IVAW takes hard Left turn into obscurity

| February 12, 2013

We haven’t paid much attention to the IVAW lately, mostly because they were behaving themselves. Their focus was on returning veterans and healthcare and most of their really dangerous members were gone. And that Abdo dude who was planning to blow up parts of Killeen, Texas had sent a bunch of them into hiding. Or at least chased them off the front pages of local rags across the country. I’m sure there’s still a link between IVAW, Under the Hood Cafe and Abdo, and I’m still looking.

But a few days ago, they decided to retool the IVAW. Here’s what they used to think they stood for;

IVAW Old values

Those were the things they thought were important. Until the other day when they took a vote to value these things instead;

IVAW Values

Notice that their values have changed to exclude the word “veterans” anywhere. Well until the end of the document;

IVAW Mission

So they voted to become exactly what I’ve said they were all along – a bunch of people wearing T-shirts that proclaim them as “veterans” to march in front of the hippies to lend the Code Pink, MoveOn, ANSWER folks a measure of the moral authority that other veterans have earned since the Vietnam War. Mannequins would do an equally adequate job. From all reports, despite their claims of over a thousand members, they had 50 total votes for this march left. Not all of their membership is happy about the direction that the International Socialist Organization has taken them;

Congratulations IVAW!

My warmest congratulations go out to Iraq Veterans Against the War on their recent passage of the new Values and Mission Statement. IVAW’s new mission, should this document continue to sweep through with less than 100 total votes, will be to “end militarism”. Although there are a handful of people celebrating this shift, there are many more of us who morn. The day we were told that this document had passed was the last page of the last chapter in IVAW’s transformation from a big tent, grass roots veteran movement into an activist led, niche, special interest group.

Over the last few years, a small group of narrow minded, revolutionary ideologues have fought long and hard to shift IVAW’s mission from three simple goals that were supported by veterans from all political parties (and no political party) to a mission that has defined the extreme left since the glory days of the anti-war movement during Vietnam. At first, the attacks were strong and pointed to drive out the most conservative of members. Rapid anti-war voices called for sabotage and endorsed the murder of soldiers. When veterans who, outside of their involvement with IVAW, would identify as conservative, tried to call for the leadership to step up and maintain a safe, big-tent organization, the leadership did nothing. These veterans, realizing they were clearly not welcome, resigned or simply walked away. Some of these people were highly involved members including chapter leaders, and voices from Winter Soldier. It was take months of pressure before the leadership took any action. When they did finally act, they took harsher action against those who are tried to stop the extremism than they did against those who had called for sabotage or defended murder.

The second wave of attacks came in a more subtle form. If I were to title this attack, it would be the attack of organizing process. While some organizing theory is important, for months it seemed like our purpose was to organize about organizing. Every meeting was a study in theory of organizing or about developing a model of organizing. This was a distinctly top-driven period. Chapters were calling for help – world events were ripe for the taking – yet we honed in on what model of organizing we would use to build up our membership, or devise a campaign. The leadership asked “what do the members want?” while ignoring the members who stood up begging for help. It was during this period that chapters just ceased to exist. The disgust in the membership was so clear that most people didn’t even consider IVAW worth resigning from. They just walked away.

The final step in IVAW’s transformation, now that the membership had been mostly tailored to fit the far left vision of radical anti-militarism, has been to isolate and shun members who dared to stand up against this anti-militarism campaign. We have been called obstructionists, passive aggressive, bitches and have been left hanging when we asked for support to help soldiers in real, immediate need of support.

Who was responsible for this shift? I don’t think it was one person – there were individuals who desired to change IVAW, yes, but others joined their movement because of fear – fear of irrelevancy. A few people had shifted their military identity to IVAW Military Identity – they had not healed: they had transferred. They feared the loss of their identity more than anything, so they worked, fought, and raised hell for an IVAW that would never die – one that they could cling to until the next war, when they could hop on the backs of that war’s veterans (like the Vietnam Veterans did who could not let go of their anti-war identity after VVAW grew irrelevant)

