GI SPECIAL 4A1:
Against The War
announcement follows a meeting between members of the
Military Project Organizing Committee and Stanley Howard at
Statesville Prison, Joliet, Illinois, on 12.29.05, at which
time permission was given to GI Special to make known to the
public the existence of and statements by members of a new
organization, Prisoners Against The War.
to the Campaign To End The Death Penalty,
http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/, for assistance in making
the meeting happen.)
In the week
leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday,
GI Special will lead with statements written by members of
Prisoners Against The War.
by Stanley Howard and five other imprisoned members of the
Military Project, Prisoners Against The War breaks new
been no organization like this in recent American history.
That may be an understatement, since no record of a similar
organization has been found at any point in American
Against The War hopes to inspire other prisoners, both in
civilian and military prisons, to organize their own
chapters, and spread the movement nation-wide.
many prisoners have relatives serving in the armed forces.
Other prisoners are Vietnam Veterans. To the extent allowed
by prison regulations, they circulate GI Special and
Traveling Soldier. They will see these issues of GI
Special, and provide support to family members on the
outside resisting the war.
of social critics have argued that the prisons and armed
forces of a given society express most nakedly the
underlying class nature of the society.
organization bringing together civilian and military
prisoners can open a new window on that reality, not least
by destroying the myth spread by politicians and other
servants of the rich and homicidal that prisoners are mere
things without humanity or redeeming social value.
For how to
contact Prisoners Against The War, see information below. T
AGAINST THE WAR
Statesville C.C., Joliet,
The Prisoners of Statesville
Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, extends our deepest
and sincere condolences to the Families and Loved Ones of
those lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.
To show we support the troops
and that we stand firmly in solidarity with the Military
Project and the countless of other people, groups and
organizations determined to Bring Them Home Now, we came
together and formed the “Prisoners Against The War.”
ex-Death Row prisoner who spent 16 horrible years as an
innocent man on Illinois’ Death Row before being pardoned by
then-Gov. George Ryan (Jan 2003), I knew President George W.
Bush as the “Texecutioner” who showed no value or respect
for human life.
viciously and unsympathetically ordered over 150 people to
be poisoned to death as Governor of Texas.
So when he
led a military offensive aimed at ousting Saddam Hussein as
President of Iraq, done under the pretext that Saddam had
weapons of mass destruction, I knew then that that was a lie
and whatever his agenda was, it was only going to cause a
lot more deaths.
I expressed my feelings about
this in my “Keeping it Real” column in the New Abolitionist
(May 2003), the newsletter of the Campaign to End the Death
subscribing to their propaganda: ‘They just hate Americans
and no one knows why.’ I’m not buying into this wacky
patriotic frenzy whipped up after 9/11 that enables Bush to
proclaim, ‘either you’re with us, or you’re with them’
We need to
stop this senseless cycle of violence by stopping these arm
chair chief SI warmongers from sending our mothers, fathers,
sisters and brothers onto battlefields to kill each other,
when these same leaders cannot come together to combat
starvation, AIDS, global warming, pollution, racism and
It’s said that we study
history to stop repeating the errors of the past. And if
that is true, then we as a civilized people living in the
21st century must come to grips with what the history of war
has taught us: war causes nothing but death and destruction,
and pain and suffering.
Moreover, its easy for these
armchair chiefs/warmongers to declare war with the assurance
that they nor their Loved Ones would never set foot on the
It’s now a proven fact that
Saddam had no WMDs nor was he attempting to reinstitute his
nuclear program, and it’ s a shame that thousands of our
human family members has died and are dying because of this
well orchestrated lie.
continues even though the truth was exposed, and Secretary
of State Condoleeza Rice who helped perpetrate the WMD lie
was recently quoted as estimating that, ”the American
military could quite possibly be in Iraq for 10 to 15
estimate is unacceptable, ridiculous and a sign of
though Bush says we should honor our Fallen Heroes by
staying and completing the mission, Prisoners Against The
War asserts that since the mission, Bush’s mission, was
exposed to be an international crime, we’re going to honor
our Fallen Heroes and those still in harms way by ending
this war and Bringing Them Home Now.
