Military Resistance

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2.2.11

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Military Resistance 9B2
The Hot Breath Of The Revolution Begins To Melt The Discipline Of The Army

Cairo: Credit: Mohammed Omer; Copyright IPS

Festival Of The Oppressed 2011:
“A Revolution Of The People, Not The Parties” “No To The Brotherhood, No To The Parties”

“The Opposition Has Been Overwhelmed By The Pace And Scale Of The Uprising”
“You Feel Like Everyone Is Walking On His Own, Speaking For Himself, Because There’s No Group That Represents Us”

The largest crowd in a week of protests packs Cairo’s Tahrir Square. (Reuters TV / February 1, 2011) In a sun-basked square, that sense of empowerment has radiated across the downtown, where volunteers passed out free wafers, tea and cake. Youths swept streets, organized security and checked identification at checkpoints in a show of popular mobilization that any transitional government will at least have to acknowledge. January 31, 2011 By ANTHONY SHADID, The New York Times Company [Excerpts] The defiance of Mr. Mubarak’s government only grew Monday, as the protests in the sprawling square swelled from hundreds before dawn to tens of thousands by dusk. Mothers hoisted children on their shoulders shouting the refrain of this revolt: “The people want the fall of the government!” “We don’t want ElBaradei or the Muslim Brotherhood, and we don’t want the ruling party,” said Mohammed Nagi, a 30-year-old protester.

“You feel like everyone is walking on his own, speaking for himself, because there’s no group that represents us.” In short, he said, “We don’t want what we have.” “People are learning that the yearning for freedom, for dignity, for justice and for employment is a legitimate ambition,” said Sateh Noureddine, a prominent Lebanese columnist. “This is a historic moment, and it is teaching the Arab world everything. They are learning that if they take to the streets they can accomplish their goals.” In the carnivalesque atmosphere of Tahrir Square, also known as Liberation Square, protesters speak in the superlatives of rebellion, echoing sentiments pronounced across the region. “Revolution on the Nile,” read the headline Monday in Al Akhbar, a leftist Lebanese newspaper. “A mummy wrestles with the living.” But even the most sober speak about the transformation that an only week-old uprising has had on a people so long treated as subjects, not citizens, by a state that saw elections as a scripted exercise in affirmation. In the face of looting and arson, neighborhoods organized into popular defense committees, including young men armed with everything from horsewhips to the hoses of water pipes. Though they coordinated with the army, they managed to secure, largely on their own, block after block in the wake of the utter collapse of police authority on Saturday. “The popular committee protected us better than the police did,” said Mohammed Maqboul, a lawyer in the square. “Twenty-four hours a day, they guarded our streets.” In a sun-basked square, that sense of empowerment has radiated across the downtown, where volunteers passed out free wafers, tea and cake. Youths swept streets, organized security and checked identification at checkpoints in a show of popular mobilization that any transitional government will at least have to acknowledge. “For the first time, people feel like they belong to this place,” said Selma al-Tarzi, a 33year-old film director. “We need patience,” shouted Atef Ammar, a lawyer who argued with protesters. “The result of this democracy you brought is to impose the thugs and looting on us.” “You’re with the regime!” one protester accused him. “Why can’t we wait?” he replied. “We don’t want the country to collapse.”

Men started shouting at him, pushing and shoving. “The entire system has to go,” yelled Mustafa Ali, a protester. “Not just Mubarak!” Indeed, the opposition, along with virtually every representative of civil society here, has been overwhelmed by the pace and scale of the uprising. Youthful organizers have sought to push forth the protests, joining older opposition figures who hope to negotiate with the government, but many of them admit their influence on the crowds is negligible. “I feel like ElBaradei is not an Egyptian,” declared one protester, Seraggedin Abu Rawash. “He lived his whole life abroad, and now he’s trying to ride the revolution.” Mr. Rawash, a 21-year-old engineer, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has assumed a far more prominent role in the protests since Sunday, organizing prayers in the square and largely keeping to themselves. “No to the Brotherhood, no to the parties,” one chant went Monday. “Revolution, of the youth.” A banner read, “A revolution of the people, not the parties.” For now, one of the most spectacular popular movements in Egypt’s history is counting on the energy of the street, even as the government opened the door to negotiations. “If the youth continue to take to the street when they feel the revolution is going to be taken away from them, I have no worries about the regime, the army or the Brotherhood,” Mr. Abdel-Razeq said. “If it means a better life, a better Egypt, a better job, they will.”

