to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
60% Of Americans Disapprove Bush On Iraq War
8.3.06 Los Angeles Times
A Times/Bloomberg poll found
discontent with President Bush's leadership on a variety of key fronts,
including the war in Iraq, with 60 percent disapproval, and the economy, with
59 percent disapproval.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Dies
8.8.06 The Associated Press
A U.S. soldier died of wounds sustained in
fighting, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
U.S. Marine From
Winter Haven Killed
August 2, 2006 Kelly Griffith, Sentinel Staff
WINTER HAVEN: Sgt. Christian B. Williams, a
decorated U.S. Marine, was killed in Iraq on Saturday.
Family members of the 27-year-old Winter
Haven native got the news Monday and said Tuesday that they were too
grief-stricken to talk to reporters, but a relative said Williams loved his
Williams was killed during combat operations
in Al Anbar province, where he was assigned as a light-armored-vehicle section
leader. Details of the combat were
Williams joined the Marine Corps in October
2000 and was assigned to the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st
Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The unit's typical duties involve riding in
or on armored vehicles and scouting out areas to gather intelligence, among
Recovering After Iraq Explosion
August 4, 2006 Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
GREEN BAY: Sgt. Jeff Vorpahl's parents are
expected to return to Wisconsin today knowing their son is on the road to
recovery after being wounded in Iraq.
Vorpahl, 29, was wounded July 24 by a
roadside bomb explosion while on convoy duty near Tallil, Iraq. He was serving
with the Wisconsin National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry. Spc. Stephen
Castner, 27, of Cedarburg was killed in the same attack.
"Jeff's progressing well," said
Laurie Welter, Vorpahl's mom. "He's up and about every day. He's improving
Welter said she expects her son will be
treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for the next
"He's got more surgeries ahead of
him," Welter said by phone from Washington this week. She has declined to
publicly discuss the nature or extent of her son's injuries, calling it a
"We just really want to thank the
community for all their support," Welter added.
Vorpahl, 29, lives in Bellevue with his wife,
Mandy, his daughter, Justice, 10, and his 7-year-old stepson, David. Before being deployed a year ago, Vorpahl
installed glass for H.J. Martin & Sons in Green Bay and attended local technical
Welcome To Sadr City:
Have A Tomato
[Or A Rock]
August 7, 2006 Patrick Fort, AFP [Excerpt]
"Why does he always have to choose the suckiest road?" mutters
Sergeant First Class Daniel Odom, with a swear, as his shuddering Humvee
follows the lead vehicle of his patrol over trash and potholes and into Sadr
City, the teeming stronghold of Baghdad's Shia militias.
Above, the pitiless summer sun beats down on
the imposing American jeep's armored carapace, heating the fetid air in the
street to 45 degrees. Below, an odor of decay rises from the market trash and
goat droppings crushed under its wheels as it negotiates the narrow alleyways.
"Damn. Fuck this
place!" The shout comes from above,
where roof gunner Specialist Marcus Bedell has just taken a ripe tomato full in
the face. He swivels his gun, remaining
alert to the danger that the next attack might be more deadly; an ambush, a
sniper or a suicide bomber.
More than two months after an elected
coalition government took over in Iraq, the black-clad fighters of Sadr's Mehdi
Army militia still openly carry weapons on the streets of their stronghold.
At parades over the weekend its fighters
chanted "Death to America" and trampled on a dusty Stars and Stripes
painted on the road. They brandished Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers and
chanted their support for Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas.
Privately also, some Mehdi militiamen expect
they will come into conflict once again with US forces, some of them looking
back in nostalgia to their so-called "intifada" in Najaf.
"If the American army deploys again in
Sadr city, it will face attacks and we're expecting big clashes," one Sadr
supporter said this week.
Sometimes the team conducts joint patrols
with the Iraqis, and sometimes they roll out on their own to conduct
hair-raising inspection tours of Iraqi Army checkpoints. The patrol route is
"I try to spot any kind of anomaly, a
displaced rock, a pile of trash that's too neat, loose dirt, a strange bump,
cars too low looking heavy, people wearing too many clothes for the weather.
And the rooftops. Not so much the road," says Odom's driver, 26-year-old
Specialist Kevin Capazzi.
"If it goes boom it goes boom. If we do
everything right and it happens, then it happens," says Odom, whose 6ft
4in (190 cm) 235lb (110 kilo) frame, helmet and body armor take up a lot of
space in the sweltering confines of the Humvee.
Sweat runs down his neck and the
air-conditioning struggles to cope.
"The AC just cools your
left hand up to your left elbow," he jokes, as rocks thrown by children
and teenagers batter the vehicle, clattering harmlessly off the armor plating.
"Sometimes it sounds like
bullets," says Odom. "It's more a game for the small kids, but the
ones who throw rocks today might throw grenades tomorrow."
The Noose Tightens:
“But For Everything That I Eat, I Can't Help
Thinking Of Whoever Drove It Here”
Aug. 4, 2006 By Rebecca Santana, AP
There was no Diet Coke today at the dining
facility. For a few seconds, I was a
little irritated. I try to limit my caffeine intake and keep it to one Diet
Coke a day, but I do look forward to my soda with a little ice.
