[pjw] NEWS: 18 groups from around Oregon ask Gov. Brown to keep Guard Home

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Oct 5 16:03:21 EDT 2017

NEWS: 18 groups from around Oregon ask Gov. Brown to keep Guard Home

This afternoon, 18 organizations and two individuals from a military family 
sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown, asking her to keep Oregon's National 
Guard at home rather than send them overseas. The letter is pasted in below and 
can be found on line at
<http://www.pjw.info/guardhomeletter2017.html>. As noted in the letter, 
Saturday October 7 will mark 16 years of the US war in Afghanistan. In late 
August, 190 troops from South Carolina's national guard were shipped to 
Afghanistan along with helicopters. This was part of a planned rotation and not 
part of President Trump's August announcement to boost the totals there by 
3000-4000 troops.

Two of the groups signed onto the letter, Peace and Justice Works and the 
Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, are organizing a demonstration Friday, 
October 6 at 5 PM at SW Yamhill and Morrison to mark the war's anniversary.


Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456 Portland, OR 97242 (503) 236-3065 pjw at pjw.info http://www.pjw.info

Governor Kate Brown
160 State Capitol 900 Court Street Salem, OR 97301-4047

October 5, 2017

Governor Brown:

As the war in Afghanistan enters its seventeenth year on Saturday, we are 
writing to you once again to raise concerns about the potential use of Oregon's 
National Guard in unauthorized military adventures abroad. Many of us who 
signed onto this letter contacted you in September 2015. We also sent a similar 
letter to you and other candidates for governor in July 2016 on this issue.*-1 
Many were involved in the 2009 effort to Keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon, hoping 
to prevent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan under the then- and 
still-outdated Authorizations for Use of Military Force from 2001-2002. We 
gathered over 7000 signatures from all over the state. We have urged Governors 
Kulongoski and Kitzhaber, and now we ask you, to deny the use of our state 
militia for undeclared combat. We still need Oregon's National Guard to stay 
stateside, as evidenced by your deployment of troops in August to handle the 
onslaught of tourists visiting for the eclipse. As of mid-September 600 Oregon 
Guard members volunteered and 125 were called to active duty to train to fight 
the wildfires.*-2 With climate change, such fires will become more of the norm 
in the coming years. Should a tragedy like Hurricane Harvey visit upon Oregon, 
we cannot afford to have our Guard overseas.

While the country has become numb to the ongoing war efforts in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, as well as Syria, Libya, Somalia and Pakistan, President Trump is 
threatening to militarily intervene in more countries including North Korea, 
Iran and Venezuela. The current engagements in Iraq and Syria involve at least 
5000 troops on the ground*-3, and are ostensibly being waged to combat the 
Islamic State/ISIS. The US also has "boots on the ground" in Somalia, Yemen and 
Libya.*-4 However, there has been no Congressional approval despite being 
active far more than the 90 days envisioned by the War Powers Resolution. As we 
have noted in the past, ISIS is not the same organization as Al Qaeda-- the two 
even fight each other. Thus, the 2001 AUMF does not cover any deployments to 
Iraq or Syria. Also, because the US claimed it would have all troops out of 
Afghanistan by the end of 2014, any troops sent there after that time should 
specifically be authorized by Congressional action. The President gave 
authority to send about 4000 more troops, even though the official count of 
8400 did not reflect the actual numbers stationed there.*-5

We sent two letters to Governor Kitzhaber, in January 2013 and April 2014, and 
received no reply, while roughly 1000 Oregonians were dispatched to Afghanistan 
and, thankfully, most of them made it back alive.

Once again, we hope to meet with your or your staff about this issue, and would 
be encouraged to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Thank you,

Dan Handelman for
  Peace and Justice Works (Portland, OR)

Michael Carrigan
  Community Alliance of Lane County *

Michael Taylor and Linda Marshall, parents of Iraq combat Veteran
  members Military Families Speak Out* (Portland) *

Ed Pool
  Veterans for Peace, Chapter 141 Bandon, Oregon

Allen Hallmark
  Veterans for Peace Rogue Valley Chapter 156 (Medford/Grants Pass/Rogue River)

Bart Bolger
   Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132 (Corvallis)

S. Jenika, President
   Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 (Portland)

Dan Shea, board member (from Oregon)
  Veterans For Peace (national organization)

Kelly Campbell, Executive Director
  Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Leah Bolger
  Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Corvallis

Elizabeth Hallett, Chair
  Peace House, Ashland Oregon

Yamhill Valley Peacemakers (McMinnville)

Brenda B. Gould for
  Citizens for Peace & Justice (Medford)

Our Revolution Southern Oregon

John Grueschow
  War Resisters League--Portland

Pastor Mark Knutson
  Augustana Lutheran Church (Portland)

Recruiter Watch PDX

Gerry Foote
   St. Luke Lutheran Church Peace & Justice Group (Portland)

Rob Ranta
   Portland Peaceful Response Coalition

and others

For the previous letters, see: http://pjw.info/troopshomecampaign.html

* organization listed for identification purposes only

*1- Ultimately five of the eight candidates/parties expressed philosophical or 
outright support to keep Oregon's Guard stateside; the only candidates/parties 
who did not reply were from the Republican, Democratic and Working Families 
parties; respondents were from the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, 
Independent Party, Oregon Progressive Party, and Pacific Green Party.

*2--Oregon National Guard supports firefighting efforts for Chetco Bar Fire
(US Army 9/11/17):

*3-US Is Sending 400 More Troops to Syria (NY Times 3/917)

*4-(a) US troops are on the ground in Yemen for offensive against al-Qaeda 
militants (Wash Post 8/4/17)
(b) The Pentagon wants to keep ground troops in Libya and go on offense in 
Somalia (Military Times 3/24/17)
(c) Dozens More US Troops Deployed to Somalia (VOA 4/14/17)

*5-US Has Thousands More Troops in Afghanistan Than the Pentagon Admits (NBC 

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