GI SPECIAL 3D35:
Americans Welcome Iraqi Troops
An American man speaks to his son while Iraqi Marines
watch in the courtyard of his house in El Paso, Texas, eight miles from New
Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005.
Americans thank the Iraqi soldiers every day for
liberating them from the Bush regime. Although they have occupied the United
States for nearly three years, most Americans do not wish them to leave,
fearing that Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and other Americo-fascist terrorist
gangs fighting the occupation will seize the country if they withdraw too soon,
leading to a bloodbath of sectarian violence and civil war.
Elsewhere in America, nine Iraqi soldiers were killed and
four wounded by an IED near Amarillo, Texas. Although a video tape from the
Patrick Henry Brigade claimed responsibility, General Abdul Aziz al-Hakim,
Commander of the Multi-National Liberation Forces, said that the Charles Manson
terrorist organization, made up of foreign fighters, had organized the attack.
The Manson Network has been blamed for most of the
terrorist attacks launched against Iraqi soldiers. His primitive fanatical
fundamentalist followers believe that if they die fighting Coalition forces,
they were be taken to heaven on the wings of an American bird called a "dove"
and welcomed there by Jesus. There is a reward of 25,000,000 dinars offered
for Mansons' capture.
General al-Hakim noted that "This is really about a clash
of civilizations. The Anglo-Saxon culture, which dominates in America, is
directly descended from the Vikings, who looted, raped, burned, slaughtered the
innocent, and spread terror throughout the civilized world. Nothing has
changed since. We are here on a civilizing mission. Someday they will thank
us. And their children are so cute. They just love the candy, pencils, and
soccer balls we give them."
Commenting on recent news stories, the General denied
that American prisoners were being tortured in Coalition detention centers. "Of
the 6,495,000 American now detained, only a few have complained about their
treatment. What would you expect terrorists to say? Ha ha."
The General admitted that nearly 18,000 Americans have
been killed at Coalition checkpoints, but said that "they have all been warned,
and only crackheads and drunks" have been shot. When asked about children
killed at checkpoints, he noted that "in America, even children become
crackheads and drunks." "It is regrettable, but this is war, and the American
terrorists are responsible for every death," he said.
"If they would only accept reality, and stop their
attacks on Coalition forces, there would be no casualties."
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Florida Marine Killed
Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Clay, 27, of Pensacola, Fla., was
killed, Dec. 1, 2005, in the explosion of a roadside bomb during a foot patrol
near Fallujah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Department of Defense, Helene C. Stikkel)
Texas Marine Killed
Marine Lance Cpl. Robert A. Martinez, 20, of Splendora,
Texas, was killed by a roadside bomb while on foot patrol Dec. 1, 2005, near
Fallujah, Iraq. (AP Photo)
California Marine Killed
Sgt. Andy A. Stevens 29, of Tomah, was killed in Fallujah.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division,
I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif. Stevens, who
joined the Marines in June 1995 and was serving as a scout sniper, deployed to
Iraq with his unit in July, the Marine Corps said. (AP Photo/U.S.M.C.)
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed In Baghdad Suburb
Dec 4 (Reuters)
BAGHDAD - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and several
others wounded when their convoy was attacked in a roadside bombing in a south
eastern suburb of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A military spokeswoman said
that two Humvees were destroyed in the ambush.
West View Soldier Killed
December 4, 2005 By Luis Fabregas, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
A West View soldier killed in Iraq last week had been
traveling in a six-vehicle convoy when it was ambushed by insurgents, military
officials said Saturday.
Sgt. 1st Class Brent A. Adams was the driver of a 5-ton
reinforced truck that was hit by a rocket at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, said Lt.
Col. Chris Cleaver, a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman.
Adams served as a motor sergeant, supervising maintenance
men who work on military vehicles.
Adams was six months into a one-year deployment. Before
arriving in Iraq in June, he had spent six months training at Camp Shelby,
A 1995 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Adams
had spent 18 years in the military after enlisting in Ford City in 1987.
Adams is survived by his wife, Marilyn, a 4-year-old son,
Daniel, his parents and a sister.
U.S. Soldier Wounded Near Balad
Dec. 4 (UPI)
The U.S. military said one of its soldiers
was injured and two insurgents killed in clashes near the town of Balad, in
which U.S. F-16 jet fighters launched laser-guided missiles on the area.
Three U.S. Soldiers Wounded By Southern Baghdad IED
Dec. 4 (UPI)
Three U.S. soldiers were also injured by an explosive
device targeting a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol in southern Baghdad.
Two U.S. Soldiers Wounded By Western Baghdad IED
US forces reported a roadside bomb attack on one of its
convoys in Khadra, a neighbourhood in western Baghdad.
