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Military Resistance 8D16: Used Up And Thrown Away - 28 April 2010

Thomas F. Barton

Military Resistance:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

4.28.10

Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

 Military Resistance 8D16

NOT ANOTHER DAY

NOT ANOTHER DOLLAR

NOT ANOTHER LIFE

A wounded U.S. soldier is carried off of a C-17 ...

A wounded U.S. soldier is carried off of a C-17 transport airplane to an ambulance at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Used Up And Thrown Away

“Warehouses Of Despair, Where Damaged Men And Women Are Kept Out Of Sight, Fed A Diet Of Powerful Prescription Pills And Treated Harshly By Noncommissioned Officers”

“All They Do Is Make Things Worse”

“Many Soldiers At Fort Carson Complained That Discipline And Insensitive Treatment By Cadre Members Made Wounded Soldiers Feel As If They Were Viewed As Fakers Or Weaklings”

One Army Specialist “Said He Was Ordered To Perform 24-Hour Guard Duty Repeatedly Against The Orders Of His Doctor”

 [Here it is again. Same old story. Used up, thrown away, and the politicians couldn’t care less. To repeat for the 3,543rd time, there is no enemy in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their citizens and U.S. troops have a common enemy. That common enemy owns and operates the Imperial government in Washington DC for their own profit. That common enemy started these wars of conquest on a platform of lies, because they couldn’t tell the truth: U.S. Imperial wars are about making money for them, and nothing else. Payback is overdue. T]

[Thanks to SSG N (ret’d), Phil G & Clancy Sigal, who sent this in.]

April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH, The New York Times [Excerpts]

Christina Perez, the wife of a transition unit soldier from Fort Carson, said she got into an ugly fight with a member of the cadre who was furious that she had gone over his head to request additional therapy for her husband, a sergeant first class who had sustained a brain injury during one of two tours in Iraq as a tank gunner.

 In a meeting, the noncommissioned officer shouted that Ms. Perez’s husband did not deserve his uniform and that he should give it to her instead, Ms. Perez said in a police complaint

April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH, The New York Times [Excerpts]

COLORADO SPRINGS — A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.

A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition unit at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay, his mother thought.

It did not work.

He was prescribed a laundry list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented.

His once-a-week session with a nurse case manager seemed grossly inadequate to him. And noncommissioned officers — soldiers supervising the unit — harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.

Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.

“It is just a dark place,” said the soldier, who is waiting to be medically discharged from the Army. “Being in the W.T.U. is worse than being in Iraq.”

Created in the wake of the scandal in 2007 over serious shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to duty or gently process out of the Army. There are currently about 7,200 soldiers at 32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson’s unit.

But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson’s transition unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest that the units are far from being restful sanctuaries.

For many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers.

Because of their wounds, soldiers in Warrior Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to depression and addiction, but many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their treatment there has made their suffering worse.

Some soldiers in the unit, and their families, described long hours alone in their rooms, or in homes off the base, aimlessly drinking or playing video games.

“In combat, you rely on people and you come out of it feeling good about everything,” said a specialist in the unit. “Here, you’re just floating. You’re not doing much. You feel worthless.”

At Fort Carson, many soldiers complained that doctors prescribed drugs too readily.

 As a result, some soldiers have become addicted to their medications or have turned to heroin.

 Medications are so abundant that some soldiers in the unit openly deal, buy or swap prescription pills.

Heavy use of psychotropic drugs and narcotics makes it difficult to exercise, wake for morning formation and attend classes, soldiers and health care professionals said.

 Yet noncommissioned officers discipline soldiers who fail to complete those tasks, sometimes over the objections of nurse case managers and doctors.

At least four soldiers in the Fort Carson unit have committed suicide since 2007, the most of any transition unit as of February, according to the Army.

Drugs and Addiction

Sgt. John Conant, a 15-year veteran of the Army, returned from his second tour of Iraq in 2007 a changed man, according to his wife, Delphina. Angry and sullen, he reported to the transition unit at Fort Carson, where he was prescribed at least six medications a day for sleeping disorders, pain and anxiety, keeping a detailed checklist in his pocket to remind him of his dosages.

The medications disoriented him, Mrs. Conant said, and he would often wander the house late at night before curling up on the floor and falling asleep.

Then in April 2008, after taking morphine and Ambien, the sleeping pill, he died in his sleep. A coroner ruled that his death was from natural causes. He was 36.

Mrs. Conant said she felt her husband never received meaningful therapy at the transition unit, where he had become increasingly frustrated and was knocked down a rank, to specialist, because of discipline problems.

