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GI Special 4K12: "The Troops Will Stop This War" - November 12, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:



Print it out: color best. Pass it on.




Bill Schorr Oct 25, 2006

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


 “I Feel That As GIs Start Coming Out, That’s What’s Going To Stop This War, And That’s The Only Thing That’s Going To Stop This War”

One Day After Surrender, AWOL Iraq War Resister Flees Again As Military Breaks Deal

 November 3rd, 2006 Democracy Now [Excerpts]

 An Iraq war resister who fled to Canada rather than return to the battlefield has gone into hiding again, a day after turning himself in to the military.

 Army Private Kyle Snyder says he had a deal with the military that he would be discharged once he turned himself in. Instead, military officials ordered him back to his original unit where his outcome would be decided.


 Kyle Snyder. Fled to Canada in April 2005 while on leave from the war in Iraq. He recently returned to the US to turn himself in to the military.

 Jim Fennerty. Attorney for Kyle Snyder. He is based in Chicago and is a member of the National lawyers Guild.




AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this journey that you have taken over the last two years? But let's start at the end. When you came across the Canadian border this weekend, right at the time of the mass protest across Canada, of calling for Canadian soldiers to pull out of Afghanistan, what was your understanding?

 KYLE SNYDER: Well, my understanding was through a Major Brian Patterson on Fort Knox post, is that I would receive the same treatment that Darrell Anderson had received, who is another Iraq war veteran, who was discharged with an other than honorable discharge.

 My lawyer, Jim Fennerty, had contacted this man on several occasions, and it was verbally promised to both him and -- so, my understanding was that I would have the same treatment as Darrell Anderson.

 However, that all changed when I arrived at Fort Knox about an hour and a half after turning myself in. I wouldn’t have come back to the United States if I had known that the Army would back down on its word.

 JUAN GONZALEZ: And what exactly happened when you did turn yourself in?

 KYLE SNYDER: Well, at first, they were okay with me. A lieutenant had come in, and I was in holding at the time. And he said, “Okay, we’re just going to out process you. Everything’s going to be alright. It will take about four or five days. Don't worry. It’s going to be okay. Just don't talk to anybody about your experiences.” And I was like, “Well,, that’s fine. I don't plan on talking to anybody about my experiences on this post anyway.”

 And after that conversation, another lieutenant had come in and had found out that he could send me back to my original unit in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, which had just moved from Germany, actually, about six months ago. After they had found that out, the whole climate had changed within the holding facility. And I just knew something was wrong after that.

 And I requested on several occasions to contact my lawyer before signing any documents. I refused to sign the documents, because I did not fully understand it, so I wanted, you know, my lawyer's professional help.

 And they refused phone access to call my lawyer, and then they put me in holding again.

 And about twenty minutes later, they gave me a Greyhound ticket, said, “You’re going to Fort Leonard Wood anyway.” They dropped me off, and I refused to go back to Fort Leonard Wood, because that was not the reason that I came down from Canada.

 JUAN GONZALEZ: And the time you’ve been spending in Canada, what’s life been like there, because, obviously, during the Vietnam War, Canada became a huge area that took many war resisters from the United States, both those refusing to be drafted, as well as AWOL soldiers? What has life been like there?

 KYLE SNYDER: Actually, life in Canada was fairly well. It’s still a struggle. It’s still hard. It’s not like I was relaxing while soldiers were being killed. It was, I was struggling to get them back home. I was involved in the antiwar movement in Canada.

 I was generally accepted by the Canadian population. I just wanted to get on with a normal life, and that’s what I kept telling people in Canada. And after they saw that I was making those steps to have a normal life, I think that they understood.

 And I was actually attending college courses -- sitting in on college courses while I was there. I worked at a massage and wellness center for disabled children. I wanted to get on with a normal life. And I think that’s what I was doing, and I gave all of that up on a chance that I can have the military off of my back. I figured this would work.

 And, you know, I would have stayed in Canada working with disabled children, if I knew this was going to happen.

 AMY GOODMAN: Our guest in Louisville, Kentucky, is Kyle Snyder. He has just refused to go to his base, has gone AWOL a second time, having been in Iraq, returned, went up to Canada, came back with the understanding that -- well, let’s first turn to Jim Fennerty, attorney for Kyle Snyder. What exactly did the military tell you? Was it you who negotiated directly with the military?

 JIM FENNERTY: Yes, I did. I had worked out a deal, as you know, with Darrell Anderson first, and when we worked this out with Darrell, when I spoke to the military at Fort Knox, they said that since Darrell did not have a bad record in the military -- means he never got in trouble or never got arrested -- that when he came back, he would most likely be discharged within three to five days and be other than honorable discharge.

 Since that worked, I was contacted by Kyle.

 I contacted the same major, and he then checked out Kyle's records and got back to me, and he said, “Well, it appears that he doesn’t have any problems on his record, that he should be able to get the same arrangement that we had with Darrell.” They don’t guarantee anything and say, you know, we’re putting anything in writing, but we felt confident that after everything had worked out with Darrell, that Kyle was in the same position, that this should be, you know, given and worked out, and he would have been out.

 What their position is now is that since Kyle’s unit, which originally was in Germany, is now in Fort Leonard Wood, that he would have to go to Fort Leonard Wood, and we’d have to start this whole process over. I’ve tried to contact Fort Leonard Wood, haven’t been able to get through to anybody. Either the phones are busy, or they just keep ringing. And I’ve been also in contact with a major from the judge advocate's program in Fort Knox to see if he could get this thing done.

