OPEN LETTER TO REP. ROS-LEHTINEN
June 18, 2012
Dear Representative Ros-Lehtinen,
You have written a letter to President Obama saying that any cut to the spending on the Afghanistan occupation is “morally reprehensible” and you have demanded no cuts to spending on anything war-related.
Please be advised that the epitome of a “morally reprehensible” policy is to continue combat operations in Afghanistan that will result in the slaughter of innocent men, women and children in great numbers.
Most Americans now understand that propping up the corrupt Karzai government is unlikely to result in a free and democratic Afghanistan and is not worth the life, limb or mental health of one more soldier.
Moreover, by continuing combat operations in Afghanistan we are wasting eight billion dollars per month that we must borrow. Counterproductive war not only takes a toll on our soldiers, it hollows out our economy and weakens America. This is what Bin Laden intended for us in Afghanistan and you’ve fallen into his trap.
Many combat veterans in our organization suggest that you go to Afghanistan and sign up with a unit at a forward operating base for six months. If you come back intact, you’ll then understand how outrageous it is that our fine troops are sent to bleed and die on an impossible mission that mostly enriches war profiteers.
We respectfully suggest that you re-examine your own conscience before calling the President’s policy morally reprehensible and apologize to him for your comments.
President,FloridaVeterans for Common Sense, Inc.
CC: President Obama
OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR NELSON
April 25, 2012
Dear Senator Nelson,
In your article published by Politico April 15, 2012, you are absolutely correct that high gasoline prices are part of a bigger story.
Florida Veterans for Common Sense has maintained for years that the United States must become energy independent in order to maintain a strong economy and to keep America strong. Yet, most Americans still don’t realize that imported oil is the biggest contributor to our foreign debt and that energy dependence limits our policy options.
We applaud you for recognizing that tensions with Iran driving up oil prices. No doubt should exist that conflict in the Middle East causes higher petroleum prices. The Iraq war pushed up prices long term and some energy experts calculate that recent tensions with Iran have raised gasoline prices as much as twenty-five cents per gallon.
While your idea to limit speculation will have an impact, reducing tensions with Iran and building peace throughout the Middle East will result in lower and more stable prices. The United States should exhaust all diplomatic channels to reach a rapprochement with Iran before initiating covert military operations, supporting terrorists like MEK (Mujahadin-e Khalq) who attack Iran, and imposing economic sanctions. Congress and the administration have put the cart before the horse in this regard. Already, we are well down a dangerous path to war with Iran which is not America’s national interest.
Yes, it’s a matter of national security to be energy self-sufficient. As a priority, we should use available technology and renewable energy to reduce our reliance on petroleum.
We have the ability to move toward energy independence, but lack the political will. Only one industrial scale solar thermal electrical power plant is under construction in Florida. Spain produces a large portion of its electricity using solar thermal plants.
Let’s pull away from the road to more war and build renewable energy projects like solar thermal power so that we are energy independent.
Gene Jones, President
FloridaVeterans for Common Sense, Inc.
OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
April 16, 2012
Dear Mr. President:
It is past time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.
The initial mission to capture, or kill, the Al Qaeda operatives who attacked us on 9/11 was accomplished years ago. Only a few low level Al Qaeda foot soldiers still remain in Afghanistan. The leadership is elsewhere, probably in Pakistan.
The American people want our troops home, as do the majority of Afghans who view American troops as occupiers.
In the opinion of our veteran membership, continuing military operations in Afghanistanis counterproductive. By staying, we are making more enemies than friends while our military presence serves as a recruiting poster for Al Qaeda. Our troops are propping up an illegitimate, unrepresentative government that is an unreliable ally.
As a practical matter, we cannot afford to maintain military operations in Afghanistan. We are wasting ten billion dollars per month there when we have a weak economy, high debt, and budget deficit at home.
Whatever can be accomplished militarily in Afghanistan is not worth the life or limb of one more soldier. Recent events clarify matters. Sergeant Robert Bales, who allegedly killed a number of women and children, may suffer from a prior combat-related neurological injury likely made worse by a bad malaria drug. Yet, he was still serving in a combat role.
Continuing to expose soldiers to the risk of death and injury in such circumstances constitutes a failure of leadership. Continuing combat operations in Afghanistan is ill advised from any reasonable view of our national interest. In short, the Afghan people deserve our support, but it should not be military operations.
Michael T. Burns, Vice- President
Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Inc
Open Letter to President Obama
May 11, 2011
We need to end the American military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can anybody seriously argue that American troops should remain in these countries after so many years of effort with so few gains?
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not in the national interest.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, America has propped up corrupt governments and empowered those who subvert democracy, repress women, and impose religious fundamentalism on their people.
Civilians by the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, have been displaced, killed, or wounded as a result of the wars. In many respects, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are worse off than before our military invasions.
There are only enough troops in Afghanistan to maintain a never ending strategic stalemate. The counter-insurgency doctrine propounded by General Petraeus and others, mandates that thousands more of our troops are needed in order to win.
Perpetual wars weaken America and bankrupt our economy. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost trillions of dollars and America cannot afford more deficit spending to fund these military operations. As you yourself have recognized, our first priority should be to sustain and rebuild America.
Maintaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan diminishes our capacity to combat terrorists by stretching our military to the breaking point and distracting us from other dangerous threats. Groups such as Al Qaeda can operate in many countries. In fact, the continued presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan gives credence to the belief that we are occupying Muslim nations in order to subjugate their populations and steal their resources. Moreover, our continued military presence serves as a recruiting poster for terrorists.
We take advantage and abuse our brave military personnel by keeping them deployed in war zones, or in preparation for deployment, with no strategic end game.
Compounding the tragedy, as many as thirty per cent of the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); ten per cent, from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); and many more, from psychological issues such as depression and drug and alcohol abuse. America has the responsibility to treat and care for these troops and their families, which is an obligation that generations to come will have to bear.
The American people understand, as many of our political elites do not, that the Iraqi and Afghan people must stand up for themselves and that their security rests with them, not American troops.
In short, we weaken ourselves and diminish our role as the world’s leader so long as we stay bogged down in these wars.
From the perspective of our veteran membership, one more soldier should not have to bleed and die in these counterproductive, wasteful wars. Bring our troops home.
Gene Jones, President
Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Inc.
Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc. is a non-partisan/non-profit 501 (c) 4 corporation. Contact FLVeterans@aol.com http://www.floridaveteransforcommonsense.org/