Master Sergeant David Abrams, a military spokesman, said:
"It looks like there were two wounded who were taken to a nearby medical
NO HONORABLE MISSION:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW
Two U.S. soldiers walk among the rubble of collapsed
building in central Baghdad after two early morning explosions November 18,
2005. REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz
"Measuring Dead Or Captured Iraqis Has No Relevance"
Looking at the strength
of the insurgency, however, makes it clear that measuring dead or captured
Iraqis has no relevance. While U.S. and coalition forces have killed or
arrested 40,000-50,000 Iraqis since the war began, the resistance continues to
thrive. Over the last year their estimated strength remained unchanged with
20,000 fighters and 200,000 sympathizers.
November 21, 2005 By Adil Shamoo, Foreign Policy In Focus
In the wake of the 2,000th U.S. soldier dying because of
the Iraq War, the Bush administration has begun to count the number of Iraqi
dead and captured.
These metrics, reminiscent of those used in the Vietnam
War, will be touted by the administration as an indicator of success for military
operations and to give the impression that the insurgency can be neutralized.
Looking at the strength
of the insurgency, however, makes it clear that measuring dead or captured
Iraqis has no relevance.
While U.S. and coalition
forces have killed or arrested 40,000-50,000 Iraqis since the war began, the
resistance continues to thrive. Over the last year their estimated strength
remained unchanged with 20,000 fighters and 200,000 sympathizers.
The Bush administration continued focus on killing and
detaining of Iraqi insurgents clearly is not working. The numbers suggest that
every insurgent killed or captured results in new recruits.
Even if the 160,000 U.S. and British soldiers in Iraq
could figure out a way to kill every insurgent, it is the occupation of the
country that is breeding new recruits. Iraqis have no tradition of suicide
bombing but the recent Iraqi suicide bombers in Amman, Jordan is a good example
of the new challenges that are arising from the war.
Compounding the problem, the U.S. has ignored the voices
from Iraqi people calling for ending the occupation.
Over the last eighteen months, Iraqi voices for U.S.
withdrawal have become louder. They are now reaching a crescendo that if
unheeded, may breed a new nationalistic and expanded insurgency born solely as
a result of our continued occupation of Iraq.
If this happens, the new insurgency will be wider and
stronger than the present one.
Its focus, in most parts, will not be directed against
Iraqis; rather it will be directed against the U.S.
All of the ingredients for such an insurgency to occur
First, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis opposes
occupation. Second, most Iraqi households possess arms.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Resistance Attacks "Near Daily"
December 1, 2005 By Griff Witte, Washington Post
In the past two weeks, Afghanistan has experienced
The recent attacks -- including at least nine suicide
bombings -- have shown unusual levels of coordination, technological knowledge,
and blood lust, according to officials. Although military forces and facilities
have been the most common targets, religious leaders, judges, police officers,
and foreign reconstruction workers have also fallen prey to the violence.
Attackers have also shown a growing appetite for strikes
in cities, particularly Kabul, setting residents' nerves on edge and leading
them to take new security precautions at work, home, and social events.
"Patience Is Running Out"
[Thanks to JM, who sent this in.]
01 Dec 2005 By Sayed Salahuddin, Reuters [Excerpts]
KABUL: Nearly four years after the Taliban were
forced from power, the country remains mired in poverty and corruption, and
frustration with the government is growing.
While some main provincial road links have been rebuilt and
new buildings, including shopping centres and a luxury hotel, have gone up in
the capital, prices have also been rising fast and many people feel their lives
have not improved.
A problem for President Hamid Karzai, a year after he formed
a new government following a sweeping election victory, is that people's
expectations have been raised, but not met.
"Only make promises you can fulfil," said an old
man who approached Karzai while he was on a recent visit to Herat,
Afghanistan's most prosperous city, near the border with Iran. Just before
that encounter, Karzai had made a speech to Herat citizens in which he spoke of
his government's determination to improve the economy, the livelihoods of the
people, and to rebuild roads, schools and hospitals.
"People have become fed up with promises and not
seeing much improvement practically," said Wadir Safi, a law professor of
While foreign aid workers and top government officials
drive around Kabul in luxury cars and live in smart houses, some costing $5,000
or more a month, rebuilding has been slow and even non-existent in many places
while corruption is rampant, critics say.
Kabul has endured intermittent blackouts for weeks -- not a
problem for those with generators and money to fuel them but infuriating for
The government recently announced the fulfilment of one of
Karzai's long-awaited promises; increasing salaries of civil servants and
The pay rise of nearly 40 percent sounds impressive but for
most it worked out to a pittance -- just $7 a month -- taking an average salary
for a civil servant to just over $20 a month, according to officials.
Many of those who got the pay rise ridiculed it and the
next day, dozens of women teachers from Zarghona High School, a famous Kabul
school, protested over the paltry raise in a rare display of assertiveness by
women in the conservative Muslim country.
"Karzai promised to raise government employees'
salaries more than three years ago," said a woman teacher Nadira Ahmadi
from another school.
