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GI Special 4G23: Dying In Vain - July 23, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

7.23.06

Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 4G23:

 

 

[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]

 

 

Dying In Vain In Iraq:

The Irrefutable Proof

 

Comment: T

 

Acting “in vain” means carrying out some activity that has not the slightest hope or possibility of success.

 

Thanks to the report below, we now have irrefutable proof that every U.S. troop killed in Iraq is dying in vain.

 

It’s reported below that 7,200 U.S. troops are participating in the action supposed to hold down Baghdad, a city of 5 million, about equally divided between the millions in Sadr City, who hate the occupation, and the population of the Sunni areas, who hate the occupation. 

 

Let’s do the math one more time. 

 

If every single troop in the U.S. occupation force in Baghdad participating in this mission was on duty seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and every single one was combat, not support personnel, which is absurd, you would still have only 3,600 U.S. troops on duty at any given moment to hold down 5 million pissed off Iraqis.  And that’s a world class example of a task that has not the slightest hope or possibility of success, which is what dying “in vain” means: dying pointlessly, uselessly, in an effort that has no hope of success. 

 

The question is simple:  Do you want to die in vain so Bush will look good and can go around making speeches about your heroic sacrifice?  When he, and every general in the Pentagon with an IQ greater than a turnip knows you’re dying in vain?  Do you think 3,600 Iraqi troops could hold down Chicago? 

 

This is a suicide mission, pure and simple, to try and hold off disaster until after the 2006 Congressional elections.  That means your blood, maybe your life, or maybe just a leg, or an eye, is being traded for votes by the political traitors in DC.  When the troops in Vietnam achieved an understanding of what they were being used for, they decided against the war, made their views known in various ways, and ended the war.  It is not possible to continue a war without the cooperation of the troops.

 

21 July 2006 By Julian E. Barnes, The Los Angeles Times

 

[Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV] suggested that the military was considering incorporating elements of the strategy used in Ramadi into the Baghdad security plan. U.S. forces have ringed Ramadi with checkpoints and built combat outposts in troublesome parts of the city.

 

However, Ramadi is a city of 400,000, and conducting a similar operation in Baghdad, a city of more than 5 million, would probably require far more troops.

 

There are about 42,500 Iraqi security troops and 7,200 U.S. military personnel in Baghdad participating in the operation.

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

MND B SOLDIER KILLED BY ROADSIDE BOMB

 

7/22/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 06-07-02C & AFP

 

BAGHDAD:  A Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 9:17 a.m. today when his vehicle was struck by an improvised-explosive device in eastern Baghdad.

 

Baghdad awoke to the sound of several loud explosions, at least two of which were bombs targeted at US military convoys, according to an Iraqi defence official.

 

 

REALLY BAD IDEA:

NO MISSION;

HOPELESS WAR:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

A U.S. soldier at the scene of a car bomb attack in Mosul July 5, 2006.  REUTERS/Khaleed al-Mousily (IRAQ)

 

 

“Another” U.S. Soldier Killed

 

7.22.06 By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

 

Another American soldier died Saturday evening when gunmen attacked his patrol with small arms fire, the military said.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

Two Canadian Soldiers Dead,

Eight Injured In Bomb Attacks

 

July 22, 2006 By Ethan Baron, CanWest News Service & By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer

 

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan

 

Celebration turned to grief for Canadian troops after a pair of bombers killed two soldiers and wounded eight on Saturday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, as their armoured convoy neared its home base at the end of a major phase of combat operations.

 

The first blast, from a vehicle laden with explosives, killed Cpl. Francisco Gomez, 44, an anti-armour specialist from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, who was driving the Bison armoured vehicle targeted by the bomber's vehicle. Cpl. Jason Patrick Warren, 29, of the Black Watch in Montreal was also killed.

 

One injured soldier, assessed to be in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries, was flown to a military hospital in Germany, for treatment not available in Afghanistan.

 

Two wounded soldiers were kept in hospital for observation, and five were released from hospital Saturday night and are expected to return to duties shortly. 

 

The soldiers were part of a returning convoy of Canadian soldiers who were destined to return to Canada within weeks, their tour of duty in Afghanistan complete.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

Iraq Troop Cuts End Now:

Silly General Casey Promises U.S. Will Make Sure “There Are Adequate Forces Available For The Iraqis To Succeed In Baghdad”

Drama queen Casey overacting while he tells reporters silly things that make no sense.  (AFP/Getty Images/File/Win McNamee)

 

[Thanks to David Honish and PB, who sent this in.]

 

July 22, 2006 By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is moving ahead with scheduled troop deployments to Iraq next month as the U.S. military struggles to gain control of the escalating violence in Baghdad, according to a senior defense official.

 

It also underscores the difficulties in quelling the sectarian fighting and reflects remarks by the top U.S. commander in Iraq that he may shift more soldiers into Baghdad.

 

With violence rising, the United States is moving to bolster American troop strength in the Baghdad area, putting on hold plans to draw down on the 127,000-member U.S. military mission in Iraq.

 

As units in Iraq prepare for their scheduled departure, military leaders had considered not sending all of the units that had been planned to replace them.  But that idea has been put on hold, at least for now, according to the official.

