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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



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 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 representatives taken steps to stop it? Fifty members of the House of Representatives have signed H Con Res #81, which mandates an end to unauthorized US military activities in Yemen. None of the Iowa delegation in the US House of Representatives has signed it. Please call your congressman's office and ask, "why not?" (Loebsack 202 225-6576; Blum 202 225-2911; Young 202 225-5476; King 202 225-4426).
H.Con.Res.81 - Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen

Kathy Kelly and six others were arrested on January 12th after refusing to leave Rep. Steny Hoyer's office. They were insisting that he co-sponsor H. Con Res #81, which would prohibit US military efforts in Yemen. That bill has 49 co-sponsors, which does not include ANY of the Iowa congressional delegation. Kathy was willing to risk safety and freedom to speak out against wrongdoing. Please find time to call Rep. Loebsack at 319 351-0789 or 202 225-6576 and insist that he do his part to end US military activities in Yemen. On December 26th, Saudi planes delivered US-made smart bombs killing 68 civilians.

From FCNL:
A bipartisan group of lawmakers—Reps. Khanna (D-CA), Massie (R-KY), Pocan (D-WI) and Jones (R-NC)—has introduced legislation (H. Con. Res. 81) to withdraw unauthorized U.S. military support from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. More are needed to cosponsor and vote in support of H. Con. Res. 81

  • Congress has never authorized U.S. military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, despite the U.S. being heavily involved in the conflict for nearly 3 years.
  • By refueling Saudi and UAE bombers and providing the Saudi-led coalition with weapons, intelligence, and logistical support, the U.S. is complicit in violations of international law and in creating the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
  • This devastating war has pushed Yemen to the brink of mass starvation and into the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history.
  • The House was to vote on this landmark legislation on November 3, 2017.
  • Every additional cosponsor and vote sends the message to Saudi Arabia that the killing and deliberate starvation of Yemeni civilians must end.


factions in Syria

Chase Winter in DW News on 01-29-2018:
" The Obama administration justified US military action against IS on a broad controversial reading of the 2001 AUMF that justified the war in Afghanistan and against 'al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Associated Forces' — even though IS did not exist at the time of the 2001 AUMF and is a rival of al-Qaeda. [The current] administration has justified continued anti-IS operations in Syria under the same 17-year-old AUMF that the Obama administration used. It has said it has no intention of seeking a new AUMF from Congress.

" Meanwhile, the US air force has 'undertaken a limited number of strikes against Syrian government and pro-Syrian government forces' to counter threats to US and 'partner forces,' according to a December White House letter to congress required under the War Powers Act. Pro-Syrian government forces is a euphemism for Iran-backed Shiite militia. "

Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap, now the Executive Director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University, and " who held the position as deputy judge advocate general for the US Air Force, suggested that Congress has implicitly supported the US military action in Syria by funding it. But he said Congress should still debate a new AUMF. 'In an era of complex terrorism, the president's authority to take action to protect Americans and America's allies ought to be construed broadly. That said, I also believe that a democracy is well served when its elected representatives discuss and debate the wisdom of ongoing military operations, even if not technically required to do so in a particular instance by the Constitution,' he said. "



People and Events

Jeff S.

Jeff Strottmann, #161's Sergeant-at-Arms, died one year ago on Monday, February 6, 2017 at the Iowa City VA Hospital. Jeff had been a member of Veterans For Peace since 1992, and was one of the charter members of Chapter #161 when it was founded in 2010.

Jeff was a stalwart advocate for peace and social justice, working especially hard through his membership in VFP and in AFSCME to achieve those goals. Jeff is survived by his brother, James Strottmann, of Franklin, Wisconsin.

Tributes can be posted at Lensing's Tribute Wall

En lieu of flowers donations can be made in Jeff's name by sending a check to Veterans For Peace #161, PO Box 947, Iowa City, IA 52244. VFP #161 is a 501(c)3 organization.

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. "


peace wave

Show up for Peace!
Fridays, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
at the intersection of Iowa Ave. and Clinton St.
on the University of Iowa Pentacrest

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- Feb. 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 he is certain 'the bloody experience of Vietnam will end in a stalemate."
  • Feb 28th: Gen. Westmoreland & Gen Wheeler ask LBJ for 206,000 more troops
  • March 8th: Capt. Dale Noyd sentenced to one year at hard labor for refusing to train pilots for Nam.
  • March 12th: LBJ defeats Eugene McCarthy by only 300 votes in New Hampshire primary.
  • March 16th: My Lai Massacre, 350-500 unarmed civilians killed.
  • March 31st. LBJ announces on live TV that he will not run for re-election.
  • 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

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

Muhammad Ali's service
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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