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GI Special 3D37: Torture Is An American Value - December 7, 2005.

I became aware of torture as a U.S. policy in 1969 when I was serving as a USAF combat security officer working near Can Tho City in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. I was informed about the CIA's Phong Dinh Province Interrogation Center (PIC) at the Can Tho Army airfield where supposedly "significant members" of the VCI (Viet Cong infrastructure) were taken for torture as part of the Phoenix Pacification Program. A huge French-built prison nearby was also apparently utilized for torture of suspects from the Delta region. Many were routinely murdered. Naive, I was shocked!...


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GI Special 3D37: Torture Is An American Value - December 7, 2005.


GI Special 3D37: Torture Is An American Value

GI Special 3D37: Torture Is An American Value



Print it out: color best. Pass it on.







Torture Is An American Value:

Reality Vs. The Rhetoric


Fall 2005, By S. Brian Willson, The Veteran, Vietnam Veterans Against The War


S. Brian Willson was head of a USAF combat security unit in Vietnam. A lawyer by training, and a writer (www.brianwillson.com), he is a member of Humboldt Bay Veterans for Peace, a Northern California contact for VVAW, and a member of the Arcata Nuclear Free Zone and Peace Commission.




I became aware of torture as a U.S. policy in 1969 when I was serving as a USAF combat security officer working near Can Tho City in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. I was informed about the CIA's Phong Dinh Province Interrogation Center (PIC) at the Can Tho Army airfield where supposedly "significant members" of the VCI (Viet Cong infrastructure) were taken for torture as part of the Phoenix Pacification Program. A huge French-built prison nearby was also apparently utilized for torture of suspects from the Delta region. Many were routinely murdered.


Naive, I was shocked!


The Agency for International Development (AID) working with Southern Illinois University, for example, trained Vietnamese police and prison officials in the art of torture ("interrogations") under cover of "public safety." American officials believed they were teaching "better methods," often making suggestions during torture sessions conducted by Vietnamese police.


Instead of the recent euphemism "illegal combatants," the United State in Vietnam claimed prisoners were "criminal" and therefore exempt from Geneva Convention protections.


The use of torture as a function of terror, or its equivalent in sadistic behavior, has been historic de facto U.S. policy.


Our European ancestors' shameful, sadistic treatment of the indigenous inhabitants based on an ethos of arrogance and violence has become ingrained in our values. "Manifest destiny" has rationalized as a religion the elimination or assimilation of those perceived to be blocking American progressat home or abroada belief that expansion of the nation, including subjugation of natives and others, is divinely ordained, that our "superior race" is obligated to "civilize" those who stand in the way.


When examining my roots in New York and New England, I discovered that Indian captives were skinned alive and dragged through the streets of New Amsterdam (New York City) in the 1640s. Scalping enabled Indian bounty hunters to be paid.


Captains Underhill and Endicott, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony governed by John Winthrop, spent their time "burning and spoiling the country" of Indians in Rhode Island and Connecticut in 163637, while sparing the children and women as slaves.


My hometown of Geneva in the Finger Lakes region of New York State was once home to the Seneca Nation with its flourishing farms, orchards, and sturdy houses. In one two-week period in September 1779, General George Washington's orders "to lay waste...that the country...be...destroyed," instilling "terror" among the Indians, were dutifully carried out by General Sullivan, who promised that "the Indians shall see that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy everything that contributes to their support."


Sullivan's campaign has been described as a ruthless policy of scorched earth, bearing comparison with Sherman's march to the sea or the search-and-destroy missions of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.


In northern California, where I now live, the same grueling history exists. Bret Harte wrote in 1860 that little children and old women were mercilessly stabbed and their skulls crushed by axes: "Old women...lay weltering in blood, their brains dashed out...while infants...with their faces cloven with hatchets and their bodies ghastly wounds" lay nearby.


In 1920, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) investigated the conduct of U.S. troops who had occupied Haiti since 1915. More than 3,000 Haitians were killed by U.S. Marines, many having been tortured.


When indigenous Nicaraguan resistance fought against the occupying U.S. forces in the late 1920s, the Marines launched counterinsurgency war. U.S. policymakers insisted on "stabilizing" the country to enforce loan repayments to U.S. banks.


