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GI Special 6A15: War Reports
www.albasrah.net
 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

1.21.08

Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 6A15:

 

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

U.S. Soldier Killed In Kirkuk Wreck,

Another Injured

 

Jan 22 Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20080122-11

 

TIKRIT, Iraq – A Multi-National Division – North Soldier died from injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover while conducting operations in Kirkuk Jan. 22.  Additionally, one other Soldier was wounded and evacuated to a Coalition hospital.

 

 

Marine Killed In Anbar

 

January 21, 2008 Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20080121-02

 

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A Marine assigned to Multi-National Force - West was killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province Jan. 19.

 

 

 

IED Kills U.S. Soldier In Arab Jabour

 

January 21, 2008 Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20080121-01

 

BAGHDAD – A Multi-National Division - Center Soldier was killed in an improvised explosive device attack in Arab Jabour Jan. 19.

 

 

Reno Soldier Among Six Killed In Iraq

Army Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, who died in Iraq this week.

Army Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, who died in Iraq this week.

 

1/11/2008 SUSAN VOYLES, RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

 

Army Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, and five other soldiers were killed Wednesday in Sinsil, Iraq, when their vehicle was struck by a homemade bomb during combat operations.

 

He was the second soldier from Reno to die this week.

 

Army Sgt. David J. Drakulich, 22, of Reno, was killed Wednesday when his vehicle struck a mine near Chagali, Afghanistan.

 

Gaul was in his fifth deployment, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, after enlisting in the Army in late 1999.  He was killed while on patrol in the Diyala Province.

 

“Sean loved his job, knowing the risks he re-enlisted during his fifth deployment,” said his wife Jessica Gaul, in a statement.  “It seemed Sean was a lifer for sure. He did not waiver from his responsibility.  He always trained hard as he led the way by example. He was focused and determined as he sought out more special forces training.

 

“Sean was a very good man, loving husband, father and true friend,” she said.

 

Gaul was the 57th soldier from Nevada to have died in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001.

 

Gaul attended Reed High School where he was a member of the J.R.O.T.C and earned a General Equivalency Diploma in 1997.  He was devoted to martial arts, loved Scuba diving, was a triathlete and liked to fly fish, his family said.

 

Gaul leaves behind his wife, daughter, mother, father and four sisters as well as other family.

 

The Gaul family said they want to “extend warm and burdened hearts” to the Drakulich family.

 

Funeral services for the soldiers have not yet been set.

 

The others killed with Gaul were Spc. Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo., Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn., Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore., Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis., and Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.

 

The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany.

 

Gaul initially served with B Co., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. and was first deployed to Afghanistan soon after the Sept. 11 attack.

 

He then was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. In September 2003, he was sent to Afghanistan with a coalition security forces team to help guarantee free elections. He then transferred to a Stryker brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash., and was deployed to Ramadi and Mosul, Iraq.

 

After graduating from the Army Ranger school, Gaul returned to his unit, which had transferred to Vilseck, Germany.  He then completed the U.S. Army’s sniper school before deploying one last time.

 

 

West Allis Solider Killed In Iraq

 

Jan 8, 2008 By Katie DeLong, Associated Press

 

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee area soldier who was trained in Arabic before being deployed in Iraq has been killed by an improvised explosive device there.

 

Pfc. Jason F. Lemke, 30, died Saturday from wounds suffered when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Ibrahim Al Adham, the Department of Defense said Monday.

 

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, out of Fort Lewis, Wash.

 

Lemke enlisted in December 2004 in Milwaukee and underwent training in Fort Benning, Ga. He transferred to Fort Lewis in May 2005 and his brigade deployed to Iraq in April.

 

"He had a year of intensive training in Arabic language," said Gregory Lemke of Milwaukee, Jason's father.

 

The training left him adept enough to surprise an Arabic-speaking shopkeeper at a local shopping center by striking up a friendship in his own language, Lemke said.  "I guess he made a big hit with the guy because of his language," he said, adding that his son also spoke Spanish.

 

Jason graduated in 1996 from Wisconsin Lutheran High School, he said.

 

He worked for a company that made stainless steel kitchen appliances but enlisted some time after his marriage ended in divorce, his father said, adding that Jason had two children living with their mother.

 

"He wanted to serve before and I kind of talked him out of it," Lemke said, but the family has a history of military service.

 

"His grandpa was in the Marines.  His uncle was a Marine. My father was in the Army, and my older brother was in the Army," he said.  "So there's a family service thing there. He wanted to make a mark, I guess."

 

At the time of his enlistment, he had been living in his grandfather's house just across the border in suburban West Allis from the family's home in Milwaukee.

