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GI Special - The Military Project.doc by shenreng9qgrg132


									GI Special:   4.29.07   Print it out: color best. Pass it on.


“There Is Nothing ‘Good’
 About Our Occupation
        Of Iraq”
 “We Do Not Really Give A Rat’s
   Ass About These People”
 “Members Of The Military Who Speak
  About The ‘Good’ We Are Doing Out
Here Are Not Seeing The Bigger Picture”
[This email is from a member of the armed forces serving in Iraq. To protect from
possible harassment by Bush Buddies, as always, all identifying information has
been deleted. T.]
From: [XXXXXX] [In Iraq]
To: GI Special
Sent: April 28, 2007

         [Sign says: “I fuck sheep when I’m not busy mortaring the base.”]

This photo arrived [xxxxxxx] last week.

I do not know any of the details about this photo, such as where and when it was taken,
who the Marine is or his unit, etc., although I am fairly certain it was taken very recently
here in Iraq. What is sad and sickening is that most, but not all, Marines around here
find this to be humorous.

If we are truly here to “liberate” our “friends”, the Iraqi people, we would not find
humor in mocking them this way.

This is only one photo, but the message speaks volumes.

We do not really give a rat’s ass about these people.

Members of the military who speak about the “good” we are doing out here are
not seeing the bigger picture.

There is nothing “good” about our occupation of Iraq.

It is my opinion that they are just as delusional about this debacle as is the current
occupant and his band of neo-cons.

Incidentally, I now have difficulty accessing from my [xxxxxx]
I am not certain yet if it is a bandwidth issue, or if it might be getting filtered out
somewhere along the way.


Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward GI Special along,
or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in
Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service
friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing
resistance to the war, inside the armed services and at home. Send email
requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576
Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657

                         IRAQ WAR REPORTS

         American Samoa Casualty In Iraq
April 14, 2007 By Fili Sagapolutele in Pago Pago, Pacific Magazine

Samoan soldier U.S. Army Sgt. Raymond S. Sevaaetasi, who was killed this week in
Iraq, is described by family and friends as an “all around good and humble person”.

Sevaaetasi, 29, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died April 11 in Baghdad, Iraq, of
wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, the Defense
Department announced Friday.

He was assigned to the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st
Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

His uncle, Ernie Sevaaetasi says, “his parents and the entire family is mourning our
great loss...We all miss Raymond very much.”

Raymond and his twin - Regina, are the third of the children of Tuala and Leata
Sevaaetasi from Leone Village.

Leata Sevaaetasi said her son has been with the Army for nine years was on his second
deployment. His first was late 2003 or early 2004 and he was redeployed last October,
she said.

She last spoke to her more than a week ago. “Raymond told me - ‘I love you mom and
give my love to my kids and wife and don’t worry’.”

“Raymond is a very humble and quiet person and people that knows him, love him very
much,” she said. “He is very obedient from a young child even when he got married and
had a family of his own.”
A 1995 graduate of Leone High School, where he was student body vice president,
Seva’aetasi is the 12th person of Samoan ancestry to die in the 4-year-old Iraqi

Seva’aetasi’s close friend, Eucharist Elisara Reupena, who was student body president
at Leone High School when Seva’aetasi was vice president, described the soldier as “an
all around good person.”

Reupena said Seva’aetasi was the type of person “that would go out of their way for a
friend or duty. I honor and remember him as a hero and a brave person.”

After Leone High School, Seva’aetasi attended American Samoa Community College
and graduated in 1997. Seva’aetasi graduated in 1998 from basic military training at Fort
Sill, Lawton, Okla.

He is survived by his parents; wife Angel Brown-Seva’aetasi and two daughters,
Nakaysia and Talimaitalosaga; brothers Michael, Talipuna and Tito, and sisters
Regina(twin) and Mariah.

         Paradise Soldier Killed In Action
04/19/2007 By Nicole Pothier, Paradise Post

A Paradise man who, since he was a child, dreamed of joining the military and serving
his country, was killed by enemy fire Sunday while serving in Iraq.

Pfc. Steven Walberg-Riotto, 18, had been hand-picked from a group of volunteers to
perform security duty in Baghdad , according to an e-mailed statement released from the
family Tuesday.

The unit came under enemy sniper fire and while returning fire Steven received a fatal

This is the first Paradise soldier to die since the beginning of the war.