"But with this rise you can hardly pay for one meal
a day for our small family."
Accommodation costs in the capital have skyrocketed in the
past four years. Rent for a three room mud-built house is at least $200. Commodity
and transport prices have also soared.
Many people make ends meet by taking up second jobs, such as
running market stalls, at least part time.
Patience is running out, another government worker said.
"The rise is like giving chocolate to a crying baby to
calm him down, but without thinking whether he is sick or wants milk,"
said an information ministry official.
"We are being treated like kids and the situation is
getting intolerable for people. It is more than enough".
In this year's $678 million budget, police and law
enforcement agencies got $157 million, defence spending totalled $126 million
and education was allocated $117 million.
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place:
Insider Says Troops Want Out of Iraq Now
Nov 27, 2005 by egrass, Stevegilliard.blogspot.com [Excerpt]
I'm back from Thanksgiving with my wife's family and I've
got some first-hand feedback from the troops on Iraq, leaving Iraq, and Murtha.
You see, my wife is a former military officer and her
brother is an active-duty Major, decorated Army Ranger, and West Point graduate
with more than 15 years in and about to ship out to Afghanistan. My wife is a
good liberal on military issues, while my brother-in-law has always been a
thoughtful and nice guy, but very conservative, especially on military issues.
We've always gotten along well and been very respectful of each other, but
totally disagreed on Republicans and military issues.
My brother-in-law thinks that Murtha is 100% right and
that we should pull back in Iraq to forward operating bases in Kuwait, if not
leave entirely. Even more interesting, my brother-in-law says that ALL of his
officer friends in the 10th Mountain (a real front-line outfit) and around the
military agree as well.
My brother-in-law is a gregarious, well-connected guy and
literally has hundreds of well placed friends at the rank of Major and above. He
says that ALL of his military friends feel Iraq is a "mistake" and a
"meatgrinder" that serves no purpose anymore if it ever did.
They would all be perfectly willing to serve and even die
there if some good might come of it, but they all see that it makes no sense at
this point. (My brother-in-law is no pacifist. He fought in Somalia and Haiti
and killed several people there. He thought both missions were important and
the right thing to do).
Apparently, one key thing that has really pissed off my
brother-in-law and his friends is that young guys like them are being thrown
into the position of making foreign policy on the ground.
He said that his buddies around his level are being given
entire towns to run in Iraq and essentially told to make up what to do. From
what he hears, there basically is no overall strategy, just a bunch of LTs,
CPTs, and Majors making it up as they go.
My brother-in-law laughed off as ludicrous the claim that
troops are somehow undercut by people debating the usefulness of their mission
and questioning whether to pull out of Iraq. I told him the liberal comment (I
think by Atrios) that if liberals really didn't support the troops they would
lie the country into a war, send troops to war without proper equipment, and
then keep them there to die for no apparent reason. He got a kick out of that
and said he would tell some of his buddies.
I told my brother-in-law that I regularly read message
boards like Kos and others populated by liberals and that the vast majority of
people here (and elsewhere) wish him all the best in his mission in Afghanistan
and a safe and speedy trip home. He has a wife and two young daughters. Your
prayers will be appreciated.
Dissention In The Ranks:
"I Find It Easier To Make Contact With Soldiers And
Marines In Uniform And Harder To Get Permission To Quote Them By Name"
24/11/2005 Reporter: Tony Jones, Australian Broadcasting
Tony Jones interviews JAMES FALLOWS, AUTHOR AND
JOURNALIST. James Fallows, author of a detailed investigation published in this
month's Atlantic Monthly
JAMES FALLOWS: There's been, for me as a reporter,
there's been a fascinating evolution in the last three years that I've been
working on stories like this, which is that the members of the sort of the -
not at the general level or even the colonel level but every rank below that -
there's a real sense of concern about the direction of the policy about the
welfare of the American forces and about the mission they're on.
And, so, with each passing month I find it easier to make
contact with soldiers and marines in uniform and harder to get permission to
quote them by name, because there's more and more of these disaffected reports.
But there's a large network of people I talk to on the
phone, I have email exchanges with, I meet in off-the-record conversations, and
there is a sense the military itself is in trouble.
TONY JONES: And, in general terms, then, who are these
people who are speaking out? Are they people involved - I know you can't name
them, obviously - but are they people involved in the training program itself
or who historically have been?
JAMES FALLOWS: Yes. There are several cadres.
One is a group of sort of senior advisers who have either
personal or memory experiences of Vietnam. They can say, "Yes, we've seen
this pattern before," and it's surprising how often they make flattering
comparisons to the army of South Vietnam, saying, well, that at least with that
army we had this or that advantage.
And then there are those on combat missions in Iraq
trying to maintain the peace and they're talking about how, basically, the
fabric of the US military is essentially being chaffed and worn out in a way
that may not be sustainable for the long run.
