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posted: 9/10/2013 5:00 AM

Tell your reps to vote no on Syria strike

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Please contact your congressional representative and Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk as soon as possible to prevent imminent, armed U.S. intervention in Syria. Certainly, Syria's use of chemical weapons against its own people was abominable and contrary to international convention and all civilized behavior. Consequently, the Assad regime's acts require a severe and rapid response from the world community. But a U.S. military strike is not the answer, at this juncture.

There are many compelling reasons for a timeout on our Tomahawk missile threat. Here are two:

• the lack of any evidence that the administration's proposed limited strike would accomplish any strategic U.S. goal or send any political message to Assad. In fact, there is reason to believe that such an attack would deepen his resolve and gain him new, and/or more militarily supportive, allies.

• the complete dearth of data that the proposed surgical strike would not be met with repeated and resolute military and terrorist attacks against U.S. interests or set ablaze the entire Mideast tinderbox. (Many, many more innocent lives could be lost than those via the chemical attack.)

Ask your congressional representatives to push the administration, with its allies, to demand that Assad publicly declare a ban on the use of chemical weapons and that he pursue an aggressive campaign to destroy Syrian chemical weapons, under U.N. or U.S.-led inspection. Failure to agree, before a very short deadline, would lead to a freezing of Syrian assets, bans on the travel of Syrian officials and their families worldwide, a goods embargo like that in effect on Iran, a (symbolic, at least) move to expel Syria from the United Nations, and charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague against Assad and his lieutenants. Let's use our wits before our Tomahawks!

Chris Ellis


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