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Military Resistance 9E26
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Washington Soldier Killed In Kandahar
May 28, 2011: Specialist Adam James Patton, 21, of Port Orchard, Wash. died on May 26, 2011 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Fort Campbell)
Puerto Rican Sgt. Killed In Kandahar
May 28, 2011: Sgt. Louie Ramos Velazquez 39, of Camy, Puerto Rico died on May 26, 2011 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Fort Campbell)
Michigan SSG Killed In Kandahar
May 28, 2011: Staff Sergeant Ergin Vidot Osman, 35, of Harrison Township, Mich. died on May 26, 2011 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Fort Campbell)
Pennsylvania SSG Killed In Kandahar
May 28, 2011: Staff Sergeant Edward David Mills, of New Castle, Pa. died on May 26, 2011 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Fort Campbell)
Kansas Sgt. Killed In Kandahar
May 28, 2011: Sgt. Thomas Andrew Bohall, 25, of Bel Aire, Kan. died on May 26, 2011 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Fort Campbell)
POLITICIANS CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS
Afghan Soldier In Chora Valley Kills Australian Soldier And Gets Away;
Australian Lt. Dead In Copter Crash
May 31, 2011 An Afghan soldier shot dead his Australian mentor at a guard tower in Afghanistan, an official said today. The death was one of two Australian fatalities on Monday that brought Australia's toll in the conflict to 26, said Australia's Defence Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. The killer had fled the scene and was being hunted by his Afghan National Army colleagues, Houston said. The dead soldier, a 25-year-old army lance corporal, had been on guard duty with his killer at Patrol Base Marshal in the Chora Valley in Uruzgan province. “This incident is obviously going to quite rightly raise some very serious questions about the security measures that we have in place,” Houston told reporters. The second fatality was a 27-year-old army lieutenant killed when a Chinook helicopter crashed while on a resupply mission 90 kilometres east of the Australian base in Tarin Kot in Uruzgan. None of the five other Australians aboard was seriously injured, Houston said. Houston had told a Senate committee on Monday that the Taleban's momentum in Afghanistan had been halted by sustained offensives by international forces through the winter months.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE END THE OCCUPATIONS
Italian Base In Heart Bombed; Soldiers Wounded
Italian soldiers run to rescue a colleague stuck under debris after an attack in Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 30, 2011. An attacker blew up an explosives-packed car Monday at the gates of an Italian military base in western Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
An Italian soldier is helped by a colleague after an attack on an Italian military base, in Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 30, 2011. An attacker blew up an explosivespacked car Monday at the gates of the base in western Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
UNREMITTING HELL ON EARTH; ALL HOME NOW
A US Army flight medic runs in the lead as United States Marines rush a wounded colleague, who was shot during an exchange of fire with insurgents, to a waiting medevac helicopter at a 'hot' landing zone north of Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, May 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
A US Army flight stands guard as United States Marines place a colleague wounded in an IED strike into a waiting medevac helicopter from the US Army's Task Force Lift 'Dust Off', Charlie Company at a 'hot' landing zone in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, May 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
Gee, We’re Really So Sorry We Killed Your Little Kids
Two dead children, killed by a U.S. air strike, at a hospital in Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province on May 29, 2011. Foreign forces in the country issued an apology Monday for the deaths of Afghan civilians in the region after President Hamid Karzai criticised an air strike which he said killed 14. (AFP/Noor Mohammad)
“On Monday Morning, For The Sixth Day In The Row, The Base Paktika Province Came Under Attack”
“Casualties Are Still Coming In Hard And Fast”
May 30, 2011 By Mandy Clark, CBS News [Excerpts] It's the end of the day at the combat outpost in Afghanistan, in Marga, which is right near the Pakistani border. There were ceremonies across Afghanistan to mark Memorial
Day, but for most soldiers there, they were there to fight, and casualties are still coming in hard and fast. For the soldiers at Fox Company, this is just an ordinary day in an extraordinary place, just two miles away from the Pakistani border, which is just over some nearby mountains. On Monday morning, for the sixth day in the row, the base Paktika Province came under attack. One shallow rocket landed just outside the base, another landed inside the base. Whenever they come under attack, the soldiers have to defend themselves. They call in the heavy weapons, the big guns, to repel those attacks.