They defined the resistance forces as "bandits," an earlier equivalent to the "criminal prisoners" in Vietnam and "illegal combatants" in Iraq. Since the United States claimed not to be fighting a legitimate military force, any Nicaraguan perceived as interfering with the occupiers was commonly subjected to beatings, tortures, and beheadings.


When the Somoza dictatorship (installed by the United States) was overthrown in 1979, the Somoza torture centers were immediately destroyed.


In 1946, the U.S. Army institutionalized teaching torture techniques to Latin American militaries with the opening of its School of the Americas (SOA), which continues today as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC).


Torture has been a historical U.S. practice in police stations and prisonsand via countless vigilante crimes of sadistic torture and mutilation against black Americans.


The Wickersham Commission's 1931 Report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement concluded that "the third degree is the employment of methods which inflict suffering, physical or mental, upon a person, in order to obtain from that person information about a crime... The third degree is widespread. The third degree is a secret and illegal practice."


Seventy years later, the 2002 Human Rights Watch World Report documented systematic use of torture by U.S. police: "thousands of allegations of police abuse, including excessive use of force, such as unjustified shootings, beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment."


My studies of brutality in Massachusetts prisons in 1981 concluded (in "Walpole State Prison, Massachusetts: An Exercise in Torture") by noting "a clear pattern and history of systematic torture including withholding water, heat, bedding, medical care, and showers; imposition of hazards such as flooding cells, placing foreign matter in food, igniting clothes and bedding, spraying with mace and tear gas; regular physical assaults and beatings; and forcing prisoners to lie face down, naked and handcuffed to one another...on freezing...outdoor ground while being kicked and beaten." This was two decades before the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo revelations.


Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist, has testified about human rights abuses in U.S. prisons. "The plight of prisoners in the USA is strikingly similar to the plight of the Iraqis who were abused by American GIs. Prisoners are maced, raped, beaten, starved, left naked in freezing cold cells and otherwise abused in too many American prisons, as substantiated by findings in many courts..."


It would behoove us to attempt to understand the underlying psychological defenses that seem to have afflicted us like a cultural mental illness since our origins.





Telling the truth - about the occupation 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 - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)











BAGHDAD, Iraq  A Task Force Baghdad Soldier was killed when a patrol struck an improvised explosive device in east Baghdad Dec. 4.



Two South Dakota National Guard Soldiers Killed

South Dakota National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Richard Schild, 40, of Tabor, S.D., was killed in Iraq Dec. 4, 2005, when two roadside bombs went off near a Humvee he was in. (AP Photo/South Dakota National Guard)


12/06/05 AP


YANKTON, S.D. (AP) -- Two South Dakota National Guard soldiers from the Yankton area were killed and three others were injured Sunday after roadside bombs exploded near their vehicles in Iraq, Gov. Mike Rounds said Monday.


Sgt. 1st Class Richard Schild, 40, of Tabor, and Staff Sgt. Daniel M. Cuka, 27, of Yankton, were killed in Baghdad after two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off near their Humvees as they headed to an Iraqi police station, Rounds said.


Schild was the 1st Platoon's sergeant and Cuka was a team leader for Battery C.


South Dakota National Guard Staff Sgt. Daniel M. Cuka, 27, of Yankton, S.D., was killed in Iraq, Dec. 4, 2005, when two roadside bombs went off near a Humvee he was in. (AP Photo/South Dakota National Guard)



Spc. Michael J. Idanan, 21, Killed


November 28, 2005 ASSOCIATED PRESS


CHULA VISTA  After getting in trouble as a teenager in the San Francisco area, Michael J. Idanan decided to follow his older cousin into the military.


Idanan, 21, of Chula Vista, joined the Army and reenlisted for a second tour after his cousin left the military following a three-year stint.


Spc. Idanan died Nov. 19 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee in Beiji, Iraq.


Idanan was born in the Philippines but raised in California after his mother, Nenita Manalese, looked to make a fresh start after her marriage broke up.


They settled in Daly City, but Idanan was sent to live with his uncle, Nelson Riley, near San Diego after Idanan was expelled from school for bringing Asian fighting sticks on campus.


