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Military Resistance 11I8

Human Beast
From: Dennis Serdel To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: September 09, 2013 Subject: Human Beast Written by Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade; United Auto Workers GM Retiree **************************************************************** Human Beast The Human Beast rises from below shakes the sand off like the sphinx with the long face of an old dog the fleas awake & start to jump as an X-VVAW takes his turn to join the VFW better known as Veterans For War with ancestors

of the Mekong Delta swiftboating other human beasts into believing that children must be bombed to save civilians & children from being gassed from both sides like a wicked pharaoh who whiplashes his own people like human beasts killing many with his military until they don't need him & act on their own, some are Criminals with poison gas while others have their Muslim agenda & then there are the Revolutionaries fighting for freedom or something they don't have The sands of Tunisia floated over Libya & landed in Egypt where the gunfire, protests, smoke & teargas of a Revolution drifted to Syria. With car-bombs killing the leftovers from Iraq, & the American War now in Afghanistan without a plan on when to leave that the Human Beast Obama keeps adding years because He has Orders from the Elite Banksters & Wall Street Military Pentagon who know so well what the Joker said before he learns that the Jacks Queens Kings & Aces make the decisions & they are the real Human Beasts He's just an Actor on a stage like Kerry, like the Presidents & Regimes before him found out after their speeches & money for Congress & Corporate Greed by the Supreme Court, so now the Joker can Not run Wild with a War in Syria before he asks for Permission, that is the Price to be a Human Beast when They tell you to bomb or not to bomb, don't worry The Human Beast comes from from centuries past like the Greeks, who tried Democracy but then gave it up because the Greeks loved War with their armor spears hatchets knives

axes & their boy beside them in the night with all the galaxies that other Human Beasts have seen for a million years. No, We can Not Vote on Wars, too many may say No & argue philosophies, but now the only time War would End would be for the Games, Both sides would Stop & with their boys the Human Beasts would set out on the road to Olympia to see which Human Beast could run so fast, throw their spear so far, wrestle with each other & more as the other Human Beasts would applaud & cheer & make bets on who would Win like Argentina South America Haiti South Africa Egypt Tunisia Mexico Congo Nigeria Iraq Afghanistan Turkey Spain Greece & more play Soccer that they call Football, Yes, a Game that in the stands, fistfights start & the crowd gets angry when a goal is missed & crush the fans in front, to hell with War that will always be with some peace between, right now the Human Beasts have a Game to Win. written by Dennis Serdel for Military Resistance


Survey Finds Americans Against Attack On Syria:
“6 In 10 Americans Oppose Airstrikes”
September 9, 2013 By MARK LANDLER and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN, The New York Times [Excerpts] WASHINGTON — A broad majority of Americans, exhausted by nearly a dozen years of war and fearful of tripping into another one, are opposed to a military strike on Syria, even though most say they think Syrian forces used chemical weapons against civilians, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

In the Syrian crisis, 6 in 10 Americans oppose airstrikes, according to the poll, with similar majorities saying they fear military action could enmesh the United States in another long engagement in the Middle East and would increase the terrorist threat to Americans. But the antipathy to foreign engagement extends beyond the current crisis. Sixty-two percent of the people polled said the United States should not take a leading role in trying to solve foreign conflicts, while only 34 percent said it should. In April 2003, a month after American troops marched into Iraq, 48 percent favored a leading role, while 43 percent opposed it. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said the Obama administration had not clearly explained its objectives in Syria, while 69 percent said Mr. Obama should not go ahead with a strike without Congressional authorization. Fifty-six percent of people said they disapproved of how the president has handled Syria, while 33 percent approved. The nationwide poll was conducted via landlines and cellphones from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8 with 1,011 adults. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. While Mr. Obama’s approval rating in handling of terrorism has dipped, American’s views of Congress have improved slightly. Twenty-four percent approved of its performance, compared with 17 percent in July. But a resounding 68 percent still disapprove. For lawmakers, it is clear that their vote on Syria carries genuine peril. Seventy-six percent of people said it would matter in how they evaluated their representatives.


