GI SPECIAL 3B48:
PLACE TO BE
ALL HOME NOW
Soldiers patrol outside a
house during a night raid on Ajil Sharqia, a small village
near Yussufiyah 20 kms south of Baghdad. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
“The US Has
Long Lost Its Grip”
An Air Of Resignation”
May 31 2005 By Guy Dinmore in
Washington, Financial Times
Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency
has reached a “kind of peak”. The Sunni now realise they
erred in boycotting last January's elections “and so, as
Iraqis see their interests as represented in the political
process, the insurgency will lose steam”.
This sanguine view of the
state of affairs in Iraq--as expressed by Condoleezza Rice,
the US secretary of state, in a recent Bloomberg interview
reflects the US administration's struggle to demonstrate
that it remains in control and still has an exit strategy.
more sombre assessment of others in the administration,
however, the US has long lost its grip on Iraq's
losing control,” said one veteran Arabist in the
administration who requested anonymity.
described the US embassy in Baghdad, without an ambassador
for about six months, as “out of the loop” and not involved
in significant decisions taken by the new transitional
government dominated by the Shia Arab majority.
Porter, analyst with the Eurasia Group consultancy, said US
interests had been “stymied on most fronts”, with US
officials frustrated with, and ignorant of, Iraq's fractious
an air of resignation, with people
throwing up their hands that this will be a long-term
Moreover, one senior Kurdish official said the
possibility of US withdrawal in the event of large
American losses should not be discounted: “Bush is solid
but you never know with American politics.”
DIES FROM SMALL-ARMS NEAR AR RAMADI
June 2, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-06-03C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq –
A Soldier assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd
Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward),
died June 1 from enemy small-arms fire received while
conducting combat operations near Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
KILLED BY IED IN AR RAMADI
June 2, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-06-02C
FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Soldier assigned to the 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary
Force (Forward), was killed in action yesterday when an
improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle in
which he was traveling. The Soldier was
with a unit conducting combat operations near Ar Ramadi,
LIBERTY SOLDIER DIES IN KIRKUK OF NON-BATTLE INJURY
June 2, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-06-01C
TIKRIT, Iraq –
A Task Force Liberty Soldier
died of a non-battle-related injury at about 6:40 a.m. June
1 in Kirkuk. The name of the Soldier is being
withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Attack On U.S. Base Shopping Area Injures Five Members Of
Jun. 02, 2005 By Gray
Beverley, Georgia News Service, CAMP STRIKER, Iraq
members of the Georgia-based 48th Brigade Combat Team were
injured in a Tuesday night mortar attack of the nearby Camp
Liberty shopping complex.
Two of the
soldiers were seriously injured in the attack, which
happened about 7:30 p.m. They were taken to a medical
facility in Germany, said brigade spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Selena
Pfc. Kevin Cohrs of Brunswick
was inside the post exchange building, which is 50 to 100
feet from the site of the blast.
"All I heard was a big humming
noise and a big boom," Cohrs said. "The PX filled up with
he went outside and saw bodies strewn on the plaza.
Most of the
brigade arrived in the Baghdad area this week. Those
stationed at Camp Striker can take about a 20-minute shuttle
bus ride to Camp Liberty, where the shopping complex offers
a larger post exchange, Popeye's Chicken and Burger King
restaurants and a variety of local fare.
wooden gazebos surround an outdoor concrete plaza. The
mortar hit the plaza about 30 feet from a shaded area where
soldiers wait for the shuttle buses.
A separate mortar hit Camp
Striker at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. No one in the brigade
was reported injured in that attack, Owens said.
Owens said two soldiers
injured in the Liberty blast have returned to duty, and one
is being treated at a combat support hospital in the section
of Baghdad known as the "green zone."
Owens said Wednesday night
that she did not have an update on the condition of the
soldiers taken to Germany.
at the nearby airport typically circle the area in a steep
landing pattern that mitigates exposure to assaults from the
By Wednesday afternoon,
repairs had been made to the Liberty shopping plaza. Cohrs
said a hole caused by mortar fire was about 1 square feet
wide and 1 feet deep.
"It was just a big reality
check," Cohrs said.
June 2 AP
A Hall County marine has
been wounded by a bomb, less than a month after being
redeployed to Iraq.
Lance Corporal Matthew
Bridges, a North Hall graduate, suffered several broken
ribs, a concussion and multiple bruises and cuts when the
homemade explosive went off near him.
In a letter to his parents,
Bridges wrote that he was two feet away from the device when
occurred April 27. Bridges had been serving in Fallujah on
his second tour in Iraq.
Notes From A Lost War:
Say 400 Troops Too Few To Protect War Gains
June 1, 2005 Miami Herald,
officers in the badlands of northwest Iraq, near the Syrian
border, say they don’t have enough troops to hold the ground
they take from insurgents in this transit point for weapons,
money and foreign fighters.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Police General Killed
01 June 2005 By Noor Khan, The
A bomb tore through a mosque
in southern Afghanistan Wednesday at the funeral of a Muslim
cleric who spoke out against the Taliban, killing at least
20 people, including Kabul's police chief, and wounding
dozens, officials said.
Afghan Ministry of Interior
spokesman Latfullah Mashal said Kabul's police commander,
Gen. Akram Khakrezwal -- who was attending the funeral --
Nazir Ahmadzai, a doctor at
Kandahar Hospital, said 20 people had been killed and 45
wounded -- many of them Khakrezwal's bodyguards.
leaders had been expected to attend the funeral of Mullah
Abdul Fayaz, the top Muslim leader in the province, whom the
mosque is named after.
supporter of President Hamid Karzai, was shot dead in
Kandahar on Sunday by suspected Taliban gunmen -- a week
after he led a call for people not to support the rebels.