After a few seconds I remembered that just
about all the food that is eaten on this base is driven by truck, possibly from
Kuwait to the south or Turkey to the north.
And those truck drivers — many from
neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia or Jordan — take horrible
risks driving on roads that are filled with homemade bombs set by insurgents
and ambushes set up by people wanting to steal their loads.
So every time that something such as Diet
Coke doesn't make it to the dining facility or the mail doesn't arrive or
there's no sour cream for the baked potatoes, it could mean that a driver out
on the roads of Iraq is dead.
Of course, it could mean that an order wasn't
put in on time or there was a shortage of sour cream, but there's always a
strong chance that the food convoy was ambushed.
The military has taken steps to
cut down on the number of convoys on the roads, including building water
purification centers at different bases so bottled water doesn't have to be
The military tries to take care of the
soldiers who are usually spending a year of their lives over here by giving
them good meals instead of forcing them to eat the packaged food called
"Meals Ready to Eat" that are often found on the battlefield.
Also, troops who are well taken
care of also tend to stay in the military. But for everything that I eat, I can't help
thinking of whoever drove it here.
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!
A U.S. soldier sits on a tank near the scene
of two roadside bomb attacks in the Saidiya district south of Baghdad July 15,
2006. REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Trip Not The One They Planned
July 25, 2006 By Justin Willett, Staff writer,
The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
The last time 1st Sgt. Martin Humphreys spoke
to 1st Sgt. Christopher C. Rafferty, the friends discussed taking a golf and
boating trip to Florida during an R&R break scheduled for November.
The soldiers, who had known each other since
the mid-1990s, were deployed to separate camps in Afghanistan with Fort
Bragg’s 37th Engineer Battalion.
Their last discussion, which was Thursday,
included talk about their families.
Rafferty offered Humphreys a phone card to
call his family, which is vacationing in Europe.
Barely four hours after the call, the
37-year-old Rafferty was mortally wounded when his camp came under attack. He
died Friday in Sharana, Afghanistan.
“He offered me a $30 phone card to call
my family,” Humphreys said. “I ended up using it to call his wife
the next day.”
Humphreys escorted Rafferty’s body home
from Afghanistan on Monday.
Rafferty, of Brownsville, Pa., had a wife and
two daughters, Humphreys said, and they were always on his mind.
Rafferty’s daughters wrote messages on a T-shirt for their dad to take
with him on his deployment.
“We love you, Dad,” the girls
wrote. “Come home soon.”
“He wore it all the way to
Afghanistan,” Humphreys said.
Capt. Richard Ojeda, the rear-detachment
commander for the 37th, said Rafferty lived the Army values.
“He was a phenomenal first
sergeant,” he said. “It is extremely hard on every soldier in the
“When you lose one, it’s always
got to be the best one. It does weigh hard on the soldiers.”
Rafferty is the 16th soldier stationed at
Fort Bragg, or with ties to the Cape Fear region, who has died in Iraq or
Afghanistan this year.
He is the fourth soldier to die in
Afghanistan since May 19. The other three were assigned to Fort Bragg’s
7th Special Forces Group.
Rafferty’s unit, the 37th Engineer
Battalion, is part of the 20th Engineer Brigade.
Two of the brigade’s battalions, the
37th and 27th, deployed to Afghanistan in March, Ojeda said. The mission of the
37th was to build roads and base camps. The 27th searched roads and cleared
The 20th Engineer Brigade is the Army’s
only parachute engineer brigade. Its units were in Kuwait on Sept. 11, 2001,
and have been deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan ever since.
Ojeda said Rafferty, who served for 18 years,
did tours in Kosovo and Iraq before going to Afghanistan.
Humphreys said they were fighting a
“forgotten war” in Afghanistan. “There’s really no media coverage
in Afghanistan,” he said. “Just small bits (of news) come out of
there. But the soldiers over there are being injured and being killed.”
Humphreys met Rafferty when the two were
squad leaders. Shortly after meeting, the two became platoon sergeants.
Humphreys is left with memories of a good friend. “He was always there when you needed a
friend,” he said.
“When I would be upset or get
frustrated with my job, he would be the voice of reason. I just want him to
know that he died doing what he believed was right.”
Assorted Resistance Action
Aug 8 AFP & VOA News
Insurgents attacked the main NATO base in
southern Afghanistan with three rockets, causing no injury to people or
property, the spokesman for the alliance said on Monday.
The target of the late Sunday attack was
Kandahar Air Field, a sprawling base in the southern Kandahar province, and is
home to some 10,000 international troops and civilians, said Maj. Scott Lundy,
a NATO spokesman. He would not disclose where the missiles hit exactly.
Three Afghan soldiers and a civilian were
wounded in the southeastern province of Khost on Tuesday when an army vehicle
headed for Kabul was struck by a roadside remote-controlled bomb, police said.
In another attack late Monday in the
southeastern province of Paktika one insurgent was killed while four others and
a policeman were wounded following a short battle, said provincial spokesman
In eastern Khost province, at least two
Afghan soldiers and a civilian were wounded when an army vehicle was struck by
a roadside bomb.
“The People That Support Us Now Are The Ones
Trying To Get Us Home”
BRING HOME THE 172ND STRYKER COMBAT
[Thanks to D for sending in, and to Katherine
GY for organizing the content.]
