Tag Archives: iraq war

“Happy” Veterans Day

Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans Join The Homeless


Ethan Kreutzer joined the Army at the age of 17 and fought with the 19th Airborne in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. When he retuned home, he had no money, no education and no civilian job experience. He soon became homeless. He slept in an alley off Haight Street, behind two trash cans.

June Moss drove from Kuwait to Iraq as an Army engineer in a truck convoy. When she returned to the United States, she lost her home, and drove her two young children from hotel to hotel across Northern California.

Sean McKeen, a hardy, broad-shouldered 21-year-old with a wide smile, went to Iraq to clear land mines, and to get money for college. When he returned home, he became homeless in less than a week. He found himself sleeping in a cot in a crowded homeless shelter in San Francisco.

They are all part of a growing trend of homelessness among returning war on terrorism veterans.

Read More


The Mormon Church on “moral” issues

I find it interesting that the Mormon Church went to great lengths to not only openly support the passage of Proposition 8, but financed an advertising campaign urging voters to support it which included messages to voters, believe it or not, such as if gay marriage is permitted, kindergärtners are likely to be educated on gay sex acts.  The ads were filled with lies and deceptions, particularly at the last minute, and opponents did not have adequate time to respond.

From Alternet News: Why the Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban Won

Ad after ad told voters that without Prop 8, their churches would be forced to perform same-sex unions and stripped of their tax-exempt status; that schools would teach their children to practice homosexuality, and, perhaps most effective, that a smiling Barack Obama had said, "I’m not in favor of gay marriage." This last bit went out in a flier by the Yes on 8 campaign targeting black households.

From the Deseret News – LDS official lauds work for California’s Prop. 8-Elder Clayton says leaders ‘grateful for the sacrifice’
Elder L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the church’s Presidency of the Seventy who helped lead the church’s support for Proposition 8, told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he doesn’t have a total for how much money was donated by Latter-day Saints. He did say it was "considerable and generous" and that church leaders are "grateful for the sacrifice" made by members who participated in the campaign.

“We believe it’s a moral issue and we reserve the right to speak out on moral issues. We of course disapprove when people take exception to us having spoken out, but we are well within our rights and we are glad to have done so, we believe it was the right thing to do,” Clayton said.
Here is a link to the "statement" by the LDS church on Prop 8

Yet when it comes to other "moral" issues (the LDS church’s defense on Prop 8 is that it is a "moral" issue) such as the act of killing in war, and in particular the illegal war and occupation of Iraq, the LDS church remains silent.

I cannot find any declaration or statement against the Iraq War from the LDS church.  So why, then, is it permissable to remain silent on killing and the violation of human rights by the U.S. and other countries in war and occupation, while supporting efforts to violate human rights on other issues?  Could it be that the LDS church has hidden financial benefits to profits from war?

And now, thanks to this campaign to violate the rights of human beings in America, Utah faces a boycott of its tourist industry which will affect citizens adversely.

And shame on other religious communities for marching in step with the LDS church.

The LDS church has overstepped its stance on "moral" issues by bringing this issue into the political arena – an issue that should remain out of politics- thereby violating the principle of separation of church and state.  By virtue of its support on the gay marriage issue in the realm of politics, it has demonstrated to the world that an institution’s values can be imposed on a population of people with the right amount of money to influence how people should vote throught the pscyhological impacts of advertising.


Protesting Bush in Salt Lake City

I and several other people got right up to the Stewart’s luxurious home where Bush had
his mid day luncheon fundraiser today.  I am in the brown shirt holding the sign that
says “George ‘War Crimes’ Bush”!

Here is the link:


Beyond Marches and Rallies: SODaPOP

A Green Party colleague of mine alerted me to this project.  I find it interesting and with the potential to have much more of an effect than the almost worn out march and rally event:


Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP)
By Jeff Leys and Brian Terrell

Nonviolent Civil Resistance During the Presidential Campaign Begins with Nonviolent Occupations of Candidates  Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, on  November 8

Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It s off to Washington, D.C. we go. For another demonstration at the seat  of power.

But hold on a minute. This fall and winter, the road to the seat of power goes through  Iowa with its first in the nation presidential caucus. Let s journey to Iowa, together to bring nonviolent civil resistance and civil  disobedience to the campaign offices and headquarters of Presidential candidates both  Republican and Democrat who do not publicly pledge to take the necessary concrete steps  to end the Iraq war, to rebuild Iraq, to forswear military attacks on other countries,  and to fully fund the Common Good in the U.S.


Join this campaign: SODaPOP Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project.

Iowa will be the first stage in this campaign. We invite you to join us in Iowa and then  to bring the campaign home with you to your home states as the Presidential election  season moves forward.

An Invitation to Iowa
Voices for Creative Nonviolence and our allies in Iowa are in the initial stages of  organizing a campaign of nonviolent civil resistance focused upon those who would be  President.

