GI SPECIAL 3D43:
December 11, 2005, BenFrank.net
"I Ain't Been Blown Up Yet, But My Time's Coming"
Dec. 12, 2005 AP writer Ryan Lenz
SUNDAY, Dec. 11, 5:15 p.m. local.
Going outside the wire. It's a slang expression for leaving
the security of a military base in Iraq to travel on highways pocked with holes
from roadside explosions.
Silence runs deep during that moment soldiers cross the
barrier lined with concertina wire and guard posts. At first their silence
struck me as boredom, which sometimes it surely is if nothing happens.
But after several patrols into the villages around Beiji,
I've realized it's an uncomfortable mix of excitement, fear and the realization
this could be it that keeps them silent.
Have you been blown up yet? The question is normal among
soldiers in Iraq. Sgt. Marcus Barnes, a 22-year-old from Birmingham, Ala., said
this when I asked him the question recently. "I ain't been blown up yet,
but my time's coming."
The reality is that soldiers sometimes die in a flash of
tearing metal while on patrol in Iraq. They've burned to death, been shredded
by shrapnel that tears through the skins of their vehicles when an artillery
shell disguised on the side of the road blows up.
A soldier told me not to worry the first time I went out
with the 101st Airborne Division. "If we die, we won't be around to know
about it," he said. He slapped me on the back and laughed.
A convoy rolls past a pile of sand on the side of the road;
I grit my teeth. If there's a pothole in the side of the road, my stomach
turns to the point of nausea.
But the truth in Barnes' statement can be comforting.
The fact that IEDs blow up nearly every day across Iraq make even the shortest
of drives a tense moment.
There's a saying the soldiers tell each other often. Being
bored is OK. A boring day is a good day.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
II MEF SOLDIER KILLED NEAR RAMADI
December 12, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-12-19C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq: A Soldier assigned to the 2nd Marine
Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed in action by a
suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack while
conducting combat operations against the enemy near Ar Ramadi, Dec. 11.
BAGHDAD SOLDIER KILLED BY IED
December 12, 2005 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
NEWS RELEASE Number: 05-12-20C
BAGHDAD, Iraq A Task Force Baghdad Soldier was killed
when a patrol struck an improvised explosive device south of Baghdad Dec. 12.
NEW YORK SOLDIER KILLED
Army Sgt. 1st Class James 'Shawn' Moudy, 37, 71st Calvary
Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., was killed
Dec. 12, 2005, in Baghdad, his mother said, from her home in Newark, Del. (AP
Photo/Courtesy of the Moudy family)
Three Fort Campbell Soldiers Killed
December 12, 2005 The Courier-Journal
Three Fort Campbell soldiers assigned to Task Force Baghdad
in Iraq were killed over the weekend, the Army said.
Fort Campbell spokeswoman Cathy Gramling confirmed three of
the casualties were from Fort Campbell and said their names should be released
Counting the three soldiers' deaths, 29 troops from Fort
Campbell have been killed since the 101st Airborne returned to Iraq for a
second yearlong tour starting in September.
Soldier From Franklin County Killed
December 12, 2005 By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times
A Franklin County soldier was killed in Iraq late Sunday or
early Monday when his armored vehicle rolled over a land mine.
Jared William Kubasak was in the middle of his second tour
of Iraq in the U.S. Army, according to Franklin County court officials. His
mother, Daina Kubasak, works as clerk in Franklin County Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court. She was informed of his death by U.S. Army officials Monday
Jared Kubasak, who was in his mid-20s, was a 1999 graduate
of Franklin County High School. He was described as a "success story"
by Franklin County High School Principal William Gibson.
"He was a very likeable guy here at the school,"
Gibson said. "I knew him primarily through Cub Scouts. My wife was his
"I remember him as what I would call a success story.
At an early age he seemed to find problems and troubles without looking very
hard. But by the time he graduated, he was a pretty outstanding young man, and
one I know all of us were proud of."
NO HONORABLE MISSION
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW
Nov. 8, 2005, Marines with 1st Platoon, Echo Company, 2d
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment patrol the streets of Husaybah. (AP Photo/ U.S.