Even before the blast,
security was tight. Afterward, more police were deployed
around the mosque, the main city hospital and other sites
around the city.
In a second
attack Wednesday west of Kandahar, a bomb exploded on a
bridge as a group of Afghan deminers were driving over it,
killing two of them and wounding five others, said Patrick
Fruchet, spokesman for the U.N. Mine Action Center for
were working on a project funded by the U.S. Agency for
International Development, he said.
Sees Any Lives Lost Due To This Corruption As Totally
Army Stryker destroyed by IED (via Gaddy)
devastating effects of such corruption on the morale of
the troops who see it on a daily basis are
incomprehensible. A soldier sees any lives lost due to
this corruption as totally unacceptable, even if they
personally support the war.
June 1, 2005 Michael Gaddy.
Michael Gaddy is an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and
Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American
In case you haven’t noticed,
the war in Iraq is not going that well despite the continual
misrepresentations and out-and-out lies by those in our
following incident illustrates the similarity of the Iraq
and Vietnam situations with regard to the corruption of the
"friendly" forces supposedly supporting the U.S. war effort.
battalion commander in Northern Iraq had just such a corrupt
Iraqi officer working with him. For some reason the
American commander continued to support this corrupt Iraqi
Colonel, no matter how much proof of corruption and
corroboration with the enemy his staff presented. A
seasoned senior NCO was the first to see this corruption and
brought it to the attention of the American commander.
The NCO was
When two Majors (both Kurds)
on the Iraqi Colonel’s staff came forward with their own
stories of corruption, including photographs documenting
their claims, the American commander, too, shipped them out.
The camera and its contents
conveniently disappeared. Finally, the staff of the
American commander working along with the Senior NCO who had
been dismissed, was able to compile massive evidence of the
corruption and proof that the Iraqi Colonel was feeding
intelligence on this American unit’s movements to the
commander’s staff went over the head of the commander to
Brigade level with their evidence and the commander was
forced to turn the Iraqi officer over to the authorities.
American commander promptly chewed out his staff for going
over his head with the complaints and evidence, pretending
all the while he knew nothing of the corruption charges.
It seems in the light of the
same type activity occurring over 30 years ago with our
units in Vietnam, we would have learned something of how to
prevent this from happening again.
devastating effects of such corruption on the morale of the
troops who see it on a daily basis are incomprehensible. A
soldier sees any lives lost due to this corruption as
totally unacceptable, even if they personally support the
As powerful as the lies are,
the truths we are not being told about the enormous amounts
of money being made by corporations with close ties to the
Bush administration are shocking.
Why are we taxpayers having to
pay 18 dollars a plate for meals served to our soldiers? Why
are we paying 100 dollars a bag for their laundry to be
cleaned? These are the exorbitant fees that we the taxpayer
are paying to Kellogg Brown and Root. Does anyone believe
KBR wants this war to end anytime soon, and who has the ear
of this administration?
soldiers were receiving meals that were actually worth the
18 dollars per plate, perhaps there would be no argument.
Those who consume them on a daily basis tell a much
Memorial Day, I saw a headline that said "Bush honors
war dead at Arlington." How can anyone without honor,
"honor" those who died for his own lies and greed?
As a veteran, watching the
hypocrites that have been elected to the office of President
desecrate hollowed ground with their presence for the past
13 years makes me physically ill.
I know others were just as
guilty, but the last two have been especially repugnant.
When will Americans wake up and quit listening to the siren
song (lies) that leads to war?
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.
U.S. GOVERNMENT, THEY ARE UNASHAMED TO PUBLICLY HONOR THEIR
Italian soldiers stand by the
coffins of the four Italian soldiers killed when an Italian
military AB 412 helicopter crashed Tuesday southeast of
Nasiryah June 1, 2005. The bodies are expected to return to
Italy on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said. (AP
Photo/Italian Army, HO)
Respond To Anti-War Protestors:
Seemed To Be Some Kind Of Change”
June 2, 2005 From Chelsea (NY)
On Tuesdays we gather at 8th
avenue and 24th street each week (rain or shine) as "Chelsea
Stands Up Against The War." We carry signs and banners,
distribute leaflets, sell buttons and talk to passerby about
the war. We visit with each other and have a good time.
evening was the fourth week of "Chelsea Stands Up Against
The War." It was bit different than other weeks because we
had fewer participants from our group, but more interaction
from passersby. We gave out 300 flyers and sold more of our
buttons, but we engaged more people in dialogue, hearing
what they had to say.
Throughout the weeks we have received a lot of friendly
waves and honks from passing taxi drivers, but for
whatever reason, today the cabbies decided to stop their
cabs and take leaflets from us.
seemed to be some kind of change.
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.
How It Is
May 31, Jim Lobe (IPS)
military part of (the defence secretary's office) has been
politicised,'' Gen. Jay Garner, the Pentagon's original
choice to run Iraq, told the Sun. ''If (officers) disagree,
they are ostracised and their reputations are ruined."
Officials” Admit Resistance Movement Is Iraqi,
“Foreign Fighter” Bullshit:
“Insurgents' Resources Are Increasing On Several Fronts”
[Thank to Phil G. who sent
Coalition officials acknowledge, however, that the
numbers show an Iraqi-dominated insurgency. Fewer than
5% of those killed or captured were foreigners, one
official noted. He also described the influx from
abroad as making up a "very, very small part" of the
estimated 12,000 to 20,000 insurgents.
June 2, 2005 By Carol J.
Williams, L.A. Times Staff Writer
officials and Iraqi analysts say the insurgents' resources
are increasing on several fronts: money to buy vehicles and
explosives, expertise in wiring car and human bombs and
intelligence leaks that help them target U.S. and Iraqi
Suicide attacks are on the
rise because the explosive devices "are simple to construct
and easy to operate, thus making suicide bombers difficult
to detect," said Navy Cmdr. Fred Gaghan, in charge of the
Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell in Iraq that studies
bomb scenes for clues to insurgent tactics.
"At this time, there is
nothing to indicate that the availability of volunteers is
on the decline," he said,
noting the media coverage
and videos of suicide bombings posted on the Internet that
are said to fuel extremist recruitment. [More
amazing Imperial arrogance and stupidity. This fool thinks
the internet is fueling the resistance! Yeah, right, and
comic books cause delinquency, and evil music causes teens
to have sex, and outside agitators caused slaves to hate
slavery. Get a grip.]
officials acknowledge, however, that the numbers show an
Iraqi-dominated insurgency. Fewer than 5% of those killed
or captured were foreigners, one official noted. He also
described the influx from abroad as making up a "very, very
small part" of the estimated 12,000 to 20,000 insurgents.
Saad Obeidi, a retired Iraqi
major general and security expert, sees the rise in suicide
bombings as recognition among Iraqi extremists that such
attacks are an effective weapon against the superior numbers
and arms of the coalition forces.
"are choosing this method to create a balance against
superpower might," he said.
The Hunt For Collaborator Cops:
Sets Up Checkpoints In Baghdad
June 1, 2005 Jeffrey
Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
Iraqi police move through a
terrifying rhythm of car bombs, gun battles, kidnappings,
exploding rockets and shallow mass graves holding tangles of
handcuffed men with bullet holes in their heads. The nation
has spiraled into a confusing grid where crime, insurgency
and intensifying sectarian attacks are overwhelming a poorly
equipped police force trying to keep order in a whirl of
smoke and rage.
stations have become tense outposts marked by barricades,
barbed wire and grenade scars from insurgents who count
anyone in uniform as an enemy.
officer knows that each time he clicks on the siren and
flashing lights, he might be going to stop a crime, but he's
also a blaring advertisement for an insurgent ambush.
At least 487 police officers
have been killed and 1,258 wounded in Baghdad since the fall
of Saddam Hussein's regime on April 9, 2003, according to
government statistics. That accounts for about 12 percent of
the city's police force of 15,000.
These figures do not include
dozens of special police commandos and the hundreds upon
hundreds of men killed by car bombs and insurgent raids
while waiting to sign up at police recruiting centers.
most Iraqi police officers, they say it's too dangerous
to wear their uniforms to and from work. Kadum hides
his in a plastic bag.
insurgents set up a false checkpoint and stopped my bus
a few months ago," said Kadum, a 24-year-old with a wisp
of a mustache. "I squeezed my uniform tight and hid it
between the front seat and the driver's seat. I tucked
my police ID in my sock. Life is like this. We have no
choice but to face it."
"The streets are tricky," he
said. "We get a lot of false calls. Sometimes the seeker
of help is your enemy. We are targeted for ambushes and
bombs. I have seen many men die."
Patrolmen work 12-hour shifts,
and many of them dread the curfew between 11 p.m. and 5
a.m., when an insurgent might call to say his wife is having
a baby, only to set a trap for the responding ambulance and
Collaborator Death Toll Up Sharply
June 1, 2005 By BUSHRA JUHI,
Associated Press Writer
An Interior Ministry official
said 151 police were killed in May, compared with 86 in
April, up 75 percent. He added that at least 325 policemen
were wounded in May, compared with 131 in April.
A Defense Ministry official
said 85 Iraqi soldiers were killed in May, compared with 40
in April. Another 79 soldiers were wounded, compared with
63 in April, he said.
1 & 2 June 2005 (AFP) & (CNN)
& Aljazeera 6.1.05 & 6.2.05 By PATRICK QUINN, Associated
Iraq, an Iraqi soldier died from poisoning and 9 others were
in critical condition after they accepted free watermelon at
their checkpoints, police said.
"An unknown driver of a truck
full of watermelon gave late Tuesday poisonous watermelon to
Iraqi soldiers on several checkpoints spread along the road
from north of Sharqat to Hamam al-Alil town, near the
northern Iraq city of Mosul," US-Iraqi liaison office in
Tikrit said in the statement.
One soldier died and twelve
others who were rushed to the Mosul hospital.
Police were searching for the
assassin in what is believed to be the first such attack
against Iraqi security forces.
police lieutenant Mohamed Khairi was killed by guerrillas in
the Dur region, 155 kilometers (100 miles) north of Baghdad,
police captain Ahmed Chaker said.
A blast, in
the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, ripped through a
restaurant as bodyguards of Kurdish Deputy Prime Minister
Roj Shaways were having breakfast, police said.
"Seven cars were destroyed and
12 charred bodies were pulled from the wreckage," said a
brief statement from the ministry of defence in Baghdad.
"The car bomb exploded at
around 8:00 am in front of the Baghdad Restaurant in the
town centre, completely destroying it," said Captain Imad
The guards were in the town,
45 miles south of the main oil hub of Kirkuk, on their way
to meet up with Shaways.
“I was sitting inside my
restaurant when about six cars parked nearby and their
passengers came inside and ordered food,” said restaurant
owner Ahmed al-Dawoudi.
“Seconds later, I heard a big
explosion and the restaurant was turned into twisted
wreckage and rubble. Blood and pieces of flesh were
Shaways was not at the
restaurant at the time of the blast.
