[pjw] REPORT BACK/FACTS: Syria One Year Later Visibility Action

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Thu Sep 24 13:17:12 EDT 2015


About 15 people attended Wednesday's visibility action on "The US Attack 
on Syria One Lear Later." Hundreds of commuters streamed by the tower of 
peace which read "Stop the War on Syria" and could be seen from the 
Hawthorne bridge coming east, people driving north on Grand Ave, and 
people on MLK could see it up over the bridge on-ramp. We received many 
thumbs-ups and honking horns, handed out 266 fact sheets (which were 
backed by flyers for the upcoming October 11 "Call Out of Justice: End the 
Wars" event), and generally shared good will despite the horrors of the 
war(s) we're trying to end.

Below is the content of the fact sheet we handed out. Thanks to all who took 
part in it and helped out!
--dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

September 23, 2015

One year ago today, the US began bombing Syria under the guise of fighting 
the Islamic State/ISIS, Portlanders are protesting the ongoing US military 
action. The current action against ISIS has nothing to do with 9/11, and 
is thus not legal under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force 
(in fact, ISIS and Al Qaeda are bitter enemies). The War Powers Act 
requires Congress to approve any ongoing combat operations lasting longer 
than 90 days, a deadline that has long since passed. While a few attempts 
have been made to force a vote on a new Authorization, no such vote has 

The US continues to assert that one of their goals is regime change in 
Syria ("Obama: Assad must go for war to end,"  Lebanon Daily Star, July 
7), training and arming "moderate" rebels, while at the same time tacitly 
supporting Al Qaeda offshoot the Nusra Front since they too are fighting 

> From August 2014 to August 2015, the US launched roughly 6000 airstrikes
in Iraq and Syria (ABC News, August 7). While America claims there have 
been at most two civilian casualties, the group Airwars cites at least 459 
"non-combatants" including 100 children died in that same time (The 
Guardian, August 3). The US air war caused eight more civilian deaths 
including five children, as reported on August 14 by the New York Times.

On September 1, the Washington Post reported that "The CIA and US Special 
Operations forces have launched a secret campaign to hunt terrorism 
suspects in Syria as part of a targeted killing program that is run 
separately from the broader US military offensive against the Islamic 

Meanwhile, the US has now gained full cooperation from Turkey, which is 
using the chaos as an excuse to bomb Kurdish nationalists in Iraq and 
Syria, even though those Kurdish fighters have proven the most effective 
at keeping ISIS from holding territory. Their targeting of the Kurds began 
before cooperation agreements were made: "Turkey struck a small number of 
Islamic State targets on July 24, apparently independently of the 
coalition, followed by scores of attacks on the militant Kurdish group, 
the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, mostly in the northern Iraq mountains 
around Qandil that serves at that group's base" (McClatchy, August 29).

Over 300,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war underlying 
the campaign against ISIS. In addition to the US "coalition," Saudi 
Arabia, Russia and Iran all have interests in the country, and Israel 
actively bombed Syria in August (Times of Israel, August 21). The US has 
spent millions of dollars to train about 100 "moderate" rebels, the first 
wave of whom were mostly captured by rival militants in late July 
(McClatchy, August 7).

The best solution? Stop US intervention and have a United Nations brokered 
negotiation, provide massive humanitarian aid and help resettle refugees. 
Join Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group to learn more and make a 
difference for the people of Syria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, 
Somalia, Yemen and other countries where the US has active military 

*"Push to write new war powers for Obama stalls in Congress," Associated
Press, May 18;
"House Rejects Effort to Force Vote on ISIS War Authorization," 
Antiwar.com, June 11;
"House Rejects [separate] Vote Calling for End to ISIS War," Antiwar.com,
June 17.

    This fact sheet prepared by/for more info:
    Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
    PO Box 42456 *   503-236-3065 * iraq at pjw.info
    Portland, OR 97242 *   www.pjw.info/Iraq.html
    The Iraq Affinity Group is committed to educating the public about the
    effects of U.S. policy on the people of Iraq, and other areas
    including SW Asia, North Africa, and the "Middle East." Regular
    meetings usually 2nd Wednesdays, 7 PM.
    Join us on Sunday October 11 for the march and rally "Call Out for
    Justice: End the Wars."

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