 

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions about troop decisions were private.

 

Thousands more troops have been summoned to the capital to help quell the violence, and the top commander there, Gen. George Casey, said the U.S. would make sure "there are adequate forces available for the Iraqis to succeed in Baghdad."  [From another point of view, he’s right.  The U.S. Imperial government has already made certain there are “adequate forces available for the Iraqis to succeed in Baghdad.”  Those forces are the Iraqi armed resistance to the U.S. occupation.  They’re succeeding very well.]

 

Among the units scheduled to deploy to Iraq later this summer are the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y.

 

There are about 127,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and military leaders have said they hoped to reduce that to about 100,000 by year's end.  U.S. troop levels in Iraq have dropped from a peak of about 160,000 late last fall.

 

But in a reflection of the increasing violence, one brigade that had been stationed in Kuwait as a reserve force earlier this year is now almost entirely in Iraq, and at least one of its battalions was sent to Baghdad to bolster security.

 

 

VA Dumping Brain Injured Soldiers On Their Families;

Follow-Up Care MIA

 

July 14, 2006 By Rick Maze, Army Times staff writer [Excerpts]

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs to do a better job in managing treatment for service members and veterans with brain injuries, especially for those facing long recoveries, according to a new report from the VA inspector general.

 

The report, released Thursday, said the VA needs to improve how it manages care for those with long-term needs, especially helping family members.  The findings are based on interviews with 52 patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, including some who still suffered some degree of impairment up to 16 months after their initial injury.

 

In some cases, injured troops were not clear about their military status between the time of injury and their discharge because of a lack of coordination.

 

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii, ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said the report shows the VA is doing a good job through surgery and initial treatment but care falls apart for some when they return home.

 

At that point, access to continuing care can be difficult, with patients and their families needing help to navigate the system, he said.

 

Among the problems were not getting therapy, and difficulty in making follow-up appointments and trying to get prescriptions refilled.  “The IG found that VA does an excellent job of caring for service members at its specialty hospitals but fell short when the patient moves home,” Akaka said in a statement.

 

“These men and women are quite young and are living with brain injuries for the rest of their lives.  VA must do more than simply send them back to their communities.”

 

The IG report said families face a great burden and need more help.

 

“We found that families often provide heroic support for injured service members, but we also found that they frequently do so with limited assistance,” the report said.

 

It suggested the VA needs to provide more help for families or other long-time caregivers to prevent unnecessary problems getting treatment.

 

 

Field-Expedient Bench Rest

 

July 22, 2006, Joe Balshone, Firebase-Humor [Excerpt]

 

French sniper training: field expedient bench rest.

 

Note: This is a valid psychological two-part procedure.  First you moon your enemy, making him furious, and when he stands up to give you the finger you have a MUCH larger target that's easier to hit!

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

GET THE MESSAGE?

Members of the Mahdi Army burn U.S. and Israeli flags during a protest denouncing the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, July 21, 2006, in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, Iraq.  (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

 

 

Assorted Resistance Action

 

7.22.06 AFP & By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer & 21 July 2006 By Julian E. Barnes, The Los Angeles Times

 

In Baquba north of Baghdad gunmen ambushed a police patrol, killing three officers

 

One Iraqi army soldier was killed and four were wounded in a bomb attack on their vehicle in Kut, usually regarded as a haven of relative calm in strife-torn Iraq, police said.

 

Another policeman was shot dead in the town of Amara and a soldier was killed when a bomb exploded at his house in Mussayib, both south of Baghdad.

 

10 Iraqi soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb struck a convoy in Karmah, west of Fallujah in the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province, police Lt. Ahmed Ali said.

 

Thirty-one Iraqi soldiers have been killed in Hawija in the last five weeks, the military said.

 

The security operation in Baghdad has taken a heavy toll on Iraqi police and soldiers. U.S. military officials said that 92 Iraqi police and soldiers had been killed and 444 injured in the first four weeks of the operation.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head.  The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent.  The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country.  This truth escapes millions.

 

                                                                                         Mike Hastie

                                                                                         U.S. Army Medic

                                                                                         Vietnam 1970-71

                                                                                         December 13, 2004

 

 

“Repeated Assaults Against Prepared Positions Are Simply Not Something The Israelis Can Do, Because They Cannot Afford Casualties”

 

[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]

 

07.21.2006 Stratfor

 

The ground war has begun.  Several Israeli brigades now appear to be operating between the Lebanese border and the Litani River. According to reports, Hezbollah forces are dispersed in multiple bunker complexes and are launching rockets from these and other locations.

 

Hezbollah's strategy appears to be threefold.

 

First, force Israel into costly attacks against prepared fortifications.

 

Second, draw Israeli troops as deeply into Lebanon as possible, forcing them to fight on extended supply lines.

 

Third, move into an Iraqi-style insurgency from which Israel -- out of fear of a resumption of rocket attacks -- cannot withdraw, but which the Israelis also cannot endure because of extended long-term casualties.

 

This appears to have been a carefully planned strategy, built around a threat to Israeli cities that Israel can't afford.  The war has begun at Hezbollah's time and choosing.

 

Israel is caught between three strategic imperatives.

