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GI Special 4L21: Wosing - December 26, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:



Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.





[Thanks to Z and NB who sent this in. NB writes: As I see it Bush has got none of Custer's courage - but all of his folly!]



“He Wasn’t Reciting The Sailor’s Creed”

“Hutto Was Organizing Again.  This Time, Against The U.S. Involvement In Iraq”


[Thanks to Katherine GY, The Military Project, who found and sent the story in.]


From boot camp to the ship, Hutto said, "It's been drilled into you - you don't have any rights."  Or, as he said one veteran sailor told him, "The only right you have is to get to work and get fed."  "I never really accepted that," Hutto said.


According to Navy regulations, Jonathan Hutto is allowed to run his antiwar campaign, but it must be done on personal time, out of uniform and off base.



November 5, 2006 By LOUIS HANSEN, The Virginian-Pilot


NORFOLK - Jonathan Hutto graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science and a résumé of social activism.  He worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International after college.  He whipped up grass-roots protests against police departments and college administrators.


One day in 2003, broke and seeking direction, Hutto enlisted in the Navy.


The Navy couldn't have known it then, but they know it now: They had signed up a sailor strongly opposed to the Iraq war.


Seaman Hutto pleated his uniform, memorized naval history and won sailor of the quarter among his junior enlisted shipmates.


Then he appeared on CNN, the BBC and in the pages of The Washington Post and The Navy Times.


But he wasn't reciting the Sailor's Creed.


Hutto was organizing again.  This time, against the U.S. involvement in Iraq.


"We're not trying to embarrass the military," Hutto said during an interview last week at a local restaurant.  "At the same time, we live in a democracy."


Hutto, 29, lives and works aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. When he enlisted, the Navy trained him as a photographer.  He writes for the ship newspaper and anchored its shipwide television broadcast.


Off-duty, he shifts between the campus of Old Dominion University and the cafés and bookstores in Ghent.  Armed with a laptop and cell phone, Hutto leads a group of volunteers in an online campaign against the war.


Supported by antiwar military family and veterans organizations, Hutto and a handful of other service members created a Web site called An Appeal for Redress.  Activated in October, it allows active-duty and reserve troops to e-mail their representatives in Congress for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.


Their message: "Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."


Hutto said the site has attracted about 1,200 responses. 


Volunteers have verified messages from about 700 service members, he said, from the lowest ranks up to O-6 - Navy captain or full colonel in the other services. Soldiers have been the most vocal, followed by the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.


Hutto and Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, a campaign co-founder, said response has been mostly positive, although some e-mailers accuse them of being anti-American.


Rodney Green, an economics professor at Howard University in Washington, mentored Hutto when he was elected student body president as a junior in 1997.  Hutto fought and beat the administration's effort to close off a public street in the middle of campus, he said.


Green, who protested the Vietnam War while serving in the Army, was at first surprised Hutto enlisted.  But on the other hand, he said, "He's a leader."


Hutto declined to apply for officer candidate school, and enlisted instead.


From boot camp to the ship, Hutto said, "It's been drilled into you - you don't have any rights."  Or, as he said one veteran sailor told him, "The only right you have is to get to work and get fed."


"I never really accepted that," Hutto said.


Hutto believed the service would teach him focus and discipline and would help him pay back his student loans.  He opposed the war when he joined the Navy, but kept it private.


In June, Hutto organized a lecture at the Norfolk YWCA by University of Notre Dame professor David Cortright, an antiwar activist and author of "Soldiers in Revolt."


A few active-duty service members then met for a late-night discussion at a Norfolk home.  Cortright, Hutto, Madden and about 10 other service members talked about the war.


In the quiet confidence of a private home, dressed in civilian clothes, the group came to a painful but certain consensus: Iraq was bad and getting worse.


They wanted to know what else they could do.


Although the men worried about their careers, paychecks and families, Hutto and Madden were willing to become the public face of troop dissent.


"Nothing will really happen until people speak up," said Madden, a 22-year-old stationed at Quantico who served one tour in Iraq.  Madden opposed the war before and during his deployment, but kept his feelings to himself.


Cmdr. Chris Sims, spokesman for Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force, said Hutto has not violated Department of Defense or Navy regulations.  Sailors may freely speak with the media when off duty, he said.


After the Web site was publicized two weeks ago, Hutto's supervisor pulled him aside and laid out the Navy's ground rules: The campaign had to be done on personal time, out of uniform and off base.


