Help get “This is Where We Take Our Stand” on your local PBS station

As we near the holidays, we want to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who responded to our urgent request to contact your local PBS station asking them to air “This is Where We Take Our Stand” in January and February.

If you haven’t yet contacted your local station, below is a list of contact links for the largest thirty stations. Just click on the one nearest you and send them a message. Do it this week, send it to your own lists, and let PBS know that you want this story and these veterans to be seen by millions. Continue reading

Urgent! PBS broadcast of This is Where We Take Our Stand

Dear Friends,

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that This is Where We Take Our Stand, the film about the Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier/Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation, has now been distributed to every PBS station in the country for broadcast in January and February. Funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and distributed by the National Educational Television Association (NETA), the film finally has the chance to be seen by people all across the country. Continue reading

This is Where We Take Our Stand Premiering in Los Angeles, Coming to PBS

Los Angeles
Premiere
Screening

 

UCLA’S HAMMER MUSEUM
10899 Wilshire Blvd.

 

Tuesday, November 22 – 7:00 PM


Join the film’s directors and subject
Geoff Millard for a Q&A after the screening.

 

Special guest Tom Morello is scheduled to perform.

 

The film about the historic 2008 Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation, This is Where We Take Our Stand, is finally going to see the light of day! The Los Angeles premiere will be at the Hammer Museum on November 22, and it will be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide in January/February 2012. Stay tuned for details of the broadcast.

The story of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who risked everything to tell their stories is today more relevant than ever. As President Obama withdraws troops from a devastated Iraq (minus ten or twenty thousand “contractors” and the largest, most militarized American Embassy in the world), he sends more to Afghanistan and announces new deployments to other Gulf countries. Nothing is over.

This is Where We Take Our Stand brings you into the powerful, damning testimony of veterans and soldiers at the 2008 event. And it follows IVAW members Geoff Millard (National Guard), Selena Coppa (Army) and Jason Washburn (Marines) as they struggle through controversy, attacks, and their own and their friends’ demons to make this historic event happen.

This is Where We Take Our Stand was directed by Bestor Cram, Mike Majoros and David Zeiger.

Funding was provided by the Independent Television Service, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Fledgling Fund, The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, and individual contributions from Michael Locker, Victor Wallis, Paul Lauter, Richard Ohmann, Carolyn Blackwood, Lenny Potash, Ann Wright, Richard Flacks, and hundreds more.

 

 

 

 

EXCITING NEWS! WINTER SOLDIERS TO TAKE THEIR STAND ON PBS!

Iraq Veterans Against The War

We are very happy to report that we have received funding from the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to create an hour-long documentary for Public Television. The film, also titled This is Where We Take Our Stand, will go beyond the web series, delving further into the lives of the soldiers and veterans who organized and testified at Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan in March of 2008, and reflecting on its impact two years later.The new film, which we hope will be broadcast on PBS early next year, brings the story of Winter Soldier and the veterans who testified to a huge audience nationwide at a time when it is, ironically and infuriatingly, more timely than ever.

So spread the word, watch the web series if you haven’t yet, and stay tuned!

David Zeiger and Bestor Cram
Displaced Films
and Northern Light Productions

Army finally accepts Lt. Ehren Watada resignation (from Courage to Resist)

By Audry McAvoy, Associated Press
September 25, 2009

The Army is allowing the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq to resign from the service, his attorney said late Friday. First Lt. Ehren Watada will be granted a discharge Oct. 2, “under other than honorable conditions,” attorney Kenneth Kagan said. Watada told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin he was happy the matter has finally been closed. “The actual outcome is different from the outcome that I envisioned in the first place, but I am grateful of the outcome,” he said.

(click here to read on.)

Take action today to support GI resistance (from Courage to Resist)

By Courage to Resist. September 4, 2009 (updated regularly)

Consolidated and up-to-date list of easy action items

We have a lot of information about GI resistance and how to help objectors spread out over hundreds of pages on couragetoresist.org. However, sometimes folks just want to know what needs to be done and how to do it, including:

New York Times

Check out the writeup in the New York Times!

American Antiwar Movement Plans an Autumn Campaign Against Policies on Afghanistan

Published: August 29, 2009

A restive antiwar movement, largely dormant since the election of Barack Obama, is preparing a nationwide campaign this fall to challenge the administration’s policies on Afghanistan.

