GI SPECIAL 3B38:
“You Go Out There
Every Day, And You’re Going To Kill ‘Sand Niggers’”
May 6, 2005 By Eric Ruder, Socialist
FOR U.S. troops in Iraq who oppose the war for oil and empire they
were sent to fight, speaking out can be dangerous. But three
soldiers--whose pen names are hEkLe, Heretic and Joe Public--found
that their consciences made it more difficult not to speak out.
Each spent about a
year in Iraq. Throughout their tours, they earned a reputation for
reporting the truth--on their Web log at
ftssoldier.blogspot.com--about what was taking place in occupied
Iraq. Their dispatches have also been featured in Thomas Barton’s
GI Special, a daily
Internet newsletter for soldiers and military families, available on
the Web at www.militaryproject.org.
In mid-April, Joe Public spoke to
Worker’s ERIC RUDER about his experiences, observations and opinions
of the U.S. occupation. Here, we print excerpts of the
HOW DO you think
the war and occupation are viewed by most people in the U.S.?
I BELIEVE that the current climate in
which people are seen as unpatriotic if they refuse to support the
nation is something that parallels the nationalism that happened in
Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Being called “unpatriotic”
because you refuse to support your government is not something that
someone should be subjected to.
In the media,
there’s a one-sided representation of the war that corresponds to
what the U.S. government is attempting to put forward. As such, the
feelings of the soldier and also of the Iraqi national are not being
represented, because the U.S. government has such control over the
What’s taking hold in Iraq is not
“democracy.” It’s just our own fascist tendencies, to be quite
I think that
forcing our own notion of government into power and forcing our
beliefs on these people is not what should happen.
And the power
mongers in Iraq--the people who know that if they take power now,
they’ll be able to maintain power for 30 years--they’re the ones at
the forefront of this government.
Throughout all of
it, America has backed them, because no matter what, as long as we
can install our government within their system, we’re going to be
able to get that 20 cents off every dollar at the gas pump.
WHAT SHOULD people
know in order to fill in the blanks in the media’s account?
IT’S NOT that people ignore the story
of the common soldier. It just happens to be that the common
soldier is so brainwashed at this point that they’re more than
willing to give the story that the government wants everyone else to
hear--which is why our Web site or other similar sources stand out.
They’re taking a kid who is 17--whose
mom had to sign a waiver--and putting him through basic training.
Now he’s 19, he’s going to war and he doesn’t know anything else,
aside from his mother and the Army. You take this kid and put him
in a situation like this, and he has no choice but to comply with
the ideas that have been given to him.
It’s the lack of
outside ideas within the Army itself that leads to this kind of
hatred for Islam is, I believe, pure bigotry on the part of the U.S.
government, and I refuse to accept that.
I myself am an
atheist, and I believe placing one person’s god over someone else’s
is inherently wrong. I believe that racial bigotry and religious
bigotry permeates this entire war and is played out through the
media every night. These are inherent wrongs in the system.
Everyone’s path to the divine is their
own choice, and to say that your path to the divine is wrong because
your god doesn’t comply with my god’s needs is nonsense. Hatred is
only hatred--it doesn’t matter where you find it or how you find it.
Racism is just
inherent to the system. You go out there every day, and you’re
going to kill “sand niggers.” You look at these people as
animals, because that’s how they’re treated by the military and
that’s how you’re taught to view their lifestyle.
I don’t believe that all commanders
inherently believe that the people they’re fighting are racially or
But up high, most
of these people are officers because that’s the career they chose.
And because of their “career path,” they have no other choice but to
believe that these people are inferior to them; that they are
subservient; and that our mission is to make them fall in line with
WHAT IMPACT has
the war had on you personally?
I grew up in a PTSD household. My mom
was married to a Hell’s Angel who beat the shit out of her. Every
time she heard a Harley, she’d cringe and crawl under the counter.
That was just part of growing up. Now, here I am, and every time I
hear a door slam, I’m going to fall on the floor. There’s nothing I
can do about that.
The thing I’d like to bring up isn’t
me or my friends, but the young soldier--the 17-year-old who joined
the Army with his mom’s signature, who’s being forced to believe
what the government believes, and who’s being mentally ripped from
any cradle they could have had.
They’re forced into this mentality
where there is no evil except for the evil they’re fighting--because
dehumanization of the enemy is the single thing anyone is taught.
That was what Hitler taught. He’s
pioneered the idea to teach to the lowest level, and in the American
Army, everyone is taught at the lowest level.
People like us
escaped the system because we were able to think for ourselves,
outside of the system. But there are those who can’t, and here,
they’re brainwashed and alone. Then come home, torn up, torn apart,
hopeless. These are the people you hear about who are homeless,
being just completely mind-fucked.
government has placed itself in a situation where it has
irreconcilable differences with the enemy, and because of these
irreconcilable differences, the enemy has no choice but to
win--because the enemy can’t escape the war zone.
And all we can do
at this point is try to get through alive. It’s just straight out
of Apocalypse Now. These soldiers only serve one year, but the
soldiers on the other side have only one choice--their home has been
Do you have a
friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra
important for your service friend, too often cut off from access
to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and
inside the armed services.
Send requests to address up top.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Killed
5.22.05 By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated
A suicide car
bomber also blew himself near a U.S. convoy and police station in
Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, killing one American soldier and
wounding two others along with and two Iraqi policemen,
the military said.
