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GI SPECIAL 4E7: 7/5/06

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Fuck With Them At Your Own Risk


Photo by Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace from Veterans-Survivors March…Mobile to New Orleans: March 2006. [For more: www.traprockpeace.org/new_orleans_march/]

U.S. Marines Go Hungry;
Beg Iraqis For Food

[As if any further argumentation were needed, this merely underlines the great truth of this war. There is no enemy in Iraq. There never was any enemy in Iraq. The common enemies of the U.S. troops and the Iraqis are to be found in Washington DC, running their Imperial government for their own personal private profit.

[”Traitors” is too mild a term to describe them. At a certain point, rhetoric becomes exhausted, and only bright, white rage remains. A government that would do this, on top all the greed, lies, and stupidity that have characterized this war, has long outlived its usefulness, and has become a mere collection of incompetent cancerous predators.

[Of all the reasons to bring all the troops home now, immediately, one reason begins to tower above all the rest: we need them here to protect us against the filth in command at every level of power in this society. Our troops have the power to sweep that filth away, forever. Payback is overdue.]

02 MAY 06 By BOB KERR, The Providence Journal

The Iraq war has been the war fought on the cheap: not enough body armor, not enough armor on vehicles, not enough night vision equipment.

It has been the war in which packages from back home have had to fill some crucial needs.

Now, we have chow call at the Greenwood Credit Union in Warwick, R.I. It’s the latest in home-front intervention. It’s partially in response to the unthinkable image of U.S. Marines approaching Iraqi citizens and asking for food because they do not have enough.

There’s a big barrel in the lobby of the credit union on Post Road in Warwick. It’s decorated with ribbons and it’s there because Karen Boucher-Andoscia’s son, Nick Andoscia, called and asked his mother to send food.

Nick’s a Marine corporal. He was in Afghanistan last year, where there was enough to eat. He’s in Iraq now even though his enlistment was up last year.

He’s one of those Marines who can’t walk away. His unit, the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marines, was headed for Iraq and he just couldn’t head for civilian life while those he had served with were heading to their second war.

“He extended,” says Karen. “He told me, ‘I really have to go. I can’t let my guys go alone.’ “

There are a lot of stories like that. We don’t hear them much. They’re kind of personal.

So Nick Andoscia went to Iraq. And hunger soon followed.

“I got a letter,” says Karen. “And he had called me before that. He said, ‘Send lots of tuna.’ “

Nick told his mother that he and the men in his unit were all about 10 pounds lighter in their first few weeks in Iraq. They were pulling 22-hour patrol shifts. They were getting two meals a day and they were not meals to remember.

“He told me the two meals just weren’t cutting it. He said the Iraqi food was usually better. They were going to the Iraqis and basically saying, ‘feed me.’ “

Karen started packing in that wartime tradition as old as mothers and sons. She packed a lot of the packaged tuna, not the canned.

She happened to mention her hungry son to people she works with at Greenwood Credit Union, where she is a teller and has worked for 30 years.

Pounds and pounds of food started showing up amid the daily business of loans and deposits and withdrawals. Marianne Barao, the branch manager, said it could be done, the credit union could become the place where people help feed hungry Marines who are risking their lives on a skimpy diet.

“We sent out 51 pounds this week,” says Karen. “There are customers coming in saying, ‘What do you need?’ “

The credit union is paying the cost of packing and shipping.

Any packaged food is welcome. So are baby wipes because showers are even rarer than a full meal. And foot powder.

Nick Andoscia, who is 22, is due to come home later this year. He wants to study criminal justice, his mother says, then go to work for a fire or police department.

But for the next few months he will be on patrol in western Iraq, dealing with the heat and the dirt and the danger.

The last thing he should have to worry about is an empty stomach. The last thing he should have to do is approach Iraqis and ask for food.

You have to wonder what the gracious hosts must think when a fighting man from the richest country on earth comes to their door in search of something to eat.

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

SOLDIER KILLED BY IED IN BAGHDAD

5/6/2006 HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS RELEASE Number: 06-05-06C

Baghdad, Iraq: A U.S. Army Soldier was killed May 5 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Slain Stryker Soldier Named

April 28, 2006 By MARGARET FRIEDENAUER, Staff Writer, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Army officials identified a Fort Wainwright Army Post soldier killed in Iraq on Tuesday.
Pfc. Raymond Henry, 21 of Anaheim, Calif., died when a roadside bomb detonated near his Stryker vehicle in Mosul at 12:05 p.m. Iraq time, U.S. Army Alaska officials said Thursday.

