GI SPECIAL 3B50:
ABOUT HOW U.S. TROOPS REBELLED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AND
STOPPED AN IMPERIAL WAR:
COMING SOON TO A BASE NEAR YOU!
ANTI-VIETNAM WAR MOVEMENT RECAPTURED IN
SIR! NO SIR!:
DOCUMENTARY TO PREMIERE AT LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL
From: David Zeiger
To: GI Special
Sent: June 03, 2005 1:08 PM
Sir! No Sir! premiere
Here is the
info about the premiere of "Sir! No Sir!" at the Los Angeles
film festival. This is a big event, and a big venue (600
seats), and it's extremely important that we fill the place
to the rafters to give the film the strongest launch into
the world possible. Lots of press and film industry people
will be there. So whatever you can do to help will be
Thanks, I look forward to
catching up with you when we bring the film to NY.
Us For The World Premiere Of
At The Los
Angeles Independent Film Festival
June 19, 7 Pm
Screening Thursday, June 23, 5:00 Pm
narration of Sir! No
no more appropriate time than now to tell the riveting,
incendiary story of the GI Antiwar Movement during the
Vietnam War. Help us launch this crucial film into the
world by spreading the word and attending the premiere.
“In the 1960's an anti-war movement emerged that altered the
course of history.
“This movement didn't take place on college campuses, but in
barracks and on ships.
“It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the
dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated
elite military colleges like West Point.
“And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam.
“It was a movement no one expected, least of all those in
it. Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile.
“And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel,
infested the entire armed services. Yet today few
people know about the GI movement against the war in
They Stopped An Imperial War
Film Is About:
Sir! No Sir!, a new
feature-length documentary film by David Zeiger – Troy
Garity narrates – will have its world premiere at the Los
Angeles Film Festival. Showings are Sunday, June 19 at
7:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the
Director’s Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Boulevard in Los
Vietnam War itself, the GI antiwar movement started small
and within a few years had exploded into a force that
times from which it grew, the movement involved organized
actions and spontaneous resistance, political groups and
Today, at a
time when American troops are again fighting a protracted,
questionable war, this military insurgency is all but
eliminated from collective memory. Even though it
profoundly impacted American society, it rarely appears in
The first film ever to retell
the story of resistance to the war within the military, Sir!
No Sir! features news reports from local and national
television broadcasts and archival images, many only
recently declassified, from newspapers and magazines, and
shot interviews with individuals involved in the struggle
include Hollywood activist Jane Fonda; soldiers imprisoned
for refusing to fight, train other soldiers or ship out to
the frontlines; Vietnam veterans who became antiwar
activists or joined the over 500,000 soldiers who the
Pentagon listed as deserters during the war; the leader of
the Presidio 27 mutiny; and soldiers who went on strike
while in Vietnam among others.
Exclusive footage from documentary coverage of the
movement includes FTA, the feature-length film about
Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland’s antiwar stage review
that traveled to military bases around the world;
Vietnam veterans hurling their medals onto the Capitol
steps; refusal by troops to engage in combat at Firebase
Pace (responsible for speeding up the final withdrawal
of U.S. ground forces); never-before-seen Super-8 and
16mm film footage of events in the GI movement shot by
GIs and civilian activists; and an audio recording made
by Richard Boyle, journalist and author of The Flower of
the Dragon and the Oliver Stone film Salvador.
Sir! loosely divides the war and movement into four
chapters, each reflecting the mood, politics and culture of
the years it depicts as American society became increasingly
A Few Malcontents:
As the Johnson administration
turns what was initially a small “Police Action” into an
all-out war and the peace movement begins, isolated
individuals and small groups in the military refuse to
participate and are severely punished:
Lt. Henry Howe is sentenced to
two years hard labor for attending an antiwar demonstration;
the Ft. Hood 3 are sentenced to three years hard labor for
refusing duty in Vietnam; Howard Levy, a military doctor,
refuses to train Special Forces troops and is
court-martialed as Donald Duncan, a celebrated member of the
Green Berets, resigns after a year in Vietnam; and Corporal
William Harvey and Private George Daniels are sentenced to
up to ten years in 1967 for meeting with other marines on
Camp Pendleton to discuss whether Blacks should fight in
They Thought the Revolution was Starting:
The war escalates as the peace
movement becomes an international mass movement, and
soldiers begin forming organizations and taking collective
action: The Ft. Hood 43, Black soldiers who refused
riot-control duty at the 1968 Democratic National
Convention, are sentenced for up to 18 months each; the
largest military prison in Vietnam, Long Binh Jail
(affectionately called LBJ by the troops), is taken over by
Black soldiers who hold it for two months; The Presidio 27 –
prisoners in the stockade on the Presidio Army Base in San
Francisco – are charged with mutiny, a capital offense, when
they refuse to work after a mentally ill prisoner is killed;
underground newspapers published by antiwar GIs appear at
almost every military base in the country; the American
Serviceman’s Union is formed; antiwar coffeehouses are
established outside of military bases.
small combat-refusals occur and are quickly suppressed, but
on Christmas Eve, 1969, 50 GIs participate in an illegal
antiwar demonstration in Saigon. Vietnam
Veterans Against the War (VVAW) is formed.
Sir, My Men Refuse to Fight:
to the war turns militant and the counter-culture rises to
its peak: Tens of thousands of soldiers desert and flee to
Canada, France and Sweden; thousands of soldiers organize
and participate in Armed Farces Day demonstrations at
military bases; drug use is rampant and underground radio
networks flourish in Vietnam as Black and white soldiers
increasingly identify with the Antiwar and Black Liberation
movements; combat refusals and “fragging” of officers in
Vietnam are epidemic.
are jailed for refusing to fight or simply defying military
authority, and nearly every U.S. military prison in the
world is hit by riots.
