|21/11/03||GI SPECIAL #138: Another Psychopath In Command|
From: "Thomas F. Barton" firstname.lastname@example.org
Disgusting Coward Col. James Hickey Goes To War With Women, Children;
Destroys Homes Of "Suspects;"
Orders Soldiers To Engage In Mass Murder Of Iraqi Civilians
TIKRIT, Iraq - In a tactic reminiscent of Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza, the U.S. military has begun destroying the homes of suspected guerrilla fighters in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, evacuating women and children, then leveling their houses with heavy weaponry.
At least 15 homes have been destroyed in Tikrit as part of what has been dubbed Operation Ivy Cyclone II, including four leveled Sunday by tanks and Apache helicopters. Family members at one of the houses, in the village of al Haweda, said they were given five minutes to evacuate before soldiers opened fire.
The destruction of the homes is part of a sharp crackdown on insurgents in the so-called Sunni Triangle
Col. James Hickey, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division said the four homes were destroyed Sunday because enemy fighters lived and met there. Leveling the homes will force the fighters to find other meeting places, he said. (Hopefully, theyll soon be meeting in your office, with you, face to face.)
"Those four people used those houses as sanctuary, and we're not allowing them to have sanctuary," Hickey said. "We're going to turn the heat up and complicate their battlefield," driving them into the desert, he said. "There they will be exposed, and we will have them." (What empty showboating. There are only about 50,000 other houses in the immediate neighborhood for them to use quite safety after this show of barbarism and stupidity wins you the completely justified undying hatred of every Iraqi old enough to send an RPG your way.)
It was unclear whether the decision to destroy the houses was part of an overall strategy approved in Washington. White House spokesman Scott McClellan would not comment specifically, referring questions about the razings to the Defense Department, but he praised the military's efforts to get tough with Iraqi insurgents.
"There are terrorists who are seeking to spread fear and chaos in Iraq, and we are on the offensive and taking the fight to the enemy," McClellan said. (Whos spreading "fear and chaos" in Iraq? The Iraqis? Gee, maybe they should all leave. Its not like its their fucking country, right? Maybe they can visit you at the White House.)
Officials at the Defense Department referred questions to Central Command in Tampa, Fla., which oversees all military operations in Iraq. Spokesmen there would not comment.
On Monday, angry residents of al Haweda, where three of the destroyed homes were, said the tactic will spawn more guerrilla fighters and perhaps spark an Iraqi uprising similar to the Palestinian intifada in the West Bank and Gaza.
"This is something Sharon would do," said 41-year-old farmer Jamel Shahab, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "What's happening in Iraq is just like Palestine."
The Israeli military's practice of demolishing the homes of families of convicted or suspected terrorists has brought widespread condemnation from human-rights groups and other governments.
The State Department's 2002 human-rights report, released in March, said such policies "left hundreds of Palestinians not involved in terror attacks homeless."
Sunday night's action included the launching of a missile from Baghdad, 55 miles away, at the abandoned home of al-Douri. A reporter and photographer from Knight Ridder were allowed to witness the destruction, which was completed by laser-guided artillery fire.
The tactics of destroying homes of suspected guerrilla fighters echoes Israels frustrating fights against militant groups in Gaza and the West Bank. Photos of old people and children viewing demolished homes are starting to come out of Iraq.
Near al-Douri's house, two men, four children and two babies were shivering in near-freezing temperatures in the back of a truck, given just a few minutes to flee their neighboring farm.
(Knight Ridder Newspapers, 18 November 2003 adds:)
(The decision to destroy at least a dozen homes belonging to family members of guerrilla suspects in and around Tikrit was "within the rules of war" and was approved by the commander of the 4th Infantry Division and probably by the overall commander for U.S. forces in Iraq, a spokesman for the division said Tuesday.)
Hickey promised no letup in the campaign. He also promised to deal harshly with weapons violations.
"If we see someone with a weapon," he said, "he becomes a ballistics test," meaning the man is shot. " You won't see guns in Tikrit," he said.
(Since it is the custom in Iraqi culture to possess and bear arms, Hickey has just announced a campaign of mass murder. By the same "rules of war" "a spokesman" cites above, any Iraqi who can kill Hickey is doing a patriotic public service and may save thousands of lives. Troops need to be aware of possible criminal prosecution for obeying this twisted psychopaths orders for mass murder.)
Bomb Attack Kills U.S. Soldier
BAGHDAD (Reuters) 11.20.03 A bomb that was detonated as a U.S. convoy drove past Thursday killed one American soldier and wounded two near the restive Iraqi town of Ramadi, a military spokeswoman said.
She said the attack happened east of Ramadi.