 

First, it must end the threat to Israeli cities, which must involve the destruction of Hezbollah's launch capabilities south of the Litani River.

 

Second, it must try to destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure, which means it must move into the Bekaa Valley and as far as the southern suburbs of Beirut.

 

Third, it must do so in such a way that it is not dragged into a long-term, unsustainable occupation against a capable insurgency.

 

Hezbollah has implemented its strategy by turning southern Lebanon into a military stronghold, consisting of well-designed bunkers that serve both as fire bases and launch facilities for rockets.  The militants appear to be armed with anti-tank weapons and probably anti-aircraft weapons, some of which appear to be of American origin, raising the question of how they were acquired.

 

Hezbollah wants to draw Israel into protracted fighting in this area in order to inflict maximum casualties and to change the psychological equation for both military and political reasons.

 

Israelis historically do not like to fight positional warfare.

 

Their tendency has been to bypass fortified areas, pushing the fight to the rear in order to disrupt logistics, isolate fortifications and wait for capitulation.  

 

This has worked in the past. It is not clear that it will work here.

 

The great unknown is the resilience of Hezbollah's fighters.  To this point, there is no reason to doubt it.  

 

Israel could be fighting the most resilient and well-motivated opposition force in its history.  But the truth is that neither Israel nor Hezbollah really knows what performance will be like under pressure.

 

Simply occupying the border-Litani area will not achieve any of Israel's strategic goals. Hezbollah still would be able to use rockets against Israel.  

 

And even if, for Hezbollah, this area is lost, its capabilities in the Bekaa Valley and southern Beirut will remain intact. Therefore, a battle that focuses solely on the south is not an option for Israel, unless the Israelis feel a defeat here will sap Hezbollah's will to resist.  We doubt this to be the case.

 

The key to the campaign is to understand that Hezbollah has made its strategic decisions.  It will not be fighting a mobile war.

 

Israel has lost the strategic initiative: It must fight when Hezbollah has chosen and deal with Hezbollah's challenge.

 

However, given this, Israel does have an operational choice. It can move in a sequential fashion, dealing first with southern Lebanon and then with other issues. It can bypass southern Lebanon and move into the rear areas, returning to southern Lebanon when it is ready. It can attempt to deal with southern Lebanon in detail, while mounting mobile operations in the Bekaa Valley, in the coastal regions and toward south Beirut, or both at the same time.

 

There are resource and logistical issues involved.  

 

Moving simultaneously on all three fronts will put substantial strains on Israel's logistical capability.  

 

An encirclement westward on the north side of the Litani, followed by a move toward Beirut while the southern side of the Litani is not secured, poses a serious challenge in re-supply.  Moving into the Bekaa means leaving a flank open to the Syrians. We doubt Syria will hit that flank, but then, we don't have to live with the consequences of an intelligence failure. Israel will be sending a lot of force on that line if it chooses that method. Again, since many roads in south Lebanon will not be secure, that limits logistics.

 

Israel is caught on the horns of a dilemma.  Hezbollah has created a situation in which Israel must fight the kind of war it likes the least -- attritional, tactical operations against prepared forces -- or go to the war it prefers, mobile operations, with logistical constraints that make these operations more difficult and dangerous.

 

Moreover, if it does this, it increases the time during which Israeli cities remain under threat.  Given clear failures in appreciating Hezbollah's capabilities, Israel must take seriously the possibility that Hezbollah has longer-ranged, anti-personnel rockets that it will use while under attack.

 

Israel has been trying to break the back of Hezbollah resistance in the south through air attack, special operations and probing attacks.  This clearly hasn't worked thus far.

 

That does not mean it won't work, as Israel applies more force to the problem and starts to master the architecture of Hezbollah's tactical and operational structure; however, Israel can't count on a rapid resolution of that problem.

 

The Israelis have by now thought the problem through.  They don't like operational compromises -- preferring highly focused solutions at the center of gravity of an enemy. Hezbollah has tried to deny Israel a center of gravity and may have succeeded, forcing Israel into a compromise position.

 

Repeated assaults against prepared positions are simply not something the Israelis can do, because they cannot afford casualties.  They always have preferred mobile encirclement or attacks at the center of gravity of a defensive position.  But at this moment, viewed from the outside, this is not an option.

 

An extended engagement in southern Lebanon is the least likely path, in our opinion. More likely -- and this is a guess -- is a five-part strategy:

 

1.  Insert airmobile and airborne forces north of the Litani to seal the rear of Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon. Apply air power and engineering forces to reduce the fortifications, and infantry to attack forces not in fortified positions. Bottle them up, and systematically reduce the force with limited exposure to the attackers.

 

2.  Secure roads along the eastern flank for an armored thrust deep into the Bekaa Valley to engage the main Hezbollah force and infrastructure there. This would involve a move from Qiryat Shimona north into the Bekaa, bypassing the Litani to the west, and would probably require sending airmobile and special forces to secure the high ground. It also would leave the right flank exposed to Syria.

 

3.  Use air power and special forces to undermine Hezbollah capabilities in the southern Beirut area.  The Israelis would consider a move into this area after roads through southern Lebanon are cleared and Bekaa relatively secured, moving into the area, only if absolutely necessary, on two axes of attack.

