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GI Special 4A10: "Ulterior Motives By Our Own Leaders" - January 17, 2006


GI Special 4A10: "Ulterior Motives By Our Own Leaders"



GI Special:



Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.





Garett Reppenhagen, Former Sniper Of The 1st Infantry Division

Washington DC 9/24/05 (Photo Jose Vasquez)


“We Sacrificed And Now Suffer For Ulterior Motives By Our Own Leaders”


From: Garett Reppenhagen:

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Former Sniper of the 1st Infantry Division

To: GI Special

Sent: January 10, 2006

Subject: We Owe Veterans and Soldiers the Truth


The German winter was in high gear as the Scouts of 2-63rd Armor Battalion crossed the tarmac to an awaiting plane.  We were wearing our newly issued desert uniforms and carried almost all the necessary gear to survive one year in hostile Iraq.


Other than an occasional joke most of us were deep in thought.  I shifted from images of the people I loved and the luxuries I knew would soon be few and far between.  Mostly I thought about the mission ahead, all the "what if scenarios" and the exercises we covered in training. 


I knew why I was going to Iraq.  I was going to fight terrorists that blew up the world trade center.  I was going to put an end to a tyrannical regime to free a country.  And, I was going to keep America, my family and friends, safe from biological, chemical and nuclear attack.  The drone of the aircraft and the dull cabin lights soon put me into an easy sleep.


It has not been a year since I have left the combat zone and sleep no longer comes so easy.


I am anxious and thoughts of my fellow soldiers struggling with injuries and mental illness keep me awake.


My actions and experiences of war plague my dreams.  I have seen veterans with missing limbs, paralyzed bodies, and disfigured appearances overcome their disabilities.


However, something still interferes with our healing, the fact that we were betrayed and used abusively by our administration.  The fact that we sacrificed and now suffer for ulterior motives by our own leaders hurts far greater than the visible wounds.  However, our sacrifice need not be in vain.


If a lesson can be learned from the Iraq War, a lesson that should have been learned from the war in Vietnam, it is that we can not allow our president the ability to wage war without the will of the people and the support of the entire government.  We have to apply stronger checks and balances and enforce the existing procedures.  


The only way that we will encourage change is to hold those who manipulated the country into this war.  We have to hold the administration accountable for its' fraudulent lead up to war.  There must be an impeachment trail against George W. Bush and his staff.


I hear people comment that we need to concentrate on withdraw strategies and the problem at hand and the reasons for going to war is a moot point.  


It does however matter to those of us who made the sacrifice and did our duty as was asked of us.  We were the strong arm of a democracy, and should have been used responsibly to accomplish the needs of our citizens. There seems to be enough evidence to support a doubt that the war was based on deceit.  An investigation for impeachment is the only justified course of action.


Garett L. Reppenhagen

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Former Sniper of the 1st Infantry Division


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.






AH-64 Apache Shot Down Near Taji:

Crew Of Two Dead


1.16.06 By Salih Saif Aldin and Nelson Hernandez, Washington Post Foreign Service & JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer & CNN


A U.S. military helicopter crashed in a swampy area north of Taji today, but there was no word on the status of the two-man crew.


An Army lieutenant at the scene said that the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter had crashed into a farm after being hit by a rocket and that the crew was dead.  Initial witnesses' accounts quoted by wire services also said that the aircraft had apparently been shot down.


A resident said he saw the smoke trail of a missile before the aircraft plunged to the ground.


Rashid Khalifa, 27, who has a food and drink stand in the area, said he saw the attack.  "I saw the smoke trail left by the missile," he said.  "I heard a hissing sound, looked around and saw the helicopter losing control before crashing down."


U.S. military authorities in Baghdad only acknowledged that the helicopter had crashed in the 4th Infantry Division's area of operations,


The official said the helicopter usually has a two-person crew and was being used by the U.S. Army's Task Force Iron Horse.



Guam Son, 23, Dies In War


01/16/06 By Valerie Lynn M. Maigue, Pacific Daily News


Army Pfc. Kasper Allen Camacho Dudkiewicz, 23, of Chalan Pago is the latest Guam son to be claimed in the war in Iraq.


Dudkiewicz, the 12th son of Micronesia to die in the current war, has served in the U.S. Army for the last three years and left for Iraq last November.



Soldier From Kingsville Killed


Jan. 7, 2006 Associated Press


WASHINGTON — A Texas soldier was among five servicemen killed by an explosion during convoy operations in Iraq, the Department of Defense said.


Sgt. Johnny J. Peralez Jr., 25, of Kingsville, died in An Najaf when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle, the military said Friday.


He and the other four soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.


