www.albasrah.net
 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

11.4.04

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 2#C12

 

 

 

“I Can't Understand What It Is We Are Supposed To Be Doing Here.”

 

3 November, 2004 BBC

 

Trooper Tim Clews, of the Queen's Dragoon Guards, drove the 360-mile journey from Basra in an open-topped Land Rover across some of the most dangerous territory in Iraq.

 

The 21-year-old father-of-one from Swansea, who manned an SA-80 rifle on the Land Rover's roof on the lookout for snipers, condemned the decision to redeploy British troops.

 

Trooper Clews said: "If Tony Blair is so keen to be here, he should send his son over.

 

"To be honest I can't understand what it is we are supposed to be doing here.

 

"Iraqis don't want to kill each other, they only want to kill us."

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS:

 

 

HOW MANY MORE FOR BUSH’S WAR?

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

US Army soldiers and a marine (C) treat an injured comrade shot by a sniper in Ramadi. (AFP/Patrick Baz)

 

 

ONE SOLDIER KILLED, ONE INJURED IN SALMAR PAK IED ATTACK

 

November 3, 2004 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Release Number: 04-11-02C

 

TIKRIT, IRAQ -- A 1st Infantry Division Soldier was killed and one injured after their combat patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device near Salmar Pak at about 7:12 a.m. on Nov. 3.

 

The injured Soldier was taken to a Multi-National Forces medical treatment facility and is in stable condition.

 

 

Lance Cpl. Jeremy D. Bow of Lemoore, Calif., is shown in this undated photo. Bow, 20, was one of eight Marines killed Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004 in Iraq  (AP Photo/U.S. Marine Corps)

 

 

British Camp Attacked Again;

Captain Says Iraqis Happy To See Them

 

3 November, 2004 BBC

 

The sprawling desert base 25 miles (40km) south-west of Baghdad was targeted by Iraqi rebels with a rocket barrage from their hideouts across the river Euphrates six miles (9km) away on Tuesday evening.

 

No one was injured and no buildings were damaged as none of the missiles exploded in the latest attack.

 

According to Adjutant Capt Neil Tomlin of the Black Watch battle group, "We are having to be very careful about driving, what sort of vehicles we move around in and how many vehicles we move around with."

 

One mortar exploded at the Camp Dogwood complex early on Tuesday evening. Five other "impacts" which did not explode were also reported.

 

Adjutant Capt Neil Tomlin of the Black Watch battle group said, "Generally, I think people are very happy to see us here and we need to build on that. [Right.  The rocket barrage was an _expression of welcome.]

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Scum In Command Broke Law, Lied To Expose 1.2 Million Troops To Dangerous Vaccine:

Punish Those Responsible

 

10/27/2004 Russell Dingle and Thomas Rempfer, Navy Times

 

In 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, in part due to abuses of authority whereby the occupying military power had become “independent of and superior to the Civil Power.”

 

The founders ensured through the Constitution that our new nation’s military would remain firmly under civilian control.  As the scope and technology of our armed forces evolved, civilian leaders became increasingly reliant on the military leadership’s integrity and expertise in the profession of arms.

 

This reliance was based on the leaders’ commitment to give unbiased assessments of threats, weaponry and force protection.  Anything less from the military is a dangerous trend.

 

The military’s anthrax vaccine program, however, is a case study of inaccurate assessments to our civilian leaders.  Military officials often unknowingly misled appointed civilian superiors with dogmatic rhetoric, delaying the proper execution of Congress’ oversight role.

 

Regardless of where accountability lies for the misinformation, the fact is the military implemented the immunization program based on false assumptions about the safety, efficacy and legality of the vaccine.

 

Adverse reactions were a hundred times higher than originally professed, and the vaccine’s experimental status rendered the mandatory program illegal.  These facts were not communicated with candor.

 

The Pentagon’s internal documents, the congressional report and the federal court ruling confirmed the vaccine’s known experimental status.  The law explicitly required either a service member’s informed consent for such a vaccine or the president’s waiving of this right.

 

Unfortunately, the Defense Department did not modify the anthrax vaccine program in its early stages, when the illegal program affected only a small portion of the armed forces. Instead, federal regulations, U.S. law and attempts at civilian control were dismissed.

 

Today, almost 5 million doses of vaccine have been mandated for more than 1.2 million troops.

 

So is civilian control of the military at peril with regard to the anthrax vaccine program? Clearly, the answer is no. The congressional reports and legal opinions attest to ongoing efforts that will ultimately reaffirm civilian control of this program.  The oversight is not as expeditious as many who have lost their careers or health due to the vaccine mandate might have hoped, but the process continues.

 

For example, legislation was recently introduced in Congress to make the anthrax vaccine program voluntary and order the correction of records for troops previously punished over their concerns about the vaccine.

 

Exoneration for those fined, dishonorably discharged or even jailed should be an academic exercise based on documented historic violations of law.

