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  20 Groups/individuals send letter to Gubernatorial candidates re: Guard Home 2016

NEW! 8/1/16 See the 5 responses received by August 1.

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

July 5, 2016

Dear candidates for Oregon Governor:

We are writing to you to get your opinion on a crucial life-and-death matter for many Oregonians: The deployment of our National Guard to Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Syria, Libya and Yemen* without Congressional authorization.

In 2011, President Barack Obama withdrew most American troops from Iraq. In August and September of 2014, he began building troops back up in Iraq, sending others to Syria, and bombing both countries in an effort to repel the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS). While we are peace loving people and do not support the violent tactics of ISIS, we also believe that the US presence in the region is feeding the insurgency leading to a never-ending escalation.

Moreover, President Obama is relying on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force which was cobbled together after 9/11 to go after those responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. It was never intended as an open-ended "war on terrorism" without borders.

The Congress has been reluctant to vote on a new authorization bill. In early May 2016, Rep. Barbara Lee led a bipartisan effort to urge a vote on whether to authorize the war on ISIS.
Rep. Lee, others push House to debate war against Islamic State
< >
Unfortunately the effort to repeal the 2001 Authorization failed 138-285.
< authorization/>

One of the most recent American service persons to die in Iraq was a National Guard member from Washington state who grew up and went to school in Oregon.
Forest Grove, UP grad dies in Iraq non-combat incident
< >

And, perhaps most significantly, an active duty Army Captain is suing the US government for deploying him to a combat zone without Congressional authorization.
Deployed Army captain sues Obama over ISIS fight
< army-captain-sues-obama-over-isis-fight/83942016>

A number of groups from around the state of Oregon have been urging the Governors of this state to Keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon, from Gov. Kulongoski in 2008 to Gov. Kitzhaber in 2012 and Gov. Brown last year. <>

While several deployments of the Guard have happened in the interim, we urge you to pledge not to send any more Oregonians into an unauthorized and ill fated war.

We hope you will let us know your opinion on this matter so we can share a fact sheet with our constituents. We are non-partisan groups interested in finding alternatives to war as a solution to the world's problems.

We look forward to your prompt reply by no later than July 29, 2016.

Thank you

Dan Handelman
    Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group

S. Jenika
    Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 (Portland)

Bart Bolger
    Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132 (Corvallis)

Allen Hallmark
    Veterans for Peace Rogue Valley Chapter 156 (Medford/Grants Pass/Rogue River)

Ed Pool
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 141 Bandon, Oregon

Michael Taylor and Linda Marshall, parents of Iraq combat Veteran
    members Military Families Speak Out** (Portland)

Kelly Campbell
    Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Susan Cundiff
    Oregon Women's Action for New Directions (WAND)

Michael Carrigan
    Community Alliance of Lane County (Eugene)

Leah Bolger
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Corvallis Branch

Natasha Beck
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Portland

Ellie Gunn
    Yamhill Valley Peacemakers (McMinnville)

Nancy Greenman
    Albany Peace Seekers

Ivend Holen
    Citizens for Peace & Justice (Medford)

Elizabeth Hallett
    Ashland Peace House

Philip H. Randall
    Central Oregon Peace Network (Bend)

Emma Lugo
    Pacific Green Party

Jordana Sardo
    Freedom Socialist Party

Recruiter Watch PDX

Malcolm Chaddock
    Individuals For Justice (Portland)

Max White and Will Singer
    East Timor and Indonesia Action Network Portland

*-US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Qaeda strikes (AFP 5/7)
U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic State
< toward-offensive-against-islamic-state/2016/05/12/11195d32-183c-11e6-9e16- 2e5a123aac62_story.html>
The US continues to argue about language to explain how the President is keeping his pledge not to put any "boots on the ground" in Iraq an Syria:
As More American Boots Hit the Ground in Syria, U.S. Parses "Boots" and "Ground" (Intercept 4/29)
< boots-and-ground>
and tries to explain why Americans bombed a hospital in Afghanistan even though the US has supposedly ended its combat role there.
US military's hazy "noncombat" Afghanistan role creates confusion in hospital bombing (Wash Times 5/1)
< creat/print/>
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**-organization listed for identification purposes only
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cc: Kate Brown, Democratic Party
    Bud Pierce, Republican Party
    Cliff Thomason, Independent Party
    James Foster, Libertarian Party
    Pacific Green Party
    Working Families Party
    Constitution Party
    Progressive Party

