Bulletin N° 252

Subject :

8 August 2006
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Voltaire's famous satire on the 17th-century philosophy of Leibniz serves as a reminder of the almost unspeakable absurdities of Neoliberalism, as a economic philosophy for the market, the main function of which necessarily remains, as always, to produce and distribute essential goods and services for society.

Despite the bumper-sticker aphorisms of Margaret "What Society?" Thatcher, it is today a widely accepted economic fact of life that capital investments in the means of destruction are more profitable, than many other kinds of investments. "The production of destruction," from this vantage point, is also a good way out of recessions. This is not a new idea, and we have discussed the Kondratieff Wave before in past Bulletins. [See CEIMSA Bulletin N° 228.] It would appear that no one has put this theory into more efficient practice than that august body of international shareholders known as The Carlyle Group.

Meanwhile, the imperialist wars in the Middle East continue to create a global social class consciousness which might ultimately threaten the Masters of War and their entire economic philosophy, if not the entire capitalist system of private ownership over public well being. Anyhow, the fissures at this moment in history are more visible than usual.

Below, the short Podcast, "Cease Fire Now!" has been dedicated to those children who have lost their lives because the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel have successfully blocked a cease fire resolution. The immediate result of this action, by these three military states, is a continuation of the murder of civilians in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

7 Minute Video
- Warning -
This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

In this context, we invite readers to examine the 7 articles below in order to gain a better appreciation of our "best of all possible worlds".

Item A. is an article by Ana Radelat on the growing number of U.S. troops who won't fight in Iraq, "The American Deserters".
Item B. is a collection of war photos by Dahr Jamail.
Item C. is an editorial by Nouvelle Obs. editor, Jean Daniel, on Israel in a "Trap," sent to us by Dr. Elisabeth Chamorand.
Item D. is an article by Yale University Professor Immanuel Wallerstein, who is investigating the question, "What can Israel achieve?"
Item E. is an investigative report on the history of Vietnam war crimes, by Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson.   
Item F. is another video on the inhumanity of war from Lebanon, sent to us by Chambéry graduate student, Zineb Belarif.
And, finally, item G., sent to by NYU Professor of Politics Bertell Ollman, is a piece of contemporary satire, "Ballad of the Self-Hating Jew."

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal
Grenoble, France

from Ana Radelat  :
5 August 2006
Gannett News Service

40,000 US Troops Have Deserted Since 2000

Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted. Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted. "They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they’re lying now," said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq.
Thousands of Troops Say They Won’t Fight
  by Ana Radelat
    Swept up by a wave of patriotism after the US invasion of Iraq, Chris Magaoay joined the Marine Corps in November 2004.

    The newly married Magaoay thought a military career would allow him to continue his college education, help his country and set his life on the right path.

    Less than two years later, Magaoay became one of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    "It wasn’t something I did on the spur of the moment," said Magaoay, a native of Maui, Hawaii. "It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal."

    Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay.

    "We’re like a tight-knit family," Magaoay said.

    The Pentagon says deserters like Magaoay represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s fighting forces.

    "The vast majority of soldiers who desert do so for personal, family or financial problems, not for political or conscientious objector purposes," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army.

    Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanistan.

    Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted.

    "They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they’re lying now," said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq.

    Watada is under military custody in Fort Lewis, Wash., because he refused to join his Stryker brigade when it was sent to Iraq last month.

    Watada said he doesn’t object to war but considers the conflict in Iraq illegal. The Army has turned down his request to resign and plans to file charges against him.

    Critics of the Iraq war have demonstrated on the lieutenant’s behalf. Conservative bloggers call him a traitor and opportunist.

    Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said deserters aren’t traitors because they’ve done nothing to help America’s enemies. But he rejects arguments that deserters have a moral right to refuse to fight wars they consider unjust.

    "None of us can choose our wars. They’re always a political decision," Davis said. "They’re letting their buddies down and hurting morale - and morale is everything on the battlefront."

    Because today’s military is an all-volunteer force, troops seeking objector status must convince superior officers they’ve had an honest change of heart about the morality of war.

    The last time the US military executed a deserter was World War II. But hundreds face court-martials and imprisonment every year.

    Members of the armed forces are considered absent without leave when they are unaccounted for. They become deserters after they’ve been AWOL for 30 days.

    A 2002 Army report says desertion is fairly constant but tends to worsen during wartime, when there’s an increased need for troops and enlistment standards are more lax.

   They also say deserters tend to be less educated and more likely to have engaged in delinquent behavior than other troops.

    Army spokesman Hilferty said the Army doesn’t try to find deserters. Instead, their names are given to civilian law enforcement officers who often nab them during routine traffic stops and turn them over to the military.

    Commanders then decide whether to rehabilitate or court-martial the alleged deserter. There’s an incentive to rehabilitate because it costs the military an average of $38,000 to recruit and train a replacement.

    Jeffry House, an attorney in Toronto who represents Magaoay and other deserters, said there are about 200 deserters living in Canada. They have decided not to seek refugee status but instead are leading clandestine lives, he said.

    Like many of the people helping today’s war resisters, House fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. About 50,000 Americans sought legal residency in Canada during the Vietnam era.

    "You would apply at the border and if you didn’t have a criminal record, you were in," House said.

