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Cindy Sheehan Speaks at VFP Convention in Dallas

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					      Cindy Sheehan Speaks at VFP Convention in Dallas
  It’s so great to be here.                          lived about 6 hours north of Santa Barbara, and
   Last year when you guys had your conven-          it was the May 4th before Mother’s Day, which
tion in Boston, my son had only been dead a          was May 8th, and VFP was going to put it up on
few months, and we were really honored               Sunday, every Sunday, so I called my husband
because the Santa Barbara chapter took my            and I said, “There’s only one place I want to be
daughter’s poem A Nation Rocked to Sleep,            on Mother’s Day this year, I want to be at Santa
(and they did it again this year), and I remem-      Barbara. I want to go and see Arlington West.”
ber Michael Cervantes, he brought the booklet          When we went, the first time we went, there
over to our house and showed it to us, and I         was a little over 700 crosses, now there’s over
never dreamed in a year I’d be standing here in      1,800 crosses.
front of you as one of the speakers at your con-       We have this lying bastard, George Bush,
vention, I never dreamed I’d be doing this at all,   taking a 5-week vacation in a time of war. You
but isn’t it weird what life hands you.              know what? I’m never going to get to enjoy
  I can tell you the exact day I heard about         another vacation, because of him.
VFP, it was May 4th, 2004, and my son had               My vacation probably - -this is really sad
been dead exactly a month, and I was watching        because I have a really cute dress I was going to
CNN, and something came on, it was a report          wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but I’m
on Arlington West in Santa Barbara, and we           either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford,          continued on page 2



                                                     Anti-war Rally in DC
By Peggy Akers                            wonderful people from all over this country. peace sign asking us "is this the peace move-
                                          Mothers and fathers and grandparents, teach- ment?" It was her first time marching and we
  What a privilege to be in Washington on
                                          ers and carpenters, babies and teenagers, happily told her she was one of us and togeth-
Saturday...marching with so many amazing
                                          Muslims and Christians, Buddhists and dream- er we joined the Code Pink crew and the
                                                       ers...lots and lots of dream- Raging Grannies...hopeful and silly.The sad-
                                                       ers...Everyone has to believe ness...the little girl with the sign saying "I want
                                                       there will be a better world. But my brother home," the soldiers, the military
                                                       marching with my daughter families, the crosses each representing a young
                                                       Annie was the piece that gives
                                                       me the greatest hope, hope that       Sheehan’s speech continued on page 2
                                                       young people
                                                       will raise their     Contents
                                                       voices louder                                               October 2005
                                                                             Departments
                                                       and louder and                                  Features
                                                                             3 Editorial
                                                       truly change                                    1 Cindy Sheehan’s Speech
                                                                             3 E.D.’s report
                                                       this     world.                                 1 Anti-War Rally in D.C
                                                                             5 President’s Message
                                                       The entire day                                  4 BTHN Bus Tour
                                                       felt hopeful...a      8 Chapter News
                                                                             13 Review: Sir! No Sir!   5 Celebration in Alaska
                                                       70 year old
                                                                             14 The Gray Area          6 Report On Two Convention
                                                       lady       who
                                                                             15 Poetry Page              Workshops
                                                       walked up to
                                                                             17 UN NGO Report          16 St. Patrick’s Four
VFP members march at the rally in D.C.                us with her
                                                      handmade               19 Merchandise            20 VFP Hurricane Relief
September 24, 2005. Photo by Wes Hamilton
Sheehan continued from page 1                                                                             is hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who
                                                                                                          became an angel, while I was sleeping.
waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me                                                              And that rips my heart open, because I know
why my son died.                                                                                          there is another mother whose life is going to be
  A man emailed me yesterday, I get contacted                                                             ruined that day. So we can’t even begin to heal.
by all kinds of people with their stories, and he                                                           So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger,
said Cindy, I read everything you write, I read it                                                        George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of
on LewRockwell.com, he said, “I get tears in                                                              the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that
my eyes, but today I cried real tears, and I                                                              outraged me.
screamed, because my dear sweet nineteen ear-
old cousin was killed in Iraq.”                                                                             Seriously outraged me.
   And he said, “Cindy, why didn’t I save him?                                                              He never mentioned the terrible incident of
Why didn’t I knock him out, why didn’t I take                                                             those marines, but he did say, that the families
him to Canada?” and I wrote him back and I                                                                of the ones who have been killed can rest
                                                 Repairing Crosses at Camp Casey in                       assured that their loved ones died for a noble
said, “You know what? We all think that.”
                                                 Crawford, TX.                                            cause.
   I said to my son not to go. I said, you know
                                                                             Photo by John Grant             And, he also said, he says this often, and this
it’s wrong, you know you’re going over there.
                                                    But do you think George Bush will interrupt           really drives me crazy, he said that we have to
You know your unit might have to kill innocent
                                                  his vacation and go visit the families of those 20      stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor
people, you know you might die. And he says,
                                                  marines that have died in Ohio this week? No,           the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.
“My buddies are going, I have to go.” He said,
                                                  because he doesn’t care, he doesn’t have a heart.         And I say, why should I want one more moth-
“If I don’t go someone’s going to have to do my
                                                  That’s not enough to stop his little playing cow-       er to go through what I’ve gone through,
job, and my buddies will be in danger.”
                                                  boy’ game in Crawford for 5 weeks.                      because my son is dead. You know what, the
   So what really gets me is these chicken-
                                                    So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents          only way he can honor my son’s sacrifice is to
hawks, who sent our kids to die, without ever
                                                  who lost - - lost, I don’t like to use that word,       bring the rest of the troops home. To make my
serving in a war themselves. They don’t know
                                                  whose child was murdered, it’s extremely diffi-         son’s death count for peace and love, and not
what it’s all about.
                                                  cult, you can’t even get a small scab on our            war and hatred like he stands for.
   30 of our bravest young men have already wound, because every day it rips open. Every
died this month, and it’s only the 5th of August. day, I don’t know why I do it because I already
                                                                                                         Sheehan’s speech continued on page 19
And the tragedy of the marines in Ohio is awful. know that war is ugly, I already know that war

Anti-war rally cont. from page 1
  life lost, the boots representing empty lives
  and empty dreams.... And then a walk to the           A           V i e t n a m                                      N u r s e
  Viet Nam Memorial, just my daughter and             (From interviews at Sept. 24 Demo in DC on Znet, by Tom Englehardt)
  me...holding hands… crying quietly reach-
  ing for the names of soldiers who died in my           In a jaunty pink beret and a white “Stop the War” T-shirt (“My daughter made this for me!”),
  arms. I wondered...how many more walls              Peggy Akers is carrying a colorful hand-lettered sign that says, “Another Veteran for Peace.”
  and monuments...how many more dying                 She’s 58, cheery, has flown in from Portland, Maine and is marching in the Code Pink contin-
  children all over this world..when will it ever     gent with her daughter and sister. She’s active in Veterans For Peace and promptly tells me, “I
                      end. The march contin-          was a nurse in Vietnam.” If I want to get a sense of her sentiments about her Vietnam experi-
                      ues... the rallys get louder,   ence, she suggests, I should check out the Commondreams website which has posted a poem
                       ...our voices become           of hers on the subject, Dear America.
                       stonger and stronger and          (“I hear a helicopter coming in — I smell the burning of human flesh. It’s Thomas, America,
                        we never give up hope or      the young Black kid from Atlanta, my patient, burned by an exploding gas tank... And Pham.
                                        the dream     He was only eight, America, and you sprayed him with napalm and his skin fell off in my
                                        for      a    hands and he screamed as I tried to comfort him... America, we have sent another generation
                                        peaceful      of children to see life through an M-16 and death through the darkness of a body bag.”)
                                        world.           “I just feel it’s so important for people like myself to speak out about what I saw and did in
                                                      Vietnam. I’m part of the conscience of this country. If people like myself don’t speak about
                                                      what war does, it’ll never end. The images of war are not being shown to Americans. Not real-
                                                      ly. No one here knows what it’s like to see a young soldier, eighteen or nineteen years old, in
                                                      a body bag, or an Iraqi mother who has lost her son. If Americans really saw that, this could-
                                                      n’t go on.
                                                         “If it wasn’t for people marching like today, if they hadn’t done that during Vietnam, that
                                                      Wall [the Vietnam Wall honoring America’s war dead] would be wrapped around this city ten
                                                      times over.
                                                         “You know,” she says with excitement, “we met so many people coming in who had never
                                                      marched before. From Utah, from the Midwest, from everywhere. I think we should bring our
                                                      troops home and instead send in a Peace Corps — plumbers, electricians, carpenters — to help
                                                      rebuild that country; whatever the Iraqi people want from us, not what we want from them.”

                                                                            -2-
 Editorial: A Healthy Movement
   I went to D.C. on September 24th wondering            ingly urgent for the anti-Iraq War opposition to find    and placards, screened onto t-shirts and printed in
what this latest mobilization might reveal about the     common ground and fashion a message that is              flyers and brochures. In this brief and endless two
growth of our movement against the Iraq War.             clear, unambiguous and easily transportable              and one- half years since our invasion of Iraq, the
Mass mobilizations are traditionally the most pow-       through our filtered media into the public realm.        antiwar movement has substantially united behind
erful tool we have to bring our message before the          From what I observed in Washington, that com-         a slogan that one heard and read everywhere on the
large majority of non-activist Americans. But            mon stand has been achieved. One heard it unceas-        24th, a demand that antiwar forces must now pro-
given the skimpy coverage we are afforded by a           ingly from the podium in the exhortations of the         claim in every corner of this land: Bring Them
mainstream media that is either hostile or indiffer-     many speakers. And wherever one turned an eye,           Home Now!
ent to the protest movement, it has become increas-      the same words were scripted on countless banners           Michael Uhl, editor



