US Veterans Join Calls for Ending War in Ukraine

“We want urgent, good-faith diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, not more U.S. weapons, advisers and endless war,” writes Gerry Condon.

7A Koshytsia Street, Kyiv, Feb. 25. (Oleksandr Ratushniak/UNDP Ukraine, CC BY-ND 2.0)

By Gerry Condon
Common Dreams

Winter’s arrival in the northern hemisphere brings increased concern about the war in Ukraine — now in its 10th month.

Concern about the suffering of civilians under siege, and the fate of millions of refugees. Concern about the energy crisis and militarization in Europe. Concern about war-related food shortages in Africa. And concern about the possibility of a civilization-ending nuclear war.  

In the face of these compounding disasters, the world’s people are confronted by the apparent readiness of Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO to dig in for a long war in which there will be no winners.  

Veterans For Peace (VFP) shares all of these concerns. As far back as 2015, we called for the withdrawal of all NATO forces from Ukraine’s borders with Russia. Like many observers, we saw this unnecessary and totally avoidable war coming.

On Feb. 24, the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, we issued an urgent call for Diplomacy Not War. Veterans For Peace is part of the Peace In Ukraine Coalition, which is calling for a ceasefire and diplomacy to end the war before it is too late.

Now, with the holiday season almost upon us, we join in the calls by religious leaders and others for a temporary truce in Ukraine, harkening back to the storied “Christmas Truce” in 1914 during World War I, when German and British soldiers came out of their trenches to celebrate together.  

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As veterans who have experienced the carnage of war, we feel great empathy for the young soldiers on both sides of this bloody war who are being killed and injured in the tens of thousands. We know all too well that the survivors will be traumatized and scarred for life. We say Enough is Enough — War is Not the Answer.   

We want urgent, good-faith diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, not more U.S. weapons, advisers and endless war. And certainly not a nuclear war. We want to see those billions of dollars going for climate, jobs, healthcare and housing, not for weapons manufacturers and war profiteers.

As soldiers who have resisted wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, we support war resisters on all sides, including Conscientious Objectors, draft resisters, deserters and all who refuse to participate in killing.

We especially encourage U.S. military personnel to refuse to participate in training, arming, advising, or otherwise engaging in this and other wars of empire. We furthermore call on the U.S. government to end all its wars and withdraw our troops from multiple countries around the world.

It is time to reverse course now. Drop the weapons. Embrace diplomacy and peace. For the sake of Ukraine. For the sake of Russia, Europe and the United States. For the sake of all the peoples of the world. A holiday truce could be the first step toward peace.

Enough Is Enough — War Is Not the Answer!
Ceasefire Now — Negotiate, Don’t Escalate!
Support Soldiers Who Refuse to Kill!


Enya Anderson, VFP National Board
Ellen Barfield, Past Vice President, VFP National Board; Co-founder, Baltimore VFP
Medea Benjamin, VFP Advisory Board, CODEPINK Women for Peace
Marjorie Cohn, VFP Advisory Board; Past President, National  Lawyer’s Guild
Gerry Condon, Past President, VFP National Board
Paul Cox, VFP National Board
Michael Dempsey, VFP National Board; President, Monterey, CA, VFP
Jim Driscoll, VFP Climate Crisis and Militarism Project
Mike Ferner, Past President, VFP National Board
Mark Foreman, Past Treasurer, VFP National Board
Gerald Hassett, Vice President, New York City VFP
Matthew Hoh, VFP Advisory Board
Helen Jaccard, Manager, VFP Golden Rule Project
Eric Johansson, Past President, San Francisco VFP
Tarak Kauff, Past Member, VFP National Board
Bob Keilbach, Secretary, New York City VFP
Kathy Kelly, VFP Advisory Board; Board President, World Beyond War
Barry Ladendorf, Past President, VFP National Board
Gene Marx, Past Secretary, VFP National Board
Ray McGovern, VFP Advisory Board; co-founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Maj. (ret’d) Ken Mayers, USMCR; VFP National Board
Nick Mottern, VFP National Board; Co-coordinator, BanKillerDrones
Barry Riesch, Past President, VFP National Board
Doug Rawlings, Co-founder, VFP; Past Vice President, VFP National Board
Denny Riley, USAF, Our war in Vietnam
Susan Schnall, President, VFP National Board
Joshua Shurley, Secretary, VFP National Board
Alice Slater, VFP Nuclear Abolition Working Group
Rick Staggenborg, President, Mid-Valley Oregon VFP
David Swanson, VFP Advisory Board, World Beyond War
Mike Tork, Treasurer, VFP National Board
Michael Wong, Vice President, San Francisco VFP
Col. (Ret) Ann Wright, VFP Advisory Board; Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Gerry Condon is a Vietnam-era veteran and former president of Veterans For Peace.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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22 comments for “US Veterans Join Calls for Ending War in Ukraine