    He said changes in Canadian law make it harder for resisters to flee north. Now, potential immigrants must apply for Canadian residency in their home countries. Resisters say that exposes them to US prosecution.

from Dahr Jamail :
5 August 2006

I have taken many Images from Lebanon, many photographs of different aspects of the conflict.

Israeli Air Strikes Targeting Lebanese Red Cross :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Lebanon_Red_Cross_Ambulance_Target_Israel_Air_Strike >

Scenes from Shelter in Qana where on July 30, Israeli air strikes killed over 60 civilians, 37 of whom were children, as they slept in a shelter :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Qana_Massacre_Israeli_Air_Strike >

Views of villages and roads in southern Lebanon which have been hit by Israeli air strikes. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Lebanon_Israel_War_South_Air_Strikes >

Targets destroyed by Israeli air strikes in Sidon, and on highway between Sidon and Beirut. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Israel_Lebanon_Bomb_Destruction >

Wounded Lebanese civilians, many in critical condition, crowd hospitals in Sidon. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Lebanon_Israel_War_Civilians >

Israeli air strikes destroyed 5 of 6 oil storage tanks at electrical plant in El-Jiye, leaving much of Lebanon's coast covered in oil,
including the ancient harbor at Byblos :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Lebanon_Israel_War_Oil >

Images of destruction south of Beirut, as well as inside Beirut, from Israeli air raids. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Lebanon_Israel_War >

As Israeli air strikes continue, wounded Lebanese arrive at hospitals in Beirut. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=pictures_photos_lebanese_civilian_casualties >

Israeli bombings of oil storage tanks near the coast, along with an Hezbollah attack against an Israeli warship have left Beirut's beaches covered in oil :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=oil_on_lebanon_beaches_beruit >

Approximately 75% of southern Beirut has been damaged or destroyed by a massive Israeli air assault. July, 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album46 >

Lebanese refugees from southern Beirut and southern Lebanon, fleeing Israeli bombs, now living in Parks in central Beirut.,
July 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album45 >

Refugees from Lebanon clog the northern border with Syria, as they flee for their lives from indiscriminate Israeli bombing
of their country, July 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album44 >

As Israel invades Lebanon, tens of thousands of people jam the border with Syria to escape the bloodshed in July 2006 :
< http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album43 >

from Elisabeth Chamorand :
3 August 2006
Le Nouvel Observateur

I have just sent you an article by Jean Daniel; I don't agree with
everything he says, but I think he is right when he says it is necessary to
solve the problem of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I also think the

Israel in Iran's Trap
  by Jean Daniel

    Rightly taking no comfort from Israel's decision to bomb all of Lebanon - without avoiding civilian massacre - some people assert that the Israelis, alas, couldn't do anything else. My answer: what they could do specifically, they've just decided to do, but too late - to suspend, at least provisionally, the bombing.
    Let us imagine that, after the kidnapping of the two soldiers by Hezbollah, the Israelis had proceeded to a riposte that almost no one, even among the Arabs, would have contested their right to conduct. Suppose that they had executed that riposte in a single day, or two at most, and in an overwhelming manner. That they had returned afterwards to global public opinion, NATO, the European Union, the Security Council, and they had spoken thus: "It's been years that none of you has succeeded in carrying out Resolution 1559, intended to disarm the Hezbollah militia. You can all wait. But after Hezbollah's aggression, we can't. And we are forced to impose what you delay doing." This Israeli warning in the form of a security ultimatum necessarily would have had to be taken seriously. In any case, the world would have felt itself indebted to a state that had not passed directly from the status of attacked party to attacker.
    Why do all these speculations become so foolish when they are mentioned today? First of all, because the Israelis never count on anyone but themselves, and they were persuaded they would be able to achieve their objectives rapidly. Then, because they had no desire to delay an operation that had long been premeditated, with the United States' support and surety.
    When did evidence of this collusion appear? The day when George Bush contented himself with saying the Israelis had a right to defend themselves without adding the least qualification, while he knew - he did, not we - that the issue for Israel was not responding to a provocation, but proceeding to an "eradication," that would bring invasion and occupation in its wake.

