Our friends at CODEPINK have created this letter to give you the chance to speak out against US airstrikes in Syria. Read what they have to say – and go here to sign the petition and make your voice heard.
To President Obama,
As concerned citizens of the United States and as firm believers in a peaceful world, we urge you to reconsider military intervention in Syria. Not only is the American public opposed to embarking upon yet another war, intervention is counterproductive to ending the conflict in the region by further instigating a cycle of violence, retaliation and bloodshed. There are already 100,000 dead Syrians, and we cannot have any more. We oppose the violence inflicted upon the Syrians by the Assad regime, but do not believe that military intervention is the key to peace.
Instead, we urge you to take the following steps:
1) Broker an immediate ceasefire and hold regional talks: The goal of any intervention should be to protect the lives of civilians. With much of the ground fighting in Syria taking place in densely populated areas, bombing by the U.S. and coalition forces will inevitably lead to the deaths of innocent Syrians and civilian bystanders. Additionally, the obvious brutality by the Assad regime towards innocent civilians will not stop with bombs; instead, the regime will retaliate against innocent Syrians.
That’s why the U.S. should broker regional peace talks with Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. It should call upon the United Nations to demand an immediate ceasefire and consider the option of peacekeeping forces in Syria.
2) Prioritize humanitarian aid: Over 2 million Syrian refugees are flooding into the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The United States must redirect military dollars to help the hungry and homeless civilians fleeing violence. We need to pay particular attention to the over 1 million children who are refugees, and the systematic sexual assault of women and girls by combatants, who use rape as “a weapon of war”.
3) Uplift the voices of the peaceful, non-violent resistance by including them in negotiations. We must highlight and honor the peaceful forms of civil resistance by Syrians who are opposed to all forms of violence. We must make the peace process inclusive by inviting these voices into the conversation, and give financial support to spread their efforts.
4) Halt immediate arms sales to regimes throughout the Middle East: The United States must stop engaging in weapons trades with regimes in the area that only bolster violent conflict and oppress their populations. While Assad’s apparent chemical attack is abhorrent and a gross violation of international law, the United States must also stop engaging in the trade of dangerous and illegal weapons such as cluster bombs.
We hope you will resist the calls for military intervention and instead help bring an end to the violence that is plaguing the Syrian people.