Panicking Occupation Commanders Order Attacks On Trees, Abandoned Buildings & Walls;
Associated Press, November 18, 2003 By Slobodan Lekic
Near Baqouba, 30 miles northeast of Baghdad, U.S. jets and Apache helicopter gunships blasted abandoned buildings, walls and trees along a road where attacks have been common. (Well, that only leaves about 50 million more of each category to go.)
Three Weeks Ago Asshole Petraeus
Was Babbling About "Peaceful Mosul"
U.S. General Sees 'Sustained' Resistance in Northern Iraqi City
The United States is confronting a "sustained period of resistance" in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the U.S. military commander in the region, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, said.
Resistance Hits Kirkuk One Day After Silly General Brags Of "Growing Clam"
KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) - A suicide bomber killed at least four people in Iraq's northern oil centre, just hours after two more died in a car bombing in western Iraq, as the resistance hit back following a US onslaught.
An Iraqi policeman was also killed in a shooting outside the temporary premises being used by Jordanian diplomats in Baghdad since 14 people were killed in the bombing of the embassy building in August.
Chief of police Sherku Shaker said the target was the adjacent offices of the two main Kurdish factions, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, but the pickup was stopped 200 metres (yards) away.
An estimated 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds) of explosives were crammed into the vehicle which was completely destroyed, he said.
The windows of the PUK's offices were blown in by the force of the blast, an AFP correspondent on the scene reported. Five members of the group were among the wounded.
The Kirkuk attack came just hours after a car bombing in the western town of Ramadi late Wednesday night that killed two people and wounded 12 outside the home of a leading tribal sheikh.
Doctors at Ramadi's main hospital said both of the dead were relatives of Sheikh Amer Abduljabbar Ali Suleiman, head of the huge Dulaimi tribe in Al-Anbar province, whose home was the target of the blast.
Sheikh Amer said he was baffled by the motives of the bombers and insisted he was not as pro-US as his detractors believed.
"We have helped a lot of people, including members of (Saddam's) Baath party."
The attack was one of five to hit the town on Wednesday, just a day after US commander Major General Charles Swannack announced he was so impressed by the growing calm in the once flashpoint town that he was considering pulling his troops out by year-end.
US officials also revealed that they had fought off a major attack on a US civilian convoy in the town of Samarra north of the capital Wednesday, using helicopters and tanks to kill 10 assailants.
Iraqi witnesses said some of the dead were civilians caught in the crossfire.
The renewed violence followed a massive US onslaught on the insurgents in recent days that included two military operations in the capital and in north-central Iraq.
Soldier Says Call It "Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)"
FOR MORE CHECK OUT: http://www.bringthemhomenow.com/
November 4, 2002
Hello, I am a current soldier deployed in Mosul Iraq. Every day I am preaching to anyone who wants to listen about this war being unconstitutional and the fact that if a serial killer had as much evidence mounted against him as we had against Hussein, he would still be on the streets.
The fact that we are not wanted here, soldiers are dying every day and for what?
America looks stupid, thanks to four idiots who believed the not-so-intelligent intelligence that was supposed to show overwhelming evidence that he had weapons of mass destruction.
The fact of the matter is that I havent heard one word about WMD for at least 6 months coming out of a Bush administration official.
Instead we hear about Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) which should have been called Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) at least the acronym would be right.
Bush is attempting to decieve the whole world by making it look like we are doing a great and noble thing, but the fact of the matter is we are giving our freedoms to a bunch of people who don't want them.
And in closing to the few who do want us to give them our freedoms at the expence of our soldiers lives and our tax dollars.
Get your freedoms just like a once oppressed and tyranized nation that I am proud to call home got theirs. I could rant and rave on this subject all day and have a email about ten pages long so I will end it here. Thank you for supporting the troops but not the cause.
Anonymous posted 17 nov 2003
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to the E-mail address up top. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Airborne Relative Tells Bush Regime "Go Clean Up Iraq Yourselves"
FOR MORE CHECK OUT: http://www.bringthemhomenow.com/
November 4, 2003
Hi, I am the sister, aunt, cousin of troops out of Fort Braggthe 82nd Airborne Division. I got a phone call from my brother last Thursday for the first time since he has been there. He informed me that they now have AT&T payphones to call home, but it is collect and 90 cents a minute! That is really messed up that the familes have to pay for phone calls for young men and women fighting for this country. I have lost all respect for AT&T and the Republican party.
He also informed me that they are short on trucks and vehicals, and they also get only 2 sets of Desert uniforms for the field. What is the 87 billion for? It can't possibly be for the Troopsthey are really treating these young men and women wrong and we need to acknowledge that. On CNN on Buchanan & Press with his guest (Repulican Party) he made the comment that it is better that the soldiers die in Iraq rather than Arizona. That comment was very, very unfair and cruel toward our families serving in the Military. My heart goes out to the families that have lost their loved ones.
