Like you, we are men and women who love our country, its people, its ideals and its promises. We have served in our nation's armed forces, and many of us have served in our nation's wars. Like most of our fellow citizens, few of us are pacifists and few have previously felt the obligation to take a public stand against our government.
Today, however, we see patriotism defined and usurped by ideologues and special interests. We see Americans living in a climate of fear-mongering in which flag-waving is used to silence debate and to blind reason. We see this Administration fixate on war as a first expedient rather than a last resort while a host of critical domestic issues go unaddressed. We feel it is our duty to do all we can to keep travesty from turning into tragedy.
Veterans Against the Iraq War -- a coalition of organizations including Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace and others -- has, therefore, launched "Operation Dire Distress." It will consist of a march and lobbying effort in the Nation's Capital on March 23rd and 24th.
On Sunday, March 24th, our veterans will assemble at the Memorial Garden and march to the WWII, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War memorials. They will then proceed to the Ellipse on Constitution Ave. A smaller delegation will then try to deliver our message to the White House. On Monday, March 24th, coalition representatives will meet with members of Congress. We will declare our support for United States military forces presently deployed to the Middle East, but we will assert that the voices of America's veterans must be heard on this major issue confronting our nation.
We will ask our elected representatives to let the Constitution work as the Founding Fathers intended. We will try to convince you to rescind the War Powers Authorization Act under which Mr. Bush is currently operating. And, we will urge you to reclaim the awesome power that our constitution imposes solely upon the Congress -- the power to declare war -- with all the responsibilities that power entails. Never has the wise system of checks and balances between the branches of government that the framers established been more needed.
We appreciate your ongoing work in behalf of our country and thank you for your service. At this critical moment, however, we must also ask that you support our endeavors by agreeing personally to endorse, facilitate, and participate in the Sunday march and to receive our representatives on Monday, March 24th. We will shortly follow up with your staff, and we send you each all our best regards.
Peter D. Molan, Ph.D.
Baltimore, MD 21218