GI Special

GI SPECIAL 4E31: 31/5/06 Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

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

“I Was Over There, In Baghdad. It’s Messed Up Dude! I’m Glad That You Are Out Here Doing This!”

From left to right: Dan Burnam and David Honish, both of Veterans for Peace
[Vietnam Veterans Against the War – VVAW.ORG: 2006/5/29]

May 30, 2006 By David Honish, Veterans For Peace

I thought that Memorial Day in Denton [Texas] should mean something more than just a temporary forest of flags sprouting in the downtown business district, so I did something about it.

A few days before the holiday, I emailed another Veterans For Peace guy here in town, with a copy to the local VFP chapter president about 30 miles down the road in Carrollton. I asked if they were interested in doing something public to show the flag a bit on Memorial Day?

I suggested that we stand by the freeway to be seen by as many people as possible. I was pleasantly surprised when the one or two guys I expected to show up turned out to be a dozen men, women, and children willing to spend a couple hours in the steamy Texas sun to share our message.

We had a couple of large VFP banners showing the logo and the website address. There were assorted signs, and maybe half a dozen US flags. I even turned my flag right side up on the pole for the first time in four years. I would be soliciting donations on this day, so I did not need the distraction of my inverted flag as a guaranteed conversation starter.

Thousands of cars and hundreds of semi trucks passed by as we stood between the freeway and the frontage road. Not exactly a scientific poll, but about four of every five truckers blasted their air horns and gave us a thumbs up or peace sign with their fingers.

This was in response to signs stating BRING THEM HOME NOW! and 2464 KIA FOR A LIE. I think that blue collar support for this administration is evaporating. This should not surprise anyone. As in Viet Nam, Iraq is a war being fought by the poor and middle class.

I was about 100 yards away from the rest of our group. I stood on the frontage road stoplight with a ‘tip jar’ labeled VETERANS FOR I was not pushy about it, just standing on the curb with the jar for any who cared to donate. The most common remark from donors was “thank you for doing this.” One elderly man refueling at the service station on the opposite side of the frontage road walked across three lanes of traffic to donate and tell me “thank you folks for saying what needs to be said.”

Another young couple dug for all the spare change between them as he told me, “I just got out of the Army. I was stop lossed for six months beyond my ETS date. I was over there, in Baghdad. It’s messed up dude! I’m glad that you are out here doing this!”

Most, but not all, were pleasant. A couple of Hummers full of yuppies deliberately avoided eye contact. Maybe they were embarrassed by the presence of somebody showing concern for somebody other than themself?

One lady in particular amused me as she slowly rolled by me saying repeatedly “that’s shameful.” I responded, “Yes mam, it certainly is shameful the way that this administration is destroying The Constitution that I took an oath to protect and defend.” Another Texas big hair lady said, “I thought y’all being veterans would support the war?” She was told, “No mam, we support The Constitution!”

Some people may have mistakenly assumed that membership in Veterans For Peace means that a person is a pacifist? Maybe the maroon Chevy Suburban driver thought this? They failed to make me flinch when they swerved to the very edge of the gutter, passing within inches of me. If I had more time to react to them, they would have lost some paint.

I guess that the tire sidewall damage from scuffing against the curb I was standing on, and driving a bus with a 42 gallon gas tank that only gets 12 mpg will have to be punishment enough for them?

President Bush’s approval rating is currently 29%, and in free fall. I think that before the end of his term, he will break Richard Nixon’s record for the lowest approval rating ever for any sitting president.

My perspective is that of a resident of one of the reddest parts of a so called red state. What I see and hear should frighten George Bush.

Most folks that I come in contact with seem fed up with a needless war based upon a lie.

People are alarmed by the massive erosion of our First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment Rights by the patriot act. Felony wiretapping by the NSA being ignored by the Justice Department is a matter of concern. And of course, the oil corporations are the ONLY segment of the economy not being crippled by $3/gallon gasoline prices.

Well don’t just talk about it America.

Get off your butts and into the streets to do something about it! Call and write your representatives so often that they know your phone number and address from memory. Write letters to your local papers, so that others in your communities know that they are not alone in their disgust with the current government.

The only way that the government shills for the oil corporations will stop killing our children for their profits, is if we refuse to allow it any longer.

David Honish
Chapter 106 North Texas Veterans For Peace



Clearly he failed to consider the attitude of a Viet Nam era veteran who lived through the excesses of the Nixon administration if he thinks I’m intimidated by a mall cop?

From: David Honish, Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: May 30, 2006
Subject: Mistaken for a pacifist twice in two days?

Instead of parking close to the mall today, I parked at the far edge of the parking lot at Golden Triangle Mall here in Denton. Backed into the parking space so I was tail facing the six lanes of Loop 288.

