Military Resistance 8D16
NOT ANOTHER DAY
NOT ANOTHER DOLLAR
NOT ANOTHER LIFE
A wounded U.S. soldier is carried off of a
C-17 transport airplane to an ambulance at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April
20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Used Up And Thrown Away
“Warehouses Of Despair, Where Damaged Men
And Women Are Kept Out Of Sight, Fed A Diet Of Powerful Prescription Pills And
Treated Harshly By Noncommissioned Officers”
“All They Do Is Make Things Worse”
“Many Soldiers At Fort Carson Complained
That Discipline And Insensitive Treatment By Cadre Members Made Wounded
Soldiers Feel As If They Were Viewed As Fakers Or Weaklings”
One Army Specialist “Said He Was Ordered To
Perform 24-Hour Guard Duty Repeatedly Against The Orders Of His Doctor”
[Here it is again. Same old story. Used up, thrown away, and the politicians
couldn’t care less. To repeat for
the 3,543rd time, there is no enemy in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their citizens and U.S. troops have a common
enemy. That common enemy owns and
operates the Imperial government in Washington DC for their own profit. That common enemy started these wars of
conquest on a platform of lies, because they couldn’t tell the truth:
U.S. Imperial wars are about making money for them, and nothing else. Payback is overdue. T]
[Thanks to SSG N (ret’d), Phil G & Clancy Sigal, who sent
April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH,
The New York Times [Excerpts]
Perez, the wife of a transition unit soldier from Fort Carson, said she got
into an ugly fight with a member of the cadre who was furious that she had gone
over his head to request additional therapy for her husband, a sergeant first
class who had sustained a brain injury during one of two tours in Iraq as a
meeting, the noncommissioned officer shouted that Ms. Perez’s husband did
not deserve his uniform and that he should give it to her instead, Ms. Perez
said in a police complaint
April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH,
The New York Times [Excerpts]
COLORADO SPRINGS — A year ago,
Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort
Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide
closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological
A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with
confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two
concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to
death. The transition unit at Fort
Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal
thoughts at bay, his mother thought.
It did not work.
He was prescribed a laundry list of
medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him
feel listless and disoriented.
His once-a-week session with a nurse case
manager seemed grossly inadequate to him. And noncommissioned officers —
soldiers supervising the unit — harangued or disciplined him when he
arrived late to formation or violated rules.
Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted
suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of
last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.
“It is just a dark place,” said the
soldier, who is waiting to be medically discharged from the Army. “Being in the W.T.U. is worse than
being in Iraq.”
Created in the wake of the scandal in 2007
over serious shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior
Transition Units were intended to be sheltering way stations where injured
soldiers could recuperate and return to duty or gently process out of the
Army. There are currently about 7,200
soldiers at 32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at
Fort Carson’s unit.
But interviews with more than a dozen
soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson’s transition
unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest that the units are far from
being restful sanctuaries.
For many soldiers, they have become
warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a
diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by noncommissioned
Because of their wounds, soldiers in Warrior
Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to depression and addiction, but
many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their treatment there has made
their suffering worse.
Some soldiers in the unit, and their
families, described long hours alone in their rooms, or in homes off the base,
aimlessly drinking or playing video games.
“In combat, you rely on people and you
come out of it feeling good about everything,” said a specialist in the
unit. “Here, you’re just floating.
You’re not doing much. You
At Fort Carson, many soldiers
complained that doctors prescribed drugs too readily.
As a result, some soldiers have
become addicted to their medications or have turned to heroin.
Medications are so abundant
that some soldiers in the unit openly deal, buy or swap prescription pills.
Heavy use of psychotropic drugs
and narcotics makes it difficult to exercise, wake for morning formation and
attend classes, soldiers and health care professionals said.
Yet noncommissioned officers
discipline soldiers who fail to complete those tasks, sometimes over the
objections of nurse case managers and doctors.
At least four soldiers in the Fort Carson
unit have committed suicide since 2007, the most of any transition unit as of
February, according to the Army.
Drugs and Addiction
Sgt. John Conant, a 15-year veteran of the
Army, returned from his second tour of Iraq in 2007 a changed man, according to
his wife, Delphina. Angry and sullen, he reported to the transition unit at
Fort Carson, where he was prescribed at least six medications a day for
sleeping disorders, pain and anxiety, keeping a detailed checklist in his
pocket to remind him of his dosages.
The medications disoriented him, Mrs. Conant
said, and he would often wander the house late at night before curling up on
the floor and falling asleep.
Then in April 2008, after taking morphine and
Ambien, the sleeping pill, he died in his sleep. A coroner ruled that his death was from
natural causes. He was 36.