“The U.S. Army Has Reportedly Fixed A Family’s Leaky Faucet In Crossville, Tenn.”
“Army Sources Have Confirmed That Most Of The Family’s Neighborhood Was Destroyed During The Operation”

September 9, 2013 by G-Had, The Duffel Blog CROSSVILLE, TN – The U.S. Army has reportedly fixed a family’s leaky faucet in Crossville, Tenn., although Army sources have confirmed that most of the family’s neighborhood was destroyed during the operation. Maj. Paul Studwick said that Operation Dripping Thunder, launched by the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division had successfully fixed the plumbing in the Tosetti family household at 2230 last night and that elements of the 3rd BCT had already begun to redeploy back to Fort Knox, Ky. The Army has been conducting similar community outreach programs to highlight the many uses of the military as the war in Afghanistan winds down. “Most people say the Army is only good at breaking things and killing guys,” Studwick said at a press conference held in the smoking remains of Crossville’s former town hall. “But as we move forward, I think Dripping Thunder shows that an Army at peace can still do many useful things.” According to Studwick, Dripping Thunder first began on July 14, when Crossville resident Paul Tosetti e-mailed his Congresswoman, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), complaining, “I don’t know why we’re spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan when I can’t get a city inspector to come out to my house and fix my damn sink.” Black’s staff immediately forwarded the inquiry to the Pentagon for comment and it eventually landed on the desk of Secretary of the Army John McHugh.

Intrigued, McHugh asked his staff why the Army couldn’t just kill two birds with one stone and fix Tosetti’s sink while also spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan. And so Operation Dripping Thunder was born. After ten days of planning, Army leaders determined that while the Tosetti sink could be easily fixed by a small unit of Water Treatment Specialists, the mission would be perfect for highlighting the versatility of the Brigade Combat Team. The 3rd BCT, recently selected to be cut as part of the Army’s drawdown, was given the assignment. 3rd BCT staff immediately began figuring out how to apply their fire and maneuver scheme to fix the dripping faucet. After the command began debating whether to bring an armored battalion, engineers began reinforcing the road outside the Tosetti house as a precaution, resulting in the destruction of half a dozen civilian cars which had been parked on the street. The engineers also took over the town’s Palace Theater, which they renamed “Camp Duke” and spent several million dollars turning it into a reinforced brigade command post and logistics depot. This completely disrupted traffic through the town and caused some embarrassment when a group of students trying to see “Riddick” were fired on by nervous sentries. While engineers were destroying other buildings around Camp Duke for both an expanded Morale, Welfare & Recreation center, as well as an all-weather improved runway, staff from the 1-6 Field Artillery Battalion suggested that an extremely limited artillery barrage might just shake the pipes loose. They argued this would save both time and money, while also giving their artillery crews some much needed training. Battalion staff eventually concurred, since their doctrine called for a limited barrage before sending in 2-2 and 1-26 (infantry units) to formally inspect the house. The following day a Civil Affairs team arrived in the Tosetti’s neighborhood to negotiate compensation for the destroyed cars, only to discover that their neighbors had fled after their houses were destroyed in the previous night’s artillery bombardment, along with the improved road created by the engineers. Although the location of the Tosetti house was known in advance, since Tosetti had included it in his original e-mail, Special Operations Command still insisted on inserting a team in a night-born helo landing to conduct in-depth reconnaissance for potentially hostile elements. This ultimately resulted in their CH-47 helicopter flying into an unmarked relay tower setup by the communications section to improve their data flow. The crash killed all aboard.

A subsequent investigation discovered that the intelligence section tasked with mapping out the helicopter’s route was busy creating high-gloss posters and a moto video for the information operations section. When news of the crash reached senior Army leaders, Dripping Thunder was immediately augmented by additional staff from the 1st Infantry Division skilled in managing the inevitable public relations fallout. Unfortunately they took the seats on the resupply convoy needed for the actual Water Treatment Specialists, who at this point were not considered vital personnel in what had essentially become a public affairs mission. A second team was eventually airlifted in from Fort Drum and promptly fixed the sink, but not before apologizing to the family after a Specialist shot the family dog in front of Tosetti’s children, which he claimed was justified under the rules of engagement. Following the operation, 3rd BCT staff reportedly awarded themselves a dozen Bronze Stars and a slew of commendatory fitness reports. Paul Tosetti is also writing the Army a thank-you letter from the motel where his family is now living. At time of publication, the faucet that had been serviced had begun leaking again.