Marine Corps, Cpl. Michael R. McMaugh, 1st Marine Division Combat Camera, HO)
Falluja Car Bomb Wounds Marine
Dec 12 (Reuters)
FALLUJA - A car bomber targeted a U.S. patrol as it
passed through the city on Monday, killing himself and injuring one U.S.
Marine, the U.S. military said.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Nine Occupation Cops Killed
12.12.05 Wall St. Journal
Taliban distributed a fatwa for Karzai's death, and
killed nine policemen in two weekend attacks.
Ukrainian Troops Getting Out Of Iraq By Dec. 31
NEW YORK, December 12 (Itar-Tass)
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has confirmed that
the Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent will be withdrawn from Iraq before
"What We Want Is Our Boy Back. If We Can't Have Him
Back, We Want Everybody Else's Boys Back"
She also said that the
Downing Street Memos prove that the crimes of this war were premeditated.
"If I were to commit premeditated murder in the US, I would be executed.
I'm not for execution, but they should be imprisoned for the rest of their
lives. I don't want to stop with impeachment. They need to be tried for war
2005-12-08 By David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org [Excerpts]
Today, Cindy Sheehan and Scottish mothers who have lost
their sons in Iraq held a rally outside the Scottish parliament, spoke at a
cross-party meeting of Members of the Scottish Parliament, were welcomed to the
City of Glasgow by the Lord Provost, and addressed an anti-war rally in
Rose Gentle, who lost her son in Iraq, was with us today
together with her mother and daughter. Susan Smith lost her son in Iraq just
recently, and she has joined with Rose and others in speaking out and braving
all threats and bribes from the MOD. Susan spoke at today's events as well.
Rose Gentle said McConnell "is running scared from
military families." But she had some choice words for Blair as well. "I
wonder," she said, "what Tony Blair's face looks like when he gets
home and takes the makeup off. I wonder if he has as many bags as we've
got....I'm sorry, Mr. Blair. Military Families are going to haunt you until our
boys come home.
Rose Gentle said that any money paid to the families of
dead soldiers is "blood money." She said she'd also been offered free
vacations to keep her quiet. "I won't take nothing off them. What we want
is our boy back. If we can't have him back, we want everybody else's boys
Rose also sounded a theme that was common to virtually every
speaker, including the MSPs, namely that the war was being fought for oil. "Tony
Blair should go now. He should step down. Enough is enough. No more lives
for oil. The best Christmas present anyone could want is their boy to walk
through the front door."
Susan Smith, who has lost her son most recently, spoke
through tears about the lack of equipment that was leading to the deaths of
She said that 97 percent of people in the Midlands want
the troops home.
"They want to put democracy into another
country," she said of Bush and Blair, "but they can't listen to us
"There are elections next week for Iraqis," she
said. "Put a box on that ballot and let them decide. Or if they can't do
that, let the people of this country vote."
Both Susan and Rose stressed the great number of soldiers
coming home injured and complained that only dead soldiers make the news.
Cindy proposed the creation of a ministry of history,
because she said every occupation in history has had an insurgency, and yet
Bush predicted there would not be one this time.
She also said that the Downing Street Memos prove that
the crimes of this war were premeditated. "If I were to commit
premeditated murder in the US, I would be executed. I'm not for execution, but
they should be imprisoned for the rest of their lives. I don't want to stop
with impeachment. They need to be tried for war crimes.
Prior to the opening of the meeting, everyone stood for a
Lament on the Pipes, played by a lone bagpiper. Cindy spoke first, and then we
split to catch a plane.
Among other things, she said, "I don't want George Bush
impeached out of revenge for the death of my son. I want him impeached for
what he did to the world." This got a great round of applause.
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Anti-War Activists Break Into "The Most Secure
Military Establishment In Australia"
After Giving Advance Notice!
[Thanks to Max Watts, Australia, who sent this in.]
11 Dec 2005 From: Donna Mulhearn [Excerpts]
Journey Into Pine Gap: A Miracle!
