Posted by: Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, Veterans Today News
FOR: Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
We mourn the lives of John Thomas “J.T.” White of IVAW’s Ohio chapter, and Lisa Morris, member of the Fort Hood chapter. Both died this year after surviving tours of duty in Iraq. Our hearts are with their families and friends.
Our work to end the occupations continues in their spirit.
Take a moment this Memorial Day to light a candle, say a prayer, or have a minute of silent reflection on the costs of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Re-commit yourself to working toward their end.
Here are things you can do:
Make a donation to IVAW. Any amount helps.
Have a sit-down with any veteran you know. Ask them how they are doing, learn about their experience, and listen. Find out if they need any help (counseling services, discharge issues, educational access) and connect them to appropriate services. See if they are connected with any veterans’ groups or might want to connect with other vets in IVAW.
Connect with a local IVAW chapter in your area. Meet with chapter leaders for coffee or dinner to learn what their local needs are and see how you might plug in. What can you do to help build an IVAW chapter in your area? Contact an IVAW Field Organizer to get connected to a chapter in your region: Aaron Hughes (Central and Midwest) firstname.lastname@example.org, Chantelle Bateman (Northeast) email@example.com, Joe Callan (Southwest and West Coast) firstname.lastname@example.org, Jason Hurd (Southeast and Deep South) email@example.com.
Host an event to watch IVAW’s Winter Soldier testimony footage, start a Winter Soldier book reading group, or use Winter Soldier in your classroom. Footage is available online at www.ivaw.org/wintersoldier.
Help keep the loss of life, the number of Killed In Action Wounded In Action, and civilian deaths in the headlines of your local news by writing letters-to-the-editor, petitioning your local radio station to acknowledge the dead and wounded on a regular basis, or sending blurbs to your local community papers.
Volunteer with the GI Rights Hotline 877-447-4487 www.girightshotline.org and/or get GI Rights cards to pass out to GIs and Veterans by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make your town or city a sanctuary for war resisters (AWOL soldiers). Learn about the efforts of others to do this: http://open.salon.com/blog/washingtonpeacecenter/2010/04/05/keeping_gis_safe
Ask any mental health counselors or alternative health practitioners (massage therapists, acupuncturists, Reiki healers, etc.) to provide free services for veterans. Hans Buwalda, VVAW counselor, is developing a national network of providers, so add to her list by contacting her at 773-370-4789 email@example.com.
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Here are things you can do:
Iraq Veterans Against the War
May 11, 2010 posted by Robert L. Hanafin
This is sort of a “dog bites man” story; but Joseph Diliberti, the Marine in question, is holding off a very large and dangerous dog indeed. A County government as bankrupt as it is corrupt, that wants to seize a man’s home of thirty years for what they claim are unpaid property taxes, is a particularly nasty dog. Its demands are bullshit.
Mutt, Field reporter on recon.
I guess I have to start at the beginning, which for Joseph was the hard streets of Brooklyn, NY; the sound of which glides thru every word he speaks. As was the norm back then, Joseph enlisted as the war against Viet Nam raged. In the Marine Corps, he found a world as tough as Brooklyn’s streets, and he fit right in… until what he saw in Viet Nam repelled him. He vowed at that point to neither war against people, nor be a participant in a society that would glorify such things.
Thirty-odd years ago Joseph found a remote canyon, far from the city. It was a wet, spring fed bit of oasis amidst the desert chaparral. He built a large tree-house where eventually his daughter was born. Over the years, he studied his small corner of the planet, and started building roomy houses out of clay, which he then fired, creating ceramic, fireproof, and indestructible houses which, frankly, astound. He became a “bush vet” and Rastafarian.
Then, about ten years ago, houses started going up around him. To put things into perspective, you have to understand the nature of San Diego county politics. This is a seething Petri dish of tea baggers,, fundamentalist crackpots, merc and militia wannabes, and the kind of political hacks who use these elements to get elected. It has to be seen to be believed.
To them, a guy like Joseph Diliberti, an actual veteran speaking simple truth to the elaborate lies of Empire, is someone to be feared and hated. And to the County who serves these people, another easy victim, someone that is easily pushed around – Big mistake.
Fast forward a few years, the area becomes more populated and we have massive wildfires, for many reasons, not the least of which is the balding of fire resistant native species & the proliferation of invasive weeds, which turn the countryside into a vast firebomb. After the ’03 fires that swept thru the back country, ash fell from the sky like snow for days. Then the usual hysterical response came, which we’ve seen in say, the “Patriot Act”- a really stupid idea, rushed thru the system, so politicians will feel “safe.”
In THIS case, the stupid idea was giving a secretive company, with only a PO Box, a no bid contract to “clear” dangerous weeds, and submit a no oversight bill.
This clearing was to be done based on anonymous “complaints.” The outfit, Fire Prevention Services, determined what was to be cut, where, and how much to charge. They were fired for cause soon after trashing Joseph’s green piece of canyon bottom, AFTER the surrounding area, full of weeds, burned.
The County paid FPS $25,000 with no documentation of what was cut, how much, and where. The San Diego Rural Fire Protection District, under whom this no bid, no oversight contract was awarded, has let out at various times that the work was performed by 1 truck and two people; or 4 people; and for 1, 2, or 3 days – depending on what day it is.
An LA Times story states that “records” shown to the reporter declared 800 cubic yards were removed. That’s about 140 dump truck loads. No dump trucks were ever seen in the area at the time, much less 140. Joseph can’t see these “records” – indeed NO record, but for the bill.