Stuck my BRING THEM HOME NOW! and the 2464 KIA FOR A LIE signs in the back window facing traffic.

After an hour in the mall, I returned to find a meaningless mall cop parking ticket threatening to have me towed in the future for any additional violations of “mall policy against soliciting.”


That would be a very expensive mistake for them.

They better read up on the state towing laws before they do anything silly.

I circled 80% of the mall building before I found the mall cop’s parked Suzuki to return the ticket to under his windshield wiper blade. Clearly he failed to consider the attitude of a Viet Nam era veteran who lived through the excesses of the Nixon administration if he thinks I’m intimidated by a mall cop?

In the first place, I could hardly be accused of soliciting, since I was neither asking for money, or so much as a petition signature.

The back of his ticket was marked, FUCK YOU OFFICER BONINE!

I’ll make you look silly in court, and cost you a pile of money with a First Amendment suit.

I thought that was reasonably polite under the circumstances?

After all, I did not address it as FUCK YOU MALL COP WEENIE.




BAGHDAD, Iraq: A Multi National Division Baghdad Soldier was killed May 30 at approximately 7 p.m. when an improvised-explosive device detonated southeast of Baghdad.

Friends Remember Slain Solder Was “Great To Have Around”

May. 25, 2006 Associated Press, FARGO, N.D.

Friends of slain North Dakota National Guard Spc. Michael Hermanson remember him as someone who always seemed happy, and someone who now makes them proud.

“He brought so much energy to our group,” said Mike Allen, a friend who was a classmate of Hermanson’s at Fargo North High School. “He was just great to have around. He’s always happy, he always had something good to say. He’s just a lot of fun, and I just can’t believe that he’s gone.”

Hermanson, 21, of Fargo, was killed Tuesday when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while his unit was on patrol clearing roadside bombs south of Balad, which is about 50 miles north of Baghdad. No one else in the unit was injured, military officials said.

Hermanson had volunteered to serve in Iraq with Company A of the Minot-based 164th Engineer Combat Battalion, Guard officials said. He was a member of the Fargo-based 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion.

Hermanson’s friends said he blogged on the Web site often to communicate with friends and family. The site included pictures of him in Iraq. “I’m definitely proud of him,” Allen said. “It’s very noble what he did.”

Friends said Hermanson was due home on leave in a couple of weeks.

Jim Grote, the leader of the 164th Family Support Group, said it is difficult for family members of other soldiers in the battalion to deal with Hermanson’s death.

“I can tell you that my wife and I are on pins and needles,” said Grote, who has a son deployed in Afghanistan. “Every time the phone rings when something happens, you pray it’s a good phone call.”

Hermanson is survived by his parents, Layne and Scharlotta, and his sister, Lindsey, who attends school at Fargo North.

Master Sgt. Dave Somdahl, a Guard spokesman, said the family was not ready Thursday to make any public comments.

“Obviously, they’re still very shaken up by the news,” he said. “They’re (also) getting a lot of phone calls today, and they’ve had a steady stream of friends and neighbors stopping by and checking on whether they have any immediate big needs.

“They heard from a parent of a soldier in Iraq who was one of Michael’s roommates, and that was a very meaningful phone call for them,” Somdahl said.

Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo, which is handling arrangements, said the funeral likely will not be until late next week.

Hermanson was the 12th U.S. service member from North Dakota or serving with a North Dakota military unit to be reported killed while on duty in Iraq. He was the eighth North Dakota National Guard soldier to be killed.

As of Thursday, at least 2,464 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Soldier From Estacada Killed At Mosul

5/30/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number 06-05-03P & By Web Staff

TIKRIT, Iraq: A Soldier from 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, part of Task Force Band of Brothers, was killed May 29 in Mosul.

The Soldier was killed by small arms fire.

ESTACADA, Ore. – The community of Estacada is in mourning after learning a local volunteer firefighter and family man was killed while serving in Iraq.

Jeremy Loveless, 25, was reportedly killed by hostile gunfire in Mosul after he left the cover of his medical Stryker vehicle.

In Estacada, Loveless was a volunteer firefighter and a father to 4-year-old daughter, Chloe. He is also survived by his wife, Melissa.

Loveless reportedly joined the Army to further his training. He wanted to work as a full-time firefighter paramedic.

An avid outdoorsman, Loveless enjoyed rock climbing, and also was a tough opponent when playing the popular video game Halo 2.

Memorial services have not yet been announced.

Iraq Resistance Attacks Rise To 600 A Week;
55% Of IEDs Not Neutralized

May 30, 2006 By Matthew Cox, Army Times staff writer [Excerpts]

[V]iolence in Iraq has increased significantly over the last three months, according to a Pentagon report that portrays progress in Iraq as a mixed bag.

