GI Special
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Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:37 AM

GI SPECIAL 4C16: 16/3/06

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[Thanks to David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]

“Open Resistance WITHIN The Military Forced The Government To End The Viet Nam War”
“We Did It Once, We Can Do It Again”

If you have friends or relatives in the military, tell them that help is available to them to end this war of greed. Any interested active duty service member can get free membership in VFP by going to Veterans For Peace.org. We will share our experience on organizing resistance inside the military to stop this war.

From: David Honish, Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: March 15, 2006
Subject: North Texas Speaks Out

Here is an advance copy of the speech I intend to deliver this Saturday at Denton’s commemoration of the third anniversary of Operation Iraqi Plunder. I guess maybe I should post it online at the North Texas Independent Media website, just in case the men in black decide to disappear me before Saturday?

LOL! Keep up the good fight T!
Wage peace
David Honish

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

Good day my fellow patriots!

Tom Paine said, “It is the duty of the patriot to protect their country from their government.”

That is why we are hear today!

First the bad news. The Bush regime is still in Washington. But just because they have not been impeached, or imprisoned for war crimes, does not mean that our efforts have been wasted.

Whitehouse talking points on Iraq may be summarized as ‘progress is being made.’ They are correct. George Bush’s approval rating is at an all time low. That IS real progress! A majority of Americans polled say the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, based upon lies, and they want the troops home!

More importantly, there is increasingly open dissent INSIDE the military.

All levels from privates to generals are speaking out against the invasion.

This has happened before, in a place called Viet Nam.

When government policy did not reflect the will of the American people, open resistance WITHIN the military forced the government to end the Viet Nam War.

We did it once, we can do it again.

If you have friends or relatives in the military, tell them that help is available to them to end this war of greed.

Any interested active duty service member can get free membership in VFP by going to Veterans For Peace.org. We will share our experience on organizing resistance inside the military to stop this war.

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

How this war will end by resistance inside the military is not the only similarity between Viet Nam and Iraq.

The Viet Nam war was an attempt to secure commercial rights to rubber, tin, tungsten, and oil; masked behind support for an allegedly democratic government.

The War in Iraq is an attempt to secure the 2nd largest petroleum source in the world; masked behind a phony search for non-existent Weapons Of Mass Destruction.

During Viet Nam, the poor, middle class, and minorities were drafted to fight for the sole benefit of the global corporations.

In Iraq, the poor, middle class, and minorities are bribed with questionable promises of educational funding, or involuntarily stop lossed, to fight for the sole benefit of the global corporations.

In Viet Nam, the United States bore the brunt of allied casualties. A couple of allies like Australia and South Korea were bullied and bribed by the State Department into sending military forces.

In Iraq, the United States bore the brunt of the allied casualties. A couple of allies like Australia and South Korea were bullied and bribed by the State Department into sending military forces.

In Viet Nam, rather than a large military engagement, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army wore the United States down with a war of booby traps, and a never ending flow of casualties.

In Iraq, rather than a large military engagement, the insurgents are wearing down the United States with a war of Improvised Explosive Devices, and a never ending flow of casualties.

In Viet Nam, the press fulfilled their role as honest brokers of information in a Constitutional Republic. The press openly questioned government policy, and showed the public the daily cost of that war in the dead and wounded.

In Iraq, the press has been complicit in government propaganda. The press has even accepted cash in exchange for the printing of stories favorable to the government. The press has also not fought the censorship of coverage of the returning dead and wounded from Iraq.

In Viet Nam, hostile and friendly forces alike were poisoned by exposure to Agent Orange, and other chemical defoliants. The government then denied responsibility for the medical treatment of the fatal illnesses and birth defects that resulted from this exposure, saying that they had to ‘study the problem.’

In Iraq, hostile and friendly forces alike are being poisoned by exposure to depleted uranium. The government has denied responsibility for the medical treatment of these always fatal exposures and the birth defects caused by it, saying that they have to ‘study the problem.’

In Viet Nam, exposure to defoliants was the primary reason for the doubling of the 5% medical disability rate of WWII Veterans, to a 10% medical disability rate among Viet Nam Veterans.

In Iraq, the final results remain to be seen. We do know that the medical disability rate of Gulf War Veterans exposed to depleted uranium is an ASTRONOMICAL 56%! Over 11,000 Gulf War Veterans have died from depleted uranium exposure since 1991. The government wants to keep this dirty little secret. They claim to still be studying the cause of Gulf War Syndrome.