Mrs. Conant said she felt her husband never
received meaningful therapy at the transition unit, where he had become
increasingly frustrated and was knocked down a rank, to specialist, because of
“They didn’t want to do anything
but give him medication,” she said.
Other soldiers and health care workers at
Fort Carson offered similar complaints.
They said that most transition
unit soldiers were given complex cocktails of medications that raised concerns
about accidental overdoses, addiction and side effects from interactions.
“These kids change their medication
like they change their underwear,” said a psychotherapist who works with
Fort Carson soldiers and asked that his name not be used because he was not
authorized to speak publicly about the transition unit.
“They can’t even remember which
pills they’re taking.”
Some turned to heroin, which is readily
available in the barracks, after becoming addicted to their pain pills,
according to interviews with soldiers and health care professionals at Fort
“We’re all on sleep
meds, anxiety meds, pain meds,” said Pfc. Jeffery Meier, who is in the
transition unit and said he knew a dozen soldiers in the unit, including a
recent roommate, who had used heroin. “The heroin is all that, wrapped
Jess Seiwert offers a cautionary tale. A
staff sergeant and sniper who was knocked unconscious by roadside bombs in
Iraq, he returned to Fort Carson in late 2006 with post-traumatic stress
disorder, burns and a variety of aches. Prone to bouts of rage, he often drank
himself to sleep and began abusing the painkiller Percocet.
Medical records show that Sergeant
Seiwert’s captain thought he was a danger to his wife and needed
inpatient psychiatric care. Instead, the sergeant was transferred into Fort
Carson’s transition unit in 2008.
In a recent interview, Mr.
Seiwert, now discharged from the Army, said he received minimal therapy in the
unit but was given ample medication, including the painkillers he abused.
“I should have been in inpatient rehab to get me off the drugs,” he
Last summer, just months after
being medically discharged, he badly beat his wife while bingeing on alcohol
and Percocet. He pleaded guilty to a second-degree assault charge and is likely
to face five years in prison.
‘Making Things Worse’
Like private outpatient clinics, Warrior
Transition Units aim to provide highly individualized care and ready access to
case managers, therapists and doctors.
But the care is organized in a distinctly
Army way: noncommissioned officers, known as the cadre, maintain discipline and
enforce rules, often using traditional drill-sergeant toughness with junior
At the top of the command are traditional
Army officers, not health care professionals: Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, head of
the Warrior Transition Command, was an artillery officer, and Colonel Grantham
an intelligence officer.
Beneath them is what the Army calls its triad
of care. Members of the cadre keep a close eye on individual soldiers, much
like squad leaders in regular line units. Nurse case managers schedule
appointments and assist with medications and therapy. And primary care managers
— doctors, physicians’ assistants or nurse practitioners —
oversee care and prescribe medicines.
The structure is intended to ensure that
every soldier gets careful supervision and that Army values and discipline are
But many soldiers at Fort Carson complained
that discipline and insensitive treatment by cadre members made wounded
soldiers feel as if they were viewed as fakers or weaklings.
James Agee, a former staff
sergeant who transferred into the transition unit after returning from his
second tour of Iraq in 2008, said he frequently heard cadre members verbally
abuse medicated soldiers who were struggling to get out of bed for morning
formation or stay awake for all-night duty.
“They would say,
‘These guys can’t do this because they are crazy,’ ”
said Mr. Agee, who received a medical discharge from the Army.
“It would make you feel
like you were inferior.”
One Army specialist in the unit, who received
diagnoses of post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury, said he
was ordered to perform 24-hour guard duty repeatedly against the orders of his
The specialist, who asked to remain anonymous
because he feared repercussions, said he experienced flashbacks to Iraq during
the long hours by himself.
In many cases, the
noncommissioned officers have made it clear that they do not believe the
psychological symptoms reported by the unit’s soldiers are real or
At Fort Hood, Tex., a study
conducted just before the shooting rampage there last November — which
found that many soldiers in the Warrior Transition Unit thought their treatment
relied too heavily on medication — also concluded that a majority of the
cadre believed that soldiers were faking post-traumatic stress or exaggerating
Christina Perez, the wife of a
transition unit soldier from Fort Carson, said she got into an ugly fight with
a member of the cadre who was furious that she had gone over his head to
request additional therapy for her husband, a sergeant first class who had
sustained a brain injury during one of two tours in Iraq as a tank gunner.
In a meeting, the
noncommissioned officer shouted that Ms. Perez’s husband did not deserve
his uniform and that he should give it to her instead, Ms. Perez said in a
police complaint. No charges were brought.
