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19 Organizations: Do Not Arm Syrian Rebels

Today, the Win Without War coalition and 18 other organizations submitted a joint letter urging Congressional leadership to OPPOSE proposals to train and arm Syrian Rebels.

September 16, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid                                       
522 Hart Senate Office Building                                             
Washington, DC 20510                                                            

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi,

Congress and the American people must have a full, vigorous, and open debate on the proposal for a prolonged military intervention against ISIS (also sometimes called ISIL or Islamic State), before this war is escalated further.

In particular, we are deeply concerned over the proposed plan to arm and train Syrian rebels. This proposal is deeply controversial among lawmakers, experts, and advocates alike and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed their opposition to moving forward with either Title X authorization or additional funding. With recent, conflicting reports that some of the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels that this proposal seeks to arm may have signed non-aggression pacts with ISIS, now is not the time to rush into a policy whose consequences remain so unknown.

Numerous reports have indicated that the White House has requested that authorization for this program be included in the must-pass continuing resolution currently before Congress. With Congress scheduled to be in session only a handful of days before recessing for the November elections, there is little time for the full and open debate such a significant change in policy demands.

For these reasons, we strongly urge you not to include any funding or authorization for the arming and training of Syrian rebels in the continuing resolution or via any other legislative vehicle that does not offer a full and open debate with opportunity for the American people to weigh in.

Sincerely,

Center for International Policy

Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness

CODEPINK

Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Democracy for America

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Just Foreign Policy

MoveOn.org

Peace Action

Peace Action West

The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United for Peace and Justice

USAction

U.S. Labor Against the War

Veterans For Peace

Win Without War

Women’s Action for New Directions

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