During Viet Nam, many antiwar protestors mistakenly blamed the troops for the errors of government policy.

Even before the invasion of Iraq took place, protestors around the world focused on the Bush regime. The troops have NOT been blamed for the intelligence failures, or rather, the stupidity successes of the Bush regime.

Viet Nam Veterans returned home to economic depression, and a lack of jobs caused by diversion of economic resources to military use.

Iraq Veterans are returning home to unemployment in a depressed economy.

This is a direct result of the Bush regime’s tax cuts for millionaires at a time when they are spending SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS A MONTH in Iraq. The Bush regime has taken an inherited budget surplus and turned it into a deficit greater than the combined total debt of every president before him since George Washington.

During Viet Nam, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18, to permit those drafted and ordered to carry a rifle for this government to have a vote.

During Iraq, there is a dangerous trend toward the use of electronic voting machines, with no verifiable paper trail. The CEO of Diebold, the largest maker of electronic voting machines, is a large contributor to the Bush campaign. I’m not just talking about money either! Before the 2004 election he promised to deliver Ohio to the GOP.

In Viet Nam, NCO’s who are “the backbone of the Army” left the service in droves. They were disgusted with the military being used and abused for politics, rather than being given a clear military mission. It took a decade for the post-Viet Nam military to rebuild into a force realistically able to defend the nation.

In Iraq, NCO’s and career officers alike are leaving the service in droves. It seems that they do not like being lied to by their Commander-In-Chief, and sent out to steal oil for GOP campaign contributors.

It remains to be seen how long it will take to rebuild a credible force able to defend the nation after our military has been decimated by casualties and resignations in Iraq?

Perhaps the most significant difference between Viet Nam and Iraq, is that George Bush had a plan for getting out of Viet Nam.

So when you leave here today, continue to wage peace.

We ARE making a difference.

Progress IS being made.

It is just not the sort of progress that George Bush envisioned.

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.

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

MND B SOLDIER KILLED BY MORTAR ATTACK NEAR BAGHDAD

3/15/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 06-03-01CP

BAGHDAD: A Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldier was killed southwest of Baghdad at approximately 6:30 p.m. March 15 by indirect fire.

Norway Soldier Dies

March 15, 2006 WMTW.com

NORWAY, Maine

Another Maine soldier has died in Iraq.

Army Sgt. Corey Dan, of Norway, was killed Monday in Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Campbell and was a member of the 101st Airborne Division.

Dan left for his second tour in December on the same day his son was born. He never got to see the boy.

His grandmother, Sharon Bouchard, said Dan, 22, had re-enlisted for another four-year term last summer.

British Soldier Hurt


Baghdad, Iraq, March 15, 2006. A roadside bomb exploded causing light damage to the British tank and injuring one British soldier and a civilian, police said. (AP Photo/Nabil Al-Juarni)

03/15/06 By LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT Sun Online

A BRITISH soldier has been rushed to a military hospital after being injured by a roadside bomb blast in Iraq.

The soldier was travelling with up to seven colleagues in an armoured vehicle when the improvised device went off in Basra City.

He was taken to a medical facility with minor injuries.

An MoD spokesman said: “The vehicle was not seriously damaged and was later driven away.

“One British soldier received superficial injuries. He is being treated for his wounds at the Shaibah medical facility.”

Great Moments In U.S. Military History:
11 People, “Mostly Women And Children,” Butchered To Capture One “Insurgent”
“The Americans Have Promised Us A Better Life, But We Get Only Death”


Relatives mourn near the bodies of children killed in a U.S. raid in Tikrit March 15, 2006. Eleven people, most of them women and children were killed when a house was bombed during a U.S. raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said. (AP Photo/Bassim Daham)

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]

March 15, 2006 By ZIAD KHALAF, Associated Press Writer

Eleven people, most of them women and children, were killed when U.S. forces bombed a house during a raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said.

The U.S. military acknowledged the raid and said it captured one insurgent.

Police Capt. Laith Mohammed, in nearby Samarra, said American warplanes and armor were used in the strike, which flattened the house and killed the 11 people inside.

An AP reporter at the scene in the rural Isahaqi area said the roof of the house collapsed, three cars were destroyed and two cows killed.

Eleven bodies, wrapped in blankets, were driven in the back of three pickup trucks to the Tikrit General Hospital, about 45 miles to the north, relatives said.

Associated Press photographs showed the bodies of two men, five children and four other covered figures arriving at the hospital accompanied by grief-stricken relatives. The victims were covered in dust with bits of rubble tangled in their hair.


