GI Special 3D7 - The Military Project

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GI Special 3D7 - The Military Project
GI Special:
[email protected]
11.7.05
Print it out: color best. Pass it on.
GI SPECIAL 3D7:
Photo of poster at peace rally in Portland, Oregon: August 2005
Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of
Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work,
contact at: ([email protected]) T)
Staff Sgt. Confirms
Occupation Torment Of
The Innocent
[Thanks to Tom Condit for posting.
October 28, 2005 By Zelie Pollon, AlterNet [Excerpts] Zélie Pollon is a US-based
freelance journalist and founding member of the Independent Press Association. This
was her second trip to Iraq. Visit www.baghdadproject.com.
*******************************************************************
"We used to call it DWI: Driving While Iraqi," said Staff Sgt. Michael Nowacki, a
military intelligence officer who strongly recommended the prisoner's release
after his initial interrogation. Yet Hassen was not released. "I've actually had a
commander tell me 'If I arrest 10 people and one of them is bad, then I'm doing my
job.' But what about the other nine?" Nowacki said.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Yousif Hassen has bloodshot eyes and a too-tight orange jumpsuit.
He is sitting in a sterile interrogation room, chain-smoking cigarettes otherwise
prohibited, and describing the day when he was arrested by Iraqi officials, then brought
to an American detention facility.
"I had just returned from a business trip in Amman and was I driving home from
dinner when I was stopped on the street by Iraqi police," said the Jordanian Iraqi
and importer of household electronics.
"They told me they were looking for a grey Mercedes. 'But my Mercedes is not
grey,' I told them." Then they saw that the lifelong resident of Iraq had a
Jordanian passport.
Only when he arrived at the Brigade Internment Facility (BIF) run by the Second
Brigade 10th Mountain Division did Hassen learn he was suspected of meeting
with terrorists and having direct connections to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the
Jordanian terrorist mastermind.
"I was so surprised," he said of the accusations. "I have been threatened by many
people because I'm a successful businessman. But Americans are a source of my
business; why would I do anything to them?"
"We used to call it DWI: Driving While Iraqi," said Staff Sgt. Michael Nowacki, a
military intelligence officer who strongly recommended the prisoner's release
after his initial interrogation. Yet Hassen was not released.
Military officials call it a matter of security.
Nowacki says it's an example of the arbitrary and dragnet-style arrests by the U.S.
military in Iraq -- a style that is more likely to create more terrorists than destroy
them.
"I've actually had a commander tell me 'If I arrest 10 people and one of them is
bad, then I'm doing my job.' But what about the other nine?" Nowacki said.
"These people are living day to day, and when the men are in prison their family
doesn't have any income. ... If there were legal recourse in this country, these
kinds of things would never happen."
The 32-year-old, blue-eyed patriot -- a U.S. policeman from the Illinois National Guard -has become an unlikely advocate for Iraqi victims' rights. He came to Iraq with a fervent
desire to protect the flag and a belief that Iraqis were intrinsically bad.
"I hated them," he said flatly. "I also had never met one, or ever sat down and
talked to one." By the end of his tour Nowacki couldn't stand what he saw. The
practices are not only wrong on principal, he said, but also counterproductive to
the U.S. mission.
"Arbitrary detentions make the people hate us and want to fight us. If they respect us,
they'll be less likely to want to kill us," he said. "I want our mission in Iraq to be
successful."
Nowacki, more than most, sees the long and arduous road ahead.
The Brigade Internment Facility (BIF) sits at the outer edge of Camp Victory by the
Baghdad Airport, surrounded by barbed wire and dust covered trees. The temporary
detention facility held up to 160 detainees around last year's election, but normally has a
population between 40-60. They are held in 8-man cells and given a mattress, blanket,
slippers, prayer rug and a copy of the Koran. The hallways reek of stale sweat.
Nowacki and his team interrogated well over 700 detainees during his tour, averaging
about 200 a month.
In the beginning there were big success stories: criminals caught red-handed and
caches of weapons exposed.
Then began a flood of seemingly innocent civilians who were not released despite
his recommendations detailed in intelligence reports. Nowacki began to feel
uneasy.
There was the retarded man accused of high-level surveillance activities (Division
said retarded people can be used as tools by sophisticated terrorists); the
Jordanian businessman accused of being a Zarqawi accomplice (Nowacki said
90% of people with foreign passports are sent to Abu Ghraib despite a lack of
corroborating evidence); or the Baghdad University professor who spoke against
the U.S. occupation (despite a plea by the University president to the U.S.
Embassy, the U.S. had not released the professor, arguing he is anti-coalition).
In all these cases, Nowacki recommended release.
"Let's just say we've busted enough bad guys to be able to tell who's telling the truth, but
often they'll (higher officers) go for the informant over military intelligence."
U.S. officials call it a matter of national security.
Lt. Col. Michael Infanti, one of the last reviewers, said that the numerous levels of review
and cumulative years of experience of the reviewers -- the final decision being that of the
bridgade commander -- are meant to offset the instances of innocent people being held
without reason. "It'll burn you not because a story will get out, but because he'll go back
and tell people or he'll learn how to make a bomb."