SOMALIA WAR REPORTS
Two Foreign Soldiers Killed, Five Wounded By Insurgent Attack In Mogadishu
May 30, 2011 The Associated Press & Reuters NAIROBI, Kenya — At least three people died after a bomber attacked an African Union peacekeeping [translation: U.S.-backed occupation] base in the Somali capital. Incidents on four other bases initially believed to be similar attacks appear to be false alarms, a Nairobi-based diplomat said. Three attackers, disguised as Somali government troops, were also killed in the afternoon firefight, after they assaulted a position guarded by foreign troops and progovernment militia. The diplomat said the four other bases had sent reports that they had been attacked and were hearing explosions. The African Union was still investigating what those blasts were -- anything from rocket-propelled grenades to land mines. A minivan had pulled up at one base and four men got out of the vehicle. One bomber was shot when he attempted to enter the base and blew up. Two others were shot by AU forces and one was eventually captured. Two foreign soldiers were killed and five wounded in the attack. One soldier from a militia allied to the Somali government was also killed.
The Lying Traitor Obama’s Bullshit Reeks On:
U.S. Combat Troops Who Have All Been Withdrawn From Iraq, He Said, Are Going To Iraq This Summer
[Thanks to David McReynolds for posting.] May 25, 2011 Army Times More than 7,170 soldiers will deploy to Iraq beginning in mid-summer — despite a security agreement that requires U.S. forces to depart the country by Dec. 31. The deployments are part of the regular rotation of forces and will include a division headquarters of 775 soldiers and two brigade combat teams totaling 6,400 soldiers, according to a Defense Department announcement Tuesday. The soldiers will begin deploying in mid-summer and continue through the fall. The deploying units are: • 3rd Infantry Division headquarters, Fort Stewart, Ga. • 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. • 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. ****************************************************************** February 27, 2009 By PETER BAKER, New York Times [Excerpt] CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — President Obama declared the beginning of the end of one of the longest and most divisive wars in American history on Friday as he announced that he would withdraw combat forces from Iraq by August 2010 and all remaining troops by December 2011.
Military Resistance Available In PDF Format
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Under The Hood Update May 2011 [Excerpts] May is a busy month at Under the Hood. Iraq Veterans Against the War headed to UTH this month, as part of its Operation Recovery Campaign, in its continued effort to stop the deployment of troops suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma. IVAW's organizing team will work for several months to outreach to soldiers, build their case against the military's egregious practices, conduct town hall meetings, and pressure Fort Hood's new General to do the right thing. ************************************** Under the Hood has a new intern! He's a longtime supporter of UTH - Malachi Muncy. This internship through the national G.I. Coffeehouse Network started on May 9th and will last for a total of 12 weeks. Malachi will be working closely with the Under the Hood staff, volunteers and board members to build working relationships with veterans, servicemembers and the civilian community. We're very excited to have him on staff. ************************************** Your continued support of Under the Hood allows us to continue our important work in Killeen. Whether you are making a one-time donation or want to sign up as a sustainer, it's easy to contribute through PayPal [at www.underthehoodcafe.org/donate.html.] The Fort Hood Support Network (FHSN) operates Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center. FHSN is a Texas non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Donations may be treated as tax-deductible.
Interested in sharing some of your time and talents with Under the Hood?
We are always happy for support in any form. Along with monetary support to keep our doors open, we can always use other forms of assistance. If you believe that you can provide support in some way, please feel free to contact us [at [email protected]
] We'd be happy to put you to work!
Syrian Soldiers Opened Fire On Dictator Assad’s Gang To Protect Refugees:
“Tarif Said That Defections At The Conscript Level Were Not Uncommon”
16 May 2011 Matt Weaver and agencies, Guardian News and Media [Excerpts] Three Syrian soldiers who defected to Lebanon after protecting refugees from the regime's militia have been arrested by Lebanese authorities and risk being returned to face summary justice in Syria, say activists. The soldiers were manning a border checkpoint on Sunday when a group of refugees seeking to escape the violence that has gripped the country for two months tried to cross into Lebanon. The refugees came under fire from an armed gang loyal to President Bashar al-Assad known as the Shabiha. The soldiers returned fire, and one was killed in a firefight. The other three escaped into Lebanon with the refugees.
