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Saturday, May 27, 2006 10:10 AM

GI SPECIAL 4B1: 2/2/06

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47% Of Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Killed:
[That’s Only 12.2 Million]

[Thanks to Phil G. who sent this in. He writes: That few?]

[If that number were willing to say so to some poll taker while living under a U.S. military dictatorship, with occupation death squads running around loose, you can imagine what the real numbers are. By the way, 47% is 12.2 million very pissed off Iraqis. How do you like them odds? T]

Jan. 30, 2006 BY DREW BROWN, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON: A new poll found that nearly half of Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and most favor setting a timetable for American troops to leave.

The poll also found that 80 percent of Iraqis think the United States plans to maintain permanent bases in the country even if the newly elected Iraqi government asks American forces to leave.

Researchers found a link between support for attacks and the belief among Iraqis that the United States intends to keep a permanent military presence in the country.

The survey was conducted Jan. 2-5, with a nationwide sample of 1,150 Iraqis from country’s main religious and ethnic sects.

According to the poll’s findings, 47 percent of Iraqis approve of attacks on American forces, but there were large differences among ethnic and religious groups. Among Sunni Muslims, 88 percent said they approved of the attacks. That approval was found among 41 percent of Shiite Muslims and 16 percent of Kurds.

Previous samples from Shiites who supported attacks on coalition troops have been much lower in the past, Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and a longtime Iraq watcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, but support for U.S.-led forces even among Shiites, who were oppressed under Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, has been mixed from the beginning.

“It was clear after the invasion that about a third or more of Shiites did not see us as liberators, and did not see the war as justified, and somewhere around 15 percent supported attacks on coalition forces then,” he said.  ”We’re also seen as creating all kinds of internal problems without creating any kind of internal solutions.”

According to the poll, 80 percent of Iraqis overall assume that the United States intends to keep bases in Iraq. The breakdown of people who have that belief is 92 percent of Sunnis, 79 percent of Shiites and 67 percent of Kurds.

MORE:

“The Asymmetric, Modern Battlefield Has Rendered Occupation A Losing Proposition”

In Iraq, all the insurgency leaders have to do is keep recruiting enough fighters to replace the ones we kill. This is easy for them to do because we make so many enemies during the occupation.

Jan 31, 2006 By Joey B King, Veterans For Peace Chapter 89, vfp discussion [Excerpts]

During the American Revolution, George Washington knew one thing with certainty. He could win by not loosing. No doubt he knew he was outmatched by the greatest military in the world at the time.

The Vietnamese did the same thing to both the French and the Americans. They simply refused to quit even though they won few battles. Eventually, both great powers left.

Modern terrorists/guerillas/insurgents have made “winning’ impossible because they have made it un-definable.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has no more than 5000 fighters, yet Israel has been unable to defeat them, despite 20 years of military action and billions of dollars. (And now Hamas has won enough support in an election to take a major role in the region.)

A relatively small number of insurgents can win on today’s modern battlefield, simply by not losing. This is especially true in military occupations.

In Iraq, all the insurgency leaders have to do is keep recruiting enough fighters to replace the ones we kill. This is easy for them to do because we make so many enemies during the occupation.

The “winning-by-not-losing” formula is simple:

Low-tech tactics against soft targets
Low-tech (but deadly) weapons
Patience, will, and continuous recruitment

Winning-by-not-losing is the warfare of the future.

The asymmetric, modern battlefield has rendered occupation a losing proposition.

MORE:

“The ‘War’ Was Lost Before It Ever Started”

Feb 1, 2006, Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace [Excerpt]

Saddam had a 900,000 man army, which disbanded upon the invasion…consider THAT army to be what is now the” insurgent” army, not to mention the general population of Iraq, most of whom are strongly against the U.S. occupation, and many of whom are now “insurgents”…so by Army standards, we needed about 2,700,000 troops to oppress the “insurgent” army, without even counting any civilians.

The “war” was lost before it ever started.

Peace from Ward,
Weapons Platoon, Co. “C”
1st Bn., 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Div.
1971-1974

MORE:

“For The Iraqis To Win, All They Have To Do Is Survive”

Feb 1, 2006 David Honish, Veterans For Peace

Iraq is a guerilla warfare scenario similar to Viet Nam. Urban desert is substituted for tropical jungles, but not much else is different. 

For the US military to win, they’d have to kill every single one of them. 

For the Iraqis to win, all they have to do is survive, and kill a GI or two at a time and place of their choice.