Infanti said he values the military intelligence reviewers, but that he and the other higherlevel officers have access to information the interrogators may not, such as evidence
seized. Hassen, for example, had terrorist propaganda in his car.
Nowacki counters that he sees all evidence before an interrogation and that
"terrorist" leaflets are common, often plastered on the windshield of every car on
a street. Another example of weak evidence is the use of X-spray to detect
explosive residue on a suspect's hands. Nowacki said tests come back positive
half the time as it also detects automotive grease, tobacco, fertilizer and urine.
Yet it's cause enough to detain someone.
In Hassen's case, he was eventually sent to Abu Ghraib, said a spokesman for the 10th
MNT.
Theia Elhaz Abdel Mohammed was brought with his three brothers to the
detention facility early this year, suspected of making IEDs. U.S. military had
come to his house in the middle of the night; they found the four military-aged
men, some money, and suspicious-looking ceiling fan controls.
Nowacki's report recommended immediate release, explaining that soldiers often
don't distinguish between suspect electronics and common household items
("washer and dryer timers are used almost exclusively for IEDs, light switches are
not").
Sitting nervously, with his hands squeezed between his knees, Abdel Mohammed
said the people at the facility treat him well. But there are eleven children at
home, plus his elderly father who used to deal in electronics, and he doesn't
understand why he and his brothers aren't being let go.
"We are a peaceful family. We don't involve ourselves in these things," said the
frail flower vendor from the town of Abu Ghraib. "The Americans know my stand.
They are stationed by me every day and even came to apologize when insurgents
hit my house." Asked if he knows anyone who might have a vendetta against him
he responds, "Only God knows such things." He was eventually released.
Now only God knows whether Mohammed will feel more gratitude at being
released, or resentment for having been unjustly detained.
Nowacki has since returned to the United States but not before detailing his concerns
and offering suggestions for improvement in a four-page letter to the brigade executive
officer.
Despite his critique, Nowacki said he loves his job and wants to use his skills to help the
people of Iraq, possibly by training other officers in the U.S. with the lessons he's
learned. And he hopes to write a book.
Of the prisoners he's left behind, he prefers not to think too much about them or
follow their cases after they've left the BIF; it would upset him too much, he said.
"You can get attached to some of these people. Especially when it's so obvious
they're innocent."
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Talented L.I. Marine Dies In Fallujah
Blast
Jared Kremm
October 29, 2005 By LEO STANDORA, Daily News
A former Long Island high school football star who joined the Marines right after Sept. 11
died in an explosion in a suburb of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the military said yesterday.
The blast killed Lance Cpl. Jared Kremm, 24, of Hauppauge, along with a Marine from
Ohio, as their unit searched for mines and hidden weapons in Saqlawiyah on Thursday.
Both were with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine
Expeditionary Force of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Nancy Kremm said her son died the day after she got her last letter from him.
"He wrote me not to worry. Jared was like that," the single mother and special education
teacher said sadly.
"He said I had to be strong, but that everything was fine and calm. He painted it
like he was at a resort for me."
She said her son sent the same letter to his older sister in North Carolina.
Jared, she recalled, was a standout on the Hauppauge High School football team - "they
always had his picture in the paper" - and also played lacrosse, baseball and hockey.
After graduation, he attended Suffolk County Community College and worked as a chef
in two local restaurants.
"He taught himself to cook, and he loved to do it," the mother said. "He once did a
wonderful full-course dinner for his grandparents as a surprise."
Kremm became the 104th serviceman or -woman from New York State to die in the
Iraq war.
NOTHING LIKE BEING REALLY
POPULAR:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!
A US soldier peering out from his sandbagged position in Tal Afar. (AFP/US NavyHO/PH1 Alan D. Monyelle)
“Disputing A Claim By U-S
Commanders”
House-To-House Fighting Reported
During U.S. Offensive;
At Least Three U.S. Troops Wounded
Coalition forces supported by tanks and fighter jets dropped 500-pound bombs
but met more resistance than expected from insurgents in the town of Husaybah
and only managed to take control of several blocks by nightfall Saturday, the
Times reported.
November 6, 2005 (AFP) & (AP) & Aljazeera & November 05, 2005 By Gordon
Trowbridge, Army Times staff writer
Disputing a claim by U-S commanders, there is now a report of heavier-thanexpected enemy resistance in the latest U-S-led offensive in Iraq.
A force of about 35-hundred U-S and Iraqi troops launched "Operation Steel
Curtain" Saturday, hoping to wipe out an insurgent stronghold near the Syrian
border. Military commanders in Baghdad had reported limited resistance.
But an embedded reporter with the New York Times reports house-to-house
combat with insurgents armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
At least three Marines and one journalist — Military Times senior staff
photographer Rick Kozak — were wounded in the first day of Operation Steel
Curtain, which involves about 3,500 Marines, Army soldiers and Iraqi troops as
U.S.-led forces advanced in the town searching house by house, the report said.
Military Times senior staff photographer Rick Kozak was wounded Saturday while
covering a Marine offensive in this Syrian border city.
Kozak, 49, was wounded slightly in the face by insurgent small-arms fire from a mosque
and a nearby house, according to Marines with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine
Regiment. Kozak was embedded with those Marines for Operation Steel Curtain, a
Marine and Army offensive on the insurgent-held city.