Santa Maria Soldier Killed In Afghanistan
Aug 26, 2013 by Cameron Polom, KSBY News The war in Afghanistan has claimed yet another life from the Central Coast. Specialist Kenneth Alvarez of Santa Maria was killed Friday when his unit was hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED. He was 23-years old. Alvarez is the 11th soldier from Santa Barbara County to lose his life during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and the fourth from Santa Maria. "He brightened a lot of people's mornings with that smile," said Delta High School Advisor Tami Contreras.

As she flips through the 2009 Delta High School year book, she remembers a young man facing some pretty grown up challenges. "He had to grow up fast being a young man and a parent while still in high school but he did it with grace," said Contreras. And like the true soldier he was, Alvarez decided to keep fighting. "His goal while he was here was to graduate and get himself going to be successful in life," said Contreras. When he made the decision to dedicate his life to protecting our way of life, Tami remembers her apprehension. "At the time I didn't want him going, because when they're here, they're my kids," said Contreras. "And I didn't want anything to happen to them." But the decision to fight didn't only weigh on Tami's mind. "He had worries about leaving his child behind and he knew it would be hard," said Contreras. "But he knew that was going to be the best way he felt he could provide for his family." In 2011, Alvarez enlisted in the Army and became a Combat Engineer. In March of this year, he was deployed to Afghanistan for the first time. "He had an idea of what he wanted to do in life, he wanted to go out and serve and that's what he did," said Contreras. "And he paid the ultimate price and sacrificed his life serving his country." The principal of Delta High School says Alvarez will be memorialized at the campus. However, they have not decided what they will do yet. Soon enough, Alvarez's name will join the generations of Central Coast residents at the Abel Maldonado Youth Center memorial in Santa Maria, honoring all those who gave their lives fighting for ours. A memorial service for Alvarez will be announced shortly. He is survived by his wife and child.

73% Of U.S. Dead in Afghanistan Killed During Obama Administration
[Thanks to C Wolf for posting.] September 11, 2013 By Dennis M. Crowley, [Excerpts] In total, 2,144 U.S. military personnel have given their lives fighting in and around Afghanistan. 1,575 of the U.S. military personnel were killed during the presidency of Barack Obama.

That means 73 percent of the casualties in the Afghan War have happened on Barack Obama’s watch. On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month after taking office, President Obama announced the deployment of 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, fulfilling his campaign promise to shift U.S. military forces to Afghanistan. During a speech to cadets at the United States Military Academy (USMA), at West Point, on Dec. 1, 2009, President Obama announced an additional increase of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. The president stated that “it is in our vital interest” to send the additional troops.


Resistance Action
10th September 2013 The New Indian Express & PAN Tuesday, a car bomb went off in front of an Afghan National Army security post in Logar province's Khushi district. Deputy police chief Rais Khan Abdul Rahimzai says the explosion wounded four Afghan soldiers. PUL-I-ALAM: Four Afghan National Army (ANA) troops were injured when a bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a military installation in central Logar province on Tuesday. The bomber first opened fire at the troops and detonated his explosives as he reached the entrance to the post in Khoshi district, an official said. The incident took place around in Shinki area, the district police chief, Col. Ahmad Nabi Ahmadzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He said the post was partially damaged and that there were no civilians casualties. A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, asserting responsibility for the attack, said up to 30 Afghan soldiers were killed and wounded in the attack.



