Veterans For Peace Organizes Nationwide Protests Against War
Protests across the nation focused on stopping a military attack in Iraq and properly funding the Veterans Administration
Iraq Veterans Warn Obama: Military Intervention in Iraq Will Be a Disaster
Iraq War veterans are sending a message to President Obama: Don’t intervene in Iraq, it will only result in more lost lives, both U.S. and Iraqi.
After the nightmare of more than a decade of war, many Iraq veterans see the destabilizing U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as the reason for the crisis the country finds itself in. They point to the futility of further U.S. military action and the likelihood that airstrikes, rather than benefiting the Iraqi people, will continue to bring them death, destruction and dislocation, while also putting U.S. service members in further danger.
June 19th, Iraq veterans and family members are calling on the Obama administration to stay out of the brewing civil war; to provide humanitarian aid to refugees; and to pursue international diplomacy towards reconciliation for the people of Iraq.
Report on Press Conference Held In Washington, DC
by Helen Jaccard
Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out were represented at the National Press Club Thursday June 19, 2014 to give the message that Iraq War Veterans are sending a message to President Obama: Don’t intervene in Iraq, it will only result in more lost lives, both U.S. and Iraqi.
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace, moderated. He said, “Today, President Obama will be speaking to the U.S. public about renewed military intervention in Iraq. Yesterday he told Congressional leaders that he will not seek authorization from Congress if he decides to attack Iraq with aerial bombing, drone strikes, placement of special forces for direct strikes and training of Shiite militias, or military ‘aid’”. Senator McCain is calling for more war, never enough war. Mr. Obama, it is important to listen to the American people and especially the veterans of that war and their familes, who have given so much, and who are now asking ‘for what?’.”
Ray McGovern, former Intelligence officer and CIA analyst, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, said, “Right now, people are asking, ‘Who lost Iraq?’ … The Washington Post today says that a few years ago the U.S. was ‘on the brink of success’ in Iraq. And people were ‘very encouraged’ by the surge. These are lies. The People of the U.S. are completely ignored and kept in the dark. It is interesting to note in the Washington Post a side remark, ‘The Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction to the U.S.’ Here is a picture of Sumara Hassan, six years old, shot up with her blood and the blood of her family on her dress, kneeling on the floor, and beside her a soldier who has realized what they had just done. The Iraqi people are our brothers and sisters, our children and grandchildren – not some ‘abstraction’. When Petraeus called for the surge, it resulted in more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers killed for NOTHING. NOTHING. We need to hold General Petraeus and all of the generals accountable for the Iraqi people and the veterans.”
Ross Caputi, a Marine Corps veteran of the second siege of Fallujah, is on the Board of Directors of ISLAH (www.reparations.org) and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He talked about the misinformation of the last few days – the media reporting that ISIS is a lone actor conquering territory to establish an Islamic State through fear. “It is more complicated than that. A non-violent Iraqi Spring movement happened a year ago, a movement of Sunnis and supported by Shia to end sectarianism in the government, an end to the talk of breaking up Iraq. Any further actions by the U.S. to arm the Maliki government in Baghdad or support it through military intervention would be completely unacceptable and immoral, as Iraqi civilians will surely suffer the most.”
Matt Southworth, Iraq War veteran and former VFP Vice President, said: ” U.S. military intervention in Iraq will prolong the violence, worsen the humanitarian crisis and will fail to bring peace of stability to fragile Iraq. Bombs cannot bring peace and stability.
Here is what we should do:
1. Reject another U.S. military intervention
2. Halt unconditional aid to Iraq
3. Convene a conference to establish a comprehensive arms embargo to Iraq and Syria
4. Publicly support a political settlement between key parties in the conflict.
5. Increase and better allocate humanitarian funds to address the humanitarian crisis”
Tim Kahlor, father of medically retired Sgt. Ryan Kahlor, who served over 24 months on two tours in Iraq, said: “My son has been through total hell for the last 8 years. He was blown up 6-8 times in a Bradley. The military kept him on narcotics so they would have enough boots on the ground. We had to fight for a diagnosis of PTSD and TBI. We don’t have the funding to take care of the veterans, and now we’re going to re-open this war?!”
The ABC affiliate- (and AP Story)
Report on Los Angeles Press Conference and Rally