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10.17.14

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Military Resistance 12J3

Wave Of Attacks By ISIS Inside


Baghdad Shocks Al-Abadi
Regime:
Silly Prime Minister Says
Baghdad Is Safe And The Vicious
Terrorists Cannot And Will Not
Reach It
Then He Proclaims The Good [?]
News Our Brave Security Forces

Have Managed To Secure Baghdad


And Its Perimeter
Residents Angered By The Failure Of
Government Forces Threw Stones At
Police Checkpoints And Police Cars
Oct 16, 2014 By SINAN SALAHEDDIN Associated Press & Reuters

Militants unleashed a wave of attacks, mainly targeting Shiite areas in and around
the capital of Baghdad, and in the rural belt south of the capital killing at least 50 people
on Thursday and wounding 123, police and medical officials said.
Islamic State fighters say they have a foothold inside Baghdad.
Two parked car bombs exploded simultaneously in a commercial area in the northern
Dolaie neighborhood, killing 14 civilians and wounding 34 others, a police officer said.
The group said the Dolaie attack targeted Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militiamen allied with
them. The authenticity of the claim could not be independently verified, but it was posted
on websites frequently used by the group.
Residents angered by the failure of government forces to protect the
neighborhood threw stones at police checkpoints and police cars that arrived to
respond to the blasts.
That prompted police to withdraw from the area.
In the eastern neighborhood of Talibiyah, a bomber rammed his explosives-laden car
into a police checkpoint, killing at least 12 people, another police officer said. The dead
in that attack included seven policemen and five civilians, he added. At least 28 other
people were wounded.
A roadside bomb also hit an army patrol just south of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and
wounding four others.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in office for a month and still without a defence or interior
minister due to rifts between the main Shi'ite and Sunni political parties, on Wednesday
sought to soothe jangled nerves.
Baghdad is safe and the vicious terrorists cannot and will not reach it, Abadi
said in a televised speech at a military ceremony.
Our brave security forces have managed to secure Baghdad and its perimeter.

Key Iraqi Government Politician, Militia


Leader, Killed By ISIS In Baghdad
2014-10-14 AFP
An Iraqi MP and prominent militia leader was one of at least 21 people killed
Tuesday in a bombing immediately claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Ahmed al-Khafaji, a commander in the Shiite Badr militia, was among those killed in the
attack in the Kadhimiyah area, a fellow lawmaker and a medical official said.
The attack, which wounded at least another 51 people, was the third in the Shiite district
of Kadhimiyah in four days.
In a statement posted online, the Islamic State jihadist group said that a bomber it
identified as Abu Aisha al-Samarraie had carried out the attack and that Khafaji was the
target.
A Shiite MP said that Khafaji was killed in the attack.
We have confirmed that he was killed, although it is not yet entirely clear whether he
was the target of the attack, the MP told AFP.
A hospital source also said Khafaji was among the 21 people killed in the explosion.
Khafaji was a member of the main Shiite bloc in parliament, the State of Law coalition, of
which Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's Dawa party is also part.
But he was best known as a top leader of the Badr organisation, which is one of the
main Shiite militias in Iraq and has close ties to Iran.
The death of the Badr commander is the second high-profile killing in three days
by the Islamic State group, which also killed the police chief of Anbar province on
Sunday.

YOUR INVITATION:
Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men
and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box
126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or email
contact@militaryproject.org:
Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. Same
address to unsubscribe.

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

Soldier With Louisiana Ties Dies From


Afghanistan Combat Injuries

Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers (U.S. Army)


October 02, 2014 By Paul Purpura, The Times-Picayune
A Green Beret soldier who enlisted in the U.S. Army from Louisiana has died from a
gunshot wound he received last month during a gunfight in Afghanistan, the Defense
Department said Thursday. Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers, 30, a native of
Crestview, Fla., who enlisted in the Army in 2003 in DeRidder, died Tuesday at
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Weathers was wounded Sept. 28 in Helmand province, where enemy forces attacked his
unit with gunfire, according to the Defense Department. He was assigned to the 2nd
Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
After he enlisted in the Army, Weathers was trained to repair CH-47 Chinooks. He twice
deployed with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, to Iraq in 2005 as a crew chief and to
Afghanistan in 2008 as a flight engineer.
In 2010, he volunteered for service in the Special Forces, graduating as a medical
sergeant, according to the Army. He was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group in
2012, and to the group's 2nd Battalion this year.
From the beginning of his time with 7th Group, Sgt. Weathers was the consummate
teammate, Col. Robert Kirila, deputy commander of the 7th Special Forces Group, said
in statement. As a Special Forces medical sergeant, Weathers was critical to the
wellbeing of his team and those he mentored. The group mourns the loss of such a great
leader, and we will support his family in every way possible.
His parents, Michael and Jere Weathers, live in Pollock, in central Louisiana. He also is
survived by a sister, Carrie, and a brother, Dusten.
Weather's awards and decorations include the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the
Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with
three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Good Conduct
Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and others. Additionally, he received the Special
Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Aviator Badge and the Parachutist
Badge.

POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE


BLOODSHED
THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE
WAR

Three Foreigners In Troop Convoy


Wounded By Car Bomb Attack
Oct. 13 Xinhua
A car bombing targeted a convoy of foreign troops in Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday
morning, police said.

The explosion which occurred at around 6:30 a.m. local time in Pul-e-Charkhi road
which is also called Jalalabad road in eastern Kabul, a police official told Xinhua, adding
that the bomber was killed on the spot.
Unofficial sources said three foreigners of the convoy were injured in the incident.
The Taliban insurgent group claimed the responsibility for the attack shortly after the
blast.
The attack took place near the Green Village Camp, which houses U.N. and other
foreign contractors as well as aid workers, the police source said.

