“I Mean, That’s Not A Terrorist.
That’s The Man’s Home We
“Them Are Pissed-Off People, And They Have A
Reason To Be Pissed Off”
June 2, 2006. Via Peter Laufer,
The following text is an
excerpt from Peter Laufer's new book, "Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who
Say No to Iraq" (Chelsea Green, 2006)
"We was going along the Euphrates
River," says Joshua Key, a 27-year-old former U.S. soldier from Oklahoma,
detailing a recurring nightmare -- a scene he stumbled on shortly after the
U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. "It's a road right in the city of Ramadi.
We turned a real sharp right and all I seen
was decapitated bodies. The heads laying
over here and the bodies over here and U.S. troops in between them. I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, what in the hell
happened here? What's caused this? Why in the hell did this happen?'
We get out and somebody was screaming, 'We
fucking lost it here!' I'm thinking,
'Oh, yes, somebody definitely lost it here.'"
Joshua says he was ordered to look around for
evidence of a firefight, for something to rationalize the beheaded Iraqis.
"I look around just for a few seconds and I don't see anything." But then he noticed the sight that now
triggers his nightmares.
"I see two soldiers kicking the heads
around like a soccer ball. I just shut my mouth, walked back, got inside the
tank, shut the door, and it was like, I can't be no part of this. This is
crazy. I came here to fight and be
prepared for war but this is outrageous. Why did it happen? That's just my
question: Why did that happen?"
Joshua rejects the U.S.
government line that the Iraqis fighting the occupation are terrorists. "I'm thinking: What the hell?
I mean, that's not a terrorist. That's the man's home we killed. That's his son, that's the father, that's the
mother, that's the sister. Houses are destroyed. Husbands are detained and wives don't even
know where they're at. I mean, them are
pissed-off people, and they have a reason to be pissed off. I would never wish this upon myself or my
family, so why would I do it upon them?"
Deserting to Canada seemed the
only viable alternative, Joshua says. He
did it, he insists, because he was lied to "by my president." Iraq,
it was obvious to him, was no threat to the United States.
He says he followed his orders
while he was in Iraq, and so no one can call him a coward for deserting. "I was not a piece of shit.
I always did everything I was told and I did
it to the highest standards. They can
never say, 'Oh, he was a piece of shit soldier.' No bullshit."
Joshua doesn't mind telling his war stories
again and again. He readily agrees to talk about the horrors he experienced in
Iraq, his life AWOL and underground in the States, and his new life as a
deserter in Canada.
Telling the stories helps him deal with his
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he says, and he apologizes in advance if
his narrative is not linear or if he has trouble expressing himself. In fact, his scattered approach to his
timeline and his machine gun-like delivery set the scene for his troubled
memories -- there is nothing smooth or simple or easy to understand here.
Unstable Troops On The Edge Of Snapping Pushed
Back Into Combat:
“The Pentagon Could Not Guarantee Soldiers
Who Need Further Help Would Get It”
psychiatrists say that as the war in Iraq drags into a fourth year, they see
the effects of multiple deployments on soldiers. “They come back here and there’s
almost like a rekindling,” Bowler said. “They’ll have a
couple of experiences here and suddenly all of the things are fresh like it
June 05, 2006 By Ryan Lenz, Associated Press
Sleepless nights, angry outbursts and vivid
memories that replay endlessly of horrific bombings make each day a challenge
for soldiers showing signs of combat stress. And the stress keep coming, with catastrophic
roadside bombs vaporizing soldiers here nearly every week.
Sgt. Jason Redick, 27, of Lapeer, Mich., saw
his friends torn apart in an explosion that struck an armored Humvee in his
convoy last November.
“It’s still vivid, everything
about that day,” Redick said this week, staring blankly into the
sand. “I can remember
“There are guys here suffering,”
said Staff Sgt. Robert Davis, 31, Newton, Mass., an Army therapist at
Mahmoudiyah who meets with soldiers at all hours.
Soldiers call these sandy flats Iraq’s
“Triangle of Death” because of the number of roadside bombs in
their sectors. The consistent enemy
contact has made seeking help for mental anxiety commonplace: more than 40
percent of the nearly 1,000 soldiers in Mahmoudiyah have been treated for
mental or emotional anxiety.
But Army psychiatrists say that
as the war in Iraq drags into a fourth year, they see the effects of multiple
deployments on soldiers.
“They come back here and
there’s almost like a rekindling,” Bowler said.
“They’ll have a couple of experiences here and suddenly all of the
things are fresh like it happened yesterday.”
Last month a government study
found that less than one-quarter of the U.S. military’s Iraq and
Afghanistan war veterans who show signs of post-traumatic stress are referred
for additional mental health treatment or evaluation.
The Government Accountability
Office also found that the Pentagon could not guarantee soldiers who need
further help would get it.
Kuroshima would understand: insert troops into a hell on earth and there's no
way to prevent atrocities. Yet the real
fiends in their capital suites are never spattered with a single drop of
blood. Solidarity, Z]
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
New Hampshire Soldier Killed In Iraq Bombing
Daniel Gionet joined the Army in
2001. Courtesy: Lowell Sun
Jun 5, 2006 (CBS4)
PELHAM, N.H.: A soldier from New Hampshire was killed in
Iraq early Monday morning.
24-year-old Daniel Gionet of Pelham died
after an improvised explosive device hit his tank in Taji, Iraq, while he was
on patrol with his Army unit.
Gionet’s grandmother told CBS4 he was
born in Lowell and moved to Pelham with his mother when he was in sixth grade.
He graduated from Pelham High School in 2001. His father Daniel still lives in Lowell.
Gionet leaves behind a wife, Katrina. They
were married last November.
