GI SPECIAL 3B46:
Our Country Become”
Broken, No Man Left Behind, He Was”
May 30, 2005
Re: GI Special 3B45: Lt. Col. (Ret'd) Says Bush, Rumsfeld
Hey, I know
a lot more now.
son came back with injuries his medical reports were lost,
the chain of command like 1 Sgt (a Ranger at that) and Sgt.
didn't care because they were getting out in a few months so
the buck was passed and then he didn't get a medical review
- he lost his home and back-money problems due to all this.
Three Captains in a change of
command, so therefore it is harder to see that anything is
call then they just want to blow smoke up your ...
law was broken by the military, Second, Creed was broken, no
man left behind, he was.
Third, who cares?
care about the soldiers that are not getting what they need
the VA and what has our country become -- everyone over here
is fighting verbally at each other.
This is an outrage not to
mention I don't trust anyone anymore - but he is finally
getting some direction from retired Veterans – I just wanted
to update you now on this.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
the truth - about the occupation or the criminals
running the government in Washington - is the first
reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more
than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance
- whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or
inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling
Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class
people inside the armed services together. We want this
newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize
resistance within the armed forces. If you like what
you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in
building a network of active duty organizers.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Crashes In Diyala;
Americans & Iraqi Killed;
Copter Forced Down By Gunfire
AP & (Xinhuanet)
helicopter crashed Monday in the eastern province of Diyala,
killing all five people on board, a source in Iraq's Defence
Ministry told Xinhua.
the day, a US helicopter was reportedly forced to make an
emergency landing in Tel Afar city in northern Iraq after
coming under gunmen fire.
helicopter crashed today in Jalulaa region of eastern Iraq's
Diyala province, and the Iraqi pilot, as well as a US
officer and three soldiers were killed," said the source who
asked not to be identified.
source explained that three bodies of the killed have been
found and the other two bodies are still being searched.
It did not
say where the crash occurred in Diyala, located northwest of
Baghdad. It added that it was reported to
a joint communication center in the town of Khanaqin, near
the Iranian border.
It is not
immediately clear the reason behind the crash, but the
Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV reported that the chopper crashed
after hitting a barrier when it was flying at a low
Four shells fell near the
South Korean military contingent in Iraq early Monday
(Korean time), but there were no immediate reports of any
causalities, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The shells, two rocket shells
and two rounds from
high-angle guns, were presumed to have
been fired at the South Korean military in the northern
Iraqi town of Irbil, JCS officials said.
They Saw It
Herald, May 25, 2005
Korean troops in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil have been
training about 400 Iraqi soldiers and police since February,
an action that could incite Iraqi insurgents to target the
Korean contingent, the Defense Ministry said in Seoul.
Attack” By Resistance Captures Occupation Weapons
2005/05/30 New York Times News
Service & LA Times
sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks carrying Iraqi
police and national guardsmen sped through the capital,
drawing fire and scattering civilian drivers trying to put
distance between themselves and the targeted convoys.
Small-arms fire from insurgent ambushes in several Baghdad
neighborhoods crackled throughout the day
daring assault appeared to have been a sustained attack on
the detention center run by the Interior Ministry's major
crimes unit in Amariya, where suspected insurgents are held
before being moved to the Abu Ghraib prison.
The ministry said the assault
there involved at least 50 insurgents firing
rocket-propelled grenades, mortar shells and machine guns.
According to an unconfirmed account by an Amariya
resident who was reached by telephone, insurgent bands
roaming the district after the battle claimed to have
captured weapons from the detention center's armory.
Iraqi-led counterinsurgency operation since the downfall of
Saddam Hussein set off a violent backlash on Sunday across
police and soldiers were scrambling to seal off the capital,
some U.S. officials expressed concern that the crackdown
would lack "precision" and further erode public support for
al-Jaafari's government, which took power April 28. [Duh.]
More Notes From A Lost War:
Resistance Rules Anbar Province:
“(Commanders) Can't Use The Word, But We're Withdrawing,’
Said One U.S. Military Official”
soldier in a Humvee passes by a demonstration in front of
the main mosque in Ramadi May 30, 2005.
demanded the release of religious and tribal leaders who
were arrested in the last weeks. (AP Photo/Bilal
can't get all the Marines and train them on a single
objective, because usually the objective is bigger than
you are," said Maj. Mark Lister, a senior Marine air
officer in Al Anbar province.
May 24, 2005 By Mark Mazzetti
and Solomon Moore, LA Times Staff Writers
The U.S. military's plan to
pacify Iraq has run into trouble in a place where it
urgently needs to succeed.
U.S. officials in Washington
and Baghdad agree that Al Anbar province — the vast desert
badlands stretching west from the cities of Fallouja and
Ramadi to the lawless region abutting the Syrian border —
remains the epicenter of the country's deadly insurgency.
troops and military officials in the embattled province said
in recent interviews that they have neither enough combat
power nor enough Iraqi military support to mount an
effective counterinsurgency against an increasingly
get all the Marines and train them on a single objective,
because usually the objective is bigger than you are," said
Maj. Mark Lister, a senior Marine air officer in Al Anbar
province. "Basically, we've got all the toys, but not enough
battalions of Marines are stationed in the western part of
the province, down from four a few months ago. Marine
officials in western Al Anbar say that each of those
battalions is smaller by one company than last year, meaning
there are approximately 2,100 Marines there now, compared
with about 3,600 last year.
military officers in Al Anbar province say that commanders
in Baghdad and the Pentagon have denied their repeated
requests for more troops.