Great Moments In U.S. Military


History:
Afghan Family Gathering Firewood
Blown Up By Air Attack
Oct 13 Arnia News
Seven civilians have lost their life while gathering wood fire on the top of the hill in
Gardiz on Odoki area after the U.S. mistakenly bombarded on Sunday evening.
According to the local residents one family lost five members and the second one lost
two of their family members in the incident.
Paktia security officials have confirmed the incident and yet to provide much details on
the attack.

Taliban Kill Nad Ali District Governor


15 October 2014 TOLOnews
District Governor of Helmand province, Mohammad Anwar Khan was killed in an armed
insurgents ambush on Tuesday night in Nad Ali district of Helmand, officials said on
Wednesday.
According to the provincial governor's spokesman Omar Zwak, the incident occurred
when Khan was on patrol in the district.
His bodyguard and a policeman were killed and six other policemen were wounded in
the attack, Zwak said.
**********************************************

Oct 13 Ariana News


A bomber targeting a convoy of Afghan National Army (ANA) detonated his explosives in
eastern Nangarhar province, officials said.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman of Nangarhar governor, confirmed the blast that took
place about 9am Monday morning in Ghani Khail district.
He added the blast had casualties but denied providing exact figure of death toll.

The Taliban Have Blown Up A Big


Bridge On The Kabul-Kandahar
Highway
The Bridge Had Been
Comprehensively Destroyed
Deputy Provincial Governor Mahmad Jan
Rasoliar Says Some Really Weird Shit
About The Attack
Oct 15 2014 By Mirwais Jalalzai, Khaama Press
Drivers and passengers say the Taliban have blown up a big bridge on the KabulKandahar highway.
A resident of Qalat city, the capital of Zabul province, Nasim Gul, said he observed the
bridge had been comprehensively destroyed.
According to reports the bridge on the road had been blown up when a heavy remote
controlled bomb targeted a Police patrol near the bridge. The incident took place in
Kakarno Chena area of Qalat city.
Deputy provincial governor, Mahmad Jan Rasoliar, said the Taliban had launched a
massive campaign to destroy bridges on roads.
After the explosion, Afghan security forces lunched search operation in the area to arrest
those people who were behind this attack, he said.
He accused Pakistan for being involved in destruction of bridges, saying the neighboring
country could not see Afghan roads being paved and constructed. [!]

He urged security organs to protect bridges from being destroyed and warned against
any negligence in this regard; otherwise all paved roads would be devastated.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said their aim was not to destroy bridges, but
to inflict casualties on the enemy.
The fighters planted mines under bridges to target Afghan and foreign troops, he
explained, saying almost every blast had resulted in heavy casualties.

Taliban Ambush Kills 22 Afghan


Soldiers, Police In North: Official

Debris from an attack targeting a foreign convoy near a US military camp on the outskirt
of Kabul on Monday. Photograph: Wali Sabawoon/NurPhoto/Rex Features
13 October 2014 Reuters in Kabul
Taliban insurgents have ambushed a convoy of Afghan security forces in a mountainous
northern region of Afghanistan, killing 22 soldiers and police, an official said, as bombs
in the capital Kabul and elsewhere left three people dead.
The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, attacked the convoy as it
travelled through Laghman valley in Sar-e-Pul province, the governor, Abdul Jabar
Haqbeen, said.
Eight security forces were wounded and seven were taken captive. Twelve army and
police vehicles are totally destroyed, he added.
A car bomber rammed a military convoy along a road out of Kabul early on Monday,
killing one Afghan civilian, the authorities said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the Jalalabad Road, a main
thoroughfare with a US military base and a housing compound for UN and other
international contractors and aid workers.
At least three foreign nationals were wounded in the blast targeting their armoured
vehicles. Their identities have not been confirmed.
The bomber drove a Toyota Corolla into the convoy just before 7am local time, said
Farid Afzali, head of Kabuls police investigation department. As a result of the blast,
one of our countrymen was killed and three foreigners slightly wounded, he added.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Majahid, tweeted that the target was a foreign military
convoy and several troops were killed.
The Taliban took advantage of weeks of political paralysis following the disputed
presidential election to regain territory in provinces such as Helmand in the south and
Kunduz in the north.

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had
I the ability, and could reach the nations 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

It would be a fundamental mistake to suppose that the struggle for democracy can
divert the proletariat from the socialist revolution, or obscure, or overshadow it,
etc. On the contrary, just as socialism cannot be victorious unless it introduces
complete democracy, so the proletariat will be unable to prepare for victory over
the bourgeoisie unless it wages a many-sided, consistent, and revolutionary
struggle for democracy.
-- V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition; Vol. 22

A Threat To National Security

Photo by Mike Hastie


From: Mike Hastie
To: Military Resistance Newsletter
Sent: September 24, 2014
Subject: A Threat To National Security
A Threat To National Security

If the most powerful military the world has


ever seen does not stop the ISIS Toyota Army,
those vehicles with the Khorasan emblem on
the front, will be landing on the Oregon Coast.
As a Vietnam veteran, I am extremely proud of
my National Defense Medal, because I too kept
the Viet Cong from landing on the Oregon Coast.
Mike Hastie
Army Medic Vietnam
September 24, 2014
Photo and caption from the portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam
1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at:
(hastiemike@earthlink.net) 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

[THEN AND NOW]


What They Understood And Their
Leaders Refused To Acknowledge
Was That Battles And Victories
Didnt Add Up To Anything
The Number Of Communist Dead
Meant Nothing, Changed Nothing
There Is A Point Of View That Says That
The United States Got Involved In The

Vietnam War Simply Because We


Thought It Would Be Easy

[Farm4.static.flickr.com]

[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Project, who sent this in.]


