Recent Tragic Deaths of U.S. Troops Must NOT Be Exploited as Justification for Striking Iran

February 01, 2024

Call for Permanent Ceasefire in Gaza and Withdrawal of U.S. Troops


Veterans For Peace wishes to communicate our sincere condolences to the families of the three U.S. soldiers recently killed in a drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan, near the borders of Syria and Iraq. It is notable that all three were African American members of the Army Reserve in Georgia, and two were young women and close friends, 23 and 24 years of age. We applaud the family members of one of the slain service members for saying they do not want these tragic deaths to be a rationale for escalation of hostilities in the Middle East.

We also send our condolences to the families of the two Navy Seals who were recently lost in the Gulf of Aden while boarding a ship alleged to be carrying weapons parts from Iran to Yemen. As former GIs ourselves, we understand that these were real people with real lives, not just numbers – and certainly not expendable.

We offer our sympathies to the growing number of U.S. military personnel who have been wounded during more than 150 attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria since October 7. We understand that more than a few of them are being evaluated for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  We know from experience that TBI can lead to a lifetime of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes that may affect a person’s ability to function normally thereafter.  

If the U.S. military continues to support Israel’s war on the Palestinian people, there will inevitably be more U.S. families receiving tragic news, and many more GI s wounded for life.  And for what noble purpose?  

As veterans of too many unnecessary and tragically miscalculated wars – from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan – we are alarmed by the irresponsible calls of reckless politicians for the U.S. to launch a war against Iran. This would be the worst possible development and could lead to the deaths of millions. If Nikki Haley and Lindsay Graham are hungry for war, they can deploy themselves to the trenches in Iraq and Syria or on board U.S. Navy ships that are tempting targets (“sitting ducks”) in the Red Sea.

Veterans For Peace has a better idea: the U.S. must insist that Israel implement a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. This is the desire of people all over the world, including a majority of people in the U.S. Israel’s continuing slaughter of men, women and children in Gaza is the source of the recent flurry of attacks on US troops.

In 1945, American GI’s liberated Nazi death camps in Europe and exposed the heinous crimes that had occurred within their walls. For the U.S. to have come full circle and enabled the current genocide in Gaza -- while recklessly risking a wider war -- is a shameful stain on that legacy. As World War II veteran and historian Howard Zinn reminded us, “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people for a purpose which is unattainable.”

It is never too late to do the right thing. Veterans For Peace urges the U.S. to use its considerable influence to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and de-escalate regional tensions throughout the Middle East.

We further call on President Biden to withdraw U.S. troops from Middle Eastern countries where they are not wanted, and where they are now under constant attack. The U.S. government could show that it really cares about the young men and women it deploys to faraway lands for goals that are not worthy of the many sacrifices they make, including the ultimate sacrifice of their very lives.




Category: Position Statement