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GI Special 4E17: Vets For Peace Launches Air Strike - May 17, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

5.17.06

Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 4E17:

First Flight:

The Veterans For Peace Air Wing:

Jail Bush & Cheney

Ward Reilly, Commanding Officer

From: Ward Reilly

To: GI Special

Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006

So, I guess the company reps in Georgia don’t spell very well, but here is the banner flying over Atlanta’s "Sweet Auburn Festival" Saturday and Sunday...

 

but it WILL be corrected over Baton Rouge...

 

Peace from Ward

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

Ballad IED Kills Three U.S. Troops

 

5.16.06 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer

Three soldiers from 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were killed Monday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

 

U.S. Soldier Killed By Baghdad IED

 

5.16.06 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer

A U.S. Army soldier died when a roadside bomb exploded near Rasheed airfield, a former Iraqi air force installation in southern Baghdad, damaging a Humvee and also wounding an Iraqi civilian, said police Lt. Mohammed Hanoun.

 

The soldier was on a foot patrol near the convoy at the time, the U.S. command said.

 

Louisiana Soldier Dies Of April 20 Wounds

 

May 16, 2006 U.S. Department of Defense News Release No. 448-06

Spc. Brandon L. Teeters, 21, of Lafayette, La., died on May 12, in Ludwigshafen, Germany, of injuries sustained on April 20, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. 

 

Teeters was assigned to the 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Hood, Texas.

 

Kerrville Residents’ Son Killed

 

May 16, 2006 By Mark J. Armstrong, The Daily Times

Army Reserve Capt. Shane Mahaffee, the son of Kerrville residents Skip and Hannelore Mahaffee, died Sunday at a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany after he was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq on May 5.

Mahaffee, a Waukegan, Ill. attorney, was 36.  He was the father of two children Adelia Rose, 5, and Ethan, 2, and a wife, Jennifer Mahaffee.

His adoptive father, Skip Mahaffee, is a retired police officer who returned from training Iraqi police in November after spending nearly a year there.  Skip and Hannelore Mahaffee were in Germany when their son died, according to reports

Shane Mahaffe was critically injured when his armored vehicle, the first in a convoy of four, hit a roadside bomb near Baghdad.  Three other reservists died in the bombing and a fifth was severely injured, according to a report today in the Chicago News Sun.

Mahaffee suffered wounds to his chest, shoulder and lung and was breathing with the help of a ventilator when he developed pneumonia and blood clots. His family flew to Germany last week, according to reports.

Mahaffee was called to active duty in December and had been in Iraq less than three weeks.  His body is expected to be flown back to the United States this week. Funeral arrangements are pending.

 

Merrill Soldier Killed

U.S. Army Pfc. Grant Allen Dampier who was killed by a roadside bomb May 15, 2006, in Balad, Iraq.  He was part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team 4th Infantry based out of Fort Carson, Colo. (AP Photo/Courtesy WAOW-TV)

May 16, 2006 WAOW TV9

25 year old Private First Class Grant Allen Dampier was just one of the three U-S soldiers who died yesterday in Balad, Iraq just 50 miles North of Baghdad.  Dampier was killed by a roadside bomb.

He was part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team 4th Infantry based out of Colorado.

He joined the Army just three years ago, and had been in Iraq since the beginning of December.

Today his family mourns.  A flag is at half-staff at his parents' home in his honor.

His family tells us he was born in Wisconsin Rapids, and attended the junior high school there.

Dampier didn't stay in the Rapids area for long.  He attended Merrill Senior High and was a graduate of the class of 1999.

His family tells us the most important thing in his life was his family.  He was a brother, a son, a husband and a father.  He had 2 sisters and 6 brothers.

And, he married his wife just over a year ago.  In fact they just celebrated their first wedding anniversary April 1st.

Together they have three daughters ages 1, 4, and 5.  His mother tells us those little girls were three of the most important things in his life. 

His family describes him as generous and loving.

They say some of his favorite things were working on cars, wrestling, and fishing.

The family says the military called them last night with the news and the family informed us this morning.  And they tell us they have made no funeral arrangements at this time.

 

British Occupation Forces In Basra Under Rocket & Mortar Attacks

 

5.15.06 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer & Shropshire Star

Suspected insurgents fired rockets at the Shat al-Arab Hotel, headquarters of the British army in Basra, causing no casualties.

A Shropshire journalist was today flying home after coming under fire 10 times while embedded with troops serving in Iraq.  James Holt, a Shropshire Newspapers reporter, was unhurt in the attacks.

 

The 24-year-old, who was entrenched with troops in Basra as part of a press visit to the area, today revealed that the base was attacked by mortars about 10 times during his six-day visit.

 

Notes >From A Lost War:

“Baghdad Basics”:

“Speed Up Instead Of Slow Down If A Bomb Hits The Convoy”

 

May 15, 2006 By Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post Foreign Service [Excerpts]

Second Lt. Will Shields started night patrol for his 2nd Platoon Delta Company with the Baghdad basics: a reminder to speed up instead of slow down if a bomb hits the convoy, and a heads-up on where to stash any victims of killings, sectarian and otherwise.