A woman stands in front of a house destroyed during a US raid near the city of Balad, north of Baghdad. Eleven people, most of them women and children, were killed in a house that was bombed during a US raid. (AFP/Dia Hamid)

Riyadh Majid, who identified himself as the nephew of the killed head of the family, Faez Khalaf, told AP at the hospital that U.S. forces landed in helicopters and raided the home early Wednesday.

Khalaf’s brother, Ahmed, said nine of the victims were family members who lived at the house and two were visitors.

“The killed family was not part of the resistance, they were women and children,’’ Ahmed Khalaf said. “The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death.’’

The U.S. military said it was targeting and captured an individual suspected of supporting foreign fighters for the al-Qaida in Iraq terror network.

TROOP NEWS

U.S. Government Increasing Number Of Troops In Iraq:
“It’s Not Clear How Long The Battalion Will Remain In Iraq”

March 15, 2006 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON: The U.S. military is dispatching an Army battalion of about 700 soldiers to Iraq from their base in Kuwait to provide extra security during the holiday of Ashura, three military officers said Wednesday.

The 1st Armored Division battalion is expected to move into Iraq in the next few days, one officer said. The two officers who confirmed the move spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been officially announced.

The mechanized infantry battalion that is being sent to Iraq is one of three from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division that originally were scheduled to deploy to Iraq but were instead held in Kuwait as a standby force in the event Gen. Casey decided he needed extra troops.

It’s not clear how long the battalion will remain in Iraq, the officers said.

The Traitor Abizaid Gives Iraqi Resistance Fresh Motivation To Kill More U.S. Troops:
He Confirms U.S. Government Looking At Permanent Military Bases In Iraq Because Of Oil:
[May He Burn Eternally In Hell In Pits Full Of It]

15 March 2006 By Vicki Allen, Reuters

The United States may want to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq to bolster moderates against extremists in the region and protect the flow of oil, the Army general overseeing U.S. military operations in Iraq said on Tuesday.

Abizaid said that policy would be worked out with a unified, national Iraqi government if and when that is established, “and it would be premature for me to predict”.

“Clearly our long-term vision for a military presence in the region requires a robust counter-terrorist capability,” Abizaid said.

[The Iraqis already have a very effective “counter-terrorist capability.” It’s called the resistance, and it’s whipping his scrawny, incompetent, blind Imperial ass into the ground. But he lives the General’s life while his troops die.]

Abizaid also said the United States and its allies have a vital interest in the oil-rich region.

“Ultimately it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else in the world depend,” he said.

Anti-War Students Protest Pace U. President Caputo’s State of the University Address:
NYPD And Homeland Security Scum Continue Harassment

March 14, 2006 By Brian Kelly, Pace University, New York City Campus

Brian Kelly is the president of Pace University’s Campus Antiwar Network and a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Green Party. He is one of the activists currently being threatened with expulsion for his efforts to organise against the war and in support of unions on campus. You can reach him at Kelly@leftist.ws

On Monday, March 13, a large group of students from the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) were joined by university students, professors, original SDS’ers, and CAN members who faced repression at CCNY.

They launched one of the largest protests Pace University’s campus had seen. The university, which is not accustomed to being challenged, let alone having to deal with large protests, was not prepared for the event.

The students gave the Real State of the University: infringement of civil liberties; union-busting of the adjunct professors’, cafeteria workers’, and transportation workers’ unions; and a university deficit of $3.2 million. All this is occurring while Pace is “celebrating” its 100th year anniversary of the university.

CAN and SDS gave a press conference on the steps of City Hall (NYC) in which they addressed campus repression at Pace of both students and workers.

They talked about the battle the university was waging against them as a result of their protest at Bill Clinton’s address to Pace’s Pleasantville campus.

Three top members of Pace University’s security office left the university and followed the students through the streets to City Hall and watched the press conference. The activists then marched across the street chanting a call and response of: “FREE SPEECH!, FREE SPEECH!”

As the protest began, one of the NYPD inspectors targeted the two students who heckled Clinton and pulled them aside. They were asked whether or not they intended to “burn down the building” or go inside.

The students stated that they were offended that the inspector was asking them these questions and they returned to the protest.

Surrounded on their south side by about a dozen police officers on motorcycles, and on the university side by several Pace Security officers, the protesters loudly demanded that the university hear their call to “Drop all Charges and Support Free Speech on Campus.”

