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Military Resistance 11A25
Soldiers Stand Aside As Insurrection Against The Dictator Morsi Emerges In Port Said And Other Canal Cities:
“The Soldiers Stationed In Port Said Did Nothing To Intervene As Clashes Raged On In The Streets Hours After Curfew Monday Night”
“‘In The Military, The Soldiers Are Our Brothers,’ Said Khaled Samir Abdullah, 25”
“The Unrest Has Risen In Towns Across The Country And In Cairo As Well”
January 28, 2013 By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and MAYY EL SHEIKH, New York Times. [Excerpts] Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Cairo. In a measure of the low level of the new government’s top-down control over the security forces, officers even cursed and chased away their new interior minister when he tried to attend a funeral on Friday for two members of the security forces killed in the recent clashes. PORT SAID, Egypt — The police fired indiscriminately into the streets outside their besieged station, a group of protesters arrived with a crate of gasoline bombs, and others cheered a masked man on a motorcycle who arrived with a Kalashnikov. The growing chaos along the vital canal zone showed little sign of abating on Monday as President Mohamed Morsi called out the army to try to regain control of three cities along the Suez Canal whose growing lawlessness is testing the integrity of the Egyptian state. In Port Said, street battles reached a bloody new peak with a death toll over three days of at least 45, with at least five more protesters killed by bullet wounds, hospital officials said. President Morsi had already declared a monthlong state of emergency here and in the other canal towns of Suez and Ismailia, applying a law that virtually eliminates due process protections against abuse by the police. Angry crowds burned tires and hurled rocks at the police. And the police, with little training and less credibility, hunkered down behind barrages of tear gas, birdshot and occasional bullets. The sense that the state was unraveling may have been strongest here in Port Said, where demonstrators have proclaimed their city an independent nation.
But in recent days, the unrest has risen in towns across the country and in Cairo as well. In the capital on Monday, a mob of protesters managed to steal an armored police vehicle, drive it to Tahrir Square and make it a bonfire. Violence in Cairo began to escalate. During clashes between riot police and protesters along the Nile Corniche early on Tuesday, the fighting spilled into one of the city’s luxury hotels, leaving the lobby in ruins. And the spectacular evaporation of the government’s authority here in Port Said has put that crisis on vivid display, most conspicuously in the rejection of Mr. Morsi’s declarations of the curfew and state of emergency. As in Suez and Ismailia, tens of thousands of residents of Port Said poured into the streets in defiance just as a 9 p.m. curfew was set to begin. Bursts of gunfire echoed through the city for the next hours, and from 9 to 11 p.m. hospital officials raised the death count to seven from two. When two armored personnel carriers approached a funeral Monday morning for some of the seven protesters killed the day before, a stone-throwing mob of thousands quickly chased them away. And within a few hours, the demonstrators had resumed their siege of a nearby police station, burning tires to create a smoke screen to hide behind amid tear gas and gunfire. Many in the city said they saw no alternative but to continue to stay in the streets. They complained that the hated security police remained unchanged and unaccountable even after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted two years ago. Protesters saw no recourse in the justice system, which is also unchanged; they dismissed the courts as politicized, especially after the acquittals of all those accused of killing protesters during the revolution. Then came the death sentences handed down Saturday to 21 Port Said soccer fans for their role in a deadly brawl. The death sentences set off the current unrest in this city. Nor, the people said, did they trust the political process that brought to power Mr. Morsi and his Islamist allies in the Muslim Brotherhood. He had vowed to usher in the rule of law as “a president for all Egyptians.” But in November, he used a presidential decree to temporarily stifle potential legal objections so that his Islamist allies could rush out a new Constitution. His authoritarian move kicked off a sharp uptick in street violence leading to this weekend’s Port Said clashes. “Injustice beyond imagination,” one man outside the morning funeral said of Mr. Morsi’s emergency decree, before he was drowned out by a crowd of others echoing the sentiment.