The report indicates there has been a rise in violence since January, when the last report was issued.

There were more than 600 weekly attacks between February and May, according to the report, up from about 550 between August 2005 and February 2006, the report states.

U.S. forces are intercepting or defusing more IEDs than were found in the period ending in February. About 45 percent of the IEDs discovered are intercepted or defused, whereas three months ago, only about 38 percent of them were. [That’s really fucking marvelous news, isn’t it. “Only” 55% of IEDs are not “intercepted or defused.”]

On the other hand, fewer vehicle-born IEDs, or car bombs, were discovered than during the period ending in February. During that earlier period, 26 percent of those discovered were successfully intercepted; now, only 15 percent are found and defused before causing damage. That decrease may be the result of an increase in the number of car bomb attacks, which rose after the Golden Mosque bombing.

Babbling Bullshit In High Places
Pentagon Says Resistance Attacks Have Increased,
But Security Situation Has Improved:
Says Resistance “Holding Their Own” But Everything Will Go Better In 2007

The report also said that while security in much of Iraq has improved, total attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces have increased in recent months, following the Feb. 22 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra.

In a report assessing the situation in Iraq, required quarterly by Congress, the Pentagon painted a mixed picture on a day when the U.S. military command in Baghdad said 1,500 more combat troops have arrived in the country.

The U.S. government has struggled for three years to understand the shadowy insurgency in Iraq, which began in the Sunni Triangle west and north of Baghdad.

In Tuesday’s report, the Pentagon said the “rejectionists” who are a key element of the insurgency are holding their own against U.S. and Iraqi forces.

“MNF-I expects that rejectionist strength will likely remain steady throughout 2006, but that their appeal and motivation for continued violent action will begin to wane in early 2007,” the report said.

The report also said that while security in much of Iraq has improved, total attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces have increased in recent months, following the Feb. 22 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra.


An U.S. soldier walks past wreckage of a car bomb following an explosion in Baghdad, May 12, 2006. A car bomb exploded near a U.S. convoy. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)


Massacre In Kabul:
“Witnesses Said That US Forces Then Opened Fire On Protesters”
“Karzai Said They Came To Help Us, Now They Are Killing Us”

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]

May 30 by Waheedullah Massoud, AFP & By DANIEL COONEY, Associated Press Writer & Aljazeera 29 May 2006 & 30 May 2006

Armoured vehicles and soldiers are patrolling the streets of Kabul as the Afghan capital began assessing the damage and cleaning up after a day of conflict with occupation troops that left at least 14 people dead, sparked by a traffic accident involving U-S troops that killed 6 Afghans.

“There was a traffic jam and all the vehicles were stopped,” said one witness, 21-year old shopkeeper Mohammad Wali. “The American convoy hit all the vehicles which were on the way. They didn’t care about the civilians at all.”

Witnesses said that US forces then opened fire on protesters who had gathered in anger over the incident.

An AFP photographer at the scene of the accident said US troops shot dead at least four people. He said two men were shot dead next to him and two other bodies were found after the burst of gunfire. Several were wounded.

The death toll from the unrest rose to at least 14, most of them from gunshot wounds, according to three city hospitals where casualties were taken.

Kabul Emergency Hospital said it had 66 wounded, all shot.

One wounded protester told Aljazeera: “Karzai said they came to help us, now they are killing us.”

As the violence eased late Monday, embassies sent out convoys of armored vehicles to pick up their nationals from homes and buildings across the city and bring them to foreign military bases where they spent the night.

Other Westerners escaped the protesters by driving at high speed and refusing to stop when the rioters tried to block their way.

“I went to the office this morning to collect the money in case we have to leave in a hurry,” said an employee with a US engineering firm.

“They attacked everything that was written in English,” said Frederic Roussel, director of the French organisation ACTED, whose offices suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

“I saw them attack a pizzeria simply because it had a sign written in English,” he said.

The dead included one police who was badly beaten and died in the emergency hospital.

Monday’s violence was surprising because it erupted so quickly, said Anja de Beer, director of the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief.

But she added: “We knew that under the surface there is a lot of discontent that does not need much ignition to flare up.”

Political analyst Waheed Mujda said the violence was a reflection of indignation about the arrogance of US forces in the country.

“The American soldiers are behaving pretty much against the culture and the beliefs of the people… this will cost Mr Karzai,” he said.

Afghanistan’s parliament, meanwhile, has demanded the arrest of those responsible for the crash.

In a special session on Tuesday, the Lower House decided that “those who are responsible for the traffic accident yesterday should be recognised and handed over to the law”, parliament press officer Haseeb Noori said.

