#IranDeal signature ad for Oregon voters

Please support this #IranDeal signature adUS-IranFlags aimed at Oregon’s senators. Add your name or your organization’s name today. Send your information or questions to leahbolger[at]comcast.net.
Help fund this ad.
Donate by mail: Contact Leah and she will respond by email with the address.
Donate electronically: Use the Network for Good button on our web page and include a designation for the Iran Deal ad.

From VFP 132 chapter member, Leah Bolger:

If you are like me, and virtually everyone else in the world except the government of Israel, AIPAC and the politicians who receive a lot of money from AIPAC, then you are in strong support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aka the “Iran Nuclear Deal.”
Alarmingly, neither of our two senators have come out in favor of it.  Senator Wyden says he is “leaning no,” and Senator Merkley says he wants to “think about it.”
I asked Senator Wyden’s office where he would be appearing during the summer recess so that we could express our opinions, and was told he wasn’t making any public appearances at all.  I asked if he was taking appointments with constituents and was told no again.
So, I have decided that a good way to let our two senators know how we feel is to take out a signature ad.  I am checking on rates with various newspapers.  Obviously the Oregonian would be seen by a lot more people [we will probably post in the OregonLive site] , but even if we put it in a local paper (like the Corvallis Gazette-Times) it will certainly come to the attention of the two senators.
The following is the draft of the verbiage I propose.  If you would like to add your name, or your organization’s name to the advertisement, please e-mail me with the name as you wish it to appear in the ad.  I will also need donations to make this affordable.  I suggest $5 per individual and $20 per organization, of course if you would like to send more, that would be great!  If you want to pay by check, make it payable to “Veterans For Peace” and it will be tax-deductible.  PLEASE forward this post to everyone you know in Oregon!  Here is the proposed ad:

Senators Wyden and Merkley—Support the Iran Nuclear Deal!

On July 14th 2015, President Obama signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aka the “Iran Nuclear Deal” on behalf of the United States and its citizens. This agreement is being overwhelmingly supported around the world, by the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the Arab League, the National Iranian American Council, and dozens of former ambassadors and analysts.

The Oregon voters whose names appear below most strongly urge Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to show their support for this historic agreement. To vote against it would be a vote for war, would undermine the Executive authority to negotiate treaties on behalf of the United States, and would destroy months of delicate and difficult negotiations.  It would also defy the overwhelming wishes and support of the international community.

Leah Bolger

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Time to end the myth

By Barry Ladendorf
President, Board of Directors
Veterans For Peace

[reprinted from the VFP publication, Peace in Our Times, July 18, 2015]

In a July 16 Associated Press article, “Atomic Bomb Test Marks 70th BirthdayAmid Renewed Interest,” Duane Hughes, retired physicist, is quoted as saying that the “history of the Trinity test is important because it helped end World War II and set the stage for a Cold War arms race.”

No doubt the testing and use of atomic bombs set the stage for the Cold War arms race, but that we needed to drop the bombs to end the war is an ongoing American myth that needs to end now.

When the United States broke the Japanese code, the U.S. government was aware that on July 13, 1945, Japan had contacted the Soviet Union to express its desire to surrender and end the war.

President Truman was aware three months before he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that, according to Swiss and Portuguese sources, the Japanese government, knowing they could not win, wanted to begin the process of surrendering. The one thing the Japanese wanted was to retain the emperor. Presidential advisor Jimmy Byrnes convinced President Harry S. Truman that dropping the bombs would allow the United States to dictate the terms to end the war and let the Soviets and the world know we had the “bomb.”

What was the reaction of America’s top military leaders who led the allies to victory?

General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the allied forces in the Far East during the war, stated he was never even consulted about using the bomb against Japan. According to Norman Cousins, consultant to MacArthur during the occupation of Japan, MacArthur stated that had he been consulted, he would have said that he saw no military justification for using the bomb and that if the United States would simply have agreed to allow the emperor to stay the war might have been over weeks earlier.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, when briefed on the atomic bomb tests in New Mexico and of their planned use against Japan, expressed his belief that there was no need to use the bomb because Japan was already defeated, and that the United States should not shock the world by the use of a weapon that was no longer necessary to save American lives. General “Hap” Arnold, commander of the Army Air Corps, and General Omar Bradley shared Eisenhower’s opinion.