    Also, on the day when, at the Rome Conference, Condoleezza Rice obtained the replacement of an injunction for an immediate cease-fire with the simple wish for an urgent solution. Finally, on the day when, at the Security Council, it became clear that the United States wanted to prolong the discussions and water down the resolutions to give the Israelis time to finish with Lebanon and Hezbollah. Each time, we understood that the conflict would be prolonged - dramatically for everyone - if Hezbollah's resistance were to present the same surprises as the Iraqis' and the Afghans'. In any case, a series of spectacular rallies to Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the new charismatic figure between Nasser and Bin Laden, was not expected.
    In fact, for the first three days following the beginning of the Israeli riposte, the Arab states didn't budge, except for Algeria and Syria. More: the Sunni allies (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt) went so far as to denounce "Hezbollah's irresponsible adventurism."
    Several days later, with "eradication" in Lebanon being transformed into disasters and the razing of cities, Hezbollah's epic resistance against the IDF has become so irresistibly contagious that, under the enormous pressure of Arab public opinion, the religious authorities first of all, then the political ones (even in Riyadh!) condemned Israel and declared themselves in solidarity with the Lebanese "people," Hezbollah having suddenly become the sole expression of the people. Even better, Bin Laden's right hand, the Sunni Ayman al-Zawahiri, who supports a civil war against the Shiites in Iraq, did not hesitate to rally to an ideological and emotional mobilization suddenly become powerful enough to transform all who do not adhere to it into traitors.
    Since then, the entire Muslim world has tilted toward Hezbollah, which, after preening itself (a little quickly) on having kicked the Israelis out of the Lebanese fatherland in 2000, today reveals itself capable of resisting one of the best armies in the world so effectively and so long.
    Thus, having failed to conquer quickly enough or to stop when they should have, the Israelis have transformed their enemies into heroes. Israel's victims, even yesterday so divided, have united in their mourning and their revolt. We now know that with nationalist and mystic hysteria in place, when Hezbollah fighters fall, others will replace them and the "eradicatory" ambition is confounded. For these heroes have muscled in, in the name of a new Islam on the move, that of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and thanks to the tutelage of a very great power, Iran, which thus marks its return to the international scene. With the risk that the Iranians endow themselves with the atomic bomb and allow their allies to benefit from it.
    What is most extraordinary in this story is that the Israelis, although the best informed in their region, should have made the same error in Lebanon as the Americans in Iraq: underestimating the terrorist tactics of their adversaries and planning to replace a bad government with men to their liking, thanks to handy opponents.

    Especially, especially, like the Americans at the time of the war in Iraq, they didn't bother with the Lebanese because they thought that they, out of fear of Hezbollah and respect for strength, would want only to unite with a victorious Israel.
    Some Israelis fear today, rightly, that Hezbollah will appear to emerge victorious from no matter what international arrangement. You would have to be blind, in fact, not to recognize that a certain Hezbollah victory is already gained and that the threat today is the tipping over of the entire moderate Arab world: the Sunni rallying to the Shiite Hezbollah fight heralds the promotion of its Iranian sponsor to the status of a great regional power.
    There are strategists with an international vision in Washington. The radical Islamism born with Khomeini's revolution in 1979 and with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan took on a tragic dimension during the 1980-1990 Algerian civil war. But at that time, no one thought any more about the Palestinian conflict that remained a wound in the heart of every Arab.
    As though Israel's military victories had brought the humiliation inflicted on the entire Arab world by the British, French, and other colonizers to a paroxysm. Maxime Rodinson has explained what comprises the "Arab rejection" of Israel's existence very well.
    This wound was beginning to be put into perspective, in any case, was beginning to calm down, if not to heal, when impotent Arabism ceded its place to Islamism on the move. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stroke of genius - if one may say so - was to awaken the Palestinian wound, prancing into one-upsmanship and declaring that "Israel must be erased from the map." To do that, he devoted himself to the triple objective of defying the Americans by endowing himself with nuclear weaponry, attempting to establish Shiite Muslim hegemony over the Arab world, and creating permanent hotbeds of insurrection between Palestine's allies and Israel's allies.
    Hezbollah is probably the insurrectionary hotbed most precious to Iran. Israel presumed on its strength by imagining it could rapidly finish with Hezbollah, and it has dramatically fallen into Iran's trap.
    Jacques Chirac, by recalling that the nation of Iran was the heir to a "great civilization" and that it had a right to intervene in the affairs of the region and the world, not only demonstrated that he understood the stakes, but proceeded to a true overture: in fact, an appeal for dialogue covering all the region's problems.
    With things brought to this pass, even the most autistic Americans, fearing all the same to add a third Lebanese front to Iraq and Afghanistan, should understand that it is time to persuade Israel to an immediate cease-fire. That said, the Israelis obviously have a perfect right to demand every guarantee to assure their security. Notably by demanding the installation of a true international force of interposition on a security zone situated in Lebanese territory, but perhaps also in Israel. The "eradication" will not take place as young Israelis full of illusions and vengeful buoyancy and also ready to die for their country's victory hoped. Nonetheless, Hezbollah's firepower and capacity to harm will have been moderately well weakened.

    That said, through all the analyses and declarations, it seems that everyone, everywhere, understands that without a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, everything will quickly start over again as before. With this difference - that, from now on, millions of Muslims and Arabs feel themselves directly involved. And that Zionism, born in part to flee European anti-Semitism, will have resuscitated anti-Semitism with a face no longer Christian, but Muslim. I hope it will take less than two thousand years for it to disappear.
Jean Daniel is co-founder and Director of the Nouvel Observateur.

from Immanuel Wallerstein :
6 August 2006

What Can Israel Achieve?

by Immanuel Wallerstein

The State of Israel was established in 1948. Ever since, there has been continuous violence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and between Israel and its neighbors. Sometimes, the violence was low-level and even latent. And every once in a while, the violence escalated into open warfare, as now. Whenever full- scale violence broke out, there was an immediate debate about what started it, as though that mattered. We are now in the midst of warfare between Israel and Palestine in Gaza and between Israel and Lebanon. And the world is engaged in its usual futile debate about how to reduce the open state of warfare to low-level violence.

Every Israeli government has wished to create a situation in which the world and Israel's neighbors recognize its existence as a state and intergroup/interstate violence ceases. Israel has never been able to achieve this. When the level of violence is relatively low, the Israeli public is split about what strategy to pursue. But when it escalates into warfare, the Jewish Israelis and world Jewry tend to rally around the government.