According to the Lowell Sun, Gionet joined
the Army in 2001 and re-enlisted in May 2004 to become a medic.
The paper said he was due to return home next
month for a 15-day leave.
Coppell Grad Who
Served In Iraq Dies
Spc. J. Adán "Adam" García
May 31, 2006 Denton Publishing Co.
The war in Iraq claimed the life of a soldier
who graduated from Coppell High School.
Spc. J. Adán "Adam" García, 20,
died Saturday as a result of wounds suffered this month during an attack in
Iraq, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.
A rosary and celebration of life will be at
7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Coppell. Mass will be
celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the church, followed by a procession to the
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
Spc. García was part of a special battalion
of the 1st Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, N.Y. Spc.
García's unit was returning from an ordnance and explosives sweep when it came
under small-arms fire, according to the statement.
Details of the attack weren't available.
Spc. García is a graduate of Coppell High
School, according to family friends.
Killed Near Nassiriya;
06/05/06 By Mohammed al-Ramahi and Ahmed
An Italian soldier was killed and four others
were wounded when a bomb blew up the vehicle they were traveling in about 100
km (60 miles) from their base in Nassiriya in southern Iraq, the Italian army
BRING THEM ALL HOME
A U.S. soldier at the scene where a car bomb
killed two police officers and injured four people when it detonated next to an
Iraqi police patrol in the southeastern Zafaraniya neighborhood of Baghdad May
22, 2006. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
So Much For That “Sovereignty”
U.S. Occupation Dictator Tells Top Afghan Judge To
June 01, 2006 By Edward Harris, Associated
A top Afghan judge said Thursday that
foreigners could be tried for crimes committed in Afghanistan, after parliament
called for the prosecution of Americans involved in a road accident that
sparked a deadly riot in Kabul.
But U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann said that
American troops in Afghanistan can’t be punished under local law,
exposing a difference of opinion that could cause friction with Afghans
disenchanted over America’s powerful presence in the country.
“Afghanistan’s Patience Is Running Out”
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
June 1, 2006 Editorial, New York Times
Afghans have long been renowned
for their hostility toward foreign troops on their territory, as the
20th-century Russians and the 19th-century British learned the hard way.
Afghanistan's patience is running out.
America's military presence is seen as
narrowly focused on Washington's own agenda of hunting down Al Qaeda fighters
and indifferent to Afghan civilian casualties and Afghanistan's own security
Silly Canadian Gov’t Says No War In
Military Chaplin Says Yes There Is
May 31, 2006 CANADIAN PRESS
There has also been a tussle in
the House of Commons over whether what Canada is involved in Afghanistan is a
war. The government says it is not.
That news must have missed
Armed Forces Padre Dwayne Boss.
“Perhaps for some, her death overseas
in this war we are fighting, has created many questions . . . about our
involvement in Afghanistan. Was her
death worth the risk? Would I substitute myself for her?”
But he provided the answers to those
questions, from a soldier’s point of view.
“We have to believe that
there is a sense of purpose for us being there, or else we might as well take
off our uniforms and go home.”
HOW BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
The hearse carrying the body of Marine Lance
Cpl. Robert Posivio III passes after Posivio's funeral at St. Paul's
Evangelical Reformed Church in Welcome, Minn., June 3, 2006. Posivio was killed May 23 in Iraq when a
roadside bomb hit the Humvee in which he was riding. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
“Of 300 Marines Who Graduated From Boot Camp
With Lance Cpl. Gary Rodriguez, He Estimates That 75 Have Been Killed In
May 24, 2006 By PRESTON McCONKIE, Staff
Writer, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc.
Out of 300 Marines who
graduated from boot camp with Lance Cpl. Gary Rodriguez, he estimates that 75
have been killed in battle.
That's only one reason it's amazing to learn
that the 21-year-old Rodriguez, a 2003 graduate of Coolidge High School who
grew up on the Gila River Indian Reservation, is going back to Iraq rather than
quietly slipping back into civilian life. Instead, one year and 364 days after a bomb burned and riddled the right
side of his body, he shipped out to join an unnamed Marine battalion in Iraq.
"I got wounded on the 13th of May, 2004,
and I've just been dealing with the medical (issues) and trying to get better
again," Rodriguez said during a May 12 phone interview from Camp
Pendleton, Calif. "Now that I'm fit
for duty I'm deploying again."
"Fit for duty" includes not being
able to fully extend his right arm after four screws were used to put it back
together, and a face that does not move on the right side due to nerves cut by
"I received shrapnel to the right side
of my head," said Rodriguez, who during the last eight months has made
repeated weekend visits home and visited with friends and former school
teachers. "It went through behind
the ear and punctured the nerves to the right side of my face."
Rodriguez said the Improvised Explosive
Device (IED) that killed one Marine and injured three others, including
himself, was made from three 155 mm artillery shells that were buried in the
road and set off under his vehicle, the last in a convoy.
One shell was a rocket assisted projectile
that had been packed with ball bearings, and two of the steel balls punched
into Rodriguez' right lung. His first
sergeant survived but has only recently begun walking again.
A second shell was standard
high-explosive, and a third was a horror weapon: white phosphorous. Rodriguez was hit on the leg with some of the
white phosphorous, which burned away flesh and required skin grafts to repair.
The corpsman was splattered along his entire right side by the phosphorus, but
according to Rodriguez he worked to treat all the wounded and the dead Marine
while Rodriguez himself lay coughing up blood.
Although Rodriguez also had to have skin
grafts to help rebuild his mangled right elbow, the soft- spoken Marine only
says he is happy to still have the arm. He says doctors at first thought it might have to be amputated, and he
sums up the experience by saying, "I got pretty lucky."
