For Immediate Release
VFP Calls for U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan and the Prosecution of Dick Cheney and George Bush for Crimes Against Humanity
Nationwide - Veterans For Peace held its
Annual National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota days before the start
of the Republican Convention. Over 400 veterans, military family
members and friends ranging from World War II to the current conflict
in Iraq gathered for workshops, discussions, inspirational speakers and
entertainment. Topics covered included Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium,
outreach to military personnel, PTSD and healing from war, military
sexual assault and others. Keynote speakers for the four day conference
were Father Roy Bourgeois, a Catholic priest and founder of the School
of Americas Watch; former Marine and chief United Nations Special
Commission (UNSCOM) Inspector in Iraq 1991-1998, Scott Ritter; Iraq War
Gold Star parent and former Minnesota State Senator Becky Lourey; the
author of the best seller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most
Powerful Mercenary Army," Jeremy Scahill; and West Point graduate James
Yee, former Muslim Chaplin for the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay.
Veterans For Peace also passed sixteen resolutions taking stands on
topics ranging from increasing VFP commitment to greening the annual
convention, working to authorizing the creation of Veterans For Peace
Incarcerated Chapters to assisting disabled military personnel and
veterans. Three resolutions in particular stand out.
Veterans For Peace is calling for changes in military law and other
appropriate regulations so that military personnel can declare
themselves Conscientious Objectors to specific wars based on a
religious, moral, or legal basis. Current law calls for the objection
to all wars to qualify for CO status.
The group is calling for the government of the United States to
immediately withdraw all military and intelligence forces from
Afghanistan and Pakistan. This same resolution calls for the U.S.
government to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, in
non-coercive forms, to help them rebuild their own nation and their
lives in cooperation with other nations in the region; and to allow the
people of Afghanistan to freely determine their own government without
interference by the U.S.
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Continuing with their efforts to impeach President Bush Jr. and Vice
President Cheney, VFP has pledged to take every appropriate measure to
insure that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and responsible members of
their administration are prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against
peace and crimes against humanity before any court claiming
jurisdiction in this country or abroad, for as long as they shall live.
Commenting on these resolutions, VFP Executive Director Michael
McPhearson said, "These three statements from our membership represent
many of the core values of our organization. We believe that service
members have the right to re-evaluate their decision to kill and change
their mind. We know that after all the killing is done the individual
soldiers must live with themselves and make sense of what they have
done. We believe that our political leaders must be held accountable
for their actions. This is a critical to a healthy and functional
democracy. We realize that to survive the challenges we face today,
like global warming, we must find ways to work together and war is not
To read full text of the resolutions please visit http://www.veteransforpeace.
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Founded in 1985, Veterans For Peace is a national organization of men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations spanning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts cold or hot. It has chapters in nearly every state in the union and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary. Veterans For Peace is an official Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) represented at the U.N.