Military Families Speak Out Washington State Chapter

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Bring Them Home Now!

One of the features of military families in this war that differs from previous wars is that there are more young married soldiers.

Here are some statistics:

-- in Iraq war, soldiers often married, with children

-- 55% of military personnel are married. 56% of those married are between 22 and 29.

-- One million military children are under 11.

-- 40% are 5 or younger.

-- 63% of spouses work, including 87% of junior-enlisted spouses.

Source: Department of Defense and National Military Family Association.



Dissent is loyalty Robert Taft, the conservative Ohio senator who is a hero to many of today's conservatives, gave a speech at the Executive Club of Chicago in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

There are a number of paragraphs that are just grand, but here's the best one, which is worth quoting in full:

As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government

... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism.

If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because
the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy,
and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Drink in those words.

That's not William Fulbright two years into the Vietnam War.

It's not Ted Kennedy last week.

It's Mr. Republican, speaking -- when? Not mid-1943, or even March 1942

Taft delivered this speech ... on December 19, 1941!

That's right: Twelve days after the worst attack on American soil in the country's history,

perhaps with bodies still floating in the harbor,

the leader of the congressional opposition said to the president, 'we will question, we will probe, we will debate.'

By Michael Tomasky,
The AMERICAN Prospect online


Order and send postcards to Congress - Fund our Troops, Defund the

Bring Them Home Now postage stamps


For more information see Appeal for Redress website.


For more information go to dvd 'The Ground Truth' website.


Some Past Campaigns - Washington state chapter MFSO members participation

2007

(photo - Daniel Ellsberg, Lt. Ehren Watada)

(photo - Organizing Team; Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter introduces the Panelists)

(photo - on the Panel - Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter listen to two days of testimony)

(photo - close up of Panelists Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter)

(photo - rRetired Diplomat Col. Ann Wright gives her testimony)

(photo - Organizing Team - Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter with retired Col. Ann Wright - Testifier)

(photo - Stacy Bannerma, wife of returning Iraq veteran - WA Natl Guard, gives testimony)

(photo - close up Stacy Bannerman, author of 'When The War Came Home' gives her testimony. Formerly MFSO - WA chapter. For more on Stacy, her book, media archives, see her website at www.stacybannerman.com)

(photo - IVAW veterans Geoffrey Millard and former Lt. Harvey Tharp give their testimony)

See website; 'Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq';

Jan 20-21- 2007, Tacoma, WA.

A 2 day citizens' tribunal support action in defense of Lt. Ehren Watada court martial at Fort Lewis.

(Organizing Team from MFSO - WA chapter; Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan)

2006


(photo Lietta Ruger, MFSO- WA, in support Lt. Ehren Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Jenny Keesey, Judy Linehan, Lietta Ruger - from MFSO-WA in support of Lt. Ehren Watada June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan, Jenny Keesey - from MFSO - WA chapter, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Judy Linehan, MFSO - WA at support rally for Lt. Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

June 2006 ongoing through court martial Feb 2007

For more information, see 'Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada' website.


(photo - right is Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA; organizing team)

Representative Brian Baird, Washington state 3rd Congressional District, in blue shirt comes out to talk with MFSO members at 'Operation House Call')

'Operation House Call' June thru August 2006 in Washington DC.

MFSO members make individual calls on Senators and Representatives advocating to Bring Them Home Now.

For more information go to 'Operation House Call' website.

postcards sent to Congress - summer 2006, 'Operation House Call'


2005


(photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO-WA on central tour. Not pictured - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA on northern tour)

Bring Them Home Now tour - Sept 1 thru Sept 25 2005. From Crawford, Texas to Washington DC. see Bring Them Home Now tour website


(photo - left Lietta Ruger, MFSO -WA with center Cindy Sheehan and right Juan Torres at Crawford, Texas, Camp Casey, Aug 9, 2005


2004

photos from Newshour with Jim Lehrer; segment 'Homefront Battles' aired Oct 2004.

