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Veterans for Peace Chapter 161, Iowa City

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Who are the people in VFP 161?
Veterans for Peace Chapter 161, based in Iowa City, welcomes veterans in the surrounding area who,
because of their personal experience and travails in a military infrastructure,
now join others locally and worldwide in
advocating for dismantling the military-industrial complex as a basis for prosperity.

June, 2017 vigil



stop the war

Join Us Monday
to Observe the 15th Anniversary
of the beginning of the Iraq War

Monday March 19th 5:30pm
Iowa City Pentacrest

Peace Iowa and Veterans for Peace are co-sponsoring this observance 


From Ed Flaherty:

What Country Is This?

  • The poorest Arab country in the world.
  • The most populous country on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • More than 70 health-care facilities have been destroyed by Saudi bombs.
  • Twenty million of its people face starvation.
  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have launched air and ground assaults on the population in the northern part of the country, using planes, missiles, bombs and guns made in the U.S.
  • The U.S. is actively involved in the attacks by providing intelligence and mid-air refueling to the Saudi coalition.
  • The U.S. is engaged in direct military action there, using drones and Special Forces, often killing civilians.
  • The UN has declared that this country is in the midst of the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, with armed conflict being the cause.

The question of "what country is this" is easy to answer — YEMEN.
More ... www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1471338/yemen-nation-danger

A more difficult question is "why is the U.S. engaged in war there." And why have so few of our elected members of Congress taken steps to stop it?

Now comes Senate Joint Resolution #54: A joint resolution to direct the removal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.
The above resolution was introduced on February 28th in the US Senate by Sanders(I), Lee(R), & Murphy(D). A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Houthi rebels and civilians for the past 3 years, with bombs, planes, missiles and guns supplied by U.S. The U.S. provides mid-air refueling and intelligence. There is no authorization for U.S. involvement in that war. Medical facilities have been destroyed, 8 million close to starvation. The UN says, "the conflict in Yemen has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

Please call senators Ernst (202 224-3254) and Grassley (202 224-3744) and tell them to support S J Res #54.
... Or compose a message for this issue with FCNL assist


People and Events


Iowa City, Iowa — Area residents will mark the 15th anniversary of the Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq with a vigil from 5:30 to 6:00 pm on Monday, March 19 at the intersection of Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue on the University of Iowa Pentacrest. Scott Roser, a veteran of the Iraq War and other armed services veterans will speak, and the names of some of the 4497 US soldiers (including 51 Iowans) and 160,000-400,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the war will be read. The vigil is sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chapter #161 and PEACE Iowa.

Hundreds of Iowa Citians lined Clinton Street on March 17, 2003 in a last-ditch effort to prevent the Iraq War. At the same time, a Peace Camp in front of the University of Iowa's Jessup Hall drew hundreds of visitors each day as students, staff, and faculty educated passersby about the disastrous consequences of a potential war.

These efforts were in vain, and on March 19, 2003 the United States invaded Iraq on the false pretense of its supposed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and with the promise of a new order of peace and tranquility in the Middle East.

"Instead," said VFP's Ed Flaherty, "the war killed thousands and left more than 400,000 veterans and countless Iraqi civilians suffering from PTSD. The war that was supposed to bring peace instead left a Middle East in even greater turmoil at a cost of over a trillion dollars."

Writing in the Guardian recently, Middle East expert James Zogby, who will speak in Iowa City on April 11, noted "15 years later we and most especially the people of Iraq and the region are living with the consequences of the disaster they brought down on us all: a shattered Iraq, an emboldened Iran, a weaken, war weary, and wary America, and a Middle East in which multiple regional and international powers are engaged in a number of deadly conflicts."
See ... commondreams.org/views/2018/02/19/iraq-war-fifteen-years-later

Although the United States formally withdrew from Iraq in 2011, US troops are still stationed there. "We hope that people will remember that the tragic results of this misguided war at home and abroad are still our responsibility," said PEACE Iowa President Laura Crossett. "Our government's actions destroyed Iraqi infrastructure and Iraqi life in ways that civilians there still deal with today, just as our veterans at home struggle to find treatment for the mental and physical costs they bear from a war that they never should have been sent to fight."

Organizers note that members of both groups have been holding a weekly peace vigil at the site of Monday's event since the Iraq War began. "We hope," said Flaherty, "to bring about a world in which such a war never need happen again."

Contact: Ed Flaherty, Veterans for Peace 319-621-6766
Laura Crossett, PEACE Iowa 319-389-0449



Friday, March 16th marks 50 years since the My Lai massacre, and 15 years since the death of Rachel Corrie in Gaza.

March 19th marks 15 years since US invasion of Iraq. #161 is co-sponsoring a 1/2 hour vigil at Pentacrest, 5:30 to 6 pm. Please plan to attend, and speak out if inspired to do so.