“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852 The Social-Democrats ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression no matter where it appears no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.” -- V. I. Lenin; What Is To Be Done

The Ditch At My Lai Has Become A Metaphor

My Lai Massacre site March 22, 1994. Photograph by Mike Hastie From: Mike Hastie To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: September 08, 2013 Subject: The Ditch at My Lai Has Become a Metaphor The Ditch at My Lai Has Become a Metaphor In 1994, I and three other Vietnam veterans made a decision to return to Vietnam. We were in country for 21 days, traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Midway through our trip, we decided to make the difficult journey into My Lai. On March 16, 1968, U.S. soldiers murdered 504 innocent Vietnamese civilians. Or, I should say, the United States Government murdered 504 innocent Vietnamese civilians. Rather than go into a long emotionally drenching experience that affected all of us, let's just say,

the one word that keeps coming up for me, is the word, Shame. While we were there, a bus arrived at the site, carrying over 40 Vietnamese people. I had great difficulty looking at their faces. That's because my shame turned me into self-hatred. That's because My Lai became a metaphor for the entire Vietnam War. Everything involving that war was a lie. The entire Vietnam War was a War Crime. Going to My Lai was like going to Wounded Knee. It was going into a mindset of genocide. One Indian village after another. One Vietnamese village after another. One Middle Eastern village after another. It is happening... The United States Government has moved My Lai and Wounded Knee to the Middle East. The U.S. Government has become a buzzard flying over the Middle East. The American Drone has become the metaphor for that buzzard. Like chewing on a chicken bone, that is the Pentagon at work. My photograph taken at My Lai, is a metaphor for that military madness. It is a photograph of the ditch where Lt. Calley, the scapegoat of the massacre, stood with some of his men, and murdered over 150 Vietnamese civilians at point-blank range. There were children of all ages in that ditch. And, when it was over, the ditch became another Wounded Knee. It has never stopped. And now, Syria is about to become another in a long list of ditches that America has left yet another calling card. Weapons of Mass Destruction ( WMD ), should stand for: " Western Manifest Destiny." Killing Indians all over again. The only good Indian is a dead Indian. If it's a dead Vietnamese, it's a dead Viet Cong. Kill A Gook For Calley. America, you have become a monster. "The Madness of Militarism," as Martin Luther King Jr. once said. The Pentagon has become a vulture. With surveillance eyes to take over the world. The ditch,

the My Lai ditch, A metaphor for the United States Empire. Mike Hastie Army Medic Vietnam September 8, 2013 When one's old belief system is shattered, all the pieces come together. Mike Hastie Photo and caption from the portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: ( T) One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71 December 13, 2004

Get The Message?

[Thanks to Marion Ward, who sent this in.]


Much Of The 21st Century Worldwide Tendency Towards Politics Disguised

As Religion Expresses Rage Against Capitalism, Which Has Become A Religion Disguised As Economics:
“During One Period Of History Hegemony Belongs To Religion, During Another To Politics, And So Forth”
Comment: T
In attempting to defend reactionary social systems, some argue that nothing happens without the “will” or “permission” of this or that supernatural being. Many politicians will agree that the slaughter of Afghans by the U.S. Empire is done with the “will” or “permission” of God. Bush once said that God had spoken to him personally and commanded him to “strike” Saddam Hussein. When Obama demands God bless America at the close this or that major public pronouncement, he is merely doing his job, as he protects and defends the Empire over which he presides, with the full backing, in that work, of the political layer of the capitalist elite who rule this nation. Part of that job, as is true for various politicians in many other nations, is invoking the name of this or that supernatural entity said to be blessing the nation, seeking thereby to gain the favor of the reactionary and credulous to prop up the Imperial regime. Viewing the world as a material reality and having no fear of or belief in assorted supernatural creatures that human have created in their own image would be a recommendation for political leadership, rather than a condemnation. Religion has been and continues to be used by those in power to justify their greed for Empire, their murderous local dictatorships, and all forms of tyranny and oppression. There are no world religions that have not been so used by wealthy and powerful oppressors. If indeed nothing anywhere occurs without the “will” of some God, and if indeed such a being exists, he or she or it is a mass murdering monster. It is one thing to believe in a supernatural being. That is one among many bedrock democratic rights guaranteed in any decent society.

