August 28, 2013
The Green Shadow Cabinet is alarmed by reports that the United States is planning an imminent military attack on Syria, and implores the Obama administration to refrain from an action that at best would be illegal, unconstitutional and immoral, and at worst, would result in catastrophic consequences.
The Obama administration is claiming that it has a moral responsibility to launch a “punitive” strike against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, and seems anxious to go forward with targeted cruise missile attacks which would likely come from U.S. naval vessels already positioned in the area. This, despite the call of UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon for the international community to wait until their inspection is complete, and despite the lack of a UN resolution authorizing the use of military force.
The United Kingdom has submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council. It has been established since Nuremberg that attacking another country without UN approval is “the supreme international crime.” The Obama administration will be violating international law if it acts without a vote by the UN in support of military intervention.
Further, under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution, it is the Congress that determines whether the United States goes to war. James Madison claimed that the war powers clause was the most important in the Constitution because the power to take a nation to war should not be vested in one person. More than one hundred Members of Congress have written President Obama reminding him that the Congress has the constitutional authority to begin a war, not the president. We urge the Congress not to authorize war against Syria as there is no military solution to the political conflict in Syria and the unintended consequences of a military attack in that region are unpredictable.
The United States is in no position to claim moral authority with regards to using weapons condemned by the international community. The U.S. is responsible for the slaughter of millions of innocent victims through the use of weapons condemned by the rest of the world. These weapons have included the atom bomb, Agent Orange, white phosphorus, napalm, and depleted uranium. To this day, the United States refuses to sign on to treaties banning the use of landmines and cluster bombs. These particular weapons are responsible for killing and maiming well over one million civilians. In fact, the U.S. has just struck a deal to sell Saudi Arabia $640 million worth of cluster bombs.
It is clearly immoral to kill innocent people, and it makes little difference if a bullet, a chemical, or radiation killed the person. If we as a nation wish to regain some moral authority, we can begin by renouncing the use of weapons banned by the international community. We should destroy our own stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Further, the United States should join the International Criminal Court and live within the rule of law.
Major media outlets seem to be fanning the flames of war while failing to ask even the most basic questions about the legality, morality, or effectiveness of an attack on the sovereign nation of Syria.
If President Obama launches an attack without prior explicit authorization by Congress, he will have committed an offense worthy of impeachment. If he launches an attack without authorization from the UN, he will be guilty of war crimes.
The Green Shadow Cabinet insists in the strongest possible terms that the Obama administration refrain from military actions against Syria.
This Cabinet calls on the people of the United States to rise up in marches, rallies, pickets, and non-violent direct action where possible and necessary in order to confront the Obama administration as well as Congress and the major news media. We must stop the rush to war, and we must demand respect for the laws of this democratic republic and the treaties we have signed.