Following the news that the White House began bombing Syria without congressional authorization, CREDO, a national progressive group that has been advocating against military action in Iraq and Syria, reacted to the developments:
“CREDO urges Congress to vote no on the U.S. bombing of Syria. The Constitution gives Congress, and Congress alone, the power to declare war. There must be an up-or-down vote on whether America enters another war of choice in the Middle East so the American people can hold their representatives accountable,” said Becky Bond, CREDO’s political director. “In his speech, the president cited bipartisan support for his plan to go to war with ISIS in Syria. But there has been no vote on bombing Syria or putting troops on the ground as key generals have said will likely be necessary. The American people deserve a vote on war with Syria and that vote should be no.”
CREDO is a national progressive group with more than 3.5 million members across the country. CREDO has been pressuring both the House and Senate to oppose the president’s plan to rush to war in Iraq and Syria. Read more about why CREDO opposes the president’s plan to bomb Syria and Iraq.
“There Is No Military Solution” – But Obama Launches a New U.S. War in Syria
President Obama’s decision to bomb Syria stands in stark violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. It contradicts his own commitment, stated a year ago in the UN General Assembly, to reverse Washington’s “perpetual war footing.”
President Obama was right when he said there is no military solution to the ISIS crisis. Bombing Syria, without Congressional authorization, without United Nations approval, in direct opposition to the stated position of Syria’s government, will only make that crisis worse. It will give ISIS and its allies a new basis for recruitment, it will strengthen the repressive Syrian government, it will undermine Syria’s struggling non-violent opposition movement, and it will further tighten the links between ISIS supporters in Syria and in Iraq.
The bombing should stop immediately, and be replaced with a U.S. policy based on:
- Supporting an intensive new UN-based diplomatic initiative involving all parties in the region
- Opening direct talks with Iran and Russia based on shared opposition to ISIS – with Iran to jointly push for ending anti-Sunni sectarianism in the Iraqi government, and with Russia to work towards ending the multi-party civil war in Syria
- Pressuring U.S. allies in the region to stop their governments and people from arming and facilitating the movement of ISIS fighters
- Shifting the war funds to a massive increase in humanitarian assistance
For Immediate Release: September 24, 2014
Just Foreign Policy Condemns Bombing of Syria Without Congressional Authorization
Washington, DC — September 24, 2014 — In response to the announcement of the U.S. bombing of Syria, Just Foreign Policy released the following statement by Policy Director Robert Naiman:
“President Obama’s decision to launch yet another ‘recess war’ is profoundly disappointing. The Administration’s decision to do this in Libya, Iraq, and now in Syria suggest deliberate choices to try to avoid the robust Congressional and public debate that the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution intended to ensure.”
“The complicity of the Congressional leadership and the majority of Congress in this evasion of Congress’ constitutional role is obvious. While they were in session, Members of Congress of both parties demanded an independent vote on arming and training Syrian insurgents and they received one. The same Members of Congress could have demanded and received a vote on an authorization for the use of force, as the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the ACLU called for.”
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been a noteworthy exception to the abdication of Constitutional responsibility. The CPC introduced H. Con. Res. 114, urging Congress to debate and vote on a statutory authorization for any sustained combat in Iraq or Syria.”
“President Obama has played hardball with Congress in his assertion of unilateral warmaking authority; with the exception of insisting to vote on arming and training Syrian insurgents, Congress has failed to adequately respond. Congress’ failure to act is robbing the American people of their right to a robust Congressional and public debate on launching a multicountry war of unknown duration. It is also setting a dangerous precedent for future unilateral military action by the President.”
“Polls show that the public wants full Congressional debate. Members of Congress should show their support for the public will by endorsing initiatives like H. Con. Res. 114.”
Over a year ago, President Obama rightly asked Congress to vote on whether he could use air strikes in Syria. While the target and mission has changed, Congressional approval should be required before the current bombing of Syria commenced. Especially when Congress showed deep concern when approving of arming and training Syrian militias, it’s unclear where Congress stands on Syrian military intervention.The CIA and the Department of Homeland security have said that ISIS is not an immanent threat to the U.S. Despite the claims of the Administration that it has authorization under previous Congressional votes over a decade ago, it is unclear whether this is constitutionally permissible. Congress needs to take its war powers more seriously and have a debate and vote on military activities on ISIS.The Iraqi government has at least asked for military assistance with ISIS in its country. The Syrian government has stated the exact opposite.Most importantly, the Obama administration should heed its own wise council that there is no military solution to ISIS. Instead more emphasis on regional diplomacy including UN talks to end the Syrian civil war and cutting off oil revenues and weapon streams will be more effective in combating ISIS.
Peace Action West
For Immediate Release: 9/22/2014
Contact: Jon Rainwater, jrainwater@
Statement of Jon Rainwater, Executive Director, Peace Action West
“These airstrikes in Syria represent a dangerous escalation of a war without a clear end or even a clear short-term plan. With no imminent threat to the U.S., the strikes perpetuate the discredited Bush-era doctrine of preemptive war. By doing an end run around approval by Congress and the U.N., this action flies in the face of both the Constitution and international law. Just one year ago President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly and proclaimed that the U.S. was “shifting away from a perpetual war footing.” One year later as the U.N. meets again in New York, the U.S. is embarking on a war with no end in sight.
Airstrikes won’t destroy the ideology that ISIS represents or the sectarianism that fueled their rise. On the contrary, an expanding U.S.-led intervention could hand ISIS a powerful recruitment pretext. We need a different approach that gets at the root causes of the instability that feeds groups like ISIS. The U.S. should replace the military-first strategy with sophisticated public and multilateral diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and international cooperation. This approach can better stabilize the region by cutting off funding and recruits to ISIS and developing political solutions to the civil wars in Iraq and Syria.”
Veterans For Peace President Patrick McCann:
“We are disappointed because President Obama’s so called plan is more of the same. Nothing really different than waging war like the U.S. has done for thirteen years. Never mind that according to a State Department report, global terrorism has increased by 43% in 2014.
“Who really benefits from these failed policies? Clearly not the American people who pay for it in money and blood.” “We are not surprised by the president’s military solution because for the past thirteen years our political leaders have not put forward any other kind of solution. It seems all they know is war and have no concept of how to work for peace,” states Michael McPhearson, Interim Executive Director. “Just as meeting violence with violence in our communities here at home does not solve economic and social problems, more violence in Syria and Iraq will not solve the conflicts or diminish the political challenges there.”
Win Without War Statement on American Military Action in Syria
“The United States has gone back to war in the Middle East. Tonight’s reported U.S. airstrikes in Syria were not to save those trapped on a mountain or to defend against a march on U.S. diplomatic personnel, but rather a clear escalation of American involvement in a regional conflict that the President himself says has no military solution.”
Win Without War is a coalition of national organizations with diverse constituencies originally founded in opposition to the Iraq War. The coalition remains active in opposition to the continued U.S. war in Afghanistan, the dangerous rush to war with Iran, and the underlying national security strategy on which these conflicts are based. We seek a fundamentally new approach to meet the national security challenges of the United States that is consistent with our nation’s highest values.
For more information visit www.winwithoutwar.org