TONY JONES: Now, one of the other strange things was that
the general who in charge of the invasion, Tommy Franks - you report sources
saying that after the invasion, in the critical early stages of the occupation,
he was more interested in writing his memoirs than doing anything else.
JAMES FALLOWS: Well, there was a larger pattern here in that
there was much more glamour for the military in general in the so-called
'kinetic phase' of action, that is combat, than in the past...
TONY JONES: That's what they call it now? The
"kinetic phase" is it?
JAMES FALLOWS: Yes. (Laughs) What you and I might call
combat action is now called 'kinetic action' or the 'kinetic phase', and what
comes after that is phrase four, which we would call the occupation. So, there
was this general pattern.
But General Franks, in particular, I heard from countless
people, just lost interest once the battle for Baghdad was over, and was ready
to get home and write his memoirs. I tried many times to contact him, but to
TONY JONES: How did this glamour thing, this kinetic versus
reconstruction, how did that play out when it came to training troops? When it
came to the critical reconstruction phase?
JAMES FALLOWS: People often described this to me as the
'Team B' phenomenon, that if you were a real 'comer' in the US Military, if you
were somebody with real ambitions, what you wanted was a combat command - you
wanted to be leading those tank units leading the paratroop units.
What you didn't want was to command a training unit -
that had no glamour, that was like a supply depot job.
Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL
along, or send us the address if you wish and we'll send it regularly. Whether
in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service
friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance
to the war, at home and inside the armed services. Send requests to address up
The Revolt Of The Generals
December 3, 2005 ALEXANDER COCKBURN, CounterPunch [Excerpt]
The immense significance of Rep John Murtha's November 17
speech calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq is that it signals mutiny in
the US senior officer corps, seeing the institution they lead as "broken,
worn out" and "living hand to mouth", to use the biting words of
their spokesman, John Murtha, as he reiterated on December his denunciation of Bush's
destruction of the Army.
A CounterPuncher with
nearly 40 years experience working in and around the Pentagon told me this week
that "The Four Star Generals picked Murtha to make this speech because he
has maximum credibility."
It's true. Even in the US Senate there's no one with quite
Murtha's standing to deliver the message, except maybe for Byrd, but the
venerable senator from West Virginia was a vehement opponent of the war from
the outset, whereas Murtha voted for it and only recently has turned around.
So the Four-Star Generals briefed Murtha and gave him the
state-of-the-art data which made his speech so deadly, stinging the White House
into panic-stricken and foolish denunciations of Murtha as a clone of Michael
It cannot have taken vice president Cheney, a former US
Defense Secretary, more than a moment to scan Murtha's speech and realize the
import of Murtha's speech as an announcement that the generals have had enough.
And Now, A Word From The Army War College
2005-11-29 By Stephen Collinson WASHINGTON, Middle East
How many, and when? -- the raging political argument on US
policy in Iraq is throwing up two key questions over the much awaited return
home of US troops.
"We can't stay, we can't leave, and we can't
fail," was how a recent report by the US Army War College summed up the
"No Words Came"
[This is from a very long story in the Los Angeles Times,
12.4.05, by P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer, about a family with two
Marines; father, Kendall Phelps, 58, and his son, Chris, 35, both veterans of
the Iraq War, and both for the war.
[Chris Phelps visits an elementary school to tell the
children all the good things the U.S. occupation is doing in Iraq.
On a recent evening inside an elementary school cafeteria
near his home in Shawnee, Chris talked to several dozen Cub Scouts and their
parents about his experiences.
He told them how the Iraqis were excited about the idea of
holding elections. How Iraqi children attend schools with no blackboards, no
books and no playgrounds. How children played in the streets, despite the
danger of sniper fire.
"We promised these people that we would help them
change their country," Chris said.
"When you make a promise, it's important that you keep
it. We need to be there and finish what we've started."
"Chris' style was relaxed and warm. As a father, he
understood how to captivate the imaginations of boys: On a nearby table, he
put out military helmets and an Iraqi police flak jacket they could try on.
A somber-faced boy in the
back raised his hand, and looked Chris straight in the eye. In a quiet voice,
the child asked, "What started the war? Why are we there?"
Silence fell over the
cafeteria. Chris opened his mouth to answer, but no words came.
He quickly changed the
As Suicides Spread, VA Appointments Cancelled For
Returning Iraq Vets
December 4, 2005 By DAVID McLEMORE, The Dallas Morning News
Since combat operations began in Iraq in March 2003, 45
soldiers have killed themselves in Iraq, and an additional two dozen committed
suicide after returning home, the Army has confirmed.
And while no one knows precisely what pushes someone over
the edge, the unresolved stresses of combat on the soldier's heart and mind are
Veterans in several states have found that Veterans
Affairs had to stop scheduling appointments because of a lack of staff or a
shortage of funds, said Mr. Robinson of the National Gulf War Resource Center.
