The Steering Committee invites you to join us at the upcoming Veterans for Peace Convention in Chicago this August 10-13. In addition to applying for a workshop, and tabling at the convention, we are planning a mixer for military families on Saturday at the convention. We hope you will join us for lunch so that you can meet and greet the new leadership in MFSO, give input into our organizations future and focus and learn more about MFSO and how MFSO can support you.
This year’s VFP theme is “Education not Militarization”. We are also seeking members who are willing to tell their story about how their loved one was recruited and share their thoughts on what information every parent or family member should know so their loved ones make informed choices about enlisting in the military. Please give us a call if you are interested.
We look forward to visiting with all of you who are able to make the convention this summer.
Veterans for Peace Convention Planners
Marcia Westbrook, Mother of 3 Sons and Gold Star Mother of Tyler Westbrook
Pat Alviso, Mother of active duty Marine
Tina Lopez, Army Aunt
Mary Hladky, Mother of Army veteran
Ed Garza, Veteran and Navy Uncle
Military Families Speak Out grieves for the Syrian families who lost loved ones or were injured in the recent Syrian chemical attack. We know this pain. We know war, violence and destruction are not the answer to the world’s problems. We have grave concerns over our military’s deepening involvement in Syria as well as Iraq, and Yemen. We continually rely on military intervention when we have been told multiple times, that there is no military solution to the problems in the Middle East, and the region. We need determined diplomacy to reach a political solution in Syria and the region. We must increase humanitarian aid.
MFSO is a member group of United for Peace & Justice and we support their message, below:
“Once again, the United States is sliding towards a wider war in the Middle East. Only two days after the first allegations of the use of chemical weapons against a village in Syria, the United States has attacked an air base in Syria with more than fifty sea launched cruise missiles. With both Russian and U.S. forces on the ground and in the air in Syria, the risk of a wider war is real.
Both the United Nations Charter and the Chemical Weapons Convention provide means for international investigation and sanction of the use of prohibited weapons. Unilateral use of military force in these circumstances by the United States, which has not been attacked and is not in imminent danger of attack, is unlawful.”
Call the White House 202-456-1111 and your Senators and Congressional Representatives 202-224-3121 and tell them that military action only increases the dangers and intensifies the humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
Please Call Today – it takes just a few minutes. Remember to identify yourself as someone who has a loved one in the military.
These calls are logged and counted by the White House and by members of Congress – MFSO voices matter and, if we are persistent, can affect votes.
Then let’s hit the streets and Say NO To U.S. Military Intervention in Syria!! YES to diplomacy!
Go to www.unitedforpeace.org and www.veteransforpeace.org to find a demonstration in your community or work with others to organize a demonstration and post. Send details to MFSO@mfso.org so we can post it on our website and Facebook page.
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.
Military Families Speak Out opposes the nomination by Donald Trump of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Mattis retired from the military in 2013. That means Congress needed to waive rules that require defense secretaries to be civilians for seven or more years after leaving the military to ensure civilian control over the armed forces. The Senate has already voted to waive that requirement. Civilian control of our military is fundamental to American democracy.
Donald Trump introduced General Mattis by the nickname “Mad Dog” as if this is someone “cool,” someone to be revered. According to journalist Dahr Jamail, over his career Mattis has shown “callous disregard for human life, particularly civilians, as evidenced by his behavior leading Marines in Iraq and comments he made about enjoying fighting in Afghanistan because ‘it’s fun to shoot some people. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot.’.” (James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand. Truthout. December 6, 2016, D. Jamail)
“Mad Dog” was a name Mattis received after the 2004 battles of Fallujah in Iraq. More than 5700 civilians were killed. More than 100 U.S. troops died. At that time, white phosphorous, a weapon which, like napalm, burns all the way down to the bone was used. Its use is a violation of international law, as it was used in a city with thousands of civilians. So many U.S. service members who participated in the battles of Fallujah still reel from physical and moral injuries.
In a speech in 2003 Mattis spoke to soldiers about how to behave in Iraq. He said, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” The consequences for this hideous attitude have been drastic –widespread hatred toward our service members, hatred toward America – and moral injury for our soldiers and Marines.
Under General Mattis’s authority in 2005 US Marines massacred 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Many members of Military Families Speak Out remember these battles personally because it impacted our own families or families of friends and neighbors. Many of us in MFSO remember when our loved ones were trained or were under the command of General Mattis and deeply resent his cavalier attitude.
Our troops deserve moral leadership. We call on MFSO members and friends to call your Senator today to tell them to oppose the nomination of James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. 202-224-2131.
Spread the word!