taoist meditation: joy

The sage has no mind of his own
his mind is the mind of the people
to the good he is good
to the bad he is good
until they become good
to the true he is true
to the false he is true
until they become true
in the world the sage withdraw
with others he merges his mind
people open their ears and eyes
the sage covers them up

#49 daodejing
translated by Red Pine

chinese characters for the word "JOY"

study in texture and form

Do your devotions make you happy?
Is your life a joyous song?

In all this talk about spiritual devotion, there is one simple fact. You have to like it. It should make you happy. It is unfortunate that so much coercion, unhappiness, bitterness, guilt, and fear become wrapped up in spirituality. Why can't we simply do things out of joy?

Practicing spirituality isn't a matter of drudgery. It isn't a matter of fear. It isn't for fitting into a social group. It has nothing to do with status. Being devoted to holiness in your life is a matter of joy and celebration. When you sit down to meditate, a smile should come to your lips and a feeling of joy should permeate your body. When you go to consecrated ground to give thanks and celebrate, you should do so not because of the day of the week or out of the habit of ritual, but because this is the best way that you know how to adore your gods and express the wonder of being on this earth.

Yes, yes, there is much unhappiness in this existence. The unhappiness is part of the overall field of negativity. There are also positive things in life, and spirituality is foremost among them. So whenever we practice our spiritual devotions, let it be in gladness and joy.

Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao Daily Meditations
ISBN 0-06--250223-9

"Texture of Winter"
© 2006 lisbethwest

don't forget our new message board !
many folks have been enjoying new topics we welcome you
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add your name to the 13700 + people who have already shown the world that they support providing refuge to American soldiers who refuse to fight in this illegal war.

To: Canadian Government

During the period of 1965-1973 more than 50,000 draft-age Americans made their way to Canada, refusing to participate in an immoral war. At the time, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said: "Those who make the conscientious judgment that they must not participate in this war... have my complete sympathy, and indeed our political approach has been to give them access to Canada. Canada should be a refuge from militarism."

Thirty years later, Canada is faced with the same moral choice – to give refuge to those who refuse to be accomplices in the US-led war on Iraq which many legal opinions have deemed illegal under international law.

There are currently at least two young people [ed. note: current estimation is over 200] who have made their way to Canada in objection to the US government’s war on Iraq. Jeremy Hinzman was a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division. He and his family arrived in Toronto in January 2004 and are currently seeking refugee status. Brandon Hughey, a 19-year-old American soldier, arrived in St. Catharines two months later and is also seeking refugee status.

Regardless of the technical decisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board, we believe Canada should not punish US war objectors for exercising their conscience and refusing to fight. If they are returned to the United States, they face incarceration and possibly even the death penalty. Canada must not facilitate the persecution of American war objectors by returning them to the United States.

The majority of Canadians did not support this war. The Canadian government did not support this war.

We call on the Canadian government to demonstrate its commitment to international law and the treaties to which it is a signatory, by making provision for US war objectors to have sanctuary in this country.


The Undersigned

The War Resisters Support Campaign Petition to Canadian Government was created by War Resisters Support Campaign and written by Michelle Robidoux. This petition is hosted at as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors.

taoist thought: soaring

Those who seek learning gain every day
those who seek the Way lose every day
they lose and they lose
until they find nothing to do
nothing to do means nothing not done
who rules the world isn't busy
if someone is busy
he can't rule the world

daodejing #48
translated by Red Pine

Chinese characters for teh word "soaring"

shadow chicken

For years, I've practiced ritual.
It's dead now.
For years, I've practiced meditation.
It's dull now.
Finally, there is only soaring
Like an ectoplasmic ribbon
Floating over the sea.
When one is mature spiritually, one no longer needs the structure of ritual or formal meditations. This is not to say that structure was unnecessary, for without it one could not stand at this vantage point. But once one attains a level where one has completely internalized the lessons of structure, one can freely improvise in fresh and valid forms.

In spirituality, one can soar, free of ordinary restrictions. Imagine yourself on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. Slowly your body elongates like a ribbon. Longer and longer, undulating up into the sky. Before you is the limitless vastness of the ocean and sky. You feel drawn forward, and you can glide and soar over that expanse like a ribbon. That is spiritual freedom.

