Pentagon boycott by oil majors called

Traprock Peace Center homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2006

Contact: Nick Mottern, Director, Consumers for Peace.org
nickmottern@earthlink.net

CINDY SHEEHAN, HOWARD ZINN AND 40 INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS ASK OIL MAJORS TO BOYCOTT THE PENTAGON UNTIL U.S. FORCES LEAVE IRAQ

Twelve major suppliers of petroleum products to the Pentagon, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Valero, have been asked by a group of peace organizations and activists, including Cindy Sheehan and Howard Zinn, to stop doing business with the U.S. military until all U.S. troops and mercenary forces are out of Iraq.

ConsumersforPeace.org today sent letters calling for a Pentagon boycott by the following firms that comprised the top ten suppliers of petroleum and petroleum products to the U.S. military in fiscal year 2004 or 2005. This is a list of their total sales to the Pentagon for that period, based on information provided by the Defense Energy Support Center:

BP – $2.2 billion

Royal Dutch Shell – $2.07 billion

ExxonMobil – $1.3 billion

Valero Energy – $898 million

Bahrain Petroleum Co. – $576.8 million

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. – $541.8 million

Ssangyong Oil (Korea) – $498.1 million

Motor Oil (Hellas) (Greece) – $426.4 million

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. – $276.5 million (2004)

Merlin Petroleum Co. – $226.1 million (2005)

International Oil Trading Co. – $214 million

Refinery Associates of Texas – $121.3 million

“As you may know,” the letters state, “the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States and other coalition forces are violations of international law.” The letters continue: “Additionally, the U.S. has committed numerous war crimes, such as its destruction of cities, bombing of civilians, use of uranium munitions, use of white phosphorus as a chemical weapon and torture.”

The letters refer to a 2004 peer-reviewed Lancet study in noting that “over 100,000, and possibly far more, Iraqis have been killed in the invasion and occupation.”* The letters also say that the “devastation of Iraqi civil society is beyond calculation.”

The letters also cite U.S. and other Coalition casualties and register “grave concerns about U.S. violations of international law ” with respect to conduct at Guantanamo, in Afghanistan and toward Iran.

The authors ask the oil companies to stop doing business with the U.S. military: “In view of the illegality of what is happening in Iraq and the enormity of the suffering being caused by this illegal conduct, we ask [each of the above listed firms] to stop selling petroleum products and services to the U.S. military until all U.S. military and mercenary forces leave Iraq.”

*The Lancet study – “Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey” – made “conservative assumptions” per the authors and did not include data from the city of Falluja. The authors wrote that the mortality figures would have been “far more” if Falluja had been included. It was published nearly two years ago and hence covered only the first 18 months or the war and occupation. The Lancet study is available online at http://www.traprockpeace.org/iraq_lancet_october_2004.pdf A February, 2006 article – “The Iraq War: Do Civilian Casualties Matter?” by Les Roberts, lead researcher of the Lancet study, is available at http://web.mit.edu/cis/pdf/Audit_6_05_Roberts.pdf

The letter is signed by:**

Nick Mottern, Director, Consumers for Peace

Charles Jenks, Chair of Advisory Board, Traprock Peace Center
Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and mother of Casey Sheehan, who died in Iraq;

Hadi Jawad, co-founder, Crawford Peace House

Valley Reed, Dallas Peace Center

David Swanson, co-founder, AfterDowningStreet.org;

Kelly Dougherty, co-founder Iraq Veterans Against the War;

Dahr Jamail, indepdendent journalist;

Kathy Kelly, co-founder, Voices for Creative Nonviolence;

Howard Zinn, author and professor emeritus at Boston University;

Anthony Arnove, author of Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal;

Hans-Christof von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General who resigned in protest as the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq;

Lindsey German, Convener, Stop the War Coalition (UK);

Sharon Smith, author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States;

Sunny Miller, Executive Director, Traprock Peace Center;

Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America;

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, NYU, national coordinating committee member, Campus Antiwar Network;

Sara Flounders, Co-director, International Action Center;

Don Debar, WBAI New York producer;

Gayle Dunkelberger, Katonah, New York;

Rev. Diane Baker, Dallas, Texas;

Jim Goodnow, Dallas, Texas;

Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation

Jean Campbell, Moderator, The World Dreams Peace Bridge

Kwame Mahdi, Peekskill, NY

Khury Peterson-Smith, Campus Antiwar Network and student representative to Occupation Watch mission to Iraq;

Dave Zirin, author of What’s My Name, Fool?;

Carolyn Fuller, Senior Analyst/ Programmer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

Deepa Kumar, Assistant Professor Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University;

Alan Maass, Editor, Socialist Worker newspaper;

Snehal Shingavi, PhD candidate, UC Berkeley and a founding member of the Campus Antiwar Network;

Judy Linehan, Military Families Speak Out mother of Iraq War Veteran;

Paola Pisi, professor of religious studies (Italy) and editor of uruknet.info;

Sanford Russell, veteran and moderator of BoycottUS yahoo group;

Dave Stratman, Editor, NewDemocracyWorld.com;

Dennis Kyne, Gulf War veteran and activist;

Dorinda Moreno, IndyIraqAction, Elders Of The 4 Colors 4 Directions

Natylie Baldwin, Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center;

Dr. Thomas Fasy, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine;

Thomas F. Barton, editor of “GI Special;”

Ward Reilly, SE National Contact – Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Baton Rouge;

Charlie Jackson, Texans for Peace;

Gabriele Zamparini, independent filmmaker, writer and journalist; co-producer of www.thecatsdream.com;

Dirk Adriaensens, coordinator of SOS Iraq and member of the Executive committee of the Brussells Tribunal;

Michael Letwin, New York Labor Against the War

**affiliations are for identification purposes only

For more information, see http://www.consumersforpeace.org

###

Traprock Peace Action Report – July 2006

Traprock Peace Center homepage

Traprock Peace Action Report, 7/ 7/ 06
Tag team with us to help make war history!

BASTA YA! Enough is enough!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Join Camp Casey in DC for Camp Democracy in Sept!
1. Discussion on Darfur at Smith College — 5 speakers available for radio or home use http://www.traprockpeace.org
2. Fri. July 7 “Long Night’s Journey into Day”
3. Wed. July 19 – W. Mass Social Forum Planning
4. Sat. July 22, Taking Heart in Troubled Times, Northampton
5. Fri. July 28 – Clamshell Alliance Reunion, NH!
6. Sun. July 30 – Cindy Sheehan comes to Brattleboro, VT
7. Fri. Aug 4 – Wide Angle Films in Amherst, MA shows “The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium & the Dying Children”
8. Sun. Aug. 5/6 – Hiroshima Day Observances, Save the Dates in Springfield, / Northampton
9. Wed. Aug. 9? Valleywide Spokescouncil Holyoke Mtg.
10. August 23 – Actions to Stop Uranium Weapons
11. Room for an Intern / Room for Rent
12. BASTA YA! Enough is Enough!
Join Camp Casey in DC in Sept. for Camp Democracy!
NOTE
Thank you note & announcement on an impeachment initiative:
After Downing Street Education Fund, launches project with Traprock. You can help.

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1. On Thurs. July 6, at Smith College, the program, Darfur: An Open Discussion On Intervention, Regime Change & The Politics of Genocide was taped and available now for radio or home use. Thank-yous to Program organizers, speakers, Smith College, Northampton Committee to End the War in Iraq, Touchstone Farm, Ed Russell, Charlie Jenks and Traprock supporters who make this resource available, nationwide. Hear the program’s speakers at http://www.traprockpeace.org/darfur_intervention_070606.html

Because we have witnessed the harm and dire neglect affecting millions of ordinary Iraqis we want to explore ethical, moral and political questions behind popular calls for humanitarian intervention and regime change in Sudan. We urgently need more dialogue to understand our best responses.
These five panelists examined and compared popular perceptions instilled by
mass media with the realities of political, economic, social and cultural forces. The roles of multinational corporations, human rights groups, humanitarian aid organizations, think-tanks, Hollywood stars and other players merit scrutiny in light of the possibility that a resource war might be waged featuring US intervention for the sake of oil, petrol dollars, gum arabic, uranium and other resources.
€ Sara Flounders, Co-Director of the International Action Center, NYC, who traveled to Sudan on a fact-finding mission after the bombing of the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in 1998;
€ Elliot Fratkin, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology at Smith College, Co-director of Smith College Department of African Studies.
€ Keith Harmon Snow, independent photojournalist, and human rights and genocide investigator in Africa, with Genocide Watch and Survivor’s Rights International in 2004, and the United Nations in 2005;
€ Dimitri Oram, writer & researcher on war crimes & the politics of genocide;
€ Dr. Enoch Page, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UMass, expert on race theory and the anthropology of genocide.
For more information contact:
Sara Flounders, sara@action-mail.org, (212) 633-6646, or Deb Chandler, deborahchandler@comcast.net, (413) 584-9160.
Also, visit www.allthingspass.com and www.iacenter.org

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2. On Friday July 7 the film “Long Night’s Journey into Day” will be shown, at 7pm at the Nacul Center in Amherst (592 Main Street.)

# 2000 Academy Award Nominee, best documentary feature
# 2000 Sundance Festival Film Festival, Grand Prize Winner, Best Documentary
# ALA Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Award, best video of 2000
For over forty years, South Africa was governed by the most notorious form of racial domination since Nazi Germany. When it finally collapsed, those who had enforced apartheid’s rule wanted amnesty for their crimes. Their victims wanted justice. As a compromise, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed. As it investigated the crimes of apartheid, the Commission brought together victims and perpetrators to relive South Africa’s brutal history. By revealing the past instead of burying it, the TRC hoped to pave the way to a peaceful future.
Long Night’s Journey Into Day follows several TRC cases over a two-year period. The stories in the film underscore the universal themes of conflict, forgiveness, and renewal.