Wissam Tarif, of human rights organisation Insan, told the Guardian: “The Lebanese military intelligence has detained those soldiers and they run the risk of being deported back to Syria. Tarif said that defections at the conscript level were not uncommon, but few higher level officers had shown signs of changing sides.
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the wars, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657. Phone: 888.711.2550
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.
“For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
The Social-Democrats ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression no matter where it appears no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.” -- V. I. Lenin; What Is To Be Done
U.S. Foreign Policy In The Middle East
Billboard across America. Photograph by Mike Hastie From: Mike Hastie To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: May 29, 2011 Subject: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East
U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East Drunk on Power... Tornado roaring its way through the lives of countless people. Wasted... Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71 May 29, 2011 Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: ([email protected]
) T) One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71 December 13, 2004
“Especially After The 1968 Tet Offensive, Antiwar Sentiment Spread Widely Among The Combat Troops In Vietnam”
“The Main Activities Of Antiwar U.S. Servicepeople In Vietnam Were Not Peaceful Demonstrations”
“A 1975 Survey Revealed That 75% Of Vietnam Veterans Were Opposed To The War”
“There Is No Contemporaneous Evidence Of Any Antiwar Activists Spitting On Veterans.
Excerpts from Vietnam And Other American Fantasies; H. Bruce Franklin; University Of Massachusetts Press; Amherst, 2000 The most serious occurred on April 14 at the base of Dau Tieng (east of Tay Ninh, north of Cu Chi), when a unit of the Third Brigade of the Fourth Infantry Division defied orders to proceed on a search-and-destroy mission near where another unit had been badly cut up. The commanding officer ordered other soldiers to fire on the rebels, who returned the fire. One report indicated dozens of men killed or wounded and three helicopters destroyed. As the Vietnam veteran and sociologist Jerry Lembcke has demonstrated in his invaluable 1998 book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, the vast majority of returning veterans characterized their reception as friendly. There is no contemporaneous evidence of any antiwar activists spitting on veterans. The first allegations of such behavior did not appear until the late 1970s. The spat-upon veteran then became a mythic figure used to build support for military fervor and, later on, the Gulf War, but the myth has become so powerful that many veterans have now come to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that it actually happened to them personally. Of course it is possible that isolated instances may have occurred. But if antiwar activists were frequently spitting on veterans or otherwise abusing them, why has nobody ever produced even the tiniest scrap of contemporaneous evidence? According to the myth, spitting on veterans was a regular custom as they arrived from Vietnam at the San Francisco and Los Angeles airports. We are supposed to believe that these men just back from combat then meekly walked away without attacking or even reporting their persecutors, and that nobody else, including airport security officers, ever noticed what was going on. For there is not one press report, airport security report, police report, court record, diary entry, video shot, or photograph of a single incident at these airports or anywhere else.
How then to explain the belief now held by many veterans that they were indeed spat upon as they arrived from Vietnam at the San Francisco and Los Angeles airports? The answer lies in the transformative power of collective national myth over individual memory. The myth is so strong that it has even determined their memory of where they arrived, for they were flown back not to these civilian airports but to military bases closed to outsiders. And a 1975 survey revealed that 75 percent of Vietnam veterans were opposed to the war. Especially after the 1968 Tet offensive, antiwar sentiment spread widely among the combat troops in Vietnam, where peace symbols and antiwar salutes became commonplace. Some units even organized their own antiwar demonstrations to link up with the movement at home. For example, to join the November 1969 antiwar Mobilization, a unit stationed at Pleiku fasted against the war and boycotted the Thanksgiving Day dinner. Of the 141 soldiers classified below the rank of specialist fifth class, only eight showed up for the traditional meal; this “John Turkey Movement” spread to units all over Vietnam. When Bob Hope introduced General Creighton Abrams, commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, to the 30,000 troops assembled for a Christmas show at the sprawling Long Binh base, the entire throng leaped to their feet and held their hands high in the “V” salute of the peace movement.
“The Main Activities Of Antiwar U.S. Servicepeople In Vietnam Were Not Peaceful Demonstrations”.
But the main activities of antiwar U.S. servicepeople in Vietnam were not peaceful demonstrations. An ongoing dilemma for the antiwar movement back home was the difficulty of finding ways to move beyond verbal protest and symbolic acts to deeds that would actually interfere with the conduct of the war. The soldiers in Vietnam had no such problem. Individual acts of rebellion, ranging from desertion and sabotage to injuring and even killing officers who ordered hazardous search-and-destroy missions, merged into mutinies and large-scale resistance.