Eventually her husband, who has
headaches and memory loss, was transferred to an inpatient psychiatric clinic
in Denver while he awaits a medical discharge.
“All they do is make
things worse,” Ms. Perez said of the transition unit.
Last year, The Associated Press reported that
the transition unit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina had a discipline rate three
times as high as the 82nd Airborne Division, the base’s primary occupant.
Sgt. Keith Nowicki was an intelligence
analyst who was sent back early from his second deployment to Iraq in April
2008 because of severe post-traumatic stress disorder, said his wife,
Ashley. Assigned to the Fort Carson
transition unit, he spent nearly a year waiting for his medical discharge.
Instead of getting the help he hoped for, he
spent much of the time in the unit alone, growing increasingly angry, drinking
heavily and abusing Percocet.
In early 2009, he separated from his wife.
While on the phone with her in March 2009 he shot himself to death. He was due
to be discharged at the end of the month.
Though Ms. Nowicki does not
attribute her husband’s suicide to the long wait for his discharge, she
said the slowness of the process and the lack of support from the transition
unit added to his sense of hopelessness.
“It was just a bunch of
red tape,” Ms. Nowicki said. “He would spend days trying to track
down his own medical records.”
Army officials acknowledged that wait times
for medical discharges at Fort Carson had grown.
A major reason is that Fort Carson is part of
a pilot program with the Department of Veterans Affairs in which the Army and
the V.A. collaborate in evaluating soldiers’ injuries. The collaboration
between the two bureaucracies is expected to speed up veterans benefits once a
soldier leaves the Army, but it can lengthen the initial evaluation period,
Michael Crawford has been waiting
more than a year for his medical discharge. As his anxiety and depression have
worsened, so have his problems in the unit. His rank was recently reduced to
private in punishment for overstaying leave and using marijuana.
But things are looking up, his
mother believes: he will be able to stay with her in Michigan while awaiting
His mother, Sally Darrow, has
already seen one son commit suicide. She believes that Michael would become the
second if he had to return to Fort Carson and the transition unit.
“At home, with family and
schoolmates, he’s dealing with things better,” Ms. Darrow said.
“He’s not safe
“Instead Of Getting Medical Help, Adam Got
“He Shot Himself Inside A Bathroom Stall
With His Rifle”
“What Kind Of Leadership Is That?”
Apr 25, 2010 By Kristin M. Hall - The
Associated Press [Excerpts]
Spc. Adam Kuligowski’s problems began
because he couldn’t sleep.
Last year, the 21-year-old soldier was
working six days a week, analyzing intelligence that the military gathered in
Afghanistan. He was gifted at his job and loved being a part of the 101st
Airborne Division, just like his father and his great uncle.
But Adam was tired and often late for work.
His eyes were glassy and he was falling asleep while on duty. His room was messy and his uniform was dirty.
His father, Mike Kuligowski, attributes his
son’s sleeplessness and depression to an anti-malarial medication called
mefloquine that was found in his system.
[I]t can cause psychiatric symptoms such as
anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucination and psychotic behavior.
But instead of getting medical help, Adam got
One time, he got angry, throwing his gun on
the ground and telling his command to send him to jail. He was given an Article 15 nonjudicial
punishment for misconduct and assigned kitchen duty during his days off.
The final straw, his father said, was when
his first sergeant threatened to take away his security clearance and take him
off his intelligence job.
Adam wrote a note telling his dad,
“Sorry to be a disappointment.”
Then he shot himself inside a bathroom stall
with his rifle.
When the Army closed their investigation into
the soldier’s suicide, his father said an investigator told him that the
Adam’s problem was that he was unable to conform to a military
lifestyle. Mike Kuligowski did receive a
personal note from the division’s commanding general: “We
don’t know why this happened,” he wrote.
Kuligowski was not appeased.
“It reminds me that officers know absolutely
nothing about the plights of the soldiers who are under their command,”
he said. “What kind of leadership is that?”
HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance 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 wars, inside the armed
services and at home. Send email requests to address
up top or write to: The Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
10025-5657. Phone: 888.711.2550
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Killed By IED In Diyala Province
April 27, 2010 United States Forces –
Iraq PAO, RELEASE No. 20100427-A
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq
Soldier Killed in Improvised Explosive Device
A United States Division-North Soldier was
killed in Diyala province.
04/27/2010 By HAMID AHMED Associated Press
Writer & April 27 (Reuters)
BAGHDAD—An overnight mortar attack
killed two Iraqi soldiers Tuesday at a security station in a neighborhood of
northern Baghdad, police and hospitals officials said.