Hutto, who studied military rules and consulted lawyers before launching the campaign, agreed.


Said Green, "He's always been clever that way."


Hutto is a finalist again for sailor of the year, yet he still raises some eyebrows with the photos of Malcolm X, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Che Guevara at his desk aboard ship.


The campaign has "struck a good nerve," Hutto said.  "Democracy, to me, has to be across the society."







Two U.S. Troops Killed In Anbar


25 December 2006 Multi National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20061225-03


CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – One Marine and one Soldier assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Sunday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.



Baghdad IED Kills One U.S. Soldier;

Two Wounded


25 December 2006 Multi National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20061225-04


BAGHDAD – An improvised explosive device detonated near a Multi-National Division - Baghdad patrol, killing one Soldier in a southern neighborhood of the Iraqi capital Dec. 25. 


The unit was conducting a security patrol of the area when a roadside bomb exploded near one of their vehicles, killing one Soldier and wounding two others.



Newlywed GI Killed In Iraq




Oscar Gonzalez didn't want his 21-year-old nephew Roger to join the military, certainly not in the middle of a full-scale war going on in Iraq.


But without money to pay for a college education, the Army seemed like the best way for Roger to realize his dream of becoming a police officer.


That decision cost him his life.


Despite Uncle Oscar's objections, he enlisted last year and turned 22 in May.


Roger Alfonso Suarez-Gonzalez, still a newlywed, arrived in Iraq in October.  On Friday, family members coped with the news he is now dead.


''He was a hard worker. He wanted to start from the bottom to reach his goals at the top,'' said his wife, Lady Johana Suarez-Gonzalez, 22, who lives in Weston. “We had the same dreams, the same goals.''


He called her sometimes from Iraq, often in the middle of the night.  They loved the sound of each other's voice, and his wife would soothingly call him “mi amor.''


During the couple's last phone conversation, Suarez-Gonzalez told his wife, “Don't worry about me if you don't hear from me for awhile. . . . I'll be in God's hands.''


The couple met in job training classes in Kentucky.  He came from Nicaragua, she from Colombia, but the pair shared much in common.  Both were raised by their grandparents in their respective homelands and both arrived in this country with hopes of achieving a better life.


They married in March, in a small wedding in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the two shared an apartment with a view of the mountains.


A second wedding ceremony -- in Colombia, where both of their families could attend -- was planned after Suarez-Gonzalez finished his stint in Iraq.


Suarez-Gonzalez died Dec. 4, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.


A Defense Department statement released Friday said Suarez-Gonzalez and another soldier died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, “of injuries suffered from small arms fire while conducting security and observation operations.''


''I loved him like a son,'' said Gonzalez, the uncle who let Roger live with him locally for about a year.  The uncle-and-nephew team also worked side by side installing home cabinets around Miami-Dade County.


Gonzalez said he is still not convinced his nephew is dead, that it is not some military case of mistaken identity. The Army is asking for a closed-casket funeral and the family wonders why.


Suarez-Gonzalez's wife, now a widow, lamented a world in which ''we are self-destructing ourselves.''


She predicted her family won't be the last to suffer as a result of the events in Iraq.


''Although people won't believe or understand me . . . this is not going to stop here.  This is only the beginning of something worse to come,'' she said.



Tragic Way To Learn Son Is In Iraq


December 16, 2006 By ANTHONY LANE, THE GAZETTE


The death of a Fort Carson soldier in Iraq earlier this month came as a surprise to his relatives.


They thought he was still in Colorado.


“I didn’t even know he was in Iraq,” said Jean Feggins of Philadelphia, the mother of Pfc. Albert M. Nelson.


The 31-year-old Nelson was killed Dec. 4 with Pfc. Roger A. Suarez-Gonzalez, 21, when their infantry unit came under small-arms fire in Ramadi, the Army said Friday. The men were with a 2nd Brigade Combat Team battalion sent to Anbar province, southwest of Baghdad.


Feggins said her son enlisted in the Army about a year ago.  “He was only in there about a year,” Feggins said.


Before joining the Army, Nelson worked as a security guard and at other jobs.  Feggins said her son was a “regular guy” and a “people person.”


Nelson was the oldest of Feggins’ six children.  The youngest is 12.  Feggins said she raised them all to look up to their older brother.


“They’re devastated,” Feggins said.


Feggins declined to talk in detail about Nelson’s personal life.  “He’s a grown man,” Feggins said. “He was a grown man.”