"(Commanders) can't use the word, but we're withdrawing,"
said one U.S. military official in Al
Anbar province, who asked not to be identified because it is
the Pentagon that usually speaks publicly about troop
levels. "Slowly, that's
what we're doing."
Pentagon officials and experts in counterinsurgency warfare
say the troop shortage has hamstrung the U.S. military's
ability to effectively fight Iraqi insurgents.
This was evident during this
month's Operation Matador, the U.S. offensive near the
Syrian border designed to stem the flow of foreign fighters
and their weapons into Iraq. For seven days, Marines rumbled
through desert villages and fought pitched battles against a
surprisingly well-coordinated enemy.
"It's an extremely frustrating
fight," said Maj. Steve White, operations director for the
3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment.
"Fighting these guys is like
picking up water. You're going to lose some every time."
Yet as soon
as the operation concluded, the Marines crossed back over
the Euphrates River and left no U.S. or Iraqi government
presence in the region — generally
considered a major mistake in counterinsurgency warfare.
"It's classically the wrong
thing to do," said Kalev Sepp, a professor at the Naval
Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., who last fall was a
counterinsurgency advisor to Army Gen. George W. Casey, the
top U.S. general in Iraq.
"Sending 1,000 men north of
the Euphrates does what? Sometimes these things can be
counterproductive, because you just end up shooting things
up and then leaving the area."
Military officials in Iraq and
Washington said there was little reason to expect that
insurgent fighters would not return to the villages.
thing to do would have been to sweep the area with U.S.
troops, and hold it with Iraqi troops," said a military
official and counterinsurgency expert at the Pentagon who
spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not an
official Pentagon spokesman.
were no Iraqi troops to leave in the area.
Just one platoon of Iraqi
troops is stationed in the far west Al Anbar province,
garrisoned at a phosphate plant in the town of Qaim. But
those troops were on leave during the week of Operation
Matador, taking their paychecks home to their families.
Iraqi trainees and recruits
have been killed en masse in shootings and suicide bombings.
Consequently, U.S. and Iraqi commanders have been forced to
rely largely on Shiite troops to patrol the Sunni-dominated
"There are areas where there
is relatively little reconstruction because of insurgent
activity. You go out to Al Anbar province, for example.
It's pretty grim out there in terms of what has been done
versus what could be done," Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, chief
of U.S. Central Command, said last week. During Operation
Matador, U.S. troops were surprised to find a large
insurgent presence in towns south of the Euphrates in
western Al Anbar, such as Ubaydi, where the heaviest
fighting of the operation took place.
Marines were unaware that there were so many insurgents in
that city after having dispatched numerous civil affairs
missions there indicates the complexity of the region as
well as the military's limited knowledge of the area.
"We're here and they're
there," said Maj. Todd Waldemar, head of civil affairs for
the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve unit stationed at
the Haditha Dam in Al Anbar.
"We kind of
walk around in a security bubble, so to speak, that makes it
kind of hard for us to figure out exactly what's going on."
May 24, 2005 Nicolas J S
Davies, Online Journal Contributing Writer
all over Iraq are hunkered down in fortified bases
reminiscent of Dien Bien Phu or Khe Sanh, defended by
armored sorties and air strikes against surrounding areas,
and supplied by heavily armed convoys and airlifts.
Kabul, There's A Palpable Tension In The Air”
May 22, 2005 BY LEELA JACINTO,
corners across Kabul, there's a palpable tension in the air.
in the capital city are openly debating an issue that has
simmered under their society's skin for more than three
years: the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
problem, a daily problem in class these days, discussing
this issue," says 21-year-old Ahmed Siyar, a student in
Kabul University's law and political science department.
"The students are always asking the teachers why do the U.S.
troops want to be here? How long will they be here? They
want to know the position of the teachers."
me that he gets branded a Western lackey because he talks
about the need for U.S. and international troops. "All they
can think about is, it's an invasion."
Like most internationals in
Kabul, I was stunned by the ferocity of the demonstrations,
but not that they broke out. Earlier this year, I worked at
an Afghan news agency funded by the U.S. Agency for
International Development, training local journalists on the
job. In public, the trainees were diplomatic and eager -
almost too eager - to please, as you might expect in a
U.S.-sponsored program. But in private conversations over
tea and cigarettes, I got some idea of the great mistrust
with which they view America.
Siyar is finding in Kabul University's political science
department, most of the younger reporters see things in
black and white and want U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
ethnic, tribal, age and gender lines, the reporters and
editors I worked with staunchly oppose permanent U.S.
military bases here. One reporter told me
that U.S. troops should stay for three to four years
"maximum." And several Afghans wished that their president
could, just for once, stand up to the Americans.
circles, there are code words for the brash, haughty,
security-obsessed U.S. troops and officials. Former U.S.
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was routinely called "the
viceroy of Afghanistan," while Afghan President Hamid Karzai
is simply "the puppet." The floodlit, heavily fortified
U.S. Embassy in the heart of Kabul is "the real powerhouse."
