THEM ALL HOME NOW
A wounded U.S. soldier is transferred by a
medevac helicopter to the military hospital in Balad, Iraq, May 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Thomas Wagner)
"Hospital Staff And
Patients In The U.S. Are Dying"
"A Misinformation Campaign By
The Pentagon Regarding The Infection Problems In The Military Medical System"
"They Have Failed To Reduce The
Infection Rate In Their Own Medical System; In Fact It Is Going Up"
From: Marcie Hascall
To: GI Special
Sent: May 12, 2007
Subject: Misinformation Campaign
MORE ON ACINETOBACTER
This past week was apparently
the beginning of a misinformation campaign by the Pentagon regarding the
infection problems in the military medical system.
In several news articles and
twice on CNN in interviews the Pentagon has implied that the insurgents are
smearing animal feces on the IED’s and that is where
the bacteria is coming from.
This has gone unchallenged by
In fact the MSM
never picked up on Steve Silbermans expose in January
which you posted.
Wired Magazine sent a hard copy
to every member of Congress, the New York Times, The
Washington Post, The LA Times, and more.
All chose to ignore this.
I almost choked when I caught
the CNN segments on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning but nearly cried when
I heard Bill Maher repeat this lie last night.
Anyone in the military or
anyone who is even thinking at all realizes that biologics cannot withstand the
heat generated by even a small bomb.
Disbursement methods for biologics are much more complicated and use
very small explosive charges.
The military has already proven
to themselves that they are origin and the cause of
the spread of Acinetobacter Baummanni.
Their failure to contain it
despite this knowledge has lead to the spread of this superbug
to hospitals all over our country.
They have failed to reduce the
infection rate in their own medical system, in fact it
is going up.
Hospital staff and patients in
the US are dying from this
I never dreamed 4 years ago
that things would get this bad.
Here are links to the news articles and CNN
This information is also
available at my new website www.iraqinfections.org
Thanks for doing the GI Special
THE SITUATION ROOM, MAY 8, 2007
Bombs, some laced with poison, are taking a
huge toll among U.S. troops long after the explosions and far from the
battlefield. Let’s go to our Pentagon
correspondent Barbara Starr -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT:
Wolf, military doctors have a new worry about badly wounded troops.
STARR (voice-over): Hundreds of wounded troops
from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing a growing threat -- dangerous
and sometimes deadly infections.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re seeing more of it
now than we did at the beginning of the war.
STARR: As body armor improves, more troops
are surviving the massive injuries caused by IEDs. But those wounds are becoming a breeding
ground for drug-resistant infections.
Researchers say the infections are often so bad troops may require more
surgery or, in some cases, even amputation of arms or legs.
COL. GLENN WORTMANN,
WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER: Because they’re surviving with these tremendous wounds that allows an environment for these
bacteria to flourish. And, therefore, I
think our infections are worse than you would see on the civilian side.
STARR: Infections in hospitals are nothing
new, but one of the bacteria now showing up, acinetobacter,
is resistant to almost all antibiotics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you here
between 15 and about 20 percent of patients that come in the door are colonized
or infected with the organism.
STARR: Researchers also say some infections
occur because of natural bacteria in the soil. Wounds are contaminated when
there is an IED attack.
There are also cases where IEDs have been
deliberately filled with chemicals and animal waste, a deadly mix for open
AMERICAN MORNING, MAY 9, 2007
I’m just thinking about these stories out
yesterday about these EFPs and other improvised-explosive devices, where
insurgents and terrorists and now coating them with animal excrement and other
bits of awful to try to inflict, you know, greater casualties by, you know,
creating these wounds that just will not heal and become resistant to
CALDWELL: John, we continue to see them use
any kind of tactic that can -- will, you know, inflict more casualties and
cause more fear and intimidation amongst the people and the security forces,
just like they do with these chlorine tanks that they put on top of their
bombs, so they have a chlorine fume that is caused. I mean, it just shows you
the type of nature the enemy we’re fighting against over here and what we’re up
-- having to deal with.
ROBERTS: All right. Well, General Caldwell,
it’s another troubling development there. And we thank you for your time. We
know your busy. And good luck today at the briefing
today and with the vice president’s visit.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
IED Kills Soldier Near Al
May 12, 2007 Multi National Corps Iraq Public
Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20070512-04
BAGHDAD – An 89TH
Military Police Brigade Soldier was severely wounded by an improvised explosive
device at approximately 7:15 pm Friday south of Al Iskandariyah. The Soldier was evacuated for treatment at
the Coalition medical treatment facility at FOB Kalsu but later died of his
THIS ENVIRONMENT IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH;
COME HOME, NOW
Battle at Tarmiyah: On Feb. 19, 35 soldiers faced an attack on
their remote patrol base in Tarmiyah, Iraq.