Those troops that were killed in the Chinook, how come those guys were not protected and looked after when they took off or some sort of security measures, and why didn't the military transfer them to Kuwait to leave for Germany then home? Many feel that it was not a good idea to leave from Baghdad airport, being the danger that they face everyday and every second of their lives. I pray that Mr. Bush does not get a second term in office, I am sick of him saying they died for a good cause and they were brave; these young men and woman died of a war that was not called for. Let's keep that in mind. I am the daughter of a retired Command Sgt Major out of Fort Bragg, and the military to me does not do enough for their own aside from the Republican Party.
These troops are ready to come home from what I am hearing and speaking to other families. I don't blame those for not wanting to return to Iraq after coming home for R&R. "SO BRING OUR CHILDREN HOME NOW, MR. BUSH, AND TAKE THOSE TO IRAQ FOR $2000.00 A PLATE CHARITY DINNERS FOR YOUR RE-ELECTION AND GO CLEAN IRAQ UP YOURSELVES AND SEE WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN FEAR EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE!
De'Adra A. Cain
posted 18 nov 2003
Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and well 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 in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here in the USA. Send requests to address up top. For copies on web site see:http://www.notinourname.net/gi-special/
Rumsfeld Wants 15,000 More For Bush Imperial Slaughterhouse
(New York Times, November 20, 2003, Pg. 1)
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered an additional 15,000 reserve and National Guard troops to prepare for the possibility of yearlong duty in Iraq or Kuwait, rounding out a plan to rotate American forces in the region by next spring. Combined with alert warnings and deployment orders approved two weeks ago, Rumsfeld's decision brings to 58,000 the total number of reserve and National Guard troops who have been alerted for possible service in the Persian Gulf region early next year.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld laughs as he makes a speech to U.S. soldiers in Korea. Rumsfeld announced 15,000 more soldiers will be called up and sent to Iraq for Bushs oil war. Ha ha ha. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
GET SOME TRUTH: CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth - about the occupation, the cuts to veterans benefits, or the dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling Soldier is necessary. But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets
of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the
armed forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. http://www.traveling-soldier.org/
Commanders Betray Assaulted Female Troops;
Hide And Protect Sexual Predators
(Denver Post, November 20, 2003)
Senate leaders ordered an investigation into the military justice system following a Denver Post series detailing widespread flaws in the handling of domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Nearly 5,000 alleged sex offenders, including alleged rapists, avoided prosecution in the Army during the past decade when commanders handled their cases administratively, instead of through their criminal courts, according to records obtained by the newspaper.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Car Bomb Hits US-Backed Local Council;
Collaborating Politician Executed
RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) 11.20.03 - A car bomb blast struck the offices of a U.S.-appointed local council in the Iraqi town of Ramadi in a string of attacks in the flashpoint town after dark on Wednesday, witnesses said.
There were conflicting reports of casualties but one hospital official said seven people were killed in the attack at 10 p.m. A policeman said he saw six bodies.
A U.S. military spokeswoman confirmed there had been a car bombing in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, but gave no further details.
"A car filled with explosives came fast. The driver blew himself up inside the car," a resident living nearby the bombed building said.
In another attack, witnesses said local tribal leader Mahmoud Jarbou, known for his cooperation with the Americans, was shot dead on Wednesday evening.
The son of the regional police chief Jadan al-Alwani was badly wounded in an attack with machineguns and a hand grenade on the family home.
Ramadi is west and north of Baghdad where resistance to the U.S.-led occupation is strongest. Attacks on U.S. soldiers and Iraqi targets seen as linked to the occupying forces are common.
U.S. forces are planning to hand over security responsibilities in the town to Iraqi police early next year in a test case for transferring power to Iraqi security forces.
(Lots of luck.)
Another Collaborator Killed
BASRA, Iraq (AP) 11.20.03- An Assyrian politician working with coalition authorities in the southern Iraqi city of Basra was abducted and killed by unknown assailants while on his way to work, his political party said Thursday.
Sargoun Nanou Murado, a representative of the Assyrian Democratic Movement party and member of Basra's city council, was ambushed on Tuesday, said a party statement that condemned the killing.
"The body of our party member was discovered in a city suburb," it said.
The assassination is the second this week in the south of Iraq of people working with coalition authorities. In the town of Diwaniyah, gunmen on Tuesday killed the education ministry's director general for that province.
Guerrillas have warned that they will target any Iraqi who collaborates with occupation authorities.
U.S. Puppet Mayor of Fallujah Resigns
FALLUJAH, Iraq 11.20.03 Taha Bedawi, the U.S.-backed mayor of this volatile city west of Baghdad, resigned Thursday amid mounting criticism of his performance, the local U.S. military commander said.
