GI SPECIAL 3B34:
Soldier R, Iraq Veteran
May 11, 2005
But I do
get out in [a few] days.
the army is getting their last good fucking in before its
said and done.
bureaucratic channels and flaming hoops guys like me
(getting out and all) that we have to jump through is
loss just keeps on affecting us even to the very end.
I think about one third of our brigade is getting out or
going somewhere else all at once, so much of what we need to
get done is being pushed to the very last minute before we
leave. It’s completely out of our hands.
Well, I got gear to clean so I
can turn it in. I won’t miss any of it.
The way I
see it, there are two kinds of guys in the army:
hate the army
love the gear.
May 16 & 18, 2005
No [new] stop loss in this
brigade, at least not that I heard.
There was a crazy rumor about
one hitting a year from now, but I haven’t heard shit about
it since. This brigade is moving back stateside. Hell I
don’t remember that either, nor do I care. All I know is
that this particular brigade is not receiving any new
soldiers and isn’t scheduled to deploy [again] for another
year and a half.
But we're almost outta here.
Ok I got
some shit to do, more appointments and signatures. i
already elaborated on the "getting the fuck out of the army"
process. Yeah, it still sucks.
We’re going to see star wars
tonight at an English theater in [XXXX] tonight. This one
looks like The One. I can’t wait.
see it at the military theater on post, but we'd rather
spend more money to see it in another town just so we don’t
have to stand at attention for the national anthem. Yes,
they do that here.
allegiance to NO GOVERNMENT!
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.
Dies While On Patrol
May 18, 2005 MARK LARABEE and
MIKE FRANCIS, OregonLive
Simpson, a 24-year-old U.S. Army sergeant who was raised in
Hood River and Ashland, was killed Monday near Tikrit, Iraq,
when he was struck by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled
grenade, family members said Tuesday
He is the 46th member of the
military with strong Oregon ties to be killed in Iraq or
Afghanistan since March 2003. Another five civilian
contractors with Oregon ties have been killed in the two
countries during that time.
Simpson's Army job was as a
gunner on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, but he was killed when
he was on foot on a reconnaissance patrol, clearing a
building near the northern city of Tikrit, said his sister,
Kimberly Bemiss of Banks. She said he was a member of the
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Carson, Colo.
His mother, Roberta Simpson,
lives in Lake Oswego, along with his brother, Carey. He has
two sisters, Rebekah Simpson of Glenwood, Wash., and
Bemiss. An uncle, Gary Simpson, lives in Hood River.
he was born and started high school in Hood River, continued
in Ashland, then earned his G.E.D. certificate and joined
the Army. She said he was smart and "very loving, very
protective of us."
Jacob taught himself to play the guitar and bought a Les
Paul model that he coveted after his first tour in Iraq.
She said he looked forward to coming back to Oregon after
his tour and attending college.
Slain Troops Say The U.S. Military Lies:
Believe Anything The Government Says"
years after the official end of a war in Iraq hailed for
its few incidents of fratricide, a Press-Enterprise
investigation has revealed that twice as many troops as
reported might have fallen to "friendly fire."
05 May 2005 By Gregor McGavin,
They paid the ultimate price
on the battlefields of Iraq -- some killed by the enemy,
others by their own side.
sacrifice, some families of slain troops say the U.S.
military has paid them back in lies and a lack of
after the official end of a war in Iraq hailed for its few
incidents of fratricide, a Press-Enterprise investigation
has revealed that twice as many troops as reported might
have fallen to "friendly fire."
U.S. military -- which vowed after the Persian Gulf War in
1991 to both curb and be more open about its deadly mistakes
-- is still keeping secret a report designed to lessen the
risk of repeating them.
right to keep it a secret," said Dorothy
Halvorsen, whose son Chief Warrant Officer Erik Halvorsen
was one of six soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in
central Iraq on April 2, 2003.
Since then, Halvorsen has
gotten varying accounts from the military of what happened
that night, and she and other relatives of the slain troops
have had to fight for information.
putting more restrictions on what we can know," she said.
"And we have a right to know."
Across the country, many
mothers and fathers, wives, siblings and grandparents --
including some who remain staunchly pro-war -- say they feel
they've been kept in the dark. These families question the
military's commitment to decreasing friendly fire, and to
telling them the truth of how their loved ones died.
investigation, meant to parallel the work of military
investigators, uncovered that as many as 24 Marines,
soldiers and sailors -- 18 percent of the 139 combat deaths
during major fighting from March 19 to May 2, 2003 -- might
have been killed by their own side.
experts say the military has long been plagued by an
institutional unwillingness to own up to its mistakes.
Others say defense officials have taken misinformation to
new levels, "spinning" casualties to downplay the negative.
gone into a turtle shell, and they only want to talk about
the good things that happen in the war,"
said Steve Robinson, a veteran Army Ranger who now heads the
National Gulf War Resource Council, a military watchdog
group in Washington, D.C.
Robinson, who has done
extensive research on this war and past conflicts, said the
Pentagon has engaged in a public-relations campaign.
"It's part of the strategy in
war, and it's something we employ in Iraq to gain the hearts
and minds of the Iraqi people," Robinson said.
