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GI SPECIAL 4G22: 22/7/06

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“ Just Get Your Hands Off Iraq”
Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Demands U.S. Troops Pull Out Of The Country

“In my point of view, the person who killed Americans in defense of his country, in other countries, they would build a statue for him,” al-Mashhadani added.

Jul 22 by Paul Schemm, AFP News & Aljazeera & By QAIS AL-BASHIR, (AP)

Iraq’s parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani bitterly criticized US forces in Iraq, accusing them of “butchery” and demanded that they pull out of the country.

“Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right,” he said.

An Iraqi politician at the conference, who declined to be named, said that while Mashhadani’s sentiments echoed those of most Iraqi people, they did not necessarily help the situation.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said “if we punish a person who killed an American soldier, who is an occupier, we should punish the American soldiers who killed an Iraqi who fought against occupation.”

“In my point of view, the person who killed Americans in defense of his country, in other countries, they would build a statue for him,” al-Mashhadani added.

Mashhadani was speaking at a UN-sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad.

“What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people.”

Mashhadani bluntly told the audience of UN officials, foreign experts, Iraqi politicians and civil society representatives that the Iraqi people had little use for foreign advice on running the country or foreign-sponsored conferences.

“If a reconciliation project is going to work it has to talk to all the people,” he said. “It must go through our Iraqi beliefs and perceptions. What we need is reconciliation between Iraqis only, there can be no third party.”

To underscore his distaste for US forces in Iraq, he related an anecdote about how US soldiers keep people waiting in lines at checkpoints for hours because they insist on resting their bomb-sniffing dogs.

“The sleep of American dogs is more important than people being stopped in the street for hours,” he said, evoking chuckles among Iraqi delegates.

The UN representative who then opened the conference subsequently referred to Mashhadani’s speech as “spirited”.


IRAQ WAR REPORTS

Another Marine Killed In Anbar

7.21.06 By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Writer

The U.S. military said a Marine was killed Friday during combat in Anbar province in the west. The Marine was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, but his identity was not released.


U.S. Soldier Killed By Baghdad IED

22 Jul 2006 (CNN)

The U.S. military said Saturday a U.S. soldier was killed when his convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad.


Foreign Fighters From Poland And El Salvador Wounded Near Kout

21 Jul 2006 Reuters & (KUNA)

Two Salvadoran and four Polish soldiers and an Iraqi translator were wounded when their convoy was attacked south of Baghdad, the Polish defence ministry said.

The soldiers were injured when an explosion rocked their patrol vehicle south of Baghdad.

A source from the MNF said an improvised bomb device planted on the side of the road exploded when an MNF patrolling vehicle was passing by northwest of the city of Kout in the south of Iraq.

An Iraqi police source from a town close to Kout said that a similar bomb exploded when a US military vehicle was passing by, however there were no reports of causalities.

U.S. Base In Mosul Attacked

July 22, 2006 By QAIS AL-BASHIR, (AP)

In Mosul, gunmen attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi base with rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire Saturday, followed by a car bombing, police Lt. Col. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said. There were no reports of casualties.


Great Moments In U.S. Military History:
Massacre In Baquaba;
“Terrorist” Women And Children Slaughtered;
They Dared To Be On The Roof Of Their Own Building


An Iraqi man cries over the body of Ghufran, his three-year old relative, in a morgue in Baquba, July 21, 2006. Six civilians from one Sunni family were killed when U.S. forces attacked their house in the northwestern side of Baquba. REUTERS/Helmiy Al-Azawi (IRAQ)

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

7.21.06 AP & MEO & By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Writer

Iraqi police said at least six people were killed by U.S. troops firing on a group of Iraqis moving on the rooftop of their building.

The dead included two women and two children, Iraqi police said. Police said one man had fired a warning shot in the air because he believed the soldiers were militiamen.

The raid occurred in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

A U.S. statement said troops were looking for “terrorists” associated with the al-Qaida in Iraq network.

Iraqis frequently sleep on their rooftops during extreme heat.

Iraqi police said a single man fired warning shots because he believed the soldiers were militiamen.


The house where six members of the same family were killed in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, July 21, 2006. REUTERS/Helmiy Al-Azawi


“American Forces In Iraq Are In Danger Of Having Their Line Of Supply Cut By Guerrillas”

July 21, 2006 By Patrick Lang, The Christian Science Monitor

American forces in Iraq are in danger of having their line of supply cut by guerrillas. Napoleon once said that “an army travels on its stomach.” By that he meant that the problem of keeping an army supplied is the prerequisite for the very existence of the force.