Riley's son, Brian, also was a difficult teenager so both were sent to a federal Job Corps training camp in Utah. The boys shared a dorm and got their high school equivalency diploma.


After coming home, however, both seemed aimless and were so messy that Riley made them live in the garage.


"I called it uncle's boot camp," said Riley, a Navy veteran. "I told them, 'If you guys don't get it together  go to college or go in the military  this will be better than the street corner you'll be living on.'"


Brian Riley enlisted first and Idanan  who called his cousin "kuya," which is Tagalog for "older brother"  followed a few months later.


Brian Riley said that the last time he saw his cousin was by chance. Both were assigned to separate divisions, but in 2003 were at Camp Victory, Kuwait, waiting to go into Iraq. Riley said he heard a voice from a nearby convoy yelling, "Kuya! Kuya!"


Idanan's uncle said that he noticed positive changes in his nephew when he came home for a visit and was impressed that he had been pinned with a Meritorious Service Medal with valor.


"He got a room with a bed," Nelson Riley said. "He was a hero when he came back."


Idanan at the time of his death was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.



Updated On The Deaths Of 10 Marines


[Thanks to Dennis O'Neil, who sent this in.]


12.6.05 AP


The U.S. Marines updated their report Tuesday on the deaths of 10 Marines on Dec. 1.


The statement said that the Marines from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment were not on a foot patrol, as previously reported, and were instead inside an abandoned flour mill. The troops used the mill as a temporary patrol base.


"The platoon swept the area for explosives and established security around the factory," the statement said. "On that day, the company commander traveled to the patrol base to promote three Marines. A promotion ceremony involving a group of Marines was conducted inside the patrol base."


After the ceremony, the men dispersed, it said.


"It is suspected that one of the Marines triggered a hidden pressure plate initiation device, causing the explosion," the statement explained. "Explosive experts believe four artillery shells were buried in two separate locations."



U.S. Mercenary Wounded As 115 Occupation Cops Blown Up;

43 Dead


6 December 2005 (AFP) & By ROBERT H. REID, AP


Two men strapped with explosives detonated themselves at Baghdad's police academy on Tuesday, killing at least 43 people and wounding 73 more.


A U.S. contractor was among those wounded.


"Two females, each wearing a suicide vest, walked into a classroom at the academy and detonated in the midst of students," the statement said.


It was unclear how they managed to breach the massive security in place around the Baghdad police academy in a zone controlled by the US military in the volatile Iraqi capital.


"We were sitting in the yard when we heard an explosion," said police Maj. Wisam al-Heyali. "Seconds later, we were hit by another explosion as we were running. I saw some of my colleagues falling down and I felt my hand hit, but I kept on running."


"One of the suicide bombers detonated near a group of students outside a classroom," the Task Force Baghdad said. "Thinking the explosion was an indirect-fire attack, (Iraqi police) and students fled to a bunker for shelter where the second bomber detonated his vest."


Iraqi police also said the attackers may have been policemen or students, fresh evidence that insurgents have infiltrated the country's security forces.



U.S. Mercenary Captured

Al-Jazeera via AFP - Getty Images


6 December 2005 (AFP)


The Islamic Army in Iraq claimed the kidnapping of an American who they said they would kill in 48 hours unless all prisoners are released in Iraq, Al Jazeera television said.


In a mid-afternoon broadcast, Al-Jazeera television on Tuesday broadcast an Iraqi insurgent video that purported to show a kidnapped U.S. security consultant.


The Qatar-based satellite television showed a videotape of a blond man with his arms behind his back seated on a white plastic chair, and the cover of a US passport and a bank account card with the name Ronald Schulz.


They threatened to kill him with 48 hours unless all prisoners are released and unless compensation is paid to the restive western province of Al Anbar that has been the scene of several US offensives against insurgents.




That is not a good enough reason.

A US soldier south of Baquba 27 November during a joint US and Iraqi forces raid. (AFP/File/Ali Yussef)



A Col. Who Understands Reality:

"For Most The Insurgency Is About Removing The Occupiers"


Col. Gronski said the local nature of the insurgency meant that even the few civic leaders prepared to work with the Americans view the fighters as legitimate. "They see them as resistance. They don't view these local guys placing IEDs and firing mortars at us as insurgents."