Also Sunday, a U.S.
soldier was killed in a vehicle accident near Kirkuk,
180 miles north of the Iraqi capital, the military said.
Bomb Kills Single
will be flown to his home Tuesday. His family still plans to
throw a party on May 29 to celebrate Walker's 23rd birthday.
May 22, 2005 By JULIE PACE, Tampa
TAMPA - Andrea
Pringle had been busy planning a party. Her 22-year-old son, Antwan
Walker, was coming home to celebrate his birthday after serving a
year in Iraq.
“Coming home - that
was all he could talk about,'' Pringle said.
Pringle got a call from her brother. He said there was a man at her
house who needed to talk to her.
In that moment, she
Pringle said an Army representative
told her that her son, an Army sergeant, had been killed the
previous day by a bomb blast in Ramadi.
An East Bay High graduate whose family
and friends called him Twan, Walker joined the Army after graduating
The country wasn't at war then, and
Pringle said her son joined to earn money for college.
She said the decision fit his
character. “Twan had a lot of goals in life,'' Pringle said. “He
was very ambitious and very smart.''
Walker called his family from Iraq
often but didn't want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about
coming home to start a career in real estate. He constantly
reminded his mother to make sure his beloved Chevrolet Tahoe would
be ready to drive when he returned.
But mostly, Walker
talked about his three children, who he had raised alone after his
divorce. Walker's parents and aunts helped while Walker was
overseas. ``He was such a good dad,'' Pringle said. “All he wanted
to do was make a good life for his kids.''
But last month,
Walker wanted to talk about the fighting. He told his mother five
soldiers he had been traveling with had been killed. After the
incident, Walker's phone calls became more frequent.
“The last two
weeks, we had been talking every day,'' Pringle said. “Sometime
he'd call two or three times a day.''
Pringle said telling Walker's children
about their father's death has been the most difficult part of the
past few days. She said Walker's 2-year-old twins, Antwan Jr., and
Antwannaja, are too young to understand, but 4-year-old Antwanette
knows her dad isn't coming home.
Walker's body will
be flown to his home Tuesday. His family still plans to throw a
party on May 29 to celebrate Walker's 23rd birthday.
2 Bomb Attacks
Target US Military Convoys:
Two car bomb
attacks targeted two US military convoys in north of Baghdad on
Sunday, police said.
"A suicide bomber
drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a US military convoy parking
at Qadesiyah police station in Tikrit, destroying a US Humvee and
wounding two policemen," police Col. Ahmed Hassan told Xinhua.
The attack took place at about 11:00
a.m. (0700 GMT), prompting the US troops to seal off the area
situated in northern Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, he said.
It was not clear whether there was any
casualties among the US soldiers, he added.
bomb-laden car, parking at the side of a road near Balad railway
station, detonated at about 12:00 a.m. as a US military convoy
passed by," Hassan continued.
There was no information about any US
casualties in the blast of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, he
BRING THEM ALL HOME
explodes in the district of New Baghdad. (Reuters)
CH-47 Down Near
May 22, 2005 MNF-Iraq Release A050522a
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An
engine problem forced pilots of a CH-47 helicopter to conduct an
emergency landing early May 22 south of Samarra.
All personnel on
board are safe, with only minor injuries.
The 42nd Infantry Division dispatched
a quick reaction force to secure the site. An investigation into the
cause of the incident is being conducted. More information will be
released as it becomes available.
Wounded Iraq War
Veteran Needs A Lot Of Help Now
outrageous. To help out, please contact Denise Thomas by
control/clicking on her name in blue just below. T]
To: GI Special
Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition (GPJC) Georgia
Families Speak Out (GA MFSO)
Subject: James Webb
-- Wounded Veteran
Sunday, May 22, 2005
This is an Iraq war
veteran who needs a lot of help. I did visit with him yesterday,
Saturday May 22nd.
His first injury
occurred in Kuwait; injured his back while trying to lift a tow
occurred in Iraq -- injured his back and hip in a blast. He had
intense pain but had to return to duty the next day because of
stop loss, and because there was no one to replace him.
His third injury
occurred during a firefight; he reinjured other injuries and
started to lose sensation in his legs. He still has neurological
problems and suffers from PTSD.
He was exposed to biological/ chemical
contaminants in Iraq that engineers pulled out of the ground -- none
of the soldiers had protective suits. He does not know the extent
of the damage that this exposure may have caused.
He was told that he had to fill out
his own paperwork to receive a Purple Heart so he said he wouldn't
bother. He believes this is how the military discourages soldiers
from claiming Purple Hearts.
He was stationed in
the Fallujah / Ramadah area where there was an infestation of
sandfleas and sandflies. These insects are known to deposit a toxin
on human skin and it builds up over time. He lived in one of
Saddam's old death camps and saw the mass graves.
He joined the military after 911
because he wanted to help. His Grandfather was in the Army and his
uncle was in the Navy -- that had an influence on him.
Total time in Iraq - one year and
His wife suffers from pancreitis and
can only treat it by pain management. She has a good paying job,
but misses a lot of days due to illness. They have three children
living with them (two are teenagers), and James has another child
living with the mother.
The are in the process of moving out
of their house and into an apartment. Their house will foreclose at
the end of this month. He is about to lose his car and has made
arrangements with the car company to catch up. He does not know how
he will honor that arrangement:
$500 due on May 25th $550 due on May
If he can catch up his car payments,
his sister will take over payments and switch vehicles with him to
eliminate his car payments. They do not know how they will pay
their basic bills when they move.
