Monday, June 09, 2008

Iraq snapshot

Monday, June 9, 2008.  Chaos and violence continue, justice in England (if not in the US), Corey Glass is told he does not have to leave Canada June 12th, the US military pumps service members full of drugs, and more.


Starting with Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. He will not be deported Thursday (the 12th). Torstar News Service reports: "Initially ordered to leave the country by June 12, Glass' departure date has been extended to July 10, after a month-long appeal process by his lawyer was finally approved last week." So he has a month to appeal. Dan Robson (Toronto Star) explains, "The former American soldier was set to become the first Iraq-war resister to be deported from Canada, after his application for refugee status was rejected more than two weeks ago.  Glass said his lawyer put forward the appeal so he would have sufficient time to properly settle his accounts and allow him to leave his job in a professional manner."  Friday, Amnesty issued their statement, "USA: James Corey Glass has right not to serve in Iraq," which noted, "Amnesty International believes James Corey Glass to have a genuine conscientious objection to serving as a combatant in the US forces in Iraq, and would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience if imprisoned on his return to the USA."


And last Tuesday, the House of Commons in Canada voted to let war resisters stay in the country. Krystalline Kraus (Rabble News) reports, "Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs (137 in total) stood in favour -- literally stood up to vote as procedure dictates, though for a second the line of MPs could be confused for a makeshift honour guard of sorts -- of the 'war resister' motiong.  From the ranks of the Conservative Party, 110 MPs stood against" and quotes US war resister Robin Long explaining, "I feel a small but growing and powerful group of people have woken up and are taking a stand . . . and these people are going to wake everyone else up, leading the people back to power and away from the corporate agenda Bush." October 1, 2007, Robin Long was arrested and told he would be deported.

The New Democratic Party of Canada issued a statement "calling on the [prime minister Stephen] Harper government to reexamine their decision to deport Long and allow him to stay in Canada."  By October 4, 2007 the threat volume was lowered.  Last week, Dianne Mathiowetz and Jaimeson Champion (Workers World) reported, "The motion to halt the deportations is a strong step against a series of recent reactionary rulings issued by the Canadian Supreme Court. The court's refusals to hear the appeals for refugee status filed by numerous GI resisters have paved the way for the possible deportation of dozens, if not hundreds, of conscientious objectors.  The vote in the Canadian Parliament comes on the heels of a deportation order given to GI resister Corey Glass. Glass, an Indiana resident, signed up for the National Guard in 2002. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and served five months as a military intelligence sergeant before going AWOL to protest what he deemed an 'illegal and immoral' war. Glass moved to Toronto, Canada, in August 2006."  Kevin Brooker (Calgary Herald) argues, "There are many outward reasons why granting sanctuary to an estimated 200 former soldiers should be an automatic gesture for Canada. Foremost is the simple fact that the United Nations itself, not to mention enlightened voices around the world, declared the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to be a violation of the UN charter. It also would support the Nuremberg Principles, which compel a soldier to withdraw from military acts, like this one, which are patently illegal."    And Jan Heynen writes to the Ottawa Citizen to support war resisters:


Let them stay          
Last Tuesday, the Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together to adopt a recommendation which, if implemented, would require the Canadian government to allow permanent resident status to U.S. war resistors and their families and to cease all deportation and removal proceedings against the war resisters.           
Canada refused to join the war in Iraq. It is consistent with that decision to accept people into the country who don't agree either with the legality of that war.
The illegality of that war has been demonstrated many times. It has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of lives, both Iraqi and U.S.              
Our own government should follow the parliamentary directive, which many people agree with. It can restore some of the shine to our reputation in the world as a peacemaker.        
Jan Heynen,         


To keep the pressure on, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at "").


There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean,  Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).


Turning to England where gender discrimation and harasment appears to be taken much more seriously than in the US.  Caroline Gammel (Telegraph of London) reports that Rabia Siddique ("female major who helped rescue two SAS Soldiers" and also "a lawyer who worked for the Army Legal Services") went public about being being "victimised by senior officers and subjected to months of religious, racial and sex discrimination and quotes her stating, "For the last several years I have very much enjoyed and been honoured to serve my country as a legal officer in the armed forces.  Unfortunately I have been treated unfavourably because I am a Muslim, Asian woman.  As a result of this treatment my career, which I was fully committed to, has suffered which has caused me great distress. Because of this I have felt compelled to bring a claim to this employment tribunal."  In the US, Rabia Siddique might next pop up in the news a year and a half from now.  Instead, Caroline Gammel later reported that Siddique's case had been resolved and "an undisclosed settlement was agreed.  Her lawyer Joanna Wade said Major Siddique had been 'very happy' with the agreement, but refused to divulge details.  Part of the deal was the latter from Gen Sir Richard" and quotes Siddique declaring, "I am also pleased to hear what the Chief of the General Staff has said about lessons that may be learnt, which is primarily what I was seeking by bringing these claims."  Tom Kelley and Michael Seamark (The Daily Mail) report, "Military chiefs have vowed to learn lessons from the treatment of a female Muslim Army lawyer who was 'given a hug instead of a medal' for her part in trying to free soldiers kidnapped in Iraq. , , , A last-minute settlement was agreed yesterday as her case was due to be heard by Central London employment tribunal."  The kidnapping case referred to was the two British military personnel caught in Basra with bombs, guns, etc. in a civlian car, wearing wigs and disguises to appear "Iraqi".  Robert F. Worth (New York Times) noted in real time, "The arrest and detention of the British officers, who were in Arab dress, was handled appropriately, said the spokesman, who agreed to discuss the episode on the condition of anonymity. A judge issued an arrest warrant and informed both the Basra governor and the city council about the case, he said." Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) observed then, "The fight broke out when British forces attacked a police station after the detention of two British soldiers apparently disguised in local dress." Solo, Tavernise reported, "The official said that the soldiers were undercover officers dressed as Iraqis and that Iraqi police officers had arrested them after the men fired at a traffic police officer."   Sean Rayment (Telegraph of London) first reported on Rabia Siddique's case at the first of this month.  Military service member or civilian contractor, think of all the US women who wait and wait for something resembling justice.  Which usually never arrives.


