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. NHSparky says:

    mostly because they were behaving themselves

    Well, except for that douchetool Hart. Yo, Hart–ain’t it a bitch when you get called out and deny what everyone else with two functional brain cells already knew?

  2. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “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.” Oh really? Sabotage? That’s worth some Fed’s time to look into, don’t ya think?

  3. Old Trooper says:

    The only thing revealing about this latest stunt is that they are finally admitting to what we have known for years. So, they are going to lose more members and fall further into obscurity. One or two will show up with the VFP morons at some rally or protest and be laughed at like the others are. Good job and well done.

  4. Lucky says:

    They have always been in obscurity. As an OEF & OIF Vet, I have to say I am quite happy with the way these turd burglars turned out! The more they fade away, the better it is

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    So now IVAW actually stands for I Vindicate Anarchy and Worldwide destruction?

    They may become obscure, but they may become more dangerous. The Weather Underground split off from the SDS in the 1970s and became a homemade bomb building group.

  6. NHSparky says:

    And if/when they turn violent, then the media will point and scream like the shrieking harpies they are about how these “unhinged veterans” are violent, etc.

    Well played, MSM/IVAW. Well played.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Then, Sparky, it is OUR job to make sure that WE get the word out that VETERANS — REAL vets, not this bunch of hijackers — are not at fault. WE have a voice. We must use it.

  8. Doc Bailey says:

    I’m sure Under teh Hood and othe subsidiaries will remain relevant for years to come. . . yeah that’s totally going to happen

  9. NHSparky says:

    WE have a voice. We must use it.

    I wish I could agree, PH2, but when phonies like Poe, et al, end up on entertainment shows, and guys like Diliberto are “experts” on Afghanistan according to CNN, when they never stepped foot in the country, it really fucks things up for the rest of us. Plus the media, most of them anyway, have little to no interest or understanding of what we do or what we face. It’s too hard for them to wrap their benumbed little brains around it.

  10. Old 21B says:

    I really don’t think that you can call yourself a Veterans organization when you advocate for “adequate benefits and the hightest standards of compassionate care REGARDLESS OF DISCHARGE STATUS” (I added capitalization) So they think that those booted dishonorably from the service deserve the same care and benefits as those of us who have served honorably?

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    I know, Sparky. How long did it take for in-country Vietnam vets to get some simple respect? Too long.

  12. Old 21B says:

    Perhaps their next major shift will be to try and get adequate benefits for the posers.

  13. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    IVAW 10008
    MCPO 10009

    One zip code digit from lunacy!

  14. lucky says:

    MCPO, which zipcode? 😛 and I am hoping that they just fade away quietly and don’t turn violent, but I doubt that will happen…

  15. Green Thumb says:

    IVAW = Losers.

  16. FatCircles0311 says:

    Who wrote the bottom piece with the comparison of the Tea Party to anarchists, anti military organizations, and general dirt bags? What a fucking clown.

    These anti war groups are always centered around individuals invested in themselves.

  17. Hart Viges says:

    Thanks for raising more money for IVAW. Obscurity? The condition of being unknown. Yet y’all are speaking our name keeps us out of the unknown. Smart.

  18. Green Thumb says:

    Get lost, Hart-less.

  19. Hart Viges says:

    But I just found myself Green. I believe ol Sparky called me out with the first comment on this thread. Plus this is too much fun raising $$ for IVAW from all the TAH fan mail.

  20. Green Thumb says:


  21. Hart Viges says:

    Please don’t hurt my feelings Thumb LOL
    Name calling….extra $$ for IVAW Thank you for your Support LOL

  22. Green Thumb says:


  23. Hart Viges says:

    Really? After I gave y’all my address while posting on my real name while you hide behind GreenThumb and haven’t released any contact info. Really? LOL

  24. Green Thumb says:

    All brains…no “Hart” it seems?

    Cut the hair you shaggy-ass poser and think.

  25. Hart Viges says:

    Thumb Thumb Dumb. Hart is a red stagg not the organ. Dictionary Yo. Cut my hair? Good one LOL

  26. Hart Viges says:

    Cool….thats what I thought LOL

  27. Hondo says:

    Apparently Benjamin is somewhat humor-challenged when it comes to recognizing puns.

  28. JAGC says:

    It is quite telling that a guy purportedly representing a veterans advocacy group would claim… and I highlight “claim,” that he is raising funds for the veterans group specifically by provoking veterans. That kind of unprofessionalism and hubris speaks for itself.