5 Canadian Soldiers Wounded At Ambush In Zhari

May 30, 2006 Xinhua & AP & Aljazeera

Five Canadian soldiers were wounded when they came under attack from Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan early on Monday.

The soldiers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and two of them have already returned to duty, Maj. Mario Couture told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Two others were expected be back on duty soon. The fifth, who suffered serious wounds, had been sent to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhle, Germany, the officer said.

The soldiers were returning to their base after a patrol in a village in the Zhari area next to the Panjwai district, when they came under attack from a group of insurgents at about 1:30 a.m. local time.

The attackers fired assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades at the light armored vehicle LAV III in which the soldiers were traveling.

Despite suffering shrapnel wounds from a grenade, the Canadian soldiers managed to escape in their damaged but still drivable vehicle.

On Sunday, the authorities found the decapitated bodies of three police dumped in a field elsewhere in Helmand, two days after they disappeared.

Also on Tuesday, six Afghans working for aid and international organisations were killed in attacks in Afghanistan while two US nationals were slightly wounded, police and the US embassy said.

Two Afghans were killed and two US citizens were wounded when a blast hit their vehicle in northern Badakshan province, the US embassy said.

Chris Harris, spokesman for the embassy, said the group was in a two-vehicle convoy carrying staff working for US-based Planning and Development Collaboration International that was working under contract with USAID.

The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a homemade bomb, struck the first vehicle, which was heavily damaged. The second vehicle did not suffer any damage.

That area has been relatively free of the Taliban-linked violence that has plagued the southern and eastern provinces.

“Afghanistan Has Been ‘Enron-Ized’ By The Bush Administration”
“The ‘Get Rich Quick Class At The Top’ Will Escape With Their Bounty”

30.05.2006 Willard Payne, [Excerpts]

Officials in the Bush Administration are understandably worried and admit the situation in the country is worse that what is reported in the established media.

Other southern provinces where the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are the main presence are: Helmand and Kandahar. Taliban also enjoy easy freedom of movement in the south-east and eastern provinces of: Zabul, Ghazni and Paktika, just south of the capital Kabul. Vehicles along the main Khandahar-Kabul highway have also come under frequent ambushes.

The deteriorating security situation is putting at risk whatever there is left of the reconstruction program, but a lot of the population may have concluded that is just as well since they are not benefitting from the reconstruction projects anyway, corporations and publicity firms connected with the Bush Administration are.

Two of the ones cited by the Corp Watch report are the Louis Berger Group, builder of the faulty clinic in Qalai Qazi village and the Rendon Group, a public relations firm, contracted to improve America’s image in Afghanistan and abroad.

Obviously this criminal mismanagement, on the part of the Bush Administration, is defeating its own stated purpose of increasing security and defeating terrorism, assuming that they take their highly publicized policy statements and media image seriously.

But as I have suspected all along, and indicated in a number of my articles, I’ve often had the impression that what they stated publicly was just for public consumption, spreading democracy etc.

That their real private, primary concern, was actually how much money could their business partners, which they have known all of their professional careers, can profit from the militaristic foreign policy.

Washington represents business opportunities that are part of war making enterprises- industrial services, Pentagon defense contractors, who arm the war and then the corporations that lead the reconstruction. The private sector factor in decision making, the business clients of the political establishment, what boards of directors and private stock holders patronize.

In bottom line reality the destruction left by the wars in Iraq-Afghanistan have increased the enormous fortunes the owners of these corporations already had and of the fortunes of the politicians – government officials in Washington who provide them with a humane looking front.

Professor Beau Grosscup of California State University – Chico, concluded after reading this report, “This report confirms that Afghanistan has been ‘Enron-ized’ by the Bush Administration.

“As with the demise of Enron, the future of Afghanistan is one in which the ‘get rich quick class at the top’ will escape with their bounty, while the poor, who were encouraged to invest heavily in reconstruction and promised prosperity will be left in the rubble.”



Veterans salute as the body of Army Pfc. Nicholas Cournoyer is carried by family and friends, Monday May 29, 2006 in Laconia, N.H. Cournoyer, 25, was killed May 18, 2006 near Baghdad by an explosion. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)


May. 30, 2006 By John F. Burns and David S. Cloud, New York Times & MSNBC News Services

WASHINGTON: U.S. military commanders said they are moving about 1,500 troops from a 1st Armored Division reserve force in Kuwait into the volatile Anbar province in western Iraq to help quell a surge in insurgents attacks, two American officials said Monday.

Although some soldiers from the 3,500-member brigade in Kuwait have moved into Iraq in recent months, Gen. George Casey has decided to send in the remainder of the unit after consultations with Iraqi officials in recent days, the officials said.

