[A J. MacDonald, Jr. – Editor’s Note: March Forward! is a part of the ANSWER Coalition, which is a well know, well funded, far Left, communist/socialist, controlled opposition, professional (supposedly) anti-war group of “protesters”. Read March Forward’s 10 Point Program for Struggle here, or simply read it on this page, where it is included below this email, which I received from March Forward! and ANSWER today, and see for yourself just how foolish and how far Left March Forward! is.]
March Forward! featured on Democracy Now
Organizing Veterans and GIs
Against War and Mistreatment
In response to the recent massacre of civilians in Afghanistan, veterans and soldiers in March Forward! have been taking action and speaking out against the war, and drawing attention to the dire situation for service members. Please watch and share this video featuring March Forward! organizer and Iraq war veteran Kevin Baker on Democracy Now, calling for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and urging U.S. troops to organize to demand their rights.
Message from Mike Prysner, Iraq war veteran, co-founder of March Forward!
The bloody war on Afghanistan is opposed by the majority of people in the United States. Most U.S. service members believe the war is not worth fighting.
Yet, despite living in a “great democracy,” the politicians and Pentagon brass continue to lie about the motives and “necessity” of the war. They admit that they cannot defeat the widespread, popular rebellion against the foreign occupation, yet they continue ordering wave after wave of our friends and family members to go to war just to be killed and maimed.
The war is a humanitarian crisis for the people of Afghanistan, who have committed no crime. It has been a complete horror for them—one decade-long atrocity. The dead alone are in the tens of thousands.
The war is also an ongoing disaster for U.S. troops. When not being used as cannon fodder in a bogus war, enlisted service members face the reality of just how much the politicians and officers “support the troops.” U.S. troops are actually in more danger of dying from the criminal negligence of their own officers than they are of dying in combat in Afghanistan.
The rate of completely preventable suicide is alarming, and will go down in history as a time when the U.S. government allowed a wholesale suicide epidemic to sweep through its ranks with absolutely no meaningful response.
We know the powers that be will not magically wake up and alter this whole situation. They have proven unwilling and incapable of treating the lives of service members and innocent people abroad as if they have any meaning.
The war in Afghanistan must end immediately. The suicide epidemic must be addressed immediately. Those responsible for all this pain and suffering must be held accountable and brought to justice. The victims must be adequately compensated.
We can make that happen. Pressure from the people is the only way real change happens—and nothing is more powerful against the Pentagon than pressure from its own soldiers.
March Forward! has worked to bring together veterans and active-duty service members dedicated to making this a reality. We know that only through our own collective organizing as veterans and active-duty troops can we help force the U.S. government to make the drastic change that is needed.
Today, the criminality of the war—and the criminal behavior of the politicians and generals—are exposed. The crimes are on full display, making their existence vulnerable. We need to turn that vulnerability into victory.
We are a dynamic, growing organization fighting in the heart of the beast. We have successfully begun organizing active-duty troops, veterans and their families to fight for what we really need. We have won some victories, put the military brass in the hot seat, helped soldiers refuse deployment, and spread the message that service members have the right to refuse to fight in Afghanistan. With your help, we can take this work much further. Click here now to make an urgently needed donation to help March Forward! continue and expand our work.
We need your help today. By donating, you can make a major impact on the movement to organize U.S. troops against the wars and for service members’ rights. Every donation allows us to reach more serving inside the U.S. military and among this new generation of veterans.
The collective action of soldiers, veterans, and their families are an extremely powerful force against those in Washington, Wall Street and the Pentagon who treat all of our lives with such disregard. We are committed to building that movement day and night.
Thank you for your generous support.
Iraq war veteran
March Forward! co-founder
National Office in Washington DC: 202-265-1948
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March Forward! – 10 Point Program for Struggle
1) We demand the right to refuse illegal and immoral orders.
Service members should no longer be bound to carry out the plans of the Pentagon and Wall Street in violation of U.S. law, international law and people’s right to self-determination. Service members deserve the right to resist, without persecution, orders that conflict with internationally recognized laws or that conflict with their own conscience.
