.  They're trying to make an example of me."

 

Benderman, 40, is charged with desertion and what the Army calls "missing movement by design" for failing to show up for deployment back to Iraq.

 

He is scheduled for court-martial Thursday at Fort Stewart, which is headquarters for the 3rd Infantry Division.

 

The mechanic, who lives in nearby Hinesville, said he had an official excuse that will prove he's innocent.  If convicted, he could go to prison for seven years.

 

Benderman spoke to about 70 people at Tech about his six months in Iraq last year, and how that led him to seek conscientious objector status and an honorable discharge from the Army.

 

He applied 10 days before his unit was scheduled to leave for Iraq.  The Army rejected his request, calling him insincere, but he has reapplied.

 

"I don't want to participate in any more wars," the son of a World War II veteran told the Tech audience. "It dehumanizes everyone all around. It's insanity."

 

Benderman said he discovered that Iraqis are like Americans in many ways.  He read the Koran and saw its similarities to the Bible.

 

Benderman's wife, Monica Benderman, said she noticed a change in her husband when he returned from Iraq.  He had trouble sleeping and brooded.  He found peace only when he decided to reject war and seek conscientious objector status, she said.

 

Buckets were passed in the audience to collect funds to help with Benderman's defense. He has the help of civilian and military lawyers. A Web site — http://www.bender/ mandefense.org — explains his situation.

 

Supporters from 31 countries have written to him.  And "a lot of people who served with me are supportive," he said.  "Nobody hates war more than a soldier."

 

Joe Parko, a retired Georgia State University professor and member of the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, told the Tech audience, "If his courage to speak out saves a single life, then Sgt. Benderman deserves a medal, not a court-martial."

 

 

The Lies Roll On:

More Weasel Words From Pentagon Politicians-In-Uniform About Armor Protection:

The Truth: Troops Still Don’t Have It

 

May 7, 2005 American Forces Press Service

 

Brig. Gen. William Cato from Marine Corps Systems Command reported to the committee that "100 percent of our wheeled vehicles involved in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Horn of Africa are equipped" with some type of armor.  [Two fucking sandbags on the floor is “some type” of armor in the opinion of Generals safely manning desks in the Pentagon.  The truth is that the good General is covering up for Pentagon incompetence.  Instead of yelling his troops need real protection, he’s got his head too far up Rumsfeld’s ass to tell the truth about anything.]

 

The Marines are also adding underbody armor and other reinforcements to Humvees, 5-ton cargo trucks and other supply vehicles.  [So, still “adding” armor, are they?  If the troops had it, no need to add it, right?  Meaning, they still not have it. Now check the bullshit smoke-screen he hands Congress about what’s going on:]

 

"We continue to meet emergent vehicle armor protection requirements to stay ahead of an adaptive enemy," Cato said.

 

 

Vermont Military Families Stand Up For Paredes And Benderman

 

5.8.05

 

As members of the Vermont chapter of Military Families Speak Out we stand in solidarity with Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman.  Each man will stand trial on May 11th for refusing deployment to Iraq to fight the unjustified war that tears that country apart today.  Their applications for conscientious objector status have not been accepted.

 

Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes refused deployment on December 6, 2004.  He stated at the time, “I don't want to be a part of a ship that's taking 3,000 Marines over there, knowing a hundred or more of them won't come back.  I can't sleep at night knowing that's what I do for a living."  Since then he has actively opposed the war appearing at many rallies.

 

Sgt. Kevin Benderman refused redeployment after having served a year in Iraq.  After seeing first hand the carnage that the war wrought on the Iraqi people he stated, “I was there for six months and I did not see the first weapon of mass destruction. I did receive orders from the company commander to shoot children if they threw small rocks at us and that was when I figured out that the entire thing was way over the line.” 

 

These two men have become powerful voices in the opposition to the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.  Their refusal to take part in the war machine has given credence to the demand for immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. 

 

Because of this the military is trying to make an example of these men by imprisoning them. 

 

We believe that the war itself should be put on trial not the soldiers who refuse to fight it.  Join us in demanding the freedom of Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman.