While a colonel in Saigon was declaring that the enemy no longer maintains in
our view capability to mount, execute or sustain a serious offensive action, out in
the countryside soldiers were looking around uneasily, saying, Charlies up to
something. Slick, slick, that fuckers so slick. Watch!
By Wendy Smith, The American Scholar [Excerpts]
Michael Herrs brilliant, bitter, and loving book was hailed as a masterpiece when it was
published in 1977, and the critical consensus has held steady ever since.
Somehow, a young journalist whose previous experience consisted mostly of travel
pieces and film criticism managed to transform himself into a wild new kind of war
correspondent capable of comprehending a disturbing new kind of war.

Herr is the only writer Ive read who has written in the mad-pop-poetic/bureaucratically
camouflaged language in which Vietnam has lived, wrote playwright and Vietnam
draftee David Rabe.
It created enough of a sensation to prompt me to shell out $8.95 for the hardcover, a lot
of money for a college undergraduate in 1978. That was less than three years after
North Vietnamese troops had marched into Saigon, during the odd political lull between
Richard Nixons resignation and Ronald Reagans election.
I read Dispatches then through particularly rose-colored glasses, confident that we had
learned the lessons of Vietnam and Watergate. In the ensuring 29 years, my awe at
Herrs achievement has never lessened, but each of the three times Ive re-read it, Ive
found new things.
The book hasnt changed, of course, but I have.

Herrs Contempt For The Authorities Who Had Dumped American Troops
Into Combat, His Matter-Of-Fact Depiction Of That Combat As Senseless,
Dehumanizing, And Futile, Seemed Like Givens
ON FIRST READING, the images Dispatches implanted in my mind were
unquestionably harrowing: the corpse-strewn streets of ruined Hue, Vietnams imperial
city; the spooky vistas of Khe Sanh, where the Marines endured near-perpetual fire from
ghostly North Vietnamese divisions invisible in the jungle. But those blasted landscapes
painted in swaggering rock n roll brushstrokes were as remote from my own
experiences as the implacable rituals of guilt and expiation in Greek drama indeed, I
naively thought the book offered overdue catharsis for the Vietnam tragedy and
expressed a new national consensus about it.
Herrs contempt for the authorities who had dumped American troops into
combat, his matter-of-fact depiction of that combat as senseless, dehumanizing,
and futile, seemed like givens.
Didnt everyone feel that way by 1978?
My liberal, urban friends certainly did, and few voices anywhere were being raised in
defense of a military and political strategy whose ultimate fruits (helicopters evacuating
the last Marines from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon while desperate,
abandoned Vietnamese civilians swarmed the grounds below) were a painful recent
memory.
What impressed me most forcefully about Dispatches was the window it opened
on the surreal texture of ordinary soldiers lives.
Liberated from deadlines by his freeform assignment from Esquire magazine, Herr
spent much of his time hanging around with grunts like the exhausted kid who
replied to the standard question, How long you been in-country? by half-lifting
his head and saying, very slowly, all fuckin day, or the soldier detailed on
reconnaissance patrol who told the reporter that the pills he took by the fistful

cooled things out just right and that he could see that old jungle at night like
he was looking at it through a starlight scope.
Unlike his colleagues working for mainstream media, Herr was under no
obligation to solicit and report the military commands unwaveringly optimistic
statements; instead, he listened to grungy men in the jungle who talked bloody
murder and killed people all the time, men who despised sugar-coated official
platitudes about what they were doing there as much as the most committed
antiwar activist did.
Dispatches made it clear, I assumed, that hating the war didnt mean hating those
stuck with fighting it.
The virtually unanimous praise lavished on this searing text, the general conviction that it
was a definitive portrait of the American experience in Vietnam, suggested that Vietnam
was behind us now.
How young I was, and how much I missed.
I still didnt get it in 1982, when I stood weeping in front of Maya Lins memorial lined with
the names of Americans killed or missing in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975. Looking at the
flowers and the handwritten notes placed along its black granite wall, testament to the
anguish we still felt over the loss of so many lives, I couldnt understand the veterans
who angrily viewed the unconventional memorial as a black gash of shame, one more
example of the way their service had been stigmatized.
I didnt realize it then, but Vietnam was on its way to becoming the war we werent
allowed to win.
During the 1980s, I heard that revolting phrase uttered with increasing frequency
by people who sought to erase our national trauma, not by acknowledging the
mistaken analysis that entangled us in Vietnam and the stubbornness that kept us
there, but by shoehorning it into a conventional saga of courage and sacrifice in
an honorable cause betrayed by the weak and the disloyal.
Every scathing word in Dispatches belied this pat scenario.

Whatever Else, Id Loved It There,


WHEN I PICKED UP Herrs book again in the late 80s, however, I became
uncomfortably aware that it also belied my blithe collegiate certainties. The first time
through, I had breezed right over Herrs description of the questions people asked him
upon his return as political, square, innocent . . . Id practically forgotten the language.
I didnt even remember the troubling passage in which his pal Tim Page, solicited by a
publisher to write a book that would take the glamour out of war, erupted with glee:
The very idea! Ohhh, what a laugh! Take the bloody glamour out of bloody war!
Herr and his fellow misfits among the press corps, dope-smoking longhairs though they
might have been, not so secretly saw themselves as belonging to the time-honored,
movienourished image of the swashbuckling war correspondent. They hailed