  1. LeoSun
    December 23, 2022 at 13:12

    IMO, it’s too late! The 21st was too late. Last week, last month, last year, was too late. Next month, makes two (2) years too many that The Party of War is in The House.

    The VFP’s peace plan MUST also force the other situation, the endless, years, of Persecution; and, NOW, the 24/7 threat of the Extradition of Julian Assange outta the UK into the USG’s custody. Imo, when Julian Assange lives free, we will all live free. I, digress.

    IMO, the likelihood that The VFP’s “long letter on a short piece of paper” was read & under consideration, is unlikely. You gots to “SHOW UP,” in Person, by Numbers, EACH Signatory, to the letter, oughta be on The HILL!!!

    – i.e., W/o any notice and/or resistance, Volodymyr “El Chapo” Zelensky, formerly a TV Comedian now Ukraine’s POTUS, held court in The People’s House.
    – Days ago, Patrick Lawrence called it! Raising the “Red Flag.” Basically, Patrick Lawrence said, ”Heads Up:” Coming in Hot, Hot, Hot is “NOMENCLATURE,”
    – i.e., “Your Money is NOT Charity,” ZELENSKY said. Receiving one (1) of nearly two (2) dozen standing ovations that evening, 12.21.22.

    “It’s an INVESTMENT in the Global $ecurity and Democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.” Volodymyr Zelensky. And, then, he bolted!!! Ukraine or Bust!

    Joey “PATRIOT ACT” Biden posing as POTUS masquerading as Human, insists The Divided $tates of Corporate America $tands w/Ukraine “as long as it takes.” IT’S business as usual, POTUS does the yap’n; CONGRESS does the clap’n.

    “Your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore. It’s already overcrowded from your dirty little wars. Jesus don’t like kill’n; No matter what the reason’s for; and, your flag decal, won’t get you, into heaven, a n y m o r e.” (John Prine)

    Protest & Survive!!!

  2. Jan
    December 22, 2022 at 16:12

    This piece would not be quite so tone deaf coming from people in non- aligned countries. Americans need to focus on the actions of the government that collects the taxes paying for the military hardware and missiles. We are the ones with as many as 900 bases on foreign soil, most encircling Russia and China. There were ample security justifications for the Russian invasion, not the least of which was the OSCE figure of 14,000 ethnic Russians in the east cleansed by Ukrainian neo- Nazis since the U.S. directed coup in 2014. “Balanced” calls for negotiations pretend that there are no aggressors. That is not the case in Ukraine, any more than it is in Palestine or Yemen.

  3. michael888
    December 22, 2022 at 13:31

    The US and NATO are trying to get a Pause in fighting to re-arm the UkroNAZIs and catch up on its weapons inventory. They have no interest in Peace. They want to overthrow Putin and steal Russia’s resources, as they did under Clinton and Gorbachev/ Yeltsin.

    While most sane people are anti-WAR, and Putin made every effort to avoid the war in Ukraine after the US overthrew Yanukovych in the 2014 Maidan Coup, Biden/ Nuland/ and Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson and their UkroNAZIs refused diplomacy time after time. Russia would be foolish (suicidal?) to accept anything coming from Biden and NATO.

  4. lester
    December 22, 2022 at 12:40

    Sounds good to me! But I find it hard to imagine Congress paying any attention.

    • R. Billie
      December 23, 2022 at 20:18

      As the sage old Chinese gentleman said, “Rotsa Ruck”. As long as there are billions of dollars to be made from keeping the war going. as long as there is a chance of weakening Russia and making her vast resources ripe for picking by the west, as long as there are military and political careers to be shined and buffed and strutted before an adoring nation of sheeple, iy will go on, all the way to the point where there are no more Ukrainians left to die for their country.

