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GI SPECIAL 4H4: 4/8/06

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One Million POIs March In Baghdad:
“Death To Israel”
“Death To America”
“These Are The Terrorists”


Iraqi men, young and old, carry their weapons during an armed demonstration in Baghdad’s Sadr City August 4, 2006. A million Iraqis massed in Baghdad on Friday to condemn Israel and the U.S. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem (IRAQ)

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

8.3.06 MURTADA FARAJ, Associated Press Writer & By Ross Colvin, Reuters & Aljazeera

The streets of the Sadr City slum in Baghdad were packed with people for the rally, called by anti-occupation cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

State television said a million people had gathered for the rally.

A dense sea of marchers slowly moved along al Shuhada, the slum’s main street, many waving yellow Hizbollah flags and holding pictures of the group’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

“Oh God, Oh God, make Hassan Nasrallah triumph,” they chanted.

Dressed in white shrouds – a symbol of their willingness to die – the demonstrators waved Hezbollah’s yellow flags and chanted ‘’Death to Israel’’ and ‘’Death to America.’’

Al-Sadr followers painted U.S. and Israeli flags on the main road leading to the rally site, and demonstrators stepped on them with relish. Alongside the painted flags was written: ‘’These are the terrorists.’’

Although the rally was about Hezbollah, it is also a show of strength by al-Sadr, who commands a powerful militia, the Mahdi Army,

Iraqi government television said the Defense Ministry had approved the demonstration, a sign of the public anger over Israel’s offensive in Lebanon and of al-Sadr’s stature as a major player in Iraqi politics.


Members of the Mehdi army militia carry Lebanese Hezbollah flags as they rally in Baghdad’s impoverished neighborhood of Sadr City. A million Iraqis thronged the streets of Baghdad chanting “Death to Israel” “Death To America,” and “Resistance” in a massive and noisy demonstration. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)


IRAQ WAR REPORTS

TWO SOLDIERS KILLED IN AL ANBAR

8/4/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 06-08-04C

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq: Two Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province today.


Soldier From Hesperia Killed

July 26, 2006 By Heather L. VanDyke, Muskegon CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER WITH LOCAL REPORTS

People in the small Oceana County community of Hesperia are calling the death of U.S. Army Spc. Dennis K. Samson in Iraq “a tragedy.”

The 24-year-old Hesperia man reportedly was killed in Iraq by enemy gunfire Monday.

Samson, a 2000 graduate of Hesperia High School, was described by a close friend of the family as a kind person who stayed “out of trouble” and had excelled in cross country.

He is survived by his mother, Dawn Ackley, of Hesperia and his father, Dennis Samson Sr., of Seattle. His mother declined to comment this morning and referred calls to the Army Casualty Office.

Doug Baird, Samson’s cross-country coach for four years, said Samson was a “great team member” and a “really good kid to have around.”

“It’s a tragedy that we lost him so early,” Baird said.

Samson was “a nice contributor to our school community” and he was talented, Baird said.

“He was a four-year varsity runner for us. He worked very hard at our workouts. He was the type of kid you wanted on your team,” Baird said. “He had a smile on his face. He was up to the challenge. It didn’t matter how hard the workout would be.”

Aside from being athletic, Baird said Samson was kind and a “free spirit.”

“He was Native American and had this jet black hair about shoulder length. He would come bouncing along into practice, hair blowing in the wind. That’s how I’ll remember him,” Baird said.

Baird said he enjoyed music and was friends with many people on his cross-country team.

“It wasn’t uncommon for him to have his headphones on walking down the road,” he said.

He is the 18th serviceman from the greater West Michigan area to die in the Iraq war.


Mobile Soldier Wounded In Baghdad

August 04, 2006 By GEORGE WERNETH, Staff Reporter, Press-Register

A 29-year-old soldier from Mobile who joined the Army in an effort to recover from the death of his brother — a local chef who died unexpectedly some five years ago — has been seriously wounded in Iraq, his father said Thursday.

Pfc. Jeremy Hardy, a 1995 graduate of Davidson High School and a member of the Army’s famed 101st Airborne Division, is recovering in a hospital in Germany from wounds he received Monday in Baghdad, his father, Phillip Hardy of Mobile, said. The soldier’s dad said he is expected to recover from his injuries.

The soldier was lifting weights in a gymnasium in the war-torn city when a mortar shell slammed through the roof of the gym, Phillip Hardy said. He said his son was “hit by a good-sized piece of shrapnel which went in just below his hip and lodged in his colon.”

He reported that several other U.S. soldiers in the gym were also wounded.

Phillip Hardy said he talked to his son by phone Monday morning, just before Jeremy went through about four hours of surgery. He said he also talked to his son following surgery and said Jeremy was in good spirits. But the dad said his son told him, “I hate to leave my buddies.” Phillip Hardy said his son is expected to be flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., in the near future for further treatment.

The soldier’s dad said his son had a good job with the Mobile Airport Authority but joined the Army a couple of years ago in an effort “to put his life back together” after being haunted by the unexpected death of his older brother, Blake Hardy.

