to Mark Shapiro, Military Project, who sent this in.]
“Almost Every Soldier I Know Is
Disillusioned With These Wars”
“These Wars Will Continue Until Soldiers
Refuse To Fight Them”
“Fort Hood Is The Largest American Military
Installation In The World”
“If The GI Resistance Movement Takes Off
Here, It Is Just A Matter Of Time Before Other Military Communities
Please Attend The March
For Peace On Monday, May 25, In Killeen
[Thanks to Ward Reilly, Veterans for Peace,
who sent this in. He writes: >From Victor
Agosto’s Facebook page. (full
permission to reproduce) Peace from
By [SPC] Victor Agosto, Afghanistan War
Please attend the March for Peace on Monday,
May 25, in Killeen [Texas, home of Fort Hood].
Many of you have asked me, “how can I support you?” Well, this is how.
Not only will you support me, you will show
your solidarity with soldiers who are considering resistance.
I guarantee that your
participation in this event will have a stronger impact than participation at
any anti-war rally in Austin.
You will certainly not be “preaching to
the choir” here in Killeen.
I think it is safe to say that most soldiers
have never even seen a protest in their entire lives.
Many soldiers think anti-war protesters are
people who hate the troops and call them "baby killers."
Let’s show the troops our concern for
their voices and their rights and let us come together to demonstrate peace and
These wars will continue until
soldiers refuse to fight them.
Almost every soldier I know is
disillusioned with these wars.
Most of them are opposed to the war in Iraq,
and many are opposed to the war in Afghanistan.
Some consider resisting but do not because
they are not aware of a large community ready to support them. It will only take a few bold actions to spur
the GI anti-war movement.
Fort Hood is the largest
American military installation in the world.
If the GI resistance movement takes off here, it is just a matter of
time before other military communities follow.
I have learned from personal experience,
nothing is as powerful or inspirational as hearing the cries of “They’re
our brothers, they’re our sisters, WE SUPPORT WAR RESISTERS!”
These chants are heard in the progressive
communities of Austin and even in Fort Worth, though not a single soldier
stationed at Fort Hood has heard it in Killeen.
Veterans, your participation is vital to the
success of this event.
You know better than anyone that Killeen
needs to see a big anti-war demonstration.
I hope to see you and the entire peace
Power to the People,
“The Support I Have Received From My Family
At Under The Hood Has Helped Me Take The Liberating Leap From Obedient Soldier
To War Resister”
“I Have Spent Countless Hours Discussing And
Thinking About Ways To End These Wars”
[Thanks to Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace,
who sent this in.]
Friends and Supporters:
As you all know, Under the Hood Café does not
run by itself. Now, more than ever,
funds are needed to keep things moving smoothly and to encourage development.
Under the Hood provides a refuge and a voice
for soldiers in need. Soldiers have access to a network of mental health
providers who are Tricare approved as well as pro bono. In addition, recently
Under the Hood has secured a local lawyer willing to provide free advice as
well as some pro bono services.
This is only the beginning. With events,
support groups, and meetings, and new soldiers arriving daily, we have the
opportunity to build this community and continue giving a voice to those in
We cannot do this alone. Though we know that times are difficult
financially for everyone, we ask that you open your hearts and your
pocketbooks. If we obtain five dollars
from 8400 people, we will be able to keep our doors open for another year. With an additional two dollars, we can secure
the house next door and provide additional services for our soldiers and
veterans. We are engaged in endless fighting and those returning home are
broken. Please allow us to continue our mission in aiding the soldiers,
veterans, and families who need us most. We cannot survive without your
The following are two
testimonials written by Under the Hood patrons, both active duty soldiers, and
They speak for themselves:
October 31st 2007 I made one of the biggest
mistakes of my life. Though I knew it would change my life, I never expected it
to change for the worse. After completing basic combat training I was shipped
out to my new unit in the 4th Infantry Division 1st brigade combat team 66th
After a year of training and living the army
life in Ft. Hood, TX, I received deployment orders to FOB Rustamiayh, just east
of Baghdad, IQ.
After my arrival in Iraq, my eyes quickly
opened, and I began to oppose the “mission”.