In reality, Israel's basic strategy since 1948 has been to rely on two things in the pursuit of its objectives: a strong military, and strong outside Western support. So far this strategy has worked in one sense: Israel still survives. The question is how much longer this strategy will in fact continue to work.

The source of outside support has shifted over time. We forget completely that in 1948 the crucial military support for Israel came from the Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites. When the Soviet Union pulled back, it was France that came to fill the role. France was engaged in a revolution in Algeria, and it saw Israel as a crucial element in defeating the Algerian national liberation movement. But when Algeria became independent in 1962, France dropped Israel because it then sought to maintain ties with a now- independent Algeria.

It is only after that moment that the United States moved into its present total support of Israel. One major element in this turn-around was the Israeli military victory in the Six Days War in 1967. In this war, Israel conquered all the territories of the old British Mandate of Palestine, as well as more. It proved its ability to be a strong military presence in the region. It transformed the attitude of world Jewry from one in which only about 50% really approved of the creation of Israel into one which had the support of the large majority of world Jewry, for whom Israel had now become a source of pride. This is the moment when the Holocaust became a major ideological justification for Israel and its policies.

After 1967, the Israeli governments never felt they had to negotiate anything with the Palestinians or with the Arab world. They offered one-sided settlements but these were always on Israeli terms. Israel wouldn't negotiate with Nasser. Then it wouldn't negotiate with Arafat. And now it won't negotiate with so-called terrorists. Instead, it has relied on successive shows of military strength.

Israel is now engaged in the exact same catastrophic blunder, from its own point of view, as George Bush's invasion of Iraq. Bush thought that a show of military strength would establish U.S. presence unquestionably in Iraq and intimidate the rest of the world. Bush has discovered that Iraqi resistance was far more formidable militarily than anticipated, that American political allies in Iraq were far less reliable than he assumed they would be, and that the U.S. public's support of the war was far more fragile than he expected. The United States is heading towards a humiliating withdrawal from Iraq.

Israel's current military campaign is a direct parallel of Bush's invasion of Iraq. The Israeli generals are already noting that Hezbollah's military is far more formidable than anticipated, that U.S. allies in the region are already taking wide distance from the United States and Israel (note the Iraqi government's support of Lebanon and now that of the Saudi government), and soon will discover that the Israeli public's support is more fragile than expected. Already the Israeli government is reluctant to send land troops into Lebanon, largely because of what it thinks will be the reaction of its own people inside Israel. Israel is heading towards a humiliating truce arrangement.

What the Israeli governments do not realize is that neither Hamas nor Hezbollah need Israel. It is Israel that needs them, and needs them desperately. If Israel wants not to become a Crusader state that is in the end extinguished, it is only Hamas and Hezbollah that can guarantee the survival of Israel. It is only when Israel is able to come to terms with them, as the deeply-rooted spokespersons of Palestinian and Arab nationalism, that Israel can live in peace.

Achieving a stable peace settlement will be extremely difficult. But the pillars of Israel's present strategy - its own military strength and the unconditional support of the United States - constitute a very thin reed. Its military advantage is diminishing and will diminish steadily in the years to come. And in the post-Iraqi years, the United States may well drop Israel in the same way that France did in the 1960s.

Israel's only real guarantee will be that of the Palestinians. And to get this guarantee, Israel will need to rethink fundamentally its strategy for survival.

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including translations and posting to non-commercial sites, and contact: rights@agenceglobal.com, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.336.286.6606. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To contact author, write: immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu.]

from TruthOut :
6 August 2006

The Los Angeles Times

Vietnam: The War Crimes Files
    by Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson
    The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought unwelcome orders to resume their sweep of the countryside, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam's central coast.
    They met no resistance as they entered a nondescript settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry, a 20-year-old medic, set his rifle down in a hut, unfastened his bandoliers and lighted a cigarette.
    Just then, the voice of a lieutenant crackled across the radio. He reported that he had rounded up 19 civilians, and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry later recalled the company commander's response :
    Kill anything that moves.
    Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began.
    Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.
    Back home in California, Henry published an account of the slaughter and held a news conference to air his allegations. Yet he and other Vietnam veterans who spoke out about war crimes were branded traitors and fabricators. No one was ever prosecuted for the massacre.
    Now, nearly 40 years later, declassified Army files show that Henry was telling the truth - about the Feb. 8 killings and a series of other atrocities by the men of B Company.
    The files are part of a once-secret archive, assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known.
    The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators - not including the most notorious U.S. atrocity, the 1968 My Lai massacre.
    Though not a complete accounting of Vietnam war crimes, the archive is the largest such collection to surface to date. About 9,000 pages, it includes investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass.
    The records describe recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese - families in their homes, farmers in rice paddies, teenagers out fishing. Hundreds of soldiers, in interviews with investigators and letters to commanders, described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity.
    Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units, a Times review of the files found. They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam.
    Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, says he once supported keeping the records secret but now believes they deserve wide attention in light of alleged attacks on civilians and abuse of prisoners in Iraq.
"We can't change current practices unless we acknowledge the past," says Johns, 78.

