Syria

No to U.S. Ground Troops in Syria!

CNN has reported that the Defense Department "might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time," and that the move would "significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks." CNN says "one goal of their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests." "Reassuring Turkey" a terrible reason to deploy U.S. troops to danger in Syria.

Urge your Reps. to say sending ground troops to Syria is a terrible idea by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu says, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."

Urge your Senators and Representative to join Chris Murphy, Rand Paul, and Ted Lieu in denouncing the idea of sending U.S. ground troops to Syria by signing and sharing our petition.

WaPo: Foreign policy elite hates Obama for blocking new Syria war

The Washington Post reports that Washington's bipartisan foreign policy elite is united in their passion for a new war in Syria, and is looking forward eagerly to Obama's departure from office, because they see the Obama Administration as the key obstacle to their plans for a new war in Syria.

Reality-based comments like this from Obama Administration officials drive the bipartisan foreign policy elite up the wall:

“You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians,” said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

New York Representative Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war and opposed the Iran nuclear deal is trying to promote a new war in Syria and undermine U.S. diplomacy with a bill that calls for the U.S. to impose a "no fly zone" against Russian and Syrian planes. Engel's bill also attacks the Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted in the deal.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to oppose Engel's bill HR 5732. This bill promotes a new war in Syria, undermines U.S. diplomacy, and undermines the Iran nuclear deal."

Larry Korb for Secretary of Defense, to Prevent Unnecessary Wars

Now that Hillary Clinton is the "presumptive Democratic nominee," some inside-the-Beltway supporters of Clinton who want more war are being more open about their pro-war agenda. Michele Floury, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls "the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton," this week advocated for "sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit." Floury said she would "direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad's forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region."

It's not a done deal that Flournoy will be Secretary of Defense; at the very least, we should have a public debate over whether a Secretary of Defense who advocates for more war is the kind of Secretary of Defense that we want to have. As the Democratic primaries and caucuses have just shown, in order to have a real debate, we need to have an alternative candidate.

Urge Rules Cmte: Allow NDAA votes on restricting weapons transfers

The House Rules Committee is meeting Monday at 5 ET and Tuesday at 2 ET to decide which amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act will be allowed and which will be blocked from consideration by the full House.

Your Representative is a member of the House Rules Committee. Please call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a voice mail, you can say something like:

"As a constituent, I urge you to vote at the Rules Committee to allow the full House to consider whether to bar the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia and whether to end or limit the US supply of weapons to combatants in Syria."

When you've made your call, you can report it below.

Our action on barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia is here:

Support Conyers, Ban Cluster Bomb Transfers to Saudi Arabia

Our action on ending or limiting the US transfer of weapons to Syrian combatants is here:

Cut US Weapons to Syrian Combatants

Thank your Rep. on Syria - and ask them to do more

Your Representative in Congress was one of 27 Members who signed a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to maintain his opposition to sending MANPADs to Syrian insurgents.

Please call your Representative at (202) 224-3121 and say thank you - and ask them to take another step to limit military escalation.

When you reach a staffer, you can say something like,

"As your constituent, I thank you for your leadership in signing the Conyers-Yoho letter against sending MANPADs to Syrian insurgents. I urge you to co-sponsor the Lieu-Yoho bill, HJR 90, to condition US military support for Saudi Arabia on Saudi cooperation against terrorism and protection of civilians in Yemen."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't signed our petition in support of the Lieu-Yoho bill, you can do that here.

Tell Your Senator: Oppose H.R. 4038 Banning Syrian Refugees

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 4038, the SAFE Act, which the House passed in November and which would have the practical effect of ending resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the United States.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

"I support the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States. I urge you to vote NO on H.R. 4038."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Tell your Senator: Co-Sponsor Sen. Udall's bill, Oppose Sending Troops to Syria

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.

Call-in: Tell your Rep. to co-sponsor H.R.508 in support of diplomacy to end Syrian War

"We die in the war or we die at sea - people are dying either way."

That's one Syrian refugee's bleak analysis of the crisis that has forced over 4 million people to flee from their homes, families, and livelihoods. The ultimate answer to the Syrian refugee crisis is to end the war through diplomacy among the powers backing various sides in the war, so more people won't be driven from their homes and so that those already displaced can go home.

The first round of diplomatic talks at Vienna concluded with a firm commitment from all parties to end the war. Another round begins next week. But there's no guarantee these talks will succeed because real diplomacy requires compromise. And the Obama administration will be less likely to compromise if it does not have the public support of Congress and the American public.

Rep. Jim Himes, who led 54 other members of Congress in sending a letter in support of using diplomacy to end the war, has now introduced a resolution “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should use the full authority of his office to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria.”

Tell your Representative to co-sponsor Rep. Himes' resolution in support of diplomacy to end the Syrian war. Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,

“The solution to the Syrian refugee crisis is realistic diplomacy to end the Syrian war. I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 508 calling on President Obama to use his full authority to end the Syrian war through international diplomatic negotiations.”

When you're done, please report your call below.

And if you haven't signed our petition urging members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 508, you can do that here:

Call-in: Tell your Senator the U.S. should do more to help Syrian Refugees

At last, the plain fact that U.S. can do much more to aid the millions of Syrian refugees has led to a Congressional bipartisan effort to do just that. But while it is the first chance for substantive additional aid, it may also be the last of its kind for two years.

Millions of families have fled terrorism and their government's bombs and, with refugee aid programs remaining underfunded, most of those families must seek asylum elsewhere. At present, the United States only plans to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees next year whereas Germany is accepting 800,000 refugees this year and is willing to accept 500,000 more each year for the next few years.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have proposed emergency funding to help resettle tens of thousands more refugees in the U.S. and give a lifeline to refugees in camps. If we want to help more Syrian families, we need to make sure Congress knows the public cares about this, and we need to do it now.

Call your Senator NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,

“The U.S. needs to do more to help Syrian refugees. I urge you to co-sponsor Senate Bill 2145, the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act."

When you're done, please report your call below.

Call-in: Tell your Senator a “No Fly Zone” = Dangerous Military Escalation

It’s magical thinking to claim that US air power is the solution to Syria’s problems. People who claim that US air power can magically “protect civilians” in Syria should explain why US air power just blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. But Washington never seems to tire of the fairy tale that US military power is a magic solution to the world’s problems.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for the U.S. to impose a “no fly zone” to prevent Russia from attacking CIA-backed forces fighting the Syrian government. These calls for a “no fly zone” are demands for dangerous U.S. military escalation against Russia and the Syrian government – imposing a “no fly zone” would mean bombing Syria and attacking Russian and Syrian aircraft. Unfortunately, Hillary’s stand is encouraging other Democrats to call for military escalation.

This is how US wars often start, with breathless claims of an emergency requiring US military bombing to “protect civilians.” How exactly US bombing will “protect civilians” is never explained. If escalation is achieved nobody will check whether civilians were protected or not.

Call your Senator NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“I urge you to reject calls for US military escalation against Russia in Syria, including calls for a ‘no fly zone.’”

When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

President Obama has rightly called Republican proposals for a “no fly zone” in Syria “half baked” “mumbo jumbo.” Senator Bernie Sanders is standing with President Obama and against Hillary Clinton in opposition to these “half baked” proposals for military escalation.

If you haven’t signed our petition against military escalation in Syria yet, you can do that here: