GI SPECIAL 3B51:
“Pick Up A
Gun And Join The Troops Or Pick Up A Sign And Call For The
Troops To Come Home!” Soldier Says
By Phil Wilayto, The Richmond
Richmond’s most famous war protester.
Larry Syverson, 51, is an
environmental engineer with the Virginia Department of
four Sons who have served in the military, two of them in
Iraq, he figures he’s got a right to protest.
Brandon, 33, now stationed at
Fort Knox, Ky., spent a year in Iraq with the 4th Infantry.
Bryce, 26, now in Baumholden, Germany, was in Baghdad for 15
When both sons were rotated
out, Syverson trimmed his vigil schedule to just Fridays.
But he didn’t want to stop altogether, he said.
“Back in May, when President
Bush said the war was over, people pretty much forgot about
it,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of those people who
are only concerned when their sons are there, so I kept
going on Fridays. Now I do it for all the soldiers still
soldiers may soon once again include his own sons. Last
month, both Brandon and Bryce were told they would likely be
returning to Iraq
protested to keep my sons from going, then to get them home,
and now I’m doing it to keep them from going back,” he said.
Standing with his sign at the
same public spot at the same time for nearly two years has
given Syverson a unique opportunity to gauge the evolving
local sentiment about the war.
Making a point of making eye
contact with each person who drives by, Syverson said there
were always some who expressed support for his effort.
In the beginning, he said, the
majority were African-Americans.
There were also plenty of
opponents. In fact, he said, at that time no one in an SUV
or a minivan ever showed any support for him. And no
construction workers or people in cars displaying U.S.
“I can’t count the number of
people who honked and then gave me the finger,” Syverson
He came, up with a novel
solution to that problem:
“I got a sign that said ‘Honk
for Peace.’ That was the end of the honking. People would
get stuck in traffic, but no one would honk.”
The worst times, he said, were
in May of 2003, when President Bush declared the war was
“People were yelling, ‘Go home
the war is over!’ and ‘Get a job!’ and they’d give me the
finger,” he said. “I don’t know why they thought I didn’t
have a job. I’ve been with the state for 15 years.”
Syverson said he’d call back,
“So if the war is over, bring the troops home!”
November of 2003, two U.S. helicopters were shot down.
Things began to change.
a shift against the war,” Syverson said. “Soccer moms,
seniors, construction workers in their 30s and 40s — so many
people were honking their horns in support that finally one
federal worker came out and said, ‘Look, I know you have the
right to free speech, but could you just once in awhile go
down to the middle of the block and give us a little break?”
Syverson hasn’t always been
alone in his vigil. Other Richmonders who oppose the war
have joined him, he said. But so far, none of them have had
sons or daughters in Iraq.
So how do
his sons feel about his antiwar activities?
“I’ve sent them the news
articles and we talk about it,” he said. “And they say that
other soldiers and even superior officers come up to them
and ask, was that your father?
“Brandon says he tells people
that I have more right to speak out than anyone, with two
sons in Iraq.
Bryce says, ‘You tell anyone who gives you a hard time
that they should either pick up a gun and join the
troops or pick up a sign and call for the troops to come
If you’d like to invite Larry
Syverson to speak to your organization or at your school;
union or house of worship, you can call him at (804)
drop by the Federal Building at 10th and Main any Friday
from noon to 1 p.m.
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.
Liberty Soldier Killed By IED
Jun. 05, 2005 American Forces
Force Liberty soldier was killed when an improvised
explosive device detonated near a vehicle patrol in Iraq's
Kirkuk province at about 4 p.m. today, military officials in
The soldier was taken to a
coalition medical facility, but died there, officials said.
Bomb Wounds 10 Oregon National Guards
June 5, 2005 The Associated
Ten Oregon National Guard
soldiers were wounded, two seriously, including one from
Springfield, in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, Oregon
military officials said Saturday.
Two soldiers were evacuated to
Germany for treatment, while the other eight were returned
to duty, said Oregon National Guard spokesman Capt. Mike
He said the
incident happened at about 4:20 a.m. Friday Iraq time, when
members of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry were
on a road-clearing mission near Kirkuk.
bomb disabled the first of three vehicles in the convoy.
When the others came to provide security, another bomb went
off, Braibish said.
identified those injured as Sgt. Johan ``Christian'' Bagge
of Springfield, who suffered two broken legs, and 2nd Lt.
Timothy Bomke of Portland, who suffered shrapnel wounds to
Both were evacuated to the
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
“What's unique about this
particular incident is that there were 10 soldiers
wounded,'' said Braibish. “There were two separate blasts.
It's not an uncommon tactic for the insurgents to use - but
it's one we haven't seen so commonly with our Oregon
soldiers,'' he said.
said Braibish, were violent enough to pick up the armored
Humvees and throw them into the air.
Alpha Company is based in
Ontario. The Battalion is based in La Grande.
National Guard records
available Saturday did not contain information about Bagge's
age or occupation, spokeswoman Kay Fristad said.
The records indicate that
Bagge is single and has no children. His parents live in
another state and he has one brother, Fristad said.
medical information was available Saturday; however, Fristad
said that Bagge's injuries are "severe" and that he was
undergoing surgery in Germany.
