grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Harvey Tharp - "Our Next Move"
His July 21, 2005 Iraq Veterans Against the War Speech

Hear and download this speech
43:12 minutes; 16 kbps, 5.1 mb

TO: OPEN LETTER
FROM: Harvey Tharp, Former Lieutenant (Resigned), US Navy
SUBJ: SITREP #1
REF: Sun Tzu's Art of War:

"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."

1. To explain my reasons for sending this SitRep (Situation Report for you civilian types), I invite your attention to my enclosed speech. I will also briefly introduce myself. In September 2003 I was a Navy Judge Advocate in Hawaii, and was deployed to Iraq to assist in ongoing "Reconstruction" efforts there. Upon arriving I experienced firsthand the massive incompetence of our current administration's war planning, and ended up going outside the wire every day in a brand new American white SUV (just me and another guy in a one-car 'convoy', and no radio to call for backup), purchasing my own body armor from bulletproofme.com, having to communicate with our headquarters via my HarveyTharp@hotmail.com email account, not having an actual commanding officer in theatre, etc. etc. While they're extremely good at political strategy and tactics, it's clear per the reference that Bush and the NeoConservatives who control our military made "but few calculations" in their temple before this battle.

2. I did however, have unrestricted internet access and time to read in the evenings, allowing me to study this war, strategy, and military history in order to answer the question "Who screwed us?"

Additionally, I was fortunate to work with a diverse collection of Iraqis- men and women, Muslim and Christian, Sunni and Shiite, Arabs, Turkomen, Kurds, etc. I will have much more to say about this matter in future SitReps, but I was able to see the full humanity of Iraqis in a way that we as Americans simply fail to recognize in foreigners generally. Then, upon my return, I was transferred to National Security Agency where I would have been forced to fully dehumanize Iraqis by participating in targeting for airstrikes on Iraq. Even if the intended target is destroyed (an uncertain proposition to say the least) strikes in urban areas are certain to kill innocent men, women and children in the vicinity. At the time I simply couldn't justify this to myself considering that all the reasons for our invasion had proven to be lies, and so I was moved to resign my commission in the Navy. I now doubt that I could participate in this kind of mission at all.

3. Now that my mission with the Navy is over, my new mission is to take share my experiences and my insight into what I've studied to help Americans- the Peace and Justice Movement, Libertarians, ordinary Americans, ANYONE- end this war, prevent the next war (Iran?), and then work towards ending war in general. I also look forward to working with veterans who have been or will end up being cut loose by their government like I was, and help them reconnect with their brothers in arms, the rest of America, and ultimately the rest of humanity. I?m definitely not interested in taking control of the antiwar movement?s strategy, instead I want to provide a resource that anyone, at any level, of the movement can use to wage Peace.

4. I've also decided that the last thing the Antiwar/Peace and Justice Movement needs is yet another organization. Instead I intend to archive all of my SitReps, letters to my Congressman, future speeches, etc. on the Iraq Veterans Against the War website (IVAW.net). I encourage any other veteran connected with Iraq to contact IVAW and get into this game with me! And finally, speaking of games, if we?re ever going to win we need to start by seeing how the game is being played against us. One remark by an anonymous senior administration official in Ron Suskind's NYT Magazine article last year pretty much explains what I mean. Addressing Suskind, and by implication the rest of us in the reality-based community, this person said (paraphrasing):

".. You people just don't get it. We're an empire now and we create reality. We make a move, and you just study it- judiciously, as you will, but by then we've already made another move."

In a sense this is true, their moves and their game create a reality that we all have to live with. Unless we figure out how to play it (strategy), we're pretty much guaranteed to lose. Please note the reference above for the same advice from the world's foremost strategist- Sun Tzu. The NeoConservatives who control our government may know NOTHING about military history or strategy, but they obviously know the 'Game' of political history and strategy. If we're going to end this war, prevent their next one, and thus advance our goal of ending war generally, we all need to GET INTO THE GAME!

5. Thanks for your time and attention, and my sincere apologies for the (admittedly unprofessional) length of this SitRep. I?ll keep future SitReps as short as possible. SITREP #2 will offer my thoughts on using the DowningStreetMemo to help ordinary Americans speak out for the first time, and include my first letter to my Congressman. For now my work is being sent by email, and anyone with a website is welcome to host it, but it will eventually migrate to my homepage at IVAW.net. Questions and invitations to focus on any matters related to the war in Iraq are also highly encouraged.

//Signed//
HARVEY THARP

Page created by Charlie Jenks