"For the Guard and reserve, it's particularly
bad," he said. "Their soldiers are separated from the Defense
Department support system almost immediately after deployment and sent home to
VA hospitals and clinics that are already overwhelmed and backlogged.
"We have to recognize the need and provide help, not
wait for the veterans to ask."
Harassment Of Military Bloggers Stepped Up:
[And How To Evade It]
registration could be tough because bloggers are often anonymous and can post
to their sites from Internet cafes set up in Iraq or from laptop computers in
November 28, 2005 By Kelly Kennedy, Army Times staff writer
One year ago, 1st Lt. Neil Prakash decided to brag about his
tank crew on his blog, "Armor Geddon."
"I wanted to get out the picture that most combat isn't that
scary," said Prakash, who served as a tank platoon leader in Iraq with 2nd
Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. "It's fun. And these
soldiers love their job."
One month ago, the Silver Star recipient found out the Army
was using his blog as an example of bad operations-security practices.
The OpSec lessons are part of the Army's new campaign to
tighten online security.
The Army now requires that all soldiers in Iraq register
their Web logs with their commanders. Mobile training teams are being sent out
to train soldiers down to the brigade level to make sure everyone knows the
rules about the Internet.
"None of it's new," [Capt. William Roberts, Army
spokesman in Iraq] said. "It's just being strictly enforced."
Soldiers also must clear all photos through their unit
public affairs representative, Roberts said.
Enforcing blogging registration could be tough because
bloggers are often anonymous and can post to their sites from Internet cafes
set up in Iraq or from laptop computers in their rooms.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Assorted Resistance Action
The body of a slain Iraqi guard is loaded in the back of a
police vehicle in Baghdad, Dec. 4, 2005. Insurgents opened fire on 5 people
working for Al-Nissor private security Company in Al-Amiryaa neighborhood,
killing one and wounding four others. (AP Photo/Asaad Muhsin)
December 4, 2005 AP & Reuters & Aljazeera & By
BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer & Agence France-Presse
Insurgents killed an Iraqi police commander. In two cars, they
opened fire on police commander Lt. Col. Abdul-Razaak Abdul-Jabbar as he was
heading to work in western Baghdad, police Capt. Talib Thamir said.
AHMAR - Two Iraqi policemen were killed when armed
fighters attacked their patrol in Ahmar village, about 40 km (25 miles)
east of Baquba, police said.
ISKANDARIYA - Five members of the Iraqi security forces
were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Iskandariya, 40
km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. Reports conflicted about whether
they were members of the army or police and one source said one wounded man
ZARKUUSH - Two people were killed, including a policeman,
when a bomb planted on the side of the road exploded in Zarkuush, a village
70 km (43 miles) east of Baquba, police said.
Iraqi police sources said a roadside bomb exploded in
Alexandria in southern Baghdad targeting a police patrol, killing one of its
members and injuring three others.
A soldier was shot dead as he left his home in Hay
al-Amin, in the southeast of the capital, while another was killed in
Al-Bayyaa, in southern Baghdad.
IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION
Angry Iraqis Stone CIA Collaborator
Dec 4, 2005 By Khaled Farhan, Reuters & By BASSEM MROUE,
Associated Press Writer
A crowd hurling shoes, rocks and tomatoes forced former
Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to cut short a visit on Sunday to Iraq's holiest
Shi'ite shrine during a campaign trip to the city of Najaf, police officers
A police captain, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a
large crowd of worshippers at the Imam Ali mosque hurled sandals and shoes at
Allawi -- a grave insult in Iraqi culture.
A second police officer said some of Allawi's bodyguards
fired in the air to disperse the crowd and that also threw rocks, sticks,
tomatoes and other projectiles. Police also intervened to break up the
disturbance, he said.
"His American and Iraqi guards fired in the air when
everyone started throwing shoes and sandals at him."
Allawi, who spent three decades in exile working partly
with British and U.S. intelligence after breaking with Saddam Hussein and his
Baath party, was named prime minister in mid-2004 by U.S. occupation
In August 2004, when Allawi was prime minister, Iraqi and
U.S. troops took over Najaf from firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's followers
after heavy fighting. Many Shiites have not forgiven Allawi for his role in the
"Betrayal" Should Be A Psychiatric Diagnosis
December 4, 2005
Mike Hastie in Vietnam
American soldiers and civilians are dying every day in Iraq,
most Americans do not want to know or see the details, because it would upset
them. When I came back from Vietnam, most of the people I encountered wanted to
talk about nice things. When I tried to tell them the truth, they often turned
and walked away. Thirty years later, their grandchildren are dying or getting
wounded in Iraq. I was a pearl they threw away.
Photo and 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)
The Harder They Fall
To: GI Special
Sent: December 04, 2005
Subject: the harder they fall
ogoreru hito mo hisashikarazu
tada haru no yo no yume no gotoshi
takeki mono mo tsui ni wa horobinu
hitoeni kaze no mae no chiri ni onaji
The arrogant ones as well will not continue long,
only like a night in spring, when dreams are short.
