GI SPECIAL 3B31:
About Troop Protection Armor
to this hearing with a sense of outrage,” said Rep. Curt
we … are told this problem had been solved, we believed
that. We’ve been repeatedly assured that we have
equipment in the field that is meeting needs,” only to
find out later that’s not the case, he said.
May 16, 2005 By Gordon
Trowbridge, Army Times staff writer
Congress is again pressing the
Pentagon to move faster in getting vehicle armor and other
protection to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking
military officials to speed production and fielding of
equipment to counter the deadly threat of improvised bombs.
Army officials said they hope
to meet U.S. Central Command’s request for the last of more
than 10,000 armored Humvees by June; about 8,000 of the
“up-armored” vehicles are available, said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey
Sorenson, an Army acquisition official. Hunter and Rep. Ike
Skelton, D-Mo., the committee’s top Democrat, said they want
Pentagon and industry officials to try to speed that date.
both parties offered sometimes angry criticism of the
military’s handling of the vehicle armor issue, a
controversy that broke out in December when Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was criticized for his response to
a reservist in Kuwait who asked about his unit’s ad hoc
“I come to
this hearing with a sense of outrage,” said Rep. Curt
“When we …
are told this problem had been solved, we believed that.
We’ve been repeatedly assured that we have equipment in the
field that is meeting needs,” only to find out later that’s
not the case, he said.
he was especially upset at a New York Times article quoting
several members of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines,
as saying they repeatedly asked for better armored vehicles
and were denied.
company’s commander, Capt. Kelly Royer, was relieved shortly
before the unit left Iraq; Weldon said it appeared the
officer had been relieved because he complained about the
pressed Army officials on why residents in his district felt
the need to raise money to buy armor for a Missouri National
Guard unit deploying to Iraq.
And several Democrats asked
about an April 8 Government Accountability Office report
that said inadequate planning and funding and poor
distribution resulted in shortages of key war supplies,
including armored vehicles and body armor.
In the end,
however, it was unclear what Congress or the Pentagon might
do to speed delivery of “up-armored” Humvees to the
battlefield. [Nothing unclear about it. Send every one of
the assholes in the chain of command to Iraq on the next
flight, issue them an unarmored truck or Humvee, and send
their worthless butts into downtown Ramadi. Those that live
will be suitably motivated to find something “to speed
delivery.” If they fail again, they get a second tour, and
a third, just like the troops. Soon they’ll figure out a
solution, or be dead, and their successors can get the same
deal. Amazing how that would focus their concentration on
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)
How A War
May 15, 2005 Ahmed Al-Habbabi, Anti-Allawi-group
exactly a century ago the Russian empire fought a war
with Japan in the belief that a swift victory would
strengthen the powers-that-be in St Petersburg. Instead
the Tsar's armies met defeat. Russian generals, who
said that their tactic of charging Japanese machine guns
with sabre-wielding cavalry had failed only because
their men had attacked with insufficient brio, held
Iraq, American generals and their political masters of
demonstrable incompetence are not fired.
is turning out to be much less of a military and
political superpower than the rest of the world had
15 May 2005 Patrick Cockburn,
"The battlefield is a great
place for liars," Stonewall Jackson once said on viewing the
aftermath of a battle in the American civil war.
The great general meant that
the confusion of battle is such that anybody can claim
anything during a war and hope to get away with it. But even
by the standards of other conflicts, Iraq has been
particularly fertile in lies. Going by the claims of
President George Bush, the war should long be over since his
infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech on 1 May 2003. In
fact most of the 1,600 US dead and 12,000 wounded have
become casualties in the following two years.
The ferocious resistance
encountered last week by the 1,000-strong US marine task
force trying to fight its way into villages around the towns
of Qaim and Obeidi in western Iraq shows that the war is far
from over. So far nine marines have been killed in the
week-long campaign, while another US soldier was killed and
four wounded in central Iraq on Friday. Meanwhile, a car
bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in central Baghdad
yesterday, killing at least five Iraqis and injuring 12.
President Jalal Talabani, the leader of one of the Kurdish
parties, confidently told a meeting in Brasilia last week
that there is war in only three or four out of 18 Iraqi
provinces. Back in Baghdad Mr Talabani, an experienced
guerrilla leader, has deployed no fewer than 3,000 Kurdish
soldiers or peshmerga around his residence in case of
was amused to hear the newly elected President interrupt his
own relentlessly upbeat account of government achievements
to snap orders to his aides on the correct positioning of
troops and heavy weapons around his house.
There is no
doubt that the US has failed to win the war. Much of Iraq
is a bloody no man's land. The army has not been able to
secure the short highway to the airport, though it is the
most important road in the country, linking the US civil
headquarters in the Green Zone with its military HQ at Camp
Ironically, the extent of US
failure to control Iraq is masked by the fact that it is too
dangerous for the foreign media to venture out of central
Baghdad. Some have retreated to the supposed safety of the
Mr Bush can claim that no news
is good news, though in fact the precise opposite is true.
Embedded journalism fosters false optimism. It means
reporters are only present where American troops are active,
though US forces seldom venture into much of Iraq. Embedded
correspondents bravely covered the storming of Fallujah by
US marines last November and rightly portrayed it as a US
outside world remained largely unaware, because no reporters
were present with US forces, that at the same moment an
insurgent offensive had captured most of Mosul, a city five
times larger than Fallujah.
Why has the
vastly expensive and heavily equipped US army failed
militarily in Iraq?
