All U.S. Troops Home Now
The U.S. is openly doing propaganda for war against Syria and has positioned its military forces for launching a devastating missile attack against Syria at any time. Voice of Revolution opposes these crimes and calls on all to join in actions demanding Hands Off Syria! Now is the time to reject all U.S. efforts to sow doubt so as to justify the crime of aggression against Syria. Instead let all join in demanding All U.S. Troops Home Now! This would be a contribution to peace and contribute to safeguarding the world’s peoples from U.S. chemical and drone warfare.
We demand not only that Congress vote NO! but that it also End All War Funding and instead Fund the Rights of All Abroad and at Home! We condemn the use of force to settle differences and to deal with matters such as use of chemical weapons. There are international laws and mechanisms in place to deal with use of chemical weapons in a non-violent manner. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the most comprehensive instrument concerning chemical weapons, provides for investigation of alleged violations by specialist bodies constituted by the Convention, collective measures by states parties in response to activities prohibited by the Convention, recourse to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in cases of particular gravity, and referral of disputes to the International Court of Justice. If the U.S. has such credible evidence, why not submit it to the CWC and UN? U.S. that is refusing to use these mechanisms. The U.S. is not interested in the truth but rather in sowing doubt among all those opposing U.S. aggression, trying to make it appear that their antiwar cause is not just while U.S. aggression is.
We demand that Congress require the U.S. to utilize these mechanisms — something the U.S. is duty-bound to do as a signatory to the CWC. Such investigations would no doubt show that the U.S. is falsifying who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons and hiding its own use of such weapons. It is trying to falsify history, to deny the rights of the peoples to resist and hide its crimes against peace and all humanity.
The people of Syria are already suffering untold crimes as a result of the actions of the rebel forces organized and paid for by the U.S. and other foreign powers. The frenzy for war is the result of U.S. striving for total domination, as it competes with European powers to control whatever regime is brought into being and more generally control the region.
Syria in particular also serves as a bulwark for resistance in Palestine and Lebanon, something the U.S. has long tried to eliminate. She has refused to submit to U.S.-organized regime change. It is these wars for "regime change" that have already caused havoc all over the Middle East and beyond. They are out of control, unleashing violence and chaos.
Any attack on Syria is a crime and a threat to all. It unleashes the possibility of far broader war against the peoples, in the region and worldwide. As the many actions across the U.S. and worldwide show, the peoples reject aggression and imperialist war and demand an end to the use of force against the peoples.
Hands Off Syria! [TOP]
Protests Across the Country and Worldwide Say Hands Off Syria! No U.S. Wars!
As news of President Obama’s plan to bomb Syria spread across the country, so did demonstrations calling for No U.S. Wars! Hands Off Syria! By September 1, there were at least 70 demonstrations, vigils or meetings organized in more than 50 cities. Actions across the country are again being planned for September 7-9, including in Washington DC at the White House and Congress. Everywhere people are taking their stand against U.S. wars and calling for the end to use of force against the world’s peoples.
Reports from around the country confirmed what many polls have also shown: people in the U.S. are against the war and frustrated with the refusal of the government to submit to the anti-war stand of the majority. This is particularly true for Syria, where polls repeatedly show large majorities opposed to any kind of attack on Syria. Everywhere people honked in support of actions and expressed their support.
In Washington, D.C., hundreds of demonstrators marched near the White House August 31 before and during Obama’s speech in the Rose Garden. Their chants against war could be heard as Obama spoke. The same day in Seattle demonstrators marched across downtown, denouncing war against Syria.
In New York City on August 29, hundreds of demonstrators, including Syrians marched for two hours to the beat of drums in and around the construction-disrupted streets of Times Square. They often blocked traffic as they chanted, U.S., NATO, Hands Off Syria! In Buffalo on September 1, protesters rallied to oppose attacks on Syria. Signs also put forward that the U.S. Is Guilty of Crimes Using Chemical Weapons and spoke to the need for an anti-war government saying: A Pro-Worker Government is an Anti-War Government.
