GI SPECIAL 4A15:
Armed Farces Day demonstration of over 1,500 GIs against the
Vietnam War in Killeen, Texas, home of Ft. Hood. (www.citizen-soldier.org
News Emperor Bush Could Hear:
With Tears In His Eyes”
news is buried at the end of this story reporting how U.S.
occupation command has ordered brutal, stupid raids on Iraqi
citizens to help the Iraqi resistance movement recruit new
news is about a soldier with tears in his eyes.
Rumsfeld, and the rest of the scum who infest Washington
have no clue what this means.
[Unfortunately, neither do the leaders of the U.S.
“anti-war” movement. They have a nearly perfect record of
helping Bush keep the war going by refusing go find and
offer aid and comfort to anti-war troops in the reserve and
National Guard units in their own home towns, or to active
duty troops in U.S. military bases. The organizers of the
Ft. Bragg rallies are an honorable exception.]
requested by L, the following two reprints following the
news article, “The Chicken Factory” and “Let’s Get To Work,”
restate the imperative for doing that work now. T]
Jan 22, 2006 By Michael Georgy
U.S. forces hunting kidnapped
American journalist Jill Carroll are raiding Iraqi homes in
a race against time but, as with much of their
counter-insurgency war, face the dilemma that their tactics
can foster resentment.
designed to take her captors by surprise have angered those
Iraqis who say troops have blasted their way into their
homes, put sacks over their heads and detained their
relatives in the search for Carroll, who was abducted on Jan
One such raid, shortly after
the reporter was seized, targeted one of Baghdad's biggest
Sunni mosques; the sight of troops descending on ropes from
helicopters and storming through the compound infuriated
Sunni political leaders and drew condemnation from the
United Nations envoy to Iraq.
Aware that Carroll's militant
captors threatened to kill her if the authorities did not
release women prisoners by Friday, U.S. troops have stormed
homes in several areas of Baghdad. How many homes they have
raided in the hunt is not clear.
typical instance, the Nazih family heard movements in their
garden just after midnight. But they had no time to check.
"My son was
in the garden so I went around the back door to see what was
happening and suddenly American soldiers pointed rifles at
us," said Hamdiya Sabri, 55, of her son Jassim, 23.
of a sudden we heard an explosion. They blew open the front
door and fired stun grenades into the living room. They
rounded us up and threw me on the floor and a soldier put me
on the floor and kept his boot on my back. Why?"
Two of her other sons said
U.S. troops asked if they knew anything about the neighbours
and then they asked about Carroll, a 28-year-old reporter
for the Christian Science Monitor.
"They told us that they had a
tip that the American journalist was being held in this area
and asked me what I thought of her," said Thamir Nazih, 40.
"I said I was sympathetic
about Jill Carroll and that she is innocent.
asked me if I knew any terrorists: this only after they
stormed the house and humiliated my family."
After the search, a U.S.
soldier promised $300 compensation and apologised, saying
troops had acted on a faulty tip.
soldiers took away Jassim, the youngest son of the family,
saying he would be questioned and freed in a day or two.
The soldiers then descended on
the Nazihs' neighbours in the Ghazaliya section of Baghdad,
where insurgents are active.
barged into our home then they pulled me by the hair. I
kept telling them we had a baby. Then a soldier went into
the room where my brother was sleeping near the baby and
they punched my brother in the face," said Hubaab Hamid.
searching the house, the soldiers told her that two of her
brothers would be detained for questioning.
"I asked how long they would be away. They said they would
be freed if they are innocent. I asked where they would be
held and the Iraqi translator just laughed at me," she said.
Some 14,000 people are
currently held by U.S. forces on suspicion of guerrilla
activity. Thousands more have been released without charge,
often after many months in captivity.
said one soldier showed compassion.
looked up and he had tears in his eyes as he was
watching them humiliate my sisters and me," she said.
he gave us a blanket and he apologised." [And that’s
how it begins.]
from March-April, 2005 - Issue 10 Traveling Soldier]
Once upon a time there was a
chicken factory, where, let us suppose, 1000 men and women
Live chickens come in one end
of the factory complex, and cut up chicken parts and whole
chickens come out the other end.
The people who cut up the
chickens make about $3 an hour, work in cold, wet rooms, get
sick a lot, and frequently lose body parts during the
chicken cutting process. The managers are cold assholes
interested in profits, and don’t give a shit how dangerous
the equipment is. The supervisors are petty tyrants and
frequently sexual predators.
If you get too sick or hurt to
work, too fucking bad, you get put out the door.
This is not a desirable state
You think maybe there should
be some kind of organization of the work force to resist
this shit. Maybe you can get more money, or insist that you
have decent protection from being maimed or killed.
At that point you are alone,
and powerless. So you have to very carefully find somebody
else that agrees, and then somebody else, and all unnoticed
by the assholes in command of the chicken factory, you
slowly but surely build an organization.
You need meetings to talk over
plans. Off company territory. You need security. You need
some kind of way of communicating, maybe a newsletter, but
you’re careful about that too.
You can take it from there.
