Thursday, June 01, 2006

VFP Statement about Jesse Macbeth

VFP Statement about Jesse Macbeth

VFP Members, family, friends and supporters,

(Please Distribute Widely)

Recently a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Jesse MacBeth, has been accused of falsifying his military service and lying about participating in atrocities by US soldiers while serving in Iraq. Jesse is also a member of Veterans For Peace. These are serious charges that could undermine the efforts of VFP and IVAW to end the war in Iraq. IVAW is taking decisive
steps to verify Jesse's service and story. There has been a video interview by Jesse posted on the internet. The organization that posted the video has been asked to take down the interview.

This is a complicated situation and must be handled in a thoughtful manner.
There are two important issues here.

VFP has an obligation to uphold truth as we pursue the end to this immoral war in Iraq and resist war as a means to solve conflicts. We must never use false information to move forward our cause. We must never align ourselves with those who would use the pain, suffering and deaths of service members and war victims for gain. (We must protect ourselves from
infiltrators, as well as those who may simply be unstable and need help.)

2. Yet VFP has an equal responsibility to stand in solidarity with returning service members as they speak out against war and expose themselves to the possibility of attack and persecution. We must protect the brave men and women as best we can as they pursue the road less traveled of truth, peace and justice.

As we move forward with the Jesse MacBeth concern, let us keep in mind the above principles. We must hope that all who come to us for support, guidance and love are truthful and trust worthy. We must act decisively, with vigor, compassion and understanding if we find they are not.

If you have not sent the national office your DD-214 or other verification of your veterans status, please do so. It is important for VFP as an organization to ensure we can state with full confidence the status of our membership.

Below is a statement posted on IVAW's website,
concerning this matter.

Michael T. McPhearson
Veterans For Peace
Executive Director
314 725-6005