Talking Points about the escalation of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria: With a phone number at the end of this blog entry to use to call Congress to tell our elected officials what you think. Hey, you might be in favor of a war that can’t be won. You might be in favor of diverting funds from American priorities at home to continue to fight against unstoppable crazy people who kill in the name of their God. Either way, whether you agree with me that this insanity has to be ended, or you think fighting endless U.S.-created wars is the answer, call Congress tomorrow or the next day or anytime this coming week to voice what you think we should do. You have a voice so use it.
HERE ARE NON-MILITARY ALTERNATIVES FOR DEALING WITH ISIS IN IRAQ & SYRIA:
It’s not too late to stop an endless war in Iraq and Syria. We’ve spent over $1.1 billion bombing Iraq and Syria since August 2014, yet Congress has not debated or authorized this war.
It will take grassroots pressure to move Congress. We can start by popularizing the possible steps towards a political solution. Instead of another endless war, members of Congress should stand up in support of effective alternatives. Below are possible ways for the U.S. government to take action.
The United States Congress can:
· Insist that President Obama seek congressional authorization for continued military intervention, and then vote to oppose our latest war in Iraq and Syria
· Support measures to prohibit U.S. ground troops, sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (the bills that authorized U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan), and bolster the alternatives listed below
The United States can take immediate unilateral action to:
· Tighten loopholes in existing sanctions to help cut off ISIS’s funding streams (sale of stolen oil, archeological artifacts and wheat)
· Condition U.S. support for the Iraqi government on success in stopping sectarian violence and promoting inclusive governance,which will undermine ISIS influence
· Cut off U.S. government contracts with anyone doing business with ISIS
· Stop channeling weapons into the war. U.S. weapons have ended up in the hands of ISIS; support an embargo on all arms shipments to and through Iraq, Syria and their neighbors
· Support civil society efforts to build peace and reconciliation at the community level
The United States can support multilateral efforts to:
· Build regional stability and security through aid for refugee host nation communities through the UN to reinforce stressed health, education, and housing infrastructure and to encourage job creation
· Massively increase the level of humanitarian aid. The UN’s Syria Regional Refugee Response Plan for 2014 is only half-way funded. As winter approaches, the key World Food Program has run out of funds: rations will be cut and some refugees will go without any WFP aid
· Keep the conflict from spreading to Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon etc. by encouraging a global effort to share responsibility for resettling refugees from Iraq and Syria
· Cut ISIS’s access to the international financial system
Support a political solution to Syria’s civil war
NOW: CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON
Some things to ask when you call:
· Ask whether your representative favors giving authorization for another long term war in Iraq and Syria. Say you are opposed.
· Ask whether your representative favors giving the president $5.6 billion more. Say you oppose that.
· Ask whether the member thinks it’s okay to give the president more money even before voting on whether to authorize military action to continue. Remind them the Constitution requires they vote whether to authorize a war before they appropriate money for it.
· Ask your representative whether they support non-military alternative strategies (like those above) since the president has already acknowledged that ISIS can not be beaten militarily.
· Ask whether they know what the objective is in committing to a military strategy in Iraq and Syria. Is the real target the Syrian government or ISIS (which can’t be beaten militarily)?
· Ask whether they know what the president’s ‘end game’ strategy is for getting out of Iraq and Syria once we go down the road to war. Remind them it too ten years to get out of the last war in Iraq and we are still in Afghanistan 13 years after invading there.
· Tell your representative that when all is said and done, you want them to vote NO on any proposal to authorize military action to continue or to appropriate more money to pay for that.
President Obama announced he will nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to total 3100 and he wants another $5.6 billion to pay for another year of misguided war in Iraq and Syria. That’s on top of the over half-trillion dollars the Pentagon already gets for its base budget and to fight wars (Overseas Contingency Fund).
He said he will ask Congress to formally authorize the new war in Iraq and Syria, but wants the money first – standing the Constitution on its head. This new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) may even go far beyond targeting ISIS and pave the way for an endless, in the Mideast and elsewhere around the world.
Congress is back in Washington and will begin working on this new war authorization and the president’s request for more money. That is why they need to hear from you!
The simple truth is that war isn’t working. After months of American bombing in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is stronger than ever, controlling roughly the same territory they did when the first bombs fell. Instead of being degraded, ISIS has seen a massive increase in recruitment and continues its horrific campaign of violence and terror in Iraq and Syria. And, tragically, American bombs have killed innocent civilians, making it easier for ISIS to recruit, and may be making political solutions to the broader conflict harder to achieve.
Now is the time to act. In the days and weeks ahead, Congress will decide not only whether to authorize the war in Iraq and Syria but what restrictions, if any, to place on the deployment of U.S. military forces.
With congressional hawks like John McCain set to take the reins of power in the Senate, there will be a push to send combat troops to fight ISIS, to expand the war to pursue regime change in Syria, and to flood the conflict with American weapons.
However you define it, the course our country is on is going to lead to more suffering, death, slashed domestic programs, federal debt and another quagmire.
Now is the time to take a stand for peace. Now is the time to stand up for effective alternatives that will end the violence in Iraq and Syria. Now is the time to make our voices heard. Please join this national week of action to end endless war.
Call on Congress to End Endless War:
Tell Congress War isn’t working!
PLEASE REPORT THE RESULTS OF YOUR CALL
We face an uphill struggle in mobilizing members of Congress to stand in opposition to more war and war spending. But every member of Congress who votes AGAINST this counter-productive, dangerous and costly effort is laying the foundation for an ongoing mobilization on behalf of peace.