Medea Benjamin, right, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, protesting at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Anticipating a Pentagon request for more troops there, antiwar leaders have engaged in a flurry of meetings to discuss a month of demonstrations, lobbying, teach-ins and memorials in October to publicize the casualty count, raise concerns about the cost of the war and pressure Congress to demand an exit strategy.

But they face a starkly changed political climate from just a year ago, when President George W. Bush provided a lightning rod for protests. The health care battle is consuming the resources of labor unions and other core Democratic groups. American troops are leaving Iraq, defusing antiwar sentiments in some quarters. The recession has hurt fund-raising for peace groups and forced them to slash budgets. And, perhaps most significant, many liberals continue to support Mr. Obama, or at least are hesitant about openly criticizing him.

“People do not want to take on the administration,” said Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets.org. “Generating the kind of money that would be required to challenge the president’s policies just isn’t going to happen.”

Tom Andrews, national director for an antiwar coalition, Win Without War, said most liberals “want this guy to succeed.” But he said the antiwar movement would try to convince liberals that a prolonged war would undermine Mr. Obama’s domestic agenda. Afghanistan, he said, “could be a devastating albatross around the president’s neck.”

But there is also a sense among some antiwar advocates that Mr. Obama’s honeymoon with Democrats in general and liberals in particular is ending. As evidence, they point to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that 51 percent of Americans now feel the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, a 10-point increase since March. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

“We’re coming out of a low period,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink. “But as progressives feel more comfortable protesting against the Obama administration and challenging Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress, then we’ll be back on track.”

The Obama administration has opposed legislation requiring an exit strategy, saying it needs time to develop new approaches to the war. “Given his own impatience for progress, the president has demanded benchmarks to track our progress and ensure that we are moving in the right direction,” a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The October protest schedule is expected to include marches in Washington and elsewhere. But organizers acknowledge that it may be difficult to recruit large numbers of demonstrators. So groups like United for Peace and Justice are also planning smaller events in communities around the country, including teach-ins with veterans and families of deployed troops, lobbying sessions with members of Congress, film screenings and ad hoc memorials featuring the boots of deceased soldiers and Marines.

“There are some that feel betrayed” by Mr. Obama, said Nancy Lessin, a founder of the group Military Families Speak Out. “There are some who feel that powerful forces are pushing the president to stay on this course and that we have to build a more powerful movement to change that course.”

The October actions will be timed not only to the eighth anniversary of the first American airstrikes on Taliban forces and the seventh anniversary of Congressional authorization for invading Iraq, but also an anticipated debate in Congress over sending more troops to Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, is widely expected to request additional troops, beyond the 68,000 projected for the end of the year, after finalizing a policy review in the next few weeks.

The antiwar movement consists of dozens of organizations representing pacifists, veterans, military families, labor unions and religious groups, and they hardly speak with one voice. Some groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War have started shifting their focus toward Afghanistan, passing resolutions demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops from there. Others, like VoteVets.org, support the American military presence in Afghanistan, calling it crucial to fighting terrorism.

And some groups, including Moveon.org, have yet to take a clear position on Afghanistan beyond warning that war drains resources from domestic programs.

“There is not the passion around Afghanistan that we saw around Iraq,” said Ilyse Hogue, Moveon.org’s spokeswoman. “But there are questions.”

There are also signs that some groups that have been relatively quiet on Afghanistan are preparing to become louder. U.S. Labor Against the War, a network of nearly 190 union affiliates that has been focused on Iraq, is “moving more into full opposition to the continuing occupation” of Afghanistan, said Michael Eisenscher, the group’s national coordinator.

President Obama risks his entire domestic agenda, just as Johnson did in Vietnam, in pursuing this course of action in Afghanistan,” Mr. Eisenscher said.

Handfuls of antiwar protestors can still be seen on Capitol Hill, outside state office buildings and around college campuses. Cindy Sheehan, for instance, has set up her vigil on Martha’s Vineyard while Mr. Obama vacations there. But many advocates say a lower-key approach may be more effective in winning support right now.

An example of that strategy is an Internet film titled “Rethink Afghanistan,” which is being produced and released in segments by the political documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald. In six episodes so far, Mr. Greenwald has used interviews with academics, Afghans and former C.I.A. operatives to raise questions about civilian casualties, women’s rights, the cost of war and whether it has made the United States safer.

The episodes, some as short as two minutes, are circulated via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogs. Antiwar groups are also screening them with members of Congress. Mr. Greenwald, who has produced documentaries about Wal-Mart and war profiteers, said the film represented a “less incendiary” approach influenced by liberal concerns that he not attack Mr. Obama directly.

