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Juana Bordas
Diversity leader

Juana Bordas

Juana Bordas is president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company focusing on leadership, diversity, and organizational change. Author of the 2007 book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age, she is a board member of the International Leadership Association.

The peacemakers: Daniel Ellsberg and Veterans for Peace

Question: Considering all spheres of endeavor, who would you nominate as Leader of the Year in 2010? Why?

Somethings never change. On December 16th Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle blower of the Vietnam era who released the Pentagon papers, was arrested along with 131 people in front of the White House. A majority were Veterans for Peace who were protesting U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, Daniel Ellsberg is still standing. But before you grimace, take note that according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this December, 60 percent of Americans say the Afghanistan war has not been worth fighting. More revealing is the 2010 Pew Research Centers survey indicating that 72 percent of Americans believe that the cost of the Iraq war, both in lives and resources, was not worth it!

We might ask ourselves, "Where were the rest of the war-weary Americans when our veterans were chaining themselves to the White House fence?" In 2010 the U.S. spent $65.4 billion on the Iraq war. Afghanistan, which is the longest war in U.S. history, is costing a bigger chunk, at $72.9 billion, when ironically the Afghanistan gross national income is estimated at $32 billion. As a return Peace Corps volunteer who believes in economic development and building bridges of cultural understanding, I can't help wondering how spending more than twice as much on weapons and war than people have for food, water and housing in a country will make us more secure.

Veterans for Peace and Daniel Ellsberg should be this year's person of the year because of their courage and bravery to stand up for all of us who believe that "war is not the answer." Moreover in a time of economic recession, the war machine is bankrupting our country. As John Amidon, a Marine Corps veteran from Albany asked at the White House protest, "How is the war economy working for you?"

While unemployment rates hover near 10 percent, there is no doubt that the U.S. economy and quality of life is faltering. Worldwide we are 14th in education, 37th in the World Health Organization's ranking on medical systems, and 23rd in the U.N. Environmental Sustainability Index on being most livable and greenest benefits. There is one place we take the undeniable world lead. The US military spending accounts for a whopping 46.5 percent of world military spending--the next ten countries combined come in at only 20.7 percent.

In the 1960s, when people actively protested an unjust war, there was a feeling in America that we could do something about a foreign-policy decision we did not agree with. Today, many people feel powerless--politically mute. They know that we were lied to and manipulated about the weapons of mass destruction, and there is a Tea Party distrust of American government.

This is why we should honor those who stood for peace in 2010. For those of us who in this holiday season hope for peace on Earth, let us renew our commitment to work for a peaceful world. And if we believe that war is not the answer in 2011, let's join those who are standing up for peace. After all, Daniel Ellsberg has been steadfast for almost a half a century.

Let us also heed the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death...we must find an alternative to war."

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By Juana Bordas

 |  December 22, 2010; 5:25 PM ET
Category:  Ethics , Wartime Leadership , Wrong-Doing Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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VFP and Daniel Ellsberg are perfect choices for best leader of 2010.

In 2011 they need to mesh their efforts with about 40 other peace groups and launch a variety of initiatives to wage war on war. Here is my list of initiatives:
Waging War on War:

Establish a Citizen's Assembly for Peace.
Establish the Department of Peace Keeping and National Security.
Establish a Peace Keeping and National Security Council.
Nationalize and reorient the defense industry.
Join the International Criminal Court.
Create a dualdraft.
End the propagandizing of the military and militarism.
Determine the lost opportunity costs of warfare welfare.
Impeach or prosecute officials who commit the U.S. to war on false
pretenses.
Permanently ban and prosecute defense contractors who defraud the
government.
Publish a detailed "name and shame" annual warfare welfare report.
Stop budget ovemrns in military spending.
Stop emergency and off-the-book defense budgeting and funding.
Include supplemental funding and nuclear weapon funding in the
military budget.
Require open and competitive bidding on all contract bids.
Purge the GNP index of defense costs.
Prevent war profiteering.
Stop the manufacture and purchase of useless weapoffy.
Stop the sale anywhere abroad of arms from U.S. manufacturers.
Eliminate pivatization of the military.
Forbid military recruiting at public schools and colleges.
Eliminate college ROTC progfttms.
Suspend the U.S. Peace Corps while the U.S. is at war.

Yes, it's a wish list, but better than a death wish, and anything conceivable is possible.