 I think it’s important to get people like Kyle back here from Canada, because -- two reasons.

 One is, all the young soldiers I’ve dealt with all need some help. They all are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and they need to get some medical help here.

 The other reason I think is important is obviously because these people have been outspoken, they made conscious decisions to go to Canada, because they felt the war was wrong and they’ve been lied to. And we need to get their voices and their messages out around the country as much as possible.

 JUAN GONZALEZ: And you were never contacted about the change of plans, in terms of the deal or his new assignment to return to his unit?

 JIM FENNERTY: No, I called before we went down there. I called back this major, and I spoke to him. And I said, “Well, when we come down there, I’d like to meet with you, because I just hear you on the phone. I’d like to just say hello.”

 And he never said that Kyle would be sent to Fort Leonard Wood.

 If you ask the Army, they are going to say, “Well, you did the right thing. Everybody’s supposed to come here, and then we ship them out to their units, if their unit’s not overseas.” If we knew that, we never would have went to Fort Knox, and we would have tried to negotiate something or speak to people at Fort Leonard Wood.

 AMY GOODMAN: What do you say to soldiers that are still in Iraq? And then, what do you say to soldiers who have gone to Canada, given your experience? But start with those in Iraq now.

 KYLE SNYDER: To the soldiers that are in Iraq, for the third or fourth time: just, you know -- a lot of them are scared to make decisions about moral and conscious choices; they are told by their commanders that they can’t make these choices -- just follow your heart. 

If you feel that you need to be in Iraq and that you’re doing the right thing, that’s fine, I understand that.

 But if you feel that you’re doing the wrong thing, please speak out. And the GI resistance is very important in changing the politics of this country right now.

 And I feel that as GIs start coming out, that’s what’s going to stop this war, and that’s the only thing that’s going to stop this war.

 As far as the soldiers that are in Canada right now, I love every single one of you, and just know that whatever happens here, just keep that in mind. And I’ll be keeping in contact with them.

 JUAN GONZALEZ: And what do you plan to do now?

 KYLE SNYDER: Well, first off, I hope that this deal works out. I hope that the Army can understand that they had reneged on a deal, and right now we’re trying to get a hold of them.

 And, ironically, I’m on, you know, every paper in the country. I’m on your show. And, ironically, the people that we’re talking about right now aren’t available. That’s just really, really funny to me.

 And they’re having coffee or lunch, you know, like a United States soldier just comes down from Canada every single day, and they could avoid this subject.

 I just want to get this over with. I want out. I’m not asking for a million dollars. I’m simply saying, leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone. And I’m hoping that this deal works out.

 AMY GOODMAN: Are you afraid of being arrested?

 KYLE SNYDER: You know, I mean, I don't think that the military is actively pursuing AWOLs right now. Whatever happens happens. But I still feel that I made the right choice, and I need to stick to my conscience, and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve done that my whole entire life.

 Even when joining the military, I stuck to my conscience and thought that it was right to join the military. But people's minds change, and we evolve, and they need to take that into consideration, as well.

 AMY GOODMAN: Kyle, you’re 23?


 AMY GOODMAN: Kyle Snyder, I want to thank you very much for being with us from Louisville.

 KYLE SNYDER: Thank you.

 AMY GOODMAN: Thank you. I wanted to end with your lawyer, Jim Fennerty. We asked Kyle about what will happen to soldiers that remain in Canada, but you continue to represent them. Among them, a man named Ivan Brobeck. What are these soldiers in Canada who want to come home, what is their response right now?

 JIM FENNERTY: Well, basically I’ve been told that some of the people, after they saw what happened to Kyle, said they’re not planning on coming back. I think if the deal would have worked through with Kyle, I think that more people would have been coming back. Now, we have to realize, too, though, that there’s a difference between the Army, I’m finding out, and the Marines.

 In terms of Ivan's case, Ivan wants to come back, and he wants to come back even if we can’t work something out ahead of time. But the Marines have told me, though, that Ivan will be, when he comes back, Ivan will be taken into custody in Virginia, when he comes back from Canada, and that he’ll be placed in the brig. In his situation, the Marines are planning to either court-martial him or work out an arrangement that he would spend some time in jail, probably in Quantico, Virginia. So the Marines seem to be much tougher, in terms of trying to work something out, than the Army has been.

 AMY GOODMAN: Jim Fennerty, I want to thank you very much for being with us, attorney for Kyle Snyder. He is based in Chicago, member of the National Lawyers Guild. We’ll continue to follow Kyle's case and see what happens to him next. Again, he was speaking to us from Louisville, Kentucky. He had turned himself in at Fort Knox and then went AWOL.







Chappaqua Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Local Soldier Dies In Afghanistan

Sgt. Kyu H. Chay, 34. (Photo Courtesy of The Journal News)


Nov 3, 2006 Tony Aiello Reporting, (CBS)


CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. A New Yorker killed while helping to fight the war on terror is being remembered as a wonderful son, brother, husband, and father.


Sgt. Kyu H. Chay, 34, who survived a tour in Iraq, died Tuesday in Afghanistan, when a roadside bomb exploded near a convoy in which he was riding.