On July 26th, the men and women of the 172nd
Stryker Combat Brigade prepared to end their unit's deployment to Iraq. This unit of 3,800 Americans had endured the
fight for a year, distinguishing itself as an essential and effective factor in
bringing stability to the North of Iraq.
A small number of the brigade had taken the first steps back on U.S.
soil, arriving to their base near Fairbanks, Alaska, while many others were
already in Kuwait waiting to board homebound planes.
With these successes behind them, their flak
vests packed, personal items sent stateside, and their Stryker Armored Vehicles
turned over to other newly-arrived units, this battle brigade was able to
breathe a sigh of relief and prepare to Go Home.
The following day, Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld gave his approval to extend the 172nd Brigade's deployment in
Iraq. Instead of greeting their loved
ones, the Strykers will help to fight the insurgency in Baghdad.
Below are the voices of some of the people
affected by this re-deployment...
According To My Husband, Most Of Them Feel:
“The People That Support Us Now Are The Ones Trying To Get Us Home”
them say morale is high. And that the
soldiers complaining are just bad eggs. HA!
Nice way to appreciate them, call them liars on top of it.
with this administration, it feels simply like a dictatorship. No one listens to our country anymore. It's everybody's country but ours.
Submitted Sun 30 July , 9:25 PM CST
I support my husband 100%. Different soldiers like different support,
but according to my husband, most of them feel: "the people that support
us now are the ones trying to get us home".
My husband and I feel like it was a slap in
He says their minds are at home.
He says he doesn't know anyone that isn't
Some people are deciding to
accept it and just pray for the best, but he and I refuse to be quiet about
this immoral violation. It's a total
lack of respect for our servicemen and women.
I'm so upset.
We were so close to holding each other.
I spent a year, everyday, on the edge of my seat waiting for the love of
my life, and the government tells us he's still expendable and possibly never
going to be safe.
I feel they earned home.
No award, medal or pep talk can make up for
what was just ripped away. I want to do
what I can to keep the abuse of this brigade at a minimum. All we wanted was to
cuddle, to be in each others presence, something these decision makers all
I pray that our voice makes a difference, but
I have heard the military lie to keep things hush hush.
them say morale is high. And that the
soldiers complaining are just bad eggs. HA!
Nice way to appreciate them, call them liars on top of it.
My husband is irreplaceable and
we're both in a nightmare right now. They spent a year earning home, their
government led them to believe they were just about to grasp it, and then
stripped it away so carelessly when so many other options could have been
As a young marriage, his whole deployment
felt almost like we would never be together. Then that feeling started to
clear. Well, now it's back full
force. All I want is the man I love, and
by human right, he should be here now. It did not have to come to this.
I have no doubt in my mind that more forces
can help Baghdad, but it shouldn't have been these guys. They are done in there minds.
We did not in a million years think the
government would exercise this use of power over the guys that keep them
running. It's cruel. Had it been a month in advance, it wouldn't
have been so bad, but people were in the midst of coming home, some already
My husband was just unlucky enough to be
picked as the last wave and now has to sacrifice more of his life.
He's beginning to lose faith in what he used
to hold so dear. I don't know what to do
but this is sickening. They were coming back, so many of them in good shape,
now they have to risk that for nearly another deployment.
I'm done with this
administration, it feels simply like a dictatorship. No one listens to our country anymore. It's everybody's country but ours.
“I Have Never Felt So Betrayed And Sickened
In My Entire Life”
Submitted Tue 01 August , 8:45 AM CST
I first would like to say thank you for this
website and to all who have shared their stories. I like many others have been waiting on pins
and needles for 1 year. My husband is
with the Stryker brigade and was due to fly home today.
I have never felt so betrayed
and sickened in my entire life.
Our poor men and women in Iraq
have been undermined and treated inhumanely.
I agree that if we were all informed a few
months back that this was a possibility it would have been easier. We would not have liked it but we could
understand a little better. To have
these men be days from home both physically and mentally is heartwrenching.
I have been married for 14 years to my best
friend! We have 2 children; a 12 year
old boy and a 1 year old girl. Our 12
year old has Autism and understands the world in black and white, not
We tried for our baby girl for 6 years. In November of 2004 it finally happened while
we were stationed in Ft. Wainwright. We
were so excited with so many plans. With
our son he was deployed to Korea the first year of his life so this was going
to be special. We finally had our dream
of being stationed in Arizona where my family is. Structure is so important for
children with Autism. After 17 years in
the military this was what we had wanted.
Of course with 2 weeks until we moved my
husbands orders were deleted and he was off to Iraq. What a blow!!
We understood though and this was his duty so we had no choice but to
accept this. My son and I moved to
Arizona and my daughter was born 4 days before my husband deployed to Mosul.
This was a very difficult deployment for all
of us. We had many before but not as
dangerous as this one. Not one night
went by that I ever had a sound sleep knowing he was there. Finally the day was coming and he and all the
troops were coming home, yea!!
My son was ecstatic and finally
I was able to sleep again knowing it was just a matter of days. We were worried because he lost his last spot
for his job in AZ but had new orders so we were finally making all the plans.