“They didn’t want to do anything but give him medication,” she said.

Other soldiers and health care workers at Fort Carson offered similar complaints.

They said that most transition unit soldiers were given complex cocktails of medications that raised concerns about accidental overdoses, addiction and side effects from interactions.

“These kids change their medication like they change their underwear,” said a psychotherapist who works with Fort Carson soldiers and asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the transition unit.

“They can’t even remember which pills they’re taking.”

Some turned to heroin, which is readily available in the barracks, after becoming addicted to their pain pills, according to interviews with soldiers and health care professionals at Fort Carson.

“We’re all on sleep meds, anxiety meds, pain meds,” said Pfc. Jeffery Meier, who is in the transition unit and said he knew a dozen soldiers in the unit, including a recent roommate, who had used heroin. “The heroin is all that, wrapped into one.”

Jess Seiwert offers a cautionary tale. A staff sergeant and sniper who was knocked unconscious by roadside bombs in Iraq, he returned to Fort Carson in late 2006 with post-traumatic stress disorder, burns and a variety of aches. Prone to bouts of rage, he often drank himself to sleep and began abusing the painkiller Percocet.

Medical records show that Sergeant Seiwert’s captain thought he was a danger to his wife and needed inpatient psychiatric care. Instead, the sergeant was transferred into Fort Carson’s transition unit in 2008.

In a recent interview, Mr. Seiwert, now discharged from the Army, said he received minimal therapy in the unit but was given ample medication, including the painkillers he abused. “I should have been in inpatient rehab to get me off the drugs,” he said.

 Last summer, just months after being medically discharged, he badly beat his wife while bingeing on alcohol and Percocet. He pleaded guilty to a second-degree assault charge and is likely to face five years in prison.

‘Making Things Worse’

Like private outpatient clinics, Warrior Transition Units aim to provide highly individualized care and ready access to case managers, therapists and doctors.

But the care is organized in a distinctly Army way: noncommissioned officers, known as the cadre, maintain discipline and enforce rules, often using traditional drill-sergeant toughness with junior enlisted soldiers.

At the top of the command are traditional Army officers, not health care professionals: Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, head of the Warrior Transition Command, was an artillery officer, and Colonel Grantham an intelligence officer.

Beneath them is what the Army calls its triad of care. Members of the cadre keep a close eye on individual soldiers, much like squad leaders in regular line units. Nurse case managers schedule appointments and assist with medications and therapy. And primary care managers — doctors, physicians’ assistants or nurse practitioners — oversee care and prescribe medicines.

The structure is intended to ensure that every soldier gets careful supervision and that Army values and discipline are maintained.

But many soldiers at Fort Carson complained that discipline and insensitive treatment by cadre members made wounded soldiers feel as if they were viewed as fakers or weaklings.

James Agee, a former staff sergeant who transferred into the transition unit after returning from his second tour of Iraq in 2008, said he frequently heard cadre members verbally abuse medicated soldiers who were struggling to get out of bed for morning formation or stay awake for all-night duty.

 “They would say, ‘These guys can’t do this because they are crazy,’ ” said Mr. Agee, who received a medical discharge from the Army.

 “It would make you feel like you were inferior.”

One Army specialist in the unit, who received diagnoses of post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury, said he was ordered to perform 24-hour guard duty repeatedly against the orders of his doctor.

The specialist, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared repercussions, said he experienced flashbacks to Iraq during the long hours by himself.

In many cases, the noncommissioned officers have made it clear that they do not believe the psychological symptoms reported by the unit’s soldiers are real or particularly serious.

At Fort Hood, Tex., a study conducted just before the shooting rampage there last November — which found that many soldiers in the Warrior Transition Unit thought their treatment relied too heavily on medication — also concluded that a majority of the cadre believed that soldiers were faking post-traumatic stress or exaggerating their symptoms.

Christina Perez, the wife of a transition unit soldier from Fort Carson, said she got into an ugly fight with a member of the cadre who was furious that she had gone over his head to request additional therapy for her husband, a sergeant first class who had sustained a brain injury during one of two tours in Iraq as a tank gunner.

 In a meeting, the noncommissioned officer shouted that Ms. Perez’s husband did not deserve his uniform and that he should give it to her instead, Ms. Perez said in a police complaint. No charges were brought.

 Eventually her husband, who has headaches and memory loss, was transferred to an inpatient psychiatric clinic in Denver while he awaits a medical discharge.

 “All they do is make things worse,” Ms. Perez said of the transition unit.

Last year, The Associated Press reported that the transition unit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina had a discipline rate three times as high as the 82nd Airborne Division, the base’s primary occupant.