The high and mighty too are brought down in the end
and are blown away like dust before the wind.
from The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari)
14th century Japanese war chronicle
December 1, 2005 From New York Times Editorial
Mr. Bush's vision of the next big step is equally
troubling: training Iraqi forces well enough to free American forces for more
of the bloody and ineffective search-and-destroy sweeps that accomplish little
beyond alienating the populace.
Want To Boost Troop Morale?
"Remember, This Country Was Born In Revolution"
November 21, 2005 Tibor R. Machan, Orange County Register
Does President Bush believe that by his announcing that
critics of the Iraq war dampen our troops' morale he will prevent such
criticism? Does he believe his words will silence critics and raise troop
This is America, and if Americans share a common trait, it's
rebellion at those who wield power. Well, they used to, anyway - most of
Remember, this country was born in revolution.
No, Mr. President, it is not a wise thing to tell us all to
shut up to suit your likely embarrassment over an impossible situation from
which you will not likely emerge with a swell presidential legacy.
The troops, by the way, will do just fine. They may
even be proud knowing that citizens back home haven't gone to sleep on their
citizenship job of taking government to task when it's justified.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D.,
withheld on request. Replies confidential.
They Never Learn
To: GI Special
Sent:, November 30, 2005
Subject: They Never Learn
"But there have been signs of disenchantment within
the (Zarqawi) organization. An intercepted letter from a top Zarqawi
lieutenant in Mosul complained about a lack of money and experienced
terrorists. U.S. military commanders have said that some of those captured say
they were misled by recruiters about what America is trying to accomplish in
Sound familiar? This one could be applied to the US
troops--complaining about a lack of training and about being "misled by
recruiters" about "what America is doing" in Iraq
"A U.S. intelligence official said, "A lot of
these people should not be called foreign fighters. They should be called
'foreign ordnances' because they blow themselves up. They don't fight."
Imperial arrogance... I guess they'll never learn.
[Quotes from THE WASHINGTON TIMES, November 29, 2005]
The Great Iraq War "Phased Withdrawal" Fraud
Phased withdrawal is an
empty slogan that can only result in prolonging the war. It is knowingly
advocated by those who wish to prolong the war, and naively advocated by some
who earnestly oppose the war.
Nov 29, 2005 By Mark Rothschild, Asia Times Online Ltd. [Excerpts]
The various phased withdrawal plans proposed by Congress and
the Pentagon would permit a steady withdrawal of US troops over time as Iraqi
government forces increase their fighting abilities.
According to this approach, a strengthened Iraqi government
force would suppress and contain the Sunni insurgency as American troops come
It is hard not to conclude that withdrawal would leave
Iraq with a ground-only military completely dependent on US air power for its
Indeed, there are signs that the Pentagon is prepared for
New military communication systems are now being deployed
that point to a permanent US presence in Iraq - after an ostensible phased
The semi-permanent communications systems deployed prior to
the battle for Fallujah are now being augmented with a permanent enduring
communications infrastructure. This new permanent communication infrastructure
will provide commanders with secure video, voice and data communications via
satellite, microwave and fiber throughout the Iraq-Kuwait theater of
The system, which will crisscross Iraq and connect more than
100 bases, is projected to cost $4 billion - although the Pentagon has been
leaking the story that just four stay-behind US bases will remain in Iraq after
From the foregoing, it is hard not to conclude that
phased withdrawal is being utilized as a slogan under which military operations
will continue - and that thousands of American combat troops may still be in
Iraq for many years to come.
Those Democratic members of Congress who think well of
themselves for now advocating phased withdrawal are either deluding themselves,
or they are continuing to play the same double game many of them began playing
when they originally voted to authorize the use of force - and then sniped at
the Bush administration over the subsequent conduct of the war.
Phased withdrawal is an empty slogan that can only result
in prolonging the war. It is knowingly advocated by those who wish to prolong
the war, and naively advocated by some who earnestly oppose the war.
To the limited extent that a phased withdrawal does
result in a draw-down of the number of American combat troops, the pernicious
policy will place those troops remaining in ever-greater danger and thereby
increase the number of dead and maimed American soldiers.
This is because under a phased withdrawal, Iraq would become
progressively more dangerous for American troops, more lawless, and then
eventually fall under the sway of the most ruthless and violent of the
insurgent and paramilitary forces.
From a military-political point of view, the Iraq war is
unsustainable. It will not change the facts to point out that the US could
defeat the insurgency over time. There is no more time.
The American people will not abide Iraq for 10 more years.
In fact, the longer American forces are in Iraq, the more impatient Americans
have become. As the months go by without visible progress, it becomes more and
more clear that time is not the problem - nor the solution.