 

Lemke said his son got leaves while stationed in the U.S. so he could be home for the holidays.

 

"This was our first Christmas without him," he said.

 

He said he hadn't been very comforted to think the warfare seemed to be lessening in Iraq in recent months.

 

"My deer hunting buddy said it's winding down," he said. "I said it doesn't matter if it's winding down.  If it's the one that you love, that's it."

 

The death came just before the anniversary Jan. 16 of the death in Vietnam of a distant cousin, Alec Horn, whose picture is still on his mantle, Gregory Lemke said.

 

The family learned of Jason's death Saturday and has been informed the body has been returned to the U.S., he said. He planned to meet with a casualty officer Tuesday about funeral arrangements.

 

Jason Lemke's awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

 

He is the 82nd Wisconsin resident to die as a result of service in the Iraq war.

 

 

BEEN ON THE JOB TOO LONG:

COME ON HOME, NOW

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

British Soldier Killed In Musa Qaleh;

Five Wounded

21 Jan 08 Ministry of Defence

 

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) soldier attached to 5 Regiment Royal Artillery has been killed and five others injured in southern Afghanistan yesterday, Sunday 20 January 2008.

 

A vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a suspected roadside minestrike approximately three kilometres north east of Musa Qaleh.

 

The casualties were evacuated by helicopter to the ISAF medical facilities at Camp Bastion and Kandahar airfield.  Sadly one of the soldiers was pronounced dead on arrival at Camp Bastion.

 

 

Resistance Action

 

January 14, 2008 By ABDUL WAHEED WAFA and TAIMOOR SHAH, The New York Times Company & 21st January, 2008 Irish Sun

 

A provincial head of Afghanistan's national reconciliation commission was killed by unidentified attackers in the southern province of Zabul, an official said Monday.

 

Unidentified armed men, who intercepted Qayyum Mujaddedi's car Sunday afternoon, shot him dead and captured his driver and one of the guards, said Gulab Shah Alikhel, a spokesman of Zabul's provincial governor.  Mujaddedi's body was found in Kakaran area near Qalat, the capital of Zabul, Alikhel said.

 

Mujaddedi was the director of the Commission for National Reconciliation, established by the Afghan government to persuade militants to eschew violence and join the government's peace efforts. He was on his way to Kabul.

 

Taliban guerrillas attacked a police checkpoint on Sunday morning in the Maiwand district of Kandahar Province. Taliban fighters in three taxis stopped at the checkpoint at 5 a.m. and opened fire, killing 10 police officers, said a policeman who survived the attack but did not want his name published.

 

Ismatullah, a resident of the Maiwand district, said, “At early morning, I heard shooting and later I found out the check post had been attacked,” adding, “I don’t know the exact number of the casualties, but I saw a few dead bodies were carried away by police.”

 

In Helmand Province, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the house of a regional police commander, killing a police officer.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Task Force Wants Huge Increases In Medicine Costs For Active Duty Troops’ Families And Veterans:

Also Demands 100 to 400% Increase In Tricare Enrollment Fees:

Lying Piece Of Shit Co-Chairing Task Force Says “Free” Health Care “Not Acceptable To The Public”

Rat Wilensky Says “Having Health Care Appear To Be Free Is A Bad Signal”

rats

Gail R. Wilensky Rat Here, Rat Now [metroactive.com]

 

December 31, 2007 By Rick Maze, Army Times [Excerpts]

 

In a report certain to fuel debate in Congress next year over defense budget priorities, the Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care issued its final report Dec. 20 that calls for sharp increases in pharmacy co-payments and in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles and co-payments.

 

Under the proposal, which is subject to Pentagon and congressional approval, fees for getting a 30-day supply of prescription drugs at a retail pharmacy — currently $3 for generics, $9 for approved brand-name drugs and $22 for non-approved drugs — would increase to $15 for generics, $25 for brand names and $45 for drugs not on the approved list.

 

Pharmacy increases would apply to the families of active-duty members, for reservists and their families enrolled in the Tricare Reserve health plan and for military retirees and their families covered by the Tricare Standard, Tricare Prime and Tricare for Life programs.

 

For Tricare Prime, the military’s managed care plan, the current $460 annual enrollment fee for family coverage would range between $570 and $780 per year in 2008 and would be $900 to $1,750 per year by 2011.

 

For Tricare Standard, the current plan requires no enrollment fee and has a $300 annual deducible per family.  The task force proposes a $5 monthly enrollment fee in 2008 that would increase in two years to $10 a month, and additionally proposes an increase in annual deductibles.  For 2008, deductibles would range from $350 to $470.  By 2011, deductibles would range from $490 to $960.

