Mitch Manzella's Website
Reactions to War
"The whole world is watching us die"
The World Stands Together Against War
In the face of Iraqi resistance to the invasion, the U.S. military strategy has abruptly shifted in the last few days. Instead of posing as liberators, the U.S. high command has called for open warfare against the Iraqi civilian population. In the last 48 hours, hundreds of civilians have been shot down on the roadways, in their homes, on their farms. The aerial bombings are becoming more indiscriminate as missiles land in markets and residential neighborhoods.
The Iraq war has suddenly taken on the worst features of the U.S. war in Vietnam. Facing a defiant and resisting population, U.S. troops, under the direction of their officers, treat all members of the population as suspect and decide to shoot first and ask questions later. The U.S. soldiers have been lied to about their mission. They have been sent to kill and be killed in a war for empire and conquest, not liberation. U.S. casualties are mounting in this war that need not have happened.
On March 31, there was a massacre of civilians, mainly women and their children, whose crime was that they were driving on a roadway in their own country. As their van approached a checkpoint, U.S. soldiers destroyed their vehicle with a barrage of 25mm cannon fire from one or more of their M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The Washington Post quoted Capt. Ronny Johnson of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in his series of orders to the troops present:
- "Fire a warning shot"
- "Stop [messing] around!"
- "Stop him, Red 1, stop him!"
- "Cease fire!"
- "You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!"
The "shoot first ask questions later" strategy is not the result of spontaneous actions by scared and edgy troops. These are orders given the troops from the Pentagon high command.
"Everyone is now seen as a combatant until proven otherwise," a Pentagon official is quoted in the Washington Post of April 1, 2003. The Pentagon recognizes that the shift in tactics will be understood as a brutal escalation of force against the civilian population and that their earlier posture as "liberators" will be exposed. "You'll see acts of kindness, medical care and the like, but the large scale aid effort will have to wait," a Pentagon official told the Washington Post. In fact the new U.S. strategy now is deliberately preventing Iraqi civilians in Nassiriya and other towns from receiving food and water unless they cooperate with the occupation forces.
U.S. Marine Operations Commander Lt. Colonel Paul Roche told reporters on March 31 that the U.S. strategy towards the people of the city of Nassiriya included the use of food and water as a weapon to terrorize and break the will of the civilian population.
In the April 1 front page of the Washington Post, the Pentagon's new strategy is euphemistically referred to in the headline "U.S. troops instructed to use tougher tactics."
The assault against civilians is being reported in greater detail and honesty by the world media outside the United States. This change in U.S. tactics is, as the following report shows, encouraging the most racist and homicidal tendencies among U.S. soldiers at the front.
It is important to read the following passage from the UK Times of Sunday, March 30. It reports of a gruesome scene outside of Nassiriya. Some fifteen vehicles, including a minivan and a couple of trucks, were found destroyed and riddled with bullets by the Times UK reporter Mark Franchetti:
"Amid the wreckage I counted 12 dead civilians, lying in the road or in nearby ditches. All had been trying to leave this southern town overnight, probably for fear of being killed by US helicopter attacks and heavy artillery.
"Their mistake had been to flee over a bridge that is crucial to the coalition's supply lines and to run into a group of shell-shocked young American marines with orders to shoot anything that moved.
"One man's body was still in flames. It gave out a hissing sound. Tucked away in his breast pocket, thick wads of banknotes were turning to ashes. His savings, perhaps.
"Down the road, a little girl, no older than five and dressed in a pretty orange and gold dress, lay dead in a ditch next to the body of a man who may have been her father. Half his head was missing.
"Nearby, in a battered old Volga, peppered with ammunition holes, an Iraqi woman - perhaps the girl's mother - was dead, slumped in the back seat. A US Abrams tank nicknamed Ghetto Fabulous drove past the bodies.
"This was not the only family who had taken what they thought was a last chance for safety. A father, baby girl and boy lay in a shallow grave. On the bridge itself a dead Iraqi civilian lay next to the carcass of a donkey."
The UK Times article also documents that in Iraq, just as in Vietnam, the U.S. soldiers are being trained to wage war against a civilian population by dehumanizing those whom they are killing.
