On May 27, 2021, local Corvallis Hiroshima survivor June Ikuko Terasaka Moore, came to visit and bless (with her and her family’s presence) our Peace Tree.
The Peace Tree was planted April 11, 2019 at the Oregon State University (OSU) Asian & Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) with the help of local Veterans For Peace member, Dr. Linda Richards, OSU’s School of History, Philosophy and Religion and the APCC. The tree planting honors Ms. Hideko Tamura Snider, a Medford peace advocate and Hiroshima survivor.
To learn more about Ms. Snider’s history and peace activism and about the Hiroshima Peace Tree project in Oregon, see this link.
For more details about this project, please email Dr. Richards: atomiclinda[at]gmail.com.
“…NATO seeks to launch its new strategic initiative “NATO 2030,” which identifies its principal security concerns as not only Russia, but also China, terrorism, cyber attacks and emerging disruptive technologies. This forebodes a dangerous expansion of NATO even further into the Asia Pacific region….”
On June 14, the US-led imperialist military pact, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), will hold its annual summit meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The Resist US-Led War Movement calls for Global Actions to Resist NATO and Build the People’s Movement for Just Peace!
Since its founding in 1949, NATO has acted as an armed wing of US-led war and imperialism, mobilizing its 29 member states in North America and Europe to unleash lethal military campaigns in the name of “collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.” That is, in defense of the interests of US imperialism and its allies, threatened by its rivals or movements for genuine sovereignty and independence.
The truth is that NATO has been a prime actor in wars of aggression, the enforcement of sanctions, and military occupations that have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in countries from Afghanistan, to Iraq, and Libya. As part of its policy to surround and contain Russia, NATO has built up its presence in the Black Sea and Mediterranean including US bases and use of bases in Greece and Cyprus. NATO continues to destabilize sovereign countries and prop up fascist governments across Europe, including in Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Hungary. NATO gives unwavering support to Israel’s genocidal occupation of Palestine, and NATO member Turkey has initiated military aggression in North and East Syria and in South Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) in a brutal war to eliminate the Kurdish people, toward the goal of strengthening NATO in the Middle East. So-called humanitarian missions conducted by NATO place humanitarian aid in a military framework that prioritizes making regions secure for investment and geopolitical interests of its member states. Around the world, NATO states maintain an intricate network of military bases and military installations, which violate national sovereignty and cause environmental damage and social disruption.
To support its insatiable hunger for militarism, NATO continues to demand larger military budgets and greater military spending from each of its member states, leaving much-needed social services for working people chronically underfunded. NATO pushes the bogus line of nuclear deterrence, essentially supporting the nuclear build up of its nuclear-armed members and even preventing its members from signing the TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons).
Now NATO seeks to launch its new strategic initiative “NATO 2030,” which identifies its principal security concerns as not only Russia, but also China, terrorism, cyber attacks and emerging disruptive technologies. This forebodes a dangerous expansion of NATO even further into the Asia Pacific region, as NATO increases its intelligence activities, investment in military readiness–including weapons, military exercises, bases and installations– and collaboration with repressive regimes in the region.
As the preeminent alliance of the most economically and politically powerful allies of the US, NATO is still the premier force bolstering US-led war today. Through NATO, the US has access to any military base, domestic or overseas, of any of its members. The US also is the primary decision-maker when it comes to NATO missions, meaning that all of the pooled resources of member countries are at the US’s fingertips to fund its destructive operations. Truly, the US would not be at the helm of the majority of wars of aggression today if it were not for the NATO alliance.
The people reject NATO as a tool of US-led war! NATO and its proponents will never achieve real peace and security for the masses of the world. The people can only attain a genuine just peace by organizing for justice and social equity and by forging solidarity amongst peoples, including the recognition of the right to self-determination, economic, and food sovereignty, and self-defense of nations and oppressed peoples from reactionary violence, including US and NATO-led aggression.
Resist US-Led War Movement calls for actions June 10-14, to coincide with the NATO summit in Brussels, to denounce NATO and build the grassroots people’s movement to oppose NATO and US-led war! Join our online rally on June 10 at http://bit.ly/notonatorally, join us at in-person actions in Brussels on June 13, or hold an action in your own city or town!
Letter to the editor, mid-Valley newspapers, May 30, 2021
“This Memorial Day, honor the fallen U.S. war hero if you will.
