to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]
From: Dennis Serdel
To: GI Special
Sent: October 05, 2006
Subject: Remote Control
By Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour)
Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade, purple heart, Veterans For Peace,
Vietnam Veterans Against The War, United Auto Workers GM Retiree, in Perry, Michigan
Sandy was humping in his brown
and tan camouflaged fatigues
with an 80 + pound rucksack,
his 16, ammo, helmet, heat, sweat
and a television set on his
shoulders where his head would be.
His whole company had
but sometimes the news would
say, all's quiet on the western front
"Stay the course" and
they knew that was a lie.
Touchtone an IED killing and
killing and killing ad infinitum.
TV heads had an incredible
140,000 plus channels
with satellites beaming that
"The war is lost"
instead of from the fear ridden
that would only say "We
are winning slowly"
instead of telling the people
Another TV head was in high
but soon red blood that looked
real, "was real"
started dripping down the
screen on the new blue carpet,
his wife began to scream at her
"To change the
The Armchair General grabbed
the remote and "changed the channel"
only to find another TV head in
and a picture of his white
His wife was still cleaning up
when oozing blood from the
dripped two big drops of
"thick dark news" on the back of her head.
Before she noticed, her
grabbed the remote and
A picture on the TV head showed
showing pictures of his wife
and kids back home.
His wife let out a scream
as two military men were
knocking on the door.
Marie opened it and cried,
"It's Sandy, isn't
it? Is he still alive?"
Her two children stood behind
waiting for the answer.
U.S. Losses Mount In Battle Of Baghdad:
“We Have Lost 18 American Service Members In
About The Last 96 Hours”
Rumsfeld Gets Another Kill
troops of the 172nd, who were deployed to Baghdad two months ago after seeing
their year-long tour of duty in Iraq abruptly extended just days before they
were due to return home, Rojas' death was a cruel blow.
Oct 6 by Dave Clark, AFP
A single shot rang out and Staff Sergeant
Jonathan Rojas dropped lifelessly into the cramped hull of his armoured car,
pitching forward as bright red blood spurted from under his helmet.
His team reacted instantly.
Platoon medics piled in through the 17-tonne
Stryker's rear door and one of his men stepped up to replace him in the squad
leader's open roof hatch and guide the vehicle out of an east Baghdad slum.
"God damn it. He's hit in the head. He's shot in the fucking head" --
"Roger, roger, gotcha" -- "He's got a pulse, got a pulse"
-- "Is he breathing? -- "He's got a gunshot wound to the head. He's got pulse. He's not breathing."
For a fearful moment the crush in the crew
compartment seemed like chaos, but Rojas' team was well drilled. Every soldier on board had a job to do as the
platoon roared to the nearest US base, fighting to save their sergeant's life.
"He's not breathing" -- "We
need to move" -- "Get the ramp up, get the ramp up, get the ramp
up" -- "Go, go, go" -- "I need you up on top" --
"I need a weapon" -- "Here, take my weapon. It's got one in the breach, OK?"
I need immediate fucking dust off at Loyalty, copy?"
The sergeant, a 27-year-old from the
industrial town of Hammond, Indiana, left behind a wife and two pit bull
Rojas' platoon from the 172nd Stryker Brigade
Combat Team washed the blood from the floor of their troop transport then
gathered to salute his body as it was carried onto a Blackhawk chopper under a
blue plastic shroud.
Afterwards, they headed back to the streets
to continue their mission.
For the troops of the 172nd, who were
deployed to Baghdad two months ago after seeing their year-long tour of duty in
Iraq abruptly extended just days before they were due to return home, Rojas'
death was a cruel blow.
But beyond the close bonds of his unit -- a
team of young infantrymen who are already 14-month veterans of a brutal war --
the popular and respected squad leader's death was also part of a stark broader
"As far as US casualties go, this has
been a hard week for the US forces," coalition spokesman Major General
William Caldwell told reporters Wednesday.
"We have lost 18 American
service members in about the last 96 hours."
There was no sign of trouble when the heavily
armed squad rolled up outside the Al-Shahama boys' primary school in Obeidi,
visiting local institutions and preparing for a possible order to secure the
area in the weeks to come.
"We welcome to you, our guests,"
exclaimed English teacher Amir Shebib, when US Captain Brent Irish sat down to
meet staff. "Don't forgot there is between us friendship, because you
removed Saddam Hussein," Shebib said.
