Veterans For Peace believes it must more firmly assert its voice into the national debate concerning our nation’s drift into endless wars and conflict while side-stepping or ignoring our constitutional and treaty obligations that dictate when and how the United States can unleash its war machine. We will look to our International Advisory Board for guidance and direction to assist us as we continue our efforts to:
- Counter the steady encroachment of militarism into our society;
- Loosen the stranglehold the military industrial complex has gained in the legislative and executive branches of our government;
- Reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons;
- Curb the slow erosion of our civil rights and liberties; and
- Educate ourselves and other citizens about the environmental damage caused by our military adventurism
Edward Asner is perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He continued in this role inthe newspaper-set dramaLou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. One of the most honored actors in the history of television, Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Famein 1996. In addition to his professional versatility, Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom. A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues including those of the acting industry's older artists. Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU’s Worker's Right's Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.
Asner is an Army veteran and lifetime member of Veterans For Peace.
Andrew J. Bacevich
Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations emeritus at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a Vietnam veteran, he received his Ph.D. in American diplomatic history from Princeton. He is the author of many books includingBreach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country(2013),Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War(2010),The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism(2008), andThe New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War(2005).
Medea Benjamin is a cofounder of both CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. Benjamin is the author of eight books. Her latest book is Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, and she has been campaigning to stop the use of killer drones. Her direct questioning of President Obama during his 2013 foreign policy address, as well as her recent trips to Pakistan and Yemen, helped shine a light on the innocent people killed by US drone strikes.
Benjamin has been an advocate for social justice for more than 30 years. Described as "one of America's most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. In 2010 she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the 2012 Peace Prize by the US Peace Memorial. She is a former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization.
Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the advisory board of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She writes and speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world as part of the global peace movement. She continues to serve as an informal adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois
Roy Bourgeois is a former Roman Catholic Maryknoll priest, peace activist and advocate for women’s ordination. Bourgeois was a naval officer during the Vietnam War and served a year in Vietnam. In 1990, Bourgeois founded School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) for the purpose of changing U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, and seeking the closure of the School of the Americas (now named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation [SOA/WhinSEC]). SOA/WhinSEC has been called the biggest base for destabilization in Latin America. Bourgeois is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Jackson Browne is an American singer-songwriter, musician and activist who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. His 1986 album Life in the Balance contains recordings passionately condemning of U.S. policy in Central American. The Life in the Balance sound track was used by Bill Moyers in his 1987 award winning documentary entitled The Secret Government: Constitution in Crisis.Jackson has performed benefit concerts for Children’s Defense Fund, Farm Aid, and Amnesty International. He is a co-founder of the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), and Nukefree.org. As an ardent peace activist and environmentalist, Jackson has won numerous awards, including the NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award, the John Steinbeck Award given to artists who exemplify the social and environmental values of Steinbeck, and the Courage of Conscience Award issued by the Peace Abbey. For his great artistic work, Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2004 and the Song Writers Hall of Fame in 2007.
Paul Chappell graduated from West Point in 2002, served in Iraq and left the Army in 2009 with the rank of Captain. Paul is the author of a seven-book Road to Peace Series as well as Will War Ever End, The End of War, Peaceful Revolution, and The Art of Waging Peace. His next book is due for release in 2015. Chappell serves as the Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He lectures across the country and internationally and teaches college courses and workshops on Peace leadership. Chappell is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Charlie Clements is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and served as a pilot in Vietnam. Charlie told the Air Force the war was immoral and refused to fly. The Air Force declared he was 10% “mentally deficit” and discharged him. Clements became an activist and a physician, practicing medicine in rural villages during the civil war in El Salvador. Later, he raised millions of dollars for humanitarian assistance for the people of El Salvador. In 1983, he wrote a Witness to War, which was later made into an Oscar Award winning short documentary. Clements is currently the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Clements is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor emerita at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence and international human rights law. Cohn lectures throughout the world on human rights and U.S. foreign policy. She is the former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Cohn has been a commentator on MSNBC, BBC, NPR and other media outlets, and is a blogger for Huffington Post. She has authored and edited several books, including "Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent," and most recently "Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues" (2015). A member of the board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, she has testified in military court-martial proceedings as an expert witness regarding the legality of war, duty to obey lawful orders and duty to disobey unlawful orders. She graduated from Stanford and Santa Clara Law School.
