FOUR YEARS OF PROTESTING THIS WAR
ESTIMATED COST OF THE IRAQ WAR before the invasion: 50,000,000,000
NUMBER OF CRUISE MISSLES the US lanched against Iraq in 1996: 27 NUMBER OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS in the State of Colorado: 2,854 PERCENTAGE OF ‘INSURGENT’ ATTACKS that are directed at civilians: 10 NUMBER OF NATIVE ARABIC SPEAKERS that the State Department has hired to post pro-US comments on international blogs: 6
ESTIMATED DAILY cost of the Iraq War in 2007: 300,000,000
VOL. 5 NO. 4
NUMBER OF DEFENSE CONTRACTORS in Mesa County: 36 PERCENTAGE OF IRAQI CITIZENS that are ‘strongly opposed’ to the presence of coalition forces: 82 TOTAL NUMBER OF COALITION TROOPS killed in Iraq: 3468
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NUMBER OF TIMES that George W. Bush has attended fallen soldiers’ funerals: 0
CA L L T O AC T I O N
be the media!
IRAQ WAR ISSUE ‘07
or four years, A Voice of Reason and fellow sympathizers have been protesting the invasion and occupation of Iraq. During this time, we’ve seen a wide range of reaction from the public—honks, peace signs, thanks yous, fuck yous, and scowls. We’ve had folks who stopped to say we’re wasting our time and others who stopped to say keep it up. What surprised me the most were those comments by those who disagreed with us, such as, ‘why don’t you go to Russia (or Iraq) then?’ or ‘fuck peace’ (!) or ‘get a job.’ Most of the time it amused me because after all, we do live in America where we have every right to stand on a street corner with a sign, why would we move somewhere where that wouldn’t be guaranteed. Most of us do have jobs as well as go to school, this is something important enough to us to volunteer our time for. And ‘fuck peace’ just doesn’t make any logical sense to me at all, but then again who said war was logical or reasonable. What has been reassuring is the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received throughout the years. As this war has dragged on, the negative reactions have decreased, while positive reaction has increased. We still get a glare or a middle finger every now and again, but that never deterred us when the majority was crying war, and it won’t stop us now. Every Friday and Saturday at Noon, the corner of 12th and North is alive and loud with people declaring peace and we will continue until our troops are welcomed home. See you in the streets. •
State of Disunion
WHO IS REALLY BEHIND THE IRAQI CIVIL WAR?
WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? BUSINESS!
fter four years, with nearly 3,200 American troop deaths, and countless Iraqi deaths, we are still asking ourselves, ‘why are we still in Iraq?’ ‘Who is beneﬁting from this continued occupation?’ For many, numbers put things into perspective. The following is a list of US aerospace and defense companies that are proﬁting from the ‘War on Terror.’ Not included are stock quotes for Sodexho Alliance, of which Mesa State’s dining contractor, Sodexho Inc., is a part of. Sodexho Alliance, also having contracts with the US Marines, has been under scrutiny for racial discrimination, sanitation issues, unsafe food handling procedures, and unfair labor practices.