Autumn is about to pass into winter. Spring is on the other side, just as spiritual soaring is on the other side of stiff ritual. Devotions have their own seasons. When you first learn them, they are magical. Then they yield their harvest and wither. On the other side of the withering is a new spring and a new spiritual vista. Wherever you are in your spiritual years, cooperate with the cycle of the seasons, until you emerge like a design, soaring in the sky.

by Deng Ming-Dao
from the book 365 Tao
Daily Meditations
ISBN 0-06--250223-9

Don't forget our
new forum for discussion of the topic and to meet other members of the group! New topics online now ~

"Shadow Chicken"
© 2006 by lisbethwest

for a short reading list of Taoist and Zen material,
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when books are purchased from that location)

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Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost

Ex-inmates Share Guantanamo Ordeal

stream of visitors has been coming to the door of Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost in Pakistan's city of Peshawar.
Bader and brother
But they are not visiting because it is a traditional festival season - Abdul Rahim is being welcomed back because he has returned from Guantanamo Bay.

The 42-year-old was one of a batch of 17 Afghans released last month from the controversial American prison in Cuba.

Abdul Rahim's younger brother, Badar Zaman Badar, was also at Camp X-Ray, but was freed six months earlier. Both hold Pakistani nationality as well. They say they spent three difficult years in US custody and that they had done nothing wrong.


While Abdul Rahim entertained his guests, Badar sat in their library talking about their ordeal. in the library4

The small room was full of Islamic books, many spilling on to the floor through lack of space.

Among the old leather volumes was a black plastic binder full of carefully stacked letters they wrote while in the US military prison. Most were painstakingly scrutinised and censored.

"They would censor sentences written by us saying that we would all be free soon," said Badar.

Badar said he and his brother were arrested by the Pakistani secret agency, ISI, and police during a raid on their house in November 2001. The two were kept in solitary confinement for two months, then transferred to the US military base at Bagram, near Kabul.

Finally, they were taken to Kandahar and on to Cuba. The brothers, both journalists and part-time gemstone dealers, said they had been arrested on false accusations from political rivals. They denied any contacts with either the Taleban regime or al-Qaeda.

"Although we did not have any links with the Taleban we did support them in our writings," said Badar.

Prolific writer

The brothers said the Americans shaved the inmates' beards and screamed and swore during the frequent interrogations. "We were not subjected to any physical torture as such but even shaving our beards and taking off our clothes is a form of cruelty," said Abdul Rahim. Rahim and son
He said a number of Arab prisoners had still not spoken to their investigators after three years to protest at the desecration of the Koran by guards.

Abdul Rahim is a prolific Pashto writer.
His brother showed us copies of three
pro-Taleban magazines - Ahsan (Justice), Zeray (Good News) and Dawat (Invitation) - he edited before his detention in Peshawar.

Abdul Rahim said he had once been a member of Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e Islami party, but severed ties to the group.

In detention he kept his sanity by writing poems. In his first months of confinement, Abdul Rahim's poetry was full of despair. At first, deprived of paper and pen, he memorised his best lines or scribbled them secretly on paper cups.

He recited a verse:

What kind of spring is this
where there are no flowers
and the air is filled with
a miserable smell?

Later, he was provided with writing materials only to have all but a few of the documents confiscated by the US military upon his release.

"They should return us our work," he said. However, the poems he wrote in letters back home were kept by his oldest son.

Precious stones

The two brothers did not see each other for 14 months during their confinement. Later, they were housed in adjacent cages.

The US government has declared all such prisoners "enemy combatants" subject to indefinite detention and ineligible for many of the rights accorded to prisoners of war. Hundreds have now been freed as they are considered unimportant or not a threat to US interests.

There are now about 520 prisoners from some 40 countries.
( '? note: This article was written in 2005)

Badar said the number of Pakistanis was down from 70 or 80 to only three. Abdul Rahim did not seem interested in seeking any compensation but his younger brother disagreed.

"If they don't compensate us then we might seek justice in court," Badar said. "My business suffered because of my arrest and my family suffered as well, having two members taken there.

"We also demand the return of millions of rupees of precious stones taken by the Pakistani police and the ISI."