James' mother has
been helping financially but has reached her limit. Her mother is
dying in a hospice.
He was medically
discharged from the Army in February ( he was in Ft Riley, Ks and
came here to Covington where his wife and children are), and he
started trying to get benefits then. He was told that it would
take 6-8 months to receive benefits.
He and his wife
Michele stated that they will even need food soon.
He attempted suicide in early
September. Five others in his brigade also attempted suicide.
He does not care how public we make
this information, they say they just need help.
Denise Thomas Georgia Peace and
Justice Coalition (GPJC) Georgia Military Families Speak Out (GA
Caught In Blizzard:
Soldiers Die, All
Rage Against Army
[Thanks to CS, who sent this in.]
Angry relatives of
45 Chilean soldiers who disappeared in a fierce Andes snowstorm two
days ago have accused army officers of abandoning them.
Sixteen of the troops have been
Rescuers are still looking for the
remaining 29, but army chiefs say they are unlikely to be found
A number of officers have been sacked,
and military and civilian investigations have been launched into the
A total of 433 troops were hit by the
unexpected blizzard on Wednesday on the slopes of the Antuco volcano
in the Los Barros range, about 360 miles south-east of the capital,
Army chief Gen Emilio Cheyre said hope
for the missing men was all but lost.
"I'm convinced they are dead," he
said. "Only by a miracle will we find any alive."
But grieving relatives who came to
identify the bodies of those confirmed dead said they had been
neglected by the officers who were supposed to look after them.
"My son and his
companions were abandoned by the officers," Reuters news agency
quoted Gloria Bastias, who lost her son Jonathan, as saying.
"They were coming
down together in a group and people were falling. The officer just
let 28 kids fall and went on to the shelter."
She said a survivor
had told her how her son fell into the snow and how recruits had
struggled with officers.
All the officers on
the expedition appear to have survived.
The relatives have been waiting in a
gym at the nearby town of Los Angeles since Wednesday for news of
Tired Of Endless
Their Own Exit Strategy:
"What's The End
"I still don't
know if we can make it," said a senior Army officer at the
Pentagon. "You tell me what Iraq is going to look like next year."
May 22, 2005 By Mark Mazzetti, L.A.
Times, KILLEEN, Texas
Army Capt's Dave Fulton and Geoff
Heiple spent 12 months dodging roadside bombs and rounding up
insurgents along Baghdad's "highway of death" — the six miles of
pavement linking downtown Baghdad to the capital city's airport. Two
weeks after returning stateside to Ft. Hood, they ventured to a
spartan conference room at the local Howard Johnson to find out
about changing careers.
Lured by a headhunting firm that
places young military officers in private-sector jobs, the pair,
both 26, expected anonymity in the crowded room.
Instead, as Fulton and Heiple sipped
Budweisers pulled from Styrofoam coolers next to the door, they
spotted nearly a dozen familiar faces from their cavalry battalion,
which had just ended a yearlong combat tour in Iraq.
The shocks of recognition came as they
exchanged quick, awkward glances with others from their unit, each
man clearly surprised to see someone else considering a life outside
"This is a real eye-opener," said
Fulton, a West Point graduate who saw a handful of cadets from his
class. "It seems like everyone in the room is either from my squad
or from my class."
More than three
years after the Sept. 11 attacks spawned an era of unprecedented
strain on the all-volunteer military, it is scenes like this that
keep the Army's senior generals awake at night. With thousands of
soldiers currently on their second combat deployment in Iraq or
Afghanistan and some preparing for their third this fall, evidence
is mounting that an exodus of young Army officers may be looming on
It is especially troubling for
Pentagon officials that the Army's pool of young captains, which
forms the backbone of infantry and armored units deployed in Iraq
and Afghanistan, could be the hardest hit.
Last year, Army lieutenants and
captains left the service at an annual rate of 8.7% — the highest
Young captains in the Army are looking
ahead to repeated combat tours, years away from their families and a
global war that their commanders tell them could last for decades.
Like other college grads in their mid-20s, they are making decisions
about what to do with their lives.
And many officers, who until recently
had planned to pursue careers in the military, are deciding that
it's a future they can't sign up for.
The officers returning from Iraq and
Afghanistan just wrapped up a year of grueling counterinsurgency
operations — a type of combat the U.S. largely avoided after its
struggle in Vietnam and that many in the Pentagon believe is the new
face of war.
These officers have, in most cases,
more counterinsurgency experience than any of their superiors. And
they are the people the Army most fears losing.
"The undefined goals of the war on
terror are making it really hard for the Army to keep people right
now," Fulton said.
"I still don't know
if we can make it," said a senior Army officer at the Pentagon. "You
tell me what Iraq is going to look like next year."
Meanwhile, the Army is dispatching
combat units to Iraq and Afghanistan after soldiers have had just
one year at home, a pace that is taking a toll around the country.
Timothy Muchmore, a civilian Army
official at the Pentagon and a retired tank officer, said he was
worried about an exodus of young officers. He summed up the problem
"You take a junior
officer, you send them overseas for a year. They win a lot of
medals, and they're a hero. But when you send them back a second
time, the odds go up that they won't make it home alive and it
becomes even harder on their family. Are they any more of a hero
for having served a second time? No.”