“We lost funding from liberals who didn’t want to criticize Obama,” he said. “It’s been lonely out there.”

Code Pink is trying to build opposition to the war among women’s groups, some of which argue that women will suffer if the Taliban returns. In September, a group of Code Pink organizers will visit Kabul to encourage Afghan women to speak out against the American military presence there.

And Iraq Veterans Against the War is using the Web to circulate episodes of a documentary, “This Is Where We Take Our Stand,” filmed in 2008 at its Winter Soldier conference, at which veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan testified about civilian casualties, combat stress and other tolls of the wars.

The group’s leaders say they do not expect many people to take to the barricades against the administration any time soon. But that will change, they argue, as the death toll continues to rise.

“In the next year, it will more and more become Obama’s war,” said Perry O’Brien, president of the New York chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “He’ll be held responsible for the bloodshed.”

Crunch Time Now

(Originally posted at The Military Project.)

GI SPECIAL 7H23:

Help Active Duty Troops And Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans
Meet September 6 To Organize Armed Forces Resistance To Wars Of Empire:

BACK UP A VETERAN’S TRIP TO THE CONFERENCE:

[So far, we’re short about $900 to cover cost of tickets for more Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who wish to travel to Savannah.  As Sept. 6 gets closer, fares go up.  Please help now.  We’ll borrow the money to get them there, but it has to be paid back after the Conference.

[Detailed information about the Conference follows this appeal for your help.  T]

Why will active duty troops and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans meet with civilian activists in Savannah, Georgia, Labor Day weekend?

No doubt Barrack Obama’s inauguration in January was a great moment for all people concerned about ending racism and promoting the equality that Thomas Jefferson wrote about in the Declaration of Independence.

But in the context of the grand struggle to achieve equality for all humans in all areas of life, the President’s inauguration was a mere baby step.

A baby step whose ensuing honeymoon period has ended.

As President Obama continues to prolong a withdrawal from Iraq and actually escalate the occupation of Afghanistan, the need to continue reaching out to and organizing with veterans protesting the occupations has never been greater.

For this reason, The Military Project is working to facilitate a meeting of anti-occupation troops in September.

This meeting is to take place near Fort Stewart in Georgia.

We are aiming to not only to make gains in the Southeast region of the United States, but to boost the profile of outreach to soldiers on a national level.

To achieve this, representatives from Iraq Veterans Against the War from around the country are being invited to lead the discussion and planning to be conducted in Georgia in September.

The Military Project will be present to share opinions and facilitate, but The Military Project’s first priority is assisting in empowering the anti-war veterans movement.

We are asking for a donation to The Military Project that will be used for the sole purpose of transporting veterans to Georgia in September.

Your money will not be used for any sort of overhead cost.

The Military Project is taking care of that.

But we do need $1200 more right now to bring the veterans’ representatives from around the country to this meeting.

No one’s voices and no one’s actions are more important than those of veterans in the struggle to bring home our armed forces from two occupations they should never have been asked to take part in.

President Obama made a lot of popular statements about ending the current “wars” in his historic campaign, but he has made it clear that we cannot count on him to turn those messages into action.

If we want the occupations to end immediately, we are going to have to work for it ourselves.

Please help The Military Project carry out its primary and sole mission of supporting the anti-war soldier.

We cannot possibly transport all of these veterans needed at the Conference in Georgia by ourselves.

Our goal is to take any donation that you make for this cause, and turn it into action that will be more significant than just a baby step in the fight for equality.

Very respectfully,

Fabian Bouthillette, Lieutenant, USNR

Member, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Member, Military Project Organizing Committee

Jeff Englehart, Former Spc., U.S. Army, Iraq Service

Member, Military Project Organizing Committee

Member, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Camilo Mejia, Former Staff Sergeant, Florida National Guard

Member, Military Project Organizing Committee

Member, Iraq Veterans Against the War

*************************************

SEND YOUR SUPPORT BY MAIL OR CREDIT CARD:

BY MAIL:

IF YOU SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER,

Make Payable To: The Military Project

Mail to:

The Military Project

Box 126

2576 Broadway

New York, N.Y.