 

For Tricare for Life, the insurance plan for Medicare-eligible retirees, the task force recommends creating an enrollment fee of $10 a month. Tricare for Life beneficiaries have no military enrollment fee today but do have to pay a Medicare Part B fee.

 

The proposed fee increases could be even larger for 2009 and beyond; the task force recommends the amounts be indexed to keep pace with the increase in medical care costs, which generally increase at twice the rate of inflation.

 

“This is the best course of action for the future of military health care,” said Air Force Gen. John D.W. Corley, commander, Air Combat Command, who co-chaired the task force that spent a year looking at the military medical system.  The fee increases are not out of line considering the fees have remained unchanged for more than a decade, he said.

 

Dr. Gail R. Wilensky, a senior fellow at the international health education foundation Project HOPE and the other co-chair, said part of the reason for the fee increases is to make the military health plan more acceptable to the general public.

 

She acknowledged that some of the fees, like the $10 a month proposed for older retirees in the Tricare for Life program, are not designed to cover any specific expense and would barely make a dent in the bottom line.

 

“Having health care appear to be free is a bad signal,” she said.

 

 

Troops Invited:

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email contact@militaryproject.org:.  Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication.  Replies confidential.   Same address to unsubscribe.

 

 

HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL 6 A.M. JAN. 22; map shows the percentage ...

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Resistance Action

 

20 Jan 2008 Reuters & The Associated Press & 21 Jan 2008 Reuters & By Amit R. Paley, Washington Post Foreign Service &

 

A roadside bomb wounded a policeman when it hit his car in Mashtal district in eastern Baghdad, police said.

 

Insurgents killed a bodyguard of Salahuddin province's police chief and wounded another in an attack on their car in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The police chief was not present at the time.

 

A roadside bomb killed an employee of the Transport Ministry and wounded six others when it targeted their bus in Diyala Bridge, southeast of Baghdad, police said.

 

An Iraqi policeman and a civilian were wounded in a blast in the city of Mosul northern Iraq, police said on Tuesday.

 

A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two policemen in Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad, police said.

 

A bombing near the city of Fallujah missed its target: a local tribal leader who is allied with the United States.  The sheik, Aeifan al-Issawi, is a leading member of the Anbar Awakening Council.  The bomber detonated explosives in his belt after four guards stopped him at the checkpoint leading to the sheik's farm near Fallujah.  The attack killed the four guards according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals.

 

Guerrillas killed four members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood police patrol and wounded two others in an attack on a checkpoint near Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.  Two of the attackers were killed when police at the checkpoint returned fire.

 

Near the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, insurgents in a sedan opened fire on a checkpoint manned by U.S.-supported tribesmen, said police Col. Yadkar Abdullah.  The attack, in the town of Hawijah, west of Kirkuk, killed a tribesman and wounded three others, he said.

 

An attack in Fallujah targeted a meeting of leaders from the Anbar Awakening Council, a U.S.-supported group. A tribal chief, Hadi Hussein al-Isawi, was among those killed, police and Fallujah hospital officials said.  Five of the wounded were in critical condition, said Mohammed al-Ani, a doctor at the hospital.

 

 

 

“The Political And Strategic Program Of The Iraqi Resistance Which Was Announced By The Baath And Its Resistance On September 2003”

 

[Information on the political and military organization of resistance formations isn’t out there much.  This opens a window on one dimension.  T]

 

The Iraqi National Resistance is made of two wings, a Political one which is known as the Patriotic, Nationalist and Islamic Front which was established in 2005, and the military wing, which is known as The Jihad and Liberation Front.

 

January 21, 2008 By Ibrahim Ebeid, Al-Moharer English Section:  Remarks at The People's Peace Conference, Rutgers University NJ January 19, 2008

 

The US President and his advisers have no knowledge or even a slight understanding of the Iraqi people, and for this reason they dragged us into a costly war.

 

They claimed that the Iraqis would receive the Americans as “Liberators” and welcome them “with flowers and candy”.  But the Resistance to the occupation was born long before March 2003 and the invaders were greeted with bombs and bullets.  

 

The American war against Iraq did not start on March 2003.  It started on January 16, 1991 and since then the Iraqis were fighting and are still fighting against Washington and its allies with stamina, courage and determination. Can the American People endure so much? Can they endure genocidal sanctions and wars for many years?  Definitely not. Even they cannot endure electric failure for only few hours, let alone days or weeks at a time.

 

The occupation of Baghdad by U.S. forces and Bush's declaration of "victory" in April 2003 marked the beginning of the Ba’ath led Iraqi Resistance.  Saddam Hussein and other Ba'ath leaders, in consultation with people in Baghdad, dispersed throughout Iraq and began to fight a protracted War of national liberation in resistance to the occupiers.

