GI SPECIAL 4H26: 26/8/06
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“I Just Feel Like I Was Shafted”
Bottom Feeding Scum Suckers On Army Evaluation Board Deny Disabled Iraq Vet Money To Live On
[Here it is again. Same old story. Used up, thrown away, and the politicians couldn’t care less. To repeat for the 3,459th time, there is no enemy in Iraq. Iraqis and U.S. troops have a common enemy. That common enemy owns and operates the Imperial government in Washington DC for their own profit. That common enemy started this war of conquest on a platform of lies, because they couldn’t tell the truth: this war was about making money for them, and nothing else. Payback is overdue. T]
[Thanks to Garett Reppenhagen, Iraq Veterans Against The War, who sent this in.]
August 24, 2006 By Kevin Maurer, Staff writer, The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
A former 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper wounded in Iraq is appealing an Army ruling that determined his head injury was not severe enough to keep his military benefits.
Cpl. Richard Twohig was injured in May 2003 when he was thrown off an armored personnel carrier and landed on his head.
Twohig, at the time a team sergeant in the 1st Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome with intractable headaches and a mood disorder.
He suffers from intense headaches at least once a week. The pain is so severe he spends 12 to 14 hours in bed with the shades drawn, he said.
His short-term memory also constantly fails him, forcing him to have simple questions repeated.
The Army determined that Twohig was less than 30 percent disabled. In order to maintain his Defense Department benefits, he had to meet the 30 percent level.
“I’m not doing well,” Twohig said last week in a phone interview from his home in Tennessee.
He is living near relatives with his two children. He has health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but his children, 2-year-old Damon and 5-year-old Elizabeth, are without medical benefits.
Twohig is unable to work and was counting on the Army to provide him and his family with medical benefits.
“I just feel like I was shafted. Things really haven’t gotten better since the accident,” he said.
The Physical Evaluation Board at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington ruled in March 2005 that Twohig did not present any objective information to prove that the headaches were a result of the accident.
Twohig was awarded 10 percent disability, half of what he was awarded in his informal review.
His lawyer, Mark Waple of Fayetteville, is appealing the board’s ruling to the Army Board of Correction of Military Records.
The appeal was filed in July and a decision is expected by the end of the year.
Waple argues that Physical Evaluation Board did not make its ruling based on the “preponderance of evidence,” which is required by law.
Waple also believes that testimony that was disallowed during the hearing hurt Twohig’s chances of getting 30 percent disability.
Twohig stopped going to the doctor for the headaches after his neurologist told him he was already receiving the strongest pain medication available and there was nothing more he could do.
His mother tried to introduce the evidence during the board hearing, but the chairman would not allow it.
“In view of the advice and counsel he received from his military treating neurologist, (Twohig) should not have been punished for following such advice,” Waple wrote in the July appeal.
Waple is among several military lawyers who feel there is a systemic problem with the way soldiers are being treated by the Physical Evaluation Board.
Lawyers have said more and more injured soldiers are being shuffled off the Defense Department books to the VA.
The lawyers, including Waple, say they are reluctant to take cases to the Army Physical Evaluation Board because they rarely win.
Army officials say the system treats soldiers fairly and there is no emphasis on shifting the responsibility to the VA.
“I can not understand how the Physical Evaluation Board can defend what they’ve done in Twohig’s case,” Waple said.
THE COMMON ENEMY
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Basic High School Graduate Killed
Aug. 15, 2006 By KEITH ROGERS, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Twenty-two-year-old Army Spc. Ignacio “Nacho” Ramirez was a “good-natured” kid with “the biggest smile” who was on a mission to help fight the nation’s war on terrorism when he was killed Wednesday in Iraq along with two other soldiers, his family said Monday at their Henderson home.
“He joined while the country was at war. … He was a good kid. He was a hero,” his stepfather, Robert Vance, said. “He joined the Army to better his life and help his country.”
Ramirez, a 2002 graduate and student athlete from Basic High School, became the 42nd U.S. military service member with ties to Nevada to die overseas in the nation’s wars since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
He is the second Nevada casualty in as many days. An 18-year-old Marine from Northern Nevada, Lance Cpl. Jeremy Z. Long, was killed in combat Thursday in Iraq’s Anbar province.
Vance said Ramirez, a chemical specialist, was the driver of the fifth Humvee in a convoy of seven when a roadside bomb exploded Wednesday in Ramadi, killing him, 1st Sgt. Aaron D. Jagger, 43, of Hillsdale, Mich., and Spc. Shane W. Woods, 23, of Palmer, Alaska.
They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Division out of Friedberg, Germany. Ramirez had been in Iraq since January.
“The happy person he was, he had a great nature and lots of love. He left the biggest hole here in my heart,” his mother, Marina Vance, said.
A childhood friend who recently returned from serving with the Army in Iraq, Dan Ross, said, “He will be missed by all his friends. He was a very good teammate, a very good person.”
