Subject: ON THE DIALECTICS OF WAR AND MILITARY REPRESSION: FROM THE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS,
25 February 2006
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The documentary film which our research center tried to screen last Tuesday evening (21 February) was sabotaged by a false alarm fire drill in the building. The concierge was seen running from his office located next to the main entrance of the building two minutes before the false alarm went off. In Amphitheater 2, at precisely 19h, the projector was shut down; all the lights came on, and a loud voice (possibly that of the concierge) kept repeating "EVACUATE THE BUILDING NOW!" Fifty of us in the room agreed, before we filed out of the Amphitheater, to meet outside, at the front of the building. I locked the Amphitheater door behind me and spoke to some cleaning women in the lobby before joining the students outside. We had been able to see Part I and most of Part II of the documentary film, "The Un-Americans", and we agreed to postpone the screening of Part III for another day, instead of waiting in the dark for the false alarm to finish. The students left for supper, and I returned to the Amphitheater to retrieve my video tape where the voice over the loud speaker continued to blast the command : EVACUATE!
I had trouble retrieving my tape until suddenly I heard a click. The machine was turned on, my tape was released, and the loud voice ceased at that same moment. I left the room, locking the door behind me, once again, and exited the main entrance. As I walked toward my bicycle in the dark, I saw the concierge returning to his office.
It was Victor Serge, I believe, who observed around 1917, "War is the midwife of Revolution." If this be true, we seem to be heading for some revolutionary days ahead, as the permanent war economy in the
My own historical research on the impressive anti-war movement in
The five items below were recently received by our research center, and speak to the "unforeseen" consequences of another war, the slaughter we are today witnessing in the
Item A. are two website links from Peace Activists working in the state of Colorado, who have made a major contribution toward breaking the silence and media collaboration which serve to protect George W. Bush and his "business as usual" doctrine.
Item B. are again two website links, this time from The National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence, which describe the effects this War is having on groups of American women.
Item C. is an article by investigative reporter Marjorie Cohn discussing the censored cause of deaths of American women soldiers".
Item D. is a press release from late January announcing the approaching trial of dissidents who were arrested while protesting the "International School of Torture" at
And finally, item E. is an article from Dahr Jamail, analyzing the political context of the February 22nd bombing of the Shia Mosque at
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
from " Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace" :
October 2005 - February 2006
from The National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence :
Women in the Military
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
"It's mind-boggling," said Henry Berry, manager of family advocacy programs at
Base officials said that before the recent rash of killings, there had been no deaths attributable to domestic abuse by
The string of deaths started June 11 when Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves fatally shot his wife, Teresa, and then killed himself in their
On July 1, Master Sgt. William Wright reported that his wife, Jennifer, was missing. On July 19, he led investigators to her body, buried in a shallow grave in a field near
Sergeant Wright, who had been back from Afghanistan for about a month, had moved out of the family's house and was living in the barracks.
His mother-in-law, Wilma Watson, said from her home in
On the same day Sergeant Wright was arrested, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Floyd shot his wife, Andrea, and himself in their Stedman home.
In the fourth case, Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin was charged with stabbing his estranged wife, Marilyn, on July 9. He was in an engineering battalion.
from Truthout :
30 January 2006
Military Hides Cause of Women Soldiers'
By Marjorie Cohn
startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior
Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.
The latrine for female soldiers at
Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or
"And rather than make everybody aware of that - because that's shocking, and as a leader if that's not shocking to you then you're not much of a leader - what they told the surgeon to do is don't brief those details anymore. And don't say specifically that they're women. You can provide that in a written report but don't brief it in the open anymore."
For example, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, Sanchez's top deputy in
Sanchez's attitude was: "The women asked to be here, so now let them take what comes with the territory," Karpinski quoted him as saying. Karpinski told me that Sanchez, who was her boss, was very sensitive to the political ramifications of everything he did. She thinks it likely that when the information about the cause of these women's deaths was passed to the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld ordered that the details not be released. "That's how Rumsfeld works," she said.
"It was out of control," Karpinski told a group of students at
"There were countless such situations all over the theater of operations -
Karpinski was the highest officer reprimanded for the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, although the details of interrogations were carefully hidden from her. Demoted from Brigadier General to Colonel, Karpinski feels she was chosen as a scapegoat because she was a female.