Perhaps one of the strongest critics of using the bomb was Admiral William Leahy, chief of staff to both President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Truman. Leahy said, “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan.” In Leahy’s opinion, by dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

Even former President Herbert Hoover weighed in, telling Truman in May 1945 that if he were President he would, “make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan — tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender — that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists — you’ll get a peace with Japan — you’ll have both wars over.”

In spite of this considered and widespread opposition by senior military officials who prosecuted the war and from a former president, Truman ordered that Hiroshima and Nagasaki be bombed. On August 9, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and when the Japanese government did surrender, they were permitted to keep the Emperor. Hiding behind the myth may make it easier to accept the fact that we used this diabolical weapon in a senseless slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. Let’s end the myth and accept responsibility for what our nation did.

=============

[Ed.: For another excellent analysis of these myths, see Howard Zinn’s August 2000 article here: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/Bombs_August.html ]

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Hiroshima – Nagasaki Commemorations Set

Corvallis, Oregon peace activists recognize 70th anniversary of nuclear attacks with theme, “Never Again”

— Corvallis peace & justice groups, including Veterans For Peace, Women’s Int’l League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), several faith groups and Alternatives To War, will host three events to memorialize those lost in the 1945 attacks on innocent civilians by the United States and to suggest actions to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide.

NeverAgainScreenAd

See this page for details on the events and please plan to join us.

Posted in Human War Toll, Linus Pauling Chapter Actions, Peace Activism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VFP Press Release on Gaza Freedom Flotilla Seizure

@GazaFFlotilla #GazaFreedomFlotilla

Press Release from Veterans For Peace     
1404 North Broadway St. Louis, MO 63102  (314) 725-6005

www.veteransforpeace.org  @VFPNational

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 2, 2015

For more information:

Ray McGovern, Participant, 2011 Freedom Flotilla, 703-994-1459
Michael T. McPhearson, VFP Executive Director, 973-666-4605

Veterans Call on Israel to Free International Flotilla,
End Siege of Gaza

U.S. State Department Should Demand Immediate Release of all Passengers

St. Louis, MOVeterans For Peace applauds the international Freedom Flotilla 3, including prominent VFP member, Colonel Ann Wright (USAR Retired), and the courage of all who attempted to break the Israeli siege of Gaza this week.

We deplore the Israeli government’s illegal seizure, in international waters, of the lead boat, the Marianne of Gothenburg from Sweden, and the illegal abduction of her crew and passengers. We call for the immediate release of the ship, along with its crew and passengers and all of their confiscated property including their video recording devices, tapes, disks cards and any other devices they used to record exactly what happened when and after the boat was commandeered.

We are also disturbed by credible reports now being heard that flotilla volunteers were subjected to unnecessary levels of violence from Israeli military personnel who reportedly tased four unarmed civilians.  At least 9 crew and passengers are currently detained. These actions of the Israeli government confirm Israel’s status as a true rogue state and demand a strong response from the United States Government.

In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson sent United States Naval ships to the Mediterranean Sea to protect U.S. ships from the danger of the Barbary Pirates.  More recently U.S. naval vessels were dispatched to the seas off the coast of Somalia to intervene against pirates from that country. Whether piracy is carried out by the Barbary Pirates, the pirates of Somalia or the Israeli navy, seizing a ship in international waters and abducting its crew and passengers is an act of piracy that flagrantly violates international maritime law.

Article 87(a) of the UN Convention on the Laws of the Seas provides for general freedom of navigation on the high seas, and Article 88 states: “The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.”  Article 89 states: “No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.”

We note the sharp contradiction between U.S. policy against piracy from 1801 through the present, supporting international maritime law, and the failure of our government to condemn or sanction acts of piracy by the Israeli government using boats, helicopters and weapons provided to Israel by the United States – even when that military assistance was used to murder nine Turkish civilians including a Turkish-American citizen in the previous Freedom Flotilla in 2010.