Shards of glass, shoes and
splattered breakfast meals covered the restaurant’s floor as
emergency workers raced around overturned tables and wooden
chairs in a bid to treat the casualties.
Abbas Mohamed Amin, chief of Tuz Khormato police, believed
the bomber, who was driving a white Toyota sedan, was
following the Kurdish leader’s bodyguards, who had left
Baghdad for the northern city of Sulaimaniyah, 160 miles
north-east of the capital.
people were killed, including a local politician, and five
others wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in Baquba,
some 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad, an Iraqi
security source said.
president of the Diyala provincial council, Hussein Alwan
al-Tamini, and three of his bodyguards were killed in a
suicide attack in the center of Baquba,"
said Colonel Ismail Ibrahim.
"Five people, including a policeman, were killed and 13
wounded in a double motorcycle bombing around 4:15 pm (1215
GMT) in front of a cafe near a police station in the city,"
said Commander Mootaz Abdel Wahed
ministry source said, meanwhile, that one policeman had been
wounded when a car bomb exploded prematurely in southern
Baghdad's Dura neighbourhood, with three
suspects arrested following the blast.
200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad, a Turkish truck
driver was shot dead following a firefight between
insurgents and police escorting a convoy.
of the security forces died in the shootout, an army captain
an Iraqi soldier died and another was injured in a mortar
attack on their base.
also carried out attacks in two sections of Baghdad on
Wednesday, wounding six Iraqi security forces and a
civilian, police told CNN.
An explosion, which happened
at 8.30am local time targeted a convoy of Toyota Land
Cruisers carrying civilian contractors, damaging one of the
vehicles but injuring none of its occupants, the US military
three Iraqis have been injured after a bomber targeted US
forces, exploding a vehicle near the heavily guarded
checkpoint leading to Baghdad International Airport.
official at western Baghdad's main Yarmouk Hospital said
three Iraqi Airways employees were wounded.
One of the victims, Ghassan
Yassin, said he suffered facial wounds as a result of the
"Me and some colleagues at
Iraqi Airways were waiting in line when we saw a speeding
car, then we heard a big explosion," Yassin said. "The next
thing I realised is that my car was on fire. I got out
through the window after the doors are jammed due to the
Safwan Ali Farhan, a senior member of the Shiite Badr
Brigade militia, died after being shot Monday in eastern
Baghdad, police said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
HAVE A NICE
Insurgent carrying a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) in
Ramadi April 13, 2005. REUTERS/Stringer/File
survey conducted for U.S. network ABC last year showed
82 percent of Anbar's residents thought the U.S.-led
invasion was wrong.
than 70 percent of those in Anbar said attacks against
U.S. forces were acceptable.
01 Jun 2005 By Luke Baker,
insurgents frequently parade through the streets of Ramadi,
and other towns in the Euphrates valley, showing off
rocket-propelled grenade launchers and assault rifles.
set up checkpoints on roads near the highway, which runs
from Jordan to Baghdad, and ambushed convoys of trucks
bringing in supplies. Scores of Jordanian truck drivers
have been killed, including one who had his eyes ripped out.
The vast majority of Anbar's
one million people -- a fraction of Iraq's 26 million
population -- lives in the Euphrates valley, whose islands,
lakes and palm groves provide a good hideout for guerrillas
but make military offensives hard.
commentators trace Anbar's virulent anti-Americanism to
April 2003, when U.S. soldiers opened fire on a group of
Iraqi protesters in Falluja, killing more than a dozen
said the protesters, who were demonstrating against the
occupation of a school by U.S. troops, were unarmed. Either
way, the deaths sparked deep-seated outrage.
"Now, all preachers of Falluja
mosques and all youths...are organizing martyr operations
against the American occupiers," one resident said that day.
conducted for U.S. network ABC last year showed 82 percent
of Anbar's residents thought the U.S.-led invasion was
70 percent of those in Anbar said attacks against U.S.
forces were acceptable.
President Diem took over in 1955, his authority did not
extend beyond the Presidential Palace.”
Leland Burrows, Head of U.S.O.M. Saigon, May 1957
Light Duty For Getting Whacked On The Helmet While Tripping”
Respect To Drill Sgt Harris)
Veteran X, Vets For Peace
June 01, 2005 8:04 AM
GI Special 3B47
surprise to read that drill sergeants can get bad conduct
discharges for "punching recruits in the chest, stomach, and
chin." It makes me wonder if they have new rules, or are
always existing rules just selectively enforced?
I attended BCT in the autumn
of '73, during the Yom Kippur War. The head games included
no newspapers, TV, radio, or outside contact other than
personal mail. The D.I.'s took great pleasure in diverting
our cattle cars on the way to the ranges past the post
engineers in order to show us tanks being converted from
Viet Nam jungle camo paint schemes to desert camo. We were
told our guaranteed enlistment training options were all
voided, as we were all to be reassigned as riflemen in
corrections" were common daily occurrences by our D.I.'s. A
punch in the solar plexus to knock the wind out of guy, and
thumb pressure on the trachea sufficient to cause a
momentary blackout were the preferred techniques.
They seemed to have quite a
bit of practice at it, as nobody ever suffered internal
injuries or a fractured larynx.
much all did it, except for Drill Sgt Harris. Sgt Harris
was a cool dude. He got results from talking. He never
yelled or laid a hand on anyone that I saw. He was in
charge of many in my company, including myself, during
BCT cycle started he would have to at least weekly tell a
company formation "Stop coming to me with your problems!
The only people I care about now are in 4th Platoon." Must
have been tough for him to have the entire company coming to
him because he was a decent human being, instead of keeping
up the expected hard ass facade?