Peralez was a combat medic, relatives told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.  He was a 1998 graduate of Falfurrias High School, where he played the alto saxophone in the high school band, a family spokeswoman said.


Survivors include his mother, grandmother, brother and sister, the newspaper reported.



New Castle Marine Killed


1.7.06 (KDKA)


NEW CASTLE A family in New Castle, Lawrence County, is coping with the death of their son in Iraq.


Marine Corporal Albert Gettings, 27, was on patrol near Fallujah when his unit was ambushed.


Gettings was shot in the stomach.  He was transported to Kuwait for treatment but later died of his injuries.


Gettings had been in Iraq since September and was due to come home in March.  He was scheduled to be discharged in June.


The New Castle News reports that Gettings married his wife Stephanie last May.







US Marine from the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines Regiment during a foot patrol in the northern area of Fallujah.  A rocket propelled grenade was fired toward an Iraqi police station and a roadside bomb blew up near a bridge at the north entrance to Fallujah.  (AFP/Mauricio Lima)







Kanadahar Attack On Occupation Forces

Occupation military vehicles tow a military truck destroyed by a bomb attack in Kandahar, 15 January 2005. Bombers killed 24 people in two separate attacks in southern Afghanistan. (AFP/File)



Occupation President Wishes Sharon Long Life


09/01/2006 Ha'aretz


KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's president said yesterday that his government would forge diplomatic ties with Israel if the Palestinians can form a state of their own.


The president added that he hoped Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would recover from the debilitating stroke he suffered last week.


"May God give him a longer life," he said.







More On Rat Who Smears Soldiers With Traumatic Brain Injuries As “Malingerers”


From:  Soldier A

To: GI Special

Sent: January 16, 2006 8:46 AM

Subject: Walter Reed Article: More Info on COL Babbitt


Great article on the Walter Reed PEB situation.  I'm afraid to report the same type of thing is also happening at the other two PEB regions - Ft. Sam Houston, TX and Ft. Lewis, WA.


COL James Babbitt is an INFANTRY officer and has no medical experience or training whatsoever.  I thought you might like to know that.  Here's his profile screen from Army Knowledge Online:




Account Type:

Active Army






WRAMC Physical Evaluation Board

Street Address:

Bldg. 7, WRAMC, 6900 Georgia AV NW





Zip Code:



202 782-3094





IM Status:




Keep up the great work.


[The scumbag referenced: “Col. James F. Babbitt, president of the Physical Evaluation Board, accused Wilson of being a liar.  ‘I believe that the preponderance of the evidence available to the Board supports an alternative diagnosis … one of malingering,’ Babbitt wrote in that memo.”  (GI SPECIAL 4A9 1.16.06)  The soldier was later found to have traumatic brain injury, along with many, many others similarly accused of faking their injuries by garbage working at Walter Reed.  T]



“The Flowers For Chase Comley Will Be Presented Not By Grateful Iraqis, But By Loved Ones Honoring Him As He's Lowered To His Grave And Buried In Our Hearts”


January 11, 2006 by Missy Comley Beattie, CommonDreams.org [Excerpts]


"I'm here to talk with you about my nephew, Chase Comley.


"Chase was 16 when his parents divorced and, probably, of the four siblings was the most affected.  He was the youngest.  After high school, he started college, but couldn't discipline himself to study and was partying hard and womanizing. 


“He began to be disgusted with himself and started talking about joining the military for discipline.  We were appalled.  The war had already begun and most of us had been opposed from the time Bush began to talk about the invasion.  No weapons of mass destruction had been found, but Chase seemed determined.  My father suggested the Coast Guard, the Navy, something safer than the Marines, but Chase was impressed by the Marine bravado, 'the few, the proud,' and he said things like 'why settle for second best when you can be first.'


“A couple of months later, he joined.  He deployed for Iraq in March of 2005.  He would have been 22 in November.  He would have returned home in October.  He was killed on August 6th.


"Chase's body arrived at Dover where it remained for five days and was assessed for presentation at funeral.  His face was blown completely off in the largest vehicular suicide bombing to that date.  He came home with his head wrapped in gauze.


"His death has changed our lives in ways that are too hard to describe.


"Let me tell you that my nephew Chase Comley did not die to preserve your freedoms. He was not presented flowers by grateful Iraqis, welcoming him as their liberator.


"He died long after Bush, in his testosterone-charged, theatrical, soldier-for-a-day role announced on an aircraft carrier beneath a 'Mission Accomplished' banner that major combat was over.


“He died in a country erupting into civil war and turned into a hellhole by Bush.


"Have we won the hearts and the minds of the Iraqi people?  Apparently not.


"Consider what the money spent on this could have achieved for health care, our children's education or a true humanitarian intervention in Sudan.