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3. Wed. July 19 – W. Mass Social Forum Planning

This pot-luck dinner and general meeting at the Brick House Community Resource Center, 24 Third Street, 413 863-9576. Another world is possible.
Since its first meeting in Brazil in 2001, the World Social Forum has become
the largest gathering of social movements in the world. Planners invite you to join, and help plan the W.Mass event. All are welcome. Come represent your constituency.

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4. Saturday, July 22, Taking Heart in Troubled Times, 9am to 5pm, at Northampton Friends Meeting House, 43 Center Street, Northampton. This is an experiential gathering for anyone who cares passionately about our Earth and future generations, inspired by the teachings of Joanna Macy. It is designed to help activists and other caring people experiencing frustration, hopelessness or burnout to draw strength and courage from their inner resources, and each other, and to find new possibilities. The workshop will be facilitated by members of Interhelp, an international, volunteer network. Donation of $25 – $40 would be nice, but is not required. Space is limited so prior registration is required.
Contact Carol Boyer at 584-0767or carol2@crocker.com

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5. Friday, July 28 Clamshell Alliance Reunion!
PO Box 2280, Conway, NH 03818-2280
The World Fellowship Center in Conway, New Hampshire
promotes peace and social justice through education and
dialogue inspired by nature. Fun night starts at 7:30 PM
http://www.worldfellowship.org

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6. Sun. July 30 – Cindy Sheehan
comes to Brattleboro, VT
for a 1 pm rally on the Common.
See the calendar for details.
Bravo Simba, Dan Dewalt!
To be posted soon:
http://www.traprockpeace.org

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7. Fri. Aug 4 – Wide Angle Films in Amherst, MA Presents: “The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium & the Dying Children” Wide Angle Films has Friday night films every on the 1st & 3rd Fridays at 592 Main Street, Amherst (at Whitney). Discussion follows. Learn about an exciting initiative in the mid-south, where activists are visiting factories in TN, MD and VA, in dialogue, in protest and information gathering this summer. You can help stop the use of uranium weapons, and do it in ways you enjoy being active.

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8. Sun. Aug. 5/6 – Hiroshima Day Observances, Save the Dates in Springfield Saturday / Northampton Sunday?

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9. Valleywide Spokescouncil (for W. MA.) will meet in Aug.
Seven people attended a meeting on Wed. July 5, convened by four
facilitators at First Churches in Northampton to discuss process, goals and
possible outcomes of regular monthly meetings. The next meeting is proposed
for Wed. evening, August 9 in Holyoke. for more information visit If you
have questions, please see the FAQ at http://Valleywidespokescouncil.net

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10. August 23 – Actions to Stop Uranium Weapons http://www.worldfellowship.org

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11. Room for an Intern / Room for Rent 413-773-7427 Utilities included. Be a friend of the movement, pitching in. Please call to inquire and send references.

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12. For Immediate Release: July 6, 2006
Cindy Sheehan to Move
Camp Casey to National Mall
Washington, D.C., Sept. 8 to 21

Camp Casey to Expand into Camp Democracy
Cindy Sheehan and activists in the growing peace movement plan to establish
Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, again this August 16 to September 2. They then plan to move the camp to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., beginning September 8.
The camp on the Mall will carry the name Camp Democracy at Fort Fed Up, and
details are available at www.campdemocracy.org
. Organizers intend the camp to bring together peace activists and activists for social justice, united in demanding a shift of public resources from war to the needs of people.
Participants will lobby Congress to end all funding of the occupation of
Iraq, and will demand that Congress hold the Bush Administration accountable
for the falsehoods that launched the war and the abuses of power that have accompanied it.
President Bush has yet to answer Sheehan’s question, “For what noble cause
did my son die?” If it chose to do so, Congress could compel the President and members of his administration to answer that question. Participants in Camp Democracy will encourage Congress Members to do so.
Camp Democracy is launching an outreach effort today to include
organizations in the planning of the camp’s activities, which are all in the
initial stages. Organizations already on board include Gold Star Families
for Peace, AfterDowningStreet.org, National Immigrant Solidarity Network,
Traprock Peace Center, CODE PINK, Global Exchange, Progressive Democrats of
America (PDA), Democrats.com, Democracy Cell Project, The World Can’t Wait,
Velvet Revolution, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
(ACORN), New Orleans Voices for Peace, Cities for Peace, Backbone Campaign,
Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, Voters for Peace, DC Labor for Peace and
Justice, U.S. Labor Against the War, National Organization for Women (NOW),
Reclaim the Commons, Veterans for Peace, Stop the War Coalition (UK), San
Juan Peace Network, Consumers for Peace, Texans for Peace. Others are being
encouraged to join here:
http://campdemocracy.org/node/3
The Camp Democracy website describes the event as “a camp for peace, democracy, and the restoration of the rule of law_ focused not only on ending the war but also on righting injustices here at home and on holding accountable the Bush Administration and Congress.”
Tents will provide activist activities, trainings, workshops, and entertainment on at least these themes, if not others:
* War/ Peace
* The Constitution/ Accountability/ Censure/ Impeachment
* Poverty/ Katrina/ Immigration/ Labor
* Environment/ Health Care/ Education

Participating organizations and guest experts and celebrities will provide
workshops and training sessions on the above topics, as well as on
communications, voter registration, nonviolent civil disobedience, lobbying,
organizing, media production, and performance arts. Congress Members and
congressional candidates will take part. Local elected officials will
instruct attendees on participation in local government. Musicians will
perform concerts. New films will be shown on a large screen. The intention
is for participants to go home having acquired useful skills for civic
participation, to enjoy themselves, and to demand fundamental change from a
government whose actions so rarely follow majority opinion. Trainers,
speakers, and performers who want to propose activities are being encouraged
to contact Camp Democracy here:
http://campdemocracy.org/node/4
While civil disobedience is not planned for Camp Democracy, education in civil disobedience will be provided in preparation for the activities of Sept. 21 to 28 being organized by the Declaration of Peace:
http://www.declarationofpeace.org
Organizers Comment
Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and mother of
Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq, said: “We are going to bring to the front door
of Congress our demand that they fulfill their Constitutional obligation to
check the abuses of the President. We will ask them to compel President
Bush and members of his administration to answer the question ‘Why was my
son sent to die in Iraq?’ And we are going to ask Congress Members themselves why they are allowing the killing to continue, together with the drain on resources that is putting at risk all of the needs of people in this country and abroad.”
NOW President Kim Gandy said of Camp Democracy plans, “We must keep raising
our voices for peace — and the harder that becomes, the more necessary it is.”
Nancy Wohlforth, Co-convenor of U.S. Labor Against the War, and President,
Pride At Work, AFL-CIO, said, “The hard-earned tax dollars of every working
person in the United States are being squandered on the war in Iraq.
Working people must use the power of their labor, organized through unions,
to demand a reordering of priorities, to peoples’ needs rather than
corporate greed. Through participating in Camp Democracy, U.S. Labor
Against the War joins the surging, broadening movement to bring our troops
home now and end the war on Iraq.”
Sunny Miller, Director of Traprock Peace Center, and daughter of a Vietnam
Vet said, “The first woman elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin, had it
right — ‘You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.’ The
bloody warring and profiteering must be stopped, or we’re headed for
calamity. Women know this. Ordinary people know this everywhere. I think
it’s time to support real reparations with a women’s strike for peace, and a time to live the dream that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., held up for us.”
Kevin Zeese, Director of Democracy Rising, said: “Anti-war and social
justice voters need to bring their message to Washington, DC, to kick off
the final months of the mid-term elections. Join us so we can present a
unified presence and energize anti-war voters throughout the United States.
Let’s make the anti-war vote a powerful one in 2006 and 2008.”
Added Karen Bradley of Democracy Cell Project: “Come and learn how we will
take the country back.”
Former U.S. diplomat and U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright said, “Camp Democracy
is an critical event to continue to put pressure on the Congress and the Bush Administration to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home, as well as for discussing the criminal activities the Bush administration is involved in.”
Tim Carpenter, Director of PDA, said: “Progressive Democrats of America is
proud to be a part of this historic effort to organize and mobilize the
progressive community from across this country to focus the upcoming
election on ending the occupation of Iraq, cutting off funding for the war
and holding the President, Vice President and the entire Bush Administration
accountable for the lies that lead to this war.”
Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, said, “We need to be
in Washington DC, where the decisions are being made to continue this immoral war. Elected officials need to hear our voices and feel our pressure when we, the people, say ‘Bring the Troops Home.'”
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, added, “To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Contact: David Swanson 202-329-7847, www.campdemocracy.org

NOTE OF THANKS — IMPEACHMENT INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED:
Thanks to all who came to the July 4 Peace Picnic.
We loved the food, the fasting, eco-news, music & dancing! Eighty people — musicians, cooks, kids, and neighbors made the day a delightful sharing. Thank you … for being in this partnership, and one of the hopeful in a community of peacemakers!
AFTER DOWNING STREET EDUCATION FUND
A high point of July 4 was an open conversation by phone with Atty. John Bonifaz announcing an impeachment initiative called the After Downing Street Education Fund, a project affiliated with Traprock Peace Center. John and his colleagues will be working to educate the public about how to assert and maintain checks against abuses of power, to reestablish our constitutional rights. That audio will be posted soon at http://www.traprockpeace.org.
Please note that most of our audio files are available for radio use with attribution. Thanks to d.j’s who air many truths we hold to be self-evident.
In these bright summer days and balmy nights, your vocal endorsement and monetary support can help reason rein in corruption in government. May summer shine on you and yours, in healing and health, in dialogue and in productive peacemaking.
Best regards,

Sunny Miller
413-773-7427
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
http://www.traprockpeace.org
July News – Darfur to DC
in a Neighbors’ Network to End War

Cindy Sheehan to Move Camp to National Mall

Traprock Peace Center homepage

Camp Democracy

Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad:
Bring Democracy to DC Beginning Sept. 8, 2006.