Sends Troops On Another Silly Stupid Risky Snipe Hunt
soldiers south of Baghdad, Iraq where they believed a top
leader of the insurgency and close associate of Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi was hiding, June 5, 2005. The insurgent leader
was not found. (AP Photo/Jacob
Collaborator Troops Skilled At Search And Evade
June 5, 2005 (AP)
Hundreds of Iraqi and U.S.
troops searched fields and farms yesterday for insurgents
and their hideouts in an area south of Baghdad known for
While Iraqi forces were in the
forefront of yesterday’s sweep though the semi-rural region,
it was clear the U.S. military was still the driving force.
hours into the operation, for example, U.S. forces voiced
concern that an area covered in tall grass had not been
commander said he was reluctant to send his troops into the
field out of fear of an insurgent attack.
"This is a
dangerous area. We need helicopters and the American army,"
Iraqi Brig. Gen. Najim al-Ekabi said.
The U.S. soldiers, who had
spent months training Iraqi soldiers, tried to persuade
al-Ekabi to send his troops, saying it was likely that
weapons were hidden in the fields and alongside an
Army Capt. Jason Blindauer of
the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division told al-Ekabi the
force had orders to search the area.
"No one is going to do it
better than your group," Blindauer said.
Al-Ekabi asked for a private meeting with the Americans
and departed shortly afterward in a large convoy,
ostensibly to conduct the search.
Ronny Echelberger later went into the area with U.S.
forces and searched a few homes, saying he was not been
sure the Iraqi search had been sufficiently thorough.
army’s reliance on U.S. troops was evident in other ways.
Echelberger had to show an Iraqi brigade commander his
location on a map shortly before Iraqi troops launched the
operation, and a few minutes later Iraqi soldiers fired
hundreds of rounds when they mistakenly thought they saw an
also some claims that "soldiers took advantage and helped
themselves to cash and other items. One doesn't rule it out.
I think the army needs more disciplinary measures in these
cases," Laith Kuba, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, said.
Lightning is being watched closely as a bellwether of when
Iraqis can take control of their own security, a key to the
U.S. exit strategy more than two years after Saddam
Hussein’s ouster. [So much for that.]
June 05, 2005 Juan Cole,
Informed Comment & 6.6.05 WagNews
Lt. Col. Mazhar al-Mawla
criticized Operation Lightning from another point of view.
He said that there was still poor coordination between the
ministries of interior and defense.
He also confirmed that no
foreign Arab fighters had so far been arrested in the sweep
of select Baghdad neighborhoods.
He said the
operation might be extended, since so far it has not
produced the hoped-for results. He said the major successes
have been finding and destroying some workshops in Doura and
elsewhere used for the construction of car bombs. (Since any
garage can function as such a workshop, this achievement is
a fleeting one.)
As soon as Lightning was
announced in a blaze of publicity last week, there were
doubts about whether 40,000 Iraqis could actually be
personnel who have toured Baghdad said they did not see a
significant number of personnel or checkpoints.
“Intelligence” Strikes Again:
21,784,952 Iraqis Left Unexamined
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Todd
Sullivan, Brattleboro, Vermont inspects the hands of Iraqi
men for tattoos that he
thinks will identify insurgents. [That
“he thinks”? Or that some idiot in command told him? Give
the Sgt. credit for having a brain!] (AP Photo /
There's A 5
Minute Preview Of The Film Up At
Www.Sirnosir.Com. Scroll down to “enter site” to catch
From: David Zeiger
To: GI Special
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005
Subject: Re: GI Special 3B50:
Sir! No Sir!
correction (my fault)--the June 23 screening is at 5, not
3421 Fernwood Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
CORRECTION FOR PREMIERE:
Us For The World Premiere Of
At The Los
Angeles Independent Film Festival
June 19, 7 PM
Screening Thursday, June 23, 5:00 PM
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)
Help The GI
Lou Plummer & D, who both sent this in. And so much for the
bullshit about how Fonda wasn’t antiwar anymore. T]
way, it's happening today with the Iraq veterans," Fonda
added. "For example at the second invasion of Iraq, at
Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, there was
the largest (antiwar) rally since 1970, which I was at.
This time, all the speeches were made by returned
American veterans of the Iraq war, and families and
parents. It's an example of what's happening now within
the military in Iraq. They're not getting the kind of
help that they need."
think this is the scariest time I've ever lived
through. It's a dying beast, and they're always the
scariest and most dangerous. Just below the crust of
the surface there is a volcano ready to erupt. It's our
job to create critical mass and ignite it.”
June 4, 2005 By Ed Rampell,
Rampell is an L.A.-based film critic and freelancer. His
latest book, "Progressive Hollywood, A People's Film History
of the United States," was published by DisInfo in May.
Jane Fonda, whose trips to
north Vietnam during that war propelled her onto the world
stage, has returned to public life with her autobiography,
My Life So Far, and the release of Monster-in-Law, her first
feature film in 15 years.
special Hollywood double feature of two suppressed
documentaries, the feisty two-time Academy Award winner also
showed herself to be as antiwar as ever.
screening at the Directors Guild of America's theaters last
month was only the third projection of the restored print of
FTA (Fuck The Army). Fonda told the overflowing crowd: "I
haven't seen FTA on the big screen in thirty-some years."