    Among the substantiated cases in the archive :
    Seven massacres from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 civilians died.
    Seventy-eight other attacks on noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted.
    One hundred forty-one instances in which U.S. soldiers tortured civilian detainees or prisoners of war with fists, sticks, bats, water or electric shock.
    Investigators determined that evidence against 203 soldiers accused of harming Vietnamese civilians or prisoners was strong enough to warrant formal charges. These "founded" cases were referred to the soldiers' superiors for action.
    Ultimately, 57 of them were court-martialed and just 23 convicted, the records show.
    Fourteen received prison sentences ranging from six months to 20 years, but most won significant reductions on appeal. The stiffest sentence went to a military intelligence interrogator convicted of committing indecent acts on a 13-year-old girl in an interrogation hut in 1967.
    He served seven months of a 20-year term, the records show.
    Many substantiated cases were closed with a letter of reprimand, a fine or, in more than half the cases, no action at all.
    There was little interest in prosecuting Vietnam war crimes, says Steven Chucala, who in the early 1970s was legal advisor to the commanding officer of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. He says he disagreed with the attitude but understood it.
    "Everyone wanted Vietnam to go away," says Chucala, now a civilian attorney for the Army at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia.
    In many cases, suspects had left the service. The Army did not attempt to pursue them, despite a written opinion in 1969 by Robert E. Jordan III, then the Army's general counsel, that ex-soldiers could be prosecuted through courts-martial, military commissions or tribunals.
    "I don't remember why it didn't go anywhere," says Jordan, now a lawyer in Washington.
    Top Army brass should have demanded a tougher response, says retired Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, the highest-ranking member of the Pentagon task force in the early 1970s.
    "We could have court-martialed them but didn't," Gard says of soldiers accused of war crimes. "The whole thing is terribly disturbing."
Early-Warning System

    In March 1968, members of the 23rd Infantry Division slaughtered about 500 Vietnamese civilians in the hamlet of My Lai. Reporter Seymour Hersh exposed the massacre the following year.
    By then, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam at the time of My Lai, had become Army chief of staff. A task force was assembled from members of his staff to monitor war crimes allegations and serve as an early-warning system.
    Over the next few years, members of the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group reviewed Army investigations and wrote reports and summaries for military brass and the White House.
    The records were declassified in 1994, after 20 years as required by law, and moved to the National Archives in College Park, Md., where they went largely unnoticed.
    The Times examined most of the files and obtained copies of about 3,000 pages - about a third of the total - before government officials removed them from the public shelves, saying they contained personal information that was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
    In addition to the 320 substantiated incidents, the records contain material related to more than 500 alleged atrocities that Army investigators could not prove or that they discounted.
    Johns says many war crimes did not make it into the archive. Some were prosecuted without being identified as war crimes, as required by military regulations. Others were never reported.
    In a letter to Westmoreland in 1970, an anonymous sergeant described widespread, unreported killings of civilians by members of the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta - and blamed pressure from superiors to generate high body counts.
    "A batalion [sic] would kill maybe 15 to 20 [civilians] a day. With 4 batalions in the brigade that would be maybe 40 to 50 a day or 1200 to 1500 a month, easy," the unnamed sergeant wrote. "If I am only 10% right, and believe me it's lots more, then I am trying to tell you about 120-150 murders, or a My Lay [sic] each month for over a year."
    A high-level Army review of the letter cited its "forcefulness," "sincerity" and "inescapable logic," and urged then-Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor to make sure the push for verifiable body counts did not "encourage the human tendency to inflate the count by violating established rules of engagement."
    Investigators tried to find the letter writer and "prevent his complaints from reaching" then-Rep. Ronald V. Dellums (D-Oakland), according to an August 1971 memo to Westmoreland.
    The records do not say whether the writer was located, and there is no evidence in the files that his complaint was investigated further.
Pvt. Henry

    James D. "Jamie" Henry was 19 in March 1967, when the Army shaved his hippie locks and packed him off to boot camp.
    He had been living with his mother in Sonoma County, working as hospital aide and moonlighting as a flower child in Haight-Ashbury, when he received a letter from his draft board. As thousands of hippies poured into San Francisco for the upcoming "Summer of Love," Henry headed for Ft. Polk, La.
    Soon he was on his way to Vietnam, part of a 100,000-man influx that brought U.S. troop strength to 485,000 by the end of 1967. They entered a conflict growing ever bloodier for Americans - 9,378 U.S. troops would die in combat in 1967, 87% more than the year before.
    Henry was a medic with B Company of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. He described his experiences in a sworn statement to Army investigators several years later and in recent interviews with The Times.
    In the fall of 1967, he was on his first patrol, marching along the edge of a rice paddy in Quang Nam province, when the soldiers encountered a teenage girl.
    "The guy in the lead immediately stops her and puts his hand down her pants," Henry said. "I just thought, 'My God, what's going on?' "
    A day or two later, he saw soldiers senselessly stabbing a pig.
    "I talked to them about it, and they told me if I wanted to live very long, I should shut my mouth," he told Army investigators.
    Henry may have kept his mouth shut, but he kept his eyes and ears open.
    On Oct. 8, 1967, after a firefight near Chu Lai, members of his company spotted a 12-year-old boy out in a rainstorm. He was unarmed and clad only in shorts.
    "Somebody caught him up on a hill, and they brought him down and the lieutenant asked who wanted to kill him," Henry told investigators.
    Two volunteers stepped forward. One kicked the boy in the stomach. The other took him behind a rock and shot him, according to Henry's statement. They tossed his body in a river and reported him as an enemy combatant killed in action.
    Three days later, B Company detained and beat an elderly man suspected of supporting the enemy. He had trouble keeping pace as the soldiers marched him up a steep hill.
    "When I turned around, two men had him, one guy had his arms, one guy had his legs and they threw him off the hill onto a bunch of rocks," Henry's statement said.
    On Oct. 15, some of the men took a break during a large-scale "search-and-destroy" operation. Henry said he overheard a lieutenant on the radio requesting permission to test-fire his weapon, and went to see what was happening.
    He found two soldiers using a Vietnamese man for target practice, Henry said. They had discovered the victim sleeping in a hut and decided to kill him for sport.
    "Everybody was taking pot shots at him, seeing how accurate they were," Henry said in his statement.
    Back at base camp on Oct. 23, he said, members of the 1st Platoon told him they had ambushed five unarmed women and reported them as enemies killed in action. Later, members of another platoon told him they had seen the bodies.