In the early hours of Friday morning I was part of a group
of four concerned citizens to enter Pine Gap military base with the aim of
conducting a citizens inspection.
How on earth can a hotch-potch group of unfunded,
untrained, unarmed (and in my case unfit!) Christian pacifists break into one
of America and Australia's most significant military bases, and in relative
ease, causing the base to be shut down for several hours?
In a nutshell: it was a miracle!
For heaven's sake we even told them we were coming!
I have four charges against me and we are bailed to appear
in Alice Springs court next week (hopefully Monday) with the trial to be some
time early next year. We are all pleading not-guilty as we believe we have
committed no crime.
9th December 2005
Today we were part of a miracle.
When I first proposed the idea of exposing the terrorist
nature of Pine Gap by attempting to enter it and perhaps climb on one of the
structures, my intention was to get a group together to do it in secret. Then
the most enthusiastic person I met proposed an alternative of openly announcing
our intention to inspect Pine Gap with or without permission. Plan
"B" was accepted and "Christians Against ALL Terrorism" was
Michael the one with the new idea dropped out and Bryan Law
took his place. Bryan introduced enormous energy and made the group viable.
He notified police and Senator Robert Hill we were coming
and even told them the planned date of our action: December 8th.
We were full of enthusiasm, but still it was a firm belief
of most participants that only a miracle would enable us to succeed given that
Pine Gap is the most secure military establishment in Australia.
Today that miracle took place.
On Wednesday morning we sought out Pat Hayes, the
traditional Arrente caretaker for the Pine Gap area and asked his permission to
walk on his land in order to expose the violence of the base which occupied
part of that land. No permission had ever been sought or given for Pine Gap to
be used by the military. However Pat graciously gave us permission to enter
Late at night on Thursday the 8th, December 2005 four of us,
Donna Mulhearn and Brian Law in one group and Jessica Goldie and myself in the
other started the walk to the base from two different directions. We walked
for five hours and three hours respectively.
At 4 am Adele and I came close to the first 3meter high
security fence. As we lay on the ground perhaps 500 metres from the fence
security vehicles drove nearby with their floodlight panning the area.
We thought they must have known of our presence and were
searching for us. At least twice we thought they must have seen us and our
attempt to enter the base was over. Later we realised their surveillance was
routine, and they had miraculously not seen us.
After two vehicles had gone Adele and I made the last 100
meter dash through the open floodlit area to the outer security fence. As
Adele hung our banner:
WHAT HAVE YOU
DONE? YOUR BROTHER'S BLOOD CRIES OUT
TO ME FROM THE
EARTH: Gen. 4; 10
on the fence, I placed Jessica's beautiful barbed wire
crucifix against the fence. Then I cut through the fence.
We climbed through and I cut the second fence about ten
Again we climbed through and realised all the power of
the greatest empire in history could not stop two untrained, unfunded, unarmed
Christian pacifists from entering one of their most important and secure bases,
even after we had told them we were coming.
I looked around at the huge white domes and radar dishes
around us. It was obviously not possible to climb onto one of the white domes
as I had sometimes fantasized.
Adele headed for a tower next to a building and climbed
on to the roof. I followed.
Once on the roof we placed photos, leaflets, and other
information on the roof and gave thanks to God. Shortly after we watched as a
security guard on a bicycle road around. We still had not been seen.
But the guard then rode around to the back of the
building and must have noticed the banner on the fence. Meanwhile Adele and I took
photos of one another with a huge white dome behind us. The security guard
came back in sight and quickly climbed a tower holding a radar dish directly in
front of us.
Amazingly (although by this time nothing would surprise
us), he must have looked around for a minute before seeing us. I waved, and he
scrambled back down.
Within a minute there were a number of Federal security
guards and police assembled below us. My response to the first one who asked
us to come down was to inform him that we had come to inspect the base for
terrorist activity and would come down when we had something in writing from
the Commander saying we would not be stopped from doing so.