                     Executive Director’s Report                                                                       VFP Newsletter Fall 2005
                                                                                                                       Michael Uhl: Editor
                                Veterans For Peace       $520,000 to help hurricane survivors. The Korea               Gabriela Inderwies: Layout
                             continues to do some        Peace campaign cosponsored a forum during the
                             of the most important       September 24th weekend mass demo in DC, to                    Contributing Editors:
                             work in the nation.         bring attention to the conflict on the Korean                 Peggy Akers
                             Our efforts with our        Peninsula. Chapters continue to organize efforts to           Robert Graybill
                             partner organizations,      impeach President Bush and many of our members                John Grant
                             Military     Families       will be out in force to demand the closing of the             Paul Cox
                             Speak Out, Iraq             Schools of Americas in late November.
                             Veterans Against the           We are busy and can be assured we are making a
                             War, and Gold Star          difference, and our message resonates because we         struggle. I can find no better way to cristalize the
                             Families for Peace          continue to grow. Today we have 127 chapters and         challenge before us today, than with the warning
Michael T. McPhearson over the past two and a            many members are busy organizing to form more.           Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once issued about
Veterans For Peace          half years has chal-         The national office has been swamped with new            Vietnam.
Executive Director          lenged our leaders and       memberships, over 400 in the past three months                The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far
                            our country to End The       and over 1000 renewals. Due to our shortfall in            deeper malady within the American spirit, and if
Occupation and Bring Them Home Now! The last             fundraising last year, we have put a temporary hold         we ignore this sobering reality, we will find our-
three months have seen our work blossom and give         on upgrading the website and membership data-             selves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned"
the anti-war/peace movements new energy. Today           base. But standby, we will have new and better sys-         committees for the next generation. They will be
a majority of Americans believe the war is a mis-        tems soon. My hope over the next few months is to          concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will
take and that U.S. troops should leave. While the        provide our members with more timely and rele-                be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia.
majority has not moved to the Now! position, the         vant information so that you can better plan actions        They will be concerned about Mozambique and
voices joining in on that demand are growing.            and organize new members. Our first priority is our       South Africa. We will be marching for these and a
   Sometimes it looks like our efforts are small and     membership database followed by the website.                dozen other names and attending rallies without
there is no change in the status quo. But remember,         As I said before, the immediate crisis is the war          end unless there is a significant and profound
not long ago most U.S. citizens supported the war.       in Iraq. We are making headway but we have a long                        change in American life and policy
Today most do not. Your activism has made space          way to go. More than likely by the time you read            Finally, the phrase no justice no peace is dear to
for others to speak out. People across the nation are    this, more than 2000 U.S. forces will have been          my heart. I believe for us to find the path to peace
waking up to the illegal actions and lies of this        killed in Iraq. As of this writing 198 other coalition   we must join with others and see their struggle as
administration in no small part due to your actions.     troops have died along with an estimated minimum         our struggle. Sexism, classism, racism, heterosex-
Your vigils, your memorials, your talks and inter-       26,000 Iraqis (www.antiwar.com). Our larger chal-        ism and all other forms of bias and bigotry are
views, your protest, your petitions, your counter        lenge and commitment to resist the use of war to         tools used to dehumanize. War is the final conse-
recruitment and education and your exposure of the       solve conflicts may appear overwhelming, but take        quence of that process. It is the highest form of
true and full cost of war have begun to turn the tide.   heart, we have a strong foundation. Veterans For         dehumanization. While VFP cannot lead in these
   The immediate crisis we face is the war in Iraq,      Peace has waged peace for twenty years. We are the       various struggles, we must learn how to be sub-
but Veterans For Peace continues the struggle            legacy of a consciousness born from Shay's               stantive allies. Without this crucial step, we will
against war on many fronts. Members have repre-          Rebellion where soldiers began to see that war ben-      never build a broad multicultural membership.
sented us in Japan to commemorate the bombings           efits the rich and powerful and not those who fight.
                                                                                                                    Once again I must quote Dr. King,
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in Iran and Syria         That consciousness lived on and took firm root dur-
as part of a fact finding team. The Vietnam Agent        ing the Vietnam era, and we now express it in our              “The bombs in Vietnam explode at home;
Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign                work everyday. The 58,000 lives lost and the sacri-         they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a
places pressure on our government to honor its           fices made by many of our members are a solid                                          decent America.”
moral and legal responsibility to compensate the         platform for our resistance to war. Most of the             We say every bomb dropped in Baghdad
Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. From                 nation has forgotten the lessons of Vietnam.             explodes in New Orleans and every other home
November 13 to December 13 VFP is cosponsor-             Veterans For Peace and other like-minded organi-         of the poor and marginalized. Let us not miss
ing a 10 city tour of Vietnamese Agent Orange            zations are retelling the story in the context of the    this opportunity to work together to build a
victims to highlight this tragedy. Members of            Iraq War, and the nation is listening. The veteran's     broad vision of peace and justice.
Veterans For Peace spearheaded by Chapter 116,           peace movement is alive and well and will contin-
                                                                                                                                           ###.
participated in Katrina relief and raised over           ue to grow as long as we stay committed to the
                                                                                 -3-
                                   Over the last
                                four months, we
                                have been a part of
                                                          President’s                                                   Message
                                an almost unbeliev-        When Bush went back to Washington, three            Many chapters are cornerstones of efforts to
                                able upsurge in         buses left Camp Casey heading for the big UFPJ         counter military recruiters who are preying on
                                advancement for         mobilization in Washington, DC. In 28 states and       our youth. In several states, political initiatives
                                the antiwar veter-      51 cities the Bring Them Home Now bus tour             calling for a return of National Guard units are
                                ans and military        held over 200 meetings to rally popular support        picking up momentum.
                                families organiza-      for an end to the war in Iraq.                            As the US casualties figures continue to grow,
                                tions as well as the       But just as the bus tour was beginning,             now approaching 2000 fatalities, vigils are
                                entire peace move-      Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and           planned throughout the nation to acknowledge
                                ment. After the         the surrounding Gulf Coast region. "White              this milestone and again raise our voices to call
   V F P President              confusion and, for      Rose", the Mendocino, California Chapter 116           for our troops to be brought home alive..NOW!
   Dave Cline                   some, demoraliza-       bus headed to Covington, LA where they set up             Veterans (Armistice) Day parades and com-
                                tion that followed      camp and began conducting relief operations.           memorations will see participation by VFP chap-
 the 2004 presidential election, events this sum-       Orange Country Chapter 110 began sending large         ters on a broader scale this year than ever before
 mer have helped turn things around and get the         quantities of needed supplies on Caravans of           and the annual School of the America Watch
 movement moving again. And Veterans For                Hope with other chapters and ordinary citizens         actions at Fort Benning are again a focus for
 Peace has been in the center of much of this.          pitching in, giving money and going down to do         mobilization.
   Although some initially questioned the wis-          volunteer work. These relief and reconstruction
                                                        effort still continue today and VFP is an integral        Our demand for accountability and call for
 dom of holding the 2005 Convention in Dallas,
                                                        part of it.                                            impeachment of the President and Vice-President
 Texas, it proved to be a unifying and inspiring
                                                                                                               have also picked up momentum and currently the
 gathering as well as the launching point for a            On September 23-26 thousands of veterans            scoundrels in the Washington are increasingly in
 major action when Gold Star mother Cindy               and military families joined with over 300,000         disarray with one revelation after another expos-
 Sheehan went with a busload of VFP members to          others in a massive outpouring of popular opposi-      ing their deceit.
 George Bush's vacation home at Crawford to             tion to the continuing Iraq conflict. The veterans'
 demand a meeting with him about her son                contingent was one of the most powerful in the            When you think about it, so much has hap-
 Casey's death in Iraq.                                 march, wearing fatigues and organization colors,       pened recently that it is almost hard to compre-
                                                        carrying our banners, chanting and calling             hend. But this is only the beginning. There is still
    This action spurred a national outpouring for
                                                        cadence. Despite many logistical problems, we          much to do if we are going to stop the war and
 peace with the mainstream media giving Camp
                                                        were shown much support from other marchers            turn this country around. I know that Veterans
 Casey almost daily coverage. Thousands traveled
                                                        and received significant coverage in the media.        For Peace is and will continue to be an important
 to the camp to stand with her, other Gold Star
                                                        The vets contingent at a simultaneous march in         component of this movement for change and I
 and military families, returning Iraq vets and reg-
                                                        San Francisco got similar recognition as well.         am proud to be a part of it.
 ular citizens. Veterans For Peace members were
 ever present and a cornerstone of this effort            Since then efforts have continued and escalat-         David Cline,
                                                        ed in cities and towns throughout the country.



         BTHN Tour Helps to Bring America Together Against War
by Chris Snively                                           The objective of the Bring Them Home Now            intergenerational strength of today's peace move-
                                                        Tour was to take the heartfelt and head smart cri-     ment. VFP was represented not only by veteran
   As the August sun waned and the vigil in
                                                        tiques of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars put forth by   members like myself, Elliot Adams, Mike Ferner,
Crawford began to wind down, it became obvious
                                                        the four allied organizations of Dallas and            Ann Wright, Michael McPhearson, and Bill Perry,
to the military families and veterans at Camp Casey
                                                        Crawford: GSFP, MFSO, IVAW, and VFP, to the            but also by new associate members like Vince
that something was needed to carry the energy that
                                                        public at large in ways that have not been tried in    George, and dual VFP/IVAW members Michael
they had generated in Texas all the way to
                                                        awhile. To achieve this, three RVs were rented,        Hoffman, Cody Camacho, Hart Viges, and Jimmy
Washington D.C. The serendipity of the moment
                                                        routes were planned, and speaking engagements          Massey.
was that the UFPJ march on Washington was set to
                                                        and interviews were scheduled. The RVs were paint-        The synergy of the group was perhaps best epit-
take place a little over three weeks from the end of
                                                        ed up with catchphrases of peace, staffed by mem-      omized by Bill Mitchell of San Luis Obispo, CA.
the Crawford vigil. Somewhere in the dust, ditches,
                                                        bers of all four organizations, and on August 30th,    Not only is Bill a Gold Star dad who lost his son
and tents of Crawford a plan was hatched to bridge
                                                        launched from the prairies of Texas toward D.C.        Mike in Sadr City on 04/04/04, but he is also a
the two events together with a cross-country cara-
van. Although there were many different people             Along the way the tour made sure to preach to       member of MFSO and a VFP veteran of Cold War
involved in this plan, three special individuals were   both the choir and the unconverted. Not only were      Europe. Even though Bill is someone who has lost
instrumental in getting the tour off the ground:        events scheduled with social and religious allies,     more than most in this war, he never lets the sad-
Nikki Morse of MFSO, Lisa Fithian from Austin,          but meetings were also arranged for the general        ness of the subject take away from the message of
TX, and VFP's own Ann Wright.                           public and with state and federal politicians. The     positive change that our organizations are working
                                                        tour members, ranging in age from the early 20s to     to bring about. As Bill said, "Yeah there is a lot to
                                                                             the early 60s, represented the    be sad about and nothing can bring a dead son back,
                                                                                                                 but life goes on for those of us who are still here.
                                                                                                                 You gotta have fun while you are working to
                                                                                                                 bring peace. Others will see that if you can live
                                                                                                                 through your ordeals, then so can they. And when
                                                                                                                 they see that, they'll want to be with you to stop
                                                                                                                 war and keep a whole lot of other people from
                                                                                                               having to go through the pain."
                                                                                                                                          ###
                                                                               -4-
                            Celebration Of Peace and Reconciliation
                                                                                                     ty dinners and even an evening of dancing in a
                                                                                                     local tavern.
                                                                                                       Among the American veterans attending,
                                                                                                     VFP president Dave Cline told a moving story
                                                                                                     of surviving a fierce firefight and of the young
                                                                                                     Vietnamese soldier he killed – and how dumb
                                                                                                     luck had meant the survival of him or Dave.
                                                                                                     He also spoke at a public forum in Anchorage
                                                                                                     and, despite the fact it made some conservative
                                                                                                     Alaska veterans in the audience nervous,
                                                                                                     spoke unambiguously against the war in Iraq,
                                                                                                        At a story telling session attended by com-
                                                                                                     munity members, nurse/veteran Sara Berg
                                                                                                     from Homer spoke of her guilt at being part of
                                                                                                     the military machine that caused so much of
                                                                                                     the suffering in Viet Nam she had witnessed.
                                                                                                     When Captain Liem walked over and
                                                                                                     embraced her, there wasn’t a dry eye in the
                                                                                                     room.
                                                                                                        “What surprised me,” LeMay said, “was the
                                                                                                     healing factor in the community. People are
                                                                                                     still coming up to me with stories. I’m
                                                                                                     amazed.”
Members of the Celebration of Peace and Reconciliation gather for a group photo in                     One resident told how it made him recall his
Anchorage. The signs says “Welcome to Alaska.”                                                       aunt who was a nurse in Viet Nam and her sui-
                                                                                                     cide later. He told LeMay the water ceremony
                                                                         Photos by John Grant        had made him realize what “a hole it was in
By John Grant                                          After two days in Anchorage, everything       my life.”
                                                    moved 200 miles southwest to the fishing vil-       Alaska, with the highest per-capita popula-
   As the group of veterans from the US and
                                                    lage of Homer, which featured a moving open-     tion of Viet Nam vets in the nation, is political-
Viet Nam sat around sharing stories through a
                                                    ing ceremony involving the mixing of vials of    ly quite conservative. Nevertheless, once the
translator at The Good Karma Inn – Viet Nam
                                                    water from all over the US and from Viet Nam.    summer tourist madness eases, Lemay plans to
veteran Michael LeMay’s bed and breakfast
                                                    As a fitting bookend, in a closing ceremony, a   get ten veterans together and start a VFP chap-
made of logs in Homer, Alaska – it slowly
                                                    frozen block of the water was set loose in       ter in Homer. “I see us getting launched in the
became evident to Louis Block that the
                                                    Kachemak Bay. There were discussion              Fall.”
Vietnamese general sitting across the table
                                                    groups, storytelling sessions, some robust
from him had commanded the troops that over-                                                                                 ###
                                                    salmon and halibut fishing, potluck communi-
ran his unit in Quang Tri province and caused
the spinal injury that relegated much of his life
to a wheelchair.
  Block, who is married to a Vietnamese
woman and has kids with her, has worked in
Viet Nam for many years in a humanitarian
role. The gravity of the moment did not phase
him, and he broke out into a wide smile. He
and the general embraced.
   That’s the way it went at the week long
Celebration of Peace and Reconciliation in
Anchorage and Homer, Alaska, in May. The
event was the brainchild of LeMay during a
trip to Viet Nam in December 2003, where he
met Hoang Cong Thuy, secretary general of
the Vietnam-USA Society, who was on the
Alaska trip to manage and translate.
  The delegation also included Colonel Tran
Van Sang; National Liberation Front (“Viet
Cong”) Captain Le Thi Thanh Liem, the only
woman in the group, and Bui Van Nghi, a sec-
                                                    Hoang Cong Thuy tells a story to a gathering of American vets.
ond translator.
                                                                     -5-
    Report on Two Dallas Convention Workshops
                                The End of War, or the End of US
by S. Brian Willson                              destroying ancient human “teaching” cultures,          One of the obstacles to an emboldened
                                                 and undermining our own national and local          uprising is continued faith in the exceptionali-
I have made the decision to not participate      health as a society, are intended to commit         ty of the United States of America – not
in war any longer…[T]to me it is simple. I       ecocide. We know that the Western Way Of            wanting to believe the extent of its fraudulent
have been to the war zone and I have seen        Life (WWOL), and its newer version, the             “Constitutional democracy.” A consciousness
the devastation it causes. Why can’t every-      American Way Of Life (AWOL), are intrinsi-          leap enabling extrication of our complicity
one agree that war is the most repugnant         cally unsustainable! How could this be? How         with a failed system is made extraordinarily
of all human endeavors?                          could we be so dumbed-down participating in         difficult because virtually all of us have
— Sergeant Kevin Benderman, Iraq War vet-        our own death??                                     become addicted to a Way Of Life, no differ-
eran on becoming a conscientious objector                                                            ent than addiction to drugs and alcohol, for
                                                   As we become aware of these terrifying
  In April 1969, during a traumatic moment                                                           example. The U.S. possesses but 4.6 percent
                                                                                                     of the world’s population consuming insa-
witnessing the immediate aftermath of the             “We know that the                              tiably anywhere from 25 percent to nearly
bombing of a populated fishing village in Viet
Nam, I began to sense the LIE of the war, of         Western Way Of Life                             half the world’s resources – a societal foot-
                                                                                                     print 5 times that which the earth can sustain.
the shallowness of my ideological condition-        (WWOL), and its newer                            To maintain this unjust pillage requires war,
ing, and of a fraud underlying “American”
mythology.                                       version, the American Way                           or its constant threat.