It was a typical conversation, such as US
officers are having all over the divided city, trying to build up links with distrustful
local communities and discover the realities of local politics.
"There aren't terrorists here, because
the people here cooperate with us and each other," said Shebib, all smiles
as grinning children waved at the troops.
Back inside the Strykers, the platoon
prepared to explore more of the muddy, rubbish-strewn streets of Obeidi, a
rundown district where locals said they hadn't seen US troops patrolling in
more than a year.
Then the shot rang out.
NEVER FORGET WHAT RUMSFELD DID
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.
UNFIT FOR COMMAND
August 3, 2006 REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Killed In Iraq
9/28/2006 Reported By: Valerie Hoff, WXIA-TV
Kenneth Kinkaid was a soldier, but to his
family he was much more than that.
“He was a role model for today's young
men who want to grow up and be a good dad and a good husband and find their
way," said Skip Kinkaid, as he remembered his 25-year-old son Aaron.
“He was so full of life. He had the energy of ten people; he had a
tremendous sense of humor and a tremendous amount of common sense. He had a love of nature and a love of
His father says Aaron Kinkaid took pride in
serving his country, although he knew his job was dangerous, and mentioned that
in his final email.
"I’ll never forget it as long as I
live. He said, 'Hi Dad how are you,
everything's fine.' Then he said, 'Who am I kidding? I hate seeing guys get blown up. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, thank
Kinkaid died last Saturday when the Humvee he
was driving struck on improvised explosive device in Iraq.
At the Kinkaid home in Acworth, yellow
ribbons anticipating a happy homecoming are joined by black symbols of
mourning. Flags fly at half staff.
Aaron Kinkaid’s father copes with grief
and loss. But takes comfort in his memories and stays stoic for his
“For you Abi and Keni, Grandpa wants
you to know that you had. You have the
greatest Dad in the world,” he said.
Aaron Kinkaid is also survived by his mother,
Marcia, his wife Rachel, and his brother Marc.
Danish Soldier Killed In Basra Combat
Oct 6 (KUNA)
A soldier, a Dane, serving under the
Multi-National Forces in Iraq was killed on his way to hospital after an armed
confrontation in Al-Haritha area, north of Basra, southern Iraq, the MNF
The MNF statement said the Dane died as he
was being transported to the military field hospital suffering from injuries he
sustained in combat between a Danish military patrol and an armed group in
50 Helicopters Down;
Armor “Combat Losses” Also Heavy
October 09, 2006 By Matthew Cox, Army Times
Congress has agreed to give the Army about
$17 billion to reset equipment, including helicopters, tanks and other vehicles
destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the appropriators’
conference report on a Pentagon funding request for next year.
The report identifies $2.9
billion for specific Army combat losses that include:
$621 million to replace 18 AH-64 Apache
$511 million to replace 17 CH-47 Chinook
$225 million to replace 15 UH-60 Black Hawk
$700 million for M1 tank losses.
[At a reported cost of $4
million 300K per tank, that works out to about 160 tanks destroyed.]
$82 million for Stryker vehicle losses.
[At $2.8 million each, that
works out to about 30 Strykers destroyed.]
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!
U.S. soldiers from Alfa company 1-17 regiment
of the 172th brigade patrol a street, in eastern Baghdad, Oct. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
She Fights To Stop The War And Prays For Her Son’s
October 3, 2006, New York Daily News
Elaine Brower was at work yesterday morning
when her cell phone rang and she heard her son say two beautiful syllables from
She dared to hope he was completely out of
the war zone. "Are you in
Kuwait?" she asked.
"No, but we're not going out
anymore," he replied. "We're
"Don't be a hero. Don't volunteer for anything," she said. "Just get in quietly."
"Don't worry," he said.
"What route are you taking?" she
"The shortest one, I hope," he
Her son hung up and she could only pray it
truly was almost over.
This had been the second combat tour for
24-year-old Marine Sgt. James Brower. The
first had been right after 9/11, when he was among the first Marines into
For too many sleepless nights, Elaine Brower
lay clutching a set of black plastic rosary beads her son had found years
before at catechism class.
Her prayers seemed answered when he returned
from Afghanistan intact. He joined the
NYPD, and whatever dangers he faced in the street, he seemed done with war.