While I was over there I discovered Casey
Porter, a dedicated filmmaker seeking to reveal the truths of Iraq, and we
became friends. I did everything I could
to assist him in his work, including a video interview. My tour finally ended
after months of emotional struggle and I came back to the United States empty,
with nothing inside me but hopelessness and regret.
After mere days of being home and
“free” I began drinking heavily to forget the destruction and death
I witnessed in Iraq. My life began to slowly disintegrate, and I found myself
lost. Finally, Casey called and told me to come with him to Under the Hood
Café. Though intoxicated at the time, I made my way down and immediately felt
at home. Now two months later I feel my life is getting back on track and I
have goals. I have completely quit drinking, and have remained sober for almost
two months. I no long rely on alcohol to suppress my feelings. I feel that I am part of a support group who
I can contact at any time, day or night.
Now I can safely say that I feel better about myself, and I feel if it
wasn’t for the coffee shop and the people I have met there, I feel I
wouldn’t be here today. Under The
Hood has saved my life and it needs to stay open for more people like me.
I lived a miserable existence since I turned
against the war in Iraq in 2007. I have frequented Under the Hood Café since
its grand opening in March of 2009. The café has become my refuge from a
closed-minded and dehumanizing military culture. I have seen it bring joy to
every soldier and civilian that has become a regular here. The civilian staff
is dedicated to helping soldiers deal with personal and legal issues.
I have attained a sense of purpose that I
have never had in my life.
I am now committed to the success of both
Under the Hood and the anti-war movement.
I have spent countless hours discussing and
thinking about ways to end these wars. The support I have received from my
family at Under the Hood has helped me take the liberating leap from obedient
soldier to war resister. I cannot
remember the last time I was this happy. Under the Hood has changed my life
- SPC Victor Agosto,
Afghanistan War Resister
To give much needed donation
you can go to our website www.underthehoodcafe.org.
We are non-profit and have our 501(c)(3)
statue so all donations are tax deductible. We are asking everyone for help.
Please send this to as many friends, family and supports as you can.
Thank you all for your support.
FORT HOOD SUPPORT NETWORK
IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR SUPPORTER
HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
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 wars, inside the armed services and at home.
Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project,
2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Prayers For A Staten Island Soldier
“The Armed Services’ First Quadruple
Amputee To Survive”
In this 1999 photo Brendan Marrocco holds the
arrow with which he scored his second consecutive bull’s-eye, with the
second shaft splitting the first in half.
Advance file photo
[Thanks to Elaine Brower, The Military
Project, who sent this in.]
May 13, 2009 Contributed by Frank Donnelly,
Staten Island Advance
Huguenot resident Brendan Marrocco wanted to
do his part for his country when he joined the U.S. Army more than a year ago.
But the 22-year-old former Boy Scout, who
once, in Robin Hood-like fashion, split an arrow he had shot into a bull’s-eye
with a second arrow, is now paying a tremendous price for helping keep America
Early on Easter Sunday, Marrocco was severely
injured when his convoy was blasted in Iraq.
The Staten Island Academy graduate survived
the explosion but each of his badly damaged limbs required amputation,
according to a posting in a Web log, "Burks Law." He also suffered
severe burns and facial injuries.
With his family at his side, Marrocco is back
in the States, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
"He was very anxious to be part of the
military," said Monsignor Jeffrey Conway, pastor of Our Lady Star of the
Sea R.C. Church, Huguenot, where Marrocco is a parishioner. "He had
volunteered and wanted to do whatever was necessary."
Monsignor Conway said he has visited Marrocco
twice in the hospital, but at the behest of his family, declined to comment on
the soldier’s condition.
"The only thing they want to get out is
they appreciate the support and prayers for him," the monsignor said.
Marrocco’s mother, Michelle Marrocco,
declined requests to be interviewed for this story.
However, in a posting two weeks ago on
"Burks Law," she said that her son had then undergone nine operations
and was "doing well."
"He is in a lot of pain, but alert and
responsive," Ms. Marrocco, a nurse, wrote to Leeann Tweeden of NBC Sports,
who met the Marrocco family last month in a U.S. military hospital in Germany
while on her way back from a humanitarian mission in Iraq.