We did have one D.I. that got
transferred out of the company at a minimum, for 'physical
abuse of a recruit.' No UCMJ action that we were aware of,
at least I was never asked for a witness statement.
Wasn't really his fault, or at
least not as bad as they thought when they punished him.
Maybe he was just having a bad day? Maybe he did not like
being out in the rain drilling anymore than we did. In
any event, his sin was to take my rifle away from me and
whack me on the head with it.
I was wearing a steel pot, so
it just knocked me down more or less. It was his misfortune
to do it just as the LTC battalion CO drove around the
corner and saw it. I forget what my offense was that
provoked the D. I.? Maybe I answered too slow, or too
Me and one
other guy I trusted amused ourselves by tripping on acid
about three days a week in BCT. The LTC maybe thought I
looked a bit dazed, and insisted that an ambulance come take
me to the dispensary for evaluation.
one look at my eyes while tripping, combined with the report
of being struck on the head hard enough to knock me down,
led to the presumption of a possibly serious head injury?
My verbal responses to the doc probably were a cause of
worry about my neurological condition? I was diagnosed with
a concussion and held overnite and the next day for
observation. Got 3 days "light duty" on return to the
training company. I chewed up my tongue pretty good to keep
from laughing during that escapade.
So a D.I.
got replaced, and I got a day and a half in the dispensary
and three days light duty for getting whacked on the helmet
while tripping. It was the highlight of
my training cycle. Sure beat training in the rain.
postscript, a couple weeks later on the grenade range I was
by chance paired up 1:1 with the aforementioned Drill Sgt
Harris as the instructor in the throwing pit with me.
chance it was an "on" day for tripping. The astute Drill
Sgt Harris watched me enter his pit and said "You fucked up,
ain't ya boy? It don't matter. Just do what I say and we
both go home alive today." I hope Drill Sgt Harris put in
his 20 yrs safely and is collecting retirement somewhere
This one is just between you
and me T. Got to protect the guilty. You can print it, but
please withold my name this time around.
[Done, and thanks for
sending. This is real history that the politicians and
reporters either never see or don’t give shit about. Or
Another Stupid Pissing Contest:
Demonstrations Better Than None
May 30, 2005 by Bill Onasch,
Labor Advocate Online
The majority of American
people opposed to the war in Iraq continues to grow.
Unfortunately, the same cannot
be said for the organized antiwar movement which has long
been divided by sectarian factionalism and lacks a mass
We have reported on efforts by
US Labor Against the War to try to unify antiwar forces
around a mass demonstration this autumn.
the two major centers of the movement-ANSWER and
UFPJ-endorsed the need for unity. They then each proceeded
to call for their own March On Washington-two marches, same
day, different locations in the same city.
It is good that efforts will
be made to draw tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands into the
streets to make antiwar sentiment visible.
absurd to have essentially competing actions. The media
will focus on movement divisions rather than the majority
the movement seeks to speak for.
[Background: UFPJ called September mass demonstration for
New York City. ANSWER called one for DC. UFPJ decided not
to have theirs in NY City after all, and changed the
location to Washington, for the same date as ANSWER’s
One Way To
Cut Out The Petty Bullshit
the part in the box below. One demand, troops out NOW, with
each organization free to say what else they please.
U.S. TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ NOW!
DEMANDS IT - WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Sisters and brothers,
Since the Troops Out Now
Coalition (TONC) added its views to the discussion about
uniting the antiwar movement prompted by a unity call
circulated by USLAW, September 24 has been set as the date
for an antiwar march on Washington.
We believe that September 24
should be embraced by all as a critical opportunity to
revive a determined and popular struggle to shut this war
The road to that end is not
paved yet. The ANSWER coalition and then UPFJ have both
called for marches on Washington DC on Saturday Sept. 24.
ANSWER has asked for a united event on this date with UFPJ.
propose that the unifying demand for Sept 24 should be
the complete, unconditional and immediate withdrawal of
all U.S. occupation troops from Iraq.
that, we propose that each coalition raise the
additional demands, and political views that they choose
Troops And Iraqis Die, Trivial Pursuits Split Anti-War
statement to member groups about the September 24 call
specifically excludes a united effort. “[W]hile we
applaud all efforts and activities to end the war and
occupation in Iraq,” the statement reads, “UFPJ will not
join with ANSWER (or the Troops Out Now Coalition) in
the planning and organizing of the September 24-26
mobilization in Washington...Our steering committee
agreed that should USLAW still decide to convene (a
unity meeting), UFPJ will participate, but only to
discuss logistical concerns for that weekend.”
Likewise, as in the past, ANSWER issued its call without
consulting other forces in the movement--effectively, a
rejection of the unity initiative.
June 3, 2005 Socialist Worker
SEPTMBER 24 will be a day of
national mobilization against the U.S. war on Iraq.
International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice
(UFPJ), two national antiwar organizations, have called for
demonstrations in Washington, D.C. on that date.
This is a welcome development.
The antiwar movement has been at a standstill during last
year’s election campaign and its aftermath.
been only one national antiwar mobilization since October
2003--and that at the Republican National Convention in New
York City last fall, which allowed the demonstration’s
organizers and most participants to focus their fire on
Bush, while ignoring the pro-war position of Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry.
Meanwhile, public discontent
with the occupation has grown almost without interruption.
The most recent Gallup poll found that 57 percent of people
surveyed think the invasion of Iraq wasn’t “worth it.” But
with the antiwar movement stuck in the mud, this sentiment
has had no active _expression.
the election, many antiwar leaders have spread the idea
that holding demonstrations is irrelevant
anyway--because this is only “preaching to the choir.”
argument is wrong. Demonstrations are important both to
give confidence to the “choir” to keep organizing--and
to reach out to those who are just beginning to question
reality, the “preaching to the choir” complaint is a
cover for a further shift to the right, away from an
emphasis on organizing and action.