10025-5657

CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL PAYMENT THROUGH OUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT:

CLICK ON THIS PAYPAL LINK OR COPY IT INTO YOUR BROWSER ADDRESS FIELD:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5069540

MAKING IT HAPPEN:
picture-11

A Military Resistance Organizers’ Conference:

U.S. Army soldier in Beijia village in Arab Jabour, south of Baghdad.  (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

September 6, 2009

10 AM – 6 PM

Savannah, Georgia

POLITICIANS CAN’T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT THE BLOODSHED

THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR

THIS IS AN ORGANIZERS CONFERENCE LIMITED TO PEOPLE WHO WISH TO ACT TOGETHER TO SUPPORT ARMED FORCES RESISTANCE TO IMPERIAL WARS BY DIRECT FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT WITH THE TROOPS.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO ATTEND, SEE THE END OF THIS PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Objective:

This conference is to provide a time and place to discuss and draft operating plans for going out to active duty bases in an organized way in 2009-2010.

Bridging The Gap, The Military Project April 2008 conference, made the argument about the importance of reaching out to troops.

The objective 9.6.09 is not to turn out the general public or large numbers of people to hear that argument all over again, but to bring together committed activists, especially IVAW activists, who want to meet and develop plans for action: coordinated outreach to active duty bases.

Because people now in the armed forces or working with them will have fresh ideas about approaching a particular base, no detailed format is pre-announced as binding, within the general framework and understanding that outreach is to be led by Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans, with civilians in support.

**************************

Conference: Physical Layout

A group of tables put together in a large square, rather than an elevated stage and podium as at last conference, since this is an organizers meeting.

************************************

Outline Of The Day:

Welcome & Introduction:

Why We Are Here Today

10 AM:

Welcome

5 minutes presentation

By Jason Hurd, Savannah Iraq Veterans Against The War & Thomas Barton, Military Project; GI Special

Report on how discussion will be organized: presentation followed by free discussion

Restatement of theme: Advocacy and organization steps towards a campaign of national outreach to active duty members of the armed forces at military bases (best pick of active duty bases) in 2009-2010, led by veterans/active duty troops, as proposed by both Military Project and members of IVAW for some time.

10 minutes Discussion period:

Situation Reports:

Review Of The Military Situation In Iraq And Afghanistan Report On The Mood In The Armed Forces

10:15 AM:

Session 1:  Review of the military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan:

15 minutes presentation

By Camilo Mejia, Iraq Veterans Against The War & Thomas Barton, Military Project & GI Special

A review of where the wars are, the political/economic context, what the new regime is doing or not doing, what has changed, what has not.

30 minutes Discussion period:

11 AM

Session 2: Report on the mood in the armed forces

20 minutes presentation

By Soldier A; Active Duty, U.S. Army; Jeff Englehart, Iraq Veterans Against The War; Alan Stolzer, The Military Project

The mood in the armed forces within the framework of events discussed in opening session.

30 minutes discussion period

Lunch Break: Noon- 1 PM

Regional Groups To Come Together

Lunch may be a good time for regions to meet in smaller groups, before a large planning meeting is held.

Strategy:

A New Approach For A New Situation

1 PM

Session 3:

30 minute presentation

By Jason Hurd, Savannah Iraq Veterans Against The War & Fabian Bouthillette, Los Angeles Iraq Veterans Against The War & Elaine Brower, The Military Project & Military Families Speak Out.

The importance of marching out to troops at several active duty bases on the same day, and how that is key to organizing resistance to the war.

IVAW members committed to outreach will lead, with civilian support.

This will gain media coverage for IVAW, since media has become uninterested in covering the same kind of anti-war actions in Washington again and again.  Those no longer gain much attention, but this will be new and fresh.

The media attention will help shift public attention to the idea of direct outreach to active duty troops, and open that door for others to follow.

30 minutes discussion period

Organizing Action:

Learning From The Denver DNC Experience

2 PM

Session 4:

30 minutes presentation

By Garett Reppenhagen and Jeff Englehart, Colorado Iraq Veterans Against The War, on the immensely successful IVAW action at DNC in Denver, Colorado led by IVAW in uniform, then a huge banner that said “We Support GI Resistance,” and civilians marched behind that.

This as a case study for organizing future coordinated marches on bases.  They will discuss how this was organized, the problems, and the successes.

IVAW members have stressed the importance of marching in uniform, and the immensely powerful impact this made at Denver.

30 minutes discussion period

Making It Happen:

Planning Coordinated Outreach To Active Duty Bases:

3 PM

Session 5:

30 minutes presentation

By Jason Hurd, Savannah Iraq Veterans Against The War; Jeff Englehart, Colorado Iraq Veterans Against The War; Fabian Bouthillette, Los Angeles Iraq Veterans Against The War.

Planning the coordinated outreach to active duty bases: How many bases are realistic to focus on, where, when, etc.?  Press relations.

