Anti-war train drivers refuse to move arms freight

Al Diablito
Mon, 13 Jan 2003 20:01:13 -0500

>Well yes, they are shipping out now which means that nobody reporting >to a 
>recruiting center today qualifies to go.

1) this is one of many waves. If you want to sign up now, I am sure you will 
be in time for mop-up operations or the next war in Syria, Iran, Korea, 
Venezuela, etc.
>'They' volunteered to go based on where their elected civilian leaders
>told them to go.  Furthermore, we had a nice little vote on war
>authority which passed overwhelmingly (in Congress) and a subsequent
>election where politicians who weren't sufficiently serious about
>defense were at a distinct disadvantage.

2) Not a knock on the soldiers at all. They went where their civilian 
leaders who are dependent on corporate contributions for their jobs told 
them to go. The election went the way it did because the Dems showed 
themselves to be as beholden to corporate/war interest as the Repubs and 
gave nobody a reason to vote for them. Six Democratic congressmen lost their 
jobs in November. Five voted for the war resolution, 1 voted against it.

>Moreover, 'they' are exceptionally well trained and are arguably less
>likely to come to harm than the citizens they leave to defend.

Yes, they are well trained. Unfortunately, they are equipped with gear made 
by the same quality standards that give us things like Ford Explorer tires, 
Windows 95, etc. I would not want to go into the desert against the Iraqis 
relying on the shoddy gear the big corps foist on the Pentagon. Also, don't 
count on the "Peoples Revolution" Bush is hoping for. Seems like Saddam has 
an interesting take on our 2nd Amendment (read below). Not defending scumbag 
Saddam, but it sure is curious how an "unpopular" leader can get away with 
arming every grown man in his country and not get taken out. Should be 
fuckin' blast, eh?

Iraqis Buying Guns
To Fight US Invasion
By Andrew Hammond

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bedouin gunshop owner Yassin al-Jabbouri says Iraqi 
civilians are arming themselves to challenge the American invader.

Iraqi clan groups, a key force in the country, are stocking up on rifles and 
pistols from the Iraqi capital's 45 retail gun outlets, taking heed of 
government calls for the populace to ready itself for a U.S. invasion, 
Jabbouri says.

The United States is boosting its forces in the Gulf ahead of a possible 
attack to end President Saddam Hussein's 23-year rule saying he is hiding 
weapons of mass destruction.

"I have a tribe of 200,000 people and 12,000 of them are in Baghdad ready to 
fight. We are all human shields against America," the 50-year-old Bedouin 
chief told Reuters.

"There has been growing interest in buying weapons. It's in the interests of 
Iraqis to have weapons to face the American fighter...We are all military 
now," he said, adding that Iraqis would be keen to punish American troops 
for the suffering of Palestinians fighting U.S. ally Israel.

Gun culture is deeply ingrained in Iraq, where possession of guns is seen as 
a mark of honor among the 150 or so Bedouin tribes. They form a critical 
base of support for Saddam, himself of Bedouin origin.

Baghdad is festooned with large posters of the Iraqi leader in various poses 
handling guns, which anyone over 25 can buy.

Pro-Saddam street parades over recent weeks have featured groups of men, 
women and children marching with an array of weapons. The United States says 
Iraqis will be glad to see the back of Saddam.

The state set up a popular defense force two years ago, ostensibly to fight 
with the Palestinians. The state distributes arms for free to all members of 
the ruling Baath Party, thought to number over two million.

"This is the one I'm going to fight with," Jabbouri said, pulling out a 
$1,500 Italian-made rifle. "Everyone has three or four guns each now. 
There's no tribe that doesn't use arms. Even my wife can fire a good shot 
over a distance."

Rifles, from Beretta Italian originals to cheap Turkish copies, range from 
$200 to $1,000, Jabbouri said. The cheapest and most popular revolver is the 
Iraqi-made Tariq, selling for as low as $150, which many men possess from 
their army days.

Jabbouri's 12-year-old son Ahmed steps up with a Cobra Magnum revolver to 
show his firing prowess, letting off a few loud blank shots in the small 

"I was trained when I was nine. We learned to fight in order to fight the 
enemy -- the Zionists (Israel), America and any foreign country," Ahmed 
said, repeating slogans that fill Iraq's state-controlled television, radio 
and print media.

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