John Dear is a Catholic priest and Christian pacifist. He is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. Fr. Dear has given thousands of lectures on peace, nonviolence and the abolition of nuclear weapons to schools, churches and civic groups around the world. He has authored more than 30 books. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times and most notably in 2008 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu who stated that John Dear is the “embodiment of a peacemaker.” Fr. Dear graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and holds two masters degrees in theology from the Jesuit Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
Daniel Ellsberg is a former military analyst who is best known for his part in the 1971 release of the Pentagon Papers, a top secret study of the decision-making process of the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War, to the New York Times and other papers. Ellsberg was a USMC officer. He worked for the RAND Corporation and the Defense Department. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1952, received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard in 1962 and also studied at Cambridge. Ellsberg is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Bill Fletcher Jr
Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO.
Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941″; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.
Chris Hedges is an American journalist specializing in American politics and society. Hedges was among a team of reporters from the New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. Hedges is a well- known author of many bestsellers, including the highly acclaimed, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning(2002). He spent nearly two decades as a war correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He taught at Columbia, NYU, and Princeton. Hedges currently is a columnist for Truthdig and is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute in NYC. Hedges received a B.A. from Colgate and has a Doctor of Divinity from Harvard. Hedges was recently ordained as a minister.
Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and is the former Director of the Afghanistan Study Group, a network of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. A former State Department official, Hoh resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in September 2009. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Hoh served in Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, Hoh worked on Afghanistan and Iraq policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8. Hoh’s writings have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Politico, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. In 2010, Hoh was named the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling. Hoh is a member of the Board of Directors for Council for a Livable World and is an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts (ExposeFacts.org). He writes on issues of war, peace and post-traumatic stress disorder recovery at MatthewHoh.com.
Ann Jones is an international journalist, photographer, and author of numerous books. She has written extensively about violence against women in the United States, including the feminist classic Women Who Kill, 1980. Ever since 9/11 she has worked intermittently as a humanitarian volunteer with women in conflict and post-conflict zones from Afghanistan to Africa to south Asia (War Is Not Over When It's Over: Women SpeakOut from the Ruins of War, 2010). She also served as a gender adviser to the UN and worked with UN agencies in Kosovo and the Middle East. From Afghanistan and the Middle East she has reported on the impact of war on civilians (Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan, 2006), and she embedded with American troops in Afghanistan to report on what becomes of them (They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars - The Untold Story, 2013). Her journalism appears in numerous publications here and abroad, most often currently in The Nation and online at the indispensible TomDispatch.com. She was educated mainly at the University of Wisconsin (PhD, 1970) and now lives in Norway, studying peace.
Kathy Kelly is an American Peace activist, pacifist and author. She is one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. As part of a peace team she has traveled to Iraq 26 times with much of that spent in war zones. She has lectured widely on her experience in Iraq and elsewhere. Kelly has received numerous honors, awards, and honorary degrees from over 25 schools, colleges, groups and organizations that have recognized her tireless work for the cause of world peace and justice.
David Kreiger is a leader in the global movement to abolish nuclear weapons and build a more peaceful world. He is a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and has served as its president since 1982. Under Kreiger’s leadership the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has initiated many innovative and important projects for building peace, strengthening international law, abolishing nuclear weapons and empowering new peace leaders. Most recently the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has acted as a consultant to plaintiffs in the case of Republic of Marshall Islands v. United States, et.al. Kreiger has lectured throughout the world on issues of peace, security, international law, and the abolition of nuclear weapons. He has received many awards for his work for a more peaceful and nuclear weapons-free world. He has written or edited over 20 books and has written numerous articles on nuclear weapons. His most recent book is Zero, The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolition(2013). He has also won several awards for his books of poetry.
Paul Norton "Pete" McCloskey Jr
Pete McCloskey is a former Republican politician from the U.S. state of California who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983. He ran on an anti-war platform for the Republican nomination for President in 1972 but was defeated by incumbent President Richard Nixon. In April 2007, McCloskey switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party. He is a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran of combat during the Korean War, being awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two awards of the Purple Heart.
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer turned peace/political activist. McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963-1990, in the 1980s chaired the National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. When he retired he received the intelligence Commendation Medal. Since his retirement, McGovern has been an outspoken critic on intelligence issues including President George W. Bush’s use/misuse of intelligence leading to the Iraq invasion. In 2003, he, along with other former CIA officials, founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. The organization is dedicated to analyzing and criticizing the use of intelligence, especially as it related to the war in Iraq. McGovern is an army veteran and a member of Veterans For Peace.
Ralph Nader is an American political activist as well as a lecturer, author and attorney. Nader’s areas of interest include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism and democratic government. Nader came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book, Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the American automobile industry and in particular the Chevrolet Corvair. He co-founded the Public Citizen, a watchdog NGO that monitors congress, health, environment and other issues. Many young activists were inspired to work with Nader, and became known as Nader’s Raiders. Nader graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. He is an army veteran and a member of Veterans For Peace.
Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist, singer and peace activist who is also known for her work in avant-garde art, music, and filmmaking. She is the widow and second wife of John Lennon.
Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist, author, and karate instructor. He has written The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Born and raised in Jerusalem in 1961, Peled grew up in a prominent Zionist family. His father, Mattityahu Peled, fought in the 1948 war, and served as a general in the war of 1967; later, after the Israeli cabinet ignored his investigation of a 1967 alleged Israeli war crime, he became a peace activist and leading proponent of an Israeli dialogue with the PLO. He condemned the Israeli military for seizing the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights, calling the war a "cynical campaign of territorial expansion".
Jeremy Scahill is a founding editor of the online news publication The Interceptand author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,which won the George Polk Book Award. His book Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, was published in 2013. In 2013, the Dirty Wars documentary film, produced and directed by Scahill, premired at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Scahill is a fellow at the Nation Institute. He has worked as a journalist on the independently syndicated daily news show Democracy Now!.
Margaret Stevens is a scholar, teacher, veteran and community leader. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers College in 2001, and in 2009 she completed her doctoral work in the Department of American Civilization at Brown University. Stevens served as a medic in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1997-2003. Her unit provided medical support in the aftermath of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. Currently, Stevens is an Associate History Professor and Director of the Urban Issues Institute at Essex College. Stevens is a member of Veterans For Peace and currently serves on the VFP Board of Directors.
Academy Award winning writer, director and producer, Oliver Stone has written and directed over 20 full-length feature films, among them some of the most influential and iconic films of the last decades. Some have been at deep odds with conventional myth—films such as “Platoon” (1986) the first of three Vietnam films; “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989); “JFK” (1991); “Natural Born Killers” (1994); and “Nixon” (1995).
Stone’s films have had a significant cultural impact. These include “Salvador” (1985), deeply critical of the U.S. Government’s involvement in Central America; “Wall Street” (1987), an exposé of America’s new capitalism; “World Trade Center” (2006), a true story of 2 (of only 20) 9/11 survivors; and “The Doors” (1991), a poetic look at the 1960s and Jim Morrison’s ecstatic music. Other films include “Any Given Sunday” (1999), “W.”, and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (2010). Stone’s documentaries include three on Fidel Castro (“Comandante” (2003); “Looking for Fidel” (2004); and “Castro in Winter” (2012)); one on South America, (“South of the Border” (2009)), prominently featuring Hugo Chavez and six other Presidents in a continent undergoing huge social changes and; “Persona Non Grata” (2003) on Israel-Palestine relations.
His latest work “The Untold History of the United States” (Showtime, 2012), 5 years in the making, is a monumental 12-hour interrogation of the conventional, triumphalist narrative of U.S. History.
Stone served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam in 1967-68, and was decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor. After returning from Vietnam, he completed his undergraduate studies at New York University Film School.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. Swanson co-founded the website After Downing Street (now War Is a Crime.org) and is the director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org.Swanson’s books include,War is a Lie(2010),When the World Outlawed War (2011)and War No More: The Case for Abolition(2013). Swanson currently blogs through various political sites, including his own co-founded site, WarIsACrime.org Swanson obtained a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.
Cornel West is an American philosopher, academic, activist, author, and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The son of a Baptist minister, West received his bachelor’s degree in 1973 from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in 1980 from Princeton University, becoming the first African American to graduate from Princeton with a Ph.D in philosophy. He was formerly The Class of 1943 Professor of African American Studies at Princeton before leaving the school in 2011 to become Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He has also spent time teaching at the University of Paris.
The bulk of West's work focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their "radical conditionedness." For his work, West draws from multiple traditions, including Christianity, the Black church, Marxism, neopragmatism, and transcendentalism. Among his most influential books areRace Matters(1994) andDemocracy Matters(2004).
Col. Ann Wright
Col. Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army colonel, a retired U.S. State Department official, and an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. She was one of three State Department officials who resigned in protest over the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Col. Wright won the State Department Award for Heroism for her assistance in helping thousands of refugees escape the civil war in Sierra Leone. She has been a long time peace activist and was aboard Challenger 1 as part of the Gaza Flotilla. Raised in Arkansas, she received a masters and law degree from the University of Arkansas and later was awarded a Master’s Degree from the U.S. Naval War College. Col Wright is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Roy Scranton is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization, and the novel War Porn. He also edited the collection Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. He writes for the New York Times, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. He currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame. Roy Scranton served in the US Army from 2002 to 2006, including fourteen months in Iraq. He is a member of Veterans for Peace.