Ramirez was born Aug. 23, 1983 in Los Angeles but had lived most of his life in Henderson.
Ross had known Ramirez since the 6th grade, and they played on the same Henderson Little League team. Ramirez played third base and the outfield and was on the All-Star team, Ross said.
Ramirez also played defense and returned punts for Basic High’s football team, said Robert Vance, his stepfather since Ramirez was 5 years old.
“’Stepson’ was not in our vocabulary,” Vance said.
A viewing will be Thursday at Palm Mortuary on Boulder Highway in Henderson. A funeral is scheduled for Friday at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City.
In addition to his mother and Vance, Ramirez is survived by three sisters, Ofelia Espinoza, Jasmine Ramirez and Tia Vance, as well as three brothers Sidney Jimenez, Ivan Ramirez and James Vance.
Carroll Grad Dies In Iraq
August 17, 2006 By MIke Baird, Caller Times
As Staff Sgt. Michael Chadwick “Chad” Lloyd’s family waits for his remains to return from Iraq, his younger brother, Jordan, can’t help but remember the first time the serviceman came home from the war.
“We all waited for two hours in a hot gymnasium in Killeen,” said Jordan, 16, a Carroll High School student. “It was miserable, sweat streaming down our backs, but when he came in with his big smile it was worth it. I hugged him, and didn’t want to let go.
“My brother is my hero, everything I could ask for in a brother, and I’ll miss him dearly.”
Lloyd was one of two Fort Hood soldiers killed Saturday in Baghdad by an improvised explosive device that detonated near their patrol. The Army initially reported the 2000 Carroll High School graduate was a resident of San Antonio because he was living with his father there when he enlisted.
“It’s been a very long wait since Saturday,” said his mother, Margaret Lloyd, 57, who adopted him at 5 weeks old. “Chad’s body is still in Dover, Del., and we’re waiting to learn what flight will bring him, we hope to have him home by Friday.”
The family, who were gathered in Sulphur Springs, has planned the funeral tentatively for 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, where Lloyd’s father, James Lloyd, now lives.
His wife, Jessica, 23, and 3-year-old son, James Thomas, live at Fort Hood in Killeen, where she also serves in the Army. She wasn’t ready to talk Wednesday, family members said.
Both Lloyd and his sister, Amber C. Davisson, 27, of West Tawakoni, were adopted.
“We knew how lucky we were to be placed with good parents,” Davisson said by phone from her home east of Dallas. “Our younger brother was the miracle child, but we’ve all always been a close family.”
Lloyd will be buried beside his grandmother, Sarah Francis Lloyd, who he called “Mamommy,” his family said. “She and Chad were middle children,” said Margaret Lloyd, who works in the pharmacy at Bay Area Medical Center. “She always bonded with Chad and he stuck close to her, especially when she baked him chocolate pies, and made his favorite strawberry fruit salad.”
Lloyd’s father talked with him two weeks ago, and received a letter Tuesday.
“His letter talked about the future,” said James “Jimmy” Lloyd, 56. “I could tell his mood by the way it started,” he said. “Sometimes it was ‘Dear Dad,’ but this time he started it ‘Pops, how’s everything back in the States ‘
“He told me weeks ago there were a lot of those IEDs, and it was really pretty bad,” Lloyd said. “All I could tell him was just be safe, and he’d say, ‘Dad I’m always as safe as I can be.’
“This is the most terrible thing a parent can have happen, he made the ultimate sacrifice for us,” James Lloyd said. “He was a great family man, soldier and hero.”
Davisson also received a letter Tuesday from her brother, who would have returned home in October from his second tour in Iraq.
“Chad was looking forward to being home, wearing normal clothes, and taking his little boy to the park,” she said. “My best memory was his first birthday during the worst snowstorm after we moved to Colorado,” Davisson said. “All we could make for him was one little cupcake with one little candle on it, and he was the happiest little kid, who didn’t even know he should have had a whole cake.”
Davisson and her brother were close through high school, although he ran with soccer team friends, she said. “I never realized until recently that Chad was always there for me,” she said. “A lot of people thought he was my older brother because he was so tall.” Chad was about 6 feet tall, she said.
Lloyd had strong competitive spirit, said Jon Bonilla, 50, a Padre Island attorney who coached him in the mid-1990s in the Padre Island Soccer League.
“He played sweeper, the last defender before the ball gets to the goalie,” Bonilla said. “Chad was very fast, and an aggressive player. Attackers didn’t get by him without losing their stride from a shoulder-to-shoulder fight. He was the goalie’s best friend, and my son played goalie.”
Lloyd’s mother admires her son. “I feel so honored to have been Chad’s mother the past 24 years,” she said, tears welling. “My hat goes off to him.
“Chad was on this earth for a reason,” she said. “He accomplished the purpose God gave him – and he aced it.”