Feggins said her relationship with her son went through some cool times.  “Me and him, we didn’t always see eye to eye, but we were best friends,” Feggins said.


Feggins said her son never married or had children.


Since the start of the Iraq invasion in 2003, 177 Fort Carson soldiers have been killed, including 55 deaths from enemy fire.  Seventy-two soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team have been killed.



Hilo Soldier Dies On 4th Tour In Iraq


December 17, 2006 The Honolulu Advertiser


HILO, Hawai'i — A Big Island man who was on his fourth tour in Iraq died Friday of injuries he suffered two weeks ago when a roadside bomb exploded near an armored Stryker vehicle he was riding in as part of a convoy, a family member said.


Henry Kahalewai, 44, was a senior enlisted man who planned to retire next year after 20 years in the Army to build a home on land he owned in Upper Puna, said Joseph Aguiar, Kahalewai's cousin.


Kahalewai had a grown son who lives in Honolulu, and two younger daughters who lived with him and his wife in Tacoma, Wash., Aguiar said.


"He's our hero.  Four tours of Iraq is enough for one person," Aguiar said.


Kahalewai was born and raised in Hilo, and enlisted in the Army because job and career opportunities in Hilo were limited at the time, Aguiar said.  "He wasn't comfortable, and he decided, well, he liked the military life," he said.


Aguiar, who lives in Kea'au, said his cousin had expertise in armored vehicles, including tanks and the Stryker.


Kahalewai came from a family with a long history of military service, including Kahalewai's father, grandfather, and his uncle. Kahalewai's father left the Big Island to be with his son before he died, Aguiar said.


"God knows how he's hurting right now," Aguiar said of Kahalewai's father


Aguiar said Kahalewai was outgoing, and called him "a true Hawaiian spirit."


"He was a very good man," Aguiar said. "He was just a bundle of life, in the cold he was warmth, the warmth of our life.


"He was in there trying to take care of good old Uncle George Bush's problem, and four times he went back."



The Generals Lie While Troops Die:

IEDs Kill At Highest Rate Of War


[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]


A previously unpublicized assessment generated by the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee and obtained by the Globe effectively accused the generals of hedging the truth when Congress asks what they need to protect the troops.  [Isn’t that sweet?  Generals don’t lie.  Oh no, they “hedge the truth.”]


December 17, 2006 By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff


WASHINGTON -- US troops in Iraq are dying in roadside bombings at a higher rate than any period since the war began -- some in follow-up attacks in the same locations -- but commanders still have no effective means to monitor the deadliest routes for patrols, according to Pentagon officials and documents.


Military deaths from roadside bombs have hit an all-time high in recent months: In October, 53 US troops died from improvised explosive devices, while in November, 49 troop deaths were blamed on so-called IEDs -- the second and third highest monthly tolls of the war, official statistics and casualty reports show.


That is far higher than the overall monthly average of 28 IED-related deaths since July 2003, when the data were first compiled.  And in the three previous months, between 22 and 29 soldiers and Marines died from roadside bombs.


Officials at the Joint IED Defeat Organization admit that most of the billions of dollars they get each year goes to developing high-tech gear to detect or disarm bombs rather than addressing the root of the problem: finding out where the bombs come from and who is planting them.


December is on track to become the deadliest month of all.


According to news reports, 53 soldiers died as of Dec. 16; Pentagon data indicates that roughly 60 percent of all casualties this month came from roadside bombings. Throughout much of the war, IEDs have caused about half of all US combat deaths in Iraq, according to a September study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.


That has spurred outrage among military officers, Pentagon contractors, and members of Congress.  They charge that, after spending billions of taxpayer dollars to address the problem there is still virtually no solid intelligence on how the bombers operate.


Senator Gordon Smith , a Republican from Oregon who had been a longtime supporter of the Iraq war, put it bluntly in his critique of the Iraq war on the Senate floor last week:


"I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day.  That is absurd.  It may even be criminal.  I cannot support that anymore."


The Joint IED Defeat Organization, which had been hailed as the "Manhattan Project" of the roadside bomb problem, "has been a disaster," said Ed O'Connell , a counter-insurgency specialist at the government-funded Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif. , who has advised US commanders in Iraq.


Cheap and lethal, roadside bombs are the tactic of choice for both Sunni and Shia Muslim insurgent groups opposed to the US military presence.