At the Federal Building in Los Angeles the same day, hundreds also demonstrated, demanding no bombing or rocket attacks on Syria. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there were demonstrations in San Francisco around Union Square and on August 31 at the United Nations Plaza. There was also a rally in Oakland on August 31 in Oscar Grant Plaza.
In Florida, demonstrators gathered outside the University of Florida in Gainesville August 28. In Tampa more than 100 protesters gathered at a busy intersection August 31, demanding No Military Attack On Syria. Many honked in support of the action.
In Asheville, North Carolina dozens of people rallied downtown August 31. Protesters chanted No justice, no peace, U.S. out of the Middle East! and held banners and signs demanding Hands Off Syria! Protesters announced they would continue to rally “as long as the war drums keep beating against Syria.”
Hundreds demanded “Don’t Bomb Syria” on Boston Common on August 31. Anti-war protests also took place in Chicago, Milwaukee, Newark, New Jersey, Minneapolis and many other cities, all in unison demanding Hands off Syria!
The anti-war drive is continuing with many cities large and small joining in actions September 7-9. These include (listed alphabetically by state): Flagstaff and Tucson, Arizona; Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, Vista, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford and New Haven Connecticut; Gainesville, Jacksonville, Melbourne, and Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Bloomington, Fort Wayne and West Lafayette, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Lawrence, Kansas; Baltimore and Gaithersburg, Maryland; Boston Massachusetts;Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Minneapolis Minnesota; Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi; Kansas City and St. Louis Missouri; Rio Grande and Highland Park, New Jersey, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Albany, Buffalo, Delmar, New York City, Rhinebeck, Rochester, Staten Island, White Plains, New York; Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Akron, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio; Chambersburg, Lewisburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Dallas, Houston, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Burlington, Vermont; Richmond, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Huntington, West Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Worldwide many actions are also opposing U.S. plans to bomb Syria and rejecting all U.S. aggression. These include demonstrations in Britain, France, Germany, Greece and elsewhere in Europe. People of the region, including Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey are also taking their stand. In the U.S. the call All U.S. Troops Home Now! continues to be raised while worldwide the peoples are standing as one against imperialist wars and demanding Hands Off Syria!
No U.S. War On Syria!
The Obama Administration seems determined to start a senseless and bloody war on Syria. This is in spite of the will of the American people, most Syrians, world public opinion, many U.S. military and intelligence officials, and even the Pope. UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon warned that any “punitive” action against Syria would be illegal and that a strike could unleash “more turmoil and bloodshed.”
We cannot count on Congress to pull us out of this quagmire of expanding wars for profit. However, any delay in launching the cruise missiles is important in organizing a strong opposition to this and future wars.
The war makers must be stopped and only a united and massive effort of all of us, reaching out to broad sectors of the American public can do this. Remember, we have the majority on our side.
Until the vote in Washington, the immediate focus needs to be on Congress. We’ve all been involved in protest actions and we need to continue the pressure and intensify the mobilizations. Our unified demand should be: Hands Off Syria – No War!
UNAC calls for putting pressure on Congress from now until the vote. This includes organizing meetings with members of Congress, call-ins, sit-ins, letters, media outreach, petitions, etc. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121. Ask for your representative. Leave a message: Vote No To War On Syria!
In addition, we call for mass, united protest actions everywhere on Saturday, September 7. These include demonstrations in NYC at Times Square, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other places, as well as a demonstration in Los Angeles on Monday, September 9 when Obama addresses the AFL-CIO convention. We endorse the call by the Syrian American Forum for a mobilization in Washington on Monday, September 9, led by Syrian Americans opposed to military intervention. (Rally at the White House at 10 am followed by a march to Congress for another rally. See the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/680761451934228/
We strongly encourage participation in all protest actions in Washington, DC, the seat of power, starting on Saturday and all next week.
An American strike threatens to explode what is already a regional proxy war into a worldwide catastrophe. The stakes are high and we cannot afford to let any differences among us weaken and divide our forces. We will list all actions on our website (www.UNACpeace.org).