 

Vermont MFSO

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER

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

 

 

IRAQ VETERAN SPEAKS OUT:

A FORUM ON MILITARY RECRUITMENT AND THE IRAQ WAR

 

From: Karen Ahern

To: GI Special

Sent: May 03, 2005

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: IRAQ VETERAN JOHN OLIVERA

 

Mr. Olivera was the Public Relations Director in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during the Iraq conflict, but he decided to resign shortly after the invasion of Iraq after serving in the Navy for 20 years in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

 

Please join us for this rare opportunity to hear directly from a veteran speaking out about the Iraq war as well as military families, high school students targeted by military recruiters, and activists.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11

7:00 pm

University of Washington

Smith Hall, Room 120

In the quad next to Red Square

 

PANEL OF SPEAKERS INCLUDES:

 

MARK WILSON: Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate; Member of Military Families Speak Out and Western Washington Veterans for Peace.

 

MARY SUE GALVIN:  Freshman class representative of the Garfield Parent Teacher Student Association, which recently passed a resolution to ban military recruiters from Garfield High School.

 

TY MOORE:  a Minnesota organizer for Youth Against War and Racism and Socialist Alternative, who brings to Seattle the inspiring story about Kennedy High School students' victorious struggle in defending their right to present an alternative perspective to military recruiters.

 

LUKE WIGREN:  a Renton High School member of Youth Against War and Racism, will speak from a high school student's perspective about who and how the military is recruiting in our high schools.

 

Please join these unique speakers for an open public discussion about the war's impact on the lives of veterans, military families, and young people and what we should do about a war that has cost the lives of over 1,600 U.S. soldiers, 100,000 Iraqi civilians, and $270 billion.

 

Sponsored by: University of Washington Youth Against War and Racism

Endorsed by: Franklin High School Youth Against War and Racism, Socialist Alternative and Western Washington Veterans for Peace Chapter 92.

 

 

“All The Reasons We Went To War, It Just Seems Like They’re Not Legit Enough For People To Lose Their Lives For”

 

North Carolina Peace And Justice Coalition Organizing Committee 3.19.05, quoting from interview in “Purple Hearts: Back From Iraq,” by Nina Berman

 

Spc. Robert Acosta, 20, Ammunition Specialist, 1st Armored Division

 

It was July 16.  1 think like three guys were killed the day I was injured.  It was broad daylight, like 1800 hours and the grenade flew in the window, landed on the radio between me and my buddy.  It went off in my hand, took my hand off, shattering my left leg, broke my right ankle, blew the whole body of the humvee out...

 

I guess you hear about guys getting hit and this and that but you don’t realize until you actually see them.  Because when somebody gets hurt, they’re out of there within hours. You hear rumors, you hear stories, .. .but you don’t really see the reality of it until you get there and see them in the hospital.

 

Nobody really knows what the soldiers are going through.  They see on TV, oh yeah, two soldiers get wounded today and they think, yeah, he’ll be all right. But that soldier is scarred for life both physically and mentally.

 

I loved the military.  It was my life.  I loved it.  I miss being in the military because it’s like I had a routine. I was good at what I did.  I had friends.  I was successful.  I was happy. And it was kind of like all taken away from me.

 

Yeah I got a Purple Heart.  I don’t care.  No soldier wants a Purple Heart.  I’ll tell you that much.  No soldier wants it.  Awards don’t mean nothing to me.  I don’t need anything to prove I was there.  I know I was there.  I got a constant reminder.

 

I mean like all the reasons we went to war, it just seems like they’re not legit enough for people to lose their lives for and for me to lose my hand and use of my leg and for my buddies to lose their limbs.

 

Like I just had a big conversation with my buddy the other day and like we want to know.

 

I feel like we deserve to know.

 

 

Brigadier General Says “War On Terror” So Much Bullshit

 

2005-05-03 Cynthia Banham, The Sydney Morning Herald

 

The so-called global war on terrorism does not exist, a high-ranking army officer has declared in a speech that challenges the conventional political wisdom.

 

In a frank speech, Brigadier Justin Kelly dismissed several of the central tenets of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism, saying the "war" part is all about politics and terrorism is merely a tactic.

 

Although such wars were fuelled by global issues, they were essentially counter-insurgent operations fought on a local level.  This would result in Australian soldiers fighting in increasingly urban environments.

 

Speaking at a conference on future warfighting, Brigadier Kelly, the director-general of future land warfare, also suggested that the "proposition you can bomb someone into thinking as we do has been found to be untrue".