"He was such a kind, generous person," said Kyu T. Chay, Sgt. Chay's brother. The men shared the same first name, a tradition in some Korean families.


Kyu T. Chay said their parents are devastated. Sam and Soon Chays are well known and highly regarded in Chappaqua, where the family operates a dry cleaning store.


The brothers were born in South Korea, and moved with their parents to New York in the 1980s. Both graduated from the Bronx High School of the Sciences and attended SUNY-Albany


Sgt. Chay, an Arabic linguist with the Special Forces, joined the Army in 2001, a few months before the 9/11 terror attacks. His brother said Sgt. Chay was motivated by gratitude to America for the opportunities his parents found here. "He always appreciated coming to this country," said Chay. "He loved being American, loved being here, appreciated everything this country offered to him, and he wanted to give back in some way."


Sgt. Chay was married to Cathy, his college sweetheart at SUNY-Albany. Before joining the army, Chay studied law at Brooklyn Law School.


The Chays lived in North Carolina with their two children, five-year old Jason and 10-month old Kelly.


"My sister-in-law is a strong woman," said Chay. "She's being strong for her children, but of course she's suffered great trauma."


Cathy Chay told the Associated Press "he was just a wonderful father and husband to me."


Kyu T. Chay said no man could have been a better brother.


"He loved me a great deal, and I loved him," Chay said. "He was my best friend, and I just have good memories of how we grew up together."


Sgt. Kyu H. Chay will be honored at several ceremonies in the days ahead. His Army family will salute him at Fort Bragg next week. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 13. His family will hold a memorial service for him in Westchester County on November 19.



Michigan Marine Killed By Sniper Fire In Iraq


11.12.06 Associated Press


CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.: A 35-year-old Marine sergeant was killed after being struck by a sniper's bullet while serving in Iraq, his family said.


Sgt. Bryan Burgess, of Wayne County's Canton Township, was shot in the cheek in Fallujah Thursday and died instantly, his family said. He was serving with the 1st Battalion of the 24th Marines, a reserve unit headquartered at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mount Clemens.


"He loved his country," Burgess' mother, Evelyn, told the Detroit Free Press. "He felt that it was worth sacrificing his life for."


Burgess attended Livonia Public Schools, went to Franklin High and later worked as a framer building houses. He was an avid skier and motorcyclist.


Burgess is also survived by his father, Rex Burgess, of Fair Haven.


Funeral arrangements are pending, and family members said they'll ask the Marine Corps to depart from standard procedure and allow Marines who Burgess served with to carry his body off the plane when it arrives in Michigan.


"Bryan's wish was to be carried by his friends, his Marine friends and family," said Rich Cormier, Burgess' uncle.



Marine, 24, From Eaton Rapids Dies In Combat In Iraq



Marine Lance Cpl. Troy Nealey "had a big heart and a big smile," his mom says. He liked farm work and wanted to help kids.




On the drive from Eaton Rapids to Detroit to rejoin his unit, the conversation between Marine Lance Cpl. Troy Nealey and his mother took that "what-if" turn.


"He said he wanted a memorial to benefit the 4-H kids who won the livestock showman awards," Annette Nealey recalled Tuesday night. "He'd been in 4-H for 10 or 11 years, and he'd shown livestock. Troy wanted the money to go the kids."


Nealey, 24, was killed Sunday in action in Anbar province in Iraq. A Reserve Marine assigned to the Charlie Company in the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of the 4th Marine Division, Nealey and the other men of the Michigan-based outfit shipped out last month in one of the largest Michigan deployments to the war in Iraq.


The unit recently completed training at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and is expected to be in Iraq for a seven-month tour of duty. The Defense Department announced Nealey's death Tuesday afternoon.


"He joined the Marines, he didn't go to college," his mother said. "He felt the Marines would give him the opportunity to grow. He joined the Reserve Marines, and he realized the war was on and he might be involved. He was proud to be a Marine."


Nealey had hoped to be an electrician -- his father Norman Nealey is a builder -- but his mother said his heart was really on a farm.


"He loved agriculture," she said. "He was exposed to farm life, and he loved the cattle and crops. If he'd been born on a farm, I think that would have made him the happiest."


His last civilian job before going on active duty was milking cows on a dairy farm, she said.


Nealey's pickup truck showed his colors. "The truck had two stickers," his mother said. "One was 'Cowboy Up,' and the other was the Marines.


A graduate of Eaton Rapids High School, he played sweeper on the soccer squad and anchored relay teams.


"He was 5 feet 6, but he had a big heart and a big smile," she said. In his first e-mail home, Nealey asked his mother to send hard candy that he could hand out to Iraqi kids.


Annette Nealey said she and others had started gathering Jolly Ranchers and Beanie Babies when she got the news of his death.


She said her son was a realist.


"He told me he was scared, and I told him, 'But, Troy, I want you to be scared. Be smart, be brave, but don't be a hero,'" his mother said.


"And he told me he wouldn't be a hero."


Nealey's funeral will be held Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. at Eaton Rapids High School.




That is not a good enough reason.