By the end of the four-hour battle, two of the men were dead and 29 were
wounded. Two soldiers on the roof of the
ruined patrol base fire back at enemy insurgents who attacked the base after
the truck exploded. [U.S. Army Photo]
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
"The Americans Went After One Guerrilla Commander And Created A Hundred More"
"After Burying The Dead,
The Tribe’s Elders Met And Resolved To Fight American Forces If They Returned"
"We Will Stand Against Them, And
We Will Raise The Whole Area Against Them"
May 13, 2007 By
CARLOTTA GALL and DAVID E. SANGER, The New York Times [Excerpts]
Afghanistan, May 9 — Scores of civilian deaths over the past months from heavy
American and allied reliance on airstrikes to battle Taliban insurgents are
threatening popular support for the Afghan government and creating severe
strains within the NATO alliance.
The anger is visible here in
this farming village in the largely peaceful western province of Herat, where
American airstrikes left 57 villagers dead, nearly half of them women and
children, on April 27 and 29.
Even the accounts of villagers
bore little resemblance to those of NATO and American officials — and suggested
just how badly things could go astray in an unfamiliar land where cultural
misunderstandings quickly turn violent.
The United States military says it came under
heavy fire from insurgents as it searched for a local tribal commander and
weapons caches and called in airstrikes, killing 136 Taliban fighters.
But the villagers denied that
any Taliban were in the area.
Instead, they said, they rose
up and fought the Americans themselves, after the soldiers raided several
houses, arrested two men and shot dead two old men on a village road.
After burying the dead, the
tribe’s elders met with their chief, Hajji Arbab Daulat Khan, and resolved to fight American forces if they
"If they come again, we will
stand against them, and we will raise the whole area against them," he warned.
Or in the words of one foreign
official in Afghanistan, the Americans went after one guerrilla commander and
created a hundred more.
On Tuesday, barely 24 hours after American
officials apologized publicly to President Karzai for a previous incident in
which 19 civilians were shot by marines in eastern Afghanistan, reports
surfaced of at least 21 civilians killed in an airstrike in Helmand Province,
though residents reached by phone said the toll could be as high as 80.
While NATO is now in overall command of the
military operations in the country, many of the most serious episodes of
civilian deaths have involved United States counterterrorism and Special
Operations forces that operate separately from the NATO command.
The subject of civilian casualties was the
source of intense discussion on Wednesday in Brussels when the NATO secretary
general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer,
met with the North Atlantic Council, the top representatives of the coalition.
But the conversation was less
about how to reduce casualties, according to participants, than about how to
explain them to European governments, who say their troops are there for
reconstruction, not hunting the Taliban or terrorists.
Since the beginning of March at least 132
civilians have been killed in at least six bombings or shootings, according to
officials. The actual number of civilians killed is probably higher, since the
areas of heaviest fighting, like the southern province of Helmand, are too
unsafe for travel and many deaths go unreported and cannot be verified.
"You have a bag of capital —
that is the good will of the people — and you want to spend that as slow as you
could," said the American military official. "We are spending it at a fearsome
The episode here in this valley in Shindand district in late April showed just how changeable
the attitudes toward foreign troops can be.
The ethnic Pashtuns who live in the Zerkoh Valley are from a fiercely independent tribe,
surrounded by local enemies, and with a record of fighting all comers. Still,
NATO and United States soldiers were a common — even friendly — sight in this
valley in western Afghanistan. They came
and talked to the tribal leaders, built schools and culverts, and had plans for
a new bridge.
In interviews, villagers, who had cooperated
with NATO before, blamed local rivals for planting false information with the
Americans, to encourage the Americans to attack Zerkoh.
After the Special Forces units
started raiding homes, the villagers were so angered, they said, they fought
the Americans themselves. They insisted
that no Taliban were here, an area that has been mostly calm.
"NATO was coming regularly, and the Afghan
Army and police, and we were cooperating with them," said Muhammad Alef, 35, a farmer who was tending to his wounded cousin in
the provincial hospital in the city of Herat.
"But when the Americans came without
permission, and they came more than once and disturbed the people," he said.
"They searched the houses, and
the second time they arrested people, and the third time the people got angry
and fought them."
The American forces searched the tribal chief’s
house and arrested two of his staff members, the villagers said.