Say NO to another U.S. War! [TOP]
For the second time in less than three years President Obama is leading an effort to take the U.S. to war. Calling on Congress to follow his lead, the President’s reasoning is to punish Syria for alleged chemical weapons use and to deter future deployment of this obscene and banned weapon. The President claims military action and killing more people is necessary to protect American values and national interests and to enforce international norms.
Veterans For Peace condemns the use of chemical weapons and we call for those responsible to be brought to justice by legal means via the United Nations (UN) and not by U.S. bombing.
Any military action without UN authorization is illegal and violates the international norms the President claims he wants to protect. VFP has made a clear statement opposing U.S. military intervention, whether direct or indirect and we call for an escalation of diplomacy not war (see below). Most of the U.S. public agrees that war is not the answer yet the war drums keep pounding louder and the war hawks gather for their feast. Now we must act to stop the President’s drive to war by hitting the streets and concentrating on Congress.
Statement by Veterans for Peace
Veterans For Peace strongly opposes U.S. military intervention, whether direct or indirect, in the war that is currently raging in Syria.
U.S. military aid to rebels in Syria only deepens the suffering and increases the casualties among the Syrian people. It destabilizes the region and risks escalating the conflict into a regional war. It violates the U.N. Charter and international law.
There should be no U.S. military intervention in any form, including a so-called “no-fly zone,” which would be a direct act of military aggression. Only the Syrian people can decide who should govern Syria.
Veterans For Peace calls for an escalation of diplomacy, not war. We call for a ceasefire from all combatants in Syria. We call for urgent diplomacy to stop the bloodshed and address the humanitarian crises in Syria and among Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
Please take action and make your voice heard. Let us stop a U.S. attack in Syria before it starts.
• Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or the Switchboard at 202-456-1414
• Call your elected Representatives and Senators in their State or District offices (they are on recess) – Demand NO military intervention in Syria.
• Organize a peaceful protest, march, vigil at your local communities (city hall, federal building, etc.) anytime this week, call for "NO attacks on Syria!"
• If the U.S. attacks Syria, organize local actions, after the attack begins, either 6PM on same day if the attacks begin during U.S. day time (local Syria evening time), or 5PM the next day if the attacks begin during U.S. evening time (local Syria day time)
Statement Against Military Force in Syria
On August 23rd, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the suspected use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad, and a proposed military response. In his remarks to the nation, Secretary Kerry condemned the use of chemical weapons, calling it a “moral obscenity.” Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) agrees. We believe that US military action in Syria is also obscene. Our vision includes building a movement that is “an ally to the oppressed — a community connected in solidarity with war torn peoples,” including the people of Syria.
We condemn the use of chemical weapons, not only against civilians, but against all peoples in all nations. We know intimately that chemical weapons indiscriminately harm, maim, and kill, while causing long-term health problems and environmental destruction.
As veterans of the Global War On Terror, we are acutely aware that these sorts of indiscriminate and inhumane weapons have comprised our own arsenals throughout history, and that we inherit this legacy. America’s atomic bombs, napalm, and agent orange have killed millions of innocent civilians. For strategic gain, the U.S. actively supported Saddam Hussein while knowing that he was simultaneously using chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War. Nevertheless, we were called upon to deploy to Iraq under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, we were party to America’s introduction of white phosphorus and depleted uranium and know all too well their disastrous legacy on the people of those countries. We continue to watch our veteran brothers and sisters die of cancer from exposure to these and other substances employed on the battlefield. As veterans, we cannot help but recognize the glaring hypocrisy of America’s leaders as they demand immediate military action against any country that uses chemical weapons.
Our condemnation of chemical weapons is also based on the principle that military violence against civilians by any means is wrong. Whether through Assad’s artillery — or through American bombs, bullets, Tomahawk missiles, and drones — killing civilians for military and strategic gain violates international law and basic human decency.
Many of us are Iraq veterans and know what sacrifices have been made in the name of fighting against illegal weapons, only to find that the justification was a lie. We implore our leaders not to follow the mistakes that led to the Iraq war by violating national and international legal conventions.