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“A Stunning And Jubilant Array Of Young And Old, Urban Poor And Middle Class Professionals, Mounting By Far The Largest Protest Yet In A Week”
“Soldiers At Checkpoints Set Up The Entrances Of The Square Did Nothing To Stop The Crowds From Entering”

“Tens Of Thousands Rallied In The Cities Of Alexandria, Suez And Mansoura, North Of Cairo, As Well As In The Southern Province Of Assiut And Luxor”

February 1, 2011: An effigy depicting President Hosni Mubarak hanging on a traffic light in Cairo. (AP) [Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] February 1, 2011 By SARAH EL DEEB and HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, The Associated Press [Excerpts] CAIRO -- More than a quarter-million people flooded Cairo’s main square Tuesday in a stunning and jubilant array of young and old, urban poor and middle class professionals, mounting by far the largest protest yet in a week of unrelenting demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave after nearly 30 years in power. The crowds - determined but peaceful - filled Tahrir, or Liberation, Square and spilled into nearby streets, among them people defying a government transportation shutdown to make their way from rural provinces in the Nile Delta. Protesters jammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, with schoolteachers, farmers, unemployed university graduates, women in conservative headscarves and women in high heels, men in suits and working-class men in scuffed shoes. They sang nationalist songs, danced, beat drums and chanted the anti-Mubarak slogan “Leave! Leave! Leave!” as military helicopters buzzed overhead.

Organizers said the aim was to intensify marches to get the president out of power by Friday, and similar demonstrations erupted in at least five other cities around Egypt. Soldiers at checkpoints set up the entrances of the square did nothing to stop the crowds from entering. The military promised on state TV Monday night that it would not fire on protesters answering a call for a million to demonstrate, a sign that army support for Mubarak may be unraveling as momentum builds for an extraordinary eruption of discontent and demands for democracy in the United States’ most important Arab ally. “This is the end for him. It’s time,” said Musab Galal, a 23-year-old unemployed university graduate who came by minibus with his friends from the Nile Delta city of Menoufiya. Protester volunteers wearing tags reading “the People’s Security” circulated through the crowds in the square, saying they were watching for government infiltrators who might try to instigate violence. Authorities shut down all roads and public transportation to Cairo and in and out of other main cities, security officials said. Train services nationwide were suspended for a second day and all bus services between cities were halted. Still, many from the provinces managed to make it to the square. Hamada Massoud, a 32-year-old a lawyer, said he and 50 others came in cars and minibuses from the impoverished province of Beni Sweif south of Cairo. Tens of thousands rallied in the cities of Alexandria, Suez and Mansoura, north of Cairo, as well as in the southern province of Assiut and Luxor, the southern city where some 5,000 people protested outside an ancient Egyptian temple.

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“If I Die Now My Whole Family Will Be Proud Of Me”
“Abdo, A 65-Year-Old Carpenter Wearing The Traditional Egyptian Galabeya Gown, Wants His Voice To Be Heard”

“I Need To Work Every Day To Live But I Left My Family And Work To Be Here, I Came Here To Say ‘No, Enough’“
“I Don’t Care Who Leads Egypt – Muslim, Christian Or Even Jewish – If He Has The Right Strategy For The Country”
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] Feb 1, 2011 By Sapa-AFP [Excerpts] “I will stay here till I die,” said Osama Allam as the grey Cairo dawn lifts on the biggest day of anger yet against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, whose effigy hangs from nearby traffic lights. Encircled by tanks and with troops filtering protesters streaming onto the square that has become the epicentre of a week of revolt, men, women and children brandish banners and cardboard signs demanding Mubarak go. “Choose Mubarak regime or Egypt people,” read one sign in English as protesters nearby carry Mubarak’s mock coffin shoulder-high. Elsewhere on the square people chant slogans against Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne. Abdo, a 65-year-old carpenter wearing the traditional Egyptian galabeya gown, wants his voice to be heard. “I need to work every day to live but I left my family and work to be here, I came here to say ‘no, enough’“ Protesters read demands, daubed in large letters on a banner strung between lampposts. “The immediate end to Mubarak’s rule; the trial of (former interior minister) Habib al-Adly; the establishment of a commission to amend the constitution; the dissolution of parliament and the formation of a transitional national salvation government.” With at least 125 people dead in eight days of clashes between angry citizens and police, the crowd knows that more blood may be shed before their objectives are achieved.