"I'll Just Kill Him"
"As I walked away, Lieutenant Matt Martin, whose third child, Isabella, was born while he was on board ship en route to the Gulf, appeared beside me.
" 'Did you see all that?' he asked, his eyes filled with tears. 'Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice.'
"Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. 'The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy,' said Corporal Ryan Dupre. 'I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him.' "
Crimes Against Humanity
George Bush and the high command are guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. What we are witnessing is a full-scale massacre carried out from the land, the air and the sea assault. The U.S. media presents the war as carefully packaged propaganda and trivializes the actual human costs of the war by turning it into something of a spectator sport. But the Iraqi people cannot escape this war and they cannot turn off their television to make it go away.
Again, it is the non-U.S. press that reveals the extent of the criminality of the war.
A March 29 Reuters article entitled "Iraqis Delirious with Grief After Missile Attack" described the Friday night attack by U.S. bombs in a poor section of Baghdad. Arouba Khodeir, 39, while "wailing hysterically and hitting herself in the face and chest, as women around her were trying to calm her down," spoke of her 11-year-old son Karar who died outside the house with his friends: " 'My son had his head blown off,' screamed Khodeir. 'Why are they hitting the people? Why are they killing the children? Why are they doing his to us? Why are they attacking civilians? Didn't Bush say on TV that he won't attack civilians. But these people who died are all civilians? Is this a target?' she wailed, pointing at the dried blood of her son still splashed on the walls."
"The Whole World is Watching Us Die"
The report also described the killing of Shaza Shallum, 20, who was "holding her baby and walking with two relatives when the explosion sent a shard of shrapnel through her neck. Six-month-old Fatma was found alive in her dead mother's arms and brought by neighbors to her grandmother. The wails of the mourners drowned the cries of the hungry infant."
One of the people living in this neighborhood told Reuters: "We are helpless people. It is all out of our hands. Why cannot the world find a solution? The whole world is watching us die and is doing nothing to help us."
The full article can be found at http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=AIXRWPJ3C5TXOCRBAEOCFFA?type=topNews&storyID=2471290
On April 12, people of conscience all over the world are marching, rallying, and carrying out massive protests in solidarity with the suffering people of Iraq. The people who are being killed are not our enemies, they are our sisters and brothers. They must not be allowed to think that the world is "doing nothing" as the violence is inflicted upon them. Thousands of young men and women in the U.S. armed forces either oppose the war or are going through a process of questioning about the mission. It is crucial that the people of the United States come together to demand: Stop the War Against Iraq / Bring the Troops Home Now.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT APRIL 12
In Washington, huge numbers of people will gather at the Washington Monument at 12 noon. Joint U.S. actions will take place in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
BUSES, VANS AND CAR CARAVANS WILL TRAVEL FROM THE EAST COAST, MIDWEST AND SOUTH to be at the White House on Saturday, April 12. For a listing of transportation being organized from cities around the country, go to:
If you are ORGANIZING TRANSPORTATION, fill out the easy-to-use form at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a12/index.html#a12transp so that we can help spread the word to others (if the link does not take you directly to the form, scroll down)
To DOWNLOAD LITERATURE, go to
If you cannot download and print the flyers and stickers, you can pick up stacks at A.N.S.W.E.R. offices around the country, or you can call us at 202-544-3389 and request a packet of flyers. Please make your request immediately so they can be sent in time for massive distribution.
To make a tax-deductible DONATION to support the work of the anti-war movement, go to
Please check the April 12 page on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website at
frequently for additional organizing information. This will include additional pieces of downloadable literature; a daily update to the list of cities organizing transportation; logistical information; & more.
*The National March to Stop the War on Iraq comes in the midst of the long-planned Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) Mobilization Against Military and Economic Intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean. A.N.S.W.E.R. encourages participation in the LASC public plenaries including major Latin American speakers on Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm and the LASC rally and demonstration ending at the World Bank and IMF on Sunday, April 13. Visit the LASC web page at http://www.lasolidarity.org for details.*
FOR MORE INFORMATION
New York 212-633-6646
Los Angeles 213-487-2368
San Francisco 415-821-6545
March 22, 2003
SHOCK & REVULSION: World Movement Fights Back
Borrowing a page from the nightmare of the Vietnam War when a U.S. commander explained that U.S. soldiers were burning a peasant village in order to save it from communism, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal have decided to burn Baghdad to save it from the current Iraqi Government. The world is in a state of Shock and Revulsion as the murderous Bush Administration follows through on its promise to "Shock and Awe" the Iraqi people by dropping thousands of bombs and missiles on their capital, a city that is home to 4.5 million human beings.