Lucky to still have the arm, but even luckier
to be alive at all.
"The piece of shrapnel that cut the
nerve to the right side of my face stopped right against my jugular. It's still there now; they can't do anything
about it. It's an eighth of an inch away.
"An eighth of an inch more and I
wouldn't be here. So I'm pretty
No, he didn't have to go back; civilian life,
a pension and plenty of college money were his for the asking, but first he's
determined to finish a four-year hitch that doesn't end until June of
2007. That means going back to Iraq for
seven months with a unit that's due to rotate back to the U.S. at the end of
Then, yes, he plans to get out and attend an
Arizona university, with tentative plans to become a high school history
instructor. First, though, he has to uphold the honor of the Marine Corps and
finish a last tour dedicated to the memory of his late best friend, Cpl. Joshua
Ware of Apache, Okla.
"I lost my best friend Nov. 16 last year
in Operation Steel Curtain," Rodriguez said. "That's what inspired me
to stay in - because he loved the Marine Corps a lot and I just felt like I
could carry the torch for him."
Rodriguez said Ware died in Fallujah during a
room-clearing. As a squad leader he was
the second man through a door and took the brunt of a grenade dropped from a
higher floor by insurgents. Rodriguez
said Ware's comrades then eliminated 16 of the insurgents before the skirmish
But it isn't just the wish to memorialize
Ware or champion the Marine Corps tradition that motivates him. Although he has days when he doubts if the
war effort is worth it, Rodriguez said his concern and admiration for the Iraqi
people plays into the decision.
"It's about fifty-fifty for my friend
and helping the people in Iraq," Rodriguez said. "There are actually
good people there."
He's not always optimistic
about the war, though.
"It depends on what kind
of mood I'm in. Sometimes I think we
should be over there, then there are times I hear about friends dying, and it
just changes my whole outlook of what we're doing over there and if we should
even be over there. It's a day to day thing. I try to stay positive."
It's not what he hears on
television that discourages him - the commentators don't have anything to teach
him about the war. It's the news that
spreads through the tightly-knit Corps: the names of the dead, all too many of
whom he personally knows.
"It's just finding out
friends who died who have gone to boot camp with one of us."
How many friends?
"Out of that class of 300,
I'd say about 75."
That's a mortality rate that hasn't been seen
in the United States military for decades, but a smaller-than-ever military
defending a bigger-than-ever population highlights the startling difference in
the reality of a home front that is paying less attention to the dying going on
within its thin, red line of heroes.
Yet despite the weight of the war and the
wounds that he carries, Rodriguez keeps referring to himself as lucky. He's lucky to be alive; he's also lucky to
have heroes, several of whom are from Coolidge and have gotten visits from him
while he's been convalescing, particularly Col. Richard Lister and First Sgt.
David Ramirez, instructors at the CHS Marine Junior ROTC.
"He's a great guy," Rodriguez said
of Lister. "He is awesome. He helped
me go to Hawaii and travel all over. (ROTC) was definitely a good experience
for me. He and first sergeant have been like fathers to me."
Lister said Rodriguez and his girlfriend were
guests of honor at the Nov. 10, 2005 Marine Corps Ball, and the young veteran
was the keynote speaker to a crowd of 140. Lister was surprised to learn Rodriguez was beginning another combat
tour, having assumed he would be medically discharged.
"He was one of my cadet
commanders," Lister said. "We think very highly of him. The kids
still remember him over here, too."
Another mentor he has returned to talk with
periodically, elementary school instructor Brent Peterson, has a hard time not
choking up when he talks of Rodriguez.
"He's a remarkable young man,"
Peterson says. And can only say it
again. "He's a remarkable young man."
200 Florida National Guards Off To Bush’s
June 4, 2006 News4Jax, JACKSONVILLE, Fla.
About 200 Florida National Guard soldiers
received a rousing send off Sunday as they prepare to deploy for 18 months of
duty, most of it in Iraq.
The 1st battalion of the 111th Aviation
Regiment will depart Monday from Cecil Commerce Center, headed first for
training in Fort Sill, Okla., along with National Guard troops from Arkansas and
Puerto Rico. They will then ship out to Kuwait, and, ultimately, Iraq.
“The Deadliest Month For British Troops
Since The 2003 Invasion”
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
01 June 2006 By Terri Judd in Basra,
Independent (UK) & By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor, Independent (UK)
& 31 May 2006 By Ian Herbert and Ben Russell, The Independent (UK)
The servicemen and women have become used to
the violence which appears to come in often inexplicable waves.
Each death chips away at
morale, and for some it brings searing grief. "Everyone was so keen to come out here. They are not so keen
now," said one Royal Anglian soldier, who lost a friend 18 days ago.
More than 100 people were
killed in May, including nine British soldiers in the deadliest month for
British troops since the 2003 invasion.
The Defence Secretary, Des Browne, has said
the number of attacks against coalition forces in southern Iraq rose to 103 in
April from 36 in January.
Yesterday's announcement of a state of
emergency is the first in Iraq and a sign of how serious the unrest has become
in the British-controlled southeastern region, which had previously been
relatively calm compared with Sunni areas of the country. In other troubled
areas, including Baghdad and Ramadi, a curfew is in force.
Doug Henderson, a former defence and foreign
minister, called for an "orderly withdrawal" of British forces.
"It is very difficult for our troops. There is no sense of the job being
done," he said.
Peter Kilfoyle, a former armed forces minister,
added: "A decision has to be made very shortly whether we are serving any
useful purpose in Iraq any longer. I
don't believe that is the case."
Massacre In Ishaqi:
“What Kind Of A Verdict Could Be Reached In
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
Jun 6, 2006 By Sami Moubayed, Asia Times
Then came new accusations against the US
military, now blamed for another killing in Ishaqi village north of Baghdad.