Jeremy Hardy’s youngest brother, Christian Hardy, 21, of Mobile, told a reporter Thursday that on March 15, 2001, Jeremy had been unsuccessful in efforts to contact Blake, who was 25 and the oldest brother, and went to his brother’s home in Mobile only to find his dead body on his bed. Christian said Jeremy was badly shaken by the experience.

Christian said Blake — it later was discovered — had “walking pneumonia” but was a chef who worked at multiple jobs and didn’t go to a doctor. “He didn’t have time to get sick,” Christian Hardy said. He said the family did not know how sick his brother was.

The soldier is married to Amber Hardy, 23. He has a daughter, Emerson, 6, from a previous marriage.


THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO COMPREHENSIBLE REASON TO BE IN THIS EXTREMELY HIGH RISK LOCATION AT THIS TIME, EXCEPT THAT A LYING, CROOKED PIECE OF SHIT WHO LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU THERE, SO HE WILL LOOK GOOD.
That is not a good enough reason.


7.12.06 US Army soldiers at the scene of an exploded improvised explosive device, or IED, that killed one person, in the Wazariya neighborhood in northern Baghdad. (AFP/Ali al-Saadi)


AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

4 Canadian Soldiers Killed,
10 Wounded

03 Aug 2006 CBC News

Four Canadian soldiers were killed and 10 injured in three separate attacks near Kandahar on Thursday, one of the deadliest days for Canada so far in the military campaign in Afghanistan.

Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser said it was a difficult day, but the troops made significant gains on insurgents. [Right. Another month of gains like this and they’ll have to have mass funerals.]

Three Canadians were killed and six injured when Taliban militants attacked soldiers with rocket-propelled grenades on the outskirts of Kandahar, a NATO spokesman said.

The soldiers, of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton, were supporting Afghan national police in clearing a suspected Taliban position in the Zharey district. The insurgents attacked at around 12:30 p.m. local time.

Three of the wounded soldiers and an injured interpreter were taken by helicopter to a hospital at Camp Bastion in Helmand province.

The remaining three were taken to the coalition hospital at the Kandahar airfield. All six injured soldiers were reported to be in good condition.

Earlier in the day, Cpl. Christopher Jonathan Reid of Truro, N.S., was killed near Kandahar when his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

Reid, with the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, was the 20th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since Canada began sending soldiers in 2002.

Reid was in a Canadian Light Armoured Vehicle, or LAV III, when it was hit. Another Canadian soldier was in the vehicle at the time and was injured, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

A short time after the attack, three Canadian soldiers were injured when another LAV III was also hit by a roadside bomb. Their injuries were also non-life threatening, the military said.

News of the Canadian soldiers’ deaths came the same day interment ceremonies were being held at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa for two Canadian soldiers killed in a suicide blast near Kandahar last month.


Fla. National Guard Soldier Dies Of Injuries From Afghanistan

Aug. 03, 2006 Associated Press

OCALA, Fla.: A Florida National Guard soldier has died from injuries he suffered in March while serving in Afghanistan, authorities said Thursday.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Suplee of Tampa served with the Guard’s Ocala-based 153rd Cavalry, Troop E, which returned from Afghanistan in July.

He had been hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., since his armored vehicle got into an accident, authorities said.

Suplee is survived by his wife, Bernadine, and two children. A message left at the couple’s home Thursday evening was not immediately returned.


Dozen Resistance Troops Attack Checkpoint Near Kabul For An Hour

Aug 4, 2006 By NOOR KHAN, AP

Militants attacked a police checkpoint in a rare attack on the outskirts of Kabul, sparking a firefight that left one insurgent dead.

Twelve men fired on the checkpoint for an hour before fleeing Thursday night, said police official Ali Shah Paktyawal.


IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

As U.S. Troops Leave For Baghdad,
Resistance Attacks Mosul In Force:
Coordinated Attacks Kill 9 Occupation Cops;
Fierce Fighting Continuing

8.3.06 MURTADA FARAJ, Associated Press Writer & AFP News & CNN

Nine Iraqi police officers have been killed when insurgents detonated a series of bombs and fierce fighting erupted in the northern city of Mosul.

At least 80 insurgents drove vehicles into several neighborhoods and attacked police patrols and checkpoints, police said.

The violence erupted as 3,500 U.S. troops were being moved from the Mosul area to Baghdad to help bolster security in the capital.

Fighting raged in at least eight neighborhoods in Mosul, the largest city in Iraq’s northern tier about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Baghdad. At least six car and roadside bombs were triggered, and mortar shells were fired at police posts, he said. “Up until now nine police have died, including a colonel, but it’s still going on.”

“The situation is still volatile, and clashes are continuing in parts of the city,” the senior officer told AFP from Mosul, adding that a vehicle curfew had been imposed from 10 am (0600 GMT) Friday until 6 am on Saturday.

The first bomb was detonated just after sunrise, followed shortly by the others, and sporadic gunbattles were still continuing six hours later, the officer said.

