Category Archives: Position Statements

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This careless statement, which has not been retracted, endangers the lives of our troops in Iraq and the region.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

MFSO Continues Work, Despite Uncertain Times

Military Families Speak Out members are concerned after the Presidential election. There is great uncertainty around a Trump presidency and what it will mean for military members, veterans, and their families.

Our nonpartisan group is concerned about the endless wars that the United States has involved our military.  President Obama and numerous military officials have repeatedly stated there is no military solution in the Middle East and surrounding area, yet war has been the government’s main response. Military statements by President-Elect Trump are often vague, contradictory or unknown. A review of the individuals being considered for cabinet positions indicate an increased militaristic approach.

MFSO continues to call for: No U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and now Yemen. MFSO and the whole peace movement must stand strong against policies that call for more violence and war.

We call for continued efforts for diplomacy and humanitarian aid. In addition, we know that xenophobic rhetoric & hate speech only exacerbates the situation and sends a false message that  we are at war with Islam, which in turn only leads to more hatred from civilians in the Middle East who are mostly Muslim. It also gives ISIS the propaganda they need to continue attracting more anti-American recruits.

We have so many concerns. We need to be bold. We are extending an invitation to all members to get re-involved in the work of MFSO and reach out to other like-minded military families. There are many ways to get involved. We need help from every member if we are to end these wars once and for all.  Please reach out to other military families who are currently in the military – they need support and have a story to tell!

MFSO continues to call for quality health and mental health care for veterans and military families within the Veterans Administration. No privatization of the VA. We continue to demand education, jobs, housing, and other services for veterans. As always, we support the troops, want them home now and work hard to take care of them while abroad and when they return home.  MFSO is a 501c3 non-profit and does not endorse any political candidate. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion or gender. Please consider a tax deductible donation at this time.

More Troops Sent To Iraq

President Obama is sending an additional 600 U.S. troops to Iraq to assist in the upcoming battle to drive the Islamic State from the city of Mosul.  This brings the “official” number of U.S. troops to 5,000.  But the Pentagon has repeatedly admitted to having over 6,000 troops in Iraq before this announcement.   The Pentagon states that open-end deployments are not part of the official count.
The troops will be stationed close to the fight at Qayyarah West airfield.  They will train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.  Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the task force, already has authority to place U.S. advisers with the attacking force at the battalion level, in other words, involved in direct combat.
The Pentagon also expects ISIS fighters to use chemical weapons to defend Mosul.  Once again our military men and women will be put in harm’s way for a war that has no military solution.   So why is military force our continued response?   Again, there is no plan on what happens after Mosul is reclaimed.  Who will govern and rebuild Mosul?  How will the real grievances of the Iraqi people be addressed?  Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes in Iraq?

We need to stop this endless cycle of military intervention.  All U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Our government should commit its money, time and efforts in support of dedicated diplomacy creating a solid foundation for a more stable Middle East.

Please add your name to UFPJ’s appeal to the President and demand that he immediately withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan and commit to regional diplomacy that begins to build a solid foundation for a nuclear and weapons-of-mass-destruction free Middle East.

References:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/09/28/us-sending-600-more-troops-to-iraq-to-bolster-drive-on-mosul.html
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/u-s-sends-troops-iraq-help-retake-mosul-militants/
http://news.antiwar.com/2016/08/05/more-us-troops-headed-to-iraq-will-deploy-near-mosul/

First American Killed in 4 Years in Ground Combat in Iraq

We are very sad to hear that that since the recent influx of troops and airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the first US soldier was killed today. This soldier’s is the first American to die in combat in Iraq in four years. And so another American has died in this administrations futile attempt to stabilize a country that we never should have attacked in the first place.

Before more troops and airstrikes were sent to Iraq last year, MFSO warned this administration that if more troops were killed in Iraq, it would likely cause us to slide down that “slippery slope” of deepening our involvement in Iraq. And although Press Secretary Peter Cook called the raid “unique” and said, “US forces are not in an active combat mission in Iraq”, they actually are in combat and we believe this could be the beginning of further involvement. This brings the total of US troops that have been killed in Iraq to 4,494.

Sadly, all this comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent announcement, one we had all been dreading, that he was extending American troops presence in Afghanistan- a decision that looks more and more like we will have our troops there beyond the Obama administration. Please take a moment to read MFSO member Larry Seyverson’s interview, which he conducted  the day after Pres. Obama’s announcement. Larry speaks for all of us when he describes how military families feel about keeping our troops  in Afghanistan and he expresses our despair of being dragged deeper and ever closer into “endless wars”.