Then last year, her son announced he was returning
to active duty with the Marines. She
flew with him out to California and rented an SUV so she could give some of his
comrades a ride to the base. She said
she had never met such decent, dedicated and selfless young men.
Her son and his magnificent comrades went off
to war, and Elaine Brower returned to the life of a city worker living in
Staten Island, married to a retired NYPD lieutenant.
She took out the rosary beads again, and the
second wait turned all the more nightmarish when two New York City Marines from
her son's unit were killed by a sniper. She went to both funerals and embraced
both heart-torn mothers, offering what little comfort she could to women who
had suffered what she most feared.
Elaine Brower had supported
going into Afghanistan and she hardly had a typical protester's pedigree, but
she came to feel the war in Iraq was a mistake that was costing us too many of
our very best Americans.
She told her son she had some
news when he managed to make one of his periodic phone calls from the war zone
"I got arrested," she
She explained that she had
joined 16 others in a nonviolent act of civil disobedience outside the United
Nations while President Bush addressed the General Assembly. Her son proved
anew his devotion to the freedoms he is sworn to protect.
"You were only exercising
your First Amendment rights," he told his mother.
Her son ended the conversation by saying he
was scheduled to leave Iraq soon. He
called again Friday and took a turn at surprising her.
"Ma, I got news to tell you," he
"What?" she asked.
"I volunteered to stay another
month," he said.
She might have been more stunned by this news
than her son had been by the news that she had been arrested. But the cell phone reception was so clear she
could hear his fellow Marines in the background.
"I hear them laughing," she told
He then told her the wonderful truth: He would be heading home in just a few days.
"I'm going to get an apartment in
Brooklyn with my friend here," he said. "We look at Craigslist all
the time. There's like, 10 we're going
to look at."
He then told her he had to go.
"We got to go on night patrol," he
She passed the weekend afraid to be too
happy. She kept herself busy by helping
to plan an anti-war march on Thursday from the United Nations to Union Square.
Yesterday morning, she was at
her desk at the city controller's office when her son called to say he was
finally on his way home. "For the
next 24 hours I'm just going to pray," she said.
Last night, she got an e-mail
from Iraq telling her something her son had not: A Marine in his unit had been
killed on Sunday while on a final patrol.
"The day before they're
leaving," she said. "That poor family."
She felt sick and guilty, and
wondered if the fallen Marine was one of those she had heard laughing in the
Do you have a friend or relative in the
service? Forward GI Special along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the
USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from
access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside
the armed services. Send requests to address up top
or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Pro-War Soldier Tells The Truth:
“They Didn't Want To Help Us”
“They Wanted All Americans Out Of
Oct. 06, 2006 The Associated Press
A Marine wounded by a roadside bomb two months into a tour in Iraq is
back home nursing an injured arm and leg, and wondering if he will go back to
Patrick Kelly, 19, of Richland Township, is
recuperating from shrapnel wounds and nerve damage that left him with pins and
screws in his right arm and no feeling in his right hand.
Before he went to Iraq, Kelly said, "I
didn't think we should be there at all.
Now, I think we should finish."
The 2005 Quakertown High School graduate said
he joined the Marines because it was the "most challenging" military
service. Kelly left for Iraq in July, in time for 115-degree days that made it
hard to eat. He lost 30 pounds.
Stationed between Ramadi and Fallujah,
Kelly's unit patrolled a dangerous stretch of road the Americans called Route
Michigan. The unit sometimes raided houses, and sometimes handed out soccer
balls to children, though Kelly said he did not feel they won the support of
Iraqi people he met.
"They stare at you. They didn't want to help us. They wanted all Americans out of there,"
Kelly said. "I didn't trust any of
At home, Kelly's wife, Jessica, 21, expecting
their first child soon, said she existed "one day at a time,"
carrying a cell phone wherever she went so she wouldn't miss the calls he was
able to make about once a week.
On Sept. 10, part of Kelly's unit was
crossing Route Michigan when a bomb went off in a ditch six feet away, flinging
him forward and sending shrapnel into his arm and leg. Kelly said he didn't
lose consciousness and immediately began feeling his limbs. "I was in shock.
I didn't feel any pain," he said.