"And then think about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld when he visits our troops. Picture his heavily armored vehicle, a machine impregnable to almost anything the insurgents toss in its path, while our troops are not provided sufficient armor to survive an IED.


"Think of the mismanagement of this entire war effort.  Consider what we've lost.  Too much.  Think of what we've gained.  Nothing.


"And think of someone who says, 'We will not cut and run,' but who did just that years ago when he was called.


"Think about a man who speaks about a culture of life when the words fit a wedge issue such as abortion or the right to die when medical effort has failed.


"Then think about this war, Bush's not-so-intelligently designed culture of death.


"For many Americans, the war is an abstraction.  But it is not an abstraction for the Iraqis whose lives have been devastated by our 'smart bombs.'  And it certainly is not an abstraction for those of us who have heard the words that change lives forever.


"So think of my family's grief: grief that will never end.  Think of all the families.  Think of the wounded, the maimed, the psychologically scarred.


"And then consider: The preservation of our freedom rests not on U.S. imperialism but on actively changing foreign policies that are conquest-oriented and that dehumanize our own young who become fodder for endless war as well as people in other countries who are so geographically distant that they become abstract.


"The answer is not Bush's mantra: 'They're jealous of our freedoms.'


"And, finally, think about flowers.


“The flowers for Chase Comley will be presented not by grateful Iraqis but by loved ones honoring him as he's lowered to his grave and buried in our hearts.”


[Thanks to John Gingerich, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.  He writes: “Here is a button from my collection... anti war from WWI.”]



Government Spies On Iraq Veterans Against The War And Lies About It


[Thanks to Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War, who sent this in.  He writes:


[Check this out re: pentagon spying. 


[Apparently, the government has collected some information (at least indirectly) related to Iraq Veterans Against the War. 


[This is funny considering that just last month I got a response from my Freedom of Information Act Request telling me that there has been no surveillance related to IVAW.]


January 11, 2006 By Sarah Epting, (APN).  Additional reporting by Matthew Cardinale, Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. [Excerpts]


ATLANTA--"Don’t they have anything to do? I am just a mom of a teenage son.  I just don’t want my son or anyone else go to a stupid war," Susan Keith told Atlanta Progressive News.


Last week, Keith learned the Pentagon has been spying on her protests against public schools participating in military recruitment.


"I think it is a big waste of our money and time to be spying on citizens," Keith said.


On December 14th, 2005, NBC released a report concerning a secret 400 page Pentagon document they obtained listing more than 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country.


In a recent span of 10 months, these incidents had all been under surveillance by the Pentagon.


The document listed the organization’s open monthly meeting held on March 28, 2005 as a "threat."


The meeting took place at the downtown Piedmont Avenue office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization committed to peace, social justice, and humanitarian service.


"This action by the government is a disgrace and a blatant violation of our right to free speech and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the First Amendment," wrote Betti Knott, AFSC Southeast Regional Director," in a prepared statement obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.  "The people of the United States have a fundamental right to organize and speak out about relevant issues."


The meeting included a discussion the then-upcoming visit of Michael Hoffman, Founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War.  It also included planning for a protest that took place April 8.


Ann Mauney and Susan Keith, both members of the coalition, told Atlanta Progressive News they suspect the surveillance took place over the Internet through reading the meetings minutes that were emailed out following their meetings.


This speculation stems from the fact that GPJC does not publish agendas or notify the members of the coalition what will be discussed in advance of the meeting, so any knowledge of the nature of the meeting would have to be gathered after the fact, Keith and Mauney said.


Another protest deemed "suspicious" by the government was a protest by concerned parents of public school students.  The parents were worried about local public schools’ complicity in military recruitment.  Many schools release the names of students to military recruiters without what many local parents believe would be adequate notification or opt-out provisions.


On the day of one of the protests, Michael Hoffman had spoken to a local group of high school students at Decatur High about why they should consider opting out of having their names released to recruiters.


After Hoffman spoke, a group of about 30 protesters gathered to protest outside a military recruitment office on Ponce De Leon Avenue in Atlanta.


Mauney and Keith both speculated that the reason this particular protest might have been monitored may be Hoffman’s involvement.





Marines Throw In The Towel:

Discharge 40 Year AWOL Rather Than Court Martialling Him

Lawsuit For Privacy Act Violation By Marines Will Continue


January 11, 2006 Citizen Soldier


The Marines Command at Camp LeJeune NC announced Wednesday afternoon, January 11th that it was releasing Corporal Jerry Texiero from the LeJeune brig and would separate him with an other than honorable discharge, in lieu of prosecuting him for desertion.