“It’s A Coalition Of The Dwindling”
Many Governments Cutting Iraq Forces

[Thanks to Alan Stolzer, who sent this in.]

The U.S. led multinational force in Iraq is losing two of its most important allies, Italy and South Korea, and up to half a dozen other members could draw down their forces or pull out entirely by the end of the year.

May 30, 2006 By William J. Kole, Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria: It’s a coalition of the dwindling.

The U.S. led multinational force in Iraq is losing two of its most important allies, Italy and South Korea, and up to half a dozen other members could draw down their forces or pull out entirely by the end of the year.

Lawmakers in Denmark, which has 530 personnel in Iraq, were expected Tuesday to approve a government plan to cut the contingent by 80 troops.

Japan, which has about 600 non-combat troops doing humanitarian work in southern Iraq, has said it won’t decide whether to withdraw them until Baghdad appoints new defense and interior ministers. There has been widespread speculation that the Japanese force will be pulled out this year.

Poland’s prime minister, meanwhile, said earlier this month his government was still weighing whether to keep troops in Iraq beyond the end of 2006. Poland has 900 troops in central Iraq, where it leads an international force.

More Wonderful News:
Troops Still Short Nearly 6000 Up-Armored Humvees In Battle Zones

[Remember the bullshit spewed out for over a year now about how nobody in combat had to worry about being in a Humvee without armor? The Bush regime traitors lied then, and kept on lying. And now the facts come out. Said it before, say it again: there is no enemy in Iraq. The common enemy of U.S. troops and Iraqis is in Washington DC, running the U.S. Imperial government for their wealthy campaign contributors, and fuck the troops. Payback is overdue.]

May 30, 2006 By Matthew Cox, Army Times staff writer [Excerpt]

The Army has started fielding new up-armored Humvee to give soldiers protection choices for different missions.

The military has fielded about 12,800 of the 18,669 up-armored Humvees required in Iraq and Afghanistan, Spoehr said at the conference.

So far, the Army has fielded about 200 of the newer M1151/52 Humvees.

When Soldiers Protested War:
“The Lies Were So Stark, It Challenged Your Own Dignity, It Challenged Your Own Loyalty, It Challenged Your Own Humanity”

04/27/2006 By Michael Booth, Denver Post Staff Writer

Just when I conclude a topic has been sliced far too thin to make a decent meal for a movie, along comes a smart, impassioned director to prove otherwise.

David Zeiger’s “Sir! No Sir!” was an unexpected gem at last fall’s Starz Denver International Film Festival, taking on an aspect of Vietnam War opposition that I had never seen on screen. Now it returns to the Starz FilmCenter, more relevant than ever as high-ranking military officers publicly question U.S. strategy in Iraq.

“Sir! No Sir!” tells the little- known story of the anti-Vietnam War movement that emerged inside the military in the late 1960s.

From AWOL soldiers chaining themselves to priests in San Francisco, to the coffeehouse morale tours of Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda near dusty U.S. military bases, to fragging episodes and the Winter Soldier meetings, Zeiger brings an era back to life with understated skill.

Zeiger has an argument to make, but he largely saves his polemics for the production notes rather than planting them inside the movie.

He wants the documentary to speak for itself, to show forgetful Americans that opposition to the war didn’t take place solely on the streets of Berkeley or Chicago.

Zeiger claims the image of “spat-upon” Vietnam soldiers is a myth created by the right to stifle opposition to that war, or to the Iraq conflict.

He believes that the slow-building soldiers’ protests helped get the U.S. out of Vietnam, and that “hippie” protesters worked side-by-side with uniformed objectors in a meeting of minds never acknowledged by hawks.

Two of Zeiger’s most dynamic characters, past and present, are former Green Beret Donald Duncan and “deserter” Keith Mather. Mather was one of the San Francisco soldiers who locked themselves in a church, then staged protests at the military stockade in the Presidio. The Presidio mutiny, captured here with dramatic footage, so worried officers that the mutineers faced death-penalty trials.

“I had nothing to lose, and I had no idea what was going to come,” Mather says, talking to Zeiger decades later. “That’s a free place. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know where you’re going, but you know what you’re doing.”

“Within two days of hitting the stockade, I was facing a death sentence for singing ‘We Shall Overcome,”’ says former Army medic Randy Rowland.

Fonda, vilified to this day for going to North Vietnam during the war, discusses her support of the military protesters in engaging interviews that show why her star power was vital to the movement.

Fonda, Sutherland and others created an alternate-USO tour in Killeen, Texas, and other Army-base towns where some soldiers hungered for anti-establishment views. As Zeiger points out, the mutual affection between soldiers and Fonda puts a new spin on lingering accusations that her war opposition “betrayed the troops.”