2) We demand an immediate end to the criminal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Service members should no longer be sent to fight, kill, die, be seriously wounded and/or psychologically scarred furthering the domination of U.S. corporations over other nations. We have nothing to gain from these wars. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan serve only the interests of the rich, not the service personnel who are sent over and over to repress people who have the right to determine their own destiny. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are not our enemies. The more than 800 U.S. bases in 130 countries around the world should be shut down and the troops, fleets and air power brought home.
3) We demand an end to the existing officer corps.
The existing class stratification in the military must end. Officers—who are overwhelmingly from more privileged sectors of society—enjoy a much higher standard of living. They are paid significantly more, are provided much higher quality housing, and have access to services not available to enlisted personnel. Officers advance their careers on the backs of enlisted personnel, going so far as to send their troops into harm’s way for the good of their résumés. The existing officer corps should be dismantled and replaced by enlisted service members who are democratically elected by their units and who are subject to recall at anytime. Officers should no longer enjoy special privileges, including hand salutes. We also demand the right for lower enlisted ranks to unionize and form committees to address grievances with the chain of command, the unit and the military.
4) We demand an end to racism, sexism and homophobia prevalent in the military.
These are intentional barriers to rank-and-file unity against the will of the Pentagon, and must be eliminated through comprehensive education and strict disciplinary action. We demand an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and all other discriminatory measures against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender individuals.
5) We demand adequate funding for The Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans should have full access to quality health care. Services should be drastically expanded to meet the real physical and mental health needs of veterans and their families. Independent medical investigations should be initiated to research the effects of potentially harmful experimental drugs and chemical, biological and nuclear agents to which service members have been exposed. Any service member who has served in a combat theater should automatically receive lifetime compensation from the VA for being forced to suffer or inflict physical and/or psychological harm in advancing the interests of U.S. corporations.
6) We demand the right to a job, housing, health care and education for all.
Service members are lured into the military with the hopes of escaping economic hardship as a civilian, and to obtain education benefits and job training. Yet thousands of service members must remain in the military, literally trapped due to the lack of opportunities in the civilian world. No service member should have to choose between military service and poverty. Housing, a job, and access to free quality education and job training should be a right for everyone.
7) We demand the immediate end to all military aid to governments in service of US imperialism.
U.S. domination is not only exercised through direct military involvement, but also through a myriad of brutal client regimes and comprador governments that are funded, supported and directed by the U.S. government. Service members should not have to serve a military that uses billions of dollars in funds and weapons to prop up governments that are guilty of committing war crimes or repressing their citizens for the interests of the Pentagon and Wall Street. Aid to such countries as Israel, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, South Korea, Uganda and Egypt should be immediately cut off. All remaining funds, military equipment and weapons should be repossessed. Reparations should be paid to the populations that the military aid was used to repress.
8) We demand the immediate dismantling of the permanent military-industrial complex.
As long as there is a system in place that allows U.S. corporations to reap massive profits from going to war, there will be war for profit. The domination of the military-industrial complex has caused the death of tens of thousands of service personnel, and millions of innocent people—all in the name of profit. All private military corporations should be shut down or nationalized. The more than 1 trillion dollars a year that feeds the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex should be used to meet people’s needs.
9) We demand that all those involved in pursuing war for profit be indicted.
To ensure that service personnel no longer have to fight for the interests of the rich, all those responsible must be held accountable. Politicians, policy makers, lobbyists, CEOs and others involved in pursuing warfare—both military and economic—as a means to reap profit should be indicted for war crimes. Media outlets involved in disseminating false information in support of these plans should also be held accountable.
10) We demand full reparations paid, with interest, to all victims of the U.S. military.
As service members in the U.S. military, we have been told that our enemy is the poor and oppressed abroad. But they are not our enemies. To begin to undo the injustices in which we have been forced to take part, the U.S. government should pay for the rebuilding of every structure bombed, compensating families for every person killed and providing a lifetime of health care and disability benefits for every individual wounded, including resistance fighters who took up arms against the U.S. military.
[A. J. MacDonald, Jr. – Editor’s note: See: A.N.S.W.E.R. and “October 2011 – Stop the Machine” and see also this article about Washington DC A.N.S.W.E.R. director Brian Becker, and his ties to the Workers World Party, here: http://www.postwatchblog.com/2007/03/brian_becker_in.html]