04/12/2005 By Toby Harnden in Ramadi, Telegraph.co.uk


Of 1,300 suspected insurgents arrested over the past five months in and around Ramadi, none has been a foreigner. Col John Gronski, senior officer in the town, Anbar's provincial capital, said that almost all insurgent fighting there was by Iraqis. Foreigners provided only money and logistical support.


The insurgents have the support of most locals. "They have the ability to move freely around the city," said Capt Twain Hickman, the commander of India Company of the 3/7 US Marines battalion. "That means they can attack at a time of their choosing."


Col Gronski said the local nature of the insurgency meant that even the few civic leaders prepared to work with the Americans view the fighters as legitimate. "They see them as resistance. They don't view these local guys placing IEDs and firing mortars at us as insurgents."


Some Iraqis in Ramadi now adhere to Zarqawi's radical Islamist philosophy, but for most the insurgency is about removing the occupiers, Col Herbert said.


"Their family and tribal honour has been impugned if we're on their ground. They're almost duty bound to fight."


Iraqi officials who deal with the Americans are routinely killed. Ma'amoun Salmi Rasheed, the governor of Anbar, has survived a dozen assassination attempts. His predecessor and deputy were murdered. Little reconstruction is being done, said Col Roggeman. "Here, it's security first."


The Pentagon plan for the country is to hand over "battle space" to Iraqi forces once they are capable of combating the insurgency so that American forces can withdraw. But this scheme has been beset by problems in Ramadi.


A year ago the local police force was disbanded because many of its members were insurgents. In October, the provincial police chief was arrested on suspicion of diverting salaries to fund the insurgency.


There are three Iraqi army battalions in the town, comprised mainly of Shia troops from outside Ramadi, where the population is Sunni.


But the commander of one of the Iraqi battalions, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said it would be "at least two or three years" before his men were ready to fight alone.


"The terrorists control Ramadi and the mosques assist them," he said. "We are getting better but the Iraqi army is still weak and we need equipment. We always rely on the Americans to do the hardest jobs for us."


"These insurgents have a great deal of tactical and operational patience," said Col Gronski. "They will continue to look for the time and the place because time is on their side."


[Col. Gronski better watch his ass. Rumsfeld doesn't like officers who see the real world for what it is.]







06 December 2005 Agence France-Presse


Three Afghan troops were wounded by a remote-controlled bomb.


Another improvised bomb exploded between a patrol of Dutch peacekeepers in the northern province of Baghland but none was hurt while a civilian mine clearer was killed removing an explosive at the military airport in Kabul, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.


The bomb that wounded the three Afghan soldiers was detonated in volatile southern Zabul province as their patrol passed on the way to investigate a tip-off about a hideout of Taliban militants, provincial spokesman Gulab Shaha Alikhil said.







New "Back From Iraq" Documentary Features Eyewitness Accounts From U.S. Soldiers Who Served On The Front Lines


Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) December 5, 2005


"Back From Iraq: The U.S. Soldier Speaks" is a documentary featuring candid interviews with four soldiers who have returned from the front lines of the War in Iraq. Soldiers interviewed include Jimmy Massey, Patrick Resta, Jeff Key and Joseph Mahfouz.


Topics covered include civilian deaths in Iraq, threats to the security of personnel on US military bases, the equipment and training given to the Iraqi National Guard, the use of radioactive munitions by U.S. soldiers, Geneva Convention violations, and soldiers' concerns regarding the long term impact of the Iraq war on U.S. National Security.


The film premieres Friday December 9 at 8PM in Beverly Hills. For complete details on how to reserve your seat, visit www.backfromiraqmovie.com.


Are you tired of wondering what's going on in Iraq? More than two thousand U.S. soldiers have been killed, more than fifteen thousand have been wounded, tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died and more than two hundred billion dollars have been spent. And yet, every month, the number and severity of insurgent attacks increases.


Is the U.S. losing the war in Iraq?


