WHERE WESTERN MA FEDERAL POLITICIANS STAND (as best we can tell):
Rep. McGovern: “Leaning against” a strike on Syria.
Rep. Neal: Still undecided.
Sen. Warren: Still undecided.
Sen. Markey: Voted “present” (an abstention) on the Foreign Relations Committee resolution to strike Syria. He is undecided.
KEEP CALLING. Their offices are keeping track of who calls FOR and AGAINST a strike on Syria. IT MATTERS (at least this time).
- AFSC has a new and easy way to tell your representative and senators to say “No” to a strike on Syria
- It appears that there are not enough votes for an attack on Syria at the moment (ThinkProgress). Or there at least are a whole lot of pols that are undecided (CNN).
- Alan Grayson doesn’t think the White House has the votes in Congress to proceed.
- Russian Warships are Crossing the Bosphorus
- Anti-war groups are rallying to oppose this war (even MoveOn.org).
- Democrats may be voting only to remain “loyal” to President Obama.
- The General Secretary of AFSC has penned an open letter to the president and members of the Senate and the House:
AFSC therefore urgently calls on all governments and parties to the conflict to end the violence in Syria by taking the following steps:
- The U.S. should immediately call for a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict. As military leaders and the Administration have long recognized, the only viable and sustainable solution to the crisis in Syria is a political one.
- We urge the U.S. to provide full support to the efforts of Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint UnitedNations/Arab League envoy, and to press for the rapid convening of a Geneva II conference. For those conferences to be meaningful, they must include Iran in the search for a political settlement.
- The U.S. should seek a transition that builds on existing institutions, rather than replacing them, and does not alienate those people who have served the government or the army. Neither the interests of the U.S. nor the interests of the peoples of the region are served by collapse of the Syrian state and the resulting political vacuum.
- Syrians must lift up the voices of their full population, including ethnic and religious minorities, refugees (Iraqi and Palestinians) and those who have served the regime, to ensure that none is privileged over the other, and that no component of Syrian society is targeted for retaliation. Governments should respond to the United Nations’ call for humanitarian relief funding for displaced Syrians. As we write, the UN reports that donor countries have only provided a small fraction of what is needed. All should act before the refugee flows further destabilize the region.