“(Steven) was doing what he was supposed to do and he kept others from getting hurt,”
said Steven’s Aunt Tammy Riotto. “They stressed that we should be very proud of him,
and that goes without saying.”

Steven was in the Army infantry and was stationed in Fort Riley , Kan. prior to being
deployed to Iraq in January. Steven entered the Army in June after graduating from
Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, Tammy said. “He has wanted this his whole life,”
she said. “He was doing what he knew he needed to do.” Tammy said Steven was a
very independent, methodical and determined person who was “amazingly intelligent.”

Growing up he loved baseball, riding his mountain bike, playing chess with his
grandfather and playing military-style video games.

Everything in his life was centered around the military, Tammy said.
Steven’s love of the military began as a child. He enjoyed the regiment and organization
the military provided, she said.

Though his parents didn’t encourage him to join the military, by the time he reached high
school they knew he planned on making it his career, Tammy said.

“Steven knew all along that he was going to go, come hell or high water,” she said.

Steven learned in boot camp that he was going to be deployed to Iraq and wanted to go,
Tammy said. “(But) once he got there it was a lot harder emotionally then he thought it
was going to be,” she said.

Karen Riotto, Steven’s mom, spoke with Steven hours before he died. The family
learned of his death when a van of Army officials showed up at Karen’s house in
Paradise , Tammy said.

“(Steven) knew his family loved him and was very proud of him,” Tammy said. “I have no
doubt in my mind that he died knowing he was doing the right thing.”

The Army sent the family an advocate to be with them during their time of need and he is
helping them get Steven back to Paradise , plan his funeral and comfort the family,
Tammy said.

“He’s very open, he’s very empathetic. It’s like having a family member there to help,”
she said. “He makes the transition so much easier. He has spent pretty much every
waking moment with them.”

The advocate called a Lt. Colonel in Iraq who was in Steven’s unit and present during
the attack. The colonel was able to tell the family firsthand what happened to Steven and
answer their questions, Tammy said.

“I’m very thankful to the Army for the support that they’re giving,” she said.

The advocate is also trying to bring Tammy’s daughter Kasey Cornwell home for the
funeral. Cornwell is currently in the Air Force and stationed at Lackland Air Force Base
in Texas.

Tammy said Cornwell and Steven were born 12 days apart and became very close in
their senior year of high school.

“They created a bond that was pretty unexpected. She’s very torn up,” Tammy said.
“She’s feeling better knowing there’s hope that she will be (at the funeral).”

Steven’s death has also affected staff members at Pleasant Valley High School and the
flag was seen flying half-staff for him on Tuesday.

Head Counselor Karen Olberg said she was Steven’s counselor and enjoyed working
with him for the four years he was in high school.
“He really impressed me as being a great student as someone with a bright future,” she
said. Steven was a “deep thinking” student who was particularly good at math, Olberg

“I was really saddened to hear the news; it seems so tragic to me. I saw such promise in
him and I thought he would do great things,” she said. “We’re pretty devastated; Steven
was a really great kid.”

Final plans surrounding Steven’s funeral have not been arranged and will depend on
when he arrives home from Iraq, Tammy said.

Currently, Steven is in Kuwait awaiting a flight to the East Coast where he will have a
charter flight into Chico. Tammy said Steven will have a military escort the entire way of
the trip up until the funeral home of the family’s choice.

A public service will be held at The Father’s House in Live Oak followed with a private
gravesite service for the family, Tammy said.

Steven is survived by his mother Karen Riotto, stepfather Len Riotto, biological father
Steve Walberg, sister Leanna Riotto, 7, and brother Jason Riotto, 20.

             COME HOME, NOW

    A soldier at Camp Striker in Baghdad April 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

    Longview Family Mourns Paratrooper
           Killed In Afghanistan

                                 Staff Sgt. Casey Combs

Apr 17, 2007 By Evan Caldwell, The Daily News

A Longview family is mourning the death of Staff Sgt. Casey Combs, 28, a paratrooper
from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Combs died last week from a roadside bombing in Miri, Afghanistan.

“Everybody is still in shock,” Colleen (Robbins) Combs, Casey’s mother, said in a phone
interview Monday.

“He did so much. He was an Eagle Scout,” said Combs who, like most of the fallen
soldier’s extended family, lives in Longview.

Combs grew up in Maple Valley, Wash., and Orting , Wash., and graduated from
Sumner High School. Her son also was an umpire for baseball, played baseball
throughout his youth and was on the Board of Directors at the Bonney Lake Youth
Association, Colleen Combs said.