But, where is the memorial day for victims of U.S. aggression? If you have studied the true history of the U.S. empire, you know that this country has waged war for empire or some perceived threat to U.S. interests since the country’s inception. We have created literally countless victims, including Native Americans. None of these victims will be memorialized this Memorial Day.
Many of those who joined the U.S. military had the best intentions. But how many were misled into combat service by politicians and their corporate backers? Some voice support for the “good” wars. But those too could have been avoided through savvy diplomacy and other actions short of war.
Some U.S. veterans and current military members have committed atrocities and even war crimes. This is well documented. Are we honoring them too? When you say “Thank you for your service,” do know whether the recipient served honorably? Do you care? Many veterans we know prefer not to be thanked, as that can trigger memories of the horrific destruction in which they took part.
As we honor the U.S. war dead, we must also acknowledge our longstanding militant foreign policy, and we must honor and mourn the victims of U.S. hegemony. These were fellow human beings routinely swept away silently and promptly from American consciousness and under the historical rug.
This Memorial Day, please honor all victims of war.”
Bart Bolger, Former president, Veterans for Peace, Mid-Valley Chapter, Corvallis
What would Memorial Day look like if we commemorated all the victims of war, and not just the military fallen from our own country? What would it be like to honor all the dead and acknowledge all the destruction wrought around the world by U.S. military actions?
Join us to explore this theme, as we pair Americans, mostly military veterans, with speakers who have been on the receiving end of U.S. military aggression.
Cheyenne Arapaho Nation: Larry Bringing Good
Afghanistan:Nematullah Ahangosh, Basir Bita, Kathy Kelly, Danny Sjursen
Iraq:Matthew Hoh, Lubna Mousa
Vietnam:Peggy Akers, Theresa Mei Chuc, Doug Rawlings
by Rick Staggenborg. Published as a letter to the editor in the three mid-Valley newspapers May 28, 2021.
“Palestinians in Gaza are dying by the hundreds under relentless Israeli missile attacks. Several Israeli citizens have also been killed by Hamas rockets. The predictable US response is “Israel has a right to defend itself.” While true, those concerned about lost lives on both sides must look beyond the misleading media characterization of the violence as a “tit-for-tat” exchange.
This isn’t a clash between equals, but between one of the most powerful armies on earth against fighters interspersed among nearly 2 million civilians. While Hamas rocket attacks on civilian populations are war crimes, so is the completely disproportionate Israeli response. To understand why Hamas would provide a rationale for the Israeli slaughter, one must examine the sequence of events leading to the exchange, something American politicians and media never do.
As reported in several Israeli newspapers, several provocations preceded the Hamas response. These included forced evictions in Jerusalem, violent suppressions of resulting protests, ignoring or supporting settler violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem, and raiding the sacred al-Aqsa mosque during observances preceding a Muslim high holiday. The Times quotes Israeli politicians who argue that Netanyahu deliberately set the stage for civil war and the massacre in Gaza to save himself from prosecution on charges of corruption.
Netanyahu’s actions prove that equating American interests with the political interests of an increasingly out-of-control Israeli government doesn’t serve the real interests of Israel or the U.S., not to mention the Palestinians caught in the crossfire.
Members of VFP Linus Pauling Chapter 132, Mid-Valley joined many community members and Oregon State University students for two demonstrations, on May 14 and 20, in support of Palestinian resistance against the brutal attacks by Israeli forces in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Veterans For Peace are calling calling on Microsoft (Xbox) and Sony (PlayStation) and Valve not to host or digitally distribute the soon-to-be-released video game “Six Days in Fallujah,” developed by Highwire Games and published by Victura.
CAIR and Veterans for Peace believe at its core, the game is an “Arab murder simulator” that glorifies violence that took the lives of over 800 Iraqi civilians, justifies the illegal invasion of Iraq and reinforces Islamophobic narratives.
Join Veterans For Peace and CAIR for a discussion on May 4th on the upcoming game titled “6 Days in Fallujah” and the truth behind the deadly U.S. military assault on Iraq. Panel consists of CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCraw, CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz, veterans of the war on Iraq, Ross Caputi and Chris Velazquez with an introduction by VFP Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen.