 

His speech appears to fly in the face of a comment by the Prime Minister, John Howard, last year that the "contest in Iraq represents a critical confrontation in the war against terror ..."

 

 

“We Refuse To Let George W. Bush Continue The Killing In Our Name”

 

Just because our soldier’s blood has already been spilled does not mean we families are thirsty for more.  We insist that George W. Bush stop justifying his bloodlust by assuming we families are blood thirsty also.

 

From: Cindy Sheehan

Sent: May 07, 2005 8:08 AM

Subject:

 

May 7, 2005

 

As the official casualty count for the occupation of Iraq is rapidly approaching 1600 and on the eve of Mother’s Day, Gold Star Families for Peace issues the following statement to George W. Bush:

 

We represent families of fallen American troops who oppose the occupation of Iraq and refuse to let George W. Bush continue the killing in our name.

 

We support the immediate withdrawal of American and Coalition Forces from Iraq.

 

George W. Bush has consistently iterated the hurtful and meaningless phrase: We need to keep our troops in Iraq to finish the mission to honor the sacrifices of fallen heroes.

 

We at Gold Star Families for Peace disagree with George Bush on this and most other of his activities and words.

 

It is too late for our loved ones and our families.  Our sons and daughters; brothers and sisters; nieces and nephews; husbands and wives have already been killed in this needless and senseless war.  We don’t want one more innocent person murdered, especially in our names.

 

Just because our soldier’s blood has already been spilled does not mean we families are thirsty for more.  We insist that George W. Bush stop justifying his bloodlust by assuming we families are blood thirsty also.

 

We demand that George W. Bush honors our family’s sacrifices by admitting to the “mistakes and miscalculations”  (Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2005) of this invasion and occupation of Iraq by ending the occupation immediately and bringing our troops home now.

 

This is not a request and it is not negotiable.

 

We individually, and as a group, are dismayed and broken-hearted anew as the memo from Great Britain dated 23 July, 2002 has recently surfaced.

 

This invasion and occupation of a sovereign country was prefabricated and has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of human beings, has destroyed the lives of millions, and demolished a country that was no threat to the USA.

 

In addition to withdrawal of the troops, we call for the immediate resignation of George Bush, Dick Cheney and the entire Cabinet.  A return to private citizen status will mean that the people responsible for so much death and destruction will be able to be held accountable to the laws of our land and for damaging humanity so thoroughly.

 

Gold Star Families for Peace.

www.GSFP.org

Cindy Sheehan

Founding Member of GSFP

Phone: 707-365-7750

 

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 RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Senior Iraq Transport Ministry Official Killed

Wrecked truck in which senior government official Zobaq Yassin was shot and killed in southern Baghdad May 8, 2005 along with his driver.  REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz

 

May 8, 2005 (Reuters)

 

Guerrillas assassinated a senior transport ministry official in Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

 

They said Zobaa Yassin was shot dead in his car along with his driver.  Yassin was one of the leading civil servants in the ministry.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

The Kiss Of Truth--There Is No Separation

 

From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: May 08, 2005 6:20 AM

 

I have been on the go so much, I have been out of the loop for awhile.

 

G.I. Special does remind me that Nixon is still dead, and Bush has never been alive.

 

I recently came back from a four day conference in Arcada, California.  It was called: " No More War--Remembrance and Resistance."

 

I was invited down to speak, and to display my photo essay, " Lying Is The Most Powerful Weapon In War."

 

Other speakers invited were:

 

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

 

Joe Lewis, and Jim Russel, two students who were shot at Kent State by the Ohio National Guard, on May 4, 1970;

 

Camilo Mejia, first American soldier to refuse to go back to Iraq for a second deployment on moral grounds.  He was convicted in military court, and sent to prison for one year.  He witnessed prisoner abuse, and the killing of civilians while an infantry soldier in Iraq;

 

Charlie Liteky, Army Chaplin in Vietnam, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He later renounced his Medal, and left it at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  He did this in protest of Reagan's foreign policy in Central America. He was also in Baghdad, witnessing the initial bombing on March 19, 2003;

 

Brian Willson, a Vietnam veteran, witnessed the aftermath of several atrocities, when American jets dropped napalm on innocent villages.  Of the five villages bombed, approximately 800 civilians were killed, one-third were children.  Because of these experiences, he has been a relentless peace activist ever since he returned from Vietnam.  In 1987, he was run over by a munitions train during a peaceful demonstration in Concord, California.  The train was carrying weapons that were headed for Nicaragua. His injuries were very severe, both legs amputated, to include a skull fracture.  Without exception, Brian Willson has to be one of the most powerful anti-war speakers of the 20th Century.