10.12.05: Done at Statesville
Prisoners Against The War:
who wish to communicate with Prisoners Against The War may
Prisoners Against The War
or Martin Smith,
PO Box 121
Champaign, IL 61824
ILLINOIS PRISON REGULATIONS FORBID INMATES FROM RECEIVING
ANY MAIL FROM ANY OTHER PRISONERS ANYWHERE.
Martin Smith is not allowed to
forward your letter to the prison. He is allowed to
summarize the contents in his own letters.
If your prison also has rules
forbidding mail from another prisoner to be sent to you, the
reply will also be summarized by Martin Smith, and sent to
in prison at this time may write directly to Prisoners
Against The War. NOTE WELL: Nothing whatever may be
enclosed in your mail other than your written or typed
letter: no money or other objects may be sent.
have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this
E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and
we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is
extra important for your service friend, too often cut
off from access to encouraging news of growing
resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed
Send requests to address up top.
January 6, 2006 BAGHDAD
was one of the bloodiest days for U.S. forces in Iraq since
the 2003 invasion, with 11 soldiers dying in a fresh spasm
of violence that also killed 130 Iraqis, the U.S. military
said on Friday.
bombs, favored by the insurgents but feared by U.S. soldiers
for their devastating effectiveness, accounted for seven of
the American deaths.
U.S. commanders have expressed
concern in recent months at the growing use of more powerful
and sophisticated bombs.
deaths take the number of U.S. fatalities since the start of
the war to oust Saddam Hussein to 2,193, according to
It was the
highest daily U.S. death toll since December 1, when 11 U.S.
soldiers were also killed, and was also the deadliest day in
Iraq overall for four months.
Thursday's worst incident for the Americans, five soldiers
died in Baghdad when a roadside bomb hit their patrol. Two
more were killed in a similar incident elsewhere in Baghdad.
a Sunni Arab stronghold, two Marines were killed by
small-arms fire in separate attacks, the U.S. military said
in a statement on Friday.
soldiers and scores of Iraqi police recruits were killed
when a bomber blew himself up in the western city of Ramadi
as 1,000 men queued to be security-screened at a glass and
ceramics works used as a temporary recruiting center.
Hospital sources said 70
people died and 65 wounded.
Open Offensive In Fallujah:
FALLUJAH, Iraq, Jan. 7
(Xinhuanet) -- Fierce clashes broke out between insurgents
and US forces in the flashpoint city of Fallujah on
Saturday, witnesses said.
opened fire at a group of US soldiers, shooting four of them
in al-Wahda district in central Fallujah," a local
journalist told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, armed men battled
with the US troops in al-Tharthar Street in the eastern part
of the city as the latter tightened security measures,
blocking all main entrances to the city, he added.
the day, a roadside bomb went off near a US military patrol
at about 7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT) in eastern Fallujah as a US
military patrol was passing by, destroying a US Humvee,
killing or wounding the soldiers aboard, the source said.
separate incident, local residents reported fierce clashes
between US soldiers and militants in the Arba'ien Street in
they didn't know the exact number of the casualties as the
clash was heavy and both sides used different kinds of
The Sunni-dominated Fallujah,
some 50 km west of Baghdad, has witnessed sporadic attacks
against the U.S. and Iraqi government forces despite
U.S.-Iraqi military operations in the city to stamp out
Marine Killed Near Fallujah
Jan 7 WTAE
Castle News is reporting that Albert Gettings, a Marine
corporal from New Castle, Pa., was on patrol near Fallujah,
Iraq, when his unit was ambushed.
It was also reported he was
shot in the stomach.
Gettings had been in Iraq
since September and was due to come home in March 2006.