The 90-minute documentary,
made in 1972, chronicles the tour of antiwar entertainers to
venues near U.S. bases around the Pacific Rim, where they
agitated against the Vietnam War and military policies. The
FTA troupe included Fonda, actor Donald Sutherland, singer
Holly Near, comic Paul Mooney, Peter Boyle of TV's
"Everybody Loves Raymond" and singer/songwriter Country Joe
David O. Russell, director of
Three Kings (1999) and Soldiers Pay, the other doc on the
double bill, declared: "I was shocked by the intensity of
FTA, and the fact that all these soldiers were going to
this, and by the boldness. It's about a very spirited
pinnacle of the counterculture."
veteran Oliver Stone, director of the '80s films Platoon
and Born on the Fourth of July, called FTA "The highest
form of free _expression we've seen in America in a
long, long time."
FTA grew largely out of the
G.I. resistance movement to the Vietnam war, as well as the
classism, racism and sexism perpetrated by the military
brass against soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen and
women. The shows consisted of songs and skits, often with a
comic panache, always with an anti-militaristic thrust and
sometimes with a feminist consciousness.
A counterpoint to Bob Hope's
pro-war USO tours, the FTA pro-peace troupers performed in
Hawaii, the Philippines and Japan, but were refused entry to
south Vietnam. The
overseas audiences for what Fonda called FTA's "political
vaudeville" was composed mainly of 64,000 disaffected
servicemen and women.
great reviews of the film made from that tour," said Stone.
"And it played exactly for a week in the United States."
According to Stone, FTA's director, Francine Parker, said
"calls were made from high up in Washington, possibly from
the Nixon White House, and the film was just disappeared."
Following the screenings Stone
moderated a panel discussion with Fonda, Parker and Russell.
on FTA's removal from distribution, Fonda said, "I must say,
looking at it now, it's no wonder. Think of all the
propaganda that those of us who opposed the war were
'anti-troops.' When you see thousands of guys and women
with their fists in the air who were active duty military
personnel, it's a different slant. Now, in the context of
Iraq, it's very -- what's the word? Subversive."
way, it's happening today with the Iraq veterans," Fonda
added. "For example at the second invasion of Iraq, at Fort
Bragg, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, there was the
largest (antiwar) rally since 1970, which I was at.
all the speeches were made by returned American veterans of
the Iraq war, and families and parents. It's an example of
what's happening now within the military in Iraq. They're
not getting the kind of help that they need."
denounced "the cutback of hundreds of millions of dollars to
the VA administration the day after the troops were sent to
Iraq to invade, just after the 'Support Our Troops'
resolution. Reach out to military families because they're
living it, and give support to them," she encouraged the
asked: "Is it possible for what you call the Iraq
protest movement in the military to ever get recognized
publicly?" Fonda replied to applause from the audience:
"Well, we have to make sure that it is. Yes, I think
so. The movement is definitely growing."
In today's military, Fonda
said, "Classism is the biggie right now, because there's no
draft, and that's not fair. You're only getting the poor
kids." Perhaps in jest, the actress urged Russell to tour
the country with Soldiers Pay, and Russell said he'd do it
if she'd come. Always game, Fonda responded, "I will!" and
the audience applauded.
Stone asked Fonda how America
had changed since 1971. "We never came to terms with the
war," she replied. "Revisionism set in and Americans were
made to believe that we could have won the war, if it hadn't
been for the antiwar movement and so-called 'liberal media.'
That was during the Reagan administration and it was very
handy for the first Bush administration when we went into
the Gulf War.
"Remember what happened? 'Oh,
if you're against this war you're going to be a traitor like
those people back in the sixties and seventies.' People got
scared because they didn't know what the truth was. That's
continuing today. Of course, this administration is just
totally brilliant at playing on our fears. With the
invasion of Iraq, it was raised to an art form. You know,
'you're either with us or against us.' If you speak out
against the war you're a terrorist," Fonda said.
more upbeat note she mused, "Today, Nixon and Reagan are
looking mighty good. I think this is the scariest time
I've ever lived through. It's a dying beast, and
they're always the scariest and most dangerous. Just
below the crust of the surface there is a volcano ready
to erupt. It's our job to create critical mass and
"It's a really confusing time;
it's more complicated than Vietnam," she continued. "There
was no Saddam Hussein during Vietnam. Everybody agreed
Saddam had to go. Did there need to be an invasion where
100,000 innocent civilians die in the process? I don't
think so. People are waiting out there for leadership. I
was asked: 'What's happened to the Left?' Progressivism is
alive and well, but it's women who are going to have to rise
up and lead it now."
"Jane is a great
revolutionary," Stone said admiringly. "We need that type.
'Storm the barricades.'"
Since the rights to FTA are
owned by Fonda, Sutherland and director Parker, Stone
suggesting re-releasing the film. "You've got to get it out
there, Jane. You can do a lot with digital now. Would you
like to see it on the Internet?"
"We'd have to think very hard
about who we would try to get the film distributed to,"
Fonda said. "I'm not sure that our main audience isn't the
military. Technology has made it possible for us to get
stuff out there in such an easier, democratic and
spent five weeks traveling around the country, and except
for one incident where a vet spit at me, what I'm seeing is
that people are ready and hungry for statements like this.
They really are. I'm talking in the heartland, in those
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
email@example.com. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
“I Have No
Idea What We’re Doing Here, Mom”
Don’t Want Us Here, They Want Us Out Of Here.”
