Thursday, April 13, 2006

Veterans For Freedom - The Anti-Murtha

Image Credit: vetsforfreedom.org

Here is a web communications portal put together by veterans of our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. These people have a different point of view as to why our tax money and precious living capitol is being spent in these and other countries after 9/11.

Excerpts from Vets For Freedom Mission Statement:

The primary mission of Vets for Freedom will be to support our troops and insert our collective insights and experiences into this national debate. What makes this organization unique is that it is a nonpartisan group made up of veterans of all ranks and all walks of life who have firsthand experience of the horrors of war. We will seek to ensure that political discussions over the Iraq War are honest and forthright by telling the story from the firsthand perspectives of veterans.
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The Global War on Terror is being fought on two fronts. Our troops are performing magnificently in Iraq fighting a tough and dirty enemy. We are winning in Iraq through a combined military, political, diplomatic and economic effort. However, we are losing the war for the will of the American public to see this conflict through because of the distorted means by which it is too often portrayed.

Inaccurate or politically inflamed media reports and policymaker statements based on rumor, speculation and even nonexistent events place an almost singular focus on negative aspects of the conflict versus any attention to many successes that take place almost daily. Those of us from the frontline have a much different view, but for reasons beyond our understanding, our perspective has been largely ignored. Vets for Freedom seeks to change this environment, providing viewpoints both positive and negative on what will be needed to achieve victory.
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To be successful, veterans and their supporters must now fight the second front of this war. We must win the American people to win in Iraq.

Semper Fi!
Wade Zirkle
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Wade Zirkle, Executive Director of Veterans For Freedom, has written an Op-Ed column for the Washington Post where he articulates a point of view about John Murtha and the effects his actions in Congress have had on our troops in the mission.

Excerpts from the Washington Post -

Troops in Support Of the War
By Wade Zirkle - Thursday, April 13, 2006; Page A21


Earlier this year there was a town hall meeting on the Iraq war, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), with the participation of such antiwar organizations as CodePink and MoveOn.org. The event also featured Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a former Marine who had become an outspoken critic of the war. To this Iraq war veteran, it was a good example of something that's become all too common: People from politics, the media and elsewhere purporting to represent "our" views. With all due respect, most often they don't.
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In view of his distinguished military career, John Murtha has been the subject of much attention from the media and is a sought-after spokesman for opponents of the Iraq war. He has earned the right to speak. But his comments supposedly expressing the negative views of those who have and are now serving in the Middle East run counter to what I and others know and hear from our own colleagues -- from junior officers to the enlisted backbone of our fighting force.

Murtha undoubtedly knows full well that the greatest single thing that drags on morale in war is the loss of a buddy. But second to that is politicians questioning, in amplified tones, the validity of that loss to our families, colleagues, the nation and the world.

While we don't question his motives, we do question his assumptions. When he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, there was a sense of respectful disagreement among most military personnel. But when he subsequently stated that he would not join today's military, he made clear to the majority of us that he is out of touch with the troops. Quite frankly, it was received as a slap in the face.
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The morale of the trigger-pulling class of today's fighting force is strong. Unfortunately, we have not had a microphone or media audience willing to report our comments. Despite this frustration, our military continues to proudly dedicate itself to the mission at hand: a free, democratic and stable Iraq and a more secure America. All citizens have a right to express their views on this important national challenge, and all should be heard. Veterans ask no more, and they deserve no less.
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MAXINE urges all, who have the will, to donate to Veterans For Freedom if this portal and position is something that appeals to you.

The MSM should put on a spokesperson from this organization every time they show statements from Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan, John Murtha, MoveOn.org, Dick Durban, and etc., in an effort to achieve some balance in their war position presentations they broadcast.
(ht: Hugh Hewitt)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The gentlemen who wrote the opinion piece is the executive director for "Vets for Freedom" a group that purports to "promote the unbiased, nonpartisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate the public and mobilize public support for the Global War on Terror"

What the author fails to note is that the gentlemen who he describes as "a former Army sergeant who had recently returned from Afghanistan,", "a constituent and a veteran" and "a veteran injured in Afghanistan" is also one of the co-founders of his group.