Last month, angry Iraqis attacked Bedawi's office and set fire to parts of the one-story building and his car. It was the latest of several attacks on the mayor's office in the city of 200,000 people.
The commanders said the mayor flaunted his ties to the U.S. military, which did not go down well in the city, site of frequent attacks on American forces.
Tightening The Noose;
Resistance Cuts Off Baghdad Power Supply
BAGHDAD, Nov 18 (AFP) - Baghdad was in the grip of a two-day-old power outage Tuesday after sabotage and high winds knocked out two key supply lines in the national grid, officials said.
Power ministry officials in the capital said they hoped to begin getting supply back to normal later in the day, but officials in northern Iraq, from where the capital draws the lion's share of its electricity, said repairs might take as long as three days.
The ministry's director of power generation, Mohsen Hasan, said the city-wide outage had been sparked by the failure Sunday of one of the two main feeder lines supplying the capital.
The problem was then compounded by the rupture of the second line in an explosion Monday.
"Repairs to the sabotaged line have already begun and we have sent teams of engineers to assess the damage to the other line," he said.
But the head of Iraq's Northern Electricity Company, Sabah Shakkur, painted a gloomier picture, saying it could take as long as 72 hours to repair the damage.
The capital does have a single power plant of its own, which provides the balance of its normal supply, but crashes on the national grid regularly affect distribution across the city.
Even when the grid is fully operational, demand still massively outstrips supply, prompting Iraq's US-installed interim leadership to seek additional supplies from abroad until generator capacity can be increased.
Last month, Samarrai estimated it would take eight billion dollars of investment next year to raise output from the current 4,000-5,000 megawatts per day to 12,000.
Samarrai put total demand at 15,000-18,000 megawatts.
(Yes, its long and yes, its worth every minute. Print it out.)
"Build And Maintain A Bridge With The Military"
An Interview with Stan Goff, Derek Seidman, Left Hook (CounterPunch), November 11, 2003
Stan Goff knows better than most people about what really goes on in the US military. He retired as a Master Sergeant in 1996 after serving for 26 years, most of them with the Special Forces, Delta Force, and as a military instructor at West Point.
In the process of his military career he was deployed to Vietnam, South Korea, Colombia, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Somalia, and Haiti. He is now an anti-imperialist activist and a member of the coordinating committee of Bring Them Home Now (http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/). He is the author of Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti, as well as the forthcoming Full Spectrum Disorder. He lives in Raleigh, NC.
Derek Seidman, an editor of Left Hook, interviewed Stan Goff last week.
Derek Seidman: We really appreciate you doing this interview Stan. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your experience in the US armed forces, and how you came to be a war resister?
Stan Goff: I don't know if I'm a war resister as much as an anti-imperialist. I mean, I see where they are the same thing on a contingent basis, but I don't identify with those who simply oppose "war," generic, on moral grounds. I see war as a systemic outcome, but feel we have to pay a lot of attention not only to the military form of imperialism, but also to its economic, political, cultural, and ideological forms. I see all these things as part of a unified but nonlinear and dynamically evolving whole.
I joined the army in January 1970. I won't detail the whole process, but one thing led to another, and it became a career. I began in the infantry and drifted into special operations. My first assignment was Vietnam. Then there was a hiatus from conflict zones until the eighties, when I went first to Guatemala, then six more conflict areas besides Vietnam and Guatemala between 1983 and 1994.
Working special ops in Central America, I had the experience of working directly under embassy supervision on a couple of missions, so I had a glimpse of foreign policy that most soldiers don't get. That's when it began to dawn on me that these military adventures and all these classified operations were being driven by motives that were as much financial as geo-strategic, and that there was some kind of symbiosis--which I didn't clearly understand yet--between the financial and the military.
I also became keenly aware of racism all around me. I became interested in understanding it because, besides being powerful, it is actually pretty complicated and even mysterious. And I found myself becoming a proponent of allowing women into combat arms--a nascent feminist current in my thinking. These were the threads that began to unravel the old notions and create the space for studying and seeking new ideas that would better explain my own experience. By the nineties, I had become interested in social theory, and by the time I left the army in February 1996 I was involved with various political activists on the left, where I was brought into a very lively culture of organizing and debate.
My opposition to US military adventures was a natural outcome of that. But I am seeing these adventures not as a pacifist, but through the interpretive lenses I have taken away from all that study, debate, and organizing, like Marxism, feminism, deep ecology, and world systems theory.
(Read more about Stan's life and how he came to oppose US imperialism at: http://www.indyweek.com/)
DS: If you were a soldier in Iraq right now, what would be going through your head?