Now that a date has finally
been set, local activists can begin building for the largest
possible turnout. The weekend in September can be a
showcase for the important organizing that has taken place
this year--defense of military resisters like Pablo Paredes
and Kevin Benderman, opposition to military recruiters on
campus, the efforts of soldiers’ families.
Unfortunately, the weaknesses
of the movement are still evident. For one thing, ANSWER
and UFPJ have issued calls for competing demonstrations on
September 24--and this in the face of a unity proposal
initiated by U.S. Labor Against War and taken up by another
antiwar organization, the Troops Out Now Coalition.
statement to member groups about the September 24 call
specifically excludes a united effort. “[W]hile we applaud
all efforts and activities to end the war and occupation in
Iraq,” the statement reads, “UFPJ will not join with ANSWER
(or the Troops Out Now Coalition) in the planning and
organizing of the September 24-26 mobilization in
Washington...Our steering committee agreed that should USLAW
still decide to convene (a unity meeting), UFPJ will
participate, but only to discuss logistical concerns for
as in the past, ANSWER issued its call without consulting
other forces in the movement--effectively, a rejection of
the unity initiative.
The ANSWER call does put
forward a range of demands that represents the spectrum of
opinion in the antiwar movement--opposing not only the
occupation of Iraq, but of Palestine and Haiti, plus the
threats against Venezuela and other U.S. targets, and the
”racist anti-immigrant, anti-labor offensive at home.”
UFPJ has a
narrower set of demands, focused only on Iraq. Over the
course of this year, the coalition’s leadership has resisted
any discussion of the legitimacy of the Iraqi resistance to
voices in UFPJ even take issue with the one demand that
should be the core point of unity in the antiwar
movement--immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. Instead,
they propose a “responsible” end to the
occupation--precisely the way that the pro-war Democrats and
even the Bush administration have described their aims.
UFPJ’s September 24 call does
demand immediate withdrawal. But another sign of the
conservative pull on the coalition is its attempt to combine
a “massive march, rally and festival” on September 24 with a
day of lobbying on September 26.
Congressional lobbying is a top priority for UFPJ leaders.
Indeed, UFPJ’s statements about the September 24-26 days of
action appeared along with action alerts calling on
supporters to “call your representative” to back a
congressional resolution sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lynn
Woolsey’s resolution doesn’t call for immediate withdrawal.
It is carefully crafted to avoid this, instead demanding
that the Bush administration “develop and implement a plan
to begin the immediate withdrawal of United States Armed
Forces from Iraq.”
movement shouldn’t expend any effort on lobbying Congress.
The way to force Washington to respond to our demands is
not by “educating” lawmakers”--who already know full well
what is taking place in Iraq--but by building the kind of
actions and ongoing organization it can’t ignore.
The call for the national
mobilization in September provides an opportunity to take a
further step in this direction.
The exact shape of
events--where the two demonstrations will be held, what
other activities will take place, the extent of any
coordination--are still to be decided. But opponents of the
barbaric U.S. occupation of Iraq can mark their calendars
now--and get started in organizing an all-out mobilization
Spits On UFPJ:
Republican Votes For More War:
For The “Lobbying” Idiocy)
11 May 2005 By Jonathan
Weisman and Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
gave final passage yesterday to an $82 billion emergency
war-spending bill, sending President Bush
a measure that will push the cost of the Iraq invasion well
past $200 billion.
unanimously approved the spending measure.
ANSWER, And UFPJ:
Time For An
May 02, 2005 montages.blogspot
Did anyone but the most
dedicated observer of political activism notice the two
rallies held in New York City on May 1, 2005?
The International Action
Center, through a new "coalition" called Troops Out Now!,
organized a march and rally to "Revive May Day," attracting
only 1,000-1,500 according to organizers' own estimate.
United for Peace and Justice,
meanwhile, marched and rallied to "Abolish Nukes!" (as May
Day fell on "the day before the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty Review Conference begins at the United Nations").
Perhaps, 10,000-40,000 attended the UFPJ march and rally.
It is clear that neither May
Day nor nuclear disarmament resonated with many Americans.
to the UFPJ National Assembly on February 19-21, 2005 did
vote for a proposal to make September 10, 2005 "World Day of
Mobilization on the U.N. against War," [Whatever the fuck
that means. And you notice they pretend there is no war in
Iraq worth mentioning. Bush must very grateful.] but
mobilization for it apparently has yet to begin.
Anti-war activists nationwide,
who have always had only tenuous relations to the main US
anti-war coalitions headquartered in New York City, are
effectively on our own. Is it time to write an obituary for
the IAC, ANSWER, and UFPJ?
arguing that ANSWER and UFPJ are not "the proper vehicles"
to raise the political and economic costs of the Iraq War
high enough to compel the US power elite to abandon it,
calls for the creation of "a broad anti-imperialist
coalition," rather than trying to change ANSWER's and UFPJ's
nature and direction.
article next below.]
agree or disagree with Jacobs on his call, it is undeniable
that there is a big vacuum in the anti-war movement.
UFPJ: Lobbyists Or Organizers?
Imperialism Is The Cause, Shouldn't The US Anti-War Movement
in turn, means that we must understand that no organ of
the imperial governments involved in these wars is going
to help us because we have convinced them that they are
wrong. After all, this is their livelihood. They do
not believe that what they are doing is wrong, because
their economic and political situation demands that
these wars and occupations must occur.