After the crescendo of
violence over the past month there should be no doubts that
the US has not quashed the insurgents whom for two years
American military spokesmen have portrayed as a hunted
remnant of Saddam Hussein's regime assisted by foreign
was in part political. Immediately after the fall of Saddam
Hussein polls showed that Iraqis were evenly divided on
whether they had been liberated or occupied. Eighteen months
later the great majority both of Sunni and Shia said they
had been occupied, and they did not like it.
I visited a spot where an American soldier had been killed
or a US vehicle destroyed there were crowds of young men and
children screaming their delight. "I am a poor man but I am
going home to cook a chicken to celebrate," said one man as
he stood by the spot marked with the blood of an American
soldier who had just been shot to death.
Many of the resistance groups
are bigoted Sunni Arab fanatics who see Shia as well as US
soldiers as infidels whom it is a religious duty to kill.
Others are led by officers from Saddam's brutal security
forces. But Washington
never appreciated the fact that the US occupation was so
unpopular that even the most unsavoury groups received
From the start, there was
something dysfunctional about the American armed forces.
They could not adapt themselves to Iraq.
massive firepower meant they won any set-piece battle,
but it also meant that they accidentally killed so many
Iraqi civilians that they were the recruiting sergeants
of the resistance.
The US war machine was
over-armed. I once saw a unit trying to restore order at a
petrol station where there was a fist fight between Iraqi
drivers over queue-jumping (given that people sometimes
sleep two nights in their cars waiting to fill a tank,
tempers were understandably frayed). In one corner was a
massive howitzer, its barrel capable of hurling a shell
30km, which the soldiers had brought along for this minor
The US army
was designed to fight a high-technology blitzkrieg, but not
much else. It required large quantities
of supplies and its supply lines were vulnerable to roadside
bombs. Combat engineers, essentially sappers, lamented that
they had received absolutely no training in doing this. Even
conventional mine detectors did not work. Roadsides in Iraq
are full of metal because Iraqi drivers normally dispose of
soft drink cans out the window. Sappers were reduced to
prodding the soil nervously with titanium rods like wizards'
poor intelligence and excessive firepower, American
operations all became exercises in collective punishment.
At first the US did not
realise that all Iraqi men have guns and they considered
possession of a weapon a sign of hostile intention towards
the occupation. They confiscated as suspicious large
quantities of cash in farmers' houses, not realising that
Iraqis often keep the family fortune at home in $100 bills
ever since Saddam Hussein closed the banks before the Gulf
war and, when they reopened, Iraqi dinar deposits were
The US army
was also too thin on the ground. It has 145,000 men in
Iraq, but reportedly only half of these are combat troops.
During the heavily publicised assault on Fallujah the US
forces drained the rest of Iraq of its soldiers.
is clueless that it takes minimum 7 support troops for each
combat effective. Do the math, and it’s not anything
remotely close to “half” of the 145,000. 25,000 combat
effectives would be amazing efficiency. To hold down all of
Iraq. Game over, time to go home, alive.]
discovered the US troops had suddenly abandoned the main
road between Kirkuk and Baghdad without telling anybody,"
said one indignant observer. "It promptly fell under the
control of the insurgents."
acts as a sort of fire brigade, briefly effective in dousing
the flames, but always moving on before they are fully
only about 6,000 US soldiers in Nineveh province, of which
Mosul is the capital and which has a population of three
million. [There it is. Run, do not walk, to the nearest
For the election on 30
January, US reserves arriving in Iraq were all sent to Mosul
to raise the level to 15,000 to prevent any uprising in the
city. They succeeded in doing so but were then promptly
shortage of US forces has a political explanation. Before
the war Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence, and his
neo-conservative allies derided generals who said an
occupation force numbering hundreds of thousands would be
necessary to hold Iraq.
When they were proved wrong they dealt with failure by
denying it had taken place.
There is a
sense of bitterness among many US National Guardsmen that
they have been shanghaied into fighting in a dangerous war.
I was leaving the Green Zone one day when one came up to me
and said he noticed that I had a limp and kindly offered to
show me a quicker way to the main gate. As we walked along
he politely asked the cause of my disability. I explained I
had had polio many years ago. He sighed and said he too had
had his share of bad luck.
looked hale and hearty this surprised me. "Yes," he said
bitterly. "My bad luck was that I joined the Washington
State National Guard which had not been called up since
1945. Two months later they sent me here where I stand good
chance of being killed."
exactly a century ago the Russian empire fought a war with
Japan in the belief that a swift victory would strengthen
the powers-that-be in St Petersburg. Instead the Tsar's
armies met defeat. Russian generals, who said that their
tactic of charging Japanese machine guns with sabre-wielding
cavalry had failed only because their men had attacked with
insufficient brio, held their jobs.
American generals and their political masters of
demonstrable incompetence are not fired.
The US is
turning out to be much less of a military and political
superpower than the rest of the world had supposed.
PLACE TO BE:
ALL HOME NOW!
A U.S. soldier walks past a
puddle of blood after two suicide bomb attacks in Baquba, 65
kms (43 miles) north of Baghdad, May 15, 2005. REUTERS/Faris
Iraq Vet Needs Help
some help. Please respond if you know of service
organizations that can intervene. T]
Wednesday, May 11, 2005 5:14 PM
help my son with bills? He got wounded in Iraq like all the
other stories I hear no one is really helping our soldiers.
I loved your articles.
Please let me know.
Hi...My name is Ward Reilly,
and I am veteran, and the SE National contact for "Veterans
For Peace" and "Vietnam Veterans Against the War"...I got
this message from Thomas Barton, of the GI Special news
service.... I was wondering if you could give me a little
more info...Is your son discharged, or is he still active
duty? Where are you, more or less. Are your sons medical
bills from his Iraq wounds?