Col. Jassim Mohammed Bilal, a police battalion commander, and three other police officers were slain when attackers targeted his convoy in the eastern Noor neighborhood, said Nineveh province Gov. Duraid Kashmoula. The patrol had arrived in the area after light gunfire was reported there, said al-Hamdani.


“Death To America, Death To Israel” “We Are Your Soldiers”


Armed Iraqi men holding pictures of Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and participate in a mass demonstration in Baghdad August 4, 2006, chanting “Death To American, Death To Israel” and “We are your soldiers.” Others burned American and Israeli flags. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem (IRAQ)


GET THE MESSAGE?
THE GENIUS BUSH HAS PISSED OFF EVERYBODY


Ripping an American flag, some of the one million Iraqi Shiites gather in a mass demonstration against the U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Israel’s bombing of Lebanon, Aug. 4, 2006, in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo / Hadi Mizban)


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

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

SHITBAGS

From: Richard Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: August 03, 2006
Subject: SHITBAGS

I can’t imagine serving in Iraq for two or three tours,
knowing full well that Bush was AWOL from the
Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War,
or that Dick Cheney had 5 deferments from going
into the military during the Vietnam War.

And then,
there is Donald Rumsfeld who obviously knows
nothing about the horrors of war.

It’s like being
led into battle by a First Lt. robot that yells,
“Bring ‘Em On!”

How many funerals have these
three men attended?

They have all bought and sold
the American flag so many times for war profits.

These men have no honor.

These men are Shitbags.

Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
August 3, 2006

Don’t Trust A Veteran
Who Isn’t Angry.

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

“The Ones Who Should Bear The Shame And Guilt Are The Desktop Commanders Whose Arrogance Puts Soldiers In Such Horrible, Atrocity-Making Situations”
“Ten Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military”
(This Book Could Save Your Life)

July 28, 2006 Review by Charles Peterson, Socialist Worker [Excerpts]

Ten Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military, Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, ed. New Press, 2006, 128 pages, $14.95.

Those at the top say:
This way to glory.
Those down below say:
This way to the grave.

These lines, written decades ago by socialist German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht, beautifully capture the main theme of the new collection of essays Ten Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military.

The strength of the book is that, chapter by chapter, the authors, who include several prominent antiwar veterans, make the point that the people with the most stake in the war—the politicians and the military commanders—do absolutely none of the fighting.

One veteran compares Iraq to “the tragedy of another American war in which unseen, distant commanders, whose own lives were never in danger, sent vulnerable young men and women into situations where war crimes become an everyday aspect of military conduct.”

Elsewhere, another author notes, “Not only are American Marines, reservists and soldiers expected to follow unlawful orders, but they are also expected to bear lifelong burdens of shame, guilt and legal culpability for the arrogance of their own commanders—who dispense life and death from an office computer.”

The ones who should bear the shame and guilt are the desktop commanders whose arrogance puts soldiers in such horrible, atrocity-making situations.

As far as unlawful orders go, they are the rule rather than the exception. The authors share firsthand experience of being forced to participate in artillery strikes at civilian targets, shooting of passengers and the general terrorizing of the Iraqi population.

Unfortunately, war crimes against civilian populations under occupation are nothing new. Writer and activist Paul Rockwell observes, “From the U.S. raids on hamlets in Vietnam, to the French raids in the Casbah in Algeria, to the ongoing door-to-door raids in Iraq, the main features of imperial occupation have never changed.”

This book does an excellent job placing the blame for these crimes squarely where they belong: on the politicians and policy-makers who crafted the disastrous occupation of Iraq.

The book also makes an excellent case for one of the key arguments in the antiwar movement: immediately withdraw all the troops instead of “staying the course” in Iraq.

Soldiers and their supporters have become aware that despite the hollow rhetoric of “support the troops,” the government doesn’t care about them. Veteran Robert Acosta, who was disabled during his tour in Iraq, observes, “The military doesn’t care about you—you’re just a number, a chess piece.”

Adele Kubein, the mother of an active-duty soldier, says of young people who enlist: “What they (the recruiters) don’t tell them is that they are disposable equipment that can be discarded when its usefulness is over.”

Soldiers are not just victims of the oppressive conditions of military service. They have the power to stop this current war, and all wars, by refusing to be pawns on the commanders’ chessboard.

Relying on the humanity of soldiers, and not the goodwill of politicians, is the only sure path to peace.

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.


“Opposing The U.S. Government’s Imperial Agenda Is Vital To Reviving And Strengthening The Antiwar Movement In The U.S.”
“Besieged Gaza Recalls Nothing So Much As The Nazi-Imposed Warsaw Ghetto To Isolate Polish Jews During The Second World War”

July 28, 2006 A statement by the International Socialist Organization, Socialist Worker [Excerpts]

As activists in the United States, we have a special responsibility to stand with the Lebanese and Palestinian people and all those who resist Israel’s Washington-backed war, and reject the pretext of a “war on terror” claimed by both major U.S. political parties and the corporate media.

