Sunday, April 13, 2008

And the war drags on . . .

Few people have ever heard of a Vietnam-era phenomenon called "the GI Movement," a peace-activist storm that swept the country when the war in Vietnam was well under way.
Many attribute the popular ignorance of the phenomenon to the revisionist history that followed our withdrawal from Vietnam.
The Movement consisted of both recently returned veterans and active-duty soldiers. With a brilliant mix of archival film and talking heads, David Zeiger's documentary film, "
Sir! No Sir!" examines this period of turmoil, and it deserves to be seen at Mercyhurst College on Wednesday.
Zeiger put off making the film because he was convinced that people simply didn't want to see another story from those tumultuous '60s.
"What prompted me to make the film was Sept.11, and the War on Terror's segue into the Iraq War," Zeiger told an interviewer. "I saw that this had suddenly become a story that would have current resonance, something that would immediately connect with what's going on today."

The above is from Floyd Lawrence's "'Sir! No Sir!' explores soldiers' anti-war protest" ( David Zeiger's current project is a documentary on Iraq Veterans Against the War's Winter Soldier and, on Winter Soldier, KPFA notes:

Live On Air and Online at! April 22 from 10am-1pm
Join us on April 22nd for this very important follow up to Pacifica's groundbreaking Winter Soldier live coverage. We will be following the San Francisco trial involving wounded vets and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this first class action lawsuit U.S. Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder sue the VA, alleging a system wide breakdown in the way the Government treats those soldiers.
During this special broadcast we will be bringing our listeners live updates from the San Francisco federal courthouse, we'll speak with wounded Veterans attorney Gordon Erspamer, (taking this case pro bono because his father was permanently disabled in World War II and never received proper health care) and speak with Veterans advocates including Veterans for Common Sense, and Vets for America.
Read more about the broadcast here.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war hit the 4,018 mark. And tonight? 4034. Today, AP reports: "The US military says an Apache helicopter has accidentally destroyed one of its own armoured vehicles in eastern Baghdad." Just Foreign Policy's counter estimates that 1,197, 469 Iraqis have been killed due to the Iraq War. In other reported violence . . .


Saturday Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reported a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi police officer (five more wounded), a Baghdad motorcycle bombing, a Diyala Province roadside bombing that wounded two Iraqi soldiers and an Al Anbar Province truck bombing that claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and the driver of the truck as well as injuring a police officer and three people. Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports today that a Baghdad bombing wounded two police officers, a mortar attack on the Green Zone, a Diyala Province bombing that claimed 1 life (one more person wounded), a Kirkuk bombing that wounded two "Awakening" Council members, a bombing outside of Kirkuk that claimed the life of 1 "Awakening" council member, another bombing outside Kirkuk that left three "Awakening" Council members wounded and an Al Anbar Province bombing that wounded a deputy "and his 11 year old son".


Yesterday Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reported a man shot dead in Diyala Province (his wife and two children were wounded). Today McClatchy's Laith Hammoudi reports 1 person shot dead in Baquba.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reported Saturday 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Today McClatchy Newspaper's Laith Hammoudi reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Meanwhile Free Bilal, Reuters reports:

An Iraqi judicial panel dismissed the last remaining criminal allegation against an Associated Press photographer on Sunday and ordered him freed from U.S. military custody, the news agency reported.
The U.S. military has accused Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi, of working with insurgents in Iraq and held him without charge for two years. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was seized in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, and is being held in Baghdad.

Pru notes "Why the US and Britain are determined not to leave Iraq" (Great Britain's Socialist Worker):

An occupation without limit and a war without end. This is the message coming out of Britain and the US following the recent uprising by Iraqis.
According to a classified document obtained by the Daily Telegraph, the US wants Iraq to accept that there will be no time limit to the occupation.
The US is planning to pressure the United Nations to change its mandate to allow foreign troops to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security".
This demand indicates that the US has lost faith in its Iraqi allies following a mutiny when the Iraqi army attempted to crush the resistance in Basra.
Now the US and Britain have frozen plans to "draw down" their troops in Iraq.
In the last week US troops have been engaged in fierce battles in Baghdad despite a call by rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr for his fighters to stand down. In one incident US helicopter gunships fired anti-tank missiles into dense neighbourhoods.
In another document obtained by the German Der Spiegel magazine, Nato, the military alliance that rules Afghanistan, sets out 2011 as the earliest date it could begin withdrawing troops.
France, Germany, Holland, the US and Britain have also began to pour thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan ahead of a "spring offensive".
Both documents expose the lie that the occupations have turned the corner and that a "surge" of troops has created stability.
Meanwhile the true cost of the assault on Basra and other cities two weeks ago have been revealed. According to Doctors for Iraq, over 350 people were killed during the fighting, with over 1,200 injured.
They say, "Much of the fierce fighting in the city took place in densely populated civilian areas. Many of those who were injured are reported to be women and children."
UPDATE: After Socialist Worker went to press, general David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, announced that the US will freeze the withdrawal of its troops from the country. Petraeus told a the US Congress that he is making the "surge" of 30,000 troops permanent.
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