Gary B. Brumback, PhD
www.democracypowernow.com

Posted by: garybrumback1 | December 31, 2010 2:42 PM
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During long lives of struggle, Daniel Ellsberg and the brave men and women of Veterans for Peace have taken and continue to take significant personal risks for all of our sake. They dare to insist that we look at the unpleasant truths, the often highly unpopular truths, the truths about the deceit, mendacity, and dehumanization of our wars, and the truths about the irreparable human suffering caused by our wars. It is said that truth is the first casualty of war, and by insisting on truth in time of war, these heroes rescue and preserve the truest values of our civilization at a time when so many others seem to be embracing the descent of our country into a brutal, cynical, mindless regime of military empire. Daniel Ellsberg and the Veterans for Peace remind us that silence is complicity and that each and every one of us has a responsibility to act. While there are many heroines and heroes today struggling for the survival of the American soul, these are among the very best and can stand for all.

Posted by: elsarassbach | December 30, 2010 8:01 PM
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As a Vietnam Vet, I am convinced that only when we make our "leaders" actually lead us in battle, in front, will we have peace.

As long as draft-dodging cowards like Bush and Cheney can take us to war without taking responsibility for the death, the misery, the mass killings, the pain and suffering, they will do so. They haven't even PAID FOR THEIR WARS!!

Those who are for wars should get them, . . personally.

Posted by: gkam | December 28, 2010 11:28 AM
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We members of the Veterans for Peace, in all sincerity, believe in the elimination of war as a mechanism of the human condition. There is nothing more important than the promotion of PEACE in the world. One of the foremost proponents of PEACE is the eloquent and courageous Daniel Ellsberg. Therefore, I believe that the Veterans for Peace, as an organization, and Daniel Ellsberg, as an individual, should be the recognized, jointly, as the leaders for PEACE in 2010.

Posted by: tokjct | December 27, 2010 1:16 PM
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As a Vietnam combat vet, a member of Veterans for Peace, also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a retired AP foreign correspondent who knows freedom of the press is essential if forces for peace rather than war are to have a chance -- I vote for Daniel Ellsberg and Veterans for Peace. May other nominees such as Barack Obama see the wisdom of this choice.

Posted by: larrythorson | December 27, 2010 9:49 AM
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Wow...The blatant disregard for life, liberty, transparency and accountability...Bad enough when one hears the inane statements from the willfully ignorant in their hate speech or their commentary here [ eg, "Ellsburg, Julian Assange (sp? - and I don't care to look it up) and their ilk should lead us to peace by offering a hug to the first suicide bomber they find."] Those so enamored with their own reflection in the shiny manipulated surface that they forget or don't care to see reality behind the mirror of their narcissism and self adoration
The Anti-War movement is very active but NO one in the MSM will report the constant protests in the street, on the grounds of the capitol and work being done by the real heroes of this nation...Daniel Ellsberg has been shining the light on the naked Emperor for FIFTY YEARS!
AND Vets For Peace...The strength of truth behind them and the reality of their service for the counry makes them the real experts on this issue.
But will the MSM report on their work?
HELL NO!
Controlled by their corporate owners who make billions on the perpetuation of war - they won't say a DAMNED thing! They learned from the Viet Nam era...No body bags to be shown, no reports from war zones and hell NO they won't let a picture leak showing the throngs of people acting in their patriotism; their love of country and their fear of the a government that has become "Of Wall Street, By Wall Street and For Wall Street" .
A government that has chosen to perpetuate war for war's sake with the con men screaming "9/11....9/11....9/11:" (the charge of the military industrial complex to keep us rallied in hate)

Posted by: REALCosmicSurfer | December 26, 2010 8:52 PM
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What a wonderful idea to nominate Veterans for Peace and Daniel Ellsberg for person of the year! These are the people who have maximum credibility for their principled stands, taken without regard to personal freedom. They take on the conventional wisdom to bring us the truth, often at great cost to themselves. Yes! VPF and Ellsberg for Person of the Year!!

Posted by: jean4peace | December 26, 2010 7:59 PM
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Ellsburg, Julian Assange (sp? - and I don't care to look it up) and their ilk should lead us to peace by offering a hug to the first suicide bomber they find.

While there were problems with the logic behind the Iraq war, time and distance have made some forget that the September 11 murderers were trained in Afghanistan by the same folks we're trying to weed out there and in Pakistan. We can't hide from it, it's a situation that has to be addressed.