Another 14 people, including an army colonel,
were wounded in the 1 a.m. attack on the joint Iraqi army-police office in the
capital's Hurriyah area, the officials said.
Three mortar shells hit the security station,
according to two Iraqi police officials.
It was the second big attack in Hurriyah in
less than a week.
Also Tuesday, insurgents in a speeding car
opened fire on an Iraqi soldier in the northern city of Kirkuk, police
said. Kirkuk police Col. Ahmed Shameran
identified the victim as Khalil Ibrahim, a 27-year-old army lieutenant who was
attending Kirkuk University.
In the northern city of Mosul, a drive-by
shooter targeted a police checkpoint late Tuesday, killing one policeman and
wounding another, said a police official who also spoke on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Guerrillas fired on a police checkpoint using
guns with silencers, killing a police officer and wounding another in western
Mosul, 390 km(240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The police returned
fire, wounding a child and a man, the source added.
MOSUL - A roadside bomb wounded a police
officer when it struck a police convoy in western Mosul, police said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL TROOPS HOME NOW!
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Foreign Occupation “Service Member”
Killed Somewhere Or Other In Afghanistan:
Nationality Not Announced
Apr 27 Associated Press
On Tuesday, a foreign service member was
killed in eastern Afghanistan in a small-arms attack. NATO did not release the
service member's name or nationality.
Insurgents Attack Compound Providing Logistical
Support To Foreign Forces In Kandahar;
Heavy Casualties Reported In Two Hour Battle
Destroyed vehicles at the Supreme logistics
compound in Kandahar April 28, 2010. The insurgent attack killed four people
and wounded at least 30.
Apr 27 By NOOR KHAN and DEB RIECHMANN,
Associated Press Writers & Apr 28, 2010 DPA
Kandahar Police Chief Sher Mohammed Zazai
said militants detonated explosives near the city in an attack targeting a
compound providing logistical support to foreign forces.
At least four security personnel and two
bombers were killed late Tuesday in blasts and a two-hour battle that followed,
said Zalmai Ayubi, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Taliban bombers carried out the attack at the
security firm's compound outside the provincial capital, also called Kandahar,
said Sardar Mohammad Zazai, the provincial police chief.
The base is located 2 kilometres west of
Kandahar city's airfield, the main base for U.S. and other foreign troops in
More than 30 guards and
civilians working at the security firm's base were injured in the attack.
In a statement posted on its
website Wednesday, the Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying three
of its bombers stormed the main compound of Supreme, a logistics and private
security company that transports supplies for foreign troops in southern
The statement claimed that 15
security personnel were killed and 60 injured while nearly 60 vehicles were
destroyed and eight oil tankers burned on the site.
“The First Time That Clash Has Been Reported
Between Militants And Police In Badakhshan Considered A Peaceful
Police have arrested seven Taliban insurgents
in the relatively peaceful Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan, an
official said Tuesday.
"A unit of Police came in contact with
Taliban rebels in Wardoj district yesterday as a result of the gun battle seven
rebels were captured," spokesman for provincial administration Abdul
Marouf Rasikh told Xinhua.
In the clash lasted for several hours one
police officer was killed and two others including a militant and a police
constable sustained injuries.
Days ago Taliban militants gunned down a
police officer in Wardoj district.
This is the first time that clash has been
reported between militants and police in Badakhshan considered a peaceful
province in Afghanistan.
Meantime, Taliban purported spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with media via telephone from unknown location
confirmed the clash and claimed that three-hour gun battle with security forces
left seven police dead, a claim rejected by Marouf as baseless.
U.S. OCCUPATION RECRUITING DRIVE IN HIGH GEAR;
RECRUITING FOR THE ARMED RESISTANCE THAT IS
A foreign occupation soldier from the USA
puts his hands on the body of an Afghan citizen without consent during a patrol
April 27, 2010 in the Maiwand District of Kandahar Province. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Foreign occupation soldiers from the USA make
a daily practice of publicly humiliating Afghan citizens.
This encourages self-respecting honorable
Afghans to kill them.
[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 80,000 Afghan troops over
here to the USA.
[They can kill people at
checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, bomb and butcher
their families, 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 a military prison endlessly without any charges
being filed against them, or any trial.
[Those Afghans 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 killing them wholesale, and consider it their
patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country.