"And in some cases it looks as
if the Department of Defense is employing information
warfare at home by not releasing accurate information or
making it difficult to obtain information," he said.
said he thinks now the military is covering up the number of
troops killed by friendly fire. But
critics say even the language the military uses in
discussing casualties is purposely confusing.
One hundred and thirty-nine
U.S. troops were killed during the period of major combat
operations -- March 19 to May 2, 2003. Of those, 115 were
classified as hostile, the others nonhostile. The military
lists as nonhostile those deaths not directly attributable
to enemy or friendly fire, or terrorist activity. They
include accidents such as vehicle crashes, as well as
suicides and homicides.
Casualty reports include
categories such as combat and noncombat deaths, the first
being those related to direct or indirect fire from the
enemy, even if the victim is killed by something other than
that fire. Thus, a soldier killed in a jeep that crashes
after swerving to avoid a hand grenade is a combat death.
It all makes for a confusing
picture, critics say.
believe anything the government says," said Johnny Burkett,
a Vietnam veteran whose nephew, Lance Cpl. Tamario Burkett,
was one of 18 Marines killed at An Nasiriyah on March 23,
Robinson said the Defense
Department has a history of not coming clean.
officials "lied, misled and withheld critical information"
about Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam, he said, and he
believes they did so again regarding Gulf War veterans'
exposure to chemical and biological warfare agents.
Hit New Low:
Like A Pretty Desperate Tactic"
Help Wanted: Postal Workers for the (Shh) Navy
[Thanks to PB and Phil G. who
sent this in.]
it works well or not seems to be an issue outside the
scope of this inquiry. The real issue is whether blind
advertising in tantamount to unethical advertising, an
accusation the U.S. military is facing more and more
frequently as it becomes desperate for recruits to
fulfill it needs during a war that is becoming
05.16.2005 By Nathaniel R.
Helms, Defense Watch
Navy has pulled out all the stops to recruit hard-to-reach
candidates using classified ads in newspapers across the
country offering jobs as postal workers with "excellent pay
& benefits" for high school graduates who respond to a
toll-free "800" telephone number.
What has a
number of critics seething is that the ads do not mention
the Navy at all, or that the telephone number connects
inquiries to a Navy recruiting team manning a nationwide
telephone bank, a
DefenseWatch inquiry has learned.
A woman in Bridgeport, Conn.,
seeking summer employment for family members stumbled upon
the ruse when she dialed an 800 number last week for someone
seeking postal workers. The so-called "blind ad" led her to
a Navy recruiter instead of the U.S. Postal Service.
The discovery so incensed her
that she complained to her boss, Miles Gerety, an attorney
DefenseWatch because he found the ad to be
deceptive and unworthy of appropriate behavior by an
organization such as the U.S. Navy.
"My secretary, Darrett Evans,
showed me an ad in The
'Help Wanted' section that read, 'Postal Workers Wanted,'
Gerety explained in an email to
"It gave an 800 number and said that anyone 17-34 could
apply. She has a nephew looking for work so she called the
number. A Navy recruiter answered it. His pitch was that
this was for work on a Navy ship but would involve
who already has a brother-in-law who just completed one tour
in Iraq and doesn't want to send another family member
there, grilled the recruiter as to whether he could
guarantee that enlisting wouldn't mean going to Iraq. Of
course, the recruiter couldn't make that guarantee.
got the impression that this is a national recruitment
program – not just an ad run by Connecticut recruiters,"
Gerety said. "It seems like a pretty desperate tactic."
"I was looking for my nephew
and my daughter," explained Evans, 43, a legal secretary in
Bridgeport who works for the State of Connecticut Public
Defender's Office. "I was looking at ads for jobs they
might be interested in. It sounded good, I know a young man
who graduated from high school not too long ago and got a
job working at the post office. When I called I said I was
calling for an ad in the paper. He asked me if I knew this
was the U.S. Navy."
Robin Watson, a spokeswoman
for the newspaper, said
Post was unaware of the Navy classified
advertisement until alerted by
last Thursday. When Watson, a 29-year-old editorial
assistant in the newsroom, called the 800 number last Friday
morning, the recruiter who answered asked her a series of
qualifying questions before he identified himself as a Navy
recruiter, Watson said.
Recruiting Command spokesman says the use of so-called
"blind ads" has been an approved Department of Defense
recruiting policy since the mid-1970s.
"Blind advertising had been used in the recruitment arena
for a long time," said Capt. John Singley, a 27-year Navy
veteran and Recruiting Command spokesman. "The Navy has had
the permission of the Department of Defense for a long
Singley added that the Navy
not only perceives the nebulous practice as ethical, but
finds it a worthy marketing tool that can be aimed at
particular targets that can't always be reached in mass
Watson said when she called
the 800 number a male voice on the other end of the line
asked her a series of specific questions before he
identified himself as a Navy representative.
"He asked for my age, where I
lived, if I had a high school diploma, if I was single, had
any children, and when I said no, he told me he was a Navy
recruiter," Watson said.
Navy officials have not given an explanation for why they
used that form of advertisement. She said her newspaper's
inquiries to the Navy had been bounced around and nobody to
date has provided her with a response of any kind. When
tried calling the 800 number listed in the ad Friday
afternoon and Monday morning, there was no response.
