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United for Peace of Pierce County - UFPPC statement: A dumb war
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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

A DUMB WAR

October 2, 2014

The Islamic State’s proclaimed caliphate constitutes a pressing international problem.  But an American-led military coalition is not the appropriate international response.

We do not underestimate and are not indifferent to the crimes of the Islamic State.  The international community must and will organize itself in opposition to a group that is aggressively challenging every aspect of the existing order and attempting to found a theocratic regime that brutally suppresses and eliminates all those unwilling to submit.  How could it do otherwise?

But while an American-led effort against ISIS or ISIL, as the group is also known, may succeed in the short term in destroying the Islamic State, it will inevitably give rise to further and—who knows?—even more virulent forms of fanaticism, pushing the world further toward chaos, division, and instability at a time when its most pressing concern is a unified response to the challenge of climate change.

The United States has neither the moral or legal standing to wage this war, however horrible the crimes of the Islamic State.  The United States cannot plausibly pose as an avenger of crimes in Mesopotamia, being itself guilty of having launched there in 2003 an illegal war in the name of a spurious and destabilizing doctrine of pre-emptive or preventive war that clashed with fundamental American values, undermined international institutions, and endangered security for the world, for the nation, and for us as individuals.  While waging this war the United States also engaged in massive violations of its own laws and principles, to an extent that even now few Americans understand.  And in the aftermath of that war the United States failed to hold accountable both those responsible for initiating the war and those guilty of violating its laws.

What Americans should demand of their government at this juncture is not another war.  Above all, they should set their own house in order and take power back from the devious, shadowy, elitist, and thoroughly undemocratic agencies of the national security state that have substituted themselves for our time-honored representative institutions.  Americans must demand that Congress arouse itself and recover its constitutional war power if there is to be any hope at all for the survival of the dream of what Abraham Lincoln defined as the true American enterprise:  “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Instead, Congress recently approved a bill mandating an effort to “provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals” for purposes including “defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and securing territory controlled by the Syrian opposition” (H.J.Res. 124, §149).  Engaging the United States in an open-ended war with undefined objectives is quintessentially unwise.  Yet on Sept. 19 Barack Obama, who once based a presidential campaign on his ability to recognize "a dumb war" and oppose it, signed the bill into law.

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."