Combs, of Raeford, N.C., was an infantryman in the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat
Team of the 82nd. Combs joined the Army in 2002.

“I’ve been crying for three days,” his mother said. “My eyes are so swollen shut I can’t

Combs is survived by his wife, Amber Combs, 27, and his daughter Hallie, 6, and son
Trenton, 2, all of Raeford; his father, Robert Combs, of Orting, and his mother. Other
survivors include his grandmother, Renee Robbins, and brothers Jeff Combs of Whidbey
Island, Wash., and Sam Combs of Kelso. His late grandfather, Harvey Robbins, was an
operator at the Longview water treatment plant.

This past Christmas, Combs was able to spend the holiday with his family in North
Carolina. “I knew that meant the world to him,” his mother recalled.

“He was the best father.”
Casey Combs met Amber when they were both lifeguards at Wild Waves in Federal
Way, Colleen said. He frequently visited his family in Longview and attended many
holiday get-togethers here, Colleen said.

This was Combs’ fourth tour of duty --- the previous three were in Iraq --- and he
was scheduled to come home in July.

He had planned on transferring to Fort Lewis and being closer to his family. “He wanted
to be a high school teacher,” said Colleen Combs. “While he was in the military he was
getting credits for his teaching degree.”

Combs went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last summer to help train
cadets, she said. “That is a great honor.”

“Combs never stepped away from a challenge or shirked responsibility,” Sgt. 1st Class
Kevin Burrill told The Associated Press.

Amber Combs told The Associated Press her husband had been a construction foreman
before he joined the Army. Casey Combs also built his family’s house in North Carolina.

“He was a good dad, cared a lot about his kids and liked to be home with them,” Amber
Combs said. Combs’ mother said his entire family is proud of him. Funeral services are
tentatively planned for Saturday at the Church of the Nazarene in Puyallup.

“He was patriotic,” she said. “He had everything going for him. He was a good boy. It’s
not fair. It’s a great loss.”

             “Insurgency Is Spreading”
  “Reaching Provinces In The North That
    Had Never Been Its Strongholds”
One former Taliban official and Afghan author on the group says the Taliban’s
goal at this stage is not to take over Afghanistan — which they neither have the
manpower nor popular support for — but to force the ouster of Western troops
from Afghanistan.

April 25, 2007 by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR [Excerpts]

In Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgency is spreading, even reaching some
provinces in the north that had never been its strongholds. Last week, Taliban
fighters attacked a district only 45 miles from the capital, Kabul.

Afghans [translation: collaborators] increasingly fear that NATO and Afghan
forces will lose the war.
As the fighters reach more and more towns and villages, attacks are on the rise in once
peaceful areas.

For many, the recent attack by 100 Taliban fighters in the province of Kapisa, a
largely Tajik enclave 60 miles from Kabul, illustrates the strengthening hold of the
group across Afghanistan.

Some Western and Afghan officials are reluctantly admitting that the Taliban exert
a lot of control over most of the southern and eastern provinces — and the group
appears to be strengthening its hold on the Farah province to the west.

The Taliban has shown a growing skill for taking advantage of the corruption-plagued
and weakened government of President Hamid Karzai and clan rivalries that can
destabilize whole regions.

One former Taliban official and Afghan author on the group says the Taliban’s
goal at this stage is not to take over Afghanistan — which they neither have the
manpower nor popular support for — but to force the ouster of Western troops
from Afghanistan.

                 Assorted Resistance Action
April 25, 2007 By Anna Johnson, Associated Press & 28/04/2007 Reuters

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - A roadside bomb killed seven Afghan soldiers in a military
convoy Wednesday, the latest in a string of deadly attacks underlining the vulnerability of
Afghan forces taking a more prominent role in battling Taliban guerrillas.

The soldiers were traveling in a 10-vehicle convoy in the Wazekha area of eastern
Paktika Province, near the border with Pakistan, said army Gen. Murad Ali. A blast
destroyed their vehicle, and an eighth soldier was wounded.

Four policemen were killed in a clash in southern Uruzgan province late on yesterday.

                               TROOP NEWS

 Atrocities and Suicides Increase
 With More Deployments And Less
            Reset Time
The survey also comes with a recommendation from mental health workers that
seems to fly in the face of the recently extended deployment lengths and troop
surge: “Extend the interval between deployments to 18 to 36 months or decrease
deployment length to allow time for soldiers (and) Marines to mentally re-set.”

