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Americans Don't Want A War in Syria—And They're Working Hard to Prevent One

A few days ago it looked like the United States would be bombing Syria by now. The more pressure we can put on the Obama administration, the better.

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If Obama attacks Syria he will be putting gasoline on a fire already burning out of control.  Syria has the ability to defend itself and attack US military vessels. Iran and Russia have already indicated they will be drawn into the conflict.  How will this limited engagement escalate if US troops are attacked or a ship is hit?

Threats of retaliation are already being made and troop movements are occurring. Russia is moving two additional naval ships, a missile cruiser and a large anti-submarine vessel, into the Mediterranean to strengthen its presence in case of a US attack.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have exchanged threats over Syria.  Russia threatening an attack on Saudi Arabia if the US attacks Syria with President Putin ordering a “massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia in the event that the West attacks Syria.  Saudi Arabia is threatening Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia at the Olympics.

Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have threatened to retaliate against Israel and other US allies in the Middle East in the event of a US attack on Syria. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said western military action against Syria would be an “open violation” of international laws; further, “military action will bring great costs for the region.” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, told the Tasnim news website, that an attack on Syria “means the immediate destruction of Israel.”

Obama could be starting a much larger war than he realizes and doing so without congressional or UN approval. Why would Obama take this tremendous risk?  Shamus Cooke puts forward some important reasons: first, the rebels are winning and weakening Assad, several days of bombing will boost their efforts. Second, Obama will look weak if he fails to respond to the alleged crossing of his so-called “red line” without response. The US keeps its power through projecting strength and scaring other countries to keep them in line. Third, this is more than a battle against Syria, it is also a battle against Iran and Hezbollah as well as Russia, and Obama does not want them to become stronger.  Finally, the US is losing ground in the rapidly changing Middle East and an attack on Syria would remind the region that the US Empire is not going away.

A full congressional debate as well as a debate in the UN Security Council will bring out some of the faults of the reasoning behind war with Syria; as well as escalate doubts about whether Assad is guilty of ordering a chemical weapon attack.

Beyond these reasons to oppose the war, US Labor Fight Back puts out others: “At a time when 27 million U.S. workers are unemployed or underemployed and severe cuts in social programs are being implemented under the sequestration, the Obama administration is focused instead on finalizing plans to unleash a bombing attack on Syria. We strongly believe that labor and our community partners should vehemently oppose such an attack.” The US faces many economic and other problems and while sequester and other budget cuts impact on everything from food stamps to housing and education; there seems to be no limit for war spending.

We agree with their demand: “Money for Jobs and Education, Not for Wars and Occupations! Hands Off Syria!”  There are plenty of reasons to oppose this war and many allies who oppose it.  While the Obama administration seems to be moving quickly, there is still time to stop this war.

The movement is active and effective on many fronts

There are lots of activities taking place on a wide range of issues across the nation and the globe.  On we cover as much of this vibrant movement for change as we can.  Just look back over the last few pages of stories on the site to see what is going on in the movement.  Here are some quick highlights beyond all the action around Syria:

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