Aug. 24, 2006 By MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC News
[Excerpts: This is what’s left after a deluge of lame happy talk removed. Stuff from pro-occupation reporters is usually bad, but this one set a record. And the fool calls Ramadi a small city: population only 400,000.]
To get to and from Ramadi, we had to fly lower and faster than you would think possible, a tactic used to avoid surface to air missiles.
Just hours before we arrived, three soldiers were killed on these same roads by a huge bomb.
We went past a series of sniper infested buildings before heading to the city center where soldiers told us to keep moving to avoid enemy fire.
After a series of shots were heard, Lt. Col. Stephen Neary, commander of the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines, described that as a daily occurrence.
“That noise you just heard is contact down to our southeast. The enemy likes to stage up there and conduct attacks from there,” he said.
In this small Iraqi city alone, nearly 200 soldiers and Marines have died.
The Iraqis had actually started to form a government in Ramadi, but in April a sustained attack essentially scared everyone away.
Now commanders say there is a government of one — the governor.
And the governor, Mahmoun Sami Rasheed, has survived nearly 30 attempts on his life.
REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Two French Soldiers Killed
8/25/2006 Agence France Presse
Two French special forces soldiers were killed Friday during armed combat with Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan, the defence ministry in Paris said.
The men, who were not identified by name, included an air force airman first class and a senior chief petty officer of the navy, it said. Two other air force non-commissioned officers were wounded in the operation.
4 Foreign Occupation Soldiers Wounded In Khogyani;
25 August 2006 By VOA News
The U.S. military in Afghanistan says four coalition and four Afghan soldiers have been wounded in separate explosions in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
A military spokesman says the coalition troops were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province. No details of the soldiers’ nationalities nor the extent of their wounds were given.
Hours later, in southern Zabul province, a similar explosion wounded four Afghan soldiers on patrol.
“In The End, We’ll Lose And Leave”
August 23, 2006 By Ken Silverstein, Harpers Magazine [Excerpt]
Interview with Michael Scheuer: Michael Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004; he served as the chief of the bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999.
KS: Things seemed to have turned for the worse in Afghanistan too. What’s your take on the situation there?
MS: The President was sold a bill of goods by George Tenet and the CIA; that a few dozen intel guys, a few hundred Special Forces, and truckloads of money could win the day.
What happened is what’s happened ever since Alexander the Great, three centuries before Christ: the cities fell quickly, which we mistook for victory.
Three years later, the Taliban has regrouped, and there’s a strong insurgency.
We paid a great price for demonizing the Taliban. We saw them as evil because they didn’t let women work, but that’s largely irrelevant in Afghanistan. They provided nationwide law and order for the first time in 25 years; we destroyed that and haven’t replaced it.
They’re remembered in Afghanistan for their harsh, theocratic rule, but remembered more for the security they provided.
In the end, we’ll lose and leave.
The idea that we can control Afghanistan with 22,000 soldiers, most of whom are indifferent to the task, is far-fetched.
The Soviets couldn’t do it with 150,000 soldiers and utter brutality.
Before the invasion of Afghanistan, (the military historian) John Keegan said the only way to go there was as a punitive mission, to destroy your enemy and get out.
Assorted Resistance Action
KABUL, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) & Evening Echo
Four Afghan troops were wounded severely by a remote control bomb in the southern Zabul province of Afghanistan, an officer told Xinhua Friday.
A vehicle carrying Afghan soldiers was hit by a remote control bomb on Thursday night in Mizan district, west of the volatile province, said Rahmatullah Raofi, a regional commander of the Afghan army.
Four soldiers were seriously wounded in the explosion and the vehicle was totally destroyed, he said.
So far no suspects have been arrested, he said.
Meanwhile, Yousuf Ahmadi, a purported spokesman for the Taliban, said Taliban militants and those supporting the Taliban had carried out the attack.
Zabul has been a hotbed of Taliban insurgents, who attack government and foreign troops frequently.
One policeman was also wounded after militants attacked the Argandab district chief’s compound in the southern province of Zabul, said Hussein Ali, the district chief.
Semper Filth At Work:
8.23.06 Robert Koehler, Chicago Tribune
He was a tough kid and determined to take what they could give him, but the dirty needle was too much.
Join the Marines, spit up blood.
Talk about a military that’s strained to the breaking point. They’re enforcing stop-loss orders, calling up the reserves, extending the enlistment age (in a recent spoof of a recruitment ad on “The Daily Show,” doddering oldsters were lured to sign up with the phrase, “Remember, when you have a gun in your hands, they have to listen to your stories”).
This is the paradox of waging an unpopular, morally ambiguous war.
What happened to 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Matt Solowynsky at the beginning of this year shows another aspect of the strain. The process of dehumanizing the enemy — the sine qua non of every war in human history, and crushingly obvious when a war grinds on without a clear strategic objective — sooner or later backs up on itself.