Online video, audio and article still available at Newshour website. photo - Sue Niederer, MFSO. Her son U.S. Army 2nd Lt.Seth Dvorin, 24 yrs old was killed in Iraq Feb 3, 2004.

photo - Nancy Lessin, MFSO Co-Founder

photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO - WA

photo - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO - WA


See at Seattle PI; List of casualties with Washington state ties

This is one of WA state casualties; Army Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, Whatcom County, Washington died Oct 15, 2004

Watch a slide show of family photos and listen to audio recordings of Army Cpl. Jonathan Santos' mother, brother and the woman who's documenting his life.

See the trailer for the documentary "The Corporal's Boots." (QuickTime 7 required).

A special thank you to mother, Doris Kent - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA for her generous sharing and contribution in speaking of her son's life and death in Iraq


Title 17 disclaimer In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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mfso@mfso.org




Military Families Speak Out
is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians.

If you have family members or loved ones in the military and you are opposed to this war join us.

Send us an e-mail at
mfso@mfso.org
.
You can call us at 617-522-9323
or Send us mail at:
MFSO
P.O. Box 549
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

click here - MFSO Membership Form – to join Military Families Speak Out or

JOIN us by sending an e-mail to mfso@mfso.org.


MFSO - Become a Member

Membership in MFSO is open to anyone who has a family member or loved one serving, since August 2002, in any branch of our Armed Forces

* The Reserves

* The National Guard

* Returned from serving but still eligible for redeployment under stop loss.

There is no membership fee. Donations are welcome.

People who are not eligible for MFSO membership may join our Supporter Group. You are welcome to attend meetings that are open to the public, volunteer to help with event preparation and participate in our community actions and events. Supporters may purchase MFSO t-shirts and wear them with the "Proud Supporter of MFSO" button. Buttons may also be worn without the t-shirt.

Our Supporters provide emotional encouragement and physical help to our MFSO military families who are under extreme stress, especially if their loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan

We welcome your involvement, please contact us.


click to see the list MFSO chapters other than Washington state forming around the country.


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CHRONOLOGICAL ARCHIVES
into our 3rd year of speaking out
13 Oct, 08 > 19 Oct, 08
7 Jan, 08 > 13 Jan, 08
29 Oct, 07 > 4 Nov, 07
10 Sep, 07 > 16 Sep, 07
16 Jul, 07 > 22 Jul, 07
2 Jul, 07 > 8 Jul, 07
4 Jun, 07 > 10 Jun, 07
28 May, 07 > 3 Jun, 07
21 May, 07 > 27 May, 07
14 May, 07 > 20 May, 07
30 Apr, 07 > 6 May, 07
23 Apr, 07 > 29 Apr, 07
16 Apr, 07 > 22 Apr, 07
9 Apr, 07 > 15 Apr, 07
2 Apr, 07 > 8 Apr, 07
26 Mar, 07 > 1 Apr, 07
19 Mar, 07 > 25 Mar, 07
12 Mar, 07 > 18 Mar, 07
5 Mar, 07 > 11 Mar, 07
26 Feb, 07 > 4 Mar, 07
19 Feb, 07 > 25 Feb, 07
12 Feb, 07 > 18 Feb, 07
5 Feb, 07 > 11 Feb, 07
29 Jan, 07 > 4 Feb, 07
22 Jan, 07 > 28 Jan, 07
15 Jan, 07 > 21 Jan, 07
8 Jan, 07 > 14 Jan, 07
1 Jan, 07 > 7 Jan, 07
25 Dec, 06 > 31 Dec, 06
13 Nov, 06 > 19 Nov, 06
6 Nov, 06 > 12 Nov, 06
30 Oct, 06 > 5 Nov, 06
16 Oct, 06 > 22 Oct, 06
9 Oct, 06 > 15 Oct, 06
25 Sep, 06 > 1 Oct, 06
4 Sep, 06 > 10 Sep, 06
28 Aug, 06 > 3 Sep, 06
21 Aug, 06 > 27 Aug, 06
14 Aug, 06 > 20 Aug, 06
24 Jul, 06 > 30 Jul, 06
17 Jul, 06 > 23 Jul, 06
10 Jul, 06 > 16 Jul, 06
3 Jul, 06 > 9 Jul, 06
26 Jun, 06 > 2 Jul, 06
19 Jun, 06 > 25 Jun, 06
5 Jun, 06 > 11 Jun, 06
29 May, 06 > 4 Jun, 06
15 May, 06 > 21 May, 06
8 May, 06 > 14 May, 06
1 May, 06 > 7 May, 06
24 Apr, 06 > 30 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Local Lobbying

Urgency about death, dying, political failure and why suddenly I feel sheepish ...