 

4. Having defeated Hezbollah in detail, withdraw under a political settlement shifting defense responsibility to the Lebanese government.

 

5. Do all of this while the United States is still able to provide top cover against diplomatic initiatives that will create an increasingly difficult international environment.

 

There can be many variations on this theme, but these elements are inevitable:

 

1. Hezbollah cannot be defeated without entering the Bekaa Valley, at the very least.

 

2. At some point, resistance in southern Lebanon must be dealt with, regardless of the cost.

 

3. Rocket attacks against northern Israel and even Tel Aviv must be accepted while the campaign unfolds.

 

4. The real challenge will come when Israel tries to withdraw.

 

No. 4 is the real challenge.  Destruction of Hezbollah's infrastructure does not mean annihilation of the force.  If Israel withdraws, Hezbollah or a successor organization will regroup.  If Israel remains, it can wind up in the position the United States is in Iraq. This is exactly what Hezbollah wants.

 

So, Israel can buy time, or Israel can occupy and pay the cost.  One or the other.

 

The other solution is to shift the occupational burden to another power that is motivated to prevent the re-emergence of an anti-Israeli military force -- as that is what Hezbollah has become.  The Lebanese government is the only possible alternative, but not a particularly capable one, reflecting the deep rifts in Lebanon.

 

Israel has one other choice, which is to extend the campaign to defeat Syria as well. Israel can do this, but the successor regime to Syrian President Bashar al Assad likely would be much worse for Israel than al Assad has been.  

 

Israel can imagine occupying Syria; it can't do it.  Syria is too big and the Arabs have learned from the Iraqis how to deal with an occupation.

 

Israel cannot live with a successor to al Assad and it cannot take control of Syria.  It will have to live with al Assad.  And that means an occupation of Lebanon would always be hostage to Syrian support for insurgents.

 

Hezbollah has dealt Israel a difficult hand.  It has thought through the battle problem as well as the political dimension carefully.  

 

Somewhere in this, there has been either an Israeli intelligence failure or a political failure to listen to intelligence.

 

Hezbollah's capabilities have posed a problem for Israel that allowed Hezbollah to start a war at a time and in a way of its choosing.

 

The inquest will come later in Israel.  And Hezbollah will likely be shattered regardless of its planning.  The correlation of forces does not favor it.

 

But if it forces Israel not only to defeat its main force but also to occupy, Hezbollah will have achieved its goals.

 

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

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

While U.S. Troops Die:

Collaborator “Government” Officials Wildly Successful:

In Stealing Money

 

6.7.2006 SBS

 

A committee investigating corruption in Iraq says it has reached unprecedented levels and those responsible are nearly untouchable.

 

Judge Radi Hamza Radi, head of the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity set up in 2004, says corruption has “exploded" since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

 

"It is impossible to bring to justice a high-level official without the permission of his minister and if he is implicated as well, then he does not give this permission," he explained.

 

"The law doesn't allow preliminary investigation and certain high-ranking officials do not authorise it."

 

Judge Radi said that even when the inquiry is approved the official in question is given advance warning and can flee Iraq.

 

 

 

While U.S. Troops Die:

Collaborator “Government” Officials Wildly Successful:

In Poisoning And Starving The Poor

 

11 Jul 2006 (IRIN)

 

Following complaints over the quality of state-distributed food rations, the Ministry of Trade plans to boost quality controls and acquire food items from alternate sources, say officials.

 

The decision to boost the quality of state food rations was taken after doctors in several local hospitals reported numerous cases of food poisoning and malnutrition.  A subsequent investigation found that cases were largely the result of spoiled or inadequate rations.

 

According to Dr Khalil Mehdi, a spokesman for the health ministry’s Nutritional Research Institute, tainted or inadequate food rations can cause malnutrition, particularly in children.  Many of the rationed food items, meanwhile, such as beans and biscuits, lack the vitamins and essential proteins essential for children’s growth. “Some families depend entirely on food rations to survive,” said Mehdi. “If these aren’t nutritious, they’ll suffer from malnutrition and other diseases.”

 

Statistics compiled by the US-based Brookings Institute last year note that almost 60 percent of the total Iraqi population regularly consumes food rations. And 25 percent – roughly 6.5 million people – are “highly dependent” on rations to meet their nutritional needs.

 

Meanwhile, Iraqis continue to bemoan the declining size and quality of the government dole.  “Under the former regime, food rations were of good quality and included 12 items that fed the entire population,” said Abdul-Lattif.  “But today – now that Iraq is considered a ‘free country’ – the situation has worsened, and some foods have actually been removed from the list.”

 

According to Abdul-Lattif, only sugar, rice, flour and cooking oil remain from the original 12 foodstuffs provided by the former government.  Other items, including soaps and lentils, were removed from the list in May as a result of budget cuts.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

 

 

Pathological Scum, Cold Killers, Stinking Terrorists Shits, Mass Murderers?

Take Your Pick:

 

22 July 2006 By Megan Stack, The Los Angeles Times [Excerpts]

 

Tyre, Lebanon: They would bury their dead in mass graves, the doctors decided.

 

The government hospital had run out of room for human remains by Friday. More than 100 bomb-wrecked bodies were already crammed into poorly refrigerated container trucks, and more corpses were pouring in daily.