Part of the toxic waste of war embeds itself in the emotions and the soul of the combatants. That Guantanamo energy, that gusto to terrorize helpless detainees, to humiliate unarmed civilians, isn’t so easily contained, and begins corrupting the whole system.
When a designated enemy isn’t available, anyone — a new recruit, say — will do.
“He didn’t do anything but be a gung-ho Marine,” said Tod Ensign of Citizen Soldier (citizen-soldier.org), the organization that eventually came to Solowynsky’s aid.
Indeed, he was the highest ranked recruit in his class when he graduated from Marine Corps Basic Training last September. How odd that, a few months later, he was AWOL, fleeing Camp Pendleton, Calif., as though he were a POW.
The psychiatrist he saw a short while later called his flight “by far, his most responsible option.” And, according to his lawyer, Louis Font, Solowynsky was well within his rights, under the Universal Code of Military Justice, to do what he did. If he has a court-martial trail, he surrendered to the Marines at Quantico, Va., on Aug. 22, his defense will be his right to leave an abusive situation.
All the new guys were subject to harassment, but Solowynsky says he was singled out because of his high rank, which the other men in the company, who were just back from Iraq, didn’t think he deserved. Still, until the day he left the base, he was determined to make it in the Corps no matter how much they dished out. C’mon, this is the Marines. Dishing out is what they do.
“I was hit, choked and slapped,” he told his psychiatrist, according to a subsequent report. “I was grabbed and thrown against the wall. I was hit open-handed across the back of the head by almost everybody in my company. A buddy and I were attacked by senior Marines. They threatened to fuck me up. From when I woke up to when I went to bed I had to live with it. I didn’t resist. . . .
“Everything I did was wrong. In particular, I was harassed by (a sergeant), who told me I don’t deserve my rank. He did a lot of the hitting, sometimes when drunk. I didn’t resist.
“In addition, I felt isolated and trapped because I couldn’t talk to anybody about my situation. I couldn’t go to my superior because it was my superior who was beating me.
“I couldn’t speak to his superior because it is unacceptable to skip over someone in the chain of command in order to make a complaint.
I had even asked to go to Iraq with another unit. I would have chosen to stand guard in the sun all day for seven months just to get away.”
Still, Solowynsky was prepared to handle all this. He was prepared to handle the 24-hour guard posts, the weekend confinements to barracks.
What he was not prepared to handle, however, was the “IV training class” he had one Monday morning, which followed 24-hour guard duty.
“I was taking notes, looking down at my notes, and a senior Marine thought I was asleep. He slapped me on the back of my head,” Solowynsky told me.
The next thing he knew, someone was demonstrating needle insertion on him. “The first time I got a blood clot in my right arm. (The sergeant) then said that I had to have it done to me again. This guy did it to me in my left arm with a needle he had dropped to the ground three times. It was abusive, and I lost a lot of blood.”
When class ended, “We had to go on a run and I started coughing. I coughed up some blood.”
And that, it turns out, was all he could take. The point of putting up with the abuse suddenly vanished. He knew if he stayed he’d have to fight back, a no-win situation for sure. He was trapped in a nightmare and took the only option he had left.
“I grabbed my backpack and civilian clothes and got in my car and drove home,” he said. It was the end of Solowynsky’s brief military career.
I know, this is just one desertion story out of thousands. There are others with more political clarity — Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the highest-ranking officer (so far) to refuse deployment to Iraq, recently had his “Article 32,” or pre-court-martial, hearing — but the unfolding saga of Matt Solowynsky, the gung-ho Marine, shines a terrible light on things.
Sometimes we wrest the idealism from our young and turn them into the enemy, as though we don’t have enough enemies.
British Soldier, Told He Would Have To Kill Little Kids, Kills Himself Instead
[Thanks to Z and John Gingerich, who sent this in.]
25 August 2006 By Cahal Milmo, The Independent (UK)
While his peers from St Augustine’s Catholic school were this month contemplating university careers or first jobs, Jason Chelsea was preoccupied with a different future: his first tour of duty in Iraq.
The 19-year-old infantryman, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, was tormented by concern about what awaited him when the King’s Lancaster Regiment reached Iraq, where 115 British soldiers have been killed since 2003.
He had even told his parents that he had been warned by his commanders that he could be ordered to fire on child suicide bombers.
It was a fear that he never confronted. Within 48 hours of confessing his concerns to his family, Pte Chelsea was dead after taking an overdose of painkillers and slashing his wrists.
On his death bed, he told his mother, Kerry: “I can’t go out there and shoot at young children. I just can’t go to Iraq. I don’t care what side they are on. I can’t do it.”
Today, mourners including comrades from his unit will attend Pte Chelsea’s funeral, wearing the colours of his two favourite football teams, Chelsea and Wigan.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to begin an investigation into his death, including allegations that the teenager was bullied. In a suicide note, the young soldier had said that he was “just a waste”.