 

When I returned to Portland after the conference, I was completely drained.  When you put that many high-powered speakers together, the eyewitness honesty elevates your awareness beyond your intelligence.

 

The one thing I noticed about myself when I finally got some rest, was I felt more courage to fight this insane war in Iraq.  It is absolutely essential, that the anti-war movement dedicate their lives to stopping the spread of malignant lies coming out of the White House.

 

There is no separation between the American people and the Iraqi people.

 

When I went back to Vietnam in 1994, I had an experience that changed my life.  One day when I was in Hue, I gave an old Vietnamese woman some money, because she was begging.  When I turned away and got about twenty feet from her, I did something very innocent and strange.  I walked back to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  Her face lit up like a girl who just received her first kiss.

 

What was so profound for me, was kissing her was like kissing my own mother.

 

There is no separation between the Vietnamese people and the American people.  And, for me, there is no rest for the messenger, until the message has been delivered.

 

Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71

I - R - A – Q

I  Remember  Another  Quagmire

 

“When you underestimate the intelligence of revenge, you underestimate the power of resistance.”

This is a picture of a Vietnamese peasant literally burning American shit on a U.S. military base in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  What our military intelligence could never figure out, was that Vietnamese working on these bases were mostly Viet Cong, or VC sympathizers.

 

What they were doing was gathering information about every square foot of most U.S. military installations throughout South Vietnam.  God only knows how many American soldiers were killed or wounded on these bases during rocket, mortar, or sapper attacks that were consistently direct hits.  Long after the Vietnam War was over, former Viet Cong openly admitted how they were continuously surprised at the stupidity of American military high command in making it so easy for them to work on U.S. military bases.

 

This is exactly what is happening in Iraq.  Like Vietnam, the U.S. military command in Iraq will be infiltrated at the highest levels.

 

This is precisely why the U.S. will not win this war.  When you underestimate the intelligence of revenge, you underestimate the power of resistance.

 

Mike Hastie

Vietnam Veteran

March 1, 2005

 

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

 

 

“How Many Marines Can They Put In Jail?”

 

From: NF

To: GI Special

Sent: May 08, 2005

 

I do see more people interviewing angry soldiers these days.

 

I feel very strongly that the "justification" will soon turn to "oil is a strategic national interest so we can't leave".  When things start really ramping up, that will be what makes citizens get scared and say "Well, I don't want to go to Iraq . . . so we can't have a draft. But I don't want my economy to dive, so we can't leave."  And that's what's likely to chain the troops to Iraq.

 

But if soldiers start screaming loud enough, and angrily enough, to the right people (media folks through unusual channels) in significant numbers --they can force congress to get them a new commander in chief.  This guys a loon.

 

On the other hand, troops just refusing to go works pretty good.

 

How many Marines can they put in jail?  A whole platoon who says (on their 5th deployment) "Uh, no thanks" makes the national news too. Unlike Vietnam, half the US population would strongly support soldiers saying they don't want to liberate Iraq.

 

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.

 

 

MAYDAYS:

“The Future Is Another Country”

 

May 03, 2005 By Max Watts

 

I am in bed, sleeping the day away.  Entropy is winning.  Erka calls, wakes me, up, I daydream.  About: MAYDAYS

 

Up.  At least try and write, if cannot do.

 

Writing, where I am, with bad undercarriage(s), is … doing.

 

Coffee.  Start.

 

The May Days: 1968. Klug, Perrin. Paris

 

2005: A small parade, in Sydney, one in New York, too. Big one in Caracas !

 

1889: Two timed in Paris.  Or: what else is new ?

 

1953: Not May, but July. 14th.  Place de la Nation.  Some (7) died.  Could have been me?  In any case, in the silent fifties, most dead were "Arabs", who soon were going to become even more used to it.  Dying.

 

 

Let’s see how much of my in-bed thoughts I can still resurrect !