It is quite another to defend evil by throwing down the “will of God” argument for everything that occurs, up to and including the rape-murders of small children, the oppression of women as a gender, the torture of Jews and Muslims by the Spanish Inquisition, and the current Imperial butchery loose in the world. That is a political argument valuable only to tyrants and oppressors. ******************************************************************************* Excerpt from: The Monist View Of History, By G.V. Plekhanov; 1895; St. Petersburg, Russia Up to this point our propositions, of necessity, were very abstract. But we already know that there is no abstract truth, truth is always concrete. We must give our propositions a more concrete shape. Those to whom the English aristocrats of the Restoration were “in contradiction” were extreme religious fanatics; in order “to do the opposite” to what they were doing, the reactionaries had to go as far as materialism. In France of the eighteenth century things were exactly opposite: the defenders of the old order stood for religion, and it was the extreme revolutionaries who arrived at materialism. The history of human thought is full of such examples, and all of them confirm one and the same thing: in order to understand the “state of minds” of each particular critical epoch, in order to explain why during this epoch precisely these, and not those, teachings gain the upper hand, we must as a preliminary study the “state of minds” in the preceding epoch, and discover what teachings and tendencies were then dominant. Without this we shall not understand at all the intellectual condition of the epoch concerned, however well we get to know its economy. But even this must not be understood in abstract fashion, as the Russian “intelligentsia” is accustomed to understand everything. The ideologists of one epoch never wage against their predecessors a struggle sur toute la ligne, on all questions of human knowledge and social relations. The French Utopians of the nineteenth century were completely at one with the Encyclopaedists on a number of anthropological views; the English aristocrats of the Restoration were quite at one with the Puritans, whom they so hated, on a number of questions, such as civil law, etc. The territory of psychology is sub-divided into provinces, the provinces into counties, the counties into rural districts and communities, and the communities represent unions of individuals (i.e., of individual questions).

When a “contradiction” arises, when struggle blazes up, its passion seizes, as a rule, only upon individual provinces – if not individual counties – and only its reflection falls upon the neighbouring areas. First of all that province to which hegemony belonged in the preceding epoch is subjected to attack. It is only gradually that the “miseries of war” spread to its nearest neighbours and most faithful allies of the province which has been attacked. Therefore we must add that, in ascertaining the character of any particular critical epoch, it is necessary to discover not only the general features of the psychology of the previous organic period, but also the individual peculiarities of that psychology. During one period of history hegemony belongs to religion, during another to politics, and so forth. This circumstance inevitably reflects itself in the character of the corresponding critical epochs, each of which, according to circumstances, either continues formally to recognize the old hegemony, introducing a new, opposite content into the dominating conceptions (as, for example, the first English Revolution), or else completely rejects them, and hegemony passes to new provinces of thought (as, for example, the French literature of the Enlightenment). If we remember that these disputes over the hegemony of individual psychological provinces also extend to their neighbours, and moreover extend to a different degree and in a different direction in each individual case, we shall understand to what an extent here, as everywhere, one cannot confine oneself to abstract proposition. Let us consider the operation of this law. When a certain class is the enslaver of all in the eyes of the rest of the population, then the ideas which prevail in the ranks of that class naturally present themselves to the population also as ideas worthy only of slave-owners. The social consciousness enters into “contradiction” to them: it is attracted by opposite ideas. But we have already said that this kind of struggle is never carried on all along the line: there always remain a certain number of ideas which are equally recognized both by the revolutionaries and by the defenders of the old order. The strongest attack, however, is made on the ideas which serve to express the most injurious sides of the dying order at the given time. It is on those sides of ideology that the revolutionaries experience an irrepressible desire to “contradict” their predecessors. But in relation to other ideas, even though they did grow up on the basis of old social relations, they often remain quite indifferent, and sometimes by tradition continue to cling to them.

The “state of minds” of any given age can be understood only in connection with the state of the minds of the previous epoch.


September 13, 1858: Truly Heroic Action:
Armed Abolitionists Rescue Captured Ex-Slave:
“The Group Wanted To Proceed Nonviolently, But When The Kentuckians Refused To Surrender Price, The Response Was ‘We Will Have Him Anyhow’”

These were twenty of the thirty-seven citizens from Oberlin and Wellington who were charged with breaking the law by helping John Price escape from slave catchers in the fall of 1858. The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue and subsequent trial caught the eye of the nation as escalating tensions over slavery raised the prospect of civil war. (Courtesy of Oberlin College Archives)