  5. Bushrod Lake
    December 22, 2022 at 11:28

    Nothing in human affaires beats persuasion over force.

  6. Packard
    December 22, 2022 at 08:46

    If only there were a single, vital American strategic interest in all of Eastern Europe worth fighting for! If only…

    Oh, how very simple it all seems to stumble and bumble our way into a nuclear WW III with Russia. Once it starts, however, the very best and brightest minds now working in Washington, DC, on Wall Street, out in Silicon Valley, and inside of our MSM may quickly relearn the old foreign policy adage, starting a war is always much easier than stopping one. D*MN!

    USMC (Ret.)

    [The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (2012) by Christopher Clark]

  7. peter mcloughlin
    December 22, 2022 at 07:44

    History and logic says the Ukraine conflict will end up in world war. Possibly the only way of preventing it is presenting it in its raw fatalism. At the moment the forces bringing us to nuclear Armageddon are blind to the road they are on. They have learned from history.

    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  8. Carl Zaisser
    December 22, 2022 at 04:50

    Definitely agree that a rational, well-considered compromise is the only way of stopping the madness. Due to energy price increases, I am sitting in Europe right now with the heat turned off (sometimes just way down) and blankets over myself on the couch). Plus was notified that in part due to the war, one part of my pension will be cropped back in 2023. HOWEVER, I believe Russia has had enough of the escalation driven by Washington. Ukraine is awash with sophisticated weapons and the gravy train from “the West” doesn’t look anywhere close to being slowed or halted. Last I heard, Russia will NOT agree to a Christmas truce but rather will push on with its plans to put a stop to the war militarily during the winter, as stated by Scott Ritter, Michael Hudson, and no doubt others. And sad to say, the Veterans group calling for the US to withdraw all its forces from conflicts around the world (Syria being one ILLEGAL example) may very well mean the end of the US on the world stage. Weapons companies are making a huge profit on the permanent US war footing. They don’t want it to stop, and if they did, the entire ideology of State and the Pentagon would have to change, as well as the US economy. That might very well mean the end of the road for the United States. Don’t see the decision-makers taking that road.

  9. Vera Gottlieb
    December 22, 2022 at 04:30

    Hoping that the call to end this war is heard by those who have the power (lack will?) to do so. But truth be told…I don’t have faith in the US – a war mongering nation.

  10. Melvin Zimmerman
    December 21, 2022 at 23:55

    As a WWII vet for Peace I ask you -in future appeals to remember the Stuka bombers that this 10 yr.old kid despised the nations and League of Nations for not preventing the targeting of cities: Guernica, Madrid, Coventry, London, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Leningrad, Lvov Dresden and then the ULTIMATE Monstrous Leader of the US nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki, overruling Einstein &Oppenheimer’s use of nuclear power to create electric energy.

  11. LeoSun
    December 21, 2022 at 21:29

    “We want urgent, good-faith diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, not more U.S. weapons, advisers and endless war,” writes Gerry Condon. “It is time to reverse course now.”

    What’s that look like? Everybody, knows you’re dealing w/Killers in high places, NOT Diplomats or Statesmen.

    Ya wanna be heard!? ACT, NOW! Tomorrow, Thursday, 12.22.22. All day long, The Veterans For Peace (VFP) got to “Host a Presser,” on Capitol Hill AND/OR Take to floor of The People’s House. Protest & Survive!!! A Face to Face w/The Enemy. Who’d a thunk!?! our own USG….GOVERNMENT.

    No doubt about it, The Party of War, is in The House!!! Ukraine’s Volodymyr “a Pint-$ized, TV Comedian” Zelensky nka Ukraine’s handy, hen-picked POTUS will be holding court, in The People’s House. NO doubt, grovel’n for Mo’ Money & Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Joey “the Political Corpse” Biden posing as POTUS masquerading as Human, insists The Divided $tates of Corporate America $tands w/Ukraine “as long as it takes.” IT’S Business as usual, POTUS does the yap’n; CONGRESS does the clap’n.