“If I die now my whole family will be proud of me. This is what the Egyptian people need,” said Allam, but no one thinks the threat comes from the all-powerful armed forces. “The people are the army and the army is the people,” he said. Protesters are keen to dispel fears raised by some Western nations and Israel that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could try to move to fill a post-Mubarak power vacuum. “Only one in 100 here is a Muslim Brother,” said engineer Mohammed Suleiman. “Mubarak made the US and Europe afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood, he made them think they will take power but this is not true.” They also dismiss rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that Egypt could turn into an Iranian-style Islamist regime. “Israel is not Benjamin Netanyahu,” said one unnamed protester. “The Israeli people are like the Egyptian people, we want peace and freedom. In what could prove a critical moment in Egypt’s popular uprising against Hosni Mubarak, the country’s army last night told demonstrators that their demands were “legitimate” and that troops “would not resort to the use of force against our great people”. “The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing,” the statement said. “Your armed forces, who... are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and its citizens, affirm that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.” Suzanne Saleh, a British-educated 38-year-old mother of three, said that assumptions that the Muslim Brotherhood would win free elections were “just political propaganda for the West”. She added: “I don’t care who leads Egypt – Muslim, Christian or even Jewish – if he has the right strategy for the country.” Passing the demonstration, one woman said: “King Farouk left in one night. What’s happening here?”

MORE:

“I Brought My American Passport Today In Case I Die Today”
“I brought my American passport today in case I die today,” said Marwan Mossaad, 33, a graduate architecture student with dual Egyptian-American citizenship.

“I want the American people to know that they are supporting one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and Americans are also dying for it.” -- Quoted By David D. Kirkpatrick, January 31, 2011, The New York Times

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“‘There Have Been Many Clashes Between Bedouin Youth And The Security Forces,’ Says A Young Man”
“‘It Is A Revolution’ One Says Simply”
“The Youth Are Determined To Clear The Building Of Any Police Loyal To The Regime, And To Free All Prisoners”
“A Few Minutes Later, Shooting Begins, Not Far Away. ‘It Will End Soon,’ The Young Man Says Calmly. He Seemed In No Doubt Who Would Prevail”
The police are rapidly leaving their posts, but some still appear in uniform. One uniformed policeman stands quietly to a side. He is in danger, he seems no danger to others at all. What would he do if attacked? “Just take my uniform off and join the protest,” he tells IPS. “Or maybe just go over to the Palestinian side.” Feb 1, 2011 By Mohammed Omer, IPS A Bedouin youth casually spreads out a piece of cloth before a police headquarters in Sheikh Zwayyed town in Sinai, the vast desert area to the east of Cairo across the Suez.

“I will leave when Mubarak leaves,” he says. He joins hundreds of others. They have broken through into the police station already, and are now camping there to demand a change in government. Most youth are Bedouin, originally a nomadic tribe in the desert, who’ve been fighting for their rights for years. Over the last few days they feel they’re winning. The police are rapidly leaving their posts, but some still appear in uniform. One uniformed policeman stands quietly to a side. He is in danger, he seems no danger to others at all. What would he do if attacked? “Just take my uniform off and join the protest,” he tells IPS. “Or maybe just go over to the Palestinian side.” A youth who gives his name as Hassan Washah has headed off towards Gaza already. To the tunnels underneath the Egyptian-Gaza border, and then in hope of heading home at last to the Buriej refugee camp in Gaza. Washah had been in prison for years. He was freed by a vast crowd of Bedouin youth who advanced on the jail where he had been kept with scores of others. There was no resistance reported from the police and jail staff; many in fact were reported to have offered assistance. Sinai is home to many prisons. Countless prisoners have found sudden freedom – nobody seems to know what they were in jail for, and no one wants to ask. New groups have taken charge, and it’s hard to say who these are. Several check-posts have been set up all the way between Cairo and Sinai. “Who are you,” says a man at one of these checkpoints. This IPS correspondent offers him his Palestinian passport. He glances at it, upside down, and pockets it. After some time he gives it back. State security in plain clothes, riot police, secret police, the army, Bedouin youth, protesters who had come from Cairo to spread the word – no one seems to know who the people at these check-points are. Makeshift barricades have been set up all over Sheikh Zwayyed. Looters have run amok. Shops and houses have visibly been stripped of chairs, tables, telephones, files, desks. Some of all this has been burnt in heaps. Cars have been wrecked. Some had been driven into storefronts so the shops could be looted. Others were overturned and

