Tag Archives: navy

Air Force Veteran, Larry Orr on Israeli attack on the USS Liberty

watch/listen —> Larry Orr on USS Liberty and Israel

Vietnam era Air Force veteran, Larry Orr, of Veterans for Peace Madison speaks of his friend who was murdered in the Israeli attack on the #USSLiberty

From June 5th to June 10th, 1967, the Israeli government seized the remaining Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, marking the completion of the occupation of historical Palestine – this is known as the Naksa (or the #SixDayWar).

On June 8th, 1967, Israel launched an unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty, which was carrying videos of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. Though Israel claimed the attack was a case of mistaken identity, there is significant evidence suggesting otherwise. In addition to the very visible markings of an American ship, including a large American flag flying above the ship, Israel identified – at least seven times, according to audio recordings – that the ship belonged to the U.S. Navy.

The U.S., however, did not seek justice for the 34 murdered and 173 injured Americans. Instead, U.S. government officials lied, suppressed information in defense of Israel, and even threatened to imprison survivors, should they speak out.

It has been 55 years since the attack, and justice has never been served. Palestinians who are constantly murdered indiscriminately by the Israeli government and military have also never seen justice. Israel must be held accountable for ALL of its crimes – against Palestinians, against Americans, and against its Arab neighbors; just as everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions.

#NoJusticeNoPeace

Video and audio is from  the 2022 Madison, Wisconsin #Nakba event, co-sponsored by Madison Veterans for Peace.

A Few Numbers On Aircraft: The Size of the US Military

A few numbers….

[current article August 2020]
“The Air Force doesn’t have enough aircraft or range space for pilots to train for combat against a sophisticated enemy, so it’s looking to link real and simulated environments at a new training center.

 
Pilots taking part in Red Flag air-to-air combat training exercises could soon face new virtual threats on top of those they’re seeing in real life. That’s one of the possibilities leaders see out of a new $38 million Virtual Test and Training Center here…”
 
 
This New Air Force Training Center Will Prep Pilots for War with China and Russia

 
 
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“The US boasts approximately 13,000 military aircraft. Comparatively, China and Russia, the world’s next-largest aerial powers, only have a total of 2,000 to 3,000 military aircraft each….”
– Business Insider, Jan 2015 

 
 
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US Military Purchasing nearly 2500 F-35’s

“As of February 2019, more than 350 aircraft had been fielded and were operating from 16 bases worldwide. By 2023, the global F-35 fleet is expected to expand to more than 1,100 aircraft across 43 operational sites. In total, the program participants plan to purchase more than 3,300 F-35 aircraft, with the U.S. services planning to purchase nearly 2,500 of those aircraft.”
– United States Government Accountability Office, April 2019 


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US Air Power

13,264 aircraft
– GFP:  Global FirePower  

Counter Recruiting in Rural High Schools – David Giffey VFP Madison

Veterans for Peace-Madison Clarence Kailin Chapter 25  |  Nov 12, 2019  |  David Giffey

 

Update for above picture:

If you look very carefully, you will see it says: “$1.67 billion” referring to military spending. It should be “trillion” instead of “billion.” I updated the sign as I must do often (because military spending and body counts get higher every year). But the tape gave out and the old “billion” was exposed. An alert teacher at Baraboo High School questioned it, and I have since corrected the sign. It now states that the military budget for 2020 is $1.67 TRILLION.

 

My counter recruiting visits to Southwestern Wisconsin high schools never fail to remind me of the constant need for a peace presence among young people. I am returned to the uncertainty and indifference I felt when I was young and let myself get drafted and eventually sent to the American War in Vietnam. By nature, youth is apathetic and dismissive of very important decisions, and overcome with a sense of bravado.

 

Today I spent the lunch hours counter recruiting at Dodgeville High School. Protocol requires that I remain at my table and wait for students to approach. Then I offer information about alternatives to the military and try to warn students that “the military is not just a job.” This is the 11th year our Chapter 25 has offered a scholarship for the essay contest winner at Dodgeville, and my 11th year counter recruiting in Dodgeville. The staff is very helpful and kind. The administration has changed in the past decade. Twelve years ago, it was necessary to consider legal action when Veterans For Peace was denied the right to counter recruit in Dodgeville High School.

 

The tradition of militarism in American culture is evident in the high schools I visit. Today a student asked me if I was “anti-military or anti-war.” I assured him that I was “anti-war.” How could I be opposed to people in the military, since I was once one of them, I asked. Within minutes two students who, I presume, were friends of his approached me and very politely told me they had enlisted. I reminded them that the purpose of all U.S. military branches is to wage war. I showed them copies of the contract they may sign which removes all their rights to self-determination. I wished them well. The war in Afghanistan is now in its 19th year. Neither of those boys were born when it began. They have, I believe, become inured to war by its constant presence.

 

Last week I read excerpts from Long Shadows: Veterans Paths to Peace at an event in Madison. In the book, the late Dr. James Allen, a longtime peace activist who was drafted into the War in Korea, recalled someone saying, “We’ve made a little progress in the last few thousand years because in the old days when the conquering army came in, they usually killed everybody in the city. Now we just say we want to kill the soldiers.”

 

Visiting high schools, offering scholarships for essays on the topic of peace, meeting young students, worrying about our grandchildren…these are important reasons for supporting the work of Veterans For Peace. Today at Dodgeville High I talked to half a dozen students who were interested in writing essays for our contest. I discussed war and peace with several teachers who were eager to read our literature and to learn more. I gave two students copies of “Addicted to War,” a graphic history of U.S. involvement in wars.

 

Later this week I’ll visit Baraboo High School. Next week I’ll be counter recruiting in Boscobel and Richland Center, and then Muscoda. I’ve already been to River Valley High School in Spring Green. Then I’ll start over again hoping to let young people know that the world will be more peaceful if they remain civilians after graduation.

 

As veteran Clarence Kailin, namesake of Chapter 25, said: “There’s a lot of work to do.”

 

“I had a good/busy day in Dodgeville HS during lunch hours today. I spoke with at least five seniors who are very interested in the essay contest, a couple of hecklers, and two seniors who said they have enlisted. But they listened when I told them about options. And several teachers had conversations with me also.”  – David Giffey

 

 

What you should know before joining the military.  

Website for Stop Recruiting Kiss Campaign

Chapter 25 counter recruiters have met with students at Boscobel High School for several years. This is the educational display set up in the cafeteria which encourages students to consider peaceful civilian alternatives to military recruitment. (Photo by David Giffey)