Shield’s patrol the next night started the old-fashioned way: with the sudden snap of a roadside bomb.

 

Getting out of his Humvee, Shields found one Iraqi dead in a passing open-sided truck, his head flipped onto his back.  Four Humvees back from Shield’s vehicle, the soldier in the driver's seat nursed a mangled, bleeding foot.

 

One passenger in the targeted Humvee, 1st Sgt. Larry Philpot, lay sprawled on the ground, eyes closed.  At first glance, Shields took him for dead.  Another passenger, Staff Sgt. Robert Cortez, limped by, a spear of steel wire jutting out of the flesh of his foot.  A brown line rimmed the teeth of the stunned men from the battered Humvee, trademark of the smoke that filled the vehicle.

Shield’s men doused the flames, put the pieces of the Iraqi bystander in a body bag, held their fire against another anguished Iraqi rushing to the dead man, called for the Iraqi army, and treated the wounded.

The convoy inched back to its base near Baghdad's airport a little more than an hour after heading out.  The 2nd Platoon dropped off their wounded and grabbed a quick meal in the dining hall, frowning in annoyance at the fellow troops around them cheering a boxing match on TV.  Then they went back out on patrol, a lightly concussed Philpot among them.

Hours later, his night of patrols and house searches nearing an end, Shields received a message from the base: Local police had been told of four corpses dumped in the streets and needed help picking them up.

The 2nd Platoon drove to the police station, where the Iraqis, most of them Shiite, were holed up behind watchtowers and blast walls in a heavily Sunni neighborhood. Inside, the policemen milled about in baggy T-shirts and untucked uniforms.  They offered Shields bites of a falafel sandwich, and excuses.

They were tired, they were nervous, their cars were broken down, their friends had been killed lately and they were in mourning, the policemen told Shields, shaking their heads and expressing regrets over the impossibility of going out into the Sunni neighborhood at night to retrieve the bodies.

When Shields located the commander, Maj. Ahmed Mohammed, it gradually became clear that the police were scared and wanted the Americans to get the four corpses.

Emotion rippled across Shield’s face in a wave of clenching and unclenching muscles.

"You do realize," Shields said, unclamping his mouth and leaning forward over the slight Iraqi police major, "that this is your job?"

"How do you expect Americans to help you when you won't do anything?" Shields asked, before reaching a parking-lot accord that U.S. soldiers would escort a single pickup truck of police to fetch the bodies and come back.

 

“It Was At This Moment That The Men With Guns Chose To Strike”

 

May 16, 2006 By Nelson Hernandez, Washington Post Staff Writer [Excerpts]

WITH CONVOY 77, Iraq:  A few miles west of Baghdad, a brand-new water truck backed gingerly off a flatbed truck and down a makeshift dirt ramp, completing its 7,000-mile journey from a factory in Texas to a government ministry in Iraq.

Considering the enormous effort the United States had made to get it to its destination, there was not much celebration among the small crowd of Iraqis who looked on as the truck was driven away.  Nor was there any particular joy among the guards and drivers who had delivered the truck.

They traveled north through the towns of Iskandariyah, Latifiyah and Mahmudiyah -- some of the most violent in Iraq -- but it was all quiet as the convoy arrived in the capital and pulled through the Baghdad Water Directorate's white gate into a large, walled compound.

After setting his gun trucks into defensive positions, Jones walked over to the manager's small office, dropped a bulky envelope on his desk and handed him the paperwork to sign for shipment No. 10,687.

"There are the keys for the trucks," Jones said.

Outside, Truck 103 was being unloaded.  There was no ramp to back the trucks off the flatbeds, so an Iraqi bulldozer operator made one out of dirt.  After several minutes of work, they had one that was sturdy enough for the truck to slowly back down to the ground.  Mission accomplished.  A little piece of America had been delivered to Iraq.

Jones walked back to his gun trucks, waiting for the rest of the cargo to be unloaded. It was slow work; more than an hour and a half passed. Iraqis from town came and went. The men of Team 7 relaxed and chatted.

It was at this moment that the men with guns chose to strike.

A rocket-propelled grenade streaked in from the north, exploding nearby with a deep crump.  After a half-second of frozen inactivity, one of the guards screamed, "Get in the truck!"  Seconds later, a group of seven to 15 men opened fire with assault rifles from buildings overlooking the compound about 100 yards away.

The usual order of things would have been to drive to the nearest American base, but the iron gate to the compound was closed, too thick to ram through, and the men were under fire.  They had to stand and fight.

The trucks' machine guns returned fire, spraying the buildings with bullets, as Jones and two teammates took aimed shots from cover.  The shooting from the other side died down.

Jones, waving his hands, shouted at his excited gunners to stop firing.  He whipped out his phone and paced around behind his truck, calling for military support.

All the Iraqi truck drivers from the convoy had vanished, as had the employees of the water directorate.  An Iraqi guard who had been shooting at the attackers got into Hart's pickup truck, breathing heavily and shaking.

As he closed the door, gunfire broke out again -- first the pop, pop, pop of rifles, then the rapid thumping of the machine guns atop the pickup trucks.  Once again, Jones and the men outside shot back.