It was Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice - not Karzai - who announced that parliamentary
elections finally would take place in September. And it was
Khalilzad - not Karzai - who confirmed reports of amnesty
negotiations with ex-Taliban officials.
A few days
after the riots, a young reporter who supports the presence
of U.S. troops, "but not for long," told me he was appalled
by the violence but glad that protesters had made a point.
Washington Post, May 25, 2005
President Hamid Karzai asserted that his government faced no
serious threat from either revived Taliban forces or drug
Suffering In 100 Degree Heat: No Air Conditioning;
May 29, 2005 WorldNow and KLFY
Christopher Brandon Sullivan
was shot in the neck and severed his spinal cord while
fighting over in Iraq.
He is now
healing from the injury and battling pneumonia in a German
told the hospital has lost air conditioning and is about 100
How Bad Is It?
Shortfall Echoes In Quiet Training Center:
Don’t Want Their Kids To Join The Army Because They’re
April, the Army filled an average of 50 percent of its
recruit training classes, versus 92 percent for the same
month last year.
May 30, 2005 By Gina
Cavallaro, Army Times staff writer
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Three long
rows of young soldiers stood in front of unloaded M249 squad
automatic weapons for the first time.
Unable to resist touching the
cold steel during orientation, the soldiers were ordered to
step back an arm’s length.
It was Week 7 of basic
“Does anybody know what
posthumous means?” Staff Sgt. Andre Allen asked the 150
infantrymen-in-training, members of F Company, 1st
Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment.
training company here should be packed with as many as 250
men, but what has been a chronic recruiting shortfall this
year means the mission to train about 24,500 infantrymen at
Benning by the end of fiscal 2005 is looking more elusive
As of May
5, the Infantry Training Brigade had been forced to cancel
14 “training cycles,” or companies, representing about 3,200
soldiers programmed to go through 14-week, one-station unit
January, the training center has been forced to cancel
cycles because there were not enough soldiers to make up
even a small company.
don’t want their kids to join the Army because they’re
getting killed,” said F Company Staff Sgt. Peter Garwood,
who has been a drill sergeant at Benning for two years.
the Army filled an average of 50 percent of its recruit
training classes, versus 92 percent for the same month last
At F Company, the 150 soldiers
in training is an even lower number than the bare minimum of
185 the ITB likes to have to fill a training cycle.
But the standard of training
is as rigorous as usual, and the enthusiasm and sense of
duty among the soldiers, even with the prospect of heading
to Iraq as few as 27 days from graduation, hasn’t wavered.
“They need help. That’s why I
joined. I want to get over (to Iraq) as soon as possible,”
said Pvt. Robert Blevins,
21, of Niagara Falls, N.Y., who left what he called a
dead-end job at a steel plant after earning his general
equivalency diploma. His 18-year-old brother is
coming in, too, and will be in training at Benning in two
“My friends wanted to join
before, but now they don’t want to join because there’s a
war going on,” Blevins said. “Personally, I think they’re
committed but admittedly “a little bit” nervous, Pvt. Daniel
Hough chased cows, broke horses and fixed fences on a ranch
near Kamiah, Idaho, and later operated a forklift at a
sawmill before joining the Army.
“I have a
lot of friends who have been in Iraq. They’ve said the
casualties are not as bad as they say, as bad as the media
makes it out to be,” Hough said. Still, he said his friends
think he’s stupid for joining the Army. And, at 26, he’s
not a typical recruit.
company, one-third of the soldiers have GED certificates,
and almost all have had some work experience before coming
according to company commander Capt. Justin Bosanko, who
said this cycle is the smallest he’s seen in the six months
he’s been on the job.
Bosanko said he’s worried that
if the number of recruits doesn’t pick up, he will start to
lose training resources. But he does like the higher
Deploy For 3rd Time
Honolulu Advertiser, May 23,
Marine Radio Battalion from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, is
preparing for its third deployment to Iraq.
Of the approximately 200
Marines making the latest nine-month trip, 75 have been to
Iraq at least once before with the battalion, and 30 have
been there twice. The unit, which provides communications
for intelligence units and Arabic linguist support, is one
of only three in the Marine Corps and is in high demand.
Roulette. 12 months was the max required for Vietnam, and
no one could be forced to stay for a day longer, ever, for
any reason. Period. Wise policy. A fair number of troops
explained the reason they hadn’t killed their officers was
because they knew if they made the year, they never had to
come back, which trumped the risk of military prison.
Today’s Imperial politicians are idiots in comparison with
the Vietnam era Imperials, which, of course, is demonstrated
by their invading Iraq to begin with.]
A Month Looking For A Way Out
5/24/2005 The Guardian (UK)
run a volunteer hotline to help desperate soldiers and new
recruits looking to get out or else having discovered at
basic training that military life is not for them, say the
number of calls has increased by 50 per cent since 9/11.
alone, the GI Rights Hotline received more than 30,000
moment the hotline is receiving up to 3000 calls a month and
the volunteers say that by the time a soldier or new recruit
dials the help line he or she has almost always decided to
get out by one means or another.
