For Immediate Release
Mike Ferner 419-729-7273
Michael T. McPhearson 314-303-8874
Veteran Organization: 'More Soldiers Will Only Lead to More Death; Not Stability and Peace'
NATIONWIDE - U.S. troops continue to occupy Iraq with no clear plan to bring them home. Tuesday, February 17th, President Obama ordered 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to join the 37,000 already there. He also ordered a review of U.S. policies in the region. The President has been quoted by prominent news outlets as saying in various ways that it will take more than military force to solve the problems of Afghanistan.
This past January saw 24 Army suicides, the highest monthly total since the Army began keeping count. Suicides rose in the Army for the fourth year in a row in 2008 at 128. Multiple tours and the stress and strain of military life is a major contributor to these tragedies.
Mike Ferner, Veterans For Peace National President stated, "Deploying more troops guarantees there is no relief in sight. As the U.S. continues to fight two wars, the suicides will continue. We are asking our members to call the White House and Congress to tell them more soldiers will only lead to more death; not stability and peace."
Veterans For Peace Executive Director Michael McPhearson stated, "It is clear that the White House has not developed a plan and is relying on military power to solve the problem. And while the big wigs in DC are trying to figure out what to do, more troops and Afghanis will die. It is time for the cycle of violence to end."
Veterans For Peace passed a resolution in August 2008 calling for: The government of the United States to immediately withdraw all military and intelligence forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They call for the government of the United States to provide humanitarian aid directly to the people of Afghanistan, in non-coercive forms, to help the Afghan people 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 US.
Veterans For Peace also renounces the claim that the war in Afghanistan is somehow the "right" war and reaffirm their position that war must be abolished.
McPhearson went to say, "After people call their elected leaders they should talk to their neighbors, family and friends. We need to persuade the public that there is a better way than war. That more war in Afghanistan will not solve the problems there and that we can be part of a peaceful and just world."
Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. 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.