SOURCE: BBC News By Haroon Rashid BBC News, Peshawar

Journalists Release Guantanamo Bay Report

PESHAWAR, Jul 31 (IPS) - Two Afghan journalists, who spent three years in the infamous United States military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have released a new chronicle on life in the now famous iron cages.

Their 453-page volume in the Pashto language is even more graphic than the one released recently by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan who was handed over to the U.S. military, shortly after it invaded Afghanistan and ousted the fundamentalist regime in 2001.

Titled ˜Da Guantanamo Maatai Zawlanai' (Broken Chains of Guantanamo), the volume describes the extreme physical and mental torture to which the inmates -- mostly suspected Taliban and their allies who were picked up from Afghanistan or Pakistan -- were subjected to.

Muslim Dost, 45, and his co-author and brother Badar-uz-Zaman, 37, told IPS during an interview on the weekend that they saw evidence of female inmates in Guantanamo.

''We saw forms filled in by female inmates at the office of the investigators.''

One of the forms, left lying around carelessly on a table by U.S. military investigators, had apparently been filled in by a woman from Lahore, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, and it showed that she was pregnant, they said.

Dost and Zaman, both journalists, were exonerated by a military tribunal at Guantanamo and released on Apr. 22, 2005. They were originally picked up by Pakistan's military Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) on Nov. 17, 2001 from the Speena Warai village on the outskirts of Peshawar and were taken to a detention centre in Bagaram Air Base, before being flown to Guantanamo.

"We used to publish Arabic, Pashto and Urdu monthlies. Some of the articles in them had angered the ISI, which handed us over to the U.S. forces, handcuffed and blindfolded.

We didn't have any connection with the Taliban, but the ISI wanted to settle scores with us," said Dost, who migrated to Pakistan with his entire family 24 years ago from his native Kot district in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Like Mullah Zaeef, the brothers lay blame for many unjustifiable detentions at Guantanamo on the shadowy ISI, which, they said, went about picking up innocent citizens to show cooperation with the U.S. military and also to claim large bounties.

''A father was taking his ailing son to hospital in Quetta, Balochistan, when he was caught by police and asked to pay a bribe for his release. He refused to pay and ended up at Guantanamo with his son.

"After two years, the son had so transformed that he was talking in English and was unable to recognize his father,'' they said.

Only ten of those ever held at Guatanamo, since its establishment in January 2002, have been formally charged.

An investigation conducted, earlier this year by the Seton Hall University in New Jersey showed that 55 percent of prisoners are not alleged to have committed any hostile acts against the U.S., and 40 percent had no affiliation with al-Qaeda.

Military documents, cited by the university, suggested that only eight percent of prisoners were alleged to have been fighting on behalf of any Islamist group, and that 86 percent were captured and handed over to the U.S. military by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan that opposed the Taliban or by Pakistani authorities.

Photographs in the new book were mainly sourced from members of the U.S. forces who took pictures to be sold clandestinely to the media.

''We were happy to be photographed. We knew that photos were the only thing that could inform the world community about our ordeal,'' Zaman told IPS.

''The ISI people, which thoroughly searched our house took away valuables including precious gemstones, worth 300,000 US dollars," Dost said.

''We had not committed any war crime but had exercised our basic right of writing about the ISI's wrongdoings what was fact for which we paid a huge price,'' said Zaman.

A father of nine, Dost says he received his first letter from his family after 11 months through ICRC.

"A total of 24 letters, out of hundreds sent by the family, reached us with most of its contents deleted by the U.S. forces in an effort to make us worry.''

"The shortest period between letters from the family was two months. Most of the letters took more than four months to reach us," he added.

''Among the prisoners were real brothers, fathers and sons, who were kept in 180 sq cm iron cages. Sometimes, the cages would be placed close enough to enable conversation,'' said Dost.

''Water was plentiful for drinking and ablutions, but supplies were cut when we protested on some matters. We were made to perform congregational prayers while caged,'' said Zaman.

'Trimming our beards and eyebrows, making us strip and desecrating the Holy Quran were other matters that angered us.''

Their testimony corroborates what former envoy Zaeef recorded in his 156-page 'Da Guantanamo Anzoor' (The Picture of Guantanamo).

"So harsh was the torture and treatment that prisoners even prayed for death rather than be in detention," Zaeef, wrote. "Their oppression can never be forgiven."