In Fallujah Roadside Attack:
Now Officially Expendable Delivery People
Jan. 07, 2006 By MICHAEL
NEWSOM, SUN HERALD
Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 were
injured Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near Fallujah,
All four were in a convoy with
Marines when an Improvised Explosive Device hit their
Humvee. Two returned to their unit, and two were taken to
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. The two
Seabees in the German hospital will return to Gulfport.
The four men suffered cuts,
abrasions, and one had a broken limb, said Lt. Cmdr. Kyra
Hawn, public affairs specialist for the 22nd Naval
Construction Regiment in Gulfport.
The families of the injured
have been contacted by chaplains and base personnel, Hawn
said, but she said NMCB 133 would not release the names of
the men since they were not killed.
She said the four injured
Seabees had the foresight to radio other convoys to warn
them shortly after the bomb exploded.
She said Seabees found no sign
of those who planted the bomb.
all we can say is it was insurgent forces," Hawn said. "It
could be any number of groups." [Got that right. Only
about 50,000 pissed off Iraqis under arms fighting the
occupation, and winning. Only a few million more helping
them every way they can, day and night.]]
Hawn said Seabees are more often finding themselves doing
convoy work in Iraq.
being used more and more to move construction supplies
in conjunction with ongoing nation-building construction
projects, as well as support of forward deployed Marine
units," Hawn said. [The
Seabees, famous for knowing how to build things, are now
delivery truck drivers and security guards for the
war-profiteers employed by Bush and his gang of corrupt
traitors, busily grabbing billions of dollars and doing
shitty, shoddy work to increase their profits. Marvelous.]
She said this varies from
their typical missions.
She said Navy and Marine units
are constantly changing their roles because the Global War
on Terrorism is changing with them.
[OK, that’s it: Lt. Cmdr.
Hawn will be sent immediately to Ramadi, or Falluja, and
assigned to convoy duty, so she can babble this silly
bullshit from just a tiny little bit of first hand
The Seabees new convoy role consequently places them at risk
of more IED encounters; such encounters account for the
majority of U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq.
[Well, finally, the very last sentence, some reality.
Seabees are now officially expendable delivery people.]
Killed By Ramadi IED
January 7, 2006 U.S.
Department of Defense News Release No. 018-06
Michael E. McLaughlin, 44, of Mercer, Pa., died in Ar
Ramadi, Iraq, on Jan. 5, when he was conducting a dismounted
patrol at an Iraqi police recruiting station and an
individual-borne improvised explosive device detonated near
McLaughlin was assigned to the
Army National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry
Division, Washington, Pa.
PLACE TO BE:
ALL HOME NOW!
Albany, N.Y., native Lance
Cpl. Paul J. Kolkhorst, an antitank assaultman, left, stands
ready to advance with the Marines of Company I, 3rd
Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2 IN
Qaim Nov. 15, 2005. (AP Photo/ U.S. Marine Corps, Sgt. Jerad
Green Zone Under Mortar Rounds Attack
Jan 7 (KUNA)
Four mortar rounds rocked the
Green Zone, base for the US and UK embassies, the Iraqi
government and the NATO here on Saturday.
information was made available on the inflicted damages.
nine Iraqis were injured, including five policemen, in a car
bomb explosion targeting an Iraqi police patrol in the new
Soldier Wounded In Kandahar
1.3.05 Wall St. Journal
A car bomb
detonated near a military convoy in Kandahar, wounding a
U.S. soldier and two bystanders.
Refused To Supply Troops With Armor That Could Have Saved
David Honish, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in. He
Perhaps if they had not
shipped body armor that failed to meet the standards
specified in the contract the outcome might have been better
January 6, 2006 By MICHAEL
MOSS, The New York Times Company
Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the
marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their
upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor.
has been available since 2003 but until recently the
Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite
calls from the field for additional protection, according to
The ceramic plates in vests
currently worn by the majority of military personnel in Iraq
cover only some of the chest and back. In at least 74 of
the 93 fatal wounds that were analyzed in the Pentagon study
of marines from March 2003 through June 2005, bullets and
shrapnel struck the marines' shoulders, sides or areas of
the torso where the plates do not reach.