I'm not a Democrat first and a patriotic civic-minded American citizen second.

I'm not one of the local flagship bloggers who don't seem to be able to resist showing off their political savvy and acumen obtained and presumably earned over perhaps five years of political struggle complete with battle scars that make others swoon in the moonlight.

No I don't swoon and although a late-comer in terms of speaking out, I'm not a late-comer in terms of seeking out political truth for civic reasons, voting my conscience and having my own collection of scars - some inflicted before most readers under 40 years old were born - and much deeper than some supposed shame in my state's possible loss of a senate seat to a Republican.

 

 

I'm also not a member of the fighting keyboardists who talk about war, Iraq and collateral damage as if it were some aspect to a video game where the pleasure is in pretend.

Military families (those who speak out, those who can't and those who don't dare) are all part of one big family whose actual and potential sacrifice on behalf of this nation is way out of proportion with the rest of the country. Those of us who speak out have not been fooling with theories, strategies nor tactics that pander to my blogging colleagues and their pretense that lock-step voting and campaigning will lead to the most prompt and immediate end to death and dying.

Truth is, we have no guarantee that a Democratic sweep of both houses will lead to the quickest end to death and dying in Iraq.

We have no guarantee that a democratically controlled congress will have as its first or highest priority, the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the consequential immediate lowering of the amount of gasoline America's presence in Iraq pours on the fires of resistance and contributes to our family losses and killing of Iraqi civilians.

We do face a strong likelihood that a foolish newly elected Democratic majority will arrogantly allot to itself a greater wisdom in how to get the job done in Iraq and how to accomplish what Bush and neocon nutcases (Just ask Francis Fukuyama ) couldn't do right. If you want proof, go to the Democratic Leadership Council site and read their foreign policy nonsense.

Mark my words and I promise you that if/when party takeover of Congress happens, my words will be true:

The Demos will attempt to accomplish the same goals the Republicans couldn't.

The Demos will not take immediate action to remove the troops and get this country's inflammatory presence out from its position as the direct cause of dreadful effects in Iraq.

Too many voters and leaders see this from an abstract point of view and so long as it remains an abstraction, the competitive gaming-lure of strategic debate remains more enticing and involving than actually staunching the flow of blood.

We are seeing DLC strategy played out even as I write this. We are seeing why Cantwell, the DLC/neocon under-informed foreign policy lightweight, believes that she can go through motions with folks like we who've met with her, that she can ultimately point to having met with us several times and heard us out, and then do nothing inconsistent with her unchanged attitude, philosophy and voting record.

In the meantime, the DLC/Democratic tactic of doing nothing while Republican scandals multiply seemingly exponentially - thereby facilitating a greater probability of their being swept out of power - means that the DLC/Democratic tactic is also to express that two military and several civilian deaths every single day in Iraq are needful and worth the price of doing nothing.

How would you like to be standing at the lip of a human meat grinder watching your military loved one move forward in the sacrificial line and listen to do-nothing Democrats like Maria - who are content to do nothing but watch eroding Republican popularity - tell you that when your loved one steps off the lip and into the grinder, it's for a higher national good?

But if we acquiesce, shut our mouths and pretend that supporting Ms. Cantwell is the wisest and most patriotic act we can take, we fool ourselves and pass me another glass of Kool-Aid.

What can we count on if we let the Democratic Party stay fully managed by DLC centrists and their local party fools in every state? Will stopping the killing in Iraq be one of the highest priorities - like, for example - putting out a house fire where people are dying?

From their own site where pretense begins with the visual illusion that the DLC is somehow "official" party authority:

 

Democrats should begin by reaffirming their party's commitment to progressive internationalism -- the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.

Progressive internationalism occupies the vital center between the neo-imperial right and the noninterventionist left, between a view that assumes our might always makes us right, and one that assumes that because America is strong it must be wrong. It stresses the responsibilities that come with our enormous power: to use force with restraint but not to hesitate to use it when necessary; to show what the Declaration of Independence called "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind"; to exercise leadership primarily through persuasion rather than coercion; to reduce human suffering where we can; and to bolster alliances and global institutions committed to upholding an increasingly democratic world order.