e have been hearing a drum beat about the growing sectarian civil war brewing in Iraq in the media and from the government. Almost daily we hear about another car bombing in Iraq killing scores of civilians. Journalist Robert Fisk, from the Independent in London, dared to ask the question, “If a violent Sunni movement wished to evict the Americans from Iraq - and there is indeed a resistance movement ﬁghting very cruelly to do just that - why would it want to turn the Shia population of Iraq, 60 percent of Iraqis, against them?” It’s a fair question, and leads to another question; who beneﬁts from a civil war in Iraq? The Coalition Troops would certainly suffer less attacks if the Sunnis and Shia were ﬁghting among themselves. US Major General William Nash said as much to Newsday about the prospects of a uniﬁed Sunni and Shia resistance, “It would prove to be a most serious situation, because if mass revolts take place in 2/3 of the country, it would be very difﬁcult for the military to deal with.” The US Council on Foreign Relations has called for the dissolution of the “unnatural Iraqi state” on grounds of ethnic diversity. In October of 2005, The Boston Globe reported that an unknown number of vehicles stolen from American streets have been used in suicide car bombings in Iraq. Could the US be secretly fomenting civil war? In January 2006, Newsweek magazine reported on Pentagon plans to form ‘counterinsurgency’ death squads to extra-judicially kill and kidnap insurgents and their supporters, dubbed the “Salvador Option” in reference to the death squad organized by the US to overthrow the El Salvadorian government. The dirty war in Central America in the 80s was
covertly run by US Ambassador to Nicaragua, John Negroponte. In April 2004, Negroponte was appointed Ambassador to Iraq, and shortly there after came the formation of Iraqi Death Squads in the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, and in the Iraq National Police. In 2002, Rumsﬁeld’s Defense Science Board created the “Proactive, Preemptive Operation Group” (P2OG). P2OG, according to a classiﬁed document, would consist of 100-member ‘counterterrorist’ group with a 100-million-a-year-budget, and would carry out secret missions designed to provoke terrorist groups into committing terrorist acts—basically combating terror by causing it. Even our former (now dead) enemy number one in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was a UScreated boogyman. The Washington Post reported in April 2004, citing leaked classiﬁed documents, that the US government had deliberately magniﬁed the importance of Zarqawi. One memo was entitled, “Villainize Zarqawi/Leverage Xenophobia Response,” and listed three methods: “Media Operations, Special Ops (626) (a reference to Task Force 626, a unit created to hunt for senior Baathists), and PSYOPS (the military term for propaganda).” In May of 2005, al Qaeda in Iraq issued a statement accusing western troops of detonating car bombs and falsely accusing militants for the ensuing carnage, and asking, “What is our [interest] in blowing up the suicide car bombs at the public places? The blood of Muslims is not cheap for us.” Also in May of 2005, former Iraqi exile Imad Khadduri reported of two similar but separate incidents in Baghdad and Mosul, in which people were held for a short period of time by the American
Every Friday and Saturday • Noon A Voice of Reason holds a lunch hour peace vigil to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the intersection of 12th and North.
Every Monday • 5PM Grand Junction’s peace group, A Voice of Reason meets to discuss and act on issues surrounding the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Call 245-3720 for more info and meeting place
Company Name: Stock quotes:
Northrop Grumman Corp. Boeing Co. Lockheed Martin Corp. Halliburton Co. United Technologies Corp. FLIR Systems Inc. Triumph Group Inc. Armor Holding Inc. Raytheon Co.
40.14 26.82 45.40 20.40 59.32 11.78 23.50 25.56 26.57
72.74 89.45 96.87 *31.80 64.31 34.04 52.86 62.96 51.74
Looking at the above numbers we can see that many of these companys have seen their stock increases in the double digits, some doubling in price since the beginning of the Iraq War. *The stock quotes for Halliburton seem low, but this does not reﬂect the stock numbers of Kellogg, Brown, & Root, which was a subsidary of Halliburton before it became its own company. KBR has been a major contractor in Iraq and has faced legal action in regards to its business practices. A local company that has been proﬁting is CAPCO, which is not a publicly traded company. CAPCO produces parts for the GATOR CBU89 and CBU-78, among other things--in other words, landmines. The company has seen their government contract increase from $16,204,369 in 2003 to $39,463,489 in 2005. These numbers clearly show who beneﬁts from this and other wars. Not the soldiers ﬁghting, or their families, nor the innocent civilians killed or maimed, many of them children. No, the only ones who beneﬁt are those making money off of it. The human faces behind those faceless corporations—CEOs, board members, stockholders—have the blood of our soldiers and the Iraqis on their hands. •