At our height, we boasted 1200 members and chapters all over the country and world. Today, we muster 50 people for an online vote – 50 members and a handful of chapters who actively support one ideology. The few more “conservative” veterans who have stuck around are now just a punch line to a bad anecdote. What remains of the leadership laughs at those who refuse to get in line with this new IVAW. Rest assured – we aren’t simpleminded idiots – we see what has become of IVAW – we see the obviously unanimous new vision. We were just trying to save IVAW from being relegated to the dusty halls of extremism, to be seated next to VFP, Code Pink, the ISO, Militias, the Tea Party and every black bloc anarchist that has ever existed. Oh well… guess the jokes on us.
Oh yeah… and before you get all excited… we’re not resigning. We’re not going to get rid of us that easy. We’ll be here to call you on your bullshit and be a general pain in your ass for years to come. So hears to you IVAW! Good luck with changing the world. No, seriously…good luck.

Jose Vasquez has resigned as the Executive Director of IVAW at this crucial moment in the organization’s history. He insists that he’s stepping down because of family issues, but I think its odd that the guy who resisted the last take over attempt by the ISO chooses this moment to resign. There are other resignations, too. Aaron Hughes, for example. But, no word yet on the one we’ve been waiting for most.

Category: Iraq Veterans Against the War

Comments (72)

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  1. A Proud Infidel says:


    Hey Hart, did you even make it to the fifth grade before you dropped out of school and started drawing welfare?

  2. teddy996 says:

    Come on, guys. Hart totally has millionaire philanthropists sitting around their computers all day waiting to shell out the bucks every time we call him a douche. They just sit there, chomping on their Cubans and sipping that blue label, waiting for Hart to be insulted on TAH. Laughing about it, apparently, because the joke is most certainly not on people who are giving money to an organization every time their recruiter acts like a douchebag to a group of potential recruits for their failing organization. No, the joke is most certainly on us, because we are the grease which makes this brilliant fundraising machine work. Why, with all these new funds, IVAW will be able to recruit more members! Then they can troll more websites for more money! Its a goldmine!

    Quite an investment your rich buddies have made, Twat Vages. The return on it is negative, as it will continue to cost them money. Rich people love that; it is how they stay so rich.

    If I was a thinking man, instead of a wrench turner, I would have to say that its almost as if you have made that shit up. But we know that can not be true, because people who took part in the Winter Soldier would never lie about stuff for attention.

  3. NHSparky says:

    1–Go to website.
    2–Be troll.
    3–U mad, bro?

    Fuckin idiot proof, I tell ya.

  4. Hart Viges says:

    Potential Recruits need a sense of Humor. Its y’all that keep posting on IVAW and I respond. Brilliant LOL

  5. Hondo says:

    Benjamin: see comment 46.

  6. teddy996 says:

    “Potential Recruits need a sense of Humor.”

    Because your organization is a joke. I can dig it. But what I don’t get is why you insist on making it a bad joke.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Teddy996, the money isn’t going to IVAW. It’s going right into his pockets.

  8. Hart Viges says:

    Awaiting moderation again. This is rich. LOL our freedom of speech that we all sacraficed for must be very proud.

  9. NHSparky says:

    Funny Hart, I don’t recall the First Amendment saying anything about private citizens not letting you post stupid shit on a message board. I DO recall it saying something about, “CONGRESS,” meaning the GOVERNMENT can’t make laws restricting your speech, although the SCOTUS has many times rule there are in fact limits on so-called free speech.

    Now go eat a fat bag of dicks.

    Pretty please.

  10. Hondo says:

    Ah, the old bogus “you’re violating my rights” claim. How quaint. So typical of ignorant and/or mendacious tools who don’t understand (or don’t give a damn about) what the Constitution actually says.

    For your benefit, Benjamin H. Viges, I’ll spell things out. NHSparky’s brief explanation above might be beyond your comprehension.

    The First Amendment restricts the actions of government, Bennie-boy. It doesn’t apply to private entities. Private entities are free to do as they please when it comes to allowing comments on privately-owned media.

    TAH isn’t a government entity or activity. Ergo, you have no “right” to comment here.

    If Jonn wants to moderate you (or anyone else) or ban them outright, that’s his prerogative as TAH’s owner. You comment here because Jonn permits you to do so. All of us do. He can withdraw that permission at any time if he so chooses. His place, his rules.