The British Broadcasting Corp
last week aired images of 11 Iraqi citizens killed by the Americans on March
15. The bodies included four women and
five children. The oldest was 75 years
old. The youngest was six months.
The video was obtained from a Sunni
resistance group opposed to the US occupation of Iraq. The US story at the time said that four
Iraqis (not 11) had died as US troops raided a building trying to catch Ahmad
Abdullah Mohammad Na'is al-Utaybi, a member of al-Qaeda.
Iraqi police challenged the US tale, saying
that the number was 11 (including five children and four women), deliberately
killed by US troops, who also deliberately blew up the building once they had
the world, after leaking that 12 marines would face charges for the event, the
US military declared that they were innocent on Friday, 24 hours after the BBC
film was broadcast.
Iraqis are asking: "What kind of a verdict could be reached in 24
scandals in one week, however, for Bush were simply too much to tolerate.
explain why the Americans quickly wrapped up the Ishaqi affair, saying that all
accusations of a massacre by US troops were "absolutely false".
PENTAGON CALLS “OPERATION INSTANT
EXONERATION” A SUCCESS:
Military Probe Of
Ishaqi Sets New World Speed Record
June 4, 2006 The Borowitz Report
After the U.S. military said it had cleared
of any wrongdoing a commander who led a raid on a home in the Iraqi town of
Ishaqi, the Pentagon announced that its latest mission, dubbed Operation
Instant Exoneration, had been a stunning success.
At a press briefing at the Pentagon today,
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld revealed that Operation Instant
Exoneration, in which military officials charged with wrongdoing are exonerated
more swiftly than ever before, was the culmination of months of meticulous
"We have worked hard to make our
military probes faster, lighter, and more cursory than ever before,"
Secretary Rumsfeld said. "When it
is time to exonerate military personnel who have been involved in raids or
massacres, we believe we now have what it takes to hit the ground
Secretary Rumsfeld noted that the military's
probe of the Ishaqi raid had set a new world speed record for exonerations, but
added that the military would try to beat that record when it came time to probe
the killings in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
"We exonerated the commander at Ishaqi
pretty darn quickly, but a record like that is made to be broken," Mr.
Acknowledging that some
innocent civilians had perished in both incidents, Mr. Rumsfeld said that he
would send out a memo to commanders to clear up apparent confusion about the
war's actual objective: "Operation Iraqi Freedom does not mean making the
country free of Iraqis."
Washington Governor Will Refuse To Order National
Guard To Mexican Border
6.5.06 Seattle Times
Washington Gov. Christine
Gregoire said she will not compel any of the state's National Guard troops to
serve on the Mexico border if they are asked.
The governors of four southwest
states-California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas-signed agreements with the
federal government last week to provide the first deployments starting this
month. Federal officials have not begun talks with Washington leaders on a
Activists, Police Face Off After Ship Arrives For
“U.S. Troops Are Worth More Than $3.25 A
Thurston County Sheriff’s officers
stand between protesters and the Port of Olympia fence after a crowd tried to
tear the fence down Monday evening following the arrival of a large military
ship bound for Iraq. Photo by Toni L.
[Thanks to Ron Jacobs, who sent this in.]
May 31, 2006 By Katherine Tam, The Olympian
OLYMPIA: Law enforcement officials armed with pepper
spray and dressed in riot gear guarded the gate at the Port of Olympia Monday
night, where about 150 activists gathered to protest a military ship that
arrived to take equipment to Iraq.
Protesters chanted “Out
of Olympia, Out of Iraq” as they rocked the chain-link gate so hard that
it looked like it might give way. At
least three people tried to use wooden boards to pry the gate open.
Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies used
a loudspeaker to warn the group to back off repeatedly before they deployed
pepper spray at least four times in a one-hour period around 9:30 p.m. Dozens of people at the port plaza crouched
over, dousing each other’s eyes with bottles of water and offering slices
of onion to ease burning in the throat.
There were no arrests as of 11:30 p.m., said
Capt. Brad Watkins of the Sheriff’s Office.
Paramedics were dispatched to the port to
treat some of the protesters.
As word spread that deputies dressed in riot
gear were coming, several protesters tried to block an entrance into the port
plaza with a row of dumpsters and recycling bins. The deputies moved the items
aside and took positions in front of the gate.
The confrontation calmed down after a
half-hour standoff, and by 11:30 p.m., most of the protesters and police had
dispersed. About 20 protesters remained
for a quiet vigil. Port officials reinforced the gate by putting a 50-ton piece
of equipment up against it.
Convoys of Stryker vehicles and other
equipment were routed through downtown last week, where protesters tried to
stop them from reaching the port. Police
made 16 arrests for interference over three days last week.
The military ship pulled into the port at
about 7:30 p.m. Monday. U.S. Coast Guard vessels with large guns secured the
Activists lined the port plaza
and the floating boat dock that juts into Budd Inlet, waving signs that read
“No Iraq War” and “U.S. Troops are worth more than $3.25 a
gallon.” One protester shouted “Get out of our waters” from a
A number of activists said they had
rearranged their work schedules or skipped school last week to protest the use
of the port for military shipments. Caleb
Hollatz missed three days of class at The Evergreen State College and said he
probably would lose credits. Nikki
Miller, who also missed class at Evergreen, said she wasn’t sure what
“My personal life is nonexistent right
now, but it’s all worth it,” Miller said. “I oppose the war because it’s
illegal. We oppose the militarization of
our port to send weapons to Iraq. We
don’t want our community to be complicit in crimes against
Several acknowledged there was little they
could do to halt the shipments now that the cargo was at the port and the
military ship was here, but they said they were here to make it known that the
activity isn’t welcome.