But beyond law, the use of military force in Syria would be reckless, dangerous, and morally wrong. It will destabilize the conflict and lead to further civilian casualties. As Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, we have also seen how narrow military actions have devolved into invasions and occupations.
So long as non-military avenues exist, we demand their use before war. According to current opinion-polls, the majority of Americans share our deep opposition to military intervention. As veterans, we know all too well the limitations of military action to bring meaningful resolution, and this is why we now call upon the U.S. and international community to exhaust every available non-military option to ensure that a cease-fire is diplomatically secured in Syria. We firmly believe that the Syrian people have the right to self-determination and that international leaders should work tirelessly to secure a space within which the Syrian people can pursue a lasting reconciliation free of outside interference.
The Honorable John Kerry
Dear Secretary Kerry:
Today Pope Francis met with King Abdullah II of Jordan. Regarding their meeting, the Holy See reported: “Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.”
With the Holy Father, we abhor the “acts of atrocity” that he decried in the wake of the attack with chemical weapons. We make our own his admonition: May the “clash of weapons…be silenced. It is not conflict that offers prospects of hope for solving problems, but rather the capacity for encounter and dialogue.”
The longstanding position of our Conference of Bishops is that the Syrian people urgently need a political solution that ends the fighting and creates a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom. We ask the United States to work with other governments to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens, including Christians and other minorities.
Most Reverend Richard E. Pates [TOP]
Once again, the President of the United States is leading a rush towards war without regard for the United Nations Charter and the international legal regime intended to control prohibited weapons and to respond to threats to peace and security. Even before United Nations inspectors were on the ground in Syria to determine whether a chemical weapons attack had occurred, the U.S. and its allies began moving ships into attack position in a manner that, in the context of public statements by the leaders of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, constituted an undeniable military threat to Syria.
Since World War I, use of chemical weapons has been viewed almost universally as monstrous, and as a violation of treaty-based and customary standards of international humanitarian law. If they were used in Syria by any party, that action should be condemned, and all states should cooperate in identifying the perpetrators and in pursuing their apprehension and prosecution by all legal means. There is no provision of international law, however, that allows ad hoc coalitions of countries to determine for themselves who they believe the guilty parties to be, and to punish them by acts of war against the territory of a sovereign state.
The United Nations Charter allows unilateral military action only where a country is under attack or imminent threat of attack. None of the countries proposing the use of force against Syria can make any claim that Syria has attacked them, or that they are under imminent threat of attack. International treaties outlawing chemical weapons and prohibiting their use provide no special exception for such ad hoc use of military force. To the contrary, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the most comprehensive instrument concerning chemical weapons, provides for investigation of alleged violations by specialist bodies constituted by the Convention and recourse to the United Nations to authorize any use of force.
In this instance, it is especially important that transparent, credible procedures be followed for investigation of the allegations of chemical weapons use and a determination of the responsible party or parties, as well as for actions to prevent further use and to punish those culpable.
Key Findings and Recommendations
• Chemical weapons are viewed almost universally as abhorrent, and their use as a crime. All states should cooperate in identifying the perpetrators of the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria and in pursuing their apprehension and prosecution.
• Under the current circumstances there is no basis in the United Nations Charter, the Chemical Weapons Convention, or other international law for the United States to launch strikes against Syria absent authorization by the UN Security Council or, if the Council is deadlocked, the UN General Assembly under its Uniting for Peace procedure.
• International law provides no exception for the ad hoc use of force by states in cases involving the actual or possible use of prohibited weapons, such as chemical weapons, by states with which they are not at war. Standing alone, the allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government do not provide a legal basis for military action by any non-party to the conflict.
• Unilateral punitive strikes justified as a defense of the global norm against chemical weapons are unlikely to actually protect Syrians or others against use of chemical weapons and other attacks, may do little to reinforce the norm or even undermine it, and could lead to a significant increase in the level of violence throughout the region.
• There are viable international ways and means to respond to the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria that should be vigorously pursued before the use of force is considered.