May 18 2005
Interview with Nadia
McCaffrey, member of the BRussells Tribunal
Advisory Committee (Inge Van de Merlen)
12, 2001: Day 1 after the attacks on the WTC towers in the
US. 34-year-old Patrick McCaffrey, husband and father of
two, was upset enough to join the Californian National
Guard. The National Guard is usually deployed in case of
disasters or other emergency situations within the United
States. A few days after 9/11 the Bush administration,
without much warning, changed the regulations so that Guard
units could be sent to Iraq. Patrick was killed on June 22,
2004 and in the record is registered as ‘casualty #848’. “My
son never thought he’d find himself in the war zone,” his
mother Nadia McCaffrey said. Since his death she has been
traveling around the world to try to convince people of the
insanity of the war in Iraq.
Patrick come to be deployed in Iraq?
Before my son was sent to
Iraq, he was a manager of a California based company. The
9/11 attacks shocked him so much that he decided the next
day to join the National Guard, which is meant to operate in
case of local disasters and emergencies. Patrick enlisted
as a weekend soldier in a National Guard unit with the
principal task of providing engineering support to combat
forces and in homeland crises like terrorist attacks or
He wanted to be able to help
people in case a new disaster hit America. But he never
expected to be sent overseas to a war zone. His unit hadn’t
been deployed abroad since the Second World War.
Only a few days after 9/11,
Bush, without much debate, changed the regulation.
became the first soldier of the California National Guard’s
579th Engineer Battalion, to die in Iraq. In the record he’s
now registered as “casualty #848”.
Only a very short time before
he left he understood that the possibility of being sent to
Iraq was very real. Before that, he expected to be deployed
in Utah to guard a nuclear power plant.
his reaction when he learnt that he was being sent to Iraq?
very somber. Patrick was always a very happy person, very
cheerful – actually, he was smiling all the time. After he
heard the news, his smile was gone. He told me about his
deployment when we were alone. He said that he didn’t want
to go, but he had no choice. He had made a commitment.
Even though the law had been
changed, he felt bound to do his duty. In the time prior to
his departure he expressed the hope that he could at least
do something good in Iraq – something to help the people. I
asked him what he would do if, in self defense or to protect
someone else, he had to take somebody else’s life. He could
never answer that question.
Recently, we’ve received more
details about the circumstances of how he died. Although
already wounded, Patrick tried to shield another soldier,
who was killed with him. He didn’t have time to return fire
like they thought at first. The sound of an M-16 had been
heard, and Patrick carried an M-16, but further
investigation has shown that it was a third soldier, who
survived the ambush, that fired in the air to call for help.
you react to the news of his deployment?
I had a very bad feeling
within, you know, like a mother can have. I was speechless.
I really didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to hurt
him. I wanted to respect him. But I’ve been a pacifist all
my life, and Patrick knew this.
standing up for his country, but he never supported the war
Patrick tell you about the war in Iraq during his
deployment? What were his impressions?
disgusted about it. It only took one week for him to
understand what this war is about. He called home every
day when he was there and he told me: “I have no idea
what we’re doing here, mom. I don’t know why we’re
here. We’re not helping anyone – there’s no
rebuilding. The Iraqis don’t want us here, they want us
out of here.” Patrick understood very soon what the war
was about. He saw things the way they were.
How did he
handle the situation?
It was very difficult for
him. Patrick wasn’t a military person – that wasn’t his
character. He was always for helping the underdog, the weak
After he recognized the true
nature of the war, he wanted to use his presence there in
the best way he could. So he turned to the Iraqi children
and tried to help them. Patrick always loved children very
much. He regularly asked us to send packages with candies
and toys for the children and he collected the extra food
and water rations from the soldiers to distribute among the
children. Actually, it was forbidden for the soldiers to
offer the children gifts, but Patrick did it anyway.
And he was a refuge to the
other soldiers, kind of a father figure for the younger
guys. When, for example one of them got a bad report,
Patrick defended him. So he was a protector for the other
soldiers and for Iraqi children during his time in Iraq.
Everyone who knew him there understood that. He knew how to
deal gently with people, because he loved people. Patrick
knew he could make a difference.
describe your feelings the moment that you learned about
When I heard he was killed my
life came to a halt. I stopped everything that I was
occupied with before. I’m the founder of a non-profit
organization, ‘Changing the Face of Life’. For twenty years
I have been volunteering to bring a caring presence to the
bedside of the terminally ill, and to give comfort and
support to their families and friends. I have trained more
than a thousand people in the San Francisco Bay area for
heard about Patrick’s death, I immediately became an
anti-war activist. Now I’m doing everything that lies within
my power to stop this war.
bloodshed must stop. When Patrick’s coffin arrived in
Sacramento, I invited the media. The Bush
administration had a ban on media presence at the
arrival of fallen soldiers, but I invited them to
witness his homecoming. I became the mother who defied
the Bush administration.
America can no longer ignore
the war in Iraq and its consequences. I also had a very
strong desire to go to Iraq myself. I wanted to stand in
the place where Patrick died. I had this very strong feeling
to do something.
Is there a
message you want to address to the European people? What,
in your opinion, is most important in their struggle against
protests must grow much stronger and louder. The American
people need the Europeans. Everyone should understand that
our common future is at stake. It isn’t only about the
Iraqis. The war doesn’t stop in Iraq or in the Middle East.
In the end it will touch all of us.
Caught In Another Stupid Lie
Secretary Of Defense sends a Memorial Day message to the
04 June 2005 Lawrence Smallman
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has alleged that Aljazeera is
encouraging armed Islamist groups by broadcasting beheadings
of foreign hostages in Iraq.