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

N.C. Marine Killed In Humvee Accident

Jan. 30, 2006 Associated Press

HIGH POINT, N.C. – A Marine from North Carolina who became a U.S. citizen less than a year ago was killed in Iraq when the Humvee in which he was a passenger overturned, family members said. The accident occurred Friday in the Anbar province.

The body of Cpl. Felipe Barbosa, 21, of High Point has been returned to Dover, Del. He was an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

Family members, including his wife, Christina, 19, gathered Monday in High Point to remember Barbosa, who was born in Brazil. She had last spoken with her husband Jan. 23 by cell phone.

“We just talked a minute; they were having a sandstorm and the phone was breaking up. He said he was doing fine. He had told me not to worry about him; he was going to come back home; he wasn’t going to die,” said Christina Barbosa, who was married to her husband for 18 months.

Barbosa, who became a U.S. citizen in February 2005, had joined the Marines on Dec. 31, 2002. His interest in the Marines dated to his years in Brazil, where his father and grandfather had served in the military, said his mother, Iraci Dunbar of Greensboro. The family moved here in 1994.

He hoped to go to college and work as a foreign missionary when he finished his military service, his wife said.

British Soldier Killed, Three Wounded


Corporal Gordon Alexander Pritchard of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards who was the 100th British soldier to be killed in Iraq is seen in this undated photograph released by Britain’s Ministry of Defence January 31, 2006. REUTERS/Handout

31 January 2006 BBC

A British soldier has died in a blast in southern Iraq, the 100th UK forces fatality since the 2003 invasion.

The soldier, from the 7th Armoured Brigade, was killed in Basra province, the Ministry of Defence said.

Three other troops were injured, one seriously, in the blast, which took place at 0834 local time (0534 GMT).

Area Woman Killed

January, 21, 2006 Angela Fail, Pensacola News Journal

A former Pensacola resident died in Iraq on Friday, marking the war’s third local casualty since October.

Army soldier Katherine P. Singleton is the daughter of Doryce Blake and Maryon Singleton, who resides in Myrtle Grove.

Singleton on Friday night confirmed his daughter’s death but declined further comment.

According to Pensacola News Journal archives, Katherine Singleton enlisted in the Army’s Delayed Entry Program in 2001.

Her death marks the third service member in the two-county area to be killed in Iraq in as many months.

Oklahoma Airman Killed By Improvised Explosive Device

1/24/2006 KOTV

Another Oklahoman dies in Iraq. Air Force Tech Sergeant Jason Norton, of Miami, was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb.

Norton was a dog trainer as part of a US Air Force security team in Iraq. He was in a convoy Sunday when he was killed by a roadside bomb.

He was a native of Commerce and grew up in Miami, where he graduated from Miami High School in 1991. 

Norton’s old friends said he enjoyed hunting in Alaska. They recalled his love of family, and his desire to get back home to be closer to his parents, a brother and sister. Kevin Browning: “He really enjoyed his family and his hobbies, hunting and fishing and he was ready to draw his retirement and come back to Miami and hook back up with our families and to enjoy his family.”

Norton joined the Air Force in 1992. His wife, Cristina is a native of the Oklahoma City area. She’s a school teacher with Anchorage Public Schools. They have two children.

A memorial service is scheduled Friday at the Air Force base near Anchorage. A funeral is still being planned for Miami.

Iraq Blast Killed Noncom From San Antonio


Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy

01/25/2006 Sig Christenson, Express-News Military Writer

Brian McElroy stayed under the radar, whether as a Churchill High School senior a decade ago or an Air Force noncommissioned officer known for his quick mind and wit.

Brian McElroy stayed under the radar, whether as a Churchill High School senior a decade ago or an Air Force noncommissioned officer known for his quick mind and wit.

But that habitual low profile wasn’t enough this week. Insurgents detonated a roadside bomb near Taji, a hotbed of the guerrilla war in Iraq, killing McElroy and Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton, 32, of Miami, Okla.

A staff sergeant, McElroy, 28, of San Antonio and Norton had been in Iraq about three months. Their deaths Sunday made them the 10th and 11th airmen to die in Iraq since the invasion, and among four to perish since the Air Force began providing troops for convoy escort duty 11/2 years ago.

McElroy is the 12th San Antonian to be killed in Iraq. At least 193 Texans have died in Iraq since the war began, the Associated Press reported.

Norton and McElroy were in convoy when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. A third unidentified airman, the gunner in their armored Humvee, was blown clear when the equivalent of a 122-mm artillery shell detonated.

He’s expected to recover.

McElroy joined the Air Force in April 1998 and graduated from basic training at Lackland AFB that summer.