“He declared a curfew, and we declare civil disobedience,” another man said. “This doesn’t apply to Port Said because we don’t recognize him as our president,” said a third. “He is the president of the Muslim Brotherhood only.” As tens of thousands marched to the cemetery, many echoed the arguments of human rights advocates that the one-month imposition of the emergency law and reliance on the military would only aggravate the problem. The emergency law rolled back legal procedures meant to protect individuals from excessive violence by the police, while the reliance on soldiers to keep the peace further reduced individual rights by sending any civilians arrested to military trials. “It is stupid — he is repressing people for one more month!” one man argued to a friend. “It will explode in his face. He should let people cool down.” The police remained besieged in their burned-out stations, glimpsed only occasionally crouching with their automatic rifles behind the low roof ledges. When one showed his head over a police building as the funeral march passed, voices in the crowd shouted that his appearance was a “provocation” and people began hurling rocks. Others riding a pickup in the procession had stockpiled homemade bombs for later use. In a departure from most previous clashes around the Egyptian revolution, in Port Said the police also faced armed assailants. Two were seen with handguns on Monday around a siege of a police station, in addition to the man with the Kalashnikov. Earlier, a man accosted an Egyptian journalist working for The New York Times. “If I see you taking pictures of protesters with weapons, I will kill you,” he warned. Defending their stations, the police fought back, and in Cairo they battled their own commander, the interior minister. Brotherhood leaders say Mr. Morsi has been afraid to name an outsider as minister for fear of a police revolt, putting off any meaningful reform of the Mubarak security services. But when Mr. Morsi recently tapped a veteran ministry official, Mohamed Ibrahim, for the job, many in the security services complained that even the appointment of one insider to replace another was undue interference. In a measure of the low level of the new government’s top-down control over the security forces, officers even cursed and chased away their new interior minister when he tried to attend a funeral on Friday for two members of the security forces killed in the recent clashes.
“What do you mean we won’t be armed? We would be disarmed to die,” one shouted, on a video recording of the event. In an attempt to placate the rank and file, Mr. Ibrahim issued a statement to police personnel sympathizing with the pressure the protests put on them. Later, he promised them sophisticated weapons. “That can only be a recipe for future bloodshed,” said Hossam Bahgat, executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which monitors police abuses. By turning to the military, Mr. Morsi signaled that he understood he could not rely on the police to pacify the streets, Mr. Bahgat argued. But it was far from clear that Mr. Morsi was fully in command of the military either. The new Islamist-backed Constitution grants the general broad autonomy within the Egyptian government in an apparent quid pro quo for turning over full power to President Morsi in August. Mr. Morsi’s formal request for the military to restore order was “not so much an instruction as a plea for support,” Mr. Bahgat said. It remains to be seen whether the military retains the credibility to quell the protests. The soldiers stationed in Port Said did nothing to intervene as clashes raged on in the streets hours after curfew Monday night. Analysts close to the military say its officers are extremely reluctant to engage in the kind of harsh crackdown that would damage its reputation with Egyptians, preferring to rely on its presence alone. Near the front lines of the clashes, residents debated whether they would welcome a military takeover. “The military that was sent to Port Said is the Muslim Brotherhood’s military,” said one man, dismissing its independence from Mr. Morsi. But others said they still had faith in the institution, if not in its top generals. “In the military, the soldiers are our brothers,” said Khaled Samir Abdullah, 25. Pointing to the police, he said, “those ones are merciless.”