This horrific unprovoked attack on a dense urban area must be understood as one of the extreme terrorist acts of modern times. Cruise missiles launched from submarines and air craft hundreds of miles away and 3,000 lb. bombs dropped from 30,000 ft. up are the latest example of the Bush administration's criminal resort to limitless violence and terrorism in order to achieve its objectives of conquest and occupation. The hypocrisy of the war against Iraq is extreme: the most powerful military in the world waging first strike war with the most advanced weapons against an impoverished country on the pretext that it someday may possess such weapons.
The world has entered a new phase. The Bush Administration is hell bent on world domination. The war on Iraq was meant to signal that the U.S. use of raw military power will be the means to create a new era of Empire. Iraq was to be a stepping stone on this path of conquest.
To the shock of the warmakers, their plans have ignited a world movement of opposition and solidarity. For months this movement has delayed and restrained the war plans for Iraq. Bush and Co. have lost all legitimacy and they are isolated. The people's movement has deprived them of the any threadbare claim to legality.
Today our hearts are today filled with both anger at the war and sadness for the suffering people of Iraq who are enduring this unprovoked terrorist attack. But sadness and grief should be coupled with a profound understanding that the sudden emergence of a new global movement offers the best and only hope that the U.S. government's plans for militarism, war and domination -- the doctrine of endless war -- can and will be overcome.
In the days ahead we must intensify the struggle against this cruel war. We urge everyone to stay in the streets, and to organize against the lies and propaganda of the death machine. Our movement has shown great energy and strength in the last days. No part of the planet is free from mass protests, including hundreds of cities inside the United States. Now is the time to organize, organize and organize.
EMERGENCY REGIONAL PROTESTS
Saturday, March 22:
* EMERGENCY CONVERGENCE on the north side of the WHITE HOUSE at 12 NOON
* In NYC, meet at 11:30 a.m. on Broadway between 41st and 36th St.
* In San Francisco, meet at 12 noon Civic Center Los Angeles
* In Los Angeles, meet at 12 noon corner of Hollywood & Vine
* Emergency regional protests in cities around the country
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
New York 212-633-6646
Los Angeles 213-487-2368
San Francisco 415-821-6545
Dear MoveOn supporter,
War has begun.
Our minds immediately and naturally turn to the humanitarian disaster
that will most likely follow from war in Iraq. The Bush
administration is woefully unprepared to face this need.
Today we suggest an important action that will literally save lives.
There are many good charitable organizations that are prepared to
help prevent the many thousands of deaths from the starvation and
disease that could follow the collapse of an already fragile Iraqi
infrastructure. This will be a race against time, as these
incredible organizations supply food, restore water and sanitation
systems, and fight epidemic disease. They need help now.
We are highlighting one of the most prominent and capable of these
organizations -- Oxfam. Go to their donation page to read more and
give a generous contribution today:
The Bush administration has shown that it has a very short attention
span on post-conflict humanitarian efforts. The White House didn't
request a single dollar for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in this
year's budget -- Congress had to take the unusual step of adding in
Privately funded organizations like Oxfam are the only ones with
the patience to truly do what it takes to help a war-torn region
rebuild. It's up to us.
-The MoveOn Team
Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Wes, and Zack
March 21, 2003.
March 20, 2003
"The people want peace; indeed, I believe they want peace so badly that the governments will just have to step aside and let them have it."
- Dwight Eisenhower
This is a sad time for all of us. President Bush is hell-bent on taking the world to war despite opposition from nearly all quarters. His deafness is shocking. He ignores the wishes of the United Nations claiming he must because Saddam Hussein has ignored the wishes of the United Nations.