Zaman said that food was served to the detainees were deficient. Sleep deprivation was another way in which the inmates were constantly harassed, he recalled.

After inspecting the camp in June 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a confidential report -- which found its way to the New York Times in November 2004 -- in which the inspectors accused the U.S. military of using "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions" against the prisoners.

To be translated into English soon, [available now through bookstores]

˜Broken Chains of Guantanamo' is priced at 3.3 dollars and has 64 pictures showing some of the trauma the prisoners were subjected to.

''We have fully naked pictures of the POWs, but decided not to include them in the book to avoid hurting further the sentiments of Muslims," the brothers said.

''We had no link with the outside world. The U.S. army would give us information that they thought would make us worry. They informed us, for example, that Saddam Hussain had been captured," Dost said.

The brothers said that, in general, Spanish-speaking members of the U.S. army were kinder to the prisoners but they were transferred when the authorities felt they had a ''soft corner for us''.

"From the cages, the POWs would spit at the U.S. army men who seemed to be extremely fearful. They would allow us to write, but would give us only refills fearing that we would hit them with them with pens," said Dost, who still fears being whisked away by the ISI. (see Amnesty International report)

Many governments, including U.S. allies, and human rights groups have criticised the indefinite detentions and the prisoners' lack of legal rights at Guantanamo. While the The Pentagon insists the detainees are treated humanely, international concern concern increased after three prisoners hanged themselves recently.

"If three detainees had hanged themselves many others had gone on hunger strikes and were alive only through painful force-feeding,'' Dost said.

What he regrets most is that he was not allowed to carry back with him literary pieces he penned during his incarceration. He had translated the Holy Quran and 25,000 poetic couplets.

"We were allowed to bring only a fraction of this literary work. Those poetic pieces were written under a certain ambience, which is precious to poets. Pieces I wrote on Islamic jurisprudence and Pashto grammar were also confiscated,'' he says.

The brothers said a French journalist has offered to translate their book into French. ''But we intend to translate it into English, Urdu and Arabic first.''

Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals had no legal status, the Bush administration announced on Jul. 11 that all detainees in U.S. military custody would be entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.

(END/2006) SOURCE: 01/08/2006 Ashfaq Yusufzai

Poet arrested again after spending years in Guantánamo


To read the current newsletter, go to

Organize a Global Writeathon this December 10!

1 November 2006
UA 289/06 ''Disappearance''/fear of torture

Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost (m), Afghan national,
poet and magazine editor

Afghan national Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost was arrested without a warrant on 29 September in Peshawar. His whereabouts are now unknown and he is at risk of torture.

This is thought to be due to his criticism of Pakistani agencies which had earlier arbitrarily arrested, detained
and unlawfully transferred him and his brother to US custody.

He was arrested by officers of the police Crime Investigation Department and an intelligence agency, as he
left a mosque. His children and elder brother, Sayed Mohammad, were present. He has not been charged with a
criminal offence, and has not been brought before a magistrate. He has not been allowed to see a lawyer or his

Sayed Mohammad filed a habeas corpus petition on 5 October in the Peshawar High Court. The court has asked the federal and provincial authorities for information about Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost's whereabouts. The petition also seeks assurances from the Court that he will not be removed from its territorial jurisdiction.

Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost, a poet, magazine editor and gem dealer, has lived in Peshawar for several years. On 17
November 2001, he and his younger brother, Badruzzaman Badr,were arrested by military authorities at their home in
Peshawar. They were handed over to the US authorities on 8 February 2002, and held at the US airbase in Bagram and then Kandahar in Afghanistan before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay on 1 May 2002. Badruzzaman Badr was released from Guantanamo on 24 September 2004; Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost was freed on 20 April 2005. Neither brother had been charged with any offence during their unlawful detention.

The brothers returned to their home in Peshawar and in September 2006 published a book about their experiences, Da
Guantanamo Mati Zolani (''The broken shackles of Guantanamo''). The book is reportedly critical of the role of Pakistani intelligence agencies in the pursuit of the ''war on terror'' and describes their torture in Pakistani and US custody. Badruzzaman Badr has gone into hiding fearing a fate similar to that of his brother.

There have been several hundred 'disappearances' in Pakistan resulting from Pakistan's cooperation in the US-led 'war on terror'. People have been arrested and held incommunicado in secret locations with their detention officially denied.

