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MFSO (Military Families Speak) out to "greet" Senator Kerry @ Harvard

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:07 AM
Original message
MFSO (Military Families Speak) out to "greet" Senator Kerry @ Harvard
I post this for its news value, and in support of military families who have lost loved ones in this war. I see this as an expression of free speech by a group that has met with Sen. Kerry and, according to them, not delivered on a promise made in September.

Since November 3, it is well known that I am not a big fan of my junior senator. I hope the mods do not lock this thread, as it brings to the fore the issue of when do we as Democrats challenge incumbents who are perceived to be out of sync with the citizenry. The precident has been the many "Joe must go" (Joe Lieberman) posts.

Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger reporting what citizens in Massachusetts will be doing this afternoon.

:hide:

=========

received by email

Dear Military Families in Massachusetts and Neighboring States

TONIGHT: Friday, March 10, John Kerry will make a personal appearance
at the Kennedy School of Government, 79 JFK Street in Cambridge, MA (near Harvard Square) at 5:45 p.m. for a "meet and greet" with the Harvard Democrats. WE WOULD LIKE TO FORM A GREETING PARTY OF MILITARY FAMILIES SPEAK OUT, IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR and VETERANS FOR PEACE WITH OUR SIGNS, PICTURES OF OUR LOVED ONES AND OUR PERSONAL MESSAGES ABOUT WHAT SENATOR KERRY COULD AND SHOULD BE DOING TO END THE WAR, BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW, AND TAKE CARE OF THEM WHEN THEY GET HERE.

Why Senator Kerry? As you may know, a group of MFSO members and a
member of Iraq Veterans Against the War met with Senator Kerry last week in Washington, D.C. It was a repeat of the meeting we had with him in September, 2005. In September he said to us: 'give me two months -- if things haven't changed after the vote on the Constitution in Iraq in October and the election in December -- I'll be right with you.' When we met with him last week he said.....'give me six to eight weeks. The installation of the new government has to kick into place...." We told him there aren't two more months in a war based on lies; there aren't two more months for an untold numbers of troops and Iraqi children, women and men who are in harm's way right now.

He told us that if there was civil war in Iraq and we walked away, we
would have blood on our hands. We told him this nation has blood on its
hands now; that our troops aren't there preventing civil war -- that
the occupation of Iraq is part of the problem, not the solution.

WE WILL GATHER AT 79 JFK STREET AT 5 P.M. WITH OUR BANNERS, SIGNS,
PICTURES AND SELVES. Please let us know if you will be able to join
this "welcoming" contingent -- send us an email to mfso@mfso.org asap.

Sorry for the late notice here, but we just found out about this!

In Peace and Solidarity,
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson
for Military Families Speak Out
www.mfso.org
www.bringthemhomenow.org
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Some folks have just run out of patience
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Katherine Brengle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. I got this yesterday, and I can't go :(
I am an MFSO member living in Massachusetts, but the message came too late :(.

I wish those who make it all the best!
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
3. He submitted an Iraq withdrawal plan on the Senate floor last November -
to bring home the troops by the end of 2006.

I don't see that mentioned.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. ::::: Please read this - he has, in fact, not ignored this ::::::
http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=248407
<snip>
Kerry, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Leahy, the ranking member of Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, said that bringing 20,000 troops home by the holidays is the critical first part of a specific timetable for the transfer of political and security responsibility to Iraqis and a realignment of U.S. troop deployment. That timetable must be real and strict.

The goal of Kerrys plan is to withdraw the bulk of American combat forces by the end of 2006.

http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=251617

Dear General Pace:
<snip>
For some time, a number of us have argued that it is vital to the success of our mission in Iraq for the United States to make clear in public that we seek no permanent military bases in Iraq. We know from General Casey that the insurgency in Iraq has fed on the sense of occupation. A simple declaration that the United States seeks no permanent military bases in Iraq, I believe, will help undermine the claims of some home-grown insurgents who argue that the United States seeks to steal Iraqs oil and dominate its people.