A second guard angrily yelled at me that he was coming up
to drag me off the roof. I responded that I would certainly not be surprised
by violence as I was aware the base had been directly involved in the slaughter
of thousands in terrorist attacks.
Of course it is easy to be brave when you are "king of
the castle". But shortly a number of guards and police were on the roof.
The first one said, "Get on your knees". "That's a good
idea", I replied. I knelt down and prayed that he would withdraw his
co-operation from the violence of Pine Gap.
Unfortunately, when praying it was impossible to hear the
instructions that were being given to me. This made the original guard who
threatened us rather annoyed.
Amazingly he used a new compliance technique with which I
am becoming familiar, the old "push the head into the ground and push your
knee into the head" technique. Luckily unlike the concrete floor last
time, the metal roof we were on had a little give and I only suffered a bruised
cheek instead of a bloody face.
After being escorted from the roof and into a wagon we were
driven to the front of the base, searched numerous times and driven to the
Meanwhile Bryan and Donna had just completed their amazing
walk. Bryan has health conditions which made the walk extremely difficult and
any chance of running impossible. So they slowly walked the last stretch to
the security fence, Donna dressed in black and Brian in his bright white
"Citizens Inspection Team" overalls.
This walk was truly amazing. A security van drove
towards them. They waved and the vehicle drove on. They reached the first
security fence, unchallenged by the numerous police and guards now behind it,
until Bryan started to cut the fence with bolt cutters.
Then the security forces realised Bryan was the
"enemy" and called out. Bryan kept cutting until a security guard
put his hand on his gun, and perhaps not coincidentally Bryan decided he had
done enough inspecting for the moment.
Bryan and Donna were "captured" by Ken who had
talked to us two days before. Ken had totally lost his jovial sense of humour
as Bryan was rolled roughly in the dirt.
Candidate For Congress Demands Immediate Withdrawal Of
All Troops From Iraq
December 12, 2005 Via UICNoWarIraq@yahoogroups.com
The State Committee of the Socialist Party of Pennsylvania
has voted to endorse the candidacy of John Murphy for the U.S. House of
Representatives, 16th Congressional District.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE ON
JOHN A. MURPHY
John A. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political
science from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA (1968) and an MBA from
Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA (1978). He is a former adjunct professor
in the MBA programs at Temple University, Rutgers University and St. Joseph's
University. Early in his career Mr. Murphy was a high school history teacher
and later worked for major companies like Michelin Tire Corporation and a
subsidiary of W. R. Grace. For 14 years he was an independent management
Murphy is a member of the Green Party and one of the
founding members of the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition. Mr. Murphy plans
to run for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District.
Mr. Murphy was politically active in the early 1960s and was
president of the young Republican Club at St. Joseph's University. The
escalation of the war in Vietnam caused a political rebirth for Mr. Murphy as
he became an active antiwar demonstrator during the late 1960s and early
1970s. Mr. Murphy's antiwar background however can be traced as far back as
1952 when he pulled a wagon filled with literature behind his father who was
campaigning for the antiwar candidate Dwight David Eisenhower who promised to
bring our troops home from Korea.
Murphy lives in Chester County with his wife and two
Although politically left of center Mr. Murphy's
Congressional campaign will concentrate on areas that are important to all
Americans and are championed not only by members of the Green Party but by
members of the Socialist Party, Libertarian Party and Reform Party. The
following is a list of Mr. Murphy's positions on some very critical issues.
* The invasion of Iraq was based on lies and our troops
should be brought home immediately.
* The invasion of Afghanistan was both in immoral and
unconstitutional and our troops should be brought home immediately.
* Torturing prisoners and holding them without due process
in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the "black-site" prisons in Eastern Europe
and elsewhere must end immediately as must the practice of "special"
* The entire war on terrorism is bogus; the lies should be
exposed and the funds redirected. The real causes of terrorist attacks against
the United States of America and its allies should be examined by an
independent organization and those findings along with recommendations be made
public to the American people.
* The entire war on drugs is bogus; the lies should be
exposed and the laws should be changed appropriately.