One, a watchman named only Bahadullah, 45, said he had been handcuffed, covered with a
hood and taken to the nearby American base at Shindand.
He said he had been strung up by
his feet for what seemed like an hour and a half as American soldiers swung him
about. When he was let down the soldiers
kicked and beat him, he said. In an
interview this week, he said he was still passing blood and in pain from the
A senior American military official who has
looked at what happened in Zerkoh said that some
compounds were bombed but added that the troops were receiving fire from them.
But a villager, Abdul Waheed,
said the Americans had searched his family compound and found no weapons and
certainly must have seen the women and children.
Two days later they bombed the compound,
killing six children, he said.
"The Americans should leave
Afghanistan because this is my own home," he said. "I am sitting here and they
come and just order a bomb to drop."
Villagers said the first
fighting broke out on April 27, as they had gathered at the bazaar in the
central village of Parmakan. Two old men, Adel Shah, 80, who was walking
home with some meat and sugar for his family, and Sarwar,
80, who was harvesting poppies, were shot dead by the Americans, said Abdul Zaher, Mr. Shah’s son.
That night, the first airstrikes were carried
out, mainly on Bakhtabad, the village at the entrance
to the valley, residents said.
On April 29, the Americans
returned, positioning their armored vehicles outside Parmakan.
Villagers said they thought the
Americans were going to raid houses again, and the men gathered to fight. Husi, 35, lives in
a house near the school and on the edge of the village. She was alone with her 10 children, and when
the shooting started they cowered at the entrance of their walled home, she
Then suddenly a plane bombed
the five-room house. "When they bombed I just ran," she recalled as she held
her 1-year-old boy. Women and children were pouring out of the village to the
river to cross it to safety, she said.
In the panic as they fled, Husi was separated from three of her children, Amina, 8, Tote, 5, and Fazli, 3,
who are still missing.
"We ran with bare feet, we left
our shoes," said Sara, a relative and the mother of seven, whose house was also
bombed. "I was running and they were
shooting at us from the plane," she said.
Two uncles and two cousins were
killed when the house was bombed, she said. "We have nothing, it’s all
finished," she said.
The river was chest-high at the
time, and a number of women and children were swept away. Fifty-seven people died over all, including
17 children under 10, 10 women and 14 old men, Hajji Daulat
Khan said. Eight people are still
missing, including a 21-year-old man, and Husi’s
The bombing of the village so
outraged people that they continued fighting the Americans even after the
American and Afghan military
officials admitted that they had been surprised at the ferocity of the
response, and said that at one point American soldiers had been forced to call
in the Afghan Army.
"We are not saying that the
foreigners should leave or stay, we are just saying they should not do this,"
said a farmer, Fateh Muhammad, 55, gesturing with his
scythe at an enormous bomb crater and his neighbor’s collapsed house. He showed the place where two of his
neighbors had been killed in a field nearby.
The airstrikes damaged about
100 homes and a new school built by Italian troops.
"This is a big mistake the
Americans are making," said Nasrullah Khan, a younger
brother of the tribal chief, Hajji Daulat Khan. "If the Americans are here for peace, this is
not the way."
"Sometimes You Wonder Whose Side The Americans Are
On," Said A British Official:
"We’ve Left It Too Late. I See It Going The
Same Way As Iraq"
May 13, 2007 Christina Lamb, The Sunday Times
BRITAIN will step up its presence in
Afghanistan this week with the deployment of a high-profile new ambassador as
concern mounts that the toll of civilians killed in the war is setting back the
coalition’s efforts to win Afghan "hearts and minds".
There is growing alarm over a wave of US
bombing raids in which 110 civilians have died in the past two weeks. "Sometimes you wonder whose side the
Americans are on," said a British official.
"I’m not optimistic," said one official. "We’ve
left it too late. I see it going the
same way as Iraq."
HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
The body of
Lance Coporal Jesse D. Delatorre, 29, at his funeral
in Aurora, Illinois, April 26, 2007. Delatorre died April 16 while conducting
combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. REUTERS/John Gress
to David Honish, Veteran, who sent this in.]
Iraq Veteran Says:
"This Is Not A Black
People’s War. This Is Not A Poor People’s War.
This Is An Oilman’s War"
to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
May 9, 2007 By
Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe Columnist [Excerpts]
MILITARY SOCIOLOGIST David R. Segal was asked
Monday over the telephone what he hears in his surveys of soldiers.
He quoted an African-American
veteran of the Iraq invasion and occupation: "This is not a black people’s
war. This is not a poor people’s
war. This is an oilman’s war."