Dissent Is Not Enough;
5.24.05 By Camilo E. Mejia,
Zmag. He is
an Iraq war veteran, war resister, and member of Iraq
Veterans Against the War. He served nine months
in confinement for refusing to return to Iraq after a
Just about a year a go I was
tried by a special Court-Martial at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
The charge: desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous
received a lot of attention from the media, mainly because I
was the first Iraq veteran to have been to combat, returned
on a two-week furlough, and publicly refused to return to
Iraq while denouncing the war as illegal, and who then
surrendered himself to military authorities. For the first
time since the invasion of Iraq the military had to deal
with the delicate issue of public dissent within the ranks.
at Fort Stewart restricted me to the base, and never allow
me to leave even to confer with my attorneys, and requests
to travel with them to Florida, and to meet with them off
the base, all to help them prepare a better case, were all
housed in a barracks building with about ten rooms, yet I
was the only one there. Between my surrender and the
Court-Martial, reporters were told they could interview me
off base, while I was told I could give interviews, but was
prohibited from leaving the fort.
On the day
of my trial, access to the base was restricted to military
personnel, my attorneys, and a few family members. Everyone
else was directed to gate number three, but the signs
leading to that gate were taken down during the three days
of my trial. The entire block of the courthouse was
barricaded, and there were civilian and military police
officers patrolling the area, and they had trained dogs
sniffing the area.
were contained in a media center about a mile away from the
courthouse, and everyone's computers, cameras, recording
devices, and cell phones were confiscated prior to entering
All of our pretrial motions
were struck down, and many key witnesses and crucial pieces
of evidence were not allowed in the case. Violations of
army regulations by my unit, and violations of international
law and the supreme law of the land by the military, were
readily ignored, and the prosecution was allowed to bring
the entire case down to the question of whether I got on a
plane or not, thus receiving an easy, undeserved victory.
Before the end of the trial,
members of my unit had already been to my barracks room.
When my relatives got to my quarters to claim my belongings,
immediately after the sentencing, the room had been swept
clean. But the raiders forgot to take the lock they cut in
order to get to my wall-locker. My mother later used that
lock in a press conference to show the military had packed
my things even before they could know I was going away. An
officer then quickly approached my mother to kindly escort
her to where my possessions had been taken.
But not even a year after
being sent to a confinement facility in Fort Sill, Oklahoma,
where I spent nine months of a twelve-month sentence, I
found myself in San Diego's 32nd Street Naval Station, where
Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes was being tried by a
special Court-Martial. The charges: Unauthorized Absence
and Missing Movement.
His case, like mine, received
much attention, not because of the nature of his charges,
but because on December 6th of last year, Pablo publicly
denounced the war as criminal and illegal while refusing to
board his ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, before it left for
the war in Iraq.
The military judge found Pablo
guilty of Missing Movement but not guilty of Unauthorized
Absence, and even though the sentence included two months of
hard labor and three months of restriction within the base,
Pablo received no jail time, and no punitive discharge from
the Navy. The same day of Pablo's Court-Martial, a military
judge from Fort Stewart, found that Army Sergeant Kevin
Benderman, another public war resistor, had been sent to
trial by a biased hearing officer, and temporarily dropped
the general Court-Martial against him, a type of trial that
could have sent him to jail for up to five years. Another
investigation, to be conducted on May 26, will determine by
what type of Court-Martial Kevin is tried.
findings represent important accomplishments for the antiwar
movement, as they seem to indicate that military authorities
are handling public dissent within the ranks with a bit more
caution, as more members of the military are speaking out
against the occupation. It would be interesting to see if
these are isolated cases, or if the military is indeed
making an effort to uphold the law.
America is going through a
historical transformation, from disguised to almost openly
admitted (and defended) imperialism. In a time when peaceful
protesters are being put in cages, or free speech zones, in
a time when international law is being ignored or
circumvented in order to conduct and justify torture, in a
time when schools are being forced to make their students'
files available to the war machine, in a time when the fear
and pain of the nation are being used to fabricate support
for a criminal war of imperial domination, it becomes
imperative that members of the armed forces act upon their
An empire cannot survive
without an imperial military, a military whose members do
not question the orders of their superiors, a military whose
members who choose to refuse, do so quietly to save their
skins, a military whose members rather die and kill against
their moral judgments than question the authority of their
It is too
easy to just tell service men and women to follow their
conscience, whatever that means; this advice puts the burden
back on their shoulders and brings no sacrifice to the
But peace does not come
easily, so I tell all members of the military that whenever
faced with an order, and everything in their mind and soul,
and each and every cell in their bodies screams at them to
refuse and resist, then by God do so. Jail will mean
nothing when 'breaking the law' became their duty to
trial not only marked an important step towards resistance,
but it also brought doubt to the minds of many sailors who
were present during his Court-Martial.
not yet agree with the antiwar movement, some probably never
will, but for the first time many of them witnessed an open
debate about the immorality of the Iraq invasion and
Perhaps for a moment doubt
brought a sense of humanity back into their hardened system
of military values. This would not have been possible had
Pablo not put his physical freedom on the line. His
sacrifice was small compared to the sacrifice of the over
100,000 Iraqi dead, but perhaps it is the unity of small
sacrifices, like Pablo's, that can bring about major changes
into the heart of our nation.
We probably should stop
fearing so much for our personal safety and start looking
more closely at the sacrifice of others, perhaps we will be
inspired and empowered to put more of ourselves on the line
for the benefit of those who are really suffering. The
light of others should not blind the path to our own
good place to find our own light will be the trial of war
resister Sgt. Kevin Benderman. Maybe I'll see you there,
maybe we can shine together.