The photographer was standing near an M1 Abrams tank when the Marines began
taking small-arms fire.
“When Rick went down, he didn’t move for a couple seconds,” said Cpl. Timothy Mosser
of Kilo Company. Another Marine pulled Kozak behind the cover of the tank, and that
Marine was wounded in the hand in the process, Mosser said.
"We met more resistance than I expected," US Captain Conlon Carabine of Indian
Company of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment, was quoted as saying in
the paper.
The forces sometimes found it hard to spot fighters hiding in the town's 4000
homes and called in support from Abrams tanks and fighter jets, the paper
reported.
The American and Iraqi troops are getting support from tanks and fighter jets but the
Times reporter says by nightfall, they had managed to take control of only several blocks
of a key town.
Many families had fled, possibly tipped off.
After unconfirmed reports from local people of dozens of casualties in Qusayba and
nearby Qaim, the military said in a statement that air strikes had hit only buildings from
where rebels had opened fire.
"The Americans destroyed Qaim. Our houses are destroyed, our children are
getting killed. What are we supposed to do now?" one unidentified resident told a
local reporter.
Coalition forces supported by tanks and fighter jets dropped 500-pound bombs
but met more resistance than expected from insurgents in the town of Husaybah
and only managed to take control of several blocks by nightfall Saturday, the
Times reported.
Some Sunni Arab politicians and tribal leaders said the Husaybah operation was
endangering civilians in the overwhelmingly Sunni area and could lead to greater
instability throughout Sunni sections of the country.
"We call all humanitarians and those who carry peace to the world to intervene to
stop the repeated bloodshed in the western parts of Iraq," said Shaikh Usama
Jadaan, a Sunni tribal leader.
"And we say to the American occupiers to get out and leave Iraq to the Iraqis."
U.S. Reports Sharp Rise in Iraq Roadside
Bombings
November 4, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Roadside bomb attacks in Iraq have risen sharply since the spring, with nearly
2,100 such blasts in the last two months alone.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
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.
http://www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the
occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
ONLY ANOTHER 25,000 TO GO:
MORE COMMAND IDIOCY:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!
U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division search for weapons caches
with a single shovel near Balad Nov. 6, 2005. Military experts estimate there are
between 25,000 and 30,000 catches of weapons hidden in various parts of Iraq.
(AP Photo/Jacob Silberberg)
TROOP NEWS
The Bullshit Ends:
Pentagon Says Iraq Troop Levels Could
Rise Again
November 4, 2005 Washington Times
The Pentagon said U.S. troop draw-downs from Iraq are not assured after the
country's December elections and force levels could increase if top commanders
need more manpower. [Was it only last month a flood of happy talk conned some
people?]
Pennsylvania Guard Commander Says
Morale Gone After Iraq Deaths
November 3, 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer,
Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, Pennsylvania's top military commander, said the deaths of
16 National Guard troops from her command have taken a toll on the Guard's members,
who have had to cope with the loss of friends and family. She said the 16 deaths in
the last two months have devastated the 3,500 Pa. troops deployed overseas.
“Over Extended, Under Equipped,
Non-Trained. He Never Signed Up
For That”
“And Now He's Dead”
November 04, 2005 From Crooks And Liars.com Via Phil G.
Pamela: Boston Legal took on the Iraq War tonight with a case about "a paralegal"
who is suing the U.S. Government, to vindicate the death of her brother killed in
the Iraq war.
U.S. Attorney Chris Randolf:
In war, any war, there are casualties. For the family of a victim to sue the army for such
a casualty is not only patently ridiculous its an insult.
First it offends the memory of the soldier who gave his life to defend his country.
Worst, it's an attack on patriotism and the US Army itself. He enlisted. He was
trained in combat. He assumed the risks of combat. This lawsuit merely
represents a flamboyant attempt to showcase anti-war sentiment. It is wrong, it is
baseless and it's an affront to every soldier, to every veteran who has put himself
on the line to defend the United States of America. Especially, primarily the ones
who have given their lives to do so.
Alan Shore: attorney for the plaintiff:
First. This is hardly about anti-war sentiments. Private Elliot was for the war.
Personally I was against it, then I was for it then I was against it again, but that's just me,
I'm a flip flopper.
But whether one is for or against the occupation and let's assume judging from your tie
one is, that does not exempt the military from a duty to be honest with its soldiers.
Private Elliot was told he'd serve a year. He was told he wouldn't see combat! Okay!
Unexpected stuff happens. He did see combat. Fine!
But, he was sent into combat with insufficient backup, he was sent in to perform
duties for which he was never ever trained!
He wasn't given the most basic of equipment.
And then after his tour of duty was up they wouldn't let him leave.
He never assumed those risks by enlisting.
Over extended, under equipped, non-trained. He never signed up for that.
And now he's dead.
And aside from his sister, nobody seems to care.
We talk about honoring the troops. How about we honor them by giving a damn
when they're killed?
Our kids are dying over there. In this country, the people, the media, we all just chug
along like nothing is wrong. We'll spend a month obsessing about Terri Shiavo. But
dare we show the body of a fallen soldier? The most watched cable news station will
spend an hour a night on a missing girl in Aruba, but God forbid we pay any attention
when kids like Private Elliot are killed in action...