Ellsburg's previous contributions were demeaned by his methods. Now he demeans everything with a naivete that's startling.

So go hug a suicdde bomber, Dan, then they'll be nice to you and everyone else!

Posted by: MJA5 | December 26, 2010 9:03 AM
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I support VFP and Daniel Ellsberg for combined "person of the year."
It seems the only thing the USA knows how to "make" anymore is war and prisoners. It is time to recapture the American Dream and end the wars.

Posted by: pmartin2894 | December 26, 2010 2:15 AM
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The president and elected "leaders" in DC need to pay attention to the people who know what they are talking about - the veterans of past and current wars. We have wasted billions of dollars and terrorized two nations. It needs to stop NOW. I am proud to know these brave patriots. Daniel Ellsberg and VFP deserve to be given this award.

Posted by: LindaInTexas | December 25, 2010 8:38 PM
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I'd like to add my voice to those supporting the nomination of Daniel Ellsberg and Veterans for Peace. All Americans should understand the true cost of war, to the peoples of the world and the peoples of our own nation.

Posted by: DonBisdorf | December 25, 2010 7:32 PM
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Since before the onset of the two wars the US is waging on the peoples of Iraq and Afghnistan, Veterans For Peace has been Standing Up! for Peace. VFP members know there are better ways to deal with our foriengn policy than with violence and destruction, and they know that what we dish out on others only comes back to us ten fold.

The determination of these veterans, year after year, in all kinds of weather, enduring harassment, spitting, violence, loss of fortune and scorn reflects true discipline in persuit of the goal of peace.

Join the veterans that know the truth, force your representatives to end these wars NOW!

Posted by: sindynan | December 25, 2010 5:36 PM
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"Blessed are the peacemakers." Recognition of their sacrifices and courage should be sung far and wide.... There is no better time than now, especially this season, for the Washington Post to show it's soul by selecting Veterans for Peace as the Person of the Year.

The "business of America" is no longer "business" (our leaders have sent much of our manufacturing overseas). The "business" of those who hold power in our country is now chaos, war and Empire...

At a level unknown in history, our civic duty is to find the levers of power and stop the wars and concomitant abuse of all society. Empowering ourselves ultimately means voting directly on major issues. "Vote.org" The politics inherent in representative government assures that little of importance ever gets done right. Our representatives are all too frightened to boldly change course even when the incorrectness of our course is clear to almost everyone who even is minimally informed.

Blessed are the Peacemakers!

Posted by: georip | December 25, 2010 3:46 PM
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"Blessed are the peacemakers." Recognition of their sacrifices and courage should be sung far and wide.... There is no better time than now, especially this season, for the Washington Post to show it's soul by selecting Veterans for Peace as the Person of the Year.

The "business of America" is no longer "business" (our leaders have sent much of our manufacturing overseas). The "business" of those who hold power in our country is now chaos, war and Empire...

At a level unknown in history, our civic duty is to find the levers of power and stop the wars and concomitant abuse of all society. Empowering ourselves ultimately means voting directly on major issues. "Vote.org" The politics inherent in representative government assures that little of importance ever gets done right. Our representatives are all too frightened to boldly change course even when the incorrectness of our course is clear to almost everyone who even is minimally informed.

Blessed are the Peacemakers!

Posted by: georip | December 25, 2010 3:45 PM
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"Blessed are the peacemakers." Recognition of their sacrifices and courage should be sung far and wide....There is no better time than now, especially this season, for the Washington Post to show it's soul by selecting Veteran's for Peace as the Person of the Year.

The "business of America" is no longer "business" (our leaders have sent much of our manufacturing ability overseas.) The "business" of those who hold power in our country is now chaos, war, and empire.

At a level unknown in history, our civic duty is to find the levers of power and stop the wars and concomitant abuse of all society. Empowering ourselves ultimately means voting directly on major issues, "Vote.org" The politics inherent in representative government assures that little of importance ever gets done right. The vast majority of our "representatives" are all too frightened to boldly change course even when the incorrectness of our course is clear to almost everyone who is even minimally informed.

Posted by: georip | December 25, 2010 3:44 PM
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"Blessed are the peacemakers." Recognition of their sacrifices and courage should be sung far and wide.... There is no better time than now, especially this season, for the Washington Post to show it's soul by selecting Veterans for Peace as the Person of the Year.