The carnage and humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s U.S.-made warplanes, missiles and bombs—in Gaza and the West Bank as well as Lebanon—give the lie to promises of “democratization” that accompanied the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Collaborating with the U.S. and Israel in this effort are its client states in the Middle East—the Mubarak police state in Egypt, the reactionary Saudi and Jordanian monarchies and NATO member Turkey. All these governments fear popular struggles among the Lebanese and Palestinians that might set an example for workers and oppressed minorities among their own populations.

But the scale of the destruction of Lebanon is also meant to send a message to the world at large—that the U.S. and its enforcer, Israel, are prepared to use the most barbaric means to achieve their aims.

The U.S. “green light” for the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon is part of a wider decision to unleash Israel’s American-made arsenal—augmented by the express delivery of “bunker-buster” bombs—to further Washington’s agenda.

The Bush administration had previously approved the Israeli government’s unilateral “separation plan”—”withdrawal” from the Gaza Strip that turned the area into the world’s largest prison.

Besieged Gaza recalls nothing so much as the Nazi-imposed Warsaw Ghetto to isolate Polish Jews during the Second World War.

Since the victory in December by the Islamist Hamas party in Palestinian elections—a vote held at Washington’s insistence—the U.S. and Israel have effectively nullified the democratic choice of the Palestinian people.

They have imposed devastating economic sanctions on the Palestinian Occupied Territories, dramatically worsening already severe poverty levels and pushing the health care system into collapse.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military conducts assassinations via air strikes, uses heavy artillery in densely populated areas and conducts regular and highly destructive military attacks with tanks and bulldozers—all with terrible loss of Palestinian lives. Israeli forces have also arrested government ministers who belong to Hamas.

U.S. politicians and the media excuse Israel’s wars on both the Palestinians and the Lebanese people by claiming that Israel has a “right to defend itself”—code words for the arbitrary redrawing of borders, military assaults on defenseless people, and the murder and imprisonment of anyone who resists.

The corollary is that Hezbollah and Hamas must be cut off from receiving aid and weapons from Syria or Iran, and Israel must continue to receive U.S.-made F-16 jets to rain bombs on Lebanon and Gaza and $3 billion in direct aid from Washington each year.
Despite this hypocrisy, some parts of the U.S. antiwar movement continue to view the much smaller armed operations of Hezbollah and Hamas as part of a “cycle of violence” with Israel’s vastly greater destructive power—or even hold Hezbollah responsible for the destruction of Lebanon because of its capture of the two soldiers.

But as the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe argues, “Retaliating to such a low-key operation with a total war and destruction indicates clearly that what matters is the grand design, not the pretext…the wider Israel’s military might expands, the easier it is to complete the unfinished business of the 1948 (founding of Israel): the total de-Arabization of Palestine.”

Israel’s drive to consolidate its control led to the Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and the occupation of southern Lebanon from 1982 until 2000. The current Israeli war has similar aims as the previous ones: to eliminate any challenge to its dominance.

Nevertheless, the resistance to the imperialist and Zionist project continues among Palestinians, in Lebanon and elsewhere. Although dismissed as bands of terrorists by Israel and the U.S., Hezbollah and Hamas are mass organizations whose influence has grown precisely because of their resistance to Israel.

The Israeli onslaught in Lebanon poses an urgent challenge to the antiwar movement in the U.S. The crushing of a weak sovereign state by an enormously powerful Washington-backed military demands a response from all those who stand for peace and justice.

Unfortunately, there has been a longstanding unwillingness among leading voices in the U.S. antiwar movement to raise the issue of Palestine—partly because of sympathies with Israel among some, partly out of fear of offending the movement’s supposed friends in the Democratic Party.

Yet the Democrats, like the Republicans, are a pro-imperialist party committed to any effort that protects and expands U.S. power overseas, including those undertaken by Israel. The antiwar movement can’t rise to the challenge if it tailors its activities and arguments to suit a party that supports war and occupation.

Anti-imperialist and antiracist politics are not a diversion for the U.S. antiwar movement. On the contrary, they are key to its revival and growth.

Israel’s war on Lebanon is the harbinger of a new, even deadlier turn in Washington’s “war on terror.”

Opposing the U.S. government’s imperial agenda is vital to reviving and strengthening the antiwar movement in the U.S., building international solidarity and opposing the interventions of U.S. imperialism—whether conducted through the U.S. or Israeli military.

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


OCCUPATION PALESTINE/LEBANON

“Some Of The Children Were Blown Into Bits And They Couldn’t Fit Them Together Accurately And There Might Be — They Couldn’t Put The Right Head On The Right Body”

It’s quite clear from listening to the IDF statement today that they believe that family deserved to die, because 90 feet away, they claim, a missile was fired.

I can’t think of any other reason why they should say, “Well, 30 meters away a missile was fired.” Well, thanks very much. So those little children’s corpses in their plastic packages, all stuck together like giant candies today, this is supposed to be quite normal, this is how war is to be waged by the IDF.

July 31st, 2006 Democracy Now [Excerpt]

Lebanon is marking a national day of mourning, a day after Israeli warplanes bombed the village of Qana killing 57.

Robert Fisk was in the nearby city of Tyre, where many of the victims were taken following the attack. He joins us from his home in Beirut.

