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
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18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04

Saturday, 24 June 2006

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Members Speak Out

and the Republicans want us to stay that course?

The party of CEO McGavick and RNC marionettes Reichert, McMorris, Hastings and their fellow robots truly consider us citizens the dumbest segment of society.

Led nationally this week by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), who trails his Democratic challenger in Pennsylvania by 18 points, the desparate national party of CEO McGavick and Rubber Stamp Reichert is all gaga over the discovery that there WERE weapons of mass destruction after all.

Republicans distorting this pretended newly discovered fact intend that we then conclude that  Bush's big  lie wasn't a lie after all ...

that 2500+ troop deaths and the murder of innocent Iraqi citizens is not the fault of Republican arm-chair warriors.

You can read Santorum's self-serving grandstand posture as a modern Paul Revere at his Senate Site and lose your breath in the heroic vindicating quality of his announcement.

Donald Rumsfeld, another armchair warrior under fire joins in with his own boy-am-I-relieved-now declaration: link to WAPO, Early Warning by William Arkin

The report says in part:

-- "Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

-- Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

And Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld evidently agrees.  

Yesterday, he told reporters that he was concerned "if they got into the wrong hands" because "they are weapons of mass destruction."

Well, yes they ARE weapons of mass destruction the same way a kiwi and a watermelon are both considered fruit.

 

More importantly, these anxious-for-exoneration Republicans have again re-established that the original Republican lie about Weapons of Mass Destruction was the first reason for invading and occupying Iraq.

... even if among these newly-revealed 500 whatevers that were in existence prior to the first Gulf War there isn't anything that could have come close to that dreaded "mushroom cloud" - the anxiety image that prompted dumbed down Americans to not oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Arkin continues:

But the current dust-up over an intelligence memo indicating that U.S. forces have recovered about 500 old chemical munitions does prove one thing: When it comes to weapons of mass destruction, we are unable to differentiate and unable to have a rational debate.  The term WMD has also become so expansive as to become meaningless.

...The problem is that Santorum, Rumsfeld, President Bush, Cheney, and most Washington wonks love to say "weapons of mass destruction" They don't differentiate between, say, Russian intercontinental missiles with multiple nuclear warheads and 20-year-old Iraqi chemical shells.

The threshold for labeling something WMD in this world is low, if it exists at all. Many of the "chemical munitions" found in Iraq were even "unfilled" shells. That is, they had never been filled with chemical agent, according to the summary.  But, as Rumsfeld says, "they are weapons of mass destruction."

Such antics of course are part of the national and state Republican pretended wisdom of why we are occupying Iraq,

why our sons and daughters are fighting the Bush-labeled "noble cause" around which Bush and Republicans cannot or are too afraid to wrap a clearly stated definition ...

why no Republican is willing nor has the courage to say what the course we must stay on looks like so as to help American citizens understand why we must ...

Strictly limited RNC-dictated talking points in both the House and Senate last week where Reichert, Hastings and McMorris all joined in the blind-obedience chorus - and where CEO McGavick wants to sing in the same choir - included the coward's way of avoiding responsibility.

Karl Rove attempted to put on a soldier's uniform when he made his cowardly declaration about courageous soldiers who fight as opposed to cowardly non-soldiers who "cut and run" (see footnote at end of article).

This from someone who avoided service; who himself cut and ran during Viet Nam. These antics from prominent Republicans hang around the party's candidates necks like gaudy ties and we fail if we don't ask them if they agree with and support these chicken hawk declarations from the likes of Rove and Cheney.

All Republicans should be challenged to clarify publicly whether or not they agree with and support the self-serving cowardice of Rove, Cheney and Bush who have no credibility as warriors and embarrass every American solider and veteran when they put on the tough-talk uniform.

In our own state, the Republican Party has no firm Iraq strategy nor agenda that reflects the common good of our country and its citizens.

Particularly damaging for Republicans is the party's total lack of sensitivity regarding the actual soldiers and their families who reside here.

Led now by CEO McGavick and the Congressional Republican marionettes, Washington Republicans  have repeatedly - with a blind insistence and insensitivity - offered soldiers and their families the empty slogan, "Stay the Course"

... a phrase totally devoid of substance, meaning and relevance in a meaningful way

... a phrase the use of which fails to address positively the day-to-day struggle of coping with life that includes loved ones in harms way.

Why have Republicans done this and failed us?

Because the directive comes from the Republican National Committee and its dominant strategists who also hold the  Presidential hands attempting to hang on to the government steering wheel.

What the lock-step robot-like and narrowly restricted speeches in the recent House and Senate "debates" on the occupation of Iraq reflect is an assumption that American voters are limited in their attention spans ...

that cheap and shabby sound-bite phrases like "cut and run" are all we need to hear .... worse, all we need to know.

So in Washington we find ourselves having to deal with a party and candidates that dissemintate half-truths, falsehoods and disingenuous cherry-picked facts to Washingtonians.

Why?

Because we are presumed to be stupid, ignorant, naive and gullible.

Don't believe me?

What state party distorted information about sex offenders and then sent pictoral flyers to a limited number of specifically selected legislative districts rather than statewide - which one would think a party concerned about the whole state would do as part of civic responsibility?

Which party went out of its way to disenfranchise voters and belittle voting rights in the interest of limiting the size of the vote as a tactic for election victory?

What party created the moniker "Death Tax" as a framing phrase for the Estate Tax and then pretended that the Estate Tax harms and victimizes a majority of citizens when only the richest are impacted?

What party demeans and ridicules the idea of working toward peace - including an advocacy for a Department of Peace?

What party refers to peace as an alternative having no credibility in the real world where wars are started by lies and liars and sustained by willful refusal to accept responsibility and make no effort to define missions, courses, jobs and exit strategies?

Go to the state Republican website and read the public announcements that reek with the arrogance of assumed electoral stupidity.

The issue here is that even as I write this, the  overwhelming majority opinion in this country is that America is off-track;

America is tragically moving in wrong directions.

Polls continually reflect this concern and a national pessimism even more powerful than the considerable unpopularity of the occupation of Iraq.

Most Americans believe we are off track and tragically moving in the wrong direction to our own national and local detriment

... and the Republicans want us to stay that course?

-----------------------------

*Based on Republican usage and definition, the following are logical conclusions of what it means to cut and run:

Failure to support the troops and the willful act of cutting funds to the VA is a case of cut and run.

Hiding caskets returning home from the occupation of Iraq and sneaking them into the country in the middle of the night is a case of cut and run.

Refusal to meet with a grieving mother last summer was case of cut and run.

Refusal to find and fire leakers is a case of cut and run.

Refusal to take responsibility for failure in the wake of Katrina is a case of cut and run.

Refusal to effect a thorough rebuilding of Louisiana and Mississippi is a case of cut and run.

The Medicare D program with it's betrayal of citizens to cater to corporations is a case of cut and run.

Millions of children who have been left behind is a case of cut and run.

Cowering before Right Wing Christian blowhards and making public declarations in support of legislation against gay marriage and gay rights is a case of cut and run.

Cowering before Right Wing Christian blowhards in appointing judges too far of the course they ought to stay on is a case of cut and run.

Shall I continue?

Better yet, how many more examples can we find? Comments are welcome.


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