According to an article in the Orange County Register, Henry was the only son of Raymond Henry and Willieetta Robinson-Henry. While a student at Santa Ana College in January 2005, he joined the Army, thinking it might help his chances of becoming a firefighter. He was assigned to Fort Wainwright in May 2005.

Robinson-Henry told the Register that her son loved the camaraderie and teamwork with his fellow soldiers. He was a standout basketball player at Western High School and helped coach children on a summer league.

In their final telephone conversation last week, Robinson-Henry said she and her son talked about the basketball tournaments he participated in at his Iraqi base and a trip to Las Vegas he took when he was home on leave in February.

“It was a short life, but it was full life,” Robinson-Henry said.

The Stryker Brigade deployed to Iraq in August 2005 and has lost 14 soldiers. Henry is the fourth brigade soldier to die this month. A fifth soldier with ties to North Pole was also killed earlier in April.

Virginia Marine Killed


U.S. Marine Capt. Brian S. Letendre, 27, of Woodbridge, Va., 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division in Iraq, died May 3, 2006 in combat in the Al Anbar province. (AP Photo/Letendre family)

Fall River Soldier Killed

April 25, 2006 By Associated Press

FALL RIVER – A 19-year-old soldier from Fall River has been killed in combat in Iraq, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

Friends and teachers at Diman Vocational-Technical High School, where Pvt. Michael E. Bouthout had studied culinary arts and graduated in 2004, remembered him as a well-liked student and a leader.

Bouthot and three other soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 67th Armored Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, were killed when a bomb exploded near their military vehicle in Baghdad on Saturday, the Pentagon said.

Diman’s assistant superintendent, Brian Bentley, said in an interview with The Standard Times of New Bedford that Bouthot once said he wanted to graduate high school to make his mother proud and join the Army to make his country proud.

“He was just a good kid. It’s very tragic,” Bentley said.

A friend of Bouthot’s, Kyle Stankiewicz, told The Standard-Times in an e-mail that Bouthot joined the Army just after Stankiewicz joined the Navy.

“I’m not sure what else to say right now, except that Mike was proud to serve. I’m proud to say that he’s my friend,” Stankiewicz told the newspaper. He said his friend died for fellow citizens, and “for the future of both our country and Iraq.”

Paul Bertoncini, a baking teacher at Diman, told the newspaper that even when his former student acted up, “you couldn’t stay mad at him.”

Bouthot is the second soldier from southeast Massachusetts killed in Iraq this month.

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. www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

British Copter Shot Down In Basra:
Crew Of 4 Dead;
Iraqis Celebrating


The tail of a British helicopter after it was shot down in Basra. (AFP/Essam al-Sudani)

[Thanks to Phil G & PB, who sent this in. PB writes: GREETING THE “LIBERATORS” UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL]

British forces backed by armored vehicles rushed to the area but were met by a hail of stones from the crowd of at least 250 people, who jumped for joy and raised their fists as a plume of thick smoke rose into the air from the crash site.

5.6.06 Ananova Ltd & By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer

Four British servicemen are feared dead after a British helicopter crashed in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

An Iraqi policeman at the scene said that the helicopter had been fired upon and four bodies were seen in the wreckage.

Police Capt. Mushtaq Khazim said the helicopter went down in a vacant lot between two houses after it was struck by a shoulder-fired missile, a weapon widely available among insurgent groups and armed militias in Iraq.

Footage from state-run al-Iraqiya TV showed orange flames reaching 20ft high and large plumes of black smoke curling into the sky. Water jets were being sprayed to try to quell the blaze.

The footage also showed hundreds of Iraqis near the scene of the crash waving their arms in the air, celebrating.

British forces backed by armored vehicles rushed to the area but were met by a hail of stones from the crowd of at least 250 people, who jumped for joy and raised their fists as a plume of thick smoke rose into the air from the crash site.

The crowd chanted “we are all soldiers of al-Sayed,” a reference to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an ardent foe of the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.

Later the crowd scattered after hearing explosion, but groups of men set fire to tires in the streets and the situation remained tense. The chaotic scene was widely shown on Iraqi state television and on the Al-Jazeera satellite station.

The violence underscored that discontent over the presence of foreign soldiers has been growing among Iraq’s majority Shiites.