U.S. soldiers at the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad October 23, 2006. (Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud/Reuters)



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)






Veterans At The Crime Scene


From: Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace

To: GI Special

Sent: November 11, 2006

Subject: Reilly, Sheehan, & Friends wrap White House in Crime-Scene Tape


On election day, we protested in Washington D.C. I brought a roll of "crime scene" tape to the White House, where I, Bill Perry, Dennis Kyne, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Pat McCann, Jesse Dyen, and many others, proceeded to wrap the yellow tape around the building...it was originally Nick Przybyla's (of Iraq Veterans Against The War) and my idea, and it worked out perfectly...only after I tied a piece directly to the fence did the piggies get upset and make me take it down, but EVERYONE loved the action and idea. It was a GREAT visual effect.


The election day Sit-In (2 days long) at the (very) White House, was a really fine demonstration, and we got some seriously good media...


Cindy and 3 other peace-mom's got arrested for blocking the main front gate, and the rest of us surrounded them until the "third warning" was issued by the police to disperse, which we did, by plan.


[W]e'll be at the School Of The Assassins next week at Ft Benning, Ga.


Peace from Ward






A U.S. military doctor treats a wounded U.S. soldier in a U.S. military hospital in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad October 30, 2006. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani (IRAQ)



“‘Who’d Have Thought We’d Still Be Here?’ He Asked”



November 10, 2006 By Steve Chawkins, L.A. Times Staff Writer


SANTA BARBARA: It looks like an engineer's dream: Forty-nine rows and 52 columns of white, wooden crosses a foot-and-a-half high, each exactly 36 inches from its neighbor, each row exactly 60 inches from the next, a precise reckoning of combat death gleaming on the beach beside Stearns Wharf.


Each cross in the display mounted every Sunday represents an American fatality in Iraq.


At its start three years ago, the project had 340 of them. Last Sunday, there were 2,831.


In a telling comment on the war's unexpected duration, organizers of the memorial called Arlington West now are talking about picking a number, perhaps 3,000, and building no more crosses after it's reached.


"It's strictly a matter of logistics — there's just a limit to how much room we can take up and how many crosses we can handle," said Dan Seidenberg, president of the local chapter of a group called Veterans for Peace. "I mean: How long will this war drag on?"


About a dozen volunteers have shown up week after week since the start. They're joined by up to 30 others who appear now and again. Some started coming only in recent months, prompted by rumors that the project would cease for lack of help.


On a recent Sunday, Rod Edwards, an engineer for the Goleta Water District, walked briskly down the rows, hunching over to secure laminated, handwritten nameplates, using two rubber bands per cross.


"You almost feel you know them after a while," said Edwards, who volunteers for the task each week. "It just tears your heart out."


Here he draped a string of rosary beads that a soldier's parents had left for their son's marker; there he propped up a plastic-encased obituary for Sgt. Mark A. Maida, who "deployed to Iraq and adopted a puppy there named Maxine." He was 22.


On this day, Edwards made quick work of installing more than 1,200 nametags.


Marine Cpl. Jorge A. Gonzalez, 20, of Los Angeles: "Graduate of El Monte High School and father of a newborn."


Marine Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez del Solar, 20, of Escondido: "RIP: Our Hero and Aztec warrior."


When there were fewer crosses, each name was displayed. Now, the names of all fatalities are dutifully recorded on nameplates, but volunteers put up only those whose friends or families have visited.


Not long ago, Edwards said, he comforted a sailor who had dropped by to seek out the name of his buddy.


"He seemed fine at first," Edwards said. "But when he saw the name, he just lost it. He threw himself on the sand and cried."


When the crosses are taken down about eight hours later, the nameplates are filed away just so, allowing Edwards and other volunteers to honor requests that troops who died together be grouped side by side. One such grouping has 17 crosses. One family asked for a Star of David instead of a cross, and that request also was honored.


Arlington West has inspired about a dozen similar installations around the United States, including one on the beach at Santa Monica. Except for a few rainouts, the Santa Barbara display has been erected every Sunday since Nov. 2, 2003.


"We sent up an SOS this summer, and that brought a spate of new volunteers," said Bob Potter, a retired drama professor and an officer of Veterans for Peace. "But people get exhausted."


The ideal, Potter said, would be to continue to place a marker for each battlefield death — but the sheer size of the task might make that impossible.


A committee is grappling with the question of limiting the crosses, which now span nearly an acre of prime beachfront. Although the city has given its blessing to the project, some volunteers grimly anticipate that it might one day crowd sunbathers and spill over into areas reserved for beach volleyball.


That was never the plan. The group never envisioned a permanent or even a full-time memorial because that would have taken more money, more manpower and sturdier crosses.


Last Sunday, volunteers started arriving about 7:30 a.m. Most were of a certain age, but members of the Santa Barbara High School Peace Club, just a bit younger than the troops they were memorializing, also pitched in. Joggers ran nearby, and a few kayakers paddled just offshore as people started hauling crosses lashed together in bundles of 16 from a donated truck.


Using methods developed by Ron Dexter, a retired TV commercial producer known in the group as a logistical whiz, the volunteers conducted the operation with military precision. Hundred-foot measuring tapes were stretched taut across the sand. People hurried down the rows, dropping each cross at a spot marked in red on the tapes.


Behind them came others to plant the crosses firmly, still others to straighten them and yet others to stick miniature U.S. flags beside each marker.


A man in a straw hat raked the sand between the crosses with a gizmo consisting of three yoked-together mop handles and dozens of dowels. He likened it to grooming a Zen garden.


As the day wore on, mourners came by, kneeling amid the crosses. Volunteers offered kind words and flowers, sometimes sitting beside them on the sand.


