The New York Times reports: “By just 13 votes, British lawmakers rejected a motion urging an international response to a chemical weapons strike for which the United States has blamed the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.”
The Hill reports: “The opposition to President Obama launching unilateral military operations in Syria exploded on Thursday when dozens of liberal Democrats joined scores of conservative Republicans in warning the administration that any strikes without congressional approval would violate the Constitution.” The letters are lead by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.). and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) — see: “162 Reps., Including 64 Democrats, Call for Debate and Vote Before War with Syria.”
JOHN WALSH, jvwalshmd at gmail.com
Walsh is with the group ComeHomeAmerica, which brings together people from the left and right. The group recently released a statement saying they condemn “our government’s war on Syria, prosecuted first with sanctions, then with covert support through ‘allies’ like the dictatorial petro-monarchies of the Gulf and now with overt provision of arms for the anti-government forces and perhaps even a bombing campaign. We demand an immediate cessation of this bellicose policy by our government. Sanctions and military intervention in Syria are not in the interests of the American people; nor are they in the interests of the Syrian people.
“We are far from alone in our opposition. Fully 70 percent of Americans are opposed to armed intervention in Syria — a number that has only increased over the months according to Pew polls. And yet the President and a majority in Congress favor intervention, revealing a crisis of our political institutions, which are far removed from the will of the people on this and many other issues.
“We in ComeHomeAmerica are a very diverse group. We are traditional conservatives, progressive activists, libertarians of the Ron Paul type, old-fashioned leftists, religious people appalled by war and non-religious who also harbor disgust over our numerous wars for over a century now. We are not pacifists, although there are pacifists in our ranks. But we do believe that any war must be defensive and a last resort, not a constant option to further the perceived interests of our elite. Our roots go deep in our country’s history, at least as far back as the Anti-Imperialist League, which was organized to oppose the war in the Philippines and included members as different as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, the wealthiest man in America.
“We protest our government’s actions not simply because of the specific conditions in Syria but based on general principles. The same principles would have kept us from launching the recent wars on Iraq and Libya and many others over the past century and longer.
“Our first principle is that war inflicts enormous damage on human beings and we are repulsed by it, a revulsion that is found in most human beings. Hence the war-makers try to keep their deeds hidden or covered in fantasies of glory. Secrecy in turn leads to suborning the press, a mainstay of our democracy.
“Our second principle, the easiest one, is that we do not want to pay for these wars and the belligerent imperial colossus, including the DoD, CIA, NSA and others, costing about one trillion a year, roughly the sum that is raised in personal income taxes on April 15. Some of us simply want the money back and others want it to be spent on social needs. But while we differ on that, we agree that the money must no longer go to a war complex. On that we are firmly united. …” The Washington Post just published a breakdown on the “Black Budget” based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
Note: In 1999, a tie vote struck down congressional approval for the bombing of Yugoslavia by the Clinton administration, but the bombing continued. See IPA news release at the time: “Last Night’s House Vote Makes It Official: The Bombing of Yugoslavia is Illegal.”