Ms. Marrocco said her son’s legs were
each removed above the knee, while his left arm was amputated below the elbow
and the right arm above the elbow.
She said she was told he was the armed
services’ first quadruple amputee to survive.
He also was badly burned, lost teeth and
suffered injuries of his left eye.
Touched by his plight, students at Our Lady
Star of the Sea School have penned hundreds of letters of encouragement to
Marrocco. Parishioners also have been
asked to show their support by writing to Marrocco, said Monsignor Conway.
Marrocco had attended mass in March while
home on leave, the monsignor said. He was injured about a month later.
Specifics on the April 12 attack were not
available today. An Army spokeswoman said federal privacy laws regarding
patient information prohibited her from releasing any details.
According to Advance records, Marrocco was a
Boy Scout with Troop 5. Monsignor Conway
said he earned the rank of Life Scout, the second-highest attainable by a Boy
In August 1999, Marrocco, then 13, earned a
merit badge with a startling feat at a Scouting jamboree upstate. Making like
Robin Hood, the teen hit two bull’s-eyes, back-to-back, with the second
arrow splitting the first in half.
Tom Delese, his Scoutmaster, called it a
"It was a great feeling, and I was
really happy when it happened," the elated teen told the Advance
Marrocco graduated in 2004 from Staten Island
Academy, where he played volleyball and soccer, Advance records show. A call to
the school today was not returned.
About five or six years ago, Marrocco spent
the summer doing maintenance work at the parish school, said Monsignor Conway.
"He was a good worker, a very friendly
kid," he said.
Monsignor Conway said he wasn’t sure
whether Marrocco planned to make a career out of the military.
But his family obviously was moved that he
chose to serve his country.
"Proud parent of a soldier,"
proclaimed a bumper sticker on an SUV outside a Great Kills home where
neighbors said Marrocco’s father lives.
Outside Marrocco’s Huguenot home
earlier today, the Stars and Stripes and an large Army flag fluttered in the
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Two U.S. Soldiers From 10th Mountain
Killed In Chak
May 18, 2009 U.S. Department of Defense News
Release No. 343-09
The Department of Defense announced today the
death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died
May 15 at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when
their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using small-arms fire in Chak,
The soldiers were assigned to the 2nd
Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain
Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Esau I. De la Pena-Hernandez, 25,
of La Puente, Calif.
Sgt. Carlie M. Lee, III, 23, of Birmingham,
17 May 2009 By VOA News & 18 May 2009
Radio Netherlands & PakTribune & (AP)
The head of the provincial council in the
southern Afghan province of Kandahar, Ahmad Wali Karzai, survived an
assassination attempt early today. The convoy of the younger brother of Afghan
President Hamid Karzai was sprayed with rocket and machine-gun fire. The
president’s brother escaped unharmed, but his bodyguard was killed. He
says the Taliban were responsible for the attack.
Afghan authorities say militants attacked a
police post and killed six officers in southern Helmand province Sunday.
The Afghan Defense Ministry also says a
roadside bomb in neighboring Zabul province killed an Afghan army soldier and
wounded three others Sunday.
The governor of southwestern Nimroz province
said Taliban fighters attacked a police checkpoint in Khash Rod district on
Sunday, and the resulting clash killed five police.
Fighting in southern Afghanistan killed six
Afghan police yesterday, and a roadside bomb killed an Afghan soldier in the
same region, the government said.
The clash in Helmand province started when
insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in Nahri Saraj district in the early
morning, the Interior Ministry said. Police arrested one of the attackers and
sent search teams out to chase others, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in Zabul province
killed one Afghan army soldier and wounded three others, the Defense Ministry
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
“The Official Line From Top Commanders Is
That They Now Have All The Troops They Need”
“The Soldiers Of 6/4 Squadron Tell A Different
“The New Troops Are Just ‘A Drop Of
Water’ In The Sea, Said One Soldier”
“A Small Contingent Expects To Be Under
May 17, 2009 By Laurent Hamida, Reuters
KUNAR VALLEY, Afghanistan (Reuters) -
Lieutenant Joshua Rodriguez, a U.S. platoon commander guarding the
Afghan-Pakistan frontier, reckons he is lucky to be alive.