Thirty-one of the deadly
wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that
simply enlarging the existing shields "would have had the
potential to alter the fatal outcome," according to the
study, which was obtained by The New York Times.
first time, the study by the military's medical examiner
shows the cost in lost lives from inadequate armor, even as
the Pentagon continues to publicly defend its protection of
Officials have said they are
shipping the best armor to Iraq as quickly as possible. At
the same time, they have
maintained that it is impossible to shield forces from the
increasingly powerful improvised explosive devices used by
Pentagon's own study reveals the equally lethal threat of
The vulnerability of the
military's body armor has been known since the start of the
war, and is part of a series of problems that have
surrounded the protection of American troops.
Still, the Marine Corps did not begin buying additional
plates to cover the sides of their troops until this
September, when it ordered 28,800 sets, Marine Corps
The Army, which has the largest force in Iraq, is still
deciding what to purchase, according to Army procurement
officials. They said the Army is
deciding between various sizes of plates to give its 130,000
soldiers; the officials said they hope to issue contracts
Additional forensic studies by
the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's unit that were obtained
by The Times indicate that about 340 American troops have
died solely from torso wounds.
Pentagon has been collecting the data on wounds since
the beginning of the war in part to determine the
effectiveness of body armor. The military's medical
examiner, Craig T. Mallak, told a military panel in 2003
that the information "screams to be published." But it
would take nearly two years.
The Marine Corps said it asked
for the data in August 2004; but it needed to pay the
medical examiner $107,000 to have the data analyzed. Marine
officials said funding and other delays resulted in the work
not starting until December 2004. It finally began receiving
the information by June 2005.
shortfalls in bulletproof vests are just one of the armor
problems the Pentagon continues to struggle with as the war
in Iraq approaches the three-year mark, The Times has found
in an ongoing examination of the military procurement
The production of a new
armored truck called the Cougar, which military officials
said has thus far withstood every insurgent attack, has
fallen three months behind schedule. The small company
making the truck has been beset by a host of production and
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is
still relying on another small factory in Ohio to armor all
of the military's principal transport truck, the Humvee, and
it remains backlogged with orders.
The facility, owned by Armor
Holdings, increased production in December after reports in
The Times about delays drew criticism from Congress.
Marine Corps said it is still waiting for about 2,000 of
these vehicles to replace other Humvees in Iraq that are
more lightly armored, and does not expect final delivery
initiative begun by the Pentagon nearly two years ago to
speed up production by having additional firms armor new
Humvees remains incomplete, Army officials said.
Body armor has gone through a
succession of problems in Iraq. First, there were prolonged
shortages of the plates that make the vests bulletproof.
the Pentagon began replacing the plates with a stronger
model that is more resistant to certain insurgent attacks.
Almost from the beginning, some soldiers asked for
additional protection to stop bullets from slicing through
In the fall of 2003, when troops began hanging their crotch
protectors under their arms, the Army's Rapid Equipping
Force shipped several hundred plates to protect their sides
and shoulders. Individual soldiers and units continued to
buy their own sets.
The Times obtained the 3-page
Pentagon report after a military advocacy group, Soldiers
for the Truth, learned of its existence. The group posted
an article about the report on its website earlier this
delayed publication of this article for more than a week
until the Pentagon confirmed the veracity of its report.
Pentagon officials declined to discuss details of the wound
data, saying it would aid the enemy. [That makes no sense
at all. How could the publication of this information
possibly help Bush, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the scum that
infest Washington DC? They’re “the enemy,” and not the
Iraqis resisting Bush’s wish to grab their country for
himself and his business associates.]
preliminary research suggests that as many as 42 percent
of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso
injuries could have been prevented with improved
protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of
the vest," the study concludes.
Another 23 percent might have
been saved with side plates that extend below the arms,
while 15 percent more could have benefited from shoulder
plates, the report says. In all, 526 marines have been
killed in combat in Iraq.
findings and other research by military pathologists
suggests that an analysis of all combat deaths in Iraq,
including those of Army personnel, would show that 300 or
more lives might have been saved with improved body armor.
