|01/03/04||GI Special #2.36: Iraq Elections Fraud|
GI Special: firstname.lastname@example.org 3.2.04 Print it out (color best). Pass it on.
GI SPECIAL 2#36
THE BALLOT OR THE BULLET
The Great Iraq Election Fraud: Four Months In Iraq Vs. Four Months In South Africa
U.S. Imperial politicians have been sparing no effort to explain why elections in Iraq are impossible before the farcical pretended hand-over of power to Iraqis June 30. Four months? Can’t be done! They got some UN stooges to officially agree with them, hardly a stunning surprise.
They even got the Shiia leader, Sistani, to agree. He had been demanding elections by June 30 while striking poses of heroic opposition to the Occupation, fearful of having ordinary Shiias see him as just another grubby politician, more interested in his own and his bourgeois allies’ wealth and power than in the fate of working class Iraqis. Which is exactly what he is.
What payoff the Shiia political elite led by Sistani have has been promised is not yet reported.
And it’s all a big lie, behind a smokescreen of total bullshit.
What follows is an account of the first elections in South Africa, after Nelson Mandela was freed. It had become clear the racist white government could not survive, and the rule of the rich and powerful in South Africa was at risk unless black Africans politicians like Mandela were made part of the ruling class in general and the government in particular.
To do that, an election was needed, and fast, since the whole racist power structure was crumbling.
They did it in four months, with the same population as Iraq (22.7 million), most of them never having participated in any election in their lives, with no voter rolls, massive illiteracy, and more violence than Iraq is experiencing today.
(In comparison, Iraq has food card IDs than can be used in elections. Iraqis have been voting in elections for decades, although for only one candidate, the leader of their former ruling regime, Hussein. The point is, they have polling places, and know the routine by heart. It was dangerous not to show up and vote for Hussein.)
When a ruling class wants elections because their own survival is at stake, they can organize elections. When they don’t want elections because their own survival is at stake (U.S. Occupation rule in Iraq) they explain why elections are impossible.
“We can’t have elections in Iraq now” is just more lame, empty bullshit to kill more U.S. soldiers and more Iraqis in Bush’s War For Oil And Empire.
Organized In Four Months: The First Free South-African Election
From: Illustrated History Of South Africa; The Real Story; The Reader’s Digest Association Limited, Cape Town, 1994:
‘I am very happy this day has come,’ said Miriam Mqomboti, a 93-year old woman who came to cast her vote on 26 April 1994 at a polling station at Guguletu, an African suburb of Cape Town. ‘I never thought it could happen here. I came to Cape Town from Transkei when I was 18 and after this long time, I thought I would never be able to vote.’ It was the first day of voting, set aside for the elderly and the infirm, and for South Africans abroad. Although the queues were long, spirits were high. But the problems that were to dog the rest of the election had already begun to surface as ballot papers ran short and some polling stations failed to open….
Judge Johann Kriegler, head of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) told journalists after the election: ‘I had been told that you couldn’t organize an election in less than a year—preferably two. And that to try to run an election without a voters’ roll was very close to lunacy.’
But he and his fellow commissioners — along with more than 200 000 specially employed staff, tackled the task in just four months.
The IEC had been set up in December 1993 to ensure that the April election would be ‘substantially free and fair’ — and the task proved as difficult as had been predicted. No one knew how many potential voters there were (the IEC ‘guesstimated’ there were 22.7-million who would qualify), nor how they were distributed around the country. Millions did not even have adequate identity documents and the majority had never voted before. Some were illiterate. Some saw witchcraft in the plan to mark their hands with invisible ink to indicate they had voted. Some lived in areas so remote they were unreached by roads.
Negotiators had agreed only two months before the election to allow two ballot papers — one for the national legislature and one for regional representation.
If the IEC workers, the election monitors and local and international observers were feverishly busy, so were the parties. Only five of the 28 parties taking part had previous electioneering experience, but even they had never fought an election on the basis of proportional representation, and certainly not one of this size.
The first day of voting for most of the population dawned on 27 April, and voters came in their millions. Then they waited — and waited. Queues snaked around polling stations, and then around again as people stood for hours — in some cases all day — in hot sunshine in most of the country. In the western Cape they stood in the rain. As one analyst said, it was the day on which millions of South Africans learned to do something for the first time—black South Africans learnt what whites already knew: how to vote; white South Africans learnt what blacks already knew: how to wait.