Two weeks after he set up an outpost with 20
Afghan soldiers and seven Americans overlooking a key Taliban smuggling route,
some 80 insurgents attacked them hard at daybreak.
"We were very close, very close,"
he said, days after the fight, holding his fingers a fraction of an inch apart.
As the Taliban threatened to overrun the
base, his sniper put down his long-range rifle and grabbed a shotgun. Then he dropped the shotgun and picked up
hand grenades. The enemy had come within throwing distance of the outpost’s
"They were trying to get in from
everywhere. It was a miracle,"
Yet although they managed to fend off the
fighters and prevent the outpost from being overrun that day, they abandoned it
a few days later, leaving the cross-border smuggling route through the vast
Suna Valley unguarded.
A few days earlier, NATO troops at another
outpost called Barialai were less lucky. The Taliban overran the position,
killing three Americans, two Latvians and five Afghan soldiers.
U.S. commanders are rushing thousands of
reinforcements to the south of Afghanistan to take on the Taliban in what
Washington considers a make-or-break year for a war it now views as its main
Here in the east of the country, the official
line from top commanders is that they now have all the troops they need.
But down on the ground, in the high mountain
passes on the east bank of the Kunar river which guerrillas have been using to
smuggle fighters and weapons in from Pakistan for decades, the soldiers of 6/4
squadron tell a different story.
The fighting is hard and constant, and they
do not have enough men to stop the Taliban infiltrating across the border.
Before it was overrun, the Barialai post
overlooked two valleys, Hlegal and Daring, that are used as smuggling routes.
The U.S. troops say they know the names of
insurgent commanders who are living in the two valleys, but do not have enough
forces to clear them.
In January, U.S. commanders sent an extra 700
troops to the area south of 6/4 squadron’s territory.
The new troops are just "a drop of
water" in the sea, said one soldier who asked not to be identified while
discussing the shortage of manpower.
Officially, 6/4 squadron controls a stretch
of border through two provinces, Kunar and Nuristan. But they have not had enough manpower to
visit Nuristan for months. Mountain passes there are guarded by the Afghan police.
"They called us two times
... a few months ago when they were attacked by insurgents. We sent a combat assault team and we repelled
the attack. Since then they haven’t called us. Nobody knows what is happening up
there," the soldier added.
In Kunar, helicopters race to the remote
outposts throughout the night, bringing the isolated troops food, water and
ammunition. Artillery back at their base
booms constantly, lighting up the valley with explosions and flares.
Captain Jay Bessey, commander of the squadron’s
Charlie troop is overseeing the construction of a new fortified combat outpost
where a small contingent expects to be under constant attack.
Drawing fire was part of the reason for being
"When the enemy is focused on attacking
us here he is not focused on attacking the road crew who is building the road
up. He is not attacking the guys that
are working on the schools over in the neighboring villages," he said.
"You know, this is part of the
“Members Of A Senior Afghan Delegation From
Kabul Are Giving Money To Family Members Of The 140 Victims”
“Payment Does Little To Ease The Anger
Survivors Feel Toward The Americans”
May 18, 2009 by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR
American and Afghan officials will probably
never agree on what happened in a remote village in western Afghanistan earlier
this month, when up to 140 civilians were killed by what many in that country
say were U.S. airstrikes.
The fierce battle ended that night with
airstrikes on a village called Garani.
The Afghan government concluded 140 were
killed, most of them children. It says more than two dozen were injured.
In a burn center in the western city of
Herat, five female villagers are recovering from serious burns to their faces
and limbs that they and their families say were caused by those bombs.
All but one of the patients are children,
including Fereshte, who is 5 years old.
She struggles to get comfortable inside her
thick bandages, while French nurse Marie-Jose Brunel tries to comfort her.
Her 13-year-old brother, Naeem, watches
nearby. He and Fereshte lost their mother. His other two sisters, ages 7 and
12, were also badly burned.