There is no military problem on Earth that the US armed
forces cannot resolve, but Iraq is not a military problem - it is a political
problem, and the root political problem of Iraq is the widespread perception
among Iraqis that its government is politically illegitimate.
The perception that the Iraqi government is illegitimate
does not stem from the government's inability to establish basic civilized
living conditions for it citizens; rather, its illegitimacy stems from the
government's origins in invasion and occupation - and from its continued
dependency on the US.
Blinded by hatred of an anti-American regime and their
ignorance of an exotic culture, US decision-makers have plunged the American
people into a quagmire.
Cowardice In The Face Of The Enemy:
Leading Organizations And Figures In The Antiwar
Struggle Are Retreating Into Talk Of 'Exit Strategies' And 'Responsible
December 2, 2005 LANCE SELFA and ELIZABETH SCHULTE,
Socialist Worker [Excerpts]
REP. JOHN Murtha's (D-Pa.) November 17 press conference
was, if nothing else, a wake-up call to the Washington establishment from one
of its own. The U.S. "cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily,"
Murtha said. "It is time to bring them home."
Judging by the abuse he received from outraged
Republicans and the cheers heard in antiwar circles, you might have thought
that a pro-war politician had decided to become an antiwar activist.
Newly elected Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) almost provoked a
brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives when she accused Murtha, a
decorated combat veteran, of being a coward.
At the same time, Medea Benjamin, cofounder of the
antiwar group Code Pink, in an article on the "10 Reasons to Give Thanks" this
year, put at the top of the list: "We're thankful that Congressman John Murtha
has joined us in calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq."
RHETORIC ASIDE, the text of Murtha's proposed
congressional resolution never uses the word "withdrawal"--but rather
"redeployment"--when referring to plans for U.S. troops in Iraq.
But in a maneuver aimed
at embarrassing the Democrats, the Republicans rushed through an alternative
resolution to Murtha's proposal, calling for the immediate withdrawal of all
forces from Iraq. The Republican resolution went down to defeat by a vote of
Virtually all of the
liberal Democratic members of Congress who claim to be allies of the antiwar
movement voted against a resolution that--whatever the Republicans'
intentions--proposed the movement's common point of agreement, at least on
paper: get U.S. troops out of Iraq now.
Sadly, many liberal voices outside Congress defended the
For example, the Progressive Democrats of America, which
styles itself as a grassroots lobby to pressure Democrats to oppose the Iraq
occupation, issued a statement supporting Democrats who voted against the
replacement resolution--which it called "an attempt to trick Democrats into
supporting a 'cut-and-run' position on withdrawing U.S. troops."
Middle East expert Stephen Zunes, one of the leading
intellectuals in antiwar circles, went even further, urging the antiwar
movement to embrace Murtha's call for a rapid reaction force to prevent the
victory of the Iraqi resistance to occupation. "The peace movement should be
open to such a strategy," Zunes wrote, "since it ends the occupation, it shifts
our policy to diplomacy, and it creates the common ground necessary to unite
politically around the language of Rep. John Murtha, a retired Marine and
staunch supporter of the military, who calls for America to get out of Iraq 'as
soon as practicable.'"
ALL OF this might be mystifying to antiwar activists. The
Democrats seem unable to capitalize on an opportunity, dropped in their laps by
an Iraq war hawk, to rally around a genuine antiwar position.
And while more Americans than ever are willing to hear a
straightforward antiwar message, leading organizations and figures in the
antiwar struggle are retreating into talk of "exit strategies" and "responsible
The debate that has erupted in Washington between
Republicans and Democrats isn't between those who support the war and those who
oppose it. It is between two ruling-class parties that start from the same
assumption that U.S. global and regional interests must be preserved, but
bicker over the best strategies to accomplish that.
The Democrats may have small differences about how to
"get the job done"--troop redeployment, greater collaboration with
international bodies like the United Nations, using the cover of
"humanitarianism"--but their "job" is the same as the Republicans.
IF THE Iraq War hadn't become such a disaster and Iraqi
resistance to occupation hadn't been so fierce, the current congressional
"debate," such as it is, probably wouldn't be happening. Instead, politicians
from both parties would be trying to associate themselves with Bush and his
But with more and more sections of the ruling class
becoming concerned that the Iraq debacle is undermining the U.S.'s ability to
pursue its global agenda, the Democrats are offering themselves as new managers
who can put the U.S. imperial train back on the tracks.
Relying on the Democratic
Party to set the terms of the debate is a losing proposition for antiwar
activists. It only makes the antiwar movement weaker to applaud the
compromised half-measures put forward by the Democrats.
If the antiwar movement is going to stop the occupation,
we have to organize an opposition independent of the Democrats and their
cynical maneuvers. We have to continue to press for nothing less than an
immediate and complete withdrawal of all U.S. personnel from Iraq and the
How Bad Is It?