A Security Forces veteran, he returned to Lackland last fall for the Air Force’s Basic Combat Convoy Course. BC3, as it’s called, is a tutorial on the fundamentals of surviving Iraq’s deadly roads.  Convoy training was launched June 3, 2004, at Lackland to help an Army under strain.

McElroy and Norton, a dog handler, were among 700 airmen on convoy escort duty as the week began, and were familiar faces in Elmendorf AFB’s tightly knit Security Forces community.

“That’s kind of a double hit for that group,” Watson said. “When he was here he would help out with the children of the others, as well as raising his own kids.”

Scots Soldier Killed


This undated picture issued by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006 shows British soldier Lance Corporal Allan Stewart Douglas from Aberdeen, Scotland, who was killed Jan. 30, 2006 after coming under fire in Iraq’s Maysan Province.  Lance Corporal Douglas from the Highlander regiment was part of a patrol that came under small arms fire in Al Amarah. Lance Corporal Douglas with the ninety-ninth British soldier to die in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. (AP Photo/MOD/ho)


A British armoured vehicle is seen crashed on a truck along a road after a roadside bomb attack targeting British patrol in Um Qasr, an Iraqi port city near Basra January 31, 2006. A British soldier was killed by the explosion in southern Iraq on Tuesday, becoming the 100th UK service member to die in the campaign since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.  REUTERS/Atef Hassan

Va. Marine Dies 3 Weeks Before Iraq Tour Was To End

January 26, 2006 By Allan Lengel, Washington Post Staff Writer

Sgt. Sean Miles was a tough Marine with a soft heart.

Last summer, just before shoving off for Iraq, Miles phoned his older brother back home in Virginia and asked him to “keep an eye” on his 2 1/2 -year old son, Tyler, in case the unthinkable happened.

“I didn’t want to talk about it,” said Christopher Miles of Midlothian, where the family had moved in 1990 from New York. “I felt talking about it would jinx it, but it was something he wanted to talk about.”

On Tuesday, the unthinkable happened.

Sean Miles, 28, was killed by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Karmah, Iraq, just three weeks before he was scheduled to complete his seven-month tour.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Among his decorations were the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Yesterday, family and friends gathered at his home in North Carolina, where his wife, Genevieve, and son had been anxiously awaiting his return. The family chose brother Christopher, 30, the oldest of three siblings, to speak about Sean.

“He was one of those people everyone seemed to know,” Miles said. “We keep having people come up to us and say they knew him or say they went to school with him. I can’t imagine the number of friends he had. I’m the introvert of the two of us. I’m envious of the lives he touched.”

Miles said his brother loved sports and excelled in varsity football at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, west of Richmond.

“He was the jock of the family,” Miles said. “He loved to live and relive those glory days.”

After a game, if he had made any outstanding plays, he liked to watch the video. Sometimes, he watched the videos “years after the fact,” Miles said.

Neenah Soldier Injured

February 1, 2006 The Post-Crescent

A Neenah man serving with the Wisconsin National Guard reportedly was injured by a roadside bomb Monday in Iraq.

CBS News reported that Andrew Neumeyer was seriously hurt while serving in Iraq, and that he was being treated at a hospital in Germany.

A soldier named Andrew Neumeyer is serving with the Wisconsin National Guard. He said he serves with the Appleton-based 127th Battalion, 2nd Infantry.

CBS News also said Neumeyer’s 22-year-old brother, Eric, also serves with the 127th Infantry.

More than 600 soldiers from the Appleton unit were called to active duty in June.

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

Reforming Afghanistan On U.S. Model A Huge Success!!
Half Their 351 Members Of Parliament Linked To Criminal Gangs.

Jan 31, 2006 HAMIDA GHAFOUR, The Globe and Mail

Sam Zia Zarifi, research director for the Asian division of Human Rights Watch. said one of the biggest challenges is the warlords who were allowed to run for parliament despite their unpopularity among Afghans.

He estimated that half of the 351 MPs were linked to criminal gangs.

TROOP NEWS

“I’ve Literally Lost All My Guys Since I’ve Been Over There”

January 31, 2006 By CARLOS VILLATORO, Register Staff Writer

On New Year’s Day, while most of Napa was fighting flood waters, Curtis Crawford was fighting a battle of a different sort.  He was operating out of patrol base Gator Swamp, about 50 miles from Baghdad, where terrorist activity was plentiful.

As a member of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Crawford patrols some of the deadliest territory in Iraq.  His job as an infantry sergeant is far more dangerous than his former job as a fire inspector in his hometown of St. Helena.  That was proven New Year’s Day, when he was severely injured by a sniper’s bullet that missed his protective armor and enter his torso.