Goff: Trick question. There are over 120,000 US soldiers in Iraq right now, and each of them is unique in many respects. And at different points in my own career, I might have responded differently depending on what I was doing. As a grunt, or a support troop, I would probably be pretty low. Special ops folks are usually kept busy planning, planning, planning, or conducting some fairly sketchy operations, like the Phoenix-style stuff that just got that SBS troop killed, that are so all-occupying in the execution that a lapse in professional focus can lapse your life.
DS: A lot of pundits argue that the soldiers made a conscious decision to serve their country, and that they need to live up to this responsibility and not criticize what they're being made to do--it is, after all, the duty they signed up for. What do you say to this?
Goff: Horseshit! This is a big, smelly red herring. They made a conscious decision alright, but not in a vacuum. The decision was to join the military. But they were weighing their real options in the real world when they made that decision, working off of limited information, limited experience, Madison Avenue "Army of One" sales pitches, and an economy that offers most people a glorious career in serial shit retail jobs. That's the reason rich frat boys like George Bush often don't do military service. They have more options. The lack of options is a real thing that can't be erased with a lot of abstracted, two-dimensional, libertarian, we-are-all-free-agents nonsense.
And joining the military is a contractual agreement that is circumscribed by law, not some holy vow to surrender your brain. How is occupying Iraq "serving" the United States? Unless we can define what the United States is, it's pure demagogy. They were not ordered to Iraq by the United States. They were ordered to Iraq by the Bush administration. That's why this volunteer military thing is a red herring. The decision didn't come from the troops. It came from the political establishment. Whether they are "volunteer" or conscript doesn't change that.
The question of criticism while on active duty is a very nuanced legal question, but I would counsel those on active duty to be cautious, or at least know what you're getting into if you speak out. The military can always retaliate, even when you are within your legal rights.
DS: Your son is stationed in Iraq. What do you hear from him and others about what the situation is like?
Goff: My son has asked me not to speak for him publicly.
Other correspondents are telling us that morale is rock bottom, support is spotty, and they are beginning to believe that all politicians are pathological liars.
DS: Can you tell us about Military Families Speak Out? (http://www.mfso.org/) One of the main anti-war slogans is "Support the troops--Bring them home now". What do you think about the fact that the growing criticism of the war and occupation has to do not with the fact that the US is doing something wrong, immoral, and harmful for the world, but because our soldiers are getting killed in doing it?
Goff: That's the key to building a movement. The vast majority of people are not motivated by abstractions. They are motivated by what they can feel on their skin.
The entry point for this movement into the consciousness of new people is not through morality. The ruling class has the best stage, the best sound, the best lighting, the best scriptwriters, the best actors, and the best broadcast ability to construct morality. Naturally, we fight them tooth and nail on every single lie, but even the content of our message is often lost, because of the WAYS that people process messages, which has also been constructed by the ruling class. The freshest stratum in any movement are those who are there through trauma and fear. Soldiers getting killed is a very serious thing, because these are our families.
Our experience in the Bring Them Home Now campaign is that in fighting to bring troops home, this fresh group is exposed to a lot of new ideas, and because they are in a painful space they are in a teachable space. It doesn't take long for them, once they begin to question the first motive to question all the motives. It's not as long a step as people think from asking the first question to questioning imperialism itself. I know. The truly surprising thing is how incredibly thin the whole fabric of mystification is once it's exposed to a little critique. Americans don't know how to critique, and they are threatened by it. That's why the first step has to be something more fundamental than analysis, like revulsion, fear, and pain.
DS: Lastly, what do you think are the immediate concrete tasks of the anti-war movement? How much of this involves trying to reach out to the troops with their growing demoralization and resentment?
Goff: I've long been an advocate of reaching out to the military, but not in the ham-handed way some people have tried. Saying goofy shit like "Overthrow your officers!" is not going anywhere now. The BTHN campaign is addressing real issues, with a lot of emphasis on outreach to military families. Soldiers might reactively engage in shouting matches with a stranger from the movement, but they have respectful, thoughtful discussions with spouses and parents and siblings. They also confide in them when they themselves experience doubts.
Eventually, of course, I believe the soldiers will have to overthrow some of their officers, but not until we overthrow all of our bosses. The important thing for revolutionaries--if that term is to mean anything other than phrase-mongering and adventurism--is to build and maintain a bridge with the military. The day will come when we will need them, and they will need us.
I'm not sure we have just an anti-war movement anymore. Since the full scale invasion, I think we have three movements. One is a UN movement. Another is an anti-war movement. The last is an anti-imperialist movement.
The former objected to the war on legalistic grounds, believing that the US would be justified in escalating the attack on Iraqi sovereignty with a Security Council resolution.
The UN movement wants to substitute a UN military occupation for a US occupation as part of a return to some mythical pre-Bush paradise of multilateralism. They profess a caring for Iraqis, but fundamentally buy the whole "white man's burden" theme that the Iraqis are incapable of self-government.
