The U.S. is racing down a slippery slope toward war in Iraq and Syria. On August 25, news broke that President Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria. The New York Times called the flights “a significant step toward direct American military action in Syria.” If we don’t speak out, the president may be on the verge of committing the United States to yet another costly, open-ended war in the Middle East.
One year ago, with your help, we mobilized to stop the U.S. from bombing Syria. The result was the peaceful destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Unfortunately, history is set to repeat itself. We need to acknowledge the hard reality that U.S. bombs will NOT bring a sustainable peace to the people of Syria or Iraq. As President Obama himself has said, only a political process can bring about a true end to the regional conflict that has helped fuel the rise of the militants of the so-called Islamic State.
Over the past two weeks, the U.S. has conducted more than 100 airstrikes in Iraq. We now have approximately 1,000 troops on the ground, with more on their way. What started out as an understandable humanitarian mission to assist the Yazidis has grown into a long-term bombing campaign that threatens to spill across the border into Syria. Despite this creeping mission, the White House has yet to explain how this escalation will help solve the regional crisis.
Last month, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H. Con. Res. 105, stating that there is no legal authority for U.S. military involvement in the Middle East without express Congressional approval. President Obama must not make the mistake of authorizing airstrikes in Syria without first explaining his plan and the reasoning behind this new war to the American people and Congress.
Write President Obama today and tell him enough is enough – Don’t bomb Syria and stop bombing Iraq. We need to emphasize humanitarian aid and diplomacy as the primary tools of U.S. foreign policy to bring about peace in Iraq and the wider region. Please act now, before another catastrophic war escalates out of control.
P.S. Many of you have voiced concern for the people of Iraq. We share your alarm regarding the atrocities committed by the Islamic State and the need for international action. However, we believe that U.S. airstrikes will not help the people of Iraq or Syria to find a sustainable solution to the regional crisis. That’s why we’re actively working to identify and promote international non-violent solutions. Please read “Responding to the Crisis in Iraq – Without Bombs” and “Needed: An International Strategy in Iraq” for more information.