We therefore call upon the U.S. government to immediately cease military aid to Israel as required by the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and to refer any future Israeli crimes of piracy and abduction against American citizens to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Veterans For Peace wholeheartedly support the demands of the Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli siege of Gaza must end, as well as the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both of which are in clear violation of international laws including United Nations Security Resolution 242 – which calls for Israel to withdraw from the lands it seized in the 1967 War – and numerous requirements of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We encourage our members to contact the Israeli Embassy at the telephone numbers below to demand the release of the Marianne, all of the currently imprisoned Freedom Flotilla activists and all of their possessions.
And to end the illegal siege of Gaza.

ISRAELI EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON, DC
Israel’s Ambassador to U.S. Ron Dermer
Tel: 202-364-5500,

Consular Services consular@washington.mfa.gov.il
General Information info@washington.mfa.gov.il

Press Office, E-mail: press@washington.mfa.gov.il
Tel: (202) 364-5538

Political Department
Ifat Reshef – Minister Counselor for Middle Eastern Affairs.
Ofer Moreno – Minister Counselor for Political Affairs.
Itai Bar-Dov – Counselor for Political Affairs.
Tel: 202-364-5510
Email: Info@washington.mfa.gov.il

Thank you for your immediate action!

Video from Electronic Intifanda shows Israeli military violently boarding the Marianne.
Commentary from Medea Benjamin Co-founder, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Israel Didn’t Win.

Support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) & Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Campaigns!
http://www.bdsmovement.net/
http://www.WhoProfits.org
http://www.pacbi.org
Support Freedom Flotilla 3
http://www.gazaark.org/

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FreedomFlotilla3

Posted in Foreign Policy, Human War Toll, Peace Activism, Peace News, Veterans For Peace News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VFP UK Launches Powerful Media Campaign

Amazing stuff. Thank you, @VFPUK. Must see videos for Truth in Recruiting activists and VFP members and allies.

The best presentation of the Veterans For Peace mission statement ever:

IMG_0523

And…

Truth in Military Recruiting…if military recruiters target small children, counter-recruiters should complete the message:

“War Veterans’ film an internet hit in time for Armed Forces Day”

ActionManCoverMore details at: http://battlefieldcasualties.co.uk

 

Posted in Foreign Policy, Human War Toll, Peace Activism, Truth in Recruiting, Veterans For Peace News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making War on Everything is the American Way

VFP Linus Pauling Chapter:

Perhaps President Obama should have completed the 12-step addiction program before accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Our comments are entered at the bottom of Col. Aster’s blog post.

Originally posted on The Contrary Perspective:

When you're at war, even your own youth become potential enemies.  A sign after the Kent State shootings When you’re at war, even your own youth become potential enemies. A sign after the Kent State shootings (1970)

W.J. Astore

Here are a few excerpts from my latest article at TomDispatch.com.  I urge you to read the entire article here.  Thank you!

War on drugsWar on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you.  It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.

When you define something as war, it dictates the use of the military (or militarized police forces, prisons, and other forms of coercion) as the primary instruments of policy.  Violence becomes the means of decision, total victory the goal.  Anyone who suggests…

View original 709 more words

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Thoughts on “The colonels speak out”

Two things occurred to us as we read Mr. Downing’s article (which follows below):

1) Early in our courses at the Naval War NICAPCollege, we learned from other mid-grade officers (our professors) that most wars are instigated by the guys in the “striped suits” rather than the uniformed Pentagon officials. Think McNamara, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld. There is a natural wariness about war-making decisions made by political appointees with little perceived “skin in the game.” … and …

2) There are many mid-grade officers who are freely outspoken in their opposition to needless wars, frivolous Pentagon spending and poor senior leadership…and know what they’re talking about. That’s because a) they have the experience derived from multiple and varied postings and occupations, so they know BS when they see it and b) they don’t have a lot to lose–as long as they don’t violate the UCMJ, they will likely be retained long enough to collect military retirement. They realize that due to their lack of political acumen (a.k.a. sucking up skills) or frankly, their own mediocre performance or enthusiasm for the mission, that they will never become generals or admirals and probably will advance no further than their current grade, so why not buck the system a bit? Mr. Downing suggests some may promote to senior grades and we hope that is true.