[What a bunch of silly
[How fortunate they are to live
under a military dictatorship run by Barrack Obama. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town,
ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT;
ALL HOME NOW
A soldier from the U.S. Army's 4-23 Infantry Battalion, 5th
Stryker Brigade Combat Team eats tinned meat during a break at an Afghan
National Police (ANP) compound in Helmand April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
An interpreter helps a U. S Marine from 6 Marines, after he
fell into a canal during patrol in the Karez-e-Sayyidi area, in the outskirts
of Marjah district, Helmand province, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Pirates Flee As Resistance Forces Advance:
“They Would Not Tolerate The Actions Of The
4.26.10 Mareeg Online & GAROWE ONLINE
Fighters from Somalia’s insurgent group
of Al-Shabaab has advanced to Harardhere, a central Somali coastal town
famously known as a notorious pirate haven, forcing pirates to flee with
hijacked ships and crews to another neighboring pirate stronghold.
According to reports that reached Garowe
Online, hundreds of Al-Shabaab fighters streamed from the central town of
Eldhere in the Galgadud region late Sunday, heading east towards Harardhere in
south central region of Mudug.
Tension and fear has mounted in the town
after the news of al Shabaab troop movement reached the people.
Somali pirates, who are holding at least six
vessels and more than 90 people hostage in the town, are said to have retreated
with some hijacked vessels and crew to Hobyo, another pirate stronghold about
108 kilometers to the north in Mudug region in central Somalia.
The al Shabaab fighters reached Villages 30
kilometers south of Harahrdhere and are reportedly heading to the town.
The spokesman of al Shabaab, Sheikh Ali
Mohamud Rage, said last month that they would not tolerate the actions of the
“They used to tell us
that they are defending the Somali coast from illegal fishing and those dump
toxic waste in our waters, but now they have started to hijack commercial
Somali boats,” Sheikh Ali told reporters in Mogadishu last month.
The pirates hijack commercial and fishing
ships in the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden and get large ransom of money.
The Islamist insurgent group
has been advancing in central Somalia in recent days, taking over control of
three towns, including Eldhere in the Galgadud region from the archrival,
pro-government Sufi group, Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama'a
Explosion Convulses New Foreign Troops Base In
Eight Occupation Soldier Killed
4/27/2010 (Sh. M. Network)
A bomber has been targeted to a new military
base for the African Union troops AMISOM [translation: foreign occupation
troops] at the former business bank in the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses,
officials told Shabelle radio on Tuesday.
Reports say that the explosion was carried
out by a bomber traveling a vehicle filled with explosive things and exploded
at the outside of the bank where the AMISOM troops made new base in Shangani
district in Mogadishu causing more casualties.
Witnesses said that the bomber exploded
himself as one of the AMISOM security guards tried to stop the truck entering
the bank adding that they had seen the bodies of 8 soldiers of AMISOM near the
Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen officials had
claimed the responsibility of the blast adding that they killed officers of
AMSIOM troops in the bank.
Clerics Denounce U.S.-Backed Government For
25 Apr GAROWE ONLINE &4/26/2010 (Sh. M.
The Islamist clerics of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a have denounced the
transitional government for the responsibility of yesterday’s deadly
shelling that left the lives of more people in the capital, official told
Shabelle radio on Monday.
Heavy shelling targeted to Bakara market had
killed more and injured many innocent civilians as the shellfire continued
Sheik Abdullahi Sheik Abdirahman (Abu Yusuf),
head of the information of the clerics who is in Mogadishu had talked more on
the shelling saying that the responsibility would take by the transitional
government of Somalia
“The first or second step of talks with
the government will be to decrease the dying people, the shelling, because what
is going on can not be tolerated. And
the remained innocent civilians can not bear the heavy shelling,” said
Sheik Abu Yusuf
The shelling erupted after insurgents
launched mortar attacks on Somali presidential palace, where top Somali
officials were holding meeting.
Islamist insurgent groups are waging war to
overthrow the government, which it accuses of being a puppet of the West.
Unpaid Somali Government Soldiers Desert To
“Their Wages Were Intercepted By Senior
“Soldiers Also Had Problems With Some
Battalion-Level Commanders Stealing Their Rations”
“Many Donors Are Reluctant To Contribute
Money To An Army Once Notorious For Crimes Such As Rape, Kidnapping And
April 27, 2010 By KATHARINE HOURELD
Associated Press Writer [Excerpts]
Hundreds of Somali soldiers trained with U.S.
tax dollars have deserted because they are not being paid their $100 monthly
The desertions raise fears that a new
U.S.-backed effort beginning next month to build up Somalia's army may only
increase the ranks of the insurgency.
Somalia's besieged U.N.-backed government
holds only a few blocks of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, while Islamic
insurgents control the rest of the city and most of the country.