“I think Olympia can be
an example for other community,” said Sandy Mayes of Olympia. “If
multiple communities begin to emulate these kinds of actions, it might gum up
the gears a little bit.”
“The message we’re trying to send
is the Olympia community disagrees with this and we’re being ignored. We’re trying to say this is not
right,” said Hollatz, who held a sign reading “You Are Entering the
Peace Port of Olympia; No Weapons Please.”
Public sentiment was not unanimous.
Several people who were strolling along
Percival Landing and came upon the demonstration said they disagreed. A family of six stopped to applaud and wave at
“We should support our troops,”
said Valerie Smith, whose friend is in Iraq. “They do remarkable things.
They’re in Iraq and they come to the
U.S. and see this sort of stuff, what does that tell them?” [It tells them people back
home want them out of that evil Imperial war, and guess what: that’s what
they want too. Duh.]
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
Anti-War Protester Is Defiant To The Last:
“You Wanted An Apology, You Wanted Remorse;
Forget About It”
June 03, 2006 Damian G. Guevara, Plain Dealer
Political activist Carolyn
Fisher stood before a Cuyahoga County judge and remained defiant even as she
faced jail time for attacking two police officers.
Fisher told Common Pleas Judge
Timothy J. McGinty that she was wrongfully arrested and accused McGinty of
attempting to silence political dissent and intimidate her.
"Let's get real," McGinty said,
pointing a pen at Fisher. "You're
here because you've been convicted. . . . I'm not here to listen to your
McGinty ended Friday's quarrelsome, two-part
sentencing hearing by sending Fisher to County Jail for 60 days and putting her
on probation for two years. Adding to
the tense atmosphere were more than 20 of Fisher's supporters, three of whom
were kicked out of the courtroom for making political statements or
A jury found Fisher, 54, of Cleveland, guilty
in April of assaulting two Cleveland Heights patrolmen. The confrontation occurred in January after
the officers ordered Fisher to take down anti-Bush fliers she had placed on
utility poles. Posting fliers is against
McGinty warned Fisher then that
she should be prepared to apologize to the officers at her sentencing, or
"bring your toothbrush," indicating that she would be sent to prison.
The bespectacled, silver-haired
woman's reply Friday: "You wanted an apology, you wanted remorse -- forget
Friday's drama was the end of a
contentious five months. From the start,
Fisher and her supporters claimed that police had political motivations for
arresting her, and that the officers abused her.
Last month, McGinty sent Fisher to jail
because she refused to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and did not show up for
a hearing and probation interview. McGinty freed her after she complied.
The tension continued Friday
when McGinty angrily postponed a morning hearing because Fisher wore a T-shirt
bearing a mock "wanted" poster that included the faces of President
George W. Bush and members of his administration. McGinty chastised Fisher and ordered her to
come back in different attire.
"We are not here about her
protest," McGinty said. "This is not about the war."
While Fisher's lawyer, Terry
Gilbert, said he thought McGinty acted inappropriately when he demanded that
Fisher change clothes, the court's presiding judge, Nancy McDonnell, said a
judge can dictate what is worn in the courtroom to maintain decorum.
Fisher and several of her
supporters returned for the afternoon hearing wearing the anti-Bush shirts, but
McGinty did not make an issue of it.
Gilbert said Fisher plans to appeal the
John Amidon, Veteran USMC, Target of Illegal
May 2006, By John Amidon, Targets Of Illegal
Spying, American Civil Liberties Union
“On April 20, 2005 approximately 75
students and community members stood in front of the fountain at the SUNY
Albany, Campus Center. As a member of
Veterans For Peace, I had been asked to speak about honesty in recruitment, and
about discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans by the U.S. military.
“In December NBC News aired a story
about groups being spied on by the government. The SUNY Albany event was one
that had been watched.
“When asked how I felt about being
spied on, I couldn’t help but reflect on the breadth and scope of the
U.S. intelligence community: the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, private
contractors, informants, spies, the DEA, AFT, and secret units I have yet to
“On top of all this, I learn the
military is spying on me.
“Maybe, just maybe if the leaders of
the “Free” world stopped spying on Quakers and librarians and
Veterans For Peace, they might actually protect rather than harm and threaten
“How do I feel?
I feel angry, depressed and disgusted. I also feel strongly motivated to affirm and
protect our inalienable rights and freedoms.
“I served honorably as a
Corporal in the Marines during the Vietnam War. I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.
I still intend to honor that oath.
“I am not intimidated by
the government spying on me. I am
empowered by it. I am an average guy and
I know the fate of our nation now rests in our hands. There is a real urgency now to right the
course of this nation and we need everyone to participate in restoring the rule
of law to our lives and to our nation.”
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
“Can Anyone Blame Iraqis For Joining The
June 05, 2006 By Hamza Hendawi, Associated
Hassan Bazaz, a Baghdad University political
scientist and the head of an independent research center, said the strong
interest now being shown by Western news media in the alleged U.S. misconduct
is only catching up with views in Iraq.
“There is nothing new or surprising for
Iraqis,” said Bazaz, who is from a prominent Sunni Arab family. “The problem is that the outside world
has been isolated from what happens on the ground in Iraq.
“What the media says now
is only a fraction of what happens every day.”
“Can anyone blame Iraqis
for joining the resistance now?” said Mustafa al-Ani, an Iraqi analyst
living in Dubai.
GET THE MESSAGE?