Gregory Black, a retired Navy diver who last
year started the website BlackMilitaryWorld.com, said that quote sums up what
he too hears from African-American veterans of Iraq.
"African-Americans detest this war," Black
said yesterday in a phone interview.
"Everybody kind of knows the truth behind
this war. It’s a cash cow for the military defense industry, when you look at
the money these contractors are making. African-Americans saw this at the
beginning of the war and now the rest of the country has figured it out. It’s not benefiting us in the least."
Asked about the reference to an "oilman’s
war," Black said, "It’s basically about oil, basically about money. It’s an
He said veterans are saying
they are tired and burned out.
"Guys are saying we’re halfway
around the world fighting people of color under the guise of democracy and we
can’t see how it’s benefited anyone," Black said.
"It’s hard to fight halfway
around the world for people’s freedom when you’re not sure you have it at home."
This war, launched under false pretenses, now
has so little merit that the enrollment of African-Americans in the military
may be at its lowest point since the creation of the all-volunteer military in
1973. In 2000, 23.5 percent of Army recruits were African-American.
By 2005, the percentage dropped to 13.9
percent. National Public Radio this week quoted a Pentagon statistic that said
that African-American propensity to join the military had dropped to 9 percent.
"African-Americans are always more sensitive
to anything that smacks of neocolonialism, which this war did smack of," said
Joint Center political analyst David Bositis.
Pentagon officials largely attribute the drop
in African-American interest in the armed forces to "influencers," parents,
coaches, ministers, and school counselors who urge youth not to enlist.
"I think some of that is true,"
Black said. "But I taught ROTC in high
school, and the kids themselves are a lot smarter about this stuff. They see the news and they can’t justify
going into a fight for something they have no faith in."
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, inside the armed
services and at home. Send email requests to address
up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Military Family Members Condemn Tour Extension To
Asshole Gates Slapped Down For
Saying Extension A "Beneficial" "Favor To Army Families"
other family members have "supported (the war effort) so long and sacrificed so
much," she said. "and I’m wondering how much more they
can possibly ask us to do."
April 23, 2007 By
Gina Cavallaro, Army Times [Excerpts]
Anger, resignation, uncertainty and pride
were just a few of the emotions vented by soldiers and spouses in response to
the news that the war zone rotations had been extended to 15 months, effective
A soldier on duty at Camp Bucca near Baghdad
said in an e-mail that he didn’t consider the news of an extension unexpected
but predicted that retaining soldiers will be extremely difficult.
"Asking for flexibility has its limits. Even
rubber bands snap," wrote Spc. Frederick Cutter, who also described a dream in
which he returned home and his 1-year-old daughter asked, "Who is that?"
"My heart cracked. My daughter did not choose
to make these sacrifices," Cutter wrote.
"As a wife of one of the many soldiers
affected by this 15-month extension, I feel hopeless," wrote Jess McClary from Germany. Her husband works in 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
"On reflection, I see that planning on 15
months is better than getting the word at 11 months that your husband is going
to be extended," Elizabeth Cherepko said in a phone
interview from her home in Copperas Cove, Texas.
"However, she added, "I just
had a problem with the way Secretary Gates presented it as some favor to Army
families. I was angered by his claim
that it would be beneficial."
Her husband, 1st Lt. Tom Cherepko
of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is on his third
trip to Iraq, his first as an officer.
She was an Army truck driver for four years
and now cares for their 15-month-old daughter while teaching high school in
She and other family members
have "supported (the war effort) so long and sacrificed so much," she said. "and I’m wondering how much more they can possibly ask us to
Gen. Casey Told To Take Stop-Loss And Shove It;
"It Does Nothing More Than
April 23, 2007 By
Matthew Cox, Army Times [Excerpts]
Soldiers have some advice for [Gen. George
Casey] the Army’s new chief of staff — shorten combat tours and get rid of the
The issue of tour lengths is intensifying
after Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced April 11 that combat deployments
for all active-duty soldiers will now be 15 months instead of 12.
Just four days before the announcement, Sgt.
William Ibrahim’s e-mail to Army Times called on
Casey to shorten deployments.
"It’s difficult for families to deal with
loved ones being gone for a year at a time. One year is too long to be gone," he wrote. "I think the chief of staff of the Army should
work to lessen the length of deployments."
Abolishing stop-loss policies that hold
soldiers in uniform beyond their separation dates was also on the recommended
to-do list for Casey.
"Gen. George Casey should first
end the stop-loss policy," wrote Suzanne Kishel, the
wife of a National Guard sergeant who is being held in the Army under stop-loss
and being deployed to Iraq for a third time.
