I was reading this article on The Blaze and came to the point of the article where it stated the Mayor Gayle McLaughlin stated “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”. As soon as I saw the names of the two groups I knew I read and heard of them before. Sure enough I went out to Discover the Networks and found who these two groups really are, following the article from The Blaze, you can read about these two groups supported by the good Mayor from Richmond, CA for yourself. Walt
Calif. Mayor Chooses Occupy Rally Over Veterans Day Memorial
The mayor of Richmond, Calif. plans to skip her city’s Veterans Day memorial events to attend an Occupy rally, a choice that’s prompting anger and criticism.
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will miss a Veterans Day salute Friday in favor of an Occupy Richmond “public speak out,” the San Jose Mercury News reported.
McLaughlin defended her decision, telling the newspaper that the city is not sponsoring the Veterans Day event, and the rally she will attend will honor Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran injured at an Occupy Oakland rally last month. Richmond and Oakland, both in the San Francisco Bay Area, are about 12 miles apart.
“I choose to honor our veterans, not only on Veteran’s Day, but daily, by supporting an end to military warfare to prevent further fighting and dying in needless wars,” she said in an email. “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”
McLaughlin, a member of the Green Party elected to a second term last year, has been supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception. In a message on her website dated Nov. 6, she said since it “burst onto the scene, calling for an end to corporate domination all over the globe…[w]e, in Richmond, are part of this movement and have everything to gain from it.”
Continue reading the rest of the article at The Blaze
P.O. Box 8296
Anti-Iraq War organization composed of military personnel
Runs counter-recruitment program in U.S. schools
Claims that the Iraq War was “based on lies and deception”
Founded in July 2004, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) seeks “to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.” The organization “supports all those resisting the war, including Conscientious Objectors and others facing military prosecution for their refusal to fight.” It calls for “immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq”; “reparations for the pillaging and destruction of Iraq so that ordinary Iraqi people can control their own lives and future”; and “full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.”
As a result of its invasion of Iraq, says IVAW, “The U.S. has lost credibility to much of the world as the defender of liberty and freedom, and our national identity is eroding. … We need to regain the respect and faith of the global community. This begins by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and society.”
IVAW membership is open only to men and women who have served in the U.S. Military since September 11, 2001. This includes all recent veterans and active-duty personnel from all branches of military service, National Guard members, and reservists. IVAW currently has members in 32 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and on numerous bases overseas, including Iraq. These members “educate the public about the realities of the Iraq war by speaking in communities and to the media about their experiences.” They also participate in IVAW’s anti-recruitment campaign in American high schools and colleges, where they seek to discourage young people from enlisting in the armed services.
IVAW spreads its anti-war, anti-military message via the following organizational projects:
(a) Project for New American Values: In conjunction with the UPRISE Counter-Recruitment tour, IVAW members traveled throughout the Northeast and Midwest in the Fall of 2006, sponsoring concerts with anti-war themes.
(b) Truth in Recruiting: “Veteran’s [sic] stories of conflict are a powerful tool that can be used to prevent others from entering into the military without a full understanding of their actions.” Activities in this program include: “Opt-out campaigns, organizing against JROTC programs, protesting at recruiting stations, and providing information about alternatives to the military.”
(c) Veteran Gulf Reconstruction Project: “As veterans, we saw first-hand how diverting billions [of dollars] for an endless occupation in Iraq is responsible for the shameful lack of aid for reconstruction in the communities that survived Hurricanes Katrina and Rita here at home. If we can build bases in the desert for war, we can rebuild cities in the U.S. for justice.”
(d) Coalitions and Movement Building: IVAW identifies its “most important partner” as Veterans for Peace. It also claims to have “very close relationships” with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. “With these partners,” says IVAW, “we support the Bring Them Home Now! Campaign.” Moreover, IVAW is a steering committee member of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition led by Leslie Cagan, a longtime committed socialist who aligns her politics with those of Fidel Castro‘s Communist Cuba.