Problems abounded. At some stations the ballot papers did not arrive in time. Others closed early when they ran out of voting material. Some failed to open.
At the end of the day, IEC officials did a rethink. Voting hours were extended, and the army was called in to deliver a further 5,6-million newly printed ballot papers to remote areas. Polling officers were told to be flexible: if no official stamps were available, officials should sign the ballots; if the invisible ink ran out, they shonld sign the voters’ identity documents; if there were no more ballot boxes, full boxes could be emptied into post office bags. President De Klerk placed virtually the entire Air Force at the disposal of the IEC.
Over most of the country the next day’s balloting was considerably quieter, but in six former ‘homelands’ the voting had to be extended for another day.
And the problems did not end when voting stopped. For days South Africa held its breath as ballot boxes were ferried from 9 000 polling stations to around 700 central counting stations. Heads down and fingers flying, thousands of counting officers got busy. But in several places counting was delayed by mix-ups with ballot boxes, a strike by counters for more pay, and confusion over who was employed to count. Results began trickling though on May 1, but four major counting centres were way behind schedule, and accusations were flying of major fraud and irregularities.
The major parties met behind the scenes to iron out the disputes, which were particularly heated in KwaZulu/Natal. Finally, almost a week after voting had ended, a tired Judge Kriegler appeared on television to announce the outcome.
Afterwards, he quipped: ‘We said at the start it was mission impossible, and we were just too dumb to realize it. But you know what? It worked.’
MISSION: NO FREE ELECTIONS
Role Reversal: Shiia Leader Sells Out To Bush, Agrees To Put Off Elections
[New York Times, February 27, 2004, Pg. 1]
But Iraqi Puppet Council Leaders Demand Election Now
[Washington Times, February 25, 2004, Pg. 14 ]Senior members of the Iraqi Governing Council want national elections to be held before the U.S. hands over power to Iraqis on June 30, brushing aside a U.N. finding that a fair vote could not occur any earlier than the end of the year.
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. www.traveling-soldier.org/
IRAQ WAR REPORTS: Bomb Kills Estonian Soldier
29 February, 2004 BBC News A bomb planted by Iraqi insurgents has killed an Estonian soldier in Baghdad – the first fatality in the contingent from the Baltic republic.
The soldier died on Saturday while on patrol in the Abu Ghraib suburb.
Andres Nuiamae was the first Estonian soldier to be killed by hostile action since Estonia won independence in 1991, a government spokeswoman said. (No doubt his family will find it immensely comforting that Estonia, which was occupied by the Russian Empire for 50 years, has lost its first soldier as part of an new Imperial occupation of a small, defenseless country.)
Estonia has 45 soldiers serving with the US-led coalition forces in Iraq.
Jordanian Soldier Wounded In Drive-by
3.1.04 Hi Pakistan AMMAN: A Jordanian soldier working at Jordan's military hospital in Iraq's flashpoint western town of Fallujah was wounded as attackers opened fire from two cars Sunday, the government spokeswoman here said.
Sergeant Sedki Suleiman al-Zaarir was "hit by gunfire from two Iraqi civilian vehicles on the road between Fallujah and Baghdad", Asma Khodr said.
"The sergeant was wounded and taken to the Jordanian hospital," she added, stressing the man's life was not in danger.
Occupation Cop Killed In Kirkuk
1st Mar 2004 Arab Times, Kuwait, KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) An Iraqi police officer was shot dead early Sunday in an attack on a patrol in the northern city of Kirkuk, the second police death here in as many days, local authorities said. "Unknown assailants opened fire on a patrol at around 7:00 am (0400 GMT) in the Al-Qadissiyah district, killing 29-year-old officer Harun Hayden," the head of the local police emergency unit told AFP.
The attackers fled the scene after an exchange of fire with police. He said an inquiry has been launched to try to identify them.
Large Explosion Heard In Central Baghdad
1 Mar 2004 Dow Jones Newswires BAGHDAD (AP)—A large explosion was heard Monday in central Baghdad and appeared to have come from the vicinity of the headquarters of the U.S. occupation authority.