 

Ultimately, the military itself should hold accountable the officers who misled our civilian authorities and armed forces about the anthrax vaccine mandate enforced at the expense of thousands of punished and ill service members.

 

Lt. Col. (ret.) Russell Dingle and Maj. Thomas Rempfer were members of a 1998 Connecticut Air National Guard investigative team that helped identify legal and ethical issues regarding the anthrax vaccine.

 

 

3,550 More For Bush’s War:

National Guard And Reserve Mobilized

 

November 2, 2004 U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 1101-04

 

This week, the Army announced an increase in the number of reservists on active duty in support of the partial mobilization, while the Air Force, Navy and Marines had a decrease.  The Coast Guard number remained unchanged.  The net collective result is 3,550 more reservists mobilized than last week.

 

 

Bulgaria Reduces Iraq Troops

 

3 November 2004 Novinite Ltd.

 

Bulgaria's fourth infantry unit will leave for Iraq in a reduced staff compared to the currently deployed contingent, Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov announced on Wednesday.

 

The fourth battalion to take over the coalition peacekeeping mission of Bulgaria from the previous unit will consist of some 430 soldiers instead of 483, as is the current number of staff.

 

 

Hungary To Withdraw Its Troops From Iraq By March 31;

Majority Wants Immediate Withdrawal But Ruling Dictatorship Ignores Them

 

November 03, 2004 By KARL PETER KIRK, BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) & By Robert Burns, Associated Press

 

Hungary will withdraw its 300 non-combat troops from Iraq by the end of March, the country's new prime minister said Wednesday, dealing a blow to the United States' effort to hold the Iraq multinational force together.

 

The interim Iraqi government had asked Hungary a few weeks ago to keep its troops there for about another year.

 

“We are obliged to stay there until the (Iraqi) elections.  To stay longer is an impossibility,” Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said at a ceremony to mark the end of mandatory military service in Hungary.

 

Recent polls had shown that around 60 percent of Hungarians wanted an immediate withdrawal.  Hungary has a transportation contingent of 300 troops in Iraq stationed in Hillah, south of Baghdad.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  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.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q  ( I  Remember  Another  Quagmire ) portfolio of Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.

 

(Please contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) for more examples of his outstanding work.  T)

 

 

Reservists’ Fucked Again

 

October 25, 2004, Editorial, Army Times

 

Congress has approved a much-deserved package of upgrades to pay and benefits for National Guard and reserve members.

 

But lawmakers failed to go far enough in their reforms.

 

Left out of the 2005 defense authorization bill that will soon become law were proposals to help make up income losses for mobilized reservists whose military pay is less than their normal civilian income.

 

Those proposals would have helped one in three reservists recalled to active duty, or about 58,000 of the 174,000 members of the Guard and reserve serving on active duty.

While some employers voluntarily make up the salary differences for their reservist employees, most — including the Defense Department — do not.  The result is that many reservists and their families are unable to meet financial obligations as mobilizations drag on.

 

What is needed is an insurance safety net for these reservists.  But what’s being offered doesn’t measure up to the requirement.

 

Among the changes that could be considered next year to help mobilized reservists is a proposal to let reservists dip into their pre-tax retirement savings when mobilized.  While long-term mobilizations should qualify as a hardship — the basic criteria for granting people early, penalty-free access to tax-sheltered retirement savings — this solution puts the burden of the problem on reservists and would be a major disincentive for many to join the Guard and reserve in the first place.

 

Reservists should not have to choose between mortgaging their retirement nest eggs and serving their country in wartime.

 

Congress must find a way to offer reasonably priced, government-sponsored income insurance for reservists who need it.  Doing so should be viewed as a legitimate and necessary cost of war.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary.  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.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

A Memorial Rally In Glasgow For A Dead Soldier;

“He Sent My Son To Get Murdered”

 

From: "Ewa Jasiewicz"

To: GI Special

Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004

Subject: Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign Rally in Glasgow

 

Gordon Gentle was killed in action in Basra earlier this year.  His mother has since become a leading anti-occupation, anti-war voice in the UK and she 'will not shut up'.  The campaign looks set to grow and grow and grow and Rose is appealing to other families to come forward and join her in calling for an end to the war.

 

I attended the rally as described in the media links below.  It was a great demo, totally grassroots; the majority of the attendees were from Pollcok- Gordon's hometown, a working class neighbourhood in Glasgow.

 

A local modern ragtime rock band played and speakers included the General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes and Scottish Socialist Party convenor Tommy Sheridan.

 

Rose wore a gold chain round her neck with a picture of Gordon's face, black on a gold amulet-like disc.  This is a common way that shoohadda (Martyrs) are honoured in Palestine and Iraq, most people wear the face of their brother or friend or cousin round their necks in camps up and down Palestine.