After the session was over, Heiple and
Fulton were wary about what they had just heard. And it was not that
the average starting salaries of $50,000 to $70,000 were much more
than they had earned in Iraq when combat pay and bonuses were
Instead, one of
their biggest concerns about working in the civilian world was that
it was "cheesier" and less serious than what they currently do for a
"I kind of worry
that the corporate world is a lot like 'Office Space,' " said
Heiple, referring to the 1999 movie that parodied American office
Mid-level officers around the country
are confronting the same choice. The 1-34 armor battalion of the
1st Infantry Division returned last year to Ft. Riley, Kan., after a
year in Iraq's so-called Sunni Triangle, the region of heaviest
The battalion is
expecting to return to Iraq later this year, and many young officers
are choosing to get out before then.
Even in Iraq, he
said, senior commanders were keenly aware of those officers who
might be considering leaving the military and applied various
degrees of pressure to persuade them to remain in uniform.
Yet Capt. Vincent Tuohey, another
member of their battalion just back from Iraq., who was promoted to
captain upon returning to Ft. Hood, said he was not sure whether he
would stay in the Army when his commitment ended next year. He said
he was tempted to work on Wall Street.
It's not the money
he's after. It's the fact that an Army that was gutted after the
Cold War was promising him a future of perpetual deployments
fighting a war that could last for decades.
That is not a
future he is sure he can commit to.
"What's the end
point?" he asked. "When do you declare victory?"
Sadistic Ghouls At
DoD Looking For A Vaccine So Hurt Troops Can Keep Fighting
May 30, 2005 Fortune
Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on a variety of "human
enhancement" programs, including a vaccine against pain so that
soldiers can operate at peak intensity for long periods.
$5 Bln Extra Needed
To Replenish Iraq Materiel, Pentagon Says
How Much For The
Dead And Maimed?
May 19, 2005 Bloomberg.com,
The Army and Marine
Corps need about $5 billion extra to replace combat equipment
damaged, lost or worn out in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon
says. Most of the money—about $4.2 billion—is to
restock tanks, medical supplies, tents and other gear, while $768
million more would buy new helicopters, combat vehicles and trucks,
according to a report to Congress.
May 19, 2005 Seattle Times
Oregon state officials ordered a halt
to the processing of nerve-gas-filled rockets at the Army's Umatilla
Chemical Depot because of a troubling series of fires that broke out
in a sealed off processing room.
The three fires, the latest of which
briefly flared yesterday for about three seconds, fed on rocket fuel
rather than the sarin-nerve agent that,
for the most part,
already had been drained out.
The Rising Economic
Cost Of The Iraq War Close To That Of The Korean War:
$5 Billion Each
[Thanks to David
Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in. He writes: "A few
billion here, and a few billion there, and pretty soon you're
talking about some real money." the late Senator Everett Dirksen.]
5.19.05 By Peter Grier,
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Fighting in Iraq has been prolonged and remains intense enough that
it has pushed the total cost of US military operations since Sept.
11, 2001, close to that of the Korean War.
The cost of the US military in Iraq is
running about $5 billion a month, estimated the former Pentagon
comptroller earlier this year.
Fighting in Iraq
"is lasting longer, and is more intense, and the cost to keep troops
in the theater of operations is proving to be much greater than
anyone anticipated," wrote Rep. John Spratt (D) of
South Carolina, ranking minority member of the House Budget
Committee, in a recent Democratic report on war costs.
Overall, Congress has approved about
$192 billion for the Iraq war itself, according to an analysis by
the Congressional Research Service. Another $58 billion has been
allocated for Afghanistan, and some $20 billion has gone for
enhanced air security and other Pentagon preparedness measures in
That totals $270 billion for all
military operations since 2001, according to the CRS analysis.
The cost of war in
Iraq by itself has already far exceeded the $85 billion
inflation-adjusted price tag of the 1991 Gulf War, notes Mr.
Kosiak. Plus, that war was largely paid for by contributions from
As for all military operations
combined, add in the $50 billion in war spending the Senate Armed
Services Committee last week added to the fiscal 2006 defense budget
bill, and the total will surpass $320 billion in US funds.
"That's close to the Korean war
level of $350 billion (in today's dollars)," says Kosiak.
Unsurprisingly, operations and
maintenance constitute the single largest extra expense of the Iraq
war. Almost half of the just-passed emergency spending bill's
defense funds went for ground operations, flying hours, fuel, and
Iraq fighting has been particularly
grinding, noted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a Senate
budget hearing in February. On average, combat vehicles are
experiencing four and a half years of peacetime wear in one year.
"A Bradley fighting
vehicle that usually runs about 800 miles a year - that's in
peacetime training - now sometimes is being driven in the range of
4,000 miles in Iraq," said Secretary Rumsfeld.
About half of the
remaining emergency defense funds was devoted to personnel. The
rest went largely to weapons procurement, such as replacement of six
National Guard UH-60 helicopters lost in Iraqi and Afghan
Pentagon Uses Its
Spidery Sense For The Troops:
With great power comes great
responsibility: Donald Rumsfeld flexes with Spider-Man and Captain
America. (By Jason Reed -- Reuters)
At one time the
G-man assigned to oversee the Avengers was a humorless arrogant
prig who was always lecturing them; at another, it was an affable
functionary with a high tolerance for extralegal activities. Who,
if either of these, better resembles Rumsfeld we leave for readers
[Thanks to Karen
Ahern, who sent this in.]