Judge Clark Brown: You're off the point.
Alan Shore: I'm not off the point. We've had two thousand American trees fall in that
forest over there and we don't even know it. Not really. But, maybe we don't wanna
know about our children dying.
So lucky for us this war isn't really being televised.
We're not seeing images of soldiers dying in the arms of their comrades, being blown
apart on the streets of Baghdad. But they are! By the thousands!
Judge Clark Brown: What does this have to do with the death of Private Elliot?
Alan Shore: Private Elliot is dead in part because we have a people and a government in
denial.
We currently have no strategy to fight this war.
We have no timetable for getting out.
Some of these troops could be extended twenty plus years!
Their mothers and fathers have to spring for body armor because the army
doesn't.
And they're getting killed! And we as a nation in denial are letting them. We simply don't
seem to care. Well she does. She's in this courtroom honoring one dead soldier. That's
a start.
National Guard Is Short On Gear: Duh
November 3, 2005 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
National Guard units in Illinois and Missouri are under equipped across the board,
from vehicles to radios to night-visions devices, according to internal military
figures.
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
“Message For The American
People”
“When The Occupation Will End, The
Peace Will Take Place. We Don’t
Need A Resistance After That”
October 29, 2005 Brian, Alive in Baghdad [Excerpt]
This is an interview conducted Friday with Khulood, a woman who had been displaced
from her home. She, her husband and young child are currently living in Baghdad at the
Women’s Will Building.
Omar: What is your message for the American People?
K: I would send a call, a rescue call. To the American people and especially to the
mothers to not let their sons to come to Iraq. Because we are completely
destroyed, and we are wounded.
We want to feel rest, and we are requesting to all the American forces to pull out
from Iraq, and also all the occupying forces, in order to live in peace, to get
security. To let our children have a better future.
Omar: What do you think would make the Resistance stop using guns and come to the
negotiation table?
K: Well very simple. Getting the Occupation forces out. When the Occupation will
end, the peace will take place. We don’t need a Resistance after that, we will stay
in peace.
Omar: So when the Occupation will go and there is a bad government, do you think
there will be another Resistance?
K: Well my own opinion is that I don’t think this government will serve us. But if
they leave and there are democratic elections as they say, we will vote for a
government that will really serve Iraq.
If that government will serve the population, there won’t be Resistance anymore.
Omar: That’s in the case if the election is from the population?
K: Yes if it is real.
“I Can't Work Under The Command
Of The Occupiers”
November 03, 2005 Daily Star staff
Defense Minister Saadoun Dulaimi invited former officers with the ranks of major,
captain and lieutenant to return to the Iraqi Army.
One former major in the air defense corps said that he would not serve under the
present government or under American command.
"They called us the army of Saddam but we were the army of the people," said the
former Iraqi Army soldier, who asked not to be identified.
"We were marginalized and neglected at first but they need us now they are in a
bad way."
But he added: "I can't work under the command of the occupiers ... I fought them
once; how can I possibly serve them?"
Assorted Resistance Action
November 6, 2005 (AFP) & AP & Reuters & AFP News
Saturday, five Iraqi police were killed and three wounded when a roadside bomb
exploded in northern Baghdad, hospital officials said.
Suspected insurgents shot and killed a Palestinian working as a security guard in
Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, police said. Insurgents frequently target Iraqis and
others working for the Americans.
MAHAWEEL - One Iraqi policeman was killed and three others were wounded
when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Mahawil, 75 km (50 miles) south
of Baghdad, police said.
Three truck drivers delivering building supplies to US forces were killed in an
ambush near Balad, the Iraqi army said, while two police officer were shot dead in
attacks in Baiji and in Baquba, all north of the capital.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION
FORWARD OBSERVATIONS
Former Peronist President, Carlos Menem, described Argentina as having a
"carnal relationship" with the United States but, as Mario comments sarcastically,
"We always knew which of the two was on top." 5 November, 2005 BBC World
Service
Bush Committing The
Unforgivable War Crime:
Iraq Bad For Corporate Profits:
Making The World Unsafe For
Microsoft And Mickey Mouse
A U.S. Banker magazine article from August relaying the results of an Edelman
Trust Barometer survey of global elites found that "41 percent of Canadian elites
were less likely to purchase American products because of Bush Administration
policies, compared to 56 percent in the UK, 61 percent in France, 49 percent in
Germany and 42 percent in Brazil."
November 3, 2005 By Mark Engler, Tom Dispatch [Excerpts]
The Bush administration has a reputation for creating an unusually businessfriendly White House.
There are reasons, however, to consider a contrary notion: Maybe George Bush
and Dick Cheney aren't very good capitalists at all.
When it comes to Iraq, we hear a lot about the government largesse flowing
toward Halliburton, Bechtel, and a handful of other favored firms.
Less often do we consider the possibility that the administration's "war on
terrorism" has been a major business blunder.
Even if you believe that the White House is designing its overseas crusade to benefit
U.S. corporations, there's no reason to assume that it has been doing so successfully.
Increasingly, the business press is suggesting that corporate leaders, who once
hoped the current administration would push the corporate globalization of the
Clinton years to new heights, now fear another fate from the international order
Bush has created.