“CIVIL WAR” ON PAGE SIX RED PILL LOCATIONS You can pick up your copy of The Red Pill at the following locations: Planet 9, Heart of the Dragon, Third World Imports, Spekulationz, Planet Earth, Kleen Sting, Colorado Java, Himalayan Feeling, Contemporary Glass Works, Change Skateboards, Coffee Muggers, Triple Play Records. Download the Red Pill at: http://colorado.indymedia.org. Become our friend on myspace.com @ http://www.myspace.com/gjam_theredpill
VICTORY = PULLOUT
ow would be a good time for a gut check. The Iraqi War was unusual in that so many people protested it before it began. Millions of people on all continents (including Antarctica) protested the war on Feb. 15, 2003. Three-hundred people marched in Grand Junction. Bush shrugged it off and called the protesters ‘a focus group.’ Newspapers and television stations ignored the obvious, and instead fabricated support for the war. Looking back four years, now who was right? We invaded a sovereign country that posed no threat to us and remain as occupiers, all without United Nations or world support. The war has killed over 3,000 Americans and over 650,000 Iraqis with no end in sight. The war that was going to pay for itself with Iraqi oil money has thus far cost us $407,897,122,459, again, with no end in sight. Back at home, some of our demonstrations, especially at west coast ports, have been brutally broken up, we have a new designation, ‘enemy combatant,’ which can put you in jail indeﬁnitely
with no charges. With the Military Commissions Act, Habeus Corpus may be a thing of the past. It’s now legal for secret police to get secret permission from a secret court, to do a secret search, make a secret arrest and put you in a secret prison for as long as they wish. Such is America in 2007. How about those wiretaps and e-mail intercepts? This beast of a war is everywhere. It turned out to be much worse than even the protesters imagined. Where does victory end up in all this? It cannot be ﬁnding WMDs because Saddam had non. Victory cannot be revenge for 9-11, because they weren’t involved. It cannot be punishment for associating with al-Qaeda, because they were enemies. It cannot be pay back on Saddam, he’s already been hanged. How the hell will we declare victory? We get out. We are the main source of the violence there and we’ve already started a civil war. We need to get out and start talking about reparations to one of the Earth’s most ancient, beautiful and meaningful societies. •
“CIVIL WAR” FROM PAGE TWO forces and then told that their drivers licenses are at the local Iraqi police station. The man from Baghdad felt that his car was “carrying a heavy load” and stopped and found 100 kilos of explosives in his trunk. On the way to get his license at the police station the man in Mosul had car trouble and the mechanic found the spare tire ﬁlled with explosives. In that same month 64-year-old farmer Haj Haidar was taking his crop of tomatoes to Baghdad when he and his grandson were stopped and searched at a US checkpoint. After they were allowed to continue, the grandson mentioned that he saw the Americans place a gray melon sized object in with the tomatoes. Haidar took the object and placed it in a ditch where it later exploded. Similarly, in September of 2005, British special forces were arrested wearing arabic clothes and fake beards and wigs, by the Iraqi National Police in Basra. According to the Iraqi National Police, the car that the Brits were arrested in was “booby-trapped” and packed with explosives. Two days later, the British military rammed a tank into the Basra jail to free their two undercover operatives, and freed 150 other prisoners in the process. If you look past the ‘civil-war’ hype from the government and the mainstream media, the reality becomes questionable. There are numerous stories of unprecedented Sunni and Shia cooperation. For example, during the battle of Falluja in November of 2004, a procession of tens of thousands of Sunni and Shia from Baghdad broke through coalition lines to deliver aid to the besieged city. That same
year, numerous anti-occupation protests took place in Baghdad that were lead by both Shia and Sunni religious leaders. After the battle of Falluja, the thousands of Shia belonging to Muslim Peace Keeping Teams moved in to help rebuild the destroyed Sunni city. Divide and conquer was a strategy that allowed the British empire to keep control over much of the globe, and could very well be the US strategy in Iraq. On February 24th, 2006 FOX News ran a story about the increasing sectarian violence in Iraq with the caption, “‘Upside’ To Civil War?” and “All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?” •
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British Special Agents arrested with a car-bomb in Basra.