A Black Hawk helicopter circled over the green zone, the U.S. compound that includes Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace which serves as headquarters of the U.S.- led coalition, shortly after the explosion.
Akram Haider, a street vendor, said it appeared that a mortar shell was fired from the east bank of the Tigris River and exploded on the western side near the southern edge of the green zone.
Haider said it appeared the target may have been old fuel tanks.
Polish Force Fires On Religious Pilgrims; Polish General Tells Incredibly Stupid Lie
Feb. 29, 2004 TAREK AL-ISSAWI, Associated Press KARBALA, Iraq – Polish soldiers opened fire on a bus full of Shiite Muslim pilgrims from Iran after it failed to stop at a checkpoint Sunday, witnesses said. Ten people were hurt, including eight Iranian pilgrims, a Polish soldier and member of the Iraqi security forces, they said.
Polish officials, however, denied that the bus was carrying anyone but the driver and said they suspect the incident was an aborted terrorist attack.
The bus, apparently having brake troubles, struck a minivan and swerved into a concrete barrier at a checkpoint manned by Polish and Iraqi security forces, witnesses said.
Abbas Hassan, a member of the U.S.-trained Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, said Polish troops opened up with heavy firepower for several minutes, targeting all cars coming in on the highway from Baghdad. He said the gunfire destroyed the right side of the bus.
Another witness, who was in another car at the checkpoint, said the bus appeared to be having brake troubles when it hit the barrier. He said the bus had a capacity of 44 passengers and was full.
The witness saw bleeding passengers pulled from the bus, as well as from another vehicle behind it carrying more than a dozen people. Hassan said one Civil Defense Corps officer lost his leg when a piece of the bus struck him.
The commander of Polish forces in Iraq, Gen. Mieczyslaw Bieniek, denied that Polish troops fired on pilgrims and insisted the bus was empty except for the driver. Bieniek said troops were searching for explosives that may have been on the bus.
(The explosives are up Gen. Bieniek’s ass, along with his head. Gen. Bieniek is not only an astonishing ignoramus, but a downright falsifier of events for the benefit of his masters. The affairs of the Occupation must be in a bad way indeed.)
Still Not Enough Body Armor For Iraq Troops; Marine Dogs Get It, Mongolian Soldiers Have It, But Families Have To Buy It For Their U.S. Soldiers
(Remember late last summer when Army Times reported the Pentagon promise that “all” troops in Iraq would get body armor by Nov. 15, 2003?
Remember the recent newspaper stories that the Marines had supplied guard dogs with body armor? And that Mongolian troops sent to Iraq had body armor? And that military families had to go out and buy body armor to send to their relatives in Iraq who didn’t have any? Now, how could they do that if there wasn’t any body armor available? And why don’t the scum that run the government do that?
Guess what? The soldier-killers who run the Pentagon and the whole US Government still haven’t provided enough body armor for soldiers in Iraq. Big fucking surprise, since they insist on getting it from defense contractors. One obvious answer to the problem:
Stake out Bush, Rumsfeld, Abzaid, and this asshole Zakheim in Tikrit or Fallujah all night, with no body armor. If they live, if might give them a new perspective on the urgency of the question. If they die, fair enough, their criminal negligence has already killed too many U.S. troops.
The best answer, obviously is Bring All The Troops Home Now and let Bush go fight his own Imperial War for Oil And Empire.
March 01, 2004 By Rick Maze, Army Times staff writer
The Pentagon’s top budget officials tried Monday to reassure Congress about force protection measures for U.S. troops in Iraq.
Dov Zakheim, the Defense Department comptroller, told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that the U.S. Central Command plans to have 175,000 sets of Interceptor body armor in Iraq by the end of March. (Don’t hold your breath.) The command also will meet requirements for armored Humvees by December (!) through a combination of buying new vehicles, providing add-on armor and redistributing some of the already “up-armored” vehicles.
By July, the military hopes to have about 6,310 add-on armor kits for Humvees delivered to the Central Command, with a goal of having the command meet its requirements for armored Humvees by October, he said.
Zakheim’s testimony comes as lawmakers continue to express concerns about some units deployed or under orders to deploy to Iraq lacking body armor, armored vehicles and devises to detect or jam improvised explosive devices.
Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., complained in February that some National Guard units scheduled to deploy to Iraq had only canvas-sided Humvees that afforded no protection against the homemade roadside bombs plaguing U.S. troops.
Defense officials acknowledge they underestimated the need for improved body armor and vehicle protection in Iraq and have promised lawmakers they are getting the extra gear as quickly as it can be produced. (If military families can go to the store and buy it, it already has been “produced.”)
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 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: www.notinourname.net/gi-special/
Blinding Flash Of The Obvious
'Nations go to war when there is something to be got by it'. General W. Tecumseh Sherman
BAD PLACE TO BE: BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW: With thanks: from Ewa Jasiewicz email@example.com
Some Bitter Truth From Iraq
February 25, 2004 MFSO Soldiers Letter
The following letter was received by a professor who supports the work of Military Families Speak Out: "Here is a message I received today from one of my former students serving in the National Guard in Iraq. He has obviously written this in a hurry…"
Hello friend, how are you??
I am doing quite well as expected considering the circumstances. My feelings about being over here are quite simple: we should not be over here. The reason I feel this way is because I think that we were fighting for political reason more than reasons to fight a war.
The leaders of the regular army, showed me that they only care about one thing: uniform appearance. When my unit was back in Camp Pennsylvania, the 1st Armored Division brought in a one star, who kept getting in "who has the bigger ****" with other senior leaders that were there about uniform appearance. That unit had convoys going out of the gate to Iraq almost everyday with his soldiers getting attacked and not making it through it. To me that is not a leader. It is a selfish person who is and only is looking out for himself.
Now my unit is another different story. I cannot speak for every soldier only for myself. My unit leadership is "jackked up." I have was previously on active duty for 3 years. I feel that I learned enough about Regs and soldiering skills. I think that if your unit is understrength and don't have the manpower to fill the empty slots that is required of MTOE, after you have pulled in soldiers from another unit, then that should tell the leaders that your unit is not ready for a deployment. Now, when most of the soldiers that have serious medical and dental problems, still deploy two things: 1)it says that your unit will do anything to deploy and 2)that the MOB station does not do their job.
Well now that I am here in Iraq, the only thing that my unit has done is pulled security or guard duty. It is unreal of the things that has happen here. I will not go into detail because I don't have time to do that. When my unit gets home, it will all come out. Thank you for caring about us here over here. Our own state didn't care about us because everytime my senior personnel sergeant email to get something from back home it would take weeks to even get that response or an answer.
Again thank you my friend for caring about us soldiers over here in Iraq.
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.
Mid-East Occupations Not Enough For Bush: Haiti Pedestrians Raise Hands “In Fright And Surprise”
3.1.04 By PAISLEY DODDS and IAN JAMES, Associated Press Writers Most of the 150 U.S. Marines who arrived Sunday night were at the capital's airport, some doing overflights in a helicopter.
Some of the 50 Marines who arrived last week drove cautiously along the waterfront road, and pedestrians raised their hands in fright and surprise upon seeing them. "Most of (Haitians) are going to welcome us. We're glad to be here," Col. David Berger, head of the U.S. Marine contingent told the AP. (That may change fast.)
A half-dozen Marines in combat fatigues with assault rifles were seen on the grounds of the palace. The rebels and the Marines did not immediately approach each other. Berger said 150 Marines had arrived from 8th Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C. "The U.S. forces have been sent here to secure key sites in the capital to achieve more security and a stable environment," Berger said. "People who interfere with that mission, we will handle with appropriate force."
At the airport, U.S. and French military commanders huddled over a map of Port-au- Prince as a French military attaché pointed out locations where armed pro-Aristide militants have been known to gather.
U.S. Marines set up a security perimeter at the airport, kneeling in the grass as about 80 French Marines arrived in C-160 transport planes. The French Marines' supplies included crates of bottled Evian water.
Asked how troops would interact with the rebels and remnants of armed Aristide supporters, he said: "I have no instructions to go about disarmament."
War's Invisible Casualties: Guard And Reserve Families Left Behind Isolated, In Crisis
David Wood, Newhouse News, 2/28/2004 CUMBERLAND, Md. — Deepening U.S. military commitments overseas are creating a new and largely invisible class of military dependents scattered across America's small towns and city neighborhoods: the struggling families of parttime soldiers called away on lengthy combat tours.
