Once again the President is leading a rush into war. He is demanding Congress give him speedy authorization to launch attacks, on Syria this time, to punish and deter chemical weapons use. Once again, the case for going to war is sketchy, and the U.S. government is short-circuiting United Nations inspections that might provide answers. We need to make our voices heard every way we can – at the offices of our Congress members, in letters, emails, petitions, in letters to the editor and in the streets.
Over the next week, Congress will be voting on the decision to attack Syria. We must use every peaceful, non-violent means available to stop the rush to war. It is critical we contact our elected representatives now before the momentum for war is irreversible.
- Learn the facts: click here for a compilation of resources on the crisis in Syria
- Contact your Representative through phone and email, and visit their offices if you can. Find your Representative and their contact information here, or call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Let the UFPJ legislative working group know what results you get with your calls and visits; contact the UFPJ legislative working group conveners at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sign the Petition, Tell Congress: Don’t Bomb Syria
- Participate in a local action or plan one of your own – click here for lists of current actions being planned, or click here to register your action on the UFPJ website. Organize a peaceful protest, march, vigil in your local communities (city hall, federal building, etc) anytime this week, call for “NO attacks on Syria!”
- Join the No War with Syria Thunderclap. Speak in one powerful voice to Congress on September 9 as they meet to vote on military action in Syria!
The use of chemical weapons is monstrous, and a violation of international law. UFPJ condemns the use of chemical weapons by any party and calls for all countries to cooperate in finding out what happened in Syria, and in identifying and prosecuting those responsible for any chemical weapons use. However, there is no basis in international law for the United States to decide for itself who the guilty parties are, and to punish them by a military assault that will kill many innocents along with those presumed guilty. It will also risk a far wider war. Even before the first missile has been launched, the war caucus in Congress has been pushing President Obama for a more open-ended military campaign aimed at toppling the Syrian government.
The alternative is not “doing nothing.” Instead, the United States should be cooperating with the rest of the world through mechanisms provided by the United Nations and the Chemical Weapons Convention, to find out what has happened and to formulate a truly international response. This is not merely an option, it is a legal requirement. Under the circumstances here, where Syria has not attacked any other country, no country may decide for itself to use military force. The U.S. government also should exert its considerable power and influence in other ways that lessen, rather than increase the intensity of conflict and the risk of wider war. The U.S. should join with Russia and other powers that provide support to the warring sides to press for a cease-fire and negotiations. All parties should stop the flow of weapons not only to Syria but into the region, and should commit to a Middle East ban on all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
Those who advocate going to war against Syria know that their case is weak, and that the majority of the American people are against another war of choice. Most Americans want an end to endless war making that drains resources from their communities and sends our children across the world to kill the children of others, serving the purposes only of a rich and powerful few. The artificial urgency of those who campaign for war is a sign of weakness. They want to commit the country to war before the American people have time to learn the facts and organize ourselves in opposition. Congress is split, with members knowing that another war is unpopular and risky. Polls show that Americans reject a military attack on Syria by a two-to-one majority. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!