Military officials and defense
contractors said the Pentagon's procurement troubles have
stemmed in part from miscalculations that underestimated the
strength of the insurgency, and from years of cost-cutting
that left some armoring firms on the brink of collapse as
they waited for new orders.
To help defeat roadside
ambushes, the military in May 2005 contracted to buy 122
Cougars whose special V-shaped hull helps deflect roadside
bombs, military officials said. But the Pentagon gave the
job to a small firm in South Carolina, Force Protection,
that had never mass-produced vehicles. Company officials
said a string of blunders has pushed the completion date to
prototypes shipped to Iraq have been recalled from the field
to replace a failing transmission. Steel was cut to the
wrong size before the truck's design drawings were
perfected. Several managers have left the firm.
Company officials said they
also lost time in an inter-service skirmish. The Army,
which is buying the bulk of the vehicles, asked for its
trucks to be delivered before the Marine vehicles, and
company officials said that move upended their production
process until the Army agreed to get back in line behind the
marines. "It is what it is, and we're running as fast as we
can to change it," Gordon McGilton, the company's chief
executive, said in an interview at its plant in Ladson, S.C.
On July 5,
two former employees brought a federal false claims case
that accuses Force Protection of falsifying records to cover
up defective workmanship. They allege that the actions
"compromise the immediate and long term integrity of the
vehicles and result in a deficient product," according to
legal documents filed under seal in the United States
District Court in Charleston and obtained by The Times.
claim also accuses the company of falsifying records to
deceive the military into believing the firm could meet the
production deadlines. The United States
Attorney's office in South Carolina declined to comment on
the case. The Marine Corps says the Justice Department did
not notify it about the case until December.
much I give a shit about dead U.S. troops.”
Wounded Daphne Soldier Improving
January 7, 2006 WKRN
TIBBIE, Ala. A Daphne soldier
critically wounded by an explosion in Iraq this week is now
breathing on his own, but he remains in the intensive care
unit of a U-S military hospital in Germany, according to his
Paul Raines Senior said Sgt.
Paul Douglas Raines Junior was removed from a respirator
The blast, which sent shrapnel
into the right side of Sgt. Raines' body and skull, also
broke his arm in at least six places.
Paul Rains Senior said the
Army contacted his family Tuesday and prepared them for the
worst, but he said family members believe he will survive.
The soldier will be
transported today to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in
Washington, D-C, where his family plans to join.
Sgt. Raines deployed with the
Army's 101st Airborne Division to Iraq in September. He also
served during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003.
Command Trying To Shut Down Troops’ Criticisms Of The War
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who
sent this in.]
ones that stay up are completely patriotic and
innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the
flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq,"
said Hartley, who is back in New Paltz after two years
stationed in Iraq.
over? No way, as long as there are soldiers and the
Internet. People will always be starting blogs and get
shut down, and then someone else starts one," Hartley
January 2, 2006 BY JOSEPH
MALLIA, STAFF WRITER, Newsday Inc. [Excerpts]
Letters home filled with tales
of death and danger, bravery and boredom are a wartime
And now, as hundreds of
soldiers overseas have started keeping Internet journals
about the heat, the homesickness, the bloodshed, word speeds
from the battlefront faster than ever.
more, though, U.S. military commanders in Iraq and
Afghanistan are clamping down on these military Web logs,
known as milblogs.
milbloggers "get shut down almost as fast as they're set
up," said New York Army National Guard Spc. Jason
Christopher Hartley, 31, of upstate New Paltz, who believes
something is lost as the grunt's-eye take on Tikrit or Kabul
is silenced or sanitized.
Hartley last January was among
the first active-duty combat troops demoted and fined for
security violations on his blog, justanothersoldier.com.
Throughout last year, the
Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy tightened control on
bloggers by requiring them to register through the chain of
command and by creating special security squads to monitor
ones that stay up are completely patriotic and
innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the
flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq,"
said Hartley, who is back in New Paltz after two years
stationed in Iraq.
