October 6, 2012 vfpvc

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Veterans For Peace,

In last month’s Keeping in Touch memo, I expressed the urgent necessity for VFP to do everything in its power to oppose war on Iran.  Many analysts believe that Israel will attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election, and the U.S. has not done nearly enough to distance itself from their provocation.  On September 13th, Ann Wright, Ray McGovern and I met with 3 members of the Iranian Mission to the UN.  We wanted to express VFP’s solidarity with the people of Iran, and our adamant opposition to the economic sanctions that have already been imposed, as well as the possibility of a future military strike by Israel and/or the U.S.  We also wanted to propose that a delegation of VFP members travel to Iran as soon as possible; ideally, before the November elections.  The meeting went very well, with two very positive outcomes:  I was invited to speak at the upcoming dinner meeting with President Ahmahdinejad in NYC (nine members of VFP, including Executive Director Mike Reid will also be in attendance), and we were invited to send a delegation to Iran by the Ambassador’s representative before I even had a chance to bring the idea up.   I am very much looking forward to addressing President Ahmadinejad next week, and am hopeful that plans for the delegation will come to fruition as well.

I am writing this month’s message just before I head off to Pakistan to protest drones as part of a delegation organized by Code Pink.  I will be leaving NYC on Wed and joining over 50 others, including VFP members Ann Wright, Rob Mulford, and Jody Mackey.  We will be meeting with the victims of drone strikes from the Waziristan region, as well as participating in large, multi-national protests against drones.

I hope many of you have been participating in the monthly “Global Days of Listening” with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.  I also highly encourage you to learn more about their “2 Million Friends Campaign” www.2millionfriends.org, sign the letter calling for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, and identify yourself as one of 2 million friends of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.  Several VFP members have participated in past delegations to Afghanistan organized by Kathy Kelly and her organization, Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  The link above provides information for those who might be interested in going to Kabul to be a part of the December delegation.

If you haven’t read the historical autobiography of Brian Willson, Blood on the Tracks, the Life and Times of S. Brian Willson, I hope you will do so soon.  Brian has been a long time member of VFP, and has led a remarkable life.  His life has been so important to the peace and justice movement, that award-winning film producer Bo Boudart is now making a documentary about Brian’s life entitled “Paying the Price for Peace.”  This film is being produced through private donations, and your help is needed to make it happen.  Please go to: http://www.indiegogo.com/PayingThePriceForPeace to see a trailer of the film and make a donation at whatever level you can afford.

Very soon, all eligible members (documented veteran members with dues paid) will receive their ballot in the mail.  For the first time in VFP history, this ballot will allow members to vote not just for Board members, but for bylaws amendment proposals and resolutions as well.  The ballot will contain information to point you to a website where you will find the recommendations of the Board and those present at the convention, as well as opportunities to comment on the issues and ask questions of the candidates.  You will also be able to listen to a recording of the debate that took place at the convention.  Additionally, the national office will be scheduling at least two live debate/discussion webinars so that the membership may discuss and respond to each other.

If you are not on my “From the Prez” mailing list and would like to be, just drop me a line at leahbolger@comcast.net, and it will be done.  Those on the “From the Prez” list will receive communications (like the “Keeping in Touch” memos) directly from me right to your inbox.  I generally don’t send out more than 2 messages per month, so you won’t be overwhelmed!

Since I am going to be out of the country, I will not be holding an electronic town hall meeting this month, but if you have questions or comments, feel free to send them to me anytime at:  leahbolger@comcast.net.

In peace and solidarity,

Leah Bolger
President, Veterans For Peace


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