But it is obvious that you do
not want anybody to stand up in the middle of the third
shift and loudly tell management, “I refuse to participate
any further in your immoral enterprise and will defy all
He or she is immediately
gotten rid of, and is lost to organizing inside your chicken
factory because he or she is gone. And the management is
delighted, because they’ve just ID’d and fired somebody who
could give them trouble in the future.
So, if you’re alone, organize.
People who act together can have an effect.
And if somebody snaps and does
an individual refusal, and gets arrested, in trouble, or
whatever, your organization does not leave them behind;
they’ve been hurt, and let no one judge them, because
anybody can snap, anytime.
from the 1st ID summed up his job situation like this:
soldier risks going to prison he should realize that his
ability to communicate with other troops will be limited.
our battles and continue to speak out in our underground
to be a point when we reach a high enough number of troops
in our peace effort that a unified boycott of all military
action will have a desired effect.”
Use Traveling Soldier to serve
your organizing purposes and say what you have to say. You
say how. That’s what it’s for.
[Remarks given at
Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Ft. Bragg, at the
rally 3.19.05. Thomas Barton, GI Special.]
Greetings from New York City
Labor Against The War; GI Special; Traveling Soldier
newsletter, produced by Pham Binh; and the Military Project
Here is a blinding flash of
During the Vietnam war, the
anti-war movement at home was necessary to stop the war, but
it was not sufficient.
The resistance in Vietnam was
necessary to stop the war, but it was not sufficient.
But the rebellion against the
war in the armed forces was both necessary and sufficient to
stop the war. And the war stopped.
It was the greatest
insurrection against an Imperial war since the rebellion of
the Russian army in 1917.
But you don’t have to believe
me about that, and you shouldn’t.
Heinl, Jr. Col. Robert D.
THE COLLAPSE OF THE ARMED
Armed Forces Journal,
Lots of soldiers can fight in
It takes something very
special in soldiers to stop one. Honor and respect to them
Respect also to the civilians
who forged the links to the anti-war troops, gave them aid
and comfort, and helped make that rebellion possible.
Now it is time for us to
follow the instruction of the prophet:
Go thou and do likewise.
Today, the anti war movement
is necessary to stop the war in Iraq, but it is not
Today, the Iraqi resistance to
Imperial invasion and occupation is necessary to stop the
war, but it is not sufficient.
But the coming rebellion in
the armed forces will be both necessary and sufficient. It
may not come as soon as we might wish, but it will come.
And the war will stop.
But you don’t have to take my
word for that, and you shouldn’t.
what one 1st ID member from a group of anti-war
soldiers in Iraq wrote to GI Special:
“Before any soldier risks going to prison he should realize
that his ability to communicate with other troops will be
“We choose our battles and continue to speak out in our
“There has to be a point when we reach a high enough number
of troops in our peace effort that a unified boycott of all
military action will have a desired effect.”
more important today than forging new links with the troops
turning against this war.
Our job is
to help them do what is necessary to stop this war and end
forever the power of the predators who rule in this society.
If we act
together to take back our lives and our futures from those
who would steal both, there is no force on earth that can
We need our
troops by our side.
them we are truly lost.
everything is possible.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
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.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
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
Send requests to address up top.
Soldiers Receive “Minor” Wounds Near Hawijah
Jan 22, 2006 The Leaf
Soldiers with Task Force Band
of Brothers Friday detained a suspected terrorist after a
roadside bomb was found near Hawijah Thursday.
Soldiers from the 101st
Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were recovering
a vehicle damaged by the improvised explosive device when
they began taking small arms fire. The soldiers returned
fire, forcing the gunman to flee.
A patrol en route to the site
chased and stopped the suspect's vehicle, and a search
revealed a sniper rifle and a rocket propelled grenade
launcher with a warhead.
soldiers received minor injuries and were treated and
returned to duty.
Soldier Wounded In Al Kut
January 22, 2006 MNF Release
Iraq – A Latvian Soldier was injured by small-arms fire Jan.
22 in al Kut.
Persons unknown fired at the
guards in an observation post in the Multinational Division
Central South area of responsibility. The guards returned
The wounded Soldier received
first aid and was transported to a military medical
facility. His condition is stable.
Helicopters Down In Iraq & Afghanistan
(Jan. 9, 2006, p.8) reports a total of 120 copters down in
Afghanistan and Iraq since the wars started.
The $ cost: $1,870,408,000. That’s one Billion, 870
“We see an average of slightly
more than 1,000 SAFIRE incidents during the year,” said
[Col. Paul W.] Bricker.” “Of those ... only 10 percent have
damaged an aircraft, and of those 10 percent, only 7 percent
have caused major damage or killed a soldier or a Marine.”
Translation: 100 damage “incidents” and 70 have caused major
damage or killed a soldier or a Marine. And Bricker says
“only”! Time for Bricker to spend his days riding in them,
instead of talking to reporters about them.
The story reports 26 “Hostile”
losses and 94 “Nonhostile” loses. The very long story does
not report how many troops were killed in hostile loses.
