What qualities will win Congressional elections in 2010

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A while back we showcased the only political candidate found to possess the courage, independence, foresight, and reality to break from the political party establishment and tell voters where he stands on issues important to Veterans and Military families. That was candidate Bob Krause running for the U.S. Senate in Iowa.

I’ve run across another candidate running for national office who has the qualities progressive voters who happen to be Veterans and Military families need be looking for that is someone who has the courage to take a stand on our behalf that goes against the political party establishment even if he/she is forced to run on that parties ticket.

A fellow military retiree is running for the U.S. Congress from the state of Florida, 1st District, Jim Bryan, MSG, U.S. Army-Retired, and if I were a resident of his district Jim would have my support and vote, because Jim has the qualities I’m looking for in a political candidate when I’m almost ready to sit this election out. What qualities are you looking for that will get you to the polls in 2010?

Robert L. Hanafin

Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired

Staff Writer

VT Military Veteran

And Foreign Affairs Journal

Taking a Strong Independent Stand on a Smart Defense, Iraq, and Afghanistan Jim Bryan to Congress 2010 – Florida’s 1st District

“Only when we have cleaned our own house will the U.S. begin to regain its status around the world.” Jim Bryan, MSG, U.S. Army-Retired.

In order to clean house we must:

– rebuild our military and use it ethically

– repudiate the Bush doctrine of preemptive war

– stop all use of torture

– reaffirm habeas corpus and the right to a speedy trial as fundamental human rights

– dismantle our programs of domestic spying

– return to the rule of law

– Make ours once again a government of, by, and for the people – not a government of, by, and for the corporations.

Please join me in what I see as a battle for the very soul of our nation.

Respectfully, Jim Bryan

1st Congressional District Florida

Jim’s Priorities are My Priorities

– Bringing our troops home from Iraq without endangering them

– A strong military sent to war only when truly required for the national defense

– Fair and honorable treatment of our veterans

– Swift, impartial justice for all of our citizens

– Restoration of the civil liberties that have been usurped since 2001

Jim’s STAND on Iraq and Afghanistan

Jim Ryan in Vietnam
Jim Ryan in Viet Nam

“I believe that America must disengage in Iraq as swiftly as possible without endangering our troops. Our military must then be rebuilt and brought back up to a high level of fighting efficiency so it is available for America’s defense in clearly justifiable, unavoidable fights. In spite of the valiant efforts of our American troops, the simple reality is that our unilateral, preemptive invasion of Iraq has: (1) exacted a dreadful toll in American lives; (2) undermined America’s security; (3) seriously damaged America’s economy; and (4) cost the lives of an appalling number of Iraqi civilians.” Jim Bryan, 2010

Toll on the Military

Impact on the Economy

This caught my eye about Jim also. He is the second political candidate of any party to progressively connect the dots between the billions wasted on the war(s) and the meltdown of the U.S. Economy.

Cost in Civilian Causalities

Basis in Myth & Misplaced Idealism

Prognosis for Iraq

Questionable Military Actions

As a member of the U.S. Congress, which was intended by the founding fathers to be America’s policy-making body, Jim will do more than vote against questionable military actions. He will actively and vigorously campaign against them, which he feels is an absolute responsibility.

Jim’s Stand on a Strong but Smart National Defense

“The first question I asked myself for I too am a believer in strong but smart defense is what about Defense budgets. We’ve been seeing the defense budget skyrocket even under the Obama administration and Democrats. Where does Jim stand on defense budgets?” Bobby Hanafin

Where Jim STANDS on National Defense and Peace Initiatives

“National security is vital. A strong military is vital. As a professional soldier, I was an expert on weapons of every caliber that the Army possessed, from 8-inch to 5.56 mm (.22 inch). If they called me again, I would go.” Jim Bryan, 2010

Army K-9 Working DogsAs I hope I made clear in my statement on the Iraq War, I have nothing but admiration for the valiant women and men who have carried out their orders in that rugged duty. But I hope I also made it clear that the Iraq War, like the Vietnam War, is dissipating our strength in a war that has little to do with our security.

In Congress I will vote and campaign not to use brave young Americans to chase down thugs — especially just because we are mad about something that has nothing to do with the thug. There are too many thugs in the world. More importantly, experience has shown that armed force is the least effective way of replacing them.

A council of Christian scholars with field experience in risky places like Colombia, Central America and East Germany (before the wall fell) composed a set of practices called “Just [as in justice] Peacemaking.” The practices range from direct action, as with Dr. King and Gandhi, to independent initiatives, to conflict resolution, and more. Do not think that nonviolent peacemaking is “being nice,” that it is the safe and easy way. Far from it! Peacemakers are soldiers just as I was, and they risk their lives. Their groups take casualties just like the Infantry.

I have a solid knowledge of how the military operates at ground level — what military technology can do in the hands of a soldier, how a military unit operates, and what makes or breaks its efficiency and morale. My knowledge of military strategy and foreign policy — my understanding of why, when and how to use America’s military power — stems mostly from other sources, however. Chief among those are my personal commitment to justice and freedom, to the principle that peace can be achieved, and to my conviction that violence is an absolute last resort in true national defense. I understand all too well that wars like Vietnam and Iraq bleed us of money and other resources, kill our young men and women, and diminish America’s ideals and values, which are our true strength.

On Afghanistan

Effective diplomacy and effective world leadership both rest on solid moral and ethical foundations. We hear of more Americans being killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Do you remember that America helped the Mujahedeen, the good guys who drove the bad Russians from Afghanistan? Do you remember that America promised aid to develop the country? Unfortunately, we later reneged on that promise, which created a vacuum that the Taliban filled. Our own promise-breaking sowed the seeds for further disaster and strife.

Where Jim STANDS on America’s Veterans

“American veterans, particularly those returning from combat with physical and psychological wounds, should not have to worry about getting the full financial and medical benefits they [earned and were] promised by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the VA). Nor should they have to wait for weeks or months for treatment, be cared for in substandard facilities, or be subjected to lengthy claims processing delays and errors at the hands of an underfunded, ineffective bureaucracy.” Jim Bryan, 2010

Jim Bryan’s Pledge to America’s Veterans

Jim Bryan Florida Congressional Candidate
Jim making dedication at Army K-9 Recognition

Veterans’ issues should matter to all Americans, not just to veterans, for two main reasons. First, how we treat our veterans directly affects both military morale and enlistment. That makes veterans’ affairs a national security issue. Second, if the government shirks its obligation to those who have served our country, it violates our basic tenets of governmental fairness and integrity — and the failure to live up to those principles in one segment of our population is likely to spread like cancer to other groups.

I will take with me to the Congress the combat wounds that caused me to retire at 20 years, and I am going to take a sharp interest in veterans’ matters whether or not I am appointed to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. I will honor the service given by thousands of members and veterans of the armed forces in District 1, and I will fight hard to see that all American veterans are treated right.

A Crisis from Walter Reed to Veterans’ Healthcare

Issues of Just Payment – Disabled Veterans Tax or Concurrent Receipt

What qualities will win Congressional elections in 2010

Bob Krause running for the U.S. Senate in Iowa and Jim Bryan running for Congress in Florida has the qualities that will win elections in 2010. Do you know of any other candidates who have such qualifications?

Robert L. Hanafin

VT

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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.