Bureaucratic Delays

Sgt. Keith Nowicki was an intelligence analyst who was sent back early from his second deployment to Iraq in April 2008 because of severe post-traumatic stress disorder, said his wife, Ashley. Assigned to the Fort Carson transition unit, he spent nearly a year waiting for his medical discharge.

Instead of getting the help he hoped for, he spent much of the time in the unit alone, growing increasingly angry, drinking heavily and abusing Percocet.

In early 2009, he separated from his wife. While on the phone with her in March 2009 he shot himself to death. He was due to be discharged at the end of the month.

Though Ms. Nowicki does not attribute her husband’s suicide to the long wait for his discharge, she said the slowness of the process and the lack of support from the transition unit added to his sense of hopelessness.

 “It was just a bunch of red tape,” Ms. Nowicki said. “He would spend days trying to track down his own medical records.”

Army officials acknowledged that wait times for medical discharges at Fort Carson had grown.

A major reason is that Fort Carson is part of a pilot program with the Department of Veterans Affairs in which the Army and the V.A. collaborate in evaluating soldiers’ injuries. The collaboration between the two bureaucracies is expected to speed up veterans benefits once a soldier leaves the Army, but it can lengthen the initial evaluation period, officials said.

Michael Crawford has been waiting more than a year for his medical discharge. As his anxiety and depression have worsened, so have his problems in the unit. His rank was recently reduced to private in punishment for overstaying leave and using marijuana.

 But things are looking up, his mother believes: he will be able to stay with her in Michigan while awaiting his discharge.

 His mother, Sally Darrow, has already seen one son commit suicide. She believes that Michael would become the second if he had to return to Fort Carson and the transition unit.

 “At home, with family and schoolmates, he’s dealing with things better,” Ms. Darrow said.

 “He’s not safe there.”

MORE:

 

“Instead Of Getting Medical Help, Adam Got Push-Ups”

“He Shot Himself Inside A Bathroom Stall With His Rifle”

“What Kind Of Leadership Is That?”

 Apr 25, 2010 By Kristin M. Hall - The Associated Press [Excerpts]

Spc. Adam Kuligowski’s problems began because he couldn’t sleep.

Last year, the 21-year-old soldier was working six days a week, analyzing intelligence that the military gathered in Afghanistan. He was gifted at his job and loved being a part of the 101st Airborne Division, just like his father and his great uncle.

But Adam was tired and often late for work. His eyes were glassy and he was falling asleep while on duty. His room was messy and his uniform was dirty.

His father, Mike Kuligowski, attributes his son’s sleeplessness and depression to an anti-malarial medication called mefloquine that was found in his system.

[I]t can cause psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucination and psychotic behavior.

But instead of getting medical help, Adam got push-ups.

One time, he got angry, throwing his gun on the ground and telling his command to send him to jail. He was given an Article 15 nonjudicial punishment for misconduct and assigned kitchen duty during his days off.

The final straw, his father said, was when his first sergeant threatened to take away his security clearance and take him off his intelligence job.

Adam wrote a note telling his dad, “Sorry to be a disappointment.”

Then he shot himself inside a bathroom stall with his rifle.

When the Army closed their investigation into the soldier’s suicide, his father said an investigator told him that the Adam’s problem was that he was unable to conform to a military lifestyle. Mike Kuligowski did receive a personal note from the division’s commanding general: “We don’t know why this happened,” he wrote.

Kuligowski was not appeased.

“It reminds me that officers know absolutely nothing about the plights of the soldiers who are under their command,” he said. “What kind of leadership is that?”

DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?

Forward Military Resistance 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 wars, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657. Phone: 888.711.2550

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

U.S. Soldier Killed By IED In Diyala Province

 

April 27, 2010 United States Forces – Iraq PAO, RELEASE No. 20100427-A

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq –

Soldier Killed in Improvised Explosive Device blast:

A United States Division-North Soldier was killed in Diyala province.

 

Resistance Action

 

04/27/2010 By HAMID AHMED Associated Press Writer & April 27 (Reuters)

BAGHDAD—An overnight mortar attack killed two Iraqi soldiers Tuesday at a security station in a neighborhood of northern Baghdad, police and hospitals officials said.

Another 14 people, including an army colonel, were wounded in the 1 a.m. attack on the joint Iraqi army-police office in the capital's Hurriyah area, the officials said.

Three mortar shells hit the security station, according to two Iraqi police officials.

It was the second big attack in Hurriyah in less than a week.