Aljazeera's media spokesman,
Jihad Ballout, said that Rumsfeld was mistaken.
"Aljazeera has never ever
shown a beheading of any hostage," Ballout said.
"While we work hard to give a
comprehensive and balanced account of everything that goes
on in Iraq - people clearly have a right to know what is
happening on the ground -
we have never broadcast
images of a hostage being beheaded," Ballout said.
out that beheading videos were readily available on the
internet and had made it on to other television networks.
Reveal Well-Equipped, Sophisticated Resistance
shows the failure of the Marines. It was close to their
base and they could not see it," said the mufti, who
formerly sat on the council that directed insurgents in
Fallujah. He spoke by phone Saturday evening on the
condition of anonymity.
Jun. 04, 2005 By Tom Lasseter,
Knight Ridder Newspapers
BAGHDAD, Iraq -
Marines in Iraq discovered a series of underground bunkers
used by insurgents in western Iraq that show a sophisticated
organization with a vast supply of weapons and enough
confidence to operate near a major Marine base.
well-equipped, air-conditioned bunkers, found Thursday, were
just 16 miles from the city of Fallujah where hundreds of
Marines are stationed.
558 feet by 902 feet, the underground system of rooms
featured four fully furnished living spaces, showers and a
kitchen with fresh food - suggesting insurgents had been
present recently, according to the U.S. military.
and high-tech equipment found inside the bunker was
impressive: mortars, rockets, machine guns, night-vision
goggles, compasses, ski masks and cell phones. Marines also
found at least 59 surface-to-air missiles, some 29,000 AK-47
rounds, more than 350 pounds of plastic explosives and an
unspecified amount of TNT in a five-mile area around the
"There isn't any historical
data here detailing whether this is the most elaborate
facility ever found in Iraq or even (the) province," Marine
spokesperson 1st Lt. Kate S. VandenBossche said via e-mail
from a base in nearby Ramadi. "I can tell you that it is
the largest underground system discovered in at least the
After retaking Fallujah from
insurgents last November, Marine officials called the town
the safest place in Iraq.
Last month Marines staged two
large-scale offensives in the region aimed at rooting out
insurgents from their safe haven in Anbar province, thought
to be home to the core Sunni Muslim-led insurgency.
VandenBossche said the find was another indication of
American success in the area.
Islamic mufti, or spiritual leader, living near Fallujah
offered a different take: He said the bunkers were proof
that the insurgency is unbowed.
the failure of the Marines. It was close to their base and
they could not see it," said the mufti, who formerly sat on
the council that directed insurgents in Fallujah. He spoke
by phone Saturday evening on the condition of anonymity.
"The Americans think they know
everything. But when they came to Iraq they thought the
people would receive them with flowers. Instead of flowers
they found these bunkers."
Haitham al-Dulaimi, who works
at a garage in Ramadi, had a similar reaction.
sure they found it near Fallujah?" he asked, laughing. "It
shows you how much the Iraqi resistance has insulted the
It was not clear who built the
bunkers. The entrance to the underground system was
discovered by a patrol of Marines and Iraqi army soldiers
who were searching a house in the desert when they found a
passageway beneath an electric freezer. A rock quarry is
adjacent to the site, and the space could be an abandoned
mine facility. Former dictator Saddam Hussein also kept
underground bunkers throughout the country.
has so far been unable to find an effective way to fight and
defeat the various insurgencies - I'd hesitate to
characterize them in the singular - that have been raging,"
said Joost R. Hiltermann, the Amman-based Middle East
project director of the International Crisis Group, a think
BBC & AFP & AP & Jun 4, By SAMEER N. YACOUB,
Associated Press Writer & (KUNA)
soldiers were injured in a blast in Baghdad on Sunday.
to a statement by Babylon's police spokesman Captain Abu
Al-Harith to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the ten soldiers,
members of a force protecting the green zone, were injured
when a bomb exploded by a bus they were riding on their way
to work in Al-Latifiyah south of Baghdad.
A car bomb
killed two policemen and wounded at least seven others at a
checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul,
police sources said
was killed and three wounded in an attack when a motorcycle
strapped with explosives slammed into their convoy in
northern Iraq, a military source said.
The attack occurred on a
highway between Shorgat and Mosul, a predominantly Sunni
city that is often the site of assaults on US and Iraqi
north of the capital, the local police chief said he had
narrowly escaped an assassination attempt that killed one of
his guards and wounded three, including
was ambushed by a pickup truck with armed men hiding under
covers in the back who got up and started shooting at us,"
Mohammed al-Azzawi told AFP in nearby
Saturday, another police chief in Babil province escaped an
attack that killed three guerrillas and wounded two
Colonel Salam al-Mamuri
survived both a bomb attack near Latifiyah, south of
Baghdad, and an ensuing gunbattle. Six attackers were
bomber attacked a police patrol in western Baghdad's Amil
neighborhood Saturday, seriously wounding two policemen and
setting two vehicles ablaze, Capt. Talib
police officers were injured after gunmen opened fire on
their patrol in Baghdad's western Ghazaliya neighborhood.
report that fighters in a speeding car opened fire on Iraqi
security forces in Baghdad, killing a policewoman and
injuring a policeman.
truck driver was killed in another drive-by attack elsewhere
in the city.
he was transporting concrete walls for the U-S military.
a translator for coalition forces in the northern city of
Kirkuk was gunned down on his way home.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
“The War In
Vietnam Is Going Well”
From “Vietnam, Vietnam,” by
Felix Greene, Fulton Publishing Co., Palo Alto, Ca. 1966.