His parents said yesterday that their son’s ordeal had convinced them of the need for an urgent review of the pre-deployment training given to British soldiers bound for Iraq.
Tony Chelsea, 58, a factory production supervisor, said: “My son was made very, very lonely by what was happening to him. He was very sad inside and he bottled up what was causing it. It was only after the overdose that he told us about his fears over what might happen in Iraq.
“In training, they were made to wrestle with dummies. Jason said they were also told they might have to fight kids and that they might have to shoot them because they were carrying suicide bombs. He said the policy was to shoot first and ask questions later.”
His mother added: “Jason said that during the training for Iraq he had been told that children as young as two carry bombs and the time may come when he would have to shoot one to save himself and his friends. I think they need to think again about the training they give to young soldiers before Iraq.”
It is understood guidelines on training for British troops heading for Iraq offer no warning on child suicide bombers. But defence sources confirmed that the details of the advice given to soldiers are decided by each regiment.
There have been no known cases of suicide attacks in Iraq committed by young children.
The death of Pte Chelsea, who had served in Germany and Cyprus, will renew concern about the psychological pressures faced by British troops as they deal with deployment to Iraq.
Four days before the infantryman attempted to take his life, the MoD released figures showing that 1,541 soldiers who served in Iraq are suffering from psychiatric illness. Last year, 727 cases were recorded, amounting to nearly 10 per cent of the British deployment.
He had joined the Army at 16 after a visit to his school, St Augustine’s, telling his family the Army was to be his life. He was at home on leave when his fears came to a head this month.
After watching a football match on the night of 10 August, he calmly wrote the suicide note, telling his father it was a letter to a relative, took 60 painkillers then slashed his wrists. As he lay bleeding, the soldier dialled 999, telling the operator: “I have done something stupid.”
In normal circumstances, Pte Chelsea, who suffered from dyslexia, may have recovered from his injuries. But when doctors began tests to assess the damage caused to his liver by the drugs, it was found that the organ had been irreparably damaged by alcohol.
His family were told his liver was similar to that of someone who had been an alcoholic for 20 years and he would not survive a transplant. He died on 14 August at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after his family gave consent for his other organs to be used for transplants.
His father said he believed t he reasons behind his son’s drinking had provoked a previous suicide attempt in 2004, when he cut his wrists in his barracks. After this incident, Pte Chelsea was treated by an Army psychiatrist which the family said had restored his confidence.
Mr Chelsea said: “My son started drinking 18 months ago. He destroyed his liver in less than a year and a half. I believe that is because he was being bullied again. He did not want to make anything of it. He was in the Army, he knew he had to be tough. But it only takes a few words. He said he would hear comments aimed at him because of his dyslexia. He was told he would get his colleagues killed because he was stupid.
“I support the British Army and what it does.
“But I would like to stand before my son’s unit with a picture of him in uniform and ask those who made these comments to him time after time to think about the effect they had.”
The young soldier’s despair was displayed in the note he wrote to his parents before his overdose. He said: “Really sorry, mum and dad. I’m just no good for you. I have got to finish it. I am just a waste.”
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Assorted Resistance Action
25 Aug 2006 Reuters & AFP & AP & (KUNA)
The body of an Iraqi soldier with multiple gunshot wounds, bearing signs of torture, was found in an area near the Syrian border just east of Qaim, 500 km (300 miles) west of Baghdad, said police officer Falah Hassan.
A roadside bomb attack killed an Iraqi army officer and wounded four of his soldiers Thursday in the Khan Bani Saad district outside Baquba.
One Iraqi soldier was killed and two others wounded in a bomb attack against an Iraqi army patrol in the west of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, Friday, a police source said.
He added that five policemen, including an officer, were injured in a separate attack in west of Kirkuk.
The source, elaborating, told KUNA an explosive device went off near an Iraqi army vehicle in Rashad town in Kirkuk killing one soldier and injuring two others.
Unknown gunmen tossed a hand grenade at a police patrol in Huwaijah injuring five policemen.
A police officer was killed in a drive-by shooting in downtown Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.
Iraqi army soldiers reportedly shot and killed two recruits and injured 10 others outside a recruiting center in southern Kut after they threw hand grenades.
The Documentary “Sir! No Sir!” Salutes The Soldier-Led Antiwar Rebellion
6.06 Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star [Excerpts]
Battle raged in the 1960s and ‘70s, not only in Vietnam and on college campuses, but within the ranks of the U.S. military.
The documentary “Sir! No Sir!” salutes the soldier-led antiwar rebellion dubbed the G.I. Movement.
Director David Zeiger recaptures the Vietnam era’s revolutionary zeitgeist with archive clips, photos and interviews both old and recent.
