[pjw] INFO: Letter to Gov. Kate Brown: Keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon (Nov 2021)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri Nov 5 15:07:15 EDT 2021

PJW supporters
In light of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the upcoming 
remembrance of Armistice Day (Veterans Day), PJW teamed up with groups 
around Oregon to write Governor Kate Brown asking her to keep the National 
Guard home. As noted in the letter, we've been writing to the state's top 
elected official (and commander in chief of the Guard) at least since 2008 
on this matter. This year there are 11 organizations signed on-- and only 
three are strictly Portland-based.

Feel free to share out. The letter is also posted at

We will have copies of the letter at tonight's 20th anniversary Friday 
rally at 5 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

dan handelman
peace and justice works


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

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

November 5, 2021

To: Governor Kate Brown

Re: Deployment of Oregon National Guard to undeclared war zones

Governor Brown

At least since 2008, peace groups in Oregon have been urging our
Governors not to send the Guard overseas for combat and support
missions in countries against which Congress has not declared war. Many
of the groups were involved in the 2009 effort to Keep Oregon's Guard
in Oregon, hoping to prevent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan under
the outdated 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force.
That campaign included the submission of over 7000 signatures from all
over the state urging the legislature to pass a resolution about
keeping the Guard home. Because the 2001 AUMF was specific to those
responsible for what happened on 9/11 that year, and the 2002 AUMF was
about ousting the now long-dead Saddam Hussein from power, there is no
authority for the US to maintain troops in Iraq, continue its "over the
horizon" presence in Afghanistan, or for that matter have a presence in
Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria or Pakistan.

Oregonians still need to rely on Oregon's National Guard to fight
wildfires, conduct search and rescue missions, and provide support for
the medical system in public health crises such as the coronavirus
pandemic. Natural disasters will continue to multiply as climate change
keeps threatening our planet, and we may face more pandemics in the
years to come as well.

A number of organizations wrote to you in October 2020 after it was
reported that six of Oregon's 13 helicopters normally used to fight
wildfires were deployed in Afghanistan. Our state is again facing major
wildfires this year. Many of these same organizations sent you letters
in 2017, 2019 and 2020 asking you to keep Oregon's National Guard here
to protect the residents of this state.

Now that the military has withdrawn its physical footprint from
Afghanistan, and the President has promised to repurpose the presence
of troops in Iraq from a combat role to an advisory one, it is a good
time to set a firm policy that Oregon's Guard will not take part in any
current or future deployments without a formal declaration of war from
Congress. Authorizations for Use of Military Force have proven to be
open-ended and easily exploited to maintain a war footing with no
reconsideration of the policy that led to the AUMFs in the first place.

As we have written before, we are thankful that you did not send the
National Guard to participate in crowd control during the 2020 racial
justice uprisings in Portland, and that you would not allow President
Trump to send the Guard to the Mexican border to support his prejudiced
and often racist immigration policies.

We are sending this letter to you about a week ahead of Veterans Day,
also known as Armistice Day, whose initial purpose was to declare an
end to all wars. Oregonians should take the lead in ending the
centuries-old reliance on violence to resolve conflict and instead Keep
Oregon's Guard in Oregon. Though there might be reasonable times when
the Guard is asked to help with natural disasters in other states, our
point is not to deploy the Guard overseas.

Thank you,

    Dan Handelman for
    Peace and Justice Works (Portland)

    Rural Organizing Project

    Rick Staggenborg, MD, President for
    Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132 of Corvallis-Albany

    Veterans For Peace, Rogue Valley Chapter 156

    Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 (Portland)

    Leah Bolger, CDR USN (Ret) for
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Corvallis)

    Kelly Campbell, Executive Director for
    Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

    Albany Peace Seekers

    Progressive Party of Oregon

    Michael Carrigan for
    Planet vs. Pentagon (Eugene)

    Some Members of the Jewish Community of Portland, Oregon
      (local organization)

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