They are at risk of torture and unlawful transfer to third countries. This is despite custodial safeguards in-place in Pakistani Law to protect individuals from such activity. The Constitution of Pakistan, clearly states in Article 10:
''(1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds of such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. (2) Every
person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a magistrate within a period of twenty-four
hours of such arrest … and no person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a

It appears that a desire on the part of the Pakistani government to be perceived to be contributing to the aims of the ''war on terror'', and the routine US practice of offering rewards running to thousands of dollars for the
handover of unidentified terror suspects, has facilitated a disregard of custodial safeguards leading to illegal
detentions and 'disappearances'.

The clandestine nature of the ''war on terror'' makes it impossible to know exactly how many 'disappearances' or
other arbitrary detentions have been committed in Pakistan, but Pakistani military spokesperson Major-General Shaukat Sultan said in June 2006 that since 2001 some 1,000 terrorists had been arrested.

For more information relating to enforced disappearances and the use of torture in the context of the 'war on terror',
refer to Amnesty International's report, 'Pakistan: Human rights ignored in the 'war on terror' on AI's website:


Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
- expressing concern for the safety of Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost, who was arrested on 29 September 2006;
- calling on the authorities to reveal immediately where and in whose custody Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost is being held;
- expressing fears for his safety and asking the authorities to ensure that Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated;
- urging the authorities to release Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost immediately and unconditionally, if he is in the custody, or else charged with a recognizably criminal offence;
- if he is to be charged, urging the authorities to ensure that Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost is treated strictly in accordance with law, and given immediate and regular access to a lawyer of his choice and regular contact with his family.

President Pervez Musharraf
Pakistan Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: 011 92 51 9221422 (please keep trying)
Email: via website:
Salutation: Dear President Musharraf

Mr. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao
Minister for the Interior
Room 404, 4th Floor
Block R, Federal Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: 011 92 51 9202624
Salutation: Dear Minister

Mr Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai
Governor of North West Frontier Province
Governor's Secretariat
C-2/210 PDA
Peshawar, Pakistan
Fax: 01192 91 9210087
Salutation: Dear Governor

Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani
Embassy of Pakistan
2315 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 686 1544

Please send appeals immediately. Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 13 December 2006.

Tip of the Month:
If you have questions, please call, write, fax, or email the AIUSA Urgent Action office. Also, please note our new address in DC (below), and update your records.

Within the United States:
$0.24 - Postcards
$0.39 - Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To Mexico and Canada:
$0.55 - Postcards
$0.63 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
$0.75 - Aerogrammes
To all other destination countries:
$0.75 - Postcards
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$0.75 - Aerogrammes

Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights.

This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable).
Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
Phone: 202.544.0200
Fax: 202.675.8566



BROBECK'S LETTER: Near the end of boot camp the only thing that was told to us about Iraq was that we were going to be sent to Iraq to die ...

President Bush,
Members of Congress,
and the American People

November 6, 2006

Dear President Bush,

I grew up in Arlington, Virginia. Joining the military was something I always wanted to do. Throughout my life I've heard of all the wonderful things the U.S. has achieved. They have always been there to fight for what is right. I was willing to join the military and risk my life for my country and to fight for what is right just like others have done. When I was 17 years old I enlisted in the Marine Corps. Since I was still in high school I had to complete my senior year.

When the U.S. was going to war with Iraq, I was confident that my country must be doing the right thing. I couldn't see a reason why they would lie to us. One week after I graduated high school I was sent off to Marine Corps boot camp. Near the end of boot camp the only thing that was told to us about Iraq was that we were going to be sent to Iraq to die (that's how the Drill Instructor's joke).

After boot camp I was sent to infantry training, and after I finished that I was sent to my unit in Camp Lejeune, N.C. All we did was train for Iraq. I didn't have cable T.V. so I had little exposure to the world around me; I knew that Iraq was getting worse and that there were people who didn't agree with the war.

I left for Iraq in March of 2004. It wasn't until I got there that I found out what was really happening. I didn't need the news or to hear speeches to tell me that what was happening there was wrong. It was all as clear as day. The city I went to was called Mahmudiyah, and had around 200,000 people. There was just a constant disrespect for the people, like pointing guns at the people just to get them to stop. There was also harsh treatment of detainees.

