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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] [A] 13-21 November: EYEWITNESS IRAQ SPEAKING TOUR with veteran US activist Peggy Gish: Colchester, Southend, Haverhill, Bristol, Dorset, Slough, London, Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Northampton & Reading. [B] Resist the assault on Iraq's cities: NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION WORKSHOP IN LONDON THIS SUNDAY [C] ONSLAUGHT: THE ATTACK ON FALLUJAH, latest JNV briefing, 11 November 2004. *********************************************************** [A] 13-21 NOVEMBER: EYEWITNESS IRAQ SPEAKING TOUR WITH PEGGY GISH, VETERAN US PEACE ACTIVIST AND CO-ORDINATOR OF THE CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS IRAQ PROJECT. Veteran US activist Peggy Gish will be in the UK from 13-21 November, speaking to groups around the country about her recent experiences working with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq. The CPT have been on the ground in Iraq since October 2002 and have been focussing on the issue of Iraqi detainees since July 2003. Peggy - a veteran of the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, and Central America peace movements - has herself spent 13 of the last 24 months in Iraq. See below for list of a list of her talks or visit http://www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/detainees.html for more info. and background. * Saturday 13th November: HAVERHILL, 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Camps Road. Organised by Haverhill and District Peace Group. Contact email@example.com * Sunday 14th November: - COLCHESTER, 2pm, Colchester Friends Meeting House, Church Street, (near Colchester Arts Centre). Organised by Colchester Peace Campaign Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org - SOUTHEND, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, 18 Dundonald Drive, Lee-on-Sea. Contact 01702 345 860. * Monday 15th November: BRISTOL. 7.30pm, Broadmead Baptist Church, The Horsefair, Bristol. Organised by the Sedgemoor Peace Group and the Bristol Quakers. Contact email@example.com. * Tuesday 16th November: DORSET, 8pm, Methodist United Reformed Church Hall, Cheap Street, Sherborne. Contact: 01300 345 109. * Wednesday 17th: SLOUGH, 7.30pm, Slough Friends Meeting House (Quakers) 74 Ragstone Road. With Milan Rai. Contact 07910 332684 At 6pm there is a launch party for the exhibition "The Other Way" - it's a series of woodcuts made by Israeli children - Arab and Jewish, reflecting their responses to the conflict. The exhibition and launch are at St Mary's Church, Slough, just around the corner from where the talk is taking place. * Thursday 18th November: LONDON, 7.30pm, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road. Also with Jo Wilding (activist in Fallujah during the April 2004 US assault on the city) and Philip Pritchard (B52two). Org. by CPT-UK, Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Voices. * Friday 19th November: - BRADFORD, 1-3pm, Peace Studies Department Dept, University of Bradford. Contact 01274 235 171 - LEEDS, 7pm, All Hallows Church, 24 Regent Terrace, Leeds LS6 1NP. Contact 0113 242 2205 (Ray Gaston). * Saturday 20th November: MANCHESTER. 2.30 - 5pm, Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street, Salford. Contact 0161 232 8685. * Sunday 21st November: - NORTHAMPTON, 12 – 2pm, Friends Meeting House, Wellington St - READING, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, 2 Church Street. Contact 0118 967 1362 ****************************************** [B] NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION WORKSHOP IN LONDON THIS SUNDAY Sunday 14th November, 11am - 4pm, 7a Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (nearest tubes Whitechapel and Shadwell). As the horror of the US assault on Iraq's cities continues in (see [C] below) we in the anti-war movement need to escalate our resistance. Civil disobedience and direct action should be a vital component of such a response (see http://www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/recentactions.htm for some recent inspiring examples). If you would like to take part in (or organise) some direct action or civil disobedience but feel that you lack the confidence, the skills or the knowledge necessary then this is the workshop for you! The aim of the NVDA workshop is to give you the chance to explore issues and techniques that will help build confidence in new and more experienced activists alike. This workshop will look at practical techniques to deal with confrontational situations nonviolently, hold an effective blockade or sit down protest, and make decisions quickly and democratically in an action situation. It'll also look at the support roles that are vital to making actions happen. There will also be a full briefing on your legal rights and what happens should you get arrested. The workshop is a largely practical one, so come prepared for some physical exercises. Don't worry if there are limits to your physical mobility - we can accommodate everyone, just let the workshop leaders know when you get there. Please wear loose, sturdy and comfortable clothes. Organised