To find out more information about Kevin Benderman's
Court-Martial, or to contribute to his defense, please
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.
Recruiters Could Offer Me $50,000 In Cash. I Would Laugh At
Letters To The Editor
It’s funny to me that some
politicians think bonuses are not good for Army recruits and
those who re-enlist.
Are they kidding? Recruiters
can’t make their goal with bonuses.
the Army without any bonuses seven years ago to help protect
the United States. If I knew what I know now, I would have
recruiters could offer me $50,000 in cash. I would laugh at
them. I didn’t join the Army to fight for another country’s
funny to me that politicians say there’s never going to be a
means is they’re planning on overusing and recycling troops
now. They’ll do that because they say we volunteered to
join the military.
But man, if
I only knew.
More Will It Be Next Year?”
Wasserman holds the American
Flag during a memorial service for vets on Sunday, May 29,
2005 at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial in New York. Iraq
Veterans For Peace, Veterans For Peace, and other banners
are to his left. Arthur (Photo/ Howard Schnapp)
May 29, 2005 BY JOSHUA
ROBIN AND GLENN THRUSH, STAFF WRITERS, Newsday, Inc.
For one group of veterans with
memories of battle, Memorial Day in this year of war has
taken on fresh urgency.
More than 835 American
soldiers were killed in Iraq since last Memorial Day.
afternoon, the eve before the nation was to salute its
fallen, an organization called Veterans for Peace gathered
in Lower Manhattan and asked How many more will it be next
"Those of us who have served
in war have a responsibility to remember those we lost,"
said one speaker at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. "We also
have a responsibility to tell the people in this country
what the realities of war are: There is no glory in war."
About four dozens veterans
participated, which also drew others opposed to the Iraqi
war. The united group then marched to Battery Park, where
they threw flowers into the surf to remember the fallen.
Reorganizes Command And Control At Algiers Meeting
May 25, 2005 By Syed Saleem
Shahzad, Asia Times
Recent meetings of the
so-called Higher Committee for National Forces (a grouping
of Iraqi resistance bodies) and the 16th Arab National
Congress held in Algiers played a pivotal role in building
consensus among various Iraqi communist, Islamic, Ba'athist
and nationalist groups on several issues, such as the right
of Iraqis to defend themselves against foreign aggression
and imperialism, and the right of Iraq to demand a political
process untainted by occupation and which reflects the
uninhibited will of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic and
The groups also condemned the
continued occupation of Iraq and the establishment of any
permanent US bases in the country, the privatization of the
Iraqi economy and foreign corporations' unrestricted access
to Iraq's resources.
common ground, the central command of the resistance
reorganized its activities, a key to which was merging
mohallah-level (street-level) Islamic groups scattered in
their hundreds across Iraq to work toward a common goal -
defeating the occupation. In turn, these militias would
co-opt common folk into their struggle, so that, literally,
the streets would be alive with resistance.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Of Control, Says Chief Of Police
May 31, 2005 Rory Carroll in
Basra, The Guardian
of police in Basra admitted yesterday that he had
effectively lost control of three-quarters of his officers
and that sectarian militias had infiltrated the force and
were using their posts to assassinate opponents.
the Guardian, General Hassan al-Sade said half of his
13,750-strong force was secretly working for political
parties in Iraq's second city and that some officers were
involved in ambushes.
Other officers were
politically neutral but had no interest in policing and did
not follow his orders, he told the Guardian.
"I trust 25% of my force, no
jarred with Basra's reputation as an oasis of stability and
security and underlined the burgeoning influence of Shia
militias in southern Iraq.
A former officer in Saddam
Hussein's marine special forces, he was chosen to lead
Basra's police force by the previous government headed by
Ayad Allawi and he started the job five months ago.
the police are involved in assassinations," said Gen Sade.
"I am trying to sort this out, for example by putting
numbers on police cars so they can be identified."
If there is trouble at Basra,
university staff still phone the police, said Professor
Saleh Najim, dean of the engineering college. "But you can't
be sure they will do their duty."
29 May 2005 Dow Jones
Newswires & By Patrick Quinn Associated Press & 5.30
military said there were about 143 car and suicide car
bombings in May, a new record. That figure was close to an
AP count of over 100 since April 28.
blew themselves up Monday in a crowd of police officers
south of Baghdad, killing up to 30 people.
Officials said about 100 others were wounded.
bombers struck shortly after 9 a.m. in Hillah, 60 miles
south of the capital, wading into a crowd of about 500
policemen who were demonstrating outside the mayor's office
to protest a government decision to disband their special
forces unit, police Capt. Muthana Khalid Ali said.
staggered the detonations to maximize casualties, said Col.
Adnan Abdul Rahman, who was contacted by telephone in
Baghdad. Policeman Jiwad Kadhim Hamid said the explosions
took place about 100 yards away from each other and about a
"I just saw a ball of fire and
flying pieces of flesh. After that, confused policemen
started firing into the air," he said.