    Frankly, Jonn’s pretty liberal when it comes to tolerating dissenting opinions here at TAH. If he operated more like your ideological brethren at DU, you wouldn’t be periodically moderated. You’d have been gone permanently after about 2 or 3 comments, Viges – if you lasted that long.

    I also don’t hear you complaining about your ideological brethren at DU and their de facto policy of immediately and permanently banning those who post opinions run counter to their preferred “party line”. But since you’ve showed yourself to be a narcissist and hypocrite in prior comments here at TAH, I didn’t really expect you to do that.

  11. Hart Viges says:

    Private entities on a public forum. Interesting. You can talk shit about other people but when they talk back y’all can’t handle it. So you shut them up by blocking their ability to post. I don’t don’t know if this will make it so its for the moderator. With respect please review the whole conversation and count how many times I and IVAW have been insulted with vulger language and how many times I have insulted TAH and its members with vulger language. And yet in my attempts to cool it down it is met with more insults. Welcome to the Human Race.
    If Y’all want to have your private IVAW Hate Party all to yourselves then why have this site open to non-members?

  12. Hondo says:

    Bennie-boy: are you really so unintelligent that you don’t comprehend the difference between “private entity” and “government entity”, and the restrictions on each? Or are you just acting like a whining, butt-hurt, mendacious, illogical fool?

    Jonn runs this site the way he likes because it’s his property and he can run it as he pleases. He lets you – and pretty much everyone else – comment here because he chooses to do so. Jonn moderates a relative handful of those who comment here. You happen to be one of those on his “list”. TAH is his place, so it’s his right to do that. You have no say in the matter.

    Don’t like the rules here? Fine. Then don’t bother coming here.

    And quit being such a damned “high horse” hypocrite. Does IVAV let folks comment openly on the IVAV website, and publish any statements they wish critical of IVAV? I don’t think so. Rather, IVAV publishes what they want – supporting whatever point of view they desire – to the exclusion of others. In short: IVAV controls the content of their site – just like Jonn does here. Ditto for DU and any number of sites run by your ideological brethren. Complaining about the same thing here simply shows you to be a hypocrite, and a rather unintelligent one at that.

    One last piece of advice. To some degree you’ve made yourself a public figure, Bennie-boy. So you probably need to get used to the same level of scrutiny and abuse that other public figures get – and quit whining about it. It comes with the territory.

  13. NHSparky says:

    Hart, you want to know what will “cool it down?”

    Your permanent departure. I know for a fact that’ll be a sure-fire guarantee you won’t ever be insulted here again.

    Yes, you mean that much to us.

  14. Hart Viges says:

    I’m sure you are a good man. Can’t we talk like adults? Our wars go against the Teachings of Jesus and International Law. Doesn’t that bother you?

  15. Viges is such an insignificant turd; feeling like he floats higher in the toilet bowl of whining liberals.

  16. Hart Viges says:

    Stay Classy Southern Class LOL

  17. Hart Viges says:

    That old news? We got rid of that guy a long time ago and he ain’t on the Winter Soldier cover. So where do you see him?

  18. Stoned Gunman says:

    These guys are alive and prospering in the twittersphere, Clumpner is still calling himself ranger and even has a pic on his profile wearing his medals and CIB but worse he tweets about “counter-recruiting” at a Chicago Public School where he and fellow IVAW war “heroes” talked to middleschool kids about the horrors of war…wtf? He can be found on twitter under @turncoatveteran and also see questions and answers from the IVAW and student session at #ivawchicago This scares me more than some generator repairman slapping on a DSC these people are scum and they are given access to our children…

  19. Green Thumb says:

    Hart Viges = Loser.

    IVAW = Losers. (Plural there for ya’ Hart-less)

  20. Green Thumb says:

    The irony is that liberals love “walls and boundaries” but yet scream that they do not exist.

  21. OldSargeUSAR says:

    Spec Viges, bony ass hippie “paratrooper” (can we get a FOIA) converted to a chicken shit conscientious objector. Blogger Breslin is a piece of work, too.