A 21st-century military force “burns up” a tremendous volume of expendable supplies and continuously needs repairs to equipment as well as medical treatment. Without a plentiful and dependable source of fuel, food, and ammunition, a military force falters. First it stops moving, then it begins to starve, and eventually it becomes unable to resist the enemy.

In 1915, for example, this happened to British forces that had invaded Mesopotamia. A British-Indian force traveled up the line of the Tigris River, advancing to Kut, southeast of Baghdad. They became besieged there after their line of supply was cut along the river to the south. Some 11,000 troops ultimately surrendered, after the allies suffered another 23,000 casualties trying to rescue them.

American troops all over central and northern Iraq are supplied with fuel, food, and ammunition by truck convoy from a supply base hundreds of miles away in Kuwait. All but a small amount of our soldiers’ supplies come into the country over roads that pass through the Shiite-dominated south of Iraq.

Until now the Shiite Arabs of Iraq have been told by their leaders to leave American forces alone. But an escalation of tensions between Iran and the US could change that overnight.

At present, the convoys of trucks supplying our forces in Iraq are driven by civilians – either South Asians or Turks. If the route is indeed turned into a shooting gallery, these civilian truck drivers would not persist or would require a heavier escort by the US military.

It might then be necessary to “fight” the trucks through ambushes on the roads. This is a daunting possibility.

Trucks loaded with supplies are defenseless against many armaments, such as rocket-propelled grenades, small arms, and improvised explosive devices. A long, linear target such as a convoy of trucks is very hard to defend against irregulars operating in and around their own towns.

The volume of “throughput” would probably be seriously lessened in such a situation. A reduction in supplies would inevitably affect operational capability. This might lead to a downward spiral of potential against the insurgents and the militias. This would be very dangerous for our forces.

Are there alternatives to the present line of supply leading to Kuwait? There may be, but they are not immediately apparent.

What about air resupply? It appears that only 5 to 10 percent of day-to-day military deliveries into Iraq are currently transferred by air. Inside Iraq, local deliveries by air probably amount to more.

In a difficult situation, the tonnages delivered could be increased, but given the bulk in weight and volume of the needed supplies, it seems unlikely that air resupply could exceed 25 percent of daily requirements.

This would not be enough to sustain the force.


REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW


7.3.06: A US soldier at the site where a car bomb exploded in the Iraqi city of Mosul. (AFP/Mujahed Mohammed)


AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

Foreign Soldier Killed In Sharana District:
Command Hiding His Nationality, Again

[About a month ago, the cowards in command of the occupation of Afghanistan starting trying to downplay the nationality of dead foreign troops. They’re afraid of the reaction back home. Sorry, the stupid bullshit won’t work. Dead is dead, and the families will know. T]

07/22/06 Arab Times

In Kabul militants killed one coalition soldier after launching a rocket and mortar barrage on a US-led base in southeastern Afghanistan, the US military said Friday.

Several rockets and mortar rounds targeted the base Thursday in Sharan, the capital of Paktika province, said spokesman Maj Matt Hackathorn. A coalition statement said some hit the compound.

The soldier was taken to an aid station at the base, but died before a medical evacuation aircraft arrived, the statement said.

Hackathorn did not disclose the slain soldier’s nationality.


“Taliban Fighters Ambushed A Canadian Patrol Here”
“I Can’t Wait To Go Home And See My Wife”

July 21, 2006 Ethan Baron, CanWest News Service

DARVISHAN, Afghanistan: Taliban fighters ambushed a Canadian patrol here with rockets and small arms fire Thursday as the soldiers attempted to extend coalition control over the town.

Military brass had ordered the troops, scheduled to return to the Kandahar Airfield Base earlier this week, to stay in the field and secure two government district centres.

One, in Nawa, was secured Tuesday without a fight. The troops’ return to base has now been delayed until Saturday as they wait for British forces to take over the operation in Darvishan.

Following the noon-time ambush on Two Platoon, Canadian armoured vehicles and ground troops were sent in from a nearby patrol base.

They immediately came under fire from two Taliban positions. Soldiers crossed a footbridge over a canal, took cover behind a metre-high mud wall, then fired machine guns and assault rifles and launched grenades in the directions of incoming fire.

Five light-armoured vehicles (LAVs) had pulled up onto a road parallel to the mud wall and blasted rapid-fire explosive cannon rounds and vehicle-mounted machine guns at Taliban positions.