More obscure, but even more impressive, are the protests of Air Force interpreters who rode spy planes intercepting North Vietnamese communications. Disgusted by lies told to Americans about the bombs they watched exploding below them, some went on strike during the 1972 Christmas bombings.

“The lies were so stark, it challenged your own dignity, it challenged your own loyalty, it challenged your own humanity,” one interpreter tells Zeiger.

And Zeiger helps redeem that humanity through one of humankind’s most basic instincts: to seek the truth, and put it on display.

Sir! No Sir!:
At A Theatre Near You!
To find it:

Bring All Of The Troops Home NOW!

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 (and every Wednesday)
4:30 -6:00 pm
National Guard Armory
Teaneck Road and Liberty Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666

(Please don’t park at Foster Village! They towed 4 cars of vigil members .There’s plenty of parking on the side streets.)

Our demands:

Support the troops – Bring all of them home from Iraq and Afghanistan NOW!

SET the date so all troops will be out before the November elections!!!

Take care of them when they get here.

Never, never send our loved ones to war based on lies.

No permanent bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Wednesday vigil is co-sponsored by Military Families Speak, Out MFSO Bergen County chapter ( and Teaneck Peace and Justice Coalition (


Cindy Sheehan and Amy Goodman will speak on Sunday, June 4 in Montclair.
Tickets will be available at our Wednesday vigil.

Grieving Parents Force Canadian Government To Allow Arrival Of Coffins From Afghanistan To Be Filmed:
“I Would Like To Think That Nichola Died To Protect Our Freedoms, Not To Restrict Them”

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]

May 30, 2006 Anne McIlroy, The Guardian

The Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, has backed down from an American-style policy that forbade the media from covering the return of the coffins of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

It didn’t seem to bother Mr Harper when his critics in the House of Commons accused him of copying the US president, George Bush, in keeping footage of coffins returning to Canada off the nightly news, or when news organisations assailed him for restricting their access.

But grieving parents who criticised the government during their children’s funerals appear to have had an impact.

Parents like Tim Goddard, whose 26-year-old daughter Captain Nichola Goddard died during heavy fighting with Taliban guerrillas. During a eulogy at her funeral on Thursday, Mr Goddard said he was troubled by the Conservative government’s decision not to allow the press to cover the repatriation ceremony marking the return of her coffin to Canada. Ms Goddard was the 16th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan since 2002 and the first female combat soldier to die in battle.

“I would like to think that Nichola died to protect our freedoms, not to restrict them,” her father said.

Early in May, at another funeral, Lincoln Dinning showed a video of his 23-year-old son’s body being repatriated.

“Now I’d like to show you some of the video that Mr Harper wouldn’t let you see: close-up of Matthew’s arrival home,” he told 2,000 mourners.

Another parent, Jane Wilson, whose son died after a vehicle accident in Afghanistan in March, said Mr Harper told her during a meeting that the policy was designed to reduce the public’s focus on the number of soldiers that had been killed.

In the US, the Pentagon doesn’t allow coverage of caskets returning to American soil, a policy that was imposed at the beginning of the Iraq war, and one President Bush supports.

Late last week, after Capt Goddard’s funeral, Mr Harper told reporters he would allow the families of fallen soldiers to decide if the media could attend the repatriation ceremonies.

This is a return to the way the Canadian military has handled these ceremonies for years. If the families want privacy, they can have it. But if they feel as if they want the country to mourn with them – as many do – they can invite the television cameras in.


Assorted Resistance Action

5.30.06 By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer & MULTI NATIONAL DIVISION BAGHDAD Release A060530a & Reuters & Aljazeera

In a mortar attack, rounds were fired by remote control from a car near the Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad, police Capt. Mohammed Abdul-Ghani said.

One hit the ministry’s third floor, killing two female employees and wounding a policeman and two janitors. The other landed in a park, wounding two city workers, Abdul-Ghani said. The Interior Ministry also was attacked in April.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed a police officer and wounded four others.

Guerrillas captured an employee of the Oil Protection Facility in Balad, 90 km (55 miles) north of Baghdad, the Joint Coordination Centre said.

Resistance fighters bombed the construction site of the future Lutafiyah City Hall at approximately 11:15 p.m. May 29.



“This War Was Worthless From The Start; It Is Not Worth One More Life”
“The Best Way To Honor The Dead Is To Fight For The Living”
“Bring The Troops Home Alive, And Bring Them Now!”

Vietnam Veterans Against The War:
Memorial Day 2006

[Remarks by Ben Chitty, Memorial Day Commemoration for Peace, New York City Vietnam Veterans Memorial, New York City, New York, May 28, 2006]

Ben Chitty served in the U.S. Navy 1965-9 and deployed twice to Vietnam. He is a member of the Clarence Fitch Chapter of Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the metro New York area.