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

ROBERT FISK: I went to Tyre, Amy.

When I arrived there, there were a number of, maybe 20, 30 children, the corpses of children, lined up outside the government hospital, hair matted, still in their night clothes.

The bomb that killed them was dropped at 1:00 in the morning. And they ran out of plastic bags. They were trying to put the children in plastic bags, their corpses, and they would put on it, you know, “Abbas Mehdi, aged seven,” and so and so, aged one, and use a kind of sticking tape on it.

But then they ran out of plastic bags, so they had to put the children’s corpses in a kind of cheap carpet that you can buy in the supermarkets, and they roll them up in that and then put their names on again. I was having to go around very carefully and write down, from the Arabic, their names and their ages. It would just say “Abbas Mehdi, aged seven, Qana.”

The Lebanese soldiers were trying take down the names of all who had died, but I found a man with a clipboard who had taken down 40 names, and he said that they weren’t accurate, because some of the children were blown into bits and they couldn’t fit them together accurately and there might be — they couldn’t put the right head on the right body, and therefore they might not be able to have an accurate list of the dead.

But he was doing his best in the circumstances of war to maintain the bureaucracy of government.

One by one the children’s bodies were taken away from the courtyard of the government hospital on the shoulders of soldiers and hospital workers and were put in a big refrigerated truck, very dirty, dusty truck, which had been parked just outside the hospital. The grownups, the adult dead, including twelve women, were taken out later.

The children were put in the truck first. Pretty grim. As I said, the children’s hair, when you could see the bodies, were matted with dust and mud. And most of them appear to have been bleeding from the nose. I assume that’s because their lungs were crushed by the bomb, and therefore they naturally hemorrhaged as they died.

But the odd thing is the idea that for the Israeli military that somehow it’s okay to kill all these children; if a missile is launched 30, 90 feet from their house, that’s okay then.

We’ve got some film to show the missiles were launched; that’s okay then. I mean, did the aircraft which dropped this bomb, a guided weapon, by the way — they knew what they were hitting. It’s a guided weapon.

We know that because the computer codes have been found on the bomb fragments.

Did they say, “Oh, well, then, the man who launched the missile is hiding with the children in the basement of the house we’re going to hit”?

Is it the case now that if you happen to live in a house next to where someone launches a missile, you are to be sentenced to death? Is that what Israel thinks the war is about?

I’m sitting here, for example, in my house tonight in darkness — there’s no electricity — next to a car park.

What if someone launches a missile from the car park? Am I supposed to die for that? Is that a death sentence for me? Is that how Israel wages war? If I have children in the basement, are they to die for that?

It’s quite clear from listening to the IDF statement today that they believe that family deserved to die, because 90 feet away, they claim, a missile was fired.

So they sentenced all those people to death.

Is that what we’re supposed to believe? I mean, presumably it is.

I can’t think of any other reason why they should say, “Well, 30 meters away a missile was fired.” Well, thanks very much. So those little children’s corpses in their plastic packages, all stuck together like giant candies today, this is supposed to be quite normal, this is how war is to be waged by the IDF.

The fact that when they made these comments, they went unchallenged on television, was one of the most extraordinary scenes I’ve seen.

I got back from Tyre on a very dangerous overland journey on an open road, which was under air attack, and I got back, and just before the electricity was cut, I saw the BBC reporting what the Israelis had said, but without questioning the morality that if someone fires a missile near your home, therefore it is perfectly okay for you to die.

John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has consistently opposed any kind of ceasefire, because he believes, as Mr. Bush does and as our own dear prime minister, Lord Blair, as I call him, does, that the Israelis can accomplish these hopeless political military aims.

Well, the Israelis believe that they can actually destroy one of the most disciplined and most ruthless guerrilla armies in the world. They can’t, anymore than the Americans could destroy the Vietcong or the North Vietnamese or British could destroy the IRA.

All the United Nations is doing by postponing a ceasefire is condemning more Lebanese to death. I wrote in Saturday’s paper, before Qana, that the actions of Blair and Bush, and Bolton by extension, and Condoleezza Rice, were going to condemn more innocents to death.

On the ground, when you’re here, when you see the wounded, see the dead, you realize the immorality, the obscenity, the atrocity of statesmen, as they think they are, claiming that, you know, it isn’t yet time for a ceasefire.

A hasty ceasefire would not be a good thing, as Condoleezza Rice said. 24 hours before, I saw a picture of her on a beach in Malaysia. And people remember this. People remember this. In the hospital it was a young man who said — turned to me, he said, “Why have you done this to us? Why have you done this to us?” And the woman I was talking to said the same: “Why does the West want to do this to us?”

What’s going on in southern Lebanon is an outrage. It’s an atrocity.

The idea that more than 600 civilians must die because three Israeli soldiers were killed and two were captured on the border by the Hezbollah on July 12, my 60th birthday — I’ve spent 30 years of my life watching this, this filth now, you know — is outrageous. It’s against all morality to suggest that 600 innocent civilians must die for this. There is no other country in the world that could get away with this.