*************************************

Also Tuesday, insurgents in a speeding car opened fire on an Iraqi soldier in the northern city of Kirkuk, police said. Kirkuk police Col. Ahmed Shameran identified the victim as Khalil Ibrahim, a 27-year-old army lieutenant who was attending Kirkuk University.

In the northern city of Mosul, a drive-by shooter targeted a police checkpoint late Tuesday, killing one policeman and wounding another, said a police official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

*************************************

 

Guerrillas fired on a police checkpoint using guns with silencers, killing a police officer and wounding another in western Mosul, 390 km(240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The police returned fire, wounding a child and a man, the source added.

MOSUL - A roadside bomb wounded a police officer when it struck a police convoy in western Mosul, police said.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATIONS

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

ALL TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

Foreign Occupation “Service Member” Killed Somewhere Or Other In Afghanistan:

Nationality Not Announced

 

Apr 27 Associated Press

On Tuesday, a foreign service member was killed in eastern Afghanistan in a small-arms attack. NATO did not release the service member's name or nationality.

 

Insurgents Attack Compound Providing Logistical Support To Foreign Forces In Kandahar;

Heavy Casualties Reported In Two Hour Battle

People inspect the scene of a suspected suicide ...

Destroyed vehicles at the Supreme logistics compound in Kandahar April 28, 2010. The insurgent attack killed four people and wounded at least 30. REUTERS/Stringer

Apr 27 By NOOR KHAN and DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writers & Apr 28, 2010 DPA

Kandahar Police Chief Sher Mohammed Zazai said militants detonated explosives near the city in an attack targeting a compound providing logistical support to foreign forces.

At least four security personnel and two bombers were killed late Tuesday in blasts and a two-hour battle that followed, said Zalmai Ayubi, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Taliban bombers carried out the attack at the security firm's compound outside the provincial capital, also called Kandahar, said Sardar Mohammad Zazai, the provincial police chief.

The base is located 2 kilometres west of Kandahar city's airfield, the main base for U.S. and other foreign troops in the region.

More than 30 guards and civilians working at the security firm's base were injured in the attack.

In a statement posted on its website Wednesday, the Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying three of its bombers stormed the main compound of Supreme, a logistics and private security company that transports supplies for foreign troops in southern Afghanistan.

 

The statement claimed that 15 security personnel were killed and 60 injured while nearly 60 vehicles were destroyed and eight oil tankers burned on the site.

 

“The First Time That Clash Has Been Reported Between Militants And Police In Badakhshan Considered A Peaceful Province”

 

27.04.2010 Xinhua

Police have arrested seven Taliban insurgents in the relatively peaceful Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday.

"A unit of Police came in contact with Taliban rebels in Wardoj district yesterday as a result of the gun battle seven rebels were captured," spokesman for provincial administration Abdul Marouf Rasikh told Xinhua.

In the clash lasted for several hours one police officer was killed and two others including a militant and a police constable sustained injuries.

Days ago Taliban militants gunned down a police officer in Wardoj district.

This is the first time that clash has been reported between militants and police in Badakhshan considered a peaceful province in Afghanistan.

Meantime, Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with media via telephone from unknown location confirmed the clash and claimed that three-hour gun battle with security forces left seven police dead, a claim rejected by Marouf as baseless.

 

U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;

RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS

United States Army Pfc. Nicholas Claffey, of ...

A foreign occupation soldier from the USA puts his hands on the body of an Afghan citizen without consent during a patrol April 27, 2010 in the Maiwand District of Kandahar Province. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Foreign occupation soldiers from the USA make a daily practice of publicly humiliating Afghan citizens.

This encourages self-respecting honorable Afghans to kill them.

[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 80,000 Afghan troops over here to the USA.

 

[They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, bomb and butcher their families, 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 a military prison endlessly without any charges being filed against them, or any trial.

 

[Those Afghans 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 killing them wholesale, 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 Barrack Obama. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]

 

ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT;

ALL HOME NOW

Soldier from the U.S. Armys 3rd Platoon, ...

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 4-23 Infantry Battalion, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team eats tinned meat during a break at an Afghan National Police (ANP) compound in Helmand April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

 

 

An interpreter helps a U. S Marine from Lima ...

An interpreter helps a U. S Marine from 6 Marines, after he fell into a canal during patrol in the Karez-e-Sayyidi area, in the outskirts of Marjah district, Helmand province, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

 

SOMALIA WAR REPORTS

Pirates Flee As Resistance Forces Advance:

“They Would Not Tolerate The Actions Of The Pirates”

4.26.10 Mareeg Online & GAROWE ONLINE

Fighters from Somalia’s insurgent group of Al-Shabaab has advanced to Harardhere, a central Somali coastal town famously known as a notorious pirate haven, forcing pirates to flee with hijacked ships and crews to another neighboring pirate stronghold.