Texiero had been arrested at the Marines' request in Tarpon Springs, FL  on August 16.  After spending five months in solitary in the Pinellas County (FL) jail, he was transferred to the Marine brig at LeJeune on December 16.  He had been charged with one count of desertion, which could have resulted in a one prison sentence and a bad conduct discharge.


"After keeping this 65 year old senior citizen locked up for five months, the Marines have finally done what they should have done back in August--release him with an administrative discharge," commented Tod Ensign, Citizen Soldier director.


"Their scheme to prosecute Jerry as a way to warn young Marines in Iraq today that they will be vigorously pursued if they desert has failed," Ensign continued.


"We also plan to vigorously pursue our Privacy Act law suit against the Marine Corps officials for defaming Texiero by illegally disseminating information from his personnel file."


Louis Font, of Brookline, MA  has served as Cpl Texiero's lead civilian defense attorney.


Further info:  Tod Ensign (Citizen Soldier) (212) 679-2250




They're Back!

Marine Unit Arrests Another Long Term AWOL:

Decision To Refuse Service Influenced By My Lai Massacre


January 16, 2006  Citizen Soldier


Ernest "Buck" McQueen, 55, was arrested by Ft. Worth, TX police on Wednesday, January 11th at the request of the Marines' Absentee Collection Center.  McQueen served in the Marine Corps for nearly two years, from 1968-69.  His decision to refuse further service was influenced by the disclosure of the My Lai massacre, in which US troops killed 500 Vietnamese civilians.


After leaving, McQueen lived in Indiana and then moved to Texas, working mostly as a carpenter and cabinet maker.  He married, had a son and a daughter and then divorced about ten years ago.


Like the just-concluded case of Marine Corporal Jerry Texiero, of Tarpon Springs, FL, who was arrested after 40 years AWOL, McQueen's arrest was requested by a special Pentagon unit that searches for long-term AWOLs.


McQueen's arrest was first reported in a front-page story in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram on Monday, January 14th.  He is being held in a local jail awaiting transfer to a Marine brig.  If tried for desertion, McQueen could receive a five year prison term and Dishonorable discharge.


"The Marines are trying to send a message to their troops in Iraq that deserters will always be hunted down and prosecuted even forty years after they resist," said Tod Ensign, Legal Director of Citizen Soldier, a GI/veterans rights advocacy group.


Ensign pledged that his group would support McQueen by helping to organize his legal and political defense.


(More info: Tod Ensign, Citizen Soldier, (212) 679-2250)



Vet Arrested For Painting "Troops Out Now" On Highway Overpasses


[Thanks to Joshua Karpoff, who sent this in.  He writes: Mike Ferner, a member of Veterans For Peace was arrested, along with his brother, for allegedly spray painting antiwar graffiti on highway overpasses.]


January 04, 2006 Associated Press


Maumee, Ohio- A former Toledo councilman and one-time Toledo mayoral candidate was accused of spray-painting anti-war slogans on highway overpasses.


Mike Ferner, 54, of Toledo, was arrested Sunday along Interstate 475 U.S. 23 in this Toledo suburb.  Ferner is charged with vandalism, criminal damage and possession of criminal tools.


The State Highway Patrol said Ferner painted the slogan "Troops Out Now" on several overpasses while his brother, John Ferner, 46, of Columbus, drove a pickup truck.  


A can of fluorescent orange spray paint was found in the truck, troopers said.  John Ferner also is charged with vandalism, criminal damage and possession of criminal tools, a charge that relates to the spray paint.  Both men were released from the Lucas County Jail on Monday after posting $3,000 bond each.  They were scheduled to be arraigned later in Maumee Municipal Court.


Mike Ferner has been a critic of U.S. military action in Iraq and in 2003 took part in a "peace tour" of that Mideast country.



The Losers Club In Action:

Army Wants To Buy Some Blogs


Hass MS&L's claim to fame in the blogging world as far as I can tell is that they maintain the General Motors' corporate blog.  Did the Army have to hire the PR firm for a dying corporation as its new agent?


January 10, 2006 William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security, Washington Post [Excerpt]


Word comes from RL that the Army has hired PR firm Hass MS&L of Detroit to offer "exclusive editorial content" to blogs willing to run government propaganda.


"The Army believes that military blogs are a valuable medium for reaching out," account executive Charlie Kondek has written to a number of pro-military blogs in a January 6 Email.


"To that end, the Army plans to offer you and selected bloggers exclusive editorial content on a few issues you're likely to be interested in," Kondek says.  The Email has been mentioned in Black Five, One Hand Clapping and Fuzzilicious Thinking.


Blogs, however, are the epitome of independence, perspective, and rebellion.  For the Army to blog, its bloggers would need to have an opinion, show some emotion, make a joke, make a case.  We all know that the moment some public affairs flunkie strayed from the official happy talk and openly engaged in the information fight, he or she would get nuked.


