We Can Stop The Next War In Iraq: Take Action Now

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Above: Iraq War protest at the White House on June 16, 2014. Photo by Ted Majdosz.

Urge Your Representative to Sign Onto the Bipartisan Barbara Lee-Scott Rigell letter to Pres. Obama on Iraq

As soon as war hawks started pushing for a US military attack in Iraq we argued that President Obama needed Congressional authorization in order to take military action. Now, Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Scott Rigell (R-VA) have given us the tool we need to stop another war in Iraq.

President Obama is acting unilaterally by sending 500 more troops to Iraq (half to protect the US Embassy and half to work with the Iraq military) this doubles the total number of US soldiers in Iraq to 1,000. Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Iraqi leadership and told them that US support for Iraq’s security forces battling a militant insurgency will be “intense and sustained.” Despite opposition from the American people, the slippery slope to war is being greased and escalation seems to be the likely future unless the people organize and mobilize to stop another Iraq War.

Representatives Lee and Rigell have come together and written a letter to President Obama urging him to seek congressional authorization before taking any military action.  In the letter they write:

As you consider options for U.S. intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize. Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action would contribute to ending this most recent violence, create a climate for political stability, and protect civilians from greater harm.

We urge you to call your member of Congress NOW and ask them to sign onto the Lee-Rigell letter on Iraq. The number to call is 202-224-3121. Please share this with everyone you know so we can create the kind of groundswell of citizen action to stop another war in Iraq.

Below is a letter from Reps. Lee and Rigell to their colleagues asking them to sign onto the letter. The letter to President Obama is below that letter.

Join Bipartisan Lee-Rigell letter to Pres. Obama on Iraq

Dear Colleague:

We join many of you and in the international community who are expressing grave concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq over the last days and weeks. We agree that any solution to this complex political crisis can only be achieved through such an effort, and nothing short of that can successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region and only if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population.

As President Obama consider options for U.S. intervention, we urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. As such, the use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize.

Please join us in sending a letter to President Obama on the use of military force in Iraq. Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action would contribute to ending this most recent violence, create a climate for political stability, and protect civilians from greater harm.

For questions, or to sign, please contact Jirair Ratevosian with Rep. Barbara Lee or John Thomas with Rep. Scott Rigell by June 26.

Sincerely,

Barbara Lee Scott Rigell
Member of Congress Member of Congress

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Dear Mr. President:

We join you and with those in the international community who are expressing grave concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq over the last days and weeks. The consequences of this development are particularly troubling given the extraordinary loss of American lives and expenditure of funds over ten years that was claimed to be necessary to bring democracy, stability and a respect for human rights toIraq.

We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a “quick” and “easy” military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq. We also appreciate your acknowledgement that this conflict requires a political solution, and that military action alone cannot successfully lead to a resolution.

We do not believe any such intervention could be either quick or easy. And, we doubt it would be effective in meeting either humanitarian or strategic goals, and we are certain that it could very well be counter-productive. This is a moment for urgent consultations and engagement with all parties in the region who could bring about a cease fire and launch a dialogue that could lead to a reconciliation of the conflict that is spreading like a conflagration through the region.

Any solution to this complex political crisis can only be achieved through such an effort, and nothing short of that can successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region and only if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population.

As you consider options for U.S. intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize. Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action would contribute to ending this most recent violence, create a climate for political stability, and protect civilians from greater harm.

We stand ready to work with you to this end.

Sincerely,

 

We urge you to call your member of Congress NOW and ask them to sign onto the Lee-Rigell letter on Iraq. The number to call is 202-224-3121. Please share this with everyone you know so we can create the kind of groundswell of citizen action to stop another war in Iraq.