Several Taliban RPG rockets flew over over the heads of the soldiers on the ground. The troops pulled back along with the ambushed group.

Canadian artillery fired shells that exploded a few dozen metres off the ground with deafening roars, sending hot shrapnel ricocheting off the armoured vehicles and the walls of nearby buildings.

Insurgent fire ceased, and the Canadian platoons withdrew a few hundred metres through town before returning to the district centre, and their patrol base across the Helmand River.

Canadian forces believe they killed two or three of the five or six Taliban fighters involved in the ambush. There were no Canadian casualties. [”Believe?” They didn’t count? Oh, that’s right, they retreated and left the battlefield to the other force. Or, to use other terminology, their attack was repulsed. But the occupation never loses a battle. Right.]

Two Platoon has occupied the district centre and Canadian troops intend to hold it until the handover to the British expected Saturday.

Commanders on Thursday were planning offensive operations for today around the district centre in Darvishan, a dusty town surrounded by desert and irrigated farmland where camels and goats graze among domestic compounds with high mud walls.

The troops here, along with the other Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, are scheduled to rotate out and go home next month from the Kandahar Airfield Base.

Most have spent more time in the field, sleeping on hard ground and eating packaged rations than they have at the base where hot showers, flush toilets and fresh meals are available.

Many were disappointed at the delay in returning to the base, but the soldiers are used to adapting to changes of orders. [How fortunate to have reporters to deliver themselves of such empty crap.]

“We’re doing our job you know staying alive, safe and hoping it stays that way until we go back,” said Corporal Nathan Dart. “I can’t wait to go home and see my wife.” [He’s got it right. Stay alive, stay safe, and pull back. Fuck what command says.]


“The Taliban Has Announced A $25,000 Reward For The Body Of A Parliamentarian And, Ominously, Twice That For An MP Delivered Alive”

July 15, 2006 Paul McGeough, The Sydney Morning Herald [Excerpts]

AS A warlord with all the backing of his Alokozai tribal elders, Dad Mohammed Khan did not stoop to campaigning for his seat in Afghanistan’s infant parliament. Suspicious electoral officials disallowed several ballot boxes in which the heavy-set candidate scored 100 per cent. But Khan still topped the vote in Helmand province, a parched southern wasteland that local opium farmers and smugglers call the valley of death.

And within days of the poll, the spilling of more blood cruelly punctured Khan’s air of expectation and his urge to celebrate – his brother Daoud, the security chief in the province’s Sangin district, was mowed down in a hail of Taliban bullets as he and four of his bodyguards emerged from the local bazaar.

Last weekend he sat despondently in a gaudy Kabul mansion that has become like his prison and, for the first time, revealed details of an ambush that three weeks ago took the lives of 48 of his family and relatives – his son, Safar; his brothers, Haji and Juma; his uncle, Mullah Shakoor; and dozens of cousins and nephews who, in the Afghan way, toted guns to protect this powerful family and its much-envied local property holdings.

Helmand is one of four wild provinces that have been virtually recaptured by the Taliban, which emerged this northern spring with renewed audacity and aggression.

Now foreign troops, backed by the new Afghan military, fight running battles in an attempt to bring them under Kabul’s control.

So when 18-year-old Safar strayed from the home compound, an anxious uncle sent a heavily armed party of 25 to fetch him back.

Sitting in the semi-darkness of a first-floor reception room, Khan called for his young nephew Esmatullah, a member of the search party, to tell the Herald what had happened.

Seemingly still in shock, there was a wild, haunted look about the boy as he told his story. “We found Safar at the dam and we were driving back when we were ambushed by what felt like hundreds of Taliban. They had us surrounded and we fought for maybe 24 hours before we ran out of ammunition.

“We made a break for the compound, where we had more fighters and ammunition, and the battle went on for two more days. I survived because I hid on the roof.”

But Khan could not restrain himself. Almost leaping from his ornate armchair, he butted in: “This all happened within 500 metres of the local police station and less than two kilometres from the main British base for the south – but it took all of two days for any of them to send the choppers that made the Taliban flee.

“And while the men were taking the wounded to hospital, the Taliban returned, looting the compound of all our vehicles and torching my two homes. The elders collected the bodies and buried them.”

Now Dad Mohammed Khan keeps his 19 armed guards close by and he hardly dares leave this house that sits on a fetid street in the capital’s Parwan-a-du district.