  Now, 36 years later, I wonder why the les-         Of Life (AWOL), are                                John Locke described empire as a way of
                                                                                                     life requiring the taking of wealth and free-
                                                  intrinsically unsustainable”
sons learned in those years when “democrat-
ic” practices almost took hold in “America”                                                          dom away from others to selfishly assure
are less heeded than ever? Increasingly, our                                                         one’s own welfare and power. In U.S. history,
species knows that it is at a pivotal moment     realities rebutting generations of glittery rhet-   empire, soft or hard, is the product of an
for survival or not in our long evolutionary     oric about “exceptional” U.S. America, a spe-       unwillingness to live within our means. The
journey. It is as if the “developed” human       cial opportunity emerges to uncover the social      United States, no less than other empires from
activities that are dangerously warming the      secret that “America” is in fact an oligarchy       Rome to England, was born in and has
earth, destabilizing indispensable ecosystems,   committed to exploitation to assure prosperity      expanded upon imperial values. The U.S.
                                                                            for a minority, while    “Founding Fathers” had visions of an “empire
                                                                            exposing the social      of liberty” (Jefferson), “imperial republican-
                                                                            myth that “America”      ism” (Madison) and a mercantile, expansive
                                                                            is [not] a democracy     nation, but NOT a vision of democracy. The
                                                                            committed to justice     U.S. Constitution is based on a strong vertical
                                                                            for all.                 authority structure that makes democracy
                                                                     This is indeed a                impossible. The strong central government
                                                                  revolutionary                      pre-empted the original 1773 Revolutionary
                                                                  moment calling for                 ideas of farmers and small communities
                                                                  noncooperation with                whose uprising opposed any central authority
                                                                  and nonviolent                     structure whether imposed from England or a
                                                                  resistance to our                  home-made version of same.
Lee Zaslossky, Stephen Funk, Camilo Mejia, and Jeff               fraudulent oligarchic                 It is time to choose to leap out of the water
Paterson at the CO workshop.                                      political system pre-              as the frog did not. The water is near the boil-
                                         Photo by Debra Clark serving plundering                     ing point and we need an adrenaline rush trig-
                                                                  “free” market capi-                gering our autonomic nervous system to radi-
                                         talism. A nonviolent revolution from below is               cally move to avoid approaching catastrophe
                                         capable of reviving ancient social organiza-                if we remain complicit with our system
                                         tions of autonomous, local steady-state                     designed to make profits at all costs (includ-
                                         economies such as are currently witnessed in                ing our catastrophic elimination) for a few.
                                         the radically democratic Zapatista communi-                 As veterans many of us have been to war
                                         ties in southern Mexico. Many localities in                 and seen the devastation it causes. It is time
                                         the U.S. are now forming post oil action                    with our friends around the country and world
                                         groups preparing outlines of local, authenti-               to choose not to participate in war any longer
                                         cally sustainable economies long-ago aban-                  by directly addressing the causes rooted in
                                         doned as being primitive. We need courage to                our Way Of Life that drive our imperial poli-
                                         withhold further support for a one-party sys-               cies. As Henry David Thoreau advised,
                                         tem with two right-wings (soft/liberal or                   “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!”
THe Impeachment bus ready to leave       hard/conservative) disguised as “representa-                                       ###
for Crawford , TX.                       tive democracy,” each committed to an impe-
                Photo by Paul Brailsford rial “America.”
                                                              -6-
                             DEMILITARIZING SCHOOLS WORKSHOP
by Doug Rawlings                                     the counter-recruitment movement; how to gain           pamphlets, and web sites available to help all
                                                     school access; how to develop effective media           of us become better informed.
   Arlene Inouye of the Coalition Against
                                                     relations; and how to frame the debate on               •Veterans have a credibility level that is virtu-
Militarism in Our Schools presided over the
                                                     recruiting. It was during this conversation that I      ally unassailable when talking to young peo-
morning session of this two part workshop. Her
                                                     found two very workable phrases when dealing            ple about military service. Oftentimes,
presentation was superb - she used first-hand
knowledge from an organizer’s perspective to                                                                 recruiters have not served in war and are real-
show us how to get into schools and how to get             “Veterans have a                                  ly hanging on to a cushy duty — students
things done (included in the workshop was a           credibility level that is vir-                         should be made aware of this.
comprehensive folder on how to organize and
                                                         tually unassailable when
                                                                                                             •Go to Project YANO (www.projectyano.org)
hand-outs ready for copying); she used a strong                                                              for case histories on how to deal with school
foundation of facts and a firm understanding of          talking to young people                             access.
government policies to inform us on how to get
around Byzantine school regulations; and she             about military service.”                            •When dealing with the media (and the par-
                                                                                                             ents that engage the media), emphasize the
used her own well-earned experience as a pub-
                                                                                                             fact that schools are intended for educational
lic school teacher to capture the mind set of
                                                     with recruiting in our schools: “we are not here        purposes not for national defense, that stu-
American high school students (“just get across
                                                     to bash the military; we are merely here in a           dents are underage minors who are entitled to
the ‘unfairness’ of an issue, and you’ve got
                                                     ‘consumer reports’ capacity to help young peo-          protection and oversight that would (or
them on your side”). She talked about how she
                                                     ple make a very hard decision” and “we are              should) discourage recruiters preying on
urged the Los Angeles teachers’ union to use its
                                                     here to encourage ‘full disclosure’ - i.e., we          them, and that recruiters often omit or mis-
Human Rights Committee to address militarism
                                                     want students to be as fully informed about all         represent true facts about war and military
in the city’s schools. She discussed how impor-
                                                     aspects of military service as they can be before       service.
tant it is to attend school board meetings to
                                                     they decide to make an eight year commit-               •Frame your message around specific princi-
carve out accessible “opt-out” policies to count-
                                                     ment.” As the panel discussion continued, par-          ples and values: empathy for others, responsi-
er recruiters’ open season in our schools. She
                                                     ticipants were able to latch onto some interest-        bility to oneself and one’s community, the
made us see how important it is to garner stu-
                                                     ing and useful pointers:                                need to protect those less fortunate than us,
dents’ support through existing student groups
in our high schools. When Ms. Inouye wrapped           •Recruiters are quite capable of spitting out         the fairness of any policy, the right to respon-
up her presentation, workshop participants             “straight-forward untruths” (lies), “medium           sible freedom in this country, the need for
knew that they had a tool kit in their hands, no       untruths” (myths that are the bread and butter        meaningful service to one’s fellow citizens,
matter where they lived, to counter recruiters’        of recruiting such as financial aid bonuses,          the need for trust to be nurtured and main-
invasion into their communities.                       travel opportunities, career advancement pos-         tained in all relationships, and the crucial
                                                       sibilities), and “larger untruths” (false ideolo-     need for open communication to be main-
   The second half of the workshop was turned
                                                       gies promoted by the military such as the             tained in all relationships.
over to a panel of four VFP activists (Tim
                                                       nation as the highest unit of affiliation a per-       At the end of this workshop, all of us left bet-
Jones, Todd Boyle, Michael Cervantes, and
                                                       son can have or the belief that unconditional       ter informed, more motivated, and better pre-
Thomas Heikkala) who addressed the following
                                                       obedience is a virtue).                             pared to carry on counter-recruiting in our com-
issues: myths and lies of recruiting; the current
state of counter-recruiting; how vets can fit into     •The counter-recruitment movement is alive          munities.
                                                       and well and growing with plenty of books,                                  ###

      VFP Convention 2005 in Irving, TX




                                                                                                                                      The VFP Board
                                                                                                                                      conducting reso-
                                                                                                                                      lution business in
                                                                                                                                      Crawford, TX.
                                                                                                                                       Photo by A. Davis