Costa Rican descent, said she thought the ad was sneaky and
discriminatory because it targeted poor people and
minorities that search the classified ads because they are
desperate for good jobs that are hard to come by for
inner-city kids and disadvantaged youth. She said the lure
of a good paying job right out of high school is
irresistible to kids who find themselves in that
works well or not seems to be an issue outside the scope of
this inquiry. The real issue is whether blind advertising
in tantamount to unethical advertising, an accusation the
U.S. military is facing more and more frequently as it
becomes desperate for recruits to fulfill it needs during a
war that is becoming unpopular.
“My Son’s Patriotism Was Betrayed”
May 18, 2005 Interview by
Laura Flanders, by CommonDreams.org
Reg Keys, father of a British soldier killed in Iraq, ran
against Prime Minister Tony Blair in Blair’s home
constituency of Sedgefield during the last general election.
talked with Laura Flanders on Air America Radio, two days
after the election, May 7, 2005.
welcome to the show. Tell our audience why you decided to
run for Parliament, have you always hankered to be in
RK: No, eh (laughs), well not
really….no, I’ve never hankered for politics whatsoever!
Like most people in Britain (and probably in America as
well), I believed my Prime Minister’s rhetoric, as you
believed Mr. Bush’s rhetoric about Saddam posing this evil
threat and being able to launch weapons of mass destruction
within 45 minutes.
”My son believed that, I
believed that, and the nation believed the Prime Minister
but we were all deceived.
Sadly, we were all betrayed by our own government. Iraq
couldn’t launch within 45 minutes, Iraq had no weapons of
mass destruction or WMD program and I feel that my son’s
oath to allegiance to Queen and country was betrayed. His
patriotism was betrayed and that young life was snuffed out
in a filthy police station in Iraq for what?
And I stood
in the elections to try to make Tony Blair accountable for
the deceit of this nation and the trust that we’ve placed
within him, so that is basically the reason that I became a
many votes did you get?
RK: Obviously, it was a very
very strong seat, he had a majority of 17,000. It was like
trying to break a religion up in Sedgefield. People there
said to me on their doorsteps, Listen mate, we don’t count
the votes, we weigh them!’ Another chap said to me, ‘If you
brought a donkey with you and pinned a red rosette on it, we
would still vote Labour’!
you were really up against it.
RK: I was
really up against it, but bearing in mind within five weeks
from coming from nowhere, I got just over four thousand
LF: Not bad in five weeks –
how did you run your campaign?
Blair got 24 thousand votes, the Conservatives got 5,900,
the Liberal Democrats got 4,900 and I got 4,200, so bearing
in mind for an amateur, who campaigned for only four weeks,
I came forth out of 15 candidates and I was only just behind
one of the main parties.
the strength of feeling that can be found against the
illegal war, so I think I gave a fair account of myself.
LF: Final question, Reg. You stood there on election night
-- you hadn’t won, but you got a chance to speak -- and you
shared a stage with Tony Blair, as is the custom, live on
camera to the world.
You were able to dedicate
your campaign to your son and everyone else who had died,
including the Iraqis, and to reiterate your feelings about
he apology that has never come from Blair. Did he say
anything to you afterwards? How did he respond?
RK: Not one word.
He stood there looking quite
ashen and shocked. But I had two and a half minutes. We
were told by the election official that each candidate could
have a two and a half minute speech.
And he had
to stand there and listen and take it and that to me made it
all worth while. I could stand in front of the Prime
Minister uninterrupted and speak to the world and say to the
world exactly what I thought. That for me was the defining
moment of my campaign.
FOR A RICH
IRAQI CORPORATE TITAN, WAR AND DEATH IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS:
Businessman Says His Country Appreciates Americans'
DB, who sent this in.]
May 1, 2005 By Sgt. 1st Class
Doug Sample, USA, American Forces Press Service
Sandi, an Iraqi businessman, wants the American public to
know U.S. troops killed in Iraq have not died in vain.
your husband," he said to the wife of Army Capt. Bill
Jacobsen, who died in a suicide-bomb attack in Mosul, Iraq,
"I don't call them dead; they live in every one of us.
need to be proud of your sons and daughters," he said. "They
are doing a terrific job. Their lives have definitely not
been wasted. They are there because of you."
Sandi, an outspoken critic of
Saddam Hussein, was a guest speaker at an April 27 luncheon
sponsored by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors,
which aims to help families through the grief process.
Out Who You’re Fighting For:
In Iraq, The Sandi Group has
held a prominent role in real estate development and trading
for over a century. This responsibility has been handed
down though the generations and today's leadership is ably
continuing Iraq's infrastructure improvements and
The Sandi Group is now an established developer, contractor,
logistical support provider and investor in Iraq, and the
largest private sector employer with offices throughout the
Group and Iraq's private sector are both on the threshold of
extraordinary growth. The combination of massive infusions
of aid for reconstruction, the resurrection of Iraq's oil
industry and the release of pent up consumer demand are
creating a vast range of business opportunities.
The Sandi Group is uniquely positioned to take
advantage of these opportunities directly and to assist our
partners and customers in doing so as well.
There is no doubt that the
environment in Iraq is challenging. Wrenching social and
political change has created security issues as well as
legal, political and regulatory ambiguities.
It will be some time before multi-national corporations and
international investors will be able to operate effectively
on their own in Iraq.