"Jay, get in your wagon!  Get in your wagon, Jay, we're moving!"  Hart yelled at his teammate James Stevens, who then ran out to the gate to open it so the trucks could escape.

As the team laid down a few more shots, the pickup trucks raced out of the compound, turning right on the road and getting onto the main highway east, toward the U.S. base at Abu Ghraib.  Across the road, the insurgents took a few parting shots at the convoy.  A man with an RPG scrambled for cover as the gunners in the trucks fired at him.

The reports came in over the radio as they reached safety: They had killed two insurgents.  The convoy had scattered to the winds; three or four of the Iraqi truck drivers were kidnapped before they could make it back to Umm Qasr.  Everybody in the security team was alive, nobody hurt.  And a water truck had made it to Baghdad.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER

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)

REALLY BAD IDEA:

NO MISSION;

HOPELESS WAR:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW

U.S. Marines ride in the open back of a humvee during a patrol in Fallujah, May 1, 2006.  Three years ago today, President Bush stood aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Lincoln, declaring the end of major military operations in Iraq, with a banner that read, ‘Mission Accomplished.’  (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

“An ‘Alarming’ Shortage Of Battlefield Helicopters”

May 16, IRNA

Last month the all-party Defence Committee expressed concern about the air support for Britain's increased deployment to Helmand in the south of Afghanistan and in particular to the small number of helicopters that are being given extensive roles.

But when asked in a written parliamentary question published Tuesday, how many helicopters UK forces have in Iraq and Afghanistan, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram declined to say.

 

On May 2, Defence Minister in the House of Lords, Lord Drayson listed the total number of helicopters in Iraq as "two Chinooks, eight Sea Kings, seven Merlins, five Pumas and six Lynx."

 

But when questioned further about their availability, he admitted that "serviceability is running at about 78 percent of aircraft on operations and at 59 percent of total aircraft in the fleet, including those at home and on operations."

Back in January, the then Defense Secretary John Reid announced that nine Chinooks, eight Apache and four Lynx would be involved as part in Britain's additional deployment in Afghanistan that is due to be completed in July.

Last year, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee warned of an "alarming" shortage of battlefield helicopters, saying the gap between the number needed and those available to the Defence Ministry was between 20 percent and 38 percent.

 

Assorted Resistance Action

16 May 2006 (Reuters)

Taleban insurgents raided two police posts and a district government office in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday killing two policemen and wounding six, police said.

 

In a separate incident, two government employees were found beheaded in the southern province of Helmand, where British forces are overseeing security, a police official said.

Taleban fighters launched raids on the police posts and the government office near the Pakistani border early in the morning.

A senior security official in Helmand province said two government employees, who went missing while travelling along a main road last week, were found beheaded on Tuesday.

A school in the district was burned down early on Tuesday after its guards were beaten up, police said.

The militants attack schools as symbols of the Western-backed government and foreign influence.

 

TROOP NEWS

THIS IS HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE

The casket of Marine Lance Cpl. Robert Moscillo, of Salem, N.H., before a memorial service at the Marsh Corner Community Church, May 12, 2006, in Methuen, Mass. Moscillo was killed Monday, May 1, 2006, in Iraq.  (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

 

“GI’s Refused To Deploy To The Democratic Convention In 1968”   “Troops In Vietnam Refused Orders To Patrol”

“It Was The Organizers And Barracks Lawyers Who Were Going To Bring Down The House Of Cards Upon Which Military Discipline Was Built”

The 1971 Armed Farces Day demonstration of over 1,500 GIs in Killeen, home of Ft. Hood.  Guy with the bullhorn is me.

Reviewed by Paul Cox, Citizen Soldier

Donald Duncan, Howard Levy, Susan Schnall, and Keith Mather are names that do not, as far as I know, appear in any high school or college history texts that survey the Vietnam War.  But they should. 

 

Sir! No, Sir! is lost history excavated, displayed, and annotated.

 

Filmmaker David Zieger presents some of the highlights of the diffuse but exceedingly important anti-war and anti-military movement by active-duty servicemen and servicewomen during the Vietnam War.

Most texts minimally cover the anti-war movement, generally focusing on a few seminal events such as the 1968 Chicago police riot, the large mobilizations, or draft-card burners, and generally take a neutral to semi-hostile tone.  

But nary a word is spent on the actions of these early four and thousands of others who as active duty GI’s gave the brass that good old late night indigestion.

Duncan’s high-profile resignation from the Green Beanies, and Dr. Levy’s refusal to train Special Forces medics for Vietnam were the first indications that all was not well in the ranks, and Dave Zeiger’s film captures very well the immense importance of their stands.

The brass saw the GI Movement as one of several elements of the poor morale that very quickly dragged down the effectiveness of the US fighting forces in Vietnam.

 

Drugs and desertions were the two other critical morale indicators, but it was the organizers and barracks lawyers who were going to bring down the house of cards upon which military discipline was built.

Zeiger, himself a GI activist at Fort Hood, effectively uses the available footage and still graphics to tell a compelling story about the resistance within the military.  He also filmed numerous very moving interviews with people who were central to these events.