I remember one night I had come back to base after a nighttime raid, and was clearing my rifle in a clearing barrel. I turned around, and out of the corner of my eye I saw something get thrown out of the back of a truck called a 7 ton (the bed of the truck is about 6 to 7ft high). It looked like a person, but I thought I was mistaken, that since it was dark outside my eyes were probably playing tricks on me.

When a lot of Marines started gathering around and quietly talking I went to see what they were looking at. It was an Iraqi detainee with his hands behind his back and a sandbag over is head. The detainee's body was convulsing and his breathing sounded like he was snoring. When the sand bag was taken off his head and a light was shined in his face I could see that his eyes were swollen shut and his nose was clogged with blood.

Checkpoints are where innocent civilians die. When manning a checkpoint, about 50 meters away is something called the TRP (target reference point). The TRP is usually marked by a cone or some sort of debris. If someone passes that line you have to open fire on the vehicle and the person inside.

We all knew that if a suicide bomber were to attack that it would just be him in the car and that there would not be any innocent women or children in the car. We were never told to use our own good judgment and to not fire if there were women and children in the car. We had to fire no matter what. I've had a couple friends who have opened fire on a car that crossed the TRP and it turned out that they just killed a kid, or someone's brother or wife.

I just remember my corporal saying something like "Oh, Lcpl is a little down today because he accidentally shot a kid in the head today". During my 7 months in Iraq I have never shot an innocent person and I am glad I don't have that burden to deal with.

I came back from Iraq in October of 2004. I was willing to stay in the military and put the events that happened in Iraq behind me, but when I heard rumors of us returning to Iraq the stress and anxiety of what happened there started coming back to me. I was not willing to go back and fight a war that I did not believe was right, and I didn't want to put myself in a situation were I would possibly kill an innocent civilian. So, I went AWOL and hid out at a friend's house until I figured out what to do. While I was AWOL my mom took me to a therapist who diagnosed me with PTSD.

Since I was not willing to return to Iraq, the only option I saw was to go to Canada. I have spent nearly two years there living, working, and married to my wife (who is six months pregnant).

Now I feel that I am ready to return to the US and face the consequences of refusing to participate in a war that I do not believe is right. When I return on Election Day, I face a court martial and a charge of Missing Movement with punishment of up to one year in jail.

Please, President Bush: do what is right. And do everything you can to bring our troops home from Iraq.


Ivan Brobeck

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 November 2006 )
to the source:

ENLIST! "We're not at war. War ended a long time ago..."

(but the recruiters are telling doozies)
An ABC News undercover investigation showed Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, in an effort to get them to enlist.

Hidden video cameras show army recruiters allegedly telling lies. In this video, recruiters tell applicants their chances of going to war are slim.

ABC News and New York affiliate WABC equipped students with hidden video cameras before they visited 10 Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.

"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.

"We're not at war.
War ended a long time ago,"
another recruiter says.

Last year, the Army suspended recruiting nationwide to retrain recruiters following hundreds of allegations of improprieties.

One Colorado student taped a recruiting session posing as a drug-addicted dropout.

"You mean I'm not going to get in trouble?" the student asked.

The recruiters told him no, and helped him cheat to sign up.

During the ABC News sessions, some recruiters told our students if they enlisted, there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq.

But Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits were likely to go to Iraq.

"I would not disagree with that," Manning said. "We are a nation and Army at war still."

Manning looked at the ABC News video of his recruiters.

"It's hard to believe some of things they are telling prospective applicants," Manning said. "I still believe that this is the exception more than the norm. … I've visited many stations myself, and I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving in uniform as recruiters."

Yet ABC News found
one recruiter who even claimed if you didn't like the Army, you could just quit.

"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."

Manning, however, disagrees with the ease the recruiter describes.

"I would believe it's not as easy as he would lead you to believe it is," he said.

Sue Niederer, whose son, Seth, joined the Army in 2002, said she was all too familiar with recruiters' lies.

"They need to do anything they possibly can to get recruits," Niederer said.

Seth was sent to Iraq and was killed by a roadside bomb.

Niederer said she was not surprised by what ABC News had found. She believes it's still a widespread problem. She said that
recruiters told Seth he wouldn't be put into combat.