The students held a speak-out with members from the Campus Antiwar Network and Students for a Democratic Society, where they cited their demands, and read out letters of support from Cindy Sheehan and other leading anti-war and free speech activists.

These activists had written to President Caputo asking him to drop all charges against Brian Kelly and Lauren Giaccone.

The group mixed in free speech, anti-war, democracy, and pro-union chants during the speak-out. Between the protestors and their audiences, over 80 people attended the protest by joining it, watching from the steps of the University, or offering statements of support.

The protestors then spoke out on a bullhorn for about 15 minutes before they were stopped by the New York Police Department. Police claimed it was a violation of city code to speak using amplified sound.

The students agreed to put the bullhorn away in the interests of protecting all the supporters there, but only after they read the First Amendment of the United States and the ruling in the Supreme Court case Saia v. New York.

The Court stated in the Saia case that amplified sounded was protected by the first amendment and is the way by which the people are reached.

Democracy Now! interviewed the activists afterwards about the day’s events. Amy Goodman covered the event during her daily broadcast on Tuesday (around minute 10 of her broadcast). Reporters from Democracy Now!, Channel 9, the Pace press and the Indypendent were present.

Police and campus security weren’t the only authorities present. A white Department of Homeland Security car drove by, pausing and then speeding away back onto the Brooklyn Bridge as activists attempted to photograph it.

When a Pentagon database was released listing events the government had spied on, many Campus Antiwar Network rallies and counter-recruitment protests were on the list. The government is making it clear: if you are against the war or step out of what we define as acceptable free speech, We Are Watching you.

As the protest neared its end, several activists decided to enter the university and question President Caputo during a question and answer session. Not surprisingly they were met with resistance from campus security who said they would have them removed on “disorderly conduct charges” after one activist put a free speech sign up to the glass of the window where Caputo was speaking.

After finally being let in, Caputo swiftly ended the question and answer session. As he was leaving he was confronted by students who inquired about the repression of free speech on campus and the threatened expulsion of the two CAN and SDS activists. Caputo agreed to meet with the group after spring break.

The battle is not over. Pace Students plan to continue their fight until students are allowed to fully express themselves freely, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States, and until Pace University amends its unconstitutional polices that prohibits free speech and free assembly.

They call on President Caputo to drop all charges against the student activists threatened with expulsion, and to amend Pace’s policies that prevent students from organising and workers from unionising.

For more information please visit www.campusantiwar.net, www.traprockpeace.org/pace_repression, or www.newsds.org/pace

How you can help:
Sign our online petition:
www.petitiononline.com/paceuniv/

Contact Pace University and Tell Them What You Think:
Pace University President’s Office:
David A. Caputo, President
212-346-1097
president@pace.edu and d.caputo@pace.edu

Pace University Dean for Student’s Office:
Dr. Marijo Russell O’Grady, Dean for Students
212-346-1306 or 212-346-1307
mrussellogrady@pace.edu
Pace University Hotline:
1-866-PAC-E001 (1-866-722-3001)

From: David Binder Productions
To: GI Special
Sent: March 15, 2006
Subject: Peace at BANK

This weekend marks 3 years of War in Iraq…

BANK Invites You To The PEACE PARTY

A portion of proceeds will be donated to IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR

Saturday, March 18
Music upstairs: LARRY TEE
Music in the Vault: DJ Timmy and Chase of The Look
Special Guests: Billionaires for Bush and The NYC Radical Cheerleaders

Free before 11pm and $10 until 12:30am for Josh Wood’s list.

If you receive this email, you do not need to RSVP. BANK at ELEMENT is located at 225 East Houston at Essex.

Also, don’t miss MICHAEL STIPE, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, BRIGHT EYES, FISCHERSPOONER, MARGARET CHO, SUSAN SARANDON, CHUCK D and CINDY SHEEHAN at the Peace concert on Monday, March 20 at Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets here.

REALLY BAD IDEA:
NO MISSION;
HOPELESS WAR


A U.S. soldier in the area where a car bomb exploded targeting an unidentified security convoy near the green zone, in Baghdad March 13, 2006. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Iraqi Leader Blames U.S. Forces For Sunday Massacre:
“I Find Sunnis And Shias Innocents Of This Act,” He Added.

March 13, 2006 The Associated Press

BAGHDAD: Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr held the US forces responsible on Monday for the bombings in Sadr city, one of the poorest districts of Baghdad, that claimed over 40 lives.

“I hold the occupying forces responsible for orchestrating this event,” Muqtada told a press conference in Najaf.