Our theme this year once again is “Remember the dead and fight for the living.”

VVAW has been saying that for a long time, and we are back here to say it again. We have kept the faith.

But others have not, which is why we have to keep saying “remember the dead.”

Just who are these dead we remember?

With the four new names added just a few days ago, there are now 58,253 names on our wall in Washington. Since two years ago we also have a plaque for the casualties which didn’t meet DoD specs – “In memory,” it says, “of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service.” It’s all of two feet by three feet.

But most of us know names which are not on the wall, and should be.

Soldiers and sailors who were killed while TDY to Vietnam, and got reported dying somewhere else Japan, Korea, Okinawa, even Greenland any place but the war zone, which kept down the official casualty count.

Veterans killed by the diseases which came from their exposure to defoliants like Agent Orange our brother Dr. Erwin Parson is a very recent one.

Veterans who came back sick in heart and head and couldn’t cope the ones who turned guns on themselves or got others to shoot the gun for them, the ones who overdosed or died from the diseases of their addictions.

Casualties little remarked at the time, and marked now mostly by our memories.

But the difference between those of us who have kept the faith and those who have not is more than just a question of simple forgetfulness. Sooner or later memory dims; sooner or later the last veteran of the U.S. war in Indochina will be dead.

The difference is what we made of our experience, what lessons we bought at such a price of blood and tears in Vietnam and brought back into the world.

The people who broke faith with us did not just forget these lessons: they turned them on their head, or denied them altogether, in ways from small to monumental.

After the delayed calamity of exposure to Agent Orange and our long fight to get testing, treatment and compensation for some of the illnesses related to dioxin exposure, what happened with the Gulf War veterans?

One in three already disabled or dead, and no one takes notice? One in three. What do you think will happen to the veterans of Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq poisoned by depleted uranium?

After all the protests and outrage about the inequities the class and racial bias of the draft, we ended up with an army of economic conscripts which “volunteered” to fight our wars for us in exchange for education or housing or health care, or just a decent shot at making a better life.

After the tumult and strife of the Vietnam years when the Army and the CIA spied on antiwar groups and the FBI set up assassinations of militants, after all the reforms adopted to stop all that, now we have watch lists and telephone call databases and provocateurs planted in our communities who go around asking if anyone would like to blow something up.

After the struggle to curb the president’s power to make war without congressional authorization, we got a Congress which authorized the President to go to war based on misrepresentations and misinterpretations, for reasons that never existed, for a goal never defined, and now justified as just another front in a war without end.

We now have a President who can declare anyone an enemy combatant, lock up suspects as long as he wants, torture any prisoner, without appeal or review, and sometimes just make people disappear. And when Congress does pass a law which might limit the President’s power, he just signs what he calls a “finding,” meaning he will follow the law only so far as he wants, and no farther.

Back in the day when Senator John Kerry was one of us, he challenged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with this question: “… how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

The President and his chickenhawk cronies reply that the question is irrelevant: the President never makes mistakes. Never.

We say, stop asking that question. Declare a ceasefire, negotiate a truce, begin immediate withdrawal.

Maybe George W. Bush’s political career goes down in flames. So what?

Maybe the Republicans lose control of the government. Too bad.

But we have already wasted more than 2,463 men and women on the misbegotten war in Iraq.

This war was worthless from the start; it is not worth one more life.

The best way to honor the dead is to fight for the living.

Bring the troops home alive, and bring them now!

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.

“We Have A Haditha Every Day”

30 May 2006 By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout Perspective [Excerpts]

“We have a Haditha every day,” declared Muhanned Jasim, an Iraqi merchant. “Were (those killed in Haditha) the first … Iraqis to be killed for no reason?” asked pharmacist Ghasan Jayih. “We’re used to being killed. It’s normal now to hear 25 Iraqis are killed in one day.”

“We have a Fallujah and Karbala every day,” Jasim added, referring to the 2004 slaughter by US forces in Fallujah and bombings by resistance fighters in the Shiite city of Karbala.

“America in the view of many Iraqis has no credibility. We do not believe what they say is correct,” said Sheik Sattar al-Aasaaf, a tribal leader in Anbar province, which includes Haditha. “US troops are very well-trained and when they shoot, it isn’t random but due to an order to kill Iraqis. People say they are the killers.”

Graffiti on one of the Haditha victims’ houses reads, “Democracy assassinated the family that was here.”

So much for winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

We must pull our troops out of Iraq immediately, and insist that our leaders be held to account for the war crimes committed there.


