By Veterans For Peace, October 3, 2023
Dear Colleagues in VoteVets,
We applaud your efforts to keep the V.A. funded, prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, end forever wars, reverse climate change and elect veterans who share these views. Those are all laudable goals.
As we recognize our common values, however, we must also speak out clearly in opposition to your planned lobbying to increase weapons to Ukraine.
We want to be clear that Veterans For Peace abhors Russia’s invasion of Ukraine just as we abhorred the U.S. and NATOs decades of provocation that preceded it.
But, as veterans who will recall forever the realities of war, we know wars end when one side is annihilated or through a negotiated settlement.
Neither party in this conflict is going to be annihilated, nor would any sane person wish that. So when enough people have been killed, those responsible for this war will declare a ceasefire, sit down and negotiate a settlement. The question before us then, is, “how many deaths are enough?”
We believe, as we suspect many of your members do, that nothing good comes from war. Members of both our organizations have seen and felt way too much of the real thing to fall for the lie that there is glory in war.
Another thing we know to be true is when billions of dollars of weaponry are poured into a country, even with diligent accounting which is certainly lacking in this case, too many of those weapons will end up in the hands of those who believe violence, even against civilians, will achieve their goals.
Our veterans and indeed our entire population need the same things VoteVets and Veterans For Peace advocate: healthcare for all, unlimited educational opportunities, infrastructure that serves the public interest and reversing the climate crisis which threatens all life. None of those laudable goals, nor the people of Ukraine, will benefit by spending more on weaponry.
The way to end war is not with more war, the way to end war is with peace. And we have yet to see peace come out of the barrel of a gun. Pouring gasoline on the war in Ukraine with more weapons instead of smothering the flames through negotiation will only make the conflagration worse and postpone the day when talking replaces killing.
Ceasefire and negotiate. It will happen eventually. Why pay for more death and misery in the meantime?
With warm regards,
Susan M. Schnall, President Mike Ferner, Interim Director
Veterans For Peace Veterans For Peace