[Thanks to Michael Letwin for making available.]
frustration of the U.S. military theorists, immense
superiority in equipment and advanced military expertise
have so far not brought about the expected suppression of
the liberation forces.
more revealing than the number of optimistic expectations
voiced at the highest levels of the military command which
have subsequently been disproved by events.
February 18, 1964, for example, Secretary of Defense
McNamara told members of Congress that the U.S. “still
hopes to withdraw most of its troops from South Vietnam
before the end of 1965.”
end of 1965 he said in Saigon that “We have stopped
losing the war.”)
innumerable occasions the U S leaders have told the American
people that all was going well in South Vietnam—only to be
confronted almost immediately with further setbacks.
inability of the military mind to grasp the nature and the
power of a liberation movement is a recurring feature of
history. The French, in their attempts to defeat the
liberation forces in Vietnam, were just as stubbornly, and
wrongly, optimistic as the U.S. Government has shown itself
to be today.
In fact, some of Johnson’s and
McNamara’s statements could have been written by the French.
Some months before the total
defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu, Deputy René Kuehn was
telling the French Parliament:
certain, and almost immediate if,
right away . . . Vietnamese officials will
resolutely launch into the necessary political and social
reforms and correct their mistakes.”
October 27, 1953
The men in
Washington have not only shown themselves to be as poor
prophets as the French, but they have attempted to convince
the American people that the revolutionary movement enjoys
little support among the Vietnamese people.
little evidence,” said Mr Dean Rusk on April 23rd
1965 “that the Vietcong has any significant popular
following in South Vietnam.”
stupendous audacity of such a statement is breathtaking.
us to believe that 250,000 U.S. troops, plus 60,000 members
of the Seventh Fleet, plus 600,000 troops of the south
Vietnamese army, paid for and equipped by the United States,
plus the U S Air Force and the support of the huge bombing
forces stationed in Guam—that this unimaginably vast array
of military power is being deployed against an insurgent
force of guerrillas who have no real backing of the people!
48 hours in South Vietnam Mr. McNamara was tremendously
encouraged by developments... ‘I found nothing but
progress and hope for the future’ he said.”
N.Y. Times, May 12, 1962
war in Vietnam is going well . . .”
major part of the u.s. military task can be completed by
the end of 1965.’”
1960s It Was Vietnam. Today It Is Iraq”
Bush And Those Around Him Lied”
here you haven’t heard before. But this is the Editorial
Board of a leading newspaper in Middle American speaking.
And that is important.]
Star-Tribune Editorial Board, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Nothing young Americans can do
in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the
defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and
sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life
itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all
those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so
fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a
special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.
In exchange for our uniformed
young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives,
civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our
duty to ensure that they never are called to make that
sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of
In the case of Iraq, the
American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush
administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary
war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass
Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let
them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened
because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths
from those in power. But that works better as an
explanation than as an excuse.
The "smoking gun," as some
call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a
highly classified document containing the minutes of a July
23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard
Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service,
reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just
held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush
administration's intentions toward Iraq.
At a time
when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an
invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that
there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in
Washington. "Military action was now seen as inevitable.
Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action,
justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
The (National Security Council) had no patience with the
U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the
Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in
Washington of the aftermath after military action."
Also comes word, from the May
19 New York Times, that senior U.S. military leaders are not
encouraged about prospects in Iraq. Yes, they think the
United States can prevail, but as one said, it may take
bloody month of car bombs and American deaths -- the most
since January -- comes to a close, as we gather in groups
small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of
their bravery and sacrifice.
But let us
also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that
should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam.
Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever make this
mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Readies Claymores For Senior Command
today, I attended the funeral and burial of one of
America's real military heroes at Arlington cemetery.
Colonel David Hackworth would not have sat silent, as
our current senior military leadership sits, while
"wreck it and run" civilian management drove America's
armed forces into the ground. It would not surprise me
if when the current crowd finds itself approaching the
Pearly Gates, Hack has a few claymores waiting for them.
[Thanks to t eto who sent this
June 1, 2005 By WILLIAM S.
many unhappy developments in American industry in recent
decades has been the advent of "wreck it and run"
management. A small coterie of senior managers takes over a
company and makes a brilliant show of short-term profits
while actually driving the business into the ground. They
bail out just before it crashes, cashing in their stock
options as they go, and leave the employees, ordinary
stockholders and customers holding an empty bag.
increasingly clear that under Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, the U.S. armed forces have also been taken over by
"wreck it and run" management.
Rumsfeld leaves office, what will his successor inherit?
military without volunteers. The Army
missed its active-duty recruiting goal in April by almost
half. Guard and Reserve recruiting are collapsing.
Retention will do the same as "stop loss" orders are
lifted. The reason, obviously, is the war in Iraq. Parents
don't want to be the first one on their block to have their
kid come home in a box.
largest pile of wrecked and worn-out military equipment
(maybe second-largest if we remember the old Soviet Navy):
I'm talking about basic stuff
here: trucks, Humvees, personnel carriers, crew-served
weapons, etc. This is gear the Rumsfeld Pentagon hates to
spend money on, because it does not represent
"transformation" to the hi-tech, video-game warfare it
wrongly sees as the future.
deploying units have made up their deficiencies by robbing
units that are not deploying, often National Guard outfits.