 

The Iraqi National Resistance is made of two wings, a Political one which is known as the Patriotic, Nationalist and Islamic Front which was established in 2005, and the military wing, which is known as The Jihad and Liberation Front.

 

The Political wing is made of several political parties who believe in the liberation of Iraq, and of various union organizations.  This Front works diligently to support the Resistance at all levels: financially, politically and educationally.

 

These two wings have a very clear program, the political and strategic program of the Iraqi Resistance which was announced by the Baath and its Resistance on September 2003. 

 

This Program was followed by (The Program of Liberation and Independence) on October 2006 which led to the unification of 22 resistance groups and electing the Jihad and Liberation Command.  Later on the Front expanded and it is still expanding to include more groups.  Now more than 80% of the Iraqi Resistance is unified.  The Rest of the groups will follow according to the Resistance sources.

 

The US Government and the News Media do not tell you that the Iraqi Resistance is not made of Al Qaeda; the Resistance has nothing to do with this sectarian organization, which was established by the CIA, and financed by the Saudi family to fight against the Russians in Afghanistan.

 

Al Qaeda, the creation of the CIA came to Iraq behind the occupation tanks.  Al Qaeda and Bin Laden do not harbor love to the Baath and to the Martyr Saddam Hussein but hatred and hostility.   The Baath in the view of Bin Laden and his organization is Kafir; Baathists are unbelievers, and all secularists or Islamists fall in this category.

 

The Resistance is not strictly Baathists, or totally Islamist but for sure the Baath and its resistance organizations form an important factor in the body of the resistance.

 

The Resistance is made of All the Iraqi fabrics, It has Muslims, of course they are the majority, and the majority of the Baathists are Muslims, it has Christians, atheists, Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Yazidis, Sabaeans and others of the Iraqi fabric.  They are all in agreement to rescue and liberate Iraq.

 

Of course, the Army, The Republican Guards, Fidayee Saddam, the Security Forces, the Baath Party Organizations, the Popular Army, The Islamist Patriotic and Nationalist groups, Arab fighters from Arab countries and others with various names are the backbone of the National Resistance.

 

Izzat Ibrahim Al Douri was elected as the Supreme Commander.  Later on, the Supreme Command convened its own meeting at which a General Staff was created.

 

Lieutenant General Amir Muhammad Amin was named Deputy Supreme Commander for military affairs, while Shaykh 'Ali Abdallah al-Ubaydi' was chosen to head a religious consultative body.

 

A national security board was formed to be headed by General Khalid Sulayman Khalaf.

 

A board for administrative and financial affairs was created under the command of Lieutenant General Muhammad Salih Alwan and an information and mobilization bureau set up under the command of General Salah ad-Deen Ahmad.  Dr. Kan'an Amin was selected as official spokesman for the Jihad and Liberation Command.

 

In its programme, the National Resistance declared that the fight against the US and Iranian Occupation will continue until the invaders leave Iraq unconditionally and until Iraq is fully liberated.

 

 

Will The Resistance Negotiate With The Occupiers?

 

The Resistance declared that the Jihad and Liberation Command upheld "sacred principles" that could not be violated, and that no party is authorized to enter into negotiations with the enemy, but the Resistance is willing to sit and talk with the Americans if the Americans agree to the terms stated by the Resistance in its Program to facilitate the occupiers unconditional withdrawal from Iraq , and if the United States Recognizes the National Resistance as the sole legitimate representative of Iraq and its great people.

 

If the US halts all raids, pursuits, killings, destruction, sabotage, dispossessions and expulsions.

 

If the US is willing to withdraw the occupation troops from all population centers.

 

If the US frees all prisoners and detainees without exception and compensate them for their losses.

 

If the US agrees to the restoration of the legitimate Armed Forces and national security forces as they were before the invasion and occupation.

 

The Americans must pledge to compensate Iraq for losses and injuries to the country caused by the occupation.

 

All laws, decrees and other pieces of legislation issued during the occupation must be cancelled.  These are some of the terms put by the Resistance in its program for Liberation and Independence.

 

Last but not least, The Programme declared that after the liberation is achieved the leadership of the Iraqi Resistance will proceed to form a temporary Shura Council (Consultative Council) which will include 50 to 100 patriotic personalities in amongst the armed Resistance factions, parties, movements and patriotic personalities who resist and reject the occupations and its stooges.

 

The Shura Council will form a national unity government from Iraqi patriotic personalities for a two-year period, supervised completely by the Resistance leadership and the temporary Shura Council to undertake and execute the principles stated by the Program of Liberation and Independence.