As early as the spring of 1967, sporadic small-scale mutinies were being reported in the French press but not in the U.S. media — except for the movement’s own press. The most serious occurred on April 14 at the base of Dau Tieng (east of Tay Ninh, north of Cu Chi), when a unit of the Third Brigade of the Fourth Infantry Division defied orders to proceed on a search-and-destroy mission near where another unit had been badly cut up. The commanding officer ordered other soldiers to fire on the rebels, who returned the fire. One report indicated dozens of men killed or wounded and three helicopters destroyed. The base was sealed off and no outside personnel were admitted for three days. Combat refusal and outright mutinies spread rapidly after the Tet offensive in 1968. But news about this form of growing GI resistance was kept rather efficiently from most of the American public until August 1969, when correspondents reported firsthand on the unanimous battlefield refusal of a badly mauled infantry company to go back into combat. During the next two years, the press published numerous reports of entire units refusing direct combat orders, and the public actually got to see two incidents of rebellion on network television.
“A Common And Less Conspicuous Method Of Killing Unpopular Officers: Rifle Fire Often In The Midst Of Combat”
Resistance took another form so widespread that it brought a new word into the English language: “fragging.” Originally taking its name from fragmentation grenades but soon applied to any means of killing commissioned or noncommissioned officers, fragging developed its own generally understood customs, usages, and ethos. Officers who aggressively risked or otherwise offended their men were customarily warned once or twice by a nonlethal grenade before being attacked with a boobytrapped or hurled grenade. By mid-1972, the Pentagon was officially acknowledging 551 incidents of fragging with explosive devices, which had left 86 dead and more than 700 wounded. These figures were no doubt understated, and they did not include a common and less conspicuous method of killing unpopular officers: rifle fire often in the midst of combat.
The Road To Palestine:
“The Old Man Spoke To His Grandson Of The Beauty Of Palestine And Described How Their Home Looked”
“Soon You Will Go And See Palestine, The Most Beautiful Country I Have Ever Seen; It’s Where We Come From. It’s Our Land.”
“The Israelis Were Shooting, And Every Time They Shot We Saw The Stretchers Gathering New Bodies”
Demonstrators carry a fallen comrade during a march on the Lebanese border with Israel, 15 May 2011. (Hassan Bahsoun/ Newscom)
[Thanks to Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against The War & Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] My wife and I slowed our pace at one point to listen to an old Palestinian man leaning on a cane. He was walking with his grandson and telling him the story of the time he had had to leave Palestine and carry his nine-year-old sister while escaping to Lebanon over these very same mountains and paths. The old man spoke to his grandson of the beauty of Palestine and described how their home looked. Finally, as we gradually drew closer to the border, he told the young boy, “Soon you will go and see Palestine, the most beautiful country I have ever seen; it’s where we come from. It’s our land.”
17 May 2011 Moe Ali Nayel, The Electronic Intifada. [Excerpts] Moe Ali Nayel is a journalist based in Beirut. ******************************************************** I grew up in Lebanon during the civil war and the Israeli occupation of the south. During that time a revolutionary song by Julia Butros, “Wayn al-Malayeen?” (where are the millions), was continually heard. But as a child I never understood what she meant when she sang “Where are the millions? Where are the Arab people?” In 2006 during the Israeli war on Lebanon I heard the song again. I was 25; this time I understood what it meant and that line kept playing endlessly in my head throughout the 33 days of war. Last Sunday, on the way to the border, the bus driver played that song. In light of the Arab revolutions that are happening at the moment, millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to demand their freedom, to demand their rights and to speak out for the first time (at least since I have been alive). On 15 May the same millions took to the streets, only this time to demand the liberation of Palestine: their freedom, their right. That day at 7:30am we gathered in front of Mar Elias Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. I got into our rented bus full of enthusiasm and good vibes; the journey back to Palestine had started. For weeks I had anxiously awaited 15 May, the Third Palestinian Intifada.