helicopters like taxis, hitching rides into places like Dak To and the Ia Drang Valley,
where they risked their lives to observe the nightmare reality buried underneath words
like body count and pacification.
Then they grabbed the next chopper out, heading back to Saigon to print their photos
and write it all down. There was glamour in war, and they got to experience the buzz of
combat from a uniquely privileged position.
Whatever else, Id loved it there, Herr admitted.
Soldiers felt that way too, William Broyles Jr. acknowledged in Why Men Love War, a
1984 essay in Esquire, which I read not long before I tackled Dispatches for the second
time.
Broyles probed wars great and seductive beauty, the enduring comradeship created
among men who trusted each other with their lives, the knowledge that in battle you
touched the fundamentals of human existence.
A Vietnam vet, he didnt scant the uglier aspects: the sense of power inherent in killing,
the covert joy when someone else got wasted instead of you, the unpalatable fact that
being surrounded by death was, in some weird ways, a turn-on.
His polished, articulate prose was light years removed from the pop-apocalyptic urgency
with which Herr tried to capture the particular nature of Vietnam. And yet both conveyed
a message I hadnt been able to hear in 1978.
For those who were there, the Vietnam War, like every war, was horrible and wonderful,
the greatest experience of their lives as well as the worst thing that ever happened to
them.
There was an important political discussion to be had about Vietnam, but there was
another level on which politics was beside the point.
Dispatches was more than simply a great book about Vietnam, I began to understand.
I spend a lot of my professional time interviewing authors, and over the years I heard
several of them refer to Herrs work with a reverence that bordered on awe.
Dispatches was one of the greatest memoirs of all time, remarked Mary Karr, no slouch
in that department herself. It intimidated the pants off me, confessed novelist Bob
Shacochis, who, when I talked with him, had recently completed a nonfiction portrait of
American soldiers in Haiti. I cant imagine writing a better book than Dispatches; its a
blast of genius.
The blasts of Herrs rage, scorn, and agonized tenderness have been disturbing my
peace for nearly three decades now; few works in any genre have haunted me the way
Dispatches has.

I Realized That The Only Corpse I Couldnt Bear To Look At Would Be The
One Whose Face I Would Never Have To See

IN 1999, IT REENTERED my life in the oddest way, forcing itself anew on my attention
when I least expected it. Id had a baby at age 39 and sank happily into the swamp of
my sons all-consuming demands and my equally consuming love for him. The domestic
world was my kingdom; war was one of those absurd male pastimes that had no
relevance to me. (I know this is ridiculous: remember, I was a new mother.)
One day, reading a book about helicopters to my vehicle-obsessed four-year-old, I came
across a photograph of a Huey landing under fire somewhere in South Vietnam. The
next thing I knew, Dispatches was back in my hands.
It was placed there by my recollection of Herrs amazing description of the Vietnam
chopper: the sexiest thing going; saver-destroyer, provider-waster, right hand-left hand,
nimble, fluent, canny and human; hot steel, grease, jungle-saturated canvas webbing,
sweat cooling and warming up again, cassette rock and roll in one ear and door-gun fire
in the other, fuel, heat, vitality and death, death itself, hardly an intruder.
Rereading that fabulous effusion, I remembered Mary Karrs appreciative appraisal:
Just at the level of sentences, its never boring. The third time around, I was swept
away by the sheer magnificence of Herrs prose as much as by what he had to say. Of
course, the two were inextricably connected, and Dispatches had something new to say
to me in my 40s.
The book was a personal testament, I belatedly grasped.
Herr wasnt just showing me what the war did to other people; he was examining what it
did to him. He was terrified, naturally take a look at his defoliating depiction of being
under fire:
That passage took me through Vietnam to the eternal terrain of stark, animal fear.
At its existential heart, Dispatches was about what happened to someone living for
months on end with that kind of fear, about what the omnipresence of death did to your
soul.
Herr summed it up for himself in a single bleak sentence. Walking through the
streets of Hue during the Tet Offensive, past hundreds of bodies decomposing in
the cold rain, he wrote, I realized that the only corpse I couldnt bear to look at
would be the one whose face I would never have to see.
The grunts moments of individual reckoning were blunter. All thats just a load, man,
said one young soldier, dismissing the domino theory and other official rationales. Were
here to kill gooks. Period.
Being a mother, I flinched at the thought of my son growing up to say something like
that. Being a journalist, I flinched again at Herrs sardonic addendum: (That) wasnt at
all true of me. I was there to watch.
Id never covered a war or grilled a duplicitous politician, but anyone who writes
nonfiction is familiar with the queasily mixed emotions inherent in using other peoples

experiences as your raw material. Herr dissected that complex, fraught relationship in a
situation where the stakes were mortally high.
He thought of himself as the grunts brother, sharing their miseries and dangers in the
field. On the surface, they seemed to agree. They gave him their helmets and flak
jackets, found him mattresses to sleep on, threw blankets over him when he was cold.
Youre all right man, they said, you got balls.
But then would come that bad, bad moment . . . the look that made you look
away, or the comment of a rifleman watching a jeepload of correspondents drive
off: Those fucking guys, I hope they die.
Then the distance was clear.
They werent judging me, they werent reproaching me, they didnt even mind me,
not in any personal way, Herr wrote. They only hated me, hated me the way
youd hate any hopeless fool who would put himself through this thing when he
had choices.
He was not their brother, and he came to a conclusion many reporters prefer not to
draw: You were as responsible for everything you saw as you were for everything you
did.
There was only one way to honor that responsibility, and the grunts told him what
it was.
They would ask you with an emotion whose intensity would shock you to please
tell it, because they really did have the feeling that it wasnt being told for them,
that they were going through all this and that somehow no one back in the World
knew about it.
Herr told as many of their stories as he could cram into a narrative burning with
his fierce belief that conventional journalism could no more reveal this war than
conventional firepower could win it.
He told the story of a freaked-out Marine, throwing away fatigues soaked with the
blood of some guy he didnt even know (who) had been blown away right next to
him, all over him.
There was no way to wash them clean, the soldier said, near tears: You could
take and scrub them fatigues for a million years, and it would never happen.
He told the story of a battalion in the midst of the Tet Offensives worst days,
afflicted with despair so terrible that men from Graves Registration going through
the personal effects of dead soldiers sometimes found letters from home
delivered days before and still unopened.
All wars produce horror stories, but in most wars before Vietnam reporters were
constrained from telling them, by censorship, of course, but also by their sense
that there was a greater goal that at least partly justified the horrors.