So, our tax dollars are going to get used so the Army can just add to its propaganda machine, shoveling "content" to like-minded bloggers?


It all smacks of just another losing PR effort by a desperate team who seems to think that the only way it is going to get good press is to buy it or plant it. 


Hass MS&L's claim to fame in the blogging world as far as I can tell is that they maintain the General Motors' corporate blog.


Did the Army have to hire the PR firm for a dying corporation as its new agent?







Resistance Greets Visiting U.S. Politicians At Balad


1.10.06 St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Rep. Kenny Hulshof wanted to see first-hand what American troops have to deal with on the ground in Iraq.  But on a trip over the Christmas break, the Missouri congressman got more insight than he bargained for.


The base that Hulshof and four other members of Congress were visiting was hit by a mortar attack.  Hulshof and his colleagues were put on lockdown for 30 minutes while a series of five blasts hit the military installation, Balad Air Base, about 40 miles north of Baghdad.



Twenty Collaborator Guards Killed By Al Wihda IED


16 01, 2006 Bahrain News Agency


Twenty Iraqi national guards were killed on Monday in a roadside bomb which was placed by insurgents on a main road connecting the Iraqi city of Baghdad and central and southern towns.


The blast took place in Al Wihda area, some 30 kilometers to the south of Baghdad. Radio SAWA reported on a security official at the Iraqi Police Intelligence as saying that 2 of 5 military vehicles carrying national security guards were totally destroyed in the blast.



Assorted Resistance Action


1.16.06 AP & (Xinhuanet) & Reuters


A car bomb detonated Monday next to a police convoy.


Najim Abid, a medic at Muqdadiya general hospital, said five policemen were killed by the blast, which injured three policemen.


The assault occurred in two phases.  Guerrillas attacked an Iraqi police patrol, and when the officers called in reinforcements, a car bomb exploded, causing more casualties.


Two other police officers were killed Monday morning in separate incidents in Baghdad, a police official said.  "The two policemen were shot dead by unknown insurgents separately in Baghdad's northern district of Aadhamiyah and the northwestern district of Shula," Captain Ahmed Abdullah said.


Roadside bombs exploded in the Iraqi capital.  One explosion wounded four soldiers and one civilian near an Iraqi army convoy in eastern Baghdad.


In western Baghdad's Yarmouk neighborhood, another blast wounded two police officers on patrol, the official said.


Guerrillas in Baghdad attacked a truck carrying goods for the U.S. military, killing the Iraqi driver, Sgt. Kamal al-Saeidi said.


BAGHDAD - Vehicles carrying U.S. police trainers were struck by a roadside bomb.  One of the passengers was killed, the U.S. embassy said in a statement.









“Plan B Would Be The Splitting Of Iraq But This Does Not Conform To The Fundamental Interests Of U.S. Imperial Hegemony”


[Thanks to Ron R, who sent this in.]


January 07, 2006 Gilbert Achcar interviewed by Bill Weinberg, Zmag.org [Excerpt]


The Kurdish people are very much entitled to an independent state if they wished so.


Because they are a different nation, they should have, as any nation, the right to self-determination -- and not only in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan, but also in the Turkish part of Kurdistan the Iranian part, the Syrian part.


And the Kurds had a referendum in Kurdistan, with almost a unanimous vote in favor of independence, and the Kurdish leaderships know that their constituency wants independence very badly, and are not happy at all that the constitution did not provide for the right of the Kurds to self-determination, including forming a separate state, if they wished so.


Despite all that, they keep telling the constituency you have to be patient, the day will come when Kurdistan will become independent, officially independent (because, factually speaking, Kurdistan has been functioning as a more or less independent state since 1991).  They keep saying, you have to be patient because now the conditions are not right for any proclamation of independence, if we did so, we would face terribly difficult conditions, we have the Turkish threat.


Turkey has repeatedly, as you just said, threatened to intervene if that would happen. They would have more to lose from proclaiming the independence right now than whatever they could win.  So that's what prevents the Kurds from breaking away officially as a state.


And as for the Shia and the Sunnis, the picture that people can get sometimes from the media is distorted.


I mean, you don't have a country where you have purely Shi'ite areas.


The Kurds are a different situation: you have three provinces which are Kurdistan -- geographically, culturally.


But you don't have a Shi'ite country and a Sunni country.


You have provinces with a Sunni majority, provinces with Shi'ite majority, even sometime large majorities, but you have also some mixed provinces, you even have tribes that are mixed religiously; you have a lot of intermingling between communities....


And Baghdad is a city where you have all of them represented.  And the Shi'ites know that if they were to secede in some formal manner, that would not only mean a costly civil war, bloody for everybody, including them, but they would be faced with hostility from the Arab environment.