April 26, 2007 By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer, Army Times [Excerpts]

A recently released survey of soldiers and Marines puts concrete numbers behind
problems experts have worried about since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

Suicides are up among combat vets, mental health issues are worse among those
who deploy often and for longer periods, and one out of 10 service members
surveyed said they have hit or kicked non-combatant Iraqis or destroyed their

Only half said they would report another service member for hurting or killing an
Iraqi civilian.

The survey also comes with a recommendation from mental health workers that
seems to fly in the face of the recently extended deployment lengths and troop
surge: “Extend the interval between deployments to 18 to 36 months or decrease
deployment length to allow time for soldiers (and) Marines to mentally re-set.”

Soldiers and Marines who have faced the most combat situations, deployed for longer
periods of time, and deployed more than once face more mental health issues,
according to a survey of 1,320 soldiers and 447 Marines.

Of those on a second, third or fourth deployment, 27 percent screened positive for
mental health issues, compared to 17 percent of first-time deployers. And 22 percent of
those in-theater for six months or more screened positive for mental health issues,
compared to 15 percent of those who had been there fewer than six months.

More than three-quarters of the service members surveyed said they had been in
situations where they could have been injured or killed, and two-thirds said they know
someone who has been seriously injured or killed.

Army combat vets also have higher suicide rates — 16.1 per 100,000 compared to 11.1
per 100,000 for nondeployed soldiers. And, according to newly released data, the
Army’s suicide program is not built ideally to help deployed soldiers.

Many soldiers and Marines are heading for their third or fourth trips to Iraq.

The survey found that people who have deployed the most often are most likely to
hurt noncombatants.

Only 25 percent said they would risk their own lives to help an Iraqi civilian in danger.

Marines had fewer complaints about deployment length and family separation, which
soldiers named as their top noncombat issues.
Marines fared better in rates of mental health issues, except when matched for numbers
and lengths of deployment.

Marines generally have shorter tours than soldiers do.

Ishikawa and Kuroshima would understand: insert troops into a
hell on earth and there’s no way to prevent atrocities. Yet the
real fiends in their capital suites are never spattered with a
single drop of blood. Solidarity, Z

  Racist Freaks In Command Ordered
  Hispanic New Mexico Guard Troops
   To Take Off Their Clothes So They
      Could Inspect Their Bodies
[Thanks to David Honish, Veteran, who sent this in. He writes: If a little skin ink is all it
takes to evade duty in Iraq...]

April 27, 2007 Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The commander of New Mexico’s National Guard is
demanding an apology from the Army brass after dozens of his Soldiers in a mostly
Hispanic unit were ordered to strip to their gym shorts and searched for gang tattoos
while on duty in Kuwait.

Army officials said the searches last May of 58 New Mexico National Guardsmen in a
unit called Task Force Cobra were proper and legal.

But Brig. Gen. Kenny Montoya, head of the state National Guard, said he believes
ethnicity played a role in the episode - the unit is 55 percent Hispanic.

“I said something wrong was done there, and it was because of race, and I want to
make sure it will not happen again,” Montoya said.

The search was prompted by an unsubstantiated allegation from a Soldier in another
unit who complained about gang activity among Soldiers in Kuwait.

The Soldier claimed to have seen gang tattoos among members of Task Force Cobra’s
parent unit.

The search, conducted by an agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division,
turned up no gang tattoos.

The Army forbids extremist, racist, sexist or vulgar tattoos and prohibits membership in
any extremist organization, though the regulations do not specifically mention gangs.

After the incident, the Army recommended discipline against three New Mexico
Soldiers who objected to the searches.

Maj. Kenneth Nava, a spokesman for the New Mexico Guard, said those three were
counseled but not otherwise punished.

After the Albuquerque Journal reported the incident this week, New Mexico’s
congressional delegation demanded a full investigation from the Army. Gov. Bill
Richardson, the nation’s only Hispanic governor and a Democratic presidential hopeful,
said he supports an investigation into the “degrading searches.”

The New Mexico chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens also
expressed outrage.

“This is no way to treat our troops that are sacrificing their lives for the cost of our

“Racial profiling is reprehensible and should not be condoned,” said Paul A.
Martinez, the group’s executive director.