 

These are some of the main principles of the Program of Liberation and Independence for peace as stated by the National Resistance and the Baath Party that we should recognize and support.

 

If we keep silent and ignoring the war then we will be partners in creating many more mass graves, here in the United States, and in Iraq.

 

If we keep silent then we will have no friends left in the World; only enemies.  If we keep silent then we will be slaves for the Neocons and Corporate America and our children and the children of Iraq will keep dying.

 

America, do we need another Memorial Wall in the Mall?

 

 

Amazing News!

Interpreters Who Served With Danish Forces Passed On Information To Insurgents

 

January 21, 2008 The Associated Press

 

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Denmark is investigating a report that some of the interpreters who served with Danish forces in Iraq passed on sensitive information about coalition troops to Iraqi insurgents, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said Monday.

 

Maj. Torsten Lind Thomsen, the former head of Danish military intelligence in Iraq, was quoted in the Nyhedsavisen newspaper as saying that at least three interpreters who worked with Danish troops in Basra were spies for the insurgents.

 

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.  Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.  For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.  We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.  Frederick Douglas, 1852

 

 

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms.”  Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787.

 

 

Boomerang History

 

From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: January 22, 2008

Subject: Boomerang History

 

                    Boomerang History

 

I believe the U.S. Government will leave Iraq,

when "Shooter Cheney" is arrested for war crimes.

Or,

when I learn to fly by jumping off the steps of my

apartment building.

 

The Bush-Cheney administration "IS" Empire.

Bush will not go down as the worst president in

United States history.

This administration is the "Hitman" administration.

In January 2009, you will see a Barbie Doll make over.

"What America needs is a new direction"

 

Bull Shit.

The U.S. Empire has to stop being an Empire.

Greed has to stop being greed.

Our dinosaur economy has become someone else's cemetery.

The oil in Iraq has become U.S. holding tanks.

Excuse me while I get an oil change in the next state.

 

Mike Hastie

Vietnam Veteran

January 22, 2008

 

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I  Remember  Another  Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.  (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net)  T)

 

One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head.  The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent.  The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country.  This truth escapes millions.

 

Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71

December 13, 2004

 

 

The High Price Of Talk:

“So – You Don’t Like What Our Administration Is Doing?

“Well – Oppose It.  Not By Yelling At It, But By Taking Action Against It.

“BECOME The Representation You Are Demanding.”

 

20/01/08 By Monica Benderman, Information Clearing House.  She is the wife of Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a ten-year Army veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq and a year in prison for his public protest of war and the destruction it causes to civilians and to American military personnel.  Please visit their website, www.BendermanDefense.org to learn more.  Monica and Kevin may be reached at mdawnb@coastalnow.net.

 

****************************************************

 

“There was a consensus that last year was not productive…Our expectations were dashed,” so John Isaacs was quoted as saying at a meeting of anti-war groups last week. One group alone has been said to have “spent $12 million last year” in actions opposing the war.

 

“Our expectations were dashed.”

 

Mine were not.

 

I oppose this war.  I oppose everything about this war – from the total destruction of an innocent nation, to the abject disillusionment of the citizens of our country regarding their responsibility for this destruction.  I oppose the irreverent disregard for the laws of our constitution by not only our administration and our congressional representatives, but also the citizens who should be rising to oppose such actions, who have chosen instead to believe in the empty promises of national organizations wasting their efforts on counter-productive multi-million dollar spending sprees of futility in opposition to equal efforts by the administration.

 

It is becoming more and more difficult for me to see the difference between the leadership of the right and the leadership of the left.

 

Twelve Million Dollars, and more, spent by one organization in one year – opposing a war – Wasted.

 

How do you oppose something so destructive, so inhumane, so violent – so massive that it destroys an entire country with its incursion, and threatens to destroy its country of origin as well?

 

How do you oppose something as hateful and angry as war and have any expectation of succeeding, when that opposition is simply a superficial public relations fiasco with no substance behind the banners, posters, puppets, television ads and interview slander?

 

Twelve Million Dollars and more – Wasted.

 

In the years since the immoral, unethical invasion of Iraq, I have witnessed as the administration and congressional leadership of our country have laid waste to the opportunities they were given to help direct a conscientious nation of citizens to become true leaders in a world aching to move closer to international peace.

 

As they became more enraptured with the false sense of power their positions gave, those elected to serve the people have come to stand as nothing more than gatekeepers to a downgrading society whose true colors are showing as tempers rise, power continues to corrupt and in their angry response, the organizers of the opposition to present policies demonstrate how little conscience plays into any decisions regarding a new direction for the people.