burnt. It seems a shattered war zone. There has been at least some resistance by police. “There have been many clashes between Bedouin youth and the security forces,” says a young man sitting on the side of the road. A few minutes later, shooting begins, not far away. “It will end soon,” the young man says calmly. He seemed in no doubt who would prevail. There is no doubt either that Bedouin youth are fully armed. It is not clear where they got their weapons from. Nothing seems certain here, and nobody asks questions. By all accounts there have been many casualties. Again, nobody knows how many, and no one can say what treatment they have been able to get, if any. The sound of the shooting intensifies. It seems to be directed towards the state security building nearby. The building also houses a large number of prisoners. The youth are determined to clear the building of any police loyal to the regime, and to free all prisoners. The area appears to have drawn many powerful and armed groups that have converged to free their associates and relatives from the prisons. They look determined to succeed. Some of the men carry heavy weapons. The groups mingle freely with local Bedouin youth. The deprivation across this area is greater than Cairo has ever known. And the anger seems greater too. With the anger, Bedouin youth now present a face of triumph. “It is a revolution,” one says simply.

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The Role Of Soccer Clubs In The Epoch Of Wars, Revolutions And Imperialist Decay:
“The Critical Role Of Egypt’s Soccer Clubs May Surprise Us, But Only If

We Don’t Know The History That Soccer Clubs Have Played In The Country”
“The Involvement Of Organized Soccer Fans In Egypt’s Anti-Government Protests Constitutes Every Arab Government’s Worst Nightmare”
January 31, 2011 By Dave Zirin, Sports Illustrated.Com Over the decades that have marked the tenure of Egypt’s “President for Life” Hosni Mubarak, there has been one consistent nexus for anger, organization, and practical experience in the ancient art of street fighting: the country’s soccer clubs. Over the past week, the most organized, militant fan clubs, also known as the “ultras,” have put those years of experience to ample use. Last Thursday, the Egyptian Soccer Federation announced that they would be suspending all league games throughout the country in an effort to keep the soccer clubs from congregating. Clearly this was a case of too little, too late. Even without games, the football fan associations have been front and center organizing everything from the neighborhood committees that have been providing security for residents, to direct confrontation with the state police. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian blogger said, “The ultras -- have played a more significant role than any political group on the ground at this moment.” Alaa then joked, “Maybe we should get the ultras to rule the country.” The involvement of the clubs has signaled more than just the intervention of sports fans. The soccer clubs’ entry into the political struggle also means the entry of the poor, the disenfranchised, and the mass of young people in Egypt for whom soccer was their only outlet. As soccer writer James Dorsey wrote this week, “The involvement of organized soccer fans in Egypt’s anti-government protests constitutes every Arab government’s worst nightmare. Soccer, alongside Islam, offers a rare platform in the Middle East, a region populated by authoritarian regimes that control all public spaces, for the venting of pentup anger and frustration.”

Dorsey’s statement proved prophetic on Sunday when it was announced that Libya’s government had instructed the Libyan Football Federation to ban soccer matches for the foreseeable future. Sources in the government said that this was done to head off the mere possibility that Egypt’s demonstrations could spill over the border. The fear was that soccer could be the artery that would connect the challenge to Mubarak to a challenge to former U.S. foe turned ally Moammar Gadhafi. The critical role of Egypt’s soccer clubs may surprise us, but only if we don’t know the history that soccer clubs have played in the country. For more than a century, the clubs have been a place where cheering and antigovernment organizing have walked together in comfort. Egypt’s most prominent team, Al Ahly, started its club in 1907 as a place to organize national resistance against British colonial rule. The word Al Ahly translated into English means “the national,” to mark their unapologetically political stance against colonialism. Al Ahly has always been the team with the most political fans. It’s also a team that’s allowed its players to make political statements on the pitch even though this is in direct violation of FIFA dictates. It’s no coincidence that it was Al Ahly’s star player Mohamed Aboutrika, aka “the Smiling Assassin,” who in 2008 famously raised his jersey revealing the T-shirt, which read “Sympathize with Gaza.” Of course there are thousands in the streets of Egypt that have no connection to the Ultras of Al Ahly or any of the clubs in Egypt. But soccer clubs, whether in Europe, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East, have a long history as a place where anger, frustration and dissent been channeled. Sometimes it’s been channeled toward ill-ends like racist hooliganism or even as instruments of ethnic cleansing during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Other times, as in the Ivory Coast, it’s been a tool for unity during civil war. Even more than either of those options, the soccer clubs have been a safety valve where people have just let off steam. Today in Egypt they’re at the heart of a rich mosaic of resistance. They stand as a remarkable example of the capacity that sports has to bring people together. An anonymous member of Mubarak’s ruling national party said to the government newspaper, Al Ahram, last Wednesday, “What we saw on the streets ... are not just Muslim Brotherhood members or sympathizers but Egyptians at large; those are the Egyptians that you would see supporting the football national team -- and their show of frustration was genuine and it had to be accommodated.”