* The USA Patriot Act is the greatest violation of civil
liberties in American history and should be immediately repealed.
* The United States now quarters troops in 126 foreign
nations. Most of these nations are friendly allies quite capable of providing
for their own defense. The practice of quartering troops in other sovereign
nations must end.
* The practice of corporate welfare must be abandoned.
* "Corporate Personhood", based on the error of a
law clerk in 1886, should be admitted and the concept of corporate personhood
should be abolished along with the entire corpus of corporate law.
GOT THAT RIGHT
Demonstrator Ruth Duca holds a sign reading 'Lies' during
a protest against President Bush's policy in Iraq in downtown Philadelphia as
Bush delivered a speech nearby, Dec. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Lamra)
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Two-Thirds Of Iraqis Want Occupation Troops To Get Out
Dec 12, 2005 By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, AP & By Will Lester,
The Associated Press
A new poll found most Iraqis disapprove of the presence
of U.S. forces in their country, yet they are optimistic about Iraq's future
and their own personal lives.
More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the
presence of coalition troops, and less than half, 44 percent, say their
country is better off now than it was before the war, according to an ABC News
poll conducted with Time magazine and other media partners.
Half now say the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was wrong, up
from 39 percent in February 2004.
OCCUPATION ISN'T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Maybe Surprising, Maybe Not
BAGHDAD, 6 Dec 2005 (IRIN)
"It was surprising to see hundreds of insurgents walking
freely among our houses and asking locals to help finish off US troops," said
Sheikh Saleh Ibrahim, a local [Ramadi] religious leader.
Assorted Resistance Action
12.12.05 (AP) & Reuters & Aljazeera
An empty mini-bus loaded with explosives detonated Monday
near the al-Kindi hospital in east Baghdad, injuring including five police
officers, authorities said.
Police Lt. Mohammed Khayoun said the driver of the van
abandoned it on the street and ran, he added.
BAGHDAD - Three policemen and a civilian were killed in
clashes between Iraqi police and militants in western Ghazaliya district of
Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - Seven Iraqi policemen were wounded in clashes
in Baghdad's western Amiriya district, police said.
A police sergeant was reportedly killed by an American
patrol, police Capt. Taleb Thamer said.
Insurgents killed three men and injured a woman when they
opened fire on a pickup truck with Education Ministry license plates.
IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION
One day while I was in a
bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that
weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent.
The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who
did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions.
U.S. Army Medic
December 13, 2004
"A Guerilla Army Cannot Function Without The Support
Of The Citizenry"
12/02/05 By Manuel Valenzuela, ICH [Excerpt]
AMERICA IS THE CAUSE AND THE EFFECT OF THE RESISTANCE, the
reason Iraqis fight, whether carrying AK-47's or giving logistical support.
Whether planting improvised explosive devices or acting
as eyes and ears infiltrating the Green Zone, Iraqis see America as the enemy,
yet one more imperial invading army thinking itself blessed by providence to
claim the lands of the Fertile Crescent.
A guerilla army cannot function without the support of
the citizenry, and neither can the success the resistance is having against
With every Iraqi death a dozen more resistance fighters join
the battle, with every Iraqi death or American crime the hatred grows and calls
for vengeance beckon. Trapped inside a vicious cycle of violence begetting
violence, American forces have been their own worst enemy.
Each year the resistance grows stronger, more sophisticated,
more dangerous, learning, improving, evolving, and becoming ever more
"The Iraqis Are Not Against Democracy, They Are
Against Our Occupation"
[Thanks to PB, who sent this in. He writes: FINALLY
SOMEONE IN WASHINGTON WHO IS RIGHT.]
Dec 12, By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Vietnam veteran who
had initially supported the war in Iraq, reiterated his current stance that
U.S. troops should be withdrawn. "The Iraqis are not against democracy,
they are against our occupation," he said.
"It's not going to get better with us over
there," Murtha said at a Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce reception for
his state's congressional delegation.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to email@example.com. Name, I.D.,
withheld on request. Replies confidential.
"Unexpected? Were You On A Picnic In South Downs?"