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2006
Contact: David Swanson 202-329-7847, www.campdemocracy.org

Cindy Sheehan to Move Camp to National Mall
Washington, D.C., September 8 to 21

Camp Casey to Expand into Camp Democracy

Cindy Sheehan and activists in the growing peace movement plan to establish Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, again this August 16 to September 2. They then plan to move the camp to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., beginning September 8.

The camp on the Mall will carry the name Camp Democracy at Fort Fed Up, and details are available at www.campdemocracy.org . Organizers intend the camp to bring together peace activists and activists for social justice, united in demanding a shift of public resources from war to the needs of people. Participants will lobby Congress to end all funding of the occupation of Iraq, and will demand that Congress hold the Bush Administration accountable for the falsehoods that launched the war and the abuses of power here at home that have accompanied it.

President Bush has yet to answer Sheehan’s question, “For what noble cause did my son die?” If it chose to do so, Congress could compel the President and members of his administration to answer that question. Participants in Camp Democracy will encourage Congress Members to do so.

Camp Democracy is launching an outreach effort today to include organizations in the planning of the camp’s activities, which are all in the initial stages. Organizations already on board include Gold Star Families for Peace, AfterDowningStreet.org, National Immigrant Solidarity Network, Traprock Peace Center, CODE PINK, Global Exchange, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Democrats.com, Democracy Cell Project, The World Can’t Wait, Velvet Revolution, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), New Orleans Voices for Peace, Cities for Peace, Backbone Campaign, Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, Voters for Peace, DC Labor for Peace and Justice, U.S. Labor Against the War, National Organization for Women (NOW), Reclaim the Commons, Veterans for Peace, Stop the War Coalition (UK), San Juan Peace Network, Consumers for Peace, Texans for Peace, Campus Antiwar Network and Cedar Valley (Iowa) United for Peace & Justice. Others are being encouraged to join here:
http://campdemocracy.org/node/3

The Camp Democracy website describes the event as “a camp for peace, democracy, and the restoration of the rule of law…focused not only on ending the war but also on righting injustices here at home and on holding accountable the Bush Administration and Congress.”

Tents will provide activist activities, trainings, workshops, and entertainment on at least these themes, if not others:
War/ Peace
The Constitution/ Accountability/ Censure/ Impeachment
Poverty/ Katrina/ Immigration/ Labor
Environment/ Health Care/ Education

Participating organizations and guest experts and celebrities will provide workshops and training sessions on the above topics, as well as on communications, voter registration, nonviolent civil disobedience, lobbying, organizing, media production, and performance arts. Congress Members and congressional candidates will take part. Local elected officials will instruct attendees on participation in local government. Musicians will perform concerts. New films will be shown on a large screen. The intention is for participants to go home having acquired useful skills for civic participation, to enjoy themselves, and to demand fundamental change from a government whose actions so rarely follow majority opinion. Trainers, speakers, and performers who want to propose activities are being encouraged to contact Camp Democracy here:
http://campdemocracy.org/node/4

Camp Democracy will provide educational programs on nonviolence.

Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq, said: “We are going to bring to the front door of Congress our demand that they fulfill their Constitutional obligation to check the abuses of the President. We will ask them to compel President Bush and members of his administration to answer the question ‘Why was my son sent to die in Iraq?’ And we are going to ask Congress Members themselves why they are allowing the killing to continue, together with the drain on resources that is putting at risk all of the needs of people in this country and abroad.”

NOW President Kim Gandy said of Camp Democracy plans, “We must keep raising our voices for peace — and the harder that becomes, the more necessary it is.”

Nancy Wohlforth, Co-convenor of U.S. Labor Against the War, and President, Pride At Work, AFL-CIO, said, “The hard-earned tax dollars of every working person in the United States are being squandered on the war in Iraq. Working people must use the power of their labor, organized through unions, to demand a reordering of priorities, to peoples’ needs rather than corporate greed. Through participating in Camp Democracy, U.S. Labor Against the War joins the surging, broadening movement to bring our troops home now and end the war on Iraq.”

Sunny Miller, Director of Traprock Peace Center, and daughter of a Vietnam Vet said, “The first woman elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin, had it right — ‘You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.’ The bloody warring and profiteering must be stopped, or we’re headed for calamity. Women know this. Ordinary people know this everywhere. I think it’s time to support real reparations with a women’s strike for peace, and a time to live the dream that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., held up for us.”

Kevin Zeese, Director of Democracy Rising, said: “Anti-war and social justice voters need to bring their message to Washington, DC, to kick off the final months of the mid-term elections. Join us so we can present a unified presence and energize anti-war voters throughout the United States. Let’s make the anti-war vote a powerful one in 2006 and 2008.”

Added Karen Bradley of Democracy Cell Project: “Come and learn how we will take the country back.”

Former U.S. diplomat and U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright said, “Camp Democracy is an critical event to continue to put pressure on the Congress and the Bush Administration to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home, as well as for discussing the criminal activities the Bush administration is involved in.”

Tim Carpenter, Director of PDA, said: “Progressive Democrats of America is proud to be a part of this historic effort to organize and mobilize the progressive community from across this country to focus the upcoming election on ending the occupation of Iraq, cutting off funding for the war and holding the President, Vice President and the entire Bush Administration accountable for the lies that lead to this war.”

Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, said, “We need to be in Washington DC, where the decisions are being made to continue this immoral war. Elected officials need to hear our voices and feel our pressure when we, the people, say ‘Bring the Troops Home.'”

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, added, “To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

All Iraq is Abu Ghraib

Traprock Peace Center homepage

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/haifa_zangana/
2006/07/the_personality_disorder_of_th.html

All Iraq is Abu Ghraib
Haifa Zangana

July 5, 2006 01:50 PM

A’beer Qassim al-Janaby, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, was with her family in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, when US troops raided the house. A group of soldiers have been charged with her rape and the murder of her father, mother, and nine-year-old sister. They are also accused of setting A’beer’s body on fire.

The al-Janaby family lived near a US checkpoint, and the killings happened at 2pm on March 11. As usual, a US spokesman ascribed the killings to “Sunni Arab insurgents active in the area”, contrary to local eyewitnesses.

A’beer’s rape and murder is neither incidental nor the product of a US soldier’s “personality disorder”: it is part of a pattern that includes Abu Ghraib, as well as the Haditha, Ishaqi and Qaiem massacres. And we see this pattern as serving a strategic function beyond indiscriminate revenge: to couple collective humiliation with intimidation and terror.

Today, four years into the Anglo-American occupation, the whole of Iraq has become Abu Ghraib, with our streets as prison corridors and homes as cells. Iraqis are attacked in detention, on the streets and in their homes.

It took almost a year, and published photographs of horrific torture in Abu Ghraib, before the world began to heed the voices of the detainees and those trying to defend them. The same is happening to women victims.

Abuses, torture and the rape of Iraqi women have been reported for three years now by independent Iraqi organisations. But the racist logic of occupation means that occupied people are not to be trusted, and truth is the private ownership of the occupiers.

Families of the abused, raped, and killed Iraqi civilians have to wait for months, if not years, until a US soldier comes forward to admit responsibility and the US military begins an investigation. (For the US military to investigate a US soldier’s crime has been seen by Iraqis as the killers investigating their own technical skills.)

On the October 19 2005, Freedom Voice, an Iraqi Human Rights society, reported the rape of three women from the “Saad Bin Abi Waqqas neighbourhood” in Tell Afar after a US raid.

The alleged rape took place by soldiers inside the women’s own house after the arrest of their male relatives. Medical sources in the town said one of the women died. A US commander ordered some soldiers detained, and no more was heard of this.

Immunity from prosecution under Iraqi or international law is the main fact of the occupation and renders laughable any claims of sovereignty. It is based on UN security council resolution 1546 and the accompanying exchange of letters between Iraqi and American authorities. This immunity applies equally to the marine units accused of roaming our streets high on drugs and to advisers running ministries, to prison guards, security guards, multinational forces and corporate contractors of all kinds.

The Iraqi women’s ordeal began the moment occupation forces descended upon them. Most arrests and raids take place after midnight. In some neighborhoods, women now sleep fully dressed so as not to be caught in their nightgowns. Armoured cars and helicopters are sometimes deployed in raids, in a variant on “shock and awe”. Troops force women and children to watch as they deliberately humiliate their husbands, sons or fathers, and sometimes order them to take pictures with US soldiers’ cameras. Money and jewellery are taken. Are these “terrorist assets confiscated” or spoils of war?

Random arrests, rapes and killings by the occupation forces continue under the so-called “national unity government”, which renewed their mandate and immunity while at the same time talking of a “national reconciliation initiative”.

Despite all the rhetoric, a female minister for human rights and dozens of US-funded Iraqi women’s organisations, the only outcry we have heard condemning the rape of A’ beer and the plight of Iraqi women under occupation is from the anti-occupation Islamist movement.

Occupation authorities and their puppet regime share the denial of violence against women. After the sexual abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, the authorities talked about respecting local traditions, and the need to avoid provoking anger and give the Iraqi people the sense that the occupation recognises the sensitive status of women.