MORE:

“A British Military Helicopter Crashed”
“Iraqis Citizens Cheered And Threw Stones At British Forces Who Raced To The Scene”


A British armored vehicle burns in Basra May 6, 2006. A British military helicopter crashed in residential area and a crowd of Iraqis cheered and threw stones at British forces who raced to the scene to close off the area. Two British military tanks and a Land Rover were set on fire by angry Iraqis. AP Photo/Nabil Al-Jurani & AFP

Iraqi residents throw stones at Iraqi and British soldiers near the British helicopter crash site in Basra May 6, 2006. Firefighters said they had found four charred bodies in the wreckage. The helicopter burst into flames on impact and a thick cloud of black smoke billowed into the air.


Hundreds of youths quickly surrounded the area, yelling and pelting British troops cordoning off the crash site with rocks. REUTERS/Wisam Ahmad

Brave British Officers Respond:
They Order Their Troops To Kill Unarmed Iraqis


An Iraqi citizen helps a wounded, unarmed man after British officers order their troops to kill the Iraqis near the British helicopter crash site in Basra May 6, 2006. REUTERS/Wisam Ahmad


An unarmed man lies wounded on a street after British officers order their troops to kill the Iraqis near the British helicopter crash site in Basra May 6, 2006. REUTERS/Wisam Ahmad

At least four people, including a child, were killed and 31 wounded, he said. Two of the fatalities were adults shot by British troops while driving a car in the area. (AP)

[Now it may be the citizens of Basra will consider it their patriotic duty to kill as many British officers as possible. If so, they will be right to do so. T]

Australian Mercenary Wounded

04may06 Advertiser Newspapers

AN Australian mercenary working in Iraq has been wounded in a roadside bomb attack that killed three of his comrades.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said a Victorian man had been injured in a blast on April 30 which also killed three Fijian security contractors.

The injuries were said not to be life-threatening. The Australian had been rushed to a hospital in Baghdad immediately after the attack, which happened about 50km south of Baghdad.

The Australian had been part of a convoy passing through a village when a device was detonated, overturning at least one vehicle.

The men were working for London-based security company ArmorGroup.

Four Polish Troops Wounded By Diwaniya IED


A Polish army armoured vehicle damaged by a roadside bomb in Diwaniya, May 6, 2006. Four Polish soldiers were wounded. REUTERS/Stringer

The Resistance Rules The Roads

May 02, 2006 Olympia Olympian

The Fort Lewis-based 21st Transfer Company has the job of loading pallets of important material and shipping them off to other Army units around Iraq.

Their main priority is to get as much cargo possible into helicopters and other aircraft to keep trucks from having to make treacherous convoy journeys through Iraq.

REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW


U.S. Marine Cpl. Richard Forrest Risner, of Tomball, Texas, on patrol in Karmah, April 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)

Huh?

April 27, 2006 Reuters

A roadside bomb killed three Italian soldiers and one Romanian in southern Iraq, the Italian defence ministry said.

The ministry said two Italians troops and the Romanian died on the spot while the third Italian soldier died in hospital.

“This is a knockout blow but we will rise above it,” Major Marco Mele, the spokesman for Italian troops in Iraq, said in an interview with state RAI radio.

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

10 U.S. Troops Die In Copter Crash

5.6.06 By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

A U.S. military transport helicopter crashed while conducting combat operations in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan, killing all 10 American soldiers on board, a U.S. military spokeswoman said Saturday.

The CH-47 Chinook crashed late Friday while on a mission in support of Operation Mountain Lion, an offensive to root out Taliban and al-Qaida militants near the border with Pakistan.

Lt. Tamara D. Lawrence, a coalition spokeswoman, told The Associated Press “The remains of all the 10 soldiers have been found and there are no survivors.” “There is no indication that the helicopter came down due to some enemy action.”

The helicopter was conducting “operations on a mountaintop landing zone” when it crashed near Asadabad in Kunar province, about 150 miles east of Kabul, the capital, the military said in a statement. Rescue and recovery operations began at daybreak Saturday, Lawrence said.

Asadabad is surrounded by rugged mountains, and a large U.S. military base there houses hundreds of troops.

The police chief of Kunar province, Gen. Abdul Ghafar, said the helicopter crashed about 10 miles northwest of the U.S. base in Asadabad. He said the crash was a day’s walk from any passable road.

“The area of the crash is a mountainous area and it is difficult to reach,” Ghafar said.

