Inventory for peace

Perhaps it is time for an inventory of my own peace organization, the Veterans For Peace? I take inventories of a personal nature regularly and usually have revelations that I did not expect or even want . Veterans For Peace is currently being led by two good and honest white men (I live in a society of shades of brown now) of my generation, Elliot Adams and Mike Ferner, fellow Vietnam vets. I have spent a good deal of time with both and hope that we are still friends despite differences. I moderated a workshop on accountability and impeachment at the Dallas convention back in 2004 with Mike as my panelist along with Cindy and Hadi Jawad who ran the Crawford Peace House. I have also spent time with Elliot at conventions and in California. Both are good guys with the best of intentions.

In my opinion we need a change of tactics and leadership. My assessment is that the Veterans For Peace need to address the root causes and full costs of the wars first and not get caught up in the symptoms. Peace depends on justice. I think that as an organization advocating change that we need to be the change we advocate and make every effort to place women in leadership roles now, both nationally and in chapters. This has been my latest topic of discussion with the Catholic clergy that I live and work with here in the Philippines as Father Roy is on my mind (third story this link).

Empowering women is the challenge here as it will likely do more to stabilize population growth than a billion condoms. That has been proven in Catholic societies from Italy to Spain.

Here in the Philippines there are two insurgencies raging over the injustices and recently a new President has committed real resources to change.

(along with VFP member Filipino/American Father Flynn I will try to provide the squatters training and infrastructure/preparation) We might have a better chance in the USA of addressing the injustices if the wars were raging on our soil instead of in the oil regions of the Middle East.

The leadership of Veterans For Peace will not even acknowledge the extraordinary statements of President Obama that Palestinian statehood should begin with the 1967 territory. His Memorial Day speech was A Prayer for Peace but again no praise from VFP! No comments of support from VFP, only the usual anti Obama (o bomba) rants on the listserves. One of the first things we could learn is to praise the things that are done right before we take issue with what is not done.

More can be done on this topic if there is the right leadership:

It could well be the national organizing effort that would bind together every community that is impoverished by the wars!

The current Democratic Party Veteran Caucus Chairman is former Vice President of IVAW Los Angeles. He worked with me to get the buildings for the homeless in LA at the VAMC WLA. I have included correspondence from Rick below this missive. He would have been a good staffer or Executive Director. He would have thought to praise Obama for the right remarks about Palestinian statehood boundaries.

In solidarity and comradeship,


ps, maybe we should just work with Rick:

From: "" To: Ricardo Reyes Sent: Sun, May 22, 2011 5:00:00 PM Subject: Dear Veteran's Caucus Member Dear Veteran's Caucus Member, Thank you for electing me as your new Chair of the Veteran's Caucus. I appreciate your interest and look forward to working with you on the issues that concern us and hope that together we can accomplish many goals in the future. Please consider this the first of a series of regular emails about Caucus interests and activities. The Veteran's Caucus of the California Democratic Party salutes all of our Veterans who have sacrificed their time, health, families, and for some, their lives. We honor these men and women with our continued involvement and service to our community. The Veteran's Caucus of the California Democratic Party shall study the challenges facing our veterans and military families and make policy recommendations to our State and Federal Representatives. With your participation we can effectively advocate on behalf of veterans and service members and coordinate statewide efforts on issues affecting active, reserve, National Guard military service members, retirees, veterans and their families. It is vital for us to come together to assist our government in developing strategies that will support all who have served, especially during the difficult economic times we are currently experiencing. Your involvement is crucial to the success of the Veteran's Caucus' efforts. I thank you for your participation and look forward to the road ahead. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at (323) 867-1004 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (323) 867-1004 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or at Ricardo Reyes, Chair Veteran's Caucus of the California Democratic Party

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