Give The Resistance Some Help:
Occupation Trained Iraqi Collaborator Troops
2006/01/22 IRIB News
opened fire at civilian cars Saturday night in Baiji town,
some 200 km north of Baghdad, killing three people, who
turned out to be U.S.-trained Iraqi army soldiers, a source
from the Iraqi-US liaison office in Tikrit said on Sunday.
"The multi national force
opened fire last night at four civilian cars travelling on
the main road between Tikrit and Baiji, setting fire to all
the cars," the source from the joint coordination center in
shoot-out killed three people and wounded four others and
the U.S. soldiers detained six other people, who turned out
to be Iraqi soldiers travelling to their base in Samarra in
the south of the country, the source said.
He said the Iraqi soldiers'
cars were surprised by a U.S. military convoy travelling
wrongly on their side of the two-side road and opened fire.
NO HOPE OF
ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
U.S. Marines take cover after
being fired at by small fires while they were on patrol in
Kubaysah December 31, 2005. (Gunnery Sgt. Keith A.
How Bad Is It?
Cemeteries Running Out Of Room
January 09, 2006 Army Times
five veterans’ cemeteries are expected to reach capacity in
the next 15 to 70 years, but space could run out even sooner
if casualties of the Iraq war escalate.
“Nationwide, and in Maryland in particular, there is an
increasing demand for veterans’ burial space,” said Mike
Nacincik, a spokesman for the National Cemetery
MORE FOR BUSH’S WAR?
ALL HOME NOW
Estilita Maravillosa, right,
and cousin Darlene Rodrigues, in front of the coffin of U.S.
Army Sgt. Myla Maravillosa during her funeral Jan. 19, 2006
in Inabanga, in Bohol province in central Philippines. Sgt.
Maravillosa was the first Filipino-American woman killed in
Iraq. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)
Connecticut Guards Off To Bush’s Imperial Slaughterhouse
1.23.06 Army Times
deployment of Connecticut National Guard soldiers since the
start of the war on terrorism began Jan. 6 as 500 left for
training, The Associated Press reported.
training for three to five weeks at Fort Bragg, N.C., the
New Haven-based 102nd Infantry Battalion will deploy to
Afghanistan to help in rebuilding efforts [translation:
occupation guard duty].
Meet Cindy Sheehan And Ann Wright In Baton Rouge February
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
From: Ward Reilly
come and meet Cindy Sheehan and Ann Wright in Baton Rouge on
February 12th at our 3rd Annual (unfortunately) "Vigil For
the Dead", sponsored by CAWI, Bienville House Center For
Peace & Justice, Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans
Against the War, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Jan. 24, at
of Reconciliation (FOR),
Broadway, Nyack, NY.
From: Shirley H. Young,
Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: January 22, 2006
At the last Veterans Peace
Council meeting, there was a guest speaker. His name is
Yonatan Shapira and he is a former captain in the Israeli
He told us that he is a
refuser, and is part of a newly forming organization of
Israelis and Palestinians speaking out against the
occupation (by Israel).
He contacted VFP because he
wants to form an alliance and have the support of American
veterans groups. I took his contact info and contacted the
FOR. I thought they would like to help in this cause.
Seems as if they do!
I received this from the
Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice tonight:
For Peace, Speaker: Yonatan Shapira
Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7:00-8:00 PM
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR),
Broadway, Nyack, NY.
Shapira, a former Israeli Air Force officer, is involved in
forming an Israeli/Palestinian organization called
"Combatants for Peace", which will connect former Israeli
and Palestinian armed combatants in a new initiative for
nonviolent social justice.
is jointly sponsored by FOR and RCP&J.
The Great IRR Call Up Fiasco Rolls On:
See Any Signs The Army Couldn’t Have Survived Without Me”
January 23, 2006 By Michelle
Tan, Army Times staff writer [Excerpts]
The Army began calling up IRR
soldiers in the summer of 2004, reflecting the strain of
providing enough manpower to fight the wars in Iraq and
As of Dec. 11, the Army had
called up 7,380 IRR soldiers.
Of those, 4,417 were supposed
to report for duty by Dec. 11, but 383 had not and the Army
hadn’t been able to find them. Eighty others did not report
even though they had been contacted, so the Army is moving
to discharge them.
Sgt. Chris Bray, who’s in
Kuwait for a year with 2nd Battalion, 128th Infantry
Regiment, of the Wisconsin National Guard. a 37-year-old
from Los Angeles, said he, too, found disorganization when
he showed up for duty.
Bray was in the active Army
from 1999 to 2001, and his eight-year service obligation is
up in April 2007.
2005, Bray was working as a teaching assistant and finishing
his master’s degree at the University of California-Los
Angeles. He had plans to start on a doctorate degree but
On June 16,
he left home and reported for duty at Benning, where he sat
through a variety of briefings.
hygiene in a combat zone is one I’ll never forget for the
rest of my life,” he said sarcastically.
After a month at Benning, he,
like Piccolo, was shipped to Camp Shelby, where it started
all over again with briefings, medical and dental screenings
“We all showed up thinking we
were going to Iraq,” Bray said. “It took five months before
we got to Kuwait.” There, Bray works in a training office,
where he keeps track of vehicles.
a list of serial numbers,” he said.
