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Legionnaires Condemn War Protests, A Gold Star Families for Peace and Legion Auxillary Member's Response

Dear Honorable Commander Cadmus,

I learned today that the American Legion passed Resolution 3, which states: "The American Legion fully supports the president of the United States, the United States Congress and the men, women and leadership of our armed forces as they are engaged in the global war on terrorism and the troops who are engaged in protecting our values and way of life."

I would like to bring to your attention a previous position from the American Legion.

In 1999, the American Legion wrote the following letter to President Clinton:

The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''

The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.

Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;

Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;

That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and
That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders.

It is the opinion of The American Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that three of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation with NATO ("Operation Allied Force'').

In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.

Can you honestly state that the current President has made a clear statement
of why it is in our vital national interest to be engaged in hostilities?

Can you honestly state that guidelines have been established for this mission, including a clear exit strategy?

Can you honestly state that the American people support this mission?

Can you honestly state that the U.S. officers are superior military leaders -- especially in the light that our top leaders made deliberate efforts to avoid service to our country during Viet Nam and high ranking military officers have been demoted or fired when they provided information to the President that he disagreed with?

How can such honorable individuals as members of the American Legion who have willingly risked their lives for our country and our freedoms be able to change their values and priorities in such a few short years? I am truly hoping that the American Legion is not vulnerable to biased allegiance for particular political individuals rather than following the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence which they had sworn to uphold and all American citizens which they had sworn to protect.

In addition, as you state that you believe that "public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies", please keep consider the damage to our troops by:

a.. those in charge who chose not to provide adequate armor.
b.. those in charge who are not providing adequate VA services for those injured.
c.. those responsible for the faulty WMD intelligence.
d.. those who decided we didn't need an exit strategy.
e.. those leaders who decided against deploying an appropriately-sized force in the first place.
f.. those civilian commanders ignoring demands for more troops.
g.. those who are refusing to punish high ranking officers for Abu Ghraib and other leadership mistakes while allowing lower-ranking men and women be scapegoated.
It is my opinion that the above actions are MUCH more damaging to our troops and their morale than the knowledge that there are some Americans who are fighting FOR them at home to ensure their safety and protection by our elected representatives.

I sincerely and humbly request that you look deep with in your conscience and heart and seek the answers to these questions before you continue supporting this resolution.

In addition, I wish to remind you of this statement was made in 1918 by Theodore Roosevelt:
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.

Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."


Diana Rowe Pauls
Gold Star Families For Peace
Sister of Marine KIA/Member of American Legion Auxiliary

Original Link - Live Journal

American Legion Press Release
HONOLULU, August 23, 2005

Article from Editor and Publisher
American Legion Declares War on Protestors -- Media Next?


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Conventions and blather seem to go together like, well, like American Legion posts and alcohol and gambling. Maybe if the American Legion didn't pander to the vices of Real Amurikans it wouldn't have so many members and so much money to spend propaganizing Americanism. Maybe it would be a poor but relatively virtuous outfit like the Veterans for Peace. Maybe then I could take it seriously and not see the American Legion as a predatory, antisocial organization that masquerades behind a psuedo-wholesomeness composed of little league and Boys' State.

If only the American Legion didn't have so many members, we could treat it as simply laughable. But it's not a laughing matter when it promote torturing American citizens as it did in its July 2002 Legion magazine. Unfortunately, the humor is black. And it's like the revolutionary slave owners contending that blacks were not human and could therefore be held as slaves (notice they did not call them livestock but chattel), while also saying blacks were human when it came to counting votes. Then suddenly, in the U.S. Constitution, they were three fifths human! And just what part, the 3 human or the 2 animal parts did so many slave owners have sex with? Either way, they were practicing beastiality. It's just so damnably ludicrous.

But then, the American Legion is ludicrous, and also dangerous, for resolving against all sense and even against their own resolutions that the best way to protect freedoms is to deny them. Oh Brother, I'd laugh if I weren't crying.

I spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps for this? To be called a traitor and un-American. Semper Fi, "Commander" Cadmus, SEMPER, FI.

Thank you for your courage, and a very intelligent, cogent response. Your discussion of this issue of patriotism verus criticizing a President during wartime is very well written It bears repeated reading or studying. It could be used in my classroom.