Group has been designed to solve this problem.
We offer a
focused and complementary menu of services to allow
multi-national companies and foreign investors to thrive in
Our customers can rely on our
execution skills and professionalism to deliver solutions to
the challenges of Iraq, whatever their needs. At the same
time, The Sandi Group
is investing in facilities
that complement these services, especially in the
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
Vision, strong leadership,
financial expertise, advanced technical skills and a network
of seasoned professionals gives The Sandi Group the ability
to plan, finance and simultaneously manage multiple
large-scale projects worldwide.
The Sandi Group's objective
has always been to secure promising projects, which meet the
strong demands of those selected markets. Satisfying their
demands with overwhelming efficiency will create very
tangible benefits for host countries and ensure the success
of The Sandi Group, its partners and investors.
from DB: MG Smedley Butler, USMC, said: War is a racket.
The Smedley Butler Society]
To War With Rumsfeld, Sort Of
GovExec.com, May 17, 2005
officials who walked out of meetings with Defense Department
leaders over the design of the National Security Personnel
System asked Congress to repeal legislation authorizing the
department to create new civil service rules for its 650,000
Interior Minister Is The Biggest Terrorist"
May 18, 2005 By Diala Saadeh,
Hassan Nuaimi, a senior member
of the Muslim Clerics Association, was found dead in Baghdad
on Tuesday, a day after the group accused the Shi'ite-led
government of state terrorism.
angry Sunnis attended Nuaimi's funeral on Wednesday and
condemned the Iraqi government.
interior minister is the biggest terrorist," read one
banner, referring to the Shi'ite official.
Dhari said Sunnis would not
keep silent over the killings.
"We are heading towards a
catastrophe, only God knows when it will end, this is a
warning from us," he said.
18 May 2005 FOCUS News Agency
& Anatolia.com Inc. & By BASSEM MROUE
(AP) & (KUNA) & 2005-05-17
Middle East Online
including 14 policemen were injured in attack with a
car-bomb aimed at a police convoy in the Iraqi town of
Bakuba North of Baghdad, announced AFP,
citing police sources.
car blew up as a police convoy drove by in the city centre,
damaging all the vehicles, police Col.
Mudhafar Muhammed said.
police were killed in a car bomb attack near the oil
refinery town of Baiji early Wednesday
morning, a police captain said.
The bomb targeted a US-Iraqi
convoy around 3 am (2300 GMT) on the road near Siniya, 200
kilometres (125 miles) north of Baghdad, Ali Yousef, the
police captain told AFP.
booby-trapped vehicle explosion outside a police station in
north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad killed Wednesday two
A police source said in a
press statement that the vehicle exploded outside Al-Siniyah
police station near Biji in the governorate of Tikrit, north
The source said the explosion
also resulted in material damage.
killed a senior Iraqi Interior Ministry official Wednesday
Ibrahim Khamas was shot and killed by four gunmen in a
four-door sedan as he drove through Baghdad's southeastern
Zaafaraniyah district, police Col. Nouri
shot dead Transport Ministry driver Ali Mutib Sakr in Sadr
City, police Lt.-Col. Shakir Wadi said.
soldier was killed when a bomber rammed his motorbike into a
checkpoint near Tuz, 200 kilometres (120
miles) north of the capital, army Captain Omar Khaled said.
An hour later, nervous
soldiers manning the checkpoint opened fire on a car that
reportedly failed to slow down, killing three civilians.
north, the Iraqi army discovered the bodies of two Iraqi
contractors working for the US military.
of Nazhan Khaled al-Sarrai, 33, and Omar Hashim, 37, were
found in a pit on the way to Sharqat Tuesday morning," said
an army officer, adding that "3,000 dollars were found in
one of the victims' pockets, as well as badges showing they
were Baghdad residents."
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Once upon a time there was a
chicken factory, where, let us suppose, 1000 men and women
Live chickens come in one end
of the factory complex, and cut up chicken parts and whole
chickens come out the other end.
The people who cut up the
chickens make about $3 an hour, work in cold, wet rooms, get
sick a lot, and frequently lose body parts during the
chicken cutting process. The managers are cold assholes
interested in profits, and don’t give a shit how dangerous
the equipment is. The supervisors are petty tyrants and
frequently sexual predators.
If you get too sick or hurt to
work, too fucking bad, you get put out the door.
This is not a desirable state
You think maybe there should
be some kind of organization of the work force to resist
this shit. Maybe you can get more money, or insist that you
have decent protection from being maimed or killed.
At that point you are alone,
and powerless. So you have to very carefully find somebody
else that agrees, and then somebody else, and all unnoticed
by the assholes in command of the chicken factory, you
slowly but surely build an organization.
You need meetings to talk over
plans. Off company territory. You need security. You need
some kind of way of communicating, maybe a newsletter, but
you’re careful about that too.
You can take it from there.
But it is obvious that you do
not want anybody to stand up in the middle of the third
shift and loudly tell management, “I refuse to participate
any further in your immoral enterprise and will defy all
He or she is immediately
gotten rid of, and is lost to organizing inside your chicken
factory because he or she is gone. And the management is
delighted, because they’ve just ID’d and fired somebody who
could give them trouble in the future.
So, if you’re alone, organize.
People who act together can have an effect.