"This policy amounts to nothing
more than a draft of those who have been fighting for our country over the past
four years or more," she wrote.
"It does nothing more than
cause contempt and greatly decreases the likelihood of a soldier continuing a
career in the military."
Many soldiers were short and to-the-point
about their uniforms, particularly about the black beret.
"Dump the black beret while in
ACUs," Maj. Wyeth Anderson wrote in an e-mail to Army
Times, describing how the patrol cap "looks better on most soldiers, blocks the
sun and can be put on with one hand.
"I understand the intent to
push the perception of an expeditionary force, but multiple deployments have
made that point better than a hat."
While War Profiteers Stuff Their
"Uncle Sam Sent Me Off With One Pair Of Desert Boots, Two Uniforms, And Body Armor That Didn’t
[Thanks to Katherine GY, The Military
Project, who sent this in.]
clearly my interview with Stewart Scott, a former Halliburton employee. With
pain and rage in his voice, he said how dare Halliburton
put its people up at five-star hotels, while the soldiers, who he was there to
help, were sleeping on the ground.
May 10, 2007 By
Robert Greenwald, AlterNet
The following is Robert Greenwald’s testimony
to the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense about war
Thank you for inviting me to testify today. I
appreciate the opportunity to share with you what I have learned in the course
of making the documentary film, "Iraq For Sale: The
Along with my colleagues at Brave New Films,
I spent a year researching the experiences of soldiers, truck drivers and
families affected by the presence of private military contractors in Iraq.
They shared with us their harrowing
experiences of how military privatization and war profiteering have affected
their lives, and in some cases taken the life of a loved one.
"Iraq For Sale" was seen by
hundreds of thousands of people around the country, and I cannot tell you the
number of soldiers who saw it and thanked us for exposing the toll that
contracting and profiteering are taking on our armed forces and on the war in
Imagine someone with the exact same job as
you, working next to you, but getting paid three times as much as you! We heard
this story over and over again from the soldiers we interviewed. And in the case of US Army SPC David Mann, a
radio repair technician who served in Iraq, he was even required to train KBR
contractors to replace him. In "Iraq For Sale," David
shared his frustration:
"When I could be actively becoming a better
soldier and becoming more proficient in my job, instead I’m going to sit up on
guard duty and wait around while KBR contractors are doing the job that I had
to train them to do."
US Army specialist Anthony Lagouranis also spoke of the effects of the private
contractors on the military:
"It certainly affected retention because I
don’t know why any military person would re-enlist to do the same job when they
could get out of the military and make six times the money -- I really don’t
understand why they were outsourced. I
mean, it seems like this is a military job and the military should be doing it.
"Especially because the more civilians you
have out there, the more military people you need to guard them. So we’re
spreading us thin."
I was also appalled to learn of the amount of
waste by contractors in Iraq.
I remember clearly my interview
with Stewart Scott, a former Halliburton employee. With pain and rage in his
voice, he said how dare Halliburton put its people up
at five-star hotels, while the soldiers, who he was there to help, were
sleeping on the ground.
I did not believe in him at
first, but then he began naming the hotels and the locations. It was all true.
These costs eat up the money that could be
used for other supplies.
Sgt. Phillip Slocum wrote to us
and said, "In previous experiences I went off to war with extra everything, and
then some. This time however, Uncle Sam
sent me off with one pair of desert boots, two uniforms, and body armor that
Cost-plus and no-bid contracts are hopelessly
undermining our efforts and costing the taxpayers billions. They do not operate
within a free-market system and have no competition, but instead create a
Stalinist system of rewarding cronies.
In a letter from Sgt. Jon Lacore talking about the enormous amount of waste, he said,
"I just can’t believe that no one at all is going to jail for this or even
being fired or forced to resign."
What do you
think? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org:. Name, I.D., withheld on
confidential. Same to
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
GET THE MESSAGE?
"We Demand The Iraqi
Government Not To Welcome The Messenger Of Terror Dick Cheney"
Protesters burn effigies of Cheney during a
rally in Kerbala May 9, 2007. Shi’ite
demonstrators denounced Cheney’s visit to Iraq. The Arabic inscriptions on the
banner reads: "We demand the Iraqi government not to welcome the messenger of
terror Dick Cheney". REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammad
"If The United States Leaves Iraq
Things Will Really Get Bad"
"The Last Remaining, Barely-Breathing Argument Of That Vanishing Species Who Still Support The God-Awful
May 3, 2007 By Bill
Blum, Anti-Empire Reports [Excerpts]
If the United States leaves
Iraq things will really get bad:
This appears to be the last
remaining, barely-breathing argument of that vanishing species who still
support the god-awful war.