In isolation, they are paying an unreckoned cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as tens of thousands of reservists and National Guard soldiers are dispatched to take the place of exhausted active-duty troops.
Sudden deployments into war zones are common at military posts like Fort Bragg and Camp Pendleton. When an active-duty battalion departs, every house on the block is plunged into the same single-parent predicament; every kid in the elementary school lacks a dad or a mom. The active-duty military helps stabilize the ensuing chaos with after-school programs, financial help, car repair and even cooperative grocery shopping. But individual reservists and Guard troops now called to active duty — 184,132 at last count — come from small towns like Abbeville, Ala., and Paola, Kan., and Driggs, Idaho, and from city neighborhoods in the Bronx, Tucson, Saginaw and Long Beach. Most are hours from a major military installation.
"The fact is we are separated," said Linda Comer, 57, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Comer, is in Iraq.
An energetic and voluble grandmother, Comer runs the family support program for the 372nd MPs. She operates a phone tree, conveys gossip from the guys in Iraq, passes on official information from the Army — like the recent announcement that their time in country had been extended from eight months to 12.
But maintaining camaraderie is an uphill job. Fewer than two dozen of the unit's 168 families can get to monthly support meetings; their official PX and family support center are at Fort Meade, a round-trip drive of three hours.
Money, as always, is a struggle. Incomes drop as some families swerve from civilian salary to military pay. Others, like Davis, have to pay for car mechanics and plumbers to do work her husband usually does.
Even when families are willing to drive hours to see a military doctor, some find they're put on a waiting list behind active-duty soldiers and their kin. "Hello, my kid's sick this week — not three weeks from now," said Davis, a 36-year-old whose four children range from 17 to 9.
Chip Davis deployed for Desert Storm in 1990, and that was hard. "We stupidly thought this would be easier — but some days I don't know if I'm going to make it," Janice Davis said. Last time his homecoming was so rocky they got divorced — then remarried several years later.
It is her view that service in a war zone is no picnic, but it's the families who suffer. "They call at all hours, especially midnight. They have no one to turn to," she said. "The men over there are in a squad, in a platoon, they're all in there together. We have people drive three, four hours to a family support meeting.
"Yesterday was a bad day. Calls all day long. I was exhausted."
And that's in the midst of her own worries, which crowd in during rare moments of idleness. "I can't imagine what our soldiers are going through over there," she mused during a dark moment. "I think they'll come back different people. Are we all going to be splitting up?"
Recalling a homeless, alcoholic veteran she'd seen, she wonders: "Are our guys going to be another group of lost people?"
"People want to do things," said Becky McClarran, a Cumberland community activist whose son serves in Iraq with the 372nd MPs. "Often people just don't know what to do."
But it's difficult to keep that momentum. "Where everybody was so helpful and checking in on us last February, that has kind of dwindled down now," said Deanna Smith.
The war, she said, "is not affecting the lives of anyone around here. Their lives go on."
Army Stops Accepting New Black Hawks; Plant Workers Charge Shitty Parts Being Installed
March 01, 2004 Associated Press STRATFORD, Conn. — The Army has temporarily stopped accepting Black Hawk helicopters from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., citing concerns about the company’s assembly line, Sikorsky said Sunday.
“Their concern is that Sikorsky-manufactured parts are not being installed correctly,” spokesman Matt Broder said.
WTNH-TV has reported on employee allegations that parts not meeting specifications were installed in Black Hawk helicopters. The Pentagon is investigating the matter and Sikorsky has repeatedly denied any quality problems. He would not say which installation processes were at issue.
Returning Carson Troops Screwed Again:
March 01, 2004 Associated Press FORT CARSON, Colo. — The thousands of Fort Carson soldiers returning from service in Iraq face a new challenge when they get home: finding a job.
Marcus Starr, 30, and his wife, Kameka, 24, were Army support specialists in Iraq, and will be officially out of the Army by the end of March. They are among up to an estimated 6,000 soldiers expected to leave the military and look for work in a tight civilian job market after returning from Iraq.
“It’s tough, really tough,” said Marcus Starr, who returned to Fort Carson in January. “I got into a bad car accident last year, broke three bones in my spine, tore the ligaments in my knee and begged to be deployed a week later with my wife so I could watch over her. But now that we’re back and I need a job, I can’t seem to find one.”