The military, at first unaware
of the milblogging trend, last year began targeting bloggers
with warnings, punctuated by high-profile disciplinary
fined $1,000 and demoted from sergeant. Others also have
been disciplined, including Pfc. Leonard Clark, an Arizona
national guardsman serving in Iraq who was demoted from
specialist and fined $1,640 in August for putting classified
information on his blog.
In Hartley's case, the Army
said he should not have described his unit's flight route
into Iraq because that could help the enemy shoot down U.S.
aircraft. And, the Army said, Hartley should not have
disclosed that the last three bullets he loaded into his
weapon's magazine were always tracers, because that could
tip an enemy to time an attack just as an American soldier
those charges, Hartley asserts he did not put any American
troops at risk. He believes the Army's real concern was his
"Photos of the week of cute
Iraqi kids who I want to shoot," he captioned one set of
snapshots on his blog in 2004.
"Something I cannot reiterate
often enough is how monumentally misbehaved Iraqi street
kids are," Hartley's blog continued. "But some of them are
just so darn cute, you can't help but want to squeeze their
little faces; until they suffocate."
took him literally, even though Hartley said he was aiming
his satire at those who believe Iraqi civilians' lives have
Some of Hartley's readers got
the point. Others did not.
One of Hartley's Web entries
on April 24, 2004, carried a photograph of an Iraqi man's
partially burned corpse clothed in a bloodied white tunic.
Hartley's photo caption was a take on the "I [heart] New
York City" slogan. His version: "I (heart) Dead Civilians."
response, a visitor wrote: "Is this a joke or what? This
whole blogg gives a bad taste in the mouth."
replied, "It leaves a bad taste in your mouth? That's sorta
Another blog reader, with the
moniker Alberto, defended the shock-blog: "The point of
being so graphic it's to see what a war really is. Good
blog, keep it up!"
observers say, soldiers' online musings are less and less
There's less of the informal,
often coarse language; one soldier speaking to another -
that gave a feeling of authenticity and attracted thousands
of readers both in and out of the military, said Jon Peede,
director of Operation Homecoming, a National Endowment for
the Arts program that gives writing instruction to U.S.
troops and is creating a collection of their blogs, letters
Hersh, the reporter who broke stories on the My Lai Massacre
during the Vietnam War and torture at Abu Ghraib prison
outside Baghdad, said military commanders can't control the
flow of information by shutting down soldiers' blogs.
"There's a tremendous
communication underground. (Soldiers) talk, they send
e-mails, photos," Hersh said from his Washington, D.C.,
office. "The Army is wasting its time."
Milblogs remain popular.
mudvillegazette.com claimed more than 700,000 page views in
2005, with blackfive.net not far behind. And
michaelyon.blogspot is ranked in the top 100 (No. 81) of the
8 million blogs tracked by Technorati.com.
But with stricter controls now
in place, the milblogosphere's freewheeling days likely are
critics of the censorship say it could be harder for
American soldiers to publicly raise questions about the U.S.
invasion of Iraq, the success or failure of the war effort,
and the "stop-loss" policy that forces soldiers to remain
after enlistment contracts expire.
But a complete milblog
blackout may never succeed.
over? No way, as long as there are soldiers and the
Internet. People will always be starting blogs and get shut
down, and then someone else starts one," Hartley said.
generation, or younger, everyone's all about spilling their
guts on the Internet."
TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
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.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Appeal To California National Guard Members:
Help Bring All The Troops Home Now!
From: Jacqueline Thomason
To: GI Special
Sent: January 03, 2006
Thanks for all the work you do
to give voice to soldiers and their families.
I’m writing to ask for your
along with many other organizations (see below), is working
to bring the National Guard Home. This is part of the
overall campaign to bring ALL the troops home.
California, a resolution, AJR 36, will come before the
California Assembly soon. Loni Hancock is the author of
this resolution, and it is currently co-authored by 16 other
members of the assembly.