The teen said he and other villagers heard a
drone fly overhead. He said everyone scattered.
Fifteen minutes later, Naeem said, another
plane came and dropped the bomb that destroyed the compound his mother and
sisters were hiding in.
"The Taliban had already left," he
said. "They just passed through and went to the river behind our
Back in Farah province, members of a senior
Afghan delegation from Kabul are giving money to family members of the 140
Each gets the equivalent of $2,000, a small
fortune by Afghan standards.
But payment does little to ease the anger
survivors feel toward the Americans, including Mohedin, a 55-year-old farmer
who, like most Afghans, has no last name.
"The Americans can see something as
small as a cell phone from far away," he said, "so how can they with
their sophisticated equipment not distinguish between women and children and
“Unable To Pacify Afghanistan’s
Pashtun Tribes (A.K.A. Taliban), Washington Has Begun Tearing Pakistan Apart In
An Effort To End Pashtun Resistance In Both Nations”
“Patriotic Pakistani Soldiers May Rebel And
Shoot The Corrupt Generals And Politicians On Washington’s Payroll”
“Alarms About Pakistan’s Nukes Come
>From The Same Fabricators With Hidden Agendas Who Brought Us Saddam Hussein’s
Washington’s ham-handed policies and last week’s Swat atrocity
threaten to ignite Pakistan’s second worst nightmare after invasion by
India: That its 26 million Pashtun will
secede and join Afghanistan’s Pashtun to form an independent Pashtun
17th May 2009 By ERIC MARGOLIS, Winnipeg Sun
PARIS -- Pakistan finally bowed to Washington’s
angry demands last week by unleashing its military against rebellious Pashtun
tribesmen of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) -- collectively mislabelled
"Taliban" in the West.
The Obama administration had threatened to
stop $2 billion US annual cash payments to bankrupt Pakistan’s political
and military leadership and block $6.5 billion future aid, unless Islamabad
sent its soldiers into Pakistan’s turbulent NWFP along the Afghan
The result was a bloodbath:
Some 1,000 "terrorists" killed
(read: mostly civilians) and 1.2 million people -- most of Swat’s
population -- made refugees.
Pakistan’s U.S.-rented armed forces
have scored a brilliant victory against their own people. Too bad they don’t do as well in wars
against India. Blasting civilians,
however, is much safer and more profitable.
Unable to pacify Afghanistan’s
Pashtun tribes (a.k.a. Taliban), a deeply frustrated Washington has begun
tearing Pakistan apart in an effort to end Pashtun resistance in both nations.
CIA drone aircraft have so far killed over
700 Pakistani Pashtun. Only 6% were militants, according to Pakistan’s
media, the rest civilians.
Pashtun, also improperly called
Pathan, are the world’s largest tribal people.
Fifteen million live in
Afghanistan, forming half its population.
Twenty-six million live right
across the border in Pakistan.
divided Pashtun by an artificial border, the Durand Line (today’s
Afghan-Pakistan border). Pashtun reject it.
Many Pashtun tribes agreed to join Pakistan
in 1947, provided much of their homeland be autonomous and free of government
Pashtun Swat only joined Pakistan in 1969.
As Pakistan’s Pashtun
increasingly aided Pashtun resistance in Afghanistan, U.S. drones began
Washington forced Islamabad to
violate its own constitution by sending troops into Pashtun lands.
The result was the current
explosion of Pashtun anger.
I have been to war with the Pashtun and have
seen their legendary courage, strong sense of honour and determination.
They are also hugely quarrelsome, feuding and
One quickly learns never to
threaten a Pashtun or give him ultimatums.
These are the mountain warriors who defied
the U.S. by refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden because he was a hero of the
anti-Soviet war and their guest.
The ancient code of
"Pashtunwali" still guides them: Do not attack Pashtun, do not cheat
them, do not cause them dishonour. To
Pashtun, revenge is sacred.
ham-handed policies and last week’s Swat atrocity threaten to ignite
Pakistan’s second worst nightmare after invasion by India: That its 26 million Pashtun will secede and
join Afghanistan’s Pashtun to form an independent Pashtun state, Pashtunistan.
