Saturday, September 7, 2013

Florida Veterans Oppose U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

A Resolution in Opposition to U.S. Military Intervention in Syria
1)    WHEREAS, since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in a complex civil war between the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters and opposed by a multitude of rebel factions, ranging from the Free Syrian Army to Kurdish nationalists, jihadists, entities designated by the U.S. as terrorists, and al-Qaeda affiliates. 
2)    WHEREAS, U.S. officials say evidence indicates that the al-Assad regime has recently used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens;  
3)    WHEREAS, the U.S. Constitution is unequivocal in stating, “The Congress shall have Power….to declare War”, notwithstanding numerous U.S. military operations launched by past and current Presidents with little or no involvement by Congress;
4)    WHEREAS, President Obama has called on the U.S. Congress to authorize the use of U.S. military force in Syria;
5)    WHEREAS, recent press coverage suggests U.S. officials are considering the use of military force, including specifically targeting Syrian chemical munitions;
6)    WHEREAS, complete neutralization of chemical warfare agents is highly technical, extremely difficult, and fraught with challenges; scientific research has shown that even low-level chemical warfare agent exposure is likely to result in long-term disability; and, past U.S. efforts to “surgically” destroy chemical weapons including in the 1991 Gulf War exposed countless people including U.S. troops to varying levels of chemical warfare agents;
7)    WHEREAS, any use of U.S. military force in the Syrian civil war will almost certainly have unintended, unpredictable, detrimental consequences; may result in drawing the U.S. into a protracted, costly, complex war with ill-defined objectives or end state; and, may help anti-U.S. extremists come to power;
8)    WHEREAS, the illegal and immoral use of chemical weapons within Syria does not by itself – and without a clear, present, and direct threat to the U.S. – legitimize the unilateral use of one country’s military force in Syria, including that of the U.S.;
9)    WHEREAS, the international community of nation-states, through an array of international institutions, organizations, and alliances, can be led to hold accountable those who violate international law, including those who developed, provided, procured, assembled, technically assisted, trained, authorized, and launched chemical weapons in Syria;
10) WHEREAS, Syria is a signatory to the Geneva Convention on the laws of warfare and those responsible for chemical weapons in Syria can be indicted and tried, including before the International Criminal Court, for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Florida Veterans for Common Sense Call On the U.S. Congress and the President to:
·      Hold accountable via all viable, internationally sanctioned means, including legal, economic, and political, those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, including in Syria;
·      Oppose the unilateral use of U.S. military force without clear, present, and direct danger to U.S. national security, including in Syria;
·      Oppose the use of U.S. military force in Syria unless there is: clear authorization under international law; and, a broad-based international coalition with clearly defined objectives aimed at the restoration of law and order; and, a clear plan to pay the full costs of the military action including the perpetual costs to fully care for every U.S. veteran disabled by the military action;
·      Oppose military strikes targeting chemical weapons due to inevitable and widespread collateral exposure to chemical warfare agents;
·      Support international monitoring and the careful, orderly, science-based destruction of chemical weapons wherever they exist, including Syria;
·      Oppose support by the U.S. for Syrian rebels and other anti-government fighters, including in Syria, who are jihadist or other anti-U.S. extremists.

Harvey Gochberg,
Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc.
September 4, 2013

Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Inc. is a 501(c)4 non-profit/non-partisan veterans advocacy organization.

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