“Blood Calls For Blood”
“Almost All Over Egypt You’re Seeing Dissatisfaction About The Policies Of The President”
“On Saturday, The Government Lost Control Of Port Said”
“The Situation Was Inflamed Once More On Sunday As Police Disrupted A Funeral March For Those Killed The Day Before – Sparking Yet More Upheaval”
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi march despite a nighttime curfew in the city of Suez January 28, 2013. Egyptian protesters defied a nighttime curfew in restive towns along the Suez Canal, attacking police stations and ignoring emergency rule imposed by President Mursi to end days of clashes that have killed at least 52 people. Picture taken January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Egyptian protesters celebrate the capture of a state security armored vehicle that demonstrators commandeered during clashes with security forces and brought to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) 27 January 2013 by Patrick Kingsley in Cairo, Guardian News and Media Limited President Mohamed Morsi has announced a state of emergency in three cities near Egypt’s Suez Canal, following four days of civil unrest that have left at least 40 dead and over 500 injured. Port Said, Suez, and Ismailiya – the cities most affected by the violence – will be subject to a 30-day curfew lasting from 9pm to 6am every night, Morsi said in a surprise televised speech. Since Thursday, hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in 12 of the country’s 21 provinces, to protest against the Islamist president, the Muslim Brotherhood, and police brutality – exactly two years after the start of the Egyptian revolution. On Saturday, the government lost control of Port Said, a coastal city on the Mediterranean, when hardcore football fans rioted in protest at being scapegoated, as they saw it, by security forces for the massacre of over 70 Cairene supporters at a football match in February 2012. Thirty-seven people died as rioters tried to invade a prison and several police buildings. The situation was inflamed once more on Sunday as police disrupted a funeral march for those killed the day before – sparking yet more upheaval.
“We think the president is totally responsible for the conflict,” said Khaled Daoud, a spokesman for the National Salvation Front, a disparate collection of liberal and leftist parties opposed to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. “Almost all over Egypt you’re seeing dissatisfaction about the policies of the president,” Daoud said. “He only cares about the Muslim Brotherhood.” Daoud also argued that the violence – particularly in Port Said, which was sparked by the long-awaited decision to sentence to death 21 local football fans – was entirely predictable, and therefore very preventable. Yet as violence broke out last week, Morsi was slow to react publicly, until today. “When the bloodshed happened on (Friday), all the president did was tweet,” said Daoud. Others felt that Morsi had been placed in a difficult position. According to Elijah Zarwan, a Cairo-based analyst at the European Council for Foreign Relations, the decision to declare a state of emergency certainly risks “inflaming the situation further – blood calls for blood.” Yet the other routes available to Morsi also had their problems, Zarwan told the Guardian. Instead of calling a state of emergency, Morsi might have placated the Port Said football ultras by involving himself in their court case. But Zarwan said: “Any political approach he might take to calm the situation in Port Said would risk infuriating a constituency he can ill afford to infuriate, be it football ultras in Cairo, the judiciary, or the police.”
Why Port Said?
An Eyewitness Report
January 28, 2013 by CARL FINAMORE, CounterPunch [Excerpts] Carl Finamore is Machinist Local 1781 delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO. This is his third visit to Egypt. ********************************************************** Late this evening, President Mohammad Morsi declared Emergency Law in three provinces around the Suez Canal that are ablaze in protests. He frankly conceded the government was losing control.
The strategic area around the Suez Canal earns the country five billion dollars a year according the Egyptian Maritime Bank. So, this was an incredibly embarrassing admission. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Elections of a new Parliament, a new president and the writing of a new constitution were supposed to appease the population. Quite the opposite. And, this anger is inflamed further by the absolute lack of progress solving the economic problems of the vast majority. “Nothing has changed for me, in fact, it has gotten worse,” is a common refrain in news reports and from ordinary people on the street. All of these factors came together in the last twelve months in dramatic events that played out in Port Said, a city of 600,000 north of the Suez Canal that is currently the main target of the Emergency Decree curfew. Here is how it happened. Last year, at the Jan. 25, 2012 first anniversary massive assembly in Tahrir, I observed palpable tension between the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance of ending protests and oppositionists defiantly proclaiming that “the revolution is not finished.” There was some minor shoving and pushing here and there but no serious breech flared out into the open. However, that all quickly changed a few days later on Feb. 1, 2012. A deadly massacre occurred in Port Said’s soccer stadium leaving 74 people shot and trampled to death. As witnesses told me, “we could see on the TV, police standing by doing nothing as thugs, (purportedly fans of the Port Said soccer team) began physically assaulting unarmed Cairo soccer fans.” Later investigations revealed that the expansive huge concrete exit doors were shut, perhaps with chains, leaving many of the victims to be crushed against thousands desperately trying to escape the onslaught. There was so much compressive force that the concrete doors buckled. For millions of Egyptians, the Feb. 1, 2012 murderous attack on Cairo soccer fans, Ultras, was obviously orchestrated as revenge against this same club that so courageously beat back the notorious police-inspired “Camel assault on Tahrir” on the exact same date of February 1, one year earlier in 2011. This is why Egyptians anxiously awaited the verdict. On January 26, the judge ultimately handed down death sentences for the first 21 cases of Port Said defendants.