The argument implies a deeply-felt concern
about the welfare and safety of the Iraqi people.
What else could it mean? That the US military can’t leave because it’s
needed to protect the oil bonanza awaiting American oil companies as soon as
the Iraqi parliament approves the new written-in-Washington oil law?
No, the Bush administration loves the people
How much more destruction, killing and
torturing do you need to be convinced of that?
We can’t leave because of the violence. We can’t leave until we have assured that
peace returns to our dear comrades in Iraq.
To better understand this
argument, it helps to keep in mind the following about the daily horror that is
life in Iraq:
It did not exist before the US
The insurgency violence began
as, and remains, a reaction to the occupation; like almost all insurgencies in
occupied countries -- from the American Revolution to the Vietcong -- it’s a
fight directed toward getting foreign forces to leave.
The next phase was the violence
of Iraqis against other Iraqis who worked for or sought employment with
anything associated with the occupation regime.
The US military itself has been
a main perpetrator of violence, killing individually and en masse, killing any
number, any day, for any reason, anyone, any place, often in mindless
retaliation against anyone nearby for an insurgent attack.
And here is James Baker, establishment
eminence, co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, on CNN with Anderson Cooper:
Cooper: And is it possible that getting the
U.S. troops out will actually lessen that violence, that it will at least take
away the motivation of nationalist insurgents?
Baker: Many people have argued that to us.
Many people in Iraq made that case.
Cooper: Do you buy it?
Baker: Yes, I think there is some validity to
it, absolutely. Then we are no longer seen to be the occupiers.
In spite of all of the above we
are told that the presence of the United States military has been and will
continue to be a buffer against violence.
Iraqis themselves do not
believe this. A poll published in
September found that Iraqis believe, by a margin of 78 to 21 percent,
that the US military presence is "provoking more conflict that it is
Remember that we were warned a thousand times
of a communist bloodbath in Vietnam if American forces left. The American forces left. There was never any kind of bloodbath.
If the United States leaves -- meaning all
its troops and bases -- it will remove the very foundation, origin, and
inspiration of most of the hate and violence. Iraqis will have a chance to
reclaim their land and their life.
They have a right to be given that
Let America’s deadly "love" embrace of the
Iraqi people come to an end. Let the
What do you think? 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 email email@example.com:. Name, I.D., withheld unless you request
confidential. Same address to unsubscribe.
Chomsky: Bush’s Little Helper:
He "Blames The Violence
And Terror Of The War And Occupation On The Character Of The Resistance Opposed
overestimating the US and underestimating mass movements, Chomsky does not see
the anti-war movement as a vehicle for change and does not identify the
emerging ingredients that defeated the US in Vietnam: a mass peace movement, a
heroic resistance, and a troop revolt.
Book Review: Failed
States: the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy by Noam Chomsk:
11.18.06 By Jesse McLaren, Socialist Worker [Canada] [Excerpts]
In his latest book, leading US
foreign policy critic Noam Chomsky dismantles the current justification for
Imperialist wars and argues that the biggest "failed state" is the US. It is a valuable condemnation of imperialism,
but is short on solutions.
Chomsky builds his case in three parts.
The first section illustrates how the US
endangers its citizens by a nuclear arms race, the weaponization
of space, environmental destruction, and encouraging terrorism. He then shows how the US is acting like an "outlaw
state," with reference to the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter, the World Court, the
Kyoto Protocol, and the NonProliferation
Treaty. In the 1inal
section, Chomsky exposes the "democratic deficit" within the US that permits it
to continue these policies despite the majority opposition of ordinary
Chomsky argues persuasively that the main
obstacle to peace and justice is the US and its incessant wars for
resources. He describes the brutal
history of US "democracy promotion", to which has been added the (repeated)
coup in Haiti '" and attempts against Venezuela.
his section on Israel, Chomsky exposes the "security wall" and "disengagement
plan" as expansionist policies, while clearly showing that it is the US state,
and not "lobby groups," that are driving
Chomsky identifies the Iraq War as the
defining issue of this period because of its importance for US strategy, and
devotes much of the book to recounting the history of US intervention in Iraq
up to and including the ongoing occupation.
He attacks the arguments for economic and
military aggression against Iran. Quoting Iranian activists, he reveals how the
threat of sanctions undermines the reform movements the US claims to support.
Chomsky exposes US hypocrisy over democracy
and nuclear power by revealing how the US installed the brutal regime of the
shah and then called for the same policies of nuclear power they now denounce.