The Pashtun of NWFP have no intention or
capability of moving into Pakistan’s other provinces, Punjab, Sindh and
Baluchistan. They just want to be left alone.
Alarms of a "Taliban takeover of
Pakistan" are pure propaganda.
Lowland Pakistanis repeatedly have rejected
militant Islamic parties. Many have little love for Pashtun, whom they regard
as mountain wild men best avoided.
Nor are Pakistan’s
well-guarded nukes a danger -- at least not yet.
Alarms about Pakistan’s
nukes come from the same fabricators with hidden agendas who brought us Saddam
Hussein’s bogus weapons.
The real danger is in the U.S. acting like an
enraged mastodon, trampling Pakistan under foot, and forcing Islamabad’s
military to make war on its own people. Pakistan could end up like
U.S.-occupied Iraq, split into three parts and helpless.
If this continues, at some
point patriotic Pakistani soldiers may rebel and shoot the corrupt generals and
politicians on Washington’s payroll.
Equally ominous, a poor people’s uprising
spreading across Pakistan -- also mislabelled "Taliban" -- threatens
a radical national rebellion reminiscent of India’s Naxalite rebels.
As in Iraq, profound ignorance and gung ho
military arrogance drive U.S. Afghan policy.
Obama’s people have no understanding
what they are getting into in "AfPak."
I can tell them: An unholy mess we will long
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 firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request
address to unsubscribe. Phone:
Good News For The Afghan
U.S. Occupation Commands’ Stupid Terror
Tactics Recruit Even More Fighters To Kill U.S. Troops
A foreign occupation armed forces member from
the U.S. searches the clothing of an Afghan citizen after others ordered him at
gunpoint to publicly humiliate himself by undressing in the Golestan district
of Farah province May 8, 2009. REUTERS/Goran
[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 50,000 Afghan troops over
here to the USA.
[They can make American
citizens take their clothes off at checkpoints, bust into their houses with
force and violence, 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 some prison 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, 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?]
WELCOME TO VIETNAMISTAN:
HAVE A NICE DAY
U.S. soldiers of
the 26th Infantry patrol near the U.S. base Camp Blessing in Afghanistan’s
Kunar Province, May 4, 2009. (AP
NEED SOME TRUTH?
CHECK OUT THE NEW 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
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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
Insurgents Capture Key Somali Town;
Fighting Today Nears Presidential Palace
A militiaman from the Hizbul Islam clashes
with Somali government troops in the vicinity of the presidential palace in
Mogadishu on May 14, 2009.
Islamist insurgents captured the key Somali
town of Jowhar on May 17 after days of battling to topple the country’s U.S.-allied
government, dealing a heavy blow to President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. (AFP/File/Mohamed Dahir)
“The Breakdown In Discipline Is One Of The More Glaring Examples
Of Falling Morale”
5.18.09 By Gina Cavallaro, Army Times
A record number of suicides has prompted Army
Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli to launch a massive house-cleaning
plan with orders to garrison, installation and medical commanders to revive
lapsed health and welfare programs, and restore discipline in the barracks. Suicide rates among soldiers have nearly
doubled in the last four years, reaching a record high last year. The current
rate of suicides suggests that 2009 may exceed numbers for 2008.
Soldiers living in barracks can expect to
feel the impact in coming months with a return to inspections, when commanders
feel it necessary, to find troubled soldiers and get them the help they need
and crack down on those whose illicit behavior, such as drug use or having
firearms in their rooms, has gone unchecked.
Soldiers increasingly are “popping
hot” on urine analysis tests for substances that include LSD, cocaine,
marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin and illegally used prescription drugs,
according to Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Suicide Prevention
Task Force, who described that as “an eye opener.”
Almost as unexpected as the rise in drug and
alcohol abuse was that most of those soldiers haven’t been referred for
treatment or evaluation, McGuire said. Many
would have been chaptered out if regulations had been followed, she said.
The breakdown in discipline is one of the
more glaring examples of falling morale and points to an environment in which
tired leaders have had their focus on war for almost eight years, she said.