 

So they built cheap coffins of pine. Bulldozers carved 6-foot-deep trenches into a desolate lot littered with old telephone poles.

 

The stench of death seeped into the warm seaside air as the dead were brought out. Children pinched their noses; the men's faces grew a little stonier. Men and boys jostled on the streets and hoisted themselves up hospital walls to better view the spectacle.

 

There was no opportunity for a more dignified burial: The clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have been too fierce for people to collect their loved ones or hold funerals.

 

"I've been a doctor for years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Nabil Harkus, a slight man who stood over a trio of unidentified corpses and spoke with slow, intense rage.

 

"They can't fight Hezbollah because Hezbollah is not an army," he said, referring to the Israeli warplanes overhead.  "They kill the people because they think it's the only way to stop Hezbollah."

 

"Most times the volunteers are just sitting by themselves and just crying because they can't do anything for these people."

 

Then the hospital workers opened the back doors of the refrigerated truck full of bodies, and the ritual began:  A man in a surgical mask stood in the back of the truck. He shouted out the name of each dead person as he lowered the remains. Whole bodies had been shrouded in blankets, wrapped in sheets of plastic and bound by duct tape. Other bodies, more badly broken, were handed down in plastic trash bags.

 

The man held aloft a baby so tiny it was unclear if it was a late-term fetus or a newborn. Its skin was mottled and purple.

 

As the coffins lined the trenches, a man with white hair began to yell.

 

"This is what Bush wants!  This is what this dog wants!" he cried.  "It's full of children!"  [Unlike some fools with neo-Nazi fantasies that Israel controls U.S. Imperial policy, he understands the U.S. is the master and the Zionist state merely a collection of hired assassins paid for with U.S. money and weapons.]

 

An elderly woman in black perched at the edge of the grave. "My darling Mariam, my only daughter," she moaned.  "Twenty-seven years old, my darling, 27 years old."

 

It was a singsong of grief.  People stood by silently.  In the town, fresh smoke rose into the sky.  Another bomb had fallen.

 

 

Israeli Missiles Hit Convoy Near The Town Of Zahle;

“The Convoy Was Clearly Marked As A Relief Operation”

 

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]

 

July 21, 2006 Brian Whitaker in Beirut, The Guardian [Excerpt]

 

In one attack on Monday, Israeli missiles hit a convoy near the town of Zahle as it approached Beirut from Syria.  Three trucks were damaged or destroyed, as well as four passenger vehicles.

 

Journalists at the scene reported that the trucks had contained supplies of medicines, vegetable oil, sugar and rice.

 

The Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates said in a statement that the convoy had included medical supplies and medicines, as well as several ambulances. Officials in the UAE also said the convoy was clearly marked as a relief operation.

 

[Enough of this whining.  The convoy was attacked because it was a relief operation.  If it got through, fewer dead citizens of Lebanon, thereby interfering with the object of the Zionist attack: killing citizens of Lebanon.  Duh.  T]

 

 

“So Long As Israel Occupies Lebanese Land, Hizbullah Has A Right Under International Law To Repel And Resist That Occupation”

 

7.22.06 BRussells Tribunal.org [Excerpts]

 

The attempts to justify Israel’s state of exception, a racist conception of blood purity and regional supremacy, have poisoned not only the Middle East but world politics as a whole.

 

The resistance operation that was the alleged trigger for Israel’s latest foray of war crimes was legitimate under international law. 

 

Despite Israel’s withdrawal from much of South Lebanon in 2000, it has continued to occupy the Shebaa Farms area, contrary to UN determinations, kept thousands of prisoners, as well as routinely violate Lebanese sovereignty with flyovers by Israeli warplanes.

 

For over a quarter of a century, customary international law has explicitly sanctioned the use of “all means” necessary to achieving effective self-determination for peoples under colonial rule or occupation.

 

There are hundred of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon since 1948 whom Israel refuses the right to return to their homes, as stated in resolution 194 of the General Assembly of the UN. 

 

The nature of Israel’s colonial designs on Lebanon is well established.  So long as Israel occupies Lebanese land, Hizbullah, or any other popular force, has a right under international law to repel and resist that occupation.

 

Nothing in international law prohibits the taking of prisoners of war, which Israel’s captured soldiers are.

 

Regardless of whether Israel likes it or not that its colonial plans are resisted by those it would subjugate, nothing, certainly not morality, allows it to displace its fury upon a civilian population.

 

It is time that the Middle East ceases to be the abyss around which the entire world revolves for the sake of the State of Israel.

 

The attempts to justify Israel’s state of exception, a racist conception of blood purity and regional supremacy, have poisoned not only the Middle East but world politics as a whole.

 

 

Different Masks,

Different Lies:

Poland 1939

Sabra And Chatila 1982

Lebanon & Gaza 2006:

Nationalist Racial Purifiers At Work

Hitler’s SS troops direct artillery against a pocket of resistance during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, Warsaw, Poland, April 19-May 16, 1943.  Russian and U.S. political leaders refused to lift a finger to help Poland’s Jews as they fought back against extermination.

 

July 22, 2006 Robert Fisk in Beirut, The Independent (UK) [Excerpt]

 

Beirutis are tough people and are not easily moved.