 

I own one myself, of my friend Baha Al Bahesh who was gunned down in front of me by an Israeli soldier in Nablus two years ago.  Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and friends wear these tiny monuments to the dead, close to their hearts, like Rose with hers to Gordon all the way now in Pollock.

 

Looking around at the demo, the attendees actually reminded me of the people I knew in Iraq.  Working class women, tough, wearing status-symbol gold chains round their necks, and a mass of unemployed young men.

 

The men the Black Watch soldiers share a lot in common with the men they have been sent to kill.  Rampant unemployment, poverty, desperation and no prospects for any future with any justice of dignity, controlled as it is by the privileged and powerful.

 

The final speaker at the event, a local man named Kevin who's known Gordon since he was a baby, said he remembered when Rose didn’t even have the cash to afford central heating or furniture.  Economic conscription rules and fuels every ruling class war.

 

The life-to-the-dead culture of remembrance in Palestine and Iraq, that which lauds the community's occupation-snatched heroes in posters on walls, banners and amulet-chains, met its Scottish match in Pollock on Saturday.  How many more dead men’s faces will we see honoured, worn round the necks of their mothers in this country in the coming months?

 

I spoke at the rally too and talked about FTA, the film and the growing sentiment amongst US soldiers and the need to link up with US military families against the war.  I will be sending a copy of FTA to the Justice for Gordon Gentle Campaign

 

MORE:

 

“Mr. Blair, You Lying Sod”

 

30 Oct 2004 By Jude Sheerin, Scottish Press Association

 

The parents of two British soldiers killed in Iraq led hundreds of demonstrators today on a march to call for the troops to be home by Christmas.

 

The anti-war protesters gathered in Glasgow to demand justice for Gordon Gentle, who was killed in Basra earlier this year.

 

His mother, Rose, 40, today branded Tony Blair “a murderer” and said she would not give up until she had met the Prime Minister and harangued him face-to-face.

 

More than 400 people gathered for the rally to hear her speak at Lockhar Park in the Pollok area of the city.

 

She said: “Tony Blair is a murderer, he sent my son to get murdered and I don’t want him to murder any more of the boys.

 

“Gordon may not be here but I want the other boys brought back.

 

“That man (Mr Blair) is a disgrace and he should get out of Parliament altogether.  I’ll meet that murderer eye to eye if it takes me years and I won’t give up or shut up.”

 

The father of one soldier who was killed by a wild mob in Iraq last year said it was time for British troops to come home because they had gone to war for “a lie”.

 

Royal Military Police Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, was cornered by a crowd along with five colleagues and murdered in Al-Majarr in June 2003.

 

His father Reg, 52, from Solihull, West Midlands, told the rally: “Like most of the nation I believed the hype and lies of WMD.  I was told my son was going to war to defend us from the immediate threat of WMD.

 

“My son was lied to, the nation was lied to and I resent this because it cost me my son’s life.

 

“These Black Watch boys are out there fighting for the biggest lie of the century. Iraq had no WMD.”

 

Mr Keys, who now lives in Bala, Wales, added: “We need to expose these lies, it’s not worth the life of another soldier. Mr Blair, you lying sod, your pack of cards of deceit has fallen down, I would urge people to use their vote very wisely so we don’t have another lying Prime Minister in charge after the next election.”

 

 

National Guard Recruiting In Toilet;

Maybe Pink T-Shirts Will Help

 

11/02/2004 By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

THE NUMBERS: Nationally, the Army Guard reached 88 percent of its goal of 56,000 recruits this year, signing up 49,210.  Ohio was about 500 off its target; Iowa down about 130.

 

THE REASONS: Concerns about the war in Iraq and possible long overseas deployment; Pentagon orders that keep some soldiers from leaving active duty and going into the guard; and turnover among recruiters.

 

THE NEW INCENTIVES: More signing bonuses.  Free hunting and fishing licenses.  Pink T-shirts for female recruits.  [Ugh.  Me recruiter for Great White Father.  You stupid kid ha ha ha.  You take pretty things?  You get fish?  You get deer?  You go Iraq, come back in little pieces?  OK.  Sign here.]

 

 

Mortars And Rain Take Priority Over Election Iraq Troops

 

(London Financial Times, November 3, 2004)

At Camp Victory, on the edge of Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. election was competing for the attention of about 30,000 American soldiers, but it took a definite third place to withstanding incessant mortar attacks by insurgents and staying dry.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

"They Have Vowed To Make It The Alamo"

 

 

Nov. 02, 2004 By Tom Lasseter, Knight Ridder Newspapers

 

"I hate to call it the insurgency capital, but yeah, it's where they have been able to make a stand with the Marines," said a high-ranking U.S. military official in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity.  "And the fact that we retreated ... it became a rallying point."

 

"They have vowed to make it the Alamo," the official said.

 

"Fallujah was the first town that was, as they say here, liberated from the Americans," said Maki al-Nazzai, a local leader who has been involved this year in peace negotiations with U.S. military representatives.

