VFP Board Member Jessie Medvan Responds to State of the Union

February 08, 2019

The 2019 State of the Union address given by President Trump left many progressives stomachs churning, hearing the abundance of lies being told yet again by the mouth of the highest office in our country. It would seem the lift we needed, the voice of hope in the darkness came from Stacey Abrams. She spoke passionately about her family, working class and poor folk. She spoke about values and sacrifice, her accomplishments in politics and activism. Ms. Abrams spoke much more truth than President Trump, truth about struggles that many Americans face-especially those of marginalized persons. She railed against the current administrations reckless lack of care for its own citizens and for those who seek to gain asylum.

While I'm grateful for Ms. Abrams more realistic take on America, it must not go unnoticed that there's a degree of nationalism to her speech that deserves critique. She had plenty of criticisms for the Republican party and called for bipartisanship, but what is left out is the truth that Republicans and Democrats are one in the same when it comes to foreign policy, interventionism, sanctions and war. Ms. Abrams referred to the "brave men and women in uniform and our veterans who risk their lives to defend (America)". As a veteran of the Iraq war circa 2004, I can tell you that what we do overseas is anything but defending America but rather defending business interests for the American 1%. Ms. Abrams went on to say that "the foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders...".

This statement she made is not only entirely untrue but is also very very dangerous. The so called 'leadership' of the American military is anything but moral. We have intervened in other governments affairs, killed democratically elected leaders and even with the very recent example in Venezuela- led coups to ensure leaders will by installed to governments that will protect American business interests. We do not provide means for voters in other countries to have free and fair elections. We have smoke and mirrors to make it appear that is our goal- meanwhile, stealing resources right out from under the very people we pretend to care about. Our politicians cry humanitarian crisis every time they want an excuse to invade and occupy.

Of course, it's true that America cannot afford to continue suffering under the current administration, but the world also cannot afford to continue suffering the imperialist mess that the United States continues to spread.

Jessie Medvan joined the National Guard in 2000 and was deployed to Iraq in April 2004.  She joined Veterans for Peace in 2013 and is the Lead Organizer of the Pittsburgh Chapter.  In 2018 she was elected to the Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors.  She is also a stay-at-home mom to two children.