UFPJ staunchly opposes US military intervention in Syria and maintains that only robust and truly inclusive, international negotiations will end the strife and violence the Syrian people are facing. We supported a resolution introduced by Representatives Jim McGovern, Barbara Lee and Walter Jones, that was designed to force a Congressional decision on war against ISIS, and most importantly would have brought all US troops home in the absence of a decision. Unfortunately, this effort failed. In light of recent ISIS attacks on Beirut, Paris, and elsewhere, the US, and other nations’ escalation of airstrikes, as well as continued arming and training of militants on the ground, UFPJ will be making Syria a central focus of our organizing. We recently co-hosted a national conference call on understanding and dealing with the Syrian crisis, and have joined the Peace and Planet coalition call for local actions on December 10, International Human Rights Day, focusing on the human right to peace, with an emphasis on the Syrian humanitarian crisis.
- See UFPJ’s comprehensive list of Syria Actions taken around the country in 2013.
- Listen to our national conference call on peace in Syria with Phyllis Bennis (11/16/15).
Read our statement on the recent attacks and global violence:
United for Peace and Justice shares with people around the world a deep sorrow over the recent attacks in Paris, along with the civilian deaths on the downed Russian airplane and in Beirut.
The massive news coverage of Paris brings home to everyone the humanity of these particular victims and the tragedy of innocent lives upended or destroyed. Yet in mourning the deaths in France, we cannot the ignore the reality of fourteen years in which millions of civilians in the Middle East and elsewhere have endured shattering losses, as the harsh and irresponsible American “war on terror” exacts its fearful price.
We recognize there are no simple, easy solutions to the challenge of ISIS and other terrorist formations. But we have had ample opportunity to observe the personal tragedies which ensue when a horrific international crime is transformed into the occasion for war. Bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa may be cathartic for some, but there are innocent people living there, whose lives are as precious as those of Paris or New York. We do not believe that accelerated air-strikes, increased weapons deliveries or expanded “boots on the ground” are a practical or moral answer to the danger of international terrorist plots.
United for Peace and Justice was formed in 2002, in an effort to deter a catastrophic war in Iraq. The emergence of ISIS is dramatic testament to the folly of that governmental decision. The intervening years of suffering and violence have confirmed the necessity for a mobilized, vocal peace movement. We remain determined to oppose US militarism in all its manifestations, to support inclusive diplomacy and to urge a massive redirection of resources to aid the millions of men, women and children rendered homeless by the proliferating wars.
–Coordinating Committee of United for Peace and Justice
Once again the Washington is leading a rush into war. The President has already demanded Congress give him speedy authorization to launch attacks, on Syria. 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, to prevent a US war with Syria.
The alternative is not “doing nothing.” The U.S. government 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!
United for Peace & Justice
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