The coffin containing the body of U.S. Army soldier Jason Nunez Fernandez, after his
remains were returned to his native Puerto Rico, at Muniz Airbase in Carolina, April 2,
2007. Fernandez, of the 82nd Airborne Division, was killed last week in a bomb attack
against his convoy near Baqubah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)


Iraqi Nationalist Political Leader Calls
  Bush “The Greatest Evil” “Like The
         One-Eyed Antichrist”
Apr 28, 2007 By Sami al-Jumaili [Reuters]

[Moqtada al] Sadr, whose six ministers quit Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s
coalition government this month, renewed his demand for a U.S. pullout a day after Bush
pledged to veto legislation that would require U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq by
October 1.

Calling Bush “the greatest evil,” Sadr said in a letter read out by a Sadrist legislator in
parliament that an eventual U.S. pullout would be a “victory for the Iraqi people.”

“Here are the Democrats demanding that you withdraw at least with a timetable and you
are stubborn against them,” said Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia fought two uprisings
against U.S. forces in 2004.
“You are like the one-eyed Antichrist. You look with one eye and refuse to look
with the other,” he said of Bush.

                  Assorted Resistance Action
28 Apr 2007 Reuters

A car bomber targeting a military checkpoint killed one soldier and wounded three others
in Khalis, a town 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Guerrillas captured an oil facility security official and his driver in Baiji, 180 km (112
miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

A roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol, wounding two soldiers in al-Qahira district in
northern Baghdad, police said.

Guerrillas killed one police officer and wounded two in an attack on a police patrol in
Dhuluiya, a town 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

                 END THE OCCUPATION

                  FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I
the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of
biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is
not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need
the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. Frederick Douglas, 1852

             The New Winter Soldiers:
   GI And Veteran Dissent During The
              Vietnam Era
The New Winter Soldiers, By Richard Moser, Rutgers University Press New Brunswick,
New Jersey; 1996; ISBN 0-813 5-2242-0.

Cover design by Liz Doles.

Cover illustration: From Winter Solder: A Publication of Vietnam Veterans Against the
War/Winter Soldier Organization 3, no. 10 (December 1973): 16.

RICHARD MOSER lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches American history at
Middle Tennessee State University.


Richard Moser uses interviews and personal stories of Vietnam veterans to offer a
fundamentally new interpretation of the Vietnam War and the antiwar movement.

Although the Vietnam War was the most important conflict of recent American
history, its decisive battle was not fought in the jungles of Vietnam, or even in the
streets of the United States, but rather in the hearts and minds of American

To a degree unprecedented in American history, soldiers and veterans acted to oppose
the very war they waged. Tens of thousands of soldiers and veterans engaged in
desperate conflicts with their superiors and opposed the war through peaceful protest,
creating a mass movement of dissident organizations and underground newspapers.

Moser shows how the antiwar soldiers lived out the long tradition of the citizen-soldier
first created in the American Revolution and Civil War.

Unlike those great upheavals of the past, the Vietnam War offered no way to fulfill
the citizen-soldier’s struggle for freedom and justice.

Rather than abandoning such ideals, however, tens of thousands abandoned the
war effort and instead fulfilled their heroic expectations in the movements for
peace and justice. According to Moser, this transformation of warriors into
peacemakers is the most important recent development of our military culture.


“Moser has written an important story of transformation. He provides a detailed
description of ways in which pain became a source of insight and action, ‘how thousands
of American soldiers and veterans created something good from what was one of the
worst experiences of their lives.’ The book will contribute to our knowledge not only of
the Vietnam War but of broader human struggles to cope with, and ultimately contest,
war- making.” Robert J. Lifton, author of Home from the War: Learning from Vietnam
Veterans and The Nazi Doctors

“Not only does Moser show the hidden depths and the extent of the antiwar movement
among American GIs during the Vietnam War, but he also offers us a new way to read
that movement. This is a finely tuned blend of anecdote and interpretation.” -Ronald J..
Grele, Director, Oral History Research Office, Columbia University

“Moser has given us much more than an eye-opening Vietnam War book. The New
Winter Soldiers also demands serious attention from all of us trying to make sense of the
rocky histories of American masculinized citizenship and militarized masculinity.”
Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, author of The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End
of the Cold War

    The Traitors’ Wife Says No One
    Suffers More Than Bush About
 A Gold Star Mother Says “Please Do
 Not Insult Our Intelligence And The
   Sacrifice Of The Soldiers And Their
April 27, 2007 Via L C Wolf, VFP post, [VFP-GA]

Laura Bush on The Today Show April 25, 2007:

ANN CURRY: Do you know the American people are suffering… watching (Iraq)?