US imperialism is the real source of
instability: "Washington has gone out of its way to instruct Iran on the need
for a powerful deterrent, not only by invading Iraq, but also by strengthening
the offensive forces of its Israeli client, which already has hundreds of
Throughout the book Chomsky
highlights that ordinary Americans are in their majority opposed to the crimes
of their government.
This is an interesting shift
for Chomsky, known for his theory that the US maintains thought control over
its citizens through the propaganda of the media and educated elites.
In seeing a majority of Americans disagree
with their rulers, Chomsky shifts his analysis from ideological to more
structural reasons for their control.
But there are a number of shortcomings in "Failed
Firstly, and ironically, he ignores a key
pillar of current propaganda: Islamophobia.
For example, he uncritically quotes and then
elaborates on "The National Intelligence Council (who) 'predicted that an
American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and
would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal
conflict,’ hence engendering terror within Iraq and worldwide".
This blames the violence and
terror of the war and occupation on the character of the resistance opposed to
This sees Islam as a monolithic
bloc, making no distinction between the fringe AlQaeda
groups and the diverse and mass resistance that rejects them.
Not challenging Islamophobia
leads to a perspective that equates US imperialism with those who resist.
So Chomsky makes a moral equivalence between
Israel and the organized resistance in Palestine, stating that: "It is fair to
describe Hamas as radical, extremist, and violent, and as a serious threat to
peace and a just political settlement.
But the organization is hardly alone in this stance."
Secondly, though Chomsky notes global
opposition to the US in opinion polls, he downplays its power when organized
into a mass movement.
He rejects the notion that US
imperialism suffered a defeat with the Vietnam War, and while he mentions the
US peace movement he does not discuss the mass Vietnamese resistance, the
revolts in the US army, or the global ripple effects these three produced.
In current politics, he notes that many
countries refused to join the Iraq War, but with no reference to the anti-war
movement – not even a footnote on the historic protests of February 15, 2003 –
it comes across as spontaneous and ephemeral.
Thirdly, and connected to underestimating the
anti-war movement, is Chomsky’s tendency to overestimate US imperialism.
He quotes foreign-policy planners in the
1940s developing "an integrated policy to achieve military and economic
supremacy for the United States" and claims there remain "fundamental
continuities of these policies."
But since World War Two, there
has been a growing discontinuity In US power: it no longer has economic
supremacy, and is facing emerging rivals in Europe and Asia.
It is therefore using its
military strength to compensate for economic weakness, hence the Iraq War.
But Chomsky tends to focus on an abstract and
a-historical notion of "power" rather than the capitalist state in its specific
period. This can make it difficult to
explain shifts in US strategy, most importantly the Iraq War.
Furthermore, seeing "fundamental
continuities" in US imperialism up until now leads him to characterize "Bush’s
aggressive militarism" as irrational arrogance rather than a calculated attempt
to use military strength to compensate for economic decline.
This leads away from structural arguments,
instead blaming a small group of "dedicated warriors" who have a "thin grip on
political power" and serve an "unusually narrow sector" of elites.
The result is that Chomsky’s
suggestions are not to challenge the system of imperialism that he so well
describes; rather to look to international institutions like the UN.
In overestimating the US and
underestimating mass movements, Chomsky does not see the anti-war movement as a
vehicle for change and does not identify the emerging ingredients that defeated
the US in Vietnam: a mass peace movement, a heroic resistance, and a troop
May 13, 1968: Heroic Anniversary
The French General Strike Begins
"We Are The Power"
Carl Bunin Peace History May 7-13
Workers joined Paris students’ protest,
launching a general strike calling for the fall of the government and
protesting police brutality.
The protest by French students
included occupation of The Sorbonne; by the end of the month over 10,000,000
had been involved in school and workplace occupations.
60% Of Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Dead:
U.S. soldiers from the 10th
Mountain Division try to kick open a locked door during an operation near
Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad April 21, 2007. REUTERS/Bob Strong
[U.S. sponsored polls reported
recently that 60% of Iraqis favor killing U.S. troops. Iraqis feel about U.S. troops trampling
them in the dirt the same way Americans felt about British troops trampling
them in the dirt in 1776. They are right
to resist. T]
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Iraqi Parliament Overwhelmingly Condems Occupation "Security Walls"
[As If The U.S. Occupation
Military Dictatorship Gives A Big Dead Horse’s Dick What They Do]
May 12, 2007 AP
BAGHDAD -- A stormy session in
an Iraqi parliament culminated in an overwhelming vote against security walls
going up around Baghdad.