The "business of America" is no longer "business" (our leaders have sent much of our manufacturing overseas). The "business" of those who hold power in our country is now chaos, war and Empire...

At a level unknown in history, our civic duty is to find the levers of power and stop the wars and concomitant abuse of all society. Empowering ourselves ultimately means voting directly on major issues. "Vote.org" The politics inherent in representative government assures that little of importance ever gets done right. Our representatives are all too frightened to boldly change course even when the incorrectness of our course is clear to almost everyone who even is minimally informed.

Blessed are the Peacemakers!

Posted by: georip | December 25, 2010 3:27 PM
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Want peace? Support Ron Paul!

Posted by: perry911 | December 25, 2010 12:53 PM
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Daniel Ellsberg and "Peace"!
You've got to be kidding!
More like 'Traitor'!

Posted by: realtimer | December 25, 2010 12:39 PM
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As a fellow member of Veterans For Peace, I met Dan Ellsberg as we washed dishes at the Crawford Peace House at Thanksgiving, 2005. We were at Camp Casey to protest W. Bush and U.S. warmongering. We were both at other events since then, the most recent being Dec.16th at the White House decrying Obama's warmongering. Dan Ellsberg is one of many members of VFP that I'm proud to join and serve with---Lobo

Posted by: Lobo3 | December 25, 2010 12:06 PM
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Since before the start of our two wars on the Middle East, members of Veterans For Peace have been Standing Up! for Peace on street corners, public spaces and courthouse lawns, all across the country, demanding a saner foreign policy, one without violence and destruction of others' lands for 'our way of life.'

Honor those who care enough to do this, those who are willing to face ridicule, being spat on, beat up, arrested, and who have the courage to continue, week after week, after week.

When our "leaders" finally decide to cut and run, our nation and everyone else on the planet will be poorer for the wars. Its time to stop the folly NOW.

Join members of VFP, and demand an end to war.

Posted by: sindynan | December 25, 2010 11:18 AM
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Thanks to Veterans for Peace and all who speak for those of us with less stamina. Thanks also for Juana Bordas for publicizing in the "Washington Post" the Dec. 16 demonstration where 130+ people were arrested, which somehow was deemed not newsworthy enough to warrant a report when it happened. As long as oppressive wars continue, we will continue to speak out and opt for change.

Posted by: AnotherVoice4 | December 25, 2010 10:26 AM
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As a retired US Army Reserve Colonel and a 29 year military veteran, I joined Veterans for Peace to work for non-military solutions to challenges facing America. Vets for Peace is always on the front line of reminding our government that peace does not come from the end of a rifle.

Ann Wright in Afghanistan

for the People's Perspective on Obama's December Review of his Afghanistan war policy

Posted by: microann | December 25, 2010 9:11 AM
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Veterans For Peace and Daniel Ellsberg deserve the man of the year award for their dedication to exposing the true costs of war and their relentless efforts to create a world where we truly live in Peace.

Posted by: DebbieTolsonaolcom | December 25, 2010 8:30 AM
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In these times of endless wars, those brave veterans who have faced the horrors of war and come home to speak out for peace, deserve our respect and acknowledgement for their place at the forefront of the peace movement. On December 16, at the White House, members of Veterans For Peace put their bodies on the line as they protested the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. War is never the answer to the resolution of conflict and no one knows that better than veterans. I am honored to be among them.

Posted by: nicabramson | December 24, 2010 10:33 PM
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Clearly the major news media was asleep during the stop the war(s) protest at the White House on 12/16/10 . It got no mention except for some brief words . No Major media cameras or coverage from NPR news. One hundred and thirty one brave souls were arrested. All are my hero's for speaking to the unnecessary killing in Afghanistan and other places in the world where the Pentagon is wasting borrowed money from the US Treasury .All of this killing must stop;it only makes US Military contractors and weapon makers rich while killing and maiming innocent people!All of the people from VFP /Code Pink/ Physicians for National Health Plan /and all others attending and arrested deserve honorable mention but Daniel Ellsberg deserves the Top Peace Maker award for his untiring work before the release of the Pentagon Papers /during/and to this date for Peace and Government transparency !