Fonda’s antiwar review, The FTA Show, tours military bases
and is cheered by tens of thousands of soldiers; the
Pentagon concludes that over half the ground troops openly
oppose the war and shifts its combat strategy from a ground
war to an air war; the Navy and Air Force are both riddled
with mutinies and acts of sabotage.
VVAW holds the Winter Soldier
Investigation, exposing American war crimes through the
testimony of veterans, and stages the most dramatic
demonstration of the Vietnam era as hundreds of veterans
hurl their medals onto the Capitol steps.
The Birth of the Spitting
U.S. military and its allies flee Vietnam in disarray in
the Spring of 1975, the government, the media, and
Hollywood begin a 20 year process of erasing the GI
movement from the collective memory of the nation and
Reagan’s “Resurgent America” campaign re-writes the history
of the Vietnam War and erases the GI movement; by 1990, over
100 theatrical films have been produced about the Vietnam
War, none of which portray the GI antiwar movement or any
opposition to the war by soldiers; the myth that antiwar
activists routinely spat on returning soldiers is spread as
part of the buildup to the 1990 Gulf War.
David Zeiger –
For more information or jpeg
And "Combat Refusals" In Vietnam
From: Military Law Task Force
The question of crimes such as
"fragging", "combat refusals", desertion and AWOL within the
Vietnam conflict is one which brings emotions to the fore.
Many veterans deny that "fragging" or "combat refusals"
occured, whilst others feel desertion and AWOL was merely a
means of resisting what was felt to be an unjust and illegal
One partial reason for such
sharp differences in the perceptions of veterans: support
for the war back home, and the perceived prospects for
victory, declined sharply during the seven years of heavy
American involvement in Vietnam.
Indeed, military leaders
themselves recognized a crisis among Vietnam soldiers in the
war's last years. In an article called
"The Collapse of the Armed Forces" published in the
Armed Forces Journal in June, 1971, Colonel Robert Heinl
declared that the army in Vietnam was "dispirited where not
Refusal. Where soldiers refused to
obey orders this became known as a "combat refusal". In a
report for Pacifica Radio, journalist Richard Boyle went to
the base to interview a dozen "grunts" from the First
Cavalry Division. The GI's had been ordered on a nighttime
combat mission the previous night. Six of the men had
refused to go and several others had objected to the order.
This is also referred to in
"NAM - The Story of the
Vietnam War (Issue 8)" where a photograph can
also be found and captioned "These battle-weary troops from
the 1st Air Cav had just staged a "combat refusal" at the
"They'll have to court-martial
the whole company," one soldier told Boyle. "I say right
away they can start typing up my court-martial."
The GI's told Boyle they
objected not only to what they saw as a suicidal mission but
to the war effort itself. Their commanding officer wouldn't
let them wear t-shirts with peace symbols, they complained.
"He calls us hypocrites if we wear a peace sign," one GI
said. "[As if] we wanted to come over here and fight. Like
we can't believe in peace, man, because we're carrying [an
M-16] out there." Rough figures for "combat refusals" are
indicated in column b. below.
Another soldier piped in: "I
always did believe in protecting my own country, if it came
down to that. But I'm over here fighting a war for a cause
that means nothing to me." Historians say so-called "combat
refusals" became increasingly common in Vietnam after 1969.
Soldiers also expressed their opposition to the war in
underground newspapers and coffee-house rap sessions. Some
wore black armbands in the field. Some went further.
When one American killed another American, usually a
superior officer or an NCO, the term “fragging” came into
use. Although the term simply meant that a fragmentation
grenade was used in the murder, it later became an all
encompassing term for such an action. It is known that
"fraggings" did occur during Vietnam, but the precise number
"During the years of 1969 down
to 1973, we have the rise of fragging - that is, shooting or
hand-grenading your NCO or your officer who orders you out
into the field," says historian Terry Anderson of Texas A &
M University. "The US Army itself does not know exactly how
many...officers were murdered. But they know at least 600
were murdered, and then they have another 1400 that died
mysteriously. Consequently by early 1970, the army [was] at
war not with the enemy but with itself." Rough figures for
"fraggings" are indicated in column a. below.
and Absence Without Leave (AWOL)
Figures for the Vietnam
Conflict are also not known but figures for all US forces
throughout the world are known. They are indicated in
columns c. and d. below. The original source for these
World-wide figures for US Forces
0.25 per 1000
0.25 per 1000
46.8 per 1000
13.2 per 1000
0.25 per 1000
138.5 per 1000
15.7 per 1000
4.5 per 1000
0.068 per 1000 (opium)
46.9 per 1000
21.1 per 1000
66.3 per 1000
25.8 per 1000
11058 drug cases
(1146 hard drugs)
84.0 per 1000
33.9 per 1000
7026 hard drugs
74.9 per 1000
27.5 per 1000
77.0 per 1000
24.6 per 1000
George’s Recoats In Samarra:
Leave U.S. Troops With Little Choice But To Suspect Everyone
Phil G who sent this in. He writes: Shades of Vietnam.]
Samarra, Iraq -- Sgt. 1st
Class Louis D'Angelo is angry.
clothes, frying pans and construction tools strewn on the
floor, D'Angelo storms into the living room where frightened
Iraqi children cling to women in black abayas.
"They don't have weapons?
They don't have weapons?" D'Angelo bellows, holding up two
clips for a Kalashnikov semiautomatic rifle he has just
found in the family's bedroom.
