Time for the Peace Movement to Step Up Activities

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redcrossby Bob Hanafin, Staff Writer

An unlikely alliance between U.S. Congressional representatives and the pro-peace movement are calling for an increase in activities to expose torture and end the war economy that is sucking America dryer than a Texas oil well. True Majority and Voters for Peace have noted that continuing news on foreign policy is bad on many fronts. It is time for the peace movement to step up its activities throughout the country.

Members of Congress are noting that in the last week, two of our most senior generals with command of our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have said they oppose the use of torture or so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques. These same generals also confirm that the use of these techniques has damaged our international reputation while producing no actionable intelligence.

     Step up efforts to end the wars AND Declaring War on Torture

The U.S. passed the 5,000th death of a U.S. service member in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This sad milestone is the tip of the iceberg of the dire effects of these wars – mass deaths and maiming of civilians, millions forced to flee their homes described as "an exodus that is beyond biblical." Wars are raging.

gntapaaIndeed, the deadline for U.S. troops to leave Iraqi cities has passed. To meet the deadline Iraq needed to redraw city boundaries. So, the troops didn’t move but they are no longer within city limits. General Casey, the Army chief of staff, said the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars – up to ten more years in Iraq. And, a new report from the Pentagon indicated that there were now 250,000 private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is fair to call these people mercenaries since they do the jobs that service members did in Vietnam and other wars. When the mercenaries are added to the active duty troops it totals nearly 450,000 military personnel in the Iraq and Af/Pak wars. And, to top off the hawkish news, on Monday President Obama appointed Rep. John McHugh, who has been in Congress since 1993 and is the senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. McHugh, an advocate for military spending and a supporter of both wars, comes on top of the appointment of General McChrystal to head the Afghanistan War – a general whose commands have been tied to torture and abuse of prisoners.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bob Hanafin is Retired U.S. Air Force. He is a Staff Writer and Member of the VT Editorial Board of Directors.

 

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.