Update on Congressional Vote on Syria (Sept. 5, 2013)

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).

New Developments:

From the article: “On Wednesday, two prominent liberal advocacy groups announced their opposition to striking Syria: VoteVets.org, the combat veterans-oriented organization that spent more than $3 million during the 2012 campaign; and MoveOn.org, the grass-roots group that helped lead opposition to invading Iraq in the first place…Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org civic action, said that a vote of the organization’s membership that wrapped up Wednesday morning found nearly three quarters ‘opposing the use of force.'”

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.