Original Message, posted on behalf of ---- GI Special
Issued 7 October 2007 by T. Barton. IRAQ, WAR REPORTS, TROOP NEWS
Iraq Veterans Tell Congress -- “You have failed Us and You Have Blood on Your Hands”
We the People are fed up.
We the People are ready to Rise Up and Take back Our Democracy
Sep 17, 2007 By Mike Ferner; a member of Veterans For Peace and a writer from Toledo, Ohio.
Other demonstrations against the war in Iraq have been larger, BUT.
The one that happened in Washington, D.C. September 15
Was significant in another way because of a very different feel about it
Contingents of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW ) http://www.ivaw.org and Veterans for Peace http://www.veteransforpeace.org lined up at the front of the march, sponsored by the International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, stepping off on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.
never before seen in a protest march nor certainly any parade in the USA, was the IVAW “colour guard.”
Geoff Millard, President D.C.Chapter of IVAW, dressed in full desert camouflage barked,
“IVAW. Fall in. Columns of four”
Immediately, to the front of the rows of veterans marched seven of their number, each holding erect a different flag.
Following tradition, the U.S. flag was in the lead, except this time it was upside-down.
In a straight line followed six more flags, all black, each with a different corporate logo—one for Halliburton Corp., Bechtel Corp., Lockheed-Martin Corp., Blackwater Corp., CACI Corp., and Dyncorp Corp — all on the very short list of winners in this conflict.
Making the colour guard stand out even more prominently in grim relief, Carlos Arrendondo solemnly pulled a small, flag-draped casket on a carriage. On the casket stood the oversized photograph of his son that accompanies him everywhere, and a pair of empty, desert combat boots that belonged to him before he was killed in Iraq.
The words spoken by the solemn-faced IVAW members were even more arresting than the visuals they carried.
A young vet led a sing-song, call-and-response cadence familiar to soldiers everywhere.
The answers echoed off the houses of power and back to him.
“Who Are We?” ----- “IRAQ VETERANS”
“Whatta We Say?” ----- “WAR IS NOT A GAME!”
A platoon of America’s finest young men and women, raised in a society that idolizes all things martial, indoctrinated during months of basic training, highly skilled as riflemen, tank operators, police, satellite communications operators and medics — proficient in every skill needed to run the world’s most powerful military, marched confidently down the main street of their nation’s capital, chanting “Troops Out Now.
Iraq for Iraqis” and “No Justice, No Peace. U.S. Out of the Middle East!”
Minutes later, the IVAW’s confident message came under attack as their front rank approached a thousand or so angry, screaming people calling themselves “A Gathering of Eagles,” occupying three blocks of sidewalk reserved for them by police.
Their snarled taunts and invective were quickly drowned when the vets bellowed in unison,
“Support the Troops. WE ARE THE TROOPS!”
“Support the Troops. WE ARE THE TROOPS!”
“Support the Troops. WE ARE THE TROOPS!”
Then in one of the most memorable moments of the day, IVAW Board of Directors member, Adam Kokesh, marching in command alongside the colour guard, ordered,
“Column, HALT! Left FACE!” whereupon he spun on his heel, faced the angry crowd, and held for several long seconds his best USMC salute.
The surprise manoeuvre left the gathered eagles momentarily taken aback and the crowd cheering.
The final action began to move when Kokesh stood to read a letter he had sent to members of Congress:
We have come before you today with a simple message: as a representation of the people, you have failed us and you have blood on your hands.
This is blood that the American people will not allow to continue to be spilled in our name any longer.
Today we are marching in solidarity with the Iraqi people who want the occupation to end, it is fully within your power to stop this tragedy.
You have just heard the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. General Casey was replaced by General Petraeus because he would not support the President’s agenda of keeping as many troops deployed as long as possible, keeping our military teetering at the breaking point.
General Petraeus was selected for this position not only because of his abilities as a soldier, but also for political purposes. When he testified before you he was acting in his role as a political appointee.
He told you the surge was working.
This is the same absurd optimism that we have been hearing since the beginning of this occupation from its proponents, the insurgency is in its last throes, we are turning the corner.
Why do you still believe these people?
We have come before you to ask that you consider the cost in human life of this conflict so far.
We are also here to tell you that we will not stand for this corruption of our democracy any longer.
We the people are in the streets.
We the people are fed up.
We the people are ready to rise up and take back our democracy.
Signed, the Empowered Patriots………
Do you have a friend or relative in the service?
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA [ or elsewhere ] 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
HOW DOES BUSH BRING THE TROOPS HOME ?
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
Also -- USA Today:
The Marine general in charge of the program to send new armoured vehicles to Iraq, says the Pentagon has developed ‘a solution’ to protect the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks from the deadliest type of armour-piercing roadside bomb, called Explosively Formed Projectiles, or EFPs.