Answers to these questions
would make it easier to (possibly) find you some help. Do
you know about the "G.I. Hotline? 1-800 394-9544
They offer extensive help to
sorry to hear that another vet is hurting...please give him
our greetings, and I hope that he is all right, and tell him
to hang in there.
I look forward to hearing from
A Hero's Sacrifice!
[Thanks to Alan S., who sent
also recognizes that "wounded warriors" need a cash
infusion, too. So it authorizes immediate payments of
$25,000 to $100,000 to families whose loved one is
coming home blind. Or crippled. Or both.
May 11th, 2005 New York Daily
read the news looking like the "Home Alone" poster.
scream to myself, mouth wide open, hands compressing cheeks:
Four years after 9/11 we're spending billions in Iraq while
our own ports and borders are still unsecured? Aghhh!
attack on New Jersey's chlorine plants could kill everyone
within a 14-mile radius and still Bush won't make his
chemical industry pals safeguard their plants? Aghhh!
Despite the explicit
recommendations of the 9/11 commission, EVERY SINGLE STATE
is going to get a piece of the homeland security pie, no
matter how red and remote its chances of attack? Aghhh!
opening national forests to developers, cutting funds for
low-income college loans, threatening to close VA hospitals
during wartime. ... How come everything that seems so NUTS
to me seems absolutely WONDERFUL to the people in power?
And then suddenly, out of the
blue, Congress goes and passes a bill so shockingly,
seriously, stand-up-and-cheer decent, all I can say is: Wha?
I mean: Bravo! What took you so long?
billion wartime appropriations act that passed the Senate
yesterday and the House last week recognizes the shameful
fact: We have been treating our soldiers like Handi Wipes.
this, the bill will boost the payout for combat deaths from
$12,400 to $100,000. In other words, a dead soldier will no
longer cost the government less than a Hyundai.
also increases maximum life insurance payouts for soldiers
from $250,000 to $400,000. Moreover, it recognizes that
"wounded warriors" need a cash infusion, too. So it
authorizes immediate payments of $25,000 to $100,000 to
families whose loved one is coming home blind. Or crippled.
there was no such payment.
These measures passed both
houses by wide margins because everyone, Democrat and
Republican alike, finally realized we were ignoring the very
people willing to take a bullet - or car bomb - for us.
fact that it took more than two years of war to get these
benefits only shows that my original "Aghhh!" got it right.
President Bush pursued this war without thought to the
staggering financial hits that soldiers - and reservists
and National Guardsmen and their families - were being
asked to make. Congress was too preoccupied to take him
"It is amazing that this
wasn't considered sooner," admits a spokesman for the bill's
sponsor, Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.).
think anyone really thought about doing anything for these
people," says a spokesman for Sen. Larry
Craig (R-Idaho), who proposed the wounded warriors part of
No, the people in power were too busy dividing up the
homeland security money. Or maybe trying to kill the
filibuster. Or granting the energy industry's wish list.
“I Just Wish He Didn't Have To Go"
For Bush’s Imperial Slaughterhouse:
Leaving Ft. Stewart;
May 14, 2005 WSBTV.com
FORT STEWART -- Family
members gave a tearful send-off Saturday to 4,300 citizen
soldiers who start leaving for Iraq on Sunday in the biggest
wartime deployment of the Georgia National Guard since World
Karmen Callaway of McDonough
in Henry County said goodbye to two sons in the 48th
Infantry Brigade. They and their fellow soldiers are due to
spend at least a year in Iraq. "They're good kids, and
they've got the Lord," Callaway said. "We're going to all be
praying for them and we're all ready for them to get back."
job and he's proud of what he's doing, and I'm proud of
him," Sandra Vivans of Atlanta said of her son. "But I just
wish he didn't have to go."
who didn't give her name choked up at the thought of her son
leaving his young daughter, who slept through part of the
Troops Who Resist:
End The War;
Paredes And Kevin Benderman:
Statement for the Defense
resistance of PO Pablo Paredes and SGT. Kevin Benderman
is not only morally and legally justified; it is also
GI mutiny ultimately ended the brutal and corrupt U.S.
war in Vietnam; it can do so today in Iraq and
May 12, 2005, By Michael
Letwin, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War
(NYCLAW) Former President, Association of Legal Aid
Attorneys/UAW Local 2325
do not want to be sent to war to kill or maim - or be killed
or maimed - to make the rich and powerful more rich and
powerful. And like all empires, the United States has
gotten around that problem by lying.
To steal Texas, California,
Arizona and New Mexico, it lied in 1845 about "Mexican
aggression." To conquer Cuba and the Philippines, it lied
in 1898 about "Remembering the Maine." To devastate
Indochina, it lied in 1964 about being attacked in the Gulf
of Tonkin. Today, to wage war in the Middle East for oil
and empire, the Bush administration lies about "Weapons of
Mass Destruction," "Terrorism," and "Building Democracy."
But the U.S. has made life in
Iraq far worse than under Saddam Hussein. It has killed one
hundred thousand Iraqis and maimed thousands of others;
wiped out the national infrastructure; poisoned with
depleted uranium; destroyed Falluja, Najaf and Ramadi; set
up a puppet regime of CIA operatives to bless the U.S. war,
promote ethnic strife, and "Salvadorianize" with death
squads of Hussein's former security forces; holds more than
11,000 political prisoners who are detained, tortured and
murdered in hells like Abu Ghraib; and plundered and
privatized Iraqi's economy.
people in this country have also paid a terrible cost. As
of this week, 1,600 GIs have been killed and thousands more
wounded; hundreds of billions of dollars have been
squandered, while jobs and services at home plummet. And
also this week, the Senate voted - unanimously - for another
$82 billion to fund this obscenity.
