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Against a Major New US War in the Middle East: UJP Statement

  • No US military intervention or bombing of Syria and Iraq!
  • Bring all the troops home
  • No arms or training to parties to the conflict
  • Support a political solution including all concerned parties and governments based on self- determination of the people
  • Support genuine and neutral humanitarian aid such as UN efforts endorsed by the entire Security Council; oppose false aid used as a cover for military intervention

Here we go again -- has the US government learned nothing from the disastrous Iraq war? The brutal US intervention and occupation of Iraq destroyed Iraqi society and is the principal cause leading to the current violence and chaos. Why would anyone think that another US intervention would be anything but another disaster? Such a war as called for by our president will cost a huge amount of money undercutting education, health and other programs that all Americans need and exacerbating racial and social tensions at home.

Over the past 13 years our country has already spent one trillion, five hundred billion dollars for war in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East and South Asia. These military actions have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and have drained our country of the resources needed to create jobs and support a well functioning society. And yet, according to our leaders, the crisis in the Middle East is even more dangerous than before we got into these wars. The destruction and chaos caused by our Iraq war, for instance, has directly led to the emergence of an extremist group called ISIS.

Perhaps war is not the best “solution” to the tragic and complex developments we are now seeing in the area, especially in Iraq, Syria and Gaza. But war seems to be the only thing that our leaders know how to do.

In response to the US decision to bomb them, ISIS has beheaded 2 American journalists. Now these brutal acts are being used in the US to whip up war fever once again. In its sweep through Syria and Iraq ISIS is using modern American weapons that we sent into the region during previous military actions that we were promised would bring stability. Instead they are being used by ISIS to conquer large swaths of territory. ISIS’ success has also been possible because of the brutal policies against its own people of the Iraq government that we armed to the teeth, but which refused to fight when challenged by ISIS. A war on ISIS coordinated by the United States may or may not stop ISIS, but what new horrors will emerge in response to still another military incursion by foreign “Crusaders”?

The United States does not have an answer to the turmoil in the Middle East, a turmoil which we helped to create starting with our military support to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. But perhaps we can play a role in promoting peaceful solutions over time and supporting humanitarian aid to war victims through international institutions.

We oppose a new 3-year U.S. war in the area even with the promise of limited US troops on the ground coordinating the war and directing air strikes. We oppose continued US support for dictators in the area, threats against Iran, and growing Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory. Instead of keeping the war cauldron boiling, we call for a new US policy toward the area which includes support for full independence for Palestinians.

It’s time to change course and that change begins with the policy: No US War in Iraq and Syria! We promote this policy because we are horrified by the suffering now occurring in the area, and also because we know that any real solution must come from the peoples of that region themselves, not from a new US war.

- UJP Planning Group, September 12, 2014

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