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MFSO Responds to President Trump’s Comments

MFSO is horrified by President Trump’s comments about “taking the oil” in Iraq.

President Trump, January 2017, at the CIA: “The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils…we should’ve kept the oil…But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

This careless statement, which has not been retracted, endangers the lives of our troops in Iraq and the region.   ISIS has been losing ground in Iraq but this statement greatly assists ISIS’s ability to recruit, directly hurting the progress our troops have made in Iraq.
“There is nothing Trump could have said that would be more corrosive to our interests in the Middle East,” says Ryan Crocker, the distinguished former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad. And nothing that so displays the president’s ignorance of Middle East history and dynamics.

This talk of seizing oil is a clarion call to anti-U.S. forces,” Crocker told me, “because it plays to the myth that we were in Iraq to take their oil. Oil is the sacred touchstone of Iraqi sovereignty and independence. From 2003 all the way to Donald Trump we made clear that we understood that.
“Now Iraqis will believe that seizing oil is U.S. policy. Trump has made the myth come true.”

We strongly object to President Trump’s comments.  Taking the oil is against international law and a war crime. These unthinking words also damage our standing in the world.  We suggest that MFSO members write a letter to the editor or contact their Congressional members to demand that President Trump retract these comments which endanger our troops in Iraq as well as our troops stationed in the region.

References:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/additional-troops-afghanistan-john-nicholson-234844
http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/trudy_rubin/20170127_Worldview__Trump_s_lust_for_Iraq_s_oil_endangers_American_soldiers.html

Sign the Petition – End War in Afghanistan

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year.
Unbelievably, Army General John Nicholson is requesting that more troops be sent to Afghanistan to “train, advise and assist” the Afghan forces.

Military Families Speak Out is also very concerned about the increasing discussion of ground troops not only in Afghanistan but in Iraq, Syria and now in Yemen.  More troops are not the answer.  War has not worked and will not work.   Our government must now focus on diplomacy and negotiations to bring stability to these countries.

Please click here to sign the End U.S. War in Afghanistan petition directed to Donald Trump.

Highlights of this Petition:
During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent.  During those years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability.  The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops would send a signal to the world, and to the people of Afghanistan, that the time has come to try a different approach, something other than more troops and weaponry.

The United States is spending $4 million an hour on planes, drones, bombs, guns, and over-priced contractors in a country that needs food and agricultural equipment, much of which could be provided by U.S. businesses. Thus far, the United States has spent an outrageous $783 billion with virtually nothing to show for it except the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers , and the death, injury and displacement of millions of Afghans.

But the war has had a substantial impact on our security: it has endangered us.  …terrorists targeting the United States have stated their motives as including revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, along with other U.S. wars in the region.

It is important that we Speak Out by signing the End U.S. War in Afghanistan and by staying abreast of the new administration’s seemingly aggressive military direction.

Remembering Dede Miller

MFSO is heartbroken to announce the news of the passing of dedicated member, Dede Miller.  She will be greatly missed.
Dede began this life on June 16, 1958 in Inglewood Ca. Shortly thereafter her family relocated to Bellflower CA where Dede loved to play softball and music and graduated from Bellflower High School in the class of 1976.

For 25 years, Dede worked at the Bellflower Kmart as Human Resources manager until she quit to work full-time for the peace and social justice movement after her nephew Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.Dede will be remembered for her quick sense of humor and zest for life. She traveled the world with sister Cindy in her quest for peace and remarked “I’ve had a wonderful life” shortly before her transition.

Dede will be missed by many, but especially by those family members that survive her: sister Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville CA; brother Scott Miller of Bellflower CA; brother-in-law Patrick Sheehan of Fairfield CA; niece Carly Sheehan of Novato CA; nephew Andy Sheehan and niece Jane Henry both of Vacaville. In the final two years of her life, Dede found great joy and comfort in her great nieces and nephews: Jonah, Jovie, Jackson, Jillian Henry; and Cohen Sheehan, all of Vacaville. The friends and people she had a positive influence on and touched profoundly in her too short life are too numerous to list.

Dede was in home hospice care for her last days and was surrounded by love, peace, and her beloved family at all times.

Dede loved animals and when she needed a distraction from the cancer “treatments” and pain, she spent many hours watching the antics of the Lone Star Dog Rescue Ranch.
In lieu of flowers, we request that you make a donation there in Dede’s memory.
online donation
or address:
Highlights info row image (972) 924-4800

President Obama Issues Condolence Letter

Military Families Speak Out’s (MFSO) last meeting at the White House was August 27th 2015.  We discussed ending our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the high rate of military suicides and VA care. The very next morning we learned that Tyler Westbrook, son of WV MFSO representative, Marcia Westbrook, completed suicide at his home. Tyler was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.

We immediately informed our WH contact who was very sympathetic stating that a request would be made for a letter of condolence from the President.

A few days later, our contact informed us that this letter would not be sent because Tyler died “stateside”.  We were informed that it is the policy of the Department of Defense that only active service members who die by suicide while deployed can be sent a letter of condolence from the President.

How can such a distinction be made?  It is an obviously offensive and ill-conceived policy that is very painful to the families. This policy reinforces the stigma attached to suicide making these families feel less than, that their loved one’s service was unimportant and their sacrifice not respected.

MFSO diligently worked with our White House contact requesting the Defense Department’s policy be changed so that the President could send a condolence letter to the family.

After 16 months, to our surprise and with tears of joy and sadness, Marcia Westbrook received a signed letter of condolence from President Obama.

Thank you President Obama.

We don’t yet know if the Department of Defense changed its policy or if President Obama signed this letter because he agrees the policy is ridiculous and hurtful, causing more pain. We are in touch with the White House hoping to learn that the Department of Defense changed this awful policy so that every family whose military member dies by suicide is entitled to receive a presidential condolence letter.