Herr cared very little about the big picture and who could blame him, when one
month Khe Sanh fit into the big picture as the Western Anchor of our Defense
and the next it was a worthless piece of ground?
He cared more about what he could learn from the Special Forces captain who
said, I went out and killed one VC and liberated a prisoner. Next day the major
called me in and told me that Id killed fourteen VC and liberated six prisoners.
You want to see the medal?

What They Understood And Their Leaders Refused To Acknowledge Was


That Battles And Victories Didnt Add Up To Anything
THE HUMAN TRUTHS of Dispatches were also political truths,
I could see when I angrily reopened it on the eve of the 2006 midterm elections.
Because Vietnam was an unpopular war that we lost, it was possible for Herr to say
things about the essential nature of combat that it had been unacceptable to say about,
for example, World War II. (The U.S. Army was so upset by John Hustons Signal Corps
documentary about veterans suffering from what we would now call post-traumatic
stress disorder that it suppressed the film for more than 30 years.)
Herr took full advantage of that freedom.
He took very seriously his commitment to tell the grunts stories, but he made no
pretense of telling them from the grunts point of view, and he told stories they
undoubtedly wished hed kept to himself.
He wasnt embedded, the cynical tactic invented by the Bush administration to enmesh
reporters in a conflict they were supposed to be covering impartially. I crossed the line
from observer to participant, said Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf, who lost his
right hand when he picked up a live grenade tossed into the Humvee carrying him and
four soldiers on patrol in Baghdad. It became very difficult to objectively assess the role
of U.S. soldiers who were housing, feeding, befriending and protecting me. After three
weeks in a platoon, I came dangerously close to adopting the mindset and mission of a
soldier.
Herr never fell into that trap.
His affection for the grunts didnt prevent him from seeing what Vietnam had done to
some of them. They were killers, he wrote of the soldiers hunkered down at Khe Sanh.
Of course they were; what would anyone expect them to be?
With the appalling photographs from Abu Ghraib still vivid in my memory, I found my
fourth journey through Dispatches halted time after time by grim glimpses of the
atrocities committed in Vietnam.
Herr heard stories about the man in the Highlands who was building his own gook,
parts were the least of his troubles; about the door gunner, asked how he could shoot
women and children, who replied, Its easy, you just dont lead em so much.

He saw a photo of a Marine pissing into the locked-open mouth of a decomposing North
Vietnamese soldier; albums with pictures of smiling soldiers holding up severed heads
or necklaces of ears. There were hundreds of those albums in Vietnam, thousands, he
noted wearily. The inevitable snapshot of a dead Viet Cong woman stripped naked was
inevitably accompanied by that same tired remark you heard every time . . . No more
boom-boom for that mamma-san.
Herr was sickened by what he saw and heard, but he didnt judge the grunts. He knew
what they were up against.
The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were not good guys; he observed without
surprise that they were supplied by the Soviets and the Chinese, that they were
responsible for plenty of atrocities themselves.
What unnerved American soldiers about their enemy and drove the brass purely
crazy was that he wasnt playing by their rules.
Over and over, Herr described major battles with massive casualties on both sides that
didnt so much end as stop when the North Vietnamese picked up most of their dead
and vanished into the jungle.
Command proclaimed them victories, but it was hard to feel victorious at the top
of Dak Tos Hill 875, which hundreds of Americans had died to take, where there
were exactly four Vietnamese bodies.
Of course more died, hundreds more, Herr wrote, but the corpses kicked and
counted and photographed and buried numbered four. . . . Spooky. Everything up
there was spooky . . . you were there in a place where you didnt belong.
The grunts knew it, and they didnt make their commanders mistake of
underestimating their opponents.
While a colonel in Saigon was declaring that the enemy no longer maintains in
our view capability to mount, execute or sustain a serious offensive action, out in
the countryside soldiers were looking around uneasily, saying, Charlies up to
something. Slick, slick, that fuckers so slick. Watch!
What they understood and their leaders refused to acknowledge was that battles
and victories didnt add up to anything.
They killed a lot of Communists, but that was all they did, Herr wrote of the
campaign in the Vietnamese highlands.
The number of Communist dead meant nothing, changed nothing.
Iraq is not Vietnam. The desert is not the jungle.

Its Beyond Politics, But We Ignore, And Have Ignored, Its Political
Lessons At Our Peril

The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, infuriatingly hard to pin down though
they were, were miracles of coherence compared to the rats nest of sectarian death
squads and fundamentalist splinter groups accountable to who knows who that toss
IEDs at American jeeps in the streets of Baghdad and Mosul.
What is shockingly, shamingly similar is the arrogance, criminal blindness, and willful
obfuscation that ensnared America in both places.
In 2006, no other sentence in Dispatches distressed me more than an almost
casual aside in the midst of Herrs exegesis of the bloody, maddening
uncanniness of Vietnams terrain.
There is a point of view, he wrote, that says that the United States got involved
in the Vietnam War, commitments and interests aside, simply because we thought
it would be easy.
Like all great books, Dispatches is inexhaustible. I have learned from it, changed with it,
made mistakes about it. It was never the document of national reconciliation I once
thought it was.
It was and is the timeless portrait of wars bedrock realities fear, death, murder,
madness that I was finally ready to confront in my 30s.
Its also a revelation of the beauty that unfolds in extreme circumstances, the clarity of
vision possible when everything extraneous has fallen away. Its a brazen display of
unbridled romanticism and extravagant prose.
Its a chastening exploration of our complicity in what we see from a safe distance.
Its beyond politics, but we ignore, and have ignored, its political lessons at our
peril.