Now the people of the world must prepare for a war we do not want. Our first thoughts and prayers must go out to the victims of this war: the soldiers sent to kill and be killed, the civilians who will be sacrificed in the name of "shock and awe", the children here at home who will go without a proper education or medical care so that George Bush can pay for his adventure while still enriching the already rich. In the end we will all be victims of his war.
Despite all the sadness, we can draw strength from our remarkable successes over the last months. We are witnessing the dawning of a new superpower, the power of organized, coordinated, internet people worldwide. And it is challenging the old power of money and guns. The peace loving people of the world have risen up in ways never before seen in human history. We have just been participants in the largest anti-war rallies in history, and the first large scale rallies to take place BEFORE the shooting starts. Last Sunday's global candlelight vigils took place in 140 countries and was organized in a matter of days by an army of peacemakers.
This is what waging peace looks like, and we have never seen it before. World leaders are being forced to respond to these new pressures. George Bush tried to use the old tactics of money (your money) and guns to buy support for his war aims, and in the end was rebuffed by Turkey and the members of the UN Security Council. Almost all of the 30 countries Bush claims are supporting this war are really doing little more than agreeing to avert their eyes to the horror we are about to launch. Only the United Kingdom is sending a large contingent of troops, and Tony Blair is suffering terribly because of it.
So this is the last gasp of an ancient way of ruling. A few men with guns and wealth are being threatened by the billions of people they rule over, and the people are beginning to win. And in terms of failing to get support from the UN, we did win - an unprecedented win. Going forward we are better prepared to resist the warmongers than ever before. Our tools are more advanced, our tactics smarter, our lists of supporters longer.
So what do we do now?
First, all the members of the Win Without War coalition are urging all peaceloving people of the world to keep a light burning in a window. It can be a candle, a lamp, Christmas lights, anything that symbolizes the enduring light of hope and reason during this time of darkness.
Some of us will want to take a more direct action. The United for Peace and Justice coalition has compiled a list of direct actions you can engage in. While resisting this war I was arrested for the first time engaging in an act of civil disobedience and I can tell you I found the experience uplifting, joyous and deeply rewarding. Here is their website:
So don't dismay. WE are the new Superpower, the Superpower of Peace, and we aren't done yet.
Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
Bush administration begins terrorist assault against Iraq
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROTESTS & WALKOUTS
Iraq, a country that has not attacked or threatened the United States, is now the subject of a state-sponsored terrorist assault from the skies as the Bush administration orders cruise missile attacks in Baghdad that began in the early morning hours in Iraq today. President Bush went on national television at 10:15 pm EST to alert the country and the world that the U.S. war on Iraq had begun. The Bush administration camouflaged its unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq as a war for "disarmament" and "liberation." All aggressors throughout history have disguised their ambitions and goals by presenting their actions as a means in pursuit of noble ends. The war against Iraq is not about disarmament or about the protection of the United States or about the creation of a democratic Iraq. The Bush administration and other previous U.S. governments have in fact aided, financed and armed some of the most brutal dictatorships on the globe. The real objectives of this first strike war are to achieve U.S. domination over the strategic and oil-rich region of the Middle East.
The people of the world in the last month have carried out an unprecedented campaign of global opposition to the planned U.S. war against Iraq. The worldwide anti-war movement has stripped the Bush administration of the veneer and fig leaf of legality and legitimacy that it sought by coercing and bribing the United Nations to back its unilateral actions against Iraq. The UN's refusal to support the U.S. war against Iraq has resulted in the political isolation of the Bush administration. The administration seeks now to overcome its failed diplomacy and political isolation by resorting to massive military power and the exercise of limitless violence. In the coming days and weeks, anti-war forces in the United States and around the world will intensify their protest, opposition and resistance to this illegal and immoral war.
We urge everyone to participate in the Emergency Response Mobilization plans:
Thursday, March 20
WALKOUT / STAY AWAY!
CONVERGE TO PROTEST AT 12 NOON
In the morning, either go to work or school and encourage others to leave to join the protest, or spend the morning leafleting for other people to join. Converge at 12 noon in city centers -- in Washington D.C. at the White House, in New York City at Union Square, in San Francisco at Civic Center Plaza -- to engage in protest actions against the war. Flyers can be downloaded (see links below) and will be available at A.N.S.W.E.R. offices and organizing centers around the country.