I saw Ultras in Tahrir celebrating the verdict for around two hours with their trademark clapping in unison and congregating together in tightly disciplined formations. But then it stopped and it did not grow as huge as had been expected Soon, Ultras began forming again in Tahrir. But, this time by joining with their comrades in Port Said to denounce the verdict as a cover up. Why were only a handful of police indicted? What about higher authorities without whom such a plan could not possibly have been so coordinated? Therefore, a unified message is being presented exposing extensive government secrecy, dishonesty and collusion with thugs rather than debating the merits of each individual defendant’s case. “How can we trust the justice of this government when they have not convicted one single Ministry of Interior thug who killed us two years ago?” a Tahrir protestor defiantly asserted to me. Thus, an attempt to divide protestors has failed. Cairo and Port Said soccer fans who normally fight each other in sports are now reaching out to each other in politics. The common enemy is the lies and hypocrisy of the power structure “that all must be changed,” as a relatively conservative former army officer who is now a businessman told me immediately after Morsi’s Emergency Degree. “I was one of those who wanted stability and the end of protests” he said in response to my question. “Not now. All the old power must go. We cannot trust them to be fair with us or to let us make our lives better. The protestors are doing right.” The first days of Tahrir in January 2011 began as protests against police brutality and corruption but they soon grew, under pressure of the police attacks and government intransigence, into demanding the ouster of Mubarak. Two years later, this powerful but still somewhat disjointed movement would seem to benefit once again by escalating their demands through linking their democratic and social justice objectives with unified calls for economic justice. The World Bank reports that 40 percent still live on two dollars a day and things have only gotten worse. The Muslim Brotherhood government’s plan to solve the problem is for observing Islamic duties of charity. They have placed donation boxes in the stores of their business supporters. In other words, a frivolous delegation of government responsibility.
Coming on top of the dramatic encroachments on democratic liberties by the Muslim Brotherhood government, their utter failure to properly address the abject living, housing and working conditions of the majority is cause for taking the revolution one step further. It was reported to me that one important Egyptian observer has already called “for the next stage being a revolution for bread.” Crucial challenges lay ahead in the next days and weeks for the brave and courageous Egyptian people
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the email address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly with your best wishes. Whether in Afghanistan or at a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Plainwell Soldier Dies After IED Attack
Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven. (Courtesy US Army - Jan. 23, 2013) 24 Jan 2013 WOOD Television PLAINWELL, Mich. -- A soldier from Plainwell died Sunday, five weeks after his unit was hit with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven, 38, died Jan. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, according to a Department of Defense release. He was wounded Dec. 15, 2012, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces with an IED in Kabul, Afghanistan. He leaves behind six children. Schoonhoven served as a motor transport operator with the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo. starting in February 2011. He joined the Army in January 2006 and was only about a month into his third tour of duty in Afghanistan at the time of the attack, according to a Fort Carson Garrison spokesperson. His first tour was from January 2007 to March 2008 and his second tour was from April 2009 to June 2010. He arrived in Afghanistan for the final time in November 2012. Schoonhoven was twice awarded with the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to service people who distinguish themselves by “heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service,” according to the US Army. “The act justifying the award may entail aerial flight, and it may be made for made for noncombatant-related acts of heroism.”
He earned the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to members of units stationed close to offensive combat operations and who have personally and actively engaged the enemy. He also earned a Parachutist Badge, meaning he completed the Airborne School of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. He also received the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal. Schoonhoven is the first solider from Michigan to die in 2013. 15 Michigan servicemen were killed in 2012. Eight had ties to West Michigan.