Tet Offensive

    Capt. Donald C. Reh, a 1964 graduate of West Point, took command of B Company in November 1967. Two months later, enemy forces launched a major offensive during Tet, the Vietnamese lunar New Year.
    In the midst of the fighting, on Feb. 7, the commander of the 1st Battalion, Lt. Col. William W. Taylor Jr., ordered an assault on snipers hidden in a line of trees in a rural area of Quang Nam province. Five U.S. soldiers were killed. The troops complained bitterly about the order and the deaths, Henry said.
    The next morning, the men packed up their gear and continued their sweep of the countryside. Soldiers discovered an unarmed man hiding in a hole and suspected that he had supported the enemy the previous day. A soldier pushed the man in front of an armored personnel carrier, Henry said in his statement.
    "They drove over him forward which didn't kill him because he was squirming around, so the APC backed over him again," Henry's statement said.
    Then B Company entered a hamlet to question residents and search for weapons. That's where Henry set down his weapon and lighted a cigarette in the shelter of a hut.
    A radio operator sat down next to him, and Henry was listening to the chatter. He heard the leader of the 3rd Platoon ask Reh for instructions on what to do with 19 civilians.
    "The lieutenant asked the captain what should be done with them. The captain asked the lieutenant if he remembered the op order (operation order) that came down that morning and he repeated the order which was 'kill anything that moves,' " Henry said in his statement. "I was a little shook ... because I thought the lieutenant might do it."
    Henry said he left the hut and walked toward Reh. He saw the captain pick up the phone again, and thought he might rescind the order.
    Then soldiers pulled a naked woman of about 19 from a dwelling and brought her to where the other civilians were huddled, Henry said.
    "She was thrown to the ground," he said in his statement. "The men around the civilians opened fire and all on automatic or at least it seemed all on automatic. It was over in a few seconds. There was a lot of blood and flesh and stuff flying around....
    "I looked around at some of my friends and they all just had blank looks on their faces.... The captain made an announcement to all the company, I forget exactly what it was, but it didn't concern the people who had just been killed. We picked up our stuff and moved on."
    Henry didn't forget, however. "Thirty seconds after the shooting stopped," he said, "I knew that I was going to do something about it."

    For his combat service, Henry earned a Bronze Star with a V for valor, and a Combat Medical Badge, among other awards. A fellow member of his unit said in a sworn statement that Henry regularly disregarded his own safety to save soldiers' lives, and showed "compassion and decency" toward enemy prisoners.
    When Henry finished his tour and arrived at Ft. Hood, Texas, in September 1968, he went to see an Army legal officer to report the atrocities he'd witnessed.
    The officer advised him to keep quiet until he got out of the Army, "because of the million and one charges you can be brought up on for blinking your eye," Henry says. Still, the legal officer sent him to see a Criminal Investigation Division agent.
    The agent was not receptive, Henry recalls.
    "He wanted to know what I was trying to pull, what I was trying to put over on people, and so I was just quiet. I told him I wouldn't tell him anything and I wouldn't say anything until I got out of the Army, and I left," Henry says.
    Honorably discharged in March 1969, Henry moved to Canoga Park, enrolled in community college and helped organize a campus chapter of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
    Then he ended his silence: He published his account of the massacre in the debut issue of Scanlan's Monthly, a short-lived muckraking magazine, which hit the newsstands on Feb. 27, 1970. Henry held a news conference the same day at the Los Angeles Press Club.
    Records show that an Army operative attended incognito, took notes and reported back to the Pentagon.
    A faded copy of Henry's brief statement, retrieved from the Army's files, begins:
    "On February 8, 1968, nineteen (19) women and children were murdered in Viet-Nam by members of 3rd Platoon, 'B' Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry....
    "Incidents similar to those I have described occur on a daily basis and differ one from the other only in terms of numbers killed," he told reporters. A brief article about his remarks appeared inside the Los Angeles Times the next day.
    Army investigators interviewed Henry the day after the news conference. His sworn statement filled 10 single-spaced typed pages. Henry did not expect anything to come of it: "I never got the impression they were ever doing anything."
    In 1971, Henry joined more than 100 other veterans at the Winter Soldier Investigation, a forum on war crimes sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
    The FBI put the three-day gathering at a Detroit hotel under surveillance, records show, and Nixon administration officials worked behind the scenes to discredit the speakers as impostors and fabricators.
    Although the administration never publicly identified any fakers, one of the organization's leaders admitted exaggerating his rank and role during the war, and a cloud descended on the entire gathering.
    "We tried to get as much publicity as we could, and it just never went anywhere," Henry says. "Nothing ever happened."
    After years of dwelling on the war, he says, he "finally put it in a closet and shut the door".
The Investigation