Going back to the family compound in Helmand is out of the question. He has been told he is the target of a planned suicide bombing, so his only outings are rare visits to a marble-colonnaded building on the city’s dusty outskirts which, in a faltering fling with democracy in the 1960s, was home to Afghanistan’s first parliament.

Khan is consumed by grief. So he might be forgiven for a sombre critique of the early days of this attempt at a new institutional pillar of Afghani society. But he is not alone.

The MPs rightly obsess about their security. Few travel back to their electorates and many move around Kabul in heavy vehicles, with armed guards fore and aft.

They face an avalanche of threats and the Taliban has announced a $US25,000 reward for the body of a parliamentarian and, ominously, twice that for an MP delivered alive.

Fariba Ahmadzai, a woman whose campaign posters in Kandahar were defaced by the gouging of the eyes in her picture, is troubled by the price on her head. She is energised by what she describes as a battle with “the enemies of peace” but she cannot leave her Kandahar office without donning her burqa and whistling up her guards.

For her own protection, the MP Raazia Baloch was presented with an AK-47 when she was elected. But like so much else in today’s Afghanistan, when she first attempted to fire the gun, it backfired.

A Western diplomat told the Herald: “Karzai sees his father’s Afghanistan. He has a vision of good relations with the clan chiefs and of himself being responsive to their wishes, which might have been fine in his father’s day – but it is a more complex and changed society today.”

The first nobbling of the parliament by Karzai and his backers was in ensuring he retained all executive power by blocking a push to have a prime minister.

Ministers cannot be members of the parliament and Karzai also insisted that no political parties could contest last year’s national elections.

Teasing out Karzai’s view of the necessary strength and independence of a legislature, a study by the International Crisis Group concludes forlornly: “The executive appears to believe the National Assembly is not a separate and equal arm of state, but rather another ministry to be managed.”


TROOP NEWS

Broke Down Army:
No More Money Left

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

July 21, 2006 By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

The Army, bearing most of the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Thursday its money crunch has gotten so bad it is clamping down on spending for travel, civilian hiring and other expenses not essential to the war mission.

A statement outlining the cutbacks did not say how much money the Army expects to save, but senior officials have said the cost of replacing worn equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan is rising at a quickening pace.

The Army said it will limit its purchase of supplies to those that are deemed critical to war requirements; cancel or postpone all nonessential travel; stop the shipment of goods unless they are needed for deployed or deploying troops; freeze the hiring of new civilians; restrict use of government credit cards; freeze all new contract awards, and release temporary employees and some service-contract workers.

Wildly Enthusiastic Iraq Vets Greet Bush


Bush take a publicity photo with military service personnel who recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan used as window dressing in Aurora, Colorado, July 21, 2006. PHOTO: REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)


“It’s Usually A Command Rape. It’s Usually Covered Up”
“It’s Usually That They Try To Persecute The Victim, Rather Than Persecute The Perpetrators”

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

July 13th, 2006 Democracy Now [Excerpts]

We take a look at the case of Suzanne Swift. She is the Army Specialist who has been arrested and confined to base for going AWOL after her charges of sexual harassment and assault went un-addressed by the military.

AMY GOODMAN: Today, we bring you Suzanne Swift’s grandfather, Jim Rich. I spoke with him at the Country Fair. I asked him how he felt when Suzanne first joined the Army.

JIM RICH: I was very sorry when she succumbed to the blandishments of a very smooth-tongued recruiter. And I thought when she decided not go back, she had made the best possible decision, considering the things that she had gone through, things that no male soldier would ever, ever, ever in his wildest dreams have to endure.

I hope that justice is served.

I hope that light is shown on this aspect of the Army that makes women recruits the prey of sexual predators, and that Suzanne is honorably discharged.

I also hope that the rest of our soldiers get to come home soon, and no more sent.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Jim Rich, Suzanne Swift’s grandfather. He’s also a blacksmith, and he was at the Oregon Country Fair, made the iron tools for the new film Pirates of the Caribbean.

Well, we’re joined on the phone right now by Susan Avila-Smith. She’s a Military Sexual Trauma Specialist, founder and director of Women Organizing Women, an advocacy group for survivors of rape in the military. We invited a representative from Fort Lewis military base, where Suzanne is confined, to be on our program, but they declined our request.

SUSAN AVILA-SMITH: The experience that she’s had has been similar to the 600 other cases that I’ve had.

It’s usually a command rape. It’s usually covered up.