This fall and early winter, Republican and Democratic candidates are swarming in Iowa in  preparation for the  First in the Nation!  2008 caucuses. Campaign headquarters are  established in cities and towns across the state and candidates are showing up at public  events large and small, shaking hands, jockeying for photo ops kissing babies and pigs.  The national and international press is there in force. Representatives of unions,  industry and other interest groups from around the nation are gathering, not only to  influence the results of the caucus but also to take advantage of the extraordinary  access to the candidates the caucus provides, and to draw attention to their issues and  causes as the world s attention is focused on the state.

Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP) will launch on  November 7, introducing nonviolent direct action against the war in Iraq into the  presidential election process. Activists from around the nation are encouraged to journey
to Iowa to  occupy  the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates who do not  pledge to concrete plans for complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Such  candidates might also be challenged as they make public appearances around the state  without regard for arbitrary  free speech zone  restrictions that may be established by  candidates, parties, police or the Secret Service.

While SODAPOP will launch in early November, we are organizing for two weeks of intensive  and extensive actions in Iowa in the weeks immediately preceding the Iowa caucus. The  Iowa caucus is currently scheduled for January 14, though it is somewhat fluid as of now.  (The date may change since South Carolina Republicans moved up the date of their caucus.)

Whether the caucuses are earlier or later, we are inviting  affinity groups  from around  the country to start organizing a trip to Iowa in the coming months with special  attention to the two weeks immediately prior to the caucuses. If you can make it to Iowa
for the SODaPOP  kick off  in Des Moines on the evening of Wednesday, November 7 followed  by the first occupations of campaign headquarters on the next day, Thursday, November 8,  please do! We hope to make our witness for peace with nonviolent direct action at the  offices of several of the candidates who would prolong the war in Iraq on that day.   Otherwise, just let us know when you are coming and which candidate(s) whose pro-war  policies you and your community wish to expose and challenge.

SODaPOP Demands

While the demands of the campaign are still being finalized, the initial concept is to  occupy the campaign headquarters and offices of Presidential candidates who do not commit  to:

  • Complete withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan within 100 days of assuming the office of President of the United States.
  •  Complete halt to any and all military actions including ground, air and naval against Iraq and Iran.
  •  Full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq to repair the damage caused over these past 17 years of economic and military warfare that the U.S. and its allies waged against Iraq.
  •  Full funding for the Common Good in the U.S. to rebuild our education and health care systems; to create jobs training programs for jobs that pay a living wage; to provide  universal health care for all; to rebuild our country s inner cities and rural communities; and to initiate a campaign on the scale of a new Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification Project of the Great Depression era to create affordable, safe and sustainable alternative forms of energy and energy consumption; and for other vital social programs.

  •  Full funding for the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefitsfor veterans of our country s Armed Services.

For those Presidential candidates who currently hold a seat in the House or Senate, we
set forth the following additional demands:

  •  Vote against any additional funding for the Iraq war other than those funds that areessential to fund the complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
  • Publicly commit to oppose the use of U.S. military forces against Iran, Pakistan or anyother opening front in the  war on terror.

These demands will be delivered to each of the candidates  headquarters in the weeks before the campaign and responses will be publicized.  Join us in Iowa at this critical time for weekly, if not daily, acts of nonviolent civil  resistance / civil disobedience to seek a redirection of our country s policies and to bring about an end to the Iraq war. We travel to Washington, D.C. for national actions
all the time. Now is the time to travel to Iowa, the heart of our country s heartland, to seek an end to the Iraq war. Arrangements are being made now for hospitality and some support in Des Moines and Iowa City and perhaps several other communities around the
state for the campaign.

Following the Iowa caucus, let us bring SODaPOP to the campaign headquarters of candidates in our respective home states, with the next critical days of nonviolent resistance to be as we approach February 5 (Super Duper Tuesday, when 20 states hold
presidential primaries and caucuses).Please be in contact with us about joining this very critical campaign of nonviolent
direct action, civil resistance and civil disobedience. To participate in SODaPOP, you may reach us via Voices for Creative Nonviolence at 773-878-3815 or via email at  info@vcnv.org.
Additional information and resources will also be available on the Voices website.

My LA Speech

Greetings from Utah and from the Green Party of the United States!

I vividly remember choosing my favorite color at the age of 8 – GREEN. My love of green is rooted in my love for life on this planet.. and so it is fitting that I would align myself the Green Party.

I belong to the Green Party for these reasons:

  • Social Justice and equal opportunity….

  • Ecological Wisdom….

  • Decentralization ….

  • Community-based Economics and economic justice….

  • Feminism and Gender Equity….

  • Respect for Diversity….

  • Future Focus and Sustainability….




These are the values upon which I strive to live my life. AND

These key values are precisely why we need to make every effort to get Greens elected!. THE GREEN PArTY **IS** THE **PEACE** PARTY !! We have a congress that cares nothing about our planet or life on it.