Pity the government official with the sense to realize the enormity of the challenge in the streets and the naiveté to think it can be accommodated. The great author of Soccer in Sun and Shadow, Eduardo Galeano, in a different time and different context once wrote, “The Dictatorship of Fear is Over.” Truer words about Egypt could never be spoken.

IRAQ WAR REPORTS
HOW MANY MORE FOR OBAMA’S WARS?

The remains of Army Sgt. Jose M. Cintron Rosado of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Jan. 5, 2011. Rosado was killed in combat in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Resistance Action
Jan 28 (Reuters) & Jan 29 (Reuters) & Feb 1, 2011 Post Chronicle In January fifty-five police officers and 45 soldiers were killed, compared to 41 and 21 respectively in December, according to interior and defense ministry figures. MOSUL - A roadside bomb wounded two policemen when it exploded near a police patrol in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. BAGHDAD - Armed men using silenced weapons opened fire and killed a lieutenant colonel of the police force in Baghdad’s western district of Mansour, an Interior Ministry source said.

BAGHDAD - A policeman in his car was killed by an attacker using a silenced weapon in Kadhimiya, a northwestern district of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

Iowa Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

U.S. Army Spc. Shawn Muhr, 26, of Coon Rapids, Iowa, 26 died Jan. 30, 2011 in Afghanistan. Muhr was riding in a heavy equipment transport vehicle when it was struck by a roadside bomb. Muhr and another soldier were killed. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

POLITICIANS CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WARS

THIS ENVIRONMENT IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH; ALL HOME, NOW

A medic with the United States Army’s Task Force Shadow ‘Dust Off’ 1-214 Aviation Regiment leads Marines as they carry a Marine wounded by an improvised explosive device to a waiting medevac helicopter in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

SOMALIA WAR REPORTS

“Wounded Survivors...Some Of Them Had Their Legs Or Arms Cut Off”
Twenty Dead When Soldiers From U.S.Backed Government Start Killing Each Other And Anybody Else
Jan 31, 2011 GAROWE ONLINE At least 20 people were killed Monday including many civilians after Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia soldiers open indiscriminate fire upon civilians, Radio Garowe reports. The incident happened near Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, after TFG soldiers killed a fellow soldier “dressed in civilian uniform.”

Witnesses said the dead soldier, who had a pistol tucked in, was killed after TFG troops became suspicious of him. Fellow soldiers from the dead soldier’s unit were in an “argument” with the attacking troops when indiscriminate gunfire was opened. Among the dead were women and two employees of Banadir Hospital, sources added. “Some of the dead cut into pieces. The wounded survivors...some of them had their legs or arms cut off,” said a woman, who was helping the wounded persons. Mogadishu residents described the incident as a terrible misunderstanding, although TFG soldiers have fought each other in the past many times. The Western-backed TFG interim government in Mogadishu, aided by African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM), is fighting to survive against a four-year insurgency led by Al Shabaab fighters.

MILITARY NEWS

Mutiny On The Gorch Fock:
“Sexual Harassment And Bullying Aboard”
“Seele’s Death Was So Badly Handled By Officers That A Number Of Cadets Mounted A Mutiny, Refusing To Carry Out Orders”
Officer Class Accused Of Not Possessing “The Knowledge And Intuition To Realise When The Line Has Been Crossed Into Criminality”
25 January 2011 By Helen Pidd in Berlin, Guardian News

