August 28, 2013
Dear President Obama,
We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our grave concerns with your reported plans to intervene militarily in Syria. While we unequivocally condemn any use of chemical weapons along with continued indiscriminate killing of civilians and other violations of international humanitarian law, military strikes are not the answer. Rather than bringing an end to the violence that has already cost more than 100,000 lives, they threaten to widen the vicious civil war in Syria and undermine prospects to de-escalate the conflict and eventually reach a negotiated settlement.
In the course of more than 2 years of war, much of Syria has been destroyed and nearly 2 million people - half of them children - have been forced to flee to neighboring countries. We thank you for the generous humanitarian assistance the US has provided to support the nearly 1 in 3 Syrians - 8 million people - in need of aid. But such assistance is not enough.
As the U.S. government itself has recognized, there is no solution to the crisis other than a political one. Instead of pursuing military strikes and arming parties to the conflict, we urge your administration to intensify diplomatic efforts to stop the bloodshed, before Syria is destroyed and the region further destabilized.
American Friends Service Committee
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Historians Against the War
Just Foreign Policy
Peace Education Fund
Presbyterian Church, USA
Progressive Democrats of America
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Women’s Action for New Directions