Veterans For Peace in DC Monday and Tuesday    

VFP:  1404 N. Broadway St. Louis 63102   (314) 725-6005

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 29, 2017

Contacts:

Susan Schnall, susanschnall@gmail.com, 917-620-0189

Michael McPhearson, mcphearson@veteransforpeace.org,

973-666-4605

Barry Ladendorf, bladendorf@veteransforpeace.org, 619-997-2772

Veterans Oppose Trump Policies, Wars; Rally at Lincoln Memorial; March to White House

 

On Tuesday, May 30, at 11:00 am, veterans and supporters will mass at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers include Veterans For Peace President Barry Ladendorf, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Chris Hedges, Jonathan Hutto, Brian Becker, Col. Ann Wright, Mara Verhayden Hilliard, Michael McPhearson, Matt Hoh, and Ray McGovern. Music will be provided by Lyla June Johnston, Pat Scanlon, Ariel Zevon, and the Fugs, who will lead an attempt to exorcise the White House as they did 50 years ago.

“Donald Trump and company are hell-bent on destroying what’s left of our democracy, the environment, and whatever chance we have of world peace. Veterans will not be silent while he does it,” says Matt Hoh, former Marine Captain (two tours in Iraq) and State Department official, who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals.

Veterans For Peace President Barry Ladendorf has sent a letter to President Trump requesting a meeting to discuss military policy and to refocus spending on peace and issues at home. The letter said, in part:

“We speak for the majority of U.S. citizens, who believe your policies are taking innocent lives and endangering more of our young soldiers, who have already given so much in the needless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now you have sent more Marines into Syria. Your policies are also causing suffering and despair among immigrants, Muslims, communities of color, women, Native Americans, and LGBTQ communities, and if implemented, these policies will further destroy the environment. Ultimately, they make all of us considerably less secure.”

After the rally, veterans and allies will march down Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues to the White House, where they will present a list of ten demands for peace at home and abroad.

On the Day Before, (Memorial Day, May 29) Veterans For Peace will gather for a solemn and respectful occasion to deliver letters at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and to remember all combatants** and civilians who died in Vietnam and all wars. We will mourn the tragic and preventable loss of life calling for people to abolish war in the name of those who have died and for the sake of all those who live today. The Swords to Plowshares Memorial Bell Tower has been set up within sight of the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Bell Tower has been visited by thousands as it has traveled around the country.

** Ray’s letter to a college friend, Capt. Edward Krukowski, USAF, shot down over Cambodia on October 24, 1964, is copy/pasted in below.

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Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members and allies; accepting veteran members from all branches of service. Our networks are made up of over 120 chapters across the United States and abroad. We are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.

www.veteransforpeace.org

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** Letter to Ed Krukowski

May 27, 2017

 

Dear Ed,

 

This week, as Memorial Day draws near, I was writing an article about the 34 sailors of the USS Liberty who were deliberately killed by fire from Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats off the Sinai 50 years ago.  My eye caught a name on a rubbing I made many years ago from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall: “Edward S. Krukowski.”

 

What fun we had at Fordham studying Russian together.  Remember how our Moscovite Russian teacher, Mrs. Lindsay, used to yell at us when we acted up – and our uproarious laughter as she kept repeating: “What are you laughing?  Who are you laughing?  This is nothing to laugh!”  (I’m glad no one broke our mutual pledge never to let her know that in English, “laugh” normally requires a preposition.)

 

Your heritage is Ukrainian, if memory serves, and I have been thinking about that amid the hostilities in Ukraine.  I do hope that whatever extended family you have there is safe.

 

You were in the Air Force ROTC, while I was in the Army ROTC.  You graduated and were commissioned in 1960, a year before I was.  Just a few years later I vividly remember reading the sad notice:

“Capt. Edward Krukowski, USAF, was flying a C-123 on a resupply mission in Vietnam when shot down on Oct. 24, 1964, six days short of his 26th birthday, leaving a wife and three small children.”

 

I remember weeping with your widow and three small children at your wake, funeral, and burial in Arlington cemetery.  You had planned for the worst, leaving a request to be buried within view of the grave of President John F. Kennedy, whom we both admired so much.  That’s where your body lies today; it’s a direct-line view.  They tucked your tombstone onto the end of a row with that view.

 

It is a good place to sit and think – with you at my back and President Kennedy in front.  What Kennedy knew, but you didn’t, is that a year before you and your crew were killed, he had ordered a phased withdrawal of almost all U.S. troops from Vietnam.  Many believe – including me – that this is one of the reasons he was assassinated.