Assorted Resistance Action:
Canadian Soldier Wounded

May 03 Zee News & (Xinhua)

An attacker detonated an explosive-packed car today on a road linking the capital Kabul and a main US military base, killing himself and a civilian.

According to a local police official one Canadian solider was also wounded in the attack.

An Afghan soldier were killed in a gun battle in southern Afghanistan, the Defence Ministry said today.

Four soldiers were also wounded and a suspected rebel detained in the weekend clash in Uruzgan province, one of the insurgency-plagued regions of Afghanistan, the Ministry said in a statement.

An Afghan senior judge was killed Tuesday night in the western province of Farah, an official confirmed Wednesday.

Two unidentified guerrillas opened fire at Shaikh Ahmad, deputy judge of Farah province, as he walked out from a mosque.

Shaikh was shot dead at the site while two men escaped by a motorbike, added the governor.

Major Resistance Offensive Overruns Many Provinces:
Occupation In Retreat Everywhere:
“The Bush Administration Is Alarmed”

Uruzgan is not the only province teetering out of control. Helmand and Kandahar to the south have been increasingly overrun by militants this year, as large groups of Taliban are reportedly moving through the countryside, intimidating villagers, ambushing vehicles, and spoiling for a fight with coalition or Afghan forces.

Insurgents also have the run of parts of Zabul, Ghazni and Paktika Provinces to the southeast, and have increased ambushes on the main Kabul-Kandahar highway.

MAY 3, 2006 By Carlotta Gall, The New York Times

TIRIN KOT, Afghanistan

Building on a winter campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations and the knowledge that American troops are leaving, the Taliban appear to be moving their insurgency into a new phase, flooding the rural areas of southern Afghanistan with weapons and men.

Each spring with the arrival of warmer weather, the fighting season here starts up, but the scale of the militants’ presence and their sheer brazenness have alarmed Afghans and foreign officials far more than in previous years.

“The Taliban and Al Qaeda are everywhere,” a shopkeeper, Haji Saifullah, told the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, as the general strolled through the bazaar of this town to talk to people. “It is all right in the city, but if you go outside the city, they are everywhere, and the people have to support them. They have no choice.”

The arrival of large numbers of Taliban in the villages, flush with money and weapons, has dealt a blow to public confidence in the Afghan government, already undermined by lack of tangible progress and frustration with corrupt and ineffective leaders.

This small one-street town is in the Taliban heartland, and the message from the townspeople was bleak.

Uruzgan, the province where President Hamid Karzai first rallied support against the Taliban in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, is now, four years later, in the thrall of the Islamic militants once more, and the provincial capital is increasingly surrounded by areas in Taliban control, local and American officials acknowledge.

A recent report by a member of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan shown to The New York Times detailed similar fears.

The new governor, Maulavi Abdul Hakim Munib, 35, who took up his position just a month ago, controls only a “bubble” around Tirin Kot, an American military officer said.

The rest of the province is so thick with insurgents that all the districts are colored amber or red to indicate that on military maps in the nearby American base. Uruzgan has always been troublesome, yet the map marks a deterioration since last year, when at least one central district had been colored green, the officer said.

“The security situation is not good,” Governor Munib told General Eikenberry and a group of cabinet ministers at a meeting with tribal elders.

“The number of Taliban and enemy is several times more than that of the police and Afghan National Army in this province,” he said.

Uruzgan is not the only province teetering out of control. Helmand and Kandahar to the south have been increasingly overrun by militants this year, as large groups of Taliban are reportedly moving through the countryside, intimidating villagers, ambushing vehicles, and spoiling for a fight with coalition or Afghan forces.

Insurgents also have the run of parts of Zabul, Ghazni and Paktika Provinces to the southeast, and have increased ambushes on the main Kabul-Kandahar highway.

The Bush administration is alarmed, according to a Western intelligence official close to the administration.

He said that while senior members of the administration consider the situation in Iraq to be not as bad as portrayed in the press, in Afghanistan the situation is worse than it has been generally portrayed.

In one of the most serious developments, some 200 Taliban have moved into the district of Panjwai, only a 20-minute drive from the capital of the south, Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home city. The police and coalition forces clashed with them two weeks ago, yet the Taliban returned, walking in the villages openly with their weapons, and sitting under the trees eating mulberries, according to a resident of the district.

The resident, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said the Taliban had been demanding food, lodging and the Muslim tithing, zakat, from villagers. Their brazenness and the failure of the United States-led coalition to deter them is turning public opinion about the effectiveness of the government.