According to reports that reached Garowe Online, hundreds of Al-Shabaab fighters streamed from the central town of Eldhere in the Galgadud region late Sunday, heading east towards Harardhere in south central region of Mudug.

Tension and fear has mounted in the town after the news of al Shabaab troop movement reached the people.

Somali pirates, who are holding at least six vessels and more than 90 people hostage in the town, are said to have retreated with some hijacked vessels and crew to Hobyo, another pirate stronghold about 108 kilometers to the north in Mudug region in central Somalia.

The al Shabaab fighters reached Villages 30 kilometers south of Harahrdhere and are reportedly heading to the town.

The spokesman of al Shabaab, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, said last month that they would not tolerate the actions of the pirates.

“They used to tell us that they are defending the Somali coast from illegal fishing and those dump toxic waste in our waters, but now they have started to hijack commercial Somali boats,” Sheikh Ali told reporters in Mogadishu last month.

The pirates hijack commercial and fishing ships in the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden and get large ransom of money.

The Islamist insurgent group has been advancing in central Somalia in recent days, taking over control of three towns, including Eldhere in the Galgadud region from the archrival, pro-government Sufi group, Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama'a

 

Explosion Convulses New Foreign Troops Base In Mogadishu;

Eight Occupation Soldier Killed

4/27/2010 (Sh. M. Network)

MOGADISHU

A bomber has been targeted to a new military base for the African Union troops AMISOM [translation: foreign occupation troops] at the former business bank in the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses, officials told Shabelle radio on Tuesday.

Reports say that the explosion was carried out by a bomber traveling a vehicle filled with explosive things and exploded at the outside of the bank where the AMISOM troops made new base in Shangani district in Mogadishu causing more casualties.

Witnesses said that the bomber exploded himself as one of the AMISOM security guards tried to stop the truck entering the bank adding that they had seen the bodies of 8 soldiers of AMISOM near the bank.

Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen officials had claimed the responsibility of the blast adding that they killed officers of AMSIOM troops in the bank.

 

Clerics Denounce U.S.-Backed Government For Killing Civilians

25 Apr GAROWE ONLINE &4/26/2010 (Sh. M. Network)

MOGADISHU: The Islamist clerics of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a have denounced the transitional government for the responsibility of yesterday’s deadly shelling that left the lives of more people in the capital, official told Shabelle radio on Monday.

Heavy shelling targeted to Bakara market had killed more and injured many innocent civilians as the shellfire continued yesterday afternoon.

Sheik Abdullahi Sheik Abdirahman (Abu Yusuf), head of the information of the clerics who is in Mogadishu had talked more on the shelling saying that the responsibility would take by the transitional government of Somalia

“The first or second step of talks with the government will be to decrease the dying people, the shelling, because what is going on can not be tolerated. And the remained innocent civilians can not bear the heavy shelling,” said Sheik Abu Yusuf

The shelling erupted after insurgents launched mortar attacks on Somali presidential palace, where top Somali officials were holding meeting.

Islamist insurgent groups are waging war to overthrow the government, which it accuses of being a puppet of the West.

 

Unpaid Somali Government Soldiers Desert To Insurgency:

“Their Wages Were Intercepted By Senior Officials”

“Soldiers Also Had Problems With Some Battalion-Level Commanders Stealing Their Rations”

“Many Donors Are Reluctant To Contribute Money To An Army Once Notorious For Crimes Such As Rape, Kidnapping And Murder”

April 27, 2010 By KATHARINE HOURELD Associated Press Writer [Excerpts]

Hundreds of Somali soldiers trained with U.S. tax dollars have deserted because they are not being paid their $100 monthly wage.

The desertions raise fears that a new U.S.-backed effort beginning next month to build up Somalia's army may only increase the ranks of the insurgency.

Somalia's besieged U.N.-backed government holds only a few blocks of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, while Islamic insurgents control the rest of the city and most of the country.

In an effort to rebuild the tattered Somali military, the United States helped fund a training program for nearly 1,000 soldiers in neighboring Djibouti last year, Western diplomats told the AP.

The French-trained troops were supposed to earn $100 a month, but about half of them deserted because they were not paid, Somali army Col. Ahmed Aden Dhayow said. "Some gave up the army and returned to their ordinary life and others joined the rebels," he said.

Somalia's state minister for defense, Yusuf Mohamed Siyad, confirmed some trainees had joined the al-Shabab militants, but he declined to specify the number of deserters.