LAURA BUSH: Oh, I know that very much, and, believe me, no one suffers more
than their president and I do when we watch this.

And certainly the commander-in-chief who has asked our military to go into harm’s way.

AC: What do you think the American people need to know…

LB: Well, I hope they do know the burden of worry that’s on his shoulders every single
day for our troops. And I think they do. I think if they don’t, they’re not seeing what the
real responsibilities of our president are.

AC: It must be hard for you to watch him in this.

LB: It’s hard. Of course, it’s absolutely hard.


By Amy Branham, Gold Star Mom

Are You Kidding Me?

Believe me, Laura, there are many others who suffer more than you and your
husband when they watch on TV the horrors of Iraq.

I can name several people that I know personally, myself included, who have
suffered much more than you because of this war.

You only have to watch it on TV when you chose to. You can turn it off and on at will
and walk away from it. Thousands upon thousands of others, however, cannot.

Have you stayed up all night, walking the floors of your home, wondering about
the last moments of your child’s life?

Have you had to sit back and watch as your daughters mourned their big brother,
their only brother, who is now dead?

Have you held and comforted your husband whose heart has broken?
Just tell me, how have you and the President suffered in all of this, tucked away
safe and sound in your Ivory Tower?

What about the military families who send their sons, daughters, husbands, wives,
moms and dads into battle over and over again? Have you suffered the way they have?
Have you lost your job, your family?

Have you or any member of your family come home maimed for life from the loss
of limbs? Has any member of your family suffered from PTSD or suicidal
thoughts? Have you sat up all night wondering if you will ever hear from your
loved one again because you know they are in harm’s way?

Let’s talk about the soldiers who are not getting the supplies and equipment they need
but are doing their best every single day to do their jobs in an impossible situation –
because your husband sent them to an ill-begotten, immoral and unjust war against a
country and a people who did not attack us.

They miss their homes, their families, their lives.

And their lives will never be the same if they do come home unharmed.

The men and women of our military have suffered much more than you and

Most of all, have you even given one ounce of thought to the people of Iraq? What
about their suffering? How many tens of thousands of deaths have they suffered? How
many of their homes have been destroyed? How many whole families have been killed?

I promise you, Laura, there is absolutely no way you and George have suffered
even close to the suffering of the military families, the soldiers, the people of Iraq
have suffered.

You could not unless you sent one of your beloved children or other family members into
the war. You are so far removed from it that I don’t think you have the capacity for
understanding what the true suffering of the war in Iraq is. Don’t get me wrong, I believe
that you, as a woman and a mother, probably do have some empathy for the suffering.

But you do not understand.

Not even close.

Please do not insult our intelligence and the sacrifice of the soldiers and their
families or the people of Iraq with such comments again.

Amy Branham
Gold Star Mom
Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith U.S. Army Reserves
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004
Houston, TX
  Put Bush’s Silly ‘Puppy Dog’ Terror
          Theory To Sleep;
  “Nothing About Our Being ‘Over There’
   In Any Way Prevents Terrorists From
    Coming Here. Quite The Opposite”
April 25th 2007 By RICHARD CLARKE, New York Daily News. [Excerpts]

Clarke served as chief counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council
under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is now chairman of Good Harbor


Does the President think terrorists are puppy dogs?

He keeps saying that terrorists will “follow us home” like lost dogs.

This will only happen, however, he says, if we “lose” in Iraq.

The puppy dog theory is the corollary to earlier sloganeering that proved the President
had never studied logic: “We are fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we will not have to face
them and fight them in the streets of our own cities.”

How is this odd terrorist puppy dog behavior supposed to work? The President
must believe that terrorists are playing by some odd rules of chivalry.

Would this be the “only one slaughter ground at a time” rule of terrorism?

Of course, nothing about our being “over there” in any way prevents terrorists
from coming here.

Quite the opposite, the evidence is overwhelming that our presence provides
motivation for people throughout the Arab world to become anti-American

Yet in the fantasyland of illogic in which the President dwells, shaped by slogans devised
by spin doctors, America can “win” in Iraq.

Then, we are to believe, the terrorists will be so demoralized that they will recant their
beliefs and cease their terrorist ways.