The "Back From Iraq: The U.S. Soldier Speaks" documentary features interviews with four soldiers who tell you what you haven't heard from cable news networks or the mainstream media.


Jimmy Massey, a U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant and trained infantry man, who served as both Parris Island Trainer and Marine Recruiter, tells you what he saw that made him decide to abandon a twelve year career in the US Marine Corp to become a pro-soldier/anti-war activist.


Jeff Key, a U.S. Marine with deep religious convictions, discusses the impact of the war on U.S. Soldiers and the tremendous price he fears the people of the U.S. may have to pay for becoming the "the most hated and feared nation in the world."


Patrick Resta, who served in Iraq with the North Carolina Army National Guard as a Medic, describes his experiences with the Iraqi National Guard, how children are being injured and killed as a result of US Military action, and how the U.S. government and mainstream media have misled the people of the United States about the course of the war.


Joseph Mahfouz, a U.S. Army solider who served in Tikrit, describes his experiences working alongside members of the Iraqi National Guard, reasons behind the rise of the Iraqi insurgency and the security of U.S. military bases in Iraq.


Each of these men served for months in Iraq. They have a first person understanding of the Iraqi people living under occupation. They reveal the enormous toll this war is taking on the U.S. military.


Watching this documentary will help you understand why the efforts of the U.S. military to secure Iraq have not succeeded, and why the war in Iraq will have a significant impact on U.S. national security in the months and years to come.


This film is a "must see" for anyone who has had a family member serving in Iraq, or for those who want to secure the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic.


To attend the "Back from Iraq: The U.S. Soldier Speaks" premiere, RSVP by following the instructions at www.backfromiraqmovie.com.


For those who cannot attend, learn how you can purchase DVD's and host house parties for your community at www.metropolefilmworx.com.





Lying Pentagon Generals Caught Hiding 19,900 Troops Sickened By Anthrax Shots


December 4, 2005 Newport News Daily Press


The Pentagon never told Congress about more than 20,000 hospitalizations involving troops who had taken the anthrax vaccine, despite repeated promises that such cases would be publicly disclosed, records obtained by the Daily Press show.


Instead, a parade of generals and Defense Department officials told Congress and the public that fewer than 100 persons were hospitalized or became seriously ill after receiving the shot from 1998 through 2000.


[The filth in human form responsible for this are the enemy, not Iraqis fighting the occupation. The Iraqis understand reality. These people are the menace.]







Assorted Resistance Action:


6 December 2005 (AFP) & By ROBERT H. REID, AP & Aljazeera


AL-RASHAD - Shahla Hasan, the head of Baiji city council, and a finance official from Tikrit were killed by resistance fighters in the town of al-Rashad, 45km west of Kirkuk, police Colonel Sarhat Qadir said on Tuesday. He said one of Hasan's two aides was kidnapped.


Shahla Al Marie, the head of planning in Tikrit, was gunned down together with Tahseen Wali, the head of the accounting department. Ihsan Wali, an engineer traveling with them, was kidnapped, while the driver was wounded.


Also in the north, three members of the northern Iraqi oil company's security force were killed as they patrolled a pipeline near Shorkat.


In the village of Khalas, one of Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's bodyguards was killed in a drive-by shooting.


With his boss on an official visit to Tokyo, the bodyguard had been on his way to visit his family.


An Iraqi army colonel and his driver were found shot dead on the road between Baghdad and Baquba, said police.


The officer and driver, who were not in uniform and travelling in a private car, were killed in a drive by shooting at around 10:00 am (0700 GMT).


In Baghdad, the interior ministry said that police General Hamza Hussein Fadel and a passenger in his car had been shot dead by unknown attackers in the capital's southern Dura district.


A policewoman was shot dead in Baghdad's western Amriyah district, according to the same source.


Unknown assailants have fired a rocket at the Najaf offices of the party of former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi, only two days after the man himself was assaulted in the same southern Iraqi town.


Late Tuesday, a bomber blew himself up in a cafe frequented by police in a Shiite neighborhood, killing one. Three of the wounded were policemen, officials said.