Duncan, about his tour in Vietnam: “I was really proud of what I thought I was doing.  The problem I had was realizing that what I was doing wasn’t right.  I was doing it right, but I wasn’t doing right. As bad as the (torture of prisoners) was, the cynicism that attached to it was the part that was really sickening.”

Mather, about his arrest during the Presidio Nine’s high-profile resignation from the military: “I had nothing to lose, and I had no idea what was going to come.  That’s a free place, a really free place, you know?  You don’t know what’s going to happen or where you are going, but you know what you are doing.”

Schnall, an army nurse who helped organize the first anti-war demonstration by and for GI’s and veterans: “I remembered hearing about the B-52 bombers that were dropping leaflets on Vietnam, urging the Vietnamese to defect.  And I thought, if they can do it overseas, then we can hire a small private plane and load it up with leaflets and drop them over bases in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The film makes clear that organizers and resisters sometimes paid heavy prices.  Levy spent 3 years in prison; Schnall was court-martialed for wearing her uniform to a demonstration; Mather escaped the Presidio stockade and spent 18 years in exile in Canada, then 5 months at Leavenworth when he was arrested back in the States in 1984.  A marine activist was gunned down in Oceanside; the Fort Hood Three got 5 years and dishonorable discharges for refusing orders to Vietnam; two black marines were given 6-10 years for organizing a meeting to discuss whether black GIs should go to Vietnam.

Still, the GI movement eventually reached from Germany to Cambodia, from Fort Bliss to West Point.  Nearly 300 underground newspapers were printed and distributed surreptitiously by GI’s during the war.

Coffee houses, bookstores, and off-base “safe houses” sprung up all over, supported by veterans and civilian anti-war activists.  Civilian lawyers were recruited to help with the legal problems.  

Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and others mounted the FTA show that toured the US, Europe, and Asia.  They played to tens of thousands of enthusiastic GIs, carrying an unequivocal anti-war, anti-military, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-imperial message.

Ultimately, anti-war sentiments, faltering “morale,” and a general lack of enthusiasm for the idea of being the last man to die in Vietnam, led to a near breakdown of fighting ability within the military.

 

GI’s refused to deploy to the Democratic Convention in 1968.  Troops in Vietnam refused orders to patrol.

 

The military admits to more than 1600 instances of fragging.

 

Naval ships were monkey wrenched.

Thousands of GIs signed petitions against the war.

At least 500,000 deserted.

Added to the hundreds of thousands of young men who avoided or resisted the draft, these realities eventually forced Nixon to pull troops out of Vietnam as surely as any other pressure.

 

The Vietnamese were courageous and steadfast, and were not going to give up; but it wasn’t our economy or even the general lack of popularity of the war, it was, as Billy Dean Smith says in the film, “the low state of morale among enlisted men.”

Sir! No, Sir! skims the surface of the GI movement, touching some highlights, leaving others unexamined.  For example, the first attempt at organizing a union of active duty GI’s isn’t mentioned. It was started at Fort Sill by Andy Stapp and others as the American Servicemen’s Union (ASU).  Important support organizations the United States Servicemen’s Fund (USSF) and Pacific Counseling Service (PCS) also aren’t mentioned.  But all provided crucial funding, legal aid, and organizing expertise to dozens if not hundreds of GI initiatives throughout the world.

David Cortright’s 1975 book Soldiers in Revolt, recently reprinted by Haymarket Press, and Richard Moser’s The New Winter Soldiers are two sources of more detail about the GI movement for those who wish to learn, or revisit, those times.

Still, Zeiger picked many important events of the GI movement, and when the film was screened this summer at the Veterans for Peace conference in Dallas, some young Iraq vets and resistors present were delighted to learn of that history, having had no clue of its existence.

Resurrected history, presented in this well-paced format, will be a useful addition to any history curriculum.  It may even enjoy a modest commercial run if the filmmakers can get it marketed.

For me, a survivor of Vietnam but a veteran of the GI movement, the film captured my own activist compulsion when former and current activist David Cline described his disillusionment with the war: “You find out that it’s all lies, they are just lying to the American people.  And your silence just means you are a part of keeping that lie going.

“I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t be silent. I felt I had a responsibility to my friends, and to the country, in general.

 

And to advocate for the Vietnamese (who were) fighting for their country.

Sir! No Sir!:

At A Theatre Near You!

To find it: http://www.sirnosir.com/

MORE:

Thoughts On A Monsoon Morning:

“I Hate Every Fucking One Of You

Who Make Dollars From Our Deaths”

[Thanks to Michael Letwin, for sending in.]

David Connolly served honorably in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He takes pride in having been--and continuing to be--a Vietnam Veteran Against the War.  His collection of poems, LOST IN AMERICA, was published by Viet Nam Generation, Inc.& Burning Cities Press in 1994.

Thoughts On A Monsoon Morning

By David Connolly

Originally written after a memorial service for 59 troopers from F Troop, Second Squadron, of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, who were killed in action or who died as a result of wounds they received when ambushed by an entrenched, numerically superior force, while on an operation in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, near Dau Tieng, Vietnam.