I went to bed Wednesday night
and at 3:00 am the phone rang and my husband told me the news of the
I was not prepared for what was coming next;
Baghdad! I kept telling him to stop
lying to me, why was he saying all this stuff to me. I was half asleep and could not comprehend
My blood literally ran cold when I realized
this was no joke. I laid there till the
sun rose and could not get warm. I was
sick to my stomach and felt so alone all of a sudden. Many of our lives changed that night for all
of us. My son cried and cried the next
morning. Like I said he understands
black and white but not grey; there was no explaining this to him.
I played the answering machine over and over
from the day before. My husband had so
much excitement in his voice. He
couldn’t wait to be back with his wonderful son and his beautiful
daughter that he was looking forward to getting to know. This just can not be happening. I am so devastated as we all are.
There are no words to describe
what we are all feeling. I am so sad to
think our soldiers were so close to home and then BAM!! Gone with a signature. They have done their jobs, send them home!
Thank you to all who have written and shared
their personnel stories. It really does
help to know you are not alone. Family
is wonderful but only other military wives and the soldiers truly comprehend
this awful situation.
Our troops are exhausted. How much more do they have to give of
themselves before enough is enough?
I do not want one soldier there
but I know plenty who have not even been there once. What is the sense of having a troop that is
already so spent physically and mentally?
God Bless our troops!! Please send them home soon and safe.
Airlines Pile On:
They Help The Bush Regime Fuck Over The 172nd
By Grabbing Their Money
August 08, 2006 By Karen Jowers, Army Times Staff
Thirteen Democrats in Congress have asked an
airline association to intercede on behalf of soldiers who may lose money after
having to cancel or postpone vacations because their tour in Iraq was extended.
The lawmakers said they have
been told that in many cases, airlines have chosen to not allow the service
members to cancel their reservations, and will not provide refunds.
In some cases, instead of a
refund, credits for travel have been offered. But some service members may not
be able to travel within the required time period, and may have to pay transfer
fees and price increases.
“It’s Not Like Soldiers Are Sitting
Around Cursing The Ones Who Went To Canada -- They Understand Why Someone Would
Not Want To Go To Iraq”
[Thanks to Elaine B., who sent this in.]
August 6, 2006 Meredith May, San Francisco
Chronicle Staff Writer [Excerpts]
Toronto: Army Pvt. Ryan Johnson drove off his
Mojave Desert base at 3 a.m.
Sgt. Patrick Hart told his Army superiors he
was going to watch one last Buffalo Bills football game.
Marine police officer Christian Kjar of Santa
Barbara got permission to leave his base in North Carolina to visit a mall.
Rather than go to the Iraq war, all three
went to Canada, where a small community of military deserters is growing as the
conflict drags on. They are drawn by Canada's history of helping Vietnam
War-era draft evaders and the country's open opposition to the war.
Once across the border, they are met by a
network of Vietnam War-era draft evaders, Quakers and anti-war activists, who
are waiting with lawyers, free housing, job offers and organic groceries.
On the streets of Toronto, 35,000 people have
signed a petition to grant the ex-service members amnesty.
They tend to be small-town America guys who
volunteered for service, hoping the military would get them out of dead-end
jobs and pay for the colleges and doctor visits their families could never
Lawyers in Toronto and Vancouver have
compared numbers and say they collectively have met with 200 Americans who have
abandoned their units.
In a legal first, 25 of them have applied to
become political refugees, a protected status that Canada has never granted to
an American. Refugee status is typically
reserved for those living in nondemocratic countries who can prove they would
be persecuted for their politics, race, religion or membership in a specific
social group. Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board has denied every deserter's
claim thus far, sending the issue to the courts.
"The soldiers who are underground are
watching his case," [Toronto attorney Jeffry] House said. "If we
prevail, you'll see hundreds more showing up in Canada."
"But I realized it's not like the United
States up here," Kjar said. "Canadians are much more
Back in the Bay Area, the deserters don't get
much sympathy from men like 28-year-old Army Spc. Joshua Erickson of Petaluma,
who was jolted out of civilian life as an organic farmer last year to serve in
Kuwait. He is a member of the Individual Ready Reserve, a nonactive pool of
troops who have finished their service but can be called back in an emergency.
"It's not like soldiers
are sitting around cursing the ones who went to Canada -- they understand why
someone would not want to go to Iraq," Erickson said. "But everyone
is scared, everyone has family problems.
Why don't they have to play by the rules?"
Today, Canadian immigration seekers must
apply from outside the United States and prove they have needed job skills and
healthy bank accounts. The process can take two years or more.
Staying AWOL that long in the United States
was not an option for soldier-on-the-run Darryl Anderson of Ontario (San
Pvt. Anderson said he supported the war at
first but changed his mind after he was ordered to shoot at a car speeding
toward his checkpoint in Baghdad. He held his fire and saw the car was carrying
a family with two small children.
"I did the right thing because they were
innocent, but my superior said I should have fired anyway," Anderson said.
"Right then I decided I'm not going to fire my weapon unless I absolutely
He thought he had to when the tank he was
riding in came under fire a few days later and he suffered a shrapnel wound in
his side. He tried to shoot back, but
his gun's safety lock was on, and he saw that he almost shot a young boy who
was running with a stick.