Iraqis carrying banners reading 'Down, down,
U.S.A.' and 'Yes, Yes, Islam' demonstrate in the Shula district of Baghdad June
5, 2006 in protest against a raid by U.S. forces on one of Muqtada al-Sadr's
offices in Baghdad, and demanding the release Iraqi citizens arrested by
occupation troops. (AP Photo/Hadi
Assorted Resistance Action
06/05/06 by Ammar Karim, AFP & Reuters
& By Qais Al-Bashir, The Associated Press
In west Baghdad, an employee of the
municipality was shot dead in the upscale Sunni neighborhood of Mansur.
Also in the eastern part of the city a civil
servant with the industry ministry was shot on his way to work.
In nearby Mosul, armed men on a motorcycle
opened fire on a gathering of police, killing one and wounding another four.
Militants shot dead the bodyguard of a local
official and the bodyguard's father and brother in the city of Baquba, 65 km
(40 miles) north of Baghdad.
Guerrillas shot dead Ghalib Ali Abdulla, the
head of the local municipal council in Baghdad's western district of Mansour,
and his driver.
Militants in two cars killed Kadim Falhi
Hussein al-Saedi, a member of the Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Supreme
Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, near his home in western Baghdad,
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
GUESS WHICH SIDE HE’S ON:
6.5.06: An Iraqi police man salutes
demonstrators in the Shula district of Baghdad June 5, 2006 in protest against
a raid by U.S. forces on one of Muqtada al-Sadr's offices in Baghdad, and
demanding the release Iraqi citizens arrested by occupation troops. (AFP/Ali Al Saadi)
The Soldiers In Revolt:
“We Don’t Want Other People To Take
Our Land Away From Us. Neither Will We
Fight To Take Other People’s Land Away From Them”
[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]
[After a revolution in February
1917 got rid of the Russian Czar and his nobility, the new government tried to
continue the war for Empire. This
describes the mood among the soldiers as they realized they had been
betrayed. In October 1917, the soldiers
joined the urban workers in a second revolution to set up their own government,
made up of elected councils of soldiers and workers. Their new revolutionary government got Russia
out of the war, immediately. T]
Albert Rhys Williams. Through the Russian
Revolution. 1921 [Excerpt]
In thousands the soldiers were
throwing down their guns and streaming from the front.
Like plagues of locusts they came, clogging
railways, highways and waterways. They
swarmed down on trains, packing roofs and platforms, clinging to car-steps like
clusters of grapes, sometimes evicting passengers from their berths. A Y.M.C.A. man swears he saw this sign:
“Tovarish Soldiers: Please do not throw passengers out of the window
after the train is in motion.” Perhaps
an exaggeration. Put they did throw our
suitcases out of the window.
It happened on a trip I made to Moscow with
Alex Gumberg. Our compartment was
crowded, and the Russians, having almost hermetically sealed door and window
against the night air, went blissfully to sleep. The place, soon steaming like
a Turkish bath, became unbearable. To
let in a breath of air, I slid the door open, then joined the sleepers. In the morning I woke to a harsh surprise.
Our suitcases were gone.
“Some tovarish robbers in uniform threw
them out of the window and then jumped off the train,” explained the old
conductor. His consolation for our grief
was that they had likewise stolen the baggage of an officer in the next
compartment. We grieved not so much for
the loss of our clothes as for the invaluable passports, notebooks and letters
of introduction our bags contained.
Two weeks later we got another surprise: a
summons from the station-master in Moscow. There was one of our suitcases forwarded to us
by the robbers. It contained none of our
clothes but all our documents and the officers’ papers; not a single one
After all, considering the plight of the
hordes of deserting soldiers that swept across the land, one wonders not at the
number of thefts and excesses they committed but at the fewness of them. And if the tales of awful conditions in the
trenches were true, the wonder is not that so many soldiers deserted but that
so many still remained at the front.
I wanted to see conditions for myself.
Many times I tried to get a pass to the front. At last in September I succeeded. With
John Reed and Boris Reinstein, I started for the Riga Sector.
With us was a Russian priest, a big bearded
fellow, gentle and amiable, but with a terrible thirst for tea and
conversation. On the door of our
compartment the guard slapped up a sign that said: “American Mission. “Under this aegis we slept and ate as
the train crept thru the autumn drizzle and the priest talked endlessly on
about his soldiers.
“In the old text of the church
prayers,” he said, “God is called Czar of Heaven and the Virgin,
Czarina. We’ve had to leave that
out, The people won’t have God insulted, they say. The priest prays for
peace to all nations. Whereupon the
soldiers cry out, ‘Add “without annexations and indemnities”.
“Then we pray for
travellers, for the sick and the suffering. And the soldiers cry ‘Pray also for the
“The Revolution has made havoc with the
Faith, yet the masses of soldiers are religious. Much can still be done in the name of the
“But the Imperialists tried to do too
much with it. ‘On with the
war!’ they cried, ‘On with the war, until we plant the cross
glittering over the dome of Saint Sophia’s in Constantinople.’
“And the soldiers
But before we plant the cross on Saint
Sophia’s, thousands of crosses will be planted on our graves. We don’t want Constantinople.
We want to go home. We don’t want other people to take our
land away from us. Neither will we fight
to take other people’s land away from them.”
But even if they had the will to fight, what
could they fight with?
At Wenden, the old city of the Teutonic
Knights, we were set down in the midst of an army in ruins. Out of a gray sky the rain poured down,
turning roads into rivers, and the soldiers’ hearts into lead. Out of the trenches gaunt skeletons rose up to
stare at us.
We saw famine-stricken men falling on fields
of turnips to devour them raw. We saw
men walking barefoot in the stubbled fields, summer uniforms arriving at the
beginning of winter, horses dropping dead in mud up to their bellies. Above the lines brazenly hovered the armored
planes of the enemy watching every move. There were no air-craft guns, no food, no
And to crown all, no faith in their
Because their officers and government would
or could do nothing for them the soldiers were doing things for themselves. On all sides, even in trenches and
gun-positions, new soldiers’ councils were springing up. Here in Wenden
there were three: (Is-ko-sol, Is-ko-lat, Is-ko-strel).