He said terrorists carried out the bombing “under US air cover” arguing that the halt of telephone connections before the incident was proof of the cooperation between the terrorists and the occupier to “destabilise the security of this Shia region.

“I find Sunnis and Shias innocents of this act,” he added.

Joint Prayer By Sunni And Shiite Clerics


A joint prayer by Sunni and Shiite clerics, in Baghdad, March 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Mohammed Hato)

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

Assorted Resistance Action

3.14.06 KUNA & Aljazeera & 15 March 2006 (AFP) & By ZIAD KHALAF, Associated Press Writer & (KUNA)

Police officer Major Abdulrahman Bader was killed last when shot at Al-Zaafaraniya
south Baghdad wounding him seriously. He later died in hospital.

Armed fighters also killed intelligence police Captain Mohammed Fadhil in Al-Amirya
west Baghdad, the source said.

A police lieutenant was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his patrol in Baquba, police said. Another bomb targeting a police patrol injured two officers, police said.

Late Tuesday, a roadside bomb exploded as an official with the Shiite Badr [collaborator] group was driving through Tuz Khormato. The official, Ali Karim, escaped unharmed but his son was killed and nine other people were injured, police Brig. Sarhad Qadir said. The Badr group is accused of widespread abuses.

A car bomb exploded in the Mansour neighborhood at 13:45. “Five law and order men were injured and were taken to hospitals,” the source said Wednesday.

The explosion occurred as a patrol force, from the Interior Ministry, happened to drive past a parked car, the source said.

Earlier two other car bomb explosions were reported in Tallaafar and Al-Kayyara in the Mosul area, in northern Iraq.

According to Brigadier Abdel-Hamid Khalaf, of the police headquarters’ public relations office, the first bomb exploded near a power station in the Al-Kayyara area. The explosion coincided with a meeting of the Municipal Council there.

Another explosion occurred on the road linking Mosul to Tallaafar, a police source told KUNA Wednesday.

A fourth bomb exploded in Baghdad’s Arbaeen St in the direction of Hay Zayouna. The explosion targeted a police patrol driving past. members of the force were taken to hospital.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

“He Is The Foreigner Who The Majority Of Iraqis Hold Responsible For The Country’s Despair”

15 March 2006 By Robert Scheer, The San Francisco Chronicle [Excerpts]

Of course, Bush would have us believe this expanding civil war is the work of insidious foreigners rather than of competing agendas arising from within an Iraq society long stunted by colonialism and dictatorship.

It does not occur to him that he is the foreigner who the majority of Iraqis hold responsible for the country’s despair, and whose occupation immeasurably strengthens the hand of extremists on all sides.

Such bright contradictions were on display in Bush’s latest strategically bankrupt ‘plan” for victory: Spending $3.3 billion to fight the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) Bush now claims Iran is smuggling into Iraq, to the very Shiite forces that won the U.S.-engineered election and are positioned to form the first real post-Hussein government.

The IEDs, mentioned a whopping 26 times in the speech, have obviously come to replace that nonexistent WMD threat as the centerpiece of Bush’s Iraq policy.

We will stop them, he says, by bumping anti-IED-related spending by a factor of 22, from $150 million in 2004 to $3.3 billion. ‘We’re putting the best minds in America to work on this effort,” Bush said.

Why not put a few of them to work on figuring how to extract the U.S. military from Iraq instead? After all, that is where all the IEDs happen to be exploding.

But, of course, this alternative, to stop making U.S. troops targets in the midst of a raging civil war in a Muslim country that the United States has no business occupying, was summarily dismissed by our president.

“Responsible” Withdrawal?
Nothing But A Mask For Mass Murderers And Political Cowards

March 17, 2006 Socialist Worker Editorial [Excerpts]

PETER PACE doesn’t want you to worry about how things are going in Iraq. “I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it,” the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told NBC’s Meet the Press, “but I’d say they’re going well.”

Dick Cheney agrees. “Progress in Iraq has not come easily, but it has been steady,” declared the hapless hunter of Republican lawyers.

Donald Rumsfeld thinks that people would have a better attitude about the occupation if the media would just stop “exaggerating the situation.”

Actually, the only thing exaggerated is the increasing gap between the administration’s fantastical propaganda and the reality on the ground in Iraq.

Three years after the U.S.-led invasion, the crisis of Bush’s occupation of Iraq seems to grow deeper with every passing week.

According to the Pentagon’s own optimistically named “Iraq Progress Report,” issued to Congress three times a year, insurgent attacks against U.S. forces “reached a postwar high in the four months preceding January 20.”