April 29, 2005 By Hanna Rosin,
Washington Post Staff Writer
time! How else to explain yesterday's midday appearance, down in
the Pentagon basement, of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
(normal human strength, no known superpowers), wedged between
Spider-Man and Captain America, trying his best to melt that icy
glare of his into a boy-am-I-glad-you-guys-showed-up kind of smirk?
Comics is really hard up for readers and needs an ultra-dynamic,
Pentagon-heavy publicity gimmick to boost its sales, or Rumsfeld
is finally ready to admit that only a superhero can extricate us
explanation for this partnership (The Titanic Three? The Terrific
Trio?) is this: Marvel Comics has created a custom "Support Our
Troops" comic book starring the New Avengers and the Fantastic Four
for "America Supports You," a Defense Department campaign.
One million copies will be distributed to service members
in the United States and overseas.
But as any friend
of the Avengers can tell you, the official explanation sometimes
can't be trusted.
From the military's perspective the
benefits of the collaboration are obvious.
According to a
Marvel executive, soldiers in Iraq have written letters to Marvel
complaining they can't get enough comic books. It makes a certain
sense: If you are a soldier in Sadr City it must be soothing to
dream that Spider-Man will swing down from a nearby rooftop and
ensnare your unseen attackers in his web.
Or that you
yourself are endowed with some superpowers.
How useful would it
be to gulp down some of that Super-Soldier serum that makes Captain
America a master of hand-to-hand combat, able to lift 800 pounds and
duck at the speed of lightning? Or to be able to stretch yourself
into a thin-walled square like Mr. Fantastic does, should the Green
Zone fail you?
From the Avengers' point of view the
partnership is a little more tricky.
Marvel plot lines tend to unfold in a
real-ish world; the superheroes live in New York and work with
various government agencies to combat threats. The U.S. government
welcomes the Avengers' help, but only in a grudging sort of way.
They were trusted enough to gain access to official U.S. military
computer networks. But then in a
later story arc the Senate held a series of hearings to determine
whether they were a threat to national security. As far as the feds
are concerned, a superhero sometimes can't be trusted either.
At one time the
G-man assigned to oversee the Avengers was a humorless arrogant
prig who was always lecturing them; at another, it was an affable
functionary with a high tolerance for extralegal activities. Who,
if either of these, better resembles Rumsfeld we leave for readers
The story opens with some soldiers who
stumble on a UFO-looking ship and call for help. Iron Man and Mr.
Fantastic, the two scientist-superheroes, show up. They pry open
the ship to find hostile aliens inside, and then KOOM! THWIP! etc.
Yesterday's news conference unveiling
the comic book had less of the KOOM! thrill and more of the Santa
Claus-comes-to-the-mall feel. Hundreds of Pentagon employees
brought their children down to the commercial mini-mall in the
basement to "Meet the Superheroes," as the event was billed.
Rumsfeld, after urging the young crowd
to be "quiet, very quiet, very quiet," introduced the superheroes
and said he hoped "we all remember what this is about: supporting
A man dressed in a Spider-Man costume
gamely squatted and did that web-squirt thing with his hands dozens
of times to pose for photographs, while the Captain America
look-alike flexed his muscles and kept his _expression deadly
earnest. At some point Rumsfeld too did a little muscle flex for
the cameras, only he couldn't keep a straight face.
Sam Burns from Arlington came with his
aunt as a special surprise for his 13th birthday. He posed with both
superheroes for photos in his white Oxford shirt and a tie. He used
to read comic books but now he prefers novels such as "The Archer's
Tale," about an English soldier in the mid-1300s who fights the
French to avenge his father's death. His less literate friends
prefer video games.
"None of my friends
really read comics anymore," he says
Discovered At U.S. Prison Camp
May. 22, 2005 BY MARK WASHBURN, Knight
UMM QASR, Iraq - (KRT) -
The weight of a fuel truck collapsed
the roof of an escape tunnel being dug out of Camp Bucca,
where more than 6,000 suspected terrorists and insurgents are being
Prison authorities said Sunday the
shaft was discovered Thursday when one of the truck's tires plunged
into the earth between the two main fences on the camp's perimeter.
No one escaped. A small number of
ringleaders involved in the attempt were placed in isolation,
The 300-foot burrow, about wide enough
for a man to crawl through, was four feet underground and poorly
constructed, said Capt. Jerry Baird Jr. of Nebo, N.C., part of the
HHC 105 MP Battalion of the North Carolina Army National Guard from
On Friday, the
initial excavations for another tunnel project were also discovered,
Infrared cameras, ground monitors,
sensors and guard towers monitor the two and three-quarter-mile
perimeter of Camp Bucca, where 6,474 men were being held Sunday in
nine compounds. The camp, one of the largest detention facilities
in the world, is in southern Iraq near the Kuwait border.
dig trenches with backhoes around the fences looking for tunnels,
but find their adversaries are quick learners.
"We try to be
proactive and dig," said Maj. Robert Kricko of Greenville, Tenn.,
the camp's executive officer. "They figure out how deep we can dig
and they dig deeper."
Boredom and an idle labor force
contribute to the camp's security problems, authorities say.
Programs to teach literacy and math have recently been launched and
a movie night may be started this week as a reward for good
behavior, said the camp's public affairs officer, Capt. Diana Stumpf
"We're not going to
show ‘The Great Escape,'" she said. [How about
Apocalypse Now? Or maybe The Battle Of Algiers? Born On The
4th Of July? Platoon? Battleship Potemkin? FTA?]