Many people had started referring to it as such on social networks, and I myself loved the sound of it and so this is how I would refer to it every time I spoke about it. However, 15 May is the Nakba (catastrophe) commemoration; on this day we remember that more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes, their land, to make way for a new country and people to be put in their place. To me Palestine was and still is the central cause in the Arab world, and I always believed that the liberation of Palestine would not happen before the liberation of the Arab people from the corrupt ruling dictatorships. The west like to call them the Arab moderates but in reality this means Arab puppets. Today however the Arab world is changing and the Arab people are revolting, and while they are revolting they have not forgotten about Palestine or the suffering and occupation their Palestinian brethren are going through. In closely following the Arab uprisings since the protests in Tunisia started, I have always seen at least one Palestinian flag among the protesters in every Arab country. Palestine has always been present during the protests. Palestine has always been present in the hearts and conscience of the Arab people. The “malayeen” or millions are speaking now and their united voice is hitting the sky. Yesterday, again, the Arab people spoke: the people want to liberate Palestine; the people want to return to Palestine.
The Road To Palestine
The trip from Beirut took longer than it should along the coast to the south; hundreds of buses and cars displayed Palestinian flags, and on the sides of the roads big billboards read: “May 15th: the march to return.” I have never felt so delighted when looking at a billboard before. On the windy road from Nabatiyeh to Maroun al-Ras, the endless line of buses continued, the windows full of people waving to each other and flashing the V for victory sign. We felt like we were really going back to Palestine. On the bus three Palestinian friends and I jokingly but sincerely started making plans about where in Jerusalem we were going to have a coffee, or should we just go to Haifa and enjoy the beach there, we teased, believing it somehow. As the bus wound through the lush green valleys of the south, blooming with flowers and life, I couldn’t help but notice many buses with Syrian license plates. “Had these people come all the way from Syria?” I wondered. But no, I was told there were not enough buses in Lebanon, so some had been rented from Syria.
Contrary to our original plans, the bus had to stop in Bint Jbeil, a village a few kilometers away from our destination — the border at Maroun al-Ras. The village had been turned into a big parking lot for buses carrying people from a dozen refugee camps all over Lebanon and the many Lebanese that wanted to march to the border. We jumped out of the bus and without asking how we would get to the border, we found ourselves joining thousands of people walking through the green fields and climbing mountains as a short-cut to our shared destination. It was an approximately five kilometer walk or more accurately, a hike. It was beautiful to see endless lines of people marching from different directions in the green land. Next to me were Palestinian families who had brought the young ones and dressed them up for the occasion. There were old women and men who struggled to climb the steep hills and there was a great spirit of solidarity among the people as everyone gave a hand, everyone offered to help, and everyone smiled. My wife and I slowed our pace at one point to listen to an old Palestinian man leaning on a cane. He was walking with his grandson and telling him the story of the time he had had to leave Palestine and carry his nine-year-old sister while escaping to Lebanon over these very same mountains and paths. The old man spoke to his grandson of the beauty of Palestine and described how their home looked. Finally, as we gradually drew closer to the border, he told the young boy, “Soon you will go and see Palestine, the most beautiful country I have ever seen; it’s where we come from. It’s our land.”
Shooting From The Valley
We finally got to Maroun al-Ras, a public space on top of a mountain overlooking occupied Palestine. There were thousands of people scattered all over the mountain top and a big screen was broadcasting what was happening down in the valley. Before we could properly take in our surroundings I heard shooting, four or five shots from below us in the valley. I told my wife the Israelis are shooting, and a minute after that, a person on the microphone called for the ambulance to bring down stretchers to the fence. I asked what was happening and people told me four martyrs had fallen and more than twenty were injured.
A wave of people stretched from the park on the top of the hill all the way down to the border fence. I found myself sliding on that wave, stopping every once in a while to catch my breath and wonder whether I should stay where I was or keep going down to the fence. I could not contain the desire to join the thousands on the fence already throwing stones across the border. From a distance, the stones looked like white birds diving to the other side. I finally made it to what they were calling the second line, approximately 500 meters away from the border fence. There were ambulances parked nearby and the Lebanese army had formed a human chain to prevent more people from joining those at the border fence. Many Palestinian young men and women kept insisting on breaking the chain the Lebanese army had made, wanting to join their brothers and sisters on the front line. Watching the faces of the Lebanese soldiers, all I could see was confusion and panic, but they were not losing any chance to threaten and intimidate the protesters with their raised batons and sticks.