"The Troops Themselves Will Initiate The Withdrawal"


From: Alycia A. Barr

To: GI Special

Sent: December 05, 2005


Gotta tell ya, 3D35 was geared to represent the truth of the matter to all who read it, from the powerful standpoint of the soldier. It was GREAT!


From start to finish, it's message was clear.


It's not just the grunt or their families anymore who want us out, but a consciousness in the futility of "winning" is crawling up the ranks.


Finally, we who knew all along this was a sham, and those who were forced to serve at this administration's whim, can now claim to be a majority voice, as more and more senior members of the military speak out, lending credence to the legitimacy of TOTAL, IMMEDIATE, and COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL and NOTHING LESS!


It's become evident that the longer se stay, the more, whatever credibility the US has left, will be undermined by the growing global opinion that the Iraqi resistance has far more legitimacy for their actions than we do ours.


We've been defeated and we don't even know it!


The heated debate about "cutting and running" is therefore absurd.


Guys on the ground knew that a long time ago.


Now all we have to do it get it across to our loved ones still there, and preparing to go, that "good soldiers DON'T do bad things" then claim to do it for God and country (not necessarily in that order).


Once that's accomplished, the troops themselves will initiate the withdrawal.


It'll be quick, but it won't be pretty.


In Peace and Humanity,

Alycia A. Barr


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 top.



The Avian Flu of the Antiwar Movement:

"Like All The Shrapnel And Bullets Flying Through The Air In Iraq -- The Democratic Party Is A Killer"


[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]


November 21, 2005 By JOSHUA FRANK, Online Journal Contributing Writer [Excerpts]


They won't pull out troops from Iraq and they won't vote for any strategy that calls for immediate removal of United States occupation forces.


Of course it took a Republican to put forth an "out-now" resolution, which was supposedly intended to split the Democrats. But the vote in the House late Friday didn't slice a wedge in the Democrat Party -- on the contrary, it united them behind a bloody and illegal occupation in Iraq. Of course this could well have been the Republican strategy all along.


Only three Democrats voted in support of the Republicans' Iraq withdraw proposal: Representatives Wexler, Serrano and McKinney. And their point was well made.


They want the troops home now and they don't care who wrote up the legislation or the reasons why they did it. It was the right move to make. If US troops were pulled out tomorrow, Iraq would be a safer place for all of us.


A handful of House Democrats did take the podium to express their seething disgust over the Republicans' political feat. Talk is cheap, however. Votes are what count. If there ever was a subject that should gash the thin-skinned Democratic Party, it'd be the Iraq war.


But as the House vote verified, the Democrats don't want US troops home now, let alone in six months as Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) proposed last Thursday.


Recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans agree with Murtha's call to pull out US forces, which wasn't even close to an "out-now" proposition. Regardless, the Democrats took cover as Rep. Murtha began making headlines with his remarks.


"I don't support immediate withdrawal," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid released in a statement following Murtha's call to exit troops.


The Democrats, however, are proving to be the AVIAN FLU of the antiwar movement. They are willing to divvy out just enough fodder in hopes of luring in the antiwar crowd, and then they strike.


First it was the Senate lock out, which ended up being nothing more than a charade masked as opposition. After all, debating pre-war intel is a non-issue -- what we need to be worried about is how to bring our troops home now. But as we well know, the Democrats have neither a plan nor the desire to bring them home anytime soon.


Senator John Kerry and even Donald Rumsfeld are calling for a reduction of US troops after December.


But the troops they both want to bring home are the ones they sent over to monitor Iraq's elections in the first place. Pulling them out afterward was the plan all along. The Democrats, like the Republicans, still believe there is a mission to be accomplished there. What this mission is nobody knows.


Surely it can't be democracy the Democrats and Republicans want. If that were the case they'd have yanked out troops months ago as Iraqis have overwhelmingly declared that's what they desire.


No, this ongoing mission is only about one thing: smug American pride. President Bush and his Democratic enablers can't admit that this war was waged for no reason whatsoever. They can't admit that all the lives lost have been for nothing.


The Democrats in Washington, despite sporadic glimmers of hope, are a feckless lot. So don't take their bait.


Like all the shrapnel and bullets flying through the air in Iraq -- the Democratic Party is a killer.