22 May 2005 Aljazeera.Net & (CNN) &
Four commandos and
a civilian were killed in a bomb attack in Samarra,
125km north of the capital, police said.
"Two more commandos
were killed in a rocket attack on a police station in the city
centre moments later," the same source said.
In Baiji, further
north, six other members of the commando battalion al-Raad (Thunder)
were shot dead in intense fighting that broke out in the key oil
refinery town's industrial zone, police Colonel
Saad Nufus said.
A high-ranking official in Iraq's
Ministry of Trade was assassinated Sunday en route to his office in
the capital, Iraqi police said.
killed Ali Mossa Selman, director general of the Trade Ministry's
Commercial and Financial Control Department when they opened fire on
his car in the western Baghdad neighborhood of al-Iskan, police
They also killed Selman's driver
during the attack, police said.
In a second attack
on Sunday, attackers dressed as Iraqi soldiers hit two Iraqi Finance
Ministry vehicles, killing three ministry employees,
an Iraqi police official said.
The attackers took
both vehicles, one of which as carrying an unknown amount of Iraqi
currency, the official said.
Two guards were
wounded in the attack, the official said, which
took place north of Baghdad on a road between Kirkuk and Tikrit.
Two policemen were
wounded by a car bomb in Tikrit, in central Iraq,
security officials said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE
"The point of
public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they
don't mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda.
You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against,
and everybody's going to be for.
Nobody knows what
it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is
that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean
something: Do you support our policy? That's the one you're not
allowed to talk about." Noam Chomsky
[Wrong on last point. Millions
are talking about it, including the troops.]
free speech means freedom to speak what others do not like and
even cannot stand to hear?
you like is hardly a major achievement. Hitler tolerated what he
liked. So did Stalin. Idi Amin did too. So did Genghis Khan, the
Shah, and Henry Kissinger. Free speech only becomes an issue when
someone says what others don't want to hear."
Troops To Occupy A Nation That Doesn’t Want To Be Occupied”
As George C.
Herring reflected in America’s
Longest War: The Unites States and Vietnam, 1950-1975,
“Failure never comes easily, but it comes especially hard when
success is anticipated at little cost.”
May 19, 2005 P.M. Carpenter,
Just as familiar is this chestnut:
“The US army (is) also too thin on the ground.” Again, the
difference between the Iraq situation and Vietnam is one without a
True, in Iraq, Washington never
planned enough troops. So we’re losing. In Vietnam the brass was
forever citing a precise number of troops to achieve victory, which
Washington gave them. We still lost. The old right -- the neocons’
predecessors -- concocted the myth that Washington starved the
military in Vietnam and that was the reason we lost.
But the fact is,
there are never enough troops to occupy a nation that doesn’t want
to be occupied. Ask the Roman Empire, the British Empire, the
“The greatest failure of the US in
Iraq is not that mistakes were made but that its political system
has proved incapable of redressing them.”
There you go. That just about says it
Washington’s political system was enmeshed in the ideology of
battling communism. It failed to comprehend the war’s nationalist
roots and its fundamental construct of a civil war rather than
expansionist aggression. So whatever wasn’t working was better than
what they perceived as the alternative. And of course policy makers
and the military always dangled victory in Vietnam. Let’s keep at
it a little longer and we’ll have this mess cleaned up.
Ideology, entrenched thinking, false
hope and fear of admitting failure and reversing course -- the
combined causes of lasting pain in Vietnam.
As George C.
Herring reflected in America’s
Longest War: The Unites States and Vietnam, 1950-1975,
“Failure never comes easily, but it comes especially hard when
success is anticipated at little cost.”
We Will Rape Your
Women, Heck We Will Rape Our Women, But We Would Never Flush The
May 18, 2005 James Glaser.
Jim Glaser. a Marine Corps Vietnam
War veteran and Commander of VFW Post 3869, works to educate the
American public on the consequences of war. His personal
website is JamesGlaser.org.
Colonel David H. Hackworth wrote, "By
April 2004, rapes and assaults of American female soldiers were
epidemic in the Middle East. But even after more than 83 incidents
were reported during a six-month period in Iraq and Kuwait, the
24-hour rape hotline in Kuwait was still being answered by a machine
advising callers to leave a phone number where they could be
reached." This is how we treat American women. This is a reflection
on our "culture and values."
It is widely
reported that many American military women serving in Iraq, need
guards in order to take a shower because of fear of sexual assaults
by their fellow soldiers. Washington wants the world to believe that
some of these same troops would never flush a Koran.
The whole world has
seen the photos of American troops sexually humiliating and
torturing Iraqi terror suspects. We have all read reports of
prisoners being beat to death in American run prisons in
Afghanistan, but we want the world to know we would never flush the
Koran down a toilet.
American citizens were horrified when
they saw the photos from Abu Ghraib Prison, but we were only shown
the tame ones. Senator Richard J. Durbin saw the photos our
government wouldn’t let us see and he said, "There were some awful
scenes. It felt like you were descending into one of the rings of
hell, and sadly it was our own creation."
Congressman Martin T. Meehan said, "I
was obviously shocked and horrified to discover that the new photos
are even more gruesome than those we have seen in the media."
wants the world to believe that our values and culture are such,
that we would never desecrate a Holy book. Torture, sexually
humiliate, and sexually assault, Yes. Desecrate, No
In both Iraq and Afghanistan there
have been independent and Arab news sources broadcasting the horror
of Bush’s Wars. Horrors the American people will never see here at
home. The rest of the world sees the carnage taking place every day
in Iraq. The bodies of children and their mothers are shown where
they died. The horror of an Iraqi hospital can be seen all over the
world, except in North America.