The Shi'ite leadership, in my view, are completely aware that it is not all in their interest to split up the country and then face this prospect of ethnic cleansing, to use the term used since Bosnia, a very costly civil war, and then facing a hostile Arab environment, and being dependent on Iranian friendship.  The Arab Shi'ites have their own pride and consider, they don't like to be dependent on Iran, contrary to what is pretended by some people.


BW: There is at least one faction of the Shi'ites which is very pro-Iran, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution...


GA: Well, the Supreme Council has been linked closely to Iran, but they are not, you know, between quotation marks, "agents" of Iran.  They don't have the type of relation you used to have between Communist parties and the Soviet Union. That's not how they look at Iran, not at all.


As I said, they have their pride.  I mean, Arab Shiites take pride in belonging to the nation that produced the prophet of Islam and produced Ali, the main reference of the Shi'ites.


I don't claim to be an oracle, and anyone claiming to know what will happen, is just, you know, a worthless pretension.  But on the basis of a rational evaluation of what exists, one might reasonably think that the incentive for a renewed formula for building a common state would be very strong.


But as I said, one thing is clear: it's not the presence of U.S. troops which is preventing the deterioration of the situation.  General Casey, he himself said the presence of the occupation fuels the insurgency; that was in hearings with the Senate.


Plan B would be the splitting of Iraq.  But this Plan B does not conform to the fundamental interests of U.S. imperial hegemony.


It would be absolutely risky, even disastrous for U.S. interests in the area.


Why so?


Because on the one hand, the Shia, as an independent entity, would much more likely be allied to Iran than to Washington; and secondly, that would destabilize the whole area, and be an incentive for the secession of the Shia province in Saudi Arabia (or the Saudi kingdom; I don't like to say "Saudi Arabia"; the kingdom is Saudi, it is the name of a dynasty, not a country).


And it so happens that they are also the areas of the Saudi kingdom where the oil reserves are concentrated.  So, this is a nightmarish scenario for, for Washington.


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.



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)



“This Has Got To Be The Greatest Display Of Moral Deceit, And Dishonor Toward American Soldiers In American History”


Military recruiters trying to make an impression at a county fair.

“War is a disease of childhood.” Albert Einstein


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)


From: Mike Hastie

To: GI Special

Sent: January 16, 2006

Subject: The Faces Of The Deceitful


The last thing I felt before I left Vietnam, was Dick Nixon's dick withdrawing from my ass.


When I think of George Bush and Dick Cheney, I am reminded of the mega-lies of the Vietnam War. George Bush was AWOL from his Texas Air National Guard unit, and Dick Cheney never served in the military. He had at least 5 deferments that kept him out of the military draft during the Vietnam War.


He was later quoted as saying, " I had other things to do."


George Bush and Dick Cheney are nothing but demented toy soldiers sending America's best into the horrors of war. This has got to be the greatest display of moral deceit, and dishonor toward American soldiers in American history.


As a medic in Vietnam, I saw American soldiers take their last breath for something they believed in. When I look at the faces of George Bush and Dick Cheney, I am ashamed to be an American.


I gave everything I had in Vietnam for what I thought was right. People like George Bush and Dick Cheney gave nothing when the time came to put their beliefs on the line. DICK Cheney will be the DICK Nixon of the Iraq War.


Once you have been metaphorically fucked in the ass, you feel that betrayal the rest of your life.


If I did not work in the anti-war movement, I could not live in the United States.


Iraq continues to be a chess game.


In order to win, the pawns have to turn on the ruling class, and that breaks the rules.


Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71


"Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty."

Tim O'Brian

Vietnam Veteran

The Things They Carried



The Conscience Of A Killer


Munich, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Eric Bana, Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush.


January 13, 2006 Review by Geoff Bailey, Socialist Worker


“HOME ALWAYS comes at a price,” says a character midway through Steven Spielberg’s new film Munich.  But what price is too high?  What happens if, in protecting what you love, you end up destroying it?


Munich follows a group of Israelis who are hired by their government to assassinate 11 Palestinians believed to have planned the kidnapping of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.


The movie is based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas, a conservative, pro-Israeli columnist for the Canadian National Post.  But the screenplay was written by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America.


Kushner is a socialist and an anti-Zionist, with the ability to write moving, emotional, political fiction.  Together, Kushner and Spielberg have created a powerful film critiquing Israel and the wider strategy accepted by the Bush administration for dealing with terrorism.


Prior to its release, Munich had already generated a storm of controversy.  The Israeli government, for whom Spielberg organized advance screenings, blasted it for “rewriting history.”  Israeli officials attacked Spielberg for creating a “moral equivalence” between the killing of terrorists and the murder of Israeli civilians.