Soldiers from D'Angelo's unit,
2nd Platoon of the B Company of the 3-69 Armored Battalion,
42nd Infantry Division, are searching the downtown Samarra
house of a suspected insurgent, Jamal Faluh Jasem, whom U.S.
troops have arrested at least once for weapons possession.
Jasem is not home.
from room to room, sifting through the family's meager
possessions, tossing them on the floor.
One of the women huddling on the living room carpet, they
learn, is the sister of two other suspected insurgents, Ali
Turki and Abu Basset Turki. But those men are not here
D'Angelo further. Marching into a small bedroom, he spots
three burlap bags lying in the corner. He rips the bags
open with a pocket knife and spreads the spilled flour
evenly across the floor with his combat boot, looking for
hidden weapons. Nothing.
"We've been here since
January," D'Angelo says, his voice raspy with rage. "I had
two people shot. My track guy was hit with a VBIED
(vehicle-born improvised explosive device, or car bomb), and
we hit two land mines. With all that consideration it gets
Last week, two suicide car
bombs blew up outside the southern wall of Patrol Base
Uvanni, situated in the center of the town. Simultaneously,
insurgents lobbed mortar rounds and rocket-propelled
grenades at the base from the surrounding residential
also threw a U.S. medic off the bunk, cutting his face. The
organizers of the attack, like most of Samarra's elusive
insurgents, were never found.
such as this leave increasingly frustrated U.S. soldiers
with little choice but to suspect everybody.
At Jasem's house, soldiers of
the 2nd Platoon have unearthed several rounds of Kalashnikov
ammunition, a homemade shoulder-mounted missile launcher, a
coil of copper wire and what looks like a detonator for a
home-made bomb in the family's backyard. In a house next
door, they find a rocket-propelled grenade.
"That's one less sniper bullet
for us to get shot with, one less RPG round for us to get
hit with, one less coil of wire for IEDs (homemade bombs), "
He turns to Pfc. Matthew
"Go in the sh-tter there and
check it out. Look in the washer. These people hide stuff
Ghadban tosses towels on the
bathroom floor, and feels through a quarter- full burlap
sack with sugar.
In the living room, Capt. Ryan
Wylie interrogates Jasem's wife, Kaukem Abbas. She denies
that her husband has anything to do with insurgents.
"I swear on
the Quran that we have no weapons here," Abbas says, as
other women try to hide their mouths behind their abayas.
They look apprehensively at Wylie, who towers above them.
He asks them to identify the men on documents Wylie's
soldiers have found in a square tin in the bedroom. The
women appear to know nothing about the men's whereabouts.
nothing more Wylie can learn here.
He hands Jasem's wife $80, in
U.S. bills, to compensate for the gate the platoon mowed
down with a Bradley fighting vehicle earlier to get into the
courtyard. The soldiers clamber into their Bradleys and take
off. The vehicles raise clouds of fine dust as they rattle
through downtown Samarra, past the 9th century Malwiya
spiral minaret that dominates the city's skyline.
Now comes another part of the
In an alley a few blocks away,
the Bradleys screech to a halt. Pungent black liquid seeps
down the gutter that bisects the alley. Children and some
adults stand in the gates, watching the Americans dismount
from their Bradleys and fan out into the street, shaking
hands and handing out notepads, toothpaste and crayons to
As Lt. Ronald Hudak chats up
local residents in fluent Arabic he had learned since his
February deployment, and Cpl. Ed Capps tosses a soccer ball
with a rowdy pack of kids, soldiers enter the tallest
residential building in the neighborhood and walk up the
steep, narrow stairs to the rooftop. From there, they scan
the horizon for enemy fighters. Inadvertently, they scare
two women, who run to a second-floor room and stand, rooted,
in the corner.
Below, several soldiers kneel
in the shade of sandstone buildings, holding their M-16 and
M-4 rifles at the ready. D'Angelo surveys the alley from
the turret of his Bradley.
The military calls this
"cordon and talk," an attempt to win the hearts and minds of
Samarra residents while aiming to minimize casualties in the
"You just say, 'shoku-moku' --
'wassup?' " Hudak explains. "If they share an emotional
connection with us, they overcome their fear, and maybe tell
us where insurgents are. If you show up at their house and
ask them: 'Where are the terrorists?,' they say: 'I don't
know.' " [Lt. just
doesn’t get it. Everybody is an “insurgent.” Oh well, the
Brits didn’t get it in 1776 either. That’s just the facts
of life when you invade and occupy somebody else’s country.
Every patriot will either fight you or protect those who
fight you. They are right to do so. Only been going on for
thousands of years.]
Before tossing handfuls of
candy in the air, Ghadban makes the children chant, in
unison, a rapper's name: "Suge Knight, Suge Knight!"
Spc. Shimson Welch tells the
kids to chant the name of the veteran American porn star,
Imad Fleih Asam, who runs a
small grocery store, throws a bottle of cold Coca-Cola to
Sgt. Michael Johnson, the gunner on one of the Bradleys.
"America good," Asam says. "I love America."
How sincere this is, Wylie
does not know.
"These people are all about
surviving, and they'll say whatever they think you want them
to say," says Wylie. "They know their life will be better
if they show us they are friendly to us, but they also know
they have to appear, if nothing else, condoning of the
dismal. Jesus. What insight. “They also know they have to
appear, if nothing else, condoning of those terrorist
traitors George Washington and Patrick Henry.” Hey Capt.,
you’re a fucking Recoat. Get it? Any light dawning at all?
an Empire is? You know, as in French Empire, British
Empire, Russian Empire? Heard of that? Who the fuck do you
think you serve, and what the fuck do you think your troops
are dying for? There is nothing new, repeat, nothing new,
about Imperial wars of conquest. There is nothing new,
repeat, nothing new, about every decent honorable citizen,
of whatever nation the Empire wants to get its greedy hands
on, fighting back to expel the invader. Duh.]