One Kurdish lawmaker said the
barriers don’t protect residents because these areas are shelled by mortars and
"Will they build roofs too?"
the lawmaker said.
He also argued that bridges are
needed between different groups -- not walls separating them.
Zionist Regime Thieves
Plans To Grab Still More Palestinian Land
May 11, 2007 Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv, The Guardian
Jerusalem’s city council plans
to build three new Jewish settlements on land it occupied in 1967, in
contravention of international law, it was announced yesterday. The estates will be built on land that has
been earmarked for a future Palestinian state, close to Bethlehem and Ramallah.
International law forbids
construction on land acquired by war, but since 1967 Israel has built homes for
around 500,000 Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The construction is planned to link existing
Jewish settlements in Jerusalem with each other and with settlements in the
While Israel says that it supports the
creation of a Palestinian state, its building projects - which include walls,
fences, bypasses and tunnels as well as settlements - restrict the amount of
land that would be available to the new state.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz,
the new communities would be aimed at housing ultra-orthodox Jews, the fastest
growing sector of the Jewish community in Jerusalem.
Pollak, the chairman of the committee, told Haaretz
that up to 10,000 homes could be built in the area of Walaja,
between the south-west of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. "If you strengthen Walaja, you strengthen the connection with the Etzion bloc through the tunnel road," he said.
The Etzion block is
a group of settlements south of Bethlehem which Israel hopes to keep, although
its official position is that their future would be discussed in peace
negotiations with the Palestinians.
[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."]
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Chinese Fighting For Their Lives
The Ruling Class Pigs Who Control Their Country
Get Good Health Care, They Get Shit:
"China’s Healthcare System - Once Almost Free - Is
Now One Of The Most Market-Oriented In The World"
market reforms in 1979 the government’s share of healthcare costs has declined
from 54% to 17%. According to the World
Health Organisation China ranks 188 out of 191 nations in terms of the equality
of financial access to health.
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
May 12, 2007 Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian [Excerpts]
China unveiled plans yesterday
to deploy police in hospital wards and outpatient clinics to protect medical
staff from the public, amid growing instances of physical violence meted out by
patients furious at charges and dubious treatment.
The government is concerned
about increased attacks on doctors, nurses and administrative staff as the
healthcare system becomes the focus of resentment about the gap between rich
According to the China Daily, 5,500 medical
workers were injured last year in assaults and protests, causing more than 200m
yuan (£13m) damage.
One of the most prominent
disputes was sparked in November by reports that an infant in Sichuan province
was denied life-saving treatment because his guardians could not afford the £50
According to the Information Centre for Human
Rights and Democracy 2,000 demonstrators tore through the Guangan
City No 2 People’s hospital, smashing equipment and forcing doctors to stop
work. About 100 police broke up the
crowd, injuring 10 people and detaining five.
Staff at Shanxia hospital in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, started
wearing hard hats on their rounds after being harrassed
and spat on by relatives seeking compensation for a patient’s death.
According to the domestic media, several
hospitals have already hired police to patrol wards and maintain order.
Health ministry spokesman Mao Qunan told the China Daily that the security services
should cooperate with hospitals to "halt the violent trend" and improve service
to patients. "Bringing about a harmonious medical service environment is not
just down to hospitals," he said. "The police should be more involved in
safeguarding hospital staff and the facility itself."
China’s healthcare system -
once almost free - is now one of the most market-oriented in the world.
Since market reforms in 1979
the government’s share of healthcare costs has declined from 54% to 17%. According to the World Health Organisation
China ranks 188 out of 191 nations in terms of the equality of financial access
For hundreds of millions of poor farmers, all
but the most rudimentary care by "barefoot doctors" is unaffordable.
A peasant saying has it that a pig must be
taken to market every time an ambulance siren wails, a year’s work is ruined as
soon as you sleep in a hospital bed, and if you are struck with a serious
disease, 10 years of savings go up in smoke.
In 2004 a report said 75% of
rural patients who declined recommended hospital treatment did so because of
With little support from state coffers,
medical institutions have to find new ways to generate income. Drug sales account for half of hospital
incomes, which has led to widespread accusations of overprescribing.
Many ailments are unnecessarily treated with drips - which require
hospital stays and monitoring by nurses - rather than pills that could be taken
Money also explains why half the babies in
Chinese hospitals are now delivered by caesarean section.
According to Li Ling, an economics professor
at Beijing University’s China Centre for Economic Research, hospitals can
charge more for caesareans because they are billed as surgical procedures,
whereas the fee for natural births is set at a low rate by the government.
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