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ACTION ALERT: Push Back Against the Media Drumbeat for War with Syria


May 13, 2013
Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy

After twelve years of wars promoted by lies and claims of easy victory, the costly Afghanistan war drags on and Washington cuts Head Start, Meals on Wheels, and cancer clinics and threatens to cut Social Security and veterans' benefits. Yet, despite this dismal history, elite media are manufacturing a new drumbeat for war, this time with Syria, even though polls have shown the public is overwhelmingly opposed to US military intervention in Syria's civil war.

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1439/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=13349

ACTION ALERT: Push Back Against the Media Drumbeat for War with Syria

(May 8, 2013) -- It's breathtaking, isn't it?

After twelve years of war in which justifications for war proved to be lies and claims of easy victory proved false, while the Afghanistan war drags on and Washington cuts Head Start, Meals on Wheels, and cancer clinics, and threatens to cut Social Security and veterans' benefits, elite media are once again manufacturing a drumbeat for war, this time with Syria, even though recent polls have shown that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to US military intervention in Syria's civil war. [1] [2]

Members of Congress who are dubious about another U.S. war in the Middle East will have a good opportunity soon to push back against this media drumbeat when Congress considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Amendments can be offered that can counter the pro-war media chorus.

ACTION: Help us take advantage of this opportunity to push against the media drumbeat for war by urging your representatives to support amendments to the NDAA that will slow down calls for military escalation.

There are a lot of things that Congress could do to slow down the rush to war, including passing amendments to the NDAA to:

1. Bar the introduction of US ground troops to Syria. Such an amendment might pass the House overwhelmingly, as it did in the case of Libya, sending a signal that there is a limit to U.S. military escalation. [3]

2. Re-affirm that US drone strikes in Syria would constitute "hostilities" as defined by the War Powers Resolution, meaning that any use in Syria would have to be explicitly authorized by Congress. Most of the media discussion ignores the role of Congress, but when the Administration conducted drone strikes in Libya without Congressional authorization, in violation of the War Powers Resolution, the House of Representatives objected. [4]

3. Affirm that the United Nations is the proper forum for addressing claims about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This has been President Obama's position. A leading UN investigator says that the evidence the UN has collected so far points to use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels, not by the Syrian government. [5]

4. Affirm that the US should pursue diplomacy in the UN and in the region to press for a political resolution in Syria that ends the civil war.

Urge your representatives to speak up against another rush to war by clicking on this link:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/syria-ndaa

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

References:
1. "Syria Skepticism: Chemical claims should be investigated, not used as pretext for war," FAIR, May 6, 2013, http://fair.org/take-action/media-advisories/syria-skepticism/
2. "Americans want U.S. to keep out of Syria conflict: poll," Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, May 2, 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/americans-want-u-keep-syria-conflict-poll-001905089.html
3. "Lawmakers bar US ground troops from Libya," AFP, May 26, 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jY-A0s1hUqS07RxFUkdPed5GFsqQ
4. "House rebukes Obama on Libya," Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill, June 3, 2011, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/164675-house-approves-boehners-libya-resolution-rejects-kucinich-proposal
5. "UN's Del Ponte says evidence Syria rebels 'used sarin'," BBC, May 6, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188



Push Back Against the Media
Drumbeat for War with Syria



(May 8. 2013) -- Elite media are once again manufacturing a drumbeat for war, this time with Syria, even though recent polls have shown that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to US military intervention in Syria's civil war.

Members of Congress who are dubious about another US war in the Middle East will have a good opportunity soon to push back against this media drumbeat when Congress considers the National Defense Authorization Act. Amendments can be offered that can counter the pro-war media chorus.

Help us take advantage of this opportunity to push back by urging your representatives to support amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that will slow down calls for military escalation, helping make sure we don't get stampeded into a new war.

THE LETTER
I urge you to use opportunities presented by consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act to push back against calls for a rush to war with Syria. I urge you to support amendments that would slow down a rush to war.

In particular, I urge you to support

any amendment barring the introduction of US ground troops to Syria, which would codify the Administration's stated policy. The House overwhelmingly passed such an amendment during the Libya war, sending a strong signal that there was a limit to U.S. military escalation.

any amendment re-affirming that US drone strikes in Syria would constitute "hostilities" as defined by the War Powers Resolution, meaning that any use in Syria would have to be explicitly authorized by Congress. Most of the media discussion has ignored the role of Congress, but when the Administration conducted drone strikes in Libya without Congressional authorization, in violation of the War Powers Resolution, the House of Representatives objected.

any amendment affirming that the United Nations is the proper venue for addressing claims about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This has been the Obama Administration's position. As the BBC and Reuters have recently reported, a leading UN investigator says that the evidence the UN has collected so far points to use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels, not by the Syrian government.

any amendment affirming that the US should pursue diplomacy in the UN and in the region to press for a political resolution in Syria that ends the civil war.

Thank you for asserting Congressional war powers and helping ensure that we are not stampeded into participating in another civil war in the Middle East.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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