After two surgeries in Iraq, he was flown to
Germany and then back to the United States. He underwent three more surgeries
at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., and arrived home this week for a month of
recuperation. Doctors say they expect
him to make a full recovery.
The recuperation period is giving Kelly time
to reconnect with his family, and contemplate mixed feelings about whether he
wants to go back to Iraq.
"Part of me does, and part of me
doesn't," Kelly said. "My friends are there."
Injured Soldier Improving;
October 6, 2006 By Mark J. Armstrong, The
A former Hill Country resident injured while
serving in Iraq showed signs of improvement this week as family members keep
vigil at his bedside at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Doctors there removed an oral incubator this
week from Sgt. Michael Boothby, 26, with 172nd Striker Brigade out of Fort
Wainwright, Alaska, and have reduced the amount of sedative that had kept
Tim Boothby said that his brother has been
able to respond to vocal commands, but that those responses are very weak and
“His wife was leaning over him asking
him to smile at her, he managed to curl his upper lip in an effort, in her
excitement she leaned down to kiss him and he attempted to pucker his lips to
kiss her back,” Tim Boothby said.
Tim Boothby said his brother was injured by
an improvised explosive devise that exploded Sept. 16 along a road outside of
Baghdad. Michael Boothby and two other soldiers were wounded.
The other two have since returned to duty,
but Michael Boothby was struck by shrapnel in the back of the head, sending
bone fragments throughout his brain, according to family members.
“The doctors are still saying it is to
early to give an accurate prognosis, but say that these are very good signs and
that they are looking forward very hopefully, but warn that it will be a very
long and bumpy road to recovery,” Tim Boothby said.
Michael Boothby, a Center Point High School
graduate, is married and has three children.
“We are all praying for him,”
said Center Point High School principal Scott Turner.
Michael Boothby’s wife and parents have
been flown to Maryland to be with him. Benefit accounts have been established
at Wells Fargo Bank and at Union State Bank to assist the family with the
expenses of travel and lost time at work.
“We, as a family, are asking first and
foremost for your prayers for a speedy and full recovery and are trusting God
will supply all that is needed in the financial aspect of all of this,”
said Tim Boothby.
“The Defense Department Is Doing Next To
Nothing To Help Get At-Risk Veterans To VA Care”
October 09, 2006 By Rick Maze, Army Times
Staff writer [Excerpts]
Dramatic upgrades are needed, veterans groups
and lawmakers said, if the government is to establish a truly
“seamless” transition between military and veterans’ health
care for those injured in combat.
One example involves a 22-year-old Navy
Reserve corpsman held for four months in a medical holding company at Camp
“The corpsman had been hit by a mortar
attack in Iraq several months before, leaving him totally blind in his left eye
and with vision of 20/200 in his right eye,” Zampieri said.
The injury should have resulted in an
immediate consultation with the VA for admission into a rehabilitation center,
But “no one contacted VA,”
Zampieri said. “This brave
American instead was outprocessed on Sept. 8” with instructions to call
the VA for an eye clinic appointment when he got back to Ohio.
The second example involved an Army sergeant
first class who was blinded after being shot in the head in Iraq.
“He is still on active duty, with no
consultation with (the Veterans Health Administration) for the past four months,”
[Thomas Zampieri, government relations director for the Blinded Veterans
Some 2,200 service members are in military
medical holding companies, he said, and there are likely more blinded veterans
who need help.
“These cases should begin to
demonstrate our complete lack of confidence in this system,” he
said. “These service members
deserve better than this.”
Gary Kurpius, national commander of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars, said that after all the talk over the years about
seamless transition, “I am not sure that we can even point to signs of
Rep. Bob Filner of California, acting ranking
Democrat on the veterans’ committee, said he expects more cooperation
between the military and VA on helping veterans and their families adjust to
and cope with disabilities, especially post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Veterans with PTSD are three times
more likely to commit suicide than their cohorts in the general
population,” Filner said, adding that the Defense Department “is
doing next to nothing to help get at-risk veterans to VA care.”
“This must change,” he said.
A Private Moment Away From The Parade
From: Mike Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: October 03, 2006
Subject: A Private Moment Away From The Parade
Private Moment Away From The Parade
Two Vietnam Veterans have a
private moment together
after viewing the "Moving
Wall" in Albany, Oregon.
This is always out of view from
the rest of America who
thinks there is some kind of
glory in war.