 

 

1968: Paris:

 

I sit, it is a lovely evening, at an outdoor café table, metro Odeon, under the left elbow of Danton.  His statue, that is.  L’Audace!  Toujours l’Audace!  Before he got his head cut off.  By Robespierre, who has no statues (as far as I know).  Danton, more modere’, despite that slogan, does.

 

I am waiting for Perrin and Klug.  Leading [U.S.] Resisters In The Armed Services.  

 

About 8 pm they arrive, chuffed.  Glowing.  Just back from the demo, the manif.  The May Day parade.  Over the top!  "So many red flags !"  By then, they were six, eight, months out of the army, well, out of their units, they were both - AWOL, deserters, or temporarily self-retired - still "in" the army, though – anyway.. they had become very fond of red flags.

 

But they had never seen them "so many", filling the streets, and, as I’ve said, they were much over the top.  Impressed.  Happy.  Speeding.  They assumed the revolution, the revo, which they were for, was just around the corner.

 

I, old(er), was – already then – blasé, not going to be all that impressed by a Paris May Day march.  Even if rather unexpectedly - it had turned out to be quite big – some 80,000 people – I was told.

 

I, otherwise occupied - hadn’t gone.  I certainly didn’t expect that two weeks later France would be, really unexpectedly, on the verge of a revo, revolution!  Klug, Perrin, GI’s, kids, were right.  Max the know it all, well, much, more – was wrong.

 

Perrin and Klug probably did not know, remember, though of course I should have told them ! – that this was the first May Day Parade permitted in Paris for 15 years.  They, the parades, had been banned since 1953.  That is, since the 14th of July ‘53!  When I had been shot at.. but missed.

 

Seven others did get shot, killed (300 wounded, I didn’t count them).  By the Police.  And – it figures – the government thereupon banned all May Day and 14th of July parades – for the next fifteen years.  Then I, new in Paris, thought there would be serious "consequences"  Tu parle!  Hundreds of thousands did turn out for some of the funerals, but a month later all (well, not the dead !) went on their August vacances, holidays.

 

A year later all was forgotten.  In France.  Except there were no more May Day, or Bastille Day, marches in Paris.  Interdit.  Forbidden.  Banned.  For 15 years.  Till 1968.

 

Why they, now De Gaulle, now allowed this one, I do not know.  Who does?  Given what happened next, someone no doubt regretted that Permit !

 

2005:  I didn’t go to the Sydney May day march.  According to Nobby, who did, – although for once held on May Day, - it wasn’t any kind of break-thru, like Paris in ’68.

 

Just a so-so thing.

 

Nor was the New York march, which had at first also been banned, then permitted.  

 

Of course, 1953 was early into the silent Fifties.  I hadn’t marched in New York since.. was it ’48 or ’49 ? – when we, how many thousands, went down Eighth Avenue, broad, into Union Square.  I got a big black eye from some "anti-communist" kids.  Must have been ’48.  I think these classic 8th Avenue-Union Square marches petered out soon thereafter, went away with much of the American Left.

 

The Silent Fifties, my second wave.  Pretty much quiet, downhill, all over.  Paris, New York…

 

Well, not all over.  Fourteen months after the 14th July 1953 Paris shooting, that one by the Police – some of the shot shot back.  November 1954 the Algerian war started.

 

Algerians, used – for 124 years - to being killed, shot some French.

 

A million dead and eight more years later – 1962 - Algeria was no longer France, French, but independent.

 

The Fifties were silent in the Metropoles, the Flag Imperialist nations, F, GB, E, P, NL, B, AUS,- and of course the USA – but crescendo in their till then colonies.  Which, between 1941 and 1975, took down these long hallowed union jacks, tricoleurs, stars and stripes.. Blood flowed, muchly, but for the first time, not vainly.

 

2005 the may day was much smaller in Moscow, but bigger than .. ever? in Caracas. A suivre !

 

1889: Back to Paris, and why may day Sunday should other years have been bigger, united, in Sydney:

 

When it was first proposed, as the Internationale (Second) United Workers Eight Hour day of struggle, solidarity, there was an immediate split.  The English Unions said: If we demonstrate, strike, don’t show up for work, on the first of May, the boss will fire us on the Second. So, we are smart, we’ll march on Sunday, so he, the boss, won’t know who…

 

The Americans, French, others, said: Scardy Cats!  We March on the First.  Whatever day it may be!

