WASHINGTON - March 28 - President Bush's speech to veterans garnered
applause at the White House today as he praised coalition forces
in Iraq. But despite claiming support from what the President
termed "the veterans' groups" for the war and a supplemental
appropriation of $75 billion to fund it, individual veterans and
organized veterans' groups are also on record strongly questioning
the wisdom of the Iraq invasion and voicing concerns over the
potential for massive casualties.
in a letter to President Bush spearheaded by Veterans for Common
Sense, 986 U.S. war veteran signatories, including high-ranking
officers and Kris Kristofferson, requested a meeting with the
White House to discuss their concerns. Although other veterans'
groups were invited to the White House today to hear the president's
speech, the Veterans for Common Sense letter has received no
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org, the letter argues that
unlike 1991's desert campaign to liberate Kuwait, invading Iraq
now would likely entail "protracted siege warfare, chaotic
street-to-street fighting in Baghdad, and Iraqi civil conflict,"
raising fears of "casualties not witnessed since Vietnam."
predictions of massive Iraqi casualties, including 1.26 million
children under age five at particular risk, it states "excessive
civilian casualties like those predicted by the UN pose a grave
risk to our national security, making the U.S. more of a target
of retaliatory attacks by terrorists."
forces close in on Baghdad, the Iraqi defense minister today
promised that urban street fighting would ensue and inflict
signatories to the Veterans for Common Sense letter are available
now for media interviews reviewing veterans' positions on the
war, and analyzing military aspects of news from the Iraqi front:
General Evelyn Foote, Gulf War veteran, testified before Congress
Erik K. Gustafson, Gulf War Army veteran, co-founder, Veterans
for Common Sense
Kris Kristofferson (phone interviews only) former 82 Airborne
helicopter pilot, celebrated actor, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter.
David H. Hackworth, Army veteran of 30 years, veteran war correspondent
who covered the Gulf War
Admiral Jack Shanahan, former commander, US Second fleet, WWII,
Korea and Vietnam veteran, former director, Center for Defense
Seth Pollack, Gulf War vet, chairman of Veterans for Common
Charles Sheehan-Miles, Gulf War Army veteran, co-founder, Veterans
for Common Sense
-- Lt. Colonel
Gretchen Vanek, veteran of Vietnam and Gulf Wars
Larry Williams, served 27 years in Marine Corps including in
Vietnam and Beirut
Admiral Ralph Weymouth, Veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam
other veteran signatories are available for interviews. They
are based throughout the United States, including Washington,
D.C. For more information or interviews, contact Stephen Kent,
845-758-0097 or cell, 914-589-5988.