The German navy is in disgrace following a string of lurid claims about sexual harassment and bullying aboard the force’s most famous training ship, where two female cadets have died in murky circumstances. Not so long ago, the Gorch Fock sailing ship was the pride of the German navy, often called the country’s “floating ambassador”. But after allegations of debauchery on and below deck, plus a rumoured mutiny, the boat is now being dubbed “Germany’s biggest floating brothel”. Today the parliamentary ombudsman for the armed forces, Hellmut Königshaus, was forced to answer questions about the deaths of two women on board – one who fell from one of the ship’s three masts in November, and another who drowned two years ago. No one has been prosecuted in either case, but the parents of the drowned woman believe their daughter was sexually harassed in the runup to her death and have demanded a full investigation. Meanwhile, friends of the other woman, 25-year-old naval trainee Sarah Lena Seele, have told the media she had been bullied into climbing the mast. A leaked parliamentary report written by Königshaus and his team has suggested that Seele’s death was so badly handled by officers that a number of cadets mounted a mutiny, refusing to carry out orders. They were also reportedly unhappy that officers held a raucous party on board days after she died. At a press conference today, Königshaus said when he visited the ship last year he heard some complaints about the behaviour of officers, but he wasn’t aware of any “abnormalities”. In the leaked report, however, Königshaus and his team report tales of massive alcohol consumption on board. Drunken officers forced their underlings to scrub their vomit from the deck, it is claimed, and threatened to kill cadets while intoxicated. One male cadet complained of sexual harassment in the ship’s showers. “It was like being in jail on the ship,” he reportedly told investigators. “Every new recruit had to offer up his ass.” The cadet said crew members were always throwing his shampoo bottle on the floor so that he had to bend down to pick it up. According to another report in Spiegel Online, one recruit told investigators that crew members told him they were members of the Aryan Brotherhood, the racist group which is responsible for murders, extortion and drug trafficking in US prisons. Today Germany’s defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, announced he had sent a seven-strong investigating team to Argentina, where the boat is docked, to carry out an inquiry into what went wrong. They are expected to arrive on Thursday.

Guttenberg sent home the ship’s captain last Friday pending the investigation. The naval scandal has put the spotlight on behaviour across Germany’s armed forces. In response to ever more colourful allegations in the newspaper, Guttenberg has vowed to investigate claims of “inhumane” rituals across the armed forces which “contradict the ground rules of the Bundeswehr”. He has ordered a review of “all rituals and traditions that contradict the basic principles of the armed forces”. These include “Fuxtest”, in which recruits are forced to eat raw pig’s liver and pickled herring washed down with alcohol until they vomit. It is not a happy week for the higher echelons of Germany’s military. Today a 70-page annual report on the armed forces criticised the “inexperienced” officer class for not possessing “the knowledge and intuition to realise when the line has been crossed into criminality”.

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“Sarah Lena Seele, Was Ordered To Climb High Up Into The Rigging Although She Was Both Too Short To Meet The Requirements For This Job”
February 1, 2011 By Victor Grossman, Berlin Bulletin No. 18 [Excerpt] On the Gorch Fock, the handsome three-masted sailing vessel used to train navy officers, which had rounded Cape Horn and was in Brazilian waters, the 25-year-old woman trainee Sarah Lena Seele, was ordered to climb high up into the rigging although she was both too short to meet the requirements for this job and allegedly exhausted after a very long flight to reach the ship. She fell and died. To make matters worse, rumors circulated that the captain had dismissed her death as just another accident, like a car crash, and even permitted a carnival celebration in South American waters two days later. Other reports called him a little dictator and it was said that some of the officers candidates were involved in a protest mutiny.

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” “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.” Frederick Douglass, 1852

“The Role Of The Armed Forces Is The Central Question”
“In The Near Term, Deepening The Struggle Will Depend In Large Part

On Whether The Mass Of People In The Streets Can Win Over The Soldiers To Their Side”
“They Have To Be Confident That The Revolution Has A Place For Them, And That It Can Succeed--And So The Appeals To Them Have To Be Organized”
“The Movement Must Make An Appeal To The Soldiers”

An Egyptian anti-government activist kisses an Egyptian army officer in Tahrir square in Cairo on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Ben Curtis / AP [Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.]

A protester draped in an Egyptian flag climbs atop an army tank to shake hands with a soldier in Cairo January 29, 2011. Yannis Behrakis / Reuters [Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.]

