iraq

Call your Rep TODAY: Vote "NO" on military aid to Syrian rebels

Congress is expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal to arm and train Syrian rebels. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition. With recent reports that some so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels this proposal seeks to arm have signed non-aggression pacts with ISIS, as in the past, now is not the time to rush into a policy whose consequences remain so unknown. 

Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has introduced H. Con. Res. 114, demanding a robust debate and an authorization vote on any use of force. Sponsors so far include Reps. Grijalva, Ellison, Lee, McGovern, Defazio, Grayson, and Welch.

MoveOn, Win Without War, Peace Action and many other groups have called for a National Day of Action TODAY to say: stop the rush to war in Iraq & Syria!

Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you speak to a staffer (or leave a message), you can use the talking points below:

Hi, my name is ______, and I'm a constituent from _______.



I urge you to vote "NO" on expanding military aid to rebel groups in Syria. More weapons to groups we don’t know, who may use them against us or our allies in the future, will only make the situation worse.

I also urge you to co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 114, demanding a debate and an authorization vote on any use of force and the prohibition of the use of ground troops.

When you’ve made your call, you can report it here:

Just Foreign Policy statement on the President's speech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2014

Contact:
Robert Naiman, Policy Director 
naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
(202) 448-2898 x1

Just Foreign Policy Statement in Response to President Obama’s Statement on Plans for Military Escalation in Iraq & Syria

Washington, DC- Just Foreign Policy released the following statement by Policy Director Robert Naiman, in response to President Obama’s statement concerning his plans for U.S. military escalation in Iraq and Syria:

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We are deeply troubled by President Obama’s apparent claims that he does not need and will not seek Congressional authorization to continue airstrikes in Iraq and expand them to Syria, nor to expand the arming and training of insurgents in Syria, which arming has contributed to the present strength of ISIS. Obama was right when he told the Boston Globe as a Presidential candidate in December 2007, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” President Obama was right to seek Congressional authorization for bombing Syria last year. He is wrong not to seek authorization now.

Sunset an Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq

Judging from press reports, when Congress returns from its August recess in early September, the United States military will have been bombing "Islamic State" fighters in Iraq for a month, with a broader set of missions than originally advertised, and with plans to continue bombing for months.


The United States Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution require that such a war be authorized by Congress in order to continue. We cannot accept that such major decisions about the use of our power and resources, putting U.S. soldiers at risk and shaping the perceptions of the world about us by shedding the blood of foreigners that we don't know, be made indefinitely behind closed doors by executive fiat.

URGENT: House Vote on Iraq War Powers TODAY—Call your Rep NOW!

Sometime after noon today, the House will take an important vote that is likely to determine whether the U.S. launches airstrikes in Iraq.

If the House passes the McGovern-Jones-Lee H. Con. Res. 105, which it well might, direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq will be much less likely. The bill requires the President to seek explicit Congressional approval for involving U.S. troops in combat.

Call your Representative now and urge them to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 105. You can call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. When you reach a staffer, say:

My name is ____ and I’m calling from ____ to urge Representative ____ to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 105 to require the President to seek Congressional authorization before using military force in Iraq.

When you’ve made your call, you can report it using our easy response form below.

Congress: Use War Powers to Pull U.S. Troops From Iraq

Without Congressional authorization, President Obama has sent hundreds of U.S. soldiers to Iraq who could be used to call in airstrikes – airstrikes that would be certain to kill Iraqi children against whom we have no grievance.

Congress has never voted on this. When Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973, it included a provision for just this situation: a provision to allow Members of Congress to force a vote on the deployment of U.S. troops to a combat situation.

Representatives Jim McGovern, Walter Jones, and Barbara Lee are now using this provision of the 1973 War Powers Resolution to force a vote on the deployment of U.S. soldiers for offensive military action in Iraq.

Urge your Representative to co-sponsor and vote for H Con Res 105 by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/iraq-withdrawal-war-powers

On June 19, President Obama notified Congress that he was sending U.S. troops to Iraq to serve as advisers to the Iraqi military. Press reports have indicated that these troops could be used for offensive military action, including calling in airstrikes. These are different troops than the troops President Obama sent earlier to protect the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Congress has not authorized the U.S. use of military force in Iraq now. Nearly 200 Members of the House are on record saying that the authorization for the use of force in Iraq passed by Congress in 2002 should not be used to justify the use of force in Iraq today.

Under the War Powers Resolution passed by Congress in 1973, Members of Congress have 30 days from the President’s June 19 notification to introduce a “privileged” resolution – a resolution that can’t be buried in committee, but must go to the floor to be voted on – which would require the troops to be withdrawn.

Iraq war powers: where do House members stand?

This post is so that I can refer to my spreadsheet in blogging. For now, the attached spreadsheet is not intended to be pretty, only to be accurate. My hope is especially to educate journalists to the fact that nearly half the House is on record opposing the invocation of the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify the use of force in Iraq today.