Gator Swamp, he said, is “like the main avenue of approach of insurgents and terrorists coming into the Iraqi area from Syria.  When I got hit, I was on patrol with my team and I was relieving another team coming in.  

“I was about a mile and a half outside of Gator Swamp (and) the team that we were relieving told us … that there’s sniper activity (in a specific area).  Within five or 10 minutes later, I got hit from a sniper in the opposite area.”

“It went inside, it went through my lungs, bounced off my heart, took out my spleen and came out of my back,” he said.

The bullet damaged Crawford’s liver, diaphragm, left lung, spleen, broke three of his ribs and left a hole in his back big enough to fit a fist in, he said.  Almost immediately after he went down, his comrades pulled him to safety, placed him in the back of a truck and began giving him medical aid.

“They had to drive me down the road and across a river, my sergeants and other medical personnel went to work on me and I started going down … losing consciousness,” he said.

Crawford hung onto his life long enough for a helicopter to land and fly him to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery.  Two days later, the Army placed Crawford on a plane bound for Germany, but then his body took a turn for the worse.

“My vitals started crashing and I flat-lined out and they revived me,” he said.  ”Once they got my vitals stabilized, they took me to another hospital … in Iraq.  I had to go to emergency surgery.  They put a chest tube the size of a garden hose inside me.”

Doctors managed to save Crawford’s life and after a two-day stay in Germany, Crawford was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., to continue his recovery.  As for the sniper, Crawford said his team got him.

At the medical center, Crawford was given a glimpse of major injuries sustained by his fellow soldiers, Marines and other military brethren, he said.  To see others in conditions that were far worse than his made him realize that he was lucky to have walked away with only the injuries that he had, he said.

The sniper attack wasn’t the first time he was wounded while fighting insurgents.  Two months prior, Crawford and his men were in a firefight when an insurgent blasted out the window of a nearby car.

The shards of glass from the car window acted like small knives and cut Crawford’s jaw, ear and neck.

The two attacks have earned two Purple Hearts for Crawford.  But Crawford says he isn’t going to let those injuries deter him from serving his country.  In fact, he plans to return to Iraq with his squad in September, he said.  With only two more years until his Army contract expires, Crawford said he plans to re-enlist and eventually retire from the Army.

“They are not forcing me to go (back to Iraq) by any means,” Crawford said. “They are saying I don’t have to go back if I don’t want to. I have a loyalty to my boys out there. I’m a leader.  Especially with the guys we lost over there, I have loyalty. 

“I’ve literally lost all my guys since I’ve been over there.  We started out with a team of 48, now we are down to 23.”

Mountain Battalion Company Taking Casualties In Iraq

02/01/06 AP, MONTPELIER, Vt.

The stateside commander of a Vermont National Guard infantry company that has seen three leaders killed in Iraq says the unit isn’t being hit harder than others serving in the same area.

The unit that is part of Task Force Saber, a Vermont National Guard unit serving in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, has seen two junior officers and a noncommissioned officer killed in combat. A third junior officer wounded by a roadside bomb could not return to duty and there have been a number of less serious casualties.

“A lot of our soldiers are on their second and in some cases their third tours,” Lt. Col. Jack Mosher of Burnham, Maine, the commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 172 Infantry Regiment (Mountain). said.

Injured 222nd Soldier Improving

January 31, 2006 By JILL HUNT, The Spectrum

ST. GEORGE – A St. George soldier who was seriously injured during a suicide bombing attack in Iraq has been moved to Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Ga.

Spc. Rick J. McClary, a member of the Utah National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery, was injured on Jan. 5 during an attack in Ramadi, Iraq.

McClary was working at the time as part of an Iraqi police screening and selection team.  

According to CNN.com, more than 16,500 U.S. troops have been wounded in action during the Iraq war.

“He has a lot of shrapnel in both hands, under the rib cage in the right chest and right knee; (he) fractured his right leg from shrapnel and shrapnel to the groin,” Greg McClary, Rick’s father, said.  ”He has a lot of metal in his right hand and pins holding his hand together with rods in his right arm and leg.”

McClary was reportedly wearing the prescribed protective equipment at the time of the attack.  The equipment includes a Kevlar helmet, eye, throat and groin protection as well as a flak jacket.

“His flak jacket, which has a ceramic insert, had eight big dents and a couple of holes in it,” McClary said.  ”He’s lucky the shrapnel didn’t go through it.”