Thursday, March 20
EMERGENCY PROTEST AT 5 PM
Gather at a central location at 5 pm -- in Washington DC at the White House, in New York at Times Square, in San Francisco at Powell and Market -- to protest the war.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22
*EMERGENCY CONVERGENCE on the WHITE HOUSE in WASHINGTON DC at 12 noon
*Emergency regional protests in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and around the country
*In New York City protest at 11:30 a.m., assemble on Broadway between 41st and 36th St.
Monday, March 17, 2003
A Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War
George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Dear Governor Bush:
So today is what you call "the moment of truth," the day that "France and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table." I'm glad to hear that this day has finally arrived. Because, I gotta tell ya, having survived 440 days of your lying and conniving, I wasn't sure if I could take much more. So I'm glad to hear that today is Truth Day, 'cause I got a few truths I would like to share with you:
1. There is virtually NO ONE in America (talk radio nutters and Fox News aside) who is gung-ho to go to war. Trust me on this one. Walk out of the White House and on to any street in America and try to find five people who are PASSIONATE about wanting to kill Iraqis. YOU WON'T FIND THEM! Why? 'Cause NO Iraqis have ever come here and killed any of us! No Iraqi has even threatened to do that. You see, this is how we average Americans think: If a certain so-and-so is not perceived as a threat to our lives, then, believe it or not, we don't want to kill him! Funny how that works!
2. The majority of Americans -- the ones who never elected you -- are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction. We know what the real issues are that affect our daily lives -- and none of them begin with I or end in Q. Here's what threatens us: two and a half million jobs lost since you took office, the stock market having become a cruel joke, no one knowing if their retirement funds are going to be there, gas now costs almost two dollars -- the list goes on and on. Bombing Iraq will not make any of this go away. Only you need to go away for things to improve.
3. As Bill Maher said last week, how bad do you have to suck to lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein? The whole world is against you, Mr. Bush. Count your fellow Americans among them.
4. The Pope has said this war is wrong, that it is a SIN. The Pope! But even worse, the Dixie Chicks have now
come out against you! How bad does it have to get before you realize that you are an army of one on this war? Of course, this is a war you personally won't have to fight. Just like when you went AWOL while the poor were shipped to Vietnam in your place.
5. Of the 535 members of Congress, only ONE (Sen. Johnson of South Dakota) has an enlisted son or daughter in the armed forces! If you really want to stand up for America, please send your twin daughters over to Kuwait right now and let them don their chemical warfare suits. And let's see every member of Congress with a child of military age also sacrifice their kids for this war effort. What's that you say? You don't THINK so? Well, hey, guess what -- we don't think so either!
6. Finally, we love France. Yes, they have pulled some royal screw-ups. Yes, some of them can be pretty damn annoying. But have you forgotten we wouldn't even have this country known as America if it weren't for the French? That it was their help in the Revolutionary War that won it for us? That our greatest thinkers and founding fathers -- Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc. -- spent many years in Paris where they refined the concepts that lead to our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution? That it was France who gave us our Statue of Liberty, a Frenchman who built the Chevrolet, and a pair of French brothers who invented the movies? And now they are doing what only a good friend can do -- tell you the truth about yourself, straight, no b.s. Quit pissing on the French and thank them for getting it right for once. You know, you really should have traveled more (like once) before you took over. Your ignorance of the world has not only made you look stupid, it has painted you into a corner you can't get out of.
Well, cheer up -- there IS good news. If you do go through with this war, more than likely it will be over soon because I'm guessing there aren't a lot of Iraqis willing to lay down their lives to protect Saddam Hussein. After you "win" the war, you will enjoy a huge bump in the popularity polls as everyone loves a winner -- and who doesn't like to see a good ass-whoopin' every now and then (especially when it 's some third world ass!). So try your best to ride this victory all the way to next year's election. Of course, that's still a long ways away, so we'll all get to have a good hardy-har-har while we watch the economy sink even further down the toilet!
But, hey, who knows -- maybe you'll find Osama a few days before the election! See, start thinking like THAT! Keep hope alive! Kill Iraqis -- they got our oil!!