Doug Rawlings from
chpater 001, Maine           Ann Wright, Colleen Rowley, and
is one of the original       Jesselyn Radack at the "Speaking Truth
VFP members.                 to Power (Whistleblowers)" workshop.                    Code Pink members in Crawford.
     Photo by A. Davis                                  Photo by Debra Clark          -7-         Photo by Jim Brown
                                                         Chapter News
                                                   Chapter 10, Albany, New York                          Out, the DC AntiWar Network (DAWN) and
                                                     Chapter 10 has been very busy. Our members          others.
                                                   assisted a group of veterans being evicted from a         The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium and the
                                                   veterans housing faculty. Tyler Arms, provided        Dying Children is a 2004 award winning
                                                   food, solidarity and help with moving and is          German documentary about Prof. Siegwart-
                                                   working to secure decent future veterans housing.     Horst Gunther, a physician who worked with
                                                      We sponsored a major regional peace confer-        Albert Schweitzer and was the first European
                                                   ence. The keynote speakers were Colleen Kelly,        physician to bring back hard evidence from Iraq,
                                                   cofounder of September 11 Families For                that ‘depleted’ uranium projectiles contaminated
                                                   Peaceful Tomorrows, Blase Bonpane, Director           Iraq. More than 300 tons of radioactive, urani-
                                                   of the Office of Americas and Bill Quigley, law       um projectiles conataminated Iraq during the
                                                   professor, attorney and the advisor for the St.       1991 Gulf War. The Telepool produced film is
                                                   Patrick’s Day Four. The St. Patrick’s Day Four        distributed in the US and may be obtained
                                                   also spoke at our conference. All of these folks      through the Traprock Peace Center
                                                   are highly recommended as speakers for VFP            (www.TraprockPeace.org)
                                                   events both regional and national.                        Besides raising money for DC Chapter 16
                                                     Elliot Adams was in Crawford, Texas at              and the Traprock Peace Center, the film’s show-
The Smedley D. Butler Brigade of the
                                                   Camp Casey and continued to Washington on             ing resulted in groups organizing a DU public
VFP took part in a Labor Day Blog-a-               the very important Bring Them Home Now bus            information booth for the 24 September peace
thon on Cape Cod. A photo essay of
                                                   tour. John Amidon is traveling to Iran and Syria      ralley in Washington DC.
this action can be found on democra-               with the U. S. Academics Against the War Peace
ticunderground.com.                                                                                        Doug Nelson
                                                   Delegation representing VFP leaving September
                          Photo by Ken Farr        10, 2005. He will speak at the Univ. of Tehran on     Chapter 21, New Jersey
                                                   the U.S. Peace Movement.                                   For the second time in recent weeks,
Chapter 1, Maine                                     Chapter 10 also has supported an important          President Dave Cline hosted a call-in/interview
                                                   DVD project, NO Running Water, a DVD music            show on radio station WBAI (subbing for Al
   Maine Chapter 001 members have been very
                                                   video designed to help close the School of the        ‘grandpa” Lewis). It was a huge success with
active this late summer and early fall. We have
                                                   Americas. If you would like a free copy please        several live reports, including one with Cindy
been leading other peace action groups in a
                                                   email John Amidon at jajaja1234@aol.com This          Sheehan from Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas.
series of “read-ins” in our Representatives’ and
                                                   video is entered in the Sundance Film Festival        VFP members are now urging WBAI manage-
Senators’ offices (six so far) – we occupy the
                                                   and is receiving strong support from many             ment to air a regularly scheduled show by-for-
offices and read the names of all American sol-
                                                   peace groups nationwide.                              and about veterans to be hosted by Dave.
diers killed in Iraq followed by the names of
Iraqi civilians killed. Every time a name is         John Amidon                                             Joe Attamante continues his work on details
read we put a slash on a burlap wall covering.                                                           for an Iraq War Veterans Forum that he will con-
                                                   Chapter 12, Houston, Texas                            duct at Drew University in November. He has
Each read-in takes about six hours. We also
organized and led a 350 person march and               In response to the determination and invigor-     lined up Stan Goff and Alex Rybov and is seek-
rally protesting the Blue Angels show at           ation shown throughout the summer up at Camp          ing two more participants to round out the
Brunswick Naval Station. After an all-night        Casey, local Houston veterans, many contrib-          forum.
vigil on Friday, September 9th, we marched         utors to the weeks of Texas protest, re-initiated         Ken Dalton has taken on the reigns of bring-
21/2miles on September 10th to the gates of        their call of duty to the national Veterans For       ing Chapter 21 together on a more regular basis,
the base and held a rally that featured Kathy      Peace organization amongst a small but commit-
Kelly from Voices in the Wilderness. We            ted group on September 13th. Officers were
called for the immediate withdrawal of troops      elected and groundwork laid in several local
from Iraq. In mid-September we staffed a           project initiatives to build with other local peace
table at the statewide Common Ground Fair          organizations. We will co-sponsor and support
(50,000 attendees) that featured a series of       a 2000th soldier fallen in the Iraq War memorial
counter-recruitment handouts. Our display          to be displayed in Houston at the appropriate
won “Most Educational” prize at the fair. We       time this fall.
are currently sending speakers into high             Sarah Wilton
schools and colleges through our “Speakers
                                                   Chapter 16, Washington, D.C.
Bureau” (we placed an ad in the state
                                                     The D.C. Chapter 16 presented the The
Principals’ magazine asking them to invite us
                                                   Doctor, the Depleted Uranium and the Dying
in), distributing our “Cost of War” brochures
                                                   Children, to a broad coalition of DC-based peace
and setting up “Cost of War displays in state
                                                   action groups on July 17 at the Sangha
libraries, and pushing for a resolution in our
                                                   Performance Space in Takoma Park, Md.
state legislature that would call for the with-
                                                   Standing-room-only participants represented
drawal of our National Guard troops from Iraq.
                                                   Code Pink, Peace Action, Takoma Park Peace
And much, much more.                                                                                     Members of chapter 45 at the
                                                   Committee, Montgomery County Coalition for
                                                                                                         Glouchester parade.
  Doug Rawlings                                    Alternatives to War, Military Families Speak
                                                                            -8-
with meetings at several rotating locations in NJ.      Peace on a non-stop VFP express to D.C. where         base at Bangor, WA . At noon on July 4th we
Anyone who can help out on this should contact          we joined the thousands in taking it to the streets   held a public reading of the VFP Declaration of
Ken at njvfpken22@netscape.net. Ken and                 for peace and justice. Our next immediate goal is     Impeachment at Terry Schrunk Plaza, conve-
Dave Cline attended the large rally for Camp            to find a place to hold periodic meetings, plan
Casey in NYC. Ken has been interviewed on               our strategy, improve our comradeship and
Dave’s WBAI radio shows.                                increase our numbers. Anyone out there reading
    Gene Glazer has resumed his monthly pick-           this please communicate with us! Contact David
et at the Bloomfield recruitment office and will        Thomas at lcwheaties@aol.com or call 412-351-
now include neighboring Montclair. Greg                 3753.
Payton and Gene were invited speakers at the              David Thomas
vigil in Newark to support Camp Casey, spon-            Chapter 61, Bi-state Missouri/Illinois
sored by New Jersey Peace Action.
                                                           Chapter 61 distributed more than 7000 leaflets
                                                        over a three-day period at Fair St. Louis, July 2-
                                                        4. One leaflet supported BRINGING OUR
                                                        TROOPS HOME NOW, along with a short his-
                                                        tory lesson of how we won our independence
                                                        from a King named George and a multi-national
                                                        mega-corporation called the East India compa-
                                                        ny. Another leaflet provided a reality check on
                                                        military service for youngsters considering the
                                                        military as a way to improve their lives, along
                                                        with a practical list of alternatives. A third pro-
                                                        vided factual information on the toxic exposures
                                                        of our troops, Iraqi civilians and the effects upon
                                                        children of both.                                     Dave Smith (l.) 92 year old Lincoln
                                                           Reception was generally positive. There were       Brigade volunteer, veteran of the
                                                        a very few who trashed the leaflets, or made neg-     Spanish Civil War, and Fred Seamon
                                                        ative comment on their content. Several people        (r.) VFP member and Vietnam Vet, are
                                                        tarried to talk and test their own ideas and feel-    marching behind VfP banners during
Chapter 80’s Arlington North West dis-
                                                        ings against what we know and believe. We even        the anti-war march in San Francisco
play on Memorial Day.
                                                        had opportunity to pass out membership                on September 24.
                       Photo by Brad Johnson
                                                        brochures to recently returned and older veterans
                                                        discovering us for the first time.                    niently located across the street from the
  Billy Kelly, recently back from Vietnam and                                                                 Green/Wyatt Federal Building and Portland City
Dallas – has now gone to spend a week to help             All in all, a very successful weekend.
                                                                                                              Hall.
out in the relief efforts for the victims of Katrina.     Woody Powell
                                                                                                                July also brought us the good news that we
   Gene Glazer                                          Chapter 72, Portland, Oregon                          had received a generous grant from the
Chapter 27, Minneapolis, Minnesota                         We began the summer by sponsoring our own          McKenzie River Foundation in support of our
   Chapter 27, Minneapolis, continues to do out-        Memorial Day commemoration with a series of           peace education and counter-recruiting pro-
reach activities, including speaking and tabling        events featuring Iraq Veterans Against the War        grams for Portland youth.
in the community. In June we gave away our              co-founder Mike Hoffman, culminating with a             On August 9th, we initiated a daily vigil in
canoe that we raffle annually, having raised            solemn remembrance at the Veterans’ Wall of           support of Cindy Sheehan’s quest for the so-
$15,000 and talked with around 1000 ticket buy-         Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. A chapter mem-          called “noble cause.” We were quickly joined at
ers at our information table. We are seeing an          ber who served in each conflict from the Second       Schrunk Plaza by members of Code Pink,
increasing number of Iraq War veterans finding          World War to Desert Storm spoke about the sig-        MFSO and other local peace organizations,
their way to us with pictures and stories to share.     nificance of Memorial Day, followed by a brief,       who helped us keep 30-60 people at this down-
We’ve been contacted by a local independent             intensely moving talk by Mike. Empty boots,           town intersection for the duration of Cindy’s
cinema to introduce showings of the film                placed on the wall, remembered those who have         occupation of Crawford. For the first time, we
“Winter Soldier,” and we may do the same when           been killed and injured.                              managed to achieve national press coverage,
they show the (superb) documentary                         Recent activities have included marching in        and walk-up participation in the vigil was
“Occupation Dreamland” in November. We                  the Gay Pride parade, to cheers from thousands        unprecedented.
had members attend the National Convention,             of on-lookers, as well as in the marches from the       Chapter 72 has endorsed and wholeheartedly
and drive down to Camp Casey. We will send a            capitol in Salem to Portland, and from the            supports the website www.soldiersheart.org, a
busload down to the SOA protest this Fall.              Hanford nuclear site to the Trident                   PTSD resource cre-
  Shiloh Fetzek                                         submarine
Chapter 47, South West Pennsylvania
 Southwestern Pennsylvania, Chapter 047, is in
motion. We followed up our hosting of the
"Bring Them Home Now Tour" on its way
across country by sending a bus load of VFP
members and supporters, henceforth known as
the Saturday Light Brigade of the Veterans For
                                                                  and justice through        non-vio-     2005       (http://www.juneauempire.com/sto-
                                                                  lence?”                                 ries/082605/loc_20050826019.shtml)
                                                                    One scholarship was earmarked            Remembering Iraq war dead, the Juneau
                                                                  for a veteran attending a communi-      Empire also published a shortened version of
                                                                  ty college in the San Diego area.       the winning essay in Chapter 100’s 2005 Peace
                                                                  The recipient of that award was         Scholarship ($1,000). The topic this year:
                                                                  Mark McGrath, 47, of San Diego,         “The Cost of War.” We asked local high
                                                                  a combat veteran attending San          school seniors to describe and discuss in 1,500
                                                                  Diego City College. He plans to         words the impacts war has on participants,
                                                                  use the scholarship to attend the       families, communities, and countries. The
                                                                  University of California-Berkeley       scholarship committee particularly liked author
                                                                  next fall, majoring in Astro-physics.   Tabitha Williams’s comment: “I think the dis-
                                                              The second scholarship was for a            tress of killing and watching people be killed is
                                                            high school student and was                   underestimated. Some soldiers never get over
VFP members joining with ACLU on Boston State awarded to Homayra Yusufi, 18, of                           the guilt of taking another’s life, and since the
House steps to support Amendment 1881 to                   San Diego, a senior at Scripps                 government all too often refuses to take respon-
Patriot Act.                                               Ranch High School. Homayra and                 sibility for emotional damage, many of these
                                                                                                          individuals do not get the help they need.”
                               Photo by Paul Brailsford her family fled Afghanistan when                  The published essay can be viewed online at
                                                           she was two years old after their
ated by member Sean Lewis, which links veter- neighborhood was bombed during the civil war.               http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/090805/o
ans suffering from PTSD and their families    She plans to use the scholarship to attend San              pi_20050908013.shtml. Ms. Williams is now
with support services.                        Diego State University next fall majoring in                a freshman at the University of Alaska in
   Clayton Knight                             International Relations.                                    Anchorage.
Chapter 78, Gainesville, Florida                       Both essays can be read on our website at             On September 24, Chapter 100 members will
                                                      www.sdvfp.org.                                      host a breakfast Q&A with Juneau school board
   The chapter in conjunction with the N. Fla. GI                                                         candidates at a local restaurant. We plan to raise
Rights Hotline and a super activist mother of           Dave Patterson                                    issues such as school board policies regarding
high schoolers gave a workshop on NCLB Act            Chapter 100, Juneau, Alaska                         military recruiters’ presence in the schools,
9528 and alternatives to joining the military on                                                          administering ASVAB tests during school
July 30th at the Downtown Gainesville Library.           Chapter 100 has initiated a weekly vigil hon-
                                                      oring U.S. dead in Iraq at a waterfront park in     hours, notifying students and parents of the right
It is now an off-the-shelf workshop that anyone                                                           to “opt out” from releasing student directory
can access at our website www.afn.org/~vet-           Juneau. VFP members and others stand by a
                                                      flag-draped coffin displaying the current number    information to recruiters, and access to the high
peace/workshop.htm . All you need is a laptop a                                                           school campus by members of our newly
screen and a projector to do it. Everything you       killed. We have received many positive
                                                      responses from, and engaged in conversations        formed Truth In Recruiting Committee. The
need is there, various links, how to do a CO                                                              municipal election will be October 4.
application, understanding the Delayed Entry          with, some of the thousands of cruise ship visi-
Program and several other topics can provide          tors from around the world. Our local newspa-         Ed Hein
great information to parents, kids and especially     per, the Juneau Empire, published a photo and
                                                                                                Chapter 105, Baltimore, Maryland
SCHOOL COUNSELORS. Any and all are                    caption on August 26. Web posted August 26,
                                                                                                Baltimore VFP helped found a coalition to
invited to access it.                                                                                  organize counter-recruiting in
  Bill Warrick                                                                                         Baltimore schools, and co-sponsored
                                                                                                       counter-recruiting trainings through
Chapter 91, San Diego, California
                                                                                                       the summer. Balto VFP members
  Our Chapter has held several Arlington West                                                          joined with parents and teachers to
events throughout San Diego to honor the US                                                            address local school boards about the
military troops that have died in Iraq and also to                                                     “opt-out” option and access to class-
make people aware of the ongoing war.                                                                  rooms and school events. VFP mem-
  When we held Arlington West on January 20,                                                           bers will join others to speak to classes
2004 in Oceanside, we installed 506 crosses on                                                         through the school year about the real-
the beach.                                                                                             ities of military life.
                                                                                                         The AFSC Eyes Wide Open combat
  Oceanside city is significant because it is adja-
                                                                                                       boots and civilian shoes memorial dis-
cent to Camp Pendleton, the home of the 1st
                                                                                                       play was in Baltimore 9-11 September,
Marine Corps Division, a military unit that has
                                                                                                       and Balto VFP members worked hard
seen so many of its marines killed in Iraq.
                                                                                                       to make it happen. Many VFP and
  On May 26, we installed over 1,600 crosses                                                           “Bring Them Home Now” flyers were
on the same beach to honor the US military                                                             handed out, buttons sold, and conver-
dead in Iraq. And on Saturday, June 18, the                                                            sations held with interested vets.
number was up to 1,722 when we had another            VFP member Steve Sinsley (r.) of chapter 47           The focus through September was
Arlington West in Ramona.                             traveled to Japan for the commoration of the     hosting the Bring Them Home Now !
   We want people to start thinking PEACE and         60th anniversaty of the a-bombing of             buses and organizing for the DC anti-
therefore have awarded two $1,000 scholarships        Hiroshima and Nagasaki.                          war march.
to students who wrote stirring essays on:             In Hiroshima he spent time with Japanese           Ellen Barfield
   “How can I further the cause of world peace        VFP member Koshi Kobayashi (l.)
                                                                        -10-
                                                                              Chapter 110 Orange           we’ve been quite busy. We took part in a
                                                                              County, California           regional VFP gathering Memorial Day ‘03 in
                                                                                 Chapter 110 co-           Milwaukee. That year, we manned an info table
                                                                              sponsored an event at        at our local “Earthfest”, met with Sen. Russ
                                                                              Memorial Park in             Feingold, raised money for People to People (a
             Please consider this important way by which you can proj-        Santa Ana . On the           high school foreign exchange program), and
          ect and amplify the objectives of Veterans For Peace – even         podium were Zeke             marched with VFP at the SOA Watch at Ft.
                        after your voice has been stilled.                    Hernandez, President         Benning.
              War has been with us a long time, and it would be naïve         of LULAC, Orange                 2004 saw us mark the anniversary of the Iraq
         to think that more generations of veterans will not be created.      County as moderator;         War with a mock veteran’s cemetery (ala
             By leaving a bequest, you can create a legacy that will          one of Santa Ana’s city      Arlington West) in a downtown park. Over 570
                    benefit others for generations to come.                   councilmen; Sandra           candle luminaries, each bearing a name and age,
             Consult with your estate planner or lawyer. They will guide      Rosales, an Army Sgt.        were lined up and lit. We brought peace and
          you in the best way to make sure your wishes are followed.          whose husband died in        justice speakers to town such as Kathy Kelly of
          Then notify us at VFP headquarters. We will make sure your          Iraq     last      year;     Voices in the Wilderness, and kept up a contin-
                          intentions are on record here.                      Madrigal, VFP 110 &          ued presence on our “Free Speech Corner”
                                                                              Marine Honor Guard           downtown every Friday, rain and shine. One
Chapter 109, Olympia, WA, & NE Chapters: doing a native American (Toltec) ceremony; a                      week we treated passers by to a bit of old time
   Sponsored by VFP, Rose Gentle, a Scottish Las Madres Militares Mom, and me, Dan Kelly.
mum whose son Gordon was killed in Iraq in              We set up Arlington West on the grass of the
June 2004, joined Cindy Sheehan in Washington park and set the tone for remembering the many
DC on September 24. Inspired by the Rachel undocumented soldiers lost in Iraq and previous
Corrie Chapter VFP 109 in Olympia, WA, the US conflicts/wars.
Oregon and Washington VFP chapters joined
                                                        We got our licks in about recruiting the poor,
together to donate funds for Rose’s US visit.
                                                    the tragic costs to the Latino community, and in
Rose is a co-founder of the British Military
                                                    particular, countered the Minutemen vigilantes
Families Against the War. Like Cindy in the
                                                    who fail to remember the number of undocu-
U.S. , she is the face of the tragedy and loss of
                                                    mented who have paid the ultimate price in Iraq
the Iraq war in the UK. She also reflects grow-
                                                    and in every single war since annexing the
ing collaboration of the US and UK anti-war
                                                    southwest, including a couple undocumented
effort led by VFP.
                                                    Mexican Congressional Medal of Honor recipi-
   Wes Hamilton                                     ents in the US Army, Navy & Marine Corps.
                                                     The event was the first of its kind in the com-
                                                    munity and will be repeated next year.
                                                      We gained three new members to our chapter
                                                    and a very real effort is alive to build a Latino
                                                    chapter here.
                                                                                                           Ask members of chapter 118 why they
                                                      The event was picked up by LA CBS, Ch. 2 &
                                                                                                           were feeling great in this picture. They
                                                    Ch. 9 Monday night.
                                                                                                           had just completed a seven mile walk
                                                       Dan Kelly                                           for peace uphill past the Salt Lake
                                                    Chapter 114, Sheboygan, WI Greetings from              Veterans hospital to the Ft. Douglas
                                                    Sheboygan, WI on the western shore of Lake             Cemetery. The march is planned to be
                                                    Michigan! Because of an email snafu last               a chapter project and be continued
                                                    March, this will be our first newsletter contact.      until all the troops come home from
                                                    Our group began when two vets met at an anti-          Iraq.
                                                    war rally in February ‘03. Since that time,                                Picture by Kathy French