Family members are grateful that they are able to talk with their injured soldier on a daily basis.

“He’s working real hard, he’s a strong kid,” Karma Spilsbury, McClary’s mother, said.  ”I just have faith and so far so good.  He is coming home.  We keep positive and he’s going make a full recovery.”

“It’s got to be pretty traumatic for a 19-year-old that just wanted to go to college,” his father said.  ”He sounds better and better every day.”

McClary joined the military right out of high school as a way to obtain funding for college. He went on a night maneuvers trip with step-brother, Cole Carpenter, and signed with the Utah National Guard the next day.

IMPOSSIBLE MISSION
FUTILE EXERCISE
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

U.S. Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) search property near Hit January 25, 2006. The Marines and Iraqi troops are conducting Operation Koa Canyon, a sweep through towns and villages along the Euphrates River in search of munitions and insurgents. REUTERS/Bob Strong

“14,000 Of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans Diagnosed With PTSD Were Also Treated For Drug Dependencies”

Jan 28, 2006 By Olga Pierce, UPI [Excerpt]

[Thanks to Alycia A. Barr, who sent this in.]

WASHINGTON, DC, United States:  About 40,000 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been found to show symptoms of mental health disorders, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) representative said Friday.

PTSD is the most common mental health problem among the troops returning home. The ailment, which results from exposure involving direct or indirect threat of serious injury or death, results in recurrent thoughts of trauma, reduced involvement in work or outside interests, hyper alertness, anxiety and irritability.

Although the fraction of soldiers diagnosed, about one-third, is higher than in the past, the VA has ‘no real way to know, in a true epidemiological sense, whether the rate is higher than past conflicts,’ Antoinette Zeiss of the VA office of mental health services, said at the National Press Club.

Nearly 19,000 veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were treated for post-traumatic stress between 2002 and 2005 in the administration’s network of 160 specialized programs

In addition, 14,000 of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD were also treated for drug dependencies, although the mix of drugs differs somewhat from the Vietnam era, and 11,000 were treated for depression.

Iraq Veterans Against The War Report From Venezuela

From: Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War
To: GI Special
Sent: January 30, 2006
Subject: Venezuela

I just got back from the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela. 

While there, I encountered many people: some pro-Chavez, some anti-Chavez.

Regardless of their support for their leader, I found one thing in common amongst all Venezuelans: their dislike of Bush.

In one rally, the chant was, “No a la Guerra, Abajo Bush”. In English, this means “No to war, Down with Bush”.

When my IVAW counterpart, Geoff Millard, and I were walking the streets in our desert BDU blouses, the looks we got from the locals were quite telling. Eventually, we had to make arm bands that said “Contra la Guerra,” or “Against the War,” in order to make our position more clear.

Only then did the nasty looks subside.

My experience in Venezuela and the other foreign countries I have recently traveled to tell me only one thing is certain: our image abroad is extremely poor because of our sorry excuse for a president. 

I leave you with a picture of graffiti found while walking on a college campus.

Tim Goodrich
Co-founder, Iraq Veterans Against the War: Western Region

Contact www.ivaw.net/

Vets Say War Profiteering Company Risking Soldier’s Lives;
Their Complaints Are Ignored
[Profits Come First]

1.31.06 Houston Chronicle

A group of veterans accused a defense contractor of endangering soldiers’ lives by providing substandard training in the use of the Army’s advanced global positioning system, or GPS, devices.

The veterans said they resigned their training jobs with ARINC, which is training soldiers at Fort Hood, Tex., after their complaints about unqualified employees were ignored.

Pentagon Says Crooked Bush Buddies At Halliburton Can Pocket 95% Of Phony War Charges

1.31.06 Los Angeles Times

Halliburton subsidiary KBR has agreed to lop $9 million off sole-source contracts paid for by the U.S. government with Iraqi oil money after auditors questioned $208 million in possible overcharges, an international watchdog agency said.

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board said it only recently learned of the Dec. 22 settlement between the Pentagon and KBR.

While War Profiteers Loot The Treasury,
Deployed National Guard Members
Face Bankruptcy

1.30.06 Rone Tempest, Los Angeles Times [Excerpt]

A 2004 Department of Defense survey of married National Guard members and reservists showed that 55% of those interviewed experienced significant loss of income going from their civilian career to military service. For 15% of those surveyed, the loss was more than $30,000 a year.

“Some families have lost as much as 70% of their household incomes while their primary wage earner is serving our country.”

“That can mean house and tuition payments aren’t being made, savings are drained, retirement accounts are depleted and cars are repossessed;” all because a loved one is in harm’s way in the service of our country.”