It’s usually that they try to persecute the victim, rather than persecute the perpetrators.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And have there been any instances where actual rapes or assaults have been prosecuted by the military?

SUSAN AVILA-SMITH: Yeah, there’s been a few, usually the high-profile cases, and sometimes, you know, justice is done. There’s been a 30-year sentence.

But generally speaking, of the hundreds and thousands — there’s probably a hundred thousand women who have been raped over the lifetime of women in the service — generally speaking, no, the perpetrator usually is running free, and the victim is usually kicked out of the military.


THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE


“ US Army honor guard carries the casket of a US soldier killed in Iraq during a funeral in San Francisco 11 July.” [They don’t even give him a name. T] (AFP/Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)


IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Assorted Resistance Action

July 21, 2006 Andy Mosher, Washington Post & By Ahmed Rasheed and Mariam Karouny, Reuters & AFP & July 22, 2006 By QAIS AL-BASHIR, (AP) & Reuters

Two rockets exploded Saturday in the heavily guarded Green Zone, which includes the U.S. and British embassies. There was no report of casualties.

A car bomb in the morning killed six people, including three police officers, in the neighborhood of Baladiyat; another at noon in the city center also killed three police officers and three civilians; and a third in the afternoon killed three more police.

In Mahmudiya three police and four Iraqi soldiers, including an officer, were killed in Friday’s fighting, police said.

A policeman was gunned up in the centre of Mosul.

The bodies of three Iraqi soldiers in uniform were found in a deserted area about 20 km north of Falluja.

A bomber in a car killed six policemen and wounded 13 others near the former rebel stronghold of Falluja 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, said police official Saad Farhan.

An Iraqi soldier was killed Saturday when a bomb exploded at the entrance to his home in Hillah, 95 kilometres south of Baghdad, police said.

A curfew was imposed Saturday on the city of Samarra after a bodyguard of the city council chairman detonated an explosives belt, injuring the chairman and another security officer, police said.

Three policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb targeting their patrol exploded in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police sources said.

Insurgents killed three Iraqi police and wounded five others in what appeared to be a planned ambush in a market in the city of Baquba Saturday morning, Iraqi police said.

The attack began at 10:45 a.m. when gunmen opened fire on police in the market, police said. Officers who responded to the call for back up were then hit by two roadside bombs, police said. When it was over, three Iraqi police officers were dead and 10 people were wounded, including five officers, police said.

A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army convoy exploded in the city of Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding four others, police said.


IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

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

GET THE MESSAGE?


Shiite Iraqis put their shoes on the US and Israeli flags as a sign of insult to those countries in Baghdad’s poor neighborhood of Sadr City. (AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)

GET THE MESSAGE?


Members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army march with his portrait in a protest denouncing the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, July 21, 2006, in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)


FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

Repetitious Truth

From: Richard Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: July 21, 2006

You do not bring the enemy to the peace table by just killing military combatants.

You ultimately bring the enemy to the peace table by killing innocent civilians.

They are military targets.

The primary goal of the aggressor nation is to break the spirit of the people, and its ability to defend its homeland.

This strategy is as old as warfare itself.

The United States in Iraq, and Israel in Lebanon, otherwise known as: “The James Gang.”

Unlike Iraq, the whole world is going to see the destruction of Lebanon.

The “Blowback” from this war is going to take global violence
to a new level.

There is absolutely no separation between America and Israel.

Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran

Photo 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)

“Sir! No Sir!” Recounts The Largely Forgotten Story Of The Huge Military Movement To Stop The War In Vietnam

Jul. 7, 2006 GEOFF PEVERE, MOVIE CRITIC, Toronto Star

There is archival footage of Jane Fonda in David Zeiger’s documentary Sir! No Sir! that will come as something of a revelation to many viewers.

It’s not that the actress seen actively protesting the war in Vietnam — everyone has seen that Jane Fonda — it’s that she’s seen actively protesting the war at rallies full of enlisted men.

In other words, the very troops she is so often accused of betraying.

Sir! No Sir! recounts the largely (and, [director] Zeiger suggests, deliberately) forgotten story of the huge military movement to stop the war in Vietnam.

It’s a story Fonda figures prominently in, and which she recently discussed over the phone from Los Angeles.

Q: How did you become involved the G.I. anti-war movement?

A: When I made my decision to leave France and come back to the United States in 1970, I became involved in the G.I. (anti-war) movement. Things just fell into place. Right away, I met people that were civilians and ex-Green Berets who were involved in the G.I. movement. They asked me to help out. I visited all the coffee houses and a year later I put together the (FTA) show.