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
January 27 By Sayed Salahuddin, Washington Post [Excerpt] In the former stronghold of militants in southern Kandahar, eight police officers and two suspected insurgents they had detained were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck a roadside bomb. The explosion happened after police discovered a mine in another section of the city and detained three men on suspicion of planting the device, he said. Six more officers were wounded, and a third suspected insurgent survived the blast, said Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the governor.
SOMALIA WAR REPORTS
“Bomb Attack Outside The Somali Prime Minister’s Office”
29/01/2013 AP & Sunatimes At least two people were killed in a bomb attack outside the Somali prime minister’s office in central Mogadishu on Tuesday, army officials said. The victims are members of the security forces. The bomber blew himself up after he was allegedly refused access to accessing a compound next to the Ethiopian Embassy in Mogadishu which is located near the Somali presidential palace. Three others, all Prime Minister Shirdon’s security details, were injured in the attack. The president is said to be out of the country on state business. An official says a bomber detonated explosives inside the presidential palace compound in Somalia, killing two people. Mohamed Ali, a police officer at the state house, said Tuesday that the man blew himself up after he was questioned by soldiers manning a checkpoint in the palace complex known as Villa Somalia. Villa Somalia has a large compound with several buildings and checkpoints. Ali says the bomber was four more checkpoints away from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s home. The bomber who blew himself up was a former employee of the national intelligence and security agency (NISA), a cabinet minister has revealed. Addressing a press conference at the PM’s residence in Mogadishu shortly after the attack, Information Minister Abdullahi Elmoge Hirsi told reporters that the attacker was a NISA staff before he was dismissed from the force. The minister has not mentioned the name of the bomber-turned ex-intelligence officer, saying that they were awaiting further details from the national spy agency. But in quick rejoinder, NISA regional boss Khalif Ahmed Ereg dismissed the minister’s remarks maintaining the attacker has never served in the force. The NISA regional boss also displayed alleged photos of the bomber, who he said was an Al-Shabaab defector but denied having ever served in his agency.
“Insurgents Captured A Security Agency”
“The Fighters Freed Prisoners From The Building”
Jan 29, 2013 Reuters In the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, insurgents captured a security agency after days of heavy fighting, according to an activist video issued on Tuesday. The fighters freed prisoners from the building, it added. The video, posted online, showed men armed with assault rifles cheering as they stood outside a building that they said was a local branch of Syria’s intelligence agency. The video also showed tanks, which appeared to be damaged, and a room containing weapons.
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787
LETTER FROM A FREEDMAN TO HIS OLD MASTER
[Thanks to Scot Peden for posting.] From: THE FREEDMEN’S BOOK, By L. MARIA CHILD; BOSTON: TICKNOR AND FIELDS; 1865. Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865. To my old Master, Colonel P. H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee. Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you
all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance. I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, “Them colored people were slaves” down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again. As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows.
Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire. In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits. Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me. From your old servant, Jourdon Anderson.
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January 30, 1972: Shameful Anniversary;
Bloody Sunday: An Occupation Massacre
Carl Bunin Peace History Jan 28 - Feb 3 In Bogside, Derry, British Occupied Ireland, near the Rossville flats, 13 unarmed and peaceful civil rights demonstrators were shot dead by British Army paratroopers from the British Army’s 1st Parachute Regiment in an event that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” The protesters, all Catholics, had been marching in protest of the British policy of internment without trial of suspected Irish nationalists. Internment without trial was introduced by the British government on August 9, 1971. British authorities had ordered the march banned, and sent troops to confront the demonstrators when it went ahead. The soldiers fired indiscriminately into the crowd of protesters, killing 13 and wounding seventeen. One wounded man later died from illness attributed to that shooting. By the end of the year 323 civilians and 144 military and paramilitary personnel would be dead.
January 31, 1876: Odious Betrayal
Sitting Bull: One of several chiefs who refused to comply. Carl Bunin Peace History Jan 28 - Feb 3 The U.S. government ordered that all Native Americans must move to reservations by this date or be declared hostile. Most Sioux did not even hear of the ultimatum until after the deadline. Major General Philip Sheridan considered the notification exercise a waste of time.