Meanwhile Mark Thompson (Time magazine) reports on 'treatment,' "For the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The medicaines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resources: soldiers on the front lines."  Yeah, I think Louis Mayer used to trot a line like that out years ago at Metro and we all know it did wonders for Judy Garland.  Remember, when everything falls apart (as it does), the defense is always that it's never the organization's fault, only the individuals.  While US service members are pumped with drugs, AP reported on puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki visiting Iraq and insisting to Iran that the treaty and he the White House are trying to force through will not allow Iraq to be used as a stage to launch a US war with Iran. The question of course is does the puppet tell the White House the truth or does he tell Iran the truth? AP notes: "Iran fiercely opposes the deal, fearing it will lead to permanent US bases on its doorstep amid fears of an eventual American attack.  Iran has led a vocal campaign against the deal, with powerful former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani vowing last week that people in Iraq and the region won't allow it. That has led to US accusations that Tehran is actively trying to scuttle the agreement - putting al-Maliki's government in a tight spot between its two rival allies."  Asraf Khalil (Los Angeles Times) reports that while the talks went on, "a public affairs program broadcast on Iranian television" featured "one panelist" who "compared American bases in Iraq to the installation of Russian missiles in Cuba during the Cold War betwen the United States and the Soviet Union."  Andrew E. Kramer (New York Times) reports that while the meetings were going on, the US military in Iraq was yet again trumpeting the capture of a supect that they insisted was linked to Iran but, as Kramer noted, "The United States military regularly announces the detention of militia fighters it says are operating with Iranian support.  Iranian authorities deny they have a hand in the fighting."


Kramer also notes 2 US service members died from bombings Sunday (one in Baghad, the otehr in Kirkuk).  The number of US service members killed since the start of the illegal war currently stands at 4094.  Also on Sunday, Reuters reports, the Turkish military and the PKK again fought on the border and "an operation against the rebels" PKK "continued on Monday."  CBS and AP notes, "U.S. soldiers under heavy fire during a raid Monday in northwestern Iraq called in airstrikes and killed five suspected al Qaeda in Iraq militants, the military said."  The airstrike comes as Deborah Haynes (Times of London) reports Iraqi officials are saying they want the US service members "confined to their bases" and off the streets.  In other Iraq news, Deborah Haynes (Times of London) also reports on the diplomatic front: "The Turkish Prime Minister is preparing to make his first trip to Iraq since the invasion, while Jordan will soon send an ambassador to Baghdad, in the latest signs of a desire in the region to work with the US-backed Iraqi Government.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, and Jalal Talabani, the President, during his forthcoming stay, according to Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi Government spokesman."  Who would Jordan be sending?  The post has not been filled.

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .





Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded five people, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 3 lives and left twelve injured, a Baghdad grenade attack that left two police officers wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded five people, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded two police officers, a Zanjili grenade attack that wounded two Iraqi police officers, a Mosul roadside bombing that wounded one police officer, an Al-Muradiyah roadside bombing that injured four women who "were doing farming in one of the orachards," an Al Wahihiya mortar attack that claimed 1 life and left two injured and a Dali Abbas roadside bombing injured one person.




Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports unknown assailants shot up a Baghdad jewelry store resulting in 3 deaths and two police officers wounded, unknown assailants shot dead "two prominent Sheikhs in Mosul," a woman was shot dead in Balad Ruz, a "retired officer" was shot dead in Hibhib and a shooting in Muqdadiyah left two "seriously wounded".  Reuters notes a Mosul home invasion where two residents were murdered and a police officer shot dead in Mosul.




Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 3 corpses discovered in Baghdad and 25 corpses (unidentified) at the Baquba morgue were buried after 40 days without being claimed.


corey glass

 kevin brooker
 dan robson
dianne mathiowetz
jaimeson champion

robin long

the new york times
sabrina tavernise

 andrew e. kramer
mcclatchy newspapers

 richard a. oppel jr.

robert f. worth

  ashraf khalil
 the los angeles times

 deborah haynes