 

On Memorial Day a few years ago, I wrote about you, and the article caught the attention of your son, Ed, the dentist in Florida.  That put him in touch with me; it was a blessing to have a new, Ed Krukowski as a tangible reminder of my college buddy Ed – you.

 

In just two days, this year’s Memorial Day (May 29) falls on President Kennedy’s 100th birthday:

 

‘Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.’

 

ПОКОЙСЯ С МИРОМ! до скорого, 

Your old friend,

Ray

Europe May Finally Rethink NATO Costs

By Ray McGovern, May 27, 2017

 

Europe May Finally Rethink NATO Costs

This speculative article suggests that, eventually, the dunning of NATO nations to chip more money into the military alliance may inadvertently cause some Europeans to rethink the over-the-top anti-Russian propaganda and the need for all that money for the arms makers and arms dealers.

 

Ray wrote this piece after the curtain went down on the official blessing by self-important leaders of NATO of its spanking new $1.1 billion palatial headquarters in Brussels.  A more appropriate use, in Ray’s view, would be to shelter some of the refugees from wars, fought/endorsed by NATO that create such massive uprooting and pain.  But that should be obvious, no?  Not, apparently, to Europe’s “one percent.”

Memorial Day Reflections 

Mark Thomas of WBT Radio (Charlotte, NC) asked Ray to tell the story of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 during the Six-Day War.  In his intro, Thomas spoke of the U.S. sailors “lost” that day.

 

Ray cannot abide the words “lost” or “fallen” when applied, as in this case, to murder.  The 34 were not “lost;” they were killed, and 170-plus others were wounded – deliberately.  Intercepted messages leave no doubt that the Israeli authorities were fully aware the Liberty was a U.S. naval ship in international waters, and that their aim was to sink it and leave no survivors.  That was thwarted by the courageous action of seaman from Texas, Terry Halbardier, who skated across a napalm-laden deck to enable an SOS to the 6th Fleet – at which point the Israeli torpedo boats and aircraft got out of Dodge.

http://www.wbt.com/media/audio-channel/memorial-day-relfections

May 24 2017 (Ray’s segment runs from minute 31:40 to 48:00.)

 

The other portions of Mark Thomas’s hour-long “Memorial Day Reflections” are also worth a listen.

“There’s Major [expletive deleted] Afoot With the Washington Post and I Think I Know Why”

By Caitlin Johnstone, May 16, 2017

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/theres-major-fuckery-afoot-with-the-washington-post-and-i-think-i-know-why-fc32e574d49f

 

Also, can the Deep State delete offending on-line articles from The Nation?

 

AND

 

Is the Washington Post embarked on a thorough investigation of L’Affaire Seth Rich?  Would that Woodward and Bernstein had been able to resist becoming gentrified and domesticated!  See what you think of this from the Washington Post Editorial Board this morning:

 

By Editorial Board May 23

LET’S DISPENSE with calling the frenzy of reports about Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich’s death last summer fake news. So overused and misused is the phrase — by those seeking to disparage things they simply dislike or disagree with — that it risks losing real meaning. And there must be no ambiguity or confusion about the recent reports about Mr. Rich. They are lies. They do great harm. And those peddling them, including most recently former House speaker Newt Gingrich, are either ignorant of the facts or without scruple.

Mr. Gingrich on Sunday during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” gave a boost to conspiracy theories that Mr. Rich was not killed during a botched robbery — as D.C. police believe based on all available evidence — but rather was “assassinated” to cover up how tens of thousands of internal Democratic Party emails were leaked to WikiLeaks. Never mind that U.S. intelligence officials have conclusively determined that Russia hacked the accounts. The absurd notion that operatives working on behalf of Hillary Clinton killed the 27-year-old staffer has been a staple of far-right websites but given little acknowledgment or credence from mainstream media. That changed last week when local Fox affiliate WTTG 5 aired a report claiming Mr. Rich had been in touch with WikiLeaks before his death.

Within a day, the story had been thoroughly debunked by reporters at NBC NewsCNN and The Post. The lone “source” for the report — a contributor whose previous claim to the national spotlight was his report that pink-pistol-packing lesbian gangs were terrorizing the nation — recanted and the station issued a clarification. None of that, though, stopped Sean Hannity and then Mr. Gingrich, with no pushback from Fox News hosts, from trying to peddle the bogus story.