He catches up with deserters and anti-war agitators who speak about the actions of their youth and the spirit of the times as if recalling a former love. All are sure they did the right thing.
Zeiger’s film is all the more poignant for the way it dissects an unpopular war waged by a government that lied about its actions. Sounds pretty familiar.
The movie deconstructs the anti-war movement with loving revelry. The movement emerges as a pastiche of organized and impromptu protests, mass desertion and outbursts of anger.
The Black Power movement easily fell in with the cause. Soldiers identified the racism of American imperialism with injustices they faced at home.
Zeiger marches us into anti-establishment coffeehouses that sprung up around military bases during the war. The cafés were hotbeds for underground publications, debate and unification.
Vets would return from tours and advise other soldiers not to follow orders. Many listened. The Defense Department identified more than half a million acts of desertion from the mid-’60s to the mid-’70s.
Activists co-opted the military recruitment slogan, “FTA,” which stood for “Fun, Travel, Adventure,” twisting it into a bitter anti-war creed: “Fuck the Army.”
Some troops saw the U.S. military, not the Vietcong, as their real enemy. Thus spawned the term “fragging,” the act of lobbing fragmentation grenades at superiors, rather than fulfilling combat missions.
Sir! No Sir!:
The Sir! No Sir! DVD is on sale now, exclusively at www.sirnosir.com.
Also 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.”
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.
From: Mike Hastie
The Inactive Ready Reserve (Backdoor Draft) is being called up, because Uncle Sam doesn’t have enough troops in the Soldier Warehouse.
Now, people can go into the military at age 42.
It’s called the Father-Son Buddy System.
It is obvious that the military is running out of soldiers who are not exhausted.
If the criminals in the White House were to activate the Military Draft, they know the anti-war movement would quadruple over night.
I spent one tour in Vietnam as an Army medic, and that was enough for me and my family.
American soldiers spending two and three tours in Iraq, are going to have two and three tours of added PTSD, or if you will, two and three tours of added betrayal.
The American Public Has Absolutely No Idea Of The Long Range Effects Of Post-Traumatic War Stress.
But then again, the American public is not emotionally connected to the war in Iraq.
When I came back from Vietnam, the American public didn’t care if I had been to Vietnam or Baskin Robbins.
I wish to God this last statement was grossly exaggerated.
I will close with this bit of borrowed prose from the past, with my added tidbit:
Uncle Sam needs a helping hand, cause it doesn’t have enough troops for Viet-nam.
Now Iraq is another war, and the lies keep coming like they did before.
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: (firstname.lastname@example.org) T)
Resistance Cripples Occupation Oil Production
8.22.06 Wall St. Journal
Work at Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects, which spearheads big oil-field construction efforts, recently dried up after a series of attacks arid threats against executives. Kidnappers snatched Mutharina al-Badri, the director general, in June. He is still missing.
Mr. Badri’s replacement resigned after being threatened. And that man’s successor quit after being abducted and beaten for a night, according to current and former officials. Three other senior executives recently received threats and took leave, says an official still at the agency.
Efforts to restart Iraq’s rich northern fields have been hobbled by the kidnapping last month of Add Kazzaz, longtime head of state-owned North Oil Co.
Iraq was pumping about 2.5 million barrels a day of crude oil before the 2003 invasion. Production remains about 500,000 barrels a day below that level, and outages in the north account for much of the drop. Mr. Kazzaz remains missing.
Political parties in Iraq have demanded patronage jobs in the oil ministry for their backers.
According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, corruption and smuggling also plague the oil ministry and the several state-owned oil companies under its umbrella.
Nobody Believes The Silly General:
08/25/06 Time Magazine [Excerpts]
Iraq’s most powerful politician has dismissed claims by U.S. officials and generals that Iran is interfering in Baghdad’s affairs.
Abdul-Azziz al-Hakim has told TIME that despite repeated requests from him and other Iraqi politicians, American officials have failed to show any reliable evidence of Tehran’s interference. “(The U.S.) has been making such claims for a long time,” he said, “and for three years we’ve told them, ‘Show us proof.’ But they never have.”
Hakim heads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, the largest of Iraq’s political parties.
Many Shi’ite politicians dismiss as scape-goating the statements by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and generals at the Pentagon that Iran is actively arming and training Sh’ite militias in Iraq.
“They are looking for somebody to blame for the failure (of the U.S. military to halt the sectarian killings in Iraq) and it is easy to blame Iran,” said Hadi al-Amiri, who heads the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, while also running the Badr Organization, a Shi’ite militia.
Even political observers not affiliated to the Shi’ite parties are likely to be surprised by Brig. Gen. Michael Barbero’s claim, at a press conference Wednesday, that there was “irrefutable” evidence of Iranian collusion with Iraqi militias.
That is the exact opposite of what U.S. military officials in Baghdad have been saying.
Less than two weeks ago, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, told journalists that there “is nothing that we definitively have found to say that there are any Iranians operating within the country of Iraq.”