Posted by: parralleluniversity | December 24, 2010 10:28 PM
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Clearly the major news media was asleep during the stop the war(s) protest at the White House on 12/16/10 . It got no mention except for some brief words . No Major media cameras or coverage from NPR news. One hundred and thirty one brave souls were arrested. All are my hero's for speaking to the unnecessary killing in Afghanistan and other places in the world where the Pentagon is wasting borrowed money from the US Treasury .All of this killing must stop;it only makes US Military contractors and weapon makers rich while killing and maiming innocent people!All of the people from VFP /Code Pink/ Physicians for National Health Plan /and all others attending and arrested deserve honorable mention but Daniel Ellsberg deserves the Top Peace Maker award for his untiring work before the release of the Pentagon Papers /during/and to this date for Peace and Government transparency !

Posted by: parralleluniversity | December 24, 2010 9:56 PM
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Entering our tenth year of war/occupation in Afghanistan, preparing to mark the eighth year of war/occupation in Iraq in March, launching predator drones into Pakistan and Yemen, training troops in Somalia, Colombia, and in nearly 141 countries across the globe, causing thousands and thousands of deaths and mutilations, PTSD, and costing us hundreds and hundreds of $billions of dollars -- for what? Voices of sanity, of reason are needed to tell our emperors that the US is on a fool's mission. Two voices that dare to criticize, that ask people to question the necessity of what our military is doing, and to stand up for real peace, are Dan Ellsberg and all members of Veterans for Peace. The Veterans for Peace, from WW II vets to Iraq/Afghan veterans, all call out for an end to our country being, as MLK, Jr. said, in 1967, "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world." As JFK warned, "We must put an end to war, or war will put an end to us." I cast my vote for Daniel Ellsberg (a member of VFP) and the organization itself! Peace to All.

Posted by: willwen | December 24, 2010 9:00 PM
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The Veterans For Peace, individually and collectively, are some of the bravest and most empathetic people I know. Rash moves are infrequent, but quick thinking responses to injustice are many. The way VFP has responded to national disasters, including the Bush administration, is always 100% mindful and heartfelt. It is an organization of leaders, who will follow each other. At least that has been my take. And they do not exclude those who may not have served or made them feel lesser 'patriots'.

Posted by: kitchensink | December 24, 2010 8:49 PM
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Veterans for Peace deserves this honor in recognition of all their efforts. Their diligence is remarkable, and their actions are noble.

Posted by: thesludge | December 24, 2010 8:48 PM
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Veterans for Peace have the best qualifications to oppose the excess of American militarism and our recurring use of war in place of tactful diplomacy. Their protests of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of choice have been the most effective of all those offered in recent years. Yes, they should be everybody's 'persons' of the year.

Posted by: Calanus | December 24, 2010 8:05 PM
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Pleased to share a space on the line with all those good people at the White House fence. Those Vets for Peace really came through with flying colors! Juana Boadas, the action isn't over, please follow our trial with blogs too.

Posted by: nycbev85 | December 24, 2010 8:02 PM
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I was very honored and privileged to join Veterans for Peace and Mr. Daniel Ellsberg on Dec. 16th at the White House. I fully support their nomination. They are leading the way to achieve peace and the social and economic justice so desperately needed in this nation.

Posted by: mflowersmd | December 24, 2010 7:46 PM
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I, too, was a combat Marine in what I thought was America's last "Bad War (Vietnam). I was wrong. Now we are in not one, but two wars; and several other potential conflict areas. I have nothing new to add that has not been previously said here at this site; except that we ought to get out of not only Iraq and Afghanistan, but the poison-pit which is Israel and Palestine. I once considered myself an internationalist, but no more. Just color me an isolationist, with all the bad and good that entails.

Mike P.

Posted by: wwmakers | December 24, 2010 7:30 PM
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It is an honor for Veterans For Peace (VFP) to be nominated for this award. VFP's primary mission is to inform the country about The True Cost Of War. This is a very comprehensive list including: How Is The War Economy Working For You?, Sexual Trauma in the Military, PTSD, 38% of the troops returning with some type of disability, inadequate healthcare & psychological support for the returning veterans, the economic draft that is currently in place, etc. As it has for 25 years, Veterans For Peace will continue to keep the general public aware of the unintended consequences of our countries involvement in these unending wars.

There is no stronger voice than those of the men and women that have served in the military. They have a clear understanding of the consequence of war. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I know how important it is that we must use our voice to speak out how we must find other solutions to resolve international challenges than becoming involved in combat with other countries.