In an effort to rebuild the tattered Somali
military, the United States helped fund a training program for nearly 1,000
soldiers in neighboring Djibouti last year, Western diplomats told the AP.
The French-trained troops were
supposed to earn $100 a month, but about half of them deserted because they
were not paid, Somali army Col. Ahmed Aden Dhayow said. "Some gave up the army and returned to
their ordinary life and others joined the rebels," he said.
Somalia's state minister for defense, Yusuf
Mohamed Siyad, confirmed some trainees had joined the al-Shabab militants, but
he declined to specify the number of deserters.
Failure to resolve the pay issue could
threaten the success of a U.S. and European Union training program beginning in
Uganda next month that has been touted as the biggest effort to rebuild the
army in 20 years.
Funding for the Somali army is a complex
affair involving contributions from donor nations, the U.N. and the Somali
government. Individual countries sometimes pledge to cover salaries for a
limited number of soldiers for a few months, and when the money runs out,
salaries don't get paid.
The U.S. has provided $2 million to pay
Somali soldiers and purchase supplies and equipment in Mogadishu since 2007,
according to the State Department. Another $12 million went toward transport,
uniforms and equipment, but the U.S. has declined to say how much of that paid
During a recent AP visit,
dejected-looking soldiers sat under dust-covered thorn trees at the
government's main military base, Camp Jazira, which lacks toilets, a clinic or
even a perimeter fence.
They had not been paid, some
for months, they said, adding that their wages were intercepted by senior
When pressed for details,
mid-level officers glanced at colleagues clutching plastic bags of spaghetti,
the day's lunch ration, before saying they could not discuss the problem.
Earlier this year, trainee
soldiers had their guns confiscated and replaced with sticks after a riot broke
out between those who had been paid and those who had not.
The African Union, which has peacekeepers
[translation: soldiers] at Camp Jazira, temporarily suspended payments over
fears that men who had been paid would be killed by those who had not, an
official involved with the training said.
Soldiers also had problems with some
battalion-level commanders stealing their rations, a European official said.
The U.S. has sent a shipment of food this month to try to help the malnourished
soldiers regain their strength, he added.
A German-funded training course for 900
Somali police recently ended in Ethiopia, a Western official in Nairobi said,
but there are fears the trainees will desert because no provision has been made
for their salaries.
Some international payments are channeled
through a fund administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers, an arrangement designed
to prevent the mass theft of salaries and combat a desertion rate of up to 90
percent that scuttled a previous U.N. effort to reform the police force.
However, diplomats complain the lists of
soldiers the government has provided differ from those they have been
authorized to pay.
Officers including Gen. Ahamad
Buraale, who is in charge of Camp Jazira, also say PricewaterhouseCoopers has
been slow to issue the identity cards that allow soldiers to be paid.
The firm declined to comment,
citing a confidentiality agreement with its clients.
Guaranteeing longer-term wages for the
soldiers may be difficult. Many donors
are reluctant to contribute money to an army once notorious for crimes such as
rape, kidnapping and murder.
In the meantime, the Somali government is
forced to rely on donor nations that are often slow to pay, undercutting
soldiers' confidence in regular paychecks, and feeding desertions and
There are few signs Somalia's
government will ever be able to deliver social services, shape military
strategy and pay its army on its own.
HOW OBAMA BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
The casket Army Spc. Christopher J. Coffland
at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 1, 2009. Spc. Coffland, 43, of Baltimore, Md., died
Nov. 13 in the Wardak province of Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy
forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 323rd Military
Intelligence Battalion, Fort Meade, Md. (AP
Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
“At a time like this,
scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the
nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule,
blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.
“For it is not light that
is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
“We need the storm, the
whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
Frederick Douglass, 1852
change doesn't cut it when you're still losing buddies.
-- J.D. Englehart,
Iraq Veterans Against The War
I say that
when troops cannot be counted on to follow orders because they see the futility
and immorality of them THAT is the real key to ending a war.
Jaccoma, Veterans For Peace
country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to
time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”
Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787
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.
are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples'
Social-Democrats ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune
of the people who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and
oppression no matter where it appears no matter what stratum or class of the
people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and
produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is
able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth
before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to
clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle
for the emancipation of the proletariat.”
-- V. I.
Lenin; What Is To Be Done
revolution is always distinguished by impoliteness, probably because the ruling
classes did not take the trouble in good season to teach the people fine
Trotsky, History Of The Russian Revolution
Nixon administration claimed and received great credit for withdrawing the Army
from Vietnam, but it was the rebellion of low-ranking GIs that forced the
government to abandon a hopeless suicidal policy”
Cortright; Soldiers In Revolt
It is a
two class world and the wrong class is running it.