The anti-war movement is far more eclectic, but they are those who are uncomfortable with the UN option except as some short interim measure, and generally opposed to armed conflict under any circumstances. This is the "Peace is Patriotic" group, who still haven't quite grasped the essence of American nationalism. There is a substantial section of this stratum--not the hardcore religious pacifists--that can be won over to an anti-imperialist position if they are provided a few new analytical tools.
The anti-imperialist section is composed broadly of "anti-globalization" folks, radical feminists, Black and Brown nationalists, socialists, and anarchists.
If there is a strategic imperative for us in the Euro-American metropolis', it is to consolidate this anti-imperialist pole, then begin bringing in sections of the anti-war movement, beginning with those who feel the system, as it were, most directly on their skin. Poor people. Immigrants. People of color. Women. But also white middle class who have been downsized into the proletariat, so to speak. This entails a massive popular education campaign, which is easy to say, and hard as hell to do. Figuring out how to do that, however, is absolutely imperative.
There is a right-pole to mirror our left-pole, and it is white, middle-class, and armed to the teeth. When things really start to slip, economically, and these folks avalanche out of the middle class into the street, many of them will be susceptible to the siren call of blood-and-soil nationalism, and they'll look for scapegoats. I believe this is a real possibility in the next few years, and that gives added urgency to our job to fight for every soul.
Finally, imperialism starts at home.
Think of it as colonialism. That's not an analog, it's a real thing. There are colonized nationalities here in the United States, and their struggle for self-determination--which means political power--must be seen as a key struggle for the whole movement. The other struggle that has been perennially set on the back burner during every upsurge of social unrest is the struggle for self-determination by the largest colonized population in our society: women. That is a mistake. In fact, this may be the deepest of all our struggles, for lots of reasons I don't have time to elaborate here. But more and more, I am coming to believe that the struggle against patriarchy will be the linchpin of any successful revolution in the future.
If you would like to give feedback to Stan, he can be reached at: mailto:sherrynstan.igc.org
Derek Seidman, 23, is a New York City resident and co-editor of the radical youth journal http://www.lefthook.org/
Americans Turn Awja Into Iraq's Own West Bank
By Phile Reeves in Awja, 18 November 2003, The Independent (UK)
It is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but transported to Iraq. A town is imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest.
Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out.
"Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn't it?" a fiery-eyed young Iraqi policeman shouted at us from behind the chest-high, three-layer wire coils which separate his home from the rest of the surrounding dead-flat Iraqi landscape, Sunni Triangle heartland. "We're not happy. Not happy!"
This is Awja, the wealthy enclave outside Tikrit where Saddam Hussein grew up.
The United States military says it is also the source of persistent violent insurgency.
On 30 October, two rifle companies from the US army's 4th Infantry Division turned up at night and sealed off the town.
"We were asleep," recalled Mohammed Shakr al-Nassiri, 33, a shopkeeper. "We did hear some work going on during the night. When we got up, we found all this barbed wire around us. We don't understand the point of it. Why us? There's been resistance all over Iraq." In the case of Awja, the Americans appear to have resorted to this strategy after concluding they have no hope of winning over the people.
Similar tactics against the Palestinian intifada by Israel, which has sealed off towns and villages in the occupied territories for many months, have been widely criticised within the international community and human rights organisations as counter-productive.
The Americans have decided they have little to lose by sealing the town off in the hope that it will stifle guerrilla activity. Residents seem to think the approach is doomed to fail. A young policeman said over the wire barricade: "It will make the resistance stronger. Even those who did not fight when the Americans came to Iraq are being pushed to join the resistance."
The American military yesterday proved unable to provide The Independent with any comment on the enclosing of Awja. But Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell of the 4th Infantry Division, who came up with the scheme, told The Washington Post in an interview last week: "The insurgents should not be allowed to swim among the population as a whole. What we elected to do was make Awja a fish bowl so we could see who was swimming inside."
(Problem: It may work it one small place, but it will serve as an inspiration for resistance fighters all over Iraq to take up arms against the occupation. They are right to do so, and to drive this ignorant barbarism out of their country forever. They are winning the war.)
OCCUPATION ISNT LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
U.S. Commanders Stage Fireworks Show And Parade;
Silly Racist Fools Think Iraqi Resistance Will Be Impressed
TIKRIT, Iraq, Nov 18 (AFP) - US forces let loose a new barrage of fire in the northern flashpoint town of Tikrit overnight, which a spokesman said Tuesday aimed to demonstrate the troops' capabilities.
The display, which included helicopter-launched Hellfire missiles, mortar and tank rounds, was the heaviest fired from the US army's 4th Infantry Division headquarters in Tikrit, military officials said.