This war and occupation is
indefensible. Legally, they are the same criminal acts for
which the Nazis were tried at Nuremberg: (1) Conspiracy to
Wage Aggressive War; (2) Waging Aggressive War, or Crimes
Against Peace; (3) War Crimes; and (4) Crimes Against
Humanity. They also violate Chapter VII of the UN Charter
and the Geneva Convention.
crimes justify resistance - particularly since Bush's crimes
have been blessed, rather than challenged, by both
Democratic Party politicians and the UN.
those under attack, the right to resist is reflected in
Article 51 of the UN Charter, which guarantees "the
inherent right of individual or collective
self-defence." It is important to note that this right
is not limited to people whose politics we may happen to
approve. Today, with the vast majority of Iraqis
demanding an immediate end to U.S. war and occupation,
the Iraqi resistance is exercising this right by tying
down the world's most powerful military machine.
For soldiers in an aggressor's
army, resistance is not only a right - it is an obligation.
The Nuremberg trials specifically rejected the defense of
"following orders," and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ) requires military personnel to disobey unlawful
resistance of PO Pablo Paredes and SGT. Kevin Benderman is
not only morally and legally justified; it is also
The war and
occupation in Iraq have given birth to a GI revolt reflected
in a huge shortfall of enlistments and re- enlistments -
especially among people of color; widespread refusal to
report for reserve and national guard activation; and nearly
A mass GI
mutiny ultimately ended the brutal and corrupt U.S. war in
Vietnam; it can do so today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pablo Paredes and Kevin
Benderman are guilty only of great principle and courage.
They, and all resisters, deserve our admiration and support.
only reason I am being court-martialed is because I
applied for conscientious objector,” said Benderman, who
has been assigned to administrative duties. “It seems
strange to me that I’m a deserter. I still go to work
every day. I wear my uniform every day.”
May 11, 2005, Russ Bynum, Associated Press
FUCK IS THIS?
Office Types Have Four
Months Rotation In Iraq!
05 May 2005 Sue Pleming,
Rapid turnover and a shortage
of experienced U.S. staff in Iraq managing billions of
dollars of contracts is wreaking havoc on a rebuilding plan
already slowed down by violence.
Companies working in Iraq,
auditors and the U.S. government office running the $18.4
billion U.S. rebuilding program all say contracting staff
shortages in Baghdad are a problem as overworked employees
struggle to oversee and award contracts in a stressful,
Many of the
contracting staff in Iraq are drawn from the military,
particularly the Air Force, which typically has had a
four-month rotation, said Project and Contracting Office
spokesman Major Tom Leonard.
And Now For
The Good News About The Iraq War:
Find Blind, Suicidal Iraq Veteran Alive
May 11, 2005 By Cindi Lash and
Gabrielle Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
daylong search over rugged hills, through caves and around
creek beds in Fayette County, search crews last night
located Salvatore "Sam'' Ross Jr., a blind, severely injured
Iraq war veteran who disappeared a day earlier after
Joe Basinger, a U.S. Army
veteran from Connellsville, and four of Ross' relatives and
friends riding all-terrain vehicles found Ross, 22, at about
9:30 p.m. in the Wheeler Bottom section of Dunbar Township.
Ross, who walks with a prosthesis, did not appear to have
new injuries, but authorities were not sure how long he'd
been there, Dunbar Borough Police Chief Mike Garlowich said.
Garlowich said Ross apparently
walked about two miles along the trail into Dunbar Township,
where he was found sitting near storage tanks at the
municipal water-treatment plant.
Crew transported Ross, who
appeared to be tired, in a sheriff's department patrol car
to the Dunbar Fire Hall, where yesterday's search had been
based. He walked from the car to an ambulance, which took
him to Highlands Hospital in Connellsville.
was found last night, authorities said Ross, who'd been
gravely injured in Iraq two years ago this month, would be
involuntarily committed to a hospital for psychiatric care
if he was found alive.
said he'd never met Ross, but immediately recognized him
when he stepped out in front of his ATV in the darkness. He
said he told Ross, "You're a vet and I'm a vet, too."
wanted to be left alone and I wasn't leaving him," said
Basinger, 43. "In the military, we don't leave anybody
More than 80 volunteers spent
yesterday using ATVs, trained dogs and a helicopter to
search around Ross' home atop the remote Hardy Hill area of
Dunbar Township, at homes of friends and other places he
frequented before disappearing Monday night.
said he'd threatened suicide in a call and note before he
left and said they feared he was despondent because of the
approaching second anniversary of the day he was injured.
losing his eyesight, his left leg and part of his hearing
and suffering other injuries on May 18, 2003, while defusing
a bomb in a dusty Baghdad lot, Ross came back to a hometown
parade and a community that hailed him as a hero.
News accounts detailed his
injuries, his rehabilitation and his vow to craft a
productive life, spurring hundreds of well-wishers to send
letters, cards and pledges of financial or medical support.
members and authorities said Ross also has suffered from
crushing bouts of depression. He's also had a couple of
run-ins with police, including a fight with three patrons
and two police officers in a Uniontown bar in February that
resulted in his facing trial on aggravated assault and other
"It was so hard when Sam was
hurt and we didn't know then if he'd live or not," Ross'
sister, Tiffany Ross, said yesterday as she paced and shared
hugs with other relatives gathered outside the fire hall,
about a mile down Hardy Hill. "This has been so much
Ross apparently walked away
from his modest beige mobile home Monday night after calling
a veterans crisis hotline and asking for help at 7:58 p.m.,
his cousin, Mindy Werner said. He also called his
girlfriend, Jenna Bennett of Smock, and left a message
saying that he planned to kill himself, Werner said.