IVAW lists 10 major reasons why it opposes the war in Iraq:
1) The Iraq war is based on lies and deception: “The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict.”
2) The Iraq war violates international law: “The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.”
3) Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq: “From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least.”
4) Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq: “[L]arge-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.”
5) Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.
6) Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government’s negligence: “Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder … Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war.”
7) The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart: “The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.”
8 ) The Iraq war is robbing us of funding [that is] sorely needed here at home: “$5.8 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, [or] gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.”
9) The military uses racism and discrimination as tools: “In order to recruit for the Iraq War, the most vulnerable minority and social groups in the United States are preyed upon to be used as cannon fodder. Once inside the military, they are subject to racism, sexism including harassment and assault, homophobia, and religious intolerance. When at war, the troops are taught to dehumanize the people of Iraq as an enemy with intolerance and racist epithets.”
10) Today’s youth face aggressive recruitment tactics that don’t tell the whole story: “Popular perception of the military as an ‘all-volunteer force’ hides the fact that our future troops are aggressively recruited from our lowest income neighborhoods. Economically conscripted, the poor and socially vulnerable young are bought with the lies of discipline, education and civilian job training to carry out the wishes of powerful political individuals who are far from war’s true horror.”
The co-founders of IVAW include Michael Hoffman (a former Lance Corporal with the Marines); Kelly Dougherty (who served as a Military Police Sergeant in Iraq); Alex Ryabov (a former Corporal with the Marines); Jimmy Massey (a career Staff Sergeant and Recruiter in the Marine Corps); Isaiah Pallos (a former Marine Sergeant); Diana Morrison (who served in Iraq as a Military Policewoman); and Tim Goodrich (whose military unit saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq).
Obama’s War Policies Worse than Bush’s, Anti-War Activist Says
By Josiah Ryan
March 20, 2009
By Mackubin Thomas Owens
March 31, 2008
Tales of Winter Soldier II
By Katie O’Malley
March 16, 2008
LA Times Cover-Up?
By Scott Swett
March 13, 2008
Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008
Iraq Veterans Attempt ‘Winter Soldier’ Reenactment
By Ronald Winter
February 12, 2008
Who Hates Americans?
By Ishmael Vera
October 15, 2007
438 North Skinker
St. Louis, MO
- In the 1980s, supported the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua
- Opposes U.S. embargo of Cuba
- Seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation”
Veterans For Peace (VFP) was founded July 8, 1985 in Maine as “a non-profit 501(c)3 educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war.” Its Statement of Purpose reads, “We, having dutifully served our nation do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and justice.” VFP’s avowed policy is “to restrain our [U.S.] government” from foreign wars, “to end the arms race and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons,” and “to abolish war as an instrument of international policy.”
The founders of VFP are Jerry Genesio (who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1956-62), his wife Judy Genesio, the Reverend Willard Bickett (U.S. Army, World War II), Doug Rawlings (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and Ken Perkins (U.S. Navy, Korea). They created VFP, says the organization’s website, because they “were disturbed by the militancy of the United States and its violent intervention in the affairs of other nations.”
VFP’s first action to gain publicity came in 1986 when it had its members stage a 30-day vigil at the Boston Commons calling for an end to U.S.-sponsored violence in Central America. At the time, President Ronald Reagan was opposing the Castro-supported, Soviet-supported, Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua (where it ruled from 1979-1990). The VFP blamed American support of the Contras, an indigenous anti-Marxist force, for the Sandinista violence. Its members were invited onto the Phil Donahue program to share these views with the larger public.
In 1987 VFP sent members on a “Fact-Finding” tour of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, leading to a 38-page report — highly critical of American policy — which it presented to members of Congress. As an outgrowth of that mission, VFP stepped up its efforts to help Nicaraguans — sending water-purification experts and truckloads of food, medicine, and toys to that impoverished country. The following year, VFP joined Soviet veterans in signing a joint statement “calling for an end to war” in Nicaragua.