Cold, despite my blanket.

Lonely, amongst my friends.

Wondering, with the things I’ve done

can I ever make amends?

 

Sickened, by this needless waste.

Stoic, to those around.

Wondering, what will break me,

the next fight, or death, or sound?

 

Missing, those who love me.

Hoping, for the next month or so.

Wondering, how will I ever fit in

with people who just don’t know?

 

Terrified, by the death grins.

Afraid, I’ll be one of the dead.

Wondering, why did I ever think

it wouldn’t be as bad as they said?

 

Used, by the rich of my country.

Duped, by those I looked up to.

Wondering, how can I tell those

who still wave the red, white, and blue?

 

I hate every fucking one of you

who make dollars from our deaths.

I hate every fucking one of you

for my friends’ dying breaths.

 

I hate every fucking one of you

banker or corporation head.

I hate every fucking one of you

for so many, so young, and dead.

 

I hate every fucking one of you

with your pin-striped, dark blue suits.

I hate every fucking one of you

for all those empty boots.

Sir! No Sir!:

At A Theatre Near You!

To find it: http://www.sirnosir.com/

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.

Army Brass Pissing Pants Over HBO Documentary “Baghdad ER”

“Given The Subject Matter, It’s Not Something You're Going To Cheer At The End”

 

May 14, 2006 By EDWARD WYATT, The New York Times Company

 

Senior Army officials have scaled back their planned participation in an advance screening of a documentary about an Army Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad out of concern that its grim medical scenes could demoralize soldiers and their families and negatively affect public opinion about the war, Army officials said Friday.

Two senior Army officers, who were granted anonymity to publicly discuss the private deliberations of Army leaders, said the secretary of the Army, Francis J. Harvey, had declined to attend the screening by HBO, scheduled for Monday night at the National Museum of American History in Washington.

High-ranking military officers, including Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, who is the Army chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the surgeon general of the Army, had been expected to attend the screening but now will not, people involved in preparations for the event said.

The documentary, titled "Baghdad ER," chronicles two months at the 86th Combat Support Hospital, where filmmakers were given broad access to follow doctors, nurses, medics and others as they treated soldiers wounded by roadside bombs and in combat.

As one nurse, Specialist Saidet Lanier, says in the film: "This is hard-core, raw, uncut trauma. Day after day, every day."

The Army officials said that concerns about the documentary — which includes footage of an amputation and of wounded soldiers undergoing surgery and, in some cases, dying — were also raised by the wives of top Army officers who had seen the film.

"Given the subject matter, it's not something you're going to cheer at the end," said one senior Army official.

Richard L. Plepler, an executive vice president at HBO, said the screening would take place as planned on Monday, but he said he expected far fewer people to attend than the 300 or so that Army officials told him to expect after an initial screening at the Pentagon.

The film, directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, will be shown May 21 on HBO.

"Anything showing the grim realities of war is, in a sense, antiwar," said Sheila Nevins, president of HBO's documentary and family unit.  "In that way, the film is a sort of Rorschach test.  You see in it what you bring to it."

 

150 Washington Soldiers Off To Bush’s Imperial Slaughterhouse

May 16, 2006 By DON HAMILTON, Columbian staff writer

Members of a Washington National Guard unit based at Vancouver Barracks have been activated and may be on their way to Afghanistan or Iraq later this year.

In the first week in July, members of the 791st Chemical Company will join members of the 790th Chemical Company, based in Grandview, for three to six months of training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

"At the present time we expect that approximately 150 Washington Army National Guardsmen from the 790th will mobilize and deploy to Camp Shelby, Miss., in July where they will conduct post-mobilization training," said Master Sgt. Jeff Clayton of the Washington National Guard in an e-mail message.

The mission of the chemical units has changed in the post-Cold War era, Osterli said. In the past, these units have been trained to search for threats from biological, nuclear and chemical weapons.

 

National Guard:

Not Ready For Prime Time

[The Real Disaster]

 

May 04, 2006 By Ana Radelat, Gannett News Service [Excerpt]

With hurricane season less than a month away, Pentagon officials said some of the problems the National Guard and Reserves faced in responding to Hurricane Katrina have yet to be fixed.

The Commission on the National Guard and Reserves heard testimony from top military officers Wednesday who said the Guard has taken steps to address some of its shortcomings.

But when asked if the Pentagon is ready for the next major disaster, Paul McHale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, said, “No, but we’re getting there.”

But the Guard also is hampered by a lack of other equipment, much of which it left in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Anti-War Organizers Redecorate Oakland Recruiting Station

5.15.06 Photo by Jeff Patterson, Not In Our Name: jeff@paterson.net

May 15, 2006 Indybay.org

Oakland, California:

100 people marched this afternoon from Oakland City Center to the nearby military recruiting station to celebrate GI resistance to immoral war and occupation. Behind a colorful banner for “International Conscientious Objector Day”, and under a giant peace dove, drummers led the procession of high school students, senior citizens, musicians, artists, and community members north on Broadway.

At the recruiting station, large posters were unrolled and pasted over the station’s windows to better inform potential recruits of the realities of military service.