In North America,
we are not even permitted to see our own Military Hospitals on
television, nor the flag draped coffins of our troops who have died
Washington and even
George Bush himself will try and spin this latest charge against our
country, but today the United States has too much baggage from what
we have already done, for anyone to take Bush’s denials seriously.
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.
Thanks Resistance Supporters
May 21, 2005 Daily Star
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim
al-Jaafari Jaafari said "The
situation in Iraq will not last for ever." "The Iraqi people will
never forget those who stand by it in troubled times."
Successful Recruiting For Iraqi Resistance Than For U.S. Military
20 May 2005 Written by Kevin Zeese,
The U.S. Army has missed its
recruiting goals for the last three months.
At the same time the resistance in
Iraq is growing.
Is the U.S. military more successful
in recruiting for the resistance than it is for the U.S. Army?
The level of insurgent activity in
Iraq today is four or five times higher than it was in early summer
2003 when there were 10-13 attacks per day. Currently, there are
approximately 50 per day.
A report released by the Project for
Defense Alternatives explains why the resistance to U.S. occupation
is expanding - the root cause is the U.S. occupation itself.
Vicious Circle, notes
U.S. occupation offends many Iraqis every day. They face:
· Constant foreign military patrols
- about 12,000 per week;
· Ubiquitous (and too often deadly)
· Raids -- 8,000 total since May
· Citizen round-ups -- 80,000
detained since April 2003.
Perhaps the most invasive are house
raids by U.S. forces. The International Committee of the Red Cross
described how the raids are conducted in a February 2004 report:
authorities entered houses usually after dark, breaking down doors,
waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the
house and further breaking doors, cabinets, and other property.
Sometimes they arrested all adult males in the house, including
elderly, handicapped, or sick people.
included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles,
punching and kicking, and striking with rifles. Individuals were
often led away in whatever they happened to be wearing at the time
of arrest - sometimes pajamas or underwear... In many cases personal
belongings were seized during the arrest with no receipt given....
“In almost all
incidents documented by the ICRC, arresting authorities provided no
information about who they were, where their base was located, nor
did they explain the cause of arrest. Similarly, they rarely
informed the arrestee or his family where he was being taken or for
how long, resulting in the defacto disappearance of the arrestee for
weeks or even months until contact was finally made."
house searches continue. Last week, U.S. marines
went from town-to-town along the Syrian border searching houses and
finding nothing - but certainly seeding the ground for new
The other common occupation-encounter
is checkpoints. These are a constant reminder of occupation, can be
intimidating and violent. Iraq Body Count, which surveys press
reports of Iraqi war deaths, records a minimum of 90 civilians
killed at U.S.-manned road-blocks between March 31, 2003 and April
21, 2005 - no doubt a conservative estimate.
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
Still No Oil For
May 21, 2005 (Reuters)
William Taylor, the U.S. official
overseeing American rebuilding work in Iraq. said few foreign
investors will consider coming to Iraq unless they see signs of
economic recovery in the major oil producer.
companies, which usually go to dangerous places, are waiting,'' he
PM Wants Foreign Capitalists To Risk Losing Their Money
May 21, 2005 Daily Star
Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari later visited TOBB, an umbrella group
uniting regional chambers of commerce, and urged Turkish businessmen
not to shy away from Iraq despite the dangers.
"Capital is timid
when it enters a country, but it has to be brave," Jaafari said.
[Wrong. There was
nothing timid about U.S. Imperial capital when it entered Iraq,
riding on the backs of 150,000 invading U.S. troops. Soon followed
by bankruptcy. If Bush’s Occupation Iraq Inc. were a business, the
banks would have closed the whole losing enterprise down a long time
ago, and the Bush gang would be in prison for stock fraud. And
premeditated murder. Of Iraqis and U.S. troops. Capital is timid
about putting money into a known loser.]
FIVE YEARS TOO LATE
May 20, 2005 Gush Shalom ad in
This week, the
Israeli police showed that it is able to clear blocked roads without
opening fire, without killing or even wounding one single person.
Even when all the
main roads throughout the country were blocked simultaneously by
thousands of settlers in an organized and well-planned operation.
Even then, the Israeli police was
capable of opening all the blocked roads within one hour, without
opening fire even once.
All due respect!
discovery came five years too late for the 13 Arab citizens of
Israel who were shot to death by Israeli policemen who argued that
"there was no other way to open the blocked roads."
[To check 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.]
Bush Explains Why
People Don’t Understand How His Fans Think
Bush said "I think
they're inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards
that it's hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they
think." ROBERT HILLMAN May 20, 2005 (KRT)
Never Mind, Drive
War Profiteers Just
Keep Lapping It Up
2005-05-19 Pierre Tristam, Daytona
In 1962 the
Pentagon contracted with a four-company combine known as RMK-BRJ to
build every sea port, every airport, several military bases and the
American embassy in South Vietnam. It was one of those no-bid,
no-audit, no-problem contracts that makes the Pentagon every lucky
contractor's magic kingdom.