In the interest of clarity, can you state unequivocally that the United States will not maintain any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq? If Brigadier General Kimmmits statement is accurate, I urge you to personally state it clearly in public. I believe that doing so would be a great service to those brave Americans serving so well in Iraq and to the goals of American policy in the region.

http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=250172
<snip>
Below is a statement from John Kerry on the Administration's announcement that they will begin withdrawing 7,000 American combat forces from Iraq. In October, Kerry laid out a series of steps for success in Iraq, beginning with withdrawing 20,000 American forces after the successful Iraqi elections.
"I'm glad that the Administration has recognized that succesful elections in Iraq are the first benchmark toward transferring military responsibility to Iraqis and redeploying American combat forces. The question now is whether the Administration will use these coming days and months in this critical period to achieve a political reconciliation among Iraqis and make 2006 the year we turn the fight over to Iraqis and bring the vast majority of American troops home. There's no time to waste."

http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=248662
<snip>
Sen. Kerrys Iraq plan lays out a comprehensive new strategy to complete the mission in Iraq and bring our troops home. Its goal is to undermine the insurgency by simultaneously pursing both a political settlement and the draw down of American forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks beginning with the draw down of 20,000 troops after successful Iraqi elections in December. If followed, the process will be completed in 12-15 months.

The path forward in Iraq must defeat the insurgency and keep faith with our troops, rather than be driven by the politics of the Republican base or rigid adherence to President Bushs aimless course. The plan I have offered would correct our course. The speech Sen. McCain delivered does not, Kerry said today.

I disagree with my friend Sen. McCains mischaracterization of my plan to succeed in Iraq and bring our troops home within a reasonable timeframe. The way forward in Iraq is not to pull out precipitously or merely promise to stay as long as it takes. To undermine the insurgency, we need to pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks beginning with the completion of successful December elections. These additional troops are in Iraq only for the purpose of providing security for the upcoming elections. If they remain in Iraq after that benchmark is achieved, it only exacerbates the sense of American occupation, said Kerry.

http://kerry.senate.gov/v3/cfm/record.cfm?id=248663
<snip>
Washington, D.C. -- This afternoon, Senator John Kerry introduced in the Senate his plan to succeed in Iraq and bring the vast majority of our combat troops home in a reasonable timeframe tied to specific, responsible benchmarks to transfer responsibility to Iraqis beginning with the draw down of 20,000 U.S. troops after successful Iraqi elections in December. These additional troops are in Iraq only for the purpose of providing security for the upcoming elections. If they remain in Iraq after that benchmark is achieved, it only exacerbates the sense of American occupation.

<snip>
Kerrys plan calls for:

The U.S. to begin a phased draw down of American troops as a series of military and political benchmarks is met, starting with a reduction of 20,000 troops over the holidays as the first benchmark the successful completion of the December elections is met.

<snip>
The Administration to immediately give Congress and the American people a detailed plan for the transfer of military and police responsibilities on a sector by sector basis to Iraqis so the majority of our combat forces can be withdrawn -- ideally by the end of next year.




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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for the compilation.
It seems people want soundbites over facts.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I don't think it's that with the MFSO group
and the other groups affiliated with them. They have profound reasons to expect their Reps and Senators to respond to them.

It may not be 'fair' to some to target one Senator over another, but it does make sense. I would also target the person who so publicly asked who would be 'the last man to die for a mistake' in another war. That has resonance. It's probably not fair, but the request for a moral voice to speak up is not wrong. (And it's Kerry's job to respond to appeal from constituencies.)

I think Kerry is trying to do the right thing here. I also think he should be challenged on it (it's part of his job as a US Senator.) These people are bearing the cost of the war in the US. They have a perfect right (and some might even argue a duty) to bring protest of that war to the doorstep of those who sit in the US Congress. This is a sign of a healthy democracy. (It would be even more healthy if it was Bush seeing the protest, but that is apparently asking too much.) I very much doubt that Sen. Kerry will be displeased to see healthy protest in Cambridge.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I actually agree with you on that - Kerry supports protest as a means to
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:08 PM by blm
be heard and even when it's directed at him, fairly or unfairly, and would be the last person to try to quiet protest from miltary families.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. an excellent post that portrays great tolerance and understanding
my compliments !!
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Thanks but that's his job
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:22 PM by TayTay
I appreciate the thanks. But it is troubling in the extreme that this is even a discussion point. It's the job of US Senators to listen to their constituencies and take their concerns seriously. This is what representative democracy is all about.