He added that although “some Shi’ite elements have been in Iran receiving training… the degree to which this is known and endorsed by the government of Iran is uncertain.”
There is an ironic echo in Barbero’s claim that Iran was helping the militias with technology to make improvised explosive devices, or IEDs; last year, U.S. officials said Tehran was supplying IED know-how to Iraq’s Sunni insurgents.
Several Sunni insurgent leaders, whose hatred of Iran compares with their animosity toward the U.S., have told TIME they have no need of such outside help since their ranks include many explosives experts from Saddam’s military.
Renewed Tehran-bashing in Washington is unlikely to sit well with Iraqi Shi’ite politicians, who make up the dominant block of parliament. Like Hakim and al-Amiri, many leading figures in the Iraqi government are beholden to Iran for its support of the anti-Saddam movement. The Dawa party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (and former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari) also owes its survival during the Saddam years to Tehran.
Antagonizing the Shi’ite block could complicate U.S. efforts to end the civil war and draw down American troops in Iraq.
Moqtada al-Sadr has warned that if the U.S. launches a military campaign against Iran, his militia, the Mahdi Army, will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iranians.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
Collaborator Police Seemed In Little Mood To Fight Insurgents:
8.25.06 By Michael Georgy, Reuters [Excerpt]
Operation Together Forward is designed to show Iraqis that their local forces are taking charge. But police commandos stationed between two rebel strongholds seemed in little mood to fight insurgents who have killed thousands of their comrades.
“We have good training from the Americans. But we are often attacked. The terrorists fire mortars or shoot at us,” said Ali Abdul Ghani, pointing to rows of houses opposite his sandbagged checkpoint and which provide cover for the guerrillas.
“This morning they fired on us during a patrol and I shot back. Now I have to pay for some bullets because I fired too many. It’s an Interior Ministry rule. I just want to go back to my hometown,” he complained.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Welcome To Occupied America:
August 25, 2006 CORNELIA DEAN, The New York Times Company
On July 25, Jim Bensman of Alton, Ill., attended a public meeting on the proposed construction of a bypass channel for fish at a dam on the Mississippi River.
Less than a week later, he was under investigation by the F.B.I.; the victim, depending on how you look at it, of either a comedy of errors or alarming antiterror zeal.
The meeting was organized by the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains Mississippi River navigation systems, including the Melvin Price Lock and Dam in East Alton, Ill., where it is considering construction of a fish passage.
At the meeting, Mr. Bensman, a coordinator with Heartwood, an environmental organization, suggested the corps simply destroy the dam. It was an idea the corps itself had considered.
In fact, a photograph of an exploding dam was included in the corps’ PowerPoint presentation, explosive demolition being by far the most common method of dam removal.
Mr. Bensman said he had long criticized the system of locks and dams as environmentally damaging and an unfair government subsidy benefiting boat traffic over railroads. “I’ve been fighting these things for decades,” he said.
But news accounts of the hearing did not put it quite like that. One newspaper said simply that he “would like to see the dam blown up.”
On July 31, he said, he got a telephone call from someone who identified himself as Matt Federhofer, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There is such a person at the agency’s office in Fairview Heights, Ill., a St. Louis suburb, but he did not respond to a voice mail message yesterday. [My my, brave enough when practicing threats and terror by telephone (see below), but how odd this piece of shit is scared to talk to a reporter. Proves the old saying: bullies are nothing but cowards.]
When Mr. Bensman learned what the call was about, “it was just kind of disbelief,” he said.
“How could anyone be so utterly stupid as to think that was a terrorist threat?”
For one thing, he said, it would be ridiculous for a would-be terrorist to announce explosive intentions at a public meeting, much less a meeting sponsored by an arm of the military.
But when the agent said he wanted to visit him at home, Mr. Bensman became frightened. “I was thinking, I need to talk to an attorney,” Mr. Bensman recalled. “And he said, ‘Well, O.K., I will put you down as not cooperating.’”
That was when Mr. Bensman got angry.
“I know what Bush is doing with all these secret programs spying on the so-called terrorists, all these provisions in the Patriot Act that I think crosses the line, being able to spy on a suspected terrorist without the check and balance of a court or a judge,” he said. “That’s just something that really worries you.”
He said he also remembered that the F.B.I. had a history of spying on civil rights, antiwar and environmental activists. He said one reason he knew his caller was a genuine agent was that he could cite items in Mr. Bensman’s own F.B.I. file.
Mr. Bensman said the agent had told him that someone from the corps had asked the F.B.I. to investigate him.
“I was saying, ‘What in the world?’ There is no way anyone in the corps could reasonably think I was a terrorist threat. They know me.”