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Assorted Resistance Action

 

5.16.06 By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer & Aljazeera & RTE & (KUNA) & BBC & By Patrick Quinn, The Associated Press

Suspected insurgents attacked a police patrol at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, killing two policeman.

A roadside bomb exploded at 8:30 a.m. near a police patrol in western Baghdad, wounding one policeman.

Militants in eastern Baghdad killed police 1st Sgt. Latif Abdullah, who worked in Interior Ministry intelligence.

Amir Latif Ali Yahya, the Electoral Commission director in Diyala province, escaped unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded near his car in Buhriz, 35 miles north of Baghdad.

Armed gunmen assassinated an Iraqi Police Captain in Kirkuk with his brother.

A Kirkuk Police source told KUNA that unidentified gunmen opened fire at Captain Shuhab Ahmad Mohammad's car in central Kirkuk, killing Captain Mohammad and his brother Envoy Qasim Ahmad Mohammad on the spot.

An explosive device blew up in Qadha'a Al-Huwaija near the Municipality building targeting a Riyadh Police Station patrol, injuring two Police personnel and a woman in the area.

Iraqi police discovered the body of a police officer who had been reported captured on Monday

A shooting and bombing attack at a bus garage in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday killed five occupation militiamen.

A diplomat from the United Arab Emirates has been kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

They say the unidentified diplomat was abducted by militants in the city's Mansour district late on Tuesday.

One of the diplomat's bodyguards, a Sudanese national, was wounded in the attack, officials said.

Suspected insurgents also killed four Iraqis who work at a US base in Taji when they opened fire on the workers' minivan in northern Baghdad.  Eight others riding in the van were wounded, police said.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

Interview With A Resistance Warrior:

“They Came By Force, And They Will Never Leave, Except By Force”

When asked why he was fighting the U.S. forces, he said: "I want you to ask this question to the U.S. forces, not to me.  They came from the other side of the world and crossed the ocean to occupy my country.  Bush and Blair lied to all the world when they spoke about weapons of mass destruction.  All the world knew very well their governments were lying, but no country said 'no'.  Most of the world supported them to occupy my country."

May 16 Brian Conley and Muhammad Zaher, (IPS) [Excerpts]

Call them terrorists, call them resistance fighters.  A significant member of one such group spoke to IPS about why he joined.

Abu Ayoub, a 35-year-old living in Baghdad, is a member of the Islamic Army. He spoke to IPS in the Adhamiya neighbourhood.

"When the occupation forces entered Baghdad, they killed my brother in front of my eyes.  He was wounded and bleeding but the occupation forces didn't allow me to save him.  When I tried to save him they began shooting at me and after a few minutes my brother died.  After that I swore to fight them to the death."

Many resistance groups have been identified since the beginning of the war in March 2003.

"I think 80 percent are from the Islamic resistance, because Islam orders Muslims to fight against the enemy and against everyone who came to occupy our country," Ayoub said.

After his brother was killed, friends just came up to support him in his resistance fight, he said.  "At first I was fighting in a small group, because we didn't trust many people to join with us.  But now, after three years fighting, we became part of Islamic Army.  Now everything has become organised, we make good plans before any attack."

There are some groups, both Sunni and Shia, who believe the time for violent resistance has passed, Ayoub said.  Sunni groups such as the Iraqi Accordance Front, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Muslim Scholars Association seem to be pushing for a political process, and participated in the December elections.

But the Islamic Army will never negotiate with the United States or the Iraqi government, Abu Ayoub told IPS.

"The Ba'ath resistance fight for Saddam, not for Islam or for Iraq.  We are against this. They aren't representative of the Iraqi resistance."

Abu Ayoub believes that the occupation cannot be ended either by a political process or by other peaceful means.  Only Iraqis fighting back can liberate Iraq, he says.

"The occupation forces will discover after this negotiation that nothing will change.  The resistance will grow more and more till the end of occupation.  

“They came by force, and they will never leave, except by force."

Ayoub said he is not allowed to say how he joined the Islamic Army.  But he was willing to say a little about his organisation.

"The Islamic army is very big and we fight all over Iraq.  We have groups everywhere in Iraq, but I have no connection with other groups.  Only our leaders have connections between each other, this is for our security."

Abu Ayoub said that after he joined the Islamic Army it was much easier to receive support such as guns.  He told IPS there are "special people" whose work it is to bring weapons.  His duty is only to fight the enemy, he said.

When asked why he was fighting the U.S. forces, he said: "I want you to ask this question to the U.S. forces, not to me.  They came from the other side of the world and crossed the ocean to occupy my country.  Bush and Blair lied to all the world when they spoke about weapons of mass destruction.  All the world knew very well their governments were lying, but no country said 'no'.  Most of the world supported them to occupy my country."

Ayoub dismisses claims by U.S. President George W. Bush parroted closely by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that their goal in Iraq is to establish democracy and liberate the Iraqi people.

"They don't have credibility, they came to Iraq for many reasons, to destroy Islam, steal oil, save the east front of Israel, control the Middle East and establish bases near Iran and Russia.  I want to ask them, 'where is the democracy?'  Three years of occupation and Iraqi condition is from bad to worse."