PAGE 73 PRODUCTIONS
PRESENTS
“ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE”

2.1.06 Jim Murphy Veteransforpeaceny.org/

The producers of ‘Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue’ are offering discounts to VFP/IVAW/VVAW members. See the play and if possible, support the following performances.

Friday Feb. 3rd 8-9:30 PM: Discussion with Ben Chitty USN Vietnam
Wed. Feb. 8th 8-9:30 PM: Discussion with Dayl Wise 1st CAV Vietnam
Wed. Feb. 15th 8-9:30 PM: Discussion with Gerry McCarthy USMC Vietnam

All VFP members: Tickets $10 on Talk Back nights CODE: VFP73TB.

Tickets $12 on all other nights CODE: VFP73.

WRITTEN BY QUIARA ALEGRI╠ HUDES
DIRECTED BY DAVIS McCALLUM

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT!
JANUARY 28 – FEBRUARY 19

OFFICIAL OPENING: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

45 BELOW @ THE CULTURE PROJECT
(45 BLEECKER STREET)

Discussion is about a young Latino soldier who returns from active duty in Iraq and attempts to make sense of his military experience; this young man is only able to make sense of his experience by reading letters that his father (a Vietnam veteran) wrote to his grandfather (a Korea veteran). It’s a moving and beautiful piece; the playwright based it on the experience of her cousin, who fought in Iraq during the first few months of the war when he was only eighteen years old. 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Assorted Resistance Action


Iraqi firefighters try to douse flames from an oil pipeline fire Feb. 1, 2006, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq.  A homemade bomb blew up a section of pipeline linking a Baghdad oil refinery to a power station south of the capital Wednesday, disrupting electricity supplies for thousands of Iraqis in several southern Iraqi cities, an official said.  (AP Photo/Ali al-Maamuori)

Jan 31, 2006 DPA & 02-01-2006 AFP & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

In Buhriz, 60 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, four Iraqi soldiers were killed and one injured in exchange of fire between the army and insurgents.

A bomb also blew up an oil pipeline on Wednesday just north of the southern town of Hilla, police said.  The pipeline was carrying oil to a local electricity plant.

A bomb went off next to the interior ministry, a blast heard throughout central Baghdad, injuring two people.

A mortar barrage killed two Iraqi soldiers in the northwestern city of Tal Afar, officials said.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

“The So-Called ‘Insurgents,’ Who Wreak Such Havoc, Are Not America’s Enemy”

January 30, 2006 by James Carroll, The Boston Globe[Excerpt]

The so-called “insurgents,” who wreak such havoc, are not America’s enemy. They are not our rivals for territory. They are not our ideological antagonists. Abstracting from the present confrontation, they have no reason to wish us ill.

Americans who bother to imagine the situation from the Iraqi point of view: a massive foreign invasion, launched on false pretenses; a brutal occupation, with control of local oil reserves surely part of the motivation; the heartbreaking deaths of brothers, cousins, children, parents; naturally understand that an “insurgency” is the appropriate response. Its goal is simply to force the invaders and occupiers to leave.

Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Kurds have intrinsic reasons to regard each other as enemies, from competition over land and oil, to ethnic hatreds, to unsettled scores.

No equivalent sources of inbuilt contempt exist among these people toward America. Taken as a whole, or in its parts, Iraq is not an enemy.

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

Pretty Boy Floyds

From: Mike Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: January 29, 2006
Subject: Pretty Boy Floyds

I refer to Ken Lay as Kenny Boy Floyd.

He is the kind of guy who hands out ammunition, but never pulls the trigger. He just has an endless supply of ammo.

He’s the guy who slips the wheel man enough money to fill up the gas tank, so he can drive the death squad to their destination.

Kenny Boy Floyd appears to have no blood on himself, because he is wearing a red blazer. The blood is there, you just can’t see it.

Now, lets plug in Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tommy Boy Delay, Dicky Boy Cheney, and all of the other immoral gangsters in this administration.

I should also mention the Democrats, who are in the bleachers silently cheering them on. It is all a professional wrestling match.

These Pretty Boy Floyds are all in the same shower room slapping each other with a wet towel. Afterwards, they put on spotless clean clothes, have a very expensive meal, and get laid in their limousines on the way back home.

They greet their wives at the front door with a kiss, and gather their kids in the parlor for a review of their successful day.

And, while all of this is going on, the U.S. military is launching 700 missiles into Iraq the first two days of the war in March 2003.

No sweat G.I., it is all in the wrist when slapping the wet towel.