 

Standing in an intersection in Fallujah recently, a fighter dressed in black held his AK-47 and gave a quick answer about the difficulties that U.S. and Iraqi security forces will face.

 

"The Iraqi government should know that Fallujah is not Najaf. ... Fallujah is where the fight started," he said, identifying himself as Abu Abdullah. "If they want to finish this fight, they will have to finish it in Fallujah. But they won't be able to."

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

Oil Well Field Attack Does Major Damage

 

11/3/04 KIRKUK, Iraq (AP)

 

Late Tuesday night, a huge explosion rocked the compound of Ghabaza oil field, 22 miles southwest of Kirkuk, said an official with the state-run Northern Oil Co. The oil valves were blown up and huge fire engulfed the area, the source added.

 

The attack on the Ghabaza well will likely cut into the country's oil production, an engineer with the state-owned North Oil Co. told Dow Jones.

 

``This evening, an act of sabotage took place against one of our key oil wells, and that will reduce our crude oil production from the north,'' the engineer said, without saying how much output would be hurt.

 

At Ceyhan - the Turkish port on the Mediterranean where exports from Iraq's north are taken to be loaded onto tankers for the market - the amount of Iraqi crude oil in storage tanks has fallen to as low as 3.5 million, less than half of the facility's 8 million barrel capacity, Iraqi officials and port agents told Dow Jones Newswires.

 

``There's only 3.5 million barrels in storage now,'' said a Ceyhan port agent. ``The pumping was stopped this morning because of the explosion,'' he said.

 

Main road16 miles west of Kirkuk, northern Iraq.  (AFP/Marwan Ibrahim)

 

 

Senior Army Officer & 3 Occupation Guards Beheaded

 

November 03, 2004 DUBAI (Reuters) & Associated Press & (Reuters)

 

A militant group said it beheaded a man a man they identified as Maj. Hussein Shanoun, a senior member of Iraq's armed forces and posted a video of the killing on its Web site on Wednesday.

 

The statement called him an “apostate” and said he participated — by American orders — in attacks against insurgents in Mosul, located about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.  They claimed that he “confessed.”

 

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna said it had abducted Hussein Shunun in Mosul and the video showed three masked men sawing off the hostage's head with a large knife.

 

An Iraqi militant group beheaded three men from the Iraqi National Guard it accused of spying for U.S. troops in Iraq, Al Jazeera television said Wednesday.

 

 

U.S. Army Supplier Captured

 

Nov 3, 2004 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) & MISNA

 

Gunmen abducted a US businessman of Lebanese origin who worked with the U.S. Army from his Baghdad home, Iraqi officials said Wednesday, while four Jordanian truck drivers were seized in a separate attack.

 

Radim Sadeq, a contractor with a mobile phone company, was snatched by gunmen when he answered the door of his home in Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood overnight, Lt. Col. Maan Khalaf said.

 

 

TOP OIL MINISTRY OFFICIAL KILLED

 

3/11/2004 MISNA

 

A top Iraqi oil ministry official, Hussein Ali al Fattal, was killed this morning as he was leaving his home in the Qadissiya neighbourhood in southern Baghdad, an interior ministry spokesman has said, adding that al Fattal was director general of the state company for the distribution of refined oil products.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

You Can’t Just Whistle Up An Army

 

November 2, 2004 By Emily Udell, In These Times

 

Interview With Gore Vidal

 

VIDAL: No invader from outside has ever made it in the Middle East.

 

This goes back to the Crusaders and the Kingdom of Acre, which lasted about 200 years and that was the longest time, but things go much faster now.

 

We aren’t going to be there. It’s very simple.

 

How do you pay for it?  Are the American people really to be put on short rations?  And, meanwhile, we’re running out of oil in the world.  There goes the world economy as well as ours. It isn’t going to happen; it’s going to fall apart.

 

The idea is you just whistle and you have an army. They just don’t seem to have any idea of what armies are like and how much they cost, how hard it is to raise one and how hard it is to use one.

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Meet Some Terrorists...

 

November 01, 2004 posted by river, Baghdad Burning Blog

 

The sky has been overcast these last few days. It’s a smoggy, grayish combination of dust, smoke and humidity.  I guess it has matched the general mood in many ways- somewhat dark and heavy.

 

I’ve been very worried about Falloojeh.  So worried, in fact, that I find it hard to sleep at night, wondering how the situation will unfold in that troubled area.  Things are bad in Baghdad, but they are far worse in Falloojeh.  Refugees have been flowing out of the area for weeks now. They’ve been trying to find havens in Baghdad and the surrounding regions.

 

I met my first Falloojeh refugees last week.  One of my aunts was feeling a little bit under the weather and the phones in her area were down, so we decided to pay a brief visit after breaking the fast in the evening.  As we pulled our car into her driveway, I discerned strange, childish voices in the garden.  Since my aunt has only an eight-year-old daughter, S., I assumed the neighbors’ children were over to play.