About 12,000 Fort Carson soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and 10,000 are expected back by April, said William Barnson who manages the Army post’s outplacement center, the Army Career and Alumni Program. He estimates as much as half will leave military service, either voluntarily or because of medical disabilities.
“When we were not in a wartime mode, we processed about 4,000 (separations) per year from about 15,000 soldiers assigned to the post,” Barnson said. “We’re estimating that over the next five or six months we’ll be processing about 1,000 a month.”
About half the soldiers leaving service will have come from combat positions and may “need to be re-educated” for jobs that require special skills, Barnson said.
99 Things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army
April 16, 2003
Posted by: Avalanche Company
Company A, 2nd Battalion, 103rd Armor, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
Written by: SPC Schwartz aka Skippy aka Princess Anastasia, stationed with the Army at Ft. Bragg before deployment to the Balkans.
SPC Schwartz was either very clever or very bored; but probably both, since he managed to attempt or be warned about 213 things he wasn't allowed to do. He collected those things into a list and posted them to the web. Here are the first 99. More next issue.
1. Not allowed to watch Southpark when I'm supposed to be working.
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Residents Rally As US Soldiers Kill Iraqi, Injure Another; "Down with America! Down with Bush!"
29Feb2004 Dow Jones Newswires RUMAYTHAH, Iraq (AP)—Hundreds of Iraqis, including several children, rallied against coalition troops here after U.S. soldiers fired on a car that failed to stop when a military convoy passed by, killing one Iraqi and critically injuring another.
The shooting took place near Rumaythah, 40 kilometers north of Samawah where Dutch soldiers and some 230 Japanese soldiers are based.
Although he was not caught up in the violence, Japanese commander Colonel Koichiro Bansho canceled his trip to the town because of the rally.
After the shooting, a crowd gathered around the site of the car, its windows broken, chanting "Down with America! Down with Bush!"
As U.S. soldiers and Dutch marines responsible for security tried to keep the roadway clear, they were pelted with rocks and yelled at.
"If these massacres don't stop, we shall fight the Americans!" one unidentified protester yelled. "Why do we have to be nice, to cooperate with them?! Why do they do this to us?"
An Associated Press Television News reporter said the crowd's anger was focused on the American soldiers and that Dutch marines ultimately calmed the crowd.
Insurgents Will Target Only Police Who Help Occupation
March 01, 2004 Associated Press RAMADI, Iraq — In a statement attributed to rebels fighting the U.S.-led occupation, insurgents pledged not to attack Iraqi police unless they help coalition forces. The statement, received by The Associated Press on Monday, also warned Iraqis to stay away from American convoys.
Signed by the “Mujahedeen in Iraq,” the statement directed its warning at members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and threatened anyone else who worked with the coalition, including people who hand over illegal weapons or spy on insurgents.
The statement promised insurgents would “hit the occupying forces wherever they are.” Insurgents have stepped up attacks on Iraqis cooperating with U.S. forces, particularly police and other security forces. Last month, two Army Humvees were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades as they tried to visit a police station in Ramadi, west of Baghdad.
Insurgent And Soldier: Two Views On Iraq Fight
[Christian Science Monitor, February 25, 2004, Pg. 1] Maj. John Nagl, a guerrilla warfare specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division, has grappled with the challenges posed by Iraqi insurgents. He says it is a “constant competition.” That view is shared by “Ahmad,” a member of a local resistance cell.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Iraq Stockmarket To Open In Undisclosed Location
[Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2004]
Ann Exline Starr has worked for several financial exchanges, but none compare to what she expects to encounter as she helps restart Iraq’s stock exchange. Opening date for the Iraqi exchange depends on the Iraqi Governing Council writing laws authorizing its existence. Where it will be situated is a secret for security reasons. (More admissions that the Occupation has lost control of Iraq are expected soon.)