Tax cuts and deregulation on the domestic front have been obvious bonuses, but
otherwise many U.S. multinationals face a troubling scene.
The White House's failed CEOs have pursued a global agenda that, at best,
benefits a narrow slice of the American business community and leaves the rest
exposed to a world of popular resentment and economic uncertainty.
When it comes to the interventions of Bush, Cheney, Condi, and the neocons in the
global economy, "at best an average job" might be a charitable judgment, and "messed
up big-time" could be closer to reality.
Those business people who have yet to join the majority that opposes the
president's handling of his war in Iraq -- or the increasing chorus of conservative
critics who have begun questioning the administration's foreign policy -- may
soon have a long list of reasons to get on the bandwagon, starting with the
bottom line.
In recent years, KFC has had some trying moments in the Muslim world. In early
September, a bomb exploded inside one of the company's fried-chicken outlets in
Karachi, Pakistan. It was not the first time the chain had been targeted. In May, a Shia
mob, angered by U.S. backing for President Pervez Musharraf and by reported abuses
at Guantánamo Bay, set fire to another KFC outlet -- one decked out with large images
of Colonel Sanders set atop fields of stars and stripes. Two other branches were
destroyed shortly after the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in 2001.
The woes affecting KFC go well beyond one fast-food chain -- McDonald's, too, has
been attacked in Pakistan and Indonesia -- and the torching of fast-food outlets is only
the most dramatic sign of the new business climate being fostered by a changing
American foreign policy.
If Clinton's diplomatic affairs could be described as a sustained effort to make the world
safe for Mickey Mouse, Microsoft, and popcorn chicken, the Bush/Cheney agenda
represents something altogether more dangerous for business.
Aggressive and unilateralist, it has fashioned a new model of "imperial globalization"
which has even put multilateral institutions like the World Trade Organization, decried by
globalization activists, in jeopardy.
Rather than working through such bodies, the current administration has regularly shown
intransigence in international negotiations around trade and development; it has focused
on tying its aid for other countries directly to its militarist prerogatives; and it has tried to
deny war-weary "Old Europe" its traditional role as a junior partner in the globalization
endeavor. In the process, it has begun dismantling an international order that served
multinational corporations very well in the booming 1990s, and facilitated their rise over
the past 30 years.
In short: If Bush is an oil president, he's not a Disney president, nor a Coca-Cola
one. If Cheney is working diligently to help Halliburton rebound, the war he
helped lead hasn't worked out nearly so well for Starbucks.
Whether the administration's bold gamble for U.S. global dominance will prove profitable
either in the near future or in the long run, the business costs of this approach are
already becoming evident.
For starters, the new wave of anti-Americanism sweeping the planet goes far beyond
KFC bombings in South Asia or widespread hostility in the Middle East.
In Asia, the South China Morning Post has noted that a "strong, growing hostility"
toward the United States has complicated Disney's expansion plans in the area.
The Bush imperial foreign policy, moreover, is inspiring consumer backlash even
among traditional allies.
In December 2004, Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service reported on a survey of 8,000
international consumers released by the Seattle-based Global Market Insite (GMI) Inc.
The survey noted that
"one-third of all consumers in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the
United Kingdom said that U.S. foreign policy, particularly the ‘war on terror' and the
occupation of Iraq, constituted their strongest impression of the United States...
'Unfortunately, current American foreign policy is viewed by international consumers as a
significant negative, when it used to be a positive,' comments Dr. Mitchell Eggers, GMI's
chief operating officer and chief pollster."
Brands the survey identified as particularly at risk at the time included Marlboro
cigarettes, America Online (AOL), McDonald's, American Airlines, Exxon-Mobil,
Chevron Texaco, United Airlines, Budweiser, Chrysler, Barbie Doll, Starbucks, and
General Motors.
More recent assessments have verified these trends. Indeed, in past months, a
litany of stories in the financial press featured unnerving questions for business.
Typical were the British Financial Times in August (World Turning Its Back on Brand
America) and Forbes in September (Is Brand America In Trouble?).
A U.S. Banker magazine article from August relaying the results of an Edelman
Trust Barometer survey of global elites found that "41 percent of Canadian elites
were less likely to purchase American products because of Bush Administration
policies, compared to 56 percent in the UK, 61 percent in France, 49 percent in
Germany and 42 percent in Brazil."
It's not just snooty foreigners who are negative, either.
American business leaders themselves have been starting to link economic woes
to imperial policy.
The previously mentioned U.S. Banker article warned, "[T]he majority of American
CEOs, whose firms employ eight million overseas, are now acknowledging that
anti-American sentiment is a problem." And a 2004 Boston Herald story,
headlined Mass. Execs: Iraqi War Hurting; U.S. competitiveness becoming a
casualty, pointed to the "sixty-two percent of executives surveyed by Opinion
Dynamics Corp. (who) said the war is hurting America's global competitiveness."
Regularly featured in stories about America's image problems is a group of corporate
executives who have come together as Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA).While
avoiding an explicit stance on the Iraq war, the BDA argues:
"The costs associated with rising anti-American sentiment are exponential. From
security and economic costs to an erosion in our ability to engender trust around the
world and recruit the best and brightest, the U.S. stands to lose its competitive edge if
steps are not made toward reversing the negativity associated with America."