They can pretend they sit "between" neo-imperial and non-interventionist, but they are still advocating spreading American's version of corporate capitalistic democracy from the barrel of gun if necessary.

The barrel of a gun philosophy is the precise reason why today, tomorrow, the next day and every f***ing day from here on out two soldiers and who knows how many Iraqi civilians will be killed while politicians and parties in this country continue to behave badly, unwisely and stand with their fingers stuck up their politically failed orifices.

Geov Parrish  expressed the problem we face with blind and nervous support of the (D)-bird in hand versus  more appropriate alternative (D)-birds in the bushes around America where dumb DLC Democrats need them to stay.

After doing more homework, something I recommend to local party strategists, I'm feeling more sheepish than ever, going to have to flip flop and withdraw my declaration of intent to vote for Maria Cantwell in my party's primary election.

There is a significantly more important election for Democrats than the November midterm and that is their soul-searching primary election - regardless of all those "in-place" leadership Demos and self-appointed PAC apologist-type party activists who have yet to prove that they possess a higher wisdom for the well-being of this country and that they can win with it.

Until or unless they ever do, I'm not throwing in with them.

I'm not throwing away any opportunity to say that I also have a voice that is NOT traitorous to America because it disagrees with narrow party fearful thoughts

I also have a voice and ask everyone else who reads me to speak up, even if your voice shakes - or even if others who read me tell you, like they tell me, to shut the hell up. We have opinions that can and should be expressed in a public venue regardless of who likes it and who doesn't.

At this stage in the midterm election process, the (D) bird in hand is not worth more than what's out in the bushes. The one in hand has made no declaration that expresses anything other than a DLC/neocon foreign policy foolishness that in this case has a disproportionate share of the families in this country at risk for paying the highest price for everyone else's right to live free or die.

Like General Zinni, as a veteran, I served to preserve the right I myself and all of you have to speak out, to dissent, to criticize presidents and senators. Folks like us have the least obligation to shut up or defer to other folks who didn't serve, who have no intention of serving and who in fact live in a world of political and economic abstractions based on pretense.

Why in the land of the free and home of the brave where Lincoln sits on a granite chair, and where a rowdy group of 18th century dissenters are now revered as founding fatherly icons of the United States of America, who the hell has the right to say or imply that what Mark Wilson stands for isn't good enough?

In Washington State Democratic hands is a bird who wants to just sit in your hand, look pretty, look senatorial and do nothing of immediate good for this country.

In the Democratic bushes however is a candidate who has spoken out, who has gotten up off his ass and put his money and his personal life where his mouth is.

All of a sudden I have to ask why that isn't good enough?

Why is it shameful or stupid to recognize that?

Why can't a citizen run and a party respect that running? (BTW: I still haven't seen explanation or justification from King County or Suzy Sheary - see my wonderings on 5/11/06)

Why do people who haven't taken that step have the gall to pretend they are greater judges of American character, core values and citizenship, not to mention behaving as self-appointed expert advocates of political expediency?

Why must we settle for mediocrity because that's the Republican standard in this country?

Why must we diminish ourselves and concede to an ignorant lower standard of political acumen, civic duty and citizenship patriotism?

Why are so many of us fearful of standing up, speaking out and working to make a difference?

Why do so many pretend it is wise to accept mediocrity out of a fear of the loss of one election, a fear that leaves us caught in the headlights and too terrorized or intimidated to do more than stare at an oncoming disaster, hoping it passes by with as little damage as possible?

Why are so many afraid to fight?

Is it more convenient because Maria Cantwell gives an excuse not to get in there and mix it up directly with the bad guys?

to sit back, vote Maria in the primary, tell everyone else to be quiet?

And wait for Cantwell to do the dirty work of resisting and overcoming the Republican villains?

When she's demonstrated that she voted to support dirty work in the first place?

I'll say it again, I'm not a Democrat first and a patriotic civic-minded American citizen second.

And there are no lines to read between here.

I do not endorse Maria Cantwell who hesitates and has lost for herself and for all of us more than we can measure.

I do endorse Mark Wilson.


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT

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Criticism of the President is Patriotic

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1918, Lincoln and Free Speech