“I must take upon myself the responsibility of self-protection; when I come to be claimed by some perjured wretch as his slave, I shall never be taken into slavery. Carl Bunin Peace History September 8-14 A group of the citizens of Oberlin, Ohio, stopped Kentucky slavecatchers from kidnapping John Price, a black man. Shakespeare Boynton, son of a wealthy landowner had lured Price with the promise of work. Oberlinians, black and white, from town and from the local College, pursued the kidnappers to nearby Wellington at word of his abduction. The group, led by Charles Langston, James M. Fitch, bookseller and superintendent of the Oberlin Sunday School, and John Watson, a grocer, wanted to proceed nonviolently, but when the Kentuckians refused to surrender Price, the response was “we will have him anyhow.” They rushed the door guards of the Inn and theology student Richard Winsor took Price to safety, hidden for a time in the home of Oberlin College President James Fairchild, later helped across the Canadian border to freedom. ***************************

Oberlin And Anti-Slavery
Oberlin was a uniquely tolerant community in the early nineteenth century. Founded in 1833, Oberlin College pioneered co-education and in 1835 broke new ground by admitting students regardless of their race. Many residents were abolitionists and over two hundred people joined together to form the Oberlin Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. The society was dedicated to “the immediate emancipation of the whole colored race within the United States: “The emancipation of the slave from the oppression of the master, the emancipation of the free colored man from the oppression of public sentiment, and the elevation of both to an intellectual, moral, and political equality with the whites.” Over the next generation, Oberlinians supported the antislavery cause by helping fugitive slaves escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. After the federal government passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Oberlin abolitionists grew increasingly concerned about the threat posed by slave catchers hired to recover slaves who had “stolen” themselves from their masters.

Under the 1850 Act, federal marshals received rewards for the arrest and return of alleged fugitive slaves, and anyone caught helping a freedom seeker could be jailed and fined. Antislavery activists throughout the nation denounced the law as immoral and Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin to rally public opinion against the measure. Most Oberlin residents were proud of the town’s reputation as a major station on the Underground Railroad and were more ready than ever to safeguard the escaped men, women, and children seeking aid in their community. John Price was a young man who had escaped from his Kentucky slave owner in the mid-1850s. He had been living and working in Oberlin for about two years when, in the fall of 1858, slavecatchers Anderson Jennings and Richard Mitchell conspired to kidnap Price and bring him back to his Kentucky master. With the help of a few locals (not everyone in Oberlin was an abolitionist), on September 13, 1858 the slave catchers lured Price out of Oberlin with the promise of work. Armed with weapons and a warrant, Mitchell, federal marshal Jacob Lowe, and his assistant Samuel Davis forced Price into their carriage. They then drove him eight miles south to Wellington, Ohio to catch the 5:13 p.m. southbound train. News of John Price’s kidnapping spread quickly in downtown Oberlin as townspeople, students, and professors rallied together in response. “They have carried off one of our men in broad daylight, and are an hour on their way already!” shouted one outraged citizen.

The Kidnapping Of John Price And The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue
White and black Oberlinians hurried the eight miles to Wellington in wagons, buggies, carriages, and some even on foot to rescue Price from slavery. When John H. Scott went to his neighbor, Mrs. Oliver P. Ryder, to borrow a horse she told him, “If necessary, spare not the life of my beast, but rescue the boy.” John Watson, a black store owner in Oberlin, arrived in Wellington first. Soon between 200 and 500 men crowded the streets around the Wadsworth Hotel where the slavecatchers held Price. The crowd began to shout back and forth with the captors, disputing the legality of the capture and demanding to hear from Price himself. Many in the crowd were determined to free Price, whatever the law or consequences. Charles Langston, a black school teacher, moved through the crowd trying to calm the armed protesters.

Side view of Wadsworth’s Hotel in Wellington, Ohio (Courtesy of Oberlin College Archives)

When the southbound train arrived, the situation grew urgent and the crowd began to force their way into the hotel. In the confusion that followed, Price escaped with the help of men who had been trying to negotiate with the captors. Energized by the success of the rescue, Oberlin residents paraded back from Wellington, “shouting, singing, rejoicing in the glad results.” Price first hid in the home of James Fitch, but then moved because Fitch was a known agent of the Underground Railroad. Fitch and Professor James Monroe approached Oberlin College professor James Fairchild, who was known as a more conservative, lawabiding citizen. Fairchild disapproved of slavery and agreed to house Price until he was able to continue north. As the rescuers had hoped, no one came to search Fairchild’s home. With the help of others, John Price probably made his way into Canada. Unfortunately, the story of his life after the rescue is lost to us today.