Failure to resolve the pay issue could threaten the success of a U.S. and European Union training program beginning in Uganda next month that has been touted as the biggest effort to rebuild the army in 20 years.

Funding for the Somali army is a complex affair involving contributions from donor nations, the U.N. and the Somali government. Individual countries sometimes pledge to cover salaries for a limited number of soldiers for a few months, and when the money runs out, salaries don't get paid.

The U.S. has provided $2 million to pay Somali soldiers and purchase supplies and equipment in Mogadishu since 2007, according to the State Department. Another $12 million went toward transport, uniforms and equipment, but the U.S. has declined to say how much of that paid for training.

During a recent AP visit, dejected-looking soldiers sat under dust-covered thorn trees at the government's main military base, Camp Jazira, which lacks toilets, a clinic or even a perimeter fence.

 

They had not been paid, some for months, they said, adding that their wages were intercepted by senior officials.

 

When pressed for details, mid-level officers glanced at colleagues clutching plastic bags of spaghetti, the day's lunch ration, before saying they could not discuss the problem.

Earlier this year, trainee soldiers had their guns confiscated and replaced with sticks after a riot broke out between those who had been paid and those who had not.

The African Union, which has peacekeepers [translation: soldiers] at Camp Jazira, temporarily suspended payments over fears that men who had been paid would be killed by those who had not, an official involved with the training said.

Soldiers also had problems with some battalion-level commanders stealing their rations, a European official said. The U.S. has sent a shipment of food this month to try to help the malnourished soldiers regain their strength, he added.

A German-funded training course for 900 Somali police recently ended in Ethiopia, a Western official in Nairobi said, but there are fears the trainees will desert because no provision has been made for their salaries.

Some international payments are channeled through a fund administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers, an arrangement designed to prevent the mass theft of salaries and combat a desertion rate of up to 90 percent that scuttled a previous U.N. effort to reform the police force.

However, diplomats complain the lists of soldiers the government has provided differ from those they have been authorized to pay.

Officers including Gen. Ahamad Buraale, who is in charge of Camp Jazira, also say PricewaterhouseCoopers has been slow to issue the identity cards that allow soldiers to be paid.

 

The firm declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement with its clients.

Guaranteeing longer-term wages for the soldiers may be difficult. Many donors are reluctant to contribute money to an army once notorious for crimes such as rape, kidnapping and murder.

In the meantime, the Somali government is forced to rely on donor nations that are often slow to pay, undercutting soldiers' confidence in regular paychecks, and feeding desertions and corruption.

There are few signs Somalia's government will ever be able to deliver social services, shape military strategy and pay its army on its own.

 

TROOP NEWS

THIS IS HOW OBAMA BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE

An Army honor guard fold the flag that draped the casket Army ...

The casket Army Spc. Christopher J. Coffland at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 1, 2009. Spc. Coffland, 43, of Baltimore, Md., died Nov. 13 in the Wardak province of Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Meade, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

This is an undated photo shows abolitionist Frederick Douglass. ...

 

“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.

 

“For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.

 

“We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

 

Frederick Douglass, 1852

Hope for change doesn't cut it when you're still losing buddies.

-- J.D. Englehart, Iraq Veterans Against The War

I say that when troops cannot be counted on to follow orders because they see the futility and immorality of them THAT is the real key to ending a war.

-- Al Jaccoma, Veterans For Peace

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

-- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787

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

 

Mike Hastie

U.S. Army Medic

Vietnam 1970-71

December 13, 2004

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.

-- George Washington

The Social-Democrats ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression no matter where it appears no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.”

-- V. I. Lenin; What Is To Be Done

A revolution is always distinguished by impoliteness, probably because the ruling classes did not take the trouble in good season to teach the people fine manners.

-- Leon Trotsky, History Of The Russian Revolution

“The Nixon administration claimed and received great credit for withdrawing the Army from Vietnam, but it was the rebellion of low-ranking GIs that forced the government to abandon a hopeless suicidal policy”

-- David Cortright; Soldiers In Revolt

It is a two class world and the wrong class is running it.

-- Larry Christensen, Soldiers Of Solidarity & United Auto Workers

April 28, 2004: The Truth Comes Out

Carl Bunin Peace History April 23-29

The first photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS’s ‘‘60 Minutes II.’’ The photos had been taken by U.S. military personnel responsible for detaining and interrogating Iraqi prisoners arrested following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Troops Invited:

Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email to contact@militaryproject.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. Same address to unsubscribe. Phone: 888.711.2550

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

“The ‘Israel Lobby’ Thesis Conveniently Absolves U.S. Policy-Makers Of Responsibility For Their Ongoing Support Of Israeli Apartheid, Violence And Annexation”

“U.S. Policy Is Rationally Planned To Serve The Interests Of The Ruling Class”

“Those Blaming The Lobby For US Policy Once Again Misunderstand US's Strategic Interests In The Middle East”

Indeed, the US's policy towards Israel and the Palestinians is not to achieve an end to the occupation, nor to bring about respect for Palestinian rights -- in fact, it is the actor primarily responsible for preventing these outcomes.