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OCTOBER ANNIVERSARIES

14 Oct 1917:
The Army Joins The Revolution:
All Other Major Political Groups Lost
Credibility Because Of Their Association

With The Government And Their


Insistence On Patient Sacrifice In The
Interests Of The War Effort

Revolutionary Army: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


September 28, 2007 By PAUL DAMATO, Socialist Worker [Excerpts]
RUSSIA WAS the first and only country to achieve a socialist revolution--that is, a
society in which ordinary people had their hands on the levers of power.
For that reason alone, the capitalist rulers of the world cannot allow it to stand on its own
merits. The later degeneration of the revolution into bureaucratic, one-party totalitarian
rule must be read back into the past to prove that the revolution was doomed to fail.
This is the purpose of the hundreds of studies published by Russia experts that portray
Lenin and the Bolshevik Party as ruthless, nasty and authoritarian. The revolution, in
most accounts, did not involve the masses in determining their own destiny, but was the
work of individuals bent on exploiting mass discontent for their own purposes.
This framework serves two purposes: to elevate the role of individuals in the making of
history, and simultaneously to denigrate the role of ordinary workers, who are seen as
nave dupes.
Lenin is portrayed as a superhuman madman, bent on one-man dictatorship--and
possessing an irresistible will to power. Historian Robert Payne, for example, writes

absurdly of Lenin, His fanatical will was like a lever which attempted to throw the whole
globe into an orbit more to his liking; and because he pressed so hard on the lever, the
earth still shudders.
The reality is that the Bolshevik Party became a mass party in the course of the
revolution, winning the allegiance of the most militant workers. Far from being Lenins
cats paw, the Bolsheviks were a party alive with debate and disagreement, with different
factions fighting over the revolutions course.
Lenin was certainly the most respected leader in the party, but it was a respect earned
by his role as a theoretician and practical leader, not by hypnosis or fiat. Indeed, Lenin
often found himself in the minority and had to fight hard for his positions. Moreover, in a
number of cases, Lenins views, particularly on tactical questions, were wrong, and were
rejected or adjusted by the party.
When Lenin returned to Russia in April, his views--transfer all power to the Soviets--were
considered by other Bolsheviks to be completely out of touch and even anarchist. It took
him some weeks of hard argument to win over the party.
Lenin also had to fight tooth and nail to convince the party of the necessity of preparing
for an insurrection once the Bolsheviks had won over a majority in the Moscow and
Petrograd soviets.
On the other hand, Lenin proved to be wrong after the July Days when he argued that
the soviets were now bankrupt institutions. The party, though it officially voted to
abandon the slogan All power to the soviets, never really abandoned it at the local level
and soon restored it.
Lenin was also wrong in his views that the insurrection might begin in Moscow-Petrograd was clearly the leading revolutionary citadel in Russia--and in his insistence
that the insurrection should be organized through the Bolshevik Party, independently of
the soviets. Other leaders, such as Leon Trotsky, were able to set a better course on
these questions.
*********************************************
THE ARGUMENT that the Bolsheviks hijacked the revolution fails to take into account
that the Bolsheviks were only one political party among many competing for the support
of the Russian people.
The fact that the Bolsheviks were able to win mass support away from the Social
Revolutionaries and Mensheviks flowed not from their superior persuasive powers or
ability to command blind obedience, but because of their program.
They were the only party that demanded land to the peasants, factories to the
workers, all power to the soviets [elected workers councils] and an end to the
war.
All other major political groups, writes historian Alexander Rabinowitch, lost
credibility because of their association with the government and their insistence
on patient sacrifice in the interests of the war effort.

In short, whereas the other parties acted as a brake on the revolution, the Bolsheviks
wanted to see it through to the end.
At the same time, the party was not for some kind of minority putsch against the
Provisional Government led by Kerensky. Lenin and other party leaders worked to
restrain the movement when they felt that a premature revolt threatened the movement
as a whole with defeat.
It must be remembered that Lenins position was that the party must patiently explain
their demands and win over the majority of the working class before it could move
toward decisive action against the Provisional Government.
Lenins bold and determined leadership, as well as the Bolsheviks relative unity and
discipline compared to other political parties, were key factors in the revolutions
success.
But this unity and discipline was not bureaucratic--it was organic and political. The party
debated and voted on all key questions, and local organizations of the party possessed
a great deal of leeway to carry on their own independent initiatives.
Rabinowitch attributes much of the Bolsheviks success in transforming themselves from
a party of 25,000 on the eve of the February Revolution into a mass party capable of
leading a successful struggle for power with a membership of a quarter million to the
partys internally relatively democratic, tolerant and decentralized structure and method
of operation, as well as its essentially open and mass character.
The conspiratorial, clandestine forms of organization of the Bolsheviks that preceded the
revolutionary period were imposed by necessity on all illegal parties as a result of the
repressive conditions of Tsarism. The Bolsheviks were always prepared, when
conditions changed, to move toward open, democratic methods of organization.
This little fact is practically ignored by most historians.
The dreaded democratic centralism of the Bolshevik Party was exactly what the term
implies: the fullest and freest debate, combined with strict adherence to decisions once
made. This is what gave the party its ability to read what was happening in the
disparate sectors of struggle, generalize from that experience and offer guidance to it.
Democracy without centralism is a talk shop. Centralism without democracy creates
bureaucratism and isolates the leaders from the ranks.
As Trotsky later wrote:
How could a genuinely revolutionary organization, setting itself the task of overthrowing
the world and uniting under its banner the most audacious iconoclasts, fighters and
insurgents, live and develop without intellectual conflicts, without groups and temporary
faction formations?...
The Central Committee relied upon this seething democratic support. From this, it
derived the audacity to make decision and give orders. The obvious correctness of the