A couple of hours later,
having run out candy and soccer balls, the 2nd Platoon heads
back to base.
In a makeshift war room there,
Lt. Nathan Adams examines the ordnance the soldiers have
found, trying to match up the rocket-propelled grenade with
a military manual on small missiles, guessing how long the
sand-caked missile launcher had been lying in the ground.
Suddenly, a loud snap goes off
on the eastern side of the base, followed by a hollow boom
to its west. One, two, three mortar rounds hit near the
base, the last one just behind an abandoned school yard 200
yards outside the base's walls. Dust and smoke rise from
behind the pink school building. A rocket- propelled
grenade hits somewhere outside the base with a smaller pop.
Wylie comments, calmly. "Must be letting rookies shoot
minutes later, the base is shaken as two mortar shells
explode inside Uvanni's anti-blast walls, spewing shrapnel.
Get in!" somebody shouts.
In the war room, Wylie hears
that the attack likely came from the area the 2nd Platoon
had been searching earlier in the day.
Wylie looks for an
this is Abu Basset, who came back and got pissed off that
we'd knocked down his gate?"
pissed off that you’re in his country fucking with his
family in order to grab his country’s resources for some
greedy Imperial assholes half a world away. This is not
rocket science. Ever heard of the Declaration Of
Independence? The 4th of July is coming up. Try
reading it. Through the eyes of an Iraqi patriot. He’s
even got another George to contend with, so the words fit
and you won’t have to stretch your imagination.]
A, B, C
are resisting the occupation out of nationalism, not a
fondness for terrorism -- just as the Vietnamese
resisted American occupation out of nationalism, not a
fondness for communism. U.S. policy makers didn’t “get
it” then, and they deliberately don’t get it now.
Nationalism is a prideful force that paradoxically
thrives on oppression. The more an outsider oppresses
it through the foolish process of occupying its
disciples, the more the outsider feeds it. Again, the
American public learned this simple lesson once, though
the lesson took 10 agonizing years to learn. This time
around, can’t we settle for two? June
03, 2005 P.M. Carpenter, pmcarpenter.blogs.com
Welcome To Liberated Iraq:
Recoat Officer Threatens A Kid With Prison For --- Guess
June 06, 2005 By Alex Neill,
Army Times staff writer
OUTSIDE CAMP TAJI, Iraq —
Just another day in the
neighborhood. A neighborhood where enemy snipers lay in
wait, insurgents plant explosives and terrorists roam the
roads on suicide missions.
soldiers of the 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry
Regiment face those threats every time they roll out of camp
on a mission here on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, as
do all soldiers when they go “outside the wire.”
Times reporter and photographer rode along with soldiers of
1st Platoon, Bravo Troop of the 1/11 in what the soldiers
deemed a fairly routine patrol.
Rolling through the narrow streets of the town of Enteeser,
the Humvee drivers have to keep a close watch for children
darting out from the mud-walled dwellings and donkeys
gates of one home, two children stand greeting the passing
troops. One gives them the thumbs up.
extends a different digit, one familiar to all American
commuters. Lt. Adam Horton orders the vehicles to stop.
out and approaches the offending kid, who begins a retreat.
to go to jail?” Horton says through Farris, the interpreter.
Soon Farris explains the boy
did not understand what the gesture meant and was sorry.
The kid motions an obvious
sign of apology.
want to see you doing that again,” Horton says.
won’t. You made pretty clear what U.S. “democracy” is all
about, and whose country this is you’re stumbling around
in. Guess he’ll have to liberate himself. Next time he’ll
have an RPG. Or maybe one of his relatives will. If it was
your kid, and some invading arrogant foreign asshole officer
threatened him with prison for a hand gesture, you’d be man
enough to do the right thing, wouldn’t you? You’d go
hunting, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?]
Blast Kills 2 GIs
June 4, 2005 Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan -
A bomb exploded next to a U.S. military convoy in eastern
Afghanistan, killing two American soldiers and wounding a
third, the military said Saturday.
An Afghan interpreter was also
wounded in the attack on Friday in Urgun district in Paktika
province, the military said. The wounded were evacuated by
helicopter to a U.S. base for treatment.
winter lull, loyalists to the ousted Taliban regime and
other militants opposed to the U.S.-backed government of
President Hamid Karzai have ramped up their insurgency with
bombings and other attacks.
Notes From A Lost War:
Support The Taliban”
not supposed to be like that here," said Capt. Mike
Adamski, a battalion intelligence officer. [Famous last
June 4, 2005 By CARLOTTA GALL,
The New York Times
GAZEK KULA, Afghanistan - For
weeks, sightings of Taliban fighters were being reported all
over the rugged mountains here. But when Staff Sgt. Patrick
Brannan and his team of scouts drove into a nearby village
to investigate a complaint of a beating, they had no idea
that they were stumbling into the biggest battle of their
On May 3, joined by 10 local
policemen and an interpreter, the scouts turned up at a kind
of Taliban convention - of some 60 to 80 fighters - and were
greeted by rockets and gunfire. The sergeant called for
reinforcements and was told to keep the Taliban engaged
until they arrived. "I've only got six men," he remembers
For the next two and a half
hours, he and his small squad, who had a year of experience
in Iraq, cut off a Taliban escape. Nearly 40 Taliban and
one Afghan policeman were killed.
supposed to be like that here," said Capt. Mike Adamski, a
battalion intelligence officer. "It's the hardest fight I
saw, even after Iraq."
the last six months, American and Afghan officials have
predicted the collapse of the Taliban, the hard-line
Islamists thrown out of power by American forces in
2001, citing their failure to disrupt the presidential
election last October and a lack of activity last
intensity of the fighting here in Zabul Province, and in
parts of adjoining Kandahar and Uruzgan Provinces -
roughly 100 square miles of mountain valleys in all -
reveals the Taliban to be still a vibrant fighting force
supplied with money, men and weapons.