"We can't even detect their explosives," said Loren Thompson , a military specialist at the Lexington Institution, an Arlington, Va., think tank that supports strong military preparedness.  "We don't have the resources to police or survey every road. The IED problem is a case study of how military transformation has failed.


That lack of intelligence, however, is not only blamed on the IED office but also on commanders in the field, who some specialists say aren't forthcoming about the extent of the problem.


A previously unpublicized assessment generated by the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee and obtained by the Globe effectively accused the generals of hedging the truth when Congress asks what they need to protect the troops.  [Isn’t that sweet?  Generals don’t lie.  Oh no, they “hedge the truth.”]


The 2005 congressional report said that on numerous occasions, generals assured lawmakers that they have "complete (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) coverage over the respective theater battlespace; and in effect, 'they get everything.' " That has repeatedly been proven wrong, it said.


"The assumption then has always been that the troops also 'get everything' in the way of warning and intelligence, but this has not been the case," the report said.


"The fact that the enemy still has the ability to go out at night and set dozens of IEDs, mine and cut pipelines, and have hundreds of new recruits coming in to join and reinforce the insurgent forces undetected gives testament to the fact that something is gravely wrong."  [Right.  It’s called an “occupation.”  For some odd reason, Iraqis don’t want to live under a military occupation dictatorship commanded by George W. Bush.  Imagine that.  That’s what’s “gravely wrong.”  T]








10.28.06:  US soldiers man a spot checkpoint setup around the Karada neighborhood in central Baghdad.  .(AFP/Ali al-Saadi)









Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair autographs an armored vehicle during his visit to British troops in Basra Dec. 17, 2006.  (AP Photo/Eddie Keogh/pool)


[This is a message to Americans from Rose Gentle.  Her son Gordon was killed in Iraq.  She leads a campaign to bring all the Scots and other troops home from Iraq, now.  Her words carry more weight, and contain more truth, than 5000 pages of bullshit from the politicians.  T]


From: Rose Gentle

To: GI Special

Sent: December 18, 2006 9:34 AM


when  i saw  tony blair  in  iraq. i was so mad


how  can this bit of dirt  stand with our  troops  when he is the one that is geting  them  kilied, and  to autograph  an  armored  vehicle


its  just a shame  that  he will  not  be in it  by him self  and  it  gets blown  up ,


our  troops  dont want his  autograph


thay wont  home, thay  wont  the  equipment  thay need, 


tony blair  should be helld for the accountability   for the human carnage  on  all sides, 


whot was iraqs crime to warrant  such  an illegal invasion ?


was it this  iraq contains  the second  largest oil reserves in the world  and was viewd as an easy target for western  interests  to plunder ,


bush and blair   have a lot to ancer for, and there day will come


                                       from  the mother of  fusilier  gordon  gentle

                                       kilied  in  iraq, 28,7.04 

                                       age  19,  gordon  will  be 22 on the 23rd of december.


                                       @military  families against war, in  the UK,GB


                                        IF  YOU  WOULD LIKE  TO STAY IN  CONTAC  WITH 

                                        MILITRY FAMILIES YOU  CAN  GET  ME  ON  



                                        OR WWW.MFAW.ORG.UK


                                                 WISH  YOU  ALL  A MERRY EXMAS  

                                                 FROM   ROSE  GENTLE






The casket containing the remains of Marine Lance Corporal Brent E. Beeler during Beeler's funeral in Napoleon, Michigan December 19, 2006.  Beeler was killed in combat near Falluja, Iraq.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES)



“When The Bloody Gang Is At The Ranch Plotting Further Bloodbaths, Camp Casey Will Begin An Escalated ‘Peace Surge’”


December 24th, 2006 By Cindy Sheehan, Michaelmoore.com [Excerpt].  Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04.




In his press conference this past week, Bloody George, again, told us to go shopping.


Shopping fixes everything in this country: from being despondent over terrorist attacks to being despondent over body bags coming home from a war that never should have been waged.


]Really, what is wrong with this man?


There are tens of thousands of people in this country worried that one of their Christmas "gifts" from Bloody George will be a knock on the door informing them that their child has been killed for his lies and greed and their Christmas celebrations will be ruined forever.


There are over 3000 of us who already received this abhorrent surprise from Bloody BushCo and thousands who will be suffering through another Christmas without an arm, leg, eye, or soul because the Bloody Game Player sent them off to a phony war without the proper equipment or support.


