What Happens When You Wake Up A War Monger?

by James Glaser
November 28, 2002

Hey it happens, one morning you are a full fledged Antiwar zealot, The next morning you find you have spent years helping to push the war agenda to Congress.

Who would have thought that by becoming a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I would be paying my dues money to an organization that is trying just as hard to have more wars as they are to help Veterans of past wars. The VFW is all about helping veterans, their widows, and the children of veterans that have died. A truly noble cause.

It is only after being in the organization and taking a position of responsibility do you see the hypocritical side of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You start to work for your Post or local District and see more of what this organization is all about and it starts to scare you.

The greatest thing that could happen to the VFW and America is that all VFW Posts had to fold due to lack of membership. In the VFW, no new members means no new wars.

This year being a Post Commander I am sent the bimonthly VFW publication named Check Point. This year's November/December issue published Approved Resolutions, the "VFW's Official Position on Issues."

The Positions on Issues are divided into four groups, Finance and Internal Organization with three resolutions, General resolutions with two, National Security and Foreign Affairs with Seventy resolutions, and Veterans Service with seventy four resolutions.

Finance and Internal is about eligibility, a memorial to Ted C. Connell, and the creation of an All State Post hat pin. General Resolutions covers support for a Bob Hope Tribute and a change in the status of the USS IOWA to museum status. Veterans Service covers care for veterans in VA Hospitals, the GI Bill, Veterans Employment Programs, and help for Veterans Widows and Children, especially disabled children.

All of the Positions in these three groups are things anyone would expect to see the VFW support, but many of the seventy positions taken in the National Security and Foreign Affairs section makes you wonder just who is writing these resolutions. Just about every one has been submitted by The Commander in Chief. That is the VFW Commander in Chief.

I called the VFW National Headquarters and asked how this one guy could come up with all of these resolutions and was told that these are old resolutions that are resubmitted by the National Commander because the VFW wants these positions to be reaffirmed every year,

There are many positions that I think all Americans would support, like POW/MIA awareness projects and supporting keeping illegal aliens from entering the US and deporting potential terrorists. Although I don't quite know what a "potential terrorist" is.

Many of the Resolutions and positions that the VFW takes could have been written by the Military Industrial Complex or by the Pentagon. A good start is # 407 "Urges full funding of the Pentagon's Western Hemisphere Institute for Defense Cooperation (formerly the Army's School of the America's)" The same school that every year Priests and Nuns and Ministers are arrested at, for trying to shut it down due to the hate and crimes its former students have inflicted on the poor of South America for decades.

#414 "calls for the maintaining a military presence in Europe and Asia and adequate US Military Forces"

#415 "urges expansion of US Intelligence services"

#422 "reaffirms support of the Selective Service System."

#426 "NATO Enlargement"

#429 "urges action against any nation that sells weapons to hostile nations"

#431 "supports increased shipbuilding for the US Navy"

#434 "urges strong commitment to rebuilding and improving the US armed forces"

#443 "supports nations war on drugs"

#444 "urges full funding of the Air Force's F-22 aircraft program"

#447 "Urges elimination of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty"

#448 "supports fielding a reliable theater ballistic missile defense system"

#452 "wants to restore the Navy and Marine Corps ranges at Vieques Island to full use"

#454 "opposes trade and diplomatic relations with Cuba"

#455 "opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty"

#458 "supports the Army's transformation into a more responsive and dominating force"

#462 "calls for the adequate funding for the V-22 Osprey aircraft"

#466 "opposes US participation in the Cuban Sister City Association."

#470 "calls on Congress to investigate the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967"

I put in # 470 about the attack on the USS Liberty because that was the only resolution I found that was passed and had been presented by other than the Commander in Chief. The Department of Wisconsin authored that resolution.

America already has the greatest armed forces in the world bar none, We are right now thinking of attacking Iraq, a country that spends according to the CIA, less than one half of one percent of our military spending, but as Resolution #458 states the VFW thinks the Army needs a more "dominating" force.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of veterans that were used as guinea pigs in this nations nuclear testing, but the VFW wants to end the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as stated in #455. Just how many more veterans will have to suffer from over exposure to radiation. There were at one time 415.000 "Atomic Vets." Most are dead now and they died at the average age of 57 years old.

The VFW is committed to rebuilding and improving the US Armed Forces as in resolution #434, but we already have the best in the world, the most powerful in the world, and the those forces have the most war time experience of any army in the world.

What bothers me is that not one of these resolutions or positions were ever presented to the rank and file of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Post or District level. There was no debate nor was any input allowed. But now the lobbyist for every weapons company or the Armed Services themselves can point to the backing the VFW gives for their presentation before Congress.

So next time you see the VFW marching in a parade think about the future that they are pushing for and then look at your children.

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