Christensen, Soldiers Of Solidarity & United Auto Workers
April 28, 2004: The Truth Comes Out
Carl Bunin Peace History April 23-29
The first photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner
abuse scandal were shown on CBS’s ‘‘60 Minutes
II.’’ The photos had been
taken by U.S. military personnel responsible for detaining and interrogating
Iraqi prisoners arrested following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Comments, arguments, articles, and
letters 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 to email@example.com: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request
address to unsubscribe. Phone:
“The ‘Israel Lobby’ Thesis
Conveniently Absolves U.S. Policy-Makers Of Responsibility For Their Ongoing
Support Of Israeli Apartheid, Violence And Annexation”
“U.S. Policy Is Rationally Planned To Serve
The Interests Of The Ruling Class”
“Those Blaming The Lobby For US Policy Once
Again Misunderstand US's Strategic Interests In The Middle East”
the US's policy towards Israel and the Palestinians is not to achieve an end to
the occupation, nor to bring about respect for Palestinian rights -- in fact,
it is the actor primarily responsible for preventing these outcomes.
27 April 2010 Stephen Maher, The Electronic
Many of Israel's critics blame an
"Israel lobby" for the near-total complicity of the US in Israeli
annexation, colonization and cleansing programs in the occupied West Bank.
This complicity continues to the present,
despite the "row" that erupted after the Israeli government
humiliated US Vice President Joe Biden by announcing the construction of 1,600
settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem while he was visiting the country.
Indeed, despite the apparent outrage
expressed by top White House officials, the administration has made clear that
its criticism of Israel will remain purely symbolic.
However, as we shall see, the lobby thesis
does little to explain US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Given the prevalence of the Israel lobby
argument, and the latest diplomatic confrontation between the US and Israel, it
is important to revisit the flaws in the thesis, and properly attribute US
behavior to the large concentrations of domestic political and economic power
that truly drive US policy.
The inflated level of support that the US
lends Israel is a rational response to the particular strategic importance of
the Middle East, the chief energy-producing region of the world.
As we shall see, those blaming the lobby for
US policy once again misunderstand US's strategic interests in the Middle East,
and Israel's central role in advancing them.
This unique regional importance is one reason
for the tremendous level of aid Israel receives, including more advanced
weaponry than that provided to other US clients.
Providing Israel with the ability to use
overwhelming force against any adversary to the established order has been a
pivotal aspect of US regional strategy. Importantly, Israel is also a reliable
ally -- there is little chance that the Israeli government will be overthrown,
and the weapons end up in the hands of anti-Western Islamic fundamentalists or
independent nationalists as happened in Iran in 1979.
If we adopt "the lobby" hypothesis,
we would predict that the US would bend to Israel's will when the interests of
the two states diverge, acting against its "national interest."
Yet if US policies in the Middle East were
damaging its "national interest," as proponents of the lobby argument
claim, that must mean that such policies have been a failure.
This leads one to ask: a failure for whom?
Not for US elites, who have secured control
of the major global energy resources while successfully crushing opposition
movements, nor for the defense establishment, and most certainly not for the
In fact, not only is US policy towards the
Middle East similar to that towards other regions of the world, but it has been
a profitable, strategic success.
Indeed, the US's policy towards Israel and
the Palestinians is not to achieve an end to the occupation, nor to bring about
respect for Palestinian rights -- in fact, it is the actor primarily
responsible for preventing these outcomes.
To the US, Israel's "Operation Defensive
Shield" in 2002 had sufficiently punished the Palestinians and their
compliant US-backed leadership for their intransigence at Camp David.
While the Palestinian Authority was already
acting as Israel's "subcontractor" and "collaborator" in
suppressing resistance to Israeli occupation, in the paraphrased words of
former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's deliberate destruction of Palestinian institutions provided the
opportunity to rebuild them, and ensure an even greater degree of US control.
The settlement and annexation
programs help guarantee Israeli control over the most valuable Palestinian land
and water resources, ensuring Israel will remain a dominant society not easily
pressured by its neighbors.
To help achieve these goals,
the US shields Israeli expansion behind a "peace process" in hopes
that given enough time the Palestinians will concede more and more of what was
The primary concern is to
present the appearance that the US and Israel are ardently crusading for peace,
battling against those who oppose this noble objective.
Though it is true that people across the
region are appalled and outraged by Israeli crimes, such anger is a small
consideration next to the strategic gain of maintaining a strong, dependent
ally in the heart of the Middle East.