With a ready source of men,
and apparently plentiful weapons, the Taliban may not be
able to hold ground, but they can continue their insurgency
indefinitely, attacking the fledgling Afghan government,
scaring away aid groups and leaving the province
ungovernable, some Afghan and American officials say.
three to four healthy cells, with 30 to 60 fighters in each;
that's 120 to 240 people altogether," said Captain Adamski,
estimating the total Taliban strength in the area, though
accounts from local people indicated higher numbers. [Basic
law of guerrilla warfare: The Imperial officers always
underestimate the opposition. Corollary: Their troops pay
battle on May 3, the 60 to 80 Taliban fighters encountered
by Sergeant Brannan and his scouts were well armed and well
prepared, with weapons caches and foxholes dotting an
orchard where the heaviest fighting took place. The Taliban
fought to within 150 yards of American positions and later
hit one of two armored Humvees with a volley of
rocket-propelled grenades that set it on fire, Sergeant
Brannan said. Specialist Joseph Leatham, in the turret, kept
firing as the vehicle burned, allowing his comrades to get
first American helicopter arrived as reinforcement, it came
under fire and was forced to veer away. "I had one magazine
left," Sergeant Brannan said. "I had enough for another 15
to 20 minutes."
In all, the
battle lasted seven hours. Ten Taliban
fighters were captured, and five Afghan policemen and six
American soldiers were wounded. The Afghan informer, who
walked for three hours to see the American troops when he
heard in late May that they were in Gazek Kula, said a local
Taliban commander, Mullah Abdullah, had led the Taliban in
the fight. The mullah escaped with his deputy, Sangaryar,
by jumping in the river and floating downstream, the
After the battle, he said, the
Taliban sent out word that local men should help bury the
dead. Mullah Abdullah and his deputy were there as they
buried 19 bodies, 14 of them representing the commander's
entire fighting unit.
But news of
the fight traveled fast, and dozens more fighters crossed
from Pakistan to shore up the Taliban ranks, the informer
said. Mullah Abdullah now had a new force of 40 men. Three
other leading Taliban commanders in the province - Mullah
Muhammad Alam, Mullah Ahmadullah and Mullah Hedayatullah -
had more than 200 fighters between them, with more reserves
in Pakistan, he said.
informer said that he knew Mullah Abdullah well and that the
mullah had been a guest in his house. But in late April the
mullah and his men detained him, accusing him of spying for
the Americans. They seized his satellite phone and rifle
and threatened to kill him, but let him go because of shared
Sgt. First Class Kyle
Shuttlesworth, 45, a veteran soldier who is counting the
days to retirement, said that the American forces here had
tracked many men infiltrating from Pakistan, but that since
they crossed unarmed, the Americans had no cause to detain
them. "We are trying to
work out where they get their weapons," he said.
villagers said the Taliban passed through every so often and
demanded food. "The Taliban come only for one night," Wali
Muhammad, 33, a wheat trader, said. "They are not a security
days ago there were 10 Taliban in this room," a former
policeman, Abdul Matin, 40, told the Americans sitting on
the floor over a glass of tea in his home.
came in a group of 100, he said, and spread out around
the village. They had satellite phones and plenty of
money, offering one man $2,000 to work as an informer.
They were gone before dawn and have not been back since,
Mr. Matin said.
people support the Taliban because they don't loot and
they respect the women," he said. [And because whatever
else they may be, they are not a foreign, invading,
occupying army for the U.S. Empire.]
The American forces keep
probing, hoping to lure the Taliban out of the craggy
mountain passes. On a recent five-hour trek, Sergeant
Shuttlesworth took his men, along with 10 local police
officers, down the narrow river valley near here, trying
once again to tempt the Taliban into revealing themselves.
"We are the
bait," he told the local police chief. "Are you ready to
Veterans Against The War
conditions the people are living under [in Iraq], conditions
that don’t seem to be changing: no jobs, no electricity, no
clean water," said Sergeant Kelly Dougherty of Colorado
Springs, who worked in a Military Police Unit.
"This is a
war for empire. You want to support the troops? Demand
that they be brought home from Afghanistan and Iraq, that
they get the benefits they are entitled to."
Veterans Against the War’s
Really Want Iraqis To Have Democracy Let Them Run Their Own
with Iraq Veterans Against the War Patrick Resta:
you break something in a store you don't sit there with
crazy glue trying to piece it back together. And you
most certainly don't run around with a bat breaking more
things. What you do is apologize, write them a check,
and get out before you do anymore damage.”
May 4, 2005 Written by Kevin
[Thanks to Phil G. who sent
interview below is with Patrick Resta of Iraq Veterans
against the War.
Patrick, who served as a
combat medic in Iraq, is 26 years old and been married for
five years. He grew up in central New Jersey and now lives
in Philadelphia. He is a full time nursing student at the
Community College of Philadelphia. His aunt and uncle were
killed in the World Trade Center on September 11th and about
three weeks later he was called to active duty as part of
homeland security. He served for one year at Ft. Jackson,
SC. Then when he began to get his life back to normal and
less than one year after leaving Ft. Jackson he found out
that he was being deployed again, this time to Iraq.
did you join the National Guard?