There are no Geneva Convention Rules in war.

Why would you do that, when you can ride around in a white stretch limousine.

There are ice cubes in those drinks baby.

The SS does not stand for Super Sport.

The American people will become teachable, when the pain and suffering becomes unfathomable.

Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
January 29, 2006


Photo 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)

“If Candidates Do Not Embrace The Exiting Of US Led Occupation Forces At Once, They Must Be Opposed”

January 30, 2006 Kevin Zeese interviews Joshua Frank, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Elect George W. Bush, Opednews.com. [Excerpts]

Zeese: What do you think the anti-war movement should do in 2006 during the congressional elections?

Frank: Well, the anti-war movement should do what they didn’t do in the 2004 elections: hold candidates’ feet to the fire.  The body count in Bush’s illegitimate war on terror seems to be almost exponential at this point.  Every month there are more deaths than the last.  Each day the resistance fighters in Iraq seem to be gaining more and more control. There is no end to the occupation in sight.

If candidates do not embrace the exiting of US led occupation forces at once, they must be opposed with the full force of the anti-war movement (or what’s left of it).

In certain cases this may mean running third party anti-war candidates against pro-war Democrats like Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California.

It’s time for the antiwar movement to step up and oppose candidates who support Bush’s war agenda.  And if the Democratic candidates continue to support Bush’s ghastly foreign policies, they must be defeated until they learn.  We need to monkey wrench this issue.

The anti-war movement must learn from the 2004 elections where so many activists and scholars caved in and supported Kerry, simply because they saw Bush as such an extreme threat to world peace.  

The threat isn’t Bush’s alone; both parties have a long bloody history of employing military aggression.

We aren’t going to get what we want if we keep supporting candidates whose positions we oppose.

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 inside the armed services. Send requests to address up top.

OCCUPATION REPORT

U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS


An Iraqi citizen ordered out of his house to be questioned by foreign fighters from the U.S. Marines 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit searching his home near Hit, January 28, 2006. REUTERS/Bob Strong

[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA. They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, kick them out into the street for “questioning,” overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any changes being filed against them, or any trial.]

[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]

The Great Iraqi Collaborator Troop Training Fiasco Rolls On:
“They’re Not In It For Any Sense Of Patriotism. They’re Doing This To Get Paid”
“A Lot Of Them, When They Were Told They Were Coming To Jazeera And Habaniyah, They Quit”

“Unfortunately, the (Iraqi) officers here are much like their soldiers; they’re not in it for any sense of patriotism. They’re doing this to get paid,” Newell said. [He’s right. Iraqis with any sense of patriotism are fighting for the resistance, to free their nation from Bush’s military dictatorship. They are right to do so.]

2.1.06 By Antonio Castaneda Associated Press

BIDIMNAH, Iraq:  Just two days before a mission to send hundreds of Iraqi soldiers after insurgents in this troubled western part of Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi commanders confronted an untimely problem: an Iraqi battalion commander was suddenly fired for incompetence.

The commander’s soldiers, a third of those assigned to the mission, would be absent for an operation designed in part to introduce the unit to residents in this town between the troubled cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, about 50 miles west of Baghdad.

The lack of Iraqi troops has complicated not only the operation in Bidimnah early Sunday, but also the broader mission here in Anbar province.

American commanders said an entire Iraqi brigade, about 2,500 troops, has taken over parts of the nearby city of Khaldiyah and an adjacent agrarian area from U.S. troops.

But U.S. military advisers who mentor the Iraqi unit said just over half those assigned Iraqi soldiers were actually present.

The Iraqi brigade already was short several hundred soldiers before they deployed to Anbar province from the northern city of Mosul, the advisers said, and about 500 more deserted when they arrived in late August and faced their first insurgent attacks.

“The most significant problem facing this brigade is personnel shortage,” said Marine Col. Daniel Newell, head of a squad of about three dozen military advisers, called a Military Transition Team, attached to the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Iraqi Division.

Moreover, an Iraqi army policy giving soldiers 10 days of leave each month means even fewer soldiers are available.  Fewer than 1,000 Iraqi troops are consistently stationed in this area if the soldiers on leave are deducted, so this brigade was in reality about a third of its size on paper.

“A lot of them, when they were told they were coming to Jazeera and Habaniyah, they quit,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Juan Santiago of New York City, speaking of two towns just outside Bidimnah.  Santiago saw more than half his trainees quit the Iraqi army over the fall.

The number of Iraqis in the brigade has stabilized over the past two months as increased patrols have helped control the violence, Santiago said, but “it’s always possible that more will quit.”