Ayoub is not just angry with the coalition forces.  He believes it was wrong for Iraqis to join the new army or police force.

"They are not a real army like the Iraqi Army before the occupation.  The occupation forces built this new army to protect them from resistance.  I think any honest Iraqi should not join this fake army."

The army was acting against the people, he said.  "You can see what they did in Fallujah.  They were like a hand of the occupation.  They killed many innocent people there and they did that in many other cities in Iraq, like Ramadi, Tal Afar, Hit, Rawa and Haditha.  Go there and see how many children, old men and women were killed by the Iraqi Army's hand."

Abu Ayoub believes the police should be called the militia.  "Ninety-five percent of them are Shia and work with the Badr militia, and they work for Iran's benefit.  They killed many Sunni people just because they were Sunni, to create tensions between Sunni and Shia, and to make civil war after."

But Ayoub believes it is still not right to attack members of the Iraqi army and police. "First we must liberate Iraq from occupation forces and then we can judge each one of them who committed crimes."

There will be no civil war in Iraq if the occupation retreats, Abu Ayoub says.

 

"We will control Iraq and push out all the militias and Iraqi politicians who came on American tanks.  Then we will find many honest Iraqi politicians to lead Iraq.  But for now you can see how the Iraqi people are between two hammers, the occupation and the militia -- or even the Iraqi government, because they support them."

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

“The Bush Years Have Been Nothing Less Than A Criminal Enterprise”

15 May 2006 By Bob Johnson, DailyKos.com [Excerpt]

The Bush years have been nothing less than a criminal enterprise.  Organized crime. Thievery on a scale never before witnessed in the history of humankind.

Billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars looted from the national treasury and delivered to the pockets of the well-connected. (Tax relief? For whom?)

Like Liberace, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to thomasfbarton@earthlink.net.  Name, I.D., address withheld unless publication requested.  Replies confidential.

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

NSA REPORTS INCREASED PHONE USAGE ON MOTHER'S DAY

Heightened Levels Of Chatter Trouble Intelligence Officials

May 14, 2006 The Borowitz Report

The National Security Agency reported a sharp increase in long distance telephone usage yesterday, causing high-ranking intelligence officers in the Bush administration to fear that al-Qaeda might be planning a terror plot to coincide with Mother's Day.

Beginning Sunday morning and continuing throughout the day, Americans' long distance usage surged well beyond normal levels, sparking concerns that a terrorist event was either being planned or moving into an operational phase.

At the White House, national security adviser Stephen Hadley said that the troubling increase in chatter was "the strongest argument possible" for the Bush administration's policy of eavesdropping on millions of Americans.

"If we were not listening in on everyone's conversations, when there is a sudden increase in phone usage such as we have seen today we would totally miss it," Mr. Hadley said.

In addition to what he called "frighteningly normal-sounding phone calls to terrorists posing as mothers," Mr. Hadley reported that al Qaeda members or affiliates placed thousands of phone calls to florists in order to mask their terror plot.

When asked by a reporter why no terrorist event ultimately occurred on Sunday, Mr. Hadley replied, "I chalk that up to the success of our eavesdropping program."

In response to another reporter who asked if the increase in long distance usage could have been due to Mother's Day itself, the security adviser said, "That's exactly what the terrorists want us to think."

 

[Thanks to David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]

 

BUSH ORDERS NATIONAL GUARD TO PROTECT APPROVAL RATING

10,000 Troops To Prevent Supporters From Leaving Country

 

5.16.06 The Borowitz Report

In a nationally televised address last night, President George W. Bush announced that he would order 10,000 National Guard troops to protect his sagging approval rating.

The use of the National Guard to safeguard the president's political fortunes struck many Beltway observers as highly unorthodox, and Mr. Bush's decision to do so seemed likely to draw fire from congressional Democrats.

But with his approval rating hovering at 29%, the president said he had "no choice" but to use the National Guard to prevent that number from sinking any lower.

Speaking from the White House with his now-familiar tone of steely resolve, Mr. Bush said that he would send 10,000 troops to the Mexican border to prevent any of his supporters from leaving the country.

"Many of my supporters have amazing second homes south of the border," Mr. Bush said.  "By taking this action, I am sending the clear message that they are not to leave the country until the midterm elections are over."

The president stopped short of saying that any supporters caught leaving the country would be shot on sight, but he warned, "Their tax cuts will be history."

Even as Mr. Bush was tightening security at the Mexican border, he said that he had "no plans" to keep people from fleeing to Canada: "Everyone who wanted to move to Canada did so after I was reelected in 2004."

Elsewhere, surgeons who successfully separated conjoined twins over the weekend said they failed to separate Sen. John McCain's lips from Jerry Falwell's ass.

 

Received:

‘Human Shield’ Fights Fine

From: Judith Karpova

To: GI Special

Sent: May 16, 2006

A bit of time has gone by but it occurred to me that this article might be appropriate for your newsletter.  