You know, when — I wrote in my paper last week, there were times when the IRA would cross from the Irish Republic into northern Ireland to kill British soldiers. And they did murder and kill British soldiers. But we, the British, didn’t hold the Irish government responsible. We didn’t send the Royal Air Force to bomb Dublin power stations and Galway and Cork. We didn’t send our tanks across the border to shell the hill villages of Cavan or Monaghan or Louth or Donegal.

Blair wouldn’t dream of doing that, because he believes he’s a moral man, he’s a civilized man. He wouldn’t treat another nation like that.

But when the Israelis treat Lebanon like that, it’s okay, and Blair doesn’t want a ceasefire.

Blair wouldn’t dream of attacking the Irish Republic because the IRA crossed the border from Ireland, but it’s quite in order for Israel to attack the Lebanese Republic because the Hezbollah crossed the border from Lebanon.



“This War Is Plastered With Military Failures – In The Air, On Land And On The Sea”
“The Simple Truth Is That Up To Now, The 22nd Day Of The War, Not One Single Military Target Has Been Reached”

And most of all: even the best army in the world cannot win a war that has no clear aims. Karl von Clausewitz, the guru of military science, pronounced that “war is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means”. Olmert and Peretz, two complete dilettantes, have turned this inside out: “War is nothing more than the continuation of the lack of policy by other means.”

August 3, 2006 By URI AVNERY, CounterPunch [Excerpts] Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom.

The day after the war will be the Day of the Long Knives.

Everybody will blame everybody else. The politicians will blame each other. The generals will blame each other. The politicians will blame the generals. And, most of all, the generals will blame the politicians.

Always, in every country and after every war, when the generals fail, the “knife in the back” legend raises its head. If only the politicians had not stopped the army just when it was on the point of achieving a glorious, crushing, historic victory

That’s what happened in Germany after World War I, when the legend gave birth to the Nazi movement. That’s what happened in America after Vietnam. That’s what is going to happen here. The first stirrings can already be felt.

THE SIMPLE truth is that up to now, the 22nd day of the war, not one single military target has been reached.

The same army that took just six days to rout three big Arab armies in 1967 has not succeeded in overcoming a small “terrorist organization” in a time span that is already longer than the momentous Yom Kippur War. Then, the army succeeded in just 20 days in turning a stunning defeat at the beginning into a resounding military victory at the end.

In order to create an image of achievement, military spokesmen asserted yesterday that “we have succeeded in killing 200 (or 300, or 400, who is counting?) of the 1000 fighters of Hizbullah.” The assertion that the entire terrifying Hizbullah consisted of one thousand fighters speaks for itself.

According to correspondents, President Bush is frustrated. The Israeli army has not “delivered the goods”. Bush sent them into war believing that the powerful army, equipped with the most advanced American arms, will “finish the job” in a few days. It was supposed to eliminate Hizbullah, turn Lebanon over to the stooges of the US, weaken Iran and perhaps also open the way to “regime change” in Syria. No wonder that Bush is angry.

Ehud Olmert is even more furious. He went to war in high spirits and with a light heart, because the Air Force generals had promised to destroy Hizbullah and their rockets within a few days. Now he is stuck in the mud, and no victory in sight.

AS USUAL with us, at the termination of the fighting (and possibly even before) the War of the Generals will start. The front lines are already emerging.

The commanders of the land army blame the Chief-of-Staff and the power-intoxicated Air Force, who promised to achieve victory all by themselves. To bomb, bomb and bomb, destroy roads, bridges, residential quarters and villages, and – finito!

The followers of the Chief-of-Staff and the other Air Force generals will blame the land forces, and especially Northern Command. Their spokesmen in the media already declare that this command is full of inept officers, who have been shunted there because the North seemed a backwater while the real action was going on in the South (Gaza) and the Center (West Bank).

THE MUTUAL accusations are all quite right. This war is plastered with military failures – in the air, on land and on the sea.

They are rooted in the terrible arrogance in which we were brought up and which has become a part of our national character. It is even more typical of the army, and reaches its climax in the Air Force.

For years we have told each other that we have the most-most-most army in the world. We have convinced not only ourselves, but also Bush and the entire world. After all, we did win an astounding victory in six days in 1967.

As a result, when this time the army did not win a huge victory in six days, everybody was astounded. Why, what happened?

One of the declared aims of this war was the rehabilitation of the Israeli army’s deterrence power. That really has not happened.

That’s because the other side of the coin of arrogance is the profound contempt for Arabs, an attitude that has already led to severe military failures in the past. It’s enough to remember the Yom Kippur war.

Now our soldiers are learning the hard way that the “terrorists” are highly motivated, tough fighters, not junkies dreaming of “their” virgins in Paradise.

But beyond arrogance and contempt for the opponent, there is a basic military problem: it is just impossible to win a war against guerillas.

We have seen this in our 18-year stay in Lebanon. Then we drew the unavoidable conclusion and got out. True, without good sense, without an agreement with the other side. (We don’t speak with terrorists, do we? – even if they are the dominant force on the ground.) But we did get out.

