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From the National Office
By Joe Miller
New crises, new dangers, new possibilities.
Since our last issue, it seems we have entered a new era, with ever-compounding crises in politics and environment. At the same time, there are new possibilities in politics and citizen activity with fresh new faces and voices in Washington and around the world.
President Chump is in deep trouble with the release of the Mueller documents and a House of Representatives that is finally doing its job. This does not even include the external investigations that put Chump and family in dire straits.
How does President Orange respond? He manufactures a crisis on the border, raises the spectre of "socialism" in the coming election, and threatens to send troops to Venezuela to "save" the Venezuelan people from themselves, a la Henry Kissinger in Chile in 1973. We might expect troops (excuse me, "advisors") to start landing on some Sunday afternoon. Military Times of March 15, 2019, has already raised that possibility.
It is no secret that the US oligarchs have been destabilizing an uncooperative government in Venezuela for some time. What a prize to steal the rich oil fields of that country for the oil barons?
VVAW's position is a simple one. There is no excuse, or reason, however the media delivers it, for a single US boot on the ground in Venezuela, whether the boots belong to US troops, or surrogates. Chump, the boot-licking servant of the .5%, should not be allowed to distract attention from his long deserved perp-walk, by attacking or continuing to bring poverty, anarchy and ruin to yet another country. Do we really need to add another conflict to the endless wars that have been chewing up our troops and our treasury for nearly twenty years?
It is significant that some liberal and conservative veterans organizations are now joining in an effort to challenge the "endless wars". Of course, this is only limited to a challenge of the 2001 AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force). These groups might be perfectly happy with a mere update of the AUMF, rather than a fundamental challenge to the continued use of US forces as the "World Police". VVAW says this does not go far enough.
We can be heartened by the new energy among young people all over the world toward environmental action, action that takes into account the connections between domestic (police) and foreign (military) policy. Environmental justice requires social justice activism which includes action against militarism. The obscene spending for the military, nearly $700 billion in the current budget, must be challenged.
This does NOT mean that VVAW and its partner organizations will end the fight for veterans' rights. We must act to defend the VA from privatization efforts, even though some "liberal" politicians and mainstream veterans groups seem to have bought into the scam.
There is much on our plate right now. We must look for, and take advantage of, any opportunity to engage in the struggle. Not all of us are in a position to jump in with both feet. We must do what we can wherever we can. Join the struggles where you live!
Joe Miller is a member of the VVAW Board.
VVAW Milwaukee Chapter demo, March 20, 2004.