   A message from your Chapter Development Committee
  Growth is happening everywhere. This past         information and surveying chapter activities to           Recently, a set of emails was sent out to
year we have ratified 13 new Veterans For           get a clear perspective of who we have out there       Chapter Contacts with three Media training pro-
Peace Chapters. One more is awaiting a little       on the front lines. We invite volunteers to call       grams. Please use them in your chapters to bet-
paperwork (#126). 14 Chapter Organizing             chapters and appreciate cooperation from               ter do your work and get the word out on what
Committees are in formation. The most recent 6      everyone.                                              you’re doing. The better we are at media inter-
chapters (#121-125, 127) were ratified at the          Getting the Chapter Contacts information up         face, the more our mission is supported.
Board Meeting in Dallas. Quite an accomplish-       to date is quite vital as we have folks looking for      Everyone, please reply to vfpchaptersur-
ment. Welcome them!                                 chapters local to them and often this is their first   vey@yahoo.com with your Chapter Contacts
   Along with welcoming the new chapters,           contact with us. If they can’t reach someone           current info and to assist with the survey.
you’re invited to update your Chapter informa-      easily, we likley loose them as potential mem-         Thanks.
tion with the National Office Database. We          bers. Sometimes it’s the press seeking local            Sharon Lee Kufeldt, Vice President
have a project of verifying Chapter Contact         input as well.                                         Membership & Chapter Development Committee
                                                                            -11-
                                                                                                         his sign saying repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”. After
                                                                                                         the parade, the guys tabled along with the help of
                                                                                                         Gene’s wife Donna. Five Iraq war vets came up to
                                                                                                         the table along with one gulf war vet who wanted
                                                                                                         to know about depleted uranium. We gave out 45
                                                                                                         applications and many other handouts. Many peo-
                                                                                                         ple came by to thank us for our service and ask
                                                                                                         questions about who we are and stand for.
                                                                                                           Aaron Davis
“Camp-Out" at #10 Downing Street in                  Wonderland: A reading of the                        Chapter 000 - Southern California
London, GB. The British Military                     "Downing Street Memo" by the MFAW
Families Against War spanning the                    families as characters in the "Tea                     Peace Pole coming to Palm Springs
barriers, with flowers laid by the fami-             Party" of Alice in Wonderland                          The contractor hired by the city to set up the
ly members.                                             Photos by VFP member Wes Hamilton                annual Veterans Day Parade said the peace
                                                                                                         pole and peace flag would be appropriate
guerilla theater as the grim reaper (with a “W”      TIME and want to join or help organize, please      entries. However rules prohibit groups from
face mask), who shook hands with “Mr. Big Oil”       let me know.                                        carrying signs that share religious or political
in a top hat and fancy coat. We made it a point                                                          views. Our local chapter has to prepare a writ-
                                                      David Harris, e-mail: tuvecino@redwing.net
to “greet” every Bush or Cheney campaign loca-                                                           ten script for approval. The script will be read
tion with people and protest posters, and criti-     Chapter 116, Mendocino Country, CA
                                                                                                         along the parade route and by both TV and
cized the war and the Bush administration in the         The White Rose Impeachment Tour bus has         radio live coverage.
op/ed pages. In Nov. ‘04 we marched again with       had a busy six weeks. Departing from Northern
                                                                                                            Tom Swann said, "I feel this is one of the
fellow VFP protesters at the gates of Ft. Benning.   California on July 29 we made our way to the
                                                                                                         most important projects we can do this year.
    The past seven months have seen us mark a        Dallas convention passing through San
                                                                                                         When we march by the reviewing stand with
second anniversary of the war with a Peace and       Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Santa
                                                                                                         our American flag, the 29 Palms Marine4 Base
Justice concert at a local college campus. This      Monica in California. We then headed on to
                                                                                                         General and the Marine Band will stand and
event featured folksinger/songwriter Laramie         Albuquerque NM where we were warmly host-
                                                                                                         salute. The 29 Palms Base has lost so many
Crocker from California with antiwar music,          ed by the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center
                                                                                                         brave men and women. They need to know
high school students reading original poems, and     and the local Chapter of VFP.
                                                                                                         there is at least one parade contingent that
an Iraq vet sharing his experiences. Over the            From Albuquerque we departed for the con-       wants peace instead of war".
summer we marched for the first time in the          vention where we participated in the many activ-
                                                                                                             After the parade we hope to have the pole
Memorial Day parade showing VFP colors. To           ities and workshops. Our most notable activity
                                                                                                         installed in Cathedral City at the fountain or
our surprise we were warmly received by the          was the wonderful opportunity of delivering
                                                                                                         field of dreams. We really feel peace is a good
crowd, as we carried a flag draped coffin and a      Cindy Sheehan to Crawford TX, the rest is his-
                                                                                                         message for children. If the pole is erected
sign saying “HONOR VETERANS…. ABOL-                  tory. We were asked to return to Crawford and
                                                                                                         near the fountain then peace lovers could
ISH WAR”. One of our Korean War vets was             did so participating in the vigil at Camp Casey 1
                                                                                                         assemble for ceremonies. This could draw
interviewed and found himself on the front page      where we did extensive networking in prepara-
                                                                                                         more visitors to our downtown area. Redlands
of our paper. We ended the summer still on our       tion for the www.bringthemhomenow.org tour.
                                                                                                         and North Hollywood have similar peace
corner with new signs like “MR. PRESI-
                                                          However, we were hijacked by a little event    poles.
DENT...TALK WITH CINDY”. As autumn
                                                     known by the name of Hurricane Katrina. We
nears we look forward to marching once again                                                               Tom Swann
                                                     were given large quantities of water and staples                             ###
either in D.C. on Sept 24th or with our both-
                                                     from Camp Casey as it broke up and have estab-
ers and sisters at Ft. Benning.
                                                       lished an extension of Camp Casey in
  We are 21 members, strong and growing                 Covington LA providing food and assistance          Vietnam Agent Orange
and are proud to be a part of this organization.       in the poor, rural, black portion of the commu-      Relief & Responsibility
  Tom Contrestan                                       nity. This is a project of both Chapter 116 of             Campaign
                                                      Mendocino County, CA and the Louisiana
Chapter 114, Sheboygan, WI                                                                                        NOV 13 - DEC 13, 2005:
                                                      Action Network. Waging Peace!
    An Invitation to cross the line                                                                            VIETNAMESE AND AMERICAN
                                                        Pat Tate                                             AGENT ORANGE VICTIMS TOUR
   Fellow Veterans: You who have known                                                                               U.S. CITIES
                                                           Chapter 118, Salt Lake City, Utah:
war and now oppose it are widely respected.                                                                   As part of healing the wounds of war,
Now we have a great chance to PUT IT ON                          On June 12 four Veterans For Peace
                                                                                                           Vietnamese survivors of Agent Orange, who still
THE LINE FOR PEACE. I am recruit-                             from chapter 118 in Salt Lake City led
                                                                                                           seek justice more than 30 years after the end of
ing veterans to lead a mass civil dis-                      the gay pride parade behind grand mar-         the war, will be coming to the United States to
obedience action at the School of the                        shall Scott Mccoy. Gene Barrett, Bob          meet us.
Americas at Ft. Benning next                                         Robbins, Larry Chadwick and
                                                                                                             For the entire month of November 2005 Agent
November.                                                               Aaron Davis led the peace
                                                                                                           Orange victims from Vietnam will visit the U.S.
                                                                         contingent which also
    I would like to visit                                                                                  at the invitation of veterans, Vietnamese
                                                                         included the People For
your chapter and offer                                                                                     American and peace activists. They will tour
                                                                         Peace and Justice and was         New York NY, Philadelphia PA, Washington DC,
training in nonviolent
                                                                        seen by a crowd of over            Boston MA, Portland ME, Chicago IL,
action - strategy, phi-
                                                                      20,000. Many cheers were             Raleigh/Durham NC, Santa Fe NM, Portland
losophy, and risks. If
                                                                    heard along the parade route and       OR, Seattle WA and the Bay Area CA.
you agree that NOW IS THE
                                                                  especially when Aaron Davis flashed
                                                            -12-
         A Review By Paul Cox
                                                                    S i r, N o S i r !
                                                      graphics to tell a compelling story about the resist-   led to a near breakdown of fighting ability with-
                                                      ance within the military. He also filmed numerous       in the military. GI’s refused to deploy to the
                                                      very moving and contemporary interviews with            Democratic Convention in 1968. Troops in
                                                      people who were central to these events.                Vietnam refused orders to patrol. The military
                                                        Duncan, about his tour in Vietnam: “I was             admits to more than 1600 instances of fragging.
                                                      really proud of what I thought I was doing. The         Naval ships were monkey wrenched.
                                                      problem I had was realizing that what I was             Thousands of GIs signed petitions against the
                                                      doing wasn’t right. I was doing it right, but I         war. At least 500,000 deserted. Added to the
                                                      wasn’t doing right. As bad as the (torture of pris-     hundreds of thousands of young men who avoid-
                                                      oners) was, the cynicism that attached to it was        ed or resisted the draft, these realities eventually
                                                      the part that was really sickening.”                    forced Nixon to pull troops out of Vietnam as
                                                                                                              surely as any other pressure. The Vietnamese
                                                         Mather, about his arrest during the Presidio
                                                                                                              were courageous and steadfast, and were not
                                                      Nine’s high-profile resignation from the mili-
                                                                                                              going to give up; but it wasn’t our economy or
                                                      tary: “I had nothing to loose, and I had no idea
                                                                                                              even the general lack of popularity of the war—
                                                      what was going to come. That’s a free place, a
                                                                                                              it was, as Billy Dean Smith says in the film, “the
                                                      really free place, you know? You don’t know
                                                                                                              low state of morale among enlisted men.”
                                                      what’s going to happen or where you are going,
                                                      but you know what you are doing.”                          Sir! No, Sir! skims the surface of the GI
Sir, No Sir!                                                                                                  movement, touching some highlights, leaving
                                                         Schnall, an army nurse who helped organize
Directed by David Zeiger                                                                                      others unexamined. For example, the first
                                                      the first anti-war demonstration by and for GI’s
Documentary                                                                                                   attempt at organizing a union of active duty GI’s
                                                      and veterans: “I remembered hearing about the
USA 2005                                                                                                      isn’t mentioned. It was started at Fort Sill by
                                                      B-52 bombers that were dropping leaflets on
   Donald Duncan, Howard Levy, Susan                                                                          Andy Stapp and others as the American
                                                      Vietnam, urging the Vietnamese to defect. And I
Schnall, and Keith Mather are names that do not,                                                              Servicemen’s Union (ASU). Important support
                                                      thought, if they can do it overseas, then we can
as far as I know, appear in any high school or                                                                organizations the United States Servicemen’s
                                                      hire a small private plane and load it up with
college history texts that survey the Vietnam                                                                 Fund (USSF) and Pacific Counseling Service
                                                      leaflets and drop them over bases in the San
War. But they should. Sir! No, Sir! is lost his-                                                              (PCS) also aren’t mentioned. But all provided
                                                      Francisco Bay Area.”
tory excavated, displayed, and annotated.                                                                     crucial funding, legal aid, and organizing expert-
Filmmaker David Zieger presents some of the              The film makes clear that organizers and             ise to dozens if not hundreds of GI initiatives
highlights of the diffuse but exceedingly impor-      resisters sometimes paid heavy prices. Levy             throughout the world.
tant anti-war and anti-military movement by           spent more than 2 years in prison; Schnall was
                                                      court-martialed for wearing her uniform to a               David Cortright’s 1975 book “Soldiers in
active-duty servicemen and servicewomen dur-
                                                      demonstration; Mather escaped the Presidio              Revolt”, recently reprinted by Haymarket Press,
ing the Vietnam War.
                                                      stockade and spent 18 years in exile in Canada,         and Richard Moser’s “The New Winter
   Most texts minimally cover the anti-war                                                                    Soldiers” are two sources of more detail about
                                                      then 5 months at Leavenworth when he was
movement, generally focusing on a few seminal                                                                 the GI movement for those who wish to learn—
                                                      arrested back in the States in 1984. A marine
events such as the 1968 Chicago police riot, the                                                              or revisit—those times.
                                                      activist was gunned down in Oceanside; the Fort
large mobilizations, or draft-card burners—and
                                                      Hood Three got 5 years and dishonorable dis-               Still, Zeiger picked many important events of
generally take a neutral to semi-hostile tone. But
                                                      charges for refusing orders to Vietnam; two             the GI movement, and when the film was
nary a word is spent on the actions of these early
                                                      black marines were given 6-10 years for organ-          screened this summer at the Veterans for Peace
resisters and thousands of other who as active
                                                      izing a meeting to discuss whether black GIs            conference in Dallas, some young Iraq vets and
duty GI’s gave the brass that good old late night
                                                      should go to Vietnam.                                   resistors present were delighted to learn of that
indigestion.
                                                          Still, the GI movement eventually reached           history, having had no clue of its existence.
  Duncan’s high profile resignation from the                                                                  Resurrected history, presented in this well-paced
                                                      from Germany to Cambodia, from Fort Bliss to
Green Beanies, and Dr. Levy’s refusal to train                                                                format, will be a useful addition to any history
                                                      West Point. Nearly three hundred underground
Special Forces medics for Vietnam were the first                                                              curriculum. It may even enjoy a modest com-
                                                      newspapers were printed and distributed surrep-
indications that all was not well in the ranks, and                                                           mercial run if the filmmakers can get it marketed.
                                                      titiously by GI’s during the war.
Dave Zieger’s film captures very well the
immense importance of their stands.                     Coffee houses, bookstores, and off-base “safe            For me, a survivor of Vietnam but a veteran of
                                                      houses” sprung up all over, supported by veter-         the GI movement, the film captured my own
   The brass saw in the GI Movement one of                                                                    activist compulsion when former and current
                                                      ans and civilian anti-war activists. Civilian
several elements of the poor morale that very                                                                 activist David Cline described his disillusion-
                                                      lawyers were recruited to help with the legal
quickly dragged down the effectiveness of the                                                                 ment with the war: “You find out that it’s all lies,
                                                      problems. Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and
US fighting forces in Vietnam. Drugs and deser-                                                               they are just lying to the American people. And
                                                      others mounted the FTA show that toured the
tions were the two other critical morale indica-                                                              your silence just means you are a part of keeping
                                                      US, Europe, and Asia. They played to tens of
tors, but it was the organizers and barracks                                                                  that lie going. I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t be
                                                      thousands of enthusiastic GIs, carrying an
lawyers who were going to bring down the                                                                      silent. I felt I had a responsibility to my friends,
                                                      unequivocal anti-war, anti-military, anti-racist,
house of cards upon which military discipline                                                                 and to the country, in general. And
                                                      anti-sexist, anti-imperial message.
was built.                                                                                                    to advocate for the Vietnamese (who
                                                        Ultimately, anti-war sentiments, faltering
   Zeiger, himself a GI activist at Fort Hood,                                                                were) fighting for their country.”
                                                      “morale”, and a general lack of enthusiasm for
effectively uses the available footage and still                                                                                  ###
                                                      the idea of being the last man to die in Vietnam,
                                                                           -13-
                                                              Farenheit 435
by Robert Graybill                                                                                          ment of the then existing number of
   Quick. How many members are there in the                                                                 Representatives [i.e., 435].” When Herbert
House of Representatives? If you guessed 435,                                                               Hoover signed the bill on June 18, 1929, 150
give yourself a gold star. Now for a tougher                                                                years of constitutional tradition was blithely
question. When was the last time the House                                                                  thrown out the window, primarily in the name
voted to increase its membership? We’ll come                                                                of fiscal restraint.
back to that question in a moment. First, a bit                                                                The impetus for the act began nine years ear-
of history.                                                                                                 lier. Following the 1920 census, the House
   Because the House of Representatives was                                                                 Census Committee voted 10 to 4 to add 48
the only branch of the federal government, as                                                               seats. The New York Times blasted the bill.
originally conceived, to be popularly elected—                                                              “The House is too large already. After the next
Senators were appointed by state legislatures                                                               census, Congress will have to perform the duty
                                                      crete: “. . . within every successive period of ten
and the President was selected by electors                                                                  which it now shuns and postpones. For physi-
                                                      years the census is to be renewed and augmen-
appointed by the state legislatures—the Framers                                                             cal reasons, if no other, the growth of the house
                                                      tations may continue to be made.”
of the Constitution spent considerable time                                                                 can’t be allowed to continue indefinitely.” In
                                                         For the first 130 years of the republic,           other words, according to the Times’s editorial-
arguing about the appropriate size of the “peo-
                                                      Congress never failed to execute this responsi-       ist, our democracy must be limited by the
ple’s house.” During the Constitutional
                                                      bility. Following the first three censuses, under     square footage of the House Chamber in the
Convention, Govurneur Morris first argued that
                                                      an apportionment plan devised by Jefferson, the       Capitol. Actually, that argument, in almost
the ratio of representation should be 40,000 res-
                                                      House population increased on an average by           those very words, was made earlier by former
idents per every representative. Morris’s num-
                                                      40 members per decade. Fearing it was grow-           House Speaker Champ Clark, who, in a speech
ber generated much discussion. Some thought
                                                      ing to fast, the House applied the breaks to its      to Congress in 1920, said that the floor of the
the number too low, some too high. Those
                                                      growth beginning in 1820 by increasing the            House could accommodate 535 seats, but to add
favoring a smaller number (and large congress)
                                                      ratio of representation to 45,000 to one. In          another 10 members to the roster would neces-
argued that the liberties of the people would be
                                                      1840, under a new apportionment plan advocat-         sitate the building of a second House office
better represented by a bigger body. Moreover,
                                                      ed by Daniel Webster, House membership actu-          building. Therefore, he recommended a
they argued, it would be more difficult for fac-
                                                      ally decreased. Thereafter, it inched upwards         Constitutional amendment limiting the number
tions to develop in a larger group, thereby obvi-
                                                      again, but in the post-Civil War era, it exploded.    of Congressmen to 300! In this argument, he
ating the problem of cliques. Others thought
                                                      Fifty seats were added after 1870, 39 after 1880,     was supported by many Republicans, including
that hitching the fledgling republic’s star to a
                                                      25 after 1890, 24 after 1900, and, after 1910, 43     Joe Cannon, another former Speaker. In the
ratio of 40,000 to one would yield a House in
                                                      seats, bringing the total to 435. Which is the        end, the House voted to kill the reapportionment
the future of unwieldy size. However, in the
                                                      answer to the second question.                        bill 276-77 but did nothing about a
spirit of compromise, Morris’s number was
written into the draft, the Framers also agreeing        In other words, to effectively represent a         Constitutional amendment. Moreover, the
to Morris’s proposal that the House ought to be       country whose population was approximately            House refused to reapportion the already exist-
“authorized from time to time to augment ye           92 million, Congress believed 435 representa-         ing seats. In other words, the congressional dis-
number of Representatives” as the number of           tives would suffice. Yet we now have a popula-        tricts for all the elections between 1912 and
inhabitants increases. Only on the last day of        tion of more than 280 million and still we are        1930 were exactly the same, despite changes in
the convention did Nathaniel Gorham of                saddled with same number of congressional dis-        population patterns.
Massachusetts suggest a ratio of 30,000 to one.       tricts as our great-grandparents. Our ratio of           As even the most mild-mannered cynic will
Seconding his motion, and speaking substan-           representation has grown to 646,947 to one in         probably guess, there was more than the ques-
tively for only the first time in the convention,     2000. An astounding ratio. Among most                 tion of office space behind the defeat of the bill.
was the presiding officer, George Washington.         Western republics, the ratio varies from 90,000       The 1920 census showed, for the first time in
Needless to say, the general’s change was             to one (UK) to 136,000 to one (Germany).              American history, that the majority of our peo-
quickly added.                                        Even putative democracies like Russia and             ple lived in cities, not in the country.
                                                      China have more favorable ratios than ours:           Representatives from farm states cried foul and
   As finally adopted, the Constitution stipulates
                                                      326,000 to one and 415,000 to one, respective-        insisted there had been a terrible undercount of
that the House of Representatives can have no
                                                      ly. (Only India has a larger one, of 1.8 million      farmers due to bad weather. (There is validity
less than 50 members (one for each state) and
                                                      to one.) It would be patently ridiculous to argue     in their argument.) Most of the new seats would
no more than 9,381, based on the 2000 census
                                                      that our brand of democracy is as representative      have gone to rapidly growing urban areas in
(one for every 30,000 people). The Constitution
                                                      as that of the first generation of Americans—or       New York and California, thereby reducing the
defined the first Congress as containing 65 rep-
                                                      even our great-grandparents. How did we get to        clout that rural representatives had enjoyed in
resentatives, apportioned to each state accord-
                                                      this place?                                           Congress up to 1920. Moreover, the population
ing to its estimated population. After that, in the
language of the Constitution, “the actual enu-           It was not a constitutional amendment that         of these districts had been swelled by years of
                       meration” of the House         limited the size of the House, although you           foreign immigration. The battle to limit the size
                       “shall be made . . . within    might think such a perversion of the Framers’         of the House, therefore, was not just a fight
                       every subsequent term of       original intent would need such legitimacy. It        between country and city cousins but also a
                       ten years. . . .” Where the    was the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929,          fight between native Americans and newcom-
                       Constitution’s language is     which stated, in part, that the president would       ers. Not surprisingly, the newcomers lost. It
                       vague, Madison, in The         report “the number of Representatives to which        should also be noted that throughout this period,
                       Federalist, was more con-      each State would be entitled under an apportion-      the Republican Party enjoyed a hammerlock
                                                                         -14-
control over the House. The long-awaited            of representatives would increase the ratio of                       However, another change escaped the notice
redistricting of the 1932 election did much to      representation to 709,000 to one. It would also                   of the researchers. Increasing the number of
ensure Roosevelt’s overwhelming victory, as         reduce Congress’s expenses and free up office                     House seats would throw a monkey wrench into
city dwellers were finally represented in a fash-   space near Capitol Hill. More insidiously, it                     the gentlemen’s agreement between the two
ion commensurate with their numbers.                would reduce the influence of minority voting                     major parties that has shaped congressional dis-
   It is axiomatic that the party in power will     and enlarge the advantage small states already                    tricts in such a way as to preserve individual
refuse to tinker with Congressional reapportion-    enjoy in the electoral college. Conversely,                       party strongholds in perpetuity. In the last elec-
ment in such a way as to limit or reduce its        increasing House membership would lift                            tion, only three House seats changed hands, the
influence. Quite the opposite. It will do what-     Congressional expenses, force room assign-                        smallest turnover in history. If we had 520
ever it can to secure or enlarge its majority.      ments in Congressional office buildings to                        Congresspersons (or perhaps 651, as are in the
Both parties have done this shamelessly.            change, and cause the desks in the House                          House of Commons), more seats would lie in
Nevertheless, in 1995, just after it took control   Chamber to be rearranged. It would also reduce                    contested districts and the House, once again,
of the House, Republican leaders asked the          the ratio of representation to 478,000 to one,                    would assume its role as the People’s House,
Congressional Research Service to look into the     allow for more minority districts, and signifi-                   not a second House of Lords, which is sadly
question of House size. They asked researchers      cantly reduce the small-state advantage in the                    what it has become.
to explore two scenarios: increasing House          electoral college. In other words, enlarging the                     How does it feel to live in the least represen-
membership by 85 seats (to 520) or decreasing       House would make our democracy more demo-                         tative democracy in the West?
it by the same number (to 350). Not surprising-     cratic, but a bit more expensive; reducing it
                                                    would make it more oligarchic but cheaper.                                                    ###
ly, the Service found that decreasing the number
                                                    Nothing came of the report, however.