    Unknown to Henry, Army investigators pursued his allegations, tracking down members of his old unit over the next 3 1/2 years.
    Witnesses described the killing of the young boy, the old man tossed over the cliff, the man used for target practice, the five unarmed women, the man thrown beneath the armored personnel carrier and other atrocities.
    Their statements also provided vivid corroboration of the Feb. 8, 1968, massacre from men who had observed the day's events from various vantage points.
    Staff Sgt. Wilson Bullock told an investigator at Ft. Carson, Colo., that his platoon had captured 19 "women, children, babies and two or three very old men" during the Tet offensive.
    "All of these people were lined up and killed," he said in a sworn statement. "When it, the shooting, stopped, I began to return to the site when I observed a naked Vietnamese female run from the house to the huddle of people, saw that her baby had been shot. She picked the baby up and was then shot and the baby shot again."     Gregory Newman, another veteran of B Company, told an investigator at Ft. Myer, Va., that Capt. Reh had issued an order "to search and destroy and kill anything in the village that moved."
    Newman said he was carrying out orders to kill the villagers' livestock when he saw a naked girl head toward a group of civilians.
    "I saw them begging before they were shot," he recalled in a sworn statement.
    Donald R. Richardson said he was at a command post outside the hamlet when he heard a platoon leader on the radio ask what to do with 19 civilians.
    "The cpt said something about kill anything that moves and the lt on the other end said 'Their [sic] moving,' " according to Richardson's sworn account. "Just then the gunfire was heard."
    William J. Nieset, a rifle squad leader, told investigators that he was standing next to a radio operator and heard Reh say: "My instructions from higher are to kill everything that moves."
    Robert D. Miller said he was the radio operator for Lt. Johnny Mack Carter, commander of the 3rd Platoon. Miller said that when Carter asked Reh what to do with the 19 civilians, the captain instructed him to follow the "operation order."
    Carter immediately sought two volunteers to shoot the civilians, Miller said under oath.
    "I believe everyone knew what was going to happen," he said, "so no one volunteered except one guy known only to me as 'Crazy.' "
    "A few minutes later, while the Vietnamese were huddled around in a circle Lt Carter and 'Crazy' started shooting them with their M-16's on automatic," Miller's statement says.
    Carter had just left active duty when an investigator questioned him under oath in Palmetto, Fla., in March 1970.
    "I do not recall any civilians being picked up and categorically stated that I did not order the killing of any civilians, nor do I know of any being killed," his statement said.
    An Army investigator called Reh at Ft. Myer. Reh's attorney called back. The investigator made notes of their conversation: "If the interview of Reh concerns atrocities in Vietnam ... then he had already advised Reh not to make any statement."
    As for Lt. Col. Taylor, two soldiers described his actions that day.
    Myran Ambeau, a rifleman, said he was standing five feet from the captain and heard him contact the battalion commander, who was in a helicopter overhead. (Ambeau did not identify Reh or Taylor by name.)
    "The battalion commander told the captain, 'If they move, shoot them,' " according to a sworn statement that Ambeau gave an investigator in Little Rock, Ark. "The captain verified that he had heard the command, he then transmitted the instruction to Lt Carter.
    "Approximately three minutes later, there was automatic weapons fire from the direction where the prisoners were being held."
    Gary A. Bennett, one of Reh's radio operators, offered a somewhat different account. He said the captain asked what he should do with the detainees, and the battalion commander replied that it was a "search and destroy mission," according to an investigator's summary of an interview with Bennett.
    Bennett said he did not believe the order authorized killing civilians and that, although he heard shooting, he knew nothing about a massacre, the summary says. Bennett refused to provide a sworn statement.
    An Army investigator sat down with Taylor at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Taylor said he had never issued an order to kill civilians and had heard nothing about a massacre on the date in question. But the investigator had asked Taylor about events occurring on Feb. 9, 1968 - a day after the incident.
    Three and a half years later, an agent tracked Taylor down at Ft. Myer and asked him about Feb. 8. Taylor said he had no memory of the day and did not have time to provide a sworn statement. He said he had a "pressing engagement" with "an unidentified general officer," the agent wrote.
    Investigators wrote they could not find Pvt. Frank Bonilla, the man known as "Crazy." The Times reached him at his home on Oahu in March.
    Bonilla, now 58 and a hotel worker, says he recalls an order to kill the civilians, but says he does not remember who issued it. "Somebody had a radio, handed it to someone, maybe a lieutenant, said the man don't want to see nobody standing," he said.
    Bonilla says he answered a call for volunteers but never pulled the trigger.
    "I couldn't do it. There were women and kids," he says. "A lot of guys thought that I had something to do with it because they saw me going up there.... Nope ... I just turned the other way. It was like, 'This ain't happening.' "
    Afterward, he says, "I remember sitting down with my head between my knees. Is that for real? Someone said, 'Keep your mouth shut or you're not going home.' "     He says he does not know who did the shooting.