 

But at the end of last week, many of them were overcome by a photograph in their daily papers of a small girl, discarded like a broken flower in a field near the border village of Ter Harfa, her feet curled up, her hand resting on her torn blue pyjamas, her eyes — beneath long, soft hair — closed, turned away from the camera.

 

She had been another "terrorist" target of Israel and several people, myself among them, saw a frightening similarity between this picture and the photograph of a Polish girl lying dead in a field beside her weeping sister in 1939.

 

I go home and flick through my files, old pictures of the Israeli invasion of 1982.  There are more photographs of dead children, of broken bridges.  "Israelis Threaten to Storm Beirut", says one headline.  "Israelis Retaliate". "Lebanon At War". "Beirut Under Siege". "Massacre at Sabra and Chatila."

 

Yes, how easily we forget these earlier slaughters.

 

Up to 1700 Palestinians were butchered at Sabra and Shatila by Israel's Christian militia allies in September of 1982 while Israeli troops, as they later testified to Israel's own commission of inquiry, watched the killings.

 

I was there.

 

I stopped counting the corpses when I reached 100.

 

Many of the women had been raped before being knifed or shot.

 

 

The Evil Tree Bears Evil Fruit

 

July 21, 2006 Democracy Now

 

While a large part of the international community opposes Israel's offensive on Lebanon, polls conducted over the past week have shown that between 90 and 95 percent of Israeli Jews remain in support of Israel's actions, including members of the major Israeli peace parties.  

 

[That’s like saying some German “peace party” favored invading Denmark and the Netherlands, and thought concentration camps were, unfortunately, for a little while, necessary for “national defense” provided they only killed really bad people, of course, who deserved it.]

 

New Photos And Articles On Zionist Terrorism Posted:

To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists today, go to: www.rafahtoday.org  The occupied nation, from sea to sea, is Palestine.

 

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

 

 

Twisted Freak Rice Calls Slaughter Of Lebanese “Birth Pangs”

 

[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.  She writes: It would be good for the world if Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice could be forced to spend a week in a war zone without security.

 

[They are playing games with human life and should understand the suffering they inflict on others. 

 

[First I read Bush is shipping bombs to Israel, to make sure they continue the slaughter, then I read the following inane statement by Rice.  The world is controlled by murderous lunatics. 

 

[Israel, the world's worst terrorist is supported by the US government because it plans to control the world by the use of its own terrorism.]

 

22 July 2006, Aljazeera

 

Condoleezza Rice has described the plight of Lebanon as a part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire.

 

"This is a different Middle East.  It's a new Middle East.  

 

“It's hard, We're going through a very violent time," the US secretary of state said. 

 

[“We” going through “violent times?”  If only.  Hopefully, some day soon, she will experience that in a literal sense.  Perhaps a little trip to Ramadi could be arranged?  Or Sadr City?  No doubt there are an infinite number of Iraqis who would be delighted to say something personal to her about their “liberation.”  And throw flowers.  Or something.]

 

 

Those “Surprise” Visits To Iraq Go On And On:

“Playing Politics With The Lives Of American Troops And Iraqi People”

 

It is about political and military leaders using patriotism to manipulate mothers and fathers into allowing their sons and daughters to be sacrificed on the altar of American imperialism and corporate greed.

 

July 13, 2006 By Rev. WILLIAM ALBERTS, CounterPunch [Excerpts]

 

The Bush administration is adept at saying the obvious to hide the devious.  This tactic reveals a deep disrespect for the intelligence of the American people.  It assumes that Americans are gullible and, in their patriotic fervor, will believe anything their leaders tell them-no matter how false, criminal, or harmful to them and their children if it is draped in the American flag or presented in the name of "God."

 

A glaring example is President Bush's recent "surprise" visit to Baghdad.

 

After six hours, President Bush was gone.  Sneaking away under the same extraordinary secrecy and heavy security that brought him to Baghdad.

 

Most "liberated" Iraqis, who live outside the Green Zone, missed his fleeting and fleeing presence.  Many might have seen him as "cutting and running."

 

Many might have wanted to see him "dead or alive."

 

If Bush had showed his face and looked "liberated" Iraqis "in the eyes," he probably would have been shot dead on sight.

 

America's criminal war and occupation are especially seen in the reports of US political leaders' "surprise" and greatly protected visits to "a free Iraq."

 

Last Christmas Eve Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, "escorted by Apache helicopters to the US regional headquarters in Mosul . . . lent a hand serving troops a dinner of lobster tails and steak," and told them "You folks have helped to liberate some 25 million people for whom hope was never there before." ("'Freedom prevails,' Rumsfeld tells U.S. troops," Reuters, MSNBC, Dec. 24, 2005; The Boston Globe, Dec. 25, 2005)

 

Rumsfeld left under the same heavy cover of secrecy and security as he entered.

 

"Amid great secrecy" Vice President Dick Cheney "paid a surprise," well-publicized pre-Christmas and ­Chanukah visit to United States troops in Iraq, telling them, "The only way to lose this fight is to quit-and that is not an option. . . . These colors don't run."