So the best way to challenge Congress’s constant approval of invasions and military spending increases is to get Greens elected to Congress. Having Greens in office would change the whole political landscape! Greens wouldn’t only be certain to vote against ALL pro-war and pro-military legislation, we would also provide some competition for the Democrats, currently lacking, besides Republicans.

Greens do not accept corporate money and therefore Greens are not in bed with defense contractors. Greens in office would have no corporate interests to influence their decision-making, unlike the current corporate influenced legislators currently in Congress.

The following is a list of calls to action by the Green Party which urges everyone to do the same:

  • The GP urges Immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq.

  • The GP denounces Democratic leaders for supporting the invasion, offering
    vague and delayed timetables for troop withdrawal, approving bills for continued war
    spending, and retreating from impeachment.  Green leaders strongly condemned recent statements by
    presidential aspirants Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards that they could not
    promise the removal of all US combat troops from Iraq by 2013 warning that the Iraq War (as well as the threat of war with Iran) will continue whether a Democrat or Republican is elected in 2008.

  • The GP oppose a US military attack on Iran – Americans should not believe the new flood of
    deceptive war propaganda.

  • The GP stresses that Congress could end the war quickly if Democrats refused to move on bills for
    war funding, including the latest request for nearly $190 billion the Pentagon says is
    necessary to keep combat troops in Iraq for another year. 

  • The GP urges Congress to divert federal funds from war spending to human needs and services in the US, including restoration and rebuilding in the Gulf Coast.

  • The GP calls for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney for
    numerous abuses of power, including misleading the American people about the reasons for
    invading Iraq. 

  • The GP calls the invasion a criminal breach of the US Constitution and international law, motivated by desire for political and corporate dominance in the region, control over Iraqi oil and other resources, and cooperation with Israel’s aggressive strategic objectives.

Join the Green Party in these calls to action. Support Greens running for office. Get Greens elected. Run as a Green for office in your district. Educate your community on the 10 key values for which the Green Party stands. Greens have been elected to offices all over the country from water boards to councils to mayors! If you are an informed and passionate citizen, YOU can run and should be running for office as a Green. You don’t need any other special pre-qualifications. That’s what democracy looks like! If you desire to foster peace, economic justice and to improve the health of our planet – YOU can run for office as a Green! If you want to work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction – if you want to promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree – if you want to act towards personal, community and global peace – YOU should run for office as a Green!

It’s time to get Greens in office for a CHANGE-



I would like to leave you with this Pledge to Life, which my husband Tom wrote:

I pledge allegiance to all life

in its interdependent diversity;

and to the Planet upon which it exists;

one World, under the sky, undividable

with harmony and balance for all.

Thank you!

Iraq Vets Take to the Streets of NYC

In this simulation of what soldiers do in Iraq, these vets of Iraq Veterans Against the War, portray a typical day on the streets of U.S. soldiers. Great counter recruitment tool. Thanks to Pat Elder for sending this.


This week:
The U.S. Senate  is proposing to cut off funding for the Iraq War after March 31, 2008.
Wait, though.
The U.S. Senate is proposing to still spend 120 Billion dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
But wait.
The U.S. Senate proposes a call for troops to begin leaving Iraq by October 1.
But then….
The U.S. Senate say the president can wave the October 1 call if he doesn’t like that.


This makes no sense.  People, call your senators and representatives today to tell them:

Rocky vs. Hannity – part 2

One Utah has a couple of posts on the Rocky vs. Hannity event from a few nights ago:

Rocky Hannity Debate – Entire Show – Fox

The “Rockity I” Awards

Rocky v Hannity – Live Blog by Grokov


Eyewitness View of Iraq

I was approached a couple of months ago about organizing a presentation by a Utah citizen who was part of the Christian Peacemakers Team in Iraq, Will Vanwagenen.  will spent time in Iraq since 2005 documenting various things there.  Will was kidnapped for 9 days a few months ago in Iraq, an event on which he chooses not to elaborate.

Yesterday Will gave his presentation to a room of folks at the Salt Lake City Downtown Library.  He gave a brief history of the U.S. involvement in Iraq and then shared his personal experiences on what he witnessed there.  The bottom line is that most Iraqis want the U.S. out of Iraq and don’t want to be occupied.  The one thing that Will brought out was that the U.S. continually reiterates that it has to wipe out the terrorists by invading and occupying countries where they are.  Yet the U.S. is engaging in the same terrorist acts for which it seeks out other terrorists.  A double standard.

A Deseret News reporter was at the presentation yesterday and Will was contacted also by KCPW, but I cannot find any reference to news items.  Here are a couple of photos.

Easter Surprise Attack on Iran?

There have been articles and posts in various sources that indicate a  U.S. Military engagement against Iran could happen soon.