The blasts blew out windows of
the mayor's office, a court house and school, covering the
road with shards of glass and rubble. Iraqi police and
soldiers cordoned off the area. Shoes and pieces of clothes
worn by the victims were flung across the road.
police sergeants employed by the Iraqi Cabinet were killed
while driving to work Sunday by guerrillas in another car,
The attack happened Baghdad's
southern Dora neighborhood, said police Capt. Firas Qaiti.
killed a senior Kurdish official, Maj. Gen. Ahmed
al-Barazanchi, the director of internal affairs of Kirkuk
province and a former police chief. He
died in hospital early Monday after being shot late Sunday,
said Ismail al-Hadithi, Kirkuk's deputy governor.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
'Nations go to war when there is something to be got by
it'. General William Tecumseh Sherman
Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody
shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling
fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help
us to drown the thunder of guns with the shrieks of
their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste
their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; ...help us
to turn them out roofless with their little children to
wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land....
We ask it, in the sprit of love, of Him Who is the
Source of Love." Mark Twain, on the
U.S. invasion and occupation of the Philippines (1899)
Declares Death Penalty Will Be Punishment For Resistance
the Occupation government in Baghdad declared resistance to
the U.S. occupation would be punishable by death.]
Troi, a young electrical
worker sentenced to death
for an attempt to kill [U.S. Secretary Of Defense
Robert] McNamara, spoke to correspondents immediately before
his execution in Saigon on October 15, 1964.
He was completely self-
journalists,” he said, “and
so you must be well informed about what is happening. It is
the Americans who have committed aggression on our country,
it is they who have been killing our people with planes and
bombs. . , .
have never acted against the will of my people. It is
against the Americans that I have taken action.”
to give him absolution he refused, saying; ‘‘I have
committed no sin. Ii is the Americans who have sinned.’’
would not have his
eyes covered before execution. ‘Let me look at our beloved
died with the greatest calm. When the first volley hit him
he called out: ‘‘Long live Vietnam!”
has become a popular hero, in both north and south Vietnam,
among those who oppose the United States.
[From “Vietnam, Vietnam, by
Felix Greene, Fulton Publishing, 1966. Thanks to Michael
Letwin for this item.]
The Ties That Bind, Stifle And Choke
to stifle debate or confine the movement within
political limits judged to be “acceptable”
failed--because the course of events and demands of the
struggle itself radicalized more and more people,
leading them to look beyond the liberal orthodoxy.
end, this is what made it possible for the movement
against the Vietnam War to change the face of American
May 27, 2005 By PAUL D’AMATO,
Socialist Worker [Excerpts: Full article at:
THE VIETNAM antiwar movement
emerged as a response to the escalation of the U.S.
intervention in Vietnam into a full-scale war.
All told, the October 1965
call saw 60 protests involving about 100,000 people around
However, the question of
whether larger protests were effective continued to
emerge--pushed by liberal organizations. For example,
Richard Fernandez, director of the Northwest Interfaith
Movement, argued that “large rallies” were “kind of an
ecumenical service where the already committed came... I
thought they very rarely drew brand-new people.”
he claimed that “local protests” were more important
than national mobilizations, Fernandez’s real agenda was
shown by his conclusion--that the movement’s main focus
should be on lobbying Congress, with the aim (never
successful) of convincing enough lawmakers to withdraw
authorization for the war budget.
then, bullshit now. The Imperial elite would like nothing
better than to see people pissing away their time and energy
lobbying to convince the Imperial elite why the Imperial
elite should give up the Empire. Those who rule America
certainly have nothing whatever to fear from that. In fact,
they should give grants to people who push the anti-war
movement into this futile waste of time.
they do. There are people today who will take their money,
always for the best of reasons. You may know some of them.
They may appear before you as “leaders of the anti-war
movement,” while kissing ass in the foundation world, being
nice house pets for the Empire, while posturing before you
as righteous militants. Shall we start naming names? Isn’t
it about time? Let’s take the fucking gloves off before
these assholes put us all in the ditch. T]
These sentiments were echoed
by SANE--always worried about mass protest. When the group
called a national demonstration for November 27, 1965, it
announced that “kooks, communists and draft-dodgers” weren’t
Worried about the turnout,
however, SANE invited SDS to participate. SDS President
Carl Oglesby explained that the group’s choice was to “sit
on the sidelines and let the march fail and give Johnson and
his crowd the opportunity to crow over the death of the
peace movement, or else go in there and try to make it
discussions between Oglesby and SANE organizers highlighted
the debate in the antiwar movement over the question of
immediate withdrawal and the right of the Vietnamese people
Oglesby, for instance, had a
“huge fight” with SANE leader Stanford Gottlieb after
Oglesby offered the slogan “Vietnam for the Vietnamese.” “I
thought,” said Oglesby, “that was a pretty normal thing for
people to say, and there was no problem with it, but he saw
it as...an implicit endorsement of the communist side. This
was the kind of thing I was up against.”
At the demonstration itself,
Oglesby made a pointed speech addressing the questions
facing the movement.
original commitment in Vietnam was made by President Truman,
a mainstream liberal,” Oglesby said. “It was seconded by
President Eisenhower, a moderate liberal. It was intensified
by the late President Kennedy, a flaming liberal. Think of
the men who now engineer that war--those who study the maps,
give the commands, push the buttons, and tally the dead:
Bundy, McNamara, Rusk, Lodge, Goldberg, the president
himself. They are not moral monsters. They are all
honorable men. They are all liberals.”
speculated about a meeting between the “dead
revolutionaries” of 1776 and the modern liberals
prosecuting the war in Vietnam--in which the latter
complained that Vietnamese rebels couldn’t be fighting a
“revolution” because they used terror and got help from
would our dead revolutionaries answer?” Oglesby said.