December 11, 2005 Truth About Iraqis blogspot.com [Excerpt]
The British Military released a report last week that the
Hercules plane which crashed on 30 January was indeed shot down.
"Despite the brave efforts of the experienced crew
to counter this unexpected and catastrophic event, the aircraft crashed with
the tragic loss of ten lives; the crash was not survivable."
Unexpected? Were you on a picnic in South Downs?
Catastrophic? As in Biblical?
Will someone tell the hash-pipe limeys they are in an
occupied country and that the typical response of an occupied people is to
resist, punch, shove, maim and kill the occupier till he has exited.
The statement then says:
"The Board found that the aircraft was flying on a
routine mission at low level in a hostile operational environment in Iraq and
the crew did all they could in planning the mission to minimise the risks of
And why is an environment hostile, wot?
Unbelievable. It mimic's Bush's tired rhetoric that there
are good stories in Iraq. Yeah, send your daughters to report on 'em,
U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS
An Iraqi boy and his father stand next to a U.S. soldier
from Charlie Company 2th Battalion 22 Infantry Regiment as their car is
searched in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad December 8, 2005. REUTERS/Laszlo
[Fair is fair. Let's bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to
the USA. They can harass and humiliate fathers and their kids in their own
country at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence,
overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it
"sovereign" and "detain" anybody who doesn't like it in some prison without any
changes being filed against them, or any trial.]
[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives.
They actually resent this help, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight
and kill the soldiers sent to occupy their country. What a bunch of silly
people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by
George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that?]
Iraqi General Tells Of Prison Torture Horror
12/11/2005 Agence France Presse
AMMAN - An Iraqi general formerly in charge of special
forces said on Sunday he witnessed horrific scenes of torture in Iraqi prisons
and accused a Shiite militia of being responsible.
"It was horrific. Thousands of detainees, often
teenagers, beaten, burned, receiving electric shocks, then the majority
killed," Muntazar al-Samarrai, who fled Iraq for Jordan five months ago,
In video footage Samarrai said he filmed at one detention
center, men show whip marks and acid burns. One of them has lost an eye. Another's
legs are broken. Still another has nails driven into his body.
The video also shows the mutilated corpses of three men who
Samarrai said died as a result of torture.
Samarrai said he began to encounter problems with his
superiors in the interior ministry after he fired a 14-member inquiry
commission and replaced it with what he called "men of integrity,"
and also freed 124 "innocent" detainees from a facility north of
He also said there are two detention centers for women in
Baghdad where "female prisoners are tortured and raped."
The testimony given by a Shiite woman during ousted
dictator Saddam Hussein's trial last week "could have been the testimony
of a female prisoner in one of these centers. Nothing has changed," he
Samarrai was making reference to "Witness A,"
who testified on December 6 with a chilling account of how she was tortured by
intelligence agents and flung into Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib jail in the
early 1980s for four years.
Samarrai, a father of four, said he plans to move to another
undisclosed location shortly, though he would never have left Iraq had he not
realized his life was in danger.
He said he was proud to have been able to free some
detainees before he left, the last of whom was a Muslim religious leader Abdel
Karim Abdel Razzak, who recently told Arab television of how Samarrai liberated
Collaborator "Prime Minister" Won't Talk To U.S.
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
"There is no room for dialogue with anyone who
carries arms in Iraq" Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. 11 Dec 2005,
Michael Georgy, Reuters
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Remember Bush Last Week Babbling About Progress In
Five days to election
December 10, 2005, By A Citizen Of Mosul, Moslawi.blogspot.com
The election of the new parliament will hold next Thursday.
The situation in the city of Mosul is very stressful. The
US convoys wandering through out the city day and night. The police cars full
of policemen holding gun aiming at the pedestrians and firing their guns at any
car which fail to stop or approaching the convoy.
From the other side there were explosions every where,
masked gunmen attacking the US soldiers and the Iraqi police. The roads are
blocked by either a concrete blocks or barbed wires making the moving in the
city streets very difficult and dangerous.