It’s a far cry from being in
his orders wasn’t an option, but Bray still said he’s
“I could be
working on a dissertation right now,” he said. “I would be
home with my wife. When I look at the work I do, I don’t
see any signs the Army couldn’t have survived without me.
But, what the hell? I’m here, and I’ll do the job.”
The entire experience reeks of
a lack of planning, Bray said.
a few thousand of us to the wall to see how many would
stick,” he said. “I do think the shoddiness, the sloppiness
with which the Army handled the recall list needs to be
he has written letters about his experience to Lt. Gen.
James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve; officials at the
Defense Department; and members of the Senate and House
Armed Services committees.
that someone will bother to inquire, to look at the planning
process, and to figure out how the Army planned this and
what went wrong, because from here, it looks like they
didn’t plan it at all.
(obeying the mobilization order) as a duty, and I would
assume that everyone would regard it as a duty, including
the Army. But apparently not.”
Caught Lying Again:
DU Found At
[Thanks to Shirley H. Young,
Veterans For Peace, who found this.]
January 6, 2006 By Rod Ohira,
Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer
environmental and native Hawaiian groups are accusing the
Army of misleading the public after the groups discovered
that a heavy metal known as depleted uranium was recovered
at Schofield Barracks' range complex.
news conference yesterday, the groups said the Army has
repeatedly assured the public that the heavy metal was never
used in Hawaii.
"These recent revelations,
then, indicate that the Army is either unaware of its DU
(depleted uranium) and chemical weapons use or has
intentionally misled the public. Both possibilities are
deeply troubling," said Kyle Kajihiro, program director of
the American Friends Service Committee and member of
Some members of the various
groups read about the depleted uranium in e-mails detailing
documents submitted in federal court in December, showing
that heavy metals were found at Schofield Barracks' range
complex area during clearing efforts.
The clearing was being done to
prepare for the expansion of additional training space and
the construction of a rifle and pistol range for a new
Stryker brigade combat team.
Depleted uranium is a
byproduct of radioactive enriched uranium and has been used
by the U.S. military in bullets and other weapons designed
to pierce armor. Some researchers suspect exposure to
depleted uranium might have caused chronic fatigue and other
symptoms in veterans of the first Gulf War, but there is no
conclusive evidence it has.
In a letter sent yesterday to
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of the 25th
Infantry Division, Kajihiro wrote that several groups were
outraged by the use of the uranium, which they say poses a
public health hazard even in small amounts.
community discussion on the Stryker Brigade
environmental impact statement in 2004, Army officials
assured the public that depleted uranium was never used
in Hawaii, Kajihiro said.
tail assemblies from spotting rounds made of D-38
uranium alloy, also called depleted uranium, were
recovered in August by Zapata Engineering, a contractor
hired by the military to clear the Schofield Barracks'
range impact area of unexploded ordnance and scrap
metal, according to a news release from the 25th
In an e-mail dated Sept. 19, a
contractor told an Army official at Schofield: "We have
found much that we did not expect, including recent find of
depleted uranium. We are pulling tons of frag and scrap out
of the craters in the western area to the point where it has
basically turned into a manual sifting operation.
not been a CWM site, we would have moved mechanical sifters
in about 5 weeks ago but the danger is just too high."
Dr. Fred Dodge, Waianae
resident and member of Malama Makua, said, "DU is a heavy
metal similar to lead. It can be toxic particularly to the
kidneys," and could cause lung cancer if the metal in dust
form is inhaled.
The tail assemblies are about
4 inches in length and an inch in diameter. Army officials
said they are from subcomponent remnants from training
rounds associated with an obsolete weapon system that was on
Oahu in the 1960s.
Set Up A Press Section At Huge Public KIA Funeral:
Then Sue To
Get $ For Invasion of Privacy!
January 09, 2006 Army Times
A judge has ruled against
relatives of an Oklahoma soldier slain in Iraq who sued
Harper’s magazine for publishing a photograph of the
soldier’s body in an open casket.
Brinlee’s father and grandfather claimed publishing the
photo was “so extreme and outrageous as to go beyond all
bounds of decency.”
District Judge Frank Seay noted that the photo was taken at
a funeral attended by about 1,200 people, including
“If the plaintiffs wanted to grieve in private, they should
not have held a public funeral and had a section reserved
for the press,” Seay wrote in his ruling.
Everyone who attended the May
2004 funeral could gaze upon the slain soldier lying on a
white pillow, with his white-gloved hands folded over his
Went To Jail:
To Enlist So That We Might Replace Young People”
January 16, 2006 by Joan Wile,
17, eighteen grandmothers were arrested at the Times Square
Recruiting Booth and incarcerated. We were charged with
disorderly conduct as a result of our attempting to enlist
and, when denied entrance, sitting down in front of the
Why did we
People ask us if we have
grandchildren fighting in Iraq. Actually, none of us have,
but that's really beside the point.
We are concerned for
grandchildren in the generic sense. They are all our
grandkids, and we grieve for each young person who dies or
is maimed as a result of our tragically ill-conceived,
illegal occupation of Iraq.