(The FTA Show was a popular satiric anti-war revue that featured Fonda and Donald Sutherland, among others. It toured coffee houses and halls that were near military bases, so as to reach those enlisted men who were sympathetic to the show’s critical stance. Depending on whom you talked to, and in what company, the letters stood either for “Free the Army” or “Fuck the Army.”)

So really, my way of being an anti-war activist was working with G.I.’s and returning vets.

Q: The movie makes a strong case that the fact of military dissent during Vietnam has been conveniently forgotten.

A: Because it’s the most incendiary thing that could happen. It’s one thing to have a movement of civilians at home opposing the war or internationally. But when the soldiers themselves say ‘uh-uh,’ that’s a real problem.

Q: Sir! No Sir! also reminds us of the scale of the anti-Vietnam military movement. It was huge, wasn’t it?

A: It really escalated after Tet (Offensive) in 1968 when the soldiers saw that what they had been told about light at the end of the tunnel and everything just wasn’t so. I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of soldiers, and basically they all said the same.

They went over as our brave soldiers do because they thought that they were fighting for democracy and to liberate the people of South Vietnam.

And one of the things that really hit home to these young people, which speaks well for them, is the way that the people of South Vietnam were being treated.

It opened up the eyes of a lot of young men.

I remember one said to me: ‘These could be my uncles and nephews that we’re doing these things to and that I see these things being done to. And why are we treating them this way? This isn’t right.’ Thank God their hearts were still able to receive that information.

I want to be clear. This was not the reality for the majority of servicemen and women that were in South Vietnam. It was the reality for those combat troops who were in areas where there were a lot of civilians.

That’s what is happening in Iraq today and it’s the nature of insurgency or guerrilla war. The so-called enemy is mingling with civilians and you don’t know who’s who.

Robert Jay Lifton, the leading psychiatrist for the returning soldiers, wrote a book called Home From the War, and he came up with an interesting phrase. He said it was “an atrocity-producing situation.”

I think it’s important to hold that in our minds because again, it parallels very much what’s happening today. You’re putting very young people in an atrocity-producing situation.

Q: Are you in any way surprised that your Vietnam anti-war activism is still considered such an issue? And that you’re still characterized as being anti-troops?

A: I’m a lightning rod. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’d better not protest the war. You’ll become like Jane Fonda.’ So whenever the mythology needs to be raised up again, I feel the impact very personally.

It’s painful because the last thing in the world I was, was anti-troops. But I made mistakes that allowed me to be put in that position. And I write about it in my book (her biography My Life So Far, which came out last year). But I’m also aware, especially in the last year when I’ve been traveling this country, the extent to which a lot people don’t buy into it any more, or have moved from that place. Including soldiers.

I think the book helped some of them understand where I was coming from and forgive me. So I have the two dynamics: that the hatred is being created in some instances; and that the hatred and bitterness some feel is often against themselves. They can’t forgive themselves. So there’s a lot of sadness too.

Even the very extent that it still exists is an indication that we have never really recovered from Vietnam. We’ve never really understood it. I mean, to blame me?

Sir! No Sir!:
At A Theatre Near You!
To find it: www.sirnosir.com/

The Sir! No Sir! DVD goes on sale July 15, exclusively at www.sirnosir.com.

Also available will be a Soundtrack CD (which includes the entire song from the FTA Show, “Soldier We Love You”), theatrical posters, tee shirts, and the DVD of “A Night of Ferocious Joy,” a film by me about the first hip-hop antiwar concert against the “War on Terror.”

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

While U.S. Troops Die;
The Collaborating Traitors Loot Iraq

July 17, 2006 By Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer

U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker told Congress last week that “massive corruption” and “a lot of theft going on” in Iraq’s government-controlled oil industry is hampering the country’s ability to govern itself.

“It took me about, you know, a second and a half to realize that, obviously, there was massive corruption going on, because the numbers just didn’t add up,” Walker said, referring to a trip he took to Iraq this year in which he was shown figures on oil production and revenue.

He said about 10 percent of Iraq’s refined fuels and 30 percent of its imported fuels are being stolen, in part because the subsidized Iraqi price of gasoline, about 44 cents a gallon, is less than half the regional price of 90 cents a gallon.

“That provides a tremendous incentive to be able to steal these fuels and be able to sell them for whatever purposes, corruption or otherwise,” Walker said.