On occasion, Iraqi collaborators joined in. On April 18 2004, the ministry of interior chief, Ahmed Youssef, issued a statement denying maltreatment of female detainees. He said: “We are Muslims. We know very well how to treat our female detainees.” As if violence against women were not a universal crime.

The abuses continue also in the puppet regime’s prisons. On October 20 2005, officials of the Kazemiya women’s prison reported an instance of rape. The UN was refused permission to investigate. According to a report of the UN assistance mission to Iraq, Iraqi police tortured a woman who had been detained in Diwaniya police station since March 2005. The victim recounted that electric shocks were applied to her heels. She was reportedly told her teenage daughter would be raped if she did not supply the information her interrogators wanted.

A report published by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights on October 29 2005 found that women held in interior ministry detention centres are subject to numerous human rights violations, including “systematic rape by the investigators and … other forms of bodily harm in order to coerce them into making confessions”. The report added that prisons fail to meet even the most basic standards of hygiene, and that the women were deprived of facilities as fundamental as toilets. The ministry of justice has confirmed the accuracy of the report.

The wall of denial is cracking. On June 12, al-Jazeera showed footage of Mohammed al-Diaeny, a member of parliament, going to a prison in Baquba, near Baghdad, where men showed evidence of torture and talked of being raped. Seven women detainees were shown but refused to talk. “Too ashamed”, whispered one of them. In response, Jawad al-Bolani, minister of the interior, promised investigation. He later vowed to release all women prisoners and negotiate with the multinational forces to release theirs.

There will be no end to these violations as long as Iraq remains occupied by forces that enjoy immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law and as long as the occupation authorities continue to treat Iraqi citizens with racist contempt in order to feel better about plundering the nation’s wealth and depriving its people of their most fundamental rights under international law and human rights conventions.

The Iraqi puppet regime’s promises and US investigations of the “personality disorders” of their soldiers and the “few bad apples” are irrelevant for Iraqis: for them, the Anglo-American occupation means destruction, rape and pillage.

Details emerge in alleged atrocity by U.S. troops

Traprock Peace Center homepage

original article

Details emerge in alleged atrocity by U.S. troops

By Ellen Knickmeyer
The Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza was afraid, her mother confided in a neighbor.

As pretty as she was young, the girl had attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint that the girl had to pass through almost daily in their village in the south-central city of Mahmoudiya, her mother told the neighbor.

Abeer told her mother often in her last days that the soldiers had made advances toward her, a neighbor, Omar Janabi, said this weekend, recounting a conversation he said he had with the girl’s mother, Fakhriyah, on March 10.

Fakhriyah feared the Americans might come for her daughter at night, at their home. She asked her neighbor if Abeer might sleep at his house, with the women there.

Janabi said he agreed. Then, “I tried to reassure her, remove some of her fear,” Janabi said. “I told her, the Americans would not do such a thing.”

Abeer did not live to take up the offer of shelter at Janabi’s home.

Instead, attackers came to the girl’s house the next day, apparently separating Abeer from her mother, father and 7-year-old sister.

Janabi and others knowledgeable about the incident said they believed the attackers raped Abeer in another room. Medical officials who handled the bodies said the girl had been raped, but they did not elaborate.

Before leaving, the attackers fatally shot the four family members — two of Abeer’s brothers had been away at school — and attempted to set Abeer’s body on fire, according to Janabi, another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the mayor of Mahmoudiya and a hospital administrator with knowledge of the death certificates and of the case overall.

The U.S. military said last week that authorities were investigating allegations of a rape and killings in Mahmoudiya by soldiers of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, part of the 4th Infantry Division.

The mayor of Mahmoudiya, Mouyad Fadhil Saif, said Sunday that the case was being investigated by the U.S. military as an alleged atrocity.
Janabi was one of the first people to arrive at the house after the attack, he said Saturday, speaking at the home of local tribal leaders. He said he found Abeer sprawled dead in a corner, her hair and a pillow next to her consumed by fire, and her dress pushed up to her neck.

“I was sure from the first glance that she had been raped,” he said.

Despite the reassurances he had given the girl’s mother earlier, Janabi said, “I wasn’t surprised what had happened, when I found that the suspicion of the mother was correct.”

The U.S. military has not identified the victims. U.S. military officials contacted this weekend said they did not know the names of the people involved or most other details of the case.

The military official pointed to one discrepancy in the accounts. Preliminary information in the military investigation put the age of the alleged rape victim at 20, rather than 15, as reported by her neighbors, officials and hospital records and officials in Mahmoudiya.

U.S. soldiers at the scene initially ascribed the killings to Sunni Arab insurgents active in the area, the U.S. military and local residents said. That puzzled villagers, who knew the family was Sunni, Janabi said.

Three months after the incident, two soldiers of the 502nd came forward to say that soldiers of the unit were responsible, a U.S. military official said last week. The U.S. military began an investigation the next day, the official said.

Last Stand – the military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy

Traprock Peace Center homepage

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060710fa_fact target=”_blank”>original New Yorker article

LAST STAND
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy.
Issue of 2006-07-10
Posted 2006-07-03

On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, an its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. There was a condition, however: the negotiations would not begin until, as the President put it in a June 19th speech at the U.S Merchant Marine Academy, “the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.” Iran, which has insisted on its right to enrich uranium, was being aske to concede the main point of the negotiations before they started. The question was whether the Administration expected the Iranians to agree, or was laying the diplomatic groundwork for future militar action. In his speech, Bush also talked about “freedom for the Iranian people,” and he added, “Iran’s leaders have a clear choice.” There was an unspoken threat: the U.S. Strategic Command, supported b the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President’s direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran
Inside the Pentagon, senior commanders have increasingly challenged the President’s plans, according to active-duty and retired officers and officials. The generals and admirals have told the Administration that the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. They have also warned that an attack could lead to serious economic, political, and military consequences for the United States.
A crucial issue in the military’s dissent, the officers said, is the fact that American and European intelligence agencies have not found specific evidence of clandestine activities or hidden facilities; the war planners are not sure what to hit. “The target array in Iran is huge, but it’s amorphous,” a high-ranking general told me. “The question we face is, When does innocent infrastructure evolve into something nefarious?” The high-ranking general added that the military’s experience in Iraq, where intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was deeply flawed, has affected its approach to Iran. “We built this big monster with Iraq, and there was nothing there. This is son of Iraq,” he said.
“There is a war about the war going on inside the building,” a Pentagon consultant said. “If we go, we have to find something.”
In President Bush’s June speech, he accused Iran of pursuing a secret weapons program along with its civilian nuclear-research program (which it is allowed, with limits, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). The senior officers in the Pentagon do not dispute the President’s contention that Iran intends to eventually build a bomb, but they are frustrated by the intelligence gaps. A former senior intelligence official told me that people in the Pentagon were asking, “What’s the evidence? We’ve got a million tentacles out there, overt and covert, and these guys”—the Iranians—“have been working on this for eighteen years, and we have nothing? We’re coming up with jack shit.”
A senior military official told me, “Even if we knew where the Iranian enriched uranium was—and we don’t—we don’t know where world opinion would stand. The issue is whether it’s a clear and present danger. If you’re a military planner, you try to weigh options. What is the capability of the Iranian response, and the likelihood of a punitive response—like cutting off oil shipments? What would that cost us?” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his senior aides “really think they can do this on the cheap, and they underestimate the capability of the adversary,” he said.
In 1986, Congress authorized the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to act as the “principal military adviser” to the President. In this case, I was told, the current chairman, Marine General Peter Pace, has gone further in his advice to the White House by addressing the consequences of an attack on Iran. “Here’s the military telling the President what he can’t do politically”—raising concerns about rising oil prices, for example—the former senior intelligence official said. “The J.C.S. chairman going to the President with an economic argument—what’s going on here?” (General Pace and the White House declined to comment. The Defense Department responded to a detailed request for comment by saying that the Administration was “working diligently” on a diplomatic solution and that it could not comment on classified matters.)
A retired four-star general, who ran a major command, said, “The system is starting to sense the end of the road, and they don’t want to be condemned by history. They want to be able to say, ‘We stood up.’ ”