We were guests of the last, the Soviet of
Lettish Sharp-Shooters, the most literate, the most valiant, the most
revolutionary of all.
For protection against the German planes,
they convened in a tree-screened valley, ten thousand brown uniforms blending
with the autumn tinted leaves. Even with
the threat above them, every mention of Kerensky’s name drew gales of
laughter, every mention of peace thunders of applause.
“We are not cowards or
traitors,” declared the spokesmen.
“But we refuse to fight
until we know what we are fighting for. We
are told this is a war for democracy. We
do not believe it. We believe the Allies
are land-grabbers like the Germans. Let
them show that they are not. Let them
declare their peace terms. Let them
publish the secret-treaties. Let the
Provisional Government show it is not hand in glove with the Imperialists. Then we will lay down our lives in battle to
the last man.”
This was the root of the
debacle of the great Russian armies. Not
primarily that they had nothing to fight with but that they felt they had
nothing to fight for.
Backed by the workingmen the
soldiers were determined that the war should stop.
“They Feel The Hot Breath Of A Powerful Mass
Movement On The Back Of Their Neck”
May 6, 2006 By John Bell, Socialist Worker
But almost unfailingly, when a bureaucrat or
legislator does “something good,” for the environment or any other
social justice issue, it is because they feel the hot breath of a powerful mass
movement on the back of their neck.
Finally, let no one misunderstand what
I’m saying: I am not saying the fight for reforms …… is a
waste of time. On the contrary, it is
But equally essential is
acknowledging the power source that created those reforms: not the power of
individuals at the “top” of government or corporations, but the
power of mass movements organized from the workplace, community and classroom
What do you
think? Comments from service men and
women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., address withheld unless publication requested. Replies confidential.
“May God Take Revenge On The Americans And
Those Who Brought Them Here”
Pregnant Woman And Cousin Butchered
June 01, 2006 By Hamza Hendawi, Associated
Press & 31 May 2006 By Christine Hauser, The New York Times
BAGHDAD, Iraq: The shooting death of a
pregnant Iraqi, apparently by U.S. troops, as she was rushing to a hospital
threw an intense spotlight on the troubling issue of Iraqi civilian deaths.
Iraqi police and witnesses said the troops
gunned down the woman and her cousin in their car.
[O]n Tuesday, Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, a
35-year-old pregnant woman, and her cousin Saliha Mohammed Hassan, 57, became
the latest victims of what many Iraqis think is the American troops’
disregard for life.
Jassim’s brother, Khalid Nisaif Jassim,
said he was speeding to get to a maternity hospital in Samarra when shots were
fired at his car. He said the shooting happened on a side road that the U.S.
military closed two weeks ago.
"I was driving my car at
full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans."
News of the closure, he said, was slow to
reach the rural area just outside Samarra where his family lives.
The cousins’ bodies were taken to
Samarra General Hospital, where relatives said doctors struggled to save
Jassim’s baby but failed.
Nabiha Nisaif Jassim is survived by a
husband, 36-year-old Hussein Tawfeeq, and two children, Hashimayah, 2, and Ali,
1. Tawfeeq was waiting at the hospital for his wife when she was shot.
“May God take revenge on
the Americans and those who brought them here,” Jassim’s brother
told the AP.
“People are shocked and fed up with the
Americans. People in Samarra are very angry with the Americans not only because
of Haditha case but because the Americans kill people randomly, especially
“The loss of life is regrettable and
coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them,” the military said
of the Samarra shooting.
But many Iraqis say they are fed up.
Iraqis consistently speak of random shootings
and arbitrary arrests.
Some U.S. troops are now on
their third deployment in Iraq, and the stress of combat in a country where
almost anyone is a potential enemy can be immense. The Marine unit involved in the alleged
Haditha killings was on its third tour in Iraq.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
>From A Lost War:
“Life” In The Quagmire
is better to keep away from the Americans," says Aarif al-Bazzi, a
47-year-old shopkeeper. "It's
unjustifiable for anyone to go to them or talk to them about any local
May 19, 2006 By PHILIP SHISHKIN, Wall St.
Journal. Salih Mehdi contributed to this
SAMARRA, Iraq: A few days after insurgents killed two of his
bodyguards, Asaad Ali Yaseen sat in his living room with a pistol beside him
and pondered the challenges of running this city. As if on cue, a U.S. soldier burst in to
announce that a sniper's bullet had just struck a military vehicle parked
outside. Mr. Yaseen and his guest, U.S.
Army Maj. Steven Delvaux, barely stirred. "It would be good if you had a
deputy," Maj. Delvaux volunteered.
"I already have two deputies, but they
stay at home with their women," replied Mr. Yaseen, who is president of
Samarra's city council, which rarely meets.
"There must be somebody in
the city who can help you," the major continued.
"I haven't found anyone
yet," Mr. Yaseen said.
Reliance on one man for running so much of
the city has caused concern. "You
are setting up one guy, you are not setting up a system," says Sgt. Rob
Nevarez, who spent 10 months working in Samarra before returning to the
The U.S. military, well aware that the
current appointed council lacks legitimacy, is pushing for new city elections
and meeting with local officials in charge of electricity, health and education.
The challenges are huge.
Along Samarra's unpaved avenues, wind blows
rags and plastic bags onto coils of razor wire, where they hang resembling
bizarre Christmas decorations. By night,
a city that was once the capital of an early Muslim empire is devoid of street
life. Roadside bombings, sniper fire and
mortar attacks targeting U.S. troops occur almost daily, and anti-American
graffiti frequently appear on walls.