An Egyptian protester kisses an Army soldier in central Cairo on January 29, 2011. Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images [Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] [Thanks to Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against The War & Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] January 31, 2011 By Lee Sustar, Socialist Worker [Excerpts] EGYPTIAN POLITICS are on a knife’s edge as the popular uprising in that country has put the question of revolution at the center of world politics. As Monday dawned over Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square, thousands of protesters mingled with tanks and armored vehicles of the armed forces that may either be won over to the demonstrators’ demand to oust President Hosni Mubarak--or carry out the dictator’s order to repress a widespread popular revolt. Suddenly, one of the most feared and effective police states in the world is on the brink of collapse, as millions shake off their intimidation and take to the streets across the country. Now the role of the armed forces is the central question. The army’s ambiguous behavior was on display in Tahrir Square on Sunday, as U.S.built fighter jets ominously buzzed the tens of thousands of protesters in the square. Tanks and other army vehicles have taken key positions at key access points to Tahrir Square, according to the Al Jazeera news network. At the same time, however, demonstrators continued to fraternize with soldiers, with many tank commanders allowing anti-Mubarak graffiti and signs to be placed on their tanks or even permitting demonstrators to use them as Nevertheless, the increasing presence of the army is a sign that Mubarak and his reshuffled leadership are counting on the military as a last bulwark to remain in power--if not to keep Mubarak in office, then to preserve as much of his state apparatus as possible in the face of the massive upsurge that began with the January 25 protest and led to days of protests and clashes with the hated police. The regime’s strategy was evidently to maximize social tensions and allow the army to play the role of patriotic savior of the nation from chaos. The movement for democracy has become a vast popular struggle. But it needs the social weight and political organization of the working class--not only to make it impossible for Mubarak to stay, but also to carry on the struggle against his cronies and the corrupt business interests that constitute the core of his regime. Certainly, the downfall of a hated dictator would be a fantastic achievement by the Egyptian working class. But transforming the miserable conditions of Egyptian workers-and sweeping aside the ruling class that created and protected Mubarak--will take sustained struggle and the revival of independent working-class organization and politics.

In the near term, deepening the struggle will depend in large part on whether the mass of people in the streets can win over the soldiers to their side. On one side, Mubarak, Suleiman and the generals ready to replace them hope that the armed forces, while not able to crush the mass movement in the near term, can slowly squeeze and exhaust it. Yet the longer the soldiers are on the streets to fraternize with protesters, the greater the risk that the armed forces won’t do the bidding of the top military brass. There is a gulf between the low-level officer earning around $200 per month and the generals who have grown rich from corruption, kickbacks from military contractors and the army’s extensive business interests. In short, the movement must make an appeal to the soldiers on the basis of working class solidarity in order to neutralize the threat of repression. As the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky wrote, the army is “a copy of society, and suffers from all its diseases, usually at a higher temperature. The hierarchy of command in capitalist society is reflected in a more extreme form in its armed forces. The officer castes keep in close touch with the capitalists.” But even with a regime as isolated as Mubarak’s, there is no guarantee that rankand-file soldiers will take the risk of disobeying their officers and refuse orders to shoot the people. They have to be confident that the revolution has a place for them, and that it can succeed--and so the appeals to them have to be organized. A display of workers power--in the form of a general strike--would, of course, give greater impetus to the effort to win over the soldiers. What happens next depends on the efforts of the Egyptian working class. Through their courage and action, they’ve already shaken one of the world’s nastier authoritarian states to its foundations and destabilized U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. Their actions will inspire further struggles to come.

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“Egypt Exposes The Divide Between Those Who Fearlessly Feel The Thrill Of Freedom And Those For Whom Freedom Has Become An Object Of Fear”
“For Those Who Remain The Hostage Of Their Own Fears, Freedom Itself Is Another Source Of Danger”
January 30, 2011 by Paul Woodward, Warincontext.org When a brutal regime is struggling to survive it turns to desperate measures. Even as low-flying Egyptian air force Lockheed F-16s are currently attempting to shake fear into the hundreds of thousands of people gathered now in the center of Cairo, the people are showing their increasing defiance. And even now the Obama administration remains afraid of taking a strong stand in support of the Egyptian people. We cannot honor the revolution in Egypt as impartial observers, uncertain about its outcome or its virtue. To believe in the revolution is to hold the unshakable conviction that human beings have the capacity to govern themselves and the right to live in freedom. Egypt exposes the divide between those who fearlessly feel the thrill of freedom and those for whom freedom has become an object of fear. As freedom spreads across the Middle East the greatest test will be faced in Israel. Let’s be absolutely clear that the timidity with which the United States government has at this time responded to the prospect of Egyptians’ freedom, is a measure of the extent to which the freedom of 80 million people appears to pose a possible threat to the security of seven million Israelis. Many Israelis and Americans have come to accept an unspoken and inhuman proposition: that one person’s safety can be secured at the expense of another person’s liberty. This forced exchange is an assault on human freedom. At the same time, many others, swept up in the spirit of this moment, will be tempted to declare, “We are all Egyptians now,” but we are not.