                      (AFP/File/Brendan Smialowski)

                        Troops Invited:
What do you think? Comments from service men and women,
and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576
Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email Name, I.D., withheld unless you
request publication. Replies confidential. Same address to

        “BUT – WE’RE HERE NOW”
 “They Rape Your Wife & Torture You &
              Your Kids”
  “They Say ‘We’re Here Now, We Can’t
         Leave You Like This’”
[Thanks to Ward Reilly, Vietnam Veterans Against The War, who spotted this one.]

April 21, 2007, By Hypocrites, The Guardian [UK] [Excerpts]

You’re woken up in the middle of the night by burglars, they’ve broken your
windows, doors. Smashed up your glassware, left the place in a mess. After
waking you & your family they rape your wife & torture you & your kids.

You give them all the money you have. But they don’t go. They insist they must
stay & make things right before they leave. You beg, plead, insist “it’s ok – just go
– please” but they say “WE’RE HERE NOW, we can’t leave you like this”

Obviously you’re in no position to negotiate – but how sweet.

When the British landed in Tasmania they went about exterminating the locals. After
they had killed 100% of them – they did a bit of soul searching. The vicar was on hand
to point out WELL, WE’RE HERE NOW. We can’t exactly bring them back can we?
Just make sure – you don’t do it again.

When the Germans invaded Poland, Western Europe started to get paranoid. Hitler said
“look, WE’RE HERE NOW – we can’t leave it like this, give us say 10 years to make
things right”. It is one of the great unanswered questions of history. Why did the allies
not give the Germans the standard 10 year benefit of the doubt – to repair the damage &
stabalise the situation. Why did they get so worked up by the mass killings & rapings of
civilians – After! The milk was spilt?

If the situations described above are not making any sense, you are from the old school.
Modern thought is that if your adventure turns into a disaster, just say “WE’RE HERE
NOW” & get down to fixing the damage.

Cue Iraq.

The bad news is The US & their allies have managed the deaths of around 2
Million Iraqis- to get one man. The good news? They say “yeah, but WE’RE HERE
NOW & they’ve promised to fix?? It.

Now, you might be thinking, the motives of the invaders were suspicious from the

Why impose sanctions on a regime to kill a million of it’s most vulnerable – if you
want to attack the establishment? Why systematically avoid counting the number
of dead Iraqis? Why secure the oil instead of securing the border & museums?
Why prefer civil war to curfew? Why have the invaders only achieved more
disaster corruption & violence after 5 years.

You might suggest they give someone else a chance BUT, applying WE’RE HERE NOW
theory – track records are irrelevant.

Since the knee jerk response of the rutalized is to get as far as possible away from those
responsible. Iraq needs a nationwide retrain(brainwashing)ing to understand WE’RE
HERE NOW theory.
NB. If you are unable to get to Iraq – you can practice this theory in parliament square
London. The answer to every police Question is “Well (pause) WE’RE HERE NOW!”

Our politicians are leading from the front on this issue. Checkout Question Time on
BBC1. Labour & the “We’re thinking what you’re thinking?” conservatives wiped away
culpability for genocide with “but (sigh) WE’RE HERE NOW”

“But when do you stop saying “BUT WE’RE HERE NOW” & LEAVE?


                   An Email From Haj Ali

                                          Haj Ali

[Sgt. Kevin Benderman was sent to military prison at Ft. Lewis after refusing a
second deployment to Iraq. His powerful condemnation of the war, based on his
first hand experience, marked a huge step forward for opposition to the war inside
the armed forces. Respect to him, and to Monica Benderman, who fought
courageously, implacably and highly intelligently on his behalf every step of the
way. They represent what is best about our armed forces. T]

From: Monica Benderman
To: GI Special
Sent: April 28, 2007 8:52 AM
Subject: Iraqi prisoners of war

HI Tom

The picture in the last GI Special which shows the hooded Iraqi man with electrical
wires attached to his arms is a picture of a man named Haj Ali. You may or not
already have known his name.

What is special about that man to us -- a week after Kevin was sent to the Ft.
Lewis stockade I received an email from Iraq.

It was from Haj Ali. He had been following Kevin’s case, as had members of his
Prisoners of the Iraq War organization.

He and the members of his organization had voted to include Kevin as an
honorary member in their society.