 

“It’s fine,” S. called over her shoulder to the garden, “You can come out- it’s only my cousin and her parents!”

 

After the initial greetings and salams, my aunt rushed out of the room and came back in with the very reluctant woman and her baby.  “This is Umm Ahmed.”  She introduced us and firmly sat the woman back down on the couch.  “She’s from Falloojeh…” my aunt explained.  “She’s my husband’s relative- but we never met before this.”  She turned to give an encouraging smile to Umm Ahmed, who was looking somewhat like a deer caught in headlights.

 

The woman was tall and graceful.  She was wearing a longish traditional ‘dishdasha’ (something like heavy, embroidered nightgown) and her head was covered with a light, black shawl that kept slipping back to reveal dark brown hair streaked with strands of silver.  I tried guessing her age but it was nearly impossible- she had a youthful look about her and I guessed she was probably around 33 or 34.  Her face, however, was pinched with strain and worry, and that, combined with the silver in her hair, made her seem like she was forty.  She nodded at us nervously and held the infant tighter.

 

“Umm Ahmed and her lovely children are here until things are better in Falloojeh.” My aunt declared.  She turned to my little cousin with the words, “Go get Sama and Harith.”  I assumed Sama and Harith were the children hiding behind the palm tree. A moment later, Sama and Harith, led by S. entered the living room.  Sama was a delicate girl of about ten, while Harith was a chubby little boy who looked to be six or seven.  They avoided eye contact and quickly ran over to their mother.

 

“How is the situation in Falloojeh?”  My father asked. We all knew the answer.  It was terrible in Falloojeh and getting worse by day.  They were constantly being bombarded with missiles and bombs.  The city was in ruins.  Families were gathering what they could and leaving.  Houses were being demolished by tanks and planes. But the question had to be asked.

 

Umm Ahmed swallowed nervously and her frown deepened. “It’s quite bad. We left two days ago.  The Americans are surrounding the city and they wouldn’t let us out using the main road.  We had to be smuggled out through another way…”  The baby began to whine softly and she tried to rock it to sleep.  “We had to leave…” she said apologetically, “I couldn’t stay there with the children.”

 

“Of course you couldn’t.”  Came my aunt’s firm reply.  “That’s crazy.  It’s suicide- the bastards aren’t leaving anyone alive.”

 

“I hope everyone is ok…” I offered tentatively.  Umm Ahmed focused for a moment on me and shook her head, “Well, last week we buried our neighbor Umm Najib and her two daughters.  They were sleeping when a missile fell in the garden and the house collapsed.”

 

“And my windows were broken…” Harith suddenly added, excitedly, then disappeared again behind his mother.

 

“The windows were broken and the front door was blown in.  We were all ok because ever since the war we’ve all been sleeping in the living room.” Umm Ahmed explained, automatically, like she had told the story a hundred times.  As she spoke, the baby’s fists went up into the air and it gave out a little cry.  It was a welcome sound- the agonizing subject could be changed. 

 

“Well, at least everyone is safe… you were very wise to come here.” My mother offered. “Your children are fine- and that’s what’s important.”

 

This phrase didn’t have quite the effect we expected. Umm Ahmed’s eyes suddenly flowed over and in a moment, she was crying freely. Sama frowned and gently took the baby from her mother’s arms, rising to walk him around in the hallway. My aunt quickly poured a glass of water out for Umm Ahmed and handed it to her, explaining to us, “Ahmed, her fourteen-year-old son, is with his father, still in Falloojeh.”

 

“I didn’t want to leave him…” The glass of water shook in her hands. “But he refused to leave without his father and we got separated last minute as the cars were leaving the city…” My aunt rushed to pat her back and hand her some tissues.

 

“Umm Ahmed’s husband, God protect him, is working with one of the mosques to help get some of the families out.”  My aunt explained, sitting down next to Umm Ahmed and reaching to pull a teary Harith onto her lap.  “I’m sure they’ll both be fine- maybe they’re already in Baghdad…” My aunt added with more confidence than any of us felt. Umm Ahmed nodded her head mechanically and stared vaguely at the rug on the ground. Harith rubbed at his eyes and clung to a corner of his mother’s shawl. “I promised her,” my aunt explained, “That if we don’t hear from them in two more days, Abu S. will drive out to Falloojeh, and he can and look for them. We’ve already left word with that mosque where all the refugees go in Baghdad.”

 

As I sat staring at the woman, the horror of the war came back to me- the days upon days of bombing and shooting- the tanks blasting away down the streets, and helicopters hovering above menacingly.

 

I wondered how she would spend the next couple of agonizing days, waiting for word from her son and husband. The worst part of it is being separated from the people you care about and wondering about their fates.  It’s a feeling of restlessness that gnaws away inside of you, leaving you feeling exhausted and agitated all at once. It’s a thousand pessimistic voices whispering stories of death and destruction in your head.

