Sunday, December 25, 2005


Paul Reikhoff has taken me to task for "innacuracies" as well as being presumptuous. In the interests of fairness and friendship I am at his request printing his reply.


Just came across your blog entry referring to our recent organizational name change.

Sorry to read that you were so disturbed by the change. But honestly John, I expected better. Especially since we know each other, and you refer to me in your blog as a “friend.” Seeing you trashing me professionally and personally on your blog is pretty disappointing. It is a low level of discourse that I hope you can stay above in the future.

Now, to address of few of your blog’s inaccuracies:

-We are not an “anti-war” group. We do not even support an immediate pull-out of US forces. I urge you to review our founding principles here: If you want to attack an anti-war group, check out the folks over at Code Pink or IVAW.

-We are not a “left-wing” or “anti-Bush” group. We are a non-partisan organization that has criticized both parties. When we are in opposition with the President on issues, it is because he is the President, not because he is a Republican. Our membership of veterans in all 50 states is almost perfectly evenly split by republicans and democrats. Our group was the first recognized non-profit Iraq vets group to organize a trip to Washington. During that trip we met with both Republicans and Democrats—from Clinton to Hagel. Photos and details here: During that trip, we also met with Republicans like Cong. Steven Buyer, the head of the House VA committee. The work we have done in DC with members on both sides of the aisle has been significant, and our reputation on the hill is very solid—and includes our recent support for Republican Senator John McCain’s anti-torture amendment.

Next time you are writing a blog that refers to me or our group, why don’t you just request an interview? Since we’re friends, I’d be more than happy to oblige asap. Or in the very least do some better research.

I also would appreciate it if you would print this response on your blog. Of course I realize that is entirely your prerogative.

Thanks very much.

See you at drill next month.

Merry Christmas.


In my personal reply to this Email I mentioned to Paul that politics was about perception. He agreed, and stated that I knew less about the political world then him. Paul allow me to correct you there. You haven't been at the political game longer than I have. I worked on my first congressional campaign back in the 1980's while I was in high school. But he misssed my point. He is percieved by many, to be a left leaning, anti-war, anti- bush thinker. And that perception clouds at least my view of his attempt to create a mainstream veteran's issue group. In fairness I think he really believes in these veteran's issues and wants to focus on them. But to my thinking his personality and percieved politics are too closely identified with the organization. If that's changing that's fine. But some of his past statements make him seem like he's all those things I said. He gave the Democratic response to one of Bush's Saturday Radio speeches in 2004 during the campaign that strikes me as anti-Bush, and anti-war.

To quote a friend of mine. "I'm sorry sir, that's just not the way I see it."