The Army is “tired and under immense
stress as the result of a protracted conflict” and associated
deployments, Chiarelli said in a memo about the campaign.
“Under these strains, current efforts
are not enough.” Soldiers and families, he said, “need immediate
help” to cope and build the resilience it takes to overcome stress,
medical and behavior issues and fatigue.
“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
Wall in Washington, D.C. 1986 by Mike Hastie
From: Mike Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: May 17, 2009
You always scapegoat the angry veteran,
because the truth can be so toxic.
So, when the angry vet says the U.S. Government
is a monster, that has to be taken with a grain of
salt by the general public.
Right in the middle of the wound...
U.S. Army Medic
May 17, 2009
caption from the I-R-A-Q (I
Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army
Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his
outstanding work, contact at: (email@example.com) T)
HOW MANY MORE FOR OBAMA’S WARS?
Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Dittlinger, center, gets
a hug from her daughter Halie Dittlinger, left, while hugging another daughter
Victoria Dittlinger before she is deployed with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary
Brigade to Afghanistan from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune at Camp Lejeune,
N.C., April 30, 2009. The brigade will
conduct counter-insurgency operations in partnership with Afghan National
Security Forces. (AP Photo/Jim R.
to Mark Shapiro, Military Project, who sent this in.]
RIP The Post 9-11 Peace Movement
Spring 2009 Quaker House Newsletter
This spring there were not one but two major
national antiwar marches?
Did you notice?
Actually, I did, because keeping track is
part of the job.
But it wasn’t easy.
Turnout for the rallies organized by the
once-dominant national umbrella groups (United for Peace & Justice and the
ANSWER Coalition) was negligible, and media coverage so minimal that it took
much searching to find any traces of it.
These two groups are pretty much out of gas;
I wouldn’t be surprised if they disappeared. Their “movement” has stalled.
As recently as January 2007, they were useful
vehicles for the many who felt a need for large public opportunities to protest
the Iraq war, including me. I’m
grateful for that
But times change. After the huge shifts of opinion that shaped
the 2008 election and its aftermath, their style and rhetoric just don’t work
I’ve seen such changes before; they
remind me of a hand of cards that’s been played out – it’s
now time to reshuffle the deck.
What the new hand” will look like I won’t
try to predict. Certainly the need for organized peace action continues: wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan, military budgets still growing, the torture mess to
clean up, and more. There’s plenty
In such times of transition, though, what
stands out for me is the presence of those groups and projects which are still
there after the big coalitions dissipate, as they usually do.
Quaker House is one of those. Times are definitely changing. We’re adapting too. But we’re not going anywhere.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
[Thanks to SSG N (ret’d) who sent these
Workers Storm Arcelormittal Meeting
workers attack the company’s headquarters using a steel barricade. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP
13 May 2009 The Guardian
Angry steel workers attacked the Luxembourg
headquarters of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, during the
company’s annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday, setting off smoke
bombs and breaking through the front door in protest at temporary layoffs.
Buses had brought 1,000 workers from plants
in northern France and Charleroi and Liège in southern Belgium.
Some hurled cobblestones and steel fencing,
smashing windows and tearing off a steel moulding from the ornate 1920s
exterior as riot police lined up to protect the head office.
ArcelorMittal has halved production and is
offering voluntary redundancy to 9,000 of its 315,000 staff around the world.
ArcelorMittal’s chief executive,
Lakshmi Mittal, said the cuts were a "temporary suspension of production
in view of the market conditions".
attack the company’s headquarters with flares. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP
“Thousands Of Workers Bricked Up The
Entrance To The Company’s Headquarters, Protesting Wage Cuts”
May 14, 2009 Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Huffington
A comedy hit in France this spring was a
movie called "Louise-Michel," in which a group of women workers hires
a hitman to kill their boss after he shuts down their factory with no warning.
A French union official said in March,
"those who sow misery reap fury. The violence is done by those who cut
jobs, not by those who try to defend them."
Also this week, in Southern Poland, at the
largest coal coking producer in Europe, thousands of workers bricked up the
entrance to the company’s headquarters, protesting wage cuts.
CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED
TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL TROOPS HOME NOW!
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