But that stock has about run out, and some of the stripped
units are now facing deployment themselves, minus their
tied down in a strategically meaningless backwater, Iraq, to
the point where it can't do much else: A
perceptive reader of these columns recently wrote to me that
"China has the luxury of the U.S. inflicting grievous
wounds, economic and military, on itself from our commitment
to spread 'democracy' . . .
Although the Iraqi insurgents
may have the limited purpose of ending an occupation, other
global actors can sit back and watch us bleed ourselves
slowly to, at least, a weakened state. From that point of
view, the last thing these other actors wish to see is
either a victory or a quick defeat. Instead, events are
proceeding nicely as they are." Exactly correct, and those
other actors include al Qaeda.
to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of future weapons
programs that are militarily as useful as Zeppelins but less
fun to watch: If the Army had its Future
Combat System, a semi-portable Maginot Line that will cost
more than any Navy or Air Force program of equal
uselessness, in Iraq or Afghanistan today, would it make any
difference? No. Maybe
FCS really stands for Funnels Cash System.
wary of U.S. intentions and skeptical of any American claims
about anything: In business, good will is
considered a tangible asset. In true "wreck it and run"
fashion, Rumsfeld & Co. have reduced the value of that asset
to near zero. A recent
survey of the German public found Russia was considered a
better friend than the United States.
Finally, the equivalent of an unfavorable ruling by a
bankruptcy judge in the form of a lost war: We will be
lucky if we can get out of Iraq with anything less than
a total loss.
today, I attended the funeral and burial of one of America's
real military heroes at Arlington cemetery. Colonel David
Hackworth would not have sat silent, as our current senior
military leadership sits, while "wreck it and run" civilian
management drove America's armed forces into the ground.
Co. will bear primary responsibility for the disaster, which
will no doubt disturb them greatly as they enjoy their
senior generals and admirals are the equivalent of the board
of directors, and they would have some difficulty convincing
Hack that they were just the piano players in the
not surprise me if when the current crowd finds itself
approaching the Pearly Gates, Hack has a few claymores
waiting for them.
From: Max Watts
To: GI Special
Sent: June 05, 2005
ADD RE "FRAGGING" ETC.
UNFORTUNATELY DON'T HAVE MY
- IN USAREUR (MOSTLY WEST GERMANY) “OVER 300 REPORTED CASES
OF ‘ARSON’, I.E. GI'S SETTING FIRE TO BARRACKS - IN FISCAL
SOME OF THE
MORE SPECTACULAR FORMS OF RITA [GI Resistance] SCARED ME!
(LIKE SABOTAGING 7 PERSHING 1 NUCLEAR ROCKET LAUNCHERS IN
WILEY BARRACKS, NEU ULM... 81ST FA (FIELD ARTY) DEC ?
POLITICIANS AT WORK
College Bites Bush;
“Unjustified War” Denounced
23 May 2005 By Elisabeth
Bumiller, The New York Times
Washington - It's that time of
year again when President Bush turns up around the country
in sumptuous commencement robes, assures thousands of
college graduates that a C average does not preclude the
presidency and urges them to go forth and do good.
Calvin College, a small
evangelical school in the strategic Republican stronghold of
Grand Rapids, Mich., seemed a perfect stop on Saturday for
the president's message. Or so thought Karl Rove, the White
House political chief, who two months ago effectively bumped
Calvin's scheduled commencement speaker when he asked that
Mr. Bush be invited instead.
at Calvin did not happen as smoothly as Mr. Rove might have
liked. A number of students, faculty members and alumni
objected so strongly to the president's visit that by last
Friday nearly 800 of them had signed a letter of protest
that appeared as a full-page advertisement in The Grand
said, in part, "Your deeds, Mr. President - neglecting the
needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment and
misleading the country into war - do not exemplify the faith
we live by."
day, Mr. Bush was greeted by another letter in The Press
signed by some 100 of 300 faculty members that objected to
"an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq" and policies "that
favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor."
[Thanks to Mark S. who sent this in.]
Airspace Protection A Hopeless Clusterfuck
USA Today, May 25, 2005
Three-and-a-half years after
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, recent incursions into
restricted airspace over the White House and Capitol reveal
a system struggling to protect against another assault by
unable to shoot down rogue planes. Military jets flying so
fast they sometimes can't communicate with small aircraft.
Laser-beam warning systems that work only on sunny days.
And radios easily knocked out by a bolt of lightning.
Capitalism At Work:
Down 11% Since 1973:
CEO Pay Up
54% Last Year Alone
May 12, 2005 by Holly Sklar,
Dissident Voice & May 19 2005, Jonathan Scott, Black
Commentator, Issue 139
you like a 54 percent pay raise? That's how much pay jumped
last year for the chief executives of the 500 largest U.S.
companies, reports Forbes magazine.
CEO pay averaged $10.2 million
in 2004, counting salary, bonus and other compensation such
as exercised stock options and vested stock grants.
Full-time worker pay averaged just $32,594. That's 11
percent less than 1973's average worker pay of $36,629,
adjusting for inflation, although worker productivity
rose 78 percent between 1973 and 2004.
In 1973, CEOs made 45 times as
much as workers, according to pay expert Graef Crystal.
when Crystal said the imperial CEO "is paid so much more
than ordinary workers that he hasn't got the slightest clue
as to how the rest of the country lives," CEOs made 140
times as much as workers. Last year, CEOs made more than
300 times as much.