"Ill" is an
apt prefix, for the unfeeling monsters who perpetrated this
crime are sick to their very cores. Otherwise,
how could they have sent all these brave kids off to die for
what we are convinced they knew was a lie?
How could they have launched
bombs killing thousands of innocent Iraqis, many of them
We don't for one moment think,
nor did we ever, that they were persuaded by faulty
intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction in
Saddam's arsenal. WE were the ones with such weapons, which
rained mass destruction on the hapless Iraqi people.
to enlist so that we might replace young people, enabling
them to come home. After all, we've all lived long lives,
so better us than them.
judging from the way the recruiters inside the facility
cowered behind their desks when they saw us at the door,
imagine how the insurgents would run when they saw us
Failing enlistment, which we
knew was not really a viable option, we hoped that our
actions would draw attention to the wisdom of we
grandmothers that this war must end-- now! We are positive
that nothing is being gained by our continued presence in
that beleaguered nation. The argument that we are needed to
defeat the insurgency just doesn’t hold up inasmuch as the
insurgency keeps growing the longer we are there. It's very
simple, really. Why go on and on fighting a losing battle
with more and more of our youths being thrown away in the
to me that we old broads knew all along that this war was
totally unjustified and was doomed to be a disaster, and yet
all our great statesmen and politicians are just beginning
to realize that it may have been a mistake.
future, therefore, my advice is "Listen to your Granny."
Granny knows best.
is the Founder/Director of Grandmothers Against the War and
member of the Granny Jailbirds 18. Email to:
01/22/06 AP & (KUNA) & The
Leaf Chronicle & Reuters
policemen were killed and nine were wounded in a pre-dawn
roadside bomb blast that targeted their patrol in Baqouba,
35 miles northeast of Baghdad, the police
The source said that the bomb
exploded in the middle of the Baqouba City while the police
vehicle was driving near by and that the injured policemen
were transported to the Baqouba Hospital.
police on Sunday said a car bomb blew up near a police
patrol in southern Iraq. A source told
KUNA the explosion took place near the Aqsa Mosque, in the
town of Cidia in Baghdad, but declined to reveal information
about the victims.
another Iraqi policeman was injured today when a bomb
exploded near his police vehicle in Shaqaq Al-Ghaz area
south of Kirkuk city, an Iraqi police
explosion ripped through the As Siniyah city government
building Thursday evening. The explosion in the small city
west of Bayji reportedly leveled the building, but no
injuries were reported to Coalition Forces.
Four Iraqi policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb went
off near their patrol in the northern city of Mosul, police
Three policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb went off
near their patrol in Hawija, southwest of
the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
second point worth mentioning, of course, is that an
insurgent group that operates its own clandestine TV
studio and runs promos for future programming is not
exactly a fly-by-night operation, constantly on the run
from safe house to safe house.
[Thanks to Don Bacon, The
Smedley Butler Society, who sent this in.]
January 13, 2006 Billmon.org
Fans of Paddy Chayefsky's
incredibly prophetic '70 satire Network may remember the Mao
Tse-tung Hour: the terrorist-of-the-week reality show
produced by his fictional UBS news division:
“Diana: Look, we've got a
bunch of hobgoblin radicals called the Ecumenical Liberation
Army who go around taking home movies of themselves robbing
banks. Maybe they'll take movies of themselves kidnapping
heiresses, hijacking 747's, bombing bridges, assassinating
ambassadors. We'd open each week's segment with that
authentic footage, hire a couple of writers to write some
story behind that footage, and we've got ourselves a
Given that Paddy's dark vision
of the future of broadcast journalism has since become the
programming bible for an entire generation of cable news
executives, I guess it's no great surprise that the Mao
Tse-Tung Hour has also reached the little screen, but in
Iraq, not the U.S., and suitably updated to reflect both
modern political realities and the rise of the Internet.
Iraqi blogger Nibras Kazimi (a
neocon fan of Ahmed Chalabi, but also an increasingly
disillusioned witness to Iraq's "democratization:") tells
the story at his blog, Talisman Gate:
“Remember the days when a
bunch of ragtag hoodlums in ski-masks and training suits
would hover over a hapless victim to read their jihadist
“Remember those same thugs
brandishing Kalashnikovs and RPG-7s under crackling
fluorescent lighting, with a tattered banner advertising
their group’s name and slogan as a backdrop?
times have changed if the latest video installment from the
“Media Division of the Jaish Ansar Al-Sunna” is any measure
to go by. In this 30 minute video, we see two individuals,
Abu Munther Al-Ansari, and Abu Ahmad Al-Baghdadi,
comfortably sitting in a studio modeled along a talk-show
format. Yes, they are SITTING IN A STUDIO!
not talking about two stools and a desk; this is a modern
studio with ample lighting, three camera angles and nice
woodwork. They’ve even got the name of their organization,
Jaish Ansar Al-Sunna (‘JAS,’ the no. 2 organization on the
terrorist charts after Al-Qaeda in Iraq), engraved up at the
they were real propaganda professionals, the terrorists
would have had multiple copies of some trite but catchy
slogan -- "Killing the Crusaders" -- posted as the backdrop
to the set, like Bush at one of his "Saving Social Security"
town hall meetings. But even if the production values are
still a little rough, the insurgents clearly see ratings
potential in the talk show format:
“Abu Munther sits sporting a
black blazer and a white turtleneck, even though the
ski-mask is still a mandatory part of the wardrobe, and he’s
performing the role of the host of this setting. Today’s
guest is Abu Ahmed from the Military Council of JAS, who is
underdressed for the occasion because ‘I didn’t know that
this was going to happen,’ as he apologetically explains
towards the end.