The military leadership is also raising tactical arguments against the proposal for bombing Iran, many of which are related to the consequences for Iraq. According to retired Army Major General Willia Nash, who was commanding general of the First Armored Division, served in Iraq and Bosnia, and worked for the United Nations in Kosovo, attacking Iran would heighten the risks to American an coalition forces inside Iraq. “What if one hundred thousand Iranian volunteers came across the border?” Nash asked. “If we bomb Iran, they cannot retaliate militarily by air—only on the ground or by sea and only in Iraq or the Gulf. A military planner cannot discount that possibility, and he cannot make an ideological assumption that the Iranians wouldn’t do it. We’re not talking about victory or defeat—only about what damage Iran could do to our interests.” Nash, now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said, “Their first possible response would be to send forces into Iraq. And, sinc the Iraqi Army has limited capacity, it means that the coalition forces would have to engage them.
The Americans serving as advisers to the Iraqi police and military may be at special risk, Nash added, since an American bombing “would be seen not only as an attack on Shiites but as an attack on all Muslims. Throughout the Middle East, it would likely be seen as another example of American imperialism. It would probably cause the war to spread.”
In contrast, some conservatives are arguing that America’s position in Iraq would improve if Iran chose to retaliate there, according to a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon’s civilian leaders, because Iranian interference would divide the Shiites into pro- and anti-Iranian camps, and unify the Kurds and the Sunnis. The Iran hawks in the White House and the State Department, including Elliott Abrams and Michael Doran, both of whom are National Security Council advisers on the Middle East, also have an answer for those who believe that the bombing of Iran would put American soldiers in Iraq at risk, the consultant said. He described the counterargument this way: “Yes, there will be Americans under attack, but they are under attack now.”
Iran’s geography would also complicate an air war. The senior military official said that, when it came to air strikes, “this is not Iraq,” which is fairly flat, except in the northeast. “Much of Iran is akin to Afghanistan in terms of topography and flight mapping—a pretty tough target,” the military official said. Over rugged terrain, planes have to come in closer, and “Iran has a lot of mature air-defense systems and networks,” he said. “Global operations are always risky, and if we go down that road we have to be prepared to follow up with ground troops.”
The U.S. Navy has a separate set of concerns. Iran has more than seven hundred undeclared dock and port facilities along its Persian Gulf coast. The small ports, known as “invisible piers,” were constructed two decades ago by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to accommodate small private boats used for smuggling. (The Guards relied on smuggling to finance their activities and enrich themselves.) The ports, an Iran expert who advises the U.S. government told me, provide “the infrastructure to enable the Guards to go after American aircraft carriers with suicide water bombers”—small vessels loaded with high explosives. He said that the Iranians have conducted exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel linking the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and then on to the Indian Ocean. The strait is regularly traversed by oil tankers, in which a thousand small Iranian boats simulated attacks on American ships. “That would be the hardest problem we’d face in the water: a thousand small targets weaving in and out among our ships.”
America’s allies in the Gulf also believe that an attack on Iran would endanger them, and many American military planners agree. “Iran can do a lot of things—all asymmetrical,” a Pentagon adviser on counter-insurgency told me. “They have agents all over the Gulf, and the ability to strike at will.” In May, according to a well-informed oil-industry expert, the Emir of Qatar made a private visit to Tehran to discuss security in the Gulf after the Iraq war. He sought some words of non-aggression from the Iranian leadership. Instead, the Iranians suggested that Qatar, which is the site of the regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, would be its first target in the event of an American attack. Qatar is a leading exporter of gas and currently operates several major offshore oil platforms, all of which would be extremely vulnerable. (Nasser bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, denied that any threats were issued during the Emir’s meetings in Tehran. He told me that it was “a very nice visit.”)
A retired American diplomat, who has experience in the Gulf, confirmed that the Qatari government is “very scared of what America will do” in Iran, and “scared to death” about what Iran would do in response. Iran’s message to the oil-producing Gulf states, the retired diplomat said, has been that it will respond, and “you are on the wrong side of history.”

In late April, the military leadership, headed by General Pace, achieved a major victory when the White House dropped its insistence that the plan for a bombing campaign include the possible use of nuclear device to destroy Iran’s uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. The huge complex includes large underground facilities built into seventy-five-foot-dee holes in the ground and designed to hold as many as fifty thousand centrifuges. “Bush and Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “And Pac stood up to them. Then the world came back: ‘O.K., the nuclear option is politically unacceptable.’ ” At the time, a number of retired officers, including two Army major generals who served in Iraq, Pau Eaton and Charles Swannack, Jr., had begun speaking out against the Administration’s handling of the Iraq war. This period is known to many in the Pentagon as “the April Revolution.
“An event like this doesn’t get papered over very quickly,” the former official added. “The bad feelings over the nuclear option are still felt. The civilian hierarchy feels extraordinarily betrayed by the brass, and the brass feel they were tricked into it”—the nuclear planning—“by being asked to provide all options in the planning papers.”
Sam Gardiner, a military analyst who taught at the National War College before retiring from the Air Force as a colonel, said that Rumsfeld’s second-guessing and micromanagement were a fundamental problem. “Plans are more and more being directed and run by civilians from the Office of the Secretary of Defense,” Gardiner said. “It causes a lot of tensions. I’m hearing that the military is increasingly upset about not being taken seriously by Rumsfeld and his staff.”
Gardiner went on, “The consequence is that, for Iran and other missions, Rumsfeld will be pushed more and more in the direction of special operations, where he has direct authority and does not have to put up with the objections of the Chiefs.” Since taking office in 2001, Rumsfeld has been engaged in a running dispute with many senior commanders over his plans to transform the military, and his belief that future wars will be fought, and won, with airpower and Special Forces. That combination worked, at first, in Afghanistan, but the growing stalemate there, and in Iraq, has created a rift, especially inside the Army. The senior military official said, “The policymakers are in love with Special Ops—the guys on camels.”
The discord over Iran can, in part, be ascribed to Rumsfeld’s testy relationship with the generals. They see him as high-handed and unwilling to accept responsibility for what has gone wrong in Iraq. A former Bush Administration official described a recent meeting between Rumsfeld and four-star generals and admirals at a military commanders’ conference, on a base outside Washington, that, he was told, went badly. The commanders later told General Pace that “they didn’t come here to be lectured by the Defense Secretary. They wanted to tell Rumsfeld what their concerns were.” A few of the officers attended a subsequent meeting between Pace and Rumsfeld, and were unhappy, the former official said, when “Pace did not repeat any of their complaints. There was disappointment about Pace.” The retired four-star general also described the commanders’ conference as “very fractious.” He added, “We’ve got twenty-five hundred dead, people running all over the world doing stupid things, and officers outside the Beltway asking, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ”
Pace’s supporters say that he is in a difficult position, given Rumsfeld’s penchant for viewing generals who disagree with him as disloyal. “It’s a very narrow line between being responsive and effective and being outspoken and ineffective,” the former senior intelligence official said.
But Rumsfeld is not alone in the Administration where Iran is concerned; he is closely allied with Dick Cheney, and, the Pentagon consultant said, “the President generally defers to the Vice-President on all these issues,” such as dealing with the specifics of a bombing campaign if diplomacy fails. “He feels that Cheney has an informational advantage. Cheney is not a renegade. He represents the conventional wisdom in all of this. He appeals to the strategic-bombing lobby in the Air Force—who think that carpet bombing is the solution to all problems.”

Bombing may not work against Natanz, let alone against the rest of Iran’s nuclear program. The possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons gained support in the Administration because of the belie that it was the only way to insure the destruction of Natanz’s buried laboratories. When that option proved to be politically untenable (a nuclear warhead would, among other things, vent fatal radiation fo miles), the Air Force came up with a new bombing plan, using advanced guidance systems to deliver a series of large bunker-busters—conventional bombs filled with high explosives—on the same target in swift succession. The Air Force argued that the impact would generate sufficient concussive force to accomplish what a tactical nuclear warhead would achieve, but without provoking an outcry ove what would be the first use of a nuclear weapon in a conflict since Nagasaki
The new bombing concept has provoked controversy among Pentagon planners and outside experts. Robert Pape, a professor at the University of Chicago who has taught at the Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, told me, “We always have a few new toys, new gimmicks, and rarely do these new tricks lead to a phenomenal breakthrough. The dilemma is that Natanz is a very large underground area, and even if the roof came down we won’t be able to get a good estimate of the bomb damage without people on the ground. We don’t even know where it goes underground, and we won’t have much confidence in assessing what we’ve actually done. Absent capturing an Iranian nuclear scientist and documents, it’s impossible to set back the program for sure.”
One complicating aspect of the multiple-hit tactic, the Pentagon consultant told me, is “the liquefaction problem”—the fact that the soil would lose its consistency owing to the enormous heat generated by the impact of the first bomb. “It will be like bombing water, with its currents and eddies. The bombs would likely be diverted.” Intelligence has also shown that for the past two years the Iranians have been shifting their most sensitive nuclear-related materials and production facilities, moving some into urban areas, in anticipation of a bombing raid.
“The Air Force is hawking it to the other services,” the former senior intelligence official said. “They’re all excited by it, but they’re being terribly criticized for it.” The main problem, he said, is that the other services do not believe the tactic will work. “The Navy says, ‘It’s not our plan.’ The Marines are against it—they know they’re going to be the guys on the ground if things go south.”
“It’s the bomber mentality,” the Pentagon consultant said. “The Air Force is saying, ‘We’ve got it covered, we can hit all the distributed targets.’ ” The Air Force arsenal includes a cluster bomb that can deploy scores of small bomblets with individual guidance systems to home in on specific targets. The weapons were deployed in Kosovo and during the early stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the Air Force is claiming that the same techniques can be used with larger bombs, allowing them to be targeted from twenty-five thousand feet against a multitude of widely dispersed targets. “The Chiefs all know that ‘shock and awe’ is dead on arrival,” the Pentagon consultant said. “All except the Air Force.”
“Rumsfeld and Cheney are the pushers on this—they don’t want to repeat the mistake of doing too little,” the government consultant with ties to Pentagon civilians told me. “The lesson they took from Iraq is that there should have been more troops on the ground”—an impossibility in Iran, because of the overextension of American forces in Iraq—“so the air war in Iran will be one of overwhelming force.”