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NEWS: Five of Eight Political Parties/Governor Candidates Respond to Oregon Guard Home Campaign

August 1, 2016

On July 5, nineteen organizations and a military family sent a letter to the eight political parties in Oregon and/or their candidates for Governor, asking them to pledge not to send Oregon's National Guard into undeclared war zones. Five of the eight responded, and the responses ranged from philosophical to outright support for the idea of keeping Oregon's Guard stateside.

The responses are below, edited for length in some cases, in order of their response:
--James Foster, Libertarian Party candidate
--Jack Alan Brown Jr, Constitution Party chair
--Cliff Thomason, Independent Party candidate
--David Delk, Oregon Progressive Party
--State coordinating committee, Pacific Green Party

The three parties not responding (to date) are:
--Working Families Party
--Kate Brown, Democratic Party candidate
--Dr. Bud Pierce, Republican Party candidate

Dan Handelman of the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, which coordinated the effort, said: "It's encouraging that most of the political parties recognized by Oregon's Secretary of State seem to be in favor of keeping the Guard home. We hope this sends a clear message to those party candidates who did not reply."

For more information contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065 or .

---James Foster, Libertarian Party candidate---

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for your inquiry as to whether I would be willing to "pledge not to send any more Oregonians into an unauthorized and ill fated war." ...

While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments... without further legal analysis I'm not sure I can assert that the Governor of Oregon has the power to review the legality of the President's actions. It seems that that power lies with the federal courts. Based on the court cases upholding the Montgomery Amendment... it seems to me that a better position would be assert that the Governor has standing to initiate a court challenge to the federalizing of the Guard. Or, perhaps, we need a review of the activities of the Guard overall and ask whether disbanding it would be within the Governor's powers.

James Foster

---Jack Alan Brown Jr, Constitution Party---

Sirs, [sic]

The Constitution Party of Oregon wholeheartedly oppose the deployment of our national guard outside the boundaries of the USA. There is no basis for the Oregon National Guard's existence, except as a morphed Oregon Militia as defined in both the US constitution and our state constitution. The militia exists for the two-fold purpose of suppressing insurrection against constituted authority and to repel invasion of our own soil.

Our party platform says regarding the Militia/Guard, "We repudiate the concept that it is an extension of the army of the United States to be used for the purpose of invading foreign jurisdictions of enforcing United Nations mandates, a concept that is doubly repugnant when no constitutionally declared war exists."

I can assure you that our candidate for governor, Aaron Auer, is enthusiasticly [sic] in support of our platform on this point.

Jack Alan Brown Jr
Chairman, Constitution Party of Oregon

---Cliff Thomason, Independent Party candidate---

I have never, nor will I ever, support the deployment of National Guard troops overseas. It is, and remains to be great overreach and an abuse of Federal power. Bring our troops home now!

Make Oregon Great!
Cliff Thomason

---David e. Delk, Oregon Progressive Party---

Yes, the Oregon Progressive Party supports the position outlined in your email.

David e. Delk
Oregon Progressive Party

----Emma Lugo on behalf of the State coordinating committee, Pacific Green Party---

The Green Party has approved the following statement via a quorum approval of the state coordinating committee via email:

The Pacific Green Party supports an end to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and calls on Governor Brown to immediately recall US Army Reserve Troops and National Guard that have been sent out on multiple deployments. These terms of service are an abuse of the National Guard and Army Reserve systems. We want the Governor to bring the troops home now so they can be with their friends and family.

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2015 letter
2013/2014 letters


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

Page posted July 5, 2016


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