Conservative critics in the United States weren’t far behind.  Jack Engelhard, the author of that morally scrupulous novel, Indecent Proposal, wrote a scathing attack on Spielberg: “If, as our enemies say, we own Hollywood, well, here’s the plot twist--we have lost Hollywood, and we have lost Spielberg.  Spielberg is no friend of Israel. Spielberg is no friend of truth.”  The New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks devoted a column to attacking the film.


Yet for all the media frenzy surrounding its release, Munich’s criticisms of Israel are rather mild.  Spielberg focuses on the way in which violence begets more violence. When one of the Israeli assassins witnesses footage of a Palestinian attack on the Athens airport, meant to be retaliation for Israel’s assassinations, he mutters, “At least we are having a dialogue now.”  The absurdity of the statement is obvious, but it’s hardly a radical critique.


And Spielberg shows nothing of the Palestinian side.  We witness the killing of the Israeli athletes and the subsequent assassinations, but not the killing of Palestinian civilians, the checkpoints or the refugee camps.


But this is criticism that wishes Spielberg had made a movie other than the one he did. Spielberg’s focus is narrower.  He is concerned not with the roots of the Palestinian conflict but with the effect the “war on terror” has on those who claim to fight it.  His concern is not with the victims, but the killers.  In that, he and Kushner have created a chilling and moving film.


The most powerful parts of the film come when the team leader, Avner, returns to the home he believed he was fighting to protect.  Paranoid and desperate, he barricades his doors at night and sleeps with a loaded pistol.  He can even imagine himself committing the very crimes he thought he was avenging.


That is ultimately Spielberg’s point: In following orders, Avner has poisoned what he thought he was protecting.


Munich is the latest in a series of political blockbusters this year.  From Syriana’s critique of the geopolitics of oil, to Good Night and Good Luck’s veiled attacks on the current crop of McCarthyites, liberal filmmakers have decided that it’s necessary (and profitable) to speak out on controversial issues.


It’s quite a turnaround from just three years ago, when Michael Moore was vilified for criticizing George Bush during his Academy Awards acceptance speech.  The change should be welcomed.  Parts of Hollywood are attempting to tackle issues of racism, war and global capitalism.


But as these films take on larger issues, they also come up against the filmmakers’ political limitations.  These are films that are meant to stimulate discussion about changing the world, but the filmmakers’ suggestions seem anemic when weighed against the obstacles depicted in their films.


When, late in Munich, Avner suggests that the Palestinian terrorists could have been arrested and tried against the backdrop of the United Nations, the unspoken question is never asked: Which court would ever try an Israeli assassin?


The characters in these films, and ultimately the filmmakers, have no way out.  In the end, all they can do is refuse to participate, but they don’t change anything.  The machinery keeps going, the killings continue.  Avner will leave the Israeli Army, but there are other assassins.  And people who gave him his orders will never be touched.


These films reveal the powerlessness of the politics that have inspired them, and, ultimately, they suggest looking for more radical solutions than these filmmakers are willing to explore.


In the end, a solution will come, not from the killers, but from the victims.







Turkish Government Threatens To Stop Oil Product Exports To Iraq


16/01/2006 DـNYA


State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said yesterday that Turkish companies could suspend export of oil products on Jan. 21 if Iraq doesn't pay the amount owing for previous shipments.


"It is seen that if necessary measures won't be taken, then the amount of Iraq's debt will increase considerably," he said.  Tuzmen stated that Iraq has met an important part of its oil need from Turkey since May 2003, adding that Ankara exported more than 10 billion tones oil to Iraq.







[Fair is fair.  Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA.  They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any changes being filed against them, or any trial.]


[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives.  They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country.  What a bunch of silly people.  How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush.  Why, how could anybody not love that?  You’d want that in your home town, right?]







Bush Says Iraqi Resistance Will Defeat Him

Bush Jan. 11, 2006 in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


January 11, 2006 Washington Post


"Out of the turmoil in Iraq, a free government will emerge that represents the will of the Iraqi people, instead of the will of one cruel dictator," Bush said.



The Battle of Cedar Gulch?

“This Demonstrates A Commander-In-Chief Out Of Touch With The Reality Of Combat”


Jan 3rd, 2006 by Larry C. Johnson, www2.boomantribune.com


At first I thought this was a blog parody.


I mean, really, no one could be this clueless.




Boy, was I wrong.


Here's what President Bush had to say at Brooke Army Medical Center the other day.


Remember, he is visiting U.S. soldiers who are missing arms, legs, and eyes.  Some soldiers are horribly mutilated from wound suffered in Iraq.  Most of the soldiers Bush visited were not "injured", they were "wounded".