The Pentagon’s method for combating EFPs involves adding armour to the sides of MRAPs, Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan said in an interview with USA TODAY.
The armour is a modified version of what the military calls Frag Kit 6, Brogan said. ‘I have a solution for EFPs, and I’m going to put it on the trucks I’ve already bought,’ Brogan said.”
The Frag Kit 6.
Didn’t we already learn that the Frag Kit 6 is so cumbersome, you need a mechanical device to close the door and a driver can’t even tell how wide the vehicle is?
That’ll be fun for the troops. Getting the Frag Kit 6 equipped MRAP wedged into an alley during a raid in Dorah.
Brogan dismissed concerns from some military contractors - raised in an online discussion - that the added armour would make the vehicles too wide to operate on U.S. highways.
They’re going into a combat zone,’ Brogan said. ‘So, yeah, they’re going to be wider than would be permitted if you were going to drive up Interstate 95.’
This week, contractors will have an opportunity to submit other solutions to the EFP threat for testing.
MORE -- This Is the Medical Care that’s Important:
9.9.07 WASHINGTON (CNN)
First lady Laura Bush was “resting comfortably at the White House” on Saturday after successful surgery to relieve pressure on pinched nerves in her neck, her press secretary Sally McDonough said in a statement.
The surgical procedure -- called a posterior cervical foraminotomy -- lasted 2½ hours.
It was described as minimally invasive.
The surgery was conducted at the George Washington University Hospital, McDonough said.
Doctors aren’t sure how long Mrs Bush has had the pinched nerves, but they were aggravated by hiking in Utah in the spring, McDonough said.
Doctors have been treating it conservatively for months, she said of the treatment that led to the decision to have the surgery.
Join the Army and Rape a Soldier; Nothing Much Will Happen To You
October 4, 2007 All Things Considered [Excerpts]
Since 2002, the Miles Foundation — a private, non-profit organization that tracks sexual assault within the armed forces — has received 976 reports of sexual assault in the Central Command Area of Responsibility, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan.
Christine Hansen, executive director of the foundation, says the group is seeing a steady upward trend in the number of reported cases of sexual assault — increases of 10 percent to 15 percent each quarter. The figures are higher than those reported by the Department of Defence, she says, because the Miles Foundation provides private and confidential services to women, making it more likely for them to report incidents of sexual assault.
Among the organization’s findings, Hansen says, are reports from female service members of cases of gang rape and rape involving serial offenders. She says that the most predominant type of assault is acquaintance or date rape, which in the military is termed “offender-known rape.”
The commanders of alleged assailants have a spectrum of disciplinary responses: from zero response to a criminal-justice proceeding within the military, or court martial.
But Hansen says her group has found that the predominant response is that of administrative action, such as a letter of reprimand in a personnel file or forfeiture of pay and allowances.
“We do not see that the predominant response is that of a criminal-justice response leading to court-martial proceedings,”
Many of the women who have been assaulted “desperately try to maintain their career in the military,” Hansen says. She estimates that less than one-third of the women tracked by the Miles Foundation have been able to do so.
Extract from --- GI SPECIAL 5J6: Still growing stronger, Cleveland now >>>>
From: Yvette Coil … Excited to announce the Cleveland Chapter of IVAW! [Excerpts]
On Sept 3, 2007, Leonard Shelton the coordinator, also the President, Jonathan Medina who is the Secretary and James Lange who is the Treasurer, are the chapter officers.
IVAW now has a Cleveland chapter (chapter 25) and we are ready to work!
So if you’re looking for speakers, we’re waiting to hear from you.
If you know of an organization that wants to do a fundraiser with us, we are waiting to hear from you.
If you are a person interested in helping us get the word out that not all veterans (and in some cases active duty soldiers) are for this war, then we are waiting to hear from you.
And if you know a soldier/veteran who served in the US military after 9/11/01, one that wants immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq, reparations for the destruction and corporate pillaging of Iraq so that Iraqi people can control their own lives and future, and full benefits, adequate healthcare, including mental health, and other supports for returning servicemen and women, then we are looking for you.
Peace! E-mail Cleveland@ivaw.org or email@example.com
While our constitution surely includes a provision for government, it certainly has no mandate for this specific government, and as it stands this collective of elites, that presumes to rule this society have formally declared their opposition to its very foundation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org:. Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. All Replies confidential.
Added by Northllaw,
Invitation also to any British Soldier/s or members of their families, please post to same address -- send email email@example.com any details of ‘life’ of soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, or in the army generally.
Any reports/details of soldier’s deaths, injuries, or ‘conflicts’ in service, reminiscences of actions, eye witness accounts.
What is life like in the Opium fields ?
How cheap is the Heroin and who makes the money/big profits, the ‘loot’, what’s the word on the ground ?
Who processes it, who ships it out, where to. Anything that may be of interest.
All enquires to ------ firstname.lastname@example.org