Every lie that the Bush administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq has long since been exposed; from non-existent weapons of mass destruction to fabricated ties to al-Qaeda.

The biggest lie of all was that the Iraqi people would welcome U.S. invaders as liberators. No one can possibly believe this today.

A poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes and released at the end of January found that 70 percent of Iraqis wanted a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, and almost half approved of attacks on U.S.-led forces.

There can be no denying this basic fact: anyone who says the U.S. must stay in Iraq is rejecting the clearly expressed wishes of the majority of the Iraqi people.

That includes the supposedly antiwar Democrats who are for “responsible” withdrawal.

They give their case the gloss of concern about the fate of Iraqis, insisting that immediate withdrawal would plunge the country deeper into sectarian and ethnic violence.

This is a patronizing attitude straight out of the colonial past: that Iraqis are incapable of governing themselves, or even resisting the urge to kill each other, without the presence of a massively armed occupying force.

In reality, the blame for the violence and deteriorating conditions in Iraq today belongs squarely with the U.S. government.

Every day that the U.S. remains in Iraq is another day of violence, worsening conditions and the brutalizing humiliation of life under occupation, and another day closer to a possible civil war.

That’s why we say: U.S. out of Iraq now!

United For Peace And Justice & Other Opportunist Cowards Go Along With Racist Scapegoating

3.17.06 Socialist Worker Editorial [Excerpt]

Organizations such as the national coalition United for Peace and Justice offered no criticism of Democrats exploiting anti-Arab racism during the recent ports controversy, for example.

Many liberals even joined in the rhetoric about protecting “national security.”

The antiwar movement has to take a clear and uncompromising stand against racism against Arabs and Muslims at home—because this is another front in the broader “war on terror.”

Not speaking out when the politicians of both parties associate Arabs and Muslims with terrorism opens the door to accepting U.S. justifications for continuing the occupation of Iraq; that Iraqis are “prone to violence” and “incapable” of ruling themselves, so the U.S. must remain for “as long as it takes.”

And, of course, the civil liberties of all of us are at stake if the politicians can get away with racially profiling some people as “inherently” more likely to be terrorists.

Not challenging this bigotry divides and weakens our movement, keeping Arabs and Muslims—those who are impacted most by the war on our rights at home and the occupation abroad—on the outside.

Any antiwar movement worthy of the name has to take up the defense of Arab and Muslim rights—and stand up to this racist scapegoating.

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

OCCUPATION REPORT

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


An Iraqi citizen carries his injured relative to hospital after a raid by U.S. soldiers, in Baghdad March 14,2006. U.S. soldiers on late Monday night raided a house in west Baghdad, broke doors and window and arrested one person, police said. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

[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, 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 charges 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?]

U.S. Mercenary Caught With Explosives In Vehicle

March 14, 2006 Reuters Via Mohammed Salameh, anti-Allawi-group. [He writes: Just another one of those coincidences no doubt, that a US contractor is caught with a DIY car bomb kit.]

An American described as a security contractor arrested by police in a northern Iraqi town was carrying weapons in his car, a provincial official said.

Abdullah Jebara, the Deputy Governor of Salahaddin province, told Reuters the man was arrested in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit on Monday. He was removed from the provincial government building by U.S. forces on Tuesday, Jebara said.

The Joint Coordination Center between the U.S. and Iraqi military in Tikrit said the man, whom it described as a security contractor working for a private company, possessed explosives which were found in his car. It said he was arrested on Tuesday.

The man, driving a BMW, was stopped by police for violating a daytime curfew in Tikrit, a security source said. American security personnel rarely travel alone.

A spokesman for the major crimes unit in Tikrit said the man was first brought to their headquarters but they refused to take him into custody.

The arresting police were told to take the man to the provincial council building, the spokesman said, where he was taken by American forces.

U.S. officials had no immediate comment.

NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW 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)

The Great Iraqi Troop Training Fiasco Rolls On:
“Commanders Are Afraid To Let The Soldiers Leave Their Base”

March 15, 2006 By David Axe, The Washington Times

The 700-strong Kurdish Iraqi army battalion, originally from the northern city of Sulaimaniyah, deployed to Balad recently to bolster a single Shiite battalion mustered from local residents.

Last year, no fewer than three U.S. battalions patrolled the Balad area, but this year that number has dropped to two as U.S. forces turn over responsibility for many cities to Iraqi forces.