Hotline officials notified
police, who accompanied a mental health caseworker to Ross'
home, Garlowich said. Ross was gone when they arrived,
Garlowich said, but he'd left a note written neatly on plain
white computer paper.
did not release the note yesterday, but Garlowich said the
note said "something along the lines of, 'You won't find my
T.J. and Tiffany Ross said
they were not sure if their brother had a weapon with him.
But T.J. Ross and Garlowich said relatives had cleared his
trailer of weapons a few days ago, worried about his
Rolling In Cash;
Good Business: Invest Your Kid)
New York Times, May 12, 2005
military contractors are flush with money, which makes
shareholders happy and pushing their stocks to new highs.
Chaplain Tells Of Academy Proselytizing;
Loving Loonies Retaliate
New York Times, May 12, 2005
Force Academy chaplain has described a “systemic and
pervasive” problem of religious proselytizing at the school
and says a religious tolerance program she helped construct
to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown
to officers, including the major general who is the Air
Force’s chief chaplain.
Christian radical cleric assholes went after her, and the
brass promptly dismissed her from her post. Fuck, we can’t
have religious tolerance at a service academy. OK, fair
enough, let’s have no tolerance for these loony fanatics,
and whip their ass out of town with the rod of righteousness
and a few barbed-wire scourges. These are the shit-eaters
who preach that two-year old kids should have “evil” and
“Satan” beaten out of them, and that women must be made to
obey and serve their husbands. They actually write and
publish how-to-do-it-books on both topics, when they take
time off from their busy schedules beating up their wives
and molesting kids. Time to pour out some vials of wrath
upon their heads.]
NO OIL FOR
RESUME ‘FOR HOUR’ BEFORE PIPELINE BLOWN UP AGAIN
May 13 2005 DailyTimes
stopped efforts to resume sustained crude oil exports
through Turkey on Friday after a bomb hit the main pumping
station feeding its northern pipeline,
said an Iraqi oil official. The blast at the Athana crude
gathering and pumping station came as Iraq was reviving
crude flows to storage tanks at Turkey’s Ceyhan port, said
before the blast, shipping sources said that Iraq had
resumed pumping crude to Turkey and was exporting almost
500,000 barrels per day (bpd) on that route.
The Iraqi oil official gave a
more conservative figure, saying an average of 100,000 bpd
had been moving through the pipeline to Ceyhan, where about
400,000 barrels were stored. He said another sabotage blast
had hit a domestic pipeline from Kirkuk that feeds
STILL RUNNING THINGS IN SADR CITY
Armed members of a militia
loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr man a traffic checkpoint in
Baghdad's Sadr City May 15, 2005. REUTERS/Kareem Akal
05/15/05 AP & Reuters &
released the governor of Iraq's western Anbar province,
relatives and a government official said. Gov. Raja Nawaf
Farhan al-Mahalawi was seized Tuesday as he drove from Qaim
and kidnappers had vowed to hold him until U.S. forces
withdrew from the border town.
The released governor's
cousin, Safi Jalal, told AP the captive had been freed
without conditions in the village of Obeidi, scene of some
of the fiercest fighting in the first days of the weeklong
carloads of men opened fire on an Industry Ministry official
and his driver, killing both in a hail of bullets,
police Major Musa Abd al-Karim said.
The victims were travelling
through Baghdad's Al-Gazaliya area when they were attacked,
Abd al-Karim said.
An Interior Ministry official,
speaking on condition of anonymity, identified one of the
victims as Colonel Jasim Muhammad al-Lahibi, a former
intelligence officer who worked as an assistant director in
charge of government-owned buildings.
battleground city of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the
slain bodies of 10 Iraqi soldiers were found Saturday,
an Interior Ministry statement said. Their bodies had been
dumped in an eastern part of the city, the statement added
without providing further details.
Insurgents have killed scores
of Iraqis they suspect of ties to US troops or the Iraqi
government and dumped their bodies.
Two explosions detonated about
five minutes apart in a busy street as residents were
heading to work in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad,
killing four people and wounding 37, hospital official Raed
Abdul Munim said.
a car bomb, targeted the convoy of Diyala provincial Gov.
Raed Rashid Hamid al-Mullah Jawad, who escaped unharmed,
said police Col. Mudhafar Mohammed. Three of Jawad's guards
later, a suicide bomber dressed as a police lieutenant blew
himself up when he was stopped from entering a court
building about 500 yards away, police Brig. Gen. Adil Mollan
Maj. Imad Shakir Mahmoud, who blocked the bomber, was among
three policemen killed in the blast, and
three other officers were injured.
The Foreign Fighters Have Left Town
celebrate around a destroyed U.S. armoured vehicle near
Rommana village near Qaim, about 320
kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Baghdad in Iraq Sunday,
May 15, 2005. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
A Taxi Driver
Abu Ali, a
taxi driver, said: “I heard Rice was here. Is she here to
improve electricity? Is she here to listen to the agonies
of the Iraqi people? Of course not. She is here to promote
American interests, not Iraq’s.” May 15, 2005 Richard
Beeston, Times (UK)
This Is As Good As It Gets?"