 

The Ozzies, militant or not, did what the English told them.

 

And most don’t march till Sunday.  If at all.  Well, once every seven years… there should be unity.  On Sunday the First.  This year there was.

 

Was it a break-thru year ? If they sang the Internationale, who heard?

 

Who knows ?

 

The future is another country.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION HAITI

 

 

More Unarmed Demonstrators Murdered

 

05/03/05 By IRA KURZBAN, Counterpunch

 

Just last week, five Haitians were killed by the Haitian National Police while U.N. troops stood by watching.  The Haitians' crime was that they were peacefully demonstrating for the release of political prisoners in Haiti.

 

On Feb. 28, 2005, demonstrators met the same fate and were executed by the Haitian National Police while peacefully protesting.  Amnesty International has also reported ''incidents in which individuals dressed in black . . .and traveling in cars with Haitian National Police markings have cost the lives of at least 11 people.''.''

 

 

 

IRAQ OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this in.  He writes: THIS PHOTO IS HIS REACTION WHEN HE HEARD HE WAS NAMED PRIME MINISTER.  I THINK HES THINKING: OH FUCK I FORGOT TO WITHDRAW MY NAME FROM THE RUNNING. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK...]

Shiite Arab leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari gestures after being sworn in as prime minister in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, May 3, 2005. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

 

 

CELEBRATION TIME

Iraqi men celebrate at the scene of an explosion in Baghdad May 7, 2005.  A car bomb at a busy intersection in central Baghdad on Saturday killed four foreigners, police said. (Akram Saleh/Reuters)

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

OCCUPATION PAPUA-NEW GUINEA

 

 

PNG Police Call For Australian Cops  To Go Home

 

[Thanks to Max Watts, who sent this in.  He writes: People, this is potentially a v major development/STORY.  Australia is the smallest the 3 New Flag Imperialism countries

(USA, Great Britain, Australia) WHICH ARE TRYING TO RE-ESTABLISH NEW FLAG IMPERIALISM AFTER HAVING, IN 1941-75 PHASE, PULLED THEIR FLAGS DOWN

IN THE "COLONIES" (as the other FLAG IMPS) and accepted Dollar Imperialism.

 

[Will they get away with it for another 450 Years ???  Unlikely.]

 

05/05/2005 Radio Australia

 

Around 300 police officers in Papua New Guinea have demanded Australian police working in the country be sent home.

 

Around 150 Australian police are serving in PNG under the provisions of a new Australian aid package, known as the Enhanced Co-operation Program.

 

The PNG officers have held a meeting in a sports stadium in the capital, Port Moresby.

 

They say crime has increased since the Australian officers arrived.

 

They also complain that they are not being given training opportunities and want better housing conditions.

 

The president of the Police Association, Robert Ali, says emotions were running high at the meeting, and members want action quickly.

 

He says the meeting has demanded a response from the police hierarchy within 48 hours.

 

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Shane McLeod, says the demands for Australian police to leave PNG will be put to the police commissioner, Sam Inguba.

 

MORE:

 

Radio Australia, 6 May 2005

 

The Papua New Guinea government says it's 'quietly negotiating' over a 48 hour ultimatum given to it by hundreds of PNG police officers who are calling from the removal of Australian police from the country.

 

Disgruntled officers say crime has increased since the Australian officers arrived, and are unhappy at the higher wages being paid to Australian police.

 

Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has told parliament the government is unable to respond to the local police demands as the issue of the Australian police presence in PNG is currently before the courts.  "Even though I know we've been given an ultimatum of 48 hours we're quietly negotiating so that we don't interfere with the process of court ," he said.

 

 

 

Received:

 

Torture In U.S. Ally Uzbekistan

 

From: Z

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005

Subject: Torture in US ally Uzbekistan

 

You're not kidding about the supremely sadistic character of Uzbekistan's dictator Karimov!  Still, he must be a good guy because: a) he's President Bush's friend and ally, b) he has permitted a US military base in his country, and c) the US aid to his regime has gone up ever since he invited the US troops in.

 

Sure, a UN report describes the use of torture in Uzbekistan as "systematic," but... oh hell, maybe it's all in the cause of freedom and democracy, or whatever.

 

For examples of Karimovs’ work, go to:

http://www.muslimuzbekistan.com/eng/ennews/special/genocide/geno0013.html

 

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