And if somebody snaps and does
an individual refusal, and gets arrested, in trouble, or
whatever, your organization does not leave them behind;
they’ve been hurt, and let no one judge them, because
anybody can snap, anytime.
A soldier from the 1st ID
summed up his job situation like this:
soldier risks going to prison he should realize that his
ability to communicate with other troops will be limited.
our battles and continue to speak out in our underground
to be a point when we reach a high enough number of troops
in our peace effort that a unified boycott of all military
action will have a desired effect.”
Use Traveling Soldier to serve
your organizing purposes and say what you have to say. You
say how. That’s what it’s for.
CHECK IT OUT:]
'What Would You Rather Do, Spend Your Life In Prison Or
Murder A Child?,' I Would Much Rather Spend My Life In
This issue features:
1. "All the reasons we were
given were false, so it was people dying and people
suffering for lies" say Kelley Dougherty of Iraq Veterans
Against the War
2. Nicholas Przybyla of
I.V.A.W.: "I don't think that's a good way to fight a war,
just to blow the shit out of a country, kill a bunch of
innocent people, and then charge into another country that
has nothing to do with it"
3. Military mom: "I will not
stop fighting until our last soldier is home"
4. GIs, Iraq vets, and
military families speak out.
5. Should al-Qaeda occupy New
6. The Chicken Factory - it's
time to organize.
7. Words from the front-lines
- what soldiers are saying about the war in Iraq.
8. Download the new Traveling
Soldier to pass it out at your school, workplace, or nearby
Construction Workers Got That Right
From letter May 18, 2005 Peter
Lems, American Friends Service Committee
Our hand delivery of petitions
to key senators was disrupted by the evacuation of the
Capitol when a plane strayed into DC's restricted airspace.
I was particularly struck by
the conversations we overheard as a river of staffers and
senators flowed out of the Hart Senate Office Building.
a plane was on the way towards Washington were interrupted
by a construction worker who said, "You just gave $80
billion dollars to bomb Iraq, what do you expect?"
Bombing Isn't As New Or Alien As We Imagine
the powerful who determined how such events are
understood; while the Japanese and Islamist militants
are feared as inhuman, the Soviets are celebrated for
their courageous defiance of nazism.
May 14, 2005 Madeleine
Bunting, The Guardian
The rate of suicide bombings -
the seemingly endless supply of people prepared to blow
themselves up - leaves a western audience utterly
What kind of psychology
motivates people to such violent extremes? The
incomprehension prompts revulsion that this form of warfare
is historically unprecedented and reveals a peculiar,
aberrant irrationality - a kind of inhuman madness.
All too quickly, Islam is
blamed for deluding its believers into martyrdom with
promises of 72 virgins; the old prejudices about Islam as a
faith uniquely associated with violence and unquestioning
belief are fanned into life again.
The line in war between a
suicidal mission and a reckless disregard for one's own life
can be very blurred.
true in the Soviet struggle against the Germans in the
second world war. Some Soviet pilots undertook explicit
suicide missions to ram bridges in Germany in 1945; many
others went into battle knowing they would die, and saw
their death as a sacrifice for the "motherland".
It is the
powerful who determined how such events are understood;
while the Japanese and Islamist militants are feared as
inhuman, the Soviets are celebrated for their courageous
defiance of nazism.
The idea of suicide to serve a
set of beliefs is also deeply rooted in history. The
staging of the current brilliant production of Julius Caesar
in London pointedly refers to Iraq with its US military
fatigues and the set of a military warehouse. Several
suicides in the final scenes lead to Brutus's poignant
comment that swords have been turned "in our own proper
republicanism, imperial Japanese militarism: both elevated
suicide as an honourable part of military valour.
Even more closely related to
Iraq's suicide bombers is the fascinating description of
early Christian martyrdom in Farhad Khosrokhavar's new book,
suicidal recklessness of a large number of early Christians,
aimed precisely at bringing about their martyrdom,
bewildered and horrified contemporary commentators.
But martyrdom was an
astonishingly effective propaganda tool designed to inspire
awe - and converts. The Greek origin of the word martyr is
Interestingly, it prompted exactly the same sorts of
criticism among pagan Romans as today's Islamist militants
do in the west: the Christian martyrs were accused of
dementia and irrationality. Such was the flood of
Christians in pursuit of martyrdom by the third century that
the theologians had to step in to declare this thirst for a
holy death to be blasphemous.
concept of using your death to bear witness to a cause,
without killing others, has prompted more than 1,000
suicides since 1963, when a Buddhist monk set himself on
fire in protest against the oppression of Buddhism in
Vietnam. Global mass media ensure that this individual
protest has impact across the world; it is a desperate but
hugely effective way to give the cause prominence.
These are concepts which are
very difficult for westerners living largely comfortable
lives to grasp.
meaningless to us; we have replaced it with a preoccupation
with status and self-fulfilment. We dimly grasp
self-sacrifice but only apply the concept to our raising of
children. Meanwhile, nothing can trump our dedication to
the good life of consumer capitalism, and certainly not any
system of abstract beliefs.
experienced the desperation of oppression, we have little
purchase on the extremism it might engender.
Meanwhile, we have medicalised rather than politicised the
condition of hating the world and longing for death. The
gulf in understanding yawns wide.
outraged incomprehension of suicide bombing is also partly
because it is the opposite of how we have come to believe
wars are fought.