Walker noted that oil production, which was to provide prime support to the new government, is below prewar production and distribution levels, complicated by the insurgency and difficulties in maintaining the aging oil infrastructure.

Another GAO official, Joseph Christoff, director of international affairs and trade, pointed out that the Iraqi budget is paying for “what some could contend to be a bloated bureaucracy, primarily because oftentimes you don’t know who is working in the different ministries; there are ghost employees.”


OCCUPATION PALESTINE

Zionist Terrorism:
“Real Men Murder Civilians”

July 18, 2006 Gabriel Ash, Via Anti-Allawi Group [Excerpts]

The Middle East is boiling over yet again. Israel is resorting to the one strategy it has perfected since the day it was created, murdering civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure.

The Israeli defense doctrine, old as Israel itself, considers bombing of civilian targets a means for pressuring “militants” and uncooperative governments.

So Israel bombs bridges and villages in South Lebanon, power plants in Gaza, orchards, fields, schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods, beach barbecue parties, etc.

Everything is a legitimate target.

Israeli ministers announce publicly that their chief strategy is to cause civilian suffering.

Every day sees its Guernica, and the U.N., which proudly displays a reproduction of the painting, is mum in the face of a hundred Guernicas.

To be clear, Israel’s actions fit the very definition of terrorism. Doubly so now, since the bombing campaign is a response to attacks on Israeli soldiers, not civilians.

Hizbullah’s intervention proved again it is the only power that wouldn’t stay silent in the face of Israeli barbarism.

Since Israel recognizes neither international laws nor international borders, there was nothing morally wrong in Hizbullah’s fighters crossing the border into Israel to raid a military patrol. Israel should not enjoy the defense of principles it doesn’t respect.

Since Israel can only achieve its aims by widening the scope of the war and forcing other parties to get involved, “damage to civilians” is not a by-product but the core of Israel’s strategy of escalation.

One aspect of the intrinsic value of war is that both the leaders and the public in Israel truly believe that all Arabs will surrender if enough force is applied.

It never worked. But that racism is too deep to be inconvenienced by facts. The second Lebanon war won’t be the first war fought for the sake of maintaining illusions.

Within the Macho culture Israeli leaders have cultivated for decades, justice and compromise are for sissies.

Real men murder civilians.

The government has therefore little choice but to escalate the military conflict or risk losing its political credibility.

The people of Lebanon are now being taught a lesson many of them had wanted to forget, that their only defense against their psychopathic southern neighbor is bigger and badder weapons.

Rest assured that the lesson will be learned, and that bigger and badder weapons will be used, perhaps against Israel, perhaps half a globe away.

Perhaps a liberal rephrasing of Robert Frost can sum up the stakes:

Some say world domination ends in fire, Some say in ice. From knowing Olmert’s and Bush’s desire, I hold with those who favor fire. But if our leaders go for ice, I think they are enough despised, so that for their destruction ice, is also great, and would suffice.

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

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


DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

As Twisted Anti-Immigrant Politician Freaks Attack Taco Stands And Sitting On The Front Porch:
Polls Shows Acceptance Of Immigration At Five Year High

While anti-immigrant hate groups increased 33 percent in the past five years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, overall acceptance of immigration is at a five-year high, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

July 19, 2006 By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor [Excerpts]

NORCROSS, GA.: In some ways, the traveling taco stand has become a symbol of the rise of Hispanics in the US. Here in Gwinnett County, Ga., it wasn’t any different, until lawmakers outlawed the $1 street-corner taco vendor last month.

Hispanic purveyors of the workingman’s lunch represent an immigration policy many Americans feel has gone haywire. In many interior states where the Hispanic immigration had been minimal until recently, residents are encountering more new faces speaking an incomprehensible language and infiltrating street corners with their cilantro-spiced fare.

Last month, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners became one of the first in the country to ban mobile taco stands, which officials said were cluttering street corners. One Gwinnett politician described the proliferation of rolling taco stands as “gypsy-fication.”

While anti-immigrant hate groups increased 33 percent in the past five years, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, overall acceptance of immigration is at a five-year high, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

“What we’re seeing is little towns in Kansas trying to ban people from sitting on their front porch, because that’s what (Hispanics) do,” says Gabriela Lemus, of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington.

To Mexicans, “tacos are life,” says Juan Martinez, a construction worker in Norcross. Mr. Martinez, a green-card holder from central Mexico, prefers to make his own tacos, but says that mobile taco stands serve many Hispanic workers stuck at construction sites.