“George Bush “Is As Culpable In The Deaths Of The ‘24 Unarmed Iraqis’ As If He Had Put The Gun To Their Heads And Shot Them One By One”

May 30, 2006 Mike Whitney, [excerpt] & May 29, 2006

As details of the atrocities in Haditha continue to surface in the media, it is clear that George Bush is either completely divorced from reality or simply incapable of grasping the catastrophe he has created. In fact, he is as culpable in the deaths of the “24 unarmed Iraqis” as if he had put the gun to their heads’ and shot them one by one.

Until Bush provides a credible justification for the invasion, he must be held directly responsible for the war crimes perpetrated on the Iraqi people.

Iraqi media and politicians have paid scant attention to details leaking out in Washington as they have got accustomed to such incidents day in and day out.

“The US forces have committed more crimes against the Iraqi people than appears in the media,” lawyer Abd Mohammed Falah told Reuters.

Mohammed Jawdaat, 47, like many Iraqis, can recount an incident in which he says he saw US forces open fire on civilians.

“Six months ago a car pulled out of a street towards an American convoy and a soldier just opened fire,” Jawdaat said.

“The driver was shot in the head and the person behind was killed too. They were innocents. There were no warning shots and the Americans didn’t even stop. The police took the wounded.”

Imad Mohammed, a teenager selling newspapers at a Baghdad intersection, said he had not seen Haditha on any front page.

“The Americans see a Muslim go into a mosque and just assume he is a terrorist.

“They either arrest him or blow it up.”

“The Iraqi People Have The Right To Resist The Occupation”

May 29, 2006 Pip Hinman, Green Left Weekly [Excerpt]

[Cindy] Sheehan said her son, Casey, was killed by someone in the Mahdi Army controlled by Moqtada al Sadr.

But she bears no animosity towards the Iraqi resistance fighters. She told the meeting that the mother of an Iraqi fighter had written to her afterwards saying that Iraqis didn’t want to kill young Americans, but that they did want the US to get out.

“They wanted my son out of their country”, she said simply, adding “I wish they didn’t have to, but the Iraqi people have the right to resist the occupation”.

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



U.S. Army Soldiers order Iraqi women and children out of their room during a home invasion in Mosul May 26. The Soldiers are from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. (AP Photo/Department of Defense, Jeremy T. Lock)

There’s nothing quite like invading somebody else’s country and busting into their houses by force to arouse an intense desire to kill you in the patriotic, self-respecting civilians who live there.

But your commanders know that, don’t they? Don’t they?

“In the States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit,” said Wood, 42, from Iowa, who did not accompany Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his battalion, on Thursday’s raid. “Here, there are no lawyers. Their resources are limited, so they plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices) instead.”



[Thanks to NB, who sent this in.]


Fight For Bill Authorizing Testing Troops For Depleted Uranium:
Your Help Needed Now

From: Peter Bronson, Veterans For Peace
Sent: May 29, 2006
Subject: Please indicate your support DU bill S6964 June 06

NY National Guard Testing/Task Force Bills---amended by the Assembly Veterans Committee in consultation and agreement with the Senate Veterans Committee, have been approved by both Assembly member Dinowitz and Senator Morahan.

Bills “ON THE FLOOR” in both the NY Assembly and the NY Senate: We anticipate these identical bills being reported out of the Assembly Veterans Committee to the Assembly floor on June 6th and on the Senate floor on June 5th.

Between “on the floor” and NY State Law stand three people: Speakers Bruno and Silver and Gov. Pataki.

The NY American Legion, the NY AFL-CIO and the NY Veterans Council which includes the VFW, DVA and Veterans For Peace, are all writing letters of support for this bill! We need the real army of aware citizens, to make some “noise” as spokespeople for our soldiers and the entire human race. A telephone call or e-mail will do.



New York State residency is imperative. Remember to give your city or town.

Contact office of Joseph Bruno and just express your support for the bill, S6964, and that you are happy to hear it is on the calendar in the Senate for June 5th. That you wish to thank Speaker Bruno for his anticipated support.

518-455-3191 e-mail is fine: or mail: 909 LOB, Albany, NY 12247


CONTACT Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office to say that you support the swift passage of A9116B after it is reported out of the Veterans Committee on June 6th.

518-455-3791 932 LOB, Albany, NY 12248

If you want to elaborate at all,

1) “Let’s use the influence of our great New York state to avoid another Agent Orange “ is a winner.

2) You support and know he supports, the returning New York United States Soldiers!

3) This Bill is endorsed by the NYS American Legion, NYS Veterans Council and NY AFL-CIO.

Of course, Letters to the Editor and a call to your own Senator and Assemblymember would spread the word and our influence.

Excellent background information is in the May 22 Legislative Gazette, p 4 Letter to the Editor by Elaine Klein:

It’s down to the wire. The finish line is in sight.



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.  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now!

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