"I thought, 'That's just a kid running
scared like I am right now,' " Anderson said. "That's when I realized
no matter how good my stance is, I am going to kill innocent people. There's no
way I can stop it."
Anderson returned to his mother's house in
December 2004 with a Purple Heart and a second deployment order for Iraq.
During his Christmas leave, he told her what
had happened in Iraq. Together they decided she would drive him over the
The Real Enemy At Work
[Clue: The Real Enemy Is Not In Iraq]
Unending Billions In War Profits For Bush’s
But Wounded Vets Must Beg For Toothpaste And
[Thanks to Anna B, who sent this in 8.3.06]
The Buffalo VA Hospital, like
many veterans' hospitals, is missing crucial supplies and equipment, including
everything from toothpaste to wheelchairs - not to mention goods that would
make vets' hospital stays more pleasant, like newspaper and magazine
Man Attacks Times Square Recruiting Station
August 8, 2006 BY DANIELLE WARD AND CARRIE
MELAGO, DAILY NEWS WRITERS
A Long Island man was nabbed
yesterday for throwing rocks at the armed forces recruiting station in Times
Square, breaking a huge window at the Crossroads of the World, cops said.
Richard Kurdt, 36, of
Centereach allegedly stood in front of the walk-in center on Broadway and
hurled three stones into the window shortly after 7 a.m.
The rocks caused thousands of
dollars in damage, shattering a large window and a video screen that shows
armed services commercials, cops said.
Kurdt admitted to cops that
he'd thrown the rocks, saying he wanted to stymie recruitment efforts and
prevent people from enlisting in the military, a police source said.
A spokeswoman for the center said the
facility, which doesn't open until 9 a.m., was empty at the time.
Kurdt was charged with second-degree criminal
mischief and criminal tampering. A woman
who answered the phone at Kurdt's home declined comment.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Top Cleric Warns Of
Popular Uprising In South Iraq
July 28, 2006 Azzaman,
Security conditions are worsening in several
cities in southern Iraq amid reports of clashes between Shiite militias and the
British troops in the region.
In at least three big cities, Basra, Amara
and Diwaniya, the militias are almost in full control and have clashed with
foreign troop or bombed their bases.
Shiite religious leaders in the
holy city of Najaf are reported to have warned the government of Nouri
al-Maliki that they may no longer be able to contain the masses and prevent a
popular uprising in the absence of security.
aggravated a great deal and reaching the climax," warned Basheer
al-Najafi, one of the four main ayatollahs in the Shiite religious leadership
which includes grand ayatollah Ali Sistani.
Najafi said it was time the security file in
Iraq was handed over to the local authorities. Najafi did not explicitly call for the
withdrawal of foreign troops but made it clear that the Iraqis were no longer
willing to accept their presence.
"We are afraid that the
day of a massive popular uprising is approaching that will result in grave and
unpredictable consequences," he warned in a statement.
Najafi said neither the government nor the
foreign troops were interested in meeting the urgent needs of the Iraqi people.
He said all promises to improve public
services were broken along with the pledges to battle rampant unemployment.
Assorted Resistance Action
08/08/06 ITV & The Associated Press &
Two roadside bombs in Tikrit killed a
A police sergeant was shot dead in his car in
Baghdad, police said.
A police commando was wounded when a roadside
bomb went off near his patrol in the eastern Zayouna district of Baghdad,
Guerrillas killed a police lieutenant colonel
and wounded his brother in Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, police
The bodies of seven people wearing military
uniforms were found shot dead in a small town 30 km (20 miles) south of
Baghdad, police said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
“It Was A Movement No One Expected, Least Of
All Those In It”.
“And By 1971 It Had, In The Words Of One
Colonel, Infested The Entire Armed Services”
GI Resistance: Sir! No Sir! on DVD
Aug 6, 2006 New York City Labor Against The
A Film About The GI Movement Against The War
In the 1960's an anti-war
movement emerged that altered the course of history.
This movement didn't take place
on college campuses, but in barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs
and in the dingy towns that surround military bases.
It penetrated elite military
colleges like West Point.
And it spread throughout the
battlefields of Vietnam.
It was a movement no one expected,
least of all those in it. Hundreds went
to prison and thousands into exile. And
by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, infested the entire armed
Yet today few people know about
the GI movement against the war in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War has been the subject of
hundreds of films, both fiction and non-fiction, but this story, the story of
the rebellion of thousands of American soldiers against the war-has never been
told in film.
This is certainly not for lack of evidence.
By the Pentagon's own figures,
503,926 "incidents of desertion" occurred between 1966 and 1971;
officers were being "fragged"(killed with fragmentation grenades by
their own troops) at an alarming rate; and by 1971 entire units were refusing
to go into battle in unprecedented numbers.
In the course of a few short years, over 100
underground newspapers were published by soldiers around the world; local and
national antiwar GI organizations were joined by thousands; thousands more
demonstrated against the war at every major base in the world in 1970 and 1971,
including in Vietnam itself; stockades and federal prisons were filling up with
soldiers jailed for their opposition to the war and the military.
Yet few today know of these history-changing
Sir! No Sir! will change all that.