While workers are having a
tougher time making ends meet, CEOs are getting perks worth
more than worker paychecks. CEO freeloaders expect perks
such as lifetime use of company jets, chauffeured cars,
company apartments, club memberships, sports tickets,
financial planning, personal assistants and more.
World, the more money you make, the less you should have to
middle class is the smallest among the wealthiest nations of
the world. Italy and Spain have more middle class people
than does the U.S.
percent of the U.S. population lives in poverty, and the
vast majority goes from paycheck to paycheck.
The average American hasnšt
seen an increase in their real wages for the past twenty
years and owes $12,000 in credit card debt.
of long-term unemployed who are college graduates has
tripled since 2000. According to the Los Angeles Times, one
in five of the long-term jobless are college graduates.
2001, the top 1% of Americans ranked by net worth
controlled 33% of all personal assets.
Robert Frank, Wall St. Journal, 5.20.05
Families Organize Against War
From: Judy Linehan
To: GI Special
Sent: June 05, 2005
Cheers to you Peace Warriors &
your relentless Truth Telling!
I am a Military Families Speak
Out member working in London with our counterpart group
here, Military Families Against the War, while studying in
the country. We seek to launch a legal campaign to bring
Tony Blair to account for his part in the Blair/Bush Iraq
War misadventure. Public outcry and pressure will be a
critical factor to achieve this end---as well as the ever
present reality of the funds, of course.
The info is contained in the
attached file; please distribute widely. The momentum being
generated by John Conyers petition in the states along with
this one in Britain has tremendous potential to bring
justice & accountability to our world leaders relying on war
as a foreign policy through our global outcry.
Many thanks & in appreciation
for all you do---in Peace & Solidarity, ~Judy Linehan,
mother of Iraq War vet
A plea from Military Families
Against the War in Britain to friends in America:
Families of fallen British
soldiers presented a demand for a “public inquiry into the
decision to go to war in Iraq” to Tony Blair on 3 May 2005.
He has now responded to them with an insulting letter
containing such preposterous statements as, “The decision to
take military action in Iraq was in no sense the immediate
and direct operative cause of the deaths of the claimants’
relatives.” The Prime Minister’s stance of not answering the
question continues without shame, & indeed a full reading of
the text (to be viewed at http://www.mfaw.org.uk/) implies
there is actually no question at all. The chronicles of the
families’ endeavors are also available on the site.
Seventeen families stand firm
in their resolve to pursue a full and open investigation
into the execution of the Iraq war, to seek truth against
all resistance; Military Families Against the War in America
(MFSO) solidly supports them and asks for an international
response on their behalf. We urgently and immediately need
your help to proceed to the next stage. The families are
taking their Prime Minister to the High Court in London.
Legal action is always expensive and this case will be no
exception. MFAW is determined that the families will be
spared the court costs and have therefore undertaken to
raise $75,000 over the next six months. Please help us help
the families. Contributions can be made via mastercard/visa
Your help will make all the
difference. By bringing Blair to account, ˝ of the unholy
alliance of Bush and Blair, justice and accountability will
also surely come around to knock at the door of the White
Public support is crucial to
move the case forward; please sign the petition at
http://www.petitiononline.com/mfaw/petition.html. We thank
you most heartily for the serious deliberation you give to
this cause, and for your contribution to it. Please forward
the message far and wide to all Peace & Justice lovers among
In Peace and Solidarity,
Judy Linehan, MFSO member
to the People of Britain
Our loved ones gave their
lives in the service of this country. They all died in the
Iraq war. When they went to that war they believed they were
being sent to defend our country. They were told it was
their duty to disarm the Saddam regime of its weapons of
mass destruction (WMD). When enlisting, servicemen and women
sign an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty's government. All
they ask in return is that their government acts in an
honourable, truthful and responsible manner, and only
deploys troops into the theatre of war to risk their lives
when absolutely necessary.
We now believe that our Prime
Minister, Tony Blair, misled the people of this country as
to the true reasons for the war in Iraq. We believe that
there was no serious evidence for WMD. We also believe that
the assurances given by the Attorney General, Lord
Goldsmith, as to the legality of the war are highly
This is why we are calling for
a full, independent and effective public inquiry into the
decision to go to war in Iraq.
We ask you to support our
call. We must restore accountability to public life. Our
loved ones deserve justice, and the people of this country
deserve the truth.
Reg and Sally
Keys Parents of Lance Corporal
Rose and George
Gentle Parents of Fusilier Gordon Gentle
John and Marilyn
Miller Parents of Corporal Simon Miller
Hamilton-Jewell Brother of Sergeant Simon
Brierley Father of
Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley
Aston Wife of
Corporal Russell Aston
George and Ann
Lawrence Parents of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence
Pritchard Wife of Corporal
Mother of Corporal Paul
Hehir Wife of Sergeant
Seymour Wife of Operator
Mechanic 2nd Class Ian Seymour
Allbutt Wife of
Corporal Stephen Allbutt
of Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans
Roy and Eileen
Shearer Parents of Lance Corporal Karl
Richard and Karen
Green Parents of Lieutenant Philip Green
Clarke Mother of Trooper
James and Rae
Craw Parents of Corporal Andrew Craw
GI Special distributes and
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purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in
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unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive
1325.6 Section 220.127.116.11.