Ever since he and his fellow former prisoners of war have remained in contact
asking about Kevin, sending information about the resistance there and what is
really going on, and telling the stories of other former prisoners as they become

Monica Benderman

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in
Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more
than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it’s in the streets
of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling
Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed
services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize
resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you’ve read, we hope that
you’ll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the
occupation and bring our troops home now! (

                      OCCUPATION REPORT

    60% Of Iraqis Want U.S. Troops
             Big Surprise
A foreign occupation soldier from the US searches the bodies of Iraqi girl children during
a forced home invasion in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, 23 April. (AFP/Mauricio Lima)

A frightened young girl watches soldiers who have invaded her family’s home in Al
Majahreen, 25 miles east of Baghdad April 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

[U.S. sponsored polls reported recently that 60% of Iraqis favor killing U.S. troops.
It would take a drooling idiot not to understand why. Iraqis feel about U.S. troops
trampling them in the dirt the same way Americans felt about British troops
trampling them in the dirt in 1776. They are right to resist. T]



                     [Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]

[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by foreign
terrorists, go to: The occupied nation is Palestine. The
foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

                    CLASS WAR REPORTS
Jackson, USA: A satirical comic by Mikhaela B Reid is shown at a new exhibition at
Jackson State University. Photograph: Mikhaela B. Reid/AP. [Thanks to JM, who sent
this in.]

“How Would You Like To Be Paid $39
 Million For Four Months Of Work?”
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), data released by
the federal government last month showed that the share of national income
going to wages and salaries in 2006 was at its lowest level ever recorded, with
data going back to 1929.

By contrast, the share of national income captured by corporate profits was at its
highest level on record.

April 13, 2007 By Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker [Excerpts]

HOW WOULD you like to be paid $39 million for four months of work?

That’s the situation for Alan Mulally, the president and chief executive of Ford Motor Co.
According to recent news reports, when Mulally took over as CEO of Ford on September
1 of last year, he immediately started raking in the big bucks. For just the four months he
worked last year–September 1 until December 31, a total of 122 days in all–Mulally
received total compensation valued at $39.1 million.

That’s $320,491 a day–including weekends.

In addition to his $666,667 in straight salary–a prorated amount based on his $2 million
annual “earnings”–Mulally also got a $7.5 million hiring bonus and $11 million to offset
performance and stock option awards he forfeited when he left his previous company.
He received other compensation totaling $334,433, including $172,974 for use of
corporate aircraft and $55,469 for “relocation costs” and “temporary housing.”

And to top it off, Ford gave Mulally stock and option awards worth an estimated $19.6
million when they were granted to him on his first day on the job, according to the
Associated Press.

No wonder Mulally praised his fellow Ford executives when he opened the recent New
York International Auto Show. “Look at the smiles on their faces,” he said, pointing at

Ford workers have less reason to smile these days. Last year, the country’s second-
largest automaker lost $12.7 billion, the largest loss in its history. Management, led now
by Mulally, has undertaken a massive restructuring program aimed at cutting costs
through cutting jobs.

OF COURSE, Alan Mulally isn’t alone. Other CEOs are feeling equally flush these days.

Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg earned more than $109 million in the past
five years–despite the company losing money while he was in charge.

Former Home Deport chief Robert Nardelli was given approximately $210 million
to clean out his desk–including $20 million in cash severance and $77 million in
deferred stocks–on top of the $240 million in compensation he received during the
six years that he was in charge of the company.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration announced with much fanfare last week that the
unemployment rate had dropped to 4.4 percent in March, matching a five-year low.

But for factory workers–including in auto, furniture, clothing and textiles–the number of
jobs declined for the ninth straight month. Residential construction jobs, a casualty of the
housing slump, also fell.

Nevertheless, according to economists, while unemployment may have fallen somewhat
last month, wage growth isn’t accelerating.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), data released by
the federal government last month showed that the share of national income
going to wages and salaries in 2006 was at its lowest level ever recorded, with
data going back to 1929.
By contrast, the share of national income captured by corporate profits was at its
highest level on record.

“As a consequence, wages and salaries have captured an exceptionally small share of
the total growth in national income that has occurred in the current period,” reported the

“Only 34 percent of the overall increase in national income since the end of 2001 has
gone to increases in workers’ pay, a smaller fraction than in any other expansion since
World War II.

For the first time on record, corporate profits have captured a larger share of the income
growth in a recovery–46 percent of it–than wages and salaries have.”

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