Firefights, mortar attacks and roadside bombings attributed to a combination of Sunni insurgents and disaffected locals continued unabated in and around Balad in the wake of the transfer of control, leading to the reassignment of the Kurdish battalion from the relative security of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The large Sunni minority living around Balad has protested the Kurdish unit’s presence, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Coffey, a member of an ad hoc military transition team that is helping train the Kurdish battalion.

He said the residents have resisted the presence of the Kurdish battalion with such force that commanders are afraid to let the soldiers leave their base, which is adjacent to a U.S. compound outside the city.

“Iraq’s Sunnis perceive the ‘national’ army and police force as a Kurdish-Kurdish militia on steroids. To them, the defense forces look like agents of a hostile occupation.”

This Lying Bush Bullshit Is 89 Years Old

When Britain invaded Iraq in 1917 they proclaimed themselves “liberators”, [Robert] Fisk explained, just as Washington is doing today.

He described how the British, under PM David Lloyd-George, attacked Fallujah and Najaf, demanded loyalty from various Shiite clerics and warned of terrorists crossing the border from Syria.

“Lloyd-George also said the UK couldn’t leave Iraq because it would end in civil war.”

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

Too Used To Death

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in. She writes: This is something unusual that fits in with many letters you have published from Gold Star Parents. This is from an Israeli bereaved parent who is crying out for an end to killing.]

15 March 2006 By Yona Bargur, Haaretz [Excerpts]

The author is the father of Ziv, of blessed memory, and a member of the Bereaved Families Forum for Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance.

Raad al-Batash, 8, Mahmoud al-Batash, 15, and a third boy, Ahmed a-Susi, were killed in an air force strike in the Gaza Strip on March 6 that had targeted two wanted Islamic Jihad members. The mother of one of the boys and another seven passers-by were injured in the attack.

My outcry is not directed at the commander of the air force, or the chief of staff, or even the defense minister, and certainly not the acting prime minister – all of them proponents of the targeting killings, which frequently go somewhat astray and hit innocent Palestinian passers-by.

And thereafter, they softly utter an apology in the name of the surprise that the residents dared to walk around their neighborhoods and go shopping there.

My outcry is directed at my people, parents, sons and daughters, to the leaders of the parties, and also to the leaders of the Zionist left-wing, who are not pained by the pointless killing (as if there were purposeful killing) of boys and girls, in whose eyes fear is visible and for whom the alternative to the hell and killing and roadblocks is “Paradise Now.”

Dead children do not even make them blink before the television cameras.

The demand to raise the minimum wage is a just and fitting demand, but inferior in comparison to the lives of children in Gaza that have been cut short. And even the announcement of so worthy and just an organization as Peace Now, to mark one year since the release of Attorney Talia Sassoon’s report on illegal outposts, should have made way for an obituary for the children killed during IDF operations over the last few months.

Even the man who maintains we should be “strong against Hamas” should be able to find a little compassion in his heart for the children whose lives hang by a thread, or more accurately, by a shell fragment or by the gun sights of IDF snipers; for example, Udai Tantawi, 13, who was killed in the Askar refugee camp in Nablus, and Mundal Abu Alia, 13, who was killed near his village adjacent to Ramallah, on the way to Kokhav Hashahar.

And do not say it is a necessary thing that can be denounced, for the sake of the state’s security and for the sake of preserving the lives of our own children.

There is no necessity to kill the enemy’s children in order to save our own children. There is no atonement and forgiveness granted because it is claimed that there was no intent – this, in contrast to their despicable terrorism. Our right to defend ourselves does not give us the right to take actions that do not meet the test of human and Jewish morality.

My outcry is that of a father trying to survive the last 10 years, since the fall of our son, and who does not find respite and does not find tranquillity in revenge operations, and cannot live in an environment that sanctifies killing and more killing, ours and theirs.

My outcry is not even a form of protest: it comes to tell the Jewish people how saddened I am to be part of the national killing machine; how much it hurts me to live with absence of my son and the presence of continued mutual bloodshed; how much I am not afraid to shed tears over the loss of children whose only sin is that they were from the second or third generation of a people that lives under continued occupation, without any hope of change; how disappointed I am with all of us, who are not climbing over the barricades in order to act as human shields for the children of Gaza, Nablus and Al-Bureij.

Cry beloved country for your fallen sons and for your people who have become used to death, and accept with equanimity the death of Raad al-Batash and Mahmoud al-Batash and other boys and girls under the age of 19, over 700 of their and our children, who were killed in the past five years.