Sexual assault in the US military has become a hot topic in the last few years, "not just because of the high number of rapes and other assaults, but also because of the tendency to cover up assaults and to harass or retaliate against women who report assaults," according to Kathy Gilberd, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild's Military Law Task Force.
This problem has become so acute that the Army has set up its own sexual assault web site.
In February 2004, Rumsfeld directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to undertake a 90-day review of sexual assault policies. "Sexual assault will not be tolerated in the Department of Defense," Rumsfeld declared.
The 99-page report was issued in April 2004. It affirmed, "The chain of command is responsible for ensuring that policies and practices regarding crime prevention and security are in place for the safety of service members." The rates of reported alleged sexual assault were 69.1 and 70.0 per 100,000 uniformed service members in 2002 and 2003. Yet those rates were not directly comparable to rates reported by the Department of Justice, due to substantial differences in the definition of sexual assault.
Notably, the report found that low sociocultural power (i.e., age, education, race/ethnicity, marital status) and low organizational power (i.e., pay grade and years of active duty service) were associated with an increased likelihood of both sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The Department of Defense announced a new policy on sexual assault prevention and response on January 3, 2005. It was a reaction to media reports and public outrage about sexual assaults against women in the
The policy is a series of very brief "directive-type memoranda" for the Secretaries of the military services from the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. "Overall, the policy emphasizes that sexual assault harms military readiness, that education about sexual assault policy needs to be increased and repeated, and that improvements in response to sexual assaults are necessary to make victims more willing to report assaults," Gilberd notes. "Unfortunately," she added "analysis of the issues is shallow, and the plans for addressing them are limited."
Commands can reject the complaints if they decide they aren't credible, and there is limited protection against retaliation against the women who come forward, according to Gilberd. "People who report assaults still face command disbelief, illegal efforts to protect the assaulters, informal harassment from assaulters, their friends or the command itself," she said.
But most shameful is Sanchez's cover-up of the dehydration deaths of women that occurred in
Sanchez reportedly plans to retire soon, according to an article in the International Herald Tribune earlier this month. But Rumsfeld recently considered elevating the 3-star general to a 4-star. The Tribune also reported that Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, the Army's chief spokesman, said in an email message, "The Army leaders do have confidence in LTG Sanchez."
27 January 2006
Trials Begin in
The 34 were among 19,000 who gathered on November 18-20 outside the gates of
"People speaking out for justice and accountability will most likely be sent to prison next week," said Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch, "while the SOA and its graduates continue to operate outside a system of real accountability."
Those arrested at the demonstration -
The SOA/WHINSEC made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place. New research confirms that the school continues to support known human rights abusers. Despite having been investigated by the United Nations for ordering the shooting of 16 indigenous peasants in El
The defendants are scheduled to begin trial at 9 am on Monday morning before Judge G. Mallon Faircloth, known for handing down stiff sentences to opponents of the SOA/WHINSEC. Since protests against the SOA/WHINSEC began more than a decade ago, 183 people have served a total of over 81 years in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broad-based campaign to close the school.
The movement to close the SOA/WHINSEC continues to grow. In 2005, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced HR
from Dahr Jamail
February 24, 2006
The most important question to ask regarding the bombings
of the Golden Mosque in
Prior to asking this question, let us note the timing of the bombing. The last weeks in
First, the negative publicity of the video of British soldiers beating and abusing young Iraqis has generated a backlash for British occupation forces theyve yet to face in
Indicative of this, Abdul Jabbar Waheed, the head of the Misan provincial council in southern Iraq, announced his councils decision to lift the immunity British forces have enjoyed, so that the soldiers who beat the young Iraqis can be tried in Iraqi courts. Former
This deeply meaningful event, if replicated around
The other huge event which drew Iraqis into greater solidarity with one another was more photos and video aired depicting atrocities within Abu Ghraib at the hands of
The inherent desecration of Islam and shaming of the Iraqi people shown in these images enrages all Iraqis.
In a recent press conference, the aforementioned Waheed urged the Brits to allow members of the provincial committee to visit a local jail to check on detainees; perhaps Waheed is alarmed as to what their condition may be after seeing more photos and videos from Abu Ghraib.
Waheed also warned British forces that if they didnt not comply with the demands of the council, all British political, security and
reconstruction initiatives will be boycotted.
Basra province has already taken similar steps, and similar machinations are occurring in Kerbala.