In support of this resolution
we have already collected more than 5,000 signatures.
Eleven City Councils and two counties have passed
resolutions in support as well. We continue to obtain
signatures on the petition and are working with California
cities with the intention of passing the resolution in more
cities by the time the resolution comes to a vote.
think it is important for women and men who are of have
been serving in the California National Guard to share
their views and experience speak on this issue as
spokespersons for the campaign
hoping that you have some contacts with people in the
California National Guard who would be interested. If
so, please give them my email and cell phone number and
ask them to contact me.
Again, thanks for your great
Some of the
organizations co-sponsoring the campaign to Bring the
National Guard Home in California:
Veterans for Peace
Gold Star Families for Peace
Central Committee for
The Raging Grannies
Physicians for Social
Grandmothers for Peace
Women’s International League
for Peace and Freedom
Mount Diablo Peace Center
Out Against the War
Coalition for World Peace
American Friends Service
United for Peace and Justice
California Peace Action
CCCO – Oakland
If you would like to make a
donation to help the GI Rights Hotline continue to provide
free services, visit
The GI Rights Hotline
Joins Army Day Celebration
BAGHDAD: Iraq's fledgling
military marked Army Day Friday to the sound of mortar and
rocket fire, highlighting the tough battle the troops face
to bring security to the country. Waving Iraqi flags, some
800 soldiers from the army's 10 divisions paraded in front
of senior Iraqi government and U.S. officials as marching
music played inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.
theatrical gunshots were replaced by real mortar fire.
round, fired by rebels, even struck about a 100 meters away
but did not explode, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went
over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not
a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called
insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill
me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his
country. This truth escapes millions.
U.S. Army Medic
From: Clancy S
To: GI Special
Sent: December 29, 2005
Here is a translation of the
'Soldiers Internationale' that Max circulated as sung by
French radical GIs in 187l. Translated by a friend of
First, here is the authentic
original text, slightly different from what you sent, but
not much. The parenthesized numbers refer to the notes
Les rois nous saoulaient de
Paix entre nous, guerre aux
Appliquons (1) la grève aux
Crosse en l'air,(2) et rompons
(3) les rangs
S'ils s'obstinent, ces
A faire de nous des héros
Ils sauront bientôt que nos
Sont pour nos propres
C'est la lutte finale
groupons nous (4) et demain
L'Internationale sera le genre
made us drunk with dreams.
between us, war to the tyrants!
declare strikes for armies!
down our guns and break ranks!
insist, these cannibals,
heroes of us,
soon learn that our bullets
Are for our
the ultimate battle
unite and tomorrow
Internationale will be the human race.
(1) Crosse en air means:
(wooden) stock in the air, i.e. turn your rifles upside
down, implying we won't fight, i.e. we're going on strike.
(2) Appliquons (very close to
decretons in your version: to decree, order, announce) and
rompons (to break, literally) are both 1st person plural,
thus we should do (something).
(3) "Let's band together" I
think transmits the exact meaning, esp. in the context.
From: John Gingerich, Veterans
To: GI Special
Sent: December 28, 2005
Subject: song in French
I had to
send the French song you had in your letter around to have
it translated. I thought you might want to include this one
for those of us that do not read or speak French...
This is 'loose' translation,
I've added some bits in brackets hoping it will be a little
more clear. If you go to
get all the info on the history of the song and different
versions in different languages; the translations are not
word for word though.
This is the fifth (or sixth?)
verse of the original French text.
make us drunk with their (gun) smoke,
declare) peace between ourselves and war on tyrants.
for the armies to go on strike
upside-down let's break ranks!
heroes of us
soon discover that our bullets
Are for our
This is the
together and tomorrow
L'Internationale will be the Human Race!
In the 1950s you could have
wound up in jail, or even in the gas-chamber for spreading
this sort of information!