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

Here Are Rumsfeld’s Latest Stupid Lies About Iran:
See Next Article For How the Stupid Liar Got Caught Again

Mar. 15, 2006 LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld hinted Tuesday that U.S. troop levels may increase slightly in Iraq in the coming days because of pilgrimages connected to the holiday of Ashura.

In other comments, Rumsfeld said it is likely that the government of Iran is backing efforts by members of its Republican Guard to incite violence in Iraq.

While he said it is difficult to draw a direct line to the Iranian government, he said a reasonable man would deduce that members of the guard “are not freelancing” and are not pilgrims traveling to holy sites in Iraq.

Rumsfeld’s comments expanded on his recent accusations that the Al Quds Division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard are trying to stir up trouble in Iraq by helping to move explosives and bomb-making material across the border from Iran.

MORE:

Chairman Of Joint Chiefs Of Staff Politely Says Bush And Rumsfeld Are Lying Again, This Time About Iran

Mar 14, 2006 WASHINGTON (Reuters)

The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran’s government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.

Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran’s government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, “I do not, sir.”

Washington’s charges about Iranian weapons and personnel in Iraq have added to tensions between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Rumsfeld reiterated that there was evidence that Revolutionary Guard personnel had been in Iraq, and said, “It’s entirely possible there are rogue elements and they’re just there on their own or they’re pilgrims. Not likely.”

Bush said on Monday, referring to improvised explosive devices: “Some of the most powerful IEDs we’re seeing in Iraq today includes components that came from Iran.”

LIAR
TRAITOR
SOLDIER-KILLER
DOMESTIC ENEMY
UNFIT FOR COMMAND

 
The traitor Rumsfeld desperately tries to find fresh material for new lies at a press briefing at the Pentagon, March 14, 2006 in Washington after JCS chief Pace told reporters Rumsfeld’s bullshit about Iran made no sense, because there is no evidence to support it. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

First Evidence of FBI Spying Based Solely On Groups’ Anti-War Views:
Pennsylvania Group Targeted By Bush Agents For Handing Out Flyers in Town Square

MARCH 14, 2006 American Civil Liberties Union

PITTSBURGH: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania today released new evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting investigations into a political organizations based solely on its anti-war views.

Two documents released today reveal that the FBI investigated gatherings of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice just because the organization opposed the war in Iraq.

Although previously disclosed documents show that the FBI is retaining files on anti-war groups, these documents are the first to show conclusively that the rationale for FBI targeting is the group’s opposition to the war.

“It makes no sense that the FBI would be spying on peace activists handing out flyers,” said Jim Kleissler, Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice. “Our members were simply offering leaflets to passersby, legally and peacefully, and now they’re being investigated by a counter–terrorism unit.

“Something is seriously wrong in how our government determines who and what constitutes terrorism when peace activists find themselves targeted.”

According to the documents released today, the FBI initiated a classified investigation into the activities of the Thomas Merton Center, noting in a November 2002 memo that the center “holds daily leaflet distribution activities in downtown Pittsburgh and is currently focused on its opposition to the potential war on Iraq.”

The synopsis of the document is provided to “report results of investigation on Pittsburgh anti-war activities.”

The FBI memo points out that the Merton Center “is a left-wing organization advocating, among many political causes, pacifism.”

“All over the country we see the FBI monitoring and keeping files on Americans exercising their First Amendment rights to free expression,” said Mary Catherine Roper, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

“These documents show that Americans are not safe from secret government surveillance, even when they are handing out flyers in the town square: an activity clearly protected by the Constitution.”

MORE:

Government Spies Used Infiltrator And Photographed Members

14 March 2006 By Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers

William J. Crowley, a spokesman for the FBI’s Pittsburgh office, said that the monitoring of the center was legal and related to an ongoing investigation.

An FBI agent photographed center members handing out leaflets, said the report, which added that “one female leaflet distributor, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, inquired” if the picture-taker worked for the FBI.

A Feb. 26, 2003, FBI report titled “International Terrorism Matters” detailed a schedule that the center posted on its Web site of anti-war rallies in Pittsburgh, New York and elsewhere.

Four heavily redacted documents, one dated Nov. 5, 2004, another Feb. 28, 2005, and two dated March 23, 2005, appeared to be reports from an FBI informant who had infiltrated the group.

The documents all contained the phrase: “Source, who is not in a position to testify, provided the following information.” They also say that the source observed and reported on the group. The information reported was blacked out.


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 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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