All Their Guns Were Directed To The Sky
Standing in front of the army were a few Palestinian men pleading with the raging people not to take it out on the Lebanese army. “This is not what we were here for,” they shouted over the chants. That did not stop the people, and even with the knowledge that the land between them was littered with mines, people kept breaking through the chain and sprinting to join the front line. One group of courageous young women broke the chain of men and ran towards the front line and everyone cheered them on. All this time the Israelis were shooting, a burst of two or three shots rang out frequently, and every time they shot we saw the stretchers gathering new bodies. At 4:00pm we decided to climb up the steep mountain and walk back to catch our bus. After a couple minutes of walking, I noticed the Lebanese army moving towards the front line, the fence; they reached the protesters who started loudly chanting “Palestine! Palestine!” As the army made their way to the very front it looked like they had decided the protest was over, and suddenly, with no warning, the Lebanese army on the front and the second line started firing thousands of rounds into the air. All their guns where directed to the sky, but the amount of shooting terrorized everyone who was there. We all started sprinting up the steep mountain; a random man pulled my arm and dragged me up with him as I struggled to keep up on my feet. The firing intensified and there were the same waves of people this time running in panic. Next to me there were lost children, crying, wanting their parents; an old man ran out of breath, crouched down; I saw an old Palestinian woman running up the mountain with tears running down her face.
Looking back down to where the second line was, I could only see a line of soldiers with their M16 rifles to the sky, shooting nonstop. It was like something out of the movies. But something even more terrorizing happened in the middle of the shooting. As the Lebanese fired their guns I heard deeper shots coming from the Israeli side and bullets whizzed by me; I took a dive to the ground. The way the Lebanese army decided to end the event made me ask myself, who is the enemy here?
Nothing To Lose But Our Chains
The march to return left at least ten persons dead in Lebanon and many others in Syria and Palestine, while in Egypt the people were prevented from reaching the border. People who normally don’t care about Palestine and enjoy a life of apathy and consumerism asked me today, what did you achieve? What did you change? Was it worth it the death of tens of people? My answer is the following: after yesterday, things will not be the same as before 15 May. Just like after Muhammad Bouazizi, things are not the same as before he shook the Arab world. The Arab people, us, the Arab youth, we are not going to let the status quo continue, we are not going to be humiliated by our own people anymore. We are not going to let Palestine and the Palestinian people be humiliated and tortured every time they breathe. We are freedom-loving people and we won’t live anymore on empty promises from our corrupt governments who use Palestine as a pretext to repress us while they enjoy stealing from our pockets. We won’t let them continue to make sure Israel is safe and sound, enjoying the beautiful land of Palestine, while hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in inhumane conditions in the camps. How do you expect a Palestinian refugee to see his land being enjoyed by the Israeli occupation and not react to that? We, the Arab people, the Arab youth, the millions, have decided that we have nothing to lose but our chains and that Palestine is our prize. I saw yesterday how much the people want to free Palestine, how much they want return to Palestine. The Arab people are here, the Arab rage is here, the malayeen are here. [To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Stirrings From Below In Saudi Arabia:
“The Government Says We Are Not Ready For Change”
“We Are Ready. We Are More Than Ready”
Protesters in Qatif last month carried a mock coffin and pictures of men said to be held without trial. Reuters
MAY 27, 2011 By BILL SPINDLE, Wall St. Journal [Excerpts] QATIF, Saudi Arabia—The young people here stopped protesting last week, effectively ending the first chapter of the so-called Arab spring in the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The protesters of Qatif abandoned demonstrations after weeks of unrelenting pressure not only from the government—which arrested at least 150 of them without charges—but also from their own community elders. Few activists, who seek more say in their government and an end to sectarian discrimination, have given up on their demands. They say they'll be back, confident that time and global trends are on their side. “Historical changes are going on. We are a part of this,” said a 25-year-old protester. “We've decided it's our time.” Qatif isn't representative of Saudi Arabia, where there have been no other Arab spring street protests. But its corner of the country, in the Eastern province, where nearly all of the kingdom's vast oil fields are located, is critical to the Saudi economy and world oil markets. The city's roughly 400,000 residents are almost all Shiite Muslims, a group that makes up perhaps 10% of the kingdom's mostly Sunni Muslim population. Qatif, as well as surrounding areas home to substantial populations of Shiites, has long had a prickly relationship with the government. Periods of protest and crackdown have punctuated the past three decades, and deep suspicions cloud the community's interactions with the government and the majority Sunni population. Shiites in the area complain of discrimination in jobs and education and restrictions on their freedom to practice their religion, which differs in significant ways from the purist strain of the Sunni faith officially endorsed by the government. But plans announced in February by King Abdullah, the octogenarian ruler, to spend more than $100 billion for state security, the conservative clerical establishment, salaries of public-sector employees and handouts to other groups could be a sign of concern that Shiites in Qatif weren't the only ones asking more from their government. The spirit of the Arab spring has also led to a renewed effort by women organizing to win the right to drive. Though those behind the effort have been careful to protest only online or by driving alone, not in groups, one Saudi woman was arrested this week for getting behind the wheel and posting a video of it on Facebook. In Qatif, small protests started in late February, about a week after Egypt's president resigned. In early March, one protest in Qatif drew several thousand people, and a concerned Saudi government began to take action. Local police arrested 28 protesters. Prince Muhammed bin Fahd, the governor of the Eastern province, initiated a flurry of meetings with secular and religious elders, pressing them to stop young people from protesting, community leaders who attended the meetings said.