Seventy percent of Americans know that this occupation is wrong and believe our troops should be coming home within the next six months.  Only twelve percent (of these, I am confident that the majority all have a Manger scene somewhere in their homes with a beaming porcelain Mary and Joseph adoring their beatific baby, Jesus), agree that a surge of troops is just what the Bloody Doctor ordered for Iraq.


Where are these 70%?


Borrowing a scene from The Prince of Peace's passion play, 33 years after his miraculous birth, all of his supporters, except his adoring mother and two other women would abandon him.


We must not continue this abandonment of the people of Iraq and our own troops.


We are convening at Camp Casey in Crawford this week, because Bloody George will be there at the Flying Photo-Op Ranch .


On December 26th, we will be holding a candlelight vigil for the almost 3000 soldiers that have been needlessly and sorrowfully killed for Bloody George's lies.


Then on Thursday, when the Bloody Gang is at the ranch plotting further bloodbaths, Camp Casey will begin an escalated "Peace Surge" in ramped up efforts to stop them before they can "reset" their bizarre and gore-soaked policies that will only make 2007 bloodier than 2006.


Hasn't there been enough shed blood in The Prince of Peace's name?  In our names?  Haven't you had enough?


I know I have.


Email: Tiffany@gsfp.org or Dede@gsfp.org for more information about our activities at Camp Casey this week.


Camp Casey is located at:

7440 Lone Star Parkway

Crawford, Texas.





“Our Children Are Being Sacrificed Like Christmas Turkeys So The Turkeys In The White House Can Strut And Posture Like Dictators Of Banana Republics”

The Democratic Leadership Is “Cozying Up To The Killers Who Have Led Our Country Down A Path Of Destruction”


25 December 2006 By Cindy Sheehan, Truthout [Excerpts]


2006 was a year of ups and downs for our family and for the nation.  Despite the facts, the criminal and corrupt occupation of Iraq continues unabated, and in fact - worsens on an hourly basis.


Body bags are coming home from the Middle East in the dark of night at a steady clip, and our troops are being grievously wounded for no other reason than to reward the CEOs of the war profiteers with phenomenal holiday bonuses.


Our children are being sacrificed like Christmas turkeys so the turkeys in the White House can strut around and posture like dictators of banana republics.


With the transfer of power in the legislative branch of Congress, our nation has a unique opportunity for true change in 2007.


But with the Democratic leadership cozying up to the killers who have led our country down a path of destruction in the name of "bipartisanship" - which in this case can only be truthfully called criminal collusion - we have little hope of the change that we the people voted overwhelmingly for this past November.


The best holiday presents for my family, our nation and the world, would be for the troops to speedily and safely exit from Iraq and for BushCo to be held accountable for their crimes against our Constitution and humanity.


I am also afraid that the recent electoral victory of the Democratic Party will lead to complacency in the grassroots movement.  May I remind everyone that the Democrats have started more wars in the last century than the Republicans - and all war is wrong, no matter what political party or which politician starts it.


We have to do more than "hope" for a good 2007. We have to stay vigilant and motivated, and constantly remind our employees in DC who they work for and what we expect from them.


Join Gold Star Families for Peace and a coalition of Peace and Justice Groups in our Walk for Change when Congress reconvenes on the 3rd and 4th of January.


Support peace groups who are on the frontlines struggling against the war machine.



Soldier Didn’t Mop The Floor Right;

Officers Bury Him Alive In The Woods


December 25, 2006 Army Times


A Russian soldier’s claim that his commander tried to bury him alive is under investigation after a group of mothers of service members said they believed the private even if the military was skeptical.


The Russian army private, Yevgeny Ovechkin, claims he was mopping the floor in his unit’s dining hall when two officers — a major and a warrant officer — started to beat him with their fists because he wasn’t doing it right, according to a report in the Russian publication Gazeta.


Ovechkin said that after he was beaten unconscious, the officers tried to cover up their misdeeds by burying him in the forest.  He was found by a local resident, who took him home.


After his mother went to the soldiers’ mothers committee for help, military prosecutors began an investigation.  Criminal charges are pending against the major for abuse of authority, but prosecutors will not say whether the charges relate directly to Ovechkin’s case or involve other allegations.