Resta: I joined the National
Guard for assistance with school. My parents made it clear
that they weren't in a position to help me with school so I
began considering my options when I was about 16 years old.
In New Jersey the National Guard pays for tuition, books,
and fees to any state school. If you add on to that a few
hundred dollars every month it sounded like a good deal to a
17 year old kid.
Were you surprised when you were sent to Iraq?
wasn't surprised at all that I was sent to Iraq. What did
surprise me though was how my unit and myself were sent into
combat unequipped and unprepared and it didn't seem to
hearing as early as October 2001 that Iraq would be invaded
no matter what. Also interesting to me is
the fact that some people have been to Iraq two and three
times, yet you still have some people that haven't been
Where were you based in Iraq, what was your role there?
Resta: I served as a combat
medic in a tank battalion. My job varied from day to day,
but basically it was doing on of these three things: going
on convoys to other camps to get supplies, going on patrols
of towns or highways, or working in our three bed ER where
we saw everything from the cold/flu to sprained ankles to
What did you see in Iraq that convinced you that the U.S.
Pretty much everything I saw in Iraq convinced that US
forces needed to leave.
The in your
face hypocrisy of this occupation was the most disturbing
thing for me. Being told I was risking my life to help the
Iraqi people and then getting over there and being told the
Pentagon had set policy so no Iraqi could be treated unless
they were about to die.
hypocrisy of the occupation was evident when I was told we
were going to help rebuild Iraq and then watched as the only
things being rebuilt were Saddam's military bases to prepare
for a permanent US military presence.
Every reason this
administration gave to justify our presence in Iraq was the
exact opposite of what was going on.
in the towns I would talk to Iraqis hoping to hear
something that would make the sacrifices of my fellow
soldiers worth it. What I found is that we are neither
wanted nor welcome. The Iraqi people don't trust us and
they don't want us there. Poll after poll has made that
major argument for staying in Iraq is if the U.S. leaves
there will be greater chaos. How do you see this -- is the
U.S. minimizing the chaos in Iraq?
always ask people to describe the situation now. Is it not
To me the definition of a
civil war is when people from a country kill other people
from that country.
That's what happening now in
are the problem, not the solution. We are
reliving the Vietnam War now and it's sad. We're reliving
it because the people in power didn't learn anything from
that event. They were too busy dreaming up ways to dodge
battalions will never rebuild power and water purification
plants no matter how long they stay in Iraq.
and Bechtel didn't build Iraq, so why are they rebuilding
really want Iraqis to have democracy let them run their
you break something in a store you don't sit there with
crazy glue trying to piece it back together And you
most certainly don't run around with a bat breaking more
things. What you do is apologize, write them a check,
and get out before you do anymore damage.
you get any sense when you were in Iraq that the U.S. is
planning a long-term stay in the country or are we planning
a brief stay until things calm down in the country?
Resta: If you go back and look
you can see members of this administration talking about an
invasion and long occupation of Iraq as long as a decade
ago. As I said earlier I saw plenty of bases being built
for a permanent US military presence. Things like barracks
like you would see back here in the States. While I was in
Iraq the Air Force opened up what was referred to as a
"million dollar gym" at a base outside Baghdad. I never saw
the receipts, but it sounds about right to me. Indoor and
outdoor swimming pools. It was incredible to watch it
happening and then hear the spin from the American press.
You can even go to www.globalsecurity.org and find the
specifics of the plan, including what units are going to
Iraq for the next few years.
Describe the purpose of Iraq Veterans Against the War, how
many members you have, what some of your upcoming projects
Veterans Against the War (IVAW, www.ivaw.net ) has a pretty
simple platform. It's ending the occupation, making sure
our government gives the veterans of this conflict the care
that they are owed, and real aid for the people of Iraq.
We have about 300 members
ranging from privates to colonels.
still active duty, others are current members of the
National Guard and Reserve, and some have just gotten out of
Those of us that are
comfortable speaking out do so often. We're working in a
lot of other areas as well, like ending stop loss, counter
recruiting, and trying to create a fair and honest
conscientious objector process within the military.
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.
DO NOT FUCK
WITH TROOPS CHILD CARE!
June 6, 2005
Letters To The Editor
obvious the reader who wrote the letter “Child care not
Army’s job” [May 16] has never used the military child-care
system, has never visited a military child-care facility and
has probably never cared about the quality of life of any
soldier under his command.
I have used both on- and
off-post child care (both institutional and family style)
and can say nothing but good things about the military
The only things I can say
about the off-post system are bad: My 6-month-old daughter’s
collarbone was broken by a provider and we were not
notified; my son was repeatedly hit by another boy in
another facility when he was 1 year old and we were not
notified; and an administrator was stealing from the staff
and families at a third facility.
Defense Department child care
is standardized, certified and inspected on a regular basis.
I would use and trust something that adheres to specific
task, condition and standard, and is checked, rather than
something that isn’t.
soldiers, we’re not paid enough to survive on the civilian
economy. Even if we were paid enough, the civilian
child-care facilities cannot absorb the additional burden of
military dependents, especially infant age.
our personal income-tax structure and very national fabric
are based on this same “socialistic” pricing structure;
those who make more, pay more to support those who earn
working wife, I’ve always been at the top end of the scale
and have always paid the most, and I have never objected to
subsidizing the health and welfare of junior soldiers.
I want them to be able to work
in garrison, in the field or in another country, without
having to worry about their families.
to transfer to Fort Belvoir, Va., and my first concern is
not what my job will be, or where I’ll live, but whether or
not I can get my kids into the day-care system on post. I
think that says it all.