What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to contact@militaryproject.org. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.



"Real Freedom Will Come When Soldiers In Iraq Turn Their Guns On Their Superiors"


12.5.05 Army Times


A New Jersey community college professor resigned after an e-mail he wrote led him to being characterized as the "fragging professor."


The conservative Young America's Foundation made the e-mail public and demanded that Warren Community College respond to adjunct professor of English John Daly's statement, "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors."


The comment was part of an e-mail Daly wrote in response to a student's announcement about a Nov. 17 campus visit by Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, organized in part by the foundation. Daly said he would ask his students and others to boycott the event.


The college was "inundated with local and national opinions from the public," according to a press release, and school officials were about to meet Nov. 22 to discuss the issue when they received Daly's resignation.


In an interview with online news source WorldNetDaily.com, Daly said his e-mail was taken out of context.



"If Someone Asks Me If I'm Sunni Or Shi'i Again, I Swear I'll Choke Them To Death"


December 2, 2005 Dayez, Iraqi Rebel


You know, all this fuss made in the media about Sunnis and Shia has really been getting to me lately. Iraqis are almost always categorized as one or the other. For example, Fulan al Fulani, the Shi'i politician; Fulan al Fulani, the Sunni cleric.


The same can happen with geographic areas, towns and provinces, e.g. Basra, the largely Shi'i city; Ramadi, the Sunni Arab stronghold; Salah al Din, a province with Sunni majority; Sadr City, the Shi'i district; Amiriya, the largely Sunni district of Baghdad, etc.


The media is so obsessed with these distinctions that I am sure they will soon start to come up with new ideas just to show off they know all about Iraq, like say:


"the Iraqi family was at the Fulani restaurant having Kabab for restaurant. Kabab is a largely Shi'i dish."


"Kadhim al Sahir, the Sunni singer raised in a Shi'i district of Baghdad, held a concert in Cairo."


"Malayeen, the Shi'i belly dancer, opened a dancing school in Beirut."


"Sunni peasants have tishreeb with rice in it. Shi'is do not."


"Nissan pickup trucks are generally purchased by Sunni Arab farmers. Shi'i farmers prefer Toyota pickups."


"Abd al Aziz al Hakim's great grandmother was a Sunni Turkomen from Tuz Khormatu."


"Harith al Dhari's cleaning lady is a Shi'i from the Shu'la district of Baghdad. His grandson's best buddy at school is also Shi'i."


"At the Jadriya club, a duet composed of a Sunni and a Shi'i sang for a largely elite Sunni audience. The majority of the band members were Shi'i from various Shi'i districts of Baghdad. One of them is a Fayli Kurd from Khanaqin who are also Shi'i. The waiters were mostly Assyrian Orthodox Christians from Batnaya and Ainkawa. However, the club manager is a Shi'i from Hilla. The district of Jadriya itself is a mixed one but leaning towards a Shi'i majority."


So you get the point.


I am not saying that Iraqis never noticed these differences, it's just that recent events have somehow accentuated them. In the past, we just used to joke about the differences. And since most Iraqi families and tribes are mixed, there is no point in creating imaginary differences.


For most of my life, I rarely knew which of my friends was Sunni and which was Shi'i. It might have been easier to notice which was Kurdish or Christian because of language differences. Sometimes, Shi'is from the south, say Basra or Amara, can be recognized from their accent, but then even Sunnis and Christians in Basra share the same accent. Most of the time it's a regional difference rather than a sectarian one.


My mother told me once that she asked her father when she was very young if they were Shi'i or Sunni after she had heard the terms in school. Her father slapped her hard in the face. That was how far Iraqis were willing to go in order to supress their perceived differences.


It's also considered rude to ask if one is Shi'i or Sunni. If you ask, most people would respond saying "I'm Muslim," or "I'm Iraqi."


Some nosy people get around it by asking "Where are you from?" If you say "Baghdad," he would ask "Which area of Baghdad?" If your answer is a mixed district, he would squirm and ask "Ok then, from what tribe?" If you reply with a mixed tribe like Jubur, he would really start to get uncomfortable because he can't find out whether you are Sunni or Shi'i and he might start asking from which clan or which family you belong to. Some are really good at finding out though if they try hard and they are obsessed with it.