The Trial Of The Rescuers
Jubilant spirits in Oberlin dimmed when thirty-seven of the Rescuers, both black and white, were charged with breaking federal law. Twenty-five of the men were from Oberlin and twelve were from Wellington.

Ever defiant and trusting in the right of a “higher law,” many of the accused and their wives attended a “Felon’s Feast” on January 11, 1859. Sixty-four guests dined while the Oberlin String Band played. The night was filled with speeches, toasts, spirited criticism of slavery, and a few jokes as well.

John Scott was an Oberlin harness and trunk maker and one of twelve black men who were charged with breaking the law by participating in the Rescue. (Courtesy of Oberlin College Archives)

The town had less to cheer about in the following months as the lengthy trials began and the Rescuers were remanded to jail for their refusal to post bond. They had little chance of escaping legal punishment with a Cleveland-based jury entirely formed of Democrats who opposed abolition. Their lawyers used the trial to speak about the horrors of slavery and to persuade people to support the Republican cause. Two of the defendants sold 5,000 copies of their newspaper “The Rescuer” from inside the jail. Rescuers Simeon Bushnell and Charles Langston were eventually convicted of violating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Bushnell’s sentiments likely matched those of his fellow prisoners when he wrote, “They may do their worst, & when I am again out, I will rescue the first slave I get a chance to rescue.” On May 24, 1859 thousands of people crowded into Cleveland’s Public Square to support the Rescuers.

Court costs continued to mount and the legal tangle intensified when the Rescuers’ supporters arranged for the arrest of the slave catchers on kidnapping charges in Lorain County. A deal was finally negotiated and the Rescuers were released on July 6, 1859, eighty-three days after being imprisoned. Most Oberlin residents were proud of their participation in the Rescue and the continued reputation of the community as a safe haven for all men and women, regardless of color. So strong was their belief in a “higher law” that many were surprised when Bushnell and Langston were found guilty. They saw the trial as a sham and moral outrage, and large numbers of their fellow Northerners agreed. However, others in the North as well as the South felt the arrests and trial had been justified. By harboring fugitive slaves, Oberlin residents had been breaking the law for years. What would happen if everyone began disobeying the laws of the state or nation because they followed a “higher law”? While Oberlin residents saw themselves as unwaveringly in the right, many outsiders thought they were arrogant idealists who were pushing the nation towards war. For the black men and women living in Oberlin, free and fugitive, abstract debates over the law mattered less than the immediate necessity of ensuring their own safety and the safety of their families and friends. Yet they also recognized that fundamental principles were at stake. After being tried and found guilty, Charles Langston gave a speech to the court that eloquently expressed his belief in universal human rights: “I must take upon myself the responsibility of self-protection; when I come to be claimed by some perjured wretch as his slave, I shall never be taken into slavery. “And as in that trying hour I would have others do to me, as I would call upon my friends to help me, as I would call upon you, your Honor, to help me, as I would call upon you (the prosecuting and defense attorneys) to help me, and upon you and upon you, so help me God! I stand here to say that I will do all I can for any man thus seized and held! “ . . . We have all a common humanity, and you all would do that; your manhood would require it, and no matter what the laws might be, you would honor yourself for doing it, while your friends and your children to all generations would honor you for doing it, and every good and honest man would say you had done right!”


“Palestinian Families Used To Come To Al-Oja Spring, In The Jordan Valley, To Spend Summer Days Bathing”
“The Spring Overflowed With Water, Turning The Land Into The ‘Bread Basket’ Of The West Bank. Today The Spring Has Gone”
“Left Behind Is Dry, Arid Land And A Stone's Throw Away From Where The Spring Once Was Is A Large Pump”
“This Pump Takes The Water That Once Was Al-Oja Spring To The Many Illegal Israeli Settlements In The Jordan Valley”
Ariel Sharon once said, "You don't simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away... I prefer to advocate a more positive policy, to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave." 27 August 2013 BY Jessica Purkiss, The Middle East Monitor Palestinian families used to come to Al-Oja spring, in the Jordan Valley, to spend summer days bathing. The spring overflowed with water, turning the land into the "bread basket" of the West Bank. Today the spring has gone. Left behind is dry, arid land and a stone's throw away from where the spring once was is a large pump, cordoned off behind a fence.