Many of the Bush Administration’s supporters view the abrupt change in negotiating policy as a deft move that won public plaudits and obscured the fact that Washington had no other good options. “The United States has done what its international partners have asked it to do,” said Patrick Clawson, who is an expert on Iran and the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Nea East Policy, a conservative think tank. “The ball is now in their court—for both the Iranians and the Europeans.” Bush’s goal, Clawson said, was to assuage his allies, as well as Russia and China, whos votes, or abstentions, in the United Nations would be needed if the talks broke down and the U.S. decided to seek Security Council sanctions or a U.N. resolution that allowed for the use of force agains Iran
“If Iran refuses to re-start negotiations, it will also be difficult for Russia and China to reject a U.N. call for International Atomic Energy Agency inspections,” Clawson said. “And the longer we go without accelerated I.A.E.A. access, the more important the issue of Iran’s hidden facilities will become.” The drawback to the new American position, Clawson added, was that “the Iranians might take Bush’s agreeing to join the talks as a sign that their hard line has worked.”
Clawson acknowledged that intelligence on Iran’s nuclear-weapons progress was limited. “There was a time when we had reasonable confidence in what we knew,” he said. “We could say, ‘There’s less time than we think,’ or, ‘It’s going more slowly.’ Take your choice. Lack of information is a problem, but we know they’ve made rapid progress with their centrifuges.” (The most recent American intelligence estimate is that Iran could build a warhead sometime between 2010 and 2015.)
Flynt Leverett, a former National Security Council aide for the Bush Administration, told me, “The only reason Bush and Cheney relented about talking to Iran was because they were within weeks of a diplomatic meltdown in the United Nations. Russia and China were going to stiff us”—that is, prevent the passage of a U.N. resolution. Leverett, a project director at the New America Foundation, added that the White House’s proposal, despite offering trade and economic incentives for Iran, has not “resolved any of the fundamental contradictions of U.S. policy.” The precondition for the talks, he said—an open-ended halt to all Iranian enrichment activity—“amounts to the President wanting a guarantee that they’ll surrender before he talks to them. Iran cannot accept long-term constraints on its fuel-cycle activity as part of a settlement without a security guarantee”—for example, some form of mutual non-aggression pact with the United States.
Leverett told me that, without a change in U.S. policy, the balance of power in the negotiations will shift to Russia. “Russia sees Iran as a beachhead against American interests in the Middle East, and they’re playing a very sophisticated game,” he said. “Russia is quite comfortable with Iran having nuclear fuel cycles that would be monitored, and they’ll support the Iranian position”—in part, because it gives them the opportunity to sell billions of dollars’ worth of nuclear fuel and materials to Tehran. “They believe they can manage their long- and short-term interests with Iran, and still manage the security interests,” Leverett said. China, which, like Russia, has veto power on the Security Council, was motivated in part by its growing need for oil, he said. “They don’t want punitive measures, such as sanctions, on energy producers, and they don’t want to see the U.S. take a unilateral stance on a state that matters to them.” But, he said, “they’re happy to let Russia take the lead in this.” (China, a major purchaser of Iranian oil, is negotiating a multibillion-dollar deal with Iran for the purchase of liquefied natural gas over a period of twenty-five years.) As for the Bush Administration, he added, “unless there’s a shift, it’s only a question of when its policy falls apart.”
It’s not clear whether the Administration will be able to keep the Europeans in accord with American policy if the talks break down. Morton Abramowitz, a former head of State Department intelligence, who was one of the founders of the International Crisis Group, said, “The world is different than it was three years ago, and while the Europeans want good relations with us, they will not go to war with Iran unless they know that an exhaustive negotiating effort was made by Bush. There’s just too much involved, like the price of oil. There will be great pressure put on the Europeans, but I don’t think they’ll roll over and support a war.”
The Europeans, like the generals at the Pentagon, are concerned about the quality of intelligence. A senior European intelligence official said that while “there was every reason to assume” that the Iranians were working on a bomb, there wasn’t enough evidence to exclude the possibility that they were bluffing, and hadn’t moved beyond a civilian research program. The intelligence official was not optimistic about the current negotiations. “It’s a mess, and I don’t see any possibility, at the moment, of solving the problem,” he said. “The only thing to do is contain it. The question is, What is the redline? Is it when you master the nuclear fuel cycle? Or is it just about building a bomb?” Every country had a different criterion, he said. One worry he had was that, in addition to its security concerns, the Bush Administration was driven by its interest in “democratizing” the region. “The United States is on a mission,” he said.
A European diplomat told me that his government would be willing to discuss Iran’s security concerns—a dialogue he said Iran offered Washington three years ago. The diplomat added that “no one wants to be faced with the alternative if the negotiations don’t succeed: either accept the bomb or bomb them. That’s why our goal is to keep the pressure on, and see what Iran’s answer will be.”
A second European diplomat, speaking of the Iranians, said, “Their tactic is going to be to stall and appear reasonable—to say, ‘Yes, but . . .’ We know what’s going on, and the timeline we’re under. The Iranians have repeatedly been in violation of I.A.E.A. safeguards and have given us years of coverup and deception. The international community does not want them to have a bomb, and if we let them continue to enrich that’s throwing in the towel—giving up before we talk.” The diplomat went on, “It would be a mistake to predict an inevitable failure of our strategy. Iran is a regime that is primarily concerned with its own survival, and if its existence is threatened it would do whatever it needed to do—including backing down.”
The Iranian regime’s calculations about its survival also depend on internal political factors. The nuclear program is popular with the Iranian people, including those—the young and the secular—who are most hostile to the religious leadership. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, has effectively used the program to rally the nation behind him, and against Washington. Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics have said that they believe Bush’s goal is not to prevent them from building a bomb but to drive them out of office.
Several current and former officials I spoke to expressed doubt that President Bush would settle for a negotiated resolution of the nuclear crisis. A former high-level Pentagon civilian official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the government, said that Bush remains confident in his military decisions. The President and others in the Administration often invoke Winston Churchill, both privately and in public, as an example of a politician who, in his own time, was punished in the polls but was rewarded by history for rejecting appeasement. In one speech, Bush said, Churchill “seemed like a Texan to me. He wasn’t afraid of public-opinion polls. . . . He charged ahead, and the world is better for it.”

The Israelis have insisted for years that Iran has a clandestine program to build a bomb, and will do so as soon as it can. Israeli officials have emphasized that their “redline” is the moment Iran master the nuclear fuel cycle, acquiring the technical ability to produce weapons-grade uranium. “Iran managed to surprise everyone in terms of the enrichment capability,” one diplomat familiar with the Israel position told me, referring to Iran’s announcement, this spring, that it had successfully enriched uranium to the 3.6-per-cent level needed to fuel a nuclear-power reactor. The Israelis believe that Iran mus be stopped as soon as possible, because, once it is able to enrich uranium for fuel, the next step—enriching it to the ninety-per-cent level needed for a nuclear bomb—is merely a mechanical process
Israeli intelligence, however, has also failed to provide specific evidence about secret sites in Iran, according to current and former military and intelligence officials. In May, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Washington and, addressing a joint session of Congress, said that Iran “stands on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons” that would pose “an existential threat” to Israel. Olmert noted that Ahmadinejad had questioned the reality of the Holocaust, and he added, “It is not Israel’s threat alone. It is a threat to all those committed to stability in the Middle East and to the well-being of the world at large.” But at a secret intelligence exchange that took place at the Pentagon during the visit, the Pentagon consultant said, “what the Israelis provided fell way short” of what would be needed to publicly justify preventive action.
The issue of what to do, and when, seems far from resolved inside the Israeli government. Martin Indyk, a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who is now the director of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, told me, “Israel would like to see diplomacy succeed, but they’re worried that in the meantime Iran will cross a threshold of nuclear know-how—and they’re worried about an American military attack not working. They assume they’ll be struck first in retaliation by Iran.” Indyk added, “At the end of the day, the United States can live with Iranian, Pakistani, and Indian nuclear bombs—but for Israel there’s no Mutual Assured Destruction. If they have to live with an Iranian bomb, there will be a great deal of anxiety in Israel, and a lot of tension between Israel and Iran, and between Israel and the U.S.”

Iran has not, so far, officially answered President Bush’s proposal. But its initial response has been dismissive. In a June 22nd interview with the Guardian, Ali Larijani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, rejected Washington’s demand that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment before talks could begin. “If they want to put this prerequisite, why are we negotiating at all?” Larijani said. “We should put aside the sanctions and give up all this talk about regime change.” He characterized the American offer as a “sermon,” and insisted that Iran was not building a bomb. “We don’t want the bomb,” he said. Ahmadinejad has said that Iran would make a formal counterproposal by August 22nd, but last week Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme religious leader, declared, on state radio, “Negotiation with the United States has no benefits for us.”
Despite the tough rhetoric, Iran would be reluctant to reject a dialogue with the United States, according to Giandomenico Picco, who, as a representative of the United Nations, helped to negotiate the ceasefire that ended the Iran-Iraq War, in 1988. “If you engage a superpower, you feel you are a superpower,” Picco told me. “And now the haggling in the Persian bazaar begins. We are negotiating over a carpet”—the suspected weapons program—“that we’re not sure exists, and that we don’t want to exist. And if at the end there never was a carpet it’ll be the negotiation of the century.”
If the talks do break down, and the Administration decides on military action, the generals will, of course, follow their orders; the American military remains loyal to the concept of civilian control. But some officers have been pushing for what they call the “middle way,” which the Pentagon consultant described as “a mix of options that require a number of Special Forces teams and air cover to protect them to send into Iran to grab the evidence so the world will know what Iran is doing.” He added that, unlike Rumsfeld, he and others who support this approach were under no illusion that it could bring about regime change. The goal, he said, was to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the I.A.E.A., said in a speech this spring that his agency believed there was still time for diplomacy to achieve that goal. “We should have learned some lessons from Iraq,” ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said. “We should have learned that we should be very careful about assessing our intelligence. . . . We should have learned that we should try to exhaust every possible diplomatic means to solve the problem before thinking of any other enforcement measures.”
He went on, “When you push a country into a corner, you are always giving the driver’s seat to the hard-liners. . . . If Iran were to move out of the nonproliferation regime altogether, if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon program, we clearly will have a much, much more serious problem.”

Baseball bat wielding Marine assaults protesters in New Haven

***PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY***

URGENT: Two peaceful anti-war protesters were assaulted by a baseball-bat wielding Marine at the Orange St. recruiting station in New Haven, CT on Wed. June 28th. They were attending a non-violent demonstration in support of war resisters Lt. Ehren Watada and Suzanne Swift. We will not take this sitting down. Read below under ” Take Action” for how you can help!