You never see the grief
marching in a Veterans Day Parade.
The lies of war are never
War is always glorified,
it is so horrifying, that it
has to be hidden in lies of glorification.
The only glory in war is in the
of those who were never there.
The Iraq War
is one of the greatest lies in
"Looking For a Few Good
Men," to fight in a war
that so few are willing to
"Support The Troops,"
so long as I don't have to defend.
Only the working class and the
poor ever go,
because the rich and the
privileged find a way to legally
Slogans like, "Home of the
Brave," and "Land of the Free,"
are all part of the
glorification of war.
It is all lies that make the
rich richer and the poor and working class
Years after I came back from
Vietnam, I heard the expression,
This statement is a cover-up
for all the lies and deceits of the Vietnam War.
The only thing I have left is
If that truth can keep a
teenager from joining the military,
or if my truth can help an Iraq
Veteran with his or her " Post Traumatic Stress,"
then my life has meaning.
I can live with that any day.
I did not serve in Vietnam for
the cause of freedom,
I served Big Business in
America for the cause of Profit.
If that statement can help save
a teenager's life,
or if it can help heal another
then I will die a free man.
U.S. Army Medic
October 3, 2006
the I-R-A-Q (I Remember
Another Quagmire) portfolio of
Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71.
(For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (email@example.com) T)
while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a
terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill
me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions.
“Bush Put Those Soldiers There - The Ones
Being Killed - The Ones Killing And Raping.
They Didn't Need To Be There”
[Thanks to JF, who sent this in.]
October 5, 2006 by Bill C. Davis, Common
The Foley scandal is worth one day of news
and lots of therapy for everyone involved.
The attention that needs to be paid is to the
war. Why it happened? Who let it happen? Who lied to make it
The Foley scandal sadly creates fodder for
comics; the war creates fodder out of our young citizens and the Iraqi
people. Only Bush knows how to make
jokes out of that. ("No WMD's there." as he looks under a drape.)
They're looking for guidance from Bush as to
how to investigate this scandal. They
look for a comment from him.
Two American soldiers were dragged through an
Iraqi street and set on fire in retaliation for the rape of a 14 year old Iraqi
girl and the murder of her family by American soldiers from the same company.
Bush put those soldiers there - the ones
being killed - the ones killing and raping - they didn't need to be there.
He's disgusted by the Foley scandal?
As the instant messenger for this war, he's
relinquished his right to be disgusted.
What do you
think? Comments from service men and
women, and veterans, are especially welcome.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
10025-5657. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
TROPHY SOLDIERS TO BE USED LATER;
(EXCEPT THE GENTLE HEROES LEFT BEHIND)
[Thanks to Don Bacon, The Smedley Butler
Society, who sent this in.]
New York Times
October 5, 2006
Behind the Victory Money Lies Vietnam
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4: The mystery over who
championed legislation authorizing $20 million in spending for a celebration of
United States success in Iraq and Afghanistan was resolved on Wednesday.
The office of the Republican whip, Senator
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, acknowledged that he had pushed the bill out of
lingering anger that Vietnam veterans had to “sneak back” home
after that war and out of a desire that this generation of troops be thanked.
Mr. McConnell sponsored language in last
year’s military spending bill, which authorized up to $20 million for a
“commemoration of success” in Washington saluting the end of the
Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. No money
was set aside or used because fighting continues.
The senator wrote language for the new budget
bill that rolls over the authorization into 2007.
“People came home from Vietnam and had
to sneak back in and they were spit upon,” said Don Stewart,
communications director for the senator’s office. For Iraq and
Afghanistan, he said, Mr. McConnell felt the troops should be able to
“attend ceremonies, get awards.”
If you are able, save them a
place inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can no
Be not ashamed to say you loved
though you may or may not have
Take what they have left and
what they have taught you
with their dying and keep it with
And in that time when men
decide and feel safe
to call the war insane, take
one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes you left
This poem written by Major
Michael Davis O'Donnell, on January 1, 1970 in Dak To, 2 months before his death.
Major O'Donnell was a helicopter commander
with the 170th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 52nd Aviation Battalion,
1st Aviation Brigade. He and his crew
were shot down on 24 March, 1970 while performing an extraction operation.
Major O'Donnell's remains were never found.