This pump takes the water that once was Al-Oja spring to the many illegal Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley. Ariel Sharon once said, "You don't simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away... I prefer to advocate a more positive policy, to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave." The Jordan Valley, which runs the length of the West Bank and makes up one-fifth of its total area, has an abundance of fertile terrain and water resources. Once home to around 320,000 Palestinians the reality behind Sharon's statement has meant that less than a quarter of these people are still there. Through a myriad of common practices, including dispossession, land confiscation, resource control and movement restrictions, Israel has ensured that the remaining Palestinians are being forced from their land. Jeff Halper, from the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, has said, "The EU calls it forced expulsion of Palestinians from the Jordan Valley; for sure, you could even define it as ethnic cleansing." "What you have in the Jordan Valley is massive colonial expropriation of resources, 46 years worth of colonial practices," said a spokesman from Ma'an Development Centre. While Israel and Palestine talks are underway, in the hope that within nine months a peace deal will be reached to bring an end to the decades of occupation, what will be the fate of the second most prized territory after Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley? As Abbas opened a mosque in Jericho last week he reiterated that there would be no Palestinian state without Jericho and the Jordan Valley. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in his May 2011 address to the US Congress, "Israel will never cede the Jordan Valley. Israel would never agree to withdraw from the Jordan Valley under any peace agreement signed with the Palestinians. And it‘s vital – absolutely vital – that Israel maintains a long-term military presence along the Jordan River." During a tour of the area, Netanyahu told the IDF soldiers escorting him, "Israel's line of defence begins here... If rockets and missiles break out here, they will reach Tel Aviv, Haifa and all over the state." This comment echoed the thoughts of his predecessors. Former Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once declared, "The security border to protect the State of Israel will be set in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of this term." Rabin's comments stemmed from the 1967 Allon Plan, named after the Israeli politician who formulated it. The plan basically outlined Israel's desire to control the entire valley. It advocated the annexation to Israel of a strip of land up to 15 kilometres wide to act as a buffer zone between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries. It envisaged settlements as "permanent advance-position lookouts that would avoid having to call up military forces and could not only alert the military to a sudden attack by the enemy, but also attempt to halt, or at least delay, the enemy's advance until military

forces could control the situation." While the Allon Plan was never implemented officially by Israel, in 1968 the first settlement was erected in the Jordan Valley. Within a decade 19 settlements grew there, all illegal under international law, and in the northern Dead Sea area. In the 5 years after that, another 11 went up; today there are 38 settlements in the region. The Oslo Accords further entrenched Israel's control over the valley. It carved up the terrain of the West Bank and, in the process, the slice which is the Jordan Valley fell into Area C. This means that around 90 per cent of the Jordan Valley is under complete Israeli military and administrative control, the access of which to Palestinians is prohibited or controlled strictly by Israel. While they were busy with Oslo, Israel implemented a settlement freeze which excluded the Jordan Valley. Asked about the importance of the Jordan Valley to a Palestinian state, Halper said, "In terms of the economics, in terms of the border as a bridge to the Arab world and finally in terms of territory, the Jordan Valley is crucial. It is the core of a sovereignty and validity. The Palestinians do not just need a state; they need a state that is sovereign." He added that the Jordan Valley will never go to a Palestinian state. "From 1967 until today, Israel has always seen it as crucial [to itself], both in the security sense and economically." Even if the territory of the Jordan Valley was to go to a state of Palestine, Israel would use the gross power imbalance to continue to extort its resources. With the Jordan Valley now home to 9,600 settlers and the income from the exports grown on the settlement farms totaling around $128 million a year, it seems unlikely that Israel will ever relinquish its tight grip on the territory. [To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

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