"Ninety percent [are] going to be putting their lives on the line for our country," she said. "Tell them the truth. That's all. Just tell them the truth."

11-04-06 14:13 EST
Copyright 2006
to the source and to review videotape of recruiters:

add your vote on "the norm" or "the exception"
What do you think of the recruiters' misleading tactics?
It's the norm79%
It's the exception21%


Ivan Brobeck
AWOL Marine to Return on Election Day to Ask President, Congress to Bring the Troops Home

For Immediate Release:

Washington, DC - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ivan Brobeck , 20, of Arlington, Virginia, will return to the United States on election day to ask President Bush and Congress to bring the troops home now.

During a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004 Brobeck witnessed regular instances of abuse of Iraqi detainees and the killing of Iraqi civilians at military checkpoints. He chose Canada over a second tour in a war that he came to see as illegal and contrary to the interests and moral standards of most Americans.

"I was not willing to go back and fight a war that I did not believe was right, and I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I would possibly kill an innocent civilian," Brobeck explains. "Please, President Bush, do what is right; do everything you can to bring our troops home
from Iraq."

Ivan Brobeck intends to surrender to military authorities in Washington, DC on election day. He expects to be transferred to Camp Lejune in North Carolina to face a military court martial for his absence. He is returning in the same spirit that motivated him to enlist at age 17 - a desire to serve his country and to stand for what is right.

For more info, breaking news, and to donate visit:

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 November 2006 )

Condon Speaks on Snyder's Behalf

Former Viet Nam era soldier shows our youth
Courage to Resist

A soldier formerly from Colorado Springs who went AWOL rather than return to Iraq was back underground Wednesday after a presumed deal with the Army to surrender and receive his discharge apparently went awry.

Neither his attorney, Jim Fennerty, nor Gerry Condon, his sponsor from Project Safe Haven, a Seattle- based sanctuary for AWOL American soldiers, would reveal the whereabouts of Kyle Snyder, 23.

Now, Condon said, Snyder wants any deal with the Army in writing before he will surrender.

"I came back in good faith," Snyder, who was with Condon, told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I put my trust in them one more time. Why should I put my trust in them again when I can just go back to Canada?"

Army officials did not return calls on Wednesday.

Fennerty said he thought he had brokered a deal for Snyder with Maj. Brian Patterson, the head of the Army's Personnel Control Facility at Fort Knox, Ky. Fennerty and Condon escorted Snyder from Vancouver, B.C., where he had lived for the last 18 months, to Fort Knox on Tuesday.

"We had an understanding with the Army officials at Fort Knox that he'd be in and out of their facility in three days with an other-than-honorable discharge with no further punishment," said Condon, a former Army medic who moved to Canada rather than accept orders to Vietnam.

Instead, said Condon, Army officials took Snyder to the bus station and told him to report to his unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and that there were "no guarantees" that he would not face a court-martial.

Fennerty said he had brokered a deal with Patterson for the return of another AWOL Iraq war veteran, Darrell Anderson, on Oct. 3. Anderson surrendered at Fort Knox and was held for three days, then released from the Army with an other-than-honorable discharge.

By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
November 2, 2006

Copyright 2006, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

to the source:

Timely Verdict Not Just a Coincidence: Interviews available

( '? ducknote
Just as the timing of finding Saddam hiding in a "hole" coincided with the passing of the second part of the Patriot Act, this event is just as staged. Take the focus off the problem, find a solution for the world. bullshit.

Will Saddam Verdict Timing Manipulate U.S. Election?

The verdict and sentencing of Saddam Hussein are scheduled to be announced on Sunday, November 5, just two days before the U.S. midterm elections. The following analysts are available for interviews:


Falk is an emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University and coauthor most recently of the book "Crimes of War: Iraq." He said today:
"It should come as no surprise that the final verdict in the Saddam Hussein criminal trial seems timed to coincide with the November U.S. midterm elections. ...

The U.S. government should be ashamed to have debased international justice by orchestrating every phase of this trial in Baghdad from start to finish to divert domestic public opinion in this country from the dismal failure of its Iraq policy. It is a sad day for American democracy if the citizens of this country fall for such a cheap propaganda trick amid a dreadful war that is wasting the lives of its young soldiers and bringing massive suffering to the Iraqi people."