For the first time the Afghan government has sent 500 men of the newly trained Afghan National Army to the neglected province.

The official police force of Uruzgan is 347 strong, with 45 men deployed in each of the five districts, but far fewer actually turn up for work. American officials estimated armed Taliban in the province numbered from 300 to 1,000 men. The governor estimated there were 300 armed insurgents in each district.

The Taliban are warning the people to expect more attacks, the shopkeeper, Mr. Saifullah, told General Eikenberry. “During the day the people, the police, and the army are with the government, but during the night, the people, the police, and the army are all with the Taliban and Al Qaeda,” he said.

Another man, Rahmatullah, told the general that his brother had been arrested by American forces and the raids and house searches had made the young men take to the hills to join the militants. “Release my brother and the tribal elders will persuade the young men to come back home and stop fighting,” he said.

Unsure of the strength and commitment to fight of the incoming NATO forces – with British, Canadian, Dutch and Australian contingents – Afghan provincial officials, who stand first in the Taliban’s firing line, have demanded that Mr. Karzai provide them with hundreds more police officers and weapons.

The governors of Uruzgan and Kandahar both said in interviews that they have lobbied the president for a force of 200 police officers for every district – four times current numbers – and to provide more resources to equip and supply them properly.

In a recent strategy review, Mr. Karzai agreed to increase the government presence in the frontline provinces, his chief of staff, Jawed Ludin, said. “We are increasingly hearing this, that there only 40 officers per district, and half of them are protecting the district chief as bodyguards, and the other half are on leave,” he said.

General Eikenberry expressed caution about the idea, warning that there were not enough trained officers to send to the area, and more important, a lack of good leaders to control those police forces.

Uruzgan has suffered from a lingering Taliban presence and its forbidding terrain, which has made security and governing extremely difficult, resulting in neglect from the central government, he said.

There has been no police reform or training here, no presence of the Afghan National Army and virtually no development, he said.

Hopes are pinned on Maulavi Munib, an educated, religious man from eastern Afghanistan, who was deputy minister of tribal affairs of the Taliban government. He is starting from scratch since the former governor sold all his vehicles, including police vehicles, and all the arms and ammunition owned by the province.

Governor Munib’s past brings an added complication, since he remains listed by the United Nations Security Council sanctions committee as a wanted member of the Taliban leadership, which technically bars any government from providing financial, technical or military assistance to his province.

The Afghan government has formally requested that he, and three other former Taliban officials, including two members of Afghanistan’s new Parliament, be removed from the list, a process that demands the agreement of all Security Council members, but Afghan officials said Russia remained opposed to the proposal.

TROOP NEWS

Stupid Rumsfeld Caught Lying Again, In View Of Millions

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

May 6, 2006 Eric Rosenberg, Hearst Newspapers & May 04 By E&P Staff & By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press Writer

Washington: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to rewrite history this week when he denied making prewar claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Rumsfeld’s latest attempt at backtracking on his prewar rhetoric came Thursday in Atlanta, at a contentious public forum where he faced a handful of hecklers and a war protester in the audience, who charged that he had lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction; President Bush’s top rationale for war.

The Pentagon chief denied that he lied, saying he had relied on official intelligence reports about Hussein’s weapons.

His accuser persisted: “You said you knew where they were.”

Rumsfeld shot back, “I did not. I said I knew where suspected sites were.”

The record shows that in the weeks preceding the war, Rumsfeld flatly claimed to know the whereabouts of Hussein’s weapons arsenal. On March 30, 2003, 11 days into the war, Rumsfeld was asked in an ABC News interview if he was surprised that American forces had not yet found any weapons of mass destruction.

“Not at all,” he said, according to an official Pentagon transcript.

“The area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed.

“We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”

Interviewing McGovern on CNN later, Anderson Cooper observed that he asked questions few reporters had dared to put forward.

A partial transcript of his encounter with McGovern follows. McGovern had opened by mentioning that top CIA officials had accused Rumsfeld of manipulating the facts and misleading the public; that Rumsfeld had firmly claimed “bulletproof evidence” that linked Iraq to al-Qaeda before the war, and that he had said the he knew where WMDs were located.

RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn’t lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. The president spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I’m not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

QUESTION: You said you knew where they were.

RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and –

QUESTION: You said you knew where they were— Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

RUMSFELD: My words — my words were that — no, no, wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second.