May 15, 2005 Steve Chapman,
Brookings Institution scholar
Ivo Daalder noted something ominous about our experience:
"We have had one bright spot in Iraq in two years--the
Americans assume that if we stay the course, things will get
better. But it's worth pondering the question Jack Nicholson
asked in "As Good as It Gets": "What if this is as good as
Insurgency Can Never Be Defeated By Military Force”
05/14/05 TIM HARPER,
WASHINGTON BUREAU, Toronto Star Newspapers Limited
David Phillips of the
non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations also points to
statements from the White House that U.S. Vice-President
Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had
intervened to try to break the cabinet stalemate as another
"It reinforced the view in
Iraq that (Prime Minister Ibrahim) Jaafari was merely a
proxy for those people in Washington," he said.
about the chances that the brakes could be put on the
insurgency in the short term, he answered: "None. This
insurgency will go on for years and years, regardless of
what the U.S. does."
insurgency can never be defeated by military force, he said.
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.
Exercise In Extreme Madness”
May 9, 2005 By BOB HERBERT,
The New York Times
When Bob Woodward asked
President Bush if he had consulted with his father about the
decision to go to war in Iraq, the president famously
replied, "There is a higher father that I appeal to." It
might have been better if Mr. Bush had stayed in closer
touch with his earthly father.
very beginning the war in Iraq has been an exercise in
extreme madness, an absurd venture that would have been rich
in comic possibilities except for the fact that many
thousands of men, women and children have died, and tens of
thousands have been crippled, burned or otherwise maimed.
Abu Ghraib was not an
aberration. It was a symptom. This is a war in which the
people in charge have had no idea what they were doing.
One of the
recommendations of Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who
investigated the scandal at Abu Ghraib, was that a team be
sent to Iraq to teach some of the soldiers how to run
prisons. How's that for an innovative step?
American public is becoming fed up and with good reason.
Support for the war is declining and the reputation of the
military is in jeopardy. The Army has been unable to meet
its recruitment goals and the search for new soldiers is
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.
From A Christian Fundamentalist Warrior
Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no
refutation. These precepts correspond to
irrefragable needs of the human soul.”
“Providence withdrew its
protection and our people fell, fell as scarcely any other
people heretofore. In this deep misery we again learn to
pray. . . . The mercy of the Lord slowly returns to us
this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God
that he may bless us, that He may give us the strength to
carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the
honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God.”
Address to the German people, March 1936
“But there is something else I
believe, and that is that there is a God. . . . And this
God again has blessed our efforts during the past 13
years.” Feb 1940
“To be sure, our Christian
Cross should be the most exalted symbol of the struggle
against the Jewish-Marxist-Bolshevik spirit."
Wishes He Were Younger;
May 14, 2005
To: GI Special
5.15.05 Der Fuhererbunker
The trademark cookie-duster
mustache is still there, though now venerably snow-white,
and he still parts and combs his hair the same way. Adolf
Hitler, who recently celebrated his 116th birthday in his
mini-bunker somewhere between Rangoon and Port-au-Prince, is
thin and wrinkled but as he himself puts it with a beaming
smile, "still alive and kicking!"
"Sure I died in my Berlin
bunker," he jokes. "OK, that was my double, poor Schlomo
the tailor. Eva Braun was real, though; no other way to
dump that annoying groupie." His only companion now is a
strikingly well preserved Eva Peron, a present from the
Florida-based Friendly Fascist Freedom Fighters (FFFF).
"Isn't she stunning?" he asks with an affectionate glance at
his demurely silent partner. "I call her my sleeping
Surrounded by his poignant
paintings of big-eyed puppies and kittens, Mr. Hitler is
eager to set the historic record straight.
we invaded Russia for selfish reasons. All lies. We did not
covet their land, oil, gold, timber, or slave labor. Our
motive was altruistic: to liberate the people from Stalin's
tyranny. But they hated freedom, you see? Hordes of
anti-Russian insurgents and terrorists attacked us from all
sides. Of course we dealt with them firmly, ruthlessly."
"The only way to rule
subhumans is with an iron hand," exclaims Mr. Hitler,
banging a rickety table with his fist. "Messrs Bush and
Sharon understand that, and I admire them for it."
Totally convinced that the
world is in good hands, the former German chancellor is
confident that the current war on terror will eventually be
won. He looks every inch an elder statesman as he muses
about world affairs. "Ach, if only I were younger," he
sighs, "The dawn of global domination is finally at hand and
I long to be a part of it."
always fight against chaos with blood and steel," Mr. Hitler
hotly asserts. "All sorts of malcontents, troublemakers,
dissidents, and terrorists must be crushed. The rabble must
be taught that work is freedom, and made to work and pray.
I'm as certain as the Pope is Catholic that the present
global leader will stay the course and bring peace to the
world as I myself tried to do. It may take ten, hundred, or
a thousand years, but the war on terror will be won.
Remember the words of Herr Mick von Jagger: "Time is on my
side." Yes it is. There will be law and order. Indeed there
will. And discipline, iron discipline -- God is a
Asked about his old ally
Benito Mussolini, the old authoritarian grows pensive.
"Benito was not so bright, but he was a good man. As
everyone knows, he made the trains run on time and organized
wonderful parades. He also did his best to bring the
blessings of Roman civilization -- Verdi, Puccini, pizza,
linguini -- to the barbarians of the dark continent. Alas,
shamelessly slandered and misunderstood, he was forced to
bomb some sense into the misguided natives. But he was
compassionate and always regretted any loss of innocent
life. God bless the old thug!"
