James Madison is the founder of Veterans Teaching Peace in Schools (VTPS), an anti-war group whose stated goal is “to promote peace by bringing U.S. military veterans into academic environments to share their experiences and discuss alternatives to war.” The group was established in October 2001 to counter President Bush’s call for veterans to speak in classrooms across the nation following the 9/11 attacks and the start of the War on Terror.
Madison is a Gulf War veteran whose disdain for President Bush’s foreign policy prompted him to seek out others to denounce Bush and the U.S. military in schools around the country. “[A]s soon as I heard about Bush’s call for veterans to go into schools,” says Madison, “I realized that I could throw together an organization that would be a kind of a counter-movement. . . . I’m always careful to point out [that] all of our military action doesn’t justify what happened on September 11 in any way. But when people see the connection, they start to understand that a lot of this is because of the hate that we create through our own foreign policy. I don’t get a lot of resistance on that; once I explain to people, they start to see that.”
In addition to founding VTPS, Madison is also a member Libertarians for Peace (LFP), a group that professes to be “committed to promoting an end to United States military intervention [which] carries out an imperialist agenda that benefits powerful government and corporate special interests at the expense of the lives, liberty, and prosperity of Americans and of peoples worldwide.” With this as its goal, LFP endorses a variety of actions aimed at impeding the functioning of the U.S. government and social institutions. For example, LFP supports: “taunting” and “haunting” public officials; using counterfeit money; publicly revealing the identities of secret agents; refusing to cooperate with immigration officials in matters of detainment or deportation; and participating in mass social disobedience in Federal institutions and the workplace.
Madison is also a member of Veterans for Peace (VFP), which describes itself as an “educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war.” In reality, VFP has long been a supporter of Communist regimes, including the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. VFP took a vested interest in the Sandinistas, publicly and materially supporting the Fidel Castro-aligned group.
Blaming the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America itself, Madison states, “our militaristic foreign policy, far from making us safe, is in fact the very thing that is putting us in danger. It’s the very thing that makes people hate us enough to plot to come back and hijack our planes, to level our buildings and to do things that are very harmful to us.”