“Talk, however, doesn't hold
that prized young-armed-male demographic. So it isn't long
before Abu Munther and his guest switch to the bang bang
shoot 'em up:
We are shown a montage of
JAS’s ‘Greatest Hits,’ which run the gamut from blowing up
Humvees in Ramadi to firing-off C5K missiles in Samarra. We
are shown about twenty such operations, including one in
which an observation tower within a US base is blown-up in
Ahmad explains that JAS has spies operating inside US
military installations. These spies are equipped with
GPS navigation devices and their job is to deliver the
coordinates of sensitive points within these far-flung
bases to those rigging up missiles or setting-up mortar
attacks. We even glimpse a scene of a man sitting down
with a calculator and a notepad making preparations for
just such an attack.
Then it's back to the studio
for the wind up:
half-hour interview, interspersed with footage and
commentary, ends with a customary handshake and a plug for
future programming. End credits include ‘Pray for us’ and
‘Copyright is reserved for any Muslim, 2005.’”
Insurgents: You hear that,
CNN? And don't give us any of that "fair use" bullshit or
you'll be hearing from our lawyers.
gotta admit, that's a pretty slick piece of work, especially
for a bunch of desperate terrorists who are relentlessly
being hunted down and killed by the U.S. Army and its heroic
Iraqi allies in their drive to total victory. That probably
explains the wardrobe problems.
as he is, Abu Zarqawi isn't going to let a rival network
steal audience share so easily. According to Kazimi at
Talisman Gate, he put up the first installment of his own
new show the same week that the JAS version of 60 Minutes
(well, 30 Minutes) debuted. I guess it must have been sweeps
However, being more of a Fox
Network/Spike TV kind of guy, Zarqawi skips the talk show
wrapper and sticks with his classic reality TV formula:
confession followed by execution:
So what did
(Al Qaeda in Iraq) come up with? Their own version of Cops
. . . a response to a popular version of that show being
shown on the official Iraqi TV network, Al-Iraqiyya, and
called “Terrorism in the Grip of Justice.”
time around, Zarqawi’s Omar Brigade (set-up to kill and
capture members of SCIRI’s Badr Brigade) showcases a bunch
of captured Badrists and has them utter their confessions on
As with most reality shows,
you already know how this one will end:
Abu Zemen, whose confession is
shown towards the very end after we hear voice-overs from
Zarqawi condemning Shias in general, lists the goals of the
Badr Brigade as follows: to distribute drugs, to kill Sunnis
and rape their women, and to kill Sunni university
professors, doctors, and ex-officers.
ends with Abu Zemen being shot in the back of the head, as
well as having his house blown up.
Kiefer Sutherland top that.
Now it seems to me there are a
few things worth noting about the ratings war in Iraq.
One is that
the terrorists appear to be getting a much bigger bang for
their propaganda buck than the U.S. military is for its.
With all due respects to the Lincoln Group, planting phony
op-eds in Iraqi newspapers and blasting out text messages
praising the democratic process is pretty thin gruel
compared to exploding Humvees and videotaped executions.
(Programming suggestion to JAS: Since you like to use
highlights so much, why not take a look at the NFL Today
point worth mentioning, of course, is that an insurgent
group that operates its own clandestine TV studio and runs
promos for future programming is not exactly a fly-by-night
operation, constantly on the run from safe house to safe
To me, it's
just another sign that the Sunni insurgency, or at least the
homegrown parts, is evolving into a complex enterprise, one
that has a mix of clandestine, semi-clandestine components,
as well as public "front" organizations.
The result might be something like the old IRA/Sinn Fein
apparatus, with a similar strategy of combining guns and
In any case, the metamorphosis
of the Sunni insurgency into a multi-faceted, multi-layered
resistance movement makes counterinsurgency an even more
complicated task, and makes the U.S. military's emphasis on
brute force (i.e. dropping 500 lb bombs on safe houses and
leveling entire neighborhoods to chase out a few hundred rag
tag guerrillas) even more inappropriate.
The strategy and politics of
it aside, though, the most striking thing about the "Abu
Zarqawi Hour" is how it demonstrates the deranged, almost
hallucinatory, quality of our 21st century global village,
in which the remaining boundaries between reality,
propaganda and entertainment are all being rapidly erased,
just as Paddy Chayefsky predicted 30 years ago.
It may not be a revolution,
exactly, but it is being televised.
The Great Iraqi Pipeline Repair Follies Roll On:
Could Repair It Faster Than They Could Destroy It, You'd Win
The Battle. But You Can't”
January 22, 2006 Farah
Stockman, Boston Globe Staff [Excerpts]
could repair it faster than they could destroy it, you'd win
the battle. But you can't," said Lowell Feld, analyst with
the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the US
Department of Energy.