Compared to the adverse impacts of Bush's imperial globalization, the administration's
efforts at Karen-Hughes-style brand rehabilitation are laughable - and the BDA knows it.
Taking diplomatic matters into their own hands, BDA spokespeople flatly state,
"Right now the US government is not a credible messenger."
Is the problem just one of perception, or have the wages of war cut into business
profits?
In June 2004, USA Today reporter James Cox wrote about how financially ailing
companies are pointing to the war as the culprit:
"Hundreds of companies blame the Iraq war for poor financial results in 2003,
many warning that continued U.S. military involvement there could harm this
year's performance.
In recent regulatory filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),
airlines, home builders, broadcasters, mortgage providers, mutual funds and
others directly blame the war for lower revenues and profits last year."
"'The war in Iraq created a quagmire for corporations,' David J. Galvan, a portfolio
manager for Wayne Hummer Income Fund, says in his letter to shareholders.
Of course, we know that reconstruction companies are posting profits. Sales of gas
masks and armored Humvees are also up.
But such war-supported companies are a small minority.
On the other hand, the diverse businesses in the tourism industry have taken a
huge blow. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Orbitz, Priceline.com, Morton's steakhouses,
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Host Marriott, to name just a few, have blamed
disappointing returns on the war. Travel industry leaders have warned:
"The US is losing billions of dollars as international tourists are deterred from visiting the
US because of a tarnished image overseas and more bureaucratic visa policies... 'It's an
economic imperative to address these problems,' said Roger Dow, chief executive of the
Travel Industry Association of America, tourism's main trade body... Mr. Dow stressed
that tourism contributed to a positive perception of the US...
'If we don't address these issues in tourism, the long-term impact for American
brands Coca-Cola, General Motors, McDonald's could be very damaging.'"
The debate about Congressional spending, for one, deserves at least passing mention.
Whether fiscal conservatives are right that Iraq- and tax-cut-bloated deficits are
necessarily bad for business, or whether Military Keynesianism has actually been
helping to soften a periodic economic downturn, the idea of war without sacrifice should
sound fishy to any account-minded executive.
Take direct war costs running in the hundreds of billions, add in medical bills for
disabled veterans, then throw in the costs of National Guard reservists being
pulled from small businesses, and pretty soon you're talking real money.
At some point the overvalued dollar, which our creditors in the central banks of
China and Japan have decided to let ride for the time being, will have to come
down and is likely to bring the economy with it. When that happens, Colonel
Sanders won't be the only one to feel the pain.
Mercenaries
“The mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous, and if anyone
supports his state by the arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure, as
they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold amongst friends,
cowardly amongst enemies, they have no fear of God, and keep no faith with
men,” wrote Machiavelli in The Prince.
OCCUPATION REPORT
Collaborator Politician Calls For
Killing More Women And Children
November 3, 2005 Raed Jarrar, Raed in the Middle (Iraq)
The "New" minister of defence did a classic look-how-I-can-put-my-foot-in-my-big-mouth.
The brand new US supported minister, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, announced today that
the Iraqi forces are planning to launch a new attack on the west of Iraq. The
minister added that the Iraqi forces will "demolish the homes of people sheltering
terrorists and kill all owners of the houses inside them including women and
children".
He actually said that! he said "including women and children"!
So what's this now? Democracy the Israeli way?
At least the Israeli government evacuates Palestinians' houses before
demolishing them!
Can we please have Sharon occupy Iraq instead? Now I think he is a humane man
of peace.
I didn't find this news translated into English yet, but it was published on the
arabic website of the pro-occupation Al-Arabia news agency.
MORE:
He Gets His Wish [#1]
Mohammad Jabir, a boy of nine years who was shot by an American sniper at his
house door in the “Death Street” on Thursday Oct 20, 2005.
“He was going to his uncles’ house, across the street in the railway houses” his
father said, trying hard to hold his tears. “They were 4 of my children, went out to
visit their uncle’s family, they were shot at immediately. They returned back,
Mohammad was putting his hand on his chest, said I am injured, and then fell to
the ground. He was bleeding. We tried to save him, but no ambulance or car was
allowed to pass through. His uncle did not mind the shooting; he drove his car
and took us to the hospital. By then Mohammad was dead”.
05 November 2005 By Sabah Ali, Brussels Tribunal.org
Arriving in Alqaim general hospital on Oct 25 afternoon, after being lost on a desert
detour for more than 2 hours, and coming from the nearest refugee camp where we
listened to different stories of the last attack on Oct 1,2005, we were well prepared to
listen to the crowed at the emergency room.
A big black banner says that the ambulance driver, Mahmood Chiad, was shot on
Oct 1,2005 by the American troops while he was trying to help some injured
families.
A young man, H. Khalaf, was lying on a trolley, soaked in blood. He was shot in
his genitals by an American sniper while he was going home from the market just
across the street. The shot injured his right thigh, his testes, and went out through
his left thigh.
“There was nothing, no shooting, no bombing, nothing” a neighbor who brought
Khalaf to the hospital said. “We heard the shot, and he was lying there bleeding.
