People Joining Across Spectrum To Stop War on Syria and It’s Having an Effect

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, September 07, 2013

Last week we wrote about what you could do to stop the war in Syria. This week we can say – many Americans are taking the action needed to stop this war.

If we succeed, and it is still a very big ‘if,’ it will be a historic. We cannot remember when the American people stopped a war after a president said he wanted to bomb a country.

How close are we? The Washington Post is reporting that 180 members of the House of Representatives are leaning toward a ‘no war’ vote. FireDogLake reports 216 are leaning no. To win requires 217 votes. We need to solidify those who are leaning toward voting ‘no to war’ and convince enough undecided votes to vote ‘no.’ Click here for an updated tally.

The media is reporting that Congress is being flooded with phone calls and that at constituent meetings people are telling their representatives to vote ‘no’ on war. Immediately after the President’s call for war, there were protests across the country. Hearings in Congress to authorize war were interrupted by protesters. Congress needs to hear from you. Call 202-224-3121. Take part in a historic moment – stop a war!

Even before the war begins, members of the Armed Services are speaking out against the war. Top military leaders leaked to the media their concerns about the war while intelligence officials also leaked their concerns about the shaky intelligence.

If we are successful in stopping an attack on Syria, it will teach the movement something very important. Movements need to be independent of the two parties to win. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both – not the servant or master of either.”

The only reason the antiwar effort has a chance is because opposition is coming from across the political spectrum, and both Republicans and Democrats in the House are opposing this war. Even the classified briefings are unconvincing.

This local group in Oklahoma composed of socialists, progressives, liberals, libertarians, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and independents who oppose war together shows that it is possible. A national group, Come Home America, (of which Kevin is a co-founder) has been working to build right-left opposition to war and militarism for several years.

The leadership of both parties, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, support President Obama’s call for war, but the rank and file members, in reaction to their constituents, are listening to the people. Nancy Pelosi is admitting that she cannot guarantee a majority of Democrats will vote for war.

And, they should be doing so. The Green Shadow Cabinet, of which we are members, is calling on Americans to make a pledge“I pledge that I will not vote to reelect any member of Congress who votes for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Syria.”

The Democrats who follow the mis-leadership of President Obama and Leader Pelosi do not seem to realize how angry Americans are at the possibility of another war and that more people are aware of the lies that are told to foment war. Democrats who vote for war may find themselves out of a job after the next mid-term election.

A right-left coalition is also developing around another issue where President Obama is leading in the wrong direction. He is pushing the secret globalization agreement; the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and is urging Congress to give him sole authority to negotiate it through “Fast Track.”

Under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, Congress is given the responsibility “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.” Just as with war, where the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war and they asserted that power when nearly 200 demanded Obama get Congressional approval; when it comes to trade, Congress needs to assert itself and fulfill its constitutional mandate by refusing to allow “Fast Track,” holding hearings, listening to experts and citizens and making amendments to the proposed TPP.

A bipartisan coalition is developing in Congress to stop Fast Track. For the Democrats, it is led by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro; for the Republicans, by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). These Members are all aware of the secrecy over the past four years of negotiations – secret except for the more than 600 corporate advisers to the US Trade Representative for President Obama – and therefore Congress has not played its role in designing the TPP.

Outside of Congress, we are also seeing views from across the political spectrum in opposition to the TPP. Mayor Bloomberg wrote an op-ed criticizing the TPP for risking U.S. public health and undermining our sovereignty. On the same day Jim Hightower wrote an excellent report on the TPP calling it a corporate coup d’état – against us.

And, the TPP is a big deal, the largest trade agreement since the WTO, that will affect every aspect of our lives from the food we eat to whether water becomes a commodity; whether we have health care as a public good or whether workers get paid a fair wage and work in a safe environment; whether Big Banks and their economy-risking, derivative deals are regulated to whether we have Internet freedom or a clean environment. The list goes on and on.

As with stopping the war in Syria, stopping the global corporate coup of the TPP is possible. An overarching issue for our movement is putting people and planet before profits. To accomplish this, people must take action. On September 17, the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, protests are planned to push Congress to oppose Fast Track. And, there will be a training camp and protests in Washington, DC beginning on September 21. This will be something you will want to be part of, but space is limited, so register today.

There may be another right-left alliance coming up if President Obama is foolish enough to appoint Wall Street’s darling, Lawrence Summers to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Already we are hearing grumbling across the political spectrum. Ellen Brown has an excellent article linking Summers, the global economy and war on Syria.