“They might say: ‘What fools and bandits, sirs, you make
then of us. Outside help? Do you remember Lafayette?
Or the three thousand British freighters the French navy
sunk for our side? Or the arms and men, we got from
France and Spain?
what’s this about terror? Did you never hear what we
did to our own Loyalists? Or about the thousands of
rich American Tories who fled for their lives to
Canada? And as for popular support, do you not know
that we had less than one-third of our people with us?
That, in fact, the colony of New York recruited more
troops for the British than for the revolution? Should
we give it all back?’”
“Revolutions do not take place in velvet boxes. They never
have. It is only the poets who make them lovely. What the
National Liberation Front is fighting in Vietnam is a
complex and vicious war. This war is also a revolution, as
honest a revolution as you can find anywhere in history.
And this is a fact which all our intricate official denials
will never change.”
Such views remained in the
minority among the antiwar movement when Oglesby gave his
speech. But by now, they spoke for a core of activists who
rejected the “common-sense” conceptions that had dominated
the early days of the movement. Eventually, as the struggle
spread, such ideas became accepted in the mainstream of the
stifle debate or confine the movement within political
limits judged to be “acceptable” failed--because the course
of events and demands of the struggle itself radicalized
more and more people, leading them to look beyond the
In the end,
this is what made it possible for the movement against the
Vietnam War to change the face of American society.
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.
A. So Much For That Sovereignty Bullshit
B. Commands’ Most Imbecilic Act Of The Month
Arrests Head Of Sunni Collaborator Party;
Minister” Complains Nobody Told The Fake “Government”
The wife of Mohsen Abdul
Hamid, who did not give her name, stands in the bedroom of
their house in Baghdad's western Khadra district May 30,
2005. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, expressed
"surprise and discontent" about the arrest, saying the
presidential council was not informed that it would
occur. "This way of dealing with such a distinguished
political figure is unacceptable," the president said in
a statement. [Obviously ignoring Talabani’s pack of
acceptable, or he would have denounced that also.]
5.30.05 CBS Worldwide &
Abdul-Hamid, head of Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political
party and short-time president of the now-dissolved
U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council, was taken from his home
in western Baghdad at about 6 a.m. by military forces, party
relatives said U.S. troops broke down the door of the family
home and put a bag over Abdul-Hamid's head before taking him
military later confirmed it had mistakenly arrested
Abdul-Hamid, questioned him and released him shortly after.
Abdul-Hamid was taken by U.S.
troops from his home in the western Baghdad suburb of Khadra
along with his three sons and four guards, Islamic Party
Secretary-General Ayad al-Samarei said.
accused American soldiers of raiding Abdul-Hamid's home and
confiscating items, including a computer.
"This is a provocative and
foolish act and this is part of the pressure exerted on the
party," al-Samarei said.
time when the Americans say they are keen on real Sunni
participation, they are now arresting the head of the only
Sunni party that calls for a peaceful solution and have
participated in the political process," he added.
President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, expressed
"surprise and discontent" about the arrest, saying the
presidential council was not informed that it would occur.
"This way of dealing with such a distinguished political
figure is unacceptable," the president said in a statement.
Abdul-Hamid's Iraqi Islamic Party had in recent weeks taken
steps to become more involved in the political process after
boycotting the country's Jan. 30 parliamentary elections,
which were dominated by parties drawn from
Iraq's majority Shiite population.
administration claims it is interested in drawing Sunnis
into the political process but it seems that their way of
doing so is by raids, arrests and violating human rights,"
the party said in a statement on Monday.
Abdul-Hamid's wife, Awatif Ibrahim, told Associated Press
Television News that U.S. troops raided our house and my
son's house, using bullets and stun bombs.
And they arrested him (her son) and they also detained
my husband, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, head of the Iraqi Islamic
The party also released a
statement alleging the arrest and demanding Abdul-Hamid's
immediate release, saying he "represents a large sector of
the Iraqi people."
Abdul-Hamid, in his late 60s, is regarded as a moderate
Islamic leader. He has been involved with
the party since the 1970s and headed it since 2003.
Los Angeles Times, May 25,
spiraled into a swirl of violence where crime, insurgency
and intensifying sectarian attacks are overwhelming a poorly
equipped police force trying to keep order amid the
Newspaper Closed Down, Editor Arrested
May 22 BBC World Monitoring
publishes on the front page a 600-word editorial by Chief
Editor Basim al-Shaykh commenting on the closure of the
Iraqi newspaper Al-Yawm al-Akhar and the arrest of its chief
editor by the authorities.
criticizes the "oppressive" measures taken against a
"prominent journalist," urging the Iraqi
judiciary to consider the current critical stage and act
accordingly and to abandon "personal interests."
Come To Baghdad!
Los Angeles Times, May 25,
The Trade Bank of Iraq issued
the country's first credit and debit cards, from Visa
International, at a ceremony in Baghdad.
[OK, so they had credit
cards in Vietnam too. But let’s look on the bright side.
Wherever that is.]