Kevin Bluhm, the corps official who moderated the meeting, said he doubted the call came from the corps. Though he conceded that Mr. Bensman had long been a thorn in its collective side, “he’s not malicious, oh no,” Mr. Bluhm said. “This was just Jim. He comes to a lot of our meetings, and he is anti a lot of the stuff that we do.”
Marshall Stone, a spokesman for the Springfield, Ill., office of the F.B.I., said, “A lot of things we look into turn out to be things we don’t have to be concerned about.”
Mr. Bensman, who wrote an account of his experience that is circulating on the Internet, said he had been informed that he is not now suspected of anything.
But he worries that his phone may be tapped and wonders what will happen if he is pulled over for a traffic violation: “Are the cops going to think I am a terrorist? You never know what is going to happen nowadays.”
Welcome To Occupied America:
August 24, 2006 BY BRYAN VIRASAMI, Newsday Staff Writer
Muslim, Arab and South Asian passengers are being profiled by Homeland Security officers at Kennedy Airport, civil liberties groups said Wednesday, citing a New Jersey family that was detained and interrogated after a flight from Dubai last week.
The family, a mother and her 20-year-old twin daughters from Montclair, N.J., said they were plucked from the baggage area, held six hours without food or water by Customs and Border Protection agents and questioned about their views of Iraq.
Nahgam Alyaqoubi and her daughters, Arwa and Sumia Ibrahim, naturalized American citizens, said 200 other passengers of Arab, Muslim or South Asian backgrounds were detained on Aug. 15 in a roped-off area, days after the London bomb suspects were arrested.
The family joined officials from the American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups at a news conference in the Manhattan office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to condemn what they say has been an increase in racial profiling since the London plot was uncovered. They also criticized Rep. Peter King for what they said was profiling.
Arwa Ibrahim, who along with her sister is enrolled at Rutgers University, said they were born in Iraq and moved to the United States at age 5.
She said the experience was disturbing because they were forced to sit on the floor without food or water and were treated rudely when they asked questions of the officers.
“It was a really humiliating experience — humiliating because we were treated like animals,” she said. “We were treated really horribly by the officers that were there, we were yelled at, we were told to get back, threatened with arrest and threatened to have to stay longer if we complained.”
The ACLU and other rights groups said they planned to investigate this and several other complaints of profiling.
Lucille Cirillo, a supervisory Customs Border Protection officer in New York City, said the heightened alert after the London arrests means more passengers are scrutinized. She said the Orange Alert dictates that some flights get more attention.
Neither customs nor homeland security officers engage in racial profiling, she said. “But what I will say on the matter is our officers will scrutinize more closely individuals arriving from high-risk countries,” Cirillo said.
On the complaints about lack of water, she said airlines are required to provide food and water to passengers even if they’re off the plane and in the luggage area of the airport.
Katherine Metres Abbadi, executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said recent comments from King were inflammatory.
“Why is Congressman King calling for a policy which has been tried and proven not to work and which has been disavowed by security experts?” she said.
King said he was speaking on the basis that the “next terrorist” will come from places like the Middle East or South Asia. [The “next terrorists” are these pieces of shit working at the airport. Duh.]
“First of all, it’s not ethnic or racial profiling,” King said Wednesday. “What I’m saying, though, is that screeners should have the right to ask additional questions of a person who belongs to a particular ethnic or religious group if members of that group have threatened the United States.”
[OK. So, let’s find out what “particular ethnic or religious group” the degenerates that did this to U.S. citizens at the airport belong to, and fuck with them, and the same for King. Give them a taste of it every fucking time any of them use any airport anywhere. Six hours on the floor, no food, no water. Because these are the garbage in human form that threaten the United States.]
Welcome To Occupied America:
Aug 24, 2006 MSNBC
NEW YORK: U.S. authorities have arrested a New York man for locally broadcasting Hezbollah television al-Manar, which the U.S. Treasury Department has designated a terrorist entity.
Javed Iqbal, 42, was arrested Wednesday because his Brooklyn-based company HDTV Ltd. was providing New York-area customers with the Hezbollah-operated channel, federal prosecutors said in a statement Thursday.
The U.S. Treasury Department froze U.S. assets of al-Manar in March, saying it supported fund-raising and recruitment activities of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group that has been at war with Israel in southern Lebanon.
At that time al-Manar, which broadcasts Hezbollah news and propaganda, was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, making it a crime to conduct business with al-Manar, prosecutors said.
On July 12 the Israeli military destroyed its five-story Lebanese headquarters in air strikes but al-Manar quickly returned to the air, the station’s head of public relations said.
In New York, federal officials did not say did not say how long Iqbal’s company had been providing satellite broadcasts of al-Manar or how many customers he had. A woman who answered the phone at his home had not immediate comment.
Iqbal has been charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the statement said. Federal authorities searched HDTV’s Brooklyn office and Iqbal’s Staten Island home, where Iqbal was suspected of maintaining satellite dishes, the statement said.
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. Replies confidential.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
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