Traffic along Jadriya Bridge
in Baghdad at a standstill, as US soldiers from the 1st
Armored Division conduct checks of all vehicles coming into
the city on Saturday May 31, 2003. Iraqis have to contend
with the mobile checkpoints and security checks following
the fall of Saddam Hussein. (AP Photo/Ali Haider)
fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA.
They can kill people at checkpoints, bust into their houses
with force and violence, overthrow the government, put a new
one in office they like better and call it “sovereign” and
“detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without
any changes being filed against them, or any trial.]
Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They
actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s
bad their country is occupied by a foreign military
dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight
and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a
bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under
a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could
anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town,
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Bush Boasts He Will Defy The Law
1.5.06 By Sidney Blumenthal,
when Bush signed the military appropriations bill containing
the amendment forbidding torture that he and Vice President
Cheney had fought against, he added his own "signing
statement" to it.
to a waiver, authorized by him alone, that he could and
would disobey this law whenever he chose.
He wrote: "The executive
branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act,
relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the
constitutional authority of the President to supervise the
unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and
consistent with the constitutional limitations on the
judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared
objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in
Title X, of protecting the American people from further
the president, in the name of national security, claiming to
protect the country from terrorism, under war powers granted
to him by himself, would follow the law to the extent that
he decided he would.
The traitor Bush infesting the South Lawn at the White
House. (AFP/Paul J. Richards)
Dec. 31, 2005 By Dave Barry,
Tribune Media Services [Excerpt]
Also heating up in November is
the debate over Iraq, with even Vice President Dick Cheney
joining in, fueling rumors that he is still alive.
President Bush makes a series
of strong speeches, stating that while he “will not impugn
the patriotism'' of those who oppose his administration's
policies, they are “traitor scum.''
outrages congressional Democrats, who respond with a
two-pronged strategy of 1) demanding that the troops be
brought home, and 2) voting overwhelmingly against a
resolution to bring the troops home.
Sentenced To Prison For 15 Years After Being Convicted Of
Selling $20 Worth Of Heroin”
January 5, 2006 by Beverly
Henry, The Baltimore Sun.
Henry is an inmate at Central California Women's Facility in
Chowchilla, Calif. She may be reached via
e-mail through the Progressive Media Project at
Like Betsy Ross, I sew
American flags. But I do my work for 55 cents an hour in an
assembly line inside the Central California Women's
Facility, one of the largest women's prisons in the world.
sentenced to prison for 15 years after being convicted of
selling $20 worth of heroin to an undercover cop.
I sew flags to buy toiletries and food.
From the time I was a little
girl, I was taught to put my hand over my heart when
pledging allegiance to the flag. I emphatically believed in
the values of independence, freedom and equality the flag
represents. But as time went on and I grew older, I learned
that these values do not apply equally to all Americans.
As a black girl, I attended
segregated schools without enough resources to provide a
quality education. As an adult, I struggled continuously
with drug addiction, but there were no resources available
for me to get help. Instead, I was sent to prison.
My experience resonates with
the historical reality for black people. We always have had
unequal access to resources that would have allowed us to
provide for our families and make our communities prosper.
Nearly one-fourth of all black folks in America live below
the poverty line, twice the national average.
become a country that imprisons those it fails, blaming
poverty, drug addiction or homelessness on individuals
rather than recognizing and addressing the conditions that
give rise to them.
California, more than 70 percent of women in prison are
serving time for nonviolent, property or drug-related
women in my prison are disproportionately poor and minority.
Prison marks the separation in our society between the
haves and the have-nots, between those who walk free and
those of us held captive.
Instead of using prisons as a
supposed solution to social problems, we should reallocate
our resources to invest in every person in America so that
each one of us can have access to food and water, to housing
and health care, to quality education and well-paying jobs.
Betsy Ross, who was born Jan.
1, 1752, sewed a flag that represented a vision of an equal
and just society. And we, as Americans, pledge allegiance
to a flag I sew, dedicating ourselves to "one nation, under
God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
To honor this flag at the
start of this year, we must resolve to make America a
country where all people can thrive.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
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request. Replies confidential.
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