Veterans ask Kerry to recognize U.S. militarism is a key contributor to the climate crisis.
VFP National Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, April 14th
Contact: email@example.com, 314-899-4515
April 15, 2021
Veterans Deliver Letter to Special Climate Envoy John Kerry Veterans ask Kerry to recognize U.S. militarism is a key contributor to the climate crisis.
Veterans For Peace delivered a letter to Special Climate Envoy John Kerry on April 14th, asking Kerry to recognize that militarism is a key part of the climate crisis and the need to promote redirection of military expenditures to address the climate crisis and provide for human needs.
Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen, OIF veteran, Board President Adrienne Kinne, Army veteran, and Vince Dijanich and Steve Morse, Viet Nam veterans, met yesterday with Senior Advisors to the U.S. Special Envoy, Elan Strait and Stephanie Epner to discuss concerns and deliver a letter signed by over 200 climate, environmental, peace and veterans organizations.
Veterans ask Climate Envoy Kerry to:
Include military Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in all reporting and data on GHGs (they never should have been excluded).
Use his public platform to promote major reductions in the military and its expenditures, including eliminating hundreds of overseas bases, rejecting nuclear modernization and endless war.
Promote bilateral accords with Russia and China to stop funding fossil fuel projects and promote cooperation toward green economies.
Fight for the US to pay its fair share to the Green Climate Fund.
Promote a Just Transition with union jobs and prevailing wages for workers displaced from the fossil fuel and weapons industries, and for low-wage workers.
View grassroots climate, environmental justice and anti-war groups as allies and work with them as partners.
“John Kerry famously testified before Congress 50 years ago how as a soldier he could not hold his silence on the destructive nature of the war on Viet Nam, ” says Steve Morse, Viet Nam veteran, “We feel that we too cannot be silent on how U.S. militarism is a key contributor to the climate crisis.”
“The climate crisis is past the point where the U.S. can just take symbolic action, nor can we accept military greenwashing. Electric powered humvees and biodiesel navy fleets are still capable of devastating the environment. Veterans see first hand the cost of war and John Kerry is uniquely positioned to seriously push to greatly reduce the military’s reach around the world,” says Adrienne Kinne, Army veteran, 1994-2004. “It is imperative that the U.S. end the squandering of financial, material and human resources, and minimize the Pentagon’s carbon bootprint.“
[Interviews are available upon request] ####
Veterans For Peace is a network of over 140 chapters worldwide whose work includes: educating the public, advocating for a dismantling of the war economy, providing services that assist veterans and victims of war, and most significantly, working to end all wars.
If you signed up for the Delayed Entry Program DEP (or the Army’s “Future Soldiers Training Program”) and then changed your mind, watch out for recruiters who say you can’t get out of it, or that you must report to boot camp to be released. Neither is true. To quit the DEP, there are simple steps you should take before your date to report for basic training. Don’t expect your recruiter to help you, and you should NOT go to a military base if you are told to report there to get released.
For free help getting out of the DEP, first talk to a counselor by contacting the GI Rights Hotline, (877) 447-4487 and leave a message that you want to get out of the Delayed Entry Program with your name and contact phone number and YOU WILL BE CALLED BACK.
If you need to talk about your situation quickly, call Call the Military Law Task Force @ 619-463-2369 and talk to a counselor ASAP.
The Federal 1033 program allows any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency to acquire military weapons from the Pentagon.
According to Defense Logistics Agency reports, neither the Corvallis Police Department nor the Benton County Sheriffs Office participate in the 1033 program. Our VFP chapter is working to ensure that does not change.
Meanwhile, please join Black Alliance for Peace in calling for the 1033 program’s abolition.
Here is their recent press release with a link to sign their petition. President Biden can do this with the stroke of a pen. A 1033 fact sheet follows the press release.
BAP Demands Biden Abolish—Not Just Alter—1033 Program
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) calls U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order to alter the Department of Defense’s 1033 program because of his supposed commitment to racial justice an affront. The gratuitous militarization of police forces across the United States through this program has helped to turn these agencies into brutal weapons of repression. Therefore, nothing short of complete abolition of this program is acceptable.
BAP has demanded abolition of the 1033 program since BAP’s 2017 founding. It now asks the public to sign a petition demanding the Biden administration and Democrats commit to abolishing this racist and brutal program.