Angry Iraqis Force Occupation Troops To Stop Breaking Into Their Homes


A U.S. soldier from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment looks on during an anti-American [translation: anti-Bush military dictatorship] demonstration in Baghdad, Dec. 25, 2006.  Soldiers went house to house searching, touching off a protest that forced them to cut the mission short in some parts of the city.  (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)




U.S. soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment look on during an anti-American [translation: anti-Bush military dictatorship] demonstration in Baghdad, Dec. 25, 2006. Soldiers went house to house searching, touching off a protest that forced them to cut the mission short in some parts of the city. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)




A U.S. soldier from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment looks on during an anti-American [translation: anti-Bush military dictatorship] demonstration in Baghdad, Monday, Dec. 25, 2006.  Soldiers went house to house searching, touching off a protest that forced them to cut the mission short in some parts of the city. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)



Assorted Resistance Action


Dec 25 By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer & Reuters & VOI


A bomber attacked a police checkpoint at the entrance to a university in the city of Ramadi on Monday, killing three policemen and injuring three others, police and witnesses said.  Police said they had not determined whether the bomber was wearing an belt laden with explosives or was driving a booby-trapped car.


Another bomber blew up at an Iraqi army checkpoint south of Ramadi, and clashes then erupted between gunmen and soldiers, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. Mortars exploded in the area, he said.


Guerrillas wounded three policemen when they attacked a police checkpoint on Sunday in Jurf al-Sakhar, about 85 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad.


Bodies of three policemen were found in different districts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a hospital source said.


Insurgent fighters killed a police lieutenant colonel and wounded three other policemen in a drive-by shooting in the town of Mahaweel, 75 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.  An Interior Ministry source said two of the policemen with the officer also died in the attack.


Clashes between security forces and militiamen loyal to anti-occupation Moqtada al-Sadr killed six people and seriously wounded one on Sunday in the southern Iraqi town of Rumaitha, 25 km (16 miles) north of Samawa.









“An Unprecedented Rebellion Against Authority”


May. 30, 2006 D. D. Delaney, Port Folio Weekly [Excerpts]


Somehow the prevailing impression has rooted itself that dissent against the Vietnam War came from a fringe movement of traitors and creeps, and that nervous politicians who paid way too much attention to them tied the military’s hands, disgracing the nation by denying it the victory it might otherwise have achieved.


However, it seems that version of history — which includes numerous apocryphal anecdotes of returning GIs from Vietnam being spat upon by war protesters (generally hippie women) as they disembarked at the San Francisco airport — is false, the subsequent revisionist spin of politicians and pundits seeking to regain control of a social system that had reeled dangerously close to (shudder!) popular democracy.


Now, as the U.S. fights off the demons of failure in another unpopular imperialist war, it’s enlightening to refresh — if not correct — the memory of what really happened, especially within the U.S. military, in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.


At the Naro, 1507 Colley Ave., on Tues., May 30, the recently released Sir! No, Sir! will be shown. Even for those like myself whose lives were shaped by resistance to the Vietnam War and the politics and policies which informed it, this 84-minute documentary is an eye-opener.


The consciousness-raising continues on Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at the Norfolk YWCA, 5215 Colley Ave., when author, educator, and peace activist David Cortright will speak on the GI Anti-war Movement,  Then and Now. Cortright, who today teaches international peace studies at Notre Dame University in Indiana, is the author of the 1975 classic Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War, which Haymarket Books republished last year.


Soldiers in Revolt was a principal source for writer/director/producer David Zeigler’s Sir! No, Sir! with Cortright, in fact, serving as an advisor on the film. Himself a veteran of the Vietnam era, enlisted from 1968-71 as a horn player in the U.S. Army Band, Cortright became disillusioned with the war and began speaking out from his stateside base assignments at Fort Hamilton, NY, and, later, at Fort Bliss, TX.  He suspects that’s one reason he was never sent overseas.


"Those speaking out were considered ‘troublemakers,’" he says. "They tended not to send us to Vietnam because they already had more trouble (there) than they could possibly handle."


He’s talking about an unprecedented rebellion against authority within the ranks.


It’s hard to imagine today the scope of it, which is what Soldiers in Revolt and Sir! No Sir! reconstruct.


Zeigler, in fact, filmed interviews with many of the veterans who participated in the more visible acts of resistance, their mature selves today contrasted with film clips of their youthful acts 35 and 40 years ago as they marched and demonstrated, spoke out, sat in, and went to their own court martials to face long prison terms for refusing, in one way or another, to obey orders to kill.


There’s the Green Beret David Duncan, whose picture in uniform on the cover of Ramparts Magazine with the caption "I Quit!" woke up a nation to beginning of the GI resistance.