It is not
the high technology of laser-guided bombs, nor the strangely
sterile detachment of the aeroplane camera without any
images of the screams, smashed bones and blood.
The west can only now kill
from a distance - preferably from several thousand feet up
in the air or several hundred kilometres away on an aircraft
It is the
very proximity of these suicide missions which is so
of intimate killing is a reversion to pre-industrial warfare
- the kind of brutality seen in the thirty years war, for
example. Suicide bombers in Iraq are a new permutation of
old traditions; they have no monopoly on the horrors they
reveal of the human psyche and its capacity to destroy life.
“Is It Not
Better To Have These Killers Far Away In Iraq?”
New York Times, May 18, 2005
author of the forthcoming "Dying to Win: The Strategic
Logic of Suicide Terrorism" writes that his study of 315
suicide bombings over two decades shows that the common
goal was to compel withdrawal of military forces from
territory that the terrorists considered to be their
Religion was often used as a recruiting tool and in
seeking aid from abroad but was rarely the root cause.
18 May 2005 By Robert A. Pape,
The New York Times
wondered if the rise of suicide terrorism in Iraq is really
such a bad thing for American security. Is it not better to
have these killers far away in Iraq rather than here in the
Alas, history shows otherwise.
The presence of tens of
thousands of American combat forces on the Arabian Peninsula
after 1990 enabled Al Qaeda to recruit suicide terrorists,
who in turn attacked Americans in the region (the African
embassy bombings in 1998 and the attack on the destroyer
Cole in 2000).
presence of nearly 150,000 American combat troops in Iraq
since 2003 can only give suicide terrorism a boost, and the
longer this suicide terrorist campaign continues the greater
the risk of new attacks in the United States.
May 13, 2005 Charles E.
is a convenient propaganda word.
It sounds like a foreign
invader surging into the country, does it not?
“In-surg-ent.” But it means “an uprising from within.”
“Look it up,” as Yogi used to say.
is defined as a hometown boy fighting a guerilla war for his
turf; one who rises up against civil authority. We
Americans are the foreign invaders and the Iraqis are the
local patriots. Understand that and you know why they fight
back so desperately: it’s their property that is being
taken. If Arabs from other countries are helping the
uprising that should surprise no one; they all know they are
next on the war list.
BOMBER” is another new Iraqi propaganda word. We associate
“suicide” with mentally deranged, or sinful, for it is a sin
to destroy a life God created in both Islam and
human special delivery bombers of Iraq are not
committing “suicide.” They are warriors. Suicide has a
clear definition; it means taking your own life for the
specific purpose of ending your life. There is not a
shred of evidence that the sacrificial bombers of
Baghdad (or Gaza) want to die.
To my knowledge not one family
member of an Iraqi bomber has been interviewed. Why not?
It's pretty obvious, our media wants us to think of the
Human Bomb as a non-person, or maybe a subhuman, demented
they shown as persons with a mission. We do not need to
approve of what they do to understand it. Some of us will
never forget the Buddhist monks who burned themselves to
death in front of TV cameras in Saigon to protest our
presence there. There could be no doubt about their
motives, and we were soon gone.
Bomber of Iraq are following in the footsteps of the
warriors from Philistia who tragically learned that
hand-carried bombs were their only remaining weapons after
55 years of being strangled in confinement and humiliation
at the hands of the American equipped invading Israelis.
The Iraqis have the advantage of Pakistan’s experience; they
have no illusion of obtaining independence from their
conqueror without winning it.
Here is a start for We Hold
These Truths’ new dictionary of Serial Wars: The real
meaning of the Neo-Words:
A local indigenous Iraqi man or woman willing to fight for
his property and freedom.
BOMBER: The most feared fighting warrior on earth, serious
enough to risk almost certain death to kill or frighten his
ENDURING FREEDOM: Palestinian style repression applied to
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.
Goophie Explains Why Troops Must Stay
Z for sending this in.]
today before a large corporate and academic audience,
Senator I. B. Goophie, a liberal politician long renowned as
a dove, gave a vivid explanation of why US troops must
remain in Iraq. The highlights of Senator Goophie’s warmly
Say you and
I are happily walking down the street one fine day when
suddenly somebody steps up to us and gives us a black eye,
punches us in the nose, kicks us in the groin, and knocks us
to the ground.
we really want our attacker to leave us lying all bruised in
a pool of blood and just walk away? Of course we wouldn’t!
We’d want him to help us to our feet, put his arm around us,
spend some quality time bonding with us, and perhaps even
assist us in looking for a few of our scattered teeth. Well
if that’s what we would want, what makes us think the Iraqis
would want anything less? [Applause]
My example may be too
hypothetical for a few out-of-step individuals trapped in
rigid and dogmatic modes of thought [Applause], but
fortunately I studied history at Yale [Applause] and can
offer them a couple of historical antecedents to ponder.
They should know that after
Hannibal invaded ancient Rome with his elephants, the Romans
would not permit his troops to leave Italy until they had
cleaned up every last load of elephant doo-doo they’d left
behind while crossing the Alps. Once that was done, the two
peoples kissed and made up, the invasion forgiven.