I sent letters of protest to Sen. Kerry in 2002 over that IWR vote. (And I have sent him other letters over the years over several other votes that he made that I didn't like.) That's my job as a citizen in Massachusetts, to point out things that are, in my view, wrong to my elected Reps. The Rethugs have so poisoned the debate in this country that this is somehow seen as damaging or disloyal or unpatriotic. That is, again, extremely troubling. We are a country founded on dissent, founded on people getting fed up with what is going on and loudly and publicly expressing their concerns. I should expect a US Senator to understand that, especially one who frequently passes monuments to hell-raising patriots of the past in his home state.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Yep and it was way before Murtha
Dean was on Hardball once and Matthews asked him about Iraq and he was going to mention Kerry's plan but he got cut off. :eyes:
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. Are you greeting Teddy the same way?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:04 PM by Mass
He has called not for an immediate withdrawal either. In fact, no senator has, except for Harkin. I think they should, but they dont.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Yes, I believe. (and please don't shoot the messenger!)
1. I am not going.
2. I belive mr. Kennedy will be similarly "greeted" in Dorchester tomorrow. When I find more information I will post.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
14.  I have no pb with the email
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:06 PM by Mass
I was just wondering if it was a general greeting in which case it is great. Citizens should give input on issues to their Congresspeople. Nothing wrong about that and these people have certainly earned the right to protest the hard way.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sounds like fun!
This is what happens in a democracy, you pressure people to make changes. Anyone who has family who has fought in this war or has served in this war themselves has a perfect right to expect a 'redress of greivances' from their elected officials.

I hope they keep up a dialogue between the two parties.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
8. In defense of Senator Kerry, things are moving slower than anticipated
and he did have certain benchmarks/goals he hoped to see or not to see that would indicate a proper course. For instance, the government is just now getting around to convening. This was suppose to take place right after the election. IMO, we should not act unwisely at this point, we must proceed with care. If the wrong course of action is taken and done in haste, it may be very destructive to the ME and the US also. I for one trust that he has his eye on the ball so to speak and has the most current information to refer to. I trust his judgment on this situation.
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. Someone should have a banner of his infamous saying
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to do die for a mistake." Make him remember his 1971 testimony and that young soldier that's still there.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. "How do you ask a man to be the last man to do die for a mistake."
my favorite of words. yes. i am pro kerry, i would like like to see a poster too
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
16. Cool!
I like to see Kerry get down in the trenches and answer questions. Bush still controls policy. The Republicans still are cooperating with the WH and not working toward bipartisan solutions in the Congress. I hope that changes. Iraq is a fluid and dangerous situation and on Bush's watch it's getting worse by the day.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
17. Deleted n/t
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:10 PM by ProSense
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Sick_of_Rethuggery Donating Member (853 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. Would you please...
come back and post the reception you got from Kerry? And, if possible, a short summary of what was said in the interchanges...

Thanks in anticipation -- I am in Texas, so I will be there in spirit...
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
20. since john kerry is the ONLY one being held accountable for this nation
adn all its woes and the war in iraq, it will be interesting to see what kerry does here. please without bias, do keep us informed. hopefully kerry will be able to come up with something. hopefully he is listening to these families. and hopefully we understand he is merely one man against a majority so we too are reasoned
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I think people are just frustrated and want someone to badly lead
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 01:14 PM by politicasista
Bush has f*cked up things so bad that everyone is just looking for someone or others to get us out of this mess. :shrug:
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. i hear you. that is why i am excited kerry is being given an opportunity
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:09 PM by seabeyond
and i hope he will be able to do something. i just also hope we are reasonable, which i dont see a lot on this board with our fellow dems. but i agree. i want it too.......
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. As Bush has all the power.
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 03:50 PM by karynnj
Kerry can listen, patiently answer angry questions and be supportive. Bush has not taken his suggestions in the past and will likely not take them in the future. I hope the Arab League or some other Arab force can help with the diplomacy, because we have no credibility.

I do think Kerry has been honest in setting out well crafted plans that pulled on as much information and creativity as he could get. He has always left open the possibility of there being a time when nothing could be done.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. see reasonable. i agree n/t
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Sorry, I was agreeing you - just expanding
It has to be a pretty intense meeting.
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. Good for them
More people in the streets more often will get us closer to the goal of ending the war.

Peace!
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