Re: your June 17 article, "Veterans set up local chapter for anti-war group":
It was marvelous reading The Star article on the arrival of the new local chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Ventura County, with its many hundreds of thousands of residents, will now not be left in the darkness, as Los Angeles County already has a working chapter of IVAW, and in Santa Barbara County, Iraq War veteran spokespersons stand ready at the helm.
Fortuitously, I was at the Veterans for Peace annual conference in Boston in 2004 when IVAW established itself. The setting was in historic Faneuil Hall, where the framers of our Constitution once spoke.
These law-abiding Iraq war vets are going to bring the Iraq war stories into our homes, something that is so long overdue. Wisdom demands the resurfacing of their stories. Witness how even U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, is preparing himself to back war resister Sgt. Matthis Chiroux.
Veterans for Peace supports IVAW in many ways. From its inception, IVAW has called for: immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future; and full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.
Please, when you meet IVAW vets. Offer them your material and spiritual assistance. Welcome them home.
-- Michael Cervantes, Oxnard
(The writer, a Vietnam War veteran, is the president of Veterans for Peace, Ventura Chapter 112. -- Editor)
The above is a letter to the Ventura County Star. Matthis Chiroux is the veteran who was honorably discharged and then, months later, informed he was being recalled and deployed to Iraq. He announced May 15th that he would not deploy because the war is illegal and, Sunday, he made a public statement explaining why he was not reporting. We'll just review a few other topics tonight.
Congress caved on timetables and anything else. They gave Bully Boy everything he wanted to continue funding the illegal war. That would be the war they love to use as an election issue. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (like all members of the House) will be voted out or voted back into office in November. Cindy Sheehan is also running for the House seat in the 8th district of California. Pelosi has really given Cindy's campaign a gift and, today, Cindy for Congress released this statement:
We at Cindy for Congress wish to express our dismay that Nancy Pelosi's House of Representatives once again approved money to continue the illegal, immoral, and destructive occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In January 2007, the newly gaveled Speaker promised that her House would not give George Bush any more blank checks for funding without "oversight, standards or conditions."
The Iraqi parliament has recently requested by a majority that the American occupation end and we have all recently learned the lurid details of torture and illegal detention (which Nancy Pelosi learned of herself in 2002) and since Nancy Pelosi uttered the lie "No blank checks" over 1100 of our troops have been killed and thousands wounded physically, mentally, or emotionally.
We at Cindy for Congress are also dismayed now that the Bush regime’s wars for profit are fully funded to the end of his term that he could launch another war for profit and empire against another innocent people and nation: Iran.
Please support Cindy Sheehan, an honest voice for peace and integrity in foreign and domestic policies.
Sign our petition to get Cindy on the ballot, request a window sign or bumper sticker, or donate to show your opposition to continuous occupation.
Volunteer meetings are every Tuesday evening at 7:30 at HQ.
Attend our Concert for Democracy with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello on Saturday, June 18th at Fat City.
In other election news, Elect-Me-And-Then-I'll-Decide-What-To-Do-About-Iraq Barack Obama has a lot of counter-insurgency gurus on board with him including, most infamously, Sarah Sewer (Sarah Sewall). Sarah Sewar steered the jazzed-upbeat counter-insurgency manual (praised by Sammy Power -- another Barack groupie and she's back in the circle though no one in the press appears to know -- or maybe they're just covering for her again). The preceding counter-insurgency manual (the official one) has been obtained by Wikieleaks. From Julian Assange's "How to train death squads and quash revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq" (Wikileaks):
Wikileaks has released a sensitive 219 page US military counterinsurgency manual. The manual, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004), may be critically described as "what we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.
The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
FID operations are designed to prop up "friendly" governments facing popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.")
The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.
The content has been particularly informed by the long United States involvement in El Salvador.
With all Barack's counter-insurgency gurus on his campaign, you might think that certainly those old enough to not just remember counter-insurgency during Vietnam but to also have actively called it out in real time would be very vocal. But they aren't. Instead, it's "see how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they run" time. There are no peace 'leaders' among those presenting themselves as such to the media because not a damn one will call him out on this. They could act offended by Mark Penn's p.r. work. But Barack's got a number of counter-insurgency gurus and the 'leaders' never make a peep. They just play dumb. Sarah Sewer bragged to Charlie Rose about how she could her viewpoint into Barack's speeches. Not a word. No outcry. So let's just all admit that our 'leaders' on the 'left' are never going to say one damn word and they're never going to call out Barack. They have betrayed not only themselves but the very real peace movement in this country. They have betrayed the people of Iraq. It's more important to them to get Barack into the White House than it is to end the illegal war. And they make that clear every damn day.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4098. Tonight? 4101. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,225,898 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the Iraq War up from 1,221,154 last week.
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i hate the war