 

It’s a terrible feeling of helplessness in the face of such powerful devastation.

 

So Umm Ahmed is one of the terrorists who were driven from the city.  Should her husband and son die, they will be leaders from Al-Qaeda or even relatives of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi himself… that’s the way they tell the story in America.

 

It makes me crazy to see Bush and Allawi talking about the casualties in Falloojeh like every single person there is a terrorist lurking not in a home, but in some sort of lair, making plans to annihilate America.  Allawi was recently talking about how the ‘peace talks’ weren’t going very well and a major military operation was the only option available.  That garbage and the rest about Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi is for Americans, Brits and Iraqis living in comfortable exile.

 

Allawi is vile and the frightening thing is that he will *never* be safe in Iraq without American military support.  As long as he is in power, there will be American tanks and bases all over the country.  How does he expect to win any support by threatening to unleash the occupation forces against Falloojeh?  People are greeting refugees from Falloojeh like heroes. They are emptying rooms in houses to accommodate them and donating food, money and first-aid supplies.

 

Everyone here knows Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi isn’t in Falloojeh.  He isn’t anywhere, as far as anyone can tell.  He’s like the WMD: surrender your weapons or else we’ll attack.

 

Now that the damage is done, it is discovered that there were no weapons. It will be the same with Zarqawi.

 

We laugh here when we hear one of our new politicians discuss him. He’s even better than the WMD- he has legs.  As soon as the debacle in Falloojeh is over, Zarqawi will just move conveniently to Iran, Syria or even North Korea.

 

As for the ‘peace talks’ with Falloojeh- they never existed.  They’ve been bombing Falloojeh for several weeks now.  They usually do the bombing during the night, and no one is there to cover the damage and all the deaths.  It’s only later we hear about complete families being buried alive or shot to death by snipers on the street.

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and in Iraq.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

Iraqi Officials Get It Just Right;

Both U.S. Parties For Imperial War

 

November 03, 2004 By Diana Elias, Associated Press

 

“Whoever wins will be our friend,” Allawi said in reference to the contest between President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.

 

Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Barham Saleh, said on Al-Arabiya television that general policy themes likely will remain the same regardless of a Bush or Kerry victory.

 

“Supporting Iraq and the Iraqi people against terrorism and extremism is fixed in the politics of the United States because it is demanded by the Unites States’ security and political interest,” Saleh said, adding that only the style and details may differ.

 

Al-Jassem, at the U.S. Embassy’s party held in a traditional Kuwaiti wooden ship turned restaurant, said he was not worried a Kerry administration would offer less support for ally Kuwait because foreign policy does not change much under different presidents.

 

Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said that whatever the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections his country will remain a friend the United States and appreciate its support, in an interview published Wednesday.

 

“Whoever wins will be our friend,” Allawi said in reference to the contest between President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.

 

 

Blackouts Predicted For Baghdad Through 2009

 

(Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2004)

Baghdad's citizens will face power blackouts through the end of this decade, even under the best recovery scenario, if Iraq does not receive money for repairs and construction and if sabotage continues, Iraq's deputy minister for electricity said.

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Chirac Defends U.S. Occupation:

Powell Captured

 

By Jerry Ghinelli

 

With worldwide criticism of France’s occupation of America mounting, French president Jacques Chirac met with reporters early today to discuss the rationale for the American invasion, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction and the growing number of French casualties.

 

Chirac began the interview in a lighthearted way, playfully looking under the podium for weapons of mass destruction.  “None here,” he joked.  The French journalists, many of whom had witnessed the horror of the American invasion as embedded reporters, were clearly amused by Chirac’s sense of humor.

 

Despite the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the lack of evidence to support his claim that America had ties to terrorist groups, Chirac insisted the world was a safer place now the president had been removed from power.

 

“The American people are free from the tyranny of George W. Bush and France has won yet another significant battle in its war on terror by removing the brutal leader. It will be the American people, against whom Bush has inflicted years of war and economic hardship, who will be responsible for bringing him to justice when power is transferred to a new American government.”

 

Chirac reminded the media that the former US president was a threat not only to France but also to other coalition partners such as Bulgaria, Honduras and El Salvador. Bulgaria, Chirac insisted, was in imminent danger of an invasion, while Honduras and El Salvador were “prime targets of freedom-hating American tourists.”  Then, correcting himself, he said, “I mean terrorists.”

 

Bush, noted Chirac, invaded other countries in violation of international law and defied United Nations resolutions.  He even used chemical weapons against his own people. Chirac reminded reporters that as Governor of Texas Bush executed 152 people, including women and illiterates, with lethal chemical injections.

 

He added, “Bush was not the only American president to commit atrocities against his own people.  Previous American administrations attacked their own people at Waco and Kent State, interned Japanese Americans in concentration camps, enslaved African Americans, destroyed Atlanta and slaughtered native Americans.  Under French occupation, the American people are safe from brutal repressive regimes like that of the former tyrant George W. Bush.”

