Now Playing: Judy Linehan
Topic: Members Speak Out
A plea from Military Families Against the War in Britain to friends in America
A plea from Military Families Against the War in Britain to friends in America:
My name is Judy Linehan. I am a member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) in the US, and mother of an Iraq War veteran. While studying in London I am working with our twin group here in the UK, Military Families Against the War (MFAW).
Just as the Downing St Memo is serving as a lightening rod for the Peace community in our country, it has ignited an important campaign in England led by MFAW. I write to tell you about the action MFAW has undertaken to bring accountability to the British government, and to request your assistance in adding international momentum to this historic endeavor.
Families of fallen soldiers presented a demand for a "public inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq" to Tony Blair earlier this month. He has now responded to them with an insulting letter containing such preposterous statements as, "The decision to take military action in Iraq was in no sense the immediate and direct operative cause of the deaths of the claimants� relatives." The Prime Minister's stance of not answering the question continues without shame, & indeed a full reading of the text at http://www.mfaw.org.uk/ implies there is actually no question at all.
Seventeen families stand firm in their resolve to pursue a full and open investigation into the execution of the Iraq war, to seek truth against all resistance; MFSO solidly supports them. The families are taking their Prime Minister to the High Court in London. Legal action is always expensive and this case will be no exception. MFAW is determined that the families will be spared the court costs and have therefore undertaken to raise $75,000 over the next six months. Please help us help the families. Contributions can be made via mastercard/visa and paypal. http://www.mfaw.org.uk/
By bringing Tony Blair to account, � of the unholy alliance of Bush and Blair, justice and accountability will also surely come around to knock at the door of the White House. These men have flaunted international law with impunity, and according to activist Jo Wilding we are impeded by not having a system in place to uphold these laws. A massive international public appeal has an enhanced potential to help spawn such a system.
The chronicles of the families� endeavors can be read at http://www.mfaw.org.uk/ along with all documents mentioned above. And we earnestly ask that you sign the public petition found online or download to collect signatures.
The families' plea for an independent public inquiry follows this letter. We thank you most heartily for the serious deliberation you give to this cause and your contribution to it. Please add this plea to you website so that others may forward the message to all Peace & Justice lovers.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Judy Linehan, MFSO
Open Letter to the People of Britain:
Our loved ones gave their lives in the service of this country. They all died in the Iraq war. When they went to that war they believed they were being sent to defend our country. They were told it was their duty to disarm the Saddam regime of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD). When enlisting, servicemen and women sign an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty's government. All they ask in return is that their government acts in an honourable, truthful and responsible manner, and only deploys troops into the theatre of war to risk their lives when absolutely necessary. We now believe that our Prime Minister, Tony Blair, misled the people of this country as to the true reasons for the war in Iraq. We believe that there was no serious evidence for WMD. We also believe that the assurances given by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, as to the legality of the war are highly questionable. This is why we are calling for a full, independent and effective public inquiry into the decision to go to war in Iraq. We ask you to support our call. We must restore accountability to public life. Our loved ones deserve justice, and the people of this country deserve the truth.
Reg and Sally Keys, Parents of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys
Rose and George Gentle, Parents of Fusilier Gordon Gentle
John and Marilyn Miller, Parents of Corporal Simon Miller
Tony Hamilton-Jewell, Brother of Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell
Peter Brierley, Father of Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley
Anna Aston, Wife of Corporal Russell Aston
George and Ann Lawrence, Parents of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence
Tracey Pritchard, Wife of Corporal Dewi Pritchard
Patricia Long, Mother of Corporal Paul Long
Sharon Hehir, Wife of Sergeant Les Hehir
Lianne Seymour, Wife of Operator Mechanic 2nd Class Ian Seymour
Debbie Allbutt, Wife of Corporal Stephen Allbutt
Theresa Evans, Mother of Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans
Roy and Eileen Shearer, Parents of Lance Corporal Karl Shearer
Richard and Karen Green, Parents of Lieutenant Philip Green
Beverley Clarke, Mother of Trooper David Clarke
James and Rae Craw, Parents of Corporal Andrew Craw