——————————————————————–
ACT NOW TO SUPPORT FREE SPEECH AND WAR RESISTERS!

On June 27th at 5pm five anti-war activists heeded the National Call to Action in support of Lt. Ehren Watada ( http://www.thankyoult.org/) and Suzanne Swift (http://www.suzanneswift.org/) who are soldiers who are facing punishment for refusing to deploy to Iraq. They peacefully chanted and held signs while passing out information on the resisting soldiers and counter-recruitment literature. Although an officer called the police, they engaged in civil discussions with various soldiers and pedestrians and were invited back for the next day when the colonel would be in town. They left chanting “We’ll be back! See you tomorrow!

The activists kept their word and returned the following day with four times as many people. Things started out peacefully but that quickly changed when an aggravated marine officer began yelling and sent a young recruit to retrieve a baseball bat. He lunged wildly at the protesters with the bat in their faces while threatening physical violence. The activists did not respond in any way and tried to diffuse the situation peacefully. One activist pulled out their cell phone to take a picture. The marine pushed two activists off the curb into the street and knocked the phone out of the other activists hand. He picked up the phone, erased the picture and only after police arrived at the scene did he back down. Meanwhile his fellow soldiers stood back and did nothing.

When the police arrived, the marine was still holding the bat. Yet the police approached the protesters immediately. The marine was allowed to leave the scene with the phone he had taken and returned to his duties, training the Junior Marine Corps. Meanwhile the police insisted that protesters had provoked this reaction from the marine by exercising their free speech rights. He insisted that they move their protest to the opposite side of the street. When asked politely by protesters why they were required to do this, pointing out that they were on a public sidewalk, he declared “This is MY sidewalk.” He implied that if they did not move they would be arrested when he said “You can do whatever you want, but in the end I’ll win.” He then proceeded to call in police paddy wagons to intimidate. After 45 minutes, the phone was returned but the police refused to divulge the identity of the marine.

Throughout this outrageous incident, the activists maintained composure and did absolutely nothing to aggravate the situation. They immediately called a member of the National Lawyers Guild and other allies. Upon some discussion and legal advice, the protesters moved to the opposite side of the street to avoid escalating the situation. At this point the news cameras arrived and the protesters continued to chant loudly until the soldiers went home and their offices closed.

This is not over. They are holding a press conference this Wednesday July 5th at 5pm in front of the Orange St. recruiting station. We can’t let the government intimidate us!!

Demands:
1. A public apology from both the US Marine Corps and the New Haven Police Department.

2. That the officer that assaulted us be removed from his duties and provided appropriate counseling but NOT jail time.

3. That our free speech rights are guaranteed in all public places including in front of the recruiting station.

4. Free Lt. Ehren Watada, Specialist Suzanne Swift and all other jailed war resisters!

5. Fund GI healthcare! ( http://www.courant.com/news/specials/hc-mental1a.artmay14,0,6150281.story)

6. Bring the TROOPS HOME NOW!

TAKE ACTION!

Call the US Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Orange St, New Haven, CT – 203-789-4484
Regional Office, Springfield, MA – 413-594-4623 or 2033
— Major Lawrence Coleman, Sergeant Major Cevet Adams

Call the New Haven Police Department
Chief Francisco Ortiz – 203-946-6333
General – 203-946-6316 or 6120
“Internal Values and Ethics” – 203-946-6249 or 6250
–Officers Ratti (#463), Hartnett (#4), Knickerbocker (#80)

Come to the Press Conference and Rally
Wednesday, July 5 – 5PM
157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511
For More Info/directions/get involved call Todd 203-506-2414

For every emotionaly disturbed Marine desperately in need of treatment, and hypocrite
thug of a cop we meet, we meet ten people who are glad
we’re there. Now it’s time to get those supporters
into the streets with us for next time.

Statements

The following is a statement that is being circulated regarding an incident at the military recruiting station on Orange Street in New Haven on Wednesday, June 28. A baseball
bat-wielding Marine recruiter engaged in an unprovoked assault on two demonstrators outside the recruiting center and then seized the cellphone belonging to another demonstrator who had witnessed and photographed the assault. There are plans for a rally and press conference outside the recruiting center for July 5 at 5PM.

The National Lawyers Guild was contacted immediately after the incident by organizers who were looking for legal assistance because, among other things, the New Haven police were trying to discourage the victims from making a complaint against the recruiter — apparently at least one officer expressed the opinion that having an anti-war demonstration outside a military recruiting center was a “provocation.”

The question that this incident must raise is this: if a US Marine recruiter, while safely ensconced behind a desk in an air-conditioned office in New Haven, working in a position that
plainly keeps him in the public eye, feels free to use a baseball bat to beat a protester . . .
then how much restraint do we imagine that his compatriots use against Iraqis?

I would strongly urge people to participate in the rally on July 5. The movement needs to respond in a strong and clear voice to violence against demonstrators, and all the more so when it comes from government personnel and is calculated to discourage political opposition.

Peter Goselin
NLG-CT

——————–

“Yesterday, five of us heeded the call to action in support of Lt.
Ehren Watada who is the first officer to refuse deployment to Iraq by
staging a peaceful protest outside the Orange St. recruiting station
in downtown New Haven. Chanting “They’re our brothers, they’re our
sisters, we support war resisters” we stood on the sidewalk out
front holding signs and receiving positive support from pedestrians
and drivers. We had civil conversation with soldiers in the office,
distributed literature and fliers and raised the profile of some of
the first true heros of the Iraq war – those refusing to fight.
Although they called the police (who left us alone) the protest was
completed peacefully and we were invited back to protest today when
the Colonel would be in town.

Today, however, the protest was NOT entirely peaceful from the part
of one US Marine. When about 10-15 of us returned today to continue
our non-violent expression of our free speech rights, we were
confronted with an imposing marine with a baseball bat. He screamed
in our faces, trying to intimidate us and after hitting []’s phone
out of his hands with the bat he shoved me with the end of it off the
sidewalk into the street. Not only did he assault two of us, he
took the cell phone, erased the picture that had been taken of him
with the bat and kept it. Other, more level headed soldiers arrived
to try and defuse the situation and sent the enraged officer to lead
a training session of fresh recruits – canon fodder for the illegal
imperial war in Iraq. When the police arrived they did nothing.
They did not care that we were assaulted. They did not care that
something had been stolen. They want this to go away quietly. We
MUST NOT let that happen. A police report has been filed and we are
discussion possible legal and certainly political responses to this.
Eventually the phone was recovered and we continued our chanting with
renewed energy “This is what democracy looks like…THAT is what
hypocrisy looks like!” The police were threatening, saying “this is
my street” and “no matter what you do, I will win.” We decided it
was in our best interest to listen to the officer and we moved our
protest to the opposite side of the street. The police officers
refused to give us the name of the Marine who attacked us and called
in paddy wagons to bring us away. Fortunately the news media showed
up shortly and filmed us chanting and interviewed some of us. We want all of the news stations to cover this and they will be
getting calls in the morning.

————————————————–

This event is an outrage! Not only were we INVITED back to protest by the military recruiters but were subsequently lectured by the soldiers about how they fight “to defend our freedom and liberty”. After about 15 minutes, this raging Marine threatened to beat us, he was promptly thrown a metal bat from inside by another Marine, and he got in our faces and started yelling about how we were “distrubing his place of work”. We immediately tried to defuse the situation by telling him to calm down and asking him to put down the bat while HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS DID NOTHING. In response, the angry Marine violently waved the handle of the bat in several people’s faces, touching my nose with it, and then assaulting [] and [] and stealing []’s cell phone. [] got out her camera and the Marine then threatened to steal and destroy her camera and beat her. As the situation escalated, I threatened to and did call the police, but the Marine said that he had already called them! The police showed up right then and the soldiers quickly moved to push the Marine back while he still had the phone. The police immediately confronted us as though we were the instigators. The Marine was allowed to freely walk back and forth and eventully led a “training session” in the park with JROTC students. The police, for no legal reason, told us to move across the street because it was “their” sidewalk and they “would win no matter what.” Throughout all of this, while we were trying to maintain our compsure and discipline, we continued to chant loudly. Many bystanders stopped to watch and most showed their support for us, although one told us that we were “scum” and that he “would kill us if he had the chance” (he said this at least twice and stayed around until the very end). We also immediately called lawyers that we knew who gave us guidance over the phone and we called media. We continued to protest across the street until the scene was cleared and the recruiting offices were closed.

On the positive side, we engaged a solider in very calm, civil debate and he largely agreed with us on our anger over this assault and the immorality of the war. A female soldier talked to me and took our information until her officer told her that she wasn’t allowed to do that and that she had to get inside.

The really scary parts:
1. The rank hypocrisy and brainwashing that goes on in the military.
2. This Marine is training potential soldiers.
3. It gave us all a very small sense of what Iraqis face everyday — outraged, uncontrollable soldiers who have big rifles instead of metal bats and who are not in anyway considering laws, norms, or holding back because they’re dealing with Americans.
4. The arrogance of the soliders who knew they could depend on cops to defend them and the arrogance of cops who thought they could get away with anything through intimidation and the use of the “law” (ie, batons and paddy wagons).

