New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall, backed by Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee, has now introduced legislation that would block sending US ground troops to Syria. As Senator Udall has stated, escalating US involvement in a complex ethnic and religious civil war by deploying ground troops is a mistake which is on dubious legal ground under both US and international law; Congress has not authorized the use of military force in Syria.
Urge your Senator to co-sponsor Sen. Udall’s legislation by calling him now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
“I support Sen. _____'s stand against sending US ground troops to Syria. I urge him to co-sponsor the Udall-Lee bill which would prohibit sending US ground troops to Syria.”
When you’ve made your call, please report it below.
If Senator Jeff Merkley's "expedite the drawdown from Afghanistan" amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act makes a strong showing, that could tip the Obama Administration towards a faster drawdown.
That would likely save hundreds of American and Afghan lives - not to mention all the people who wouldn't be physically and psychologically maimed - and could easily save the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars, at a time when the alleged need for fiscal austerity is being touted as a reason to cut Social Security benefits and raise the Medicare retirement age.
Everyone knows the Hippocratic Oath: "First, do no harm." It's a great motto to try to live by. But unfortunately, in this life on Earth, "Do no harm" isn't always on the menu at the restaurant. Sometimes, you're already doing harm, and there's no feasible immediate path to zero harm. Sometimes the best you can do in the short run is to reduce the harm as much as possible. And if that's the best you can do, then that is what you must do.
It's not politically feasible, unfortunately, to end the war tomorrow. But we could take a big bite out of it in the next week. And that would save many lives and real money. [You can ask your Senators to co-sponsor the Merkley amendment here.]
Merkley's amendment (#1174) says:
1) the President should expedite the transition of security responsibility to the government of Afghanistan;
2) the President shall devise a plan for expediting the drawdown of U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan and accelerating the transfer of security authority to Afghan authorities prior to December 2014; and