Once appointed president of the city council,
Mr. Yaseen sprung into action from his sprawling house with sand-bagged battle
positions on the roof. He made regular
trips to Tikrit, the provincial capital, to patch up fraught relations with the
provincial government and lobby for rebuilding funds.
"Building takes more time than destroying,
and unfortunately there are many destroyers in the city and few builders,"
says Faieq al-Samarraie, son of the Darraji tribal leader. Samarra is awaiting
a $25 million grant from the central government.
Mr. Yaseen's family is also
involved in financial dealings with the U.S. military. A company
recommended by Mr. Yaseen's son is carting away mountains of grain from old
silos on the site now occupied by the U.S. base here. The company is free to sell the grain, though
a bulk of the profits will be turned over to the city's depleted budget,
according to U.S. officials and Mr. Yaseen's son Bakir, who runs his father's
businesses in Baghdad. The project
"will not make us rich," says Bakir.
To accelerate the city's
rebuilding efforts, U.S. officers in Samarra say they are considering an
unusual arrangement in which the U.S. would buy Mr. Yaseen's compound -- his
mansion and two adjacent buildings -- and convert it into a police station and
possibly a courthouse.
The U.S. has already spent $700,000 attempting
to build a police station they have estimated would cost $4.5 million in total.
But that project has been bogged down since
insurgents struck it several times, blowing a huge hole through one of the
Mr. Yaseen is asking $2.5
million for his complex. That would be cheaper than
building from scratch and would provide a better quality structure, according
to U.S. military officials. No final
decision has been made on the plan or on a price. U.S. officers in Samarra
would need permission from their superiors to proceed with the purchase.
If the deal does go through, Mr. Yaseen would
take up residence inside a heavily guarded area where he already has an office.
Simply working so closely with the U.S.
military is enough to tarnish his standing in the eyes of many city
"It is better to keep away
from the Americans," says Aarif al-Bazzi, a 47-year-old shopkeeper. "It's unjustifiable for anyone to go to
them or talk to them about any local problem."
Mr. Yaseen says he wants the Americans to
stay until Iraqi police are able to take charge of security. But for now, he's relying on his own private
army for protection.
The local police force now has
some 700 cops, about a third of whom show up for work on an average day. In the
outskirts of Samarra, Col. Ahmed Yousef Bellal has only two squad cars for 49
cops, who often have to buy their own fuel. Behind him stands a bombed-out hull of an old police station.
A few months ago, insurgents attacked it and
killed a dozen cops.
Mr. Yaseen feels equally besieged.
Days before two guards were murdered in late
April, a car bomb killed another guard and narrowly missed his children. The president sent his family to Syria.
His wife asked him to leave too, he says, but
he decided to stay behind. "If I'd
left with my family I would have lost my dignity," he says. "I'm not
going to give up; I'm going to fight them to death."
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Bush Buddies Lose In Somalia:
Warlords Defeated In Battle And Running Away
[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.
He writes: This is definitely a turning
point. Now it's Washington's move.]
analysts view the violence as a proxy war between the United States and Islamic
militants. Many Somalis have moved to
the Islamic side because of Washington's perceived support for the warlords,
6.5.06 By Mohamed Ali Bile, Reuters Limited
& BBC News
Islamic militia appeared to
control Mogadishu on Monday after winning a bloody three-month battle against
warlords who have run the Somali capital for 15 years.
Many of the warlords, widely
believed to be covertly backed by Washington, were fleeing to other parts of
Somalia or neighbouring Kenya.
"The era of warlords in Somalia is
over," resident Mohamed Asser said. "This morning Mogadishu is under only one
hand, the Islamic courts."
Many analysts view the violence
as a proxy war between the United States and Islamic militants. Many Somalis have moved to the Islamic side
because of Washington's perceived support for the warlords, residents say.
The sharia courts have also gained popularity
by restoring a semblance of order to parts of the chaotic capital.
"The Islamic courts announced they are
in control of Mogadishu. They said they
would work with residents to improve security in the capital," resident
Ali Abdikadir told Reuters by telephone after attending a public meeting.
"This is good news for us
because the warlords were always engaged in battles, we are looking forward to
a life without fighting," he added.
Ali Nur, a warlord coalition militiaman, said
members of the alliance were now fleeing. "We have no immediate plans. Most of our leaders have fled Mogadishu to
Jowhar," he said.
After the latest battle on Sunday, in which
18 people died, the Islamic militia took control of the strategic town of
Balad, 30 km (20 miles) from Mogadishu.
The town controls the supply route from the
warlord stronghold of Jowhar further north.
The Islamic fighters followed up on Monday by
taking Dayniile, the last warlord stronghold in the capital.
Residents said Dayniile was taken without a
fight. The area was a stronghold of top
warlord Mohamed Qanyare, who left two days ago after local elders ordered him
out to stop battles with mortars, rockets and anti-aircraft artillery that have
caused heavy civilian casualties.
"The city is calm and we hope it will
stay that way," 19-year old resident Samira Jama said.
Washington has not commented on
persistent reports that it is covertly funnelling large sums of money to the
John Prendergast, who monitors Somalia for
the think-tank International Crisis Group, said he had learned from warlord
alliance members in Somalia that the CIA was financing them with cash payments
of $100,000 to $150,000 per month.
The head of the BBC's Somali service
described the rise of the Islamic Courts group as a popular uprising.
President Abdullahi Yusuf had urged the US to
channel its campaign against Somalia's Islamists through his government, rather
than the warlords and came under heavy pressure from some MPs to sack the
warlords because of the fighting in Mogadishu.
NEED SOME TRUTH?
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!
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