They clearly don’t know who they’re dealing with. We’re going to turn up the heat and make this into a campaign. This is a free speech fight and an antiwar fight. No soldiers should be put into a position where they turn out raging like this. That Marine needs counseling for anger management and PTSD. His officers, the police, and the government need to be held accountable for these crimes — from the streets of New Haven to the streets of Haditha. Press conference a week from today — July 5, 5pm, in front of the recruiting stations. It’s time to jump-start the antiwar movement in New Haven and continue building so that we can the US out of the Middle East! ”

——————–

It started really by 2 soldiers and one local worker legitimately asking me, “why don’t you support us [the troops] –which we certainly do– yet they were too impatient to wait for a response even though I was giving it to them. Quickly three got in my face in a somewhat aggressive manner. [] turned and saw three soldiers encroaching into my PZ and asked them, “why are there three of you crowding one of us [or something to that affect]?” In turn they saw this as confrontational because they quickly got in his face. Then [] stood up only to be chased with a bat. And on it went, down the line of successive activists being unwarrantably threatened, provoked, and assaulted until the police arrive as the Army’s arbiter. The rest is as laid out below.

———————

Today’s events revealed for me and everyone present
the heartbreaking and gutwrenching reality of the
domestic face of U.S. imperialism. Our project, after
all was to defend war resisters Ehren Watada and
Suzanne Swift. Ehren has refused to deploy to Iraq,
and is facing a jail sentence for refusing orders, and
Suzanne has already been to jail and been forced to
return to her unit after being sexually harassed by
her commanding officer and others and refusing to
return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. When we
returned to the recruiting station today, joking with
some of the soldiers there, and preparing our
materials, none of us expected to be assaulted by a
U.S. Marine Wielding a baseball bat. Especially since
yesterday we had been invited back by the recruiters,
and filed out of the park next door chanting “We’ll be
back, seee you tommorrow!”, to which staff in the
office responded by smilling and waving. The police
yesterday, in fact assured us the we had a right to be
there, and after responding to a complaint from a
commanding officer at the recruitment center, told us
to “have a good afternoon”. However, the police today
arrived on the scene having somehow come to the
counterintuitive conclusion that we, the unarmed,
peacefull protesters were somehow the cause of the
violence committed against us by a Marine wielding a
baseball bat. This recruter was then allowed to
continue with his duties, including the “training” of
several minors from the Junior Marines program, while
still holding stolen property which belonged to one of
the demonstrators. That’s right, it’s hard for me to
believe too, but we were assaulted and threatened by a
member of the U.S. military while he was on the clock
and he was allowed to stay at work with teens and
young adults in his care. This was of course after
being told countless times by his coworkers that they
were “defending our right to be there protesting”.
Well, I know I certainly don’t feel protected with the
business end of a baseball bat in my face. The
absurdity is abundantly clear if you immagine just for
a second of what would have happened if the situation
were reversed and a protester had threatened a
recruiter with a bat. In the blink of an eye, this
individual would have been beaten bloody, dragged
away, and sent to jail. This is the hypocrisy of a
system which when it’s not actively rewarding soldiers
for committing attrocious violence against unarmed
civilians, turns a blind eye to these incidents, and
sicks the police on their victims.

But, as brutal and nakedly one sided as this
experience was, I wanted to generalize some positive
aspects of our work, because we did a kick ass job today! Not only were we able
to get counter recruitment literature to some
potential recruits, and supportive literature to some
GIs who might be against the war, but we were able to
conduct ourselves in a well organized and disciplined
manner which avoided any injuries, and maintained our
presence at the demonstration.
These are the things we did right:
1) We stuck together, never letting anyone be isolated
for very long.
2) We called the press.
3) We recognized our limits in terms of numbers and
complied with the cop’s order to move across the
street.
4) We contacted an NLG lawyer who was able to advise
us on how to deal with the cops.
5) We gathered information about the incident
including names and badge numbers for all the cops on
the scene.
6) We didn’t back down or become disorganized, but
moved across the street, chanting even louder, and
didn’t leave untill the office closed.

For every emotionaly disturbed
Marine desperately in need of treatment, and hypocrit
thug of a cop we meet, we meet ten people who are glad
we’re there. Now it’s time to get those supporters
into the streets with us for next time.

These guys don’t know who they’re messing with. We’ve
already sent out a press release to seventy media
outlets and begun
calling through our allies to put together a free
speech campaign. In other words, we are a force to be
reckoned with! Next Wed. same time, same place,
we’ll be back!

——————-

The past day’s events were an eye-opening experience for a good bulk of us,
although some had already been witness to the brutality of the NHPD, SCSU
Police, and the CT State Troopers, and today, compared to other times, we
emerged relatively unscathed, as opposed to arrests, and physical harm in
the past. If we play our cards right, and make our experiences of
today known to a wider audience, we have a real potential of strengthening
the antiwar movement, at least in New Haven.

A few things. First, we need to develop clear goals about what we want to,
and can expect to gain from this. As others noted, this for us is going to
be both a legal, and a political battle. On the legal front, our goals
should be (but not limited to):

1. A full apology, not only from the marine who assaulted members, but also
from the officer, and the New Haven Police Department and even Mayor
DeStefano.
2. A prosecution of the Marine that assaulted us, and threatened
the rest. However, we should tie this in to our political battle, and should
DEMAND that he NOT be jailed, but receive counseling, which can bring to
attention that what he did is a result of his experiences and environment,
and of the fact that the ENTIRE blame for this lies at the top, not only of
the military brass, but at the highest levels of government, which locally
includes Dodd, Lieberman, DeLauro, and DeStefano.
And 3. A full public recognition of our legal right to demonstrate outside
the recruiting office and other public property (which isn’t the cops’
property) in the future, as our constitutional rights entitles us to.

Our political tasks in the near future should more broadly be, a full
campaign around this, including press, phone blasts, petitions, but more
importantly bringing others into this struggle, and not just the usual
suspects, but the broader working people who are most affected by this sort
of thing daily. At every step, we need to bridge the connection between the war at home (Marine and Police
threats in New Haven with baseball bats and paddywagons), and the war abroad
(Army, Marines, and National Guard actual use of guns and F-16’s in Iraq and
Afghanistan). Through this, we can definitely hope, if not expect, to
solidify, and expand the antiwar left in New Haven.

—————————

First of all, I think that given the unexpected situation we were confronted with, we did an excellent job of handling ourselves and working as a team. As we all know if takes very little for a protester to be harrassed and assaulted by the police and it was important to keep our cool, especially given our small numbers. That said, I think for future actions we can certainly be more prepared. This means: 1) having a legal observer present; 2) having media present if possible and our own means of recording things if not (for instance it would have been great to have that cop on tape saying things like you better listen to me or else)— although being aware that merely recording something is likely to be seen as a provocation; 3) bringing out as many people as possible and sticking together– for a larger demonstration marshalls are a necessity.

In terms of next steps, I agree for the most part with what others put out. However, if possible we should avoid pressing charges against the individual marine and try to move it further up the chain of command. Hell, we should press charges on the entire US government for waging this illegal and immoral war. After all, we have plenty of information about how the military treats its soldiers like crap, recruits and retains mentally imbalanced people whose conditions are only worsened by the horrors of being in Iraq. The military explicitly trains people to harrass and torture innocent civilians and these are the results. The point of a legal campaign, in my opinion, is not necessarily to “win” but to raise awareness and rally a grassroots mobilization. We also need to be crystal clear on the point that we don’t think this is an issue of one “bad apple” but of the war and the military as a whole.

The anger about this war is palable, both on the part of ordinary people who showed their support for us (a waitress from the nearby coffeeshop brought us free coffee and cookies!) as well as a genuine interest on the part of active soldiers and recruits. While the antiwar movement has hit a slump, mainly to due to liberal leaders’ bankrupt plan of supporting the democrats, anger has only increased and deepened. We have a potential right now to turn this anger into action and we must sieze the moment! All out for July 5!

————————-

Yesterday was a clear example of what we have been saying for some time; a war abroad means at the same time a war at home. The US government in Iraq through its military arm is the same state here at home, in the way it conducts its affairs against those seen as “enemies”. There is little difference between “enemies” in Baghadad and “enemies” at home. Some of the brutality of the war was seen on Orange St. in New Haven, CT. The way soldiers are trained to handle citizens, police disregard for constitutional rights, etc.

The predom. ideas of protecting Americans through the “war on terror” has led to a significant curtailment of our civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act has been used against Arabs, Muslims, Latinos (border wall) anitwar activists and many others to accomplish some goal for US capital. While making US corporations happy through increased profits the majority of the US pop. and the world pop. have grown poorer and their freedoms have diminished.

People in the US have also seen funding for their social programs cut while the military budget has shot through the roof. Funding has even been cut for all GIs, even those who have come back from active duty in Iraq or Afg. Its sad but no surprise that soldiers aren’t getting the help that they need. There have been many well documented cases of suicide, violence, etc. that GIs have experienced after coming home from combat.

The war in Iraq has become quite upopular amongst most people in the US and around the world, to say the least. The Republican party and especially GW are facing all time lows in approval ratings, and the military is having a hard time recruiting new soldiers. All of this has come from scandal after scandal regarding the handling of the Iraq war. the Iraqi resistance, Lies, civilian casualties, escalating number of US GIs dead, killed or wounded, torture scandals, Haditha massacres, etc.

No challenge has been put forward to the “war on terror” and its logical consequences by the Dems. they have accepted the logic of the “war on terror” and say that they want to be stronger than Rep. on the “war on terror”

At the same time the antiwar movement has been struggling with political weakness that can be somewhat attributed to their support for the Dem. party. You can’t support the Dems. while they are supporting the “war on terror” if you do support them than you also accept their logic and baggage which is tied to corporate america and the “war on terror”

We need to organize and call out these issues on the ground, build a hearing for our ideas amongst ordinary working people who also disagree with the war, put pressure on any or either pol. party in DC from outside of their institutions to end the war, bring our troops home now, fund GI healthcare and all other social programs, and uphold our right to organize, speak, demonstrate, so on and so on.

Defend our civil liberties!

End the war, bring our troops home now!

Fund GI healthcare!