A Kurdish doctor and academic now living in the U.S., Sayadi said today:
"I've been watching the trial very closely -- the Kurdish channels on satellite TV show it late night. Hearing the stories from the victims, how they were blinded, how their families were killed is just heartbreaking. But now the U.S. government is using these people's death and suffering for an election. Since the 1970s, the U.S. government has played with Kurdish lives. They are playing with Iraqi lives and now they're even playing with American lives.

"The trial is supposed to show justice, but it doesn't. It doesn't examine who gave Saddam the chemical and biological agents to kill people -- it was the U.S. and Germany. If we were really after justice, there would be an international tribunal, like for Rwanda. Instead, the U.S. government just wants to use the trial of Saddam to continue its policies in Iraq today. I don't know whether to laugh or cry."
See: "November Surprise? Why Hasn't Mainstream Media Connected the Dots Between Saddam's Judgment Day and the Midterm Elections?" by Tom Engelhardt .

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * *


Snyder's treatment gives pause to other resisters

Soldier’s travails give pause to other war resisters who fled to Canada

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Since going to Canada to avoid another deployment to Iraq, Corey Glass has considered returning to the United States.

But after hearing that a fellow former soldier who surrendered to the military and was ordered to return to his unit instead of being discharged, Glass may not return at all“They’re not going to win the hearts and minds like that,” said Glass, 24, who signed on with the Indiana National Guard in 2002.

Kyle Snyder, a one-time combat engineer who joined the military in 2003, disappeared Wednesday, a day after surrendering at Fort Knox and 18 months after fleeing to Vancouver instead of redeploying to Iraq.

Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colo., said a deal had been reached for a discharge, but he found out he would be returned to his unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

His troubles are complicating efforts for those among the 220 American soldiers who fled to Canada and want to return to the United States, according to lawyers, soldiers and anti-war activists.

“Nobody’s going to come back from Canada anymore,” said James Fennerty, a Chicago-based attorney who represents Snyder and other AWOL soldiers.

Several soldiers who went to Canada have said they don’t want to return to Iraq. Sgt. Patrick Hart, who deserted the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 101st Airborne Division in August 2005, a month before his second deployment, said he felt misled about the reasons for the war.

“How can I go over there if I don’t believe in the cause? I still consider myself a soldier, but I can’t do that,” said Hart, a Buffalo, N.Y., native who served more than nine years in the military.

“The whole story behind it, it all feels like a big lie,” Glass said. “I ain’t fighting for no lie.”

Fennerty said he reached a deal with the Army allowing Snyder, a private with the 94th Engineer Battalion, to receive an other-than-honorable discharge.

It’s a deal similar to one Darrell Anderson, a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran, received in October. After three days at Fort Knox, Anderson, who has denounced the war as “illegal” and “immoral,” was released to his family in Lexington, then discharged.

But Snyder ended up at a bus station in Louisville, with orders to go to St. Louis, then Fort Leonard Wood. Snyder, who said the brutality of what he saw happening to civilians in Iraq prompted him to desert, left with an anti-war activist instead of going back to the post.

Gini Sinclair, a Fort Knox spokeswoman, declined to address Snyder’s case. But she said deserters who turn themselves in are automatically returned to their units if the unit is in the United States at the time of surrender. Once reunited with the unit, the commander there decides what becomes of the soldier, Sinclair said.

When a soldier surrenders at Fort Knox and is sent to his unit, he is either put on a plane or a bus, sometimes alone, she said.

“In some cases, they will be escorted,” Sinclair said. “I don’t know what decides if that happens.”

That policy, and the question of whether an AWOL soldier can reach a deal that trumps it, is causing consternation among soldiers.

“After what they did to him, I don’t see anybody going back,” said Glass, a Fairmount, Ind., native who is currently in Toronto.

Some are seeking refugee status in Canada. Hart, who was joined in Toronto by his wife and their 3-year-old son, served time in Bosnia in the early 1990s, became a reserve, then went to Iraq after returning to active duty. The idea of returning to the United States is appealing to Hart, because he would like to see family and friends.

“I could see going back under some kind of amnesty program or something like that,” Hart said. “But I don’t trust them. My enemy isn’t foreign now. It’s domestic.”

Saturday, November 4, 2006 Updated: 08:37 AM EST © Copyright 2006 Associated Press.
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