Jeju/OkinawaFriends,You're a diverse group. Some of you totally "get it", as I so imperially insist I do. Others of you, for various reasons, aren't obsessive about "it" as I, or maybe are little aware of what is happening in our name. The reasons for your varying degrees of concern would likely be many, but generally relate to being busy people, engaged with other demands and interests, man y of which might make a far more compelling case for your energies and time by consensus of this entire group. So what is "it"?
First Dispatch from Dud Hendrick
December 5, 2015
"It" is what has driven me to once again embark on a journey half-way around the world to stand with others in objection to the U.S. military empire. "It" is the arrogance of the mindset that spawned the empire that threatens our planet. I fully understand that some of you may be rolling your eyes and concede the legitimacy of your own priorities, but I press on, regardless.
You are a diverse group, but share one thing in common: I think of you all as friends, albeit busy friends, and know that some, maybe many of you will find time to read some of what is to follow.
I am traveling with a delegation of fellow Veterans for Peace--acting on our mission statement which states:
We are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war. Our networks are made up of over 120 chapters across the United States and abroad.
We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others
* To increase public awareness of the costs of war
* To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
* To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
* To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
* To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.
We are on Jeju Island, South Korea and will be here 'til December 9th, when we'll travel on to Okinawa for another week. Our purpose is to stand in solidarity with the people of these places who are protesting the militarization of their beloved lands by the U.S. military.
I intend to send several reports as a means of meeting my responsibility to these people who are being victimized by what I think constitutes an existential threat to us all. By way of "setting the stage" I am beginning with two reports, one from our delegation leader, Bruce Gagnon, whom many of you will know, the second from our photo-journalist Ellen Davidson, both filed at the conclusion of our first day on Jeju.
Thanks for giving this some time. I'm asking a lot I know, but in the spirit of "changing one mind at a time," perhaps even building a movement; here goes. I will try to be mindful of your time in the reports to follow.
P.S. These are being conveyed via Jean so if you choose to opt out simply let her know. She'll never tell me.