In 1966, a
34-year-old Republican representative from Illinois stood on the
House floor and, citing the RMK-BRJ consortium, justly condemned
President Johnson's administration for handing out illegal contracts
to friends and campaign supporters. "Under one
contract, between the U.S. Government and this combine, it is
officially estimated that obligations will reach at least $900
million by November 1967," the representative said. The sum would be
equivalent to $5 billion today. "Why this huge contract has not been
and is not now being adequately audited is beyond me. The potential
for waste and profiteering under such a contract is substantial."
Why the RMK-BRJ
contract wasn't being audited shouldn't have been such a mystery to
the representative, one of the sharpest on Capitol Hill. Democrats
dominated Congress with a 295-140 majority in the House and a 68-32
majority in the Senate, their most crushing numbers since Franklin
Roosevelt's first term. Deafness to critics is the privilege of
representative was Donald Rumsfeld, now the secretary of defense.
That makes him responsible for the
latest magic kingdom contracts -- the ones that have yielded $11
billion so far in revenue from the Iraq and Afghan wars to Kellogg,
Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that's been doing work
similar to RMK-BRJ's, plus feeding, housing and transporting troops
around Iraq and the Middle East. Incidentally, Brown & Root (but not
yet Kellogg) was part of the Vietnam combine.
Halliburton-type profiteering only
seems like a Republican specialty.
But the immutable law of war is that
while unlucky people die, lucky ones make a killing.
Assuming that John
Kerry had won the election last November, it's almost impossible to
imagine that the list of 150 American contractors doing $49 billion
worth of work in Iraq and Afghanistan would have changed
substantially. (The Center for Public Integrity,
www.publicintegrity.org, lists every contract by name and amount.)
Besides, Halliburton may be a juicy
target, but it's as good as a foil. It keeps attention away from
the heart of the issue.
The Soviets reliably self-destructed,
but we're still spending somewhere between $30 billion and $50
billion a year on the war on drugs, an equal amount on the war on
terror at home, and double those amounts on various wars abroad.
All this is a
little simplistic, I know, but not nearly as simplistic as the bread
and butter of every profiteer's dividends -- that patriotic daze and
those armchair fears that, at this rate, are damaging the country
more than any drugs or terrorists ever will.
Help For Iraqis Is
On The Way!
5.22.05 By Ima Flack, Psyops News
In Washington, the
White House announced a new $486 billion contract has been awarded
to Demopublican Enterprises, Inc., who plan to bring the Iraq
educational system into the modern era.
For centuries, the
people of Iraq have communicated by writing backwards in squiggly
lines that civilized people are unable to read. The grant will
replace this outmoded means of communication with a modern alphabet,
exactly like that used in the USA.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth
- about the occupation or the criminals running the government in
Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we
want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the
resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or
inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to
become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed
services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help
you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what
you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a
network of active duty organizers.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
CLASS WAR REPORTS
The Secret Raids of
Operation Falcon --
10,000 Swept Up
May 18, 2005 By MIKE WHITNEY,
There's only one
way to make sure that the machinery of state-terror is operating at
maximum efficiency; flip on the switch and let er rip. That was
thinking behind last month's massive roundup of 10,000 American
citizens in what was aptly-christened Operation Falcon.
Operation Falcon was a massive
clandestine dragnet that involved hundreds of state, federal and
local law-enforcement agencies during the week of April 4 to April
10, 2005. It was the largest criminal-sweep in the nation's history
and was brainchild of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his
counterpart in the US Marshal's office, (Director) Ben Reyna.
The secret-raids "produced the largest
number of arrests ever recorded during a single initiative," Reyna
The details are mind-boggling. Over
960 agencies (state, local and federal) were directly involved
acting on 13,800 felony warrants and spending nearly $900,000 on the
operation. As the conservative Washington Times noted, "The sweep
was a virtual clearinghouse for warrants on drug, gang, gun and
sex-offender suspects nationwide."
It's clear that the
Marshal's office knew where the vast majority of the suspects were
or they never would have had such stunning success rounding them up;
which, of course, begs the question, "Why did they wait to apprehend
alleged' murderers, when they already knew where they were hiding?"
According to the press releases, which
celebrated the dazzling display of law enforcement, the raids netted
"162 accused or convicted of murder, 638 wanted for armed robbery,
553 wanted for rape or sexual assault, 154 gang members and 106
unregistered sex offenders." (CNN)
roughly 1,000 criminals; what about the other 9,000? Traffic
tickets, late child-support payments, jay-walking???
"We're really amazed. We had no idea
we'd apprehend more than 10,000 bad guys," said one federal law
enforcement official who asked not to be identified. "We didn't know
what to expect, but the response from law enforcement personnel
everywhere was truly amazing." (CNN)
The media's approbation does little to
disguise the real purpose of Operation Falcon. (which is an acronym
for "Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally.")
The Bush administration is sharpening
its talons for the inevitable difficulties it expects to face as a
result of its disastrous policies. With each regressive initiative,
the governing cabal seems to get increasingly paranoid, anticipating
an outburst of public rage. Now, they're orchestrating massive
round-ups of minor crooks to make sure that every cog and gear in
the apparatus of state repression is lubricated and ready to go.
Rest assured that Attorney General
Gonzales has absolutely no interest in the petty offenders that were
netted in this extraordinary crackdown. His action is just another
indication that the noose is tightening around the neck of the
American public and that the Bush team is fully prepared for any
unpleasant eventualities. They want to make sure that everyone
knows that they're ready when its time to thin out the ranks of
(Note: to date, the
US Marshall's office has issued no public statement to the press as
to whether the 10,000 people arrested in operation Falcon have been
processed or released.)
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