27 April 2010 Stephen Maher, The Electronic Intifada [Excerpts]

Many of Israel's critics blame an "Israel lobby" for the near-total complicity of the US in Israeli annexation, colonization and cleansing programs in the occupied West Bank.

This complicity continues to the present, despite the "row" that erupted after the Israeli government humiliated US Vice President Joe Biden by announcing the construction of 1,600 settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem while he was visiting the country.

Indeed, despite the apparent outrage expressed by top White House officials, the administration has made clear that its criticism of Israel will remain purely symbolic.

However, as we shall see, the lobby thesis does little to explain US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Given the prevalence of the Israel lobby argument, and the latest diplomatic confrontation between the US and Israel, it is important to revisit the flaws in the thesis, and properly attribute US behavior to the large concentrations of domestic political and economic power that truly drive US policy.

The inflated level of support that the US lends Israel is a rational response to the particular strategic importance of the Middle East, the chief energy-producing region of the world.

As we shall see, those blaming the lobby for US policy once again misunderstand US's strategic interests in the Middle East, and Israel's central role in advancing them.

This unique regional importance is one reason for the tremendous level of aid Israel receives, including more advanced weaponry than that provided to other US clients.

Providing Israel with the ability to use overwhelming force against any adversary to the established order has been a pivotal aspect of US regional strategy. Importantly, Israel is also a reliable ally -- there is little chance that the Israeli government will be overthrown, and the weapons end up in the hands of anti-Western Islamic fundamentalists or independent nationalists as happened in Iran in 1979.

If we adopt "the lobby" hypothesis, we would predict that the US would bend to Israel's will when the interests of the two states diverge, acting against its "national interest."

Yet if US policies in the Middle East were damaging its "national interest," as proponents of the lobby argument claim, that must mean that such policies have been a failure.

This leads one to ask: a failure for whom?

Not for US elites, who have secured control of the major global energy resources while successfully crushing opposition movements, nor for the defense establishment, and most certainly not for the energy corporations.

In fact, not only is US policy towards the Middle East similar to that towards other regions of the world, but it has been a profitable, strategic success.

Indeed, the US's policy towards Israel and the Palestinians is not to achieve an end to the occupation, nor to bring about respect for Palestinian rights -- in fact, it is the actor primarily responsible for preventing these outcomes.

To the US, Israel's "Operation Defensive Shield" in 2002 had sufficiently punished the Palestinians and their compliant US-backed leadership for their intransigence at Camp David.

While the Palestinian Authority was already acting as Israel's "subcontractor" and "collaborator" in suppressing resistance to Israeli occupation, in the paraphrased words of former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's deliberate destruction of Palestinian institutions provided the opportunity to rebuild them, and ensure an even greater degree of US control.

The settlement and annexation programs help guarantee Israeli control over the most valuable Palestinian land and water resources, ensuring Israel will remain a dominant society not easily pressured by its neighbors.

 

To help achieve these goals, the US shields Israeli expansion behind a "peace process" in hopes that given enough time the Palestinians will concede more and more of what was once theirs.

 

The primary concern is to present the appearance that the US and Israel are ardently crusading for peace, battling against those who oppose this noble objective.

Though it is true that people across the region are appalled and outraged by Israeli crimes, such anger is a small consideration next to the strategic gain of maintaining a strong, dependent ally in the heart of the Middle East.

The reconstitution of an even more tightly-controlled Palestinian Authority, with General Keith Dayton directly supervising the Palestinian security forces, enabled the US to meet these goals while more effectively suppressing resistance to the occupation.

Likewise, redeploying Israeli soldiers outside of Gaza allowed Sharon a free hand to continue the annexation of the West Bank while being heralded internationally as a "great man of peace."

The treatment of Israel by the mainstream US media is also standard for all US allies.

Coverage in the corporate press is predictably skewed in favor of official US allies and against official enemies, a well-documented phenomenon.

Thus, proponents of the lobby thesis are missing the forest for the trees.

 

What they see as the special treatment of Israel by the mainstream press is actually just the normal functioning of the US media and intellectual establishment, apologizing for and defending crimes of official allies while demonizing official enemies.