December 11, 2005 LC Wolf, Veterans For Peace, Georgia
A man died and went to heaven.
As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he
saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.
The man proceeded to ask, "What are all those
St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone
on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will
"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is
"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never
moved, indicating that she never told a lie."
"Incredible," said the man. "And whose
clock is that one?"
St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's
clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in
his entire life."
"Where's Bush's clock?" asked the man.
"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as
a ceiling fan."
[Thanks to Mark
Shapiro, who sent this in.]
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth - about
the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the
first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more than tell the
truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of
Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling
Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed
services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize
resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that
you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to
end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
[Thanks to Phil G,
who sent this in.]
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Chinese Dictators Get Nervous: Detain Commander in
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
December 12, 2005 By AUDRA ANG - Associated Press Writer, DONGZHOU,
China's government Sunday announced the detention of a
commander whose forces opened fire on villagers protesting land seizures,
trying to defuse anger over what could be the deadliest use of force since the
killings around Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The commander's ``wrong actions'' were to blame for the
deaths, said a statement issued by the government of Guangdong province, where
Dongzhou is located. It did not give his name or say what his actions were.
The government earlier defended the shootings, saying
police opened fire after protesters, led by three men, armed themselves with
knives, spears and dynamite and attacked a power plant before turning on
But the detention of the commander, and the announcement,
is almost unprecedented for the government and suggested Chinese leaders were
trying to mollify angry villagers.
The government also promised to resolve local grievances
over land seizures and said medical specialists were sent to Dongzhou to treat
"The Victims Of Injustice And Corruption Are Once
Again Refusing To Keep Silent"
[T]ake a closer look at
China's 'economic miracle', at a country rife with corrupt officials getting
fantastically wealthy through the abuse of power and authority, while the
people for whom they ostensibly work languish in poverty.
December 2005 By Han Dongfang, Redpepper.org.uk/
Han Dongfang was a founding member of the Beijing
Workers' Autonomous Federation, which was suppressed in Tiananmen Square. He
was captured and spent 22 months as a political prisoner. More recently, he has
run the China Labour Bulletin from Hong Kong and broadcasts the problems of
Chinese workers live on Radio Free Asia. This edited article was originally
published in China Labour E-Bulletin Issue No 24.
Sixteen years ago, the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989
left the blood of the Chinese democracy movement on the streets of Beijing. Now
China's new economy is claiming more lives. But the workers are fighting back.
Han Dongfang reports
It is now more than 16 years since the Tiananmen Square
massacre on 4 June 1989, in which the People's Liberation Army crushed
thousands of unarmed protestors in the streets of Beijing. Following the events
of that dark day, the Chinese government began a nationwide crackdown to punish
those who'd had the temerity to speak out against corruption and injustice. To
this day, we still don't know how many people were killed that night, or how
many are still languishing in prisons and labour camps for their participation
in what the government calls merely the 'Tiananmen incident'.
For 16 years the Chinese authorities have done everything in
their power to whitewash those events, but the world still remembers.
And, more importantly, China itself remembers.
There are those who point to the economic gains that China
has made over the past decade, as if to say: 'Perhaps the government was too
harsh then, but don't the ends justify the means?'
I ask such people to take a closer look at China's
'economic miracle', at a country rife with corrupt officials getting
fantastically wealthy through the abuse of power and authority, while the
people for whom they ostensibly work languish in poverty.
While actively working to suppress democratic reform in
China ('because the Chinese people are not ready for democracy,' they claim),
these same officials are throwing the door wide open to any business,
regardless of its nature.
And so the morally corrupt and ethically bankrupt are
rewarded, while many of those who strived in 1989 to bring China into a new era
of social justice and accountability are still behind bars or under police
In November last year, 166 coal miners were killed in a
horrific gas explosion in Shaanxi Province, at the Chenjiashan coalmine in
Tungchuan city. On 14 February this year, in the Fuxin coalmine in Liaoning
Province, a further 214 miners died in a similarly appalling explosion.
These events are not anomalies: they are happening with
increasing frequency across the country today.