• The U.S. should present its evidence regarding use of chemical weapons in Syria to the Security Council. The Security Council should condemn any use of chemical weapons, forbid further use of chemical weapons, expand the scope of the UN investigation to include the issue of responsibility for attacks, refer the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court for further investigation and adjudication, and call for convening of a peace conference.
• If the Security Council remains unable to act, the General Assembly should assume responsibility under the Uniting for Peace procedure.
• The U.S.-Russian effort to hold a conference to bring the Syrian conflict to an end should be reinvigorated. The U.S., Russia, and other powers that provide direct or indirect military and logistical support to the warring parties in Syria should use all available means, including cessation of support, to bring about an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated peace.
• The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the most comprehensive instrument concerning chemical weapons, provides for investigation of alleged violations by specialist bodies constituted by the Convention, collective measures by states parties in response to activities prohibited by the Convention, recourse to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in cases of particular gravity, and referral of disputes to the International Court of Justice. Almost all states, 189, are party to the CWC. Syria is among the handful that are not. The agreement governing the relationship between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, however, makes provision for instances where chemical weapons are used by actors other than CWC parties. Pursuant to CWC procedures, the Executive Council or the Conference of States Parties of the CWC should convene a special meeting to consider the situation in Syria and recommend appropriate responses by states parties and the United Nations.
• For U.S. elected officials, saying no to the easy, violent options offered by a national security and military industrial complex too long ascendant would be the hard choice, the courageous choice, and the right choice. (see http://www.wslfweb.org for full article)
According to a Reuters poll, 89 percent of the U.S. population is opposed to U.S. support for the Syrian opposition. Despite this, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has just made an ominous announcement that the U.S. intends to take "action" against Syria, and that Syria will be "held accountable" (for the use of chemical weapons).
The evidence indicates that it is the rebels backed by Britain, the U.S. and others who are using chemical weapons to provide a pretext for the foreign aggression against Syria.
United Nations weapons inspectors are in Syria at the direct request of the Syrian government to prove that they have not used chemical weapons. The attack took place a mere ten miles away from the inspection team, on the very day they arrived.
Carla Del Ponte, a United Nations Human Rights investigator, has stated that the Syrian government has not used chemical weapons but the rebels have.
In May, 12 members of the Syrian rebel forces were arrested in Turkey. The rebels possessed 4.5 pounds of Sarin, the neurotoxin gas alleged to have been used in the recent attack.
In January, the British newspaper Daily Mail, reported that the Syrian rebels were planning a chemical attack that they would blame on the Syrian government in order to justify U.S. intervention. The report was based on leaked emails from military contractors.
The Syrian rebels are receiving direct weapons and funding from the United States, despite their record of atrocities including rape, murder, and torture. The U.N. has reported that they are actively recruiting young children, in addition to other violations of international law.
The Assad government has fully cooperated with the weapons inspection teams. Members of the United Nations inspection team have openly stated their doubts about the chemical attack. Dr. Ake Sellstrom, the leader of the team, called the reports of the alleged attack "suspicious".
Reports on the attack are very inconsistent. Some reports said over 1,300 were killed. Other reports have said less than 200. Still other reports say over 350. The numbers are unclear and totally unsubstantiated.
The report being circulated by "Doctors Without Borders" is not based on their own information, but based on reports they received from a Syrian rebel group by their own admission.
Videos of the alleged attack were posted on the internet by allies of the Syrian rebels, BEFORE the attack took place.
The credibility of the video of the alleged chemical attack is being widely questioned by chemical weapons experts. The victims are not displaying the proper symptoms of having been struck by a Sarin nerve gas. The people shown treating them are not wearing proper equipment.
The U.S. is currently urging the U.N. weapons inspection team to halt its work. The U.N. weapons inspectors insist that they must be allowed to continue their investigations and to determine actual facts.
Despite all of this confusion and inconsistency in the claims about this alleged attack, the U.S. government, along with its corporate allies in Britain and France are openly pushing for an attack on Syria. [...](Extract from the Call issued by the International Action Center for united actions of antiwar, community and progressive forces)