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Statement from Peace Action Maine re: Syria

Tue, Sep 3, 2013

HCCN


Please pass along to others in your group or area. Thanks. In case you want to use this information in thinking about and/or acting on this proposed USs military action.

Larry Dansinger
(207) 525-7776 or rosc@psouth.net


From Seth Berner, sberner@gwi.net for questions or comments:
Here is the official Peace Action Maine statement on Syria issued by the Peace Action Maine Board. Feel free to circulate it exactly as written – no changes in text without my permission first, please.

Seth

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September 2, 2013

Peace Action Maine is shocked and saddened by the use of poison gas against human beings. However, we are also shocked and saddened by the air strikes the United States is proposing against Syria. We issue this statement in response to both tragedies.

1.  At the recent March on Washington, Jimmy Carter quoted Martin Luther King, “The crucial question of our time is how to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence.” The air strikes which President Obama spoke about recently will only exacerbate an already desperate situation for the Syrian people. We do not save children who might be killed by others by dropping bombs and killing them ourselves. We do not help a fragile population by destroying its infrastructure.

2.  We believe that the United States should not rush to judgment against the Syrian government in relation to the reports of chemical weapons attacks in August. We believe that the determination as to whether the Syrian government is culpable should be made by an impartial tribunal, not ceded to the United States unilaterally.

3. Our opposition to the United States judging Syria unilaterally is not just theoretical. We need to question the motives of those in power for going to war in Syria.  What are the powers operating behind the scenes, in view of recent revelations of secret government activities?  Are we just feeding a war economy, to keep a military engine running? 

4.  This is a moment that calls for aggressive diplomatic efforts, doing everything possible to bring the Russians, the Iranians, the Turks, the Chinese, and anyone else specifically concerned to the negotiation table, and work out a peaceful solution to the violence in Syria. 

5.  Unilateral US action is to be avoided at all costs. If an impartial tribunal determines that the Syrian government is culpable, then any action taken against the Syrian regime should be done under the authority of the United Nations or other appropriate  international coalition of states. Those responsible for any crimes against humanity in Syria should not be subject to American vigilante justice but brought to justice at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.  It is essential to follow due process of the law. That’s the only way to treat countries or individuals fairly.

6.  There are more than 7 million persons displaced from their homes in Syria.  Our first priority in spending US tax dollars on that country should be for humanitarian aid to those who have already been victimized by this war.  

We urge all Peace Action Maine members to immediately contact their elected officials and the media to express these views, to try to prevent the use of force and instead try to help those who need humanitarian aid.

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