GI Special: 12.16.03 Print it out (color best). Pass it on.


THE RESISTANCE WILL GROW: Iraqi civilians gather around a charred vehicle in front of a police station following an attack north of Baghdad. (AFP/Sabah Arar)

Insurrection In Hilla

“Resistance To Occupation Will Grow”

The Guardian: By Sami Ramadani December 15, 2003

(Sami Ramadani was a political refugee from Saddam's regime and is a senior lecturer in sociology at London Metropolitan University)

The joy was deep, but the pain, too, was overwhelming as I remembered relatives and friends who lost their lives opposing Saddam's tyranny or in his wars.

I remember my disappeared and dearest school friend, Hazim, whom I hugged goodbye in 1969 at the canteen of the college of medicine in Baghdad. I never saw him again. Although only 15, Hazim had the courage to distribute anti-Ba'athist leaflets at our school in Baghdad within months of the 1963 CIA-backed coup that brought the Ba'athists to power. I remember, too, my dear friend Ghassan, who died in a hospital in Canada after many years in exile. He didn't live to see the moment he had waited so long for.

What will the Americans do with their captive? Is Saddam going to face a trial? Will the truth of his mass murders and crimes come out? Will the trial shed light on how the US backed him and supplied him with chemical weapons? Will it reveal how the US encouraged him to launch the war on Iran, causing the death of a million Iranians and Iraqis? Will the trial go into the alliances with and support for Saddam by so many of members and parties now in the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council? The dark clouds over Iraq haven't lifted yet.

Thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed by the US-led unjust and immoral war, and the death toll continues to rise as innocent people are being killed in US military raids, bombardments and Sharon-style collective punishment, and harmed by the depleted uranium shells used by the US-led forces. So at this moment of joy, other questions keep intruding: Who is going to try Bremer, Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair? Will Iraq ever be free?

One thing I do know: Saddam was not leading the resistance from his dirty little hole. This was acknowledged yesterday by an unlikely source - Sherif bin Ali, a relative of the last Iraqi king, Faisal II, and a strong supporter of the US-led invasion. "The truth must be spelt out," he said, "Saddam has nothing to do with the resistance. His cowardly surrender confirms what we have known all along... It is time to negotiate with the resistance. It is time to call on the resistance to declare a truce."

It has suited the US to blame Saddam for the resistance to the occupation and to use him as a pretext for the continued occupation. But Bin Ali is merely confirming what the CIA and US Congress sources have recently confirmed: that there are no less than 15 organisations involved in the resistance, which enjoys widespread support. A recent CIA report admitted that, "there are thousands in the resistance - not just a core of Ba'athists", and concluded that "the resistance is broad, strong and getting stronger".

Saddam's surrender is likely to embolden the political forces in Iraq which, until now, feared that a call for the immediate end to the occupation might help Saddam return to power.

The largely peaceful resistance in Baghdad and the so-called Shia areas of Iraq will also attract greater attention. In the past two weeks, trade union leaders in Baghdad and the south have been arrested. The occupation authorities shamelessly used Saddam's 1987 law barring trade union activity within state institutions. But such opposition will be difficult to suppress.

This week in Hilla, a so-called Shia city, a militant but peaceful mass insurrection succeeded in deposing Iskander Jawad Witwit, the US-appointed governor. The thousands who besieged the governor's office called for free elections to replace him.

Now that Saddam is no longer a bogeyman to scare the people with, trade union and other mass opposition is likely to increase, complementing and coalescing with the armed opposition.

One demand is now uniting nearly all Iraqis, from armed resisters to trade unionists to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Elections! And it is the one demand to which the US has refused to agree, because it has accurately assessed the likely result. That is also why it swiftly moved to stop elections of city mayors and why, a few weeks ago, it sacked the elected dean of Baghdad university after his outspoken criticisms of the occupation authorities.

Saddam's ignominious end is likely to weaken US-led efforts to divide the Iraqis along sectarian and national lines. In memory of all those who died resisting Saddam's tyranny, the peaceful and armed resistance is likely to intensify and attract greater support across the world, including that of the American people.


Fresh Wave Of Attacks

“The Resistance Will Increase;”

“Now All The People Who Oppose The Americans Will Join”

By Jim Krane, Associated Press December 15, 2003 & Ian Fisher, The New York Times

Violence continued with a flurry of car bombings and attempted bombings against Iraqi police stations Monday. In the worst blast, a four-wheel drive vehicle packed with explosives drove through the razor wire protecting the station in Baghdad’s district of Husainiyah, demolishing the building’s facade and damaging nearby shops. Eight Iraqi officers were killed and 10 officers and five civilians were wounded.

"People did this to say, `We can do this even though you caught Saddam,' " said Salem Abed Ali, 40, who was rocked at his breakfast table this morning, along with his wife and two children, when a bomb exploded across the street, at a police station in the Husseiniya neighborhood. "They want to keep battling inside Iraqi lands."

In his national address on Sunday, President Bush cautioned Americans that the "capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq." His warning appeared to be confirmed in the rubble, shredded cars and bloodied bits of human being at the sites of the two bombings today, one of them at a place where American military investigators work but had not yet shown up for the day.

"Saddam does not have the power to do these things," said a police lieutenant in Husseiniya, Ali Ismael, 25, his forehead bandaged and his shirt dotted with bloody specks from the blast there. "His ability is too weak. Last night we saw him in a hole."

Some Iraqis believe Mr. Hussein's capture may actually fuel the insurgency.