[And Don Stewart repeats the
stupid old lie about spitting. The only
Vietnam veterans spit on were members of Vietnam Veterans Against The War, try
it again, AGAINST The War, spit on by pro-war assholes during an action they
organized in New Jersey as part of their effort to bring about immediate
withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Vietnam.
[Like Major O’Donnell,
U.S. forces in Vietnam overwhelmingly hated the war and the politicians who
sent them to die for the Empire, and their rebellion against command and the
politicians made it impossible for the war to go on. T]
Good News For The Iraqi
U.S. Occupation Commands’ Stupid Terror
Tactics Recruit Even More Fighters To Kill U.S. Troops
Foreign occupation troops from U.S. Alfa
company 1-17 regiment of the 172th brigade trash the bedroom of an Iraqi
citizens’ home in eastern Baghdad, Oct. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to
the USA. They can kill people at
checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence and tear them up,
butcher their families, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they
like better and call it “sovereign,” and “detain”
anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any charges being
filed against them, or any trial.]
[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch
of backward primitives. They actually
resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is
occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic
duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military
dictatorship run by George Bush. Why,
how could anybody not love that?
You’d want that in your home town, right?]
the States, if police burst into your house, kicking down doors and swearing at
you, you would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit,” said Wood, 42, from
Iowa, who did not accompany Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his
battalion, on Thursday’s raid.
“Here, there are no lawyers.
Their resources are limited, so they plant IEDs (improvised explosive
“There Are An Increasing Number Of
Neighborhoods They No Longer Dare To Visit”
10.5.06 By TERRY MCCARTHY, ABC News
How bad is bad? After six weeks away from Iraq and returning
to Baghdad, I find the city appears much worse than when I left.
Last week, according to a U.S. military
spokesman, Baghdad experienced more attacks from car bombs and improvised
explosive devices than at any other time this year. In the last five days, 14
U.S. soldiers have died in Baghdad, numbers that haven't been seen in the city
since the 2003 invasion.
ABC's local Iraqi staff tell us there are an
increasing number of neighborhoods they no longer dare to visit.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
“Of The 35,000 Detained In Iraq, Only 638,
Or Roughly 2 Percent, Were Ever Tried For Any Crime”
October 2, 2006 By Larisa Alexandrovna,
I reported last November that
since the start of U.S. aggressions in Afghanistan and Iraq, roughly 70
thousand men, women, and children had been detained and in many cases tortured.
Of the 35,000 detained in Iraq,
only 638, or roughly 2 percent, were ever tried for any crime. The rest were either quietly let go or died
A document leaked to me a year ago from
sources with a conscience at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) indicated that this
total of 35,000 does not even represent the full count of people detained, nor
does it address every single U.S. facility around the world or the additional
extraordinary renditions we have engaged in.
Does anyone actually think that any
Republican who voted for the pro-torture, pro-rape, pro-mutilation bill has
actually looked at the numbers, or better still, talked to the living
Somehow I think that the closest these
dilettantes got to the horror of it all was the lemon chicken lunch they sat
down to while visiting the "public" area of Gitmo.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said
recently, "Well, Alan, I think it really does reflect that we are in an
age and an era post-9/11, where we're talking about a new sort of opponent, a
new sort of the war criminal, somebody who right now we call then enemy
combatants, but the sort of people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who's down in
Guantanamo Bay now, who allegedly and likely did mastermind the plot that
killed 3,000 Americans."
According to Mr. Frist's second brilliant
public diagnosis (the first being, of course. Terri Schiavo), the people
detained, or "the opponents," are either guilty of plotting to kill
Americans or have already done so in the
past. Senator Frist can tell this just from judging them by their
Mr. Frist, are you really going
to tell the American people that 638 convictions were worth the detainment,
torture, rape, and in some cases murder of roughly 35,000 people in Iraq alone?
Remember, these numbers are a
year old and only a fraction of the total.
And if our intention is to save
3,000 American lives, something this administration has already failed to do,
from another possible 9/11, then why did we send to their deaths an additional
3,000 American soldiers in order to secure only 638 convictions -- even assuming
that number is a credible representation and that they were convicted on
evidence, not confessions via torture?
What does this accomplish and how can it
possibly be justified?
And if we are, in general, aiming at saving
lives, then why did we kill roughly 100,000 Iraqis and thousands upon thousands
of Afghanis in order to secure 638 possibly dubious convictions?