The lack of protest about the ban in Gwinnett County doesn’t surprise him. “This is not our country, we don’t have the power,” Martinez says. “(Americans) are going to do what they’re going to do.”

But such ordinances are little more than “feel-good” efforts by frustrated Americans, says Robert Nilles, a Hazleton city councilor. “It’s a little funny in a way, because you’re trying to control something you have no control over,” he says.


While U.S. Troops Die;
Bush Regime Can’t Determine Costs Of War, Or Who Is Getting The Money For It Being Spent

July 17, 2006 By Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer [Excerpt]

[U.S. Comptroller General David M.] Walker’s GAO report criticized the administration’s failure to identify “current and future costs” or “the sources of funding needed to achieve U.S. political security and economic objectives in Iraq.”

The report concludes that neither the Defense Department nor Congress “can reliably determine the costs of the war, nor do they have details on how appropriated funds are being spent or historical data useful in considering future funding needs.”

He said it costs about $1.5 billion a week for U.S. military operations, reconstruction and support for Iraqi forces.

Walker said that although the administration “has resisted for several years providing cost estimates longer than one year in advance, there is a basis to come up with some estimates.”


“The President Moves About Like Caesar Augustus”

The entire government – elected officials, appointed staff, permanent bureaucracy – has shifted in the last decade from pretending to be the people’s servants to admitting that they regard the people as a threat.

March 27, 2006, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., American Conservative [Excerpts]

Two hundred years ago, when the United States was a modest commercial republic, the president could take a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue – by himself – and talk to anyone who approached him. If he wasn’t on a walk outdoors, he was most likely at home, and you could speak to him by knocking on the door of the White House and presenting yourself.

Today?

The president moves about like Caesar Augustus, with a vast graded court of civil and military aides, doctors, secretaries, valets, hairdressers, makeup artists, bodyguards, drivers, baggage handlers, cooks, food tasters, Praetorian guards, snipers, centurions, bulletproof limos, a portable hospital, and an armored rostrum.

And that’s when he travels in the U.S.

When Bush visited Ottawa, members of Parliament were refused entry into their own legislature by the massed power of the Secret Service, in violation of Canadian law.

When Bush visited London, 5,000 additional police were assigned to protect him. Parks and streets and neighborhoods were closed. Riflemen thronged the roofs. The queen was horrified by the trashed condition of the grounds and great rooms of Buckingham Palace, but that meant nothing as versus the security of the emperor.

He counts far more than any other human being on earth. So, of course, every event is staged to the extreme.

The president is spoken to by no regular person. There are as many walls that separate us from him as between the supposed government of Iraq and its people, or the old Soviet Politburo and the Russian people. These people live and breathe fear.

The paranoia of the Bush circle has infected the whole regime.

The entire government – elected officials, appointed staff, permanent bureaucracy – has shifted in the last decade from pretending to be the people’s servants to admitting that they regard the people as a threat.

Thus do we see the stream of legislation permitting ever more powers to spy, confiscate, and jail without trial.


MIDEAST CRISIS THREATENS BUSH’S VACATION:
August Ranch Stay in Jeopardy, President Says

July 21, 2006 The Borowitz Report

The widening crisis in the Middle East took on graver proportions today when President George W. Bush indicated that if the hostilities continue they could threaten his traditional August vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch.

At a press briefing at the White House, the president said that if Hezbollah continued their rocket attacks on Israel, he would see those attacks as “an assault on my vacation itself.”

“Throughout the civilized world, my summer vacation has been considered sacrosanct,” Mr. Bush told reporters. “The time has come for Hezbollah to recognize my vacation’s right to exist.”

If Mr. Bush seemed testier than usual at the White House briefing, perhaps it was because he has recently suspected that there is a global conspiracy to spoil his downtime, starting with North Korean President Kim Jong-Il’s decision to launch six test missiles on the 4th of July.

“No one wrecks my vacations,” Mr. Bush said with steely resolve. “Not on my watch.”

While the President has been concerned about the escalating crisis in the Middle East, he has reportedly been even more troubled by the situation on his ranch, where clumps of brush have been growing out of control all summer.

Mr. Bush has set a firm August 1 deadline for returning to his ranch to deal with the brush, and he said today that he expects Hezbollah to abide by that deadline.

“If August 1 comes and goes and I am not clearing that brush, Hezbollah will have hell to pay,” Mr. Bush said.


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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