In 1989 VFP received an invitation from the Sandinista government “to serve as Official Observers during the February 1990 Nicaraguan elections.” The Sandinistas lost the election, after which VFP immediately ended all assistance to Nicaragua.
In 1990 VFP sent representatives to the 45th Anniversary of World War II Victory Day in the Soviet Union. VFP that year was given a permanent NGO seat at the United Nations. Throughout 1991, VFP chapters and members organized university teach-ins, town meetings, panel discussions, and Congressional postcard / call-in campaigns to voice opposition to the Gulf War.
In the post-Gulf War years, VFP was sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi people, whose hardships it blamed on American policies rather than on the actions of Saddam Hussein. In 2000, VFP aided Saddam, providing assistance by way of water-treatment facilities to remedy a water-contamination problem that the group attributed to American-led sanctions against the Iraqi government.
In 2001, VFP co-sponsored, along with the International Action Center, a “Korean War Tribunal” in New York — a political show trial designed to voice anti-American propaganda for the consumption of the world’s leftist media. In 2002, Korean War veteran and VFP member Wilson “Woody” Powell (who in 2004 would be named the Executive Director of VFP’s St. Louis headquarters) “visit[ed] [the] Kokan-ri massacre site in Korea, and [made] an apology to the massacre’s sole survivor.”
In 2003, VFP, working in conjunction with Military Families Speak Out, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and others, launched the Bring Them Home Now campaign. In November of that same year, a VFP contingent entered Iraq on a fact-finding mission under the guidance of Global Exchange.
At a 2003 International ANSWER-sponsored anti-war rally in San Francisco, local VFP leader and guest speaker Jim Long recalled a rally he had attended in Cuba, where, he said, “Castro was loved by his people, in contrast to President Bush, who had to be protected from protestors in a ‘quasi-military’ operation. … It’s hard for me to determine where the police state is and where the free state is.” VFP has endorsed Project USA/Cuba-InfoMed, which seeks to “increase awareness about health achievements in Cuba and the impact of U.S. policies on the health of the Cuban people,” and “to build opposition to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.”
Strongly opposed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, VFP members conduct public forums, meet with elected representatives, and participate in marches to express their views. VFP also seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation.”
The current President of Veterans for Peace is David Cline, a decorated, disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, who is also the National Coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
VFP is a member organization of the Win Without War, United for Peace and Justice, Abolition 2000, and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions.
In 2007 the VFP website posted “An Open Letter to Latino and Latina students and all leaders of immigrant rights organizations,” in support of the so-called DREAM Act, which was intended to allow illegal aliens to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents. Said the letter:
“Many [students] came to the United States as children and have finished their high school education. Now, because they lack legal documents, they face an uncertain future that may deny them the opportunity to attend college or find a decent job. The DREAM Act offers them a light at the end of an otherwise dark and uncertain road. I see students on fasts, in marches, lobbying elected officials, all in the name of the DREAM Act’s passage. But BEWARE. Be very careful. Because our honorable youth with their dreams and wishes to serve their new country are being tricked and manipulated in an immoral and criminal way.
“Why do I say this? Simply put, the DREAM Act proposes two years of college as a pathway to permanent residency but it also includes a second option linked to the so-called war on terror – ‘two years of military service.’ Our young people may not see that this is a covert draft in which thousands of youth from Latino families will be sent to Iraq or some other war torn nation where they will have to surrender their moral values and become a war criminal or perhaps return home in black bags on their way to a tomb drenched with their parents’ tears.
“How many of our youth can afford college? How many will be able to take the educational option? Unfortunately very few because the existing system locks out the children of working families with high tuition and inflated admissions criteria. Most will be forced to take the military option to get their green card. But what good is a green card to a dead person? What good is a green card to a young person severely wounded in mind and body?”
Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008
US Anti-War Campaigners to Protest US Base in Korea
By Patrick Goodenough
September 19, 2006