A Vietnam-era veteran, Dinah Mason comes weekly to help. With a daughter who just returned from Iraq, she said she has a particular feeling for mothers who weren't so fortunate.


"One lady from Simi Valley started talking about the favorite thing she used to bake for her son, and then she started crying," Mason said. "We were crying with her."


On the wharf, tourists leaned on a railing and peered down at the scene. A recorded bugle played taps over and over.


Joel and Yazmin Leal, who had come from Fullerton to Santa Barbara for their anniversary, found the name of their friend Douglas J. Marenco Reyes, a Marine who was among the first 200 troops to die in Iraq. For a while, they gazed in silence around the beach.


"This is amazing," said Yazmin, who last saw her friend at her husband's birthday party two months before Reyes' death. "There's a person to each one of these crosses."


At day's end, volunteers fanned out among the crosses, pulling them up as meticulously as they had put them down that morning. At precise intervals, they tied them together using identical lengths of rope, looped in identical spots — another of Dexter's innovations for making the work go more quickly.


The display has angered some.


A debate over its propriety recently flared in the letters columns of the Santa Barbara News-Press, with some writers saying it exploits fallen heroes for political gain. Last year, a Lompoc mother, Debbie Argel Bastian, demanded that the name of her son, Air Force Capt. Derek Argel, be removed because he wouldn't want to be associated with an antiwar protest.


The organizers complied.


Although articles critical of the war are displayed at Arlington West each week, volunteers said the tone used to be far more strident.


"One old World War II veteran would come down with 'Impeach Bush' signs, and we took to asking him not to have those around," said Potter of Veterans for Peace. "We moved to a position where we were trying to open the memorial to as wide a public as possible rather than trying to provoke people."


Even the crosses themselves have become softer.


Stephen Sherrill, a Santa Barbara carpenter, started Arlington West with half a dozen friends as a protest.


He still checks a website each week for fatalities, still buys the lumber with donated funds, still glues and screws the appropriate number of crosses.


"I plane the wood and curve the edges now," he said. "People were getting too many cuts and splinters.


"And whatever I can do to make the crosses a little lighter helps," Sherrill said. "We're looking at a ton-and-a-half of wood out there."


Sherrill will be making more crosses for this weekend's display. As a tribute to Veterans Day, Arlington West will be up Saturday as well as Sunday. Candles will be lighted and volunteers will stand vigil through the night.


From a patch of shade under a tarp, Sherrill recalled similar candlelight observances over the last three years.


"But who'd have thought we'd still be here?" he asked.







“It Was Soldiers, Not Hippies, Who Spearheaded Protest Of The Vietnam War”


May. 23, 2006 By Gregory Epps, Portfolio Weekly


To my surprise, it was soldiers, not hippies, who spearheaded protest of the Vietnam War.


And before it was over, America would witness her own veterans tearing off their medals and throwing them on the capitol steps.


Long before the troops began to refuse night patrols and protest rallies at home revealed the division in our ranks, a few soldiers unintentionally planted the roots of a movement by following their conscience and saying Sir! No Sir!


Director David Zeiger’s documentary reveals how the soldiers who initially protested acted alone, fully aware that court-martial and prison awaited them.


Like their fathers and grandfathers, they went to war "gung ho," assured they were doing the right thing. But it soon became clear that, along with the American people, the soldiers were being lied to.


Dr. Howard Levy was sent to Vietnam to help "win hearts and minds" by providing free dermatology to villagers, curing common skin problems. But he became aware that our bombers were attacking villagers with a new napalm that was specially formulated to stick better to human skin.


Levy’s tale is one of many in which horrific irony and bitter disappointment in their leadership play a role in a man or woman’s transformation from soldier to protestor. In the words of Special Forces veteran, Donald Duncan, "It was personal. There was no movement."


Army medic Randy Rowland rebelled only after experiencing gravely wounded American soldiers begging for death on a daily basis, none of whom thought that their sacrifice was justifiable.


Director Zeiger does a fine job tracing the military roots of the peace movement, starting with these early incidents and taking us through the organized growth of protest within the ranks.


By the time Navy nurse, Susan Schnall made headlines by getting arrested for protesting in uniform, an "Underground G.I. Press" was already filtering newspapers through our bases. Men were organizing in coffeehouses, and even within the walls of the Presidio, where detained soldiers were outraged by the killing of 19-year-old Michael Bunch, shot dead while trying to escape a work detail.


In Sir! No Sir!, Zeiger goes on to provide a fascinating timeline of events (in combat and at home), which paint a fairly thorough picture of how we lost the war in Vietnam, why there were over 550,000 incidents of desertion, why some soldiers killed their own officers, and others refused to fight.


We also see how talk of peace was portrayed as unpatriotic, and how Nixon responded to his protesting troops by shifting to a vicious air war that attempted to bomb Vietnam "Back to the Stone Age."


Critics of this film could point out that not all veterans are represented by Sir! No Sir!. Many who proudly stood by their oath to "support and defend" the orders of the president will never forgive those who dodged the draft or mutinied in the field. Nor will they ever forgive public figures like Jane Fonda, whose attempt to side with "the people" was interpreted as giving aid and comfort to the enemy.


But Zeiger’s film patriotically stands behind the equally brave soldiers on both sides of this divide, containing elements with disturbing relevance to the Iraq War, the death toll of which currently stands at 2,437 military and 35-40,000 civilians killed.