Mr. Hitler pauses to take a
sip of the iguana milk to which he attributes his longevity
(and from which he makes his own yoghurt, butter, and
As our talk
turns to California's Governor Schwartzenegger, his features
brighten and he looks at least sixty years younger. "What a
superb man, finest Aryan stock! Those bulging biceps! Good
politics too! I dearly loved his father as well. My only
regret in this life is that my lovely director Leni
Riefenstahl and Arnold never made a movie together -- think
what a masterpiece that would have been: "Triumph of the
Terminator!" Ach, you can't always get what you want."
that, the great dictator drops off into a sudden nap and
snores serenely, surely dreaming of conquering the world
10 May 2005 ElectronicIraq.net
FALLUJAH, May 10, 2005 - On
May 6, 2005 a group of Shi'a Muslims called Muslim
Peacemaker Team (MPT) traveled to the Sunni-dominated city
of Fallujah from as far away as Kerbala and Najaf to help
their Sunni counterparts clean up rubble from the previous
U.S. assault on the city. In a symbolic act of solidarity,
members of MPT sought to counter the growing reports of
Sunni-Shi'a sectarian violence and to demonstrate unity in a
leader asked MPT and Christian Peacemaker Teams members
why the United States military felt it had to attack and
destroy a city of 300,000 in order to capture one man
and his small band of terrorists. One person noted that
when Al Capone and his gangsters were controlling
Chicago in the 1920's, the FBI didn't come in and level
the city in order to eliminate them.
How Bad Is
War With Rabbits
05/14/05 The Scotsman
Thomas Conway admitted, however, that the insurgents were
showing signs of becoming more organised. "There are reports
that these people are in uniforms and there’s some suspicion
that their training exceeds that of what we have seen with
other engagements further east."
Although the US claims to have
trained more than 150,000 Iraqi security forces, the level
of their training, at most 12 weeks’ duration for an Iraqi
commando, is open to doubt.
"If you ask
any Iraqi leader, they will tell you these people can’t
fight. They just aren’t trained - and yet we’re cranking
them out like rabbits," says Leslie Gelb,
president emeritus of the Council for Foreign Relations, who
recently returned from a trip to Iraq, said, and who
advocates slower but better training of fewer recruits.
Command Adopts Israeli Occupation Tactic
May 16, 2005 By Alex Neill,
Army Times Staff Writer
Batteries with the 2-8 along
with supporting elements rooted out several suspected
terrorists April 20, after shutting down all incoming and
outgoing village traffic before dawn and ordering all adult
males to the elementary school. Intel officers ran the
names of more than 1,300 male villagers through their
databases, identifying and arresting 27 of them as suspected
straight from the playbook of the Israeli Occupation Army in
Palestine. They have been doing this one for years. And
everybody knows how successful they have been in stopping
the Palestinians fighting for their national liberation.
Stupidity knows no national border.]
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
POLITICIANS AT WORK
ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON PRESIDENT BUSH:
5.15.05: By Ima Flack, Kept
Following this incident at the
White House May 14, caught by a lucky KP photographer
present for a photo-op, the turkey, which escaped White
House security personnel to approach President Bush
undetected, was transported to Guantanamo Bay camp for
Witnesses report as the turkey
ran for the President, it was heard to emit sounds
transliterated by CIA personnel as “gaagga gagagga gakestgh
The sounds were later
deciphered by CIA code experts, who identified them as an
obscure Iraqi dialect from the Sahi Sinjar area. An
anonymous source said the sounds mean “Zarkawi and Osama are
really cool. I hate you for your freedom. I am an evildoer
and a Saddam Hussein remnant intent upon denying the Iraq
people their freedom and democracy.”
Following the attack, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered a B-52 strike on Sahi
Sinjar. “Nobody ever heard of the fucking place anyhow.
It’ll never be missed,” he said.
University students march in the streets in Jalalabad,
Afghanistan AP Photo
continuation of the anti-American demonstrations in
Afghanistan, Ghalat the center of Zabol province was the
scene of another rally in southern Afghanistan on Sunday.
The demonstrators chanted slogans such as ‘Down with Bush’,
and ‘Down with US officials’, and condemned the blasphemous
act of the US soldiers to the Holy Quran.
Defence Ministry Sunday called on the US government to
initiate an investigation into the reported abuse of Muslim
holy book, the Quran, at Guantanamo Bay prison.
Defence Ministry Spokesman,
Zahir Azimi at a press conference told reporters, “while
condemning any blasphemous acts, the Afghan Defence Ministry
is calling upon the US government, particularly Pentagon, to
initiate a thorough probe into the alleged desecration of
the Holy Quran”. He
noted that anyone, if found guilty of desecration, should be
openly interrogated and punished. [Huh?]
Government Of Thieves And Drug Dealers
2005-05-14 Scott Baldauf and
Faye Bowers, The Christian Science Monitor
Brahowie, Afghanistan's minister of tribal and frontier
affairs, says that the government has become so full of drug
smugglers that cabinet meetings have become a farce.
"Sometimes the people who complain the loudest about theft
are thieves themselves," he says.
Afghan officials interviewed
say that Inayatullah's case isn't an isolated one. They say
that the people facilitating the drug trade are often the
very people who have been assigned to stop it — the police.
"Whatever number of police
cars there are in Kabul, I can tell you that more than 50%
of them are carrying drugs inside from one place to
another," says a senior police commander in Kabul,
requesting anonymity for his own safety.
Israelis Happy To See Palestinian Dance
5/10/2005 International Middle
East Media Center
want to pass through the checkpoint, you will have to dance
for us”, an Israeli soldier told a Palestinian child who was
trying to cross a gate of the Separation Wall in his way
back home in Jaba’, near Jenin.
Hasan, 14 years old, looked at the soldier, who had his gun
pointed at him, when he soldier repeated his request and
told him ‘If you want to go back home, you will have to
dance for us”.
soldiers surrounded me, and one of them asked me about my
name, they he shouted at me saying “Dance, now!”, so I had
no other solution and danced for five minutes”, Mohammad
out what life is like under a murderous military occupation
by a foreign power, go to:
www.rafahtoday.org The foreign army is Israeli; the
occupied nation is Palestine.]