                                                    P O E T R Y
                                                                The Silent Scream           by Sharon L. Kufeldt
                                                                                                                                              Here, Bullet
                                                                I feel it! Do you feel it? The soul pain?
  Coaching Winter Track in Time of War                          Sometimes I just want to scream.
                                                                                                                                              by Brian Turner
                                                                Do you ever want to scream?                                                    Adding his voice to the cur-
  The boys are running “suicides”                               Do you? Ever scream?                                                        rent debate about the US occu-
  on the football field today:                                  Not silently, into a pillow… so as not to disturb anyone.                   pation of Iraq, in poems written
  ten-yard increments out to the fifty                          Not locked safely in the car on a deserted street.                          in the tradition of such poets as
  and back again, push-ups in between.                          Not riding on an amusement park roller coaster.                             Wilfred        Owen,      Yusef
  It’s thirty degrees, but they sweat                           Sometimes I just want to scream.                                            Komunyakaa (Dien Cai
  like it’s summer in Baghdad,                                  Scream from my guts.                                                        Dau),and Bruce Weigl (Song of
                                                                Scream from my heart.                                                       Napalm), Iraq war veteran
  curse like soldiers, swear to God                                                                                                         Brian Turner writes powerfully
                                                                Scream from my very soul.
  they’ll see you burn in Hell.                                 I can never again pretend I don’t see,                                      affecting poetry of witness,
  You could fall in love with boys like these:                  Pretend I don’t know,                                                       exceptional for its beauty, hon-
  so earnest, so eager, so ready                                Pretend I don’t feel the shame, the betrayal, the pain - of our countrys’   esty and skill. Based upon
  to do whatever you ask, sure of you,                          collective karma                                                            Turner's year-long tour in Iraq
                                                                You see, I took the red pill.                                               as an infantry team leader, the
  trusting, wanting to please,
                                                                Sometimes I just want to                                                    poems offer gracefully-ren-
  full of themselves and the world.
                                                                Stand up in the middle of the street and scream…Wake up!                    dered, unflinching descriptions
  How do you tell them it’s not that simple?                    Stand up in the middle of the shopping center and scream…Wake up!           but, remarkably, leve the reader
  How do you tell them: question it all.                        Stand up in church in the middle of the service and scream…Wake up!         to draw conclusions or moral
  Question everything. Even a coach.                            Stand up in the middle of Wall Street and scream…Wake up!                   lessons. Here, Bullet is a must
  Even a president. How do you tell them:                       Stand up in the middle of the Congress and scream…Wake up!                  read for anyone who cares
  ask the young dead soldiers coming home                       Stand up on Oprah and scream…Wake up!                                       about the war.
  each night in aluminum boxes                                  I feel it! Do you feel it? The soul pain?                                     Alice James Books
                                                                Sometimes I just want to scream.                                              www.alicejamesbooks.org
  none of us is allowed to see,
                                                                Meanwhile in Baghdad…
  an army of shades.
                                                                Sometimes I just want to scream.
  You tell the boys “good work” and call it a day,
                                                                I want to scream to the Father of my friend… who voted for Bush, both times.
  stand alone in fading light while                             I want to scream to the Republican husband of my friend… who voted for Bush, both times.
  memory’s phantoms circle the track                            I want to scream to the elderly black woman Veteran I met at the VA…
  like weary athletes running a race                            who voted for Bush, both times “because he does so much for us Veterans.”.
  without a finish line.                                        I want to scream to the brother of my friend…
                                        W. D. Ehrhart           who patted me on the knee and said it was “ok to torture those people” to save “American Lives”
                                                                I want to scream to the mother of my friend… who said “Our President is such a Godly man”
                                                                I want to scream to the veteran who says we must follow the President… like he’s God.
                               VFP Calendar Notice              I want to scream to a reporter… do we have any left?
                                                                I want to scream to the man on the nightly news who says what he should to keep his job.
                                                                I want to scream to God… you know that “Christian God that Bush prays to”
                        The VFP calendar can be
                     found on the VFP homepage                  I want to scream to the rest of the world…
                      www.veteransforpeace.org.                 “please, forgive us, for some of us know not what we do.”
                                                                I want to scream to the rest of the world… “We’re sorry they won’t wake up.”
              For calendar submissions e-mail to                I want to scream to the universe… “somehow, please stop us.”
                               vfpstl@graffiti.net
                                                                Instead… at 3AM… I send silent screams on the internet to “president@whitehouse.gov”
                                                            -15-
  VFP Ithaca St. Pat's Four Not Guilty of Conspiracy; Charged with Misdemeanors