There’s Dr. Howard Levy, the bespectacled Army dermatologist who served three years in prison for refusing to train medics destined for the battlefield.


There’s Susan Schnall, the Navy nurse arrested for dropping leaflets from a rented airplane over San Francisco Bay Area bases announcing the first GI anti-war demonstrations.


There’s Billy Dean Smith, the African-American falsely charged with "fragging" an officer: murder by grenade, an increasingly common occurrence as the war dragged on, and acquitted by a military court after 22 months in solitary confinement, from which he never recovered mentally or emotionally.


There’s Jane Fonda, the lightning rod herself, shown in Sir! No Sir! mugging, singing, and rallying the resistance in the FTA (Fuck The Army) tours she so named and headlined counter-weights to Bob Hope’s officially sanctioned road shows.


And there are the off-base coffee houses where GIs gathered to commiserate in support of their disaffection, the more than 200 proscribed underground newspapers run off on mimeograph machines and clandestinely distributed, the ubiquitous illegal drugs and new music of rebellion, the sit-down refusals to fight, the negative briefings those returning from the war gave to those about to be sent — all these factors and more, widespread throughout all branches of the military to a degree little understood today, contributed to an unprecedented situation where the military could no longer be counted on to carry out the policies of the American ruling class.


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 email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657



“A Chronicle Of The 1960s GI Movement”


12.25.06 From Haymarket Books


This week's cover story of The Nation -- "About Face" -- tells the story of a new organization in the GI movement against the war in Iraq, The Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq (http://www.appealforredress.org/).


In the article the founder of the group tells how


“As the war in Iraq worsened, (he) felt he could no longer maintain his silence. He had an impeccable service record, having been named ‘sailor of the quarter’ among his junior enlisted shipmates.  But he had to do something to come out against a war he thought immoral and unnecessary.


“That's when one of his former professors sent him a thirty-year anniversary copy of Soldiers in Revolt by David Cortright.  Now a Notre Dame professor and one of America's leading peace activists, Cortright wrote his book as a chronicle of the 1960s GI movement he helped to found.


"’The title alone just hit me,’ says Hutto, as we talk in a Washington-area coffeehouse, on a day he's off duty from his Norfolk base. ‘This was all new to me.  And I got to thinking, What's to prevent active-duty folks from doing the same sort of thing right now?’"


That book is


Soldiers in Revolt

GI Resistance During the Vietnam War (updated and expanded edition)

David Cortright

with a new introduction by Howard Zinn

Published: 09/01/2005

9781931859271 | $16.00 | Trade Paper

Haymarket Books




Our mission statement at Haymarket states: "We believe that activists need to take ideas, history and politics into the many struggles for social justice today. Learning the lessons of past victories as well as defeats can arm a new generation of fighters for a better world."


This is a great example of exactly that process at work today.


All of us at Haymarket are also proud to be associated with the important new film, inspired also in part by Soldiers in Revolt, which is now available on DVD in an expanded director's cut edition: Sir! No Sir! (http://www.sirnosir.com/).


We hope you will consider buying the DVD, picking up and giving friends copies of David Cortright's vital book, and also supporting organizations such as The Appeal for Redress and Iraq Veterans Against the War (http://www.ivaw.org/).


We also hope we'll see you at one of the January 27 demonstrations against the occupation of Iraq.


In solidarity,

Haymarket Books



The Meat Factory


From: Dennis Serdel

To: GI Special

Sent: December 25, 2006

Subject: The Meat Factory


By Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade, purple heart, Veterans For Peace 50 Michigan, Vietnam Veterans Against The War, United Auto Workers GM Retiree, in Perry, Michigan




       The Meat Factory


He was a bourgeois General

next to a young PFC

said how are you doing son,

said that I have no legs

said at least you're alive son

said I wish I was dead

The bourgeois General leaves

stops at another soldier's bed

how are you doing son

but the soldier is dead

his eyes are still open.

The bourgeois Generals

make million of dollars

and when they retire

they get one million a year.

The General walks to another bed

how are you doing son

I'm paralyzed

from the neck down

at least you're living

if this is called living

I wish I was dead.

The bourgeois General

walks to another bed

said how are you doing son

said if all I get is a Purple Heart

then I wish I was dead.

The bourgeois General

walks to another bed

how are you doing son

said I want to go back

to my Unit Sir,

that's the spirit son

that's what I want to hear.

But the bourgeois General knows

he will never go back

one arm is missing

and he has stitches

all over

has puffed up face.