 

Protesters, counter-recruiters, activists, American citizens all give voice to their opposition to the war – but no one seems to want to organize an alternative for what they are talking so hard to try and stop.  Everyone is yelling for peace.

 

WHAT is peace?

 

How will we know when it gets here if we do not stop yelling, if we do not stop spending in futility, if we do not get started implementing the real actions necessary to ensure that peace has a place from which it can grow lasting roots?

 

So – you don’t like what our administration is doing?

 

Well – oppose it.  Not by yelling at it, but by taking action against it.

 

Our constitution gives the power to the people – and it is through Congress, not the Presidency, that power manifests itself.

 

Our Congress is not representing the voice of the people so… Fire Congress!! … And use your voice to do more than simply complain about the lack of representation.

 

BECOME the representation you are demanding.

 

Across the nation members of counter-recruiting organizations are opposing the actions of military recruiters; shutting down recruiting stations, handing out publications outlining the lies being told by military personnel, telling students the horrors of what they will face if they join today’s military.

 

What is being offered as an alternative? Once success has been achieved and that student, that “poor manipulated young innocent,” is out of the grasp of the military recruiter, what is there to give in place of what they had been promised for enlisting?

 

I have been on military installations.

 

On every installation ordained to be necessary to the defense of our nation, multi-million dollar deals have been made with contractors across the country.

 

On every installation, state of the art education centers are being built, along with shopping malls, and brand-new three bedroom homes with energy efficient appliances now cropping up in gated military sub-divisions complete with playgrounds, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and neighborhood associations.

 

To a young man or woman who grew up believing they would never have a way out of the poverty that was their childhood reality, the military offers every dream come true.

 

With no assurance that their life was going to matter anyway, it is not a stretch to understand why they are willing to sign it away for a chance at the success they were certain to only dream about before the military offered its collateral.

 

What are you giving them in return once you have succeeded at turning the next generation of potential leaders away from their perceived "dreams come true"???

 

Twelve Million Dollars wasted – on puppets, television ads laden with empty promises, and false visions of hope soon dashed when the real support needed to help these youth move in a strong, positive direction never manifests itself.

 

Veterans are returning from war to face financial problems, marital problems, physical problems and the psychological and emotional trauma of the reality of war. As protesters and activists, American citizens, proclaim the need to ensure that concerns of the veterans are met with resources for recovery, millions of dollars are spent trying to force bankrupt government agencies to provide the care their inadequate services cannot possibly achieve.

 

“We, the people” protest the actions of our government officials, and rather than work, applying funds to programs which would foster change, spend countless millions simply complaining that nothing is getting done.

 

Twelve Million Dollars, and more – Wasted.

 

American citizens lose more and more every day as their elected representatives to government spend a few hours each week offering reassurances that they are working on the “people’s behalf", only to return to their self-serving offices once they believe the insecurities of the people have again been temporarily placated.

 

Corporate entities rake in profits as jobs for Americans are sent overseas; quality and durability sacrificed as cost-effective measures are implemented. Struggling local businesses close their doors while leaders of the opposition to our present administration, representing “the people", protest loudly of the need to save the American economy, spending millions on banners when those millions would be better spent rebuilding our shattered local communities.

 

We are wasting millions of dollars publicly denouncing our administration’s policy of wasting our tax dollars on efforts that only benefit themselves.

 

Twelve Million Dollars, and more – Wasted.

 

I once thought talk was cheap – I have since learned – the high price of talk is money wasted, laws disregarded, the needs of the people reduced to empty promises and freedom destroyed.

 

“There was a consensus that last year was not productive…Our expectations were dashed.” Mine were not.

 

The voice of the people has to become more than just a voice if the people hope to become what they proclaim themselves to be.

 

Twelve Million Dollars, and more – wasted.

 

Freedom deserves far more than wasted millions and wasted breath.

 

“The single largest failure of the anti-war movement at this point is the lack of outreach to the troops.”  Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War

 

“The military are the final, essential weak point of Bush and Cheney.”   David McReynolds 9.29.07

 

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling 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.  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.org/)

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Good News For The Iraqi Resistance!!

U.S. Occupation Commands’ Stupid Tactics Recruit Even More Fighters To Kill U.S. Troops

U.S. Army soldiers from Aero Troop, 2-1 Cavalry, question a ...

Foreign occupation soldiers from the U.S. interrogate a local resident near Baquba 12.15.07. REUTERS/Bob Strong

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE SERVICE?

Forward GI Special 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, inside the armed services and at home.  Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126 , 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

So Many Tragedies in So Little Time

Palestinians take part in a protest against severe fuel cuts, ...

