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GI Special 5E14: Acinetobacter Kills [ May 13, 2007 ]

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:



Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.





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 Clark

To: GI Special

Sent: May 12, 2007

Subject: Misinformation Campaign


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 the MSM.


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.  http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.02/enemy.html


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 Transcripts. 

This information is also available at my new website www.iraqinfections.org



Thanks for doing the GI Special

Marcie Clark





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 wounds.






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 antibiotics.

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.



IED Kills Soldier Near Al Iskandariyah


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 wounds.




battle on roof

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]



"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]

ZERKOH, 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 returned.


"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 rate."

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 beatings.

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 said.


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 three children.


The bombing of the village so outraged people that they continued fighting the Americans even after the airstrikes.


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."






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


Etta Hulme Apr 17, 2007

[Thanks 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"

neocons iraq iran oil

[Thanks 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 economic war."

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. 10025-5657

Military Family Members Condemn Tour Extension To 15 Months:

Asshole Gates Slapped Down For Saying Extension A "Beneficial" "Favor To Army Families"


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 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 immediately.

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 Killeen, Texas.

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 do."


Gen. Casey Told To Take Stop-Loss And Shove It;

"It Does Nothing More Than Cause Contempt"

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 black beret.

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 Pockets:

"Uncle Sam Sent Me Off With One Pair Of Desert Boots, Two Uniforms, And Body Armor That Didn’t Fit"

[Thanks to Katherine GY, The Military Project, who sent this in.]

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.

May 10, 2007 By Robert Greenwald, AlterNet

The following is Robert Greenwald’s testimony to the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense about war profiteering.  [Excerpts]


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 War Profiteers."

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 Iraq.

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 didn’t fit."

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 contact@militaryproject.org:.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.   Same to unsubscribe.



"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 War"


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 of Iraq.

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 occupation.

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 preventing".

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 opportunity.

Let America’s deadly "love" embrace of the Iraqi people come to an end.  Let the healing begin.

Troops Invited:

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 contact@militaryproject.org:.  Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication.  Replies 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 To It"


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 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 Americans.

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.

Ln 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 them.

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 nuclear weapons."

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 States."

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 it.

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 revolt.


May 13, 1968: Heroic Anniversary

The French General Strike Begins

We Are The Power

"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:

Big Surprise


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]





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 rockets.


"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 [Excerpts]

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 West Bank.

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.


Yehoshua 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."]




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"


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 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 and poor.

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 fee.

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 to health.

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 financial reasons.

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 home.

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.



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


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:: Article nr. 32847 sent on 14-may-2007 01:01 ECT


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