The film does four things:
1) Brings to life the history
of the GI movement through the stories of those who were part of it;
2) Reveals the explosion of
defiance that the movement gave birth to with never-before-seen archival
3) Explores the profound impact
that movement had on the military and the war itself; and
4) The feature, 90 minute
version, also tells the story of how and why the GI Movement has been erased
from the public memory.
Sir! No Sir!:
At A Theatre Near You!
To find it: http://www.sirnosir.com/
No Sir! DVD is on sale now, exclusively at www.sirnosir.com.
available will be a Soundtrack CD (which includes the entire song from the FTA
Show, "Soldier We Love You"), theatrical posters, tee shirts, and the
DVD of "A Night of Ferocious Joy," a film by me about the first
hip-hop antiwar concert against the "War on Terror."
What Happens In The Field, Stays In The Field
From: Richard Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: August 03, 2006
Subject: What Happens In he Field, Stays In
What Happens In The Field,
Stays In The Field
August 3, 2006
caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember
Another Quagmire) portfolio of
Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.
(For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (firstname.lastname@example.org) T)
“It’s Going Lousy Sir”
From: David Honish, Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: August 01, 2006
Subject: Perhaps it made a difference?
It was JUN 1982.
Ariel Sharon was making headlines in
Lebanon. I was at North Ft Hood with the TX National
Guard. I can't recall if I was still a
Spec 5, or the Army had eliminated that rank and made me a sergeant by
It was relatively easy duty with HHC 49
AD. Unlike the poor mech infantry and
tankers, the division HQ company spent most of the two weeks in cantonment at
North Ft Hood in GP Medium tents on concrete slabs. Cold beer at the branch PX was within walking
distance. HQ company went "to the
field" for only 3 days of the two week training cycle in those days.
During the second week of training HQ company
practiced a tactical convoy on the graveled surface of Old Georgetown Rd to our assigned grid
square for our token three days of "field duty." Since
the move from cantonment was scheduled for 6pm, G-3 could claim that we were
practicing a "night movement" even though it was light until 9
A couple days later I was struggling to hang
a 36 gallon Lister bag simply because I was told to do so. The presence of the 500 gallon 'water
buffalo' trailer about a hundred meters away at the mess section made the
medical section's Lister bag nothing more than an unused waste of my time.
While rigging rope to suspend
the bag from a tree, I was interrupted by the Assistant Division Commander
strolling alone to see how the troops were doing. He
asked a rhetorical "How are things going?"
The expected reply was probably
some minor bitching about the mess section not providing us with enough ice to
keep our beer cold. Instead, I took him
seriously. I told him "It's going
I went on to tell him that we were a Division
HQ with lots of electronic emissions that could be tracked. Soviet capability at the time was able to
locate us by our emissions in 15 min or so, and their doctrine called for
artillery strikes on any emitter that remained in place for 30 minutes.
Theoretically, our company should have been
able to displace and relocate every half hour to avoid getting our shit blown
away. Instead, we had been in the same
location for three days, and still had not set up our medical section because
we had spent the last couple days on details clearing brush and erecting tents
for the G-2 & G-3 Sections. The ADC
told me I had given him something to think about, and he promised to look into
Two months after annual training that year,
we got some new orders during a weekend drill.
By order of the Division Commander, ALL units, INCLUDING SUPPORT
ELEMENTS, would starting immediately spend at least one of every three weekend
drills IN THE FIELD. In addition, ALL
units in the division WOULD SPEND THE ENTIRE TWO WEEKS OF ANNUAL TRAINING IN
My section sergeant showed me the new orders,
and joked about needing me to bribe him to keep the secret that I was the guy
who was responsible for prodding command into stepped up training. He implied that I might be lynched if word
got out that it was my big mouth that had changed our goofing off into actual
I left the National Guard in
1985 when it became obvious to me that the Reagan administration had changed
our mission from backstopping NATO to one of preparing to go to war over
In AUG 2004 the 49th Armor Division of the TX
National Guard was deactivated and once again became the 36th Infantry
Division. It seems that our tanks were
no longer needed to reinforce Germany, but could be used to make up losses in
Iraq. It was also easier to activate
small units of infantry for duty in Iraq than to take forces from a reserve
component armor division.
It sucks to be them, but maybe
they are a little bit better trained than they would have been because a loud
mouthed medic lipped off to a general 20 years earlier? If it resulted in just one better trained
soldier surviving now, it was worth all the extra field time with the chiggers
and the ticks that my spoiled rear echelon peers had to serve all those years
ago because of my big mouth.
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!
“You Cant Stop The ‘Raging
to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
Take Your Pick
06 August 2006 By Aparisim Ghosh, Time
But the relief is temporary; most of us still
have to negotiate the Highway of Death. Recently
the highway has become less deadly - perhaps the only place in Baghdad that can
make such a claim.
U.S. officials claim the
decline in attacks as a victory for military strategy, attributing it to the
greatly increased visibility of Iraqi soldiers along the road.
My contacts in the insurgency
offer an alternative, equally plausible explanation: there are fewer U.S.
patrols and convoys on the road than before, fewer targets to attack.