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.



Happy Anniversary:

December 26, 1970;

Vietnam Veterans Take The Statue Of Liberty


Peace History December 25-31 By Carl Bunin


Two dozen members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War "liberated" the Statue of Liberty with a sit-in to protest resumed U.S. aerial bombings in Vietnam.


They flew an inverted U.S. flag from the crown as a signal of distress.










An Iraqi citizen is forced to kneel down on the floor or her own home as a foreigner from the U.S. Army Company B of the 5th Batallion, 20th Infantry Regiment stands guard while others search her home in Baghdad Dec. 25, 2006.  (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)


[Fair is fair.  Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqi troops over here to the USA.  They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, make old ladies get down on their knees while others rummage through their homes, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign,” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any charges being filed against them, or any trial.]


[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives.  They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. 


[What a bunch of silly people.  How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush.  Why, how could anybody not love that?  You’d want that in your home town, right?]


“In the States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit,” said Wood, 42, from Iowa, who did not accompany Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his battalion, on Thursday’s raid.  “Here, there are no lawyers.  Their resources are limited, so they plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices) instead.”



Guess Who Doesn’t Need U.S. Military Trainers?


A militant armed with a rocket launcher patrols central Ramadi Dec. 8, 2006.  (AP Photo)



So Much For All That “Sovereign” Iraq Bullshit:

U.S. Military Dictatorship Arrests Guests Of Iraqi “President”


Dec. 25, 2006 (CBS/AP)


U.S. troops detained two Iranians who were in Iraq at the invitation of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a presidential spokesman said Monday.









Henry Payne Dec 12, 2006

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







A New Step In Making Money From “Terrorism”

Rich Can Pay To Keep Their Shoes On;

Corporations Rake In The Profits


December 13, 2006 LAURA MECKLER, Wall St Journal


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government approved new technology that will automatically scan shoes and boots for bombs, and promises that travelers will soon be spared the trouble of scurrying through security in their socks.


But the new machines will be available only to travelers who pay to join a special program, at least at first.


The shoe-scanner approval will give a crucial boost to the Registered Traveler program, which is designed to provide faster airport security screening, via a special security line, to travelers who sign up in advance and undergo a background check.  But the program, to be run by private companies under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration, has languished for years, and currently is operating only in Orlando, Fla.


The shoe scanner is expected to draw customers to the program because not only will it speed up lines.  It will also offer another perk -- remaining shod -- to attract customers willing to pay annual fees of about $100.


"We've always said that Registered Traveler has to be more than a front-of-the-line program," says Steven Brill, chief executive of Verified Identity Pass Inc., which operates the Registered Traveler program in Orlando.


Private companies that take part in the program must be approved by the TSA and compete to win contracts from airports to provide the service.


The shoe scanner is part of a kiosk developed by General Electric Co.'s GE Security, which is a minority investor in Verified.


Verified has bought 20 of the kiosks for use at the airports where it has contracts to operate Registered Traveler programs.  It plans to launch operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 7, which is run by British Airways, as early as next week. The company plans to follow at three more airports -- in Cincinnati, San Jose, Calif., and Indianapolis -- in the coming weeks.


It is charging passengers $99.95 per year.


Not everyone is enthused about Registered Traveler.  The major airline trade group, the Air Transport Association, has tried to dissuade airports from signing on, arguing that it will deliver little benefit while distracting the TSA from other priorities such as developing a new system for monitoring passenger lists for the names of suspected terrorists.


In addition, airlines already offer special security lines to first-class and most-frequent fliers at some airports, and Registered Traveler could wind up competing with this and other airline-provided perks.


The other companies competing for Registered Traveler contracts also promise to buy advanced screening equipment once it is approved for use by the TSA.


A third major player is Saflink Corp., which hasn't yet won an airport contract.  It is focusing on building relationships with charitable groups, universities, professional sports teams and trade associations that would offer the company's card, called Fast Lane Option, at a discount or as a fund-raising device for the organization.


All three companies are developing packages of various travel and nontravel related perks, ranging from discounts on airport parking and merchandise to credit card and offers and deals on mortgage rates.


Any new technology used for Registered Traveler is being paid for by the private companies.  The new GE kiosks, for instance, cost more than $150,000 each.


That might be too expensive for the federal government to buy and install for the use of all air travelers. But the government will monitor the performance of the machines and could wind up buying them down the road.



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. 29357 sent on 28-dec-2006 11:04 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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