God knows what gave today’s generals the unfounded self-confidence to believe that they would win where their predecessors failed so miserably.

And most of all: even the best army in the world cannot win a war that has no clear aims. Karl von Clausewitz, the guru of military science, pronounced that “war is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means”. Olmert and Peretz, two complete dilettantes, have turned this inside out: “War is nothing more than the continuation of the lack of policy by other means.”

MILITARY EXPERTS say that in order to succeed in war, there must be (a) a clear aim, (b) an aim that is achievable, and (c) the means necessary for achieving this aim.

All these three conditions are lacking in this war. That is clearly the fault of the political leadership.

Therefore, the main blame will be laid at the feet of the twins, Olmert-Peretz. They have succumbed to the temptation of the moment and dragged the state into a war, in a decision that was hasty, unconsidered and reckless.

As Nehemia Strassler wrote in Haaretz: They could have stopped after two or three days, when all the world agreed that Hizbullah’s provocation justified an Israeli response, when nobody was yet doubting the capabilities of the Israeli army. The operation would have looked sensible, sober and proportional.

But Olmert and Peretz could not stop. As greenhorns in matters of war, they did not know that the boasts of the generals cannot be relied on, that even the best military plans are not worth the paper on which they are written, that in war the unexpected must be expected, that nothing is more temporary then the glory of war. They were intoxicated by the war’s popularity, egged on by a herd of fawning journalists, driven out of their minds by their own glory as War Leaders.

Olmert was roused by his own incredibly kitschy speeches, which he rehearsed with his hangers-on. Peretz, so it seems, stood in front of the mirror and already saw himself as the next Prime Minister, Mister Security, a Second Ben-Gurion.

And so, like two village idiots, to the sound of drums and bugles, they set off at the head of their March of Folly straight towards political and military failure.

It is reasonable to assume that they will pay the price after the war.

WHAT WILL come out of this whole mess?

No one talks anymore about eliminating Hizbullah or disarming it and destroying all the rockets. That has been forgotten long ago.

At the start of the war, the government furiously rejected the idea of deploying an international force of any kind along the border. The army believed that such a force would not protect Israel, but only restrict its freedom of action.

Now, suddenly, the deployment of this force has become the main aim of the campaign. The army is continuing the operation solely in order to “prepare the ground for the international force”, and Olmert declares that he will go on fighting until it appears on the ground.

That is, of course, a sorry alibi, a ladder for getting down from the high tree. The international force can be deployed only in agreement with Hizbullah. No country will send its soldiers to a place where they would have to fight the locals. And everywhere in the area, the local Shiite inhabitants will return to their villages – including the Hizbullah underground fighters.

Further on, the force will also be totally dependent on the agreement of Hizbullah. If a bomb explodes under a bus full of French soldiers, a cry will go up in Paris: bring our sons home. That is what happened when the US Marines were bombed in Beirut.

The Germans, who shocked the world this week by opposing the call for a cease-fire, certainly will not send soldiers to the Israeli border. That’s just what they need, to be obliged to shoot at Israeli soldiers.

And, most importantly, nothing will prevent Hizbullah from launching their rockets over the heads of the international force, any time they want to. What will the international force do then? Conquer all the area up to Beirut? And how will Israel respond?

Olmert wants the force to control the Lebanese-Syrian border. That, too, is illusory. That border goes around the entire West and North of Lebanon. Anybody who wants to smuggle weapons will stay away from the main roads, which will be controlled by the international soldiers. He will find hundreds of places along the border to do this. With the proper bribe, one can do anything in Lebanon.

Therefore, after the war, we will stand more or less in the same place we were before we started this sorry adventure, before the killing of almost a thousand Lebanese and Israelis, before the eviction from their homes of more than a million human beings, Israelis and Lebanese, before the destruction of more than a thousand homes both in Lebanon and Israel.

AFTER THE war, the enthusiasm will simmer down, the inhabitants of the North will lick their wounds and the army will start to investigate its failures. Everybody will claim that he or she was against the war from the first day on. Then the Day of Judgment will come.

The conclusion that presents itself is: kick out Olmert, send Peretz packing and sack Halutz.

In order to embark on a new course, the only one that will solve the problem: negotiations and peace with the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Syrians. And: with Hamas and Hizbullah.

Because it’s only with enemies that one makes peace.


Nassrullah:
“The Bush Administration (Bush, Rice, Cheney, And Rumsfeld) Are Responsible For The Blood Of The Lebanese Children And Women”

Then, addressing the Israelis, he said that the Bush administration will not provide you with the help you wish for simply because it cannot help itself, as it is bogged in its endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

August 3, 2006 Al-Jazeerah, By Al-Jazeerah Editor, Hassan El-Najjar

The following is a summary of the main points of a speech made by the Hizbullah leader, Shaikh Hasssan Nassrullah, which was aired by Al-Manar TV and several TV stations around the world today, August 3, 2006.

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

In a sarcastic style, Shaikh Hassan Nassrullah said that he had to admit two Israeli great achievements.

First, they were capable to kill scores of civilians in Qana, most of them were women and children.