[To check out what life is like
under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves
“It’s Not Like Fighting Palestinians In
Gaza,’ Explains Sgt. Yoshua”
Aug. 07, 2006 By TIM MCGIRK/AVIVIM, NORTHERN
ISRAEL, Time [Excerpt]
A young Israeli tank commander who calls
himself Sgt. Yoshua knows what awaits him in Lebanon. When his 82nd Battalion crossed the border a
few days back, every imaginable threat seemed to pop up in front of him. Three of the four tanks in his unit
encountered landmines, missile fire and snipers. Yoshua's best friend, a
guitar-player, was in one of the tanks hit by a missile and lost both his legs.
Three others were killed.
"It's not like fighting
Palestinians in Gaza," explains Sgt. Yoshua, a gaunt, bearded young
soldier. "Hizballah has better
weapons. They're highly-organized and, I
don't know if the word is fearless or crazy, but they'll stand right in front
of the tank, and fire at us."
“It's Easy To Look Tough Rolling Through
Refugee Camps In The World’s Most Heavily Armored Tank”
It was a
good plot twist: one minute the IDF is stomping around Gaza blasting amateurs,
when something taps it on the shoulder, and there's Hezbollah, looking like
Godzilla in a headscarf.
July 23rd By Gary Brecher, eXile
God, I love watching CNN right now. Watching
that needlenose whiner Anderson Cooper, trying not to state the obvious:
Hezbollah is not only winning every round of this fight, but it was bound to
win from the start.
The rest of you idiots actually
seem to take Cooper seriously when he talks about how the IDF is going to
"expel Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon." Christ, Hezbollah IS Southern Lebanon. You might as well try to expel ants.
[W]e're not dealing with a few bad apples or
bad luck. We're dealing with
demographics, and demographics has no more mercy than a glacier. For a hundred years Lebanon has been shifting
from a Maronite-Christian country with a bunch of non-Christian minorities (the
Druze -- my personal favorites, the Sunni, the Shia) to a Muslim country with a
Christian minority that's trying to emigrate as fast as it can fake up its
resume for Uncle Sam's Migras. That part
of the war is over, and Islam won.
And Hezbollah has great
soldiers. That's one reason I can't help
They're some of the most
underrated soldiers on earth facing what I consider the most overrated military
force on earth, the IDF.
The Israelis have been coasting on their
reputation for a long time, but way back in Gulf War I it was clear they made
their record like a Don King fighter, padding their Win column against a bunch
When I saw those pitiful Arab
"soldiers" crawling toward US camera crews on their hands and knees
to surrender, the first thing that went through my head was, "Whoa, so
that's the kind of opponent the Israelis have been showboating against? Well Hell, my high school marching band
could've beaten those Arab chickenshits!"
I'm not alone in that conclusion either. One of the top US commanders in GW I called
the IDF "a bunch of arrogant pricks who wouldn't last ten minutes on a
European battlefield." Well, that
bit about a "European battlefield" is another sad case of our NATO
obsession, but the point is, the IDF doesn't deserve its rep.
It did once, back in 1948 and during Suez,
when it was manned by double-tough survivors of the European Jews who were
determined to show up the book-nerd stereotype by kicking ass from Haifa to
Damascus. Those dudes were truly tough.
But we're talking demographics again,
dude. Passage of time, plus difference
in birthrate, means that by now the IDF has a thin, real thin, crust of
Ashkenazi brains'n'brawn on top and a bunch of flabby mama's boys under them.
Meanwhile, Israel admitted every loser from
Russia or Ukraine or Yemen who could claim a grandpa who liked carp or a
grandma who carried the overprotective gene or whatever, anything that could
make them look Jewish. Half of them were
just lying to get out of their native Hellholes, and none of them were willing
to die for Israel the way that kick-ass first generation was.
As long as the IDF was beating up on Hamas
down in Gaza, it could hide its weakness most of the time. Not all of the time -- pretty sloppy, letting
Hamas commandos tunnel right into that base, blast a tank and kidnap poor baby
Shalit right while he was thinking up his next capsule review. Still, except for the occasional slip, the
IDF was safe in its F-16s and Merkavas, facing Pals with nothing but rifles and
It's easy to look tough rolling
through refugee camps in the world's most heavily armored tank.
But as you may recall, those tanks got a real
different reception when they chased Hezbollah's raiding party back into
Lebanon after the Hezzies killed three IDF soldiers and kidnapped another
two. The IDF mid-ranking commanders had
to act fast because the Gaza command was taking heat for not pursuing Shalit's
kidnappers fast enough. So they shouted,
"Charge!" and the first Merkava steamed over the border.
Guess how far it got. Ten meters.
Ten goddamn meters. Then
KABOOM! A Hezbollah mine or shaped
charge turned it into a very expensive oven, with four crew killed. Another IDF
soldier died trying to rescue them. So
within a few minutes the IDF had lost eight men.
As far as I know, Hezbollah's losses were
It was a good plot twist: one
minute the IDF is stomping around Gaza blasting amateurs, when something taps
it on the shoulder, and there's Hezbollah, looking like Godzilla in a
headscarf. Pretty funny moment,
something almost Abbot & Costello about it.
No army enjoys getting invited to a second
front just when it was starting to enjoy itself on the first one. Even the Wehrmacht rank and file was bummed
when they heard they were getting shipped from the beaches of the Mediterranean
And the IDF was no happier when they realized
they had to quit using Gaza as a speed bag to spar with an enemy that could
kill eight IDF guys in a few seconds.