January 31, 1968: Resistance Anniversary:
The Tet Offensive
Peace History: Carl Bunin The Tet (the lunar new year) Offensive began as North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched surprise attacks against major cities, provincial and district capitals in South Vietnam.
The attack had been anticipated but, nonetheless, half of the ARVN troops (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) were on leave because of the holiday. There were attacks in Saigon (the South’s capital) on the Independence Palace (the residence of the president), the radio station, the ARVN’s joint General Staff Compound, Tan Son Nhut airfield, and the United States embassy, causing considerable damage
January 31, 1945: Anniversary Of A Murder;
The Execution Of Private Eddy Slovik
Pvt. Eddie Slovik Carl Bunin Peace History Jan 28 - Feb 3 Private Eddie Slovik became the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion. Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered Slovik’s execution be carried out, he said, to avoid further desertions in the late stages of the war. *************************** [Excerpt from the article by Joe Allen; Death Row At The “Castle”: Inside The U.S. Military’s Judicial System; the International Socialist Review. Joe Allen is a member of Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago and the International Socialist Organization.] Alvin “Tommy” Bridges, a military policeman during the war and a future police chief, recounted his very bitter memories of “military justice” to Studs Terkel in
the Good War: “They shot some of those same guys up there that were—if you’d go to a municipal court, they’d dismiss the case. Depending a lot upon the commanding officer.” Near the end of his narrative, Bridges makes clear the extent of summary “justice” and who was responsible: “Eisenhower says that’s the only guy (Eddie Slovik) that was ever executed for it (desertion). That’s what burns me up, when a gross of them that I know were executed for probably more minor things than what Slovik was. They said he was the only one. We had to make a show of it. The son-of-a-bitches.” Eddie Slovik was a Polish working-class kid from Detroit who had a minor criminal record and spent some years in a youth reformatory. His draft classification was originally 4-F (unfit for military service) and therefore not eligible to be drafted. He married and got a decent paying job in the auto industry, whereupon he was reclassified 1-A. The army was then drafting anybody it could get its hands on in preparation for the invasion of Europe. It was also clear that Slovik couldn’t kill a living thing and was terrified of combat. In his “confession” after he deserted he said, “I’ll run away again if I have to go their.” (He misspelled “there,” and by “there” he meant going into combat). Over 40,000 other deserters tried by lesser courts-martial were punished by confinement to disciplinary centers or dishonorably discharged. Another 2,864 were tried by general courts-martial. Most were sentenced to long terms in prisons (many left prison soon after the war was over), but forty-nine were sentenced to death. All the sentences for desertion were commuted except Slovik’s. Slovik’s story is recounted in William Bradford Huie’s book The Execution of Private Slovik. Why Slovik? It seems likely that the reason Slovik was singled out was because he deserted at the time of stiffening German resistance in late 1944, when the Allied forces came dangerously close to collapsing on the Western front. Yet, curiously, the army never publicized his execution beyond his company, never told his wife, and buried him in a secret cemetery. It would be nearly a decade after Slovik’s death before Huie began investigating the strange circumstances surrounding it. Despite the efforts of many people, Slovik’s wife never received the paltry $10,000 plus interest she asked for in GI life insurance. Slovik’s remains were finally returned to the U.S. in 1987, to be buried beside the grave of his deceased wife. While many people believe that Slovik was the only American soldier executed during the war, that is not true.
Many were executed on charges other than desertion, and African American soldiers once again bore the brunt of these executions.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
“Leave, Leave! The People Want To Overthrow The Regime!”