The columns are as follows:

Lee-Rigell Iraq (80): the eighty signers of the Rigell-Lee Iraq war powers letter, which is here: http://lee.house.gov/sites/lee.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Scanned%20from%20a%20Xerox%20multifunction%20device001_0.pdf Lee's press release is here: http://lee.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/bipartisan-letter-calls-for-congressional-authorization-before-any-military

nix Iraq AUMF (182): the 182 House Members who voted on June 19 to bar funding for using the 2002 Iraq AUMF. That roll call is here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll326.xml

nix AUMF: this column has a 1 if the person voted to defund the Iraq AUMF.

either (192): this column has a 1 if the person signed the Rigell-Lee letter, voted to defund the AUMF, or both. 192 Members are in this category. That is, 192 Members of the House are on record as opposing the use of the 2002 Iraq AUMF in Iraq today.

R-L not AUMF (10): these are the ten Members of the House who signed the Rigell-Lee letter but did not vote yes on defunding the Iraq AUMF on June 19. They are: Julia Brownley (voted no) Michael Capuano (did not vote) Andre Carson (voted no) Eleanor Holmes Norton (not allowed to vote) Collin Peterson (voted no) Charles B. Rangel (did not vote) Bobby L. Rush (did not vote) Matt Salmon (voted no) Kyrsten Sinema (voted no) Bennie M. Thompson (did not vote).

Call TODAY: Tell your Rep to Support Rigell-Lee Letter

Some people claim that there’s nothing we can do to stop the President from launching a new war in Iraq, if that’s what he decides to do. But last August, when the President had decided to bomb Syria, we proved that wasn’t true. When 192 Members of the House said he had to come to Congress for authorization before using military force, the President decided to go to Congress. When he couldn’t get authorization for force, he chose diplomacy instead.

We have the same opportunity now. If we can get enough Members of Congress to sign the Rigell-Lee letter saying that the President has to come to Congress before using force, we can stop the rush to war.

Call your Representative now at 202-225-3121. When you speak to a staffer, say:

I urge Rep. ____ to sign the Rigell-Lee letter, saying the President must come to Congress for authorization before using force in Iraq. I would like to know whether Rep. ____ plans to sign the Rigell-Lee letter.

When you’ve made your call, you can report it using our easy response form below.

Bipartisan Rigell-Lee letter to Pres. Obama on Iraq: respect Constitution on using force

Virginia Republican Scott Rigell and California Democrat Barbara Lee are leading a bipartisan letter to President Obama, urging the President to respect the Constitutional requirement to seek Congressional authorization before using military force in Iraq.

To urge your Representative to sign the bipartisan Rigell-Lee letter, sign our petition at MoveOn.

Here is the letter:

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Dear Mr. President:

We join you and with those in the international community who are expressing grave concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq over the last days and weeks. The consequences of this development are particularly troubling given the extraordinary loss of American lives and expenditure of funds over ten years that was claimed to be necessary to bring democracy, stability and a respect for human rights to Iraq. 

We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a “quick” and “easy” military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq. We also appreciate your acknowledgement that this conflict requires a political solution, and that military action alone cannot successfully lead to a resolution.

We do not believe intervention could be either quick or easy. And, we doubt it would be effective in meeting either humanitarian or strategic goals, and that it could very well be counter-productive. This is a moment for urgent consultations and engagement with all parties in the region who could bring about a cease fire and launch a dialogue that could lead to a reconciliation of the conflict.

Any solution to this complex crisis can only be achieved through a political settlement, and nothing short of that can successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region and only  if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population.

JFP Statement: House bars transfer of MANPADS to Syria

June 20, 2014
10:30 AM
CONTACT: Just Foreign Policy
Robert Naiman: (202) 448-2898 x1Naiman@justforeignpolicy.org

Statement of Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy, on House passage of Conyers-Yoho amendment to prohibit transfer of MANPADS to Syria

Tell Congress NOW: No New U.S. War in Iraq or Syria!

President Obama is under heavy pressure to order direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Syria. But as Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times, avoiding direct U.S. military involvement in these two countries' civil wars is the "least bad option."

Thanks to Reps. Barbara Lee and John Conyers, we have a crucial opportunity TODAY to push back against the warmongers. The House will be voting on amendments to the defense appropriation that would block direct U.S. military action in Iraq and block the U.S. supply of manpads to Syrian insurgents.

Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative's office. When you reach a staffer (or leave a voice mail) say

I urge you to support Barbara Lee's amendments to the defense appropriation to block funds from being used to wage another war in Iraq, and the Yoho-Conyers amendment to block the transfer of manpads to Syrian insurgents. Congress must assert its Constitutional responsibility to publicly decide when the United States goes to war.

Let us know how your call went by filling out our easy response form below.