The Outcome

    The Criminal Investigation Division assigned Warrant Officer Jonathan P. Coulson in Los Angeles to complete the investigation and write a final report on the "Henry Allegation." He sent his findings to headquarters in Washington in January 1974.
    Evidence showed that the massacre did occur, the report said. The investigation also confirmed all but one of the other killings that Henry had described. The one exception was the elderly man thrown off a cliff. Coulson said it could not be determined whether the victim was alive when soldiers tossed him.
    The evidence supported murder charges in five incidents against nine "subjects," including Carter and Bonilla, Coulson wrote. Those two carried out the Feb. 8 massacre, along with "other unidentified members of their element," the report said.
    Investigators determined that there was not enough evidence to charge Reh with murder, because of conflicting accounts "as to the actual language" he used.
    But Reh could be charged with dereliction of duty for failing to investigate the killings, the report said.
    Coulson conferred with an Army legal advisor, Capt. Robert S. Briney, about whether the evidence supported charges against Taylor.
    They decided it did not. Even if Taylor gave an order to kill the Vietnamese if they moved, the two concluded, "it does not constitute an order to kill the prisoners in the manner in which they were executed."
    The War Crimes Working Group records give no indication that action was taken against any of the men named in the report.
    Briney, now an attorney in Phoenix, says he has forgotten details of the case but recalls a reluctance within the Army to pursue such charges.
    "They thought the war, if not over, was pretty much over. Why bring this stuff up again?" he says.
    Years Later
    Taylor retired in 1977 with the rank of colonel. In a recent interview outside his home in northern Virginia, he said, "I would not have given an order to kill civilians. It's not in my makeup. I've been in enough wars to know that it's not the right thing to do."
    Reh, who left active duty in 1978 and now lives in Northern California, declined to be interviewed by The Times.
    Carter, a retired postal worker living in Florida, says he has no memory of his combat experiences. "I guess I've wiped Vietnam and all that out of my mind. I don't remember shooting anyone or ordering anyone to shoot," he says.
    He says he does not dispute that a massacre took place. "I don't doubt it, but I don't remember.... Sometimes people just snap."
    Henry was re-interviewed by an Army investigator in 1972, and was never contacted again. He drifted away from the antiwar movement, moved north and became a logger in California's Sierra Nevada foothills. He says he had no idea he had been vindicated - until The Times contacted him in 2005.
    Last fall, he read the case file over a pot of coffee at his dining room table in a comfortably worn house, where he lives with his wife, Patty.
    "I was a wreck for a couple days," Henry, now 59, wrote later in an e-mail. "It was like a time warp that put me right back in the middle of that mess. Some things long forgotten came back to life. Some of them were good and some were not.
    "Now that whole stinking war is back. After you left, I just sat in my chair and shook for a couple hours. A slight emotional stress fracture?? Don't know, but it soon passed and I decided to just keep going with this business. If it was right then, then it still is."
Los Angeles Ti
mes researcher Janet Lundblad contributed to this report.

from Zineb Belarif :
7 aout 2006
Grenoble, France

Bonjour M. Feeley
Je suis très intéressé par tout les articles écris sur la guerre au Liban, merci pour tout ce que vous envoyer pour nous même en vacances. J'ai trouvé sur le site Information Clearing House cette vidéo. S'il vous Plaît, faite la circuler car le monde entier doit voir les terreurs commis au Liban.
Zineb Belarif

from Bertell Ollman :
4 August 2006
Subject: "Ballad of the Self-Hating Jew"

Francis -
And now for a change of pace. From Australia. Your Jewish readers
will love it and others will get a taste of the level of much of the debate
going on within the Jewish community.

Guy Rundle's poem for Antony Loewenstein (from the Crikey website) is below. It's called ...

Ballad of the Self-Hating Jew
He was trucking down Carlisle St
With a bagel in his hand
Someone said to someone
Who is that awful man?
Him? Oh my dear I thought you knew
That’s the neurotic, self-hating Jew
He thinks it’s not impossible
That Israel is in error
And even if you’re airborne
Terror is still terror
Mass killing might be wrong!
Gosh even torture too?
Yes, amazingly, cos he’s a neurotic quite
psychotic, self-hating Jew
He believes peaceful neighbours
Can’t be built from rubble
And it’s possible that Begin
Was Arafat sans stubble
That Dershowitz is crazy
And Danby might be too
He’s a neurotic, psychotic, ingrate
third rate, self-hating Jew
He’s pretty sure that AIJACS
Will get a surface clean
(sotto voce: Gaza for example)
But you shouldn’t inhale it,
If you know what I mean
He disagrees with Leibler (gasps)
So alas it must be true
He’s a third rate, ingrate, simple inexplicable,
Utterly despicable, neurotic, quite psychotic, blue meanie party pooping self-hating Jew
He thinks that Eretz Israel
Needs someone to restrain her
Says he likes chopped liver
But not if it’s called “Qana”
He’s a yarmulke-wearing mullah
And once we’ve whacked Hezbollah
(any day now)
We’ll settle his hash too
Ingrate third rate, neurotic, quite psychotic
Vanunu in a muu-muu, self-hating Jew.