“Pizzagate,” the insane conspiracy theory that Ms. Clinton was operating a child-abuse ring out of a popular family pizzeria in Northwest Washington, demonstrated the damage that can be caused by lies. A North Carolina man believed the reports on social media and stormed the restaurant with an assault-style rifle. The cost this time is anguish for a grieving family as attempts are made to sully their son’s memory. They have made clear they have confidence in the D.C. police. Does anyone really think that this mother and father don’t want their son’s murderer brought to justice or that they would be willing to look the other way to give someone political cover?

It is preposterous. Those suggesting otherwise should apologize.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-absurd-conspiracy-theory-around-seth-richs-death-causes-real-harm/2017/05/22/520ba572-3f21-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html?utm_term=.3265f58fb15f

 

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“Preposterous.”  Gosh!  Apologize?

 

Does this look a little like a pre-emptive attack, using all-too-familiar charges to denigrate so-called “conspiracy theorists?”  Is there enough interest in who killed Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich early in the morning of July 10, 2016?  Are there enough honest and fearless investigative reporters still around – that one can expect the truth to come out?

 

And if/when it comes out, will U.S. citizens be able to “handle the truth” beneath a cover up?  Libyan President Gaddafi “had it coming to him.”  But Seth Rich?”  Was it: “He came; he saw; he died?”

 

Has anyone else noticed the woman always sitting outside the Washington Post building – always, always knitting?  It’s the weirdest thing.  If you look closely at the knitting, you can decipher names on a list a little bit like the drone target list.  Says her name is Thérèse Defarge.

John B. Wells, who runs the live radio show Caravan to Midnight, asked Ray to be interviewed on May 20 about what has been going down in Washington over recent weeks – especially issues distorted or ignored by the media.  The conversation pretty much covered the waterfront – from “Russian hacking of the DNC” to breaking news regarding former DNC worker, the late Seth Rich, who seems to have been the person who leaked – not hacked – DNC emails and got them to WikiLeaks.

Ray’s segment starts at minute 25:20, and there is a break between minutes 41:50 and 44:30.  Otherwise the relaxed tour d’horizonruns until 2:06:40.  (But listeners can easily press STOP, whenever they wish.)

 

What about the Cyrillic found on a hack of the DNC?  Ray explains why he believes it more likely that source of the celebrated  “Russian hack” (including Cyrillic) was the sophisticated, “obfuscation”-enabling software developed by CIA/NSA at huge cost over the past 15 years.  Your tax dollars at work.

Not Remembering Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Ago

By Ray McGovern, May 21, 2017

 

Not Remembering the USS Liberty

Is there a chance that President Donald Trump will have the guts to confront Israel – at long last – about its indisputably deliberate attempt to sink the USS Liberty and leave no survivors?  Does Trump owe this to the remaining Liberty survivors and their families?

 

Or is it more likely that Trump will choose the safer political course and become the tenth president in a row to cover up Israel’s crime on the high seas?  This article includes the text of a Foreword Ray wrote for a new book by Philip Nelson titled: “Remember the Liberty: Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas.” Nelson’s book is a must-read for those who “can handle the truth” about when Israeli leaders learned that they could, literally, get away with murder, because U.S. presidents would be afraid to hold them to account.

British Prime Minister May Will Not Forget to Say, “May I?”

 “No, you may not,” is the answer May may expect to hear from her American puppet masters, would she be so bold as to ask whether she may let Julian Assange go.  Even though Sweden has dropped the trumped-up (no pun intended) rape allegations, the answer she can await will be a firm, “No, you must hold him prisoner; we must continue to make an example of him.”

 

Early Friday afternoon, Ray gave RT International an interview on the latest chapter in this sordid saga.

May 19, 2017 (eight minutes)

 

One might entertain the fleeting thought that, after the groveling of former British PM Tony Blair toward his partner-in-war crime George W. Bush, May may take a different decision.  But, really!  Would she defy an order from her senior partner Washington to keep Julian Assange cooped up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London?  Not likely.  Those Americans can be nasty.

 

But what about UN findings that depriving Julian Assange of his freedom amounts to “arbitrary detention?”  What about the opprobrium once attached to seeming to be an international pariah – not to mention an obsequious satrap of empire, ever bowing to its diktat.

 

No matter. The UK may go on thumbing its nose at international law, as long as Washington keeps providing the Kleenex.  It is a “special relationship,” you see, and the British are past masters at arbitrary detention in any case.  The Magna Carta is still in the curriculum, but it appears that habeas corpus is no longer translated into English – or into action.

 

O Tempora, O Mores!