FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 8/30/13
We send the following statement completed late today by members of the LEPOCO Steering Committee re: Syria. If there are questions please contact Sheila Clever at 610-398-7167; Susie Ravitz at 610-253-2522; Monica McAghon at 610-252-3264; Nancy Tate at 610-749-2513; or the LEPOCO Office at the numbers below. Peace, Nancy Tate for LEPOCO
Statement from Steering Committee of Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern (LEPOCO) on Possible U.S. Military Action Against Syria, August 30, 2013
The Steering Committee of LEPOCO responds with deep concern regarding the U.S. threatened military intervention in Syria. The last thing the people of Syria need is to have more bombs fall on their country. The vicious civil war has claimed more than 100,000 lives already. We lament the lives lost by chemical weapons, but our grief will be no less for those killed by conventional weapons.
A voice of reason, Alistair Crooke, writes, “The Middle East is both angry and frightened, too; it is bitterly divided and increasingly violent. To toss a few cruise missiles into this volatile, unstable brew simply is to invite the unforeseeable and the unwanted to make its explosive appearance.”
We would like to see:
- The U.S. Congress convened immediately to debate the advisability of U.S. military action in Syria.
- U.S. support for continued UN investigation to determine who is responsible for any chemical attack that occurred in Syria. This investigation should be followed by prosecution in the International Criminal Court.
- Humanitarian aid continued and increased.
- Immediate peace talks involving all the key regional and international actors, and an arms embargo on the several countries supplying both sides in Syria with weapons.
- Diminished U.S. spending on the military and an increased emphasis on diplomacy so our country is less likely to see military action as the solution to every international problem.
From MoveOn.org, 8/31/13:
In the wake of recent reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, the Obama administration is preparing for air strikes against Syria.1
MoveOn members are reacting strongly, including many folks who are deeply concerned about the path we seem to be on, and wondering what we can individually do.
Here are three steps you can take.
1) Educate yourself—and others—through our Video Teach-In on Syria. We raced to pull together an emergency video briefing on Syria yesterday with several noted progressive thought leaders. The discussion provided context on what’s happening in Syria, explored reactions in the U.S. and around the world, and outlined some of the major concerns with—and alternatives to—military strikes.
Click here to watch the Video Teach-In on Syria and pass it along:
2. Speak out on how you feel about U.S. strikes against Syria.
MoveOn members and partner organizations have started circulating a wide range of petitions responding to the looming threat of military strikes. Just a few hours ago, President Obama committed to seek approval from Congress for military action—so we WILL have a chance to make our voices heard with our elected representatives in Washington.2
This petition from MoveOn Council member Rachel Royce in North Carolina is one you might find compelling.
3. Contribute to organizations providing emergency assistance to the Syrian people.
The group Doctors Without Borders is providing emergency healthcare inside Syria through six field hospitals. They have also worked with the victims of the reported chemical weapons attacks.
Click here to make a donation to Doctors Without Borders.
Thanks for your care and concern—and for all you do.
–Anna, Matt, Susannah, Joan, and the rest of the team
1. “Key Questions on the Conflict in Syria,” The New York Times, August 27, 2013
2. “Obama Will Seek Syria Vote in Congress,” The New York Times, August 31, 2013