Tell Congress today: Vote "no" on Syria war


President Obama's decision to ask Congress for authorization to attack Syria has given the American people a giant challenge:

Will we send a powerful message to senators and representatives this week telling them to vote "no" on any U.S. attack against Syria?

We must take up the challenge and act now.

The vote will likely come next week, when Congress returns from recess. So the time is short to prevent a dangerous U.S. escalation of the already brutal Syrian conflict. It would be a very sad day if Congress authorized a U.S. attack on Syria. And it would be a very sad day if this president were to order a missile strike on that war-torn country.

It seems clear that more than 1,000 Syrian people including children were killed in some kind of deadly chemical attack near Damascus last month. However we still do not know who the perpetrators were. Unfortunately, our government has tried to stymie or brush off the work of United Nations investigators sent by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to determine the facts of the attack. Instead, we have seen an unseemly U.S. push to attack Syria. It is all too reminiscent of the duplicitous rush to invade Iraq a decade ago,

Missile strikes against Syria, the president and others say, would be a humanitarian move, "limited," "carefully tailored," with the sole purpose of preventing further chemical weapons use.

But there is nothing humanitarian about sending missiles raining down on another country (killed some civilians? oh sorry). Shades of the Vietnam War's "We had to destroy a village in order to save it."

No matter how "limited" or "tailored," a U.S. missile strike on Syria 1) would violate international law, as former President Jimmy Carter pointed out last Friday, and 2) can only aggravate strife and bloodshed, further destabilizing not only Syria but the entire surrounding region. And there is nothing humanitarian about possibly empowering fanatical extremist al-Qaeda types to take over.

The centrist International Crisis Group put it succinctly: Any U.S. missile strike on Syria will be for "reasons largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people." (We have written previously about some of the real, negative, reasons driving U.S. policy.) The ICG continued, in its Sept. 1 statement, "Apart from talk of outrage, deterrence and restoring U.S. credibility, the priority must be the welfare of the Syrian people. Whether or not military strikes are ordered, this only can be achieved through imposition of a sustained ceasefire and widely accepted political transition."

And Carter, condemning U.S. unilateral military action, said, "The chemical attack should be a catalyst for redoubling efforts to convene a peace conference, to end hostilities, and urgently to find a political solution."

If Secretary of State Kerry would put as much energy into those efforts as he has unfortunately expended in trying to justify a misguided U.S. military strike, the cause of peace and the interests of the Syrian people would be advanced.

Surely, silence and acquiescence in the murder of innocent civilians using internationally banned chemical weapons is not acceptable. The perpetrators, once they are determined, should be brought to justice by an international body.

But silence and acquiescence in a U.S. military attack on Syria is also not acceptable.

The challenge is for us, the people, to bombard our representatives and senators with messages: No U.S. attack on Syria. It will make a horrible situation worse.

1) Call your senators and representative:

House  202-225-3121
Senate 202-224-3121

2) Sign and circulate the CREDO Action petition "Tell Congress: Don't bomb Syria."

3) Visit your senators and congressional representative at their local offices this week while they are home on recess. Bring others with you - from your community, campus, union, church or other group.

Photo: A Tomahawk cruise missile is fired from a destroyer during the first Gulf War. U.S. Navy.



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    Posted by Catherine McCoy, 09/05/2013 6:12pm (2 years ago)

  • No war in sirya

    Posted by Bouhaicha, 09/05/2013 5:11pm (2 years ago)

  • Don't bomb Syria.

    Posted by Sandy Sobanski , 09/05/2013 4:49pm (2 years ago)

  • Please tell Congress not to get in the war in Syria, we dont belong, and to tell you the truth Russia is right the rebels are extremist and do not want good for the people there, they want power, Iran has their hands all in this. STOP NOW, DO NOT TAKE US INTO THIS MESS

    Posted by Bradina Benson, 09/05/2013 3:48pm (2 years ago)

  • VERY interesting political dynamics at play here. We should praise the president for setting a new precedent on going to war - the legislative branch should have the authority and not the executive. While at the same hope his efforts are blocked and fail. It will take the progessive democrats in the House joining with a lot of tea party and fiscal republicans (funny how the opposites sometimes come together for differnt reasons to block the same thing - take the farm bill for example) to halt this march towards war. I usually disagree completely with Rand Paul, but on this one he's right. And so are the anti-war liberals. This time around I actually do hope the house does what it's best at - obstruction. I hope the fringes of both parties can unite on this effort and silence the drumbeat of war and slam the brakes on the administration's plans to strike syria. Hopefully the House can pull off another "farm bill" with the two factions and produce a resounding NO !

    Posted by TD, 09/05/2013 2:59pm (2 years ago)

  • don't do that just for american peoples!

    Posted by messiah, 09/05/2013 6:25am (2 years ago)

  • Syria is not our war. In fact, there is evidence that C.I.A. has been active in Syria for years training and equipping rebels to destablize the Hassard regime. Why is the C.I.A. envolved, and why is in our national interest to attack Syria? Clearly, no one knows, yet. And for the story about chemical weapons being used on cilvilian, how do we know the C.I.A. has not been providing them to rebels? If such is the case, then America has committed crimes against humanity. Is this something you want to support?

    Posted by James Bailey, 09/04/2013 5:43pm (2 years ago)

  • Regarding Bob Patenaude's comments, while I have disagreed with unrealistic statements praising President Obama at times, I don't think it is fair or right to blame him personally for this whole Syrian crisis.

    US imperialism is a force in the world he didn't create, it is the result of many decades of economic and political policies of the rulingclass .

    In addition, who knows the pressures or outright blackmail he faces these past weeks from reaction at home and abroad (The Saudis; Israeli govt)?

    Better to spend our time writing letters to representatives and marching. The American people can stop this war!

    Posted by Andy Taylor, 09/04/2013 12:49pm (2 years ago)

  • Obama's recent ruthless dramatically approach to the Syrian civil war is a striking reminder of Bloody George W. Bush's failing approach to Iraq, which led to the immoral, still-unjustified invasion of the country in 2003. It’s because not only Americans and even in the international public are tired of these kind of unknown wars. So, please stop the needless war.

    Posted by Anbuselvam, 09/04/2013 12:13pm (2 years ago)

  • NO !!! Don't DO IT PLEASE!!!

    Posted by Natalie Brazel, 09/03/2013 10:49pm (2 years ago)

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