 

Chirac was asked to comment on former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix’s recent declaration that America was better off under George Bush than under French occupation.  Chirac dismissed Blix as “a tired old bureaucrat” and referred to the UN as a “talking shop.”

 

The reporters noted that many of Chirac’s own cabinet officers, as well as members of parliament, had recently become openly critical of Chirac over the war, over the mounting number of French casualties and over the lack of an effective exit strategy.

 

One former counter-terrorism expert in the Chirac administration has claimed in a recent book that America did not have links to terrorist groups or possess weapons of mass destruction.  When asked about this, Chirac dismissed it as a high-tech coup d'état by his disgruntled former counter-terrorism expert.

 

Chirac went on to note that it was not international law but divine intervention that gave him the authority to free the people of the United States.  Chirac said, “The heavenly father personally spoke to me, blessing this crusade and reminding me that I was a man of peace anointed by a supreme court of avenging angels and directed to go to America to do God’s work.”

 

The French parliament, which gave Chirac carte blanche when it voted overwhelmingly to authorize his use of force against the Americans, has remained only mildly critical of the American invasion.  It has postponed a vote authorizing the need for additional troops to combat the growing American insurgency but it is holding a critical vote on legislation to rename American Cheese - Freedom Cheese.  The resolution is expected to be passed overwhelmingly.  Chirac praised the wisdom and sacrifice of the French parliament in passing such important legislation during these critical times.

 

The light-hearted mood in which Chirac had opened the interview suddenly became quite serious.

 

“Let’s make no mistake about it,” Chirac said, “these American trouble makers hate our freedom and our democracy.  They hate our cheese, our wine, our frogs’ legs, our escargot.  They hate our music, our unisex bathrooms, our nude beaches.  American women were oppressed under the Bush administration and forced to wear ‘bikini burquas’ while sunbathing or else be arrested for indecency by attorney general John Ashcroft’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue.”

 

Chirac also became quite angry over the American insurgents’ recent treatment of French soldiers. “These freedom-hating American terrorists violate Geneva Convention rules by parading French soldiers on the banned AL-Fox News Network.”

 

“France,” he reminded reporters, “does not label Americans as prisoners of war, preferring to call them detainees.  It transports them safely, under cover of darkness and without any publicity, to the magnifique tropical island of French Guiana, often called ‘lie du Diable’ – Devil’s Island.  These terrorists and freedom-hating remnants of the brutal dictator George W. Bush are comfortably quartered in a tropical paradise in the Captain Alfred E. Dreyfus J'accuse detention center.”

 

A French soldier of Jewish ancestry, Captain Dreyfus, was sent to French Guiana for treason in 1895.  Despite his protestations of innocence, he was found guilty of treason in secret military proceedings.  Today these American insurgents of Christian ancestry are committed to the same fate as Captain Dreyfus in secret military proceedings for suspected links with terrorist groups. “It’s déjà vu,” joked Chirac.

 

Chirac was then handed a note from one of his aides.  “I have an announcement to make: we got him!”

 

Today, coalition forces had captured the former US secretary of state near his home in Bethesda, Maryland.  Known for giving people cute nicknames, Chirac branded Colin Luther Powell “Lex Luther Powell, the evildoer.”

 

Chirac branded Powell a skillful liar and referred to him as the “king of (broken) hearts” in his deck of cards.

 

With the cost of the American invasion now exceeding 200 billion euros and with over 700 French soldiers killed and nearly 4,000 wounded, Chirac bristled and said, “We’re going to have our good days and our bad days.”  He said that the roadmap to peace and democracy in America was not, as some would suggest, a “cul-de-sac.”

 

He cited the enormous progress that has been made in rebuilding America and paid special tribute to a consortium of international companies for their resolve and the sacrifices they had made in the massive reconstruction projects going on in America today.  Chirac gave special praise to Peugeot, Michelin, Renault, Air France, Vivendi and Christian Dior for their courage and their contributions to the American people.

 

“Will these international corporations continue to support the American reconstruction project despite the attacks and the recent setbacks?” Chirac was asked. 

 

“You can take it to the bank!”

 

 

Political Idiocy Of The Month, So Far

 

Nov. 2 TOKYO (Reuters)

 

Japan is to tighten security at its military camp in Iraq after a rocket shell landed inside the facility, the latest sign of a worsening security situation that is fueling demands in Japan that the troops be pulled out.

 

A shell landed inside the Japanese camp in Samawa, some 170 miles south of Baghdad, late on Sunday, piercing a metal container and prompting troops to evacuate to bunkers for safety, Japanese officials said. No one was hurt

 

"We must further tighten security," Japan's top government spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference on Tuesday.  [Best way; leave tomorrow for Japan.]