 

Evidently in Cheney's case, they do hide: his reported "trip was arranged and carried out with an aim toward keeping the news from becoming public before he was on his way out of Iraq." (The New York Times, Dec. 19, 2005)

 

A far cry from his pre-war statement to NBC's Tim Russet.: "I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."

 

Like President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld would not have dared to show their faces in public.

 

"Surprise" visits to "a free Iraq."  What a contradiction!  What a commentary! Yet American political leaders keep making such visits.

 

Considerable media coverage accompanied "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's . . . unannounced (italics added)visit to Baghdad April 26 [2006] to consult with Iraq's newly chosen government officials."

 

Secretary "Rice's trip," reportedly, "was timed to coincide with a surprise (italics added) visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."

 

She "said it was important for both she and Rumsfeld to be in Iraq in order to coordinate political and military efforts in support of the new government" (Ibid)-- with which they obviously met in the Green Zone.

 

Three weeks earlier, Secretary of State Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made "an unannounced visit" (italics added)to Baghdad, arriving "in the middle of an overnight thunderstorm." ("Rice and Straw Visit Baghdad, Prod Negotiations," by Jamie Tarabay, NPR, June 18, 2006).

 

The contradiction pervading their "unannounced visit" to "a free Iraq" is seen in the coverage by Newsweek's Michael Hirsh who wrote, "There's nothing like roaring into Baghdad aboard a Rhino. 

 

“A Rhino is a giant heavily-armored bus that can withstand IED's (small ones), and it is now the favored means of keeping Western visitors from getting blown to bits by these homemade bombs on the dangerous road between Baghdad International Airport and the secure Green Zone at the city's center."

 

Michael Hirsh then refers to "the surreal feeling one gets in moving from the howling chaos outside the Green Zone into the theme-park-like confines within.  You drive through several checkpoints," he says, "leaving behind tracts of litter and rubble and the desperate, dark faces of ordinary Iraqis trying to earn a few dinars." ("Real and Surreal," April 6, 2006)

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a "surprise visit" to Iraq, stated to be "the first world leader to visit Baghdad since the national unity government took office two days ago."

 

He "was flown into Baghdad by a Hercules military aircraft," a news story said, "and then a Chinook military helicopter that flew low across the city executing evasive manoeuvres," landing in the "heavily fortified green zone," where he met with new Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki. ("Blair visits Iraq, backs new government," Associated Press, MSNBC, May 22, 2006; "Blair visits Baghdad to sketch out timetable for withdrawal," From Greg Hurst and Ned Parker in Baghdad and Michael Evans, TIMES ON LINE, May 23, 2006)

 

The path to the White House seems to be by way of "surprise" visits to "a free Iraq."

 

Along with Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Joseph Biden, there is President Bush's brother, Governor Jeb Bush. He made headlines: "Gov. Bush stealthily (italics added) visits Iraq for Easter."

 

And the St. Petersburg Times headlines continue: "He makes the surprise (italics added) trip with three other governors, and shakes hands among Florida Army National Guards."

 

The story begins, "Under top security, Gov. Jeb Bush is spending Easter in Iraq with troops from Florida.  Wearing an armored vest and helmet while flying in a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter," it states, "Bush visited seven military bases in Iraq and Kuwait."

 

A final classic example of saying the obvious to hide the devious is Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's recent "surprise" visit to Iraq. The headline for his trip is suggestive: "Romney makes surprise stop in Baghdad: says visit to region wasn't about politics."

 

The beginning of the story contains its own commentary: "Traveling under tight security (italics added), Governor Mitt Romney yesterday wrapped up an unannounced one day (italics added) trip to Iraq to visit troops from Massachusetts, and warned against a 'cut and run' pullout from the war-torn country." (Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe, May 25, 2006)

 

It is not about "cutting and running," but about redefining an international war crime as an issue of courage or cowardice.  It is about "cutting and running" from the truth and world judgment of an immoral war based on lies.

 

It is about political and military leaders using patriotism to manipulate mothers and fathers into allowing their sons and daughters to be sacrificed on the altar of American imperialism and corporate greed.

 

It is about a country in which the military is the only place many economically disadvantaged young persons can be all they can be.

 

It is not about President Bush delivering "a message to the Iraqi people" that "America will keep its commitment," but about playing politics with the lives of American troops and Iraqi people to make sure Republicans retain control of the House and Senate in the November elections.

 

It is about saying the obvious to hide the devious.  It is about "surprise" visits to "a free Iraq."

 

It is about "cutting and running" from the truth of a criminal war against the people of Iraq-and of America.

 

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.

 

 

Bush Regime Refuses To Investigate

Chinese Capitalists “Beating Or Imprisoning Workers Who Attempted To Form Unions”

 

[Thanks to PB who sent this in.  He writes: SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT BULLSHIT ABOUT DEMOCRATIZATION AND CONFRONTING HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS.  LET ASSAD AND AHMADINEJAD OPEN SOME NIKE SWEATSHOPS AND WE'LL SEE BUSH ON THE NEWS THE NEXT MORNING ANNOUNCING THAT ISRAEL MUST STOP ITS ATTACK ON LEBANON.]

 

July 21, 2006 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

 

The Bush administration on Friday rejected a petition by American unions seeking an investigation into Chinese labor practices, arguing that there was evidence Chinese practices were improving.