Again, why are Mr. Frist's
"opponents" innocent people he has never met, never talked to, never
heard of? What does this accomplish?
Every member of Congress who voted to violate
basic human decency and leave something as sacrosanct as the Geneva Conventions
up to executive interpretation, even after the executive has already broken
both domestic and international law, is first and foremost a criminal
accomplice in every act of murder, rape and torture committed under the banner
of the American flag.
Members of Congress who voted
to support this act of violence -- premeditated, organized and systemic -- are
accessories after the fact and enablers of crimes against humanity,
period. The right wing has won no moral
victory nor any legal battle.
The world must know that the
citizens of this nation do not support what their government is doing in its
name, not for 638 convictions -- even if they are legitimate -- not for greed,
not for power, not for any reason.
THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
“History Refutes The Idea, Popular Among
Some On The Left, That The U.S. Supports Israel Because Of The Pro-Israel Lobby
U.S. political and economic elites back Israel because they see this as a way
of promoting their own interests.
By PHIL GASPER, September–October 2006
International Socialist Review [Excerpts]
Phil Gasper teaches at Notre Dame de Namur
University in California. He is editor of The Communist Manifesto: A Roadmap to
History's Most Important Political Document (Haymarket Books, 2005), a
contributor to The Struggle for Palestine (Haymarket Books, 2002), and The
Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Lynne Reinner, forthcoming).
Israel's brutal attacks on Palestinians in
the Gaza Strip and on Lebanon have resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths,
hundreds of thousands of refugees, and billions of dollars of damage to vital
In both cases the Olmert government used
attacks on Israeli military targets and the seizure of Israeli soldiers as a
pretext to launch its well-planned offensives, with the aim of destroying
Hamas-the elected government of the Palestinian Authority-and Hezbollah, the
radical Lebanese Shiite organization.
And in both cases, Israel was fulfilling its
longstanding role as Washington's watchdog in the region-pursuing its own plans
for regional dominance while simultaneously attacking threats to U.S. control
of the wider Middle East, with scant regard for the cost in Arab lives.
role as a U.S. watchdog was spelled out in the influential Israeli newspaper
Ha'aretz in 1951, only three years after the Jewish state was created:
is to become the watchdog. There is no
fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states
when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But, if for any reasons the Western powers
should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to
punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy to the West went beyond
the bounds of the permissible.”
Recent events fit this pattern.
The Bush administration has openly backed the
Israeli attacks. It cheered on the
assault on Gaza and the months of siege and assassinations that preceded
it. After Israel expanded its war into
Lebanon, Washington refused to call for a ceasefire and instead speeded up
delivery of jet fuel and precision-guided bombs to the Israelis.
The Washington Post reported, “For the
United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas,
Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to
change the strategic playing field in the Middle East, U.S. officials
say.” According to a former senior
administration official, Bush wanted to take the “opportunity to really
grind down Hezbollah … even if there are other serious consequences that
will have to be managed.”
Israel's role as a protector of
imperialist interests has its roots in the ideology of the Zionist movement
that created it. From its beginnings in
the late nineteenth century, Zionism promoted its goal of a Jewish state as a
way of securing the interests of the world's major powers.
Theodore Herzl, the movement's
founder, wrote that such a state in the Middle East would be “a portion
of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to
In other words, the proposed state would be
part of the system of colonial domination.
Herzl compared himself to Cecil Rhodes, the
most prominent representative of British imperialism in southern Africa.
The Second World War brought the barbarity of
the Nazi Holocaust in Europe. Zionism,
which had previously only been accepted by a minority, became the majority view
among Jews. The war also greatly
weakened Britain, which was forced to withdraw from Palestine. With the support of the major postwar powers
in the United Nations, including the U.S. and the USSR, both of which were
trying to expand their influence in the region, the Zionists declared their own
But Israel was born on the basis of its own
enormous crime against humanity-brutal massacres and the expulsion of 750,000
Palestinian Arabs in 1948, which resulted in the destruction of hundreds of
Israel also learned the lesson in 1948 of
portraying its own aggression as acts of self-defense against hostile
But it was only after Israel had launched its
attack on the Palestinians that other Arab countries mobilized a token force,
largely in an effort to mollify their own populations rather than as a serious
The Arab states did nothing to
reverse the expulsion of Palestinians and by the time the 1948 War ended, the
Zionists were in control of 78 percent of historic Palestine.