We could not reach him. He crawled to the side street for few minutes”. The
doctor does not know yet how bad the injury is. The bleeding was still running.
In the ward another young man, Salah Hamid, was shot under the belt too. He was
driving his taxi at 10 am on Monday Oct 17, 2005 in the market place when he was
shot by the American snipers. Salah was so angry that he cried and used obscene
words (unacceptable in those areas). His car was completely ruined. The doctor
explained that a large part of his intestine had to be cut.
In the doctors’ hall, the windows, the curtains, the walls were covered with bullet shots.
The ambulance driver, Mahmood Chiad, 35, was going to Karabla, to help some
injured family during the attack. He was shot and killed by a bullet in the left
chest. The ambulance was then hit by a grenade which ripped it in two parts, and
burnt it.
Mahmood left a widow and six children; the oldest of them, Aimen (m), is 10 years old.
“The family was not given any compensation or pension” said his colleague Muneer Said
“he was very poor, living in a tin extension of a house, his family should be taken care
of”.
Early next morning, around 7 am, there was noise and crowd in the hospital. Two cars
covered with dust, and few men were standing at the emergency gate. One old man,
over 60, was sobbing and talking to the sky, repeating hysterically “please come and see
what happened to me”, other men were crying silently.
In the emergency ward, a girl of ten was lying on one trolley, and a young woman
on another. They were still conscious. The girl, Yosr Jasim Mohammad Al-Ta’i,
10, (going to 5th grade, as she said proudly), was injured in her feet, back, and
right ear, which were covered with blood. She did not know that she is the only
survivor of a family of 8.
Her father, her mother Ibtisam Thiyab Othman, and five of her brothers and sister
were buried dead under the rubbles when the American airplanes bombed Al-Ish
village at 2 am that day, Oct 26.2005.
Mohammad Jabir, a boy of nine years who was shot by an American sniper at his
house door in the “Death Street” on Thursday Oct 20, 2005.
“He was going to his uncles’ house, across the street in the railway houses” his
father said, trying hard to hold his tears. “They were 4 of my children, went out to
visit their uncle’s family, they were shot at immediately. They returned back,
Mohammad was putting his hand on his chest, said I am injured, and then fell to
the ground. He was bleeding. We tried to save him, but no ambulance or car was
allowed to pass through. His uncle did not mind the shooting; he drove his car
and took us to the hospital. By then Mohammad was dead”.
The mother was heavily covered with black: “when we tried to take him to the hospital,
the soldiers shot at us. I was shouting, but no one dared to approach. We sat on the
ground waiting for the shooting to stop, until his uncle came with the car”
Mohammad is the 13th child killed by a sniper in the railway houses “they call it
the Death Street, one of the children who were killed was only 1.5 years, another
was 3. I can take you to visit their families all.
On October 23, 2005, at 2 pm, the American airplane was going and coming back many
times on the street shooting all the time”. Jabir left his house and is now living in the
family’s big house with other 5 families in another area.
The third family was of Attiya Mikhlif. The house was no more than a heap of
rubbles. It was bombed at 6 am on August 30, 2005. There was no one of the
family left to tell the story. Neighbors were hesitant to talk. “The old man died
years ago” one of the neighbors volunteered to talk at last. “There was his old
wife, Dalla Hardan 55, his three sons, Daham 35, Rashid 25, and Salman 18, and
two daughters in law: Rafaah 19 and Kholood 19. Rashid, his bride Rafaah,
Salman and his bride Kholood were all newly married”. All of them were killed that
morning.
-“why do you think the house was bombed?”
- “Who knows, the Americans say that there were insurgents in the house, but
they were families as you see.”
In Alqaim we met A.M. an employee in the electricity office. “We tried 3 times to repair
the electricity; the Americans were shooting at us every time. The third time they said
you have 30 minutes to repair it. It takes two hours, as you know, on the desert road to
reach the station. But we managed to do. The other station is near the customs office
(which is now a military base) we could not reach that point”. The same story is repeated
with the water.
Shareef, a fireman, and an emergency relief volunteer was very angry “where are
the nations of the world, the Moslems, the Arabs…millions of them pray everyday,
do not they see what is happening to us”.
MORE:
He Gets His Wish [#2]
[Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.]
November 3, 2005 By John Ward Anderson, Washington Post Foreign Service
Later Wednesday, neighbors said, U.S. jets bombed two houses in the area. The attack
killed 20 people and wounded 17, according to Khalid Dulaimi, a physician at Ramadi
hospital, who claimed that U.S. military roadblocks in the area prevented rescue
personnel from reaching the injured.
"The people gathered to rescue people whose house was bombed in the first
strike," said Fadhil Khalil, 38, a neighbor.
"A short time after they gathered, another plane came and bombed the house
again, killing most of them." He said a third strike hit another nearby house,
killing the entire family inside.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
U.S. Occupation Dictatorship
Practicing “Collective Terror”
November 4, 2005 Zaineb Obeid, Knight Ridder Newspapers
Iraq can't process the thousands of people who are being arrested these days. It
can't even come close. Even wrongly accused men such as those in the square
wait months - sometimes more than a year - before their cases are investigated,
helping to erode any confidence in Iraq's government.
Sociologist Ehsan Mohammad, at Baghdad University, said the community now was full
of innocent people who had been jailed, which caused a breakdown in trust of the
system.