QUESTION: This is America.

RUMSFELD: You’re getting plenty of play, sir.

QUESTION: I’d just like an honest answer.

RUMSFELD: I’m giving it to you.

With Iraq war support remaining low, it is not unusual for top Bush administration officials to encounter protests and hostile questions. But the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted on Thursday seemed beyond the usual.

Three protesters were escorted away by security as each interrupted Rumsfeld’s speech by jumping up and shouting anti-war messages. Throughout the speech, a fourth protester stood in the middle of the room with his back to Rumsfeld in silent protest. Officials reported no arrests.

President Bush seldom faces such challenges. Demonstrators usually are kept far from him when he delivers public remarks.

Just over one-third of the public says Rumsfeld is doing an excellent or pretty good job, according to polling in March, while six in 10 said fair or poor.

CORNERED RAT


(AFP/File/Brendan Smialowski)

Father Whose Son Was Killed In Iraq War Stages Sit-In At Sen. Cantwell’s
Office:
“When Senator Cantwell Stands Up, We’ll Stand Down”

April 25, 2006 Via Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Seattle, WA

Late this morning, Joe Colgan, father of Lt. Benjamin Colgan who was killed in action in Iraq in November of 2003, sat down in Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Seattle office with no plan on leaving until he gets answers.

“Over four months have passed since I met with Sen. Cantwell requesting answers and a public forum. Her refusal to set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq is bewildering. Her refusal to set a date for an open discussion is unacceptable”, said Mr. Colgan.

Six others have joined Mr. Colgan in the sit-in at Sen. Cantwell’s office: Joshua Farris (US Army Spc., Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom); Stacy Bannerman (wife of Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran; Advisory Board of Military Families Speak Out, author of ‘When the War Came Home’, 2006, Continuum Press); Rev. Richard Gamble (Pastor Keystone United Church of Christ; Co-Chair of the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq); Abe Osheroff (Veteran of the Spanish Civil War and WW II); Howard Gale (Organizer of the 2005 Iraq Veterans Forum at Seattle Town Hall; Research Psychologist & Consultant); and Adam Garcia (student activist Seattle Central Community College).

Asked what the group’s plans are, Howard Gale said “When Senator Cantwell stands up, we’ll stand down.”

Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services. Send requests to address up top.

Respect To An Honorable Newspaper:
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana Advocate Shows The War Dead

From: Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: May 06, 2006
Subject: RE: News

Hey T…a couple years back, when 6 guys from the same south-Louisiana were KIA in the same vehicle, the Pentagon/White House asked that the families not let the media see the caskets and funerals…the families ALL said FUCK YOU!, and most papers in south-Louisiana ran the pictures of the caskets…

The Advocate in Baton Rouge has been showing caskets on the front page during the whole disaster…

Peace from Ward

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

Adhamiya:
“Residents Maintained Their Right To Resist The Occupation

The irony, of course, is that the peace in Adhamiya is being maintained not because U.S. troops and government security forces are present, but because they are gone.

May 4, 2006 Karen Button, Uruknet.info

Residents agreed to accept the presence of the Iraqi National Guard in certain areas, so long as they are working to defeat the death squads, but maintained the right to retaliate if they are seen to be working with any of the militias. Residents also agreed to reel in their own defense forces unless needed.

Occupation forces were not included in the agreement; residents maintained their right to resist the occupation.

A similar agreement was drawn up six months ago, but this one has, for the most part, held for two weeks now.

When I asked my friend yesterday if the agreement was still holding he replied, “There are explosions everywhere in Baghdad, but not in Adhamiya.”

Adhamiyans can now walk freely down the street, shops have re-opened, cars have appeared back on the road…though driving outside of Adhamiya is still as dangerous as ever and a desperate situation remains regards lack of water and electricity in a city where the temperature hovers daily around 100 degrees.

The irony, of course, is that the peace in Adhamiya is being maintained not because U.S. troops and government security forces are present, but because they are gone.

Assorted Resistance Action

May 6 (KUNA) & By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer & AFP & Reuters

A bomber wearing an Iraqi army uniform blew himself up Saturday on an Iraqi military base in Tikrit, killing at least three Iraqi officers, officials said.

The dead included a lieutenant colonel, a major and a lieutenant, and wounded a lieutenant colonel at the base in western Tikrit, said Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed Jassim, a spokesman for Iraq’s Defense Ministry.