  Two days before President Bush launched an illegal war against Iraq, four anti-war activist from Ithaca, N.Y. including
 Peter DeMott, member of Veterans For Peace in an act of non-vilent civil resistance, entered a military recruiting center
   and carefully poured their own blood around the vestibule. The activists, known as the St. Patrick's 4 were tried in
  Thompkins county court in April of 2004. Their trial ended in a hung jury. On September 19, 2005, the four went on
trial again. This time the trial was in federal court and included new charges as well. Following is a run down of the ver-
 dict. The four were not convicted of a conspiracy charge which could have given them 6 years in prison. They were con-
              victed of two lesser crimes: destruction and trespass. Sentensing is expected in January of 2006.
                                                  By Louis DeBenedette                                damage to property and trespassing, both mis-
                                                                                                      demeanors which carry possible sentences of
                                                     On September 19, 2005, the four went on
                                                                                                      one year and six months respectively.
                                                  trial again. This time the trial was in federal
                                                                                                      "Regardless of the penalties, we will continue
                                                  court, and included new charges. They were
                                                                                                      to call for justice for the Iraqi people and our
                                                  acquitted on a conspiracy charge which could
                                                                                                      troops," stated Daniel Burns, one of the four
                                                  have given each of them 6 years in prison.
                                                                                                      defendants. "We know our principled dissent
                                                    "The decision to acquit on the conspiracy         now represents the majority of the public, and
                                                  charge, a felony, is a huge victory, given the      we're inspired by the jury's decision to refuse
                                                  narrow parameters within which the four could       the government's attempt at intimidation."
                                                  present their defense, and given the restrictions
                                                                                                         The decision did not surprise the defendants,
                                                  on deliberations. This is a major setback in the
                                                                                                      given that senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J.
                                                  government's efforts to criminalize dissent,"
Carl Robertson, Stuart Naismith, and                                                                  McAvoy did not permit them to present to the
                                                  said Bill Quigley, acclaimed public interest
Louis DeBenedette with members of                                                                     jury the legal context, particularly international
                                                  lawyer and law professor at Loyola University
veterans For Peace at the Federal                                                                     treaties and the US Constitution, which would
                                                  School of Law, who has been acting as legal
Court House, Binghampton, NY.                     advisor to the defendants.
                                                                                                      have made possible and reasonable an acquittal
                                                                                                      on all charges. "Our actions were lawful, how-
                                                    The four were convicted on lesser charges,        ever, we were repeatedly denied the chance to
                                                                                                      explain why," stated Teresa Grady, one of the
                                                                                                      defendants. "We were not allowed to mention
              Letters to the Editor                                                                   Article VI, paragraph four of the Constitution,
                                                                                                      which says that the treaties of the United States
    In the aftermath of the giant anti war           VETERANS ARE AN ESSENTIAL AND                    are the supreme law of the land. We were not
 protest of Sept. 24, my reaction ranges from     UNIQUE COMPONENT OF THE ANTI                        allowed to explain our actions in the context of
 euphoria to disappointment.                      WAR MOVEMENT.
                                                                                                      the Nuremberg Principles, which declare that
    Was the demonstration a success? Most            Why then, were there no Veterans from the        citizens can be held responsible for crimes of
 assuredly. The combined and united voices        current Iraq war or the earlier Desert Storm        their government. Nor could we explain how
 of Veterans and peace activists were heard       called upon as featured speakers? In addition       this war was a violation of the UN Charter.
 loud and clear in Washington and cities          to these two groups – Veterans for Peace,           Nonetheless, the jury ruled wisely, considering
 throughout the nation. Those who made the        Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Korean            their instructions. It's unfortunate, however, that
 trek to D.C. and were supported by thou-         War Veterans and just plain Veterans were in
                                                                                                      they were denied the full truth."
 sands more at home can claim undisputed          D.C. that day.
 credit for the success of that day. These were      Mike Hoffman (IVAW), Michael                        In a previous trial in Tompkins County Court
 the people who delivered the message to          McPhearson (Desert Storm), Dave Cline               in April 2004, the defendants were able to fully
 Bring The Troops Home NOW.                       (VFP), and Stan Goff (VVAW) are knowl-              explain their action in this broader legal con-
     I can imagine the problems and obstacles     edgeable and articulate speakers. They speak        text, and nine of twelve jurors voted to acquit.
 that the sponsors had to overcome for this       from the perspective of their personal experi-      "The real crime, as we've always stated, is that
 event. But their efforts fell short – most       ences. As such, their message resonates with        our government conspired against the American
 specifically and most importantly from the       greater force and passion than any other            people, and lied us into an illegal and immoral
 ill-advised mismanagement of the speakers’       voice from the podium. Celebrities are              war," said Peter DeMott. "The task is now upon
 podium.                                          always an important part of the rally – but         us all to better understand the criminality of our
    I welcomed the opportunity to see and lis-    they should be heard in addition to, not            government's aggression and, as citizens, to act
 ten to Cindy Sheehan and other                   instead of, Veterans.                               accordingly to demand that our government
 mothers/wives/husbands and families whose           I have great admiration and respect for          adheres to international law."
 loved ones were in Iraq or were killed or        UFPJ and look forward to participating in              Clare Grady, another co-defendant, said,
 wounded in pursuit of George Bush’s “noble       many more of their events. But this time            "Our work is just beginning. We all must con-
 cause.” They deserved, more than anyone,         they dropped the ball – big time.                   tinue to speak on behalf of the victims of this
 the opportunity to address the rally and the        Simply put – At the largest anti war             criminal war -- the innocent Iraqi civilians, US
 nation.                                          demonstration in 2 years, the voice of              service members, and indeed all of humanity.
    But following them, what better informed      Veterans should have been heard.                    Whether it's Crawford or Binghamton or
 individuals should be designated as featured        Gene Glazer                                      Washington or beyond, our dissent will not be
 (not 15 second sound bites) speakers other                                                           silent.
 than Veterans?
                                                                     -16-                                                     ###
                                          UN NGO Conference Bigger Than Ever

   The September 7-9 UN Conference of Non-                                                               The world spends over 900 billion dollars per
Governmental Organizations, titled “Our                                                                  year for military defense. To eliminate poverty
Challenge: Voices For Peace, Partnerships and                                                            it would cost less than 50 billion dollars world-
Renewal”, brought 1800 people from nearly                                                                wide for basic needs per year.
100 countries, including 4 VFP representatives,
                                                                                                             The UN NGO’s are essential players in
together to strategize on implementing human
                                                                                                         achieving this goal. VFP has a voice at this
rights and development goals. Having attended 6
                                                                                                         table.
of these NGO conferences, I was encouraged by
the greatly increased focus on PEACE this year,                                                             Joan Wittman, St Paul, MN
and greater recognition that unless the world
                                                         http://unngodpiconference.org/                     Veterans For Peace is fortunate to be repre-
stops spending wealth, energy, and lives on war,
the development goals to eliminate poverty can                                                           sented as a non-governmental organization in
never be reached. The titles of many of the                                                              the United Nations. Ellen Barfield and Harold
                                                        A theme woven throughout the conference
Midday Interactive Workshops, in my opinion the                                                          Burbank have been our representatives to the
                                                    is that peace and human development must go
major value of the gathering, included the word                                                          UN, and through their efforts Walter
                                                    hand-in-hand.The United Nations was created
“peace”. I was even pleased to report on the rec-                                                        Hrozenchik, Joan and Wayne Wittman were
                                                    in 1945 to address the issues of war and peace.
onciliation aspects of the VFP Iraq Water Project                                                        also named as representatives of VFP to the
                                                    Today, 60 years later, the global community
in a workshop which promoted nonviolence. UN                                                             UN DPI/NGO Conference. Being listed as del-
                                                    recognizes that without respect for human dig-
and world leaders who addressed the gathering                                                            egates and identification with Veterans for
                                                    nity and rights peace will be unachievable.
continued to urge our citizen groups to make                                                             Peace surfaced many positive comments from
unmistakable demands to our governments that        Veterans For Peace is a partner in this endeavor.
                                                                                                         other conference delegates and strengthened
human needs must be met and the waste of war           The focus of the conference was to measure        the resolve of the other 3500 delegates to work
prevented; in the words of UN Under-Secretary-      the progress the international community has         for peace. This opportunity to be an NGO in
General for Communications Shashi Tharoor, to       made in the last five years towards eradicating      the UN needs to be known and valued by our
act as the backbone and conscience of the UN.       poverty throughout the world by 2015. Poverty        membership, and they need to be urged to be
  Ellen Barfield, VFP Board Member and Head         in this context includes any form of depriva-        available for future conference participation.
VFP Representative to the UN                        tion that hinders an individual’s quality of life.
                                                                                                            Wayne Wittman, St Paul, MN



