- President of Veterans for Peace
- National Coordinator for Vietnam Veterans Against the War
- Anti-war, pro-Marxism activist
See also: Veterans for Peace Vietnam Veterans Against the War
David Cline is President of Veterans for Peace (VFP) and National Coordinator for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
Cline served in Vietnam in 1967 as a rifleman in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division. Disabled by wounds, he was awarded three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, and other honors.
In 1970 he joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), one of whose leaders was John Kerry. In 2004 Cline was also the still-existing VVAW organization’s National Coordinator. VFP and VVAW, therefore, have intertwined leadership….and intertwined ideology.
In 2004 Cline told CyberNewsService (CNS) that he had been aware of Communist infiltration of VVAW during the early 1970s but dismissed their importance. “Mainly,” CNS quotes him as saying, “I thought they were just people just trying to sell their papers.”
Cline is a former officer of Transport Workers Union Local 1400 in New Jersey.
Veterans for Peace (VFP) was founded July 8, 1985 in Maine. It is “a non-profit 501(c)3 educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war.” The organization has permanent NGO (Non-governmental Organization) status at the United Nations.
“We, having dutifully served our nation,” reads VFP’s Statement of Purpose on its web site, “do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and justice.”
This organization’s avowed policy is to raise public awareness of the costs of war, “to restrain our government” from foreign wars, “to end the arms race and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons,” and “to abolish war as an instrument of international policy.”
The Maine founders of VFP are Jerry Genesio (U.S. Marine Corps, 1956-62), Judy Genesio, the Reverend Willard Bickett (U.S. Army, World War II), Doug Rawlings (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and Ken Perkins (U.S. Navy, Korea). They created VFP, its web site says, because they “were disturbed by the militancy of the United States and its violent intervention in the affairs of other nations.”
A tree should be judged by its fruits, not by what label it chooses to wear. This organization’s background and history, as written on its own web site, tells much about Veterans for Peace.
VFP’s first action to gain publicity was to have members in 1986 stage “a 30-day vigil at the Boston Commons calling for an end to U.S. sponsored violence in Central America.”
At the time President Ronald Reagan was opposing the Fidel Castro-aligned Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, but the United States had not sent troops there for most of a century. Even so, VFP’s opening act was to blame America for violence and to echo the propaganda line of the Sandinista-supporting global Left. VFP members were promptly invited on the Phil Donahue Show to share these views with the nation.
In 1987 VFP sent members on a “Fact-Finding” tour of Guatemala, Honduras and especially Nicaragua, producing thereafter a 38-page report to members of Congress.
In 1988 VFP endorsed a water purification project for Nicaragua and released a 28-minute video titled Soldiers of Peace “focusing exclusively on VFP’s response to current U.S. policies in Central America.” Featuring a title song by Graham Nash (of popular group Crosby, Stills and Nash) and narration by “VFP member” (and Barbra Streisand close friend) Kris Kristofferson, the video is highly critical of U.S. policies. VFP also joined Soviet Union veterans in signing a joint statement “calling for an end to war.”
In 1988 a group of VFP members started to take a convoy of “about ten trucks, filled with food, medical supplies and toys” to Nicaragua. But these humanitarians, VFP’s web site tells, “were stopped by President Reagan at the border in El Paso.”
In 1989 VFP “received [an] invitation,” apparently from the Marxist Sandinista government, “to serve as Official Observers during the February 1990 Nicaraguan elections.” The Sandinistas had reason to expect that the 50 election monitors from sympathetic VFP would lend legitimacy to their electoral victory by declaring the vote clean and honest.
But the Sandinistas lost the election. And, as its own written history makes clear, at the instant that this pro-Castro regime ceased to rule Nicaragua the VFP ended all assistance to the country.
VFP suddenly stopped sending water purification experts and truckloads of food, medicine and toys for the Nicaraguan poor – who were, after all, still in need. A cynic might conclude that VFP aid had been provided only to help the Marxist Sandinistas entrench and retain their power.
But in 1990 VFP did have the money to send representatives to the 45th Anniversary of World War II Victory Day in the Soviet Union. VFP that year was given a permanent NGO seat at the United Nations.
In 1991 VFP members organized university teach-ins. In 1992 VFP sent a delegation to Cuba to meet with “veterans of Cuba’s war in Angola. While not showing support for Castro’s government,” the group’s history reads, “they do denounce the U.S.-led embargo of Cuba.” VFP will in coming years send more friendly missions to Fidel Castro’s tropical Gulag, one in 2000 bringing an American Little League baseball team to Havana to play against Cuban youngsters.
In 2000 VFP aided Saddam Hussein as it did the Sandinistas, providing assistance by way of water-treatment facilities to remedy a problem its web site says was caused by American-led “sanctions” against the Iraqi government. That same year VFP members join Leftists in Puerto Rico who were using aggressive protest to shut down the U.S. Navy facility at Vieques.
And VFP Korean War veteran (and in 2004 the Executive Director of its St. Louis headquarters) Woody Powell “visits Kokan-ri massacre site in Korea, and makes an apology to the massacre’s sole survivor.”
In 2001 VFP co-sponsored, along with the International Action Center with ties to the communist front group International ANSWER, the “Korean War Tribunal” held in New York. This “tribunal” was a political show trial designed to produce anti-American propaganda for the world’s Leftist media. “Mr. Powell was also a juror for the event,” says VFP’s web site, “wherein witnesses of US atrocities from 50 years ago are flown in from Korea to testify.”
VFP had moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C. in 1997 “to cooperate more with other NGOs and to coordinate programs more effectively. But in 2001 this National Office was moved to its present location in St. Louis, Missouri, with Korean War veteran apologist Wilson (Woody) Powell as its National Administrator.
And so VFP goes on, its gatherings having featured such Leftist speakers as the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D.-Minnesota) and Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio), James McDermott (D.-Washington State), members of the almost-openly-socialist Congressional Progressive Caucus. The VFP web site names no moderate or conservative military veteran officeholder who has ever been a featured speaker at one of its meetings.
At a 2003 International ANSWER-sponsored anti-war rally in San Francisco, local VFP leader Jim Long spoke. As reported by Greg Yardley of FrontPage Magazine, Long described being at a rally in Cuba and observing “how Castro was loved by his people, in contrast to President Bush, who had to be protected from protestors in a ‘quasi-military’ operation.” [In Cuba, of course, anyone who dared protest against Fidel could face prison, torture or a firing squad.]
Jim Long, wrote Yardley, then claimed that “it’s hard for me to determine where the police state is and where the free state is.” Long told the cheering anti-war crowd that “every November 11th he goes to Cuba to take part in a special commemorative ceremony to honor Cuba veterans.”