Palestinians protest against severe fuel cuts, which led to power cuts, in Gaza January 21, 2008.  Large parts of the Gaza Strip plunged into darkness when its main power plant shut down after Israel blocked fuel supplies and closed the border to the territory.  REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA)

 

From: Rafah today

To: GI Special

Sent: January 21, 2008

Subject: Cry from Gaza

 

Where to start…, what to talk about…?

 

The crippling electricity shortages, affecting hospitals as well as civilians? 

 

The air strikes & on-going, daily bombings by the Israeli army, their indiscriminate targeting of civilians and police stations…?  

 

Israel’s non-accidental, enforced starvation of 1.5 million people by closing off ALL borders and not allowing in even UN aid, let alone basic medicinal, food, and construction needs…? 

 

Shortages of fuel have re-surfaced in Gaza: most of Gaza has no electricity and even more importantly, the shortage of medicine in Palestinian hospitals continues to increase, with the Ministry of Health reporting a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

 

Or should I begin with the bomb which just hit a wedding close to the Ministry of Interior building in Gaza City, with 15 apartment buildings within the bomb’s target range? 

 

One woman was killed and 47 others were injured –mostly children and women who had been inside their homes or playing on the street!! 

 

Scenes of children injured, bleeding and crying just moments after they had been enjoying a wedding celebration in a Gaza wedding hall…a horrific sight likely to go without mention of that in most news sources.

 

The injured were evacuated to Al Shifa hospital, where it was then hard to find enough beds and blankets for them, with children crammed three to four on a bed due to overcrowding. 

 

Earlier Friday, Israel closed its border with the Gaza Strip to all traffic in what officials say is response to cross-border rocket fire, preventing even UN humanitarian supplies from getting in. 

 

The decision came after Israel vowed to broaden its military campaign against Gaza militants who have fired more than 110 home made rockets at southern Israel in the last three days resulting in the injury of two Israelis.

 

In contrast, 19 Palestinians were killed in one day last Wednesday during another Israeli attack, this one targeting the eastern part of Gaza City . 

 

These are the latest attacks, but not the only: since the visit of US president and ‘peacemaker’, George Bush, within only 74 hours, Israel has killed 37 people and injured more than 90. 

 

Those numbers, which could again go up at any minute, were confirmed by Khaled Radi, the Ministry of Health spokesman in Gaza .  Radi also said that Israel is using internationally illegal weapons, which makes it impossible for people to identify the bodies of their relatives as they have been destroyed to unrecognizable ends.

 

Among the tens killed were a 13 year old boy and his father and uncle, killed in what Israel claims was “a mistake”.  Another Israeli attack killed a mother, Maryam Al Rahel, and her son, Mohammed, who were on a donkey cart when an Israeli warplane bombed them.  Their bodies, like so many others, were rendered into small pieces of flesh, scattered everywhere!

 

 

An Even Blacker Night!

 

I and some journalist colleagues went to offer condolences to a journalist friend of ours for the death of his cousin as a result of medicine shortages on Wednesday.  While on the way, there was a lot of shooting going on, from funerals and demonstrations.  Later, as we were starting to drive off from our parking spot, Mohammed, another journalist, suggested waiting for a moment.  But as others preferred to not wait around, we eventually left. 

 

After we had gone just a few minutes down the road, we learned that the place where our car had been parked had just been bombed, targeting and killing two Palestinians, injuring another three. 

 

“It could have been us who were killed,” one of the journalists said to me.  I answered: “Thanks to God, it wasn’t.  But this is so sad; it must be terrible for their families, with children left behind and no one now to support them.”

 

 

Update on Killings

 

As predicted, the death toll has risen since I began this report: another two have been killed in northern Gaza, and another 4 badly injured. 

 

Israeli Ministry spokesman, Shlomo Dror says that: “It's unacceptable that people in Sderot are living in fear every day and people in the Gaza Strip are living life as usual.” 

 

And I wonder, what exactly does he consider “life as usual”? 

 

For if he means it is normal that over 35 civilians should be killed in 4 days, an entire population should be on the verge of starvation and should be forced to shiver through winter nights without electricity or sufficient blankets, that hospitals and medical centers should be forced to shut down or operate at sub-par capability and without needed medicine, food, blankets, and even space,…the list goes on…well then yes, we are living life as usual.

 

Relatives mourn deaths in Gaza

The wife (centre) of Amer al-Yaziji cries during the funeral of her son, her husband and her brother-in-law; all killed while driving their car in Gaza City during an Israeli air attack. The army said it had been targeting militants but had killed civilians "in error" Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images  [Thanks to JM, for sending in.]