leadership at all critical stages gave it that high authority which is the priceless capital of
centralism.
Rabinowitch, in his book The Bolsheviks Come to Power, is able to demonstrate in rich
detail that within the Bolshevik Petrograd organization at all levels in 1917, there was
continuing free and lively discussion and debate over the most basic theoretical and
tactical issues, and that the party had shifting left, center and moderate tendencies
within it, right through the revolutionary period.
Leaders who differed with the majority were at liberty to fight for their views, and not
infrequently, Lenin was the loser in those struggles.
*******************************************
SURPRISING THOUGH these insights are to most bourgeois or anarchist
commentators, the Bolsheviks open and democratic character flowed from its
commitment to workers self-emancipation.
Lenins insistence on the need to build a disciplined party of revolutionaries is usually
presented as a product of his distrust of the working classs revolutionary potential-when, in fact, Lenins entire political career was based on the proposition, established in
the early years of the Russian Marxist movement, that, (t)he revolutionary movement in
Russia can triumph only as the revolutionary movement of the workers.
Nikolai Sukhanov, by no means a Bolshevik supporter in 1917, but who witnessed the
party at close quarters in the days leading up to the October Revolution, observed the
interconnectedness between the party and the working class:
The Bolsheviks were working stubbornly and without letup. They were among the
masses, at the factory benches, every day without a pause. Tens of speakers, big and
little, were speaking in Petersburg, at the factories and in the barracks, every blessed
day.
For the masses, they had become their own people, because they were always there,
taking the lead in details as well as in the most important affairs of the factory or
barracks. They had become the sole hope...The mass lived and breathed together with
the Bolsheviks.
What Sukhanov seemed not to understand is that the Bolsheviks themselves were
workers--leaders on the ground in the day-to-day struggle.
They did not parachute in from somewhere else; they were already there.
As early as June, for example, Bolshevik delegates dominated the conferences of the
factory committees. The Bolshevik vanguard was not an isolated elite, but organized
working-class militants tempered by shared experience and shared politics, developed
through interaction with their fellow workers.
One lesson of the Russian Revolution is that workers can take over the running of
society; revolutions can win. Of course, the lesson of many failed workers revolutions

(1905 in Russia or 1919-23 in Germany, for example) is that such victories are by no
means guaranteed.
Another, equally important lesson is that such a revolution can only win, as it did in
Russia, if the working class organizes its own revolutionary party to guide its path to
power.

October 14, 1943:


Heroic Uprising Against Nazis At The
Sobibor Death Camp

A group portrait of some of the participants in the uprising at the Sobibor extermination
camp. Poland, August 1944.
Carl Bunin Peace history October 8-14
US Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Sobered by both the sense that killing operations in the facility were winding
down and information that Belzec had been dismantled and all surviving prisoners
liquidated, prisoners at Sobibor organized a resistance group in the late spring of
1943.
After considering several options for escape and augmented in numbers and military
training skills by the arrival of a number of former Soviet-Jewish prisoners of war from
the Minsk ghetto in late September, the prisoners opted for an uprising, following the
liquidation of key German camp officials.
On October 14, 1943, with approximately 600 prisoners left in the camp, those who
knew the plan for the uprising initiated the operation. The prisoners succeeded in killing
nearly a dozen German personnel and Trawniki-trained guards.
Around 300 prisoners succeeded in breaking out of the killing center that day; around
100 were caught in the dragnet that following and more than half of the remaining
survivors did not live to see the end of the war.

After the revolt, the Germans and the Trawniki-trained guards dismantled the killing
center and shot the Jewish prisoners who had not escaped during the uprising.
Pursuant to discussions in the SS hierarchy in the summer of 1943, the Germans had
intended to transform the facility first into a holding pen for women and children deported
west from occupied Belarus after their fathers and husbands had been murdered in socalled anti-partisan operations, and later, into an ammunition supply depot.
Although there is no information that new prisoners ever arrived in Sobibor after the
murder of remaining Jewish prisoners in November 1943, a small Trawniki-trained guard
detachment remained at the former killing center through at least the end of March 1944.
Though Sobibors six gas chambers could exterminate 1200 people at a time, it was the
smallest of the death camps.

October 16, 1859:


The Second American Revolution
Begins;
The Crimes Of This Guilty Land Will
Never Be Purged Away But With Blood

Mural by John Steuart Curry (1937-1942)

John Brown 1856


Carl Bunin Peace History October 15-21 & Wikipedia.org [Excerpts]
Abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 other men, five black and sixteen white, in a
raid on the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
They had hoped to set off a slave revolt, throughout the south, with the weapons they
had planned to seize. Virtually all his compatriots were killed or captured by Gen. Robert
E. Lees troops; Brown was wounded and arrested, and hanged for treason within two
months.
Before hearing his sentence, Brown was allowed make an address to the court.
. . . I believe to have interfered as I have done, . . . in behalf of His despised poor,
was not wrong, but right. Now, if it be deemed necessary that I should forfeit my
life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the
blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose
rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it
be done.
Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly
proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the
witnesses who have testified in this case), -- had I so interfered in behalf of the
rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their
friends -- either father, mother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class -- and
suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all
right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward
rather than punishment.
Although initially shocked by Browns exploits, many Northerners began to speak
favorably of the militant abolitionist.

He did not recognize unjust human laws, but resisted them as he was bid. . . ., said
Henry David Thoreau in an address to the citizens of Concord, Massachusetts. No man
in America has ever stood up so persistently and effectively for the dignity of human
nature. . . .
John Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859.
On the day of his death he wrote: I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the
crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.

October 17, 1898:


Shameful Anniversary:
The American Empire Destroys Puerto
Rican Independence

Carl Bunin Peace History October 15-21


One year after Spain granted Puerto Rican self-rule following their rout in the SpanishAmerican War, troops raised the U.S. flag over the Caribbean island nation, formalizing
American authority over the islands one million inhabitants.