Of course, this is not to argue that there are not organizations in the US, like the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League and AIPAC, that seek to marginalize dissent from Israeli policy in every forum possible.

Rather, I am pointing out that the power of these groups pales in comparison to other, far more powerful, interests and concerns.

While the AJC or ADL may mobilize for the firing of a professor critical of Israel, for example, that argument is amplified by the elite-owned and controlled press because doing so serves their interests.

Likewise, AIPAC can urge unwavering support for Israel on the part of the US government, but without the assent of other far more powerful interests, like the energy corporations and defense establishment, AIPAC's efforts would amount to little.

US policy, like that of other states, is rationally planned to serve the interests of the ruling class.

Israel could not sustain its aggressive, expansionist policies without US military aid and diplomatic support. If the Obama Administration wanted to, it could pressure Israel to comply with international law and resolutions, join the international consensus, and enact a two-state solution.

While the "Israel lobby" thesis conveniently explains his failure to do so and absolves US policy-makers of responsibility for their ongoing support of Israeli apartheid, violence and annexation, it simply does not stand up under closer scrutiny.

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

 

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

...

 

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?

CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

 

Telling the truth - about the occupations 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 to Imperial wars 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 Veterans Against the War to end the occupations and bring all troops home now! (www.ivaw.org/)

 

POLITICIANS CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED

 

THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS

 

CLASS WAR REPORTS

...

 

RECEIVED:

Make MAY DAY 2010 Our Day

[New Orleans]

Noon, Saturday, 5/1/2010

The 1100 Block of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

New Orleans

To: Military Resistance

Subject: NOLA_C3_Discussion N.O. May Day: Jobs,Housing, & Justice

Date: Apr 28, 2010

ATTENTION U.S. GOVERNMENT: NOW BAIL OUT THE REST OF US !!!

Since September 2008 the U.S. government has poured $4.6 trillion of taxpayer money into the private economy to keep America ’s largest banks and other large businesses afloat.

This government bailout has fueled a stock market boom and a surge in banking profits alongside a spike in unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, and homelessness.

Washington and Baton Rouge are attempting to shrink the huge deficit created by the Wall Street bailout by pursuing drastic cutbacks and wholesale privatization of public employment, housing, healthcare, and education.

May Day 2010 is a springboard for building a working class alternative to the establishment’s (non)solutions for the ongoing economic crisis.

MAY DAY 2010 DEMANDS:

 

Enact a WPA-style public works program

 

Reopen Big Charity. Hands off the Charity public health system

 

Repair & reopen all New Orleans public housing. Supply Section 8 vouchers to all 18,000 New Orleans homeless

 

Restore 2008-2010 public education funding cuts

 

Legalize and stop harassing all immigrants

 

Enforce Section 3 local hiring

Bring friends, signs, chants, and spirit

C3/Hands Off Iberville meets 7pm Thursdays in St. Jude’s Basin Street Hall. 410 Basin Street

Info: call 504-587-0080.

 

Got an opinion? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send to contact@militaryproject.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request identification published.

 

 

Vietnam GI: Reprints Available

Vietnam: They Stopped An Imperial War

 

Not available from anybody else, anywhere

 

Edited by Vietnam Veteran Jeff Sharlet from 1968 until his death, this newspaper rocked the world, attracting attention even from Time Magazine, and extremely hostile attention from the chain of command. The pages and pages of letters in the paper from troops in Vietnam condemning the war are lost to history, but you can find them here.

 

The Military Project has copied complete sets of Vietnam GI. The originals were a bit rough, but every page is there. Over 100 pages, full 11x17 size.

 

Free on request to active duty members of the armed forces.

 

Cost for others: $15 if picked up in New York City. For mailing inside USA add $5 for bubble bag and postage. For outside USA, include extra for mailing 2.5 pounds to wherever you are.

 

Checks, money orders payable to: The Military Project

 

Orders to:

Military Resistance

Box 126

2576 Broadway

New York, N.Y.

10025-5657

 

All proceeds are used for projects giving aid and comfort to members of the armed forces opposed to today’s Imperial wars.

Military Resistance Looks Even Better Printed Out

Military Resistance/GI Special are archived at website http://www.militaryproject.org .

The following have chosen to post issues; there may be others: http://williambowles.info/wordpress/military-resistance-archives/ ; news@uruknet.info; http://www.traprockpeace.org/gi_special/

 

Military Resistance 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 occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. 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. Military Resistance has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is Military Resistance 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, a copy of this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.



:: Article nr. 65533 sent on 30-apr-2010 09:40 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=65533



:: 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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