    IMO, The Veterans For Peace (VFP) got to “Go H o l l y w o o d!!!” Channel Jon Stewart. call ‘em what they are, ‘These Motherf*c*ers’: Jon Stewart goes off on GOP turning their back on Sick Veterans; AND, the MFers, took ACTION.

    SNAP! Even the Democrats Stewart locked arms with, that are, ‘These Motherf*c*ers’ who reached across the aisle, for years, in lockstep w/the GOP, torturing sick Veterans. The moral of this $h*tuation is, “Never compete w/an elephant in defecating.”

    “The bus is running. It’s time to leave. Winter’s, here. No time to freeze. So, come on, Veterans For Peace, Shut ‘Em, down!” (Miami, Adam Duritz).

  12. Hank
    December 21, 2022 at 20:39

    thank you very much for sharing this moving and unassailable plea for sanity!

  13. WillD
    December 21, 2022 at 20:21

    The US doesn’t do ‘good-faith’ or real diplomacy anymore. Russia and the non-west know this well, most of them have been affected by the US’ duplicity, dishonesty and deceit.

  14. mgr
    December 21, 2022 at 18:02

    What a wonderfully courageous and humanistic, not to mention, utterly rational stance. I wish you much success and victory for us all.

    The key, as you say, is “good faith diplomacy.” Not to be a naysayer, but realistically looking at the history leading up to this conflict which is well documented and has been further confirmed of late by the revelations by Ms. Merkel, sadly, it is the US/NATO alliance led by the US that has eschewed “good faith” in all its interactions with Russia over the last 30+ years and in particular since 2014. This despite multiple serious attempts during the same period by Russia to work out mutually beneficial security agreements that work for all. At least until now, the US has not been interested, and apparently, neither have the NATO countries that it leads, in any such mutually beneficial agreement. Rather, their idea of an “agreement” has been far more one-sided. This is not some secret or arcane history but sits open to anyone willing to look.

    Getting an actual, trust but verify, enforceable agreement where all the countries involved can be at ease and free to pursue their own as well as mutual prosperity without outside interference is of course the answer. Up until now though, it has not been Russia that has been holding this back. Again and again, the US led West has treated “good faith diplomacy,” if there has been diplomacy at all, as merely a deceptive tactic for further self advantage. This includes the lunacy of abandoning arms control agreements in order to free up their war lust stance even more.

    Now that Russia is poised to follow this war to its brutal end, fulfilling the US/NATO promise of “to the last Ukrainian…,” I think the onus on good faith will necessarily have to come from the US and its followers. For the sake of everyone on earth including themselves, I hope they have the courage and humanity to make that choice.

  15. Jeff Harrison
    December 21, 2022 at 17:24

    A great idea. All you need do is get the US and its vassals to give up on the idea of global hegemony. It was the US and the old colonial powers of Europe who incited this war, not Russia.

  16. David Cooley
    December 21, 2022 at 17:09

    As a VFP member, I stand wholeheartedly with Gerry’s comments. War is a corrupting influence on the whole cultures that engage in this negative, wasteful, often colonial activity. This war is no different.

  17. December 21, 2022 at 17:09

    Unlike politicians, especially those owned by the Deep State, military veterans understand what war is and therefore despise wars and the chickenhawks who send those unrelated to them to fight, to be maimed, to be psychologically crippled and to die, and in doing so, enrich themselves and their cronies through massive military expenditures at the expense of ordinary citizens. Voters need to end this.

  18. December 21, 2022 at 16:01

    Add my name to that list.

    December 21, 2022 at 15:32


  20. John Nicholas Manning
    December 21, 2022 at 15:15

    How could any sane person enter into negotiations with NATO/USA knowing the history of the Minsk Treaties. The hypocrisy and duplicity of western leaders has left Russia with no other option than to invade and take over sufficient Ukrainian territory to protect itself.

  21. Pavel Kozhevnikov
    December 21, 2022 at 15:14

    Stop the war, stop the war!
    The world is getting crazy again,
    In Syria, Africa and in Ukraine,
    People kill people, who cares why?
    The rulers order soldiers – Go and die!
    Brothers and sisters, let’s cry out loud:
    Stop all the wars! Stop all the wars!
    We are the people – of that we are proud,
    No, the wars, no wars anymore!
    Stop the crazy war hawks!
    Stop them right now!
    We are the people, and we are proud!

Comments are closed.