 

The decision turned down a request filed in June by the AFL-CIO and two members of Congress who contended the Chinese were violating international labor standards and these practices had meant the loss of 1.24 million American jobs as U.S. companies moved plants to China.

 

AFL-CIO policy director Thea Lee said the claim of rising wages was based on questionable data and the deaths of 127,000 Chinese in industrial accidents highlighted the lack of adequate safety protections.

 

The petition had contended that China was using child and forced labor and firing, beating or imprisoning workers who attempted to form unions.  The petition said such practices kept the wages of Chinese factory workers as low as 15 cents to 50 cents per hour, providing an incentive for American companies to close factories in the United States and move production to China.

 

 

“The Easiest To Operate On”

 

July 22, 2006 From wndbear, firebase humor

 

Five surgeons are discussing who has the best patients to operate on.  The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

 

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

 

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

 

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers.

Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

 

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong.

 

CONGRESSMEN are the easiest to operate on.  There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable

 

 

 

CLASS WAR REPORTS

 

 

Capitalism at Work:

Taking From The Poor To Give To The Rich

 

[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]

 

19 July 2006 By Teresa Tritch, The New York Times

 

Earlier this year, President Bush signed into law a measure that will cut $39 billion over the next five years from domestic programs like Medicaid and food stamps, and $99.3 billion from 2006 to 2015.

 

The Bush administration has also been trying, with mixed success so far, to pursue other policies that would have the effect of shifting money to the rich.

 

The most ominous is its often-repeated desire to "address our long-term unfunded entitlement obligations." That's code for making tax cuts for the wealthy permanent while cutting Social Security, which has for 70 years been a major factor in keeping Americans financially secure in their old age.

 

In 2004, over the objections of Congress, the administration overturned time-and-a-half regulation for overtime.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces.  If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

“Speakers Declare The Revolution Has Arrived, While Dozens Hold Political Debates”

“The Police Are Not Here.  They Don’t Dare To Come Into Town”

 

Jul 21, 1:28 PM By IOAN GRILLO, Associated Press Writer

 

Protesters have taken over the center of folkloric Oaxaca, making tourists show identification at makeshift checkpoints, smashing the windows of quaint hotels and spray-painting revolutionary slogans.

 

Police are nowhere in sight.

 

It's not the tranquil cultural gem beloved by tourists from the United States and Europe. A month of protests to try to oust the governor have forced authorities to cancel many events, including the Guelaguetza dance festival.

 

"Most of the tourists have been scared off.  It doesn't look safe when you have to go through a barricade and everybody is standing there with sticks and stones," said Chris Schroers, a German who manages a restaurant in the central plaza.

 

"The police are not here.  They don't dare to come into town."

 

While there have been no reports of protesters attacking tourists, many visitors, including Lorena Valles, a 43-year-old from El Paso, Texas, have felt intimidated.

 

Valles and a group of friends went to the city's main theater to see a play last weekend, only to find the event canceled and hundreds of protesters wrecking the auditorium.

 

"There were people with masks and sticks and slingshots breaking the auditorium windows and setting the building on fire. That was kind of scary," Valles said. "The people here are normally very nice."

 

The protest leaders, a mix of trade unionists and leftists, say their fight is not with the tourists but with Gov. Ulises Ruiz, whom they accuse of rigging the state election in 2004 and using force to repress dissent.  Ruiz belongs to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has governed the state since 1929.

 

The movement exploded in late June when police fired tear gas and attacked a demonstration of striking teachers demanding wage increases of about 20 percent.

 

However, posters around the city declare the movement is also against the Guelaguetza dance festival because "only the rich and foreigners" can afford the $42 entrance fee.

 

"We have seen the festival of our people become a circus that is just for whites and gringos and Europeans," said Rosendo Ramirez, 51, a spokesman for the Oaxaca People's Assembly, formed to coordinate the protests.

 

Thousands have camped out in the city center, sleeping under tarpaulins.

 

Speakers declare the revolution has arrived, while dozens hold political debates.

 

Business leaders have called on the state to intervene, but state Interior Secretary Heliodoro Diaz says authorities have to tread carefully to avoid antagonizing the protesters.

 

Hotel and restaurant owners are lobbying the Fox administration to help resolve the crisis.  They also want the government to declare Oaxaca a disaster area and release federal funds normally reserved for areas hit by earthquakes and hurricanes.

 

Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, has played down the problem, saying "it is annoying, but no more."  Some analysts say Fox is hesitant to get involved because he himself is under fire from supporters of Lopez Obrador who claim the presidential election was tainted by fraud. Lopez Obrador lost to conservative Felipe Calderon of Fox's National Action Party by less than 0.6 percent, according to official vote tallies.

 

Some fear the tensions might explode if federal troops are sent in.

 

"There is rising social conflict in Mexico and the government appears impotent and unable to confront it," historian Lorenzo Meyer said.

 

 

GI Special distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without charge or profit for educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  GI Special has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is GI Special endorsed or sponsored by the originators.  This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research, education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice Go to: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

 

If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.

 

 

 




:: Article nr. 24946 sent on 23-jul-2006 12:14 ECT

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