  29. NHSparky says:

    Not to mention hypocrisy and unadulterated bullshit.

    Not buying it, Hart. To borrow the phrase, “Show me the money!”

  30. Twist says:

    Too bad Hart doesn’t use some of that money “raised” for a haircut.

  31. Ex-PH2 says:

    @31 – Or a shower.

  32. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I saw him drop in yesterday but he was here for yucks and I didn’t want to play. He had me going for a very brief time many weeks ago but his veil dropped and the ugliness was revealed. So, me no play with him no more, youse all (That’s deep south, New York.)

  33. Hart Viges says:

    I love you guys. Its truley Amazing how you fall for it. Its not just me whose laughing at y’all. I just happen to be the voice to tell y’all in this forum. Please…what else do y’all got? So far I need a haircut and a shower…..original. Y’all should take this show on the road to raise money for IVAW. Oh wait….Y’all are already doing that LOL LOL LOL LOL

  34. UpNorth says:

    Glad to help out, Viges. Don’t spend that $1.17 in one place, mmm-kay?

  35. Just Plain Jason says:

    It is nice to see that you are exactly what the Duffel Blog wrote about almost a year ago! Keep up the good work!

  36. Hart Viges says:

    Yeppers…covered that already. But that conversation was closed down. So sad LOL

  37. NHSparky says:

    Hart…does it hurt knowing you’ll never amount to shit on the ass of a fly?

    Good. It should.

  38. Nucsnipe says:

    Now, now guys Harts probably heartbroken over Hugo Chavez becoming worm food and that he won’t have any new material to jack off too.

  39. Just Plain Jason says:

    I am just wondering when they will be changing their name to…

    War Veterans (and/or Non-Veterans) Against All Wars, Wall Street, Big Banks, Globalization, Corporations, The 1%, and for the Furthering of Socialist Objectives

  40. Hart Viges says:

    Now there is some original stuff. Necrophelia though…WOW. Way to stay Classy TAH. LOL

  41. Hart Viges says:

    Haters gunna Hate. Is this what y’all look like when you hate?

  42. Hart Viges says:

    Sparky……I could amount to all the google hits my name garners. I could amount to all the friendships I have. Sad Sparky with all that hating spewing out the hole you call a mouth. Turn that frown upside down LOL LOL

  43. NHSparky says:

    Hart, for the love of Christ, go suck start a torpedo.

    Preferably somewhere around test depth.

  44. Hondo says:

    Benny-boy Viges: you do realize that no one here gives a damn about you or believes anything you have to say, and are merely insulting you because they find it an amusing pastime – right?

    Bluntly: you have zero credibility here at present. No one believes you really come here to “raise money for IVAV”, or that you’re actually raising a penny by coming here and being insulted. Rather, everyone here thinks you’re a hypocrite who is simply coming here due to a pathetic, masochistic desire to get attention at any cost – even if it means being insulted or making a public fool out of yourself.

    In truth, you’re boring. Your comments here are pointless, predictable, and trite; they add no value to the discussion here. But hey, it’s a free country. So continue to be pathetic if you like. Come back for more abuse any time you want to. Folks here will oblige.

    Just remember: if and when you start actually start having a rational conversation with people here, you just might start getting treated differently.

  45. MGySgtRet. says:

    Sparky, this turds last comment says it all. “I could amount to all the google hits my name garners.” Narcissistic POS. Really makes you wonder whether he is truly trying to achieve the goals of that cheesy IVAW “vision” statement or if he is just trying to screw hippy chicks.

    Well, I am sure he and his fellow band of oxygen thieves can figure that out at their next national convention. Coming to a phone booth near you!!! (Hart, that means that there are so few of you in the IVAW that you could hold your convention in a phone booth).

  46. Hart Viges says:

    LOL Way to put in an effort there y’all LOL

  47. Sure the IVAW gets donations for each comment about them. And the sun will rise at midnight. IVAW was insignificant at its height, and now, well now, who besides a few of us who have stood on the sidelines observing their pitiful dog and pony show, even knows who or what they are.


  48. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Just remember: if and when you start actually start having a rational conversation with people here, you just might start getting treated differently.” I’m glad you said “just might.” You can count me out. He really is a petty annoyance and as genuine as a three dollar bill.