He said that the Israelis said it was a mistake in information. He questioned that explanation saying what about the hundreds of civilians killed everywhere in Lebanon?

He gave his explanation saying that this has been a deliberate Israel tactic to influence the morale of the Hizbullah resistance fighters as they see their families being massacred. What the Israelis don’t know is that their war crimes against civilians increase the determination of the resistance fighters to defeat them.

The second disgraceful achievement of the Israelis was their air raid on Ba’albeck, in which they attacked the Dar El-Hikmah Hospital, following another wrong intelligence information that it was used as a Hizbullah command and control center.

They were wrong and stupid. The hospital was empty because Hizbullah expected such an attack or an air raid on all Hizbullah facilities.

To maximize their stupidity, Nassrullah added, the Israeli acted on another wrong intelligence information. They attacked a house in Ba’albek owned by an elderly man called Hassan Nassrullah. They took him and other relatives as hostages with them.

The Israeli raid was a perfect example about how much ignorant Israelis are to the extent of kidnapping a man and several members of his family just because of a name similarity with the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nassrullah.

For the Israeli people, Nassrullah said that their leaders are lying to them. The war was unwarranted. They could have negotiated the release of the two soldiers, like they did before but they were encouraged to start the war by the Bush administration, which has its own agenda.

He promised the Israelis that if their leaders stop air raids on Lebanon, Hizbullah will stop its rocket and missile attacks on Israel, limiting the fighting to the south Lebanon region between Israeli ground troops and Hizbullah resistance fighters. But if their leaders continue their criminal air strikes on Lebanon, the Hizbullah missile attacks will continue and increase to include Tel Aviv from now on.

Nassrullah said that the Bush administration allowed the Israeli leaders to continue their air raids on the Lebanese for the last week, after they blocked international efforts to stop the war in the Rome and UN meetings.

As a result, the Bush administration (Bush, Rice, Cheney, and Rumsfeld) are responsible for the blood of the Lebanese children and women, which was shed in Qana and all over Lebanon ever since. They are as guilty as Olmert, Peres, and Halutz for the massacres of the Lebanese civilians.

Then, addressing the Israelis, he said that the Bush administration will not provide you with the help you wish for simply because it cannot help itself, as it is bogged in its endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nassrullah asked the Lebanese, Arabs, and Muslims for their spiritual and material support and promised them of nothing short of victory.


Heroic Zionists Exterminate Unarmed Kurdish Farm Laborers In Lebanon


The bodies of Syrian Kurd farm workers lie on the ground after an Israeli air attack on a farm in northeastern Lebanon, August 4, 2006. The raid on Qaa in the Bekaa Valley killed 33 and wounded 20. REUTERS/Mohammed Solh (LEBANON)


Israeli Newspaper Reports That Army Lied About Qana:
There Were No Hezbollah Fighters or Missile Launchers in Qana

August 2, 2006 by Ira Glunts, dissidentvoice.org

In its lead story yesterday, the Hebrew edition of Ha’aretz Online reported that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) claim that Hezbollah missile launchers and Hezbollah fighters were in and around the building in Qana which they shelled early Sunday morning was false.

Oddly, this article which points to Israeli culpability and recklessness in what some are calling the IDF’s second massacre in Qana (the first was in 1996), has been largely ignored in the international press.

According to the newspaper, the IDF “decided to attack houses in a specific radius of a place that was used in the past to launch missiles” The article states that the tactic of choosing buildings as targets that are near areas from which rockets were launched in the past has been used before.

Initially, Israeli military sources had reported that the deaths in Qana where caused not by the Israeli air attack early Sunday morning, but by an accidental explosion, many hours later, of Hezbollah ordinance which was stored inside the building.

According to the Ha’aretz article, this is not true. Israeli Air Force sources have admitted, according to Ha’aretz that the deaths in Qana where caused by the Israeli shelling.

Additionally, the claim of the IDF that leaflets were dropped on the weekend which warned of an attack were also untrue. The leaflets were actually delivered “some days” before the weekend, according to military sources.

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


DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK


[Thanks to JW, who sent this in.]


U.S. Citizens’ Anger At The Traitors Running The Government Hits Record Levels

August 3, 2006 By THOMAS HARGROVE AND GUIDO H. STEMPEL III, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE [Excerpts]

More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they “personally are more angry” at the government than they used to be.

The Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University has tracked the level of resentment people feel toward the federal government since 1995, starting shortly after Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Forty-seven percent then said they, personally, feel “more angry at the federal government” than they used to. That percentage dropped to 42 percent in 1997, 34 percent in 1998 and only 12 percent shortly after 9/11 during the groundswell of patriotism and support for the government after the attacks.

But the new survey found that 77 percent say their friends and acquaintances have become angrier with the government recently and 54 percent say they, themselves, have become angrier — both record levels.


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


The cremated remains of Army Master Sgt. Tulsa Tuliau during a burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Aug. 4, 2006. Tuliau died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained near Ar Rustimayah when an improvised explosive device detonated near his humvee during combat operations. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)


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

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