It lasted more than one hour, shaking the ground, rattling windows and sending flashes into the night sky.
A spokesman at the base said the firing, conducted around midnight, was part of Ivy Cyclone II, an operation aimed at demonstrating that US troops are able and determined to use all the weapons at their disposal to go against anti-US forces in Iraq.
"It's an element of this and a show of our capabilities," the spokesman said.
Ivy Cyclone II was launched on Sunday, when two satellite-guided missiles were fired from outside Baghdad onto targets as far as 220 kilometers (137 miles) away.
Early Monday, 4th ID troops staged a combined forces operation, firing mortars, tank cannons and helicopter guns at areas that had been used in attacks against them.
They also paraded their tanks and other fighting vehicles through the center of Tikrit, which has been a hotbed of anti-coalition attacks since Washington declared an end to major hostilities on May 1.
U.S. Kills Shiites In Baghdad;
In Desperate Effort To Build Up Armed Resistance To Their Occupation
BAGHDAD, Nov 18 (AFP) - Iraqi Shiite officials accused US forces on Tuesday of killing three people and wounding four others after opening fire in the Shiite-populated Baghdad district of Sadr City.
"What happened yesterday was not an exchange of gunfire but was ... vengeance," Sheikh Abbas al-Rubai, head of the office of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, told AFP.
According to witnesses and families of the victims, a US military patrol opened fire in the district's open Mreydi market after someone who had illegally bought a gun test-fired the weapon.
Asked about the incident, the US army refused to comment.
"How can American soldiers continue to fire blindly, in an open market of innocent people just because they heard fire in the air," Rubai said.
"Relations between Shiites and the Americans are already bad and this incident aggravates the situation," he said.
At the Jawader mosque, near the market, the imam criticised American "democracy".
"When we criticise the Americans, many of them are angry and say that we don't like democracy. Is this the promised democracy? Even Saddam Hussein did not do this to Shiites," the imam said in a sermon.
"Even if those people in the market committed a crime, they should have been punished by law and not by shooting," he added.
Iraqi Human Rights Minister Condemns Spreading Occupation Violations;
"The Iraqi People Cannot Bear Anymore"
BAGHDAD, Nov 18 (AFP) - Iraq's interim Human Rights Minister Abdel Basset Turki has criticised violations against Iraqis by US-led forces occupying the war-torn country.
Heading a ministry that did not exist under former leader Saddam Hussein's regime, Turki told AFP in an interview that "there are violations under the occupation."
"We have demanded (the Americans) come to terms with their acts because the Iraqi people, who have suffered enough, cannot bear anymore," he said.
"The (interim) Governing Council has dealt with the issue directly with the coalition saying it cannot remain silent on this phenomenon that is spreading.
"The Americans know that this can no longer continue. If they want to build a democratic society here, the first steps must be right", said Turki.
The text cited nine cases against the military accusing it of "aggression", "maltreatment" and "homicide" against detainees.
"We consider that Iraqis wronged ... have the right to compensation from the coalition, as stipulated by (UN) resolution 1483 on the occupation force," Turki said.
"If we don't reach an understanding ... we will have to resort to justice," he said.
Turki also said that political prisoners should have certain rights and that his ministry has demanded to visit all 55 Iraqis most wanted by the American forces, which have so far captured 38 of them.
"The coalition responded saying those persons are prisoners of war and ... that the only party that can visit them and hand over letters is the Red Cross, " he said, adding not all 55 are prisoners of war and that the coalition cannot forbid visits to civilian prisoners.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Bush Says Will Send More Troops to Iraq If Needed
By Arshad Mohammed and Caren Bohan
LONDON (Reuters) 11.20.03- President Bush left open the possibility on Thursday of sending more American troops to Iraq but said security on the ground would be the deciding factor.
"We could have less troops in Iraq. We could have the same number of troops in Iraq. We could have more troops in Iraq -- (whatever is) necessary to secure Iraq," Bush said.
Rumsfeld has always left open the possibility of increasing the number of troops if necessary and has said that carrying out the plans to reduce the size of the force would depend entirely on the security situation.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
South Koreans Evacuate Afghan Embassy
Hi Pakistan, November 19, 2003
SEOUL: The South Korean Embassy in Afghanistan has been evacuated following a warning it could be the target of a suicide bombing attack, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.
The terror alert came after South Korea agreed to send troops to Iraq in response to a request from the United States.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan warned that Al Qaeda or Taleban forces might attack South Korean diplomats and soldiers between November 16 to 26, the ministry said.
Three South Korean diplomats have been sent to a neighboring country, with one remaining at a safe place in Afghanistan to maintain links with the Afghan government, it said.
