Veterans for Peace Lights the Way

VFP LIGHTS THE WAY

by Mike Ferner

September 6, 2008

Minneapolis – With the Republican Convention following hard on their annual meeting in this city, Veterans For Peace adopted two resolutions last week effectively firing signal flares into the path of whoever wins this November’s election, regardless of party.

The first was a resolution on Afghanistan, submitted by VFP president, Elliott Adams, which is likely to become a guidepost for a peace movement now almost exclusively concentrating on Iraq. 

Some 400 members and supporters from every part of the country unanimously endorsed a statement recognizing that when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan “…the only threats to our nation existing there were non-indigenous groups whom we ourselves had fostered and fed,” and that “our wanton use of force and violence against the people of Afghanistan has inflamed world opinion against the United States and has diminished our nation’s ability to work toward world peace and our own security by non-violent means.”

The resolution called for the immediate withdrawal of all military and intelligence forces, similar to what most of the peace movement demands in Iraq.  More significantly, however, VFP “renounces the claim that the war in Afghanistan is somehow the ‘right’ war and reaffirms our position that war must be abolished.”

A second resolution put VFP squarely in the front rank of a burgeoning movement to prosecute Bush, Cheney and other administration officials for committing crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes related to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  The statement was particularly timely, coming two weeks before a conference convenes in Andover, Massachusetts to examine that very question. 

The resolution calling for the prosecution of Bush et al, with references, is reproduced below.   

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Resolution on Prosecuting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration Officials for

War Crimes, Crimes Against Peace and Crimes Against Humanity

Whereas, the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was not only immoral but illegal, violating numerous U.S. and international laws, including but not limited to USC 2441 (War Crimes Act of 1996), the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, the U.N. Charter and Resolutions, the Laws and Customs of War on Land and;

Whereas, the Veterans For Peace “Case for Impeachment” details six pages of violations of the above laws and is still but a partial listing, and;

Whereas, the spineless dereliction of duty of the U.S. Congress may well allow Bush, Cheney and other administration officials to avoid impeachment before they leave office in January of 2009, and;

Whereas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Robert Jackson, appointed by President Truman to be the Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunals following World War II, stated so prophetically, “…let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.” and;

Whereas, the anguished cry of a village sheik in Iraq must be answered when he implored, “You say you live in a democracy.  How can this be happening to us?” and; 

Whereas, as citizens of the United States we are complicit in the crimes of the Bush administration in Iraq because we cannot claim ignorance of these crimes, and;

Whereas, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of history, and to absolve even a small measure of the complicity we each share as U.S. citizens, we must do everything in our power to hold our leaders accountable and bring them to justice;

Therefore be it resolved that Veterans For Peace will take every appropriate measure on our own and in coalition with others 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.

The Veterans For Peace convention concluded in Minneapolis the day before the Republicans’ began.  Many VFP members extended their stay to participate in protests.

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Mike Ferner is the author of “Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq,” Greenwood 2006.  Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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