The deputy governor met with about a dozen youths, who presented him with a list of demands for equal treatment of Shiites and more participation on governmental decisions. Officials from the provincial government declined requests to comment. But those who attended the meetings said the government priority was on stopping the protests immediately, as some social-networking sites were calling for a kingdomwide protest the following week. In a gesture apparently calculated to build some goodwill in the community while also removing yet another reason to protest, the provincial government released the 28 protesters who had been detained. “They've tried to relieve some of the pressure,” said Jafar al Shayeb, an activist who heads Qatif's municipal council. Protests occurred anyway, with several hundred mostly young people taking to the streets on the designated protest day, March 11. There were more meetings, which put more pressure on local elders. Some of them had been confrontational activists themselves, but nearly all had long ago decided to work with the Saudi government rather than confront it directly. On April 22, about three dozen local clerics reluctantly signed a statement asking the young people in the community to stop protesting. Young protesters were angry. Hundreds ignored the request and demonstrated the next week anyway. Police beat and arrested some at the scene, people who attended the protest said. The activists debated among themselves for another three weeks, protesting sporadically and in small numbers, before a group of informal representatives issued a final set of complaints and agreed to stop demonstrating. But they describe their halt to protests as a pause, rather than the conclusion of anything. More than 120 protesters remain in government custody. “The government says we are not ready for change,” said a 26-year-old writer. “We are ready. We are more than ready.”
From: Frank S To: Military Resistance Newsletter Subject: Re: Military Resistance 9E24: Our Future Date: May 30, 2011
be careful about “secret police” opening fire on crowds...whose secret? and where is the fucking secret when you open fire? can we be certain that all the demonstrators are good and pure folks? as in libya? be very. very careful before rushing into all these so-called “revolutions”, especially the ones the jackals and hyenas who run this show are supporting...i don't care if assad is supposedly worse than the scum bags in washington...the fact that the scumbags in washington oppose him is enough for me to advise my friends to be very, very, very careful before jumping on any bandwagon that is against dictatorship... like it takes real courage to be against dictators? the way this fucking creampuff in the half white house who bends over and spreads his cheeks for israel opposes ghaddafy? be careful brother...