I believe that the country is tired of these extended wars and looking for an answer to stop our current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think that Veterans For Peace credible voice can and will make a difference in getting this message heard. It is the voice that our nation can trust.

Peace.

Dennis Lane
Executive Director
Veterans For Peace

Posted by: vfped | December 24, 2010 6:56 PM
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This is why I support Veterans For Peace

VETERAN FOR PEACE
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others
(a) To increase public awareness of the costs of war
(b) To restrain our from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
government(c) To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
(d) To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
(e) To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.
Will Covert
#99 Arrested
December 16th, Twenty~ten

Posted by: CovertFeathers | December 24, 2010 6:14 PM
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When the veterans' movement against the American war in Vietnam began in the late 1960's, we veterans were part of a small minority of Americans that put our bodies on the line to stop the war. By the time American combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, the large majority of our fellow citizens had withdrawn their support. Again, when the Bush administration manipulated the nation's fear after 9/11, we veterans brought "Operation Dire Distress" to the capitol, in an effort to head off the war. Almost no one supported us. Now 60% of the public agrees the war has not been worth the costs - in lives, in treasure, and in spirit. May the honor of this nomination help boost the national effort to STOP THESE WARS NOW!

Posted by: kenmayers | December 24, 2010 6:09 PM
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VFP and Daniel Ellsberg are excellent choices for a combined "Person of the Year." Their work and message are considered, cohesive, and correct: the US wars/occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are unnecessary, ineffective and costly, both financially and morally. To those of us who still believe in the American dream, the values of democracy and self-determination, it is deeply painful to see all that undermined by ignorance, misplaced fear, and the drive for profit over justice.

Posted by: msymuse | December 24, 2010 5:24 PM
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VFP and Daniel Ellsberg are excellent choices for a combined "Person of the Year." Their work and message are considered, cohesive, and correct: the US wars/occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are unnecessary, ineffective and costly, both financially and morally. To those of us who still believe in the American dream, the values of democracy and self-determination, it is deeply painful to see all that undermined by ignorance, misplaced fear, and the drive for profit over justice.

Posted by: msymuse | December 24, 2010 5:24 PM
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I am most proud to say I stood support for these brave souls and to represent my Chapter mates at this action. END THESE WARS NOW!

Malcolm Chaddock
Sean Slattery Chapter (72)
Veterans For Peace
Portland, OR

Posted by: madmal | December 24, 2010 5:21 PM
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Veterans for Peace and Daniel Ellsberg are heroes, and I hope a lot more people raise their voices in opposition to these insane wars.

Posted by: mkathy1 | December 24, 2010 5:06 PM
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Veterans for Peace should be honored for continuing to point out the folly of our Afghanistan Crusade. We need to support the troops by bringing them home, and support the vets in every way possible to make them whole again.

Posted by: PaulSalemOregon | December 24, 2010 4:28 PM
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“Thank You” Veterans for Peace for continuing to point out the folly of our Afghanistan Crusade. We need to support the troops by bringing them home, and support the vets in every way possible to make them whole again.

Posted by: PaulSalemOregon | December 24, 2010 4:22 PM
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Your lead sentence has the wrong date. It was Thureday, Dec 16th.

Posted by: martingugino | December 24, 2010 4:03 PM
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Veterans For Peace truly deserves this recognition. They know the true cost of war better than any of us, and they have been putting their bodies on the line for decades to try to stop this insanity.

Posted by: Ellen24 | December 24, 2010 3:56 PM
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Dear Juana Bordas,
Thank you for nominating Veterans for Peace (VFP) and Daniel Ellsberg for the person of the year. We must stop the killing and end these wars, now. Truly,we hope citizens will begin to understand that the Mid East Wars and the Pentagon's budget are collapsing the U.S. economy and making life a nightmare for the countries we are occupying. Our action of civil resistance at the White House and your thoughtful column is a positive step forward in developing this understanding. VFP will continue to ask, "How is the War Economy Working for You?" helping to create the needed understanding so that we may begin the transformation from an unsustainable war economy to an eco-friendly, human needs centered peace economy. Thank you.