Ever since this assault on Joseph has taken place, the County Tax Assessor has refused to accept Joseph’s actual tax bill, but demanded the entire amount, now with 150% interest – his actual tax payments are in escrow. He will be happy to pay his tax bill tomorrow. But the extortion – No!
Meanwhile, the Vig – well, this is extortion & racketeering so let’s use the right terms – has inflated the original bill to over $65,000! That is nothing short of Mob interest rates, and the County now wishes to steal Joseph’s land to make good the payment THEY made to a corrupt, oft-sued, pack of swindlers. AND along the way, will naturally grab a few bucks for themselves.
What would YOU do?
Well, WE are doing THIS. These are the sort of people who can’t operate in the light of day. YOU are that light! While San Diego County goes under – the county is known world-wide as “Enron by the Sea” – don’t let them make up for THEIR criminal incompetence by seizing Joseph’s home and selling it at auction to be bought by who, the unknown neighbor who sic’d this corrupt company on him in the first place?
The fact these crooks and crackpots are doing it to a Marine combat vet is just frosting on the cake
Richard Halsey, of the Chaparral Institute, is NCOIC this operation. He knows every detail. I’m the squad cherry….
Mutt, VVAW-SD, reporting.
************Veterans Today Editorial Comment************
We asked Mutt to report on this story for us from on site San Diego Country, CA. However in doing the research on this story of a Vietnam Veteran (yes we saw his DD-214) turned Artist, we vetted Joe’s background after Vietnam.
In my opinion, Joe is not your stereotyped Crazed Vietnam Vet hiding in the woods that mainstream media like to do stories on shortly after Vietnam to well show how screwed up we were in the head IN THEIR MINDS those who refused to serve or had other things to do like politics.
Nope, Joe chose to live in what I know to be like the High Dessert of Southern California where lots of ranchers, cattlemen, and even yep right-wing militia men live. However, Joe’s chosen calling was Artist. He is recognized internationally as just that – an artist in Clay.
In my opinion, Joe Diliberti is just as much a successful Vietnam Veteran as any of us who remained on active duty for a career despite opposing the war we fought and served in.
Joseph Diliberti, a distinguished USMC Vietnam veteran, knows how a warrior deals with the horror of war by becoming a renowned Artist. However, his story is especially poignant because San Diego County is planning to take Joseph’s home away from him after July 1, 2010. The county is doing so to obtain payment on an unjust lien placed on Joseph’s property because of a bungled “weed abatement” order. Joseph was never notified about the order nor was he home when the clearance work was done.
Mutt touched on just some of Joe’s work that well amazes and is candy for the eyes. However when I took a closer look at just what Joe was capable of by the artistic creations he could make not only was I inspired to come to this Marine’s aid, I no shit want to go back to California visit Joe and see his work first hand. I’m no art expert, but I know beauty when I see it. Joe has taken his war time horrors and turned them into something beautiful and that folks is a lesson most young Vets now returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can take to heart, especially those dealing with PTSD. Take your demons and focus on turning them into something creative and beautiful be it poetry, writing, eduction, politics, music, painting, pottery, well the list goes on.
Ironically, yes their can even be artistry, creation, beauty and humanity in politics, we just haven’t found any yet. It may be up to the next generation of Vets to put it there.
Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, Veterans Today News Network
I'm glad to be a member of this group. It will take awhile to get in the swing-of-things, learning about the group goals and what is important to you. In the meanime, I would like to invite you to visit my website "The Pontificator" at http://www.thepontificator.com. My web site is a great place to further express your points of view or to debate and discuss issues important to you. If you like to Blog and do not have your own web site, you can post a Blog on my web site after becoming a Pontificator Partner. Just go to the Pontificator Partner Blogs tab to learn more. I appreciate your support and look forward to getting involved with this group.
video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdENBa0M14o&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmatthisresists.us%2F&feature=player_embeddedPress release for my hearing with the Army April 21st.
April 15th, 2009
(ST. LOUIS, MO) The U.S. Army will hear the case of Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, an Individual Ready Reservist who last summer publicly refused activation and deployment orders to Iraq, on April 21 at 1 Reserve Way in Overland, St. Louis, MO, at 9 a.m.
Chiroux, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, refused to participate in what he described as “an illegal and immoral occupation” May 15th, 2008, in Washington D.C., after nine other veterans testified to Members of the U.S. Congress about atrocities they experienced during deployments to Iraq. Chiroux also vowed to remain public in the U.S. to defend himself from any charges brought against him by the military. (see matthisresists.us for a record of that speech and others by Chiroux)
“My resistance as a noncommissioned officer to this abhorrent occupation is just as legitimate now as it was last year,” said Chiroux, adding, “Soldiers have a duty to adhere to the international laws of war described as supreme in Art. 6 Para. 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which we swear to abide by before the orders of any superior, including our former or current president.”
Following Chiroux’s refusal to deploy, the military did not contact him until after he and 10 other IVAW members marched on the final presidential debate Oct. 15, 2008, in Hempstead, N.Y. demanding to question then Senators Obama and McCain regarding their war policies and plans to care for returning veterans. After the veterans were brutalized and arrested by police, (one suffered a fractured skull and is currently suing the police for damages) the Army charged Chiroux with “misconduct” for refusing to deploy, announcing their intentions to discharge him from the reserves as a result.
“I go now to St. Louis to honor my promises and convictions,” said Chiroux. “Obama or No-Bama, the military must cease prosecuting Soldiers of conscience, and we will demonstrate to them why.”
Following the hearing, Chiroux and other IVAW members will testify about their military experiences which led them all to resist in different capacities the U.S.’s Overseas Contingency Operation (formerly the Global War on Terror).
For more information, see matthisresists.us and ivaw.org.