The reconstitution of an even more
tightly-controlled Palestinian Authority, with General Keith Dayton directly
supervising the Palestinian security forces, enabled the US to meet these goals
while more effectively suppressing resistance to the occupation.
Likewise, redeploying Israeli soldiers
outside of Gaza allowed Sharon a free hand to continue the annexation of the
West Bank while being heralded internationally as a "great man of
The treatment of Israel by the mainstream US
media is also standard for all US allies.
Coverage in the corporate press is
predictably skewed in favor of official US allies and against official enemies,
a well-documented phenomenon.
Thus, proponents of the lobby
thesis are missing the forest for the trees.
What they see as the special
treatment of Israel by the mainstream press is actually just the normal
functioning of the US media and intellectual establishment, apologizing for and
defending crimes of official allies while demonizing official enemies.
Of course, this is not to argue that there
are not organizations in the US, like the American Jewish Committee,
Anti-Defamation League and AIPAC, that seek to marginalize dissent from Israeli
policy in every forum possible.
Rather, I am pointing out that the power of
these groups pales in comparison to other, far more powerful, interests and
While the AJC or ADL may mobilize for the
firing of a professor critical of Israel, for example, that argument is
amplified by the elite-owned and controlled press because doing so serves their
Likewise, AIPAC can urge
unwavering support for Israel on the part of the US government, but without the
assent of other far more powerful interests, like the energy corporations and
defense establishment, AIPAC's efforts would amount to little.
US policy, like that of other states, is
rationally planned to serve the interests of the ruling class.
Israel could not sustain its aggressive,
expansionist policies without US military aid and diplomatic support. If the
Obama Administration wanted to, it could pressure Israel to comply with
international law and resolutions, join the international consensus, and enact
a two-state solution.
While the "Israel lobby" thesis
conveniently explains his failure to do so and absolves US policy-makers of
responsibility for their ongoing support of Israeli apartheid, violence and
annexation, it simply does not stand up under closer scrutiny.
[To check out what life is like
under a murderous military occupation by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
NEED SOME TRUTH?
CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth - about the occupations 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 to Imperial wars
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 Veterans Against the War to end the occupations and bring all troops home
CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED
TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Make MAY DAY 2010 Our Day
Noon, Saturday, 5/1/2010
The 1100 Block of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard
To: Military Resistance
Subject: NOLA_C3_Discussion N.O. May Day:
Jobs,Housing, & Justice
Date: Apr 28, 2010
ATTENTION U.S. GOVERNMENT: NOW BAIL OUT THE REST
OF US !!!
Since September 2008 the U.S. government has
poured $4.6 trillion of taxpayer money into the private economy to keep America
’s largest banks and other large businesses afloat.
This government bailout has fueled a stock
market boom and a surge in banking profits alongside a spike in unemployment,
mortgage foreclosures, and homelessness.
Washington and Baton Rouge are
attempting to shrink the huge deficit created by the Wall Street bailout by
pursuing drastic cutbacks and wholesale privatization of public employment,
housing, healthcare, and education.
May Day 2010 is a springboard for building a
working class alternative to the establishment’s (non)solutions for the
ongoing economic crisis.
MAY DAY 2010 DEMANDS:
Enact a WPA-style public works program
Reopen Big Charity. Hands off the Charity public
Repair & reopen all New Orleans public
housing. Supply Section 8 vouchers to all 18,000 New Orleans homeless
Restore 2008-2010 public education funding cuts
Legalize and stop harassing all immigrants
Enforce Section 3 local hiring
Bring friends, signs, chants, and spirit
C3/Hands Off Iberville meets 7pm Thursdays in
St. Jude’s Basin Street Hall. 410
Info: call 504-587-0080.
opinion? 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request
Vietnam GI: Reprints Available
They Stopped An Imperial War
Not available from anybody
Edited by Vietnam Veteran Jeff
Sharlet from 1968 until his death, this newspaper rocked the world, attracting
attention even from Time Magazine, and extremely hostile attention from the
chain of command. The pages and pages of
letters in the paper from troops in Vietnam condemning the war are lost to
history, but you can find them here.
The Military Project has copied
complete sets of Vietnam GI. The
originals were a bit rough, but every page is there. Over 100 pages, full 11x17 size.
request to active duty members of the armed forces.
Cost for others: $15 if picked up in New York City. For mailing inside USA add $5 for bubble bag
and postage. For outside USA, include extra
for mailing 2.5 pounds to wherever you are.
Checks, money orders payable
to: The Military Project
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All proceeds are used for
projects giving aid and comfort to members of the armed forces opposed to
today’s Imperial wars.
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