A full withdrawal of U.S. forces would require Iraqi forces to take over large swaths of violent Anbar province, but so far only a handful of Iraqi forces have done so in relatively small areas.

But other fundamental problems persist in the new army.  Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded during Sunday’s operation by their own friendly fire.

The Iraqi soldiers in Anbar, like most in the country, also suffer from severe shortages in armored vehicles.  Most soldiers drive around in civilian trucks with improvised armor or mismatched vehicles donated by various foreign governments that rarely come with replacement parts.  Although about two dozen armored Humvees are due to soon arrive to the Iraqi soldiers here, advisers said the overall need for heavy equipment is much greater.

There are no police officers working in most of the province, believed to be the insurgency’s strongest base of support.

The small number of U.S. advisers, sometimes only a single American accompanies Iraqi soldiers during patrols, also has increased their exposure to danger.  The team assigned to the 3rd Brigade has suffered a 20 percent casualty rate, Newell said.

The American teams have struggled to fill shortages of competent Iraqi officers, Newell said.  Shortly before the Iraqi battalion commander was dismissed, Newell was forced to pull his trump card, withdrawing his advisers from the battalion, to force the Iraqi commander to stop reckless tactics such as traveling on roads known to have roadside bombs.

“Unfortunately, the (Iraqi) officers here are much like their soldiers; they’re not in it for any sense of patriotism.  They’re doing this to get paid,” Newell said.

[He’s right. Iraqis with any sense of patriotism are fighting for the resistance, to free their nation from Bush’s military dictatorship. They are right to do so. T]

Collaborator Officer Says “This Will Be My Coffin”
[Clueless Reporter Doesn’t Get It]

January 31, 2006 By Mark John, (Reuters)

RUSTAMIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – They are ex-software engineers, physics teachers or school-leavers with a yearning to be soldiers.  And in a year’s time, they will be the officer class and hope-bearers of the new Iraqi army.

Recruits to the Iraqi Military Academy in the suburb of Rustamiya in southeast Baghdad may be on a steep learning curve.  But their determination to serve their country is unswerving.

“This will be my coffin,” said one young student, patting his body armour and voicing his ambition to dive into the fight against insurgents.  Like other trainees, he declined to be named to protect himself and his family from possible reprisals.

Their trainers say many students do not tell their families what they are doing at Rustamiya, either for security reasons or fear of disapproval.  Some trainees from Baghdad often take up to four separate taxi rides to avoid being tailed.

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

Freedom Of Speech?
Don’t Be Stupid:

Welcome To Occupied America:
Gold Star Mother Arrested At State Of Union Speech For Wearing A T-Shirt That Imperial Cops Don’t Like

I told him that my son died there. That’s when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love.

01 February 2006 By Cindy Sheehan. Truthout Perspective [Excerpt]

As most of you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the Union address last night.

I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country.

There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press (shocker).  So this is what really happened:

This afternoon at the People’s State of the Union Address in DC, where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union address.  At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2245 Dead.  How many more?

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in.  The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket.  I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, “Protester.”  He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat, and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs.  I said something like “I’m going, do you have to be so rough?”  By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators, yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, “That’s Cindy Sheehan.”  At which point the officer who arrested me said, “Take these steps slowly.”  

I said, “You didn’t care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps.”  He said, “That’s because you were protesting.”  Wow, I got hauled out of the People’s House because I was “Protesting.”

I was never told that I couldn’t wear that shirt into the Congress.

I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up.

If I had been asked to do any of those things … I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for “unlawful conduct.”

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, “2245, huh?  I just got back from there.”

I told him that my son died there.  That’s when the enormity of my loss hit me.  I have lost my son.  I have lost my First Amendment rights.  I have lost the country that I love.

Where did America go?  I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for?  What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for?  What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm’s way for still?  For this?  I can’t even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement.  The press knew I was going to be there, and I thought every once in awhile they would show me, and I would have the shirt on.  I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George’s speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable, that I would be arrested … maybe I would have, but I didn’t.

I don’t want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether or not he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government.

That’s why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That’s why I am not going to let BushCo take anything else away from me … or you.

It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.

I am so appreciative of the couple of hundred of protesters who came to the jail while I was locked up to show their support.  We have so much potential for good.  There is so much good in so many people.

Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out.  Again, I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.

Keep up the struggle … I promise you, I will too.


“Tony Blair On The Death Of The 100th British Soldier In Iraq”

[Thanks to Z, and NB, who sent this in.]

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

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.  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

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