Who Boils Political Critics Alive At Risk Of Overthrow:
among human rights groups followed claims by the White
House on Friday that appeared designed to justify the
violence of the regime of President Islam Karimov,
claiming - as Karimov has - that 'terrorist groups' may
have been involved in the uprising.
said the US was prepared to support pro-democracy unrest
in some states, but condemn it in others where such
policies were inconvenient.
May 15, 2005 Nick Paton Walsh
in Moscow & By Nick Paton Walsh and Paul Harris, The
Observer & By BAGILA BUKHARBAYEVA, The Associated Press
violence that has reportedly killed hundreds of protesters
in eastern Uzbekistan appeared to be spreading to
neighbouring towns last night, raising fears that the
volatile Central Asian state could erupt into a full-scale
As human rights workers in the
flashpoint town of Andijan warned that the death toll there
could reach 500, an
official from the neighbouring country of Kyrgyzstan said
sporadic rioting had broken out in the border town of
Karasu, with government buildings and police cars on fire
and military helicopters circling overhead.
One local official was
reported by the Russian Interfax news agency to have been
hundreds of angry protesters gathered Saturday at the site
of Friday's bloodshed, placing six bodies on display from
the scores witnesses said were killed in fighting. Clusters
of bystanders watched as men covered other bloodied bodies
with white shrouds.
Demonstrators, some with tears in their eyes, condemned the
government for firing on women and children. Residents said
a group of hundreds later went to a local police station to
confront the heavily armed authorities, who sent a
helicopter buzzing low over the crowd to scare them away.
President, Islam Karimov told reporters in the capital,
Tashkent: 'I know that you want to know who gave the order
to fire at them ... No one ordered (the troops) to fire at
them.' [Right. Just like nobody told the troops to torture
at Abu G. Troops don’t take orders, they just do whatever
comes into their heads.] He said 10 soldiers were killed in
the clash and 'many more' protesters.
Galima Bukharbaeva, a reporter
with international monitoring group the Institute for War
and Peace Reporting, who witnessed the killings, described a
column of armoured personnel carriers firing
indiscriminately and unprovoked at protesters.
[And of course nobody in
the government or command gave any orders. Hopefully the
troops will soon decide a much better course of action is to
join with the citizens and kill their commanding officers,
the dictator, and his political stooges.]
stormed the city prison after 23 businessmen were put on
trial for alleged Islamic extremism. They took over the
local administration centre and blockaded the city centre,
some demanding that the government resign.
Human rights worker Lutfulla
Shamsutdinov told Agence France-Presse yesterday:
'This morning I saw three trucks and a bus in which 300 dead
bodies were being loaded by soldiers. At least one third of
the bodies were women.'
witness said that he saw 1,000 people, mostly women and
children, gathering in the city centre yesterday
morning. 'Some were bringing their dead. Many of them
were old people or women, some were throwing stones at
the soldiers. I saw over 20 dead, but someone told me
they had seen many more piled up near the central
Daniyar Akbarov, 24, one of
those freed from jail on Friday, tearfully beat his chest in
the square yesterday. 'Our women and children are dying,' he
said, claiming he had seen 300 people killed.
Friday night, the United States raised fears that
members of a 'terrorist group' may have been released
from prison during the riots, but urged both sides to
British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who claims
that he lost his job for exposing the human rights abuses of
the US's new ally in the war on terror, said the Islamic
elements in the Andijan crowds were moderate - 'more Turkey
'This has really blown up in the US's faces. When will the
US and UK call for fair, free and early elections in
America gives $10 million a
year in aid to the Uzbek security services and police,
agencies which it says indulge in torture as a 'routine
investigation technique'. Murray said: 'The US will claim
that they are teaching the Uzbeks less repressive
interrogation techniques, but that is basically not true.
'They help fund the Uzbek
security services and give tens of millions of dollars in
military support as well.' He said the money was a
'sweetener' in return for the Uzbeks allowing the US to have
an airbase in the southern town of Khanabad, vital for
operations in neighbouring Afghanistan.
among human rights groups followed claims by the White
House on Friday that appeared designed to justify the
violence of the regime of President Islam Karimov,
claiming - as Karimov has - that 'terrorist groups' may
have been involved in the uprising.
said the US was prepared to support pro-democracy unrest
in some states, but condemn it in others where such
policies were inconvenient.
and analysts familiar with the region said most protesters
were complaining about government corruption and poverty,
not espousing Islamic extremism.
comments were seized on by Karimov, who said yesterday that
the protests were organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic
group often accused by Tashkent of seditious extremism. Yet
Washington, which has expressed concern over the group's
often hardline message, has yet to designate it a terrorist
Uzbekistan is believed to be
one of the destination countries for the highly secretive
'renditions programme', whereby the CIA ships terrorist
suspects to third-party countries where torture is used that
cannot be employed in the US. Newspaper reports in America
say dozens of suspects have been transferred to Uzbek jails.
said that during a series of suicide bombings in
Tashkent in March 2004, before he was sacked as UK
ambassador, he was shown transcripts of telephone
intercepts in which known al-Qaeda representatives were
asking each other 'what the hell was going on. But then
Colin Powell came out and said that al-Qaeda were behind
the blasts. I don't think the US even believe their own
Last year Human Rights Watch
released a 319-page report detailing the use of torture by
Uzbekistan's security services.
It said the
government was carrying out a campaign of torture and
intimidation against Muslims that had seen 7,000 people
imprisoned, and documented at least 10 deaths, including
Muzafar Avozov, who was boiled to death in 2002.
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