 

It concerns the US human shields who went to Iraq before the war, as a protest and to try and prevent UN-designated humanitarian infrastructure from being bombed, places like water treatment plants, food storage warehouses and the refinery supplying Baghdad with oil for its traffic and power generating plants. 

 

I and three others are being prosecuted by the US Treasury Department, not for interfering with the war, which we were helpless to do in any case, but for so-called "commercial transactions."  They mean, quite literally, buying food, such as a falafel. 

Here is the AP article as it appeared in my local newspaper on April 17, 2006:

‘Human Shield’ Fights Fine:

Government Wants $6,700 From Kerhonkson Woman Who Went To Iraq

April 17, 2006 By Michael Hill, Associated Press

Kerhonkson: Before the bombs fell on Baghdad, Judith Karpova went there to put herself in harm’s way.

The veteran activist was among dozens of “human shields” who poured into Iraq as the U.S.-led offensive loomed in early 2003, although she ended up leaving before the war.

 

Three years later, Karpova is again playing defense, this time against a $6,700 civil fine from the government.

 

The Treasury Department fined the 61-year-old Kerhonkson woman and three other peace activists who visited Iraq for violating economic sanctions against the country.  None of them are paying up quietly, and Karpova is before a federal appeals court disputing charges that she illegally exported services to Iraq as a shield.

 

“They say it’s an export — Export! — of services to Iraq, as if a human being is a commodity that can be shipped like light bulbs,” Karpova said.

 

The human shields stationed themselves at potential airstrike targets in Iraq such as food storage warehouses and refineries.   U.S. officials warned them there was no way to guarantee their safety and critics accused them of being pawns of Saddam Hussein.  But they said they hoped to prevent attacks on a population that was already suffering.

 

Paying her own way, Karpova arrived in Amman, Jordan on Feb. 17, 2003, and took an Iraqi-sponsored bus trip with a few dozen other shields to Baghdad.  She spent five days at an oil refinery with another shield, Faith Fippinger.

 

It was Karpova’s first trip to Iraq, but she has been a peace activist for roughly half her life.  She protested the Vietnam War, took on an anti-nuclear crusade in the ‘80’s and was gassed during the 1999 anti-globalization protests in Seattle.  As the United States edged closer to war with Iraq, she felt a sense of Vietnam déjà vu.

 

“It was very bitter for me to see this happen all over again,” Karpova said in an interview at there home in the woods.  “And I felt I had to do something.”

 

Karpova left Iraq 10 days before the military campaign began.   She cites a few reasons:  organizers needed media and office help in Amman, she didn’t want to upset a brother recuperating from a stroke, and, she admits, she feared for her life.

 

When she got home, there was a letter from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control informing her that she was not licensed to engage in “travel transactions” in Iraq.  The government later fined her $6,700.

 

Karpova sued, arguing that her constitutional rights to free speech and travel were being violated.   She also disputes that she provided an economic service for Iraq.

 

“I had no effect or influence on anything at Iraq — at all,” she said.

 

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in October granted a government motion to dismiss Karpova’s complaint.  The judge prefaced her decision with a quote by another activist, Martin Luther King Jr.:  “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the consequences.”

 

Karpova’s appeal last month is being watched by three other Americans hit with fines of $6,700 to around $8,000 by the agency.

 

The Government has filed similar dismissal motions in reaction to court complaints from two other peace activists who went to Iraq:  Ryan Clancy, 29, of Milwaukee and the Rev. Frederick Boyle of New Jersey, who was there as a Christian Peacemaker.

 

Judges in those cases have yet to decide on the dismissal motions.  Fippinger has not challenger her fine, though her lawyers said there’s a chance she will.

 

Clancy, echoing Karpova, said the issue is not so much the fine, but his right to have his day in court to challenge it.

 

“I’m happy to accept the consequences of what I did.  That being said, the right of due process is a fundamental one,” Clancy said.  “To have to beg and claw for a trial, it doesn’t seem right.”

 

Treasury spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said in an email that anyone who violates U.S. sanctions may face civil or criminal penalties.  Asked why only four shields were fined, Millerwise noted “there are instances where U.S. persons skirt the sanctions without the knowledge of officials.”

 

The fines seems to have done little to dampen the zeal of the former shields.  Karpova spent time last summer near President Bush’s Texas ranch at the peace encampment centered on Cindy Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son died in Iraq.

 

Fippinger has since served three months in prison for protesting at a school for foreign soldiers.  The retired school teacher said she’ll go back to jail before paying the fine.

 

“Whatever the government does to me, they really can do nothing,” Fippinger said.  “That’s my attitude.”

 

GI Special Looks Even Better Printed Out

The following have posted issues; there may be others: http://www.williambowles.info/gispecial/2006/index.html; http://robinlea.com/GI_Special/; http://imagineaworldof.blogspot.com/;  http://gi-special.iraq-news.de; http://www.traprockpeace.org/gi_special/; http://www.uruknet.info/?p=-6&l=e; http://www.albasrah.net/maqalat/english/gi-special.htm

 

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

 

If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you.  “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.”  DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.

 

 




:: Article nr. 23335 sent on 17-may-2006 12:03 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=23335



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