We must listen to these folks.

The colonels speak out

by Brian Downing via OpEd News

In recent testimony before congress, military head Martin Dempsey set limits on American troops in the continuing Iraq war. They will train Iraqi forces, provide air support, and conduct special forces raids. We will not, however, send regular combat troops into battle against ISIL.

Dempsey recognizes that US ground troops will do nothing to stiffen the spines of Iraqi troops, and that American combat troops would be a boon for ISIL and al Qaeda. Those groups will depict American combat troops as another effort to humiliate and control the Islamic world; recruits and money will increase.

Dempsey undoubtedly sees a resurgent Russia as a greater priority, but there are also institutional reasons for his statement: many mid-level officers are increasingly critical of recent wars. Owing to the estrangement between the American public and their soldiers, this has gone largely unnoticed.

There is growing skepticism within the military about the judgment of politicians on matters of war — more than those outside the military will realize. Leaders should have seen the injudiciousness of occupying and seeking to modernize landlocked Afghanistan, an undertaking bound to present daunting logistical and political problems; and of unseating a Sunni minority in Iraq, an undertaking bound to unleash sectarian hatreds and attract foreign jihadis.

General officers are not above reproach — or self-reproach. Retired General Daniel Bolger scores his colleagues for acquiescing to a pair of conflicts that grew into open-ended nation-building projects. (See A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.)

Disquiet is especially pronounced in the mid-levels of active-duty officers — the majors and colonels, or field grades, who have spent many of the last fourteen years on deployments in protracted, costly wars. They were not stationed in theater command centers and Pentagon corridors; they were out on patrols and supply convoys. Casualties were more than statistics.

Our wars, in their estimation, have not strengthened their nation’s security. Indeed, they have weakened it. Over the years, these majors and colonels have published articles in military journals presenting spirited criticism of superior officers for not objecting to the poorly thought out projects of politicians and think tanks.

Officers have also directed criticism of counterinsurgency doctrines. Once deemed a daring innovation that would revolutionize warfare and foreign policy, counterinsurgency is judged to be a false hope — one that threatens to become an ideological foundation for interventions around the world. (See Col Gian Gentile, Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency.)

Col Gregory Daddis (a West Point instructor like Gentile), has written that the expectation of war has become ingrained in our culture — to the detriment of our support for diplomacy. The public is mostly detached from military service and less than critical in approaching wars that have no real cost to them. Americans are comfortable in the myths that war is ennobling and that their military can accomplish almost anything. Daddis decries the “relentless militarization afflicting our national mental health.” (See “America: Addicted to War, Afraid of Peace.”)

One of the more striking pieces of polling data in recent memory comes from a 2014 Military Times survey of active-duty troops which found that only 27% of respondents thought that senior military leaders have “their best interests at heart,” down sharply from a middling 53% in 2009. (See “America’s military: a force adrift.”)

The military is an institution governed by timeless traditions. It is not, however, above change. After the Vietnam War gravely damaged the military, mid-level officers, including Colin Powell, rebuilt their prized institution and vowed not to allow it to be sent off into ill-advised wars again. Over the last decade and a half, that generation grew old and was replaced by one whose wars (Grenada, Panama, and Gulf War One) were quick, almost costless, and successful.

In coming years, they will be replaced by today’s mid-level officers whose wars are none of those things. This change will be beneficial to a country committed to globalism but led by politicians more attuned to political pressures than to military realities and composed of people who don’t know any soldiers, save for an aging parent or grandparent.

2015 Brian M Downing

Brian M. Downing is a political-military analyst, and author of The Military Revolution and Political Change and The Paths of Glory: Social Change in America from the Great War to Vietnam.

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