Sabotage has wreaked havoc on
domestic oil consumption, as well.
In one case, an insurgent crawled 120 feet inside a newly
installed pipeline to set an explosion that took two weeks
insurgents are still around just looking for something to
blow up," he said. ''They can't blow it up here, because we
have put it in under the river. But I'm sure once they
start the pipeline back up, they are going to have problems"
with other locations.
“Reconstruction” Funds Went To Buy Armored Cars For
Collaborators And Build 10 New Prisons
January 20, 2006 David
Isenberg and William Fisher, Atimes.com
At least $2.5 billion
earmarked for infrastructure and schools was diverted to
building up a security force. Funds originally intended to
repair the electricity grid and sewage and sanitation system
were used to train special bomb-squad units and a
The US has
also shifted funds to build 10 new prisons to keep pace with
the insurgency, and safe houses and armored cars for Iraqi
Hundreds of millions of
dollars from the reconstruction fund were also used to hold
elections and for four changes of government, and to
establish a criminal justice system, including $128 million
to examine several mass graves of Saddam Hussein's alleged
to the diversion of funds to other types of projects, the
reconstruction efforts have been plagued by substantial
corruption and overcharging by contractors.
Another problem hindering
reconstruction is a familiar one: scandal.
18 months after the Pentagon disbanded the Coalition
Provisional Authority that ran Iraq, neither the Justice
Department nor a special inspector general has moved to
recover large sums (in the region of $8 billion) suspected
of disappearing through fraud and price gouging in
reconstruction. Earlier audits by the IG found that
oversight of contractors by the authority was so lax that
widespread abuse was likely.
Welcome To Liberated Iraq:
Man With The Camera First”
January 16, 2006 Baghdad
Abrahem al-Mashhadani is an Iraqi journalist arrested or
better say "abducted" from his home and family by US
occupation forces since August, 2005.
released today after five months without any charge, I found
this Arabic interview with Ali explaining his experience in
different American prisons in Iraq.
It is not
available in English so this is the translation:
For five months I have been
move to different prisons, I tried to keep my strength and
hide my weakness from the American soldiers, I tried to
support my fellow (brothers) citizens who imprisoned with me
in case they show some weakness.
Now I am free all what I want
to do is to be alone and cry as much as I can.
Until now I don’t know the
reason behind my arrest they found photos in my camera,
pictures of every day’s gun battle between the Americans and
gunmen from Ramadi.
They took me and my brother a
collage student who have nothing to do with the whole
matter. They took me Abu-Ghraib and then they transferred
me to Boka prison near Basra.
integration they asked questions about names and groups I
have no connection with, they asked me if I have any
connection with Hizb-Allah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine,
Tawheed wal-Jihad in Iraq, Islamic army or "the Green Army"
which I never heard about.
integrators didn’t hide their irritation on journalists
in Iraq, especially Iraqi journalists behavior who
always reports about gun fights but not on the Americans
achievements in Iraq.
hesitate to tell me “if there are two men, one of them
holding a camera and another holding a R.P.G., their
instructions will be to shoot the man with the camera
Now I am trying to heel and
return quickly as possible to my profession.
Welcome To Liberated Baghdad:
Say They Have Spent Money, Where Is It?”
January 15, 2006 Doug Smith
and Borzou Daragahi, LA Times Staff Writers
Although U.S. officials say
the projects have given a needed jolt to the economy, most
Iraqis have seen little effect in their lives.
"If they say they have spent
money, where is it?" asked Salah Qaragholi, 30, a barber in
the poor neighborhood called Zafraniya. "Where are the
projects? The electricity is only four hours a day."
roads are an obstacle course of barriers, potholes and
debris. Many government and office buildings are either
still gutted or strung with webs of electrical wire
connecting to generators that run 12 hours on good days. A
brown haze fouls the air and pools of sewage overflow dot
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Traitors Approved Pentagon Domestic Spying Program:
Butter And Jelly Sandwiches A Threat To National Security
demonstrators wore papier-mache masks and handed out
free peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton
employees as they left work.
idea, according to organizer Scott Parkin, was to call
attention to allegations that the company was
overcharging on a food contract for troops in Iraq. "It
was tongue-in-street political theater," Parkin says.
that's not how the Pentagon saw it. To U.S. Army
analysts at the top-secret Counterintelligence Field
Activity (CIFA), the peanut-butter protest was regarded
as a potential threat to national security.
Jan. 30, 2006 By Michael
Isikoff, Newsweek [Excerpts]
The demonstration seemed
harmless enough. Late on a June afternoon in 2004, a motley
group of about 10 peace activists showed up outside the
Houston headquarters of Halliburton, the giant military
contractor once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. They
were there to protest the corporation's supposed "war
demonstrators wore papier-mache masks and handed out free
peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton employees
as they left work.
idea, according to organizer Scott Parkin, was to call
attention to allegations that the company was
overcharging on a food contract for troops in Iraq. "It
was tongue-in-street political theater," Parkin says.
that's not how the Pentagon saw it.