You get wounds in combat.


You get injured while playing football or cutting brush.  This is not just mindless nitpicking on my part.  This demonstrates a Commander-in-Chief out of touch with the reality of combat.


"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself, not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar.  I eventually won.  The Cedar gave me a little scratch.  As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me.  I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel."


The president needs to understand what combat means.  It is not tangling with a chain saw and some prickly pear brush.


It involves firearms and explosives.  It means watching your best friend bleed out on the battlefield.  It means mind numbing fear as you prepare to enter a building that may or may not be providing refuge for a terrorist.  It means killing other human beings.  And for some, it leaves an emotional scar that the brave soldiers carry with them to their grave.


More importantly the President needs to understand that he now has a sacred obligation to ensure that the men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan will have the full backing of their country to provide them with the medical care they need to recover their physical and mental well being.


Instead, Bush talks a good game at the hospital but is not removing obstacles for key treatment for a variety of wounds, including post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Key benefits and treatment are already being denied to some returning vets.


There is a silver lining, at least the President did not award himself a purple heart.


But this attempt at humor, no matter how well intentioned, is offensive and insulting to the soldiers who have sacrificed their bodies in response to the orders of this Commander-in-Chief.  That, in my view, is no laughing matter.


Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering.  Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (as a Deputy Director), is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management.



Demonstrators Confront Fake Anti-War Democrat Leader


January 15, 2006 Erin McCormick, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer


Dozens of heckling, sign-toting anti-war protesters tried to take center stage at the [Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi's] town hall forum on national security,- calling for an immediate de-funding of the Iraq war and impeachment proceedings against President George Bush.


"This war in Iraq has been a grotesque mistake in my view,- a tragedy," Pelosi told a crowd of about 1,000 that overflowed the Marina Middle School Auditorium for the event.


Yet, as she explained that she doesn't want to immediately cut funding for those troops already in Iraq, about 40 protesters marched to the front of the stage.  They faced the crowd, waving peace signs and a pink banner saying "Nancy, stop funding the war."


Hecklers in the audience chanted "No more money for war."


"The money is for the troops,'' said Pelosi, who initially voted against the war, but has voted in favor of appropriations bills to pay for it. "I'm not prepared to go against the troops' having the equipment they need."[See how these Empire loving soldier-killing rats twist and lie.  Cutting off money for the war means bringing all the troops home.  DUH!]


When she'd finished her thought, she looked down at the solid row of pink and black-clad protesters now forming a barricade in front of the stage.


"What I feel about Nancy's leadership is she's not leading,'' said Corrine Goldstick, a protester with the anti-war group Code Pink, who stood in front of Saturday's event with a sign reading, "Hey Pelosi, Bring Home the National Guard.


"She manages to project an image of being against the war, but she's not leading other Democrats to rally against it."[Well big surprise.  They’re for the Empire and always have been.  Double DUH.]


"Speak to Bush's impeachment," members of the crowd chanted at one point.


Pelosi called for a congressional investigation on the revelation that the Bush administration had authorized domestic spying, but pooh-poohed calls for impeachment hearings against the president.


"I think we should solve this issue electorally," she said, urging audience members to channel their energy into the 2006 elections.[Oh right.  Just like last year, when the piece of shit the Democrats nominated for president wanted 40,000 more U.S. troops sent to Iraq, and whined because Bush didn’t attack Fallujah fast enough to suit him.]



“How Can You Criticize It? You All Voted For It”


14 January 2006 By Geov Parrish, AlterNet Interview With Noam Chomsky [Excerpt]


Noam Chomsky: George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country.  Just about every day, they're shooting themselves in the foot.


The striking fact about contemporary American politics is that the Democrats are making almost no gain from this.  The only gain that they're getting is that the Republicans are losing support.


Now, again, an opposition party would be making hay, but the Democrats are so close in policy to the Republicans that they can't do anything about it.


When they try to say something about Iraq, George Bush turns back to them, or Karl Rove turns back to them, and says, "How can you criticize it?  You all voted for it." And, yeah, they're basically correct.




Because They Love The Empire Too!


01.08.2006 Martin Garbus, Huffington Post [Excerpt]


I don't understand. An hour after I saw the Times "scoop" on the Bush illegal wiretapping plan, I wrote that it was clearly illegal and unconstitutional.


But as it now turns out, dozens of politicians, as well as the New York Times knew about the surveillance plan and did nothing.


Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, and Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, a man known for some sensitivity to civil liberties infringements, and a substantial number of congressmen, plus the New York Times, all knew of Bush's illegal spying.


Pelosi, Rockefeller, and several other congressmen "confidentially" expressed concern but did nothing.  Nothing.


Not a peep.





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