What structure to take up for getting the work done?

1)  A national coordinating and lead structure be elected to form a point of contact, to be in touch and coordinate outreach actions in different parts of the country?  Press relations.

2)  Regional coordinating and point of contact structure by decided on by regions so they can plan their actions?  Press relations.

We are using this meeting to actually plan future operations, and should always keep that in the back of our heads.

We need to develop a vision that will bind together our action on a national level, but allow organizers at a local level to be flexible and develop tactics that will work best in their environment.

30 minute discussion period

Regional Groups Meet Together Again

4 PM

Session 6:

Camilo Mejia, Iraq Veterans Against The War chairs, introduces the objective of this session:

Organizers for regions can then take the large vision and design a specific plan for their area.

60 minutes total

Report Backs And Wrap Up

5 PM

Session 7:

Camilo Mejia, Iraq Veterans Against The War chairs, introduces the objective of this session:

60 minutes total

No later than 6 PM:

Conference Ends

Party Time
picture-2

Tactical Painting

From Soldier X, Iraq 4.25.05

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN ORGANIZED BY MEMBERS OF IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR AND THE MILITARY PROJECT, WORKING TOGETHER:

Labor Donated

Copies of this flyer from: thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

If you are an IVAW member, and interested in attending, contact the Savannah IVAW.

If you are not an IVAW member, and interested in attending, email a request for Conference registration to:

contact@militaryproject.org

DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE MILITARY?

Forward GI Special along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the wars, inside the armed services and at home.  Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Project, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.  Phone: 917.677.8057

picture-3

“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.  Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.

“For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.

“We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

Frederick Douglass, 1852

“Hope for change doesn’t cut it when you’re still losing buddies.”

— J.D. Englehart, Iraq Veterans Against The War

Troops Invited:

Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send email to thomasfbarton@earthlink.net:  Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. Same address to unsubscribe.  Phone: 917.677.8057

Vietnam GI: Reprints Available

Vietnam:  They Stopped An Imperial War
picture-5

Not available from anybody else, anywhere

Edited by Vietnam Veteran Jeff Sharlet from 1968 until his death, this newspaper rocked the world, attracting attention even from Time Magazine, and extremely hostile attention from the chain of command.  The pages and pages of letters in the paper from troops in Vietnam condemning the war are lost to history, but you can find them here.

The Military Project has copied complete sets of Vietnam GI.  The originals were a bit rough, but every page is there.  Over 100 pages, full 11×17 size.

Free on request to active duty members of the armed forces.

Cost for others:  $15 if picked up in New York City.   For mailing inside USA add $5 for bubble bag and postage.   For outside USA, include extra for mailing 2.5 pounds to wherever you are.

Checks, money orders payable to:  The Military Project

Orders to:

The Military Project

Box 126

2576 Broadway

New York, N.Y.

10025-5657

All proceeds are used for projects giving aid and comfort to members of the armed forces opposed to today’s Imperial wars.

“The single largest failure of the anti-war movement at this point is the lack of outreach to the troops.”  Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

ALL TROOPS HOME NOW!

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATIONS

GI SPECIALS BY MAIL FREE FOR ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS

IF YOU WISH TO HAVE A SELECTION OF GI SPECIALS MAILED TO YOU, EMAIL YOUR ADDRESS TO: CONTACT@MILITARYPROJECT.ORG OR DROP A LINE TO:  BOX 126, 2576 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10025-5657 USA.  917.677.8057

Please say how many you wish sent.

NOTE WELL: They will all be different issues of GI Special to satisfy DOD regs that you may possess copies, provided you don’t have more than one of the same issue.

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Write Up on Huffington Post

Watch This Is Where We Take Our Stand And Help the Voices of Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Go Viral

Linda Cronin-Gross

Posted: August 21, 2009 02:23 PM

“The Pentagon presented a grim portrait of the Afghanistan war Thursday, offering no assurances about how long Americans will be fighting there or how many U.S. combat troops it will take to win.”

That’s how an Associated Press story, posted on August 13th, begins.

Even after 8 years of a Bush administration that looted the treasury and left the nation in a crazy amount of debt, in large part because of its commitment to the so called “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars continue.

What’s missing, to a large extent, is a new debate — where’s the debate? And, as part of the debate, shouldn’t we include the voices of those who have served and who continue to serve — our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons — 1.6 million of them to date.

Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush? Who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan? And don’t the years of experience that our soldiers have acquired count for anything as far as policy goes?

Click here to read on.