Sir, No Sir! shatters myths about the origins of war protest, and the way memory of the Vietnam war has been reconstructed.


It also reveals how protest begins on the front lines, with men whose moral outrage is stronger than their willingness to march in step.•


Sir! No Sir!:

At A Theatre Near You!

To find it: http://www.sirnosir.com/


The Sir! No Sir! DVD is on sale now, exclusively at www.sirnosir.com.


Also available will be a Soundtrack CD (which includes the entire song from the FTA Show, "Soldier We Love You"), theatrical posters, tee shirts, and the DVD of "A Night of Ferocious Joy," a film about the first hip-hop antiwar concert against the "War on Terror."



Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward GI Special 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 or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657







Peace Now

Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) T)



Criticism And Reply


[#1: The Article And That Led To The Criticism:]


Sorry You Chumps,

Fooled You Again;

Conyers Says No Impeachment, Ha Ha Ha


November 10th 2006 Kurtnimmo.com [Excerpts]


John Conyers, Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, didn’t mean it.


“The incoming speaker has said that impeachment is off the table. I am in total agreement with her on this issue: Impeachment is off the table,” Conyers declared after the Democrats stormed the House and Senate.


But wait a minute. Didn’t Conyers seek to create a select committee to investigate Bush crimes and make recommendations regarding grounds for impeachment?


Last December, Conyers, along with Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressmen John Lewis, said Bush committed impeachable offenses by illegally ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop inside the country without a court warrant.




“In this campaign, there was an orchestrated right-wing effort to distort my position on impeachment,” Conyers declared. “To be sure, I have substantial concerns about the way this administration has abused its authority, but impeachment would not be good for the American people. The country does not want or need any more paralyzed partisan government—it wants a check and balance and real progress on the issues that matter to their lives.”


Regrettably, it now appears Conyers’ mock Judiciary Committee hearing last June was little more than theater. If you thought Conyers was a principled man, think again; he is looking at the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee, after all, and he certainly does not want to jeopardize this by doing the right thing.


[Wrong. He’s doing the right thing, from his Party’s point of view, and there is nothing whatsoever new about that. The Democratic Party is as committed to maintaining the U.S. Empire as the Republican Party. It always has been. Enough delusional bullshit about that. Quit smacking Conyers around. He’s just doing his job, sucking in the chumps until the election is over. It’s the pathetic big name anti-war leaders who betrayed us, kissing his ass and pissing their pants with delight and acting oh-so-important at his fake hearings. Meanwhile, they don’t have the first minute to reach out to the troops who can stop the war. They have other priorities, like getting quoted in the media. T]



[#2: The Criticism]


[NOTE: Since what is important here are the views on offer, not the individual identity, names and identifying information removed, as is customary GI Special..]



To: GI Special

From: X


Much as you and I would be happy to volunteer to provide the rope and pull the drop door for Bush and Cheney, the fact is that the American public is not there yet. I think we can clearly see what can happen when a political party becomes dead-set on impeachment without popular support in looking at the Republicans and Clinton. Come 1998, after they'd been hunting him down, the Democrats won seats, Gingrich lost his position, and the Republicans were thrown into uproar.


Right now, after 12 years of their crap, we cannot afford that. Not if we are looking to consolidate in 2008 what happened this week.


That's not to say - and I am sure John Conyers would agree with this - that things won't change as more information comes out through hearings and investigations, that change public opinion. But impeachment is too important to be turned into a circus, as the Republicans did with Clinton. You and I are old enough to remember Watergate. Remember how long it took the public to come around on that? But once they did, it was unstoppable, and only didn't proceed because Nixon resigned. And look at all the energized righties from back then who we are dealing with now, from Rove and Cheney on down.


There's an old saying that when you strike at the king, you have to kill him, that anything less will get you killed. And I think the past 30 years proves that - we ended up energizing them without organizing ourselves, until just now, and we only saved things just barely at the very last moment.


I gotta tell you, we aren't going to have a socialist revolution in our lifetime, and arguing for one is only going to leave you isolated and depressed with people thinking poorly of you. Working with the troops and doing what you and the rest of us are trying to do doesn't work if they see us as whackos. This is something I remember well from the [Vietnam era GI Coffeehouse].


As reasonably frustrated as you are, you need to dial back the shrillness - at least in public - in the name of success now.


Don't take this criticism as disagreement. Things are awful. But right now, we need a "popular front" against fascism.


The German communists called the Social Democrats "social fascists" in 1933 and the rest of the Communists called the non-commie left "social fascists" through the 1930s until when they did try a popular front they had managed to piss off their potential allies to the point of achieving nothing when it was more necessary to succeed than ever. The result was World War II. We don't need to repeat that history now.


Anyone who dislikes Bush and the Republican movement for whatever reason is a member in good standing in our anti-fascist movement.


We can't be suprised when smart people like Nancy Pelosi (trust me on this, I knew her 30 years ago in San Francisco and she is very damn good at what she is doing) and John Conyers take something off the table that is only going to explode in our faces if we light the fuse now.


Time changes everything, and you cannot throw that bomb until the majority of people are ready to see an execution. We aren't there yet.






[#3: Reply]


The point is not that the work for impeachment offers the most effective way forward, which it does not.