by Voices UK. 0845 458 2564. If your group would like to attend the workshop but can't make it into London then Seeds for Change (www.seedsforchange.org.uk, 0845 458 4776 ) run excellent workshops on these and other topics and - provided you can cover their travel expenses - are prepared to travel the length and breadth of the country to come to you. Use them! ****************************************** [C] ONSLAUGHT: The Attack On Fallujah JNV Anti-War Briefing 69 (11 Nov. 2004) THE BRUTAL WEAPONS The long-feared US ground assault on Fallujah began on Mon. 8 Nov., with air and artillery attacks, including the dropping of eight 2,000-pound bombs. “Usually we keep the gloves on,” said the head of the US 1st Infantry Division’s Task Force 2-2 tactical operations command center. “For this operation, we took the gloves off.” ‘Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin.’ (Washington Post, 10 Nov., p. A01) ‘White phosphorus shells lit up the sky as armour drove through the breach and sent flaming material on to suspect insurgent haunts.’ (Telegraph, 9 Nov., p. 1) Jackie Spinner of the Post visited a US unit with two M109A6 Paladin selfpropelled 155mm howitzers. ‘The Paladin fires rocket-assisted shells that can travel up to 22 miles and regular shells that can cover 13 miles. The shells typically strike within about five yards of their target and are likely to kill anyone within 55 yards of the point of impact.’ Sgt. Fladymir Napoleon, 25: “It’s a great thing blowing stuff up. We’re getting the city free...” Paladin crew chief, Brian Blakey patted a 155mm round: “Three of these, and I can take out a whole building.” Just this one unit’s two artillery pieces ‘fired more than 300 rounds in the first three days of the battle.’ ‘At the other gun a short distance away, Spec. John Kennedy, 26, of Dallas, asked [ Sgt. 1st Class Johnny] Dotson about the rounds his crew had fired that morning. “What were we shooting at?” he asked. “Did we get it?” Yes, Dotson told him. They hit the mosque. Twenty confirmed killed. “We really get no glory,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Moye, 25, of Phoenix.’ (Washington Post, 11 Nov., p. A33) ‘The American military has been using novel and devastating methods to clear Fallujahs’ streets.’ Including the rocket-fired 350-foot-long string of plastic explosives known as Miclic, which can clear a lane through a minefield 8 meters wide and 100 meters long. ‘The Miclic is normally designed for open spaces because it generates tremendous pressure, setting off mines over a large area. In Fallujah the Miclic, fired from 300 to 400 metres, is used to detonate roadside bombs and car bombs. It is highly effective but also indiscriminate, and not normally considered suitable for an urban environment.’ (Times, 10 Nov., p. 9; Miclic details from globalsecurity.org) THE BRUTAL WARRIORS ‘After seven months in Iraq’s Sunni triangle, for many American soldiers the opportunity to avenge dead friends by taking a life was a moment of sheer exhilaration. As they approached their “holding position”, from where hours later they would advance into the city, they picked off insurgents on the rooftops and in windows.’ After calling in mortar fire on a suspected insurgent site, Sgt James Anyett shouted: “Battle Damage Assesment – nothing. Building’s gone. I got my kills. I’m coming down. I just love my job.” (Telegraph, 9 Nov., p. 4) In April, a senior British officer serving in Iraq said of the US attitude to the local people, ‘They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is tragic, it's awful.’ The Sunday Telegraph: ‘The phrase untermenschen—literally "under-people"—was brought to prominence by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, published in 1925. He used the term to describe those he regarded as racially inferior: Jews, Slaves and gipsies.’ (11 Apr.) THE HUMAN COST ‘Randy Gangle, a retired US marine colonel recently returned from the coalition base outside Falluja, said... the US military expected [civilian deaths] to number in the hundreds, not thousands.’ (Guardian, 9 Nov., p. 2) In order to manage perceptions of the human cost of the attack, the first objective was Fallujah’s main hospital. ‘One unnamed senior American officer also admitted that the hospital had become a “centre of propaganda,” reflecting the military’s frustration at the high death toll doctors frequently announce after American bombing raids. It was accounts of the hundreds killed during the first assault on Falluja in April that brought the operation to a rapid halt.’ (Guardian, 9 Nov., p. 3) ‘Sami al-Jumaili, a doctor at the main Falluja hospital who escaped arrest when it was taken on Monday, said the city was running out of supplies and only a few clinics remained open. “There is not a single surgeon in Falluja. We had one ambulance hit by US fire and a doctor wounded. There are scores of injured civilians in their homes whom we can’t move.” (FT, 10 Nov., p. 9) Having destroyed one clinic before the assault (Observer, 7 Nov., p. 2), US forces reportedly destroyed an emergency hospital after taking the main hospital: ‘Twenty Iraqi doctors and dozens of civilians were killed in a US airstrike that hit a clinic in Fallujah, according to an Iraqi doctor who said he survived the strike.’