And then years later, when
Romans razed Carthage to the ground, the enslaved
Carthaginians insisted the Roman troops reconstruct every
one of the deconstructed houses—especially the
bathhouses—before they’d let them end the occupation and go
home. It is not recorded if the Romans complied, but you
can bet your booties we would’ve done it, and we are this
old globe’s new imperial Romans! [Applause]
I could go on with innumerable
stories of other conquests, all of which share the same
moral, but I will spare you. [Applause]
The incontrovertible point is
this: occupied people in all times and places have longed
for a responsible occupier, a loving overlord who will pat
them on the head and repair the damage caused by the initial
may take various forms ranging from re-erecting flattened
schools and hospitals to reassembling the dismembered and
raising the dead, but that is precisely what conquered
people want; they do not want some hasty self-centered
justly looked up to throughout the civilized world for never
having cut and run, for always taking loving care of each of
the dozens of countries we have assaulted, and for kindly
managing their internal affairs.
too we shall proudly live up to our lofty traditions and
responsibilities even if it takes us forever. Let us pledge
to do all we can for our dazzling new satellite! Thank you
and God bless our noble investments! [Prolonged ovation]
Demands US Prove Iraq Insurgent Claims
5/17/2005 Anatolia.com Inc. &
May 18, 2005 By Paul Garwood, Associated Press
Syria on Tuesday demanded
that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provided proof
of her renewed allegations that Damascus is supporting
insurgents fighting in neighbouring Iraq. [Don’t hold your
breath, it takes time to come up with convincing forged
these terrorists and where is Rice's proof for repeating
these accusations against Syria? No one will say," the
official Tishrin newspaper said.
"What is important (for
Washington) is that Syria remain under pressure in order to
satisfy American neoconservatives and Israelis."
Syrian political analyst Imad
Fawzi al-Shueibi, who is close to the Damascus government,
dismissed the report as “part of an organized campaign
has no interest in (helping) al-Zarqawi,” al-Shueibi
said. “If al-Zarqawi and his group win in Iraq, they
will turn the region into a fundamentalist nightmare.”
FOUND DISGUISED AS KIDS!!
(Information Clearing House) (Thanks to John Gingerich)
So If This
Was Your Daughter How Would You Feel? What Would You Decide
To Do About It?
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Causes DC Pants Pissing
NF who sent this in. She writes: And if the folks in
washington think a cessna is scary, I wonder what they'd
think of ten nights of aerial bombardment.]
May 11 WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Fighter jets scrambled over
Washington and authorities hurriedly evacuated the White
House and the U.S. Congress on Wednesday when an
unidentified plane roamed into restricted airspace, sparking
fears of a Sept. 11-style attack.
The light private Cessna
ignored calls from air traffic controllers and entered the
restricted zone around Washington, coming within 3 miles of
the Capitol before turning away, authorities said.
approach sent at least two F-16 fighter jets into the air
over the U.S. capital and hundreds of staff and tourists
into the streets outside the Capitol building, White House
and Supreme Court in an urgent evacuation.
President Dick Cheney was in the West Wing and was quickly
moved to a secure location, an administration official said.
The Cessna, which turned away
from the Capitol after it approached then turned back, was
escorted to Frederick, Maryland, and the pilot was taken
into police custody, a U.S. Homeland Security official said.
"Get out, get out," Capitol
police shouted to lawmakers and staff as they moved through
the building and offices, clearing the floors and galleries
in both chambers.
senators debating highway legislation dropped their papers
and ran from the Senate chamber. House of Representatives
lawmakers were in the midst of a vote when the evacuation
Capitol police swiftly moved
senators, aides, lobbyists and journalists toward Union
Station, about two blocks away. Police used bullhorns to
order onlookers near the Capitol to "stay away from the
The incident prompted the U.S.
government's joint operations center to send an "alert" to
White House staff. "Do not leave building. Proceed to
interior halls and lower levels. Avoid windows," the alert
Assholes Attack Pregnant Woman With Taser:
What It's Come Down To?"
plenty of work for our troops to do at home. Obviously this
is where the real enemies of freedom are going out of
control while the troops are stuck in Iraq.]
May 10, 2005 By HECTOR CASTRO,
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant.
And she was about to get a speeding ticket she didn't think
So when a
Seattle police officer presented the ticket to Malaika
Brooks, she refused to sign it. In the ensuing
confrontation, she suffered burns from a police Taser, an
electric stun device that delivers 50,000 volts.
"Probably the worst thing that
ever happened to me," Brooks said, in describing that
morning during her criminal trial last week on charges of
refusing to obey an officer and resisting arrest.
She was found guilty of the
first charge because she never signed the ticket, but the
Seattle Municipal Court jury could not decide whether she
resisted arrest, the reason the Taser was applied.
Seattle police officials
declined to comment on this case, citing concerns that
Brooks might file a civil lawsuit.
But King County sheriff's Sgt.
Donald Davis, who works on the county's Taser policy, said
the use of force is a balancing act for law enforcement.
doesn't look good to the public," he said. [Make that man a
general in Iraq. He’s really figured things out.]
stopped in the 8300 block of Beacon Avenue South, just
outside the African American Academy, while dropping her son
off for school. [And how many pregnant white ladies do you
suppose have been tasered in King’s County for not signing a
In a two-day trial that ended
Friday, the officer involved, Officer Juan Ornelas,
testified he clocked Brooks' Dodge Intrepid doing 32 mph in
a 20-mph school zone.