In his diary, Moshe Sharett,
Israeli prime minister in the 1950s, admitted that the Israeli political and
military leadership never believed in any Arab danger to Israel.
Rather, Israel sought to maneuver the Arab
states into military confrontations that the Zionist leadership was certain of
winning so Israel could destabilize Arab regimes and occupy more
When Israel was created, there was some
concern in the U.S. that it might be drawn into the Soviet orbit, but it soon
gravitated towards the wealthier Western powers. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Israel was
closest to France, fighting its own bloody colonial wars in Vietnam and Algeria
at the time. But with the rise of Arab
nationalism in opposition to Western domination of the region, the U.S. began
to regard Israel as a crucial ally. A
1958 National Security Council document argued that Washington should
“support Israel as the only strong pro-West power left in the Near
The 1967 Six Day War, in which Israel easily
defeated its Arab neighbors and conquered more Arab territory, including the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, was the turning point for the United States. By the early 1970s, U.S. economic and
military aid to Israel had skyrocketed, amounting since then on a conservative
estimate to almost $100 billion.
About one-third of the entire
U.S. foreign aid budget goes to an economically advanced country of only six
As a result, Israel has the highest per
capita military expenditure in the world and possesses the most advanced
military technology. It is also the only
nuclear power in the Middle East.
The value of this investment was explained by
right-wing Democratic senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson in 1973, who
pointed out that Israel had “served to inhibit and contain those
irresponsible and radical elements in certain Arab states, who, were they free
to do so, would pose a grave threat indeed to our principle sources of
petroleum in the Persian Gulf.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State
Alexander Haig reportedly called Israel “the largest American aircraft
carrier in the world.”
More recently, the Israeli analyst Yoram
Ettinger has argued, “Without Israel, the U.S. would have been forced to
deploy tens of thousands of American troops in the eastern Mediterranean Basin,
at a cost of billions of dollars a year.”
Instead, the U.S. has backed Israel's
repression of the Palestinians and its frequent attacks on its neighbors,
including the 1982 invasion and occupation of Lebanon, which killed 20,000.
But Israel has not only defended the
interests of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East.
As Lance Selfa notes, over the past half
century “every pro-U.S. repressive dictatorship in the world has received
some kind of overt or covert Israeli aid,” including apartheid South
Africa, every murderous military regime in Latin America, and the Suharto
dictatorship in Indonesia during its genocidal occupation of East Timor.
Washington “funnels weapons and aid
through Israel when it wants to evade congressional bans on aid to repressive
This history refutes the idea,
popular among some on the Left, that the U.S. supports Israel because of the
pro-Israel lobby in Washington.
In fact, U.S. political and
economic elites back Israel because they see this as a way of promoting their
[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
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Bush On Foley Scandal:
“We Must Crack Down On Illegal Immigration
Of 16-Year-Old Boys With Hot Bodies”
President Attempts To Change Terms Of Debate
10.5.05 The Borowitz Report
In an attempt to change the terms of the
debate over the Mark Foley scandal, President George W. Bush said today that
the Foley matter "only reaffirms my belief that we must crack down on
Mr. Bush's decision to link the Foley scandal
with the issue of illegal immigration struck some in Washington as unorthodox,
but the president remained resolute that America's immigration crisis, and not
the behavior of Mr. Foley, was the true root cause of the scandal.
"The question we need to be asking
ourselves is not if Mark Foley behaved improperly," Mr. Bush said. "The question we need to ask is, were
these congressional pages in our country legally?"
Mr. Bush said he would ask Congress to
appropriate $84 million to investigate the legal status of all congressional
pages at once: "What we may be seeing is an orchestrated attempt by 16-year-old
boys with hot bodies to swarm into our country and tempt our lawmakers."
Minutes after the president's remarks, which
Mr. Bush made at a Boys Club of America luncheon in Washington, Speaker of the
House Dennis Hastert praised the president for "pointing the finger at the
true culprits in this case."
"It's not hard for a bunch of scheming
young men with hot bodies to corrupt an older man through no fault of his
own," Mr. Hastert says.
"As a former high school wrestling
coach, I speak from experience."
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE
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you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active
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Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now!
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