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33,000+ Americans Sign Petition Urging Defeat of Idea to Arm Syrian Rebels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

CONTACT: Eric Schmeltzer, eric@votevets.org, 646-290-8586
Brian Stewart, press@moveon.org319-936-3901

More than 33,000 Americans sign petition urging defeat of McCain idea to arm Syrian rebels

Joint petition from VoteVets.org and MoveOn.org being delivered to Capitol Hill offices today

WASHINGTON, DC – A joint petition signed by more than 33,000 Americans calling on Congress to reject proposals to arm and train so-called Syrian moderates is being delivered to Capitol Hill today, with over 10,000 veterans and military families among the signees.

The petition, a joint effort by the national veterans group VoteVets.org and MoveOn.org Civic Action, makes clear that the idea for such action has most vociferously backed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who for years, has been continually and dangerously wrong about matters pertaining to national security.

“Unfortunately, President Obama has bought into Senator John McCain’s terrible idea, and today, Congress begins the process of approving (or denying) funds to arm so-called Syrian moderates,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “As much as Senator McCain says he’s vetted these groups, we simply do not have guarantees that they won’t work with ISIS, when it serves their purpose, as they were doing a year ago. In fact, various reports continue to pour out of the region, about moderate factions striking deals with ISIS. Considering Senator McCain’s terrible track record on security issues, the potential for these weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS is high. If our weapons end up being used by ISIS, in their brutal campaign of terror, it would squarely be the fault of those Congressmembers and Senators who vote to authorize and fund arms shipments. They should deeply consider that, before casting their votes.”

“The last person we should be listening to about what to do in Iraq or Syria is John McCain, who’s been dead wrong on nearly every major foreign policy decision of the past 13 years,” said Anna Galland, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. “It’s clear that the American people want to see a full, open, and robust debate before even considering another war in the Middle East. We urge Congress to debate and be held accountable for America’s next steps in Syria and Iraq—so we don’t make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past.” 

The petition text from VoteVets.org and MoveOn.org read, in part: “VoteVets cannot support sending arms to Syrian rebels that many reports continue to suggest are still fighting alongside some of the same groups we fought against in Iraq, and are even reportedly entering into truces with ISIS. John McCain has been dangerously wrong about so much, and Americans have paid the price in lives and treasure. He’s wrong about arming the Syrian conflict, as well. It’s time to stand up to John McCain, and tell Congress to, as well.”

A version of the petition can be viewed, here:   http://petitions.moveon.org/votevets/sign/arming-the-syrian-rebels

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 360,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans’ interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world – with force when necessary – to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

MoveOn.org Civic Action is a community of more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life who are using innovative technology to lead, participate in, and win campaigns for progressive change.

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