Time spent working on promoting that appeal to the Imperial politicians in Washington to save us takes time away from reaching out to the activists in the armed services organizing to stop this war and end the Imperial system that produces one war after another.


The point is that stopping an Imperial war requires mass resistance in the streets and, above all, in the armed forces, which is what stopped Vietnam. The Vietnam War was terminated when there was no longer an armed force no longer willing to fight it, and refusing to do so.


Furthering that objective requires not only reaching out to build alliances with anti-war troops, but exposing those who breed passivity by encouraging citizens, or troops, to look for their salvation from politicians who love the Empire too much to part with it.


The argument above merely substitutes begging the Democratic Party to save us in 2008 by election for begging the Democratic Party to save us in 2007 by impeachment: two sides of the same coin, while the war goes on.


The writers’ message is not about impeachment. It has one objective: defending Democratic Party politicians who have no intention whatever of stopping the war and bringing the troops home now.


Those who believe the war should continue one more day are encouraged to go to Iraq and fight in it. Those on the opposing side, fighting the occupation, are of all ages, including what we are pleased to call “senior citizens,” and it is not necessary to enroll in the armed forces to go to Iraq and take up arms. As one Iraq veteran put it: “If you are opposed to bringing all the troops home now, why are you still here? Shut up and ship out.”


As for analogies to Germany, the tactical success of the National Socialist Party in Germany came because the opposition prioritized resisting through electoral means, while the Nazis took their movement into the streets, practicing mass violence. This writer above also prioritizes resisting through electoral means.


The political gains of the National Socialist Party came as neither the Stalinized Communist Party nor the Social Democrats offered more than the same old electoral Parliamentary politics, while Nazi propaganda focused on a condemnation of the status quo, offering radical, fundamental upheaval. This writer above also offers nothing more than the same old electoral politics.


The notion that “fascists” are in power in the United States, and that therefore some “anti-fascist” coalition is necessary, is stupid and silly. If it were so, the writer of the email above would be dead with a bullet in his head, the active duty troops who just launched their appeal to get out of Iraq would have been executed as well, and Cindy Sheehan would be hanging from a meat hook.


As for GI Special, the response from active duty troops, military family members, and veterans to GI Special is increasingly firm, and growing, especially in the past few months. They view DC politicians are corrupt, lying, scheming murderous rats, as do increasing numbers of ordinary Americans, who are not stupid and see though the bullshit. And it is their opinion that matters.


This more than sustains the people who contribute to and help with GI Special, and nothing could be less frustrating. It’s marvelous for morale when a soldier writes in that seeing the newsletter is what helped keep him sane in Iraq.


It is those who oppose bringing all the troops home immediately and who thereby support the war, in one form or another, offering one excuse or another, who will become isolated and depressed.


The election result is useful, in that remaining illusions about the Democratic Party will dissipate rather quickly outside the chattering class, which prefers illusions to reality.


Telling the troops to wait until 2008 for the war to end doesn’t cut it.


No. No alliance with whoever just because they don’t like Bush.


The neo-Nazi Aryan Nation doesn’t like Bush.


Imperial Democrats who want to use the U.S. armed forces to control this or that part of the world, not least those parts that have oil, don’t like Bush, because he’s screwing up.


The question is not for or against Bush. The bright line now is for or against the war continuing one more day, and for or against the Empire, which requires the projection of armed power to sustain its holdings.


GI Special has not argued for a “socialist revolution,” so far, but given the alternative – the people on top grabbing everything for themselves and killing us in the process -- maybe that’s not such a bad idea.


It does appear that most revolutions occur when people believe there is no other recourse within existing political frameworks, and that no other course of action can end their torments. When elections just exchange one set of corrupt, murderous thugs for another set of corrupt murderous thugs, maybe it’s time to revive the Spirit of 1776.


The personal characteristics of particular politicians like Pelosi who are opposed to stopping the war now are of no consequence. It is said that Hitler loved dogs and little children, and that Stalin was a smart person who knew what he was doing.


They were both perfectly content to kill as many as necessary to accomplish their objectives: the extension of their national Imperial power, and the subjugation of whatever nation stood in their way. In those objectives, if not their precise methodology, the Democratic Party leadership concurs.


That Party is not without a clear history as far as Imperial war goes.


Most recently, it was Clinton who, until the present Bush stole his laurels, was unexcelled at butchering Iraqis, though his undeviating support of the sanctions regime that killed them wholesale by hunger and disease. And should the Democratic Party believe wholesale slaughter is necessary to defend the Empire, they will conduct it again without hesitation, if they think they can get away with it, and if the troops will engage in it, which becomes less likely each day.


Concerning the material in the message above about killing, hanging, throwing bombs, and conducting executions: The Military Project, the membership organization with which GI Special is associated, is for mass resistance from below, not removing individuals as described, which accomplishes no basic change. There is always another next in line. Individual terrorism is an act of despair.


To avoid any possible confusion about what the Military Project is for, see the next. T






  1. Do not “support the troops” in the abstract. We focus on support for Armed Forces resistance, giving aid and comfort to those who are against the war.


  1. Are for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all occupation troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.


  1. Believe that oppressed peoples and nations have the right to self-determination and the right to resist Imperial invasion and occupation.


  1. Do not require others to be in complete agreement to work together with them towards common objectives.


  1. Reject the idea that organizations working together on a common project must not debate differences about the best way forward for the movement. On the contrary, we encourage debate and discussion as the most useful method to arrive at the best course of action.


