RANGER AGAINST WAR: Buh-Bye American Legion <

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Buh-Bye American Legion

What follows is a letter of termination of membership which I sent today to the American Legion:

Dear Ed.,

As an American Legion member, I am seriously conflicted.

That the American Legion Magazine is a consistent and vocal advocate supporting the GWB wars is unacceptable to me. The Legion has my membership only because they support veteran's issues. Unfortunately, the Legion leadership follows a hawkish policy, this despite the fact that many of your members have had difficulties securing deserved benefits from a reluctant Veterans Administration.

As example, the 2/07 article on Gitmo--"None Dare Call Them Prisoners"--is an apology for and an acceptance of the concept that war crimes are acceptable if committed in the name of America. This is not commentary, but pure administration propaganda.

The article states clearly, "Most were captured on the battlefield, gun in hand." Indeed, and according to the rules of land warfare, this is the definition of a Prisoner of War, not a "caged terrorist," as your article states, with barely veiled disgust.

The article indicates that in no previous war were captured enemy combatants eligible for judicial review before the war ended. This is true, but only because the US followed the legal guidelines of the Geneva Conventions. Ignoring the G.C. is ignoring the legal basis of US authority.


Because of my disappointment with the Legion's continued posture of unquestioning support for every aspect of this Iraq endeavor, I will not renew my Legion membership this year in protest. I can no longer swallow the Legion's blind cheerleading of bankrupt administration policies.

11 Comments:

Blogger Vicki-lynne said...

Sir, please keep your membership with The American Legion Family.
This organization not only represents our Veterans, such as yourself, but The American Legion AUXILIARY, including Senior members as well as the junior members who are the daughters and granddaughters of veterans and the SONS of The American Legion (SAL. The good we do is for our children, communities and our veterans. The grants and donations to worthy causes help everyone and we need you to continue your membership in the world's largest patriotic organization in the world. You matter to us. The benefits you receive from being a Member is outstanding and you certainly deserve the benefits. You have the right to disagree but who are you helping when you decide to cancel your membership?
Being the daughter of a retired USMC and very active in the Legion Family, I hope you consider to keep your membership and help make it a better place for all of us.
I appreciate your service and I thank you.Please reconsider.v.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 2:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thanks for your concern, but what is your organization doing for the POW's? My withdrawal stands.
Jim

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 4:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Human said...

Good for you. I know of two others who have done the same. Right after the AL endorsed Bush in "04. I don't remember AL ever endorsing a candidate before. Maybe they did.

Here is an Org that stays on top of Vet issues and who I have linked to for a long time -
http://www.vawatchdog.org/

The most damning photos and stories of torture have yet to be released.
I know that men do these things. My own Father(21 years Reg Army MP) did them during the American-Vietnamese War. He took pics. Called him his "art work ". A real expert with twisting barbed wire he was. He also told me about taking a couple of "Gooks" up (in a huey) and just pushing one out. "The other one would just start a jabbering like a little monkey"....

Has a lot to do with my efforts today.

A few people have tried to argue about the treatment of our own people at the hands of the enemy. I say, 2 wrongs don't make a right and why judge ourselves against the lowest denominator?

Peace.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 6:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger spiiderweb™ said...

That's putting your money where your mouth is.

Integrity is not supporting an organization you disagree with on principle.

Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 8:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Human,

Thanks for joining us here.
Your dad should be quite proud of your concerns and efforts, as well as his service, even though yopur concerns are borne of some negative connotations.

Ref. my piece on urban legends, I believe that veterans create some false memories that they believe to be true. I've known soldiers my whole life, and never known one who threw an NVA or VC out of a helicopter.

An enemy prisoner is much too valuable to waste on "entertainment". Even MP's are aware of that fact. There is nothing more valuable than an enemy soldier in your capture.

A further story that ranks among the urban legends is shooting water buffalo. There is a legend in Ranger school in every class that soldiers put dimes and quarters in trees to get sodas. Great story, but not true; Rangers don't carry change in their pockets.

I would not be overly concerned with your dad's stories, though I'm sure if he has pictures documenting torture, than that can not be discounted.

I have heard testimony from men who said they kicked prisoners out, however, they admit now that they were hovering about two feet above the tarmac. In fiction this covered widely; I read it in a police mystery recently called Knots and Crosses. That book details British SAS practices.

Jim

Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 2:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

Although not political, I withdrew my membership for simular reasons. The American Legion is blind patriotism. Plus they are pushing to back date the CAB (the poge action badge) to WWII.

I still maintain my life membership to the VFW.

Friday, February 2, 2007 at 12:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Claymore,

I'm a life member of DAV and MOPH. All my other memberships are yearly, so they can be canned if necessary.

Actually, all of the org.--inc. the VFW--are a little too verbal about their support of the war. You might notice I am addressing these topics lately.

I've decided to discuss these groups pov's on this site, for people who might not get these ideas from the mainstream press.

Thanks, and I'm glad your still with us. I hate to leave an armor buddy behind.

Jim

Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 5:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Publius said...

I think I've told you before that I would not ever be a member of the American Legion because of its right-wing orientation and slack membership criteria. My Dad—100% disabled from WW2—refused for the same reasons. WRT membership criteria, George Bush and Dan Quayle are eligible. That's enough for me.

I did join the VFW once upon a time, but left that organization because of the politics.

Now I belong only to MOAA and there is a reason for that. Inasmuch as we can never trust our government to fulfill its obligations to veterans/retirees, it just makes sense to belong to the biggest, baddest lobbying outfit out there. If I were a retired NCO, I would belong to the NCO Association for the same reasons. I'll never like most of the politics, although MOAA sometimes surprises, but they keep the pressure on elected officials.

So far as I can see, the American Legion has never done squat for veterans or retirees, unless one considers flag waving to be an attribute. Right on with "Buh-Bye, American Legion."

Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 6:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Publius,

Thank you for the supporting comments.

I've never gotten around to joining the MOAA, but it's possible that I will. You are correct to join for the political clout offered alone, which is the only reason I join any of the organizations. I pay dues to show my support of their lobbying.

Jim

Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 6:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Claymore said...

I was armor...only because they deactivated the airborne unit to turn us into cav scouts. I should have transitioned mech inf before the stop loss for deployment; they screwed me out of my CIB as a result. Oh well, SF is comming to Texas- selection for SFAS is in late March.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 12:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Claymore,

Sorry about your CIB, but I'll award you an honorary one. All you have to do is eat a worm, and jump off a footlocker.

I'll give you a letter of referral for the SF selection committee, but you must be careful, because you're showing signs of thinking lately. This could disqualify you.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 3:18:00 PM GMT-5  

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