"We call it collective terror," he said.
"Every Iraqi now fears that he may be next. And those who have been arrested
once, how can they live a normal, smooth life, without the dread of being a victim
again?"
Pissing In The Wind
November 4, 2005 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Six months after American troops began training Iraq's fledgling army, Georgia
National Guard Trainers say the new force still lacks the equipment, leadership
and discipline necessary to effectively combat a raging insurgency.
U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE
IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED
RESISTANCE THAT IS.
[Fair is 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.]
[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this
help, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to
occupy 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?]
What do you think? Comments from service men and women,
and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to
[email protected] Name, I.D., withheld on request.
Replies confidential.
“Please Come And Join Us, We Don't
Want To Die. Please. We Beg."
November 3, 2005 Raed Jarrar, Raed in the Middle (Iraq) [Excerpt]
Today, (after 558 Days = 13392 Hours = 803520 Minutes = 48211200 Seconds), the
slow Iraqi "ministry of defense" announced the following:
"Those (former army officers) who wish to return to the new Iraqi army are
welcome to do so. The recruitment centers are open to them around the country," said
a statement issued by the Iraqi Defense Ministry on the eve of the traditional Islamic
holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which follows the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
I think they should have announced it this way: "Dear Ex-Iraqi Army officers, after
trying to kill you for the last two years, we figured out that you are actually
winning the battle, so can you please come and join us, we don't want to die.
Please. We beg."
OCCUPATION PALESTINE
Occupation Soldier Killed Near Jenin
2 November 2005 BBC
An Israeli soldier has been shot dead during an arrest operation in a West Bank
village near the town of Jenin.
The Israeli army said the shooting came after the arrest of a suspected member of a
militant group.
Wednesday's death is Israel's first military fatality in action since the Jewish state pulled
out of Gaza, according to Reuters news agency.
"The soldier was killed after an Islamic Jihad operative surrendered without resistance in
the northern West Bank village of Yirka," an Israeli army spokesman told Reuters.
"He was shot during a gun battle afterwards and died on his way to hospital," he said.
[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation by a foreign
power, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The foreign army is Israeli; the occupied nation
is Palestine.]
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
Enthusiastic Crowds Welcome Bush
To Brazil
Bush arrives at the Brazilian presidential residency in Brasilia, Nov. 6, 2005. Bush is in
Brazil for a one-day meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is helping the
U.S. Imperial government occupy Haiti and kill more Haitians. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
“Fucking Scumbag”
November 02, 2005 Professor Pan, Charm.net
I'd like to see Rummy go the Gitmo "diet."
Fucking scumbag.
From the article:
The military said Tuesday 27 detainees currently were engaging in the hunger strike,
including 24 receiving forced-feedings. Detainees' lawyers estimated that about 200 are
taking part.
Asked about the motivation of the hunger strikers, Rumsfeld said, "Well, I suppose that
what they're trying to do is to capture press attention, obviously, and they've succeeded."
He added, "There are a number of people who go on a diet where they don't eat for
a period and then go off of it at some point. And then they rotate and other people
do that."
OOPS:
Idiot Texas Politicians Approve
Constitutional Amendment Outlawing
All Marriage
November 06, 2005 by Laura Nathan / Buffalo, New York, Portside [Excerpt]
Come this Wednesday, November 9, 2005, my mother and stepfather may no
longer be married, according to their home state of Texas. Same for my married
friends. And their married parents.
No, it¹s not a mass divorce orgy. This is, after all, Texas we¹re talking about.
Instead, it¹s the potentially fatal error of Texas’ Religious Right, which seeks to
add Texas to the growing list of states that have outlawed gay marriage on
Tuesday, November 8.
(Never mind that the Texas Constitution already prohibits same-sex marriage. Texas
legislators just thought we needed a not-so-subtle reminder of that fact that gays remain
second class citizens even after the Supreme Court had the nerve to legalize sodomy in
its landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision.)
It seems that when Texas legislators took time out of their brief 140-day session to
draft an amendment to the Texas Constitution banning gay marriage, they failed to
take the time to actually read -- much less edit -- what they came up with:
Article I, Texas Constitution, (The Bill of Rights) is amended by adding Section 32 to
read as follows:
Sec. 32.
(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize
any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
[This will be voted on election day.]
CLASS WAR REPORTS
NO HAPPY MEALS TODAY:
REBELLION FROM BELOW SPREADING
IN FRANCE
Wreckage of a car used by working class and poor people revolting against the
government to break through the glass door of a McDonald fast food restaurant in
Corbeil-Essonnes, south of Paris, Nov. 6, 2005.
Spreading urban unrest - with arson attacks on vehicles, nursery schools and
other targets in France from the Mediterranean to the German border - for the first
time reached central Paris, where police said Sunday that 28 cars were burned
overnight. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
MORE:
Nowhere is that gap clearer, say young men in Clichy-sous-Bois and adults who
work with them, than in the behavior of the police. "They check our papers
everywhere, all the time, for no reason," complains one youth in Clichy who did
not want to be identified. "And the checks are getting rougher and rougher."
November 04, 2005 CHRISTOPHE ENA/AP
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