  1. May choose to support candidates for elective office who are for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, but do not support candidates opposed to bringing our troops home now.


  1. Are committed to organizational democracy. This means control of our organization by the membership, through freely elected delegates to any coordinating bodies that may be formed, whether at local, regional, or national levels. Any member in good standing may run for any position, with or without a slate. Coordinating bodies must report their actions, decisions and votes to the membership who elected them for approval or rejection.


  1. Are committed to putting in time taking action in an organized way to reach out to members of the armed forces, including local community Reserve and National Guard units.


  1. Are not present commissioned officers in the armed forces, members of the military police, or any law enforcement agency.


I understand and am in agreement with the above statement, and pledge to defend my brothers and sisters against all enemies, foreign and domestic.









(Application taken by)


THE MILITARY PROJECT: Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657




[#4: Another Point Of View]


From: G

To: GI Special

Sent: November 11, 2006


I am a 62 year old semi-retired engineer in Australia who has been reading your GI Special for over a year - and sending clips to my friends. Max Watts here put me on to it.


This is just a spontaneous note to congratulate yourself - and all those fine Americans with whom you are associated - for what appears to be a major win with the results of the mid term elections.


Your views started out as "radical and subversive" - and have ended up almost mainstream because the truth you have always told is entering the public consciousness at last. Keep up the good work.


I don't know where you get your energy from. How many people are on your staff?




GI Special reader in Sydney, Australia


[Reply: Other members of the Military Project, active duty troops, veterans, military family members, and too many activists to count make GI Special possible. Without that flow of information, nothing would be possible. T]





Ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor,


Ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.


Thy prices loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards, they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.


How is the faithful city become a harlot,


It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it,


But now murderers.


[The Prophet Isaiah to the ruling politicians of his day.]







Bill Day Oct 26, 2006

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



Bush Shocks Democrats With “Staggering” Demand For War Money After Pelosi Pledges To Keep On Killing U.S. Troops


09 November 2006 By Jessica Holzer and Matthew Swibel, Forbes


The U.S. armed services have requested a $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007; a staggering amount that, if approved by the Defense Department, may hasten the showdown between resurgent congressional Democrats and the Bush administration over the budget-busting War on Terror.


The request, which will likely include all costs related to the war on terrorism, far surpasses the $94 billion supplemental authorized earlier this year to fund the ongoing wars as well as hurricane recovery in the Gulf and is nearly double the $82 billion Iraq war supplemental outlay of 2005


While House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has vowed not to undercut the troops in the field, defense experts said that she and other Democratic leaders probably hadn't anticipated the massive request.


[Right. In the lying world of the Imperial Democrats, killing more U.S. troops by paying to keep the war going is called “not undercutting” them. What a pack of stand-short rubber-muscled dipshits. And least Bush never pretended to be anything but a straight ahead troop-killer.]


"I'm not sure they've grasped the potential size of this forthcoming supplemental request. We'll just have to see whether they can choke down that amount of dough," said Tom Donnelly, a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.


[Why not? They have no intention of stopping the war money, and thereby stopping the war. Duh. What changed on Election Day is that now they can’t blame Bush for the war dead, American or Iraqi. It’s their war now.


[Let’s get something straight. Every single member of Congress who votes the money to keep this war going is a traitor and a premeditated troop-killing murderer, and those devoting their political time and energies to defending them and apologizing for them are accomplices in treason and premeditated murder. Someday there will be trails. It’s time to choose sides. T]




This Is Not A Satire:

The Lying Rat Harry Reid,

Incoming Senate Majority Leader, Pretends He Doesn’t Know “What’s Going On With The War In Iraq”


11 November 2006 By Carl Hulse and Thom Shanker, The New York Times


After meeting with Mr. Bush at the White House, Senator Harry Reid, the incoming Senate majority leader, said "the first order of business" when Democrats formally take over in January will be to reinvigorate Congressional scrutiny of the executive branch, with a focus on Iraq.


"Let's find out what's going on with the war in Iraq, the different large federal agencies that we have," said Mr. Reid, Democrat of Nevada.


While Democrats made criticism of the war a central element of their successful midterm election campaign, translating that into policy once they take charge on Capitol Hill is more problematic.


The president, as commander in chief, directs the military and Democrats have consistently said they would not take steps like cutting off money for operations in Iraq.


[Hey, get it yet? They’re for the war and the Empire. They just don’t like how the war has been managed. U.S. troops should be dead in a more effective way. Doesn’t that cheer you up?]


What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send to contact@militaryproject.org:. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential. Same to unsubscribe.






Dhaka Political Gatherings Banned Ahead Of Mass Strike


[Thanks to J, who sent this in.]


11/12/2006 AP Gulf News


Dhaka: Police banned all political gatherings until further notice in Bangladesh's capital, ahead of national strikes starting today by a political alliance demanding polls reforms.


The statement released yesterday by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said it has banned "processions, rallies, demonstrations, sieges, sit-ins and blockades" starting today.


The Bangladesh opposition, however, said it would go ahead with today's transport blockade of the capital after its deadline expired for the sacking of an election chief accused of seeking to rig planned elections in favour of the outgoing government, a report said yesterday.



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

:: Article nr. 28232 sent on 13-nov-2006 20:20 ECT


:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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