The following message contains further information concerning Syria. Frank S is right that there never has been a movement from below against any tyrant where it is possible to “be certain that all the demonstrators are good and pure folks?” There never will be. Thus the need in any revolutionary situation to build a political organization not merely opposed to the old regime, but to fight to insure no formation of oppressors takes power to succeed it. The introduction to the article Frank S. writes about noted: “Whether they will be successful remains to be seen, and this work takes time, but they have understood perfectly what is necessary, whether in Syria or the USA: winning the soldiers to revolution from below.” “Permanent revolution from below” would have been more accurate. Tyrants, assorted oppressors and Imperial occupations have been overthrown by revolutionary mass uprisings and resistance in many nations, many times. The work of this century will be organizing beforehand to defeat successors wearing the false masks of liberators. “Be careful” indeed. ***********************************************************************
May 5, 2011
From: Ewa Jasiewicz (freelance) To: Various Subject: update from Syria
Date: May 10, 2011 From: Tadzio M To: Tadzio M Date: Sat, 7 May 2011 11:48:44 +0200 Subject: update from Syria Dear all, Below is a translated and slightly edited email from Elias [XXX], a friend and comrade currently working in Lebanon, supporting Syrian activists in their insurrection against the Assad regime (date: 4/5/11). The translation as well as the original email are a bit rushed. I hope you don’t mind this possibly slightly off-topic post or email randomly arriving in your inbox. I thought that the story was worth telling. In solidarity, Tadzio ********************************************************************************* [May 5, 2011 Since my last email ten days ago, the situation in Syria has really exploded. The regime has decided to use maximum force against the demonstrators. Since Monday last week, the military has invaded several towns with tanks and heavy artillery, in many cities phone and power lines have been cut, sometimes even the water. People are being shot and killed in broad daylight, and tortured inside their homes. A huge wave of arrests has begun (an activist: “until last Monday we were being put into jail, where people are being put now, nobody knows”). But although the regime is deploying nearly all means at its disposal against its critics, and although there are many deaths, it is not people’s spirits that seem broken, but rather their fear. The protest after last week’s Friday prayers were not only the largest in numerical terms, they also saw the participation of more towns and cities than ever before, in spite of the massive presence of police and military. Unfortunately, last Friday the royal wedding displaced the demonstrations from the news screens, while on Sunday it was the pope’s miracle and beatification that many news outlets seemed to find particularly noteworthy. Now we can only hope that the collective rejoicing at the Navy Seals’ marksmanship will abate in time for this Friday’s demonstrations, the composition, organisation and perspective of which I want to describe below. The protests
It is not all that easy to write about the character and the participants of the protests in Syria, as they are very heterogeneous and regionally extremely diverse. To be sure, there is no one single actor, social stratum or age group that steers or guides these protests. It is rather a conglomerate of activists, local associations and groups, neighbourhood initiatives and many individuals that have been politicised through the protests. The beginning of this insurrection is characteristic for the development and differentiation of demonstrators: the first larger protests took place in the Southern (Syrian) city of Daraa started a little more than six weeks ago, after 15 children and youths (between 10 and 15 years old) had been arrested by the police on account of some anti-regime graffiti, and subsequently tortured. While initially there were only some 200 – mostly family members – protesting, this number quickly grew to several thousands, after on the first day the police opened fire on the demonstrators. But not only the number of participants but also the focus of the demonstrations quickly changed. General calls for peace and justice were quickly replaced with concrete demands such as the suspension of the emergency laws. One of the Daraa-activists’ greatest achievements was to quickly organise a regional committee that developed political demands. By now local committees have emerged all over the country in nearly all protest locations. The committees organise their demonstrations and are growing ever more closely networked with each other (…) in order to develop and spread common positions and demands. Unlike in Daraa, in many other cities it is youth that are playing a much more central role. It is them who use to internet to agree to meet in a mosque in their town in order to start a protest there. Contrary to what some media are asserting it is not the Friday prayers by the imams – which in Syria are appointed by the state – but rather the active engagement first of a few, but now of many, who get up during and after the sermon and start calling out slogans that many others then join in. That it is the mosques that have emerged as the starting point for protests is due to the fact that they are by now the only locations where people can even gather together. Other opportunities, like protests during and after football matches, were quickly barred – all mass events in Syria have been cancelled, even the large traditional Christian Easter processions. The role played by religion in the protests has been very small, if it has played any role it all. Neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor other groups have so far managed to leave their mark on the insurrection.
Instead, one of the most popular chants has been: “We don’t need any Salafiyya (Salafists are followers of a particularly reactionary form of Islam), we don’t need the Brotherhood, we need a step forward.” Alongside the fight against the Assad regime, this is the second important challenge that the activists have to deal with: not to leave any room for the religious fundamentalists. But the most amazing thing about the protests is the confidence and courage with which people are taking to the streets. We are getting videos where people are openly, in full view of the security forces, filming demonstrations, resisting any and all orders to cease and desist. Other activists are giving interviews, publicly and with their full names, demanding the end of the Assad regime – neither of these things would have been possible three weeks ago. A reporter with Al Jazeera spoke beautifully of the fact that fear had switched sides: while for decades the population lived in fear of the regime, now the regime lived in fear of the people. Let us hope that next Friday even more people will overcome their fear in order to carry their protest to the streets.
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