 

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org  The occupied nation is Palestine.  The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

 

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]

 

 

Gay Tiger Attacks Huckabee:

 

January 18, 2008 The Borowtiz Report

 

After making remarks in which he directly equated homosexuality with bestiality, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was attacked at the San Francisco Zoo by a gay tiger.

 

Mr. Huckabee had scheduled a campaign stop at the zoo where he made his controversial remarks about homosexuality and bestiality, not realizing that he was standing within earshot of a Bengal tiger with a homosexual lifestyle.

 

According to onlooker Tracy Klujian, 27, “The way that tiger started growling during the speech, you could tell that it felt like it was being taunted.”

 

As Mr. Huckabee’s remarks about homosexuality and bestiality reached their crescendo, the irate tiger leaped over an eighteen-foot barrier and began mauling the presidential candidate.

 

Within minutes, police responding to a 911 call rushed to the scene, where they fired tranquilizer darts at both the tiger and Mr. Huckabee, who had continued to make his offensive remarks throughout the mauling.

 

According to one aide, the unfortunate tiger attack incident had done nothing to change Mr. Huckabee’s position on gay marriage: “Not only that, but now he’s opposed to tigers marrying other tigers.”

 

In other campaign news, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney used a speech in South Carolina to tout his life experience, including his stint as a generic white male Clipart illustration.

 

And in Florida, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson picked up the endorsement of the National Association of Jowly Grouches.

 

Mr. Thompson promised the Grouches that if elected, he would tell those damn kids to get off their lawn.

 

 

 

CLASS WAR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

Capitalism At Work:

“The Rich Are Getting Fabulously Richer”

“The Peak Income Year For The Bottom 90% Of Americans Was Way Back In 1973”

 

January 19, 2008 By BOB HERBERT, New York Times [Excerpts]

 

From 1980 to 2005 the national economy, adjusted for inflation, more than doubled. (Because of population growth, the actual increase per capita was about 66 percent.)

 

But the average income for the vast majority of Americans actually declined during that period. The standard of living for the average family has improved not because incomes have grown, but because women have gone into the workplace in droves.

 

The peak income year for the bottom 90 percent of Americans was way back in 1973 — when the average income per taxpayer (adjusted for inflation) was $33,001. That is nearly $4,000 higher than the average in 2005.

 

It’s incredible but true: 90 percent of the population missed out on the income gains during that long period.

 

“The pattern here is clear.  The rich are getting fabulously richer, the vast majority are somewhat worse off, and the bottom half — for all practical purposes, the poor — are being savaged by our current economic policies.”

 

“The distribution of wages, income and wealth in the United States has become vastly more unequal over the last 30 years.

 

In fact, this country has a more unequal distribution of income than any other advanced country.”

 

 

STOP THE BULLDOZERS OF ETHNIC CLEANSING!

 

Protest Sen. David Vitter On Jan. 25th—

 

International Day Of Action In Defense Of New Orleans’ Public Housing

 

January 22, 2008 NOLA_C3_Discussion

 

Join us Friday, January 25th from 2-4 PM as we tell Senator David “Family Values” Vitter at his home to stop blocking Senate Bill 1668 and let our working class families come home.

 

Directions to David Vitter’s Home at 238 Helois in Metairie:

We will meet at Carrolton and Canal (old Robert parking lot) at 1:30 PM and then caravan to Vitter’s.

 

Call the number below if you need a ride.

 

(from New Orleans take I-10 west, get off at the Bonnabel exit (Exit 229) take first left on Bonnabel Blvd.  Take right on Brockenbraugh,  and take first left on Helios).

 

Affordable housing activists will be rallying on Friday January 25th at the home of Senator David Vitter to demand the reopening of Public Housing.

 

While Senator Vitter has lectured for years on so-called family values, he is the central obstacle to passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1668, critical legislation that would help bring thousands of New Orleans and Louisianan families home.  

 

This bill would provide some $1 Billion for the under-funded Road Home program for private homeowners, the immediate reopening of 3,000 badly needed and viable New Orleans Public Housing units, one-for-one replacement of public housing under any redevelopment, and thousands of more vouchers for the homeless.

 

Importantly, this bill would help reverse the de-facto ethnic cleansing--expulsion of low-income African Americans from the city--that David Vitter and other government officials have supported by blocking the reopening of Public and other affordable housing.

 

We will send a message to Senator Vitter that he will not be allowed to improve his political fortunes by ethnically cleansing a sector of the Louisiana electorate.

 

Sponsor: Coalition to Stop Demolition. For more information call 504-520-9521

 

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