All of these issues are pressing, but the war on Syria is the most imminent. There are so many reasons to oppose this war. There are lots of doubts about the intelligence alleging that President Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons. There are reports of significant gaps in intelligence, alleged manipulation of intelligence by the administration and different information on who used the weapons with equally credible reports that it was the U.S. supported rebels. There is also inconsistency between nations on what actually happened and how many people were killed. Americans have been lied to so often about war that many no longer trust the government. And, we realize that the situation in Syria is complicated and will not be solved by dropping bombs.

Americans have also seen how wars weaken the U.S. economy by costing hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars. Even President Obama’s plan of firing multi-million dollar tomahawk missiles at Syria will be costly. The U.S. economy cannot afford another war. We have many pressing needs domestically. And evidence indicates that war against Syria is about profits for the wealthy, in this case, it might be about gas pipelines.

And, Americans have learned that once the bombs are dropped and the attacks begin, it becomes impossible to predict what will happen next. Reports indicate that this may be a first step to a larger war. Retired Colonel Ann Wright, an Army and State Department veteran, points out the history of unexpected consequences of war.

There are serious warning signs that a military attack on Syria will have unpredictable consequences. As we pointed out in our last newsletter. Americans know the risks are high. And, the effectiveness of an attack is questionable. There is no doubt that an attack on Syria would be illegal under international law. And there are more effective and legal ways to deter chemical weapons by Syria.

We recommend that the United States and other members of the Security Council refer this case to the International Criminal Court under the Chemical Weapons Protocol. This is what international law requires.

We do not have space to report on the other excellent actions people are taking. Please look over the first few pages of PopularResistance.org to see what else is going on. It is truly amazing. But, we really urge you to act now to stop a war. It will be a historic moment when the people stop a president from bombing another country. Help make history happen. Do what you can to stop the war against Syria.

This article is based on the weekly newsletter of PopularResistance.org.




13 Responses to “People Joining Across Spectrum To Stop War on Syria and It’s Having an Effect”

  1. [...] Print This | Share This | Send a letter to the editor | Letters | Antiwar Forum [...]

  2. It is impossible for me to credit that Obama doesn't know that the minute he attacks Syria, all the sins and crimes of the Bush years will come down on his head. The US has been looking for years now for a way to stuff Iraq and Afghanistan down the memory hole, and deny the cost of these wars. Why Obama seems so determined to end up as Bush's fall guy, I'll never know.

  3. And all those people urging Obama to attack Syria are people who, it can be easily shown, are people who have Obama's, the Democratic Party's, and the American people's interests at heart. Not. They will be more than happy to push Obama into it, and them hang him with it. And the contractors and officers win either way, don't they. Ever heard of a contractor or officer suffering because they eagerly engaged in an action which turned out to be a crime?

  4. Oh, wait a minute. I just wanted to ask, if we stop Obama from attacking Syria, will we still get health care? I mean, you know, if we don't back him up, why should he do anything for us?

  5. I, I, I, me, me, me… Sicko

  6. When u(U$$$KINGZ) polute the earth space, everything is possible(5k Egyptian Ikhwan are killed-stolenJail- GovHomeless since July and no people care)!?.

  7. [...] People Joining Across Spectrum To Stop War on Syria and It’s Having an Effect (antiwar.com) [...]

  8. It's great that expression of opposition to the war is so widespread, but I am not confident a Congressional "no" will stop this war. It seems like someone wants this war come hell or high water, and I'm afraid they will have it.

  9. It may take the military refusing orders or even an arrest of Obama to stop this thing. In all seriousness.

    Alternative media reports of nuclear weapons been shuffled around in the U.S. in atypical or even illegal ways are not encouraging (and these aren't coming exclusively from Alex Jones).

  10. People of the great USA, Listen, we can't afford another war. Our country is close to shambles. We can't provide arms to rebels that cut the organs out of their enemies and eat them (no joke look it up) and expect them to use them accordingly. We have to give advice and take care of our own ( sometimes that is hard to say). Our own country wants to arm rebels with the same guns that they are trying to take away from our law abiding citizens.(How sad). We have to put and end to this now!!!!!!! Before it's to late… America.. we have to think about our kids, and how we want to leave it to them…..

  11. Please stop the war against Syria, iam telling you the chemical weapon is all just a scam to push the general public into accepting the war so they would sleep better at night.. That is the only way to justify killing millions of people, devastating countries and thousand of years old civilizations!
    I just hope with all my heart that the American people is not gullible to be tricked once gain into war that only a few will get personal benefit of.. Assad is not the terrorist here it is all the countries backing Al Qaedah intervention in the region, and growing generation brought up on hatred and violence .. Please help stop this insanity, Stop The War, Help bring peace instead

  12. I hope the President does not get duped into going into war in Syria. I think it could potentially start a WWIII if things get out of hand.

  13. [...] People Joining Across Spectrum To Stop War on Syria and It’s Having an Effect (antiwar.com) [...]