"Of course there will be violence, and resistance will increase," said Col. Ibrahim Mutlak, director of police patrols for Salahadin Province, where Mr. Hussein's hometown, Tikrit, is. "Lots of people didn't want to join the resistance because they didn't want to be called Saddam supporters. But now all the people who oppose the Americans will join."

In Ramadi and Khaldiya, two other strongholds for Mr. Hussein west of Baghdad, huge crowds chanted in support of him and fired off weapons this evening, apparently because of rumors that he had not in fact been captured.

There were also reports of exchanges of gunfire with passing American troops in Ramadi, possibly resulting in Iraqi casualties, though that could not immediately be confirmed.

While many police stations have been reinforced with blast walls and huge barriers of dirt, the station in Husseiniya, a working-poor neighborhood of mostly Shiite Muslims in the far north of Baghdad, had little protection other than concertina wire and an ordinary wall of concrete block.

Col. Hamad Ghazan of the police said he was looking out the window of the building's second story at 7:55 a.m., during a change of shifts, when he saw a four-wheel-drive vehicle, painted like a taxi, speed toward the entrance of the building. One police officer, he said, shot at the vehicle, which then careened through the concertina wire and hit his own car, parked out front, preventing it from making its way to the building's entrance. Then it exploded.

"It was a very, very big explosion," he said. "If my car hadn't been there, he would have gotten inside. And it would have been much worse."

The blast hurled the vehicle's engine block, and part of the chassis, into the courtyard and carved out a crater perhaps five feet deep in the asphalt road. The inside of the building was shattered, with windows blown out and plaster raining down the floor. This morning, a foot of the bomber, along with part of his face, were still sitting the courtyard, surrounded by curious neighbors.

About 45 minutes later, in the upscale neighborhood of Amariya, two men driving cars with bombs attacked the city's police unit that investigates serious crimes like bank robbery, murder and car theft rings.

An Iraqi investigator, Ali Abdel al-Sada, 32, said he was outside the building when he saw an old Peugot speed toward the entrance gate and explode. At least seven Iraqi police officers were injured, officials said.

A few seconds later, a white Land Cruiser sped through the smoke and debris, as its driver let off shots from an automatic rifle, Mr. Sada said. The vehicle forced its way down a passageway that leads to the building's front door. The attacker and the building's guards exchanged fire and the attacker escaped without setting off his bomb, which described as two huge underwater mines placed the vehicle.

"You can destroy a submarine with this," he said.

Sgt. Dave Scott, 37, a detective and National Guardsman from St. Louis, said there was also a "mound" of plastic explosives in the car. He said that it was only by chance that the American soldiers who usually work at the unit were not there at the time of the blast.

"We were actually pretty lucky, because we were scheduled to be out on an early mission, but it got canceled at the last minute," he said. "We probably would have been there."

Sergeant Scott he doubted that Mr. Hussein's arrest would stop further attacks. "It doesn't look like it's slowed down, whoever is doing this," he said. (The Sgt. has got it right.)

LOSING HEARTS AND MINDS: An Iraqi lies dead after US soldiers killed him. The captured Iraqi said the shots were fired in the air in celebration after the two attended a wedding. (AFP/Mauricio Lima)



December 15, 2003 Release Number: 03-12-15C

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF-7) soldier died today at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time from a non-hostile gunshot wound.

The soldier was transported to the 28th Combat Support Hospital.

Fort Carson Soldier Falls From Vehicle, Dies In Iraq

Written By:Jeannie Piper, Web Producer 12.15.03

AR RAMADI, Iraq - A Fort Carson soldier died Monday when he fell out of a vehicle that hit a bump in the road. The soldier, identified as Spc. Rian C. Ferguson, 22, of Taylors, S.C., suffered chest trauma, the military said. He was assigned to the Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

The vehicle was traveling near Al Asad, Iraq. The accident is being investigated.

The soldier is the 31st to die from the Colorado Springs post.


Sgt. Defends Freedom To Criticize War

Perhaps I missed something in the staff sergeant’s letter “Clark crossed the line” [Nov. 10]. Politics aside, the general is retired, which in my book means he can do and say what he pleases. He’s earned the right.

Furthermore, to question the leadership that has pressed this nation into war is not only expected, but also what anyone should demand from our leaders. To blindly follow orders like lemmings is not our doctrine nor is it part of our societal fabric.

To debate Iraq “after everything is said and done” would be a greater disservice to the American fighting force than saying nothing at all. Clark’s silence would validate the “regime change,” with which he so clearly disagrees. One could counter, at what number of American dead should we begin to question what we are doing?

If we are to keep our opinions to ourselves, then why bother to write Army Times? Why take an oath to support and defend the Constitution? Why not just abridge freedom of speech or press?

Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Brown

Harrisburg, Pa.

Army Times 12.15.03

Do you have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Iraq or stuck on 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, at home and in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here in the USA. Send requests to address up top. For copies on web site see:

An Iraqi student is detained in the back of a vehicle after a pro-Saddam rally in Tikrit. Iraqi experts warned that despite Saddam Hussein's arrest, the anti-US guerrillas fighting occupation may grow stronger. (Duh!) (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)

Fresh Meat For Bush’s Slaughterhouse;

South Dakota Engineers Activated For Operation Iraqi Oppression

Army Times 12.15.03

Gov. Mike Rounds thanked hundreds of people in Huron, Parkston, Wagner and Madison on Dec. 3 at activation ceremonies for the 153rd Engineer Battalion of the South Dakota Army National Guard.

The 485-member 153rd Battalion has headquarters in Huron. The soldiers in the battalion soon will report to an out-of-state mobilization center for training and then deploy to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.