Sincerely, John Amidon VFP
proudly #112 of 131

Posted by: jajaja1234aolcom | December 24, 2010 3:50 PM
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We are not a peaceful nation. Our solidarity only happens when we are "defending" ourselves from some non-white culture that is so content with their citizens' third world status, that their intent is to overpower the United States, The Vietnamese were apparently going to swim across the Pacific holding rifles over their heads wearing only black pajamas and conquer the U.S. Handfuls of terrorists living in caves and using 30 year old weapons captured from the Russians
will cause our Country to crumble. So we need to avoid the needs of our people and spend money in Iraq and Iran to make Halliburton investors even more wealthy. The only thing we get is an opportunity to thank the poor soldiers that were killed or maimed in the name of ""freedom". No More Wars!!!!

Posted by: sykojohnny | December 24, 2010 3:46 PM
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I can't think of another organization besides Code Pink that deserves this nomination more. It goes without saying that Daniel Elsberg is worthy!

Proud to be a member of Veterans For Peace, Chapter 132 ~ Corvallis, Oregon

Posted by: puernatura | December 24, 2010 3:42 PM
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As a former combat Marine I have first hand experience with what war does to the flesh and the spirit.
Our current wars are costing us dearly in the loss of human life both on the battle field and on the home front with one suicide every 36 hours by our military personnel.
Our elected leaders are not listening to the people and our news media fails to cover events such as those of December 16.
Veterans for Peace is the one organization making an impact across our nation; in our nations capital and small towns like Grants Pass, Or.
War is not the answer!


Posted by: emmetband | December 24, 2010 3:38 PM
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Last week I shared a piece of that fence, and the cold and discomfort, with Mr. Ellsberg, Ray McGovern, Dr. Margaret Flowers, and over a hundred others, including my brothers and sisters of Veterans For Peace and my sisters and brothers of Code Pink. It was good to spend some of my holidays with friends.

Posted by: LaFajita1 | December 24, 2010 3:34 PM
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Veterans For Peace has been resisting war and working for peace for 25 years. We believe that as veterans, we have a unique understanding of the true costs and consequences of war and violence. We understand that there is no "winning" in war when thousands of innocent people are murdered, and we refuse to write these lives off as "collateral damage," or treat them as part of a cost benefit analysis, and say "it was worth it." As the late, great historian and VFP member Howard Zinn said, "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

Posted by: leahbolger | December 24, 2010 2:52 PM
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"Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing." As I celebrate the coming of the Messiah, I will also give thanks for the brave men and women of Veterans for Peace. Having been subjected to ridicule and calumny, these admirable souls put their lives and their fortunes on the line in a way that should shame the miserable politicos who squander the lives of our young people in their endless lust for oil, resources, and power. The disgraceful press blackout of the arrests at the White House ought to send chills down the spine of every thinking American. Bradley Manning should receive a medal for his patriotism, instead he is subjected to brutal conditions in a Marine Corp concentration camp. Merry Christmas and please support our troops...Bring them home NOW

Posted by: hughbruce | December 24, 2010 2:44 PM
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As we were setting up for the event, someone walking through the park came over to me and another vet and thanked us for our service. My fellow vet responded and I agreed that we should not be thanked for what we did in war. We do deserve to be thanked however for speaking out about the truth of war. As former war correspondant Chris Hedges(who was one of the 131 of us that were arrested) has written, moral courage is much more rare in war than physical courage. Medal of Honor recepient Charlie Liteky could not make it to DC, but he and other Veterans For Peace members had a civil resistance solidarity event in San Francisco the same day to support us in DC. I admire Charlie way more for his moral courage than I do for the physical courage for which he received the Medal of Honor. By the way, Charlie sent his medal back to the White House in the 80's to protest our involvement in Central America. Veterans For Peace members need to be thanked for their moral courage-not whatever physical courage they may have exhibited in killing people.

Posted by: afarms | December 24, 2010 8:09 AM
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Just a few years back, during the GWB administration, I flew from California to DC to join approximately three quarters of a million demonstrators, all of whom paraded past the White House before lobbying our legislators to call for an end to the wars. We were virtually ignored, not only by President Bush, who flew off to cut brush in Texas, but by the mainstream media. I now join Progressive Democrats of America "Brown Bag Vigils" monthly outside my "liberal" congresswoman's office, calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Again we're ignored by our representative but not by passersby, the majority of whom honk and/or flash us a thumbs-up. America wants out of these wars. Most Americans, however, have given up on trying to convince our elected "leaders" of that...

Posted by: jonkwilliams | December 23, 2010 3:23 PM
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