“The Anger Of The Iraqi People Is Developing Into A Demand To Replace The Political Process Imposed By The US Occupation”
“The Al-Maliki Government Responded Today With Both Savage Violence And Repression Around Iraq When Confronted By Friday’s ‘No Retreat’ Rallies’”
“The Government Should Respond To The Demands Of Protesters, Before We Start A Revolution And Put An End To The Government”
Al-Maliki is becoming increasingly more isolated, more desperate and more dictatorial. He arrogantly continues to deny the national and non-sectarian nature of the protests and instead blames terrorists, remnants of the Baath Party and foreign interests in the region. 26-01-2013 by Mike Powers, 26-01-2013
As the Iraqi Thawra revolution enters its second month of protests, the al-Maliki government responded today with both savage violence and repression around Iraq when confronted by Friday´s “No Retreat” rallies. It was reported that in Fallujah at least 10 people were killed and more than 100 were injured, among them many children and a journalist. The number of the deaths continues to increase as some of the injured die. The shooters, identified as army troops, were called in from Baghdad to prevent delegations from other parts of Iraq from joining the massive demonstrations. The hospital in Fallujah has appealed to citizens to donate blood to treat the wounded in this emergency. In his sermon in Fallujah today, Mohammed al-Dulaimi, who led Friday prayers, warned al-Maliki that “He should stop neglecting our demands and stop violating our rights. Otherwise, the volcano will explode.” Demonstrations were reported in other cities including Ramadi, Samarra, Mosul and Baquba, Baghdad, Kerkuk, Haweeja, and other places. Reports say that many were injured when the army clashed with protesters in Mosul. In Baquba Hassan al Zaidi, a tribal chief explained “the government should respond to the demands of protesters, before we start a revolution and put an end to the government”. In the Shiite holy city of Naji, south of Baghdad, Sheik Sadr al-Din al-Qubanji a high-ranking member of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council political block, worried that the protests could lead “to the collapse of the entire political process in Iraq” was forced to admit that the protests were not sectarian. In anticipation of the growing support for the protest demands in other parts of the country Uday al-Zaidi (the well-known brother of the famous shoe thrower against George W Bush) and Qusay al-Khaffiya, two of the leaders of the present wave of protests, were arrested in Basra. They had been mobilizing support there during the last 10 days. Uday Al-Zaidi has been released later, but nothing is known about the fate of his still arrested friends. Arrests were made by the Security Forces in Tarmiya, just north of Baghdad, and in the Diyala region. The security forces threatened the Imam of Sheik Dhari Mosque in Abu Ghraib and stopped people from attending Friday prayers, Al-Maliki is becoming increasingly more isolated, more desperate and more dictatorial. He arrogantly continues to deny the national and non-sectarian nature of the protests and instead blames terrorists, remnants of the Baath Party and foreign interests in the region.
For this purpose an attempt to enforce a news blackout can be seen in many areas including Mosul in Nineveh and in the south where the army prevented the media from covering the protests. Western media continue at least indirectly to support his position by describing the demonstrators, if they report them at all, as Sunni protests, despite the banners for “Iraqi unity, no to sectarianism”. Numerous Shiite religious and tribal leaders have endorsed the protests. The Iraq Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) issued a statement in support of what they termed “the popular protests in Iraq demanding an end to corruption, sectarian conflict and injustice”. It stressed that “freedom of expression and freedom to organize peaceful demonstrations are human rights that must be guaranteed”. In response to the massacre against these civilians today in Fallujah, the Deputy Minister of Defence has announced that he will appoint yet “another committee” to investigate what happened! It is the same ministry that sent troops to Anbar in the first place with orders to try to stop the demonstrations. The already appointed 7-man cross-political party committee of ministers in the green zone parliament has in effect collapsed as politicians not seriously interested in justice squabble for their own political purposes. Some of them are obviously worried that the anger of the Iraqi people is developing into a demand to replace the political process imposed by the US occupation in the illegal Bremer constitution that is the core reason for this dysfunctional misgovernment. They realize that it is not only al-Maliki´s days that are numbered if the demands of the protesters are not met immediately. The people on the streets continue to make it clear that there is no going back. Al Ahram summed up the mood of the people in Iraq in their analysis of the changing landscape in Iraq and the growing demand heard in the protests: “Leave, Leave! The people want to overthrow the regime!” It seems they have no other choice if their demands are to be realized.
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