The giddiness of freedom is the reward for those who have risen above their fears. For those who remain the hostage of their own fears, freedom itself is another source of danger. Under the rule of the West’s national security states we have been indoctrinated to believe that the remedy for fear is safety. It is not. Indeed, those who cling to the fiction of high security, merely compound their own fears. If we are to rediscover the nobility and dignity of our common humanity it will only be by defying fear with courage.

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Happy Anniversary: February 2, 1989
Russia Withdraws From Afghanistan In Defeat

Peace History: Carl Bunin

Russian participation in the war in Afghanistan ended as Red Army troops withdrew from the capital city of Kabul. They left behind many of their arms.

OCCUPATION PALESTINE

Hamas And Palestinian Authority Political Scum Unite To Betray The Egyptian Revolution:
“Both Hamas And The Western-Backed Palestinian Authority Have Prevented Popular Demonstrations In Support Of Protesting Egyptians”

[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] January 31, 2011 By FARES AKRAM and ISABEL KERSHNER, New York Times [Excerpts] GAZA —The Hamas rulers of Gaza and the rival Palestinian Authority leadership of the West Bank rarely see eye-to-eye on anything. But with mass protests rocking Egypt, across Gaza’s southern border, the Palestinian adversaries have united in maintaining a cautious silence, hedging their bets given the unpredictability of the outcome and clearly concerned about a possible spread of popular unrest to their areas.

Both Hamas and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority have prevented popular demonstrations in support of protesting Egyptians in recent days, apparently preferring to show a front of Palestinian neutrality and worried that things could spin out of control. Apparently nervous, the Hamas police dispersed a handful of demonstrators who gathered in Gaza city on Monday afternoon to show support for the Egyptian people. The official Palestinian Authority TV has avoided showing the scale of the protests in Egypt. Emad al-Asfar, the director general of programming, said the station did not want “to interfere in the internal affairs of governments” and was trying to avoid “inciting the public through live coverage” and “unauthenticated stories.” Nevertheless, Palestinians in the West Bank were mostly supportive of the Egyptians seeking change. “We are happy,” said Rashad Zaid, 20, a university student from Ramallah, “because the barriers of fear have collapsed and people are able to raise their voices against those who have acted brutally. We hope that the street movement achieves its goals.” [To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]

DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK

CLASS WAR REPORTS

King Of Jordan Dismisses Cabinet After Protests:
“Jordan’s Constitution Gives The King The Exclusive Powers To Appoint Prime Ministers, Dismiss Parliament And Rule By Decree”
[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] 01 February 11 By Associated Press & Channel 4 AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II, bowing to public pressure, fired his government on Tuesday and tasked a new prime minister with quickly boosting economic opportunities and giving Jordanians a greater say in politics. The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan - inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt - calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms. Rifai, 45, who has been widely blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slow-moving political reforms, tendered his resignation early Tuesday to the king, who accepted it immediately, a Royal Palace statement said. Abdullah named Marouf al-Bakhit, 63, as Rifai’s replacement. Al-Bakhit, an ex-general who supports strong ties with the U.S. and Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel, previously served as prime minister from 2005-2007. “We reject the new prime minister and we will continue our protests until our demands are met,” said Hamza Mansour, leader of the Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood’s political arm. Mansour repeated his call for constitutional amendments to curb the king’s power in naming prime ministers, arguing that the post should go to the elected leader of the parliamentary majority. Jordan’s constitution gives the king the exclusive powers to appoint prime ministers, dismiss parliament and rule by decree. Al-Bakhit is a moderate politician, who served as Jordan’s ambassador to Israel earlier this decade.

Like Abdullah, he supports close ties with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 and strong relations with the United States, Jordan’s largest aid donor and longtime ally. Middle East expert at the University of St Andrews, Dr Frederic Volpi, told Channel 4 News that Jordan has been here before. “The King has often used his Government and the Prime Minister as a scapegoat. A change of Government is not new in Jordanian politics,” he said. “For many years, monarchs have been able to replace the Government to be seen to address the misgivings of the population. In the past this has been enough, but the situation in the region now is much more volatile - so what has worked before may not work again.”

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