Basra and Misan provinces, for example, refused to raise the cost of petrol when the puppet government in Baghdad, following orders from the IMF, decided to recently raise the cost of Iraqi petrol at the pumps several times last December.
The horrific attack which destroyed much of the Golden Mosque generated sectarian outrage which led to attacks on over 50 Sunni mosques. Many Sunni mosques in
This is what was shown by western corporate media.
As quickly as these horrible events began, they were called to an end and replaced by acts of solidarity between Sunni and Shia across
This, however, was not shown by western corporate media.
The Sunnis where the first to go to demonstrations of solidarity with Shia in
Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunni and Shia went off over all of
Thousands of Shia marched shouting anti-American slogans through
Baghdad had huge demonstrations of solidarity, following announcements by several Shia religious leaders not to attack Sunni mosques.
Attacks stopped after these announcements, coupled with those from Sadr, which
Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, shortly after the Golden Mosque was attacked, called for easing things down and not attacking any Sunni mosques and shrines, as Sunni religious authorities called for a truce and invited everyone to block the way of those trying to generate a sectarian war.
Sistanis office issued this statement: We call upon believers to express their protest ... through peaceful means. The extent of their sorrow and shock should not drag them into taking actions that serve the enemies who have been working to lead
Shiite religious authority Ayatollah Hussein Ismail al-Sadr warned of the emergence of a sectarian strife that terrorists want to ignite
between the Iraqis by the bombings and said, The Iraqi Shiite authority strenuously denied that Sunnis could have done this work.
He also said, Of course it is not Sunnis who did this work; it is the terrorists who are the enemies of the Shiites and Sunni, Muslims and non Muslims. They are the enemies of all religions; terrorism does not have a religion.
He warned against touching any Sunni Mosque, saying, our Sunni brothers mosques must be protected and we must all stand against terrorism and sabotage. He added: The two shrines are located in the
He ruled out the possibility of a civil war while telling a reporter, I dont believe there will a civil or religious war in Iraq; thank God
that our Sunni and Shiite references are urging everyone to not respond to these terrorist and sabotage acts. We are aware of their attempts as are our people; Sistani had issued many statements [regarding this issue] just as we did.
The other, and more prominent Sadr, Muqtada Al-Sadr, who has already lead two uprisings against occupation forces, held Takfiris [those who regard other Muslims as infidels], Bathists, and especially the foreign occupation responsible for the bombing attack on the Golden Mosque in
Sadr, who suspended his visit to Lebanon and cancelled his meeting with the president there, promptly returned to
It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, Gods peace be upon him, but rather the occupation [forces] and BaathistsGod damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I ordered Al-Mahdi Army to protect the Shii and Sunni shrines.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of
Instead, he blamed the intelligence services of the
British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that those who committed the attack on the Golden Mosque have only one motive: to create a violent sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites in order to derail the Iraqi rising democracy from its path.
Well said Mr. Blair, particularly when we keep in mind the fact that less than a year ago in
Jailed and accused by Muqtada al-Sadr and others of attempting to generate sectarian conflict by planting bombs in mosques, they were broken out of the Iraqi jail by the British military before they could be tried.
Al-Arabiya TV reports that on February 22rd, the day of the bombing at
the Golden Mosque in
Al-Arabiya Television has lost its correspondent in
with two other colleagues. Atwar gave the last live dispatch to
Al-Arabiya Television at 1500 gmt yesterday. Atwar disappeared after
that. The Iraqi Police today confirmed that she and two other colleagues
were assassinated in
attack on the shrine of the two Shi'i imams, Ali al-Hadi and Al-Hasan
al-Askari, north of
Also, on February 21st:
KARBALA GOVERNOR SUSPENDS MEETING WITH AMERICANS
(Asharq al-Awsat) Karbala governor Akeel al-Khazali announced on
February 20 that he will suspend all official contact with the Americans
to protest the improper behavior of the US officials who visited the
province last week. They did not show any respect to the province's
local security and prevented high-ranking Iraqi officials from entering
the (governor's office,) which frustrated them. He insisted that the
Americans should officially apologize for the uncivilized behavior
(including bringing dogs into the building) and that they should never
act that way again. If not, the governor said he would prevent them from
entering the office without prior approval from the Iraqi authorities.
(London-based Asharq al-Awsat, a pro-Saudi independent paper, is issued
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research