Saturday, March 17th • All Day On the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq ANSWER Coalition and Troops Out Now Coalition will be leading a march at the Pentagon. Washington DC www.troopsoutnow.org
IN MEMORY OF SID SIDDEEK
ﬁrst met Sid Siddeek in the summer of 2002. A group of about 10 of us was meeting regularly, something we called The Bill of Rights Defense Committee. We were trying to convince the City Council of Grand Junction to adopt a resolution to not obey the Patriot Act. Unannounced, a stranger walked up and introduced himself as Sid Siddeek. He was slight in build, with nicotine stained ﬁngers. He spoke impeccable English with an intriguing accent. On that ﬁrst day, he told us a part of his story. Born and raised in Mosul, Iraq, Sid had been assigned to the War College there as an instructor. Iraq was under military dictatorship at that time, just prior to the baasthis’ rise to power. Sid realized he was being watched and followed. One day on a hunch, he went home early and discovered his house was being searched, a search that turned up a copy of the book, “1984” by George Orwell. Sid was placed in a small cage at Abu Ghraib, taken out only for torture. After several months, he was ﬁnally released. His wife had found her way out to Jordan. Sid ultimately made his way to the U.S. where he got a job with the U.S. Army as a translator at the Monterrey Language School. He taught English to native Arabic speakers for twenty years and loved his job. It is a bit ironic that both Sid and his GermanJewish Catholic wife lived to be refugees. Both loved their new homeland and became citizens. Later, Sid worked in Saudi Arabia for ﬁve years. He was a trained soil engineer and was as passionate about soccer as he was about his politics. Sid also spent time volunteering for the Mesa Countey Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program.
EMAIL FROM EMMAN AHMED KHAMAS; BAGHDAD
Editor’s note--Eman Spoke at the third anniversery of the Iraq war protest in Grand Junction, and at MSC College last March. The email was sent to AVOR the local anti-war group. Saturday, March 24 • 10AM-6PM Denver ZineFest and Small Press Conference. Zine and small press expo, demo’s, and conference. For more info go to: www.denverzinefest.com
Sid Siddeek speaking at last year’s Third Aniversery of the start of the Iraq war protest
Sid always spoke at our events with A Voice of Reason, protesting the invasion of Iraq. He was elegant and soft-spoken, but feisty. He brought with him an Arab sensibility and his aforementioned sweet Iraqi accent. Sid recently passed away from this world from a long standing health issue. He is survived by a son named John. This fourth anniversary commemoration of the invasion of Iraq will be the ﬁrst one he has not spoken at. His presence and his heart will be sorely missed.•
ear Karen, So nice to hear from you and from Grand Junction, My God, it sound like ages ago. I am well, so is my family, but what you are hearing from Iraq is true, even worse. Today the bridges are closed, so the two parts of Baghdad are now seperated, I think this is the beginning of the new American plan that is so much talked about. This is a very big problem for the Baghdadians because those who live in one side can not go to the other if they work there. People are expecting even harder times ahead. I do not know what to do or what to think... Thanks a lot for asking, please give my kisses to all the friends. Is there anyway that somebody somehow [could] convince your government to be less agressive [sic] with us? Best wishes for the New Year Eman
Sunday, March 25th • 12PM-4PM A Voice of Reason will be commemorating the 4th anniversery of the invasion of Iraq with a peace rally and march with numerous speakers, music, and entertainment. Lincoln Park on 12th St. Grand Junction
ONE TRILLION DOLLARS; WHAT A USEFUL THING
ne-point-two trillion dollars is a mindboggling amount of money for the average person to contemplate. Most people are ecstatic when they ﬁnd ﬁve dollars on the side walk, which could buy a cup of coffee and a bagel in the morning. For a million dollars the average person could retire and live a very pleasant life. For a billion dollars an individual could attend the same cocktail parties as Bill Gates and have their asses kissed by Republicans and Democrats alike. Have their every whim catered to by Congress, and the White House. So what could every American have for 1.2 Trillion dollars? There are currently 47 to 50 million people in this country who have no health insurance and in 2005, 46% of the populace that ﬁled for bankruptcy did so because of overwhelming medical bills. For only 34 to 69 billion dollars we could throw the insurance industry out of healthcare and establish universal healthcare. Insuring that every sick and injured person in the country could receive the medical attention they need without choosing between living in the streets and the prescriptions they need. The national cancer institute only operates on a budget of 6 billion a year; with 20 billion we could have a cure for cancer by the end of the decade! For an estimated 233 billion dollars all of the 15.9 million college students in the country could receive a free education with room and board, transportation, food and some spending money. For a quarter of that price we could establish universal preschool for every 3-4 year old in the country. In 2004, the United States guzzled down 20.7 million barrels of oil a day; 58% of this was imported from other countries. This threatens our