 

"I don't think the situation meets the conditions for us to designate the area as a combat zone," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said.  [Oh fuck no, probably just some debris from outer space, or Iraqis engaged in their quaint welcoming ceremony for foreign friends and tourists.]

 

The body and severed head of a Japanese backpacker was found on a Baghdad street on Saturday.

 

 

The Lingering Cloud of 9/11;

How The Bush Regime Sentenced Survivors To Slow Death

 

SMOKE?  DANGEROUS?  DON’T BE SILLY!  TRUST US, WE’RE YOUR GOVERNMENT!

 

October 11th, 2004 By Jenna Orkin, World Trade Center Environmental Organization

 

September 11 was a tragedy that has changed the course of history and the way we live.  It was also an environmental disaster of epic proportions.

 

Hundreds of tons of asbestos were pulverized and dispersed around Lower Manhattan and beyond.  The tens of thousands of fluorescent lightbulbs each contained enough mercury to contaminate a quarter of a city block.  The Trade Center's 50,000 computers were each made with four to twelve pounds of lead.  The smoke detectors contained radioactive americium 241.

 

The alkalinity of the air was equivalent to that of Drano.

 

A month after the disaster, Dr. Thomas Cahill of the University of California at Davis found levels of very-fine and ultra-fine particulates that were the highest he'd ever recorded in the course of taking 7000 samples around the world, including at the burning Kuwaiti oil fields.

 

In addition there were record levels of dioxin, PCBs, and all the other contaminants one might expect to find when a modern city - which is what the World Trade Center was - burns for several months.

 

In the words of Dr. Marjorie Clarke, 9/11 was "equivalent to dozens of asbestos factories, incinerators and crematoria - as well as a volcano."

 

Nevertheless, beginning on September 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued reassurances about the air quality downtown.

 

A report by the EPA Inspector General released in August, 2004, found that these pronouncements came about because of interference from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ.)

 

"[B]ased on CEQ's influence reassuring information was added to at least one press release and cautionary information was deleted;"

 

Why was the CEQ interfering in this way? The report states: "[T]he desire to reopen Wall Street [was] considered when preparing EPA's early press releases."

 

As a result of EPA's reassuring lies, Lower Manhattan reopened with much fanfare about 'showing the terrorists.'

 

Often, Ground Zero workers were told not to wear respirators for fear of frightening the public.

 

Residents removed tons of toxic debris from their homes (some of which looked like Pompeii) in accord with instructions provided by the New York City Department of Health: "Use a wet mop or wet rag."

 

On October 9, Stuyvesant High School, where this writer's son was a student, reopened. Flanked by Ground Zero four blocks to the south, Stuyvesant also had on its north doorstep the main transfer station for the toxic debris to be carted off to Fresh Kills, Staten Island.

 

As a result of this placement, Particulate Matter 2.5 - dust that is small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and not come out again - was often higher at Stuyvesant than at Ground Zero.

 

Because it is so small, P.M. 2.5 has a relatively large surface area to volume ratio which means that the toxic chemicals in the debris would adsorb (i.e., be absorbed onto its surface) onto the particles, compounding their toxicity.  High levels of asbestos, lead, tetrachloroethane and isocyanates were found at the school which had been used as a triage center but whose ventilation system had not been cleaned prior to the school's reopening.

 

Did Bush himself know about the air quality downtown?

 

If he didn't, it was because he operated on a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy so that the buck would stop short of him.

 

The fact is: Scientists and other experts testified early and often on the dangers of the air downtown and the toxic dust in people's homes.  Yet to date all the federal government has provided is testing with outdated equipment and sometimes untried protocols; a dangerously flawed and limited cleanup and little or no health care for the affected community.

 

The Commission Report deals with the envirodisaster of 9/11 in a footnote in which they refer to an interview with Sam Thernstrom, coordinator for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  He denies changing press releases in order to reopen Wall Street, explaining that the reasons for the changes were procedural. His story is corroborated by Christy Todd Whitman who told the initial lies.

 

John Gotti and Lucky Luciano have got their stories straight.  But as Uncle Remus said, "You can hide the fire but how you gonna hide the smoke?"

 

Three years later we are beginning to see the results of the disastrous policies of the White House which put economic concerns ahead of public health.  Over half of the heroes who toiled at Ground Zero now have debilitating respiratory symptoms.

 

Among residents, workers, and the Stuyvesant community are many illnesses such as new-onset asthma, Reactive Airways Disease, and chronic bronchitis.  Lawyer Robert Gulack, for instance, has suffered permanent lung damage from his exposure to contamination in the Woolworth building.

 

And as a dreadful portent of what maybe in store for the community of Ground Zero, fourteen rescued dogs have died.  The White House's actions in response to the environmental aftermath of 911 reveal that Osama Bin Laden could not have stumbled on a more felicitous collaborator than George W. Bush.

 

For more information, see: www.wtceo.org

http://www.911ea.org

http://delta.ucdavis.edu/news.htm

 

 

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