Army analysts at the top-secret Counterintelligence
Field Activity (CIFA), the peanut-butter protest was
regarded as a potential threat to national security.
Created three years ago by the
Defense Department, CIFA's role is "force protection;
"tracking threats and terrorist plots against military
installations and personnel inside the United States. In
May 2003, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy Defense secretary,
authorized a fact-gathering operation code-named TALON,
short for Threat and Local Observation Notice, that would
collect "raw information" about "suspicious incidents." The
data would be fed to CIFA to help the Pentagon's "terrorism
threat warning process," according to an internal Pentagon
document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the
Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA's database.
It's not clear why the
Pentagon considered the protest worthy of attention,
although organizer Parkin had previously been arrested while
demonstrating at ExxonMobil headquarters (the charges were
dropped). But there are now questions about whether CIFA
exceeded its authority and conducted unauthorized spying on
innocent people and organizations.
The number of reports with names of U.S. persons could be in
the thousands, says a senior Pentagon official who asked not
be named because of the sensitivity of the subject.
But as the
new information about CIFA shows, the scope of the U.S.
government's spying on Americans may be far more extensive
than the public realizes.
It isn't clear how many groups
and individuals were snagged by CIFA's dragnet. Details
about the program, including its size and budget, are
A Pentagon spokesman declined
to say why a private company like Halliburton would be
deserving of CIFA's protection. But in the past, Defense
Department officials have said that the "force protection"
mission includes military contractors since soldiers and
Defense employees work closely with them and therefore could
be in danger.
CIFA researchers apparently
cast a wide net and had a number of surveillance methods,
both secretive and mundane, at their disposal. An internal
CIFA PowerPoint slide presentation recently obtained by
William Arkin, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who
writes widely about military affairs, gives some idea how
the group operated. The presentation, which Arkin provided
to NEWSWEEK, shows that CIFA analysts had access to
law-enforcement reports and sensitive military and U.S.
(The group's motto appears at
the bottom of each PowerPoint slide: "Counterintelligence
'to the Edge'.")
organization also gleaned data from "open source Internet
monitoring." In other words, they surfed the Web.
That may have been how the
Pentagon came to be so interested in a small gathering
outside Halliburton. On June 23, 2004, a few days before
the Halliburton protest, an ad for the event appeared on
houston.indymedia.org, a Web site for lefty Texas activists.
"Stop the war profiteers," read the posting. "Bring out the
kids, relatives, Dick Cheney, and your favorite corporate
pigs at the trough as we will provide food for free."
later, on Oct. 25, the TALON team reported another possible
threat to national security. The source: a Miami antiwar
Web page. "Website advertises protest planned at local
military recruitment facility," the internal report warns.
The database entry refers to
plans by a south Florida group called the Broward Anti-War
Coalition to protest outside a strip-mall recruiting office
in Lauderhill, Fla.
TALON entry lists the upcoming protest as a "credible"
threat. As it turned out, the entire event consisted of
15 to 20 activists waving a giant BUSH LIED sign. No
one was arrested. "It's very interesting that the U.S.
military sees a domestic peace group as a threat," says
Paul Lefrak, a librarian who organized the protest.
a close reading of internal CIFA documents suggests the
agency may be expanding its Internet monitoring, and wants
to be as surreptitious as possible.
has contracted to buy "identity masking" software that
would allow the agency to create phony Web identities
and let them appear to be located in foreign countries,
according to a copy of the contract with Computer
Sciences Corp. (The firm declined to comment.)
Last week Democrats on the
Senate intelligence committee pushed for an inquiry into
CIFA's activities and who it's watching. "This is a
significant Pandora's box (Pentagon officials) don't want
opened," says Arkin.
looking at is hints of what they're doing."
As far as
the Pentagon is concerned, that means we've already seen too
January 21, 2006, From AK,
Veterans For Peace
Ronald Reagan - divorced the
mother of two of his children to marry Nancy Reagan who bore
him a daughter 7 months after the marriage.
Bob Dole - divorced the mother
of his child, who had nursed him through the long recovery
from his war wounds.
Newt Gingrich - divorced his
wife who was dying of cancer
Dick Armey - House Majority
Leader - divorced
Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas -
Gov. John Engler of Michigan -
Gov. Pete Wilson of California
George Will - divorced
Sen. Lauch Faircloth -
Rush Limbaugh - Rush and his
current wife Marta have six marriages and four divorces
Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia - Not
yet 50 years old, Barr has been married three times. He had
the audacity to author and push the "Defense of Marriage
Act." (The current joke making the rounds on Capitol Hill
is "Bob Barr...WHICH marriage are you defending?”)
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato of New
York - divorced 3 X's
Sen. John Warner of Virginia -
divorced (once married to Liz Taylor.)
Gov. George Allen of Virginia
Henry Kissinger - divorced
Rep. Helen Chenoweth of Idaho
Sen. John McCain of Arizona -
Rep. John Kasich of Ohio -
Rep. Susan Molinari of New
York (Republican National Convention Keynote Speaker) -
homosexuals destroy marriage. That's the job of
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Replies confidential. Send to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on
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