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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

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Stop Tightening the Thumb Screws


by Kathy Kelly — The Palestine Chronicle, March 21, 2020

US sanctions against Iran, cruelly strengthened in March of 2018, continue a collective punishment of extremely vulnerable people. Presently, the US "maximum pressure" policy severely undermines Iranian efforts to cope with the ravages of COVID-19, causing hardship and tragedy while contributing to the global spread of the pandemic. On March 12, 2020, Iran's Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif urged member states of the UN to end the United States' unconscionable and lethal economic warfare.

Addressing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Zarif detailed how US economic sanctions prevent Iranians from importing necessary medicine and medical equipment.

For over two years, while the US bullied other countries to refrain from purchasing Iranian oil, Iranians have coped with crippling economic decline.

The devastated economy and worsening coronavirus outbreak now drive migrants and refugees, who number in the millions, back to Afghanistan at dramatically increased rates.

In the past two weeks alone, more than 50,000 Afghans returned from Iran, increasing the likelihood that cases of coronavirus will surge in Afghanistan. Decades of war, including US invasion and occupation, have decimated Afghanistan's health care and food distribution systems.

Jawad Zarif asks the UN to prevent the use of hunger and disease as a weapon of war. His letter demonstrates the wreckage caused by many decades of United States imperialism and suggests revolutionary steps toward dismantling the United States war machine.

During the United States' 1991 "Desert Storm" war against Iraq, I was part of the Gulf Peace Team, — at first, living at in a "peace camp" set up near the Iraq-Saudi border and later, following our removal by Iraqi troops, in a Baghdad hotel which formerly housed many journalists.

Finding an abandoned typewriter, we melted a candle onto its rim, (the US had destroyed Iraq's electrical stations, and most of the hotel rooms were pitch black).

We compensated for an absent typewriter ribbon by placing a sheet of red carbon paper over our stationery. When Iraqi authorities realized we managed to type our document, they asked if we would type their letter to the Secretary-General of the UN. (Iraq was so beleaguered even cabinet-level officials lacked typewriter ribbons.) The letter to Javier Perez de Cuellar implored the UN to prevent the US from bombing a road between Iraq and Jordan, the only way out for refugees and the only way in for humanitarian relief. Devastated by bombing and already bereft of supplies, Iraq was, in 1991, only one year into a deadly sanctions regime that lasted for thirteen years before the US began its full-scale invasion and occupation in 2003.

Now, in 2020, Iraqis still suffering from impoverishment, displacement and war earnestly want the US to practice self-distancing and leave their country.

Are we now living in a watershed time? An unstoppable, deadly virus ignores any borders the US tries to reinforce or redraw. The United States military-industrial complex, with its massive arsenals and cruel capacity for siege, isn't relevant to "security" needs.

Why should the US, at this crucial juncture, approach other countries with threat and force and presume a right to preserve global inequities? Such arrogance doesn't even ensure security for the United States military.


— Kathy Kelly (kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org). She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Article here

 

 

People and Events

MLK

»

On April 4, 1967 Martin Luther King delivered the most controversial speech in his career, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." April 4th also marks the date in 1968 when King was assassinated in Memphis.
 

Here is that Riverside speech broken into sections for public presentation


 

No Iran War

Stand up for Peace!
Fridays, New hours: 3:30 to 4:30 pm
at the intersection of
Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street
on the University of Iowa Pentacrest
Iowa City

Are you ready to show up for peace? Join us for an hour, or even just a few minutes, to voice your support for peace. We citizens must stand as a reminder that the military option is an unacceptable option. Come with your friends, your family, your neighbors, or just yourself — all are welcome.
 


 

 

Armistice Day 2018

Veterans for Peace 161 gather on Armistice Day, November 11, 2018
 

 

VFP161 Pride

Dave H, John C, Jim Bradley, Louie, Ron McCall, John Fyotek, and Ed Flaherty participated in the June 16, 2018 Gay Pride Parade.
Thanks to Tom Jacobs for the photo.

 



Danny Sjursen and Coleen Rowley: America Needs an Armistice
 
Local VFP Members Speak Out Against New Obscene Military Spending
 
Veterans For Peace Stands with Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange
 
Armistice Day 2018, Time to Recommit to Peace
 
September 14 2018, Congress passes AUMF
 
March 2018, a muddle of murky anniversaries
 
John Ivens on US policy on Yemen
 
Ed Flaherty on US policy on Gaza
 
Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee, released from prison
 
VFP 161 leader, Jeff Strottmann passes Feb 6, 2017
 
Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap discusses AUMF in Syria
 
Taking Yemen to Congress
 
Ed Flaherty on Yemen & US military budget
 
Ed Flaherty on 9-11
 
VFP on Memorial Day
 
Muhammad Ali's service
 
Ann Wright & Women's Boat to Gaza
 
View Dan Berrigan commemoration
 
Private Manning's service to country
 
David Hempel: It's time to organize
 

 

Linda Conducts

Photo by Master Sgt. Joshua Kowalsky

On Friday, March 15, 2019, VFP 161 member, Linda Fisher was handed the baton to direct the U.S. Air Force Concert Band at the Hancher to conduct Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever in a rousing finish to the nights outstanding full house performance. Chief Master Sgt Stacy Newbrough Ascione, an Iowa City native, performed a classy flute improvision.
Linda had been a former member of the Women's Air Force Band, serving with the WAF Band from 1960-1961. She even marched in the Inaugural Parade for President John F. Kennedy!



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 @ AOL·com>


THE NEED FOR VOICES FOR PEACE IS URGENT



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