[Taser? Fuck, give her the death penalty for that one.]
He motioned her over and tried
to write her a ticket, but she wouldn't sign it, even when
he explained that signing it didn't mean she was admitting
her testimony, said she believed she could accept a ticket
without signing for it, which she had done once before.
'Well, I'll take the ticket, but I won't sign it,' " Brooks
Officer Donald Jones joined
Ornelas in trying to persuade Brooks to sign the ticket.
They then called on their supervisor, Sgt. Steve Daman.
authorized them to arrest her when she continued to refuse.
[What? Hey, the death penalty is too easy. Lots of torture
first.. Oh, that’s what they ended up doing.]
The officers testified they
struggled to get Brooks out of her car but could not because
she kept a grip on her steering wheel.
And that's when Jones brought
out the Taser.
Brooks testified she didn't
even know what it was when Jones showed it to her and pulled
the trigger, allowing her to hear the crackle of 50,000
volts of electricity.
The officers testified that
was meant as a final warning, as a way to demonstrate the
device was painful and that Brooks should comply with their
still did not exit her car, Jones applied the Taser.
testimony, the Taser officer said he pressed the prongs of
the muzzle against Brooks' thigh to no effect. So he
applied it twice to her exposed neck.
Afterward, he and the others
testified, Ornelas pushed Brooks out of the car while Jones
She was taken to the ground,
handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, the officers
She told jurors the officer
also used the device on her arm, and showed them a dark,
brown burn to her thigh, a large, red welt on her arm and a
lump on her neck, all marks she said came from the Taser
said, she remains shocked that a simple traffic stop could
result in her arrest.
officers, they could have hurt me seriously. They could have
hurt my unborn fetus," she said.
because of a traffic ticket. Is this what it's come down
to?" [Yeah, it sure has. The “enemies domestic” are
running the show. Welcome to the occupied USA.]
Uzbekistan Is The Absolute Market Leader In Torture Right
May 17th 2005 Martin Samuel,
KARIMOV, President of Uzbekistan, boils people alive. Why?
For the same reason Saddam Hussein put his enemies in a
shredder: because, at the time, he could.
When the West is your pal you
are able, quite literally, to get away with murder. And what
It is a
surprise Karimov has time for governing at all, once he
has spent the morning formulating new ways to poach,
grill, tenderise, smoke and flambe his citizens to
death. Boiling water, electrocution, chlorine-filled
gas masks, drowning, rape, shooting, savage beatings,
Karimov's Uzbekistan is the absolute market leader in
torture right now.
would not shop anywhere else, which is why a mysterious
Gulfstream 5 executive jet routinely delivers terrorist
subjects from Afghanistan there for interrogation and,
Live and don't learn would
appear to be the moral to this story. Karimov may be a
vicious, murdering, malevolent despot, but he is our
vicious, murdering, malevolent despot so, like Saddam, he
can boil, shred and gas away until we tire of uses for him.
Saddam was in the right place, sharing our hostility towards
Iran at the right time, and so the West armed him to the
teeth in the name of a cause.
Karimov, a nasty member of the
regional Soviet hierarchy even before independence in 1991,
stands beneath another flag of convenience. He is
frightened of Islam, rich in gas and oil, and within
striking distance of Afghanistan.
airbase, which Karimov allowed to be built at Khanabad, now
protects the American-owned pipeline carrying Central Asia's
black treasure through Afghanistan to the sea. Is it not
strange that all the West's pals have the same thing in
common? Just as celebrities end up latching on to other
celebrities, so the West always finds itself hanging out
with guys who are knee-deep in four-star.
the United States gave Uzbekistan $500m in aid (as opposed
to $36m four years earlier) of which $120m went to the army
and $79m to the notorious SNB, Karimov's secret police.
It was the
SNB who boiled Muzafar Avazov, an Islamist activist, to
death, having already beaten him severely and ripped his
The fate of his fellow
prisoner Husnidin Alimov does not bear thinking about,
considering the Government restricted viewing of his
It was also
the SNB who came to collect Avazov's 63-year-old mother,
Fatima Mukhadirova, sentenced to six years' hard labour for
the crime of telling the world about the murder of her son.
released the day before Donald Rumsfeld was due to visit,
during which he praised "the wonderful co-operation we have
received from the Government of Uzbekistan" over the War on
So the freedom the precious
coalition claims to be exporting around the world is not
true freedom at all.
Rather, it is freedom being
giving back, having conspired with sadists to take away.
What the Iraqi people enjoyed at the polling booths in
January was freedom on the allies terms, not theirs.
Considering the dreadful human toll, one would think Bush
and Blair would then acknowledge that mistake by not
repeating it, but no: there were no opposition parties in
Uzbekistan's last election and there are no arms
restrictions imposed by these Governments, either.
The West mould these little
monsters such as Saddam, Karimov and General Manuel Noriega
and they do the dirty work until such a time when it is no
longer expedient, at which point the West extract revenge
and dress it up as a moral crusade; or enduring freedom.
stands, the War on Terror finds an exalted place in its
ranks for a man whose idea of government is a dissident
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