[Thanks to PB, who sent this
May 2, 2005 By RON JACOBS,
comments I hear at public events or in private conversations
(vocal and via email) about the current state of the
"antiwar" movement are any indication, groups like the US
organization UFPJ are in real trouble.
This trouble does not come
from a lack of antiwar sentiment, nor does it come from
comes from a growing sense that the leadership of this
organization (and others like them) are attempting to lead
those of us who attend their demonstrations into the arms of
the dead-end process known as mainstream politics. By this,
I mean that the UFPJ leadership wants to lobby Congress to
end the war. While this is certainly a noble thought, it
has about as much possibility of success as me turning into
recent as the history of the movement against the war in
Vietnam proves that the only way one can pressure Congress
to stop funding a war that it loves is by creating a
situation in the daily life of the nation that makes
business as usual difficult to conduct.
This is what happened in the
late 1960s and the 1970s-the US war on Vietnam became a big
hindrance to the way Congress and its corporate paymasters
conducted business. Even in its hallowed halls there were
people who stood with the protestors. Money was not being
made at the appropriate rate and eventually corporate
America bowed to the pressure that the constant rallies,
direct actions, and riots put on their profit making. Only
after years of this type of pressure did Congress stop
funding the war.
A converse of this constant
street action occurred during the US wars on the people of
Central America in the 1980s. Although certain regions of
the country organized direct actions and protests, much of
the movement against these wars was focused on lobbying
Congress. This lobbying did help get the Boland Amendment
banning aid to the US counterinsurgency forces known as the
Contras but, as any one who was involved in this movement
remembers, Ronnie Reagan just had his secret team fund and
support the contras through illegal drug sales and arms
All of this work was done out
of George Bush the First's office. Then, when the men and
women involved were indicted and convicted, George Bush the
First pardoned them all.
Underlying the desire to organize (or lobby) Congress
instead of organizing people to get in the streets and
make life miserable for the warmongers is a belief that
Congress's agenda is somehow different from the agenda
of the Pentagon or the White House.
belief is not only na´ve; if one really wants to end the
US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan it is downright
Congress shares the same
agenda as the rest of the US government. Even those (few)
members who disagree on individual issues like Social
Security, education, and labor issues share an underlying
assumption that the US had only the best intentions in its
attack on Iraq.
Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of the legislators in
Washington share the administration's assumption that it is
essential for the United States to maintain its imperial
army and that it should not hesitate to use it when the
interests of corporate America are threatened.
there is no way that Congress is going to be lobbied to end
the US occupation of Iraq.
Furthermore, unless those of
us in the antiwar movement who understand this organize
around this understanding, the movement against the war and
occupation will be relegated to the role similar to that of
Jiminy Cricket in the tale of Pinocchio. We may be right,
but it doesn't matter because we can be ignored as easily as
a small insect.
So, what do we need to do?
I don't claim to have any of
the answers, but, if we look once again at history, we can
find some very helpful clues.
important one being that we must understand that the war in
Iraq and the "war on terror" are imperial wars. In other
words, they are part and parcel of Washington's and Wall
Street's need to maintain, control, and expand their
markets. That means the movement against these wars must be
an anti-imperialist movement.
turn, means that we must understand that no organ of the
imperial governments involved in these wars is going to help
us because we have convinced them that they are wrong.
After all, this is their livelihood. They do not believe
that what they are doing is wrong, because their economic
and political situation demands that these wars and
occupations must occur.
The governments that
Washington has put in place in Baghdad and Kabul are
representing the interests of the imperial powers, not the
interests of those capitals' respective peoples.
Let me repeat, the
governments occupying Iraq and Afghanistan need to undertake
these military actions in order to maintain their dominance
in the world's political and economic dynamic.
way they will let go of these military actions is when the
political and economic cost of those actions is greater than
the benefits. The resistance groups in Iraq and Afghanistan
understand this, even with their internal differences and
disparate motives. The movement against the war in the
countries of the occupiers needs to also understand it.
Our job is to create the
situation where that understanding becomes the case and is
Are the current antiwar
organizations (UFPJ and ANSWER in the US, Stop the War
Coalition in the UK) the proper vehicles for creating this
situation? I can't speak for the UK organization or any
organization in other countries outside of the US. However,
when it comes to the US organizations, I believe the answer
is no, not as they are currently operating.
failed to put forward an anti-imperialist analysis of the
war and occupation: a fact that is perhaps best displayed by
their tacit support of war party member John Kerry via the
Anybody But Bush electoral movement in 2004.
ANSWER seems to have too much
baggage associated with its founding organization (Worker's
World Party-WWP) to be able to reach very far beyond its
current constituency. This is too bad for ANSWER,
especially considering their work against the sanctions and
ongoing war on Iraq for more than a decade and their support
amongst the communities of color in the United States.
I would like to state here
that this is not meant to be a call to disband either of
these organizations. After all, they have played (and will
continue to play) an important role in the antiwar movement.
It is instead, a call on those
who consider themselves to be non-WWP anti-imperialists to
stop trying to change the nature of UFPJ and ANSWER and form
our own antiwar grouping(s).
There is a
need for a broad anti-imperialist coalition to oppose the
designs of Washington and London.
also a need to take that opposition to the streets, the
schools, the workplace, the military, and wherever else we
The time is getting late. Who
will make the first step towards building this organization?