Most of the problems we are experiencing right now come from uneducated beliefs and the manipulation of fear around 911 and national security,and an emotional manipulation of issues such as loyalty and patriotism by an administration whose motives are very much in question.Anyone who has been paying attention knows this.

Unfortunately many Americans are apathetic or ignoring what is going on. I suspect they wont be able to do this much longer.Following a leader blindly regardless of what the evidence suggests has lead to some very tragic consequences in the past.

The emotions around war and patriotism/love of country and supporting the troops, make it very difficult for some to think clearly. Im saving your article to show to others Thank you again. CitizenG

I'm not a member of the American Legion or any of its auxiliaries, so I didn't feel it was my place to criticize. However, I'm very glad you put words to my feelings about this issue. I hope they do examine their conscience about this.

I've been invited to join both the VFW and the american legion many times since my post active duty service period of 1969to 1972. NO THANKS! WHY? Because what it really is is just a place to go (they all run their own bars)to get pissy sloppy drunk and talk about the glory of being in war! My step dad was a Navy vet from the korean war era and a member of the AMERICAN LEGION. Many nites i recall a bunch of assholes sitting around the bar gettin pissy sloppy drunk and sometimes these assholes got into some reaqlly violent fights over who knows what? Probablly over who claimed to have killed more than the other with their bare hands. It's a glorified redneck prowar drinking club!(i hope to hear response's from some of you assholes.) they think their hard line hard core right wing conservitive's who's political oppinion's really count when in fact their narrow minded ARCHIE BUNKER bigots! THEY VERBALLY ATTACKED THE VIET NAM VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR THIRTY YEARS AGO, AND THEIR NOW VERBALLY ATTACKING IRAQI VETERANS AGAINST THIS WAR. Some things never change! And this worthless left wingnut redneck drinkin club BUNCH O GREASER'S should just go lay donn and shut the f__k up!GO HAVE ANOTHER DRINK ARCHIE, AND SHUT UP!**HUMPHREY**

Most people who have seen and experienced the horrors of war, seen their comrades around them being killed or torn in pieces, do not like to talk about it and certainly not while wearing funny hats.

Check with your buddies who have seen real combat.

Getting together discussing how to assist each other and trying to fight
for proper government care for support or health care is another matter.

You see my friend, therin lies the REAL problem with this glorified BULLSHIT drinking establishment. Where the proper mission of these two so called veteran's organizations could have, should have, been self limited to push for better VA benifits and for mutual support for veteran's in need, instead however, they got involved in conservitive right wing politics to the detriment of all veteran's. I submit to all who read my words here, that half if not more of the members of these two bullshit organization's never saw day one in a combat situation.ARMCHAIR COMMANDO'S IS WHAT MOST OF THESE FOOLS ARE,IN FACT! Yet presently, like they did thirty years ago , when they turned their back on any combat vet who came out feelling betrayed and took a stand against LBJ and Tricky Dick and the Viet Nam war, now their trying to show the same MISGUIDED unconditional support for this corrupt administration, and this CORRUPTED AND IMMORAL IRAQI CONFLICT and NOW, they are actually VERBALLY ATTACKING MOTHERS OF KIA AND WIA VETS! YOU TURN YOUR BACKS ON THESE MOTHERS? WELL GO F_ _K YOURSELVES THEN!! The legion and the VFW supported NIXION unconditionally against THE VIET NAM vets who activly protested against the war and that corrupt Nixon Administration. AS I STATED PREVEIOUSLY, THESE ARE NOTHING BUT EXTREEM RIGHT WING (NUT) NARROW MINDED LOW IQ'ED ALCOHOLIC RED NECK GOAT ROPER'S WHO LACK SUFFICIENT SENSE TO COME IN OUT OF THE RAIN. I am personal friends with members of these two bullshit drinking clubs and none of these so called veterans ever saw any combat zone in their life but you shoulkd see their vehicles! VETERAN lic plates(TAGS FOR YOU SOUTHERNER'S) bumper stickers supporting bush and this here war, and stickers verbally attacking anyone against this current war! One person in particular, who never saw any combat IN HIS LIFE walkes around with his chest stuck out like he is about something. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS PISSIN DOWN THEIR BACKS AND TELLING THEM IT'S RAINNING AND THERE THEY ARE, STANDIND THERE IN FORMATION IN THAT RAIN! CINDY,AND ALL YOU OTHER MOTHER'S,,, JUST IGNORE THESE REDNECK ASSHOLES.**HUMPHREY**

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