There were areas however in Iraq which used to be considered purely Sunni or Shi'i. I heard an old relative of mine once saying that he visited a village near Amara and the people there asked him what a Sunni looked like. When he explained to them that Sunnis look just like them or anyone else, their jaws fell to the ground in disbelief and they said "You mean they don't have little tails in their behinds??"


The "tail" story is a known one.


People who lived in isolated Shi'i villages would refer to a Sunni as Abu Dhuwail (the one with the tail). Similar beliefs exist in isolated Sunni communities, also in Arab countries with no Shia communities.


I was chatting once with a taxi driver in Amman and we discussed politics and other stuff. He then cautiously asked me what I thought about the Shia, and if they are how people describe them. When I told him that he was talking to one, he was really embarrassed. He kept apologizing and saying that he was wrong because he thought Shia were Persians. He seemed to have thought that Shia looked like strange creatures from outer space.


Iraqis now have no problem with their differences. They intermarry all the time and they publicly make jokes about it. Times have changed, there are rarely any pure communities in Iraq now. There are Shia in Mosul and Ramadi, just like there are Sunnis in Najaf and Amara.


It bugs me continuously to see bloggers like say Juan Cole to stress those differences so much and to philosophize about them to the extent that he almost writes stuff like the list I mentioned above.


The media also imagines that one's political opinion is decided by what sect he belongs to.


If a Shi'i says he is against the constitution or the occupation or the current government, the media and political pundits start scratching their heads trying to figure out what's wrong. The same if a Sunni says he is glad that Saddam is gone and that the country is fine the way it is now. It just doesn't fit in with their ready made equation and it confuses them.


I have been so annoyed with this recently that I made up a list of all my friends from primary school to the present day and wrote down who was Sunni and who was Shi'i. I didn't get anywhere and couldn't prove anything. Here is what the list looked like (names slightly changed for anonymity):


primary school:


Ali Ahmed, Shi'i

Sinan Mohammed, Sunni

Harith Ghassan, Shi'i

Rafi Bassam, Christian, Armenian Orthodox


secondary and high school:


Dana Nazar, Sunni Kurd

Zaid Riyadh, Christian, Assyrian Orthodox

Saad Ameer, Christian, Chaldean Catholic

Sadiq Abd Allah, Saba'i

Ali Mohammed, Shi'i

Hayder Radhi, Fayli Kurd, Shi'i

Ahmed Raad, Sunni

Hani Latif, Sunni

Osama Mahdi, Shi'i

Ahmed Abd al Zahra, Shi'i

Ahmed Sideeq, Sunni

Omar Mohammed, Shi'i




Saddam Mohammed, Shi'i

Meer Jabir, Sunni Kurd

Ahmed Ali, Sunni

Uday Faruq, Christian, Chaldean Catholic

Muhsin Abd Allah, Shi'i

Sami Sadiq, Shi'i

Zaid Ameer, Shi'i

Sarmad Bakr, Shi'i

Omar Ali, Sunni



And the point is what? There is none.


Iraqis have been living together for centuries and they will not allow some foreigners to come now and start making differences between them or to try and pit brother against brother.


And if someone asks me if I'm Sunni or Shi'i again, I swear I'll choke them to death.







Reality Vs. Bush Lies


05 December 2005 By Dieter Bednarz, Erich Follath, Georg Mascolo and Bernhard Zand; Der Spiegel


According to an American study just released, Iraq sees more than a hundred attacks a day - twice as many as last year. Forty-six major bomb attacks, each claiming several lives, were committed in September, making it the deadliest month since the beginning of the Iraq war.


About 400 people died in November 2005, more than four times as many as in November 2004.


The Interior Ministry has established a department dedicated to tackling the kidnapping epidemic, but few believe it can solve the problem, especially now that its agents' propensity for torture has been exposed.


Even Iraqi police officers have little regard for the new department.


"That would be the last place I would go if someone in my family had been kidnapped," says one police officer. His comment reflects the widespread suspicion that Interior Ministry officials have their own fingers in the pot when it comes to the flourishing trade in human lives.



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