It's also interesting to note that the same fellow (Sgt. Mark Seavey) took Rep. Jim Moran to task at the January town meeting for not attending his unit's homecoming upon its return from Afghanistan:

According to his bio posted on the Vets for Freedom site (and also confirmed elsewhere on the internet), Seavey was a member of the Third Battalion, 116th Infantry, Virginia National Guard, which the VFF site states is based in Woodstock. Other information posted on the internet has its headquarters in nearby Winchester, with companies located in Manassas (A), Woodstock (B), and Leesburg (C). Seavey appears to have been associated with Company C out of Leesburg. At any rate, none of these communites is located in Moran's district, and Leesburg (as well as Winchester, Woodstock, and part of the Manassas area) are in the district of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). So while Seavey himself may be a constituent of Moran (Seavey resides in Alexandria), it's a little disingenuous to slam Moran for not being present for local homecomings, when the unit itself is based elsewhere.
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The article suggests that noone replied to the Sgt.'s statement (it wasn't really a question) which is false. Moran did return to Seavey's statement moments later after allowing another question from the audience. From the CSPAN broadcast:

…But the gentleman that spoke earlier should have a, uh, deserves a response.

It seems to me that we best support the troops when we make the most responsible decisions as to how their skills, talents, and lives are to be used on behalf of America’s interests. I voted for the use of military authorization in Afghanistan to go after the people who attacked the United States and to complete the job. And more than sufficient resources will be made available if they are requested for Afghanistan. There’s no question about that. I didn’t support the war in Iraq for three principal reasons. One, is that again I didn’t trust the intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction. It was not verifiable. It wasn’t even current. It was a matter of trust of people who I didn’t feel merited sufficient trust on their own. [Inaudible from audience, very scattered applause]

Now the, uh, this is going to be as comprehensive a response as I can give you. Secondly, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attack on the United States. He never attacked the United States, [scattered applause] and so he was no threat to the United States. There were no terrorists, there were no terrorist operations going on in Iraq. He was a secularist. He was in fact targeted by Osama bin Laden because he was a secularist. He was a brutal dictator, but that may be one of the reasons he was able to hold Iraq together in the same way that Tito was able to hold together the Balkans. So we were not responding to any attack. And thirdly, I concluded in the same way that President Bush the father, the 41st president, concluded on the advice of his military advisors, that you don’t go to war without a plan to win the peace. And Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, any number of others advised him that if you go into Baghdad, we don’t know how you are going to get out. We don’t know how you’re going to avoid a long-term occupation. We should be welcome liberators and not long-term occupiers.

And for those reasons I didn’t support the war, and while I certainly support the dedication of the troops and will provide whatever is necessary both to protect them and to provide health care for them, far better that they not lose their lives or lose their limbs in a mission that is not justified than to give the kind of predictable support that some others have. It is very difficult to distinguish between support of the troops and support of the war. I support the troops clearly. I appreciate what they’re doing, but I think the best thing I can do is to not put them in harm’s way unless it is clearly in America’s interest. [Long applause.]

ecj said...

And so your point is that there should not be a voice of dissention in the sea of unbalanced opinion spread throughout the mainstream media?

These "Cut-And-Run" representatives are not themselves disingenuous for changing their minds in mid-mission and slamming the troops they purport to support.

Look at Moran's quote on Saddam Hussein you supplied: "He was a brutal dictator, but that may be one of the reasons he was able to hold Iraq together in the same way that Tito was able to hold together the Balkans."

Who had to eventually go into the Balkans to liberate it and remain to this day? mmmmmm ... Maybe our troops? The troops then President Clinton ordered into action? Where is your problem with disingenuousness now?

We know why you take on Sgt. Mark Seavey and defend Rep. Moran ... admit it ... you are not against war, you are against this administration. You hate Bush!

Let us all get back to honest debate on issues. It is all about process not personalities and the process in Iraq is only half over. The process of the war on terror may only be in the "just engaged" stage.