Troops Just Love Cat Meat,
On The Occupation
London Daily Telegraph, May
warriors of Iraq's new army excel at wearing balaclavas,
eating raw cat meat and driving into battle at hair-raising
speeds. But with its pick-up trucks,
troops in baseball caps and bandanas and weakness for macho
swaggering, it is still, as one American colonel described
it, a "Third World army."
steal equipment. Desertions continue. Many units are
infiltrated by insurgents despite rigorous attempts to
Explain Missing $69 Million In Fuel Oil, Audit Says
New York Times May 24, 2005
officials cannot explain what happened to $69 million worth
of fuel oil produced in the second half of 2004, according
to a report by United Nations-appointed auditors, raising
fears that it was smuggled out of the country for private
“Iraqi officials” can explain it. It’s in their bank
accounts in safe places where they can use it after they
have to run for the border, or get the copter off the
embassy roof. Bush went to Iraq to steal the wealth of the
Iraqis, why complain if his collaborator stooges do the
same? That’s the mission: foreign and domestic politicians
filling their bank accounts. War is good business; invest
POLITICIANS AT WORK
And Soldiers Form A Revolutionary Government?
May 24 & 25, 2005 Luis A.
Gَmez, The Narco News Bulletin
lieutenant colonels (officials who normally have direct
command over military units) appeared on a La Paz television
station this morning. The officials, who spoke at length of
the crisis Bolivia is living, openly called upon the people
(and on all their comrades in arms) to join the
mobilizations, turning against the high military command and
the Bolivian political class.
Lieutenant Colonels Julio
Herrera and Julio Galindo kept coming back to the same
message: they demanded the installation of what they called
a “civic-military government” of transition, which brought
the soldiers into the defense of the natural resources and
the formation of a new government. Herrera, according to a
report on the Radio Erbol website today, said: “Initially,
the government we want to form is one with the participation
of all sectors of society, not a military government. We
want the president’s resignation and the closure of the
hours later, in the Plaza de los Héroes, a red banner
appeared with black letters repeating almost the same
message, which – and this is no coincidence – greatly
resembled Monday’s fiery speech by Jaime Solares,
executive secretary of the Bolivian Workers’ Federation
(COB), during the social movements’ assembly in that
A little before 11 in the
morning, the High Command of the Armed Forces gave a
statement disowning Herrera and Galindo’s arguments,
advising both officials that they would be sanctioned for
their “irregular military careers.” Nevertheless, rumors
flew all day, greatly worrying the administration of
President Carlos Mesa.
A young Aymara fighter asked
us about the coup as well… this correspondent showed him a
flyer that they have been passing out among the
“all Bolivians and Latin American brothers,” and signed
“Civil-Military Alliance,” the document speaks of how
“civilians and young soldiers, ‘BOLIVIANS UNITED,’ will
share in the glory of liberating Bolivia from a government
that has sold out to foreign interests.”
Choque, leader of the peasant farmers of the Department of
La Paz and, as such, leader of the rural Aymara people, said
it yesterday: “This is a time of war.”
Although nobody listened to
him, it was a warning. This morning at 9:30 more than
10,000 Aymara peasant farmers, from the twenty highland
provinces, came down from El Alto’s Ceja neighborhood into
La Paz. “This is not
about demonstrations or speeches, brother,” Choque told
Narco News. “Now we are going to take the Palace of
almost noon, under a scorching sun, when we arrived with our
Aymara brothers to the southern intersection of Comercio and
Colon Streets, twenty meters from the wall of the Congress
building. There the battle really began. The people
decided to push towards the building where so many laws
against them have been passed. And the police, who could
barely resist them, began shooting at the leaders.
In the fight, they were unable
to take Eugenio Rojas, who managed to get loose with the
help of his comrades.
But in one
of the nearby buildings, the headquarters of various
legislative committees, snipers’ guns appeared, infuriating
the people, who threw sticks of dynamite at the building’s
windows. Then the first tear gas grenades
appeared, and the shots from the low-caliber (“non-lethal”)
bullets began to embed themselves in the clothes and bodies
of the most powerful war machine in the Andes.
point, kind readers, we can establish a difference between
yesterday’s march and today’s: the Aymara did not come to
demonstrate, they came to fight to reclaim that which
rightly belongs to them, and, tired of promises and lies, to
take control of their own lives.
Then, just across from where
the confrontations began, in the intersection of Comercio
and Yanacocha once again, the miners’ cooperatives from
Caracoles appeared, who were now expected according to the
repelled the police with dynamite and reached the Plaza
Murillo along with the Aymara. In the
plaza were two tanks and an emergency military guard… and
the first entrance could be repelled with gas and rubber
bullets. At this time,
there were more than 15,000 Aymara farmers, plus the miners,
completely paralyzing the historic center of La Paz.
seems to have started, as Gualberto Choque said… sticks,
stones, and dynamite fly through the air.
the Bolivian president spoke in defense of the National
Congress and repeated for the nth time that he would not
resign, his Minister of Government, Saْl Lara, had taken
charge of filing conspiracy charges against the two
lieutenant colonels who last week called for a military
uprising, as well as against social leaders Jaime Solares
(executive secretary of the Bolivian Workers' Federation, or
COB) and Roberto de la Cruz, an Aymara member of the El Alto
With this move, the government
seems to not only be cracking down on the civic-military
plot we spoke of a few days ago, but also, while they're at
it, criminalizing all the other mobilized opposition
out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot
legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of
unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive
1325.6 Section 126.96.36.199.