A terror alert has been issued to about 40 South Korean civilians and a 205-member Korean military unit stationed there as part of a multinational force, a ministry official said.
UN Aid Workers Leave
Reuters, November 18, 2003, By Saeed Ali Achakzai
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Goislard's employer, said it was withdrawing 30 international staff from the east and south of Afghanistan and closing refugee reception centers in Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Kandahar provinces.
The killing of UN workers has raised the stakes in the Taliban's battle with the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai and the foreign presence in Afghanistan.
It also underlines the Taliban's ability to carry out attacks with impunity in large parts of the south and east.
Occupation Armed Forces Refuse To Try Rescue;
Say Area Is "Unsafe"
The Taliban's deputy commander for southern Afghanistan warned Karzai's government it was ready to kill Turkish engineer Hassan Onal, kidnapped last month while working on a key road project in the south. Mullah Sabir, alias Momin, demanded the release of comrades in jail in Ghazni in return for Onal's freedom.
Momin added that anyone working in the interests of the United States was liable to be killed. "This includes journalists, NGO activists, drivers, engineers, and others."
"When one of the U.N. agencies suggested that couldn't there be some expansion of ISAF into Ghazni, they were told that that was considered unsafe and they did not want to expand international military forces there," said William Byrd, World Bank country manager in Afghanistan.
"It is a bit odd that people are trying to deliver aid where even international military forces are not there in a peacekeeping mode," he told a signing ceremony in Kabul.
Momin said that on the orders of supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, every day "hundreds" of Taliban members were returning to Afghanistan and were reaching the southern province of Zabul, which the guerrillas had made their headquarters.
Resistance Tightens Noose On U.S. Occupation
Iran News (Iran), November 19, 2003
KABUL , AFGHANISTAN 18 Nov 2003 (IRIN) - Two days after the murder of a UN staff member by armed men in the southern city of Ghazni, a driver for a mine-clearance agency was abducted by gunmen from the centre of the same city on Monday. He was later released.
The incident follows a series of serious security incidents involving aid agencies and UN organizations over the last eight days in the south of the country. On 11 November, a vehicle belonging to the mine clearance-agency, Handicap International-Belgium, with two national staff on board, hit a newly laid landmine near the southern city of Kandahar, which was followed by a car bomb attack in the afternoon of the same day at the regional office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Kandahar.
It went on to say that aid agencies in the south had already been forced to drastically scale down the scope of their operations. Most were already restricting their activities to a rapidly shrinking area in and around Kandahar city.
"The situation continues to deteriorate. In the south, we are now at a critical juncture," stated Anne Wood, the senior area coordinator for Mercy Corps International, an NGO which is extensively active in the south.
Confident Resistance Army Threatens Afghan Puppet Regime
The New York Times, November 18, 2003
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 --- Nearly two years after the Taliban's ouster from Kabul, a resurgence in its activities and cross-border operations have posed a new threat to eastern and southern Afghanistan and a new diplomatic challenge in American dealings with Pakistan, Bush administration officials said this week.
Also operating in the region is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a renegade militia commander who once received American aid in his effort to oust the Russians from Afghanistan in the 1980's but is now leading what he calls a holy war against Mr. Karzai and American
The Taliban base of operations is in the Pashto-speaking parts of Afghanistan. Although Mr. Karzai is a member of the Pashtun ethnic group, the country's largest, his government is dominated by a small group from the Panjshir Valley in the north, where other groups like the Tajiks predominate.
Israeli Terrorists In Action
Since this report, 50 Israeli activists from Rabbis for Human Rights and B'tselem showed up, picked all the olives and stayed in solidarity in case the military returned. Some of the incident was picked up by CNN as well. Suggest you call Chloe at the number below. Paul
----- Original Message -----
From: ISM Media Office
To: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 4:23 AM
Subject: [palsolidarity] Israeli Soldiers arrest and threaten to kill farmer in Sulfit
Two minutes ago, the ISM Media Office received word that the Israeli Military had arrested a Palestinian farmer as he attempted to harvest olives on his land in the West Bank town of Sulfit. They have since informed ISM activists on the scene that they intend to kill this man, today.
The soldiers drove away with the farmer in their truck, and returned with a bulldozer following, and told activists and families present that they intended to destroy the orchard, and that if the family ever returned to it, they would destroy them and their home.
The soldier who seemed to be in charge told activists that he's a "maniac" and not interested in talking to them, and that being a "maniac" is in his job description.
3 ISM activists are on the site, with the families. One relayed the situation to the office, via phone, while two others blocked the path of the bulldozer. During the phone conversation, the bulldozer turned around and left, and the woman relaying the scene was threatened for being on the phone.
There is no one, and nothing, of any sort of threat to the soldiers on the site. The scene is unfolding, still.
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