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Uzbekistan Frees Government Critic; Rumsfeld Visiting Dictator Who Boils People To Death
[Washington Post, February 25, 2004, Pg. 20]
Uzbekistan released a 62-year-old woman who had been imprisoned for protesting her son’s death by torture. Muzafar Avazoy died in an Uzbek prison after he was submerged in boiling water. His mother had been sentenced to six years at hard labor for protesting his death, and because both belong to a group that wants an Islamic government in Uzbekistan. Secretary Rumsfeld said the U.S. has “benefited greatly” from its military presence in Uzbekistan. (So, if it’s an evil, murderous tyrant who tortures his own people [Hussein] they send 150,000 soldiers to get rid of him, and if it’s an evil, murderous tyrant who tortures his own people but he likes the American Empire, Rumsfeld makes a courtesy call to thank him. Next time somebody tries to tell you U.S. soldiers in Iraq aren’t dying completely in vain for Imperial political bullshit, show them this one.)
Unarmed Palestinian Boy Shot In Back By Israeli Terrorists While Waving Goodbye To UN Staff
Feb. 28, 2004 By Mitch Potter, MIDDLE EAST BUREAU, Toronto Star GAZA CITY—An Israeli army officer has been suspended after an unarmed Palestinian youth was shot in the back at close range as he waved goodbye to a delegation of visiting United Nations aid workers, the Star has learned.
Yousef Bashir, 15, remains in serious condition at a hospital in Tel Aviv, where he was taken after the Feb. 18 incident at his family's home near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the southern Gaza Strip.
He is partially paralyzed beneath his shoulder blades, with shrapnel lodged against his spine, the boy's father said.
An Israel Defence Forces spokesperson confirmed yesterday an unnamed officer has been suspended in connection with the shooting, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Palestinian claims seldom result in convictions against IDF soldiers. The Bashir shooting is rare because it happened in plain view of three U.N. personnel who were visiting the family home.
"The boy was no more than five metres from us, waving goodbye after our visit, with his back to the Israeli observation post," said one of the U.N. field staff.
"It was absolutely quiet. But then a single shot was fired. The boy fell to his knees and then he collapsed on the ground. It was like slow-motion video.
"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind the bullet came from the Israeli army position. They were only about 20 metres away. There was nothing else going on. There is no other explanation."
The shooting comes as the most severe incident in the Bashir family's long struggle with the IDF.
Nearly three years ago, the army confiscated a large swath of the family property to increase the buffer zone for the Jewish settlers of nearby Kfar Darom.
In the process, the family said their greenhouses were demolished, nearly 120 date palms were uprooted and IDF actually moved into the home, establishing military positions on the second and third floors, replete with a closed-circuit television camera and camouflage netting.
Khalil Bashir, a school principal in the nearby town of Deir Al-Ballah, has refused to vacate the home and has moved the family — elderly mother, wife and five children — to a single room on the ground floor.
In recent weeks, the IDF intensified restrictions on the family, forbidding visitors without prior arrangement.
On Feb. 3 — just as the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unveiled plans for a unilateral withdrawal of the Israeli settlements in Gaza, including Kfar Darom — the Bashir family and other property owners in the neighbourhood were served written orders by the IDF for additional land confiscations.
The U.N. field team, based in Gaza City, was visiting the family in order to investigate the new orders when the shooting occurred.
"We arrived in a clearly marked United Nations armoured car, white with black markings," a second U.N. staffer told the Star in a separate interview.
After a brief visit, a soldier shouted for the U.N. visitors to leave.
"Khalil Bashir and his son Yousef walked us back to our car. We climbed in and began to reverse. They waved goodbye and that's when the shot rang out and the boy fell to the ground," the second U.N. staffer said.
Tel Aviv doctors are weighing the possibility he will be able to walk one day. The U.N. witnesses have each written reports. So far, they have not been interviewed by Israeli army investigators. Khalil Bashir said last night he has not been contacted by army investigators for his account of his son's shooting.
(To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign power, go to: www.rafah.vze.com. The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation is Palestine.)
Thanks soooooooo much for helping me out with your knowledge of this milieu. I will most certainly investigate your leads and will check out your report on a weekly basis as it presents a fantastic view of events that is never reported in the mainstream media.
I wish you all the best in your professional endeavor and extend my gratitude once again for your kindness in sharing information.
I saw your postings on notinourname.net. There is a slight problem there as I cannot open the files due to lack of software. So if at all possible could you please send your bulletin to email address? I am a radio dj and I would love to be able to talk about some of these issues that arise during trying times. Thank you
If printed out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 22.214.171.124.