. (Independent, 11 Nov., p. 4) Estimates of civilians remaining in Fallujah on 7 Nov. varied from 100,000 (US military, FT, 9 Nov., p. 10) to 60,000 (Sunni group, Independent, 10 Nov., p. 5). Estimates for the number of fighters left in Falluja before the assault varied ‘from 600 to 6,000,’ meaning that the overwhelming majority of people in Fallujah were thought to be non-combatants. It was reported that ‘Anyone still in the city will be regarded as a potential insurgent.’ (Observer, 7 Nov., p. 18) A threat to kill every human being in Fallujah. At a hospital in Baghdad, the families of civilian victims evacuated from Fallujah ‘claimed that US forces were bombing outlying villages where refugees have regrouped as well as the city.’ (Times, 11 Nov., p. 9) “From a humanitarian point of view, it is a disaster, there is no other way to describe it,” Firdoos al-Ubaidi, of the Red Crescent, said on 10 Nov. “We have asked for permission from the Americans to go into the city and help the people there but we haven’t heard anything back from them. There’s no medicine, no water, no electricity.” ’ (Times, 11 Nov., p. 9) GHAITH ABBOUD Fadel al-Badrani, the only unembedded Western reporter in Falluja, reported the fate of Ghaith Abboud for Reuters: ‘Mohammed Abboud said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home yesterday, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down. “My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit at dawn, but we couldn’t take him for treatment,” said Mr Abboud, a teacher.’ (Guardian, 11 Nov. 2004, p. 4) ‘In two months – if the elections go ahead – Mohammed Abboud will be able to play a part in what they call democracy. Today, with his remaining family, he sits in a house damaged by the bomb that killed his child. He said: “We just bandaged his stomach and gave him water, but he was losing a lot of blood. He died this afternoon.” It was the highest price of all to pay for the right to vote.’ (Independent, 10 Nov., p. 5) THE BRUTAL LIES - THE ELECTION The assault on Fallujah was justified as necessary to create the conditions for elections due in Jan. 2005. But as Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN, pointed out in a secret letter to Mr Bush and Mr Blair, a major military assault leading to an escalation in violence “could be very disruptive for Iraq’s political transition”, and is “likely” to have a “negative impact... on the prospects for encouraging a broader participation by Iraqis in the political process, including in the elections.” (Washington Post, 6 Nov., p. A19) Predictably, the assault led immediately to a call by the influential Muslim Clerics Association for Sunnis to boycott the elections, which would be held “over the corpses of those killed in Fallujah”. (Telegraph, 10 Nov., p. 10) THE BRUTAL LIES - THE TERRORISTS’ SAFE HAVEN Another justification was the need to break the hold of ‘the terrorists’ in Fallujah. However, in Oct., ‘local insurgent leaders voted overwhelmingly to accept broad conditions set by the Iraqi government, including demands that they eject foreign fighters from the city, turn over all heavy weapons, dismantle illegal checkpoints and allow the Iraqi National Guard to enter the city. In turn, the insurgents set their own conditions, which included a halt to U.S. attacks on the city and acknowledgment by the military that women and children have been among the casualties in U.S. strikes.’ (Washington Post, 28 Oct., p. A21) Rejected. A later offer was put forward by a (mainly Sunni) coalition, including the Muslim Clerics’ Association, for ‘a plan to establish the rule of law in those areas through peaceful means’, on the basis of six measures, ‘including a demand that U.S. forces remain confined to bases in the month before balloting’. This was ‘a dramatic shift’ by Sunni groups which had previously insisted that no election would be legitimate until Western troops left Iraq. “This initiative is very significant,” said an official involved in establishing the transitional government. “They’re no longer saying, ‘We’re not participating because the country is occupied.’ They’re saying, ‘The government is not right. The only way we can make it right is by elections.’ If you look at their demands, they’re not impossible. They are things that can be discussed.” Larry Diamond, who served in the U.S.-led occupation authority, said “If there’s a chance that this could be the beginning of political transformation that could change the situation on the ground, I think we’ve got to take it.” (Washington Post, 6 Nov., p. A01) These offers have been brushed aside and erased from the record. They might not have worked, but they were not tried. These briefings are produced by Justice Not Vengeance. We are trying to print and distribute as many as possible. We would be grateful for any support you can give. If you can make a donations, please sent it to ‘JNV’, 29 Gensing Rd, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN38 0HE. To receive e-briefings, visit <http://lists.j-n-v.org/mailman/listinfo/jnv-announce>. 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