President Obama may prefer the term “counter-terrorism,” but it is clear from last night’s speech that he is taking the United States into another war.
His long-term plan for bombing Iraq and Syria, for placing U.S. troops on the ground as “trainers,” and for assistance to allied fighters, is opening another tragic chapter in the failed “war on terrorism,” initiated by President Bush and rejected by the voters in 2008.
We deplore the brutality and violence of ISIS, but we do not believe that U.S. air strikes will solve the problem, even if there are short-term military gains. Despite the President’s many references to “a coalition,”in reality the United States will be intervening unilaterally in two civil wars, each of which has multiple factions and complex roots.
Time to learn from experience:
The U.S. invasion of Iraq tore the lid off of a Pandora’s box that has wreaked havoc with the lives of millions of people over the past dozen years. It is that invasion, which gave rise to ISIS and “terrorism,” in places where it had not existed.
U.S. air-strikes –whether in Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan or Afghanistan- have never had the precision that is claimed. Thousands of civilians have been killed, with the result that America’s enemies multiplied.
The “new strategy” the President just unveiled isn’t new. It was tried by President George W. Bush in Afghanistan, where it failed, creating a Washington demand for tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops. These troops have added to the instability of the country, while failing to defeat the Taliban.
We believe there are better choices:
*Make diplomacy and humanitarian assistance the priority
*Seek improved relations with Iran to end the fighting in the region
*Work through United Nations to halt the flow of financing and weapons to ISIS
*Re-start UN-directed negotiations to end the civil war in Syria
*Mobilize to solve the real problems in the region- poverty, hunger, drought, joblessness
Our Voices are Needed Now…The White House and Members of Congress are Paying Close Attention to Public Opinion.
Call the White House
Call your Senators and Congressional Representatives
Let them know, you strongly oppose perpetual war in the Middle East. Emphasize that U.S. bombing of two countries will bring more suffering and violence, and that there is no realistic alternative to diplomacy and humanitarian aid.
Ask your member of Congress to speak out now in opposition to US military intervention in Iraq and Syria.
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