Officials in Tikrit said the bomber apparently told guards that he wanted to see one of the officers and was admitted to the base without being searched.

Roadside bombs hit two Iraqi police patrols in Baghdad, killing one officer and wounding two policemen and six civilians, police said.

Three policemen were captured in Baghdad and a source told KUNA the three were abducted by unknown militants in Jibla town, southern Baghdad, on their way to work in a taxi cab.

Suspected insurgents captured seven Iraqis, including three paramilitary policemen, near the town where a roadside bomb killed three U.S. service members the day before, police said.

Saturday’s captures of the seven Iraqis occurred in and around Mahaweel, a city about 35 miles south of Baghdad, police said. In one, heavily armed insurgents stopped a car carrying three paramilitary policemen from Iraq’s Interior Ministry to work and captured them.

In Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, a roadside bomb wounded two Iraqi policemen, said police Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf.

Two policemen were killed and another was wounded when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Samarra, 125 kilometres (78 miles) north of Baghdad.

Fighting between an Iraqi military patrol and insurgents killed two soldiers and three militants in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad.

A bomb in a parked car exploded, killing two policemen and an Iraqi soldier and wounding four civilians about 30 miles north of Baqouba, police said.

Two policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated near their patrol in Jurf al-Sakhar 85 km (55 miles) south of Baghdad on Friday, police said.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS


Soldiers In Pill Bottles

From: Richard Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: May 04, 2006

Soldiers in Pill Bottles

Breaking down in a world of silence.
The war in Iraq has turned into madness.
Vietnam has truly been exhumed.
Betrayal has once again become a nightmare.
People never want to hear a soldier’s pain.
Breaking down in a world of silence.
Ticking…
Ticking…
Ticking…

Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
May 4, 2006

Photo 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: (hastiemike@earthlink.net) T)

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

“They Always Seem To Fire At The Head”

[Thanks to J, who sent this in. She writes: In the hands of the IDF rubber bullets can be lethal. They always seem to fire at the head. This girl, a college student, has lost her eye. She didn’t see who did it.

[A few weeks ago a seventeen year old Israeli student also lost an eye. He is a member of a group opposed to the occupation and was at a demonstration. He said the IDF soldier looked straight at him, took aim, and shot him in the eye – very deliberately.

[If a Palestinian did this he would be hunted down and executed as a terrorist.

[Nothing ever happens if the IDF are responsible. They are above the law and beloved of the mighty, new rulers, of the earth.]

****************************************************


Ruba Awayes after surgery to remove her blinded eye

26 April 2006 Aljazeera [Excerpts]

Rubber bullets being fired in the occupied West Bank have seriously injured another Palestinian civilian.

Ruba Mahmoud Awayes, 21, was on her way home from college when she was hit in the face. Her eye was so badly damaged doctors later removed it. A friend who was with her was also hit and wounded in the hand.

Awayes’ family, who lives in Nus Jbeil, outside Nablus, is angry that the media has not picked up on the incident and turned to Al Jazeera.net to tell their story.

Palestinians are routinely injured and some killed by rubber bullets fired by the Israeli occupation army.

Awayes says: “My friend and I were leaving campus on 9 April, and walking toward the taxi cabs that would take us to the village.

“Suddenly, I felt a strong object smacking my right eye. I felt my entire head exploding.

“I didn’t know what was happening to me. I collapsed and found myself in the Rafidia hospital.”

Awayes, a student of information technology, said she saw no Israeli military activities or disturbances in the vicinity, but thinks the type of bullet points the finger at the occupation army.

“There were no soldiers, no military vehicles, nothing, no helicopters hovering above. It was as if the bullet came from nowhere. If I had known there was shooting, I would have ducked it or moved to a safer place or returned to campus.”

The Israeli army regularly uses rubber bullets against Palestinian demonstrators. In August 2005, it switched to using sand-compressed rubber bullets from rubber-coated steel bullets which have been known to cause many Palestinian deaths.

B’tselem, the Israeli human rights group, says at least 60 Palestinians were killed by rubber bullets in the first Palestinian uprising between 1987 and 1992. Fifteen were killed between 2000 and 2005.

Humam Rishmawi, the ophthalmologist who treated Awayes’ eye, said: “Everything was smashed by the impact of the bullet – the cornea, the retina, the internal blood vessels, the entire eyeball was smashed.