            N E W                 V F P M E R C H A N D I S E                                                           I T E M S
  VFP Anniversary T-SHIRTS                        VFP member Ed Asner’s and Wilson Powell’s books now
  20 Years of Waging Peace                       avaiable for a special discount price at the Natinal Office
  T-SHIRTS YELLOW LETTERS ON BLUE
                                                 Mayhaven Publishing announces the release of the new Ed Asner and Burt Hall Book
  XX Large              $10.00                 Misuse Of Power: how the far right gained and misuses power. A must have book
                                               for anyone interested in the who what and whys of the far right decision making inside the
  T-SHIRTS GRAY LETTERS ON RED
  Large            $10.00                      halls of power.
  X Large          $10.00                        Also published by Mayhaven is Wilson M. Powell’s and Ming-Fu Zhou’s bookTwo walk
  XX Large          $10.00
                                               the Golden Road. Neither Zhou Ming-fu nor Wilson M. Powell knew, when each trod the
   T-SHIRTS WHITE LETTERS ON GRAY              barren battlefields of Korea, that their lives would one day be entwined in a remarkable
  Medium                $10.00                 story of compassion, courage and faith.
  Large                 $10.00
                                                 Both books are now availabke at the VFP
  X Large               $10.00
                                               National Office for a special discount price. To
  XX Large              $10.00
                                               place your order, please call 314-725-6005.
  ANNIVERSARY POSTER
                                               Misuse of Power, $15.00 (regular $19.95)
  20 YEARS OF WAGING PEACE       $10.00
                                               Two Walk the Golden Road, $15.00 (regular 17.95)

                    C o m p l e m e n t a r y                          D V D
              Depleted Uranium DVD available for chapter use complements of Chapter 56.
          This 1 hour DVD, "Military Use of Depleted Uranium", is a local production suitable for
                           community access tv, or individual chapter use.                                                        Paperback: 192 pages
                                                                                                          Paperback: 320 pages
       Three chapter 56 members, a lawyer, a professor of human physiology, and a physician               Publisher:Mayhaven      Publisher: Mayhaven Pub
    assistant, discuss the important components of DU, specifically inhaled radioactive DU dust           (June 23, 2000)         (August 15, 2005)
                                                                                                          Language: English       Language: English
     from spent munitions. For further information, and your free copy, contact Peter Aronson             ISBN: 1878044826        ISBN: 1932278141
                                     aronson@humboldt1.com                                                VFP Price $15.00        VFP Price $15.00


                                                                          -17-
Sheehan continued from page 2                         to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperi-         why aren’t you here? This is the only place for
                                                      alism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you        a moral person in an immoral world.
  I don’t want him using my son’s death or my         don’t tell me my son died for freedom and
family’s sacrifice to continue the killing. I don’t                                                             It’s up to us, the people, to break immoral
                                                      democracy.’                                            laws, and resist. As soon as the leaders of a
want him to exploit the honor of my son and
others to continue the killing. They sent these          Cuz, we’re not freer. You’re taking away our        country lie to you, they have no authority over
honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable      freedoms. The Iraqi people aren’t freer, they’re       you. These maniacs have no authority over us.
themselves.                                           much worse off than before you meddled in              And they might be able to put our bodies in
                                                      their country.                                         prison, but they can’t put our spirits in prison.
   So, as many of you have heard, and I didn’t                                                               And I know that Camilo came out a much
mean to cause any problems with the conven-             You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel
                                                      out of Palestine                                       stronger person, he’s one of my heroes, it’s great
tion, but I was writing an email to everybody,                                                               a row of heroes in front of me here.
and I was so mad, like I said, and I just had this      (massive round of applause)
brainstorm, I’m going to Dallas, I don’t know                                                                   And everyone gave such great testimony this
                                                        And if you think I won’t say bullshit to the         evening, I have to wonder, why do we keep
where Crawford is. I’ve been in Texas, Casey          President, I say move on, cuz I’ll say what’s on
was stationed at Fort Hood. I drove from north-                                                              doing this to each other? Why do we let this
                                                      my mind.                                               continue time and time again, why do let it hap-
ern California to Fort Hood one time, it took
like, 30 hours. And I thought, I could be driving        So, what’s gonna happen? I started this, I          pen? And it’s because our country, is so good at
for days to get from Dallas to Crawford!              thought it was gonna be just me and my sister          demonizing people, I still have relatives from
                                                      driving to Crawford, but it kind of mushroomed         WWII that still call Japanese people Japs’. And
   But I don’t care, I’m goin’. And I’m gonna         and people from as far away as Dayton, Ohio            we demonize the Iraqi people, where, most of
tell them, “You get that evil maniac out here,        are coming, to help us, to stand behind us,            this country doesn’t even think we’re killing
cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who’s blood          because I travel all over the country, I speak, I      innocent people.
is on his hands, has some questions for him.”         write, I get feedback on my writing, and just in        Because, “Oh Cindy, don’t you remember
   And I’m gonna say, “OK, listen here, George.       the little over a year that I’ve been doing this,      what happened on September 11th?”
#1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get        I’ve seen a major turnaround in this country.
out there and say you’re going to continue the                                                                 “Yeah, but, were any of those people in Iraq?
                                                        People don’t just want to hear it, they want to      And the people who flew those planes into the
killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by con-    know, what can we do?
tinuing the mission; you say, except Casey                                                                   Trade Center, where they from Iraq?”
Sheehan.’”                                              What can we do to get him out of power? And             When I was growing up, it was Communists’.
                                                      I’m gonna say the I’ word. Impeach!                    Now it’s Terrorists’. So you always have to have
   “And you say except for all the members of
Goldstar Families for Peace’ cuz we think not           So anyway, I’m gonna go to Crawford tomor-           somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war
one drop of blood should be spilled in our fam-       row, and I’m gonna say I want to talk to him,          machine can build more bombs, guns, and bul-
ilies’ names. You quit doing that. You don’t          and they say, he’s not coming out, I’m gonna set       lets and everything.
have my permission.”                                  up my tent there until he comes out to talk to            But I do see hope. I see hope in this country.
                                                      me.                                                    58% of the American public are with us. We’re
  And I’m gonna say, “And you tell me, what
the noble cause is that my son died for.” And if        And I have the whole month of August off,            preaching to the choir, but the choir’s not
he even starts to say freedom and democracy’          just like him. It’s just the way it worked out, I      singing, if all of the 58% started singing, this
I’m gonna say, bullshit.                              was supposed to go to England tomorrow to do           war would end.
                                                      some Downing Street things, but Conyers can-             I got an email the other day and it said,
  You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son      celled, so hey, I have a lot of free time on my
died for oil. You tell me that my son died to                                                                “Cindy, if you didn’t use so much profanity
                                                      hands, and I’m gonna stay until he comes out           there’s people on the fence’ that get offended”
make your friends rich. You tell me my son died       and talks to me. And if he quits his vacation and
                                                      goes to D.C., I’ll pull my tent up, I’ll go to D.C.,     And you know what I said? “You know
                                                      and put it on the White House lawn, and I’ll be        what? You know what, god-damn-it? How, in
                                                      waiting for you guys when you get there                the world is anybody still sitting on that
                                                      September 24th.                                        fence’?”
                                                         Another thing that I’m doing is - - my son             “If you fall on the side that is pro-George, and
                                                      was killed in 2004, so I’m not paying my taxes         pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take
                                                      for 2004. If I get a letter from the IRS, I’m          the place of somebody who wants to come
                                                      gonna say, you know what, this war is illegal;         home. And if you fall on the side that is against
                                                      this is why this war is illegal. This war is           this war and against George Bush, stand up and
                                                      immoral; this is why this war is immoral. You          speak out.”
                                                      killed my son for this. I don’t owe you anything.        But whatever side you fall on, quit being on
                                                      And if I live to be a million, I won’t owe you a       the fence.
                                                      penny.                                                   The opposite of good is not evil, it’s apathy.
                                                         I live in Vacaville, come and get me if you         And we have to get this country off their butts,
                                                      can find me there and put me on trial, because         and we have to get the choir singing.
                                                      like Camilo (Mejia), Camilo knew what was                We need to say, bring our troops home now.
                                                      right. And he went to prison for that. And Henry
                                                      David Thoreau he went to prison, he refused to            I was hoping to come to the banquet tomor-
                                                      pay his poll tax, and Emerson, I call them HT          row night, but unless George comes out and
Gold Star Families marching in                        and RW, and RW came to visit HT and said               talks to me, I’ll be camping at Crawford.
Crawford.                                             what are you doing here, buddy? And HT said,             Thank you.
                         Photo by John Grant                               -18-
                                  VETERANS FOR PEACE MERCHANDISE
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20 YEARS OF WAGING PEACE $10.00           Originally printed in 1935, War Is a Racket is General Smedley Butler's frank speech describing
                                          his role as a soldier as nothing more than serving as a puppet for big-business interests.
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  Gray cap/black embroidery $18.00           With absolute clarity and unimpeachable references the author lays out the conspiracy that
  Black cap/green embroidery $18.00          is the Bush doctrine. If you love your country, please read this book.
SEW-ON PATCHES $3.50                                                                                            Patriots Stand Up, $5.00

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                                          ans who awoke to the reality of US foreign policy, changed their thinking and their lives and
BUMPER STICKERS                           became dedicated and effective resisters of war and its terrors.
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                                           Sixty-four interviews, with soldiers and Marines, plus interviews with military families make up
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                                                              -19-
                                                                  V F P      K a t r i n a                 R e l i e f                       E f f o r t
By Pat Tate                                                                          We had seen much in that first day and, with the      touched is uncountable but to summarize the opin-
                                                                                  assistance of our onboard satellite internet system,     ion of all we have met, ‘Veterans For Peace Rules’.
   The White Rose Impeachment Tour bus departed
                                                                                  we began to share our experiences with the world at                                ###
from Camp Casey in Crawford ,Texas on August
                                                                                  large. It was four days after the storm and the relief
31 with our most honored passenger Cindy
                                                                                  agencies were up and running, but folks from town
Sheehan on board. The bus crew consisted of
                                                                                  had to drive ten miles to get food, water and ice. It
Patrick Tate, Chapter 116 President, Fred Danforth,
                                                                                  sounds simple, but there was no power to run the
Associate member Chapter 116, Dennis Kyne,
                                                                                  gas pumps. The system could not adapt, that was
Chapter 101 and Gordon Soderberg, member at
                                                                                  our message.
large. We also carried around 15,000 lbs of water,
food and other supplies that were donated by Cindy                                    We issued our call for supplies and
Sheehan for Hurricane Relief out of the supplies at                               volunteers,and to make it short the rest is history.
Camp Casey.                                                                       We were discovered by Eric Weinrib, one of
                                                                                  Michael Moore’s webmasters, and we became a
   We arrived in Covington, Louisiana at about
                                                                                  project they supported. With Michael’s assistance
1:30 AM to a city without any lights. We wound
                                                                                  we were able to raise over $500,000 in donations,
our way through the streets to our associate’s home
                                                                                  over one million pounds of relief supplies, and we
and crashed until daylight. The morning brought a
                                                                                  received the donation of countless hours of volun-
scene of devastation which most of us have never
                                                                                  teer help from all over the United States, Canada
seen in this country. We drove through town and
                                                                                  and a few from other nations around the world.
arrived at a park adjoining a poor black neighbor-
hood. It was here that we set up our first ‘soup                                     We worked with a collaborative model in trying
kitchen’. We unloaded the bus started cooking food                                to manage our operation, and although there were
on a one burner stove and were immediately                                        wrinkles, we believe that it holds promise for future
swamped with locals looking for help.                                             projects. Starting out in the field presented unantic-
                                                                                  ipated challenges, but it proved doable, and we sur-
   We continued our kitchen efforts until about 5
                                                                                  vived.
p.m., when we were approached by a local police
officer who had noted that we possessed a genera-                                    I would like to take this opportunity to thank         Above: Vivian Felts of SOS wanted some
tor. She told us that the shelter located down the                                everyone within Veterans For Peace for their sup-         VFP memorabilia so Dave Cline took his
road was without power, and that our generator                                    port of this project, and to encourage all to watch       pin off and gave it to her.
would help make life more bearable for the evac-                                  for updates. We have linked with several other
                                                                                  NGO’s including, SOS After Katrina, Plenty,               Below: In Biloxi, MS it looked like noth-
uees. It did not take us long to determine that we
                                                                                  Common Ground Relief in New Orleans and                   ing had been touched since the day of
needed to move, and we were onsite within an
hour.                                                                             AIDSail in distributing the bounty that rained down       the storm.
                                                                                  upon our efforts. The number of lives that we have                              Photos by Shirley Young
                                   US Postage Paid
                 Non-Profit Org.


                                                     Permit 240
    VFP Newsletter Fall 2005


                                                       216 S. Meramec Ave.
                                                       St. Louis, MO 63105
                                                       Veterans For Peace



                                                       Fax: 314-725-7103
                                                       Tel: 314-725-6005

                                                       vfp@igc.org

				
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