The way Israel is conducting the war right
now is the worst of both worlds: it's too bloody and not bloody enough at the
same time. Give me a second to explain what I mean by that.
At the moment that skinny nasal-voiced jerk
Anderson Cooper is saying Israel's killed about 320 Lebanese, vs. 36 Israelis
Now actually that's a perfectly standard
count for asymmetrical warfare; the technologically superior force usually
kills about ten of the guerrillas for every one of its own losses.
But in PR terms, this war has been a disaster
for Israel, a can't win scenario. Just try this experiment: watch CNN with the
sound off for a few minutes.
Without that non-stop pro-Israel commentary,
you'll see what the whole world outside the US sees: non-stop video feed of
terrified Lebanese civvies fleeing in terror, crying on camera, hugging their
Then there's a shot of the IDF zooming around
in their Merkavas and US-supplied SP 155mms, blasting dry hills or doing dirt
donuts on some local's wrecked house.
Ask yourself this question:
WHAT'S MISSING FROM THIS
It'll come to you after a
minute: you never, ever see an armed Hezbollah fighter. They're there, all right. You better believe it.
They've killed at least 20 IDF
troops, and they're the real reason, the only reason, the IDF isn't invading
all-out: because those Hezbollah apprentice martyrs are dug in, waiting and
hoping and praying for the IDF to steam into the kill zones they've been
polishing since Israel quit Lebanon in 2000.
So call'em crazy if it makes
you feel better, but don't call'em stupid.
Better yet, get used to calling'em "Sir."
Merkava nose dive
What do you
think? Comments from service men and
women, and veterans, are especially welcome.
Send to email@example.com.
Name, I.D., withheld on request.
A Zionist Massacre In A Wheatfield
[Thanks to JM, who sent this
in. She writes: Israel can't say the
second family mentioned was killed by mistake. They were riddled with bullets,
at close range, in a wheat field.]
2 August 2006 By Joseph Barrak, Agence France
BAALBEK, Lebanon: "We are safe",
Awad Jamaleddin told his friend by phone before the missiles crashed into his
house. It was just before
dawn and near the end of Israel's airborne commando raids on Wednesday close to
the city of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon.
His body and those of his
18-year-old son Hussein, four nephews and a relative were strewn in the garden
of his house where they had been hiding from the air strikes during the
commando attack. [Increasing numbers of
dead seem to have been hiding in the garden to avoid being buried alive as
houses are targetted. J.]
"I was just on the phone with Awad to
ask what was going on in his neighbourhood. He said there were helicopters and
bombardments, but that they were quite far away," Abdel Rahim Haidar told
"Then nothing. His phone just died. This morning we all ran to his house and found
this terrible, terrible sight," he said.
In the garden, women wailed as they held the
bodies of the dead. One man held a
Koran, reading verses loudly. "Israel
is immoral," screamed a young woman. "Come and take a picture of the
crimes of (US President George) Bush," another woman told an AFP
photographer on the scene.
In a wheatfield not far from
the area, the bloodied bodies of a woman and her five children, aged between
three and seventeen, lay in a Bedouin tent. The bodies of Maha Shaaban Al-Issa, 40, and
her children were riddled with bullets, mostly in the head and the chest. Her husband and two remaining children were
critically wounded and taken to hospital.
Witnesses told AFP that an Israeli helicopter
had dropped the commandos at the Dar Al-Hekmah hospital before it was forced to
clear the area because of Hezbollah fire. The gunship then headed to a nearby
wheatfield to await the end of the commando operation.
"The Bedouin family ran
out of their tent because they were terrified from the Israeli helicopter, then
they were all shot. Their relatives and
friends in nearby tents escaped unharmed because they stayed inside," said
a neighbour who did not wish to be identified.
Their bodies were returned to the tent where
they were covered with blankets, an AFP correspondent on the scene said.
The commando operation, the
most northerly ground attack by Israeli forces since the start of the crisis on
July 12, left 14 civilians, including seven children, dead and more than 20
Do you have a friend or relative in the
service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the
USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from
access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside
the armed services. Send requests to address up
The Great New York City Power Failure
From: Katie GY
To: GI Special
Sent: August 03, 2006 4:56 PM
Subject: From an NYT article re: the
“At Jimbo’s Bar and Restaurant on
the owner, George Bountouvas, went through a painfully familiar routine,
throwing away the spoiled meat, eggs and milk in his kitchen and then sending
the cooks home for the day. The bartender kept some beers on ice, but only a
few regulars bothered to step through the door.
‘We’re able to go
to the moon,” Mr. Bountouvas fumed.
“We’re able to throw bombs on other countries. But we can’t keep the lights on.’”
“I Think Bush Can Go To Hell And Burn With
The Rest Of His Regime”
i think what yous are doing is right i mean
by having this page and articles.
I think Bush can go to hell and burn with the
rest of his regime. They had no busines
in Iraq and need to get out. THey need
to be accounted for the murdreds masacres rapes and everything else which is a
whole lot that went on in Iraq, and now Lebanon.
Thank you Keep supporting this and show the
true terrorists and the real liars and murderers who comply with the US GOV.
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