01 December 2005 By Rupert Cornwell, The Independent UK
Iraqi government officials say that without US support
they could not hold much of Baghdad. Many Iraqi units are "ghost
battalions", the number of soldiers inflated by commanders who pocket the
pay of non-existent men.
OCCUPATION ISN'T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Bush Asks Iran Government For Help In Iraq!
[Thanks to PB who sent this in. He writes: A SIGN OF
DESPERATION: DR. AXIS OF EVIL COUNTRY, PLEASE HELP US IN IRAQ.]
Nov 30 AFP & 29 November 2005 Aljazeera.
Iran has no plans to cooperate with the United States,
its foreign ministry spokesman said, after reports that Washington would reach
out to Tehran for assistance in quelling unrest in Iraq.
"Entente with the United States is not on the agenda of
the Islamic Republic of Iran," Hamid Reza Asefi said after meeting with
Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara.
Newsweek magazine reported Sunday that President George
W. Bush has asked US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to seek assistance
from Iran, in what would be the first high-level US contact with Tehran in
"It's a very narrow mandate that he has, and it deals
specifically with issues related to Iraq," spokesman Sean McCormack said
The United States has also sought Tehran's help to seal
off its border to Iraqi insurgents and to avoid meddling with the country's
Iran's official news agency IRNA quoted the
English-language daily Iran News as saying: "Some observers believe the US
has finally come to the realisation that stability in the region is not
achievable without Iran."
A Billion Dollar Cry For Help
03 December 2005 By Maureen Dowd, The New York Times
The US Agency for International Development is offering
more than $1 billion for anyone - anyone at all - who can come up with a plan
to pacify and rebuild 10 Iraqi cities seen as vital in the war.
Maybe the White House should apply - Usaid's proffer says
the "invitation is open to any type of entity."
THE FUTURE CONFRONTS THE PAST
Palestinian girls confront a Zionist soldier at a checkpoint
that Palestinian children cross daily on their way to school in the occupied
Palestinian city of Hebron Dec. 3, 2005. Palestinians protest unnecessarily
intrusive searches by soldiers of children on their way to school. (AP
[To check out what life is like under a murderous
military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The foreign army is
Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Take Your Pick
12.1.05 Rupert Cornwell, The Independent UK
Iraqi government officials say that without US support
they could not hold much of Baghdad. Many Iraqi units are "ghost
battalions", the number of soldiers inflated by commanders who pocket the
pay of non-existent men.
'Iraqi security forces are on the offensive against the
enemy, cleaning out areas controlled by the terrorists and Saddam loyalists,
leaving Iraqi forces to hold territory taken from the enemy, and following up
with targeted reconstruction to help Iraqis rebuild their lives.'
Bush Speech at Annapolis, 11.30.05
[Thanks to Z, who sent this in.]
"My Son Is Against This War But Still Serving"
Sent: December 02, 2005
Subject: Military Families
My name is J
My son is against this war but still serving. He has
already served two deployments to [X] where he was injured and received the [X]
star and the purple heart.
If he speaks out he will lose his security clearance. He
knows he can't reign me in however and I'm a vehement advocate to end this
illegal war now!
My son encourages me to speak out.
I am also on the board of [X] Military Families Speak
Out. I was in Crawford and I marched on Washington on Sept. 24th, 25th and
If I can be of any assistance just let me know.
REPLY: From your letter, looks like you're being of
magnificent assistance already to the movement to bring the troops home now!
Respect to you! T
To: Col. Of The 704th MP Brigade;
"You All Are Nothing But 'Perfumed Princes' As Col.
Hackworth Called You"
[This open letter is in response to GI Special articles
about the mistreatment of anti-war soldier Sgt. Kevin Benderman, and reports of
torture of prisoners at Ft. Lewis.. T]
To: GI Special
Sent: December 01, 2005
Subject: Col. of the 704th MP Brigade
To whom it may concern;
You people stink. You all are nothing but "Perfumed
Princes" as Col Hackworth called you.
I am appalled at the way Kevin was treated. I cannot
wait until he gets out and perhaps write a book about you all.
You will never get my grandson, I promise you that, nor
any child that I have come in contact with.
Just a very disgusted Grandmother and once a Patriot.
Beware The Democrat In Republican Clothing
From: Alycia A. Barr
To: GI Special
Sent: December 04, 2005
Subject: Beware the Democrat in Republican clothing
I'm with Mr. Goff...we got their number and we won't go
We'll use the bodies of our loved ones, piled up in front
of you to go right over you.
In Peace and Humanity,
Alycia A. Barr
"The News You Send Out Is Terrible To Read"
To: GI Special
Sent: November 30, 2005
Thanks for all you are doing.
The news you send out is terrible to read, but we need to
see the truth...
Reply: The thanks go to you and other
activists organizing and fighting to stop the war. It's what happens on the
ground that counts. T
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