April 4th marks 50 years since Martin Luther King's assassination. A public reading of Martin's words will take place.

Show up for Peace!
Fridays, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
at the intersection of
Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street
on the University of Iowa
Iowa City

Yemen burning

Please stand up for peace, speak peace, organize and strategize for peace. Spend the hour, or just 10 minutes. Handouts welcoming new & returning UI students. YOU ARE NEEDED!

It's time, then, to come together for an hour, or even for a few minutes, to voice your support for peace. Be peace! If we do not speak for peace, who will? Bring your friends, your family, your coworkers, or just yourself - everyone is welcome.


Historical Events of Interest

  • 2018: US coalition forces kill 100 Syrians; Turkey shelling into Syria killing many civilians; Al-qaeda shoots down Russian plane, pilot dead; Israel downs Iranian drone; Syrian anti-aircraft fire downs Israeli F-15
  • 2017, Feb 6th: Jeff Strottmann, a founding member of VFP #161, passes from this earth
  • 2011, March 17th: US drones kill 40 civilians attending Loya Jirga in Pakistan
  • 2003, March 19th: US begins Iraq war with Shock & Awe. Not to worry, Iraqi oil will pay for it and it will be over in 6 months
  • FIFTY YEARS AGO, 1968:
  • Jan 30th: Tet Offensive begins in Vietnam
  • Feb 27th: Walter Cronkite says, "it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate."
  • Feb 28th: Gen. Westmoreland & Gen Wheeler ask LBJ for 206,000 more troops
  • March 9th: Capt. Dale Noyd sentenced to one year in prision for refusing to train pilots headed for Vietnam
  • March 16th: My Lai Massacre, 350-500 unarmed civilians killed
  • April 4th: Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis
  • March 3rd: Soviet Russia concludes separate peace negotiations in Treaty of Brest/Litovsk
  • April 21st: German ace flyer, "The Bloody Red Baron" is shot down
  • July 6th: Woodrow Wilson agrees to US intervention in Siberia


Andrew Blake writing in The Washington Times Wednesday, January 17, 2018:
" Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee convicted of leaking classified information about Iran's nuclear program to a New York Times reporter, has been released after serving most of a 3.5-year prison sentence.

" Sterling, 50, was freed from a federal correctional institution in Colorado early Tuesday and is scheduled to finish the remainder of his sentence at a St. Louise halfway house, tweeted Arn Menconi, a Colorado-based activist and former U.S. Senate candidate who advocated for his release.

" A former case officer in the CIA's Iran Task Force, Sterling was charged in 2011 in connection with leaking classified information that appeared in State of War, a 2006 book about the agency written by New York Times reporter James Risen. The book included details about a secret U.S. operation targeting Tehran's nuclear program.

" Sterling was convicted by a jury in January 2015 of nine felony counts, including multiple violations of the U.S. Espionage Act, and was sentenced that June to begin serving a 42-month prison sentence. "



2016 officers

Left to right: Dave Hempel, John Christenson, Diana Henry, John Jadryev, Ross Porch

Veterans For Peace Chapter #161 Elects New Officers

Veterans For Peace Chapter #161 recently elected officers to serve in 2018. John Christenson and David Hempel will share the role of president, and John Jadryev and Diana Henry are co-secretaries. Ross Porch will continue as treasurer. This chapter of Veterans For Peace was formed in 2010, and is part of the national Veterans For Peace organization. The purposes of Veterans For Peace include the need to increase awareness of the true costs of war and to abolish war as an instrument of foreign policy.


From 50 years ago ...
Martin Luther King's Riverside Church speech
broken into sections for a public reading

Muhammad Ali's service
VFP 161 leader, Jeff Stroppmann passes Feb 6, 2017
Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap discusses AUMF in Syria
Ed Flaherty on Yemen & US military budget
Ed Flaherty on 9-11
VFP on Memorial Day
Ann Wright & Women's Boat to Gaza
View Dan Berrigan commemoration
Private Manning's service to country
David Hempel: It's time to organize

Golden Rule

In 1958, four peace lovers sailed the 30' Golden Rule from California, bound for the Marshall Islands, where another above-ground nuclear bomb test was scheduled. They got arrested in Hawaii, and the boat got sold. It was found in 2010, a wreck. Some VFP folks who knew its story restored it. Here it is, in San Diego bay last week, for the national VFP convention, in conjunction w/the 70 year commemoration of the A-Bomb devestation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Atmospheric nuclear bomb tests were banned world-wide in 1963. The Marshall Islands are suing the nuke bomb holding countries now to make them honor the intent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to reduce and get rid of all nuclear weapons. Orion Sherwood, one of the 1958 crew, was at the VFP convention, as determined a peace-maker now as then.

For further information, call John Jadryev at 43O-2Ol9 or E-mail Ed Flaherty <flahertyem[at]q.com>


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