But who accepts responsibility for the deaths of these
workers? Sadly, in today's China, the answer is nobody.
From the owners of the mines, who place personal profit
ahead of human life, to the corrupt government officials who accept bribes from
the owners in exchange for looking the other way, the real culprits in the
deaths of these workers are the same evils that so many gathered in Tiananmen
in 1989 to fight against: official corruption, cynicism and the blind pursuit
In many ways, things have become worse. Public health
policy in China is failing dismally. How many retired and unemployed workers
die daily, unable to afford increasingly expensive medical treatments that
might save their lives?
And how many more workers have died, and are dying, of
occupational diseases that could be minimised, or in many cases avoided
entirely, by improving basic workplace health and safety?
Worse still, how many of these victims of occupational
diseases wind up intentionally misdiagnosed by corrupt, bribe taking,
government-run occupational health agencies so that the companies whose
criminal negligence caused their illnesses can avoid paying compensation? Such
things are daily realities nowadays for countless Chinese people.
Though told in different accents and dialects, the
stories coming from all over China are remarkably similar in nature: workers
are losing their health because factory owners are able to bribe their way out
of providing adequate health and safety protection. Children from rural
villages are forced by rising school fees and skyrocketing living costs to work
in factories to help feed their families. Their parents are being mangled and
even killed, all because of the bosses' criminal negligence.
But despite continuing suppression, the victims of
injustice and corruption are once again refusing to keep silent.
The past few years have seen migrant workers across the
country struggling for their rights and slowly advancing their causes.
And there have been real victories.
In October 2004, tens of thousands of farmers in Hanyuan
city, in Sichuan province, were dislodged from their land by a
government-sponsored hydroelectric project and corrupt local officials
confiscated their compensation money. The farmers' mass protests actually
succeeded in stopping construction of the dam, despite an attempt by the local
government to quell the protests by sending in the military police.
In Zhejiang province, farmers blocked the entrance of a
factory and covered the surrounding area with industrial waste. The factory
owner called on cronies in the local government to quell the disturbance, and
the government again responded by sending in military police.
But the farmers were fighting for their very lives, and
in their struggle for survival they didn't merely hold their own but actually
blocked the military police from entering their village. Similar scenes
occurred in towns in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces and elsewhere when
villagers refused to roll over and accept being cheated out of their land by
corrupt local officials hoping to sell it for a quick profit.
In cities, the peaceful struggles by ordinary Chinese
citizens against oppression and corruption are also multiplying.
Joining the list of workers fighting against poor working
conditions, wage arrears and unfair dismissal in recent years are workers at
the Daqing petroleum factory in Heilongjiang province; workers at the
Ferro-alloy factory of Liaoyang city; textile workers in factories in Suizhou
and Xianyang; electronics and shoe factory workers in Shenzhen; and teachers in
Shandong, Hubei and Guangxi, to name but a few.
The government responds by handing out longer prison
sentences to organisers, as in the case of the Ferro-alloy factory workers, two
of whose leaders are now serving prison sentences of four and seven years.
But in the cities, too, there have been victories.
After 50,000 retrenched Daqing workers staged a three-month
protest, the local government finally promised increased payouts for workers
made redundant and promised to hire the children of retrenched workers.
And at the Japanese-owned Uniden electronic factory in
Shenzhen, workers demanded to be allowed to set up a trade union to fight for
legal working hours and reasonable wages.
After a large and well-publicised protest, the factory owner
Sixteen years on from 4
June 1989, the social struggle that took such a bloody turn on that day has
continued to deepen and intensify, in the face of all the efforts to suppress
"My Father, Fritz Giessler, Took Part In This Historic
From: Roni Nicholson
To: GI Special
Sent: December 12, 2005
Subject: Christmas 1914
I was very happy to see this article particularly because
my father, Fritz Giessler, took part in this historic episode. This experience
played a most important part in his becoming a pacifist and a social activist
for the rest of his life which ended at the age of 51.
My brother reminded me that it was the only thing he ever
talked about his war experience.
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