Green Party opposes threats of U.S. intervention in Syria and Obama's 'blank check' abuse of military power

Greens cite conflicting accounts regarding which side used chemical weapons and U.S. attempt to stymie the U.N. probe

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party of the United States opposes threats by the Obama Administration to launch an attack on Syria and said that an order to attack would be a serious abuse of presidential power. Greens called for repeal of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress on September 18, 2001, which the two most recent presidential administrations have used to justify attacks on other nations.

Green Party leaders said that the accusations by the U.S., widely reported in U.S. media, that the Assad regime has used deadly nerve gas against rebellious civilians have been contradicted by numerous reports in foreign media, which claim that rebel factions have used chemical weapons.

In response to the Obama Administration's pushback against the U.N. probe, Greens insisted that U.N. inspectors must be allowed to continue their investigation of chemical weapons in Syria and that the investigation must also address who used the weapons ("In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe," by Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service, August 27, 2013, http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/in-rush-to-strike-syria-u-s-tried-to-dera...).

"The U.S. should use its clout to broker a cease-fire, with diplomatic persuasion for Turkey and Saudi Arabia to stop arming the rebels and Russia and Iran to stop arming Assad," said Jill Stein, 2012 Green presidential nominee (http://www.jillstein.org). "U.S. military intervention will make it impossible for us to bring the two sides together for a political solution. We will sacrifice the only real pathway to peace for an act that can only pour gasoline on the fire. President Obama's rush to war risks a repeat of 2003, when President Bush's order to invade Iraq prevented U.N. inspectors from discovering that Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs, one of the stated reasons for war, did not exist."

Green Party leaders warned that intervention or military aid would likely result in more mass civilian casualties on all sides, increase the ongoing politicization of religion, and possibly trigger a wider regional or global conflict. An assault that aims to aid the rebels may instead further empower elements of Al-Qaeda that are involved with rebels and would encourage greater regional animosity against the U.S. at a time when civilian-killing U.S. drone attacks have enraged Muslim populations in many countries.

"The current threats against Syria, like the 2011 attack on Libya and ongoing threats against Iran over nonexistent nuclear arms, show that President Obama has adopted the Bush Administration's dangerous and belligerent 'war on terror' policies," said Emily Cook, chair of the Montgomery County Greens (Pa.) and member of the International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl). "Unilateral drone and special forces attacks, manipulated intelligence, intense propaganda, disinformation, contempt for international law, and disregard for the U.S. Constitution's requirement of Congress's authorization for war are becoming normalized."

"President Obama, like the Bush-Cheney Administration, is claiming that the 'blank check' enacted under the AUMF allows him to launch attacks on Libya and Syria without Congress's consent. This blank check must be repealed," said Ms. Cook. (U.S. House bill introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to repeal the AUMF: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.198.IH:)

The Green Party's chief concern is the well-being of the Syrian people. Greens urge immediate humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians suffering in the conflict and expressed solidarity with Syrian democratic revolutionaries that oppose both the Assad regime and the Islamist sectarians in the conflict.

Greens agreed with David Swanson, Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet, who argues that unilateral military intervention cannot be justified on the basis of Assad's alleged war crimes, whether confirmed or unconfirmed ("10 problems with the latest excuse for war," August 26, 2013, http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements/10-problems-latest-excuse-war). Furthermore, the U.S. itself has employed cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorus weapons in recent warfare, which cause mass casualties and are illegal under international law.

"Most Americans understand that they were deceived by the Bush Administration into supporting the invasion of Iraq, and now they're skeptical of President Obama's call for war on Syria. The Green Party represents the views of most Americans, who don't want the U.S. either to launch an attack or arm the rebels," said Muhammed Malik, former co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party (http://www.miamidadegreenparty.org) and member of the International Committee. (See "As Syria war escalates, Americans cool to U.S. intervention: Reuters/Ipsos poll," Reuters, August 25, 2013, http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/08/25/syria-crisis-usa-poll-idINDEE97...)

See also:

"Don't attack Syria"
Green Shadow Cabinet, August 28, 2013
http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements/dont-attack-syria

"Jill Stein, Mona Yacoubian, and Allan Lichtman discuss Syria"
The Voice of Russia, August 27, 2013
http://voicerussia.com/2013_08_27/Jill-Stein-Mona-Yacoubian-and-Allan-Li...

"Green Party urges no U.S. interference in Syria, calls on Obama to press Israel to end air strikes"
Green Party of the United States, May 9, 2013
http://www.gp.org/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/617.html

"Attack on Syria Would Violate Constitution Says Law School Professor Boyle"
By Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, The Struggle Podcast, August 27, 2013
http://thestruggle.podbean.com/2013/08/27/attack-on-syria-would-violate-...

"US Attack on Syria Would Circumvent Constitution, Intl Law: War drums grow louder as familiar tactics used to garner support for military action that only 9 percent of Americans support"
By Jon Queally, Common Dreams, August 27, 2013
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/27

"Syria: Another Western War Crime In The Making"
By Paul Craig Roberts, August 26, 2013
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/08/26/syria-another-western-war-cri...

"The Growing Challenge to The Syrian Regime and the Syrian Uprising"
By Bassam Hadad, Jadaliyya, June 13, 2013
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12556/the-growing-challenge-to-the-...

"Self-organization in the Syrian people’s revolution"
Ghayath Naisse, The Fourth International, July 1, 2013
http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3025

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