“We had no choice but to eviscerate her entire eye, which we did. We also placed a polystyrene ball in place of the eyeball.” Awayes will have another operation in a few months to put in an artificial eye.

When Awayes was transferred from Rafidia to Saint John’s eye hospital in East Jerusalem for the surgery she had to travel without her father as he was prevented from entering the Israeli-occupied city.

Her father, Mahmoud Awayes, has also been unsuccessful in getting an explanation from the Israeli military. He says they have offered neither an acknowledgment nor an apology for the shooting.

Mahmoud Awayes says: “Imagine if a 21-year-old Jewish student had her eye smashed how her story would be carried by all American media and European media to underscore Arab brutality.

“You see the hypocrisy and double-standards. Do they think that we are lesser human beings, insignificant, expendable? Is this the civilisation they are bragging about?”

He said he would try to seek justice, “not so much because I want to get compensation from the Israelis, but in order to show them that we are not children of a lesser God”.

Meanwhile his daughter is preparing to return to college.

“I am, of course, angry, to say the least, but I won’t allow this to cripple my life. I will return to college in a few weeks. Life must go on and I will not sit down at home lamenting my bad luck.

“I will not look for mercy from anybody. I will keep going as if nothing had happened to me.”

Zionist Troops Beat An Old Woman And Attack Her Son In Hebron

01 May 2006 IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint in the old city area of the West Bank city of Hebron assaulted an old woman and attacked her son, Monday morning.

Troops also beat her son as he tried to prevent the soldiers from beating his mother.

So’ad Al-Madani, 65, was moved to the main public hospital in the city after sustaining bruises and cuts in several areas of the body, medical sources reported.

Also, the soldiers stoped and delayed the ambulance from arriving to the site to evacuate Al Madani to the hospital for more than 20 minutes. Eyewitnesses added that the soldiers did not allow the reporters to document the attack and attacked some of them.

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.]

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

Murtha Against Iraq Troop Withdrawal

5.2.06 The Hill

Rep. John Murtha, who harshly criticized the U.S. war effort in Iraq, refused to sign a discharge petition that would have directed President Bush to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

CLASS WAR REPORTS

“May Day In San Francisco”


[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.] SF Indymedia Photo

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

20,000 Indonesian Workers Mass To Defend Their Rights:
They Knock Down Parliament Gates

May 3, 2006 JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP)

Security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands of labour protesters in the Indonesian capital Wednesday after they hurled rocks at police and tore down a gate in front of parliament.

More than 20,000 demonstrators gathered to protest the government’s plans to amend a 2003 labour law, which businesses say has discouraged investment in the world’s fourth most populous country.

Workers say the revisions, which would also curb their right to strike, would chip away at job security.

The demonstration – the latest in a series in recent weeks – turned violent after some of the protesters started setting tires on fire on a toll road near the heavily guarded parliament.

Some lobbed rocks, bottles and sticks at police, while other pressed up against the main iron gate surrounding the building, shaking it back and forth until it toppled over. The unrest paralyzed traffic in the city centre for hours.

“Don’t change the laws,” the factory workers shouted, many of them from industrial towns on Jakarta’s outskirts.

Security forces responded by firing tear gas and water cannons at the crowd. A policeman and two photographers were hurt, and at least six demonstrators were arrested.

The labour law was passed by Indonesia’s first democratically elected parliament after the downfall of ex-dictator Suharto, who brutally repressed trade unions and gave workers few rights.

But critics and business leaders say legislators went too far in accommodating workers’ concerns, forcing employers to pay two months’ salary for every year of employment when sacking workers. [Oh, how awful. Pity the poor millionaires! Instead of whining about fighting against to abolish reasonable severance pay, they should be giving thanks they’re not hanging by their necks until dead. They are greatly outnumbered, and the Indonesian workers know them for the predators they are.]

The proposed changes would also allow employers to hire workers for up to five years without offering them a permanent contract.

“If government wants to encourage investors, it should wipe out all the illegal taxes and levies,” said Tarbuni, 37, who works at a Japanese cardboard company in Tangerang, just west of Jakarta. Tarbuni, who goes by one name, was referring to bribes that corrupt officials demand for services.

“The labour law isn’t the problem – it’s the economy,” he said.

More than 100,000 workers from the clothing, electronics, transportation, metal, and cleaning sectors turned out across the country on Monday – May Day – to protest the proposed revisions.

Tens of thousands also took to the streets last month.

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

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.  www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! www.ivaw.net

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