Lt. Col. C.J. Wallington
Fort Monmouth, N.J.
[How did he
ever make Lt. Col? He makes sense and cares about his
troops. In Rumsfeld’s DoD, that’s two strikes right there.]
June 6, 2005
Letters To The Editor
This is in response to the
letter “Child care not Army’s job.”
this reader does not have children, or as an officer, he had
the luxury of being able to afford to have his wife stay
Many families are dual
military; other soldiers don’t make enough for their spouses
to stay home. I have yet to encounter an off-post facility
that can accommodate the long hours that soldiers put in.
When you start your day at 5:30 a.m. and end around 6 p.m.,
an on-post center is the best fit.
parents, we depend on our child-care providers to be the
next best thing to our being there. For some, being at work
means a mom may be at war. It requires an extra sensitivity
that the military centers are trained for.
personally may not have a use for the center, but it’s
called taking care of soldiers.
Sgt. Shannon Croteau
Fort Drum, N.Y.
“I Am Sick
And Tired Of Our Upper-Echelon Military Leaders Taking
Credit For The Missions”
June 6, 2005
Letters To The Editor
I just read
the article [“Plate saved soldier’s life; he’d like to have
it back”] in the May 9 issue about Spc. Anthony Dowden and
the body armor that saved his life.
Earth would this be given to Donald Rumsfeld?
because he is the defense secretary does not mean he has
risked his life in Iraq. This young man deserves to have
that armor plate back.
The Defense Department should
present this plaque to Spc. Dowden in respect for his close
The Pentagon should also give
the armor plate to Staff Sgt. Gary Frisbee, who also
experienced the lifesaving value of the plate.
I am sick
and tired of our upper-echelon military leaders taking
credit for the missions that are done by the hardworking
noncommissioned officers and other enlisted service members.
If it weren’t for the enlisted
force, there would be no military.
Fort Drum, N.Y.
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.
“Dishonor The Dead And The Living”
Shameful Behavior Of Our Leadership”
June 6, 2005
Letters To The Editor
like Meredith Fuchs [“Anonymous honor, May 9], can’t
understand why the faces of the soldiers accompanying their
fallen comrades home to their final rest should have been
It is a
petty move on the part of a civilian/military hierarchy to
attempt to save face.
Forced to give up the photos
they fought to hide, they’ve attempted to devalue them, like
children giving up some thing reluctantly and churlishly
defacing it before handing it over. They denied access to
the photos to minimize the public’s awareness of the
sacrifice that only a few Americans have been called upon to
so, they dishonor the dead and the living: Standing by a
fallen comrade — risking one’s life to retrieve a dead body,
standing in respectful silence by the flag-draped coffin of
a serviceman or woman who has given all there is to give —
is the most admirable thing a soldier can do.
something that those of us who have never served feel an
almost ineffable reverence for, and I apologize from the
depths of my heart for the shameful behavior of our
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)
Iraqis, Not Americans, We Don't Follow Orders From
06.04.05 (Reuters) & Aljazeera
army unit has been disbanded after it refused to attend a
U.S. training course in Baghdad, former members of the unit
said on Saturday.
The soldiers are part of a
90-strong force that calls itself the Defence Force of
A former soldier in the force,
Ahmed Dhahi, said the disagreement began two months ago when
he said the US military first raised the idea of them
attending a training course.
told us we had no right to refuse, they said the duty of
soldiers was to obey orders, but we said: 'We are
Iraqis, not Americans, we don't follow orders from
Americans'," he said.
"We did not want the locals to
think that we were working with the Americans and then
"We refused to go because we
were afraid that when we came back to Rutba we would be
killed," Taha Allawi, a former member of the unit, said.
Rutba is in the far west of Iraq, close to the border with
He said the unit in question
was believed to be a former Iraqi National Guard unit that
was due to be integrated into the Iraqi army.
had refused to attend the Kirkush camp where Iraqi officers
run courses overseen by US advisers.
Dhahi said that once it became
clear that the unit would not attend, the US military took
away their weapons, uniforms and identification tags and
dismissed the force.
have fled the frontline when ordered to fight anti-US
fighters before, but this is believed to be the first case
of soldiers refusing to attend training for fear of
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
More Fighting In Falluja
June 4 (Xinhuanet) & Aljazeera
west of Baghdad, an Iraqi soldier was killed and two were
wounded in an attack.
Guerrillas shot dead an Iraqi
car driver and trapped his car with explosives which
detonated to wound two policemen on Saturday, witnesses
"Unidentified attackers opened
fire at a car in Amil district, southwestern Baghdad, at
about 7:45 a.m. (0345 GMT), killing the driver," a witness,
Ahmed Ali told Xinhua.
that later the gunmen trapped the driver's car with
explosives "which detonated when the police reach the scene,
wounding two of them."
identity of the victim was not immediately known, and the
two policemen were evacuated to a nearby hospital, Ali
soldiers were killed and one was wounded in an attack on a
checkpoint in Balad, north of Baghdad, on
Delighted When Occupation Helicopters Go Down
hard time given by the US warplanes to civilians make
them cheer at the news of a helicopter crash or downing
by resistance fire.
June 4, 2005 By Samir Haddad,
helicopters have become a nightmare for Iraqi farmers and
villagers who had thousands of acres of their farmlands
destroyed by the flash bombs poured on them almost every
“These damned Apaches daily
fire their flash bombs, burning vast swathes of land,” Abu
Mohammad, who owns a farmland near the northern city of
Mosul, told IslamOnline.net.