POLITICIANS AT WORK
States Is Being Beaten, And Beaten Quite Badly”
KID RIDES AGAIN
05/31/05 Micke Whitney,
Information Clearing House [Excerpt]
could have dreamed that 2 years after Bush declared "Mission
Accomplished", 40,000 Iraqi security personnel and 10,000
American soldiers would be needed to pacify Baghdad,
but that, in fact, is the underlying meaning of Rumsfeld's
the magnitude of the failure exceeds our wildest
It's clear now that the size
and strength of the insurgency has surpassed all the
previous predictions and that the civilian leadership of the
occupation forces is lashing out in desperation to quell the
Iraq has quickly degenerated
into the most poorly executed military campaign in American
States is being beaten, and beaten quite badly.
Notwithstanding Vice President Cheney's nonsensical bluster,
the insurgency has gained ground in all areas of the
conflict; increasing the death toll among American
servicemen, blowing up oil pipelines, controlling supply
lines, sabotaging attempts at reconstruction, and enlisting
broader support from the native population.
circus elections performed as a publicity stunt for the
American public some months ago, Iraq has become
ungovernable. Again, the extent of the failure is truly
Normally, when the war
strategy proves to be as tragically flawed as it has been in
Iraq, changes are made at the top of the defense
establishment. That won't happen with Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld's job is protected by
his unique relationship to the administration. In fact,
Rumsfeld is corporate-America's personal ambassador, chosen
for his rigorous commitment to ideology and his willingness
to execute any crime that furthers the interests of his core
means in terms of the occupation is this; we are seeing how
war would be conducted by businessmen and CEOs rather than
highly-trained military experts. This
explains the futile siege and destruction of Falluja as well
as the egregious violations of human rights at Abu Ghraib.
Neither of these is reflective of the standards we have come
to expect from the military, but the corrupting influence of
corporate magnates playing war-games.
For Rumsfeld, the war has
continued far beyond the fall of Baghdad because he's never
seriously pursued a political solution. This omission
ensures that security can only be enforced through
ever-increasing levels of brute force. That same mentality
is being duplicated in Operation Lightening, another failed
attempt to assert American dominance through
counterinsurgency, round-ups and overwhelming firepower.
It, too, will certainly fail.
The reliance on force has
produced the same grim results over and over again, and yet,
it is applied to the exclusion of any other alternative.
muddled thinking has led to the present inter-urban
conflict; a fight that will undoubtedly produce more
pointless detentions, more unnecessary civilian deaths and
more recruits for the burgeoning insurgency.
The seeds of rage sown by
Rumsfeld's orgy of terror have quashed any opportunity for
achieving a negotiated settlement. Iraq is now beset by
Bush's dichotomous "all or nothing" world view.
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)
We Are Criticizing The US, He Has Lost His Faith Again”
Criticism Of Gitmo Inaccurate
June 2, 2005 USA Today,
Rumsfeld denounced Amnesty International’s depiction of
Guantanamo as the “gulag of our time.” He said the group’s
characterization of the detention center is “reprehensible.”
June 1, 2005 Amnesty
From: Statement of Dr. William
F. Schulz, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA,
Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration ignored or dismissed
Amnesty International's reports on the abuse of detainees
for years, and senior officials continue to ignore the very
real plight of men detained without charge or trial.
Amnesty International first
communicated its concerns at the treatment of prisoners to
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in January 2002 and continued to
raise these concerns at the highest levels as allegations of
abuse mounted from Afghanistan, Guantanamo and Iraq. The
response was to bar AI's human rights investigators from
visiting US detention facilities, in contrast to countries
as diverse as Libya and Sudan, where governments have
accepted the value of independent monitoring.
years ago, Amnesty International was criticizing Saddam
Hussein's human rights abuses at the same time Donald
Rumsfeld was courting him. In 2003 Rumsfeld apparently
trusted our credibility on violations by Iraq, but now
that we are criticizing the US he has lost his faith
again. [Schulz said U.S. officials were only too glad to
back Amnesty when it focused on Saddam Hussein’s
cruelties. Washington Times 6.1.05]
March 27, 2003, Rumsfeld said:
that it's a repressive regime? Anyone who has read
Amnesty International or any of the human rights
organizations about how the regime of Saddam Hussein
treats his people?
May 31, 2005 The Haiti
Information Project, Port au Prince, Haiti
and the Police Nationale d╣Haiti (PNH) launched a major
offensive today aimed at the pro-Aristide seaside slum of
Cite Soleil. At least 3 people were killed and scores
injured after U.N. and PNH security forces reportedly
entered the area with "guns shooting everywhere" according
to residents. St. Joseph’s Hospital in
Bois Verna, home to a project of the French organization
Medicin Sans Frontier, reported their staff was having
difficulty treating the increasing number of gunshot victims
resulting from today╣s action.
In what appeared to be a
response to the armed incursion, unknown assailants set fire
to a large market in the old quarter of Haiti’s capital
known as Marche Tet Boeuf. There was general panic in the
area as the flames spread and engulfed a nearby school.
Gunfire reportedly rang out
as people in the area were forced to run for cover prior to
the outset of the fire.
stations in the capital reported soon after that Haiti's
National Palace was also shot at.
Regiment Won’t Attack Protest Movement
June 1, 2005 Luis A. Gَmez,
The Narco News Bulletin
This morning, while the
marchers did what they've done every day for more than a
week, the local media began to receive reports of a mutiny
within the police. Officials speaking for the
administration of President Carlos Mesa denied the
information: there had merely been an attempt within
Regiment No. 1.
minutes ago, however, one of the officers from that regiment
called Radio Erbol and clarified the issue: the police from
that regiment had decided, by consensus, to stop going into
the streets "to gas our women and our own children."
officer, who complained of having been badly treated by
National Police intelligence personnel, demanded along with
a group of his fellow officers "total nationalization of the
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