CLASS WAR REPORTS

Bosnia Rising

The Protests In Tuzla Sparked The


Biggest Demonstrations In Years,
With Demonstrators Setting
Government Buildings On Fire
Vanessa Redgrave Premieres Bosnia
Protest Film
06 Oct 14 Balkan Insight
Sarajevo
Bosnia Rising, a documentary about the events that led to the demonstrations
across Bosnia and Herzegovina in February this year, was premiered in Sarajevo
on Friday.
The 30-minute film focuses on the fight to save the Dita detergent factory, in the northern
Bosnian town of Tuzla, that went bust after a failed privatisation which saw it sold to a
local tycoon.
Discontent about botched privatisations, corruption and poverty were among the triggers
for the protests earlier this year which began in Tuzla and spread across the country.
Redgrave, known for her activism for labour rights as well as her acting career, said that
the issues captured in the film dont only affect Bosnia, but trouble the entire world.
It is an example of workers who suffered through privatizations that have wrecked and
destroyed the economy, the European one, Redgrave said in comments reported by
Reuters news agency.
Social justice is something people everywhere are crying for and rallying, she said.
She also said that she intended to raise money to hire lawyers to help the Dita workers.
In February this year, more than 10,000 people who worked at the Dita detergent
factory, and several other factories in Tuzla, which was once known as the centre of the
metals and chemicals industries in Yugoslavia, gathered in front of the local government
building to protest.
The companies where they worked, former business giants, were weakened or ruined in
the privatisation process in the early 2000s like many other Bosnian state firms.
Workers demanded the reassessment of the privatisation process or the initiation of
bankruptcy procedures so that they either receive years of unpaid salaries or be allowed
to go back to work.

The protests in Tuzla sparked the biggest demonstrations across the country in
years, with demonstrators in several towns setting government buildings on fire.

DANGER: CAPITALISTS AT WORK

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

Zionists Destroy Dairy Farm In


Occupied West Bank That Funded
Program For Orphans:
The Dairy Factory, Which Housed
150 Cows And Produced Six Tones
Of Milk Products, Such As Yogurt
And Cheese, Had Run For 24 Years

The Future Is Dark For The Orphans In


Hebron

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM
October 02, 2014 By International Solidarity Movement & September 02, 2014
International Middle East Media Center
Yesterday, 300 orphans staged a protest following the demolition of Al-Rayyan Dairy
Factory, north of Hebron, which occurred in the early hours of 1st September 2014.

The future of the children remains unclear as the two orphanages they live in, the
Hebron Charity House for Girls and The Hebron Charity House for Boys, are
dependent on the profits made by the dairy factory.
Both the orphanages and the dairy factory are owned by the Islamic Charitable Society.
The dairy factory, which housed 150 cows and produced six tons of milk products, such
as yogurt and cheese, had run for 24 years, ever since the Islamic Charitable Society
received funding from the Kuwait government in 1991 to set up the factory.
The purpose was for the Societys orphanages and schools to have their own
source of regular income, rather than relying on donations. The dairy products
were distributed to Hebron and the surrounding villages.
The Israeli government, since 2002, has targeted the dairy factory.
The first demolition order was based on concerns about environmental regulations,
saying that the waste produced by cows was not dealt with suitably. Despite solving this
problem, the dairy farm continuously fell under threat by the Israeli military, especially
since it was located in Area C, the area of the West Bank completely under Israeli
military control.
Claims were also made by the Israeli Council for Planning that parts of the farm
were illegally built; however, Abed Al-kareen Farrah, one of the lawyers working
with the Islamic Charitable Society, confirmed that the farm received approval
from the Israel Antiquities Authority for a license to build.
He said, The farm has been under fire for years with a lot of administrative issues, and
Israel constantly put pressure on it to close.
In June 2014, the dairy farm received a second demolition order, accusing the
Islamic Charitable Society of having affiliation with Hamas because one of the
dairy farms workers had been an administrative detainee for the past twenty
months.
The Chair of the Islamic Charitable Societys Board of Directors, Hatim al-Bakri, stated
that the society is not funding Gaza. On the 3rd of July 2014, Israeli forces confiscated
all of the farms machinery before demolishing the entire farm a few days ago.
Hatim al-Bakri added that the farm would be impossible to rebuild, not only because it
would cost two million dollars to do so, but also because of the heavy resistance they
would face from the Israeli forces. Anything built on that plot of land would risk being
demolished again and again.
The future is dark for the orphans in Hebron, he says. I dont know how we will be
able to continue to fund the orphanages, or the seven schools the Islamic Charitable
Society runs in and around Hebron. This question should be asked to the occupation.
The demolition of the dairy farm is yet another example of how collective punishment
affects hundreds of Palestinian people every day.

Not only does the entire workforce of the farm have to lose their jobs because of
one administrative detainee working there, but children, far removed from the
workings of the farm, will also suffer the consequences.
Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri, head of the administrative board of the Islamic Charitable
Society, said What is happening is an attack on the orphans themselves: several
months ago, the army confiscated various machines with an estimated monetary value
of $2 million, al-Bakri told the Maan News Agency. This factory is essential for the
services, and charitable aid we provide.
However, the children, the orphans, are the ones who pay the price for Israels assaults
and allegations, Boulos stated.
The Charitable Society decided to open this factory in order to fund services it provides
to the orphans, especially with the rising costs amidst the tough conditions in the
Palestinian territories, under Israels illegitimate occupation.

Unconquered Ever

A Palestinian boy throws stones at an armored wheel loader of the Israeli Defense
Forces (IDF) during clashes following a protest against the Zionist settlement of
Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus October 17, 2014.
(REUTERS/Abed Omar)
To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded
by foreign terrorists, go to:
http://www.maannews.net/eng/Default.aspx and
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/list.php?id=ej898ra7yff0ukmf16
The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves Israeli.

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

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