Congress

War – What Is It Good For?

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–by Kevin Martin, Executive Director

Two weeks ago the House of Representatives voted 273-156 to fund and train “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight the radical terrorist group Islamic State or ISIS. Thank you for your calls against this ill-advised scheme especially since Congress has not authorized the president’s new war in Syria and Iraq. Now, please call your representative via the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and let him or her know what you think of his or her vote.

Congress then adjourned to campaign for re-election, which was an abdication of its responsibility. They certainly could and should have remained in session for a week or more to debate and vote on whether to authorize President Obama’s intervention into the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars. While Congress failed to do its job, we at Peace Action won’t fail to do ours. Our members and activists will bird-dog candidates on the campaign trail and press Members of Congress to explain themselves at community meetings. Peace Action Education Fund Board President Mike Keller wrote this excellent report of such a meeting in Annapolis, Maryland with U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) who was surprised to catch flak from liberal activists for his vote to arm the Syrian rebels.

Last week, President Obama spoke at the UN and chaired the Security Council meeting, where a resolution calling on states to stop the flow of foreign fighters to groups like ISIS passed 15-0. This sounds good, but as expected this was not Security Council approval for military intervention in Iraq and Syria, as required by the UN Charter. So the president is still 0 for 2 in domestic and international law.

Congress is expected to hold votes on authorizing Obama’s new war(s) when it returns after the election for a lame duck session in November or December, we will keep you posted as to developments and how you can take action between now and them. Meanwhile, here is a link to a radio interview on Chicago’s public radio station I did earlier this week prior to the initiation of bombing in Syria and a blog post on the illegality of these new wars.

2 replies »

  1. from your America community organizer I did call congress on the 273 voted and the 156 who voted, I say this my fellow American President Obama do not want to wade a War aganist the Islamic State but the ISIS need to deployed out of Iraq and the out laws that is in Syria need to be awaken and also the so call ISIS could make some peace President Obama are trying hard not to wade a War with u.s. troops on the ground the President has a strategy to work with the leader of Syria and the ISIS if thay will listen we do not want troops on the ground I say to the ISIS move out before you cause a big War. from Rev Dr. O.D. Robinson Psy.d
    I would like to see some peace)

  2. Having been caught napping by ISIS a knee jerk reaction is inevitable, When military threats like those in Syria/Iraq and E Ukraine burst on the scene it is tempting to respond militarily. The problem is that, if we go on like this, there will be no end to the long streams of fleeing civilians, warring bands of insurgents, radicalization of youngsters, escalating casualties, insane violence and seeding of new hatreds.
    This scenario might suit arms traders and power-hungry politicians but it disgusts most of the rest of us. It is also lethal for the planet.
    It is ordinary people like ourselves who have to bring about change. The immediate aim is to get all military power into UN hands, transforming it from being the war machine of nation states to a global peacekeeping force under international control. It is high time that the UN should be able to take firm executive action in all matters transcending national boundaries, never to wage war but always to secure the peace and protect the planet .
    See http://www.garrettjones.talktalk.net
    [If link fails, copy & paste to address bar at top of your screen]

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