independence and forces us as a people to rely on government and corporations to procure our energy, by any means possible. For a trillion dollars, four 190 watt solar panels could be installed on every American household in the country, slashing our dependence on fossil fuels and on those countries that produce it. Unfortunately our wise and venerable president has only spent 10 billion on renewable energy since 2001, a tiny two billion for cleaner coal technology and a paltry 1.2 billion for hydrogen development. Imagine if we had spent 20 billion or more on hydrogen power, we could all be driving hydrogen vehicles by 2015 instead of our traditional gas guzzling road hogs. Unfortunately we may never see a trillion dollars spent on these wonderful life improving programs and technologies. For 1.2 trillion dollars of tax payer money, we have instead killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, dropping 500,000 dollar cruise missiles on their homes and businesses, killing entire families in one ﬂash of destruction and terror, spraying the streets with automatic weapons ﬁre killing anyone near an insurgent. For 1.2 trillion dollars we have sent hundreds of thousands of America’s young into a combat zone where they can kill or be killed at any moment—women and men who must constantly make a choice that will affect them for the rest of their life. For 1.2 trillion dollars over 3,200 of them have died, 20,000 or more have been injured, and we may never know the extent of the psychological and spiritual damage.
AN-BAR PROVINCE, IRAQ — PHOTO ESSAY —
These battleﬁeld photos, including the cover, were taken by a local solider serving in the An-bar province. We publish these photos with the aim of showing the reality of war.
(Nobel Lauterate economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard economist, Linda Bilmes, estimate that the war in Iraq will cost the US $1.2 trillion) •
AMNESTY IN AFGHANISTAN
n January 31, a bill was passed through the Afghanistan parliament’s lower house which will give numerous warlords throughout the country amnesty for their many past atrocities, if they renounce violence. These atrocities include the alleged deaths of 800 Shia Hazara minorities in February 1993. The bill is aimed at bringing a national reconciliation to Afghanistan by unifying the many factions which run and divide the nation. Many believe that the execution of Saddam Hussein is directly related to such a radical call for amnesty. Although, 25,000 Afghans marched in favor of the bill, most of the nation is very much against such a form of forgiveness. As one man put it, “Kabul people hate these factional leaders and believe they should be hanged like Saddam Hussein.” It appears that whether the people of Afghanistan like it or not, the bill will likely pass. It must go through
the ﬁnal approval process which includes the upper house and then the red stamp of approval by the President. Although, the outcome of the upper house cannot be foreseen, it appears that President Hamid Karzai will endorse the amnesty, in spite of harsh criticism from diplomats, the United Nations, human rights organizations, and his own people. Warlords across the land have been looking for a safe haven, and they seem to have found it within the Afghan government. •
Saturday, March, 31st • 2PM A Voice of Reason and Koinonia Church will be sponsoring a speaking event featuring Dahlia Wasﬁ, M.D. Wasﬁ, raised in Iraq, will be here to speak on the occupation of Iraq. MSC Recital Hall, Moss Performing Arts Center
Monday, April 16th • 1:15-2:15PM Tax day protest to present Senator Ken Salazar with no-war citizen proclamation, urging no more tax dollars be spent on death in Iraq. Meet at the corner of 5th and Rood, Grand Junction
Sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ news/2007/02/24/wafg24.xml http://www.newsdesk.org/archives/004201.html#quote http://www.iwpr.net/?p=arr&s=f&o=333408&apc_ state=henh
Quote of the Day “I was not an enthusiast about getting U.S. forces and going into Iraq. We were there in the southern part of Iraq to the extent we needed to be there to defeat his forces and to get him out of Kuwait, but the idea of going into Baghdad, for example, or trying to topple the regime wasn’t anything I was enthusiastic about. I felt there was a real danger here that you would get bogged down in a long drawn-out conﬂict, that this was a dangerous, difﬁcult part of the world.” — DICK CHENEY, then Secratary of Defense. April 1991. —