“These bombs remain glowing as
they are fired from low altitude with date palms taking the
He said the
fireballs, as Iraqis call them, have burnt and razed
thousands of donums of malt and wheat in his Rabiea village.
American attack helicopters
usually fired the flash bombs from low altitude, turning the
night sky into morning in search for potential resistance
have also scorched thousands of date palms spreading along
the riverbeds of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
villagers see the Apache raids as some sort of punishment
because the occupation troops repeatedly accused them of
giving resistance fighters safe haven in their farmlands.
The deafening sound of the
Apaches, which hover over the rooftops of Iraqi houses, has
also deprived many Iraqis of a nice sleep since the start of
the US occupation in April 2003.
These rooftops used to be the
perfect place for Iraqis in summertime to escape the
stifling heat and moisture at home. They are not any
“My children are panicked by
the disturbing sound of the Apaches and the Chinooks,” Abdel
Salam, from southern Baghdad, told IOL.
“Every night I woke up to the
sound of these warplanes, reckoning that a US tank had
stormed my home,” added Munir Al-Hamdani.
time given by the US warplanes to civilians make them cheer
at the news of a helicopter crash or downing by resistance
Up to 25 US
helicopters and warplanes crashed or were brought down since
the start of the US occupation of the oil rich country.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Pros & Cons
Of Tripping In Basic Training
soldier X, as in ex-acid head from long ago”
To: GI Special
Sent: June 04, 2005
Subject: Pros & Cons of
tripping in basic training
So what is the down side of
tripping on acid?
With age I would come to
regard it as a waste of time, and risky to stroll through a
dangerous world with my perceptions distorted.
Last time I dropped was
Halloween 1980, and even then it was not my idea, just
trying to impress the lady that gave it to me. Essentially
acid seems to 'magnify where your head is at.' This can be
a problem if any underlying mental instabilities are
It can also be entertaining if
you have a good head on your shoulders, are in safe and
pleasant surroundings, and have no appointments to keep for
the next 48 hrs.
would somebody choose to drop acid in basic training?
of life's choices, that one can be filed under the category
"It seemed like a good idea at the time?"
BCT on acid
ran the gamut from absurd to paranoid. Not really as
complicated as you might think.
least a platoon of guys around demonstrating the socially
acceptable behavior at any given moment for you to copy.
With absolute requirements of conversation limited to "yes
Drill Sgt, no Drill Sgt, & no excuse Drill Sgt" the
inability to carry on a lengthy and lucid conversation was
no real handicap.
absurd side of things came silly hallucinations at
inconvenient times. We had an unfortunate
national guardsman from Tennessee in my BCT company who was
what the Army calls "mental category four." In short, he
was mildly mentally retarded. In addition, he had a speech
impediment that had him pronounce D sounds as G sounds.
This guardsman was being
chewed out in a formation on a muddy parade ground in the
rain one afternoon when my partner in hallucinatory crime
began giggling uncontrollably in formation. His giggles
were contagious, and soon I was giggling as well, with no
ability to stop.
Predictably, both soldier Y
and myself were soon face down in the mud doing pushups
along with the Tennessee Guardsman. During the next break I
asked my buddy what was the source of the giggles that cost
us both 100 muddy pushups? "Oh man, when that dude with the
speech impediment was doing his pushups and counting off
'one grill sgt, two grill sgt' I saw Senior Drill Sgt
Fontaine wearing a chef's hat."
Dilated pupils can be an
advantage at times, particularly during any night time
training. On certain days, myself and soldier Y had the
best night vision in the company.
Fire rifle qualification range was a lot of fun. Ooooh
tracers! Far out!
The Escape & Evasion training
after our improbable single day in the simulated POW camp
was less entertaining. The scenario was 'partisans' would
raid the camp giving us a 15 minute window of partisan
control in which to escape before the camp guards regained
control. We then had a few miles of woods to negotiate
before coming out on the specified road where we would be
free. This was essentially a night land navigation exercise
without map and compass.
'Hostile' patrols identified
by their white flashlights would try to recapture us, and if
we failed to find the correct road for freedom we would also
I carefully noted the position
of the moon and the direction of the freedom zone. Being
scattered through the woods in three man groups pointed in
the wrong direction was no impediment to my lunar based
navigation. Many in my company fell into ponds, got lost in
a swamp, or were recaptured by a 'hostile' patrol.
The hostile patrols were made
up of pairs of trainees from other companies who had
completed the POW camp training a week ahead of our cycle.
Even my limited math abilities recognized that there were
three of us and two of them. When we began to encounter
trip wires of barbed wire while running through the woods, I
picked up a stout branch to hold in front of me as I ran to
snag any hidden wires.
When a pair
of 'hostiles' popped up from behind some trees armed with
nothing more than a white flashlight and told us we were
captured, I smacked the leader on his helmet with my branch
with enough vigor to convince them that we were not captured
after all. Myself and the other two members of my team were
the first to make it to the designated free zone road. This
was in part due to my chemically induced exceptional night
indiscretions of youth. To this day, whenever I hear
anything from the Wings Band On The Run Album on the radio,
it reminds me of tripping on acid at 91C school at Ft. Sam
04 June 2005 By Luke Baker in
"I can say
categorically that I am not aware of anybody having a
definite sighting of Zarqawi at any particular place at any
particular time," the senior US military
official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told a group
of reporters at a briefing in Baghdad. "I can't tell you
that we saw him on March 27, or that we saw him in Ramadi
a lot of Zarqawi sightings going on and it's a case of which
one do you roll to and why is it that that tip is more
valuable than the last one," he said, suggesting that many
tips on Zarqawi's whereabouts prove to be non-starters.
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 220.127.116.11.