Catholic Priest Killed by Syrian Rebels? Tell Congress to Stand Up

The U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution insist that absent an armed attack on the United States, Congress shall decide when to authorize the use of U.S. military force. But apparently the Obama Administration has different ideas.

The Administration has announced that the U.S. will arm rebels in Syria and is considering a "no fly zone," which would mean bombing Syria. Congress has authorized neither.

A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives is standing up, led by Sens. Tom Udall and Rand Paul in the Senate, and Reps. Peter Welch and Chris Gibson in the House. They've introduced legislation that would expressly prohibit the Obama Administration intervening militarily in Syria's sectarian civil war without explicit Congressional authorization. Urge your Senators and Representative to stand up and support this legislation.

Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rick Nolan (D-MN), and Walter Jones (R-NC) have introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2494) to block U.S. military intervention in Syria without an affirmative vote of Congress. [1] Identical legislation (S. 1201) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT). [2]

Sending military assistance to Syrian rebels, or any direct military intervention, would lead to Americanization of Syria's sectarian civil war. Congress and the American people should be part of a vigorous debate before any such military escalation takes place.

On Sunday, the Vatican confirmed that Father François Murad was killed by Syrian rebel forces after a video allegedly showing the Catholic priest being beheaded by jihadists was posted online. (Media reports now indicate that the video may not depict the priest's killing.) [3] As AP notes, it is widely feared that Western weapons would likely fall into the hands of Islamic extremists who would use them against Western interests. [4]

Urge the Senate and the House and to support the Udall/Paul and Gibson/Welch bills to block U.S. military intervention in Syria without Congressional approval. The U.S. should be supporting real diplomacy to end Syria's sectarian civil war with a political solution, not adding weapons to the carnage.

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

Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Help fund our work—donate to Just Foreign Policy! With our small staff and minimal overhead, you know your contribution will go a long way.


1. “Bipartisan group opposes arming Syrian rebels,” Donna Cassata, AP, June 27, 2013,
2. "Four U.S. senators seek to bar military aid to Syrian rebels," Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, June 21, 2013,
3. “Priest Beheaded on Video by Syrian Jihadists Bears 'No Relation' to Death of Father Francois Murad,” Nadine DeNinno, International Business Times, July 2, 2013,
4. "Merkel tells Parliament that risks of arming Syrian rebels 'incalculable'," Associated Press, June 27, 2013,

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